Open Thread 55

Time for more thread


  1. #1 Tim Lambert
    November 4, 2010

    James Haughton (moved from auto-moderation)

    >House Republicans plan to have an anti-global warming witch-hunt. Presumably led by the ghost of Joseph McCarthy. “The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged “scientific fraud” behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.” From [The Atlantic]( lection-meets-the-future/65477/).

  2. #2 Gaz
    November 4, 2010

    Sounds about in line with IPCC estimates of sensitivity…

    Science 5 November 2010:
    Vol. 330. no. 6005, pp. 819 – 821

    Transient Middle Eocene Atmospheric CO2 and Temperature Variations

    Peter K. Bijl, Alexander J. P. Houben, Stefan Schouten, Steven M. Bohaty, Appy Sluijs, Gert-Jan Reichart, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, Henk Brinkhuis

    The long-term warmth of the Eocene (~56 to 34 million years ago) is commonly associated with elevated partial pressure of atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2). However, a direct relationship between the two has not been established for short-term climate perturbations. We reconstructed changes in both pCO2 and temperature over an episode of transient global warming called the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum (MECO; ~40 million years ago). Organic molecular paleothermometry indicates a warming of southwest Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) by 3° to 6°C. Reconstructions of pCO2 indicate a concomitant increase by a factor of 2 to 3. The marked consistency between SST and pCO2 trends during the MECO suggests that elevated pCO2 played a major role in global warming during the MECO.

  3. #3 Former Skeptic
    November 5, 2010

    It would be remiss not to highlight Tom Fuller’s epic meltdown over at Eli’s.

    For those who’ve not seen it, bring some popcorn and beer…and enjoy how ‘ol Tommy repeatedly presses the self-destruct button. IMO Fuller really has major insecurity issues that manifest in his general arrogance and laughable smears of mt.

  4. #4 Steve L
    November 5, 2010

    Re #3 — I couldn’t post at Eli’s for some reason (though I tried multiple times). A bit snarky but a short reply to one of Tom’s comments…

    Tom said: “I wish propaganda was that easy.”
    My response: Why?

    Re Scientific Fraud witch-hunts — For many of these kinds of judicial inquiries, the government has to provide lawyers to both sides, don’t they? I hope that’s the case.

  5. #5 Gar Lipow
    November 5, 2010

    Not at U.S. Congressional hearings. No rules of evidence no fixed procedure. They can ask anything they like. You can take the fifth and refuse to answer, but if you choose to answer you are under oath. (Exceptions are occasionally made for specially favored witnesses who do not testify under oath.) If you want a lawyer, you pay, but there are no rules of evidence or anything. If you don’t commit perjury the comittee has no authority to sentence you for anything. Though any testimony you give may be used by investigators and prosecutors against you. You can’t refuse to attend without facing contempt charges. You can refuse to testify on fifth amendment grounds*.

    And the investigators are not subject to libel and slander laws and are not under oath. So they can do tremendous damage to your reputation. And you are in a lousy position to fight back, because if you make one slip of the tongue during testimony or say one thing that can be distorted they have you for perjury. It is very easy for a truthful person to unintentionally commit something than can be prosecuted as perjury during such a hearing. You begin to see why McCarthy was powerful? And why Congressional and Senatorial hearings are favored grounds for witch hunts in the U.S.? Because of backlash against the McCarthy hearings, Congressional hearings have not been used in quite this way since about the 60s. Even under far right congresses. But this new bunch has finally lost the last of their inhibitions (shocks you to find out the last bunch had any, I know), and there is nothing under law to stop that kind of abuse.

  6. #6 Gar Lipow
    November 5, 2010

    Just realized – did not make clear. The reason they are subject to abuse is that they are not judicial at all. Normally it is a good thing to be called as a witness to a Congressional hearing. Those hearings are to gather facts to help the Congress legislate. So if they are contemplating a law affecting nuclear power, they will call in experts with varying views on the subject. And mostly having hearing the experts on both sides order their staff to write whatever legislation they damn well please. But being called as a witness at least gives you a chance to tell them what they should do, even if they don’t listen.

    But of course if they are nominally calling a witness for the purpose of drafting legislation or finding out the truth of what happened is certain instances, then witnesses are easy to abuse if that is what the Committee members choose to do. Because after all you, the witness, are not under investigation. You are just there to help the committee find the truth. So since it is not theoretically an adversarial procedure, you don’t have a lot of rights you would have in an adversarial procedure. After all consultants normally don’t bring attorneys along when they give advice. Exacerbated by legislative immunity from libel and slander for anything they say in the legislature while it is in session.

  7. #7 sunspot
    November 5, 2010

    ‘Scientific’ American may regret taking their recent opinion poll on the state of Climate Science given the eye-opening results cast by their “scientifically literate” readership. With a total of 5190 respondents, a consensus of 81.3% think the IPCC is “a corrupt organization, prone to group-think, with a political agenda” and 75% think climate change is caused by solar variation or natural processes vs. 21% who think it is due to greenhouse gases from human activity.

  8. #8 Rocco
    November 5, 2010

    sunspot: One can hardly be more naive than to believe that these poll results reflect the opinion the Scientific American readership.

  9. #9 sunspot
    November 5, 2010

    Global Warming FOIA Suit Against NASA Heats Up Again

    In court documents filed last night, the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues that NASA has gone out of its way to avoid turning over records that show the agency reverse-engineered temperature data to better make the case that the planet is becoming warmer.

  10. #10 sunspot
    November 5, 2010

    Scientific American survey results

    so much for consensus

  11. #11 Jeremy C
    November 5, 2010

    So blindspot,

    What makes you think the survey wasn’t gamed by deniers? Gee, if deniers can steal emails from UEA and then display them out of context while Christopher Monckton continually misrepresents both his credentials and climate science then you have to admit it would be easy to game a public exercise like an online survey.

    My question is why do deniers have to lie and distort so much? All the deniers have to do is publish in a journal showing why the data and conclusions on AGW is wrong and the world will be grateful. Simple proof compared with an online survey.

  12. #12 Wow
    November 5, 2010

    > My question is why do deniers have to lie and distort so much?

    Because the truth is devastating to their case!

