Chris Mooney must not be from Missouri

Headshot-Jan-2010 Kid blogger Chris Mooney (at left) often writes fascinating articles for their sheer single mindedness of purpose – making anyone who doubts AGW in even the slightest look like fools. I’ve been on the receiving end a few times but generally never bother to respond. I do however,  find it interesting that he gets to blog at Discover magazine, while at the same time writing hit pieces for Jim Hoggan’s paid public relations inflamers over at DeSmog Blog. Science and paid PR don’t mix.

But back to our story, Chris must have never been to Missouri, or taken a course where science is taught to be tested by replication and verification. Otherwise, he wouldn’t get so upset when the aptly named commenter “Nullius in Verba” (Take nobody’s word for it) asked to see the calcs behind what Mooney was writing about. It starts out innocently enough:

In the article is this passage about Kerry Emanuel’s “back of the envelope” calcs that prove the issue:

And then comes the obvious question, since the calcs were not included in the article, nor by any link nor citation. The response however, is the surprise:

See the comments yourself here

Hectoring? Wow! So much for the “discovery” in Discover magazine. Change the name to “Don’t Ask Magazine” perhaps?

I guess that makes anyone who asks to see proof of BOE calculations either from Missouri, a denier, or both:

OK I’ve had my chuckle and made my point. Ribbing aside, Chris Mooney really could do everyone a great service by simply answering the question, or writing to Dr. Emanuel and having him show it for him if he doesn’t know what those calcs are. Either way, next time Chris writes about how we all just need better communications, using trusted messengers, remind him of this over the top response.

h/t to Tom Nelson

UPDATE: After only 5 comments, comments for the article were closed. No discussion allowed. That’s really lame Chris.


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Chris Mooney is first and foremost a BS artist. His job is not to actually prove, but convince the fence sitters and belittle the oposition.

George Turner

It’s simple:
1) double CO2
2) ???
3) we burn in the fires of a planetary catastrophe!


When I tried to post:
Whats wrong with wanting to see the calculations? Isn’t not being able to see (thus not able to replicate) part of this annoying divide?
Trusting facts and figures is one thing, seeing raw data and results re-creation should be solid gold.
I got:
Sorry, comments are closed for this item.
It isn’t so much they don’t want dissent, as much as the debate must already be settled…


Of course, the comments are closed now. That was fast.

I suppose that Mr. Mooney’s Discover online forum is yet another one of those virtual venues in which questioning the religious beliefs of the proprietor will get you bounced out of the bar.
But I do like that “hectoring” comeback. Damned thin skin under Mr. Mooney’s coat of weasel fur.


Facts, they do not need facts, they have grants.
Grants outweight Facts.

An English Major, no less. Leave the kid alone, blame instead the fools listening to his empty pomposity.

He already shut down comments. Freakin coward.

[snip – over the top personal attack against Mr. Mooney]

“3) neither Democrats nor Republicans are inherently anti-science ” says the author of The Republican War on Science.
Which is it?

Robert M

Hmmm, comments closed. Looks like Mooney is a moonbat that can’t take any questioning of his beliefs…


Silence to all the “hector(ers)?” Those who doubt shall be smitten, or is it kitten?

Richard Black, Damian Carrington, and now Mooney. It’s the #leftwingwaroncomments I tell ya!

Les Johnson

Another good one for not allowing debate is Greg Laden.
Apparently using references and logic is not allowed; at least if you are not on the AGW side.
Greg has a thin skin too, you will note. He didn’t like that I questioned why he would believe models over data. In e-mail communication, he also didn’t like my use of the term “warmist”. I used quotations marks, and in the same sentence as “skeptic” and “lukewarmer”. This, from a blog owner that does not allow “deniers”, as he calls them.
Greg, hypocrisy. Hypocrisy, Greg.


Lets be honest here, none of this stuff has been about science or facts anyways. Its about a fight for power of determining the future direction of the country or countries involved in this nonsense.


Well, he does say that you have to be a MIT science student to do it – which he isn’t. So I guess that’s why he regards the request as “hectoring”.

Tom Jones

I was unaware of Emmanuel saying any such thing, but I find it highly amusing. He really said that to Congress? They just don’t get any respect at all. If it really is that easy, perhaps he will spare us five minutes of his time and show us that BOE. Who knew it was so simple?


I asked Chris to explain why the comment by Nullius was “heckoring” and my comment was deleted. I then said: “I was mistaken that this was a science blog but I see its just a warmists propaganda blog. No wonder there are very few comments”.
Within a few minutes the comments were closed.


That seems to be a basic ploy: Add “Everybody knows” or “It’s easy to calculate” in front of a statement then become affronted when anyone asks for proof.

mike sphar

Hey, I thought the Science was settled, way back when Chris was still in diapers. Are we now hiding the decline of used envelopes for the sake of the grand children ?

