Hump Day Hilarity – The 97% climate expertise [warning graphic content]

Josh writes:

I had an idea with Brandon [Shollenberger] about discovering a secret stupid chart along the lines of the one he found.

Shollenberger writes:

I think I may have found the strangest chart I have ever seen. You can see it below, taken from the newly published paper on the supposed “consensus on the consensus” on global warming:


Now, I discussed this paper a bit yesterday, and there are probably a lot of things more important to discuss than this chart. Those other things aren’t as funny though. You see, this chart is complete nonsense. Look at the x-axis. See how it says “Expertise”? Tell me, what scale do you think that’s on?

You’re wrong. It doesn’t matter what your answer might have been; it’s wrong. It’s wrong because there is no scale for the x-axis on this chart.

Seriously. This is what the authors of the paper had to say about the chart:

Figure 1 uses Bayesian credible intervals to visualise the degree of confidence of each consensus estimate (largely a function of the sample size). The coloring refers to the density of the Bayesian posterior, with anything that isn’t gray representing the 99% credible interval around the estimated proportions (using a Jeffreys prior). Expertise for each consensus estimate was assigned qualitatively, using ordinal values from 1 to 5. Only consensus estimates obtained over the last 10 years are included.


That essay from Shollenberger is well worth a read as it shows how ridiculous the new paper from John Cook actually is. Following Cook’s lead, and in turn, working with Josh, we were able to bin the major players on the climate and consensus wars.


Here is the rationale for the binning from our “independent” raters:

Ehrlich and Stern don’t seem to have any particular direction, they throw a lot of alarmist mud at random times, hence “confused”. Stern earns a  lot more than Ehrlich so rates higher on the $10K units.

Nuccitelli and Allen seem unaffected by any facts, and drone on with the same message, just repackaged. Hence the “dim” bin.

McKibben is a nice guy, but has only minimal climate expertise, basically regurgitating news items and seeing the effects of every weather event as “proof” of global warming on his Twitter feed. He also thinks we can “change physics” so he gets binned in the “idiot” category. Mandia, who has meteorological expertise, would not be in this category at all, except that he self binned by becoming a climate superhero. Klein writes bestselling books, that she herself doesn’t quite understand, but assures us she’s “changing everything“, so fits in this category as a high-earner.

Lew and Oreskes, self binned, are permanently sealed in, with no escape from their own seepage in their self-made conspiracy theory theater. Oh, and your pets will die too.

Schmidt, has a category all his own, but often disappoints because his wish is to never debate a skeptic or answer a question from a skeptic.

Trenberth and Hansen do a lot of projection, seeing missing heat, coal death trains, and disappearing cities under sea level rise all due to climate model output.

Cook, caught lying on more than one occasion. Low earner.

Gleick, admits his own fraud, low earner, about to be even lower.

Gore, a high earner raking in millions, can’t even do high school science without faking results in post-production.

Mann, is an outlier. In keeping with McIntyre’s note about reporting both positive and negative results, we report the outlier here. Enough said.

Note: Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute was also on this list for plotting, but because at one time or another he has put himself in every bin, we had to discard him and his data as being “unbinnable”.


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..OMG, that is funny ! 50 STARS !

george e. smith

I don’t see Bill Nye on the chart; how come ??


..They didn’t want to get banned for using swear words !

Pat Frank

John Holdren is missing, too. He probably gets a pretty nice Executive Branch salary, falling well above mid-$10k expertise units, and with formal training in physics ascends somewhere into the pink zone.


He’s out shopping for a shrubbery…Nye!

Eugene WR Gallun

Severing — Too funny for words — Eugene WR Gallun

Michael 2

Bill Nye is with Al Gore on the post-production thermometer science thing.

DD More

George, he is off with the Knights of Ni. Just has a heavy accent and is misunderstood.
Concerning Gore, should the non-numbered “Expertise” $10,000 be noted as a Log Scale?

Santa Baby

Social or Marxist climate science expertise?


I think you should go back and adjust the data.
I’m sure if you torture it enough you’ll find that it forms a Hockey Stick.


Yup, just arrange that sequence and think up an axis title…..LOL


If you blink enough times, you can actually see a hockey stick!


