Monckton: Be skeptical, be very skeptical, of Skeptic magazine’s skepticism of climate skeptics

 

By Jim Lakely

A quarterly magazine called Skeptic published a cover story a few weeks back by Donald Prothero titled “How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human-Caused.” That struck us here at The Heartland Institute as rather strange.

Our work for years has been skeptical of the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change, which is the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media. And we have two immense volumes of peer-reviewed literature and the videos of many conferences to prove it.

So if the very name of your magazine is Skeptic, shouldn’t readers expect you to carefully examine the spoon-fed doctrines of the likes of Al Gore, Michael Mann, the UN’s IPCC, etc., and be … well … skeptical of “doctrine” — especially in light of the Climategate scandal? Alas, no. 

Skeptic magazine, as the headline of the cover story makes clear, is not skeptical of the global warming Roosters of the Apocalypse who say the sky is falling and we’re unnaturally boiling the planet. It’s hysterical, and ironic, that the Skeptic article begins with a quote from Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman:

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

Yet the fact is: Reality, and scientific observation of nature, tells the truth about the climate — and man is not causing a climate catastrophe. Skeptic Magazine is the one regurgitating public-relations lies disguised as a hard-boiled look at the climate debate and grounded in real science.

Feynman has posthumously become a bit of a YouTube star for his one-minute explanation of the scientific method. The video below, from a lecture at Cornell in 1964, blows up Skeptic magazine’s idea of what science is — let alone the quote the magazine uses to led legitimacy to its article.

In one minute, Feynman lays out how the scientific method works: Theories are constantly proposed, questioned and tested. Only after a theory goes through many exhaustive rounds of scientific examination — using observational data — can  a “guess” become a “law” of science. And even then, a well-founded scientific “law” laid down by the smartest people in history is temporary. Just ask Newton.

Yet we don’t seem to have a healthy scientific skepticism when it comes to Earth’s climate. Men and women who couldn’t hold Feynman’s briefcase have for years told us that the science is “settled”: Human activity is causing a catastrophic climate disaster — no matter that their computer model predictions haven’t come true, violating the scientific method and becoming the decades-later butt of Feynman’s presentation. In short, the evidence we can prove shows that the roosters’ predictions are a joke.

Yet Skeptic magazine, of all publications, dedicated a nine-page cover story to carrying water for public-relations hacks — propagandists — and not the kind of real, observable science that should be its hallmark. But let’s not completely condemn Skeptic. It still has the fact that there is no solid evidence for Bigfoot in its favor.

Christopher Monckton — Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, good friend of Heartland, advisor to Lady Thatcher, and one of the most learned “laymen” experts on climate science — gives that Skeptic article a hearty vivisection. Skeptic refused to publish it, so we share it here. There’s a short version and a long version of his reply, and they are both devastating.

Lord Monckton starts it off with his typically cheeky and refreshing in-your-face style:

By Christopher Monckton

Be skeptical, be very skeptical, of Skeptic magazine’s skepticism of climate skeptics. The latest issue has, as its cover story, a Climate Change Q&A, revealingly subtitled Climate Deniers’ Arguments & Climate Scientists’ Answers.

The article, written by Dr. Donald Prothero, a geology professor at Occidental College, opens with the bold heading How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human-Caused.

Anyone who starts out by using the hate-speech term “Climate Deniers” – laden with political overtones of Holocaust denial – cannot expect to be taken seriously as an objective scientist.

Despite this promise of “Climate Scientists’ Answers”, only four peer-reviewed papers by climate scientists are cited among the 41 references at the end of the article.

And the implicit notion that “Climate Deniers” are non-scientists while true-believers are “Climate Scientists” is also unreasonable. Many eminent climate scientists are skeptical of the more extremist claims made by the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC. We shall cite some of their work in this response to the Professor’s unscientific article.

Read Monckton’s full essay here

 

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

123 Responses to Monckton: Be skeptical, be very skeptical, of Skeptic magazine’s skepticism of climate skeptics

  1. ConfusedPhoton says:

    It is a pity that Donald Prothero who has done such good paleontology, has written such a poor analysis. Unfortunately he does get carried away with a strong anti-creationist point of view (not that I think he is wrong) and with his rather poor understanding of climate science, his reputation will be damaged. A pity he didn’t stick to something he understands.

  2. Henry Galt says:

    My (rough draft) offering/suggestion for a name for the anti-sceptics?

    Simpletons.

    e.g. “A simple classroom experiment performed over a century ago…” “It’s simple, the science is settled….” “Simple Climate Model…” “The simple model is a nonlinear six order simplified climate model featured with chaotic dynamics, dissipation, and forcing source…” etc.

    I submit;

    Only an idiot would deny climate change

    Only an imbecile would deny natural variability

    Only a moron would deny the last 200 years of sea level rise

    Only a cretin would deny the Holocene Temperature record

    Only an ignoramus could believe that climate science is mature enough to base policy upon

    Only a naif fails to see that corporations and lawyers have utterly usurped environmentalism for their own gain

    But;
    Only a simpleton could believe that climate science is based upon simple physics, that models trump empirical research, that one may ‘average’ intrinsic properties, that belief beats experience, that the gas-of-life will broil us all, that blind agreement beats critical thinking and that CO2 is the predominant driver of climate change.

    Please weigh in.

  3. JC says:

    Having had a few beers with Douglas Adams, I think he would approve of your headline. He might not agree, but he would like it.

  4. Jim Masterson says:

    I used to subscribe to Skeptical Inquirer (CSI), but like Scientific American they drank the Kool-Aid of global warming. I guess you can’t be skeptical about everything, even if your magazine name includes it.

    Jim

  5. DirkH says:

    “Skeptic” magazine just fulfills its role in a Hegelian dialectic. Occupy all channels and all labels, offer thesis as well as antithesis, design the desired synthesis in advance. Simple dialectic trick, centuries old. A power instrument.

  6. Alan the Brit says:

    Ah, but the models show that……………………………….! Same ol same ol!

  7. KnR says:

    In Orwell’s 1984 , he brought us the idea of good or double-good , an attempt to change the language so it was not even possible to think bad thoughts of BB becasue there were no negative words to use .
    There trying the same trick here , in fact what we are seeing has been done many times before by the AGW faithfully , its a attempt to define sceptic in such a way as for it to be impossible to disagree with AGW alarmist ideology , rather its defined as someone that agrees but not as fully and blindly as others . In other words the basic faith stays the same its just of question of how deeply its held . Its an idea seen amongst the AGW professionals such as Mann , they amazing adverse to one of the conner stones of science ‘critical review ‘ , much preferring instead pal review and back stroking . In words of Jones ,’why should I send you data you only want to find something wrong with it ‘

    But their kidding no one with that nonsense but themselves, with that idea.

  8. rogerknights says:

    The “Here” link above takes one only to an intermediate site, where one has to click again to get to the ultimate site:
    http://heartland.org/sites/default/files/moncktonskepticreplylong.pdf

  9. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Feynman said famously that the only fluid you can analyse by physics is dry water.

    I suspect he’d have said that the only atmosphere you can analyse by physics is one without clouds.

    As a cynic, one wonders if the AGW crowd waited until Feynman died in 1988 before really ratcheting up the propaganda as they didn’t want him being called to the White House to demolish the whole thing in 30 minutes.

  10. michael ozanne says:

    I’m sure the usual suspects will be along to say that Viscount Brenchley hasn’t produced a valid scientific argument because he isn’t a real-live lord, and has a disability……:-)

  11. Ally E. says:

    I love to read Lord Monckton’s words. He has a rare gift for getting a message across wrapped up with a good balance of humour. Brilliantly done, as always.

  12. Mindert Eiting says:

    I have never read anything of importance in CSI or comparable journals. It’s mainly about silly subjects like faith healers, UFO watchers, astrology, etc. It does not have any intellectual weight. I would really be amazed if Feyman once belonged to this club. Did he?

  13. michaelozanne says:

    I’m sure that the usual suspects will be along to point out that Viscount Brenchley’s arguments need not be discussed because he isn’t a real-live lord and he has a disability..:-)

  14. P. Solar says:

    They give their game away right from the start with the subtitle Climate Deniers’ Arguments & Climate Scientists’ Answers.

    No one can “deny” climate and no one is trying to. This is more silly PR language like “anit-science”.

  15. gator69 says:

    ‘Skeptical Science’ has a partner in crime…

  16. cui bono says:

    I was a long-time subscriber, first to Zetetic and the to the Sceptical Inquirer, which presumably were the precursors of Sceptic. The forensic destruction of the claims of flying saucers, alien abductions, poltergeists, Velikovskism, and ‘psychic’ spoonbenders were superb.