    > And mostly having hearing the experts on both sides

    False balance again. They’re choosing two sides when their choice of one doesn’t exist as “a side”. Hell, in the case of Monkfish (little Fast Show Humour there!), they didn’t even get an expert!

  13. #13 Wow
    November 5, 2010

    > In court documents filed last night, the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues that NASA has gone out of its way to avoid turning over records

    NOTE: No proof, just accusation.

    spots here abuses little christian orphan boys, an internet poster has recently posted on an internet board, ergo he must be!

  14. #14 lord_sidcup
    November 5, 2010

    A strange press release on the University of East Anglia website:

    [Statement from Vice-Chancellor Prof Edward Acton](

    The University of East Anglia responded to a request from Roger Helmer MEP for a meeting to discuss the allegations concerning the Climatic Research Unit, the outcome of recent reviews and the future for climate science. The meeting was also attended by Stewart Agnew MEP.

    And furthermore:

    Following the meeting with the MEPs Professor Acton and colleagues met Lord Monckton.

    Professor Acton commented: “‘Lord Monckton is Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party and I met with him at Mr Helmer’s request. The exchange of views reflected differing perspectives on the issue of global climate change but was conducted in an open and frank manner.

    Apparently, Helmer also wanted Delingpole to attend, but Delingpole was snubbed. Why Helmer thinks a professional polemicist and controversialist like Delingpole should be entitled to attend isn’t clear. Maybe Helmer is a bit stupid.

  15. #15 Wow
    November 5, 2010

    Why did Helmer want to talk to a classicist and Journalist major about science???

  16. #16 lord_sidcup
    November 5, 2010

    If you go to Helmer’s website (not recommended) you find this:

    Apparently protocol would not allow the VC to meet “political activists” (that is, Monckton and Delingpole). If Lord Monckton and Delingpole had any questions, they were free to approach the UEA’s Press Office. (In passing, I have to say it seems rather odd to describe Lord Monckton as a “political activist”. An hereditary Peer of the Realm, a former adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a highly respected commentator on the climate issue….


  17. #17 MapleLeaf
    November 5, 2010

    From Curry’s blog:

    “Craig Loehle | November 5, 2010 at 11:40 am
    Another suggestion is that anyone in charge of critical data/models/research institutes should, in the interest of removing conflict of interest, be severed from political advocacy. This would include Hansen at GISS who goes on protests and officially endorses candidates or anyone acting as an author/editor for IPCC. This is not about free speech, but about propriety. How can we trust the GISS data when the head of the organization is an activist?

    curryja | November 5, 2010 at 11:48 am

    agreed.for the first time, as a result of the IAC review, the IPCC says it is going to address the conflict of interest issue. we’ll see.”


    “curryja | November 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    I have not been asked to participate in AR5. Had I been asked, i would have declined. If asked to review, I would certainly do that.


  18. #18 Fran Barlow
    November 5, 2010

    I found this amusing:

    Chatbot Wears Down Proponents of Anti-Science Nonsense

    When he tired of arguing with climate change skeptics, one programmer wrote a chatbot to do it for him.

    Nigel Leck, a software developer by day, was tired of arguing with anti-science crackpots on Twitter. So, like any good programmer, he wrote a script to do it for him.

    The result is the Twitter chatbot @AI_AGW. Its operation is fairly simple: Every five minutes, it searches twitter for several hundred set phrases that tend to correspond to any of the usual tired arguments about how global warming isn’t happening or humans aren’t responsible for it. […]

    Perhaps this is what we need here for our most persistent repeaters of tired old war on science tropes.

    I’ve actually seen this in operation on twitter and thought it was someone who had made it a priority to spam anti-AGW trolls. I actually provoked a couple of responses (the article notes that false positives are sometimes generated) but I figured (s)he was just piling on.

  19. #19 Billy Bob Hall
    November 6, 2010

    These are the questions Lewandowsky et al should have asked. (not gibberish about aliens).

    Caught Scientific American by surprise though !

  20. #20 John
    November 6, 2010

    Sunspot, LOL:

    >CEI argues in the Nov. 3 motion that NASA has additional e-mails and documents on separate servers that relate to changes made to temperature data, but has failed to turn them over. CEI also argues that Dr. James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and climate modeler at Goddard, used third-party Web sites and e-mail addresses to avoid having those records appear on NASA’s servers.


  21. #21 MapleLeaf
    November 7, 2010

    Cross-posted from Judith Curry’s page:

    “Dr. Curry,

    I’m sure that you agree (correct me if you don’t) that the science behind the theory of anthropogenic induced climate change is a long one, and very well established (I can hear the cries of indignance from those in denial about AGW/ACC already), and borne out by multiple, independent data sets and consilience. Now, that integrated knowledge does not constitute a dogma, nor does defending the science against an onslaught of distortion , misinformation and personal attacks. At least it is not a “dogma” to reasonable, rational and informed (on the actual climate science) people.

    Why have you elected to frame (and fabricate) the “debate” in such a (ludicrous) way so as to make it impossible for someone to defend any aspect of the theory of AGW/ACC or climate science in general without being accused of defending an alleged “dogma”? You need to choose your words and narrative much, much more carefully if you expect people to believe that you are being sincere.

    Now your incoherence and ambiguity places you in an interesting/awkward position, because now you can never defend the climate science or your peers in the climate field who (like you) know AGW/ACC is a concern without being accused of defending the alleged “dogma”– at least by many readers here. I will be watching for interest to see whether anyone accuses you of that should you decide to defend the climate science or IPCC at some point.

    Moreover, it seems that in your model, Singer, Michaels et al. can distort and misrepresent the data and science at will and also malign scientists, and do whatever it takes to defend their very real “dogma”/ideology without so much as a word of critique from you or your fan base?

    And when the science is repeatedly attacked by some of your friends (e.g., Michaels), and even people on your own blog, you are deathly silent– heck, you even give them a pat on the back. Worse yet, when the scientists have the audacity (sarc) to stand up to the repeated attacks and to defend the integrity of the science, they are accused by you (a scientist) of defending the alleged IPCC “dogma”.

    This startling asymmetry (and hypocrisy on your part) flies in the face of your claims of honest intentions and sincerity.

