Is it a failure to communicate, or faulty climate science?


Guest essay by Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times.

Earlier this month, a New York Times article by Andy Revkin voiced concern over a gap between “the consensus” of climate scientists and public acceptance of the theory of human-caused global warming. Revkin pointed to a study published in April by Dr. John Cook and other researchers, which claimed that 97 percent of scientific papers over the last decade “endorsed the consensus” of man-made warming. But is it a failure to communicate the science to the public, or a case of bad science?

A 2010 paper from the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University recommended that advocates for activist climate policies emphasize the dangers to the health of citizens: “Successfully reframing the climate debate in the United States from one based on environmental values to one based on health values…holds great promise to help American society better understand and appreciate the risks of climate change…” So, if Americans fear for their health, then they’ll more readily accept that humans are causing dangerous climate change?

Climate science has smelled for some time. The 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announced “new evidence” claiming that “the increase in temperature in the 20th century was likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years.” This was the famous “Hockey Stick Curve” of Dr. Michael Mann, which became an icon for Climatism, trumpeted to the world and taught in schools across the globe.

But the tree-ring data used by Mann and his research team did not show a temperature rise at the end of the 20th century, so they pasted the thermometer record for the last 50 years onto the 1,000-year curve to provide the alarming hockey stick temperature rise. Later analysis by Stephen McIntyre and Dr. Ross McKitrick found that the Mann algorithm would also produce a hockey stick from input of random noise. The IPCC dropped the Mann Curve from their 2007 Fourth Assessment Report without any explanation.

Then in November 2009 came Climategate, the release of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia University. An unidentified hacker or whistle-blower downloaded more than 1,000 documents and e-mails and posted them on a server in Russia. The CRU is the recognized leading keeper of global temperature data, and CRU scientists wrote and edited the core of the IPCC reports.

The Climategate emails showed CRU practices that were seriously at odds with accepted scientific procedure. Evidence of bias, data manipulation, deliberate deletion of emails to avoid sharing of information, evasion of freedom of information requests, and attempts to subvert the peer-review literature process were all used to further the cause of human-made global warming.

Based on model projections, the IPCC First Assessment Report of 1990 told the world to expect a “best estimate” rise of 0.3oC per decade in global temperatures, leading to 2025 temperatures that would be 1oC higher than 1990 temperatures. The IPCC also projected a “high estimate” and a “low estimate” rise. Today, global temperatures remain well below the IPCC’s low estimate. Contrary to model projections, temperatures have been flat for the last 15 years.


It doesn’t matter if 97 percent or even 100 percent of published papers endorse the consensus of man-made warming. One hundred percent of the world’s top climate models, 44 models in all, projected a rise in global surface temperatures over the last 15 years. And 100 percent of the climate models were wrong. The empirical data does not support the theory of dangerous man-made climate change.

Since global temperatures are not rising, proponents of man-made climate change are now reduced to weather scaremongering. In the best tradition of ambulance chasing, the recent severe tornado in Oklahoma, Hurricane Sandy, and other weather events are blamed on mankind’s relatively small contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide, a trace gas.

But any citizen who can read can learn that today’s weather is not abnormal. Hurricane Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane that made a direct hit on New York City. But according to the National Climatic Data Center, 170 hurricanes made US landfall during the 20th century. Fifty-nine of these were Category 3 or better, with wind speeds much stronger than those of Sandy. So how is a single Category 1 hurricane “evidence” of dangerous climate change? Historical data also shows that the US experienced more strong tornados in the 1960s and 1970s than today.

The reason for lukewarm public acceptance of the theory of man-made warming is not a failure to communicate, but that the science is rotten.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.


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Pushing that global warming will harm our health is a joke. We have Obama care to take care of us!

Bill H

Simply put and well thought out… Very nice!
Linking to it from other places! this is one that will allow even the most unscientific person a glimpse into the world of the alarmists mirrors..

