Trenberth reacts: edits speech to fix copying, leaves “deniers”

Well that’s what I get for taking a nap today. I had been checking Dr. Trenberth’s manuscript regularly at the AMS website, and of course while napping he (or somebody) changed it. Of course Steve McIntyre caught it and points out the changes. Good for him.

For those that wish to examine the original, I saved it here.

And now here’s some of the changes that Steve McIntyre points out:

==============================================================

Steve writes:

This post has obviously been brought to Trenberth and/or AMS’s attention, as they have deleted the original version of Trenberth’s presentation and replaced it with an amended version, without a change notice.

The amended version picks up most of the problems raised in the previous CA post. Here are the points raised in the CA post and Trenberth’s changes:

Trenberth originally stated:

Scientists make mistakes and often make assumptions that limit the validity of their results. They regularly argue with colleagues who arrive at different conclusions. These debates follow the normal procedure of scientific inquiry.

The amended version:

Hasselmann (2010) further notes that scientists make mistakes and often make assumptions that limit the validity of their results. They regularly argue with colleagues who arrive at different conclusions. These debates follow the normal procedure of scientific inquiry.

Trenberth’s originally statement about tactics to use against “deniers”:

It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers. Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.

The amended version:

It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.

He fixes things that would likely get him in trouble, but leaves the insults.

Steve writes:

Trenberth did not submit a comment to Climate Audit thanking us for enabling him to mitigate the problem prior to the actual formal presentation of his speech or otherwise thank us at the AMS webpage at which the changes were made.

=================================================================

Are you honest enough to thank a person who helped you, Dr. Trenberth?

Read all about it here over at Climate Audit here

Be sure to thank Steve McIntyre. I’ll lead by saying it first:

Dr, Trenberth owes Mr. McIntyre a debt of gratitude for heading off an embarrassing and potentially troublesome academic inquiry. The very least he could do is leave a comment at Climate Audit.

In my opinion if Dr. Trenbert values the public interpretation of his integrity, and that of the AMS, he should drop the offensive term “deniers” and replace it with the word “skeptics”. It is as easy as doing “search and replace” in Microsoft word. 10 seconds of work:

Dr. Trenberth, please see below how easy it is to do in a word processor.

Since Dr. Trenberth put his own email address out there in his original document made public on the AMS website,

ClimategateThoughts4AMS_v2 (PDF)

*Corresponding author: Kevin E Trenberth, NCAR, PO Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80303.
Email: trenbert@ucar.edu

…and because he is a paid public servant of the United States, I ask that any Americans who are offended at his continued use of this term after issues have been brought to his attention, email him at the address provided, and ask him politely to make this simple change.

IMHO there’s no academic freedom when it comes to name calling. He knows what the right thing to do is, let’s just make sure he listens to himself.

- Anthony Watts

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91 thoughts on “Trenberth reacts: edits speech to fix copying, leaves “deniers”

  1. [snip - while your comment is perhaps funny to some, we don't need to contribute to racheting up the rhetoric any further. Let's give him an an opportunity to respond and then decide - Anthony]

  2. Got this when I asked him to change “deniers” to sceptics:

    I will be on travel in Europe until 19 January 2011. [Bern ISSE 9-14; Grenoble ECRA 15-18] I will have only limited access to email. Please contact my admin asst, Lisa Butler (lbutler@ucar.edu) or x 1366for further information or if this involves travel.Your mail regarding “xxx” will be read when I return.RegardsKevin

  3. Can someone contact him and get an explanation? It is the worst for him if he blocks contact and refuses to discus his errors and corrections.

  4. “Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    This is an amazing statement to me. If folks like Trenberth have scientific evidence that is “unequivocal”, wouldn’t producing it be obviously the best approach? Isn’t refusal to debate climate scientists and other skeptics, when you have the evidence to back up your claims, the worst possible approach?

  5. ODE TO KEVIN TRENBERTH

    Yet another
    Onerous climate disagreement
    Universal rancor everywhere

    As we
    Raise our
    Environmental concerns

    Always and forever like this?

    Can’t we get along?
    Love one another?
    In spite of our differences?
    Murder
    Ad hominem is
    Tasteless,
    Evil!

    Ah!
    Sorrowful day
    Sorrowful climate of science
    Have we no hope?
    Our reserves of integrity
    Lessen
    Everyday.

  6. “Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition.”

    Dr. Lindzen

  7. I sent a polite email, noting that it will be included in our National Archives, and requesting I be called a “skeptic”.
    Kind of fun.

  8. Oh how I wish I were a gun ammunition salesman – I would become a millionaire supplying all the ammo used in the “shooting one’s foot” syndrome some academic people seem to specialise in.

  9. Janama: Dr Lindzen is doing great work, but I don’t think you can only be skeptical about plausible things.

  10. When it comes to changes in temperature, I don’t think anyone is denying or skeptical that it has occurred. That isn’t the issue. The issue is if the change is anything unusual in either rate or magnitude. So far nobody, to my knowledge, has shown that any warming in the 20th century (no statistically significant warming trend seen so far in the 21st century) was outside the norm of natural climate variation or if there is anything we can do about it even if we wanted to.

  11. Dr. Trenberth,

    I’ll lay this out for you one more time:

    With the world now weighted with general populace and scientists rightfully skeptical of your insistence that mankind has actually warmed this sphere we live on of any meaningful amount, actually if any, and I find them mainly skeptical of just the anthropogenic part of your theory. Most feel the earth has warmed a small amount from some not yet demonstrable reason, many think it is solar related and we just don’t have enough absolute accuracy in instruments to sense just how hot the sun was in the immediate previous decades, just why are you pouncing and picking on the some less than 1% deniers who are such a very tiny component of this debate.

    I must be honest, I rarely come across anyone who deniers that man has no effect on this world, including pollution, urban sprawl, plastic, etc, or that we haven’t been a little warmer that usual back in the 1980’s and ‘90’s.

