Another weeping alarmist scientist – Do emotions and science mix?


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Does a scientist crying about apocalyptic predictions make their science more convincing?

According to The Guardian;

Should scientists show emotion while discussing their science? I ask because a professor of ocean geology wept as she discussed with me the impact carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are having on the sea.

She fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century.

And as we pondered the future, her passion for the oceans triggered tears.

Read more:

I have no doubt that the tears are genuine. But tears and displays of intense emotion are not the hallmark of an objective observer.

Science is fragile – it is incredibly easy to inadvertently contaminate your results with preconceptions. This fragility is why laborious techniques such as the double blind experimental protocol were developed. Nobody would bother with all the extra work needed to set up a double blind experiment – if bitter experience hadn’t taught the scientists who practice double blind, how easy it is to make a mistake.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.  – Dr. Richard Feynman From “Cargo Cult Science“, adapted from a 1974 Caltech commencement address; also published in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

If a scientist feels so emotional about their work that they burst into tears, how can we possibly trust that same scientist can successfully set that strong emotion and potential bias aside, when they evaluate whether the evidence supports their theories?

Climategate contains numerous examples of questionable scientific practices, such as the infamous hide the decline email, and the Oroko Swamp email – but it doesn’t in my opinion contain evidence of a systematic conspiracy to deceive the world. Instead, my impression is that the people who wrote the climategate emails very much believe in what they are doing. But they believe so strongly in their mission to save the world, in my opinion they seem to have no problem with bending the rules, to deny skeptics an opportunity to impede their mission. And that willingness to reframe bad news, that apparent lack of commitment to objectivity and scientific best practice, is what in my opinion opens the way for unscientific bias.

This isn’t the first time climate scientists have tried to win us over by showing us their “feelings”. It didn’t work last time, and I don’t think it will work this time.

177 thoughts on “Another weeping alarmist scientist – Do emotions and science mix?

  1. My emotion related to CC is disgust. Disgust at the dishonesty being hurled out of supposed science regarding imminient catastrophic claims of higher CO2.

    • Dishonesty?
      That’s all they know.
      Isn’t this what Nobel Laureate Professor Tim Hunt lost his entire future for jokingly articulating?
      Women scientists can be emotional and cry.
      Evidently, the professor was correct.

    • Poor Richard. Maybe he’s received a dispensation from on high that we’ve passed The Tipping Point, and the oceans will boil in mere months. I wish I had a nickel for every dire prediction that didn’t come true – I’d be richer even than Al Gore.

  2. It is all emotion-based, even the so-called “science” of manmade warming. Strip away the emotion, and you’ve got very little they are basing spending $trillions on. Imagine the next COP hand-wringing finger-pointing clown-fest without emotions set to high. You can’t.

    • You’re too kind. If it’s all emotion it’s all avarice. Follow the money. Emotion as a scent trail is worthless.

  3. As far as I’m concerned you’ve lost your social license to practice in your professional field when fear dissolves you into a puddle. Do I want to see a heart surgeon on a crying jag before he or she operates on my child? Do I trust my defense lawyer weeping in the halls before we go into the courtroom? No and no. There’s a competency question left hanging n the air and I would back away as fast as I could.

    • “As far as I’m concerned you’ve lost your social license to practice”
      I think this does not pertain to this article since context is critical. I would have no problem with a surgeon who cries when recalling a child she could not save or with a defense attorney getting angry over an innocent client whose execution he could not stop.
      There is no indication, at least from what was quoted, that the scientist was letting “fear” dissolve her into a “puddle”. It sounds much more like emotion triggered by a sense of loss.
      Perhaps this individual lets her emotions cloud her judgement, perhaps she doesn’t. The salient point is the one Worrall draws from this: the risk of a general bias in the field as a whole.

      • But the fact is there have been no disasters in the ocean attributable to CAGW.
        So she is crying about her perception of catastrophe based on something which there is no evidence for.
        The oceans are not acidic, cannot become acidic, and the pH of the ocean can not be objectively shown to be on any trend towards lower pH values.
        To me, her tears mean she has swallowed the CAGW meme whole, to the point that she is convinced her daughter is growing up in a dying world.
        I wonder if she gets out in the field much, and if so, where?
        Must not be any of the beautiful ocean locations that
        I visit.

      • I get what you’re saying. However, the context of my post is ‘a before the fact’ undertaking of their job, not recalling a painful loss in retrospect. Those are two separate issues.
        The question is whether emotions and science mix. This scientist crying over the ocean acidification is projecting into the future. That does not give me any confidence in her objectivity in seeking and analyzing data in a way that allows for any other conclusions other than that on which she has already emotionally staked her claim. When you are in a profession, in the eyes of the public you become an expert even if you are speaking informally. The whole issue of AGW has been spinning on far too much emotion as it is, I cannot endorse more of the same.

      • In the article, the female scientist asks them to stop the interview when she gets emotional, but the interviewer thinks it’s more convincing to the audience if she lets her “passion” for the oceans show. Nice.
        The context is after viewing coral reef cores in which NATURAL rapid heating of the ocean took place in the past, the NATURAL devastation was compared to future, POSSIBLE acidification from human CO2 emmissions, and weeping ensued.
        So, your surgeon is not crying about a child she could not save, she’s crying because a child MIGHT die in the future…whether that doctor could save it or not. The lawyer is crying because some innocent person MIGHT be executed in the future, whether a client or not.
        This scientist is weeping over a future, theorized event that may or may not happen due to human activity, because of something that did happen in the past without any human involvment at all.

