Rebuttal to the attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook

[author's note: this article was originally submitted as a "letter to the editor" to the Bellingham Herald, a newspaper that published an attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook. The Herald refused to publish my rebuttal. The executive editor, July Shirley (julie.shirley@bellinghamherald.com) explained "We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter."]

Letter to the Editor by Dr. David Deming

I write in rebuttal to the March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty criticizing Dr. Don Easterbrook. I have a Ph.D in geophysics and have published research papers on climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In 2006 I testified before the US Senate on global warming. Additionally, I am the author of a three-volume history of science.

I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. Skepticism is essential to science. But the goal of the geology faculty at WWU seems to be to suppress critical inquiry and insist on dogmatic adherence to ideology.

The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis.

There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.

One might think that the foregoing facts would raise doubts in scientists interested in pursuing objective truth. But global warming is not so much a scientific theory subject to empirical falsification as it is a political ideology that must be fiercely defended in defiance of every fact to the contrary. In the past few years we have been told that not only hot weather but cold weather is caused by global warming. The blizzards that struck the east coast of the US in 2010 were attributed to global warming. Every weather event–hot, cold, wet or dry–is said to be caused by global warming. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.

Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.

At the heart of the WWU geology faculty criticisms was the claim that peer review creates objective and reliable knowledge. Nonsense. Peer review produces opinions. Scientists, like other people, have political beliefs, ideological orientations, and personal views that strain their scientific objectivity. One of the most disgusting things to emerge from the 2009 Climategate emails was the revelation of an attempt to subvert the peer-review process by suppressing the publication of work that was scientifically sound but contrary to the reviewer’s personal views.

The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. This sort of bias is not limited but pervasive. Neither is science a foolproof method for producing absolute truth. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and subject to revision. The entire history of science is littered with discarded theories once thought to be incontrovertible truths.

The WWU geology faculty letter asserted that technological advances arise from application of the scientific method. They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics–not scientists. The modern age of personal computing began in a suburban California garage in 1976. The most significant technological advance in human history was the Industrial Revolution in Britain that occurred from 1760 through 1830. When Adam Smith toured factories and inquired as to who had invented the new machinery, the answer was always the same: the common workman. Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mold suppressed bacterial growth.

Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly….reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”

David Deming

Professor of Arts & Sciences

University of Oklahoma

email: ddeming [at] ou.edu

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

A list of Dr. Easterbrook’s credentials are listed here:

http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/dje_cv.html

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129 Responses to Rebuttal to the attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook

  1. JeffC says:

    your mistake is trying to reason with people that have come to their beliefs thru faith and not thru reason …

  2. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead in Switzerland says:

    Apparently Whatcom County has all of what it needs. A gossipy klatsch of nonsensologists and a compliant gatekeeper over at the newspaper. A nonsensus.

  3. Madman2001 says:

    Masterful !!

    When I respond to these sort of “the science is settled” arguments, I also ask “What would, in your opinion, falsify the theory of anthropogenic global warming?” I have yet to receive an answer from any commenter.

  4. Josh C says:

    Last year I lived in Bellingham. When I sat down to some coffee with a very nice young woman who worked for the Herald, I asked her point blank “How does it feel to work in a dying industry?”

    The Herald building is mostly empty, and for rent. The Herald may move out per rumors, after a good near 100 year run, and almost 90 in that building. It is owned and ran by the McClatchy corporation out of Sacramento, CA. The paper is currently printed in the county south of the Herald, which is a tad more conservative, and hence, profitable. When I had a event where there was a 1.2 million gallon water leak in my front yard the Herald wrote 3/4 of the article about how our drinking water could damage the local fish in the creek, and not one word about the local property damage, (over a local small block of water leakage, a rather large hole in the ground, etc.) the excellent response by the Whatcom Water Department, (my yard was fixed and replaced with new seed within 12 hours of fixing the leak) or anything.

    The Herald is a biased paper in a biased town which I loved, but was an outcast in. I never had the chance to meet Dr. Don Easterbrook, but I wish I had.

  5. geran says:

    What a great letter Dr. Deming!

    The Herald response—“We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter”—prompted two thoughts:

    1) What ever happened to “we’re all on the same planet”?

    2) This is more of “circle the wagons”.

  6. ChootemLiz says:

    “We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter.”

    Shifty Shirley must be regretting writing that in an email. She’s probably drawing up a list of caveats as we speak.

  7. jc says:

    A good letter. With the right mix of facts and tone of passionate contempt. This is the sort of communication needed. A dry exposition based on the traditional expectation that people will pause and consider is no longer relevant to this “debate”. Certain facts are readily apparent; a reluctance to meet them can only engender contempt.

    Time to stop pretending that the promoters and zealots in this, with their compliant media, are doing anything other than maintaining and advancing their interests by whatever means they can.

  8. Peter Stroud says:

    I find it incredible that the AGW alarmists still retain any credence when they ignore the increasing wealth of Internationally accepted empirical data, and continue to spout their mantras. It can only be a couple of years ago when even the most faithful CAGW fanatic dismissed out of hand, that AGW resulted in increases in exceptional weather. Now every unpleasant weather pattern is down to mankind’s use of carbon.

  9. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    In their letter, the authors say: “…people of the state of Washington need to understand that Easterbrook’s ideas on anthropogenic global warming have not passed through rigorous peer review in the scientific literature.”

    Complete BS: A 15 page list of Dr. Easterbrook’s publications can be found here:

    http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/pdfs/dje_publications.pdf

    The truth is that the theory of anthropogenic global warming has simply not passed the test of time.
    As a geologist, I am ashamed of the twelve Ph.D geologists who signed this letter.

  10. Mike McMillan says:

    While we’re on the subject of attacks, the Wikipedia page on Joe Bastardi has some inappropriate paragraphs that someone stuck in:

    According to Media Matters,
    “Bastardi is a weather forecaster, not a climate researcher, has made inaccurate claims about climate science on multiple occasions and is not seen by experts as a credible source of climate information.”[17]
    Bastardi has repeatedly misinformed Fox News’s viewers with claims that are “completely wrong, scientifically incorrect, and nonsense.”[18]

    I’m not Wki-savvy enough to try correcting this, but I’m sure others here know what to do.

  11. hum says:

    Dr. Deming, you need to follow this up and send it to WWU Admin and Geology department.

  12. Ufb says:

    I want to be a hobbit

  13. JT says:

    Mike Bromley, “A nonsensus”. Thank you for a fine new word which I shall treasure in my vocabulary!

  14. cd says:

    Dr DD

    I loved this piece. I read the WWU statement and was shocked by how many of Easterbrook’s colleagues were willing to sign what amounted to a declaration of absolute truth. As far as I remember, when reading the statement, I could not find one point that actually challenged Easterbrook with argument. In short the statement was based on dogma.

    I feel for him if this the sort of unfounded derision he faces everyday.

  15. dfbaskwill says:

    “We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter.”

    I’ll bet that the statement isn’t even true. Someone should check. It would probably takes minutes to prove her to be a liar. I would check myself, but I don’t have the credentials of our esteemed editor.

    REPLY: I already did, scanning the letters to the editor section for the last month. It seems they adhere to that policy – Anthony

  16. Psalmon says:

    Sad all these WWU doctorates of this and that masquerading as scientists when they really are just political activists now reverting to schoolyard bullying, trying to silence everyone, scrambling to save their crumbling religion. What a waste of talent.

  17. Steve Keohane says:

    WWU’s integrity is on the same curve as Marcott’s Holocene graph.

  18. kim says:

    Poor thing. She buys squid ink by the barrel and regrets electrons running loose if not free.
    ==================

  19. Thom says:

    I will steal this line Mr. Deming: “The theory that explains everything explains nothing.”

  20. Chris B says:

    “……and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”

    Too bad he hadn’t said 97. LOL

  21. Caleb says:

    Well written. Well thought out. And well aimed.

    These gatekeeper editors need to be embarrassed. Not just once, but over and over again. Often it is not a single blow that cracks a foundation of falsehood, but rather a steady tap-tap-tapping of truth.

  22. Skiphil says:

    Re: ” “We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter.”]

    Someone might want to review past letters in that paper to see if the claim of locals-only is true or not. Many local papers give priority to local writers and issues, but is there really a policy that they will not print a letter from outside the county, no matter how momentous the issue? If Al Gore or Jimmy Carter sent them a letter would they really decline to publish it? (I realize that comparison introduces further issues of the estimated eminence of a letter writer, but I’d be surprised if they’d really had this policy in the past.)

  23. Dodgy Geezer says:

    …They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics–not scientists….

    Um. Aeroplanes WERE invented by scientists. In particular by Sir George Cayley (1773-1857). He developed all the principles, both of flight and control, and built the first man-carrying heavier-than-air aircraft. Many later builds were by engineers and mechanics – gifted, certainly, and their craft were much more practical. But the principles were Cayley’s…

    I’m not sure where this paragraph is going. The scientific method IS a major means of understanding the world. The two points to make about it are:

    1 – ANYONE can apply the scientific method. When they do, they are being ‘scientists’. While training obviously helps, there is no such thing as a restricted class of people who are ‘allowed’ to be scientists.

    2 – The Climate Warmists are NOT applying the scientific method, and therefore cannot claim to be ‘scientists’ – no matter what their qualifications are…

  24. provoter says:

    A well written rebuttal, but with one caveat: the global sea ice extent graph linked to in the letter shows a moderate decline since about 2001/2002, and the modest uptick of the moment is as of now just that – a modest (and potentially brief) uptick. I think that to say, “At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980,” is incautious in a way that provides an opening, however narrow, for those who would seek to discredit (no shortage there, I’m sure we can all agree) views such as those expressed in the letter. They can use such an opening to use this one flaw (and it is a flaw) as a springboard to characterize the entire letter as mendacious. Had the letter actually been published, the rebuttals to the rebuttal would have had a field day over this one little item, painting all non-alarmists as charlatans desperate to hang their hat on anything. This is how the game is played; I don’t think anyone here needs this explained.