    I can only take it that those very few deniers are the people against who you place the thrust in your speech. Shame on you. You should pick on the skeptical group or some one else your own size!

    I just can’t believe you are so incredibly dense that you don’t understand this reality.

  12. “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    Hey Doc – how about we all play that game, except we don’t pay you to play it anymore? How would that work out for you?

    This is really not necessary – just show us your work. It will speak for itself and save you the effort.

  13. We are not deniers, because we know the historical context of that word. We are not skeptics, because we do not merely sit back and ignore the words of the ‘elite’. We are refuters, because we actively seek the truth and are not afraid to proclaim it.

  14. I’ve already declared if a senior scientist uses the word “denier” against me personally and in print/media as a pejorative meant to damage my scientific reputation, I will haul their ass into federal court.

    These scientists need to be much more careful to control their vitriolic language and stick to the science lest they be opening up their checkbooks. If a pattern is established, then punitive damages would ensue. The use of “black-lists” and labels by non-governmental groups or blogs such as Joe Romm’s must also be careful to stick to the science otherwise they are going to see the same summons to federal court.

    Enough of this shit.

  15. Kevin has certainly demonstrated his skills with cut and paste, so find and replace should not be too much of a stretch. Perhaps there is a problem with his version of Word?

    My apologies to Anthony for the miss use of his artwork :)

    (ryanm: bonus points for being witty)

  16. So Trenberth’s getting more air miles on another jaunt to Europe. More CO2 needlessly pumped into the atmosphere… Don’t these guys have any conscience?

  17. crosspatch says:
    January 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm
    When it comes to changes in temperature, I don’t think anyone is denying or skeptical that it has occurred.

    You haven’t said ‘warming’ but I think that is your intent.

    I made a comment similar to this a year or so ago and was promptly informed that I was wrong. The idea seemed to be that at the end of the last glacial stage the “global temperature” rose rapidly and since than, by hiccs&ups, it has been in decline. Further, with the understanding that CO2 concentration lags temperature, that too was declining, toward a level that would have been troubling for plants. Thus, the use of fossil fuels may be preventing a catastrophe on Earth for plants and animals.

    To get back on topic: I would say that the comments on CA and WUWT and maybe some others are – Are you ready? – peer review.

    I do not wish to disparage Steve McIntyre in any way, that is, by implying that Dr. T. is his peer. But it would be impolite, would it not, to say that Dr. T’s paper was reviewed by his . . . . (I’m off to inspect a thesaurus. — Betters?)

  18. What I find fascinating about this is the sheer power of the blogosphere.

    And how little the establishment. scientific, political and to a lesser extent commercial nexus, understands how that might is changing the world.

    A self appointed grandee of the climate science establishment, indeed a doyen of it, is forced within a day or two to drastically modify his great speech with its grandoise ideas by a handful of bloggers and their websites.

    Unthinkable even a a year or two ago when he could have relied upon the MSM to laud him to the skies for his wondrous insights.

    Truly the world is changing, and faster I suspect than any of us here could have imagined.

    Kindest Regards

  19. “In my opinion if Dr. Trenberth values the public interpretation of his integrity, and that of the AMS, he should drop the offensive term “deniers” and replace it with the word “skeptics”. It is as easy as doing “search and replace” in Microsoft word.”

    I don’t really think he cares. Being a climate science ruling class elitist entitles you to denigrate your opponents with impunity.

    Since we know a large portion of the AMS membership are deni.. skeptics (you know, all those frontline meteorologists who have to be “reeducated”), I wonder how receptive his audience at the AMS conference will ultimately be…someone needs to get a camera in there to record his speech and post it to YouTube!

    [ryanm: i'll be there and sitting right in front/center, tho i am certain ams will have a video feed, webex presentation]

  20. So Trenberth’s solution to stating the ridiculous about how to defend a position in science is to attribute what he’s saying to someone else in some other paper?

    Bravo, Mr politician, Bravo. Like the true IPCC alumni you are Mr Trenberth, you simply shifted the burden of failure to someone else. So why should anyone listen to what you have to say?

  21. ‘Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.’

    Well he has that right. As soon as there’s a mention of the non-existant atmospheric hot-spot, the science of AGW self-detructs.

  22. Let’s see, Dr. T., with your idea about flipping the null hypothesis, the terminology would be “reject” not “deny”.

  23. “I will be on travel in Europe until 19 January 2011. [Bern ISSE 9-14; Grenoble ECRA 15-18] I will have only limited access to email.”

    However, he does have sufficient access to amend his manuscript, apparently.

  24. “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    In other words, because there is no science supporting the contention that anthropogenic CO2 is changing the climate, or otherwise bad; climate scientists must use non scientific arguments against those who point out this failing.

    Not very novel, Kevin, but it gets more than a little annoying when you start inciting lynch mobs..

  25. I agree, John. We are responsible for our actions under the influence of drugs and alcohol so the excuse that these people are simply caught up in some psychological effect of constantly being around those that think like they do is hogwash. Adults know this sort of behavior is wrong, they should pay the price when the time comes.

    Mark

  26. I sent this mail – I kept it polite even though I would have liked to use some other words!

    ************

    Dr Trenberth,

    Please, if you really want to be taken seriously, can you amend your vocabulary on future documents so that fellow scientists and colleagues can still have some semblance of respect for each other. As you point out quite eloquently, debate is indeed healthy and if you continue to lose the moral highground even your most loyal followers may start to feel uneasy.

    Just so you know, I am an open mined maths graduate who follows weather related media material closely and I really feel that both camps have some solid scientific literature in the field. Please don’t succumb to frustration – let your science do the talking for you.

    Best regards

    Andrew Holder
    BSc Mathematics Graduate
    Amateur weather enthusiast.
    ********

  27. “Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    I agree. We are well past that point now.

