Climate Scientists’ Road to Hell

Guest post by

If some of Michael Mann’s followers think that prominent skeptics belong in a special circle of hell (see ‘Mannte’s Inferno‘), here’s news for them.  The Nine Circles of Scientific Hell*, as proposed by Neuroskeptic blogspot, are likely to be well populated with climate scientists (*An excellent post from 2010 recently published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science).  CAGW alarmism seems to think ‘the end justified the means’ and supporters have gone to extraordinary lengths to defend or justify highly dubious actions.

Dante's Academic Hell

Image Source: Neuroskeptic Blogspot

If Hell is for the unrepentant and those who try to justify their sins, where might such individuals meet their end?  In Dante’s Inferno the sinners in each circle face a punishment for all eternity that befits their crimes. What punishments might be meted out in relation to climate (other than the generic ones suggested in the original post)?  With a little help from Josh, and a suitable sound track, let me take you through the Climate Scientists’ Road to Hell.

But let’s begin with the repentant.  These brave souls have seen the light and thus have avoided Hell but face Purgatory, where they toil in reparation.  One scientist who has dared to speak out is Judith Curry.  Her Climate Etc. blog is one of the few places where sceptics mix with believers and she has developed a reputation of giving no quarter to those who step over the line on epistemological attribution.  Mark Lynas might also get a pass for his willingness to criticize the IPCC for its renewables report with a conclusion that owed more to Greenpeace than science.

Jude of Arc mark_lynas_scr

First Circle: Limbo

According to Neuroskeptic:

“The uppermost circle is not a place of punishment, so much as regret. Those who have committed no scientific sins as such, but who turned a blind eye to it, and encouraged it by their awarding of grants and publications, spend eternity on top of this barren mountain, watching the carnage below and reflecting on how they are partially responsible…”

Reserved for those who observe the mess that climate science has become, subservient as it is to politics, and wonder whether redemption and a return to a true science-serving path is ever possible. Despite this they remain silent and do not speak out even in defense of others. This place could be full to bursting, such is the influence of the Hockey Team of reviewers and the carrot of climate-related funding.

Likely Denizens:  hamstrung journal editors and others for whom keeping jobs has been more important than truth; reviewers who wanted to keep in with the Hockey Team; scientists fearful of having papers rejected; funding agencies (NSF, RCUK); many IPCC reviewers who quietly, but uncomfortably, toe the line (let’s hope more start to speak out).  Also found here would be The Royal Society, AGU and the world’s various scientific bodies.  They deserve to be  castigated for following their own financial interests at the expense of science, or alternatively, simply being fooled. Scientific method anyone? What happened to insistence on testing and evidence?

Second Circle: Overselling

join_the_dots_scr“This circle is reserved for those who exaggerated the importance of their work in order to get grants or write better papers. Sinners are trapped in a huge pit, neck-deep in horrible sludge. Each sinner is provided with the single rung of a ladder, labelled ‘The Way Out – Scientists Crack Problem of Second Circle of Hell”

Well where do we start? Another level full to bursting. The whole climate ‘movement’ is based on overselling uncertain science, turning it into a world-threatening catastrophe.

Who deserves to spend eternity here?
The IPCC most definitely, and in particular its political aides responsible for the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) which rides roughshod over uncertainties; a vast swathe of alarmist climate scientists; Richard Muller for promoting BEST in advance of peer-review; University press departments who will happily spin a story on any finding way beyond its original significance; Tim Flannery for PR and wild statements; the late Stephen Schneider for his encouragement of climate science to oversell the science “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”; Al Gore for An Inconvenient Truth; Bill McKibben for connecting the dots. I could go on. 

Third Circle: Post-Hoc Storytelling

First we were told winters would be warmer and wetter: according to UEA’s David Viner “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,…”.  Then, just when we had forgotten how to build snowmen in Britain, snowy winters returned with a vengeance. Now we have the explanation “warming makes winters colder“.

dr liz
In fact those who tout weather-as-climate alarmism in general will reside here, of which the most recent example is probably Superstorm Sandy – a wimp beside the New England Hurricane of 1938.   James Hansen blamed Climate Change for the Russian heatwave of 2010 and US drought; NOAA disagreed publishing an article that it was “well within the bounds of natural climate variability”. Here also we have Al Gore for “Dirty Weather” along with Bill McKibben and Joe Romm. Basically, take an extreme weather event and blame climate change for it in the media. No matter that others speak out to counter this propaganda – the damage is done.

Richard Muller may be deserving of this circle for saying that he was a sceptic when he wasn’t, and for saying that the BEST results had converted him to alarmism when he had been in that camp from the start.

Greenpeace also gets a place here for their renewables reporting.  As Mark Lynas put it -

“Whilst the journal-published version looks like proper science, the propaganda version on the Greenpeace website has all the hallmarks of a piece of work which started with some conclusions and then set about justifying them.”

Fourth Circle: P-Value Fishing

“Those who tried every statistical test in the book until they got a p value less than 0.05 find themselves here, an enormous lake of murky water. Sinners sit on boats and must fish for their food. Fortunately, they have a huge selection of different fishing rods and nets (brandnames include Bayes, Student, Spearman and many more). Unfortunately, only one in 20 fish are edible, so they are constantly hungry.”

Matt Briggs
will appreciate this one and no doubt can suggest some misdemeanors.

On the basis that flawed use of statistical analysis also lands authors in this circle, we might find a certain Dr Eric Steig here, still arguing his side, having smeared warmth from the West Antarctic Peninsula across the continent as an artefact of his analysis.

A recent sinner here would be Dr Vaughan Pratt of Stanford University and his execrable post Multidecadal climate to within a millikelvin on Judith Curry’s blog, in which he claimed to have matched Hadley Centre temperatures (which have error bands around +-100 milliKelvins) to within “a few milliKelvins”. See Mike Jonas’ criticism Circular Logic not worth a Millikelvin on WUWT.

