Open Thread 37

Time for a new open thread.


  1. #1 Dirk Hartog
    December 16, 2009

    [Here is an interesting article by Byran Appleyard]( describing how he once scoffed at AGW, but has been convinced.

  2. #2 Mark Francis
    December 16, 2009

    PRWatch has a piece out, citing Tim Lambert among others:

    Who’d Pay for Rupert Murdoch’s Climate Change Skepticism?

  3. #3 MikeM
    December 16, 2009

    On Monday the Bright Green Blog at The Christian Science Monitor had [a very clear description]( of what the Climategate “trick” tree ring issue is, and its significance: namely that the conclusion from it “is precisely the opposite of that reached by authors of many climate-skeptic opinion pieces and blogs…”

  4. #4 Vince Whirlwind
    December 16, 2009

    “There are nearly 400 commercial vineyards in England and Wales covering approximately 2000 acres of land in total.”

    “Nearly all are in the southern half of England and Wales. Most English and Welsh vineyards are small (less than 5 acres), many very small (less than 1 acre). Only a small number exceed 25 acres and just a handful 50 acres. The largest (Denbies, Dorking, Surrey) has around 200 acres of vines under cultivation. “

  5. #5 Vince Whirlwind
    December 16, 2009

    I wonder if anybody has ever plotted the number of acres in England under grape cultivation against temperature to see if that acreage would be a good proxy for temperature?

    Surely Plimer must have this information, as he makes claims that seem to assume he has this data?

  6. #6 Billy Bob Hall
    December 16, 2009

    What can I say… RE Mark Francis at #2.

    The article is a bit disingenuous when stating : ‘While very few of the skeptics have any scientific credentials in climate sciences…’

    Of course this is not true.
    A skeptic having a science degree is easily enough ‘credentials’. It certainly is enough ‘credentials’ for the likes of little ole denier me ! 🙂
    And time for you to learn to count gentle-persons. There are tens or thousands of us.

  7. #7 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 16, 2009

    Vince, that assumes he (or any of the think-tanks and echo chambers) are interested in doing real research. With all that money available from industry you’d think someone would have used, bought, and borrowed the raw temp data to reanalyze it to see if CRU, GISS and NOAA got it right. And then trumpeted the results all over the place if they came up with a radically different answer.

    As we know, research isn’t high on their list of priorities, and they’d prefer to just make things up (like underwater volcanoes that we can’t see, measure or detect are responsible for putting into the air more fossil-fuel signature CO2 than humans). 😉

    Oh, another example…they’d prefer to start tv stations to broadcast lies and slander rather than do the hard work required to understand the science. I won’t link to the tv station, but you can find info [on the Desmogblog](

  8. #8 Vince Whirlwind
    December 16, 2009

    In other words, Plimer just fabricates his stuff about Roman-era vineyards being an indicator of climate?
    That’s odd – why would a well-respected expert with worldwide renown for his published work in the field of Climate science fabricate stuff?

    Uh, hang on…

  9. #9 Proper Gander
    December 16, 2009

    Hi, I’m currently debating a denialist here:

    and he has referred to a Monckton paper here:

    where Monckton claims that the IR signature for enhanced greenhouse warming is missing. I recall reading a pretty thorough debunking of his Fraudulence’s claims, on Deltoid I thought, but am unable to relocate it. Can anyone help me please? I’d rather not read Monckton, my mental health is suffering badly enough with this denialist I’m already debating. I’m starting to hope for the worst-case scenario to come true just so I can say, “I told you so.”

  10. #10 el gordo
    December 16, 2009


    After meeting James Lovelock I don’t suppose he would have eyes for any other than Gaia.

  11. #11 Craig Allen
    December 16, 2009

    Proper #8:

    You are likely to find all you need at John Cook’s Skeptical Science website.

  12. #12 Stephen Gloor (Ender)
    December 16, 2009

    Proper #8:

    Also you can have David Archer explain it here:

    Lecture 5 pretty neatly explains it.

    Also on that page is a link to ModTran

    Where the climate skeptic can put in different values of CO2 and see the signature. 280ppm is about the baseline value and then you can put in the current 375 and see the difference. I guess however the skeptic would simply respond that this is the work of the conspiracy.

  13. #13 Stephen Gloor (Ender)
    December 16, 2009

    BTW I could not recommend more highly the lectures of David Archer for people such as myself who are not climate scientists or indeed scientists at all.

    He really has a gift for teaching the subject. I thought I knew a bit about AGW before I started – boy was I wrong. At least if you do watch the lectures you will get a far stronger understanding of the nuts and bolts behind AGW theory.

    David posted these on Real Climate.

  14. #14 ESPness
    December 16, 2009

    Just popped in to see if there was any reaction to Randi’s post at the JREF regarding his position on AGW. The Skeptical (real ones, not deniers) blogs are going nuts.

  15. #15 Joseph
    December 16, 2009

    Just popped in to see if there was any reaction to Randi’s post at the JREF regarding his position on AGW. The Skeptical (real ones, not deniers) blogs are going nuts.