    Sure critique the IPCC and let us improve and advance the science, your peers are all for that (really), but you are not going to achieve anything this way. While we are counting how many angels can dance on a pinhead, nit pick, bicker, muse about hypotheticals and indulge your and your cohorts’ sophistry– GHG emissions continue to escalate. Or is that exactly what you want?

    It is lost on you that your efforts are largely redundant, especially after the recommendations put forth by the AIC review and others. You know that, so why keep fabricating debate, fabricating controversy and sicking misguided and misinformed people on your peers?

    Now this would all be bad enough, but then you have the gall to claim to be a mediator and to have the betterment of science at heart. How are these inane and clearly mendacious tactics meant to facilitate “building bridges” or constructive dialogue?

    These are anything but felicitous actions on your part.

    PS: There are some questions above, I would appreciate some direct and unambiguous answers not from your fan base, not Mosher– you please. You framed the argument. You have made the assertions. You engaged in innuendo, insinuations and dog-whistling…now you need to answer to it.”

  22. #22 MapleLeaf
    November 7, 2010

    Oh this is worth reading. Willis at JC’s:

    “Willis Eschenbach | November 7, 2010 at 1:25 am | Reply
    Judith, another thought provoking piece. I certainly agree with the general thrust, which is to return the science to climate.

    I do have a few problems with your approach, which I’ll deal with in separate posts. One is that climate scientists remain extremely unwilling to say one bad word about another in public. In private they’re as bitchy as can be, but few will stand up to state their views about bad science in public.

    Doctors do that too. One doc will accidentally make a bad cut, and usually you won’t find a single other doctor to say it was malpractice.

    And as a result, you end up with things like Lonnie Thompson, Prince of Unarchived Data Gathered at Taxpayer Expense, being invited to conferences and feted, and no one says “Lonnie, come back when you’ve archived your data.” No one says to Phil Jones, “If you didn’t delete anything, why are the documents conveniently missing?” Judith, you know that the so-called “investigations” have been shams … but that doesn’t seem to matter to the bulk of the mainstream climate scientists.

    Now you are again trying to “end the war”. This is something which I totally support.

    But as long as we see Lonnie and Phil and Michael Mann and the rest of the un-indicted co-conspirators still being wined and dined and invited and requested and chairing committees, we will continue to think that nothing has changed.

    Finally, you ask for amnesty for war crimes on both sides. As far as I know, neither Steven McIntyre nor Ross McKitrick nor I nor Anthony Watts nor any prominent skeptic I know of committed any crimes at all. None.

    We did not conspire to prevent publication of contrary views. We did not not try to evade FOI requests. We did not subvert the IPCC process to spread our own mistaken ideas. We did not ask each other to delete anything.

    Now, either you have not thought this through, or you have. I hope that the case is that you haven’t thought it through. When you offer a blanket amnesty to two groups, one of which is guilty of a variety of malfeasance and the other of which has acted properly in all cases, surely you must see that your offer appears duplicitous? Surely you can see that it will be insulting to those who have acted properly?

    So no, I am not interested in any amnesty at all, particularly when it is disguised as a blanket amnesty. I need no amnesty, save your blankets.

    I say that any “scientists” who lied and cheated and conspired to subvert the IPCC process and who deleted emails to hide their actions should not receive a single scrap of amnesty. Their actions should be investigated in a detailed and transparent manner, and if they are found guilty, they should be tossed out of scientific organizations. They should be drummed out of civilized scientific society.

    So while I applaud the Christian motives behind your call to ‘forgive them all’, sorry, I’m not up to that point. Before people get forgiven, they have to acknowledge their mistake and express contrition … two things which have been conspicuously absent in the un-indicted co-conspirators.

    From my warped perspective (neither a warmer nor a skeptic but a climate heretic), I like it that mainstream climate scientists continue to use Jones and Schmidt and Mann and Hansen and the like as their spokespeople. The public doesn’t trust those scientists, and as long as they are in the forefront, that won’t change.”

  23. #23 Tim Lambert
    November 7, 2010

    Who can forget Willis’ [trick to hide the incline](

  24. #24 MapleLeaf
    November 7, 2010


    Thanks– I linked your post in my reply to Willis at JC’s.

  25. #25 Bernard J.
    November 8, 2010

    Oh dear. [Craig Loehle is coming out with the howlers on Curry’s slurry](

    The insistence that deniers are funded by a well-oiled (pun intended) disinformation campaign is hilarious. Greenpeace and NRDC and WWF etc etc outspend sceptics about 100 to 1, and get full media amplification of their press releases and “news” items, as well the government agencies come out with alarming reports. Climate Audit and WUWT are self-funded. It is alarmists who have gotten huge $ prizes. The attempt to paint alarmists as the persecuted underdog just doesn’t fly and no one believes it anymore. It is an excuse to explain away failure.
    The claim that there is risk and therefore we MUST jump straight to policy is again an attempt to short-circuit debate. How alarming? How much risk? How much uncertainty? What will it cost to mitigate? What about the benefits of warming? What will be the opportunity costs? What is the risk of economic collapse if we push too hard on the brakes? Asking these questions is forbidden. One is expected to obey.

    I’ll leave it to others to count the number of logical errors and untruths in his statements.

    In other news, [Don Aitkin still confabulates the generic term “denier” with the very specific action of Holocaust denial](

  26. #26 Ken Fabos
    November 8, 2010

    MapleLeaf, after reading some of J.Curry’s posts there’s not much doubt what her position is and it’s not based on expert evaluation of the scientific evidence. She references the fake controversies promulgated around climate science as if they had unquestioned basis in fact. ‘Dogmatic’ is a description that comes to mind. Good luck with your efforts to induce her to use facts and reason in the pursuit of better science.

  27. #27 Bernard J.
    November 8, 2010

    On the matter of denial, I believe that it is time that the world knew that hurricane science is all a fraud and a conspiracy perpetrated to keep hurricane scientists in jobs and holidays and expensive overseas conference junkets.

    There is no such thing as a ‘hurricane’ as the ‘hurricane scientists’ would have us believe. The winds that we ‘observe’ are generated by variations in the Earth’s orbit and not by heat transfer, and one example of this occurred in the well-known Mediæval Warm Period which led to the melting of ice, which in turn led to an increase in the rotational speed of the planet and a consequent but infrequently-admitted Mediæval Windy Period.