Yep, me thinks Josh missed a shot at a wide open net ; )


..And I will donate to help you to defend yourselves from the coming lawsuits !! LOL


What is the r² value for the regression line in the second chart? 😛


…97% of course !!

What would you like it to be? 😉


0.97 😛

Tom in Florida

Reminds me of when I attended the World Ocean Expo while stationed in Okinawa back in 1978 (could have been 1976). The Russians had an exhibit pavilion and all of their people wore name tags that titled them “Expert”. Expert at what it didn’t say and I didn’t ask (most likely intelligence gathering).


No wonder I read Hump Day Hilarity as Hillary. Makes perfect sense w the Baysian posterior.

No need to apologise.

The satire is every bit a valid as a Cook study 🙂

Louis Hooffstetter

Josh nails it again!

Imagine the disappointment of wannabe alarmist who doesn’t rate a mention on the chart. Talking of not rating a mention on the chart, I enjoyed Mann being off the chart.

A significant portion of the authors of THIS paper, which tries to make a point about the “consensus of the consensus”, are the very authors of the of the subject papers! “We were right, and the fact that we all agree about us being right, and also that we all came up with the exact same percentage (what are the odds of that?) also proves we are right.” (My head hurts!)
Isn’t there an ethical problem here?

Robert of Ottawa

Certainly an terminal case of circular reasoning.


Another reference to a circular……um….activity comes to mind….but that could very well be caused by climate change making women even less capable of participating in it…..:P


Circular reasoning, like the Oozlum bird.


For this to have any value, you need to claim raters are independent (even if they worked as a team, discussed ratings, or if there was only one rater).

Travis Casey



When I read “the density of the Bayesian posterior” I thought it might be referring to one of these Bay mare’s posterior, , as some have demonstrated similarities to portions of a horses’ anatomy.

Robert of Ottawa

I was thinking of that Bayesian babe Kim Kardashian’s posterior

Beautiful satire. Post it to Cook and Mann and Oreskes. An IED equivalent blowing up their warmunist nonsense.


The average of the data points looks to be about 79.5

Should Aaron Mair get a mention since he mentioned the 97% for the last 5 or 6 questions Cruz asked him?

(Regulars may have seen this here several weeks ago.)

That video shows an OUTSTANDING exchange. Ted Cruz embarrassed, thoroughly and rightly so, the Sierra Club president. That makes the point that I am sure many, if not all, skeptics, such as I, have experienced when asking any devout believer in the religion of global warming for the basis of their belief. Fairly recently I wrote to the head of the Green Party in Canada, Elizabeth May, asking what specific scientific evidence she has that proves that people are responsible. She did reply, but with pretty much the same sort of nonsense as that emitted by Aaron Meir. Thank you Werner for having found and posted that video exchange


..More Hump Day funnies…..( edited for safety )
tikkun613 @ Fox News
19 minutes ago
First They Told Me It Was Global Cooling
And I Couldn’t Stop Shivering.
Then They Told Me There Was Global Warming
And I Could Not Stop Perspiring.
Now They Tell Me It’s Climate Change
And I Can’t Figure-Out What Clothes To Wear.
They Had me So Confused,
I Suffered An Anxiety Attack.
When I Went For Counseling, I Was Told My
Insurance No Longer Covered Psychiatric Issues
But If I Covered My ACA Co-Pay Of $5,000,
I Could get Two Aspirin.
When I Called, They Told Me The
Computers Were Hacked,
My Records No Longer Existed
And I Would Need To Return The Aspirin.


If I play connect the dots, it kind’a reminds me of a bunny rabbit. 🙂


Not an elephant wiggling its trunk?

Rich Carman

When I was in grad school, we developed the “Law of Arbitrary Curves” which states that if you get enough data points spread randomly over a wide enough area, you can draw a curve with any shape you desire. This often tuned bad data days into productive graphs.


Sort of like constellations and Zodiak. You see what you want to see.


Yup, Orion the Hunter is called the Plow by Brits. I always thought of it as a kite. It’s upside down in the southern hemisphere so no idea what they think of it.