Of course the poster child for p-value abuse has to be a recent paper that links heat waves and birth defects. Willis takes the authors to task in “Keep doing that and you’ll go blind” while Matt Briggs also damns it (as is deserved). Really, some authors (and reviewers) need a common sense check.

Fifth Circle: Creative Use of Outliers


According to Neuroskeptic: “Those who ‘cleaned up’ their results by excluding inconvenient data-points are condemned here. Demons pluck out their hairs one by one, every time explaining that they are better off without that hair because there was something wrong with it.”

Climate scientists like to do things a little differently; sometimes the outliers are more useful than the bulk of the data.

The ultimate example of the use of outliers in climate science has to be the Yamal hockey stick, where one tree came to represent the entire global temperature (see also: here).

Sixth Circle: Plagiarism

Miscreants in the Sixth Circle of Hell should be forced to sit while unable to move or speak and repeatedly watch others being lauded in their place for their work, stolen and used without attribution.

produced bluster over plagiarism of a book (by Raymond Bradley) by Edward Wegman’s report to Congress investigating hockey sticks before it was shown that Bradley had copied captions from a 1976 book, also without citation. Eventually Wegman was “slapped on the wrist” for ‘extensive paraphrasing’ and ‘poor attribution’. But lack of attribution seems common enough in climate science. Kevin Trenberth was caught out by Steve McIntyre and quietly added citations, while Anthony Watts handled attribution oversight by Matt Menne and NOAA in an exemplary manner.  At blog level Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate has certainly incorporated information without acknowledgement, probably out of pettiness as Steve McIntyre suggests.

See also Donna LaFramboise’s post highlighting uncomfortable parallels between text in a chapter of the IPCC Second Assessment Report (1995) and a book by the lead author.

Seventh Circle: Non-Publication of Data

Phil Jones and colleagues at UEA CRU, and Michael Mann/UVa get star billing here for their determination to avoid FOI requests.  Non-archiving of data counts too, but perhaps the most insidious example is the disappearing data from the Polar Urals enabling the perpetuation of the hockey stick sham. The story is well covered by Andrew Montford’s The Yamal Deception:

“… [Steve] McIntyre discovered that an update to the Polar Urals series had been collected in 1999. Through a contact he was able to obtain a copy of the revised series. Remarkably, in the update the eleventh century appeared to be much warmer than in the original – in fact it was higher even than the twentieth century. This must have been a severe blow to paleoclimatologists, a supposition that is borne out by what happened next, or rather what didn’t: the update to the Polar Urals was not published, it was not archived and it was almost never seen again.”

Eighth Circle: Partial Publication of Data

Michael Mann gets a nomination for this circle for telling the story but not the whole story in Nature.  Of course Phil Jones and Keith Briffa are condemned here too by Phil Jones’ email:

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

Gergis et al, deserve a mention for prescreening of data (see subtitle “Screening Fallacy” here); selection of proxies in this manner constitutes partial publication – by only publishing the data that fits the presupposed relationship.  Partial publication could also be construed from the paper’s subsequent withdrawal – it partly made it.

Ninth Circle: Inventing Data


The ultimate crime. Inventing results, or publishing such erroneous and/or contrived data that the results constitute fraud near as dammit, comes pretty close too.

Stephan Lewandowsky is an offender here for “an article relying on fraudulent responses at stridently anti-skeptic blogs to yield fake results“.

Peter Gleick lands himself in this circle too. Luboš Motl summarized it as published a guest post by Eric Dennis Selling your soul for a narrative: understanding the Gleick fraud:

This fraud did not involve any aspect of his own research, but was purely ideological in nature, directed against the Heartland Institute, [...]. Gleick impersonated a Heartland board member in order to obtain confidential documents including the institute’s donor list. He proceeded to combine this material with a fabricated strategy memo, [...] and send the package anonymously to media organizations for the purpose of outing the donors and undermining future contributions.

Only after himself being outed as the source of these documents by the detective work of a non-catastrophist blog contributor, Gleick fessed up and thereby cemented his career self-sabotage.

Worthy of a Gleick Tragedy indeed.


Finally, if we total up the work done by Michael Mann and IPCC collaborators in producing, perpetuating and defending the Hockey Stick graph, clearly he has done plenty to earn a spot here for eternity.  It is a lot more than just ‘hiding the decline’ – see a History Of How The Hockey Stick Was Manufactured; How to Make a Hockey Stick– Paleoclimatology (What they don’t want you to know) and consider what Climategate, and FOI uncovered. If you are still in any doubt, review maps and graphs from Jo Nova’s Fraudulent hockey sticks and hidden data that make it clear ‘just how brazen the Hockey Stick fraud is’.


I like to think of Mann and his IPCC cohorts marooned in a ship frozen into the Arctic ice at the pole waiting in vain each year for the summer melt to bring an ice-free Arctic thus enabling the release of their ship.  In the meantime they are forced to use their own analytical methods to analyze large quantities of data.  If the method can produce anything other than a hockey stick they will escape, but it never does – all data run through the programme produces hockey sticks – even data from telephone directory.

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79 Responses to Climate Scientists’ Road to Hell

  1. Darren says:

    The Prius on the other hand sounds strikingly similar to my Roomba when it gets wrapped up in a lamp cord. Not to disparage the Roomba because I am pretty sure it will accelerate faster and cover more distance on a full charge than the Prius.

  2. tz says:

    I suppose if they are stuck, frozen in the Arctic, hockey sticks would be useful, at least if they could also generate the occasional Puck. Or perhaps Puck is their Tempest-ous tormentor. Every so often while playing their data is checked and they are slammed into the boards for deviations. They can only score goals while cheating.

  3. cui bono says:

    Hah! Brilliant!

    No doubt everyone can nominate additions to this hell. There should also be a special hell for scribblers (I won’t call them journalists) who have torn up their journalistic ethos to spread the gospel (Seth Borenstein; Richard Black ex of the BBC; Harrabin ditto without the ex; most of the, um, BBC……).

