My report on the Cook talk in Bristol – attendees are invited to leave their impressions

LastWeekTonightI attended John Cook’s talk at the University of Bristol Victoria rooms last night at 6 PM. Besides myself, about 20 other climate skeptics also attended the talk, making up about 25% of what I saw to be about a 75% filled room. The talk itself was rather uneventful; there was really nothing new discussed and in fact the only new thing that I saw in Mr. Cook’s presentation is what you see in the photo above, which is an excerpt from a news pundit episode called “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver.

Here is the video of that segment presented by Cook in full. The part on climate skeptic starts at about 50 seconds in and completes the entire segment. I don’t think Mr. Cook understands that this video, while referencing his infamous 97% contentious claim, makes the 97% look like a gang of bullies. See for yourself:

While this is obviously satire it was presented in parallel with other information that was considered by Mr. Cook to be scientific. I found this juxtaposition very odd, since it essentially disagreed with Cook’s own position on the public viewpoint percentages as well as trivializing and debasing the debate.

I took photos of every slide that Mr. Cook put up last night and I thought about repeating a number of them here but there really is no point since we’ve seen all of them before, having drawn them from his skeptical science website and from his publications. I will place up this one photo though it demonstrates that the parody video above and John Cook’s own assessment of the public levels of skepticism differ significantly:

Cook_20140919_piesHere are some of my impressions of the evening event.

First I wish to thank the people of the Cabot Institute for their assistance to me related to my hearing impairment. They went above and beyond to make sure that I was accommodated and were most gracious, and I am most appreciative. Second, I wish to thank the WUWT readership at large for assistance in getting me here in the first place.

Third, the event was quiet and reserved. There were no protest signs, and skeptics made no disturbances. In fact, there were no verbal clashes of any sort that I witnessed and overall it was a pleasant event as these events go.

John Cook himself made it a point to come up and introduce himself to me before the talk began. Actually he sat down right next to me in the front row seat that was reserved for made by the Cabot Institute people. I had not wanted to approach him because my goal was simply to observe and not to cause any sorts of disruptions and I didn’t know the in introducing myself would be seen as such.

We chatted about travel, family, and other pleasantries, and I found him to be pleasant and reserved as well as treating me with courtesy. Such types of meetings face-to-face are quite different from what one would expect to see in written commentary or blog chatter. There was no hint of condescension between either of us and we left on pleasant terms.

This sort of meeting underscores what I feel is the need for more one-on-one conversations. It is very easy to demonize your opponent from a distance on social media ( or as some might call it unsocial media) however, meeting one face-to-face humanizes your differences. Barry Woods who was there spoke of this effect in his dealings with the editors of the Frontiers Journal. He said he was unable to make any headway with e-mail exchanges but that when he spoke with the editors personally all of a sudden understandings were forged. We all owe Barry a debt of gratitude for his efforts in helping to get the “Recursive Fury” paper retracted.

I cannot say the same however for Prof. Lewandowski who was also there last night. He was aware of my presence and made no effort at contact nor did I. After what I consider glaring breaches of professional and personal ethics in his taunting (and now retracted) “Recursive Fury” paper I don’t think I would be able to have a civil conversation with him, so it was probably for the best that we did not engage in a conversation.

The question-and-answer period was quite interesting, with the majority of questions coming from skeptical commenters. One question that caught my attention was a gentleman who suggested to Mr. Cook that his viewpoint “reduced the question of climate change to a binary yes or no issue when in fact the issue is far more complex with many shades of gray”.

As the title indicates I’ll leave this forum open for those in attendance last night to relate their own experiences in the Q&A session to the comments section below which I will add to the body of this essay.

After the talk, about 20 climate skeptics walked over to Channing’s free house and  made merry, taking over a good portion of the tables. With a much reduced group we later went to a second pub of which I cannot recall the name.

I thank everyone who was there for their kind words and for keeping a drink in my hand. Though this morning as I write this in a somewhat British fog I will say that my thanks while sincere are now somewhat muted 🙂

For those who attended, feel free to leave your own impressions of the event below, and I’ll add to the body of the essay.

UPDATE:

Here are the comments from attendees:

Bloke down the pub

September 20, 2014 at 3:39 am

I think my impressions of the evening were pretty close to yours. Your comment on being able to talk one on one does strike a chord. I felt the frustrating part was knowing that many of the warmists or neutrals in the audience would have accepted as fact what Cook was saying, where one on one contact would have allowed weaknesses in the argument to be pointed out. I’m glad you had a good evening and I enjoyed meeting you and so many other names from here who I can now put a face to. Hopefully the Mann event will go as well.


David Holland

September 20, 2014 at 4:35 am

I agree with Anthony’s comments.

Cook tried to elicit from the audience their understanding of the physical basis of anthropogenic global warming and claimed to have received it from the answers given. However I do not recall the role of water vapour being mentioned from the platform or the floor and the slide he put up to show the answer implied that all the anthropogenic warming came from Carbon Dioxide only. If this were true there would be no significant warming. IPCC 1991 SPM says:

“The main greenhouse gas water vapour, will increase in response to global warming and further enhance it”

The entire AGW scare is based upon the assumption that a positive feedback mechanism exists where more warming produces more water vapour and that produces more warming etc. This mechanism, on which I could say more and the role of the atmosphere was not mentioned. ‘Pathetic’ was my overall impression.

I am glad that I did not have to pay for my ticket but was amply rewarded by the pleasure of meeting Anthony and so many good friends.


CarolineK

September 20, 2014 at 6:49 am

My impression, apart from agreeing with what Anthony and others said about the presentation, was that whilst the sceptic questions were very good, Cook’s slick technique was to say to each one words to the effect of ‘that’s a very good question’ – and then go on to give, like a good pollie, the answer to the question he would have preferred had been asked, so in effect, answered nothing satisfactorily, while giving the impression to those not in the know that he had.

The other thing that was very noticeable was at the end, there was a queue waiting to meet Anthony, while Cook and Lewandowsky were ignored on the whole. Anthony was indisputably the star of the evening, despite not having uttered a single (public) comment.


Jack

September 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

I attended this talk as a non-expert “believer” in AGW. My position mostly arises from being science-minded skeptic (in the untarnished sense). I have a good understanding of the scientific process/establishment (both its strengths and weaknesses), combined with an understanding politics, economics, ideology and psychology etc. that makes the world tick.

From the materials I’ve read over a few years (from both sides) I’ve found myself persuaded that the “basic science” is settled i.e. the climate is warming and we are largely responsible. So much so that’s I’ve lost interest in that area somewhat.

Back to the talk: What I got from it was that it’s ^this message (the message on “basic science”) which is still muddled in the public’s minds. Didn’t seem that controversial, given the history we have with trying to get the public to understand all sorts of complex issues over the decades (smoking, vaccinations etc)

I was very surprised at the end of the talk then, to find the majority of audience questions coming from staunch opponents to the thesis that Cook was putting forward! As I have since found out it there were a lot of WUWT readers in attendance ready to ask challenging questions 🙂

As usual in these types of confrontations (where “tribes” seemed wilful to misinterpret) it seems half the questions missed the point, and half the answers avoided the questions :-/ Cook himself mostly handled the questions without panic or aggression which I believe is the right approach. I think he himself said he thought taking on difficult questions but remaining civil was best for everybody. Not that he rebutted them to the extent I would have liked but.

After the Q&A I listened-in to an brief debate between a couple of skeptics and non-skeptics. Given how prepared, passionate and knowledgeable the skeptics seemed I was impressed and surprised to find one of non-skeptics to be equally so (a relief). Sadly we were ushered out of the room before the debate could make much headway.

I had a brief chat with a few of the skeptics and they all seemed like perfectly nice blokes (if a little too eager to exposes the history injustices against their cause!), and although I didn’t have much time it struck me very quickly that all sides seemed to agree on the “basic science” question. (Yet given that, I’m still confused why they come across as seeming so keen still to “prove the [basic] science wrong”?? Supposedly I was told that’s only a fringe group… but then squabbling soon return to whether its 0.3 or 0.15 degrees. I’m sure 6 or 7 years ago they were arguing over whether it was positive or negative…hmmm).

The real disagreements then seemed to come down to risk and policy…which I think are perfectly justified areas of debate (And often areas where science cannot give answers). I’m personally not aware or convinced that higher temperatures are bad. I can see there being potential upsides and downsides to climate change. And there are always costs in taking both action and inaction. I’ve not read the risk assessments but I can imagine this stuff is very difficult to assess so I can seem room for ideology to creeps in. Again I generally am in favour of low carbon as it has lots of other benefits (I like efficiency and don’t like smog) but then building solar farms in drizzly Cornwall doesn’t seem that smart to me either…. but disagreeing on this stuff doesn’t make one side “idiots” or not! There are genuinely justifiable yet alternative positions sensible people can hold on this stuff.

Like Anthony Watts says, I think the humanizing effect of face-to-face communication is vitally important and I’m glad that was able to happen last night and I hope it continues.


NeilC

September 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

Hi Anthony, it was good to meet you yesterday evening.

The way I saw Cook’s performance was, very well prepared, and had slides to back up any possible/likely questions from sceptics. The title of the presentation, “Dogma vs consensus: Letting the evidence speak on climate change, was rather apt, I thought. He presented 100% dogma, and 97.4% consensus. My only problem was the evidence, which was not convincing and “cherry picked”.

I don’t believe that dogma or consensus is always right, and of course has been proven wrong historically. The consensus thought the world was flat, until proved wrong. The consensus thought the sun revolved around the Earth, until proved wrong. The consensus thought tectonic plates did not exist, until proved wrong.

I thought his temperature graph about the pause, and saying global warming is still happening was interesting, starting in 1970 up till about 2010. As depicted on the chart “cherry picked”, he was right it was.

I never understand why they aren’t honest with temperature records. Using CET data, I know it’s not global, I know it wasn’t all that accurate in early years but it is the longest instrumental record we have. It reflects past temperatures much more accurately than the use of proxy data. If they were honest, they would tell everyone, the temperature has only risen 0.8DegC in 353 years. It also shows a cooling trend for the last 21 years. It is not surprising the temperature has been rising since the record commenced just after the coldest part of the LIA; it is the difference in the amount of rise and cause of the rise they suggest with which I argue.

Natural variation is vast, from an ice free planet to a snowball Earth (140 Deg C difference).

When I asked about how they measure temperatures in the deep oceans I was hoping to add, and how accurate and how long have we been measuring them, but didn’t get the opportunity.

In summary, yes it was all dogma, yes the 97.4% consensus was mentioned consistently, but the real evidence was not there.

Many thanks to the Cabot Institute for putting on this lecture.

Have a good weekend, and see you next week.

NeilC


Katabasis

September 20, 2014 at 8:17 am Edit

It was great to finally meet you in person Anthony, along with many other sceptics it was my first time meeting face to face. It was only a shame I couldn’t stick around for longer as I had to get the last coach back to London.

I greatly admire your calm and restraint in the face of people like Cook. I’m finding it increasingly harder to rein my temper in with these people and for you to be able to do so in the face of an astronomically higher number of slings and arrows coming your way than I’ll ever have to bear means you’re a far better man than I.

Cooks’ talk for me was highly offensive and equally laughable (and I did laugh). He happily struts around as a purveyor of the belief in some “conspiracy” of “d*niers” that I’ve yet to meet or encounter one member of, or anyone who vaguely resembles them. This would not be nearly so bad for the fact that he, Lewandowsky and others are able to provide work that is of such poor quality, if not outright fraudulent that is not only accepted by the academic establishment, but they are actively rewarded for it at the highest level with plaudits, fame, money.

Cook’s presentation was a long dribble of one fact-free ridiculous claim about “d*niers” after another and I find it both surreal and disturbing that it is (and was) not laughed out of the room by the numerous Bristol academics that were present. I’ve become utterly embittered by climate “science”, and the normalisation of this kind of activist-science in institutions that are supposed to be guardians of integrity and truth. It’s a disease that is now rapidly encroaching on other areas – as ably demonstrated by Lewandowsky’s pernicious influence now being felt in psychology and the social sciences.

I don’t see this situation improving any time soon. As a result, I’m most likely going to be departing academia in utter disgust, and returning to the private sector. I have a thin list of departments and researchers in the UK I’d be willing to work for in an academic setting, however those people have a foot in the real world where they actually have to deliver, and to deliver something substantial at that. Their work contrasts sharply with much of the “research” I’ve been embarrassed to even be in just the proximity of at the institutions I have worked at – it has mostly been vague hand wavy stuff that the taxpayer is gouged for. The covenant there is broken to my mind, even before the toxic reach of activist-science is felt.

