My excellent adventure into the March for Science

By Andy May

I love visiting WUWT and Climate, Etc., but most of the visitors to these sites, like me, are skeptical that the current global warming is dangerous. I’ve often visited the notable alarmist websites, such as and, to gain an understanding of why they think the current warming is dangerous and man-made. I’ve even written posts on their views, like here, and I’ve cited their posts where appropriate. But, what about the regular educated population of people who believe global warming is dangerous and carbon dioxide is a pollutant? To be a well-rounded climate science writer shouldn’t I engage with the climate-scientist-on-the-street?

I was recently invited to join the facebook group “March for Science.” At first, I ignored the invitation, after all marching in the streets is a political thing and has nothing to do with science. But, “climate science” is also a political thing these days and has little to do with science, at least the science I knew during my 42-year career as a scientist. So maybe this is a forum I could benefit from, I was fairly sure I’d be bloodied a bit by the experience, but I might learn something. What is the caliber of the forum members? Would it be all ad hominem attacks and appeals to the so-called 97% consensus, or would some of them engage in a real scientific debate on the dangers or lack thereof, of global warming or climate change? Would they debate the evidence that CO2 concentration dominates climate change? I was curious.

Figure 1 is the banner page of the forum, click on the image below to go to the page. I’m not 100% sure this will work for everyone because the page is invitation only.

Figure 1

The photo at the top of the page is not very encouraging. They are not a very scientific looking bunch. The signs are not very scientific either, “speaking TRUTH to power” sounds more like a religious or political slogan than a scientific one. More scientific and more appropriate slogans would be like these:

Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable. Brian Greene, American physicist.

What seems to be missing in common discussions of climate change, whether man-made or not, whether caused by CO2 or not, is that science is a job and a learned skill, it’s a process. It most definitely is not something someone believes in or has faith in, it is not a set of facts anointed by self-appointed “climate scientists” and passed down to the great unwashed masses to be believed without question. Although, unfortunately, you find many who think that. You will see statements from my adventure in the March for Science that sound much like that.

To the best of my knowledge the great Columbia physicist Brian Greene has not spoken out about climate science, but he has stated that:

“… in order to have great breakthroughs in science, you’ve got to go against what the elders are saying.”

Or put another way, go against the consensus. As you might expect, the March for Science members talked a lot about the consensus. Brian Greene does discuss how science became a political prisoner here.

Figure 2 are the rules for posting. I found these encouraging, but quickly found out after my first post that they aren’t followed by many of the members.

Figure 2

But, many visitors to WUWT and don’t follow the rules either, to be fair.

For my first post, I chose to write about Dr. Spencer’s excellent discussion of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) criticism of U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. See figure 3 below, click on the figure to read Dr. Spencer’s post or click here. Mr. Perry stated that he did not believe that carbon dioxide was:

“… the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate.”

Perry continued that we should not be debating whether man affects climate, humans do affect climate, the debate is over “how much.” This is a very reasonable position to take and Dr. Spencer explains this quite well. The data we have today doesn’t show the amount of current warming attributable to man-made greenhouse gases, the man-made CO2 effect is too small to measure. Dr. Spencer writes about this problem in his book The Great Global Warming Blunder:

“Our satellite instruments still do not have the absolute accuracy to measure the small imbalance from Earth orbit that is believed to exist from more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so we cannot even directly measure the mechanism that supposedly causes global warming! As of 2009, it is estimated that humanity’s CO2 emissions …[have] caused an estimated 1.6 watts per square meter of extra energy to be trapped, out of the estimated 235 to 240 watts per square meter that the Earth on average emits to outer space on a continuous basis. We really don’t know the exact magnitude of the average flows of energy in and out of the Earth to better than several watts per square meter. It could be 235, 240, or 245 watts per square meter. I find it amazing that the scientific community’s purported near-certainty that global warming is manmade rests on a forcing mechanism–a radiative imbalance–that is too small to measure.”

Dr. Spencer is well qualified to make this judgement call, he is a co-recipient (with Dr. John Christy) of NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their pioneering work on global temperature monitoring using satellite microwave data. He is the NASA U.S. Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer, currently flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. If you are curious about how Spencer and Christy, and the others on their team measure atmospheric temperatures from satellites, I recommend the excellent and easy to understand post by Dr. Spencer (see here).