    I propose we move directly to criminal and civil lawsuits and indictments on whatever appropriate laws and basis are available. I suggest misappropriation of federal funds, failure to comply with lawful FOI requests, fraud, conspiracy and racketeering, and any others that come to mind. These crooks NEED to spend some time behind bars getting cavity searched instead of spewing vacuous theories of Armageddon.

    There are those who say let the scientific interplay decide this. I disagree. My pockets have been picked for too long and I am fed up. Twenty years of hyperbole and alarmism without any reliable proof is WAY too long. It is past time to make these bad boys cry for their mommies and let the grownups try to restore the science to something approaching respectability again.

    Come on all you lawyers – step up to the plate and do your duty to science and man.
    Sue their posteriors.

  28. In the movie the Princess Bride
    Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Substitute Trenberth for Vizzini, Lord Monckton for Inigo Montoya and unequivocal for Inconceivable and we’ve got ourselves a movie!

  29. “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010).”

    So. To justify his continuing use of the term “deniers” as a ‘scientist,’ he cites Hasselmann as his reference, as though that means anything. He didn’t directly quote him using that word. Did Hasselmann’s research demand its use?

    But it does seems fitting that someone named Hasselmann supports the use of this term which effectively hassles the skeptics.

    How about this? Trenberth is a %*#k@$g weasel (Angermann 2012).

  30. I wonder why the AMS didn’t just get Hasselmann to deliver the speech. He seems to have written most of it.

  31. McIntyre should have kept quiet about the copying issues until after Trenberth’s speech. ;O) As for the term ‘deniers’ it may become clear over the next few years which group is living in denial. The term smacks of Lysenkoism. There are number of sceptics who have brought forward strong arguments against AGW and yet they are referred to as ‘deniers’.

    Here are a few examples of why sceptics must persist despite the insults.

    ————–
    June 4, 1999
    “Warm Winters Result From Greenhouse Effect, Columbia Scientists Find, Using NASA Model”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990604081638.htm

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6735/abs/399452a0.html

    Nov. 17, 2010
    “Global Warming Could Cool Down Northern Temperatures in Winter”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101117114028.htm

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2009JD013568

    ————–
    “…(CO2) in the atmosphere will slow the Earth’s rotation.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1816860.stm

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2002…/2001GL013672.shtml

    “Global warming will make Earth spin faster”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11555

    http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/landererfelix/landerer_07_GRL.pdf

    ———–
    “…much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty…”

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/050629_fresh_water.html

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5729/1772.abstract

    “The surface waters of the North Atlantic are getting saltier,…”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12528

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030126.shtml

    ———–
    Avalanches may increase

    http://www.taiga.net/nce/schools/lessonplans/snowstudy_impacts.html

    Avalanches may reduce

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/agl/2001/00000032/00000001/art00029;jsessionid=27gjw6f50jw2.alice

    ———–
    “Declining Coral Calcification on the Great Barrier Reef”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/323/5910/116.abstract

    “Doom and Boom on a Resilient Reef”

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0005239

    ———–

  32. “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    Yet he changed his speech after, I assume, reading about his copying issues from the so called ‘denier’ blogs. I hope Trenberth reads this:

    Have you ever thought about if you are wrong about AGW? What if we enter a prolonged cooling trend lasting 20 years or more how foolish are you going to feel? Where will your career be then? Think about it and be more like Judith Curry – a believer who is not frightened of debate.

  33. Jimmy Haigh says:
    January 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    So Trenberth’s getting more air miles on another jaunt to Europe. More CO2 needlessly pumped into the atmosphere… Don’t these guys have any conscience?

    whether they have a concience is another debate, what this shows is he doesn’t believe his own rhetoric.

  34. What this evangelical crusade by Trenberth really marks is the attempt by a group of postmodernist “scientists” to take over science and mould it to their own political ends (i.e. left wing, anti-nuclear, environmentalist & Marxist !). The key thing about postmodernist “scientists” are that like Trenberth and his rejection of the Null Hypothesis, they doesn’t accept the fundamentals of science like the scientific method and instead they think science can be based on subjective criteria a bit like political/environmental studies.

    For anyone interested I urge you to read the following article (assuming it hasn’t been got at in the meantime by the “team”)

    “The science wars were [ARE] a series of intellectual battles in the 1990s, between scientific realists and postmodernist critics, about the nature of scientific theory. The postmodernists questioned scientific objectivity, and undertook a wide-ranging critique of the scientific method and of scientific knowledge,…The scientific realists countered that objective scientific knowledge is real, and accused postmodernist critics of having little understanding of the science they were criticising.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_wars

  35. Mockery is something the petty minded can not deal with and is so much better than violent overthrow. Sent this.

    Dear Dr Trenberth,

    Describing those with whom you disagree as “deniers” is counterproductive to your warming cause. I would so much more prefer the term “flat earther,” mainly on the grounds that I personally do not enjoy struggling up steep hills, even if it is to escape the inevitable 500m rise in sea level.

    Yours sincerely,
    XXXXXXXXX

  36. David Chappell says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm
    “I will be on travel in Europe until 19 January 2011. [Bern ISSE 9-14; Grenoble ECRA 15-18] I will have only limited access to email.”

    However, he does have sufficient access to amend his manuscript, apparently.”

    I agree. That’s BS. These guys have email access 24/7 (except for short periods of time while in the air, going through security, etc.) otherwise they constantly check in. It’s a dodge tactic.

  37. Al Gored says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm
    “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010).”

    So. To justify his continuing use of the term “deniers” as a ‘scientist,’ he cites Hasselmann as his reference, as though that means anything. He didn’t directly quote him using that word. Did Hasselmann’s research demand its use?”

    This struck me as well. Apparently it’s okay to continue to propagate offensive and inappropriate words by a simple general reference to someone else. And at the same time society feels it’s necessary to change a certain word in Mark Twain’s fiction.

