Dr. Robert Carter, scientist, climate skeptic, pioneer, friend – R.I.P

I was shocked and saddened to read this, I’m passing it on without comment because I can’t write about this at this moment. See update below.

Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016)

Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016)

Joe Bast writes:

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.

Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.

This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings and arrows of the anti-science Left with seeming ease and good humor and often warned against resorting to similar tactics to answer them.

Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses. He was a wonderful public speaker and a charming traveling mate. He was not an easy man to edit, though – he kept wanting to put unnecessary commas, “that’s,” and boldfacing back into his manuscripts – but the great ones never are.

Bob helped immeasurably with three volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, a series of hefty compilations of scientific research he coauthored and coedited with Craig D. Idso and S. Fred Singer. Just a few weeks ago, he flew to Paris to speak at Heartland’s “Day of Examining the Data” and contributed to the completion and review of another book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Scientific Consensus.

We honored Bob with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 10th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-10) in Washington DC last June. I regret that I missed that event due to the sudden onset of shingles, and so missed the opportunity to see my friend as well as publicly recognize his great achievements in science.

Please remember Bob and his wonderful wife, Anne, in your thoughts and prayers.

More here: http://blog.heartland.org/2016/01/dr-robert-m-carter-r-i-p/

Added:

Jo Nova has a far better tribute than I could ever write:  http://joannenova.com.au/2016/01/bob-carter-a-great-man-gone-far-too-soon/

UPDATE: I have gathered my thoughts.

Bob Carter’s sudden death reminded me that life is tenuous, and that what we view as firmament can be taken from us in an instant.

I traveled with Bob in Australia during my tour in 2010. To say that he was a man of good cheer and resilience would be an understatement. He not only bore the slings and arrows thrown his way by some of the ugliest people in the climate debate, he reciprocated with professionalism and honor, refusing to let them drag him into the quagmire of climate ugliness we have seen from so many climate activists.

His duty, first and foremost was to truth. I’m reminded of this quote:
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ― Isaac Asimov
Bob worked hard to dispel scientific ignorance, and to do it with respect and good cheer. We’ve all lost a great friend and a champion of truth.

 

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bill mckibben

Condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues on this loss. And it’s true–serious writers do resist editing!

Indeed. The frailty of life becomes so apparent in situations like these.

Janice Moore

A great loss.
Given the anti-science agenda of the first commenter on this thread, I interject this quote from Bob Carter:

Scientists erect hypotheses to test based upon the fundamental science assumption of parsimony, or simplicity, sometimes grandly referred to as Occam’s Razor. That is to say, in seeking to explain matters of observation or experiment, a primary underlying principle is that the simplest explanation be sought; extraneous or complicating factors of interpretation, such as “extraterrestrials did it”, are only invoked when substantive evidence exists for such a complication.
Concerning the climate change that we observe around us today – which, importantly, is occurring at similar rates and magnitudes to that known to have occurred throughout the historical and geological past – the simplest (and therefore null) hypothesis, is that “the climate change observed today is natural unless and until evidence accrues otherwise”.

(Source: The Science of Deceit by Bob Carter, 2012, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/25/bob-carter-with-a-down-under-view-of-climate-science/ )
What will be said of Bob Carter when history sifts out the wheat from the chaff and the truth is finally universally known which will not be said of the AGWers of today?
Bob Carter was a SCIENTIST.

Warren Latham

A scholar’s scholar INDEED. He shall be missed beyond words.

Yes, he will indeed be sorely missed. He helped me with climate information some years ago and I was able to reciprocate by offering a book review to his excellent ‘Climate: The Counter Consensus’ in the NZ Geological Society Newsletter after the NIWA government ‘scientists’ had slammed it because it questioned their pseudo science.
I wonder how many are aware Bob was the subject of an excellent play “The Heretic” a few years ago. Details at:
http://www.atc.co.nz/media/271115/atc-heretic-programme_vweb.pdf
I know it played in Australia and here in NZ but not sure if it made it to North America or the UK.

Windy

Awesome-I just ordered a copy of the play form Amazon. It actually premiered in England. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heretic_(play)

csanborn

I’m shocked and I will miss Bob Carter.

vounaki

Dang!

