Quote of the week #29


This QOTW is from an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail which focuses on the rise of skeptic blogs including CA and WUWT.

The article contained this nugget from Gavin Schmidt, who never fails to disappoint with his (what McIntyre calls backhanded ) prose:

“He could be a scientific superstar,” Mr. Schmidt says. “He’s a smart person. He could be adding to the sum total of human knowledge, but in effect he adds to the reduction of the sum total of human knowledge.”

You know, sometimes I think Dr. Schmidt’s ego must be so large that the NY Dept of Transportation would have to put out orange traffic cones ahead of him when he travels.

I found this portion of the Globe and Mail article also interesting:

In the wake of the scandal, blogs that question the reality of man-made global warming have surged in public attention, leading new readers to websites such as Wattsupwiththat.com (run by weatherman Anthony Watts) and climatedepot.com (run by conservative activist Marc Morano). The sites’ rising popularity, and the growing influence they appear to wield in shaping public debate, is deeply worrying to the scientific community.

What should be deeply worrying to the scientific community is that they’ve allowed climate science to become noble cause corrupted by monied interests. Some serious retrospection is needed.


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Henry Galt

A surprising number of comment pages do not allow one to post if one’s post contains the word Schmidt.
It gets flagged as a rude word, as if one were attempting to post S*h*i*t.


Henry, I find that deeply disturbing, since that is my own surname. (no relation to Gavin, though!!!!) Philistines.
Regarding the aformentioned Gavin Schmidt’s quote: It is just as useful, and possibly even more valuable to reduce the sum total of false knowledge than it is to add to the amount of total knowledge. I base that on the premise that false knowledge is *always* damaging while new knowledge is only occasionally helpful.


Misdirection. It’s not about reducing knowledge. It’s about reducing mistaken knowledge.

Mike Bryant

I’d like to add to the reduction of the sum total of climatologists.

Gavin Schmidt;
The sites’ rising popularity, and the growing influence they appear to wield in shaping public debate, is deeply worrying to the scientific community>>
He presumes to speak for the entire scientific community?

Baa Humbug

Sounds like a post mortem speech doesn’t it? Love it, keep ’em coming Gav.


Yep, a truly ironic quote on the contributions to knowledge. It is a measure of the madness.

Bill in Calgary

I would expect no better from that paper. Don’t know anyone personally who reads it.


I love the idea that Gavin thinks that he represents the integrity of the scientific community.
He’s fast becoming a joke. Maybe he should start thinking about getting a real job.
But, then again, he could not put down that he is a scientist. Are flim-flam and collusion-to-defraud valid job categories?


Has anyone a URL for the latest Coleman video? I cannot find it at KUSI. At least it was not there 5 minutes ago.

Steve Koch

“What should be deeply worrying to the scientific community is that they’ve allowed climate science to become noble cause corrupted by monied interests. Some serious retrospection is needed”.
This is the most disturbing issue. Not sharing data so that results could be verified (indeed, destroying data rather than complying with an FOIA request). Blacklisting skeptics and trying to run them out of the profession if they did not buy AGW. Colluding to keep skeptics from publishing. Selling the idea that AGW is settled science to their political, media, and academic allies to stampede the republic into misinformed, hugely expensive decisions. These climate scientists were acting as activists, not scientists. Shame on them and shame on those climate scientists who are not calling for a house cleaning in the climate science profession.
Even those climate scientists who agree with AGW must stand up for their profession and tell Hansen, Mann, Jones, etc. that these tactics have shamed the profession of climate science and that profound corrections need to be made immediately. There needs to be a thorough investigation and the perpetrators of this malfeasance, this stain on science, need to be tried for fraud.

[snip OK Oliver, I’ve had just about enough of your attempts to interject your iron sun theory into discussions that have no connection whatsoever. I’ve warned you about this. You are relieved from posting for the remainder of the weekend. – Anthony]


Charles Darwin stated “to kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”. I wonder if the Gavinator has ever heard that one?


Paraphrasing Schmidt: “Steve, my boy, give in to the dark side, you could rule at my side.”


I believe he and Big Al share some genes.

Charles. U. Farley

Sounds like a self description to me…

This quote is referencing the doubleplusgood versions of the words “knowledge” & “science”.
In Newspeak “Knowledge” : Knowledge is information ,true or false,that furthers the cause.
“Science” : Science is computer output ,true or false,that furthers the cause.
The truth WILL set us free thanks to true knowledge and true science and websites like this one.
Thank goodness for the internet. Nothing but propaganda, Oh, I mean “knowledge” & “Science”, on the main stream media machine.