The fact that Cook et al, quite literally, draw a cartoon version of sceptics that they then proceed to “engage” with was made clear – yet again – when myself and Barry Woods were accosted by three students who demanded to know who we were. It is becoming increasingly tedious to go through the exact same motions every time – they are shocked to the core to find out that our main objections, as sceptics, are focused on the catastrophism and the feedbacks and that many of our positions are, if not identical, at least compatible with the IPCC. It is truly depressing and sad to realise that they don’t seem to be aware that Cook’s presentation, explaining how to “inoculate” people against “d*nialist propaganda” is itself a masterclass in propaganda. They’re going to be equally shocked every time they meet a sceptic in person until they realise that just because someone is on stage, just because they have fame and just because they have “Dr” in front of their name, does not make them a paragon of integrity.

All bar one of the points made from the floor to Cook were challenging in some respect to his – and the general alarmist’s – perspective. From my POV he airily dismissed all of them and implied strongly at the end that they should be ignored because they were obviously coming from this super sekrit conspiracy of “d*niers”.

For my part, I followed straight up on his complaining about the petition project. He said it should be ignored because most of the people who signed it, whilst many may be academics and researchers, were not climate scientists. Bizarrely he singled out ‘someone with a PhD in Computer Science’ as an example of someone who should not be trusted with regard to their opinion on climate science. I put it to him that his paper on “consensus” should be retracted on multiple grounds. One of which was that – in contrast to what he had just been saying – many of the papers listed in supposed support of “the consensus” were not only written by non-climate scientists, they also had nothing to do with climate science. I listed off some of the many examples identified by José Duarte [1], including papers on housing associations, television news coverage, cooking stoves, asthma, opinion polls etc etc.

Cook’s response? Er – that ‘proved his point’ apparently, because it “showed consensus across subject areas”. WTF?

A couple of Cook’s responses to others are highly notable however, and should definitely be recorded for posterity. In response to a questioner who pointed out that most objections regard catastrophism Cook said that the “consensus” was not about impending catastrophe but climate disruption. Not only do I think that is a fascinating shifting of the goal posts, but I’d also really like to know how he quantifies that because as most of us here area aware in terms of “extreme weather” the IPCC “consensus” certainly does not support this assertion.

A second response was, I think, in answer to the point from the floor about the issue not being black and white. Cook acknowledged that there are large swathes of the debate that remain unsettled – a point that seems to get people branded as a “d*nier” over at Sceptical Séance and then banned.

All in all the whole experience was more of the same and the best part by far was meeting some other sceptics in the pub.

[1] http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/cooking-stove-use-housing-associations-white-males-and-the-97

=====

Oh I should also mention that Cook is launching a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) on “Making Sense of Climate Science D*nial”

https://www.edx.org/course/uqx/uqx-denial101x-making-sense-climate-4371#.VBxNu-c0phE


SuffolkBoy

September 20, 2014 at 8:46 am

I was at the meeting too. However, I must have missed the message about getting to Channings so had a lonely evening 🙁 followed by a trip back to Suffolk today. I didn’t recognize anybody, there was no obvious gang-formation, and there were no name-tags! I was expecting much more in the way both of the “science” and a useful or even lively debate afterwards. Instead it was just pie-charts with “97%” and that irritating graphic “how skeptics see global warming” repeating endlessly. Except for the mewling kittens, I found nothing new in the talk at all: it was just like the website, but with pop-up cartoons and added 3D. I don’t think Cook understands at all that the CAGW hypothesis has transformed into a religion. Banging on about how 97% of Catholics believe that the Pope exists isn’t going to win back any converts to the warmist cause. The Q&A session revealed more and more that the CAGW message these days is just a collection of soundbites without any joined-up message. Any sceptical comment was simply met with variations on “Read IPCC Chapter 4 Verse 3″: “and the seas shall be uplifted and the unbelievers shall be drowned”. I bet they have more exciting meetings at the Malvern Contract Bridge Club.

The only interesting part was being met with the pamphleteers asking me to support the LBGT March Against Climate Change and the walk home. During the walk I was struck by (compared to Suffolk) the disparity of life-styles in this bastion of LibDem country and Bristol Universty: every corner, closed shop entrance and cash-point was festooned with street-beggars asking for “change” from the passing latte-sippers and sushi-eaters. Amazingly, nobody blamed the train disruption (unprecedented flash-floods on the Lonodon-Bristol line) on “climate change”.

Anyone going to the Mann talk? Is there a pre-meeting beer or a post-meeting curry?


manicbeancounter

September 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

It was great to meet Anthony last night, along with many others.

I concur with Anthony’s comments above, except that the questions were nearly all from skeptics, not just a majority. The most pointed pro-consensus question was towards the end, on why most of the questions were coming from skeptics, when most of those in the room seem to be from the other side.

Of the talk, I would also add a final slide was adapted John Cook’s flickering “escalator” temperature graph from his website – only last night it had cherries on with the “cherry-picking”. It was left flickering away for about 15 minutes.

The link is at http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

This shows something important. A number of climate skeptics went to listen to someone who grossly misrepresents and maligns our views. There was no heckling, no abusive language or cross words – put there were pointed questions that were mostly met with politician-style answers. From John Cook there was not even a hint of an acknowledgement that the range of skeptical views posted at WUWT, and elsewhere, may have a hint of credibility to them. Rather than try to engage and understand other viewpoints, he makes up something totally false.

The gatherings in the pubs, before and after, were a complete contrast. We “skeptics” have a huge range of different views, but we listened and debated over the beer and cider.

Kevin Marshall – Manicbeancounter


flydlbee

September 20, 2014 at 10:03 am Edit

I felt Cook’s assertions about the 97% figure were laughable. He was obviously facing a more-than-usually cynical audience. He struck me as the “Alex Salmond” of climate science, articulate, but not reliable.

Nice to meet you, Anthony.

===============================================

UPDATE 2:

One of the slides in the Cook talk was about crossing a bridge and the 97%. The meme is typically phrased like this:

97% of engineers say a bridge will collapse, 3% say not to worry – would you still drive over it?

Cook_bridge_20140919One of the attendees, Michel, has written commentary about this, it is worth reading:

http://trustyetverify.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/one-analogy-too-far/

 

 

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181 thoughts on “My report on the Cook talk in Bristol – attendees are invited to leave their impressions

  1. Kudos to Cook for coming over to speak to you. I hope this will lead to better dialogue between the two sides in the not to distant future.

    • I am all for constructive dialogue and have had very cordial discussions by email and face to face with scientists at the met office. At a conference in Exeter I attended a few months ago Thomas stocker and various other ipcc reviewers were all perfectly pleasant.
      We must stop thinking of them as demons, idiots or colluding in some vast conspiracy or hoax
      Tonyb

      • Brian
        Looking at some of the typically caustic comments on this blog on an average thread a warmist would feel disinclined to engage. Having a hostile atmosphere is counter productive for those you wish to influence I.e those who don’t think like you. it cuts both ways of course as sceptics are unlikely to want to hang around at a number of hostile warmist blogs.
        Tonyb

      • Whoa…before you guys wander off to crawl in the hot tub and sing kumbaya, it might be helpful to remember these guys are indeed colluding in a vast conspiracy/hoax, and it’s costing us tens of billions of dollars a year…and they want much more.
        Not only are the scientific conclusions wrong, but the process is intellectually dishonest.
        Yea, sure go have “constructive dialog”, but for pete’s sake, don’t lose track of what the problem is.

      • I have to agree with Chip. Never forget what these people want, and the lengths they will go to get it, nor what it means for the world and her people if they do. The warmist agenda will cost billions more, in blood and treasure, should sanity fail to prevail. It is dangerous to forget that in the name of pleasant dialogue.

    • Chip
      Are you suggesting that for the last 30 years thousands of scientists from around the world are getting together in a giant organised conspiracy and deliberately perpetrating fraud?
      tonyb

      • No but:-
        “It’s hard to make a man understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it”

      • I would state that many (don’t have an exact body count) scientists have willingly turned their back on the scientific method of “if the data doesn’t fit, the theory is wrong”; claims of “settled science” and “97% consensus” are nonsense; refusal of many (not all) to even discuss the science is childish.
        Do I think this is a deliberate fraud? You bet I do. Why do I think this is being done? MONEY & POWER (ref Michael Mann & his Nobel prize).
        You may be as snarky in your response to me as you wish, but to be credible, you’ll need to explain the current 17-year+ pause. It’s impractical, but it would be nice if we could revisit this conversation in, say, 10 years, when I honestly believe CAGW (or what ever it’ll be called by then) will be viewed as a very unpleasant academic & scientific fraud.

      • Chip
        I wasn’t being snarky.
        I have written some 15 articles on various aspects of climate change and have never believed that humanity is responsible for it.
        During the course of my research I have read thousands of papers talked with hundreds of scientists and visited a number of establishments such as the Met office.
        I find the idea of thousands of highly intelligent scientists being directed to commit fraud as some part of a giant conspiracy to be fanciful.
        Which is not to say of course that there are a number of highly motivated activists with disproportionate influence nor that there are holes in many of the warmist arguments.
        However we are in danger of underestimating those we disagree with if we merely believe They can be easily dismissed Because their work is ‘ fraudulent’
        Tonyb

      • More like a bandwagon throwing money than a planned military exercise type conspiracy. Follow the money. Government bureaucrats like it causes it validates their existence (and salaries). How many bureaucrats do you find believe their job is superfluous and actively campaign for its elimination?

  2. I think my impressions of the evening were pretty close to yours. Your comment on being able to talk one on one does strike a chord. I felt the frustrating part was knowing that many of the warmists or neutrals in the audience would have accepted as fact what Cook was saying, where one on one contact would have allowed weaknesses in the argument to be pointed out. I’m glad you had a good evening and I enjoyed meeting you and so many other names from here who I can now put a face to. Hopefully the Mann event will go as well.

  3. I had hoped to attend and had reserved a ticket, but events overtook me and I had to stay at home – it’s a 90 minute drive to Bristol. My main reason for wanting to attend was to meet you, Anthony, in the hope of being able to show you my interactive approach to climate data, which differs from that of others and highlights different aspects of data time series from those typically appearing in relevant publications of various types.
    I see from today’s newspaper that Bristol had a pretty intense thunderstorm yesterday. Pity about that! We’ve had dry and warm weather for the whole of September until a few days ago – but then, that’s weather.
    Perhaps I could send you some of my takes on how climate changes, or does not, by email. Can’t get to grips with posting graphics, I’m afraid :-(( I look at any climate-related time series that I can find.
    Hope that you enjoyed your trip to Bristol. It is a scenic city with loads of history – some of it rather unsavoury I fear – and a rather special place to live.
    Robin

    • Robin, drop me a note using the About> Contact menu bar and I’ll have a look. I’m sorry we were not able to meet.

  4. So John Cook was polite to our man Watts.
    Could he have been applying “The Art of War”
    “Respect the enemy, appreciate his mind.”
    -I Ching

    • I used to attend and speak at technology conferences, and have found many people are quite pleasant in person, while vitriolic behind the keyboard. Its amazing the two faces people take on. I’d prefer everyone be the same person (polite) regardless of proximity.

  5. …With a much reduced group we later went to a second pub of which I cannot recall the name….
    Which is exactly as it should be. If you can’t remember ANYTHING about the rest of the evening, rest assured that you had a GOOD time…!

