The Lost Climate Integrity of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

“What We Really Know” and What the AAAS Failed to Mention.

Guest essay by Jim Steele, Director emeritus Sierra Nevada Field Campus, San Francisco State University

Climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. recently posted that the AAAS has ignored “the recent recognition of the heightened importance of natural climate forcings and feedbacks” and condemned AAAS media release as “an embarrassment to the scientific community.”

It is not just natural climate forcings that the AAAS ignored. As a biologist who has studied the impacts of regional climate change on wildlife in California’s Sierra Nevada for 3 decades, the AAAS’s simplistic and misleading discussion of extinctions and ecosystem collapse is simply shameful fear mongering. I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Pielke. It is an embarrassment to the scientific community.

All my red flags (marked with icons) were raised when the AAAS woefully wrote “As the world has gotten hotter, many of the world’s plants and animals, on land and in the oceans, have begun moving toward the poles. Where possible, some terrestrial species are moving up mountainsides, and marine species are moving to deeper depths and higher latitudes. These changes are happening on every continent and in every ocean”.

To “inform the public” about their fearful conclusions, they cited 2 outdated peer-reviewed articles1,2 written by Camille Parmesan, who not surprisingly was one of the 13 scientists writing the AAAS’ media release. The section on “Ecosystem Collapse” also refers to a 2013 report by the National Research Council titled “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,” which not so coincidentally cites the same 2 Parmesan papers purporting climate caused “extinctions” and “ecosystem collapse”. If we peruse those papers, we find that one of those 2 papers1, cites 11 other Parmesan papers, creating a consensus where Parmesan agrees with Parmesan. Not only are the AAAS’s argument very inbred, they are outdated and contradicted by more recent peer-reviewed studies. Below are the most salient examples from Parmesan’s 2 suspect publications showing how they have shaped the AAAS’ narrative on climate change and biological catastrophes.

1. In one cited example from 1996,3 she claimed the Edith Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha) was moving northward and upward from Mexico to Canada, consistent with global warming. This paper had evoked great fears and was touted by over 500 consensus scientists as proof of global warming disruption, and got her invited to the White House.

clip_image002 Although the AAAS authors gallantly profess that they write because it is “increasingly urgent for the public to know,” Parmesan did not take this opportunity to inform the public about the good news: Many of the populations she had declared extinct in 1996 have now fully recovered. She also failed to mention that only the statistical average moved northward and upward because the urban sprawl in southern California decimate souther populations and dominated the statistics. Actual butterflies never moved. The preponderance of evidence by several experts indicates landscape changes, not climate change, were the driving force of the extirpated populations. Read more here.

2. In another paper,4 she had claimed global warming was causing extreme weather that resulted in butterfly extinctions, and that was the mechanism driving butterflies upward and northward.

clip_image002[1]Again she never reported the good news, (either originally or in this AAAS report), In their natural habitat the butterflies had thrived better than ever during the same supposed “extreme weather”. However to create the illusion of a climate catastrophe, she only published that butterflies just 10 meters away in a recently logged area were extirpated by the mountain weather, a logged area in which the food plants and the microclimate had been drastically changed. Due to such a sin of omission, I requested an official retraction but the editors of the AMS excused the deception of telling such half truths. Was the refusal to retract bad science affected by political pressure because Parmesan’s papers have been the foundation of so many biological climate catastrophe stories like this AAAS media ploy??? Read more here.

3. The AAAS cited Parmesan’s IPCC paper, “A Globally Coherent Fingerprint of Climate Change Impacts across Natural Systems”,2 in which she reported that her model could distinguish between ecological disruptions due to landscape change versus climate change, and she argued that the evidence was clear that a multitude of species were undergoing a pole-ward expansions due to climate change.

clip_image002[2]First she failed to mention that the very species she used as a definitive example of climate change was moving northward as it recovered thanks to conservation efforts. More efficient animal husbandry had reduced grazing and the extermination of most of England’s rabbits by an introduced virus had caused the grasslands to become overgrown. The shaded grasslands had extirpated warmth­­­‑loving butterflies, relegating them to southern England. To save them from extinction, conservationists mowed critical habitat and encouraged more grazing, and soon warmth­­­‑loving butterflies expanded northward. But the good news was metamorphosed into a climate catastrophe, and perpetuated by the AAAS. Read more here

4. In “Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change” cited by the AAAS, Parmesan relayed the story of another climate disruption, “In the most-extreme cases, the southern edge [of a butterfly’s range] contracted concurrent with northern edge expansion. For example, the sooty copper (Heodes tityrus) was common in the Montseny region of central Catalonia in the 1920s, but modern sightings are only from the Pyrenees, 50 km to the north. Symmetrically, H. tityrus entered Estonia for the first time in 1998, by 1999 had established several successful breeding populations.”

clip_image002[3]Again she failed to mention that southern Montseny population was ironically extirpated due to conservation efforts not climate change. The Montseny region had been designated a natural preserve and grazing was prohibited. As a result the Sooty Copper lost its warm open grasslands as it converted to shady forest and shrub land. More disturbing was Parmesan altered her story. She had originally reported5 that the Sooty Copper’s northern expansion had been documented “first” in Estonia by 1942 – not 1998.

