Science or dogma at the National Geographic Society?

An a-scientific paper, poor contribution of NGS to the enlightenment of its members.

Story submitted by Michel de Rougemont

I just finished reading the article « The age of disbelief » in the March edition of the National Geographic.

It is one of the most a-scientific articles about science that I ever could read.

Joel Achenbach, the author, pretends that sceptics have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their alienation to powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry in climate matters.

First he makes a nice amalgam between deniers, as for example opponents to vaccine or flat earth believers, and sceptics. He may not have ever tried to learn what a sceptic is looking for, what are the motives of not being satisfied with generally accepted beliefs.

Then he looks for an authority, which we should all obey, that settles the scientific truth, or at least the correct way toward this truth. Here he demonstrates his inability to conceive that such authority cannot exist. Scientific societies can laugh about such pretension, well knowing how chaotic their progresses are. Only IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, not a scientific but a governmental institution created in 1988) and its followers have that arrogance.

Amazingly he affirms: “In this bewildering world we have to decide on what to believe and how to act on that”. I agree with this statement. But for him a sceptic who forged his opinion on contradictory evidences is just making the wrong decision. And since he wants to believe in approximate theories such as the anthropogenic nature of climate change, this is a settled “consensus” that no one dares question.

When he will have looked at disturbing facts that IPCC never explains, as for example that the glaciers began to melt long before the industrial age, that the rate of rise of the seas was already quite spectacular at the end of the 18th century, that two periods of warm have alternated with two cold ones over the past two millennia without having anything to do with the burning of fossil fuels, and that the rates at which temperature or sea level are varying show no correlation with the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, then he may ask why anthropowarmism has installed itself as indisputable dogma within the past thirty years.

He would like science to stay in the realm of rationality, but he is advocating dogmatic views. This article was a poor contribution of the National Geographic Society to the enlightenment of its members.


305 thoughts on “Science or dogma at the National Geographic Society?

  1. If you agree with me you are rational. If you disagree with me you are irrational. Don’t you agree that my position is rational?

    • Perfect encapsulation of the nutty argument I hear daily from Alarmists…

      There is a TYPO in this article – alienation should be ALIGNMENTS or ASSOCIATIONS, perhaps?

      • It is a typo. Alienation means “being isolated from.” Instead, skeptics are being accused of being promoted by the fossil fuel industry. There’s a big difference. Neither the word “alienation” or its equivalent is in the text. This is what the original article says:

        “It’s very clear, however, that organizations funded in part by the fossil fuel industry have deliberately tried to undermine the public’s understanding of the scientific consensus by promoting a few skeptics.”

        Clearly he is accusing skeptics of being aligned with the fossil fuel industry rather than being alienated from them.

      • Not a typo, it comes from my French speaking: alienation meaning the situation of an individual who is under the subjection from outside constraints

      • “Not a typo, it comes from my French speaking:. . .”

        It’s not the mot juste in English. It’s a faux pas.

      • Neither is it a faux pas.
        As many English words have their roots in French, it’s never certain that they keep their original meanings.

        Marx’s theory of alienation was based upon his observation that in emerging industrial production under capitalism, workers inevitably lose control of their lives and selves by not having any control of their work (Wikipedia). For Marxists an alienated person is a victim of the [capitalist ] system.

        Similarly, Mr. Achenbach’s innuendo is that sceptics have no control of their opinions, these being dictated to them by the “fossil fuel industry” propaganda.

      • @Michel

        “Similarly, Mr. Achenbach’s innuendo is that sceptics have no control of their opinions, these being dictated to them by the “fossil fuel industry” propaganda.”

        No, that is NOT what Achenbach insinuated. Here’s what he wrote:

        “It’s very clear, however, that organizations funded in part by the fossil fuel industry have deliberately tried to undermine the public’s understanding of the scientific consensus by promoting a few skeptics.

        IOW, skeptics came by their conclusions independently. Their minds weren’t colonized by think-tanks. He implied that the think tanks were secondary players.

        Michel: “Neither is it [“alienation to”] a faux pas. As many English words have their roots in French, it’s never certain that they keep their original meanings.”

        Using “alienation to” as a synonym for “being deceived and deluded by” isn’t a usage found either in common speech, as comments here indicate, or in dictionaries. I’ve checked Cassell’s, Random House’s, and the OED. It’s not listed in any of them, even as an archaic usage. It’s a faux pas in current or long-ago English.

    • dam, your post reminded me of this quote from Macaulay about bigotry:

      “The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me, for it is your duty to tolerate truth; but when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you, for it is my duty to persecute error.”
      Thomas Babington Macaulay, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1843)

      This is the irony. By this admittedly somewhat obsolete definition of bigotry, modern liberals and environmental alarmists are among our most consistent bigots.

      • The irony, actually, is that the fundamentally confrontational nature of bigotry is what eventually makes it choke on itself. This article in the once respectable National Geographic Society accomplishes nothing but to tighten the noose. Consider it. What can it possibly accomplish? I mean, of course, other than to harass its members…

      • no dilemma, damm, no coercion:

        Me is / I am the agent / of my own free will.

        the choice to

        Think, we think for ourselves.


    • Here is rationality from the National Geographic. The unquestioning face of global warming alarmism at work for the Northeastern United States.

      National Geographic – January 14, 2008
      Earlier blooms. Less snow to shovel. Unseasonable warm spells.

      Signs that winters in the Northeast are losing their bite have been abundant in recent years, and now researchers have nailed down numbers to show just how big the changes have been……

      Snowfall totals dropped by an average of 8.8 inches (22.4 centimeters) across the region over the same period,……

      National Geographic – January 26, 2015

      Blizzard of Nor’Easters No Surprise, Thanks to Climate Change
      More extreme storms are expected to fall on the Northeast as climate changes
      ………”Big snowfall, big rainstorms, we’ve been saying this for years,” says climate scientist Don Wuebbles of the University of Illinois in Urbana. “More very large events becoming more common is what you would expect with climate change, particularly in the Northeast.”……

      What would you NOT expect with climate change regarding snow in the Northeast? :-)

  2. I hope this was submitted to the editor of that august journal. Not that we can expect acknowledgment much less publication.

    • Below is one reason why they want sceptics to shut up and go away.

      Here is something on consensus and why it can be a dangerous thing. This consensus seems to have started in the 1950s. One of the studies below from the Annals of Internal Medicine was funded by the British Heart Foundation – an organisation dedicated to reducing saturated fat intake.

      Wall Street Journal – 2 May, 2014
      Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine………..Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota.”
      Annals of Internal Medicine – 18 March, 2014
      Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”
      Annals of Internal Medicine
      Guardian – 23 March 2014
      “Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong
      Eggs and red meat have both been on the nutritional hit list – but after a major study last week dismissed a link between fats and heart disease
      BBC – 14 October 2014
      Should people be eating more fat?
      “In fact, when they looked at blood results, they found that higher levels of some saturated fats, in particular a type of saturated fat you get in milk and dairy products called margaric acid, were associated with a lower risk of heart disease

  3. What did you expect from a warmist infested publication?

    NGM had been like this for years. It used to be a pillar of scientific and journalistic wonder before it became poluted with CAGW dogma. Then it was lost forever.

    • ‘Polluted’ is a good choice of words; ‘infested’ also would be OK.

      I wonder if ‘association’ in paragraph three should be ‘association’ or ‘affiliation’. N’est-ce pas?

      • Ummm, scratch the first ‘association’ and install ‘alienation’ (if you know what I mean, and by now you probably don’t).

      • Um.

        …sceptics have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their alienation to powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry…

        I think that the word ‘alienation’ is incorrectly used here. The word has a similar meaning to ‘dislike’. Sceptics are rarely accused of ‘disliking’ the fossil fuel industry – they are more often accused of having very close associations with the industry. So the word ‘association’ is much better – and should replace ‘alienation’…

      • Dodgy Geezer,

        sceptics environmentalists have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their association with powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry, Greenpeace, WWF, insurance industry, etc, etc

        There, fixed it for you.

      • I read it as meaning 4 below, i.e. that the deniers had been sold to the fossil fuel companies.*

        1. the act of alienating, or of causing someone to become indifferent or hostile:
        2. the state of being alienated, withdrawn, or isolated from the objective world, as through indifference or disaffection:
        3. the act of turning away, transferring, or diverting:
        4. Law. a transfer of the title to property by one person to another; conveyance.
        5. Statistics. the lack of correlation in the variation of two measurable variates over a population.

        *I am still waiting for my check.

    • It also doubled down on molecules-to-man evolution solely from blind chance mutation and natural selection. The following year it uncritically accepted that fake fossil from China and it blew up on them. It then held a big “Is all the egg gone from my face yet” public exercise, but never examined its basic arrogant presumption that it was the holder of “settled science.” Until Nat Geo humbles itself and admits that Scientism is not Almighty God, they are doomed to remain fools.

    • Interestingly, it was lost long before that in some arenas. When I was working on the theoretical linguistics of American Sign Language (ASL) back in the 1970’s, NG (Society and Magazine) had been supporting signed language research with apes, in order to show that ASL was accessible to non-humans, and therefore, ASL is not a human language. This was despite compelling information on the structure of ASL, as opposed to the “contact language” created by the non-signing researchers and the non-signing primates, including such facts that word order in ASL is systematically different from that of English, and that ASL is highly inflected–in some areas more complexly than Latin, Russian, or (of course) English. It also flew in the face of other primate research at the time which illustrated the existence of symbolic logic in the mental processes of Chimpanzees, indicating that chimps are more intelligent that we had previously thought, rather than that chimps are completely lacking in psychological processes related to language (so if they can do Sign, Sign isn’t language).

      All this nonsense on the part of NGS was for the goal of eliminating ASL from education in America–in order to impose English on all Deaf people in the US, even in the majority of cases where English is simply inappropriate–which is just slightly stupider than eliminating the use of fossil fuels to save the planet.

      • I always wondered why standardised sign language isnt taught to children in school from a young age , in all countries. A global language if you will.

      • We [earth inhabitants] can’t do a standardised sign language unless we agree to an authority imposing a single language.

        Which one?

        “You shall all speak French [sign language].”……………somehow I don’t think so

        And as with spoken language, a sign language will develop local dialects which will eventually evolve into separate languages. Even in these days of “inter-face -web-net” connectedness.

      • I actually prefer the Signing Exact English standard because the hearing and English-speaking parents have an easier time learning it and communicating with their deaf off-spring. It also facilitates learning to read, write, and otherwise communicate with the non-hearing impaired majority that they will be sharing their environment with. ASL is a wonderful language, but it does tend to isolate the deaf from the mainstream, and I for one have never felt comfortable with any group of people segregating themselves from the rest of society. Much mischief has occurred throughout history when this has been allowed.

    • After having grown up with science, the NGM and SciAM, it was tragic to see the latter two go senile.

      • I totally agree – I don’t recognize them anymore – they went from pillars of scientific thought to drooling sycophants of political correctness in just a few decades… Their ownership changed and that was the beginning of the end, I think…

        From Wikipedia: “In 1986, it was sold to the Holtzbrinck group of Germany, which has owned it since. In the fall of 2008, Scientific American was put under the control of Nature Publishing Group, a division of Holtzbrinck.”

        NATURE Publishing Group. Not SCIENCE. Ugh.

      • I agree. I come from a poor background, but I had access to encyclopedias and general science books. I educated myself on science and became very knowledgeable – to the point that I have argued with people on forums so well that they think I am a scientist. But ‘science’ has gone awry. We are entering a new dark age where, despite that we know consensus means nothing, the public is expected to ‘believe’ in spite of the flimsy evidence. It could have dire implications in the world of medicine. We need some ‘Spartacus’ scientists.

    • About 6 months ago the head of NPR moved over to be the head of National Geographic, because he felt he could make more of a difference there. It’s his influence that is responsible for NPR-worthy articles like this one of Auerbach’s.

    • Actually, it became polluted with Marxist propaganda just like Scientific American, who gave Jeffrey Sachs a monthly column to promote anti-capitalism. The CAGW is just one point of the agenda.

  4. is this the Joel Achenbach whose main qualification is a B. A. degree in Politics from Princeton? Strange how people with no scientific qualifications make the most noise about CAGW and are nastier to those that criticism it.

    I suppose it hide their own significant inadequacies! How sad.

  5. I cancelled my subscription to Nat Geo years ago because of their position on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. They have sold their souls to become one more paid liberal mouthpiece, no better than ABC, CBS, MSNBC, etc.

    • It’s not just Global Warming, it’s whatever the left wing scare du jour is.
      They bought into the ozone hole scare, hook line and sinker.
      They were one of the major backers of the acid rain scam.
      Nuclear winter had no better friend.

      • Yes like the article on The Sydney Olympics and how wonderful they were to be recycling water. I wonder if anyone at Nat Geo noticed that Sydney is on a rather large harbor? If they had to they could desalinate plenty of water. It narrow thinking that prevents Nat Geo from seeing possibilities. But the greens don’t want solutions they want problems, only problems lead to more funding.

    • Yes, It was with great sadness that I finally cancelled my NG subscription. I had it all my life, but misinformation and politically correct content finally made it unreadable. I hope someone at their head office begins to notice the cancellations of long held accounts. I do not think they can recover these old reliable readers. GK

      • ” I do not think they can recover these old reliable readers. GK”

        I cancelled my subscription as well. Unfortunately they have a whole generation of young bonehead readers to take their place.

  6. This sort of crapola is why I cancelled my National Geographic subscription a long, long time ago!

    • “This sort of crapola is why I cancelled my National Geographic subscription a long, long time ago!”


    • “This sort of crapola is why I cancelled my National Geographic subscription a long, long time ago”

      Double ditto, but i hung on until last year. Advertisements for fake jewels and scrap watches were a clear sign that it was time to move on.

      • But I do still pick it up in the Doctor’s waiting room. Neat pictures if you skip the captions. 8-)

  7. Simple solution. Cancelled subscription long ago. Ditto Sci Am. Ditto NYT. Life is too short to read drivel. And outrageous stuff worth punching back on, like Mann’s No Pause 4/14 piece in Sci Am, always seem to find their way to me via MSM hyperventilation. Todays fun example is BBC and FT articles about IEA now saying 2014 first year no CO2 rise because of energy conservation and renewables. Except if one checks the Keeling curve at, (one click away), the IEA ‘model’ based on estimated energy consumption is just wrong; observed CO2 increased as usual.

    • I spotted that too and thought whaaa??? Last time I looked at the mona loa data there was no change to the rise in co2 so where did they get this??

      • Well, my quick sleuthing showed IEA published a report on energy use/composition, from which they concluded from their model estimates that CO2 emissions did not increase in 2014 cause China slowed and renewables grew. They apparently never checked to see if that was true. MSM picked up the new IEA report and ran with wrong headlines. The official ( not government reprinted MLO Keeling Curve result since 1959 is available via Scripps Oceanographic Institute at UCSD. Google takes you there straight away. There is a very nice two year comparator in high resolution by week and month.

      • Another typical model that doesn’t match observational data. How long before they begin to adjust the Co2 data to match the models.

    • Rud, well countered by a ‘AJB’ Posting from – March 6, 2015 at 5:31 am

      But you have the wrong relationship of CO2 to temperature.
      Try: dCO2/dt = ?T
      i.e. relate the rate of change of CO2 concentration to temperature. Like this.

      It shouldn’t need pointing out that despite consumption of fossil fuels accelerating, the rate of change of CO2 has remained static (i.e. has not accelerated) over the hiatus period either. But there are some who must believe that the Mt Pinatubo and Mt Hudson eruptions sequestered CO2. Or the Amazon basin, etc. held its breath for a couple of years. Maybe all SUVs, planes and powerplants were mothballed but I can’t say I noticed that :-)

      • DD More,
        There is a very good relationship between short term temperature changes, followed by similar CO2 rate-of-change changes, but that is only for the 2-3 year variability around the trend. This variability is caused by the influence of temperature on vegetation (uptake/decay), as is proven by the opposite variability of CO2 and δ13C.
        That has nothing to do with the cause of the increase, as vegetation is a proven net absorber of CO2 over longer term as can be seen in the oxygen balance, the earth is greening… Temperature in the past caused not more than 8 ppmv/°C over the past 800,000 years, but the increase now is already 110 ppmv for only 0.8°C warming…
        As human emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere, there is little doubt that humans caused the increase…

      • DD, you need to read my ebook Blowing Smoke. I know a bit more about all this than you presume. I prefer using absolutely bulletproof arguements in the climate wars. That CO2 does nothing is hardly bulletproof. Nor is the assertion that increased natural sequestration equals the rate of anthropogenic increase from FF. Cause the Mauna Loa data says that is not (yet) true.