  38. Since Dr. Trenberth’s talk is about communicating with the public, I wrote to him mentioning how effective events like Pachauri’s defense of the 2035 “mistake” was (God hath no rath like a woman scorned), or the current MET scandal is at creating long-term skeptics. (he agreed about Pachauri, didn’t know about the MET issue)

    On the issue of deniars, I said:

    “Finally, you should be careful about how you use the term denier. While
    there are certainly people out there who have an anti-science agenda, it
    would be better for you to address them specifically and call out their
    lies so all could see and understand your concerns. You must also
    recognize that there are millions of smart, educated scientists,
    professional and amateur, who are just questioning the research in an
    attempt to parse out the truth, in the best sense of the scientific
    method. For you to lump all these people together under the term denier
    smacks of McCarthyism and does not endear yourself to a large group of
    potential supporters.”

    He replied:
    “I don’t. Scientists in general are skeptical, but deniers do not even
    accept basic ‘facts’ such as the observed increased in CO2 and that humans
    are responsible.”

    He still doesn’t get the communication issue. By his definition, deniers would be the equivalent of flat-earthers at an orbital mechanics conference – not even worth paying attention to. But his continued use of the term further alienates the informed public and leads us away from a rational debate on the science.

  39. This is a small but meaningful victory. If you can get evil people to “third-party” their remarks, their influence is diminished. For instance, imagine Marx writing:

    “Workers of the world, Herr Engels[1845] recommends that you arise! You have nothing to lose but your chains, according to Herr Engels[1845].”

  40. I will be on travel in Europe until 19 January 2011. [Bern ISSE 9-14; Grenoble ECRA 15-18] I will have only limited access to email. Please contact my admin asst, Lisa Butler (lbutler@ucar.edu) or x 1366for further information or if this involves travel.Your mail regarding “xxx” will be read when I return.RegardsKevin

    AH, the old don’t do as we do,do as we say trick.Nice to see you’re very worried(NOT) about your carbon foot print.
    Have you not heard that the globe is susposed to be warming due to Co2 pollution!!
    Now we know where all that grant money go’s.No doubt first class seating,and a five star hotel waiting.

  41. “It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    Others have commented on this; I personally find this statement almost unbelievable.

    As a sleek politician, Al Gore understands the importance of avoiding any personal debate if you are spouting BS. However, this guy is supposed to be a scientist – he obviously knows he can’t justify his BS theories on AGW, therefore he knows it is important not to debate them with anyone who has any real knowledge of science or statistics.

    Unfortunately for ‘climate scientists’, sceptics/deniers generally know much more about real climate science than the lumpen proletariat which make up the majority of the AGW cult faithful.

    Only governments would dream of paying people like this: people who are too afraid of their lies being exposed in a debate on their unfounded scaremongering and climate fantasy tales.

  42. And meanwhile . . . . Dr Hansen calculates how much he has to add warmth to areas where is no witnesses. Because earth is cooling rapidly and continues to cool down next 35 – 75 years. I’m tired to hear bullshit politics.

  43. Cool. The gauntlet of Truth has been summarily slapped on this guy’s cheek. I’m actually interested what he’ll be doing next…

    It’s midnight over here and I may as well send the ‘good doctor’ a short note ~
    considering all the ‘rants’ you guys have put up with over the past few months… I’ve
    decided to ‘take my own medicine’ (for I’ve been forever asking any of you to ‘make a stand’…and I’m in that group as well…) and send him a short but sweet note asking just ‘what in the world’ deniers, in fact – are. In ‘s’cientific jargon…of course.

    I like fishing anyway… and this past weekend, only caught a stingray…geez…they’re weirdly ugly lil’ critters… Well, I’ll grab another mug of Anthony’s and ‘sip’ some Baily’s and coffee, while I type…

    Puttin’ the kettle on the boil…

    C.L. Thorpe

  44. Toto says:
    January 16, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Let’s see, Dr. T., with your idea about flipping the null hypothesis, the terminology would be “reject” not “deny”.

    So, we would then be called “rejectors”–that’s a term I can live with. It should make Trenberth see vivid red.

  45. When Trenberth suggests avoiding discussions of the actual science with people who disagree with him, my mind’s eye sees a 4 year old with his fingers stuck in his ears screaming “I’m not listening” at the top of his lungs. Is that how you want people to think of you, Dr. Trenberth–as a 4 year old having a temper tantrum?

  46. Trenberth really means ‘deniers’. Not ‘skeptics’. Quite clear, methinks.
    He is apparently able to write himself, too, and needs no ghostwriting.

  47. [snip. Violates site Policy by calling others "deniers," and other derogatory terms. ~dbs, mod.]

  48. Sorry, but a plagiaristically bent hothead will not be amenable to further changes in rhetoric. He is likely seething that he got caught engaging in gradeschool tactics and is not open to further suggestions.

    In my world, this incident would result in suspension. That the stolen words were so obvious speaks of a lack of scruples, not a “mistake -my bad”. Paper grade “F”, end of term “Flunk”. Now go sit at the front of the class with the “dunce cap” firmly in place.

  49. The President’s latest Executive Order (Civility for a Brighter Tomorrow) has only been in effect a few days and here the first to break it will be Trenberth and the AMS? This is a dark, cold day for all Americans.

  50. John Brookes says:
    January 17, 2011 at 7:11 am

    You said a lot. I stuck with it just waiting for the other boot to drop. And what a clunker it was!

    You said, in closing: ‘…but I really only formed a strong opinion on the AGW side after reading Al Gore’s book. I had no idea that so much work had been done.’

    And then you have the gall to accuse us of being a ‘…loosely linked confederacy of the genuinely curious, ignorami and deniers.’

    Forgive me. You read Al Gore and believed it? To the extent that you are not a confederate? I wonder sometimes how you even managed not to fall into the class of ‘ignorami’ yourself. I have read some daft posts by trolls (mainly in the Daily Telegraph – and usually when trying to rip into Chris Booker), but this one is brilliant.

