The Paris Paradigm: The What is your ‘Skeptic Score’?

This essay covers the seven beliefs that are necessary for a Paris Protocol to make sense. The reader is invited to rate the probability of each belief being true. Using their probabilities the reader can then calculate their “Skeptic Score”. 

The Kyoto Copenhagen Paris Paradigm

The Seven Beliefs Required for Acceptance of the Paris Protocol

Guest essay by David Swinehart

In 1997 a large number of countries meeting in Kyoto, Japan reached an agreement to reduce “greenhouse” gas emissions. The United States signed this agreement along with Australia, Canada, Japan and all of the European Union countries. The after mentioned countries ratified the treaty amongst others. The United States Senate, however, never ratified the treaty, and Canada has since withdrawn. With the treaty set to expire at the end of 2012, an attempt was made to negotiate a replacement in Copenhagen in 2009, but the parties failed to reach a legally binding agreement. In December 2015, another attempt will be made in Paris to negotiate a replacement to the, so called, Kyoto Protocol.

If the United States had ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the nation would have been required to reduce its total “greenhouse” gas (GHG) emissions by 6% from its 1990 level during the period 2008 to 2012. As of 2010 the United States had not reduced its total emissions, but rather had increased emissions by about 10% despite a rather large decrease in emissions per capita starting in 2007-2008 caused by the recession. Recent discussions about a new protocol are centered on major countries like the United States reducing total emissions 80% by the year 2050.

The impetus for a treaty to reduce “greenhouse” emissions was a set of beliefs, a paradigm, fostered and promoted by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this article, we will focus only on the essential beliefs, each of which is necessary, for a global treaty to reduce “greenhouse” gas emissions to be a reasonable course of action. Also, we will consider some of the objections to those Beliefs.

As an added bonus, you will have the opportunity to calculate your “Warmist Score”, or more accurately, your adherence to the “Paris Paradigm” (or lack thereof, your “Skeptic Score”).

The following is a set of Beliefs that are espoused by supporters of a Kyoto type treaty. It is also contended that every Belief is necessary and, taken together, sufficient for such a treaty to be acceptable, i.e. the failure of any one of these Beliefs would make such a treaty pointless, but on the contrary if all Beliefs are true, then a Kyoto type treaty would be prudent. Opinions vary and you may feel that one or more Beliefs are not necessary, or perhaps, you may feel that important elements have been omitted. In either case, you are encouraged to make comments.

The Paris Paradigm (a set of seven assertions all of which are necessary to justify a treaty)

1. Unprecedented global warming caused by humans both in rate and magnitude. Since 1850 due to mankind, the earth has warmed faster and to a higher temperature than at any other time in the last 1,000 years, if not longer.

  1. Accelerating warming. The rate of temperatures increase will accelerate resulting in the period from 1850 to 2100 having an increase in temperature from 2.0° to 4.5°C; or perhaps more.
  2. Very harmful. This warming has had a significant net harm to the world causing more deaths, economic loss, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, flooding, growth in deserts, increases in malaria, heart attacks, loss of food supply, forced human relocation, wars and deforestation among other harmful effects. The increase in the warming rate mentioned in Belief 2 will cause even greater harm to the world.
  3. CO2 to blame. The prime cause of all of this is CO2 emissions by humankind.
  4. Can be controlled. By reducing human emissions of GHG’s (primarily CO2) through a global treaty, warming and its bad effects can be avoided.
  5. Better than the alternative. The solution will be less harmful than doing nothing or any other proposed solution (adaption or geo-engineering).
  6. No cheaters. All major emitting countries and regions will comply with the treaty or if they do not, they can be forced into compliance.

What is your Skeptic Score?

To see where you fit on the Warmist/Skeptic scale, fill in the probability of each of the seven Beliefs being true on the blank lines provided in the following table, then multiply all of them together (Click here for a Discussion of Each Belief).

For example, if you were to estimate that each Belief has a 97% change of being correct, the product would be 0.97 multiplied seven times or approximately 0.81. Your Warmist Score would be 81% and you would be a true believer. Your Skeptic Score would be the additive inverse, i.e. 1.0 – 0.81 or 0.19 (19%). (Click here for Skeptic Score Explanation).

Table of Probabilities for the seven Beliefs:

____ Unprecedented global warming caused by humans

____ Accelerating warming

____ Very harmful

____ CO2 to blame

____ Can be controlled

____ Better than the alternative

____ No cheaters


____ Warmist Score (the product of the seven Beliefs). The Skeptic Score is 1.0 – the Warmist Score.

The Seven Beliefs

We will now discuss each of the seven underpinnings of the Paradigm and the reasons that might lead to doubts as to the accuracy of each one. The reader may evaluate the certitude of each assertion and arrive at his/her own probability as to its reliability. There is a place following the discussion of each Belief to write your subjective probability. You can then insert those probabilities into the seven Beliefs table.

1. Unprecedented global warming caused by humans both in rate and magnitude.

The warming since 1850 (165 years ago) is estimated by the Hadley Climate Research Unit to be about 0.79°C, a rate of 0.48°C per century. If this rate were to continue for the next 100 years (to the year 2115), the world would be 0.48 °C warmer than today. Since most of the world experiences a typical daily temperature variation of 6°C or more, this hardly seems threatening.

The key to this Belief is the phrase: “human caused”. If only half the rate is caused by humans, anthropogenic global warming (AGW) would be even less threatening.

But is it an unprecedented rate? Unfortunately, we do not have thermometer data going back 1,000 years, and multi-proxy data filters warming rates because of uncertainties in timing of the different proxies. IPCC uses global land and ocean thermometer data from the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCRU) going back to 1850. Using the latest HadCRUT data, the highest 25 year rate ended in March, 2007 with 2.15 °C per century warming rate (the 25 year rate has slowed since then).

However, Berkeley Earth has land only data going back to 1750 showing the period ending in September, 1782 to have the highest 25 year warming rate at 6.55 °C per century. Land data will have higher warming rates than the ocean, so those rates cannot be compared to combined land and sea data. However, it reasonable to assume that the highest 25 year warming rate for combined land and sea data, if it were available, would also end in September, 1782.

HadCRU also maintains the oldest thermometer database, which goes back to 1659. This database is only for Central England and therefore not global. Using yearly data only, the highest 25 year warming period ended in 1716 with a warming rate of 7.16 °C per century. Again, this would suggest the period ending in 1716 to have had the highest 25 year global warming rate.

Together, this makes it highly unlikely that since the year 1659 the highest 25 year global warming rate ended in March, 2007, and even less likely that the highest warming rate in the last 1,000 years ended in 2007.

Unprecedented magnitude? The problem with this argument is the well documented Medieval Warm Period (MWP) (~900 CE to 1300, estimates vary). If MWP was approximately as warm as, or warmer than the present, how can we be sure that the current warming was caused by humans? Of course, the MWP could be strictly due to natural causes and the present warming due strictly to human causes, but if the General Circulation Models (GCM) cannot be used to explain the MWP and the subsequent Little Ice Age (LIA, ~1400 to 1850) then the GCM’s yield a ‘one-off’ answer. They lack confirmation of a ‘control period’ for comparison. Hence, there is no confirmation of their reliability and no confirmation that humans are the cause of the current warming period (CWP).

But didn’t the IPCC deny that there was MWP? Yes, in its 2001 report, it did, but it has subsequently backed off. They made the contention despite over 100 papers confirming the MWP in the oceans as well as all the continents including Antarctica. These papers were authored by more than 800 scientists (see here). IPCC TAR (2001) featured a proxy series produced by Michael E. Mann, et al. (MBH99) which had no MWP or Little Ice Age (LIA). Using numerous proxy data sets, Mann constructed a graph purporting to show a “hockey stick” (uptick in temperatures) at the end of the 20th century. A version of “hockey stick” graph, though prominent in TAR, was conspicuously absent from the two subsequent assessment reports of 2007 and 2013.

The problems with the “hockey stick” are multifold. See discussion by Dr. Ross McKitrick here. It relied on the Sheep Mountain, bristlecone pine tree ring data from the Rocky Mountains. Without bristlecone data there is no “hockey stick” (see top of page 2 of the previous link) and, of course, a small area of the Rocky Mountains does not represent the entire earth.

But even when included, and through a statistical trick, weighting it many times more than other proxies, the composite series “rolls over” (a down tick in temperatures) after 1980 requiring the deletion (“hide the decline”) of the data past that point. See the discussion by Steve McIntyre here and the video by Prof. Richard Muller here. Also, see the updated (2009) Sheep Mountain data here. For a less technical review, see here.

Of course, there is nothing magical about 1,000 years. Other candidates for periods since the end of the last Ice Age (~10,000 BP) that are warmer than the present are: the Roman Warm Period (~2,100 BP), the Minoan Warm Period (~3,400 BP) and the Holocene Optimum(s) (intervals between ~9,000 and ~5,000 BP) (see comparison graph here). Indeed for the vast majority of time since life began to flourish in the Cambrian Age, the earth has been hotter than the present time.

Estimate your probability that Belief 1 is correct _______.