Fred 2

Any real science enjoys having a lively debate on its basic premises. Any real science is more than happy to publish it’s theory, results, raw data and assumptions in the hope of eliciting information that will improve it’s understanding of nature. But AGW is not a science, so much as it is a religion.


Could he stand a day at a farm? Or would even that be too much for his physic?


English Major eh? Then I guess he understands the term “buffoon.”


Maybe someone should do him a favor and point him toward the article on a “simple” sensitivity calculation on Judith Curry’s blog.
This may disabuse him of ‘back of the envelope’ excursions.

Chris in Ga

In the first comment we have a please and a thanks. That’s the kind of over the top rhetoric that leads to hectoring dontchaknow.
Loved the “noted” bit too


Chris Mooney has form in the atheist community as well, being one of the most prominent voices for ‘accommodationism’; essentially the view that we should be nice to believers even if they are talking complete nonsense, supporting violent extremists and spending our taxes on it because… because…
Well, he hasn’t quite got to that bit yet, but no doubt he will some day.




Mr. Watts,
Roger Williams who is running for U.S. Senate to replace Kay Baily Hutchison has your blog link now.
you may want to make contact with them. He most likely will win the thing.
He understands the risk of the AGW hockey puck slap stick facts.
That and he is a nice guy too.

Svante Arrhenius used the equivalent of an envelope in 1908 when he said doubling of CO2 would cause a 1.6 degree C rise.
It is a pretty simple calculation. If you assume everything else to be uniform.
Unfortunately for Mooney, there are lots of other variables in the system – most of which are unaccounted for at this time in any model.
Fundamentally, the Earth is a huge heat engine. Any sophomore taking Engineering Thermodynamics can tell you what happens when you circulate the working fluid faster or slower in a Heat Engine. What drives the working fluid in the Earth’s heat engine? Mooney does not know.
Other than supporting plant life, its not clear that CO2 is important at all in regulating climate. And a doubling of CO2 appears to be good for life on the planet in general.

“Democrats have vastly more PHDs and experts, and seem to be factually correct on contested issues.” Do Democrats have more than the 9,100 PHDs signed on to the Petition Project, which says agw is a crock? Much of the research on agw is conducted by professors and experts in socialist academia and government institutions. To say a lot of Democrats are involved here is to state the obvious.
Right-leaning Republicans or Conservatives are more mature, having seen too many fads come and go before that turned out to be nothing, like the previous two global cooling and global warming periods in the last 110 years, and would rather accept factual, verifiable historical data spanning millenia or millions of years as “proof”. Left-leaning Democrats and Progressives are guided by “beliefs”, by daily anecdotes as “proof”, by studies conducted over a few years or decades as “proof”, by computer projections based on woefully inadequate modelling using dubious initial conditions as “proof”, by FrankenGraphs like the Hockey Stick cobbled together using two unconnected proxies as “proof”, all for the real reason of having this supposed “crisis” always on the front page: redistributing the world’s wealth.
To put this issue to rest once and for all, perhaps Mr. Mooney would be willing to address just one question: why do ice core data show the CO2 increases coming about 800 years AFTER the temperature increases? Here’s the answer, Mr. Mooney: Rising temperatures drive CO2 out of solution from the world’s oceans. CO2 is the drive-ee, not the driver! Game. Set. Match.


Of course you are hectoring if you ask an English major to do calculations! Who doesn’t understand that?

David, UK

The guy has not responded much differently from that other great public face of the warmists, Al Gore. The science is settled, the debate is over, stop hectoring me. “Lame” doesn’t begin to describe it.


I think this is the new reality. A similar thing is happening in the UK at the moment; AGW Propaganda bloggers, sorry “Environment Correspondents” over at the bbc do not invite comments on the articles they write anymore. I assume, it’s because what they write cannot be defended a.k.a beyond any empirical reasoning (they think it anyway).
First rule of Climate Science, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of good story!”
If Chris Mooney reads this, maybe he will reopen the comments – then again, probably best to just stay quiet 😉


The alleged envelope has probably accidentally been dropped into the shredder by now! Gee – all that good scientific ‘proof’ lost forever for the benefit of all mankind…………..Still, if it’s so elementary, I’m sure it won’t take long for it to be replicated?
I’d better add the ‘/sarc’ just in case he reads this! (You know the type – attention, self gratification seeking, look how clever I am for poking a stick at the hornets nest, then complaining how hard done-by they are when they get stung! Kinda sad really…….)


he didn’t say how large the envelope was…

I was able to leave a comment here…
Go for it.

Fred from Canuckistan

The more Mother Nature refuses to go along with their models and fear predictions, the more these AGW Belied Peddlers will go over the top in their unsubstantiated claims, stories of ever greater disasters and enviro-radical interpretations of the reasons why their religious like beliefs need to be adhered to – OR ELSE!.
A shameful, pathetic little man, so unable to handle reality.

