Frontline responds to complaints about Oct 23 “Climate of Doubt”: Here, the Rebuttal to Frontline that PBS Ombudsman Won't Put Online

Note: I’m late getting this up, mainly due to most of Russel Cook’s emails at attachments going into the spam bin, then there was the last week when I just didn’t have any time beyond getting WUWT-TV on the air. It is still relevant, however, and worth reading – Anthony

Guest post by Russell Cook

If appeals to authority / appeals to peer-reviewed literature and complete sidesteps of questions are the best defense Frontline offers for “Climate of Doubt”, what does that say about the state of journalistic integrity in the mainstream media on the topic of global warming?

Readers of WUWT were first made aware of the PBS Frontline program “Climate of Doubt” on October 3rd, and subsequent concerns about it prompted six additional WUWT posts ( ). While in the process of watching the broadcast on October 23rd, I jotted down around 15 or 16 concerns I had, and distilled thirteen of those the following day into an email complaint to the PBS Ombudsman. My letter appeared online November 5th, seen about halfway down the page here, accompanied by Frontline’s point-by-point rebuttal. I am no journalist, and am certainly no scientist, but I have become reasonably well versed in the politics of the issue, especially in regard to the accusation that skeptic climate scientists are said to be corrupted by fossil fuel industry money.

I was assured by Ombudsman Getler on the morning of November 8th that my response to Frontline’s rebuttal will not appear at his site. So, with Anthony Watts’ permission, I present my original points and Frontline’s responses, followed by my ‘rebuttal to Frontline’, as an exercise of how an ordinary citizen can take on the Goliath of the mainstream media, and the apparent need for more of us to do so when egregiously biased mainstream media reporting is seen on the topic of global warming.

1. COOK: The first 10 minutes of the show was basically ‘appeal to authority’ – the National Academies declare such-and-so, there’s a scientific consensus, etc. Monckton had an article where he pointed out how this is the argumentum ad populum, or headcount fallacy … regarded as unacceptable because the consensus view and whatever science the consensus opinion is founded upon may or may not be correct, and the mere fact that there is a consensus tells us nothing about the correctness of the consensus opinion or of the rationale behind that opinion. What is left out of this Frontline show is how science phenomena do not exist at the pleasure of a show of hands, and consensus is meaningless if any given science finding has been misunderstood by all. Case in point was what I wrote about just a few weeks ago, “PBS NewsHour: Against scientific consensus before they were for it.”

FL RESPONSE: Mr. [Christopher] Monckton is not a scientist, and the argument you cite is not in a peer reviewed journal but rather published in a blog. We were careful to base our reporting on the most credible and transparent sources we could find and verify. As Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences and an atmospheric scientist told us in the film, scientists have been trying to shoot down evidence of man-made climate change for years, and they have not succeeded. In the peer-reviewed literature, scientists have been ruling-out alternate explanations and climate scientists have told us the onus is on the skeptics to present them there. Scientists will tell you theories can be overturned, but it has to be done through the peer-reviewed scientific process. If the theories he mentions in that piece could be disproved in scientific journals, then that would be a different story.

Cook’s rebuttal to Frontline (hereafter, CrF): Frontline’s response is essentially a sidestep non-response which does nothing to address the fatal flaw in ‘appeals to authority’. Monckton’s explanation of the flaw, whether it appears in a peer-reviewed publication or not, is what it is. Worse, the enslavement to the idea that science phenomena exist at the pleasure of assessments seen in ONLY peer-reviewed science journals is ludicrous. Frontline’s ‘most credible and transparent sources’ may very well also be sources that have actively shut skeptic climate scientists out of their discussions, as has been demonstrated within the ClimateGate scandal where efforts were discussed to do exactly that. Contrary to what Cicerone claims, skeptic scientists have questioned the evidence of man-caused global warming via assessments citing hundreds of peer-reviewed science journal-published papers, as in the NIPCC Reports and elsewhere, and the existence of peer-reviewed papers that do not support the idea of man-caused global warming is irrefutable (“1100+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm”). The question is whether Cicerone volunteered this information to Frontline or if he kept it to himself.

2. COOK: The show makes a big point of saying Monckton “admits having no scientific expertise” — Well, Al Gore has no scientific expertise either. If we must ignore Monckton for this reason, then by default we must ignore Gore.

FL RESPONSE: We did not cite Al Gore as an expert. We cited climate scientists, the National Academy of Sciences and IPCC reports.

CrF: I sincerely doubt Frontline misunderstood the point I was making there, thus their response has every appearance of being another sidestep. The program most certainly did show Gore’s movie presentation with an insinuation that what was said within it was ‘settled science’, the entire premise of the program hinges on it. John Hockenberry unmistakably asserts this at the point where he says “what these people call a fallacy had another name, the truth”, whereupon the screen shows Gore’s movie points. Both Gore and Monckton, as presenters of slideshows which cite climate scientists, the NAS and the IPCC, but each come to different conclusions. Thus if Monckton’s lack of science expertise renders him unworthy to listen to, it applies equally to Gore. You can’t have it both ways.

3. COOK: The show repeats the claim that 97% of scientists believe in climate change — That study has been taken apart here, here, here, and here, and in several other articles. The key missing bit of information is that the survey only involved less than 80 scientists, and the methodology of the questions is suspect.

FL RESPONSE: Mr. Cook is citing a study that we did not use in our film. We relied on peer-reviewed studies.

CrF: Frontline says “studies” (plural) in the above response, but in the response to the David L. Hagen letter appearing above mine at the November 5th PBS Ombudsman page, Frontline’s specifically notes that it relied on the study from Anderegg et al. That’s the very same paper that Hagen AND I both pointed out as having a misleading conclusion based on the opinion of 75 of 77 self-identified unnamed “climate scientists”. NOT THOUSANDS of scientists around the world, as has been largely insinuated in reporting of the “97%” figure, only 75 of 77 unnamed climate scientists. What part of the wipeout of this insinuation does Frontline not understand?

4. COOK: [Scientist and Founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project] Fred Singer questioned CFCs [chlorofluorocarbons] role in ozone depletion — but there is still an ozone hole over the Antarctic.

FL RESPONSE: In our interview with Fred Singer, we asked about his questioning of CFCs and ozone depletion. Here is what he told us: “I accept the fact that chlorofluorocarbons damage the ozone layer.”

CrF: So? This does not in any way give Frontline viewers deeper insight into his extensive, detailed assessments of how CFCs interact with the ozone layer and his concern about how CFC regulations may be ineffective, and nothing is offered to explain why the CFC ban has apparently had little or any effect on the ozone depletion situation.

5. COOK: Fred Singer questioned the role of 2nd hand smoke — No, he railed against EPA administrator Carol Browner’s decision to declare 2nd hand smoke a class A carcinogen when her own EPA-chosen scientists said it doesn’t rise to that level. Still harmful, but not a class A carcinogen. A bureaucrat overrode scientists and hid vital information from the public, in other words.

FL RESPONSE: Here is what Singer told us in our interview: “I know nothing about the physiological effects of secondhand smoke. I am not an oncologist. I am not a toxicologist chemist.” In any case, he acknowledged that he questioned the findings on second-hand smoke.

CrF: And Frontline’s egregious failure to expand on exactly what Dr Singer said about the matter allows a long-term accusation against him go unquestioned, which I spelled out already in my point #5 in no uncertain terms about EPA administrator Carol Browner’s decision to declare 2nd hand smoke a class A carcinogen when her own EPA-chosen scientists said it doesn’t rise to that level. Frontline’s total sidestep of this point is both inexplicable and inexcusable.

6. COOK: The Oregon Petition Project contained non-scientist ‘Hollywood celebrities’ — no, it didn’t, I already covered that false story and its ties to Gelbspan / Ozone Action in my “The Curious History of ‘Global Climate Disruption‘.” Hockenberry’s dismissal of the petition in this manner is blatantly misleading, utterly failing to address the concerns of the highly knowledgeable scientists who have signed it.