  6. Enron is dead. Long live Enron!
    -=ANNOUNCEMENT * ANNOUNCEMENT * ANNOUNCEMENT=-
    After #gamergate, millions of computer gamers are this month in full activist rebellion, organizing boycotts and letter writing campaigns and making YouTube videos against suddenly revealed corrupt insider journalism in support of “social justice warrior” (SJW) feminist activists trying to inject themselves into what is now the largest media market in the world, bigger than Hollywood. I highly encourage as many skeptics as care about how the mainstream media has declared war on them, just like gamer scene journalists have this season declared war on their own readers for demanding an end of lies and con artists taking over, via liberal arts major feminist progressives pretending to be game enthusiasts with one sleeping her way around to get favorable reviews and an insider mailing list being revealed a couple days ago, where journalists were indeed found coordinating a smear campaign and whitewash. What happened comparable to Climategate was a boyfriend exposed a feminist icon of the gaming media as a con artist cheating on him with media insiders.
    A Kickstarter campaign produced a pair of feminist videos in which another gal, the insufferable scold Anita Sarkeesian, enacted her own violence against women in games but then lied about it by claiming that the games rewarded such behavior when in fact they cause demerits. An activist scientist gamer who created debunking videos, after earlier skewering a green energy boondoggle about solar powered highways, named thunderf00t, just had his Twitter account suspended by the SJWs.
    Anybody who made a popular anti-greenie science facts video deserves the support of skeptics here now that he is at the center of opposition to media corruption and is being attacked.
    Millions of upset people in a two billion dollar market are up in arms this season. GO GIVE THEM SUPPORT ON TWITTER. Tell them how you have also been attacked by journalists for speaking out about corruption. They are young, mostly, lots of minorities and women too who are using the hashtag #notyourshield to protest the stereotyping by nasty third wave grievance industry feminists of concerned gamers as sexist white jerks. Similar to climate alarm on conservative sites, news sites like VICE.com who are whitewashing the favoritism of political agendas have 95% angry comments from readers, and the commotion is now getting the attention of the conservative blogosphere.
    I have never seen such intense grassroots activism since the 1960s. They are not backing down and the coverup is causing a Streisand effect in spades.
    You can see the commotion continuing on this traffic tracking site, now holding fast at 50K Tweets a day:
    http://topsy.com/analytics?q1=%23gamergate&via=Topsy
    -=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

      • Your trolling Debbie downer sarcastic sourpuss attitude perfectly illustrates *why* skeptics have so far failed to expose fraud beyond the already anti-science creationist conservative realm and Fox News. You lack media savvy and activist ability. Almost none of the readers here venture out in outreach to those younger demographics that are the last remaining demographic who can still be converted into skeptics. This is shameful pacifism and it disgusts me to no end.
        [This reply is left up as an example of the “other demographics” out there. .mod]

      • Please explain your odd addendum to my post, mod. It’s not obvious why a troll is being encouraged here, someone suggesting my account was hacked in rude fashion as I sincerely post news of journalistic corruption in yet another counterculture

    • Ric Werme on Sept 20, 6:05 am made his comment because your post sounded somewhat like a wild-eyed rant. It is confusing and I, at least, am not quite understanding completely what you are trying to say. It sounds like something worthy of attention, and maybe following.

      • Hey Nik of NY, Don’t worry about the younger “demographic”. It’s true they get the brunt of academia’s climate propaganda. But thier parents’ demographic is fullof sceptics. I have taught my son this scepticism as have many commenters here. I presume that your relatively young (old enough for a PHd though.). Someone swayed you to scepticism.
        I don’t disagree that communicating the sceptic viewpoint to youngsters is essential. I just wanted to say that it is being done.

    • Hey Nik of NY, Don’t worry about the younger “demographic”. It’s true they get the brunt of academia’s climate propaganda. But thier parents’ demographic is full of sceptics. I have taught my son this scepticism as have many commenters here. I presume that you’re relatively young (old enough for a PHd though.). Someone swayed you to scepticism.
      I don’t disagree that communicating the sceptic viewpoint to youngsters is essential. I just wanted to say that it is being done.

    • Nick is right. The gaming community has rocked the Social Justice crowd back on its heels. I’m astonished at how strong and fierce their pushback has been. This community could learn a few things from them.

      • Could someone (Nik?)) write a more informative comment on this please?
        The original comment was incomprehensible without an intro.

    • Might want to discuss a medication adjustment with your doctor. 🙂

  7. I agree with Anthony’s comments.
    Cook tried to elicit from the audience their understanding of the physical basis of anthropogenic global warming and claimed to have received it from the answers given. However I do not recall the role of water vapour being mentioned from the platform or the floor and the slide he put up to show the answer implied that all the anthropogenic warming came from Carbon Dioxide only. If this were true there would be no significant warming. IPCC 1991 SPM says:
    “The main greenhouse gas water vapour, will increase in response to global warming and further enhance it”
    The entire AGW scare is based upon the assumption that a positive feedback mechanism exists where more warming produces more water vapour and that produces more warming etc. This mechanism, on which I could say more and the role of the atmosphere was not mentioned. ‘Pathetic’ was my overall impression.
    I am glad that I did not have to pay for my ticket but was amply rewarded by the pleasure of meeting Anthony and so many good friends.
    .

    • Yes, their scheme of a positive feedback from water vapor fails because water vapor is a stage in the cooling process of the oceans and the atmosphere both. This all-important aspect of our planet is ignored by the alarmists. Before the advent of the global warmers, there never was any confusion about the role of water in the climate. Now confusion reigns supreme.

      • They do appear to be stuck on radiative heat loss and Stefan Boltzmann, to the extent that water freezing and radiating latent heat, is disregarded as ‘it is radiating from a cold level’ as if the latent heat of fusion varies with the ambient temperature.

  8. “What we must not do now is have an attack of the nicey nices with them. They’re in the killing jar, they’re finally seeing that now and are going to start desperately flinging olive branches in our direction. They’re moving into stage three, the bargaining phase of the death rattle of their belief system. Work any offer ruthlessly, but don’t even dream of meeting them on some fabled middle ground. That doesn’t exist.”
    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/the-difficult-kind/
    Pointman

      • The political left is particularly good at using the tactics that you propose for us and while I don’t disagree, I can tell you that “our side” is not comfortable with confrontation and disruption. There’s no denying the effectiveness however.

    • I liked this bit:
      “Every time you deal with them, develop the habit of looking hard at them and thinking back a few years to when you were being routinely compared to a holocaust denier. That’ll get your head right.”
      When you’re pounding the wooden stake through his heart, even Dracula plays nice. But you know what he’ll do if you stop.

  9. Did any of the skeptics ask what it would take to falsify [$any_chicken_little_claim|fear-mongering]? I would ask this at every meeting.

    • Brock, you are out of your league here. Intelligent skeptics don’t need to ask that question. That you think it is important to ask speaks to your degree of knowledge. My advice. Listen more, comment less.

      • Impressive that you can divine such opinions, analysis & recommendations from Brock’s 10-15 word comment.
        And, by the way, Brock’s question is perfectly legitimate. I was wondering the same thing until I realized my thoughts reflected badly on my IQ.
        Pamela, my advice: comment less.

    • While the “consensus” is nowhere near as high as cook posits, it is still higher then available data seems to warrant. We have over 4 dozen papers trying to explain why it is not warming as predicted, and while this shows us the science is NOT settled, it also shows us that in most of these papers they ARE often still making the case co2s role is unchanged from earlier assessments, it is some other variable we got all wrong.
      This is alarming. Where does this bias come from? what are the chances that when things do not go as we thought they would, that Im aware of no major names that simply reversed their stance, you know like following the data. I am sure there are several, but there must not be alot of these people. In reality Id think the FIRST thing you questions is the perceived role of co2, NOT every factor EXCEPT co2 is now in question. This is backwards. WHY??? Personal bias? agenda? rent seeking? what is it? Its definitely not objective unbiased science whatever it is.

      • “This is alarming. Where does this bias come from?”
        The author of the Federalist article about Neil deGrasse Tyson has come up with a theory in the 2nd follow-on to his original piece. I think he’s hit the nail on the head wrt most believers:
        http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/19/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-the-metaphysical-dilemma-of-the-left/

        The modern left formed as a reaction against capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. I think this reaction was driven by a deeply ingrained attitude toward morality. Practically every moral philosophy has warned against the evils of greed and self-interest—and here was an economic system that encourages and rewards those motives. You could look at this and decide that it’s necessary to re-evaluate the moral issues and come to terms with self-interest in some way. Most factions of the modern right have done so, whether they accept self-interest as a necessary evil or to make a virtue of selfishness.
        But if you’re not willing to make such an accommodation, you’re going to look around, see all this heedless profit-seeking, and conclude that it must be evil in some way and it must be leading to evil consequences. So you will lend an eager ear to anyone who claims to validate your moral suspicions about capitalism.
        In the first go-around, these anti-capitalists tried to capture the science of economics, forming theories about how capitalism is a system of exploitation that will impoverish the common man, while scientific central planning would provide abundance for all.
        Let’s just say that this didn’t work out. When it turned out that central planning impoverishes the common man and capitalism provides abundance for all, they had to switch to a fallback position. Which is: to heck with prosperity—too many material goods are the problem. Our greed for more is destroying the planet by causing environmental catastrophes. This shift became official some time in the 1960s with the rise of the New Left.
        Some of the catastrophes didn’t pan out (overpopulation, global cooling) and others proved too small to be anything more than a speed bump in the path of capitalism (banning CFCs and DDT). But then along comes global warming—and it’s just too good not to be true. It tells us that capitalism is not just exploiting the workers or causing inequality or deadening our souls with crass materialism. It’s destroying the very planet itself.
        The global warming theory tells us that the free market is a doomsday machine bringing about the end of the world. It turns capitalism into a metaphysical evil.
        And there is no halfway solution to the problem, no practical fix or technological patch. Carbon dioxide emissions are an unavoidable byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels, and the entire system of industrial capitalism runs on fossil fuels. So the only way to avoid catastrophe is to shut it all down.
        You can see how this brings order and balance back to the left’s universe. Their visceral reaction against capitalism is validated on the deepest, most profound level.
        You can see how this would be almost like a drug or like an article of religious faith. How can you allow people to question and undermine the very thing that gives meaning to your life? Hence the visceral reaction to global warming skeptics.

  10. My impression is that the warmists are starting to give up and actually dont care any more as much about the whole issue (ie they are becoming skeptical too). As I said about 5 years ago here is that the climate per se will decide the issue ans that is what is in fact occurring. LOL

    • Eliza, my impression of those who call skeptics “stupid” and worse is that they will never switch sides, They’ll morph their statements, sure… but will never give up.
      Remember, many of us are pretty sure that the ringleaders (not the rank and file, but the big names) are fully aware that their whole premise is flawed, faked, fabricated, whatever. They’re not going to abandon their gravy train just because of 17 year 11 months.

      • Actually, people who are activists like being activists. Paul in the Bible led persecutions of early Christians before he became an evangelist. Some of the same people who sounded the alarm for warming starting out with cooling, then nuclear winter, then the ozone followed by warming. I predict that if it cools off 0.2 C over the next 15 years as some are predicting, the warming evangelists will simply hop on the train going in the opposite direction.

  11. I don’t think the video is satirizing the 97%, but simply intended to ridicule skeptics. Is that what you meant?

    • That was my take also.
      “Why listen to the nonscientific 3% when the scientific 97% say the science is settled?”, seemed to be the message.

  12. Marvelous little unintended irony there by John Oliver. His skeptic says ‘well, I don’t think the science is in’.
    See Steve Koonin in the WSJ writing that the science is not settled. This guy worked for Stephen Chu in Obama’s energy administration and for BP Renewables.
    ====================

  13. Also, wonderfully, Koonin is chairman of the American Physical Society’s committee reviewing the organization’s climate science statement. Change is afoot.
    ===========================

  14. No mention of the talk or his pub crawl yet on SkS. He’s an aussie, I assume there was a pub crawl. However, we’re up to 2,143,274,856 Hiroshima atomic bombs of heat. It seems we can handle a few more.

  15. Actually I am disappointed, it’s important for the world that climate policy be decided on proper evidence & reason, not alarmist dogma so I think those skeptics there let the world down. We know from our own analyses how completely flawed Cook’s belief system is * so you should have been able to pin him down with appropriate questions. It’s no use trying to make questions up on the spot which turn into long rambles, rather build an armoury of simple clear questions well beforehand and then use then appropriately.
    * Typically the dramagreens are trapped in a religion justified by the logical fallacy of argument of authority, reinforced by cherrypicking confirmation bias, and the fallacy of failing to say say “I don’t know” ie being certain when they have no evidence. They have not checked the evidence and logic properly and are so vulnerable when you hold them to account, but allow them to wiggle away and they will.

    • I would love to see a live, polite, rule-based debate between panelists from the two sides, WITH the addition of some top-notch debate adjudicators that would score the outcome.

  16. “I took photos of every slide that Mr. Cook put up last night and I thought about repeating a number of them here but there really is no point since we’ve seen all of them before, having drawn them from his skeptical science website and from his publications.”
    Perhaps, but in my opinion the mischaracterization of the skeptical position should be corrected at every opportunity.
    We do not deny that we’ve been warming since the end of the LIA.
    We do not deny that an atmospheric effect known as the Green House Effect exists.
    We do not deny that CO2 is one of the contributory Green House Gasses.
    We do not deny that an increase in atmospheric CO2 will have a warming effect on the atmosphere.
    We do not deny that human CO2 emissions add to the overall level of atmospheric CO2.
    We do question whether the effect of additional atmospheric CO2 reaches the level of concern portrayed in the UN’s IPCC reports.
    For the most part, we agree with the following statement:
    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” (Oregon Petition Project)
    I strongly believe we should not allow the CAGW supporting folks to define our position.

