The Complicity of Journals and Magazines in Pushing Flawed IPCC Climate Science

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

The public face of climate science practiced by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and their offspring the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were for a political agenda and only secondarily for the money it engendered. However, their methods were made much more effective by magazines and journals who promoted their flawed science primarily for money and sometimes secondarily for politics. Magazines and Journals, often with considerable influence, latched on like giant sucker fish to further themselves not to promote truth, accuracy, and public understanding.

There was a time when Scientific American (SA) occupied a unique niche on the newsstands. It was a magazine about science for the public. It was genuine science usually written by scientists, not a popular pseudo-science magazine like all the others. It was interesting because most people did not understand much of what was written. People that knew about the topic realized it was a very broad overview, but realized it was for public consumption. They published fascinating articles drawing issues to public attention without political bias. Three I recall that were valuable in the climate debate were; John Eddy’s article on the missing sunspots; Stommel and Stommel’s piece on 1816, the year with no summer; and an early article about the influence on ocean temperature measurements of the switch from leather to metal buckets and then engine intakes.

Now, SA is a sensationalist, biased, apologist outlet for the IPCC global warming science. It appears the transition was driven, even before the full impact of the internet, by declining sales. Now, in my opinion, SA is no different from any of the other pseudo-science sensationalist magazines. Coincident with the shift was a decline in contributions from scientists and an increase in articles by professional (?) journalists. With climate articles, the majority came from scientists directly involved in the IPCC deception. Doom and gloom and sensationalism sells and even better if it fits the political bias of those involved in producing the magazine.

The same pattern developed with the two pre-eminent journals Science and Nature. There was a time when academics paid to have articles published and also paid for receiving a quantity of the article once published. There was a period when universities paid for subscriptions and a few academics purchased their own. As the cost of producing the journals increased subscription costs became prohibitive. This coincided with declining government and private monies to researchers and universities. Some publishing houses, such as Elsevier, saw a business opportunity and took over. We are all now familiar with the ‘paywall’. We also experience the merchandizing that occurs if you buy an article. It triggers an ongoing email promotion of “articles that might be of interest” similar to the follow ups from Amazon.

As global warming became a bigger political issue some in the media began searching for sensational scientific speculation articles. They were written up with the active voice headline declaring “scientist says,” then followed by an article with some of the conditional phrases academics use to temper their arguments. A major problem is that few journalists have science degrees or any scientific training. This means they only look at the science that feeds their sensationalist, “the story is everything” objective.

Some journals spawned different vehicles to expand circulation and exploit sensationalism. Nature started Nature Climate Change in 2007. I was made aware of its existence and bias at the 2009 Heartland Climate Conference when a reporter from that publication asked for an interview. I quickly realized he was not interested in objectivity or elucidation so terminated the interview.

Their editorial policy is set out on their home page as

Reading science

Scientists are often accused of poorly communicating their findings, but improving scientific literacy is everyone’s responsibility.

True, but only if it is balanced and objective.

Nature Climate Change is owned by the Nature Publishing Group that is a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. This is interesting because they were the publishers involved with the Velikovsky travesty, one of the most egregious examples of the conflicts that occur between publishers and a search for the truth. You can read Velikovsky’s side of the story in his book Stargazers and Gravediggers that Amazon describes as follows.

In one of the greatest acts of censorship in American history, a powerful lobby of establishment scientists forced Macmillan to suspend publication of Immanuel Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision” – the first shot fired in the campaign against Velikovsky’s “heretical” views. Here, with enormous dignity and intelligence, Velikovsky himself tells the full story of one of the most shameful book-burning episodes of our time. This is Velikovsky’s final word on the matter, and it forms an important inside account of a scandal that shook the worlds of science and publishing alike.

Velikovsky became a target for Carl Sagan, an early promoter of human CO2 caused global warming. That claim became central to the argument about the threat of higher CO2 levels. He challenged the claims of the levels and cause of temperatures on Venus. Sagan felt so threatened that he published a book Scientists Confront Velikovsky. It is about all his claims thus collectively including Venusian CO2. He is not to be believed on anything.



The interactions between publishers and scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were revealed by the leaked emails in the Climategate scandal. On the web site Reason a 2009 article titled Climategate and Scientific Journal Chicanery by Ronald Bailey reports on the experiences of Eduardo Zorita.

By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication. My area of research happens to be the climate of the past millennia, where I think I am appreciated by other climate-research ‘soldiers’….

I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files. They depict a realistic, I would say even harmless, picture of what the real research in the area of the climate of the past millennium has been in the last years. The scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.

These words do not mean that I think anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. On the contrary, it is a question which we have to be very well aware of. But I am also aware that in this thick atmosphere and I am not speaking of greenhouse gases now- editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. In this atmosphere, Ph. D students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the ‘politically correct picture’. Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture. I had the ‘pleasure’ to experience all this in my area of research.

The important point here is that Zorita expects retribution from the reviewers and editors thus making them accessories before and after the fact.

Another way to control the message is to be both reviewer and journal editor. This appears to be what happened in the dominance of IPCC and CRU scientists as editors of the Journal of Climate. Donna Laframboise poses the question

We’re supposed to trust the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) because much of the research on which it relies was published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

But what happens when the people who are in charge of these journals are the same ones who write IPCC reports?

After listing all the people, some 13 by my count, who served as editors or in some other editorial capacity on the Journal, Laframboise asks,

“Is no one concerned that there is no distance whatsoever – never mind anything approaching a firewall – between the people who decide whether a study deserves to join the haloed ranks of the scientific peer-reviewed literature – and the people who then write IPCC reports declaring what this peer-reviewed literature tells us about climate change?

And let’s not even talk about what percentage of the published papers authored by some of those mentioned above earned their peer-reviewed status via the Journal of Climate. That’s another story for another day.”

In an article written shortly after the leaked emails appeared Robert Tracinski said,

“Not content to block out all dissent from scientific journals, the CRU scientists also conspired to secure friendly reviewers who could be counted on to rubber-stamp their own work. Phil Jones suggests such a list to Kevin Trenberth, with the assurance that “All of them know the sorts of things to say…without any prompting.”

Sadly, many were willing for various reasons. Tracinski summary is telling.

The picture that emerges is simple. In any discussion of global warming, either in the scientific literature or in the mainstream media, the outcome is always predetermined. Just as the temperature graphs produced by the CRU are always tricked out to show an upward-sloping “hockey stick,” every discussion of global warming has to show that it is occurring and that humans are responsible. And any data or any scientific paper that tends to disprove that conclusion is smeared as “unscientific” precisely because it threatens the established dogma.

A major factor in making journals and magazines vulnerable to persuasion from the people at CRU was the business model applied and the requirement for a profitable operation. It was the practice of the business world to either ignore the science as I explained in an earlier article or donate money to those attacking them in a form of corporate market place appeasement. Proof of this is seen in the fact that one company fighting back makes a headline – Exxon Stands Up to the green Bullies.

The real breakthrough will come when this headline appears in the mainstream media, but don’t hold your breath, there is much more money available as long as government funding continues.


Addition by Anthony. (3/6/2016)

There is a follow up to this post here:

For the record I’ve never supported Velikovsky’s ideas in the book Worlds In Collision. But I DO support discussing them in the context of learning, because if you can’t learn from mistakes, you aren’t doing science. – Anthony Watts



220 thoughts on “The Complicity of Journals and Magazines in Pushing Flawed IPCC Climate Science

  1. Professional science reminds me of the new pretty girl in town. She was all the rage after WW2. So many young and bright minds wanted to be like her.

    Here we are many decades later and she’s lost her allure. She’s become a second rate Vegas act.

    She probably has to crash and burn before a meaningful rising from the ashes reinvention occurs.

  2. Absolutely correct on the calling out of “Scientific American.” Thirty years ago SA was a solid science based publication; 50 years ago it was detailed and deep science. Today, to quote Dr. Ball Scientific American has become: “…a sensationalist, biased, apologist outlet for the IPCC global warming science. It appears the transition was driven, even before the full impact of the internet, by declining sales. Now, in my opinion, SA is no different from any of the other pseudo-science sensationalist magazines. Coincident with the shift was a decline in contributions from scientists and an increase in articles by professional (?) journalists. With climate articles, the majority came from scientists directly involved in the IPCC deception. Doom and gloom and sensationalism sells and even better if it fits the political bias of those involved in producing the magazine….”

    • Tom Tamarkin,

      I agree completely. SciAm was sold to a German conglomerate that promotes the ‘green’ narrative. Now it censors comments that have a different point of view.

      SciAm used to be a real science publication. But now it’s just pop science; not worth the price. It’s no different from an astrology magazine.

    • I agree with all the above comments 100%.
      I have read this magazine since I was a young teen and found a stack of issues from the 1950s in a closet of my father’s house. Some content I was able to understand, and some was so far over my head it may as well have been Greek. But all was very educational, informative and illuminating, even if simply to remind me how much there was to learn.
      Had a subscription from grade school until recently, and read every issue cover to cover for those decades.
      But then I could no longer stand to read it, even if just to keep up with the lies being sold as science.
      Really sad.

      • I have always had so much to read on my nightstand I can never read it all. I am able to withstand the loss of these periodicals, especially since the interwebs is now such a handy source of every kind of information.
        One used to have to go to a library to find the sorts of information that are now a mere few clicks away from anywhere in the world.
        Nowadays, I can read about the law, politics, medicine, you name it.
        But I have less time to read than I used to…I spend a lot of time engaging in discussions or just lurking on various sites, including this one.
        I spend tons of time engaging in discussions of stock trading (focus on biotech, mining and commodities, options strategies, etc) and politics on a number of sites, including social media. I have reconnected with just about everyone I have every known in my life, and have friends with whom which I have multiple ongoing games of Scrabble, etc. I also sometimes spend a lot of time doing things like Lumosity, or playing speed Scrabble on the ISC site (, three minutes to play the whole game. Sometimes play dozens of games a night.
        And stuff like that.
        Plus I have a new house with a garden that I got for the huge amount of outside time it will require for the next infinity years.
        Thanks for asking.
        And what do you read, Nigel?

      • I still maintain a subscription to SA along with about a dozen other “science” related monthlies and a couple of weeklies. I guess because I live without TV and read constantly. I too find myself getting outraged at some of the more obvious CAGW articles, and write out responses in my head–never actually sending one in since that would be an even greater waste of time, but it is both entertaining and informative as to what is these days reported as science. One interesting thing I’ve noticed: even articles that have absolutely no relationship to climate what-so-ever (such as articles about archaeologic digs) have to get in at least a sentence about global warming–appears that it is a requirement for publication in any venue.


      • I remember reading a special issue of SciAm highly critical of a book “The Bell Curve”. The criticism amounted to saying that the book was not politically correct, therefore bad. I bought and read the book, I discontinued my subscription, and never looked back.

      • WUWT is my staple these days (between other priorities, but it’s a hot link in my browser). Mostly read things online, but I am trying to find a good journal in print that I can cut my teeth on a little more. I prefer to hold a paper in my hands to concentrate on it. I am a materials engineer with heavy interest in experimentation and the thinking behind doing proper engineering and science, asking the right questions, and thinking clearly (not deeply) about everything scientific. I’d like to find a printed journal where I can learn more wholistic and practical thinking about science and engineering. I used to read New Scientist a lot when I was in my teens, but they went downhill. Way downhill. I thumb through some Harvard Business Reviews now and then and found it to be pretty decent. TED talks are just ok most of the time, as I find them to be a little too ‘this is cool’ topic oriented. They have their place. SciAm has gone downhill, and has too much dumbed down pop science in it now. National Geographic is tolerable, though they are totally hooked on the CAGW koolaid. Journal of Material Science is too nano-techish, not that useful for me. Besides those, Google News App is on my phone for general world news. I used to read Engadget and The Verge, but Engadget got too gadget-y for me, and The Verge now turns off comments for anything remotely related to climate change…too bad, they lost a lot of viewers. I don’t have TV, there is nothing to watch. I’m looking for something I can hold in my hands, staring at a monitor is starting to bother me, and the laptop offers too many distractions.