The writer is not “in” the scientific community. “Jeet Heer, a Regina-based cultural journalist, frequently writes about comics.”
The Toronto Mope and Wail online is going paid subscription – this is a great thing as fewer people will read their rot.


The psychosis of Schmidts quote is amazing. On the one hand, he essentially calls McIntyre some kind of great intellect with the potential to be a “scientific superstar”; but then he implies that all this power is used for evil. In a sense he’s saying that thin line that separates scientists and truth seekers from going to “the dark side” is well, extremely thin. He’s doing more damage to real scientists with his quote than he realizes.
Looked at another way, his quote is saying that a loner who asks questions is an undesireable. By calling McIntyre this, he says that requesting data and methods is a path to cause a “reduction of the sum total of human knowledge”.
All this, and I’d wager real money that *what* Gavin says means significantly less to him than the satisfaction he gets just from seeing his name and quotes in mass media. I think people should refer to him as the Paris Hilton of climate science.


“He could be a scientific superstar,” Mr. Schmidt says. “He’s a smart person. He could be adding to the sum total of human knowledge, but in effect he adds to the reduction of the sum total of human knowledge.”
Do you ever notice how liberals, when they go to attack somone they perceive to be a threat, actually wind up describing themselves? Everything a liberal claims…believe the opposite.


Where are the green police when we need them? Gavin is an egregious emitter of heated gas.


Here is a piece of that human knowledge which has settled in the brain of our head cheese, B O:
Dallas snow storms and warmth (55F) in Vancouver is a result of the planet warming up as a whole.
“That’s one aspect of the science that everyone should understand.”

H/T Lubos Motl


…the sum total of human knowledge…
Going by all the different books and periodicals that mankind has published, as often found at secondhand shops if they survive that long, and even the internet in general, I think those Augean stables are long overdue for a good reduction anyway.


I believe Gavin gets his witticism via one-time Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas B. Reed, who (allegedly) said of his political opponents, “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”
Personally, I like that little jab. 🙂 (The original, of course.)

I for one have come to the conclusion that Gavin desires, as do the other alarmists, that skeptics just simply give up.
I mean, look at the rhetoric :
Here is a response I got from Gavin after I posted a comment to a post entitled, ‘Whatevergate’
“[Response: The IPCC is the most peer-reviewed document in the world. It is still not perfect. But even you could have reviewed it if you wanted to. Transparency is great, but even if the data was all locked up and the analyses secret (which it is not), the nonsense passing for journalism in the last few weeks would still be nonsense. But if you want transparency (and why not?), start downloading the data, or the code, or the papers (all of which are readily available), and point out where it is exactly that you think we are hiding anything. – gavin]”
What have we learned from this talking point from a leading alarmist.
He states that the I.P.C.C. report is the most peer-reviewed document, but fails to mention that the document contains alarmist material from non peer-reviewed author(s).
Another key point to avoiding the truth is when he says that data analyses is not secretive or locked up. Are you kidding me?
How much of the analytical data, especially the climate models, has been studied for confirmation of authenticity? None, the last i checked.
And lastly, his feigned attempt at implying to be transparent, is but a ruse.
Gavin reminds me of a used car salesman. A term used to flip a potential buyer, to continue to ‘always be closing the deal’, is called ‘bait and switch’. Which is exactly what he and many other alarmists choose when confronted with difficult questions.
So it may be if Gavin can continue to muddy the scientific waters with this tactic,
it may lead to some skeptics to feel frustrated or even defeated, but at some point those waters will become clear and the only one left defeated with be Gavin and those that hold firm to their failed foundation of AGW.
So, I tip my hat to Watts and McIntyre and the rest of the blogging skeptics that continue to research and question the consensus on global warming.
Keep up the good work!
D. Alan


“… he adds to the reduction of the sum total of human knowledge.”
It seems Gavin is admitting that he though he new something that Steve M. showed just wasn’t so.

Jim Cole

Let’s put Schmidt and McIntyre in a squash court and learn who has the best backhand. Pay-per-View subscriptions would establish a purse value.
Squash match would be immediately followed by a traditional refereed debate on the proposition:
Paleoclimate reconstructions including tree-ring data are robust recreations of past global temperatures
Debate winner to be determined by on-line vote
Final prize = (squash purse) X (winning on-line vote) must be donated to charity of the winner’s choice.