The estimates that man-made carbon dioxide is causing most of the current warming are based on computer models and not on measurements. More on this calculation from model output can be read on my blog (here) or in Chapter 10 of the AR5 report by the IPCC here. The AMS position is the usual:

“thousands of independent scientists and numerous scientific institutions around the world agree … that [human] emissions of carbon dioxide are the primary cause [of climate change]”

Thus, they simply say trust climate scientists and provide no evidence for their assertion. This is not surprising, since there is no evidence.

Figure 3

Figure 4 has the Like/Dislike breakdown after a few days.

Figure 4

I was a bit surprised that the likes outnumbered the dislikes. Reading the 420+ comments, one would think that the dislikes would be higher, but more likely they were just more vocal. With the basic background covered, I’d like to discuss key parts of the discussion. I participated in the discussion in my spare time over 3 days, but when it became very repetitive on June 25, I stopped. There were numerous threads in the discussion, I will deal with the major topics in turn.

Ad hominem arguments

Most of the comments were ad hominem attacks on either Dr. Spencer or myself, I’ll show a couple of these, then move on to the more interesting stuff. After several attacks on my manhood, mental health and qualifications and seeing nothing about Mr. Perry’s statement or Dr. Spencer’s post, I posted the following which I stole from David Middleton:

Figure 5

This led to 23 replies, a selected few are presented in figure 6.

Figure 6

Most of the 23 replies are along the lines of Tom Stark’s comment. I think Lorcan McGuinness is in a class of his own. Scott McDonald’s comments are quite good. By the way, “OP” stands for original poster (me). So, there are gems to be found in all of this.

Does CO2 dominate climate change?

Besides the ad hominem thread, we had several others of interest. Many presumed to know my motives (sinister, of course) or my interests, like in the following:

Figure 7

So, Ms. Oomen’s professor asserted that we would be insane to deny the existence of radiative forcing. She does not say what radiative forcing she is talking about, but presumably she means CO2. She supplies no evidence or references supporting her assertion, only her MSc in Physics. There were a lot of comments like this, I ignored them.

The effect of solar variability and is the Little Ice Age global?

Then there was this comment by Gilman Ouellette that I thought was quite good, it was the first comment with any substance. I include my reply.

Figure 8

Mr. Ouellette’s first link is to a composite graph of TSI from several satellites from 1975 to June 2010. See figure 9.

Figure 9

The point he is making is that the variability of total solar irradiance (TSI) is too small to matter. This is the same claim that is made by the IPCC in AR5. However, there is vigorous debate on the issue. Soon, Connolly and Connolly have challenged the TSI reconstruction used by the IPCC here and claim the Hoyt and Schatten reconstruction is better and fits the climate record better.

Khider, et al. (2014) compared a very quiet TSI record by Steinhilber et al. (2009) to a western Pacific Ocean temperature reconstruction and determined that the sensitivity to solar variability is 9.3°C to 16.7°C/Wm-2, if Steinhilber is the correct record of TSI. This is very high, much higher than the IPCC estimate of 0.7 to 1°C or the Tung et al.(2008) estimate of 1 to 1.5°C. They offer two possibilities for this:

“There remains the possibility that (1) the Steinhilber et al. [2009] reconstruction underestimate actual TSI variability and (2) the response to small changes in solar irradiance was locally enhanced in western tropical Pacific.”

As discussed in more detail here, Steinhilber et al. (2009) is the TSI reconstruction used by the IPCC to compute human influence on the climate. They believe, as Mr. Ouellette does, that solar output varies very little and, as a result, does not influence climate change. Yet, there are many other, equally likely and peer-reviewed TSI reconstructions that show much more variability. These are shown on the left side of figure 10:

Figure 10 (source: Soon, Connolly and Connolly, 2015)

The top TSI reconstruction by Hoyt and Schatten as updated by Scafetta and Wilson (2014) actually explains most of the warming in the past 150 years, reducing the calculated human influence (Soon, Connolly and Connolly 2015).

Mr. Ouellette’s second reference refers to a paper that proposes that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did not happen around the world at precisely the same time. This is true, but between 1500 AD and 1900 AD every part of the world experienced their respective coolest period in the Holocene, see the world-wide Holocene temperature reconstructions here. Below you can see a blow up of the period 2000 BC to 2000 AD in figure 11:

Figure 11 (source here)

The Northern Hemisphere has a very long and deep Little Ice Age that covers the full period from 1500 to the late 1800’s. Each of the other regions also has its coolest period in this interval, but slightly offset from one another and the cool period is shorter than in the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, the world is at its coolest point globally during the period 1500 AD to 1850 AD, but the severity of the cold is not uniform and the depths of the cold are not synchronous around the world. The tropics and the Southern Hemisphere have their cold period earlier and the Arctic later than the Northern Hemisphere.