2. Accelerating warming?

IPCC produced a graph presumably showing global warming rates on the increase (see Figure 1). The graph uses a well known trick. In any length of a rugose (noisy in appearance) data set, one will encounter short portions steeper (flatter or of opposite sign) than the length as a whole. If the steeper portion happens to be at the end of the data set, it will appear that the rate of change is accelerating when it is just the rugosity of the data. For example, the HadCRUT4 data series ending June, 1913 had 50, 25 and 15 year cooling rates of -0.42, -0.83 and -1.70 °C per century respectively. There was no predictive power in observing that cooling rates were strengthening. In fact, the world warmed after that, to about the year 1940, when it began to cool again.

The warming rate since 1998 has been essentially flat, so IPCC has decided not to update their Figure 1 in their last report. Apparently a slowdown in the short term warming rate has no predictive power. Only increases in short term warming rates have predictive power.


Figure 1. Global Mean Temperature from the IPCC AR4. All periods end in 2005 (source here)

When comparing warming rates, the lengths of the data sets should be held equal to prevent the filtering effect of longer lengths. Considering all series of 25 year in 154 year record of HadCRUT4 data, the maximum rate of warming ended in the month of February, 2007. It has slowed down since then, and since 1998, whether using HadCRUT4, NOAA, NASA, BEST, UAH or RSS data, there has been little warming. RSS data even shows some cooling. In fact, Ross McKitrick has indicated in a 2014 paper (see here) that the data demonstrates a statistically “trendless interval of a 19 years duration at the end of the HadCRUT4 surface temperature series, and of 16 – 26 years in the lower troposphere [UAH and RSS]”. The HadCRUT4 data also shows the warming rate for the last half the twentieth century slowing down compared to the first half.

Trend calculations for rugose data have no predictive power. To make predictions, one needs a model. The GCM’s are not up to the task and the failures have been well documented. Knappenberger and Michaels have shown (see here) that an average of 108 models have over predicted the rate of warming every year for the last 16 years straight and “the observed rise is nearly 66 percent less than climate model projections.”

Regional estimates for the GCM’s are even worse. Dr. Roy Spencer posted a graph comparing climate models to observations (four balloon and two satellite data sets) for the Topical Mid-Troposphere (see Figure 2). Even the model with the least rate of warming is well over the observed rate (for a spaghetti plot of the same, see here).


Figure 2. Tropical Mid-Troposphere 20S-20N 73 CMIP-5 Models and Observations Linear Trend 1979-2012 (source here)

The failure here is especially damaging to AGW theory as positive feedback due to increases in water vapor should have been the strongest in the tropical upper troposphere. Its absence there removes the “heart” of positive feedback mechanism on which AGW theory relies.

CO2 was estimated to be about 285 ppm in 1850 using Law Dome data (see here) and about 400 ppm in 2014 using Mauna Loa Observatory data. This implies that we would be approximately 40% of the way to doubling it. We have warmed about 0.79 °C since 1850 according to HadCRUT4 data. At the present rate CO2 should double from 1850 levels in about the year 2100 (to make your own estimate NOAA data here) implying another 1.2 °C raise by then, if the effect of CO2 is linear. If the effect of CO2 is logarithmic, temperatures would raise only about another 0.8°C by 2100. In addition, the previous calculation assumes that all warming over the past 165 years was due to CO2. If that is not the case, the implied warming will be proportionally less.

Estimate your probability that Belief 2 is correct _______.

3. Very harmful.

The case that global warming has caused a net harm to the world is very hard to make. Since 1950, life expectancy worldwide at birth has risen from about 47 years to about 75 years (see here). There is approximately twice the number of deaths from excessive cold weather than excessive heat (see table 4 Cumulative U.S. Deaths here). The world per capita GDP grew from 884 dollars in 1870 to 7,814 dollars in 2010 (see Historical Statistics of the World Economy: 1-2008 AD, Maddison Project, Excel sheet here, website here). Increased temperature would reduce heating costs, but that would have only a trivial effect on GDP.

Food production per capita index has grown from about 78 in 1961 to about 105 in 2005 (see here). It is possible that the increase in temperature since 1961 has been partially responsible for increases in food production with an increase in the growing season length, but the temperature increase was so small as to have had little effect on this. The increase in atmospheric CO2 probably helped much more with agricultural production (see video here) than the small increase in temperature.

A much more important reason than temperature for the good numbers in life expectancy, GDP and food production is the use of fossil fuels to power transportation, electricity, farm and life saving equipment.

The IPCC warned of increased extreme weather events and increases in diseases such as malaria. However, there has been no trend in normalized hurricane damages, frequency of landfall or intensity since 1900 (see here). It has been over 9 years since the last major hurricane hit the USA on Oct. 24, 2005 (Wilma) – the longest spell on record without a major hurricane. Flooding has not increased in the United States over records of 85 to 127 years. There has been a decline in tornado devastation in the US, see here. Dr. David Legates testified: “…droughts in the United States are more frequent and more intense during colder periods.” AGU published a report: “Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener” (also see video). Malaria – The World Health Organization said: “Increased prevention and control measures have led to a reduction in malaria mortality rates by 47% globally since 2000 and by 54% in the WHO African Region.” Worldwide death rates due to extreme weather have decline 97.9% since the 1920’s (see Figure 3).


Figure 3. Global Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events, 1900-2008 (source here)

If the increased global temperature had the potential of hurting us in some way, we are doing an excellent job of adaption and hiding any negative effects.

Estimate your probability that Belief 3 is correct _______.

4. CO2 to blame.

The Treaty’s solution to the “problem” does not include any other aspect than to limit GHG’s primarily from the reduction of CO2 from fossil fuel use. If the AGW is due to land use changes, changes in aerosols or changes in stratospheric ozone, by ignoring these, the treaty will fail to accomplish its goal. Likewise, if natural causes such as galactic cosmic rays, ocean turnover (AMO, PDO, etc.), and chaotic variations in cloud cover, etc., are important, the treaty will be ineffectual.

Methane is also a GHG, but has a small effect in relation to CO2, because of its minuscule amount in the atmosphere, and IPCC has been particularly poor at predicting its growth (see Figure 4). General Circulation Models using the IPCC predicted methane growth will over estimate global warming.


Figure 4. IPCC Modeled Grow in Methane vs. Observed (source here)

From 1010 to 1850 (which includes the MWP and LIA), CO2 levels varied by -5.6 to 4.3 from a mean value of 280.9 ppm according to Law Dome data. GCM’s which rely primarily on changes in CO2 have no chance of explaining the MWP or the LIA. Therefore, they lack important natural factors that influence the climate.

We have already seen some of the failures of the GCM’s with heavy reliance on CO2 to predict global average temperature and middle troposphere temperature (see discussion of Belief 2). They are also notably inaccurate in predicting regional temperature trends using CO2 (see Figure 5).


Figure 5. Modeled vs. Observed Global Surface Temperature Anomaly Trends. (Deg C/Year) 1880-2012. Map Contour Range = -0.025 to +0.025 Deg C/Year. Trend Maps Available from KNMI Climate Explorer (source here)

If the warming since 1850, or more importantly any future warming, it is caused mostly by natural variation or human causes other than GHG’s, then the treaty’s solution will not work.

Estimate your probability that Belief 4 is correct _______.

5. Can be controlled.

The contemplated treaty would regulate greenhouse gas emissions, mostly CO2 emissions. Here we will assume Belief 4 to be correct (that CO2 is the primary cause of warming) and also that there will be substantial compliance with the treaty (see Belief 7).

If this is the case, how long will it take a treaty to change atmospheric CO2 content? Humans are not the only contributor to CO2 in the atmosphere (nor the primary contributor, nor is CO2 the primary greenhouse gas (see Figures 6a and 6b). Antarctic ice cores would suggest that CO2 levels were rather constant until the 20th century, but plant stomata reconstructions suggest otherwise (see here and here) and 19th century laboratory measurements are highly varied (see here).


Figure 6a. CO2 Origins (source here) Figure 6b. Greenhouse Effect Based on Gas Concentrations and Adjusted for Heat Retention Characteristics (source here)

Some people estimate that we are already past a “tipping point”. If that is the case, wouldn’t it be better to concentrate our efforts on adaption?

If major CO2 producers (China, United States, India or Russia) or regions with high population grow (Africa or South America) do not enter into the Treaty, it is likely the CO2 reduced in those participating countries will just be offset by increases in the non-participating countries especially CO2 associated with manufacturing.

The question then becomes: can a treaty limit CO2 emissions and if so, will controlling CO2 emissions by a treaty control global temperatures?

Estimate your probability that Belief 5 is correct _______.

6. Better than the alternative.

The “0.8°C warming since 1880 is moderate, non-alarming, and coincides with dramatic improvements in life expectancy, health, and per capita income, and dramatic reductions in mortality related to extreme weather” (see here and Figure 7).


Figure 7. Global Progress, 1 A.D.-2009 A.D. (as indicated by trends in word population, gross domestic product per capita, life expectancy, and carbon dioxide [CO2] emissions from fossil fuels) (source here)

By estimates (based on IPCC accepted data), it is 50 times more costly to reduce CO2 emissions than to adapt to global warming, see website here or the following video.