    The unofficial motto was “We need to be open-minded, but not so open our brains fall out”, attributed to the great physicist John Wheeler.

    On this issue, they have miscalculated badly. They have confused ‘scepticism’ with ‘total agreement with soi disant establishment science’.

    That leaves their brains hovering precariously in mid-air.

  17. Feynman Chaser’s video clip says it all.
    climate science is now—
    Guess-model-model again-propose a law.
    Observation has nothing to do with it because all observation refute the theory but would stop the gravy train if the truth were to be adopted.
    i am very skeptical about human caused climate change. We may be able to slightly change local climate by deforestation or agriculture though that could be argued as local weather change. But regional change by humans is very questionable.

  18. Rich wilcke says:

    I, too, once took an note rest in Skeptic and Michael Shermer. But, once supposedly “skeptical” of climate change, Shermer reported that a less-than-20 minute TED talk by Al Gore was all it took to turn him completely around. Not dedicated research and analysis but merely a quick overview by a politician who has made millions as a water-carrier for the Global Warming interests totally flipped a man who has published books on the need for skepticism in all areas. Well, guess what? I’m told that the bulk of what Shermer has supposedly written in his books was written not by the professed skeptic himself but by his underlings. In a word, Shermer is a phony as Al Gore!

  19. Tony Windsor says:

    I think I read something recently to the effect that ‘climate scientists’ are asking for immunity from prosecution in the event of the spurious science being advanced by the warmists should prove to be false. Can anyone confirm this for me? If true it does rather suggest that the Team and others might be trying to cover their backs.

  20. rogerknights says:

    Monckton always seems to find the mot juste. “Culpably,” “artfully,” and “vapidity” stick in my mind.

    “It is not worthy of the Professor; it is not worthy of science; and it is not worthy of a detailed reply.”

    It’s “awesome” to watch him in action. Like the most accomplished advocates, he seems to accomplish his effects effortlessly.

    I hope WUWT will ask him to post his treatment of the 97% surveys (and endorsements by scientific societies) that were the focus of a recent WUWT thread on that topic–or to start a new thread with them.

    And I’m delighted to see that he has abandoned his former practice of hyphenating compound adverbial modifiers in phrases like this: “The Professor gives a highly partisan account …”

    All I found to disagree with were a few punctuation marks. (E.g., a doubled comma).

    I’m delighted to see that the institutions of card-carrying capital-S skepticism have nailed their colors to the mast of this sinking ship. Bon voyage!

  21. Jean Meeus says:

    Jim Masterson, I too had a subscription to Skeptical Inquirer, but I did not renew it at the end of 2007 because it published “warmist” texts, one reply to my comments being written by a member of the IPCC.

  22. rogerknights says:

    Here’s a quote Monckton makes from the Professor’s article that is “actionable,” in my opinion. Sic ‘em, Anthony:

    He cites a bogus memorandum publicized by Peter Gleick, the now-discredited head
    of scientific “ethics” at the Pacific Institute, alleging that the Heartland Institute was
    “trying to influence science education, suppress the work of scientists, and had paid
    off many prominent climate deniers, such as Anthony Watts, all in an attempt to
    circumvent the scientific consensus by doing an ‘end run’ of PR and political
    pressure. Other leaks have shown 9 out of 10 major climate deniers are paid by
    Exxon Mobil.”

  23. jthomas says:

    This article will go down in history as WUWT’s “a-flying-saucer-crashed-in-Roswell-with-aliens-on board” equivalent.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  24. AndyG55 says:

    John Cook isn’t involved, is he ??

  25. Josualdo says:

    Do paleontologists make experiments?

  26. BarryW says:

    No, I think they are consistent. They’re position on things is that orthodoxy is correct and those positions outside of the mainstream are the ones they are skeptical of. Hence, climate skepticism is not to be believed because it is not part of the dogma. Notice that they would really appear stupid if, given their name, they called it “climate skepticism”. It would be interesting to see if there are other issues that they have attacked that they’ve been proven wrong on.

  27. Edohiguma says:

    I’m suddenly reminded of last year, after 3-11, the devastating Tohoku quake and following tsunami, when IPCC’s Pachauri came out and said that the tsunami was worsened by a 17 cm sea level rise. I think Mr Watts reported it here too.

    That tsunami was, according to Keio University, 40+ meters in some areas. The devastation even to taller buildings in some areas proves this. So even if those 17 cm existed, I don’t see any difference in being hit by a 40+ meters or “merely” 39.83 meters wall of water.

  28. MichaelC58 says:

    I foolishly subscribed to the Sceptic magazine, the bulk of whose efforts I applaud. They have however pushed Climate Alarm for years and have stonewalled all my communication. Jo Nova told me they did the same to her.
    I have realised that Michael Shermer and his Sceptic are not actually sceptic at all. They are simply defenders of the scientific establishment, stenographers for government science bodies. I have not seem them stray from the safe ramparts of scientific consensus. No dissenting comments allowed, not an original thought, no risks taken, their wagons fully circled against heresy.
    There is something stale, old and musty about them; they live in the innocent times of the 19th century when science was seen as pure and for its own sake by performed by gentlemen. They have completely missed the politicisation, the moneying, advocacy and the madness of the post modern science movement.
    A pity, really.

  29. Edohiguma says:

    Addendum: I was just thinking about something else concerning the sea levels.

    Japan, to ride that horse again for a second, was settled not only via boat (blue-water ships have been proven), but also via land. Several times in the history of this planet the sea levels were low enough to allow migration of animals, plants and humans into the Japanese islands by land.

    About 500,000 years ago, Japan had a land connection to Korea. Roughly 20,000 years ago the sea levels were low enough for all Japanese main islands to be connected and, not only that, there was a dry connection into the North via the Sakhalin Islands.

    Archeological evidence indicates that the people in North-eastern Japan had similarities to Siberian tribal hunters, while the people in the South-west had actual contact to the Asian mainland for several thousand years. A differentiation of several cultures on the Japanese islands doesn’t happen until about 20,000-17,000 years ago, eventually leading into the Jômon culture roughly 12,000/10,000 years ago, but that’s taking it too far now.

    Another thing that crossed my mind is, when you know European history, and then have knowledge in Asian, especially East Asian history, it’s very clear to see that the Roman and Medieval Warming Periods were at least affecting the entire Northern hemisphere, if not global, and were certainly not local. Whenever we find warming in Europe, we also see cultural explosion in China, Korea and Japan as well, which I would connect to a vastly larger warming period. When the Romans developed concrete and planted wine into England, the Chinese figured out how to use chrome to protect weapons and ammunition from corrosion, practically invented kites (and probably figured out what uplift is, leading to very large kites being used like modern day hang gliders, there is some evidence suggesting exactly this -there are even ancient maps suggesting aerial view of the mapped area.) When the Danes planted wine, Murasaki Shikibu, a lady at the imperial court, wrote the first novel of mankind. In fact, in this Heian period in Japan there was another cultural explosion. It is referred to as the classical period in Japanese art. All of this is only possible under good conditions, and that means, at least to me, it had to be pretty warm back then on a very large scale. Culture only blooms when people have no other worries. It only blooms when harvests are good and people can sit back and relax and busy themselves with things not necessary for survival and that really only happens when it’s warm.

    I see Lord Monckton mentions another warm era 6,000-10,000 years ago. This is when the Hassuna, Samarra and Halaf cultures begin to appear in Mesopotamia. Again, the ice age ended, the cold retreated, warming happened, culture exploded.

  30. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    Dr Shermer was a supposed skeptic who was converted by Al Gore’s super heavywieight science exposition.
    FIrst Dr Shermer figured “Even Creationists are believing it now”
    Then he went to the ATI show and got converted by the truth-power flowing from Big Al.

    http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=15696

  31. Twiggy says:

    I stopped my subscription to Skeptical Inquirer a few years ago they took on a political agenda, more preoccupied with policy making than printing facts.

  32. Bill Marsh says:

    “Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

    It seems to me that this quote is more applicable to the pro-AGW crowd than the ‘skeptics’.

  33. LazyTeenager says:

    Our work for years has been skeptical of the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change,
    ———-
    Don’t believe it. It’s more accurate to say you are prejudiced against the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change.

    Big difference between skepticism and justifying preconceived ideas.

