An Open Letter to an Alarmist Shill

On September 9, 2016, Quadrant Online published the following open letter from Graham Woods to Brian Cox. Grahan Woods is an Australian PhD.

By cellanr - Prof Brian Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0,
By cellanr – Prof Brian Cox, CC BY-SA 2.0,


Dear Brian,

I’d appreciate your response to this email, which deals with your recent appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program.

First, I want to make it clear that, where you’re concerned, I’m not a ‘vexatious invigilator’. My wife and I (each with an earned PhD) have watched most of your TV programs, and have been struck by their intellectual clarity and your unassuming personal style (as well as by your BMI: we’re high-level wellness devotees). With that said, we both have serious misgivings about your recent appearance on Q&A.

No pronouncement that enjoys an audience has zero social consequences, and the more prominent the pronouncer the more significant the consequences are likely to be. Your recent Q&A appearance brings that out well. You were treated like a science guru, both by the audience and by compere Tony Jones, and it’s inevitable that what you said will affect the opinions of hundreds, probably thousands, of people.

You might disagree, but I’d argue that your authority carries a responsibility: a responsibility to ensure that your audience (whether that’s one person or thousands) is not misled by your pronouncements. It’s difficult to evade the conclusion that, on this recent occasion, you didn’t live up to that responsibility.

The letter continues with detailed arguments. From the Quadrant article, it appears that Brian Cox did not respond.

Full letter here:

For those that do not know Brian Cox, he is a brilliant TV presenter of science, who has brought an interest in science and the wonder of the world and of the universe into many people’s lives [well, that’s my opinion, anyway].

Graham Woods’ letter challenges Brian Cox on his (Brian Cox’s) recent appearance on the Australian TV panel program Q&A. It is [again, in my opinion] an excellent letter, polite and carefully reasoned, that points out the flaws in Brian Cox’s statements and arguments on Q&A, in particular the fact that he took part in “the attempted ‘credibility destruction’ of a person who had obviously been set up to be ambushed” and his statement that “The absolute – absolute – consensus is that human action is leading to an increase in average temperatures.“. The letter is well worth reading in its entirety.

Graham Woods’ letter goes on to “help people understand what sort of world they’ll inhabit if fossil-sourced substances are taken off the menu.”.

One of the things that struck me about Graham Woods’ letter is how difficult it is for individuals to stand up against the mainstream in any field, and in particular in science. Brian Cox, from a position of scientific authority, can have a high impact with a very few simple but incorrect statements, yet it takes pages of detailed argument to even begin to refute them – and then it is far too easy for all those pages of arguments to be ignored. (Anthony Watts would be well aware of this, of course – years of argument and evidence on WUWT, even though they have an amazingly wide audience, have so far simply been ignored).

One of the ways that Brian Cox tried to evade responsibility for his statements was highlighted by Graham Woods: “Your implicit invitation, that people do their own research, is disingenuous: you know, as well as I do, that most people won’t do their own research, and that many are simply not capable of it. The vast majority of the world’s public look to respected spokespersons such as you to instruct them about what they should think and believe. You have a profound duty of care to instruct them even-handedly and fairly; I believe you failed in that duty on the recent Q & A.“. Well, I have a Mathematics background, and not only do I try to check anything that is said by anyone on either side of the argument rather than just accept it, but I have attempted to do my own research. I have been honoured – and fortunate – to have some of it published on WUWT. I would like to add my support to Graham Woods by supplying links to it here. [I am not a Quadrant Online subscriber, so I can’t post them there]. If anyone knows Graham Woods or how to contact him, please forward this article to him. I would like him to know that he has support, and to provide him with supporting arguments from a different angle.

and the four-part series:

If Graham Woods is not already familiar with WUWT, then simply bringing WUWT into his line of vision may also be very helpful.


Mike Jonas

September 2016

Mike Jonas (MA Maths Oxford UK) retired some years ago after nearly 40 years in I.T.

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September 11, 2016 11:10 pm

Brian Cox was a scientist once.
Now he is an ambassador for the alarmists.
Pity he couldn’t/wouldn’t follow his own advice and do the research himself.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 12:44 am
If he couldn’t do any research about the Moon, don’t expect him to research anything else! The guy’s a fool.

Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 3:45 am

Do you have any references for how the adjustments are validated? I’ve just
skimmed through Brohan et al. 2005 for their evaluation of uncertainty in the
HadCRUT3v data set. It appears their validation is applying their statistical
method to GCM output which has been ‘coloured’ with ‘random noise’. These
seem circular to me. Also, their evaluation of measurement error is wrong.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 9:38 am

Jon, I’ve published two papers showing the measurement errors hidden in Brohan 2006, both open access. The first here, and the second here, each about 1 MB download pdf. The analysis for a third paper is nearly finished. The field is a misleading mess.

Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 11:25 am

@Pat Frank: If it’s that misleading why didn’t you publish your criticism in a decent journal?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 11:42 am

Dave, first off, E&E is a “decent” journal, especially given Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen’s courageous editorial and professional stand against what she’s termed the war against carbon. E&E is one of the few journals that will publish papers critical of the so-called consensus position.
Second I initially tried publishing that work in the AMS Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. The manuscript pretty much passed peer-review — one of four reviewers remained opposed, but I showed his objections to be flat wrong. The manuscript editor then came up with his own wrong objection, denied me any opportunity of reply, and refused publication.
Similar violations of ethics have consistently plagued my attempts to publish critical manuscripts in mainstream climate journals.
These are the wages of politicized science, Dave. Critical papers are blocked from publication, and then charges are leveled at critics for not having published anything.
Finally, go ahead and read my papers. They’re open to you. I’m happy to entertain any criticisms you might make about their merits. And it is scientific merit that determines their validity, isn’t it; not whether the journal of record is considered “decent” by some.

Bryan A
Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 12:39 pm

Graham Woods missed another salient point on who would be affected. The vast multitudes of people that are dependant on Pharmaceuticals those suffering with
Renal Failure
Heart Failure
Pulminary Disease
Arthritis (RA)
and countless other diseases that require medication for symptomatic relief and daily functionality
Most of these also are dependant of the use of fossil energy for affordability and fossil byproducts
Multitudes would parish or be unable to function at a level beyond 60%

Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 2:31 pm

@ Pat Frank…I seriously doubt that Dave has the ability to review a work such as yours. For example look at my comment to him regarding a comment he made earlier today. His comments shows that he either wears blinders, and/or is extremely biased in his viewpoints. …

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jay Hope
September 12, 2016 4:23 pm

goldminor, where there’s life, there’s hope. 🙂

Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 12:59 am

I hope you check your doctor’s view on climate before accepting treatment…
Any MD who accepts the science of climate change obviously loses all scientific credibility and thus shouldn’t be treating patients..
Heck, anyone in NASA automatically invalidates their research into exo-planets, or comets, or Pluto by accepting the science of climate change. They obviously faked the moon landings, as they faked the climate data, right?

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 1:21 am

Well, a small part of NASA did make alterations to the temperature record of the past, numerous times, as shown many times. Or are you implying that change never occurred? I must say, it is disappointing when people try to claim that faked moon landings is akin for being aware of the fact that temperature records were changed. Or trying to link NASA’s work with eco-plants to being the same department who studies climate…
Ultimately, a scientist appeared on a show, without being overly informed of the subject matter, and began by insisting the science was clear and was mocking anyone who denied it, all under the guise of he is a scientist, so he know what he talks about.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 2:12 am

“Any MD who accepts the science of climate change obviously loses all scientific credibility and thus shouldn’t be treating patients..”
MDs have programs to keep them up to date in their own fields of expertise. Outside of that, they generally have to rely on trusted advisors. An MD that believes in man-made global warming (Note: not climate change; of course the climate changes constantly, and completely naturally) is simply ill-informed. They just need to find more trustworthy sources of advise.
Which brings up the fact that these alarmist shills are systematically denying their opponents the right to speak. The ABC Q&A program is a particular case in point. Well known for hard-left panels that set up a single dissident, as well as highly partisan audiences.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 3:27 am

There are adjustments on the temperature data, yes, by adjustments which are a scientific/statistical methodology which is well accepted within science.
Here’s a posting on skeptic Judith Curry’s blog on its validity.
(and you know the satellite temp series are multiply ‘adjusted’ right?)
I notice you don’t comment on the qualifications and statements of his chief opponent on that show – which are dubious and non-science based…

Ron Clutz
Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 5:25 am

The GISS graph used by Cox is untrustworthy.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 8:04 am

John, September 12, 2016 at 1:21am. I can only assume you have an insular existence. My time in the military made me keenly aware of the scandals, in other branches, as I found myself being queried about the events. I can not see how the scientists could be unaware of the issues in other departments that affect the credibility of NASA, and their field of study.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 9:11 am

I had a joke for this, something about depth of thought and kiddy-pools.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 9:26 am

They obviously faked the moon landings, as they faked the climate data, right?