Hemisphereist. It’s perfectly aligned diwn here. YOU have it upside-down!


How sad!
These people are directly assisting in setting global energy policy, remember the POTUS references it frequently along with a large list of other formal positions, down to your community level.
These are not ill informed people, however I suspect the discussions with their conscience, everyday, is not a good one to experience.


The way they try to hide their “assigned qualitatively” value at the end of a jargon-ridden paragraph is deliberate obfuscation, meant to deceive.

Santa Baby

It’s just policy based propaganda.

Outstanding . . . both of you.


They had to throw “credible” in there just to make sure….


Look at the x-axis. See how it says “Expertise”? Tell me, what scale do you think that’s on?

It doesn’t look like it’s on a numerical scale. It looks like the studies are in order of the expertise of the groups sampled by the study.
It’s a bar chart, but with margin of error shown rather than colouring in the bar.

You’re wrong. It doesn’t matter what your answer might have been; it’s wrong. It’s wrong because there is no scale for the x-axis on this chart.

No, I was right. Bar charts aren’t as esoteric as you think.

It’s a bar chart, but with margin of error shown rather than colouring in the bar.
May I refer you to:
Expertise for each consensus estimate was assigned qualitatively
Can you explain to me, using small words because I’m really stupid, how one calculates a margin of error for a qualitative measurement?

The order on the x-axis is the ranking of the 16 groups by expertise (as judged). It’s comparable in intent to psychometric rankings of sweetness, sound loudness, and such. For each group, instead of a bar with frequentist intervals at the top edge, the box covers the 99% Bayesian credible interval. What’s missing, that would be present in a good modern psychometric study (or, study of reliability psychiatric diagnosis or symptomatology), is any measurement of the stability (reproducibility, inter-rater reliability) of this ranking across different sets of equally-qualified people tasked to perform the ranking.


davidmhoffer wrote: Can you explain to me, using small words because I’m really stupid, how one calculates a margin of error for a qualitative measurement?

You don’t.
The margin of error is against the y-axis, which is quantitative.
The x-axis is the one on the bottom, which just has the different studies equally spaced.
As often occurs in charts:
The y-axis is the one on the side. In the graph under discussion the margin of error against that axis is shown by colouring each 1% band with the colour of the probability of the result falling in that 1% band according to the colour chart on the right hand side.
Does that help?

M Courtney

Seth, you’re illustration with the bar chart shows exactly why the “expertise” bar chart is fundamentally wrong.
On your illustration the bars are ordered from highest to lowest. The sequence is set by the y-axis.
On the fundamentally-flawed Cook graphic the bars are ordered qualitatively by Cook. He guesses at expertise. The sequence is set by his own biases.
Thus the peculiar chart doesn’t show anything meaningful (as it is based on Cook’s prejudices which are irrational). But also it is misleading as it shows a sequence and apparent trend that isn’t there. The order of bars is based on the arbitrary x-axis not the measured y-axis (this is the opposite of your illustration).
It is deceptive. It is created to present an apparent trend that isn’t there. And it managed to fool you.
So how many other people have been fooled by this work (and, think about it, by Cook’s other works).

Does that help?
Yes it does. Since the quality rating was only 1-5, there can’t be 16 positions on the chart. Yet there are. I read the methodology in detail. It reads nothing more that a bewildering array of excuses to rationalize their ratings, including of course giving higher ratings to papers that the authors wrote themselves than to papers written by other people. No bias or self interest in that (SARC!). Then I found a table that bins all the results into the supposed bar chart you say is there, but only has results in four bins. One of them is empty (bin 4). Plus, the results in bin 5 cover over half the horizontal axis on the chart, with 4 missing and 1,2, and 3 occupying the rest.
So you answered the question with enough expertise to suggest you understand these issues, which just makes you a defender of a study that I suspect the fr__dulent term would not be sufficient to express the level of depravity, misinformation and misdirection that have been incorporated into this study which doesn’t amount to a total piece of sh*t, but to a total piece of “evil”.
Of all the disgusting pieces of utter cr*p passed off as actual science that I have ever seen in my life, this is a whole new order of magnitude of ignorant and willful deception in support of an agenda. I don’t know if there is a heaven or h*ll, but I hope there is, because you and the people who have conspired to promote this piece of trash richly deserve to spend all eternity in the latter. Just my humble opinion of course.