    A less bold characterization of the graph (the alternatives are many) would carry all the same positives, but without the negatives. The facts are not on the side of the hysteria-mongers. Why give ‘em freebies?

  25. provoter says:

    Should’ve posted the link to the global sea ice extent graph…

  26. Don Easterbrook says:

    On Tues, April 2, I spoke with the Bellingham Herald editor and she promised to publish a rebuttal op-ed. I sent it to her that evening but so far it hasn’t appeared. The real issue is with the 13 members of the WWU Geology Dept who wrote the personal attack on me. Not a single one of them has ever published a single paper on climate. A well-known physicist challenged them to defend their views in an open debate on campus. One geology faculty (David Hirsch, who has never published a single word on climate) responded; “I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue.”
    “Well, the problem, Dr. Fulks, is it’s not *my* science. I do not now, nor have I claimed to be an expert in climate science. The question was, would I support a debate-type forum to be hosted at WWU? I would not.” He went on to say that he didn’t want to debate because he had never claimed to have addressed any of the issues I spoke about, but supported the personal attack.

    If you feel so inclined, you express your views to president.shepard@wwu.edu, Stephanie.bowers@wwu.edu, and jeff.wright@wwu.edu

  27. Mark Hoffman says:

    As a geologist I would like to second Dr. Deming’s assessment. I am reminded of Einstein’s comments: “It doesn’t take 100 scientists to prove me wrong. It takes a single fact.”

  28. doug s says:

    “The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. ”

    I can’t find the summary on climateaudit anymore, but specifically “hide the decline” does not refer to temperatures, but the divergence of proxy values (showing a decline) vs actual temperatures. This brings into question the validy of the proxy to represent temperatures. So its not about warming (which at the time it was and no one questioned) but seriously undermines the credibility of the proxy to say anything about the past temperatures.

    The climategate emails show us that the response to this was that they would just claim it was other anthropogenic factors, which warmists will often quip is the answer to this divergence problem. But I’ve never seen any actual science to explain the divergence problem and in my opinion it invalidates those tree proxies, not that I’d have really considered them worth anything anyway.

  29. PaulH says:

    An excellent letter. Thank you for this Dr. Deming.

  30. tm willemse says:

    Perhaps you could take up a collection and pay for space in the newspaper to publish this letter.

  31. Tom J says:

    Excellent article. But, I think the following statement, how very true it is, is a little incomplete:

    ‘Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.’

    We must not forget that global warming (now being referred to as Climate Chaos*) is also supposed to increase the number of asteroid hits the Earth experiences, along with a change in its wobble.

    Incredible? Yes. But none of these take the cake like the Earth Explosion Theory. Now, I don’t know if that’s its real name, but honestly, what difference does it make? Anyway, here’s the theory. And, I’m not making this up. Now, we know that the Earth’s core temperature is millions of degrees. Well, not quite, but it’s really hot. And, according to this theory, it dissipates this massive heat through the North Pole; where Santa lives (Ok, I added that). This heat is dissipated through the icy cold waters of the Arctic Ocean and thence into outer space. Well, with global warming, the floating ice cap over this ocean is postulated, theorized, believed to, thought to (enough, Tom), disappear, thus changing the albedo of this, brrrrr, cold water and allowing it to absorb additional sunlight, thus heating this polar bear water up, and making it a less efficient heat transfer agent (still with me?). Therefore, the really hot core temperature has no escape and gets hotter and hotter and … ballooey, the Earth literally blows up! Wham! To smithereens!

    Ok, I’ve embellished the story (I don’t want to dignify it by calling it a theory) a little bit. (How could one not?) But, I’m not making it up. And it wasn’t written as a joke. I don’t know the person’s scientific credentials. But we’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t matter, does it? So, next time somebody mentions the ‘serious’ science of global warming tell them about the Earth Explosion Theory.

    *I think the translation for Climate Chaos is Intellectual Deficiency Chaos.

  32. Ulf T says:

    Do they also only publish news that originates in Whatcom County?

    Clearly, it is good to have a policy (or perhaps rather a preference) to only publish letters from locals, but receiving a letter from such a distinguished scientist from across the ocean, could also be construed as newsworthy – even as a sign that the paper has relevance far beyond Whatcom County.

  33. Glenn Dixon says:

    @Dodgy Geezer: >Um. Aeroplanes WERE invented by scientists.

    To add to what Dodgy Geezer said, although the Wright brothers are popularly perceived as lucky tinkerers, they actually were very much the scientists. They studied all the available data on flight (including Cayley’s) and, when early experiments failed, they designed a very elegant and sensitive wind tunnel for scientific experimentation. It was through their wind tunnel experiments they learned that the existing lift vs. drag data (including Cayley’s) were wrong. Gathering their own data through the wind tunnel experiments enabled their successful flight, which was a surprise to neither brother as it was simply another in a long series of carefully designed and successful experiments and measurements.

  34. geek49203 says:

    An excellent letter. The problem of course is that Dr. Easterbrook not only attacked orthodoxy, but also questioned a source of funds. In the USA, the Fed gov’t alone has passed out $147 bilion (I hear) in an effort to understand and stop global warming. Surely, anyone that says that “global warming is a hoax” isn’t gonna get those funds, right? And quite frankly, it’s easy to find religion when you employment depends on adhering to its orthodoxy…

  35. Great! Thank you for putting this up
    Alfred

  36. Jim Brock says:

    DodgyGeezer: Well, Cayley’s airplane crashed into the Potomac…twice. And the Wright brothers used a scientific approach in their efforts. Even to the extent of making their own wind tunnel and testing various airfoils. In the process debunking a lot of the information put out by Cayley and others. So I guess they were scientists…but NOT academics. A good read is
    “The Bishop’s Boys”. And the wind tunnel is on display at the air museum in Dayton, OH.

    I recall my times in engineering classes with fondness. Chemical thermodynamics was my favorite subject. Sigh. I can’t even do simple calculus anymore. BSChE Auburn 1952.

    Another dodgy geezer.

  37. Steve from Rockwood says:

    As a geophysicist I am quite happy to see twelve Ph.D geologists sign this letter. In another 10 years we can all look back on these “scientists” and “professors” and have a great laugh. Thanks Dr. Deming for your rebuttal. We will also re-read your letter in a decade with a great big glass of I-told-you-so.

  38. WWU most likely also disputed the theory of Continental Drift – and possibly still do?

  39. Bob Mount says:

    This excellent letter should be published as far and wide as possible. Hopefully, this WUWT article will will be picked up by the wider press media.

    “Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mould suppressed bacterial growth”.
    Ditto Radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896.

  40. Dr. Easterbrook and Dr. Deming ,

    Thank you for standing up for science.

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  41. Aanthanur says:

    LOL Galileo, you guys seem to forget that Galileo had evidence and a working theory, the AGW deniers have neither.

  42. Grant says:

    One geology faculty (David Hirsch, who has never published a single word on climate) responded; “I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue.”

    Really? How would you like them to present it Mr. Hirsch? Hang in there Don, but im sorry to say this man does discredit to your institution.

  43. Ray Downng says:

    Mention of the Wright Brothers and the invention of the airplane is more apt than might at first appear. Not only did scientists not invent the airplane, they tried long and hard – and failed! Astronomer Samuel Langley (1834-1906), Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, headed a team which spent 18 years and at least $75,000 dollars of government money, plus unknown operational expenses charged to the Smithsonian, in futile attempts to get heaveir-than-air machines to fly. He finally abandoned his scheme on December 8th 1903 when the latest version of what he called his ‘Aerodrome’ fell into the Potomac River from its launch catapult, in the description of one news report “like a handful of mortar.”

    The failure sparked a national debate about government funding of science and technology.
    In his report on the Langley project, Major N. W. Macomb of the Board of Ordnance and Fortification declared: “We are still far from the ultimate goal, and it would seem as if years of constant work and study by experts, together with the expenditure of thousands of dollars, would still be necessary before we can hope to produce an apparatus of practical utilitly on these lines.”

    In an ironic coincidence, the day after Langley’s final Aerodrome failure, Orville Wright returned from Dayton to Kitty Hawk with a new propellor shaft for the Flyer – and the rest is history. Or not quite, because although the Wrights were to spend the next five years and their own money developing the ‘plane and learning to fly (in full public view at Huffman Prairie outside Dayton), they were castigated as charlatans in the press and the scientific media with headlines such as “Fliers or Liars?” It was not until 1908 that the Wrights were finally accepted as having succeeded. And then the really dirty tricks started, with the Smithsonian eventually attempting to rewrite history, but that’s another sadly all-too-familiar story and one for another day.

  44. Silver Ralph says:

    .
    But the MSM has won again, because the wider public do not know of this. Even highly educated friends of mine know nothing of the criticisms and falsifications of Global Warming, because like most people they are too busy to search the web. They take the MSM at their word, and know nothing else.

    The Biased Broadcasting Corporation is a past master at this. They have to, by the wording of their Charter, give the UK public all the news. But when they find news items that conflict with liberal beliefs (like the Global Warming scam, and the plague of immigrant gang rapes we have recently experienced), they bury them on the BBC website.

    The Biased Broadcasting Corporation then says ‘we did report it’ – but less that 0.0001% of the population would have been on the BBC website to see it.

    .

  45. mrsean2k says:

    “The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming”

    Although the act of selectively removing data is at the heart of this phrase, it is not related to a personal belief that the world is warming.

