October 2011 Open Thread


  1. #1 Richard Lawson
    October 7, 2011

    Ianam @ 61:

    If you know of a full, systematic refutation of the skeptics’ hypothesis that CS~3*C, written in language that an intelligent layperson can understand, please give us the URL.

    If there has been no such systematic refutation, then it is up to the climate scientist community to produce one – and make sure it is spread widely to all media outlets.

    I am not assuming that media and policy makers are scientific thinkers, but if they were then they would already know this. All they need to understand is (a) that the scientific method is to refute hypotheses, and (b) that the low CS hypothesis can be comprehensively refuted.

    The key point is that up to now, they have attacked, we have defended. It is now time to turn the tables.

  2. #2 Mikem
    October 7, 2011

    OK, well I take it that there is actually no rational explanation forthcoming from sceptics of Bob Carter’s bizarre views on the gas properties.

    What a surprise.

    And for the umpteenth time, they show no insight into why they suffer a credibility problem within the world of science.

  3. #3 Acacia
    October 7, 2011

    Thanks Brian. This distortion of the climate change debate by O’Neil verges again into the bizarre.

    As usual, The Australian doesn’t stop with just one opinion piece denigrating climate science. There is also a [letter](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/triumph-of-scepticism/story-fn558imw-1226161584083) from Michael Asten titled ‘The Triumph of Scepticism’ with an interesting twist on the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Brian Schmidt and Dan Shechtman:
    >There can be no higher-level demonstration than these awards of the value of scepticism in science, and of the role of observation and deduction free of the confines of conventional wisdom.

    >I look forward to the day when such elevated scientific method replaces the bitter and personalised arguments over settled science which today characterises earth-scale climate studies.

  4. #4 Dave H
    October 7, 2011

    Aargh, I *really* should avoid going to WUWT, but every now and then morbid curiosity gets the better of me.

    Witness Watts [signing up his dog](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/07/friday-funny-the-newest-member-of-the-union-of-concerned-scientists/#comment-761976) as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists to show that, haha, they don’t even check if you’re a scientist before you join, the greedy lying leftie scum, pretending to be scientists lolololol.

    Except that its a charity. They’re asking for a donation. The page explains how they have hundreds of thousands of private citizens in their membership.

    Watts links to a Guardian article as some sort of “proof” that UCS is misrepresenting itself as experts – except if you scroll down a *few extra pixels* from the screengrab Watts included in his article you’ll see that the UCS organised a *letter signed by 100 scientists*. That being the kind of thing they do, and all.


  5. #5 Acacia
    October 7, 2011

    I knew there had to be more than one opinion article and one letter, it is the Weekend Australian after all. And [here](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/at-last-dams-are-deep-and-meaningful/story-fn59niix-1226161667601) it is, the true blue radical sceptic – incidentally old, white and male.
    >JOHN Scales refused to believe the doomsayers when they predicted there would never again be enough rain to fill the Dartmouth Dam in northeast Victoria.

    >….”I’m not a believer in global warming, despite some people saying it wouldn’t ever rain here like it used to because the climate had changed,” he said yesterday.

  6. #6 Bernard J.
    October 7, 2011

    It’s true, [what they say](http://throbgoblins.blogspot.com/2007/03/pig-wrestling.html), isn’t it…

  7. #7 ianam
    October 7, 2011


    I’m not about to chase your goalposts. Scientists have attacked the “‘skeptic’ hypothesis, showing that it is refutable in classic scientific fashion”. If you want a URL to a discussion satisfying your new criteria, try http://www.skepticalscience.com . If that’s not enough for you, set up your own damn site.

    The key point is that up to now, they have attacked, we have defended. It is now time to turn the tables.

    The key point is that this is nonsense, if you’re talking about science. If you were talking about PR then you would have a point, but that’s not what scientists do for a living.

  8. #8 Chris McGrath
    October 8, 2011

    Tim, time for another in your great series of The Australian’s War on Science.

    The SMH just did a story on Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt supporting climate science:http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/nobel-winner-seeks-calm-in-climate-debate-20111005-1l9d8.html (hat-tip Eli).

    Contrast that with the story splashed on the front page of this weekend’s OZ about a third generation mountain farmer who “refused to believe the doomsayers” and is “not a believer in global warming”: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/at-last-dams-are-deep-and-meaningful/story-fn59niix-1226161667601

    Brian (@61 above) points out the accompanying editorial in the Oz. There is a nice contrast in the way the SMH and Oz operate.

  9. #9 GSW
    October 8, 2011

    Myles Allen has a piece out in the UK’s Guardian entitled,

    “Al Gore is doing a disservice to science by overplaying the link between climate change and weather”


    “To claim that we are causing meteorological events that would not have occurred without human influence is just plain wrong”

    “Enthusiasm for doing anything about climate change seems to have given way to resignation that we will simply have to adapt.”

    For those of you unaware of him; Myles Allen is head of the Climate Dynamics group at University of Oxford’s Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics department. He is the principal investigator of Climateprediction.net

    Quite a ‘cautious’ article from Myles I think.