Troll. Lew’s Moon hoax stuff was a hoax itself. Your call.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 10:17 am

Once again Griff demonstrates why he gets so little respect around here.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 11:25 am

That’s called a straw-man argument. Look it up. The fact that you would stoop to such tactics means that you have no cogent arguments. This is why you are mostly ignored here.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 11:34 am

Anyone ever notice how Griff, just loses perspective of the article and discussion then wanders off in his hunt for assumptions and conspiracies?
If his writing was a little more obtuse, he could be Loserandownsky researching his next fabrications.

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 12:03 pm

“Griff September 12, 2016 at 3:27 am
There are adjustments on the temperature data, yes, by adjustments which are a scientific/statistical methodology which is well accepted within science.

Data should never be ‘adjusted’ in place. Any correction or adjustment of data without full and detailed justification should be criminal acts and treated as such.
Any adjusted data used for presentations should include full disclosure, including ranges (errors) of adjustments.
Every temperature station is one unique station and data entry point. Every unique data entry station has it’s own error susceptibilities and range. These errors are cumulative.
Currently the “What’s in that MMTS Beehive Anyway?” land based temperature measurement system ignores these errors, making all ‘global temperatures and claimed anomalies’ impossible.
Every individual temperature correction must be documented with explicit reason, who, when, who authorized, etc.
Scientific/statistical methodology is mumbo jumbo sophistry meaning “incompetents work here”.

” Here’s a posting on skeptic Judith Curry’s blog on its validity.

Oh!? A confirmation bias article by Zeke?
I gather, that you Griff, with your usual total lack of reading comprehension did not read the comments.

“(and you know the satellite temp series are multiply ‘adjusted’ right?)

Oh!? Explain each and every ‘multiply’ adjustment then! We want to know details… Otherwise you’re just taking ex-admiral twaddle’s off the cuff explanation for why he didn’t like satellite temperatures.

“I notice you don’t comment on the qualifications and statements of his chief opponent on that show – which are dubious and non-science based…

Absolute confirmation that griffypoo, never reads the articles or most comments.
Read the article griffy, before making grossly wrong statements.

Science or Fiction
Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 1:51 pm

@ Griff
I think you are confusing various parts of NASA with each other. The climate part wouldn´t be able to put anything on the moon. Regarding fake, the following chart demonstrates the best correlation ever seen within climate science. Unfortunately, it demonstrates near perfect correlation between adjustments and CO2.comment image
The adjustments are not at all plausible. Have a look at this article.

Bryan A
Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 2:15 pm

Actually the moon lnading wasn’t faked, the data was only adjusted be NASA so thht the rocket was launched in 1968 but didn’t land until 1970

Reply to  Griff
September 12, 2016 3:51 pm

A better viewpoint isn’t that the moon landings were faked but that one usually has to actually take a second to think about it since large governments with many unethical groups have the ability (re. many past examples) for corrupt coverups. So not much would be surprising including maladjustment of temperature data or a faked moon landing. Hence the old unfortunate saying, governments are a necessary evil, evil, evil,,,,,,,,,,,

Reply to  Griff
September 13, 2016 12:54 am

Quite familiar with homogenisation. Of course, correcting errors in data is important, but it is equally, perhaps even more important, to be completely open about how and why, otherwise who is to say what the error was? The most curious thing for me is the lack of openness on the subject. Added to the fact that these homogenisations seem to cool the past and warm the more recent present. I’m not saying these changes are unjustified, as one would need to know the method and reasoning to understand it; I’m saying the process and review process in which these changes are carried out is not correct, which ultimately leads to what some people may refer to as conspiracy theories.
I don’t remember where, but I think I remember reading that less than 10% of the original USHCN data has survived without being adjusted in some way. That’s scary and to me it raises concerns about US surface data both prior and after the satellite era.

Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 5:00 am

Brian Cox flaunted the usual temperature graph, which shows an increase of 0.8 +/- 0.1 K from 1850 to 2015, during which time CO2 increased from 280 to 400 ppmv. According to the IPCC, climate sensitivity on doubling CO2 is 1 K (not counting feedbacks), and 3 K when feedbacks due to increasing water vapour are included (so they invoke a 200% positive feedback). According to , the relation between CO2 concentration increase from C0 to C and the forcing that would result is “delta F” = 5.35 ln(C/C0) . So if C = 2C0 (on doubling CO2), “delta F” = 5.35 ln2 = 3.7 W/m^2, which agrees with the change calculated from models of molecular spectra (which really are “settled science”, unlike the models predicting global warming). For energy balance, 240 W/m^2 must escape the TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere) in the form of infrared (IR), and this corresponds to the emission of a perfect Planck black body (emissivity 1) at 255 K. Check: the Stefan-Boltzmann law says outgoing flux = 5.67 x 10^-8 x (255 K)^4 = 240 W/m^2. So if we add the radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m^2 to 240 W/m^2 , 243.7 W/m^2 would be the TOA flux. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law backwards, the temperature of a perfect Planck black body emitting 243.7 W/m^2 would be the 4th root of [ 243.7/(5.67 x 10^-8)] = 256.05 K. This is 1.05 K higher than the 255 K necessary for energy balance. This confirms the usual estimate of 1 K on doubling CO2 (not including feedbacks).
OK, now let’s do something that Brian Cox (and every other “expert” believing in the IPCC mantra) has failed to do with these same numbers and formulae: Substitute C0 = 280 and C = 400 for ppmv CO2 to get “delta F” = 5.35 ln(400/280) = 1.908 W/m^2. Add this to 240 W/m^2 to get 241.908 W/m^2, which corresponds to a new temperature of the 4th root of [241.908/(5.67 x 10^-8)] = 255.57 K. This means a temperature change of 0.57 K (not including feedbacks). Assuming a 200% positive feedback, this means a temperature change of 3(0.57) = 1.71 K should have occurred from 1850 to 2015. This is a factor of 1.71/0.8 = 2.1 times the actual historical warming, and way outside the error bars of +/- 0.1 degree. This means that the long-held value of 3 K warming on doubling CO2 is at least a factor of 2 too large. And this still assumes that all of the historical warming was due to CO2 and related feedbacks. If decreased cloud cover (correlated with Solar activity) caused some of the measured warming, then the CO2 effect will be even less important. In the calculations above, I added the radiative forcing. Since increased CO2 decreases temporarily the flux outward, we might have subtracted instead of adding the forcing, but of course this too would result in a smaller climate sensitivity, contrary to the desires of the cultists believing in CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) or CACC.

Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 5:22 am

I forgot to add that the 3.7 W/m^2 for radiative forcing is calculated from spectra necessarily for a cloud-free surface of the Earth, with CO2 reducing flux in the entire path length to the TOA (which should be taken as 70 km). Because clouds are made up of essentially Planck black bodies in the form of water droplets or ice crystals, they are opaque to infrared (IR), even though they only partially absorb incoming visible radiation (clouds are not pitch black when we look up toward the Sun through them). Doubling CO2 will not change the net absorption between the Earth’s surface and cloud top very much, since this depends only on the difference between the Planck black body emissions (e.g. between the 4th powers of 288 K and 278 K). Any extra absorption on doubling CO2 between cloud top and the TOA will be considerably less than 3.7 W/m^2 because (1) a 278 K Planck black body emits less initial radiation, (2) there are fewer CO2 molecules in the path length, and (3) the extra absorption is due mainly to CO2 molecules in the first excited state, and at lower temperatures overall, there is a smaller fraction in these excited states. So when the 62% of the Earth’s surface that is covered with clouds is considered, the radiative forcing will be significantly less than 3.7 W/m^2. In addition, the emission at central CO2 frequencies near 667 cm^-1 will increase in the stratosphere when CO2 is doubled, and this will also decrease the net radiative forcing.

Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 5:43 am

rogertaguchi writes:
‘let’s do something that Brian Cox (and every other “expert” believing in the IPCC mantra) has failed to do’
I think that most of them have made this calculation and they would claim that the answer is that it takes time to reach equilibrium.
They may be wrong, and it may be that this is not a good explanation.
However, by posing things in this way – that the “experts” have never addressed this point – in my opinion you make it more likely that informed people will discount your views.

David Wells
Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 6:53 am

You could easily have avoided all of this complication by just saying that as temperature has always risen before Co2 outgassed in response to warming then how can it be that more or less Co2 has anything other than extremely almost microscopic effect on the global average temperature especially as temperature declines Co2 follows suit some time later. Even doing the calculations gives some degree of comfort to those who want to believe that Co2 is the defining instrument within our climate when in reality there remains no evidence other than hypothesis.

Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 9:23 am

My response to people who say these alarmist things is :
“This is not the way scientists talk.” They don’t talk about consensus.”
Real scientists are able to refer to real examples in their responses and if necessary get down to pencil and paper and “compute” the answer. They don’t depend on consensus. Scientists know that consensus doesn’t mean anything. Nature has a way of tricking us and frequently consensus is wrong. All we can say is according to this theory (ex. Quantum mechanics) which has been tested to 12 digits of precision in billions of experiments over the years we can compute this answer. Computer climate models have not been tested, they aren’t accurate and they aren’t proved so such arguments are impossible for them.
Another approach he could have taken which might have been much more successful is to point out the missed predictions of the science. They have said at least 50+ things which have all turned out false. He could have made a laundry list of the failures and asked: We are supposed to believe it is all settled when you discovered just these things you didn’t know 10 years ago?
check out my blog:

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 11:27 am

He was a rock and roller once. He should have stuck to it or perhaps he was as bad at that as science

Reply to  Felflames
September 12, 2016 6:22 pm

He was clearly unprepared for the Q&A and the only tactic he used to support the authority being challenged was to appeal to that authority. Kind of sad …

September 11, 2016 11:18 pm

Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
Professor Bran Cox. Another ‘influencial’ public figure ingratiated in the fashionable, virtue-signalling and ever-lucrative world of “Climate Crisis Inc.”
And he had the perfect audience and forum to spout his activist-NASA derived climate propaganda within the gushing walls of the (their) ABC’s “QandA” echo chamber.
A PhD should know better.

September 11, 2016 11:23 pm

Yes, Brian Cox did not do his own research very well. He acted as thought NASA and NOAA were perfect and did not adjust their data and totally ignored the satellite temperature data. Unfortunately the other side of the discussion did not present this other information. Clear Brian showed his bias.

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  interested1945
September 12, 2016 1:17 pm

Unfortunately, professional MSM scaremongers like Brian Cox are to be found in every country where the MSM are totally infiltrated by totalitarian eco-zealots. For instance, here is a report about Brian Cox’s German propaganda comrade Harald Lesch:
I think such people know quite well that they do often lie to the public or overstate possible future dangers shamelessly, but they feel free to do so because of their vigorous “Nobel Cause Corruption”.
It is the same with many left-wing politicians who are convinced that a lie is OK if it will help their “Nobel Cause” like e.g. former Swiss environment minister Leuenberger: ‘Now I believe the lie is legitimate if it is for the good.’”
See more at:

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  Gentle Tramp
September 13, 2016 2:45 am

Oops – “Noble Cause Corruption” of course! Oh these sneaky typos… 😉

September 11, 2016 11:30 pm

I lost all faith in Brian Cox whilst listening to him being interviewed on the radio. Mr Cox informed the public that there are an infinite number of parallel universes (by cosmologist consensus) in which ‘every physical possibility’ is being played out simultaneously. He said to the interviewer,
“In one of these other universes I will be interviewing you- and I’ll be wearing that sweater!”

Reply to  nuwurld
September 11, 2016 11:58 pm

“…. and in yet another, I will know what I am talking about !! ”
All things are possible in an infinite number of parallel universes

Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2016 12:29 am

Too funny!!!

richard verney
Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2016 2:30 am

And in that alternative ‘universe’, Cox will be arguing the very opposite to that which he is contenting in our ‘universe’
He will be arguing that anyone who considers there merit in AGW (in this context Alien Global Warming) is unscientific and off their rocker.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2016 10:19 am

‘Infinite’ is not a number.
No number is, by definition, infinite.
The term ‘infinite number’ is like comparing apples with eating. It is an oxymoron.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 12:38 am

Multiverse theory is a good way of attracting the attention of a viewer.
Its hardly a theory, at best an unproveable hypothesis.
That’s because such universes must, by definition, be unobservable from our universe.
They are a way of explaining ‘everything’.
Everything that possibly can exist or will exist, exists in at least one of these states, or so the theory plays out, despite a lack of any evidence.
That includes god, flying spaghetti monsters, fairies at the bottom of the garden and people with your sweater on.
Some of these universes may even contain people who demand empirical evidence and testable hypotheses.
Perhaps one will be discovered some day soon, right here.

Reply to  lewispbuckingham
September 12, 2016 1:10 pm

I like that Lewis.

Reply to  lewispbuckingham
September 12, 2016 4:12 pm

Ah but Deutsch says that the many universe theory is the perfect explanation for the double slit experiment where one electron or photon at a time will still form an interference pattern because those entities are actually interacting with “shadow” other universe electrons/photons. Since there is no other concrete explanation, that one appears more logical than any other.

Reply to  lewispbuckingham
September 12, 2016 11:19 pm

BFL. The ‘single’ photon or electron is the illusion. Every point in space is from all angles penetrated by billions of photons and particles continuously. The materials that border the slits are made of subatomic particles whose probability density functions extend beyond macroscopic bounds. ‘Information’ about local space is more likely to come from ‘interference’ here than elsewhere in another parallel universe, don’t you think?

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 12:42 am

@nuwurl Well, yes, that’s indeed the conclusion from the infinite parallel universes hypothesis.

Reply to  Troed Sångberg
September 12, 2016 12:42 pm

Troed, I think I’ll satisfy myself that if this notion is true then there are an infinite number of universes ‘exactly the same as this one’, and not worry too much about the rest.
Best regards.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 12:43 am

In one the alternative realities, did Obama stop the rising sea levels?

Reply to  gbaikie
September 12, 2016 8:03 am

No, Obama was stopped by Neptune, the sea-god.

Brent Hargreaves
Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 3:25 am

Whoa, you shouldn’t begrudge a science-populiser his colourful turn of phrase. Agreed Cox is a McCarthyist where global warming is concerned, but he’s entitled to have a stab at explaining the multiverse theory.

Reply to  Brent Hargreaves
September 12, 2016 12:48 pm

There is a subtle difference between limited parallel universes and unlimited options which obviously increase beyond sensible reasoning with every passing temporal increment. This rediculous idea stems from quantum mechanics which provable illustrates limitations, not infinite resolution.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 5:12 am

Sir David Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FLS FZS FSA, the well known British science broadcaster, is now 90 years old. As he would be the first to agree, he will not live for ever. When he dies the BBC will need a new star performer.
Rumour has it that Brian Cox is being groomed for that position. Perhaps Cox’s recent visit to the Australian Antipodes might have been the equivalent of an off Broadway opening performance? Cox and Sir David share similar Warmist views on climate and both sing from the the BBC climate hymn sheet.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 8:13 am

I’ve been completely baffled how respected scientists, such as Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, can buy into these infinite fantasies as above, all without a clue how dark matter and dark energy – the majority of our universe – plays into the underlying speculative infinity-producing equations. And at the same time ridicule belief in God. (That aside, i’m a big fan of Richard Dawkins.)