    It refers specifically to the failure of temperature proxies to respond in the expected manner to an increase in temperature.

    This is turn places the reliability of historical proxies in question, along with claims that 20th Century warming is unprecedented.

  46. Ian W says:

    Glenn Dixon says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:24 am

    @Dodgy Geezer: >Um. Aeroplanes WERE invented by scientists.

    I think you miss the point of what the academics at WWU were trying to say. They were trying to say that you are only a ‘scientist’ if you have the correct accreditation and degrees from a University. An academic closed shop. It is extremely common for people in academia to first check the academic credentials of a person espousing a point rather than the point itself. If the credentials do not meet the academic bar set then regardless of the validity of the point being made it will be disregarded. This is a corollary of the argumentum ad verecundiam – argument from authority; the fallacy that an argument being put forward by someone who is not an ‘authority’ must be wrong. Thus they demonstrate a total misunderstanding of the allegory of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’.

  47. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead in Switzerland says:

    Franz Dullaart says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:34 am
    WWU most likely also disputed the theory of Continental Drift – and possibly still do?

    Peril be to those that do! Especially given WWU’s precarious perch atop a none-too-quiet Backarc Sag of the Cascadia Subduction Complex. I’ll bet they measure sea level there and think “Carbon”…Ha! Good luck with that as the Swellnami comes lazing into the mouth of Pugilistic Sound.

  48. James Ard says:

    But were the Wright brothers really the first to get off the ground? http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/18/wright-or-wrong-smithsonian-enters-first-in-flight-fight/

  49. TomRude says:

    I know where my kids won’t be going to school…

  50. Josh C says:

    “On Tues, April 2, I spoke with the Bellingham Herald editor and she promised to publish a rebuttal op-ed. I sent it to her that evening but so far it hasn’t appeared. ”

    Did you try the Skagit Valley Herald? :)

    I was surprised your work was coming out of WWU for a while, I am sorry your co-workers behaved this way. Very unprofessional, especially since they did not talk to you directly about it, but issued a press release. That the Herald did not interview you is really poor journalism.

    I have enjoyed you insight for a while, please keep it up. And, hey, Texas turned out to be a good move…

  51. Nik Marshall-Blank says:

    I like the creative license here

    “We concur with the vast consensus of the science community that recent global warming is very real, human greenhouse-gas emissions are the primary cause

    IPCC AR4 definition of Climate Change is

    “Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. ”

    and “It is likely that there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years”

    It’s a bit of a leap of faith from “likely” to “primary” and now Climate Change is automatically linked with AGW not the IPCC AR4 definition Why can’t these “scientists” stick to the facts or be brought to book? Shoddy and very sad to see this happening, it really is.

  52. pat says:

    There is a strong tendency at lesser known universities to demonstrate they are current on the political and science philosophies espoused at the major, well known institutions. It may be grant money, but liberalism has a very strong ‘conform or be ridiculed’ element to it. Intolerant and childish.

  53. Bad Apple says:

    Ugh … my daughter attends WWU, partly because I knew Dr. Easterbrook was there and I thought .. maybe … they were independent thinkers. I thought, surely a school that has someone like Dr. Easterbrook would be a good school to learn independent thinking and logic. I now see that I was a fool to have such thoughts.

  54. Martyn Jones says:

    Jim Brock says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:30 am

    DodgyGeezer: Well, Cayley’s airplane crashed into the Potomac…twice.

    Jim, Sir George Cayley never flew his gliders anywhere in North America. Nor anywhere near the Potomac. Samuel Langley tested out some of Cayley’s designs, but that is not the same thing. Those were Langley’s interpretations of Cayley’s (and presumably some of Lilienthal’s) research.

    Oddly enough, Langley was, according to his biography; heavily reliant upon the works of his assistants.
    Sir George Cayley bio link: http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/to%20reality/Sir%20George%20Cayley.htm
    Samuel Langley bio link: http://www.century-of-flight.net/Aviation%20history/to%20reality/Samuel%20Langley.htm

  55. dp says:

    Puget Sound is an indelible blue region in an indelible blue state with progressively worse government over time. If you ain’t green you don’t mean a thing. It’s not just a slogan, here.

    The natural aspect of Washington state is spectacular but the politics are strictly third world. It will take a return of the Cordilleran ice sheet to reverse it.

  56. JimF says:

    This is not the first time that members of the geological profession have proven themselves idiots standing athwart the progress of the science. And it won’t be the last. But Easterbrook’s name and reputation will survive the small-minded efforts of the “jackasses”.

  57. Chad Wozniak says:

    Really great job, Dr. Deming. Onre of the very best rebuttals to global warming alarmism and to AGW bully tactics I’ve ever read.
    @hum – Also send the letter to the EPA, the alarmist toady/Judge-Jury-and-Executioner-in Chief, Penn State, UAE. Make sure Gina McCarthy gets a copy. Make sure Gail Collins (NYT) gets a copy.
    As for the Bellingham Herald – hypocrisy and cowardice live!

  58. RockyRoad says:

    I’ve never seen such an insular bunch of self-aggrandizing know-it-alls.

    How dare these 12 PhDs from WWU comment on anything (especially climate) that extends beyond their county’s boundaries!

    Do they limit their geologic studies and professorial lectures to the geology within their county? I would certainly hope not!

    What many professors of Whatcom County fail to realize is there’s a great big world of ideas outside of their little island of ignorance and hate.

    Consequently, the correcting response is: “We are publishing your letter.”

  59. EthicallyCivil says:

    Having my Masters in Aero and Astro from the University of Washington — that’s not science, that’s engineering! Yes, the Wright’s were brilliant and systematic, defining the content of entire sub-curricula (propulsion, control, aerodynamic, structures…) of Aeronautical Engineering in their pursuit, not of truth, but of a working device. Engineering my friends. Engineering!

    Glenn Dixon says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:24 am
    @Dodgy Geezer: >Um. Aeroplanes WERE invented by scientists.

    To add to what Dodgy Geezer said, although the Wright brothers are popularly perceived as lucky tinkerers, they actually were very much the scientists.

  60. GlynnMhor says:

    There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm.

    1- For researchers, once a paradigm becomes popular and dominant, it is career limiting to oppose it.

    2- If the climate is presented as something about which governments can make policies, then government money will flow for research. If climate is something that we cannot affect, funding is not going to be as forthcoming.

    3- Plus of course it gives researchers a good feeling to imagine that they’re working to ‘save the world’ instead of, say, developing a new scent for feminine hygiene products.

    4- Environmentalists see carbon emission control as a means to reduce real pollutants like NOx, SO2, Hg, etc. as a side effect.

    5- Luddites see carbon strangulation as a way of dismantling the industrial economies to force everyone to a much reduced subsistence.

    6- ‘Personal isolationists’ try to use AGW as a way to eliminate big utility companies, with power generated at home from wind, solar, or even car batteries, and even sold to the local grid at retail (or higher) rates.

    7- EU trade isolationists see carbon regulation as a way of increasing the energy cost, and thus decreasing the competitiveness, of North American economies _vis a vis_ EU ones.

    8- Opportunities to use carbon emissions as pretexts to block or heavily tariff imports abound, thus degrading international trade even further.

    9- Local trade isolationists like the idea of overseas products becoming more expensive, and if they can’t do that by punitive tariffs and quotas, they hope to do so by artificially driving up shipping costs.

    10- Various people see Kyoto-type agreements as a way of transferring wealth from developed economies to lesser ones, as the one-time Canadian Liberal Party cabinet minister Stewart once claimed.

    11- Some also envision carbon strangulation as a pretext for involving governments deeply into the economy, via direct and indirect subsidies for energy alternatives that can claim to be ‘green’. Naturally, those who are involved and invested in such industries have their own greed factor.

    12- Believers in Big Government also love the idea of sending governments even more of our money under any pretext, and use carbon taxes as a way to transfer even more money to people in lower income levels.

    13- Some politicians see taking ‘the west’ off oil as a means of removing the dependence the US in particular has on politically uncertain sources.

    14- Other politicans see ‘cap & trade’ or other quota management as a way to direct corruption to their buddies and relatives.

    15- Nuclear energy proponents see carbon strangulation as a way to promote nuclear power.

    16- Some people imagine that energy cost reductions will magically pay for, and even squeeze profit from, expensive carbon control technologies whose payback times are actually measured (when they aren’t just dead costs) in decades.

    17- Opportunistic “businessmen” see the panic of the masses as an opportunity to solicit donations to so-called “non-profit” organizations or to operate carbon credit companies in order to enrich themselves financially.

    18- Financial trading corporations like Goldman Sachs see carbon trading as an opportunity to generate a new financial bubble out of an inexistant commodity (carbon credits) with which to justify huge profits and staggering executive bonuses.

    19- In politics it is generally held far more important to be consistent than it is to be right. Lies and errors about warming are thus propagated further, instead of being squelched, in order to bolster the political optics.

    20- Some people propose deliberately crushing economic growth to be an improvement over what they think will happen if we let growth proceed naturally.

    21- And there are some who are actually sincere, who desperately want to believe that they can by sacrificing (or by forcing the rest of us to sacrifice) contribute to saving the world. But just because you make a sacrifice to superstition doesn’t mean that your AGW deity is going to come through for you.

    22- The UN sees carbon credits as an opportunity to create a tax base for itself and a steady income.

  61. scott says:

    Dr. David Deming – thank you very much for writing this. I am concerned about our state wasting even more money on this boondoggle. A silver lining to this recession is perhaps the blow back on money wasting garbage like Inslee seems hell bent to do might be swifter than in better times. I am a Washington State resident. Unfortunately, I do not reside in Whatcom County & do not happen to know anybody who does. For what it is worth, I am a former lifelong Democrat & did not vote for Mr. Inslee,

    Thanks,

    Scott Henderson

  62. Ryan says:

    Is it normal for this site to give webspace to evolution deniers?