  4. DirkH says:

    Subsidy train still rolling, EPA still bent on turning the US into a Kyoto II wasteland… NYT etc continue to tell the world it’s warming… Unrelenting production of protective hypotheses (WAIS melting)… Scientists around the world still pretend it’s science…

    Dies as hard as the USD.

  5. John West says:

    Y’all forgot Parcutt’s 10th circle.

  6. RACookPE1978 says:

    Thank you!

  7. Keith G says:

    It is those that would occupy the First Circle, “Limbo”, those that have turned a blind eye, that should be of greatest concern – if only because they are, without doubt, the greatest in number.

    The following states the case well:

    ” And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong …., isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.”

    There are few phrases in the English language more potent than “No, I do not agree”. Sadly, in recent years, it is a phrase that has not been heard often enough.

  8. Rob Dawg says:

    We need another lower circle for those who threaten legal action to stifle dissent.

  9. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    Very impressive!

  10. Aussie Luke Warm says:

    Loved it. Worthy of re-publishing in a major literary or satire periodical or supplement.

  11. Excellent article, which should make more than a few uncomfortable.

    I’d add a 10th circle for those who block or otherwise prevent studies that have the potential to cause problems for the CAGW narrative.

    There are many examples. One is that there hasn’t been a study that examines maximum and minimum temperatures in relation to aerosols over the well established urban weekly temperature cycle. Such studies offer the opportunity to more precisely quantify aerosol effects on temperatures, but more accurate quantification of aerosol effects would likely require reductions in the CO2 forcing used in the models.

  12. Verity Jones says:

    Yup, need a 10th Circle. @tz – good suggestion. @ Keith G – I agree. Those who have allowed it to happen are of most concern.

    Very hard to chose what to include and, in some cases, which circle was deserved. Plenty of room for suggestions (and disagreement). Thanks for the complements, now I’m calling it a night.

  13. Steven Mosher says:

    one might argue there is a difference between overselling, and pre selling.
    one might argue there is value to be had in letting everyone review a paper prior to
    publication rather than letting only 3 anonymous folks have a crack at it.
    Personally, I see no issue with releasing papers ( see arvix) and data prior to
    review and publication. Part of the reason for supporting surface stations work was that you could see the work as it progressed. The other part of supporting it has to do with believing that peer review is not a gold standard. A blog post by Willis, like a draft paper by anthony, or a draft paper by Muller, or a published paper by hansen, all stand against the same test. Can the results be replicated ( as a minimum) and can you or anybody else find a hole in them. As long as the data and methods (code) are supplied I see no difference between a willis blog post, a watts draft, a muller draft, and a Hansen paper. If any refuses to share the data and code, then we have a different story. Of course some people are granted better stages to talk about their work prior to publication than others are afforded Tough. I’m not going to sit here and complain that it’s unfair that some blogs get more traffic than others, or that the NYT talks to some people and not others.
    The nice thing is that for 5 years I have consistently argued against pay walls, against relying soley on peer review and for open publication of code and data.

  14. JLC says:

    This article makes me uneasy. Dr Richard Parncutt has — justly — been strongly criticised for writing that “climate denialists” should be executed. This article says that people who deceive others when promoting CAGW should go to hell. This seems hypocritical to me. This article is not as outrageous as Dr Parncutt’s and it is intended to be humourous, but it is still advocating a disproportionate punishment for people whose opinions are different from the writer’s opinions.

    WUWT encourages civil debate about scientific issues, with an emphasis on the science. It sets high standards and discourages petty spite. I think this article does not meet those standards and is unworthy of WUWT.

    Please, let’s not descend to these levels, even in jest.

  15. noaaprogrammer says:

    There are no temperatures associated with the 9 circles of hell. Is there no CO2 in hell?!

  16. noaaprogrammer says:

    The good Lord himself told a story about Lazarus in hell to combat an erroneous belief that wealth was an indicator of divine favor and poverty was a sign of God’s judgement upon a person. That’s all we’re doing here – combating the idea that millions in funding is an indicator of scientific truth – and those who fail to receive funding for lack of CAGW results are shunned and regarded as being outside the ‘scientific’ community.

  17. Mike Jonas says:

    Verity – while you were no doubt in the final stages of polishing your post, along came another candidate for the 9th circle – inventing data: David H. Bromwich et al with their “Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

    The paper states “Here, we present a complete temperature record for Byrd Station, in which observations have been corrected, and gaps have been filled using global reanalysis data and spatial interpolation.“.

    IOW, they made it all up.

  18. Mr Lynn says:

    JLC says:
    December 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm
    This article makes me uneasy. Dr Richard Parncutt has — justly — been strongly criticised for writing that “climate denialists” should be executed. This article says that people who deceive others when promoting CAGW should go to hell. This seems hypocritical to me. . .

    Not quite; the Climatists are earning their own levels of Hades by engaging in unscientific, unethical, and ultimately fraudulent activity, while proclaiming their unsullied virtue. Their pretense is the hypocrisy, not the author’s. She is not sending them to Hell; the Climatists are finding their own way into the depths of anti-scientific turpitude.

    /Mr Lynn

  19. D Böehm says:

    Excellent article, right on target. Thanks for posting.

  20. AndyL says:

    Is there a circle where you are forced to listen to Chris Rea for eternity?

  21. @JLC.
    This article make me uneasy, too. Being uneasy makes you think. It raises your awareness.

    @Verity Jones.
    This is an important piece. It took courage to write it. It took diligence to document it with links and citations.

    One can quibble with your definitions of the N-layers of scientific hell; who you put where and why. Great. Let them quibble.

    Let it stand that
    1. there are levels of scientific hell
    2. they are not all equal
    3. That they are populated by people who earned their place in a circle.

    What you did was give an objective criteria for each of these levels. Let people criticize your assignment. For in doing so, they acknowledge that there is scientific malfeasance, and that there are many degrees of that malfeasance, each deserving a circle in a scientific hell.