Yes it does. Since the quality rating was only 1-5, there can’t be 16 positions on the chart.

This is why I gave you an example of a bar chart. There’s one position for each item being graphed. Yes it does. Since the quality rating was only 1-5, there can’t be 16 positions on the chart.
In the paper it is individual estimates of the consensus. There can be however many are included in the chart.

Since the quality rating was only 1-5, there can’t be 16 positions on the chart.
And yet, there are.
Have you no shame?


Schmidt, has a category all his own, but often disappoints because his wish is to never debate a skeptic or answer a question from a skeptic.

I see what you did there.


Schmidt can talk about models and adjustments, but will avoid the physical real world. I was actually amazed at how much he doesn’t know about the sciences. Some of the stuff he says is off the wall.

While I am waiting for Seth to explain how to calculate a margin of error on a qualitative measurement, can someone explain the scale on the right hand side of the graph?


Since you receive more grant money for higher temperature predictions I assume it is a Celcius temperature scale.

Neil Jordan

Easy. First you have to log-transform the y-axis. For example, take the second bar from the top, “Lying”. This reference explains how to work with log-transform lying:
Next you have to mine the abstract for suitable sciency and mathy words:
“On the basis of log–survivorship plots, frequency distributions of (log-transformed) lying episode lengths and analysis of the correspondence between recorded lying episodes and video footage of lying behaviour, a minimum lying bout criterion of 4 min was indicated.”
Next, repeat for the other bars except “Puzzled”, which takes on negative values. For “Puzzled”, you have to take logarithms of negative numbers. Root through your drawer with the calculators and choose one that gives you a number. My HP41CX displays DATA ERROR. That won’t do. My HP35S displays LOG(NEG). That won’t do either. Digging deeper, I find my HP42S. For a “Puzzled” value of -3, for example, I get 0.48 i1.36, an imaginary number perfectly suited for climate science.

Neil Jordan

Oops. I forgot the most important number of all, log -97%. That comes out to -0.013228 i1.36


My bad.
I read your 2nd paragraph as
Next you have to mime the abstract for suitable sciency and mathy words – and thought ‘No Way’ – because that would give the French a monopoly . . .


Clearly it’s the level of the color “Purple” from a start point of a color “Orange” for each qualitative measured expert.


“Right colour bar indicates posterior density of Bayesian 99% credible intervals.”

Eugene WR Gallun

Looking closely I see Mann written outside the upper right hand corner of the chart. So your are saying that Mann is “off the chart”.
Eugene WR Gallun


He is an outliner and assigned a NAN value 🙂

Mike the Morlock

Eugene WR Gallun April 13, 2016 at 9:07 pm ” Mann is “off the chart”.
He’s stowing away on Dr Stephen Hawking tiny space probe and on his way to Alpha Century

Mike the Morlock

Alpha Centauri A

@ Mike, Centauri A or B no matter what, that was funny as heck!


My research indicates that 97% of astrologists believe in astrology.


Good point. So without getting a PhD in climate science, how can we tell that climate science isn’t a psuedo science?
Here’s some of the tells:
1) It appears in scientific journals, including general science journals, including the most highly cited journals in the world. NPG has a dedicated climate change journal now.
2) It appears in the curriculum of respected universities. Where people contributing to climate science are cross disciplinary, they are respected in other fields of science.
3) It has flow on effects that are studied in other fields. Ecology, economics, epidemiology, geology and optics have deep crossover with climate science.

Prof Richard Lindzen has twenty dozen peer reviewed publications, so by your specious ‘logic’, you must accept his views.
But then, logic never was your strong point.