    I really suggest you go away and acquaint yourself with Eschenbach, Carter, or Monckton. All people that Gore will not debate.

    Sheesh!

  51. Anthony, I understand your desire to end the vitriolic rhetoric, but they aren’t capable. More, I don’t wish them to come up with another derisive code name for skeptics. I wish it to stand for the rest of the world to see.

    In the arena of ideas and discovery, alarmists are reduced to name calling. If Trenberth wishes to display his intellectual bankruptcy, so be it. While I also find it deplorable that anyone in science or academia would recommend avoiding debate, it is mildly amusing. Don’t talk to those people!!!! They are full of radical thoughts and ideas! Thoughts such as these should be prominently displayed, every day, along with things such as the 10:10 video, the temp adjustments, the thermometers residing by charcoal grills, the quotes of the melting Himalayas in the IPCC, the predictions of eminent doom that haven’t occurred, yet are beyond the predicted time, such as Manhattan being underwater and so on….

    What I’m saying is, the likes of Trenberth and the thoughts he’s expressed is, or rather should be, emblematic of what we are struggling against. Trenberth should be a poster child of what is wrong with climatology today. He can hardly be emblematic if you go around cleaning up his messes for him. Let his words and works stand and let the world judge who is more credible, a second fiddle climatologist that is afraid to engage people skeptical of his “science” and is reduced to pejorative rhetoric or someone that preaches transparency and will openly engage people with differences of opinion.

    Just my 2 cents.

    James

  52. Two comments:

    One, I believe it would be prudent to wait until someone, in this case Trenberth, actually makes foolish statements rather than comment on a proposed statement. Give him “enough rope” rather than take it away from him.

    Two, the Petition Project statement:

    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in th foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    (Source: http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php)

    sure sounds more like a scientific based position statement than any sort of “denialism”.

    On the other hand, maybe we should be calling ardent supporters of CAGW either fear mongerers or scaremongerers both of which may be more than correct descriptors.

    Just some observations.

  53. @ Al Gored and David L

    Trenberth cites Hasselmann 2010 as if that paper endorses the term denier, but in fact that paper uses the term ‘interest groups’. The man is a recalcitrant bigot.

  54. Eduardo Zorita called for the IPCC to exclude CRU scientists involved in Climategate from any future role in IPCC assessment reports. Kevin Trenberth has likewise disqualified himself from any future role by showing he is unable to objectively assess scientific papers which reach conclusions he does not like. Will the IPCC listen? Or will the IPCC continue down a road showing themselves to be unable to be objective?

  55. I suspect that he won’t change his use of “denier.” To go from denier to skeptic is a step back from the proposition that global warming and its human cause is unequivocal—it allows that there might be legitimate questions among some. If there are legitimate questions, naturally, that brings debate back into the picture and the whole null hypothesis shell game looks a little….I don’t know, premature? Silly? Dishonest?
    Denier is a deliberate choice and outraged emails to Trenberth are unlikely to change his mind. The term Climate Denier undermines the standing of all who disagree with Trenberth…for people of his ilk, it places global warming opposition side by side in a display case with holocaust deniers and moon landing crazies. Logically, if everyone who opposes Trenberth and AGW is a denier, and all deniers are nutters, then….
    I suppose that if you cast all opposition to global warming and its anthropogenic as lunacy-based, then all that remains is unequivocal support. I suggest that emails to his boss might be more effective.

  56. When a learned man like Dr. Trenbreth stands in front of an official scientific body and uses a derogatory slang term like ‘deniers’ to describe others who question the validity of a theory it does great harm to science as a whole and him in particular.

    In my company we have a question that helps sort out strategy and tactics, ‘are we playing to win or playing not to lose?’

    It certainly appears Trenbreth is playing not to lose. His tactics suggest a bit of desperation in resorting to decidedly non-scientific methods of attacking the messengers of a story he really doesn’t want told. This is so anti-science it will offend many, even if they believe the AGW story. Let Trenbreth sail forward with the ‘denier’ label, he harms himself more than he hurts skeptics.

  57. “Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    This statement defies belief. The science is central to the debate and yet it’s the arena people like Trenbreth, Gore et al refuse to enter. Instead they employ demagoguery relying on psychology, sociology, public relations and political science as pitiful substitutes for the facts and data hard science demands.

    There’s an evolution to the forced imposition of AGW theory as fact and it’s worth exploring.

    First they tried science and the skeptics beat them at their game.
    Then they tried consensus and the skeptics beat them at their game.
    And then they attacked the skeptics and they beat themselves at their game.

  58. Peter Miller says:
    January 17, 2011 at 5:13 am
    … As a sleek politician, Al Gore …

    I would argue that Al would be better characterized as “slick” politician (not in the Big Oil sense, of course), as the term “sleek” has probably not applied to him since before he invented the Internet.

  59. @John Brookes
    The simple difference is that my (or anyone else’s) “opinion on whether the universe is open or closed, whether its dominated by dark energy or dark matter … … [or] that gravity works differently to what we thought” will not end up costing trillions of dollars (to which I have made a small contribution) for no benefit.
    Although I must admit that putting a rational point to anyone convinced by Al Gore’s ‘science’ is likely prove fruitless.

  60. The title of the presentation is:
    AMS, 23-27 January 2011, Seattle, Washington
    “Joint Presidential Session on Communicating Climate Change,”
    COMMUNICATING CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THOUGHTS ON CLIMATEGATE
    Kevin E Trenberth*
    NCAR, Boulder, CO 80307

    If the good Dr feels the best way to Communicate Climate Science is to hurl insults, let him. It will be very effective Communication, just not the variety the AMS was likely looking for. And a very strange way for a senior government official to behave in a very public setting, but there have been a rash of senior federal officeholders talking trash in the last year or two. And if the AMS insists on letting him do it, it will also reflect on them as an implicit endorsement of his insult.

    Maybe there will be an adult in the room who calls him on it, but I rather doubt it.