    The persons that you have populating these circles can only hope to ignore this piece. It would be a battlefield not of their choosing. For myself, I hope your concept of circles of scientific hell lives on, be taught in school, and become as famous as that short note Martin Luther posted on the door in Wittenberg.

  22. ocker says:

    What! No vice for the nether regions?

  23. Very good Verity.

    Yes, in this scheme we need more circles.

    The tenth circle for those who give traction to hate, and forcibly suppress publication and evidence: the BBC breaking their own charter; the suppression of Soon and Baliunas; the red button movie; etc

    The eleventh circle for those who have suppressed stuff so “successfully” that most people here haven’t even heard about them. Like those who had Eugene Mallove dispatched, for example.

    The twelfth circle for those who designed the two towers event using “weird” technology, knowledge of which does not even exist – officially.

    And who will represent Vergil, to guide us through the “lowerarchy” and teach compassion and hope, as well as truth and justice?

  24. Farmer Charlie says:

    I’m afraid that I, too, am very uneasy reading this after the outrage over the ‘Kill the Deniers’ article. It will come back to bite you!

  25. Bloke down the pub says:

    Verity’s post reminded me of the Terry Pratchett book Faust Eric, where Eric and the ‘hero’ Rincewind are escaping from hell. Carved into the steps are phrases such as I must clean out the garage or I must return next door’s lawn mower. Rincewind realises that the Devil’s approach to things is very literal.
    How many climate scientists have found themselves in an hell of their own making due to good intentions?

  26. Verity Jones says:

    @Steven Mosher
    Pre-selling of science is different from overselling, but focuses on results and supposes that there are no flaws in the process of arriving at the results. The media interest generated by pre-selling of high profile papers would be more acceptable if the press followed every comment, move and development in the dissection of a paper, but that is the exception not the rule. One could argue that those who wish to alert others to a pre-publication know very well the channels they can use, without requiring a press release. That goes for ‘both sides’ but it is a sad fact of life today that jostling for attention seems to be a pre-requisite to any progress within a debate.

    @JLC @Farmer Charlie
    This is meant to be humorous and note that the accusations of ‘wrongdoing’ were for the most part made by others (see links). If it makes you uncomfortable seeing them fitted into someone else’s* (Neuroskeptic) categories of ‘scientific crimes’, remember that the two ‘sides’ of the climate debate are about opinions and evidence (*and a peer-reviewed publication no less!). Many skeptics’ actions – no doubt my own included – would fit somewhere into these levels and we should all aspire to avoid them. See also Mr Lynn’s comment (thanks – I couldn’t have said it better myself).

  27. Verity Jones says:

    @Mike Jonas
    Ha – I cringe when I see the word ‘reanalysis’. Great to have a few days off and more time to read blogs, Gone are the old days when I read everything soon after posting.

  28. LevelGaze says:

    To those who claim to feel “unease” over this posting -
    You either really believe there is a hell
    and/or you have no sense of humour at all (like Parncutt).

  29. papiertigre says:

    Ouch. Of the thousand notable things that Luboš Motl has said, you picked out and misattributed a guest post by Eric Dennis.

    That’s just mean.

  30. Verity Jones says:

    @Stephen Rasey
    Note – not my concept but taken from a peer-reviewed publication(;-0)

    @Lucy Skywalker
    12th Circle – climate?

  31. Verity Jones says:

    Fixed – a complete oversight on my part due to the haste of wishing to complete before another day faded. Thanks.

  32. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Great piece! Having suffered the Purgatory of reading Dante’s Inferno in high school I feel both the pain and the satisfaction of Justice Prevailing.

    My brother used to teach a course at U of Alberta called, “The History of Heaven and Hell”. The evolution of our collective visions will no doubt now include the creative work above as a step to accepting the ultimate reality: that our Hell will be of our own making and includes being made aware of the pain we have caused to others while knowingly choosing to sin for our own, temporary advantage.

    While the materialist will argue that ‘sin’ is an arbitrary construct, the realist acknowledges Mankind’s higher nature with our evident capacity to know right from wrong, to know justice from injustice. Stealing billions from the agencies erected to assist the poor and downtrodden in order to service the wealthy and mean is naught but manifest injustice and will be punished.

  33. Mike Haseler says:

    I would add another level … one to all the sceptics who sat on their knowledge. Who endlessly talked to each other, who arrogantly believed in our own moral superiority for not “selling out” and for demanding that the media mountain should come to us – with the result that we have been ignored and much of the media, public & politicians have never heard our views.

  34. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Verity, for the light-hearted but thorough summary of the faults that plague climate science.

  35. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Philip Bradley

    Re your idea to study the effect of aerosols and particulate matter on temperature with the consequent impact on the forcing power on CO2:

    The work by Dr Tami Bond since 2003 is a hint in the right direction. She was unfairly maligned on WUWT a couple of weeks ago. She has been putting actual numbers on the impact of black and organic carbon.

    With respect to empirical studies, please see the AMHIB Report (World Bank website, Mongolia section). That report covers the work of Prof Lodoysamba, a nuclear physicist who, on his own time, studied PM levels and elemental analysis of filter samples to construct attribution to source charts. Especially see Chapter 2.

    That work continues under the UB-CAP project and includes spatial resolution of temperature and PM with some size fraction information. JICA and the Germans are also involved. As the PM load reaches >4400 ug/m3 in Ulaanbaatar it is a data set that you could use. As the fugitive dust, condensed volatiles and BC are differentiated, and vary seasonally, you might find it a rich mine.

    If you cannot locate Prof Lodoysamba at the National University of Mongolia please ask the mods to give you my contact details.

  36. papiertigre says:

    I forgive you. (Looked better the way you had it anyhow ;)

  37. Kaboom says:

    @Rob Dawg: That’s not a circle in itself, it’s just the bottom of the latrine that runs through the upper nine levels.