  10. #10 Bernard J.
    October 8, 2011

    There’s something about many of the rural reporters from all media stables in Australia. They seem especially prone to the “good ol’ Farmer Joe is a wise and experienced disbeliever of fancy-pants scientific mumbo-jumbo” line of story telling – it seems to escape both the reporters and the subjects of their stories that there’s a reason why farmers are farmers and scientists are scientists…

    Worryingly too many people in rural industries seem to confuse “common sense” with objective analysis. This has led to the circumstance where there is an oft-enacted theatre of farmers who claim that they are “at one” with nature and therefore “know best”, eventually being dragged in a reactionary display of kicking and screaming to capitulate in the face of evidence of their inappropriate practices.

    Salination, over-irrigation and other flawed water managements, over-fertilisation, inappropriate tilling, over-stocking, flawed clearing of non-productive vegetation, excessive pesticide application: all are just some examples of a refusal to listen to warnings until after the problems became expensive and/or infeasible to remediate. It seems that climate change denial is another to add to that list…

    I am not familiar with Sue Neale, but Michael McKenzie on Radio National frequently had me grinding my teeth in frustration in the days before I stopped listening to his brand of rural opinion.

    And before anyone snipes at me for being an ivory-towered scientist-type with no clue, I come from several lines of livestock and cropping farmers, and I’ve worked with many others in several different professional contexts. I am intimately acquainted with the not-so-quaintly conservative and often flawed notions that a certain proportion of farmers like to clutch to their sunburned chests, and I know that can take a long time to change the mind of some of the more stubborn farming types…

    On the other hand, the more switched-on farmers are some of the most astute and knowledgable people I have met. The striking difference between them and their conservative colleagues is that switched-on crowd inevitably have no innate prejudice against science, whether pure or applied.

  11. #11 Hamza El-Din
    October 8, 2011


    “Care to quote his words where he gave such criteria?”

    Well, since I didn’t quote him, your question is misleading, but when he says…

    “…so many proponents on the AGW side seem to be recognised as the sharpest minds on the planet…”

    the implied criteria is that anyone winning the Nobel is of a sharp mind. My question is why that only works when you agree with the opinion of the winner. As I asked, is age the issue? Giaever won the Nobel, albeit 40 some years ago. Is he not of a sharp mind? Or has he lost it based on his opinion that “incontrovertible evidence” is a poor scientific term in his opinion with regards to AGW?

    In addition…

    ianam”…by the criteria of AGW sceptics, Schmidt has zero credibility, despite his Nobel, because he accepts AGW”

    Evidence for this assertion? Dr. Schmidt’s Nobel is for research on supernovae, and expansion of the universe, not AGW, or even atmospheric science. Why would anyone dismiss his accomplishments in his discipline because he agrees that the climate has changed? Of course the climate has changed.

    Let’s look at his statement, quoted form chek@29…
    “Science is never absolute, that’s the problem. You have different levels of assurity. I have won the Nobel Prize with my team today for discovering the accelerating universe. We are pretty certain that’s correct but you are never absolutely certain. The carbon debate is centred around the science, is the science right? Well there are uncertainties in the science,” said Professor Schmidt.

    “I think the evidence is quite strong that change is happening,” he said. “The science behind climate change predicts there should be a little change right now but in future, the prediction is it will be much more.”

    Not exactly doom and gloom. Pretty reasonable actually. There is uncertainty. We aren’t sure, but we think it might increase. But one really does not know. It’s a prediction.

    ianam…””it’s faulty to reject the views of someone with a Nobel just because they accept AGW” is not equivalent to “it’s necessary to accept the views of someone with a Nobel”.

    OK, first, you assert again, without evidence, that someone is rejecting Dr. Schmidt’s work on his subject. Second, why should I accept Dr. Schmidt’s thoughts on AGW? Because he is “sharp”? Per you, yes. And how do we know that? Won the Nobel. Otherwise, he has no other qualifications that would lead me to believe he is more knowledgeable than any other scientist outside the field. In other words, you require that it is “necessary for me to accept the views” of Dr. Schmidt because he now has a Nobel.

    Lastly, ianam, I make my living in the world of science. I sometimes work with actual Nobel prize winners as I linked to above. I respect their opinions very much, but not on every issue. They respect mine as well on the things which I know that they do not. Nothing wrong with not accepting their opinions on biology when their work is physics. So your knee jerk reaction that you can “guess” how I think is laughable, though typical. All I am saying is that Dr. Schmidt’s thoughts on AGW are irrelevant to the discussion and have only been trotted out because he happened to win a Nobel and is therefore “sharp”, and happens to agree with AGW with the caveat that there are uncertainties.

  12. #12 Mikem
    October 8, 2011

    All I am saying is that Dr. Schmidt’s thoughts on AGW are irrelevant to the discussion and have only been trotted out because he happened to win a Nobel and is therefore “sharp”, and happens to agree with AGW with the caveat that there are uncertainties.

    Well, he “happens” to agree with AGW in much the same sense that the great majority of the rest of the world’s scientists who have been widely recognised within the scientific world for their modern expertise and cutting edge research into physics also “happen” to agree with AGW.

    Maybe it’s just a weird and curious coincidence, as you seem to imply.

