The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science

They are behaving like sixteenth-century priests who do not think the Bible should be translated into English. 
Guest essay by Matt Ridley 
(Note: due to the length of this essay, I am only including paragraph excerpts here. See the link at the end for the full essay. – Anthony)

The great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting. The good drives out the bad, because experiments get replicated and hypotheses tested — or so I used to think. Now, thanks largely to climate science, I see bad ideas can persist for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they become intolerant dogmas

For much of my life I have been a science writer. That means I eavesdrop on what’s going on in laboratories so I can tell interesting stories. It’s analogous to the way art critics write about art, but with a difference: we “science critics” rarely criticise. If we think a scientific paper is dumb, we just ignore it. There’s too much good stuff coming out of science to waste time knocking the bad stuff.

Sure, we occasionally take a swipe at pseudoscience—homeopathy, astrology, claims that genetically modified food causes cancer, and so on. But the great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting. The good drives out the bad, because experiments get replicated and hypotheses put to the test. So a really bad idea cannot survive long in science.

Or so I used to think. Now, thanks largely to climate science, I have changed my mind. It turns out bad ideas can persist in science for decades, and surrounded by myrmidons of furious defenders they can turn into intolerant dogmas.

This should have been obvious to me. Lysenkoism, a pseudo-biological theory that plants (and people) could be trained to change their heritable natures, helped starve millions and yet persisted for decades in the Soviet Union, reaching its zenith under Nikita Khrushchev. The theory that dietary fat causes obesity and heart disease, based on a couple of terrible studies in the 1950s, became unchallenged orthodoxy and is only now fading slowly.

What these two ideas have in common is that they had political support, which enabled them to monopolise debate. Scientists are just as prone as anybody else to “confirmation bias”, the tendency we all have to seek evidence that supports our favoured hypothesis and dismiss evidence that contradicts it—as if we were counsel for the defence. It’s tosh that scientists always try to disprove their own theories, as they sometimes claim, and nor should they. But they do try to disprove each other’s. Science has always been decentralised, so Professor Smith challenges Professor Jones’s claims, and that’s what keeps science honest.

What went wrong with Lysenko and dietary fat was that in each case a monopoly was established. Lysenko’s opponents were imprisoned or killed. Nina Teicholz’s book The Big Fat Surprise shows in devastating detail how opponents of Ancel Keys’s dietary fat hypothesis were starved of grants and frozen out of the debate by an intolerant consensus backed by vested interests, echoed and amplified by a docile press.

Cheerleaders for alarm

This is precisely what has happened with the climate debate and it is at risk of damaging the whole reputation of science. The “bad idea” in this case is not that climate changes, nor that human beings influence climate change; but that the impending change is sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses. In the 1970s, when global temperatures were cooling, some scientists could not resist the lure of press attention by arguing that a new ice age was imminent. Others called this nonsense and the World Meteorological Organisation rightly refused to endorse the alarm. That’s science working as it should. In the 1980s, as temperatures began to rise again, some of the same scientists dusted off the greenhouse effect and began to argue that runaway warming was now likely.

At first, the science establishment reacted sceptically and a diversity of views was aired. It’s hard to recall now just how much you were allowed to question the claims in those days. As Bernie Lewin reminds us in one chapter of a fascinating new book of essays called Climate Change: The Facts (hereafter The Facts), as late as 1995 when the second assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out with its last-minute additional claim of a “discernible human influence” on climate, Nature magazine warned scientists against overheating the debate.

Since then, however, inch by inch, the huge green pressure groups have grown fat on a diet of constant but ever-changing alarm about the future. That these alarms—over population growth, pesticides, rain forests, acid rain, ozone holes, sperm counts, genetically modified crops—have often proved wildly exaggerated does not matter: the organisations that did the most exaggeration trousered the most money. In the case of climate, the alarm is always in the distant future, so can never be debunked.

These huge green multinationals, with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, have now systematically infiltrated science, as well as industry and media, with the result that many high-profile climate scientists and the journalists who cover them have become one-sided cheerleaders for alarm, while a hit squad of increasingly vicious bloggers polices the debate to ensure that anybody who steps out of line is punished. They insist on stamping out all mention of the heresy that climate change might not be lethally dangerous.

Today’s climate science, as Ian Plimer points out in his chapter in The Facts, is based on a “pre-ordained conclusion, huge bodies of evidence are ignored and analytical procedures are treated as evidence”. Funds are not available to investigate alternative theories. Those who express even the mildest doubts about dangerous climate change are ostracised, accused of being in the pay of fossil-fuel interests or starved of funds; those who take money from green pressure groups and make wildly exaggerated statements are showered with rewards and treated by the media as neutral.

Look what happened to a butterfly ecologist named Camille Parmesan when she published a paper on “Climate and Species Range” that blamed climate change for threatening the Edith checkerspot butterfly with extinction in California by driving its range northward. The paper was cited more than 500 times, she was invited to speak at the White House and she was asked to contribute to the IPCC’s third assessment report.

Unfortunately, a distinguished ecologist called Jim Steele found fault with her conclusion: there had been more local extinctions in the southern part of the butterfly’s range due to urban development than in the north, so only the statistical averages moved north, not the butterflies. There was no correlated local change in temperature anyway, and the butterflies have since recovered throughout their range. When Steele asked Parmesan for her data, she refused. Parmesan’s paper continues to be cited as evidence of climate change. Steele meanwhile is derided as a “denier”. No wonder a highly sceptical ecologist I know is very reluctant to break cover.

Jim Hansen, recently retired as head of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at NASA, won over a million dollars in lucrative green prizes, regularly joined protests against coal plants and got himself arrested while at the same time he was in charge of adjusting and homogenising one of the supposedly objective data sets on global surface temperature. How would he be likely to react if told of evidence that climate change is not such a big problem?

Michael Oppenheimer, of Princeton University, who frequently testifies before Congress in favour of urgent action on climate change, was the Environmental Defense Fund’s senior scientist for nineteen years and continues to advise it. The EDF has assets of $209 million and since 2008 has had over $540 million from charitable foundations, plus $2.8 million in federal grants. In that time it has spent $11.3 million on lobbying, and has fifty-five people on thirty-two federal advisory committees. How likely is it that they or Oppenheimer would turn around and say global warming is not likely to be dangerous?

Why is it acceptable, asks the blogger Donna Laframboise, for the IPCC to “put a man who has spent his career cashing cheques from both the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace in charge of its latest chapter on the world’s oceans?” She’s referring to the University of Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg.

These scientists and their guardians of the flame repeatedly insist that there are only two ways of thinking about climate change—that it’s real, man-made and dangerous (the right way), or that it’s not happening (the wrong way). But this is a false dichotomy. There is a third possibility: that it’s real, partly man-made and not dangerous. This is the “lukewarmer” school, and I am happy to put myself in this category. Lukewarmers do not think dangerous climate change is impossible; but they think it is unlikely.

I find that very few people even know of this. Most ordinary people who do not follow climate debates assume that either it’s not happening or it’s dangerous. This suits those with vested interests in renewable energy, since it implies that the only way you would be against their boondoggles is if you “didn’t believe” in climate change.

Scandal after scandal

The Cook paper is one of many scandals and blunders in climate science. There was the occasion in 2012 when the climate scientist Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of the (sceptical) Heartland Institute’s board of directors, leaked confidential documents, and included also a “strategy memo” purporting to describe Heartland’s plans, which was a straight forgery. Gleick apologised but continues to be a respected climate scientist.

There was Stephan Lewandowsky, then at the University of Western Australia, who published a paper titled “NASA faked the moon landing therefore [climate] science is a hoax”, from which readers might have deduced, in the words of a Guardian headline, that “new research finds that sceptics also tend to support conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being faked”. Yet in fact in the survey for the paper, only ten respondents out of 1145 thought that the moon landing was a hoax, and seven of those did not think climate change was a hoax. A particular irony here is that two of the men who have actually been to the moon are vocal climate sceptics: Harrison Schmitt and Buzz Aldrin.

It took years of persistence before physicist Jonathan Jones and political scientist Ruth Dixon even managed to get into print (in March this year) a detailed and devastating critique of the Lewandowsky article’s methodological flaws and bizarre reasoning, with one journal allowing Lewandowsky himself to oppose the publication of their riposte. Lewandowsky published a later paper claiming that the reactions to his previous paper proved he was right, but it was so flawed it had to be retracted.

If these examples of odd scientific practice sound too obscure, try Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC for thirteen years and often described as the “world’s top climate scientist”. He once dismissed as “voodoo science” an official report by India’s leading glaciologist, Vijay Raina, because it had challenged a bizarre claim in an IPCC report (citing a WWF report which cited an article in New Scientist), that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. The claim originated with Syed Hasnain, who subsequently took a job at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general, and there his glacier claim enabled TERI to win a share of a three-million-euro grant from the European Union. No wonder Dr Pachauri might well not have wanted the 2035 claim challenged.

Yet Raina was right, it proved to be the IPCC’s most high-profile blunder, and Dr Pachauri had to withdraw both it and his “voodoo” remark. The scandal led to a highly critical report into the IPCC by several of the world’s top science academics, which recommended among other things that the IPCC chair stand down after one term. Dr Pachauri ignored this, kept his job, toured the world while urging others not to, and published a novel, with steamy scenes of seduction of an older man by young women. (He resigned this year following criminal allegations of sexual misconduct with a twenty-nine-year-old female employee, which he denies, and which are subject to police investigation.)

Yet the climate bloggers who constantly smear sceptics managed to avoid even reporting most of this. If you want to follow Dr Pachauri’s career you have to rely on a tireless but self-funded investigative journalist: the Canadian Donna Laframboise. In her chapter in The Facts, Laframboise details how Dr Pachauri has managed to get the world to describe him as a Nobel laureate, even though this is simply not true.

Notice, by the way, how many of these fearless free-thinkers prepared to tell emperors they are naked are women. Susan Crockford, a Canadian zoologist, has steadfastly exposed the myth-making that goes into polar bear alarmism, to the obvious discomfort of the doyens of that field. Jennifer Marohasy of Central Queensland University, by persistently asking why cooling trends recorded at Australian weather stations with no recorded moves were being altered to warming trends, has embarrassed the Bureau of Meteorology into a review of their procedures. Her chapter in The Facts underlines the failure of computer models to predict rainfall.

But male sceptics have scored successes too. There was the case of the paper the IPCC relied upon to show that urban heat islands (the fact that cities are generally warmer than the surrounding countryside, so urbanisation causes local, but not global, warming) had not exaggerated recent warming. This paper turned out—as the sceptic Doug Keenan proved—to be based partly on non-existent data on forty-nine weather stations in China. When corrected, it emerged that the urban heat island effect actually accounted for 40 per cent of the warming in China.

There was the Scandinavian lake sediment core that was cited as evidence of sudden recent warming, when it was actually being used “upside down”—the opposite way the authors of the study thought it should be used: so if anything it showed cooling.

There was the graph showing unprecedented recent warming that turned out to depend on just one larch tree in the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia.

There was the southern hemisphere hockey-stick that had been created by the omission of inconvenient data series.

There was the infamous “hide the decline” incident when a tree-ring-derived graph had been truncated to disguise the fact that it seemed to show recent cooling.

And of course there was the mother of all scandals, the “hockey stick” itself: a graph that purported to show the warming of the last three decades of the twentieth century as unprecedented in a millennium, a graph that the IPCC was so thrilled with that it published it six times in its third assessment report and displayed it behind the IPCC chairman at his press conference. It was a graph that persuaded me to abandon my scepticism (until I found out about its flaws), because I thought Nature magazine would never have published it without checking. And it is a graph that was systematically shown by Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick to be wholly misleading, as McKitrick recounts in glorious detail in his chapter in The Facts.

Its hockey-stick shape depended heavily on one set of data from bristlecone pine trees in the American south-west, enhanced by a statistical approach to over-emphasise some 200 times any hockey-stick shaped graph. Yet bristlecone tree-rings do not, according to those who collected the data, reflect temperature at all. What is more, the scientist behind the original paper, Michael Mann, had known all along that his data depended heavily on these inappropriate trees and a few other series, because when finally prevailed upon to release his data he accidentally included a file called “censored” that proved as much: he had tested the effect of removing the bristlecone pine series and one other, and found that the hockey-stick shape disappeared.

