Tom Fuller exits stage left, poetically

Frequent WUWT contributor Tom Fuller has decided to step away from blogging. His final post is below. Tom provided some greatly appreciated help in keeping WUWT humming while I dealt with family health issues, and so I owe him a huge debt of graditude. Tom the door is always open at WUWT should the itch to write strike. – Anthony

Good-bye to all that

Tom Fuller

This will be my final article on Thank you all for your support and your criticism. You can help with a title for this…

To Kim and Lucia who both knew best

How thoughts like these should be expressed


How terribly quickly heat recedes when the flame is lost.
All the things I thought romantic

When I was real and life was a child

Proved moments of calm after decision

When life is most real, it most needs revision.

I’ve got a job and I must go

Farewell, friend and farewell, foe

Chapter 1 – The data
The wind blows through the city’s streets and rattles the street’s furniture

The urban indications meant to orient a person to his time and place

And shakes the digitalis clocks that stop and start the city’s heart

With flash of time and Celsius

Deliver us

The wind roars past the airport’s door

And penetrates the whitewashed box,

Providing whitewashed baseball scores

To heaven for analysis


The wind is answered by a blast

From Pratt & Whitney’s lastest, last

Combined with tarmac’s snaky coils

Of heated air that won’t constrain

All attempts at legerdemain

Spahn, Sain–pray for rain
(We must adjust, we must adjust

For fear, for fear, it’ll disappear)

Blame it on the skeptic winds

Santanas reaching desert ends

For we have story plots to tend

Depending on unceasing trends

Now set condition Yoke throughout the ship.
Rain approaches, seen from a ship

In afternoon light it flashes and shines

We shiver in blue and pause in our labors

Willing the world to be perfectly still

Emerging from the starboard hatch

I light up with a phosphor match

And take the bucket from the hole
The bosun’s mate and boiler tech

Have faced the winter’s evening charms

By slamming dope into their arms

Fatigue has lent their movements

That economy and grace

Evocative of thought or dance

The beauty of the human race!

Drugged hatred sleeping behind their eyes

They stare me down and take the bucket

Walk to the fantail saying ‘F*** it’

With Thai stick waving in the breeze

Obscuring all the increments

Of ancient briny measurements

From ancient mercury implements

They write the numbers as they please

Rain reaches the ship to wash salt from our faces

The light goes gray and heavy with shock

The temperature guesses are scrawled in grease pencil

We shiver in blue and sprawl on the cases

Chapter 2 – The Debate

A fragile walk, the knuckle-walk,

Forensic taste of paradox

Gazing at Wilde’s stars from gutters

And commenting with geniuses and nutters

Oracular pronouncements are the symbol of this reign

With doom our given fate

As punishment for crimes

Against our poor tectonic plate

The gods themselves protest in vain

Those who protest, driven down

To undergrounds for dusty years

Composed of Bowery Grenadiers

And Canadian Mining Engineers

The priesthood rests on century’s claims

A winning streak and well-earned fame

We brought you health and wealth besides

We tell you now of rising tides

The skeptic, ‘spawned in some estaminet’

Demands that we examine it

‘If data aged like well-kept wine

Why must you then hide the decline?’

The scientists caught in the muddle

Reluctantly break from the huddle

Enlisting voiced vituperation

From corners of all grateful nations

And in response the skeptics rose

Denying angles of repose

And thus was born our Blogistan

From Fourier to ‘Yes We Can’

And so it goes–and so it goes

The waters warmed, the waters rose

But not as much as it was feared

Enlightenment had not appeared

The Arctic ice, the Greenland Cap

The glacial peaks, the this, the that

It comes and goes and how ’bout that?

And here we are, and hear–we are

Scraping the iceberg’s stony face

The science is what science is

And we are who we are, we are

Watching Mauna Loa’s upward trace

Trapped in the flaming crash of the Heisenberg

Caught in the climate conundrum

Will we pay? or Will we drown?

Are they priests or are they clowns?

