Rather Than Following the Money… “Follow the Ideology”!

Guest post by David Middleton

Dr. Alex Berezow, founding editor of Real Clear Science, posted a great essay on the American Council on Science and Health website:

Ideological Conflicts Of Interest Are Worse Than Financial Ones

By Alex Berezow — May 31, 2017

“Follow the money!” activists shout. The money trail, according to this logic, always leads to lies and deception.

This puerile fallacy, argumentum ad aurum, is just a thinly disguised ad hominem attack commonly used against scientists. Instead of criticizing the quality or conclusions of the research, activists instead assault the integrity of the scientist.

For certain, money can be a corrupting influence. That’s why journals require scientists to disclose financial ties to industry. But money isn’t the only source of corruption. Indeed, anything that causes a person to reject evidence-based science should be considered a conflict of interest. By that definition, ideology and politics would qualify as conflicts of interest, as well. And that would make some people very uncomfortable.

Ideology as a Conflict of Interest

In 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine ran an article by Lisa Rosenbaum on bias as a conflict of interest. Many academics and even doctors are ideologically opposed to industry, no matter what. As the author writes, this stigma results in a “stifling of honest discourse and potential discouragement of productive collaborations.” She then poses a damning question:

When we study whether people with financial ties are more likely to vote in favor of a product, shouldn’t we also ask whether those without such ties are more likely to vote against it?

In other words, if scientists with ties to industry are assumed to be corrupted by money, shouldn’t we assume that anti-industry zealots are corrupted by their ideology?

[…]

American Council on Science and Health

As a geologist/geophysicist, employed in the oil & gas industry since 1981 and member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Houston Geological Society, I have had the argumentun ad aurum fallacy directed at me more often than Cook’s cooked 97% consensus.  So, I find it particularly refreshing to see this particular logical fallacy dissected so thoroughly.

Dr. Berezow then points out the quasi-religious zealotry with which environmentalists “swear by the benefits of organic food, oppose GMOs and nuclear power (and often vaccines, too), and believe that the Earth is overpopulated by a destructive force called humanity.”   Environmental zealots cling to these beliefs despite the fact that there is no evidence that “organic” (isn’t all food organic?) is any better than conventional food, that GMO crops are harmful, that nuclear power is particularly hazardous (9.0 earthquakes and tsunamis aren’t nuclear hazards) or that the Earth is overpopulated (Paul Ehrlich, the poster child for Malthusian failed predictions).  And he concludes with the following:

An easy way to determine if a person has an indefatigable ideological conflict of interest is to ask, “What evidence would make you change your mind?” If he can’t answer that question, then there is little point in continuing the dialogue.

Regarding the CAGW failed hypothesis, any actual evidence could make me change my mind.

The abject failure of the climate models over the past 30 years and the insane resistance among the so-called consensus to accepting the fact that all of the actual evidence supports a climate which is relatively insensitive to human impacts on the carbon cycle makes me quite confident that no such evidence will be forthcoming.

As an added bonus, the first comment makes Dr. Berezow’s point:

Steve Coats • 10 hours ago
This is a laughable attempt to smear environmentalists. First of all, there are reasons to buy organic other than health, safety, or taste: “Organic livestock must be raised in a way that accommodates their health and natural behavior: Access to the outdoors, shade, clean, dry bedding, shelter, space for exercise, fresh air, clean drinking water, direct sunlight.” https://www.ams.usda.gov/si…

There are also reasons to oppose nuclear power other than fear of meltdowns (e.g., concerns about storage of spent fuel rods, uranium mining), the planet can only support a finite amount of people, and the link to environmentalism and vaccine use is suggested without any evidence. What, for example, is Greenpeace’s position on vaccines? Do they even have one?

Very sloppy.

Irony is so cool.

Featured image source.

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95 thoughts on “Rather Than Following the Money… “Follow the Ideology”!

  1. “there is no evidence that “organic” (isn’t all food organic?) than conventional food”

    I believe you left something out of that sentence.

      • Salt is a mineral, just mined, from the earth or sea, so it is organic, as in not man made. THEN it is altered in cleaning and processing, Iodine added.

        MarkW- salt is a mineral USED as a seasoning.

        https://www.thoughtco.com/all-about-salt-1441186
        “Salt is the only dietary mineral that’s really a mineral. It comes from the sea and from solid layers underground.”

      • Condiment.. Er… It’s a very necessary dietary requirement. I know you all know that but let’s not be careless in our remarks in discussing science. Our word ‘salary’ comes from the payment to Roman soldiers in Salt (presumably it was in partial payment, historians present today? ). It was a medium of exchange because of this value.

  2. I like the question, “what evidence would make you change your mind?”. Have one or two people I will be using it on.

    James Bull

    • I’ve tried that argument. After sorting out the bs in the answers, so far it has always come down to:
      “If there was such evidence I’d reconsider. But since the science is settled, there can be no such evidence. “

    • I have posed this question and the only real response I got was global cooling. Now to be fair, I have posed this question to myself and my response is I will review my position when satellite data approaches the model means for at least 5 years. While a bit fuzzy it does seem to be a starting point.