      • Mikie- “There is no indication, at least from what was quoted, that the scientist was letting “fear” dissolve her into a “puddle”. It sounds much more like emotion triggered by a sense of loss.”
        Seems like a misplaced fear and and her worries are idiotic.
        In the northern atolls of the Marshall Islands, 23 nuclear tests with a total yield of 76.3 megatons (TNT equivalent) were conducted across seven test sites located either on the reef, on the sea, in the air and underwater between 1946 and 1958. Five craters were created, the deepest being the Bravo crater at 73 m depth (Noshkin et al., 1997a) (Figs. 2, 3). Post-test descriptions of environmental impacts include: surface seawater temperatures raised by 55,000 C after air-borne tests; blast waves with speeds of up to 8 m/s; and shock and surface waves up to 30 m high with blast columns reaching the floor of the lagoon (approximately 70 m depth)
        The results of our 12 year long nuclear war on coral. After less than 50 years, a total of 183 scleractinian coral species were recorded, compared to 126 species recorded in the pre-bomb study.
        There are more species now than then.
        And from
        And in reporting the results of a study of a large brain coral that lived throughout the 17th century on the shallow seafloor off the island of Bermuda, Cohen and Madin (2007) say that although seawater temperatures at that time and location were about 1.5°C colder than it is there today, “the coral grew faster than the corals there now.”
        Other studies have shown earth’s corals to be able to cope with climate-induced warmings as well as coolings. In a study of patch reefs of the Florida Keys, for example, Greenstein et al. (1998) found that Acropora cervicornis corals exhibited “long-term persistence” during both “Pleistocene and Holocene time,” the former of which periods exhibited climatic changes of large magnitude, some with significantly greater warmth than currently prevails on earth; and these climate changes had almost no effect on this long-term dominant of Caribbean coral reefs. Hence, there is good reason to not be too concerned about long-term changes in climate possibly harming earth’s corals. They apparently have the ability to handle whatever nature may throw at them in this regard.

        In a reply to her weeping an unofficial spokesman for the Allied Coral Species Association is thought to have stated – We have survived nuclear war, climate temperature changes of over 10 degrees, planetary magnetic shifts, giant undersea lava flows and plate tectonics for over 400 million years. We are personally more worried about you.

      • There are more species now than then.

        Now I can’t stop imagining mutant radioactive corals. >¿<

      • I ‘weep’ for the current demise of science. I hope for the return of an impassionate scientific method.

    • Recall Lawrence Summers, then Harvard president, opining in 2005 at the Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce about why women are unrepresented at the highest levels in science. He was accused of sexism. A woman in attendance later said when she heard Summers she almost swooned in distress. Q.E.D.

      • Stolen from another website:
        Womyn’s Studies Student: Not enough women in STEM because misogyny.
        Actual Woman in STEM: If “more women” means more of you, please stay the hell out.
        Men in STEM: *applause*

  4. The guardian is unfortunately a toilet bowel or in other words a place where human waste product ends up.
    On a positive note, fortunately the weeping scientist is not a surgeon.

    • Or a person anyone with a working brain should waste time on listening to, or discussing on any serious subject.

      • Being overcome by emotion, as a scientist, renders her irrelevant.
        She reminds me of the young English woman who was so propagandized by CAGW hype that she neutered herself so she wouldn’t contribute to the problem(have kids).
        These two both are victims, not perpetrators.

    • Imagine the pilot of your jet crying because he screwed up the approach. The last thing that should be present in the cockpit is emotion – emotion kills (because it is a distraction). Likewise, I should think surgeons would be better if they managed to control their emotions.
      The blubbing professor needs to get another job (acting?) or get some counselling as to the difference between experiments and reality.

    • +1, but remember even now they are using that tactic everyday and in every facet of our lives, I may add with (disgusting) success.

  5. Are they getting emotional about the Catastrophes that they are predicting? You know the “C” that Joel D. Jackson claims doesn’t exist in warmist science.

  6. Oh the bullcarp is flowing strong and fast. This sort of “article” drives me to disgust. Scientists? Nah…bullshit artists more like!

  7. “She fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century.”
    Let’s do the math: “young daughters” plus 85 years to the end of the century = dead by then.
    Yup, she’s right they certainly won’t be able to enjoy coral reefs and shellfish nor anything else by the end of the century.
    If you think it rude of me to bring in her daughters, it was she that opened the door by bringing up her own daughters in some sort of false demonstration of concern for others.

    • The daughter will not enjoy the coral reefs if the economy is so shattered that luxury vacations to tropical places are a thing of the past.
      There are many in the world who don’t get to see two meals a day, let alone coral reefs.

  8. Emotion is a great tool when trying to rally political support for your “cause”. When that political support has a direct impact on future research funding is it unreasonable to suspect that results will be bias? As stated bias has no place in scientific research.
    I think the real solution is to find a better and more impartial way to fund research.

  9. It would seem that we are about to lose the Bumble Bee.
    For this humble bumble I shed a tear or three.
    I quote:-
    A strong correlation was found between what was happening to the bees and climate change.
    Lead scientist Professor Jeremy Kerr, from the University of Ottawa in Canada, said:
    “Global warming has trapped the bumblebee in a kind of climate vice. The result is dramatic losses
    of bumblebee species from the hottest areas across the two continents.”
    “For species that evolved under cool conditions, like bumblebees. global warming might be the kind
    of threat that causes them to disappear for good.”
    No drama there then?

    • Yeah, so one day, when it was 102F, with a heat index of 110F, I was outside for 10-15 minutes and guess what I saw? Birds and bees and all form of wildlife going about their daily business, while we fragile humans huddled around out ACs, waiting for the global warming to end.

    • That bumble bee study was utterly insane.
      Bumble bees and other bees have been around since flowers evolved. Hideous extinction cycles didn’t bother bees one bit over time. They also adapted just fine to periodic, sudden Ice Ages, too.
      And they love warm weather so how on earth is warm weather hurting any bees???? I, by the way, used to raise bees and sell honey. Hive collapse caused by modern agricultural methods such as transporting bees all over the place, has killed off my hives, not warm weather.