  63. A.D. Everard says:

    Psalmon says:
    April 8, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Sad all these WWU doctorates of this and that masquerading as scientists when they really are just political activists now reverting to schoolyard bullying, trying to silence everyone, scrambling to save their crumbling religion. What a waste of talent.

    *

    What talent?

  64. Theo Goodwin says:

    Brilliant article, Dr. Deming. Also, I am glad to learn about your books in the history of science.

  65. TomB says:

    Thom says:
    April 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I will steal this line Mr. Deming: “The theory that explains everything explains nothing.”

    That quote is a loose and poor paraphrase of the original by Michael Crichton. I prefer the original: “A theory that can mean anything means nothing.”

  66. Cliff Mass says:

    Folks,
    The truth is that Don Easterbrook has often deviated from the facts or has made unsupported claims. Let’s be specific here. In several of his talks, he has shown the future temperature variations and based them on cutting and pasting from past PDO variations (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/pdoeaster.tiff). This makes no sense. The PDO is not very periodic and may not even be a true cyclic phenomenon. His exaggerates the impact of solar cycle variability and explicitly shows major cooling during this century (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/easterbrookcooling.tiff). I could many other SPECIFIC examples of Dr. Easterbrook saying things inconsistent with the facts. This group of all groups should be sensitive to this….you do the field a service by noting the exaggerations of those hyping global warming but you really need to police those on “your” side that make unsupported claims. And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming. Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak. The end of the century will be different. And finally I will agree with many of you that the Western Washington faculty note lacked needed details.

    …cliff mass, university of washington, atmospheric sciences.

  67. Theo Goodwin says:

    Aanthanur says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:41 am
    “LOL Galileo, you guys seem to forget that Galileo had evidence and a working theory, the AGW deniers have neither.”

    There it is again, that strangest of fallacies. One does not need a substitute theory before criticizing an existing theory. In fact, it was Kepler not Galileo who created the theory of planetary motion that would replace Ptolemy’s epicycles. To the extent that he addressed the followers of Ptolemy and Aristotle, Galileo created experiments that refuted their theories. He also did some fine analytic work revealing that their argument that the earth does not move is a circular argument.

    One fact can overturn a theory. And there is no need for a substitute theory to be in place. If there had been no evidence of light bending as it passed the sun, Einstein would have been the first to say that his theory was mistaken.

  68. TomE says:

    Thanks Dr. Deming and thanks Anthony for publishing this. Letters like this and the varied comments are why I and many others check WUWT several times a day. There are so many articles which inform and also at times provide a good chuckle. I too am an engineer of the old school, Kansas State, 1961, ME/Aero. While slide rules were not nearly as fast as computers you did have to think about how to obtain the answer and what it meant.

  69. Jean Parisot says:

    15- Nuclear energy proponents see carbon strangulation as a way to promote nuclear power.

    This is a critical issue. The “cost for carbon” is essential for the nuke guys to justify getting “work in process” funding from regulated utility customers. It’s a complex issue, that needs a simple illustration.

  70. FrankK says:

    Glenn Dixon says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:24 am
    @Dodgy Geezer: >Um. Aeroplanes WERE invented by scientists.
    To add to what Dodgy Geezer said, although the Wright brothers are popularly perceived as lucky tinkerers, they actually were very much the scientists. They studied all the available data on flight (including Cayley’s) and, when early experiments failed, they designed a very elegant and sensitive wind tunnel for scientific experimentation. It was through their wind tunnel experiments they learned that the existing lift vs. drag data (including Cayley’s) were wrong.

    Jim Brock says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:30 am
    DodgyGeezer: Well, Cayley’s airplane crashed into the Potomac…twice. And the Wright brothers used a scientific approach in their efforts.
    ————————————————————————————————

    Whoa! Guys you really need to straighten out your history.

    George Cayley (1773 –1857) in England well before the Wright brothers conducted experiments on lift and drag in 1799. His design included a wing, a tailplane and vertical fin and rudder and published articles in the Nicholsons Journal describing his experiments with gliders and shown curved aerofoils produced lift. But he had no means of propulsion.

    Samuel Langley (1834-1906) in America and Secretary of the Smithsonian was the one who built his ‘Aerodrome’ and crashed into the Potomac River twice (not Cayley!). He was dismissive of the Wrights early efforts; after all they were just bike mechanics.

    Otto Lilienthal a German was the first man in world to actually take flight in a Hang Glider in 1895. He and his brother in 1871 conducted experiments on lift and drag and produced a book on the subject ‘Birdflight as the Basis of Aviation’. However the Wrights show and thought ( incorrectly as it turns out because the Wrights misapplied the data and later found the data to agree with theirs) that some of their figures were in error (coefficients of lift)( i.e Nothing to do with Cayley !) .

    Reference: “The Wright Brothers and Birth of Aviation” Lester W. Garber. Crowood Press ISBN 1 821226 730 4. All the relevant equations and history is in this book.

  71. klem says:

    As a geologist I was surprised that 12 fellow geo’s would write letter like that. It makes me wonder what kind of science is taught at universities these days. Perhaps I’m too old school.

  72. Rex says:

    “We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter.”

    A classic instance of the misplaced ‘only’. They only print letters
    as distinct from doing what with them?
    I shouldn’t single out this newspaper however: 99% of contributors
    to the estimable WUWT suffer from the same malaise.

  73. Carol Mills says:

    I do live in Bellingham and have met Doctor Esterbrook. About 10 years ago I saw an article in the Bellingham Herald regarding global warming and how he did not believe there was warming caused by CO2. I did not know Don but was curious and found his web site and started reading his papers. At one point I decided to write him an email. I heard back from him right away. He sent me additional info from other scientists all over the world. I kept in contact with him and when there was new papers he would send them to me. I decided I would like to meet this guy and contacted him and we set it up. I went over to WWU and he spent probably an hour with me explaining why he thought the way he did. I wonder if anyone from the school or the paper have ever ask to set and talk with. Don, thank you for your work and taking time to meet with me. I still follow your web site and have become a WUWT junkie.
    I plan on canceling my subscription to the Herald.

  74. jorgekafkazar says:

    (Agreeing with EthicallyCivil, above, April 8, 2013 at 10:26 am)
    No, the Wright Brothers were not mere bicycle mechanics. Nor were they mere scientists in the sense that the Bellingham Backbiters mean it. The Wrights were, indeed, much, much better than scientists. The were engineers, the foremost aeronautical engineers of their day.

  75. Theo Goodwin says:

    Cliff Mass says:
    April 8, 2013 at 11:08 am

    “The truth is that Don Easterbrook has often deviated from the facts or has made unsupported claims. Let’s be specific here.”

    Ever heard of collegiality? The letter signed by the twelve amounts to a public mob action. The letter served no imaginable purpose in the academic community.

    “And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming. Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak.”

    We skeptics managed to get the Alarmists to accept the existence of natural variability and the fact that it could override the effects of increased manmade CO2 concentrations. The first of those feats alone amounts to a sea change in the debate. The second feat defeats Alarmism because now everyone agrees that the steep slopes are the result of natural variability that is supplemented by a fraction of warming caused by manmade CO2.

    In addition, climate models have been falsified. And they cannot be saved by appeal to the effects of natural variability because they do not model natural variability and did not predict the hiatus caused by it.

  76. Madman2001 says:

    Cliff Mass said:
    >> And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming. Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak.<<

    What would, in your opinion, Cliff, prove something about long-term global warming? Would it be a lack of warming or even cooling over 20 years? 30 years? What empirical evidence would falsify the AGW theory?

    And if natural variability is the cause of the recent 15 year hiatus, how can we be sure that it was not natural variability that caused the warming from the late 70s to the late 90s?

  77. David Deming says:

    The claim was made above that I’m not an evolutionist: “Is it normal for this site to give webspace to evolution deniers?”

    This is not opinion, but defamation. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no one is entitled to make statements about other people that are factually and objectively untrue.

    See here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/deming5.1.1.html

    I wrote: “I’m an evolutionist. I’m committed to naturalism in science, and I believe that radioactive dating and other evidence shows the Earth to be about 4.6 billion years old.”

    I don’t know how my position could be any clearer.

    –DD

  78. Cliff Mass:

    Your post at April 8, 2013 at 11:08 am contains nothing but twaddle so I was tempted to let it stand because any rational person would ignore it. But one of your false statements is so wrong it has tempted me to refute it. You say

    And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming. Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak

    It “says nothing”? Who claims it “says nothing”? You?
    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not agree.

    The explanation for this is in IPCC AR4 (2007) Chapter 10.7 which can be read at

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-7.html

    It says there

    The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period. This is roughly the magnitude of warming simulated in the 20th century. Applying the same uncertainty assessment as for the SRES scenarios in Fig. 10.29 (–40 to +60%), the likely uncertainty range is 0.3°C to 0.9°C. Hansen et al. (2005a) calculate the current energy imbalance of the Earth to be 0.85 W m–2, implying that the unrealised global warming is about 0.6°C without any further increase in radiative forcing. The committed warming trend values show a rate of warming averaged over the first two decades of the 21st century of about 0.1°C per decade, due mainly to the slow response of the oceans. About twice as much warming (0.2°C per decade) would be expected if emissions are within the range of the SRES scenarios.

