Your tax dollars at work: an NCAR cartoon on steroid use in baseball and compared to climate change

From the video description:

AtmosNews takes a lighthearted look at an unexpected analogy, explaining why some people call carbon dioxide (and the other greenhouse gases) the steroids of the climate system. Statistics and extreme behavior are involved, whether we’re talking about baseball or Earth’s atmosphere. NCAR scientist Gerald “Jerry” Meehl explains why.

Video by Noah Besser, produced by UCAR Communications for

AtmosNews: NCAR & UCAR Science

Find out more about climate change and extreme weather:



While there’ no crying in baseball, there certainly is in “climate change” as Bill McKibben tells us.

I’ve spent the last few years working more than full time to organize the first big global grassroots climate change campaign. That’s meant shutting off my emotions most of the time””this crisis is so terrifying that when you let yourself feel too deeply it can be paralyzing. Hence, much gallows humor, irony, and sheer work.

This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little. I got to Copenhagen’s main Lutheran Cathedral just before the start of a special service designed to mark the conference underway for the next week. It was jammed, but I squeezed into a chair near the corner. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, gave the sermon; Desmond Tutu read the Psalm. Both were wonderful.

But my tears started before anyone said a word. As the service started, dozens choristers from around the world carried three things down the aisle and to the altar: pieces of dead coral bleached by hot ocean temperatures; stones uncovered by retreating glaciers; and small, shriveled ears of corn from drought-stricken parts of Africa. As I watched them go by, all I could think of was the people I’ve met in the last couple of years traveling the world: the people living in the valleys where those glaciers are disappearing, and the people downstream who have no backup plan for where their water is going to come from. The people who live on the islands surrounded by that coral, who depend on the reefs for the fish they eat, and to protect their homes from the waves. And the people, on every corner of the world, dealing with drought and flood, already unable to earn their daily bread in the places where their ancestors farmed for generations.

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R. Shearer
February 7, 2012 4:32 pm

This is an example of our tax dollars at work, how pathetic.

February 7, 2012 4:43 pm

Oh, for crying out loud!

Alvin W
February 7, 2012 4:43 pm

So Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds contribute to AGW?

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead
February 7, 2012 4:47 pm

Oh McKibben, grow up, you sappy little phony fussbucket. A complete fantasy…or perhaps “compleat” would be more appropo. Blecch.

February 7, 2012 4:48 pm

That’s the crappiest piece of propaganda to which I have ever been subjected.

February 7, 2012 4:49 pm

Show us the record highs and record lows from the 1920, 30s and 40s in your little graph, gentlemen!

Ken Methven
February 7, 2012 4:54 pm


February 7, 2012 4:55 pm

Hogwash, a lot of baseball players have some good years and some bad years, but don’t use steroids.

February 7, 2012 4:58 pm

“This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little”
If you try talking science to Bill, this all you’ll ever get.

February 7, 2012 5:00 pm

How do these NCAR folk sleep at night, knowing full well the lies they tell.
I guess “noble cause corruption” is a powerful soporific
ZZZZZZZzzzzzz . . . . [boink!]

February 7, 2012 5:04 pm

Someone needs therapy and needs it now!

February 7, 2012 5:10 pm

Yeah you would expect record highs to usually be equal to the record lows…..if we weren’t talking about the real world with urban heat biases.
Of course, let’s not mention that correlation != causation.

R. Shearer
February 7, 2012 5:18 pm

Maybe Gerald Meehl thinks that the only CO2 emissions justified are those from jetting climate scientists to meetings in Bali, Tahiti, Burban, Copenhagen, etc., but in fact, recycling carbon into the atmosphere is what makes the human race sustainable.
The only way that we can feed 7 billion people now is because of the use of nitrogen fertilizers, made by converting natural gas and nitrogen into ammonia, urea, water and CO2. CO2 is also a macronutrient, along with water, upon which all life is based. Without these, people would freeze to death or starve.