    • There were profound changes in the editorial staff some while ago. The intention was to make the magazine more caring, more relevant and much less demanding of its readership. It was around that time that I stopped being a subscriber despite being a very loyal one for almost 30 years.

      I have bought the occasional copy when travelling in the hopes of finding that a change for the better was underway. These copies were invariably left on the plane as I could see no benefit in adding them to my collection. Sad.

      Thanks for a good article Dr. Ball.

    • Coincident with the shift was a decline in contributions from scientists and an increase in articles by professional (?) journalists. With climate articles, the majority came from scientists directly involved in the IPCC deception.
      Good to see that in this area at least Scientific American was bucking the trend of using journalists unstead of scientists to write the articles.

  3. The magnitude of the cabbage available to expand their philosophical infrastructure eliminates morality from the equation. The total sum of the top contributors to US elections over the last 20 years is dwarfed by the annual booty from this scam. CAGW has blown by confiscated union dues as the vehicle of choice for financing their statist dreams. Not to mention the intoxicating additional benefits of hero status and glamorous vacations.

  4. The surface temperature of Venus is better predicted by the surface pressure than it is by CO2. The same calculation applied both to Earth and Venus matched observations. This argues strongly that surface temperatures are a function of the distance from the sun, the gravitational force of the planet, and the height of the atmospheric convection.

    The increase in surface temperature as compared to what is predicted for a black body, is the conversion of PE to KE as a result of convection (the lapse rate). This warms the surface at the expense of cooling the upper atmosphere, as compare to the isothermal atmosphere predicted by conduction. This was the standard model of atmospheric and surface temperatures before radiation became popular as an explanation for everything.

    • I believe I read that one of the Russian probes to Venus recorded a temperature of 90F during descent at approximately 1 earth atmosphere pressure.

    • Drop the “better” . The surface temperature of Venus is predicted by pressure and is not predicted by CO2 , period .

      I’ve posted some comments on reiterating the basics . Electromagnetic phenomena cannot “trap” energy .

      The lack of even interest in understanding the non-optional classical computable radiant heat transfer physics , even here on WUWT , continues to astound me . As I phrased it on the Ted Al Gore comments :

      The basic computation of the equilibrium temperature of a radiantly heated colored ball, like our Earth…boils down to a ratio between the 4th root of the dot products of the absorption=emission spectrum of the ball and that of its sources ( the Sun ) and its sinks ( the rest of the celestial sphere ) times the the temperature corresponding to the total energy impinging on a point in our orbit

      The executable expressions in an Array Programming Language are presented on my website and were the substance my talk at Heartland ICCC9 .

      Can we even get some agreement and even experimental demonstration of this most basic computation of the equilibrium temperature of a radiantly heated uniformly colored ball ? Does anybody here disagree with that computation ? Or do they have textbook or experimental confirmation ? This science should most assuredly be settled .

      Likewise , the fact that gravity acting on the mass of atmospheres is the quantifiable reason their bottoms are warmer than their tops . I disregarded it , just realizing there was an , in the case of Venus , enormous gap between the spectrally determined temperature of the planet as seen from outside , and its surface which the Divergence Theorem made impossible to fill . It was only seeing HockeySchtick’s computations , eg , , that it got thru to me that the only possible answer to fill that gap , and the next to be added to my half dozen APL definitions for computing planetary temperature , was the other macroscopic force , asymmetric centripetal gravity

      I’d seen people referencing pressure before , but always responded that if the answer was pressure , we could just fill up some scuba tanks and have unlimited energy . It is gravity which is the force keeping that pressure in equilibrium and in terms of which the equations must fundamentally be expressed .

      My quibbles with Fred’s comments are just that it does not depend in any way on convection , and the higher temperature lower in the atmosphere — and for that matter extending to the center of the planet — is not in any sense “at the expense of” the upper atmosphere . The temperature of the top of the atmosphere must merge with the 278.6 +- 2.3 corresponding to the energy density provided by the sun to a point in our orbit . Apparently we are “blacker” in the IR than in the peak of the solar spectrum so the temperature declines as much as 15 degrees from there before absorption of UV caused a heated layer . Then gravity pretty much dominates the rest of the profile to the surface .

      • The so called “Greenhouse Effect” is calculated to be 33C. The center of mass of the troposphere is approximately 5.5km altitude, and the wet air lapse rate is approximately 6C/km.

        5.5km * 6C/km = 33C

        This is not a coincidence. Greenhouses are not warmed by CO2 or by trapping radiation. The “Greenhouse Effect” in real greenhouses is caused by limiting convection.

      • Like I think I said here , right now my priority is infecting more heads with 4th.CoSy . I’ll wait to help somebody more directly interested to implement the computations , evolving 4th.CoSy in the process , to check them against your observations .

        I know I saw numbers on one website in particular which looked strongly indicative of the similar temperature increases at similar pressures , but it was only seeing HockeySchtick’s actual computations explicitly citing gravity that the obvious and only possible answer got thru to me .

        That 33c number is a red herring . It cannot be the top of atmosphere number because the equilibrium temperature of a gray body , equally weighted across the spectrum , in our orbit is about 278.6 +- 2.3 from peri- to ap- helion . Why some layer of the atmosphere is apparently 23 degrees colder than that requires additional explanation .

    • ferdberple and Bob:

      Good comments both. I am always happy to see a bit of real skepticism on display against the dopey idea that it is all radiation and not convection, advection, conduction, gravity, solar irradiation, H2O in all its forms and so forth. It is high time to drop the CO2 madness.

      • Based on the fact that I’ve heard many greater scientists than I say there is no such thing as a dumb question, I’ll ask the following (since convection was mentioned). Isn’t the actual temperature of the Earth for such calculation purposes what it would be in a greenhouse, not in a massively convective surface environment ?

      • “Isn’t the actual temperature of the Earth for such calculation purposes what it would be in a greenhouse, not in a massively convective surface environment ?”

        Yes, that is true. In a real greenhouse you stop most convection with the walls and roof, but the real earth has no walls nor any roof. So, convection dominates the cooling of the surface. Of course the whole system of energy movement by the weather machine on the planet is much more complicated than just convection but convection is a major force. One could call it Mother Nature’s main tool. :-)

      • @phillin california @ 8:54 pm Feb 28, I am in the same boat re asking dumb questions but thank to many on this site I have gotten some great simple answers even I could understand both Bob and Ferd always leave me with questions. So here goes,
        The one for Bob regarding the gravity/pressure (as I interpreted it) causes heat I can see that (just rub your hands together) but on our planet we are not static, as far as I can tell we have the tropics and the polar regions and they, as far as I know, have very close to similar pressures but vastly different temperatures. So if his argument stand up? Should temps then not be equal or am I just too dense here?

      • ..Asybot, their is no such thing as a dumb question ! The mistake that many people make is fooling themselves into believing that ONE thing governs the temperature of the Earth.. In reality, it is a combination of many, many, many factors and events that CANNOT be predicted to an absolute number, CO2 being the weakest of all ! All of the above opinions apply ! IMHO..( as a Canadian, I pray for Glo.Bull warming every day, but God { pick one, any one } doesn’t listen to me ) LOL

    • What is this mecahnism again? You have a black body in space, with a temperature of say 250K. At thi stemperature incident and radaited energy are the same. You put an atmosphere around it. The surface then warms to say 275K. Where does this heat come from?

      • I’ve got a few comments to respond to , but this can be quick .

        First of all , and perhaps the most fundamental FACT that is poorly understood all around in these debates is that the temperature of a gray , ie : flat spectrum , ball in our orbit is straightforwardly calculated to be about 278.6 +- about 2.3 degrees from peri- to ap- helion . See archived from a discontinued Heartland site for the analysis .

        Note 2 extremely important facts for everybody to understand .

        0 ) This is NOT just the temperature of a black body in our orbit . It is the temperature any gray body in our orbit comes to , no matter how dark or light . This result goes back to Ritchie’s 1830s experiment .

        It is the value relative to which any effect of spectrum can be computed .

        1 ) It’s value is one of the few things we can measure to the 4th decimal place which is the precision , the 10th of a degree , this entire absurdity is about .

        The additional heat as one goes down thru the mass of the atmosphere – and , for that matter extending on as one goes down thru the mass of the planet , is the result of gravity acting on the mass . As Alan Guth shows in a short appendix in his , gravity computes as negative energy and thus the increase in temperature and consequently pressure is necessary to balance the demand of the Divergence Theorem to match the radiant energy balance at the effective radiant surface of the planet with space .

        To answer philincalifornia and asybot : the effect of gravity is essentially static . Convection comes into play because of the enormous difference in insolation from the tropics to the poles , and because much of the thermalization of incoming solar energy occurs at the surface which then warms the adjacent air , largely mediated by CO2’s absorption . So its largely heated from the bottom .

        I’ll finish by saying , there is a great deal of detail I don’t understand ; It was only last July that discussion here on WUWT steered me to HockeySchtick’s quantitative analysis which got thru to me the very profound , static , relationship between gravity and temperature .

        Right now I am consumed in getting my open 4th.CoSy language , melding the APL concepts of Ken Iverson ( as abstracted particularly by Arthur Whitney of whose K all the computations on my web site and presentations are in ) with the chip level simplicity of Chuck Moore’s Forth out to the minds that can handle such extreme simplicity . Then we can start elaborating a competitive model of planetary physics as succinctly as we can think it .

        Right now , I just know that the next definitions to be added to the half dozen K expressions calculating the temperature of a uniformly colored ball in our orbit are those computing the gravitational physics . Then , it’s just a line to throw a Lambertian cosine function over the disk to start dealing with the actual spherical reality .

        If you are interested in those sorts of extreme programming systems , and working toward a succinct model of planetary physics , please check out those portions of my website and maybe download a current copy of the language .

      • Bob, I am still not understanding. You have a grey body in equilibrium in space at a certain temperature. Imagine this is surrounded by an infinitely thin atmosphere that is transparent to radiation. We then allow gravity to compress the atmosphere. If we use PV=nRT, then pressurising the atmosphere will cause it to heat. This heat has not come from nowhere as we have moved gas into the atmosphere. This will heat the surface, and the surface will radiate more heat until the temperature restores to the previous equilibrium. I don’t see a mechanism to add more energy to the system to cause the temperature to stay above the previous equilibrium.

      • I’m sorry I don’t have time to say any more . You can calculate the temperature of a ball by its spectrum as seen from the outside and the spectrum of sources irradiating it . The case of a planet like Earth is greatly complicated by the fact that the “surface” doing the radiating is a function of wavelength which the physical surface being the main absorbing surface over the visible wavelengths .

        But however that may be , you cannot explain why the bottom of the atmosphere is hotter than the value computed for the planet’s spectrum as seen from its sources ( and sinks ) .

        Beyond that , I suggest you look at Hockey’s analyses and computations . I have actually not had time to read them in detail and likely won’t until I’m ready to implement them line by line in 4th.CoSy .

        But the thing is , that after doing the analysis for the spectral equilibrium , and understanding the limitations imposed by the Divergence Theorem , I recognized the massive unexplained gap between , in particular , Venus’s top of atmosphere temperature and it’s surface . And I had happened to meet Alan Guth once when he gave a talk at the New York Academy of Sciences . I’m not taking any stand about his “Inflationary Universe” theories , but the book does have a very brief , lucid explanation of why gravity computes as a negative force . I think Google could find a number of other presentations of the fact .

        Ask me again in a year or two for a better explanation . Ferd apparently recognizes the same phenomenon from a somewhat different direction , but at this point in time Hockey is the guy who’s gone into it most deeply and quantitatively .

        I just know that there’s a big gap that no em can fill , and gravity , the other macroscopic force , is the only phenomenon which can , and by Hockey’s calculations does , fill it .

      • “What is this mechanism again? You have a black body in space, with a temperature of say 250K. At this temperature incident and radiated energy are the same. You put an atmosphere around it. The surface then warms to say 275K. Where does this heat come from?”