In March this year Dr Mann published a paper claiming the Gulf Stream was slowing down. This garnered headlines all across the world. Astonishingly, his evidence that the Gulf Stream is slowing down came not from the Gulf Stream, but from “proxies” which included—yes—bristlecone pine trees in Arizona, upside-down lake sediments in Scandinavia and larch trees in Siberia.

The democratisation of science

Any one of these scandals in, say, medicine might result in suspensions, inquiries or retractions. Yet the climate scientific establishment repeatedly reacts as if nothing is wrong. It calls out any errors on the lukewarming end, but ignores those on the exaggeration end. That complacency has shocked me, and done more than anything else to weaken my long-standing support for science as an institution. I repeat that I am not a full sceptic of climate change, let alone a “denier”. I think carbon-dioxide-induced warming during this century is likely, though I think it is unlikely to prove rapid and dangerous. So I don’t agree with those who say the warming is all natural, or all driven by the sun, or only an artefact of bad measurement, but nor do I think anything excuses bad scientific practice in support of the carbon dioxide theory, and every time one of these scandals erupts and the scientific establishment asks us to ignore it, I wonder if the extreme sceptics are not on to something. I feel genuinely betrayed by the profession that I have spent so much of my career championing.

There is, however, one good thing that has happened to science as a result of the climate debate: the democratisation of science by sceptic bloggers. It is no accident that sceptic sites keep winning the “Bloggies” awards. There is nothing quite like them for massive traffic, rich debate and genuinely open peer review. Following Steven McIntyre on tree rings, Anthony Watts or Paul Homewood on temperature records, Judith Curry on uncertainty, Willis Eschenbach on clouds or ice cores, or Andrew Montford on media coverage has been one of the delights of recent years for those interested in science. Papers that had passed formal peer review and been published in journals have nonetheless been torn apart in minutes on the blogs. There was the time Steven McIntyre found that an Antarctic temperature trend arose “entirely from the impact of splicing the two data sets together”. Or when Willis Eschenbach showed a published chart had “cut the modern end of the ice core carbon dioxide record short, right at the time when carbon dioxide started to rise again” about 8000 years ago, thus omitting the startling but inconvenient fact that carbon dioxide levels rose while temperatures fell over the following millennia.

Scientists don’t like this lèse majesté, of course. But it’s the citizen science that the internet has long promised. This is what eavesdropping on science should be like—following the twists and turns of each story, the ripostes and counter-ripostes, making up your own mind based on the evidence. And that is precisely what the non-sceptical side just does not get. Its bloggers are almost universally wearily condescending. They are behaving like sixteenth-century priests who do not think the Bible should be translated into English.

Renegade heretics in science itself are especially targeted. The BBC was subjected to torrents of abuse for even interviewing Bob Carter, a distinguished geologist and climate science expert who does not toe the alarmed line and who is one of the editors of Climate Change Reconsidered, a serious and comprehensive survey of the state of climate science organised by the Non-governmental Panel on Climate Change and ignored by the mainstream media.

Judith Curry of Georgia Tech moved from alarm to mild scepticism and has endured vitriolic criticism for it. She recently wrote:

There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests. The closing of minds on the climate change issue is a tragedy for both science and society.

The distinguished Swedish meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson was so frightened for his own family and his health after he announced last year that he was joining the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation that he withdrew, saying, “It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy.”

The astrophysicist Willie Soon was falsely accused by a Greenpeace activist of failing to disclose conflicts of interest to an academic journal, an accusation widely repeated by mainstream media.

The harm to science

I dread to think what harm this episode will have done to the reputation of science in general when the dust has settled. Science will need a reformation. Garth Paltridge is a distinguished Australian climate scientist, who, in The Facts, pens a wise paragraph that I fear will be the epitaph of climate science:

We have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis for society’s respect for scientific endeavour.

And it’s not working anyway. Despite avalanches of money being spent on research to find evidence of rapid man-made warming, despite even more spent on propaganda and marketing and subsidising renewable energy, the public remains unconvinced. The most recent polling data from Gallup shows the number of Americans who worry “a great deal” about climate change is down slightly on thirty years ago, while the number who worry “not at all” has doubled from 12 per cent to 24 per cent—and now exceeds the number who worry “only a little” or “a fair amount”. All that fear-mongering has achieved less than nothing: if anything it has hardened scepticism.

None of this would matter if it was just scientific inquiry, though that rarely comes cheap in itself. The big difference is that these scientists who insist that we take their word for it, and who get cross if we don’t, are also asking us to make huge, expensive and risky changes to the world economy and to people’s livelihoods. They want us to spend a fortune getting emissions down as soon as possible. And they want us to do that even if it hurts poor people today, because, they say, their grandchildren (who, as Nigel Lawson points out, in The Facts, and their models assume, are going to be very wealthy) matter more.

Yet they are not prepared to debate the science behind their concern. That seems wrong to me.


Matt Ridley is an English science journalist whose books include The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. A member of the House of Lords, he has a website at www.mattridley.co.uk. He declares an interest in coal through the leasing of land for mining.

Read the full essay here: http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2015/06/climate-wars-done-science/

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178 thoughts on “The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science

  1. Fantastic.
    This should be required reading for anybody eligible to vote (be it in the U.S., the EU or anywhere else).

    • Or every country involved in either the UN or the OECD or both. Mechanistic science was rejected by the Bolsheviks who proclaimed “Our task is not to study economics but to change it. We are bound by no laws. There are no fortresses that Bolsheviks cannot storm. The question of tempos is subject to decision by human beings.”
      Factually that sentiment is not true, political power is not free to remake society and human nature at will, but this attitude still runs strong in academia and the international entities. Rather than acknowledge by science they mean the social sciences and the ability to experiment on people and places in real time, we continue to get this stonewalling that AGW is scientific instead of social theory wanting to remake the world a la the Bolsheviks.
      I cover Lysenko and the math and science wars in curriculum in Chapter 3 of my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon. Until we come to grips with the hostility to objective reality itself, we will continue to chase after the wrong angle. Meanwhile our young people’s belief systems are being targeted so they will not even know what objective science is. As I covered here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/fodder-for-political-exploitation-when-ecaa-removes-all-barriers-and-adds-required-intrusions/ , we are looking at sciences being a matter of contrived DCIs–Disciplinary Core Ideas and CCCs-cross-cutting concepts.
      Can we imagine a world where science becomes a matter of practicing with how to interpret our experiences in ways that are being assigned by the very political powers that want wholesale transformations? The ones engaged in the wholesale deceit Ridley chronicles?

    • THE AUTHOR HAS IT EXACTLY RIGHT.
      Left to itself, the scientific METHOD is usually self-correcting. The best interpretation is hammered out through competition of individual scientists promoting their own ideas at conferences, workshops, review of papers, and criticism of published papers. BUT, when higher entities, e.g. scientific societies, funding organizations, politicians of every type from local, to national, to international, elect to utilize a particular scientific interpretation for their own political and/or financial end, and when these groups act in unison, then the scientific method breaks down, the science becomes corrupted, and society loses. That old watchdog of such consequences, the free and active press, also seems to have broken down; it is by no mean blameless.

      • When scientific consensus is challenged successfully is usually after its scientific and institutional promoters have died. Death is a major component of scientific self-correction, not a scientific method.

        • Donald Kasper:
          The following pieces of evidence may be of interest. Years ago, I spotted a fallacy in the argument supporting a policy of the U.S. government on the periodic inspection of safety-critical structures and advised the government of its existence. The government ignored me. Subsequently, a colleague and I published a peer-reviewed article that proved my contention ( http://www.ndt.net/article/v04n05/oldberg/oldberg.htm ). I brought this product of the peer-review system to the attention of the government official in charge. He ignored me. Three decades after I first I brought its existence to the attention of the government, the fallacy in the argument underlying this policy of the government remains unchanged and in conflict with the finding by the peer-review system that it is fallacious.
          Years latter, I spotted a fallacy in the argument supporting the policy of the U.S. government on CO2 emissions. I published a peer-reviewed article proving my contention ( http://wmbriggs.com/post/7923/ ) and presented a summary to an EPA hearing regarding an EPA proposal to regulate CO2 emissions from coal-burning power plants. A year and a half later, the argument underlying this policy of the government remains unchanged and in conflict with the finding by the peer-review system that it is fallacious.

    • now the stars have brought their light,
      good night, sleep tight.
      Lennon/McCartney.
      ____
      refreshing article though.
      Good Morning Sunshine.
      to: same as it ever was?

  2. My comment form Bishop Hill repeated for a US reaction.

    I dread to think what harm this episode will have done to the reputation of science in general when the dust has settled. Science will need a reformation.

    May I suggest that the earlier passage on internet blogs shows that the reformation is already happening?
    It’s not science but academia that is in trouble.
    Academia has expanded without pause since WW2, after all.

    • I think your distinction of science from academia is important. An awful lot of folks are getting upset at the excesses and rot at modern universities that include escalating costs, graduates that are totally unfit for the workforce, and banal lawlessness from students. Throw in the P.C. culture, and you have a recipe for a major backlash from taxpayers who are tired of funding a 5 year vacation for very self-important twits.

      • And a lot of the experimental thought of those self-important twits is lately being amplified out of all proportion by the left-leaning progressive media, making a lot of ridiculous nonsense sound a lot more accepted by the public than it actually is. I blame a lot of this on a generation which has had virtually NO introduction to Nature and how it works. How else could they produce utter nonsense like “gender is fluid,” “trans-racial” and C02 is a pollutant?

      • Mark and MC: Quite right. A scientist might well be an ‘academic’ – but all too often it now seems that many ‘academics’ are not scientists – at least, ‘not as we know them, Jim’. (To test this hypothesis: Phil Jones, academic or scientist? (I toyed with the idea of using Mann but that was too easy – he’s neither.)

      • Academia is in the process of getting gut punched by internet based education. While some schools are still charging $1000+ per unit, prices plunge over time. In short order a BS or BA degree will be nearly free and from name schools. That’s gonna leave a mark…
        http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/special-programs/
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesmarshallcrotty/2011/12/21/m-i-t-game-changer-free-online-education-for-all/
        http://www.harvard.edu/faqs/free-courses
        https://www.edx.org/schools-partners
        So soon anyone can get a degree for free. Those wanting stronger certification of attendance can start an operation verifying attendance and performance, if needed. The $20, 000 a yr delux money trough is shrinking, and a new generation of young in debt parents are not going to let their kids be so abused with debt, and will opt more for online. Heck, I would likely do it now just for the time savings.

    • If you have read Francis Bacon’s New Organon then you realize that the linkage between modern scientific research and governmental support was one of the ideals that Bacon thought would “free” science from these very same problems. At the time he wrote, the 600-lb gorillas in the ring were the Church(es): COE, Catholic, various protestant flavors, depending upon where a scientist was conducting work. The threats were very real with some important names in science being executed for “heretical” opinions they refused to relinquish at the instruction of the Powers-That-Be. Bacon had hoped that an enlightened government would support a search for the “truth.”
      He failed to imagine that politicians would set policy based upon opinion rather than informed opinion and worse, that scientists could be so venal as to offer opinion based on monetary reward rather than a desire to reveal truth. In short, he never imagined that science, politicians and government agencies could easily be as bad or worse than the scholasticism he detested.

      • President Eisenhower had no trouble imagining it and sternly warned us in his farewell address that there is a danger that government might ‘take over science’. Perhaps the government needs to be constrained by funding rules which require equal funding for all sides of any research which they support. Of course it too will be abused by rent seekers but perhaps will in the end prevent the hundreds of billions being spent on these fiascoes.