FL RESPONSE: We asked Fred Singer about the celebrities and singers and he did not dispute it. Singer also told us “Look they are not specialists in climate.” John Hockenberry never said “Hollywood celebrities,” he said celebrities. In a 1998 story in the Associated Press, Arthur Robinson, who circulated the petition, said that questionable names, including that of Perry S. Mason and a Spice Girl, were added by pranksters. Critics have said there is no way to verify independently some of the names and titles on the petition.

CrF: I sincerely doubt Frontline misunderstood the point I was making there about “celebrities”, ‘Hollywood’ or otherwise. Frontline’s apparent insinuation was to cast doubt upon the Oregon petition via highly questionable 1998 reports which I contend came entirely out of an enviro-activist organization which has every appearance of being the central source of the corruption accusation against skeptic climate scientists – the very same ‘critics’ Frontline apparently refers to directly or indirectly. With very little effort, Frontline could have taken the time to independently verify some of the names and titles on the petition to confirm that they do have valid scientific-based complaints about man-caused global warming. This is actually not so difficult to do, but Frontline seemingly did not do so, which may suggest this particular topic was used in a completely biased manner.

7. COOK: ClimateGate just a few out-of-context emails — Hardly, Steve McIntyre has plunged into it with mind-blowing detail about how it shows a pattern among that bunch to hide inconvenient truths. Emails out of context? Try reading Trenberth’s infamous email. “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” He was talking about the very same lack of warming Dr. Singer was talking about in the program, and Trenberth is an IPCC scientist.

FL RESPONSE: We reported accurately in the film that 11 different investigations found no tampering of temperature data in “Climategate.” Even former skeptic Richard Muller found that the temperature data was right. Gavin Schmidt told us in an interview as others have pointed out that Trenberth was referring to the travesty that ocean temperatures couldn’t be measured properly with so few instruments, something he had published in scientific journals.

CrF: Frontline incompletely reported that several of the ‘investigations of ClimateGate’ were whitewashes of the situation, details of which are very easily found at the Steve McIntyre’s site and several others. Frontline also seems to be oblivious that Richard Muller was never a skeptic of man-caused global warming (as detailed here and here and in Muller’s own admission of being a non-skeptic). Regarding Trenberth, again, what he said was at odds with Singer’s and others’ climate assessments, which can be presented in detail in a fair and balanced PBS program. “Ocean Heat Content Adjustments: Follow-up and More Missing Heat” is one of many skeptic examples of opposing assessments to Trenberth’s papers.

8. COOK: The program was trying to show Dr. Singer as a buffoon about not seeing current heating — but the IPCC & Trenberth predicted heating that they themselves admitted wasn’t happening.

FL RESPONSE: We showed how Singer’s temperature selection of “in the last ten years” is an example of what scientists call going “up the down escalator” to make it seem that temperatures are declining when they are actually increasing if you look at all of the data.

CrF: I have looked at as much of the data as I can comprehend, and Frontline’s assertion here was already contradicted in a larger manner by assertions that the current time is neither warmer than in the Medieval Warm Period nor the 1930s. Plus, nobody in the skeptic community that I am aware of actually disputes the overall very slight warming trend over the last hundred or so years, but instead dispute what causes the warming, while disputing contentions that CO2 drives warming when this is contradicted by assessments showing temperature rises are FOLLOWED by rises in CO2. Dr Singer, in case Frontline did not notice it, was specifically pointing to the “last ten years” example as one that inexplicably undermines the idea that CO2 drives temperature up – with CO2 at an unquestioned rising rate, it must be asked why the last decade+ did not RISE in temperature.

9. COOK: Katherine Hayhoe mentioned FOIAs about her global warming advocacy — but failed to mention one of the book chapters she wrote was not for a science journal but was for Newt Gingrich’s book. FOIA questions about her receiving money for private advocacy are most certainly legitimate.

FL RESPONSE: Hayhoe told us on in our interview this was pro bono and it was for an academic press. The publisher of the book is Johns Hopkins University press.

CrF: And Frontline still failed to mention the Newt Gingrich book controversy, which viewers may very well have taken to mean she is engaged in private advocacy because of the association with Gingrich. If Ms Hayhoe so easily divulged to Frontline that her work was pro bono, then why is Texas Tech apparently so reluctant to turn over information in an FOIA request that can so easily dispel perceptions of a problem in this situation? (“Texas Tech Ignores Request for Gingrich Book Records”). And why did Frontline not go further into the troubling problems the American Tradition Institute apparently turned up regarding the Texas school and related FOIA matters, as was described by Chris Horner with specific mention of a Frontline inquiry in July? (“Sunday Reflection: The collusion of the climate crowd”)

10. COOK: GOP Rep. [Bob] Inglis tossed out by tea party people? — then why doesn’t it follow that Sen. McCain wouldn’t be voted out by the same people in his Senate re-election, where he handily won over the tea-party guy JD Hayworth? On top of that, Inglis’ last House hearing also featured him declaring ocean acidification was bad by using a demo where he dropped an egg into vinegar . . . but the oceans are collectively at the same alkaline level as baking soda.

FL RESPONSE: McCain also toned down his climate change position during the primary. We reported on Inglis and stand by that reporting as accurate.

CrF: “Toned down”, but did not abandon any of his core beliefs as any result of pressure from his primary candidate. Frontline may stand by its reporting if it wishes, but it is still contradicted by the McCain primary evidence and it is undermined by Inglis’ laughable ‘science demo’, which Frontline chooses to ignore for some unknown reason.

11. COOK: The program proclaimed the sea level rise won’t be stopped by some Carolina committee’s ignorance of it — but sea level rise will also not rise at the request of the IPCC’s prediction models, and according to a U. of Colorado study, “over the next 88 years, sea level would be expected to rise five inches in North Carolina” in direct contradiction to the Carolina committee’s report.”

FL RESPONSE: We contacted the Univ. of Colorado, which denied this claim made on a blog. Steven Neerem, professor at the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, told us: “I have never made a statement or provided a quote about sea level rise in North Carolina.” And also “What Mr. Goddard appears to have done is to linearly extrapolate the last 20 years of satellite data from our website, which would indeed result in only 5″ of sea level rise by 2100. However, no reputable scientist would linearly extrapolate 20 years of sea level data (a very short data record) to predict sea level rise 88 years later. Even longer tide gauge records would not give the complete picture, because they do not consider many factors including the acceleration of sea level rise that is expected from rising greenhouse gases. Regional predictions of future sea level rise must factor in the increasing heat content of the oceans and the locations of these changes, the melting of ice around the world and regional variations in sea level rise that result, as well as changes in ocean circulation due to all these factors including the addition of freshwater to the ocean. In addition, our satellite measurements do not include the contribution to relative sea level rise in North Carolina due to land subsidence.”

CrF: Mr Goddard already has rebutted Frontline’s assertion here (“Shock News : PBS And CU Admit That There Is No Evidence Of Dangerous Sea Level Rise”), over a topic where I have no science expertise to judge. This goes to the core of the problem. This certainly looks like valid debate on matters of global warming science, but two previous programs at Frontline (“Heat” in 2008, “Hot Politics” in 2007) and essentially 16+ years’ worth of PBS NewsHour global warming discussion segments see fit to ignore detailed assessments and viewpoints from skeptic scientists and expert speakers, for unexplained reasons. It seems the best Frontline can offer here as an excuse are appeals to authority and insinuations of industry corruption. This tactic arguably never bolsters the main point about the science being settled, it instead gives the opposite impression, that the science conclusions that supposedly support the idea of man-caused global warming are so sketchy that efforts need to be undertaken to ensure the public never learns about that fault from skeptic scientists.

12. COOK: Willie Soon the skeptic got a million dollars from Exxon — no, he actually didn’t, the Harvard department he works for got it over a span of time spread out among numerous people. Across the board, what paltry donations the skeptics get ends up looking exactly like starvation wages. Worse, the mere existence of fossil fuel industry funding means either one of two things: they liked what they heard, or they were paying scientists to lie. Disprove the first before assuming the 2nd is true.