      I know I am biased, but to prevent ideology from clouding me beyond repair, I set my required evidence about 10 years ago.

      • global cooling
        ==========
        we had it when I was in grade school. years later it was homogenized out of the records, to the point where people not alive at the time deny that it ever happened. this is nothing new. human history is continually being re-written to protect the guilty and punish the innocent.

        the problem is that climate changes all the time. we have no idea how much it changes naturally. it was assumed that change was gradual, until the high resolution ice cores and other proxies showed otherwise. the argument over gradual versus sudden change due to nature is not limited to climate, and has remained an unresolved argument across the natural sciences for 150+ years.

        consider for example evolution. the processes was assume to be gradual, but after each mass extinction we see an explosion of new species. how is this possible if change is gradual? What the observations suggest is that new species are continually being created at a rapid pace, but the go extinct rapidly due to competition with existing species. It is only after a mass extinction wipes out the existing species that we can truly understand the rate or creation of new species.

      • ferd, I actually believe we do have some idea how much the climate changes are natural. Surely the identically sloped and identical time duration of warming and cooling periods over the past century+, during which we have added ~150ppm CO2, plus a pause as long as the warming period we got all my excited about, is evidence that natural is the elephant.

        Moreover, the fact that the monks who maintain the surface records have been tampering ferociously with these relationships is strong evidence that the warming ideologues also know the implications of these elements of change.

    • “what evidence would make you change your mind?”

      I asked that exact question to a supervisor that was denying me my performance pay. The answer was very telling, “nothing at all”. I don’t work there anymore.

      • @Alan , Yes , I changed my mind in exactly the opposite direction .

        I think in the Q&A at my Heartland presentation , http://cosy.com/Science/HeartlandBasicBasics.html , it was clear that , while rather basic calculations show the quantitative absurdity of the Hansen’s all too broadly accepted claim that Venus’s surface temperature , 2.25 times the gray body temperature in its orbit ( 25 times the kinetic energy density ) is due to some spectral , ie : greenhouse , effect , my alternative hypothesis was really the all too infrequently invoked : “I don’t know” .

        Since then in comments here on WUWT , particularly links to computations by HockeySchtick , I came to appreciate that gravity cannot be left out of the energy equations required to match the constraints of the divergence theorem on the radiative balance determined by a planet’s spectrum as seen from outside .

        I believe Brown’s article makes the unsupported assumption that the wire itself , of whatever material , would not show a temperature gradient . One way or another , the gravitational energy has to be accounted for .

        Certainly the temperature gradient with gravity is ubiquitous , not just in atmospheres of any composition , but continuing to the centers of planets and all other massive bodies .

        Certainly on any laboratory size scale making an experiment sensitive enough to detect the gradient would not be easy . I think I’ve seen references to some experimental tests but because of the difficulty on a small scale they are not definitive .

        Gravity effects the “temperature” ( wavelength ) of light escaping a gravitational field . That any material should be immune strikes me as inconsistent . I’ll repeat : one way or another , the gravitational energy has to be accounted for . And no quantitative equations or experiment have ever been presented demonstrating how some spectral effect can “trap” heat beyond that calculated for an object’s spectrum as seen from outside , eg : the Earth’s as seen from the Sun and the rest of the celestial sphere .

        I invite anybody interested to present their quantitatively stated analyses at http://cosy.com/Science/ComputationalEarthPhysics.html .

  3. “Dr. Berezow then points out the quasi-religious zealotry with which environmentalists “swear by the benefits of organic food, oppose GMOs and nuclear power (and often vaccines, too), and believe that the Earth is overpopulated by a destructive force called humanity.” Environmental zealots cling to these beliefs despite the fact that there is no evidence that “organic” (isn’t all food organic?) is any better than conventional food, that GMO crops are harmful, that nuclear power is particularly hazardous (9.0 earthquakes and tsunamis aren’t nuclear hazards) or that the Earth is overpopulated (Paul Ehrlich, the poster child for Malthusian failed predictions).”

    But!

    Not all environmentalists (not even most) believe in all or even most of that list of things, nor do only environmentalists believe in them. Several prominent green writers are pro nuclear power on climate change, for example (e.g. George Monbiot).

    • Griff, describing environmentalists as having certain positions is like describing a typical American Democratic Party member, or a British Labour Party member, a matter of great probability not certainty. The greens, like other political and religious groups, are membership movements, and most adherents do have common beliefs that relate to why they are in that group.

    • Griff,

      Most of the radical environmentalists I know (and there are a lot of them here in California) do adhere to this list of insane beliefs. I agree that not all environmentalists buy in to all of the BS, as I’m an environmentalist myself and I prefer to let facts, logic and balanced risk/reward assessments, rather then emotional arguments focused only on the perception of risk, guide my understanding of the natural world.

