Madrid 1995: Was this the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Climate Science?

Reposted with permission from Enthusiasm, Scepticism and Science

John Haughton writes of it under the heading:  Meetings that Changed the World. He may be right but not only in the way he thinks. Here we consider whether this meeting in Madrid was the moment when climate science gave way under the monumental pressure of politics.

Houghton's Account of IPCC Working Group 1 meeting in Madrid 1995 in Nature 9 Oct 2008

In 2008 John Houghton reminisced on the tense meeting ‘without which there would be no Kyoto Protocol’, and he ‘recalls how science won the day’—at least that’s how Nature called it (vol 455, 9/10/08)

When Ben Santer arrived in Madrid in the late autumn of 1995, did he know that this conference would change his life forever? Undoubtedly ambitious, a rising star in the climate modelling scene, he was doing well at age 40 to be leading the writing of a key chapter in the IPCC Second Assessment Report.  In fact, the convener of this IPCC Working Group, John Houghton, had asked him to take it on quite late in the day, only after more established scientists had turned down the offer. Perhaps they had a hunch of what was about to unfold, for it would be Santer’s fate that great forces of history would bear down on the editor of his chapter at this conference. When he was through with it, when Houghton had accepted the final draft a few days later, climate science would be changed forever. After a long struggle, the levees of science gave way to the overwhelming forces of politics welling up around it, and soon it would be totally and irrevocably engulfed.

The story of Ben Santer’s late changes to Chapter 8 of the Working Group 1 Report is familiar to most sceptical accounts of the climate change controversy (e.g. here & here and a non-sceptical account). However, it is often overshadowed by other landmark events, and so it is usually not put up there in the same league with Hansen‘s sweaty congressional testimony of 1988, with the establishment of the IPCC nor with the Hockey Stick controversy. Yet, if one looks at the greater controversy in terms of its impact on science, then this conference in Madrid might just surpass them all.

This was the tipping point. This was climate science’s Battle of Hastings, when political exigencies – the enemies of science – broke through the lines and went on to overrun all its institutions.

Before Hansen there had always been the rogue scientists hawking some kind of scary scenario to the press or politicians. Indeed, sometimes they listened, and sometime they got all het up about it. Yet the institutions of science held firm. Before the IPCC there had been other politicised scientific institutions – the USA EPA is the prime example (see discussion here). And as for the Hockey Stick, well, by then it was all over, with the Climategate emails confirming that a culture of science-as-advocacy was already endemic in the science informing the IPCC assessments. The travesties of the Third Assessment would be unimaginable without the transformation that had already occurred in the writing of the Second Assessment. Madrid was the tipping point, when everything began to change. Not that everyone noticed it at the time. That the general shift begun at Madrid is much easier to see now with so many years of hindsight.

For example, consider the shift in the opposition; how after the breakthrough in Madrid there was a gradual change of the guard on the sceptical front. After the Second Assessment, after Kyoto, most of the usual corporate opposition was in retreat. Many went over to the other side, at least in their marketing – with the sins of their past quickly forgiven and forgotten. Does anyone even remember the Global Climate Coalition? If you have heard of ‘Big Oil,’ well this was it out there in the sunshine with the thinnest veil of disguise.  These guys were seen on the job in Madrid passing notes to the Saudi delegation before its every intervention. A week after the conference a Science journal news headline trumpeted their failure to swing the conference against just such a pronouncement: It’s official: the first glimmer of greenhouse warming seen [Dec 8, 1995 p. 1565]. Then the following Spring, with the imminent publication of the new Assessment, and with similar headlines now mainstream, the Global Climate Coalition fought back by sparking the controversy over the late changes to Chapter 8.

This was picked up by Frederick Seitz, a notorious Merchant of Doubt associated with the tobacco lobby. But his Wall Street Journal op-ed [12Jun96] seemed to present some pretty damming evidence of politicised tampering with the conclusions of science.  It caused quite a stir in the science press, with the contrarian climatologist, Fred Singer, coming in hard behind Seitz. Even if it seemed that every other climate scientist jumped in behind Houghton and Santer, a new scepticism now emerged to fight not for policy outcomes but in defence of science.  Indeed, the political forces against emissions control were still corporate, and still on the right, but this was a new and powerful dimension to the debate. And yet it seemed that the scientists advocating for climate change science didn’t even notice—some not until Climategate, others not to this day (eg, The Royal Society presidents discussed here). They are still fighting ‘Big Oil.’ Perhaps it was convenient, or tactical, to tar the new with this old brush. Perhaps, and yet, when Bjørn Lomborg (1998) and Steve McIntyre (2003) came on the scene, it does seem that many found it truly inconceivable that they might not be motivated in some way by short-sighted self-interest, or capitalist greed.

It was just as inconceivable for scientists advocating for climate change science that they might be, themselves, complicit in the perversion of science, where, as Richard Lindzen observed, the legitimate role of science as a powerful mode of inquiry is replaced by the pretence to a position of political authority [see here pdf]. When did this all begin? Was it a gradual thing, or was there some dramatic breakthrough at that meeting in Madrid scheduled to finalize the second scientific assessment of climate change?

That the corruption of climate science began in Madrid, this is a proposal I would like to explore in a couple of posts on this blog. To begin this discussion let us first recount the events leading up to this extraordinary meeting.

Climate Science Uncorrupted

Scientific agreement on detection, but not on attribution, at an international conference in 1961. By the mid-1970s the New Ice Age scare was in full swing. (New York Times, 30 Jan, 1961)

In many ways the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a rare beast. In some ways it is perhaps unique, especially in the way it forces international science to consent to an agreement with the full spectrum of inter-governmental political actors. We will get to that later. But there is one way in which the IPCC operates that is familiar and ordinary to long-established practices of national scientific academies (and even some international organisations). The IPCC follows such organisations in making scientific assessments and offering recommendations upon the request of governments. In order to get a flavour of this regular and ordinary function, let us consider this extended quote from the introduction to a report by the Australian Academy of Science:

Pronouncements about the climate from scientists in a number of different fields, and pressure on the world’s food supplies, have resulted in the production of reviews of two kinds. The first is the investigation by committees and conferences organized by natural scientists of the existence, nature and extent of the purported climatic changes (e.g. Inter-departmental Committee, 1974; World Meteorological Organization, 1975a; National Academy of Science, 1975, Australian Academy of Science/Australian Branch, Royal Meteorological Society, 1976). The second consists of a series of papers and conferences organized by social scientists, but with contributions from natural scientists, examining the political, social and economic consequences of such climatic changes, should these develop as predicted (e.g. Rockefeller Foundation, 1974; International Federation of Institutes of Advanced Study, 1974, 4975a, 1975b). Such a flurry of activity in the scientific world, rippling out to political and social scientists and so impinging on politicians, as at the World Food conference in November 1974, naturally provoked the publication of general scientific articles in journals like Science and Nature, and popular presentation and comment in magazines such as the New Scientist and Ecologist as well as the daily press. In the more popular accounts, notably those by T. Alexander (1974) and [Nigel] Calder (1974), the issues were inevitably over-simplified and extreme points of view given greater currency than was their due. It is in the stark simplistic terms of the popular scientific articles that the world’s press has interpreted the situation, with forebodings of an imminent return to the cold of the last glacial period.