    • “I strongly believe we should not allow the CAGW supporting folks to define our position.”
      Sadly that is what you just did, appeasers merely hasten defeat. For example our position shouldn’t be; “We do not deny that we’ve been warming since the end of the LIA.”
      Our position should be; There has been no warming for 17 years.
      It shouldn’t be; “We do not deny that an atmospheric effect known as the Green House Effect exists.”
      It should be; The ocean and water vapor is responsible for 99% of the Green House Effect.
      Can you see the difference? Your concessions are unnecessary.

      • I understand your position.
        However, for example, the statement: ““We do not deny that we’ve been warming since the end of the LIA” is correcting their view of what they say is our position. Not so much for us or for the CAGW folks, but for the general population who are being duped by the CAGW folks..
        Please note that although I do not believe we should let the CAGW supporting folks define our position, this does not mean that we shouldn’t better proclaim our stance. That is why I also showed the Oregon Petition Project statement which I believe in general summarizes the stance of most “climate change” skeptics. .

    • You use the word “we” a lot, but you are not talking for me or many other people here on WUWT. There isn’t one monolithic skeptical viewpoint, some of us have doubts about some aspects of AGW and not others, and some of us question other aspects.

      • Perhaps, Tom, that is one of the problems “we” have: “we” have no agreed upon position. Therefore, “we” don’t appear to be a unified group, except in the eyes of much of the CAGW crowd, and then what unifies “us” is that we appear to deny something.
        Of my “we don’t deny…” statements, above, which do you have disagreement? Perhaps “we” could restate it (them) to be more skeptic generic?
        In any case, I will still stand behind my statement that non-CAGW believers should not let CAGW believers define our position.

  17. “With a much reduced group we later went to a second pub of which I cannot recall the name.”
    Fake quote from third party: “Still fewer attended a third pub, but this morning none of them remembered going there at all.”
    Actually, you sound amazingly “with it” after such a celebration. Very interesting report.

  18. John Cook got to sit by and chat with a real life hero Anthony Watts.
    That is Cooks real goal.. to be accepted by those who are more famous, credible.
    Subconsciously he recognizes the real hero, and it is not M Mann.

  19. My impression, apart from agreeing with what Anthony and others said about the presentation, was that whilst the sceptic questions were very good, Cook’s slick technique was to say to each one words to the effect of ‘that’s a very good question’ – and then go on to give, like a good pollie, the answer to the question he would have preferred had been asked, so in effect, answered nothing satisfactorily, while giving the impression to those not in the know that he had.
    The other thing that was very noticeable was at the end, there was a queue waiting to meet Anthony, while Cook and Lewandowsky were ignored on the whole. Anthony was indisputably the star of the evening, despite not having uttered a single (public) comment.

      • Rud Istvan, the technique is taught by public relations consultants to anybody who may need to give talks or press interviews to handle a controversy.
        I was trained in it, we attended lectures, were given exercises to play, and they recorded videos to show us our mistakes. One of the most important points is to take an answer, congratulate the person who asked it and then give a canned statement, which doesn’t have address the question even remotely.

    • Hi Caroline
      Despite John Cook evading the main thrust of the questions, there were two things he acknowledged about the survey. First is that it was detecting belief in the weakest form of global warming hypothesis, including those who believe in a very weak effect that could explain 10% of the warming in the last 200 years. Second (in answer to the question on Katabasis) we know that not all the papers were written by climate scientists or even scientists. They could have written by sociologists, opinion pollsters, geographers, botanists, or political scientists. So it is entirely misleading to say it is a study of expert opinion. More accurately, in a subject that demands belief in the truth of the underlying hypothesis and relating tangential research to “climate change” is a way to get funding, it is a demonstration of how much profession of belief in climate has polluted normal scientific discourse.

  20. Nice to hear that a good proportion of skeptics were in attendance. It would certainly have been of interest to see how those in attendance were funded. I would bet very few, if any, skeptics were in attendace from government funds or business sponsorship. Skeptics represent the antithesis of the remainder of the crowd on hand, if you will, as the remainder’s existence is primarily a monetary one.
    One must be wary of the Chameleon, as it changes it’s color to decieve the adversary!
    Safe travels!
    Ed

      • Except with Pleistocene interglacials it works the other way round. It’s always coldest just before it gets warmer. The cold ends quickly and rises to a peak. The warmth falls slowly, with a few ups and downs, until finally succumbing to the next deep freeze and ice max for the next 100,000 years or so.
        http://www.ces.fau.edu/nasa/images/module_3/Interglacials-700×244.gif
        The Holocene has followed the pattern to a ‘T’, except for the Younger Dryas temporary refreeze. The Holocene climate optimum ended 8000 years ago! It’s been steadily downhill temperature-wise ever since, with a few warming bumps along the way.
        http://www.iceagenow.com/GISP2%20Ice%20Core.jpg
        We can reasonably expect the current warming to peter out soon, if it’s not doing so already, to be following by a cold period. Since the LIA got pretty close to Younger Dryas temperatures, my guess would be the next bit of cold will equal or be lower than YD. That might end the Holocene, or might give way to another, and possibly final ‘last gasp’ of a warming bump before the end. The next cold period will be brutal one way or the other.

  21. I attended this talk as a non-expert “believer” in AGW. My position mostly arises from being science-minded skeptic (in the untarnished sense). I have a good understanding of the scientific process/establishment (both its strengths and weaknesses), combined with an understanding politics, economics, ideology and psychology etc. that makes the world tick.
    From the materials I’ve read over a few years (from both sides) I’ve found myself persuaded that the “basic science” is settled i.e. the climate is warming and we are largely responsible. So much so that’s I’ve lost interest in that area somewhat.
    Back to the talk: What I got from it was that it’s ^this message (the message on “basic science”) which is still muddled in the public’s minds. Didn’t seem that controversial, given the history we have with trying to get the public to understand all sorts of complex issues over the decades (smoking, vaccinations etc)
    I was very surprised at the end of the talk then, to find the majority of audience questions coming from staunch opponents to the thesis that Cook was putting forward! As I have since found out it there were a lot of WUWT readers in attendance ready to ask challenging questions 🙂
    As usual in these types of confrontations (where “tribes” seemed wilful to misinterpret) it seems half the questions missed the point, and half the answers avoided the questions :-/ Cook himself mostly handled the questions without panic or aggression which I believe is the right approach. I think he himself said he thought taking on difficult questions but remaining civil was best for everybody. Not that he rebutted them to the extent I would have liked but.
    After the Q&A I listened-in to an brief debate between a couple of skeptics and non-skeptics. Given how prepared, passionate and knowledgeable the skeptics seemed I was impressed and surprised to find one of non-skeptics to be equally so (a relief). Sadly we were ushered out of the room before the debate could make much headway.
    I had a brief chat with a few of the skeptics and they all seemed like perfectly nice blokes (if a little too eager to exposes the history injustices against their cause!), and although I didn’t have much time it struck me very quickly that all sides seemed to agree on the “basic science” question. (Yet given that, I’m still confused why they come across as seeming so keen still to “prove the [basic] science wrong”?? Supposedly I was told that’s only a fringe group… but then squabbling soon return to whether its 0.3 or 0.15 degrees. I’m sure 6 or 7 years ago they were arguing over whether it was positive or negative…hmmm).
    The real disagreements then seemed to come down to risk and policy…which I think are perfectly justified areas of debate (And often areas where science cannot give answers). I’m personally not aware or convinced that higher temperatures are bad. I can see there being potential upsides and downsides to climate change. And there are always costs in taking both action and inaction. I’ve not read the risk assessments but I can imagine this stuff is very difficult to assess so I can seem room for ideology to creeps in. Again I generally am in favour of low carbon as it has lots of other benefits (I like efficiency and don’t like smog) but then building solar farms in drizzly Cornwall doesn’t seem that smart to me either…. but disagreeing on this stuff doesn’t make one side “idiots” or not! There are genuinely justifiable yet alternative positions sensible people can hold on this stuff.
    Like Anthony Watts says, I think the humanizing effect of face-to-face communication is vitally important and I’m glad that was able to happen last night and I hope it continues.

    • “I’m personally not aware or convinced that higher temperatures are bad”
      Which makes you a skeptic. The debate has never been about whether, all other things being equal, there wouldn’t be some warming effect, but *how much* (hence the sign and magnitude of climate sensitivity are the critical parameters to pin down, and haven’t been pinned down after decades, though at last bounds seem to be narrowing a little, towards likelihood of a low positive figure), and how damaging. Recall that the strongest uniting factor of the Consensus is that the warming effect will be calamitous, which message the media pours out and to which end trillions are being spent on carbon dioxide reduction (and despite still a broad range of possible climate sensitivity). And while skepticism is a broad church, their strongest uniting factor is that calamity is highly unlikely. In this context, you appear not to be in the ‘tribe’ of Cook or the Consensus.

    • Jack
      Thanks for your views. You need not present yourself as a skeptic if indeed you are not. A skeptic does not represent the globe as warming but instead notes the lack thereof for the last 15-20 years, depending on the data source. Those who insist that the globe is still warming reveal themselves as rigid doctrinarians..And Jack, the “basic science” is indeed wrong because the supposed positive feedback of water vapor is nonsense as shown both theoretically and empirically.
      And Jack, skeptics do not demonize CO2. The truth is that there has never been any warming that can be attributed to that gas, in a demonstrable sense.

    • Jack – I had hopes of being there myself, but diary clashes got in the way. Your account of the evening seems very fair. John was saying to me earlier that he had a pleasant chat with Anthony and was glad of that – we’re all humans, after all – and I think better dialogue may come from such encounters. I think most of us realise that “business as usual” is unrealistic in the long term – things have never through history been frozen in time and why should right now be any different? We can invent our way out of this situation, as we have always done, because we are an amazingly innovative species. Our best bet is to recognise that we have a challenge here and, in the spirit of Mankind, roll up our sleeves and tackle it. We all know that the fossil fuels are not infinite in their abundance so this transition will have to occur in the coming decades in any case. Let’s start talking about the best way to do it.

    • Question. What does carbon dioxide have to do with smog? You might be confusing hydrocarbon with carbon dioxide. The former contributes to smog, the latter does not.

      • Zilch as far as I can see, Pamela. Smog being particulate pollution – different thing altogether. Though of course inefficient combustion of fossil fuels causes a stack of smog – if you’re gonna burn the stuff at all, burn it efficiently. Waste of money otherwise, apart from anything else.

      • Thx, Pamela for clearing the views:
        They’re strategie’s CO2, they’re hapless tactics is pollution.
        ____
        Pamela Gray on September
        20, 2014 at 10:55 am
        Question. What does
        carbon dioxide have to do
        with smog? You might be
        confusing hydrocarbon
        with carbon dioxide. The
        former contributes to
        smog, the latter does not.
        Reply
        John Mason on September
        20, 2014 at 11:30 am
        Zilch as far as I can see,
        Pamela. Smog being
        particulate pollution –
        different thing altogether.
        ____
        We don’t get fooled again – bringing that John Masons to light.
        Hans

    • Jack –
      “From the materials I’ve read over a few years (from both sides) I’ve found myself persuaded that the “basic science” is settled i.e. the climate is warming and we are largely responsible.
      The “basic science” regarding “the climate is warming” is, indeed, settled (although the amount of the warming may not be known)..
      The “basic science” regarding “we are largely responsible” is far from settled. It ranges from human contribution is “largely responsible” to “possibly not detectible”.
      If one reads, over a few years, the material from both sides, then I believe one of the most important questions one would have to ask is,
      “Why do the CAGW supporting folks feel the need to misrepresent data, use deliberately misleading statements, and resort to virtually all of the logical fallacies when presenting themselves?
      Most, if not all, of the skeptics are true “science skeptics” and are willing to accept what the evidence shows. At this point, there is no conclusive evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are having an observable effect on the earth’s atmosphere. Most skeptics do agree that there should be some warming, but we are not able to determine the amount, other than theoretical. The minutiae bikering you may over hear between skeptics is what real scientists do – discuss the “fine tuning” until they get it right or determine that they are on the wrong track.
      Saying we are largely responsible for warming, when the warming of recent times is not unusual and for the last 15 plus years appears to have stalled, paused, stopped, not continued, etc. is difficult to justify.