It’s warmer in the center of the town


This doggerel begins to smell

And I really must be going

Emotions mixed but eyes firm fixed

Upon an East-bound Boeing

In 30 years I’ll know

The contrail drags below my flight

Reflecting back unearthly light

Like clouds below, oh albedo

Or soaking up all heat in sight

But which is it to be?

Light for you or heat for me?

In 30 years I’ll know

The system now so cumbersome

Seeks new equibilibrium

As if it were a New Jerusalem

In 30 years I’ll know

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November 9, 2010 10:50 am

I didn’t agree with a great deal of Tom’s opinions and ideas. I didn’t at all like that sometimes there seemed a thinly-veiled attempt to woo the skeptic whilst still pushing a green-energy position but… I did, and do enjoy his writing.
Tom is a man of belief and passion and is very able to put that across regardless of his readership. He’s willing to engage with people he knows full well will oppose what he says and for that I thank him for his past input and hope that he’ll come back to WUWT in the future with more of his musings.

November 9, 2010 11:02 am

Craig has said it well, love him or not, I’ve always read Toms posts.
I hope Tom does some independent writing and continues to post in WUWT.
Thank you Mr Fuller, it’s been a pleasure reading.

Herbie Vandersmeldt
November 9, 2010 11:07 am

Dr T G Watkins
November 9, 2010 11:08 am

A decent likeable character who has produced readable and intelligent articles which one may not always agree with but are always thought provoking. That is how debate should be. The blogosphere will be poorer for you leaving.
Strength to your mind and arm. Best of luck.

Grant Hillemeyer
November 9, 2010 11:09 am

Thank you, Thomas for your contributions. Enjoyed them and the responses they prompted each and every time. We all wish you well!

Lonnie Schubert
November 9, 2010 11:13 am

Tom, I have always appreciated your efforts and have enjoyed reading your posts.

November 9, 2010 11:17 am

My estimation of Tom Fuller went up after his recent comments on Judith curry’s site.
I wish him well.
Good poem too.

November 9, 2010 11:21 am

Craig said it for me, great first post. Despite our differences over the science, Tom was always good natured. I enjoyed reading his book, The Crutape Letters, too.

November 9, 2010 11:22 am

Best wishes Tom Fuller. May the wind be always at your back — and may it be a warm wind. 🙂

November 9, 2010 11:26 am

Not a dry eye in the house. Good luck for the future & remember the parable of the prodigal son 😉

November 9, 2010 11:37 am

Tom, you’ll be missed.
Gets confusing when people post logical answers that go against your beliefs, don’t it.
Hope you take this time to sort it all out.
Thanks again

November 9, 2010 11:41 am

Tom Fuller,
“You can check out (from WUWT) any time you like, but you can never leave.”
With my apologies to the Eagles.
Tom, take care & good luck. I hope to meet you in person one day! We can continue our glorious arguments over libations.

November 9, 2010 11:43 am

I think the the muses of poetry captivated Tom, but..No!, I think he has been struck down by the lightning of truth in this epoch of Apocalypse (Greek: Ἀποκάλυψις Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”) is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception,…

So, we shall wait until his next poem or…revelation?

November 9, 2010 11:54 am

I’ve appreciated Tom’s input here, at C-a-s and at Judith’s sites in recent months. I’d be sad to lose his incisive input. Though he’s withdrawn from Examiner, I hope that when he’s had some “me-time”, he’ll feel inspired to interject on those blogs again.
I suspect that being placed on moderation at Keith’s site was something of a catalyst for Tom. I won’t make a call whether Tom was wrong or right to be indignant, or if Keith was over-zealous in his placing Tom in the “sin-bin”, but certainly I don’t feel that the net result has benefited the balance at C-a-s. Losing Tom as a contributor, on any level, is a grave loss indeed.

November 9, 2010 11:56 am

Thanks for some interesting and controversial posts here on WUWT. The debate about climate is open again and the dogma of the pro-CAGW camp has been leavened with some sceptical common sense.
Here’s wishing you well, Tom, whatever the future brings.