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Dushanbe
Reply to  Arbeegee
September 12, 2016 10:22 am

The reply by a British cleric, The Dawkins Delusion, was better.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 12:18 pm

I lost faith in actor Mr. Cox after watching a couple of his ‘geology’ shows.
I noticed then, Cox’s preference for the most popular theories (opinions) regarding geologic events coupled with his obvious disdain for competing theories. Everything he didn’t like was allegedly debunked, while the popular theories were always ‘proven’.
For an alleged physicist explain physical Earth processes, Mr. Cox came across as very vain.
Any time, someone claims to be a physicist and has perfectly trimmed and combed hair, there is a problem.
Another key, is anytime some ‘expert’ explains geological processes, yet their clothes are neat, fingernails clean and trimmed, shirt sleeves are down, pants do not have obvious marks from kneeling on the ground; they’re masquerading.
Most geologists have difficulty walking past piles of rocks, even road gravel, without checking it out.
One speculation that I have is that Cox likely served as palsypeer reviewer for some allegedly research papers.

Reply to  nuwurld
September 12, 2016 1:25 pm

I picked this interview because it is incongruous with a frame of mind of urgency. Filled with the knowledge that Mr Cox has saved already an infinite number of Earth’s, why should he express urgency here?
The notion of infinite possibilities diminishes responsibility.

Barry Sheridan
September 11, 2016 11:47 pm

Mr Cox has become a media celebrity, part and parcel of his transition from a scientist to embracing his new status has required the laying aside any attachment he may once have had in following the rigorous traditions of science with all of its demands for proofs that can be tested by others. He remains personable and influential, but not as a scientist.

Reply to  Barry Sheridan
September 12, 2016 1:54 pm

Something like this happened to Desmond Morris many years ago. He was a very good ethologist, but when he wrote the Naked Ape, he put aside the need for circumspection regarding evolutionary hypotheses. Then after he had made a bundle from his best seller, his standards seemed to fall by the wayside. An interesting trajectory. Perhaps this is a similar case.

Peter Miller
September 11, 2016 11:48 pm

On Australia’s ABC and Britain’s BBC, you can not appear in any science or nature show unless you have formally signed up to global warming and advocate the theory at least once in each episode.
For these organisations, every drought, hurricane, tornado or spell of hot weather is “further definitive proof of global warming/climate change.”
Brian Cox is required by the ‘liberal’ media establishment to parrot the gospel of Global Warming, whether he believes it or not, otherwise he knows he would quickly disappear into obscurity.

Reply to  Peter Miller
September 11, 2016 11:55 pm

Cox did not seem to be acting under duress. He was as enthusiastic as he was ignorant.

Reply to  Greg
September 12, 2016 1:16 am

Yes Greg, that’s definitely the impression I had, that he wholeheartedly believed the nonsense.
When he trotted out the “97%” rubbish I was totally flabbergasted. That he could actually believe that utter bulldust left me literally open-mouthed in astonishment.
Either he’s a complete nincompoop and does actually believe it, or he knows it’s bunkum, but uses it anyway to bully anyone who dares to question the “consensus”. Whichever, he’s no longer got any value in my eyes on any scientific question whatever, he’s totally lost any credibility.

September 11, 2016 11:53 pm

(Anthony Watts would be well aware of this, of course – years of argument and evidence on WUWT, even though they have an amazingly wide audience, have so far simply been ignored).

Don’t agree at all, the Govt minister present seemed to know far more about the subject than the feeble Cox and by some of his comments seemed to have got a lot of information from this site.
That is having impact. Bravo Anthony Watts.

September 12, 2016 12:21 am

Cox changed careers several years ago, he was a scientist but now is a TV presenter…… different jobs, different requirements.

Reply to  Lord Beaverbrook
September 12, 2016 3:47 am

From pop. singer to pop. scienticist/TV presenter (says it all really)!!!!

Reply to  Lord Beaverbrook
September 12, 2016 9:50 am

Sounds just like David Suzuki. Once he was a geneticist, then he was a radio science-talk-show host (which he did very well), then he became a professional alarmist (the 1000 horrible ways David Suzuki thinks you are going to die) and now he his just a crabby old many who is using his age as an excuse for belligerent fear mongering. By his age you think he would have learned that we are all going to die and there isn’t a damned thing he can do about it.

Reply to  BCBill
September 12, 2016 4:15 pm

Ah but you forget how well that it pays him…….

Radical Rodent
September 12, 2016 12:41 am

It should also be noted that at no time did Brian Cox actually address the question that was asked, never mind try to answer it.

Reply to  Radical Rodent
September 12, 2016 1:17 am

Radical Rodent notes that:
“at no time did Brian Cox actually address the question that was asked”
To develop a better critique of Cox’s weaknesses it might be worth digging in to what Roberts said. Here are his opening points in the climate segment of the Q&A program:
1. The Central England Temperature record was warmer in the 17th century, and shows a period of warming that is comparable to warming of global temperatures today.
2. There has been no warming for 21 years (in August 2016) “depending on how you measure it”.
After Cox showed what looks like data from GISS, Roberts responded:
3. 1930s and 1940s were warmer than the current decade.
4. The “original records are far warmer”.
5. 1998 was about the same as 2014-15
The host then asked him how he could challenge a scientist and he replied:
6. The data has been corrupted – we know the 1930s and 1940s were warmer than today, thanks to the work of Steven Goddard.
Do commentators here think this is a fair summary of Roberts’ points, and if so how I would be interested to know how they assess 1-6?

Reply to  JK
September 12, 2016 1:25 am

It’s fair. The problem with Roberts is that he did come across as a bit of a conspiracy nut. Rather than saying when and how the data was altered and under what guise, he came across as just denying the data.

Reply to  JK
September 12, 2016 6:11 am

I’ll take a stab at some of those questions. I’ll ignore the claims of fraud.

1. The Central England Temperature record was warmer in the 17th century, and shows a period of warming that is comparable to warming of global temperatures today.

Checking the video I’m not sure Malcolm Roberts does claim the 17th century was warmer – it would be completely false as that was the coldest part of the little ice-age. He does say that the rate of warming going into the 18th century was faster and greater than that going upto 1995.
This might be true depending on exactly which period you are talking about, but ignores a few issues, such as the unreliability of records in the 17th century, and the fact that this warming is mostly due to the exceptionally cold final decade of the 17th century.
It also ignores the fact that the recent rise started from a much warmer base.

2. There has been no warming for 21 years (in August 2016) “depending on how you measure it”.

All temperature records, including satellites, show warming over the last 21 years.
RSS 3.3 has been warming at ~ 0.7 C / century since 1995.
RSS 4 shows twice as much warming.
I suspect Roberts is trying to use the “no statistically significant warming” slight of hand, but forgot that important caveat.

3. 1930s and 1940s were warmer than the current decade.

False. He quotes Steve Goddard but I doubt even he’s made such a claim.
Probably he’s confusing the USA with the world.

Reply to  JK
September 12, 2016 1:46 pm

Steve Goddard, AKA Tony Heller, has nothing worthwhile to say and has a lot to answer for in terms of promulgating aspects of *scepticism*. I believe Anthony has “issues” with him. For a senior politician to quote him is beyond sad, merely proving that once anything that people wish to use as confirmation bias starts – it has a life of it’s own and cannot be buried.

Radical Rodent
Reply to  JK
September 13, 2016 12:26 pm

Susie Wakefield: “…and asked Barry Cassidy to get back to him when he had some proof and data that there is a human element in our increasing climate change. I was hoping the panel could, perhaps, guide Barry with some fact and just not opinion on the human element in climate change.
Chair: “I’m just going to start with Brian Cox, the scientist on the panel… can you provide scientific data or evidence that might help Barry Cassidy convince Malcolm, over here, that human-induced climate change is a reality?
Cox: “Well, yes, and I could sit here and read out figures until I’m blue in the face…” There then follows a lot of bluster and prevarication, until he pulls out the graph… well, you know how it goes. But, please note – he DID NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION! At no point did he even refer to the human element in climate change; he just huffed and puffed, without one jot of evidence to back his claims, but referred to the models and “…this is a worrying… erm… problem.” Ri-i-i-ight At NO POINT did he refer to the question AT ALL and failed – completely and utterly – to answer it.
Roberts’ input had nothing whatsoever to do with such shameful subterfuge and deceit. You are bringing in a straw-man, here, JK.

