Quote of the Week – Ray Pierrehumbert and 'Satan's Rock'

Former IPCC lead author Raymond T. Pierrehumbert has a real zinger this time. You have to read this one to believe it. From an interview in Slate magazine via Tom Nelson:

Mitt Romney coal jobs: Romney talks about jobs, but the coal industry is dying.

By now we know that Paul Ryan has more or less declared himself to be a full-blown climate change denialist. But what are we to make of Mitt Romney?

Perhaps we should call him a Climate Clown, since he seems to think global climate catastrophes are a laughing matter.

Last time I checked, America was part of the globe, so if the globe warms, America warms with it, and every ton of carbon dioxide America adds to the atmosphere adds to the collective warming we all suffer.  [Hey Raymond:  Where I live, the average year-round temperature is 45 F.  If the average temperature rises to 47 F, why would that make me “suffer”?]


Whatever you call Romney, it’s clear he has a coal complex as big as the Powder River Basin. He just can’t stop trumpeting his love affair with Satan’s Rock.

…As expanded natural gas supplies continue to cut into domestic demand for U.S. coal, the next big fight will be over vastly expanded coal exports to Asia, and it will make the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline look like a minor skirmish. I know who I want on my side in that fight, and it is not the coal industry’s dream candidate.

Satan’s Rock, really?

Funny that Ray should bring up the image of climate clown. We have a few.

Ray Pierrehumbert playing accordion at the liquidus. Source: http://geosci.uchicago.edu/people/faculty.shtml

How appropriate though, given the politics employed by Ray and The Team, that they say “We are climate scientists, Chicago style”.

It is worth recalling what Dr. Ray Pierrehumbert wrote of skeptics:

McIntyre, McKittrick, and Watts are the Andrew Breitbarts of climate. Occasionally they may out something that is technically true, but it is always of minor consequence compared to the noise, and always a distraction from the truly important questions facing society.  That’s why, big as the IPCC tent may be, I hope there will never be a place in it for any of these clowns.

Josh sees it this way:

Please, please, someone get Dr. Pierrehumbert a mirror.



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Jimmy Haigh

Well you can’t really play rock music (wasn’t it too called Satan;s music in the early days?) on an accordion can you?

And that’s why there are no pictures of me on the internet!!!

Seppo Bundy

And we should turn off the electric power to the house of this climate clown, so he can think about the benefits of “satan’s rock”.
Furthermore he sould not to be allowed to use things made out of steel, because
no satan’s rock = no steel

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

The Old Crusader

I think he got it backwards:comment image

Louis Hooffstetter

HA HA HA HA!! Just watched “We are climate scientists, Chicago Style”. Now that’s really Satan’s Rock!
And these clowns wonder why the general public is losing faith in the pronouncements of climate scientists!

Peter Stroud

What subject did this clown research for his PhD?

Craig Loehle

For those with a sense of irony, Pierre who is in Chicago, is sitting in the above picture in a lit room, which means electricity, which in Chicago means either nuclear or coal. These guys rail against electricity but use it. Go ahead, Pierre, try to go electricity-free.

Bob Tisdale says:
October 23, 2012 at 7:40 am
And that’s why there are no pictures of me on the internet!!!

Whats up Bob, you don’t look like Pierrehumbug do you?

John West

They deny that CAGW hysteria is a religion and then describe a chunk of carbon as Satan’s rock. WOW.
Since we’re all carbon based are we all Satan’s life forms?
Since it takes Oxygen to make CO2, why isn’t Oxygen Satan’s gas (@ STP)?

Before the widespread use of coal (Satan’s rock), the US cut down much of its forests, especially in the North East, and burned them for firewood. Today many of these forests have regrown.
Thus, the forests in the NE US must be the work of the devil. They should again be cut down and burned – to generate the electricity now generated by coal – and to return the US to the “natural” state that existed before coal. A time when you couldn’t see the forest for the stumps.


Mmm? What’s that white stuff falling in California today?

Chris B

You know what those ‘scientists’ haven’t thought of? Italy just sent a few to jail for missing an earthquake (or I guess more like, not telling them exactly what that particular earthquake would do).
In the U.S., we’ve rolled most of our assets into a bunch of scientists whose livelihood depends on consensus. They keep trying to prove the same thing over and over again.
So when an earthquake hits us, or a volcano (talk about a climate change provoker) or maybe some epidemic from an as yet undiscovered arbovirus, do we go after those climate change wonks who myopically focused on emissions?

Accordions were invented to tune bagpipes.

I must declare my bias. I have been involved in the coal industry for a very long time. Coal is one of the minerals I have experience with and consult regularly about. The coal industry is not perfect but as a fuel it is not going away any time soon, nor should it. Coal is a valuable fuel mineral that belongs in the mix of fuels that power our and other societies. I must say I am uncomfortable when I find myself agreeing, even if only in principle, with any politician.