November 9, 2010 12:01 pm

Vogons are described as the writers of “the third worst poetry in the universe”. They are employed as the galactic government’s bureaucrats. Have you got a job with the UN Tom?

James Sexton
November 9, 2010 12:01 pm

Right up there with Frost! Tom, be sure to pop back by from time to time. Your writings and topics always seemed to encourage lively discussions! Thanks much,

Stephen Brown
November 9, 2010 12:05 pm

Cheers, Tom and fare thee well.
Your articles here have stimulated some splendid debates and made a lot of people think a lot harder than they had done before you prodded them. Thanks for input, it has been much appreciated. As others have already said, it is such reasoned debate that enlightens us all.

Scott Covert
November 9, 2010 12:09 pm

Like Sully Sullenberger, you are a brave man. Thank you for all you have done.
Scott Covert.

Douglas DC
November 9, 2010 12:22 pm

I for one, though I disagree, will miss your dialogue with WUWT-and all of us
expert/layman/hangers-on that populate this blog. Good luck, sir,and good hunting….

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand
November 9, 2010 12:31 pm

Well done Tom. I appreciate your hard work, civility and willingness to take it on the chin.

November 9, 2010 12:33 pm

Thanks, all!
Just to be clear, I got a real job at a real company (I’ve been working for myself for 3 years), and I just won’t have the time to do the research needed for posting. Or good commenting, for that matter. So it’s back to lurking for me–unless Michael Tobis gets too crazy…

November 9, 2010 12:34 pm

Your rime reads true – there is no albatross around your neck.
Enjoy the rest of the wedding.

Colin from Mission B.C.
November 9, 2010 12:36 pm

Godspeed, Mr. Fuller.

November 9, 2010 12:40 pm

Mr. Fuller, I can’t say I agreed with much of what you write or wrote, but I’m glad you did write it. And thank you, Anthony, for providing the platform for those writings.
I hope you (Mr. Fuller) find some engineers in your path, and take the time to talk to them.
Personally, I wish you all the best.

November 9, 2010 12:49 pm

I’ll very much miss Tom’s postings. I didn’t always agree with him, but he always brought something fresh to the table, and always did so unjudgmentally. Great poem, BTW. I sincerely wish you the very best on your travels.
Paul Hanlon

November 9, 2010 12:57 pm

To you Tom,
You seized the fire here at WUWT.

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
2nd stanza of The Tiger by William Blake. 1757–1827?


November 9, 2010 1:04 pm

Thanks Tom for a unique voice in WUWT.

November 9, 2010 1:08 pm

Best wishes Tom Fuller. I read your and Steven Mosher’s book, Climategate, and throughly enjoyed it.
However, Climate Concern Poetry? … yeesh (shudder). Every writer has their ups and downs, I guess. 😉

November 9, 2010 1:19 pm

He was being wrong and biased all the time had people here correcting him every single time.
Sorry but no sympathy…byebye
REPLY: Gosh, for a second there I thought you were talking about yourself. Mr. Fuller, whether you view him as right or wrong, left, or right, warmer, lukewarm, or cooler, has one distinguishing quality you lack: the courage and integrity to put his name to his words, unlike you and many like you. So, unless you are prepared to put your own name to your words here, may I suggest you limit your opinion about Mr. Fuller? Thank you for your consideration. – Anthony Watts

November 9, 2010 1:21 pm

(At the risk of lowering the level of literary merit of the poetry around here….)
There once was a blogger from ‘Frisco
a liberal proud of his wit, so
as the Earth’s climate cooled
and his party retooled
he quit to go dance at the disco
Agree or disagree, it was a pleasure reading someone who could write on contentious issues, in a sometimes hostile forum, with decency, integrity, and something rare in today’s culture, a hint of humility.

November 9, 2010 1:22 pm

Good luck and best wishes, Tom! Your career has been proof that the skeptic community is all about ideas and is willing to both cheer and pummel “our own” on any given issue on any given day, and yet come back the next day and switch from one to the other on a new day and a new issue.
Which is exactly as it should be.