        The heat comes from the sun. It does NOT come from pressure as many are stating here. The incoming energy is spread across the electromagnetic spectrum most of which passes through the atmosphere and warms the earth. At the temperature of the earth most of the radiated energy is in the infrared and since some of the gases in the atmosphere are opaque to infrared, the energy is trapped and escapes more slowly. In the steady state, the same amount of energy leaves the earth as arrives but in order for the energy to escape through the gas “blanket” the surface must be warmer.

        Pressure plays a part only in making the surface warmer than the upper atmosphere, however, if the atmosphere were totally transparent to infrared then the lower part of the atmosphere would be at a lower “gray body” temperature.

        By the way, the reflectivity of the body does play a part. A perfectly reflective body would send all the incoming energy back into space and have a temperature of absolute zero.

      • I present in my Heartland talk and in a number of places on my the experimentally testable computations for the equilibrium temperature for any 3 spectra , the absorption=emission spectrum of an object , that of its radiant heat source , and that of its radiant sink . One does not have to talk in terms of … “spread across the electromagnetic spectrum” . The spectra are measurable and known with impressive accuracy . The temperature of a gray body in our orbit , simply calculated by summing the total energy impinging on a point in it is 278.6 +- 2.3 from peri- to ap- helion based on an effective temperature of 5778 for the Sun . By simple geometry the gray body temperature at our distance is necessarily about 0.04821 of whatever the Sun decides to be .

        It is NOT about 250 degrees ; it is 278.6 +- 2.3 . And that is NOT just the temperature of just a black body in our orbit ; that is the temperature of any gray body , no matter how dark or light , a result going back to Ritchie’s experiment in the 1830s and formalized by Kirchhoff and Stewart among others by 1860 .

        Sorry for yelling , but until this most basic physics is groked by the community as a whole , the “settling” of this bit of science is impossible .

        And again , the “source” of the energy which requires the bottoms of atmospheres to be warmer than their tops is the unipolar negative force of gravity — which is the force causing the pressure — not the pressure per se .

        Until someone shows me otherwise , bipolar electromagnetic phenomena cannot “trap” energy in excess of the spectral equilibrium whose calculation I reference above .

        It happens that because I went into psychophysics instead of continuing in the physics I had aced in highschool , I learned more about the math of associative memory and pattern recognition than classical physics . And it is only a few years ago that I read my niece’s cast off copy of Griffiths Intro Electrodynamics . But one strong impression from that is the many places where the Divergence Theorem is invoked to explain why the field inside of a sphere is constrained by the field at the surface .

        So when one claims that some electromagnetic effect can cause the interior of a sphere to be hotter than that calculated for its surface , I say again : Show Us Your Equations and the experiments validating them .

      • So when one claims that some electromagnetic effect can cause the interior of a sphere to be hotter than that calculated for its surface

        I am not sure exactly what you are hinting at, but consider a sphere centered on the Sun and having its surface at the Earth’s distance from the center. The temperature at the surface would be some 250K, at the solar photosphere some 5800 K, and near the center of the Sun, some 15 million K… Quite hot, I would sya…

      • I am explicitly talking about and give the computation for an externally irradiated body , not one with an internal source of heat . Frankly , I don’t know what your are driving at .

        If the effective surface temperature of the Sun is 5800 , then the temperature of a gray ball at our distance will be about 279.7 .

        Any other value requires a non-flat , non-gray spectrum .

        I do not know which is known more accurately : the effective surface temperature of the Sun or the Total Solar Irradiance in our orbit . But the relationship is simple geometry . and so non-optional it can simply be taken as a “deflator” in any other modeling of our temperature .

        This would be a great demo experiment to be conducted by someone in the Space Station .

      • You may have meant that, but you didn’t explicitly say so [or I have a hard time finding it]. An your repeated emphasis on gray bodies is puzzling. [no matter how dark…]. In the limit, a very, very, very, very dark gray body is an excellence approximation to a black body…

      • Man , I don’t know how I could make it more explicit . The Divergence Theorem is irrelevant if there are any internal sources or sinks . See the Wikipedia definition .

        Yes , of course a very dark gray converges on black — and it has a singularity as it approaches white .

        But it appears that very few appreciate that a light gray ball will come to exactly the same temperature a black one . I couldn’t see to get that 19th century settled science across to the Wikipedia pages on such matters some years ago .

        People keep parroting the 255K number as if that’s the temperature of a gray ball in our orbit . It’s not . It is the product of a hypothetical spectrum with an average correlation with the Sun’s spectrum of 0.7 over the range where that dominates and a correlation of 1.0 over the rest of the spectrum . Watch my Heartland presentation or my relevant web pages to get the precise computations .

        If we cannot get clear understanding of the most basic classical experimentally tested and testable physical relationships , what chance is there of ever understanding the planet’s mean temperature distribution much less its dynamics ?

      • But it appears that very few appreciate that a light gray ball will come to exactly the same temperature a black one
        No matter how light or how dark? So a completely white, halfway gray, and completely black will all come to the same temperature?

      • Right
        That is the fundamental take away of Ritchie’s critical experiment :

        I also want to mention that in recent years I have gained great respect for Lavoisier who virtually turned alchemy into chemistry by coming at it from his quantitative accounting background . The primary task at hand is producing an audit trail from the energy spectrum we receive from the Sun to our observed estimated surface temperature .

      • The discussion is interesting, particularly that the equilibrium temperature of a body may not depend on its “greyness”. But that is not what I was asking. The example, of a body at 250K was for some body somewhere of some degree of greyness and some albedo. It is not Earth. We have this body at equilibrium temperature of 250K. We now surround this with an atmosphere that is transparent to radiation. How can the surface and the atmosphere become hotter than the equilibrium temperature? The atmosphere cannot be heated by the surface because the surface is at 250K How can the system ever become hotter than 250K? Unless there is absorption of radiation by the atmosphere I do not see how this is possible. How can gravity have an impact?

      • We now surround this with an atmosphere that is transparent to radiation. How can the surface and the atmosphere become hotter than the equilibrium temperature? The atmosphere cannot be heated by the surface because the surface is at 250K How can the system ever become hotter than 250K? Unless there is absorption of radiation by the atmosphere I do not see how this is possible. How can gravity have an impact?

        That’s a good clean question . I would be interested in Hockeyschtick’s answer . Of course all material atmospheres absorb at some wavelengths , and even your hypothetical atmosphere would heat from the bottom by conduction and then convection . But your question is a good one .

      • “The example, of a body at 250K was for some body somewhere of some degree of greyness and some albedo. It is not Earth. We have this body at equilibrium temperature of 250K. We now surround this with an atmosphere that is transparent to radiation. How can the surface and the atmosphere become hotter than the equilibrium temperature? The atmosphere cannot be heated by the surface because the surface is at 250K How can the system ever become hotter than 250K? Unless there is absorption of radiation by the atmosphere I do not see how this is possible. How can gravity have an impact?”

        Let me try again. Instead of a body in equilibrium, let’s take a body which is at 250K in space with no external source of energy. This body is losing heat due to black body radiation. Now, add an insulating atmosphere. By definition of “insulating” the loss of heat will decrease. The mechanism here is that the upper portion of the atmosphere is cooler than the lower portion at 250K and therefore the black body radiation from the top of the atmosphere is less than the body without the atmosphere. The body cools more slowly.

        Now let’s put this body into an environment which would maintain the 250K temperature. The equilibrium is maintained at the top of the atmosphere. However, the bottom of the atmosphere can be warmer than this. The exact amount warmner depends upon the characteristics of the atmosphere. For example if the atmosphere is opaque to the incoming radiation then it will heat to 250K and the entire body will be in equilibrium at this temperature.

        If, however the atmosphere is transparent to some significant fraction of the incomming radiation then the surface must heat to a temperature above 250K in order for the energy to migrate to the top of the atmosphere to be radiated at the equilibrium temperature of 250K.

        Issue is complicated by the facts that atmospheres vary in density and have no actual “top” and that the insulating capacity relates to a variety of physical characteristics of the atmosphere. For example, the tranparency of the atmoshere at the wavelenths emitted by the surface and the speed at which energy can be transfered from the ground to the upper atmoshere by convection. The actual amount of incoming energy which passes through the atmosphere and reaches the ground is also a factor.

        Regarding your question. The atmosphere IS heated by the surface which is being heated by the incoming radiation. All that is required is that the atmosphere be transparent to some amount of the incoming radiation and insulating (capable of preventing the surface heat from being transmitted directly to space).

      • These hypotheticals are why I prefer to not claim to understand more than I have coded .

        The case of a body at , eg , 250K losing heat to 0k is I think pretty well covered in standard heat transfer texts like Incropera and DeWitt . An early thought experiment I had was does it make any difference to mean temperature if the temperature distribution is uniform around the whole sphere , or concentrated in a half millionth of the sky like the sun . The answer for uniform temperature around the sphere is obvious : the interior of the sphere all comes to the same temperature .

        Some my first implementation of the physics was for arbitrary sources and arbitrarily shaded gray balls : .

      • In the steady state the interior of the sphere comes to the same temperature regardless of whether the incoming radiation is from all sides or not. When heated from one side it depends in rotational speed and heat transfer characteristics of the body. In any case the body will reach an average external temperature which matches the black body temperature (assuming no internal heat source). Your web site seems correct but I had trouble following some of the, necessarily, unusual notations.

        However, Just because the externally observed temperature must be the black body temperature dos not mean there cannot be internal higher temperatures. You need to include the potential effect of an insulating atmosphere.

        Part of my misunderstanding of your web article is that, I think, it is saying the maximum temperature of the Earth is 331K (136F). I suppose, if correct, that shows no greenhouse effect is required. However, I think that number is too high. I remember doing this calculation as part of a quiz in one of my thermodynamics classes and my recollection is that the correct number was under 300K (80F). Closer to the actual temperature.

        Regarding Venus, You are absolutely correct that the externally observable, average temperature cannot exceed the black body temperature. I have always believed that the very high temperatures on Venus were measures of the lower atmosphere. You never referenced detail on that.

        Finally, I wish I had the time or inclination to go over your calculations in detail or to do the calculations myself. Instead my answers are simply intended to help others understand the physics based on my education in the subject. I am open to correction if reasonably presented. For example, I was wrong in a previous post when I said the temperature depended upon reflectivity. In this case my own calculations satisfied me that your statement about Absorptivity and Emissivity cancelling out is correct.

        One of my concerns in the CAGW debate is that improper understanding of the underlying science is part of the “warmist” argument that the “deniers” don’t understand science. My point is always that one can understand the greenhouse effect and still claim that it is the “warmist” view of science that is faulty. The key is always whether the theory predicts the correct results, not whether valid calculations were used. A failure to predict can mean that not all the pertinent variables were included, or that issues of scale were not properly included, or any number of other issues. And the results must be reasonably accurate, not fair to predict a 2 degree rise and then claim a 0.5 rise validates the theory. Also not valid to manipulate data unless the theory itself says something about exactly how the observations will vary in ways that require modification. and on and on and on …

      • In the steady state the interior of the sphere comes to the same temperature regardless of whether the incoming radiation is from all sides or not.

        Correct . for a uniform gray ball all that matters is total energy impinging on it .

        I’m not sure what calculation you are referencing and I don’t have time to look . The 278.7 number is really the only value of serious value . That is the number which must be matched as one moves out of the atmosphere .

        One of my concerns in the CAGW debate is almost total lack of interest in or demand for understanding the underlying physics one would be expected to either sink or swim thru in any other branch of applied physics .

        I find it absolutely appalling that no one has either confirmed my equation for the equilibrium temperature of a radiantly heated uniformly colored ball , perhaps with an old text book reference or experimental demonstration — or , and I see no way this can be the case because it is a straight forward generalization of the computation which produces the 255K meme , corrected it .

        Yet these people go on flouting multi 100 kilo-line inscrutable Navier-Stokes “models” without ever demonstrating they know how to calculate the temperature of a pool ball under a sun lamp .

        Thanks for your comments . I’ll just repeat that I know of no way that electromagnetic phenomena can “trap” energy in excess of that computed by an object’s spectrum as seen by its external sources and sinks . And that’s after reading Griffiths .