Deep concern about climatic change amongst social scientists, politicians and the public is justified only if the underlying proposition that we are in the throes of a substantial climatic change is correct. However, even if the prediction of imminent adverse change proves unsubstantiated, or if a continuing trend of climatic change cannot be demonstrated, the concern generated by these views has been useful in emphasising the natural variability of climate, which should itself be a component in economic planning.

[AAS Report #21, Mar 1976]

In terms of the popular controversy and the government response, there are many similarities between the New Ice Age scare of the 1970s and the Global Warming scare – at least as the latter manifested up to 1995. In the New Ice Age scare we had:

  1. Scientists making the most alarming claims drawing the attention of the press and of some receptive social scientists
  2. Social scientists and others exploring the social implications of these alarming claims
  3. Concern developing among the public and politicians
  4. Governments anxious for a sober assessment of the risks turn to the various international organisations and national academies.

And there are lots of similarities in the scientific response.

As our Report of a Committee on Climatic Change explains above, governments commissioned scientific investigations in order to determine whether there were any scientific grounds for concern. And what were they told? In most cases the alarm was assessed on balance to be with little scientific foundation. In our quoted report for example, the Australian government was given a marvellously readable summary of the science showing how the climate is always changing, before being told that there is no reason to think that the climatic variations will be heading inexorably in one direction during the foreseeable future. The Report concludes that there is no evidence that the world is now on the brink of a major climatic change. And this is pretty much how public science helped to moderate the New Ice Age scare into a forgettable chapter of social history.

Now consider John Zillman’s insiders account [1997 pdf] of the impetus behind the formation of the IPCC:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) originated from proposals put forward during debate at the Tenth Congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva in May 1987. Several Directors of National Meteorological Services, especially from developing countries, called on WMO to establish a mechanism that would enable them to respond authoritatively to the increasingly frequent requirements to brief their Governments and national communities on the reality or otherwise of the threat of global warming as a result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. For the most part, Governments, at that stage, were reacting to sensationalised media coverage of predictions of future climate change promulgated by a number of individual scientists and climate modelling groups, as well as the then recently released report of the Brundtland Commission on “Our Common Future” (The World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) which had dramatically lifted the profile of enhanced greenhouse warming as a threat to the future of the planet.

We have been there before. And sure enough, the IPCC’s First Assessment of the science of climate change (Working Group 1) had a sobering impact, concluding along much the same lines of the Australian Academy’s report on climatic change 14 years earlier. Sure, the climate models were more advanced and more respected in 1990. But whatsoever the models predict, the IPCC Report concluded there is yet no evidence in the real world data to warrant alarm.

Two years later another report was commissioned where the Working Groups was asked to update their assessment ‘in the light of new data and analysis.’ This was in anticipation of ‘the need in 1992 for the latest information on climate change, in the context of the ongoing negotiations on the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, June 1992).’ In this Supplementary Report prepared especially for the Rio ‘Earth Summit,’ the conclusion was again much the same: Whatsoever the models predict, there is yet no evidence of the need for alarm, for the evidence is inconclusive that any detected changes might be anything more than nature variations.

Detection and Attribution

In 1988 James Hansen had told the US Congress that ‘there is only a 1% chance of an accidental warming of this magnitude.’ Under oath he proclaimed that ‘the greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now.’ Two years later, after sensational media coverage, the IPCC assessment’s implicit message was that such an assessment was at best premature, or at worst over-simplified and extreme. Another two years on, when they were asked to review their assessment for Rio, the scientific working group came to pretty much the same verdict. Of the detected ½ degree or so of warming over a century, all they could manage to say was that this amount of warming is

…broadly consistent with predictions of climate models, but it is also of the same magnitude as natural climate variability. Thus the observed increase could be largely due to this natural variability; alternatively this variability and other human factors could have offset a still larger human-induced greenhouse warming

And then the punch line:

…the unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more.

This seemed to be saying that we would have to wait for at least another 10 years of real world data before the science could be settled. And yet that year the Rio summit went ahead and delivered the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). The politics was marching relentlessly ahead of the science.  As Aynsley Kellow once put it to me, ‘by design, the IPCC was accorded a central place in the development of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the parties committing themselves to future action on the basis of future IPCC findings.’ But the content of these future IPCC findings was clearly anticipated by the political framework. Kellow continues:

While under Article 2 of FCCC, the Parties committed to no more than a vague undertaking to stabilise concentrations of Greenhouse Gases at a level which would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, they also committed to review their commitments at the First Conference of the Parties (COP-1) in Berlin in 1995 and regularly thereafter in the light of the best available scientific information. Having undertaken such a review they are legally bound (under Article 4.2(d)) to take appropriate action which may include the adoption of amendments to the commitments.  The Berlin Mandate which led to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol was thus effectively decided by the IPCC rather than the COP.

The political framework, as the political rhetoric, was saying that the scientific assessment of the IPCC was driving the politics, but at this stage the inconclusive conclusions of Working Group 1 couldn’t be used to mandate anything. All they had was the model predictions, and with so many uncertainties tabled in the reports, these would surely not suffice.

The political pressure upon the IPCC was becoming all too apparent. It was coming from above—from the United Nations. It was coming from the science lobby, and it was coming from a global environmental lobby engorged with public funding (see discussion in a following post). They were all looking for a conclusive ‘detection’ of warming, and the ‘attribution’ of this warming to carbon emissions. And this pressure was only exacerbated by the divisions of labour accorded to the IPCC. While Working Group 1 was assigned to assess the science of climate change, there was also Working Group 2 assessing the impact of climate change, and Working Group 3 assessing how best to mitigate it. Clearly the work of these groups depended on the conclusions of Group 1.  Yet for expedience in the midst of a perceived emergency, Groups 2 & 3 were set to work right away so as to support preparations for the change, and to support planning to mitigate the cause. But how could the impacts of warming be assessed when it had not even been detected? And how could mitigation advice be given, when the cause had not yet been attributed?

With the FCCC in place and COP-1 coming and going in Berlin, next was Kyoto, the event where a legally binding commitment would be on the table. Meanwhile, work was progressing on yet another assessment. Again, and more than ever, what the politics desperately need from the Second Assessment was for the IPCC to come to the party and announce that dangerous anthropogenic warming is happening…or at least …is unlikely not to be happening…perhaps…it is just beginning to be detected,…the first glimmer? As a conclusive result from Working Group 1 appeared more and more elusive, clutching at straws became the norm. And it all came down to what was said in Chapter 8.