I met Bob Carter at the climate conference in Stockholm in 2006. A great loss, my condolences to family and friends.

I just saw a pointer to Jo Nova’s page.
Bob was among best voices of reason we had and was the first scientist I contacted after I decided to get active. We’ll miss him terribly.

Me too, Ric. Bob had been a great friend ever since. I’m still in shock – the news was in the first email I saw this morning and left me reeling.
I shall raise a glass of red wine (Bob’s favorite) this evening to a wonderfully rational, sensible scientist and dear friend.
All who care to do the same, around the world (whatever your time zone), are welcome to join me in saying goodbye to Bob. He will be sorely missed.
Susan Crockford, on the Canadian west coast.

Marcus

Cheers form Ontario ! Great warriors never die, they just slowly fade from our memories ….

Having my wine now…
Here’s to you Bob – you did good.
Hugs to Anne and Izzie (the dog), who I knew only from pictures.
Susan

polarbearscience on January 19, 2016 at 10:22 am
– – – – – – –
polarbearscience,
Yes, a toast. With glass in hand now at cocktail hour in Mountain View California, I drink to his a lasting legacy. I am encouraged that such a man lived in my times.
John

Kev-in-Uk

A top scientist and orator – a true seeker of facts and truth. He will be greatly missed in our real science world. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Oldseadog

Any chance of someone setting up a condolance page that we can all sign?
I would do it but have no idea how.

Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
“A great climate warrior”
RIP

yam

RIP, Dr. Carter.

kim

An early hero of mine.
===============

jmichna

Rest in Peace, Dr. Carter. The good fight will carry on.

CheshireRed

I remember Bob Carter as being one of the early prominent sceptics. He made the case ‘against’ brilliantly and always seemed to be scrupulously fair in his explanations. Condolences to his wife and family.

Dr T G Watkins

So sad, his warmth and intelligence came through strongly in his many ‘film’ clips.
As someone who lived in Townsville, 1976-80, I feel proud to have known of him.

;_;

richardscourtney

Another truly great man has left us.

I agree, Richard.
RIP, Bob. ☹

I don’t know what to say… May his work and memory live on.

spock2009

Although I never knew or met this man personally, I believe that he will be missed more than we (CAGW science skeptics) will ever realize. He won’t easily be forgotten.
All my best to his family and friends.
Dale

James

I like to watch his seminars on youtube sometimes. I found him to be a good speaker. Sadly I will never have a chance to meet him now. RIP Bob.

bw

For example, edited to 38 minutes

Kudos to those who recorded and posted for posterity.
Very refreshing to see a real scientist show his stuff.

Richard Keen

Hi first sentence in the interview says so much.
I’ve had the pleassure of his company at several ICCC meetings and other occasions and Bob’s just a downright nice guy and a gentle genius.
Nice guys can, and do, finish first.

Hari Seldon

This video is the first contact I had with the great global warming scam. Thank you Dr Carter, you will be missed.

zootcadillac

So very sad to read of Bob’s passing. He was certainly one of the good guys. Not just a loss to his family and friends with whom my deepest and sincerest condolences lie, but a loss to the science community, and truth, as a whole.

Mike Bromley the Kurd

The science of Geology has lost one of its most durable rocks.

My condolences to his family and all friends down under… What a loss for the skeptic community!

meltemian

Exactly what I would have said.

John F. Hultquist

I saw a post a few days ago and at that time Bob was in an induced coma. My wife lived through such an experience and had a good outcome. I was told she might not live. This was a very hard time.
Joe Bast wrote: “Please remember Bob and his wonderful wife, Anne, in your thoughts and prayers.” Done.
Wish I could write something helpful.
Now I’m tearing up.

Gunga Din

Prayer is doing something helpful. Prayer is not empty words.
I’m praying for his family and those who knew him, many that are here.

Richard G.

Dr. Robert Carter, a great man who embodied the best of the Australian Character, leaving his mark for the good of mankind. Fair Dinkum.

Russell

So shocked We will all miss you, dearly departed. I will always watch you on the Net. Rest In peace Bob.

Oh no – truly a loss … he will be missed.

mwh

very, very sad. My all time favourite speaker on climate. He always put it so well.