        That leaves only gravity as the answer and it obviously has the properties to fit the bill . And apparently quantitatively does .

      • The problem with gravity is that it cannot continue imparting energy to the system. Once the object or an atmosphere has reached a gravitational steady state it can only lose, not gain, energy. You “know of no way that electromagnetic phenomena can trap energy in excess of that computed by an object’s spectrum as seen by its external sources and sinks.” Keep in mind that energy is not temperature. Temperature measures the tendency for energy to flow from one location to another. Electromagnetic effects can trap energy. Sure, that is no more than the amount that comes in but the trapped energy can result in the temperature being higher. The effects are due to the fact that the frequency of the radiated energy is determined by Plank’s law but the incoming radiation can have a completely different distribution. All you need is for the atmospheric gasses to be transparent to the incoming radiation but opaque at the primary radiated frequencies. What that means is that the atmosphere warms up until its radiated frequencies can escape.

      • The problem with gravity is that it cannot continue imparting energy to the system.

        That’s what I always thought until I saw HockeySchtick’s computations and references — which I will again admit I have not yet gone thru ( and implemented ) line by line . His post with the most relevant title is .

        I always thought of the heating of gravity being a dynamic heating of accretion that would dissipate like the heat from compressing gas in a scuba tank .

        But I was coming to this having calculated the from having figured out ( pathetic that I still know of no other presentation of this most basic computation ) and implemented the general equation for the temperature of a radiantly heated colored ball and shown the absolute impossibility of Venus’s surface temperature , 225% that of the gray body temperature in its orbit , being explained by its spectrum . And the Divergence Theorem ruling out any spectral phenomenon causing the interior heat to be greater than that calculated for its effective radiant surface .

        But the greater , static temperature deeper in gravitational well is ubiquitous , not just in the atmosphere but continuing into mines and wells .

        I realized , and the chance meeting with Alan Guth causing me to read his book and its appendix on why gravity acts like a negative force , that gravity was exactly the source of ( negative ) energy which , indeed , required the trade off between potential and kinetic energy to balance the requirement of the Divergence Theorem .

        Temperature does not “measure tendency for energy to flow from one location to another” . It measured molecular kinetic energy .

        Beyond that , I’ll just repeat my mantra : Show us your equations . I and HockeySchtick show is ours . And his apparently compute the surface temperature of Venus within 1% . I have never seen any computations from Hansen or anywhere else that present any quantitative computation of Venus’s temperature , 400K greater than it’s orbital , at all .

        If such exists , it should come out of the woodwork . Otherwise I will continue to consider the GHG hypothesis a collapsed house of nonscience .

      • Just a cursory look at the “hockeyschtick” post you indicated shows that it is the incoming energy from the sun in the case of the Earth that is providing the energy:

        “Note the Work done on the right side of the equation is the work done by gravitational forcing on the atmosphere = F = ma = mg for the atmosphere by the continuous compression of cold, descending air packets and the gravitational potential energy PE that convecting warm air packets accumulate as they rise, expand, and cool. In the 1st law above, the Work done on the right side is from the expansion/compression of air packets continuously rising and falling in the atmosphere ad infinitum.”

        The thing is that the warm air packets are created by the incoming energy from the sun and that drives the convection pump he is talking about. Without the incoming energy, the system would reach equilibrium and the convection would stop (there is no perpetual motion machine). I’ll look at the post in more detail. I will note that I mentioned this convection pump in one of my posts.

      • it is the incoming energy from the sun in the case of the Earth that is providing the energy

        Right . No argument . But the only way the interior of a gravitational object can be 0 is to have 0 energy impinging on it from outside . It’s the 278.7 in our orbit which has to be matched .

        Sorry I have no more time today .

      • One other point, gravity does play a role in making convection less efficient in conveying energy to the upper atmosphere. Gravity causes the density and pressure to be higher in the lower atmosphere so that as the gas rises the pressure decreases and the volume increases causing the temperature to decrease. As a result, the atmosphere is a better insulator since colder gas radiates less energy into space.

  5. The collusion of our bureaucrats working through the UN to orchestrate an end.
    With that end apparently being tax funding and worldwide power to a super national agency, with accountability to no citizens of any nation.
    The blatant ends justifies the means from so many professional politicians, Christine Stewart in Canada being one of the most foolish, points to an organized cabal of parasites.
    Kleptocracy Rules.
    For the number one hallmark of governance by thieves for the benefit of those thieves is lying.
    They have to deceive, for they cannot rule except through deceit.
    Kleptocracy is completely unstable as it depends upon those being fleeced to continue to tolerate being fleeced.
    Canada is an amazing success, where governance takes 48% of the income from the “average taxpayer”.
    It is probably no coincidence that the lead for creating the CAGW meme came from canadian bureaucrats.

    The United Nations is a stunning example of putting fools and bandits into conference.

    • And more is going to be taken with the cap-and-trade soon to be in place in Canada.

      Canada has played a big role in the UN through UNEP. Note all of the cross-border climate activism between Canada and the U.S. This has gone unnoticed for too long now including the flow of money.

  6. All too true. Michael Crichton’s suggestion for “blinded funding” in “State of Fear” is probably impractical, so being openly political is the only real solution to what has become a secular religion. I agree, though, “Scientific American” started becoming unreadable during the Reagan Adminstration and “Star Wars”. I do remember an article on how dreadful it would be if the Russians targeted nuclear power plants in a nuclear war.
    Ultimately, the only real choice is to “turn the rascals out”. Hilary and Bernie are sucking up to true believers on CAGW, so the only real choice is to vote Republican.

    • Tom Halla…..”Hilary and Bernie are sucking up to true believers on CAGW, so the only real choice is to vote Republican.”

      Rubio especially and Cruz will be no different than the Dem. choice.

      • Cruz held a hearing on CAGW, notably covered in this blog. Rubio is arrognat enough to try to cut a deal on the issue (considering his prior effort on immigration), while Trump is publicly opposed to CAGW hysteria. Carson has also made statements denouncing global warming, while the only dubious one is Kasich–where I simply do not know enough about him to know his positions.

      • …” Rubio especially and Cruz will be no different than the Dem. choice.. ” LOL, you must be a liberal ! Cruz is no where near a Democrat ! They are terrified of him and his extremely religious views ! As an agnostic person, I applaud his position.. Maybe more PEACEFUL religion is what this world needs to get back on track !

      • Rubio is the Benedict Arnold of Conservatism.
        Cruz I trust to do as he says.
        Yet it seems we are going to be rolling the dice with Trump. If (or should I say when) Trump gets the Republican nomination I will vote for him — the known alternative being so bad. Trump could be one of the great presidents. At worst he will be better than Hillary. If he nominates truly conservative Supreme Court Justices that alone would satisfy me.

        Trump might have problems with foreign policy. There are no national leaders in any country that are truly independent. Internal politics binds them all. “Deals” are not agreements between a few people as is the case in business.

        China is an interesting example. China saw the break up of the Soviet Union. Thirty or so years ago the Communist Party, in order to shore up its power, began to promote nationalism — China, one nation, unified, and thus powerful — led by the Communist Party. Unfortunately for the Communist Party this involved creating the image of a virile foreign policy and promoting the armed forces to give a semblance of reality to that policy. China sharpened its sword — and that sword is now poised to cut off the Communist Party’s head. Can the Communist Party refuse anything the military demands? The Communist Party has pro forma control over its military but it is the policies of the military that are being implemented in the South China Sea. America can’t deal directly with the Chinese military and the Communist Party, normally the deal makers, can’t make any deals that go against their military’s militaristic vision of the future. So what deal can you make?

        Anyway I like Cruz but it looks like it is gong to be Trump — which might be very good or at least not as Hillary.

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • I agree. Trump is a coin toss but no doubt better than the alternatives.
        But I know a lot of conservatives who have said they will never vote for Trump.
        I hope they change their minds between now and November. Staying home is a vote for the Democrats.
        Trump has been inevitable for a long time, and only the unlikeliness of his candidacy made so many doubt it for so long. Never has anyone led in virtually every poll for so many months on end and never faded. At least not in my memory.
        Last night I heard a Democrat strategist opine that this will be the closest election since 2000, although she was talking about a matchup with Hillary. But Hillary has the FBI thing hanging over her…and they will likely issue their findings in April. Seems hard to imagine they will not refer charges to the A.G. The only question is…what then?
        If Hillary is out, then Bernie steps into the number one spot, and Bloomberg has said he will run under than scenario. All bets are off if it is Trump, Bernie, and Bloomy. A Jewish anti-billionaire New Yorker, a New York billionaire, and a Jewish New York billionaire. Cannot get much more surprising than that.
        As has been observed of reality…you could not write this stuff.

      • I’d rather vote for the open and honest socialist than the closet socialist.
        At least that way when the inevitable collapse comes, it will be obvious that the fault is in socialism.

    • There is a severe problem with Trump being in the lead position. Yesterday I read an article from the The Fiscal Times which told the story of Trump’s failed attempts to engage in the mortgage business back in early 2006. Trump was evidently fully convinced that his Trump Mortgage company would soon be an industry leader. This, of course, is taking place right before the subprime meltdown. Yet the highly intelligent, D Trump, was convinced that his business deal was beyond reproach. His first company failed within a year. Despite that he was still convinced that there was money to be made so he lent his name to another mortgage company, which also failed shortly afterwards as the mortgage meltdown went into full swing.

      Then at the end of 2007, he came up with the bright idea of starting Trump University which would dedicate itself to teaching others how to make money off of the many foreclosures generated by the mortgage meltdown. This attempt also failed quickly, but not before thousands of interested speculators ended up being scammed by Trump University. There is now a class action suit in several states from the many small people who would like their money refunded after being shortchanged by Trump University. Trump has to testify later on this year in this ongoing lawsuit.

      I personally feel that there is a likely probability that Trump’s main plan is to aid Hillary in gaining the presidency. I have been speaking out against Trump for the last 5 months for that very reason. He has made so many enemies with his large mouth. How can he hope to pull enough votes to win an election after pissing off so many voters? The press will have a field day attacking Trump, if he gains the nomination. In the meantime, the media has used Trump as the poster boy to depict all Republicans as being racist, haters, who are all white people out to get brown skinned people. I think that Trump is dirty in this regard. The Democrats will attack Trump for his many negative statements made, as well as for his less than stellar business acumen….

      ps…the only information of how Trump views the AGW story that I have come across was his stating that he would look into the issue of AGW. I could picture him trying to figure out a way to make money off of AGW.

      • goldminor,

        every publication has an agenda. The Times is no different.

        Readers should keep in mind that every other candidate is part of the government that has messed things up royally. At least Trump can point to accomplishments. In fact, he did build that… and plenty more like it.

        It’s also noteworthy that people who know him aren’t coming out of the woodwork to badmouth him. And you can bet they’ve been offered plenty to ‘tell all’. That gives him more credibility than magazine articles, no?

      • “every publication has an agenda.”

        Agreed, however the agenda of a science publication be the promotion of science not politics or ideology.

        Indeed, if the agenda isn’t the promotion of science then it isn’t a science publication.

      • JohnWho, you are 100% correct.

        Which is why this site cannot be called a “science” site.

      • John Who,

        Sorrry I wasn’t more clear. I was referring magazines that write about politics, and magazines that purport to report on science, but in reality are pushing a political point of view (SciAm; NatGeo, etc).

        Having a point of view isn’t bad in itself — so long as they’re honest, and up-front about it. For example, this site tends to be skeptical of the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ alarmism, and makes no bones about it. But anyone can express their opinion about the science underlying the ‘carbon’ scare here, no matter what their scientific POV is.

        It’s just best to be aware of which media players are being honest about their point of view, and which ones are chameleons. To mix metaphors, the latter ones are the snakes in the grass. They want to induce head-nodding in their readers, while pretending to be objective.

        I would put the Times, SciAm, NatGeo, and most nathional newspapers in that second category. And also, blogs that censor contrary scientific views, just because they don’t agree with them.