FL RESPONSE: We confirmed that Exxon did give to Soon’s department. In an interview in Reuters, Soon acknowledged that he had received funding, but denied any group would have influenced his studies. “I have never been motivated by financial reward in any of my scientific research,” he said.

CrF: The Frontline transcript has John Hockenberry clearly stating “Willie Soon has received money from ExxonMobil” – not his department (notice how Frontline specifically notes this in its first sentence), a distinction which makes all the difference in the world when it comes to perceptions of individual scientists being “corrupted” by large amounts of industry money. Frontline mentions here that Dr Soon denies any group has influenced his studies, but NOT in the broadcast. We are all left to wonder why this important detail was not heard in the program itself, along with any further clarification by Dr Soon about the matter. Certainly, if Frontline knew of its above-linked Reuters interview at the time “Climate of Doubt” was recorded, it would have been very easy to insert the one sentence from the article where Dr Soon very clearly said, “I would have accepted money from Greenpeace if they had offered it to do my research.”

13. COOK: Without naming him directly, we heard anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan’s long-term assertion that skeptic efforts are no different that tobacco industry tactics which entailed shill experts hired to draw out the issue by creating confusion there has been an abject failure over the last 20 years to prove such a parallel exists, a point I detail throughout my 50+ online articles and blogs.

FL RESPONSE: Our source was not Ross Gelbspan, but Steve Coll, author of a well- documented book on Exxon. He said in our interview: “some of them actually came out of campaigning on behalf of the tobacco industry.” Our independent reporting confirmed that some of the same people and organizations who worked on raising doubt about climate science also worked on behalf of tobacco companies.

CrF: Did Steve Coll tell Frontline that he independently investigated this matter, or that he was fed this material, or did Frontline bother to ask him anything about his source for the ‘tobacco parallel’ accusation? For clarification, the parallel I speak of is very simply the idea that skeptic climate scientists were paid to ‘manufacture doubt’ about the otherwise ‘settled science’ of man-caused global warming by the fossil fuel industry, in no less of a similar manner than ‘expert shills’ were paid by tobacco companies to manufacture doubt about the harm of cigarette smoking. Al Gore’s movie made this very same parallel connection in his “An Inconvenient Truth” movie just before the 1 hour 13 minute point where a leaked tobacco industry memo was directly compared to a leaked coal industry memo, and his 2010 “Our Choice” book contains the same parallel comparison on pgs 356-57. IPCC scientist Stephen Schneider suggested this parallel in a 1992 Discover magazine article, and as I’ve detailed in my many online articles, this accusation faltered in various media until late 1995 when Ross Gelbspan and his associates at the Ozone Action enviro-activist group apparently consolidated it into the widely repeated accusation that is repeated today. Steve Coll’s book “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power” apparently has two sources for his repetition of the parallel accusation: the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace’s Kert Davies. The UCS itself relies on Greenpeace as its source, and it should be noted that Ozone Action was merged into Greenpeace USA in 2000, at which time Ozone Action’s founder took over as Executive Director of Greenpeace USA. Kert Davies also worked at Ozone Action at the time when that organization declared, “According to documents obtained by Ozone Action and by Ross Gelbspan, several ICE strategies were laid out including: the repositioning of global warming as theory, not fact…” – the latter phrase being the same one used in Gore’s movie and in his “Our Choice” book, and by numerous other book authors and magazine writers who cite it as smoking gun proof of the tobacco industry parallel. So, did Frontline independently confirm this, or did it rely on other sources – Gore, Naomi Oreskes, George Monbiot, James Hoggan, for example? If such people are Frontline’s sources, then it did NOT corroborate the accusation, it is one-and-the-same source.

What this all boils down to is a simple bit of fact-finding. Without any proof of industry money exchanged for false fabricated climate papers or assessments, the tobacco parallel accusation disappears in a poof of smoke, and when all the details of enviro-activists who pushed this accusation are considered, the situation ends up looking like there was an active collective effort to manufacture doubt about the credibility of skeptic climate scientists, as a cover for the unsettled science of global warming. When Frontline seemingly is unable or unwilling to find such obvious red flags in the activities of those enviro-activists, the program ends up looking like a complicit participant in this effort, or at least a negligent shill that was suckered into it. Why is it that an ordinary citizen like myself has to point this problem out to them?

All we did was ask of the mainstream media to correct their bias problem….but as a result of that, when they wouldn’t correct themselves, citizens said, “if you are not going to correct yourself, we’re going to create a media in the wake of your incompetency.” — Andrew Breitbart, from an April 2011 interview


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Frontline is a flea control medicine for dogs and cats.
In this case it appears that the fleas are now running the asylum.

Paul Coppin

Getler can’t get past his “appeal to authority” fallacy. He uses its everywhere, in almost every answer. He keep referring to “scientists”, unmamed, to peer-review, as if it has any particular badge of veracity in regard to the science. He’s fundamentally unqualified to both answer your concerns and discuss the topic, and worse, dosen’t even know what the role of “ombudsman” is. Hint: it is not synonymous with “apologist”…

Good job!


I most love the part about the oil funding. Do any of these pro-doomsday stories ever look into eco-terrorist funding… no. If they did they would find lots of oil and wall street bank money being used to pay for this propaganda. They would also be forced to admit the huge difference in funding levels.

Excellent takedown of the theory for making the economies around the world fully government directed. The hope was we would be so upset Gaia had a temperature we would not notice central planning never produces prosperity unless you are politically connected.
Now Gaia may not Have a temp. The models are bad. The emails of suppression of facts have come out. But the media is still caught up in the allure of Big Business and Govt politicians and bureaucrats run the economy.
I think they are hoping there is an ever dwindling number of people who have ever heard the words–logical fallacy.
My congrats from someone else without the magic credentials but just the facts. Good job!

Gail Combs

Excellent. The MSM Lies, and they do it deliberately. I, as a first hand witness, have caught them at it on several occasions as have my friends.


From the FL Response:
We were careful to base our reporting on the most credible and transparent sources we could find and verify. As Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences and an atmospheric scientist told us in the film, scientists have been trying to shoot down evidence of man-made climate change for years, and they have not succeeded.
The skeptics are not trying to shoot down evidence of man-made global warming. They’re asking for evidence to be produced that it does exist. So far none has been produced.
I think this is a fundamental point to make. The predictions made 10, 20, and 30 years ago have all failed. Far more warming was predicted than we have actually seen, and CO2 is higher than it has ever been. Nor is it just temperature that the predictions have failed at. They predicted more drought, on a global basis we’ve seen less. They predicted increased hurricane frequency and intensity, instead we’ve seen fewer and less intense. They predicted that sea level rise would accelerate, it has instead decelerated. They predicted less sea ice, and they got it 1/2 right, there’s less in the arctic but the antarctic is setting records in the opposite direction.
By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way that it is we skeptics shooting down evidence, I think we lose an important positional advantage. Our question is where is the evidence in the first place?

John W. Garrett

Wonderful. Thank you.


@ Davidmoffer
I agree with you in principle, but the hockey stick was the centerpiece of AGW and was used as evidence the 20th century was “unprecedented” warming. Then there was Santer 08. Then Steig 09 and a host of others.
If it is bad science, it must be challenged.