  34. It is religion, pure and simple. Prothero (mostly) correctly scolds young-earth views, and Shermer soundly trounces superstitions again and again, but this time, for CAGW, they are carrying the water. It astounds me that they make the same doctrinally based arguments for CAGW that the SBC makes for a young earth, with the words rearranged a bit to help it sound more scientific. They make the same appeals to the authority of the climate scientists that the fundamentalists makes to scripture, just tuned slightly to sound less hollow. Perhaps Shermer and company will soon recognize how they have been duped. Perhaps Shermer will turn his believing mind to the facts and shun the spin of the CAGW crowd. But, sadly, it is likely to take 20-30 years before all vestiges of the current environmentalists socialism and power grab to be abandoned and seen for what it is. When the earth is greener still, and just as unpredictable, but stable as it has been for so long, then we will simply move to some other pseudoscientific scare that the elite believe will help their cause.

  35. beesaman says:

    Typical, now we see the money from the AGW crowd being used to create infiltrator media, so sad.

  36. AndyG55 says:

    “Only an idiot would deny climate change”

    It comes down to the definition of “climate change”.

    Under the UN definition, which states that climate change is that change which is caused by man, then yes, that can be denied. Maybe there is a tiny amount caused by man’s activities, but certainly not of the magnitude the AGW bletheren would have people believe. Certainly man’s activities have a large effect on metrics such as the meaningless “global average land temperature”

    If one means that the climate is constantly changing….. well, ….duh !!!

    This is a big issue in all this lack of debate, no-one really defines exactly what they mean, so there a whole heap of useless arguement about.. whatever.. !!

  37. Dr Mo says:

    My encounters with the Australia Skeptics were similar – they were completely non-skeptical when it comes to CAGW.

  38. Allen says:

    Lord Monckton needs to keep repeating this story. It will become legend as the world wakes up from its hoax-induced slumber.

  39. j molloy says:

    I commented in the Al Gore post “how about climate pessimists “?. That makes us “climate optimists” ;-)

  40. Alan D McIntire says:

    Like Jim Masterson, above, I used to occasionally read ” SKeptical Inquirer” – but gave them up as a hopeless cause after they bought into the “CAGW” nonsense.

  41. polistra says:

    Standard Leninist procedure. Russia used to have “satirical” magazines that were quite sharp in parodying capitalist lackeys, but never got around to parodying Soviet bureaucrats.

    Now we have TheOnion, TheDailyMash, Saturday Night Live, Skeptic magazine, Seth MacFarlane’s empire, etc. All function the same way as Krokodil. Sharp parody of all unfashionable people and beliefs (eg Southerners, Christians, Muslims, facts) but somehow they always forget about high-status people and beliefs.

  42. Michael says:

    Didn’t read the full name of the magazine in the small print Skeptic- we are going to eliminate you all. Common error.

  43. Alessandro says:

    “the unfailing hallmark of a lesser mind”… Yes! Go for the jugular!

  44. Ron Manley says:

    [Snip. This is not about Lord Monckton's peerage. ~dbs, mod.]

  45. Dave Dodd says:

    This might be a good time to again state just what the Scientific Method is:

    I. The scientific method has four steps

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

    2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

    3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

    4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.

    If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.

    source here:
    http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html

  46. Robbie says:

    ” “How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human-Caused.” ”
    “Our work for years has been skeptical of the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change, which is the conventional wisdom of the mainstream media.”

    Now I haven’t read the original article, but does it claim that the Human-Caused global warming will be catastrophic? Certainly not in the title.
    That one word “catastrophic” makes all the difference.

  47. John F. Hultquist says:

    Tony Windsor says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:09 am
    I think I read something . . .

    The story (with a link in 2nd paragraph) is here:
    http://johnosullivan.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/un-climate-scientists-plead-for-immunity-from-criminal-prosecution/

  48. reggie says:

    [SNIP: Snipped on your first comment. Good Show! All off-topic Monckton-bashing will be snipped. -REP]

  49. Wagathon says:

    The FIRST Step is to start with a love of honesty. Then, a student may be reachable. Maybe not.

    Because of the high degree of anti-science that we see and not just in America in Western civilization and in the bureaucracies of government (agencies like the EPA), and in the media and most especially in the Government-Education Industrial Machine, it is useful to ask those who still are capable of seeing reason to step back for a moment (we call it the skeptics moment) and practice being an observer ‘of pathological science.’ as a cautionary example of why we must always, “Use Feynman-like honesty about the limits of our knowledge.”

  50. more soylent green! says:

    How is it all these magazine are being taken over by the warmists/leftists? The majority of the American public is decidedly cool on global warming — isn’t there a market for a popular science magazine which plays it down the middle? Why is there no demand for magazines which offer balanced views?

    OTH, these magazines are written, edited and published by journalists, most of whom have no science background and who also tend to skew to the left on their politics, so we should not be surprised.

    I’d like to think the financial problems with magazines and newspapers is due to their left-ward drift and lack of balance, but the same problems of declining revenues and declining subscribers is being experience all across the industry in general.

  51. timetochooseagain says:

    [SNIP: Sorry, ttca, but this is going to spark a diversion from the thread topic. Please let's not go there. -REP]

  52. rogerknights says:

    Mindert Eiting says:
    July 23, 2012 at 2:14 am
    I have never read anything of importance in CSI or comparable journals. It’s mainly about silly subjects like faith healers, UFO watchers, astrology, etc.

    They did an excellent expose of “facilitated communication,” which was causing social havoc, when I subscribed.

    Since the editors of these magazines won’t pay attention to letters of protest from subscribers, or be swayed from their course, because They Know Best.” the way to make a greater impact than letting your sub lapse is to go to their websites and cancel your subscriptions. You’ll get a refund to your credit card and you’ll be spared the sight of them in your mailbox.

    These are worth repeating:

    BarryW says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:50 am
    No, I think they are consistent. They’re position on things is that orthodoxy is correct and those positions outside of the mainstream are the ones they are skeptical of. Hence, climate skepticism is not to be believed because it is not part of the dogma.

    MichaelC58 says:
    July 23, 2012 at 4:25 am
    I have realised that Michael Shermer and his Sceptic are not actually sceptic at all. They are simply defenders of the scientific establishment, stenographers for government science bodies. I have not seem them stray from the safe ramparts of scientific consensus. No dissenting comments allowed, not an original thought, no risks taken, their wagons fully circled against heresy.
    There is something stale, old and musty about them; they live in the innocent times of the 19th century when science was seen as pure and for its own sake by performed by gentlemen. They have completely missed the politicisation, the moneying, advocacy and the madness of the post modern science movement.

  53. rogerknights says:

    BarryW says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:50 am

    No, I think they are consistent. They’re position on things is that orthodoxy is correct and those positions outside of the mainstream are the ones they are skeptical of. Hence, climate skepticism is not to be believed because it is not part of the dogma.

    Capital-S Skeptics are the most perfect herd of independent minds ever. They are a parody of what they purport to be.

  54. more soylent green! says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    July 23, 2012 at 5:23 am
    Our work for years has been skeptical of the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change,
    ———-
    Don’t believe it. It’s more accurate to say you are prejudiced against the idea that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change.

    Big difference between skepticism and justifying preconceived ideas.

    The null hypothesis requires proof of AGW, which has not been provided. CAGW is just pure speculation.

  55. John Whitman says:

    DirkH said on July 23, 2012 at 1:46 am

    ” “Skeptic” magazine just fulfills its role in a Hegelian dialectic. Occupy all channels and all labels, offer thesis as well as antithesis, design the desired synthesis in advance. Simple dialectic trick, centuries old. A power instrument.”

    – – – – – – –

    DirkH,

    Good analysis and well phrased.  Thanks you for starting my California Monday morning with some excellent applied epistemology that is critical of the post Kantian Hegel.  I love it.

    On a different  subject, Skeptic magazine appears to use the same dishonest intellectual naming trick as Cook’s pseudo-SS site.  I wonder if the magazine and the blog share pseudo-intellectuals.  I think it is an interesting area to investigate.

    John 

  56. Gary Pearse says:

    Well naming the magazine Skeptic is a recognition in the climate “debate” that the skeptics have the upper hand, but I am disappointed that with all the talent available in the real skeptical crowd there hasn’t been a skeptic magazine come out of them. Even “Skeptical Science” represents a bit of a coup in adopting the apellation, It isn’t as funny as some here think – the USSR and other ideologue masters invented this kind of thing to great effect, knowing that the majority are pliable with this kind of propaganda.

  57. Max Hugoson says:

    I’ve been invited to a couple of the local “Critical Thinking” clubs to give my lecture on “Atmospheric Physics” a couple years ago. All in all, I’d say about 95% of the CT members tended to regard the AWG Dogma with HIGH suspicion.