      • Make it has more to do with habitat loss than temperature, hmm?
        This is one of the problems with warmistas, and CAGW in general.
        Everyone seems so focused on CO2 it has reached the point of actual delusion.
        Rather than being able to study actual events and effects, fear of and focus on warming has left a large part of the “scientific” world with a blind spot as wide as planet Earth.
        They have become useless and irrelevant as investigators.

      • I’m trying to remember who that butterfly researcher was who put out a paper about global warming causing extinctions in certain butterfly populations in CA. Turns out that the area she studied had been clear cut, and these butterflies don’t do well in open areas. A number of nearby populations, in areas that hadn’t been clear cut were doing fine. But she left that fact out of her paper.

    • Or it might correlate with the use of herbicides and other factors that are affecting the food source of the bees, but that wouldn’t be useful for the alarmists…

  10. Crying over an acidifying ocean? Hardly. Over her chances of scamming and stealing more “research” bucks is closer to the truth. And just will the research come from that will allow her daughters to extend their lives over 110??

  11. Evolution baby! If these fishes and coral reefs can’t adapt, than why are you weeping lady. Because of your selfish need to self preserve this animals and objects for your own enjoyment? I really don’t care if i won’t see a panda or coral reef again, surely i will see other animals that emerge from adaption to changing climate.
    I can imagine a crying Neanderthals making doom prophecies, about their daughters and sons, never again seeing animals with fur, because of ending ice age. [snip -language -mod]

  12. Eric Worrall wrote: “it doesn’t in my opinion contain evidence of a systematic conspiracy to deceive the world. Instead, my impression is that the people who wrote the climategate emails very much believe in what they are doing. But they believe so strongly in their mission to save the world, in my opinion they seem to have no problem with bending the rules”
    Spot on. It is noble cause corruption, not fraud.

    • Mike M. July 10, 2015 at 7:48 am
      “Spot on. It is noble cause corruption, not fraud.”
      Is “noble cause corruption” or “good intentions” a mental disease rivaling legal “insanity”? How do these qualities prevent people with them from defrauding other people, which also doesn’t require a “conspiracy”? Or from doing anything else which is manifestly illegal? I think these mental states would only be involved in the “sentencing phase”.

    • Maybe…but knowing a tad about humans and human history, I’ll go with purposeful fraud. After all, it is only money and ideology – humans have killed millions for the same.

    • Noble cause corruption can certainly lead to fraud – and this seems to have occurred repeatedly in this area – by NASA/GISS, by NOAA, by the Australian BOM, etc.

    • With one exception, I can agree with you.
      That was when they gave the “Delete Everything” order in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. That was where they crossed the line from noble cause to inexcusable.
      I can see a medical version of myself twisting data to get homeopathy banned or a legal version of me stretching the law to get Wakefield’s medical license revoked or Ken Lay imprisoned (remember, this is what they think the skeptics are, so we have to judge their actions from that twisted light).
      However, whatever your line of reasoning, there is no valid reason to ever issue a delete everything order. There is no noble justification for hiding everything. If they thought themselves justified, then they would have stood firm and shown off their work.

      • All corruption is inexcusable, even that done for a “noble cause”. However the delete all order crossed the line from inexcusable to illegal.

  13. Ona related note. This article in the Guardian was written by Roger Harrabin. But Roger doesn’t work for the Guardian. He’s paid by the BBC license fee.
    Bit of moonlighting? Or have the Guardian and the BBC officially merged now?

    • Alarmism is (ironically considering their accusations) no stranger to conflict of interest.

    • curiously WE have the same issue in Aus the ABC run their items like clockwork, and first dog on the moon gets his own spot on sunday radio weekly
      amused cos he used to support Labor n gillard a lot, hated Libs
      recently the labor mob upset him
      oughta see the hate spew forth now for them too.

  14. Eric’s take on the dangers of “passoinate” science is spot on! It’s easy to become an “activist” and science suffers as a result. With so many issues facing the human race (terrorism/extremism, economic uncertainty) to have scientists have us believe that global warming is the most important problem facing humankind is rather pathetic.

    • There is not much point in being a scientist if you are not passionate about it. But that passion has to contain a dedication to the truth.

    • Those other problems are important and when they can finally lie enough and trick everybody into putting the UN in charge of the world they will have the power to address all of mankind’s problems.
      Though, you may not like their results.
      The UN always make things worse.
      Where is the UN on Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS?
      Behind Obama making sure Iran gets nuclear weapons to exterminate the rest of the Jews?

  15. Eric I seems to me that the same idea that you are talking about in conformation bias is evident in the dismissive way that many on the AGW treadmill treat alternative ideas as well. Didn’t Albert Camus say something like “one does not think to believe”

      • Leftists are funny that way. In one breath they will condemn anyone who states that women need to be protected. In the next breath they will condemn anyone who “bullies” a woman.
        Same goes for pretty much any minority, unless you are a conservative member of a minority.

  16. Such emotionally fragile people are, I presume, particularly vulnerable to scaremongering. She may well be yet another victim of the odious promotions of acute alarm over the notion of a climate system driven by our CO2 emissions towards catastrophe. Junk science sure makes for good headlines and research-grant opportunities. The vulnerable ones are liable to the the first to take it seriously at a personal level.

    • I think you should be very cynical about this case of “emotional fragility”. Look at the context – a Guardian interview, the lack of traction of this AGW thing with the general public, (and possibly) the expectation of narcissistic scientists that the world should follow their every pronouncement. I’d call this the break-out-in-tears strategy (sociobiological strategy #586) – at least that’s a viable hypothesis.