Scottish Sceptic
September 12, 2016 1:12 am

Brian Cox is part of a recent movement in academia to rewrite western history, ascribing all the good things to academics aka “science” and denying that industry and engineering had any part in the development of the west and effectively rewriting history to ascribe every single engineering innovation to some academic (who usually came along after the engineers had done the work, stole their ideas and published it as “theirs”).
So, e.g. if you look at geology – miners were perfectly well aware of the sequences of rocks and the changes in fossil types and were routinely using it to navigate the coal seams and work out where to dig to obtain coal. Then much later some academic learns this from the engineers – and then presents it as a new idea that the seams were laid down at different times. And because the coal miners did not write down their knowledge, and the academic did – it is now very easy for academics to suggest that academia created the knowledge that allowed coal miners to navigate underground geology.
And they have done this in every subject – and now they use this idea that “academics create knowledge” to suck resources, power and influence out of and away from engineering (which creates wealth) and divert to academia (which is largely a parasite on the economy and of no real benefit except helping to produce good engineers).
And this “science” take-over also explain the global warming myth. Because CO2 is really a proxy for “energy” or “industry”. And the reason why academia is so vehemently against CO2, is because it is so vehemently anti-industry.
And Brian Cox’s role, is to champion this idea that industry is bad, that engineers are evil and that the world should be ruled by “mad scientists” (aka academics)

Berényi Péter
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
September 12, 2016 4:43 am

It is not true. No engineer ventured into electromagnetism prior to Faraday &. Maxwell, and what they did was pure (experimental &. theoretical) science. Following them there were many engineers indeed, working on different aspects of the problem so a huge &. diverse industry ensued, but it would have never happened without “academia”.
There are many more examples to this course of events, as there are some to the opposite. Good engineering &. business practices can increase productivity two or threefold, but only science can increase it ten thousandfold.

Reply to  Berényi Péter
September 12, 2016 9:39 am

Re-read Scottish Sceptics first sentence. Otherwise your definition of recent is in geological time.

Reply to  Berényi Péter
September 12, 2016 11:40 am

It should be noted that while some academic science efforts can lead to ten-thousand fold increases in efforts, most academic efforts lead to squat if not backward. Engineers winnow the gems from the muck.

Mike Macray
Reply to  Scottish Sceptic
September 12, 2016 6:44 am

Well said Scottish sceptic! Unfortunate, incredible, but sadly the evidence points in that direction. It seems increasingly that Academe teaches its product WHAT to think rather than HOW to think.
Retired Engineer (MA Oxon) from the sliderule era and schooled in Scotland to boot.

Michael Spurrier
September 12, 2016 1:15 am

A brief musical interlude – Brian Cox’s scientific education was interrupted by his pop music stardom – the keyboard player here with D ream

Reply to  Michael Spurrier
September 12, 2016 3:05 am

Funnily enough “D” is also the grade that Brian Cox got in A level mathematics.
That near fail was adequate enough though, it seems, to qualify him for entry to a degree course in physics.
Which is somewhat remarkable.

Billy Liar
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
September 12, 2016 8:18 am
Chris Hanley
September 12, 2016 1:16 am

It was probably just me but I detected in Cox an underlying, specifically English, sense of superiority talking down to the ‘colonials’ — also apparent from John Gummer (Lord Deben) when he visited to lectured us last October.

Stephen Wilde
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 12, 2016 2:06 am

It is not ‘talking down to the colonials’ but rather ‘talking down to the lower orders’.
I quite like Brian but he inadvertently shares ths British ‘problem’ of left/liberal political bias and accepts all the baggage that goes along with it.
The Brexit vote is the start of a public reaction against such bias.

Steve Borodin
Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 12, 2016 2:24 am

No worries Stephen. BBC Personality and onetime scientist Cox is as arrogant and patronising when he deigns to address us in UK. What a jerk.

Reply to  Stephen Wilde
September 12, 2016 10:01 am

It’s the “Gentlemen and Players” attitude that is still extant, regrettably.

September 12, 2016 1:24 am

We havw stopped watching Dr. Cox since we became aware that he has accepted the warmist view without researching it himself.

Reply to  Oldseadog
September 12, 2016 2:34 am

I think you ill find he has researched it well. What makes you think he hasn’t?

Reply to  Oldseadog
September 12, 2016 5:34 am

I’m sure he researched it and found it was more lucrative to side with the Warmistas. After all, it’s easy to fool people with graphs and say “It’s science!” and then rake in easy money. Since the science is so inexact you can easily argue the warmer side to ignorant people. Add something about catastrophe and a pinch of fear and that makes it all the easier. Wouldn’t it be nice if scientists actually tried to figure out how the climate really works? I’m sure they know the models are BS but now they are in too deep and have mortgages to pay.

Reply to  chilemike
September 12, 2016 11:34 am

Or as a mainstream scientist he felt it was more appropriate to follow the mainstream line than the (mostly) unjustified, unscientific skeptical side.

September 12, 2016 1:50 am

Well, it’s a very good letter but like 100% of those who make a living or a reputation writing about ‘climate change’, it fails to address the new reality: in the 21st century, private, unaccountable and uncontrollable organisations are actively altering the earth’s climate, not in controlled ways necessarily but definitely in autocratic ways, through the use of advanced technologies for climate engineering.
[snip policy violation]
I hope that WUWT does not censor this comment, because if they do, they reveal their true colours.
[our “true colors” is this simple fact: we don’t accept comments on “911 truthers” as it is not only wildly off-topic, it gives fuel to those people that would label everyone here as a conspiracy theorist. Our policy is quite clear on it:
“Certain topics are not welcome here and comments concerning them will be deleted. This includes topics on religion, discussions of barycentrism, astrology, aliens, bigfoot, chemtrails, 911 Truthers, Obama’s Birth Certificate, HAARP, UFO’s, Electric Universe, mysticism, and other topics not directly related to the thread.”
so by policy, your comment is not allowed. Feel free to be as upset as you wish – Anthony Watts]

Bloke down the pub
September 12, 2016 2:25 am

If Graham Woods is not already familiar with WUWT.
The chances of that are vanishingly small, the whole world has heard of wuwt!

September 12, 2016 2:41 am

“Your implicit invitation, that people do their own research…”
I surely believe that PhD Graham Woods is capable to check the first supporting link above, the usual narrative by the alleged “upper air specialists” Spencer and Christy, that the observed tropospheric warming doesn’t follow that of the models:
comment image
Well, “upper air specialists” ought to know that:
-The satellite series are short and start with a relatively warm period around 1980.
-The low trend of satellite datasets during the AMSU instrument era (from about year 2000) can not be verified by weather balloon data.
-The TMT and TLT-profiles that are referred to as “troposphere” have poor vertical resolution, and are in fact a mix of troposphere and stratosphere, with the latter cooling much faster than expected by the models.
Comparing weather balloon data with models over a little longer period (1970-now), with more defined athmospheric layers, gives the following picture:
The observed warming in the troposphere follow the model average relatively well, but the trend in the tropopause and lower stratosphere is much lower than the model average.
Some people say that stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of increased greenhouse effect. The models could also have been prescribed the wrong amount of stratospheric ozone depletion (and recovery). I don’t know, other suggestions/explanations are welcome..