Alexander K
November 9, 2010 1:24 pm

I always enjoyed your writing here on WUWT, even if I disagreed with the content at times. You have the gift of laying out your thoughts in a way that invites thought followed by amiable discussion, a rare and civilised gift indeed in the frequently nasty world of the blogosphere. Enjoy your job and the company of your new colleagues – you will be missed.

November 9, 2010 1:29 pm

Thank you for taking the time to post here. Your posts were always interesting and thought provoking. I would hope that you would consider, if you find the time, not to completely abandon WUWT. Your presence enriches the landscape. Finally, I appreciate your openness and candor in sharing your viewpoints for others to discuss and comment on. It shows a willingness to keep an open mind. I think, regardless of what side of this or any other debate one may be on, keeping an open mind is a very difficult thing to do. Best wishes.

November 9, 2010 1:30 pm

Fallacies look as truths, and global warming fallacy with its apparent Gaia loving side looked even better, but these are the “tricks” the devil’s ingenuity has reserved for us.
Nevertheless we have the always present recourse of revisiting the symbols of old, silent hieroglyphs which transmit truth from forgotten generations. These do not argue but teach.

November 9, 2010 1:37 pm

Thank you for keeping track of my sanity, Tom.
While I think you misunderstand me and some of the climate turf, you are a decent sort.
I wish you well in your new endeavors.

Olaf Koenders, Wizard of Oz?
November 9, 2010 1:51 pm

Thanks Tom. I always found your articles engaging and entertaining. You will be missed.
Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.. 😉

Shub Niggurath
November 9, 2010 2:09 pm

I suspect that being placed on moderation at Keith’s site was something of a catalyst for Tom.

Oh. I did not know this.

Larry Geiger
November 9, 2010 2:13 pm

“I’ve got a job and I must go”
Does this mean that you were unemployed?
“And I really must be going
Emotions mixed but eyes firm fixed
Upon an East-bound Boeing”
And you now have a job back east?
If so, congratulations!

Tom in St. Johns
November 9, 2010 2:28 pm

I appreciate the civility of your posts. Those posts and many of the replies do show that people and argue points with passion and without having to be rude or insulting.

Steve from Rockwood
November 9, 2010 2:30 pm

Best of luck Tom. You had some great posts. Your last post is poetic justice.

Steve Fitzpatrick
November 9, 2010 2:41 pm

It is a miracle, Micheal Tobis and I finally agree on something! I too wish you well.
You prove a reasoned voice can indeed work miracles.

November 9, 2010 2:41 pm

Nice poem, I dub it “Tears of Sisyphus”.
Naaah,famous last words is better, yull be back soon 🙂

November 9, 2010 3:11 pm

Good luck in your new job…
Stop by Bishop Hill occasionally, a civilised rational place. I’m sure Andrew would welcome an occasional contribution from the other side of the pond.
Commenting about all this takes it’s toll. I’ve had an intense years since seeing that watts up article about climategate on the 20th November 2009 (came across it on a UK newsforum)
I’ve just had a frustrating conversation with an IPCC scientists that agrees with me that a lot of the stuff green peace, wwf, 10:10 put out is rubbish.
(ie 10:10 campaign, 300,000 people die a year from climate change, or greenpeace 150,000 peole die a year from climate change, that sort of stuff, even said Pachauri was bad news)
But doesn’t think it is a scientists job to correct it (blames the media/politicians)
But of course if the scientists won’t say it is wrong, then the media politicians know no better…
The unfortuanate thing is this close friend and their organisation advices the Department of Energy and Climate Change(UK) and thinks the problems in the IPCC report were one mistake (glacier) and hasn’t read ANY climategate emails (including their bosses, and their own emails released in
So very frustrated and I’m close to giving up as well, it is not worth the toll on my family. My friend is also the parent of my son’s best friend in the entire world since they were babies, I will risk that if I pursue this with them, my son is ultimately (and it sounds shameful, worth more to me than the millions of the anonymous poor, that wil suffer because of the CGW delusion)
BUT, I just can’t stop thinking of the millions of the poorest people in the world all this money being wasted could be provided for, water, food , disease, energy)
in the UK the energy gap should wake the politicians up in 5 years, even tens of thousands of windfarms are not going to be able to replace the 14 coal and nuclear powerstations due to close in 5 years. (end of life and fail to meet eu emmissions regs, the green have prevented them being replaced)
Voters prefer their politicians to keep the lights on.
Good luck Tom and best wishes.
time will tell.