    Disappointing. I think James Randi is simply not familiar with the bulk of the data.

  16. #16 Former Skeptic
    December 16, 2009

    This must be compulsory reading for all. About time someone compiled a list of hypocrisies from deniers to show the complete stupidity of their arguments.

    A sample:

    1. They profess that markets can solve all problems while simultaneously preaching that businesses will never be able to adapt to higher energy prices.

    2. They argue that siting problems (e.g. urban heat island) render temperature data useless, while simultaneously arguing that adjusting for those problems constitutes scientific fraud/ fudging the data.

    3. They say they support free markets, but oppose cap-and-trade (the free market solution to climate change).

    4. They advocate skepticism and oppose proclamations that “the science is certain,” while simultaneously claiming certainty that all climate science is one big hoax.

    5. They argued that averting a 1% chance of catastrophic terrorist attacks justified spending $100 billion a year on the Iraq war, but oppose investing billions of dollars per year in averting a much higher risk of catastrophic climate change. (see this Tom Friedman article)

    6. They said the US did not need a permission slip from other countries to go to war in Iraq, but don’t want to act on climate change until poor countries have done so.

    7. They claim that the US temperature record is unreliable when it reports warm temperatures, but have no problems using the US temperature to report cool temperatures.

    I strongly suggest adding onto this list and passing it on.

  17. #17 ESPness
    December 16, 2009

    I think Randi’s posting a follow up later. Meanwhile it’s generating lots of comment at Pharyngula and Bad Astronomy and

    I’m not up with all the data either but it doesn’t take much effort to find out the petition is a complete load.

  18. #18 C
    December 17, 2009

    Proper Ganda – Try this

    You’ll find that site an invaluable resource for countering denier idiocy.

  19. #19 Kent
    December 17, 2009

    How is that Copenhagen thing going boys and girls? Not so well I hear.So bad infact that the green meanies are getting violent. Did they really think something was going to happen? If they don’t get something, which I doubt,they will get even more unruly. Someone is going to get really hurt. With climate gate exploding all over the place,(remember you saying it was much to do about nothing) people are realizing that nothing CRU, NASA, IPCC, and others have said can be trusted. CRU is being investigated NASA is being sued, Pen state is being looked at and it’s funding threatened, Australia data has been proven,”adjusted” the same with NZ and now Russia. No matter where you look the raw data is not the same as what the warmest’s have been using. It is not looking good, jobs are on the line and billions of funding is going to be reviewed. The lawyers are chomping at the bit. They smell blood and money.

  20. #20 David Parsons
    December 17, 2009

    It’s a curious delusion that believes that the weather is dependent on public opinion.

  21. #21 Gaz
    December 17, 2009

    C says “denier idiocy” and then, as if by magic, along comes Kent.

    Hey Kent, how come if climate change science is a hoax promoted by green lefties they’re outside in the rain in Copenhagen getting pepper-sprayed and whacked with batons?

    Oh, and Kent, given that NASA’s raw data is all available, how about doing your own analysis and showing everyone what’s really happening, or are you content to stay on the sidelines and talk crap?

  22. #22 ben
    December 17, 2009

    Well, given the happy greeting Chavez received for his anti-capitalism rant at Copenhagen, is it any wonder many of us don’t trust the people involved? It’s been said before that green is the new red, and the delegates at Copenhagen sure aren’t doing anything to make the situation seem otherwise.

  23. #23
    December 17, 2009

    you really need to keep comment moderation on your blasphemy…


  24. #24 ali baba
    December 17, 2009

    How is that Copenhagen thing going boys and girls? Not so well I hear.

    That’s what the one world government against global warming and for more taxes wants you to hear.

  25. #25 ESPness
    December 17, 2009

    Looks like you’ve just been goated by Dennis Markuze. details:

  26. #26 jakerman
    December 17, 2009

    Ben @22,

    The climate and the laws of physics don’t pay much attentions to politics nor ideology.

    People who want to undermine the politics of Chavez, have a simple option, don’t let avoiding dangerous climate change become a marker of the left.

    If conservatives are betting on climate change not being a big problem they are facing 10 to 1 odds against.

    Conservatives need to pull there finger out and act serioursly on climate change if they don’t want to force populations towards the left for the next 50 years.

  27. #27 Marion Delgado
    December 17, 2009
  28. #28 ESPness
    December 17, 2009
  29. #29 Gaz
    December 17, 2009

    Hey ESPness, if you want to put a link in your post, put the word you want highlighted in square brackets, immediately followed in normal parentheses by the URL.

    eg [here]( is the Randi link.

  30. #30 Gaz
    December 17, 2009

    Re: #29

    You too, Marion Delgado. The blog software here interprets underscores as an instruction to italicise.

  31. #31 JamesA
    December 17, 2009

    Vineyards are, in my opinion, a very questionable proxy for temperature. How many grapes get grown in the UK is a function of the state of the international wine market just as much as temperature. Sure, grapes may have been grown once upon a time but who’s to say how good the wine was? More to the point, would it be viable in the modern marketplace? What could have been an acceptable crop once upon a time might not even be worth considering nowadays.