    In other words, it was expected that global temperature would rise at an average rate of “0.2°C per decade” over the first two decades of this century with half of this rise being due to atmospheric GHG emissions which were already in the system

    This assertion of “committed warming” should have had large uncertainty because the Report was published in 2007 and there was then no indication of any global temperature rise over the previous 7 years. There has still not been any rise and we are now way past the half-way mark of the “first two decades of the 21st century”.

    So, if this “committed warming” is to occur such as to provide a rise of 0.2°C per decade by 2020 then global temperature would need to rise over the next 7 years by about 0.4°C. And this assumes the “average” rise over the two decades is the difference between the temperatures at 2000 and 2020. If the average rise of each of the two decades is assumed to be the “average” (i.e. linear trend) over those two decades then global temperature now needs to rise before 2020 by more than it rose over the entire twentieth century. It only rose ~0.8°C over the entire twentieth century.

    Simply, the “committed warming” has disappeared (perhaps it has eloped with Trenberth’s ‘missing heat’?).

    I add that the disappearance of the “committed warming” is – of itself – sufficient to falsify the AGW hypothesis as emulated by climate models. If we reach 2020 without any detection of the “committed warming” then it will be 100% certain that all projections of global warming are complete bunkum.

    Richard

  79. Dodgy Geezer says:

    James Ard says:
    April 8, 2013 at 9:00 am

    But were the Wright brothers really the first to get off the ground?

    Hmm – some of the responses here indicate some obvious confusion with what I wrote, as well as a surprising degree of ‘Americocentrism’ for this day and age…

    IanW suggests that I am missing the point, which is that the WWU academics were trying to say that you are only a scientist if you have the correct accreditation and degrees from a University. I address that point quite specifically pointing out that, in my view, anyone can ‘be a scientist’ – it just means using the scientific method.

    Jim Brock thinks that Cayley’s airplane crashed into the Potomac. I was amazed. I am glad to see that a number of you have corrected him.

    Ray Downng is of the opinion that “Not only did scientists not invent the airplane, they tried long and hard – and failed!”. That is an odd opinion, given that Cayley started the scientific study of Aerodynamics in 1799, and had specified most of basic aerodynamic theory by 1850. By the time Wrenham had developed the wind tunnel in 1871 all the theory was in place. The aircraft had been invented. What remained was essentially engineering – the need to design a strong yet light structure incorporating a powerful engine. This was beyond the technology of the time, and only became possible some 35 years later.

    The Wrights were the first group to develop a practical flying machine (by a short head) but they were by no means the first to leave the ground under their own power. AFAIR, their success was due to following a course of methodical improvements (this let them crash in a survivable way, unlike many of their co-experimenters), and their possession of an excellent engine. But if they had killed themselves, the aircraft would still have been developed at exactly the same time in the same way. They were far from being the sole aviation developers, and, in fact, had surprisingly little influence on the early development of aviation.

    Santos-Dumont was independently developing 14-bis, demonstrated in France in 1906, and this had ailerons, not wing-warping (which was a dead-end design). He made his designs available to the world – the Wright brothers tried to monopolise the manufacture of aircraft, and successfully suppressed all further American development with legal suits. Much of the argument about ‘who was first with what’ (including the Smithsonian episodes) was generated as a result of this legal in-fighting.

    In the meantime Santos-Dumont’s separate development, owing nothing to the Wrights, was leaping ahead.The French had an aircraft production factory in 1908. By the First World War the US had no mature aircraft industry of its own, unlike Europe, and had to buy its fighters from France…

  80. Ken Harvey says:

    Silver Ralph says:
    April 8, 2013 at 8:46 am
    .
    “But the MSM has won again, because the wider public do not know of this. Even highly educated friends of mine know nothing of the criticisms and falsifications of Global Warming, because like most people they are too busy to search the web. They take the MSM at their word, and know nothing else.”

    This seems to me the real nub of the problem. How do we change it? More pertinently, perhaps, how do we change it without adopting the warmista’s fraudulent methods?

  81. GlynnMhor says:

    Theo Goodwin is absolutely right about Galileo, in that his Heliocentric approach did not provide any improvement in planetary positional predictions over the Ptolemaic system. Epicycles were still necessary and the positional errors were mathematically identical.

    It was Kepler’s Heliofocal system that abandoned all epicycles and provided predictions accurate to well below the errors of observation of the time.

    Kepler get much less popular credit for his celestial mechanics, even though it took him most of his adult life to come up with his three laws.

  82. Mike Jonas says:

    Cliff Mass – re your criticisms of Don Easterbrook –
    (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/08/rebuttal-to-the-attack-on-dr-don-easterbrook/#comment-1269271)

    The first link you cite shows “Past and Predicted PDO”. It is a graph of past and predicted PDO. You say “This makes no sense. The PDO is not very periodic and may not even be a true cyclic phenomenon.“. Well, the first part of the graph is of past PDO, using the generally-accepted measure, so it does make sense. The last part of the graph is a prediction, and is clearly labelled as such. Without examining the basis of the prediction, I don’t see how it “makes no sense“. Prediction is one of the cornerstones of science – when a prediction is proved wrong, then the underlying theory is disproved. Perhaps you would like to describe what it is about the prediction’s underlying theory that “makes no sense“. [Note: I'm not saying you are wrong, just that a reason is needed.]

    The second link you cite shows “IPCC Projected warming” and “Easterbrook Projected Cooling“. You say he “exaggerates the impact of solar cycle variability and explicitly shows major cooling during this century, and you indicate that this is an example of Dr. Easterbrook “saying things inconsistent with the facts“. This doesn’t seem to me to be a valid criticism. The IPCC forecast in the graph shows projected warming that has clearly not occurred. This indicates that the IPCC have exaggerated the impact of CO2, in which case their underlying theory is disproved. But Don Easterbrook’s projections based on current and past behaviour of the sun relate to 2014 onwards. Now it’s his theory’s turn to be tested. Your statement seems to be saying that when he projects major cooling this century, he is wrong. But until his projection is proved wrong, like the IPCC projection has now been proved wrong, it stands as a projection. If you want to tear down his theory without the long wait to find out how temperature behaves in future, the way to do that is to demonstrate flaws in his theory.

    Then, you say “And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming. Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak.“.

    The lack of warming for the last 16 years (not just a decade) is actually very significant. NOAA, in its “State of the Climate” report 2008 stated “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.“. (http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf, section 1 page 2).

    With no warming for more than 15 years, the CO2 theory has now been shown (at the 95% level) to be wrong, and must be modified or discarded.

    Finally, how can you possibly refer to “times like this when human forcing is relatively weak, given that atmospheric CO2 levels have risen every year for many years?

  83. Theo Goodwin says:

    GlynnMhor says:
    April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you, Glynn. I do credit Galileo with the creation and championing of scientific method. Under better circumstances in his personal life, he might have embraced Kepler fully. Newton embraced Kepler fully. Kepler is appreciated far too little.

  84. Paul Marko says:

    Tom J appears to be on the ground floor. Haven’t heard of the Earth Explosion Theory previously, but anything with such serious consequences shouldn’t be taken lightly. Wasn’t quite able to follow the mechanism exactly, but if it puts Santa in danger, it needs to be looked into.

  85. rogerknights says:

    JT says:
    April 8, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Mike Bromley, “A nonsensus”. Thank you for a fine new word which I shall treasure in my vocabulary!

    It’s not entirely new–it’s appeared five times previously on WUWT (per my site-search).

    RockyRoad says:
    April 8, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I’ve never seen such an insular bunch of self-aggrandizing know-it-alls.

    How dare these 12 PhDs from WWU comment on anything (especially climate) that extends beyond their county’s boundaries!

    Almost certainly the majority of them did not act spontaneously, but were presented with a document to sign by one or two of the most “concerned” members of the bunch. I suspect three or four of them would rather not have signed if they hadn’t been put on the spot, but succumbed to peer pressure.

    This is probably also how scientific societies were nudged into endorsing alarmism also.

  86. Jeff L says:

    I love this post!

    The Bellingham Herald is gutless for not printing this.

  87. Jeff L says:

    Do note that the editor’s email is at the top of the post – easy enough for any one on this thread to send her an ear full in support of Deming & Easterbrook.

  88. The Wright history of aviation was tainted by banking and war industry interests who funded the legal battles against the four valid Wright patents. This prevented the Wrights from establishing world wide patents and when WW I broke out, as planned by the banking interests, all aviation patents were declared national security assets and paid only a 1% royalty. Bankrolled by the banksters, Glenn Curtis was able to buy out the Wrights and fat with decades of no-bid government contracts the Curtis Aircraft Company was the worlds largest corporation at the end of WW II. The Wright Flyer was exhibited in the British Museum for a decade and stored in various warehouses until finally being allowed into the Smithsonian in 1943. It is the heavy, unseen hand of the Ponzi banking system that distorts all science and history. See “Fractional Reserve Banking Begat Faux Reality” for more on these distortions. Thank you Dr Deming & Dr Easterbrook !

  89. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    Thank you, Glynn. I do credit Galileo with the creation and championing of scientific method.

    What about Roger Bacon?

  90. Ryan Gainey says:

    Well Dave you certainly sound like one.
    “The single largest problem with Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is that it contradicts the fossil record.” Those are your words, and the rest of them from that article on LR are even larger affronts to biological reality.

    Your statement isn’t really true at all and I can’t imagine anyone saying it unless they were in the camp of denying the facts of evolution. For gods sake you even claimed that transitional fossils were “rare”. The difference between you and evolution-deniers is _________?

  91. johanna says:

    This kind of academic thuggery and bullying reflects poorly on the university and the individuals who participated in it. It seems that a zero tolerance policy towards dissent is not only accepted, but regarded as laudable, at WWU.

