Global Warming Skeptics score own goal

Fred Singer and co petitioned the American Physical Society to replace its statement on Climate Change. Instead, it got reaffirmed

The Council of the American Physical Society has overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to replace the Society’s 2007 Statement on Climate Change with a version that raised doubts about global warming. The Council’s vote came after it received a report from a committee of eminent scientists who reviewed the existing statement in response to a petition submitted by a group of APS members.

Eli Rabett has more details, while John Mashey has investigated the petitioner’s social network.


  1. #1 Paul UK
    November 12, 2009

    This research by Wolfgang Knorr in the UK seems to be doing the rounds on skeptic blogs and media:

    Not sure where straight atmospheric measurements made over the last few decades fit in with the research??

    As usual the skeptics claim that one source of research is correct and clearly shows AGW is wrong.

  2. #2 Dan Olner
    November 12, 2009

    While here in the UK, Heaven and Earth author Prof Ian Plimer is getting prime airtime on Radio 4’s today programme, saying things like:

    “My scientific opinion is married to evidence. I will change that opinion if the evidence changes or there’s new evidence.”


    “We cannot stop carbon emissions because most of them come from volcanoes.”

    Let me Google that for you Prof Plimer:

    But of course, if he doesn’t get airtime, we’re all authoritarians trying to silence the debate. What the hell strategy are we supposed to use?

    Arguing about this, I got called a fascist for the first time yesterday. Still fuming, but will hopefully learn to wear that as a badge of honour.

  3. #3 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    2 Dan,

    Were you called a fascist on a public forum/blog?

    The irony is that AGW denydiots tend to be the most right-wing people around. 😉

  4. #4 Jeremy C
    November 12, 2009

    Congratulations to John Mashey for the huge amount of work he has done on this report. However, like others, I really don’t think the petition was ever for the eyes of the APS.

    Consider, yesterday I posted on Tim’s lastest example of the Aus’s ongoing jihad against science on how people like Bob Carter are energetically going around Australia talking to whatever groups they can to present denialism as true (as shown on the ABC’s Four Corner’ (sorry to non Aus readers but you can see it at With this petition Carter can face his audience, wave it about, and say something like, “recently a group of independent scientists concerned at the falsehoods put out in the name of science petitioned the adminsitrative council of the American Physical Society to correct their public statement on climate change. The administrators rejected these scientists showing that once again independent thought is being continually quashed in our academic bodies when it comes to climate change”

    Or something like that.

    Now is Carter going to follow it up with….”John Mashey has analysed that petition and exposed the networks and affliliations behind it demonstrating that it lies well within the well worn path of PR astroturfing”?

    Will the groups he is talking to have access to John Masey’s information……..?

  5. #5 DL
    November 12, 2009

    Just a reminder that “skeptic” does not mean “denier”. That already has a word. It’s “denier”. A skeptic is someone who holds a requirement for evidence to claims and scrutinizes the claim. Skepticism is good. Denial in spite of evidence is not. (See both “Skepticism” and “Scientific Skepticism” on Wikipedia, or for more info on correct wording.)

  6. #6 DavidCOG
    November 12, 2009

    Re. Plimer on the BCC: (0852, bottom of page)

    He trots out all his usual bullshit: “CO2 plant food, 1970s ice age, CO2 lags not leads, climate scientists are lying, people have attacked him which proves he is right…”

    Shame on the BBC for giving him legitimacy by airing his views – which went largely unchallenged by the interviewer.

  7. #7 M Howard
    November 12, 2009

    Its funny because the people who are skeptical are usually those involved in industries that pollute. For example Don Blankenship head of a Massey Coal in eastern Kentucky, and West Virginia. He claims that Global Warming is a hoax.

  8. #8 Paul UK
    November 12, 2009

    >While here in the UK, Heaven and Earth author Prof Ian Plimer is getting prime airtime on Radio 4’s today programme, saying things like…

    Oh, i’m glad i had to leave early this morning.

  9. #9 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    Typo on page 3 of John Mashey’s excellent analysis. It says 18-page when it should say 128-page. This matters, and stands out, only because of the context.

    The reader should be undaunted by the 18-page length of this paper. Most people need only read about 30 pages (Sections 1-5, first few pages of 6, then 7-8).

  10. #10 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    5 DL,

    Quite so.

    AGW “sceptics” should be called such only with scare quotes. AGWSceptics (one word) is also acceptable IMO. (I accept the Americans spell it with a “K”).

  11. #11 bi -- IJI
    November 12, 2009

    Dan Olner:

    > But of course, if he doesn’t get airtime, we’re all authoritarians trying to silence the debate. What the hell strategy are we supposed to use?

    > Arguing about this, I got called a fascist for the first time yesterday. Still fuming, but will hopefully learn to wear that as a badge of honour.

    You should turn it into a Liberal Fascism joke.

  12. #12 MikeB
    November 12, 2009

    I heard Plimer on Today this morning as well. The sad thing is that they didn’t put him opposite Humphry’s – who would have torn him apart, but rather the hopeless Justin Webb (he was rubbish as the BBC America editor, so no change there), who did at least point out that he was basically alone.

    Kind of pitiful that the BBC had him on, without any attempt to question his blurb. I await Monbiot’s reply!