Mike G

Anybody got a back of the envelope calculation that explains how positive feedback could be causing the near record heat here in lower Alabama when the humidity for this time of year is running way lower than I’ve ever seen it?
Isn’t this all supposed to be due to positive feedback? Slight heating -> more humidity -> higher temps due to more humidity?
What I’m seeing right now, in the middle of a massive heat wave with record, or near record temperatures many days in the past three weeks, is a heat index lower than the actual temperature. Here in the deep, deep south, it is usually the humidity that makes the heat so unbearable. We’ve never been able to say, “yeah, but it’s a dry heat,” until now, that is! I’m used to 103F days with a heat index of 112F. Now, were having 103F days with heat index around 99F.

Mike Clark

This is the land of the free and the home of the brave. There’s no room for communist like you who restrict the free speech and scientific analysis of an opposing view. Your time wanes and your rhetoric is doomed to the grave. Our forefathers shed thier fortune and thier blood to forge a free life away from the likes of you. Pray God we don’t meet on some fateful day for that same purpose because freedom will win when we do.
Mike clark

I do however, find it interesting that he gets to blog at Discover magazine, while at the same time writing hit pieces for Jim Hoggan’s paid public relations inflamers over at DeSmog Blog. Science and paid PR don’t mix.

Anthony don’t forget he was added to the board of the AGU for his ability to “communicate” science. You even had a post at the time on it:

AGU Board adds new members with expertise in science policy and communication
AGU Release No. 10–39
15 November 2010
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON—The American Geophysical Union’s board of directors has approved two new members who will bring expertise in science policy and communication: policy advisor Floyd DesChamps and author Chris Mooney. Their selection reflects AGU’s commitment to applying the results of scientific research to challenges faced by the global community, many of which are based in the geosciences.
“Floyd and Chris will provide expert advice on how to effectively communicate the importance and relevance of Earth and space science to the public and policy makers,” said McPhaden. “We’re really excited about their involvement and what it means for new opportunities to advance AGU’s outreach efforts.”
REPLY: So much here at WUWT, sometimes I forget. Thanks for the reminder. – Anthony

“Right-leaning Republicans or Conservatives are more mature, having seen too many fads come and go before that turned out to be nothing”
It must be “Sweeping Statements Week” on WUWT. I must try to forget all of the liberal professors and Democratic supporters who have suffered in their work situations because of left wing demagoguery from people like Chris Mooney. They clearly existed only in my fertile imagination.

I also tried to get a comment posted there. I merely noted that I was not surprised that the simplistic arguments of those alarmed about CO2 could fit on the back of an envelope, but that I was surprised that they would want this to be more widely known. But perhaps it was my suggestion that the comment about ‘hectoring’ was some fast-response damage limitation that was the last straw for the clearly highly-sensitive, or perhaps merely highly-strung, souls protecting Discovery’s ramparts from those interesting in discovery.


Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
June 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm
“CO2 is the drive-ee, not the driver! Game. Set. Match.”
CO2 can also be a driver.

Don Keiller

Hey Chris, I’d love to see how your mate Kerry can prove that 1 + 1 = 4.5 to 7.
What advanced maths does he and his students use?
I know that Einstein once did stuff like this on the back of envelopes.


Already in 1897 the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius predicted that industrial activity would increase carbon dioxide concentrations and calculated (by hand) that doubling the concentration would cause global surface temperatures to rise by 5-6 degrees centigrade. Modern science projects somewhat lower temperature increases, but Arrhenius’s estimate is remarkably close to modern estimates considering the information and techniques at his disposal. Today, students at MIT and elsewhere can do hand calculations or use simple models of radiative and convective heat transfer to explore climate physics, and they find climate sensitivities in the same range as those reported in the first National Academy of Sciences report on anthropogenic climate change in 1979.

I have a simple rule: Never do math in public–it only leads to embarrassment. Of course, I’m not a scientist. Maybe Mooney feels the same way.

Jimmy Haigh

My initial impression of Mooney’s response to Nullius’ query was that it was a bit of a piss take of the whole situation we find ourselves in regarding the ‘debate’. But then I remembered that AGW proponents don’t have a sense of humour…

Here, I finished Mooney’s sentence for him…
“Nullius, this is a warning. Your comments are verging on hectoring at this point. Hectoring is what I do daily. I am paid well for my professional hectoring. Your amateur hectoring is not up to my high standards. Additionally, you frighten me. I am running away now.”

Sometimes one has to bring the obvious to the fore: whether a result is obtained via a simple BOE calculation or a complex one, involving hours of computation in the fastest machines available, is no guarantee that it will reflect what happens in Nature. Only comparison of the implications of said results with observations can do that… And it is in that realm that CAGW fails miserably.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

Another wannabe enlightened scientific thinker of the so called “Left’