      The most important thing CO2 has to do with the environment is that it promotes the growth and robustness of the biosphere and is the single most important molecule we can put into the atmosphere to insure our future and that what little warming would result is far more beneficial than harmful. I can say with absolute certainty that once we eventually run out of carbon based fuel, our biggest concern will be how to boost atmospheric CO2 to prevent agriculture from crashing.

      That far too many people are scientifically ignorant and unduly biased by fear, an MSM that doesn’t have a clue and far left political ideologies are the reasons why the global warming meme is still around despite the undeniable fact that the laws of physics contradict it in many ways. If not for the political ideology supporting the meme (the conflict of interest), the fear would have been overturned by science and the clueless MSM would have no choice but to report it properly.

      So Griff, do you recognize the conflict of interest at the IPCC, do you deny it or do you think the conflict of interest serves the greater good regardless of the facts? To refresh your memory, the conflict is that the IPCC requires a significant anthropogenic effect to justify their agenda yet has become the arbiter of what is and what is not climate science based on what they publish in their reports. If you can’t comprehend how 3 decades of this conflict of interest has pushed climate science into a dark place, you need to remove your ideological blinders and open your eyes.

  4. “… “organic” (isn’t all food organic?)…”

    A bit disingenuous, I think. This type of superficial dialectic makes people who employ it look like troglodytes to those on the other side. And rightly so.

    • Does “organic” food contain Carbon? Where does that Carbon come from?

      Carbon Dioxide is the base of the food chain for all Carbon Based Life Forms.

      Does “organic” food come from pollution?

      • Of course even the boxed and package edibles are C based but I prefer the term Food Artifacts or Food Facimiles

    • ICISIL,
      When was the last time you ate any ‘inorganic’ food? The point is that “organic” is redundant and only used by those who want to make a distinction without a difference to obfuscate the issue.

      • And, don’t forget the “free-range” tortilla chips to go with the organic salsa. [face palm]

      • I recall an occasion many years ago (height of the hippy era) being asked if my wife’s dolomite tablets were “organic”. I cracked up laughing at the time, but under DM’s definition, I suppose the correct answer is yes.

      • You are being obtuse, and probably deliberately so.

        It is fairly obvious to most people who think about it, even a little bit, that ‘organic’ refers to all products used to feed & protect the produce. If you use artificial pesticides or fertilizer, for example, the product is not considered ‘organic’.

      • ” If you use artificial pesticides or fertilizer, for example, the product is not considered ‘organic’.”

        And yet pesticides (artificial or otherwise) are actually organic. They are carbon compounds, therefore part of the organic chemistry field.

      • Again, that’s obtuse. This is a different usage and meaning of the word ‘organic’, as I just explained.

    • CS/TH,

      See this is what I’m talking about. You know (or should know) that the term “organic” refers to how produce is cultivated, not it’s chemical composition. The other side interprets your intellectual dishonesty as stupidity and rightfully thinks, “What a bunch morons”.

      • A point of clarification. Not saying that you are rightfully called morons, but that it’s appropriate to think that someone’s a “moron” because they act stupidly.

      • Which is a gross misuse of the word “organic.”

        3
        a (1) : of, relating to, or derived from living organisms organic evolution (2) : of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides organic farming organic produce
        b (1) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds organic solvents (2) : relating to, being, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living beings and most other carbon compounds studied organic chemistry in college

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/organic

        Pretty well all “chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, and pesticides” are organic.

      • Regardless of how it’s cultivated, ALL food contains Carbon.

        How is it “intellectual dishonesty” to point that out?

      • Which is a gross misuse of the word “organic.” ”

        I totally agree. Lousy term.

      • Another one that bugs me… Aerobic exercise. I always breath when I exercise… /Sarc

      • ““bunch (of) morons”?. Or, “buncha morons”? Or, illiterate leftist?”

        Good grief…. FWIW, my mind works faster than the speed of light; my fingers, not so much; and my concern for the obsessions of Grammer Nazis? Negligible.

      • “Regardless of how it’s cultivated, ALL food contains Carbon.

        How is it “intellectual dishonesty” to point that out”

        Because it obfuscates the issue (purposefully or not is really irrelevant). If you don’t like the term, then address that issue. But don’t conflate it with a completely unrelated issue (i.e., how produce is cultivated).

      • But aren’t pesticides based on organic chemistry?

        The point that seems to have been made is that applying the term organic to produce is just a way to get those who are driven by fear to pay more for fruits and vegetables where the only benefit is psychological, much like the Paris accords which want us to pay more for energy to mitigate the fear of a naturally variable climate. Frankly, I’d rather wash the pesticides off my produce then eat the insects infesting it despite that the insects are also organic …

      • ICISIL –

        Curious that you became annoyed when someone pointed out your incorrect grammar, yet you feel obliged to criticize the correct use of the term ‘organic’.