    • Don’t leave out federal agencies that are rotting from the inside out, at least in the US. Money, primarily in the form of bonuses and budgets, and politics/advocacy have corrupted the Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Administration, Goverment Services Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies, right on down to the local school districts fabricating student test scores to get bonuses. NASA and NOAA seem not to have escaped unscathed.
      Professionalism in government is dead. It is difficult to believe any government study.

  3. “The big difference is that these scientists who insist that we take their word for it, and who get cross if we don’t, are also asking us to make huge, expensive and risky changes to the world economy and to people’s livelihoods. They want us to spend a fortune getting emissions down as soon as possible.”
    No, they are the bought tools of a corrupt and evil political class that wants to reserve the benefits of technology solely to themselves – and the rest can just die.

  4. This excellent and well researched document places the blame for the pseudo science of AGW exactly where it belongs in the realm of fantasy. With keyword highlighting, it provides a source document to refute the warmists at every twist and turn of their balderdash. Thanks so much.

  5. Thanks, a great post. I always enjoy reading your website. I got your book a few years ago too. A good read and worth the money.
    Alone in my family and circle of friends, bar one chap, I’m often “othered” as a consequence of my views. And, it seems I’m the only one with, a basic, understanding of some of the science. I tend to shut up now to avoid the confrontation and vitriol. Occasionally I’m seeked out for the confrontation by some in the circles that have, third hand, been told I’m a denier. I always remain calm a stick to what I now in the ensuing argument. I’m not arguing either. Then the ad hominem starts and remaining calm I watch then walk away. Last time I was told I’d be showed when the angry person talks about studying environmental law to prove me wrong!

    • When I get confronted like that, all I’ll say is, “The IPCC’s science and it’s policy recommendations don’t say the same thing. Go read the evidence for yourself if you’re truly interested. Meanwhile, I’m getting another drink.” 😉

      • Do you happen to know if there exists a systematic review of the differences between the contribution from Working Group I to the fifth assessment report and the policy recommendations?

  6. I did not even bother to read it all because the first 3 paragraphs had me too angry.
    I have posted several times on here about the inaction of “Us” of those of in a high enough position or high enough education who sit on their laurels believing that RIght is might, that the truth of no global warming will win out.
    I have posted about new and more actions my gov’t is taking to halt climate change based on the coin from our pockets.
    Doesn’t matter that I write to my gov’t, doesn’t matter that I comment here. No one listens or even responds in agreement that we are losing and they are winning. Yes there is a win lose because laws and levy hurt us when it is for a false condition.
    Why do “You” not listen because “You” are arrogant and believe you have the morale and intellectual high ground.
    The only ones hearing “You” is in place like this blog. I NEVER hear any of the information form here on my nightly news.
    I read this page for the humour now because honestly what goes on in the real world sure as hell is not what goes on here

    • What exactly do you think can be done to increase exposure of the failings in climate science?
      If you read the whole article, Matt makes it clear how much the truth is suppressed by vocal bloggers and complacent media.
      Matt regularly writes in high profile publications and is rewarded with vicious personal attacks as a result.
      I see little more he, or anyone else here, can do other than what we are doing.
      If you have any ideas, this is the place to discuss them.

    • Geoff does have a very major point, and I have expressed this same point on other WUWT articles.
      The science has been won by the skeptics, and that is very good. But we are dealing with emotions, a huge factor for the general public. I even think most of our bravest scientists who dare to defy the orthodoxy don’t appreciate the monumental impact the media has on the general public. The skeptic side does not have a mass media outlet to counteract the assault of continuing propaganda. Once the people have obtained a ‘belief’, hell will freeze over before they change their mind. No amount of personal interaction with facts are allowed to enter their grey matter – the emotion complex takes over and no facts are allowed to enter. Thus the ad hominen attacks.
      IMO, Geoff is correct winning the science battle is great, but we will lose the war. My biggest fear.

      • At work, I hear people talk. A lot of people. Nobody even QUESTIONS AGW.
        So you have me, among about 100 people. From the propaganda standpoint, the warmists are most certainly winning.

      • Winning the scientific debate and the media debate require totally different strategies. The scientific debate can be won with facts and figures but facts and figures have absolutely no effect on the ‘social media’ debate. In social media, the most effective weapons are peer pressure and mockery. It is by mocking the alarmists and telling them that they are missing the latest trendy information that you split their ranks. Try this …
        ‘Everyone knows that CO2 does not cause global warming …. dude, have you only just found out?’
        Simple as that. Don’t over think it – just mock them and tell them their friends are more informed than they are. It works every time.

    • In order to stop losing, you or your allies might start producing real science.
      There is plenty of research on the values of climate sensitivity, but essentially NO peer reviewed science disputing the basic finding that Man’s burning of fossil fuels is the cause of warming seen since 1950.
      You are losing because you and your allies cannot produce a coherent set of scientific hypotheses for the behavior of the climate:
      1) Some dispute the planet is warming at all (yes, there are such individuals posting on WUWT),
      2) Some say Earth is warming, but Man is not the cause,
      3) Others agree the planet is warming, man is the cause, but it’s nothing to worry about.
      4) And others say we don’t need to have an hypothesis –all we have to do is critique the pros (!)
      ‘Winning’ requires credible research, coherent hypotheses, and supporting evidence. You have none of these.

      • You are putting the shoe on the wrong foot. There is no data showing that burning fossil fuels is the cause of warming from the 1950s. There is (was) a correlation of increased CO2 and temperatures, but they attempted to claim they knew enough about the climate to rule out any other cause. The pause has shown how little they actually understand about the climate. Despite having all their tools to use to directly measure all the factors they claim are relevant, they still can’t explain why the warming stopped.
        If you don’t know why it’s not warming now, you have no credibility when you claim that nothing else could have caused the warming earlier. Clearly, there are factors, at least as strong as what you say CO2 is, operating that you do not understand at all.
        It is perfectly valid to say the climate changes, and we do not know all the parameters, so we can not rule out natural causes for the late 20th century warming. If you believe otherwise, it is up to you to provide direct evidence that the warming was primarily due to added CO2.
        In short, since you cannot explain the pause now, we need not explain the warming then.

      • @JTOM
        So you put yourself in category #4. Providing critiques but no coherent hypothesis or supporting evidence. A perfect example of how to lose the battle.

      • warrenlb:
        As usual, you have everything backwards.
        You say to sceptics of anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW)

        ‘Winning’ requires credible research, coherent hypotheses, and supporting evidence. You have none of these.

        Sceptics of AGW have ALL of these but supporters of AGW have none of them.
        There is NO empirical evidence of discernible AGW; none, zilch, nada.
        Research conducted worlwide for three decades at a cost of over $5 billion per year has failed to find any such evidence.
        Furthermore, evidence that refutes the AGW hypothesis continues to mount as the misnamed ‘Pause’ continues, and excuses for it (e.g. the recent revisionist paper by Karl et al.) increase.
        And there are several “coherent hypotheses” with “supporting evidence” that “credible research” provides as alternatives to the now-falsified AGW hypothesis.
        For example, the recent climate changes could be attributed to changes in cloud cover: clouds reflect sun light back to space so it does not reach the Earth’s surface. Indeed, this one (of several “coherent hypotheses”) is between two and four times more likely to be useful than the already falsified AGW hypothesis. I explain this as follows.
        Good records of cloud cover are very short because cloud cover is measured by satellites that were not launched until the mid-1980s. But it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid-1980s and late-1990s
        (ref. Pinker, R. T., B. Zhang, and E. G. Dutton (2005), Do satellites detect trends in surface solar radiation?, Science, 308(5723), 850– 854.)
        Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq. metre. This is a lot of warming overv less than two decades. It is between two and four times the entire warming estimated to have been caused by the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. (The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that since the industrial revolution, the build-up of human-caused greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has had a warming effect of only 2.4 Watts/sq. metre.)
        More than a decade ago Fred Singer organised a side meeting at an IPCC Conference in the Hague. Fred, Gerd Rained-Wewber and I were each speakers. At the end of my presentation of global temperature data sets, I said,
        “When the ‘chickens come home to roost’ – as they surely will with efluxion of time – then the politicians and journalists won’t say, “It was our fault”. They will say, “It was the scientists’ fault”, and that’s me, and I OBJECT!”
        Since then, with the help of nature we have won the ‘science debate’, and at Copenhagen we killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, but I see no reason to change my opinion that I stated in the Hague, so I still object.
        Richard

      • You have it 100% backwards. I’m not a scientist but I am a citizen and a voter and before you tell me that I have to throw the economy of the entire world into the trash and accept tyrannical pronouncements of phony politicians like Al Gore that they need to take over my life, you had better have absolutely irrefutable, nobody disagrees facts and plenty of them. So far, you have a lot of tenuous junk science that, as the article points out, is riddled with fabrications, errors and sleights of hand. To me it feels like when you go to the used car lot and the salesman tells you that you have to take the deal right now because the sale ends tonight and the price will go way up. Yeah, right – give me a break. According to polls, most other, regular folks agree with me.

      • I can explain the primarily natural 20th century warming as follows:
        The warming was caused by the same thing that caused the warming during the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago.
        And by the same thing that caused the Roman Warm Period two thousand years ago.
        And by the same thing that caused the Minoan Warm Period three and a half thousand years ago.

      • @Richardscourtney
        The accounting for your reply:
        Category: Your post is filled with internal contradictions – some fitting #1, or #2, or #4, but other parts contradicting #1 and #2! (See below)
        Credible research: None cited among the 10s of thousands of peer-reviewed papers supporting AGW
        Coherent hypotheses. You cite 2-4 hypotheses, ONE of which COULD explain the behavior of the atmosphere, but not a coherent SET of hypotheses which together DO explain the climate’s behavior.
        Evidence: You imply the ‘pause’ is evidence of NO Warming. Then you cite other evidence (clouds, etc) as evidence in support of your hypothesis to EXPLAIN warming. Inconsistent
        Bottom line: You imply no warming, then offer ALTERNATIVE hypotheses to explain the warming!
        You offer multiple alternative hypotheses, but no coherent SET of hypotheses.
        You cite no research findings supporting your hypotheses
        Your post is another example of why the anti-AGW crowd is losing the battle.

      • warrenlb:
        I see you have gained ambition. No longer content with trying to make the daftest comment on WUWT each day, you are now trying to make the daftest post of the month.
        In response to my true, factual and accurate statements saying
        <blockquoteThere is NO empirical evidence of discernible AGW; none, zilch, nada.
        Research conducted worldwide for three decades at a cost of over $5 billion per year has failed to find any such evidence.
        Furthermore, evidence that refutes the AGW hypothesis continues to mount as the misnamed ‘Pause’ continues, and excuses for it (e.g. the recent revisionist paper by Karl et al.) increase.
        you have replied

        Credible research: None cited among the 10s of thousands of peer-reviewed papers supporting AGW

        No, NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.
        If any paper had provided such evidence then you could have proved me completely wrong by citing it and quoting from it.
        But you cannot cite and quote any empirical evidence for discernible AGW because – as I said – there is none.
        And that is not the limit of the idiocy you display in your response to my post.
        You claim my post contains “internal contradictions”. But there are no “internal contradictions” in my post and that is why you don’t cite any.
        However, you write nonsense such as this

        Coherent hypotheses. You cite 2-4 hypotheses, ONE of which COULD explain the behavior of the atmosphere, but not a coherent SET of hypotheses which together DO explain the climate’s behavior.

        I did NOT “cite 2-4 hypotheses”. Inability to read has always been one of your several weaknesses, warrenlb, and you have yet again demonstrated it. I said

        And there are several “coherent hypotheses” with “supporting evidence” that “credible research” provides as alternatives to the now-falsified AGW hypothesis.

        Then I cited and explained as an example ONE hypothesis which alone is “is between two and four times more likely to be useful than the already falsified AGW hypothesis”.
        And you clearly don’t understand the nature of an hypothesis when you complain that my example “COULD explain the behavior of the atmosphere”. If it “COULD” then it is a viable hypothesis.
        warrewnlb, I am being very, very kind when I assume that your inability to read has induced you to provide this falsehood

        Evidence: You imply the ‘pause’ is evidence of NO Warming. Then you cite other evidence (clouds, etc) as evidence in support of your hypothesis to EXPLAIN warming. Inconsistent

        I implied nothing.
        The misnamed ‘Pause’ IS absence of discernible global warming.