KRuddWatch (14:52:01) :
Has anyone a URL for the latest Coleman video? I cannot find it at KUSI. At least it was not there 5 minutes ago.
Is this the one you are seeking?

Geoff Sherrington

davidmhoffer (14:45:16) :
Gavin Schmidt;
“The sites’ rising popularity, and the growing influence they appear to wield in shaping public debate, is deeply worrying to the scientific community”
An obvious solution is for Gavin to engage in debate in blogs. Not his, but others that surpass his intellect. It’s called learning.
If he has not noticed the shift in emphasis from comment in MSM to comment on blogs, then he’s missed the boat. The reading public is shifting to blogs in droves. This is the ‘voting’ reading public.
Sure, there is a place for careful, peer-reviewed papers when a topic has reached a stage of finality allowing summation and robust conclusion. The abundance of papers submitted for peer review when they are merely Work in Progress is a clutter of the system and a dilution of its purpose.
Use the the blog world, Gavin, for the minor and intermediate material and do peer-revew only when it is worthy.


“Jeremy (15:08:30) :
I think people should refer to him as the Paris Hilton of climate science.”
Does he have a pet that he carries around with him? Like this guy:


kruddwatch, there are links at the bottom of this:
New special from founder of the Weather Channel tackles manmade climate change theory
“The situation is completely out of hand,” said Texas A&M climate scientist Gerald North. “One guy e-mailed me to say I’m a ‘whore for the global warming crowd.’ ”
which is from:
19 Feb: Science Mag: Scientists Grapple With ‘Completely Out of Hand’ Attacks on Climate Science
by Eli Kintisch


“He could be a scientific superstar,” Mr. Schmidt says. “He’s a smart person. He could be adding to the sum total of human knowledge, but in effect he adds to the reduction of the sum total of human knowledge.”
Sounds like he has it ALL figured out, and doesn’t need any additional input or opinions.
IMO, it is not possible to reduce “the sum total of human knowledge.”
Unless you suppress said knowledge.

What does “adds to the reduction of the sum total” mean? Is that math-babble for “subtracts”?
My judgment is that “trickery to hide the decline” subtracts from human knowledge, making GS’s efforts a net loss for all of us.


The oh so politically correct and Liberal Mop and Pail used the term Weatherman?!? The Horror. They call fishermen fishers for gosh sakes. I am sure you wear that designation with pride, and justifiably so Anthony, but I am sure those at the Grope and Flail thought they were dissing you in some sort of sly sort of center of the universe way.
P.S. (Toronto = Center of the Universe to Liberals)


Think of Gavin as the Paris Hilton of Climate Science? Please don’t ever create that anomoly again. The first thing that popped into my head was that Carl’s Jr. hamburger commercial with Ms. Hilton.

Mike J

From the same article: “I think the climate-change-denial movement has recognized that transition was taking place and has really invested a lot of effort and resources in creating this huge infrastructure of online disinformation. And I think it is a challenge for legitimate news organizations to compete with that massive disinformation network.” – M. Mann
This paranoiac statement comes from not understanding the grass roots passions about transparency of scientific methodology. Mann is so ensconced in the ivy league world of pal-reviews and politics that he cannot comprehend a world where concerned and educated folk voluntarily devote large chunks of time to test and dispute his agenda-driven hypotheses. There was no conscious ‘recognizing’ or ‘investment’ – the internet was the place to discuss these matters without the heavy blanketing filters of ivy league pal-review smothering the debate. And as for the ‘resources’ invested in this ‘huge infrastructure’, gee whiz – please Mr. Mann show us how we can tap into this alleged wealth – you seem to be eminently qualified in the art of resource garnering.

When people begin to criticise others I’ve learned over the years that what they are telling you is their world view. Somebody gives generously to a cause – bloke A stands up & loudly proclaims how nobody who isn’t seeking fame would do such a thing – bloke A is giving you an insight into his world, not that of the giver.
It’s as if such people can’t look at themselves & analyse who they are – they view the world around & think that everyone must be just like they are, so they take their own faults & project them out to everyone else.
Listen carefully when people begin to belittle others – they are telling you, in detail, how they see the universe.