      • I Came I Saw I Left
        The term organic means carbon based (chemistry) You may consider it science jargon that got hijacked later by others and now causes a degree of confusion to those who don’t know much about chemistry.

        It’s origins – “free from pesticides and fertilizers” first used in 1942.

        “Organic chemistry” is from 1831, often abbreviated to ‘organic’ there is little evidence of it’s use outsider chemistry until 1942. .

        1510s, “serving as an organ or instrument,” greeks and romans – “of or pertaining to an organ, serving as instruments or engines,” In English it means organic chemistry – organics have a host of peculiar traits and common attributes not found in inorganic chemistry.

        Sure words like natural or big or safe have vague meanings, but when a scientist says organic they mean carbon based chemistry, the same as when they say acid it means a pH below 7.

      • @ June 1, 2017 at 9:41 am

        Another one that bugs me… Aerobic exercise.

        A severe “bugging” might result if this warning is not heeded, to wit:

        WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

        I sure hope that everyone is aware of the dastardly dangers of ingesting two (2) commonly available products that do not contain “Warning Labels” specifying that they are to never be taken, ingested or eaten at the same time because all sorts of calamities can occur within the gut of the person that ingests them.

        One of the items is a prescription medicine called an “antibiotic” and the other item is a digestive aide called a “probiotic” …….. and when that “antibiotic” gets to fighting n’ arguing n’ fussing with that “probiotic” …… then only the Flying Spaghetti Monsters knows who the “winner” will be.

        Yours Truly, …….. Eritas Fubar, …… at your service.

    • Just because they want to hijack a perfectly good term, is not evidence that we should let them get away with it.

      • They’ve already done that, unfortunately. I’d love to see a more appropriate term. But until that can be formulated, why don’t we recognize the dynamics of the situation and try not to alienate each other via intolerance (this side disgusted at the simpleton use of terminology, and that side disgusted at the glossing over of poisons in our food). And if you are offended by the latter, I can provide a test experiment to prove that you are only different from them by degree..

      • Show me the “poisons.” So called organic food is more likely to have mycotoxins or more hazardous and toxic pesticide residues.

  5. Long been of the opinion that the hackneyed “follow the money” paradigm is highly misleading. Many things are driven by true religious zeal and climate hysteria is one of them. There are always those who will prey on the faithful but much like carbon dioxide and temperature, the zeal precedes the predatory response.

    • Cephus0,

      True religious zeal is created in the populace by those in control (power) and there is no more powerful control than religion. Back to money/power. God knows this. That’s why he put the cross in the sky for Emperor Constantine. Once Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire it spread quite well. Who wants to argue with the rulers of the empire? The sword is also a byproduct of power.

    • Not only that, but the TRUE irony is that MUCH MORE money has been spent by governments, NGOs and the like promoting AGW BS than has been spent by the supposedly evil fossil fuel industry speaking out against the hysteria. BUT somehow, ONLY the fossil fuel industry money “corrupts” scientists.The government/NGO money somehow lacks the same corrupting influence (in the narrow minds of the Climate Fascists). LMFAO.

  6. David,

    Good points, however, I’ll still put my money on money as the main driver. Money is also power and the drivers of the green scam are power people. The rank and file, they can be rather easily hosed and bullshitted, in the long run. And, as far as that goes, in the long run, what does power get you? More money/power. Just look at the old CCCP. The Russian revolution threw out the old royalty, executed them actually, and made themselves the new royalty. That’s how it has always worked.

    Regards,

    Jim G1

  7. From a biological perspective, human farming is tremendously beneficial to certain foodcrops and animals. By most measures, wheat is the most successful plant in the world — being raised from a minor weed 11,000 years ago to one of the largest biomass products in the current world. By the same measures, chickens are also the most successful animal in the world with other domesticated animals not far behind (dogs, cats, cows, pigs, sheep).

    The best thing a plant or animal can do is to use humans to drive their success. We are the slaves who make wheat successful.

    • No question that human husbandry has positively effected the populations of numerous animals that we have “domesticated”. However, I would hazard a guess that phytoplankton is the most successful flora and that termites far out weigh chickens for the title of most abundant animal.

    • In terms of biomass for a single animal species, Antarctic krill are probably the winners. Southern right whales can’t be wrong. It might however become a close-run thing if human population stabilizes at nine to 11 billion, especially if everybody gets as fat as Americans.

      But, it’s true that the defective, outcast, hang-around-the-human-camp wolves had the last laugh, becoming dogs, while wolves were barely hanging on until humans took pity on them. Rats have also benefited from human expansion, as have coyotes and white-tailed deer.

      While the wild ancestor of cattle, the aurochs, is extinct, and of horses almost so, domesticated cattle and horses have thrived.