        (Can you say, H-o-t-w-h-o-p-p-e-r? To quote the erstwhile Mr. Rodgers… I knew you could!)

    • I have a Scientific American account, and I recently logged in to comment about a sea level article and I found that my account now says this when I logged in:

                “Commenting has been disabled for this account”

      After a short search I found my last post

      • Steve Case,

        I disputed something written in a SciAm article, with verifiable facts. I did not use impolite language, and I didn’t write anything that could be called objectionable.

        But SciAm deleted my comment. So I wrote back, pointing out that my comment was reasonable, factual, and on point. The (un-named moderator) replied that I was guilty of “name-calling”! But there is no way; I had been very careful, since I knew my comment would be posted in a national magazine.

        I protested their decision. Their response: I have been BANNED from ever commenting on SciAm again.

        That publication used to be ethical. But it was bought by a German conglomerate that obeys the ‘green’ narrative, and they do not tolerate scientific points of view that contradict their own.

      • I had about the same experience as Steve and DB the last few times I ever tried to comment there. I did not bother to object or go back to see what became of my account.
        That was the day I cancelled my subscription with them.

      • It seems to be a real thing for many sites to censor comments when they can’t logically or honestly defend their position. I have seen that in many places, even those whose general ideas I agree with. But I think the very worse may be The Guardian newspaper news-rag.

        I was once censored for “name calling” by writing “the author of this essay is dead wrong and here is why …” Name calling is saying someone is wrong? Jesus, Joseph, and Mary!

      • I tried to comment on an article in SciAm to dispute a point made by the author. I pointed out that in a previous SciAm article by the same author, a different explanation for the same problem (if I remember correctly it was the Gulf of Mexico dead zone) had been given, which the author didn’t bother mentioning in the newer article, not even as a mitigating factor. It goes without saying that no explanation for why the older article was wrong was provided, either. My comment never showed up. Just blocked completely. After that, I never read SciAm again.

    • I agree. I cancelled by sub to National Geographic many years ago and wrote them a detailed explanation why I was doing so. I never got a reply!

  7. I think there are two different dynamics going on. MSM is simple to understand. “if it bleeds, it leads” is an old MSM slogan, and CAGW has produced a lot of bleed. For once august journals like Science and Nature, there is a much more complicated multipart dynamic. Part is the politicization of science through mechanisms like NGO influence and government reseach funding, something Eisenhower warned about in his farwell address. Part is the international agenda set by UNFCCC before the consensus falsely determined the science was settled. An example of this is the IPCC charter, not to understand climate change, but only anthropogenic climate change. The journals got swept along by this tide, with pal review and ‘climate correctness’ finishing the job of eroding their credibility.
    Now that the hopeless intermitancy of renewables is biting with penetration, now that Mother Nature has by and large not cooperated this century, now that a lot of the CAGW ‘blood’ has been exposed for the alarmist nonsense it always was, the tide is turning.
    The other factor is the internet. This the first great science/public policy debate where MSM and paywalled journals are NOT the main places voters can turn to be informed. As the importance of MSM and paywall journals continues to fade, so will warmunist momentum.

      • Mosher, you are over the top again. My post was nothing about Velikofsky’s comparative mythology ‘evidence’ nonsense. Nor does his nonsense repeal Newton’s celestial mechanics (laws of motion), which make his speculations about Mars and Venus beyond nonsense. McMillan fired the editor who decided on publication as a science book within their imprint on grounds of incompetence (manifestly so), and transferred the imprint to Doubleday (publishes fiction and non fiction) to remove stigma from McMillan (publishes science books and textbooks).
        Velikofsky published a second edition removing most of his damning appendix arguing against Newton, and then in 1965 a new edition with a different preface and an epilogue about the controversy. It is still in print as a paperback, and an ebook version is available. Just checked.
        Dr. Ball got that that part of his narrative factually distorted.

      • Steven Mosher —

        Dr. Tim Ball does not believe in Velikovsky’s nonsense but is defending to the death Velikovshy’s right to say it. It was essentially a book banning.

        Dr. Ball makes an interesting point. Velikovsky had an audience (it was a best seller) and he said certain things (whether true or not) on certain subjects that contradicted the propaganda of certain establishment “scientists”. These establishment “scientists” wanted to be the only “voice” and were afraid of Velikovshy’s publishing success.

        To example what I mean, imagine two Goebbels each with his own “big lie” which contradicted the other Goebbels’s “big lie”. There can only be one “big lie” so one Goebbels had to eliminate the other Goebbels. There can be only one source of propaganda spouting a consistent message. So that was the real reason for attacking Velikovsky. He had a loud contradictory voice. That what Velikovsky said was nonsense did not matter — because what the establishment “scientists” were saying was also nonsense.

        And the same thing is going on today. Only one source of information is allowed. All dissenting views are “disappeared”. That is climate science as practiced by the establishment. That, I believe, was Dr. Ball’s point in bringing Velikovsky up. The pattern was set there. The establishment treats all skeptics as if they were Velikovskys and therefore deliberately censors them. Only the voice of the establishment may be heard. Its Goebbels eliminating all rivals.

        Hey, Mosher, do you ever stop to think?

        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Well written. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box and even I understood the intent and message of the article. Hmmm.

        Perhaps it is possible to ignore the naked lady on the side of the road afterall. The mind is a complex place.

  8. I believe the problem isn’t the need to increase audience but the message being controlled. With newspapers the political slant of the owners has become obvious and print and publishing empires are known for their biases. At the sake of sounding like a conspiracy theorist the MSM has come under a Liberal control that favors AGW as a political weapon. It’s part of the plan to win public acceptance through propaganda and deceit. People losing their jobs for contrary views doesn’t happen with unbiased journalism and reporting.

    • It should not be discounted how much commercial and national Interest plays in these biases. Countries such as Germany and France do not use fossil fuel for power generation and have to import oil and gas. This puts them at competitive disadvantage with countries blessed with cheaper energy. We have the same thing in Canada where Quebec has massive hydro electric capacity and is consistently opposed to oil development. It would be interesting to see who is behind the ownership of Scientific American. I long ago gave up on it as a meaningful publication. Used to love it. Now I refer to it as a rag.

      • Jon , you may have to start reading again ( Maybe not SiAm) but Germany and France both use vast amounts of fossil fuels , oil and gas being ? What? solar? Their coal production is rather large as well.

  9. “The real breakthrough will come when this headline appears in the mainstream media, ”
    Umm, you are the mainstream media.

  10. Pinocchios are awarded in proportion to the “bigness” of lies in any particular pronouncement. I suggest the “Suzuki” as a token of ridicule for totally off-the-wall pronouncements. Such as Suzuki’s rumored statement that automobiles in the sun become hot inside due to the horrible carbon in their windshields. That would get 10 Suzukis. An annual tally of Suzukis earned by, say, Lewandowski or Connolley, or maybe Obama or Trudeau, would be most interesting, in a scary kind of way.

    • David Suzuki knows literally less than nothing about climate change or, it would seem, much of anything else.
      He is so pathetically uninformed it is not even funny.
      Here is one small taste of the actual state of the man’s knowledge.
      (Note that this episode is from a few years ago, before the data was massaged to eliminate the pause.)

      Check it out:

      • If a doctor named after a motorbike asked me to believe his alleged scientific but delusional thoughts, I would ask a, “doctor of what” ? This article says it all, thank you Dr Tim.

    • I think the Suzuki statement goes to 11, your circumspection notwithstanding.
      If it is, as you say, “rumored” then Suzuki and the Vancouver Sun are gobbling it up, too.
      The original brilliance shone forth in 1989 but the Sun chose to run it again in 2007;

      “”It has been known since the last century that carbon-bearing compounds are transparent to sunlight but opaque to infra-red. In other words, sunlight passes through carbon-containing air whereas infra-red heat rays tend to be reflected by the carbon.

      We are familiar with this effect in a car that has sat in the sun. The interior becomes hot because the carbon in the glass keeps the heat in.””

      In fairness to dr. fruitfly, there is actually carbonate in the wind-shield glass mixture and you can’t expect a science whiz, tv entertainer to differentiate carbon species.

      • When your fingers are too cold in the winter, you can heat them by blowing on them.

        It’s because when you exhale air, it contains CO2.

        True story.

  11. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “And any data or any scientific paper that tends to disprove that conclusion is smeared as “unscientific” precisely because it threatens the established dogma…”

    A must read from Tim Ball via WUWT…

  12. An article by Dr. David Whitehouse in this week’s Spectator draws attention to a paper in Nature Climate Change “Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown” by John C Fyfe et al which is critical of the climate consensus.

    Sadly the paper is pay-walled but Dr. Whitehouse’s article provides the gist.

    “This article, in Nature magazine, ought to have been front page news – and might have been, had it suggested that global warming was worse than we had thought. Instead, it underlines the sound science behind an inconvenient truth: that there has been a 15-year hiatus in global warming. To those of us who have been following the debate, this is no surprise.”

  13. So we take it apart and see if the parts add up to the whole. Not to mention missing parts both known (Microsite and CRS bias, ahem) and unknown.

    Then we see. This takes time. But the field is open, left open by the mainstream, and, on top of that, outstandingly interdisciplinary. That leaves wide open spaces even for non-scientists who can get through peer review. Science has a way of correcting itself albeit too often in fits and starts.

  14. If only it were only climate ‘science’ that was affected by this. Unfortunately, it seems that all science is now affected by group think rather than egoless search for truth. Medicine and nutrition are similarly full of non-science. We appear to be leaving the age of enlightenment.

  15. NASA can claim much of the credit for today’s miserable scientific press quality. There are journalists who have made a lifelong career of using NASA press releases, videos and papers as the basis for their scientific reportage. Sucking at the teat of NASA’s huge and permanent public-relations outpouring is all many of them know.
    For those who remember the 1960s or care to dig into such ancient history, they’ll recall or discover that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was then in its heyday, to be climaxed with the moon landing in 1969. Even before this great feat was achieved, NASA realized very clearly that it was going to need a huge barrage of favorable press coverage if there could be any hope to persuade Congress to keep the funding spigots open. Some observers have claimed that NASA then became mostly a giant PR shop with a small space-exploration offshoot; I would not go that far.
    The PR juggernaut pressed its scientists to come up with narratives that would capture the public’s imagination and would be considered “closer to home” than the Moon, Mars or Venus. Earthly climate catastrophes fit the bill perfectly (they still do) and it was NASA which spearheaded the global-cooling/new-ice-age blather of the 1970s. The same exact group within NASA turned 180 degrees and launched “global warming” a decade later, and they’re still at it.
    Much of the scientific press would find it unthinkable to spurn the useful torrent of NASA informational output, much of it polished to best capture the imagination of the public.

    • NASA. That makes some sense. Trolls accuse others of what they themselves are doing, and the alamists have been shrieking about Skeptic Funding. Turns out they have 100 to 1000 times the funding we do, and one part of Climategate was Oil company sponsorship of HADCRUT.
      But when you name something correctly, it vanishes. We fingered Funding as a major alarmism source years ago, and the screaming has only dropped a little. So there must be something else. It could be NASA. One of the most famous and criminal alarmists, Dr. James Hansen, is with NASA.
      I think NASA is very worthy of support without climate study (cannot say climate science and mean science).

  16. Velikovsky’s theories were known to be completely wrong before the book was published – yet it was listed as a ‘science’ book in a textbook catalog. So, scientists should just happily go along with insane crap being foisted off on the unwitting.

    Go read wiki for a more sane look: “The plausibility of the theory was summarily rejected by the physics community, as the cosmic chain of events proposed by Velikovsky contradicts basic laws of physics.
    Velikovsky’s ideas had been known to astronomers for years before the publication of the book, partially by his writing to astronomer Harlow Shapley of Harvard, partially through his 1946 pamphlet Cosmos Without Gravitation,[8][9] and partially by a preview of his work in an article in the August 11, 1946, edition of the New York Herald Tribune. An article about the upcoming book was published by Harper’s Magazine in January 1950, which was followed by an article in Newsweek (Bauer 1984:3-4) and Reader’s Digest in March 1950.
    Shapley, along with others such as astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (also at Harvard), instigated a campaign against the book before its publication. Initially, they were highly critical of a publisher as reputable as Macmillan publishing such a pseudoscientific book, even as a trade book,[10][11] and then their disapproval was re-invigorated when Macmillan included it among other trade books of possible interest to professors listed under the category “Science” in the back of a textbook catalog mailed to college professors.[12] Within two months of the book’s initial release, the publishing of the book was transferred to Doubleday, which has no textbook division.”