Your criteria applied to Eugenics would also tell us that Eugenics isn’t a psuedo science. After all it had tons of published work, was supported by highly respected scientists and universities and had plenty of flow on effects.
Eugenics also enjoyed broad support from popular politicians, religious figures, social scientists, and economists… Gee, that sounds familiar. Worth noting to that while many of them reserved their positions when it became abundantly clear that supporting Eugenics was a dead end a strong enough group to keep laws for forced sterilization on the books existed well into the 80s in parts of The West.
To clarify, I’m not trying to say that Climate Scientists are you know whats or whatever. I’m saying that are various points in history if your criteria were applied to areas of science we now know today are beyond a shadow of a doubt wrong we wouldn’t have ever figured that out.
I’m hind-casting your idea… Which then falls apart. But it doesn’t surprise me that you are a fan of modern Climate Science and don’t see the point in hind-casting.


dbstealey wrote: “Prof Richard Lindzen has twenty dozen peer reviewed publications, so by your specious ‘logic’, you must accept his views.”

I don’t think that does follow from my logic.
Would you mind pointing out where I suggest that if a person has over a certain number of papers, all their views must be correct?

dbstealey wrote: “But then, logic never was your strong point.

I certainly find that remaining a critical thinker is a constant struggle against my deceptive mind. And I certainly fail a lot.

Matt Bergin

Seth you can tell that Climate science is not a real science because it has the word “SCIENCE” in it’s name. Real sciences don’t. One doesn’t say Mathematical science or Physical science, they are known as Mathematics and Physics respectively. So Seth from now on remember if the word Science is in the name it is probably not real science. It is just a way for people to graduate who are too dumb to get a real PHD sort of like the basket weaving courses for the BA degree. /sarc


Josh could we lobby for a 3D version where Z is an imaginary axis and we could get plot Mann on it then, along with his Nobel prize.

David Chappell

Don’t forget Trenberth’s Nobel Prize, too, which still appears on his CV.


I think we may need 4 dimensions for that…


Oh you Americans, always leaving your neighbours in The Great White North out. What about that little engine who couldn’t – that geneticist turned Climate Expert Dr. David Suzuki. He’s the guy who said that Canada is full (36 million souls) and can’t support any more people. He said Canadians should make due with less, yet he owns four homes, and that people should have fewer children, while he has begat five tots of his own. Suzuki said people should have a smaller “carbon footprint” (how I hate that term) while he, by his own admission, jets off to Australia once or twice every year “just for fun”. I wonder if anybody out there, maybe from Australia, has the video of Suzuki from a few years back on a stage somewhere Down Under being made a fool of by some Australian scientists. Australians lived up to their reputation of not suffering fools gladly. He was not only made to look dim for his comments on climate science (including the fact he didn’t know what UAH, GISS, HadCrut etc. stood for), but he didn’t seem to know much about GMO’s which he is, of course, against. One would have thought that would have been right down his alley.

+ many

JLC of Perth

Yes, I remember it well. The interview did Suzuki the courtesy of assuming that Suzuki knew what he (Suzuki) was talking about. It soon became clear that Suzuki didn’t. The interviewer seemed astounded and so was I.


Do you have a link to that interview? I’d like to see it.

UK Sceptic

Mann is off the chart. I’m sure there are a few unbinables that could also inhabit this uncharted territory. Personally I’d give it the label “unprecedented hubris (it’s worse than we thought)”.


What an amazing list of authors…..almost all of them with their snouts in the public trough.
They all require a good kick in the Bayesian posterior and be told to go out and get a real job


What an amazing list of authors…..almost all of them with their snouts in the public trough.

Science for the public good is like that.

They all require a good kick in the Bayesian posterior and be told to go out and get a real job.

Why don’t you get a PhD in a relevant field, a decade or so of good postgraduate research, be one of the very best in the field, and land a permanent job in academia, then apply for one of their jobs?
That’ll show them.

OK, anonymous “Seth”, what’s your CV?

david smith

Science for the public good is like that.

What? Science for the public good necessitates grant-troughing? What a ridiculous thing for you to say!

I would but academia as a field for me is out of the question.
I don’t qualify because I’m not a Socialist or a Communist and therefore I’m automatically DQed.