Chapter 8 was critical because this is where research on the ‘detection’ and ‘attribution’ of climate change is assessed. This is where the science goes beyond the fancy of the models; where a warming is detected in the actual atmosphere that can be confidently attributed to an anthropogenic global effect.

Alas, by the early autumn of 1995 the signs were not good. Although a draft leaked in September managed to say that the warming is unlikely to be entirely due to natural causes, this was hardly in dispute, and this was not exactly announcing imminent catastrophe. Moreover, there remained extraordinary strong caveats, especially in Chapter 8, to every positive conclusion. The draft that was circulated to the participants at the Madrid conference, and formally approved by it, also stated in its introduction that results of recent studies point towards a human influence. This was the strongest statement yet, but the body of the document and the concluding summary were not so confident. Some of the boldest retractions were as follows:

  • Of studies of Changes in Global Mean Variables (8.4.1): ‘While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.’
  • Of the greenhouse signal in studies of modelled and observed spatial and temporal patterns of change ( ‘none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.’
  • Of pattern studies ‘fingerprinting’ the global warming (see discussion in later post): While some of the pattern-base studies discussed have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [anthropogenic ] causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data—an issue of primary relevance to policy makers.
  • Of the overall level of uncertainty: Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.
  • Of the question: When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? (8.6): It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, `We do not know.’

    [A copy of the 9 Oct 1995 draft of Ch 8 has not been obtained. Unverified sources: here and here]

As the Global Climate Coalition pointed out when they broke the scandal, these statements were removed from the final draft of the Working Group 1 Assessment that Houghton presented for acceptance by the full meeting of the IPCC in Rome two weeks later. Moreover, these inconclusive conclusions were not inserted elsewhere, while more positive statements were substituted, strengthened or added. Nature’s first editorial response to the scandal was all about not disrupting the political message before the US election. Yet it conceded that the complaints about the changes to Chapter 8 ‘are not entirely groundless.’

IPCC officials claim that the sole reason for the revisions was to tidy up the text, and in particular to ensure that it conformed to a ‘policymakers’ summary’ of the full report that was tortuously agreed by government delegates at the Madrid meeting. But there is some evidence that the revision process did result in a subtle shift in the relative weight given to different types of arguments, and that – not surprisingly – this shift tended to favour arguments that aligned with the report’s broad conclusions. Conversely, some phrases that might have been (mis)interpreted as undermining these conclusions, particularly if, as IPCC officials feared, they were taken out of context, have disappeared. [13/6/96]

Climate debate must not overheat, Nature 13 June 1996

Nature’s editorial response to the Chapter 8 scandal appeared in the 13 June 1996 edition, the day after Seitz’s Wall Street Journal op-ed launched news of the changes beyond the scientific community. Nature; vol 381, # 6583, p.539

How these changes came about we will discuss in another post, but what I wish the reader to consider for the moment is the state of play when Ben Santer arrived for that conference in Madrid.

Late in the belated preparations of its 3rd report (the ‘Second Assessment’), now under the sole direction of John Houghton, the IPCC Working Group 1 was still saying that the science was inconclusive, uncertain and disputed. Moreover, despite enormous pressure, including his own personal interests and opinion, Ben Santer’s chapter continued to proclaim that the evidence for the detection and attribution of a catastrophic warming trend was in many ways uncertain and certainly inconclusive—hardly the bases for a legally binding global commitment to radical reform.

Climate science did not just roll over under the pressure of politics. Until the Madrid meeting, IPCC science had managed to keep on doing its thing mostly uncorrupted by the monumental political forces building up around it.

In this view, one is drawn to speculate that if only somehow the whole turnaround in and after Madrid had not happen, what then? What of Kyoto? What of all the rest? Would this episode in the history of the UN have become as forgettable after 1996 as the Ice Age Scare after 1976?

But it did happen. The Assessment delivered just enough of what was needed for Kyoto. In the realpolitik of the situation, it could hardly be otherwise. In another post I will explain why.



Following posts will give a more detailed account of the Madrid conference and also of the political pressure imposed from many sides during the reviewing of the Second Assessment.

While the author considers this document (SAR WkGp 1), this time (1995-6) and this place (Madrid) of the highest significance to this controversy, nontheless he lacks many original documents required to study it. Any assistance in locating such documents would be appreciated.

Seeking the following Documents:

  1. Michaels, P. Forging Consensus: Climate Change and the United Nationals. 1996
  2. The IPCC:  Institutionalized “Scientific Cleansing,” Global Climate Coalition, Global Climate Coalition memorandum, Donald Rheem, May 17, 1996.
  3. Doctoring the Documents? Energy Daily 24(98): 1-2  (ISSN 0364-527)
  4. IPCC Working Group 1 Second Assessment Report. Draft version (9 Oct 1995) circulated to the participants in the Madrid Plenary, Nov 1995.
  5. Any national Delegation Reports (I have Australia’s)

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John F. Hultquist

Under *Detection and Attribution* mention is made of Hansen’88 as an early point in this mess. In what I write below Madrid’95 would be on the steep upward slope.
notrickzone (P. Gosselin’s site) recently had a post about the closing of a plant at Frankfurt: Pierre wrote:
“The plant (First Solar) was opened barely 5 years ago amid much hoopla . . .” (my bold)
I wonder if *scare/scams* have some smooth distribution, such as a normal distribution. One would have to select the metric, perhaps money, volunteer activists, newspaper headlines, or some combination of things. Lots of problems with this, I know.
Note that one possible date for the beginning of CAGW might be 1988 with James Hansen’s testimony on climate change to congressional committees that brought public awareness to the issue. Perhaps the “hoopla” peaked at 20 years (5 years ago) and will sink beneath our notice 20 years after peak. We have 15 years to go but should now be in the rapid decline stage. As this CAGW scam sinks beneath the froth something else will be ascending. I don’t think sustainability has the Roman Candle awe needed to (excuse the pun) sustain a scare/scam. Suggestions?

Gilbert K. Arnold

From what I see in this post, I think it is verr probable that the Madrid meeting was the tipping point into the great abyss that climate science has fallen into. At this point i see no way for climate science to pull itself out of this mess. Let us hope that some in the community have some very strong pitons and climbing rope to claw our way back into the light.

How did he get away with making these changes? I mean really….how? How come nobody made a huge protest? Was the trough that inviting that nobody wanted to rock the boat? This is the story of very sleazy goings-on, trying to ‘slip one through’. They succeeded in getting away with it for 14 years. And, apparently, they still have.

Bill Tuttle

I love the smell of raw, unexpurgated, unrevised history in the morning…

Can’t help with the documents still wanted, but here is what I found when I looked IPCC officials’ reported views:

Brian H

Superb post. The other posts there are excellent, too. I particularly enjoyed Civilisation and Climate, whose thesis is that the fatalists and the redeemers have been taking turns dominating the field for centuries.

Brian H

Note the observation that WG 1, 2, & 3 were working in parallel, instead of in sequence. That has always told me that The Fix Was In.