      • No, Ferdinand. The differential relationship accounts for both the variability and the trend in dCO2/dt. You are just waving your hands around.

      • The only reason it isn’t bulletproof, Rud, is that bullets are useless against a swarm. Too few people in the swarm understand the phase relationships which indicate that there is unequivocally an integral relationship between temperatures and CO2, that the relationship holds across the entire observable spectrum, and that one cannot therefore pick and choose which parts of the CO2 increase are from temperature modulated causes, and which are from fossil fuel combustion as, e.g., Ferdinand attempts to do above.

        Murry Salby will be discussing his latest findings in a couple of days. I’m expecting great things.

        Prof. Murry Salby presents

        Control of Atmospheric CO2

        His new research applies observed changes of climate and atmospheric tracers to resolve the budget of atmospheric carbon dioxide. It reveals the mechanisms behind the evolution of CO2, including its increase during the 20th century. Thereby, the analysis determines the respective roles of human and natural sources of CO2, with an upper bound on the contribution from fossil fuel emission.

        Tuesday 17th March, 7.00 for 7.30pm

        Emmanuel Centre, Marsham Street SW1P 3DW

        Westminster tube, then a ten minute walk past Parliament, turn right up Great Peter St. then 4th left into Marsham St. The EC entrance is ~30 yards on the left. Or bus number 507 from Victoria to the corner of Horseferry Road and Marsham Street.

        Free admission (donations welcome) but please book: 01480 399098

      • Bart, we have been there many times before. It is quite simple: the variability is a proven reaction of vegetation to temperature (and precipitation). The slope is proven NOT from vegetation.

        Thus whatever the influence of temperature on the CO2 increase, the increase is not caused by the same processes as the year by year variability and there is no reason at all to use one-formula-which-fits-it-all.
        CO2 rate of change variability is directly controlled by temperature variability, the total increase is hardly controlled by temperature variability, it is controlled by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is caused by human emissions and where the sink rate is mainly (above equilibrium) pressure controlled.

        It is not difficult to match the slopes of two straight lines, that is just curve fitting and doesn’t prove anything about cause and effect…

      • “The slope is proven NOT from vegetation.”

        Nothing is proven here. What you have is a narrative, not proof. The slope is from a temperature dependent process. Of this there can be no doubt.

        It is not only not difficult to match the slopes of two straight lines with an affine map, it is tautological. But, matching both the slope and the variability is quite a challenge.

        When you attempt to map the slope of human emissions to that of atmospheric concentration, you are engaging the in the former tautology. But, you cannot match the variability of human emissions with the variability of atmospheric concentration.

        You can only match both the slope and the variability with the temperature data. Which is why atmospheric concentration must be overwhelmingly a result of a temperature modulated process, and not human inputs.

      • Bart,

        That the variability around the trend is caused by the influence of temperature on vegetation is proven beyond doubt: that can be seen in the opposite CO2 rate of change and δ13C rate of change lagging after a temperature rate of change variability:

        That the trend is not caused by vegetation is proven beyond doubt, as the oxygen balance shows: the whole biosphere is an increasing sink for CO2:

        Thus any change in CO2 is the sum of two independent processes, which have little to nothing to do with each other, where one process is highly temperature dependent, but the other may be or not be temperature dependent. Anyway, your “common” factor for these two processes is just coincidence and not that good: if you make an exact match of the slopes, the amplitude of the variability is too small and if you match the amplitudes, the slopes don’t match. Besides an artificial match by choosing the right offset and factor, there is not the slightest evidence that the slope of the CO2 increase is caused by temperature, which anyway violates Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater.

        There is far more evidence that the slope is caused by human emissions: both show a slight quadratic increase over time, both show a 4-fold increase over time, the mass balance matches, the 13C/12C ratio change matches, the (pre-1950) 14C/12C sink rate matched, the oxygen balance matches…

        Of course you can’t match the variability around the slope with human emissions: there is hardly any variability in human emissions, only an overall increase over time. All CO2 rate of change variability (+/- 1 ppmv) is caused by temperature variability and near all increase in the atmosphere (+70 ppmv) is caused by human emissions (+120 ppmv) since 1959…

    • The emissions didn’t rise, compared to the previous year for the first time in many decades, but the emissions still are about twice the rise as measured at Mauna Loa or other places…

      • Ferdinand, I have the greatest respect for your contributions. I always read your posts avidly and have been over your WEB pages many times. I have to say I’m not convinced by these arguments, there always seems to be large assumptions somewhere.

        On the mass balance argument we don’t seem to have good isotopic data for the ~94% of annual contributions that are not due to fossil fuels. Heck, we don’t even know the size of the exchange from natural sources and sinks with any degree of certainty. There are just too many unknowns.

        Your 8 ppmv/°C doesn’t make much sense to me either. This I assume comes from ice-core records which appears to be a heavily damped signal (with possibly underestimated diffusion), I cannot see how it could be otherwise. At this juncture Salby’s arguments (and maths) are more convincing I’m afraid – particularly the effect of lags on a spectrum of timescales up to ~800 years and beyond.

        Which brings us to what is the cause of the underlying trend? How much of the current 2 ppmv/annum rise comes directly from fossil fuels? Sure, on the face of it we’ve put a finger on the balance by 4%/annum and the underlying rise is currently ~half of the fossil fuel contribution. But that still doesn’t tell us what it would look like without that 4%. How much of the remainder is due to temperature rise by natural variation, land use changes, irrigation, etc. over time and a direct relationship to Henry’s Law as far as the oceans are concerned, lagged etc? We simply don’t know. It seems to me don’t have and could never measure the data required to even make a tentative estimate. It’s all compounded assumption.

        Whacking an extra 4% per annum in one direction ought to have an effect but as you say the Earth has greened and vegetation is a proven net absorber. With sinks that are slower to take up the slack but still dependent on temperature who can tell? Back to Salby’s analysis and spectrum of lag timescales again.

        However, look at my graph. The thin blue line is the year-on-year delta using monthly ML interpolated data *without* the seasonal correction. That is: dCO2(n) = CO2(n) – CO2(n-12), times ten for units in ppmv/decade which most people like to refer to. The thick line is simply a 13-month centered running mean of that. So what you’re looking at is as near as damn it the rate of change at monthly intervals with the annual variability removed. You could argue that it ought to be dCO2n = CO2(n+6) – CO2(n-6) which would shift it left. Fine, it makes little difference and reality is probably somewhere in between.

        The orange temperature plot is simply UAH LT anomaly values with a similar 13-month smoothed thick line. While it is disingenuous to plot one over the other like that, the linear trends of both unsmoothed series are perfectly aligned. The relationship is pretty obvious but the interesting bit is in the detail.

        What happened when those big volcanoes went pop? Never mind that they probably added a little more CO2, the underlying trend got all but wiped out over the following two years. Why? Similarly, when the El Nino let rip the instantaneous rate more than doubled. Where did this CO2 come from and what was it’s isotopic ratio? Further, if there is that much pressure on sinks from fossil fuels that it is pushing 50% of the annual rise, why hasn’t the underlying rate accelerated since 2002?

        In 2002 global emissions were reckoned to be 24.3 and we’re currently estimated to be at 32.3 billion tonnes of CO2/annum. That’s an increase of 32% so it ought to show up. Sure, half that could get buried in the noise but a linear trend over that part of the data is flat. It just seems to follow temperature as before, almost spike for spike.

        So I don’t know, Ferdinand, none of it adds up. Persuade me otherwise if you wish, I’m waiting to see what else Salby has to say on the 17th in London. The interesting bit being: “an upper bound on the contribution from fossil fuel emission”. How has he arrived at that?

      • Can anyone explain how data collection at Mauna Loa accounts for variations in emissions and variations in wind direction from nearby Kilauea? USGS uses “metric tons” per day as the unit of measure, and describes CO2 making up just under half of the gas emitted.

      • AJB,

        Ice cores are a quite reliable CO2 storage for over the past 800,000 years. There is hardly any (theoretical) migration of CO2 in relative warm (coastal) ice cores and none in deep inland extremely cold ice cores. The main drawback is the resolution: a smoothing between 10 years (for the past 150 years) to 560 years (for the past 800,000 years), depending of the snow accumulation rate.
        If there was any long term migration, the 8 ppmv/°C between interglacials and glacial periods would fade for each interglacial 100,000 years back in time, which is not observed.

        The repeatability of CO2 measurements in ice cores for the same core is 1.2 ppmv (1 sigma) up to +/- 5 ppmv between ice cores with extreme differences in accumulation rate and average temperature. The current increase is 110 ppmv over a period of 160 years. Even if that was part of a huge natural cycle of over 600 years, the current increase would be detected in all ice cores even with the worst resolution.

        What would happen if humans stopped all emissions today? As the current CO2 levels are about 110 ppmv (~μatm) above equilibrium, today that pushes ~2 ppmv CO2 into the oceans and plant alveoli. That doesn’t stop if humans stop their emissions, as the sink rate is total pressure dependent, not emissions dependent. Thus the first year after the emissions stop, the levels in the atmosphere will sink with ~2 ppmv, etc. until the original temperature driven equilibrium is reached again. The e-fold time is slightly over 50 years and the half life time ~40 years.

        According to the literature, Henry’s law gives between 4 and 17 ppmv/°C for a new equilibrium between the oceans and the atmosphere. Thus the 8 ppmv/°C is in the middle of the theoretical and measured influence of temperature on global CO2 levels. The 0.8°C temperature increase since the LIA is thus good for ~6 ppmv CO2 increase. The rest of the 110 ppmv increase is from human emissions…

        Then where Salby goes wrong:
        To prove his theory of CO2 = integral of temperature, Salby calculates the theoretical disappearance of the CO2 peaks in the ice cores: according to him, the peak CO2 of 100,000 years ago was originally 10 times higher than what is measured. But migration doesn’t stop after 100,000 years, it only stops when all peaks are completely flat. That means that, according to his theory, back in time the 200,000 peak was originally 100 times higher and the peak of 800,000 years ago was originally 10^8 times higher. Or more CO2 than the whole earth contains as carbon…
        Last year he did give a speech in the London Parliament, where he evaded several questions like the above I had. Never received a direct or indirect answer…

        About the isotope ratio’s: there are only two main sources of low 13CO2: fossil organics and recent organics. All other sources are higher in 13C/12C ratio than the atmosphere. That includes oceans, rock weathering, volcanoes,… That effectively excludes the oceans as source of the recent increase of CO2. Recent organics neither are the source: the biosphere as a whole (plants, microbes, molds, insects, animals) is a net absorber of CO2 and preferential 12CO2, thus leaving relative more 13CO2 in the atmosphere. Thus not the cause of the fast decline of the 13C/12C ratio in the atmosphere and the oceans surface or the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

        About your graphs: nobody disputes that the variability around the trend is caused by temperature variability. But that is mainly caused by the influence of temperature and precipitation on tropical vegetation. But that is not the cause of the overall increase, as vegetation is a net, increasing sink for CO2.
        Temperature and other natural influences give a variability of +/- 1 ppmv, while the slope over the past 55 years was over 70 ppmv and the rate of change increased a 4-fold from 0.5 ppmv/year to 2 ppmv/year in lockstep with a 4-fold increase of human emissions and a 4-fold increase in sink rate. I don’t think that any natural process can mimic human emissions at exactly the same ratio increase and timing…

        The red line is the theoretical increase in the atmosphere, from the calculated sink rate for the temperature and the CO2 pressure above equilibrium for each year.

        Besides that all, human emissions fit all known observations, while every single theoretical alternative I have heard of violates one or more or even all observations…

      • zack aa

        Can anyone explain how data collection at Mauna Loa accounts for variations in emissions and variations in wind direction from nearby Kilauea?

        If the wind is downslope from the direction of the volcanic vents, that results in peaks of ~4 ppmv and a large variability within an hour. These values are marked and not used for daily to yearly averages. The same for frequent upslope winds from the valley in the afternoon, which are slightly depleted of CO2 (also some 4 ppmv). The difference from including or excluding the outliers doesn’t make more than 0.1 ppmv in average or trend over a year.

        See the different rules and calibration procedures as used at Mauna Loa and other “baseline” stations:

      • dbstealey,

        Not yet, as I expected some open discussion about my (and others) objections, but as far as I know he never enters any discussion…
        I have posted now on Bishop’s announcement of Dr. Salby’s lecture, let’s see what happens…

      • Ferdinand’s plot above is disingenuous. He has performed a best fit of the entire data record. All that this demonstrates is the robust efficacy of least squares fitting, something which is well known, but has no bearing on the debate.

        Even though emissions and concentration seem to track somewhat in this plot overall, if you focus on portions of it, you see that the fit is really not so good. If you fit the data to an earlier portion, and extrapolate it forward, you find that you are continually having to adjust the fit to keep on track.

        The fact is that atmospheric concentration is rising only linearly, with an essentially constant rate, ever since temperatures fell flat more than a decade ago, while emissions have been continuing to accelerate. There is no tracking of that acceleration in atmospheric concentration since that time.

        Moreover, there is no match whatsoever between the variability in emissions and the variability in atmospheric CO2, as there is with the temperature data. There is a remarkable concurrence between both the trend and the variability of the temperature data and the rate of change of CO2.

        The very strong correlation holds across the entire frequency spread, and shows no signs of distortion which would necessarily be evident if the trend in temperature were to fail to manifest in the CO2. The trend in CO2 must be the result of the trend in temperature – there is no way around it. Emissions also have a trend. But, they cannot be responsible for the trend in the rate of change of CO2 because it is already accounted for by the temperature relationship. Result: emissions cannot be the driving force in the rise of CO2.

      • Here is a less disingenuous plot of emssions and CO2 rate of change.

        Here, the fit to the early portion clearly diverges from the latter portion. Emissions are accelerating. Atmospheric concentration is not.

      • All,

        As an illustration of the fact that variability and slope have nothing to do with each other, have a look at Bart’s “match” of the slopes at Wood for Trees.
        Or alternative, with real matching slopes, look at the “match” of the amplitudes.

        Ferdinand’s plot above is disingenuous. He has performed a best fit of the entire data record.

        Bart, the above plot is simply the emissions as estimated from fossil fuel use an cement manufacturing and the 12-month running mean of Mauna Loa CO2 data. The dark blue line are the emissions x factor 0.53, that is the average “airborne fraction” over the full record and the red line is the calculated remainder of the emissions taking into account the change in equilibrium (8 ppmv/°C) with temperature and the sink rate as function of the pressure difference between measured CO2 pressure in the atmosphere and equilibrium CO2 pressure (2.15 ppmv sink rate for 110 μatm pressure difference). That is all, nothing is artificially matched, everything is plotted in the same units on the same scales.

        In contrast, your plot is a typical example of “how to lie with statistics” (a nice book to read!): using different units (while it is easy to convert both data series to the same units) and different scales with an offset for one of them. That gives an impression of a diversion, while the real increase in the atmosphere still is largely within natural variability…

      • As a further illustration that Bart is wrong, here a plot of the variability and slope over the past 18 years.

        According to the Mauna Loa data, the trend of the CO2 rate of change over that period is slightly negative, while the RSS satellite temperature plot shows a slightly positive trend over the 18 year “pause”. That results in a negative factor to match the slopes, which makes that the “match” of the variability is upside down.

        Conclusion: variability and slope have nothing to do with each other. Even if the slope was temperature caused, that needs a different temperature factor than for the variability.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen @ March 14, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        “…have a look at Bart’s “match” of the slopes at Wood for Trees.”

        This is statistically inept. The series do not stop and start at the same times, and are not sampled at the same times. Moreover, the relationship is not expected to be perfectly one-to-one, the error is not iid, and a uniformly weighted least squares fit is not the optimal estimator of the slope.

        As you point out later, even UAH and RSS do not match slopes, let alone GISS or HADCRUT. Why do you demand a better match of slope between dCO2/dt and a given temperature set than you do between the temperature sets themselves?

        “That is all, nothing is artificially matched, everything is plotted in the same units on the same scales.”