Spot on! What I love best is that people are waking up to it. I’m talking regular “person on the street not interested in science” types. Everyone is beginning to see through the manipulation and scaremongering, and it’s happening the world over. Wonderful stuff. 🙂


Making a value claim in defense of global warming is completely irrelevant, considering most people’s arguments are based on the knowledge claim that we can’t know what causes the Earth to warm or by how much the Earth will warm.

What’s truly ironic is that most of the global warming crowd are also big on conspiracy as an explanation of most horrific events, but fail to see the obvious conspiracies prevalent in the
AGW crowd..

Here’s the graph pitting the 44 climate models against reality.

“Dr. John Cook”?
His CV, available here, says that he is “John Cook, B.Sc.H.” and he got that Bachelor’s degree in 1989.

Sean Peake

Revkin is a hack.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

What we have here is a failure to pontificate.


Wow this is all happening very fast much faster in MSM than I ever thought! I still think it will take another 2 or 3 years for AGW to complete disappear as an issue. I expect that MSM editors will now start looking back at all the stuff we have been reading about here and other skeptical sites and getting into a real interesting story. I would not be surprised to see CRU and Penn staff involved in this (AGW) disappear into oblivion within the next few months. I would expect nearly all the “Climate Science” Departments in Australian Universities to be phased out as well. The Liberal government will speed up the process considerable my pennies worth. BTW, don’t expect the real heroes such as WUWT, CA, Vent, Jo anne Nova to be mentioned to much in MSM as the actual “changers” (in fact its the weather/climate that is the real hero). After all most warmistas probably believed they were correctly motivated and will simply say oops sorry!, and now they find the theory was wrong! LOL


AGW alarmist have to keep probability in mind when telling a lie. The 97 per cent consensus is just like the free and democratic elections in the “democratic republics” of this world where the present leadership gets 99.999 per cent of the votes against the token opposition. Cook should have just cook the statistics to around 55 to 70 per cent to be more realistic and acceptable. Second, most voters are now fully aware that the inherent nature of natural science such as climate science is against consensus. The monitoring data and experimental results counts. A 97 per cent consensus or even 99.9999 per cent consensus does not mean anything. Third, the search for consensus has only exposed that AGW is not about science but about politics and should be treated like a political issue . Fourth, and the most important factor is the economic conditions in the Annex I countries of the UNFCCC. The extra $300 per person per year additional cost of power and energy would mean little if work and future income is assured and increasing. With historic level of bankruptcies and unemployment in the Annex I countries and in some instances leading to suicide, riots and social unreast , the $300 would mean a lot. The voters have more present and pressing problems than 1 C raise in temperature or 400 ppm of carbon dioxide. Lastly, politicians to survive and promote their careers have to assess the voters’ attitude. Hence, it is not surprising for politicians to change their views on AGW as they assess the voters’ attitude. How could politicians justify the additional cost of energy and power, losing international competitiveness, shrinking manufacturing and industrial sectors and with large number of voters without work or uncertain with their future financial security ? What is important in the current debate is to plug the way for potential re-emergence of AGW or even global cooling in the political arena. Unlike the Y2K scare, AGW or global cooling have longer time scale or even open ended that it will not pass away easily.We are too early for a Y21 scare– the year 2100 is divisible by 4 but will not be a leap year so computers will automatically add a day that could cause the end of the world just like those predicted by the Y2K bug.

Rud Istvan

Eliza, hope you are right, but expect you are wrong. Too much financial inertia. Fight against!

Jack Maloney

Just curious: I know there is a Dr. John S. Cook at U Queensland, but his biography doesn’t quite match up with that of the SkS blogger. Is the John Cook of Cook et al. (2013) the same person as John Cook of SkS? And is he truly a “Dr.”?