The Earth’s emission spectrum

Mr. Ouellette had another very pertinent post that I want to address. See figure 12.

Figure 12 (click on the figure to see a larger version of the graph)

Mr. Ouellette is correct that amplitude changes in the Earth’s infra-red emission spectrum depend, in part, on the temperature of the air emitting the radiation. It also depends upon the greenhouse gas concentration and CO2 is an infra-red (IR) active gas, so changes in CO2 will matter, but water vapor is far more important. Also, water vapor is the primary transporter, through latent heat of evaporation, of heat energy from the Earth’s surface to altitudes high enough that CO2 and other greenhouse gases can emit radiation to space. While it is true, that the NASA AIRS satellite has shown that IR radiation emissions have decreased as CO2 concentration has gone up, this does not prove that CO2 absorption was the only cause of the decrease, although it is likely one of the causes. There are too many unknowns to claim CO2 is the major cause, there is some evidence that global precipitable water in the atmosphere has decreased (see here), solar activity has certainly decreased (see here), ocean heat content has increased (see here) providing more energy storage. So, as I say above, Mr. Ouellette has overstepped his data a bit.

He switches to another topic next and points out that we can tell how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is from fossil fuels and how much is natural by monitoring how the ratio of carbon-14 and carbon-13 change with time. Quite true, but again he hits the causation wall, is CO2 changing the climate? We still have no evidence for that, there are too many other plausible possibilities. As noted by Mr. Perry in the post, the question is, how much of the warming is due to CO2 and how much is due to other factors?

The so-called 97% Consensus

This is the myth that will not die, and any discussion of climate change will eventually degrade to a discussion of the so-called 97% consensus. It has been very thoroughly de-bunked by Professor Richard Tol here and here. Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer also do a good job of blowing up the myth here. So, I will provide no more commentary, but will show a representative comment to prove that some people still believe that nonsense.

Figure 13

Detection and attribution of man-made climate change

The attribution of climate change to human activities was a widely discussed topic. The posts on this topic are too long to include here, but if you can get to the thread (try here) some are worth reading. I will summarize the discussion. Generally, the idea that CO2 is the control knob for climate was explained using “what else could it be” logic. The proponents, like Chris Colose, acknowledge that solar variability and ocean transport and storage of heat energy could be factors, but claim they cannot account for all the temperature change, so CO2 emissions must account for most of the change. They do not question the low estimates of ocean or solar forcing that the IPCC uses, but others do. There is a discussion of the attribution of climate change to human activity here.

In short, their argument boils down to this: the world is warming, we know precisely how much nature contributed to this warming, so we subtract that from the total and remainder must be due to man’s CO2 emissions because there is nothing else that could have done it. A very weak case indeed.

What should be done about global warming

There was considerable discussion about what to do, if anything, about global warming. Most of the discussion was like the following:

Figure 14

So, one argument is, global warming may lead to a disaster and it may be due to fossil fuel emissions and solving it by reducing or eliminating the use of fossil fuels might be possible, so we should reduce our use of fossil fuels anyway, even if we are not sure. There are a lot of ifs and maybes in there. The opposing argument is, if we stop or reduce the use of fossil fuels, it might ruin our economies and what if warming continues anyway? Wouldn’t we need energy from fossil fuels to help us adapt to warmer temperatures? What if we are wrong about all of this? That was pretty much how it went.


Most of the 420+ comments were vacuous ad hominem attacks or assertions made without any support or references. But, a few were interesting and thoughtful by people who had obviously studied the subject and knew what they were talking about. I tried to touch on them above to give the reader a flavor of the more knowledgeable alarmist positions. It was a bit difficult at times to wade through the ad hominem attacks on Dr. Spencer and myself, but I still found the experience worthwhile. It gave me more of a perspective on the other side of the debate. There were also more people supporting my position than I would have expected. You can see some of their comments in the figures above. These are just a few of the favorable comments I received. So, even at web sites like this one, skeptical thinking can intrude. Maybe the climate science community isn’t quite as polarized as we often assume. Something to think about.