  13. #13 carrot eater
    November 12, 2009

    PaulUK: That Bristol study is off the topic here, so I’ll keep it short: the press release was divorced from reality, and most sceptics don’t even seem to understand what the study says. The basic results of Knorr are not the least bit controversial or surprising or contradictory to the conventional wisdom (though their method might not be the best). At most, they are somewhat disputing the results of just one other paper (Canadell 2007). I tried to explain this at WUWT, if you want to see that thread and dig out my comments.

  14. #14 Dan Olner
    November 12, 2009

    TrueSkeptic: “Were you called a fascist on a public forum/blog?”

    On facebook, arguing with someone who’d just posted Wattsupwiththat’s reporting of the “Bombshell from Bristol”. Of course, it’s another ‘smoking gun’. It’s amazing how many times AGW has been apparently shot dead by this kind of thing.

    Watt didn’t ask how the airborne fraction changes in existing models. Personally, I don’t know – how much do existing models presume co2 absorption will change as e.g. oceans heat? He didn’t ask, even if these models presumed an unchanging fraction, how much difference that would ultimately make to atmospheric co2 levels. He just claimed the paper was further proof the science is too uncertain to allow government to take our taxes.

    In pointing out to the poster that this wasn’t a smoking gun, or indeed “another brick in the wall” I got accused of having “incredible and insufferable arrogance, a righteous sense of certainty” and being a fascist.

    Sorry, I’m new to this climate arguing thing, still have rather a thin skin, and am prone to whining!

  15. #15 Dan Olner
    November 12, 2009

    On social network analysis: the denialosphere might respond – well, ‘the Hockey Team’ all publish together and go to the same conferences. It does help to know they’re all connected to Conservative thinktanks, but being part of an epistemic community in and of itself can’t damage someone’s claims, can it?

    Or does is show the petitioners to be from a radically different scientific setting to other members?

  16. #16 andrew adams
    November 12, 2009

    The Spectator is hosting a “Global Warming Debate” starring Plimer in London tonight. I’m going along in the hope that there will be some in the audience well qualified enough to put him on the spot, although I suspect it will be overwhelmingly attended by deniers.

  17. #17 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    14 Dan,

    Thanks. They’re the worst. They somehow imagine that *we* are the deluded ones (or outright liars), while they believe any crap, no matter how absurd or contradictory (to the crap they believed yesterday, last week, last month, last year, etc.).

    It’s hard not to get upset with people who are so credulous and so certain that only they are right. I’ve *never* seen any of them admit to being wrong, no matter how obvious the error or contradiction. They can’t be reasoned with.

  18. #18 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    15 Dan,

    I’m not sure if I’m reading your comment correctly, but by “petitioners”, do you mean the ones described by John Mashey?

    I think the relevant words are “crackpot”, “wingnut”, “shill”, and “liar”, e.g., Singer has a long history of being paid by right-wing organisations to misrepresent science.

  19. #19 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    16 Andrew,

    This must be the one that would’ve involved Monbiot. I see that Andrew Neil will chair it but who will Plimer debate with?

    I bet it will get noisy!

  20. #20 Dan Olner
    November 12, 2009

    TrueSkeptic: oh, I see! Common response from anti-AGWer: there’s no such thing as clean money, scientists are – as Plimer put it on the Today Programme – rent-seekers. I’ve asked the particular person I’m arguing with whether that means equal money spent on evolution research and creationism research counts the same scientifically. Awaiting a reply.

    But it’s fascinating: just started reading Sokal’s ‘beyond the hoax’ – includes the marriage of postmodern attacks on knowledge and US conservatism. Blech. p.s. seen this?

    Peter J. Jacques, Riley E. Dunlap, and Mark Freeman, “The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism,” Environmental Politics 17, no. 3 (2008): 349.

  21. #21 sod
    November 12, 2009

    yes, special thanks to John Mashey.

    everybody should at least take a look at the [pdf](

    he is writing with so much structure and clarity. it is a pleasure to read it, and will always provide new insight.

  22. #22 Bud
    November 12, 2009

    @Andrew Adams (#16): I was under the impression that it was an event ‘starring’ Plimer alone. That’s a strange kind of debate, with only one participant. I can only hope Plimer has prepared a dramatic monologue in which he wrestles with his own conscience over his shoddy behaviour recently.

  23. #23 Dan Olner
    November 12, 2009

    Plimer debate: Monbiot was going to attend, but never got answers to his questions –

    I second MikeB: I really wish Humphreys had interviewed him. I cannot understand how someone can get away with actually claiming volcanoes produce more co2 than humans and not immediately fall through some sort of stupid-detector trapdoor into a pit of sharks. Um, maybe that’s a bit too harsh. But not by very much given the FUD levels being spread.

  24. #24 Bud
    November 12, 2009

    @#19: Ah…Andrew Neil. That hardly surprises me, he’s a nauseating Tory sycophant who hosts the BBC Daily Politics and has done at least one spectacularly clueless global warming interview that I recall.

    His blog:

  25. #25 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    20 Dan,

    Yes, but they fail to explain how publicly funded science is “biased” to produce results that no one wants to hear, especially governments. What about the Dubya era?

    But all that aside, the contradiction of one belief by another is what tells us who’s lying or delusional. I [had a go]( at this a while ago.

  26. #26 John Mashey
    November 12, 2009

    re: #9
    Typo: ouch, thanks, sharp eyes. Last-minute edit as it was up to 130. I will accumulate errata for a while.

    many: thanks for the kind words.

    re: social networks.
    People who are doing research in the same area generally know each other.