    If ‘hurricanes’ were caused by warm oceans releasing heat, the rain would be warm, would it not? And what do they do for people who have been caught out in storms? They wrap them in space blankets because they are cold

    Quite error demons trained ’em.

    Ergot, heat does not cause hurricanes.

    The photos of clouds that meteorologists present to the public are “tricks” designed to perpetrate the ‘hurricane’ myth, and everyone who has done high school physics understands that the “consensus” explanation of how a ‘hurricane’ forms actually breaks the laws of thermodynamics. The Urban Wind Island effect has not been adequately accounted for by so-called ‘hurricane scientists’. Those spinning ‘hockey puck’ charts are a fraud, debunked by the B&S paper that found that there were irredeemable errors in the Principle Compass Analyses used to derive them.

    And you should see the divergence problem when you count the rings in tornadoes and compare them to ‘hurricanes’. And the climate sceptics on ‘Watts Around With That’ proved that all radiosonde data is crap, so we know that there is no tropical tropospheric hotspot and therefore that there is no heat transfer occurring in the first place.

    ALl this is just for starters. I’m sure that many others here will be able to add to this catalogue of shame, and it will all add up to a Hurricanegate that will see so-called ‘hurricane scientists’ brought before solid and intelligent figures including Inhofe and Cuccinelli, and forced to recant their lies and pseudoscience and the fact that they have been living from the public tit for decades.

    Release the data! Release the emails! Release the Bog Blog Science! Release the dogs!

  28. #28 Wow
    November 8, 2010

    protocol would not allow the VC to meet “political activists” (that is, Monckton and Delingpole). If Lord Monckton and Delingpole had any questions, they were free to approach the UEA’s Press Office. (In

    Surely someone whose work has been:

    > a former adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a highly respected commentator on the climate issue….

    IS a

    > “political activists”

    He’s political, active in it and tries to build a change in political action.

    In and of itself, this is not a problem, he’s quite free to do so. But

    a) he is a political activist

    b) he’s trying to borrow a mantle of scientific rigour which he doesn’t have

    for reason (a), the prohibition is correctly applied. For reason (b) he’s a loon and a danger to society and is where he gets lambasted CORRECTLY on.

  29. #29 Michael
    November 8, 2010


    They can’t agree on the terms either – some so called ‘scientists’ call them cyclones. I’m sure it’s just to double the amount of research money they get.

  30. #30 Marco
    November 8, 2010

    Michael, don’t forget typhoons! The trickery is enormous, tripling the funding there right away by using different names.

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    November 9, 2010

    Well, it finally happened.

    The mods at WTFUWT some of my posts from the Wegman thread.

    Frustratingly I hadn’t saved or archived since the beginning of November, so a couple of my posts and Harvey’s three are lost, but I did manage to save two of mine to my C drive:

    Bernard J. says:

    October 31, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Donald Rapp.

    Perhaps, in your pondering emeritas, it is necessary to step back somewhat in order to discover exactly at what point it is that you and your professional colleagues diverge on the matter of atmospheric physics.

    To that end, could you indulge me and go back to first principles to answer several very simple questions:

    1) Does carbon dioxide absorb and re-emit infrared radiation?

    2) Is the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increasing?

    3) Now for the essay… assuming that you answered the first two questions in the affirmative, what ‘best’ estimate do you accept for the temperature sensitivity of the atmosphere to carbon dioxide? Upon what evidence and data do you base your answer?

    As it is Halloween, please feel free to play the wildcard and answer the previous questions which you have avoided until now. However, if they continue to pose the challenge for you that they have to this point, it may be that we can approach the whole matter from a different direction in order to elucidate which of the paradigms – ‘consensus’ physics or the ‘sceptical’ alternative theories – best fit the empirical data. The three questions (+ 1 supplementary) above could be a good first step along that path.


    Bernard J. says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    November 2, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Donald Rapp.

    Why are you avoiding this thread?

    If someone has Rapp’s ear, could they please ask him to revisit his reluctance to engage in the substanbtive questions I’ve posed?

    Thereafter followed harvey’s pithy comments, and one or two more digs at Rapp from me.

    The buggers lulled me into a false sense of security, so I didn’t bother with backupurl. Next time though I won’t be so casual.

    It appears that Rapp and the WTFUWT mods are resorting to argumentum ex silentio as a strategy.

    Now, where have I seen that before…?

  32. #32 Bernard J.
    November 9, 2010

    The mods at WTFUWT removed some of my posts from the Wegman thread.

  33. #33 P. Lewis
    November 9, 2010

    Have you tried Google cache with a suitable search string. I tried this, which might not be optimum.

  34. #34 Bernard J.
    November 9, 2010

    Meanwhile, back in the Arctic, [records are quietly breaking again](

  35. #35 Bernard J.
    November 9, 2010

    [P. Lewis](

    Doh, I didn’t think to Google! You can tell that it’s very late here, and that I’ve been in a 10k word argument with HIV denialists on and off for the last 30 hours….

    Anyway, that’s most of the rest. There’s one trivial post missing that commented on my browser not refreshing properly, but that one doesn’t matter. And I’m not sure if there were any others after, but at least I can keep tabs on my questions to Rapp.


  36. #36 MapleLeaf
    November 9, 2010

    Get some well deserved rest Bernard 🙂

  37. #37 Brent
    November 9, 2010

    Yes, Bernard, have a long sleep. Who knows, you may fall into a long, Rumpelstiltskin-like slumber, awaking in some future decade, rushing outside to tell people you’re back and then realising, horrified, that the world around you is the same as the one you left all those years ago.

    Bernard stood immobile on the pavement, his brow furrowed, his head shaking in bewilderment. Wary passing pedestrians gave him a wide berth. The old guy with the four-foot beard stank to high heaven. And then a little girl’s voice piped, “That’s my great GRANDAD! Grandad Global Warming! He worried so much about the end of the world that he slipped on a comb or something.” She bobbed back and forth, wanting to hug the old man but also wanting to avoid his stench.

    Bernard’s eyes rose to behold the little girl. His face contorted, and he emitted an animal snarl. “Damn and blast”, he muttered. “They all should’ve roasted to death by now.”