  32. #32 Chris O'Neill
    December 17, 2009


    How is that Copenhagen thing going boys and girls? Not so well I hear.

    Just witnessing how tragedy of the commons plays out.

    No matter where you look the raw data is not the same as what the warmest’s have been using.

    Kent is a stage 1 denialist (he disputes the existence of global warming, let alone human cause). As such he is beyond reason.

  33. #34 Ken Fabos
    December 17, 2009

    When PM Rudd got accused of being a climate change sceptic at Copenhagen do they have a point? No policy that impacts mining and especially exports of fossil fuels in any significant way – massive expansion of gas and coal production and export capacity currently underway. R&D focused on Carbon Capture and Storage ahead of everything else – that means the use of fossil fuels isn’t impacted in any significant way – a remarkable willingness to give concessions to the big emitters in negotiations to get the Opposition on side but no willingness to negotiate tougher measures to get the Greens on side.

    The science debate over the fundamentals of climate change is pretty much over; only nitpicking over details and inflating them to suggest the fundamentals are somehow affected – and trying to smear reputations – is about all that’s left for those who oppose action on emissions. Oh, and telling lies and avoiding being answerable for them (Plimer, Carter etc). But even when the science is overwhelming the capacity of people to choose short-term self-interest and ignore the long term costs and consequences should not be underestimated. In Australia the fossil fuel interests wield enormous clout (all those royalties and revenues feeding government coffers, plus the costs and difficulties of changing); it’s clear from the unwillingness of most politicians who claim to take climate change seriously to engage in any policy that impacts those interests.

    So, to answer my rhetorical question, I think that the Rudd government is giving us the policies of climate denial whilst giving us the rhetoric of taking the issue seriously. I suppose we should be grateful that we are hearing that rhetoric – and hope that somewhere down the line we get some real action – but it’s hard to believe we’ll see that action in time to avert seriously damaging impacts.

  34. #35 mb
    December 17, 2009

    I saw a British documentary some years ago that led me to conclude that the Romans had been growing coconuts in Londinium in sufficient quantity that when the Normans invaded they were more commonly available to the king’s squires than equine. This information was certainly more convincing of there having been substantial warming in history, than some paltry statistical evidence of rising temperatures today. Warmer than any time in recorded history? Pshaw. Did it ever occur to you warmers that it was so warm that they didn’t even think to record the temperatures, because they were too preoccupied with beach parties and perilous infestations of carnivorous lagomorphs?

    It’s time you watermelons start to appreciate the free market, and this should begin by an understanding that property rights are a monotonically decreasing function of the distance on a Riemannian circle. For those of you that don’t recall your primary school geometry that means that if I build a machine that teleports things from Bangladesh, then it’s capitalism, because they are too far away to exercise tyranny over me. You should read your Adam Smith sometime, warmers! Instead of supporting trial lawyers that vote for Hugo Chavez, why don’t you try getting real jobs selling valuable things like weight loss pills?

  35. #36 Proper Gander
    December 17, 2009

    Thank you Stephen, Craig and Marion.

  36. #37 Mark Francis
    December 17, 2009

    Denialist scientists all agree there’s no such thing as consensus in science.

  37. #38 Chris O'Neill
    December 17, 2009

    tree mugger:

    i put some more stuff over in the Plimer spot for you to have a sooky about

    I thought you were the type who goes all sooky over a “great big new tax”.

  38. #39 Chris O'Neill
    December 17, 2009

    By the way you know who, don’t forget to complain about Tim Lambert going all sooky and putting you on moderation.

  39. #40 Betula
    December 17, 2009

    Proper Gander @ 9

    “I’m starting to hope for the worst-case scenario to come true just so I can say, “I told you so.”

    What do you mean “starting”?

    I would say most alarmists hope for worst case scenarios. Oh sure, most wouldn’t openly admit it like you did, but it is obvious in many other ways.

    First, anyone who even thinks about questioning a worst case hypothetical is a denier. Alarmists are constantly defending worst case scenarios to the, well, worst case scenario.

    Second. Did you notice how not one alarmists on this site was phased by your comment? That’s because they all feel like you do….you are at home with like minded people.

    Can you hear the silence?

    Comforting, isn’t it?

    It reminds me of a statement a liberal said to me a few years back regarding Iraq. He said, “not only do I hope we lose the war, but the more bad news the better”.

    No. It wasn’t Harry Reid.

  40. #41 Chris O'Neill
    December 17, 2009


    Did you notice how not one alarmists on this site was phased by your comment?

    I noticed your beat-up.

  41. #42 Betula
    December 17, 2009

    Looks like someone @ 43 had their Wheaties this morning….. that’s a good boy.

    Would you like some hypocrisy with those flakes?

    How about some irony on the side?

    Now that’s what I call a nourishing meal.

  42. #43 Proper Gander
    December 17, 2009

    Betula @42- when the climate refugees show up, I’m sending them to your house with the expanded-range Anopheles mosquitoes.