      • Note that our forebearers were hunting aurochs (beef) for food. They wound up domesticating these fine beasts because of their contribution to good nutrition, flavor, efficiency in converting abundant, inedible forage into meat and milk, hardiness…

        What is with the designer brains of today’s sorry, maladjusted, ‘progressive’ misanthropes. They want us to give up meat, nature’s food we evolved with because it is harming the planet while it’s okay to chop down hardwood forests to burn instead of coal. What is the difference? Both foraging animals and biomass fuel gatherers ‘burn’ renewable plants and DO NOT add to the C burden of the atmosphere (using the clotted thought processes of the worriers). Indeed in the case of aurochs, the the resequestration of carbon is a matter of weeks, but forests take many him an generations to claim their carbon back.

        The reason champagne soshulust utopes can never succeed in their quest is because of deep obvious flaws in their logic. But they can be an undying pain in the a55.

  8. The sad part is, the idiots do not even realize they are proving the point they wish to dismiss. But that is what blind obedience to ideology does.

    • Sometimes the corruption goes all the way down. Medical research is a good example.

      Sometimes there’s someone in the back encouraging and financing. Most of the actual activists are just useful idiots.

      • Case in point. War on cancer. $110 mil spent, pitiful results. Follow the money.

      • Cancer survival rates are way above what they were 20 or 30 years ago.
        Also, there isn’t one type of cancer. There are hundreds. And each type of cancer has the ability to express itself differently in different patients.
        It’s a huge problem and progress is being made.

      • Not to go off on a tangent, but…

        Just what the hell is a “cancer survival rate” anyway? It’s expressed as the number of “people who live 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer.” Got that? 5 years from DIAGNOSIS. All the “increase” in “survival rates” reflects is the massive increase in cancer testing and the advancement of the date of diagnosis – which in turn, increases the number of people who live 5 years beyond their diagnosis. In other words, by constantly looking for cancer, the medical industry can “take credit” for extending your “post diagnosis” life span. Given the billions thrown at “cancer research,” they should have found a CURE by now. Therein lies the trouble – they’re NOT LOOKING FOR a “cure,” they’re looking for new “treatments.” An actual cure would kill the golden goose of cancer “treatments.” It’s disgusting.

        When they have a CURE for cancer (NOT “treatment”) then you can brag on their “progress.” Until then, their “effort” is pitiful.

      • Cure rates are way up, that is the number of people who reach total remission and remain there for years.
        And while it is true that some cancers are being detected earlier, the number of people who live more than 5 years from diagnosis is up way more than can be explained by that.
        Your paranoia when it comes to doctors is duly noted. Should I suggest that you cancel your health insurance since you have become convinced that the entire health care industry is nothing more than a scam.

    • Once you detect corruption, it can be a useful technique to root it out, as can looking for ideological bias. But the point is, you can’t do it the other way around (use money source or ideology to show corruption).

  9. Notwithstanding…as outlined by the numbers according to IPCC and the Paris climate treaty, it would require the spending of vast, voluminous, horrific and unbelievable amounts of money, all to MAYBE move the CAGW dial 0.5deg Celsius….a rough estimation of say 1000 dump trucks full of one thousand dollar bills! ponderous man, ponderous

  10. The new Democrat professional elite like to think of themselves as smart and morally superior to the climate-denying despicables. They also are under the illusion that they understand the issues. They will toe the party line on CAGW. It’s as much about self-deception as it is about ideology.

    • Remember when Obama declared disbelief at the fact that the more he gave speeches on ObamaCare, the lower the support for it got.
      He was convinced that the only reason why people did not follow him was because they hadn’t heard enough of his speeches.

      • This sounds like the AGW alarmists, who are 100% convinced that the reason the rest of us don’t believe them is that they just haven’t inflicted enough nuanced “messaging” upon us yet.

  11. “Regarding the CAGW failed hypothesis, any actual evidence could make me change my mind.

    The abject failure of the climate models over the past 30 years and the insane resistance among the so-called consensus to accepting the fact that all of the actual evidence supports a climate which is relatively insensitive to human impacts on the carbon cycle makes me quite confident that no such evidence will be forthcoming.”

    I’ll agree with all of that.

    It’s not about rejecting evidence. There is no evidence to reject. Not saying there might not be some evidence produced in the future, but I have yet to see it, and ECS estimates keep going down, down, down.

    • I was somewhat of a “believer” in the early 2000’s. The ice cores seemed to indicate a strong correlation between CO2 and T, Mann’s hockey stick seemed to indicate that the modern warming was anomalous and the late 1990’s were hotter than Hell.

      Then it was revealed that CO2 lagged T in the ice cores, Mann’s hockey stick was either fraudulent or the product of gross incompetence and the warming began leveling off.

      Since then, I have seen no evidence to support AGW being anything worse than a mild inconvenience.

      • I am with you David. I have spent most of my professional geology career in the environmental arena in both the public and private sector. The information easily consumed from publications such as National Geographic or news outlets like NPR providing a calm (albeit in retrospect one-sided), narrative sprinkled with some science that seemed on the surface to be convincing. After going to work for an energy company (still on the environmental side), I felt I needed to up my game and dig into the issue in more detail to defend my “believe” with the “science”. To say I feel mislead is an understatement. I soon dropped my National Geographic subscription and gave up on NPR in 2016. Just wish I could have changed my vote in 2008.