Ally E.

Read it and weep.
Extremist left-wing infiltration would not have helped but at least climate science tried to keep on track… for a time.

IMHO, the “tipping point” came just before the formation of the IPCC.
A UN Commission is only formed once a Political Cabal has an Agenda to push. So the political corruption preceded the formation of the vehicle. As to what lead to those agents to create their vehicle of choice, well, that will be hard to identify, being done in the dark and all…

Xion III

[snip . . you may want to reconsider this posting at some later time. . . kbmod]

Santer’s thesis was supervised by Tom Wigley who took over as Director of CRU from Hubert Lamb. Ironically, as I recall the thesis demonstrated the inability of top climate models of the time to reproduce the major semi-permanent major pressure systems of the North Atlantic, and they produced a massive pressure system that doesn’t exist. I also recall the North Atlantic was chosen because it was the region with the best weather records. The failures of the models confirmed Lamb’s argument that the data was inadequate as the basis for climate models. I know when I talked with him at length about the role of computers in climate science that he saw them as useful for data storage and basic statistical analysis, but believed that without the data there was nothing on which to construct models.
In his 1997 autobiography Lamb explained he set up the CRU to fill a distinct need; “the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.” (p.203). Lamb also implies he was at odds with and appears to regret hiring Wigley. He also wrote with apparent sadness and displeasure about the different direction Wigley took the Unit. He wrote, “Professor Tom Wigley, was chiefly interested in the prospect of world climates being changed as a result of human activities, primarily through the burning of wood, coal, oil and gas reserves…”
When you read the leaked emails, Wigley emerges as the eminence gris to whom all his old pupils and colleagues at CRU turn to for advice and direction. It is not surprising Santer was pulled from relative obscurity as a student of Wigley’s and promoted to lead author of Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Report.
It also appears that Santer was following the intent of the rules of the IPCC to produce a very different impression in the Summary for Policymakers than in the Science Report of Working Group I. It seems, as a neophyte to the machinations of the IPCC and its organizers, he applied the concept too literally and openly. I wrote about the events here
including the diagram of the cherry-picked graph produced at the time on the late John Daly’s wonderful web site “Still waiting for Greenhouse”.
Anthony has provided much more detail above, but I will add three points.
1. It was the first time the PR recovery process went into action with personal attacks on Seitz and Singer and rejoinders in the New York Times. Some of us knew what was going on, but the PR counterattack worked as it has many times since.
2. The comparison of global warming skeptics and later climate change deniers to those who denied tobacco caused cancer is still in use, even though most don’t understand the broader reference. It has become a standard for climate science ignorance, blindness and corruption.
3. I recall Santer being one of the first exposed CRU/IPCC people to play the victim card saying that he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown over the nasty an unwarranted attacks.


SPELL CORRECTION: second proper name “John Haughton” SHOULD BE “John Houghton.”
Thank you mods.


Unbelieveable and necessary. This is great background foundation for all to understand. Infinite thanks John, and Anthony. The scope of this challenge is increasingly epic, and I’m afraid an unending contest between nirvanic fantasy and tumultuous realism. It’s going to take all we’ve got to confront others fantasies – forever. After all, will the susceptible ever stop fantasizing about nirvana while attempting to force their fantasy upon others prior to knowing and accommodating the facts? I’m very much looking forward to your insights in the next post.

Baa Humbug

A very easy to understand explanation of the infamous “A Discernable Human Influence” can be found at the late John L Dalys site

Christopher Hanley

“..In 1988 James Hansen had told the US Congress that ‘there is only a 1% chance of an accidental warming of this magnitude.’ …”
There was no evidence of exceptional or even appreciable warming when Hansen made this sworn testimony. The post-WW2 warming 1948 – 1988, even using his corrupted record, was about 0.2 C only half the warming 1900 – 1940 of about 0.4 C when human CO2 emissions were trifling by comparison.
Archimedes had his legendary ‘eureka’ moment and rushed down the street naked; modern astronomy when Galileo turned his telescope on the heavens, chemistry when Lavoisier did his combustion experiments, general relativity when Eddington photographed the solar eclipse in 1919 and IPCC science when Ben Santer blue-pencilled the unexpurgated SAR.
That’s the moment when CAGW became “settled science”, unquestionable, indisputable, self-evident and undeniable.

Scottish Sceptic

I think you are mistaken to think this can ever be nailed down to a date or event. I have recently been studying archaeology. In archaeology there was a massive and similar change.
In the 1960s ‘New Archaeologists’ such as Lewis Binford, asserted that archaeological interpretations could, if the scientific method was applied, come to completely objective conclusions.Hence the term “experimental archaeology” … a term which is now completely detached from its scientific roots.
In the 1970s there was a reaction to this processual or “evidence” based archaeology called post-processual archaeology, which is sometimes alternately referred to as the interpretative archaeologies by its adherents is a movement in archaeological theory that emphasizes the subjectivity of archaeological interpretations The post-processual movement originated in the United Kingdom during the late 1970s and early 1980s, influenced by French Marxist anthropology, postmodernism and similar trends in sociocultural anthropology.
Here, in this almost completely different subject, we have almost the same movement away from evidence, away from hard science, and to expert opinion, interpretation, subjectivity.
In archaeology this movement developed because people could see that there were associations and links in the landscape – that monuments from vast time periods cluster in particular places which clearly had a profound meaning to those involved, but which could not be expressed through the narrow confines of hard evidence.
In science, the rules of evidence and verification by experiment were relaxed because in subjects like the environment, medicine and global climate,. it was not possible to do experimentation on the subject, so alternative ways had to be found to draw scientific inference without the opportunity to be scientifically rigorous.
There are good reasons the post-modernist movement developed in a whole range of subjects. There is no doubt in my mind that the pendulum has now swung so far out of kilter that there will be a backlash against this interpretative “non-science” … which to be fair happened some time ago in archaeology with the post-post-processual movements.
We sceptics are indeed part of the post-post-modernist movement in science. We are attempting to bring science back to scientific rigour and assertions based firstly on evidence and only if necessary (and where clearly flagged) on opinion.
The real problem is that the post-modern movement occurred just at the wrong time, allowing the new area of climate science to be populated by extremist post-modernists who have been rather successful in holding back the post-post-modernist movement to which other academic disciplines have been subjected. But it will come … the subject may be isolated and bunkered down to “resist invaders”, but they cannot hold out forever.

Ian MacDonald

I disagree on the date. You could reasonably argue that the Rio event in 1992(I think) where the deliberate distortions between the major report and the summary for policymakers was the “tipping point”. It was for me anyway.


Not sure that 1995 is all that important. EPA was on the case long before that. Hansen wasn’t a revolutionary outlier in 1988; he was simply reflecting the “settled science” as already determined by the grant-givers at EPA.