  61. I join Tom t and hereby proclaim that I’m a denier, and proud of it.

    Stop this ridiculous and hypersensitive ranting about the word “denier”.

    I don’t care what Dr. Trenberth (or anybody else) calls me, I have my well considered opinions and stand by them, no matter what they call me.

  62. @polistra says:
    January 17, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Brilliant! I was amazed that Trenberth doesn’t have the guts to issue his own thoughts about us revoltin’ deniers, but has – more or less – to regurgitate the writings of somebody I never heard of. That’s really classy.

    As the Red Queen would say: Umm, well, in the holy name of civility, maybe I won’t quote her. But then, this irredeemable flop of a “scientist” should be reported to Mr. Obama for a thorough reading out. As if…

  63. John Brookes says:
    January 17, 2011 at 7:11 am
    Anyway, I may have to call you guys “the confederacy”, as you seem to be a loosely linked confederacy of the genuinely curious, ignorami and deniers.
    ======================================================
    The plural of ignoramus is ignoramuses.
    The form “ignorami” is a pseudo-learned blunder, since in Latin ignoramus is a verb and not one of the Latin nouns ending in ‘us’.

  64. Dr. Trenberth wrote back to my inquiry with this reasonable, though brief, reply:

    My talk is in over a week. The posted talk was always preliminary and was
    not “published”. As I prepare the actual presentation I have made some
    revisions. I had no knowledge that the written version would even be
    posted before the talk.
    Kevin Trenberth

    I also received this from an AMS official:
    Thank you for your message. I am out of the office until Tuesday morning 18 January. AMS is closed for the Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday the 17th. For urgent messages on Friday the 14th please contact Brian Papa (@ametsoc.org) or Dr. Mike Friedman (@ametsoc.org) I will respond to your message upon my return.
    Ken

    Ken Heideman
    AMS Director of Publications

    The AMS contact page has many contacts with e-mail and phone. I trust we can all remain polite.

  65. I notice that while Trenberth has mended his plagiarism, he did not mend his error of saying Phil Jones had never been an IPCC author before. Steve McIntyre pointed out that Jones and Trenberth had exactly the same IPCC experience. In a way, I can see Trenberth keeping the “deniers” term in the text because he feels he is above the skeptics and safe from any real meaningful criticism by the IPCC crowd. But why would he keep in something that is so easily proven wrong and possibly offensive to Phil Jones?

    Evidently plagiarism is a greater offense than being blatantly and knowingly wrong.

  66. Wow, I got snipped for using the “d” word, even though I made it perfectly clear that this word should only be used for people who oppose AGW by deliberately saying things they know to be false. I mean, what should I call them – liars?

    The “d” word is mentioned in the title of this post – so it hardly seems reasonable to try and comment without using it.

    But seriously, I don’t get it. I’m trying to understand the debate, and the tactics and positions involved. Are you guys not interested in that? Surely the point of this post was not just to kick Mr Trenberth?

    Of particular interest is how we ended up in two opposing camps. As I said in my original comment, I ended up in the AGW camp after reading Al Gore’s book. Up until that time my knowledge of the subject was slight. So I’ll ask again, when did you decide which camp you were in? What made you decide that AGW was not a problem?

  67. John Brookes
    “saying things they know to be false”

    What, like Al Gore and his nine untruths court case? if you want to debate then I suggest that you ask those you chose to follow to be more open to questions and not say such things as:

    “Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended.”

    Or saying this:

    “…after the interview [Al Gore] and his assistant stood over me shouting that my questions had been scurrilous, and implying that I was some sort of climate-sceptic traitor.”

    And that was to R Harrabin of the BBC, a full blown believer!

    My ideas on this subject has come from many hours reading and studying across many sites and references I don’t just disagree with you because I find it funny, I disagree because I find no real science that backs your position! But that’s a pointless argument, as you will just tell me I don’t “accept basic ‘facts’ “, call me names and then the debate you claim to be after will go south!

  68. Ohhhh Aaaanthony… (said with a lilt in my voice, as if I were calling out to you with some ‘truly’ interesting tidbit of information, my long distance Scientific friend…!)

    I DID ‘do the Baily’s and java and did the 90 WPM-thing to the good Doctor… and I got one response within a few hours (though, the Baily’s knocked me a bit and I slept in and missed the first 15 minutes of CLASSIC Glenn Beck! See the lengths I go to for this site I enjoy???!!! warm smiles…)

    So, I signed on tonight (it’s rather late, again) and to my surprise – there was a second email.

    The first, was ~ I kinda understood, because he’s been ‘traveling’…
    The second???

    Well…I’ll post BOTH for you and afterward, perhaps you can tell me if you have a ‘fan’/colleague in this gentleman…or…not. After all, like ALL GOOD REPORTERS SHOULD (hahaha, like THAT happens!) ~ I’ll jus’ report and let YOU DECIDE.

    Gimme a moment, though. I’ve got to figure out how to copy and ‘post’ this… Remember, I’m not super ‘internet saavy’… but, yesterday – I made GREAT mulberry jam.

    One Moment. I’ll ‘do my best’, guys.

    Thorpie

  69. Sent Tuesday, January 18, 2010.

    Dr. Trenberth,

    Firstly let me state that based on my knowledge I believe that there is a long term trend of increasing and decreasing temperatures across the Holocene (climate fluctuations). However, I find the evidence for anthropogenic global climate change underwhelming. Statements about science that use the word unequivocal are unacceptable and foolish. Life, death and taxes are unequivocal…….. scientific theories are not unequivocal.

    Like wise the use of the term denier is unacceptable. I am skeptical of the theory of AGW, but that does not make me a denier. Your use of the term indicates that any scientists that publishes research in a recognized journal that questions any of your research conclusions is a `denier’.

    I find that highly offensive and contrary to the principals of independent research and peer review.

    You should publically apologize within the scientific community and urge that use of that term be discontinued. Further, you should urge all scientific journals and other publications to refuse to publish any paper, article, speech, or opinion that uses the term denier.