      • In fact, I think I can demonstrate that this woman is a phony (as well as her colleagues who are prone to the same excesses). How many tears have been shed by such people over the knownI/i> victims of green energy policies – the tens of millions of birds and bats killed, the species that are threatened with extinction (as documented on the Save the Eagles website), the pensioners in places like the UK who are dying of cold because they can’t afford proper heating? Not a one as far as I know. But they will shed torrents of tears over imaginary future effects on shellfish and coral reefs. That means that none of this is for real.
        In fact, my Pod Person detectors are now going off like crazy.

  17. I doubt her young children will be enjoying shellfish and coral reefs at the end of the century (85 years from now)…where is the concern for aging…lol! Now that would be a fountain of youth for federal funding if we could market it!

  18. Knee jerk emotionalism is infecting our entire society and it is a disastrous evolution.
    Pragmatic common sense seems to be in decline among the leaders of the western world along with increasing numbers of the population.
    In this febrile atmosphere wisdom and truth become unwelcome annoying obstacles to emotionally driven actions, and once this has become the norm our civilisation will fall.

    • Aye, Stephanie, you’ve nailed it. Dunno about the rest of the West, but here in Britain the death of Lady Di was a tipping point. Mass hyseria. Grown adults weeping about a woman they’d never even met. Tsunamis of flowers. BBC news coverage is loaded with emotion. In one such example, the EU Finance Ministers were said to have “hated” the outgoing Greek minister. Never mind the drachmas, feel the drama.

  19. Given that ‘faith’ is clearly more important than ‘honesty’ within climate ‘science’ such emotional outpourings are perhaps not a surprise .

  20. tears from losing $$ from government funding and the fear of having to try to apply your skillset to a useful vocation would bring anyone to tears.

  21. Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some politicians and many others mislead the gullible public by stubbornly continuing to proclaim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is a primary cause of global warming.
    Measurements demonstrate that they are wrong.
    CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 was 89.5 ppmv (parts per million by volume). The atmospheric carbon dioxide level has now (through May, 2015) increased since 2001 by 29.58 ppmv (an amount equal to 33% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; May, 2015, 400.71 ppmv).
    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat (average of the 5 reporting agencies ). Graphs through 2014 have been added. Current measurements are within the range of random uncertainty with respect to the trend.
    That is the observation. No amount of spin can rationalize that the temperature increase to 2001 was caused by a CO2 increase of 89.5 ppmv but that 29.58 ppmv additional CO2 increase did not cause an uptrend in the average global temperatures after 2001.
    Now look at a longer period.
    Engineering science proves CO2 has no significant effect on climate. The proof and identification of the two factors that do cause reported climate change (sunspot number is the only independent variable) are at (now with 5-year running-average smoothing of measured average global temperature (AGT), the near-perfect explanation of AGT since before 1900: R^2 = 0.97+ ).
    The ongoing average global temperature trend is down. Monthly reported temperatures are being temporarily propped up by el Nino.

  22. “Does a scientist crying about apocalyptic predictions make their science more convincing?
    There was a time long ago when scientists were warning mankind of what might happen if there was a full scale nuclear war between the USSR and the USA. Many warned of the end of all human life on this planet and possibly all mammal life to boot. They did not cry. I see no reason to cry over climatology other than, perhaps, the losing of grant money and tenure.
    Besides, the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 is zero or less.

  23. All humans have cognitive biases, including scientists.
    When a discussion between 2 people or 2 groups that strongly disagree about something(even if its just one or two elements of that something) takes place, the tendency is to strongly defend the items that they disagree on the most.
    This tendency or bias is very powerful. It results in a subconscious or even conscious effort to spend the most time, looking for information that confirms our position which disagrees with the others position. It also tends to cause us to magnify the importance of the data which supports the belief(exaggerate it) so that it will crush the importance of the data that the disagreeing other has.
    This explains much of the alarmism and exaggerating, including things like: “97% of scientists” or “95% confidence level”, exaggerating extreme weather and blaming all of it on climate change, and future projections that always focus on the high end or even go beyond what they really think is more likely.
    If you believe in something strongly enough, you will do this.
    The opposite side will tend to do the same thing but spend extra time finding information to prove the other is wrong(since that is their position) vs looking objectively as if they were operating in a vacuum, with no knowledge of what anybody thinks about anything.
    A skeptic, by definition does not believe in something or is unconvinced. When the main objective is to find reasons to not believe, it also creates a bias that results in sometimes overlooking evidence that suggests we should believe in some legit elements.

    • Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis come to rescue the befuddled scientists in normal science. In climate science these two tools are not “politically useful” to the belief system nor the next funding grant.

      • I should also add to that pair the concept of falsifiable. CC utterly fails that test in today’s Climate Science cult when they keep pushing imminent catastrophic projections out as previous dates come close. The calendar is the Climate change cults biggest undefeatable threat.

  24. “She fears we are acidifying … the ocean”
    If we keep acidifying the ocean, it may become as acidic as pure, distilled water. That’s worrying.

  25. Lol – crying to the Guardian. More likely crying because the conservative government in the UK cut green tax payer bucks and she can see the writing on the wall – even the UK government isn’t buying that garbage anymore. Funny watching the UK greens go nuts over green cuts.

  26. Good post Eric, this is what progressives do; “Oh won’t you please think of the children”
    Pure Emot-I-Cons.
    They first are so shallow they fool themselves,then they become so righteous they savage all who ask for the basics.
    What? Where? How? and who do you think is paying for this ?.
    This new class of social parasite is best referred to as the Shrieking Class.
    ( Unfortunate mental picture of monkeys flinging faeces)
    As Old Folk Tales have been studiously written out of popular culture and education, this generation will have to live this massive wave of hysteria to their bitter cost, before caution is reintroduced to public discourse.
    I do find it strange that these “intellectuals” can’t make the connection between mass hysteria and riots. Both very human pastimes.