It makes me ill just to read this new paper by Cook. Have these people no morals what so ever?
But hey, If these are the rules of the game by which we are allowed to play, then I would like to play too.
I dug up all the papers on “the pause” that I could find.
There are 64 papers explaining the pause.
The Karl et al paper explained that there never was a pause.
I conclude from this, that of publishing climatologists with a sub-specialty in “the pause”, 64/65 or 98.5% clearly state that there was a pause, and so Karl et al is wrong.


How to bake a climate change cake.
Make your cake mix and pop into cold oven, wait 45 minutes, adjust 45 minutes of oven temperature record by +175 degrees
Allow it cool and serve with modeled fruit or cream


James Bull

Sorry but as soon as you said there were no X I thought of this….

The late great Two Ronnies.
James Bull

James, these two guys were absolutely priceless, RIP

John of Cloverdale WA Australia

Love it. R.I.P. 2 R. N. E’s.

I have discovered the REAL cause of AGW… it’s PILTDOWN MAN!!

JLC of Perth

As a true blue Australian, I would like to add Tim Flannery to that chart. He should be rated as high on the Fraud axis and low on the Expertise axis.
He seems to have gone quiet lately. Perhaps he was feeling a little embarrassed about his repeated, wild, and wildly inaccurate predictions. If so, there is hope for him because he has some sense of shame.


Flannery made A$180,000 per year for part time work as the Climate Commissioner under our previous left-wing government. JLC is spot on. He has made countless failed climate predictions, like the famous “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…” one might remember the disastrous Brisbane/Queensland floods which happened not long after.

david smith

I cannot believe Seth is on here trying to defend that ridiculous ‘graph’ with its x-axis displaying how weally, weally good they are.
If I was going to take it at all seriously (which is difficult) it just tells me that the so-called ‘experts’ are the ones who are completely wrong about the CAGW nonsense as they are foolish enough to believe so strongly in the fairy-story with its failed models and busted predictions (has anyone seen those 50 million climate refugees yet?)
Right, I’m sure Seth is going to reply to me by insisting that because I don’t have a PhD in Clim Sci I can’t possibly be expected to understand the graph and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to pass judgement. Sorry Seth, it doesn’t take a vet to spot a dog-turd.


..Little Seth is desperate for attention !

Dodgy Geezer

Has anyone noticed how the ‘Expertise’ axis can be replaced with a ‘Dependency on Climate Change for Pay’ axis, and still remain accurate…?

where’s tim flannery? he has made some of the most outlandish statements in the past such as “there will never be enough rain to fill our dams again” etc. he makes a hell of a lot of money out of climate change.

M Courtney

Mods. Please look out my reply to Seth from about three hour ago..
It’s disappeared into the aether.
But I think my comment added something to the discussion of how to use bar charts.

Gary Pearse

An outlier is the first stage of an out-and-out-liar


Instead of relative expertise, one could label the x-axis relative stupidity, from seriously stupid to mildly stupid. It could well have been labelled as a climate ignorance indicator.


Not fair! They’re cheating. The rules of Battleships demand where you have multiple Destroyers, Battleships, Cruisers, Submarines, etc then they have to be adjoining each of their own. Only the Aircraft carrier is free to be on its own and they’re cheating even more with their extra Rowboat, Frigate and whatnot. They’re making it up as they go along. Cheats! Cheats! Cheats!

Brian M

On a scale of 1 to 10 I give this post a logarithmic 36.8 degrees NNE and put it just above 6 Newtons of refraction.

Not Chicken Little

I watched the David Suzuki interview which AB posted above. Wow. Not even knowing the data sets a questioner referenced, yet just brushing them aside as if they were nut job outliers. Talk about “willful blindness”! By his own criteria he should be brought up on charges and jailed. But, as he says, he “hasn’t really thought it through” about the consequences and implications of jailing people for their free speech utterances. Others have thought it through, fortunately (most thinking adults by the time they are no older than, oh, 22).
He’s just another empty suit. Why are there so many empty suits in the “catastrophic Man-caused climate change” field? Why does anyone listen to them at all? Rhetorical question.

Gunga Din

I suppose there are no “error bars” because then there wouldn’t be room for graph?
PS Putting Mann out there in the “Ozone” and Anthony’s “[warning graphic content]” were my favorite parts.

Pamela Gray

ummm. Where is the graphic content?