Dr. Richard Tol, lead author for several IPCC Assessment Reports including the last one, has estimated that up to a 1°C additional increase in global temperatures would be beneficial to the world economy and a 2°C increase would be neutral (see Figure 8).


Figure 8. Fourteen Estimates of the Global Economic Impact of Climate Change (source here)

At the same time that current technology such as windmills, solar panels and electric cars has been proven to be ineffective in reducing CO2, even when given large subsidies, and with European governments such as Germany and Spain abandoning these subsidies, it is contended that no future technology, such as CO2 capture or solar radiation management (see here) will be feasible in the next 50 to 100 years. It is also contended that there is a “moral hazard” to such solutions at the same time ignoring any moral hazard in the fact that “[a]round 1.2 billion people worldwide—roughly the population of India—are still living without access to electricity with most concentrated in Africa and Asia. Another 2.8 billion rely on wood or other biomass for cooking and heating, resulting in indoor and outdoor air pollution attributable for 4.3 million deaths each year”. (From the World Bank, see here).

Estimate your probability that Belief 6 is correct _______.

7. No cheaters.

Canada and Australia have backed away from capping CO2 emissions, and even Germany recently abandoned its stringent targets for reduction.

Currently, China is the leading emitter of CO2 followed by the United States (see Figure 9). India is currently in third place, but both India and China have higher growth rates of emissions than the United States. Russia’s emissions are close to those of India.


Figure 9. 2008 Global CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion and some Industrial Processes (source here)

President Obama has negotiated an agreement with China in which China will aim to cap its CO2 emission by around 2030 if allowed to continue with its emissions growth until then, if in return the United States will cut its emission by more than a quarter by 2025 (see here). India, with half of its population without access to electricity, was not willing to agree even to the generous terms offered to China when Obama recently visited there.

The continent of Africa with the highest population growth in the world suffers the same lack of electricity as India, and South America, also with a high population growth, is only somewhat better off. Countries such as Brazil and Peru, currently with rather low CO2 emissions per capita have very strong growth rates in CO2 emissions (see more here).

The question is: can we rely on countries such as China, Russia, and African and South American autocracies to adhere to their commitments?

Estimate your probability that Belief 7 is correct _______.

Your Skeptic Score

As you may have guessed, your Warmist Score roughly corresponds to your estimate of the probability that a Kyoto type treaty is a good idea. A score of 0.00 makes you a skeptic’s skeptic and 1.00 makes you a believer’s believer.

Note: if you feel that anyone of the listed Beliefs is not necessary to support a treaty, simply assign a value of 1.00 to that Belief. That will effectively remove it from consideration.

Note for the statistically literate: You may not feel that every one of the Beliefs is independent of the other. If you do, feel free to use Bayesian inference to update your probabilities.

For the rest of us, if A and B are related, so that if A happens, B is more likely to happen, then the probability of both happening is more likely than simply taking the product of probability A and probability B considered separately. Since we are dealing with subjective probabilities here, and human nature being what it is, one will most likely over estimate the probability of B, having been prejudiced by having already considered A and thereby compensate somewhat for non-independent probabilities.

In any event, the score is only a crude estimate of where you fall on the Warmist/Skeptic scale.

David Swinehart has a BS in physics and MS in geophysics and 45 years experience as an exploration (oil and gas) geophysicist. He is currently semiretired.


175 thoughts on “The Paris Paradigm: The What is your ‘Skeptic Score’?

  1. Nitpick with #1 — If any or some of the recent warming is caused by humans, isn’t that in itself unprecedented? In other words, human caused warming is unprecedented.

    Or do you mean the warming is human-caused and the scope and effects of that warming are unprecedented, then that’s an entirely different proposition.

    • In rating myself a zero, I assumed the latter.

      Humans have caused local warming for at least as long as we have controlled fire. Hard to say what the net temperature effects of our city building, deforestation, irrigation, other agricultural & industrial projects have been. But now we also cause global cooling thanks to our aerosol emissions.

      • I might add that whatever the sign of the net human effect on GASTA might be, ie cooling or warming, it’s sure to be negligible. OTOH, whatever CO2 we’ve added to the air has been beneficial, regardless of its effect on T.

      • 1. Unprecedented global warming caused by humans both in rate and magnitude.

        MarkW, I think magnitude means amount.

        And the end of the recent glaciation had temperatures rising 5-10 F in very short order.

    • So, by multiplying, if anyone gives a zero probability to any of them, the score is 0%, or 100% skeptical?
      There are few sure things, but some of these are close to zero chance…like forcing nations to comply.
      This would be an act of war.
      For #3, I disagree with the first part of the proposition, so that is also a zero.
      I think to differentiate between people who give only one zero and several, there has to be a different method of combining the totals.

    • I think of you toss in the long term geological evidence into the mix, the Bayesian probability regarding the effects of CO2 on climate in the science segment of your tabulation may be far too high.

      • Hi Duster, I can’t disagree with you. Even so, as with the current exercise, I think the main point is all of the low probability things you have to believe to buy into the IPCC view of cause, effect, and solution

      • If all factors are necessary for AGW to be right, you need the product, not the sum, of all 7. Even one 0 would result in a 0 score. This is the approach James Taylor of Forbes takes, using 4 factors: Warming is occurring, Warming is detrimental, Mankind is doing it, The remedies proposed are effective. I take all as zero, in fact, but even one is fatal to the hypothesis.

  2. I have a question about number 3: “Very harmful.” Should we rate only how much “global warming has caused a net harm to the world” at this point in time? Or should we consider the probability of future harm?

    If I rate myself on how much harm global warming has already caused, I would have to give it a zero. That gives me a zero score overall, regardless of how high I rate the other items. However, if I consider the probability of future harm, I would still give it a low score, but it would not be zero.

    • Please state what future harm you envision from, say, 500 or 600 ppmv CO2 in dry air. Thanks.

      • “…state what future harm you envision…”

        I thought hard on that one too.
        I really don’t see any but; wouldn’t not knowing about effects of the future raise the probability of future harm, especially if today’s harm is zero?

      • IMO only if you see a route to harm. I don’t under any reasonable future scenario. My view is that CO2 is not liable to get above 600 ppm, but IMO 800 or even 1000 is not likely to cause harm. In any case, levels wouldn’t stay that elevated long enough to melt significantly even the southern dome of the GIS or allegedly vulnerable parts of the WAIS.

        That’s why I went with zero on that question, too.

      • ” I don’t under any reasonable future scenario”

        I don’t either. But in my mind, projecting into the future from a zero starting point seems like it should have some increased probability, no?
        Who knows, maybe 813 ppm triggers the fabled megaflora gene in bean stalks…shade kills? :0 sorry.

      • What if the probability of harm is balanced by the probability of continued benefit? If you conclude that the Holocene is trending toward its chilly end sooner rather than later, that would be the case.

        To me, it just seems as if 0 is the best response. Have to go, so can’t elaborate more right now.

      • IMO negative & positive feedbacks probably balance out globally, so that we’re left with the direct effect of increasing CO2 from radiative forcing. Hence, a doubling of CO2 level from 400 ppmv in dry air to 800 ppmv might warm earth’s atmosphere by about one degree C. That would be more of a good thing, IMO, but it wouldn’t last. In at most 1000 years, but probably sooner, CO2 concentration would return to whatever level the climate system naturally dictated, after the ~1850 to 2215 (or earlier) period of man-made increase ended.

        In the meantime, plants would flourish from the added food in the air.

        If the main assumed catastrophic or at least negative risk is sea level rise from melting ice sheets & glaciers & possibly some thermal expansion, then IMO, no worries. The little bit that might occur over what’s liable to happen anyway would be manageable.

        But I question how great the effect on sea level might actually be. The Eemian lasted 5000 years longer than the Holocene so far, & was warmer, especially at the beginning. Sea level was higher, for whatever reason, but the Greenland ice sheet didn’t disappear. Far from it. The southern dome melted maybe 25% compared to now, but the northern dome was scarcely affected. That level of melting could not occur at today’s lower temperature or even a degree higher, for a mere millennium at most.

        Weather should become less extreme in a warmer world.

      • Thanks for your informative rely milodonharlani. I’m not concerned about a bit of warming, but those bean stalks are another matter. What I was digging for was more of a generic probabilities question spurred by too much thought on question #3.

      • Paul writes “I don’t either. But in my mind, projecting into the future from a zero starting point seems like it should have some increased probability, no?”

        I believe Gavin Schmidt has stated he believes over 100% of observed warming has been human caused. That seems to make no sense either. Its as though Gavin has a scientifically supportable result that it would be cooling if it weren’t for anthropogenic CO2.

        Once you go down the path where empirical evidence takes a back seat, all sorts of twisted logic follows.

      • That’s why I put 1% instead of zero for many of my answers. It’s a complex world out there and prediction is hard, especially about the future (ht Yoggi Berra).

      • CO2 has a relatively weak ability (alpha = 0.012, not the 0.12 altered and inflated value by the IPCC) to convert IR radiation to heat energy in the air. In sunlight, CO2 is saturated and also converts energy both ways, essentially ending up a wash with no effect. It is at night that CO2 and water vapor, with no solar input, convert heat energy in the air to IR radiation which is lost to space. That is why the air chills so rapidly when the sun goes down, or in the shadows of scudding clouds on a sunny day, with very local little breezes springing up in the moving shadows.