  38. ClearAirTurbulence says:

    This is a superb piece, well thought out, meticulously researched and succinctly presented. It mocks the falsity at the heart of C.A.G.W. and its proponents mercilessly as both it and they so thoroughly deserve.

    For our American friends especially, post the atrocity at Sandy Hook, please note that nothing in this article indicates that the writer wishes the demise of any proponent of C.A.G.W. even one nanosecond before their appointed time. This missive and the motives behind it are the polar opposites of those that drive the likes of, for example: Dr Richard Parncutt and the authors of the execrable “No pressure” video.

    Verity and Dante before him are merely pointing out what should be obvious to any thoughtful observer, that we humans have a deep seated desire to see justice done. i.e. A persons actions in life should be paid back in an appropriate manner in the after life (for all you Atheists out there this is a thought experiment!).

    Mockery and ridicule are very potent weapons in any contest of ideas and ideologies. We wield them all too infrequently from the Sceptical side, and yet they are so thoroughly appropriate for use on the alarmist charlatans, particularly as in this case they are intelligently applied.

    On a final note for any who are feeling uncomfortable with this form of mockery, here is a thought experiment. How uncomfortable will you feel when in a high pressure cold snap the wind turbines stop turning as the winds die and the lubricants freeze up, the solar panels covered in snow and ice cease to generate power, and the decrepit coal, gas and nuclear power generating infrastructure collapses under the strain of meeting spiking demand. Then it will be real lives that are lost prematurely, especially the poor, the elderly and the infirm. Just look at Poland, Russia and The Punjab over the past few weeks.

  39. David says:

    Where amongst all these wasters are the politcians (here in the UK we’ve got a whole bunch of them) who’ve bought hook, line and sinker into this quasi-religion, for – er – tax raising and personal benefit reasons..?

  40. Farmer Charlie says:

    My thoughts are simply that it will only be a short time before the Warmists are spinning and misquoting this piece along the lines of ‘Deniers wishing Mann was in Hell!!!!’

  41. What an excellent way to spend the week of Jesus’ birth, delineating precisely what kind of eternal torment people you disagree with will suffer. And especially nice to see this kind of creativity applied to those already dead and hence unable to respond, like Stephen Schneider. A really powerful (and revealing) paper!

  42. Richard says:

    …for the record, when I was young the we’re a number of news stories about the climate cooling. As little kids we were frightened by stories that the UK was heading fo another ice age. I googled once and found the newspaper trail, but it is hard to believe now isn’t it! Sure a few oldies remember this?

  43. jayhd says:

    JLC and Farmer Charlie – Verity has written a superb humor piece aimed at the CAGW hoaxsters and their supporters. She is too gentle. Mann and cohorts deserve all the scorn and derision thrown at them. I am personally of the firm conviction that Mann et al have a particularly hot place in Hell reserved for them for their hoax – which has caused misery to untold thousands of people and cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

  44. Bruce Cobb says:

    But, at least they are all “well-intentioned” (i.e. save the planet, the grandchildren, the polar bears, etc.).

  45. Bruce Cobb says:

    bill mckibben says:
    December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

    What an excellent way to spend the week of Jesus’ birth, delineating precisely what kind of eternal torment people you disagree with will suffer. And especially nice to see this kind of creativity applied to those already dead and hence unable to respond, like Stephen Schneider. A really powerful (and revealing) paper!
    Get over yourself, Bill, and while you’re at it, grow a funny bone. I know that’s difficult for you people. Your humor-impairment almost matches your logic-impairment. Sorry if that hurts your tender feelings. It’s hilarious that you refer to this as a “disagreement”.

  46. What irks me and others about this is the constant obfuscation – not believing in CAGW means that we’re paid spreaders of propaganda. It’s the blackened cookware calling the coffee cup black.

    We need to get the truth written in all of the journals. We are not fooled by the lies, and we are not funded by the liars. It was appalling to see Anthony actually have to defend receiving a paltry $44,000. Mann has pocketed millions over an utter fabrication, and his hockey stick needs to double as a suppository.

    Simply put, Mann needs to be ferried by Charon betwixt and between the various circles of Hell to which he belongs.

    Happy holidays to to everyone who understands that Mother Nature does not ascribe to the whims of the market.

  47. mpainter says:

    Bill McKibben, December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

    What an excellent way to spend the week of Jesus’ birth, delineating precisely what kind of eternal torment people you disagree with will suffer. And especially nice to see this kind of creativity applied to those already dead and hence unable to respond, like Stephen Schneider. A really powerful (and revealing) paper!
    Let me tell you what is revealing: Parncutt’s advocacy of genocide against skeptics, and the refusal of notable advocates of AGW to repudiate such genocide. These are your fellows in the climate debate. You come here not to condemn them but condemn skeptics because we protest our proscription by your friends.

  48. William says:

    Climategate continues today as it is obvious that observations and analysis (for example the past 16 years without warming, satellite data that shows the planet’s feedback response to a change in forcing is negative rather than positive and so on.) does not support the extreme AGW paradigm. As observations and scientific analysis do not support the extreme AGW paradigm, it is necessary to state the time to discuss science is over, to hide the raw data, to manipulate data to create a hockey stick, to block scientific papers from being published that do not support the extreme AGW paradigm.

    That type of behavior will eventually result in the loss of ones position and invoke strong condemnation from the scientific community and the general public.

    A February 2, 2005 email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann includes: “And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs [Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days?—our does! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.