256 thoughts on “My excellent adventure into the March for Science

    • Leif, I agree your new sunspot record is better than the one Hoyt and Schatten used. The new one is generally accepted. But, the reconstruction, as modified by Scafetta and Willson (2014) is not based only on sunspots. At least in my opinion, for what it is worth, there is as much data supporting the revised Hoyt and Schatten record as there is supporting the Steinhilber reconstruction, perhaps more. Both need to be considered as possibilities at this point, it would be as bad if Hoyt and Schatten were used and Steinhilber ignored as the other way round.

      • The reconstruction based on Cosmic Ray proxies are contaminated by climate so are not more accurate. The Scafetta reconstruction is contaminated by bias and wishful thinking and is not trustworthy.

    • Leif,

      I enjoyed reading your linked paper. It was a welcome relief to reading the climate papers I have been focused on recently. I particularly appreciated the attention you and Schatten paid to uncertainties.

      I do have a question, however. You state, “It is remarkable that the raw data with no normalization at all closely match (coefficient of determination for linear regression R2 = 0.97) the number of groups calculated by dividing the HS GSN by an appropriate scale factor (14), demonstrating that the elaborate, and somewhat obscure and incorrect, normalization procedures employed by HS have almost no effect on the result. The normalization thus did not introduce, remove, or correct any trends (such as the “secular increase” from 1700 to the present) or anomalies that were not already in the raw data, contrary to the inference of Cliver and Ling (2015).” You are critical of the HS work, but it seems that you are saying that they got the right answer for the wrong reason(s). Am I missing something?

      • They didn’t get it right. What they did had no effect on just the raw data which simply show the improvements in telescopes and knowledge about what a group is and not actual solar activity.

  1. I frequently visit skeptical science. They quickly ban anyone that raises any questions regarding the validity of any study-

    For example they frequently publish and/or refer to studies of sea level rise with predictions of 3-10 feet by the yer 2100 while pointing out the rapid increase in the rate of sea level rise.
    I point out that the rate of sea level rise based on tide gauges shows a doubling of the rate of rise of approx 150+ years. The same with the satelite measurement of sea level rise has a rate of doubling of approx 150+-190 years. I further point out that it is the switch from tide gauges to satelite measurement that falsely exaggerates the increase of the rate of sea level rise.

    Skeptical science ran several articles showing the cost of renewables for electricty generation was actually less expensive that most all forms of fossil fuel generation. I pointed out several errors in the study

    Same with SS publishing several articles of peer reviewed studies showing that AGW will cause drop in food production. I pointed out that A) these studies were simply a rehash of McKibbon’s population bomb studies and B) a drop in food production would be contrary to centuries of progress in increase crop yields.

    In all cases, I was heavily condemned for my anti science thoughts – especially since these studies were “peer reviewed ” by scientists. FWIW – I got banned from SS.

    The point which is consistent with May is that there is a belief system that prevents the activists from looking at the “science ” objectively.

    • So, a skeptic gets banned from the Skeptical Scientist web site? Almost as ironic as being kicked out of the Museum of Tolerance.

      • Leftist lie. They always lie. Skeptical Science is nether skeptical nor scientific.

        Liberals are not liberal. Progressives want no progress. Socialist are not social and communists always keep the best for themselves.

        The Leftist will tell you with a straight face that National Socialists are right wing, despite their own words. They will insist that the party of Lincoln is made up entirely of racists while the party of the Confederacy has always been the champion of the minorities.

        “Benghazi was caused by a youtube video”, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it”, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email”
        And when caught in a lie, they will tell a bigger lie.”Fake but Accurate”.

        The Left Lies. It’s what they do.


      • Schittree writes.
        “The Leftist will tell you with a straight face that National Socialists are right wing, despite their own words. They will insist that the party of Lincoln is made up entirely of racists while the party of the Confederacy has always been the champion of the minorities.
        The Left Lies. It’s what they do.”

        It’s post like this where that individual uses climate science to campaign for hard right politics that undermines the validity of this site. Can you imaging the reaction if the subject of Schitrees’ post was right wing politics instead of left?
        There is a connection between science and politics, but to start a debate with a fantasy rant using dodgy facts against the people who’s politics you hate is not a good basis for constructive discussion.

      • Gareth, name a single thing I said that wasn’t true.

        “dodgy facts” – thing you don’t want to be true.
        “hard right politics ” – pointing out that a Leftist is lying.
        “constructive discussion” – not saying anything you don’t want to hear.