February 7, 2012 5:18 pm

It seems the case for CAGW is led by people who are ruled by the emotional hysterics typical of an adolescent. And I must admit in my own personal experience with people at work who are deep green CAGW advocates they are that EXACT personality type. To bastardize William Blake these people need to apply the “hard and wiry line of rectitude” and apply a bit of critical thinking instead of emotional thinking–cheers brett

February 7, 2012 5:22 pm

I shed a tear reading this. Probably because I am canning ghost peppers tonight.

DD More
February 7, 2012 5:26 pm

3 record highs / 1 record low???
According to the Record Highest & Lowest Temperatures by State as listed by National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, N.C., and Storm Phillips, STORMFAX, INC.
In the 2000’s only Maine is listed, but that was for a record Low Temp.

February 7, 2012 5:32 pm

someone cue in that youtube, the one with everyone sitting around, beating drums, and crying to the trees…………….

February 7, 2012 5:35 pm

It sounds like somebody needs a hug. ;-> Maybe we should have the IPCC visit MLB, since they seem to have a lot in common.

February 7, 2012 5:35 pm

Poor old Bill. His prescription for happy pills must have run out. Oh, well.

February 7, 2012 5:36 pm

“I’m still choking a little”
me too, im coughing up chunks having just seen the comments on climate-regress.

February 7, 2012 5:40 pm

“This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little”
….. “Then 12 hours later, I wet my bed”

Bill Illis
February 7, 2012 5:47 pm

So NCAR is trying out the “if we only communicated better, people would believe global warming.” Baseball and steroids is something that most people know about. Therefore they will get the analogy and start to believe in global warming. Hardly.
It is not convincing. It is a condescendingly poor analogy. And the use of dated cartoon marketing just makes it even more simplistic marketing. Start over.
Why can’t Meehl just show us the latest research on how CO2 actually produces warming. Some experimental evidence for example.
And then McKiibben demonstrates what I have been saying for a long time. The majority of the pro-AGW people are emotional thinkers rather than logical fact-based thinkers. The world needs some of those but facts are proof, and emotion means nothing to me.

tom s
February 7, 2012 5:48 pm

Yes dear, this is pure religion. What an I%@%^!

Graeme No.3
February 7, 2012 6:15 pm

R. Shearer says:
February 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm
…..Without these, people would freeze to death or starve.
But that is just what the Greenies want! These neo-Malthusians just ‘know’ that the Earth is overcrowded, so the population has to be drastically reduced. Pol Pot was one of the first; got rid of a quarter of the population of Cambodia using “renewable” skull crushing wooden clubs. Sort of made direct action less popular, so people like Paul Erhlich & David Attenborough call for the same ends, but are discreet about the means.
Now what was the population in 1968? 3.56 billion, about half today’s figure, yet
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate ”
They’re still working on it.

Russ in Houston
February 7, 2012 6:22 pm

I thought Bill was just kidding and having some “gallows humor”

Steve Oak
February 7, 2012 6:29 pm

Interesting premise (the change in record highs and lows, not the steroid analogy). Several years ago I was looking for ‘unrefined’ data, data that had not been adulterated or averaged or smoothed so that I could look at the data and determine for myself what was happening. Was the ‘climate crisis’ real?
I found a data set that was readily available and as best I could tell, was not ‘refined’ in any way. I simply went to and looked at the record highs and lows for each day of the year for the zip code I lived in at the time, 48154.
I looked at each day of the year except for February 29th and if the record high occurred in a more recent year than the record low, I put a tally mark in the “H” column. Conversely if the record low occurred in a more recent year than the record High I put a tally mark in the “L” column.
After I looked at every day of the year I simply counted the “H’s” and “L’s”. Since the location was part of a large urban area I expected there to be some bias toward the H’s” and I figured that anything less than 10% more highs or 5% lows was not meaningful. Also since “Global Warming” has been widely reported, that too should show up as a bias toward more recent Highs than Lows.
I was stunned at the results. After analyzing data that covered around 100 years, the ratio of more recent Lows to more recent Highs was nearly 2 to 1. It was a landslide, not even close.
The beauty of this is that is is a publicly available data set, anyone interested can check my numbers. In fact anyone can pull the data for their own zip code and perform the same analysis. It is a bit tedious but it is very simple, just takes a bit of plodding.