5. Again in “Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change” cited by the AAAS, Parmesan had argued global warming was causing amphibian extinctions writing, “Documented rapid loss of habitable climate space makes it no surprise that the first extinctions of entire species attributed to global warming are mountain-restricted species. Many cloud-forest-dependent amphibians have declined or gone extinct on a mountain in Costa Rica.”

clip_image002[4]Despite the AAAS’ stated intentions “that it is important and increasingly urgent for the public to know”, Parmesan and the AAAS did not report that virtually every shred of evidence has attributed those amphibian extinctions to a novel chytrid fungus spread by the pet trade and researchers. Amphibian extinctions were occurring in a pattern exactly opposite to global warming theory. Population of amphibians species were thriving in warmer habitat, but extirpated in cooler high elevations, or during the winter. Despite the consensus that virtually all amphibian deaths can be attributed to lost habitat or the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus, Parmesan continues to argue climate change killed the Golden Toad and other amphibians.6 If amphibian extinctions were truly their concern, this would be a good time for the AAAS to warn the public that moving tadpoles and frogs from one place to another spreads the disease and is a much bigger problem than climate change.

clip_image0046. Again in “Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change” cited by the AAAS, Parmesan argued Adelie Penguins were being decimated by climate change highlighting that “Adelie Penguins have declined by 70% on Anvers Island. “

clip_image002[5] The AAAS and Parmesan chose not to inform us of more good news of penguins nd climate change. Across 95% of coastline, the number of Adelie penguins has multiplied.10 Parmesan’s cherry-picked data focused on declines from just 5% of the Antarctic coastline, a coastline which is most sensitive to cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and El Nino. Changes in the wind’s direction caused shifting patterns of snow accumulation, and the populations unaffected by heavier snow still remained on Anvers Island. At Dumont D’urville, Adelies increased “between 1984 and 2003 at a rate of 1.77% per year.” In the Ross Sea, home to 30% of the world’s Adelie penguins, populations tripled between the 1960s and the mid-1980s.16

7. In both papers cited by the AAAS,1,2 Parmesan had reported marine life was moving northward due to global warming. She wrote, “Decades of ecological and physiological research document that climatic variables are primary drivers of distributions and dynamics of marine plankton and fish”

clip_image002[6]Parmesan had cited papers that had indeed reported dramatic shifts in marine communities, but she failed to report that those authors had suspected or predicted those “climatic variables” were natural cycles. She and the AAAS failed to share with the public recent research that has now verified those natural cycles.

For example in both Parmesan papers she had cited the paper “Seventy Years’ Observations of changes in Distribution and Abundance of Zooplankton and intertidal Organisms in the Western English Channel in relation to Rising Sea Temperature,” in which she implied it was a fingerprint of CO2 warming. However the author had actually warned that northward movement could be cyclic writing, “To fully prove the effects of global warming, future changes in the marine biota must exceed those recorded in the 1950s and 1960s.”

To date the northward extension of cod and other well documented marine organisms have yet to reach the northern extent observed earlier in the 20th century.

Both papers also cited “Changes in an Assemblage of Temperate Reef Fishes Associated with a Climate Shift.” However the authors never attributed the changes to CO2 warming as Parmesan again implied. The authors reported that before 1976, there was no warming trend in the California Current, and ocean temperatures fluctuated around a lower average. Then after 1976, temperatures jumped higher and then fluctuated around a new higher average, but with no further warming trend. Holbrook cautioned, “The steep abundance declines on all levels were events that are not obvious predictions from present models of climate change.” In contrast to Parmesan’s interpretation, the authors suggested the climate shift was cyclical and they predicted the California Current would revert to cooler temperatures. They concluded the following decades “would provide a natural ‘test’ of our hypotheses” And indeed their prediction has come true.

Scientists have now documented the effects of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) reported “the transition between the strong El Niño event in 1997–1998 and the 1998–1999 La Niña was possibly the most dramatic and rapid episode of climate change in modern times.” Mean summer ocean temperatures off the coast of Oregon decreased by 2°F beginning in 1999. Temperatures at some locations off the California coast fell by nearly 18°F between 1998 and 1999, and coastal sea levels were the lowest in at least 65 years. As the PDO persisted into its cool phase during the new millennium, warm-water fish like sardines declined moving southward and the more cold-loving anchovies and smelts increased by an order of magnitude.9 The natural regime shift hypothesis was confirmed. It is also noteworthh the AAAS did not mention that the consensus derived from Argo data, now reports the upper 300 meters of the oceans have not warmed or cooled since 2003.13

8. In the paper cited by the AAAS, Parmesan reinforced her illusory claim about global warming driving butterflies northward and upward by cherry-picking a Eric Beever paper that claimed global warming was driving the pika upward. She reported “in the Great Basin of the western United States, 7 out of 25 re-censused populations of the pika were extinct since being recorded in the 1930s.” She failed to mention that the paper only represented a small group of previously known populations, located in isolated habitat and not readily re-colonized, and in all sites vegetation was heavily grazed.

clip_image006clip_image002[7]We now know far more about the pika, and again the AAAS failed to convey the good news that would assuage any climate fears. There are now more known pika populations than ever before, and they are being found in hotter habitats and at lower elevations. “In total, 19% of the currently known populations are found at lower elevations than ever documented by any study during the early 1900s”14 Even 2 of Beever’s original “extinct” populations have now returned.

Dr. Andrew Smith is one of the world’s leading pika experts and he recently testified against listing the pika as endangered by global warming writing, “I grimace at the hyperbole of the current PR campaign to make the pika an endangered species, as I similarly decry the loss of scientific objectivity and/or the failure of those embarking on this campaign to recognize that the USFWS, State of California and IUCN have all objectively not listed the pika as endangered.”

9. Again in “Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change” cited by the AAAS, Parmesan had reported that, “polar bears have suffered significant population declines at opposite geographic boundaries. At their southern range boundary (Hudson Bay), polar bears are declining both in numbers and in mean body weight (Stirling et al. 1999).”


clip_image002[8]Again Parmesan and the AAAS avoided telling the public the good news. They failed to mention that in same paper (Stirling et al. 1999), polar bears had nearly tripled since the 1980s when hunting stopped, and by 1987 had reached the region’s carrying capacity of between 900 and 1100 bears. Despite predictions that the bears should have declined to just 600 by now, the most recent survey reveals the bears are still at carrying capacity with more than 1000 bears.15 All indicators show the productivity of the Arctic food web has improved from phytoplankton, to cod to ringed seals to bears. Although Parmesan cited another Stirling paper,12 she failed to mention that he reported it is heavy ice causing food web declines, “Heavy ice conditions in the mid-1970s and mid-1980s caused significant declines in productivity of ringed seals, each of which lasted about 3 years and caused similar declines in the natality of polar bears and survival of subadults, after which reproductive success and survival of both species increased again.”