    In a May 2008 e-mail, Phil Jones writes to Michael Mann, with the subject line “IPCC & FOI”: “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise…Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.”[9]

    In a hacked email from Phil Jones (not cc’d to me, William: the writer “me” is Kevin Trenberth), he wrote: “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

    After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns…. …Shortly after Dr. Trenberth requested that I draft the Atlantic hurricane section for the AR4′s Observations chapter, Dr. Trenberth participated in a press conference organized by scientists at Harvard on the topic “Experts to warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity” along with other media interviews on the topic. The result of this media interaction was widespread coverage that directly connected the very busy 2004 Atlantic hurricane season as being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming occurring today. Listening to and reading transcripts of this press conference and media interviews, it is apparent that Dr. Trenberth was being accurately quoted and summarized in such statements and was not being misrepresented in the media. These media sessions have potential to result in a widespread perception that global warming has made recent hurricane activity much more severe.

    Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small. The latest results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Knutson and Tuleya, Journal of
    Climate, 2004) suggest that by around 2080, hurricanes may have winds and rainfall about 5% more intense than today. It has been proposed that even this tiny change may be an exaggeration as to what may happen by the end of the 21st Century (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Landsea, Journal of Climate, 2005, submitted)…. ….It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity.

  49. Jim G says:

    This is an email I received. I did not “fact check” it as the fact check sites cannot be trusted in my opinion, plus I figured that our posters ( or our trolls) will crucify me if the numbers are wrong anyway and are better fact checkers than left leaning fact check sites. Interesting stuff.

    “China has 19% of the world’s population, but consumes … 53% of the world’s cement48% of the world’s iron ore47% of the world’s coal …. and the majority of just about every other major commodity. In 2010, China produced 11 times more steel than the United States. New World Record: China made and sold 18 million vehicles in 2010. There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined. China currently has the world’s fastest train and the world’s largest high-speed rail network. China is currently the number one producer in the world of wind and solar power, but don’t use it themselves. While they manufacture 80% of the world’s solar panels, they install less than 5% and build a new coal fired power station every week. In one year they turn on more new coal powered electricity than Australia’s total output. China currently controls more than 90% of the total global supply of rare earth elements. In the past 15 years, China has moved from 14th place to 2nd place in the world in published scientific research articles. China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire globe. At the end of March 2011, China accumulated US$3.04 trillion in foreign currency reserves –the largest stockpile on the entire globe. Chinese people consume 50,000 cigarettes every second … They are already the largest carbon dioxide emitter and their output will rise 70% by 2020. ~*~*~*~*~*~ And we think we’re saving the planet?! It will not make one iota of difference what we do in Australia, Canada, the United States or anywhere else in the world; for that matter, all the politicians are doing is increasing our cost of living and making our manufacturers uncompetitive in the world market, with their idiotic carbon tax, when countries like china are growing and consuming at these extraordinary rates! Time to wake up! “

  50. thorsten says:

    Don’t take McKibben and the other bible-thumpers seriously – those who seriously believe in naive folk-tales like those about “hell” and “Jesus Christ” are by their degree of mental warpedness or retardedness unable to grasp the concept of Science, or even much more basic concepts of human life. We should pity then, and at the same time keep them away from any position of power and influence, like our forefathers wisely did with those spreading other dangerous diseases, and with those likely to cause disruption among the honest citizens [SNIP].

    [I'll take it you worded your comment badly; if you actually meant it the way you wrote it don't even think of trying again ~Mod]

  51. atheok says:


    Isn’t there a corner of Hades reserved for the incestuous pal reviewers committing various nefarious acts of collusion? Even though the alarmingly huge crowds of the catastrophic climate polemic faithful destined to enjoy many of the levels shown above will already make Hades crowded.

    Of course, while the Hades bound will probably be more comfortable amongst all their climate faith blinded friends. Then again who will they shriek horrific destinies to then? Or will the fuzzy Mckibbies begin scaring the Manniluddites or the Gleick-magnons, perhaps they’ll even poll the Lewdandumowskys? Don’t forget, there are no Nobel prizes in Hades!

    Once upon a time, a co-worker asked me in an aside, “What if, the after life is everything that we’ve ever done to others is done to us, forever?” Can one imagine plants forever lying about cores of Manniacal? Or perhaps

  52. Kaboom says:

    The living hoaxters already experience their own little hell. The true believers face their delusion of a dystopian future where the only ray of sunshine would be their crowing of “I told you so!” and the profiteers deep down know that the day will come when it all comes crashing down on them, that they may realize it too late and be left holding the bag for their smarter brethren who’ll sell them out for political gain and plea bargains to avoid prison.

  53. mkelly says:

    The last level will be reserved for the rest of us should the ideas of folks like Mann etc, for CO2 reduction get adopted by policy makers. Steve Milloy’s “Green Hell” is where these folks in the other levels will lead us if they are not opposed.

    Nice post Verity.

  54. Bruce Cobb says:

    The good news for the CACAs is that redemption is possible, by simply confessing what they have done, and actively working to get the truth out about climate instead of spreading lies. I hear someone’s been building ratholes for them to help them climb out of what must be a tough situation, so that should help.

  55. Mike Haseler says:
    December 28, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I would add another level … one to all the sceptics who sat on their knowledge. Who endlessly talked to each other, who arrogantly believed in our own moral superiority for not “selling out” and for demanding that the media mountain should come to us – with the result that we have been ignored and much of the media, public & politicians have never heard our views.

    That’s unfair. The mountain has come to WUWT, and likewise to some extent to certain other contrarian sites.

    It is the job of the media to monitor them, and other sites, or at least to check up on them from time to time. It’s not the job of such sites to market themselves.

    And anyway, contrarians have ventured out into the comments columns of the MSM, quoting and posting links to our sites–which is a sort of marketing. And CFACT has sent envoys to IPCC gatherings, where they’ve engaged in attention-getting stunts; Heartland, Climate Depot, SEPP, and the GWPF have engaged in media outreach, and the compiling of various sorts of contrarian “ammo,” etc. Through politicians like Inhofe, this information has made an impact in that the Senate didn’t confirm cap and trade, and that the proportion of contrarians in the US has grown and is much higher here than elsewhere.

    However, I understand MH’s frustration that our side’s efforts haven’t been effectual enough. Somehow, contrarians collectively have not “got their act together.” Implicitly, I made many serious suggestions (and a few facetious ones) in my “Notes from Skull Island,” here: I hope someone with resources and/or influence was paying attention.