    One poor fellow accosted me with the question, “You don’t BELIEVE…in Global Warming!” I responded by asking him what the TITLE of my Lecture was. (Atmospheric Physics, by Max Hugoson, P.E. Mechanical/Electrical..etc.) He could not answer. It happened the Power Point was on the SCREEN and he was LOOKING at it, and the PPT had cycled back to the first slide of the presentation.

    I KEPT asking him what the TITLE of my presentation was. He kept saying, “You don’t BELIEVE in Global Warming”. The 4 or 5 other members of the CT, around me…asking GOOD, solid, technical questions were both IRRITATED and AMUSED by this fellow. FINALLY one of them said, “Jack (made up name) CAN’T YOU READ?”while pointing to the TITLE ON THE SCREEN… The fellow took one look, muttered something about MY being an IDIOT, and stomped off.

    Someone else quipped as he walked away, “I think we’ve proven beyond reasonable doubt WHO the idiot is…” A good laugh was had by all.

    But it shows that “self anointed titles”, i.e., I’m a “critical thinker, I’m a skeptic…” are about as worthwhile as “Honorary Degrees”. (BE alert for that on some of the hard core enviromentalists, who keep popping up here and there…it’s surprising the number who have degrees ..particularily PHD’s which are “honorary titles”…given by left leaning institutions…to lend some of their PETS credibility.)

  58. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    Here Center for Inquiry says it has an official position; which amounts to “endorse all consensus science and eliminate dissent”

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/12885/

    So called “Climate Deniers” are forced to respond about tobacco issues. The denier in the thread was threatened by admin elsewhere after refusing to denounce Heartland out of hand.

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/12885/

  59. Billy Liar says:

    AndyG55 says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:42 am

    My thought exactly! I wonder whether Donald Prothero is just a patsy for SkS.

    The quote that got my attention is reference 1 in the magazine article where it describes Richard Lindzen as ‘a notorious global warming denier’ – in a reference!?. There are too many references in the list to SkS for it to be coincidence. Why would an academic make so many references to an alarmist website?

    He’s on the editorial board of the magazine and has books to sell – expect more of the same.

  60. Gail Combs says:

    AHHHhh that explains it.

    Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech,…

    Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University (1991). He was a college professor for 20 years (1979–1998), teaching psychology, evolution, and the history of science at Occidental College (1989–1998), California State University Los Angeles, and Glendale College….
    http://www.skeptic.com/about_us/meet_michael_shermer.html

    A Psychobabblist from the two most Marxist states, MA and CA, about what I would expect. It is worth taking a look at the rest of the Bio. The list of books he has written is illuminating

    The Rag even has a link Skeptical Activism: Fight Fraud & Pseudoscience! and also this
    Fix Wikipedia
    b>Is it Worth Paying Attention to Wikipedia?

    Yes, it absolutely is. This is a shining opportunity for the skeptical movement. Wikipedia is among the most important public sources for almost any scientific, pseudoscientific, or paranormal topic. A Wikipedia article is almost always the number one Google hit for that subject….

    Looks like they are gunning for the real skeptics.

  61. Drchaos says:

    Superb rebuttal by lord Monckton as usual. On feedbacks, electronic engineers sometimes use the barkhausen criterion when creating circuits that oscillate. As far as I remember you need a closed loop gain magnitude > 1 and a phase shift of 180 degrees as a necessary condition for oscillation. Or you could look at the Eigenvalues of the system – their position in the complex plane determines system stability – right hand plane is bad – left hand plane is good! Not sure if these are used in climate science when discussing feedbacks and all the rest of it

  62. Drchaos says:

    I meant of course right half plane and left half plane. Stupid iPhone spell checker

  63. Gail Combs says:

    Jim Masterson says:
    July 23, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I used to subscribe to Skeptical Inquirer (CSI), but like Scientific American they drank the Kool-Aid of global warming….
    _________________
    That was the first rag I thought of when I saw the title of this post, and just like you we dropped our subscription.

  64. sisterdot56 says:

    [SNIP: This is way off-topic, inappropriate for this blog, and an attempt to divert traffic to your blog. Please don't try this again. -REP]

  65. Videodrone says:

    Nature, Scientific American, Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, Popular Science, Sky & Telescope (at least Astronomy mostly avoids CACC) – so sad, all publications that I subscribed to, in some cases for many decades, even NASA Tech Brief’s is infected…

  66. Meyer says:

    Scientific method 2.0:
    Guess, compute, measure, discard, adjust, legislate, profit.

  67. AlanNM says:

    I also used to subscribe to Skeptic magazine (and also Skeptical Enquirer), but tired of their endless recycling of articles about easy subjects such as paranormal and religious claims. I had an e-mail exchange with their “editor” (Shermer?) in which I challenged them to take on more serious subjects such as climate change. The response was a serious of questions intended, I think, to pigeon-hole me into some clearly counter-factual position, but when that failed they employed appeal-to-authority, mentioning the IPCC. When I pointed out that the IPCC was not, in fact, a scientific source, and that I prefered to get my information from such sources, they said something about having friends at CalTech that disagreed. Realizing they had an unshakable belief in the infallibility of mainstream science (which is decidedly an anti-skeptical position), I decided to unsubscribe. Some of my favorite science bloggers also do a lot of cheerleading for various areas of mainstream science (often far from their own area of expertise), so I just have to take it with a grain of salt when they chime in for the IPCC and climate alarmists.

    Alan

  68. John Bell says:

    I was shocked when SKEPTIC published the Prothero article. If SKEPTIC should be skeptical of anything it should be CAGW. The article is too political and unscientific and leftist. I am glad to read Monckton’s article, it is the perfect answer. I wonder how Prothero will respond, the plot thickens!

  69. 46.Robbie said (July 23, 2012 at 6:44 am)

    “…Now I haven’t read the original article, but does it claim that the Human-Caused global warming will be catastrophic? Certainly not in the title.

    That one word “catastrophic” makes all the difference…”

    Well, in my quick reading of the original article, you appear to be right. I’m not seeing any mention of “catastrophic”. But they do make the following statement (on page 20 of their article):

    “…There are many more traits that the climate deniers share with the creationists and Holocaust deniers and others who distort the truth. They pick on small disagreements between different labs as if scientists can’t get their story straight, when in reality there is always a small amount of give and take between competing labs as they try to get the answer right before the other lab can do so…”

    So here’s another author that lumps the “skeptics” with those that would deny the Holocaust.

  70. SC-Slywolf says:

    When history looks back at this, it will not be to question how a small group of skeptics could prevail. It will be to question how a small group of pseudo-scientists could have successfully propagated such hoax/scam “Climate Crisis” at all!

  71. oldspanky says:

    Skeptic seems to have gone the way of Skeptical Inquirer (SI).

    After almost 30 years I have allowed my subscription to SI to lapse. It has ventured away from cheerfully piercing various pseudoscientific claims for patently unscientific claptrap (to do with ESP, UFOs, medical charlitans, and such) and has inexplicably started cheerleading climate science. Quite apart from anything else, cheerleading is not the role of a publication with the word “skeptical” in its title.

    Interestingly, stage conjuror and long-time SI contributor James Randi once noted that the easiest people in world to fool are professional scientists. They don’t expect liars, cheats or fools.

  72. Gail Combs says:

    SC-Slywolf says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

    When history looks back at this, it will not be to question how a small group of skeptics could prevail. It will be to question how a small group of pseudo-scientists could have successfully propagated such hoax/scam “Climate Crisis” at all!
    _______________________________________
    It is interesting that a recent post showed the “recently published climate scientists” were only 77 in number out of the three thousand or so who were polled.

  73. timetochooseagain says:

    Gail Combs says: “A Psychobabblist from the two most Marxist states, MA and CA, about what I would expect. It is worth taking a look at the rest of the Bio. The list of books he has written is illuminating”

    Shermer is most definitely a socially liberal guy (whether this is cause or effect wrt his atheism I cannot say) he is certainly no Marxist. However I wouldn’t praise him on his reasoning abilities.

    Reading his wikipedia page he is apparently a self described libertarian. He was once a skeptic of AGW, but for sufficiently shallow reasons that he could have his mind changed by essentially people yelling at him loud enough.