Pat Frank

Michael Mann didn’t get his original two hockey sticks (MBH98 and MBH99) by grafting the temperature record on to the end of his tree ring series. Steve McIntyre has corrected this misperception a number of times.
Mann got his original hockey sticks by promoting the White Mountain strip bark bristlecone-pine tree-ring record up into PC1 using his false short-centering scheme. His unwritten and faked assertion is that a few strip-bark pine trees in the White Mts. of California are an accurate proxy thermometer for 600 years (MBH98) and 1000 years (MBH99) of global average surface air temperatures.
Quite apart from the garbage method, the promotion of tree rings into Celsius absent a physical theory is pseudo-science to the max. It’s like Astrology decorated with linear algebra. The worst of it is that this abuse has been accepted without protest by the Physics establishment. It’s his offense but their shame.
Given Steve McIntyre’s revelations, the contents of Michael Mann’s ‘back to 1400 CENSORED’ directory make it abundantly clear that he knew his method was false. But he published anyway, and has gone on to receive honors; the opposite of what he merits.

And another thing (from my May 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm comment):
Cook’s degree, which he does state properly further down in his CV is a plain B.Sc. The with honors thing is not part of the degree (usually stated as B.SC. with honors in X). The University of Queensland does not offer a B.Sc.H. degree. Cook made it up to aggrandize himself.

Jack Maloney says:
May 29, 2013 at 6:34 pm
Just curious: I know there is a Dr. John S. Cook at U Queensland, but his biography doesn’t quite match up with that of the SkS blogger. Is the John Cook of Cook et al. (2013) the same person as John Cook of SkS? And is he truly a “Dr.”?

John Cook of SkS is the same as Cook et al. (2013). And no, he’s not a doctor as my post above indicated. He’s has a three-year undergrad in basic science with a Physics major. And judging from this, looks like he’s going for his masters in psychology, due 2014.

Olaf Koenders

Center for Climate Change Communism..


Good article. Glad to see you agree there is a consensus.

What is it, when Alarmists try to scare people into doing what they desire? Science, or the behavior of a playground bully?
If it was science, then a reasonable and scientific response would suffice. However a reasonable and scientific response has been given, and the return is just more bluster.
One gets the impression one is dealing with a bully, in which case the appropriate response is never to back down, but rather to go toe to toe, eye to eye, and scare them right back.

William McClenney

Well said.
In terms of science, the problem humanity faces now, and in the 21st century, and for probably some time beyond, has almost nothing to do with climate science, but with the science of consensus:
Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities
PHYSICAL REVIEW E 84, 011130 (2011)
“We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc ≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion.”
Until humanity evolves beyond the easily duped hominid, this problem will not only occur, but recur……

john robertson

I expect in the future, historians will concede that the team communicated their shoddy science very well.


A large fraction of the public also used to doubt the cancer-cigarette link and currently doubts the theory of evolution. Is that because the science is weak or is it because there is an organized and well-funded and/or motivated opposition to the implications of the science?

Mike Bromley the Kurd near the Green Line

(In keeping with a theme of mine) The very fact that there’s a “Center for Climate Change Communication” tells us that 1) there are people who think that such a place is a valid way to spend funding dollars; 2) that those people are a hubris-packed lot of scare-mongers if they think that climate change should be presented as an alarming situation; 3) that those people have zero grasp of the real world, choosing instead to sit on committees that actually discuss the content of 1 and 2…and present ‘results’ that they somehow believe to be important stuff for public consumption. Do they really think that anybody gives a rat’s arse about their contrived babblings???? Holy hannah what has this “science” been reduced to? Nobody cares, so let’s scare the bejesus out of them instead? What utter lunacy.


I’ve been putting Australian climate scientists down on this forum for some time, however in the past Australian scientist have been BRILLIANT and here is one that that explains in 15 minutes clearly the whole issue absolutely!

a REAL climate scientist who thinks in 1000’s of years which is “climate change” I think most meteorologist would agree…. enjoy


I should point out that Prof Plimer is a geologist but because of that he is a real “climate Scientist” Climate change equal 1000’s if not 100’000 years change..

it is perhaps a bit dangerous, especially now, to throw away all climate science
the current problem the world is facing is not that of warming but that of cooling…
My above results show a clear pattern emerging every 88 years, in an AC wave,
looking at energy-in, 44 years of warming followed by 44 years of cooling.
Danger from global cooling is documented and provable.
It really was very cold in 1940′s….The Dust Bowl drought 1932-1939 (due to a change in the direction of the winds) was one of the worst environmental disasters of the Twentieth Century anywhere in the world. Three million people left their farms on the Great Plains during the drought and half a million migrated to other states, almost all to the West.
It looks we have only ca. 7 “fat” years left (2013 – 88 = 1925), probably even less.