Pat Frank

Bob was a wonderful and energetic guy. Intelligent, kind, and full of life and love of science. I was privileged to meet him in Erice Sicily last August, along with his wife, Anne. Just absolutely wonderful charming lovely civilized people. What a loss now he’s gone; what happy fortune to have had him with us.

Harry Passfield

My wife looked over to me as I took in the news – with a gasp – and she said: ‘Why are your eyes watering?’
Bob, you were my early hero and you introduced me to so much science; worth more than all the Manns, Oreskes and Lewandowskys of this world. But your work will outlive them.

UK Sceptic

A great loss to true science. His forthright contribution to climate common sense will be sorely missed.

Lewis P Buckingham

A great loss to the Australian scientific community.
It was his gentle argument that made me consider that the then global warming could well be natural, just as it always has been.
It was just a matter of formulating a Null Hypotheses to test it.
‘No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee….’
John Donne

Roy Spencer

Bob was a great guy, a class act.
And I fear this is the beginning of the end. There are only a handful of us skeptics who publish in mainstream journals, our average age probably exceeds 60 now, and young researchers risk their careers if they go down the skeptic route…they simply won’t get funded. For example, we have no one to take over production of the UAH satellite dataset when John Christy and I are gone.
As Marc Morano recently said, we win the science battles but we’re losing the war on the political front. Our only hope is that the public is still largely on our side…but it remains to be seen whether that even matters anymore in the policy arena.

jhborn

One hears about the self-censorship, of course, but it’s still distressing to hear from someone in the trenches like Dr. Spencer how badly hollowed out the field has become.
Let’s hope that non-climate-science practitioners of the various disciplines, such as statistics, on which “climate scientists” purport to rely continue to call attention to warmists’ misapplication of those disciplines.

macha

Sad news. I hope others will fill the void. It will take more than one IMHO.

Winston Smith

Maybe the Natural World will falsify the hypothesis by progressing to a cooling phase of this world’s climate cycle despite a CO2 level greater than 350.

Hi Winston,
We do expect natural global cooling to resume by 2020 or probably sooner – after the current El Nino.
However, Earth cooled due to natural causes from ~1940 to ~1975 despite greatly increasing atmospheric CO2 emissions. The warmists “solved” this contradiction in their global warming meme by falsifying the surface temperature data record.
http://realclimatescience.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015-12-18-12-36-03.png
What are the odds they will do this again?
Best, Allan

Quinn the Eskimo

It is especially urgent to maintain the UAH dataset with the highest fidelity as you and John Christy have done. I pray that come the hour the right men and women will also come.

James at 48

Because Nature bats last, someday we’ll all be reminded that AGW is not the be all and the end all. Sadly, what I speak of will result in a large and mostly avoidable loss of life.

Anne Ominous

I’m not sure such negativity is called for. The political situation is changing (as it necessarily must). I am confident that within a year it will have changed significantly.

Keith Minto

A great fighter who fought with steady reason and good humour. He will be missed.
Vale Bob Carter.

An honest scientist; a man with integrity – one of the few has fallen. RIP

Superdoug

Sad beyond words. A great man in his field.

donaitkin

Bob was a lovely man. He was appointed to the Australian Research Grants Committee in 1987 when I was its Chairman, and stayed on in the Australian Research Council’s Earth Sciences group when the ARGC became the ARC. He was a feisty fighter for his discipline. As was common, he got to the position of assessing requests for money by having been a highly successful seeker of research funds himself. When I became interested in global warming ten years ago, Ian Castles, a great and former Australian Statistician, suggested that I should read his take on the issue, and Bob and I became in close contact again. Over the last ten years he has been one of the world’s best sceptics in this awful field of ‘climate change’. He writes well, bases himself on what is known, is alert to error and does not exaggerate. His passing is a great sadness to me, and will be to thousands of people he never met.

PaulH

Very sad, indeed. He will be missed but not forgotten.

We will miss you, Bob. Your book ‘Climate: The Counter Consensus’ has helped to open my eyes. Your courage and great analytical skills will be missed in the debate. It is sad to see a fellow-geologist go…

Jack

R.I.P.. A great man gone too soon. He kept the sceptic side on science instead of retaliation. Nature, itself, has and is showing him to be correct.
He travelled small towns and big cities throughout Australia and no matter how the size of the crowd, he always put his case in a good manner. He was willing to debate anyone at these meetings, which highlighted the refusal of warmists to do the same.
Science and mankind is the better for his contribution.