Thanks for refs to the work I did, Berniel!
I’m always interested in origins. So very, very much is thereby revealed. Therefore I also think of
* Hansen 1998 (?) artificially heating the US chamber where he informed Senators of “manmade global warming”
* a convention in Switzerland IIRC, all the familiar faces there. Also Rio.
* yes, the unfortunate appointment of Wigley. Also Bert Bolin in Sweden.
* Houghton is a Christian and is still being touted in Christian circles.
* the early work of John Daly, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas – all of which still deserves defence against vicious slander.
* the work of Tim Ball who saw the corruption right from the start and stood up to it right from the start – for which he was meted the worst punishment possible at Wikipedia – deletion. Thanks to a friendly prompt I’ve quietly reinstated Tim Ball’s bio at Wikipedia. You can now edit it further if you wish. I’ve saved it as a text file so even WMC cannot destroy it again. Intend to reformat it for the Climate Skeptics wiki I’ve been working on in patches.
* Richard Lindzen’s essay showing the modus operandi of the infiltration of bona fide scientific organizations by activist mobsters.
* a revealing exchange between the horrible Bob Ward who was PR at the Royal Society and Martin Durkin.
* and more.


So important that an accurate history of this pre-meditated crime be written for future generations to understand how science and many scientists became a weapon of mass deception to effect the biggest mass theft of wealth and sovereign power from the peoples of the former ‘western’ democracies. Important to chronicle who the key actors were.
Also, worth emphasising that the general elections in the US and the UK in 1996 were important in linking the Madrid Conference in 1995 with Kyoto in 1997. In 1995, Clinton was looking increasingly likely to get a second term and in the UK, the socialist ‘New Labour’ Govt under Blair was a certainty after 17 years of conservatism.
Thank goodness for climategate in November 2009 – just a few weeks before a virtual world government was signed into existence in Copenhagen…

Gail Combs

E.M.Smith says:
April 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm
IMHO, the “tipping point” came just before the formation of the IPCC.
A UN Commission is only formed once a Political Cabal has an Agenda to push. So the political corruption preceded the formation of the vehicle. As to what lead to those agents to create their vehicle of choice, well, that will be hard to identify, being done in the dark and all…
The fix was in by 1972.

Elaine Dewar wrote in Toronto’s Saturday Night magazine:

It is instructive to read Strong’s 1972 Stockholm speech and compare it with the issues of Earth Summit 1992. Strong warned urgently about global warming, the devastation of forests, the loss of biodiversity, polluted oceans, the population time bomb. Then as now, he invited to the conference the brand-new environmental NGOs [non-governmental organizations]: he gave them money to come; they were invited to raise hell at home. After Stockholm, environment issues became part of the administrative framework in Canada, the U.S., Britain, and Europe.

By 1965 the Milankovitch cycles were known and starting to be confirmed by hard evidence. The 88-year Giessenburg cycle was also known so cyclical warming and cooling over the short term could be predicted. The EPA had been formed and the NGO’s were forming such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club so the army of “Useful Idiots” was ready and waiting. The trial balloons, freon and the ozone hole followed by the Ice Age scare had succeeded quite nicely. All of this was the build-up to the big one, CO2 and global warming which allowed taxing and controlling human productivity by an international body.
If you do not think these people are capable of long range planning read:

Peter Miller

I have to admit I had not realised the depth of deceit practiced by certain individuals in the IPCC.
I think we all recognise – alarmists excepted – the climate change industry is hugely corrupted by the demands of its political masters, requiring additional tax revenues.
The climate change industry is: i) hugely expensive, ii) based on fallacy, data manipulation and disinformation, and iii) addicted to self-preservation and growth, in similar fashion to a cancerous tumour.
This was an excellent article and I look forward to the follow ups.
I confidently anticipate it will generate a lot of self-righteous screeching from the CAGW faithful.


“‘there is only a 1% chance of an accidental warming of this magnitude.’ ”
What the bloody hell is an “accidental” warming? Oh, I beg your pardon, I accidentally bumped the global thermostat! or Oh. so sorry, I left the blowdryer running and apparently heated the entire freaking planet.


Enron was the tipping point. Once they figured out the notion of “carbon exchanges” and that there could be billions of dollars to be made, the rest was easy.

Alan the Brit

Ally E. says:
April 22, 2012 at 11:21 pm
Read it and weep.
Extremist left-wing infiltration would not have helped but at least climate science tried to keep on track… for a time.
Sadly it does not need extreme left-wingers to be invloved anywhere, although those will be the ones out in the streets throwing bricks, bottles, stones, or whatever around the world in AGW protests, shouting about how this industry or that business has “destroyed” something natural or somesuch on the flimsiest of evidence. Their job is to sow seeds of doubt & confusion! The bulk of the people involved are fairly moderately left-wing but they have that grand left-wing agenda, a global guvment, that will dictate to everyone, except themselves of course, how we should live our lives, with ever more ridiculous claims about the causes of AGW, Cancer, any illness infact of any illeffect on anything! That’s how Guvments of all sizes generally work, they need the people scared, the people then look to the guvment for salvation & protection. Unfortunately this generally relies on the people being too stupid to ask questions. Hence the need for Agenda 21 to dumb-down science, & de-educate the people, break up the family unit, train the children to look to the mighty state for information on anything & everything, not their parents! They promise lots of good things will happen if you follow their rules, yet they will limit education to hte youth of the future by this approach, they consume less if poorly educated, or so they believe! It’s what they will destroy in their efforts to achieve their agendum that worries me!

Aynsley Kellow

‘This is great background foundation for all to understand. Infinite thanks John, and Anthony.’
This is Bernie Lewin’s work, Your appreciation should be expressed to him (with minor kudos to Anthony for cross-posting it).

Reply to E M Smith’s comment above: on my blog site to which I referred earlier, the Hartmut Bachmann book from which I quoted gives the whole gestation history of the IPCC from 1969 onward. Alas, it’s in German – but an English translation is sorely needed. Can do if a publisher were found. (years ago I translated two of Buckminster Fuller’s books – trickier to translate than most – into German and arranged their publication).


Would love to see a copy of the letter Day Olin Mount sent to Houghton. Maybe a FOIA request to the State Department?

Keith Battye

What a great read.
It is a sad truism though that in “Political Science” it is only the scientists who get damaged when the politicians decide to move on.


The fact that Hansen accurately predicted the course of anthropogenic global warming around 1980, before there was any sign of it in the temperature series, makes his work doubly impressive. Also of course, there was no reason to wait for unequivocal detection of greenhouse warming before implementing emissions reductions agreements, since the major anthropogenic changes to the Earth’s atmosphere were already unequivocal, and that was sufficient to warrant action.


There is a key event which the poster and commenters have thus far missed. When we talk about tipping points, one of the first questions is, “At what point did non-scientific thinking enter the lexicon of climate science?”
For me, that key event occurred with the Brundtland commission on sustainable development. It was the first document to give inter-governmental credence to the the notion of the Precautionary Principle. It is the acceptance of this principle as a basis for science that has opened the gate for all that came after.
In science there are always things that cannot be quantified sufficiently well to come to firm conclusions. However, the Precautionary Principle drives us to come to conclusions anyway. Until this principle is struck down, the perversion of science for political goals will continue.


