Climate Change Agenda and the Role of Bureaucratic Scientists

Guest opinion; Dr. Tim Ball

I began this article before the resignation of NCEI director Tom Karl was announced. His replacement will, like James Hansen’s replacement at NASA GISS, Gavin Schmidt, continue the climate adjustment program. They perpetuate themselves and their agenda; it is the nature of bureaucracies. Laurence J. Peter, author, and creator of the Peter principle expressed it well when he wrote,

Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.

Karl’s resignation makes this article more germane to the wider problem of bureaucracy in general and specifically bureaucratic scientists.


The bureaucracy’s ability to control from within is much wider, more pervasive and unaccountable than most realize. Retired Judge Napolitano talking about this power within the US government wrote,

The deep state consists of intelligence, military, law enforcement and administrative agency personnel who aggressively protect their own interests, which transcend elections. Stated differently, many of these folks remain in opaque positions of power, and the governmental departments and agencies for which they work continue to expand, no matter which party wins the White House or controls Congress.

Recent attempts by Australian politicians to change direction in climate research illustrates the problem. The lead paragraph says,

In February, the new leader of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) revealed a plan to lay off almost all of the agency’s climate scientists, along with an equal number of scientists from its Land and Water division. CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall framed the cuts as part of a significant change in mission, saying that the question of whether climate change is occurring “has been answered.” The mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, he said, should be the agency’s focus.

The outcry was loud, particularly from climate scientists who recognized the value of the work that CSIRO had long been doing. (Their emphasis and red font).

The only evidence about the value of the work the climate scientists were doing came from climate scientists. This is how science bureaucrats maintain control. They say you politicians don’t understand what we are doing. So what did the politician do? Capitulation and an unnecessary compromise.

As a result, Marshall has gradually conceded much of the planned reduction and decided to go ahead with a new climate research center in Tasmania that would house 40 current CSIRO scientists. With these changes, 35 of the agency’s 140 climate scientists will be losing their jobs.

It is an unnecessary compromise. No climate research can advance or improve understanding that would benefit people because there is insufficient temporal and spatial data. Governments need to established a global data collection base and run it for 30 years before any analysis and understanding is remotely possible.

I learned early in my career why scientists cannot work for the government. They automatically satisfy Mary McCarthy’s comment that bureaucracy as, “the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.” The first major lesson occurred when I was briefly elected Chair of the Canadian Committee on Climatic Fluctuation, a project set up as a joint project of Environment Canada (EC) and the National Museum of Natural Sciences to study “Critical Periods in the Quaternary History of Northern North America.” I say briefly because in my acceptance speech I suggested we needed to consider the AGW hypothesis carefully and not exclude the null hypothesis. I was not aware of the political machinations of the bureaucrats at EC at the time but learned quickly after they pulled their portion of the funding. The Paleobiology Division of the National Museum of Natural Sciences under Richard Harington could not afford it, so the program ended.

The problem of scientists as bureaucrats was clarified and reinforced in my brief tenure. One of them approached me to discuss his dilemma. He would not talk at the Museum (apparently totem poles have ears), rather we met in the airport cafeteria. He was asked to examine the science of the acid rain issue as it impacted Canada, particularly on economic issues like the maple sugar industry in Quebec.

After two years of intensive research, he concluded that the decline in yields was due to two factors, drought, and a very early spring warming followed by a severe cold spell. Both restricted growth and yield. The latter caused early budding and severe damage called a ‘die-back.’ In most cases, plants go through a regrowth cycle but with reduced phases, including sap flow and seed production. The bureaucrat’s dilemma was the Canadian Prime Minister saying publicly that the maple syrup problem was acid rain caused by US coal burning plants. His research found no evidence to support the charge. His findings were later confirmed by a joint US/Canadian investigation. By the early 1990s yields were above normal.

The solution to his problem is obvious, but still difficult to take. He must retain scientific integrity and present his findings. The next decision is political. In all such circumstances the report goes up the bureaucratic ladder until it reaches an authority who will put it on the shelf. The trouble is scientists can still lose their job, although nowadays it is difficult to dismiss a bureaucrat. They will find a way. For example, another scientist I spoke with did extensive research and wrote a report that contradicted government policy on a particular herbicide. He took a two-week vacation during which they sent him a letter to his government mailbox inaccessible from outside. It offered him early retirement that if not accepted before his return would automatically terminate his employment.

The overall solution is no scientist bureaucrats.

Phases Three and Four of Gandhi’s Progress of Change:


Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Some people are in phase three as evidenced by the legal attacks of some politicians and Attorney Generals and the activities of John Holdren and the White House. Almost everyone else is moving into phase four as evidenced by polls, lack of global warming as an issue in elections, and abandonment of climate policies and green agendas by several governments.

There is only one group left effectively pushing the Global Warming and Climate Change, the scientist bureaucrats. Most politicians pretend concern because the eco-bullies make it unacceptable to doubt. Some politicians are politically committed so will not change. President Obama tried to make it his legacy at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 in Paris, but that is collapsing. One of the most interesting observations before Paris was the observation by Davis Shukman BBC Science editor.

For officials and politicians getting ready for the UN summit on climate change in Paris later this year, there’s a word that dare not be uttered: Copenhagen. (their bold).

I remember pained faces etched with failure on the final day of a dysfunctional gathering in the Danish capital in 2009, the last time world leaders got together to try to tackle global warming, and the collective memory still haunts the process six years on.

This is completely false. It was the leak of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) with evidence of corrupted climate science that caused their dilemma. The Conference of the Parties (COP) act on ‘science’ produced by the IPCC that was dominated by CRU scientists. There is no mention of leaked emails even though the article was written a month after their release.