    And in that usage, it’s fazed. This isn’t Star Trek, no one’s getting phasered here.

    On the bright side, I had confirmation from the denialist I was debating of what I suspected all along- he thinks a good bout of climate change will be good for “evolution.”

  43. #44 Betula
    December 17, 2009


    “when the climate refugees show up, I’m sending them to your house with the expanded-range Anopheles mosquitoes.”

    So they’ll be going directly to your house first? I suggest you put out some C02 mosquito traps.

  44. #45 Marion Delgado
    December 17, 2009

    I can’t tell if you’re a skeptic or a denialist. What’s your take on the “sparrow” theory of coconut proliferation? First of all, what is the range of a fully laden sparrow holding a coconut?

  45. #46 Deep Climate
    December 17, 2009

    Some more hockey stick funny business … from 2006.

    Wegman ghostwriter revealed

    How could a trio of statistical experts, all on their own, hope to write a report on a field, climate science, of which they had no previous knowledge or experience?

    The shocking answer is: They didn’t. They had some help from a physicist turned climate skeptic and textbook author (not to mention Wikipedia and a classic sociology text).

  46. #47 Jimmy Nightingale
    December 17, 2009

    Solar Cycle 24 is starting to crank up now.

    We had the largest solar flare of Cycle 24 so far on Wednesday (a C 5.3) and the solar flux of 87 today is the highest reading since January 2008.

  47. #48 SCM
    December 17, 2009

    Gareth Renowden’s blog Hot Topic NZ has been hacked and is down- I hope he has spotted it and is working on getting it fixed (couldn’t find his email to let him know). I can’t imagine this is a coincidence (eg random act) given the timing.

  48. #49 Marion Delgado
    December 17, 2009

    btw thanks for reminder Gaz

  49. #50 Bernard J.
    December 17, 2009


    Makes me wonder if anyone will try to hack Deltoid, BraveNewClimate, Greenfyre, or any other the other blogs that so get up the noses of the Denialati.

    They might try DenialDepot too, but how would we ever know…?

  50. #51 el gordo
    December 17, 2009

    The forecast is for solar activity to remain ‘very low to low’.

  51. #52 WotWot
    December 17, 2009

    @ 35

    You should read your Adam Smith sometime, warmers!

    As should you. Adam Smith is not the security blanket to the modern free market corporatist ideologues that they like to think he is.

  52. #53 jakerman
    December 17, 2009

    >Adam Smith is not the security blanket to the modern free market corporatist ideologues that they like to think he is.

    neither is mb!

  53. #54 Betula
    December 17, 2009

    Jimmy @ 48

    You seem excited about solar cycle 24 “starting to crank up” so I checked your attached link.

    Within the link is this statement:

    “The largest Solar Flare of Cycle 24 thus far took place early Wednesday morning. It registered C5.3 on the flare scale. It is small in comparison to flares at solar max, however it is a good sign nonetheless.”

    A good sign of what?

  54. #55 el gordo
    December 17, 2009

    If the sun doesn’t pick up soon, according to those on the denialosphere, it will be curtains for the warmists.

    Not that I necessarily support such an outlandish view, after my fruitful discussion with Akerman about volcanoes, but I am prepared to keep an open mind on the subject. Time is on our side.

  55. #56 Vince Whirlwind
    December 17, 2009

    Clearly Denialists are in the process of constructing their smokescreen to hide behind when temperatures over the next 5 years put paid once-and-for-all to the “no recent warming” lie:
    they want to be able to say: “We’ve been warning you about increased temperatures due to solar flares since December 2009 – have a look on Deltoid”.

    Anybody believe Denialists will still be able to fool anybody come 2015 though?

  56. #57 Gaz
    December 18, 2009

    Re #53

    Adam Smith is not the security blanket to the modern free market corporatist ideologues that they like to think he is.

    Having read large slabs of the Wealth of Nations I heartily agree, WotWot.

    Smith was certainly an exponent of the creative and productive potential of capitalism, but “libertarians” claiming Smith as one of their own are truly kidding themselves.

  57. #58 Marion Delgado
    December 18, 2009

    oh hmmmph. all apologies, mb.

    The rest of you, please note that mb is joking – the documentary he was citing is called Monty Python and the Holy Grail, fwiw. Hence, read your Adam Smith, warmers! is in that context also meant humorously.

    < / killjoy >

  58. #59 el gordo
    December 18, 2009

    The spoof-counter spoof climate war is underway. Are we prepared for another Drudge attack?

    Humor like this will weaken our resolve, comrades.

  59. #60 mb
    December 18, 2009

    Their actions are ridiculous even by their own standards. I cannot think of any flavor of property-oriented libertarianism that deems it acceptable to “do harm” to others by destroying the value of their property. They’re a bunch of Randian looters that read her books and mistook themselves for the heroes. If anything they should demand that polluters pay complete restitution, not some pittance reached through international agreement by third parties, and call for clear ownership over any region of the surface of the planet so that property owners might receive recompense when harmed. They wouldn’t be preoccupied with lowly pragmatism, they would be arguing the primacy of property and defending the absolute reach of a market subject to arbitration of disputes between property owners by a universal court.