Merchants of Despair
Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism
There was a time when humanity looked in the mirror and saw something precious, worth protecting and fighting for — indeed, worth liberating. But now we are beset on all sides by propaganda promoting a radically different viewpoint. According to this idea, human beings are a cancer upon the Earth, a species whose aspirations and appetites are endangering the natural order. This is the core of antihumanism
“Merchants of Despair is an extraordinary and important book….This fascinating volume carefully traces developments of the Malthusian hypothesis right up to the present: through eugenics to population control and genocide; through the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth and extreme environmentalism to climate change and the myth of global warming apocalypse. It is a shocking exposé of a movement whose deadly history has remained hidden far too long. Robert Zubrin has my nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.”
— S. Fred Singer
Chairman, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Author of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years

Hansen was wildly off the mark in his failed predictions. That fact alone is sufficient to hold off on any ‘action’. We are overtaxed already, and listening to climate charlatans like Hansen would only make matters worse.

Rhys Jaggar

One of the tricky things for the scientific method is designing meaningful experiments in systems of high complexity. I remember learning from the Feynman Lectures on Physics just how hard it is to solve partial differential equations in all but the most trivial of real situations. It is why engineers value rules of thumb as well as scientific exactitude, since they know that exactitude is achievable so rarely in real situations.
In climatology, it appears to me that the political sphere has intervened long before the basic scientific understanding has been completed. The science is still at the stage of identifying component actors of influence as well as starting to understand how their joint influence can affect system dynamics.
Politicians have been ill-educated despite wishing to allocate billions of funds, which has caused the distortions in scientific activity off the back of hyped claims. One hopes that the current generation of politicians are being better educated…..
Institutions have been corrupted, including NASA, the UK Met Office, CRU to name but three. Leading journals, which allow ridiculous latitude in drawing inappropriate conclusions from often incomplete data, have lost credibility as scions of skeptical scientific reporting, which will not be restored in the near future. The day when a journal editor is imprisoned for climate change publication fraud will be a seminal day in science history… would do a few newspaper editors good to also ‘enjoy time at Her Majesty’s Pleasure…..’ (for those of you not from the UK, this means ‘being banged up in jail’…..)
Whether you can imprison any scientists for ’embezzlement of Government funds’ is a moot point: it would do climatology a great deal of good if it WERE possible.
1995 was the start of the great bull market of the warmers which peaked about seven years ago. It will not return again soon……..
Perhaps you could run another article if you feel that a seminal meeting took place which decisively turned the tide back toward skeptical enquiry……..?

Alan the Brit

Lucy Skywalker:
Houghton is a Christian and is still being touted in Christian circles.
We don’t all blindly believe the rantings of a delusional Archbishop of Cantabury who is a well known anti-nulcear, anti science, anti-capitalist lefty!!!! His history is riddled with it! He all but openly admits it. AND I think Jesus Christ would have something to say about the tactics employed of equally well known anti-science alleged Christian, one Jo Abbess, she of blackmail fame on the international scene intending to victimise Roger Harrabin for non-conformism on AGW a couple of years back on the announcement of the WMO! Charming, quite charming, if she’s a Christian, I’ a rocket scientist! Things sure have changed since I was brought up under the Christian banner.

michael hart

I think Icarus62 was probably being sarcastic, as the later part of the post is clearly circular reasoning.
Perhaps Icarus62 could clarify.

John West

Doctoring the Documents? Energy Daily 24(98): 1-2 is copied (in full?) into this e-mail from Santer:

Energy Daily
Wednesday May 22
Doctoring The Documents?
Revisions to key report understate climate change uncertainties.
Page 3 of 9
The key document outlining the scientific backing for global climate change
has been rewritten without proper authority, according to the Global Climate
Coalition, a group of U.S. businesses opposing immediate action to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
The changes were made in Chapter 8 of the Second Assessment Report on climate
change being prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
That report is scheduled for publication soon. Copies of the draft chapter,
approved by participating governments, including the United States, at the
IPCC’s plenary meeting in Rome last December, and the final copy of the
chapter, Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes, were given
to The Energy Daily by the coalition.
In an accompanying analysis, the coalition argues that the changes “cause the
chapter to understate the uncertainties about climate change causes and
effects that were clearly evident in the original report and to increase the
apparent scientific support for attribution of changes in climate to human
For example, on the question of when it will be possible to link human
activities conclusively to climate change, the approved draft reads:
“Finally, we come to the most difficult question of all: `When will the
detection and unambiguous attribution of human-induced climate change occur?’
In the light of the very large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in
this chapter, it is not surprising that the best answer to this question is,
`We do not know.’ ”
That stark admission has been deleted from the revised chapters which
soft-pedals the uncertainties. “Finally, we come to the difficult question of
when the detection and attribution of human-induced climate change is likely
to occur. The answer to this question must be subjective, particularly in the
light of the large signal and noise uncertainties discussed in this chapter.”
Perhaps most damning, the summary of the draft has been revised significantly.
For starters, it no longer appears at the end of the chapter, but at the
beginning. But it is not just the placement that has been changed; the content
also has been modified substantially. In the initial summary, the authors
wrote that while changes in global-mean, annually averaged temperatures
observed during the past century are unlikely to be due entirely to natural
causes, “this explanation cannot be ruled out completely.”
The draft summary also pointed out that attributing changes in global
temperature to emissions from human activities remains problematic.
“A major difficulty with such studies is in associating cause and effect with
a high degree of confidence.”
“Attribution of an observed climate change to a particular mechanism can be
established only by testing competing hypotheses. Thus, unique attribution of
a `significant’ observed change requires specifying the signals of all likely
alternative explanations, and statistical determination that none of these
Page 4 of 9
mechanisms is a satisfactory explanation for the observed change. This is a
difficult task, and one that detection studies to date have not addressed in
a rigorous statistical way.”
The draft then noted that “Pattern-based detection studies are probably of
greater relevance for the attribution issue than studies of global-mean
change…. Detection of a significant change…in a pattern-based study would
give some scientists more confidence in the attribution of observed changes to
a specific cause or causes, even without rigorous statistical testing of
alternative explanations.”
However, the draft continued, “While some of the pattern-based studies
discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no
study to date has positively attributed all or part of that change to
anthropogenic causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a
greenhouse-gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data – an issue that
is of primary relevance to policymakers.”
The revised chapter reads much differently, with the summary concluding:
“Viewed as a whole, these results indicate that the observed trend in global
mean temperature over the past 100 years is unlikely to be entirely natural in
origin. More importantly, there is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate
response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols in the observed
climate record. This evidence comes from the geographical, seasonal and
vertical patterns of temperature change. Taken together, these result points
towards a human influence on global climate.”
The only remaining uncertainty, the revised chapter contends, is the magnitude
of the change. These revisions have the energy community hopping mad, with the
climate coalition arguing in a lengthy memo that the credibility of the entire
IPCC process – crucial to any future policy directives – is at stake.
“The IPCC now is faced with an embarrassing situation,” the coalition wrote.
“On at least the issue that has received more media and public attention than
any other, its published report on the science of potential global climate
change defies both the letter and the spirit of the IPCC’s rules governing its
“Unless the management of the IPCC promptly undertakes to republish the
printed versions of the underlying…report…the IPCC’s credibility will have
been lost.”