Where have we heard this “bad science” claim to justify ignoring the majority of the scientists in favor of a minority of ideologically-driven dissenters? Maybe places like here: ?
By the way, the attribution on the graph shown as “IPCC, Evans 2012” is not correct. If you follow back to the original source, you’ll find that Evans took a prediction from the 1st IPCC report that was presented as simply an average rate for the whole century and assumes (with no justification whatsoever) that the IPCC meant their prediction to be simply a straight line, i.e., that he could assume this rate for the first 25 years. And, there is in fact considerable evidence, in later reports (if not already in the 1st report), that they were actually predicting rates at what is labeled as the “IPCC, low estimate” (which is 0.2 C per decade), or even lower, over the time period shown. For example, the IPCC Third Assessment Report said ( ):

On timescales of a few decades, the current observed rate of warming can be used to constrain the projected response to a given emissions scenario despite uncertainty in climate sensitivity. This approach suggests that anthropogenic warming is likely to lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2°C per decade over the next few decades under the IS92a scenario, similar to the corresponding range of projections of the simple model used in Figure 5d.

There are also problems with the graph by Christy linked to in this post, including questionable (and unexplained) methods of aligning the empirical data with the model predictions and using the satellite LT data in preference to the surface temperature data that the models are actually predicting.

Tom J

Trying to invoke climate change as a health issue really gets my blood on boil. Every single stinking thing about that insidious effort (I did say it gets my blood on boil, didn’t I?) will prove to have the exact opposite effect on people’s health.
First, let’s start with electricity and consider how every CO2 mitigation policy has led to electric rates that “necessarily skyrocket.” No one disputes this. So how the hell does the elimination of low cost electricity positively impact health outcomes? How? Explain it? How many people with lung disease or heart problems are on medical oxygen? Those home oxygen concentrators are electrical hogs as are the pumps attached to them that, over 1-2 hours, can fill oxygen travel tanks all the way up to 2,000 psi. Yeah, raise the electrical rates for that. And then ask the elderly, those with asthma, cardiac issues, and lung problems to give up there Air Conditioning unless they can maybe grow magic fairy money trees in their living rooms to pay those skyrocketing, fraudulent, earth saving electrical bills. Then let’s tell the elderly and those on disability to give up their cars and either languish at home or wait out in the wind on a bus corner when it’s five below outside. That’ll be good for the old heart. No problems with bronchospasm with that one.
Isn’t it fascinating how their pre-industrial fairy tail natural Garden of Eden had such bang up great health outcomes, eh? No famines, no plagues, just real long predictable life spans, eh? I think not.
Yeah, they wanna’ bring up bald faced lies about negative health impacts from make-believe global warming, well I say, bring it up.


Ryan says: May 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm
“A large fraction of the public…currently doubts the theory of evolution” —
OK, Ryan: Are we plebians dumb because we doubt that there is a theory of evolution, or are we dumb because we do not buy, on faith, that “the” theory is accurate?
Upon what obvious data should we accept “the” theory of evolution?
Has it been “scientifically” demonstrated, or observed? Where have we witnessed a chromosome being added? Nowhere.
It is time for us scientific empiricists to be honest and admit that the theory of evolution is just that: a theory. It is nowhere near “truth,” as far as “science” might test and support a claim of “truth.”
“Evolution” is quite handy for us scientists to claim that everyone should throw off the shackles of repressive religious dogma. And switch allegiance to us educated elites, who should now take over Rome in ruling the world.
Many scientists are finally realizing that the ever-changing “theory” of evolution is quite a slippery tautology. The giraffe has a long neck because – get this – it was advantageous to have a long neck. Circular? Like an orbit. Disprovable? Nope.