And they failed to update us on more good news that since 1997 the condition of polar bears in the Hudson Bay has been steadily improving


As the Inuit steadfastly argue, “It is the Time of the Most Polar Bears,” and as Daniel Shewchuk, Nunavut’s Minister of Environment, wrote in 2010 “No known environmental or other factors are currently posing a significant or immediate threat to polar bears overall.”

Far from alleged ecosystem collapse due to global warming, the biological icons of climate catastrophe have either recovered and are now thriving, or their demise has been clearly due to non-climatic factors like the introduced chytrid fungus and landscape changes, or the their fluctuations have been caused by changing weather associated with natural cycles. The AAAS report fails to honestly relay “What We Know” regards the climate and the state of our ecosystems. They simply rehashed outdated stories to promote fear of ecosystem collapse. The report would be more accurately titled, “What Alarmists Want You to Believe”.

Dr. Pielke nailed it. The AAAS report as “an embarrassment to the scientific community.”

Segments of this essay are Adapted from several chapters in Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism by Jim Steele

Literature Cited

1. Parmesan, C. (2006). Ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. Annual Review of Ecology Evolution and Systematics, 37, 637669.

2. Parmesan, C. and Yohe, G. (2003). A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems. Nature, 421, 37-42.

3. Parmesan C. 1996. Climate and species’ range. Nature 382:765–66

4. Parmesan C, Root TL, Willig MR. 2000. Impacts of extreme weather and climate

on terrestrial biota. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 81:443–50

5. Parmesan C, Ryrholm N, Stefanescu C, Hill JK, Thomas CD, et al. 1999. Poleward

shifts in geographical ranges of butterfly species associated with regionalwarming. Nature 399:579–83

6. Parmesan, C., et al. (2011) Overstretching attribution. Nature Climate Change, vol. 1, April 2011

7. Holbrook, S., et al., (1997) Changes in an Assemblage of Temperate Reef Fishes Associated with a Climate Shift. Ecological Applications, vol. 7,p. 1299-1310

8. Southward, A. et al. (1995) Seventy Years’ Observations of changes in Distribution and Abundance of Zooplankton and intertidal Organisms in the Western English Channel in relation to Rising Sea Temperature. J. Thermal Biology. vol. 20, p. 127-155.

9. Peterson,W., and Schwing,F., (2003) A new climate regime in northeast pacific ecosystems. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 30, p. 1896, doi:10.1029/2003GL017528

10. Ainley, D., et al., (2010) Antarctic penguin response to habitat change as Earth’s troposphere reaches 2°C above preindustrial levels. Ecological Monographs, vol. 80, p. 49–66

11. Stirling, I. et al. (1999) Long-term Trends in the Population Ecology of Polar Bears in Western Hudson Bay in Relation to Climatic Change. Arctic vol . 52, p. 294-306.

12. Stirling, I. (2002) Polar Bears and Seals in the Eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf: A Synthesis of Population Trends and Ecological Relationships over Three Decades. Arctic, vol. 55, p. 59-76

13. Xue, Y., et al., (2012) A Comparative Analysis of Upper-Ocean Heat Content Variability from an Ensemble of Operational Ocean Reanalyses. Journal of Climate, vol 25, 6905-6929.

14. A. Smith, C. Millar, R. Westfall and D. Hik. (2009) North American pikas: population status, thermal environments, and periglacial processes. 2009 Meeting of the American Geophysical Union

15. Atkinson, S. (2012) Western Hudson Bay Polar Bear Aerial, 2011. Government of Nunavut, Department of the Interior.

16. From the chapter “Top Ten Reasons Why Rising CO2 Has Not Harmed Adelie Penguins, in in Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism by Jim Steele

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Watson
March 23, 2014 3:12 pm

Scientists are doing to Science in only a few short years what the Church couldn’t accomplish in centuries.

March 23, 2014 3:21 pm

Parmesan? Looks like a real life example of “Do you want some cheese with that whine?”

Francois GM
March 23, 2014 3:38 pm

I think most would agree that this essay is very important. Well-written and well-researched. There is tons of information to digest. Any chance of making it a stickie for a few days ?

March 23, 2014 3:40 pm

For Jim Watson: Science has actually become the new church, with as many as not more of the evils that the old medieval church had.
Institutions change, but people never do. It’s the same old serpent, as Lincoln said.
It’s worth looking at Lincoln’s words, because he understood the nature of the beast intimately. Now in this passage he was discussing the evil of slavery; but it clearly applies to anyone who would think themselves “superior” enough to decide what’s best for people in spite of what THEY want. The attitudes toward the “inferior race” of his day are the exact same attitudes that the environmental movement has towards the average working class people of today.
“Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world.
“You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it.
“Turn it whatever way you will—whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent.” — Abraham Lincoln. Speech at Chicago, Illinois | July 10, 1858

March 23, 2014 3:41 pm

It seems ironic anyone skeptical must pay money be a member of the AAAS in order to be both ignored as a skeptic and also to be unwillingly associated with their integrity reduction on climate science.
For a skeptic it is sort of like pay-as-you-go scientific masochism.

March 23, 2014 3:49 pm

Wow, that was great! This is the kind of info that it is nearly impossible for the novice follower of these issues to figure out for himself.

March 23, 2014 4:01 pm

Jim Watson says:
March 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm
RB says:
March 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm
Both, well said. I have terminated memberships now in every scientific society I have ever been a member in, They are not science related anymore, they are churches.

March 23, 2014 4:17 pm

Parmesan cheese stinks, So does Parmesan science.