        The ‘Pause’ has been over the last 18+ years (i.e. since 1997).
        The measured warming effect of reduced cloud cover was before that (i.e. the mid-1980s to late-1990s).
        As I said, and therefore if you could read you would have known

        Good records of cloud cover are very short because cloud cover is measured by satellites that were not launched until the mid-1980s. But it appears that cloudiness decreased markedly between the mid-1980s and late-1990s
        (ref. Pinker, R. T., B. Zhang, and E. G. Dutton (2005), Do satellites detect trends in surface solar radiation?, Science, 308(5723), 850– 854.)
        Over that period, the Earth’s reflectivity decreased to the extent that if there were a constant solar irradiance then the reduced cloudiness provided an extra surface warming of 5 to 10 Watts/sq. metre.

        And to cap it all, you conclude with this piece of delusional lunacy

        Your post is another example of why the anti-AGW crowd is losing the battle.

        which completely ignores the factual statements in my post that said

        with the help of nature we have won the ‘science debate’, and at Copenhagen we killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol,

        Yes, warrenlb, you have managed to provide the daftest post on WUWT so far this month. Congratulations!
        Richard

      • @richardscourtney
        Interesting reply. Lets see where it leads:
        You say: No, NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED [in support of AGW].
        I say: Go here for a good count of the 10s of thousands: http://jamespowell.org/Piecharts/styled/index.html . Or to the IPCC Assessments, or to the papers they cite. Perhaps your beyond ridiculous statement explains why you are still editing E *E instead of Nature or Science.
        You indeed said that here are several ALTERNATIVE hypotheses to AGW. That’s not AN hypothesis – or even a coherent SET. It’s a LAUNDRY LIST.
        You say: “with the help of nature we have won the ‘science debate’, and at Copenhagen we killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol,” YOU killed Kyoto II? YOU Richardscourtney? Your self delusion knows no bounds.

      • You indeed said that here are several ALTERNATIVE hypotheses to AGW. That’s not AN hypothesis – or even a coherent SET. It’s a LAUNDRY LIST.

        You’re shilliness is not going to win over an new friends. The correct word for the suggestions is postulates until its in a form that can be quantitatively compared with experimental data.
        The hypothesis that the warming in the late 20th century was definitely due to CO2 failed. You have no evidence that it the globe would have cooled to late 19th century levels in the past 20 years if not for the extra CO2 in the atmosphere because that was the prediction – an increase of 0.3°C/decade if we continued as is. And the late 19th century was the end of the Little Ice Age.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/to:1995/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/detrend:0.6
        In no other field of science would I have to argue with the likes of you that it was a massive failure for the hypothesis.

        • Well said. However, I disagree with you when you say that “The hypothesis that the warming in the late 20th century was definitely due to CO2 failed.” Global warming climatology has not yet advanced to the stage at which it advances hypotheses. Hypotheses are falsifiable. The projections of the global warming models are not.

      • warrenlb:
        I see you continue your policy of not missing any opportunity to demonstrate your ignorance and stupidity. And this time you also ignore the First Rule Of Holes while yet again demonstrating you cannot read.
        There is NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of discernible global warming; none, zilch, nada.
        As I said in my post you have stupidly replied

        No, NOT ONE JOT OF EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.
        If any paper had provided such evidence then you could have proved me completely wrong by citing it and quoting from it.
        But you cannot cite and quote any empirical evidence for discernible AGW because – as I said – there is none.

        Your reply asserts there is some such evidence hidden somewhere in 10s of thousands of papers. Which, of course, demonstrates you don’t know of any such evidence because your assertion is NOT a statement, NOT a citation, NOT an explanation, and NOT a reference to any such evidence.
        And you say there is some such evidence of some unspecified kind in some unspecified place(s) in some unspecified IPCC Report(s). Silly boy, if – as I have – you had read all of every IPCC Report then you would know the IPCC Reports do NOTG contain any empirical evidence of discernible global warming; none, zilch, nada.
        You claimed of sceptics

        You are losing because you and your allies cannot produce a coherent set of scientific hypotheses for the behavior of the climate:

        I pointed out that there are several such hypotheses and as example I explained one that alone provides a better explanation of climate behaviour than AGW. You have replied

        You indeed said that here are several ALTERNATIVE hypotheses to AGW. That’s not AN hypothesis – or even a coherent SET. It’s a LAUNDRY LIST.

        warrenlb, that response from you is so stupid that it beggars belief!
        I have drawn attention to it but will refrain from comment because anything I say may reduce the laughter at it from onlookers.

        And in the context of answering your daft assertion that we AGW-sceptics are “losing” I wrote

        with the help of nature we have won the ‘science debate’, and at Copenhagen we killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol

        You have replied with this lunacy which – yet again – demonstrates you cannot read

        You say: “with the help of nature we have won the ‘science debate’, and at Copenhagen we killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol,” YOU killed Kyoto II? YOU Richardscourtney? Your self delusion knows no bounds.

        I made no claims that I personally did any of that. Indeed, if you could read then you would know that “we” does not mean “I”.
        However, for completeness, I add that I personally did make a small contribution. At Copenhagen the Chinese killed plans for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol and I helped them by providing them with information they requested.
        Keep digging, warrenlb. You are already a laughing stock and you are making yourself an object of ridicule.
        Richard
        PS I am honoured to be on the Editorial Board of E&E and have no desire to assist the lesser journals you mention except to aid them to return to the high standards they had long ago.

      • Friends:
        I write to provide a clarification.
        Although it should be apparent from context, in my most recent reply to the troll, warrenlb, I repeatedly used the phrase “discernible global warming” when – in each and every case – I meant “discernible anthropogenic global warming”.
        My reference to “AGW” does make my meaning clear, but I write this because context is way, way beyond the understanding abilities of the troll.
        Richard

      • Warren is right but for the wrong reasons. Logic and reason cannot defeat emotion and stupid. Even smart people can have their logic destroyed by emotion. Warren sounds like people I’ve responded to to in our local newspaper. When a person’s goal is the destruction of free enterprise no logical proof will affect them. They will insist that socialism works — the failures were just because it wasn’t done right. They gladly turn their future over to lying incompetent people like Obama or the What difference does it make type neither of whom would I hire for an entry level management job.
        Max

      • @richardscourtney
        On June 19th you said this: “Why do you [warrenlb] support the political propaganda from every scientific institution on the planet when you cannot provide any evidence to support their propaganda [sic]?
        LOL! So you characterize the work of the world’s national Science Academies (US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, et al), Scientific Professional Societies, Major Universities, NASA and NOAA as ‘propaganda’! And presumably the papers in ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’ as well.
        And of course you say the work of ‘Energy and The Environment’ is (harumph) ‘Real Science’.
        Now we know where you get your definition of the Scientific Method from. Do you have Cracker Jacks in the UK?

        • warrenlb:
          Characteristics of the scientific method that are not usually characteristics of the method of a global warming study, regardless of who performed it, include:
          a) falsifiability of claims
          b) supply by models of information to policy makers about the outcomes from their policy decisions
          c) strict avoidance of applications of fallacies in drawing conclusions from arguments.
          If you are surprised and appalled by the fostering of the use of pseudoscientific methods in the conduct of research by institutions that include national “science” academies, major universities, “scientific” professional societies and governmental agencies I’m with you.

  7. An excellent summary of how low science and journalism has sunk by an outstanding writer.
    It should be mandatory reading for all policy makers.
    A few brave politicians in the vein of Tony Abbott are urgently needed to help bring this unfortunate debacle and it’s cheerleaders to a swift and long overdue conclusion.
    The first target should be the soon to depart POTUS, who should be forever damned for his collusion and criminal meddling in this matter.

  8. I think carbon-dioxide-induced warming during this century is likely, though I think it is unlikely to prove rapid and dangerous.

    In other words, you Believe something, but not too much. It is like saying you believe an invasion of space monsters is likely this century, although it is unlikely to be rapid and dangerous. The rest of your arguments are sound, so why the need to kowtow to Belief? It’s a puzzle.

    • To say CO2 is not a factor in planetary warming is a lie if you have no proof. I think the author is restating the generally understood fact that CO2 is a factor, but we do not know how big a factor it is. Most serious skeptics want climate science to do a complete study without biases, but to actually determine exactly what the role of CO2 is, along with all of the other factors.
      We are not getting that from climate science because there is so much more money and power available to those who toe the climate alarmism line.

      • Wrong, wrong wrong. First, I did not say it was “not a factor”. Furthermore, you are turning the Null Hypothesis on its head. It is up to those stating that it is indeed a factor to show how, and in what way. They have not, nor can they. To say that we “know” that increased CO2 is in fact warming the planet, even if only a very small amount is the lie. We don’t know, and in fact we may never know, simply because the contribution if it exists, is so small that it can’t be sussed out from the climate “noise”.

    • Like science is a puzzle, Bruce.
      The jury is still out on the extent to which CO2 causes global warming (or doesn’t). Ice cores say warming comes first, CO2 later. Arrhenius suggested that an increase in “greenhouse gases” should have an effect on temperature as they “trap” and re-radiate heat but the extent depends on feedbacks.
      So in the end you have to “believe ” one or the other (or that CO2 is irrelevant).
      I doubt there more than a dozen people, outside a mental hospital, that believe invasion by space monsters is possible let alone likely. Just as there very few who actually believe that warming is likely to be catastrophic. And Ridley explains why that is.
      But if you’re an eco-fanatic and one of those who believes we should all go back to living in yurts and knitting yoghurt then scaring people with exaggerations (that are not quite lies!) is the way to go.

      • The jury is still out on the extent to which CO2 causes global warming (or doesn’t). Ice cores say warming comes first, CO2 later. Arrhenius suggested that an increase in “greenhouse gases” should have an effect on temperature as they “trap” and re-radiate heat but the extent depends on feedbacks.

        Sorry but these two things are different. Ice cores are data, Arrhenius suggestion is a theory. If data and theory are not mutually compatible, then trash the theory. Data is king.

    • AGW is real. The severity could be anywhere from a barely measurable academic curiosity, to the end of the world as we know it. The data strongly suggests the former.

    • In other words, you Believe something, but not too much. It is like saying you believe an invasion of space monsters is likely this century, although it is unlikely to be rapid and dangerous.

      I believe that if I apply one volt DC across a ten thousand ohm, quarter watt resistor, some current will flow. I also believe that the resistor will not explode. I also believe that no space monsters will be harmed by the experiment. Are you telling me I’m wrong?

    • The problem lies in the very concept of “climate” which lies at the very heart of the debate. Climate is a generalization of weather over time, interacting with regional geography. When you employ weather data time series to describe climate, then you are generalizing about weather to literally create a concept of “climate.” To then turn and employ that weather data generalization to attempt describe how that very “generalization” is changing is to turn and bite one self in the gluteus maximus. The entire “science” is based upon circular reasoning and that appears to me to be the primary “feed-back loop” in the system. I have read climate scientists argue that weather is “chaotic” and inherently unpredictable in the longer term but that “climate” is different and really can be predicted. Perhaps I am a climate denier.

      • Actually Duster, I think the problem is with your definition of climate. Climate is not merely a generalization of weather over time. Climate is the study of external factors to the land/sea/air thermodynamic system, including, but not limited to solar variation, solar system orbital variations, ocean circulation, tilt variations, geophysics, etc. The climate is not significantly affected by the atmosphere, which is only .01% of the thermal mass of land/sea/air system.

      • Extremely well said. There are some first rate scientists who are skeptics except for the fact that they are unwilling to be critical of the concept of climate or any of its constituent parts such as global average temperature. Let me put it this way. If you bring together all the laws and concepts found in the most popular academic texts on climate then what you have is remarkably incomplete. There is no one rigorously formulated theory that specifies the facts of climate or even a coherent subset of those facts. But everybody, consensus climate scientist or skeptic, is willing to talk about his work as a piece of the climate theory. There is no climate theory. (Why else take the desperate step of using models?)
        Of course, there is radiation theory and I accept it. But it is not possible to deduce climate theory from radiation theory.