And a reply from the team is here:
I have made no verifications.

Allan MacRae
R. de Haan says: April 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm
“Connecting the dots: If I wanted America to fail”

An interesting video. Watch it and make up your own mind.
You may also want to read a history of the rise of eco-extremism, written by Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace.
As your Canadian next-door neighbour, I do not want America to fail. I want America to succeed and prosper. In my previous career, I did my bit to help.
I do not like conspiracy theories, and consider them with great reluctance. Nevertheless, I recently wrote this, based entirely on the evidence:
The CAGW scam is not, as many of us originally believed, the innocent errors of a close-knit team of highly dyslexic scientists.
The evidence from the ClimateGate emails and many other sources, and the intransigence of these global warming fraudsters when faced with the overwhelming failures of their scientific predictions, suggests much darker motives.

Scottish Sceptic

I am very impressed by range of superb responses – as some have said, we should record this history.
If for no other reason than that there is a saying: “history is written by the victors”.
By inference, if we write the history of global warming … we will be the victors! Obviously, this isn’t the normal inference. But let me put it this way, if we make sure that a truthful and honest history is available … it’s going to make it darn well impossible for the scamsters to have any credibility when they bring out their distorted version of “history”.

Gail Combs

L Michael Hohmann says:
April 23, 2012 at 3:05 am
– but an English translation is sorely needed…
You might want to head over to Donna Laframboise’s and find out who published The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert

Allan MacRae
June 11, 2001
Scientists’ Report Doesn’t Support the Kyoto Treaty
By Richard S. Lindzen. Mr. Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, was a member of the National Academy of Sciences panel on climate change.
Last week the National Academy of Sciences released a report on climate change, prepared in response to a request from the White House, that was depicted in the press as an implicit endorsement of the Kyoto Protocol. CNN’s Michelle Mitchell was typical of the coverage when she declared that the report represented “a unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse, and is due to man. There is no wiggle room.”
As one of 11 scientists who prepared the report, I can state that this is simply untrue. For starters, the NAS never asks that all participants agree to all elements of a report, but rather that the report represent the span of views. This the full report did, making clear that there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.
As usual, far too much public attention was paid to the hastily prepared summary rather than to the body of the report. The summary began with a zinger — that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise, etc., before following with the necessary qualifications. For example, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long-term trends, but the summary forgot to mention this.
Our primary conclusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled. We are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds).
But — and I cannot stress this enough — we are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future. That is to say, contrary to media impressions, agreement with the three basic statements tells us almost nothing relevant to policy discussions.
One reason for this uncertainty is that, as the report states, the climate is always changing; change is the norm. Two centuries ago, much of the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from a little ice age. A millennium ago, during the Middle Ages, the same region was in a warm period. Thirty years ago, we were concerned with global cooling.
Distinguishing the small recent changes in global mean temperature from the natural variability, which is unknown, is not a trivial task. All attempts so far make the assumption that existing computer climate models simulate natural variability, but I doubt that anyone really believes this assumption.
We simply do not know what relation, if any, exists between global climate changes and water vapor, clouds, storms, hurricanes, and other factors, including regional climate changes, which are generally much larger than global changes and not correlated with them. Nor do we know how to predict changes in greenhouse gases. This is because we cannot forecast economic and technological change over the next century, and also because there are many man-made substances whose properties and levels are not well known, but which could be comparable in importance to carbon dioxide.
What we do is know that a doubling of carbon dioxide by itself would produce only a modest temperature increase of one degree Celsius. Larger projected increases depend on “amplification” of the carbon dioxide by more important, but poorly modeled, greenhouse gases, clouds and water vapor.
The press has frequently tied the existence of climate change to a need for Kyoto. The NAS panel did not address this question. My own view, consistent with the panel’s work, is that the Kyoto Protocol would not result in a substantial reduction in global warming. Given the difficulties in significantly limiting levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a more effective policy might well focus on other greenhouse substances whose potential for reducing global warming in a short time may be greater.
The panel was finally asked to evaluate the work of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, focusing on the Summary for Policymakers, the only part ever read or quoted. The Summary for Policymakers, which is seen as endorsing Kyoto, is commonly presented as the consensus of thousands of the world’s foremost
climate scientists. Within the confines of professional courtesy, the NAS panel essentially concluded that the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers does not provide suitable guidance for the U.S. government.
The full IPCC report is an admirable description of research activities in climate science, but it is not specifically directed at policy. The Summary for Policymakers is, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives (many of whom are also their nations’ Kyoto representatives), rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.
Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. This is what has been done with both the reports of the IPCC and the NAS. It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty — far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge — and that the NAS report has hardly ended the debate. Nor was it meant to.

John Whitman

Bernie Lewin,
Thank you for the evidence laden ‘part 1’ of your article “Madrid 1995: Was this the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Climate Science?” I look forward to your ‘part 2’.
Setting out the corruption of the IPCC’s climate science agenda is an important work.
Santer does superficially appear as an unbelievably naive and simple useful tool at the hands of veteran ideologists/political operators that form the core of the problematic IPCC. He seems so unbelievably naïve that I do not think he was naïve at all but rather he was already a committed Post-Normal scientist (a la Jerome Revetz) because he let ideology/politics/pre-science influence the outcome of his scientific decision and efforts; just like a core of individuals involved in the IPCC who let their science decisions and products be informed by an already decided policy.

A Lovell

There is a wealth of information about all this on Finding the site in about 2004 was very useful for me. I have recommended it far and wide. (Along with WUWT, of course!)
Whenever I am accused of not being a climate scientist, I say I don’t have to be when the political agenda is spelled out, shamelessly and shamefully, in their own words.

Gail Combs

Icarus62 says:
April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am
The fact that Hansen accurately predicted the course of anthropogenic global warming around 1980, before there was any sign of it in the temperature series, makes his work doubly impressive….
Oh BULL Patties. There was nothing magic about Hansen’s prediction it was all “Smoke and Mirror’s” to give CAGW legitimacy. Anyone paying attention to science at the time could have done the prediction just from reading the literature. Heck there were CONFERENCES on the subject.