Reply to  O R
September 12, 2016 3:50 am

The first thing to understand is that the MODTRAN spectrum available at very closely models an actual spectrum taken by a satellite looking down near Guam [see the third Fig. at . The models in molecular spectroscopy are really “settled science” (unlike those of the IPCC predicting climate change).
The next thing to understand is that these are “net absorption” spectra [ask any competent chemist], not “emission spectra”. This is the difference between the Fraunhofer lines in the Solar spectrum and the bright line emission spectra of a hydrogen discharge tube (or the bright mercury lines seen over diffuse phosphor emission from a fluorescent light – use any small hand spectroscope to see these).
I used the adjective “net” for absorption because there is a CO2 emission spectrum (at 220 K) at central frequencies superimposed on a CO2 absorption ditch that would otherwise go all the way down to zero transmission in the troposphere. This 220 K CO2 emission is powered by incoming Solar UV and visible radiation absorbed by ozone in the stratosphere and then transferred during inelastic molecular collisions to the main molecules N2, O2 and Ar that make up more than 99.9% of the atmosphere. A tiny part of that total energy excites CO2 molecules which can emit infrared (IR) frequencies around 667 cm^-1, and these are registered in the spectrum.
Doubling CO2 will increase absorption in the troposphere, and this occurs in the wings of the spectrum, centered at 618 and 721 cm^-1, since the main increase is in sidebands where the absorbing molecules are in the first excited state (about 3% of all CO2 molecules), and not in the ground (lowest energy) state, which is involved in the 667 cm^-1 absorption. 3% relative concentration means that these sideband frequencies are not “saturated”, so doubling CO2 will have a significant effect on absorption. You can see this extra absorption in the MODTRAN spectrum (it is the area between the green and blue curves that represent absorption at 300 ppmv CO2 and 600 ppmv). Most of the absorbed energy is transferred to the main molecules of the air (N2, O2, Ar) that are non-polar, with zero electric dipole moment, and therefore cannot and do not emit or absorb any significant IR photons. Because the heat capacity at constant pressure for linear molecules like N2, O2 and CO2 is Cp = 7k/2 per molecule, where k is Boltzmann’s constant, most of the heat content (enthalpy) is stored in non-radiating molecules that outnumber CO2 by 2500:1 (at 400 ppmv CO2). This is the molecular explanation for the greenhouse effect. This extra absorption would mean an energy imbalance: a decreased TOA (Top Of the Atmosphere) flux would no longer balance the net incoming Solar flux (after reflection or the albedo has been taken into account), so the same incoming flux would warm up the surface until the TOA flux again balanced the net incoming. The principle of adding equal amounts of energy to all molecules in the same energy state means that all molecules in a column of the troposphere (which have the same total U + H, where U is the gravitational potential energy and H is the enthalpy) will on average increase by the same temperature T [ since “delta H” = Cp .(“delta T”) ]. Therefore the new temperature profile will have the same slope as previously [the lapse rate remains at -6.8 K/km], but will be offset by the same temperature at each altitude. Extra absorption means an increased temperature.
The stratosphere is a different story. The heating by incoming Solar UV and visible radiation by ozone produces a temperature inversion: the temperature increases with increasing altitude. Central CO2 frequencies around 667 cm^-1 are essentially 100% saturated in the troposphere. Kirchhoff’s law says that a good absorber is also a good emitter, so those CO2 frequencies are 100% re-emitted, as per the usual theory of the greenhouse effect. This is mathematically handled with the Schwarzschild Equation, which adds an emission term to a Beer-Lambert absorption term. Doubling CO2 means that the region of 100% absorption is extended to higher altitudes, where the temperature is higher. So the final escape of IR photons to outer space occurs at higher temperatures, which means higher emission (using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for an effective Planck black body equivalent). This does not show up in the MODTRAN spectrum, which was calculated only to 20 km altitude. Jack Barrett has run the program to 70 km altitude [see the section “The hard bit” at his website ], which shows increasing emission around 667 cm^-1 on increasing CO2. Increasing emission at these frequencies means that the energy imbalance is now the other way: if more escapes per unit time while the incoming radiation (which excites ozone and heats the stratosphere) stays the same, then the stratosphere will cool with time.
The tropopause is the inflection point, where the lapse rate switches from negative in the troposphere to positive in the stratosphere. The net effect on temperature should be between the two cases, i.e. zero or very little change with time as CO2 increases.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 8:50 am

Thanks RT!

September 12, 2016 2:45 am

The BBC is partly to blame, by creating a species of ‘TellyDon’.. originally informative on their own subject, they quickly become puppets of the media, and can be paid to spout on any subject.
The BBC are also doing it to sports stars, who can now have second careers by going to pundit-school to gain fluency in ‘Colemanballs’, and then appearing on panels after every televised sporting occasion.
Cox really ought to respond to that letter, perhaps admitting that he has given up being a scientist, and has embarked on a new second career as an Opinionator ( or in demotic; a ‘ rent-a-gob’ )

Robin Hewitt
September 12, 2016 2:53 am

Such a shame that astronomer Patrick Moore died, he was the real BBC scientist. Sharp as a tack, he even wrote an amusing book exposing fake science.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Robin Hewitt
September 12, 2016 10:05 am

Yes, Patrick Moore was the real deal, he wouldn’t have tolerated someone like Cox. And would have seen through him immediately.

Chris Wright
September 12, 2016 3:08 am

Cox’s first major TV series, “Wonders of the Solar System”, was very good, but they’ve gone downhill ever since. I started watching his latest series, “Forces of Nature”, but gave up after less than half an hour.
For the first ten minutes – it seemed longer – it concentrated on an amazing event in Spain where people and children climb up to form human mountains. Now, as a travel program, it was excellent, what they were showing was pretty amazing and fun. Of course, at some stage the human mountain collapsed and they all fell to the – hopefully soft – ground. All good fun.
But what was the purpose of this long segment? It demonstrated that when things come loose they fall to the ground, due to gravity. That’s it. Sorry, Professor Cox, but I think most people, even climate scientists, knew that already. The term “dumbing down” comes to mind. That’s why I gave up and switched channels. I want to watch programs about science, not travelogues full of pretty images.
At the very end of his first series, Cox made a dramatic statement that I think most sceptics would agree with. He said that the greatest wonder of the solar system was the human race. In contrast, environmental extremists like David Attenborough think the human race is a plague.
One full program was devoted to the idea that conditions on Earth are strongly influenced by events in space. Maybe Cox is too ignorant to realise it, but the very idea that anything other than carbon dioxide can influence conditions on Earth is the very worst climate heresy. Of course, a major (though unproven) theory is that solar activity can influence cloud creation and therefore the climate. Assuming Cox has even heard of Svensmark, I’d love to hear what Cox thinks about Svensmark’s theory.
Still, Cox has to make a living like everyone else. Decades ago David Bellamy was a popular environmentalist who often appeared on the BBC. But when he became sceptical (initially on wind farms and then climate change generally), the BBC quickly disappeared him. He now lives in Australia. Cox must be well aware of what would happen to his profitable BBC contracts if he became sceptical (i.e. an actual scientist – the whole basis of science is scepticism).
If Cox quoted the 97% then it’s very sad. Science must work on evidence, data and proof. The scientific consensus has turned out to be hopelessly wrong time after time – does Cox believe that the continents are fixed and unmoving and does he believe in the aether and phlogiston? Of course he doesn’t. But in the past those were the scientific concensus.
I probably won’t be watching any more of his programs, as he has clearly betrayed the very basis of science.

Reply to  Chris Wright
September 12, 2016 8:43 am

I tried to watch his shows. Like you,found the first 50 minutes well produced. MAny times over produced, e.g., where on earth can the average individual see stars in the sky like they show in those clips. They must be time lapse or with high-gain digital cameras. However, the last 10 minutes was always a PSA on CAGW, to the point that it was at times nauseating. Even to the point when talking about the solar system or planets, he would throw in the catastrophic effects of the impending CAGW. Would not even attempt to watch the second series, would rather watch my wife’s sewing channel.

Francis Webb
September 12, 2016 3:24 am

I believe that the whole global warming hysteria is a scam, funded by the green energy investors that has duped governments out of billions in subsidies without producing one viable green energy source that didn’t exist prior to the botched data warnings.

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 12, 2016 3:25 am

A nice counterpoint to the Caprioles of Leonardo.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 12, 2016 3:31 am
Brian Cox has also ventured into theology with this:
I suggest that there also may be “naivety” in saying that astrology is bogus. But who am I?
Most likely explanation: Brian has lost the plot, is beyond his sell-by date.

September 12, 2016 3:55 am

Cox tried to brush off empirical evidence as some sort of denier trash talk because it was not consensus.
In other words, Cox is not a serious commentator about warming as a catastrophe.
The Minister on the show said he was following advice of CSIRO. CSIRO was caught out tampering with temperature data. After a long struggle, a parliamentary inquiry was to investigate the tampering. Before it could happen, Malcolm Turnbull overthrew the Prime Minister and squashed the inquiry.
Turnbull had a long session with Al Gore prior to his coup, when Gore flew out to Australia.
Lord Monckton warned of the overthrow being organised by AL Gore and his accolytes well before it became real.
Since the coup, Turnbull rushed to sign the Paris Agreement, brought in a default carbon tax on the top 150 companies in Australia, bumping up electricity prices by default. He re-established the renewable energy fund and given away hundreds of millons to the Climate Change, while trying to lift direct taxes on superannuation.

September 12, 2016 4:07 am

This letter needs to be sent to the head of the ABC.