  27. Having pointed out the ‘ocean acidification’ scam is obviously a safety net to back-up the basic claim of catastrophically increasing temperatures (that is coming seriously unstuck due to a profound lack of serious warming these past two decades or so) the Guardian’s night-shift mod’s collectively wet their hand-woven hemp knickers, burst into tears and banned me!
    Comment is Free my ar$e.

  28. These displays are identical to those seen in churches and courtrooms. They are a meek way of pounding fists, stamping feet and cursing (more politically correct).
    The intent is often to create public sympathy for a heart-tugging cause, or create guilt in the eyes of the jury.
    I think this may qualify for both.
    Does this person have any conception of how much CO2 is generated in the ocean itself and how little of the airborne CO2 is generated anthropologically? How are we remotely responsible for this natural process?

  29. I actually don’t think that many of those involved in the CRU and the climate gate emails actually believe the scenarios they are promoting. If they did they would be looking for realistic and honest solutions. Replacing coal burning with nuclear and geothermal leaps to mind.
    In addition they know they have corrupted the scientific process and they know they have drawn conclusions unsupported by the evidence. They would have to be complete idiots to believe things the know they made up.
    I am not sure about the broader environmental movement many of them could delude themselves, which is the purpose of all the misinformation and attacks on so called “deniers”. But, for people directly involved it is hard to believe they could be fooled by their own distorted claims. That would be pathological wouldn’t it?

      • “She fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century.”
        Presumably all her daughters and by then spouses and offspring/grand-offspring will fly to those beautiful corals?
        Or maybe sail? (With backup engine).

      • At one point they were out in a speedboat that supposedly ran on liposuction fat; but they hit a Japanese whale research ship, and sank it. (the speedboat, not the research vessel.) I got some close up pictures of it sitting at the dock in the Viaduct Harbor in Auckland.

      • Crikey, how fat are those Aucklanders if they are able to harvest enough fat to power a speed boat?

  30. “A mind not wholly wishful to reach the truth, or to rest it in or obey it when found, is to that extent a mind impervious to truth an incapable of unbiased belief.”
    — William Leslie Davidson

  31. It’s not just a problem with Climate Science. Way too many academics have become advocates for points of view, lacking both intellecutal curiosity and objectivity. In the past 10 years I’ve served on two Doctoral Committees and an advisory group for a masters program, and I’m seeing that more and more of dissertation and Masters Thesis work is being framed by “sales presentation” shtick, rather than simple discussions of the science. One of the doctoral students did a relatively credible job on her dissertation defense, after having numerous problems with the subject matter. The results clearly showed that here formal hypothesis were not supported. Then she got on her soapbox and started a rant about how passionate she was about the topic, and her belief that the initial research questions were true. Two of us came within a hairs-breadth of voting not-pass, but the chair talked us into a pass, with conditions. Now, 6 years later, she’ still spinning her wheels on the same topic, and publishing crap in second rate journals, and there are a lot more of her out there doing the same thing.

    • A study showed that only 30% of USA university graduates with PhDs in Physics, ever get a full time permanent employment job using their specialty.
      Another five percent get temporary work, but then have to make a career change, and never use their PhD work.
      The remaining 65% never get a paying job in their field of expertise, and are doomed to a life as a post doc fellow at some institution or other, where they keep on purveying the crap that nobody wanted in the first place, and thus perpetuating the problem of oodles of money being spent on stuff that absolutely nobody has any use for.
      The problem of course is that these folks choose to do their PhD on something that is easy to get through, rather than on some expertise that paying customers are willing to pay them to work on.
      So maybe one of the questions that Doctoral Committees, such as yours should ask every candidate, is the names of at least three profit making enterprises that have offered them a job, if they get their shingle.

  32. Without sounding sexist and patronising, women are more hormonal than men at certain times of the month.I don’t blame her for being emotional, she is human and as those of us who are parents know, having a child brings a load of different emotions that were not present prior to the birth of their child(ren).
    As far as I am concerned the blame lies with those who continue to promote their erroneous and alarmist views. I am sure equally that there are parents who get emotional about their children having to live a medieval existence due to the falsehood of AGW.

  33. wept as she discussed with me the impact carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are having on the sea…..
    Don’t turn your back…..don’t make eye contact
    …and back up slowly

  34. Eric, mate, you have to stop looking in the Guardian! Seriously, it will do your head in. There are other crazy sources, like The Independent, Channel 4 News, Washington Post. Just click on Google news (science) and there’s all sorts of crazy climate stuff.

    • Indeed. I read two or three things from the Grauniad this morning. My word! I read the second piece with mouth agape, and barely made it passed the headline of the third. What utter bollox.

    • Huff Post and Eco Watch are the two sources I had to stear clear of for personal sanity reasons. I don’t believe Im less informed for skipping those two.

  35. “I have no doubt that the tears are genuine. But tears and displays of intense emotion are not the hallmark of an objective observer.”
    I have a problem seeing it as ‘genuine’, but I’ll give it a go.

  36. Well, Villagers never seem to hold back on emotions when commenting on things climatic here within the protective environs of the Village.
    Surely, what good for the goose is good for the gander? 😉

  37. Funny how “emotional” they can be about a dark and scary fairy tale, yet be oblivious to the great harm, and untold deaths caused by their own misbegotten belief system.

  38. Emotions are subconscious programs that have risen to the level of consciousness. They are sign posts that show us our limiting beliefs based on past experience. An objective observation of “what is this about?” leads to a better understanding of how the conditioned mind creates delusion. Her weeping is an example of an irrational fear brought to light.