James Barker
November 9, 2010 3:15 pm

Thanks Tom, for your thoughts and your time. Hope your new boss is better than the last 🙂

November 9, 2010 3:40 pm

Hi James
Not much doubt about that. I’ll put up a sign: “Under management.”

November 9, 2010 3:44 pm

Nice poetry, cool. First poem on climate I have seen. Good luck, Tom!

Curious Canuck
November 9, 2010 3:45 pm

Be well and good luck, Tom. As a reader I’ll be missing your content and likely explore your history here that predates mine so much. I hope the new directions and fruitful and happy and that you find the time to check in with us. Your thoughts, approach and attitudes, whether in opposition or agreement with mine, exemplify the finest and most considerate engagements we could hope to read or share here. A great man who started so many articles with an openess to adjust and accept criticism. We’ll miss you more because science in this day and age needs that so much. Thank you falls short.

Eric (skeptic)
November 9, 2010 4:00 pm

Some kind of poetry above (short sentences that rhyme). I don’t like poetry so I just skimmed it. I will miss your posts though, you always thought things through, wrote clearly, and didn’t run and hide when challenged. You will be an asset wherever you end up.

November 9, 2010 4:06 pm

Tom thank you for your post here at WUWT, Some very revealing and others not so. It was good to read other opionons of yours and commentors here and it will be missed, good luck in your new career and hope you do find time to post again in the future.

November 9, 2010 4:19 pm

The Song of the Sirens from the blogs has pulled many writers off course, Tom, offering instant gratification of the desire to communicate, but proving an ephemeral resolution of that need; leaving a feeling of frustration that a concept or idea had not really been developed and presented in a format which would not simply vanish into the craw of an insatiable beast where, surprisingly quickly, it would simply disappear.
    I hope this is your reason for withdrawing from the (ugly word) blogosphere, and that you will now wrestle with the much more difficult process of ploughing the fields of your dreams until the loam is friable and the seeds well grown, and to thence publish in a more substantial medium ─ electronic or paper-based ─ to let your talent be more widely spread, and more thoughtfully considered.
    Go well, fellow author.

Leonard Weinstein
November 9, 2010 4:22 pm

I always enjoyed discussions with you. Even though we disagreed on many points, you were always respectful and pleasant to communicate with. I wish you the best in your new job.

November 9, 2010 4:34 pm

Very T.S.Eliot, Tom!
“And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimneypots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.”
All the best – we’ll miss you.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
November 9, 2010 4:49 pm

As one who is more of a lurker than a poster on the blogs on which I’ve read you, Tom Fuller, like many I haven’t always agreed with the substance of your posts; but (perhaps unlike Keith Kloor!), I’ve always appreciated your tone – and your observations on virtual group dynamics (the good, the bad, and the ugly) … which just happen to match my own!
Sorry to see your “swan song”, but I wish you all the best in your new “incarnation” as a non-self-employed person.

Eric Dailey
November 9, 2010 5:02 pm

One word; logorrhea.

November 9, 2010 5:07 pm

I remember commenting that Tom Fuller was rather pessemistic about human ingenuity when it came to finding alternative energy. And I stil think he is being rather alarmist about the situation. I could give examples of pessemism, which sound funny today, but alarmed people from the past. One example is of late 19th century projections for horse manure in London by the year 2000. :o)
I do appreciate reading posts from very differing veiw points as long as they don’t call me a denier. Thanks Tom for your input and all the best.

November 9, 2010 5:07 pm

I always appreciated your subjects and input. Thanks!