    Dr. Trenberth, you discredit any research that you publish by using the term denier in an address to a scientific body.

    You also discredit scientists in general and fuel skepticism of science in general. Whether other scientists agree with your theories or not, they should be speaking out loud and clear that use of the term denier in unacceptable.

    Regards,

    Philip Finck
    Geologist
    Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources

  70. ************************The First Response***************************
    away from my mail

    I will be on travel in Europe until 19 January 2011.
    [Bern ISSE 9-14; Grenoble ECRA 15-18]
    I will have only limited access to email.

    Please contact my admin asst, Lisa Butler (lbutler@ucar.edu) or x 1366
    for further information or if this involves travel.
    Your mail regarding “Dear Dr. Trenberth… from Cynthia Thorpe in Kingston SE, South Australia” will be read when I return.
    Regards
    Kevin

    *****WOW!!! I actually DID IT!!!**** THAT was the first ‘reply’ I received this morning ~ Which was the one I thought I’d receive, even ‘if’ he chose not to give a response, right?

    But! I’ve now ALSO realized that I should show you the email I sent Dr. Trenberth, first! So, at the very least, we have ‘chronological order’ goin’ for this newbie ‘journalist’. (Hey. with the way THEY are these days… I should say JOURNALIST! and say it with my chest puffed out and my chin tilted like Barry’s always is! snicker, snicker… Oh, I’m enjoying this…) So……..lest I lose your attention… Here goes!

    *********
    Dear Dr. Trenberth… from Cynthia Thorpe in Kingston SE, South Australia

    From:
    Cynthia Lauren (moderators! I even ‘omitted my email address’! BOY, I’M GOOD!)

    To: trenbert@ucar.edu

    Hello, Sir.

    I’m what you may call a scientist with a decidedly ‘little s’. I’m just an American female living in South Australia, who makes (it’s mulberry, today) jam, helps my husband with our cattle and sheep – and occasionally posts interesting articles for the Australian TEA Party over here in South Australia.

    For fun and to expand my ‘knowledge base’, I enjoy reading ‘Watts Up with That’ and ‘Climate Depot’. I go to these sites to get ‘the latest news’ in somewhat nefarious ‘climate change’ debacle that has now ‘rather transfixed’ some in the ‘general non-Scientific’ but, decidedly ‘thinking still’ community, globally.

    Today, or…rather, yesterday…(it’s almost 1am here in the ‘Coastal Outback’) I read a new article on ‘Watts Up’ regarding some ‘changes’ that were made to your PDF of your upcoming speech later this month. When I first read the first post of: COMMUNICATING CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THOUGHTS ON CLIMATEGATE and I kept reading the word ‘deniers’ and I simply thought the word was ‘in bad taste’.
    (I’ve edited for many years and found the word to be ‘offensive’ depending on how ‘general’ your audience might be…) I also wondered, Sir – when you mention, ‘deniers’, are you talking about your colleagues? Are you talking about ‘regular non-scientist thinkers’ albeit, ‘thoughtful humans’, such as myself? And, lastly – perhaps a ‘sniggly’ point…but, IF the word ‘deniers’ is actually a ‘name’ for someone and you use it, as such… if it were a name, shouldn’t the ‘d’ in it, be capitalized, at the very least?

    I was simply ‘offended’ by the word: ‘deniers’ because it seems such a crass word which has been used in the past (and now may ‘in the future’) to ‘paint with ‘too broad a brush’ folks who just want to hear and learn the REAL Scientific truth – whatever that may be. So, as a result, I thought it more than a ‘tad irresponsible’ coming from such a figure as yourself. That’s yet another ‘beef’ with the word you so often used. So, the ‘long and short’ of it is that I’d really like an answer from you regarding that word, ‘denier’ because it seems to have such negative connotations one may associate with it and I just thought ‘for the sake of courtesy’ in the debate ~ such words very unnecessary.

    But, perhaps you can demonstrate to me that I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before. And, I have no issue whatsoever in being corrected if I’ve misinterpreted your meaning/intent… So, when you have a moment – please clarify what you, in fact, meant by ‘deniers’. I’d really appreciate it. I have no agenda. No so-called, ‘axe to grind’, I’m just a woman who enjoys learning and knowledge and I for one, found your words to be ‘a bit suspect’ for someone who must certainly consider himself to be capable of remaining ‘unbiased’ in his professional dealings and the arena of truly civil discourse.

    Thanks for your time and I look forward to the courtesy of your anticipated reply.

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe
    Kingston SE, South Australia
    ********************************OKAY! HERE IT IS****** His Reply!*******
    (can you tell that I absolutely LOVE suspense? tee~hee…!) (impish smiles)
    *******************

    G’day
    I do draw a distinction between skeptics and deniers. The latter do not
    accept what are pretty basic facts, and many distort the record
    deliberately. I suggest you adopt some new sites for your edifcation such
    as realclimate.org

    Kevin Trenberth
    ********
    Wowie Zowie, Anthony… Methinks the ‘good doctor’ may ‘protesth too much’ over
    my choice of ‘Information Sites’…??? No Worries, Mate. THIS American won’t be swayed by a doctor, anyhow…. I’ve learned NOT to be a ‘respecter of persons’ regardless their title. I’d treat a elementary school janitor with more decorum than most politicians of this – our day.

    Keep Smiling Anthony. You are greatly loved AND appreciated by many – myself, included. (she says as she smiles sheepishly and swears off Baily’s for a long while…!)
    (Oh, and ‘p.s.’ he doesn’t check his spelling, either. He’d never be accepted on WattsUp Commentary, anyway…(!) warm-non-ista smiles to you all……

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe

    (Finally DONE with her mulberry jam and off to mixing plumbs & apricots on the ‘morrow! While she hears a fellow commenter sayin’ I DON’T GIVE A DAMN, Scarlett…) Oh RATS, Rhett… I do so wish you would…

    Giggles and Truth from ‘Downunda’, Guys. We GOTTA keep smilin’…!