    Maybe that’s why so many of them reach to attacking the motives of researchers and proffering sophomoric arguments about subjects well outside their expertise, to push the battle line away from even when their own cognitive dissonance would break down and they would view themselves as monsters.

    Though you would hope the arguments would be less transparently retarded than, “here is this vague anecdote, which I take to be much more precise than your actual measurements, and anyway, it’s all chaotic like the n-body problem, you know, if the moon just teleported into Jupiter’s orbit it would normal. Plus you grew that S. Cerevisiae in a whiskey bottle, so that ethanol is natural and not the product of fermentation. I know your real motives!!!”

  60. #61 Chris O'Neill
    December 18, 2009

    el gullibo:

    If the sun doesn’t pick up soon, according to those on the denialosphere, it will be curtains for the warmists.

    They would say that, wouldn’t they? In spite of the sun not having yet “picked up”, the last 12 months were the same average temperature as 1998. And unless the system has suddenly gone back into a La Niño in December, 2009 will be warmer than 1998. Pretty amazing considering 1998 had a huge El Niño and 2009 started with a La Niña.

    Not that I necessarily support such an outlandish view, after my fruitful discussion with Akerman about volcanoes, but I am prepared to keep an open mind on the subject.

    So open that your brains fall out.

    Time is on our side.

    Yes, it’s on the side of people who know that as time goes by, the long term warming trend will become larger sooner or later.

  61. #62 el gordo
    December 18, 2009

    The long term cooling trend will become obvious sooner than later.

  62. #63 mb
    December 18, 2009

    The fifty-year cooling trend will become obvious any day now.

  63. #64 Gaz
    December 18, 2009

    < / killjoy >

    *Damn you, Marion Delgado! It such a long fall from up there on my high horse.*

  64. #65 Connor
    December 18, 2009

    Can anyone tell me what statistical “tricks” to “hide” the incline were used by Screaming Viscount Monckton and his Raving Loony Monster Party in the graph?

  65. #66 Connor
    December 19, 2009

    SOrry, meant to link to this – Monckton’s letter to Pachauri

  66. #67 Bernard J.
    December 19, 2009


    Erm, that would be a swallow, not a sparrow.

    Everyone knows that sparrows can’t carry coconuts.

  67. #68 el gordo
    December 19, 2009

    Connor, the 60 year cycle is quite evident, so we can expect at least another 20 years of cooling until the warming begins again.

    Alternatively, through no fault of ours, we could slip into a Maunder.

  68. #69 Gaz
    December 19, 2009

    Can anyone tell me what statistical “tricks” to “hide” the incline were used by Screaming Viscount Monckton and his Raving Loony Monster Party in the graph?

    Having studied statistics at postgrad level I can tell you (and forgive the jargon, there’s simply no other way to explain it) the technique or “trick” used by Monckton is called “tilting the graph”.

  69. #70 Chris O'Neill
    December 19, 2009

    HadCrut3 now shows a warming trend from 1998 to November 2009.

    All those idiots who crapped on about “cooling since 1998” based on HadCrut3 can now go to hell.

  70. #71 el gordo
    December 19, 2009

    We all agree then, the world’s average temperature has not changed this century.

  71. #72 zoot
    December 20, 2009


    HadCrut3 now shows a warming trend from 1998 to November 2009.


    We all agree then, the world’s average temperature has not changed this century.

    Please don’t feed the troll.

  72. #73 Chris O'Neill
    December 20, 2009

    Gullible as they come:

    We all agree then, the world’s average temperature has not changed this century.


  73. #74 silkworm
    December 20, 2009

    The continuing adventures of Viscount Monckton of Brenchley…

    In this week’s episode, the Viscount hangs out with Senator Fielding of Australia in Copenhagen, and gets knocked unconscious by a New World Order cop.

    We must make reasonable allowance for the fact that the unspeakable security service of the UN, which is universally detested by those at this conference, was ordering the Danish police about. The tension between the alien force and the indigenous men on the ground had grown throughout the conference.

    However, the Danish police were far too free with their hands when pushing us around, and that is not acceptable in a free society. But then, Europe is no longer a free society. It is, in effect, a tyranny ruled by the unelected Kommissars of the European Union. That is perhaps one reason why police forces throughout Europe, including that in the UK, have become far more brutal than was once acceptable in their treatment of the citizens they are sworn to serve.

    It is exactly this species of tyranny that the UN would like to impose upon the entire planet, in the name of saving us from ourselves – or, as Ugo Chavez would put it, saving us from Western capitalist democracy.

    And so on and so forth.

  74. #75 Betula
    December 20, 2009


    I thought you would enjoy this video of the Danish police beating the Copenhagen crowd…

    And so on and so forth…

  75. #76 TheGreatGlobalWarmingHoax
    December 20, 2009

    What’s the optimal temperature of the planet?