Paul Westhaver

Message to those who think we need to appeal to the Media to fix their bias:
We are the new media and we behave as such. We obtain facts, publish them, widely, and we are recognized and widely read.
So if FL thinks it is the final word, wellll!!!! they are living in the 1980s.
This, the new media is the unvarnished source of criticism and the attempts by the old media to control the dialogue is futile. Heck, I rarely read any newspapers anymore, nor do I watch TV anymore. Do any of you really care what you local cable news is pumping out? I don’t even know how to watch local cable any more.
We are the new media.
Facebook, which is just some guy’s web page for the consumer class is part of the new media.
Andrew Briebart figured it out long ago.
The NYT is old hat. They are going broke. Journalists of old are the new political class… they are left wing activists in fear of obscurity trying to keep their jobs. Bloggers is the new highly credentialed and free-to-speak-the-truth, informed opinion class.
Compare what Anthony Watts has at his fingertips compared to Walter Cronkite! Walter was an ignoramus by comparison.
We know who makes reliable news. We know ho doesn’t. For example ….Seth Borenstein. Just hearing the name Seth Boeenstein means that the words following his name will be left wing trash about how human beings are destroying the earth. Since you know what his is going to say, and lit will be a lie, what is the point of reading any of his junk? He has self-filtered himself to be a fringe activist of the left wing Media Party.
So ignore FL. it is junk. WUWT just became a online TV broadcaster. How cool is that.
The consumer class at Facebook are hopeless ( a lot of hopelessness) but there still exists a huge community of people who are bored by the propaganda and are interested in understanding things. We aren’t going away.
There is a new struggle…. the struggle is to be recognized as objective.
I propose a reference page/ database of all the news writers on climate and your objective assessment of them as competent, biased, or wackie. (another project)


davidmhoffer says:
November 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm
“By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way that it is we skeptics shooting down evidence, I think we lose an important positional advantage. Our question is where is the evidence in the first place?”
Goes back to the scientific method… it is never on the evil skeptic to prove anything. Add in it only take one piece of evidence to disprove the argument no matter how much evidence supports it.
Skeptics in many respects need to stop arguing anything about global warming failures and simply demand global warming believers follow the most basic of science ie the scientific method. Once they are forced into doing real science it will fall apart in no time at all. Demanding they present a real hypothesis, one that can be put to the test is the first step. It doesn’t matter how many times we prove them wrong if they are allow to keep moving the goal posts and many times creating dozens of different and conflicting goal post locations at the same time. We need to stop swatting the inserts and focus more on the swarm and getting the swarm to gather somewhere where we can spray the lot of them with some DDT and watch them drop all at once.
We are fighting propaganda that claims to be science, you can never win that battle as long as they have the massive money backing they have. However if you can show that from the start it is propaganda then debunking the long winded claims that are the end result isn’t needed.

Pat Frank

David, you’re dead-on right and you make the central point.
Over and over again, including in peer-reviewed literature, climate models have been shown completely unreliable. Attribution of climate warming (or cooling) depends fully and entirely on the efficacy of a predictive and falsifiable theory of climate. There is no such theory. Given that factual truth, there can be no evidence whatever that human emissions have caused the global climate to change.
Current climate model “predictions,” given model tuning and their tendentiously adjusted parameter sets, are, in any case, little more than exercises in extrapolated curve-fits. They’re not predictions at all, in any valid scientific sense.

Aussie Luke Warm

As 28gate shows BBC is corrupted by green-left political activists, you would expect PBS to be worse.

Very fine work you did Russell in exposing the mealy mouthed replies from frontline who were too chicken to allow your counter replies show up at their blog because what you wrote would have been devasating to their climate propaganda drive.
Mr. Cook has his own forum section at my forum where as the forum moderator maintains his area that has many articles he has published in various places on the web.


“I most love the part about the oil funding. Do any of these pro-doomsday stories ever look into eco-terrorist funding… no”
But the eco-terrorist’s motives are pure and there fore their funding doesn’t matter.


“All we did was ask of the mainstream media to correct their bias problem…”
I couldn’t find a good quote that sums up the assumption of this article, but this was closest.
The assumption is wrong!
I personally like the rules of the House of Parliament in the UK. It is actually the closest to the ideal of the 1st amendment in the US – more so than the US itself in practice!
There the rule is you have a right to say what you like – subject to minor rules of etiquette, but you do not have the right to make other people listen to you.
I know the rules in journalism are different – at least for papers of record – where you can get letters published to correct inaccuracies. But do you really want somebody like the FCC deciding this kind of stuff – it is a double edged sword?
i.e. Once the FCC becomes that important the activists will infliltrate it.


DR says:
November 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm
@ Davidmoffer
I agree with you in principle, but the hockey stick was the centerpiece of AGW and was used as evidence the 20th century was “unprecedented” warming.
Notice how they rarely bring it up anymore? It has become an embarrassment to them because it is so easily debunked:
Which one? Briffa’s? You mean the one that was based 50% on a single tree in Siberia? The one that is now in question due to more recent work by Briffa? Or did you mean the one by Mann? The one that produces a hockey stick graph no matter what climate data you feed into the computer program?
But frankly, I don’t go with the retort above as often as I used to. Now I look them in the eye and say:
Yes…. and since that was published, temps have gone up by zero. They’ve been going up by zero for 15 years. How much more of this zero temperature increase do you suppose this poor planet can take?
I’ve got a new retort for the arctic ice death chants too. I sucker punch them.
….yeah, the decline in the arctic ice this year was huge, scary in fact. Frightening. You know what part I can’t figure out? The part that I can’t figure out is, with temps cooler than normal in the arctic during the melt season this year, more ice “melted”. Can someone explain that to me? How temps a bit cooler than the average caused above average melting. The melt season would be the part above the blue line in this graph:


Adrian says:
November 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm
Not exactly sure what your argument is in your statement… However the no one here wants the FCC to get in this mess. One because they are insanely activist right now. Two because the fastest, easiest and sanest fix is simply to cut funding. Problem solved. As to the UK parliament rules libel laws do not apply to the parliament when in session? This is news to me… but good news assuming its true.

I propose we start in on another unprecedented event this evening. I believe we should formally form the Union of Concerned Skeptics © and address this and other actionable falsehoods as a group.
Heck, everyone else is doing it, from bots to out right liars on the other side of the fence.
Frankly, I am tired of it being one sided in the MSM. It is just wrong and anyone with a bit of objectivity and some exposue to the facts would certainly understand the skepticism.


I used to watch Nova and Frontline religiously. Every Tuesday night. For many years. Then, in the late 90s, I noticed a big change: both shows were becoming much less substantive and much more sensationalized. Flashy graphics, quick, jarring cuts, silly sound effects, and a lot more talk about feelings and emotions. I stuck with them for a while longer, but by the early 2000s I just could not take it anymore, so I ended my Tuesday night ritual.
I really missed the “old” Nova and Frontline, however, so a few years late I tried to watch an episode of Nova, and was just astounded how bad it was. It was practically ALL sensationalized graphics and hardly any substance. And they even injected racial politics into the show, with one of the hosts complaining about how NASA would not hire him because he was black. True or not, that statement has absolutely no place in science journalism.
I also tired to watch a few episodes of Frontline, and lo and behold, it had also sunk to new lows. In fact, they broke the show up into little tiny bite-size chunks called “Frontline World” which were almost completely devoid of content, completely contradicting the in-depth coverage Frontline used to be famous for.
That was quite enough for me. I turned off PBS and have not watched it since. There is simply no reason whatsoever to watch it, now that they have ruined the two very best shows they have ever produced. Defund them, I say. The last thing they need is my tax money, or any money borrowed from the Chinese commies or printed by the FED. I cannot think of a quasi-government agency more in need of defunding than PBS. (Well, maybe NPR.)
To make matters worse, my formerly favorite science magazine, Science News, went this route also, complete with ads for political candidates, emotional editorials, sensationalized garbage instead of objective reporting on science issues, a pro-AGW stance, etc.–but that’s another story. All of our old, respectable institutions are yielding to sensationalism, if not downright corruption. We are fortunate indeed to have the new media.

Safety Director Study Global warming from Aircraft Carbon Soot. in air and Jet Stream. Coverup of EPA, Congress, and Oil Industries. Weather we are getting in Vermont, 20 degrees at 7 Am, 80 degrees at 3 PM. Solar temperature 120 Degrees. Cause,Sun Heats up Carbon Soot. Their are no Trees at 30,000 Feet to give off Oxygen! Why doesn’t the weather report give the Solar Temperature, because a beach in Florida would read 140 degrees Solar Temperature, What we need is more melanoma. Time we get our heads out of the Sand. I see where nobody talks about the Solar Temperature. Well if the Solar Temperature is 120 degrees at the surface, what is the Solar Temperature at 30,000 feet ln the Jet Stream? 200 degrees? How hot is the Carbon Soot then. It seems the Solar temperature has been increasing, and so is Skin Cancer.