    The point is was that if you read the list of signers in alphabetical order, as presented on their website, it *looks* like a well-spread sample, i.e., a broad groundswell of support. I think that’s waht it is supposed to look like.

    It wouldn’t be instantly obvious to most people that the APS has 47,000 members, that most of the subdisciplines represented have zero to do with climate science. The “wave” pattern is totally invisible, as are the underlying social network connections. I only found the former because I checked the website at least once a week. Finding even a small fraction of the nonobvious connections took a lot of time, as quite often, the likeliest connections were buried in past affiliations that were *not* listed in the petition itself.

    Finally, the “Very Important Qualification” on p.6 is relevant, i.e., groups are recognizable labels and strong hints as to how connections were made, but imply nothing about other members of the groups. Most of the members of the U of Rochester Physics department did *not* sign this.

  27. #27 Dan Pangburn
    November 12, 2009

    Tens of billions of dollars have been spent in futile efforts to prove that added CO2 caused Global Warming while an unpaid engineer has discovered what really caused the temperature run-up in the 20th century.

    All of the average global temperatures for the entire 20th century and on into the 21st century are readily calculated with no consideration whatsoever needed of changes to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide or any other greenhouse gas.

    Data sources, a graph that overlays the measured and calculated temperatures from 1880 to 2008 and a detailed description of the method are in a new paper at .

    This research shows that there is no significant Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (and therefore no human caused climate change) from added atmospheric carbon dioxide or any other added greenhouse gas.

  28. #28 Brian D
    November 12, 2009

    Andrew Adams @#16: It’s interesting to see the whole history of that debate, including the part where Plimer decided to throw smokebombs rather than answer questions about his own work as a condition of getting an opponent.

  29. #29 John Mashey
    November 12, 2009

    re: #4 Jeremy C
    Yes, for sure. From Day One, I didn’t expect APS to replace their position statement with this silly thing. Indeed, I think it was for all the side usage, covered in Section 2 (letter to Senate) and examples from Appendix 4.
    See in particular, Fred Singer @ Minnesota Free Market Institute, pages 2 & 30.

  30. #30 Bud
    November 12, 2009

    I’m sorry to see, Dan Pangburn (#27), that despite the masses of work that you clearly put into that blog, everyone ignores you and never comments on your blog posts.

    I’m just one man, and so it would be pointless me going over there and adding hits and comments that would not make a difference in the overall scheme of things anyway, but I look forward to the day you get the recognition you deserve.

  31. #31 Bruce Sharp
    November 12, 2009

    Speaking of climate petitions, there’s a great article on Dr. Arthur Robinson of the [Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine]( at the very funny [World O’Crap blog](

    [Mourning Becomes America](

    Oh, and while you’re there, be sure to check out [yesterday’s article on Mike Adams](, and keep your eyes peeled for what has got to be the Best Pun of the Decade.


  32. #32 Marco
    November 12, 2009

    Let’s see, Dan Pangburn first assumes there is no increasing greenhouse effect. He then tweaks a few parameters, especially of the PDO, without providing any mechanistic explanation how an internal energy conveyer belt can cause long-term warming. And lo’ and behold, no increasing greenhouse effect! Come on, Dan, as an engineer you can surely explain to us the physics behind an energy conveyer belt creating such long-term warming. Right? No? Gee, how surprising.

  33. #33 Rattus Norvegicus
    November 12, 2009

    re: #23. Shouldn’t that be a pit of sharks with LASERS!?

  34. #34 Stu
    November 12, 2009

    Andrew Adams #16,

    I hope you get to ask a few questions. If I’d had a chance to attend I may well have prepared a few scientific sources to refute the more easily debunked points he’s likely to bring up – the CO2 from volcanoes one being the quickest and easiest to debunk of the lot, plus it would make him look moronic because, wait, aren’t volcanoes to do with geology?

    Let us know how it went!

  35. #35 Dan Pangburn
    November 12, 2009

    Bud: Thanks for that but I was really just curious.
    Marco: It appears that you misunderstood nearly everything in the paper. I did not assume that “there is no greenhouse effect”. That was one of the discoveries. The “conveyor belt” (that would be the net effect of all ocean ‘conveyor belts’ such as PDO, ENSO, AMO, etc.) is accounted for by the repeated oscillation consisting of 32 year long up trends followed by 32 year long downtrends. The net energy from this oscillation, over any 64 year period, is zero. The duration and magnitude of this oscillation were also discovered during the research. The sum of the concurrent equivalent anomalies for the oscillation and the equivalent anomalies for the time-integral of sunspot count results in the excellent match to the measured average global temperature anomalies for the entire 20th century and so far in the 21st century as shown on the graph. There is nothing significant left over for ‘greenhouse gas effect’.

    By ‘energy balance’ I was referring to the first law of thermodynamics. That is the basis of the analysis.

  36. #36 sod
    November 12, 2009

    Dan, your “papers” are complete rubbish. you take a tiny dip at the end of your graph and add a linear fall that looks like the next ice age.

    your “papers” cite ZERO literature beyond the data sources. they don t even look scientific.

    if you try a little harder, perhaps some bogus mag like E&E or an anti-science site like watts p will publish your nonsense.

  37. #37 Rattus Norvegicus
    November 12, 2009

    I am reminded of the saying: if you torture data long enough, it will say anything.

    Pangburn, you have taken the data to a veritable Guantanamo Bay of statistical analysis. Your papers are a crock and you are a crank.