    • Jack, there’s a very good link between higher temperature and sea level rise (simply because water “swells” a teensy amount as it warms). A higher sea level will definitely be a hassle for those who own waterfront property. I’m on the record explaining the fossil fuels are being depleted and eventually their price will be so high humanity will just turn to use something else.
      So the question seems to be what’s the climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and whether the temperature increase will cause x y or z harm before we stop emissions because market forces drove us to use something else.
      This of course assumes we will have market forces at work and managed to stop the watermelon party. That may be the €64000 question.

    • Jack, you failed to answer that question, what does CO2 has to do with smog? This is a completely valid point that I found is frequently misunderstood by fence-sitters.
      Smog consists of:
      – Ozone (O3) * (formed from the photochemical reaction of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) + Hydrocarbons)
      – Particulate matter (PM-10) *
      – Sulfur dioxide (SO2) *
      CO2 has nothing to do with smog.

  22. Hi Anthony, it was good to meet you yesterday evening.
    The way I saw Cook’s performance was, very well prepared, and had slides to back up any possible/likely questions from sceptics. The title of the presentation, “Dogma vs consensus: Letting the evidence speak on climate change, was rather apt, I thought. He presented 100% dogma, and 97.4% consensus. My only problem was the evidence, which was not convincing and “cherry picked”.
    I don’t believe that dogma or consensus is always right, and of course has been proven wrong historically. The consensus thought the world was flat, until proved wrong. The consensus thought the sun revolved around the Earth, until proved wrong. The consensus thought tectonic plates did not exist, until proved wrong.
    I thought his temperature graph about the pause, and saying global warming is still happening was interesting, starting in 1970 up till about 2010. As depicted on the chart “cherry picked”, he was right it was.
    I never understand why they aren’t honest with temperature records. Using CET data, I know it’s not global, I know it wasn’t all that accurate in early years but it is the longest instrumental record we have. It reflects past temperatures much more accurately than the use of proxy data. If they were honest, they would tell everyone, the temperature has only risen 0.8DegC in 353 years. It also shows a cooling trend for the last 21 years. It is not surprising the temperature has been rising since the record commenced just after the coldest part of the LIA; it is the difference in the amount of rise and cause of the rise they suggest with which I argue.
    Natural variation is vast, from an ice free planet to a snowball Earth (140 Deg C difference).
    When I asked about how they measure temperatures in the deep oceans I was hoping to add, and how accurate and how long have we been measuring them, but didn’t get the opportunity.
    In summary, yes it was all dogma, yes the 97.4% consensus was mentioned consistently, but the real evidence was not there.
    Many thanks to the Cabot Institute for putting on this lecture.
    Have a good weekend, and see you next week.
    NeilC

  23. when people say the science is settled I respond and say you mean the models are settled.
    and since the settled models don’t match the literal data the science isn’t settled.
    then i get called all sorts of names.

  24. I am glad you were able to attend. My guess is that your presence changed the tone of the presentation. If you had not been there I am guessing they would have had quite a different approach.

  25. “With a much reduced group we later went to a second pub of which I cannot recall the name.”
    Had to laugh. Well hell, at least you remember going.

  26. Very clever way/video to depict the 97% climate scientist consensus number. As long as Cook defends and tries to drill that number into people’s heads, he is either the victim of massive cognitive bias, blinding him to a reality or the perpetrator of a massive scam, intending to mislead people with propaganda and convince them that only 3% of climate scientists are skeptical of CAGW.
    Even if he thinks the number is really 85% or 91% or 95% and is pushing 97% to advance his agenda, then he is a complete scientific fraud. Authentic scientists don’t alter science for a cause, not even 1%.
    I find it almost impossible to believe that only 3% of scientists are skeptical of CAGW after the last 15 years of empirical data have been gathered.
    Many of the papers that Cook used were a decade or longer old. We have learned a great deal since then. Using these “older” papers to represent the view of scientists “today” , would be like siting a study on scientists views of heliocentrism(earth revolving around the sun) in the 16th century and calling Capernicus, Kepler and Galileo 3 skeptics, while the other 97% of scientists believed the sun revolved around the earth.
    While that example is an exaggeration, it makes the valid point.
    How long does a study based on scientific views in a particular time frame remain valid, when the scientific information has advanced, with resulting adjustments to the views/theories being widespread?
    If one doesn’t think that adjustments have been widespread, then one is oblivious to such things as the many speculative explanations for the missing heat or slowdown/pause in the warming rate that was occurring in the 1980’s/90’s.
    Even if that 97% number did represent views at some point in time, for it to be presented in an authentic manner, it should state that XX years ago, 97% of scientist believed but today, YY% believe the same thing……clearly a lower number.
    This would be the truth. Hiding the truth by using old numbers that represent a time before new knowledge has changed the understanding of a theory is fraudulent.

  27. It was great to finally meet you in person Anthony, along with many other sceptics it was my first time meeting face to face. It was only a shame I couldn’t stick around for longer as I had to get the last coach back to London.
    I greatly admire your calm and restraint in the face of people like Cook. I’m finding it increasingly harder to rein my temper in with these people and for you to be able to do so in the face of an astronomically higher number of slings and arrows coming your way than I’ll ever have to bear means you’re a far better man than I.
    Cooks’ talk for me was highly offensive and equally laughable (and I did laugh). He happily struts around as a purveyor of the belief in some “conspiracy” of “d*niers” that I’ve yet to meet or encounter one member of, or anyone who vaguely resembles them. This would not be nearly so bad for the fact that he, Lewandowsky and others are able to provide work that is of such poor quality, if not outright fraudulent that is not only accepted by the academic establishment, but they are actively rewarded for it at the highest level with plaudits, fame, money.
    Cook’s presentation was a long dribble of one fact-free ridiculous claim about “d*niers” after another and I find it both surreal and disturbing that it is (and was) not laughed out of the room by the numerous Bristol academics that were present. I’ve become utterly embittered by climate “science”, and the normalisation of this kind of activist-science in institutions that are supposed to be guardians of integrity and truth. It’s a disease that is now rapidly encroaching on other areas – as ably demonstrated by Lewandowsky’s pernicious influence now being felt in psychology and the social sciences.
    I don’t see this situation improving any time soon. As a result, I’m most likely going to be departing academia in utter disgust, and returning to the private sector. I have a thin list of departments and researchers in the UK I’d be willing to work for in an academic setting, however those people have a foot in the real world where they actually have to deliver, and to deliver something substantial at that. Their work contrasts sharply with much of the “research” I’ve been embarrassed to even be in just the proximity of at the institutions I have worked at – it has mostly been vague hand wavy stuff that the taxpayer is gouged for. The covenant there is broken to my mind, even before the toxic reach of activist-science is felt.
    The fact that Cook et al, quite literally, draw a cartoon version of sceptics that they then proceed to “engage” with was made clear – yet again – when myself and Barry Woods were accosted by three students who demanded to know who we were. It is becoming increasingly tedious to go through the exact same motions every time – they are shocked to the core to find out that our main objections, as sceptics, are focused on the catastrophism and the feedbacks and that many of our positions are, if not identical, at least compatible with the IPCC. It is truly depressing and sad to realise that they don’t seem to be aware that Cook’s presentation, explaining how to “inoculate” people against “d*nialist propaganda” is itself a masterclass in propaganda. They’re going to be equally shocked every time they meet a sceptic in person until they realise that just because someone is on stage, just because they have fame and just because they have “Dr” in front of their name, does not make them a paragon of integrity.
    All bar one of the points made from the floor to Cook were challenging in some respect to his – and the general alarmist’s – perspective. From my POV he airily dismissed all of them and implied strongly at the end that they should be ignored because they were obviously coming from this super sekrit conspiracy of “d*niers”.
    For my part, I followed straight up on his complaining about the petition project. He said it should be ignored because most of the people who signed it, whilst many may be academics and researchers, were not climate scientists. Bizarrely he singled out ‘someone with a PhD in Computer Science’ as an example of someone who should not be trusted with regard to their opinion on climate science. I put it to him that his paper on “consensus” should be retracted on multiple grounds. One of which was that – in contrast to what he had just been saying – many of the papers listed in supposed support of “the consensus” were not only written by non-climate scientists, they also had nothing to do with climate science. I listed off some of the many examples identified by José Duarte [1], including papers on housing associations, television news coverage, cooking stoves, asthma, opinion polls etc etc.
    Cook’s response? Er – that ‘proved his point’ apparently, because it “showed consensus across subject areas”. WTF?
    A couple of Cook’s responses to others are highly notable however, and should definitely be recorded for posterity. In response to a questioner who pointed out that most objections regard catastrophism Cook said that the “consensus” was not about impending catastrophe but climate disruption. Not only do I think that is a fascinating shifting of the goal posts, but I’d also really like to know how he quantifies that because as most of us here area aware in terms of “extreme weather” the IPCC “consensus” certainly does not support this assertion.
    A second response was, I think, in answer to the point from the floor about the issue not being black and white. Cook acknowledged that there are large swathes of the debate that remain unsettled – a point that seems to get people branded as a “d*nier” over at Sceptical Séance and then banned.
    All in all the whole experience was more of the same and the best part by far was meeting some other sceptics in the pub.
    [1] http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/cooking-stove-use-housing-associations-white-males-and-the-97

    • Bizarrely he singled out ‘someone with a PhD in Computer Science’ as an example of someone who should not be trusted with regard to their opinion on climate science.

      ====================================================
      So he thinks that someone with a degree in computer science isn’t qualified to speak about a computer generated climate model?
      Is that because they might be able to see just what “The Fudge Factor” in the HarryReadme file actually did? They might know the difference between reality and virtual reality?
      In the field I work in an observant child could tell that the water sample I just collected was contaminated if I didn’t at least empty the the bottle before I collected it. They don’t need to know how to run the analyses to know the results aren’t what’s in the water.

      • As a computer scientist myself the models are hugely problematic. There are so many inputs, outputs, and unknown feedbacks (all of which operate differently at different levels none the less), it is silly to rely on them as anything more than possibility. Certainly the more we learn the better they will get, but given they have failed at predictive power so far, I find it odd anyone considers them accurate world representations.

      • “the sum of two squares is increasingly negative!”
        But computer scientists shouldn’t weigh in…. hah
        How about mathmeticians?

      • It is amazing how people like Cook, Mckibben and Gore who aren’t scientists at all can get away with saying that sceptics are not qualified to comment on these matters.

    • I was hoping if someone would bring up the non-climate papers and reviews that Jose Duarte chronicled.
      Of the some 11,000 papers reviewed by Cook’s team, how many were written by “Climate Scientists?”

  28. I agree with WUWT’s host about the importance of personal one-on-one meetings and discussion with those we have profound intellectual disagreements with. It creates a basis for common human respect that allows a greater possibility for more productive argument.
    It has been my experience at AGU meetings that it was rare that those who I consider CAGW alarm intellects were not cordial.
    John

  29. Upcoming course at http://www.edx.org : Making Sense of Climate Science Denial. Personnel involved:
    John Cook, Daniel Bedford, Gavin Cawley, Kevin Cowtan, Sarah A. Green, Peter Jacobs, Scott Mandia, Dana Nuccitelli, Mark Richardson, Keah Schuenemann, Andy Skuce, and Robert Way.