        Yes, it is artificially matched. The starting point is selected, and the “airborne fraction” is selected.

        “…using different units…”

        Nonsense. Converting from one set of units to the other is a simple linear transformation. You can effect the transformation by simply using whichever scaled axis you prefer. The data are simply tuned to fit in the first half, and it can be plainly seen that we would have to continually adjust the slope to match the continuing acceleration of the emissions with the stasis in atmospheric rate of change.

        ‘In contrast, your plot is a typical example of “how to lie with statistics”…’

        If you are going to hurl accusations of lying, then I am going to respond that your plot is a lie. It is a superficial match of slopes, something even you admitted above is not at all difficult, and not even close to being conclusive.

        Ferdinand Engelbeen @ March 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm

        “That results in a negative factor to match the slopes, which makes that the “match” of the variability is upside down.”

        I want to point out that, as you say, you have inverted the temperature plot to get your arbitrary match to the slope, lest anyone get the impression that the series are 180 deg out of phase. But, UAH hasn’t got the inversion, so all you’re really doing is pointing out the variability of the temperature sets themselves. If you cannot match even the slopes of the temperature sets, why would you expect that you can match perfectly with the rate of CO2?

        You are demanding too much precision of stochastic data series with large measurement errors. Admittedly, one could make the same critique of my detraction from your superficial match of the emissions data with the atmospheric concentration. But, there are two reasons that my criticism is more apposite:

        1) You only have a superficial match with the general trend, after you have scaled the series to produce a similar trend. You do not even attempt to match the variation about the trend, because there IS no match in the variation about the trend.

        2) The lull in the rate of change of CO2 of the last decade does not match the emissions data, but it does match the temperature data.

      • Bart, you still don’t see that what you do is mixing two completely independent processes where the variability has a different T to CO2 factor than the slopes, if the slope is influenced by temperature at all.

        In the past 18 years, every temperature series is (slightly) positive, I used RSS as that has the smallest slope, while the CO2 rate of change is (slightly) negative. Here the same for the UAH series since 2001 (since 1996 it is even worse). as the CO2 rate of change slope approaches zero, the amplitude of the temperature caused variability approaches zero too…
        No matter how you shift and torture the offset and factor, that gives an opposite variability and a range of amplitudes compared to what reality shows. Thus only splitting the two processes with their own factor can help you out.

        Yes, it is artificially matched. The starting point is selected, and the “airborne fraction” is selected.

        The starting point is the start of Mauna Loa, but that doesn’t make any difference, the slope is about the same if you compare the ice cores CO2 with the emissions 1900-1959:

        The match with the “airborne fraction” indeed is just coincidence, it is the result of the linear relationship between increased CO2 pressure in the atmosphere and sink rate at one side and the fact that the emissions (and sinks and increase in the atmosphere) increase more than linear on the other side. The net result is a quite fixed ratio between emissions and increase in the atmosphere, which is far from obvious for temperature: warming 1910-1945 and 1976-2000 and flat for 1945-1975 and 2000-current while CO2 simply follows human emissions over the full period.
        The calculated increase, based on the temperature influence on the equilibrium pCO2 of seawater and the the pressure difference air-seawater does match the overall increase even better. Even so good that you thought that it was the “best fit” trend, which it wasn’t, but it fits best…

        Nonsense. Converting from one set of units to the other is a simple linear transformation. You can effect the transformation by simply using whichever scaled axis you prefer.

        Bart, if your plot suggests a “problem” which disappears when you plot both variables in the same units on the same scale, then its your way of plotting which misleads people – and yourself (and the book “How to Lie with Statistics” nicely explains that). The straight plot shows that the airborne fraction for yearly averages is between 10% and 90% of human emissions. Some longer periods like 1976-1996 were slightly negative, even excluding the 1992 Pinatubo extra uptake, while temperature and emissions were rising. Thus the current period of higher uptake is nothing new and nothing special…

        You only have a superficial match with the general trend, after you have scaled the series to produce a similar trend. You do not even attempt to match the variation about the trend, because there IS no match in the variation about the trend.

        Bart, again, I didn’t scale anything, I used the same units for emissions and increase in the atmosphere and plotted both on the same scale. That is all. That shows what is obvious: human emissions are about twice the increase in the atmosphere over the full 55 years period of accurate measurements. All variability is a variability in natural sink rate, not in source rate. That is caused by the influence of temperature and humidity on tropical forests, mainly due to ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) en huge volcanic explosions (Pinatubo). But forests are net sinks for CO2 over all periods longer than 2-3 years…
        Thus the variability around the trend has not the slightest interest, as it is not the cause of the trend and it is only +/- 2 ppmv, just natural noise, while the trend is over 70 ppmv in the past 55 years.

        The lull in the rate of change of CO2 of the last decade does not match the emissions data, but it does match the temperature data.

        The lull in the rate of change of CO2 over the period 1976-1996 doesn’t match the emissions data and is opposite to the temperature trend>/a>…

      • “Bart, you still don’t see that what you do is mixing two completely independent processes where the variability has a different T to CO2 factor than the slopes, if the slope is influenced by temperature at all.”

        I do not see it because it is not true. What you are suggesting is something you have made up in your mind, but the evidence does not support it. There is a smooth correlation of temperature to rate of change of CO2, across the entire spread of frequencies with no phase distortion, and no basis whatsoever for your claiim.

        “No matter how you shift and torture the offset and factor…”

        This line of argument has no merit. I have explained why above.

        “…the slope is about the same if you compare the ice cores CO2 with the emissions 1900-1959…”

        This is just a superficial match of slope of two close-to-linearly increasing processes, something you have yourself stated is not difficult. You cannot match the variabilty without the temperature data. And, the temperature data already has the slope in it needed to match the acceleration in CO2 when it was accelerating. Now that it is no longer accelerating, the temperature data matches that, too, while emissions do not. The odds of this agreement between temperature and dCO2/dt, the slope, the variability, and the current plateau, happening spontaneously with no cause-and-effect link are vanishingly small.

        “Even so good that you thought that it was the “best fit” trend…”

        It is just about the best fit over the entire period. If you worked out the best fit over a different period, it would not be the same. It is the same with temperature versus rate of change of CO2. Those fit excellently at any time in the modern era with the same scaling and offset parameters. They track each other in the slope, the variability, and the current plateau.

        “Bart, again, I didn’t scale anything… “

        Yes you did. You scaled emissions by 0.53. And, you started both at the same point at the beginning. That is an affine fit.

        Ferdinand, you really have nothing at all to recommend your point of view except your assertions. They are merely assertions of how you want things to be. But, they have no rigorous foundation, and are blatantly contradicted by the data before us.

      • Bart, if you don’t want to accept that variability and slope are from different processes, then any further discussion doesn’t make sense.
        The variability is certainly caused by temperature variability. The slope is not caused by the same process that caused the variability in CO2 rate of change. Thus while variability of T and CO2 have a direct correlation, that says next to nothing about the cause of the trend. There is no phase distortion within the 2-3 years variability as the processes which cause the slope and the variability are simply additive and hardly influence each other.
        Your one-factor-explains-all is based on the assumption that the same temperature dependent process causes both the trend and the variability around the trend, which is proven false. That is what causes the problems with the non-match of slopes or variability if you look at the 20 year period 1976-1996 or 2001-current.

        This is just a superficial match of slope of two close-to-linearly increasing processes, something you have yourself stated is not difficult. You cannot match the variability without the temperature data.

        Both increases even in the earlier 1900’s are slightly quadratic. Both also fit all other observations like the 13C/12C ratio decline, the pre-nuclear tests 14C/12C decline, etc.
        Again, the variability is of not the slightest interest, it doesn’t influence the trend and is just natural noise caused by the influence of temperature on the sink rate, not the source rate.

        Now that it is no longer accelerating, the temperature data matches that, too, while emissions do not.

        The temperature and CO2 rate of change slopes in the period 2001-current are opposite to each other for all datasets. Even stronger for the period 1976-1996: strong increasing temperatures, negative slope of the CO2 rate of change. Only over the full range it gives some superficial match of variability and slopes…
        Even the superficial 53% “airborne fraction” still is widely within the natural variability.

        If you worked out the best fit over a different period, it would not be the same.

        The calculated trend works for all periods in time, from 800,000 years ago to today. Your factor and offset must be adjusted for every part of the 55 period, is even sometimes negative and completely lost outside the past 55 years: imagine the slope over the past 10,000 years of the Holocene…

        Yes you did. You scaled emissions by 0.53. And, you started both at the same point at the beginning. That is an affine fit.

        As said before, the 53% average is what the data show over the whole period, but indeed that is pure coincidence. The calculated trend is what can be expected from the change in equilibrium caused by temperature changes and the resulting pressure difference between atmospheric CO2 and ocean pCO2 at equilibrium. The calculated trend starts at the first year of Mauna Loa measurements and is the theoretical airborne fraction for the seawater temperature and CO2 pressure difference of that year. Nothing to do with arbitrary scaling or offset or the 53% average.

      • “Bart, if you don’t want to accept that variability and slope are from different processes, then any further discussion doesn’t make sense.”

        Why should I accept it when there is absolutely no proof of it, and the data tell a different story?

        “There is no phase distortion within the 2-3 years variability as the processes which cause the slope and the variability are simply additive and hardly influence each other.”

        No, you are wrong. To remove the influence of the slope in T from CO2, you would have to have a high pass filtering process. Any natural high pass response would leave a marked phase distortion. The distortion is not there, ergo the trend in temperature is causing the trend in the rate of change of CO2.

        “Both increases even in the earlier 1900’s are slightly quadratic.”

        As is the integral of temperature. This is still low order polynomial fitting, and not particularly difficult. It’s basically a 50/50 coin toss that the curvature happens to be in the same direction.

        “The temperature and CO2 rate of change slopes in the period 2001-current are opposite to each other for all datasets.”

        As I have stated, this is a faulty metric.

        “The calculated trend works for all periods in time, from 800,000 years ago to today.”

        No, it does not. Emissions are currently accelerating. Atmospheric concentration is not. And, neither is the the integral of temperature.

        “As said before, the 53% average is what the data show over the whole period, but indeed that is pure coincidence.”

        Yes, by matching the starting point of integration and scaling by 0.53, you are performing an implicit affine fit. It only matches superficially to low polynomial order. You cannot match the variation. The temperature record fits both the slope and the variation, as well as the current plateau.

      • Bart:

        Why should I accept it when there is absolutely no proof of it, and the data tell a different story?

        If you don’t accept any observation that contradicts your theory, then it ends here.

        Yes, by matching the starting point of integration and scaling by 0.53, you are performing an implicit affine fit.

        Bart, there are two lines on the plot: the dark blue line is the 53% line, the red line is the calculated airborne fraction based on temperature and pressure difference. The latter is direct calculation for each year, no integration, no curve fitting.

        You cannot match the variation.

        I can match the variability, as good as Pieter Tans has done, as the variability is from a different process, independent of the slope which is not temperature dependent. Both simply are additive and don’t affect each other. No filtering necessary, no phase distortion. See: from slide 11 on.

        The temperature record fits both the slope and the variation, as well as the current plateau.

        It doesn’t fit the period 1976-1996, over one third of the slope, with increasing temperatures and decreasing CO2 rate of change, while the calculated trend fits the whole period within natural variability…

      • “If you don’t accept any observation that contradicts your theory, then it ends here.”

        There is no observation that contradicts my theory. Your assertions do not constitute proof.

        On the other hand, there are observations which contradict yours. The trend in temperature must result in a trend in dCO2/dt.

        “The latter is direct calculation for each year, no integration, no curve fitting.”

        Which you have adjusted by offset and scaling to match. A trivial, superficial, low polynomial order curve fit.

        “See: from slide 11 on.”

        Chart 11 is only measured atmospheric CO2, no comparison to emissions. Chart 22 shows the match between temperature and CO2 growth rate, but with the trend removed, which is cheating. Chart 8 shows the emerging divergence between accelerating emissions and steady rate atmospheric CO2, though it is not up to date. The rate of change of atmospheric CO2 flatlines in the past decade, while emissions keep accelerating.

        “It doesn’t fit the period 1976-1996, over one third of the slope”

        It fits it perfectly fine. Your metric is faulty. There is no law that says the slope estimate of a least squares fit of noisy data over a finite interval has to match precisely. Use different temperature sets, and you will get a different answer. The agreement is within limits of statistical variability.

        We’ve been over and over this, and neither of us is saying anything new. I will let you have the last word if you like.

      • OK, last words…

        On the other hand, there are observations which contradict yours. The trend in temperature must result in a trend in dCO2/dt.

        Yes, there is a trend caused by the small increase in temperature. Over the past 55 years that is maximum 5 ppmv for the 0.6°C temperature increase, according to Henry’s law for a steady state equilibrium between oceans and atmosphere and an observed linear ratio of 8 ppmv/°C over the past 800,000 years. The rest of the 110 ppmv increase is not caused by temperature.

        Which you have adjusted by offset and scaling to match.

        Bart, again: direct calculation of the increase in the atmosphere, nothing adjusted, no offset or scaling and still a match:
        Pre-industrial baseline 295 ppmv.
        Change in pCO2(eq) of the ocean surface due to temperature: 8 ppmv/°C,
        Sink rate = 2.15 * [pCO2(atm) – pCO2(eq)] / 110 ppmv.

        All above figures based on observations:
        – ice cores for baseline and long term T/CO2 ratio.
        – literature for T/CO2 ratio: Henry’s law coefficients for seawater temperature.
        – sink rate: current sink rate for current pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface. That ratio hardly changed over the past 18 years, which points to a rather linear first order (pressure related) process.

      • Forgot to add:

        The contribution of temperature to the trend in dCO2/dt thus is a small offset from zero: less than 0.1 ppmv/year where the dCO2/dt slope increased from ~0.5 ppmv/year to ~2 ppmv/year and human emissions increased from ~1 ppmv/year to ~4.5 ppmv/year…

      • Just one last note:

        “All above figures based on observations:
        – ice cores for baseline and long term T/CO2 ratio.
        – literature for T/CO2 ratio: Henry’s law coefficients for seawater temperature.
        – sink rate: current sink rate for current pCO2 difference between atmosphere and ocean surface. That ratio hardly changed over the past 18 years, which points to a rather linear first order (pressure related) process.”

        This is just a fancy way of saying “scaled and offset”. It is your rationalization for scaling and offsetting.

      • This is just a fancy way of saying “scaled and offset”. It is your rationalization for scaling and offsetting.

        Of course, calculations based on observations which give a best fit of the observed increase in the atmosphere is just coincidence, but a theory based on fitting two straight lines with an arbitrary offset and factor which violates all known observations must be right…

      • But, you don’t have the best fit. I do. You don’t fit the variability. You don’t fit the current plateau.

  8. Thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading Nat Geo. (As I gaze sadly at about 50 years’ worth in my bookcase.)

    • I too have National Geographic copies going back to 1964 (thanks to my Dad). I have kept up my own subscription simply because my autistic son really adores them. However, this last issue is last straw – I will not be renewing.

      • I had copies of Nat Geo going back to 1906, vigilantfish; 1906-1996. I read them all. My grandparents and parents never threw away a copy and an annual subscription was given to me and my siblings when we left the nest. I’m the one that got the back issues in, oh… 1982 or 1983. Bottom line is that I had, shall we say, a good overview of how the magazine had changed over time and by 1996, I’d had enough.

        I’m with Gunga Din, I look at the marvelous pictures in waiting room copies, but I skip the articles propaganda.

    • Do you have the 1976 mags? There was one issue which has a feature article on Global Cooling and the future. A key graphic showed the temperature from 1880 to 1976. Then from 1976 on, two projections, one going up, and the other continuing down, with a big question mark. The other feature is that it shows warming from 1910 to 1937, then cooling from 1937 to 1976. The important thing is that the depicted cooling, by 1976 brought the temperature all the way down to where it was in 1910. This is radically different from the way the 20th century is portrayed today. The graphic is a 3-page foldout, and is sometimes referred to as “Mathews 1976”. We could really use a high resolution scan of that image. I am sure the WUWT crowd would be interested in how the temperature history was portrayed just before the CAGW thing hit. I think it was in the June, July or Aug. issue.

      • Dang! TonyL, I just saw your request after replying to vigilantfish.

        All gone… sigh. Sold a few of the oldest copies in a yard sale and recycled the rest.