Doug UK

The term used – if indicative of the mind-set – certainly explains the hatred.
As Brit – I can only laugh at the thought of this clown and his reaction to the wonderful opening ceremony of the Olympics that underlines the progress made thanks to coal.
Even our (somewhat lamentable) politicians are turning away from this sort of stupidity – Our Chancellor of the Exchequer recently called them the “Climate Taliban”.
It is laughable that the Alarmists keep shooting themselves in the foot – I see it as their becoming ever more desperate in the face of declining “faith” in their words (it is not science after all) – What must they think of the US Presidential race where CAGW is no longer on the agenda of the candidates.
I suspect the rhetoric will reach apoplectic proportions as time goes on,


Not good for those with Coulrophobia.

“America adds to the atmosphere adds to the collective warming we all suffer.”
Is that why folks retire to Florida? To suffer collective warming?
Is that why folks vacation in Mexico? To suffer collective warming?
How about Alaska? Do we see folks flocking to Alaska to escape the collective warming? Do we ever see these headlines:
Alaska, the vacation capital of the US.
Alaska, the retirement capital of the US.
These are your science dollars at work America. You hard earned money being spent on gibberish that defies common sense. If warming is bad, then why isn’t Alaska more popular than Florida?
After all, Mexican’s move north to the US because Mexico is too warm. Climate science tells us so. Mexican’s aren’t economic refugees, they are climate refugee’s, trying to escape being baked alive by the heat of global warming.


Hey I thought global warming didn’t mean every country would warm. I guess now if it gets cold, that means global warming is a hoax, right Ray?

I see coal as stored solar energy. Plants took abundant sun and CO2 and the Earth grew lush and green. As plant matter built up it was compressed into coal. I rejoice in the abundant energy sources that God (or nature if you aren’t religious) has made available to us.

Jason H

How god awful was that video/song? My neighbor’s dog started barking!

Jarrett Jones

Proving once again that these clowns are in it for the politics and have the ethics of your average politician.


One swastika tattoo away from another crazy AGW believer. I had to look twice to be sure that wasn’t Charlie “Climate” Manson.

John F. Hultquist

Commenting on looks is about as rigorous as Ray’s “climate science.”
So, vote now:
Outward appearance is driven (“forced”) by brain function. [ ]
Brain function is driven (“forced”) by outward appearance. [ ]
Combine the above into a run-away positive feedback loop. [ ]
Jimmy H., Expect more like this:

David Ball

I played Pierrehumbert’s song backwards and guess what I heard,……


Ray P. writing on RealClimate in 2005 on why he loves the Mann Hockey Stick…… It is such a good propaganda, er, educational tool:


Jimmy Haigh… allow me to introduce you to one “Weird Al Yankovich”… Accordion meets Rock. I’ll wait.
Seriously. Satan’s rock. Awesome.
And I have a personal rule about mocking: I don’t mock someone about things they have no control over, like facial shape or scars or bald spots or anything like that, but I have no mercy when it comes to being unkempt and ungroomed while in a position of disseminating information while representing an organization or position.
I spent years working with someone who seemed to relish his nickname of “Einstein”. I still can’t figure out if he was unkempt to fit the nickname or got the nickname for being ungroomed. Try sharing an office with someone like that. This guy reminds me of that guy. A lot. And I can’t even BEGIN to express how arrogant and CERTAIN my guy was, even in the face of being clearly wrong.
In the end I lost that job because this monster of arrogance and certainty allowed the office servers to fail, in spite of me begging for two years to replace aging and failing components. I even hung an external drive on the server for backups IN DIRECT DEFIANCE OF ORDERS… a drive that, in the end, was the ONLY reason no data was lost, because Mr. Right was certain that the backup drives (in the same server) would save everything. They didn’t.
That experience seems to have taught me all I need to know about climate scientists and others who are absolutely CERTAIN of their beliefs, with virtually no chance of ever confirming them and all current evidence pointing away from them.
Please, to all the Pierrehumberts and Einsteins out there: take a shower using soap, use a comb and razor, brush your teeth, and consider that what you KNOW might possibly not be the whole story.


If he wants to criticize ‘technically true points among the noise’, how about coal exporting? That’s an issue where both extremes have a ‘technically true’ opinion but the real problem is somewhere in the ‘noise’.
Technically true right-wing opinion: Anything that makes money for American companies is good.
Technically true left-wing opinion: Anything that makes pollution is bad.
The ‘Noise’ includes: (1) Moving pollution to China means more pollution overall. (2) Rail lines are already overburdened. Do we need a huge new set of heavy shipments through fire-prone areas, increasing derailments and obstruction to other freight? (3) Should we be using up our own natural resources for short-term gain?