March 23, 2014 4:21 pm

I’m left wondering how and why papers like these could have been published in the first place, when it was known at the time that they were incomplete. Any competent peer reviewer would have known about the other relevant papers and therefore that the facts were being misreported. It suggests that the journals were at fault, yet I see Nature as the main one in which these papers were published. Has Nature really sunk so low as to choose incompetent reviewers who were unaware of the state of the art in these research areas?

Bruce Cobb
March 23, 2014 4:27 pm

They should now be called the AAAP – American Association for the Advancement of Pseudoscience.

March 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Sounds to me that this “scientist” needs to be arrested for fraud.

Mark Besse
March 23, 2014 4:40 pm

This blog highlights the great problem with climatic change: defining what is normal. Be it temperature, weather or species populations and ranges. Our perspective is so narrow.
While there is plenty of real scientific inquiry available in these fields the current alarmist antics will ruin these true science research for years to come.

March 23, 2014 4:45 pm

She’s nothing but a HACK & I emailed her & told her so. What a shame she’s teaching this crap to the kids @UT, who believe what they are told by these lying professors.

March 23, 2014 4:46 pm

Now if this essay was to be narrated on a documentary on the BBC tomorrow at 7pm, what would people say? Ha ha, this is why they don’t like debating, their fabrications would be easily found out.
Polar bears, penguins, butterflies, pikas, why are they all so cute AND declining? Why not declining numbers of rats, fleas, wasps, cockroaches, poisonous jellyfish, Black Widow spiders, termites, blood sucking mites, ticks, teeth plaque, bed bugs???

March 23, 2014 4:49 pm

Thank you Jim Steele for putting this together–a most valuable read!

March 23, 2014 4:53 pm

British butterflies hate climate change. Last summer they were decimated dontcha know. They panicked and ran uphill!!!

BBC – 16 September 2013
Hot summer helps boost butterflies
…Conservationists described the results as a relief following the washout summer of 2012….
…The sustained warm weather over the summer provided “perfect” conditions for a boom in butterflies and day-flying moths according to experts….
“Put simply, butterflies are cold-blooded creatures that rely on the warmth of the sun in order to be active,” said Butterfly Conservation’s survey manager Richard Fox.
“The hot summer this year meant that some butterfly species, which were in their early life cycle stages when the heat wave began were able to capitalise on it giving rise to high numbers of adults during the count in late July and early August.”
Flying in the face of recent worrying declines, sightings of small tortoiseshells and peacocks rose by a staggering 388% and 3,500% respectively on 2012 figures.

UK butterflies are just a thing of the past. Children cannot possible know what a butterfly is. And it’s all for the grand kids too.

March 23, 2014 4:58 pm

Peter Ward says: I’m left wondering how and why papers like these could have been published in the first place.
I would suggest the problem is partly due to the misapplication of meta-analyses that erroneously combine several local studies to create a virtual average change. For example, to use a fanciful analogy, let’s say a man places his head in the oven and his feet in the freezer, and then calls the doctors to determine his pain. One doctor examines the head and suggests he remove his head from the oven. The other examines the feet and suggests he remove his feet from the freezer. However the third doctor sits at home on his computer and asks the other doctors to send him their analyses, and after performing a meta-analyses tells the patient that he is just imagining his because on average the patient is doing just fine, and advises him to see a shrink.
Mis-applied meta-analyses create false virtual realities because the resulting average statistic is a chimera of unrelated dynamics. Statistics 101 tells us an average is only meaningful if it sampling a homogenous population. Averaging the toes in the freezer to get an average body temperature at that location is a valid average. However averaging the head and the feet violates all statistical rules. That’s why the doctor’s meta-analyses of the patients condition was not just worthless but damaging.
Likewise CO2 driven global climate models are built to recreate a chimeric global average that conflates landscape changes, natural ocean and atmospheric cycles, and grenhouse gases to create a global average. However as in our analogy, those models fail miserably to replicate local temperatures. Similarly those global climate models underestimated the loss of Arctic sea ice while simultaneously failing to predict the growth of Antarctic sea ice. (See why the local sea ice dynamics are so different–climate-change-indicator.html)
The Parmesan studies cited by the AAAS are meta-analyses that mistakenly conflate several local dynamics into a an erroneous average change, that is then blind to the original local conditions. Nature Climate Change just published another meta-analyses of shifting marine life “Global imprint of climate change on marine life” by by Poloczanska, and it appears Parmesan was involved in mentoring in the art of bad meta-analyses, misinterpreting the effects of natural ocean oscillations.

March 23, 2014 5:01 pm

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Parmesan is one of the host of climate scientists falsely claiming to be a “Nobel Prize winner.” These people have no shame.

March 23, 2014 5:03 pm

A Globally Coherent Fingerprint of Climate Change Impacts across Natural Systems

It was written in 2003! What are their geographic positions today? Ah well, maybe they are now headed downhill and back towards the equator due to bitter recent winters.
Ecosystem changes are just a thing of the present. Children of the past won’t know what an ecosystem change is.

The regime shift of the 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic
During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a dramatic warming of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Warmer-than-normal sea temperatures, reduced sea ice conditions and enhanced Atlantic inflow in northern regions continued through to the 1950s and 1960s, with the timing of the decline to colder temperatures varying with location. Ecosystem changes associated with the warm period included a general northward movement of fish……

True Conservative
March 23, 2014 5:05 pm

Peter Ward
You can bet these were all “peer reviewed” papers [Parmesan’s], too! Of course, they’re peer reviewed by other members of the cult of warmists that publish this fetid stuff. I’m guessing that Steele needn’t be worried about being asked to peer review any of the cult’s future papers? :>)

a jones
March 23, 2014 5:05 pm

Ah but did you know that the original English word was FLUTTERBYE. It seems to have changed sometime in the 17th century to butterfly. Me i Iprefer flutterbye.
Kindest Regards

Alan Robertson
March 23, 2014 5:07 pm

Mr. Steele,
Thank you for bringing this information to light. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many examples of this sort of malfeasance from the “scientific community”.