Sceptical lefty
September 12, 2016 4:34 am

Brian Cox is a personable, reasonably attractive individual whose prime utility is the popularisation of Establishment-approved science. He can be relied upon to fearlessly bark with the pack as he defends received wisdom. Whether or not he possesses integrity or elementary scientific ability is pretty much beside the point. If he suddenly loses his mojo there are plenty of ‘wannabes’ willing to fill the gap.

Man Bearpig
September 12, 2016 4:48 am

Part way through the program Cox made this assertion ..
‘What the NASA that took people to the moon?’
It’s also the same NASA that messed up several times before, during and since the Moon landings .. 18 Astronauts killed so far .. God bless them all!

September 12, 2016 5:31 am

The very fact Cox had a NASA / GISS temperature graph with him – to flourish at the desired moment like a magicians rabbit out of a hat, shows he was primed. The show wasn’t there to hold a fair hearing, it was simply a partisan hit piece.

September 12, 2016 5:38 am

We know that Brian Cox has sold his scientific soul to the AGW deviI, because he appears on the BBC. And you CANNOT appear on the BBC unless you are a fully paid up member of the AGW snake-oiI s c a m.
If Cox was a true scientist and voiced a few doubts, as did Prof David Bellamy, he would be out of the front door faster than weasel sh1t off a shovel. And in explanation for those accross the pond, Prof Bellamy was the nation’s best loved botanist, and someone who truly cared for the environment. But even that could not save him.
Why the BBC sacked David Bellamy.

September 12, 2016 6:38 am

Brian Cox? Gee I thought it was an article about Oasis reforming.

September 12, 2016 7:02 am

Cox, pretty boy plonker.

Reply to  Plato
September 12, 2016 8:40 pm

Wow, such a clever boy you are. Did you think of that all yourself?
Actually he is a very fine scientist. Read his wiki page. He may be a pretty boy (all in ones taste I suspect), but he is no plonker.

September 12, 2016 7:25 am

In response to JK’s comment at 5:43 am. Yes, I agree that making negative aspersions on the “experts” is not likely to get them to read or listen. However, your suggestion that a long time constant to reach equilibrium might explain the factor of 2 apparent exaggeration in climate sensitivity is inconsistent with the recent 18 year hiatus/slowing in temperature increase. If there is a long lag for warming to appear as CO2 increases, then since CO2 has increased monotonically (after seasonal variations are averaged year by year), we should still be seeing a monotonic increase in T. Then shouldn’t the experts be jumping on board the skeptic bandwagon now? This post is not to get those who will never change to change, but to reinforce the arguments on the skeptic side, based on reason.

Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 7:29 am

A better phrase than “monotonic” would be “increasing with curvature upward” for CO2, which for a time matched the increase in T [see Al Gore].

Reply to  rogertaguchi
September 12, 2016 7:55 am

rogertaguchi writes:
‘there is a long lag for warming to appear as CO2 increases’
‘since CO2 has increased monotonically (after seasonal variations are averaged year by year), we should still be seeing a monotonic increase in T.’
I have to admit I’m having difficulty following the implication from premise to conclusion. It seems to me that the so-called “experts” talk about many sources of variation on longer than seasonal timescales. For example, there is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, volcanic cooling (e.g. post-Pinatubo), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, etc. I haven’t checked, but I believe that these terms are referenced by the IPCC, they are not just terms used by skeptics.
It appears to me that if the “expert” theory is that such forced and unforced variation exists then other things constant a LONGER lag for CO2 driven warming to appear would make it MORE likely to produce pauses from variation. At least in the “expert” theory it looks like a SHORTER lag for CO2 driven warming would make it LESS likely to produce pauses from variation.
Why is this? Using arbitrary figures to illustrate the direction of the argument:
Suppose “expert” theory claims there is 3C warming over 100 years = 0.3C per decade (LONGER lag) and that other sources of variation produce fluctuations of +/- 0.3 degrees. Then we would not be too surprised if there was a pause of 10 years (i.e. 0.3C warming driven by CO2, with variation for that decade out of phase at -0.3C).
Suppose “expert” theory claims there is 3C warming over 10 years = 3C per decade (SHORTER lag) and that other sources of variation produce fluctuations of +/- 0.3 degrees (other things constant, same as previous case). Then we would not be too surprised if there was a pause of 1 year (i.e. 0.3C warming driven by CO2, with variation for that year out of phase at -0.3C).
‘This post is not to get those who will never change to change, but to reinforce the arguments on the skeptic side, based on reason.’
Well of course if your motive is not to change anyone’s mind then it doesn’t much matter if you base your arguments on reason or not.
I was more concerned with the case where you were concerned to convince people. I wasn’t worried about making negative aspersions or saying experts are wrong, and I wasn’t arguing that you were wrong. I was pointing out that the statement that many experts had failed to do your calculation, presented without evidence, would put off many informed observers since on the face of it the “experts” are familiar with that calculation. You would need to support a statement like that better.

September 12, 2016 8:09 am

HELLO BRITS ==> Can someone over there supply the details to counter this article in the NY Times:
Welcome to Carlisle, the British City With a Climate Change Bull’s-Eye.
A brief essay would be nice.

David Lilley
Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 12, 2016 9:21 am

Not a complete answer, but very relevant :-
Although this article refers to the River Derwent in Cumbria, it applies equally to the River Eden in Carlisle, which is also in Cumbria and receives it’s water from rain falling on the Cumbrian fells. On a similar note, failure to dredge the River Parrett in Somerset was also a major contributory factor for the serious flooding which occurred there a few years ago.
This article from the same website suggests that there is no long term upward trend in rainfall in England and Wales.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 12, 2016 10:13 am

Hi Kip I’m not up to an essay but Paul has written extensively on it

Reply to  EricHa
September 12, 2016 10:31 am

Beat me to it ☺

Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 12, 2016 10:21 am

Hi Kippax, can’t supply an essay but see if these help any
It’s also worth noting that carlisle is on the confluence of the 3 main rivers in the areal and sits on their flood plains.
Hope this helps

Reply to  Sunderlandsteve
September 12, 2016 10:28 am

You may need to follow the links on the geography site ( click resources then floods then carlisle case study)
It has this to say: Carlisle has a history of flooding with flood events recorded as far back as the 1700s. In recent years there have been significant floods in 1963, 1968, 1979, 1980, 1984, and recently in 2005. And now of course the most recent one.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 12, 2016 12:09 pm

THANKS BRITS ==> I’ll try to get something together in the next couple of days from your suggestions. Your provided links confirm my suspicions.
One can always count on citizens of the Empire!

Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 12, 2016 3:45 pm

If your suspicions were of stupidity then you are right. Most of our rivers were regularly dredged for the last few hundred years. Sometime in the 90s the UK Environment Agency decided they would stop dredging to protect wildlife. They even added large rocks in places to slow the flow of water. However when we get flood conditions as we often do this caused the rivers to burst their banks and all the wildlife they were expecting to protect were washed into fields and houses and were killed.
I know you are interested in Carlisle but you might be interested in the ancient city of York. York is built at the confluence of two rivers, the Ouse and the Foss,-1.0794856,15.08z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4878c340e19865f1:0x4774ab898a54e4d1!8m2!3d53.9599651!4d-1.0872979?hl=en When the Ouse is in flood it can backup into the Foss so a barrier was built which can be lowered to close off the Foss. The idiots built the control room below the level of the usual flood waters. On 26 December 2015 the Ouse was in flood and instead of closing the barrier they decided it was best to leave the barrier open in case the control room got flooded and they couldn’t open it again. So a few hundred houses in the centre of York were flooded.

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 12, 2016 8:35 am

A suggestion for anybody who finds him or herself in a discussion like the one on ABC. Just ask the alarmists what they think is the right temperature for the Earth. They must know because they claim that how it was is better than now. But they can’t tell you because nobody really knows if there exists such a thing as the “right” temperature and even if it exists what it is. In all the tens of thousands papers in the climate literature there’s not one with that number in it.
A child can understand that if you don’t know what the right temperature for the Earth is then you can’t claim that a) warmer == bad or good, or b) colder == bad or good or c) staying put == bad or good. Which invalidates the warming scare on all points.
The real answer is of course that there is no such thing. The Earth’s atmosphere and the biosphere are adaptive systems and will adjust to whatever comes along. It has done so in the past, it will do so in the future.