    I also contributed about a dozen WUWT-improvement ideas to a thread Anthony started asking for such feedback, here: And I’ve posted four or five suggestions subsequently, here and there. I’d repost them to that “retooling” thread, but comments are closed there now, alas.

    I also liked Anthony’s other crowdsourcing thread, asking for suggestions for a “Did You Know . . . ” tab that would package tidbits of contrarian data and analysis for easy digestion by our target audience.

    There are lots of things that could be done, if our side could only get organized and funded.

  56. Volker Doormann says:

    Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley says: “But there’s a CONSENSUS!” shrieked the bossy environmentalist with the messy blonde hair. “That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” I replied.

    Caution, she’s not alone:


  57. ZootCadillac says:

    @Bill Mckibben The week of jesus’ birth eh? Let’s consider that a moment. Jeus is an English translation of a Greek name. There was no child born in Bethlehem called jesus, not now nor likely not ever. if we accept that there was a child born who later grew up to become skilled in prophecy and preaching ( there were of course, as any theological scholar will know, thousands of such people, after all prophecy was the fallback skill for the feckless. I expect they had a saying similar to “those who can, do. Those who can’t, preach ) then he would likely have been called Yeshua. The English translation of which is Joshua.
    It’s not widely accepted amongst scholars that the child who grew to be the subject of the new testament was born close to this week or even close to the year widely accepted by Christian faith. Let’s face it Bill, the people of ancient Galilee and Samaria were not much for calendars. Even the European Julian calendar, had they heard of it, turned out to be a bit of a bust, what with the vernal equinox problem. Our own modern Calendar came some 1600 years later than the alleged birth and I personally don’t trust the catholic church to have cared much for letting facts get in the way of whatever suited their mission to remain in control of the populace Their archiving was just as wanting, being sparse and given to hyperbolic rhetoric, flowery prose and much exaggeration, something Bill, I think you can agree, has sadly continued to this day in the field of climatology. We know little of truth about young Joshua least of all being able to pin down his birthday.
    Even if we accept that such a child was born, lived and became the seed of great tales, and even though I personally think the idea of god is a nonsense and that organised religion is the biggest bane of human history and the biggest hindrance to the growth of civilisation today I do believe that there was a living human, possible a combination of a few, who gave rise to the biblical sagas that came centuries after his death, I’d like to think that if he were to return as prophesied then he’d be more than able to spot the deceivers, charlatans and money-grubbers feeding at the trough of climate science today.

    Bill dear boy, Verity’s work is a light-hearted piece of fiction, a parody. You Americans love your first amendment rights don’t you? I believe the work is much protected by that act. Unlike recent hate speech coming from Austria which is not protected but prohibited in most of the Western world, even being a crime in Austria since 2010 ( I’m still considering a police complaint about Parncutt’s recent diatribe but that’s another story ) so have an egg-nog and lighten up. ‘Tis the season and all that.

    Happy holidays Bill, may your chosen deity bless you with the gifts you truly deserve.

    ( in the interest of transparency my given name is Craig Frier, my nickname has been with me many years, it’s habit to use it )

  58. ZootCadillac says:

    I’m hoping that my rather long post has just been lost to the spam bin. having written it twice on this fiddling little netbook and due to incompetence and a ludicrously cramped keyboard managed to delete my first draft with no chance of recovery then re-written it on same keyboard i don’t possess the will to write it again :)

    [Reply: Rescued from spam folder and posted. — mod.]

  59. Kasuha says:

    I consider this article a very, very bad kind of joke. I don’t think it’s very different from certain professor calling for death sentences on Skeptics, actually. Maybe he was joking, too?
    You don’t seem to care about the fact that many skeptics are no better than those you are putting to various levels of hell here. You don’t seem to care about the fact that you essentially use the same questionable methods. I can see half of the WUWT staff all over the hell you invented yourself for perfectly the same reasons you’re putting other people there.
    To me it’s a new low for WUWT. I wonder what will be next.

  60. mpainter says:

    Kasuha says: December 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm
    Lighten up, Kashua, it’s a parody on Dante at the expense of the global warmers. For your information, parody is an art form and high comedy. So relax, enjoy the humor, feel better, and live longer.

  61. D Böehm says:


    You’re trying to point out a mote in someone else’s eye, when you have a beam in your own eye. It is astonishing that you are comparing this tame and entertaining article with Parncrutt’s call for the execution of scientific skeptics. You need to get a grip. And a moral compass.

    The cartoon of hell is from XKCD, not Verity. And note that none of the circles of hell have a specific punishment. It is an allegory intended to show the corruption and deceit endemic to the climate alarmist crowd. Sorry you don’t understand the difference between pointing out flaws with allegory, versus true evil. The 1930′s were not that long ago.

  62. john robertson says:

    Humour for the humourless.
    On par with science for the sciency scam?

  63. ClearAirTurbulence says:

    Rhetorical devices and metaphors.

    Oh for Pete’s sake, how clearly does this have to be spelled out. The whole point of the article is to highlight the dishonest motives, methods and techniques of the C.A.G.W. lobby. It has precisely nothing to do with wishing our opponents to suffer in a pit of liquid fire as anyone with an ounce of common sense or a rudimentary sense of humour would know.
    The punishments described are merely there to highlight and make clearer the nature of the wrongdoing committed in the name of “the cause”.
    In fact as has been pointed out several times, Dante would have needed more levels in his Hell to accommodate all of the tricks both clever and thug alike used in promoting this scam.

    There is always the risk that in using religious imagery some will take it the wrong way, perhaps because it tugs at some of our most deep seated emotions and sensibilities. That is life, but please do not attribute an evil motive to such a piece of writing just because we have so many examples of our interlocutors wishing us real physical harm. That is a sign of increasing desperation on their part whereas our problem is simply getting heard in the wider world.