March 23, 2014 5:10 pm

Parmesan stinks to high heavens.

R. de Haan
March 23, 2014 5:14 pm

All this doesn’t prevent Hillary Clinton to call for a mass movement to fight Climate Change.
There is something substantially wrong with Hillary.
Her quest for money has affected her ability to think.
Why else would she compare Putin with Hitler and tell the world the truth about the Benghazi Attack doesn’t matter?
No doubt many Americans will vote for her if she participates the next Presidential run.
Clinton is not the only person who obviously has lost her ability to think.

March 23, 2014 5:17 pm

Jim Watson says:
March 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm
CACA acolytes are jealous of the power of the Church to burn heretics, which is what they’ve made clear that they’d like to do to skeptics, ie “deniers”. At a minimum. Hanging until not quite dead, castration, drawing & quartering would be preferable for those who dare challenge the CACA orthodoxy.

March 23, 2014 5:17 pm

Parmesan had argued global warming was causing amphibian extinctions writing, “Documented rapid loss of habitable climate space makes it no surprise that the first extinctions of entire species attributed to global warming are mountain-restricted species.

Of course Parmesan is correct. Now check out my previous rebuttals here, here and here. Tip: it’s on the boots and tires of concerned researchers. So sad.

March 23, 2014 5:26 pm

Ecological and Evolutionary Responses to Recent Climate Change
[Camille Parmesan]

That was written in 2006! The weather, as opposed to the climate, might have changed since then.I don’t know about Adelie Penguins but I do know about their Emperors without clothes. It really is getting much worse than we thought. We must act back in the day!

Live Science – April 13, 2012
Emperor Penguin Numbers Double Previous Estimates, Satellites Show
…”It surprised us that we approximately doubled the population estimate,” said Peter Fretwell, a scientist with the British Antarctic Survey and lead author of a paper published today in the journal PLoS One….

R. de Haan
March 23, 2014 5:28 pm

Talking about “an embarrassment to the scientific community” and MSM, in this case the loss making Guardian claiming that Climate Change is as certain as Auswitz.
Who is going to sew this BBC dependance and make the Guardian pay for all the BS they send into the world.

James Strom
March 23, 2014 5:29 pm

Thanks for putting all this stuff together, Jim. The refutation relies on a level of detail that would probably not come to the attention of the lay reader, or even of a biologist who didn’t happen to work in exactly the right field. What’s more, it’s an indication that other similar population studies should be put under the microscope.

March 23, 2014 5:33 pm

There is just a large group of people who believe in this theory and, in the case of the AAAS, the money that it delivers.
The theory will continue until 30 years or so of no temperature increases occur and the AAAS-type people will remain in place as long as the money keeps flowing.
Where are temperatures going. Flat for 17-25 years depending on how one views the impact of the volcanoes. But there may be a very large El Niño coming. It could just as easily be cooled off by the generally cool water conditions in the eastern Pacific, but if that does not happen, temps will be heading up in short order.
When will the flow of money stop or slow down. One needs to have non-left-wing parties in power for several years. Given the general demographics, this is probably not going to happen without very popular leaders for the ring-wing parties. If you want to stop the flow of money to global warming, help the leaders and the parties.

March 23, 2014 5:35 pm

The graphical red flags are ingeniously effective.

March 23, 2014 5:36 pm

Pika this and pika that.

Seasonal thermogenesis and body mass regulation in plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae)
Changes in photoperiod, ambient temperature and food availability trigger seasonal acclimatization in physiology and behavior of many animals. In the present study, seasonal adjustments in body mass and in several physiological, hormonal, and biochemical markers were examined in wild-captured plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) from the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Our results showed that plateau pikas maintained a relatively constant body mass throughout the year and showed no seasonal changes in body fat mass and circulating levels of serum leptin……..

March 23, 2014 5:44 pm

Peter Ward says:
March 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm
I’m left wondering how and why papers like these could have been published in the first place,….

It’s a circle jerk with lots of bollocks.
• A ‘proposal’ linking shite to climate,
• money paid into an account,
• pal review of a very nudge, nudge and friendly kind
• published and paid for results
• we must act now on the ever changing climate. It’s as simple as that.

March 23, 2014 5:49 pm

Excellent presentation and very well written. Thank you.
I hope this travels far and wide. Parmesan’s employers past and current would be a good start.
I will send a link to my Congressional Senate Reps but it will be a waste of time. Their staffers seem to do a lot of screening. Would be nice to see a big upset in November.

michael hart
March 23, 2014 5:57 pm

Global warming Bolognese, or just a load of AAAS?

John V. Wright
March 23, 2014 6:07 pm

“Actual butterflies never moved.” The line that says it all. Nice research. And for Ms Parmesan, what an absolutely crushing humiliation.

March 23, 2014 6:20 pm

If we were discussing financial ( it really is financial, right?) misdoings, wouldn’t the person(s) responsible be in jail?

March 23, 2014 6:23 pm

Excellent essay on the corruption of science that began in the US with the population bomb & nuclear winter movements. Both promulgated by Marxists who wanted to establish Lysenkoism in the US as soon as it was discredited in the USSR:
The astronomical Dr. Sagan at least had the decency to die upon falsification, unlike his comrade Ehrlich.

March 23, 2014 6:23 pm

Great Flutterbyes drank
Deep of poisoned flowers.
Wings flap, flag, flawed.

