Quote of the week – climate as Voldemort

This is quite something. It is sort of a reverse “he who must not be named” meme, and we have a prominent meteorology dean dissing climate colleagues:

“When I listen to some of my colleagues who make the pronouncements they do, they come across as speaking on behalf of the Deity. This doesn’t work with Senators.” - John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma

That is from this article by the Texas State Climatologist, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon at his blog, here’s the setup:

John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, is one of the people working on this. Two weeks ago, he met with staffers of two representatives from Oklahoma. With both sets, the response was the same: “Don’t talk to us about climate. Now, what can we do for you?”

Curious about this, John N-G asked Snow – why? He writes:

They were perfectly willing to talk about weather and weather observations. They were even willing to talk about seasonal and interannual variability and long-range forecasting (which fall under the broad category of climate prediction and have major impacts on agriculture). But the basic message was consistent: Don’t use the c-word.

My first guess was that these were Democrats who had become shell-shocked at lack of success and loss of political capital with the pre-Copenhagen climate bill. But no, these were Republican congressmen who, as a matter of basic principle, were avoiding taking any active role in climate policy altogether.

I found it rather disconcerting to hear that my current profession (climatology) was viewed by our leaders as being so evil that it should be treated with the same respect as Lord Voldemort himself. So I asked John about why he thought the c-word had become so politically incorrect.

“I think it’s related to how some in our community laid out the climate change agenda and didn’t do a good job”, Snow said. “We need to get our own house in order for how we present the issues.”

Full article here

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56 thoughts on “Quote of the week – climate as Voldemort

  1. disconcerting???

    Please step back from the ivory tower….
    …no one needs to get hurt here

  2. The little guy woke up and realized he was being played by both the academics and the politicos.

    Joe Public might have to work for a living, but no one detects the whiff of B.S. like the common man.

  3. “When I listen to some of my colleagues who make the pronouncements they do, they come across as speaking on behalf of the Deity. This doesn’t work with Senators.” – John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma

    That is because they are speaking on behalf of the Deity. CO2 is a sky god.

  4. “I think it’s related to how some in our community laid out the climate change agenda and didn’t do a good job”, Snow said.

    Hang on, what is the agenda he is referring to? Shouldn’t it be about facts and science and stuff like that?

  5. Climate change issues are becoming toxic, whenever another piece of climate bollocks appears on the telly everyone gets up and puts the kettle on, adding more plant food to the atmosphere.
    I often wonder how many much co2 the anti nuke lobby is responsible for.

  6. Hey, maybe the CO2=CAGW “Climate Scientists” should have actually done some real science instead of concentrating on destroying the functional meaning of science, reason, and also any other word they wanted to? Thanks to that intentional tactic, mainly designed to leave only wild emotions or an aural “aftertaste”, it seems fairly likely that by now no one can be sure what anyone else is even saying.

  7. ““I think it’s related to how some in our community laid out the climate change agenda and didn’t do a good job”, Snow said. “We need to get our own house in order for how we present the issues.”

    Here we go again with the arrogant elitist meme that declares: “If we just PRESENTED THE ISSUES DIFFERENTLY, we would be vindicated.”

    SICK.

    It appears to me that Snow doesn’t have a frigging clue about reality. That comment is so disgusting that I cannot think of an adjective that is “low” enough to do justice (fortunately, I guess).

    Has he not even read the Climategate stuff? Or the disgusting, corrupt misinformation resulting from the laughable faux “investigations” of Climategate? Or anything contrary to his obviously biased view?

    “John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma” One good thing is that he is the FORMER Dean. I hope the present Dean has more sense.

  8. Since when do Representatives get to choose what concerns their constituents have and bring to them? Something is rotten in the state …

  9. A friend of mine is an insomniac agnostic dyslexic
    Poor bloke lies awake at night wondering if there`s dog.

  10. Well, I guess I should be more positive, on second thought. The FACT that the public has NOT signed on to the CAGW meme indicates clearly that the CAGW terrorists, indeed, have not been successful in convincing the guys that tote guns in “fly-over country” that there is some truth in the CAGW nonsense. This is actually good news. Even the people in Russia during the USSR’s most intense propaganda campaigns in history LAUGHED at the “powers that be.”

    But religions die hard.

  11. FWIW, Both Dr Snow & Judith Curry were profs at Purdue in the Earth & Atmospheric Science department while I was there back in the 80’s .