    But then, his scowl became a gnarled gurning grin. “Ah, well,” he thought, “it hasn’t happened yet, but the End of Days is now that much closer. It’s just a temporary setback. Inconvenient. Strewth!”

  38. #38 SteveC
    November 9, 2010

    @ MapleLeaf, kudos for your efforts and pointed questions at Climate Etc. and the attempts to get Judith Curry to do some work. I know you’re not the only one spending wasting time there but it seems to me your points are the errr… pointiest.

    Personally I think her blog should have been called Climate Emissions Etc. since there seems to be so much extraneous hot air.

  39. #39 Michael
    November 10, 2010

    How about ‘Black Body Etc’ – all heat, no light.

  40. #40 FreeMoney
    November 10, 2010

    Roll up punters – a bloke who comments frequently on Andrew Bolts blog challenged another;

    > Grumblebum replied
    Thu 30 Sep 10 (05:43pm)
    AS, I again offer you $10,000.00 for one empirical evidence that MANS CO2 emissions have driven any warming

    He has formalised the offer [here]( as

    >will pay $10,000 (AUS) for a conclusive argument based on empirical facts that increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning drives global climate warming.

    Nothing to lose have fun.

  41. #41 Michael
    November 10, 2010

    Let me guess – the guy offering the $10,000 will also be the one determining what qualifies as “empirical evidence”.

    This kind of things were very common in the 19th C. Various snake-oil salesman would deny elementary scientific observations such as the earth was a sphere and offer money to anyone who could demonstrate it was true – of course they always then claimed the proofs were flawed and refused to pay up.

  42. #42 FreeMoney
    November 10, 2010

    Michael – yes, look, I think you’re right. My enthusiasm to see some nong lose their money probably needed to consider that they would never part with the cash.

  43. #43 Marco
    November 10, 2010

    The problem with those money-offerers is that they generally do not offer an objective criterium to decide who won. James Annan has a bet on warming which is objective:

  44. #44 Jeff Harvey
    November 10, 2010

    I hate to change the topic, but to me this is an important topic:

    Joe Romm at Climate Progress has a good posting on the current mass extinction currently underway. There is an accompanying video of a TED lecture by Jeremy Jackson who is Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution for Oceanography. It is well worth a look (18 minutes long). A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Biological Science) — “Biological diversity in a changing world” — paints a bleak picture of what humans are doing to the planet.


    Note: it may even be of interest for Tim to set up a new thread on this posting. It will also be interesting to see the denialists attempt to twist these findings into their narrative.

  45. #45 sunspot
    November 10, 2010

    this sea surface temp is a worry pinocchio !

    The temperature on 11/08/2010 is

    529.24 deg F warmer than this day last year

    hhmmm….. temp data ?????

  46. #46 sunspot
    November 10, 2010
  47. #47 Wow
    November 10, 2010

    Why should we try it, spots? You’ve not managed ONE insightful post or link in your entire posting history I’ve been unfortunate to witness.

    It’s highly unlikely you’ve managed to buck the trend.

    PS look up “quality control” and see what happens when you do it and the denialists find out:

    [IEA: Hadley Center “probably tampered with Russian climate data”](

    So, do quality control, get lambasted.

    You do anything to hate on the consequences of your actions, don’t you spots.

  48. #48 Jeff Harvey
    November 10, 2010

    Sunblot you brainless ninny,

    The devastation of marine ecosystems is based on a lot more than just sea surface temperatures.

    If you have the acumen, look at the video.

    Otherwise, take my advice: go away.

  49. #49 MFS
    November 10, 2010


    Erm… I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposd to be looking at. 2010 looks much the same as 2009 and 2008 in your graph… The day you point at looks nothing special…

  50. #50 sunspot
    November 10, 2010

    pinocchio, of all the numb nuts in here you should know that CO2 is only a minor pollutant (if at all), anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and ammonia are of far greater detriment to the all the critters large and little, wanna talk about pharmaceuticals ? fertilizer ? agrochemicals ? sewerage ? ect ect ect

    Proof that CO2 is the demon here is inadequate (its most likely a funding spiel), and while mugs like you monotone CO2 the the real culprits continue on their destructive path, so much for you being an eco warrior.

    question, where is all the predicted heat ?

    so….um…must be the angry vulcan gods farting of late ? throwing a spanner in the GW works !!!!!!

  51. #51 Wow
    November 10, 2010

    Iron a minor pollutant in your body. So lets get rid of it.

    Cyanide is a minor constituent of those green boogers you blow out when you have a cold, so lets up the dose to 100ppm of your bodyweight.

    As referred to earlier, you haven’t yet managed one coherent and relevant post in your entire history of posting here that I’ve seen.

    And it looks like you’re continuing the unbroken record…

  52. #52 Wow
    November 10, 2010

    Mind you, maybe spots is one of those weirdos who likes being verbally abused by women.

    You know, the ones who say “my willy is so small. It’s only 1 inchlong. I am so small, mistress, aren’t I?”.

    Maybe every response he gets from someone who isn’t so nuts as to think he’s right (cf Tim Curtains, ben, etc), he’s busy there pulling his plug at the excitement of being abused…

  53. #53 SC (Salty Current)
    November 10, 2010

    Note: it may even be of interest for Tim to set up a new thread on this posting.

    Well, [I posted about it](, anyway. 🙂

  54. #54 Jeff Harvey
    November 10, 2010

    *CO2 is only a minor pollutant*

    Says who – you? Since when, spotty, did you become an expert on this topic or anything else for that matter?

  55. #55 Bruce Sharp
    November 10, 2010

    Almost a year old, but kinda funny: [According to Fox, 120 percent of the public believes scientists are falsifying the evidence regarding global warming](

  56. #56 Bruce Sharp
    November 10, 2010

    Oops regarding the above: My math’s about as bad as Fox’s. They were just surveying 120 percent of the public. Twenty-six percent think it’s not likely that the data is falsified, as opposed to the 94 percent who think it probably is falsified. Go figure.

  57. #57 himThere
    November 10, 2010

    It is worth noting that the website indicated by Sunspot that announces that the sea surface temperature is 529.24 deg F warmer than this day last year is actually hosted by …

    wait for it …

    Arch denier, Dr Roy Spence!