    As I have said before, when the sceptical side’s best efforts involve dragging out Roy Spencer as their “shining star” in the scientific world, conspicuously assisted by scientists like Dr “if you can’t see it or smell it, it cannot be harmful in any way” Bob Carter, then you know they are seriously struggling with credibility problems.

    Yet sceptics seem totally oblivious to all of this.


  13. #13 chek
    October 8, 2011

    I take your point and agree that based on the quotes from Dr. Scmhidt, you’ve made a cogent point.

    Where I disagree with deniers generally (regardless of what baggage you bring to the term, that’s what they are) – as when they finally agree that AGW is real and happening now, even if they have to refer to it in diminishing terms as ‘CAGW’ – is with the term ‘uncertainties’.

    In denier terms, the word ‘uncertainty’ invariably means ‘sometime, never’. Rather like a junkie who’s been told to pay up by tomorrow or he’ll lose an eye, who then fucks off home with the wrap of dope never conceiving that tomorrow will come, and there is no repayment plan. There never was.

    The rational response to uncertainty on the other hand says ‘the models are predicting grim conditions in a hundred years time, and we’re seeing very odd confluences of extreme weather globally now as was expected. There’s an equal chance that uncertainty actually means we have less than a 100 years before those grim conditions arrive’.

    A major problem is that public discourse on the issue suffers from undue distortion by the PR tools of a wealthy, profiting elite who are under the illusion that their wealth makes them largely immune from events, and the nation state has become cowed by their apparent power.

  14. #14 Billy Bob Hall
    October 9, 2011

    Have I won the internNAT yet ?

    I think Bob Carter is.

  15. #15 elspi
    October 9, 2011

    This is somewhat off topic, but Pauling most certainly went full metal woo
    (The following is from Wikipedia, so I guess I can just claim it as my own 😉

    In 1968 Pauling published a brief paper in Science entitled “Orthomolecular psychiatry”[58] that gave name and principle to the popular but controversial megavitamin therapy movement of the 1970s. Pauling coined the term “orthomolecular” to refer to the practice of varying the concentration of substances normally present in the body to prevent and treat disease. His ideas formed the basis of orthomolecular medicine, which is not generally practiced by conventional medical professionals and has been strongly criticized.[59][60]
    Pauling’s work on vitamin C in his later years generated much controversy. He was first introduced to the concept of high-dose vitamin C by biochemist Irwin Stone in 1966. After becoming convinced of its worth, Pauling took 3 grams of vitamin C every day to prevent colds.[61] Excited by his own perceived results, he researched the clinical literature and published Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970. He began a long clinical collaboration with the British cancer surgeon Ewan Cameron in 1971 on the use of intravenous and oral vitamin C as cancer therapy for terminal patients.[62] Cameron and Pauling wrote many technical papers and a popular book, Cancer and Vitamin C, that discussed their observations. Pauling made vitamin C popular with the public and eventually published two studies of a group of one hundred allegedly terminal patients that claimed vitamin C increased survival by as much as four times compared to untreated patients.[63][64] A re-evaluation of the claims in 1982 found that the patient groups were not actually comparable, with the vitamin C group being less sick on entry to the study, and judged to be “terminal” much earlier than the comparison group.[65] Later clinical trials conducted by the Mayo Clinic also found that high-dose (10,000 mg) vitamin C was no better than placebo at treating cancer and that there was no benefit to high-dose vitamin C.[66][67][68] The failure of the clinical trials to demonstrate any benefit resulted in the conclusion that vitamin C was not effective in treating cancer; the medical establishment also concluded his claims that vitamin C could prevent colds was quackery.[61][69] Pauling denounced the conclusions of these studies and handling of the final study as “fraud and deliberate misrepresentation”,[70][71] and criticized the studies for using oral, rather than intravenous vitamin C[72] (which was the dosing method used for the first ten days of Pauling’s original study[69]). Pauling also criticised the Mayo clinic studies because the controls were taking vitamin C during the trial, and because the duration of the treatment with vitamin C was short; Pauling advocates continued high dose vitamin C for the rest of the cancer patient’s life whereas the Mayo clinic patients in the second trial were treated with vitamin C for a median of 2.5 months.[73] The results were publicly debated at length with considerable acrimony between Pauling and Cameron, and Moertel (the lead author of the Mayo Clinic studies), with accusations of misconduct and scientific incompetence on both sides. Ultimately the negative findings of the Mayo Clinic studies ended general interest in vitamin C as a treatment for cancer.[71] Despite this, Pauling continued to promote vitamin C for treating cancer and the common cold, working with The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential to use vitamin C in the treatment of brain-injured children.[74] He later collaborated with the Canadian physician Abram Hoffer on a micronutrient regimen, including high-dose vitamin C, as adjunctive cancer therapy.[75]
    With Arthur B. Robinson and another colleague, Pauling founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine in Menlo Park, California, in 1973, which was soon renamed the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. Pauling directed research on vitamin C, but also continued his theoretical work in chemistry and physics until his death. In his last years, he became especially interested in the possible role of vitamin C in preventing atherosclerosis and published three case reports on the use of lysine and vitamin C to relieve angina pectoris. In 1996, the Linus Pauling Institute moved from Palo Alto, California, to Corvallis, Oregon, to become part of Oregon State University, where it continues to conduct research on micronutrients, phytochemicals (chemicals from plants), and other constituents of the diet in preventing and treating disease. Several researchers that had previously worked at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, including the assistant director of research, moved on to form the Genetic Information Research Institute.