    • I thought that it was a joke, but indeed John Cook & Co are really giving such a course… beginning March next year. Maybe some skeptic should follow it and comment on it at WUWT, where he is “economical with the truth”, a nice English expression to avoid libel cases…
      Nice reports from Anthony and all (non-)skeptics attending Cook’s talk. Some years ago that I was in Bristol… I had attended if I wasn’t busy working on the renewal of the old house (~1870) our youngest daughter’s bought in the middle of Antwerp…
      In some of the media here there was an interesting item, relayed from the US: Carol Pierson Holding at the news site of The Huffington Post said in her blog that only giving bad climate news and vague statistics will not convince people of climate change and that the “Green” media are loosing the debate.
      I responded in our local newspaper that the problem was not the packaging of the message, but the message itself: if there are record CO2 increases but no warming at all for 1.5 decades, it is hard to convince people of the catastrophic properties of CO2…

  30. This post and some of the comments point out our biggest problem.
    Those skeptical of Catastrophic global warming have the facts on our side … Mother Nature is helping us out tremendously. What we don’t have is the vast, powerful array of propaganda avenues of the state backed alarmists.
    How to get the facts to the pubic? That is the question. I know for a fact that the elementary schools are pushing catastrophic man-made global warming (the word anthropogenic is not used much with children) all the time. If a child grows up believing in CAGW it gets harder year by year to cure his delusions. In addition, the public at large is propagandized by the mainstream media all the time — even to the point of them saying that warming causes cold. Warming causes it to be colder! Jesus, Joseph, and Mary!
    I am not sure there is a place of middle ground where the two sides can meet. Heck, look at the mainstream skeptical side and those of us who think that the net effect of CO2 is so tiny as to be undetectable. We get called names by our own side! This is politics and politics can be very dirty.
    What I would like to see out of our side is a discussion on how to present our side to the public. What is our best course? Is letting Mother Nature cool the planet for the next quarter century enough? Will the state minions at NASA (and elsewhere) be “adjusting” the temps to where it looks like it is 80F even though we look out the window and see snow?
    What to do is worth some civil discourse I think.
    ~ Mark

    • Mark, a very good point. Complicated by the fact that there really are prominent ‘deniers’ like Senator Imhofe who make easy targets for the warmunists. I have made two personal contributions.
      One is a 2012 ebook called The Arts of Truth, about critical thinking. The penultimate example uses climate change for the wrap. There you will find Senator Imhofe’s pronouncements.
      The other is an ebook called Blowing Smoke, now at the,publisher. It is a collection of essays on specific energy and climate topics. It does not get much into policy (well, renewable costs and nuclear options), but does try to correct a large number of factual misrepresentations. For example, an essaymthatntakes on the 2014 Narional Climate Assessment and shows how biased and wrongmthe introductory chapter is. Pure propaganda of themsort one woild expect from PRAVDA, not the OBama administration….Forward by Dr. Judith Curry.
      Goal is to have it available before the US elections. Advance ‘copies are being sent to a number of key governors (Jindal), Congressmen (Barton), and Senators (Rubio, Paul,…) and their staffs. Some of the examples, for example Marcott’s scientific misconduct, Science refusal,to address the issue, and climate.gov refusal to reconsider using Marcott because Science had not addressed the issue. Make for some political hay in states where the war on coal or the KxL punt matter.
      Looking forward to your reactions. I already know Wilis will object strongly to some essays. But then he will have to come back with alternative factual analysis, which will,get him thinking more precisely about those particular issues, which is the whole point of the book. Will be interested to learn your reactions.

    • markstoval on September 20, 2014 at 8:43 am
      “. . .
      What I would like to see out of our side is a discussion on how to present our side to the public. What is our best course? . . .
      . . .
      What to do is worth some civil discourse I think.”

      – – – – – – – –
      markstoval,
      What if there were 10,000 venues as openly intentioned and well moderated as WUWT in all major languages in most countries? What if thousands do what our WUWT host did?
      I think that would saturate the general culture with fundamentally critical views of IPCC alarmist false claims about climate science.
      Tactically: Show the IPCC intellects as not having much valid scientific reasoning then the Cook’s of the world will intellectually starve with no intellectual material to copycat.
      John

    • “If a child grows up believing in CAGW it gets harder year by year to cure his delusions.”
      Not so. It is very easy to completely destroy the belief system of a warmist in a minute.
      Simply show him that he’s an imbecile.
      a) Ask him what the most important greenhouse gas is. Most of them don’t know that it’s H2O.
      b) Next ask him how CO2 can then have a large impact. All of them can’t answer this. It’s the conjectured positive water vapor feedback of course.
      After you have thus shown them that they do not have a basis for anything, you can now demonstrate that nowhere ever has the positive water vapor feedback been found in reality.
      e.g.
      “A clear prediction of the CO2AGW theory is that positive water vapor feedback should occur AND that the radiating top layer of the troposphere that radiates most of the IR to space should rise.
      Both predictions can be tested, have been tested, and fail:”
      http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/simple-disproof-of-runaway-greenhouse.html
      or
      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/ir-expert-speaks-out-after-40-years-of-silence-its-the-water-vapor-stupid-and-not-the-co2/comment-page-1/#comment-312899
      Basically what you do is use a cult deprogramming technique. Cults operate by controlling the information reaching the victim.
      Show understanding for the victim; give him the lacking information; show him that what he has been told is a big fat lie.

      • This won’t deprogram a believer, to do that you need to undermine the moral basis of their faith. For example by talking about the millions of children that could have been saved with just the money from windmills alone. How children are dying because the cult wants their food converted to ethanol. That indigenous families have been murdered to make way for carbon offset forest Plantations, that grannies are dying from green induced fuel poverty. That their irrational desire is to return us to a preindustrial temperature that resulted in the deaths of half the population of Europe, a temperature we are a mere 0.8 degrees away from, and that logic tells us we should put a few extra degrees between if we can. That cold kills many time that of warm, and cold kills the very young especially babies disproportionately
        Ask them if they are truly happy with that happening, or that perhaps it might be better to provide the poor of the world with the true basis for raising themselves from poverty, cheap reliable energy! Ask if it’s more sensible to combat hurricanes in the Philippines with cyclone shelters for Philippinos or windmills in England.

  31. I was at the meeting too. However, I must have missed the message about getting to Channings so had a lonely evening 🙁 followed by a trip back to Suffolk today. I didn’t recognize anybody, there was no obvious gang-formation, and there were no name-tags! I was expecting much more in the way both of the “science” and a useful or even lively debate afterwards. Instead it was just pie-charts with “97%” and that irritating graphic “how skeptics see global warming” repeating endlessly. Except for the mewling kittens, I found nothing new in the talk at all: it was just like the website, but with pop-up cartoons and added 3D. I don’t think Cook understands at all that the CAGW hypothesis has transformed into a religion. Banging on about how 97% of Catholics believe that the Pope exists isn’t going to win back any converts to the warmist cause. The Q&A session revealed more and more that the CAGW message these days is just a collection of soundbites without any joined-up message. Any sceptical comment was simply met with variations on “Read IPCC Chapter 4 Verse 3”: “and the seas shall be uplifted and the unbelievers shall be drowned”. I bet they have more exciting meetings at the Malvern Contract Bridge Club.
    The only interesting part was being met with the pamphleteers asking me to support the LBGT March Against Climate Change and the walk home. During the walk I was struck by (compared to Suffolk) the disparity of life-styles in this bastion of LibDem country and Bristol Universty: every corner, closed shop entrance and cash-point was festooned with street-beggars asking for “change” from the passing latte-sippers and sushi-eaters. Amazingly, nobody blamed the train disruption (unprecedented flash-floods on the Lonodon-Bristol line) on “climate change”.
    Anyone going to the Mann talk? Is there a pre-meeting beer or a post-meeting curry?

  32. Anthony,
    Thanks for making the effort to travel to this meeting and it was good to meet you.
    It was actually me who made that remark from the audience. In John Cook’s world there are only two possible positions on global warming. Those that accept anthropogenic CO2 decreases slightly OLR, and those who don’t. 97% of climate scientists accept the CO2 radiative transfer calculations are correct and just 3% don’t. Even among sceptics the consensus on this would probably be > 60%. Willis Eschenbach would be included in Cook’s 97% consensus, and so would I. However that does not mean we accept the IPCC’s more extreme predictions, nor their implied policy to decarbonise western capitalism forthwith, or how that could even be achieved. Global warming is more a political issue than it is a scientific issue.
    Whether the overall response to CO2 forcing of the climate system is negligible or dangerous is not directly of relevance to Cook. That is because his goal is not science but political lobbying and PR – at which he is very successful. So for example, any criticism of the AR5 attribution statement or arguing that the hiatus has reduced climate sensitivity, places you firmly in the 3% denier/loony category. His really is a binary world – a bit like Scottish Independence.
    Cook also made a ‘song and dance’ about satellites having confirmed the predicted energy imbalance. This is actually untrue. CERES admit that their measurements are not accurate enough to measure such small imbalances ( 0.4 W/m2). Instead the results are normalized to agree with model predictions. So Cook’s argument there is circular. Those billions of absorbed atomic bombs depend just on the ocean heat content data, and these are based on measuring temperature changes of tiny fractions of a degree.
    Good luck on tuesday !

    • Clive: I note with interest your comment “Cook also made a ‘song and dance’ about satellites having confirmed the predicted energy imbalance. This is actually untrue.”
      I have Roy W. Spencer’s book which was published in 2010 ‘The Great Global Warming Blunder’, and on p48 he comments that “Our satellite instruments still do not have the absolute accuracy to measure the small imbalance from Earth orbit that is believed to exist from more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so we cannot even directly measure the mechanism that supposedly causes global warming.”
      Given Dr. Spencer’s expertise in the technology and science of satellite monitoring, this is well worth knowing, and it of course supports your comment nicely.

      • Basically the satellite TOA measurements are ‘adjusted’ so as to agree with models and OHC. (The OHC data are not reliable either – but that is another story) To quote from NASA
        “The CERES EBAF-TOA product was designed for climate modelers that need a net imbalance constrained to the ocean heat storage term”

        Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to
        determine SW and LW outgoing top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance
        persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from CERES satellite observations. With
        the most recent CERES Edition3 Instrument calibration improvements, the SYN1deg_Edition3
        net imbalance is ~3.4 W m-2

        , much larger than the expected observed ocean heating rate ~0.58 W
        m-2 (Loeb et al. 2012a). This imbalance is problematic in applications that use Earth Radiation
        Budget (ERB) data for climate model evaluation, estimations of the Earth’s annual global mean
        energy budget, and studies that infer meridional heat transports. The CERES Energy Balanced
        and Filled (EBAF) dataset uses an objective constrainment algorithm to adjust SW and LW TOA
        fluxes within their ranges of uncertainty to remove the inconsistency between average global net
        TOA flux and heat storage in the Earth atmosphere system.

        see : http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/DQ_summaries/CERES_EBAF_Ed2.8_DQS.pdf

  33. Perhaps one-on-one is the way to cajole true believers into debating. Ideological believers know not to debate facts, which they know will side with their opponent.

  34. “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial”
    Ha! The course title is taken directly from the old trial lawyer’s question “Is it true that you are still beating your wife, yes or no?”
    The oldest propaganda method is to define your opponent as illogical and destructive while holding yourself up as taking the high road. So they are “making sense” while the other side is made up of denying deniers, with “toothless, ignorant, and killers of future babies” simply inferred.

  35. Chatting on twitter with someone that attended (they seem open minded just unaare of Cook paper’s wider story)
    https://twitter.com/BarryJWoods/status/513360873516449792
    @JoseSci @cabotinstitute
    note in talk Cook boasted about the presidential tweet, yet he was happy for it to misrepresent his work ‘dangerous’ without any comment to the audience.
    From the Bishop Hill discussion (Prof R Betts, Met Office, Head of Climate Impacts)
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/2125495
    “I’ve replied to Obama’s twitter person to tell them that the Cook paper didn’t actually mention ‘dangerous’. They need to get their facts straight.” – Betts
    Richardabetts
    @BarackObama Actually that paper didn’t say ‘dangerous’. NB I *do* think #climate change poses risks – I just care about accurate reporting!
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/2125495
    yet, Cook, quotes Obama tweets in the media and publicly like at the Cabot Institute and never correct the misrepresentation, that his work found 97% of scientist agreed ‘dangerous’ –
    just who is spreading ‘misinformation’ – sceptics or Cook?

  36. It was great to meet Anthony last night, along with many others.
    I concur with Anthony’s comments above, except that the questions were nearly all from skeptics, not just a majority. The most pointed pro-consensus question was towards the end, on why most of the questions were coming from skeptics, when most of those in the room seem to be from the other side.
    Of the talk, I would also add a final slide was adapted John Cook’s flickering “escalator” temperature graph from his website – only last night it had cherries on with the “cherry-picking”. It was left flickering away for about 15 minutes.
    The link is at http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47
    This shows something important. A number of climate skeptics went to listen to someone who grossly misrepresents and maligns our views. There was no heckling, no abusive language or cross words – put there were pointed questions that were mostly met with politician-style answers. From John Cook there was not even a hint of an acknowledgement that the range of skeptical views posted at WUWT, and elsewhere, may have a hint of credibility to them. Rather than try to engage and understand other viewpoints, he makes up something totally false.
    The gatherings in the pubs, before and after, were a complete contrast. We “skeptics” have a huge range of different views, but we listened and debated over the beer and cider.
    Kevin Marshall – Manicbeancounter

  37. I felt Cook’s assertions about the 97% figure were laughable. He was obviously facing a more-than-usually cynical audience. He struck me as the “Alex Salmond” of climate science, articulate, but not reliable.
    Nice to meet you, Anthony.

  38. Anthony, I would like to send some money to help support WUWT, I can send a check, do you have a PO box? I do not have pay pal. I am in Michigan. I can send fifty bucks, not much but I want to help.