    Velikovsky wouldn’t even qualify as ‘hard’ science fiction because that typically requires you build your story upon established science. It would have fit in ‘fantasy’ or ‘alternative reality’ though.

    • When I was taking astronomy courses in 1959, Velikovsky was already the subject of jokes. I was surprised to see his name appear here as a serious theorist.

  17. How I wish there was a university department willing to play the role the University of Chicago’s Economics Department played in blowing away the consensus among economists that money did not matter in determining macroeconomic outcomes. For those that might not be familiar with the topic, from Keynes into the late seventies, there was a consensus among economists that fiscal policies (taxes and government spending) were the only determinants of economic outcomes. Economists built large econometric models to project (forecast) economic outlook that completely ignored money. Meanwhile, Milton Friedman and other economists at Chicago continued to argue that money mattered. In the end, by the late seventies, Keynesian policies had resulted in stagflation — high inflation and high unemployment. It took Paul Volker and his focus on monetary policy combined with Reaganomics to turn around the U.S. economy. Chicago economists had one thing going for them, they published two influential journals — The Journal of Political Economy and the Journal of Law & Economics — that were outlets for their research. Wish someone or some university had the resources and the courage to publish good, unbiased research on climate science.

    • Agree, but do note that “Keynesian Economics” has strayed from what Keynes himself actually said. In particular, they now leave out his requirement that agovernment must run a surplus in good times to fund the deficit in slack times, the caveat that the stimulus would only work for a couple of years before failing, and the observation that a Liquidity Trap would then follow.

      The result of ignoring those bits is our present global mess as most economies enter a synchronized global liquidity trap and central banks flood tons of money to no effect on real growth.

      The Chicago School gets it, but so did Keynes himself, though not his so called followers…

    • Mo, Bernanke gave a lecture to students at GWU on march 22, 2012 in which he actually described the carter economy as “red hot”. As such, a red hot economy is prone to demand inflation (carter’s economy was complicated by higher oil prices as well), thus volker was called in to crash the economy therebye lowering at least the demand inflation. Once the unemployment rate became exceedingly high it gave reagan room enough to grow the economy again. My dim recollection is that the unemployment rate was at 5% when volker took over in august of 1979 which is as low as the fed was comfortable with back in those days. According to Bernanke, volker’s only real role was to create the recession that ensued (reminiscent of the old addage “the federal reserve: creating recessions since 1913”). As of december 16, 2015 the fed has begun creating our next recession. Don’t believe the politicians who are promising higher wages for the middle class… the fed thinks we’re making too much money already. They don’t want the middle class to buy more things thus driving up demand inflation once again. Like agw, it’s another classic example of our wonderful government saving us from ourselves…

      • Looking over some stats… the unemployment rate was 5.7% when volker took over in 1979. The unemployment rate would remain higher than that throughout his entire tenure as fed chair which ended in august of 1987. It wasn’t until reagan appointed greenspan to replace him that the rate would go lower than 5.7%…

    • Wrong! I am not “pushing” Velikovsky. Why don’t you read carefully without automatically and almost immediately putting on your blinders? I was using Velivovsky to illustrate how mainstream academia reacts when somebody dares to suggest anything other than what they push. Step outside their prevailing wisdom and they disclose their tunnel vision and prejudices quickly and nastily. Harlow Shapley’s despicable behavior in the matter was exposed by the letter he wrote to Macmillan threatening wto get all academics to withdraw their textbooks. The letter was obtained and revealed by the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club.

      • Citing how a crank was marginalised doesn’t help your argument at all. It just makes you look like a defender of cranks.

      • I was using Velivovsky to illustrate how mainstream academia reacts when somebody dares to suggest anything other than what they push
        Pseudo-scientific nonsense must be rejected anytime it rears its ugly head. Scientists have the duty to do so. You are pushing crackpottery and suggest that it is wrong to react against that. shame on you.

      • lsvalgaard,

        “You are pushing crackpottery and suggest that it is wrong to react against that.”

        That is crackp[opttery to me . . he did not such thing that AI can see . .. I suggest you stop believing whatever happens to pop into your head, sir.

    • “the scientific illiteracy rot”

      powerful phrase … suggest moving it around a little and giving a visual

      The festering rot of scientific illiteracy ….

    • As a resident of Saskatchewan I am very happy to see my Premier taking this stand but without support from people with scientific credentials he will be written off as a self interested dinosaur. How do we translate the thorough questioning of AGW that takes place on this site to the everyday world of political discussion and decisions? I have no doubt that real science will win out eventually, but we are currently in a period where special interests control the narrative, peer review is grossly corrupted and the ignorant fools we elect as leaders are all too happy to jump out in front of the Green wave. It’s mom and apple pie and it doesn’t matter that nobody wants to live with their mom and eat apple pie all day every day. Why can’t the contrary evidence get some print and airtime? Are there no honourable or friendly media entities out there? Rupert Murdoch? Some of the Warmists b.s. is so blatant it begs for definitive rebuttal. Ocean pH endangering coral and shelled creatures existence? What a softball! Surely we can come up with somebody to demolish this one and get published.

      • The wolves are not at peoples’ doors yet in Saskatchewan so residents are not concerned about what’s happening in the rest of Canada.

        Most of the climate action is taking place in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and Quebec with some in Manitoba and Atlantic Canada.

      • @ John Harmsworth, Feb 28, 1:16 pm
        the ignorant fools we elect as leaders are all too happy to jump out in front of the Green wave.
        I wish they would ” jump out in front of the green wave” and get buried, right now they are riding the green wave like a surfer.

      • @ John Harmsworth, Feb 28, 1:16 pm
        the ignorant fools we elect as leaders are all too happy to jump out in front of the Green wave.

        I wish they would ” jump out in front of the green wave” and get buried, right now they are riding the green wave like a surfer.

  18. I stopped reading Scientific American some time after graduating from engineering school, and before law school, when it became apparent to me that it began to denigrate engineers as not being real scientists, just technicians that need not be listened to. It was about the same time as I read a book in the mid 80s that spoke about why the public was loosing faith in science, much if it caused by the revelations about certain miracles that were in fact the opposite (DDT, thalidomide, and others). It was all so political.
    Now all of the people I knew in high school and university that were Marxists are against globalization and are greenies, but only when it suits them to make a point and not really in their personal choices. They just want to tell me I am right wing and wrong because I try to read the science and question the plot that we should all just accept. I was told by one years ago that he didn’t need to read or understand any of the science because real scientists had the answer…and they were not engineers.

    • There was nothing wrong with DDT, and Thalidomide was the result of inadequate testing in Japan.
      Thalidomide never made it through the testing process in the US.

  19. Speaking of “paywalls”, this article should be read by all . Especially note this instruction ” Users now don’t even have to visit the Sci-Hub website at all; instead, when faced with a journal paywall they can simply take the Sci-Hub URL and paste it into the address bar of a paywalled journal article immediately after the “.com” or “.org” part of the journal URL and before the remainder of the URL. When this happens, Sci-Hub automatically bypasses the paywall, taking the reader straight to a PDF without the user ever having to visit the Sci-Hub website itself.” Murray

  20. Mentioning World’s in Collision in your argument seems highly counter productive Dr. Ball. It is very much in the vein of “The Electric Universe” theory.

    I find the theory that Venus passed by Earth in the 15th century to be about as credible as young Earth creationism.

    When we challenge ‘orthodox’ science it’s important to stand on solid ground in all parts of our arguments.

    • I took it to mean that Velikovsky was mentioned for the way Sagan and others treated him, and not necessarily to validate his ideas.

      • One thing I would say in Carl Sagan’s defense regarding the Velikovsky affair is that in his COSMOS series he said that the worst thing about the affair was not the quality of Veilkovsky’s science but that they tried to suppress its publication.

    • For sure. Unfortunately, Dr. Ball also misrepresented elements of this famous episode. See my comment to Mosher upthread. Knew about it because was an option for an included illustration in the truthiness chapter of Arts of Truth (2012). Ended up using Madhoff’s ponzi scheme instead. Subtler, and an easier synopsis of a single reference book on something many people will remember, rather than a tangled thread of references in books about books to a 65 year old controversy about a theory that was prima facie goofy.
      Mosher equating me with a Velikofsky believer shows how much ammunition such misrepresentations give to warmunists. In this case, blanks, but still regretable.

      • Ok. Dr. Ball’s post unfortunately misrepresents the Velikofsky kerfuffle, and in doing so hands more ‘deniers are nutters’ ammo to the likes of Lew. Not good. Especially here at WUWT.
        I knew this because had researched this 65 year old rather famous kerfuffle for a previous book example, before dropping it in favor of something better for the books purposes (Madhoff). So was able to repond to Mosher upthread just from memory (except for checking Amazon for current availability of Velikofsky’s nutter book Worlds in Collision).

      • None of us can be correct about everything. Velikovsky was right on many things, and wrong on many others, just as Sagan, or Newton, or anyone else you care to name. Read up on what Velikovsky said and wrote before towing the Sagan line. I challenge you.
        Just fyi, Velikovsky predicted hydrocarbons would be found on the moon.

    • It’s interesting but predictable that the anti-Velikovsky venom still flows freely after all these years. As pointed out by a number of observers during the Velikovsky scandal, he must be the luckiest thinker who ever lived for having made so many correct prior claims (‘predictions’) on the strength of a supposedly flawed theory. If he was so wrong, as many Sagan worshippers on this forum seem to believe, how could he have made so many correct predictions based on his ideas? Was he just lucky? What would be the chances of that? I keep hearing people claim with authority that Velikovsky was necessarily wrong or that he was deluded, but I never hear anyone explain precisely why he must be. It is enough for them merely to say so. They then quote Sagan as their authority because Sagan wrote a book denouncing Velikovsky as a fraud. Little mention is ever made of the fact that Sagan himself never read Velikovsky’s books and was known himself for having come up with crackpot ideas like his belief, peddled in the mid-sixties, that Phobos (one of the moons of Mars) was hollow and peopled by aliens. Yet he had the temerity to attack Velikovsky for proposing a fundamentally sound idea that Venus was at one time seen by the ancients as a comet and that it approached the Earth and caused havoc. Sagan himself admitted that there was nothing inherently flawed or impossible in this notion. The advantage Sagan had over Velikovsky was that he, Sagan, was idolised by the media and the science establishment. He could say no wrong. Sagan was infallible, a paragon of virtue. So anything and everything he said became holy writ. Which, unfortunately, it still is.

      People who routinely knock Velikovsky without reading his books or without knowing the full story as to what happened between 1950 and 1974 when Sagan’s circus came to town, are no better than those who promote manmade global warming and denounce the sceptics without knowing the facts. It’s more important to have an actual argument than merely a mantra to repeat.

      This is not to say that Velikovsky was right in everything he said and wrote, but he most certainly was on the right track. Go read Stargazers and Gravediggers. That book is an eye-opener!

      • The problem is, being right is only step one. You have to “show your work”, and his work is flawed.

        Part of my job is auditing data so that we can be sure reporting standards are met. One manual I use is 1,200 pages long, so yes, there is room for interpretation. As I tell clients, the answer “4′ means nothing in isolation, if the question you asked is “What is 2+2?” when in fact what you should have asked is “What is 5-1”?

      • CaligulaJones February 29, 2016 at 8:57 am says;

        The problem is, being right is only step one. You have to “show your work”, and his work is flawed.

        Now I am going to ask you to show your work. Which work are you referring to specifically, and make no mistake, Velikofsky had a lot wrong,…..

      • I would like to add another example; Edison’s successful attempt to smear Tesla. Most people are unaware that we use Tesla’s electrical grid, not Edison’s, and yet Edison is viewed today as an American hero, Tesla, until very recently remained in obscurity.