William McClenney

HenryP says:
May 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm
The problem here is the assumption that it will be climate business as usual. What if climate business as usual actually IS usual?
At the half-precessional old Holocene, and a few centuries change, there is a 7 in 8 chance that with the sun gone all quiet on us, and insolation remarkably close to that at the end-Eemian, we could slope-off into the next glacial.
Climate business as usual informs us that there is actually a 1 in 2 chance. MIS-1, the Holocene, is the 3rd post-Mid Pleistocene Transition (MPT) interglacial to occur at an eccentricity minima, like MIS-11 and MIS-19 did. MIS-11 went long (that 8th interglacial, smack dab in the middle of post-MPT time). MIS-19 didn’t (it occurred pretty much at the MPT).
So if CO2 is the heathen devil gas it is made out to be, then we had better get right on removing it from the late Holocene (MIS-1) atmosphere. Heaven forbid we extend this latest post-MPT eccentricity minimum interglacial via the dark side of the supposed climate forc(ing)……
Because if we leave the climate security blanket up there too long (that would be 4,000 years or so), climatista’s will simply continue to breed. Which from a genetic perspective might not be such a good thing……
Sirocko, et al, 2005, (A late Eemian aridity pulse in central Europe during the last glacial inception, nature, vol. 436, 11 August 2005, doi:10.1038/nature03905, pp 833-836. ) in discussing the Late Eemian Aridity Pulse (LEAP) at the end-Eemian:
“Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..”
“The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”
It really does not get any more complex, or for that matter simpler, than that right there.
Just sayin’


It’s going to be hilarious to watch climate scientists scramble to be part of that evil “3%” minority that aparently doesn’t advocate CAGW theory, once the excrement hits the turbine…
CAGW grant whores have painted themselves into a very tight corner, but they’ll be happy to tiptoe out on the backs of Hansen, Mann, Jones, Pachauri et al if it will help save their jobs and tenure.
The MSM will feign to be, “Shocked, SHOCKED! to find gambling being done in this establishment”, and will probably blame the whole mess on scientists that perhaps meant well, but simply made some “honest mistakes” along the way….
Regardless, the world must stop wasting $trillions on this CAGW scam. It doesn’t really matter whether CAGW ends kicking and screaming or with a whimper, it only matters that ends as soon as possible before more economic devastation can be inflicted.

Eric Anderson

Whatt’s with Revkin? Sometimes he seems almost rational. Then he turns around and does something like point to Cook’s “study” as evidence. Doesn’t he bother to do basic fact checking before writing his articles? He’s been misled so many times by climate activists and had to backtrack that at some point you’d think his BS Meter would be a little more attuned to alarmist nonsense when he hears it.

RE: Mike Bromley the Kurd near the Green Line says:
May 29, 2013 at 8:12 pm
Well said.
One thing that the people you describe as “those people have zero grasp of the real world, choosing instead to sit on committees that actually discuss the content of 1 and 2…and present ‘results’ that they somehow believe to be important stuff for public consumption,” fail to understand is that they as sitting on the shoulders of others, and Atlas can shrug.
They seem primarily concerned with preserving their position. They cling to the status quo and fear all change and progress. This isn’t so bad if they are just a grumpy old man who doesn’t like new-fangled things like computers because he has lived his whole life without them, and “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” however resisting change is downright repulsive when it fights progress that could better humanity, and instead actively and intentionally keeps the downtrodden todden down.
What happens when they “win” is that their society atrophies and becomes backwards, and eventually they and their stagnant ilk are swept away by the rushing winds of progress.
What is so insidious about the Alarmists is that go in the guise of liking change, and progress, and dubbed themselves “liberal,” until they made that good word a dirty word, whereupon they doffed a new hat and called themselves “progressive,” until that too is now becoming a dirty word. All along, when you study their behavior, you see the starving keep starving, and the oppressed are oppressed worse, when they aren’t actually “purged.”
The hope is these selfish and destructive people become so atrophied they become unable to help themselves. History seems to show they always get swept away. Sometimes the wind comes from outside their society, and a Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun charges in and they find themselves too weak to resist, and sometimes a violent internal revolution results in them led to the guillotines, but sometimes the change comes more peacefully. Unfortunately even in the case of Martin Luther King and Gandhi some violence seems to occur, but it is far less than one might expect.
Because I have rubbed elbows with some wealthy people in my time, I have seen what love of money (and clinging to a status quo) can do to people. They have no idea how absurd and pathetic they look to others, nor comprehend the life they are missing out on.
What a miserable lot they are.