OssQss says:
November 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I propose we start in on another unprecedented event this evening. I believe we should formally form the Union of Concerned Skeptics © and address this and other actionable falsehoods as a group.

I’d like to see somebody set that up–with a verification procedure that lets skeptics add their names and credentials to a list. That list could be tabulated based on scientific attainment and specialty, along with completed degree.
Wouldn’t surprise me if we got more than 30,000 in short order, which would be more than sufficient to stuff the other side’s appeal to authority.

During the Midde Ages the scientific method was dead, except in the islamic world. Those who argue that the Roman Empire never collapsed, that it was merely bequeathed to the Roman Catholic Church have a point well taken in this quarter. Every question of law, politics, and religion was treated as a question of scripture, the authority of scripture. The term is Scholasticism, and modern CarbonTtheology is its reincarnation. That humans are tragically capable of this is a prominent lesson from history. We are also capable of Rationalism. Let’s strive for the latter.

CrF: Frontline says “studies” (plural) in the above response, but in the response to the David L. Hagen letter appearing above mine at the November 5th PBS Ombudsman page, Frontline’s specifically notes that it relied on the study from Anderegg et al. That’s the very same paper that Hagen AND I both pointed out as having a misleading conclusion based on the opinion of 75 of 77 self-identified unnamed “climate scientists”. NOT THOUSANDS of scientists around the world, as has been largely insinuated in reporting of the “97%” figure, only 75 of 77 unnamed climate scientists. What part of the wipeout of this insinuation does Frontline not understand?

Sorry, I wrote a letter to a (yesterday!) friend looking into your claim and the PBS reply. While there is much to dislike about Anderegg et al, it used a larger population. says in part:

We tallied the number of climate-relevant publications authored or coauthored by each researcher (defined here as expertise) and counted the number of citations for each of the researcher’s four highest-cited papers (defined here as prominence) using Google Scholar. We then imposed an a priori criterion that a researcher must have authored a minimum of 20 climate publications to be considered a climate researcher, thus reducing the database to 908 researchers.

The 75 of 77 figure came from the Peter T. Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman papers. I wrote:

This is the more common source for a 97% figure. Maggie Kendall Zimmerman’s master’s thesis polled and from a subset of the respondents came up with 79 publishing climate scientists. The poll had at least these two questions:
1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with 1. The continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age is enough to make that true. Note that 2 makes no mention of CO2. There’s little doubt that changing forests to farms, or orchards to airports has a substantial effect on temperature and precipitation. And that CO2 ought to raise temperatures (my gripe is that CO2 isn’t raising temperatures at the rate some people and the IPCC expect. Still, a few people answered No and some didn’t answer question 2 at all.
“Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2. And that’s where that 97% citation comes from.”
Kendall Zimmerman’s these is available behind a paywall at
The article I took the above quotes from is at
There’s a good summary of this by Barry Woods at he includes several comments received about the survey.


Do you ever wonder why the first two metres of the atmosphere in which we stand and in which we measure climate is always just a little below the temperature of the surface? There is no way that radiation alone could keep it that warm. It is all to do with conduction of energy from the surface into the oxygen and nitrogen molecules which collide with the surface. Click here to see a net energy budget diagram which clearly shows “Conduction and rising air 7%” and “Radiation absorbed by atmosphere 15%” so conduction is far from being negligible. And latent heat (23%) outstrips radiation by more than 50%.
Out of these, only conduction significantly affects those first 2 metres because the energy in the radiation and the latent heat is spread over most of the height of the troposphere, so only a very small portion is released in the first 2 metres.
Climatologists love to use those S-B equations, but have no understanding as to why they are not applicable to the surface. The main reason is that it is not an isolated body insulated from all surrounds and only able to lose energy by radiation.
Indeed the energy transferred by radiation may be determined after conduction and evaporation have played their part. The actual amount of radiation is in fact what we can all calculate using S-B. But by no means is all that radiation actually transferring thermal energy from the surface. More than 60% of such energy has already departed the surface by non-radiative processes. These processes, especially conduction, warm the nearby air, including some radiating molecules. The radiating molecules send backradiation to the surface which supplies EM energy and reduces the amount of thermal energy needed to be drawn from the surface. Hence the rate of cooling by radiation reduces so that the radiation only needs to transfer the remaining energy not already transferred by non-radiative processes.
Because of the huge, unimaginable amount of energy stored in the whole Earth system, oceans, crust, mantle and core, there is a very strong stabilising effect which I explained in detail on this page written last year. At some point in the annual seasonal cycle in each location on Earth, the surface temperature cools down on a cold winter’s night to something close to a “base temperature” supported by all this sub-surface energy. It has nothing to do with the slow net terrestrial heat flow – rather it has to do with the temperature that has been established over billions of years. And it could take perhaps hundreds of thousands of years to make much of a change in that temperature. So this is why I keep saying, the non-radiative cooling processes compensate for any slowing of the radiative cooling processes, so there is no net overall effect.
Only long-term changes in the mean Solar radiative flux reaching the surface can affect climate. These changes do happen naturally, and mankind has no control over such.


Sounds like the whole show could have simply been reduced to a few sentences:
[Cue presenter staring intently at camera.]
“Climate Scientists and politicians! Trust them! They know what they are doing, but it is quite complicated and you wouldn’t really understand it!
Thank you!”
[Cue fade to black, with funeral music.]


You are forgetting that those 77 “scientists” were first extracted from the 300 some-odd self-selected responses received back from the 3500 study-selected “scientists” that were originally asked to answer the survey.
Worse, as I recall, the criteria for “selecting” those 77 “scientists” – whom we assume are actually credentialed somehow – is that ONLY the papers from government-paid “scientists” were used in the search for the citations. (Or, alternatively, once the list of people who passed the cited-papers criteria was known, then only those on the list who were in government-paid positions were selected.) .
So, obviously, government-paid scientists studying government-controlled fields using government-provided money to provide answer “requested” as a result of government-approved research applications will yield results favorable to the government’s future policies and the government’s future tax revenues.
And we STILL don’t know what the other three questions were, nor what the answers were to those three questions!
“Are you willing to lie and subvert the scientific process to advance the CAGW positions that the government wants enacted into law?”
“Are you willing to receive more grant money and larger budgets by supporting the CAGW positions that the government wants to enforce?”
“Are you willing to be hidden from public view and public critique by the government bureacracy while your CAGW positions are forced on the public by fiat and edict and the government bureaucracies?”
“Are you willing to get fired and ridiculed by your superiors in the climate-funding bureacracies of government and academia by adopting or supporting or publishing any form of skeptical views or skeptical papers towards the government’s CAGW positions and statements when we reveal the names of all who did not answer this survey properly and quickly?”


If Front Line was truly interested in disputing the so called “skeptics” viewpoint concerning extreme anthropological warming they would have discussed one of the principal “skeptical” scientific issue which is how does tropical cover cover change in response to forcing changes. The response of tropical cloud cover determines whether the planet amplifies (positive feedback) or resists (negative feedback) the CO2 warming. Lindzen and Choi’s analysis of top of the atmosphere radiation vs changes in ocean surface temperature and the observed warming shows the planet resists forcing changes by increasing or decreasing planetary cloud cover in the tropics thereby reflecting more or less sunlight off in to space. The IPCC general circulation models assumes the net change in planetary cloud (increased water vapor and cloud cover and albedo changes) amplifies CO2 warming. Observations and analysis do not support that assertion.
If Front Line was truly interested in the “skeptics” viewpoint they would discuss the conversion of food to biofuel.,9171,1725975,00.html
EPA’s RFS accounting shows corn ethanol today is worse than gasoline
On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. ….
….we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise.
… We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models (William: The IPCC models) are exaggerating climate sensitivity. (William: IPCC models all assume the planet amplifies the CO2 warming rather than resists warming.)
“The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”,1518,662092,00.html
“Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility.
“It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”
Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.”