    • Everything you know is a belief (although the converse isn’t true).
      Knowledge is a special case of belief.
      There’s nothing wrong with believing things—the question is *why* you believe them.
      If the answer is “Because!” then it’s a *mere* belief and deserves to be made fun of the way you’re making fun of Matt now (“space monsters” etc.).
      But don’t throw out the baby (justified belief) with the bathwater (mere belief).

    • There is a difference between, “I think,” and ,”I know.” He is giving an opinion, one shared by many of us here, based on the incomplete data and the inadequate understanding of climate we have. A conjecture or SWAG, and as more data comes in, that opinion will change accordingly.
      I think there is other intelligent life in the universe, but an invasion of space monsters in this century highly unlikely. I will change what I think if an army of space monsters arrives.

  9. Science hijacked by politics has become “the lie agreed upon” That used to be for history only. Now with the Hollywood pope getting involved it has become something else. I have heard people say that this is not about science anymore that, “this is now spiritual.” I don’t know how this happened. So much progress just thrown away so quickly.

  10. An excellent synthesis of the “state of the climate science”, very well documented with key points. Thanks Matt.

  11. I have some very intelligent friends that don’t want to believe that “climate change” is a scam because they cannot face the possibility that so many scientists are so corrupt. They want to believe in the incorruptible scientist, always devoted to discovering truth. I am hoping this report will at least convince them of the possibility.
    I wish Feynman were still around. He would have a field day with the likes of Mann, Pachauri, and their ilk.

    • “I have some very intelligent friends…”
      intelligent or just educated? I face the same issue. I think the “scam” isn’t a coordinated scam, just a weird form of evolution. Those that speak out are derided and suppressed, natural selection does the rest.

      • Both. But basically they don’t have time to look at the evidence. They depend on the integrity of the MSM and people like N. D, Tyson. By the way, I thought it was not a deliberately coordinated scam until I found out that the IPCC executive summary does not agree with much of the science contained in the body of the reports. Mind boggling that somebody in the MSM doe not investigate this.

      • Ken you give MSM to much credit, to the most part the are truly morons, they would not know how to ask an intelligent question if it bit them in their behind.

    • Ken, I’ve had that difficult conversation with believers too.
      You may find it helpful to distinguish, in advance, actual scientists (who follow the scientific method) from pseudoscientists. By “in advance” I mean that the distinction is purely methodological or procedural—based on how the scientists carry out their work—and has nothing to do with their ideologies, values, areas of inquiry or conclusions reached.
      E.g. a scientist who withholds enabling detail such that replication of her work is impossible = a pseudoscientist, and prima facie a corrupt person. She can wear a white labcoat til the cows come home, but that won’t make her a scientist. Only by submitting to the/a scientific method can she come back into conformity with the definition of ‘scientist.’
      Once your friends understand that almost all the corrupt climate “scientists” are actually corrupt climate pseudoscientists, it may make the scale of the corruption less unpalatable.
      So it’s not as if you’re telling them that everything they’ve ever been taught was a lie. They don’t have to suddenly ask themselves: what if Einstein was scamming us all along? There’s no need to lose trust in all scientists. Far from it: the vast majority of the world’s scientists can be cleared of *ethical* suspicion just by being *methodologically* kosher.

    • This would seem to be the same issue as that which led to the rejection of Pons and Fleischmann’s work. In that case, science didn’t want to accept findings which indicated that long-established theories about matter might be incorrect. Even, if only incorrect in one or two very specific special cases.
      We likewise have a situation with climate change where theories were allowed to become mainstream, which were then subjected to question. The response of the scientific community in both instances was a rather childish one, to dig their heels in and refuse to acknowledge that they could be wrong.
      I’ve pointed out already that a similar situation arose with a theory that limited the maximum data rate for any analog carrier to twice the carrier frequency. You won’t find that theory quoted any more, it has simply vanished.
      I suspect that likewise, the textbooks will mysteriously correct themselves over both fusion theory and climate change once the inevitable truth has to be accepted. No-one will admit to being wrong, though. That is too much to ask for. Reputations must remain untarnished.

      • Re. fusion: No, the environmental conditions they pretend fusion would happen are found all over the place but we don’t see fusion happen without their ‘help’.
        Re. reputation: No, reputation doesn’t get tarnished by admitting failures. Just the opposite.

  12. Welcome on your first step to denial Matt Ridley. Trying Lukewarmism is a gateway drug to full blown rejection. It’s very addictive and each time you dip in you will crave for something more substantial 🙂

    • Wicked, your statement shows that ad hominem attacks are available to all, not just to climate alarmists. I see in Matt’s writing a call to scientists to return to science. I don’t see him turning to the dark side.
      I quite agree that the chances that CO2 is a problem are quite small, but I would disagree that serious scientists should ignore it. It is, after all, a greenhouse gas. It appears high
      unlikely that it is having the effect claimed by the alarmists, but it is part of the over all mechanism of the climate system, and should not be ignored just because of the curruption of climate the alarmists

      • That is what we ALL want; turning away from Belief and back to science. Yet Matt persists in clinging to Belief, albeit in lesser form. No one said CO2 should be “ignored”, so that is a straw man on your part.

      • Matt is simply saying that authority shouldn’t say something is so without any empirical evidence. He never said we should ignore co2. It is really impossible to not see the fraud being committed here by the MSM , academia and the UN. Now you can add the pope to that list. Lukewarmer, Denier. Call it what you will. We are in the right and we mostly agree what is fraud. The rest is just semantics.

      • Ken, imputing ad hominem fallacy to wwf in this case is an ad hominem fallacy on your part; all the worse because he was flippant and you were earnest.

      • Ken, an ad hominem is refuting a point by attacking the man. “CAGW is false because Michael Mann is a jerk.” That is an ad hominem. It’s a close brother to an appeal to authority. “CAGW is true because Michael Mann is a peer-reviewed and published scientist.”
        Let us assume that you’re responding to a post that was not a jest, not even for the smiley bolted on. Then you made a serious rebuttal of an argument that wasn’t made. This is known as a Red Herring.

    • Mebbe I can kinda see what you are saying, but I gave some reasons for my objection to his tone. i don’t think Ridley deserves it. Apparently Charlie didn’t either. He likened wiked to Bill Nye. :–))

  13. It was as if I was writing this piece as I was reading it.
    Agree 100%, and well said.
    Should be required reading, but the eco-facist faithful will not take it to heart.
    They would flip it into the dustbin and mutter the word “denier.”

  14. Clarification in order?
    “Scientists don’t like this lèse majesté, of course.”
    Should be Alarmist scientists (or similar) don’t like this lèse majesté, of course.
    BUT: Best comprehensive essay I have read on the corruption of Global Warming.
    Thanx

  15. Good piece, Mr. Ridley. Thanks for that.
    Judging from the reaction of poor silly Ken Rice on his ATTP blog, it seems to have hit the spot.

  16. Pope Francis Appoints Population Control Extremist to Vatican Post
    A scientist who believes the world is overpopulated by 6 billion people has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Science.
    The Holy See Press office made the announcement today that besides being one of four official presenters of the Pope’s controversial encyclical on the environment Thursday in Vatican City, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is to join 80 other scientists who are official advisers to the Vatican on scientific matters.
    As Breitbart News reported last week, Schellnhuber said in a 2009 speech at the Copenhagen Climate Conference that global warming would devastate Earth’s population and “In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something — namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the plantet, namely below 1 billion people.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/17/pope-francis-appoints-population-control-extremist-to-vatican-post/
    Once again German Professor Hans-Joachim (John) Schellnhuber is calling for limiting democracy and transfering policy-making power to a wiser, elite group of scientists.
    http://tinyurl.com/nvfa5ph
    Elitism: “17 Prominent Scientists” Express Contempt For Democracy…Demand Policymaking Power
    Of course none of these 17 “leading scientists” will ever admit their contempt for democracy, yet their demands tell us a different story. What their statement tells us is: Yes, citizens are allowed to elect their leaders, but the leaders must do what us elite “scientists” tell them.
    http://tinyurl.com/pftf4oe

    • From your link to the joachim-schellnhuber quote. A portion of the quote:
      “The role of politics is then to mobilize the will of the citizens…” .
      If you look at my reply to Geoff above, you will see that he and I are addressing this most important issue. It is all PR using propaganda to ‘capture the citizens’.

      • @kokoda,
        I agree. The CAGW agenda was a political agenda in search of a pseudo-scientific justification from the start.
        “You cannot have a technical solution to a political problem”
        This was a wise comment from my boss when I was young and we both were struggling with with an unusual situation in which we were mired at the time.
        A political problem requires a political solution.
        I agree it doesn’t matter that the technical issue has been won by the sceptics.
        all the best
        brent

    • transferring policy-making power to a wiser, elite group of scientists.
      Dr Strangelove perhaps.

  17. Its hard being a lukewarmer. Back home, the only things in the middle of the road were yellow lines and dead armadillos. Walking this tightrope will anger both sides, where certainly an increase in emotion is unneeded. I think, however, that the balance is slipping a bit. There is a limit to the number of solar and wind installations that don’t work. If energy failures become an obvious pocketbook issue for the average person, and we have ten years of cooling from our pristine network and twenty years from our satellite network to throw in the face of the carbon nihilists, the politics of the issue may swing. “Save the planet” while appealing, may turn out to be less votable than “I’ll cut your energy bill in half”, if that half is a big enough number. There might not be much of a middle in that argument, either. A century and a half ago, tar and feathers ended the charleton’s run. We might have to settle for mere defunding this time.

  18. Shame on Ridley as well for his use of the “D” word to describe those who prefer real-world evidence, i.e. actual science to Belief, even in a diminished form.

    • Dude, EVERYONE, including you, believes in many things they cannot prove. It is impossible not to do so. There are a lot of things you believe that nobody can prove. Also, there are many things you believe because you heard them from people you hold in high regard who claim to have proof. Most of what you know about science falls into this category, and that exactly explains what Mr. Ridley is talking about when he uses the word “believe”.

      • Wrong. Man’s warming effect via CO2 has not and most likely can not be shown to exist. It remains conjecture. Furthermore, this isn’t about what people believe or not, so that is merely your attempt at muddying the water. This is about science.

      • If it is not about belief, why do you continually rag on Ridley because he believes CO2 (which would necessarily include man made CO2) could have some effect? By the way, visit Roy Spencer’s blog today. It contains a great explanation of the so-called GHE. CO2 is definitely part of it. Just science.

      • He Believes. Notice the capitalized B. It is not rational, in other words. His use of the D word is evidence of his irrationality. Why he feels the need to Believe is what is puzzling.

      • So, can you read Roy Spencer’s concise article http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/06/what-causes-the-greenhouse-effect/ and not see that CO2 plays a part? Spencer in no way implies that CO2 has been proven to be a significant driver of the warming that occurred in the four decades before the 90s, but there can be no doubt that it plays a part in maintaining the balmy climate that we so enjoy.
        By the way, I don’t mind being called a denier. I get it all the time. But my livelihood is not threatened by it. My livelihood will be threatened if they keep shutting down coal plants and erecting bird burners and bird choppers.

      • Bruce, the word Belief does NOT imply irrationality. Also, everything has some effect.

    • I’m not sure why you are trying to demonize someone who seems quite reasonable, and is expressing many of the same concerns the skeptical side has advanced in recent years. The fact is, the warming hypothesis is undergoing examination, and it is failing that examination. But, like many hypotheses in the scientific method, falsification is not always complete. Experimentation and testing often require us to revise a hypothesis rather than just scrap it. The hypothesis that rising levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide cause catastrophic warming has already been discredited, despite claims of its true believers. However, the importance of carbon dioxide as a warming factor has yet to be determined, and it would be poor science from the opposite perspective to claim that it has been.
      The author’s larger point about damage to the pursuit of science is an important one. More than any other issue in recent years, Global Warming has polarized the scientific community. We see attempts on the part of its adherents to stifle and censor opposing views, as well as to personally destroy those who would raise a skeptical voice. Rather than adopt those tactics, it seems to this scientist that making a case against Global Warming requires a rational, scientific examination of its claims. If anything can mitigate the damage to science done by this episode, it is a victory over the inappropriate behavior of Global Warming advocates by reasoned, rational scientists. While I am a skeptic, I welcome the contributions of those who, while not as skeptical as me, are watching the story unfold rationally and are coming to the same skeptical conclusions.