    We need more Verities, Judith’s, Willis’ and Anthony’s speaking out and writing in eye catching ways so that many more people can understand as clearly as possible the sceptical strands of argument. It only takes one pebble sliding down a hill to start a landslide. Who knows which minds may be opened by this piece and who in turn they influence. Likewise there will be others who’s minds close thanks to the particular imagery used. For them there are other messengers using different images, metaphors and rhetorical devices.

  64. Verity Jones says:

    @Kaboom Good one. LOL

    Mockery and ridicule are very potent weapons in any contest of ideas and ideologies.
    Indeed. Whole comment – very well said.

  65. D Böehm says:

    Bill McKibben whines:

    “And especially nice to see this kind of creativity applied to those already dead and hence unable to respond, like Stephen Schneider.”

    Stephen Schneider specifically advocated and encouraged lying to further the climate alarmist agenda. We don’t give Herr Schickelgruber a free pass just because he’s dead, and the same goes for the mendacious Schneider.

  66. Ian H says:

    The sixth circle plagiarism comic and the seventh circle graphic following the words “Gleick Tragedy” are both absurdly tiny and need to be resized.

  67. Verity Jones says:

    @Farmer Charlie
    Sadly you were right. People seem to take some things far too literally when Dante himself made it clear his “Comedia” was an allegory, with the Christian soul in the lowest level ‘Inferno’ seeing sin for what it is. As an allegory it is also very fitting here and I would suggest that those who take issue with this only show themselves up as the one dimensional creatures they are.

    @Bill McKibben
    Au contraire I think it very fitting to remind people of the need for following a righteous path and that societal rules (in this case scientific ones) may not be broken for the sake of any cause. You also misunderstand the use of Dante’s allegory here where the point is that the torments are specific and appropriate to the sins themselves, therefore the punishments, such as they are, would be brought on by the ‘sinners’ themselves.

    As I said here

    Personally I think a Skeptic’s Road to Hell is equally deserved. I am a great believer in the saying that when you point a finger at someone you have three pointing back at yourself.

    Yes, I’ve picked on Stephen Schneider – in his defense he did say IIRC that each should look to his own conscience, nonetheless he suggested scientists should avoid mention of their doubts. That’s what has got us into the whole climate issue now – with uncertainty being played down.

  68. DirkH says:

    bill mckibben says:
    December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am
    “What an excellent way to spend the week of Jesus’ birth, delineating precisely what kind of eternal torment people you disagree with will suffer. And especially nice to see this kind of creativity applied to those already dead and hence unable to respond, like Stephen Schneider. A really powerful (and revealing) paper!”

    It was a response to the Dante’s inferno post on Mann’s facebook page, not to Parncutts plans to execute the pope, McKibben. Given that your totalitarians come up with another extermination idea every day of the week I see it’s difficult for you to keep track but PLEASE TRY.

  69. Verity Jones says:

    Oh here’s another good one. From Wikipedia – Divine Comedy

    Each sin’s punishment in Inferno is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice; for example, fortune-tellers have to walk with their heads on backwards, unable to see what is ahead, because that was what they had tried to do in life.

    For fortune-tellers, read modellers!

  70. Harddoneby says:

    There is a hell and a special place in hell for people who dupe other people by falsifying data. It will be a very crowded place too. Mainly filled up with 97% of climate scientists whose work supports AGW.

  71. DirkH says:

    Verity Jones says:
    December 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm
    “Yes, I’ve picked on Stephen Schneider – in his defense he did say IIRC that each should look to his own conscience, nonetheless he suggested scientists should avoid mention of their doubts. That’s what has got us into the whole climate issue now – with uncertainty being played down.”

    schneider was the major organizer who kept the IPCC machine humming. They’re falling apart without him.

    (Doesn’t stop the Kyoto / FIT / EPA train – but the IPCC is pretty much finished)

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    At first I thought this would likely be a bit silly but probably not that interesting. Then, as each circle was descended, I came to realize that it was not only quite well done, and considerably entertaining, but that it was a very approachable parable about the whole sorry mess of “climate science”.

    So double points: Both for art / humor and for effect…

  73. DecentFellow says:

    I wonder where all those people who publish in scientific journals would appear on this classification. Or where for that matter, those people who do not receive skeptical material for publication in those same journals?

  74. Verity Jones says:

    High praise indeed, Thank you.

    It did start out as a bit of fun, but as it developed gained depth and substance. It felt important to add all the links because there are so many out there who swallowed the whole climate story and only recently came to doubt: they do not know the detailed history of the hockeystick shenanigans for example. Indeed it predates my conversion to scepticism such that I found it quite valuable and instructive searching Climate Audit (mostly) for appropriate links. I found aspects that I was previously unaware of such as the non-publication of the Polar Urals update.

    There’s nothing intrinsically ‘bad’ about publishing scientists, although there is a lot wrong with the system of peer review, and the journal ‘system’ does hark back rather to the pre-digital age. As for those who do not receive skeptical material, it depends where the fault lies – is it fear from scientists that if they submit such material it will be a career-killer? Nonetheless they may regret the state that climate science has gotten into that they feel such a way. That sounds like Circle One (Limbo).

    I suppose the main difficulty with writing this was the need to assign ‘crimes’ and punishments to certain circles and the ‘judgement’ needed to do so being so very subjective. As several commenters have said, it makes one think, and that is no bad thing.

  75. DERise says:

    Interesting idea, but with the exception of the few who have changed (Judith Curry, Patric Moore, etc.) who are working their way out of it, these …people… already have a place waiting for them. The original eighth circle, Fraud. That pretty much covers everyone involved, including the politicians, who have no scientific background. And “Sorcerers, Astrologers, and Fasle Prophets” is an apt description of many AWG types.

  76. mpainter says:

    another: Peter: “My see, my see, what have you done to my see?”

    For Peter, substitute Newton, as founder of radiation physics.

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