  38. #38 Stu
    November 12, 2009

    Hi Dan,

    I did something very similar myself. A simple climate model in Microsoft excel. Various climate indices (GHG, solar, volcano, aerosols etc). Change the level of influence of the various factors to get the lowest root means square error compared to the actual temperature record.

    Lo and behold, the IPCC prescribed level of influence of each factor doesn’t give the lowerst RMSE! However, I got very similar, very low RMSEs by first scaling GHGs to 0.1, volcanoes to 0.5, and solar to 4, and then by scaling GHGs to 1, volcanoes to 0.25 and solar to 0.8. Clearly they cannot both be right, even if they both look right. Your reconstruction looks like it has a low RMSE. This doesn’t mean you’ve attributed past climate change correctly.

  39. #39 Janet Akerman
    November 12, 2009

    Dr [Girma Orresengo]( will have Dan Pangburn up on plagerism charges.

  40. #40 carrot eater
    November 12, 2009

    Wow. First the sceptics say that climate models are nothing but overfitted curve fits (no, they’re physical models). Now the sceptics start making their own models, and what are they? Statistical curvefits with zero physics.

  41. #41 andrew adams
    November 12, 2009

    Ok, I’m back and it was a thoroughly depressing evening. As has been pointed out, although it was billed as a “debate” Plimer was the only speaker – of course Monbiot famously, and understandably, pulled out but surely they had plenty of time to find someone else. What’s more, the audience was overwhelmingly favourable to Plimer, ok probably unsurprising given it was organised by the Spectator, but to an extent which was pretty shocking even so. You might have thought that given the above it was incumbent on Neill to ask Plimer some searching questions himself. He did raise a couple of points but accepted Plimer’s answers even though they were disingenuous to say the least. It also took him a long time to realise that maybe he needed to seek out the opinions of those who disagreed with Plimer, and even then some people who put their hands up and were chosen actually supported Plimer. I had my hand up all evening and was finally called right at the end but probably due to my bad temper by that time and being hurried through lack of time didn’t make my point as coherently as I would have liked. There was only one other person who actually seriously challenged Plimer all evening.
    OK, I suppose I shouldn’t have known what to expect to a large extent but even so, I didn’t think it would be that bad.
    Anyway, I will be writing a more detailed account for my blog, probably over the weekend, so I’ll post a link in case anyone wants to know more.

  42. #42 Dave
    November 12, 2009

    Yes Janet, this is clearly an unattributed refinement of the much vaunted “Orssengo W-Theory” The evidence is compelling – you can draw a diagonal line up, and then another down – its devastating to that fascist IPCC claptrap! Dan’s only hope to avoid accusations of theft is to provide an explanation that is even more enlightened and coherent than Girma’s Milankovitch-or-tides-or-PDO-or-something… ah yes – Sunspots + PDO. Brilliant, simply brilliant. I urge them to publish jointly and share the inevitable Nobel. Maybe they’ll even make Al Gore give his back.

  43. #43 WAG
    November 12, 2009

    Carrot Eater and Paul –

    Finally got around to writing a post on the Knorr study (Knorr says he’ll get back to me after he’s done responding to the real media).

    Essentially, two reasons it’s irrelevant.

    First, its conclusion makes no claims about FUTURE carbon cycle feedbacks—it simply finds that carbon sinks’ ability to absorb CO2 has not declined in the PRESENT.

    Second, the studies that Knorr critiques were published AFTER the 2007 IPCC report came out; so, if Knorr is correct in proving these studies wrong, his findings cannot logically have any bearing on the accuracy of the IPCC’s conclusions. At worst, Knorr simply returns us to the state of science when the IPCC report was written.

    In other words, skeptics are attacking a straw man.

  44. #44 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    38 Janet,

    I protest! You plagiarised my next comment in advance!

  45. #45 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    40 Andrew,

    Yes, please. If anyone has a recording of this (many smartphones can be used as audio recorders), or a transcript, it would be most welcome.

  46. #46 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    39 carrot eater,

    Follow the link at 25. Needs an update but the basics still work.

  47. #47 TrueSceptic
    November 12, 2009

    42 WAG,

    AGWSceptics attack strawman? Surely you jest?

  48. #48 carrot eater
    November 12, 2009

    WAG: I agree with your first point; that much is fairly obvious.

    Your second point: I wouldn’t pose it in that way, relative to what came out when, relative to the IPCC report. That seems contrived to me.

    You should simply put out a timeline of the topic: people came to think that ocean uptake would eventually decrease, but only well in the future. Canadell (2007) suggested a slight increase in the airborne fraction over the last few decades, but the trend was small, uncertain and really insignificant; the work not (as far as I know) corroborated yet or built upon. Le Quere and a couple others found some hints of lower ocean uptake effectiveness, but only over the last few years. The models don’t have airborne fraction increasing yet; in fact coupled carbon-cycle models have it decreasing slightly over the last decades.

    So for Knorr to come out and say, when you allow for the uncertainty of the data and use a really simple fitting procedure, there is no trend in the last 150 years – pretty much not exciting in any way. Even if there were the beginnings of increase in AF in the last few years, I don’t think his method would have found it; nor do I think his method is better than Canadell’s – but it’s irrelevant; either way if there’s any trend in the past decades, it’s really weak and nothing anybody’s model counted on.

    Given all that, the press release was horrible. It claimed it’d be controversial, that the models were all wrong.. nope.