ClimateCyclist says November 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm
Do you ever wonder why the first two metres of the atmosphere in which we stand and in which we measure climate is always just a little below the temperature of the surface?

Ouch! Even basic courses in meteorology cover this … I would recommend any of the text books for more on this basic subject (the boundary layer and the conduction heating that takes place. Now, note, with the setting of the sun the surface begins to radiatively cool … it’s how dew forms, and basic texts cover this aspect too).

Gunga Din

temp says:
November 17, 2012 at 5:00 pm
I most love the part about the oil funding. Do any of these pro-doomsday stories ever look into eco-terrorist funding… no. If they did they would find lots of oil and wall street bank money being used to pay for this propaganda. They would also be forced to admit the huge difference in funding levels.
Hmmm….Did you ever see Mad Max or any of the other post-apocalypse movies? A common theme seemed to be that whoever controlled the oil or energy controlled all. Maybe that’s why “Big Oil” is funding the CAGW crowd who are trying to drive us back to the stone age? They’ve watched too many movies?

Heliophysics – NASA recent findings:
This NASA site explains much of what goes on in “solar activity” and also emphasises how much they do NOT know about solar activity … and consequently we know not how solar activity impacts the atmosphere and our “climate”. I have picked out a few salient points from this NASA website ….about the sun and solar system, our atmosphere, and environment.
Solar Dynamics Observatory – At Stanford – Stanford University
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
the structure and composition of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. …Solar flares and coronal mass ejections can disable satellites, cause power grids failure, and …. Images in 10 different wavelength bands, including 9 ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet … In particular, researchers …. magnetic field lines rising up from beneath …
Specific points drawn from the above site:
on page 6 The sun could hold many surprises ….. and DOES.
“The Sun is a variable star,” says Judith Lean of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC. “It could have many surprises in store for us.”
On page 10, in a discussion on the ~11 year solar cycles and the importance of these cycles and their variation:
For some years now, an unorthodox idea has been gaining favor among astronomers. It contradicts old teachings and unsettles thoughtful observers.
“The Sun,” explains Like Guhathakurtha of NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, “is a variable star.”
But it looks so constant! ……
… Some cycles are intense, with many sunspots and solar flares; others are mild, with relatively little solar activity. In the 17th century, (cold – little ice age) the cycle stopped altogether for about 70 years, and no one knows why.” ….
Right now the Sun is in the pits of a century-class solar minimum that almost no one predicted, and no one knows when it will end.
“The solar minimum of 2008-2009 has taken us by surprise,” says David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. “It highlights how far we still have to go to successfully forecast solar activity.”
That’s a problem, because human society is increasingly vulnerable to solar flare ups. Modern people depend on a network of interconnected high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. Smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services, emergency radio communications—they….
and continuing on page 11
….can all be knocked out by intense solar activity. According to a 2008 study by the National Academy of Sciences, a century-class solar storm could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina…..
…“SDO is the Solar Variability Mission,” says Guhathakurta, “and it is going to revolutionize our view of the Sun.”
On page 12 for example, in a discussion on the much vaunted “solar constant” which claims that the sun is not a viable contender “climate changer, and now we have this statement:
To the amazement of many researchers, the solar constant has turned out to be not constant.
“Solar constant is an oxymoron,” says Judith Lean of the Naval Research Lab. “Satellite data show that the Sun’s total irradiance rises and falls with the sunspot cycle by a significant amount.”
At solar maximum, the Sun is about 0.1% brighter than it is at solar minimum. That may not sound like much, but consider the following: A 0.1% change in 1366 W/m2 corresponds to a difference of 1.4 Watts for every square meter of our planet.
“Add it all up and you get a lot of energy,” says Lean. “How this might affect our climate is a mat- ter of—at times passionate—debate.”
The Solar Dynamics Observatory will not make direct measurements of the solar constant. Never- the-less, the observatory’s revolutionary observations of the solar dynamo and extreme-ultraviolet variability could shed new light on this important oxymoron—and perhaps some others as well.
On page 13. UV light waves, especially EUV extent of, and variation of, have a powerful effect on the atmosphere, and therefore also our planet:
During a solar flare, the Sun’s extreme ultraviolet output can vary by factors of hundreds to thousands in a matter of seconds. Surges of EUV photons heat Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing the atmosphere to “puff up” and drag down low-orbiting satellites. EUV rays also break apart atoms and molecules, creating a layer of ions in the upper atmosphere that can severely disturb radio signals.
“EUV is where the action is.” says Woods.
That’s why Woods and colleagues built an extreme-ultraviolet sensor for SDO called the EUV Vari- ability Experiment (“EVE”). “EVE gives us the highest time resolution (10 sec) and the highest spec- tral resolution (< 0.1 nm) that we’ve ever had for measuring the Sun, and we’ll have it 24/7,” he says. “This is a huge improvement over past missions.”
Woods expects EVE to reveal how fast the Sun can change—”we really don’t know,” he points out— and to surprise astronomers with the size of the outbursts.
EVE. AIA. HMI. For the next five years, the Solar Dynamics Observatory will use these instruments to redefine our star and its potential for variability. What unorthodox ideas will they beam back? Old teachings beware!
Page 17: What is Heliophysics a fresh attempt to understand and explore the sun, its activities and effects on us in operation since 2010 (?):
Heliophysics is the exploration of the magnetic variable Sun, its effects on the planets of the solar system including Earth, and space environmental conditions and their evolution.
Page 19 discussion on LWS – Nasa's project, Living with a star.
LWS missions have been formulated to answer specific science questions needed to understand the linkages among the interconnected systems that impact us. These missions will give us a far better understanding of the causes of space weather that can disable satellites, cause power grid failure, and disrupt GPS communications. a particle events that affect the safety of humans.

@ temp who says: By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way that it is we skeptics shooting down evidence, I think we lose an important positional advantage. Our question is where is the evidence in the first place?
And @ davidmhoffer who says: Goes back to the scientific method… it is never on the evil skeptic to prove anything. Add in it only take one piece of evidence to disprove the argument no matter how much evidence supports it.
For actual academics and scientists, yes, we need to focus on the evidence. But for most non-scientists, it doesn’t matter. They don’t know science or scientific methods from a hole in the ground to a black hole. A campaign critic on a talk show today unequivocally listed one main reason republicans lost is their refusal to address and accept climate change as real. (not listing names on purpose). Although a learned man, not stupid by any means, evidence is nothing to him. He believes what has been spoon fed to him–and whatever those evil right wingers believe is wrong because it is. We have lost the propaganda war.
Although we can embarrass a scientist now and again and make them retract papers, and we can laugh as a few of them produce pretzel papers (twisted explanations on why the models failed and the warming is producing cooling, and the carbon from China that was supposed to produce warming is now producing cooling and so on), but in the end, most people listen to parties now and believe what their party leaders say they should believe. They don’t read WUWT, the journals, or climate gate emails, or even the IPCC reports. Most listen to their party of choice and what that party says about WUWT, the journals, climate gate emails, and the IPCC reports. That’s why lying works.
If CO2 is not the driving climate force and as catastrophic to our planet as the alarmists would have us believe, then time is on our side—indeed the increase in pretzel papers are proving it, because time is catching up to their failed predictions and real scientists are compelled to try to explain the failures. But like the population bomb, acid rain that would kill all plant life, and ozone holes burning us up like moths in a flame, AGW will fade like the ice age threats of the 70’s and suddenly few will remember who supported all those “unprecedented” claims.
I demand evidence so that I know I am not one of the ones listening to what “my side” says the others are saying. I know what they are saying. That’s why I read the climate gate emails for hours on end. When someone says to me, “It was a few emails taken out of context” I know that is not true—they were very much in context and a lot worse once you read them.
I think the WUWT followers are a bit brighter than most because they constantly ask for references and “demand” evidence in these pages. I actually think a fantastic book could be written from these pages—one not so much to question science, but to show how questioning science is science and that consensus is politics. And that WUWT followers and contributors are the real scientists of the day.