    Perhaps the arithmetic employed in that analysis explains much of Dr Spence’s views on climate.

  58. #58 SC (Salty Current)
    November 10, 2010

    Since I was speaking of Pharyngula on the Tim Blair thread…

    I’ve been arguing with Ewan R, M\*ns\*nt\* employee and cheerleader, there for months. At the moment (leaving aside Plan Colombia), the “debate” on [this thread]( (possibly my least favorite of PZ’s) concerns the toxicity of R\*\*nd\*p and especially Rick Relyea’s work. Jeff Harvey, I would be most appreciative if you could maybe come over and contribute an expert ecological perspective. No pressure, but it would be great.

  59. #59 John Mashey
    November 10, 2010

    Bernard J:
    I’m not sure if this helps, but here is WUWT 10/27/10, which I just happen to have WebCited.

    As for your noble efforts, I strongly suspect that Wegman finally heard that Rapp did things like:

    a) Threatening Bradley & Elsevier with lawsuits, and forwarding Wegman comments to them as part of that.

    b) And then posting that on WUWT…

    I would guess that somewhere is a recent email from Wegman to Rapp telling him NOT TO DO THAT ANY MORE…
    and for very good reason, as I suspect will be seen sooner or later.

    Anyway, Bernard J carried out a fine attempt to get Rapp to do it again, but alas, he did not. Rapp did send me a nice little letter also.

    However, as noted by the Rabett, Wegman had a fascinating post on Facebook in August perhaps indicating that his understanding of Facebook privacy controls might be improved. Curiously:
    Google: edward wegman cybersecurity

  60. #60 MFS
    November 11, 2010

    I dunno Salty,

    On most things I’d back you up, but your argument on Pharyngula seems to be more that ‘Glyphosate is bad’ rather that any reason why genetically modifying organisms is bad.

    You ought to ask my friend who grows opium poppies. It is a little known fact that Tasmania supplies approximately half of the world’s legal opium alkaloid supplies. Tasmania also has a blanket ban on commercial growing of GMOs. As a result Tasmanian poppy farmers are now finding they can’t compete with those from other parts of the world that have no such restrictions.

    Traditionally bred opium poppy varieties have to be sprayed seven times through their life cycle with a variety of herbicides that are more toxic to humans, cause more drift problems, and are far more persistent than glyphosate. In the course of these applications, judiciously measured to almost, but not quite, kill the poppies while killing everything else, the mortality is pretty high and yield severely reduced. RoundUp Ready poppies only need to be sprayed twice with glyphosate. It is indeed a problem for aquatic organisms, but it is far less of a problem than the current alternatives.

    Now, morphine is morphine, thebaine is thebaine, and codeine is codeine, whether GM or not. They are not different, after extraction, regardless of their origin, they’re not going to be worse for your health than their naturally produced couterparts from Afghanistan… There are no native close relatives to opium poppies in Tasmania. GM poppies are no more a weed problem than traditionally bred ones, i.e. not at all. It is my friend’s opinion that, if they could come with Terminator technology, even better, as he would not have to worry about culling stray poppies from successive rotation crops.

    I write this to exemplify why I think one has to consider things on a case by case basis.

  61. #61 sunspot
    November 11, 2010

    pinocchio ?

    Did you see this ?

    Legal Defeat for Global Warming in Kiwigate Scandal

    The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that its climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the country and then adjusted them artificially with the result that a steeper warming trend was created than would otherwise exist by examination of the raw data alone.

    Indeed, the original Kiwi records show no warming during the 20th century, but after government sponsored climatologists had manipulated the data a warming trend of 1C appeared.


    According to NZCSC, climate scientists cooked the books by using the same alleged ‘trick’ employed by British and American doomsaying scientists. This involves subtly imposing a warming bias during what is known as the ‘homogenisation’ process that occurs when climate data needs to be adjusted.

    the same will happen here because the Devil is also hidden in the BOM details.

    so…..where is all the predicted heat ?

    pinocchio the CO2 gravy train is running out of steam.

    and…..another climate scam comes a cropper.

    and the fair dinkum nasty pollutants stay out of the headlines and politcal agenda’s, you should be proud Jeff Harvey, your helping the worst of the worst destroy the biota !

  62. #62 SC (Salty Current)
    November 11, 2010

    I dunno Salty,

    On most things I’d back you up, but your argument on Pharyngula seems to be more that ‘Glyphosate is bad’ rather that any reason why genetically modifying organisms is bad.

    MFS, I’m not sure what you’re talking about. My first post on that thread is about the various factors that in my view need to be taken into account for people choosing agricultural/food-systems approaches. In that and my next post, I stated that GE crops (which are only one form of biotechnology) are merely one possible tool among many, and need to be considered critically with all of those factors in mind (see the IAASTD report summary I linked to) and with an appreciation of the corporate dominance of this technology and the significant implications of that. I didn’t make the argument that “genetically modifying organisms is bad” under any and all circumstances, nor would I have to to make my point.

    Nor am I simply saying “glyphosate is bad.” (A discussion of Roundup is relevant and important, given the extensiveness of RR crops among the GE crops.) I responded to a post equating Roundup and glyphosate, which is what M-o wants people to do. But it’s really about the toxicity of the actual formulations sold and used. Ewan, like AGW deniers, seems to go back and forth between acknowledging toxicity one week and trying to deny it the next. He also seeks to minimize it by suggesting that it’s “merely” about frogs, as though amphipians aren’t part of ecosystems. I’m angry about the duplicity of M-o and industry-friendly scientists on this subject and the fact that this goes largely unrecognized.

    You ought to ask my friend who grows opium poppies….

    Do you have any citations for any of this?

    I write this to exemplify why I think one has to consider things on a case by case basis.

    Indeed (though there is no “one” who should be making decisions), though I haven’t argued differently. But decisions about all of the considerations I listed need to be based on good science and not industry spin.

  63. #63 MFS
    November 11, 2010


    It’s quite possible I missed your first few posts. After reading the first hundred or so I skipped to the end and started reading backwards.