  16. #16 ConnorJ
    October 9, 2011

    I’m currently having an argument about public funding, up against the old canard that “sceptical” scientists don’t get public funding.

    Does anyone know of a good source that shows ‘sceptical’ climate papers have been funded by the public purse?

    I’m pretty sure Spencer and Linzden get public funding through UAH and MIT, I just need a source to prove it.

  17. #17 Neil White
    October 10, 2011

    ConnorJ (#79)

    There is often information about supporting grants etc in the Acknowledgements section of the paper. For example, the acknowledgements section from Lindzen and Choi (2011) is below.

    “DOE” is the US Department of Energy.


    Acknowledgements. This research was supported by DOE
    grant DE-FG02-01ER63257, the National Research Foundation
    of Korea (NRF) grant (No. 20090093464), National Institute of
    Environmental Research of Korea (NIER) grant (No. 1600-1637-
    303-210-13), and the Ewha Womans University Research Grant
    (No. 2011-0220-1-1). The authors thank NASA Langley Research
    Center and the PCMDI team for the data, and Hee-Je
    Cho, Hyonho Chun, Richard Garwin, William Happer, Lubos
    Motl, Roy Spencer, Jens Vogelgesang, and Tak-meng Wong for
    helpful suggestions. We also wish to thank Daniel Kirk-
    Davidoff for a helpful question.

  18. #18 Mikem
    October 10, 2011

    @79 and 80.

    Yet again we come up against the AGW sceptic credibility problem. They inevitably “claim” some gross disadvantage compared to mainstream scientists which, when you look at the facts, really doesn’t exist.

    The whole AGW sceptic thing – the ways and means they use to argue that they’re somehow suppressed or disadvantaged – is quite exasperating.

    If they would actually come up with credible original research which can’t be completely torn apart within 5 minutes of being published, maybe they would have mainstream science seriously thinking about the whole sceptical side. However their track record indicates this is highly unlikely any time in the near future.

  19. #19 ligne
    October 10, 2011

    > Yet again we come up against the AGW sceptic credibility problem. They inevitably “claim” some gross disadvantage compared to mainstream scientists which, when you look at the facts, really doesn’t exist.

    to be fair, they *are* facing a gross disadvantage when trying to get their papers accepted. reality is being entirely unreasonable, selfishly refusing to conform to their political ideologies, however much they stamp their feet, and however long they hold their breaths.

    it’s just not fair that they’re forced to compete on such an uneven playing field.

  20. #20 ianam
    October 10, 2011

    “Care to quote his words where he gave such criteria?”
    Well, since I didn’t quote him, your question is misleading

    Total logic fail; the point of asking for a quote to support a claim about someone is precisely that it wasn’t already done. After that incredibly idiotic intro, I won’t bother reading the rest of your comment.


    You’re like a climate denier who points to some article and claims it supports their position, rather than presenting an argument. But I already read that article (I cited it) and upon reading it again I find that it no more supports your claim than upon the first time.

  21. #21 Hamza El-Din
    October 10, 2011


    Right. Good thing to ignore your own failure in both logic and your assertion of a point of view for which you have zero evidence–that somehow anyone, anywhere is discounting the work of Dr. Schmidt–in his field–because of his take on warming.

    See you asked me to quote the criteria. I never stated that it was a direct quote, only my inference of the comment, I then explained exactly why I found the logic faulty. But I guess it’s better for you to plant your head in the sand. Poor choice of words on my part, agreed, but the following explanation is clear. I answered your question. Care to answer mine? Probably not.

    Funny though that you choose to go right to the “idiotic” card. Says so very much about the quality of your argument.

  22. #22 Mikem
    October 10, 2011

    Otherwise, he has no other qualifications that would lead me to believe he is more knowledgeable than any other scientist outside the field.

    Well that’s not strictly true, Hamza.

    He’s an astrophysicist with a publication and research record which covers several topics that overlap with certain aspects of climate science, eg, absorption and emission spectroscopy, and quantum mechanics just to name two. So one might expect that he’d understand the evidence amassed through, say, spectroscopic analysis of longwave radiation, better than a scientist who hasn’t touched that topic since high school.

    So I take your point way back at the beginning regarding the “logic of the argument”, though I also feel you fundamentally misunderstood the point I was making (perhaps this was my fault).

    What is your “opinion” on AGW then? I would find it odd if you argued about who is or isn’t relevantly qualified, then went on to cast doubt on the level of certainty, which is very high among those who actually are qualified directly in the field. I’d find that oddest of all if you did it while simultaneously arguing about the logic of a relatively trivial statement in the greater scheme of things.

  23. #23 Craig Thomas
    October 10, 2011

    Some people seem to have terrible trouble conducting the most basic bit of analysis.