    I think Dr. Snow may have chosen his words poorly, but the fact that he recognizes that many fellow climate scientists come off as pontificates (vs scientists) is generally a positive thing (and actually a message not dis-similar to Dr. Curry).

  12. ……”This doesn’t work with Senators.” – John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma
    ==========
    Note to John Snow, and “colleagues”:
    Get out of the water before the feeding frenzy starts, Senators were raised by sharks.

  13. When he was employed by the University, John Snow used to promote his CAGW beliefs constantly on FARK throughout the work day. Really, some days he would post several dozen long comments, right in the middle of the weekday. That’s one thing these feeders at the public trough have in common: they presume that it’s OK to spend the majority of their work time posting propaganda on juvenile blogs like FARK. They think misappropriation of public funds is their right, since they’re “saving the planet.” But it’s just theft of public funds.

    We have a couple of them that do the same thing here, wasting time commenting when they’re supposed to be working. And of course there’s Gavin Schmidt, constantly posting on realclimate when he’s supposed to be working for the public…

  14. I always wondered where the phrase “Snow Job” came from. I heard it often during the middle of the last century referring to an attempt to pull a scam based upon fast talking and verbal slight of hand (aka BS). Now I know. It came from observations of the failed pontifications of John Snow and/or his father. The whole CAGW gig is one huge snow job.

  15. May 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm
    ““I think it’s related to how some in our community laid out the climate change agenda and didn’t do a good job”, Snow said. “We need to get our own house in order for how we present the issues.”

    Here we go again with the arrogant elitist meme that declares: “If we just PRESENTED THE ISSUES DIFFERENTLY, we would be vindicated.”

    SICK.

    It appears to me that Snow doesn’t have a frigging clue about reality. That comment is so disgusting that I cannot think of an adjective that is “low” enough to do justice (fortunately, I guess).

    Has he not even read the Climategate stuff? Or the disgusting, corrupt misinformation resulting from the laughable faux “investigations” of Climategate? Or anything contrary to his obviously biased view?

    “John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma” One good thing is that he is the FORMER Dean. I hope the present Dean has more sense.

    This crap does’t help make our case for true science, come on people!!!
    Lorne 50

  16. Funny, soylent.

    Here’s the comment after the pix (even funnier):

    Anonymous said…
    Republican factory owners killed your family and friends in the catastrophic blizzards, floods, tornadoes, massive wildfires and other climate change that has been wiping out the bible-belt. This is the Climate Change that their factories created. This is the Climate Change that the Republicans lie about not existing. This is the Climate Change that they program their constituents to deny exists. This is the Climate Change that killed people, destroyed homes, further destroyed the economy that the Republican factories emissions caused so they could make profits by killing those people. Republicans deny Climate Change at all costs in order to keep their factories from having to pay to stop it. The Climate Change that is destroying massive sections of our country can no longer be hidden or denied.

  17. Brian H says:
    May 11, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Since when do Representatives get to choose what concerns their constituents have and bring to them? Something is rotten in the state …

    Snow is not a constituent” of these (elected) representatives for the state.

    He IS a lobbyist, a moralist, a screaming extremist propagandist for a Gaea-first CAGW theology that demands the right to manipulate the world’s energy and population for their own gains and sense of envir0-entitlement. As such a self-elected theocrat, Snow SHOULD BE ignored and vilified by the states (duly elected) representatives. Sadly, all too many (mostly democrat) elected members DO take the same attitude of command economy and socialism as THEIR right to control the world.

  18. It occurs to me this man doesn’t take awfully much time absorbing what is going on in the world.

  19. It all flipped when Anthropogenic Global Warming toting climatologists
    made I.P.C.C. mean “Internationally Perceived Communication Con”.

    And they won’t stop. They have no one to blame but themselves.

  20. jae says:
    May 11, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    [---------It appears to me that Snow doesn’t have a frigging clue about reality. That comment is so disgusting that I cannot think of an adjective that is “low” enough to do justice (fortunately, I guess). ----]
    ——————————————————————————
    Jae. ‘thems were exactly my sentiments’ as well when I read it – couldn’t have put it better.

    Douglas

  21. Banjo @ May 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm
    – brilliant, thanks for the laugh. I’ll go whack the jug into gear myself (a kiwi).

  22. Apparently those Republican congressmen had an inkling of which side of the “debate” Snow cheers for and headed him off at the pass. Pretty smart of them, I’d say. Note how they’re disparaged as “avoiding taking any active role in climate policy altogether.” If I had to guess, I’d say that means they don’t support limits on “carbon.”