Even proponents are troubled about the Paris failure. The Guardian headline “No plan B if Paris climate summit ends in failure, says EU climate chief” is just one example. The Bloomberg news agency tries to put a positive spin with the headline, “The Paris Climate Summit: A Useful Failure.” There is a sense of inevitability to the failure, almost as if they knew all along it was scientifically unjustified. Those who made the threat of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) central to their cause take a different tack. The group Global Greens knew the implications of Paris with their headline, “Paris climate conference – failure is not an option.”


Why, despite all the evidence of failure of corrupted science, and failed predictions does the global warming/climate change agenda continue? The answer is simple and the result of Maurice Strong’s organizational skills in setting up the entire process. When he set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) he did it through the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This UN agency is made up of the bureaucrats of every national weather agency. The central IPCC bureaucrat, Rajendra Pachauri, explained the situation to the Times of India.

Let’s face it, we are an intergovernmental body and our strength and acceptability of what we produce is largely because we are owned by governments. If that was not the case, then we would be like any other scientific body that maybe producing first-rate reports but don’t see the light of the day because they don’t matter in policy-making. Now clearly, if it’s an inter-governmental body and we want governments’ ownership of what we produce, obviously they will give us guidance of what direction to follow, what are the questions they want answered. Unfortunately, people have completely missed the original resolution by which IPCC was set up. It clearly says that our assessment should include realistic response strategies. If that is not an assessment of policies, then what does it represent?

A magnificent circular argument from a straight line railway engineer. Beyond being the standard “Just following orders” argument the duplicity in the statement, and few were better at duplicity than Pachauri until it caught up with him, is that “we are owned by governments.” It is the illusion Strong intended because, while the bureaucrats are technically work for the government they own the politicians, especially with scientific issues. Strong knew that if the scientists at the national weather agency told the politicians something they had to listen. He reinforced the message by having the message created by the IPCC as the Summary for Policymakers. Even if the politicians read it, as David Wojick, IPCC expert reviewer, explained they do not understand.

Glaring omissions are only glaring to experts, so the “policymakers”—including the press and the public—who read the SPM will not realize they are being told only one side of a story. But the scientists who drafted the SPM know the truth, as revealed by the sometimes artful way they conceal it.

What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.

The entire global warming/climate change deception is possible and continues because it was created by scientist bureaucrats. It is inherently contrary to the proper practice of science for them to work for government. The danger is explained in a 1990s discussion I had with Environment Canada scientist Henry Hengeveld. At the time they were struggling to convince the politicians that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was a problem. I told Henry that scientifically the bigger problem began once they were convinced because they told them an unproven hypothesis was fact. Now they were on a treadmill. If evidence contradicted the hypothesis, they are unlikely to put their career and that of the politician and government in jeopardy. With climate, the evidence appeared and the scientist bureaucrats’ reaction confirmed why they should not be in government.

Henry Hengeveld is retired after a bureaucratic career built on CO2 – he even produced a regular CO2 digest. He is joined by Tom Karl while politicians attempt to get the data and methods used to get rid of ‘the pause,’ while supposedly working for the people. The degree and threat of bureaucratic power are revealed by the difficulty the people’s representatives have in that case.

Is lack of accountability and control a problem in other forms of funding and research? Of course, as Upton Sinclair said,

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”


The difference is with scientist bureaucrats it is almost guaranteed. Worse, they can apply their political perspectives and agendas.

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August 6, 2016 3:20 pm

Politics and lead to corruption. People that believe politics and government are one in the same are naive. I don’t know the answer but I do know the world has been through many derivations of ‘governing’ and we haven’t found the answer yet.

Reply to  markl
August 6, 2016 3:21 pm

It should say Politics and (fill in the blank) lead to corruption.

Reply to  markl
August 6, 2016 3:37 pm

Not really!
It should read “Politics is Corruption!”

August 6, 2016 3:42 pm

Excellent….thank you

Robert from oz
August 6, 2016 3:46 pm

Our ABC is currently running a story about climate refugees from the Carteret islands near Papua New Guinea . The islands are sinking due to increased sea level rising .
Check into this enough and you find the locals were known for being reef destroyers by dynamite fishing .
No mention of this possibility of course in the abc story .

Reply to  Robert from oz
August 6, 2016 4:08 pm

ABC was peddling this back in 2003: and again in 2007:
” …. It’s estimated that by 2015, the Carterets will disappear.” Uh-oh. Time to recycle the story. “The islanders on the Carterets are victims of what other people have caused … “.
The islands lie in one of the most complex tectonic areas of the earth. They sit next to a plate convergence zone at the boundary of the Pacific Plate, Indo-Australian Plate, and South Bismark Plate on a subduction zone next to the New Hebrides Trench (Bougainville Trench), where the earth’s crust is disappearing.
Wikipedia used to contain something like the above paragraph, but it seems to have disappeared.
Not sure I go along with the dynamite fishing. Doesn’t look like the Carteret islanders could afford it.
On the other hand, back in the 1980s in PNG, recovering explosive from WW2 shells and bombs left over from WW2 was still popular, in spite of the frequent fatalities.

Robert from oz
Reply to  Martin Clark
August 6, 2016 6:00 pm

Is there a source for this: “However, Fred Terry, the director of the United Nations Development Project on Bougainville, said the destruction of reefs in the Carterets with dynamite might be the cause (of flooding on Carteret Islands).” I can’t find it Albatross2147 23:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Surprise most of the details somehow disappeared a few years ago .
Source is Wikipedia .