      • of course CO2 lagged temperature in ice cores. No one is suggesting that CO2 is the only driver of
        climate. Ice Ages are an obvious case the main cause of which is probably the changing orbit of the earth. But CO2 is a driver of climate change and there is a positive feedback between CO2 and temperature so when one rise so does the other.

    • The known physics of gas molecules (albeit a bit deeper than some grasp) explains why the ghg CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Eventually it will become more widely realized ECS is not significantly different from zero.

      The main factor countering temperature decline is the still rising trend of water vapor (1.5%/decade, about 3X expected due to feedback caused by temperature rise). The added warmth is welcome (and some will cling to the fallacy that CO2 did it) but the added WV increases the risk of precipitation related flooding.

      • No one is doubting that water vapour is the most significant molecule in terms of its greenhouse action.
        However the problem is that it rapidly condenses out of the atmosphere and with CO2 and other similar
        non-condensing gases then all of the water vapour would condense out of the atmosphere within a few weeks and the earth would freeze. CO2 alone provides a modest amount of warming which allows more water vapour to remain in the atmosphere which raises the temperature and increasing the water vapour content which increases the temperature and so on. It is a well established positive feedback which explains why the earth has the average temperature that it does.

        If you want to claim why the ECS is not significantly different from zero you need to say why it reduces from previously positive non-zero values at lower concentrations to zero. Any provide a proof that doesn’t violate
        well established laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics.

      • Geronimo, all scientists on both sides are aware of CO2 ‘s interception of LWIR. But this laboratory, ceteris paribus transfer to the real world has proven to be naive thinking. Look up Le Chatelier’s Priniple even in Wiki. So many other things come into play in a multivariable climate regime that we find this simple laboratory behavior to be of limited effect in the climate.

        Nature has a quiver of arrows to countervail such effects. Suppose there was a mechanism to gather the CO2 – heated air up, lifting it rapidly and bypassing the troposphere and thereby radiating this heat directly to outer space? Yup she can do that (I leave the how-to to interested students for homework) .

        Supposing you saw someone adding water to an odd-looking big black steel tank, sealing it off and then throwing coal onto a big glowing firebox under it. Let’s say you wonder what will happen and you rush to the laboratory and take a small steel tank with water in it and do the same thing and it blows up. What would be your surprise if you rushed back outside and saw the big steel tank moving along smoothly on steel rails!

    • Agreed. All the Climate Fascists have is their unshakable BELIEF in the hypothesis that CO2 drives temperature, their models that assume their BELIEF to be fact (AND magnify the effect of it with positive feedback loops that also are completely unsupported by any empirical evidence), and their endless propaganda. Not a scrap of real, scientific evidence exists to support the ridiculous notion of “C”AGW.

  12. The attacks on CAGW skeptical scientists from the “climate change alarmists” are almost always based on allegations that such scientists are funded by some nefarious corporate or conservative entity. This is nothing more than a form of ad hominem attack. It assumes that any research funded by industry or pro-business organization is automatically dishonest and unethical. This is a despicable and completely ludicrous argument. The fact is that a huge amount of sound scientific research is done in the corporate world by companies with a clear understanding that only the facts matter. After all, development of new products or services based on poor or invalid research can only result in products or services destined to fail in the market.

    Does anyone think that it is in the interest of major pharmaceutical companies, or companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Boeing, Google, Tesla or GE to pay their researches to create fraudulent or invalid research findings? If being paid by a corporation to do research makes any findings suspect, why would any talented scientist ever go to work for such companies? The fact is that it is in any company’s interests to discover the truth through careful and sound research before putting their products on the market.

    Sure, there are instances of scientific corruption and research done to try and “prove” a false claim. Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scam might be a good example – one I have no doubt the company will regret for a long time if it does not sink them. I am skeptical of many claims that are made for products like homeopathic remedies and natural supplements because the science supporting the claims is clearly invalid. But my skepticism is based on reading the reports and analysis by skeptics, not on who paid for them.

    I’m not saying that there are not corrupt and/or unethical “scientists” who will fabricate a suitable finding for whomever will pay them. If they have any brains, they better make sure they get paid enough to live on when their careers disappear or after they get out of prison. We can expect that many of them will be discredited by competent and honest skeptics. But such people can be found on both sides of any scientific controversy. You can find many of them working as “expert witnesses” for one side or the other in just about any liability law suit. But it appears to me that the greatest sources of biased and invalid science come from the environmental and bio-medical (largely government funded) research communities.