  9. If you dare challenge the religion of AGW, you will be declared a heretic. The Nat Geo article is the inevitable attempt to ‘burn the heretics at the stake’.

  10. The reason I no longer get the National Geographic magazine is: “it no longer concerns itself with presenting just information its readers might not have known before. It has become a propaganda machine.”

    The fact that so many magazines, papers, organizations, and other organs which might reach the public have become propaganda machines shows the power and the corruption behind the syndicate.

    • There’s also the mad scramble for eyeballs as “traditional media” viewer and readership declines. Since conflict, drama and doomsday scenarios tend to attract attention and advertising dollars … well the rest is no surprise is it.

      The climate zombies are also seeking brains (missing their own), but they must be converted to a palatable format first via propaganda and agitprop.

  11. Its a-science if you believe the argument is about science. It is not. this is about the preservation of ideological fanaticism. “Othering” is the preferred method for driving out all dissent.

    • O2BNAZ2

      Thank you for being aware of the concept and practise of ‘othering’. It is a technique practised long term when planning genocide. Several governments have used it in the past 100 years as a way to divert attention from crises and to appeal for national unity if the face of an artificial, non-existent threat from within. It’s your neighbour, it’s the guy with the funny hair, it’s the guy with the beliefs that will kill your children.

      Linking in desperation as NG has allowed this author space to do, the lunatic fringe with those of sufficient intelligence and independence of thought to see that there is an expensive boondoggle being sold as salvation, is NOT science. It is not even some sort of valid political path. It is doomed because it relies on conning most of the people all of the time. That has never worked.

      There is a fundamental sociological reason for this: Eastern and Southern societies are not guilt-driven. They are shame cultures. Appealing to a sense of original carbon sin, which is what CAGW guilt relies on, doesn’t work in shame cultures. They will respond to me-to-ism but not to guilt so much.

      Thus the East in particular will play along to save face and carry on as they see their needs continue to be met. They will ‘cave’ over the small stuff as a tactic as long as they, like Iran, get to keep the nukes.

      • The same mass media that is othering CAGW skeptics, vaccine skeptics, opponents of Common Core schooling, opponents of same-sex marriage, 9/11 skeptics, gun-ownership advocates, etc., have also been busily othering Muslims/Islamists, the nations of Iran, Syria, Russia, etc., and making remarks about those countries’ leaders that are even less complementary than sort of things they are fond of saying about Anthony. Even supporters of homeopathy are coming in for shaming in the UK these days. In fact, there’s so much othering going on that if you haven’t been othered yet, you are in the minority. One doesn’t have to support the stances of any of these othered people or groups to appreciate that subtlety has been replaced by shrillness as Western mass media generally has taken on an overtly Orwellian aspect that bears a fair comparison with that of Pravda in the Soviet era.

  12. We have had a continuous subscription to NGS since our first child was born in 1961. It ended when I read the article behind the cover headline, “The War On Science.” This once great publication has left us, not the other way around. How sad.

  13. Also cancelled Nat Geo subscription. They keep sending renewal notices. Up until now I just shredded them. I will now start returning this explaining why I will not renew. Will be sending it back postage due. Not that I expect that they will actually comprehend the “rationale” as it seems they understand only one type. Theirs

  14. NatGeo is no another run of the mill Enviro group, that prefers doom and gloom over factual information. I can’t speak about this warming stuff, but can speak about the dogmatic hyperbole on fishery issues, which is the parallel denier issue. Bad science is ruining our fisheries.

  15. Yup, cancelled NG about 4 years back. Won’t even give it a look in the dentist’s office.

    I’m surprised that there are so few alternatives in media and journals to this warm-mongering. Yes the internet blogosphere and cable has some but there’s basically zero high-profile, mainstream media and journals. Seems there is a need and a pent up market share clamoring for it (balance and debate and some truth, that is). Many people know when they are being lied to.

    Or, am I the one in the echo chamber…

  16. Glanced at a copy at my doctor’s office, and couldn’t believe how badly it has fallen in quality in even the last few years since I last looked.

    It actually reflected the changes to the TV channel (i.e., reality shows that are only slightly above “Honey Boo Boo”.

    Nice pics, though, can’t take that away from it.

    • National Geographic is the contra Playboy magazine…..I pick up a Playboy to read the articles, NG to look at the pictures.

  17. No matter how much lipstick ya put on it, if accurate, actual data does not support it, your model is a pig.

  18. Utterly sad that Nat Geo could fall so far, and it falls right in line with the “Climate communication needs to be less optimistic, more ‘climate disruption’” post here yesterday.
    Even so, the CAGW doom mongers would actually be amusing if it were not for the political motivations thinly hidden behind their imaginary catastrophe scenarios.

    The most convincing argument I’ve used (when dealing with someone at least partially literate) is to ask what they know about the Chicxulub impact. That event delivered an estimated energy equivalent of 100 teratons of TNT or 4.2×10^23 J (very roughly a month worth of solar energy in a few seconds, or about 6,700,000,000 Hiroshima weapons, for the more dramatic… based on a Little Boy yield of 15KT or 63TJ.) CO2 release from the event was estimated at between 360 to 1700 GT (more than the total fossil fuel release from 1750 to now, possibly 4 to 5 times as much) from smashed carbonates (possibly more from rampant global wildfires, rampant volcanism and maybe methane hydrates and etc.) Also hundreds of GT of additional water vapor, sulfur compounds and probably a lot of NOx as well.

    After all that, did the oceans boil? Not after the crater cooled. Did the Earth die? Well, no. Earth licked her wounds and recovered nicely. Did all life vanish? Hardly. The species that survived those first few years of (real) catastrophe thrived, evolved and eventually some became us, a hardy and modestly intelligent species that has survived a few million years of the coldest climate – EVAH! (last 200 million years, anyway…)

  19. National Geographic magazine used to be a wonder-filled snapshot of the natural world that stimulated imagination and curiosity. That’s my recollection from 50-60 years ago.

    Now it has sadly been corrupted into a trite propaganda vehicle. Dropped my subscription in about 2010 when the pro-CAGW bias was just too obvious to ignore.

    Once again, if those on the alarmist side are SO CERTAIN THEY ARE RIGHT about human impacts, why will they not eagerly debate the “science” with those who doubt the magnitude of human influence?

    Conversely, now that we have experienced 18+ years of “hiatus”, 8+ years of low Atlantic hurricane activity, significant declines in tornado events, massive growth of Antarctic ice, rapid and steady recovery of arctic sea ice, stable and growing polar bear populations, 10-15% increases in vegetative cover worldwide, etc., etc., – – – – why are they not declaring Victory and moving on to really problematic issues (like energy starvation in the third world?)

  20. I don’t always look to an authority to settle matters concerning science or the philosophy of science, but when I do I always look for one with a BA in Politics.


  21. We have also cancelled – quite a while ago. We have many issues through the 50s at camp that are wonderful evening and rainy day adventures into distant lands.

    Anyone happen to know when NG (and other now rags) shifted away from discovery and into propaganda?? Planning to ask on open thread to help create a timeline of this CAGW infestation.

    • It was already complete when the Nat Geo editor wrote the famous editorial telling the readership to stop criticizing neo-Darwinian molecules-to-man evolution, that the issue was forever settled and they didn’t want it mentioned ever again by skeptics. That was about 15 years ago, and that’s when I bailed. For a few years my mom bought it for our kids, but about 10 years ago I asked her to stop. I didn’t even want it free.

      After declaring themselves to be so wise that they were above listening to skeptics, they became royal fools and were easy prey for the Marxists and their CAGW hustle. They are also easy prey for animal personhood and every other profoundly anti-human ideology coming down hell’s highway. But that road sure is nice and wide and paved well, isn’t it? National Geographic will sell you a slick glossy magazine to keep you occupied until you reach the end.

    • Posted earlier in the thread (2:00pm) but (unfortunately) not by me:

      “I totally agree – I don’t recognize them anymore – they went from pillars of scientific thought to drooling sycophants of political correctness in just a few decades… Their ownership changed and that was the beginning of the end, I think…

      From Wikipedia: “In 1986, it was sold to the Holtzbrinck group of Germany, which has owned it since. In the fall of 2008, Scientific American was put under the control of Nature Publishing Group, a division of Holtzbrinck.”

      NATURE Publishing Group. Not SCIENCE. Ugh.”

      I have been a Life Member for quite some time. Love the pic’s and most of the articles but this blind faith in AGW and not wanting to acknowledging even the testing of the hypothesis with real time data is bring me close to sending the LTM Cert back with a curt message. Sad that the NG has been taken over by the German Flat Earth Society. Control the press, one controls the debate.

  22. I read the article. It was easy since I have read most of the sentences before, many times, in innumerable places. Sadly, the article was replete with factual errors.

    When you throw stones, you better be sure that you don’t live in a glass house.

    Sooo…I am ignoring the National Geographic propaganda magazine on this one. I am not sure who they are speaking to, or about.

    • Factual errors? Yep.

      Hurricane (sic) Sandy pic caption: “damage it did . . . was exacerbated by sea-level rise – which is caused in part by climate change.”

      Really? An august institution like NGS declaring what is false on its face.

      “The total water level rise during Hurricane Sandy was caused by a combination of two independent factors: astronomical tides and storm surge.” – (not exactly Deniers)

      TS Sandy brought a storm surge of about 13-feet. Sea level has risen no more than a few inches, even by corrupt NASA figures, over the last few decades. So Sandy should have had a storm surge of only 12.5 feet. What a difference that would have made. Duh.

      • This is verifiable fact about Sandy only being a tropical storm, and not a hurricane, as it landed – I was watching the data from the coastal weather buoys at the Cape May NJ area for the peak wind intensities as Sandy went ashore – a hurricane never struck the east coast.

        Sadly, instead of taking the opportunity to cover a decent little handful of educational topics, the alarmist-weather stations went for obviously wrong propaganda/hyperbole.

        This is not to discount the terrible impact of TS Sandy.

        A decade ago, Allison, in Texas, also did extensive damage, even though it was not a hurricane for most of the time it was causing this havoc.

  23. The CAGW thought police are the most il-liberal group that has existed in my memory. And as usual their justification is that they are really just smarter and more ethical than those who disagree with them. So add arrogance and hubris to the il-liberal mix. There are those who gravitate toward “science” because they believe that it makes them look smarter. Until they look dumber, which will hopefully be yet in my lifetime.

  24. If climate science is “settled”, as if science is ever settled, then I propose all state and federal governments terminate every computer gamer (“scientist”) on the government dole practicing climate astrology … because if the science is settled, their work would be as useless — everything that could possibly be known about the climate would already be known (i.e.; settled), including the average temperature of Earth 100 years in the future!
    The “settled science” of climate change is brought to us by the same low-quality-of-thinking-left-wing extremists who brought us the “settled science” of DDT in the 1960’s, and pushed for a ban that killed millions of people from insect-spread diseases, and I’m still waiting for their apology for being so wrong about DDT that their own kind lifted the ban decades later !
    In fact, whenever a leftist declares the “science is settled”, just assume they are wrong, because they have been wrong about every environmental boogeyman they have publicized, starting with DDT in the 1960’s — all were going to end life on Earth as we know it … and we are still here.
    And I bet every environmental boogeyman got a big story in National Geographic (NG) that scared the readers … and every prediction was wrong … not that NG would ever publish a review of past predictions and how inaccurate they were.
    NG is ng (no good), except for lining birdcages — the birds like the nature pictures.
    And my cat likes the bird pictures..

  25. NGS still makes amazing wildlife films that my family enjoys watching on their cable channel.
    However, when we watch, we wager on when they will drop the CAGW hammer into the story.
    It happens in every case. It would be humorous, if not so sad.

    • fhsiv…
      Stop feeding the machine, please! Watching them is feeding them. Please stop now.

      Enviro-whack-jobs are great at creating boycotts and bullying. Maybe that’s what is needed to stop this–boycotting and bullying on a national basis. Why can’t skeptics do that?

      • I guess you’re right. Direct TV knows when the box is tuned to NGC.
        Kids are older now and don’t watch as much of the that type of programming.
        Boycott already in progress…

    • Sounds so much like CBC radio programs. Just one example was on the Thursday As It Happens program when they were reporting on the Indian government banning travel for a Greenpeace activist. At the end they let out how she was against coal mines in India because burning coal caused CO2 which changed the climate…..

      Ian M

    • “we wager on when they will drop the CAGW hammer into the story. It happens in every case. ”

      I like to imagine how unsalable those videos will be in ten years, or even five, if the climate fails to warm.

  26. National Geographic, the Doomsday Machine, George H. Kaub, ©The Journal of Irreproducible Results, vol. 20, #3, March 1974, pages 22-23.
    “According to current subscription figures, more than 6,869,797 issues of the National Geographic magazine are sent to subscribers monthly throughout the world. However, it would be safe to say that the bulk of these magazines reach subscribers in the United States and Canada, and it is, and never has been, thrown away! It is saved like a monthly edition of the Bible. The magazine has been published for over 141 years continuously, and countless millions if not billions of copies have been innocently yet relentlessly accumulating in basements, attics, garages, public and private institutions of learning, the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Good Will, and Salvation Army stores, and heaven knows where else. Never discarded, always saved. No recycling, just the horrible and relentless accumulation of this static vehicle of our doom!”

  27. My father was a “Member” from the early 30’s till his death. I was raised on the magazine and wrote many reports for junior/senior HS from what I read. Once I was married and had kids in school I also subscribed until about 2000 or so and could no longer stand the propaganda. About 5 years ago I saw an article about the effects of CO2 on coral, complete with pictures. I read it twice trying to find out if it really was as bad as they depicted and how certain they were of the cause. On the third reading I noticed a caption on one of the photos that this was ALL from CO2 venting from an active volcano vent! What does that have to do with Manmade CO2? On the next visit to the dentist There was another article on the Blue Hole of the Caribbean. Although they clearly stated how these holes were formed and that the level of water in them had been much lower and even much deeper (shown by the obvious stalagmites/stalactites) the last 1/4 of the article was about the fact that this will disappear due to – wait – Global Warming!

  28. Question re:

    “Joel Achenbach, the author, pretends that sceptics have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their alienation to powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry in climate matters.”

    Is there any scientific truth, theory, law that wasn’t first voiced by a skeptic?

    Just wonderin’.

    • Robert Boyle , early member of the Royal Society , author of part of the Perfect Gas equation used in the climate textbooks and of “The Sceptical Chymist” , an attack on the prevailing Aristotlean consensus , would agree with you .
      However he did not have a BA degree in politics , so his views on the science of his day are of course worthless.

  29. The warmist propaganda marching orders must have been sent out, to all of their followers. PBS ran a ‘news’ segment a couple of weeks ago where two reporters and Gwen Ifill discussed poll results of the number people who believe the climate is changing Vs the number of people of believe children should get vaccinations, and lastly the number of people of believe whether evolution occur. Gwen ends the piece by making her cute puzzled face and states who can keep up with all of the issues.

    The warmists should hurry up with their mindless ad hominem campaigns. Observations continue to support the assertion the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted (it appears the sun will be anomalously spotless sometime in 2015) and there is now observational evidence that appears to show the start of planetary cooling.

    There were a number of mechanisms that were inhibiting the solar modulation of planetary clouds and planetary temperature. One interesting factor was noted by Roy Spencer, a temporary, anomalous reduction in wind speed over the oceans. Lower wind speed reduces evaporation and latent heat transfer which results in high ocean temperatures. There is now both direct (wind speed is higher) and indirect (large regions of ocean are colder which is due to more cloud cover and/or increased wind speed) observational evidence of an increase in wind speed over the oceans.

    “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”
    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … ….The current global warming signal is therefore the slowest and among the smallest in comparison with all HRWEs in the Vostok record, although the current warming signal could in the coming decades yet reach the level of past HRWEs for some parameters. The figure shows the most recent 16 HRWEs in the Vostok ice core data during the Holocene, interspersed with a number of LRWEs. …. ….We were delighted to see the paper published in Nature magazine online (August 22, 2012 issue) reporting past climate warming events in the Antarctic similar in amplitude and warming rate to the present global warming signal. The paper, entitled "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature, 2012,doi:10.1038/nature11391), reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

    If Shaviv’s analysis is correct we could see planetary cooling of roughly 0.5C due to the solar cycle 24 abrupt magnetic cycle slowdown.