  74. Peter Hannan says:

    Donald Prothero wrote two articles for eSkeptic, ‘Denialist Demagogues and the Threat to Science’, eSkeptic Newsletter September 28 2011 and ‘How We Know Global Warming is Real and Human Caused’, eSkeptic Newsletter February 12 2012. I finally sent an article to eSkeptic, ‘Climate Rationalists vs Denialist Demagogues and Catastrophic Warming Bandwagoneers’, which Michael Shermer replied to kindly, but saying they would ‘pass’ on publishing it. I replied that at least Donald Prothero should be called on his misunderstanding of the cosmic ray – cloud – climate hypothesis and his ad hominem against Richard Lindzen. Michael Shermer asked me for something on cosmic rays, which I sent, and am still waiting. I should point out that Skeptic published Patrick Frank, ‘A Climate of Belief’, Skeptic, vol. 14, no. 1, 2008, 22 – 30, which is an excellent critique of the use of models: amongst other points, he shows that if uncertainties in real (not virtual) empirical studies are plugged in to these models, ‘The rapid growth of uncertainty means that GCMs cannot discern an ice age from a hothouse from 5 years away, much less 100 years away. So far as GCMs are concerned, Earth may be a winter wonderland by 2100 or a tropical paradise’. I’ve also tried to find some source for the ad hominem against Richard Lindzen, but haven’t found anything reliable yet.

  75. Laurence Crossen says:

    To call skeptics of AGW “deniers” is the logical fallacy ad hominem, or criticizing the person rather than the argument. A magazine claiming to practice skepticism should at least get this right. Shame on the Skeptic for failing to do so. Where is the referee at Michael Shermer’s mag?

  76. Laurence Crossen says:

    I recommend a distinction be made between minor and major skeptics. Minor skeptics criticize minority views while major skeptics criticize majority views or views accepted by the current authorities. Once AGW became accepted by the authorities the minor skeptics see it as fair game. Ironically, the real authorities do not accept AGW even if the NCSE does. You get this minor skepticism out of Skeptical Inquirer also. In skepticism it is sometimes legitimate to criticize the person. In the case of AGW, history will show the fault lay with the proponents of AGW pseudoscience as it did with eugenics. AGW is not science.

  77. Chuck says:

    Committee for Scientific Inquiry (CSI), the publisher of Skeptical Inquiry, is another skeptical organization that has fallen hook, line and sinker for AGW. It’s strange how they legitimately question so much non-scientific junk but are completely opposite on this subject.

    A decade ago when I saw their first articles coming out in support of AGW, I contacted one of the authors to point out the work being done by McIntyre and McKittrick. The author pooh-poohed it and said they weren’t getting any traction. I wonder what he’d say today?

    What’s happening to our scientific organizations? The Planetary Society, an organization that I one considered as scientific as you could get, now has Bill Nye, a warmest, as their CEO.

  78. Abraham Franklin says:

    The podcast Skeptics Guide to the Universe and its website are similar to Skeptic magazine–they’re pro-scientific establishment rather than pro-skepticism.

    A few years ago, global warming became an extremely popular topic on its ‘Skepticism / Science talk’ website forum. AGW skeptics were scoring a lot of points. Then one day AGW posts were moved to a Global Warming subforum that only SGU members could see. It thus became invisible to search engines and out-of-sight to the typical SGU member.

    http://sguforums.com/

    Here we have the greatest scientific controversy in a century, and a “skeptical” website would rather run an echo chamber for Bigfoot debunkers!

  79. Jimbo says:

    I vaguely recall reading something from the magazine online about two months ago and what struck me was they referred to “deniers” and basically said the science was settled. Yet in ALL its other topics it was utterly sceptical. They twisted explanations to finally come to the conclusion that they were skeptical of global warming sceptics. ;-) If they can’t be sceptical about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Runaway Warming then they should simply leave out the topic.

  80. BarryW says:

    What is doubly sad is that this so called skeptical group buys the orthodoxy hook line and sinker without the skepticism they claim to have. The science establishment has come up with whoppers in the past: N-Rays, lobotomy, polywater, and Rhine’s ESP (bad statistical methods). All of which they would point to as things they would have been critical of (with hindsight of course). Here we have a belief in CAGW with no ability to show repeatable experiments that can withstand scrutiny by objective observers, yet it must be true because “experts” say so. So myopic that they should be considered blind.

  81. more soylent green! says:

    As a side topic, are there any decent popular science magazines worth subscribing to?

  82. Duster says:

    Skepticism should be a personal habit of mental hygene. I rather doubt that true skepticism is ever susceptible to group practice. One of the healthy indications of the nature of skepticism toward AGW is the variety and extensively disputatious nature of the internal – among the skeptics – debate. I suspect this also a good measure of how poor our true understanding of global climate, if there really is such a beast, is.

    I’ve attended a couple of Skeptics Society meetings and was uniformly unimpressed. The chief issue seemed to be religion and, while I consider organized religion a waste of time, arguing with it is equally a waste. It begins with an unprovable assumption and similarly, atheists do as well. The non-religious directed discussions proved to be just as dogmatic, with the concept of scientific law enshrined as the immutable truth of skepticism, quite literally as the Bible is used by Christians and the Koran by Muslims. This was really fine, IF you happen to adhere to some particular orthodoxy of science. Pointing out that the standard cosmological model (using the Big Bang) is not universally accepted by some very well-credentialed physicists and astronomers such as J V Narlikar lead in effect to screams of “heresy!” and ad hominem attacks not only on the scientists who did not hold to the eternal truths, but on anyone who ever read their work or bothered to mention them.

  83. Anthony Mills says:

    Lord Monckton gives a rate of sea level rise of 0.323mm/yr (1.3inches per century).Elsewhere I usually see values like 3.1-3.2 mm/yr. Of course there are variations around the earth,but this order of magnitude difference precludes a meaningful discussion of possible resulting perils.Can anyone clarify my dilemma? Help!

  84. Maus says:

    Redefine ‘science’ as ‘belief’. Redefine ‘rational’ as believers that lack the patience to debate or engage in pedagogy of the belief. Redefine ‘skeptic’ as believers that do have such patience. Redefine skeptics as ‘deniers'; people that have a belief in the wrong belief.

    At least Philosophy still supposes that it engages in argument about beliefs even if it is a fatal social faux pas to call the most pig-ignorant nonsense, pig-ignorant. But at least Philosophy claims itself, honestly and outright, to be a non-empirical discipline.

    Sadly this means nothing more than that Philosophy, the official stomping grounds of the Sophists, is still more rigorous and well-grounded then modern Science.

  85. mathman2 says:

    Anthony:
    Can you please put a sticky in your website which references the many articles you have published about the CO2 infrared absorption in the atmosphere? And also, the relative contributions of CO2, water vapor, methane, and so on to IR absorption? If I remember correctly, the jury is still out about the capacity of CO2 to absorb and re-radiate DOWNWARD incident infrared radiation. You have many articles on this subject; they need to be indexed.
    Monckton hits it out of the park again; just the facts.

  86. JC says:

    Here here.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson:

    “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”

    Jeff Clarke

  87. Anthony Mills asks for an explanation of the difference of about an order of magnitude between the 3 cm/century sea-level rise shown by the Envisat satellite during the eight full years of its delivery of well-calibrated data and the 30 cm/century mentioned by the IPCC in its documents and evident in the post-1993 sea-level plot compiled by the University of Colorado.

    The difference arises for the following reasons:

    First, the Topex and Jason I sea-level monitoring satellites were of an earlier generation and were less reliable than Envisat or its recent successor, Jason II.

    Secondly, sea level according to the tide-gauges rose at a rate of around 20 cm/century from 1961-1993, and it is not impossible that this rate continued from 1993-2001. However, late in 2001 the Pacific Decadal Oscillation underwent a phase-transition from the warming cycle that had begun in 1976 and the cooling phase that has held sway since. During the warming phase, surface temperatures increased at a rate equivalent to 1.6 C/century, and there may have been some temporary acceleration during this period. The satellite record of sea level began in 1993, towards the end of the warming phase of the PDO. However, the Envisat data began in January 2004, well after the onset of the cooling phase. Global temperature has not risen during the period, so one should not expect much sea level rise – and, sure enough, Envisat’s unadjusted raw data show not much sea-level rise.

    Thirdly, there was a drop in sea level from 2011-2012, which the usual suspects attribute – not entirely implausibly – to a lot of rainfall in Australia and other places that have not seen it for a long time. Much of this water has now found its way back to the ocean, and the Colorado team are showing quite a sharp recent increase in sea level as a result.

    Fourthly, when it became apparent to the Colorado team that, as a result of the stasis in “global warming”, their post-1993 rate of sea level rise was about to fall below the psychological threshold of 3 mm/year (or 30 cm/century), it was decided to add a so-called “global isostatic adjustment” to the sea-level rise as a way of demonstrating that, were it not for “global warming”, the natural recovery of land altitudes by isostatic rebound following the melting of the great glaciers that once covered much of the northern hemisphere would show a fall in sea level. To those obsessed with the notion that CO2 is all, this monkeying with the data may seem pardonable as an attempt to quantify the net anthropogenic effect on sea level: but most people living on sea coasts simply want to know how much the sea is actually rising, and that is the answer that Envisat’s unadjusted data provide.