Reply to  Martin Clark
August 6, 2016 8:01 pm
Joe Crawford
Reply to  Martin Clark
August 7, 2016 8:05 am

Dynamiting the reef, eating all the triggerfish, or both should basically have the same effect, the island will eventually wash away. After the (destructive) inhabitants leave the coral and fish return and the island either grows back or turns into an atoll.

Reply to  Robert from oz
August 6, 2016 4:41 pm

‘The problem of scientists as bureaucrats…”
Pales into insignificance when compared to the problem of scientists as politicians.

Reply to  catweazle666
August 6, 2016 4:43 pm


August 6, 2016 3:56 pm

I agree with most of Dr Tim Ball’s summary but most sceptics refuse to use the best arguments to try and win the day. E.g even Obama’s EIA 2016 report tells us that human Co2 emissions will be 34% higher by 2040.
Bjorn Lomborg tells us ( using IPCC info) that the best result from Paris COP 21 will be 0.05 C to 0.17 C temp reduction by 2100. IOW no measurable difference at all. And he calculates that this idiotic result will cost 100 trillion $ over the next 84 years. The mitigation of their so called CAGW is the greatest fra-d in history.
Even Dr James Hansen called COP 21 “just BS and fra-d” and he likened a belief in solar and wind energy to a belief in fairy stories.
Remember Harry Markopolas looked at Madoff’s Ponzi scheme DATA and knew it was a fra-d after just five minutes. But the SEC refused to act for another 9 long years. Unbelievable but true. This mitigation fra-d has been going on for decades but few have the guts to even discuss it. Why is that?

Reply to  ngard2016
August 6, 2016 4:27 pm

God knows ngard. I called it fraud well over a decade ago.
Regards, Allan
We have known since about 1985 that global warming alarmism was scientifically wrong – a false crisis.
We have known with greater certainty since about 2002 that it was a deliberate fraud.
Regards to all, Allan

Reply to  Allan MacRae
August 6, 2016 6:38 pm

Allan MacRae commented: “…We have known since about 1985 that global warming alarmism was scientifically wrong – a false crisis. We have known with greater certainty since about 2002 that it was a deliberate fraud….”
That is still being treated as a “conspiracy theory” despite the supporting evidence. The MSM is a strong supporter of the AGW demon.

Reply to  ngard2016
August 6, 2016 5:05 pm

“… but most sceptics refuse to use the best arguments to try and win the day. … Bjorn Lomborg tells us (using IPCC info) that the best result from Paris COP 21 will be 0.05 C to 0.17 C temp reduction by 2100. IOW no measurable difference at all.”
Then surely we must do much more !! . . right? ; )
Thing is, there are opponents in this game . . and one must anticipate counter-moves and diversions, etc. With that approach you mentioned it is important, I feel, to make it clear (first, if at all possible) that dealing with adverse conditions, should they eventually manifest, will be much harder if our economies have been hobbled by pointless sacrifices early on, when we haven’t even developed reliable alternative means of powering those economies.
And, one cannot make every argument clear, every time one tries to deal with something so complex as the CAGW (human induced global warming catastrophy) scheme. . so, you (and I, etc.) are fulfilling a function in this case, right now, which I believe Mr. Ball consciously counts on us to help with, as he tries to tackle large “chunks” of this problem in a dedicated fashion. No need to fault anyone for not doing it all at once, so to speak.

Reply to  ngard2016
August 6, 2016 9:31 pm

ngard2016 August 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm
” most sceptics refuse to use the best arguments to try and win the day”
In other words, $100 Trillion vs a Tiny temp reduction = Frau D
I still think the fear of and fascination with the Warm Apocalypse will prevail along with the same Propaganda Op and Governmental Structure which got the Bureaucrat-Scientists to where they are now. The Unfunded Liabilities of the U.S. Gov’t/Taxpayer are already over $100 Trillion, but it’s other people’s money, the future Generations’, so who cares? And who’s going to do the Prosecuting?
So I’m still going with publicizing the fact that CO2-Climate Change is Scientifically Falsified by the empirical [100%] Prediction Failure of its own hypotheses and that CO2 is Plant Food, thus critical to all life, especially to ours and the Bureaucrats’ themselves. I think that’s a much easier “game” to play.

Reply to  JPeden
August 7, 2016 1:02 am

Good points JPeden. I wrote this in 2011:
The essence of any competent practitioner’s credentials is the ability to predict a result.
However, NOT ONE of the scary predictions of the global warming alarmists has materialized.
The global warmists have NO PREDICTIVE SKILL!
In fact, their predictive skill is negative – to date, their dire predictions have all been FALSE!
Anyone who still listens to them is clearly unaware of this critical fact, or is so brainwashed that facts no longer matter.
Given the negative predictive track record of the warming alarmists, just ask yourself one question:
Would you hire someone with this dismal track record to paint your house, tow your car, or fix your toilet?

Reply to  JPeden
August 7, 2016 9:18 am

Allan MacRae August 7, 2016 at 1:02 am
Good points JPeden. I wrote this in 2011
“However, NOT ONE of the scary predictions of the global warming alarmists has materialized.”