  76. #77 Deep Climate
    December 20, 2009

    From Deep Climate

    Contrarian scholarship: Revisiting the Wegman report

    Update, Dec. 19: This post has been substantially revised to remove speculation about Donald Rapp’s possible role in the Wegman report. I apologize for any embarrassment caused to Donald Rapp or Edward Wegman by that speculation.

    The post has also been updated to reflect new information about the provenance of Wegman et al’s section on tree ring proxies, as well as more background detail on some of the events leading up to the Wegman report. There are also more details about large swathes of unattributed material found in the Wegman report and in Donald Rapp’s book Assessing Climate Change.

    It is clear that the circumstances and contents of both the Wegman report and Rapp’s text book deserve closer scrutiny.

    Dec. 20: Comments are now open again.

    Key paragraph:

    Part of the answer lies in the close examination of the Wegman report. Surprsingly, extensive passages from Wegman et al on proxies have turned up in a skeptic text book by contrarian author Donald Rapp. And at least one of these common passages on tree ring proxies closely follows a classic text by noted paleoclimatologist Raymond Bradley, but with a key alteration not found in the original. Moreover, Wegman’s section on social networks appears to contain some unattributed material from Wikipedia and from a classic sociology text.

  77. #78 dhogaza
    December 20, 2009

    Real Climate, right, now, simply returns “It Works!” in big bold letters.


    Last time it was down there was a message from the blog software …

    Something to watch over the day!

  78. #79 Lee
    December 20, 2009

    Has Real Climate been hacked?

    I see dhogaza beat me to this – when I try to go to individual threads, it returns a ‘not found’ error, too.

  79. #80 Kristjan Wager
    December 20, 2009

    It now states “The RealClimate software is being upgraded. Apologies for the short break in service, but we should be back soon.”

    Probably no hack

  80. #81 Lee
    December 20, 2009

    Thanks, Kristjan.

  81. #82 el gordo
    December 20, 2009
  82. #83 Bernard J.
    December 20, 2009


    You think so? Ask [Ove Hoegh-Guldberg]( why this is not actually the case.

    Oh, and let us know what he says…

  83. #84 Jimmy Nightingale
    December 20, 2009

    Re #82.

    I’ll just correct your statement a little:

    In ‘bloody brilliant shape’ compared to coral reefs in the rest of the world.

    And references:

    On a side note, an interesting little factoid about Peter Ridd – he’s the science co-ordinator for the Australian Environment Foundation, a front group founded by the right-wing think tank Institute of Public Affairs:

    It doesn’t mean that he’s wrong, but it would be helpful if he would cite some research that actually supports his view. The only paper that appears in the scientific literature that flies against the contention that the Great Barrier Reef is in a state of decline is his own. This paper was published in Energy & Environment and has the IPA stamp all over it.

    Surely you can do better than that.

  84. #85 Bernard J.
    December 21, 2009

    [El blimpo’s fatuous statement about the health of the Great Barrier Reef]( was posted a day after I was perusing Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s blog. Although not directly related to the coral bleaching that occurs with raise ocean temperature, there is nevertheless an apposite thread about [ocean acidification]( that was posted last week.

    One of the starling things, even after all of the nonsense that I’ve seen the denialists engage in, is that there are actually [folk who still do not accept and/or understand CO2-induced acidification]( I was reminded of a thread at Marohasy’s cesspit that contained stunning examples of this, and to save the gentle readers here the necessity of having to shower after wading through the sullage there, I’ll repost my responses below…

    (Comment from: Bernard J. [30 October 2008 at 1:22 am](

    It is apparent that many here have no operational understanding of what acids and bases are. For a start, there are at least four definitions of the term ‘acid’, and thus they may be categorised as Arrhenius acids, as Lowry-Brønsted acids, as solvent-system acids or as Lewis acids. The first two definitions are most pertinent to the issue of sea-water acidification, because they pertain to the increase in the hydrogen ions that cause ocean acidity.

    An Arrhenius acid is a substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (protons: H+) in a solution. In water these protons are present as hydronium ions (H3O+). Bases are substances that increase the concentration of hydroxide ions (OH).

    A Lowry-Brønsted acid is a proton (H+) donor and a Lowry-Brønsted base is a proton acceptor.

    In these contexts any circumstance that increases the concentration in solution of the definitive cation is acidification. It is as simple as that. The classic “an acid is…” definition is largely an arbitrary one, with a pH chosen to be ‘neutral’ by reference to pure water, where the number of H+ [ions] equals the number of OH [ions]. This is merely a reference point, and it has no bearing on the fact that in going from pH 9 to pH 5 the concentration of H+ is increasing, and the concentration of OH is similarly decreasing. And vice versa for a pH change in the opposite direction. For many chemical and biochemical equilibria neutrality is an irrelevance in a continuum of hydrogen cation concentration.