    If Dr Easterbrook had been advocating genocide, or drowning cute puppies for fun, it might be understandable. But the notion that all academics must be in lockstep (even if, as seems to be the case, they have no expertise in the area under discussion) is the opposite of what a university should be about.

    I do not know enough about Dr Easterbrook’s work to form a view about it. But ganging upon a colleague for the purposes of publicly humiliating him is a schoolyard tactic which, ironically, would not be acceptable in the modern schoolyard or workplace – except, it seems, at WWU.

    Disgraceful.

  92. Don Easterbrook says:

    1. Cliff Mass says:
    The truth is that Don Easterbrook has often deviated from the facts or has made unsupported claims. Let’s be specific here.
    YES CLIFF, LET’S BE SPECIFIC HERE. JUST WHAT FACTS HAVE I DEVIATED FROM? YOU MAKE VAGUE CHARGES, BUT NO ONE CAN TELL JUST WHAT FACTS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. STOP HIDING BEHIND YOUR ARROGANT., UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS AND ADDRESS THE ISSUES.
    In several of his talks, he has shown the future temperature variations and based them on cutting and pasting from past PDO variations (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/pdoeaster.tiff). This makes no sense. The PDO is not very periodic and may not even be a true cyclic phenomenon.
    YOUR MODEL- BASED PREDICTIONS WERE FOR A FULL DEGREE (F) OF WARMING FROM 2000 TO 2011 BUT YOU WEREN’T EVEN CLOSE. IT ACTUALLY GOT COOLER! YOUR CLIMATE MODELS ARE WORTHLESS WHEN YOU CHECK THEM AGAINST WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I CORRECTLY PREDICTED A SHIFT FROM THE 1978-1998 WARMING TO COOLING AND SO FAR HAVE BEEN CORRECT.
    His exaggerates the impact of solar cycle variability and explicitly shows major cooling during this century (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/easterbrookcooling.tiff).
    WELL, YOU GOT THAT RIGHT—AND IT DID HAPPEN, UNLIKE YOUR WORTHLESS PREDICTIONS.
    I could many other SPECIFIC examples of Dr. Easterbrook saying things inconsistent with the facts.
    YOU KEEP SAYING ‘SPECIFIC’ BUT THEN YOU NEVER SAY ANYTHING SPECIFIC!

    This group of all groups should be sensitive to this….you do the field a service by noting the exaggerations of those hyping global warming but you really need to police those on “your” side that make unsupported claims.
    MY ‘CLAIMS’ AS YOU CALL THEM ARE SUPPORTED BY REAL, PHYSICAL DATA, UNLIKE YOUR COMPUTER MODELS THAT HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY WRONG.
    And as long as I am writing this, when are we going to get past the lack of warming of the last decade?….this really proves nothing about long-term global warming.
    BUT IT SAYS REAMS ABOUT YOUR PREDICTION OF ONE DEGREE OF GLOBAL WARMING PER DECADE (WHICH DIDN’T HAPPEN!). YOU NEED TO GO BACK AND READ MY PAPERS AND LOOK AT THE DATA. HOW CAN YOU DEFEND YOUR RECORD OF ACCELERATING GLOBAL WARMING WHEN IT ISN’T HAPPENING?
    Natural variability can easily create periods of no warming during times like this when human forcing is relatively weak. The end of the century will be different.
    SO YOU AGREE THAT HUMAN FORCING IS WEAK AND CAN EASILY BE OVERSHADOWED BY NATURAL WARMING! HOW ABOUT THE WARMING FROM 1915 TO 1945 WHICH OCCURRED BEFORE RISE IN CO2? HOW ABOUT THE 20 PERIODS OF WARMING SINCE 1500 AD WHICH ALSO OCCURRED BEFORE RISE IN CO2. HOW ABOUT THE MULTIPLE PERIODS OF INTENSE WARMING (20 TIMES MORE INTENSE THAN RECENT WARMING)?S
    I HOPE NEXT TIME YOU ACCUSE PEOPLE OF DEVIATING FROM FACTS THAT YOU EXPLAIN JUST WHAT THOSE FACTS ARE AND WHAT EVIDENCE YOU HAVE THAT DISAGREES WITH THESE FACTS.

  93. Code Monkey Wrench says:

    ” TomB says:
    April 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Thom says:
    April 8, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I will steal this line Mr. Deming: “The theory that explains everything explains nothing.”

    That quote is a loose and poor paraphrase of the original by Michael Crichton. I prefer the original: “A theory that can mean anything means nothing.”

    Since we’re splitting hairs…

    “An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless…”

    :)

  94. herkimer says:

    An excellent reply, Dr Deming. Unfortunately your experience is something that many of us on this blog have experienced countless times in our own locality . It appears to me that the Liberal media have chosen to become the gate keepers and advocates of scientific untruths to the public . It has been my personal observation that they will publish all articles or letters in support of global warming but refuse to publish any that provide clear evidence even when supported by peer reviewed papers that the science may be quite flawed. It looks like there is no such thing as freedom of the speech when it comes to global warming dialogue .

  95. mikerossander says:

    Mike McMillan asks at April 8, 2013 at 7:18 am above about some negative comments Joe Bastardi’s Wikipedia page. Wikipedia allows negative comments in biographies as long as they meet a few conditions.
    1) The negative accusation or opinion must be sourced and attributed. Those comments are both attributed to MediaMatters and sourced by direct link to their article (where there is further sourcing of the original quotes which presumably led to the authors’ opinions). Note that the truth of a negative claim is irrelevant – many untrue things have been said about historical figures. Often, the untruth is the most relevant part of the biography. Marie Antoinette, for example, never said “Let them eat cake” yet no biography would be complete without covering that phrase.
    2) Even sourced negative material may be inappropriate for non-public figures. While Wikipedia’s policy is not derived from US libel/slander law, it does follow the general principle (and legal precedent) that you can freely say things about the President which, if you said them about your neighbor, would get you sued for slander. Bastardi, through his own media activities, no longer qualifies as a non-public person.
    3) The negative commentary must be “proportionate”. This is a value-judgment that is subject to editorial debate. Weighing in favor of a finding of proportionality are the facts that the lead paragraph is neutrally-written, the negative commentary is relatively late in the article and is confined to the section where his competence is specifically asserted and that the negative comments are described in context.

    You might argue proportionality but that would be an uphill argument given the strength of the sourcing.

  96. RDCII says:

    I was startled by this bit of honesty from David Hirsch:

    “I don’t want the media to present both sides of an issue.”

    …and…that’s post-normal science thinking in a nutshell. Science is validated by muzzling one side. No one is then heard arguing? Consensus.

  97. herkimer says:

    Dr Easterbrook has my full support and admiration . He was among the first group of scientists who proposed the idea that global warming might not happen at all and that global cooling was the more likely future possibilty . Looks like he was right on his main arguments. His material was well documented and he made himself availabale to the media and the public to defend his points of view . History will prove him to be right and one of the real pioneers of climate science.

  98. Mike McMillan says:

    Theo Goodwin says: April 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    GlynnMhor says: April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm
    Thank you, Glynn. I do credit Galileo with the creation and championing of scientific method. Under better circumstances in his personal life, he might have embraced Kepler fully. Newton embraced Kepler fully. Kepler is appreciated far too little.

    Tycho Brahe kept very precise records of planetary movements, but he wouldn’t share his data with his employee Kepler. After Brahe’s death, Kepler got the data and eventually figured out his three laws. But consider what he was dealing with. The data were angles – right ascension, azimuth, that sort, and dates.

    The angles were measured from a horizon that rotated at a tilt (latitude) around an axis (Earth’s) that was in motion and was itself tilted from the plane of an Earth orbit of unknown shape and inconstant speed. The angles were measures of planets that orbited in planes different from the Earth’s, against a background of ‘fixed’ stars that constantly shifted over the year.

    Boiling that down to three laws that Newton later confirmed was an amazing achievement.

  99. Don Allen says:

    I attended Western in the 70’s and graduated from Huxley College of Environmental Studies back in 1979. I do recall it was for the most part rigorous. I cannot imagine what it is like today.

  100. Cliff Mass says:

    Don,
    You appending of the past PDO record to produce a future variation is not reasonable and is unsupportable. You have no basis for doing so. I don’t understand what you are saying about “your model-based predictions” and “my climate models are worthless”. Which models are mine? I am also unhappy with your name-calling–like “arrogant.” One thing I really respect about Anthony Watts is that he has a respectful tone to those he disagrees with.
    Again, for you Don and some of the others, GLOBAL WARMING IS WEAK NOW AND CAN BE OVERWHELMED BY NATURAL VARIABILITY. A period of ten or 15 years of no trend has no meaning….really.

    Don Easterbrook Remark Below:

    1. Cliff Mass says:
    The truth is that Don Easterbrook has often deviated from the facts or has made unsupported claims. Let’s be specific here.

    YES CLIFF, LET’S BE SPECIFIC HERE. JUST WHAT FACTS HAVE I DEVIATED FROM? YOU MAKE VAGUE CHARGES, BUT NO ONE CAN TELL JUST WHAT FACTS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. STOP HIDING BEHIND YOUR ARROGANT., UNSUPPORTED ASSERTIONS AND ADDRESS THE ISSUES.
    In several of his talks, he has shown the future temperature variations and based them on cutting and pasting from past PDO variations (http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~cliff/pdoeaster.tiff). This makes no sense. The PDO is not very periodic and may not even be a true cyclic phenomenon.
    YOUR MODEL- BASED PREDICTIONS WERE FOR A FULL DEGREE (F) OF WARMING FROM 2000 TO 2011 BUT YOU WEREN’T EVEN CLOSE. IT ACTUALLY GOT COOLER! YOUR CLIMATE MODELS ARE WORTHLESS WHEN YOU CHECK THEM AGAINST WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
    Solar variability exists but as you should know, insolation has not changed by more than a tenth of a percent or so…..not enough to produce the big cooling your are predicting during this century.