And since 2011 CO2-Climate Science has continued its Perfect Record. They’ve also tried to erase the Pause just as Mann tried to erase the MWP – and what about the Pause from ~1945-1979, what about the WP’s previous to the MWP and the Warmth of Interglacials previous to the Current?
And the IPCC’s AR5 itself has also admitted ~”no increase in Severe Weather such as Drought and Hurricanes” etc; and that ~”Natural Variation will dominate the SRE’s for the next few decades.”
But at any rate, the Dominant Fact about CO2-Climate Science is that it is Scientifically Falsified by its [100%] Prediction Failure!
This is not hard to assert. I’ve tried it out against two Climate Scientists [and many other Believers,even on Twitter~>Silence] one here at WUWT, a cohort [Jay P.] of James Hansen at GISS, and the other offering $30,000 to anyone disproving CO2-Climate Change. I asked both to give just one example of a successful CO2-Climate Science Prediction. They couldn’t, and at first they both didn’t even know that their “Science” had to have successful Predictions [“???”] or that even one failure could Falsify it!
So let’s keep trying it out, especially if we can break through/into the MSM. Trump has a Venue and some form of Anti-CO2-Climate Change, Platform from which to make a big assault on the MSM, and he has promised to “Puncture” their Wall! Let’s all pile-drive into it regardless.
“Mr. Rigged, tear down your Wall!” Otherwise, “We launch in five minutes!” Ronald Reagan,abridged
And thank you again, Dr. Ball!

Reply to  JPeden
August 7, 2016 12:18 pm

I agree JPeden.
Focus on the warmists’ 100% negative predictive track record. You could make a lot of money by just betting against them.
As an aside, your post recalled some memories of 1989, as follows:
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989.
Four months earlier, in July 1989 I travelled through the Wall via Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin. I was with three colleagues on a business trip. It was not a fun trip , but it was highly educational. East Berlin and East Germany were everything Ronald Reagan said they were – repressive, backward, and evil – families were spying on each other and ratting to the Stasi, the dreaded East German Secret Police.
Best, Allan

August 6, 2016 4:16 pm

I don’t think of them as bureaucrats anymore. I think they are more like Apparatchiks. Unthinking and uncaring about anything but holding their position or gaining a higher position within what ever regime they serve. You find them in many places where the system rewards their toeing and repeating what ever the current controlling powers line is at the time. Their only principle is self advancement at any cost. Unfortunately this class of individual has also become an every growing class in the officers in our military also.

August 6, 2016 4:20 pm

Have you heard of bureaucracy say “we are no longer needed and thus should shut down”? Instead, they will magically find some new crisis which will require a larger budget. Or when budget cuts occur, the bureaucracy screams “DON’T SHUT US DOWN OR ELSE THE CHILDREN WILL DIE” or some other emotional hyperbole.
Bureaucracy are masters of inefficiency. If they are successful, then they are shut down. But if they are failures, they live on forever. There is no motivation to fix the problems. The bureaucracy exists to further the needs of the bureaucracy.

August 6, 2016 4:39 pm

clean, clear thought. dr ball is an example worthy of emulation.
such a marked contrast to whiny wannabe demagogues trying to yank chains and whip up a frenzy.
commentary can be done in an entertaining fashion:

but thinking is done calmly and without jeremiads, hysterics or drama.
beware of the one who tries to compel your thoughts. he has no respect for your mind.
learn how to spot a con.

David L. Hagen
August 6, 2016 4:54 pm

Lysenkoism resurrected as “Climate Change”.
Tim Ball’s analysis of bureaucratic coersive “climate change” furthers the argument by Peter Ferrara describing how it is the resurrection of despotic Lysenkoism imposed by extreme environmentalists. Note the quantitative comparisons in:
The Disgraceful Episode Of Lysenkoism Brings Us Global Warming Theory Peter Ferrara, Forbes 28 April 2013

Lysenkoism was “politically correct” (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with certain broader Marxist doctrines. . . . .Scientists who promoted Lysenkoism with faked data and destroyed counter evidence were favored with government funding and official recognition and award. Lysenko and his followers and media acolytes responded to critics by impugning their motives, and denouncing them as bourgeois fascists resisting the advance of the new modern Marxism.. . .
The V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences announced on August 7, 1948 that thenceforth Lysenkoism would be taught as the only correct theory. All Soviet scientists were required to denounce any work that contradicted Lysenkoism. Ultimately, Soviet geneticists resisting Lysenkoism were imprisoned and even executed. Lysenkoism was abandoned for the correct modern science of Mendelian genetics only as late as 1964.
The Theory of Man Caused Catastrophic Global Warming
This same practice of Lysenkoism has long been under way in western science in regard to the politically correct theory of man caused, catastrophic, global warming. That theory serves the political fashions of the day in promoting vastly increased government powers and control over the private economy. Advocates of the theory are lionized in the dominant Democrat party controlled media in the U.S., and in leftist controlled media in other countries. Critics of the theory are denounced as “deniers,” and even still bourgeois fascists, with their motives impugned.
Those who promote the theory are favored with billions from government grants and neo-Marxist environmentalist largesse, and official recognition and award. Faked and tampered data and evidence has arisen in favor of the politically correct theory. Is not man-caused, catastrophic global warming now the only theory allowed to be taught in schools in the West?
Those in positions of scientific authority in the West who have collaborated with this new Lysenkoism because they felt they must be politically correct, and/or because of the money, publicity, and recognition to be gained, have disgraced themselves and the integrity of their institutions, organizations and publications. . . .

When will “climate science” be restored to the scientific method, free from political coercion?

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 7, 2016 8:34 am

When they no longer need a “carbon” tax to bail out Obamacare!

Philip Schaeffer
August 6, 2016 5:22 pm

“No climate research can advance or improve understanding that would benefit people because there is insufficient temporal and spatial data.”
…. I would say that that absolute statement, is absolute rubbish.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 6, 2016 10:19 pm

heh. you uttered an absolute…lol
i think you didn’t understand the point, either.
to provide any practical benefit- aside from purely academic satisfaction, there needs to be some predictive ability.
it seems that low resolution and short time samples don’t get that job done worth a crap.
that’s the reason for the empirical failure of the models that embody the alleged understanding, right?
they aren’t smart enough because they don’t know enough.
if they do know enough, then they are stupid because they still fai.