    The plot which I included in my reply to Dr. Prothero’s head-bangingly fatuous article in “Skeptic” magazine was taken directly from the Envisat website, and the calculation of the least-squares linear-regression trend on the eight years of sea-level data is theirs. The Envisat website does also show their data spliced on to the data from the other satellites in a manner with which we have all become familiar ever since the “hockey stick” fraud, and if the relatively short run of Envisat data is thus duct-taped on to the data from the earlier and cruder satellites it is possible to maintain that the rate of sea-level rise is 30 cm/century, rather than 3 cm/century. However, it was and is legitimate to point out that for almost a decade the rate of sea-level rise has been negligible.

    Certainly, there is no longer any justification even for the IPCC’s upper-bound prediction of 59 cm (less than 2 feet) over the 21st century; still less for Al Gore’s prediction of an imminent sea-level rise of 6.1 meters (20 feet); and still less again for the increasingly barmy James Hansen’s wild prediction of 75 meters (246 feet) in one of Britain’s two Marxist daily papers. Professor Niklas Moerner, who has been studying sea-level rise for 40 years and has written several hundred papers on the subject, reckons that sea level will rise this century by 5 +/- 15 cm.

    I hope that this short note will have set out some of the reasons why the dopily over-confident predictions of the climate extremists about sea level fail to capture either the unexciting reality of a rather slow rate of rise or the many complexities surrounding this highly specialist subject. Frankly, Gore, Hansen and, to some extent, the IPCC have made fools of themselves by their insistence upon CO2, CO2, CO2, and by their sedulous refusal to take proper account of the numerous and difficult-to-model natural influences on sea level.

    Bottom line: given that there has been no “global warming” for a decade and a half, it is no surprise that during the eight years of Envisat’s operation it did not detect much sea-level rise. A great shame that its data have been so poorly reported by the propagandists in the news media that few are aware of just how slowly sea level has been rising for much of the past decade. On the other side of the account, if the earlier satellites were right to find 30 cm/century of sea-level rise during the warming phase of the PDO, and if Envisat (recently supported by Jason II) was right to find little sea-level rise during the cooling phase, one might expect the sea-level outturn this century to be around 15 cm – and that is at the high end of Prof. Moerner’s estimate but very much at the lower end of the IPCC’s predictions. If anyone still actually believes the gallimaufry of extremist hyperbole about sea-level rise and is worried that his coastal property will soon be inundated, I’m in the market to buy such worthless properties at $100 each (subject to contract). Here as elsewhere on the “global warming” topic, the scare is over, but the media and politicians, having bet the farm on it, can’t bring themselves to admit they got it so wildly, extravagantly wrong.

  88. mike williams says:

    Dont trust the mainstream “Sceptics”..its all about fascist like adherence to mainstream meme`s.
    They have never been interested in science..thats why they sacked one of their own astronomers..
    http://cura.free.fr/xv/14starbb.html

  89. Anthony Mills says:

    My thanks to Lord Monckton for his prompt and very informative reply to my query.I believe it is a valuable addendum to your fine paper.

  90. rogerknights says:

    oldspanky says:
    July 23, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Interestingly, stage conjuror and long-time SI contributor James Randi once noted that the easiest people in world to fool are professional scientists. They don’t expect liars, cheats or fools.

    Interestingly, Randi expressed skepticism a year or two ago about CAGW, only to be shouted down by his followers: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/805-agw-revisited.html

  91. rogerknights says:

    henrythethird says:
    But they do make the following statement (on page 20 of their article):

    “…There are many more traits that the climate deniers share with the creationists and Holocaust deniers and others who distort the truth. They pick on small disagreements between different labs as if scientists can’t get their story straight, when in reality there is always a small amount of give and take between competing labs as they try to get the answer right before the other lab can do so…”

    So here’s another author that lumps the “skeptics” with those that would deny the Holocaust.

    On the contrary, it’s rarely true that scorcher-scoffers “pick on small disagreements between different labs as if scientists can’t get their story straight.” The only case where that is regularly done is in criticizing GISS for being out of line with other monitors of the global temperature. We don’t nitpick about the small differences between the findings of the various hockey-stick proponents, for example. Instead, scoffers generally pick on LARGE disagreements, such as between the hockey stick and reality. That focus on the big picture is true across the board. The article’s author just inserted that phony accusation of nit-picking to make himself look smart, smear scoffers with a parallel to Holocaust deniers, push a “Skeptic” hot button, and beguile his uncritical audience.

  92. Norman Hasty says:

    I dropped my subscription to Scientific American when they ran an editorial by Michael Shermer in which he said that Al Gore’s movie had convinced him that global warming was real. He lost all credibility for me right then.

  93. Sean says:

    Tony Windsor says:
    July 23, 2012 at 3:09 am
    I think I read something recently to the effect that ‘climate scientists’ are asking for immunity from prosecution in the event of the spurious science being advanced by the warmists should prove to be false. Can anyone confirm this for me? If true it does rather suggest that the Team and others might be trying to cover their backs.

    ————————————————-

    Tony, yes this is true. Here are two articles on this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/12/unfccc-wants-immunity-from-prosecution-prior-to-rio20/

    http://johnosullivan.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/un-climate-scientists-plead-for-immunity-from-criminal-prosecution/

  94. Ian Weiss says:

    I wrote a fairly extensive critique of Prothero’s article here: http://ianweiss.blogspot.com/2012/06/did-skeptic-magazine-demolish.html

  95. Werner Brozek says:

    It is a mystery to me why Michael Shermer would agree with global warming. At the following, he describes a ‘baloney detection kit’.

    At 1:48, he says that if errors are in one direction, we should be suspicious about something. Well guess what?
    “In an interview with The Times Robert Watson said that all the errors exposed so far in the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) resulted in overstatements of the severity of the problem.”
    For the rest, see
    http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=9940
    So why does Shermer not follow his own advice and become more skeptical of CAGW?

  96. Brian H says:

    Beware of complimentary self-labels. We know enough to avoid ” ‘Onest ‘Arry’s Experienced Cars “, and roll our eyes when a surfer labels hisself “Truth 4 All”, or a website self-tags as RealClimate or SkepticalScience. The same now applies, unsurprisingly, to Scientific American and Skeptic.

    WUWT? I think we all know.

  97. George says:

    For a long time I was a subscriber to The Skeptic’s Dictionary, but their relentless insistance on the Global Warming Orthodoxy, and their repetitive use of the term “denier” raised my own level of skepticism. Like all scientists, I am a skeptic. It is, after all, the nature of Science to question everything, even the most fundamental and generally “accepted” principles. If we were not skeptics we could not be scientists. BUT. the Skeptic’s Dictionary while soundly skeptical on most subjects, ironically seems to be fundamentalist in its belief in anthropogenic and catastrophic global warming. Scientists do not “believe” – we question. We doubt. Science is doubt in practice.

    I dropped my support of this journal, and no longer associate myself with them.

    And yes, much the same has happened to Scientific American, a magazine to which I subscribed for nearly 50 years. I dropped that subscription a few years ago because of the Editor’s practice of politicizing science, to the detriment of the sense of the articles. That is truly a shame, because Scientific American has published some really excellent general articles on various fields.

    But a senior scientist of my acquaintance, a World-recognized expert in his field, recently told me “Yes, that stuff is bogus, but I do not blame the guys who promote it, because, after all, that is where the grant money is in the Earth Sciences”. That is close to a direct quote of a conversation made while driving to a technical society meeting. I do not agree with him, but he has to make his way financially in the tough world of academic grants. Thank heavens I made my career in industry, which allows me greater financial independence, and a much greater freedom of scientific thought.

  98. RoHa says:

    “Members of the Japanese Academy of Sciences have described the true-believers’
    position as being no better than a belief in astrology;”

    Anyone got a solid reference for this? I can’t find anything from the JAS.

    “the Russian Academy under Dr. Illarionov, having heard both sides, rejected the alarmist position as politically motivated”

    Likewise.

  99. rogerknights says:

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    July 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Fourthly, when it became apparent to the Colorado team that, as a result of the stasis in “global warming”, their post-1993 rate of sea level rise was about to fall below the psychological threshold of 3 mm/year (or 30 cm/century), it was decided to add a so-called “global isostatic adjustment” to the sea-level rise as a way of demonstrating that, were it not for “global warming”, the natural recovery of land altitudes by isostatic rebound following the melting of the great glaciers that once covered much of the northern hemisphere would show a fall in sea level.