  39. WUWT links the following:♪-feeelings-nothing-more-than-feelings-♫/

    Volume 66, 1 February 2013, Pages 385–401
    fMRI reveals reciprocal inhibition between social and physical cognitive domains
    “Social and mechanical reasoning tasks were presented to neurologically normal participants during fMRI. Each task type was presented using both text and video clips. Regardless of presentation modality, we observed clear evidence of reciprocal suppression: social tasks deactivated regions associated with mechanical reasoning and mechanical tasks deactivated regions associated with social reasoning.”

    That is an excellent question and line of inquiry. It would explain a lot of personal experiences and observations. People often declare standards and principles, but then do not apply them in other appropriate or equivalent circumstances. This abstract would show that the scientific standards and mechanical reasoning no longer have any bearing when a social situation arises. The principles and standards vanish completely and emotional loyalty to theory and institutions cognitively overrides.
    I wonder if these two regions of problem solving really are mutually inhibitory. If it is, it is probably a learned habit and like all habits are changeable. We each can and do change the organization of our own brains. This is usually done through relationships according to Attachment Theory, and in science, the interpretation of data benefits from communication with people who do not agree with you (clash). Slowly over time one may recognize problems with a theory. It is rarely a leap, not really a paradigm shift. It requires rational criticism and a lot of clear communication. ref: Karl Popper “The Myth of the Framework” deconstructing Kuhn

    • But then again, some people are quite mechanically calculating during the emotional display. For example, WUWT links,
      “Dear Earth,
      …[T]hanks so much for the last 4 billion years or so….
      I’m really sorry about the last couple of 100 years – we’ve really stuffed things up haven’t we! I though we climate scientist might be able to save the day but alas no one really took as seriously. Everyone wants to keep opening new coal mines and for some reason that escapes me are happy to ignore the fact that natural gas is a fossil fuel. Well, no one can say we didn’t try!
      You’re probably quietly happy that “peak human” time has come and gone…”
      Probably the best interpretation of this emotional appeal by the Professor Doctor Mackey is that he is attempting to convince people that they must return to the year 1815 technologically.

      • I would say go back a few hundred years earlier and correct the huge mistake some idiot made by calling the electron charge negative, instead of positive.
        Then we could all go to sleep happy in the knowledge that the electron mass and the electric charge were both going in the same direction.
        We have modern worry warts who are concerned that there is more matter in the universe than anti-matter.
        Well what idiot would call the surviving species anti-matter ??

    • I have had a lot of success changing peoples opinions by providing new information combined with a perspective they hadn’t considered before. The human mind craves new information and when that information can be introduced before defense mechanism’s engage rapid transformations in the form of epiphanies are possible.
      Skeptics are slowly turning the tide by exposing the uncommitted to facts the media ignores. I’ve had almost no luck with true believers but interested bystanders can see who has facts and who has conjecture.
      Excellent post Zeke!

      • My post- gyan1
        July 10, 2015 at 11:12 am -is the key to achieving clarity.
        When I get angry about misleading headlines, checking myself helps to maintain the focus on what is misleading rather than distractions like the need to be right, which I’ve largely overcome.

      • The only ones I have no success with are those who are emotionally or financially invested in the CAGW myth.
        For example those who wish to use CAGW as the vehicle to force people to adopt their favored social/political schemes, or those who make their money researching climate and don’t want to find real work.

      • It is crazy bad.
        Bees have been in trouble lately due to other human things, not temperature. Assuming the bees who have existed for many, many millions of years and which evolved with flowering plants and which survived not only major extinction events but also the recent 2 million years of Ice Ages/Interglacial events…are now dying due to it being sort of warmer than during the Little Ice Age is…INSANE.

  40. If doctors, lawyers and soldiers can ‘suck it up’ at do their job when dealing with the confronting matters they encounter as a normal part of their respective professions, I don’t see why scientists should have a free pass to carry on like snivelling, two year old sooks.
    What a sad, pathetic joke is ‘climate science’ that it even attracts such people.

  41. one reason I’m interested in the great Climate subject
    is the reasoning disconnect between the two sides
    it’s getting to where I can barely have a conversation with ‘progressive’ associates
    if I say “there is some evidence that coral reefs and polar bears are doing ok”
    or “CO2 may not be as big of a problem as we thought”
    (keep in mind I have taken some effort to educate myself on the subject and they have not)
    they say … “you’re so negative and you don’t care about the environment and peoples feelings”
    I think the world might not be coming to an end and I’m the negative one?
    I’m sure most here have similar experiences
    Is it possible we are in the midst of some evolutionary cognitive split in the human species?
    Two diverging brain wiring systems?
    Seems like it to me

  42. “She fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century.”
    How is this any different than the purposeful deceit from 2000 and 2007 that our children and grandchildren will never experience snow. Pure BS and is a Lie to generate an emotional trigger to support ‘the end is near’ attachment.

  43. Do you really trust a story in the Guardian? I can’t help but think the whole thing was staged, maybe even fabricated completely. Even if it’s not staged, what could be more useless than a story whose theme is “Is it OK to weep over climate change?”

  44. If you’re emotionally compromised, you’re intellectually compromised. People don’t engage in shenanigans when they’re dispassionately learning how something works. They engage in shenanigans when they have a emotional need for it to work just the way they fantasize.

  45. CO2 and Coral
    Google ‘Calcium Reactor’ – this is what salt-water aquarists buy to improve the growth of their coral.
    The two inputs? Gaseous Carbon Dioxide and Aragonite – dead coral.