Latimer Alder

The guy looks like a bum.

more soylent green!

Yes, but the tons of emissions from China, India, or anywhere else in the developing world don’t count, do they?
China is building coal plants left and right. Which countries coal plants are cleaner, American’s or China’s?

There is a website listing some of the skeptic climate clowns appearing on J.C’s blog.
My entry:
Vukcevic: Another iron curtain survivor, Vukcevic is mild by the standards of the other crackpots listed, and claims that all climate changes are due to natural variations from solar activities. To his credit he creates very elaborate slides, but the curve fits are in the eye of the beholder.


“He just can’t stop trumpeting his love affair with Satan’s Rock. ”
Did he actually imply that coal is Satan’s rock? Astonishing.
Many people suggest that climate alarmism is a quasi-religion with its earth god Gaia, devil CO2, sinful climate emissions and impending climate apocalypse.
Now coal is Satan’s rock, wow.
I guess that would make Pierrehumbert a climate evangelist?


Most climate scientists have an Ego problem, this clown has a simple god complex.
He has to denigrate to promote his god complex.
The nemesis of god, Satan coal.

Nick in Vancouver

No Klem, that would make Pierrehumbert a hypocrite and a fool. As a previous poster noted try living in Chicago without the benefit of coal produced electricity.
Is it better to freeze or boil? Ask a climatologist they have all the answers.
Who pays this guy’s salary again?

Robert Bunnell
David Ball

If coal is “Satan’s Rock”, what is my wife wearing on her finger?

Anthony, I don’t know your opinion of the late Mr. Breitbart, but I consider it a great compliment. The man was fearless at calling BS where he saw it. As are you.


Didn’t Hansen (or Suzuki?) call oil “Satan’s Excrement”? At least they’re consistent with their devilish name calling. ;->


@Craig Loehle
Craig, have you considered updating your paper from 2009?


A righteous view from his perch on the ash heap.


I am reminded of the Far Side cartoon, where the upper panel has an angel saying “Welcome to Heaven. Here’s your harp” and in the lower panel a devil says “Welcome to Hell. Here’s your accordion”.
REPLY: I located the cartoon – Anthony


The Old Crusader says:
October 23, 2012 at 7:53 am
Nearly! – I think he is just backwards

Latimer Alder

Old fashioned definition of A Gentleman
‘One who can play the accordion…but doesn’t’


Accordions were invented for Particle Man.
Accordion solo: 0:32


Dang, I thought that “We are climate scientists, Chicago style” would be a spoof on the Gangnam Style video. I couldn’t watch it all the way through. Elmer! ELLLLLMER! Do something!


Bob Tisdale says: “And that’s why there are no pictures of me on the internet!!!”
LOL! Bob, I have an “accordeen” pic, poised and ready to photoshop, should one of you show up.
Vuk: I still read your comments.

Colonel Panic

Thomas Kuhn wrote a book called the Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In it he said that a current scientific paradigm (eg Catastrophic AGW) will persist until such times that it is displaced by a new paradigm. Even when the existing paradigm is shown to be deeply flawed (eg Catastrophic AGW), it will persist. Those who advocate said paradigm will go through increasingly elaborate contortions to support the unsupportable; proposing more and more outlandish and tenuous extensions to the paradigm and engaging in increasingly vitriolic attacks on its detractors, to try and keep it afloat. Even when many eventually realise that the paradigm is simply unworkable, and fails to explain the natural phenomenon it purports to understand, it will still persist, until a new paradigm displaces it.
James Lovelock recently had the courage to say that he thought he understood the climate back in the eighties, but the departures of models from reality over the last few decades make it obvious that real understanding of the climate is currently lacking. Welcome though such candour may be, it represents a theory void, and such a void (probably correct) can not displace the current paradigm (probably incorrect). Human beings simply refuse to admit that they do not know what is going on. Once a theory is in place, even though said theory might have more holes than an outback road sign, it takes on a life of its own and will not die until another theory stakes it though the heart.
So, I am afraid we must put up with a very flawed paradigm (CAGW) and the proponents thereof making increasingly bizarre and outlandish pronouncements, until a new theory on climate gains the ascendency. That may take decades. In the meantime we can point out flaws, holes, errors, inconsistencies, deceit, mendacity, corruption, graft, malice, greed, naivety and plain old foolishness from here till the planet freezes over, and jolly good fun it is too, but the current CAGW paradigm will still persist. All we can hope is that we encourage bright minds to come up with a new paradigm sooner rather than later. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the freak show.


Hairy bugger, ain’t he?
Satan’s Rock, Death Trains, Super Mandia …. these guys are the gift that keeps on giving.