    In these two definitions, an ‘acid’ per se is a solution that has more hydrogen ions than hydroxl ions, but the term ‘acidification’ is always considered relative to a starting concentration of hydrogen ions, and not to the ‘neutral’ point. Using the (il)logic of some on this thread the process of going to pH 5 from pH 6 is ‘acidification’ but going from pH 9 from pH 8 is not, even though in both cases the concentration of hydrogen ions has increased by one order of magnitude [my latter emphasis].

    This might be fodder for late night pub semantics, but it is not science, and the proponents of such a misconceived idea are obviously not acquainted with the definitions and the practise of chemistry.

    Moreover, there seems to be a misconception that an increase in acidity (yes, it is an increase in acidity) from pH 8.1 to pH 8.0 requires large concentrations of carbonic acid (and by implication, carbon dioxide)…

    For those who are unaware (and it seems to be a few here), the pH scale is the negative base 10 logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration. At pH 8.1 the concentration of hydrogen cations is about 7.94×10-9 mol/L: that is, 7.9 billionths of 1mol/L. A pH of 8.0 is 10-8 mol/L hydrogen ions, or about 25% more than occurs at pH 8.1. This is a difference of 2 billionths of 1 mol/L.

    This is not much, is it kiddies?

    Except it is, if you are an organism living in an exquisitely pH-sensitive milieu, such as occurs in carbonate cycling or in acid osmosis. I rather suspect that some of the blusterers here have no idea of the biochemistry of energy production and transport through a cell, or they would be rather less cavalier about dismissing the significance of acidity (yes, even above pH 7.0) in biological systems.

    But keep it up boys. You are simply documenting, for all the world to see for all time, your blindingly breath-taking ignorance of basic chemistry.

    Oo, I just made a joke. It pales next to all the others here though…

    There then followed some amusing play with numbers, that had no basis in reality, from Ian Mott and from Gordon Robertson. If one really must read what these gentlemen had to say, one can follow the links here, but for now I’ll simply post my reply…

    (Comment from: Bernard J. [October 2008 at 5:24 pm](

    (Keeping in mind that the mean pH of plasma is around 7.4…)

    From Wikipedia, the electronic toilet wall:


    Acidosis is an increased acidity (i.e. an increased hydrogen ion concentration). If not further qualified, it refers to acidity of the blood plasma.

    Acidosis is said to occur when arterial pH falls below 7.35, while its counterpart (alkalosis) occurs at a pH over 7.45.”

    The medical world will be stunned to discover that there is no such condition as acidosis, at least until the pH drops below 7.0.

    To reiterate – Arrhenius (and Lowry-Brønsted) ‘acidification’ is the process of increasing the concentration hydrogen/hydronium ions in a solution. It has nothing to do with the arbitrary ‘landmark’ of pH 7.0.

    For heaven’s sake, pH 7 is not even a firm descriptor of what an acid is. Anyone who has done an introductory chemistry course at university will have learned this. Conveniently, Wickedpedia has something to say on this as well:

    “Neutral pH at 25 °C is not exactly 7. pH is an experimental value, so it has an associated error. Since the dissociation constant of water is (1.011 ± 0.005) × 10−14, pH of water at 25 °C would be 6.998 ± 0.001. The value is consistent, however, with neutral pH being 7.00 to two significant figures, which is near enough for most people to assume that it is exactly 7. The pH of water gets smaller with higher temperatures. For example, at 50 °C, pH of water is 6.55 ± 0.01. This means that a diluted solution is neutral when its pH at 50 °C is around 6.55, and also that a pH of 7.00 is very slightly basic.”

    In the above example ‘acidification’ would not occur under Ian Mott’s definition until pH dropped below 6.55. But more telling is the shift in the neutral point – it is not cast in stone, and it is fore this reason amongst many others that an increase in hydrogen/hydronium ion concentration is acidification, irrespective of the initial starting concentration.

    Failure to understand this simply reflects a lack of acquaintance with fundamental acid-base chemistry, and the nomenclature that accompanies it.

  85. #86 Betula
    December 21, 2009

    The “BUSIEST MAN IN THE SNOWJOB INDUSTRY” award goes to…..

    DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI: The head of the U.N Climate Change Panel

    Personally, I am shocked. SHOCKED I tell you!

    Let’s see what the great DR. has done to deserve such an award….

    “when Dr Pachauri took over the running of TERI in the 1980s, his interests centred on the oil and coal industries”

    “a director until 2003 of India Oil, the country’s largest commercial enterprise”

    “until this year remained as a director of the National Thermal Power Generating Corporation” Indias largest electricity producer.

    “In 2005, he set up GloriOil, a Texas firm specialising in technology which allows the last remaining reserves to be extracted from oilfields otherwise at the end of their useful life.”

    Dr. Pachauri is also President if TERI-NA:

    “TERI-NA is funded by a galaxy of official and corporate sponsors, including four branches of the UN bureaucracy; four US government agencies; oil giants such as Amoco; two of the leading US defence contractors; Monsanto, the world’s largest GM producer; the WWF (the environmentalist campaigning group which derives much of its own funding from the EU) and two world leaders in the international ‘carbon market’, between them managing more than $1 trillion (£620 billion) worth of assets.”