March 23, 2014 6:30 pm

Nice Job!
How many pieces of this climate puzzle do those models take into Consideration properly again?
They do set policy……..
Do they actually account for anthropogenic relocations?
Does anyone actually know how the climate models are coded? I think it a legitimate question…

March 23, 2014 6:35 pm

It makes me suspicious when they say plants move. Plants don’t move – they die in place. New plants of a type will emerge where conditions for life and reproduction exist – just like the current and previous plants. Plants won’t survive where there are no pollinators. They may try, but it lasts a single generation. Plants have little to say about where their seeds will germinate. They need a distribution system. It may be as simple as the wind or it may need to be carried in the bowels of an animal. Plants just don’t move. It isn’t just a matter of confusing language. There are no ambulatory asters. I’m reminded of the butterfly die-off hoax.
If this has only been their awkward way of saying the range of some plants is moving up slope at both the high and the low elevations then that is an interesting science fact. Does anyone doubt this is designed into the plants for their survival, and that this characteristic has been exploited by plants all over the globe during times of true and extreme climate change as when the Holocene began? That they are expanding into areas where life is good? All the trees in my neighborhood moved in after the thousands of feet thick Cordilleran ice sheet receded. Thank God they had that capability. Does anyone think it is the end times because corn and wheat can adapt to the prairies of Canada? Just as aside, the fellow who planted the trees on my property brought many of them as seeds from Germany (alpine spruce) and California (giant redwoods) – not trees one associates with Seattle. They’re doing fine at 55 years of age.
Life has one other cruel truth – nothing is forever. The mega fauna are gone. Life is like that. Only cockroaches and sharks get a pass.

March 23, 2014 6:40 pm

Sloppy scholarship is not just a recent problem with AAAS. I dropped my membership ten years ago.

March 23, 2014 6:47 pm

““As the world has gotten hotter, many of the world’s plants and animals, on land and in the oceans, have begun moving toward the poles”.
In the early ’70s when the global cooling scam was in full swing, there was an article in the Christian Science Monitor claiming that armadillos in the US were migrating southward to escape the encroaching cold.
Equator or poles – equator or poles! What’s a species to do?

March 23, 2014 6:47 pm

Thank you Jim Steel……

March 23, 2014 6:52 pm

I just bought Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism by Jim Steele. It joins my increasingly large collection of fine works by real scientists and will soon reside where my collection of Scientific American magazines used to be. Those found their way into my burn barrel some time ago. As appropriate an end for that pulp if ever there was one!

March 23, 2014 7:03 pm

R. de Haan says –
“Clinton is not the only person who obviously has lost her ability to think”
well, here is our Conservative Govt in Australia, which supposedly was voted in to get rid of all things “carbon”, ready now to LEAD the world in CAGW madness:
23 March: Guardian: Oliver Milman: Greg Hunt confident of ‘helping’ China, US, India and EU cut carbon emissions
Environment minister says Australia will use G20 presidency as catalyst for new deal
Hunt said Australia would use its presidency of the G20 as a “catalyst” to help the “G4” – the US, China, the European Union and India – complete the groundwork for a new deal to lower emissions.
But the minister faced scepticism and heckling as he argued for the government’s environmental credentials at a Melbourne forum…
Hunt said the annual G20 talks, to be held in Brisbane in November, would be used to facilitate a long-term deal even though climate change is not on the official itinerary for the event.
“As we head towards 2050 the great global challenge is to have a real and genuine agreement and that has to involve the G4,” he told the Doctors for the Environment conference in Melbourne.
“We are proposing bringing together the largest four sources of emissions as a catalyst for a 2015 agreement. I don’t think the US and China will bind themselves legally but I think they will make a real and genuine commitment.
“Our task is to work towards not just the 2020 outcome but towards a global agreement through to 2030 and 2040 and leading into 2050.”…
Dr Kingsley Faulkner, national chairman of Doctors for the Environment, told Guardian Australia that the healthcare sector was increasingly concerned about the prospect of worse heatwaves, and many doctors were critical of the Coalition’s climate-change policies.
“I think the Australian Medical Association will get more involved in lobbying on this, as they previously have with tobacco,” he said. “I made the point to [Hunt] that history will be very critical of him and this government if the country does not pull its weight”…
2011: Doctors for the Environment: “Coal a Health Hazard” Say Doctors
Health advocate against tobacco, Dr Kingsley Faulkner has turned his sights on coal as a major direct and indirect health hazard.
“Australia is addicted to coal and we need to embrace alternatives to our reliance on it, as it is making many of us sick.” said Dr Faulkner…
Doctors for the Environment Australia is a voluntary organisation of medical practitioners who advocate that a change from coal generated power to renewable sources is vital to ensure that the health standards of present and future generations can be maintained.

March 23, 2014 7:23 pm

We skeptics and questioners should adopt the pika as our mascot. Put one of those cuties on a nice poster that says, “we’re alive!” We can trout it out whenever we’re told, “the science is settled, there is no debate.”

March 23, 2014 7:30 pm

Thank you, Prof. Steele, that is a fine essay! As an environmental biologist by education, I get miffed when many of the effects we see (coral die-off etc) are blamed upon “climate change,” when in reality, other natural and anthropogenic drivers lay at fault. You correctly identify land-use patterns, and discharge of pollutants from sewage treatment and other sources drive many of these phenomena. Technological fixes for most of these are readily available, I wish the AAAS crowd and their ilk would stop distracting us from more cost-effective & valuable priorities to improve the environment.

March 23, 2014 8:05 pm

Two points. One, this finally explains the line of butterflies and walking plants with little hobo bags on sticks slung over their shoulders that I see outside my house every day. They’re all heading north but they wouldn’t tell me why. Now I understand.
Point two, and much more seriously, chalk up 11 (or is it 13?) papers for Lewandowsky to count in his “97% support catastrophic man-made global warming” shtick. It doesn’t matter if anything in them is true or accurate, but hey, they support the idea of catastrophic man-made global warming so it’s a win all around.

March 23, 2014 8:27 pm

I thank you for pointing out my greatest fear about the global warming scare mongering. Those that tout this theory glory in portraying those that disagree as not being, shall we say, “environmentally friendly”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. My dismay is that, because they all too often advocate positions that cannot be defended, all environmental concern can also be summarily dismissed. They damage both environmentalism and science in general. If they were to adhere to scientific principal instead of political advocacy I – and everyone else – could take them more seriously.

