2014 Blog Year In Review

This is a brief year in review, for 2014, of stuff that happened here on this blog. I know, a few more things could happen before the end of the year, but probably not. Things get pretty slow around the holiday season.


Remember the Namibian Black Rhino for which a hunting permit was auctioned off for $350,000? That was a big story in January 2014. Did you know that the rhino is still alive, as the paperwork on the permit is still being processed.

In January, my close personal friend Genie Scott passed the helm of the National Center for Science Education on to Ann Reid.

The Arctic Vortex visitation happened.

On January 2nd, I made an excellent argument that Bill Nye should not debate Ken Ham.

Arguments against building the Keystone Pipeline continued.

Fake scientists made a fake science journal and then got shut down.


The California drought loomed onto everyone’s radar screen, got worse, and I wrote this thing about it and related matters

Climate science denialism may have reached a peak this month, and I had a few things to say about it.

There were lots of examples of really bad weather this year, including this one

As usual, we visited the Twin Cities Home Schooling Creation Science Fair

Know those internet trolls who are so annoying? Research shows many of them are probably sadists.

In February, I ate my words about Bill Nye and congratulated him for winning the debate!

January was the warmest January in the instrumental record


I schooled Anthony Watts on salamanders: Alarming Rates Of Climate Change Caused Alarming Change in Salamanders

Remember the most amazing story ever to come out of the European Southern Observatory? No? That one where the embargo was broken, then unbroken, and everybody got all excited? No? Neither does anyone else though, in fact, it was a great story!

Climate science denialists targeted a friend of mine in a hate campaign that made the denialists look like the unthinking bullies they are: Denialists Target Academic and this and this and this and this and this and this

Flight 370 disappeared.

Cosmos 2.0 happened

As I do now and then, I addressed the question, Is human behavior genetic or learned?

There was a lot of discussion around this time of year on whether or not specific weather events could be attributed to climate change.

Remember the bloggies? Well, they became irrelevant in 2014.


We talked about the Lumborg Fallacy, the idea that green energy is not green because Lomborg lacks imagination. Here and here.

Michael Mann made a great graphic for Scientific American. I took his graphic and changed the way it is presented to make it work better as a presentation slide. So have a look

Judith Curry had this thing and it was wrong.

The documentary, Year of Living Dangerously came out (and won awards) this year.


Bad weather continued with this enormous flood

Pat Sejak stepped in it

April and March were the warmest on record

We figured out what was killing the bees for sure. Probably.


Patrick Moore did not found Greenpeace

I wrote a really important thing about a book: {My review of Nicholas Wade’s Book](http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/06/17/my-review-of-nicholas-wades-book-a-troublesome-inheritance-genes-race-and-human-history/)

We looked into male fertility and cell phones

There were developments in the consensus on climate change

There has been a lot of discussion about tree rings and related issues, including this and this and here

There was a lot about Ebola. Still happening even though everyone seems to have forgotten about it.


I predicted that 2014 would be about the sixths warmest year on record. I was wrong (see below).

How people think, or fail to think, about climate change.

The conversation about the California Drought got more sophisticated and then even more sophisticated.


Birds, it turns out, are remarkably ensmallened.

Even more research linking climate change and bad weather.


A lot of people got really mad at me because I pointed out how Mark Steyn and Judith Curry were BFF’s. Then I wrote this other thing and the global warming discussion really heated up!

My friend and advisor Irv Devore died. Weeks later, my mother died. I did not write about the latter, but the former is here.

Cute baby cat (kitten)

More months were the warmest on record. My prediction that 2014 would rank sixth in severe peril.

A new reconstruction of a dinosaur was published and everybody got mad about it.

Another dinosaur published, people did not get mad at this one


My friend and colleague Jim Moore wrote this great guest post on Ebola and HIV.

Then there was this additional warmest month again

Science Online died. I asked why. Nobody knew. But I think we do, really.

Big fight breaks out about heat in the deep ocean. Judith Curry and others get it wrong again. And then it happened again right away.


Then, I coauthored a peer reviewed paper on ocean warming.

The American Meteorological Association kinda screwed this up and I’m not the only person who thinks that.

I predicted that 2014 might tie for warmest or be second warmest

Then we had another record breaking month.

Do genes make you gay, or what?

We had a bad election this year, but everyone misunderstood. So I explained it here and here. (And more here: Harry Potter and the 2014 election)


Eventually all those warmest months kinda added up, and then I made this great graphic to put 2014 in a broader context.

Greenpeace really messed up, defacing the Nazca lines

Matt Ridley annoyed me

A lot more happened than this, but I’ve focused here on posts worth visiting about things that happened (in the case of Ebola I gave you a tag). I did some interviews and reviewed some books as well.


  1. #1 Doug Alder
    December 23, 2014

    Greg – so sorry to hear you lost your mom.

    It’s been a year of loss up here too. Mom died March this year and Diane’s mother is in hospice right now – won’t survive the week, In between we lost a few cherished pets to cancers. One of the “joys” of getting older I suppose.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 23, 2014

    Thanks, Doug. Yes, my wife’s grandmother also died over the last year, we have a relative who is very ill, and my neighbor has surprised us all by making it (maybe) to Christmas eve. But this is what happens, given the whole immortality thing.

  3. #3 Gavin Macfie
    December 24, 2014

    I only started following your blog part way through 2014. This post shows that there are a few posts from the start of the year that I’ll want to catch up on over the festive break.

    I hope you are as prolific next year as you were this year. As a blogger I can appreciate the time and effort that you put into every post.

    Have a great holiday!

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    December 24, 2014

    Thanks, you too!

    I hope to keep posting through 2015…

  5. #5 Astrostevo
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    December 25, 2014

    .. and beyond for many years to come still after that too I hope, Greg! On all your blogs too. 🙂

    To everyone here whoever you are and whatever you celebrate I hope y’all have a good day.

    PS. “Everybody got mad” about the reconstructed Spinosaurus? They did? I must have missed that – far as I could recall, it just got people excited and happy and most folks I heard about thought the reconstruction made sense and was pretty good. Based on a little bit of seeing news reports at the time and an article inNational Geographic’ magazine not too long ago about that.

  6. #6 Christopher Winter
    December 27, 2014


    I really appreciate your posting this Year-end review. It’s a fine summary and gave me a heads-up on some things I had missed — like that asteroid with rings.

    Here’s to continued progress in 2015.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 27, 2014


    I think the asteroid with rings story is one of the most amazing… huge hype before it came out, then it came out and everyone seemed disappointed because it was only an asteroid with rings.


  8. #8 Astrostevo
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    December 28, 2014

    Yes, the Chariklo discovery is certainly one of the year’s highlights and something I really never thought we’d see too. Amazed it has enough gravity to keep rings stable and not just have the material disperse into the Black!

    PS. What was the “anger” over the Spinosaurus? I missed that and can’t see where anyone’s mad about it. Were you just meaning mad as an really excited or something?

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    December 28, 2014

    Several people got on line to complain rather inappropriately about the reconstruction. Also people complained that the artist painting was a rip off, though it wasn’t. Really seedy and embarrassing.

  10. #10 cosmicomics
    December 28, 2014

    Thanks for a year of knowledge and inspiration. And sometimes humor. I greatly appreciate your generosity in replying to comments.

  11. #11 Astrostevo
    December 28, 2014

    @ ^ cosmicomics : Seconded by me. Thanks Greg Laden- great blogs.

    @9. Greg laden : Oh, okay, thanks for letting me know, hadn’t heard that. The reconstruction and artists impressions looked great to me.