  71. Andrew Holder says:
    January 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Good letter. But it might’ve had a smidge more impact if you’d called yourself “open minded” instead of “open mined”.
    ;)

  72. What is wrong with the term “deniers”?
    When it comes to what is called “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (AGW) it is quite clear to me that I am one – and for that reason, in my case, “denier” describes my stance perfectly.

    But then again, I am very sceptical (a skeptic) when it comes to what is known as “The Natural Greenhouse Theory” The reason for my scepticism is that just like in the case of AGW I have seen very little, or to be more accurate, no proof at all for the validity of that theory either.
    That, of course, does not mean that a perfectly good explanation does not exist.

    So therefore, yes I can understand that those among us who “believe” in the natural greenhouse effect and therefore agree that a rise in atmospheric CO2 “will have some very small influence on temperature.
    But I would like to see the proof.

    If proof is not forthcoming then I cannot understand how, otherwise sensible people, can intentionally ignore convection in favour of radiation which in our atmosphere is by far the weaker energy transporter.

    OHD

    [Reply: The term "denier" is a reference to "Holocaust denier," and its derogatory use against other commentators or the general public is against site Policy. If someone needs to use that term as a pejorative, there are blogs that will welcome it. They are listed on the right sidebar under "Pro-AGW Views". ~dbs, mod.]

  73. Yes, but I know and I hope everybody know that the Holocaust is a proven event. I am not a “serial denier” who just denies for the sake of it.
    If I am accused of being a denier of anything (on this occasion it would be an AGW denier) my answer is always: Prove your claim – which in this case is that an atmospheric rise of CO2 of 0.01% (from 0.028% to 0.039%) change my mind and make me a believer!

    But I do see your point; the term “denier” can be offensive to some.

    However as a denier I can demand to see proof for their claim. – As a skeptic I am admitting the possibility that AGW is happening.
    Many well known skeptical scientists probably know what the proof for the “Natural GH effect” is (so it is then down to an opinion as to what the scale of the warming is, or is likely to be). That, to me, is a “no win situation.”
    If you happen to know what the proof for “The Natural Greenhouse Effect” is, then please let me know. And I shall then call myself “a skeptic”

  74. John Brookes says:
    January 18, 2011 at 12:08 am …”So I’ll ask again, when did you decide which camp you were in? What made you decide that AGW was not a problem?”

    After extensive search and appeal, I have been unable to find a physical explanation of how CO2 could cause the warming attributed to it by AGW proponents.

    The stupid claims by Al Gore, IPCC, and AGW ilk, and their arrogant propaganda with crippling proposals, combined with their political clout; demand that the truth be heralded by all who see it, to expose the propaganda and defeat their proposals.

    Wake up. To survive and prosper, we need more infrastructure and energy now, and cannot afford to waste what we have on projects that barely recoup the energy expended to build them.

  75. O H Dahlsveen ~ I highly suggest you ‘read & get into the commentary discussion’
    going on in WUWT’s:

    ‘Monckton skewers Steketee’
    Posted on January 9, 2011 by Anthony Watts

    I’ve read your well thought out posts, O H and even while the original article is ‘dated’
    (January 9th) the honest and COMPELLING discussion between thoughtful Scientists on BOTH sides …….is simply…..brilliant and informative.

    I suggest you check it out and who knows? You may even join in.
    A ‘fellow Skeptic’
    C.L. Thorpe

  76. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says on January 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm:
    O H Dahlsveen ~ I highly suggest you ‘read & get into the commentary discussion’ going on in WUWT’s: ‘Monckton skewers Steketee’ Posted on January 9, 2011 by Anthony Watts

    Yes Cynthia ~ Monckton is one of my many skeptical heroes and you can rest assured; I have read ‘Monckton skewers Steketee’ article where this Steketee fellow was stripped bare point by point.
    Unfortunately, good honest articles like those written by all of “my skeptical heroes” like Monckton, Anthony Watts and other contributors of articles here at WUWT pass swiftly straight past the heads of most “ordinary people” (or the general public)

    However I thought the thread for comments to this particular article was started by Anthony saying: “I’ll lead by saying it first: In my opinion if Dr. Trenbert values the public interpretation of his integrity, and that of the AMS, he should drop the offensive term “deniers” and replace it with the word “skeptics”. It is as easy as doing “search and replace” in Microsoft word. 10 seconds of work:”

    I wrote my comments because although I know there are people who draw a parallel between “Holocaust denier” and “AGW (CAGW) denier” I also know they must have some kind of mindset that I haven’t got. – If that is the only way their brains can think up to show their distaste for me. – Should I be worried? – No, I don’t think so.
    All they do is placating their own ignorance.
    On this occasion, in spite of many requests to be polite, the name for ignorance is Dr. Trenbert.
    Is he worried the ones he calls by that particular pejorative word are going to kill off his/their “gas theory”? – I hope so.

    Anybody who draws that parallel therefore does not rattle my cage.

    After having said all that I must also mention yesterday’s valuable “Reply from ~dbs, mod. (January 19, 2011 at 11:53 am) which made me think (sometimes that hurts): “maybe my impression of someone who calls him/her self ‘a skeptic’ was wrong.” So I looked “Skeptic” up at: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Skeptic – and – I changed my mind. Point no 10 out of 12 sealed it as it says:
    ”Never imagine yours or anyone’s understanding to be wholly objective. Remember there is no such thing as a truly infallible source, and that your own interpretation of even a very reliable source is necessarily subjective, and therefore subject to error. You should consider your own experiences, if only because they are occasionally all you have to rely on. Even the statements of a highly reputable source should not be taken as writ, while those of a disreputable source should not be dismissed automatically.

    Cynthia, I will from now on call myself a Skeptic (with a k) – it sounds better anyway.

    OHD

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