    I think the sceptics got excited because they can’t read. They saw the headline and thought it meant CO2 wasn’t going up, or that the rise in CO2 wasn’t due to man, or something like that.

  49. #49 carrot eater
    November 12, 2009

    WAG, if you are corresponding with Knorr, ask him about the dip in AF around 1990, which is presumably due to Pinatubo. Two versions of his fitted statistical model have a volcanic term; I’d like to see a plot showing the fits using those versions of the model. I think his simple plot in Fig 1 is unduly affected by the 1990 dip.

  50. #50 John Mashey
    November 12, 2009

    Well, the thread has certainly diverged, so let me brign it back.

    There is one Australian on the APS signers’ list, at Charles Darwin U. I couldn’t find obviosu co0nnections, but maybe Aussies know of him?

  51. #51 Michael
    November 12, 2009


    Oh the shame!

    John, who is it?

  52. #52 Dan Pangburn
    November 12, 2009

    Sod: A simple application of engineering produced the calculated average global temperature anomalies that accurately match measured average global temperature anomalies for over a century. That is not rubbish. The future trend is expected to be down but above the line shown. Perhaps you should read the paper again. I have been unable to find where anyone has ever before looked at the time-integral of sunspots so there is no literature to reference.

    Rattus: As is obvious to anyone who can actually follow the work that there was no torture.

    Janet: I was unaware of Dr. Orssengo’s work. It is an interesting coincidence that his first paper was ‘published’ three days before my last. However, I used the methodology of time-integral of sunspots in my paper ‘published’ at the CR site 4.4 months earlier. With even a brief comparison it is obvious that there is no similarity between Orssengo’s approach and mine. I searched his paper for the words thermodynamic, energy, integral and sunspot and he never used any of these words. We do arrive at the same conclusion which is that added greenhouse gases have no significant effect on average global temperature.

    Stu: I don’t believe what we did is similar at all. I did a time-integral of sunspot count and applied the first law of thermodynamics. The temperature oscillation was a discovery from the research that made the calculated anomalies agree closely with the measured. The only statistical analysis that I did was finding the standard deviation of the differences between the concurrent calculated and measured anomalies.

    Carrot: I am not sure if you are referring to Stu’s work or mine. Statistical analysis was not a part of my work except to evaluate the results. Perhaps you did not recognize the physics/engineering that I used.

    Eight of my posts in an extensive exchange that may help explain my work can be viewed at

    It is unfortunate that so many bloggers have little ability and may even lack the interest to do their own research on the planet’s climate. As a result they have no technological basis to challenge the highly politicized claims of many and sometimes resort to ad hominem attacks.

  53. #53 Mark Byrne
    November 12, 2009

    Michael, it is Jim Mitroy.

    But its worth reading through John’s tables.

  54. #54 Joel Shore
    November 12, 2009

    Anthony Watts thought the stories about the APS petitioners were worth a couple of threads: and But, apparently once the issue got decided in a way that he didn’t like (and those old threads were already closed to comments), it was not worth starting a new thread about. [I actually posted something yesterday in his “Tips & Notes” thread linking to the APS press release…but not only did he not take the bait but after it admittedly led to a little back-and-forth between myself and one of the acolytes there, he started deleting our posts as being off-topic and then overnight decided it was time to purge the whole “Tips & Notes” thread and start again fresh. Can’t say that this purge was done specifically to remove any news of the APS press release there, but it was certainly a convenient side effect.]

  55. #55 Mark Byrne
    November 12, 2009

    >I did a time-integral of sunspot count and applied the first law of thermodynamics.


    In what manner did you “[apply] the first law of thermodynamics”?

  56. #56 Michael
    November 13, 2009

    Thanks Mark,

    For some reason my computer is currently refusing to downlad PDFs.

    Had a look at Mr Mitroy.

    No one will be surprised. His homepage has links too (drumroll)…..

    – Cato Institute
    – Climate Audit.

    Worst of all…..he lectures in physics.

    Another ideological refugee from reality.

  57. #57 Mark Byrne
    November 13, 2009

    Dan writes:

    >it is known that energy leaves the earth in proportion to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. Thus a rather simple energy relation can be developed where the energy received by the earth is proportional to the integral of the sunspot activity and the energy leaving the earth is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature of the earth. This was done and a proportionality constant was determined that resulted in approximately level results for the first part of the curve as shown here.

    Dan, I’ve read your links and cannot find how you did this. Can you provide details?

  58. #58 John Mashey
    November 13, 2009

    Is there some reason a thread about the APS *has* to debate Dan Pangburn’s ideas? I’m having a hard time finding the relevance, and at this point, am having to KILLFILE lots of people.

  59. #59 Mark Byrne
    November 13, 2009

    Sorry John, you’re quite correct.

    Dan, come back on another thread.

    John, I found your paper very informative, its a keeper.

  60. #60 Michael
    November 13, 2009

    re: Jim Mitroy,

    I don’t think I’ve ever been knowingly so geographically close to one of the denialati.

    I know some people over at CDU, I’ll see if they have any details.

  61. #61 Donald Oats
    November 13, 2009

    Excellent job, John Mashey.

  62. #62 Bernard J.
    November 13, 2009

    With apologies to John Mashey for tickling his killfile…

    D&n P&ng6urn.

    If you are an engineer, and if you are actually competent in basic statistical methodologies, why do you give any credence to Orssengo’s nonsense? Do you not recogise how many errors of statistical procedure and convention Orssengo flouted? Given that you said:

    Statistical analysis was not a part of my work except to evaluate the results.