  101. Pamela Gray says:

    Lack of warming over a certain period of time is INDEED a sign that models may be inaccurate. This isn’t my opinion but the opinion of the very scientists Cliff likes to like. Cliff, you seem to be in need of the message being delivered by the 3 fingers pointing back at you.

  102. herkimer says:

    The WWU letter states, “ We concur with the vast consensus of science community that recent global warming is very real…..”Claims to the contrary fly in the face of an over whelming body of rigorous scientific literature.

    Both the consensus of scientific community and rigorous scientific literature turned out to be quite unreliable and perhaps wrong to date as the globe has not warmed for 16 years, is actually cooling the last 10 years and the latest predictions are that there will be no warming for 5 years more [and possibly 2-3 decades thereafter ]. So much for “consensus of scientific community” being the only source of truth in this case . Even the public are seeing through this apparent flawed science as they trust it less and less in various polls.

    It would appear that WWU is perhaps out of touch with the real climate temperature status and are in no position to criticize their fellow academic who got it right all along. This looks to me more like another academic jealousy motivated letter by the global warming alarmist camp rather than an honest debate about global warming . I am amazed how badly they treated their fellow academic.

  103. Theo Goodwin says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    April 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    Thank you, Glynn. I do credit Galileo with the creation and championing of scientific method.

    “What about Roger Bacon?”

    Bacon was a good thinker who did much to focus on empirical science. But he did not benefit from Newton’s synthesis of Kepler’s Three Laws and Galileo’s exposition of scientific method. In my opinion, Bacon was short on the theoretical side of empirical science.

  104. Theo Goodwin says:

    Mike McMillan says:
    April 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Excellent post. What Kepler accomplished in the conditions that he suffered is nothing short of miraculous.

  105. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Ryan says:
    Is it normal for this site to give webspace to evolution deniers?

    Well, since WUWT posted your imbecilic comment, apparently NOT!

    Is that all you’ve got, you drive by troll?

  106. vigilantfish says:

    Dr. Deming:

    A superb letter. I’ve used chapters from your excellent second volume of the Science and Technology in World History in my courses and heartily endorse your contributions to that field to WUWT readers (your book contains a superb summary of the contributions of Chinese technology in the context of Confucian and Taoist influences in China).

    As a fellow historian of science I am delighted to see a principled and rational, clearly argued defense of CAGW skepticism by another practitioner in the field. Well done, sir!

  107. herkimer says:

    Another weak argument that the WWU letter makes is that Don Easterbrook used the temperature records derived from ice cores from central Greenland to make his case and that these records did not represent the globe . Yet we hear every day currently where the case is being for global warming by looking only at regional events like the melting of glaciers in Greenland or the drought in Texas or rains in Australia , all isolated short term events but the argumentis gets falsely stretched into a global event . You cannot argue rationally by having it both ways . The public sees through this false reasoning. Another point is possible errors in the graphs . Yet how many errors have been exposed on this blog about the global warming data sets , or the famous hockey stick or monthly changes to historical data sets globally. Yet they claim their science is solid .It would appear that rigourous peer reviewed science seems to be just as prone to mistakes as we saw with the wrong projected global tempertures for just the first two decades of their forecast . This was supposed to be the center piece of their science

  108. ttfn says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    April 8, 2013 at 12:43

    You should read Wilber and Orville by Fred Howard, Dodgy Geezer. They invented what we know and love as the modern airplane in 1902 when they attached a moveable rudder to that year’s glider. That was when control of a heavier-than-air craft was finally solved. When Wilber demonstrated their aeroplane to the French six years later (nous sommes battus), the French were still using the rudder to make long laborious turns in still air. Would someone else have eventually solved the problem? I’m not so sure. The French had pictures of the Wright 1902 glider, Chanute’s (somewhat mistaken) description of the control surfaces, their patents, a lot of incentive (talk about nationalistic pride) and six years of trying. They still couldn’t find the trick. After Wilber’s demonstration of a working flying machine in 1908 near Le Mans, the progress of the airplane was rapid. Before that, it was a few flashy daredevils wearing goggles with colorful scarfs tossed over their shoulder making short hops in ridiculous crafts that had no hope of control over three axis.

  109. Kevin Phelan says:

    I wrote to the WWU Geology dept. chair, Dr.Bernie Housen to tell him that Dr. David Deming has it quite right about the dept’s lame “position” statement. I told Dr. Housen, a paleomagnetitics expert, that they really stepped in it.

    As a student (some decades ago) of glacial and Pleistocene geology, I have the the same skeptical view of the climate science mainstream that WWU emeritus professor Don Easterbrook has. The CAGW mania has damaged basic earth science research (through funding trends) in ways that will cripple our society’s advancement for generations to come.

    btw, Louis H – get a life.

    Kevin Phelan

  110. TomRude says:

    Cliff Mass, considering the pathetic level of discourse of your own blog http://cliffmass.blogspot.ca/2013/03/why-dont-we-get-rain-and-wind-at-same.html
    you should be well inspired in refraining criticizing Dr. Easterbrook.

    Honestly, the letter from the WWU smacks of “denunciation”, “delation”, “public shaming” typical of totalitarian regimes and its authors should be ashamed of themselves. What’s next WWU people in your arsenal? How low are you planning to go?

  111. Cliff Mass says:

    TomRude….what are marvelously descriptive name! So my blog has a “pathetic level of discourse”. That comments REALLY has a lot to do about my criticism of Easterbrook’s work. And the letter from WWU “smacks of a totalitarian regime” because they are unhappy with Easterbrook’s opinions. I am surprised Anthony Watts would allow such a comment..cliff mass

    REPLY: Cliff, we have a team of moderators here, and I don’t see every comment that passes through. That said, I don’t agree with that description, but at the same time I think maybe you are over the top on Dr. Easterbrook. I’ve never seen him this angry. – Anthony

  112. David Onkels says:

    I sent a link to your reply to @ralph_schwartz. Mr. Schwartz is a political reporter at the Bellingham Herald. the link is here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/08/rebuttal-to-the-attack-on-dr-don-easterbrook/

  113. Don Easterbrook says:

    Cliff,
    I guess your nasty remark “Easterbrook has often deviated from the facts or has made unsupported claims” made me a bit grumpy. But you still haven’t said what is wrong with my data. Your computer models can’t ‘prove’ anything–garbage in garbage out–and when they fail as miserably as yours have, your arguments lack credibility. You could learn some useful things from geologists–for example repeating patterns and cycles are quite useful as a predictive tool. My predictions since 2000 have so far been on target. Yours have failed badly. Should be a message there.
    I wouldn’t call your statement about my ‘deviation from facts’ and ‘unsupported claims’ a ‘respectful tone,’ but I’ll give it a try if you will.
    When we debated some years ago, you were absolutely certain that your models showed accelerating global warming and were predicting gloom and doom. Now you say that even as CO2 continues to rise, CO2-caused warming is weak? Why is that? Why do you continue to ignore the numerous periods of global warming in the past when CO2 could not have the cause? Can we hear from you about that?
    May I also suggest that you bring yourself up to date on the mechanism of solar influence on climate? It’s not TSI so your comment is meaningless. Read Svensmark and you will understand.

  114. steve says:

    Cliff M says:

    The end of the century will be different

    Perhaps Mr. M can back up this statement with some source citing ? Or, perhaps he can just retreat to his ‘closed’ blog. There, he can safely continue to deliver such sermon material to the watermelons of seattle.

    People, the eco facists will cling to this CO2 causes ‘insert any claim you want’ until they are dead. This is more now of a war, having nothing to do with current climate science or solar physics. It’s about the same tired talking points, complete lack of source citing, deriding of those who would dare to ask another question and a current administration making a mockery of ‘transparency’ ! The CO2 propaganda methods and preaching by the media would make Goebbels quite proud.

  115. Cliff Mass says:

    Don,
    There could well have been warmings and coolings in the past that were not caused by human-moderated CO2 levels in the atmosphere. I am NOT ignoring these other periods. Just because there are warming periods in the past that mankind did not cause, DOES NOT mean mankind can not be the cause of warming in the next century. There is a big logical weakness in your argument there.
    I have said and still believe that there will be major warming later in this century as CO2 levels rise. But global warming due to mankind’s CO2 is weak NOW and natural variability can easily dominate it at this point. That is why we have had the decade or so hiatus. Why you and others think this is a big weakness in the global warming argument escapes me., and is an usupportable claim. Anyway, I am being very consistent here…please try to understand what I am saying.
    And your appending of the PDO from past decades to the record to predict what will happen in the future is really wrong and deceptive. Yes, an unsupported claim. I stand by that characterization because it is true. And regarding the solar output and its effects, I have confirmed my statements with solar and radiation experts here at the UW. Solar variability cannot explain the temperatures evolution of the past few hundred years and will not protect us from major warming later in this century. Would you like to talk to them in person?…happy to arrange it.
    As I have stated in my blog many times, the hyping of global warming has been a big problem and I appreciate the efforts of WUWT and Climate Audit to deal with it. This blog plays a very important role in keeping folks honest. But sometimes it seems to me that too many commentors on this blog believe that just because some folks exaggerate the threat and you can prove they are exaggerating, there is no issue. ..cliff

  116. Thankfully there are other sources available (like WUWT) for those of us who prefer not to live, read and listen in echo chambers. Regretfully I am ashamed of my local university for their treatment of Dr. Easterbrook and beyond embarassed at the local print media’s refusal to print Dr. Deming’s rebuttal.
    If anyone else from Bellingham, Whatcom County and Washington State have the time to share this article and your opinion with the Herald, WWU and “all” of our city, county and state political representatives; perhaps we can make amends for the closed minds that prevailed on the hill.