    “On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget” by Nir J. Shaviv

    Subject to the above caveats and those described in the text, the CRF/climate link therefore implies that the increased solar luminosity and reduced CRF over the previous century should have contributed a warming of 0.47 ± 0.19C, while the rest should be mainly attributed to anthropogenic causes. Without any effect of cosmic rays, the increase in solar luminosity would correspond to an increased temperature of 0.16 ± 0.04C.

    • BillAstley

      Observations continue to support the assertion the solar magnetic cycle has been interrupted (it appears the sun will be anomalously spotless sometime in 2015) and there is now observational evidence that appears to show the start of planetary cooling.

      . . .

      If Shaviv’s analysis is correct we could see planetary cooling of roughly 0.5C due to the solar cycle 24 abrupt magnetic cycle slowdown.

      If you have been here for more than a few years you will know that these claims of “impending cooling” or “coming ice age” have been thrown around pretty much continuously, but especially from skeptic “authorities” like Easterbrook.

      “Climate Scientist Who Got It Right Predicts 20 More Years of Global Cooling”

      However, the actual temperatures are still bouncing around right at the very peak of what they were over the last decade and this year we have only now moved into a weak El Nino phase.

      So, when the temperatures continue to warm, and they will, will you then consider that you and all the other’s here have been wrong all along? I mean, really, increased cooling effects from the solar cycle and no El Nino, we should have seen all that cooling by NOW. .. RIGHT???

      • jai mitchell says:

        “So, when the temperatures continue to warm, and they will…”

        jai, I’m glad I don’t have your ‘predictive’ abilities.

        But keep in mind that if your prediction here actually happens, it will be the very first prediction you’ve ever gotten right. Something to think about…

        Also, global T is not “continuing to warm”. Wishful thinking on your part. Global warming stopped many years ago.

      • DB,

        I am not sure how you post an image in this new format but here it is, As you can see, there were successive la nina years right after the devastating 1998 El Nino event when Nat Geo had a cover story about the unrelenting peat fires in Indonesia and how the toxic smog was choking out Malaysia and all the way north to Mandarin China.

        Those smoky fires caused regional pacific ocean cooling, this effect is being seen still today.

        I am sure you know just as well as I that the warming is commencing again, or else, why would you be changing your talking points from “pause” to “its always been changing”?

        anywhoo, here is the graphic.


      • mitchell,

        As always, you’re changing the subject.

        I pointed out that:

        1. You made a specific prediction, and

        2. Every prediction you ever made has failed.

        Instead, you falsely claim that global warming “is starting again”.

        Wrong. Just add that one to all your other always-wrong statements.

      • well you know DB

        A true skeptic would have to go to every possible prediction that I have made and show the counterfactual. I assume that you are willing to do such a feat? or should I just remain “skeptical” of your assertions.

        there is little doubt that the massive amounts of Chinese air pollutions have contributed substantially to a cooling effect by shielding the sun’s energy on this planet these last 10 years.

      • Wrong as always, mitchell. Wrong as always.

        Just post a link to a specific, alarming prediction like the one you made above, that has turned out to be correct. You know, like: disappearing Arctic ice, or Manhattan submerged, of vanishing Polar bears. Or “the warming is commencing again”, etc. Just post an alarming prediction you’ve made that came true.

        You still don’t understand that it is not the job of skeptics to prove a negative. As usual, you are trying to paint me into that corner. But you’re not smart enough to do that [sorry if I sound like Konrad].

        The problem that climate alarmists have is the one I keep pointing out: you are wrong about the basics. CO2 has not done as predicted, and that is about the most basic conjecture of all.

        Your particular motivation is religion. Eco-religion. I would be willing to bet that you’re not a church-going member of any traditional religion. But you still have that same hole to fill, and for you environmentalism punches your ticket. MMGW is your religion.

        But that’s not science. It is faith. There is only a thin veneer of pretend science in your comments, which fails under scrutiny.

        I know you mean well. But that’s not enough. You have to be a true scientific skeptic to get anywhere near the truth, and you’re no skeptic.

      • jai mitchell, are you ever curious? PS I too want you to provide ONE prediction from the IPCC that came true? I say the IPCC because there have been alarmists that claimed less winter snow and now some predict more winter snow as a result of ‘climate change’. One could easily cherrypick as you can see.

        Fred Singer: “Successive IPCC summaries have claimed increasing certainty [from 50% in 1996, rising to >95% in 2013] about a human cause of global warming — even as the disparity between observations and IPCC models continues to grow year by year –now for more than 18 years. This is becoming somewhat ridiculous…

      • DB

        This is one of my first posts, while the projections are for 2035 or so, we can clearly see evidence of these patterns appearing today.

        At 2 degrees I expect that the arctic will begin to experience spring ice flow cover loss and an ice free condition around mid June. This will produce an additional average arctic warming of 4-6C, and possibly a peak of 8C higher than normal. This will cause a catastrophic melt of permafrost and the release of stored carbon.

        at the same time, the weakening of the jet stream will cause significant changes in the weather patterns, leading to prolonged droughts in the west and southwest and monsoonal floods and atmospheric rivers similar to the Great tennessee flood of 2010.

        The most significant effect will be in the loss of Lake powell and the colorado river in the west, the loss of maize and soybean crops and the increase in global food prices. in addition, by 2070 sea level rise will reduce the rice production in low-level valleys in south east asia, leading to extreme food shortages.

        1: Increased southwest drought attributed to weakening jet stream –

        2. atmospheric rivers –

        3. Loss of the Colorado –

      • Jimbo

        this is from 2009

        your cherry picking is getting tiring. I bet you would just LOVE it if we weren’t going into an El Nino this year wouldn’t you?

      • jai mitchell says:

        … while the projections are for 2035 or so…

        I asked for a prediction that has already happened.

        You refuse to ever admit that your original conjecture was wrong. That is arguing in bad faith.

        I keep asking [without getting any response]: “What would it take to convince you that your MMGW conjecture is either wrong, or so insignificant that it can be disregarded?

        But we never get answers, only prevarication, moving the goal posts, and “Yes, but…” replies.

        Even if you don’t realize you’re arguing in bad faith, we do.

      • jai mitchell
        March 14, 2015 at 10:58 am


        this is from 2009

        You provide a graphic with some unreadable text. I can’t tell if it’s from the IPCC as the url is not. Try harder.

        You talk of cherry picking. What cherry picking? I showed you ALL the FAILED IPCC temperature projections. I cherry picked them ALL!

      • As all can see jai mitchell has failed to provide ONE IPCC prediction / projection that has been observed. In his response to DB he points to 2035 and 2070 and mentions “At 2 degrees”….”arctic warming of 4-6C, and possibly a peak of 8C higher than normal”…… In other words jai responds to the question with MORE PREDICTIONS! From himself! What part of prediction and observation does jai mitchell not understand???

        You must try harder jai. NULL POINT! As they say at the Eurovision Song Contest. ;-)

  30. What a mess, as someone neatly put it (here I think) climate alarmism consists of a pile of logical fallacies stacked on top of one another.
    For a start the equivalents to the anti-fluoride and anti-GM crowds are the CO2 phobics.
    Hierarchical and individualistic are not synonyms but, if anything, opposites; it’s the “communitarian” mind-set which craves authority.
    Rash generalisations, exaggerations, false analogies, appeals to authority, extensions and diversions, the writer seems incapable of putting a cogent argument.

  31. Achenbach, on p. 45, tells us that deniers of science are just trying to fit in. It is rather obvious to skeptics that Achenbach and other climatastrophists are just fitting in with the rest of their clique.

  32. Anyone with a B.A. in “Politics, defined as the ART of influencing people,” is sure to know a lot about science, kinda like Al G., and his divinity degree from a school that many people consider “elite,” except for the fact that their science and math programs rank right up there with such luminary institutions of science as UNLV or maybe even Cal State S.F.

    From this day forward the N.G. is to be banned in my home!

  33. He accuses skeptics of doing exactly what he is doing…..

    At least skeptics are so immaterial they rate an entire article

  34. Michael, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. It’s like unstopping the plugged public toilet that no one wants to get near.

    I attempted to do the same, but I was so disturbed and disgusted by the NGS article that I had to cut and run because of the stench.

    The hit piece is actually a brilliant tangle of logical fallacies — it is weapon-grade psychological warfare.

    The jerk who wrote it is a brain-blender.

    He brings up moon-landing denial, but only in the context of a movie, and then uses that to tar climate skeptics.

    He trashes people who are against mass fluoridation of water. Has he never heard of the universal basis of medical ethics: informed consent?

    He says that fluoride is a “naturally occurring.” So, by that logic, should we also put lithium salt in the drinking water? Why not? It’s “safe” in low doses, right?

    He trashes people who are skeptical of vaccines. Again, has he never heard of informed consent? The issue is not whether vaccines are “safe” or not. The issue is that informed consent requires that people be allowed to refuse medical treatment, for whatever $%#@! reason they want.

    I could go on, but why bother.

    I despise National Geographic after reading that POS.

    What’s worse, I had a local guy — an engineer! — plagiarizer the article, acting like he had been doing some ‘serious thinking’ on his own. He said to me, “I’ve been wondering … what is it about these anti-science Tea Party conspiracy nuts who deny the moon landing, fluoride, vaccines, and settled science like climate change.” So he stole the article and then wrapped it up with a Tea Party slander to boot.

    My respect for him and NGS is now the same: zero.

    • Oddly I was ranting about this too and having trouble cutting the rant I was more repulsed by previous issue –

      this was the sicko punch line for me (although I was disgusted throughout):

      How to convert climate skeptics? Throwing more facts at them doesn’t help. Liz Neeley, who helps train scientists to be better communicators at an organization called Compass, says that people need to hear from believers they can trust, who share their fundamental values. She has personal experience with this. Her father is a climate change skeptic and gets most of his information on the issue from conservative media. In exasperation she finally confronted him: “Do you believe them or me?” She told him she believes the scientists who research climate change and knows many of them personally. “If you think I’m wrong,” she said, “then you’re telling me that you don’t trust me.”


      Trust me. I believe, I believe. utter crap

      • Liz Neeley is recommending the use of emotional blackmail. Never mind “Let’s look into the facts together,” it’s straight to “Do you believe them or me,” and “If you think I’m wrong, then you’re telling me you don’t trust me.” As though truth is based on personality.

        And of course, no one must examine.

        I was going to write that the use of emotional blackmail is shocking, except that such manipulation is exactly what the alarmist crowd is so good at.

        What surprises me is that with so many readers disappearing from what used to be top quality science mags, you’d think management would realize something was seriously wrong with their coverage. Yeah, I know, they don’t care, their aim is for “higher” things. But those lowering numbers must be gnawing away on bean-counters somewhere.

      • It’s the language of religion, where you “convert” those who are “non-believers”. This is not science.

      • “If you think I’m wrong,” she said, “then you’re telling me that you don’t trust me.” Already had that conversation: guess how that turned out but so be it….

    • He probably doesn’t understand that vaccines (and homeopathy) are not, unlike pretty much anything else, required to show proof of effective benefits (real endpoint, not “proxy” like serology) in randomised tests. (Proxy can be acceptable if patients are informed that no direct benefit is demonstrated but only an effect in a biological endpoint.)

      Do vaxxers even understand these difference?

      The flu vaccine performs decently in cohort studies (self selection of test vs. random controls), but poorly in randomised tests, showing the effect results mostly from self selection: people getting the flu vaccine are simply less likely to get a cold, or influenza, or flu-like stuff.

      Do vaxxers even understand these difference?

      The very name “flu vaccine” is a travesty, as the flu vaccine shouldn’t protect against the common cold (“flu”).

      Do vaxxers even understand these difference?

      That rational people blindly trust untested treatments (in randomised tests) when they aren’t even sick, and might well never get any personal benefit from them, but take a very real risk of abominable diseases, is beyond me.

      Of course the “authorities” (FDA, WHO…) and the doctors are the necessary accomplices in this travesty, as they insist on collective benefits, betraying the principle “first do no harm” which implies no harm or potential harm on an individual can be excused by an hypothetical collective benefit.

      There is no much in common between climato and vaccino I haven’t even scratched the surface. In particular, “you never lose”: hot, cold, you were always right.

      Less infections? Vaccine works!
      More infections? More vaccines are needed! “antivaxxer” got in the way! It isn’t our fault!

      Vaxxers even use the direct consequences of vaccination (less natural child infectious disease) as an argument for vaccines (your child won’t get the natural disease as we stopped it). Vaccines for mostly harmless diseases created a risk, which make vaccines necessary!

      Vaxxers probably don’t even get simple logic. Nor proba, stats (most doctors are often math impaired) nor epidemiology nor biology. They mistake correlation and causation, but refuse the fact that some correlation are highly unlikely to be spurious. They accept the (poor) proofs of some vaccines effectiveness and refuse the (much stronger) proofs of dangers.

      They also insist on all or nothing, buy or trash, on all vaccines. They probably don’t understand that “vaccines” are an homogenous group. Some vaccines can make you sick, and some vaccine must make you sick to protect you. Some simply never make you seek (unless an accident happens). Some vaccines are made from living organisms, some are artificial. But all can get accidentally contaminated.

      A debate with a vaxxer is often hopeless. French vaxxers are effectively saying the Hep B vaccine caused a great increase in the number of Hep B contamination. (It is supposed to be an argument for vaccines.) They don’t even know they are saying that! Cause they have zero idea what they are saying. (Not talking about, just saying.) They hear pure BS and repeat pure BS even when it’s painfully obvious it’s BS.

      I believe vaxxism (or antivaxxers-phobia) is a mental disease.

    • – – He says that fluoride is a “naturally occurring.” So, by that logic, should we also put lithium salt in the drinking water? Why not? It’s “safe” in low doses, right? – –
      Well if you were into healthy doses of trace minerals, you would order the ultimate trace mineral source:
      Trace Mineral Maintenance (360 tabs), Stock No. 4205-1 @

      Aluminum, antimony, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, neodymium, nickel, niobium, osmium, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, potassium, praseodymium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, tungsten, uranium, vanadium, ytterbium, yttrium, zinc and zirconium.

    • He’s not a railroad engineer is he Max? If he is, I understand these guys have a tendency to molest nubile coworkers.

    • Surprised he didn’t bring up anti-evolution/intelligent design in his irrational diatribe. Articles like this would be laughable if people were not so gullible to this kind of folly.

      What is psychologically interesting is that alarmists (like Michael de Little-Brain) ascribe their own flawed thoughts, attitudes and behaviors onto skeptics, demonstrating an extreme case of projection. The most egregious of their behavior shows they have little respect or understanding (if any) between advocacy and science or faith and evidence. Too bad for them, but worse for those they mislead.

    • Parallel – “extremism” is being used as the rhetorical devivce to connect Americans who believe in the Constitution and the rule of law with the Beheading-type Jihadists.

      This is why you keep hearing “extremists” and “extremism” everywhere.

    • Herd immunity , Fluoridation ( mass medication) and linking CO2 to climate are all unsettled science . I guess i am considered a denier. I am always skeptical of government programs that are forced on the public. It does make me seem odd to the average person. To my benefit , there have been quite a few times when i have gone against the herd ( low fat foods), and people will later say” how did you know that”? I Am usually correct on these things.

  35. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:

    Hear, Hear!

    I happened upon the subject article via some secondhand link reference, and I happened to have a young man reading over my shoulder as I was assaulted by the author of the article. This young man is sharp, but no more mature than would be expected of his years. While he is science-and-technology oriented, his focus is music.

    He seems to accept the consensus view regarding warming alarm, but I believe I’ve made some progress, at least planted seeds of learning and healthy scepticism.

    While reading, only so much is available on the screen, so we had to read together, and I couldn’t help but point out problematic statements in the articles, and correct its falsities. I even pulled up a link or two to show this bright lad backing for my assertions.

    Anyway, it was quite frustrating, and I had not the time to follow up, and never got back to it. Thanks to Michel de Rougemont and Anthony for posting this note pointing out how atrocious the National Geographic article was.

    Sadly, the general argument of the alarmist believers is the same general argument I’ve been standing against with young-earth-creationists for nearly four decades. It does get old, but it never slows down.

    In two decades hence, while most people will not even remember what global warming meant, the true-believer alarmist will still be going strong. It is the nature of religious fundamentalism.

  36. I cancelled my long standing subscription to NG 3 years ago. I first started reading it in amazement over 50 years ago at grandma’s house. Their forte is describing the wonders of nature and the world we live in, not commenting on scientific or political matters.