        But, that is not the effect that they claim CO2 has. They conflate the above with the their junk climate science in which CO2 in the upper tropical troposphere (at -17 deg C) sends IR radiation downward which then heats the surface (at 15 deg C). Their model also requires that this upper tropospheric “hotspot” has to be warming faster than anywhere else.

        Not only is it thermodynamically impossible for cold to warm hot, but the hotspot is missing. That region of the atmosphere has been cooling slowly for over 30 years, as observed by both balloon and satellite data.

        This model having failed, they fall back on the idea that CO2 warms the air directly by the first mechanism, which, overall, actually cools the climate. This potential cooling does not enter into the climate models because the climate models do not include night time, at all, modeling instead daytime 24/7. How realistic is that?

      • Paul, if you consider the prior knowledge we have of the effects of CO2, then there is no documented evidence of harm. (There are some arguments that CO2 is causing permafrost to melt, but the actual causal agency is debatable.) In fact, if the satellite measured “greening” of the planet is attributed to increased CO2, as has been done by others, then the net effect is beneficial. If then you assign a low probability to the harm from melting permafrost and a high value to the benefit of increased planetary primary productivity, then the net result would be to reduce the estimate of future harm from CO2 increase.

      • Duster,

        IMO there is no evidence that CO2 is causing the permafrost to melt. It has been much warmer than now in the Arctic repeatedly for long intervals during the Holocene without melting the permafrost.

      • Based on extensive multi-million year Hot House excursions to 25°C, the biosphere will do just fine. Financial and physical adjustments of our current economy would be significant, but it is notable that civilization arose during a moderate warm excursion.

      • @Duster “…then there is no documented evidence of harm”

        No disagreement there. Not knowing much about the topic, my question was more toward probabilities in general. In my simple mind, starting at zero harm today, it seems to me the probability of some harm/adverse effect increases the further out your projections goes. We’ll have to assume CO2 rises along the way.

        Okay, forget CO2. All thing equal, does the probability of a house fire increase the longer the house is around? Or does probability go up due to the aging effects, not just the age. Or is the probability always the same?

      • It seems to me even a warmer world, if one thought it was going to happen, may have an equal if not greater chance of lowering sea level, by increasing moisture in the air and causing more precipitation in the Antarctic and Greenland interiors.
        Antarctica especially is extremely dry, and so cold that any precipitation in the interior is not going anywhere until it can flow to the sea via glaciation.
        Antarctica melting is so ludicrous an idea, that it makes me angry that people say it can happen from a few degrees of warming.

      • Thanks to the Eemian and previous interglacials, science can get a pretty good idea of what it would take to melt even part of the Greenland Ice and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, let alone the gigantic, 38 million year old East Antarctic IS.

        The southern dome of the GIS got perhaps 25% smaller than now in the Eemian, which lasted 5000 years longer than has the Holocene and was a lot warmer, especially early on.

        One or two degrees warmer than present for at most the 1000 years it might take to clear man-made CO2 from the air won’t do the trick. Since the planet has been in a long-term cooling trend for 3000 to 5000 years, a little warming would be a good thing.

    • Louis, I think we have to be fair in our estimate. You don’t know whether there is any amount of harm or not. Possibly there are some tropical fish or microbes that are harmed by a warming of 0.5C+. Zero is not an option. I don’t believe any harm is particularly significant but even if there is a large demonstrable benefit, something could have been harmed. There is also the problem that half a degree may not be harmful but what is the limit and what is the likelihood of reaching the limit – here magnitudes matter more. I think you have to have to have some positive probability, albeit small if for no other reason than we don’t know everything. If you do, then your final number will be even smaller, now matter how large the probability of all the others.

      • Actually observed warming in the tropics is essentially zero.

        The lack of the tropical tropospheric hotspot is one of the observations showing CACA as modeled false.

        If there has been “global warming” under increased CO2 it’s only in extratropical nights & probably only in winter, except possibly in high latitudes.

    • “Thanks to the Eemian and previous interglacials, science can get a pretty good idea of what it would take to melt even part of the Greenland Ice and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, let alone the gigantic, 38 million year old East Antarctic IS.

      The southern dome of the GIS got perhaps 25% smaller than now in the Eemian, which lasted 5000 years longer than has the Holocene and was a lot warmer, especially early on.

      One or two degrees warmer than present for at most the 1000 years it might take to clear man-made CO2 from the air won’t do the trick. Since the planet has been in a long-term cooling trend for 3000 to 5000 years, a little warming would be a good thing.”

      Ms. Ronconi,

      I am not sure if you were responding to my comment, but in any case I find this very interesting.
      Do you have a link to a place where I could read more about this?

      Thank you.

      • I realized after posting that I had forgotten to address you. Sorry.

        Yes. There is a large literature on Eemian climate in general and Greenland in particular. Here’s a starter link:

        In the even longer and probably warmer interglacials of ~400 and 800 Ka, the southern dome did apparently largely melt, however. Whether this natural global warming or climate change should be considered “catastrophic” or not is debatable of course. Human ancestors (H. heidelbergensis and H. antecessor) survived these hot intervals (indeed thrived during them) and IMO so would modern humans should the Holocene warm enough and last long enough completely to melt the southern dome (which I doubt).

      • A USGS .pdf file containing an exchange of letters relevant to this topic from Science, 2006, between a team challenging the view on GIS effect on sea level of Jonathan “We need to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” (alleged) Overpeck, et al: and his team:

        Ice Sheets and Sea Level – University of Nebraska-Lincoln…

        Paper from 2013 reporting ice core drilling showing “only modest response” by the GIS to Eemian heat:

  3. Having spoken to a lot of Greens myself, I’m afraid that their answer to pretty much all of those questions will be:

    “I don’t know myself – I’m not qualified and I haven’t done any of the science to work this out (which no doubt is complicated in the extreme). But I believe in the integrity of scientists, and am sure that if there is a report that scientists are 97% sure there is a problem, then there really is a problem.

    So I believe 100% in all of those assertions. After all, if there wasn’t a problem surely all the scientists would say so?

    Can we have a box for that?

      • He’s also made money from it. As have countless numbers of scientists who have been investigating the hypothesis. Its an intellectual industry and we need justifiable intellectual industries to keep people employed.

  4. For some reason, I got a -1.0? I think it means I want my past taxes back, NOW!!! (Or I can let them go if the responsible parties get to spend some time in prison.)

    The millions of people worldwide who make a living from this scam will need to get a real job.

  5. 1) 5%, but only because of the ridiculous time frame. Make it 10,000 years and it drops to 1%
    2) 1%
    3) 10%
    4) 25%
    5) 1%
    6) 1%
    7) 1%

    My warmist score is 0.0000000000125.

    • 1) 20%
      2) 10%
      3) 30%
      4) 20%
      5) 20%
      6) 5%
      7) 30%
      My warmist score is currently 0.0000036

      But I’ve just been arguing with fellow Guardian readers who think that we’re all doomed due to Big Oil and thus we should sacrifice a few Africans to make a better tomorrow… that belongs to them.

      I am therefore, more “sceptic” in emotion than normal.

    • “Some of them are just false and some I just disagree with. What score does that give me?”

      Ditto, sir.

      I have to give a flat zero to #’s 3, 5, 6 & 7.
      Not sure which very small number to give to the rest.

  6. Nice try.
    Naturally, I earned a Warmist Score of 0, Skeptic score of 1.00000

    But these questions need some reworking.
    1. Why limit the span to 1,000 years?
    The last 100 years might be doubtful (look at the 1930’s)
    and As a geophysicist, the past 500 million years, has some bearing on my views, too.
    2. The rate of temperatures increase will accelerate over the next 100 years to a rate significantly higher than the 1850-1950 trend.
    2b. That temperatures do not decline over the next century.
    5. What about cooling and its bad effects?
    7. What treaty? We haven’t seen it yet. It might be very easy to comply to a treaty that does nothing except confer dictatorial powers onto the Executive Branches of each signatory.

    • They picked 1000 years explicitly to exclude the [Medieval] Warm Period.

      [And the start of the Middle of the Evil Warm Period too. 8<) .mod]

      • Yup, start right at 1850, about the end of the little ice age, though some say the end was through about 1910.
        A nice cherry to pick.

    • AFAIK the only three climates the earth knows is Ice age, interglacial and no ice age.
      To me these are the climate changes that matter.
      When we’re locked into one of those…that’s the earth’s climate.
      Each and every one of those periods was natural without man’s help.
      To which minor change of climate are they referring?

      I don’t understand why they don’t use all the best data available from the start of this interglacial.
      That should give us an idea of what the temperature was doing without us.
      If they include all error bars I doubt anyone could substantiate warming claims at all.

      • There might be a fairly stable glacial maximum state as well.

        Some of the longer glacial maxima rival the shorter interglacials in length, possibly even exceeding their duration.