February 7, 2012 6:39 pm

How do I get that 2:05 of my life back?

Brian H
February 7, 2012 7:02 pm

Bill Illis says:
February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm

emotion means nothing to me.

Ah! Hah! A classic sociopath!
All you’ve just said, actually, is that you are unaware of or deny your emotions. Do you approve of anything? Reject anything? Enjoy anything? Dislike anything?
Pure objectivity is a self-aggrandizing illusion.

February 7, 2012 8:09 pm

Even more amazing is that CO2 is plant food!
More CO2, more plant growth.
Which helps farmers feed more people.
Plant Growth Database at
More humidity results in more rainfall.
More rainfall helps plants grow.
Now why wasn’t that mentioned?
Don’t they want to help developing countries feed their growing populations?

Jimmy Haigh.
February 7, 2012 9:00 pm

I see Santorum has just wone Missouri and Minnesota. Could we get a sceptic in The White House???

Rick Bradford
February 7, 2012 9:01 pm

The only time that hard-core CAGW alarmists are ever funny is when they’re trying to be deadly serious — Weepy Bill is now another to add to that list.

February 7, 2012 9:36 pm

There might be something to what he’s saying–
Steroids boost athletic performance by artificial means.
Climate scientists boost their CAGW hoax by artificial means, too!

David Ball
February 7, 2012 9:37 pm

Ever so slightly O/T;
Listened to Ralph Fiennes speaking at Charles Dickens 200th anniversary celebration. It seems that all he got from Dickens writings was that humans are scum. Yes, that was definitely in there, but it seems he missed the broader view. Life was short and brutal at that time and Dickens reflected what he saw, both good and bad.
Why are these people so hateful towards what I see as the current “successful species”?

February 7, 2012 9:59 pm

David L. Hagen says:
February 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Even more amazing is that CO2 is plant food!
More CO2, more plant growth.
Which helps farmers feed more people.

Except when these selfsame farmers are enticed to ferment the corn, turn it to alcohol and burn it up…
Millions are starving because of the scientific-governmental elite.

Marlow Metcalf
February 7, 2012 10:02 pm

Sounds like the poor guy has OCD, depression, severe anxiety disorder and his self worth is wrapped up in the belief that the world needs him to save it. That he is so highly functional is remarkably impressive.

Crispin in Waterloo
February 7, 2012 10:37 pm

Speaking of Corn and CO2, while engaging on another thread at WUWT I posted a link (now forgotten) to a paper discussing the fact that basically plant growth uses IR photos to run the photosynthesis chain. I did not recall that from books, they talk about ‘sunlight’. However that paper was very specific about the absorption of certain IR wavelengths powering plants.
So, there is a higher CO2 level, and there is the suggested increased radiation of IR from it at low altitudes. Is this additional IR not assisting plants to grow then? Is the availability of the CO2 as or more important than the additional IR? How much?
In effect, IR from CO2 is plant food too, in the sense that food is energy.
Now, that missing heat… Photosynthesis has to be endothermic because an incoming photon was absorbed without a temperature rise, creating ‘plantstuff’ that can release heat later if burned.
How much heat is absorbed by growing plants absorbing IR? How much more will the plants grow because of extra IR scattered back to the ground? And plants growing in the oceans? Maybe they have to operate on other frequencies because the IR won’t get to them. Is the heat literally hiding inside biomass.

February 7, 2012 10:39 pm

This is the worst piece of climate propaganda that I have ever read. I cannot imagine its effect on small children….but, Quick, pass me a bucket, I feel sick!

February 7, 2012 10:48 pm

I love how they pretend to have enough data to make a determination about the trace gas impact.
Also, are they claiming that hitters NEVER improve?????

Stephen Richards
February 8, 2012 1:13 am

Jimmy Haigh. says:
February 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm
I see Santorum has just wone Missouri and Minnesota. Could we get a sceptic in The White House???
I Hope not Santorum. Obama is a piece of well funded slime. He will smother Santorum before Santorum has even started.