      • February 29, 2016 at 12:19 pm says;

        Sysiphus, it was not a battle between Edison and Tesla, it was a battle between Edison and Westinghouse.

        You’re kidding, right? You are really going to say it was Westinghouse? Even though Westinghouse was investing in Tesla’s system. You did read the full page that you posted, didn’t you?
        Why don’t you find someone else’s heals to nip at.

  21. It seems to me that what has happened is that the economics of science publishing has enabled a switch from contributor driven control to marketing/managerial driven control. In turn this created an opening for the ‘lesser lights’ of science to get to the front of the queue by cosying up to the publishing managerialists. It is pretty much what happens in the schoolyard when teachers do nothing about bullying or when the cops go easy on the streets and don’t get out and about on the beat, the thugs take over.

    Not so much a conspiracy as a dereliction of duty by or defunding of the gatekeepers and the creation of a thug friendly world.

    On a positive note, the recent paper acknowledging the existence of the ‘pause/hiatus’ and including Michael Mann no less indicates that perhaps Gaia has finally had enough and is going to kick ass.

    • Or the thugs saw an opening, amplified the opportunity and are institutionalizing themselves. I often wonder lately about the concept of conspiracy.

      I wouldn’t consider the above scenario a conspiracy, but I have seen the alluding to it being poo pooed as conspiracy thought.

  22. The political rape of the climate issue and the “climate science” reminds me of an episode during my study in sociology at the University of Amsterdam, causing me to steer away from this study, well on my way to the masters degree, and switch to a more “normal” course like town planning at a different faculty. All the signs and mechanisms described by Tim Ball were there clear to see as well. This is nothing new.

    It is 1968. In Paris there were these student revolts and they spilled over to other places like Amsterdam. There was the funny and hippie side of the “provo’s” and “Kabouters” (gnomes) and the flower power movement, and there was the more sinister side of the organized leftist activism.

    Here is a bunch of guys mostly from intellectual families flirting with leftist ideals and putting them into practice. Mao and Castro were unchallenged hero’s in those days, and these guys in Amsterdam from the ASVA student organization were proud to systematically disrupt the lessons, courses and work groups of teachers and students, even to sabotage and end the career of professors. And to what purpose? To take over the supposed authoritarian way of directing the science education and make it more “democratic”. However, once they succeeded – as they did to a large extent – it became clear from the start they were far worse and extremely authoritarian themselves. They had no science to offer, only empty leftist slogans.

    So not a lot has changed. Mao and Castro were no gods any more, the Communist Party in Holland is long gone, The Berlin Wall has collapsed, the USSR is no more. But the appeal of the elitist activism to manipulate the masses is ever present. And the universities? In a cramped reaction to the “progressive” turmoils they became like streamlined “science” factories and science itself to a high degree became commercialized in that they were expected to produce in quantities, as if science is something you can program the outcome of by bureaucratic and political rules. You may speculate that the devaluation of journals like Nature, Science and Scientific American is an inevitable outcome of this process.

    The warmists and the skeptics have different audiences, target-groups if you like. That is why there is no real and open debate going on between them. The warmists are mainly targeting the general public, the governments and the money. Skeptics are more like the traditional scientists, they target mainly their subject of interest.

    In a way doing pure science is a luxury. An academy used to be a place to learn a general “universal” perspective. As soon as practicalities like money, career planning and political preferences start intervening, the science gets easily corrupted. The paradox is, and this goes for creative work in general, if you apply too much pressure and expectations in advance, the free play and expression and inventiveness become the victims.

    In as far as “institutionalized science” is a victim of this political maneuvering of the warmista’s I am not sure I am too worried, as “institutionalized science” is essentially very different from pure science. A pure scientist is a bit like an artist. An artist needs his freedom for his work and development. If he depends mainly on his work for his maintenance, for most artists life will not be easy. This is not different in science. It is part of the game.

    • Well, Jurgen, the ASVA students organization was a spearhead of the Communist Party in the Netherlands. Via the one-man-one-vote claim they tried to infiltrate our university (we are of the same age and studied at the same university). What happened with the Dutch Communist Party? They became a part of our greenies. This move was official and I considered it strange because the Communists never showed any interest in environmental issues.

    • I remember those days well as I grew up and went to school in Holland as well, Kabouters!! ( today I would call them under miners of society)

  23. I read a couple of Velikovsky’s books, including Worlds in Collision. Very persuasive, IMO. Has anyone refuted his (correct) prediction that Venus would have a retrograde revolution?

    • See above: getting a prediction correct is one thing. Getting it correct because your science is correct is another.

      • So what you’re saying essentially is that he got his predictions correct because he was lucky, not because they were based on a plausible theory or that he actually got his science right. His ‘predictions’ were merely conclusions he drew from having developed a consistent idea, that even the gold-plated Carl Sagan agreed was plausible and actually quite possible as did others of his detractors. As I said above, if Velikovsky is necessarily wrong as you seem to imply, he must be the luckiest thinker who ever lived for having made so many correct predictions based on an incorrect theory. That of course is absurd. Velikovsky must have gotten something right surely.

        Interestingly as you no doubt know, Richard Feynman argued that if your theory is capable of making correct predictions, it is a reliable indicator that you are at least on the right track. This is something Velikovsky did numerous times. Yet for some reason Feynman’s dictum doesn’t apply to him. Why is that? It is merely traditional, fashionable and ‘politically correct’ to claim that Velikovsky was necessarily wrong. It is merely something people like to say; repeating the same mantra, as you have just done, without knowing why they think so.

        I don’t think it would have mattered what Velikovsky said, or how much evidence he accumulated in support of his hypothesis because the minds of his detractors were tightly closed. As some still are today.

      • So far as I know Velikovsky made absolutely no significant valid predictions that can’t be explained by the “even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn” paradigm. The number of his false “predictions” and the way he had planets bouncing around the solar system like billiard balls makes his conjectures meaningless in the real world (and, yes, I did read “Worlds in Collision”).

        And, no, his work should not have been censored by the publisher.

  24. As a wet behind the ears science graduate, in 1980,s Australia, I read new scientist magazine. have not done that for nearly a decade now.

  25. What happened recently with my (alarmist) newspaper may be suggestive. Three months before Paris their propaganda campaign was launched. Day after day we got a bombardment which was over directly after Paris. It was a travesty of journalism but that is not the point here. Such campaigns are based on an editorial decision, comparable with what happened at the BBC. This is not the work of some isolated journalists but the policy of chief editors. I would like to see an international network analysis of chief editors, comparable with what Donna Laframboise did.

      • Thanks for this comment although I have to note that German is not the language we use in the Netherlands, a small country situated between the UK and Germany. The subject of this post by Tim Ball is written in the header but he already goes off the rails in the first paragraph. If it were a matter of money, what about journals who did not participate in the climate propaganda? Why should we concentrate on a few deteriorated journals? Go to a library and note how many newspapers and journals just disappeared. It is normal that journals disappear and therefore meaningless to complain about a sick or dying journal. Let the historical question be why some journals in the Netherlands collaborated with the Germans during WW2 while others did not. No historian made the proposal that is was a matter of money or declining sales.

        A few years ago the list was discovered with attendants of a BBC editorial meeting, among them a few climate activists (initially called scientists). Isn’t that peculiar? Usually, activists do not participate in editorial meetings. The BBC climate policy was set-up in that meeting, presided by the chief editor, a key figure, determining the policy, having contacts with the publisher, and subjects in the political and scientific arena.

        It is my hypothesis that in almost every western country a major broadcasting company, a newspaper, and a journal were infiltrated by climate activists. The most vulnerable were the left-leaning media because the climate narrative easily fits in their content. It is no accident that in the same time the BBC meeting adopted climate-censorship, my newspaper did the same. Where does this medieval idea come from? Have you ever seen a journal that made and published the editorial decision to censor all comments about the stock markets, folk music, or any subject of your choice? I am glad Tim Ball put this nasty subject on the table.

  26. How solar cycle changes causes cyclic warming and cooling of the planet is unaffected by human ignorance, cult beliefs, and propaganda to push/fight the climate wars.

    It is absurd that the cult of CAGW’s beliefs have not been affected by the paradox that there has been 18 years without warming at a time in which anthropogenic CO2 has increased year by year. The skeptics are not skeptical. CAGW has been proven incorrect, there is no statistical evidence of even AGW. The corollary to the fact that has been 18 years without warming is that the majority of the warming in the last 150 years is not due to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Observations continue to support the assertion that the solar cycle has been interrupted which is unbelievably different that a slowdown in the solar cycle.

    If the paleo record is guide to the future we are going to experience significant and rapid cooling.

    Comments: Salby’s recently updated analysis shows no less 66% of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural causes (warming oceans and a mechanism that causes increased deep earth low C13 CH4 release). Salby’s assertion is supported by two other peer reviewed papers that arrive at the same conclusion using different data and analysis methods.

    It appears the entire scientific basis of the IPCC is incorrect. The majority of the warming in the last 150 years is due to natural causes (solar cycle changes) and the majority of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is due to natural causes (warming of the oceans and an increase in deep earth low C13 CH4). If that assertion is correct both increases (temperature and atmospheric CO2 levels) will significantly drop due to the interruption to the solar cycle.

    …A few weeks later, the climate journalist Christopher Booker wrote an opinion piece in the Sunday Times of London to the effect that Nature magazine continues to reject scientific findings if they contradict the prevailing anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

    Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”

    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

    It is comical that scientists have known for almost 20 years that the planet cyclically warms and cools and that the cyclic warming and cooling of the planet correlates with solar cycle changes.

    Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper. William: As this graph indicates the Greenland Ice data shows that have been 9 warming and cooling periods in the last 11,000 years.

    The Nature Climate Change reviewers concluded that the natural warming cycles we identified in the Vostok record could not possibly be real or significant, but instead represented irrelevant statistical “noise” in the temperature record. We replied respectfully that the warming events we detected and measured are similar to or larger than many well-accepted temperature fluctuations in ice core records, including Dansgaard-Oeschger oscillations, Heinrich events, and Antarctic Temperature Maxima. Indeed, the Vostok HRWEs are similar to or larger than the present global warming signal. These arguments were ignored by the reviewers, however, and the paper was rejected by the chief editor of Nature Climate Change.

    …As written in our rejected paper two years ago, if the current global warming event has the same underlying cause as the 342 previous similar NWEs spread over the preceding 250,000 years–and we can think of no obvious scientific reason to think otherwise–then based on the statistical properties of all natural warming events in the Vostok record, the current global warming event will reverse by 2032 with 68% probability and by 2105 with 95% probability. If the current warming event is homologous with a HRWE, climate reversal and global cooling are already overdue. Here is how we put it in our rejected paper.

    …We submitted these findings sequentially to Science Magazine, Nature, and Nature Climate Change. The editor of Science Magazine replied that the results were not of sufficient general interest, suggested we submit the work to a specialty journal, and declined to proceed with external scientific review. Nature also rejected the paper without external scientific review, for reasons that we considered spurious. Nature Climate Change initially rejected the paper, but after some discussion the paper was assigned to a senior editor and reviewed by two anonymous reviewers. Given the context of their comments, both reviewers appeared to be climate modelers.

    …A few weeks later, the climate journalist Christopher Booker wrote an opinion piece in the Sunday Times of London to the effect that Nature magazine continues to reject scientific findings if they contradict the prevailing anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. We have no way of knowing whether or how the departure of the Nature Climate Change editor or the Sunday Times article was related to the rejection of our paper….

    …In the middle of the editorial review by Nature Climate Change, the senior editor in charge of our paper abruptly and inexplicably ceased working for the journal. We were notified of this change by an automated “no longer working here” response to a routine e-mail from us. We were advised later that responsibility for our paper had been transferred to the Chief Editor of Nature Climate Change, who issued the final rejection….

  27. SA went bad so I cancelled my subscription more than a decade ago.

    “You can ignore reality but you can not ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” Ayn Rand

    You can check the reality yourself and verify a 97% match between model and measured average global temperature at It identifies the drivers of climate change and even quantifies the tiny contribution from CO2.