        Taking a longer look back at the past 600 million years, there are also cooler periods (Ice Houses) without major continental glaciation, as during the Jurassic/Cretaceous transition, and hotter intervals within already warm times, such as peak mid-Cretaceous heat and the PETM.

        While I agree with your view, even interglacial wiggles like the LIA of two or three degrees C globally, can have noticeable effects on humanity, but more so if they’re colder rather than warmer moves. Two degrees warmer from here would likely be more beneficial than harmful.

  7. 1) 0.000000000000
    2) 0.010000000000
    3) 0.000000000000
    4) 0.000000000000
    5) 0.000000000000
    6) 0.000000000000
    7) 0.000000000000

    sure hope I’ve included enough significant figures to match the IPCC “projections”



  8. __0%__ Unprecedented global warming caused by humans – not unprecedented! Minoan Warm Period (~1,000 BC), Roman WP (~0 AD) & Medieval WP (1,000 AD) all equal to, or warmer than, present!

    __0%__ Accelerating warming – no warming for 18 years, definitely not accelerating!

    __2%__ Very harmful – not when compared to another Ice Age!

    __0%__ CO2 to blame – only in the models, not in reality!

    __4%__ Can be controlled – not with current technology baring mass genocide.

    __5%__ Better than the alternative (assuming: warming is better than cooling and the expenditures don’t cause a major financial collapse)

    __0%__ No cheaters – yea, right!


    __0%__ Warmist Score (the product of the seven Beliefs). The Skeptic Score is 1.0 – the Warmist Score.

    CO2 concentration is not the driver, it is the resultant, of Earth’s warming!


  9. I got 2.5 x 10^-7 % (this is an honest answer – although I did put in 0.01 % for at least one item which I realistically believe is 0%).

  10. Your # 4: CO2 to blame is completely wrong.
    Instead of presenting data for CO2 you give us a graph for methane!
    Wake up. We have extremely reliable data for atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 1958 from Mauna Loa.
    Plot these data.
    Then since the claim is that CO2 is responsible for the increase in temperature, give us a plot of CO2 vs. surface air temperature for the years that count, years supposedly due to us burning fossil fuels. 1958 to now will work. Such plots have been presented and available on the internet or you can do your own. You can consult the home page of to see examples. Click on CO2 data on the home page there. Others have also presented such plots.
    Item #4 is the MAIN issue. So replace your methane graph by graphs showing that CO2 is NOT responsible, then we can vote. If you find a graph showing that CO2 is responsible then we can vote.

    • There are no negative numbers in the increase in co2. In 2010 NOAA has half the co2 going into the land and oceans. That amount overwhelms the total amount produced in 1958. Since then the oceans have warmed and have become more acidic (according to NOAA) unable to hold as much co2. And tropical rain forests have been cleared at an alarming rate, another carbon sink not available. Something is wrong, n’est pas?

  11. My “no cheaters’ score is zero, so I’m a “skeptic’s skeptic” regardless of how I rate the other items.

      • IMO someplace in between. There was a transition phase.

        I date the start of the Modern Warm Period from the first warm cycle of the mid- to late 19th century, which was fairly short, but pronounced, basically parts of the 1860s & ’70s. The 1880s suffered some blasts from the past, much to the shock & sorrow of the first generation of Great Plains settlers.

      • Glacial periods are usually delineated as the span between the onset of cooling and the return of the “normal” warmth. That places the end of the LIA somewhere around 1900 depending on whose data you employ and whether you allow NOAA to adjust it first. Mary Hill places the end of Matthes (which she identifies with the Little Ice Age) glacial advance around 1900 in the Sierra Nevada.

      • Who can say what normal temperature is. For most of the Holocene, it was warmer than now.

        Glacial retreat in the Sierra began 170 calendar years BP:

        If BP still means “before 1950”, then that was before the Dalton Minimum. The onset of maximum at 250 BP would mean AD 1700, ie the depths of the Maunder Minimum. I assume BP doesn’t mean “before 2010”, when this study was written.

        Glacier advance and retreat of course are dependent on precipitation, wind, volcanism and other factors as well as temperature.

        I haven’t read Hill’s 2006 edition of Geology of the Sierra Nevada, but whatever may be the case there, globally, IMO, 1900 is too late. There were already two warming cycles in the second half of the 19th century. But I agree the conventional LIA end date of 1850 might be too early.

  12. My score is the same as the statistically significant warming of the atmosphere over the past 15 years.

  13. Most of the questions are related such that a low value for one leads to a low value for another. So, of course I ended up at 99.9999998 skeptic.

  14. 0000000

    Now that’s a pristine odometer! #(;))

    Flawless score (head toss

    No, we cannot “do science by poll” …..

    but we can separate the Enviroprofiteers and or the true believers from the realists.

  15. Why the product? Why not an average for example. The procedure seems excissively tilted toward the skeptical side of things.

    A believer who thought there was an 80% probability for each statement being true for example would score only (0.8)^7 = 0.21 and according to the formula would be rates as a confirmed skeptic. By contrast the symmetrical case of someone who rates each probability at 20% true would score 0.2^7 = 0.0000128 which is ridiculously close to perfect skepticism. I get that to support the actions in Paris you have to believe a stack of things to be true. Nevertheless it seems a bit overdone.

    • Just in case you didn’t realise it, there is no theoretical justiifcation for multiplying those probabilities. Probabilities only multiply for independent events. Those seven statements seem a very long way from being independent to me.

      • You multiply them because
        – it’s happening
        – it’s harmful
        – an economic policy addressing it is effective

        ARE independent concepts. If there’s a 50%?probability it’s beneficial and a 50% probability that warming is a fabrication of thermometer adjustments and a 50% probability that building windmills produces no net abatement then there’s a 12.5% probability that the money is being spent for good.

    • That’s how you combine probabilities that are all necessary to obtain a given result. It’s not arbitrary.

    • Since all statements must be true in order to justify the actions being demanded it makes sense to multiply the probabilities.
      If there is a 50% chance that A is true, and a 50% chance that B is true, then there is a 25% that both A and B are true.

      • False. Suppose A and B are closely related statements. In fact let us suppose they are essentially the same statement worded in a slightly different way. Suppose A has a 50% chance of being true. Then so does B. Furthermore A and B will both be true 50% of the time. So in this case the probabilities don’t multiply. That is because the two statements are not independent – indeed they are about as far from independent as you can get because they are the same.

        If the two statements are not the same but are merely closely correlated you’ll see a number between 0.25 and 0.5, The more closely the statements correlate the closer the answer will be to 0.5.

        Now let us suppose that we go beyond this and cook up a long list of … I don’t know … 7 essentially equivalent statements. That is pretty close to what we have here. If they were exactly the same statement and you estimated a probability of 0.5 then you’d get the answer 0.0078125 which is a long way away from the correct answer of 0.5.

        The fundamental question is how independent these statements are. I claim they are not very independent at all. In particular if you told me the somebody’s answer to six of these statements, I bet I could estimate their answer to the last statement really accurately as a result. NOT. INDEPENDENT.

        That means multiuplying is WRONG.

      • Actually on reflection, a lot of those events are independent. Whether warming is caused by anthropogenic CO2 is independent of whether its dangerous which is independent of whether it can be “fixed” by policy and independent of whether the world will stand for “forcing” cheaters to comply. Thats 4 to be multiplied, Ian H.

    • Not all are fully independent but some are. For example the probability that GW is human caused is independent of whether its dangerous or not. So its more complicated than a simple average.

      • I don’t disagree. The relationship between them is complicated. You are right that the statements are not the same but they are not fully independant either.

        Why not ask people to estimate how likely they think it is that all 7 statements are true. Isn’t that the number you are actually looking to compute? So lets just measure it directly and avoid all the messing around with false assumptions and deceptive maths.

      • Ian H writes “The relationship between them is complicated.”

        So tell me the relationship between anthropogenic CO2 causing warming and warming being dangerous. How are they dependent?

    • The maths is faked.
      But I do think almost everybody is sceptical of at least one of those steps.

      • If everybody is skeptical of at least one of those steps, then everybody is skeptical towards the goals of the IPCC.

  16. Question 4, CO2 to blame? Only makes sense for someone answers yes to the previous questions. And since I didn’t, the questionnaire is a bit meaningless.

    • “Red Adair could do it”
      I think his method was to explosively blow out the flame before plugging.
      My guess is that’s not a recommended procedure for a volcano, but I could be wrong?

      • An untuned down, all up Tsar Bomba of 100 MT might do it, if the geologic conditions were remotely favorable, but it would have to be buried & precisely located.

        How would the Russians smuggle such a behemoth, three-stage device (at least) into the country undetected, then put it in place secretly? ICBM or bomber-delivery wouldn’t work, even with penetrating warheads.

        The Tsar Bomba as detonated yielded 50 to 58 MT.

      • If triggered, the effect of the Yellowstone will not only be local, but global. Hard, so the Russians will soon get a “refund” …

      • mikerestin: Dropping a nuke down a volcano did save the earth a while back when they were having trouble with a really big crack.