    • I have had similar experiences with posts to The Conservation. I have experienced primarily personal attacks and have had the moderator remove a couple comments because I questioned the accuracy of the authors’ statements. They called my criticism of the statements an ad hominem attack, but did nothing about those attacking me. I wonder if they are even aware of their hypocrisy?

      • Great examples of hypocracy at skeptical science – for example
        A) – SS ran article about trump withdrawal of the paris climate accord with the article specifically calling the accord a treaty. I mentioned that the withdrawal was moot since it was a treaty and therefore required senate approval. I was roundly condemned because everyone denied it was a treaty. I copied and pasted the paragraph calling it a treaty. That comment was deleted with the moderator stating he deleted the comment due to inappropriateness.

      • To be aware of their own hypocrisy, they would have to be capable of rational thought and self reflection.
        In my experience, warmists and leftists in general lack the ability for either.

      • @ Clyde Spencer
        June 27, 2017 at 11:43 am: Possibly not always, Clive. But overall, they must know what they are trying on. They have just hired a Kiwi ex RNZ journalist/announcer who has been a serial purveyor of lies…..
        Interesting to read that the dead Barrier Reef meme is so much believed, it is now useless to talk of saving it. Could be far-fetched, that one. I did stir them a bit there, with independent research without comment…..

  2. What is more dangerous to, for example, the orangutan, 1C warming or slash and burning their habitat to plant palm for European automotive biodiesel? What is more dangerous to the poor, 1C warming or their starvation from diverting food crops to bioethanol fuel?

    These kind of questions are hardly being debated in the so-call “March for Science.”

      • Probably true. The left understands this and creates images of distress when they can’t come up with real ones (the stranded polar bear, for example.) A pile of Golden Eagles and other raptors fried by solar or knocked from the sky by windmills would be a good start, I would think. Unless, of course, that isn’t really happening after all. But then I suppose we could Photoshop one. The left certainly would, and without hesitation.

    • I am a progressive and on progressive blogs all the time. I get plenty of respect and have caused lots of people to question the dogma.

      First and foremost is the argument that CO2 is good for plant life and I always start with the NASA graph showing the greening of the earth since 1985, most of which NASA attributes to CO2. Then I ask them would you rather this green area be brown? It works every time.

      Discussions should begin with CO2 being good for most plant life on earth and in turn that is good for most animal life as well.

      • I often follow up the NASA chart with the 1950’s Iowa corn field study that showed corn being starved of CO2 nearly all day when CO2 was at 325ppm. And I also like to point out the recent study from Yale that shows we have 3 trillion trees not 400 million as was believed not to long ago.

        Then I get into how much CO2 soils can hold if we would just use well known techniques of soil rebuilding like charcoal and high density short duration grazing. By then I have a captive audience.

        You might try them some time.

  3. Good commentary. The one sure thing is that there is much more confidence than the evidence supports.

  4. I think talking about “outgassing” ocean (if not at short periods or as a fluctuation) is funny. There is increased greening aka carbon dioxide being captured by the biosphere. There are huge anthropogenic emissions that have lasted decades. Yet atmospheric levels grow slowly. The ocean is not outgassing, it is “ingassing”. The size of the ocean sink is large and has been growing since the partial pressure of CO2 has gone up by a factor.

    It’s just a flesh wound, right?

    • One point that May might have mentioned is that if the oceans are definitely warmer, as stated, then the their capacity to retain CO2 (or any gas for that matter) in solution is commensurately lower. That would have a clear effect on the level of atmospheric CO2 and could readily be confounded with human output.

      • Duster:
        I think you have forgotten Henry’s Law: which states that the solubility of a gas in (say) water is proportional to the partial pressure of the gas. In rough terms this means that a doubling of CO2 ppm will double the capacity of the oceans to absorb it. It does depend on the constant used in the calculation which for CO2 is: 29.4 L.atm/mole fraction.
        Thus, whatever actually happens it is a function of the combined influences of temperature, solubility and partial pressure. Not just temperature.

      • cognog2. Henry’s law applies at a constant temperature. Provided average outside air temperature made sense at planetary scale, is it now presumed constant?