    If, on the one hand, you have a 82-year-old guy who won a Nobel Prize 38 years ago and has no published track-record in the field of climate science contradicting the scientific consensus on climate change;

    and, on the other hand, you have a 44-year-old currently-practicing scientist and Nobel Prize-winner who supports the scientific consensus on climate change;

    Then, to anybody capable of objective analysis, it’s pretty clear which of the two is more likely a reputable source of opinions on climate change.

    It’s continental drift, all over again. And even more idiots denying the science this time around.

    Anybody in any doubt just needs to read Plimer’s books: when you publish transparent nonsense in support of a thesis, it pretty much guarantees that the thesis is nonsense.

  24. #24 ianam
    October 11, 2011

    Good thing to ignore your own failure in both logic

    I’m “ignoring” something that doesn’t exist. Even if it did, that would be a tu quoque fallacy.

    your assertion of a point of view for which you have zero evidence–that somehow anyone, anywhere is discounting the work of Dr. Schmidt–in his field–because of his take on warming.

    I never made any such assertion, you cretin, I only stated what Mikem said.

    Funny though that you choose to go right to the “idiotic” card. Says so very much about the quality of your argument.

    Not at all. You are demonstrably an idiot and I demonstrated it. To attack my argument by criticizing my accurate discription of you is ad hominem, dumbfuck.

  25. #25 ianam
    October 11, 2011

    ianam…””it’s faulty to reject the views of someone with a Nobel just because they accept AGW” is not equivalent to “it’s necessary to accept the views of someone with a Nobel”.
    OK, first, you assert again, without evidence, that someone is rejecting Dr. Schmidt’s work on his subject.

    Is Hamza El-Din really so stupid that he took my statement about the difference between two positions as a statement of my own position about something? Apparently so.

  26. #26 P. Lewis
    October 11, 2011
  27. #27 chek
    October 11, 2011

    Superb video report on the disappearing Himalayan glaciers you linked to P. Lewis, that puts the whole manufactured fuss about the IPCC report’s projected date into perspective.

    It well illustrates that it’s already happened in some locations, it’s happening now, and it will continue to happen until there’s nothing left, possibly in 300 years time.

  28. #28 Billy Bob Hall
    October 11, 2011

    Hey Tim, I am winning the internet ! =8-)

  29. #29 lord_sidcup
    October 11, 2011

    This is interesting, particularly for Brits following the developing scandal involving Defence Secretary Liam Fox. It seems that Liam Fox’s best friend and unpaid advisor Adam Werrity was executive and sole employee of recently defunct UK “charity” Atlantic Bridge. Atlantic Bridge has very close links with US lobby group American Legislative Exchange Council, which itself receives shed loads of cash from the Koch Foundation and has been actively involved in AGW denial. Who funded Atlantic Bridge is unclear. Fascinating to see how lobby groups operate. Carbon Brief has more details:

    [Atlantic Bridge and the climate skeptic connection](http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/10/atlantic-bridge-and-the-climate-skeptics)

  30. #30 P. Lewis
    October 11, 2011

    Maybe this puts Atlantic Bridge’s advisory council member George Osborne’s reported comments at last week’s Tory conference that “the UK would cut emissions no faster than others in Europe, and environmental measures would not be taken at the expense of British business” in a new light.

  31. #31 SteveC
    October 12, 2011

    On the off chance that the shrieking and caterwauling from various sections of the MSM and right-wing commentariat hadn’t already alereted you, the Australian House of Reps (the lower House for those not familiar) passed the Clean Energy legislative package (a total of 18 Bills, including the carbon pricing mechanism) was passed by a majority vote. The package of Bills will now go to the Senate (upper House) and, given the make-up of the Senate, is likely to be passed into legislation.

    The Opposition Leader Without A Clue has made a “blood” oath to repeal the legislation, on the off chance he is still leading the Lib-Nat Coalition if it ever gets to hold power again.

    If the MSM and a lot of very vocal trolls denialists Ordinary Hard Working Australians are to be believed, This Is the Worst Day in Australian History, We Have All Been Betrayed and We Are All Going to Die. And Bob Brown is Satan.

    Personally I think it’s a good thing (well it’s a start at least), but some of my friends won’t thank me for saying so.

  32. #32 Chris O'Neill
    October 12, 2011

    the Australian House of Reps (the lower House for those not familiar) passed the Clean Energy legislative package (a total of 18 Bills, including the carbon pricing mechanism) was passed by a majority vote.

    If the country that produces the worlds highest Carbon emissions per person (apart from much smaller countries) isn’t going to attempt to reduce its Carbon emissions, why should anyone else bother?

  33. #33 mike
    October 12, 2011

    @ comment 1320 on the Jonas thread.

    Jeff Harvey says: “You are a complete twat, Olaus.”

    So, Jeff, you’ve called Olaus a “twat” and a “complete twat”, at that.

    Let’s see now, Jeff, is the “twat” you have in mind, when referring to Olaus, any specific, imagined twat? Or, perhaps, you’re thinking more of some sort of Platonic ideal-twat, that you’ve assembled in your mind, in part, through you web-surfing investigations of the subject and, in part, through your privately-handled, creep-out fantasies? (You’re not dong any “scientific” research on twats on your employer’s computer and on the taxpayer’s dime, are you Jeff?)