    • Thank you for the kind offer John, I’ll send an email. But what I would suggest is that you put the money to better use and become an associate member of The OAS.
      Details here http://theoas.org
      That will multiply your investment.

  39. I align with Pointmans view.
    Some of the apparent “nicest” people I’ve met later revealed what can only be described as a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality. First impressions are not always the best, especially those formed of individuals with ulterior motives.
    Time will tell.

    • Yeah I agree. I remember those photos found on sks website. If he is still around perhaps some coukd ask him, then we might see the reak cook

    • Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.
      Albert Einstein

  40. There is a simple , polite, amicable, non confrontational question
    ‘Mr cook. what does concensus have to do with science ?’

  41. While the “consensus” is nowhere near as high as cook posits, it is still higher then available data seems to warrant. We have over 4 dozen papers trying to explain why it is not warming as predicted, and while this shows us the science is NOT settled, it also shows us that in most of these papers they ARE often still making the case co2s role is unchanged from earlier assessments, it is some other variable we got all wrong.
    This is alarming. Where does this bias come from? what are the chances that when things do not go as we thought they would, that Im aware of no major names that simply reversed their stance, you know like following the data. I am sure there are several, but there must not be alot of these people. In reality Id think the FIRST thing you questions is the perceived role of co2, NOT every factor EXCEPT co2 is now in question. This is backwards. WHY??? Personal bias? agenda? rent seeking? what is it? Its definitely not objective unbiased science whatever it is.

    • “That Bernoulli’s theory prevailed for so long is even more remarkable when you see that, in fact, it is seriously flawed. . . . The mystery is how a conception that is vulnerable to such obvious counterexamples survived for so long. I can explain it only by a weakness of the scholarly mind that I have often observed in myself. I call it theory-induced blindness: Once you have accepted a theory, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. As the psychologist Daniel Gilbert has observed, disbelieving is hard work.”
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-25/bias-blindness-and-how-we-truly-think-part-2-daniel-kahneman.html

      • “How we truly think” i.e. irrationally – would have been so much better without this long narrative about Bernoulli’s theory. Social sciences are so ‘weak’ because of the difficulty of measuring ‘anything’ social, what-so-ever. The ‘theories’ and stories weaved behind the theories are so fantastic that they often seem to belong right beside ancient culture mythologies (Fraud’s ‘theories’ for example).
        This leads to proxies and statistical approaches leaving the area ripe for pathological science and seeing whatever you want to see.
        Irrationality is more interesting when it is blatant. It hard to get too worked up when someone prefers one ‘fantastic’ story over a slightly different ‘fantastic’ story, however it’s a lot easier to see the mind’s unwillingness to bend to data when data is ‘hard’ and irrefutable (i.e. evolution theory for example).

  42. To me, Cook is a despicable man. I could not stand to be in the same room with him. It’s true that he may be pleasant in person, but the same can be said of some of the most horrible people in human history. pleasantries allow such people to fool most of the people most of the time, especially gullible and naive college students.

    • Indeed. Anth0ny, if you ever fall into a snake pit with John Cook and a venomous cobra and you only have one bullet left in your gun ……..
      … need I continue ?

    • Who hasn’t had polite conversation with a co-worker where there strong mutual animosity? That’s the nature of civilized society (we hope anyways). Just don’t end up on a deserted island with them though. 😉

  43. No offense to you Anthony, or to any others that attended, but why did you go exactly? It seems like it was a non-event devoid of information, argument or anything of value. Well, other than you got to be cordial with Cook and I ‘suppose’ that is worth ‘something’. However, you could have just gone out for a beer with him anywhere.

  44. I went hoping to hear some clever arguments. Instead I heard nothing clever at all, just an acolyte with limited imagination and small ability in power point presentations. Hubris and endless appeals to authority seemed to be the mainstay. I wonder if he would have so discounted Prof. Feynman’s analysis of the shuttle disaster when he was not, after all, a “rocket scientist”…

  45. I like John Oliver, and he’s funny. But I do think his point that polling a stupid question is indeed quite valid (obviously). However his later 97/3 was not quite as much. It’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know what the Cook study actually is. There’s a lot of digital ink on it, but to me, it’s wasted. It is debunked far more quickly.
    “What we did was, gather a couple dozen people with little to no scientific training from a climate activist web site to……”
    That’s it. That’s as far as is necessary to go. Don’t need to know “which” site, or even what it is that they set out to do. Could be about climate, the Academy Awards, or skirt length. Anything that follows is starting from an absurd premise and may be a lot of things, but not science.

  46. markstoval…September 20, 2014 at 8:43 am…”This post and some of the comments point out our biggest problem…..What to do is worth some civil discourse I think.”
    My degree is not in science and my career was in the computer industry so I am a lurking everyman. I’m technical enough to follow most of the posts but often research to figure out some of the terms. My claim to fame is I vote. Everyone seems to believe that the hallowed truth of science will win in the end yet are in total denial when it comes to reality. The next turn to warming (whenever it happens) will be the straw that broke the camel’s back unless changes are made in public perception. Most skeptics agree that the issue is political so the proper approach should be likewise. I hate politics with any agenda other than being the voice of the people. I also hate liars, especially with an agenda that impacts me. Discourse is needed but politics is anything but civil.

  47. Skeptics have absolutely nothing to explain. The CAGW hypothesis counters the Null theory. It is they that have the burden of proof, and they have failed at every level. Our mistake is debating their POV. nature is handling that, Those who have profited from this need to be charged with crimes against humanity. Since that will never happen, laughing in their faces will have to do. After all who truly wants people like this on your side any way.

    • While I agree with your assessment, the key factor that you are missing is that they have the media on their side – which means they don’t have to worry about the burden of proof as the media is carrying their water for them.

  48. Let me proudly announce I booked a ticket so Cook could talk to my empty seat, and traveled 6h back+forth to meet some friends and especially a very good guy from California.

  49. I’d go with You, Michael –
    timeo Danaos et
    dona ferentes
    ‘mistrust the greeks – even when giving donations.’
    brg – Hans

  50. I’ve been to two ‘green’ talks in Bristol over the last year, Lewandowsky on uncertainty and Mark Walport’s on the usual climate change/need to act theme, and felt lost in a religious convocation – the Q&A at the end just a further opportunity to cement authority. At this one it was a big change. Cook’s pronouncements on ‘denialism’ had to be made in full knowledge of Anthony’s presence in the front row so Lewandowsky-style triumphalism was impossible. If only this kind of gathering could happen more often. And the videos that go up of these sermons tag on the Q&A sessions. It would start to shift things. Particularly if Katabasis gets in with the first challenge.
    I was one of the people Jack mentions above and he’s right about the importance of meeting in person. It’s extraordinary that people like Lewandowsky and Adam Corner and Chris Mooney can pronounce on the ‘motivated reasoning’ of sceptics without actually bothering to talk to any. Corner theorises about sceptics like a man at a microscope peering down at bacteria. Adam, if you want to communicate to the unpersuaded stop with the strategies and just meet the subjects of your studies. All of our motivated reasoning would get a fair hearing then. Or shove your studies up your jacksie, that’s another thing you could do.

  51. Oh, and the John Oliver clip was the perfect opportunity to pop out for a pee. To suddenly be met by a police guard. The only other public talk I’ve been to that had a police guard was Salmon Rushdie at the Hay Festival, a man under mortal threat from deranged zealots. Clearly, Cook and Lew et al are the Rushdies of the climate debate, noble warriors of Enlightenment against the gathering forces of scientific backwardness.

  52. Hmm, did anyone pick him up on his apparent defaming of 58% of the population as akin to Holocaust deniers? Or maybe the bait and switch by defining the dishonest premise of his paper on the ipcc dangerous global warming definition then reporting on the uncontroversial premise that CO2 causes some non zero amount of warming and asserting that the latter somehow is relevant to the former.
    Did anyone happen to point out to him that Obama is not a climate scientist?

    • You’re correct in saying “Obama is not a climate scientist” but he is a brain dead ideological liberal so he is ignorant enough to get his science from other non-scientists like WWF and ELF and FOE and Greenpiece and Bill Nye and Jim Hansen w/ the Muppets. They all put science first, don’t they?

  53. I was there too. I had intended to say hello and welcome to England to Anthony, but it was a 4.5 hour drive with delays, only just got there in time, afterwards it looked like a lot of others wanted to speak to Anthony too and I was not looking forward to the long drive home so left straight away. Perhaps I’ll get the chance on Tuesday if people are going down the pub afterwards, I’ve booked a hotel room nearby for Tuesday night.
    I’m an engineer for about 30 years with a lifelong interest in many things scientific including climate change, also love exploring the great outdoors and survival situations, it strikes me from both those perspectives getting to the truth about how things work is key to survival both as an engineer and outdoors person and for all of us. If we fail to understand how our planet/weather/climate works we are potentially in a very dangerous situation; having the wrong understanding could be more dangerous than no understanding. So I am interested in how a false consensus forms as I often see happen, how do we avoid a false consensus. And how can we can get unbiased information from all our data/reports etc (hence an interest in Cooks 97% work examining 1000’s of climate papers), and when we don’t have the indisputable proof available to us (as seems to me to be the case in the CO2 AGW theory) can we look at the evidence and decide whether all these complex lines of evidence are the truth or clever science fiction. Climate scientists may be afraid of the climate change they are predicting and want immediate action, I am afraid of the consequences of their theory being wrong and a different climate change than their predictions unfolding so we may prepare for the wrong climate change, be unable to understand what is really happening and where it is going next,
    and keep misinterpreting the evidence further distorting our model of reality, if so it is equally vital the wrong theory is discarded ASAP! I appreciate I am not a climate scientist and I probably do not know as much about it as the leading climate scientists, the last thing I want to do is divert others away from the real truth, I don’t like to win arguments, just help everyone get to the truth.
    I was hoping for more details about how he went about his 97% research so I could ask sensible questions about it and his methods. I was hoping there may be something new, but didn’t learn much. As usual it seems to be “we are right” but the information that should be so convincing is always elusive. Cook asked the audience if anyone could explain global warming. If he had given me 10 minutes to prepare my thoughts, provided a nobo board I like to think I could have talked about it for at least an hour giving anyone who
    didn’t know the basic tools and data (radiation, properties of gasses, energy, thermodynamics, drivers, feedbacks etc) they would need to work out their own answer and understand the IPCC explanation, but I was thinking, what actually is his question? what is the answer(s) he is looking for? and suddenly being put on the spot like that without warning it would be very easy to come out with a confused answer making you look like you don’t understand the science. The second point for me was Cook explained that most people do not understand climate change and for me this is often a frustration I have. My impression is that most people are convinced because most scientists are convinced and they are always seeing the evidence on the news it is a no brainer, temperatures up, CO2 up, I must be stupid, but they cannot explain the science to me! I think the frustration of getting your message across to the general public is the same whether you’re a warmer or sceptic; they don’t know enough to understand or appreciate what we’re talking about. The warmers may think they can’t convince the public because sceptics have a powerful voice and have confused the issue, sceptics probably feel they can’t convince the public because the public will only listen to the climate scientists or the media and are never given the opportunity to hear what the sceptics have to say. I don’t understand; (other than making a big effort specifically searching the internet) where is all this (oil funded) misinformation I am supposedly being bombarded with? It is listening to the climate scientists (not the sceptics) for 30 years that makes me sceptical.
    Cook mentioned it is about evidence. The problem I have is that is not by itself getting to the truth. Perhaps we could produce lots of evidence that is definitely correct that coffee is bad for you, or if we wanted we could produce lots of evidence it is good for you. For me as an engineer the priority is getting to the truth, avoiding bias. I often like to think of it like this; 1) could I be confident of explaining it to a room full of very bright students who know nothing about this subject and won’t be afraid to ask all those ‘stupid’ questions? 2) am I presenting my information totally honestly or am I deliberately or subconsciously presenting it in a way to emphasise my point over an alternative view? 3) is this definitely the reality or is it just a clever theory that I can defend against all questions but may still be science fiction, if the latter then I should be honest with myself and anyone I am explaining it to. I presume Cook was trying to say only the climate scientists are qualified to comment on the science and 97% of those are convinced so it must be right. In my experience a
    consensus is not proof, I give equal weight to the lone voice if they are bright or the point they raise is good. I work with many experts, sometimes I will have an idea and need experts to help me with it but they will all tell me my idea is wrong so I end up having to go it alone. When I show I am right that does not necessarily mean the experts were wrong, all their arguments were right but not relevant, their background was preventing them from thinking outside of their usual box. So I will listen carefully to the experts, make sure I fully understand what they are saying, but always try to think for myself.
    I agree face to face in a friendly way is the best way to discuss these things, and it felt like there could have been the potential at this lecture to make good use of that. On the drive home I was feeling disappointed I was not able to get my thoughts together before the end of the questions: I had wanted, in a friendly way to go up to the screen and discuss with Cook the graph he put up, in response to the question about the pause, in the same way I would in my engineering meetings; As far as i can make out there is 2 ways they claim proof, one is all the complex lines of evidence (e.g. all the papers Cook examined), none providing conclusive proof, but taken as a whole ‘there can only be one conclusion’, the difficulty I have with that is it feels to me like the pieces of a complex jigsaw with many pieces having to go in upside down, inside out, corners chopped off etc. The other proof is the graph Cook had up at the end (temperature from 1970-present) when combined with models. Cook didn’t have the modelled results on his graph, and the graph looked different to how I remembered temperature. I wanted to talk through it with him and see if we could spend a minute or 2 online finding other similar graphs including some with the modelled results, then about 5 or 10 minutes (or however long the audience or organisers would allow) discuss; how did his graph compare with others, how did these compare with the models, what did it mean, what was causing the previous pauses and the current pause. I always like to inject plenty of humour without offending anyone and try to make engineering/science fun so we can have a good fight, sorry, discussion without anyone getting upset and everyone smiling.
    I may have been disappointed by the lack of content but actually I found the whole thing a very thought provoking and interesting experience well worth going to, my thanks to everyone there.