William McClenney

Eric Anderson says:
May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm
“A key feature in both these models is that once an individual adopts the new state, his state remains unchanged at all subsequent times.”


“A large fraction of the public also used to doubt the cancer-cigarette link and currently doubts the theory of evolution”
Funny you should say that since that reminds me how Ancel Keys, by pushing the fat scare, managed to hide the immediate problem of cigarette smoking, heart decease. That became the accepted science for almost 40 years and while people ate more carbs and less butter to stay healthy, heart decease remained high even while the general population dramatically reduced cigarette smoking. Was that bad science, yes it was. Consensus on health effects reducing fat and increasing carbs was perhaps even stronger than on man made global warming.
And to make connection with theory of evolution, I would like to quote John Shelby Spong: “Religion is always in the ‘control business, and that is something people don’t really understand; it’s in a guilt-producing control business.”. Yes, Americans doubt the theory of evolution to a scary degree because religion is involved but I would like it if you could support your other claim somehow.

Eric Anderson says: May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm

[…] Doesn’t [Revkin] bother to do basic fact checking before writing his articles? He’s been misled so many times by climate activists and had to backtrack that at some point you’d think his BS Meter would be a little more attuned to alarmist nonsense when he hears it.

I suspect that Revkin is profoundly challenged by what’s known as “confirmation bias”. Unfortunately, 97% of journalists (and others) whose output is indicative of this particular challenge have also been shown to have non-functional (if not unequivocally atrophied) BS meters.

Henry@William McClenney
heat + HCO3- => CO2 (g) + OH-
(note : there are giga tons of bicarbonate in the oceans
What is expressed in my equation is that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere follows the warm periods, it does not cause warming, e.g.
The ice age trap which will be due to a) an accumulation of snow and ice NH and b) more clouds in the ocean rich SH, so that overall, there is whole lot less energy coming in.
I count on man’s ingenuity not to fall in that ice age trap .
I am thinking of using some chemicals or methods to melt the ice and to cover the snow so that not too much light is being deflected off from earth. I think we will be able to do something.

So, if Americans fear for their health, then they’ll more readily accept
Flat out shouting that they are Fear Mongers and nothing more.
What’s got their panties in a bunch is that folks are just not scared by the weather… You can scare folks a little bit, for a little while, but then some Really Big Real Deal comes along and makes you look all pipsqueak like… Heck, just the IRS “managing” Obamacare is more frightening. Maybe we need to call it
So folks are ranking their “concern” about a nearly immeasurable touch warmer, with a bit less ice and longer growing seasons as somewhere down below warts and corns. Frankly, I don’t think it rates even that high. (I’d rank it about the same as running out of Louisiana Hot Sauce and “only” having Mexican Red and Green, along with some good Texas Hot BBQ Sauce…)
Folks have pretty much figured out it’s a “non-issue”, even if they DO think it is real. As the Warmistas push ever more panic ridden “stuff”, they just drive their credibility into the ditch that much faster…

At the risk of feeding Trolls….