Reply to  gnomish
August 6, 2016 11:25 pm

In Climate Science, academic satisfaction is our most important product. (Actually, since 90% of what we’ve learned is pseudoscience, most days, academic satisfaction is our ONLY product.)

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2016 4:36 am

“heh. you uttered an absolute…lol”
That’s the joke 😛
“i think you didn’t understand the point, either.”
I think I might.
“to provide any practical benefit- aside from purely academic satisfaction, there needs to be some predictive ability.”
And there is. Not with amazing precision, but useful information nonetheless.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2016 10:29 am

bah- you left out the important part in your statement:
useful to whom and for what?
if your answer is ‘carbon tax’ – let’s talk about schicklgruber’s magnificent watercolors.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 7, 2016 5:56 pm

He doesn’t even use the term “carbon tax” in his article. He made an absolute statement. If it requires a qualifier, he should have specified what it is.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 8, 2016 5:53 pm

Philip Schaeffer: “…. I would say that that absolute statement, is absolute rubbish.”
And you know this how, exactly?

Reply to  catweazle666
August 9, 2016 11:03 am

The key shortage is of the sampling units underlying the climate models. Currently there are none of them but this is only because climatologists have yet to identify them. A set of sampling units could be identified by associating the really existing physical Earth with each element of a partition of the time line starting in the year 1850. If the duration of each element of this partition were to be set to the 30 year period that is traditional for climatology this would produce between 5 and 6 sampling units but 150 is the minimum for construction of and cross validation of a model.
Though 150 is the minimum, climatologists have managed to construct models that appear to policy makers to provide the basis for regulation of Earth’s climate. This appearance has been created through application of various fallacies in making global warming arguments. Prominent among them have been the equivocation and reification fallacies.

Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
August 8, 2016 5:54 pm

“…. I would say that that absolute statement, is absolute rubbish.”
And you know this how, exactly?

Reply to  catweazle666
August 8, 2016 5:54 pm

On second thoughts, don’t bother.
Life’s too short.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
August 6, 2016 5:27 pm

Let me present two widely differing examples of my experiences — In 80s while I was working in Mozambique as FAO expert, scientists working in the neighbouring country [they were formerly my collegues at ICRISAT], they were apprehending that the groundnut crop rust [a disease] is affecting the crop in the neighbouring country after the harvest. They asked my comment on this. I showed them the wind patterns. After seeing this their apprehensions were gone. They wrote the same in their report as this is useful to their further research on the subject matter to ascertain the real causes..
In 2013, WMO Secretary Geneal in his WMO Day speech highlighted the drought in Africa attributing it to global warming. I sent my comment countering this and showed that it is associated with natural variability in rainfall — which I published in 80s. But, the rhetoric didn’t stop, it continued and several reports and research papers were published in the same tone and tenor. Here it is not truth what they wanted but to continue their assertions on global warming by fooling governments and public.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

August 6, 2016 5:38 pm

The future bureaucratic steps for the “West” are as follows: first like Mexico, then like Brazil, then like Venezuela. Of course by then the Russians and Chinese will easily own the “West” but no one will be worrying about climate change.

Bill Illis
August 6, 2016 5:57 pm

We must protect our phoney baloney jobs gentlemen … I didn’t get a Harrumph out of that guy … Climate science in general. Your job is gone if you protest and all our jobs are gone if we don’t keep the phoney baloney going.

August 6, 2016 6:28 pm

Any scientist who has signed a consensus is nothing more than a schill for an agenda.

August 6, 2016 6:41 pm

My favorite comment about bureaucracies is this one, “When ever a bureaucracy is created to solve a problem, the one thing you can be sure of is that the problem will never be solved.” Have education, housing, transportation or so many other so-called “problems” that resulted in new government Departments being created gotten better? Same with the pseudo problem of climate change.

Reply to  Allencic
August 6, 2016 7:00 pm

Exactly Allencic; if you want to keep your job, never solve the problem.

Reply to  Allencic
August 7, 2016 10:16 am

Excellent point Allencic, I have repeatedly said the same thing about the DOE which has spent a fortune and the net amount of energy from those expenditures is minuscule since the 80’s when they started . They lack a sound basis to fund viable alternatives, the agenda is ship the taxpayer money to those who will contribute to the Democratic party. Zero benefits are embedded in any government program due to corruption.
Alternative fuels are a joke at best.

August 6, 2016 6:58 pm

Tim it was refreshing to read the account of your experiences. Like you I once accepted a role as a bureaucrat scientist in charge of an entire field of research for a high profile international corporation. For me it lasted a little less that two years before I discovered science was secondary to policy.
Upton was right. Good quote.

August 6, 2016 7:23 pm

As I write this there are 23 posts, none of which mention Eisenhower’s farewell speech.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. link

I would call it wisdom. We don’t seem to have that any more.

Reply to  commieBob
August 7, 2016 8:20 am

Ike had a lot of “wise” things to say in that farewell speech. Too bad it was for the most part ignored, and those he warned against took charge.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  commieBob
August 7, 2016 8:39 am

Self-interest trumps altruism every time.

Reply to  commieBob
August 7, 2016 9:01 am

“Eisenhower is certainly describing the situation today.
The good news is: The internet gives us the opportunity to change these things.