    • He’s doing important work at some significant personal peril. His presence in the House of Lords is vital. He is a UK national treasure and a gift to science in general. Support him. Buy his books! His biography of Crick is delightful.

  19. In Medieval England the Church was all powerful. The fear of going to Hell was very real and people were told that only the Catholic Church could save your soul so that you could go to Heaven. The head of the Catholic Church was the pope based in Rome. The most important position in the church in Medieval England was the Archbishop of Canterbury and both he and the king usually worked together.
    A king of England could not remove a pope from his position but popes claimed that they could remove a king by excommunicating him – this meant that the king’s soul was condemned to Hell and people then had the right to disobey the king.
    For people in England , there was always the real problem – do you obey the king or the pope ? In fact, this was rarely a problem as both kings and popes tended to act together as both wanted to remain powerful. On two occasions they fell out – one involved the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, and the other Henry VIII.
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/medieval-england/thomas-becket/
    “In fact, this was rarely a problem as both kings and popes tended to act together as both wanted to remain powerful.” !!!!
    Crispin Tickell was one of the Godfathers of the CAGW scam
    Crispin Tickell (Belief)
    Now you come from an Anglo-Irish family. Your great, great grandfather was T H Huxley – Aldous Huxley was in your background too. Now this is a legacy of seriously thoughtful, intellectual address, isn’t it?
    Well T H Huxley was in many respects one of my heroes. Aldous was as well. In fact I think if anybody had any influence on me during my adolescence, it was Aldous Huxley. And I remember going to lunch with him and he asked me what essay I was writing that day for my history teacher. And I replied it was about the relations between the Pope and the Emperor. And he sort of took a deep breath, and for about 15 minutes he spoke about the secular versus the spiritual power. And I really sat back, staggered by what I heard, because he illuminated every aspect of this immensely complicated and still continuing problem, and I found it fascinating. When I sat down afterwards to try and write my essay, I was hardly able to write a word
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/11/climate-science-sociology/#comment-364124
    Huxley family tree (partial)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huxley_family
    The New Divinity
    By Julian Huxley
    This essay is taken from:
    Essays of a Humanist
    (Chatto & Windus, 1964)
    Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sence of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
    Though gods and God in any meaningful sence seem destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains. This religious raw material consists of those aspects of nature and those experiences which are usually described as divine. Let me remind my readers that the term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interprete man’s experiences of this quality.
    Some events and some phenomena of outer nature transcend ordinary explanation and ordinary experience. They inspire awe and seem mysterious, explicable only in terms of something beyond or above ordinary nature.
    http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/jh_divin.htm
    Sir Julian Huxley
    He saw Humanism as a replacement ‘religion’, and as such represented an important strand in post-war humanist thought. In a speech given to a conference in 1965 he spoke of the need for “a religiously and socially effective system of humanism.” And in his book Religion Without Revelation, he wrote:
    “What the sciences discover about the natural world and about the origins, nature and destiny of man is the truth for religion. There is no other kind of valid knowledge. This natural knowledge, organized and applied to human fulfilment, is the basis of the new and permanent religion.” The book ends with the concept of “transhumanism”– “man remaining man, but transcending himself by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”.
    https://humanism.org.uk/humanism/the-humanist-tradition/20th-century-humanism/sir-julian-huxley/

  20. Before I continued reading, I had to look up myrmidons. From Websters online dictionary:
    2. : a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously.
    Now I can digest the rest of the full article and cogitate on the premiss that science is no longer self-correcting within the time span we all believed was the case before climate science entered the scene. (Hint: we live in a current age of expected instant gratification.)

    • “Pamela Gray
      June 19, 2015 at 7:41 am
      (Hint: we live in a current age of expected instant gratification.)”
      May be for now, but there was a time when people didn’t know and looked to the “Church” for “truth”. That smells like a captive market to me.

    • It’s a reference to the followers of Achilles in the Iliad.
      Fearsome and loyal warriors – derived from ants.

  21. The moment governments use science to push a political/ideological agenda, it is guaranteed that corrupt science by corrupt scientists will be generated in the interest of fame and fortune, and to the detriment of quality science by honest decent dedicated scientists.
    The education system is indoctrinating students … that human CO2 is the key driver of climate change and is causing catastrophic global warming, that CO2 is “carbon pollution”, that CO2 only has adverse effects, that science on natural climate variability is irrelevant, that climate models are accurate and reliable, and that sceptics should not be listened to, it demonstrates the extent to which the education system has gone backwards.

    • Mervyn, being able to spot a thesis without supporting documenting evidence is one of the things being taught in today’s schools. Your comment is a very good example of what an unsupported thesis statement looks like. Maybe if we had our current Common Core ELA and Math standards when I was in school we would not be where we are today. If this is the best you can offer, you stand no higher than warmers.

      • I realize that one data point does not confirm a theory, but I tutor a fifth grader in science and math. She is indeed being taught as Mervyn described wrt climate change. Her father would not discuss it with her because he so strongly objected to it. I helped her, telling her that, for now, tell the teacher exactly what she wanted to hear. I also explained to her that much of the science taught to her father and me when we were her age is now believed to be completely wrong, and that could very well prove to be the case with what she is learning.
        As far as math….I was taught back when rote memorization was the method. I’m sure there is a better method than that, but the methods being promoted today is like trying to build a house starting with the roof. By the time you work your way through what should be a simple problem, even the teachers are confused.

  22. I understand those who exploit the Co2 mythology to make money wind turbine speculators behave in the same way as property speculators just the sight of an empty green gets them hot under the collar but what concerns me more is how easily it is to fool guys like Matt into believing the hoax.

  23. Thank you, Lord Ridley. Let’s just hope that the damage to the rest of the scientific enterprise can be limited when the climate house of cards falls. In the meantime, please watch your back–the stench of Lysenko is strong in this battle and (as you know all too well) it’s an ugly and very personal fight.
    What continues to amaze me is the response by my colleagues in other branches of science: They treat any criticism of climate science dogma as an “attack on science” (of course they are led by the very complicit media–Gillis (NYT), Mooney (still flabbergasted that Washington Post would hire him!), many others, who they read avidly). They circle the wagons and denigrate any who question climate scientists, lumping us with anti-evolutionists and other kooks. It’s all very discouraging, but points out once more that scientists are human too–not as rational as we hope, and subject to confirmation bias, propaganda and indoctrination.
    I hope you’ll consider a book-length version of this piece.

    • Very well done indeed!
      No wonder that the green blob hates him…
      But don’t be afraid Mr. Ridley (and all other fellow-skeptics) and continue to follow the proverb:
      “The more danger, the more honor!”
      History will prove us right. But the term “Consensus Climate Scientist” will have then the same ridiculous air as the term “Inquisitor” today…

  24. When groups of scientists have enthusiastically pushed an incorrect theory, have taken a very, very public stand concerning a theory, it is very, very difficult to admit that everything that they have stated for multiple decades is incorrect.
    Science is connected. It is therefore not a surprise that a significant unexplained observational change to the sun could and will change more than climate science.
    This is a fascinating subject: How the climate wars will end and how science will change as a result of the theoretically correct explanation as to how the sun has changed and how and why the change to the sun, causes scary abrupt climate changes on the earth.
    It is a fact (discovered in 1993 by analysis of the Greenland Ice Sheet project 2 ice cores, confirmed that the cyclic changes are global by studying ocean sediment in the different oceans in the early 2000s, and recently with confirmed that changes are global and cyclic by studies of Southern hemisphere ice cores) there is scary cyclic abrupt global climate change in the paleo record. The cyclic abrupt climate change is caused (there are no magic wands, everything happens for a physical reason) by an abrupt change to the solar cycle.
    The physics of what is currently happening to the sun is directly related to the physics of quasars, what happens when very, very, large objects collapse.
    An example of how and why groups of scientists fail to solve fundamental scientific problems is explained in senior astronomer Halton Arp’s Seeing Red – Redshifts, Cosmology, and Academic Science. Arp’s 1998 published book concerns quasar observational paradoxes which have been know for at least two decades that supports the assertion that the universe is eternal, the universe did not start from a mysterious big bang 13.7 billion years ago.
    http://www.amazon.com/Seeing-Red-Redshifts-Cosmology-Academic/dp/0968368905
    Two decades after Arp’s book was published there are now more than a hundred new and confirmed astronomical paradoxes (in peer reviewed papers, referred to as paradoxes, failures, crises, anomalies, mysteries, and so on) that all support the assertions that Arp made in his book, that are directly related to the physics of how massive collapsed objects change and evolve, to the physical mechanisms that enables the universe to be eternal, that explains how and why galaxies form and evolve, that is directly connected to how the sun is currently changing.
    When groups of scientists have enthusiastically pushed an incorrect theory, have taken a very, very public stand concerning a theory, it is very, very difficult to admit that everything that they have stated for multiple decades is incorrect.
    We truly live in interesting times.

  25. Ken: CO2 is definitely part of it. Just science.
    But out in the wild, CO2 which does have radiative properties, also communes with the biosphere quite actively.
    How do you ‘know’ that an increase in CO2 will cause the average temperature to rise, if you are measuring it in a biologically active area?

    • I was merely commenting on the idea that CO2 has no effect on the temperature of our climate. It definitely does have an effect. What is not definite is how it’s increase (along with the other manifold drivers) will affect our climate. From what I have read the affect will be minimal, but the guys I read are clear that the impact is as yet not scientifically known.

  26. Matt,
    As a fellow luke warmer and operational meteorologist, AMEN!
    And another thing:
    Sunshine +H2O +CO2 + Minerals = O2 +Sugars(food)
    NOT:
    Sunshine +H2O +Pollution +Minerals = O2 +Sugars(food)

    • Nice equations: They’ll come in handy for some of my less-than-capable-of-thinking-for-themseleves acquaintances

  27. Science is ‘self-correcting’… hmmm… and the evidence for that is? All of the factors that make Science suceptible to self-interest/self-promotion, fraud, manipulation, cover-up, abuse, etc are profoundly human factors – one might well argue they are the same qualities that make for its’ greatest success. So how can science attempt to ‘correct itself’ unless it corrects human nature? Now you have not only religious levels of belief applied to ‘science’, you have a religious quest as well! Shades of Eugenics! Of course science has always tried to make a better person and when that failed settled for making a better life (which it assumed would make a better person!)
    Motivations and character are everything. But who can know the heart, and what the heart will become? Having spent a part of my life in translation work – which along with religious dogma has long been held to be ‘self-correcting’, it is humorous to see assumedly intelligent people (scientists) chanting the same mantra. At least the religious side had a power to point to that would, in theory, make it happen. Science has long since declare such hope a dead one. Yet the chant goes on.
    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It does not matter the name on the door of the edifice; Politics, Pope, Army, Police, Science, Medicine, Relief, Environment, Oil – you get the same result. We have all seen it because we have all worked in it.
    Of all the people you would expect to be the fast learners on this score, scientists should be at the top. So much for ‘self-correcting’ when it comes to knowledge…. for the real issue is belief, the narrative we tell ourself to give us a sense of order, security, and place. Long-lived religious groups learned that humility was a huge part of what kept that narrative open to change. It is only when that narrative can change that knowledge can grow. In our world of ‘exceptionalism’, of nobel prizes, of perception management and Political/PR based funding humility is the sole guarantor of failure.
    So industrialized Science (Science has always been present in every human endeavour for as long as we have records of human existence) enshrined in the clothes of its’ elite leaders does not exsist for knowledge, but for itself. Its’ own survival and success depends on the propogation of its’ ideas and influence (evangelism?). Truely evolutionary! Take the belief, the authority structures, the specialized clothes, the technical language & even the grand vision (a better humanity/world) of the vanquished, throw out the one ingredient that allowed for any measure of real growth of wisdom/knowledge and call it progress. And do not forget to wage war against those you replaced.
    But wisdom has never been humanity’s strong point… which brings us back to humility. Ironically, the more sure we are of our narrative, the greater the need for humility in being open to re-examine it. So it must be for both skeptics and adherrants, regardless of the issue; climate, green tech, or God.