      • milodonharlani,

        Well no. What I’m referring to, is that Yellowstone is the largest super volcano on Earth and when it erupts, we will get a ash cloud covering the whole world and it will remain there for some years. Yellowstone is not “dead”, we don’t know of that many eruptions in the past and how those were triggered, so nobody can tell when it is due again. When it erupts, it will become a very difficult situation and we can talk about “Global Change” for sure, as there will be not much of sunshine reaching places where the photosynthesis normally take place. Soon we will run out of food supplies … It will erupt sometime in the future, but hopefully not too soon … (San Andreas Fault is another location where bad stuff is going to happen in the future for sure …)

        That’s my point about “refund” … Like peeing in the wind …

      • Was there not a few “scientists” that advocated drilling along the San Andreas fault and use ” strategically placed” nuclear devices to prevent the “Big One” not so long ago?

      • asybot,

        That sounds very stupid, almost like trigging Yellowstone, but this is regional effect, not global.
        What may happen in your example or as a result of a very large earthquake, is that the San Andrea Fault will crack open and pretty much of the landmass between the Pacific Ocean and the fault will slide into the water. There are quite a lot of people living in the region, so … The politicians of concern and responsibility, know this is a future event, but believes that there’s no sense dealing with it. I.e., when it happens, there are no time whatsoever for evacuation. It could be done as a precaution, but that’s very expensive … The same politicians are probably not around when it happens, so “that day, that sorrow” (not their problem …)

        Check out the San Andrea Fault at Google Maps.

        Regarding earthquakes in the area, check out the USGS site. Use settings Auto Update checked and “7 Days, All Magnitudes Worldwide”

      • As you may know, the San Andreas Fault consists of three segments where the Pacific Plate is sliding past the North American Plate. Point Reyes north of San Francisco used to be the western end of the Tehachapis, the range dividing the Central Valley of CA from the Los Angeles Basin. More likely than falling into the ocean is that in about 50 million years, a long island will lie off the coast of the Pacific NW & CA, consisting of Baja & everything north of it to Pt. Reyes but west of the fault. So there will be three times as much beach frontage for whatever creatures may then exist to enjoy.

  17. While I recognize that polling the WUWT audience is not ‘science’, the questions posed force everyone (believers and non believers alike) to interrogate their own understanding of each link in the AGW ‘logic’ chain.

    Most honest and informed people will arrive at the conclusion that the probabilities of modest increases in atmospheric CO2 (from all sources) causing any significant hazard are low indeed. The remainder of the people will either beg off that they are not informed well enough to even hazard a rough guess……. or they will blindly assert a high probability to AGW,as the ‘experts’ assert it’s true so it must be true!

  18. Since number 3 is provably false, the only correct score is 0.00.

    Anything else is an affront to science.

    Number 3 is beyond debate. There is not one scintilla of scientific evidence showing increased extreme weather phenomena during the period in question and warming can be proven to be very beneficial to the global ecosystem, with very few local exceptions, to the exclusion of the null hypothesis.

    Since this is another form of the Drake equation, it would be largely meaningless anyway, but with the inclusion of item 3, it becomes a litmus test for your knowledge of the state of the science. The warming to date cannot be proven to have caused any actual harm.

    So, my equation looks like this;

    1) 0.1 Unprecedented? Not likely. But also not known with any reasonable degree of certainty. I will assign this a 0.1 rather than 0.5.

    2) 0.5 Accelerating? From what? The last 20 years rate? It wouldn’t take much to accomplish that. Anyway, there is no way for us to know. The science is not there yet. It is a proverbial coin flip, as far as our understanding allows us to assert.

    3) 0.0 For the reasons listed above. Any other number here is unsupportable. Warming has not caused increased deaths. In fact, the opposite can be statistically proven to be true. Warming has not caused an increase in either drought, hurricane, tornadic, or any other extreme weather event. The correlation there is near zero. This has been shown, and the trend data in these events is not statistically different from zero. If its warming, and the trend in dangerous weather is zero, it can be said that we’ve proven the null hypothesis in this case. Further, we can prove that a warmer earth essentially dictates a larger temperate zone, indicating longer growing seasons, more food production and, therefore, a positive effect on economies. It is possible that any of these could be shown to be false in some locality, but then, we aren’t talking about local anthropogenic warming, are we?

    4) 0.1 It has not been proven, to any reasonable degree, that our atmosphere operates in the same manner as the contents of a two litre bottle. CO2 to blame? Possibly. But not to the exclusion of a multitude of other, as of yet undefined, causes. 0.2 by itself. Anthropogenic only? What is the equilibrium rate of natural atmospheric CO2 emission? Absorption? What is the delta, given the current atmospheric and oceanic heat content? These are undefined at this time due to the limit of our scientific knowledge and data collection systems. Therefore, anthropogenic causality is, again, a coin flip at best. Therefore; 0.2 x 0.5 = 0.1

    5) 0.01 What on earth gives anyone any kind of belief that we are in charge here? This is pure folly. Human’s can no more control the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere than King Canute controlled the tide. We cannot even end slavery and torture on a worldwide basis, which are things we can control. How on Earth would we possibly control CO2 emissions, the vast majority of which occur naturally?

    6) 0.5 Again; no way to know. I know what I suspect, but we don’t have a lab, we cannot conduct experiments, so it’s a coin flip which is the better ‘solution’. But then again, we don’t really seem to have a problem. What is the better solution to global economic prosperity? You wouldn’t attempt to solve that particular problem, so there is no ‘better solution’ in either case. Warming is good as far as the science tells us.

    7) 0.001 Russia? China? India? Yeah, you can’t even stop the big players from cheating, let alone the multitude of rogue states and bad actors. Heck, I bet you couldn’t even slow Richard Branson down.

    In conclusion; 0.1 x 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.01 x 0.5 x 0.001 is twenty five in a billion. Twenty five chances in a billion that the ‘consensus’ opinion on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is correct.

    Oh, but I didn’t include item number three in that; 0.0. Zip, zero, nada. .000000025 X 0.0 is Zero. The belief that warming is bad and or dangerous, whether caused by man or not, is completely unsupported in the data at this time. We know that decreased heat content (cooling) is definitely bad for mankind and plant life. There may be some ‘optimum’, heat wise, but we have no scientifically supported definition of what that is. We only know that, as heat has increase, conditions improved.

    Any other belief on this matter should be viewed as anti-scientific.

    But; the data is incomplete at this time.

  19. Because the probability of assertion 4 is zero, the rest don’t matter.

    Proof has been hiding in plain sight that change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) does not cause climate change. The science is solid. Only existing data and the fundamental relation between physics and math are needed or used.

    The proof and identification of the two factors that do cause climate change are at .

  20. You guys do realize that if the planets “average” temperature was 10 degrees warmer….
    They would be complaining about the present ice age

  21. Table of Probabilities for the seven Beliefs:
    _.50___ Unprecedented global warming caused by humans
    _.25___ Accelerating warming
    _.50___ Very harmful
    _.50___ CO2 to blame
    _.05___ Can be controlled
    _.25___ Better than the alternative
    _.01___ No cheaters
    My score 3.90625 E-6

  22. Anthony, just a small pedantic quibble. Australia did sign the Kyoto protocol, but in December 2007, ten years after the original signatories. The conservative government in power from 1996 to 2007 had steadfastly refused to sign.

  23. The The Kyoto Copenhagen Paris Paradigm

    You left out Montreal!
    Wasn’t restricting CFCs responsible for “the pause” in Global Warming”?

    • Good point Gunga and don’t feel left out. But I believe that had more to do with the “Acid Rain” topic “du jour” in the seventies before Gore showed up with his sham. It could have been a starting point though. I remember all the pics of dying trees and lakes etc that in some cases were related to natural die-back of forests ( pine and spruce beetle come to mind) than emissions. Actually some of the “damage” shown were upstream (weather wise) from the plants that were supposed to “kill” the said landscape.

  24. The rate of temperatures increase will accelerate …

    If I may be extra picky here … isn’t the rate of temperature the first derivative of temperature? And isn’t acceleration the second derivative? So isn’t an accelerating rate of temperature the third derivative, which is known as the impulse or jerk function (which I don’t think is the intended function)?

    I believe it is more accurate to say “with respect to time, temperature will accelerate,” which yields the intended second derivative.

    • “…which is known as the impulse or jerk function”

      Hey hey show some respect, he’s still POTUS for 2 more long years :)

  25. belief 1: 0% please IPCC read ice core reports they show very “inconvenient truth” to say it in gore terms

    belief 2 21% now we have a pause but the end of the young dryas does teach us that global temperature can even rise or drop 7degrees C in a few years/decades. so i consider an acceleration can happen even with entirely natural forcings. therefore to give it 0% would be “denying the possibility”
    belief 3 0% seen what history teaches us all civilizations in the past had their “most prosperous episode” at a warm optimum and declined when the temperature dropped so history proves us that a warmer world means a more thriving world

    belief 4 0% i believe CO2 is not the anthropogenic factor CO2 does not alter heat balance if it traps radiation, it also does take longer to absorb radiation this would result in the fact that absolute maxima would drop and absolute minima would rise (real greenhouse effect) Changes in Albedo by land use, water use,… are more important anthropogenic factors that may explain part of the warming we see a different albedo alters the heat balance so if our activities do make the earth’s albedo factor go up then we effectivly contribute to the temperature rise but land use is not CO2 thus 0%

    belief 5: 0% i think that we may have some controlling effect by changing how we use the land with patches of green in cities, more trees in streets, less intrusive urbanisation (thus creating urban regions with also green zones), adapting our water managment (rivers lakes,….) but “we control it by reducing C02 is not what will do it

    bbelief 6 0% but just for the sake that some used fuels are not endless it is a good idea to start to look for alternative ways but once again that’s a complete other reason

    belief 7: no cheaters? heil IPCC with their fourth reich sounds like climate-nazism instead of climate change i would rate that with the infinite biggest minus rate possible but for the sake of the poll i give it 0

    total sceptical score: 97%

  26. I suppose I don’t need a survey to know my score would be 0, as I don’t believe any of these items. As for compliance, exactly how would they enforce the treaty? Currently, there is no chance the U.S. Senate will ratify it, so citizens of the U.S. are off the hook anyway. I don’t see economic sanctions doing much, even if the U.S. did ratify the treaty and then violated it. Which countries want to do without U.S. business? Go to war? Yeah, right. To me, this treaty is mostly about posturing, and it would never be enforced. So again, there is no point in signing it or ratifying it. The danger I see will be the governments going dictator on everyone, in the old fashioned one man, one vote, one time regime. After that it is too late to go back, and I will feel sorry for the citizens of those countries that succeed in pulling this stunt.

  27. Sheep Mountain is not in the Rocky Mountains. It’s in the White Mountains, a low precipitation range east of the Sierra Nevada straddling the Cali-Nevada border. There ARE bristlecone pines in the Rocky Mountains and growing on the higher mountains (2500+ m elevation) across Nevada and Utah’s basins-and-ranges . Alas, these trees, many over 2000 years old, were not subject to tree-ring analysis for MBH. As in, “we have a geographically large proxy for Western North America, we’re not just looking at rings from a few specimens from a single isolated location in Eastern California…the entire species range shows consistent tree-ring growth patterns.”

    They didn’t do this examination and analysis. If climate-change research funding was objective, funding would be provided for this analysis to be undertaken, to get a “truer picture”. The UN, a political body, hired hacks to advance its political agenda. A political organization of third-rate minds was able to find and recruit third-rate minds who had science PhD’s (or were working on earning them) to do the third-rate political minds’ bidding. The third-rate political minds at the UN showcased the third-rate science hockey stick, as did the third-rate-mind politician Al Gore. Then they won a Nobel Peace Prize, a political award, which was decidedly not one of the Nobel science awards (Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry).

    • I thought Sheep Mtn was north east of Las Vegas, which would put it closer to the Nevada/Arizona border.
      There’s a Sheep Mtn in Colorado as well, maybe he got confused?

  28. Well, I’m going to invent a “new math”: that is, I believe every one of these propositions is -100% probable; that is, I think every one of them is not only bullshit, but an affront to rational thought. So, what is my “skeptic score”? Someone, please do the math.

  29. The OISM Petition helped sink the first Kyoto Protocol. I see no difference this time. CO2 is still completely harmless, and it is beneficial to the biosphere. Therefore, the U.S. should decisively reject Kyoto II.

  30. I would like to thank every commenter. Your comments have been most enlightening and entertaining. I would especially like to thank the warmists and lukewarmers. I have learned from your comments.

    In response, I have the following explanations.

    1. “One cannot do science by polling!” Excellent point! I am in total agreement. But please note: this is not a poll, survey or anything resembling those. No data was collected nor was data collection ever intended. This was simple an exercise, for those wishing to participate, in self enlightenment.

    2. “Why the product? Why not an average for example[?]” Great question! If you want the probability of flipping seven heads in a row, you multiply 0.5 seven times. That is probability theory. There is no choice. Your score was intended to reflect you ‘subjective’ probability that a Paris Treaty would be a good idea. It was contended that each Belief is necessary. Of course, you are free to say some are not necessary or even all are not necessary. But to the extent that the Beliefs are necessary multiplication is needed.

    3. “…there is no theoretical justification for multiplying those probabilities. Probabilities only multiply for independent events.” Valid point! In such cases, Bayesian analysis is used (see note at the end of the essay), but after two variables it becomes rather complicated. An alternative approach is to calculate the most optimistic (from the warmist point of view) probability. For instance, when calculating #2, I simply assumed #1 to be true. If you do that for all Beliefs (assuming all previous Beliefs are true), then you will come up with an upper bound for your “Warmist Score”. If the reader is interested, I suggest putting on your hottest Warmist hat and redoing your probabilities using this approach. Become very much a believer for every point and refrain from using zero for any Belief and even assign 1.0 to some. You may find it enlightening.

    BTW, I did not judge any Belief to be zero. #3 ”Very harmful” was my lowest. I certainly agree that the evidence shows no indication that past warming has had any NET negative effect. Never-the-less, some might argue that things would be even better if it had not warmed. I cannot absolutely prove them wrong. Therefore, I had to give some consideration to the point. Also, I cannot prove that accelerated warming (remember that for evaluating #3, I’m assuming #2 to be true) might not be harmful in the future. My highest rated probability was #7 “No cheaters”. Here again I assumed that every major country would join the treaty and that pressure could be brought on China to adhere to it when rating #7.

    David Swinehart

  31. People routinely tell me, “Max, you are a total zero.”

    [Shows you what they know. All of the E-M values regularly cross their respective zero. Before they fall to a record low, but then rise again to their maximum. .mod]

  32. The problem is (whatever your “score” is), you are going to have to pay more Pesos out of your pocket for this climate scam. Or $USD or Euros, etc. That’s the problem, and the solution is to fight this with every breath in your body.

  33. The species more than any other responsible for climate change is of course the tree.

    Not mankind

    • Thanks Leo, the minute I read that?? , Guess what? My father would have said the same thing ( his name ? Leo Smit ), thanks great memories, he had a “green” thumb the realistic way.

  34. Does anyone have a serious study – best with pictures and figures – of how the planet has greened? A powerful argument. I can’t rely on the observed leaves I sweep up in my garden over the last 40 years ‘cos the ‘increase’ could be (a) the trees have grown (b) I’m 40 years older.

  35. Those who support Kyoto and its progeny are fundamentally climate change deniers. They deny not only the Medieval Warm period and other substantial variations in climate over history, but also they deny the recent data of warming from 1910 to 1940 and cooling from 1960 to 1975. They deny the current pause. They deny the absurd inaccuracy of the various “models” as measured against reality. They deny the fact that the science is so unsettled that the “experts” had to change the phrase “global warming” to “climate change” because they are not even sure whether fossil fuel use makes the planet warmer or cooler.

    Only a disciple of Orwellian Doublespeak would call those who address the fundamental facts “skeptics” instead of the realists that we are.

    It seems pretty basic to me. Theoretically, man-made carbon dioxide emissions might cause some warming, but the extent and rate are completely unknown and totally unpredictable at this point. It is undeniable that the planet warms and cools naturally, and historically has done so to a much greater extent than during any post-industrial period of time. The understanding of the causes and extent of natural climate change is virtually nil, and therefore it is virtually impossible to understand the extent and causes of anthropogenic climate change, if any. Moreover, given the possibility that global cooling of the 60’s and early 70’s was caused partially by emissions other than carbon dioxide (eg., sulfur dioxide), it seems clear enough to me that the alarmists have either identified the wrong variable or they are missing other variables in their theory, both man-made and natural variables that if considered might lead to models that at least could explain in part past data.

    Conclusion: the global warming alarmists are deniers of basic facts and inherently unreliable “scientists” worthy of scorn rather than skepticism.

    • Mr. Vox Clams,
      “Conclusion: the global warming alarmists are deniers of basic facts and inherently unreliable “scientists” worthy of scorn rather than skepticism.”

      I tried to start a “hoax denier” meme, but it did not catch on.
      I agree that these are the people who are really in deep…um… denial.
      If they know the truth and are lying, they deny science and honesty. For the ones who are cowed into believing by their blind adherence to the stated “beliefs” of the “experts”, they are willingly engaging in a logical fallacy, and are thus deniers of logic and reason.

  36. The scoring makes no sense.

    0.95 Unprecedented global warming caused by humans
    0.5 Accelerating warming
    0.8 Very harmful
    0.5 CO2 to blame
    0.1 Can be controlled
    0.5 Better than the alternative
    0 No cheaters

    … which makes my score zero even though I think global warming is real and dangerous and that we’re unlikely to be able to solve it.

    Someone didn’t think this through at all.

    • The issue is whether the agreement at Paris is worth the cost.
      Since you admit that there is no chance of preventing cheaters, then the agreement is a waste of time, regardless of how you feel about the other issues.

    • I agree that there is no chance that there will not be cheaters. If I was a warmist I would tend to think that even if there were some cheaters an agreement could be very worthwhile. I that case I wouldn’t see no cheaters as a requirement for a successful conference, I therefore would mark it as 1.0 and thus remove it from consideration.
      I am however, not a warmist and think that unprecedented global warming caused by humans is 0.0, and is accelerating is 0.0, but the too may not be required for this conference.

  37. 33% ____ Unprecedented global warming caused by humans
    5% ____ Accelerating warming
    5% ____ Very harmful
    50% ____ CO2 to blame
    5% ____ Can be controlled
    5% ____ Better than the alternative
    5% ____ No cheaters
    0.00001% ____ Warmist Score
    99.99999% ____ Skeptic Score

  38. Do-it-yourself climate science:
    Prove Al Gore and the consensus are wrong.
    Prove AGW is a mistake.
    Prove the ‘war on coal’ is misguided.
    Prove CO2 has no significant effect on climate.
    Prove climate sensitivity (the increase in AGT due to doubling of CO2) is not significantly different from zero
    Right here. Right now.

    Only existing temperature and CO2 data are used. Fundamental understanding of math and its relation to the physical world are assumed.

    The CO2 level (or some math function thereof) has been suspected of being a forcing. The fundamental math is that temperature changes with the time-integral of a forcing (not the forcing itself). For example, a bloc of metal over a burner heats up slowly, responding to the time-integral of the net forcing (heat from the burner minus the heat loss from convection and radiation). Add a blanket over the block (a ‘step change’ to the loss) and the block temperature increases to a new steady state temperature but the temperature increases slowly (in response to the time-integral).

    Existing data includes temperature and CO2 determined from Vostok, Antarctica (or any other) ice cores for at least a full glacial or inter-glacial period. If CO2 is a forcing, the temperature should change as a transient following CO2 level change instead of temperature and CO2 level going up and down in ‘lock step’ as has been determined from measurements and is widely reported.

    Existing temperature and CO2 (Berner, 2001) assessments for the entire Phanerozoic eon (about 542 million years) are graphed at

    Pick any two points separated in time that have the same average global temperature (AGT) anomaly. The cumulative forcing is the time-integral of the forcing (or a function thereof) times a scale factor. Because the AGT at the beginning and end of the time period are the same and the time-integral of the forcing is not zero, the scale factor must be zero. As a consequence, the effect of the forcing is zero.

    Granted that if the math function consists of an anomaly with respect to a ‘break-even’ CO2 level, a ‘break-even level could be determined to make the beginning and ending temperatures equal, but pick another time period with equal beginning and ending temperatures but different from the first pick and a different ‘break-even’ level might be calculated. Since the possibility of many different ‘break-even’ levels is ludicrous, the conclusion that CO2 has no significant effect on AGT prevails and something else is causing the temperature change.

    A somewhat different approach to the proof showing that CO2 has no significant effect on climate and also identification of the two main factors that do (95% correlation since before 1900) are disclosed at

    • I agree with your conclusions below, but Leif would say you’re using outdated SSNs. While some skeptics suspect that his project to rejigger the sunspot counting system is motivated by a desire to support climate alarmism, I think not.

      I’d greatly appreciate your redoing your work using his system to see if it makes a difference.



      Others that have looked at only amplitude or only duration factors for solar cycles got poor correlations with average global temperature. The good correlation comes by combining the two, which is what the time-integral of sunspot number anomalies does. As shown in Figure 2, the temperature anomaly trend determined using the sunspot number anomaly time-integral has experienced substantial change over the recorded period. Prediction of future sunspot numbers more than a decade or so into the future has not yet been confidently done although assessments using planetary synodic periods appear to be relevant 7,8.

      As displayed in Figure 2, the time-integral of sunspot number anomalies alone appears to show the estimated true average global temperature trend (the net average global energy trend) during the planet warm up from the depths of the Little Ice Age.

      The net effect of ocean oscillations is to cause the surface temperature trend to oscillate above and below the trend calculated using only the sunspot number anomaly time-integral. Equation (2) accounts for both and also, because it matches measurements so well, shows that rational change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide can have no significant influence.

      Long term prediction of average global temperatures depends primarily on long term prediction of sunspot numbers.

  39. There is some good things here, but it does not cover all the problems of mitigation policy. It is not just the technological and cheating aspects that will stop policy from being effective. There is also the planning, policy optimization and project management aspects that need to be considered. A big issue is the token gestures, or the environmental regulations that do nothing to reduce CO2, but impose unnecessary costs. Another is that massive change will provide vast opportunities for extraordinary profits (such as in wind and solar) or for outright corruption, such as in carbon trading. The knowledge required to optimize policy and minimize the profiteering aspect often does not exist.

  40. Further to the above, I looked at the logic of why climate mitigation policies will always fail early last year.

    One aspect I point out is the marginal impact of joining the policy countries. If only some countries have policy, then they will bear the costs of policy AND much of the long-term costs of global warming.
    This I put forward graphically in a series of posts.
    In particular, I discuss the problems of a country whether to join or not in this post/
    A proper theoretical economist would be able to do a demonstration from game theory of why it would not work. The problem for governments is no policy is optimal except the cynical one. Make vague commitments and token gestures, but nothing real. Whether in a country is democratic or autocratic, putting through highly damaging policies will undermine their power base, especially without a clear threat.

  41. In the section on “No Cheaters”, there is a pie chart of global emissions in 2008. But the picture is changing. When emissions reduction policies were first proposed back in 1990 there was a clear global split. Thirds of global emissions came from either the rich OECD countries, or the ex-Warsaw Pact countries, with 25% of the global population. So a drastic reduction in global emissions to 1990 levels (a Stern Review target) allowed the mass of the world (what used to be called the Third World) to still grow their emissions.

    Projecting forward to 2020, the picture has changed dramatically. Population has increased by 2.4 billion or 45% and emissions by over 80%. Global average emissions per capita have increased from 4.1 to 5.2t/CO2 per capita. Due to the population increase, to return global emissions to 1990 levels would mean reducing average emissions per capita to 2.85t/CO2.

    It gets even worse if you look at the UNIPCC’s climate targets to avoid the dangerous two degrees of global warming. It means reducing global emissions per capita to 1.1t/CO2 by 2050, or nearly 80%. For the USA is is nearly 95%, and for China over 85%.

    A fuller description is at

  42. This is the sort of statistical trickery I would expect from Cook, Mann, or Gore. To see it, invert the scale, Make your answer your estimate of the probability the statement is false. The product of your answers is your skeptical score and the complement is your CAGW score.

    But the presentation might get a few CAGW believers to pause and consider the logic of their fantasy. Some of that few might even draw a logical conclusion. We can hope.

    • Thank you for your comment, Chuck.

      I would like to reply in a reasoned fashion, but first an aside. Introducing your comment with argumentum ad hominem (“This is the sort of statistical trickery I would expect from Cook, Mann, or Gore.”) does not strength your argument, but rather detracts from it. The reader might conclude that you are prone to fallacious reasoning.

      Now to consider your point: let’s “[m]ake your answer your estimate of the probability the statement is false”. Further assume that you rate every statement being false as 0.9 (feel free to substitute your own estimates), then the product will be approximately 0.48.

      Are you then 48% certain that the Paris Treaty should be rejected? Clearly, the answer to that is no. You are 48% certain that ALL the statements are false. If ANY statement is false, the Treaty should be rejected – not ALL need to be false. What you wish to know is the probability that ALL the statements are TRUE.

      If you wish to attack the approach, you could:
      1. Object to definition I am using here for a Warmist (the probability that you believe the Paris Treaty is a good idea).
      2. That All statements have to true.
      3. That the selection of statements should be augmented, diminished or changed.

      The point being made here is that to be Warmist you must believe a whole host of things. To be a skeptic you only have to be skeptical about one of the beliefs.

      Of course, you may have some other ideas. Please share them with us and please be courteous.

      David Swinehart

  43. Catherine R – It couldn’t hurt to see what would result. I would need Svalgaard’s numerical data to plug in to the spreadsheet. I looked at his pdf on renumbering. He shows high correlation between old and new so I don’t expect much change in findings (climate change depends primarily on SSN anomaly time-integral plus ocean cycle approximation. CO2 has no significant effect). Of course the coefficients in the equation would be different. It would be interesting to see what happens to R^2. (Leif, I promise to attend to the integration range)

    Realize that this exercise would have no effect on the proof that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

  44. I’m thinking that, although perhaps we can agree that the multiplication of the seven factors yields a probability (assuming independence of the factors, etc), it may not yield enough separation to give a decent measure of overall skepticism.

    As some of the replies have suggested, perhaps the average of the probabilities would be a better indicator of skepticism to the IPCC position.

  45. Scanned thru this (I regret I didn’t study every word) but I remember NO mention or discussion of the variations in solar activity which, since the earth gets virtually ALL of its energy by radiation from this source, obviously has a major effect on global temperature and climate. According to what I read in grad school the earth reflects a major fraction of this total incident energy. It follows that small changes in the earth’s albedo OR – and this is HUGH – the suns output variation with time can cause major temperature changes with respect to time.
    Has ANYONE effectively shown/”proved” that solar energy variations are NOT the cause of the various temperature cycles the earth has experienced with or without human presence? It is obvious that solar activity variations COULD account for the changes. Whether or not they did is worthy of a great deal of careful study and discussion.
    The human ego seems to know no limits. It occurs to me that much of this discussion follows the presumption that man CAN cause effects such as these on a global scale. There is no evidence the presumption is valid.

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