  23. its snowing in our snowy mountains looks like a cold winter for australia . I feel sorry for all the global warmers out there in wolly world

  24. That’s because when they speak, they exhale dangerous polluting carbon dioxide. Less speaking=less pollution.

  25. JPeden says:
    May 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm
    “it seems fairly likely that by now no one can be sure what anyone else is even saying.”

    Certainly bodes ill for any conspiracy theorists! Plausible deniablity is no longer an option….

  26. Observations trump theory every time.

    “over the last 10 years. The cooling has much more pronounced in the deep layers of the atmosphere, where it is SUPPOSED TO BE GETTING TRAPPED. Especially damming to the AGW argument is the 400 mb level! That is the smoking gun of the AGW falacy as trapping hot spots were supposed to develop there indicative of the positive feedback that would lead to the tipping point warm up. ITS OPPOSITE for goodness sakes!”

    http://www.weatherbell.com/jb/?p=1749

  27. As a “climate realist” I am delighted that “climate” has become a dirty word in political circles. However, knowing politics as I do, the above tactic by republicans is just another way for them to achieve the same tax-raising ends as Democrats, but by using different words.

    Instead of raising tax, and reducing what you can and cannot do for the purpose of tackling climate change, it will be for the purpose of preventing crop failures, or to mitigate against droughts, or floods.

    All stuff that people are happy to avoid. So in reality, what they are saying is, we are no longer tackling the old scam of man-made climate change… We are now tackling nature itself! GIVE US YOUR MONEY AND YOUR COMPLIANCE!

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  28. It would seem this Snow person with a name that reminds one of cold got his cummuppence in short order. This hopefully is the new and politically correct method of dealing with people that have a problem with scientific truthfullness. Licking his wounds and throwing spite will not help his muddled and precious agenda. Some navel gazing and contemplation may help his unfortunate obsession, but I doubt it.
    Thank you senators, take no prisoners.

  29. Theo Goodwin says:
    May 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    “When I listen to some of my colleagues who make the pronouncements they do, they come across as speaking on behalf of the Deity. This doesn’t work with Senators.” – John Snow, former Dean of the College of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Oklahoma

    That is because they are speaking on behalf of the Deity. CO2 is a sky god.
    ========Perfect !

    CO2 is a sky god.

    we need that on t shirts:-)

  30. Katherine says:
    May 12, 2011 at 12:22 am
    Apparently those Republican congressmen had an inkling of which side of the “debate” Snow cheers for and headed him off at the pass. Pretty smart of them, I’d say. Note how they’re disparaged as “avoiding taking any active role in climate policy altogether.” If I had to guess, I’d say that means they don’t support limits on “carbon.”
    —————————————————

    It may also mean they will do nothing to stop the EPA.
    With the current lawsuit, this aspect is frightening.

  31. What it means is that nobody in their right mind is going to go out on the climactic limb with the political winds shifting.

  32. The C word? BS detector? So we can now agree that BS and C are both fertilizer?
    C as in CO2, plant food. Who would have guessed?

  33. It’s not a dirty word back in dear old Blighty! I see our wonderful Wet Office is smothering itself in the slimey stuff. An article to the Western Morning News (Devon, Cornwall & Somerset), says that the House of Commons Transport Committee reommends another £10M of hard pressed taxpayers money should be handed over to them to improve “computing power for decade long forecasts” (I kid you not! That’s the calibre of twits we have in office), on the grounds that it is small fry compared to the £280M/day cost to the economy last “ultra cold” winter. Committee Chairman Ms Louise Ellman (Socialist MP for Liverpool Riverside) said that “Ministers must look again at the resources available to the Met Office”. (She’s not kidding “look again”, they’re getting more whilst schools, hospitals, defence, & the elderly are getting less!) AND would you Adam ‘n Eve it? The Wet Office strangely “welcomed the committee’s findings & it’s “acknowledgement” of the quality of our short-range forecasts!” (It’s probably going to snow tomorrow, etc., etc, probably). The Wet Office said “The recommendation on additional funding recognises the potential for longer-range forecasts to provide useful advice on all timescales!” Ms Ellman went on to proclaim that “Every airport operator must now be pushed to plan properly for bad weather so that people are not left stranded & without basic supplies in terminals for days on end!” Well in that case they’d better ignore the Wet Office forecasts & speak to Piers Corbyn. Essentially Ms Ellman seems to be claiming it’s the airport operators’ fault. She also said that “A culture change in the rail industry is needed to ensure that passnegers are looked after during periods of disruption. In future, any failure to provide information about service disruption during severe weather should cost the firms money.” So there you have it. It’s cost them less revenue due to cancelled services, whilst they still pay for the line useage, etc, it costs them more in pay & overtime & equipment to clear lines, etc. What she means is that Big Guvmnt should levy a tax on them as “punishment” for a state funded failure! The socilaist rhetoric says it’s all private industry’s fault that they couldn’t handle “extreme weather” causing transport disruption because they have been spoon fed hard-pressed taxpayer funded (£234M) Wet Office long-range forecasts, from a £34M super-water-cooled-puter with the carbon footprint of a small town, & industry can’t handle the “ultra cold” weather as a result. Simples! At least the paper’s editorial comment notes the irony of this & that whilst better preparedness & plans are needed, the Wet Office is one of many organisations telling everyone we’re in for warmer winters! When you condition someone to respond a particular way, don’t be surprised if they cannot respond differently when the opposite of what they have been conditioned to, happens!