    • This comment is to the point.
      I am a third rate scientist and find it very difficult to achieve even that. It is very, very difficult to test a hypothesis without bias affecting the outcome. Very few so called scientists are trained to deal with this. It is even harder to shed long held beliefs when the evidence shifts against them as scientists are expected to do. People who haven’t actually tried to practise science yap on as if they could easily stay true to the scientific method. Sad to say that it is a lot harder than it looks.
      Compounding the inherent difficulty in staying true to the scientific method is the dilution of the scientific pool with opportunists who look at science as a relatively lucrative and soft job, emotionally scarred nerds who look on science as chance for revenge, overachievers who can get the grades without ever developing a philosophical commitment to the truth. In short science is imploding under the weight of junk science and junk scientists. It isn’t only climatology that is affected, look at the nonsense promulgated in pharmacology, nutrition science, psychology and so on. While economics isn’t science (though it sometimes pretends to be) it is a wonderful example of how an entire discipline can be built around an activity that is incapable of making useful predictions at a rate any greater than chance.
      I fear that the very brief age of science is already drawing to a close. The global warming farce is an announcement that humanity is back to making decisions the way it always has, which is to say by rhetoric, peer pressure and force. Sadly, there is very little evolutionary advantage to truth. Other forces like fecundity, group behaviour and sexual attractiveness have a much bigger influence on evolutionary success. As Homo sapiens behaves increasingly like a hive species, whatever little evolutionary advantage accrued to intelligent self awareness is overwhelmed by the juggernaut of moronic specialisation. University education as job training indeed!

  28. Super article. Dead on the money, in every sense of the term (follow the money, follow the money).
    The only thing he doesn’t point out is that the major recipient of climate change gelt and economic benefit is the energy industry itself! That’s the truly hilarious, yet enormously sad, thing. Skeptics are instantly accused of being secretly funded by Oil Companies or Coal Companies (forget the money that flows through the EDF, much of it diverted along the way into salaries for the NGO officers in the best modern non-profit tradition, forget the huge amounts of tax money flowing the other way into many carefully selected pockets of researchers who put the magic words “climate change” into their proposals), but if so, they are being funded out of the largest unearned slush fund ever established. Energy companies don’t even need grants to benefit. Anything at all that raises energy costs relative to the general market is pure marginal profit to an energy company, because they make marginal profit on retail cost, not a fixed profit on a variable cost. Global warming and carbon trading are manna from heaven to them, as they bump the cost of energy everywhere. If we want to pay 2x as much for electricity generated by wind turbines or solar farms, power companies are perfectly happy to rake in 2x as much marginal profit on the deal, if not more after one accounts for the tax breaks, the grants, and the other incentives.
    Follow the money.
    And now we have NOAA. Boy did they take a risk! They bet the entire reputation of scientists everywhere on a single roll of the dice. In order to get global average temperatures to cooperate with the models, they added a tenth of a degree by fiat with a half-baked justification, the latest in a long string of warming “adjustments” to all of the datasets (and just in time for the next big world meeting on global warming, what a coincidence). But for once, they are directly challenging other climate scientists, including all of those who are forming estimates of SSTs and temperatures to depth using ARGO buoys. Those scientists might well object to the tail wagging the dog. We’ll have to see if this acts as a wake up call to any of the participants who until now have quietly ridden the gravy train because temperatures hadn’t quite deviated so far from the GCMs that they were ready to completely reject their all to convenient conclusions. Tampering with data is a pretty serious matter.
    rgb

    • When Lew pulls crap out of thin air to posit his “well known psychological mechanisms” that cause intelligent people to ask reasonable questions about sham science he just keeps reinforcing the fact that he’s just grasping at straws.
      Experimental psych isn’t even a coherent subject matter capable of explaining anything but some results from lots of poorly designed and poorly measured manipulations. I don’t think anyone much cares about the Lewandowsky crowd.

      • I know we all believe Lew was crap, but I’m worried what a person who just stumbled onto here thinks.

      • jasonzeta, NOAA have said that the UK Met Office, NASA and even they, themselves, have failed to accurately measure temperature. Failed, for a decade and a half.
        Worse, they’ve said they all over-estimated the warmth at the end of the 20th century – when all the campaigns and Copenhagen were kicking off.
        Now that sounds like accusing all their fellow “scientists” of a conspiracy. In fact, it more than sounds like that. It claims an incredible coincidence of incompetence.
        NOAA deserve the accolade of “Brave”.
        Boy, did they take a risk.

    • jasonzeta: “I don’t think this should have been posted, this is fodder for the Lewandowsky crowd.”
      It will be interesting to see how Loopy Lew’s crowd react when it sinks in that the World’s newly crowned premier Warmist is also the World’s top Creationist, after all those years they’ve spent conflating AGW scepticism with Creationism.

  29. I agree with the quote by Garth Paltridge. It is very concerning. However, science does seem to be filled with gloomy incidences where the science increasingly stacked up against a theory and it took decades to finally debunk it – look how long the autism linked to vaccine study persisted and its continued damage today! As a scientist, I NEVER believed that theory – it had holes right out of the gate and I never read a single thing that made me think there was an ounce of truth. And yet for nearly 2 decades, the general populace implicitly believed it… Just as they believe we are all on the precipice of some climate catastrophe – despite the fact we’ve been hovering on that precipice for again, nearly 20 years now and life is well, still rather good?!
    Even more concerning is, as the author points out, the pressure for scientists to ‘toe the line’ when the scientific evidence is stacking up against the man is causing catastrophic warming theory (I’m a luke warmer) – and government making global demands which are just ridiculous. I have long maintained this whole climate change is one big red herring which has been drummed up by the governments who have funded scientists to give them ‘proof’ so that everyone can hide the fact that in 99.9% of the things that are ‘wrong’ with the environment, it is human population growth, human resource consumption, human habitat destruction, human population (which is NOT confined to just CO2 emissions!) and human hunting, which is causing the vast majority of environmental damage to the planet.
    But heck – focusing on reigning in the myriad of ways we ‘destroy’ the planet is way way too complicated. Far easier to focus on one thing – say what comes out of exhaust pipes – and sweep all the rest under the rug.

  30. I’ve been concerned about the dangers to science from ‘climate science’ for years. Excellent article and sums up nicely the myriad problems that are eroding the public’s confidence (and rightly so) in science and those who practice it.

  31. “They are behaving like sixteenth-century priests who do not think the Bible should be translated into English…..”
    Sigh – why do people on this site constantly need to bash the CC in topics that are not about it (don’t get me wrong – feel free to pile on Francis’ encyclical – mountains of criticism is completely warranted!) ? Bad enough in the comments in various topics that are not about the Church at all – now we get slams in initial posts themselves that have no relevance (at all) to the topic being discussed. People just can’t help themselves, can they?
    The CC has never had an issue with correct, faithful translations of the Bible to various vernacular versions – starting with Jerome’s translation to the common Latin (from Greek) in the early 5th century, shortly after the Church decided the final canon in the late 4th century. It did – justifiably so – have problems with uneducated, filled-with-errors translations– like Tyndale’s horrible hack job, as one example – if the church did not scrupulously watch over Biblical translations into various vernacular languages in the middle ages, which required great care and education to so, we would have a colossal mess today.
    Read the link below for a partial discussion of CC translations to vernacular languages, including various English tongues, and why Wycliff’s/Tyndales messes were (justifiably) rejected:
    “St. Thomas More commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea. Even King Henry VIII in 1531 condemned the Tyndale Bible as a corruption of Scripture”
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/apologetics/controversies/bible-burning-and-other-allegations/
    Also, if you truly want (much) more detail – it’s kind of tough reading, but if you want more on “where we got the Bible”,how/why/when it was transacted, etc slog through this, especially Chapter 11, which might be a real eye opener:
    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/wbible.htm
    Yeah, this doesn’t have much to do with the actual topic, which is an excellent one b/t/w – great job!, but good grief there is a huge amount of off-topic CC bashing here.

  32. “There is, however, one good thing that has happened to science as a result of the climate debate: the democratisation of science by sceptic bloggers.”
    Our next worry is the internet being taken away or monitored and gate-kept. This thorn in the side of a powerful, wealthy, elitist establishment hasn’t been ignored and won’t long be suffered on ethical grounds. Democracy itself is the main thing under attack – it is anathema to world new order government. The democratizsation made possible by the internet WILL BE the next big target!

  33. I wonder why Matt is still a believer of a direct link between CO2 and planetary temperatures (bearing in mind that absolutely no one ‘denies’ climate change).
    ” I repeat that I am not a full sceptic of climate change, let alone a “denier”. I think carbon-dioxide-induced warming during this century is likely, though I think it is unlikely to prove rapid and dangerous. So I don’t agree with those who say the warming is all natural, or all driven by the sun, or only an artefact of bad measurement, but nor do I think anything excuses bad scientific practice in support of the carbon dioxide theory, and every time one of these scandals erupts and the scientific establishment asks us to ignore it, I wonder if the extreme sceptics are not on to something.”
    Keeping the last bit of that quote in mind the following comes shortly afterwards:
    ” Willis Eschenbach showed a published chart had “cut the modern end of the ice core carbon dioxide record short, right at the time when carbon dioxide started to rise again” about 8000 years ago, thus omitting the startling but inconvenient fact that carbon dioxide levels rose while temperatures fell over the following millennia.”

    • Maybe its true that historically CO2 does not control temperature, but I hold out hope that it slows our 8000 year decent into the next ice age.

  34. The Lancet’s editor-in-chief bemoans the same thing:
    “A shocking admission by the editor of the world’s most respected medical journal, The Lancet, has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-chief of the Lancet recently published a statement declaring that a shocking amount of published research is unreliable at best, if not completely false, as in, fraudulent.
    Horton declared, “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.””
    First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/06/18/shocking-report-from-medical-insiders/

  35. Left out of the WUWT condensation of Ridley’s Quadrant report is:
    “Sceptics such as Plimer often complain that ‘consensus’ has no place in science. Strictly they are right, but I think it is a red herring. I happily agree that you can have some degree of scientific consensus about the past and the present. The earth is a sphere; evolution is true; carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. “
    Sorry Matt but “some degree of scientific consensus” is invalid. Scientific hypotheses and theories stand on the basis of evidence not consensus. To take your first example there maybe consensus that the earth is a sphere, but in reality of course we have since learnt that earth is not a perfect sphere but is an oblate spheroid (flattened at the poles). Plimar is right to conclude that consensus has no place in science. It’s not a “red herring”.
    Throughout history ‘consensus’ has been overturned time and time again by new evidence.

    • Love it. The shape of the Earth is no small insignificant thing. Trajectories and accuracy of ballistic missiles were improved when calculations took into account Earths oblate spheroid shape.

  36. BOBPRUD
    The Popes authority extends only to faith and morals not to science. I am a Catholic and worked in the space program for 31 yrs. I do not agree with the Popes statements on man caused global warming. The person that started that was Maurice Strong a Canadian socialist . He wrote in 1970s in Mcleans Magazine that his goal was to destroy western industrialized society and he was placed in charge of the new IPCC. His propaganda continued until he was accused of pilfering $1 million from the oil for food
    program.He fled to China to prevent indictment . I believe that the popes encyclical has done great damage to religion .There are major moral problems such as genocide , nuclear proliferation ,and hunger. The use of ethanol in lieu of growing food. that the pope should concern himself. These fall into his area

  37. ‘Yet the climate scientific establishment repeatedly reacts as if nothing is wrong. ‘
    CAGW has brought the climate scientific establishment massive growth , untold wealth and political influence it could only dream about , all the time it has show constantly poor professional pratice and often its members worse personal practice. I would no more look for honesty on this subject from this area than I would look for honesty on race relations from the KKK.
    The reality is those that not ‘paying the game ‘ kept their mouths shut about those that where , has the money flowed in .
    It is effectively damned has an area by both action and inaction of those involved in it . Its has simply earned its right to be consider along side astrology and phrenology , has an area where ‘good BS’ has more value than ‘good science’ for those wishing to make career progress.