M Seward
August 6, 2016 7:37 pm

Bureaucrat scientists are just an iteration of ‘science communication’ which is another branch of the philosophical GM tree which produces the fruit that John Ralston Saul calls ‘Voltaire’s Bastards’. The end points of these iterations is something along the lines of the Waffen SS being fed a diet of Soylent Gree.. You can take that metaphorically but given enough time a literal outcome would not surprise me to be brutally honest.

Reply to  M Seward
August 6, 2016 11:01 pm

I used Saul’s book as required reading for a graduate class on geopolitics. One year the book was not available in a Canadian edition. I discovered it was available in the US, but under a different title – Voltaire’s Children.
I don’t know if Saul approved but it struck me as a classic example of what he was writing about in the book.

Reply to  Tim Ball
August 7, 2016 2:17 am

There is an explanation of the underlying neurological processes. In The Master and his Emissary, Iain McGilchrist, a prominent neurologist, develops the argument that we have become too reliant on our brain’s left hemisphere.
The very brief paraphrase is that the left brain is responsible for speech and logic. The right brain puts things in context. It acts as our BS filter.
The most compelling facts in the book describe what happens when the right brain is disabled. Someone with right brain damage is likely to believe anything as long as it isn’t self-contradictory. They will underestimate the difficulty of a task and will usually be disappointed with the results.
Obama gave a speech to a bunch of tech grads and said something like, “You are the folks who get jobs.” A literature professor objected. In a CBC radio interview, she proudly pointed out that her students learned to analyze things based on very little evidence. She, and her ilk, develop the students’ left brains without also developing the right brain.
Henry Mintzberg, an internationally renowned academic and author on business and management points out that most of our MBAs are taught to analyze, and expostulate on, things about which they know virtually nothing.

Based on a study by Henry Mintzberg of 19 Harvard trained CEOs identified as superstars in 1990, ten were outright failures and another four are mediocre at best. Only five of the 19 seemed to be doing all right. link

MBAs, and bureaucrats generally, love process. They believe that the correct process will automatically make things work. They are wrong.
We have the most educated generation in the world’s history. The result is that a bunch of credulous idiots with no BS filters are running the country. That’s why CAGW has taken hold so firmly in the minds of our elites.

John Robertson
August 6, 2016 8:20 pm

Good post Dr Ball.
I think we are witnessing the creation/exposure of a whole new ethic for work and personal responsibility.
Good Enough For Government.
Where performance is nonexistent and the acceptable punishment for idiocy is promotion..
That epiphany when the taxpayer realizes, the whole bunch are incompetent and arrogant in their ignorance.
It is not the bureaucrat scientist, that is Bureaucrat, plain and simple.
The public interest these parasites constantly mention is not the interest of those who pay taxes..
Bureaucracy and fire have much in common.
Both are useful servants .
Both seek to consume every resource available.

August 6, 2016 9:04 pm

According to those who believe in the AGW conjecture, the science is already settled so there is no reason to spend any more money studying it any further For those who do not believe in the AGW conjecture, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans and Mankind does not have the power to change it..We should not be wasting money trying to solve problems that we just cannot solve. There are a lot better things to be wasting our money on. For the IPCC, the most important thing for them to accomplish is to very accurately determine the climate sensitivity of CO2. In their first report the IPCC published a wide range of possible values for the climate sensitivity of CO2. In their last report the IPCC published the exact same numbers. So after more than two decades of effort the IPCC has learned nothing that would allow them to decrease the range of their guesses one iota. At the rate they are going an infinite time will pass and an infinite amount of money will be spent without any progress what so ever. Sounds like it is time stop wasting money funding he IPCC. The money is needed else were to help solve problems that can be solved.

August 6, 2016 9:07 pm

Karl feared the change coming. Just sayin…….
Rightly so, as what was to be in fear of, was his doing …….
The rats always flee the burning ship intakes.

Louis LeBlanc
August 6, 2016 9:27 pm

Excellent review. If only the general population could (or would) read this and understand this crisis in the scientific community — but they are occupied with Pokémon Go.

Mark Gilbert
Reply to  Louis LeBlanc
August 7, 2016 6:44 am

Lol. okay I am enraptured with Pokemon Go. There are endless distractions, but they are not the problem.
Little people like me necessarily spend so much time making a living and surviving, and to do so we cannot in our work distract or enrage our coworkers and customers. I see the groundswell all around me, but the evil genius of the political strategy to create fear and hate makes it an issue the common man cannot approach without irreparable damage to our earning ability.
We need to embarrass the media, so badly, that their cohorts cannot resist reporting on it
That is their true weakness, the circular firing squad.
Dinesh D’souza is on the right track, but attacking politicians is the wrong tack, we expect so very little (for very good reason) of them.
The media however has the facade of truth and integrity, and with the money and collusion it could be explosive. Just saying.

August 6, 2016 10:22 pm

The effect of the unions, they fully recognizing that socialism means everyone will work for the government, but each of the Feds will control an economic sector or captives, plays a huge part. I know. I worked for a decade under this appalling inefficient philosophy.

August 6, 2016 10:39 pm

Soon, Soros will sell all his US coal holdings at garage sale prices to China, and Phase I of Obama’s “climate” agenda will have been successfully concluded.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
August 7, 2016 3:06 am

And then, five years later, King Coal makes a triomphant comeback and the US is totally in hock to the Chinese. Bye-bye Land of the Free.

August 7, 2016 12:33 am

Why do folks here continually describe the retirement of a man after 41 years of service as a ‘resignation’?
Is it a policy or something?

Reply to  DWR54
August 7, 2016 2:00 am

Sure . . a policy. To continually describe the retirement of a man after 41 years of service as a ‘resignation’, or be banned from the site. Weird, I know, but it’s rarely enforced.