    • Well I myself have actually swum inside an active volcano. Mt. Ruapehu, in the Tongariro National Park, had a crater lake that was a sulphuric acid solution. Mostly freezing cold at nearly 9,000 feet altitude, but with a thin (inch) layer of near boiling (at 9,000 ft) water on top from the volcanic vents under the lake.
      We used to go swimming in that lake, before putting on our skis, and go shussing down to the hut village lower down.
      You had to swim with a thrashing arm motion to stir up that boiling water on top with the cold stuff, otherwise your eyebrows got singed. Meanwhile, your tootsies are freezing lower down.
      Our wool swim suits were only good for about one ski season, as the acid ate them up. Darn stuff is slippery too.
      g >> G
      PS We also climbed Mt. Ngauruhoe in that same park, while it was erupting. Had to keep looking up to see what was coming raining down on us. The very end of the lava flow was the safest place to be, (and warm too) as the height of the lava stream protected us from getting hit by house sized boulders hurled from the crater. Well we couldn’t ski on Ruapehu, while its neighbor was erupting, as the ash on the snow, ground the bottom off our skis.

  46. If this is true I feel sorry for the daughters having to put up with that emotional crap from their Mum.

  47. Were test results of ocean pH inadvertently contaminated?
    (as Normal human tear pH by direct measurement. Tear pH was measured in 44 normal subjects by immersing the lip of a microcombination glass pH probe in the tear fluid in the inferior cul-de-sac. The normal pH range was 6.5 to 7.6; the mean value was 7.0.)

  48. The scientist interviewed by the Guardian may be hyper-emotional as a modern western cultural emotional display. If so shame on her. Though perhaps there is another reason for the scientist’s inappropriate emotionalism and crying.
    She may be experiencing Pseudobulbar affect (If so it may indicate previous brain injury) or Clinical Depression (postpartum?) may also be present. Perhaps one should not jump top the conclusion she is a bad scientist before considering the other possibilities. That is what the CAGW-ists do. Let’s not imitate them.
    Consider that her emotional incontinence may be more than just “bad science”.

  49. Im just worried about the science and Im just starting to understand it myself. Im worried about my own emotion. I can only keep my own emotion in check and that is scientific fact as far as I know. If I do that and I am wrong I only made a thinking mistake. A learning curve gap or a technical misunderstanding.

  50. I attribute such emotional behavior to ‘arrested development.”

  51. “Our children won’t know what snow is!”
    “Our children won’t know what seashells are!”
    Sounds like “Our children” won’t know where to go on their vacations.

  52. As a marine biologist myself, my first action would be to petition to have her fired from her position and her degree revoked for wanton stupidity.
    CO2 NOT acidifying the seas and the coral reefs having the power of their metabolism behind them, have no trouble handling an increase in food for their reef-building activities. CO2 for the oceans is a WIN-WIN in every way and there is simply no downside to it. And, she does not know that warmer waters makes coral reefs more stable? Truly an idiot and I fear she is a voluptuary idiot, spurred by her funding.

  53. Such ‘scientists’ need to be put on suicide watch, at least until their meds kick in.
    It’s a shame journalists confuse a mental condition with actual climate science.

  54. A real scientist would feel emotions but at least attempt to present a convincing case totally dispassionately based on demonstrating the science covered all known influences and showing the predictions accurately matched data from measuring stations certified as being adequate for the claimed accuracy.
    A weeping twat convinces me of nothing other than he failed even to compose himself for the presentation.

  55. Crying is just one version of the rhetorical technique sometimes referred to as “pathos”, i.e. use of words of actions likely to engage strong emotions in the audience. Other generally-related techniques are these.
    Appeal to authority- citation of information from people recognized for their special knowledge of a subject
    Appeal to fear – using information likely to frighten the audience
    Bandwagon – attempt to strengthen an argument by convincing the audience that accepting the writer’s view will put them on the popular or apparently winning side
    Holy war – an attempt to convince the audience that God is on the side of the writer and that failure to side with the writer’s argument would be immoral or offensive to God
    Hyperbole – an extravagant exaggeration of fact
    Name calling – the use of disparaging or abusive names to attack those who oppose the writer
    Repetition – repeating words, phrases or allegations for emphasis
    I suspect that everyone who engages in debates on climate-related issues is very familiar with the use of these techniques. Scientists correctly dislike the techniques because they stand in contrast to the intellectual detachment considered part of the scientific method. There is no denying, however, that they are often alarmingly effective rhetorical techniques used by believers in CAGW. When I encounter them too often, I am sometimes left just “crying in my beer”.

  56. In the Church of Manmade Warming, emotion is encouraged; indeed for them it’s a badge of honor. The stronger the Belief, the stronger the emotion. Climate talks are terrific stages for dramatic displays of emotion. In 2007 there was the spectacle of Yvo de Boer, the man in charge of the Bali climate conference being led away in tears. Then of course we have the Weepster himself, Bill McKibben at the COP15 Climate Clown-fest in Copenhagen bragging about how he had wept the night before, beginning his tale of extreme sadness with “This afternoon I sobbed for an hour, and I’m still choking a little.” It’s better of course if it’s a man crying, due to the social stigma.

  57. “If a scientist feels so emotional about their work that they burst into tears, how can we possibly trust that same scientist can successfully set that strong emotion and potential bias aside, when they evaluate whether the evidence supports their theories?”
    Exactly. See my post on this topic over at Judith’s place, which covers the deliberate long-term emotive campaigns of the Consensus, and the outpourings of scientists who, like large swathes of society have now themselves been seriously compromised by the unleashed emotions.

    • It is a madness. For years they’ve kept doing the same thing, which is scare us. They keep rearing up more skeptics.
      This will end well.