    Allow me to imagine the playful banter in your lab-space, Jeff: “Did you read what that twat-head, chek, wrote?” or “Ol’ wow, what a twat-breath he is!” or “rhwombat–the ultimate twat-marsupial, twats-for-brains twat-greenshirt with twat-zits issues!” Perhaps you find such language good fun, Jeff?

    Well, I’m very sorry, Jeff, but I don’t find such language to be “good fun” at all. Indeed, I find such language to be extremely offensive. And, it pains me to say it, Jeff, but I must reluctantly conclude, on my part, that your appalling choice of language marks you as a sexist schweinhund. A sexist schweinhund, Jeff!

    Any Deltoid care to join me in condemning Jeff Harvey’s twat-twaddle?

  34. #34 Scribe
    October 12, 2011

    Monbiot vs Plimer

    Professional Denialist gets spanked

  35. #35 chek
    October 12, 2011

    This deltoid wants to tell l’ill mike to take his transparently passive-aggressive ‘concern’ act elsewhere.

    L’ll ‘oooh ra mike’ here being the troll who on two previous occasions has tried to link the IPCC to child prostitution solely on the grounds of conference location.
    Apparently, South Africa for example has only one ‘recreational’ use in the travel books l’ll mike’s familiar with.

    As to the subject of the post, how one might rightfully choose to respond to those who groundlessly disparage one’s professional integrity is a mystery l’ll mike will never have to concern himself with.

  36. #36 Scribe
    October 12, 2011

    Behind-the-scenes panic over reports of methane blowing out of the sea-bed in the Eastern Arctic. This could dramatically increase global warming. Listen


  37. #37 Anthony David
    October 12, 2011

    A Rick Perry Presidency would be a tragedy for the US and for US science in particular.

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has struck out all references to accelerating sea level rise and anthropogenic climate change in a report by Oceanography Professor John Anderson on Galveston Bay.

    Is this the sort of censorship of science the Galileo Movement want to expose?

  38. #38 David hamilton
    October 13, 2011

    “Carbon dioxide is non-toxic”. The fastest response to that fiction is to point to the Australian exposure standard for carbon dioxide in the workplace, which can be found on Safe Work Australia’s Hazardous Substance Information System. For example, see the [documentation page](http://hsis.ascc.gov.au/DocumentationES.aspx?ID=108) .

  39. #39 dhogaza
    October 14, 2011

    Keith Kloor, a man totally at home in the great outdoors …

    Having lived and worked in a field camp in a wilderness study area each fall for a couple of decades, living in a backpacking tent, I never gave a second thought to the resident cougar that would vacate our camp site every year when we showed up …

    Not only is Kloor frightened by big kitties (now, a pride of lions would be a different matter altogether), he’s afraid of PRAIRIE DOGS. Too funny.

    Mr. Environmental Writer, who obviously edited Audubon Magazine from the comfort of a Manhattan apartment …

  40. #41 Bernard J.
    October 18, 2011

    Skeptical Science has recently completed [a detailed consideration of ocean acidification](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mackie_OA_not_OK_part_20.html).

    Seemingly as a counterpoint Anthony Watts has, as I said in a post on Skeptical Science:

    >posted some dog-whistling nonsense that plays Dunning-Kruger bingo with every possible acid chemistry cannard – including the notion that a decrease of about half a pH unit over a century and a bit constitutes “a small change in ocean pH” to which “nature” should be able to adapt.

    If one has the fortitude to actually read the comments on that thread, one will be left wondering whether this is a giant parody of denialism and of sheer D-K ignorance on a staggeringly mammoth scale.

    Again, to paraphrase my earlier comment on Skeptical Science, it’s enough to reduce to tears anyone with tertiary training in chemistry or in biology…

  41. #42 SteveC
    October 18, 2011

    @ dhogaza re Keith Kloor

    Send him over down under. We don’t have big cats (well, apart from some of the ferals which make up for their small size with attitude… on and the mythical black panther around the western Blue Mountains) but we more compensate with more than our fair share of snotty poisonous elapid snakes, the odd modern-day dinosaur floating about in otherwise inviting-looking creeks, a selection of stroppy and lethal spiders, ticks that make adults very sick (I can attest to that one), a myriad of biting/ stinging insect fauna, a variety of enthusiastic leeches and, to cap it all off, a breathtaking (often literally) selection of plant taxa that aren’t just poisonous but some whose sting (esp. Dendrocnide spp.) lasts for decades. And that’s just the terrestrial stuff…

    If he survives that we’ll send him back and I guarantee you’ll never hear another whinge about XXL pussies 🙂

  42. #43 Chris O'Neill
    October 19, 2011

    For all the masochists out there or perhaps just psychology students, the ABC’s 7.30 Report will be putting a half hour interview of Alan Jones by Leigh Sales on their website tomorrow. The part that was put on television (which was about 10 minutes long) started going through the list of denialist memes. But I expect half an hour is nowhere near long enough to demonstrate the depths of his derangement.