    I am forced to contemplate that you do not.

    You say that:

    [i]t is unfortunate that so many bloggers have little ability and may even lack the interest to do their own research on the planet’s climate. As a result they have no technological basis to challenge the highly politicized claims of many and sometimes resort to ad hominem attacks.

    Perhaps you should heed your own words, and think upon them for a spell of time.

    Oh, and with respect to:

    I have been unable to find where anyone has ever before looked at the time-integral of sunspots so there is no literature to reference.

    I think that you will find that Tamino at [Open Mind]( has rather thoroughly tested the sunspot idea, and come to a different conclusion. And given that Tamino has more than a clue about mathematics, statistics, and time-series analysis, I know which horse I’d be putting my money on…

  63. #63 Marion Delgado
    November 13, 2009


    What was benito’s last name? Mussolini! not von hayek!

    And Adolf? Hitler! not von Mises.

    Do you see a von in there anywhere? was either of them named Adam Smith or David Ricardo?

    Well, I don’t think so!

    Plus, Hitler was an environmentalist, vegetarian, gun-grabbing socialist, and so was Mussolini. Clearly, the fascists have always been the Al Gore liberals who want the world run by UN death panels.

    The people wanting to turn the power of the market loose to unleash the creativity of our entrepreneurial spirit and solve the both the real problems and the manufactured ones like the so-called environment crisis are the ones fighting the fascists like those currently occupying DC. Great men like Patton, Goldwater, Reagan, Paul … understood that we need leadership, patriotism, loyalty, strength and duty. For too long has our decadent society nurtured those who stabbed us in the back during the Vietnam War and spit on our heroic veterans. Their self-hatred has held back our nation from its well-deserved glory long enough.

  64. #64 Jonathan Kapp
    November 13, 2009

    This video is a discussion with Penn State professor Richard Alley. Dr. Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and EMS Environment Institute at Penn State. He is one of several Penn State earth scientists who contributes to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He discusses climate change, ice, and what we can do to make a difference.

  65. #65 John Mashey
    November 13, 2009

    re: 61 Donald
    Thanks for the kinds words.

    re 56 & 60 michael
    yes, I’d looked at Jim Mitory’s website, so I didn’t think his signature was an accident. However, the exact connection eluded me, gien that he was in Wave B, i.e., before much publicity, but it wasn’t obvious who knew him.
    Of course, if you know people at CDU, you might point at this and ask them if they have any insight.

    Actually, that applies elsewhere. If people happen to know someone organizationally close to signers, you might touch base with them. The paper has a strong not that having a cluster of signers in some organization implies nothing about other members there. However, I remain curious about whether or not a concentrations of signers are tips of the iceberg there, or relatively isolated groups with whom most there disagree. Of particular interest are U of Rochester Physics& USC aerospace, and maybe Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    In addition, I remain curious to know which of the signers really got talked into this by old friends.

  66. #66 DavidCOG
    November 13, 2009

    andrew adams @ 41:

    > Monbiot famously, and understandably, pulled out…

    Monbiot did not “pull out”. His conditions for participating were not met.

  67. #67 carrot eater
    November 13, 2009

    Joel: WUWT has a thread up now. Reading the comments, it’s almost endearing how convinced they are that everybody would be convinced, if only they’d read the blog science.

  68. #68 Stu
    November 13, 2009

    Carrot eater, I went over to WUWT to see what was happening. The very first comment (from Anna V) said

    “It is very sad, because I do not think that the rest of the 47000 members examined any data. They are just on autopilot trusting on the integrity of the vocal representatives.”

    The implication being, of course, that if you examined the data then you’d side with the 160 petitioners.

    I think Anna is forgetting that she’s talking about 47000 qualified physicists. Can they think for themselves? I’m going to maintain my faith in humanity by asserting that yes, they can.

  69. #69 TrueSceptic
    November 13, 2009

    67 carrot eater, 68 stu,

    Is it me or does WattsATwit (polite version) look more like Denial Depot by the day? Some of the comments there are just deranged.

  70. #70 carrot eater
    November 13, 2009

    Stu, that’s one of the posts I was referencing. It really is almost cute – they really think it’s obvious that they’re right.

  71. #71 carrot eater
    November 13, 2009

    TrueSceptic: A good volume of the comments are beyond parody, yes. Still, I’ve found I can have relatively decent interactions with some of them. I would never try to counter all the confusion in a thread, but if you pick your spots and stay polite, you’ll get a hearing.

  72. #72 Marion Delgado
    November 13, 2009

    TrueSceptic and Stu:

    I wonder what the rules of blog science are?

    As far as I can tell, old-fashioned science depends on:

    1. peer review

    2. data gathering

    3. replication

    4. an attempt to establish a consensus where it can be established

    5. the generation of models and mechanisms

    6. the robustness of a hypothesis, theory or paradigm over time as the rest of science changes.

    7. has a progressive, hierarchical filter of tiered knowledge, with conjectures and fringe ideas at one end and textbook science at the other.

    8. should agree with the accepted body of knowledge not only in its field but other fields, because they had to achieve acceptance the same way.

    But we’re told that peer review is bogus and broken, data gathering is a government boondoggle, consensus is not science and models are unscientific. There are enough instances of lack of replication being dismissed as dishonest to think that it’s nothing sacred to blog-science either.