August 7, 2016 12:58 am

“The entire global warming/climate change deception is possible and continues because it was created by scientist bureaucrats. It is inherently contrary to the proper practice of science for them to work for government. ”
OK Mr Ball, then would you accept the findings findings of Exxon’s scientists?

Steve T
Reply to  Toneb
August 7, 2016 3:49 am

August 7, 2016 at 12:58 am
OK Mr Ball, then would you accept the findings findings of Exxon’s scientists?

Nice link Toneb, giving the impression that Exxon still believe that CAGW is real. The link identifies the conclusions that Exxon reached back in the early 1980’s. Their information was then published in prominent peer reviewed journals, despite the harm it may have caused them.
However since then, none of the predictions/projections have come to pass and the accuracy of the early “science” is increasingly being questioned – as it should be using the scientific method.
We are now talking thirty five years on, and still no catastrophic apocalypse or evidence of impending doom. We have instead, a continuing mild warming since the depths of “the little ice age”. Even this is mostly due to two recent large El Nino’s, which just about everyone accepts are not linked to CO2.
Now they’re not so sure and are using their resources (not taxpayers money) under “the scientific method” to test the CAGW hypothesis by closer examination of its claims and finding they are unsupported by the evidence.
In fact, as a company they appear to be far more ethical in their approach than those depending on government grants. After early first attempts to analyse where the climate was headed and believing the CAGW hypothesis, they now recognise the flaws in said analysis and are saying that massive (costly) changes are not warranted based on current knowledge. The fact that they are once again using their own resources to make sure that the “other” side of the argument is heard is entirely right and proper.

Reply to  Steve T
August 7, 2016 8:22 am

The post was for Mr Ball my friend I accept none of the things you state about the none existent CAGW theory is an invention of sceptics – it is AGW and there are no predictions (via consensus) of any “C” proportions forecast for some decades.
Again, Mr Ball – do you accept the Exxon climate scientists findings, as, after all they were not Goverment scientists – and the gist of the above is that ergo, only scientists that are independent of government can be trusted.
And, to boot, with Exxon paying their wages they were Turkeys voting for Christmas.
Science is science no matter who the employer.

Reply to  Toneb
August 8, 2016 5:59 pm

Toneb: “Science is science no matter who the employer.”
Unless it’s climate “science”, obviously.

Reply to  Steve T
August 7, 2016 9:17 am

“it is AGW and there are no predictions (via consensus) of any “C” proportions forecast for some decades.”
Every time a storm blows up, alarmists claim it is CAGW. Worse than “normal”, which is the definition of CAGW. Do they not?
If it’s not worse than “normal”, then how can it be caused by humans? But alarmists claim it *is* worse than normal. They are claiming we are *currently* experiencing CAGW, with every outrageous claim of this kind they make.

Reply to  Toneb
August 7, 2016 3:50 am

You think Exxon’s vast enterprise can’t harbour just one alarmist?
Fact is that Exxon has heard hundreds of opinions just like everyone else, there is no proof of anything, just conjecture and evidence weights heavily on the null hypothesis (Missing hotspot, radiation to space increases with surface temperature instead of decreasing as per the models) – That CO2 has little significant bearing on the climate – not one climate scientist has any clue what the weather will be like in 100 Years. The problem they are claiming to be solving (Navier Stokes) cannot be solved as announced by the IPCC in AR3. The atmosphere is an open, coupled, non-linear, chaotic system which has no stable computational solution. The models do not and cannot work.
Frankly computer models can barely work out tomorrows weather, let alone 100 years hence.
If I was a shareholder of Exxon and found that they followed the advice of this zealot and began wasting billions on unwarranted green boondoggles, I’d be calling for the CEOs immediate resignation and prosecution for wanton deceit of shareholders

Reply to  bobl
August 7, 2016 1:15 pm

“Frankly computer models can barely work out tomorrows weather, let alone 100 years hence.”
Plus absolute shedloads – here in the British Isles, at least, and maybe elsewhere . . . . . .
And, unless a major system is coming in – ‘Tomorrow will be similar to today’ works.
It did in the early sixties, when, with Upstill, Nancekevill, and Dixon, I gave ‘forecasts’ to Mrs. Elam’s class, which were as good as the Met Office of those days.
Today –
Ohhhh – no change.
Tomorrow will be very similar to today.
Unless a major system is coming in [rom the West is understood in the UK]
bobl – thanks!

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Toneb
August 7, 2016 9:00 am

Whoa there, Skippy. Many, if not most skeptics/climate realists say that AGW, the idea that man’s CO2 probably has some warming effect is probably true, although no “fingerprint” has yet been found. Unfortunately for you Alarmists though, that means that there is in fact no cause for alarm, or even concern, which means that policy-wise, mankind would indeed be foolish to change his energy systems based merely on some fantasized “threat”.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 7, 2016 3:04 am

It was said at the time that the only ones for whom Copenhagen was a resounding success were taxi drivers and prostitutes.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 7, 2016 1:17 pm

Not sure about the taxi drivers . . . . .

August 7, 2016 4:21 am

the UN has raised bureaucracy to an art form.

Reply to  chaamjamal
August 8, 2016 2:43 pm

An enlightening overview, I feel, chaamjamal, thank you. Perhaps an article could be written for publication here (if it hasn’t already). It seems to me there is a widespread lack of understanding (and therefor suspicion ; ) regarding what the UN really is and does . .