  38. Matt Ridley, “These scientists … insist that there are only two ways of thinking about climate change—that it’s real, man-made and dangerous (the right way), or that it’s not happening (the wrong way). But this is a false dichotomy. There is a third possibility: that it’s real, partly man-made and not dangerous.
    There’s a fourth way, roundly ignored, that is the only scientifically valid and honest way to view climate change, and the effect of human GHG emissions: no one knows what they’re talking about.
    Climate models cannot predict climate, and certainly cannot resolve the effect, if any, of GHG emissions.
    The global surface air temperature record is so riddled with systematic error — systematically ignored by the practitioners — that it cannot be used to determine either the rate or magnitude of recent warming.
    And the consensus method of paleo-temperature reconstruction is no more than pseudo-science decorated with statistics.
    The whole field of consensus climatology lives on negligence. It’s an epidemic of incompetence.

  39. A critical problem not stated in the article by Matt Ridley is the fact that universities, western government agencies, granting agencies, scientific scholarly societies, and foundations have abdicated their role as “honest Brokers” in the public arena.
    As RIdley stated, it will take a very long time to restore credibility.

  40. They are behaving like sixteenth-century priests who do not think the Bible should be translated into English.
    As only the Pope knows 😉
    The IPCC litany is just that, a religious recitation of dogma in the modern equivalent of Latin – science gobbledygook.

  41. But the Bible absolutely should not have been translated into vernacular and interpreted by laymen.
    The predicted religious strife and devastation did not have to wait long.
    Bad analogy.

  42. I read the full essay. The essay errs in stating that climatologists make excuses for failed predictions. With rare exception they avoid failed predictions by avoiding predictions. These are replaced by “projections.” Unlike a prediction, a projection lacks a truth-value thus being insusceptible to being falsified by the evidence. Those sets of wiggly lines that we often see on a plot of global temperature vs time are projections. They exhibit error but not falsity.

  43. The church of climatism
    Nigel Lawson, Special to Financial Post
    Climate scientists and their hangers-on have become the high priests of a new age of unreason
    How is it that much of the Western world, and Europe in particular, has succumbed to the self-harming collective madness that is the climate change orthodoxy? It is difficult to escape the conclusion that climate change orthodoxy has in effect become a substitute religion, attended by all the intolerant zealotry that has so often marred religion in the past, and in some places still does so today.
    http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/carbon-week-the-church-of-climatism

  44. Three weeks after having a public disagreement with a senior AGW scientist at Sandia Labs, I was told that the job description for my position had changed and I was no longer a good fit for the position and as a result my employment there was no longer desired. I was given a couple of minutes to clean out my desk and escorted off the base.

  45. Here are relevant publications by Henry Bauer:
    “Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels”
    By HENRY H. BAUER
    Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies
    Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
    Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 643–660, 2004
    http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/21stCenturyScience.pdf
    —————–
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/05/dogmatism-in-science-and-medicine-how-dominant-theories-monopolize/
    Guest post by Henry H. Bauer
    WUWT readers might find some interest in my new book, Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth
    http://www.amazon.com/Dogmatism-Science-Medicine-Dominant-Monopolize/dp/0786463015/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354905849&sr=1-1&keywords=Dogmatism+in+Science+and+Medicine
    http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-6301-5
    Here’s a synopsis:
    Unwarranted dogmatism has taken over in many fields of science: in Big-Bang cosmology, dinosaur extinction, theory of smell, string theory, Alzheimer’s amyloid theory, specificity and efficacy of psychotropic drugs, cold fusion, second-hand smoke, continental drift . . . The list goes on and on.
    Dissenting views are dismissed without further ado, and dissenters’ careers are badly affected. Where public policy is involved — as with human-caused global warming and HIV/AIDS — the excommunication and harassment of dissenters reaches a fever pitch with charges of “denialism” and “denialists”, a deliberate ploy of association with the no-no of Holocaust denying.
    The book describes these circumstances. It claims that this is a sea change in scientific activity and in the interaction of science and society in the last half century or so, and points to likely causes of that sea change. The best remedy would seem to be the founding of a Science Court, much discussed several decades ago but never acted on.
    Reviews so far have been quite favorable, see http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/Dogmatism-Reviews.html

  46. ” There was the occasion in 2012 when the climate scientist Peter Gleick … leaked confidential documents, and included also a “strategy memo” purporting to describe Heartland’s plans”
    You know know there is a link at the top of the page called “climate gate” that lauds such efforts.

    • Here’s the “…” trafamadore chose not to include. (in bold)
      “There was the occasion in 2012 when the climate scientist Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of the (sceptical) Heartland Institute’s board of directors, leaked confidential documents, and included also a “strategy memo” purporting to describe Heartland’s plans, which was a straight forgery. Gleick apologised but continues to be a respected climate scientist.
      (I wonder if traf helped Mann pick out his tree rings?8-)

    • (MODS, my first reply never showed up. If it appears, please delete it or this one.)
      There was a lot in that “…”. Here’s what was left out (in bold).
      “There was the occasion in 2012 when the climate scientist Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of the (sceptical) Heartland Institute’s board of directors, leaked confidential documents, and included also a “strategy memo” purporting to describe Heartland’s plans, which was a straight forgery. Gleick apologised but continues to be a respected climate scientist.
      Maybe Mann had help in picking out his tree rings?

  47. curious that the acknowledgement IN the article that MONEY n Power in politics shuts down skeptics
    but
    the EXACT same thing inc refusal to show data and full trials etc or allow product for INDEPENDENT labs to test without big agri corps staff overseeing all work done with powers to veto..
    is the same as the GMO debate
    recent finding that the supposed GMO free lab diets for tests to be run..have been found contaminated WITH glyphosate n GM material
    sorts stuff up any results doesnt it?

  48. ‘sixteenth-century priests who do not think the Bible should be translated into English.’
    because knowledge shouldn’t sink down to peasants.
    And hadn’t dogma raised openly posed gold in never more free churches the vikings hadn’t raped lindisfarne –
    to continue.
    Thanks for sharing, Anthony.
    Best regards – Hans

  49. Lysenkoism, a pseudo-biological theory that plants (and people) could be trained to change their heritable nature
    ____
    reinvented in the 21.st ctry as ‘hypo’, para genetics.
    does’nt work. Too. sorry.
    Next try.
    decent work out of spot won’t repay.
    – banks eager at refunding –

  50. Great article. This should be read by everyone.
    Imagine if we did not have the Internet. The UN may have taken over our governments and we would be living under a Nazis-Communist system of government.
    James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering

  51. yes Matt Ridley, maybe’s the females to count on – Sappho:
    “I don’t like a tall general swaggering, / proud of his curls,
    with a fancy shave. / I’d rather have a short man, who looks / bow-legged, with a firm stride, full of heart.”
    _____
    but: will they leave their Green Peace Generals?
    _____
    Regards – Hans
    _____
    the woman founded und uphold the green scam;
    the guys after them – come to reason. It’s all about the Pajauris!

  52. mod, I’m a 53 built.
    I’ve lived through that mid sixties witchcraft gaja uproar.
    Still waiting* for the environmental claims evidence.
    ____
    *democracy includes women – and responsibility.
    Hans

  53. President Eisenhower was prophetic when he said in 1961: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist”.
    The same now appears to be true of the scientific research- financing complex.

  54. Matt Ridley sometime chairman of ‘Northern Rock’ during first run on a Brit’ bank for 150 yrs.
    Just sayin’…

  55. As you point out, dubious scientific papers are more likely to be ignored than corrected because:
    Other scientists may not waste time knocking the bad stuff
    It may take years to get in print a devastating critique
    Even after a devastating critique a dubious scientific paper will not disappear
    – it will still be around for others to use, refer to and believe in
    Have a look at this naive perspective formulated in the contribution from Working Group I the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
    1.2.1 Setting the Stage for the Assessment
    “Scientific hypotheses are contingent and always open to revision in light of new evidence and theory. In this sense the distinguishing features of scientific enquiry are the search for truth and the willingness to subject itself to critical re-examination. Modern research science conducts this critical revision through processes such as the peer review. At conferences and in the procedures that surround publication in peer-reviewed journals, scientific claims about environmental processes are analysed and held up to scrutiny. Even after publication, findings are further analysed and evaluated. That is the self-correcting nature of the scientific process (more details are given in AR4 Chapter 1 and Le Treut et al., 2007).”

  56. There is also another scientific blunder in the naive perspective formulated in the contribution from Working Group I the fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
    1.2.1 Setting the Stage for the Assessment
    “Scientific hypotheses are contingent and always open to revision in light of new evidence and theory.”
    The blunder is best revealed by regarding the following quote by Karl R. Popper in his book “The logic of scientific discovery”:
    “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system can ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”

  57. “There is a third possibility: that it’s real, partly man-made and not dangerous.”
    There’s at least one more possibility: that dangerous climate change is inevitable – albeit probably not imminent, but it could happen very quickly – the cause has absolutely nothing to do with human activity, and if we waste vast resources, which otherwise could go towards adapting to climate change, on the utterly bogus theory that human GHG emissions have a significant, or even detectable influence on climate, we’re going to be in a world of hurt if / when dangerous climate change does happen.

  58. A good essay except the public view of sceptics might have been true a year or more ago, but recently I’ve noticed a decidedly sceptical atmosphere to public discussion.
    Indeed part of the fun of this recent encyclical, is that it was the first time in quite some time that alarmists had come out in force. Unfortunately, I fear it will be the last time we seceptics will have the fund of seeing this declining species in any number.

  59. The definition of Science which I learned in high school was that theories were falsifiable.
    If the theory did not result in good predictions, the theory was discarded.
    The theory of carbon dioxide increase causes temperature increase has not been demonstrated by data. The carbon dioxide is up, the temperature is not. The data is certain.
    Many earlier theories were clung to with religious fervor. The earth is static. The continents do not move. Life generates spontaneously. Air has no weight. Phlogiston is an element. There is an innate difference between black and white, carried in the blood. Lysenkoism is but one example of a politically correct theory which did not make accurate predictions. Dare I suggest Maxwell’s Laws, unmodified by relativity? Light is a wave phenomenon. Light is a particle phenomenon.
    That is the briefest of lists of theories once universally known to be true.
    What do we believe now which will be shown to be false? Only time will tell.
    Right now the big problem is obtaining the funds to verify theories. Verification is essential for science, but is not sexy and does not merit Federal funds. Lots of theories are out there which have NEVER been checked. And politicians, familiar with law but not science, persist in funding new stuff but not checking the old stuff.
    So how about verification?

    • As you learned in high school, a theory that is “scientific” makes falsifiable claims. The “projections” that are made by today’s climate models lack truth-values thus being insusceptible to falsification. Thus, the immediate need is not for funds to test these models but rather to develop models that make predictions. Unlike projections, predictions have truth-values thus being susceptible to falsification.

  60. There’s more possibilities than Matt’s ‘lukewarmer’ of climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.
    My preference is “real, possibly man-made, and within natural variability”. Even the UN target not more than 2 degrees higher is within natural variability.
    So we should wasting money on reducing carbon-dioxide emissions in order to spend it on adapting to a warmer world.

    • As the climate is observed to change, the “climate change is real” meme is a truism that is denied by nobody. The issue under debate is not this one but rather is whether or not manmade carbon dioxide has effects needing mitigation through governmental intervention. A purportedly “scientific” study has been conducted the results of which are claimed by many to support mitigation. However, scrutiny of the methodology of this study reveals the methdology to have been pseudoscientific.

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