  34. Real Climatologists are reaping what they have sown. Astrology and Cosmetology are now perceived to be more scientific than Climatology. And compared to the “climate research” of Mann, et al., Jones, Steig, and others, they are!

  35. But mitigation was the preferred alternative for advocates of action at the national level. The choice presented to Congress had been presented as either making drastic changes with massive economic implications, or condemning the world to catastrophe. In effect, this was no choice at all: if you choose to condemn the world to catastrophe, are you not evil?

    The problem these Climatologists have is after working with their ‘models’ for so long, they think they can actually control the weather. Maybe the politicians know better for once.

  36. So originally the theory was that climate change would lead to less snow, but now the theory is that less Snow might lead to acceptance of climate change?

  37. After over 30 years of parading the political agenda of climate change policy before the public, some climate ‘researchers’ have come to realize that all of their work is subject to critical review via the Internet (sympathetic ppers notwithstanding). Eventually any error is susceptible to the glaring light of day, and once revealed, will remain as conspicuous as a turd in the punchbowl.
    The only way to protect their professional reputations and careers is to eschew any connection to the flawed ‘science’ of the past.

  38. When you build your own personal strawman that has the public make “climate [fill in your own descriptor]” synonymous with taxes (or a general “wallet-ectomy”) and/or disaster, don’t be surprised when politicians run away when they see you coming.

    Politicians and business leaders don’t want to know about “problems” (they have plenty already), they want to know about “solutions.” They had been given “cap and trade” as a “solution” that solved the “climate crisis” and generated revenue at the same time (a win-win). Unfortunately, after the “rubes” who were to pay the bills got a load of it all, they saw that not only wasn’t there a solution, they weren’t even sure if the “problem” was really a problem.

  39. Republicans cannot stop the EPA at this point because both the Senate and the President have veto power over that. After defunding the ‘Czars’ and having the President ignore that entirely, I’m not entirely sure they can even defund the EPA.

  40. “… Snow said. “We need to get our own house in order for how we present the issues.””

    Only part of the problem. They need to get back to doing real science rather than promoting non-scientific myths as activists.

  41. “I think it’s related to how some in our community laid out the climate change agenda and didn’t do a good job”, Snow said.

    Science has no agenda other than truth. But maybe another rap song can make people forget about that.

  42. I think it strange that there are so many people that WANT to believe they are somehow responsible for the downfall of the Planet by simply breathing in and out. I think it must be a catholic thing. It rings of the same religeous fervour of inquistion times. By the way the Worlds not flat, and the Sun does no revolve around the Earth. There I’ve said it and bugger me you will not burn me at the stake. By the way The Vatican is promoting condoms now, it’s true! they just prick a hole in the end, spoils the sex but doesn’t waste the sperm.

  43. @ Peter Kovachev

    Yes, I remember hearing that one from various marxists about 30 years ago. They thought they just needed to fine-tune the marketing, but it turned out to be a faulty product. The marketing was actually the only part that worked, sort of. Like pet rocks, except that pet rocks didn’t kill people or impoverish entire countries.

  44. If it’s the same John Snow he regularly debates in Fark threads. He tends to show a bunch of graphs as if the graphs are always the final proof of something.

  45. Appropos of academic deities, but otherwise off topic:
    Two academics at Cambridge, a Prof. Dodd and a Prof. Mott, were occasionally at loggerheads, so this little Clerihew was written:

    Dodd thought he was God.
    Mott thought not.

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