    There are studies showing that scientific and technological process was correlated with the rise of peer-reviewed research journals. I think their functions of informing people in a filtered way about progress by other people was the key contribution to the explosion of scientific knowledge.

    What does that in blog science, I wonder?

  73. #73 carrot eater
    November 13, 2009

    Blog science has one guiding principle: it is good if the results are what I wanted to hear. The physics can be utter nonsense, but that doesn’t matter because most of the audience isn’t sophisticated enough to know that.

    It is quite something, how they’ve come to define all actual science as suspect, because supposedly the grant process is politicised. (I love reading tirades about this, and the scientific process in general, from people who clearly have no academic experience whatsoever). And modeling is just a non-starter. Basically, it allows them to disregard all actual science on its face. I hear ‘IPCC this’ and ‘IPCC that’; most of them have ever actually picked up the report. Yet, out of curiosity, I’ll still go read their blog science now and then, just to see if they’ve accidentally written something worth reading.

  74. #74 TrueSceptic
    November 14, 2009

    Just to repeat my appreciation of people like Joel Shore and carrot eater. It’s good that someone has the patience and good temper to deal with the Watts supporters. It’s clear that many there are highly delusional and they will never except any information that conflicts with their bizarre views, but perhaps it might just make a difference to the rational few and the occasional visitor.

    I just hope it’s worth your time.

  75. #75 TrueSceptic
    November 14, 2009

    72 Marion,

    Your depiction of real science looks good to me.

    73 stu,

    I’d go further: Blog Science is without limits. No matter how absurd or obviously wrong, anything can be denied in order to distort the evidence to make it fit the most bizarre world view. Another prevalent characteristic is the hilarious (to me) inability to see the obvious contradictions. This is something that requires little scientific knowledge, just basic language comprehension, yet they don’t even notice (or pretend not to). You can see this in every thread at places like Watts, including the APS thread where Joel has been quite heroic IMO.

  76. #76 Dan Pangburn
    November 14, 2009

    Sunspot count (like Timano used) is proportional to power. The time-integral of sunspot count (like I used) is proportional to energy. People who think that they know science but are unaware of the difference between power and energy may think that discovering that power does not correlate ends the issue. It does not.

  77. #77 carrot eater
    November 14, 2009

    TrueSceptic: If I interact on WUWT, it’ll generally be for the blindingly obvious stuff – that a journal article doesn’t at all say what they think it says, or somebody vaguely remembers something from his freshman chemistry, physics or math class but is getting it horribly wrong.

    I see Joel getting involved about the process of science, in the APS thread, and that’s entirely lost upon a crowd that is convinced that science is one big conspiracy. If that’s worth his time, good for him.

  78. #78 TrueSceptic
    November 14, 2009


    Should anyone respond to Dan Pangburn? His posts look OT to me!

  79. #79 dhogaza
    November 14, 2009

    Is it me or does WattsATwit (polite version) look more like Denial Depot by the day? Some of the comments there are just deranged.

    I’ve hoped, at least, that at least some of the posters there are sockpuppets just having fun.

    I fear I may be wrong, though, and that they really are that deranged.

  80. #80 Mark Byrne
    November 14, 2009


    Dan is now spamming this thread, if Dan wants to discuss his ideas he can come back to an open thread and answer my questions.

  81. #81 Joel Shore
    November 14, 2009

    TrueSkeptic says: “I just hope it’s worth your time.”

    Yeah…I wonder about that quite a bit. I try to rationalize it in various ways (the lurkers there, that it gives me motivation to study up on certain issues, …) but in the end, perhaps it is just the sort of addiction summarized by what may well be the best cartoon ever: I try to wean myself occasionally, but then I get drawn back like a moth to a candle flame.

  82. #82 carrot eater
    November 14, 2009

    I know what that comic is, and I don’t even have to click on it. Best xkcd ever.

  83. #83 Bernard J.
    November 14, 2009

    Ah yes, ol’ 386.

    I suspect that many here have not only chuckled over it, but have found themselves in exactly that circumstance more times than one might care to admit.

  84. #84 phillip soffermann
    November 14, 2009

    #3TrueSceptic (Miss Noma)
    Regarding the recent debate between Plimer (ScienceSceptic) and NoShowMondiot:

    PLIMER = 1 ( WON ), MONDIOTS = 0 ( NIL )

  85. #85 dhogaza
    November 14, 2009

    Oh, gosh, Phillip Soffermann has come up with the perfect way to win every debate:

    1. Your opponent sets preconditions

    2. You refuse to agree to them.

    3. Victory!

    Yet, the world is fucking warming, arctic sea ice “recovery” is leading to historic extent lows, el niño’s going to wipe out much of the “world is cooing [because of La Niña but we refuse to admit it!] denialism.

    Yet, Soffermann will declare victory because of Plimer’s cowardice.


  86. #86 bi -- IJI
    November 14, 2009

    dhogaza: actually it’s

    1. Your opponent sets preconditions
    2. You agree to them
    3. You fail to do anything to fulfil the preconditions
    4. Suddenly you decide you need to set your own preconditions
    5. Actually, you decide you decide to schedule the debate on your own without regard to your opponent’s schedule
    7. Victory!

  87. #87 phillip soffermann
    November 15, 2009

    85doghaza:…”the world is cooing…” implies that all is well, relaxed and comfortable, snug as a joey in a pouch…etc. Plimer won the ‘debate’ by default…hardly a screaming capitalised victory! He won because piss-weak Mondiot shot through like a Bondi Tram right down the bottom end of the far queue neworldorder…somewhere to lick his wounds in privacy with his own worst enemy…himself.