  117. Actual Actuary says:

    Professor Donald Easterbrook schools the Washington State Legislature
    Washington State Legislature

  118. TomRude says:

    Anthony, if I may answer:
    First, I did link to a specific prosaic post of yours Cliff Mass, which read like Monsieur Jourdain being surprised to know he was speaking in prose! There were plenty of others to choose from.
    Second, a letter by a group of scientists “unhappy with Easterbrook’s opinions” as you say so candidly does indeed smack of public denunciations, especially these days when those who dare disagree are branded either sociological cases or simply erased from Wikipedia courtesy of the likes of Connolley. Read the 20th century history, when and where such tactics were used and where it led!
    Thirdly, I find repulsive the WWU group way of chastising a scientist while displaying allegiance to the power to be. That you would found it a perfect opportunity to pile up on Dr. Easterbrook could not elicit my sympathy, hence my initial comment. I should have refrained and I shall in the future avoid your cyclonic trough.

  119. Cliff Mass:

    In conducting your irrational assault on Don Easterbrook you have ignored all except his refutations of your nonsense. Why is that? Is it because you are aware you are making a complete fool of yourself?

    For example, this piece of ludicrous twaddle which you posted at April 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm.

    Don,
    There could well have been warmings and coolings in the past that were not caused by human-moderated CO2 levels in the atmosphere. I am NOT ignoring these other periods. Just because there are warming periods in the past that mankind did not cause, DOES NOT mean mankind can not be the cause of warming in the next century. There is a big logical weakness in your argument there.

    NO! The only “logical weakness” is yours!
    The “warming periods in the past” demonstrate that there is no need to invoke an anthropogenic explanation of the warming period which ended a decade or two ago.

    And the fact that pigs have not done anything unusual in the past “DOES NOT mean” pigs cannot fly in the next century. But so what?

    Your version of astrology for telling the future has no more validity than any other when – as you admit – your version is not needed as an explanation of past “warming periods”.
    And when that is pointed out then you have the gall to reply there is “logical weakness in your argument”. Unbelievable!

    Richard

  120. J.Hansford says:

    Good letter. I read it and thank you for it…. Bugger what the Herald said. They and their readership is the poorer.

  121. johnmarshall says:

    What an excellent letter. Thanks for posting it. I would bet that if that letter was to congratulate their crit. of Dr Easterbrook it would have been published.

  122. Eric Worrall says:

    An excellent reply (though I think the Fleming example was a bit borderline – the mould was still “discovered” by a scientist, in that a scientist noticed the phenomenon).

    I like your point about warm and cold weather. I enjoy taunting alarmists who claim global warming causes extremes of all types – I ask them “since global warming causes extreme cold and extreme heat, lets try inverting this prediction – if the world was cooling, would you expect to see abnormally average weather?

  123. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @ttfn says:

    …You should read Wilber and Orville by Fred Howard…

    Um. I suspect that there is little point reading this book if they assert that adding a rudder to an airframe (a control surface whose characteristics had been known for thousands of years) somehow resulted in the ‘invention of the airplane’. That is simply untrue.

    The principles of an aircraft had been precisely described by Cayley 50 years earlier, covering structure, control and propulsion. The development of a practical airframe depended on engineering instantiation of those principles. Structural techniques were well established by the 1880s, adequate propulsion power was just about there around 1905, and control surface development was ongoing from about 1840.

    The Wrights were working in the field of aircraft development in order to make money, and attempted to apply expansive patents to their control surface developments in order to monopolise the field. Elevators and rudders were well understood – the Wrights had used wing warping in order to provide lateral control, and they tried to assert that this was ‘the key to flight’.

    In fact, longitudinal roll control is an essential part of aircraft control, but by no means the only important feature. And such control requirements were well understood – English inventor Matthew Piers Watt Boulton patented the first aileron-type device for lateral control via ‘flexed’ wings in 1868, so they had not even done anything new here. More importantly, wing-warping is not scaleable, while hinged surfaces are. Esnault-Pelterie was using such surfaces in 1904 – these are the lateral control systems we use nowadays. It is not a coincidence that the word we use for them – aileron – is French. They were the inventors, owing nothing to the Wrights.

    The Wrights tried to enforce world-wide licensing fees of up to $1000 per day for ANY aircraft using ANY kind of lateral control ( a phenomenal figure for the early 1900s), and stifled any chance the US had of developing an aircraft industry until the US Government stepped in to the argument when they entered WW1. This is the major reason why the Wrights had so much publicity as ‘inventors of the aircraft’.

    The assertions that the Wrights ‘invented’ the aircraft can be traced to the legal in-fighting over this patent war. They certainly developed the first ‘practical’ aircraft (by a short head over several other independent developers), but one whose control systems were not capable of further development. The French had independently invented a much better answer to the problem of lateral control, one we are still using today.

  124. herkimer says:

    The WWU letter recommends to the Federal and State governments that they should only rely on rigorous peer reviewed science when it comes to global warming. Yet it is this so called ‘rigorous peer reviewed’ global warming science that has gotten the climate science so wrong by predicting doom and gloom and unprecedented temperature rises when the globe has done exactly the opposite the last 16 years . If I was a government official and a body of science approached me with such a request and I took a look at their dreadful track record, would you take them seriously? Would you invest with an investment firm that has predicted its stock wrong for 16 years? Can the world take such a risk when so much of the world welfare hangs on the balance? Ask the people of UK, Eastern Europe and ASIA after 5-6 years of brutal cold winters whether they think that global warming is real and should they only prepare for unprecedented global warming. Thousands are no longer alive as they died prematurely because of the extreme cold and the failure of their governments in not heeding possible global cooling warnings such as Don Easterbrook made years ago. Peer reviewed process is not a panacea to get at the truth if the process is restricted and controlled by a few individuals who use in ways not intended as we saw with the Climategate experience.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=peer+review

  125. ttfn says:

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    April 9, 2013 at 5:28 am

    “Um. I suspect that there is little point reading this book if they assert that adding a rudder to an airframe (a control surface whose characteristics had been known for thousands of years) somehow resulted in the ‘invention of the airplane’. That is simply untrue.”

    Sigh… until 1902, they assumed a fixed rudder would be adequate. Making it moveable solved their final problem of control, which they called well-digging. I can appreciate your disdain for their not-invented-here attitude, but their patent was way more deserved than Bell’s which beat some poor hapless Brit to the office by mere hours. Consider the time-line:

    1902 – They invented the first truly controllable aircraft.

    1904 – Santos-Dumont lamented in Dans l’Air that man wouldn’t achieve flight for 50 years.

    1905 – The Wrights were flying circles for over an hour at a time.

    1906 – The Wrights patent was finally approved, so they boxed up their airplane and began marketing it (badly).

    1906 – Santos-Dumont decided he may have been too hasty in writing off the airplane and began work on the 14-bis.

    1908 – The French were making fairly long hops and attempting to turn the aircraft using the rudder. They were still under the impression that its purpose was the same as the rudder on a boat.

    1908 – The Wrights, spooked by the progress in France, lowered their demands and demonstrated the first true airplane in both France and the US. By all accounts, the French were quite impressed. After that, aviation progress finally took off.

    There’s more to an airplane than its component parts. Yeah, Santos-Dumont added little wings to try to keep his big wings level. Yeah, plenty of people saw how a boat turned and added a rudder to their airship. But only the Wrights understood each part’s true purpose. If Cayley really had worked out the problem of control as you claim, he certainly failed to make it clear. I’ve gone off-thread long enough. Take your best shot and then read just about any book on the Wrights. You may discover that what they accomplished from 1900 thru 1905 while working on the problem part-time was really quite impressive.

  126. tobias says:

    We won’t print because you don’t live in our county????
    It ‘s my (in a whiney tone of voice) my ball and I’m going home or it’s my sandbox and you can’t play in it. What a bunch of idiots and they are supposed to be the MEDIA?? Can somebody explain to them what MEDIA means and please do it BEFORE giving them an university degree in journalism or communications?

  127. MikeP says:

    Herkimer, I think that the key word is rigorous. Most peer reviewed literature in the area of climate science is not rigorous. Part of being rigorous is withstanding independent replication efforts. As we all know, most key AGW papers involve data and processing steps that have been withheld, so that their results cannot be independently verified.

  128. Gordon J. Fulks, PhD says:

    Professor Don Easterbrook has my complete support. The attacks on him from twelve know-nothing colleagues at WWU should be condemned by everyone. Not only do they lack ANY background in climate science, their nasty behavior is completely unacceptable. I have challenged them to back up their science, which seems entirely based on ‘consensus.’ But they have refused to participate in a forum, referring to all who disagree with them as cranks. That should say to everyone that they are unable to defend their position against those of us qualified to challenge them.

    The situation with Professor Cliff Mass at UW is much the same, except he has excellent qualifications to address climate. But Cliff also refuses to participate in any substantial give and take with critics. I have corresponded with him extensively, trying to find common ground. He recently suggested that we participate in a seminar at UW but quickly dropped out of sight when it became clear that we were happy to do so. He is now blocking all communications from me, much as their local American Meteorological Society chapter does.

    Until scientists supporting the apocalypse behave like real scientists (and stop their multitude of games and repeated character assassinations), they have no credibility beyond their own cabal.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Portland, Oregon USA

    gordonfulks@hotmail.com

  129. SouthTexas says:

    Problem is there is no profit in going against global cooling/warming/climate change cabal, all the grants have gone to find proof of it’s existence. Until the money is taken out of the equation, it will continue, unabated, until the next ice age.

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