  37. “The idea that hundreds of scientists from all over the world would collaborate on such a vast hoax is laughable”

    No it isn’t!!!

    Much more people told that the Soviet Union was doing well, at a time it was obvious for any curious visitor that it was catastrophic. (It was a catastrophe since the beginning, and curious people knew that way before WW II.)

    The French scientists are particularly guilty of Soviet love.

  38. “In this bewildering world we have to decide on what to believe and how to act on that”

    That is true, but the question is how, how does one decide on what to believe? It could be based on dogma, faith, ideology or political affiliation or it can be based on evidence.

    Michel de Rougemont wouldn’t recognize evidence if it was the size of Jupiter and landed on his head. It is unfortunate that the National Geographic editors are equally inept at recognizing and assessing evidence.

  39. Here is but a partial list of the logical fallacies in that payload:

    Ad hominem
    Straw man
    Appeal to nature
    Appeal to authority
    Shifting the burden of proof
    Slippery slope
    Special pleading
    Begging the question
    Appeal to emotion
    Personal incredulity
    Tu quoque
    False cause

    Oh never mind … just dump the entire list of known fallacies here. It would be simpler.

      • Considering that “holocaust denial” is a non issue in the U.S. , I associate “denier” with religion. I picture divinity student Al Gore saying
        “… He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22 king james version)
        Substitue “global warming” for “the Father and the Sun” and you have their religion to a T.

      • dbstealey notes what may be most important. Projection. The warmist clique assumes skeptics behave like warmists.

  40. National Geographic is a magazine with nice pictures and articles that patronize. Look at how they describe cultures of the underdeveloped world! A scientific publication it ain’t

    • I didn’t pay attention to it, i was having too much fun with my microscope and chemistry set . Back in the 70s you could also buy dissection kits.

  41. I used to love National Geographic when I was a kid, and I got my own subscription as a young adult. But it began to seem as if virtually every article needed to say something about how humans were destroying the planet and species were going extinct because habitat was being destroyed. Global warming was the culprit the articles would repeat, over and over, and over, and over, and over until I got sick of it and finally cancelled my subscription. It was obvious that National Geographic had become someone’s propaganda tool. I miss the old National Geographic. Even if I believed in global warming, I would not subscribe to a magazine that evidently has nothing else to say.

  42. Anyone with a brain that watches NatGeo Wild should figure out they have an agenda within a short time. Last night was watching a program they had on Glacier National Park and the steady drum beat of warming pervaded the whole program until I couldn’t take it any more.

  43. my first wife when she was my girlfriend in London we split up. I had nothing to do with her for a month or something then I got on a train in some French railway station and I sat down opposite to my first wife. 2 weeks after that I got on a ferry in Italy and she was waiting on the gangway knowing I would be there and I knew she would be on that boat although I had only that day decided to do that.
    This sort of ridiculous set of coincidences suggests to me there is more going on than “science” can explain.

  44. NG gave me my first glance at the nude female form, so they have had a special place in my memories. But now they are dead to me.

  45. I kid you not, this author received an award in 2011 from the National Capital Area Skeptics…who claim to be “Promoting Critical Thinking and Scientific Understanding.” They (and he) seem to be out to do anything but that.

  46. National Geographic started dying in the 80’s when it started doing liberal social articles. By the end of the 90’s it did few articles on its traditional topics and I cancelled my subscription.

  47. “First he makes a nice amalgam between deniers, as for example opponents to vaccine or flat earth believers, and sceptics.”

    What a cheap and ugly propaganda trick, quite similar to the techniques of Stalinism & co. There, the destroyed enemies of the “Revolution” were not only “Skeptics” of the beloved leader Stalin and his infallible truth, but were also declared to be “Capitalists”, Enemies of the simple people”, “Secret clericals and tsarists”, “Immoral sex-freaks”, “Sick lunatics” and so on and on…

    Just read Orwell’s “ANIMAL FARM” and you know it all…

    Such poor and shame-less propaganda methods do only expose the pitiable intellects of some CAGW proponents!

    • “opponents to vaccine”

      I just noticed there isn’t even a plural here: “vaccine”, as in THE vaccine “science”.

      Influenza or smallpox vaccine, it’s the same thing: vaccine!

      You criticize the MMR vaccine? You must be a smallpox DENIER!

      Buy all or trash all.

  48. Expect more of this from the newly-released movie Merchants of Doubt. Roger gave it a thumbs-up even though it admits:
    ” The film is mainly useful as one-stop shopping for the opposition. Scored with mischievous caper music, it keeps revisiting an ominous (and purely metaphorical) archive filled with damning documents (picture the warehouses at the ends of “Citizen Kane” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark”). It uses computer graphics and digital compositing to show incriminating papers gliding out of folders and floating through the air as if manipulated by accusing spirits, and superimposes the filing cabinets with news footage of industry bigwigs and hired “experts” going on talk shows and appearing before government committees to deliver an approved script.”

  49. Reasonable, rational people doubt what only appears to be science at first glance. They are able to dig deeper in other words, rather than being content to being sheeple. All of the things he mentions are pretty well grounded in science, with the exception of climate “science”.

  50. A disappointing but predictable contribution to the agw debate. Defines the sceptical argument as denying reality of climate change a logical fallacy. A sceptical argument is that climate change is real has always been real and will always be real. The fallacy sidesteps the real argument that climate sensitivity isn’t any whete near as sensitive to CO2 as models predict.

    I’m sure the article will find a persuaded contempory audience and will be heard up as absurd in ten years time.

  51. I did not renew my subscription of COSMOS (a so called Australian scientific magazine) because they were engaging in ad hom attacks on skeptics and I will seriously consider doing the same to my National Geographic subscription because they appear to have completely lost the plot in the last 12 months. A bit disappointing considering that I have subscribed to this once worthy magazine for about 39 years.

      • Like countries that feel the need to put the word ‘democratic’ in the name of their country – there is so little support for it that it is necessary to advertise. We-too fields that append ‘science’ to their discipline names are exactly the same. They’d best advertise because what they do would not be recognized as science. The fact the ‘University Lite’ courses have played heavily in whatever ‘debates’ there are in climate science is telling. Maybe in some distant future, when doomers have all retired and some progress is made in Climate, they will feel confident enough to simply call the study “Climate”. I hate that the venerable science of Geology has egregiously been “liberalized” and belittled by baptism about 30 years ago with the moniker ‘Earth Sciences’. It still sounds like something from agriculture (oops I mean agricultural sciences). I also hate it that the naked emperors of this domain are the heads of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The ozzies have even felt the need to shore the field up even more with Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Centres of Excellence, because the ‘excellence’ wasn’t showing through adequately. Soon, if trends mean anything, we will be able to call them ‘Democratic Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Centres of Excellence”.

  52. The world might be in for some dark dystopian future if science is ever dictated from a set authority and has become religion to much of the populace. Even if their picture of skepticism was accurate in this case, which it isn’t.

  53. We are living in the “Twilight Zone” of climate science.

    Where a planet that is greening up and most of it’s life is responding positively to the best weather and climate since the Medieval Warm Period has resulted in widespread claims of just the opposite.

  54. I am sure similar articles would have been written by the church in Galileo’s time. You know, the ones who believed the sun orbited the earth.

  55. Couldn’t disagree more. The concept that “we have to decide what to believe” is very juvenile, belonging in the realm of concrete thinkers rather than genuine inquirers. For myself, I am more than capable of holding two contradictory thoughts at the same time. Once we decide what to believe we move from scientific inquirers to campaigners who are no longer open to contradictory evidence.

  56. “Belief” is an inherently un-scientific concept. I “believe” in God, but I have _confidence_ that most current life-forms developed the way they are through evolution. But I don’t BELIEVE in evolution. I don’t have FAITH in evolution, because “faith”, like “belief”, is a RELIGIOUS concept.

    I “believe” and “have faith” in concepts that cannot be proved. If it’s provable, I expect proof – or at least some evidence that I can be “confident” in.

    • Not true. “Believe in” means nothing more than “accept the evidence for”. If you believe in evolution, than you accept the evidence that has been presented for it; no more, no less.

      Ultimately, it almost always comes down to having to accept somebody’s word. We cannot reproduce every experiment for ourselves.

  57. The Befuddled Autumn;Where Have All the Colors Gone?
    [FINAL Edition]
    The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) – Washington, D.C.
    Author: Achenbach, Joel
    Date: Nov 3, 1990
    Start Page: d.01
    Section: STYLE

    The non-hysterical person would have to admit there are some fabulous bursts of gold in the sugar maples, some yellow action in the cottonwoods, an occasional red oak that lives up to the billing, but for the most part the leaves seem confused, stuck between green and brown, laden with chlorophyll when they should be showing off their anthocyanin and carotene and xanthophyll. You could plot the great trees on a map with a single box of red pins: a fine maple on Macomb two blocks off Connecticut, a good bank of oaks near Pierce Mill in the Rock Creek Park, and so on.

    From Oct. 6 to 15, when a cold snap should have shocked at least some color into the leaves, the average high temperature in metropolitan Washington was 82.4 degrees. Now it is early November and shirt sleeves are still in order. At Baltimore-Washington International Airport it is the warmest year on record, and it is the second warmest at National Airport. Before the year is out, National Weather Service meteorologist David Miskus said yesterday, 1990 may go down as the warmest year in the Washington area since the Grant administration.

    For a real injection of gloom one might talk to Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature.” It is a book of immense gravity, even the blurbs on the jacket are scary (“It’s a matter of life and death to read this book,” says one from Harold Brodkey). McKibben said this week that he’s enjoyed a great fall up in the Adirondacks, but still feels the weight of global warming. That’s because nature used to be something apart from man, something immutable, greater, untouchable, but now is just another human artifact. “It’s finally dawning on us that we do have the power to alter the world in fundamental ways,” McKibben says. “Before, the leaves changing color was something that just happened, and now we’re beginning to understand that we may have a large role.”

    Achenbach is a native of Gainesville, Florida and graduated from Princeton University in 1982 with a B. A. degree in Politics.

  58. The question was “Science or dogma?”

    For National Geographic Society it is sadly now always dogma.

    Science does not sell any more and political masters demand dogma.

  59. Many years ago I cancelled my subscription to National Geographic (after more than 20 years subscription) when it became obvious that almost every article had an element of green/warmist propaganda.
    Like many publications it had become infested with leftist/green editorial control.
    I have not looked at one of their issues since.

  60. I found this interesting in the National Geographic article. First Achenbach tells us that we are largely motivated by emotion and the need to fit in and remain tight with out peers. “People still have a need to fit in, and that need to fit in is so strong that local values and local opinions are always trumping science.”

    Then, having just explained how peer pressure is always “trumping science,” he goes on to explain how to use peer pressure to convert climate skeptics. “Throwing more facts at them doesn’t help… people need to hear from believers they can trust, who share their fundamental values.” In other words, use trusted peers, rather than facts and science, to persuade them. His laughable example of the use of such persuasion is a conversation between Liz Neeley and her skeptic father:

    Liz asked her father, “Do you believe them or me?” She told him she believes the scientists who research climate change and knows many of them personally. “If you think I’m wrong,” she said, “then you’re telling me that you don’t trust me.” Her father’s stance on the issue softened. But it wasn’t the facts that did it.

    Since when have alarmists ever tried to use facts? They have always appealed to authority, as well as emotion, peer pressure, exaggerated speculation, and the output of climate models. None of which have anything to do with facts.

  61. When I was about 10 my grandmother paid $500 to get me a lifetime subscription to National Geographic. Lets just say that was about 50 years ago. Many time I thought about canceling my subscription, but because it was already paid for I figured I better get my Grandmother’s money worth. I can’t bear to read the articles, so I look at pretty pictures. However when this issue came I tossed in in the garbage without removing the plastic cover. I didn’t have to read the article to know it would be full of bull.

  62. The Tempest

    By Joel Achenbach
    Sunday, May 28, 2006

    As evidence mounts that humans are causing dangerous changes in Earth’s climate, a handful of skeptics are providing some serious blowback

    IT SHOULD BE GLORIOUS TO BE BILL GRAY, professor emeritus. He is often called the World’s Most Famous Hurricane Expert. He’s the guy who, every year, predicts the number of hurricanes that will form during the coming tropical storm season. He works on a country road leading into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, in the atmospheric science department of Colorado State University. He’s mentored dozens of scientists. By rights, Bill Gray should be in deep clover, enjoying retirement, pausing only to collect the occasional lifetime achievement award.

    He’s a towering figure in his profession and in person. He’s 6 feet 5 inches tall, handsome, with blue eyes and white hair combed straight back. He’s still lanky, like the baseball player he used to be back at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington in the 1940s. When he wears a suit, a dark shirt and tinted sunglasses, you can imagine him as a casino owner or a Hollywood mogul. In a room jammed with scientists, you’d probably notice him first.

    He’s loud. His laugh is gale force. His personality threatens to spill into the hallway and onto the chaparral. He can be very charming.

    But he’s also angry. He’s outraged.

    He recently had a public shouting match with one of his former students. It went on for 45 minutes.

    He was supposed to debate another scientist at a weather conference, but the organizer found him to be too obstreperous, and disinvited him.

    Much of his government funding has dried up. He has had to put his own money, more than $100,000, into keeping his research going. He feels intellectually abandoned. If none of his colleagues comes to his funeral, he says, that’ll be evidence that he had the courage to say what they were afraid to admit.

    Which is this: Global warming is a hoax.

    “I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people,” he says when I visit him in his office on a sunny spring afternoon.

    He has testified about this to the United States Senate. He has written magazine articles, given speeches, done everything he could to get the message out. His scientific position relies heavily on what is known as the Argument From Authority. He’s the authority.

    “I’ve been in meteorology over 50 years. I’ve worked damn hard, and I’ve been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who’ve been around have not been asked about this. It’s sort of a baby boomer, yuppie thing.”

    Gray believes in the obs. The observations. Direct measurements. Numerical models can’t be trusted. Equation pushers with fancy computers aren’t the equals of scientists who fly into hurricanes.

    “Few people know what I know. I’ve been in the tropics, I’ve flown in airplanes into storms. I’ve done studies of convection, cloud clusters and how the moist process works. I don’t think anybody in the world understands how the atmosphere functions better than me.”

    In just three, five, maybe eight years, he says, the world will begin to cool again.

    We sit in his office for 2 1/2 hours, until the sun drops behind the mountains, and when we’re done he offers to keep talking until midnight. He is almost desperate to be heard. His time is short. He is 76 years old. He is howling in a maelstrom.

    Parallel Earths


    Since the dawn of the industrial era, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen steadily from about 280 to about 380 parts per million. In the past century, the average surface temperature of Earth has warmed about 1 degree Fahrenheit. Much of that warming has been in the past three decades. Regional effects can be more dramatic: The Arctic is melting at an alarming rate. Arctic sea ice is 40 percent thinner than it was in the 1970s. Glaciers in Greenland are speeding up as they slide toward the sea. A recent report shows Antarctica losing as much as 36 cubic miles of ice a year.

    The permafrost is melting across broad swaths of Alaska, Canada and Siberia. Tree-devouring beetles, common in the American Southwest, are suddenly ravaging the evergreen forests of British Columbia. Coral reefs are bleaching, scalded by overheated tropical waters. There appear to have been more strong hurricanes and cyclones in recent decades, Category 3 and higher — such as Katrina.

    The 1990s were the warmest decade on record. The year 1998 set the all-time mark. This decade is on its way to setting a new standard, with a succession of scorchers. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a global effort involving hundreds of climate scientists and the governments of 100 nations, projected in 2001 that, depending on the rate of greenhouse gas emissions and general climate sensitivities, the global average temperature would rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2100. Sea levels could rise just a few inches, or nearly three feet.

    All of the above is part of the emerging, solidifying scientific consensus on global warming — a consensus that raises the urgent political and economic issue of climate change. This isn’t a theory anymore. This is happening now. Business as usual, many scientists say, could lead to a wildly destabilized climate for the first time since the dawn of human civilization.

    But when you step into the realm of the skeptics, you find yourself on a parallel Earth.

    It is a planet where global warming isn’t happening — or, if it is happening, isn’t happening because of human beings. Or, if it is happening because of human beings, isn’t going to be a big problem. And, even if it is a big problem, we can’t realistically do anything about it other than adapt.