    13 months ago there was a controversy about this readjustment. Here are links to a couple of stories about it:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/17/research-center-under-fire-for-adjusted-sea-level-data/
    A quote from the article said:

    “’We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger… water volume is expanding,’ he [Steve Nerem, the director ] said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).”

    To which I responded:

    Let’s say the ocean basins were shrinking. Would he have reduced the rate of sea level rise to compensate? To ask the question is to know the answer.

    A WUWT thread a month earlier, with some good comments, can be found here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/05/new-sea-level-page-from-university-of-colorado-now-up/
    ————-

    One objection I have to this readjustment is that it unjustifiably and misleadingly redefined “sea level” for propagandistic purposes (as my jibe above implied). Here are the standard definitions of “sea level”:

    Mean sea level (MSL) is a measure of the average height of the ocean’s surface (such as the halfway point between the mean high tide and the mean low tide); used as a standard in reckoning land elevation.[1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level

    Sea level, average height of the ocean” [NB, "height," not "volume."]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_(disambiguation)

    (My dictionaries define sea level similarly.)
    From:
    Glacial isostatic adjustment [GIA] and sea-level change
    State of the art report – Technical Report TR-09-11
    Pippa Whitehouse, Durham University, April 2009
    http://www.skb.se/upload/publications/pdf/TR-09-11webb.pdf
    “1.2.1:
    “Relative sea-level is a height which is defined by the position of the interface between the ocean and the land (Figure 1-1). A rise in relative sea-level can occur due to an increase in the height of the ocean surface (for example, due to a change in the shape of the geoid, an increase in the volume of water in the oceans, or a decrease in the storage capacity of the oceans) and/or a drop in the height of the land (for example due to ice sheet loading, or tectonic activity).”
    ………………………….
    “4.9.4 Sea-level change
    GIA is a major contributor to sea-level change. The geometry of ice-loading and the timing and source of melting produce a unique pattern of sea-level change following perturbations to the geoid and solid surfaces.”

    The boldfaced portion above implies that the sea level changes as the ocean floors sink or rise. Steve Nerem’s interpretation is that the sea level should remain constant as the ocean floors sink or rise, by applying a correction factor to ensure that it does so on paper, regardless of what’s happening in the real world, and in defiance of what the conventions in his field prescribe.
    ===================

    A few months ago I visited the U. Colo. site. I read some of their material, which I’ve posted below. I was amazed at this sentence in their last paragraph. “this [GIA] correction is now scientifically well-understood and is applied to GMSL estimates by nearly all research groups around the world.” Is it really true, or are they being disingenuous? I.e., do the other research groups “apply” it, but not call the result “sea level”? (Or have they all recently acted in concert to support the warmist narrative?) This question deserves critical attention from WUWTers, and a thread devoted to the topic titled “On the Level?” First, here are some links:

    Home page:
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/
    raw data (with GIA correction):
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.txt
    chart with GIA correction
    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_ns_global.eps
    Under “Similar plots” there is only a chart and data set for “Seasonal signals Retained.” There’s nothing showing one with GIA correction removed.
    Chart through July without GIA (from WUWT, not available from UC itself via home page)
    http://climate4you.com/images/UnivColorado%20MeanSeaLevelSince1992%20With1yrRunningAverage.gif

    Addressing Questions Regarding the Recent GIA Correction
    Edited: 2011-07-18
    Share
    [Update, 2011/06/20: Media Matters has published a story on the attention our GIA correction has received.]

    Regarding the Fox News article by Maxim Lott (derived from previous blogs, e.g., Heartland Institute/Forbes) that questions our application of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) correction to the altimeter-based global mean sea level (GMSL) time series and rate estimates, we would like to direct interest to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that discusses the GIA effect and also the differences between our global mean sea level estimates from altimetry and regional/local relative sea level measured by tide gauges. These FAQs were updated in May with content partially derived from the discussion with Mr. Maxim, but much of this important content unfortunately did not get published in the Fox News article or in recent blogs.

    We would also suggest consulting the other unaffiliated sea level research groups around the world that independently estimate global mean sea level from altimetry and also apply the scientifically well-understood GIA correction. Their current GMSL rate estimates are listed on the left sidebar of our site for reference. Note that our current rate estimate is actually the lowest of the groups, which does not support the claim that we “doctor the sea level data” to artificially support pro-climate change opinions. Instead, we strive to produce estimates of the global mean sea level time series and rate using the best available information to address the following questions:

    How is the volume of the ocean changing?
    How much of this is due to thermal expansion?
    How much of this is due to addition of water that was previously stored as ice on land?
    As the science of sea level change becomes better understood through peer-reviewed research, we include these advances in our global mean sea level estimates. This includes continuously improving some our applied altimetry corrections, such as better satellite orbits, ocean tides, and sea state bias models (all of which, along with the GIA correction, were updated and documented in our last 2011_1 release). For further study, we encourage interested parties to consult the references supplied in the FAQs and cataloged in our library and to also contact other research groups and scientists specifically studying global and regional sea level change.

    ————-

    What is glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA), and why do you correct for it?
    The correction for glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) accounts for the fact that the ocean basins are getting slightly larger since the end of the last glacial cycle. GIA is not caused by current glacier melt, but by the rebound of the Earth from the several kilometer thick ice sheets that covered much of North America and Europe around 20,000 years ago. Mantle material is still moving from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. The effect is that currently some land surfaces are rising and some ocean bottoms are falling relative to the center of the Earth (the center of the reference frame of the satellite altimeter). Averaged over the global ocean surface, the mean rate of sea level change due to GIA is independently estimated from models at -0.3 mm/yr (Peltier, 2001, 2002, 2009; Peltier & Luthcke, 2009). The magnitude of this correction is small (smaller than the ±0.4 mm/yr uncertainty of the estimated GMSL rate), but the GIA uncertainty is at least 50 percent. However, since the ocean basins are getting larger due to GIA, this will reduce by a very small amount the relative sea level rise that is seen along the coasts. To understand the relative sea level effects of global oceanic volume changes (as estimated by the GMSL) at a specific location, issues such as GIA, tectonic uplift, and self attraction and loading (SAL, e.g., Tamisiea et al., 2010), must also be considered. For more discussion on the GMSL and how it relates to tide gauges, see the GMSL and tide gauge FAQs.

    There are many different scientific questions that are being asked where GMSL measurements can contribute. We are focused on just a few of these:

    How is the volume of the ocean changing?
    How much of this is due to thermal expansion?
    How much of this is due to addition of water that was previously stored as ice on land?

    In order to answer these questions, we have to account for the fact that the ocean is actually getting bigger due to GIA at the same time as the water volume is expanding. This means that if we measure a change in GMSL of 3 mm/yr, the volume change is actually closer to 3.3 mm/yr because of GIA. Removing known components of sea level change, such as GIA or the solid earth and ocean tides, reveals the remaining signals contained in the altimetry measurement. These can include water volume changes, steric effects, and the interannual variability caused by events such as the ENSO. We apply a correction for GIA because we want our sea level time series to reflect purely oceanographic phenomena. In essence, we would like our GMSL time series to be a proxy for ocean water volume changes. This is what is needed for comparisons to global climate models, for example, and other oceanographic datasets.

    There are other science questions that researchers are investigating, such as the effect of ocean volume change on local sea level rates, but this is not the focus of our research. When studying local sea level rates, which is important for policy planning, one definitely needs to account for the fact that in areas where GIA is causing an uplift, this somewhat mitigates the ocean volume change. This is being taken into account in these investigations. Also note that GIA can cause subsidence far away from the source of the old ice sheet, and that there are even larger cases of uplift and subsidence unconnected to GIA that are 10-20 times larger. For example, large parts of New Orleans are subsiding more than 10 mm/year—three times the current rate of GMSL—and so they see a much higher rate of sea level rise that has nothing to do with climate change.

    Prior to release 2011_rel1, we did not account for GIA in estimates of the global mean sea level rate, but this correction is now scientifically well-understood and is applied to GMSL estimates by nearly all research groups around the world. Including the GIA correction has the effect of increasing previous estimates of the global mean sea level rate by 0.3 mm/yr.

    See also:
    Addressing Questions Regarding the Recent GIA Correction
    GIA FAQ Updated with Peltier Reference

  100. Lightrain says:

    Perhaps we need a stronger term for warmists when they call us deniers. I suggest LIARS.

  101. rogerknights says:

    Ian Weiss says:
    July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm
    I wrote a fairly extensive critique of Prothero’s article here: http://ianweiss.blogspot.com/2012/06/did-skeptic-magazine-demolish.html

    The difference in quality between your response and Prothero’s provocation exemplifies of the difference in quality between the arguments of the Alarmists and the Scoffers.