  43. #44 Lotharsson
    October 19, 2011

    This thought-provoking article and the underlying paper on the [high cost of seven years of climate inaction](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/10/the-cost-of-inaction/) – along with some of the comments that suggest it may be even worse than the paper indicates – ought to get much wider exposure. Heck, it’s the sort of topic that any *serious* newspaper ought to be running, instead of misdirecting their readers by talking about how some old guy doesn’t think there’s been much sea level rise in his neighbourhood.

  44. #45 dhogaza
    October 19, 2011

    If he survives that we’ll send him back and I guarantee you’ll never hear another whinge about XXL pussies 🙂

    When I went to oz to bird and explore many years ago, I took care to learn about the snakes.

    But no one told me about the Lawyer Vine … damn near sawed my leg off when dashing through the bush one day!

  45. #46 Tim Lambert
    October 19, 2011

    [The Monckton interview](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w833cAs9EN0) that had him demanding the ABC be defunded.

  46. #47 Chris O'Neill
    October 19, 2011

    The Monckton interview that had him demanding the ABC be defunded.

    Strangely enough, that interview reminded me of Borat interviewing someone.

  47. #48 Bernard J.
    October 19, 2011

    >But no one told me about the Lawyer Vine…

    Good ol’ Wait-awhile, as it is also known. It was thick on the ground in most of my PhD transects – if I had a dollar for every time I said to my volunteers “hang on”, or “wait a moment” (or “@%$*&!”), I’d be able to retire…

    Amongst the list of venomous snakes we encountered were:

    1. Eastern brown snake
    2. Coastal taipan
    3. Tiger snake
    4. Death adder
    5. Stephens’ banded snake
    6. Rough scaled snake
    7. Blue-bellied black snake
    8. Red-bellied black snake
    9. Small eyed snake

    And then there were the paralysis ticks, the jack jumper ants, the various annoying mosquitoes, sandflies, March-flies (“March” indeed…), the aforementioned stinging trees – the list goes on.

    With this parade of nasties, and throwing in references to blue-ringed octopus, irukandji, saltwater crocs and such, we were able to spend many hours around campfires convincing our international volunteers of the perils of bunyips, blood eagles, hoop snakes, drop bears and many other Australian ‘dangers’.

    Ah, good times…

  48. #49 Former Skeptic
    October 20, 2011

    Update from Richard Muller’s group at Berkeley:

    “No grounds for climate scepticism”

    Cue backlash from WTFIUWT in 5…4…3…

  49. #50 lord_sidcup
    October 21, 2011

    Just heard Richard Muller being interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by BBC ‘sceptic’ Justin Webb. Muller even denied warming has stopped over the past decade. Webb’s efforts to continue to cast doubt on the temperature record were absolutely risible.

  50. #51 lord_sidcup
    October 21, 2011

    The BBC interview with Richard Muller is now available [here](http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9621000/9621049.stm).

  51. #52 Lotharsson
    October 22, 2011

    Tamino on [the BEST analysis](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/berkeley-team-says-global-warming-not-due-to-urban-heating/).

    Not only did they NOT find urban heat island effects, their methodology found that the reconstruction using only the “very rural” stations was warming **faster** than the reconstruction using all stations.

    That’d be ANOTHER own goal by Watts, which he is once more vigorously disputing, although I’m not sure he can quite explain why anyone should believe him.

    And read [some of the comments](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/berkeley-team-says-global-warming-not-due-to-urban-heating/#comment-55226) calling Watts out for his double standards on the “waaaaaah, they haven’t yet been peer reviewed” stuff.

  52. #53 Lotharsson
    October 22, 2011

    > …their methodology found that the reconstruction using only the “very rural” stations was warming faster than the reconstruction using all stations…

    Note that it has also been stated that this difference does not rise to the level of statistical significance.

  53. #54 Bernard J.
    October 24, 2011

    I note from the Recent Posts list that Jonas N, GSW and Olaus petri are still at it on the troll thread.

    Could someone who still wanders in there ask them for their (ill-considered) opinions on the fact that the BEST project, against the apparent expectations of Muller, demonstrated that the consensus of climatology had in fact analysed the global temperature records correctly, and that such analyses indicate that the planet is warming just as the IPCC says?

    Also, I am very keen to know if these three amigos are prepared to enter into legally-binding contracts to solidify the informal ones that [they entered into earlier this month](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/10/october_2011_open_thread.php#comment-5407583). If so, could they please forward their details to Tim Lambert to pass on, so that I can start the ball rolling on collecting a year’s salary from each of them at some point in the future. If not, could they please explain why they are choosing to renege on their acceptances of my challege?

    And finally, I bet GSW is still making moves on most everyone he speaks to…

  54. #55 Deep Climate
    October 25, 2011

    Not sure if Ethical Oil (the meme, as well as the organization and blog, all inspired by Ezra Levant’s 2009 book of the same name) has been covered here.

    The Ethical Institute on oil sands emissions


    Today I’ll take a detailed look at the Ethical Oil position on the oil sands carbon footprint, as seen in former spokesperson Alykhan Velshi’s error-filled and confused post entitled Mythbusting: Are the Oilsands Major greenhouse Gas Emitters?, part of his “Myths and Lies” series.