September 12, 2016 8:43 am

One thing I enjoyed about the full Quadrant article is the Cox-introduced evidence that temperature has risen in the last 100 years, starting at a time near the end of the so-called “Little Ice Age”. Now one thing that should be guaranteed by something known as the end of the LIA is that temperatures would rise else we can hardly call that time the end of the LIA. If not a rise in temperature what else would herald the end of that bitter period? Just as the LIA was natural variation so too is the consequence of that episode ending.

September 12, 2016 9:11 am

I watched part of the debate on TV (I can hardly ever find time to sit and look at that box for any length of time). Sensible scientists should never deign to debate controversial science on that media. Here it is all a matter of handsome appearance, of charm, of wittiness, of clever setting out populist opinions. Real science is far too dreary a business for the great unwashed – who really only ever watch television to be entertained. You don’t ever further real science by “debating” anything on television. It can never be a real sort of debate – it always becomes a sort of circus where entertainment is the main purpose. The climate-sceptic viewpoint will only eventually “win” when (and if) climate refuses to warm as much as the alarmists expect it to. Then people will look back to the “debate” and see it for what it was.

Peter Pearson
September 12, 2016 9:17 am

Was this “polite and carefully reasoned” letter sent with a filename containing the phrase “alarmist shill”? If so, that would seem to cancel a lot of politeness.

Reply to  Peter Pearson
September 12, 2016 10:21 am

It always helps to read the OP. You might learn something makes comments like yours unnecessary.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Peter Pearson
September 13, 2016 12:33 am

As if politeness is a virtue exuded by the alarmists. I have been called anything between “a relic from the dark ages” (my favourite, incidently), a flat earther, a danger to humanity, a fascist, a denier, a shill for big oil, and a few more of those. No Peter, “shill” is rather tame in my opinion.

Jeff F
September 12, 2016 9:55 am

OK; I’ll go along with the multiverse thing, as long as the Physics stay the same. Boy; that just means there is an awful lot to be skeptical about.

The Old Man
September 12, 2016 9:56 am

On the plus side, I’d have to thank Brian C. for motivating me to finally gather my thoughts on the media’s role in the Climate Change consortium as co-conspirators in the Merchants of Fear. I’ve been lazy as of late. Not good.
While I was up, it seemed like a good time to delete the unwatched episodes of his programs from the VCR. I feel a bit better now. Carry on.
-the old man ‘imself

Bill Yarber
September 12, 2016 11:00 am

I’ve seen several shows featuring Brisn Cox and I’m not a fan. Scenery is beautiful but his biased scripts ruin the message and the show!
Being trained as an engineer, I know there are seldom “perfect” solutions. You have to make trade-offs to achieve an acceptable solution! He always seems to blame humans for ills of this world! Won’t watch his propaganda any more! Wonder what he thinks of cyano bacteria changing composition of Earth’s atmosphere 3+ billion years ago!

tim maguire
September 12, 2016 11:11 am

I love The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast, but know Cox is a bit of a nutter on topics with a political angle. So it’s not surprising that he is so dismissive of any non-alarmist position, nor that he would participate in an ambush of a “heretic.”

Reply to  tim maguire
September 12, 2016 4:54 pm

+1 for I love The Infinite Monkey Cage podcasts (I think radio isn’t limited to UK download) but his recent TV series is just pretty vids with no edutainment meat. After watching the ABC thing he is a twat. As mentioned above he might be being groomed to take over when Attenborough leaves off. Remember Attenborough used to be a sceptic until he saw what happened to Bellamy.
It is now hard to watch a wildlife programme on the BBC without having CAGW rammed down your throat. And then you get reports like this where they try to suggest that people are put off science because the programmes are reaffirming their belief in God. What bullshit, attendance at churches has never been lower. It is the new religion of CAGW that is putting people off science and in the opposite way they are suggesting.

September 12, 2016 12:11 pm

Here he is making a considered and analytical judgement on a horse storey:

September 12, 2016 1:51 pm

The title guarantees that the “alarmist shill” won’t read the letter.

September 12, 2016 2:15 pm

Brian Cox is better at keyboards than at climate science.
And better dressed.

“Things can only get better”
Brian – you need to edit this to “things can only get worse!”

September 12, 2016 3:16 pm

The madness will stop only when the globe returns to much colder weather.

September 12, 2016 7:27 pm

Graham Woods wrote a nice polite letter but the if ever there was someone who knew exactly what he was doing it was Brian Cox. Elsewise why the fake (?) graph that excluded the ’97 El Nino. It was an insidious, deceitful nauseating performance.

Greg Goodknight
September 12, 2016 9:37 pm

I’ve now sat through Brian Cox’s snide and sarcastic bombasts twice, the second time to dig out the single most impressive bit of incompetence of the entire snarky tirade:
“You cross check them into the past they [the models] do quite nicely.” – Brian Cox
This starts at just the right place:
Cross check them into the past? They were parameterized to match the past! The problem is that once a simulation is run, from the point in time of the parameterization forward they diverge from the actual future data, and quite badly.
What kind of physicist would come up with that drivel? I think what is needed here is an interjection of reality from a few of the giants on whose shoulders Cox should be trying to stand upon. Here’s three: Enrico Fermi, Freeman Dyson and “Johnny von Neumann”:
“In desperation I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. He replied, “How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?” I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, “Four.” He said, “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” With that, the conversation was over.”
From “A meeting with Enrico Fermi: How one intuitive physicist rescued a team from fruitless research” by Freeman Dyson
Cox waxes eloquently over how well the models are made to fit the past, but I suspect von Neumann could take the number of parameters thrown at the general circulation models and draw an animation of Carmen Miranda dancing the Fandango if that was what was desired.

September 13, 2016 7:06 am

I saw the program and it struck me that the skeptic failed to sell his message by just repeating ‘where is the evidence’ or perhaps it was ‘show me the evidence’.
Cox showed one of those standard graphs where the temperature goes up and up and the audience applauded.
This was a chance for the skeptic to say: that’s not evidence, that’s computations.
In other words the term ‘evidence’ can be unclear as computations are indeed used as evidence for a belief, and the audience certainly didn’t know any better, so it would be much better to demand the data.
Then say why are they hiding the data?
If things are so bad why do they hide the data?
If they hide the data then things aren’t really desperate.
We know we mean ‘data’ by the term ‘evidence’ but others often don’t appreciate that the term ‘temperature anomaly’ negates any claim to being data or evidence.
We can push the point by saying data or evidence is what goes into the computer, computation by hidden programs is what comes out. It’s not data.
And why refuse to share the algorithms [see above paragraph]?
I mention all this because of the number of times I’ve seen people saying the graphs are evidence.
Maybe it’s time to push the ‘show me the data’ line, it’s harder for the true believers to fudge that one.

Philip Schaeffer
September 13, 2016 5:41 pm

Well, Malcom Roberts has made his first speech in parliament:
“It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. That means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it? It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong.”
There ya go.. all sorted. We can all go home now.

Stephen Wilde
Reply to  Philip Schaeffer
September 14, 2016 11:55 am

He is half right and half wrong.
Upward convection does cool the surface but downward convection reduces cooling of (or one could say warms) the surface. It does it by recovering kinetic energy (heat) from convectively available potential energy (CAPE in meteorology) during the descent along the lapse rate slope.
Thus in the downward phase the warming effect of the reduction in the rate of surface cooling is ADDED to continuing insolation beneath both rising and falling columns and so has to be ADDED to the effect of that continuing insolation thus raising surface temperature above the S-B expectation for the entire globe.
The radiative theory is therefore mistaken because the warmer surface is due to convective overturning and not DWIR.
The effect of any DWIR is neutralised by adjustments to convective overturning as confirmed here:
The adjustments are caused inevitably as a consequence of density variations in the vertical and horizontal planes all around the Earth. Such density variations inevitably involve changes in lapse rate slopes and therefore the size and location of cells of convective overturning (high and low pressure).
Observed weather is the thermal stabilisation process in action.

September 14, 2016 1:00 am

In the spirit of fair play, here’s a critical assessment of Malcolm Roberts statements on climate change…

September 14, 2016 2:34 am

I hope this is not redundant, the Q&A program that the open letter was triggered by, can be watched here:

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