November 9, 2010 5:16 pm

Typo / drinko
that alarmed people from the past.

November 9, 2010 5:32 pm

Best of luck Tom with your new career. I never came away from your musings unaffected.
Sometimes angrily, I’ll admit, but never without respect for your personal attributes. I know you’ll be back, once you’ve got on top of the new job. You can’t keep the lid on a volcano!
As Barry Woods suggested, keep an eye on BishopHill’s blog. I think that you would find it an ideal and relaxing place when you’re ready to get up to speed before getting involved in the hurly-burley of Climatolotics again.
As a PS. Barry, don’t lose heart and, please, don’t stop trying to change things. I have never disagreed, in principle, with anything that you have said and I have read. I, and I’m certain that many others, enjoy your posts.
KBO, please.

Bill Illis
November 9, 2010 5:49 pm

There was no reason really to disagree with any of Tom’s posts. We should be trying to become more energy-efficient. We should be thinking of the future. We don’t really know how much warming there is to come. We just shouldn’t change our way of life based on a theory when the evidence for that theory is more-and-more looking like a significant exaggeration. Thanks very much Tom.

Oliver Ramsay
November 9, 2010 9:34 pm

Perhaps a more judicious choice of employer might have afforded you even more time to indulge your penchant for lucubration. There are spacey agencies that appear to encourage blogging while at work.

Philip Thomas
November 10, 2010 12:56 am

Your posts made my blood boil but I read each and every one of them. I wish I could escape the climate debate sometimes, you lucky man!
Good luck in new endeavour.

November 10, 2010 1:46 am

Tom, I didn’t agree with 90% of your posts but it was good to actually have a pro-AGW supporter engage with sceptics. That took more stones than the rest of the AGWers put together. I admire that. Hope to see you again.

Viv Evans
November 10, 2010 4:32 am

My best wishes for your new job, Tom.
Your posts here led to excellent debates, and I for one have always appreciated your writings from the ‘other’ point of view because you never lowered your tone to hectoring, bullying, or generally denigrating your opponents.
And that is indeed a rarity!

November 10, 2010 6:14 am

All the best, Tom!
We’ve had some good conversations over the past years (e.g. ), and while we often disagreed you were a courteous discussion partner (with me at least ;-), and one of your last posts (on the league of 2.5) was a very worthwhile attempt at building bridges between the different communities.

November 10, 2010 7:22 am

May I just take this opportunity to thank Mr Fuller and Mr Mosher for “Climategate, The Crutape Letters”, which is an excellent read. Best wishes, Dave.

November 10, 2010 10:31 am

Thank you for your contributions, Tom. I really appreciate your willingness to stand up to the plate with your ideas, even when you knew up front that you’d get vehement counterarguments. You handled the heat with grace.
Best wishes.

November 10, 2010 4:30 pm

Hi Tom
Tried to post this over at the Examiner and it was deleted as Spam! Was it something I said?
“Hi Tom
Followed the link from WUWT to your real home here. Sorry to hear you are leaving. You are a fine writer. All the best with whatever you decide to do
PS My contribution to your post about sea levels has encouraged me to write it up as a three part series. There is no doubt we are still some 30cms lower than during the MWP and Roman Optimum.
best of luck.”

November 10, 2010 8:41 pm

I hope Tom is taking the time off to read these books,
The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2005)
Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence (Robert Bryce, 2008)
Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future (Robert Bryce, 2010)
The Solar Fraud: Why Solar Energy Won’t Run the World, Second Edition (Howard C. Hayden, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Physics, 2005)
The Wind Farm Scam (John Etherington, Ph.D. Emeritus Reader of Ecology, University of Wales, 2009)

November 12, 2010 3:48 pm

Sad to see you go – I always enjoyed your writing and your views whether or not I fully shared them. Climategate was my wake-up call and you and Mosher’s book CruTape Letters really got me started in all this. So I blame you. (Just kidding!!!). I will be on the lookout for your comments on the blogosphere.

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