    I’ll focus on the two most significant problems in Velshi’s piece:

    * Velshi’s original premise was that not only are oil sands greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relatively insignificant, but that they are actually declining. This has been partially corrected, presumably in response to my initial commentary on this issue, but in such a way as to render his argument completely illogical. And Velshi’s conclusion still repeats the utterly mistaken assertion that oil emissions “are falling”, whereas in fact they are rising at a rapid rate.
    * Ethical Oil’s credibility is further damaged by misleading statements concerning the supposedly tiny contribution of oil sands emissions when compared to total global human and natural emissions. This echoes barely veiled climate “skeptic” arguments in Ezra Levant’s 2009 book that started the whole “ethical oil” rebranding effort. And an examination of Levant’s previous statements on climate science would appear to confirm that a strong anti-science stance is not far from the surface, despite the efforts of Ethical Oil spokespersons to hide it.

    Also see:



  55. #56 lord_sidcup
    October 26, 2011

    Today is a big day for UK “sceptics” – it’s Climate Fools Day. They will be gathering in the House of Commons to listen to Rev. Philip Foster (author of this [bilge](http://www.amazon.co.uk/While-Earth-Endures-Creation-Cosmology/dp/1901546314)), Peter Gill of Institute of Physics Energy Group notoriety, Piers Corbyn, and some bloke with a non job at the Taxpayers Aliance.

    Of interest to Aussies – the Global Warming policy Foundation has laid on a special treat in the evening with His Eminence Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, delivering the Second Annual GWPF Lecture at Westminster Cathedral Hall. Attendance is by invite only.

  56. #57 Shinsko
    October 26, 2011

    lord_sidcup – and on cue The Australian has published an edited extract of [Pell’s speech](http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/be-prudent-with-climate-claims/story-e6frgd0x-1226177730473).
    He really is a prize twit.

  57. #58 lord_sidcup
    October 27, 2011

    Thanks Shinsko. “Between 1695 and 1730, the temperature in England rose by 2.2C” is a particularly egregious cherry-pick AND the Central England temperature record is known to have quality issues prior to 1730 AND Pell misrepresents the record as being for the whole of England. Just the kind of crud “educational” “charity” the GWPF laps up.

  58. #59 lord_sidcup
    October 27, 2011

    You can get a copy of Pell’s full “lecture” (yes, that is what they are calling it) via the GWPF website.

  59. #60 Bernard J.
    October 29, 2011
  60. #61 Bernard J.
    October 29, 2011

    Meanwhile, Peter Sinclair [succintly summarises the BEST results](http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/p).

    I doubt that either Muller or Watts will be amused.

  61. #62 Lotharsson
    October 29, 2011

    Yep, that eCat thing has been doing the rounds.

    It would be wonderful if it worked and could be commercialised to produce cheap clean power – but at the moment the hype and certain aspects of the tests I’ve read about set off my sounds-like-bullshit detectors.

  62. #63 jerryg
    October 29, 2011

    Does anyone here get AcresUSA magazine? There’s an opinion piece by Anthony R Lupo against AGW (about what I’d expect based on his sourcewatch info).

    Some of his claims:
    the Middle Ages were warmer because the Vikings colonized Greenland and there was a thriving wine industry in England.

    The LIA corresponds to lower solar activity. Even within the last three years, sunspot activity has been lower and the climate has shown no significant change since around 2000.
    [haven’t 9 out of the top ten hottest years on record occurred since then? while solar activity is lower? -me]

    There are literally thousands of publications out there that support his points and If you ask any skeptic who is derided as a “climate denier,” but who has done their own homework, they would agree with his arguments.

    A skeptic is anyone who basically questions the idea that human activity plays a major role in changing the climate.

    He starts his article with the obligatory reference to ClimateGate.

  63. #64 Marco
    October 30, 2011
  64. #65 chek
    October 30, 2011

    Interesting the way Curry seems to running from an attributed quote with its built in incendiary dogwhistle to her now preferred audience:
    “As for the graph disseminated to the media”, she said: “This is ‘hide the decline’ stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. [Muller is hiding the decline”.](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html)

    I suspect her revisionist revisiting of it on her own website: “I did not say that “the affair had to be compared to the notorious Climategate scandal two years ago,” this is indirectly attributed to me. When asked specifically about the graph that apparently uses a 10 year running mean and ends in 2006, we discussed ‘hide the decline,’ but I honestly can’t recall if Rose or I said it first”. is sufficiently weaseling to suggest that Rose (no friend of science himself) has recorded Curry saying her piece and she was too stupid to make her own recording.

  65. #66 Richard Simons
    October 30, 2011

    Some of his claims: the Middle Ages were warmer because the Vikings colonized Greenland and there was a thriving wine industry in England.

    I’ll just point out that wine is an important part of church ceremony and imported wines would have been expensive. There are currently literally hundreds of commercial vinyards in England.

    climate has shown no significant change since around 2000.

    As a matter of interest, how often has there been a 10-year period that has shown a significant change in global temperature? Given the variability of climate, I suspect very few.

  66. #67 Bernard J.
    October 31, 2011

    Just a trivial question… has Steve Mosher being walking to Damascus? Some of his recent postings on WUWT seem to be uncharacteristically supporting of mainstream science.

    Next it’ll be cats sleeping with dogs.

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