    • If you are at all familiar with the methods used at Cook’s SkS website, you should know that viewing the data and analyzing it in a proper scientific way would not be permitted by Cook. If it were, his site would be properly named.

  54. Paulh2014 says:
    Cook mentioned it is about evidence.
    That is the heart of the debate, IMHO. Because there is no scientific “evidence” that human emissions cause rising temperatures. Everything listed as ‘evidence’ is, in reality speculation, conjecture, and opinion. Because there is no evidence.
    Scientific evidence consists of verifiable facts: raw data, and empirical observations. Evidence is not peer reviewed papers, or computer climate models, or “consensus”, or fabricated slides showing cherry-picked slices of time/temperature, knitted together to convince the viewer that the climate is going to hell in a handbasket.
    I would have enjoyed being there. I would have emphasized to Mr. Cook that in fact, he has no evidence to support his conjecture. Because the societal stakes are so high, the requirement to produce verifiable evidence should be very high.
    But so far, there is no scientific evidence showing that human activity has caused any fraction of the very *mild* 0.7ºC global temperature fluctuation during the past century and a half. If there were such evidence, Cook and his crowd would certainly have posted it by now. They have not, because they have no evidence. They talk about evidence as if it existed. But it doesn’t.
    katabasis says:
    …squabbling soon returned to whether its 0.3 or 0.15 degrees.
    That is another talking point that benefits the alarmist crowd. Rather than use a standard scale, they magnify tiny fluctuations to scare people. It is as if an ancient Roman was shown a flea under a microscope:
    “Aa-a-r-r-r-gh!! It’s a MONSTER! Make it go away! DO something NOW!!”
    But in reality, it is only a tiny flea. And in reality, the current tiny 0.7º wiggle in temperature charts is nothing. It is down in the noise. In the past, just before our current Holocene, global temperatures fluctuated by TENS of degrees — in only a decade or two. Now that is scary! If that happened now the global death rate would easily exceed one billion.
    The whole climate scare industry is built upon a few tenths of a degree of natural temperature variation. That’s all. Global temperatures stopped rising many years ago, to the consternation of every computer modeler and academic who preached to us that runaway global warming would only accelerate.
    They could not have been more wrong. They should be asked at every opportunity: ‘Why should anyone listen to you any more? You have been completely wrong in all your alarming predictions.’
    The whole ‘carbon scare’ is a giant head fake. It is a mass panic based on an illusion. It is a real world Wizard of Oz parody. Call them on it.

  55. Turn the bridge analogy around. If 97% say it’s safe and 3% say it’s unsafe, do you cross?
    I would not, until I learn what the 3% know.

    • 97 architects say that the average of 20 models they have devised that don’t even agree with each other suggest there is a 95% chance the bridge will hold between 1.5 and 5 times the lead when its built with your $800 Billion, 3 engineers come along and say it is a disaster waiting to happen, that the models over estimate the load carrying capacity by a factor of 3, they show that real world bridges that the models supposedly simulate perform at 1/3 the level the model predicts. They tell you that it will never stand up and will fail even before it’s built, and that even if it did stand up it will not make an iota of difference, since its fed by a 100 lane highway and the bridge is only 1 lanes wide and the maximum speed is 1 km/h over it, it will never carry more than a tiny trickle of vehicles. They claim to be able to build a bridge by conventional means for $800 Million that can carry the entire capacity of the highway.
      Do you
      A. lock out the Engineers, saying they are not architects and calling them D*niers and pay your $800 Billion to the architects to build your bridge (without using any engineers) offering them indemnity from all prosecution?
      OR
      B. Give 3 (other – remember sceptics are on the whole disinterested parties) engineers 1/1000th of that to build a conventional Bridge with all the usual caveats
      Now let me lay out the real case for climate.
      97 Climate researchers tell you that the average of 20 models they have devised that don’t even agree with each other suggest there is a 95% chance that the temperature will rise by between 1.5 and 5 degrees and you need to pay 1/2 a quadrillion dollars in carbon taxes to stop it. 3 retired, unpaid real practitioners, a geologist, a meteorologist and a botanist, tell you that the Current temperature is well within the norms of natural variation over the holocene, that the climate is a chaotic system that can’t be predicted beyond about 7 days with any accuracy, that cold weather kills 10 times as many people as hot, and that increasing CO2 and warmer climates increases food production (and conversely lower CO2 and cool weather substantially lowers global food yield), they advise you to not panic but prepare for all contingencies, hot and cold, wet and dry, stormy and calm for $250 Billion, they enlist an economist who tells you that increased fossil fuel energy production from the fortification against weather emergencies will facilitate economic growth in poor communities lifting them from poverty and providing the means to defend against disease and pestilence.
      Do you
      A. Lock out the Geologist, Meterologist and Botanist, saying they are not climate scientists and calling them d*eniers. Spend 1/4 of a quadrillion dollars on the very climate researchers that made the prediction, and migrating the world’s economy away from CO2 impoverishing 90% of the world and condemning millions to death from food and energy poverty in the process and make practically no difference to the climate.
      Or
      B. Spend 1/1000 of that fortifying sea defences, diversifying food sources, building storm shelters, flood mitigation and dams. Increase fossil and nuclear energy capacity for cooling and generally managing through either cold or hot periods. Install sufficient energy capacity in poor countries to initiate industrialisation and therefore weather fortification self sufficiency.
      THE CHOICE IS STARK, these are the correct analogies!

  56. Nice to meet you Anthony, all but briefly before the lecture. I thought the Cabot guy who introduced the lecture picked up on my point that by publishing a paper suggesting there was a link between the drift of the poles and global temperatures I was now a denier and pariah because I was not part of the 97%. John didn’t seem to address that but pointed out correlation did not mean cause and effect, but then surely the lack of correlation between global temperatures and CO2 suggests no cause and effect. Silly me, the heat has suddenly dived into the deep oceans, (or one of the other 52 causes!) Hope to buy you a pint a the Tuesday meeting. Cheers Adrian

  57. Katabasis – September 20, 2014 at 8:17 am
    For my part, I followed straight up on his complaining about the petition project. He said it should be ignored because most of the people who signed it, whilst many may be academics and researchers, were not climate scientists.

    If this is what he said then it is easily shot down. James Hansenis not a climate scientist. John Cook is not a climate scientist.
    IPCC AR5
    http://ipcc.ch/pdf/press-releases/ipcc-wg1-ar5-authors.pdf
    Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
    Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis
    Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and Review Editors
    • Ian ALLISON (Ph.D., Meteorology)
    • Georg Kaser, Dr, (Glaciologist)
    • Tingjun Zhang. (Ph.D. Geophysics)
    • Olga SOLOMINA (Ph.D., Hydrology)
    • Dean ROEMMICH (Ph.D., Oceanography)
    • Don CHAMBERS (Ph.D. Physical Oceanography)
    • Richard A. Feely, (Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography)
    • Sergey GULEV (Ph.D., Oceanography)

    NikFromNYC
    May 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    R J Randolf protested: “Have Mr Botkin get his PhD in climate science and submit his findings to a peer reviewed journal in order to be take seriously by anything other that fringe elements.”
    To round out Tony’s list:
    James Hansen: astronomer
    Michael Mann: mathematician/geologist
    Phil Jones: hydrologist
    Peter Gleick: hydrologist
    Stefan Rahmstorf: oceanographer
    Al Gore: divinity major
    Bill Nye: mechanical engineer
    Rajendra Pachauri: railroad engineer
    Gavin Schmidt: mathematician
    David Suzuki: geneticist
    Paul Nurse: geneticist
    Eric Steig: geologist
    John Cook: bachelor of physics
    Bill McKibben: journalist
    Joe Romn: physicist
    John Holdren: plasma physicist
    Grant Foster (Tamino): theoretical physics
    Dana Nuccitelli: masters degree in physics
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/31/in-house-testimony-botkin-dismantles-the-ipcc-2014-report/#comment-1650970

    The last on the above list is the name of our host described as a meteorologist. I have not added it as posting the name will hold it up in moderation.

    • Jimbo
      This is one of those posts that would be edited and responses that would be deleted on the SkS site.
      Can’t have Cook stepping on his, er, toes.

  58. “With a much reduced group we later went to a second pub of which I cannot recall the name.”
    Always the sign of a good pub crawl…

  59. Hi Anthony and all,
    I’m the Neil who normally writes limericks, but who very occasionally says something moderately serious.
    I’m afraid I couldn’t make John Cook’s talk on the 19th in Bristol – I had to be in Cambridge that night. And I thought I couldn’t make tomorrow (23rd) either. Never mind, I thought, I don’t have any great desire to listen to, or even to be in the same building as, Michael Mann.
    But then, I found out that I can after all make it to Bristol tomorrow evening. I’ve wanted to meet Anthony ever since I first discovered WUWT, on 1st January 2009. And now that I know Anthony enjoys his pubs, I’ll be happy to buy him a beer after (or even before! – he may need one) his Mannic adventure.
    Some of those attending tomorrow night on the sk/ceptical behalf may have met me after the lecture Steve McIntyre gave in London in August 2012. But, being awful at names and faces, I don’t remember who I met that evening (apart from Steve himself and Piers Corbyn).
    Anyway, what I’d like to ask is that those who are making the “arrangements” (aka herding the cats) for the meetings of Anthony’s friends should, please, leave details on WUWT about where and when those friends can meet tomorrow, even those who aren’t planning to go to the lecture. Please don’t repeat what you did to “Suffolk Boy” who got left out in the cold on Friday!
    Assuming my hotel has wi-fi, I’ll be there…
    All the best,
    Cheers,
    Neil

  60. Have final got round to writing up my notes on Cook’s presentation.
    John Cook started the presentation by trying to establish his expert authority on the global warming hypothesis. Then he let slip that he does not believe all global warming is from rising greenhouse gas levels. The centerpiece was the 97.4% scientific consensus paper where he was lead author. But, as Cook himself admitted, the survey looked for support for the most banal form of global warming, and the surveyed papers were not all written by climate scientists. Yet Barak Obama is enacting policy based on the false impression of a scientific consensus of dangerous warming.
    Then in dissing an alternative viewpoint from actual scientists, Cook has implicitly undermined years of hard campaigning and entryism by green activists in getting nearly every scientific body in the world to make propaganda statements in support of the catastrophic global warming hypothesis and the necessity of immediate action to save the planet. Cook then parodied his own “four Hiroshima bombs a second” widget, before finishing off with a flickering gross misrepresentation of the sceptics, a number of whom were in the room listening politely.
    About the final question was from someone who asked about why nearly all the questions were coming from sceptics, when the vast majority of the people in the room were in support of the “science”. At the end there was polite applause, and the room quickly emptied. I think the answer to the lack of questions was the embarrassment people felt. If John Cook is now the leading edge of climate alarmism, then the game is up.
    http://manicbeancounter.com/2014/09/23/notes-on-john-cooks-presentation-at-bristol-university/

  61. Sadly, despite AW’s non-confrontational and open approach, so few of the follow on comments are as balanced and thought through.
    Ad hominem may help you to define which side you are on by disparaging the other but it does nothing to develop your thinking or the cause you espouse.
    If you really want to move the Climate debate forward, focus only on the arguments.

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