…The subject of Sun-weather relationships is built on correlations between changes in solar activity and changes in terrestrial weather and climate. Several books and conferences have been devoted to Solar influences on the Earth, e.g.: Herman and Goldberg (1978) in their book Sun Weather and Climate , “The Solar Engine And Its Influence On The Earth’s Atmosphere
The Earth’s weather machine is an exquisitely complex affair, in which many processes are simultaneously at work. Clearly however .the weather system is principally driven by the sun (Roberts 1976)….
In 1853, Wolf also claimed that there is a 83-year sunspot cycle. This longer term variation becomes evident simply by smoothing the data. Wolf’s original discovery of an 83-year cycle was forgotten, but the long cycle was rediscovered by H.H. Tuner , W. Schmidt, H.H. Clayton and probably others. After W. Gleissberg also discovered this 80 to 90 year cycle around 1938, he published so much material on the subject that ever since, it was called Gleissberg cycle(Hoyt and Schatten 1997).
Shahinaz M. Yousef
Astronomy &Meteorology Dept.
Faculty of Science -Cairo University


“Icarus62 says: April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am…. Hansen’s 1980 work was discussed recently here-
Another work from the past that may be of interest-
“In summary, I suggest that one goal of the environmental movement should be the reduction of total energy use in this country by 25 over the next decade. By, doing this, we will have made a start toward preventing possibly disastrous climate change due to CO2 buildup and the greenhouse effect.” Garret De Ball (The Environmental Handbook, 1970- page 73 “Energy”)

John West says:
April 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

Thanks John. That looks like the full text.
It’s interesting the way they called it:

Copies of the draft chapter, approved by participating governments, including the United States, at the IPCC’s plenary meeting in Rome last December, and the final copy of the
chapter, Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes, were given to The Energy Daily by the coalition.

This seems to be suggesting that the pre-Madrid draft (9Oct95) was the one accepted in Rome (Dec95), and so the changes occured after Rome and before the GCC saw the final pre-print in May 96. Others have said that the draft Chapters approved at Madrid was the pre-Madrid (9 Oct) draft, but the one submitted by Houghton and accepted at Rome was the new draft as published in June 96. This is the way it is often told by the defence. Over the years I have heard both stories and wondered which is true. In fact neither are true. In fact it was much more messy than that. I have it on good authority that in each case there was no actual draft (no actual text) approved or accepted. How this happened, I hope to explain in a follow up posting a week or two out.

Gail Combs

cgh says:
April 23, 2012 at 4:20 am
…..In science there are always things that cannot be quantified sufficiently well to come to firm conclusions. However, the Precautionary Principle drives us to come to conclusions anyway. Until this principle is struck down, the perversion of science for political goals will continue.
Oh it has been “Struck Down” but only when it is to the politicians advantage such as when you are talking about our food supply.
World Trade Organization
Economic Research and Statistics Division
Risk assessment in the international food safety policy arena

This one is well worth the read, Models, models and more models…
2005 Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform

What is interesting was the UK knowingly sent BSE contaminated bonemeal to the USA and Canada and the FDA/USDA were aware of it. Also in the Creekstone Farm BSE testing case The USDA wrote, “allowing a company to use a BSE test in a private marketing program is inconsistent with USDA’s mandate to ensure effective, scientifically sound testing for significant animal diseases and maintain domestic and international confidence in U.S. cattle and beef products.”
The USDA claimed its authority to deny Creekstone permission to use the tests comes from a 1913 law, the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act (VSTA), which makes it “unlawful to prepare, sell, barter, or exchange” or to ship or deliver for shipment any worthless, contaminated, dangerous, or harmful virus, serum, toxin, or analogous products intended for use in the treatment of domestic animals.”

This is when I stopped believing the USA government was “Here to protect me” The CAGW mess has done nothing to convince me otherwise.


Icarus62 says:
April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am
“The fact that Hansen accurately predicted the course of anthropogenic global warming around 1980, before there was any sign of it in the temperature series, makes his work doubly impressive. ”
Icarus62 is a wandering ghost of unhealably warmist catastrophist proportions. He was not being sarcastic.
Icarus, a scientist who uses a theory to make a prediction is just a scientist doing his job. If the prediction comes to pass, the theory is confirmed, if not it is rejected and maybe a modified version has to be made.
Hansen, BTW, made multiple varying predictions over time, so it’s small wonder that one of them, I think the one that SkepSci boasts from 1981 or so, fits the current (GISS/Hansen-produced) global temperature average.
When you’re in charge of producing the temperature product that you yourself predicted, I guess that’s pretty easy. All later predictions from him are wildly off the mark in the warm direction.

Icarus62 says:
April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am
The fact that Hansen accurately predicted the course of anthropogenic global warming around 1980, before there was any sign of it in the temperature series, makes his work doubly impressive. Also of course, there was no reason to wait for unequivocal detection of greenhouse warming before implementing emissions reductions agreements, since the major anthropogenic changes to the Earth’s atmosphere were already unequivocal, and that was sufficient to warrant action.

michael hart (April 23, 2012 at 5:51 am) suggests that this statement was satirical, but I fear it was not, being all too typical of the roughshod faux reasoning of the Warmist cult: The Earth seemed to be warming slightly after the cold ’70s, and atmospheric CO2 was rising. All you had to do was assume that the CO2 rise was anthropogenic (an assumption accepted even by skeptics that I doubt has ever been really substantiated), and assume that CO2 caused the warming (no evidence needed; it was “basic physics”), and—voila!—you had “major anthropogenic changes to the Earth’s atmosphere [that] were already unequivocal”—”no reason to wait” for them.
That claim was all the Warmists needed to snooker the lay politicians, bureaucrats, academics, media, and even many scientists into accepting the “unequivocal” Argument from Authority, the authority being the newly-risen and self-appointed priesthood of ‘Climate Scientists’.
It is wonderful to re-read the lonely op-ed from Richard Lindzen (posted by Allan MacRae above, April 23, 2012 at 7:04 am) back in 2001, objecting to the use of “Science, in the public arena, [which] is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens.” The Kyoto Protocol was a direct result of that bludgeoning by activists masquerading as scientists, who created the IPCC as cover for a radical agenda, and brainwashed an entire generation.
Despite the Climategate scandals, and the valiant efforts of Realists like Lindzen, Watts, McIntyre, et al., the Warmist cult continues its unrelenting propaganda assault. When their claims are challenged, they take refuge in the Precautionary Principle. Here’s Heidi Cullen in The Daily Beast yesterday:

. . . The “wait and see” approach—let’s see how bad it gets—may seem rational, but in fact it is incredibly risky. There’s a time lag between what we do and what we see in our climate and weather. By the time we’re really seeing the full impact of global warming, it is too late to fix it.
It is so much cheaper, and safer, to take steps in advance of catastrophe. Fix the problem upfront. Two thousand and eleven set the record for the most billion-dollar weather disasters—14 of them, in one year. We can’t afford these problems.

To which one can only reply, “Good grief!”
/Mr Lynn


Punch drunk and wormy,
Dogs howl out from dark alleys.
Werewolves of Madrid.