My heartfelt thanks to Anthony for ALL he does, and for allowing an idiot ordinary citizen like myself to have guest posts at a site populated with vastly more knowledgeable people writing about the actual science. But if I represent one particular thing, it is that ordinary citizens can take the media to task over not explaining why the skeptic side of AGW is dismissed out-of-hand. After all, since those media folks have no more science expertise than I do, what authority do they have in deciding which scientists to ignore? All I’ve ever seen is one side contradicting the other. I have no expertise to declare which side is right, but what sways me is the manner in which the IPCC / Al Gore / AGW promoter side tries so hard to marginalize skeptics in the eyes of the public.
That’s a bass-ackwards tactic, if anyone thinks about it. First, you should show where skeptics’ science conclusions are demonstratively wrong, and then to finish them off, you offer irrefutable proof of their corruption from industry funding. Not ceaseless guilt-by-association accusations. But, when I ask one of the more accessible news outlets out there why they have apparently ignore skeptic scientists, they can’t give me a straight answer, even three years later.
Relentless, I am. For those who haven’t seen it, please check out my initial jab at this back in December 2009: “The lack of climate skeptics on PBS’s ‘Newshour’ ” and then my direct appeal straight to the top of the NewsHour last year: “PBS and Global Warming Skeptics’ Lockout”

By far the biggest confusion is over the pure propaganda “97% number” used in the show. There are two papers that claim to arrive at this bogus statistic. Both are flawed but completely different papers. The Doran paper is the most well known and is quickly debunked showing the 97% to be derived from 75 out of 77 cherry picked “specialists”. The paper used in the show is the Anderegg et al. paper whose methodology is not reproducible due to the Google Scholar illiteracy of the authors,
Search results from Google Scholar cannot be used in scientific studies because Google Scholar is a search engine not a static database and it does include results from only scientific journals. The computer illiterates who authored and reviewed the paper apparently had no idea how worthless their study was.

Lester Via

Scientific arguments stand on their own merits, not on the credentials of those making the presentation. Those that ignore valid scientific evidence that does not support a position that is being presented as being a settled truth, must somehow be punished or such activities based on bad science will continue to have potentially severe consequences. In the case of AGW, the cost to our citizens due to inappropriate energy policies is enormous.
Once AGW is thoroughly discredited as being a major cause of climate change, exchanges like this one, showing how PBS perpetuates bad science, would be a good reason why PBS should be cut off from the public funding it now enjoys. AGW is not the only example of this, as PBS routinely presents the most popular scientific theories from academia as scientific fact. Whenever something is just an unproven theory, no matter how popular it is among scientists, it should be pointed out that it is simply a theory, and not a proven fact, as this results in closed minds on the subject – minds that may otherwise come up with an even better theory.
Likewise, any institution of higher learning now teaching AGW as the major cause of climate change, that can be shown to be ignoring good scientific evidence that doesn’t support the AGW position, thus perpetuating bad science, should be prohibited from receiving tuition from any student using funds from publicly funded student loan guaranty programs.

davidmhoffer says:
November 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm
Spot on. AGW made 5 major predictions resulting from increased CO2.
1. Accelerated temp increase
2. Accelerated sea level rise
3. Increased hurricanes
4. Increased droughts
5. Reduced polar ice.
Simply by chance you would expect some of these things to happen. However, in the case of AGW only 1/2 of point 5 has happened. The rest have failed.
Name one widely held scientific theory that has failed more miserably than AGW in its predictions.

correct point 5 above
5. Reduced polar ice.


disgraceful stuff from PBS, but par for the gatekeepers’ course…
do hope you can add a separate thread for Christopher Booker’s new piece in the UK Telegraph, as this is the first real chance to expose the CAGW MSM gatekeepers, with documented evidence. the BBC will ignore this, unless we can keep the issue out there by every means necessary. delingpole, booker, orlowski et al have done their bit in the UK, but the BBC MUST be forced to address the matter, precisely because they have just outlayed tens of thousands of pounds and spent many years in order to stop tony newbery being given the list:
17 Nov: The BBC’s ‘dirty little secret’ lands it in a new scandal
The truth of a secret meeting that decided BBC policy on climate change has come out online
The seminar’s co-organisers, Roger Harrabin and Joe Smith, were later able to boast that one of the first fruits of their good work was the BBC’s Climate Chaos season, a stream of unashamedly propagandist documentaries, led off with two fronted by Sir David Attenborough which featured a string of ludicrous scare stories.
This was merely the prelude to hundreds of further examples, up to the present day, of how the BBC has abandoned any pretence at honest or properly researched reporting – all in accord with the party line agreed on at that seminar, the nature of which the BBC was so desperate to keep secret.
As with the Savile scandal, there seems no end to the further embarrassments the BBC cover-up has been bringing to light…
i don’t know if this 10 min opening segment leads to the other segments or, indeed, the panel discussion which apparently was included in, or followed, the docu itself. of all attenborough’s works, this is the hardest (for me) to find in full length online, in order to see all credits etc.
nonetheless, your blood will boil watching just the opening. it is evident this was not a documentary requiring time and travel, and it would seem it was just hatched up following the january seminar and rushed out with attenborough narrating a sterile, Discovery-style docu. Discovery Channel was seemingly linked up with the Beeb for some of their propaganda post the Jan seminar:
Can We Save Planet Earth (VARIOUS SEGMENTS)

RACookPE1978 says:
November 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

You are forgetting that those 77 “scientists” were first extracted from the 300 some-odd self-selected responses received back from the 3500 study-selected “scientists” that were originally asked to answer the survey.

No, I haven’t forgotten that.
Cook (hereinafter referred to as you, I assume that’s you) quoted something from Doran, Frontline says they used Anderegg et al, now you’re saying the Doran 77 was derived from the Doran 3,146 respondents to the survey sent to 10,257 Earth scientists.
Anderegg et al culled various lists to come up with their 908 scientists that they reviewed. The two studies are completely different. If Frontline said they relied on Anderegg, I believe that.
It may be that Anderegg wanted to provide support for Doran, it may be Prall, a coauthor of Anderegg’s, wanted to come up with a blacklist or a pillory of climate deniers. Whatever the case, telling Frontline that Anderegg’s paper is junk by reiterating that Doran’s paper is junk only works if you establish a better link between the two.
Explaining why Anderegg’s paper is bad and finding other people who agree took some time last night, but there are several critiques out there to support any favorite points.

ClimateCyclist says:
November 17, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Do you ever wonder why the first two metres of the atmosphere in which we stand and in which we measure climate is always just a little below the temperature of the surface? There is no way that radiation alone could keep it that warm.

Umm, no. However, I delight in some of the differences. At my web page for my Davis VP weather station, I compute both dew point and frost point and always like to note the exponential decay time constant changing when dew or frost begins to form. On really cold, dry nights, the time constant barely changes at all, a sign of just how little water vapor is in sub-zero (sub -20°C) air.
In fact, tonight my wife and I went out for dinner. When we came back, there was frost on the roof of the car, but the air temp was above freezing, so the atmosphere was warmer than the surface. I brought out my IR thermometer, it said the car roof was about 13°F. (I cupped my hands around the thermometer to reduce the reflection of the sky.) Aimed overhead, it said the air temp was -58°F, but soon reported -72°F, I think that happens when the polyethylene lens cools down and doesn’t readiate as much. Those numbers are moderately bogus anyway since the downwelling IR is not a pure S-B curve.
At any rate, some surfaces were 20°F cooler than the air – that’s how we get air inversions to form at night. During the day, at least on sunny days, the car surface can be 50°F hotter than the air temp.
Radiation can move some remarkable amounts of energy, but overall, I think convection moves a lot more. One place where it really shows up are on days when the morning temperature zooms upward until the inversion washes out and then convection caps the temperature. Even better are days when the atomosphere can mix well (the entire column of air tracks the adiabatic lapse rate. Then the mixing throughout the atmosphere really caps the afternoon temperature until the Sun gets too low to keep up with radiative loss from the surface.
Umm, wouldn’t this fit better in the Open Thread than in a post about PBS?