Stephen Richards
February 8, 2012 1:15 am

Poor old Bill. What a sad case of stupidity and you poor Amaericans pay his enormous salary. He should be laughing all the way to the bank.
And, well of course, the other big sap is there. The arch twat of canterbury. My God what a collection.

February 8, 2012 2:18 am

brett says:
February 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm
Remember, brett, “they would feed the seed corn to the hungry children”.

February 8, 2012 2:51 am

Oh Dear Lord. McKibben is one certifiable Environmental patient. Rubber rooms and straitjackets can not be too far off.
I see that Wankerpedia tells us McKibben lives in Vermont these days. So I wonder just how he got himself to Copenhagen. I don’t suppose he took a boat with oars, now did he? Yeah, I know, he’ll just use the Phil Jones or Ariana Huffington Defense. Stinking hypocrites.
Hey Bill, I’ll see your and raise you a grand to Then you’ll really have something to cry about.

Pete in Cumbria UK
February 8, 2012 2:51 am

Apart from the possibility that Weepy Bill is just ‘laying it on thick’ as an attempt to drum up support for his Climate Cause, there is the potential for him too be suffering from a genuine (mental) illness.
I know. Have been there, done and bought the T-shirt.
Its called Emotional Lability and in my case was occasioned by a TIA (stroke)- in itself the result of high blood pressure, a genetic blood disorder and nicotine (ab)use.
Read all about it at the Wiki

John Marshall
February 8, 2012 2:56 am

Without water and CO2 there would be no people or any other life for that matter.

Peter Miller
February 8, 2012 3:57 am

Just what I needed to clean out my stomach.
Even members of The Team probably feel embarrassed by this blatant rubbish, especially as it only helps to make The Cause appear even more pathetic.

February 8, 2012 4:52 am

Oh really??
So in 1920 Babe Ruth discovered steroids???
Increased Home runs in today’s baseball are more likely the result of sub standard pitching due to an over expansion of MLB. (and the fact that umpires will no longer allow pitchers to pitch inside)
So if they want to compare steroids in baseball to CO2, then I guess poor pitching would be the cloud feedback

February 8, 2012 6:04 am

Doesn’t the baseball player on steroids have to first hit the ball? Maybe the steroids improve his eye-hand coordination, too? Just saying.

Jason Calley
February 8, 2012 6:21 am

@ ntesdorf
“This is the worst piece of climate propaganda that I have ever read. I cannot imagine its effect on small children….but, Quick, pass me a bucket, I feel sick!”
You may have to demote it to second worst propaganda after you watch:

February 8, 2012 6:51 am

“As academics, part of our role is to do research and to pick research topics that interest us.”
Makes you want to go to the gender space right away.

February 8, 2012 9:43 am

Jesse says:
February 8, 2012 at 6:04 am
Doesn’t the baseball player on steroids have to first hit the ball? Maybe the steroids improve his eye-hand coordination, too? Just saying.
Yes, but that’s only a small part of the problem here.
This is yet another completely useless, poor, simplistic and moronic attempt to dumb down something that is much more complex than just saying “CO2/steroids” is the cause.
There were home runs before the increase of steroid use and after an increase of steroid use.
There was warming before an increase in CO2 and after the increase of CO2.
In neither case can anyone prove how much of an increase was due to an increase of the increased factor.
Far, far, far too many variables to assign cause to changes in a complex system, with a single input.

Stephen Skinner
February 8, 2012 2:55 pm

“…some people call carbon dioxide (and the other greenhouse gases) the steroids of the climate system.”
Why not call CO2 the Homeopathy of the climate system as it is a trace gas and the space occupied by CO2 has gone from 3% of 1% to 4% of 1%. This is an increase of 1% of 1%. In addition steroids work chemically and climate forcing by CO2 is not a chemical process.
It is extraordinary that ‘some people’ call CAGW by CO2 the only show in town.

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