  102. rogerknights says:

    Ian Weiss says:

    PS: At the end of your critique, you mentioned that Prothero’s article had drawn a negative response on the Skeptic magazine site. Could you post a link to it? TIA.

  103. Mindert Eiting says:

    Abraham Franklin says “Here we have the greatest scientific controversy in a century, and a “skeptical” website would rather run an echo chamber for Bigfoot debunkers!” Should we say that these people are now doing their finanal exam? If you have debunked Bigfood what have you won for science? Besides Bigfoot there still are millions of gnomes. If you have debunked them one after the other you have deprived mankind from its fairy tales and returned nothing to science. In that case you need a serious exam.

  104. rogerknights says:

    There are science teachers who actually claim that they teach “a healthy skepticism.” [This is the purported aim of Skeptics' Covens & publications as well.] They do not. They teach a profound gullibility, and their dupes, trained not to think for themselves, will swallow any egregious rot, provided it is dressed up with long words and an affectation of objectivity to make it sound scientific.
    –Anthony Standen, Science Is a Sacred Cow, p. 189

  105. Galane says:

    Skeptic magazine, James Randi and the like are what I call professional skeptics. Their “credibility” and income are based on what practically amounts to a doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Ie, they are *never wrong*. If they say something is BS, it is BS, no matter what evidence anyone comes up with to the contrary.

    They also tend to completely ignore anything they can’t confidently disprove. Arthur C. Clarke was well known as a skeptic, but he’d tackle things he couldn’t disprove and he’d flat out say he couldn’t. True skeptics like him are few and far between.

  106. PaddikJ says:

    That Skeptic would use the famous Feynman quote as a lead-in to a servile regurgitation of AGW orthodoxy is, sadly, just par for the course. Somewhere in my climate files (now spread over four computers, two of them dead – I’ve been remiss about backing up to a single external drive) is an article by Hansen invoking Feynman’s “Cargo Cult Science” speech in defense of Hansen’s cargo cult climate science. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly grouchy and having found myself cornered by some AGW True Believer (I seem to have a rep), I will just baldly assert that in the up-is-down, black-is-white world of climate science, if they just assume that for any assertion made by the Climate Cabal, the opposite is true, their chances of being right approach unity. Juvenile of me, but it’s fun to watch their heads expand and their faces turn bright red.

    I dropped S.I. in the mid-nineties, not because they’d drunk the climate kool-aid (don’t believe they had at that point), but because it had gotten boring – debunking ghost stories, UFOs, alien abuctions; preening and strutting about being sooo rational, “the burden of skepticism,” yada-yada. Yawn. Needing something to read on the train several years ago, I picked up a copy at a local book seller, and serendipitously, the whole issue was a staunch defense of AGW, complete w/ pictures & mini-bios of the major players, and of course many comments on the irrationality of the deniers (“irrational” seems to be talismatic for them). I tossed it in the trash when I reached my stop.

    Interesting footnote: Eugenie Scott, CSI Fellow & frequent contributor to S.I., is also director of the Center For Science Education (or something like that), which was courting Peter Gleick for some consulting position last Fall. CFSE is of course pro-AGW. As others have noted, it’s not about defending science, which needs no defense, but about defending the science establishment and its gov’t funding.

  107. Brian H says:

    PaddikJ;
    “just assume that for any assertion made by the Climate Cabal, the opposite is true, their chances of being right approach unity.” Long been my Ruler of Thumb! ;)

    RoHa;
    re astrology comparison, start here:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/
    “The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is [an] astonishing rebuke to international pressure…”

  108. reggie says:

    [SNIP: Off-topic. Way off topic. Monckton-haters really need to get a sense of perspective. They need to get a life. -REP]

  109. reggie says:

    Why is it off topic, I thought this was a skeptics site?

    [REPLY: Reggie, you do know the meaning of the term "Off topic" right? Neither of your previous comments addressed the topic of the thread, which is the article in Skeptical. You didn't do that, did you? Instead, you saw Lord Monckton's name and started frothing at the mouth. Commenting here is NOT a right. Submit comments that are germane to the topic under discussion and they will be posted. You can check here for site policy. This is my final word on the matter. Get with the program and quit acting like a petulant school boy or have your comments trashed. Your choice. -REP]

  110. Ye Olde Statistician says:

    Prothero is evidently a Renaissance Man, his geology having made him an expert on the world of Late Antiquity. He wrote a fawning review of the movie AGORA which earned a response from Armarium Magnum:
    http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2012/03/geologist-tries-history-or-agora-and.html

    What is the common thread connecting CAGW with AGORA? Why only that both reinforce his own a priori beliefs.

  111. reggie says:

    [SNIP: Nice work. You're done. -REP]

  112. Gail Combs says:

    more soylent green! says:
    July 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    As a side topic, are there any decent popular science magazines worth subscribing to?
    _________________________________
    WUWT

  113. RoHa says:

    @ Brian H

    Thanks. Bit surprised to see Akasofu there. I thought he was American.

  114. rogerknights says:

    @RoHa
    Akasofu is an immigrant (a long time ago). So he knows Japanese well enough to participate on their turf.

  115. GuarionexSandoval says:

    Anyone look through the Skeptic magazine and notice the similarities to The Watchtower?

  116. rogerknights says:

    Here’s an accolade for Monckton’s article I wish I’d thought of in time to post at the head of the thread:

    The peerless peer!

  117. Skeptics, as far as I have observed, tend to be skeptical of “psuedoscience”. It’s easy to debunk myths and legends. However, when it comes to actual science, they hide behind the curtain and rattle the “consensus” sword to cover their actions. One must suspect this is because said individuals lack actual scientific knowledge and are forced to rely on the majority in order to hide their own ignorance (I was actually told by one skeptic that he follows mainstream science and he did not care what evidence I had on the topic. When mainstream science changed their mind, he would change his). It is not surprising a paleontologist would agree with climate change–his training is in finding, preserving and cataloging digs. Scientific method is not part of this. So he goes along with the mainstream science. It’s the safest route. Skeptics take the easy way like many people do. Perhaps if skeptics just stuck to ghosts and UFO’s it would be better. Less chance of looking foolish that way.

  118. Edmontonfellow says:

    James Randi is excellent when it comes to debunking pseudoscience such as homeopathy or psychic abilities with his $1M dollar prize challenge but then you get fellows like this at the Randi organization…
    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1779-the-skeptical-disconnect-redux.html

  119. SC-Slywolf’s comment made me wonder: If those who question AGW are “deniers” and comparisons to the Holocaust are legitimate (which for now I will assume is allowed), what small group swayed millions of people to commit atrocities against humanity in the Holocaust? Perhaps the AGW crowd should consider what role they play if we make Holocaust comparisons. I doubt they really want to go there.

  120. RoHa says:

    @Edohiguma.
    “Murasaki Shikibu, a lady at the imperial court, wrote the first novel of mankind”

    Hikari Genji is a great novel, but not quite the first. Greeks and Romans had written novels long before then. It does seem to have preceded Chinese novels, though.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_novel

  121. Peter Hannan says:

    rogerknights gives a good critique of Donald Prothero’s articles. Thanks. He calls him on the ad hominem against Richard Lindzen. However, the glaring error in Donald Prothero’s second article is this (I quote from the article I sent to eSkeptic):

    ‘in his ‘refutation’ of the various arguments of people (he doesn’t make any references to scientific work, so I cannot write ‘scientists’) for other causes of the observed warming he writes, about the question of the hypothesised cosmic ray-climate connection:

    There is no evidence (see Figure 3 below) of increase in cosmic radiation during the past century. [with a reference to a blog, not a peer-reviewed scientific article]

    Well, exactly: it is clear from this quote that he has not bothered to read, or has failed to understand, the work on cosmic rays and climate. There is a basic principle in rational thinking (not only science), that you have to understand what you’re criticising before doing so. Donald Prothero has failed in this basic principle.

    Briefly, the hypothesis is that the incidence of cosmic rays affects the formation and properties of clouds, which have a major forcing effect on climate; a higher incidence of cosmic rays promotes greater cloud formation and albedo effect, cooling the planet; a lower incidence leads to less cloud formation, warming the planet (as appears to have happened in the 20th century). Donald Prothero appears to think that the hypothesis states the reverse, that the minuscule energy deposited by cosmic rays in the atmosphere somehow promotes warming.’

    Sorry, but his article is shoddy.

  122. Peter Hannan says:

    Sorry for the omission, due to temporary cogtnitive focus, I must also recognise Christopher Monckton’s contributions as especially valuable.

Comments are closed.