Anthony: I am sure someone has proposed this, but I will say it anyway just in case. I would have liked some advance notice that you were going to do the 24 hour TV program, It was educational, and I expect you will do more of these in the future. You could ask us to promote it. Perhaps you could write up or have one someone write up an ad promoting the next TV show. I would donate $$ to that cause, to help get the message out and I will post in in FB and other forums such as some of the nuclear conversations in LinkedIn. WUWT does good work, which should be promoted.

Latimer Alder

You say

By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way that it is we skeptics shooting down evidence, I think we lose an important positional advantage. Our question is where is the evidence in the first place?

Absolutely right. I have found it to be very productive in both blog and F2F discussions to just keep on asking ‘show me the evidence’.
Treat it as if you are a defence lawyer. No need for getting into personal stuff or quotation from authority or all that junk – highly enjoyable though it can be. Keep on digging – and make sure that you study the evidence enough to discuss it sensibly. Do not be frightened by references to academic journals….you can get a good sense of what was done from the abstract and details from the body Read it, learn it and think about it. Use common sense and ask sensible questions. If you don’t understand something, ask the correspondent to explain it…they cited it as supporting their case, so they ought to be able to explain how it does so.
Important note: It is a bad idea to advance own theory of climate. That is merely inviting the alarmists to use the same tactics in reverse.
Carry on doing this often enough and you’ll find, as did I, that there really is very very little evidence for any of the whole shooting match of alarmism. And what little there is is totally circumstantial.
Stick to the true idea of ‘scepticism’…and keep on asking ‘show me’.

They play with words as often as they play with themselves when they dissemble and deceive.
There are tobacco and fossil fuel funds listed in the BBC pension portfolio.
Top 10 with £M invested:
01) Vodafone 82.40
02) GlaxoSmithKline 76.18
03) British American Tobacco 63.65
04) BG Group 58.94
05) BP 55.71
06) Baidu 54.98
07) Royal Dutch Shell 52.83
08) Amazon 51.02
09) AstraZeneca 50.61
10) Imperial Tobacco 48.09
2x the evil weed and 3x dirty fuel. Funny that.
Also note the free world’s search engine of choice at #6.


Below is why they refuse to acknowledge that the ‘theory’ is in shambles and will do whatever it takes to keep it going.

FL Response:…………….As Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences and an atmospheric scientist told us in the film, scientists have been trying to shoot down evidence of man-made climate change for years, and they have not succeeded.

Response: Phil Jones, Director of CRU
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

FL RESPONSE: We confirmed that Exxon did give to Soon’s department. In an interview in Reuters, Soon acknowledged that he had received funding,…….

Response: Exxon-Led Group Is Giving A Climate Grant to Stanford
Four big international companies, including the oil giant Exxon Mobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research…………….In 2000, Ford and Exxon Mobil’s global rival, BP, gave $20 million to Princeton to start a similar climate and energy research program.

Response: Berkeley scientist publishes research without peer review, sparks controversy
The Charles Koch Foundation, responsible for funding a portion of the project, has likewise been linked to groups that have contested climate change in the past.

Response: History of the Climatic Research Unit
From the late 1970s through to the collapse of oil prices in the late 1980s, CRU received a series of contracts from BP to provide data and advice concerning their exploration operations in the Arctic marginal seas. Working closely with BP’s Cold Regions Group,………
Acknowledgements…..British Petroleum,…..Shell,……World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)

FL RESPONSE: …….Our independent reporting confirmed that some of the same people and organizations who worked on raising doubt about climate science also worked on behalf of tobacco companies.

BBC Pension investments in oil and tobacco companies

This 1 link should be enough to cast a “Climate of Doubt”

PBS are committing the cardinal mistake of ‘discussing’ the (lack of) science. The new way forward is to act as if the fait is truly accompli and move on to the other harms that should frighten the unwashed – ocean acidification, sustainability, sea levels, ice, blah, blah… treating global warming as gospel and praying from the same hymnbook as the rest of the (extremely well) paid recidivist lapdogs.


If anyone from Frontline is reading this I have 2 questions:
1) How many years of a lack of warming will it take for you to question AGW projections of temperature rise for the rest of this century? 17 years? 20 years? 25 years? 30years? 35 years? (It’s not an issue of starting and ending point it’s because for 16 years co2 continues up and during that time temperature has not responded).
2) Where is the hot spot in the troposphere?
These two questions, among others, are crucial because every theory has to have a way of it being falsified.

As Frontline is playing with words, in other words opinions, which are for free, hence the media frenzy to impress. As it is about data in science, science MAY convince.


OssQss says:
November 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm
actually, I’ve thought about the same kind of thing many times. But I don’t think skepticism should be in the title at all. I think the organisation title needs to have ‘truth’ or ‘honest’ or ‘open minded’ in it somewhere. Sure, skepticism is the ACCEPTED truth and ‘way to go’ within (real) science – but the media have put paid to that being an ‘honourable’ standpoint!
I’d settle for something like ‘Open Science Organisation or Open Science Club’
It would be interesting to set up such an organisation – but just setting the ground rules is quite complex. For example, I’d suggest a dual status membership to specifically avoid things like Kenji becoming a paid up member! I dunno, it sounds like a class system, but it needs to be there – those with degrees and higher degrees, should be recorded seperately to those who are not so qualified (?). In order to have credibility, you have to have standards and they need to be open and transparent and understood/accepted by all.
there are many advantages to having ‘non qualified’ members too – many folk of the same ilk can sometimes be unable to step back and take an alternative view – so I do think any such organisation needs to have an ‘open’ membership category. (in the UK, we usually have ‘associate memberships’ to cover such things).
If there is enough genuine interest in providing an open scientifically based ‘club’ or society, I would certainly be willing to help set it up, prepare rules and constitution, etc.
Perhaps Anthony could set up a poll to see if the readers have any such interest?
My personal interest/goal, would be to see enough members to make the Oregon petition look like smallfry! – and with a transparent membership that cannot be ‘dismissed’ as invalid or ‘made up’. Of course, the interesting thing would be that all scientists would also be allowed ‘in’ and so eventually, one would hope that some alarmists are in there and having to defend their stance/science against the real scientific community, instead of just their ‘team’! But it must not be anti-AGW or anything like that – hence the OPEN or OPEN MINDED part of the title. Sure, itprobably sounds a bit idealistic – but in truth, I do believe that a large number of people really want such an organisation to stand up for real science again, especially since the recognised bodies have mostly become AGW repeating shills!
I am curious to know what others think?

Gail Combs

Paul Westhaver says:
November 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm
…..I propose a reference page/ database of all the news writers on climate and your objective assessment of them as competent, biased, or wackie. (another project)
Bad idea WUWT does not want to be seen as passing judgements on individuals but on their science. A small but crucial point. Facts not ad hominems

Here’s Wikipedia’s list of the surveys of climate scientists. It has some value:'_views_on_climate_change
Here’s something I’ve posted before regarding surveys. (If my speculation is wrong, please pipe up and let me know):
Here’s the counter to that argument from consensus: I speculate that the majority of the alarmed “climate scientists” in those 97% surveys are not specialists in the CAUSES of climate change (attribution), but in the impacts of and remedies for such change. Their opinion that the cause of global warming is CO2 carries no more weight than that of any other non-climate scientist. It a was slick equivocation, highly successful until now, for the pollsters to use “climate scientist” in two senses to impute expertise in climate-change causation to a group of “climate scientists” that lack it. It was unethical to have kept this sample-bias in the background or under the rug. The “consensus” might be mostly an artefact, the product of CON-CENSUSes.
The surveys showing a high consensus on an anthropogenic cause of global warming restricted their sample to scientists with the highest number of publication on the topic (one survey set the bar at 20 articles with the word “climate” in each). Who won’t usually fit this profile? Scientists who study the causes of global warming, primarily chemists, physicists, and atmospheric specialists. (Modelers are a borderline case.) Their findings and cogitations are based on hard (difficult) science, which ought to reduce their publication rate to far below that of biologists and environmentalists who write about possible impacts or remedies.