August 7, 2016 5:33 am

I know 2 career meteorologists that each have 20 plus years at the NWS and they say you don’t dare question anything or say anything about what they privately call “the speculation”. And I understand their reticence because they are very well rewarded financially for what amounts to a part-time job with at least one international junket thrown in per year. Things you don’t talk about at work: religion, politics, science…

Reply to  mairon62
August 7, 2016 8:24 am

As an employee of the UKMO for 32 years the above is nothing I recognise.

Reply to  Toneb
August 7, 2016 11:19 pm

As long as you don’t challenge the pseudo-science that is produced by the IPCC and supported by the UKMO you won’t know. Try it and let us know what happens. If you argue the science is correct then you are incompetent and part of the problem.
Enjoy your big government pension.

Reply to  Toneb
August 8, 2016 6:03 pm

Toneb: “As an employee of the UKMO for 32 years the above is nothing I recognise.”
Ah, that would explain it.
“Barbecue summer”, anyone?

August 7, 2016 6:26 am

This is the problem:

August 7, 2016 9:32 am

Bureaucracies are necessary. Every business is a bureaucracy. Bureaucracies focus a group of people on a set of objectives, and can work very well under certain circumstances, good leadership being a requirement.
The problem with bureaucracies is they get too big. A 1,500 person bureaucracy can function very well and efficiently, whereas a 15,000 person bureaucracy will become so unwieldy that it is impossible to get things done, or change things.
I had personal experience with this working in a 1,500 person company that was lean and mean, and then working for a 15,000 person company, in the same business, whose bureaucracy was almost impossible to wade through. In the small company, ideas could go from the bottom to the top. In the large company, the ideas only came down from the top.
The best bureaucracy is the smallest bureaucracy that can get the job done. The bigger they get, the bigger the problems with their proper functioning get.
Good leadership can cure a multitude of ills, even in a big bureaucracy, but the ideal with bureaucracies, as with goverment in general, is the smaller, the better.

Reply to  TA
August 7, 2016 1:29 pm

Similar, but slightly off thread, is my belief [almost a religious belief] that if any checklist has more than five items [to be checked ‘Yes’ or ‘No’] it is almost useless, as those using it will (sooner rather than later) just go ‘tickticktictictictitititititttttttttt. Done!’
And the item – supposedly checked?
Yeah Right . . . .
They were OK last year . . . . . . .
I try to devise short checklists that need a – real – answers to half their questions.
Who checked the steering gear and found it OK?
What initial range is the Radar set up on? 3cm? 10cm?
Hard work.
Auto, still trying to get my fleet to concentrate on preparing for sea.
The sea – the ocean – is the most challenging environment on the planet [excluding high mountains, which are not regularly visited by thousands. There are something like 100,000 serious seafaring ships. An average may be that one fifth of them set to sea each day
Yet, sadly, accident reports indicate that not all have done a real ‘pre-sailing checklist’ properly.
When did you last check tyres [tires], water, oil, etc., on your car?

August 7, 2016 9:33 am
Joe Crawford
Reply to  rogerknights
August 7, 2016 10:30 am

A good book on the growth of bureaucracies, independent of their original purpose is C. Northcote Parkinson’s study of the British Admiralty Parkinson’s Law.

Roger Graves
August 7, 2016 11:29 am

Large public sector bureaucracies are but a symptom of a larger problem, which is that governments have grown too large. When you have far more people than are required to perform the necessary functions of government (whatever those might be), they tend to find other things to do, such as developing and enforcing regulations on things that have no real need to be regulated. CO2 and AGW are merely an excuse to find something to do to justify their existence.
A case in point. A few years ago the city of Ottawa, Canada became a much larger metropolis by amalgamating all the surrounding municipalities into it. All the constituent parts had their own planning departments, and all those planning departments were amalgamated into a mega-department without any layoffs. As was to be expected, this created massive duplications. The average time required to obtain planning approval for a new building such as a garage or a barn before amalgamation was a few weeks. Post amalgamation it became two years.
The only way to deal with this problem is to trim the bureaucracy with a chainsaw every ten years or so. Civil servants should be made acutely aware that they are servants, not masters.

Reply to  Roger Graves
August 7, 2016 12:50 pm

“…civil servants…”
Well said. These have also been known as “politicians.” Now that that term has so many well-earned negative associations, the press has adopted the term ” policy makers.” And the loyalty of policymakers is mainly to environmentalists. As Dr. Ball relates,
“The only evidence about the value of the work the climate scientists were doing came from climate scientists. This is how science bureaucrats maintain control. They say you politicians don’t understand what we are doing. So what did the politician do? Capitulation and an unnecessary compromise.”
It has became so extreme that intn’l environmentalist NGO s are implementing plans in regional agreements and local laws. WUWT has carried the story of state AGs working with ngos using their positions to prosecute businesses and individuals.
The untold story is that businesses are also under pressure to adopt green inefficiencies and expenses.
Any people in office or in business who still regard us, their fellow Americans, as the Customer deserve our thanks and our highest respect and our support.
But in the new system, the NGOs and environmentalists are the only Customer. Because Science. Because Experts.

flyover bob
August 7, 2016 4:27 pm

Bureaucratic Scientists? Oxymoron?

August 7, 2016 8:35 pm

This seems more like an ascension to the throne by the king’s idiot son than a well thought out advancement of a science-neutral and well qualified person of highest integrity and capability. Long live the king, I guess.

August 8, 2016 1:14 pm

Contrary to Dr. Ball’s assertion, climate models do not make “failed” predictions but rather make no predictions. A model that makes predictions makes a conditional prediction aka “predictive inference.” The latter is an extrapolation from the observed state of nature in the model’s condition space to the unobserved but observable state of nature in the model’s sample space. For today’s climate models there is nothing matching this description.

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