  13. “If science is to be preserved as a universal search for knowledge, the emphasis must be on the integrity of its processes and procedures. If we reject knowledge on the basis of who proposes it, for example, as Ian Hacking has noted, we will be back in the prescientific age when “probable cause” meant being supported by an eminent authority. Ridiculous today? Then why is it that the work of scientists employed by industry is routinely disregarded? The answer given is that because they work for companies with a financial stake in the matter at issue, they are too biased to be worthy of consideration. If we want a universal science, however, it cannot be the origin of the work but its value as science that matters. Of course, we are not required to be naive. We may conclude that industry-sponsored research is likely to underestimate and environmental groups to overestimate dangers and thus seek to counter these biases, if they exist. Yet either of these putative extremes may be right. The assumption that “the truth is somewhere in between” is not a logical one and could well be false.

    “Money may be a root of evil, but it is not necessarily the root of all evil. Whatever happened to the seven deadly sins? Why is fame no longer the spur, only money? The sources of bias, the point is, are numerous and the process of expanding our knowledge must guard against all of them, not just one.”
    —Aaron Wildavsky, But Is It True? A citizen’s guide to environmental health and safety issues (1995), p. 30

    https://www.amazon.com/But-True-Citizens-Environmental-Health/dp/0674089235/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496332180&sr=1-1&keywords=But+Is+It+True%3F+A+citizen’s+guide+to+environmental+health+and+safety+issues

  14. This post makes an excellent point, and it supports the view we should not call global warming pseudoscience a “hoax” as some do. Hoax implies the people who preach it know it is false, when in fact it should be clear that most of them actually do believe it. It’s like Marxism, psychoanalysis, orgone therapy, or Lysenkoism. These are pseudosciences, even delusions, but not hoaxes.

  15. I wonder how the “environmental” ideology will play out. I recently saw a film which I believe was produced by Smithsonian explaining the decline of Yellowstone Elk by connecting elk depredation by bears to the depopulation of Yellowstone cutthroat trout, which is the result of illegally transplanted lake trout eating the cutthroat in Yellowstone lake. It appears to be a construct to displace the cause of the elk decline from the wolf to the bears as the bears apparently now cannot live on fish; they have to eat baby elk. I find it illustrative since it is becoming clear that George Monbiot’s Ted talk about how wolves save rivers is becoming a bit tattered as research doesn’t support the claim so much, and perhaps somebody might notice there aren’t as many elk in YNP as there used to be. Ideologically it is obvious wolves can do no wrong and apparently nobody has ever seen a wolf eat an elk. The important point being the elk are in decline and it is amazingly well correlate with the number of wolves in the Yellowstone landscape. To accept that they have caused the decline and potentially extirpation of elk locally would be a difficult ideological pill to swallow. It isn’t very popular when the savior of the park becomes a problem. So, to be consistent with the environmental ideology, it is best to make sure everyone knows it is those difficult humans that put lake trout in Yellowstone Lake that cause problems. But, this is only an example. Of course the lake trout don’t belong in Yellowstone Lake but that only provides a nice tidy answer that takes wolves and bears off the hook. Is it the right answer? It might be, and then it might be BS. Is there nothing those damned humans can’t screw up?!!! Never mind that there are a lot of predators in a constrained environment and they certainly do not “balance” themselves. Ideologically, environmentalism relies on a fundamental under pinning that man cannot fix nature and that if people are removed from the equation while top predators remain everything will become natural and balanced. We will see how long they can hold on to that ideology in the face of declining elk and moose. The list of environmental ideological dichotomies is long and all of them are ongoing. Examples: Animals good vs. People bad, Solar good vs. Coal bad, Wolves good vs. Cattle bad, Vegetarian good vs. Meat eating bad. Readers of WUWT get it, but for our universities plagued with ideological constructs from their very own professors there is a long road ahead on the way to getting the right answer.

  16. The fact that the evidence and analysis does not support CAGW or even AGW is one of the reasons why there has been an astonishing rise in fake news, fake scientific papers, and the complete breakdown in logical communication procedures/norms (how the media has changed).

    Further complicating the CAGW fiasco is the proposed solution to the problem that does not exist, is forced spending on green scams that do not work (have significant fundamental engineering limitations.)

    What we now have/had is a dysfunctional court room, where the jury is stacked/was stacked with people who had/have made up their minds (we are not sure when or why they made up their minds) before any evidence has presented.

    In a court room, there are sever penalties for manipulating data, hiding data, and knowingly presenting incorrect analysis. It is now completely fine to tell white lies and spread propaganda.

    In a court room, there are procedures to enable/encourage that the important decisions are based on observations, evidence.

    For example, the trial is recorded, so a third party can review the evidence and there are procedures to ensure the decision is logical (connected to the evidence).

    In a court room, both sides have an opportunity to present evidence and to discuss evidence.

    There is no evidence presented in the CAGW dysfunctional court room, the ‘evidence’ is 97% of the scientists ‘agree’ with a vague statement that has nothing to do with the question is there or is there not CAGW?