    Certainly there’s no consensus on global warming, they say. There is only abundant uncertainty. The IPCC process is a sham, a mechanism for turning vague scientific statements into headline-grabbing alarmism. Drastic actions such as mandated cuts in carbon emissions would be imprudent. Alternative sources of energy are fine, they say, but let’s not be naive. We are an energy-intensive civilization. To obtain the kind of energy we need, we must burn fossil fuels. We must emit carbon. That’s the real world.

    Since the late 1980s, when oil, gas, coal, auto and chemical companies formed the Global Climate Coalition, industries have poured millions of dollars into a campaign to discredit the emerging global warming consensus. The coalition disbanded a few years ago (some members recast themselves as “green”), but the skeptic community remains rambunctious. Many skeptics work in think tanks, such as the George C. Marshall Institute or the National Center for Policy Analysis. They have the ear of powerful leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill. The skeptics helped scuttle any possibility that the United States would ratify the Kyoto treaty that would have committed the nation to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (conservatives object to the treaty for, among other things, not requiring reductions by developing nations such as China and India).

    In the world of the skeptics you’ll come across Richard Lindzen, an MIT climate scientist who has steadfastly maintained for years that clouds and water vapor will counteract the greenhouse emissions of human beings. You’ll find S. Fred Singer, author of Hot Talk, Cold Science, who points to the positive side of the melting Arctic: “We spent 500 years looking for a Northwest Passage, and now we’ve got one.” You’ll quickly run across Pat Michaels, the University of Virginia climatologist and author of Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media . You might dip into, the online clearinghouse for anti-global-warming punditry. You’ll meet the Cooler Heads Coalition and the Greening Earth Society.

    The skeptics point to the global temperature graph for the past century. Notice how, after rising steadily in the early 20th century, in 1940 the temperature suddenly levels off. No — it goes down! For the next 35 years! If the planet is getting steadily warmer due to Industrial Age greenhouse gases, why did it get cooler when industries began belching out carbon dioxide at full tilt at the start of World War II?

    Now look at the ice in Antarctica: Getting thicker in places!

    Sea level rise? It’s actually dropping around certain islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

    There are all these . . . anomalies.

    The skeptics scoff at climate models. They’re just computer programs. They have to interpret innumerable feedback loops, all the convective forces, the evaporation, the winds, the ocean currents, the changing albedo (reflectivity) of Earth’s surface, on and on and on.

    Bill Gray has a favorite diagram, taken from a 1985 climate model, showing little nodules in the center with such labels as “thermal inertia” and “net energy balance” and “latent heat flux” and “subsurface heat storage” and “absorbed heat radiation” and so on, and they are emitting arrows that curve and loop in all directions, bumping into yet more jargon, like “soil moisture” and “surface roughness” and “vertical wind” and “meltwater” and “volcanoes.”

    “It’s a big can of worms!” Gray says. It’s his favorite line.

    The models can’t even predict the weather in two weeks, much less 100 years, he says.

    “They sit in this ivory tower, playing around, and they don’t tell us if this is going to be a hot summer coming up. Why not? Because the models are no damn good!”

    Gray says the recent rash of strong hurricanes is just part of a cycle. This is part of the broader skeptical message: Climate change is normal and natural. There was a Medieval Warm Period, for example, long before Exxon Mobil existed.

    Sterling Burnett, a skeptic who is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, says that even if he’s wrong about global warming, mandating cuts in carbon emissions would mean economic disaster for poor countries, and cost jobs in America: “I don’t know any politician anywhere who is going to run on a platform of saying, ‘I’m

    going to put you out of work.'”

    The skeptics don’t have to win the argument, they just have to stay in the game, keep things stirred up and make sure the politicians don’t pass any laws that have dangerous climate change as a premise. They’re winning that battle. The Senate had hearings on climate change this spring but has put off action for now. The Bush administration is hoping for some kind of technological solution and won’t commit itself to cuts in emissions.

    The skeptics have a final trump in the argument: Climate change is actually good. Growing seasons will be longer. Plants like carbon dioxide. Trees devour it. This demonized molecule, CO2, isn’t some kind of toxin or contaminant or pollutant — it’s fertilizer.

    The Free Market Solution: Zoos


    AL GORE IS ABOUT TO COME ON THE BIG SCREEN. Fred Smith is eagerly awaiting the moment. We’re at a media

    preview of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary on Gore and global warming (it debuts this week in Washington). Smith is not exactly a Gore groupie. He is the head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a factory for global warming skepticism.

    CEI has 28 people on staff, “half a platoon,” Smith likes to say. They’re in the persuasion business, fighting for the free market. They lobby against government regulations of all kinds. Smith writes articles with titles such as “Eco-Socialism: Threat to Liberty Around the World.” These promoters of capitalism don’t really operate a commercial enterprise; like any think tank, CEI relies on donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. The most generous sponsors of last year’s annual dinner at the Capital Hilton were the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Exxon Mobil, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and Pfizer. Other contributors included General Motors, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Plastics Council, the Chlorine Chemistry Council and Arch Coal.

    Smith is short, stocky, bearded. He talks extremely fast and sprinkles his remarks with free market jargon, climate change lingo, historical references and various mysterious words that seem to come from a secret conservatives-only code book.

    As we wait for the movie to start, I ask him how he would define his political beliefs. “Classical liberal,” he says. He explains that civilization is a means for allowing individuals to liberate their energies and their genius — an emergence from primitive, tribal, collectivist social arrangements. When humans switch from collectivism to private property, he says, “you have greater freedom of ideas.” This prompts the thought that the federal government owns way too much land in the West. Much of it should be privatized, he says.

    Including national parks? I ask.

    “Probably wouldn’t touch it for political reasons,” he says.

    The movie begins: Images of a river. Lush foliage. Gore’s voice, almost sultry, rhapsodizes about nature. Then we see him take a stage in an auditorium. He is in a suit and tie and looks very much like a candidate for political office…..

    Last Page

  63. The only question a Poli Sci major is qualified to answer is “what was it like moving back in with your parents after you finished your degree?”

    • Not really. They do quite well on Fox News telling us, almost always wrongly, who is going to win the next election. Just ask Dick Morris (who is most famous for playing footie), Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, Pat Caddell, and James Cueball Carville, and at least one other guy who’s name I can’t remember right now.

  64. I cancelled my subscription to NG years ago when it became obvious they had ceased even the slightest pretext of scientific objectivity.

  65. When I picked up this issue in a hospital waiting room, I was so astonished that I mailed it to a friend, so he could see it, too. I didn’t think he’d believe me, if I just tried to describe it.

    I had thought that Scientific American was about as alarmist as a national publication could get. I was wrong. NatGeo is right down there with SciAm. Both have jettisoned the truth, or any scientific objectivity. Neither of them allows a single word of scientific skepticism.

    My wife brought home some other NatGeo issues her brother had. Each and every one has entire articles, or editorials predicting imminent runaway global warming!

    No wonder the public has turned into a bunch of head-nodders. If they don’t think for themselves, it’s hard to resist the constant drumbeat of climate alarmist propaganda when it’s everywhere you look.

    • It’s with regret that I threw out all my old Sci scams a few years ago, and I have a tinge of jealousy regarding all those folks who have 50 years worth of Nat Geo on their bookshelves. They will surely make for excellent kindling for log fires across the length and breadth of the USA for years to come. Good decision guys.

  66. A number of people have written to the National Geographic web page indicating they will not renew. I contemplated this at the end of 2014 and renewed late. However after such an incompetent article I will not renew.

    • A better way to send a message is to proactively cancel your subscription and get a refund into the bargain. It’s easy nowadays–most magazines have a page on their sites where cancellations can be made with no fuss. There’s no need for a phone call on most–tho that can be a last resort.

  67. This part made me laugh:

    “The trouble goes way back, of course. The scientific method leads us to truths that are less than self-evident, often mind-blowing, and sometimes hard to swallow.”

    When has Climate Science ever followed the scientific method?

    They run from it like a cockroach scurrying from light.

  68. National Geographic has very strict requirements covering the nature photographs they publish. No staging, photoshopping or photo manipulation. Complete and detailed information about the photo required. Evidently there had some sort of scandal which resulted in the need for the current protocol.

    The April, 2014 issue of National Geographic a 3,700 word article entitled “Can Coal Ever Be Clean?” What I found fascinating, before reading the article, was the attending photograph of Georgia’s Juliette Coal plant. The photo taken from above at twilight or early evening depicts voluminous amounts of tan/brown polluting “smoke” emitting from 4 towers. The smoke diffuses the red aircraft warning beacons creating the image of peering into Dante’s Inferno, at least that is the subliminal message. Laughably, the “smoke” is in reality steam from the plant’s 4 steam cooling towers. I suggest the reader check it out, astounding amateurish.

    The article is predictably anti coal drivel.

  69. I stopped receiving the NG Magazine about 6-7 years ago, when the pro-Warmist dogma became too evident to ignore. I actually cancelled my existing subscription AND requested reimbursement on the unused portion. I also did the same with Discover Magazine (I had been paid out several years of subscription in advance)… also asked for a refund of the unused portion of the subscription. If anyone here is a subscriber and is considering not renewing, cancel instead AND request, explain precisely why, and insist on a refund on the unused portion. That sends a bit more powerful message.

  70. Michel de

    I just finished reading the article
    « The age of disbelief » in the
    March edition of the National
    It is one of the most a-scientific
    articles about science


    love the word ascientific.


    not anti, not post, not pre, para ….

    just a –


    : ‘without any scientific behalf’.

    Thanks – Hans

  71. ***with the printed Mag losing millions of readers post-Internet, Nat Geo, like much of the MSM, is desperate to attract young, online users. Alliance Audited Media has Nat Geo Mag with 3,572,348 Total Paid & Verified as of 6/30/2014, down 10.7% from June 2013 (article below mentions domestic circ of about 4 million):

    Nov 2014: USA Today: A faster pace for National Geographic magazine
    Revenue pours in from diverse sources – contributions, advertising, books, video production, merchandise licensing and a lucrative cable-TV relationship with 21st
    Century Fox. Operating as a non-profit organization, the National Geographic
    Society, which publishes the magazine and funds expeditions and research, is
    immune to some of the harsh realities bedeviling other traditional news
    outlets, such as Wall Street pressure or impatient shareholders…
    ***Its domestic circulation totals about 4 million (international editions
    bring this up to 6.8 million), down from 10.8 million at its peak in 1989…
    National Geographic’s Web traffic is escalating, and several apps target
    students and nature enthusiasts…
    The magazine’s covers and layout have gotten punchier, too.
    “Real Zombies” – a story about parasitic organisms – is the November cover
    headline. The magazine now has an animal sex column, a scientific look at
    how birds and bees do it. There’s a new Q&A feature, interviews with people,
    not necessarily scientists, who are passionate about science

    Wikipedia: John M. Fahey, Jr.
    John M. Fahey is chairman of the National Geographic Society, a position he
    has held since January 2011…
    In February 2014, President Obama appointed Fahey to a six-year term on the
    Smithsonian Board of Regents, the governing body of the Smithsonian
    Institution. He also serves on the board and executive committee of the
    Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as well as the boards of Time
    Inc., where he is lead director; Johnson Outdoors Inc.; and Great Plains
    Investment LLC…,_Jr.

    keep in mind:

    National Geographic Wild is owned by National Geographic Society & Fox Cable
    Networks (21st Century Fox)
    National Geographic Channel is Owned by: Fox Cable Networks (21st Century
    Fox) (67%)
    National Geographic Channel International owned by Fox Entertainment Group
    (21st Century Fox) (73%)

    for those questioning the quality, or lack of it, of the Nat Geo channels (which i haven’t watched in years):

    2011: Hollywood Reporter: National Geographic Announces Promotions
    National Geographic Channels is expanding its global development staff and
    heading West under former Fox Reality Channel president David Lyle, who will
    oversee its new West Coast Development Office…

    April 2014: Deadline: More National Geographic Shakeup: David Lyle Exits
    Meanwhile, the National Geographic Channels have done very well
    under Lyle and Owens. “I’m exhilarated that NGC and NG WILD are in rude
    health with EBITDAs (profits) at all-time highs, and with programming
    featuring the most watched specials, series and year in the channels’
    history,” Lyle wrote in his memo…
    That makes the executive housecleaning puzzling…

  72. Yes, Verfremdung:

    alienation – ‘Gentle Tramp on March
    13, 2015 at 3:21 pm
    Why? This word exists
    and means


    Orwell, Freud, lobbyists, green coercers –

    here we go again.


  73. Achenbach touts the scientific method, but forgets that the scientific method is just like the law; it requires an adversarial process to get at the truth.

  74. This is the reason that after > 30 years as an N.G. subscriber I quit it this year. I just can’t pay for the propaganda that passes for articles in this magazine.

  75. That NG article was pure propaganda. The picture of a diorama of the moon landing despite the only scientist to have gone to the moon being a sceptic. No mention of Harrison Shmitt in the article.

    We had the papers print article after article about sceptics being like the the people who told Columbus that the world was flat. After finally getting through to the idiots that it didn’t happen (just read any encyclopedia), the same group of people who pushed it write

    That the Earth is round has been known since antiquity—Columbus knew he wouldn’t sail off the edge of the world—but alternative geographies persisted even after circumnavigations had become common. This 1893 map by Orlando Ferguson, a South Dakota businessman, is a loopy variation on 19th-century flat-Earth beliefs.

    Just give it up!

    We also have equation of CAGW sceptics with a fictional movie character and those that don’t want fluoride in our town water. What evidence is there that such opinions are common amongst sceptics? A movie? These people can’t research so unlikely that the conclusion was based on evidence. The evidence for that is more of their ranting.

    In the early 17th century, when Galileo claimed that the Earth spins on its axis and orbits the sun, he wasn’t just rejecting church doctrine. He was asking people to believe something that defied common sense—because it sure looks like the sun’s going around the Earth, and you can’t feel the Earth spinning. Galileo was put on trial and forced to recant. Two centuries later Charles Darwin escaped that fate.

    The story with Galileo was more complicated than that. He was given a chance and money to publish a convincing argument for it, which he used to alienate one of his biggest supporters until then, the Pope. Charles Darwin was lauded by both the Anglican and Catholic Church at the time, he didn’t just escape that fate.

    If you can’t get simple history right, why should anyone have faith that you have done the more complicated science correct? Anyone with science training shouldn’t just have blind faith anyway.

    • Well Galileo was going against the consensus back then, so he is really a poor person to use since it basically breaks his argument up since it is going against the grain, which is what this author is saying is a bad thing. There are so many examples of scientists going against the grin and being proven right and have the evidence to back it up, but often it take the scientific community years or decades to accept the fact and not their beliefs about what they once were taught as fact.

  76. At one point in time about 5 years ago I paid for 12 subscriptions to NG.

    I now pay for none, because of their incompetence and lack of professional integrity.

    Unfortunately it will have to stay that way.

  77. I’ve been a subscriber to NGS since the 1970’s. I had just renewed when this issue arrived. My wife said, “You aren’t going to like this one”. Got that right. I fired off an email forthwith not only to NGS but to the author who writes for the Washington Post (in fact, the same essay, or nearly so, is there).

    My critique to NGS was basically why have they become an “echo” of the Washington Post? If I wanted that, I’d just read the Washington Post and get it first hand. Scientific American, for instance, echoes “climate wire”.

    I also wonder why it matters. People that deny the moon landing, and a few exist, don’t read National Geographic (or so I suppose). What is the purpose of that article? Clearly it is the beginning of purification, identifying “us” from “them”.

    Echoes of Lewandowsky abound in the article and I agree with you this is the worst, or nearly so, essay I have ever seen in the pages of National Geographic and if they keep it up, which seems likely, I will end this 40 year relationship.

    I wrote out a detailed critique but didn’t bother NGS with it until they show some interest. Neither NGS nor Joel Achenbach responded.

    • The irony is in Lews paper it was AGW supporters that that deny the moon landing , not its sceptics.