    I should have started first up by saying I don’t know enough about most of the issues involved to put up much of an argument, hence my example of a friend who farms poppies, and no, he does not publish about his farming, so coming up with peer-reviewed literature might be tricky. That said I have read up on the toxicity of herbicides on aquatic ecosystems a bit, and I’m well aware of the effect of glyphosate, and the roundup formulation on not just amphibians but a fair cross-section of aquatic life. AFAIK for a while roundup was even touted for as a potential culprit for the widespread decline of amphibian populations, and links to the spread of chytrid fungus are not impossible. In my view, to downplay this for marketing purposes is not only misleading but immoral.

    However, a lot of vigorous opposition to GMOs I have encountered stem mostly from two factors: an opposition to big business and its practices, particularly Mons4nto (which ought to be an entirely independent argument, IMO), and a fear of possible consequences (particularly health effects and ‘uberweeds’) from people who know little about the mechanisms involved and the sheer improbability of their fears.

    Much of the debate has been clouded by overoptimistic pronouncements from industry (as is in their best commercial interest), downplaying its risks and limitations, counterbalanced by a healthy dose of outright exaggeration on the opposing side (i.e. the debate about terminator technology, which has been claimed to be the ‘end of the world as we know it’ and the ruin of poor African farmers, neglecting the fact that its uptake will be determined by the market if it is sufficiently more profitable to grow than alternative and traditional varieties. As to the gene finding its way into the wild, can you imagine a stronger selection pressure against a gene than not producing viable offspring? I can’t).

    I agree in today’s world of science, where there is pressure even on Universities to find external funding sources, it is difficult to find unbiased research. I would love to see this being debated by people with the knowledge to do so but not the bias. I am not one of them, having little of the knowledge and some bias, and I think interest groups would make such a debate a mere impossibility. But then maybe I’m just a cynic.

  64. #64 Wow
    November 11, 2010

    > and no, he does not publish about his farming, so coming up with peer-reviewed literature might be tricky.

    Which is why the IPCC AR4 WG2 had to include grey literature because things like “how does an aluminum smelting plant use manganese” isn’t available in Nature as a paper.

    > Much of the debate has been clouded by overoptimistic pronouncements from industry

    to me, the problem is that the stated claims of why companies like Monsato are pushing GMOs (higher nutritional value) do not concord with their actions (such as pushing roundup-ready crops which do nothing for nutrition), but DO concord with “make pots of money by whatever means”.

    A long cry from the “we want to help the world” claims.

    PS similarly, the fight for a woman to get Herceptin (an anticancer drug for late-stage cancers) given to her early-stage cancer on the NHS was paid for by the company who produce the (very expensive) drug.

  65. #65 chek
    November 11, 2010

    [Sunsplat said : “According to NZCSC…”](

    Liars telling lies through trash bloggers on trash sites – but that’s good enough for you, eh sunsplat?.

  66. #66 SC (Salty Current)
    November 11, 2010

    In my view, to downplay this for marketing purposes is not only misleading but immoral.

    But that’s what corporations do, and it’s what they’ll always do. Because they’re corporations. They seek profits and power (for more profits), and to get it they lie, misrepresent, take, coerce, destroy, impugn reputations, and in general stop at nothing short of that which they believe will hurt their profits. The history of M-o is a case study.

    However, a lot of vigorous opposition to GMOs I have encountered stem mostly from two factors: an opposition to big business and its practices,

    This is an entirely reasonable objection to the spread of GE crops in lieu of other approaches/technologies: they’re dominated by a few corporations that are out for themeselves. This has serious implications for pretty much all of the considerations I listed in my first post on that thread.

    particularly Mons4nto (which ought to be an entirely independent argument, IMO),

    It isn’t, though, because technologies don’t exist in a vacuum. The choice to adopt technologies has to be based on a full assessment of their application and surrounding facts, and it has to be recognized that due to corporate power this today often isn’t a free choice.

    and a fear of possible consequences (particularly health effects and ‘uberweeds’) from people who know little about the mechanisms involved and the sheer improbability of their fears.

    Well, I think resistance is a real problem. But health effects also come in many forms: the lack of nutritional diversity from going from a variety of staple crops to soysoysoysoy or ricericericerice of a few varieties (not to mention the question of biodiversity, resilience to shocks, and the scuttling of research into alternative pest management) to the health consequences of water shortages and pollution. Further, new technologies always carry risks, and we’re talking about highly profitable technologies whose possible (and established) risks corporations have an interest in downplaying and leading people to ignore.

    But you’re simply selecting a (characterization of) a couple of claims from some organizations, and not addressing the broader arguments.

    Much of the debate has been clouded by overoptimistic pronouncements from industry (as is in their best commercial interest),

    Actually, duplicity from industry.

    downplaying its risks and limitations, counterbalanced by a healthy dose of outright exaggeration on the opposing side (i.e. the debate about terminator technology, which has been claimed to be the ‘end of the world as we know it’ and the ruin of poor African farmers, neglecting the fact that its uptake will be determined by the market if it is sufficiently more profitable to grow than alternative and traditional varieties.

    Your idea of “the market” is naive. Corporations have immense power and influence with not only growers (the poorer, the more true this is), but local and national governments and their agencies and powerful international agencies like the IMF and World Bank. Organizations of poor African farmers, like farmers around the world, are fighting to maintain and regain food sovereignty. (They’ve spoken out most recently about the Gates Foundation’s succumbing to corporate influence and not listening to their voices.) They have many reasons for their position along the lines of the factors I mentioned in that post. This is not a matter of a handful of European green groups vs. a technology.

    I agree in today’s world of science, where there is pressure even on Universities to find external funding sources, it is difficult to find unbiased research.

    The record of M-o with regard to influencing, neglecting, discouraging, choking off, and buying research should give anyone pause.

    Relyea’s work looks pretty solid, though it’s not remotely my field. The IAASTD report is based on extensive scientific research.

  67. #67 SteveC
    November 12, 2010

    Joe Romm reckons Dr. Curry is now “the most debunked person on the science blogosphere”.

    Bit of a stretch, I’d have thought that honour belonged to Steve Goddard…

    Romm also isn’t happy about the slurs Curry made against him and Gavin Schmidt in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

    But to quote Romm, Curry is “no Monckton or Lindzen or even Crichton


  68. #68 Bernard J.
    November 12, 2010


    I don’t disagree with SC’s take on corporate agriculture and its products.