  58. Well while the warmists weep Adelaide’s kiddies are rushing around trying to cobble together snowmen or the occasional snowman and here’s some pics in the local online news-
    If you’re chuckling a bit at the paucity of the snowmen you need to bear in mind Adelaide enjoys a Mediterranean climate but we do have our Mount Lofty –
    and as it says-
    Due to Adelaide’s mild winters, temperatures cold enough to produce snow in the Adelaide metropolitan area never occur, and the nearest snowfields to Adelaide are in eastern Victoria, over 700 km away. However, light snowfalls (rarely lasting for more than a day) are not uncommon on the summit (although it is possible for Mount Lofty to go two or three years without any snowfall.) This is a huge novelty for the approximately 1 million residents of the Adelaide Plains, (particularly for the children), and a photograph of the event has made the front page of the local newspaper multiple times in the past.[7] Mount Lofty is the coldest location in the Adelaide area; during winter months the temperature may not exceed 3-4 °C on some days. The summit is the most common location for snow in South Australia; rare snowfalls sometimes occur in other parts of the Mount Lofty Ranges, and in Northern South Australia.
    Yes Mt Lofty was a big mountain once but in this ancient land it long ago wore away to be a big hill by mountain folk standards. Adelaide like most of southern Australia is gripped by a cold spell at present, tipped to last a week or so as the right low pressure system up from the Antarctic gives us the shivers and those rare snow mists and in Adelaide is tipped to give us some of our coldest winter days in up to 15 years. Now bear in mind in that period we had a decade long general drought so naturally you forget what average winters are like and of course to get that long term average back on track, naturally everyone’s running around thinking the next ice age is upon us. It’s called weather folks but the kids are having fun even if the warmist adults are bawling their eyes out.

  59. Interestingly enough with that Wiki quote-
    “Due to Adelaide’s mild winters, temperatures cold enough to produce snow in the Adelaide metropolitan area never occur,”
    well that’s not quite true from those pictures in some suburbs in Adelaide but it is generally true so you can see this cold spell is a goodun. Probably should read ‘hardly ever’

    How about a major rally to demand compensation from the climate science supporting organisations for unwarranted distress from this prediction. A bit of publicity now could see a fair bit of support if we could get one of the ambulance chaser legal companies to take on a case.
    After all if the claims can reduce a scientist to tears think what it would do to an innocent gullible child.
    I wonder if that professor can demand his job back now it is proven he is right?

  61. ….her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century……
    Waaahhhhhhh! These people drive me crazy worrying about things that won’t happen. Here’s another: “In the future children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” Waaahhhhhhh!
    It’s more evidence of the collapse of the AGW paradigm. Maybe that is where the real tears are coming from.
    My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t stop whining she would give me “something to whine about.” That’s exactly how I feel about these babies. The need a good swat on the fanny.

  62. I believe an uncorrupted psychiatrist (few anywhere near climate science, it seems) would diagnose the tears being having been caused by the ‘pause’. It has to have been a terrible strain on inexorable warming proponents as the years piled on years adding to the hiatus after half a career or more sailing along with CO2 theory of climate change.
    Those diagnosed with climate depression all say its because people won’t listen to the the predictions of imminent disaster. It is the most classic case of D’Nile, a well known symptom of depression, used before more recent applications of the term. ‘D’ is a classic patient’s way of avoiding facing reality and it creates depression – the head knows somewhere in there.
    Jonova has a blog post from a year ago that is worth a read:

  63. She fears we are acidifying and heating the ocean so fast that her young daughters may no longer enjoy coral reefs and shellfish by the end of the century.
    Wept after approaching said daughters answered ‘no worry mom, forget corals and shellfish. hand the bucks and we bring ChickenMcNuggets no ends.’
    somethings foul in Denmark.

  64. Eric Worrall –
    Yes, you’re right.
    No, reasoning to automats does’nt make it.
    – there’s automazations specialists.
    Neuropathologists e.g.
    they get paid for.
    Best Regards – Hans

  65. I placed a comment on the Gaurdian piece which stated that she may have been crying tears of frustration because despite thr best efforts of her and her fellow proponents of AGW there is a large and well qualified body of scientific opinion that does not buy in to it.
    imagine my surprise then to find that my comment was removed by the moderators!! So much for Comment is Free and a fair and impartial discussion.

  66. Going back to your older post, it’s a bit worrying that quite a few of these supposedly-eminent professional scientists feel the need to write on pre-ruled notepaper.
    Those of us who learned to write in straight lines mostly gave that up in prep school.

  67. Can somebody who actually knows the chemistry enlighten me about this impending loss of the coral reefs (not to mention all the carbonate-shelled shellfish)? I see alarmists talking (and getting emotional) about ocean acidification by CO2 dissolving in the water and then becoming carbonic acid. Then I seem to recall reading that most of the CO2 in natural waters is in the form of the bicarbonate ion, which has a mildly alkaline reaction. And I see people on the anti-alarmist side saying that the ocean can not POSSIBLY become acidic. It should be a simple and definitive answer, can it or can’t it? Somebody who actually knows the chemistry enlighten me please with some actual facts – how does CO2 behave in salt water?. I’m too lazy to get out the chemistry textbooks from my student days, even assuming that I could find them, and maybe they wouldn’t address the fairly complex chemistry of seawater anyway. Really, this should not be a matter of opinion, everyone agrees that the CO2 content of the atmosphere is increasing, what is this doing to seawater?.
    And while we are on chemistry, I seem to recall in the dim-and-distant days when I was learning basic physical chemistry, that the solubility of gases in water will decrease with increasing temperature. Wouldn’t warming (of the water, that is, which is where the missing heat is going, n’est-ce-pas?) tend to offset (or maybe completely offset?) the uptake of CO2 by ocean water from enriched atmosphere? Words like partition coefficient are starting to stir in the recesses of my long under-utilised brain.

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