Chris Hanley

It is a great loss to his family friends and colleagues of course, but also to followers like me who greatly appreciated the clarity and precision of his thought and communication.
R.I.P.

Tom Judd

Goodbye.

Bob Carter was a great man, and a shining example to scientists. Everything he said made sense and it was one of his lectures which first alerted me to the CAGW Scam and ‘settled’ science distortion. Bob will be remembered as one of the greats in the struggle for the truth and he deserves to have an award for excellence in science with his name on it. Bob will not fade from our memories.

LewSkannen

A great man and a great loss to us.

pat

condolences to his family and friends.
farewell Prof Carter. you will not be forgotten.
one way or another, your message will continue to inform people everywhere of the scientific hoax that is CAGW:
15 Jan: BusinessDay South Africa: Tom Harris: Much of the world abandons rational thought about climate change
(Harris is executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition)
Reality for the UN and most politicians is now more determined by what imaginative climate activists say than what science and observational evidence actually show. December’s UN climate conference in Paris is a case in point.
Sounding like an episode out of Barrie’s fairy tale, politicians pledged to prevent “global temperature” from rising more than 2C. That we are as yet unable to meaningfully forecast climate decades in advance, let alone control it, didn’t matter. Humankind has a global thermostat, they imagine.
Delegates believed that scientists have Peter Pan-like powers to sense climate danger decades in advance. They dream that today’s global climate models, simulations that utterly failed to forecast the current 18-year “pause” in warming provide legislators with the “unequivocal” knowledge they need to enact trillion-dollar energy policies.
To back up their extraordinary claims, we are told that there is an overwhelming consensus of scientists who agree with the UN’s position. Thousands of well-qualified sceptics are imagined out of existence…
On December 7, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released the report “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” Authored by climatologist Dr Craig Idso of the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change in Arizona; geologist ***Dr Robert Carter, former head of the department of earth sciences at James Cook University in Australia; and physicist Dr S Fred Singer, emeritus professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, the new report refutes the claims of climate alarmists. For example, the NIPCC states:
• “There is no survey or study showing consensus on the most important scientific issues in the climate change debate.”
• “Neither the rate nor the magnitude of the reported late twentieth century surface warming lay outside normal natural variability.”…ETC
http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/2016/01/15/much-of-the-world-abandons-rational-thought-about-climate-change

I deeply regret this loss. Bob Carters presentations were always delicious to watch. Let me just give a link to one very good paper of his, written in 2007 and still shining like new:
The myth of dangerous human-caused climate change . My most sincere condolences to his family.

Bubba Cow

excellent link, thanks
it was his clarity of though, writing, and speech that helped me and will be sorely missed
my condolences to his family and friends

RexAlan

I went to see Dr Robert Carter in Sydney many years ago. I’ve also watched all his youtube lectures. In fact in my own journey back to climate sanity from the warmest side his reasoning and understanding was most probably the pivotal point.
To all his family and friends please accept my most sincere condolences.
Truly a great loss.

Neville

Many years ago Bob helped me (via email) to respond to a rather silly local newspaper article about the terrible CAGW awaiting us in a few short years.
Since then I have read his columns, books etc and watched many of his youtube videos.
His passing is a shock and it will take an extraordinary person(s) to try and fill his shoes. Bob Carter RIP.

paulm

Damn, to listen to him speak on any topic, especially climate change was such a joy. As he was a happy warrior I hope I can emulate him in some small way.

Thanks, Anthony. Bob Carter left a tremendous legacy of scientific integrity and curiosity.
We will continue on the path he showed us,

robinedwards36

Sad news for all who are concerned with what is really happening in the climate scene. My contacts with Bob were solely via email, but were most helpful and encouraging to me. This news is a loss to us all. RIP, Bob.

bill young

A few weeks ago I participated in a survey for a major Australian research company – lifestyle/beliefs etc. One question asked for the names of the three living persons I most respected. After considerable thought I wrote my answer. One of those names was Bob Carter. RIP.