  88. #88 Janet Akerman
    November 15, 2009

    phillip soffermann,

    It helps Pliar when he makes stuff up, lies about his sources, and misrepresents those he critiques. It helps Pliar when he does all this and the Phillip Soffermann’s of the world fall in line and cheer.

    Not very sceptical Phillip. Epic failure [number two]( for you.


  89. #89 Janet Akerman
    November 15, 2009

    Its actually quite apt that phillip soffermann turns out another such dismal performance on this thread named as it is.

  90. #90 bi -- IJI
    November 15, 2009

    Shorter Phillip Sofferman:

    I spewed out a word salad, therefore Plimer won the ‘debate’.

  91. #91 phillip soffermann
    November 15, 2009

    …and as The Dusk of Doom descends…the Testosteronic Messaihanic Janet leads his charismatic choir down into the Valley of Eternal Echoes… whence they crouch transfixed in wonderment at the repeating staccato return…of their Glorious Gloating and Gloom…g l o o m…l o o m. . . o o m . . .m m m . . . m m m

  92. #92 bi -- IJI
    November 15, 2009

    Shorter Phillip Soffermann:

    I ignore all the refutations to Plimer the global warming ‘skeptic’. Therefore, it’s the Global Warmists who are closed-minded.

  93. #93 Janet Akerman
    November 15, 2009

    No science phillip? What a surprise, strike three.

  94. #94 sod
    November 15, 2009

    why only such little discussion on this most important topic? have you taken a look at what [WuWt]( reported on the event?

    Although the APS council turned down the request, it has, however, agreed to one proposal from Kleppner’s committee: that the society’s Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) should “examine the statement for improvements in clarity and tone”. Princeton University atomic physicist Will Happer, who was one of those leading the proposal for change, sees that fact as a form of vindication. “They basically sent both statements back to their committee on public affairs and asked them to reconsider,” says Happer. “I think it’s a big victory for us. Many of [the people who signed the petition] took quite a bit of risk in signing this statement.”

    the next paragraph brings up a contradicting view, but we will see how this nonsense will be spread over the web.

    and what risk is he talking about anyway? the risk that the majority of those 80+ signers will die of natural age, before the petition can be handed in?

  95. #95 sod
    November 15, 2009

    and i fear there is another big piece of work coming up: also on WuWt, there is a list of [450 “sceptical” papers]( in peer reviewed magazines.

    i assume that a look at the authors will find a similar network of the same few guys publishing those papers, as on the APS list.

    i took a first look and counted (anyone willing to check?) 83 papers coming from “Energy & Environment”, which they claim to be a peer reviewed paper, because it is marked as “peer reviewed in this [EBSCO list]( so nearly 20% of the “sceptical papers” have been peer reviewed by the paper, that let Beck’s CO2 graphs slip through “peer review”. (the Beck paper is not on the list, btw)

    anyone around, who can explain to them, how to find real peer reviewed papers? anyone willing to find/calculate a citation impact for those sceptic “papers”?

  96. #96 sod
    November 15, 2009

    strange, the article has disappeared from the WuWt page. though i can still find it via the link or a google search with the title: “Reference: 450 sceptical peer reviewed papers”.

    i don t dare to assume, that it was too embarrassing to post it, so i guess it is a small technical problem….

  97. #97 Marco
    November 15, 2009

    @sod: let’s just look at the first 10.
    1. Nothing skeptical about AGW in Loehle’s article. Not one word.
    2. is a correction to 1. Double-counting
    3. Opinion piece by Balling in the AAPG’s journal. Not peer-reviewed.
    4. First real peer-reviewed paper. Considering the authors, expect major flaws.
    5. Article in 2000 from E&E. NOT peer-reviewed.
    6. Not ‘skeptical’ of AGW in the WUWT-sense.
    7. Commentary of Boehmer-Christiansen. Peer-reviewed? Doubtful
    8. Valid entry number 2.
    9. LOL. Comment on comment to paper #8. In a sense double counting, and those comments are usually not peer-reviewed
    10. Even more LO. Correction to paper #8. Triple counting!

    Interesting, isn’t it? In the first 10 already so many problems. Also interesting: They refer to Zeebe et al, which isn’t even close to critical of AGW. It only notes that with the accepted climate sensitivity to CO2, there wasn’t enough CO2 to explain the observed temperature increase during the PETM. In other words, it argues that other forcings must have been present, or the climate sensitivity to CO2 is LARGER than currently accepted…

    I would not be surprised if there are more such misinterpretations (in the sense that the papers are NOT ‘skeptical’ of AGW, not even in the sense of a lower than expected climate sensitivity to CO2).

  98. #98 sod
    November 15, 2009

    you are correct Marco. when i took a first look at the list, i followed a random [link]( and also got the impression, that this paper is CONTRADICTING their views.

    so the list contains mainly non-peer reviewed papers, papers that don t shore the sceptic point of views, and a handful of papers by the same authors. brilliant.

    ps: the page is back up on WuWt.

  99. #99 sod
    November 15, 2009

    ouch. and the list is over a week old, and those errors have not been corrected.

    sceptics, fully living up to their name. as always.

  100. #100 TrueSceptic
    November 15, 2009

    84 Phillip,

    “Miss Noma”? It appears that you lack the most basic understanding of, well, anything.

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