    What else has he been up to?

    “In 2007, for instance, he was appointed to the advisory board of Siderian, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm specialising in ‘sustainable technologies’”

    “In 2008 he was made an adviser on renewable and sustainable energy to the Credit Suisse bank and the Rockefeller Foundation.”

    “He joined the board of the Nordic Glitnir Bank, as it launched its Sustainable Future Fund”

    “He became chairman of the Indochina Sustainable Infrastructure Fund”

    “This year Dr Pachauri joined the New York investment fund Pegasus as a ‘strategic adviser’”

    He is also….”chairman of the advisory board to the Asian Development Bank, strongly supportive of CDM trading, whose CEO warned that failure to agree a treaty at Copenhagen would lead to a collapse of the carbon market.”

    “He has become head of Yale University’s Climate and Energy Institute, which enjoys millions of dollars of US state and corporate funding.”

    “He is on the climate change advisory board of Deutsche Bank”

    “He is Director of the Japanese Institute for Global Environmental Strategies”

    “he is even a policy adviser to SNCF, France’s state-owned railway company.”

    “Meanwhile, back home in India, he serves on an array of influential government bodies, including the Economic Advisory Committee to the prime minister, holds various academic posts and has somehow found time in his busy life to publish 22 books.”

    So c’mon, let’s all give it up for Dr. Pachauri!

  86. #87 Anónimo
    December 21, 2009

    I am shocked. SHOCKED I tell you!


  87. #88 bi -- IJI
    December 21, 2009

    Shorter TheGreatGlobalWarmingHoax:

    I can survive real well at 40 deg. C.

    * * *

    Shorter Betula:

    The fact that Pachauri has interests in a wide variety of organizations — including oil and coal companies, and renewable energy companies — shows that something nefarious is going on. I’m not going to tell you what it is, but trust me, it’s very nefarious. And it also shows that climate science is some unspecified nefarious thing.

    * * *

    Shorter el gordo:

    The 60 years’ cycle is quite evident, or maybe it’s not quite evident.

  88. #89 Betula
    December 21, 2009

    Shorter bi:

    I’m jealous because I didn’t get the award.

  89. #90 Paul UK
    December 21, 2009

    Has anyone seen this?:

    McIntyre attacking Mann on Fox News.

  90. #91 dhogaza
    December 21, 2009

    I refuse. Vomit is not good for the keyboard …

  91. #92 el gordo
    December 21, 2009

    Actually, the Pox report was balanced. McIntyre said he believes in global warming, but it probably won’t be as severe as Mann thinks.

  92. #93 Chris O'Neill
    December 21, 2009

    Shorter bi:
    I’m jealous because I didn’t get the award.

    That should be:

    Shorter Betula:
    I’m jealous because I didn’t get the award.

  93. #94 sim
    December 21, 2009

    >*”Actually, the Pox report was balanced.”*

    Balanced between what McIntyre says on one hand and what McIntyre says on the other hand.

  94. #95 el gordo
    December 21, 2009

    Mann refused to show.

    On a more serious note the bookmakers are offering 2/1 for a London white xmas. It hasn’t been this close for 30 years.

    Just more irrefutable proof that a cool PDO is back in action.

  95. #96 Chris O'Neill
    December 21, 2009

    Mann refused to show

    with a dishonest amateur. Whoopee doo.

    On a more serious note the bookmakers are offering 2/1 for a London white xmas. It hasn’t been this close for 30 years.

    Climate is usually defined using 30 years of weather. Love the irony of el gullibo.

    Just more irrefutable proof that a cool PDO is back in action.

    Actually just more irrefutable proof that el gullibo doesn’t care about the difference between weather and climate.

  96. #97 sim
    December 21, 2009

    el gordo, so Fox wasn’t balanced?

  97. #98 el gordo
    December 21, 2009

    Okay, Fox is unbalanced.

    Back in 1779-80 there was a unique weather event in North America, one of the worst winters in American history. We had just come off a solar max, so that leaves sol out of the equation. What was the trigger?

    In 1780 the Caribbean experienced one of its worst hurricane seasons on record, severely damaging all of the foreign fleets nestled there. It was a La Nina year and the Murray Darling system was awash.

    Climate is more complex than I had previously imagined, so if I can’t blame the sun for everything, then I don’t see how you can blame a trace gas.

    There is little between your global warming theory and my global cooling alarmism – just 4 degrees of separation between hell on earth and a mini ice age.

  98. #99 jakerman
    December 21, 2009

    el gordo writes:

    >*There is little between your global warming theory and my global cooling alarmism*

    Just the overwhelming weight of evidence, but that’s the only difference.

  99. #100 Douglas Watts
    December 22, 2009

    I cannot think of any flavor of property-oriented libertarianism that deems it acceptable to “do harm” to others by destroying the value of their property.

    Scratch a libertarian and you’ll find someone desperately trying to pretend that the tragedy of the commons is a socialist ruse.

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