  78. Glad that my substrictiption to National Geographic has been cancelled! NG’s coverage of global warming in the name of science in the last decade has been horrific. What I just don’t understand is how so many people can blindly believe articles like this. It’s easy for me to choose what to believe because I have read both sides of the science. I am not a climatologist, nor a scientist. I am an analyst by profession, and have been taught how to think for myself. I rarely believe ANYTHING without listening to both arguments. Most of the warmists I have come across have never even attempted to understand the skeptical argument. This seems obviously true of Joe Achenbach as well. Any bets that he has NO CLUE what the skeptical argument is? Of course not, if a crazy republican senator is making it, then not worth understanding right? Although not a scientist by profession, I have taken enough science classes at the college level to understand that science is NEVER settled. And that consensus never has proved a scientific theory. Mr. Achenbach’s article was so anti-scientific that NG should be ashamed. I notice there wasn’t a place to leave comments online. Perhaps if you have a subscription? Yeah, a great way to foster real scientific debate NG :). So thankful to Anthony for providing us a place to speak intelligently !

  79. Lotta disbelief in the comments here.
    Yas obviously reckon NASA is a pack
    of liars and full of bad climate science so
    yas reckon they lied about landing on the
    moon too?
    Buncha conspiracy whacks …

    • Can you show us any ‘good climate science’ and by good we mean in the scientific sense not religion or politics where claims of ‘settled’ unquestionable truth are the norm.

    • Li D
      “Buncha conspiracy whacks …”
      Not sure which comments you are referring to but this forum is open to all including you. So from reading whichever comment or comments here that you disagree with you have chosen to connect Conspiracy fanatics with all those that question AGW. The trouble with those that think there are conspiracies (e.g. Moon landings never happened, vaccinations are bad/government plot) is they are not so much questioning but have decided there is a conspiracy. There is no question and there minds are closed. I know the moon landings took place, I have a great respect for NASA (when its doing space things), understand the importance of vaccination and how it has removed many of the serious illnesses, and I wish to see the environment looked after. I started out taking on board all the stuff about CO2 warming the planet and how bad the west is, but I have grown increasingly sceptical of what looks exactly like dogma and also fed up with it.
      From what I’ve seen it is just as likely that you will get a someone believing in AGW, who also believes in Chem Trails, Government plots, Moon landing hoax etc. The sticking point for me is the word ‘believe’.

    • Please explain how the Moon landing could be faked.

      Or please explain how past temperature data CANNOT be faked.

      Or just keep silent.

    • Always nice to hear from the young and illiterate. Sadly, I think that even were your missive translated from text-speak to something resembling English, you wouldn’t have added much of anything to the thread.

  80. I stopped my subscription to Nat Geo a few years back when it started going green/extreme.

  81. “Its domestic circulation totals about 4 million (international editions bring this up to 6.8 million), down from 10.8 million at its peak in 1989”

    Keep in mind, that’s not the typical magazine subscription which has been plummeting in the age of the internet. That’s membership to the society. A magazine comes with membership. If you believe in an organization you become a member, whether it’s the NGS or the NRA. Membership in the NGS has fallen by 60%, myself included. A fail of that magnitude would be a signal to most that the change in direction an organization took in the 2000s, wasn’t the brightest move, and might want to be reversed.

    But leftism is a religion, and religious dogma at the NGS trumps all.

  82. “Joel Achenbach, the author, pretends that sceptics have no place in the scientific debates because of their incompetence, their prejudices, their doubts in science, and, last but not least, their alienation to powerful lobbies, as for example the fossil fuel industry in climate matters”

    There are literally thousands of top, qualified scientists around the world, who do not subscribe to the AGW religion, yet this stupid man Achenbach, together with the National Geographic Society, has the effrontery to say that they have no place in science because of their incompetence. If the NGA has any backbone in this one sided debate, they should ban this man from ever contributing again, and apologise to its subscribers. If not, I invite all subscribers, whatever their views, to cancel their subscriptions forthwith.

  83. I have always been disturbed by the label skeptic as being referred to people who question the normal circumstances ie the link between man made CO2 and dangerous AGW. To me the natural circumstance and the historical evidence suggests that when warmists make predictions that don’t stack up with the past. Ie it is the warmists who are being skeptical in that they don’t believe what the facts tell you and proof of the veracity of their skepticism they have consistently tried to alter the facts ( including the past) to validate their predictions. There is no greater skeptism than to deny what your eyes see and what are universal facts. Ie there is no pause OR that record cold and snowstorms are proof of global warming.

  84. I would say this to Achenbach; hey, don’t wait for a law to curb CO2, go ahead and get a jump on it, stop driving, stop using electricity, stop flying on jets, stop heating your home, there is a lot you can do, or stop doing.

  85. I spit up in my mouth a bit when I saw the Nat Geo article. Very disappointing propaganda from a formerly respected magazine. It joins Scientific American and Penthouse’s “Omni” in the race to irrelevancy.

  86. Want to see a smart man self-detonate his own argument?

    Title of his article:

    Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

    Three Paragraphs in:

    We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.

    So, in this man’s eyes… “war on a consensus of experts” is now “science”… And he didn’t see the problem in his reasoning before publishing that nonsense?

    I’m sure he’s a smart man, unfortunately he’s knee-deep in the quicksand of his own dogma. He’s abdicated his own daily rigor in questioning what he sees in favor of being a “subject matter expert”. He’s a tool, not a scientist, and he doesn’t recognize it.

  87. National Geographic has become nothing but a climate fear propaganda mill. This latest scientifically unsupported alarmist article brought the following reply:

    The subject article alleges that it addresses the “war on science”.

    While the article discusses many issues related to challenges to various fields of science it dwells a great deal on the science of “global warming” or as this issue was later called after the global warming temperature hiatus commenced in 1998 “climate change”. The article jumps back and forth between these two terms without ever explaining why and how these two different terms came into use with this change characterizing that political ideology is the driver of climate science.

    The article starts by trying to suggest that the kooks who don’t believe in the NASA moon landings are at fault for the challenges to the validity of global warming science.

    The article should have addressed the letter of protest to NASA’s Administrator by 49 former NASA astronauts, including a number who landed on the moon, scientists and engineers demanding that NASA look at empirical data which does not support climate alarmists claims instead of relying on highly questionable computer models.

    Specifically these NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers leveled the following challenges to NASA’s climate alarmism efforts:

    “The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.”

    “We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not

    “We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”

    “With hundreds of well known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from GISS leadership, it is clear the science is NOT settled”.

    The Age of Disbelief article makes the well-worn and scientifically unsubstantiated claim that Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the east coast and New York city was made worse by man made CO2 driven sea level rise. This is simply alarmist hype as the NOAA tide gauge data along the New York and New Jersey coasts clearly demonstrates.

    Shown below are NOAA long period duration mean sea level trend records for Kings Point and The Battery, New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey. The NOAA data shows clearly that sea level rise trends at these locations are linear and unchanging with no sea level rise acceleration occurring over the last 100 years. The New York locations have rates of sea level increase of about 11 inches per century. The higher rate of sea level rise at Atlantic City location versus New York is the result of land subsidence. NOAA data shows that man made CO2 emissions have not caused increases in the rate of sea level rise that allegedly made Hurricane Sandy’s flooding worse.

    The false claim of CO2 driven man made sea level rise acceleration relative to Hurricane Sandy is a classic example climate alarmist hype unsupported by scientifically measured empirical NOAA tide gauge data which alarmist simply ignore.

    The subject article also alleges that the hundreds of scientists at most recent UN IPCC AR5 report gathering session couldn’t possibly be wrong about their man made CO2 alarmist claims even though these claims are derived from flawed climate models which grossly overstate the impact of atmospheric CO2 levels on global temperatures as shown in the UN IPCC AR5 WGI report Chapter 11 Figure 11.25a below.

    Despite the fact that the observed and measured empirical global temperature data demonstrates that the models grossly exaggerate and overstate the impact of global temperatures as a function of atmospheric CO2 levels these same UN IPCC “scientists” use these models to justify their claims of climate impacts caused by rising CO2 levels.

    Worse yet the UN IPCC AR5 WGI report specifically acknowledges that the climate models have no defined degree of certainty but are simply “plausible” and “illustrative” of possible outcomes with this lack of certainty being concealed from public view. The measured empirical data clearly says the climate models exaggerate and overstate global temperatures but this real data is simply ignored by climate alarmists scientists and media.

    The scientifically legitimate challenge to the adequacy of climate science is not driven by the “moon landing never happened” kooks or the failure to communicate the issues to the public or any other made up excuse trying to hide the real truth behind the huge shortcomings of climate science.

    This climate science challenge is driven by the failure of the alarmist climate science community and media to address the massive volume of measured empirical data which does not support the alarmist claims which are based on completely inadequate climate models. This National Geographic article completely misses this most important reason why the challenge to climate science has occurred and why it will continue to be pursued.

    The dogmatic ideology of climate alarmism which is based on hype, exaggeration and deception cannot escape dealing with one of the most important elements of the scientific method which requires the use of measured empirical data to make a valid scientific case. Science is not decided by consensus, by authority or by computer models. In the final analysis science is decided by use of measured empirical data.

    Until National Geographic begins to address this very real and massive shortcoming of climate alarmism it will remain just another media source which deals in the hype, exaggeration and deception of scientifically unsubstantiated climate alarmism.

  88. The basic thesis of the NatGeo article is “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge – from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change – faces organized and often furious opposition”.

    This is plainly incorrect: it confuses knowledge with theory. One can agree or disagree with theory all one likes – including experimentation to demonstrate that the theory has actually failed.

    Scientific *knowledge* is a different matter entirely – while it proposes theory it also expressly states a nul hypothesis, accepting that if the nul hypothesis fails, the theory itself fails.

    Climate change is is not “scientific knowledge” (where is the nul hypothesis? How long exactly must “the pause” last?). It is still just theory, where proper scientists not only have the right but the duty to keep it under watchful examination, whether or not that amounts to “organized and often furious opposition”. And I also think that any “fury” is most often seen directed from the true believers towards the doubters ….

  89. NGS should go back to the glory days of it roots. In 1940 I was attending a very posh private boy’s boarding school; the library had all of the yearly bound editions of the magazine. It was to us 10/11 year old boys the “Playboy/Hustler type mag’s of that time, almost every issue had pages of bare breasted African natives, our teachers even encouraged us to look into the NG’s in our designated “Library Time”. I guess one could say it was the approved porn of the day. I don’t know when that school was founded but by the time I got there those NG pages were well worn, almost tattered. Today NG heart and soul remains in bare Africa, if you will note every NG world map has Africa in the center, what is on either side is marginalized.

  90. The a-scientific article reviewed by Michel may not be the worst item that NG has served up this month. In the “NG News” sidebar immediately to the left of the “Why Do So Many People Doubt Science”, we have an outrageous example of outright lies and deception. It has a satellite image showing the Arctic ice cap with a yellow outline purporting to show how much the sea ice has shrunk. If you let your mouse hover over the picture, a caption pops up:
    “Extent of the Arctic ice cap today versus three years ago.”
    Three years ago was 2012. We presumably are being told that the yellow outline represented the ice cap in 2012, and that three years later it has shrunk significantly. Anybody who has been following Arctic ice knows this is a blatant lie.
    We then click through to the article itself: “Earth’s Dashboard is Flashing Red–Are Enough People Listening?” by Dennis Dimick (
    We now see that the picture has a date stamp of September 16, 2012, and the caption tells us that the yellow outline actually represents the sea ice extent back in 1979. At this point my internal deception alarms did indeed “flash red”. If you want to show how much the summer ice cap has shrunk since 1979, and you are writing an article in 2015, why would you choose a satellite image from 2012? Why not an image from 2013 or 2014? The answer is easy: September Arctic sea ice area has increased by almost 50% in the last 2 years. 2012’s picture is much more scary.

  91. I gave up on the NGS long ago. They’re nothing more than a bunch of liberal hacks anymore.

  92. Achenbach began his article with a synopsis of General Ripper’s worries about fluoridation inDr. Strangelove, then continued:

    The movie came out in 1964, by which time the health benefits of fluoridation had been thoroughly established, and antifluoridation conspiracy theories could be the stuff of comedy. So you might be surprised to learn that, half a century later, fluoridation continues to incite fear and paranoia. In 2013 citizens in Portland, Oregon, one of only a few major American cities that don’t fluoridate their water, blocked a plan by local officials to do so. Opponents didn’t like the idea of the government adding “chemicals” to their water. They claimed that fluoride could be harmful to human health.

    Actually fluoride is a natural mineral that, in the weak concentrations used in public drinking water systems, hardens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay—a cheap and safe way to improve dental health for everyone, rich or poor, conscientious brusher or not. That’s the scientific and medical consensus.

    To which some people in Portland, echoing antifluoridation activists around the world, reply: We don’t believe you.

    We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.

    You’d never know from reading the above that European countries have stopped adopting it or have moved away from it, per Wikipedia, at :

    The following nations previously fluoridated their water, but stopped the practice, with the years when water fluoridation started and stopped in parentheses:

    Federal Republic of Germany (1952–1971)
    Sweden (1952–1971)
    Netherlands (1953–1976)
    Czechoslovakia (1955–1990)
    German Democratic Republic (1959–1990)
    Soviet Union (1960–1990)
    Finland (1959–1993)
    Japan (1952–1972)

    Fluoridation’s effectiveness and safety appear to have been oversold, according to recent studies, which is one factor in the rollback above.

    (It seems to me that fluoridators could get 90% of what they want by fluoridating the milk and other drinks in school lunches.)

    Achenbach oversold the absoluteness of the consensus and the strength of the evidence of its correctness.
    That’s what organized establishment “science” did about the issue back in the fifties and sixties.
    That’s what he and it are doing now with regard to global warming.
    That’s why we should be skeptical of them now.
    They’ve oversold us before.

  93. Half of Achenbach’s NG article commits the “fallacy of division.” To quote from a text:

    a person commits the fallacy of division when he or she reasons from the fact that each member of a group has a certain property to the conclusion that the group as a whole has that property.

    Achenbach lists six groups that are or were 1) against the scientific consensus and 2) wrong–or at least wrong in his opinion. These are anti-fluoridationists, anti-vaxers, moon-landing d*niers, anti-GMOers, anti-evolutionists, and flat-earthers.

    He then includes climate contrarians in the anti-consensus group, hoping to rhetorically induce his readers to conclude that they also are wrong. But that’s a <non sequitur.

    And it’s a one-sided presentation. There are a dozen cases where the consensus was wrong and the contrarians were right. The issue can’t be solved by smearing, as Achenbach has done. The issue is, Who is right this time?

    • Oops–on second thought, forget my “fallacy of division” accusation. That doesn’t really fit. Basically, the use of those six examples is a smear job: an attempt to insinuate guilt (wrongness) to an anti-consensus group by association (with anti-consensus groups that were wrong).

      • The old guilt by association trick, whereas fallacy of division and fallacy of composition are somewhat different but opposite sides of another coinage.
        F of D- You insult our President you insult all of us
        F of C- I take a box to stand on to the game and I can see better so if we all take a box we’ll all see better.

  94. Probably dogma, but my gift subscription issue went to the trash with the plastic wrap still on. I’ll advise the gift giver to save money next time and go with socks or sweaters next time.

  95. Cancelled National Geographic long ago (80’s) due to their political agenda. I miss the great photos and some of the space related items, but I cannot support their politics.

  96. This would be a good time for a photojournalism story of radicalization of enviro groups. There is probably an evolutionary corollary in the fossil record of ever more outlandish natural designs leading up to absurdity and extinction.

  97. I sent he following letter to National Geographic:

    “I’m very happy to see you lumping “global warming” in with the flat Earth types, as it means you who are pushing that hoax are becoming desperate. A vast number of real scientists dispute it. Do you remember the old computer saying “garbage in, garbage out?” If you look at how most of the government thermometers have been mis-located next to heat sources by incompetent government workers, even sincere scientists operating with such faulty data will produce garbage results. Of course, we have a raft of public disclosures of out right data manipulation by the global warming pushers. Remember, always follow the money. In this case, we see many lining their pockets pushing the hoax.

    In case you now think me a pickup-driving, beer infused hick, just a few facts: I’m a member of Mensa, the top 2% IQ society, owner of an environmental consulting corporation, and a self-made multi-millionaire.

    I’m also Roman Catholic, and find it fascinating that some Christians in one breath claim that God made everything, then deny God the right to have created evolution. Clearly evolution is happening, but there are very serious gaps in the chain of data leading to modern humans. A major part of the problem is that far too many scientists deny the existence of God, despite clear proof that God does exist. Being an Atheist is such an outlandish thing that people rightly question the sanity and judgment of all Atheists, and anything they claim.”

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