Mac the Knife
March 23, 2014 8:42 pm

This is not an embarrassment to Camille Parmesan. The world of cheesy climatologists knows no shame. Dishonesty, deceit and deception are their standard operating procedure and they willingly embrace them because they know what is good for all of us. They mean to ‘save the world’ by what ever megalomaniac means are necessary.
That’s why they won’t debate model output and cherry picked data analyses denied by verifiable data.
That’s why they first turn to ad hominem attack.
That’s why they attempt to exclude climate realists from the media, science journals, and teaching positions.
That’s why they gravitate to teaching positions, at all levels of education.
That’s we must use this ‘pause/cooling phase’ to maximum advantage, to discredit them at every possible point and turn.

March 23, 2014 9:16 pm

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
Given that the “global warming” issue has such widespread and serious repercussions, financially and politically it deserves to be kept in the “News”. This post provides very telling information about the claimed “authentic” changes being brought about by the claimed “warming” of the planet.
Not only are such claims shown to be untrue but the processes involved in the brainwashing of just about everyone and the organizations responsible for these delusions are shown to be clearly corrupt.
How people can be taken in by these politically and financially motivated manoeuvrings is totally beyond my comprehension.

Crispin in Waterloo
March 23, 2014 9:19 pm

“Where possible, some terrestrial species are moving up mountainsides, and marine species are moving to deeper depths and higher latitudes. These changes are happening on every continent and in every ocean”.
Name one marine species that is ‘moving to deeper depths’. The mental image intended is, I think, that as the oceans warm, sea creatures will ‘go deeper’ to get away from the heat. It doesn’t appear that the oceans are warming so I guess this is a disaster averted just in time. Can’t have the entire vertical space in the oceans being pointlessly occupied by sea creatures. Its reserved.

Theo Goodwin
March 23, 2014 10:12 pm

I thank you for your very enlightening commentary, Professor Steele. I had no idea that things were this bad. Advocacy at any cost rules in the AAAS. Scientific organizations have sunk so very low.

March 23, 2014 11:34 pm

There are two geographical locations that seem to have been ignored as possible havens from rising temperatures.
It has been my experience that on pole facing sides of mountains and hills it can be much cooler. This provides a location that plants and animals can migrate to other than just further to the poles or higher up.
The second location is down ravens, where also in my experience it can be cooler.

March 23, 2014 11:53 pm

If you want proof of Zero Integrity read this crap… could only be put to print by Sydney’s Pravda.

March 24, 2014 12:55 am

Nick Cohen has an article in The Guardian that refers to the AAAS sounding the alarm on climate change. He then defends using the “d-word” to refer to climate-change skeptics by saying:
“The evidence for man-made global warming is as final as the evidence of Auschwitz. No other word will do.”
He also talks about the “cognitive dissonance” of the “opponents of science,” which is his second favorite name for global warming skeptics, by telling the story of Dorothy Martin:
“She convinced her followers to resign from their jobs and sell their possessions because a great flood was to engulf the earth on 21 December 1954.” When the flood didn’t come, she told them the aliens had changed their minds. “Her followers believed her. They had given up so much for their faith that they would believe anything rather than admit their sacrifices had been pointless.”
Does anyone else see the irony in his comparison? It is not global warming skeptics who are predicting the end of the world. Nick Cohen and his alarmist friends are the ones suffering from “cognitive dissonance.” Their irreversible and catastrophic global warming has not materialized. The flood from the rising seas has not occurred. Yet they still believe. It is they who have given up so much for their faith that they would believe anything rather than admit their sacrifices have been pointless.
For a good laugh, see Nick Cohen’s article here:

R. de Haan
March 24, 2014 3:53 am

pat says:
March 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm
R. de Haan says –
“Clinton is not the only person who obviously has lost her ability to think”
“well, here is our Conservative Govt in Australia, which supposedly was voted in to get rid of all things “carbon”, ready now to LEAD the world in CAGW madness”:
So much for the Australian U-turn on climate madness.
The next phase of shackling our world population according to the scenario written by Vaclav Klaus in his book Blue Planet Green Shackles was announced by the Prime Minister of the Neteherlands of all places at a press conference with Obama at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
They announced a global initiative to prevent the construction of new coal plants and they were going to create a fund to push froward green manufacturing and green economies.
Besides that they were closing the door on Russia accusing the country of a flagrant breach of International law with the annexation of Crimea.
That’s not a clever move if you realize the Crimea belongs to Russia and the people voted in favor of joining the Russian federation by a majority vote and it is even less clever if you realize that Gazprom currently is the most important company in Western Europe form an energy point of view.
At the same time I wonder how we can punish Russia economically if we buy for 190 billion USD worth of energy from Russia annually but deliver 290 million USD worth of goods and services in return.
I think “shooting one selves in it’s own foot” applies here.
We have idiots steering the US/EU Titanic and they are on the brink of turning our lives into hell.
You can watch the announcement of the new climate initiative here:

R. de Haan
March 24, 2014 4:00 am

Nice to see it confirmed that Bill Gates report claiming the world never has been in a better shape than today is as valid as can be.
This is an important conclusion because the world accuses the elites to pull the plug on human civilization because it is destroying the planet.

R. de Haan
March 24, 2014 4:01 am

R. de Haan says:
March 24, 2014 at 3:53 am
correction of this post: 290 million must be 290 billion of course.

March 24, 2014 5:01 am

How does Camille Parmesan get away with this? Anyone care to speculate? This is just more of the same news, in a way….as the CAGW crowd become more embattled, they begin to cast off all shame and just LIE.

Bruce Cobb
March 24, 2014 5:14 am

Nick Cohen doth project too much, methinks.

March 24, 2014 5:56 am

Too much hand waving again just write to the Editors at AAAS and tell them what you think.