    The CAGW dysfunctional court room is primarily large protest demonstrations with people dressed in costumes and/or people carrying signs with derogatory statements/pictures concerning non-believers and short talking head media events where the talking heads are true believers who have done zero investigation into the subject and just repeat rhetoric.

    • There should be more open public debates which need to be widely covered by media. People must listen to views from both sides and make up their mind about climate change. Climate change is purely natural and CO2 has no/negligible role to play. All the scare stories are generated by models when models are full of flaws.

  17. I just want to remind the fossil fuel industry, that I can be purchased fairly cheaply.

    I have lots of good arguments against CAGW and warmunism. Until now I have been spreading them around for free.

    But, give me some money, and I will get loud.

    Please.

  18. It is worth reflecting that money – beyond that required to provide the basic necessities of life – is merely a proxy for status in the human dominance hierarchy. The underlying motivation that drives acquisitiveness is the success, importance, power and influence that money implies, which, to put bluntly, makes the person a more appealing mate. When money is properly understood as a means to an end it can be seen that there are other equally valuable stand-ins for status, such as plaudits, titles, public acclamation, etc.

    The money is not the thing, the status is the thing! In this context, the pursuit of status by political or any other socially-sanctioned means is as potentially corrupting as the pursuit of money because exactly the same fundamental motivation is in play.

    • I disagree. I like money, beyond basic necessities, because it can give me luxuries. Status is kind of nice, but I don’t care too much for it. In Oz we don’t rate it so highly as most, which is why I moved here.

  19. Environmentalists seem to think that there is a difference between a man dressed in a white bed sheet carrying a sign saying “The World Is Coming To An End” and a man dressed in a white lab coat carrying a sign saying “The World Is Coming To An End”.

    There is a cartoon in that –.a drawing of the two staring at each other and the caption below — “Ideology Meets Ideology”

    Eugene WR Gallun.

  20. I’ve been saying for years, you have to have this ideology in place to be a warmist, although that is not to discount the money motivation (4 trillion and whatnot), because there is also an enormous exploitation factor.

    But I also chalk it down to personality type. You gotta be a control-freak first. Last season’s judgmental religious puritans are this season’s environmental wackos. You can be religious without burning someone at the stake as a witch – that sort of action requires the control-freak personality, independent of belief or ideology.

  21. in the CO2 debate – i think (but can’t prove) that the more prevalent motives for bias are each person’s political leanings and the side they take once taken – i suspect but can’t prove that too few skeptics have access to monetary rewards from the fossil fuel industry to make it a potent force

    • Not to mention the fact that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t dole out “monetary rewards” to CAGW skeptics.

      • i wouldn’t go so far as to say it “never” does – tho a suspicion i can’t prove

        the perception by laymen is important – and ANY monetary relationship could muddy the water – so even tho in debate ad hominem is not proof of any sort – it can be damaging for its effect on the man in the street – that’s why it is so widely used by opposition – and why the best strategy for leading skeptics to be as pure and unsullied as possible

        this is a propaganda war – the skeptics’ tactics should include finesse as well as science

  22. Regarding the Steve Coates’ comment that Dr. Berezow’s cited in his essay. Mr. Coate’s, in his comment extolled the wonders of “organic” foods. Readers here may be interested in an essay by Henry I Miller titled “The Colossal Hoax of Organic Food” that appeared in Forbes two years ago. His essay may be found at forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2015/07/29/why-organic-agriculture-is-a-colossal-hoax/#21aaf97363c8

    As one might expect, most of the comments posted in response to Miller’s essay did not attempt to rebute his assertions but, rather, were ad hom attacks.

    • I agree it’s mainly a hoax, but there are exceptions. I recently accidentally bought some organic milk. On tasting it, I was amazed at how good it was. It was like the milk I had in the 70’s. I think the milk here in Oz had become much worse over decades, probably in order to increase profits. There is also the fact that increasing amounts of skimmed milk has made many accept that milk does not taste very goid anyway.

      Now I have found other milk not claimed to be organic that tastes as good, but my feeling is that many organic farmers practice this because they actually care about the quality of their produce. In doing so, they produce a better product, regardless of its ‘organic’ status.

      I would go some distance to get better produce generally, but not too get organic produce per se.

  23. Another right on point article.

    I’ve tried to talk down the “follow the money” crowd for years. It’s just way more complicated and cultural then social welfare promises or crony capitalism drivers.

    Of course it’s about to be put to the test in NY and CA very soon. All the usual climate clowns Jerry Brown and Mike Bloomberg are promising a state based Paris compliance effort. So are they saying tax payers in these states are going to be forced to redistribute their wealth to the UN??

    Thinking of Forrest Gump at this question; “stupid is as stupid does”. The day one of these states votes to send real money to the UN for climate policy would be the end of the one party rule in these states. You know it’s a off election year when something this dumb is spoken aloud. Of course what Paris actually was will be put in the memory hole and what it is remembered as something completely different. That’s what ideology does to the brain collectively.

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