The evolution bait has been cast, and at least one person has hit the chum…
Yes, Evolution is “only a theory”; but a darned good one that covers most of the changes of life post bacteria. (It still has some issues with the origin of life, but it’s being worked out).
Now that whole “origin” part has two recent realizations:
1) It isn’t necessary to fit “origin” into the time cycle of the Earth. Things form in space, too. So the first bacteria to form might well have done so many Billions of years ago, on some space lumps.
2) While the evolutionists have painted themselves into a “stupid corner” by defining hybrids between species as “not a species”; in fact, interspecies hybrids are likely the way we get added chromosomes and chromosome count changes. There is a very large literature on this (mostly in plants where polyploidy is nearly the norm…) and on the probability that viruses moved (and are still moving) large chunks of genetic material around between species. Most likely, Humans are an interspecies hybrid in origin.
Certainly modern humans are an interspecies hybrid of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Cromagnon. (Check out the “triangle of Wu” for a good introduction to interspecies hybrids leading to dozens of new species with very different chromosome counts… and realize that Brussels Sprouts only came into existence recently as a “sport” – i.e. as a random act of natural mutation and change…)
So, in fact, we’ve seen lots of “new chromosomes” created. Often from chunks of old ones. Sometimes via whole gene set duplications (polyploidy) and then differential mutation on the different sets. There are also a zoo of “mobile bits” of genes. All kinds of names. Transposons and inversions and more. Nature constantly reshuffles the deck of chromosomes and makes more / takes some away. Then tests the result. Blue eyes in humans is a relatively new innovation. Traceable back to one mutation event.
Add to that the FACT that it isn’t a “species barrier” and is more of a ‘species strong suggestion’ and all sorts of evolutionary “leaps” are easily explained. We see this each year with Flu strains and which bacteria picked up what genes from others (Oh, and different individuals in a population also can have different chromosome counts. Even humans do that… so there are many different sets of genes and even different chromosome counts inside one species all being re-mixed. Some sheep have different counts than others, and goats can cross with sheep, despite different chromosome counts. Season with transgenic gene splicing via viruses and stir… (It is likely that the change from egg laying to placental live birth is due to some virus genes…)
OK, having thoroughly fed the trolls… the final point I’d make is just how flat out stupid it is to contend that evolution is contrary to Biblical creation. Just who all do you think you are to put limits on how God chooses to do creation? Did you never think that maybe a God could be crafty enough to create evolution and turn it loose on a base set of “stuff”, then watch the show? “Adaptive Programming” is fun. Now IF I’ve figure that out, I’d expect a supreme being to have figured it out too… So, IMHO, the whole idea of setting creation as being in opposition to evolution is just a false dichotomy to begin with; based on hubris. (In the original Darwin, Origin Of Species, there is a reference to God. Folks in that time thought themselves as elucidating how God did His work…. The reference was removed from latter editions…)
So can we just drop the whole “creation vs. evolution” pointless argument? It can be BOTH (or might be neither – who knows, advanced space aliens with only a bit more genetic skill than we already have might well have “created” our zoo of critters just for fun… We are making mice with human genes in them and growing ears on their backs… and making Ligers and more…)
The simple fact is that the Bible doesn’t preclude evolution; nor does evolution preclude a Supreme Being Creator (or even bored space aliens…); we simply read the story in too limited a fashion at times. So what’s the point of all the mud tossing? Just two sides with inflated self image and too narrow a world view arguing for their relatively over restrictive POV. Most of the “proofs” or “issues” each side flings at the other are simply wrong. Evolution has lots of holes in it, but the core is demonstrable. Creation is not contrary to evolution. We see evolution in action, it clearly is real and happens. Yet getting life started the first time is a bit hard to work out. (Possible, though, especially with the extra billions of years afforded by life in space, and more so with the idea of a large puddle of life that only later works out cell walls and individual living cells…) So might the first cell have been “created” then the rest is “left as an exercise for the planet”? Certainly. Then we get a 4000 year old “story” trying to describe that and picture an old man with a beard making each duck by hand… Just silly.
So we don’t know how life started. That means that until we do, any theory is possible. Both the theory of a divine creator (though that raises the ‘who made the watchmaker’ problem) and the theory of long random chemistry (though might not the creator have made those rules of chemistry and set it loose?…) Since we can’t know at present: Staking out hard positions and tossing rocks from them is just a waste of time.
(Now both sides will toss rocks at me 😉

Previous comment by em smith completely off topic. I am game to discuss evolution here mmm?
Is it ok?


Politicians always say that you misunderstand their point of view, when in reality you disagree with them.

Nigel S

policycritic says: May 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm, John Cook of SkS is the same as Cook et al. (2013). And no, he’s not a doctor.
As a Dr John that we can all respect says, ‘Oh, but if I don’t do it, you know somebody else will…’

It is not way how climate scientists communicate, but what they persevere in communicating


The Plot….

D. J. Hawkins

@E.M.Smith says:
May 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm…
No rocks here, only plaudits! Your idea of “cohabitation” of the Creator and evolution is essentially the view of the Roman Catholic Church. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you think you’re in good company. 😉


@ Eric Anderson,
Andy Revkin is as misled as a Concorde flies on rubber bands. He is a dedicated warmist who promotes their muck at every step. When situation becomes to blatantly hot for the culprit concerned, he then beats a strategic retreat as if he’s a neutral reporter and goes on with the advocacy of another climate change culprit the very next day.

J Martin

William McClenney said or quoted “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”
That works out to be a 3% drop in insolation from 428 to 416, since I had understood that the output of the sun, TSI, doesn’t vary by more than 1% it isn’t immediately obvious how we get a 3% drop in insolation, although easily accomplished by a similar percentage increase in cloud cover.
But it is possible that conventional wisdom in climate science takes too simple and too linear a view of the processes in nature and that areas they have ignored will prove to have a disproportionate effect in the same manner that a catalyst does.
Currently one ignored (by conventional climate science) part of TSI is extreme UV which is at record low levels and varies by factors of ten or more ( and has the effect of reducing the height of the atmosphere which is thought to influence the jet stream and other factors, and perhaps with it may also lower cloud height which will reduce temperatures.
In addition, the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun are in steady decline and this is expected to lead to an increase in cosmic rays getting through to Earth’s atmosphere and increasing cloud cover, perhaps over that 3% figure.
Combine these factors and we are looking at a cold future, one which has already started and will run until at least 2030, possibly longer.
I have a question; we know the rate at which the magnetic field of the sun is falling off (Livingston & Penn & Svalgaard ?) so I was wondering if anyone knew what sort of increase in cosmic rays we can expect and from that what sort of increase in cloud cover (Svensmark, Kirkby) we can expect ? If so then it might be possible to come up with a date for when we get that 3% increase in cloud cover and the attendant drop in insolation that pushes us over the tipping point, not just into a new minimum, but possibly into a potential glaciation.


Eliza says:
May 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm
” . . . . here is one that that explains in 15 minutes clearly the whole issue absolutely!

Thanks Eliza. Just watched it all. Excellent. Highly recommended. Prof Plimer and Lord Monkton should form a double act. However, if they were to do so, warmists would categorise their witty anecdotes as ‘satire’ (aka Clarke & Dawe or Jeremy Hardy style) – while we all smile knowing that despite their entertaining observations, their presentations are based on hard evidence, the facts and indisputable truth that CO2 is not going to cause Armageddon.
Tom J’s comment (May 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm) says “Trying to invoke climate change as a health issue really gets my blood on boil.” Tom, I wish my blood would start to boil. I’m sat here in the conservatory with the iPad and it’s bloody cold for the end of May.

EM Smith says
(It still has some issues with the origin of life, but it’s being worked out).
Henry says
well that is where the whole problem lies, is it not? I don’t have a problem with evolution….
if you believe there is no God, you are actually saying that you believe that
out of absolutely nothing and guided by absolutely nobody, an incredible intelligent and intellectual person (like yourself) with a material body came into being.
Now, for you to believe that such a miracle could have happened, you must actually have a much bigger faith than that of a person simply believing and admitting that there is a Higher
Power, a God who created him for a specific plan and purpose!

William Fox

Talkiing about miscommunication , what happend with the last batch of climagate mails ,
Was it a hoax ?


“thelastdemocrat says:
May 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm
Many scientists are finally realizing that the ever-changing “theory” of evolution is quite a slippery tautology. The giraffe has a long neck because – get this – it was advantageous to have a long neck. Circular? Like an orbit. Disprovable? Nope.”
What I found more interesting about this animal, for me at least, is the nerve that connects the brain to the “vocal centre” runs from the brain, ALL THE WAY DOWN to the base of the neck and then ALL THE WAY BACK UP to the “vocal centre”. Also whales have vestigial hind structures that are understood to have been hind legs at some point in time. IMO, does not lend credence to creation theory.