March 24, 2014 7:28 am

Its not enough hand waving. The AAAS has been proclaiming there is no more debate for at least a decade. The AAAS will not respond until enough people expose their misleading propaganda. If just a few of us write and complain, they will simply dismiss it, just like the AMS did when I asked for a retraction for the egregious sins of omission in one of Parmesan’s papers.
The more we publicize bad science and the more we all complain the sooner science will regain its objective integrity!

March 24, 2014 9:03 am

The AAAS titled this mess “What We Know” and yet they still included a number of hypotheticals, suppositions and outright falsehoods. Even worse, they use the tired, specious comparison of climate change research to the medical studies linking smoking to cancer. With literally millions of cigarette users, using statistics to connect cause and effect was pretty easy. We have one Earth, and a minor change to a trace gas in the atmosphere isn’t the only variable that’s in play.
They either don’t understand science themselves or they’ve chosen to deliberately mislead the public in a paper that’s specifically targeted for the naive layperson. I’m not sure which of those possibilities is worse, but I do know that whenever I see that argument used I’m immediately sure that I’m dealing with a charlatan or an idiot.

Old Patriot
March 24, 2014 9:42 am

It’s unfortunate that the American Association for the Advancement of Science has deteriorated so far. I suggest a name change — to the Association of Surreal Science. Much better fit.

March 24, 2014 1:17 pm

Is the PCC is backpedaling?

24 March 2014
Spiegel reports of an “acute lack of data” and that “biological findings have increased doubt over the expected species extinction“ ……………
Spiegel adds:
Thus far, the IPCC admits, there has been no evidence showing that climate change has led to the extinction of a single species. […] With most life forms there’s a lack of data, says Ragnar Kinzelbach of the University of Rostock.”

March 24, 2014 4:10 pm

Jimbo shares “Spiegel adds:
Thus far, the IPCC admits, there has been no evidence showing that climate change has led to the extinction of a single species. […] ” Thanks for the link.
They absolutely must back off. It is too easy to reveal just how bad the alarmists’ science truly is. I am curious how Parmesan and her minions will spin it.
Parmesan and Poloczanska wrote in a 2011 article “Overstretching Attribution” (for none other than Nature Climate Change”), “Species’ extinctions have already been linked to recent climate change; the golden toad is iconic” in order to evoke fear despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary as I summarized in Contrasting Good and Bad Science: Disease, Climate Change and the Case of the Golden Toad–disease–climate.html
Their article was simply an attempt to justify ignoring all skeptical evidence writing, “By over-emphasizing the need for rigorous assessment of the specific role of greenhouse-gas forcing in driving observed biological changes, the IPCC effectively yields to the contrarians’ inexhaustible demands for more ‘proof’, rather than advancing the most pressing and practical scientific questions.”
Poloczanska and Parmesan also wrote another 2013 paper “Global imprint of climate change on Marine Life ” published again in Nature Climate Change using the same misapplied meta-analyses to evoke ecological disruption of the oceans without really addressing natural oscillations.
I suspect some IPCC authors will try to mollify the criticisms, while others like Parmesan will continue to pump bogus propaganda, and in so doing deflect criticism of one by pointing to a more reasonable statement.

March 25, 2014 12:27 am

The erroneously cited scientists did not protest Parmesan’s cynical misrepresentation of their work. This is the real problem and not only in this particular case.
When Gore asserted that the Medieval Warm Period was a “blip” no scientists protested publicly. This inexplicable reticence to assert the truth by scientists is baffling.

March 25, 2014 10:07 pm

AAAS must not have read my post decrying their bias and bogus science. They just sent me an advertisement asking me to re-join.
Dear JIM,
As a scientist today, you need instant updates on new advances in and outside your field, the latest on science policy and funding, and breaking news and discoveries that impact your work – and your world.
With cost increases, uncertain funding conditions, and tighter controls, you need all of this at a price that fits your budget and gives you more value for your money.
Now, when you join AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and subscribe to the paperless edition of Science by April 15, you can have everything you want for just $50* professional/$40* student.

March 26, 2014 10:52 am


4 °C and beyond: what did this mean for biodiversity in the past?
How do the predicted climatic changes (IPCC, 2007) for the next century compare in magnitude and rate to those that Earth has previously encountered? Are there comparable intervals of rapid rates of temperature change, sea-level rise and levels of atmospheric CO2 that can be used as analogues to assess possible biotic responses to future change? Or are we stepping into the great unknown? This perspective article focuses on intervals in time in the fossil record when atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased up to 1200 ppmv, temperatures in mid- to high-latitudes increased by greater than 4 °C within 60 years, and sea levels rose by up to 3 m higher than present. For these intervals in time, case studies of past biotic responses are presented to demonstrate the scale and impact of the magnitude and rate of such climate changes on biodiversity. We argue that although the underlying mechanisms responsible for these past changes in climate were very different (i.e. natural processes rather than anthropogenic), the rates and magnitude of climate change are similar to those predicted for the future and therefore potentially relevant to understanding future biotic response. What emerges from these past records is evidence for rapid community turnover, migrations, development of novel ecosystems and thresholds from one stable ecosystem state to another, but there is very little evidence for broad-scale extinctions due to a warming world. Based on this evidence from the fossil record, we make four recommendations for future climate-change integrated conservation strategies.

H. D. Hoese
March 31, 2014 2:14 pm

I suppose those in the hard sciences should technically simply say what is not science, leaving the conclusions about motivations to others, just as they should leave the attempted implementation. I recall a seminar about a generation ago on the inferior southern fishes replacing the cold water species. This was apparently just a value judgement and contradictory since they were predicted to replace them. As many introductions of cold water fishes into southern waters have proven they are usually inferior there and would be so in warming northern waters, although there are other factors not always to their benefit.
So the non-science reasons (my trout are better than your bass) forces everyone outside of the box. How much of the bias is simply falling in love with your critter (habitat, computer model, etc)?.

%d bloggers like this: