My one-on-one meeting with Bill McKibben

UPDATED 6/8/15 (comment added by Bill McKibben, see end of article) About a month ago I got an e-mail from Bill McKibben telling me that he would be in my town to do a presentation on June 5th. He wanted to know if he could meet with me and just sit down over a beer and talk about things. I jumped at the chance. This photo below was taken yesterday, June 5th, at the Sierra Nevada Taproom in Chico, CA just before 6PM PDT after I had a two hour conversation with Bill McKibben, founder of


Bill McKibben at left, Anthony Watts, at right

One of the most interesting things about Bill McKibben is that he has always been civil and courteous to me unlike some others that are on the other side of the climate debate aisle. So, I didn’t think twice about meeting him because I knew that despite our differences we would likely have a very interesting and productive conversation.

My prediction came true. We had conversations that spanned everything from stories about our families and how we grew up to the current debates over climate and energy. We also spoke of the personal challenges that each of us face due to who we are and how we are perceived by others.

I didn’t make any recordings and I didn’t make any notes, I also did not tell anyone I had a time of this meeting and I don’t think Bill did either. I really didn’t want to because the last thing I wanted was to have someone come along and disrupt it. As I mentioned to Bill that some of the local environmentalists have what I would describe as a “severe hatred” of my position on climate change and because I have the to temerity to dare write about it. In fact, he was going to be addressing a number of environmentally oriented people right after our meeting at an event cosponsored by our local alternate radio station and the Butte Environmental Council. I suggested to Bill that perhaps he should mention that we had a pleasant and productive meeting to see if a “groan” might erupt from the audience. He said he would but I have not heard back from him yet as to whether or not my prediction came true.

Bill and I both had a couple of beers and we shared a dessert all the while chatting away as if we’d known each other for years. Essentially we have, but we just never met in person before.

Below are a few highlights that I remember from our conversation.

What we agreed upon:

We both agreed that tackling real pollution issues was a good thing. When I say real pollution issues, I mean things like water pollution, air pollution, Ocean plastics pollution, and other real tangible and solvable problems.

We both agreed that as technology advances, energy production is likely to become cleaner and more efficient.

We both agreed that coal use especially in China and India where there are not significant environmental controls is creating harm for the environment and the people who live there.

We both agreed that climate sensitivity, the response to a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, hasn’t been nailed down yet. Bill thinks it’s on the high side while I think it’s on the low side neither of us thought the number had been correctly defined yet.

We both talked about how nuclear power especially Thorium-based nuclear power could be a solution for future power needs that would provide a stable base electrical grid while at the same time having far fewer problems than the current fission products based on uranium and plutonium.

We both agreed that the solar power systems we have put on our respective homes have been good things for each of us.

We both agreed that there are “crazy people” on both sides of the debate and that each of us have suffered personally at the hands of some of the actions of these people (you know who you are). We both spoke of some of the hatred and threats that we have endured over the years, some of which required police intervention.

We both agreed that if we could talk to our opponents more there would probably be less rhetoric, less noise, and less tribalism that fosters hatred of the opposing side.

We both agreed that we enjoy the musings of Willis Eschenbach on WUWT, and we spoke about his most recent essay describing the self-regulating mechanism that may exist due to albedo changes in the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

We both agreed that it would be a great thing if climate skeptics were right, and carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere wasn’t quite as big a problem as we have been led to believe.

What we disagreed upon:

Climate sensitivity was the first issue that we disagreed about. While we both thought the number has not been nailed down yet, Bill thought the number was high, while I thought the number was lower such as the kind of numbers we were getting from the recent climate sensitivity analysis of Judith Curry and Nicolas Lewis. I spent a fair amount of time explaining to Bill how I believe, as do many others, that the effect of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is now approaching saturation point, such that a doubling of CO2 from this point forward might not be as catastrophic rise problematic as we have been told.

Bill seems to think that carbon dioxide influences along with other man-made influences have perturbed our atmosphere, which he considers “finally finely tuned”, enough to create some of the severe weather events that we have witnessed recently. He specifically spoke of the recent flooding in Texas calling it an “unnatural outlier”, and attributed it to man-made influences on our atmospheric processes. I pointed out that we only have about 100 years or so of good weather records and that we don’t really know for sure what the true outlier bounds are for such kinds of events. For example I told him of the great 1861 flood in California, followed by an exceptional drought within a few years. At the time, both events seemed like fantastic outliers. I also spoke of studies that have been attributing more extreme rainfall to the effects of cities.

And there just doesn’t seem to be any significant trend as this graph shows:

Global Precipitation, from CRU TS3 1° grid. DATA SOURCE

[Willis Eschenbach writes] As in all of the records above, there is nothing at all anomalous in the recent rainfall record. The average varies by about ± 2%. There is no trend in the data.

As does this one:

Bill also seem to think that many other weather events could be attributable to the changes that humans have made on our planet. He was quite sincere about this belief and cited many examples of events he witnessed or saw the aftermath of. I could tell that his perspective was one of empathy as were many of his concerns. But I came away with the impression that Bill feels such things more than he understands them in a physical sense. This was not unexpected because Bill is a writer by nature, and his tools of the trade are to convey human experience into words. I can’t really fault him for feeling these things and expanding on them but I did note he seemed quite resistive to factual rebuttals because they didn’t assuage the feelings he harbored.

For example I tried to explain how the increase in reporting through cell phones, video cameras, 24-hour cable news, and the Internet have made severe weather events seem much more frequent and menacing than they used to be.

Bill and I disagreed about the usefulness of computer models and I pointed out how models have been diverging from the measurements. Bill seemed concerned that we have to act on the advice of the models and the people who run them because the risk of not doing so could be a fateful decision. I pointed out that mankind has been quite adaptable and resilient, and thrived on warmer periods of Earth’s history than cooler ones, while he seemed to think that we are more fragile especially when it relates to crop production then one might think.

A few other points that we discussed:

Bill and I talked about how government can sometimes over-regulate things to the point of killing them, such as some of the problems I had with the California Air Resources Board and my attempt to start an electric car company in 2008. He was surprised to learn that electric cars in California have to be emissions tested just like gasoline powered cars, instead of simply looking into under the hood and noting the electric motor and checking a box on a form. He laughed all the way through my tales of woe trying to deal with that insane bureaucracy, and was quite sympathetic.

I told Bill that up until recently I had trusted (but considered misguided) the climate scientists at NOAA/NCDC, but with the recent publication of the Karl 2015 paper and some of the data manipulation shenanigans that I witnessed, I no longer have that trust. Bill responded with he doesn’t know those people but he believed that Dr. James Hansen had integrity. I asked Bill that if the people at NOAA/NCDC had the same integrity he believed Jim Hansen has, why would they have to adjust data that had been previously considered okay, and why would they not publish data from the most state-of-the-art Climate Reference Network in our monthly and yearly US. State of the Climate reports, but instead rely on the old and problematic surface temperature network that is full adjustments, assumptions, and biases – none of which exist in the Climate Reference Network? He didn’t have an answer.

Bill and I both lamented how some people perceived us on opposite sides of the aisle. He was annoyed that some people see him as an “idiot”, while I spoke of my annoyance of being called a “denier” when I don’t deny that the climate has warmed; I just don’t think it’s as big a problem as some others do. I can tell you this: I don’t think Bill McKibben is an idiot. But I do think he perceives things more on a feeling or emotional level and translates that into words and actions. People that are more factual and pragmatic might see that as an unrealistic response.

Bill was amazed at my ability to keep WUWT going all these years without having any budget, sponsor or funding. I explained to him, as I have many times to readers that doing this is little more than an extension of all my years in broadcasting. In broadcasting we never allow for “dead air”; we always have to keep fresh content going and thanks to the help of many people who contribute their time for moderation, in the form of guest articles, and in the form of comments I am able to keep this enterprise fresh and relevant. Bill says he reads every day and I took that as a compliment.

In closing:

I offered Bill the ability to inspect what I was going to write about our meeting before I published it. He declined saying it’s okay, that he’ll just comment on whatever I write.

All in all it was a good meeting and while we might fervently disagree on some (but not all) issues, I can say that Bill McKibben was a pleasant individual to talk to and that I could count him among one of the more friendly people in the climate debate.


UPDATE: 6/8/15

In comments Bill says that he really isn’t for nuclear power of any kind. I got the impression that he was against conventional fission reactors, due to the problems and costs, but because he voiced no strong opinions to me about Thorium power,( that Jim Hansen also agrees with me on) I got the impression he was open to such new technology. Apparently, he isn’t. His comment is reproduced below:

Just a couple of points

1) It doesn’t actually bother me when people call me an idiot–I’m used to it, and it’s always possible it’s true

2) I don’t think thorium or cold fusion or anything like it is the future of power; I’d wager all things nuclear are mostly relics of the past, in no small part because they cost like sin. But the point I was trying to make is that the new fact in the world is the remarkably rapid fall in the price of renewable energy. That solar panels cost so much less than they did just a few years ago strikes me as a destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view

3) Sierra Nevada beer is even better fresh out of the tap at the brewery than it is in a bottle

I had a fine evening at the Masonic Hall in Chico following with a large crowd of local environmentalists, celebrating the week’s many big divestment victories. For the record, I mentioned my drink with Anthony and no one hissed or groaned. A few did chuckle.


354 thoughts on “My one-on-one meeting with Bill McKibben

  1. “But I do think he perceives things moron a feeling or emotional level”
    I assume you mean “more on.”
    Given the tone of the rest of the article, you may want to edit that (:

    • Yes, that was a voice recognition dictation error, fixed within 5 minutes. Apologies, that was never my intent.

      • I envy you, Anthony. I always wanted to drink beer with a gossip columnist for The New Yorker. You’re the “Talk Of The Town” now!

      • There are voice recognition programming considerations in play. When making a choice between “more on” and “moron” it may have made the decision partly based upon context. The word “idiot” was used in the preceding sentence. The chance of a synonym appearing soon thereafter is high. Another possibility is the usage history for the particular speaker. The algorithm that learns from the speaker should be keeping track of how often the one phrase gets corrected (or goes uncorrected) versus the alternative and use that in the decision tree.

      • Well Done! The above describes what I believe to be the essence of civilization, being able to argue with, disagree, yet respect and tolerate people with different opinions.

  2. please correct “moron” to “more on” :)….
    I can tell you this: I don’t think Bill McKibben is an idiot. But I do think he perceives things moron a feeling or emotional level and translates that into words and actions.

    • He comes at things from a religious position. I like to check facts, like the logarithmic nature of CO2 warming, the evidence from previous warmings during this Holocene Interglacial, the influence of the Milankovitch Cycles on the Pleistocene Ice Age Interglacials. There was a time when people thought that the Sun went round the Earth. Rational Galileo worked it out. The rest came from Bill McKibben’s angle.

      • When you look at the sky with your naked eye, out of the thousands of clearly-celestial objects you can see, only three/3 — Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — appear to do anything other than neatly orbit the Earth, and they only do that every once in a while. Yet they were the ancients’ only indication that Earth was not the center of everything, those three “wandering stars” and their occasional reversals.
        How quick would you be to ignore ten thousand data points, in favor of accommodating three?
        Moderns do not appreciate what a huge intellectual accomplishment it was, to work out heliocentrism.
        [Technically, there were seven: The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and .. the moon were considered the “planets” (wanderers against the fixed background of the stars. .mod]

      • And you can see Venus, Jupiter and Saturn at the same time in the early evening — having just missed Mercury that was visible at the setting of the sun until around a month and a half ago.
        People do not appreciate the fact that Ptolemy’s model with epicycles worked — it was just enormously complex, like an Orrery. And Plato and the Pythagoreans had set the stage for it with his Ideals and the notions that everything is related to simple geometry, the movements “in the spheres”. It was also utterly free from internal sense other than this complex design was the will of a complex designer. Reality is actually far simpler and more consistently connected than this model allowed for.
        But it wasn’t until Tycho Brahe, rich and idle in Denmark’s long cold winter nights, performed years’ worth of systematic observations of the precise positions of the stars at precise dates and times in the night sky and was able to use parallax against the background of the distant stars to resolve distances to the planets that his lab rat (mathematician Johannes Kepler) was able to discover that the orbits were absolutely around the Sun, not the Earth, and that they were not circular but rather were elliptical (later shown to be conic sections, later still to be shown to be a nearly unsolvably complex set of coupled orbits that were slow perturbations of conic sections). Galileo also made observations — some of the first telescopic observations — of sky-objects that were not orbiting the sun, notably Jupiter’s moons. Sadly, Galileo largely ignored Kepler’s much more carefully done and mathematically precise work. Both Tycho Brahe and Kepler had occasion to observe Supernovae, and these too shook the prevailing worldview that the stellar portion of the sky was “fixed and immutable”. Not at all. On a decadal scale, there was observable change (including comets).
        IMO Kepler was the single person most responsible for the failure of the Heliocentric model. Brahe’s observations and his analysis were really beyond criticism — simple parallax was an idea too easy to grasp, and worked perfectly and consistently to measure the precise positions of the planets as they varied in time. Brahe thought (mistakenly) that the stars were fixed, because he was unable to observe any parallax in their relative motion, but the problem was simply that his great circles were not large enough or precise enough to measure arc-seconds, which is the scale of parallax to the nearest stars (and that the nearest stars are not visible from Denmark!). It took over 200 years (1838) for measuring technology to improve to the point where the distance to the nearest stars could be measured, and it wasn’t until the telescope technology of the early 20th century that enough stars could be observed and the distances to them measured via parallax to establish the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram and a way of estimating the distance to a star based on its type (established by its spectrum) its inferred brightness (total radiated power) and the observed intensity of the light. It wasn’t until 1924 that Edwin Hubble, using Cepheid Variable stars (100,000 times brighter than the sun and with a relationship between their period and their brightness) as a “stanard candle”, was able to measure the distance to the nearest “nebulae” and show that they were galaxies made up of hundreds of billions of stars (in in due course, showed that Earth isn’t the center of the Universe, that the Earth’s sun isn’t the center of the Universe, that the Earth’s Galaxy isn’t the center of the Universe, and in the latter half of the 20th century through the present) that the Universe probably doesn’t have a boundary (certainly not within something on the order of 500 billion light years, hundreds of times further than the farthest back and away we can see) so, paradoxically, you are free to consider your own navel the Center of It All as all points are in the middle of an infinite line.
        The biggest problem with all of this is that it directly contradicted a fair number of verses from the Bible, as well as a body of Greek Philosophy that was taught as true largely by authority all over the western world. Sadly, that body did not include the work of Aristarchus of Samos, who proposed a Heliocentric model in the 3rd century BCE. It wasn’t until 1822 that the Pope signed a decree allowing the publication of Heliocentric works in Rome, although they removed Newton’s Principia and other heliocentric works from the Index of Forbidden Books in 1758, well over a century after the publication of the data that proved that the heliocentric model was much “righter” than the Ptolemaic model of motion in and of the spheres. The Bible verses were basically proven wrong, stimulating the continued development of apologia and “hermeneutics”. The Bible never recovered its former mantle of “infallibility”, and today nearly all of the Abrahamic religions openly acknowledge that the Bible is not a reliable source of knowledge about the real world, although there are a few holdouts.

      • This is the problem with most of the left – feelings take precedence over facts. When “global warming” became “climate change” it was obvious what we were dealing with. If the facts support your position, there is no need to make an obscurantist change to your terminology.

  3. A very civilised conversation it seems. The true essence of life. (Moron = more on: Freud would have enjoyed that).

    • We both agreed that it would be a great thing if climate skeptics were right, and carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere wasn’t quite as big a problem as we have been led to believe.

      That is possibly the most significant thing to get from an alarmist.
      From the way that many seem to be wishing for Arctic sea ice to collapse and for a super El Nino to boost global temps, it would seem that for most the last thing they want is this not be a problem.
      If Bill said that , there is some hope. He will probably get booed for saying so though.

      • Mike,
        Yes, the alarmists seem to want things to get worse. However, it seems some skeptics want things to get colder while believing warmer is better. I am embarrassed to say I am in this group.

      • Hey Mike, “We both agreed that it would be a great thing if climate skeptics were right, and carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere wasn’t quite as big a problem as we have been led to believe.”
        Yes, I was struck also that that may be the most important statement in the article. A sincere warmist may hope that things are not as bad as they suspect. On the other hand, a CAGW cultist becomes angry at the very suggestion that the planet is not being destroyed. Kudos to McKibben for that.

    • Thing is, climate skeptics are right – “carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere wasn’t quite as big a problem as we have been led to believe”, and it makes no damn difference to the McKibbens. His article WaPo the other day might put the lie to what you two think you may have agreed on…

      • I, not convinced about AD20GW (anthro-dominated 20th-c global-warming), for sure would prefer cooling now.

  4. Excellent! Having a few beers with a fellow human being is a great way to establish a dialog.
    Ideally, it should be a normal part of communications.
    I’d love to see similar interactions with other AGW proponents, it would aid in bringing understanding.

  5. I suggest that you change “moron” in the fourth from the last paragraph to “more on”
    [Fixed, thanks. -mod]

  6. Since Daryl Hannah has been so outspoken on climate issues, maybe she’d like to get together with me and discuss…

  7. A most interesting discussion. If it happens again I’d like to see something on the philosophy of the human ego and how it seems to go without question that just because there IS climate change, mankind MUST be causing it. Now THAT exchange would be fun!

  8. “… doing this [WUWT] is little more than an extension of all my years in broadcasting.”
    Aha! Finally, a statement from Anthony I have trouble believing!
    Thank you Bill for contacting Anthony. One thing that is in distressingly short supply is people sitting down for a friendly chat.

    • I have trouble believing that a website with the traffic of WUWT does not generate thousands of dollars from ads. At least.

  9. ” He specifically spoke of the recent flooding in Texas calling it an “unnatural outlier”, and attributed it to man-made influences on our atmospheric processes”
    Having lived in Texas for a long time now, I can promise that the recent flooding event was not unusual at all. In fact, Austin has somewhat of a tradition for Memorial Day flooding.

    • McKibben doesn’t sound sufficiently technically knowledgeable to actually understand the issue he stands for – so he parrots what he hears that suits his desires.

      • I recently had a geologist assure me that fraking was causing the earthquakes in Oklahoma because there had never been earthquakes in Oklahoma before. She persisted with this belief even after I showed her the Oklahoma geologic service page showing earthquakes going back into the 1800’s.
        The fact that she had never heard of earthquakes in Oklahoma was sufficient to prove to her that earthquakes must be a new phenomena.

      • MarkW- I’ve seen that phenomena in play so many times that I’m convinced it must be coded into the human psyche, something like: “I don’t know it, so it is not true.”
        It’s something which I have to be on guard against in my own responses to the world.

      • McKibben doesn’t sound sufficiently technically knowledgeable to actually understand the issue he stands for – so he parrots what he hears that suits his desires.

        Just like 97% of the rest of us…

    • This is true. And I really don’t like it when an ignorant activist tells me that because I drive a pickup truck, I am partially responsible for a six-year-old boy and his four-year-old sister getting swept to their deaths in the Blanco River.

    • One possible reason for the flooding getting worse? More asphalt, more concrete, more houses = more impenetrable surfaces.

      • Exactly. The rain isn’t any worse but it can no longer soak into the ground. It immediately becomes runoff into the waterways.

      • Nope, even close..
        Measure the man-made impervious area in Texas (or any other non northeast state) … measure the non-impervious area … divide the former by the later … you get a very small number.
        Localized ponding comes from impervious areas; regional flooding is and always has been regional flooding. The fact that people build (create impervious areas) in convenient areas (near the drainage ways) is the reason that they get wet.

      • This is certainly the case Bear, in the UK, where we have had some catastrophic flooding in recent years.
        Other factors include neglect of the waterways (no dredging etc); the Environment Agency forbidding locals to touch the minor waterways even when it was obvious to those locals (some elderly) that a problem was growing, and they had asked for action; failure to maintain floodgates which in times of heavy rain in the past has been closed upstream from a town or village by said locals, so directing floods onto the flood plains (low lying meadows) maintained for the purpose; persistent building on such floodplains in spite of all advice to the contrary – and so on, and so forth.
        In other words, every single instance seems to have been due to human mismanagement in the modern way: ie, an ignorant bureauracy insisting it knows best, and ignoring the lessons of history. It then compounds the problem, by forbidding people with local knowledge to help themselves.

    • I grew up in Southern California, before the big storm drainage projects were done. The flooding looked very much like Austin and Houston. Put in a couple of trillion dollars of drainage ditches, which will be dry 99.99% of the time, and the problem will be solved. Even though it seems stupid to have large empty ditches, they would save lives and property during flood season. And be a great place to film movies and for kids to drive bicycles down during the dry seasons.

    • If the recent flooding in Texas was an “unnatural outlier” attributable to man, why wasn’t the pronounced drought the past 3 years an unnatural outlier attributable to man — a view some organizations held.
      Not only is Texas flooding a natural occurrence, Texas relies upon it. Check out the multi-year history tabs for the various reservoirs in Texas at
      Lake Travis was at 37% a month ago, now at 80% with 560,000 new acre feet. Lake Medina outside San Antonio was below 4% just a month ago and is now 57%.
      See also: Richland-Chambers, Sam Rayburn, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Texoma, Whitney Lake.

      • Yahoo on Lake Travis! I live on the shore which is now 300 feet closer, no hazards that aren’t well known, all the boat ramps in the water, private docks mostly floating, and lots of boaters again.
        Lake Buchanan however didn’t get refilled all that much. A rain bomb hit the Pedernales watershed, which feeds into the Colorado downstream of Buchanan, and Lake Travis impounded the entire thing without even reaching into its own flood plain.

    • Children are easily terrified – children 30 years old and younger think that only THEIR generation has ever experienced floods, drought, storms, etc. – they see every normal storm as a human-caused event – it is like the human race under 30 has regressed into Medieval Times and I can easily imagine them looking for witches to blame…

      • “and I can easily imagine them looking for witches to blame”
        Found ’em, it’s US living our lives.

    • Bill McKibben should have a sit down with Joe Bastardi. He would be amazed at the past weather and would start to understand how cyclical weather is. A bet you Joe would be a blast to have a beer with!

      • Just a crazy guess, but seeing how Joe is from State College, PA, I bet you would have more than just one beer. I’m also from western PA and know how things are done out there.

    • I live on the shore of Lake Travis. It came up 38 feet so far. Thank God. There’s a local saying here from the old timers which I guess includes me now: Our weather is constant drought punctuated by an occasional flood. McKibben calling the flood unnatural is just him doing what he always does which is making crap up as he goes along.

    • Two of the most significant events in the whole global warming debate combined there, thanks Warren. This post among other things comprises a brilliant introduction for the newcomer.

  10. I can’t think of too many one on one talks that wouldn’t go well with a beer. It’s good to hear that there are some warmists that will still engage in dialogue.

  11. Anthony I have been reading and commenting on your site for many years and I have 2 observations.
    I think that the description of the meeting with Bill was touching and represents a heartfelt desire of yours to bring good people together and simply talk. Great photo!
    I have aggregated many of your attitudes towards the environment and global warming but never have you so succinctly assembled your major positions in such a concise array. I seem to be in relative harmony with your broader view. Likely since I read so many of your articles. Thanks.
    Bill, Thank-you too for your convivial repast with Anthony. We all want to do our best to leave a better world for or children. Let us keep talking, here if you will, and close the gap in our POVs.

  12. So you only disagreed on the important points – surprise.
    It sounds like McKibben isn’t a Cardinal of the Church of CAGW, just one of those people who sings along without actually understanding or thinking about what he’s doing. A true believer. If only he would sit down and have a good long think.
    Anyone who thinks climate models (programmed by CAGW profiteers) must be acted on because (paraphrasing) “they’e the best information we have” is a moron, once models diverge from reality they’re useless. Following the advice of climate modelers would be fine if it only led to positive consequences, but fiddling with the economies of every country in the world while restricting the availability of cheap energy is not harmless.
    I despise these people.

    • I understand your message, but your use of moron does a disservice to the skeptic side and I am sure Mr. Watts is not appreciative.
      Let the other side use pejoratives as they have been, including Obama – it debases them. Over a number of years reading articles, reading postings to same, it is just plain disheartening. I know the AGW meme is driven by a political agenda; it is supported by deliberate deception that emanates from the the same Government agenda due to funding. The AGW propaganda now exists in Common Core and has existed via the media for many years. Critical thinking has been replaced by emotion and selfish interests.

      • I don’t even think McKibben is being political – that wouldn’t fit with instigating the meeting. I think he’s one of the useful idiots – albeit a noisy one – who understands enough to cling to the ideas put in his head but not enough to question them. A dangerous individual.

    • I also despise people who resort to “feelings” when it’s time to think. Note how easy it is to go around preening about what great “feelings” you have, as opposed to doing something constructive like thinking things through. And it is completely out-of-line to respond to difficult questions with a feelings-based “How dare you!” or “I hate you!” type of response.
      Historically speaking, thinking leads to study and experiment while feelings lead to people being killed in grotesque and painful ways.

  13. Good for both of you. I have always enjoyed McKibben’s writing about nature and, despite his views on AGW, have tremendous respect for him as a writer.
    These are the conversations which will remove the bile from the debate. We need many more of them.

  14. Well done, both of you, for engaging in the discussions Bill Nye was calling for just the other day. To Bill, especially, thank you for reaching out despite the criticisms you will get from less descent people. WUWT again proves it’s a place for reasonable people to have reasonable conversations about important matters without getting a bent out of shape.

  15. Bill, I will leave you with a quote from an unknown source:
    “The best way to win an argument is to begin by being right.”
    Bill, feelings and emotions are all very well but does that help your position when the unbiased facts get in the way?

  16. The point about computer models is fascinating. As an IT expert with over 20 years of experience, I’ve noticed before that people who aren’t computer experts, often have a distorted view of what they can do.
    Computers are remarkable, and are likely to become much more so – but math modelling has its limits!

    • One thing that would keep me from looking for a climate modeling gig is that I have no idea how one can model water in the atmosphere. One moment it’s saturating (or supersaturating) the atmosphere and doing its best to be the dominant greenhouse gas. The next moment it’s turning into a cloud and reflecting nearly all the sunlight back into space.
      Maybe I could start with the Atacama Desert.

      • Exactly Ric. I’ve said the same thing 150 times. The greatest greenhouse gas is also the greatest albedo. And we still know squat about how, why and when certain clouds form.

      • It’s not just the albedo effect of clouds. It’s radiant energy high in the troposphere during the phase change. Just look at any IR satellite photo. Photons into space.

    • And until the first sentient computer program arises from sufficient complexity that can pass true Turing tests and exhibit novel emergent behaviors, then those climate models simply produce the “finely tuned” results the creators expected.

      • Yes. “Novel emergent behaviors.” But novels are fiction, and so are all climate models. They’re combinations of determinate, stochastic, or empirical modules, each with their own pitfalls, tiny butterflies of ignorance, lurking to flap up a tornado where you least expect it.

    • There was a famous paper written back in the days of Token Ring vs. Ethernet. sometime around 1990, by Boggs et al that recounted a well-known model by another group whose name escapes me (but whose products may have been Inferior But Marketable) that ‘proved’ that Ethernet didn’t work beyond about 37% capacity. The fact that it demonstrably did, however, wasn’t of interest to the ‘Smokin’ Ring’ zealots, who touted it widely to demonstrate how much better their flavor of Kool-Aid was. In this case, the error in the model (failure to model the random fallback after a collision) was easy to find, and at first glance trivial, but it lead to a huge variance from reality.
      Now Ethernet is not trivial, but compared to climate it is dead simple, clearly understood in great detail, and has a tiny number of moving parts; if ‘experts’ had trouble modeling something as simple as Ethernet, there’s no real hope of closely modeling something as ill-understood and wildly complex as real-world climate. There are two currently insurmountable problems: 1: You can’t accurately model what you don’t understand well, and 2: Current technology just doesn’t have the power to accurately model something as complex as global climate on a sufficiently fine scale to give reasonable accuracy.
      But hey, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

  17. Anthony, thank you for giving your all, trying to save humanity from the harm of those who are trying to save the planet from humanity’s presence.

  18. Anthony you take a lot of heat in this debate, so I am glad you are making more friends on the other side where possible. In the long run it will pay off.
    “But I do think he perceives things more on a feeling or emotional level and translates that into words and actions. People that are more factual and pragmatic might see that as an unrealistic response.”
    Unfortunately this is the problem with even the most reasonable on the other side of the debate. They confuse their personal feelings with factual evidence.

    • Oddly, when confronted with reality-borne evidence, they respond with: “I guess it’s all what you choose to believe”.

      • Dawtgtomis
        I noticed this and it confirms what Anthony observed about acting on feelings ‘whatever the evidence’. The perceptions that feed confirmation bias reinforce feelings whether ‘right’ or not. Making a decision to believe that ‘things are going wrong and mankind is probably responsible’ are very common in tribal cultures around the world.
        Western adventurers reacted in horror when ‘locals’ sacrificed virgins to appease volcanoes, denigrating then mostly for not understanding cause and effect. Why didn’t they understand cause? Ignorance about how the world works. feeds on ignorance about how things work. relies heavily for ‘success’ on guessing that things work is a way that supports the feelings they already have. Contradicting physical evidence is dismissed using a variety techniques which, if they fail, are substituted with blunt denial that either the evidence exists or stating that it has no real meaning. concentrates heavily on children, delivering ‘believe us’ messages and offering ‘a chance to get involved’ while defining the entire process to keep it within the church of CO2. It limits the library of resources and the films the children should watch decrying unapproved sources as misleading traps set by corporate ogres.
        Independent investigation of truth, what should be the hallmark of youth of that age, is discouraged to the point where the thoughts, actions and enemies are selected and defined by – the opposite of what a good teacher does. ‘Climate’ is now a cult in every sense of the word.
        Cartoon ‘deniers’ are metaphorically held up like piñatas to be beaten and the beaters are rewarded with sweets when they tear into the mock demons. This is neither science nor education. It is indoctrination.
        Bill’s fundamental mistrust of fundamental physical processes and their impact on ‘the volcano’ doesn’t surprise me in the least. I have experienced this type of belief-response multiple times. So I offer the following observation:
        When beliefs are contradicted by scientific facts it moves those beliefs from the “Might be” column over to the “Superstition” column. indoctrinated youth in multiple superstitions and seeks money to indoctrinate more.
        To discern the difference between a fact like a temperature reading and a mistaken calculation like the ‘trend’ in Karl et al 2015 one needs enough understanding to perform conceptual and logical analyses. That concentrates their indoctrination of that population group that does not yet have a mature skill set is telling. Lacking the skills themselves to spot something as incompetent (alternatively, mendacious) as Karl et al 2015 they nevertheless feel quite justified in promulgating their feelings about factual matters and anointing as Enemies of Good those who see through the nonsense that is the modern catastrophist movement.
        Bill, learn more, consume a balanced diet of information and help rid the world of this fanatical, destructive cult. Teach thinking and analytical skills, not the porridge of mystical attribution flavoured with the salts of bitter belief and self-deprecation.

      • Crispen:
        Well said. What you described is “anti-science” and Bill is very effective at it. CBC Canada is doing a series on science and it makes a big deal about us skeptics being anti-science. Bill would fit right in with his propaganda, The CBC says it is the returning of the dark ages. I would agree, but they have it backwards, as science begins with skepticism.

      • What’s depressing is that the same thing is going on now in both medicine and cosmology. Alternative health practices can get a doctor into BIG trouble. In the meantime the “big-bang” cosmologists are compounding their bogus hypothesis by continuing to add more speculation – dark matter, dark energy, expanding space, distant galaxies and stars moving away at enormous speed. All due to their firm belief in “red-shift” and that gravity is the only force to consider in outer space. Never mind that satellites see electricity everywhere, and that there are some 40 quasars now which have proper motion.

  19. Wow. Bravo to you both for agreeing to meet civilly and privately (no fuss or looking for a media moment) and then sharing your experience so candidly. It gives me hope. And I’ll even admit that some of my impressions of Mr. McKibbon might be incorrect and that I look forward to more evidence of this nature to prove it.

  20. Unless I missed it, you neglected to note if you talked about whether people on one side should even enter into a scientific debate with people from the other side. That, it seems to me, is the critical division. Skeptics, like most scientists, say the debate should be ongoing. Warmists, like most religious fanatics, insist that there should be no debate, the debate is over, etc. Did you even bring this point up? Did you suggest to McKibben that he should shame warmists who insist that no scientific debate should be allowed? It’s hard to see this field of study going forward when more than half (97%?–just kidding) of the participants have their ears plugged.

  21. Civility. Conversation. Craft brew. The world needs more of this and I’m quite grateful that this meeting was made public, and so eloquently, at that.
    Very insightful look into the thinking and emotions of McKibben. That being said, I would have been tempted to ask him if he planned to update his website to, say, The 350 is a bit passé.

    • Respectfully to Mr. Mckibben, 400 ppm Co2 is making west-central Illinois an explosion of growth. 60″ oats are common right now and the corn planted in late April is waist high. all that CO2 needs is a little H2O and away we grow!

      • I don’t know if it was universal or local to New Jersey, but the determination if we’d have a good corn crop was the saying “Knee high by the 4th of July”. By that measure, you’re WAY ahead!

    • Marnof, don’t be too impressed. The meeting in Yalta was civil too.
      Helping understand Bill helps me deal more effectively with the damage he is doing on campuses with his organisation.
      We should keep reinforcing the message of facts about the climate and reminding people they have a personal and unavoidable responsibility to learn to find, analyse and digest information and think for themselves. Self-appointed, unelected ‘leaders’ such as Hanson and McKibben and others in the Cli-Sci-Die movement are exactly what children need to study for methods, faults and fanatics. Nothing is so difficult about climate science that others cannot learn it. There is no need for a host of cloistered sages to interpret entrails, save they be the guts of these pernicious climate models of futures past.

    • I believe Hartland invite many folk holding the warming belief to speak at their conferences. Perhaps Bill et al should accept so we can both hear what they claim and the basis for it, and know they are also listening to the skeptical side, with the ability to ask questions and debate.
      Dialog is important and Anthony is to be congratulated for doing this. I hope Bill reflects on the difference of acting from an emotional basis to acting from an informed, factual one. As has been mentioned, (re)acting emotionally often has dangerous and disastrous consequences.

  22. Anthony,
    “People that are more factual and pragmatic might see that as an unrealistic response.”
    And there you have most of the disagreement in a few words. Of course people who view the world primarily through rational analysis will disagree with “touchy-feely” types. So it has always been. The important issue is which of those two views of the world will guide public policy. It is a crucially important question with huge long term impacts, especially for the poorest of people…. the $2 per day and less poor. I would like to ask Bill how much effort he exerts on behalf of those poor people.

    • Good question. The money spent on Big Green subsidies is enough to double the income of the $2 a day population. That is the impact equivalent of doubling every harvest.
      There is another waste that should not be overlooked. The value of tanks lost in the Six Day War (alone) could have built a hospital in every major city in Africa and staffed it for ten years.
      The climateers are even claiming Syrian refugees are partly climate refugees. Climate needs an equal sized slice of the pie. That’s the message. Now we see the emergence of the military-climate complex that is literally planning to take over governments. The military needs viable enemies and the climateers need viable demon-species, even if they both have to fabricate them out of whole cloth. The only fodder left will be ‘cannon’.

  23. One question I would like to see Bill address: why, exactly, is the earth warming a *bad* thing, if the alternatives are taken into account? This ( has become, to me, iconic in pointing out that ice ages are approximately infinitely worse than the world getting warmer and the residual ice melting away. Statistically, cold kills far people than heat.

    • ..and does he have any idea what solar cycle 25 might be bringing, and how the CO2 concentration might help ease the cooling which historically has occurred when solar activity and heliospheric density are lower than normal?
      Additionally, how does CO2 concentration make an effect on the PDO and AMO? When both are negative does CO2 offset the cooling?
      This would be valuable to know!

    • The main worry is sea level rise, which would cause huge damage if the world’s coastal cities got inundated at high tide or in storms.

  24. Wasn’t Bill McKibben the one who wrote, “Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”? Personally, I would have no desire to share a beer with a nut like that.

    • “Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for
      the right virus to come along.”
      – David M. Graber (National Park Service research biologist)
      I suggest you Google before commenting!

      • I did Bing before posting and it came up Bill McKibben as the author of that quote. Sorry for the error.

  25. opposition to Keystone XL pipeline is purely symbolic, endangering the lives of everyone who lives within several hundred metres of active railroad oil transport route. I would ask him to go to Lac Magantic, Quebec and talk to those who lost family, friends, homes, and businesses. Or of any of the several communities here in the lower 48 where there have been deadly oil train derailments. If he wants to understand the costs to real people of opposition to oil pipelines, start there.

  26. More cow bell, er… dialogue!
    Thanks to Bill and Anthony for sitting down mano-et-mano to discuss the topic of our times. May it bring more dialogue and direct us away from policy lunacy driven by bad science.

    • Mano a mano means hand-to-hand. If Bill and Anthony meet mano a mano, that means they’re fighting with fists and knives and bayonets. I suppose in a very literal sense, a cordial handshake COULD be considered going mano a mano, but that is not the normal interpretation.

  27. “Bill responded with he doesn’t know those people but he believed that Dr. James Hansen had integrity.”
    There’s something I agree with Bill on. I believe in Hansen’s sincerity. I also believe he (Hansen) is as wrong as he can be. I won’t assess Bill in this context; I think he was brave and doing the right thing just to reach out and show up. Well, done, Bill.
    I think many issues of great disagreement devolve about different premises, including the relative importance of feelings and facts, and long-term vs. short-term considerations. I think Democrats greatly favor short-term solutions; Republicans generally prefer long-term solutions.
    Who is right? Often we can’t tell until it’s too late, but I think a large fraction of the short-term fixes we’ve had foisted upon us have ultimately caused far greater disasters than the problems they were intended to solve. ¿What is your freedom worth, that is the true question before us now.
    Great post, Anthöny.

    • I have long suspected that despite the mistake of combining activism with a scientist’s own field of study (an impossible combination), Hanson left GISS because he didn’t want to participate in the data manipulation being demanded from on-high. Only Hanson though really knows the answer to that.

    • I have a hard time believing Hansen has any integrity . His all too widely believed claim that Venus is a “runaway” is the most trivially quantitatively provable scare story in this whole determined stupidity . If it is not willful , it is in any case an unconscionable failure to understand the basics of radiative heat transfer .

    • I believe in Hansen’s sincerity.

      I believe he got caught in something he originally didn’t understand, and it snowballed out of control for political reasons. He did not see any way out of it and had to play along, even though he had figured out the deception long ago. To me it isn’t being sincere.

      • You may be right, but we have no proof of that. I think it’s far more likely that he knows the truth only at an unconscious level, and is able to maintain his faith by suppressing what he knows, not letting it reach his conscious mind. He’s able to rapidly quash any nagging doubts by focusing on the fact that he’s a savior of the world.

    • Hansen is sincere. Some of my lefty friends did not like him and I could not understand why. Then I discovered that his policy prescription was to ramp up nuclear power for the near future. Now I get the picture.

  28. Great Post Mr Watts, I think you encapsulate the major divide beautifully.
    Logic versus Emotion.
    Some of us, having been educated by the school of hard knocks, try to focus on what is, rather than what we feel should be.
    Actions speak louder than good intentions, Mr McKibben becomes an idiot in my eyes, when he projects emotional certainty onto weather.
    This is the problem of arguing with the catastrophic averting citizens, no logic, no historic records, no facts seem to register , they just do not matter, when the concerned persons know that how they feel is more important.
    Most of them are very nice people in every way, except for their desire to surrender all our individual rights to forstall an imaginary doom.
    Conform to the norm, to avoid emotional brainstorm?

  29. A very important example for us all. If we could all discuss this topic on the basis of our thoughts and feelings we might move it forward. Otherwise we have to assume that it is a deceitful, agenda-driven cause unrelated to reality.

  30. An enjoyable read, Anthony.
    A transient thought just shuffled through the grey room.
    Your thoughts of Bill being guided more by feelings is interesting and brings intuition into play.
    Intuition and “gut” feelings can be overpowering, anchor an idea and resist all attempts to shift it.
    It just may be that by appealing to people’s “goodness” through argument associated with polar bears & butterflies, the less pragmatic of us will follow the path which provides personal comfort by “siding” with Nature.

  31. A really great post and a perfect example of one of the many reasons I keep coming back here.
    Respect +++ to both Bill McKibben Anthony Watts!

  32. It may be so simple as that an empath is spring-loaded to look for human cause of misery as a source of easy blame, when the fact is that Mother Nature is often a bitch unaided by man. It would be interesting to know how Mr. McKibben explains impact on the “Earth’s-atmosphere-as-finely-tuned” of the regular ~100,000 year 12 degree of fluctuation of global temperatures without human assistance. Perhaps with a bit of study, realization will come that natural forces have far more impact than do we.

  33. Glad so many are enjoying the love-fest, and I’ve no doubt Bill can be a pleasant fellow, but I regard him as unforgivably ignorant.. He owed it to himself…as a man of principle if that’s what he is…to get himself educated. Failure to do so goes directly to character.
    (aka pokerguy)

    • Should probably be “owes” ….present tense. A man of fairness and integrity should walk away from such a frank discussion with Anthony, asking himself some important questions.

  34. This meeting was a wonderful thing and I commend Bill for reaching out. I too have a different perspective of Bill McKibbon now after reading this.
    Kudos to both of you.

  35. Thanks for reaching out. However I fear McKibbin will now be investigated by Senator Whitehouse and subjected to RICO laws. And I must admit you two do look a bit like gangsters, in that photo. Or…maybe not gangsters…maybe it is just the two beers. But Senator Whitehouse will surely feel you two look suspicious. /Sarc
    For what its worth, here is my two cents about writers and “feelings.”
    Writers are after Truth, just as scientists are after Truth (if they are any good). Just because writers are perhaps employing intuition more than scientists are allowed to do does not give writers an excuse to promote falsehood. They need to be humble, and not pretend to be smarter than they are, and it is very important (and refreshing) for writers to admit their mistakes.
    In the August, 2006 National Geographic McKibben contributed an essay called, “A Deeper Shade Of Green,” which contained ideas he got from Kerry Emanuel suggesting Global Warming was creating hurricanes of unprecedented size. Some of the predictions within that essay have not turned out to be accurate. Now that he has had nearly a decade to double-check the premises contained in that essay, McKibben should be able to say “I was wrong” about a few things. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign you are older and wiser, and love Truth more than your own ego.
    Also I wish McKibben would write about his experiences at Harvard and at The New Yorker magazine. That must have been an interesting and unique journey, and his insights would contain lots he knows about, whereas hurricanes and extreme weather events are things he knows less about.

    • Yet, McKibben still harbors weather events due to AGW even after provided with data that prove otherwise. This is not a result of scientific review, but of an emotional response. This is a prevalent disease of the human animal and I do not know how to counter same.

      • I no longer expect an immediate response, but have the hope that persistence and patience will slowly but surely wake people up. It takes time for a starfish to open an oyster.
        Also I kept a diary when I was in my teens and twenties. When I reread it I cringe, for what an idiot I was, at times! It took me a long time, and a number of debacles, to learn some fairly simple things.

      • If someone doesn’t want to be thought of as an idiot, they ought to try to reduce the number of idiotic things they do or say (everyone has done some idiotic things). Refusing to talk about the science sure make it seem like that person either doesn’t know the science or is only interested in the science that supports his view, that isn’t real science. Mckibben only has himself to blame for being thought of as an idiot.

    • Caleb, some writers are shills. They are after money and steady work. Fame wouldn’t hurt at all either. One of the smartest of the writers is Monbiot yet look at the outrageous things he puts out. He is shilling. He is so smart he understood the short and long term implications of the ClimateGate emails in a few minutes and moved fast to cover his butt in case it went nuclear, which it didn’t.
      CAGW is filled with wile and guile and bile. is a marketing agent led by a true believer. I hold the Guardian and the BBC more culpable.

  36. I’m glad your meeting was civil and cutlery was only used for the food, but my opinion of a man who arranges other peoples children, at their teachers behest, into the shape of 350, photographs them and posts the images for his “mission”, will never change.

  37. It is nice to here of people from the sides being able to have a civilized conversation. Kudos to both Watts and McKibbon.
    I think the “finely tuned” comment is telling. If you believe that, and that nature is in a “delicate balance”, then it is “obvious” that if we cause any major change, the results will likely be catastrophic. Details as to the actual value of climate sensitivity or specific effects don’t matter. The science is settled and the debate is over.
    The question then is how do you try to get such a person to see the other side? I think one has to start by getting them to see that those of us who disagree with them see nature as robust and fully able to cope with a changing climate, and that climate changes all on its own even without any help from us. Then further civilized discussion becomes possible.

  38. I would say that Bill is one of those fellows who is easily daunted, while he would think me reckless. It takes all sorts to make the world. Well done Anthony. and Bill

  39. Locally there has been a softening with an effort to be more congenial.
    I fear it is just the latest tactic to deal with skeptical folks.

  40. I’d be interested in both seeing Bill McKibben post a reply here to offer his judgement on the accuracy of Anthony’s report, and then to hear about his side’s reaction to this meeting with Anthony.
    I can imagine lots of derision of the general flavor, “Bill, you’re giving credibility and attention to deniers.”
    I’d like to know about that. Bill?

  41. I read McKibben’s book “Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously” when it was first published in 2000. Much of it I truly enjoyed, but some of it was imbued with worry about the poor season of XC season he had as he authored the book and his father was dying. It was unsettling to the point that even though I would recommend it to friends, I always had a cautionary note warning them there were things to look past.
    I think he is an emotional man to the point where he becomes passionate to the point of blindness. And one cannot deny, his worrying about the fate of the planet has served him very well financially.

  42. Mazel! To the both of you … now if we can just get McKibben to engage with factual reality.

  43. The debate needs more of these meetings with the non crazies on both sided. Then eventually on the mainstream media. This is honest. This is not a show.

    • But it is a show, for the True Believers.
      “The followers of a mass movement see themselves on the march with drums beating and colors flying. They are participators in a soul-stirring drama played to a vast audience–generations gone and generations yet to come. They are made to feel they are not their real selves but actors playing a role, and their doing a ‘performance’, rather than as the real thing.”
      The True Believer
      Eric Hoffer

      • So perfect a fit – with regard to the green peas and 350s here in Seattle, protesting Shell as it preps for the coming summers activities in the arctic. BM may not be an idiot, however his actions and almost religious emotional sound bites sure make him out to be one. flies the colors, beats their drums.

    • Not certain Bill is a “gentlemen” Was Bill asked why he blew up children in a video?
      It is a fair question, and not inflammatory. The video was inflammatory and not the mark of a
      “Gentlemen” . The phrase, “The road to hell is paved with sincerity” does have an appropriate application,
      I would have liked to see this question respectfully asked.

  44. I could tell that his perspective was one of empathy as were many of his concerns. But I came away with the impression that Bill feels such things more than he understands them in a physical sense.

    Facts and logic are highly over-rated. Seriously.

    If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.

    Logic and facts disconnected from something like ‘gut feeling’ are just as dangerous as ‘gut feeling’ divorced from facts and logic.

    • Well there is a time for feelings and passion. Climate skeptics have these human qualities like anybody else. Climate change should be about science and logic though. That is all.

      • I am a skeptic because Michael Mann tried to erase the Medieval Warm Period. My knowledge of history told me he was wrong.
        Your gut feeling will alert you to when you should be wary of so called ‘Facts’ and ‘Logic’. Facts and logic will tell you when you should not trust your gut feelings. You need both.
        Part of your brain puts things in context. It isn’t articualte whereas the part of your brain that handles logic also handles speech and is therefore quite articulate. When a ‘fact’ conflicts with a person’s lived experience that should cause an alarm from the part of the brain that puts things in context. Since that part of the brain is inarticulate, the alarm takes the form of something like a gut feeling.
        Sane people have the ability to check ‘facts’ and ‘logic’ against their lived experience. Insane people lack that ability.

    • Logic and facts disconnected from something like ‘gut feeling’ are just as dangerous as ‘gut feeling’ divorced from facts and logic.

      Intuition without logical data collection and critical thinking is being a dangerous cultist. Data collection without intuition is being a book-keeper with no interest in the sums. A true scientist must use intuition to generate hypotheses. He must also use factual data + critical thinking to try to dismantle the same ideas in every possible way.
      What remains may be of some value.

  45. A good story, Anthony. I can see now some more dialogue, such as Bill McKibben in discussion with, for example the Idso Brothers at ‘co2science’, for further education. CO2 is not the boogeyman his side perceives, but is a huge benefit in higher concentrations.

  46. For Brutus is an honourable man;
    So are they all, all honourable men–
    Shakespeare saw it.
    appeasement isn’t negotiations.
    Al Gore, Ghengis Khan, Pachauri – womanizers don’t tend politics but dynastic strategies.
    can’t help but I see US as strongly naive.
    Regards – Hans

    • Thanks Hans- If civilization would once again embrace the study of Shakespeare, perhaps more of us would operate from a point closer to the profound nature of Shakespeare’s mind (with some Mencken thrown in for good measure.)

  47. Using empathy to deal with things one does not understand well, especially if one can command a large number of others who also feel deeply and do not understand, is where the phrase about paving the road to hell came from.
    McKibbens has said he wishes that Obama would simply outlaw fossil fuels. Authoritarian, simple-minded, and likely to cause unimaginable damage. I’d love to know if he actually wishes for such a thing, or if his words were mangled in some way.

    • I see that McKibben showed up here 8 minutes after I posted this question and didn’t bother to address it. If he thinks nuclear energy is a thing of the past because it is “expensive as sin” he ought to ponder how expensive poverty is.

      • k. kilty

        I see that McKibben showed up here 8 minutes after I posted this question and didn’t bother to address it. If he thinks nuclear energy is a thing of the past because it is “expensive as sin” he ought to ponder how expensive poverty is.

        But, by his own actions and the evidence of his organization’s goals and methods, Bill McKibben does seek to end poverty worldwide. By demanding the early death in unneeded squalor of billions of innocent poor people by denying them access to cheap energy, clean water, good roads and brideges and canals and water treatment, and pumps, and pipes, and buildings, and refrigerators, and clean food storage areas in well-lit homes with power, water, lights, and plumbing.

  48. Just a couple of points
    1) It doesn’t actually bother me when people call me an idiot–I’m used to it, and it’s always possible it’s true
    2) I don’t think thorium or cold fusion or anything like it is the future of power; I’d wager all things nuclear are mostly relics of the past, in no small part because they cost like sin. But the point I was trying to make is that the new fact in the world is the remarkably rapid fall in the price of renewable energy. That solar panels cost so much less than they did just a few years ago strikes me as a destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view
    3) Sierra Nevada beer is even better fresh out of the tap at the brewery than it is in a bottle
    I had a fine evening at the Masonic Hall in Chico following with a large crowd of local environmentalists, celebrating the week’s many big divestment victories. For the record, I mentioned my drink with Anthony and no one hissed or groaned. A few did chuckle.

    • I think that we are all for more renewable energy but unless one wants to destroy the world economy, we will have to rely heavily on fossil fuels for another two or more decades.

      • “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”
        I say let economics sort out our energy sources. If oil ever gets too expensive, alternatives will rise naturally, on their own merits. Government subsidy only skews the economics. subsidy doesn’t justify the alternatives or make them more viable.

    • 2) I don’t think thorium or cold fusion or anything like it is the future of power; I’d wager all things nuclear are mostly relics of the past, in no small part because they cost like sin. But the point I was trying to make is that the new fact in the world is the remarkably rapid fall in the price of renewable energy. That solar panels cost so much less than they did just a few years ago strikes me as a destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view

      Just more green wishful thinking. Nuclear “costs like sin” because of the regulatory burden placed on it from your camp coupled with a patently broken system of torts in this country. In actuality we can (and are) recertify the older, fully-depreciated nuclear fleet to get decades more life out of them. Their production cost/kWh blows away even the disingenuous numbers that the greens like to claim for their feel good projects.
      Now let’s talk about future possibilities. MSR’s –no reason you have to go to Thorium, but it would be convenient because you have a huge radioactive waste problem mining the rare earths you need for your panels and your pinwheels– would be substantially cheaper to produce than existing PWR and BWR designs. Some of the most expensive failure modes of PWR/BWR designs simply can’t happen with molten fuels, i.e. there’s no water and no Zirconia so there can be no hydrogen explosions. And these designs would be capable of load following. Really, they’re your only hope for being the wizard behind the curtain propping up your green fantasy.
      So called renewables have managed to reduce costs of some components (panels and turbines) but completely neglect the single largest expense: labor. That cost is only rising, so the notion that solar is going to save us is, well, something beginning with the letter ‘i.’ There is no magic bullet on energy storage, so these technologies have not and will not replace base load capacity for decades, if ever. And since there is no scalable, cost-effective grid storage, you’re left with running conventional plants in just about the worst maintenance and economic regime possible. You’re either spinning reserve just burning fuel but generating no return, or you’re rapidly-cycling reserve which is artificially aging your asset prematurely and driving up costs (see Germany if you’d like a modern example). NONE of that cost is included in so called renewables, which in my opinion is pure fraud.
      Finally, we haven’t even broached the obscene amount of subsidy that green projects have received for decades. And no, I’m not really interested in the OECD report that quotes just how much vehicle fuel subsidy Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. give to their citizens. I’m talking about the per kWh subsidy that each form of energy receives in the developed world and specifically in the US. It’s disgusting just how much is stolen from taxpayers so that a few well-off, upper middle to upper class socialists can feel good about themselves. If you want to put up shiny panels on your roof, that’s your business. I won’t try stop you. But stop stealing my money to subsidize your hobby.

    • Bill McKibben;
      That solar panels cost so much less than they did just a few years ago strikes me as a destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view
      If they were FREE and 100% efficient they STILL would not be able to replace fossil fuels. Most of our energy use is NOT electricity, and even accepting the flawed premise that they might be free and 100% efficient, they STILL would not be able power our electricity needs by themselves.
      More to the point, if your claim that their decreasing costs are a “destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view” is true, then there would be no need for subsidies, carbon credit schemes, or the propaganda efforts from which you and your organization earn a living. If your statement was true, then adoption would be ramping up on its own by governments and private industry alike.

    • Bill McKibben commented: ” That solar panels cost so much less than they did just a few years ago strikes me as a destabilizing factor for anyone’s world view.”
      And yet very few people can afford them nor can they replace current energy sources. Everyone should want to save our environment but never, ever, at the price of humanity. Fresh beer is tough to beat but I can only drink a couple of gallons at a sitting.

      • Well. there we have it!
        Anthony had a “one-on-one meeting with Bill McKibben” and Bill McKibben had a “drink with Anthony”.
        Civility is good; it helps us avoid fisticuffs and we can find some common ground.
        I agree with Bill that it’s possible that he is an idiot. 😉

    • Bill, I am organising a response to your sponsored attempt to get Queens University to divest themselves, along with dozens of other universities, of all investments in oil, gas and coal around the world and every company and fund that has an iota of such an investment themselves. It is my one man one comment response to a plan that would have the result, if taken to its logical conclusion, of bringing Canadian society to a halt, leaving about 30 million people to freeze in the dark. No greater catastrophe could befall this nation.
      The plan is manifestly evil, and if it is not intended to extend to its logical conclusion, patently facetious. You are training young Canadians to call an entire economic sector ‘racist’ while seeking to close the industry that provides the tax revenue to fund Alberta’s entire social welfare and school system on aboriginal lands.
      It is apparently your ‘feeling’ that health, welfare, agriculture, manufacturing and transport should cease using oil products. May the Titanic of your ambition hit the iceberg of Canadian intelligence and insight.

      • I think those that are congratulating McKibben for having a civil discussion with Anthon_ny should read Crispin’s comment above over an over until they get it. Judge McKibben not by his civil discussion that he knew full well would get reported, but by his actual actions. The lobby efforts he supports, the policies he promotes, and the negative consequences, DIRE negative consequences for millions, perhaps billions, that he ignores in pursuit of more funding for his activism. Judge him by his actions, for they alone define him.

      • I agree. Was Bill asked why he blew up children in a video?
        It is a fair question, and not inflammatory. The video was inflammatory and not the mark of a
        “Gentlemen” . The phrase, “The road to hell is paved with sincerity” does have an appropriate application,
        I would have liked to see this question respectfully but directly asked.

    • Bill M says: “I’d wager all things nuclear are mostly relics of the past…”
      I disagree. I think power from the atom is something from the future, something developed before we were supposed to have it, before our consciousness had reached what it should have been before we unlocked that door. Even now, we still can’t put it all together.

    • Bill,
      No, you’re wrong about nuclear. Nuclear is not expensive when compared to other non-carbon generating technologies (1/4th the cost or less per kWh produced).
      That, and some of the newer reactors have the benefit of being able to somewhat load follow. Intermittent generation (wind and solar) sources, will require some either very expensive grid storage or load-following coal or gas units running on standby for when variations in wind and solar occur.
      You owe it to yourself and your readership to educate yourself about electrical generation.

    • A serious question that I hope you at least ponder.
      I am sure you have considered the potential costs to Mankind if you are correct about the evils of CO2 and we take no action, but have you ever examined the costs to Man if we take the actions being encouraged by you and you are wrong?
      Reduction of cheap, available energy comes with a price on the health and welfare of many. Making energy “necessarily expensive” also means making it “necessarily harmful,” particularly to the less affluent. You might want to start by looking at what has been classified as “unnecessary deaths” in the UK in winter due to high energy costs.
      Finally, examine the cost of remediation. Since that would be after-the-fact, it requires no speculative costs that could one day prove to provide no value, or worse, exacerbate the problem, i.e., good intentions producing bad outcomes.
      You may come to the same conclusions you have today, but at least know what the penaties are should you be wrong, and understand that skeptics are not evil.

    • Mr. McKibben, though you think that nuclear is a relic of the past, perhaps you haven’t been aware that the world is quickly running out of Plutonium-238. It has to be created in specific types of nuclear power plants. Once it is gone, the world will no longer have the ability to send probes or rovers to any of the outer planets. Pu-238 is what has allowed us to have a viable space program. Please reconsider your stand about nuclear power plants, as the loss of Pu-238 production will impact all of us in many ways.

  49. A nice story about your visit with Bill McKibben, Anthony There may not be trends in the rainfall graph but natural ocean cycles are certainly visible.

  50. The dirty burning of coal in China and India has been a net positive just like it was three hundred years ago in Britain. The lack of adequate supplies of energy is far worse than the effect of particulates and metals emitted by crudely burning coal. It’s only when a society becomes rich enough and can access sufficient energy resources that are cleaner that the real pollution costs net out to be a negative. Bottom line: being poor is bad for your health regardless of how pristine your environment is and fossil fuels along with nuclear are the only games in town.

    • Tsk Tsk
      The particulates are unburned coal. Modern coal combustor don’t waste fuel like that. The rest is ash blown up by fans. It too is gone. It is not about combustion quality any more. It is about CO2.

      • The dirty burning of coal in China and India

        I’m away of what modern scrubbing technology can achieve with added cost. My point is that on balance even the dirty combustion in China and India to date has been a significant net positive, i.e. it has saved far more life hours than it has prematurely ended. I was responding to the agreement between Anthony and McKibben where they agreed it was a bad thing(tm).

      • Tsk Tsk
        I take your points as positive. What I am tired of is hearing how ‘dirty’ a fuel is. ‘Dirt’ is the result of a combination of factors resulting in poor combustion. ‘Dirt’ is not removed by filtering – it is remove by complete combustion. We don’t put bag filters on cars, we build better engines. What is happening is the anti-coal crowd are trying to tie 50 year old ‘dirty’ power stations to ‘CO2 is a form of dirt’ in the minds of the indoctrinated. has this as a policy goal, meaning they have set believing this lie as a policy goal and they seek funding to accomplish it. They won’t accomplish it be being mean, they accomplish it by being smooth, slick and populist.
        Success relies on keeping the target population (the youth, for the most part) ignorant and snuffing their natural and healthy tendency to investigate the world for themselves. Demonising people, classes of thought, outlets of information and an us-vs-them mentality.
        Classic dialectical argumentation strives to create polar opposites so there is only one ‘reasonable’ result, a point achieved by manipulating the listener around various paths to arrive at a desired conclusion. The greatest danger to such manipulator is an informed listener capable of conceptual and logical analysis. That is why targets those who are still forming those capabilities. They brag about it on their web site. Have a look, with seeing eyes.

      • A good example of classic dialectical argumentation is the following James “Integrity” Hansen’s quote:

        If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains — no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.

  51. Now you know why so much of the AGW propaganda is tuned to get an emotional response (polar bears, mass extinctions, etc.). This is how you control people who think with their hearts and not their heads.

  52. There are a few comments above that reflect on human nature which throws out science, logic, reason. Per one of these, U.S. is naive. Etc.
    I agree. When Obama calls those opposing his political agenda the ‘d’ word, he is not aiming at scientists. He is using his authority figure to cement AGW to the wavering believers and attempt to convince others to join his viewpoint. He is courting public opinion. The skeptic side must do the same if you want to win the war.

  53. “Bill also seem[s] to think that many other weather events could be attributable to the changes that humans have made on our planet. He was quite sincere about this belief and cited many examples of events he witnessed or saw the aftermath of. I could tell that his perspective was one of empathy as were many of his concerns. But I came away with the impression that Bill feels such things more than he understands them in a physical sense. This was not unexpected because Bill is a writer by nature, and his tools of the trade are to convey human experience into words. I can’t really fault him for feeling these things and expanding on them but I did note he seemed quite resistive to factual rebuttals because they didn’t assuage the feelings he harbored.”
    Our own personal (anecdotal) experiences are parochial in both time and space and–by definition–inadequately sample reality. Thus, conclusions based on our personal samples can be potentially misleading–particularly so, in the context of disparity in the life span of a typical individual compared to the time-and-space domain of “climate” and “weather extrema” records. Failure to recognize these physical limits and to guard against our natural emotional biases and the evolutionarily-imposed, heuristic hard-wiring of our brains to construct a “story,” and confirmation bias is an easy trap to fall into. We are all primed to do so! Unfortunately, it takes actual knowledge of the trap, and real self-knowledge and an act of will not to go down this garden path of self-deception.
    The best antidote I know of to correct this form of self-blindness is rational skepticism. A constant willingness to question, a willingness to so one’s best to objectively look data and not let emotion insert a veil of ignorance. A precondition for skeptical inquiry, is to know why one should be skeptic: the ever-present danger of self-delusion. Perhaps education is one effective avenue that the skeptic can reach those on the “other side” who are genuinely seeking the “truth.” Who really wants to be deluded? [even the sociopath who wants to manipulate others, typically doesn’t want to delude himself]
    Somewhat tangential, but apropos of one’s susceptibility to genuinely feeling “This must be so,” is captured by one of my favorite article titles: “The Moon and Mental Illness: A Failure to Confirm the Transylvania Effect”

  54. M Simon…. yes plants seem to do well, it’s just the rest of us who may well struggle.

    • I dunno. Not enough plant food is a problem for ALL life. As I understand it there is no chance under current conditions of reaching a condition of too much plant food.

    • With a 1 degree C temperature rise in the next 100 years, most or all of it of it natural anyway. Yeah right !!!
      Not to mention that it may go the other way too. Then we may well struggle, depending on how steep the descent.
      At least this sorry episode has taught us that atmospheric CO2 levels will not help and we will need other solutions.

    • We MAY struggle with increased CO2 in youropinion, but we know for a fact that many WILL struggle if energy is made more expensive. You are advocating for a deliberate harm to others (clearly you can afford more expensive energy) to avoid a speculative inconvenience to you.

  55. From the picture I see that his thinning hair (undoubtedly correlated with a rise in CO2) appears to be wind blown. I believe that is perhaps due to his long bike ride from the East Coast.

  56. One of the most encouraging and admirable posts I’ve read on the tortured subject of Climate in a very long time. It concretely demonstrates why so many consider your blog an indispensable resource.
    You present a glimpse of what is possible, a model of a way forward.
    Well done.

  57. Call me cynical, but maybe Bill read the LaCour paper, and had an epiphany that he could talk Anthony into a complete change of outlook.
    Oops. The LaCour paper is bumf too, you say?

  58. An interesting account, and one that helps confirm my thoughts on the basic difference between those worried about climate change and those who are not.
    Those like Mr. Mc Kibben tend to view the climate and the planetary ecology as stable. They use terms like “finely tuned” or “balance of nature”, while accepting change over long time periods, they assume incredible stability over mere centuries. As this is the perceived natural order, any short term interruption or change is therefore (quite logically) “unnatural” and therefore caused by man.
    Those on the sceptic side tend to view the climate as naturally chaotic and quite capable of rapid change without any action by man. Therefore to the sceptic, the mild warming of the 20th Century is (quite logically) nothing out of the ordinary.
    This is illustrated by the conversation;
    “Worrier: “The climate is changing! The climate is changing!”
    Sceptic: “Yes it is. What’s you point?”
    As the two positions are logically derived from a fundamental idea about the natural rate of change then it’s inevitable that each side thinks the other is illogical or ignoring the evidence. Rather than facts being ignored, they are simply being interpreted differently. A persons position on the Worrier/Sceptic scale is almost entirely derived from their answer to the question “How fast can the temperature change naturally?”. The lower the figure, the more worried the person is.
    There may be some ego involved, but it isn’t required. Mankind has long tried to and believed he could control the forces of nature. We prayed to a multitude of Gods and supported a priestly class who vowed that the Gods listened to them and would show mercy/favour/whatever, bringing the good rains or ending the rain. The Gods controlled the weather, the priests had the ear of the Gods and so the tribe, by appeasing the Gods, controlled the weather. Rather than being at the mercy of forces beyond his comprehension or power, man was in control.
    This attitude holds true for the worrier as well. If nature and climate are chaotic and large changes are the norm, then man is at the mercy of vast impersonal forces far beyond his control. However, if the natural world is stable then all deviations are the result of the actions of man and can be reversed by appropriate actions. IOW, it allows the belief that man is not at the mercy of the natural world, but actually controls it. This idea of control is inherent in the belief system of the worrier (how often have we heard about stopping climate change?)
    The bottom line is that most of the differences in outlook between the worrier and the sceptic can be traced to their basic belief about the natural rate of change of the climate system.

  59. Anthony, I cheer on you and McKibben for doing the good and civil thing. Perhaps this small step can help others make steps toward civility.
    I did wonder how long it would be before the Texas floods would be added to the repertoire of those listing the consequences of CAGW. Living here in Dallas-Fort Worth I was curious about our flood history and my dear wife found these two enlightening webpages.
    The first webpage is interactive showing the previous high flood marks in Dallas and in Forts Worth (separately) compared to the downtown levies.
    Clearly the 1908 flood stands head and shoulders above all others in Dallas (including this years, though it is not illustrated.) Downtown Fort Worth did not flood this year as clearly it has in 1922, 1949, and 1989.
    If we just take the pre-1950 floods, (those before the IPCC says CAGW began) this flood is within the natural variation presently known.
    The second webpage is the Army Corps of Engineer “Dallas Floodway Timeline”.
    Among the interesting tidbits of all the various horrific floods (see the pictures and descriptions) is that the downtown Dallas levy was built in response to the 1908 flood to withstand an “800-year flood”. Since the 1908 flood would barely be held by today’s levies we can assume that 1908 was at least a 500-year flood. Again, nothing like it has been seen since so everything afterward, including this year, falls within natural variation.
    Bottom line — There is no reason to believe that this year’s floods as they occurred in Dallas-Fort Worth are anything out of the ordinary. I suspect the same could be said for all other areas around Texas.

    • I called what happened the Texas Pineapple Express. I watched all those fronts live on local radar approach and pass either over or around me like a cars on a train. They all blew in from southwest to northeast on fronts that occasionally stretched to Ohio. It happens predictably when there are large warm areas in the Pacific. The other way our droughts in south and central Texas get cured is rain bands from hurricanes. There haven’t been any of those in quite some time now. Probably a decade since any stretched a hundred miles inland to Austin.

  60. A little bit tangential but, since it came up, is the plastic soup problem real or another piece of phony environmental BS? Has anyone seen it?
    Bill may be surprised to know that many posters on here are actual real environmentalists and, since I spend most of my life developing clean processes for chemical manufacturing, I number myself in that category, not to mention my weekends and vacations appreciating nature.
    Cleaning up the plastic soup is something I could get behind, but I can’t even be bothered to Google it anymore, given the tsunami of lies that will most likely fly from my screen

    • I take it that you mean the “plastic sea” out in the middle of the North Pacific. I recall reading a MSM article about a ship that went on a cruise to take data and samples out in that sea. Perhaps it was as recent as last summer, I do not recall. The ship had the usual collection of researchers on one hand, and environmentalists looking for a scary story on the other. When the ship got on station, it was revealed that the plastic particles were were all in the sub-millimeter to micron range, all well dispersed through the water column. Sample collection involved the collection of very large water samples and careful filtering. The plastic was obviously well on it’s way to being degraded back to infinity. The enviros were shocked and amazed at the reality. The propaganda they studied had led them to believe the “plastic sea” was a large scale floating waste dump so thick a ship could barely sail through. The enviros were sore disappointed that there were no photo-ops, and no story of the apocalypse to bring home.
      It can not help but to remind one of a notorious cruise to Antarctica to observe the destruction of the ice sheets there. The ship got trapped in sea ice instead, and needed much maritime aid to escape. In a rarely seen modern day magic trick, the “researchers” who largely caused the crisis, were magically transformed into “tourists” who had nothing to do with it.

      • Right Tony, that’s what I was talking about. There was an article on WUWT a few years back where it was called “plastic soup” and that stuck in my memory. Thanks for the update.
        Maybe Mr. McKibben could give a brief update on what he thinks the status of this issue is right now from his perspective.
        I would also be interested in hearing how one brain could hold two hugely dissonant thoughts at the same time, namely:
        1) 350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere is a worthy goal to aim for
        2) 402 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere causes massive flooding in Texas
        I suspect that the answer is that Mr. McKibben doesn’t believe either.

  61. It is somewhat encouraging to see that Bill McKibbon is still capable of a civil and even friendly chat over a beer with someone of opposing views.
    Am I extrapolating or is it conceivable that when ‘the pause’ becomes ‘the downturn’ over the nex 5 – 10 years that Bill will drop his head in his hands and, shivering with self scahdernfreud, admit that he got it horribly wrong, that he projected the shortcomings and faults of western society to some sort of satanic curse that would destroy the planet, and ring Anthony up and say “I am so sorry, you were right, I let my emotions guide me. BTW, I might pop over to your way, you good for a beer again?”
    I think I am extrapolating but hope I am not. This whole ‘debate’ is becoming pretty tedious, to be frank. Surely there are more pressing matters we could focus our God given intelligence upon.

  62. Very refreshing Anthony & Bill. If only everyone could be so respectful.
    Kudos to you both.

  63. A good read. And n the interest of further civility, perhaps “weepy” could be added to the moderation trigger list. I cringe whenever I see it.

  64. `We both agreed that coal use especially in China and India where there are not significant environmental controls is creating harm for the environment and the people who live there.`
    The above is only true for PR China. India, which produces one a fifth of China´s CO2 emissions has most of its coal power plans stalled in courts because of Green groups quoting Indian environmental laws.
    If numbers really count here @WUWT this should be valid also for Asian data,

  65. On my view, McKibben is just another twisted, emaciated fanatic projecting his self-loathing on the whole of humanity.
    How, exactly, he earned my “respect”? What did he do but preaching pure evil?
    Some of the commenters here seem to be obsessed with asking for “respect.” The more you ask for it, the less you get. Respect must be earned.

    • Solution, meet problem.
      If you call your opponent evil you destroy the possibility of a peaceful resolution. It is rarely justified.

        • Nonsense. “Evil” is a religious/philosophical concept, not a defined and measurable property. If he’s your idea of evil, well… nevermind.
          The man is wrong. He may use nonscientific argument and tactics. But so are you. He doesn’t seem motivated by evil. He believes he is doing good. He just needs to be educated. Maybe his reaching out is a sign that his mind is set to open. Mr. Watts may have planted the seed.
          What is your goal? You won’t change a single person’s mind by calling them evil or idiotic.

      • P.S. Not to mention the fact that McKibben himself calls all skeptics (and not only skeptics — all who don’t share his religion) evil by default.
        Who and what are you talking about? Think before posting.

        • Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try that next time.
          I believe condescension was the favored rhetorical style of Feynman. People respond well to it.

      • Evil is, IMV, not merely an abstract concept. Thomas Jefferson said “Government is a necessary evil.” Jefferson was alluding to power. Not the power of individual liberty, but group power over OTHERS, in most any form,, religious, corporate, or Government. In individuals this evil is expressed in theft, assaults, rape, murder, etc.
        Was Bill asked why he blew up children in a video?
        It is a fair question, and not inflammatory. The video was inflammatory and not the mark of a
        “Gentlemen” . The phrase, “The road to hell is paved with sincerity” does have an appropriate application,
        I would have liked to see this question respectfully but directly asked, perhaps at he end of the conversation, as it is always best to understand those who wish to blow you up, but still it should have been asked.

        • I don’t really know what to call it, without looking in a dictionary. I just know it’s not definable to a standard, measurable or observable… all of those things scientists love…

  66. Good stuff, laughing out loud!
    Anthony, you are a man of great discipline and charity.

  67. “He specifically spoke of the recent flooding in Texas calling it an “unnatural outlier”, ”
    Here in Texas, we call that ‘weather’.
    And a mixed blessing; havoc was caused and many people impacted but the land is green and our lakes are now full.

  68. This really is a morality play that has nothing to do with “science”. The priests of the enviro-left claim the moral high ground by fiat simply because they “care” more than you do (Those were real tears!). Just ask them. And there you are, driven back on your heels, to answer their charge as to “why” it is that you don’t. You’ve already lost a fight that you didn’t even know you were in. It’s the “disney-fication” of reality where 2-dimensional photos of fuzzy bears and foreboding smokestacks win the day. “Dirty” coal is bad because the producers are driven by greed and profit; not “care”. In this world, pollution isn’t the by-product of producing electricity it’s the whole point. So, now the stage is set. With the velvet glove of “care” fitted firmly to the iron fist of government force, the EPA will smite the evil, cartoon villains of pollution. Just wait to you get the bill.

  69. I can’t go along with this. I used to live in Vermont and I have seen first hand the nutty things Bill has done and said because he thinks that the weather has changed in his backyard. That may not make him an idiot, but sure the heck doesn’t make him smart. He once lead a discussion of global warming that started with the congregation singing “Amazing Grace” and then no discussion or questions about the science was allowed, I strongly suspect because Bill quite clearly doesn’t know any of the science. But he sure believes in the church of global warming.
    He once help organize an art show outside side of The Helen Day Art Center in Stowe Vt, where children and adults too, drew pictures and wrote poems to mother earth telling “her” how sorry they were for what was being done to “her.” Most everything the that people who drew these pictures and wrote the poems, thought was being done to “mother” were in fact not happening. I am sorry, but that event was an idiotic event. Now, one doesn’t have to be an idiot to do idiotic things, but if one constantly does idiotic things one very well might be an idiot. At the very least doing such crazy things doesn’t lead one to conclude that the person doing them is smart.

    • Do you think it was the cold winters in VT that makes for this bizarre behavior? Or was it smoke inhalation from the wood stoves?

      • I remember once around 2005-7 Bill planned a big global warming event on the Stowe bike path for a day in May or maybe late April It was abnormally cold then, and we had a big snow storm. The event went on as if there was nothing odd about holding a global warming event in May with 2 ft of snow. Naturally they just said global warming causes cold. But Bill built his entire career out of saying it was warmer in his backyard than it was in the 1970s. If you don’t want be thought of as an idiot then try not to do or say idiotic things. Claiming that warmth causes cold without any proof sounds totally idiotic. If you want to talk about a scientific subject, then learn the science, If you know the science then don’t talk about just about the facts that support your belief, talk about the facts that don’t support it. Anything thing else makes you sound like an idiot. I have yet to see one fact that makes me believe that Bill is not an idiot. The fact that his writing ability got him a job at Middlebury College does nothing at all to make me think he isn’t an idiot. Writing skill is mainly the ability to turn a phrase it has nothing at all to do with intelligence. There are far too many total morons who write for The New York Times, they can all turn phrases, but they rarely can report the truth, or report a truly in depth article, using a lot of words is not the same as being in depth.

  70. Thank you both!
    There is always hope……
    Hope doesn’t happen without communication.

  71. “catastrophic rise problematic ”
    My speech to text software makes these sorts of errors too.
    Should this have been “catastrophic or as problematic”?

  72. Anthony, many thanks for your account of the meeting. Well written, well lived, well done all ’round.

  73. “In broadcasting we never allow for ‘dead air'” The words “dead air” echoed in my mind a few times when I read them – if you are ever guilty of dead air you will have at least 3-4 people let you know immediately by popping in the booth and saying “dead air”, even if they heard someone else say it to you milliseconds before…

  74. I personally would like to believe there is ‘good’ in everybody – sometimes buried under cynical or self-serving intentions, etc – but there nonetheless. However, when people such as Bill, on the opposite side, offer some form of dialogue – I naturally become suspicious. I don’t want to knock his efforts, but I am still suspicious.
    Clearly, this guy is more of an emotive promotor of the cause, rather than an active contributor (in the scientific analysis/questioning kind of manner). Just thinking back to the exploding rubbish makes you remember the highly active (and presumably well funded) socio-political ‘moulding’ intentions of this type of organisation and the alarmist violent rubbish it presented.
    The primary issue here is obviously his ‘feelings’ and ‘beliefs’ versus the skeptic stance based on the ‘science’ appraisal (or in fact the lack of science!). I don’t really care how bad it looks to the greens that I don’t believe their propaganda – or their precautionary requirements. Without the necessary correct and reasonably well proven science to back up their beliefs – they are nothing more than a semi-religious cult.
    It is no different to TV adverts. How many folk buy this or that due to a TV advert? We know many do! What type of person takes advertising on trust? But here’s the real point – What kind of person makes a TV advert using knowingly false information? Do you blame the idiot who ends up ‘trusting’ the advert – or the fraudulent maker of the advert – or indeed, both? See – I blame the advert maker, because if he/she is using that position to falsely advance his/her position (or sales, whatever) and take advantage of ‘less able’ folk – that is really no different than mugging an elderly person in the street and demonstrates a lack of ethical responsibility!
    McKibbens undoubted niceness and emotive position is no justification for false presentation and the ‘cult’ intimidation. So, yeah, he probably is a nice guy – but until he educates himself (scientifically, I mean) to properly question and challenge the stuff he is ‘told’, then he is probably being ‘used’ just the same as the people the propaganda aims to reach! Sad, really.

  75. If McKibbon operates on a empathy scale maybe someone should explain to him what will happen if or when the crazy attempts to lower anthropogenic CO2 to pre 1990 levels takes effect.
    As an economist I know attempting the above will make the great depression seem like a love fest.
    30% unemployed , not as much as one would think maybe, but still people starved.
    If a government wants to depress an economy, just do what the greens and McKibbon want us to do. Its almost like a manual of how to kill an economy. Will kill people too, starting from the poorest and working its way up.

    • If a government wants to depress an economy, just do what the greens and McKibbon want us to do.

      Think about that for a second. Why are these things happening?

    • Which great depression are you speaking of? The one in 1929, or the one we’re in currently, masked by the only-game-in-town stock market bubble?

  76. More such meetings would be a good thing. A frenetic agitator and a calm thinker sitting down together is remarkable. Both are highly motivated and influential people within their own worlds, and for them to try to find common ground strikes me as a healthy development. Well done to them both.
    I am particularly impressed by Bill McKibben taking the initiative to suggest the meeting. He has gone up in my estimation.
    Some good comments in the discussion, especially those by ‘Crispin in Waterloo’ who is working to reduce or prevent some further harm being caused by the

    • Worth a read – Quote from the original “Beer Summit”:
      “Obama said last week the episode could be a “teachable moment” on improving relations between police and minority communities.”
      I sure hope this is a bad analogy, and commend Anthony and Mr. McKibben for their heartfelt efforts.

  77. Anthony…well done and thanks for some insight into Bill’s thinking. Your civility and willingness to hear both sides is one of the main strengths of WUWT. When both sides can talk like gentlemen there’s still hope for us all. It would be great if you could organise similar meetings with other CAGW promoters.

  78. Bill needs to learn something about hydrology before he call the texas floods a natural outlier. The big storm memorial weekend was only about 7 inch plus one hour storm event. This is about the design 10 yr one hour event for this area. This is normally used for design of smaller drainage areas. Like the channels that run though your development. Something like a major watershed ….ie the blanco river. The design event would be the 100 yr 24 hour event or about 23 plus inches of rain. The 2015 event didn’t even come close to that. I remember in 2011 medina county had a 12 inch one hour event. Although flooding occurred not as bad as this 2015 event.
    The reason it had been bone dry on the 2011 and most of the water will infiltrate into the ground. The 2015 event the ground was saturated by a 3 week series of small rainfalls. So almost all the 2015 event ended as runoff. There’s nothing unnatural that occurred this year. I guess he’s reading too much MSM

  79. McKibben clearly demonstrates a known fact (which he dislikes) you cannot argue with a belief, it doesn’t need acres of acrimony to establish that simple reality, McKibben will never cross that line so why bother?
    You either believe or you do not believe but since when has science in finality been about belief? You might believe something is true but if you have an integrity or self respect then you do the research before you shout your mouth off about your beliefs otherwise you arrive when the greens are now having shouted from the roof for 30 years it is now almost impossible for them to row back and acknowledge their naïve simplistic relationship with reality. As if just 0.039% of anything would cause runaway climate change even if doubled you still wouldn’t know it existed unless you were determined to find it and then it becomes just something else to get obsessive about, bizarre.

  80. If there is, and continues to be, a dialogue and discussion between representatives of both sides of an argument, the next stage, following scientific method, is for both sides to agree on a proposed experiment/data gathering exercise/other activity which would help to define the differences between their positions, and prove or disprove one or the other (or both!)
    This is the major aspect of scientific knowledge gathering which has been lost in the current fighting. People write papers to bolster the arguments of one side, and others produce ‘rebuttals’ to those papers. NO ONE seems to be saying:
    “OK. You think THIS is the case, and I think that THAT is. Why don’t we do this test to see who is right?”

    • Good idea. All we need is a way to test whether CO2 from burning fossil fuels causes any measurable change in the Earth’s climate (assuming there is such a thing). So far, I haven’t heard of one. If no one can contrive such a test, we must conclude that it’s not a scientific question at all—more like, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” Which of course fits right in with the messianic fervor of the ‘climate activists’ like Mr. McKibben. Pretending it’s a question of science keeps the skeptics (or heretics) busy and out of the press while you pursue insane ideas like destroying the economies of the civilized world.
      /Mr Lynn

  81. This is sad. In an ordinary world, before the whole manmade climate nonsense became “the science”, most of us would find it rather easy to be friends with someone like McKibben, even though he seems to confuse emotions with actual thought. The faux climate issue has undoubtedly divided people, even amongst family and friends. It has been said many times, but bears repeating that this is about rational thought versus emotional Belief based on a monstrous lie. Nothing can bridge that gap. The only hope is to defeat the lie.

  82. Sounds like you guys had a great chat. Thanks to Bill for organising and Anthony for accepting.

  83. I have taken several coursed from, including “The Physics of History.” While the course was most informative, I was very annoyed because the professor proceeded to all-too-obviously contradict the science he was presenting in lectures eleven and twelve by fear-mongering about global warming. I wrote to them about it, and received the reply that their “research department” would look into it.
    The course very clearly documented the natural variability of our climate and the ways in which that variability had been determined. Credit to the professor for clearly stating that our earth is stormier during the cold periods than it is during the warm periods. For those of us who recall the 1970’s fear mongering about the next ice age coming, it would be instructive to read the article on our weather in the December 1977 edition of National Geographic. That description could apply almost verbatim to the weather we have had over the past year. Of course global cooling was given as a possible explanation.
    By the way, my observation (not being in any way a meteorologist) is that the course offered on meteorology is excellent. (Professor Robert G. Fovell, UCal L.A.) However, it makes me happy that I never had any desire to become a meteorologist!

  84. @L. E. Joiner

    Good idea. All we need is a way to test whether CO2 from burning fossil fuels causes any measurable change in the Earth’s climate (assuming there is such a thing). So far, I haven’t heard of one…

    There could be many possible tests, considering various aspects of the AGW theory. Looking for the tropospheric hot-spot could be one such.
    Invariably, the way science progresses is by looking at tests of theories, considering possible predictions and then looking to see if they are there. The classic was the Eddington 1919 solar eclipse test of the sun bending light which verified Einstein’s theory. Why don’t we see ANY of these?
    Climate Change theory proposed a hypothesis, then jumped straight to assuming that it was true, without any confirmatory evidence. Surely Bill McKibben would be happy to work with developing such a series of tests…?

    • I suspect Bill McKibben would not object to such tests, because they would be irrelevant to his movement. It’s not really about the science, as far as he’s concerned. See my response to PiperPaul below. /Mr L

    • Dodgy Geezer
      June 7, 2015 at 6:53 am
      @L. E. Joiner
      Invariably, the way science progresses is by looking at tests of theories, considering possible predictions and then looking to see if they are there. The classic was the Eddington 1919 solar eclipse test of the sun bending light which verified Einstein’s theory. Why don’t we see ANY of these?
      I think I’m with you on what you’re saying but to follow the science you have to be careful with the words.
      Eddington’s observations did not verify Einsteins theory – it provided further supporting evidence strengthening the theory. It could still be wrong. You have to keep an open mind.
      Steve T

  85. Charlie June 6, 2015 at 6:25 pm
    The debate needs more of these meetings with the non crazies on both sided. Then eventually on the mainstream media. This is honest. This is not a show.

    PiperPaul June 6, 2015 at 7:43 pm
    But it is a show, for the True Believers.
    “The followers of a mass movement see themselves on the march with drums beating and colors flying. They are participators in a soul-stirring drama played to a vast audience–generations gone and generations yet to come. They are made to feel they are not their real selves but actors playing a role, and their doing a ‘performance’, rather than as the real thing.”
    The True Believer
    Eric Hoffer

    Last year I heard from an old friend who has always been an inveterate supporter of ’causes’. Her signature read:

    My activism at this point is centered on divestment of institutions from fossil fuels, and on stopping the pipelines (Keystone XL and the Northeast Pipeline), because solving the climate crisis is literally the sine qua non. I’m working with — And notice: so far, over 95,000 people have signed Credo’s pledge of civil disobedience alone (there are other pledges) in connection with the pipeline.. Finally, finally, this movement is taking off. Better late than never!
    I urge all to attend the NYC climate march on Sept. 21. . .

    Bill McKibben is a Pied Piper leading thousands of True Believers on an emotional and vaguely ideological quest—Lenin called them ‘Useful Idiots’. If this were an isolated movement it might be laughable, but at this point it has reached the highest levels of government, academic, and the media, and poses a serious threat to the viability of our civilization—which relies for the health and well-being of its citizens on cheap and plentiful energy.
    We have to assume that Mr. McKibben is fully aware of the danger he and his followers pose, and perhaps he revels in it, or in the celebrity leading a movement brings. I suspect he can have a pleasant meeting with a prominent ‘climate skeptic’ because he operates on an ideological level where the facts are irrelevant. He just has to keep piping about the “climate crisis,” and his enthusiastic followers will march blindly on, “with drums beating and colors flying.”
    /Mr Lynn

    • I was eagerly awaiting Mr. McKibbon’s response, which I hoped would show his level of sincerity and ideally provide some reaction to the comments that had been posted.
      I was disappointed (but not surprised) by his subsequent input which could have been written without reading any of the previous comments! Our host showed a lot of empathy and searched for common ground. His response indicated to me that the experience was not the least bit significant to him.
      I am reminded of Paul Nurse’s acceptance of a proposal for dialogue between Lord Lawson and the Royal society which in fact turned out to be an offer to “educate” the Lord to the Society’s rigid beliefs. (Maybe Bill thought he’d just give it the “old college try” to educate our host.)
      I haven’t yet figured out what his “game” is; but I’m sure there is a “game”. Remember, HE suggested the meeting.

  86. It is difficult for most of us to understand how Bill Mckibben thinks mankind is causing the ” unnatural outlier” climate problems in TEXAS. According to NOAA, the average annual temperature for Texas 1895-2014 is 64.7 F . The annual temperature in 2013 was 65.1 F and last year 2014 it was 64.9 F . The 1895 -2014 trend is + 0.1F/decade and since 1998 the trend is -0.3/decade. There is cyclic pattern in the Texas climate with cooler weather 1895-1920 , warmer weather 1920-1957 , cooler weather 1957-1994 and warmer again 1994 -2012. Texas has been going through a warm phase since 1994, and this has very little to do with man. There is absolutely nothing “unnaturally outlier” about the Texas climate, Bill. It is quite natural.
    Bill don’t just say what you think but do just some homework first before blaming every climate event on man. You are unjustifiably alarming people all over America. Thank goodness we have WUWT to tell the people the real facts.

    • I have to show some respect to someone who wants to sit down with someone who disagrees with you but when you lead an organization and make public pronouncements, you are being extremely disrespectful of your audience if you can’t be bothered to ensure you are speaking the truth to them. I agree with you Herkimer, I can’t respect anyone who is too lazy to do even a modicum of fact checking.
      If you don’t care if you are indoctrinating people with facts or disinformation, you are disrespecting people and treating them as tools for your own larger purpose. That someone could be so polite on the one hand but so disrespectful on the other hand speaks volumes about the mind of an environmental leader.

  87. ” he perceives things more on a feeling or emotional level and translates that into words and actions.”
    That is so typical of liberals. When they act on their emotions as elected officials they cause irreparable harm to the economy (massive government debt, massive government nannystateism, and policies rammed down our throats.)

    • No, friend. It is so typical of HUMANS. Each and every one of us, without exception. An excellent book about how our minds work is “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Kahneman, who won a Nobel Prize for his life’s work on the issue. Not a peace prize. A real one.

      • Mr McKIbbon is 100% System 1. (System 2 – reasoned thinking – requires effort.) 😉
        Apologies to those who have not read Kahneman’s fine book.)

  88. Anthony’s perception that Bill is more influenced by how he feels about GW and not influenced much by rational argument are very likely right on the money. The Thinking or Feeling preference is a basic component of temperament and is split about 50/50 in the population. Those with the Thinking preference are more likely to use rational thought and logic in formation of their beliefs and everything they do in life. Those with the Feeling preference form their beliefs based on what they feel about something. A person with a strong Feeling preference cannot be reached with logic and a rational argument. A different feeling based approach has to be used.

  89. I find myself worrying that Anthony is being far too kind to Bill McKibben.
    It’s all very well for people to make decisions based on feelings and intuitions rather than the facts, if that’s what they want. Even I have done that in the past. And I would never want to stop anyone else doing it, subject to one proviso. That is, that they themselves are the only ones harmed if the decision turns out to have been a bad one.
    The issue here is that Bill McKibben is promoting policies that have already harmed many millions of people – including me. And yet, he doesn’t seem to be even interested in examining the possibility that those policies have been based on, at best, misinterpretations of the facts, and at worst, lies.
    If you were on trial for murder, would you want someone on the jury who didn’t bother to listen to the facts of the case? Would you want someone who just said to himself something like, “His eyes are too close together. So he must be guilty?”
    And this isn’t just a murder case. It isn’t just about whether one individual goes to the electric chair (or whatever other barbarous means you Yanks use these days). It’s the future of human civilization that’s at stake. For those of us who don’t believe the CAGW cant, Bill McKibben and his ilk want to destroy human civilization for the sake of nothing but a pack of lies. And for me at least, however well he can converse, and whatever his opinion of or capacity for craft beer, such an agenda cannot be forgiven.
    There’s another problem too; the problem of hypocrisy. Did Bill McKibben fly from his home in Vermont to California? Did he use a car to get from the airport to Chico? Bill McKibben wants to deny to us – to all of us – the very same conveniences that he takes for granted.
    Hypocrisy is very typical of collectivists. They don’t understand individual responsibility, so they don’t feel any shame for how they behave. But again, for me, hypocrisy is something that cannot be forgiven.

    • No need to “apologize” ( rant tag ) for your post – a very worthy, on point reply.

  90. Face-to-face casual communication is invaluable between people with very different fundamental views when it is in a private setting like a pub.
    It humanizes both.

  91. “We both agreed that coal use especially in China and India where there are not significant environmental controls is creating harm for the environment and the people who live there”
    Average life span in Germany is 80.89 years
    Average life span in Shanghai and Beijing is 80 years. In the Rural areas less.

  92. @John Whitman
    …when it is in a private setting like a pub.
    You have a private pub?!

    • Dodgy Geezer on June 7, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Dodgy Geezer,
      My wife and I sure do have one.
      We call it the Sunset Bar. It is at our Lakehouse which faces west over an Adirondack lake. We are open for every summer sunset. Come on over.

  93. The chances of him returning the courtesy you have publicly given him is slim to none.

  94. Glad to see dialog between camps, however, the new TPP and another trade deals (Obamatrade) are slated to include climate change provisions according to many sources including the Brooking Institute.
    Recently and at the time of this (Anthony’s) meeting, a CEO of a large offshore wind concern invited an individual who has been (successfully), a very serious threat to their efforts out to lunch and a glass of wine out of the blue. Before the CEO left he made a very troubling remark to her. Somethings up.

  95. It can all be summed up in the picture. Anthony is the one smiling. Anthony bases his ideas in facts and analysis, Bill in feelings. Of course someone like Bill who does not understand something might be afraid of anything he reads. And it is my observation that journalists are easily led and very cynical.
    No surprise then that the man confident in knowledge would be the one smiling.
    I do appreciate the civility. But it is important to point out that there should be no respect for someone who puts feelings over reason in matters of great political gravity.

    • Jeff you have just described the problem of our world culture of politics. The “left” feels a certain way mostly based on what they want. The “right” wants to see actual facts based on past experience or observations. This will only change when major events force the “feelers” to accept reality tho grudgingly and always hoping for a return of the days where just making it up as they go returns. Reality can be a buzz kill.
      Thanks Anthony for this revealing interview.

  96. Reblogged this on Aussiedlerbetreuung und Behinderten – Fragen and commented:
    „Das Urteil aus dem ISTGH (Internationaler Strafgerichtshof) Den Haag vom 03.02.2012 bestätigt die Zuständigkeit des Deutschen Reichs und nicht die Zuständigkeit der “Bundesrepublik Deutschland“ mit ihrer Finanzagentur GmbH, (HRB 51411), wobei die vermeintlichen “BRD–Ämter”, Behörden, Dienststellen, “Gerichte” und Verwaltungen u.a . bei mit eigenen Umsatzsteuernummern gelistet sind.
    Urteil des BverfGE vom 25.07.2012 (-2 BvF 3/11 -2 BvR 2670/11 -2 BvE 9/11):
    Nach Offenkundigkeit dürfen Gesetze von nicht staatlichen BRD-GmbH Ausnahme– und Sondergerichten (vgl. § 15 GVG) die auf altem Nazigesetz fußen und somit gegen das gültige Besatzungsrecht, gegen die Völker – und Menschenrechte verstoßen, überhaupt keine legitime Anwendung finden.
    Durch Verfassungswidrigkeit des Wahlgesetzes ist seit 1956 kein verfassungsgebenden Gesetzgeber am Werk. Damit sind alle BRD-Forderungen eine private Forderung.
    Verstehen Sie das bitte! Alle BRD-Forderungen (Steuern jeglicher Art, GEZ-Gebühren usw. usf. sind private Forderungen, haben also keinerlei hoheitsrechtliche Rechtsgrundlage und müssen demnach auch nicht bezahlt werden. …………………….“

    Glück, Auf, meine Heimat!

  97. Anthony, this article makes me wonder if your earlier meeting with Tamsin Edwards and others with the goal
    Of being more civil to each other helped in any way?

  98. The ethics of the persons inputting data into a computer program dictates the results, plain and simple. Keeping your job and putting food on the table is a large incentive for most people to do what is expected to keep the status quo. For the AGW industry, to take the ethical path would probably throw the world economy into turmoil. Millions would be on the street, sucking up social benefits while they retrain to actually produce something beneficial for humankind.

  99. My problem with people like Bill McKibben is that they talk about eliminating fossil fuels but never really address the issue of energy use. I live in Canada. Solar panels and wind turbines won’t solve my energy needs. Forget the science and the politics. Tell me how you will reduce my fossil fuel footprint while still meeting my energy needs. And no unicorns. Then I’ll give up my propane, diesel and gasoline.

    • In fairness Anthony mentioned they did talk about Thorium which really would allow us to reduce carbon and even expand our energy usage. Bus as Bill is naïve on climate he’s also probably naïve on the forces behind climate alarmism.
      The Alarmists need a big carbon bogeyman to justify their huge economy destroying movement. This they probably don’t want to see a Thorium solution anytime soon.
      Again and again the Statists prove that above all they hate human success and progress.

    • Some eco-activists want you to starve in the dark. Check the editorial in the inaugural issue of The Ecologist magazine – there are other examples, including some employees of the US government.

  100. Good going Anthony W and Bill M. Debate is necessary.
    However, This CAGW issue has proved to be a political issue, not environmental. Bill M. in a self deprecating bit of humor says he may well be an idiot. (He has a good sense of humor.) at this stage anyone touting the falsified CAGW theories has become a “useful idiot” in the Marxist sense.
    Does Bill M actually think a huge new tax on “carbon” will limit the rise in Earth’s temperature to “less than 2C”? Or will it just redistribute wealth?

    • That is the key question and it needs to be asked repeatedly because the extent of information distortion by so many advocates and policy leaders must indicate a revenue push is the next step. They would not go to this extreme in wrecking science and ignoring basic fact checking for just mere regulatory push. They smell big money and it drives the madness.

  101. I have always thought Bill to be a “nice guy” My beef with him and many of the others is they will reference weather events as if they have no knowledge of what actually happened before, or worse yet, they do, but believe their cause is mighty, they will not acknowledge it in the effort to sway people for one, and satisfy those who wish to push this issue. He expressed amazement at your ability to this without funding. No wonder, for what he is doing has to have someone to fund it, since our side of the debate is driven by the search for the truth and most on our side do not have blinders on
    But it does not surprise me at all at his nature as I got that impression too. I think the same about Katherine Hayhoe also, that this is a nice person, ( I see the good in alot of the people I am odds with, though I doubt they feel that way about me. I dont know if any of them have been called up by their mother asking why people hate you so much..she reads the blogs) but again, am amazed at their statements, or when something happens opposite of their known position, the failure to acknowledge, or worse yet, make up excuses or spin it so its right

    • Hey Joe, I’m glad to see you here. I wanted to say a couple things about your verbal summary on Weather Bell. I’m going to be critical, but it’s intended constructively. If I thought you were a mutt, I wouldn’t bother. On the contrary, I am highly impressed, but something is bugging me.
      The last couple Saturdays have been mostly AGW rants. Now look, here I am on WUWT. I’m an AGW non-believer too. And I like it when you get into the subject on Saturdays. But lately, the balance has been too much AGW, too little weather. Makes it hard for me to recommend you to friends who’d be a lot more receptive to that message of yours if it was accompanied by more of (what I think, anyway) are some of the best weather forecasts EVER.
      In short: More weather! You’re a damn good forecaster. Show us more! I live in Seattle, and have friends in central Oregon and the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in California. You made some really good calls a couple months ago. Keep up that stuff, huh?
      Past that, you get a little jargon-heavy at times. I’m a former journalist, and standard practice is to define every acronym on first use. Yep, you know what “the European” is in your sleep. But my friends don’t. And so on. You might even think of having a free acronym glossary on your site, and referring to it.
      Finally, and this is much more a wish than a criticism. If you could run your recording through a voice-to-text program and post the words — and charts — out there, it’d be really useful.
      Now: please take that constructively. I’m imminently going to be a pay subscriber. It’ll be on the strength of your weather forecasts this past spring, not your AGW commentary lately. But my friends can’t afford $200 a year. They’re good people, but they are struggling. So it’d be great if you’d remember that your freebie ought to be your weather billboard — because you do great work, and it can really help people.
      I do not, not, not want you to stop talking about global warming. But you might want to go back and listen to your own forecasts in March and April, then listen to your last two.
      Anyway: Thanks so much for what you do. I wish you maximum success and happiness. Long may you run, Joe!

      • Jake hits it pretty much square on the head – as an example – who is Katherine Hayhoe and why ( certainly can be brief ) ?

      • there has been alot going on with the AGW issue. But you have missed the point. All I am doing is showing linkage to the past that gave us an up on our forecasts. So the point is that these things I bring up show the linkage to the past, examples on how we use, it and then show how absurd it is to believe what is going on today has never happened before. We believe in the why before the what. My clients all see me lay out countless analogs. Last week the drought propaganda was huge. Its disaster du jour as I wrote in the patriot post. But we forecasted this drought reversal just like the last 2 cold winter based largely on analogs and so I show them and that naturally delves into the issue of people spreading a missive that this is the worst ever,
        Jake, did you notice the NCEP temps. The linkage. Well we have an enso event, we had the drought in the cold pdo after the last enso event, the drop of temps in 2012. Now we have the opposite. What should happen ( what we forecasted, we went on this Texas reversal kick last year) Guess what. They know darn well what is going to happen when this enso is done. And in 3 years, we will hear about another dust bowl starting. So why shouldnt these things be pointed out, trying to link how we do things to what we forecasted and what happened. Doesnt that beat saying a dust bowl was starting, have it reversed in 3 years ( like the 52-54, 57 link. it will spooky if there is gulf tropical cyclone this month) and then say the opposite of what you forecasted is because of the reason that caused you to panic people with the opposite
        Here is the other thing. I am not everyones cup of tea. I have longed since stopped trying to please everyone. I try to work before an audience of 1, and lord knows, I do fall short. Depending on what is going on, and what moves me at the time, I do the Saturday SUmmary. If people dont like it, they turn it off. That is their choice. But its about choice. You had a US senator this week calling for trials based on the Rico statutes of people that speak up out of what they know to be true. That is unbelievable in America, at least the one I know. I tried to have fun with it, with the Uncle Rico set up. Uncle rico loves readjusting the past to make what he is today bigger. But this all linked in. NOAA seems to adjust temperatures to make today look warmer
        I read WUWT every day and mostly stay out of it, because the climate and weather issue has been distorted into something very different than what I know and love, so its really beyond me now. But people who come to my site, well if I have something to say, I say it And it happens I believe this issue is about, limiting freedom and choice, but not about weather and climate. But when someone comes into my backyard and trashes it ( as the agw agenda does with their mssive) , something I have known and loved since my first memory, I am going to speak up And I wont hold it against you if you disagree. Contrast that with a US senator calling for a prosecution, when over 200 billion dollars has been spent on this issue while the earths temp by undadjusted objective standards has held steady
        Thank you for giving me the chance to explain Jake. You will find that if we get a couple of weeks with no agenda driven drivel ( its every week now) It will be more to your liking

    • Having lived in Vermont I read far more about him than I ever wanted to. Almost everything he knows about climate change is based on what he thinks he has seen from his backyard. I suspect he is a nice guy. But to base your entire knowledge of climate on what you can see from your backyard is totally idiotic. Unless he has measurements it doesn’t even count as the true weather in his backyard, and my guess is Bill’s backyard has been a bit snowier the last few years than in the last decade or so , he discounts everything that doesn’t support his belief that his backyard has gotten warmer.

    • Evil people are frequently nice to talk to, polite and well dressed and do not look like the caricatures in movies and other media. To paraphrase Neville Chamberlain: “I think we can work with this guy.”
      Be careful. And remember, you don’t actually have to be evil to do evil.

  102. It seems that Bill Mckibben is yet another alarmist who blames man for altering the atmosphere and causing extreme climate events , even if they are only slightly bigger than the one they have personal knowledge of.
    Yet according to the US government’s own climate data, the observable data does not support this claim. Why not? Very simple, there is little global warming happening in North America during the last 10 years and possibly as far back as 1998. NOAA own climate data shows that for 34 out of 48 sates or 70 % of the states in Contiguous US, the trend of annual temperature anomalies is declining at 0.69F/decade . Only 8 Pacific coast states, including the Northwest, West and Southwest and 6 Northeast states show warming. A similar pattern appears in Canada where 7 out of 11 climate regions show declining annual temperature departures since 1998, one is flat and 3 show warming from the 1961-1990 base. In other words 73 % of Canadian climate regions are also not experiencing global warming. Only the Pacific and Atlantic and the High Arctic regions show warming in North America and this is because they are being moderated by the oceans or ENSO events. Even in the Canadian far north including Tundra, Fiords and Mountains there has been a 6 degree drop in temperatures since 2010
    So this false notion that somehow this non warming climate of the North American continent is caused by man only and that this is somehow making more extreme weather events and making them worse is pure nonsense espoused by those who cannot explain the current temperature pause nor explain why increased carbon dioxide levels have only a very minor impact on our North American climate, which is completely opposite to the AGW flawed theory.
    Bill may think that he is on a worthy mission but he seems somewhat misinformed about what is really happening to our climate specially in his own country and he is misleading and harming America in the process

  103. I can certainly recommend this approach. I recently had a few beers and a meal with someone who I knew well but had never met in person. We constantly missed meeting up. He is now a CEO in Cambridge and is there every few weeks so we finally met up. Like Anthony and Bill we are on different side of the climate issue and we chatted though quite a lot of stuff and had a very pleasant evening. We are of the same opinon still (I am right and he is wrong:)) but I think meeting up face t face has a lot to recommend it.
    Good for you Anthony and Bill..

  104. If only it was about the climate. If only it was about interpersonal relationships. If only facts ruled. If only …
    Thing is the base information is 100,000’s of years ago/or older and ice cores and other means only show a bit of the real facts sort of like a microscope looking at one part of a bug’s leg to find out its a moth or a wasp.
    The gap between each side is only growing and faster.
    The ones in power have the tools to move the center point of the seesaw.
    The mass media enables at the bidding of the power elite.
    It is like a new recruit company for basic training but with no drill Sgt. to get them up for formation.
    Bad or no leadership will get your unit shot up or just lost in the jungle and reported MIA.
    Here in the U S A sorry to say the Non Voters make it easy for the power elite to mislead U S all.

    • The problem isn’t the non-voters; it’s voters who are on the gravy train and want it to continue, regardless of the damage to everybody else. It’s the uninformed voters who believe all they read in Huffin’ Puff.

  105. Something occurred to me. I wonder if McKibben has ever built a computer model. I am a retired financial analyst. We built models all the time. It was part and parcel of the job. And we knew that you could get a model to say anything you wanted it to say. I’d wager that the financial modelers of the world, as a group, are a lot more skeptical of AGW that the general public.

    • McKibben is AFAIK a journalist.
      Being able to build a computer model would disqualify him for that line of work.

  106. If I had a chance to talk to someone very influential like Bill McKibben, I would be most interested to find out why he wants to believe that people are destroying the world. Is he aware that the notion that people are causing the world to come to an end is about as old as civilization is? What is his motivation?

    • I would ask him about what weather events happened during the run-up from 350 to 400 ppm that he thinks have no analogs in meteorological history, then ask him what unique events we’ll experience in the 400 to 450 run. (He’ll probably change the subject and say he’s doing the best he can to prevent us from reaching 450.)
      The older I get the more importance I see in knowing about past weather.

  107. I really appreciate this – I remember once someone made fun of McKibben on this site for using plastic shopping bags. I thought that was mean-spirited. People think what they think for all kinds of reasons. We should be happy for people who disagree with us because we might be the ones who are wrong. Not in this case though.

  108. Just a general observation: IMO, most those arguing against CAGW do so on the grounds of science and data. With the exception of a handful of climatologists, those agreeing with CAGW do so on the warm and fuzzy feeling of saving humanity (those who want to save the world by DESTROYING humanity tend not to say that out loud).
    If you want to change the mind of someone not believing in CAGW, you must do it using science and data. That’s why they have had such little success; they don’t understand the science and the data is nonexistent.
    OTOH, no amount of science or data is going to change the mind of someone engaged in saving Mankind. To change their minds, we must focus on the evidence and theories that show their path is destructive. We need a website posting a continuous counter of the people dying early deaths due to the lack of cheap energy – a count of the deaths in third-world countries attributable to lack of power for clinics, water purification, food preparation, heat, etc. Include the number of deaths of people in industrialized countries who could no longer afford to heat their homes in winter. Then include a MODEL (hee-hee) projecting how many future deaths will occur in over the next 85 years if the building of cheap, fossil-fuel burning power plants is denied (i.e., maintaining the status quo), with projections of the increased number of deaths if the cost of energy is raised 10, 25, and 50 percent (including the number of early deaths due to rising food costs).
    The theme should be, we can’t calculate how many, IF ANY, would die from CAGW IF it became a reality, but we CAN calculate how many WILL die if you take the actions currently proposed to prevent the POSSIBILITY of CAGW.
    If we can’t dazzle them with data we have to freeze their feelings.

  109. I find this post refreshing because I think it’s sad how both sides have gotten to pretty much a shouting match. Some of it is definitely from the alarmists stifling debate, but a lot of it is just stupid idealogues on each side not being the humans we are and realising the opposing side are also people. This happens quite often with some issues.
    I used to comment heavily on some articles about cliamte change, but it degrades so quickly even though I refuse to call my opponent names, often it’s quite quick that denier is thrown out or other names (climate denier doesn’t bug me as much as science denier since I’m about to finish a B.S. in Computer Engineering) so I just stopped. It’s sad there is no debate though. Arguments and ideas don’t move forward as quickly without it.

  110. The lack of rancor was delightful, yet Anthony had control of the facts while Bill had access to his feelings.
    Facts are SO much better, as they justify the feelings!!!
    Nice work!!!

  111. “My one-on-one meeting with Bill McKibben”
    I think AW should go to lunch with John Christy to make it up to me.

  112. Having lived in Texas for over 34 years or so and seeing the results of El Niño caused monsoons over my part of Texas, I think I can safely say that Bill McKibben’s observation of the recent Texas rains and flooding being an “unusual outlier” is nothing but a lot of unusual hooey. I can easily remember the levees of the Trinity River filling up nearly to the top in the early 1990s, as much as they filled up this past May.

  113. I get believers turning up on my doorstep from time to time. They aren’t interested in my views – excepting where that would reinforce their own, and they’re impervious to contrary views.

  114. Thanks for the report on your meeting, Anthony. It’s great to read about two sides of the so-called ‘debate’ being finally able to sit down for a couple of hours over a beer and enjoy a quiet, civilized chat. If only we could convince the likes of the BBC here in the UK that the voices of climate sceptics should be both heard and engaged with by those on the other side of the ‘debate’ (there is no climate debate on the BBC – the allegedly ‘impartial’ Corporation has taken a side (I think you can guess which) and decided there will be no discussion).

  115. “Yes, the alarmists seem to want things to get worse. However, it seems some skeptics want things to get colder while believing warmer is better. I am embarrassed to say I am in this group.”
    This has placed skeptics into the difficult position of wishing something short term (so as to prove the theory wrong and so avoid destroying our culture through higher taxes on carbon) while at the same time hoping for the long term result of warming since we are so close to going right back into glaciation. Warming is good long term. Cooling is good short term. It’s an infuriating position to have to explain to the warmists who believe that holding only one position is possible and they project this narrow minded thinking onto those that oppose their myopic position.

  116. A better title for the post might be…A Meeting of Two Personality Types. Also, the term “emotional” for Bill might just be a nice term for disinterest in fact checking, details, science process, and model error evaluation. For some personality types, there is far more reward for pressing onward with the religious experience of the emotion in place of fact finding and discovery. The lure of combining air pollution with climate change policy reach is just too much of a debate prize to ignore. And that is what 97 percent of climate change debate is about. It is personality types in high school-level debate clashes with an emphasis on style over substance.

  117. Both of you guys need to fess up on what other taxpayers contributed to your rooftop solar projects. I contend that competitive solar would be much farther along today or five years from now if taxpayer resources had gone more into community-scale solar and utility scale in place of rooftop. The same argument applies to all electric vehicles and charging stations versus mass market (and mass benefit) hybrids. I think we are about to waste the economies of scale of a giga battery plant on all electric vehicles for the 1 percent. I would rather see 10x more hybrids with larger batteries and 100 to 200 mpg for middle class commuters.

  118. I wonder how many of the eco-facist community are in so deep they just simply can’t see a way out. They can’t all be that daft and/or corrupt. Some must see things that shock their belief system & make them realise all is not well in “climate science” – yet very few seem to find their way out.

    • “They can’t all be that daft and/or corrupt. Some must see things that shock their belief system & make them realise all is not well in “climate science” – yet very few seem to find their way out.”
      Three subgroups:
      a) daft
      b) corrupt
      c) neither. Those will experience gorwing cognitive dissonance, fall silent, and re-emerge as rabid skeptics after they have reconstructed their worldview.
      So, the daft and the corrupt remain in the warmunist camp. This process has already progressed far; it is asymptotic.

  119. I think you nailed it with the observation that McKibben’s position seems to come from a more emotional position.
    Personal observation is that the majority of the vocal and “in your face” celebrity supporters of CAGW, the large majority of the MSM and all the green acolytes are espousing nothing more than an emotion based opinion. By their nature, right brain dominant, they are not well equipped, for critical thinking, for understanding of “the scientific principle”, nor are they ever likely to be dissuaded from their position. They are “emotion junkies”, needing a fix of the brain chemistry that results from their emotions and the positive feedback they receive from their supporters. They will likely go to their graves in denial of the facts. They are being used and abused by manipulative, self serving, special interest groups and individuals and they don’t even have a clue that it is happening.

  120. I have to say I greatly enjoyed “The Death Of Nature” – this was years before most people knew who Bill was. The beauty of environmentalism is the many areas where we can agree all the while agreeing to disagree about the fine points of AGW.

  121. I timely article, as it’s a reminder that there are actual living, breathing humans on all sides of the debate.

  122. ‘2) I don’t think thorium or cold fusion or anything like it is the future of power; I’d wager all things nuclear are mostly relics of the past, in no small part because they cost like sin.’
    But the fact that renewables are horrendously expensive doesn’t worry him. Ho hum.

  123. So, Andy Revkin ran a short article over at Dot Earth on Anthony’s chat with Bill. There is a very worrying comment made by David L, Jr. I am surprised it made it passed the blog moderators at the NYT.
    “David L, Jr. Jackson, MS 1 hour ago
    This is the kind of thing I would usually cheer for, I suppose, but, on this issue, I shan’t, can’t, won’t. Anthropogenic climate change — global warming — is a fact …Something which threatens the future of humanity is not something I’m prepared to dismiss as just another dispute like any other.”
    At this point the comment goes down the toilet. Hopefully it gets removed soon.
    Sorry you have to put up with this sort of nonsense, Anthony.

    • chris y:
      Revkin’s blog rarely “disappears” comments once posted. Once I do recall all comments on a particular blogpost having been sent into the ether trash, however.
      Frankly, I think this particular comment from David L. should stay “as is”, for all to see. As you said, it reflects the mindset (and the character) of many in the alarmist camp. Political correctness is often a one-way lens these days.

      • Kurt-
        I just checked the Dot Earth comments this morning, and David L, Jr.’s comment and my reply have both vanished without any indication that they ever existed.
        Apparently a rare disappearing event occurred overnight. 🙂
        Thanks for your continued participation over at Dot Earth. I rarely comment anymore, but still enjoy perusing the comments.

      • Kurt-
        I had a comment purged once by the moderators of Dot Earth, with no explanation. The blog post was chatting up Michael Tobis’s new website. I put together a list of previous quotes from Michael Tobis as a comment. Apparently the Tobis quotes were not up to Dot Earth etiquette.
        Oh, the ironing.

  124. “I don’t think Bill McKibben is an idiot. But I do think he perceives things more on a feeling or emotional level and translates that into words and actions. People that are more factual and pragmatic might see that as an unrealistic response.” This statement sums it well. As the old pop song goes “Hooked on feeling”. It is all a sign of the postmodern times and science is certainly not immune from an emotive, experientially based “science”. It seems our society and culture is feeling a lot these days. The problem is, we aren’t feeling so well.

  125. Bill
    Question: If divestment in fossil fuel industries such as refiners is the mantra and religious quest, does it lead to the demise of such industries or does it just stoke the emotions? In a global economy and global financial markets, it more likely triggers deals and the velocity of money moves in that industry but no demise. Second Question: Is a new carbon tax push in process now in addition to the EPA regulatory push in the works today? In other words, do you have insider knowledge of a conveyor belt of incremental policy steps toward a general carbon tax on U.S. consumers?

  126. Ten years ago McKibben and I appeared in an on-stage “conversation” – not a “debate” – on climate issues in Manchester VT. I complimented his book The End of Nature, offered an explanation of how scientific method works, Things were going along pleasantly until I began to describe the Svensmark experiment (later verified at CERN) indicating that cosmic ray flux affected cloud formation and thus global temperatures. Suddenly McKibben – quite angrily, it seemed to me – broke in and stated “Science rejects that!” From that point on McKibben explained that Science had verified AGW, and I needed to heed the commands of Science.
    Since I had math, physics and engineering degrees, and McKibben was a writer for the Harvard Crimson, I didn’t take too kindly to this argument from authority. If I had it to do the event over, I would have asked for a full scale debate.
    I don’t think McKibben is a bad person. After a confused career path he finally found himself a profitable niche promulgating the Menace of Global Warming, and now he’s working it hard – possibly remembering how hard life was when he made his family survive on “local food” for a year. (I have always wondered whether “local food” included donations from the local food shelf.)

  127. I don’t know how it works in the US, but in Britain users of electricity have to bear enormous levies and taxpayers pay taxes to fund the solar power systems which “have been good things” for you and many UK householders, factory owners and owners of good arable land which now hosts solar panels instead of crops.

  128. I’m glad that you had that meeting over a beer or so Anthony. You don’t have to agree on things in order to behave like civilised human beings towards each other. Well done! Annie.

  129. “We both agreed that tackling real pollution issues was a good thing. When I say real pollution issues, I mean things like water pollution, air pollution, Ocean plastics pollution, and other real tangible and solvable problems.”
    To me that’s the tragedy of the AGW scam. It’s allowed the real problems to be ignored for far too long. AGWists may think “deniers” should be prosecuted or worse, but when AGW is finally put to bed I wonder how they will be treated for having taken attention/money away from what we should have been focused on all along?

  130. I have posted this many, many times- There is no credible experiment that proves that the Hypotheses of the greenhouse gas effect exists. It should be coming obvious that there is something wrong with the supposed science of “climatology” that they and not one of the “climate scientist ” can come up with a test that shows what is the CO2 temperature sensitivity of the atmosphere. It keeps changing. This is not science this is witchcraft and voodoo.
    There are real scientists out there but no one wants to look at the work of people in the list below. and many physicists and physical chemists.
    newest : The Vapor Tiger by Adrian Vance available from Amazon as Kindle.
    The paper “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effect within
    the frame of physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D.
    Tscheuschner is an in-depth examination of the subject. Version 4
    2009 Electronic
    version of an article published as International
    Journal of Modern Physics
    Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) 275{364 ,
    DOI No: 10.1142/S021797920904984X, c World
    Publishing Company,
    Report of Alan Carlin of US-EPA March, 2009 that shows that CO2 does not
    cause global warming.
    Greenhouse Gas Hypothesis Violates Fundamentals
    of Physics”
    by Dipl-Ing Heinz Thieme
    link that support the truth that the greenhouse gas effect is a hoax.
    from the London, Edinborough and Dublin Philosophical Magazine , 1909,
    vol 17, p319-320. Cambridge UL shelf mark p340.1.c.95, i
    The Hidden Flaw in Greenhouse Theory By Alan Siddons
    at March 01, 2010 – 09:10:34 AM CST
    below information was a foot note in the IPCC 4 edition. It is
    obvious that there was no evidence to prove that the ghg effect
    “In the 1860s, physicist John Tyndall recognized the Earth’s natural
    greenhouse effect and suggested
    that slight changes in the atmospheric composition could
    bring about climatic variations. In 1896, a seminal paper by Swedish
    scientist Svante Arrhenius first speculated that changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse
    After 1909 when R.W.Wood proved that the understanding of the greenhouse
    effect was in error and the ghg effect does not exist. After Niels
    Bohr published his work and receive a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.
    The fantasy of the greenhouse gas effect should have died in 1909 and
    1922. Since then it has been shown by several physicists that the
    concept is a Violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
    Wood is correct: There is no Greenhouse Effect
    Posted on July 19, 2011 by Dr.Ed
    Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909
    experiment on the Theory of the Greenhouse (Summary by
    Ed Berry. Full report here or here. & PolyMontana.)
    by Nasif S. Nahle, June 12, 2011
    University Professor, Scientific Research Director at Biology Cabinet® San
    Nicolas de los Garza, N. L., Mexico.
    Obviously the politicians don’t give a dam that they are lying. It fits in
    with what they do every hour of every day .Especially the current
    pretend president.
    Paraphrasing Albert Einstein after the Publishing of “The Theory of Relativity”
    –one fact out does 1 million “scientist, 10 billion politicians
    and 20 billion environmental whachos-that don’t know what” The
    Second Law of thermodynamics” is.
    of Pennsylvania Law School
    Joint Research Center of the Law School, the Wharton School,
    the Department of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences
    the University of Pennsylvania
    Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination
    Jason Scott Johnston
    May 2010
    This paper can be downloaded without charge from the
    Social Science Research Network Electronic Paper Collection:
    Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv: ‘There
    is no direct evidence showing that CO2 caused 20th century warming,
    or as a matter of fact, any warming’
    link to this paper on climate depot.
    site references: Ponder the Maunder
    others are available.
    The bottom line is that the facts show that the greenhouse gas effect is
    a fairy-tale and that Man-made global warming is the World larges
    Scam!!!The IPCC and Al Gore should be charged under the US
    Anti-racketeering act and when convicted – they should spend the rest
    of their lives in jail for the Crimes they have committed against
    The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.”
    —Albert Einstein
    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is
    a well-armed lamb.” Benjamin Franklin

  131. As along time 350 member and avid supporter of Mckibben, I would support Bill’s reaching out, what I would not support is improper framing of the meeting. As one can see reading the article Watts produced from the meeting, it promotes false equivalency and has been used to give Watts credibility. Anthony Watts’ blog and work serves as a mis-information hub to promote a fossil fuel future. It is a disservice to the fight against that fossil fuel future to even intimate that Watt’s work has any value or to fail to frame the two men correctly. McKibben has spent his life promoting the real science, Watts has done the opposite in service to a political agenda and industry driven campaign that threatens this nation and human civilizations through a massive expansion of fossil fuel use for many coming decades.

    • “As along time 350 member and avid supporter of Mckibben, I would support Bill’s reaching out, what I would not support is improper framing of the meeting. As one can see reading the article Watts produced from the meeting, it promotes false equivalency and has been used to give Watts credibility. Anthony Watts’ blog and work serves as a mis-information hub to promote a fossil fuel future. It is a disservice to the fight against that fossil fuel future to even intimate that Watt’s work has any value or to fail to frame the two men correctly. McKibben has spent his life promoting the real science, Watts has done the opposite in service to a political agenda and industry driven campaign that threatens this nation and human civilizations through a massive expansion of fossil fuel use for many coming decades.”
      The following is just as true for reasons which are self evident..
      As a WHWT member and avid supporter of Watts, I would support Anthony’s reaching out, what I would not support is improper framing of the meeting. As one can see reading the article produced from the meeting, it promotes real science, not political drivel and has been used for that end. Anthony Watts’ blog and work serves as an information hub to promote true scientific discussion of the issues. It is a disservice to the fight for that discussion to even intimate that Mckibben’s work has any real value or to fail to frame the two men correctly. Watts has spent his life promoting the real science, Mckibben has done the opposite in service to a political agenda and an autocratic campaign that threatens this nation and human civilizations through a massive self destruction of the fossil fuel base of the world’s economies.

      • Also ….
        The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 400 parts per million to below 350 ppm.
        …. I’m guessing you know where that comes from.
        350 means climate safety, but 400 leads to floods in Texas ?
        Do you know how monumentally stupid that conjecture is??

  132. I’m not his psychologist, but I can say that the method of knowledge of most eco-activists is emotions not facts and logic.
    While emotions are valuable clues, coming from subconscious processing of information – some of which may be missed by conscious thinking at the moment, they must be validated against reality.
    Their dependence on emotions comes from the basic ideas they accept, whether explicitly or by absorption from a culture – all based on denial of the effectiveness of the human mind.

  133. The root of negativity about humans and the ivory tower mentality of eco-alarmists is Plato’s error in trying to understand the human mind’s use of concepts.
    He theorized that there are two worlds:
    – An unreal one we experience
    – A real one that cannot be reached except by long study and dedication.
    You may recognize the latter as the justification for priests ruling people, as especially happened during the Dark Ages of tyranny and squalor and has been occurring in Iran for decades, and the ivory tower attitude of climate alarm scientists.
    Immanuel Kant took that further to completely deny effectiveness of the human mind.
    In an ideology based on rejection of human ability and goodness, an elite always rises because people do not know how to prevent it, are conditioned to accept an authority, and believe in acting for the common good even if it hurts individuals. Look at Cuba for example, where a dictator was replaced by another, with the help of evil people like Che Guevarra who enjoyed killing people for the pleasure of it. Marxism was the most murderous ideology of the 20th century, and continues to starve people around the world.

  134. McKibben seems to have at least avoided turning nasty IIRC, unlike Hansen, Suzuki, and other riff-raff. (People whose method of knowledge is emotions tend to turn nasty when they realize they cannot rebut criticism from reasoned people.)
    In contrast, Aristotle taught that that there is one world that we can perceive – “A is A”, and we can figure it out.

  135. Bill you can’t be all bad. You like Sierra Nevada beer. And at least you acknowledge you may be wrong. Bill, I will break it to you, you are wrong. The evidence shows AGW is a failed theory.
    It would be good if we could count on people like you with some morality left to counter the insanity of wasting so much human resource and capital on such a flimsy theory.
    And you should study up on solar panels and try to understand the difference between baseload and intermittent energy sources. A far denser fuel source is needed and one that does not go offline in to the shadow of night for half of every day.

Comments are closed.