Did my previous comment not make it past the spam filter?
REPLY: No its there. -A

Michael J. Bentley

And ya know, most of us troglodites out here just would like to know what the hell is going on – from a scientific point of view. There are some folks on this site who obviously are convinced the whole damn thing is a bunch of bunk. Others argue (Pielke’s here) that wait a moment, looks like there is AGW, but it’s land use (apologies for over simplification – troglodite, remember?) that’s causing it. And there are a few who are CO2 cheerleaders (not talking about the trolls here, they don’t count).
Most of us are really sceptics on the CO2, I happen to like the Pielke theories – and think more $$$ should be invested there. At least I can trust the science. Anthony and others need $$$ for data integrety studies. It’d be money well spent since no matter your persuasion, at least you could trust the data (and access it).
I think the vast majority of viewers and posters here are not in favor of more pollution for pollution sake, but husbanding (can I use that – stewardship also comes to mind but that has a religious connotation) our natural resources and keeping this planet as “clean” as we can. What “clean” means is the scientific area.
Just my take, and thanks to everyone but Gavin…who reminds me of Pigpen in Charlie Brown, always stirring up dust.

Classic tactic. When you can’t win on facts or merit (and they can’t), then try to make the other side appear evil.
Expect such attacks to continue and intensify. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The easy money cash cow is being threatened. The choices are give up the money and admit defeat or fight back to the bitter end. Never underestimate the evil people will do to get money. AGW has the added benefit of getting the other corrupting goal of power. Two things that do corrupt the weak willed.
Be prepared. The AGW priests won’t go quietly in the night.


M&M: True Canadian Heroes.
Veritas victrix.
“The Heretics: McIntyre and McKitrick
When the infamous hockey-stick graph that purported to prove that human activities are causing runaway global warming was finally broken, there is some irony in the fact that a couple of Canadians did the breaking. Retired mining engineer Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, have been a thorn in the side of global warming alarmists for years. McIntyre, McKitrick and, more often, the acronym “M&M” to refer to the pair, are the subject of many discussions in the e-mails released from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) last November.
Reading the e-mails, it quickly becomes clear that leading alarmist scientists, like Michael Mann at Penn State and Phil Jones at the CRU, seemed positively obsessed – almost to the point of appearing deranged at times – with discrediting McIntyre and McKitrick. For example, when the pair published their first hockey stick busting paper in 2003, Mann sent an angry e-mail to his colleagues, telling them how to deal with MM: “The important thing is to deny that this has any intellectual credibility whatsoever and, if contacted by any media, to dismiss this for the stunt that it is.”
Raymond Bradley, a climatologist with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and part of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), went even farther, suggesting that CRU should provide the “independent” voice that would discredit McIntyre and McKitrick: “…if an “independent group” such as you guys at CRU could make a statement as to whether the M&M effort is truly an “audit”, and if they did it right, I think that would go a long way to defusing the issue… If you are willing, a quick and forceful statement from The Distinguished CRU Boys would help quash further arguments.”
What did McIntyre and McKitrick do to put these climatologists on the defensive?” (more)
“The Sound Of Settled Science”


When Schmidt said:
“and the growing influence they appear to wield in shaping public debate, is deeply worrying to the scientific community.”,
is he referring to Phil Jones?
Jones has done more to discredit Gavin Schmidt’s position on global warming than practically any blogger I know (deference to you, Anthony, but when a Warmer turns to the bright side, it’s a shock to readers of the NYT).

Ian H

It is called falsification. It doesn’t reduce knowledge. It removes error and in the process increases knowledge.


OT, sorry. Lengthy new interview with Pachauri, I think he might be close to rumbling your Machiavellian scheme:
“belated spurt in targeting the IPCC all of which makes you believe that people are working to a plan. I don’t know what their plan is, this could very much be the lull before the storm.”
Lots to meditate on.


Gavin Schmidt works for NASA?
Where is the NASA that put men on the moon?
Where is that glorious NASA?

Tom P

This might be an opportunity for Steve McIntyre to add to the sum total of human knowledge by answering a couple of questions:


“He could be a scientific superstar,”
Sorry Mr. Schmidt, but I don’t think you know what a scientific superstar is.


but more snow is in the forecast for Dallas—where is your global warming Gavin Schmidt?


I learned today that, despite reports to the contrary, the ‘hockey stick’ is alive and well and that Dr. Wegman’s report has been discredited–The Globe and Mail is a welcoming platform for AGW propaganda and it occupies land that would make a great parking lot.

“And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those pesky teenagers and that mangy mutt.”