    There ya go…

  69. #69 Wow
    November 12, 2010

    Just looking at this US Rep:[desmog](

    a) It’s nice to have someone whose mind is open to new ideas. You’re supposed to check that they haven’t closed their mind to the more mainstream ones, mind…

    b) It’s funny how God will not allow Global Warming but will allow Cap and Trade to pass unless Shimkus opposes it. Moving in mysterious ways indeed…

  70. #70 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 12, 2010

    > The ICCER [i.e. Muir Russell “Climategate” inquiry team] has provided example code to read and grid the GHCN data set and produce an annual temperature series. The Review used such code in the ‘trial analysis’ described in chapter six of our report.

  71. #71 Ian Forrester
    November 12, 2010

    Everything that SC has said is correct. In fact he has left out a number of reasons why the problems suggested by critics a long time ago have mostly turned out to be correct.

    As for the terminator technology, this is potentially as much of a problem as the original introduction of GMO’s themselves. Why is that so? Well GMO’s are not the simple products Monsanto and other companies want you to think.

    When I first came across genetically modified products in the mid 1980’s I felt that there were three potential areas for concern. Firstly, the environmental effects and the inducing (by any method) of resistance in other plants thus meaning that farmers had to use ever increasing amounts of glyphosate (in the case of RR crops).

    Secondly it did not seem like a good idea for farmers to be beholden to large multinational companies for two of their most important purchases, seed and chemicals when the two were now connected.

    Thirdly was human health effects. At first I was not too concerned about this since I believed in the commonly accepted description of these (RR) crops. What harm could the addition of ONE extra gene and one extra enzyme do especially when the enzyme’s substrate was not a chemical normally found in the human body?

    I continued my research on these crops and found some disturbing facts about the GMO’s.

    Firstly, it was not ONE gene that was added but a cocktail of genes, some of which looked to have potentially negative effects e.g. nasty promoter genes and anti-biotic resistance genes.

    Secondly, when we look at the BT crops there are a number of disturbing factors involved. Firstly, no toxicity has been conducted on the BT toxins as expressed by the GMO crop. All toxicity data were obtained from the toxin produced by the bacillus. There are two problem doing this. Firstly, the gene isolated from the bacillus and transferred into the plant is not complete, it is quite a bit shorter. This could have effects on the toxicity of the toxin produced. Secondly, the post-translational modification of the toxic protein is most likely completely different between the natural toxin and the toxin produced in the GM plant. Such post-translational modifications (mostly addition of various sugar molecules) greatly effect the immunological response of different proteins. Immunological effects are one of the main health problems associated with BT corn.

    The same thing is happening with terminator technology. It is not ONE gene which is added but at least three. These genes are passed on in the pollen so what happens if there is a mutation in one of the genes or only one or two of the genes are transferred to another organism? We don’t know but we are being asked to use and eat these products.

  72. #72 James Haughton
    November 14, 2010

    Good story in today’s New York Times about [melting icecaps in Greenland](
    Skeptics get a fair, balanced and representative treatment: two lines in a four-page article.

  73. #73 Deep Climate
    November 16, 2010

    It turns out that the sample leading principal components (PC1s) shown in two key Wegman et al figures were in fact rendered directly from McIntyre and McKitrick’s original archive of simulated “hockey stick” PC1s. Even worse, though, is the astonishing fact that this special collection of “hockey sticks” is not even a random sample of the 10,000 pseudo-proxy PC1s originally produced in the GRL study. Rather it expressly contains the very top 100 – one percent – having the most pronounced upward blade. Thus, McIntyre and McKitrick’s original Fig 1-1, mechanically reproduced by Wegman et al, shows a carefully selected “sample” from the top 1% of simulated “hockey sticks”. And Wegman’s Fig 4-4, which falsely claimed to show “hockey sticks” mined from low-order, low-autocorrelation “red noise”, contains another 12 from that same 1%!

    Finally, I’ll return to the central claim of Wegman et al – that McIntyre and McKitrick had shown that Michael Mann’s “short-centred” principal component analysis would mine “hockey sticks”, even from low-order, low-correlation “red noise” proxies . But both the source code and the
    hard-wired “hockey stick” figures clearly confirm what physicist David Ritson pointed out more than four years ago, namely that McIntyre and McKitrick’s “compelling” result was in fact based on a highly questionable procedure that generated null proxies with very high auto-correlation and persistence. All these facts are clear from even a cursory examination of McIntyre’s source code, demonstrating once and for all the lack of competence and lack of due diligence exhibited by the Wegman report authors.

  74. #74 Nibi
    November 17, 2010

    Today’s (Nov. 17) U.S. House hearing on climate is available here at

    (Not sure if this is accessible outside the U.S.)

    There were three panels with Lindzen, Michaels, and Curry the ‘skeptical balance’, respectively.

    In all, I thought it was quite good. Some oft rebunked contrarian talking points, but time was allowed for rebuttals. Santer and Alley were a joy to watch, with additional good presentations and responses by other panelists.

    The moderator, Rep. Baird let Michaels and Santer mix it up a bit, a back and forth which I usually don’t seen in these hearings.

    Rep. Rohrabacher was the only obvious loon. For the most part, the rest of the representatives had considered opinions and reasonable questions.

    Third panel was, for me, not as interesting. Most of the congress critters had buggered off, so it was left up to Baird for questions.

    I thought Curry was fairly reasonable except for what seemed to me advocacy for post normal blog science and some FUD about sea ice data.

    Much better than the last hearing where we got the Gish Gallop of nonsense from Monckton.

  75. #75 Daniel
    November 21, 2010

    I think you should do write about the project i link to in the end of this text! You probably have many readers that would like to give climate scientists a helping hand. This is a fun and easy way to do so.


  76. #76 Bernard J.
    November 21, 2010

    Vale Frank Fenner.

  77. #77 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    November 22, 2010

    Nature‘s David Adam says that there’s information ruling out the ‘ was an insider leak’ theory coming “from a very well placed source”.

  78. #78 John
    November 22, 2010

    Watts – the favoured website of the ideologically bound anti-scientific moron – was wrong about its predictions of sea ice growth. This is the most surprising thing ever.

  79. #79 SteveC
    November 23, 2010

    @ Bernard J (75)

    Damn 🙁

    But one hell of a legacy.

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