  28. Roger Pielke Jr. has a piece on his blog about a book, Galileo’s Middle Finger. It’s a study of several cases of what happens when scientists conflict with activists.

    It’s meaningful for Pielke who also suffered because he told the truth.

    The author, Alice Dreger, shows how activists tried to destroy the lives and livelihoods of researchers whose results conflicted with activist orthodoxy.

    This book is important because it has been widely reviewed. It puts the idea before the public that activists often oppose the truth (in very nasty ways). Such pressure leads to the corruption of science. Once the public accepts that, it is a short step for them to see how it applies to climate science.

  29. Like many main street media publications running out of money and time they are desperate
    so objectivity ,research and intellectual honesty go out while shallow sensationalism comes in .
    It won’t save them but like a candy bar they got a quick short term fix .

    “Scientists ” were only too happy to provide the candy and charlatans pretending to have a crystal ball
    meet the need . Politically correct politicians were drooling over the prospect of a new sources of guilt taxes and the UN desperate for cash helped create the story behind one of the biggest scams in history .

    You new the scam was at full boil when banks and religion jumped in .

    You would only blow $$Billions if you actually didn’t have it . Too many other really useful places
    to spend it .One of the only reasons this massive fraud has gotten this far is because the “have ” nations
    have no credit card limit .

    • “One of the only reasons this massive fraud has gotten this far is because the “have ” nations
      have no credit card limit .”
      Just because the card has not been cancelled yet for exceeding the limit does not mean there is no limit.
      Just ask Greece, or Detroit, or Puerto Rico.

  30. Good article Tim – thank you.

    Scientific American, Science and Nature have all fallen into disgrace, due to their slavish adherence to global warming alarmist nonsense.

    What will happen when the world starts to cool, which we suggest is imminent – starting by 2020 or sooner?

    Will the world wake up, or continue to believe that they are at risk of dangerous manmade global warming?

    Global cooling has happened before, from about 1940 to 1975, even as atmospheric CO2 increased, and that should have been enough evidence to disprove the CAGW hypothesis. The fact that the CAGW hypo lives on is a testament to the gullibility and corruptibility of many academics and politicians.

    If we are correct and global cooling is imminent, I suggest that global warming alarmism will finally fall into disrepute, and those that so aggressively promoted it will too.

    The world will realize that the alarmists have squandered trillions of dollars of scarce global resources, and have needlessly caused widespread fear, driven up energy costs and increased winter mortality.

  31. Rather than using Velikovsky as an example of how disagreement with the mainstream of opinion is treated, a better example would have been Bjorn Lomborg who was almost charged with scientific heresy by the Danish.

    • Yes, and I rather liked his succinct rejoinder to those who accuse him of not having much peer-review published: all material produced by a university press is considered peer-reviewed.

  32. I am constantly surprised by the tone of comments of many “attack dogs” who respond to pieces like Tim Ball’s in sites like WUWT. it’s as if anyone or anything that supports. CAGW is to be castigated. Scientific American, Nature, and other journals of similar ilk are dismissed as being without merit because of their support of CAGW, somehow dismissing all of the other scientific content. Please have some balance. How can you dismiss the good work of scientists, their reviewers and journal editors in other fields.

    I notice that The Guardian comes in for its customary opprobrium, again for its CAGW support. This is the paper I read, but not for it’s climate change coverage (my wife says I grind my teeth when reading that). Even the Guardian sometimes publishes letters from “skeptics” – it published two of mine which because I used my UEA address, got me in trouble with my ENV_CRU colleagues and attacked by Monbiot- both sources of pride.

    Please be more discerning In your criticism of those who do not share your opposition to CAGW. Climate science is not the end all and be all of science. Remember it is that science that ultimately will destroy the nonsense that passes for most climate science today.

    • Thank you Alan Kendall.

      I agree that not everything in ScAm, Science and Nature is false – that conclusion would be foolish.

      I do suggest that the slavish adherence to CAGW nonsense by ScAm, Science and Nature has disgraced these once-respected journals and their organizations, and they are not to be trusted.

      They have fallen from grace.

      Best regards, Allan

  33. It is very difficult to put one’s finger on where self delusion ends and wickedness begins. It starts as self delusion and ends up as planned delusion, like a little lie made to make yourself feel a little bit more comfortable can end up as a big lie that is actively hurting others on a big scale, no one ever wanted to go down that track but many of us go down it again and again. Phil Jones seems like an addict.

    There is room in all this for studies on this site on pattern making, and what we see in patterns (ie how scientists are reading the data). If you ask someone to look for Y in a pattern they will see Y, and if you ask a person to look for X they see X. The same person can see Y and X, but when they are looking at X they cannot see Y and when they are looking at Y they cannot see X – like the duck rabbit, but in this case dismissing data that is superfluous to what you want to see. It is inevitable, we all need to be aware that we are all doing it.

    Then there is the matter of subconscious decisions, we ascribe reasons for why we are doing things that do not match the reasons the zombie world of the subconscious caused us to do that thing. It is easy to demonstrate, and people who have had their corpus callosum cut (communication channels between the brain hemispheres) will demonstrate beliefs in why they guessed something that does not match the known reasons. Again we are all doing it on a huge scale all the time.

    There is our constant belief in oneness, when in actuality one is always a conglomerate of disparate things that are always changing, splitting and forever mutating. Facts are always plastic.

    And finally our belief in our own rationality, when in truth rationality is an evolutionary afterthought that governs us to the best of it’s ability but always fails. Science does it’s best to take the plastic out of the packaging, it will always be a compromise.

    • Thank you Julian for your thoughts.

      You write about subjectivity in decision-making, but there is a much better measure of evaluating one’s decisions and that is objectivity.

      I suggest that one’s predictive track record is perhaps the best objective measure of one’s technical competence.

      The IPCC and the global warming alarmists have a negative predictive track record, because none of the alarmists’ scary predictions of runaway global warming, wilder weather, climate refugees, or countless other warming-caused disasters have materialized.

      Based on its negative predictive track record, the IPCC and the warmist camp have NO technical credibility.

      In comparison, here is my (our) predictive track record, from an article that Sallie Baliunas, Tim Patterson and I published in 2002 in the PEGG. It is now available at:

      Our eight-point Rebuttal includes predictions that have all materialized in those countries in Western Europe that have adopted the full measure of global warming mania. My country, Canada, was foolish enough to sign the Kyoto Protocol, but then wise enough to ignore it.
      [2002 article in “quotation marks”, followed by current commentary.]

      1. “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.” NO net global warming has occurred for more than 18 years despite increasing atmospheric CO2.

      2. “Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SOx, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil.” Note the extreme pollution of air, water and soil that still occurs in China and the Former Soviet Union.

      3. “Kyoto wastes enormous resources that are urgently needed to solve real environmental and social problems that exist today. For example, the money spent on Kyoto in one year would provide clean drinking water and sanitation for all the people of the developing world in perpetuity.” Since the start of global warming mania, about 50 million children below the age of five have died from contaminated water.

      4. “Kyoto will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and damage the Canadian economy – the U.S., Canada’s biggest trading partner, will not ratify Kyoto, and developing countries are exempt.” Canada signed Kyoto but then most provinces wisely ignored it – the exception being now-depressed Ontario, where government adopted ineffective “green energy” schemes, drove up energy costs, and drove out manufacturing jobs.

      5. “Kyoto will actually hurt the global environment – it will cause energy-intensive industries to move to exempted developing countries that do not control even the worst forms of pollution.” Note the huge manufacturing growth and extremely polluted air in industrial regions of China.

      6. “Kyoto’s CO2 credit trading scheme punishes the most energy efficient countries and rewards the most wasteful. Due to the strange rules of Kyoto, Canada will pay the Former Soviet Union billions of dollars per year for CO2 credits.” Our government did not pay the FSU, but other governments did, bribing them to sign Kyoto.

      7. “Kyoto will be ineffective – even assuming the overstated pro-Kyoto science is correct, Kyoto will reduce projected warming insignificantly, and it would take as many as 40 such treaties to stop alleged global warming.” IF one believed the false climate models, one would conclude that we must cease using fossil fuels.

      8. “The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.” Governments that adopted “green energy” schemes such as wind and solar power are finding these schemes are not green and produce little useful energy. Their energy costs are soaring and these governments are in retreat, dropping their green energy subsidies as fast as they politically can.

      All the above predictions that we made in 2002 have proven correct in those states that fully adopted the Kyoto Accord, whereas none of the global warming alarmists’ scary warming projections have materialized.

      • Thank you Allan,

        I am in no way defending the IPCC or the people who indulge it. It seems to me that things are pretty rotten within the CAGW advocacy movement and they have departed from using scientific ethics and standards.

        I have no problem in dismissing M Mann, or even the likes of Phil Jones or Trenberth who I wonder – are they weak minded or pathetic or dishonest? I have trouble understanding how there junk has survived so long and why it has not been put right by a few dozen scientists and journalists, but it has not. It seems a site like this which is read by millions and works night and day to present accurate and fair data and analysis is ignored. I try to understand how and why this is happening.

        This problem is not just happening in science, it is rampant in the way politics is presented too.

        I admire good science and the ethics of good science (such as you outline above)..

      • Good thoughts Julian, thank you.

        A few more thoughts below – climate heresy now, but conventional wisdom in 10 to 20 years(?)

        Best regards, Allan


        Cold Weather Kills 20 Times as Many People as Hot Weather
        June 13, 2015
        By Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae

        Presentation of Evidence Suggesting Temperature Drives Atmospheric CO2 more than CO2 Drives Temperature
        September 4, 2015
        By Allan MacRae

        Observations and Conclusions:

        1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record

        2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.

        3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

        4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

        5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.

        6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.

        7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.

        8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA, up to 50,000 in the UK and several million worldwide.

        9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.

        10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When misinformed politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.

        Allan MacRae, Calgary, June 12, 2015

  34. The complicity looks more like ad placement dollars in a wide variety of media outlets especially leading up to the Paris meetings. That came without the courtesy of labeling it as sponsored content. Other weak media groups are tapping the funds as an ongoing lifeline in a declining circulation market.

  35. I make no brief for Velikovsky either, but it is amusing that Carl Sagan’s attempt to refute Velikovksy by calculating the odds of near-collisions of planetary bodies neglected the force of gravity. Dr. Robert Jastrow of NASA wrote a letter to the NY Times and said:

    “Professor Sagan’s calculations, in effect, ignore the law of gravity. Here, Dr. Velikovsky, was the better astronomer.”

  36. Dr. Ball, I was very happy to read this essay. You’ve named them all– Scientific American, Science, Nature, all journals I once respected and have watched turn into fishwrap over the past 20 or so years. I haven’t discussed it with anyone, mostly because I don’t anyone to discuss it with, so I really appreciate you validating my opinion. It’s remarkable we picked the same magazines. I’ve never even met you much less discussed the subject, but you picked exactly the same set I had.

    I think there’s something there. Thanks.

  37. In this respect, I am aghast also at what I read in Scientific American (September 2015 issue), where on page 7 under the heading Science Agenda by the Editors:
    Opinion and analysis from the Scientific American Board of Editors: “Then, as now, actions* were driven in large part by antiscientific opposition to evidence that global warming has a human trigger” (*in relation to the NASA Earth science budget allocation by the current administration).
    I wonder what Martin Gardner would have had to say in his SCIENCE: GOOD BAD AND BOGUS when learning about this editorial board pontification of turning Scientific American into an oxymoron.
    more at:

  38. Velikovsky. Who argued that catastrophic events on Earth as described by the bible were caused by the planets, comet-like, whizzing closely by each other at various times over the history of humankind.

    Galileo examples should not be obvious cranks. His inclusion in the article catastrophicallyweakens it. And his ideas were not rejected by AGW-ers, but by astrophysicists.

    But perhaps the scientific world is biased, the Earth might just be at the centre of the universe, the sun made of iron etc, and scientific journals are just the gate-keepers of orthodoxy.

Comments are closed.