      • Jaakko,

        Henry’s law applies for every temperature on its own, only the solubility factor shifts with temperature. For seawater the shift in partial pressure of CO2 at the water side is about 16 μatm/K. In dynamic equilibrium with the atmosphere, that is a shift of about 16 ppmv/K in the atmosphere, as only the temperature of the sea surface is important.
        For the current average sea surface temperature, the equilibrium is between ocean surface and atmosphere is at about 290 ppmv with some 10 ppmv increase since 1850 due to a warmer ocean surface. We are at over 400 ppmv, thus in average more CO2 is pushed into the oceans (at colder areas) than reverse (at warmer areas)…

        See the solubility curve of CO2 in fresh water at:

    • Hugs,

      The processes of absorption and outgassing are not distributed uniformly over the surface of the oceans. The absorption takes place primarily at high latitudes, while the outgassing takes place primarily in the tropics. Although, upwelling along continental coasts at mid-latitudes also contribute to outgassing. I suggest that you look at the OCO-2 maps to better understand what is happening and where.

      However, it isn’t just a matter of CO2 going into solution in the ocean water. Increased CO2 contributes to phytoplankton blooms. When the organisms die, they drift downward through the water column and take their acquired CO2 with them, in the form of calcite/aragonite and organic cellular material, to be sequestered,
      at least temporarily.

      However, overall, one would expect increased tropical outgassing and decreased Arctic absorption with increased average temperatures — until the Arctic ice melts and exposes more water to absorb CO2!

  5. Old Aztecs believed that a human had to be sacrificed every day to make the Sun rise again. Imagine the horrible consequences. Precautionary Principle strongly dictates to continue the practice.

    • Anyone arguing against the practice was probably labeled a sun-rise den!er and selected as the next sacrifice.

      • This Aztec Sacrifice Precautionary Principle story has a good lesson:

        you can investigate the truthfulness of a causal relation between two variables (i.e., or e.g., CO2 and planetary temps, or sunrise and human sacrifice) by calculating, in one way or another, the COVARIANCE.

        Covariance is the description of the quality of one variable varying due at least in part to the other. This is an obvious but HUGE concept. Nay, even an ASSUMPTION.

        The man-made global warming “covariance” relation is, to be simple, this: when atmospheric CO2 goes up, mean planetary temperatures go up, and when atmospheric CO2 goes down, mean planetary temps go down.” They each vary, and they vary together; hence “covary.”

        In the case of the belief in a human sacrifice each day, the story is this: “we sacrifice a human each day, and the sun also rises.”

        Is that scientific?

        No. There is no covariance. In this example, the 1-sacrifice-per-day does NOT vary. YET, YOU WOULD GET A PERFECT REGRESSION COEFFICIENT.

        Hence, there MUST, in covariance-based science, a requirement that EACH variable vary; each must have ups and downs; neither can be monotonic. Else, ANY time-rending measure, whether flat, positive, or negative, can be implicated as causal! [There was a funny comment long ago that man-made global warming was correlated with the number of Harvard grads on the Supreme Court. Why is that metric not included in the models?!]

        Monotonic: carrying on through the range of observations at a steady value: same, increasing, or decreasing, linearly, geometrically, logarithmically, or whatever.

        In our modern era of measurement, we have no variation in CO2; it rises monotonically. You take the data, and calculate its regression coefficient, and its intercept, and you can predict the value at ANY point in time; it varies by time, not by CO2.

        The quite orderly seasonal variation can either fall into the realm of error, or you can throw in a variable or two to account for the quite predictable seasonal variation. Not a big deal.

        I cannot find this “assumption” mentioned in any statistics textbooks. I guess all texts assume that involved measures vary – have higher and lower values that vary by more than time.

      • TheLastDemocrat,

        Your reasoning fits only if there is one contributing factor.
        In the CO2 case there are mainly two: temperature and human emissions. The first has a huge seasonal swing and a smaller year by year variability and very little trend. The second has near zero variability and a huge trend.

        Mix them together and you have a huge trend with huge seasonal variability and a smaller year by year variability. That is what the Mauna Loa curve currently shows.

        Compare the combination curve with the temperature curve and voilà you have a perfect covariance. That the covariance is mainly in the variability and hardly in the trend can not be deduced from the match.

        Compare the combination curve with the emissions curve and voilà, you have zero covariance. Even if almost all of the trend is caused by the emissions.

        Covariance only shows the (possible) cause of the variability, it doesn’t show you the (possible) cause of a trend…

        See further theory and reality at:

    • Yes, but Climate Alarmists believe that the Precautionary Principle requires a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions to avoid future consequences. This will consign billions of people to generations of energy poverty and the increased mortality it entails. It’s not insurance, it’s human sacrifice.

  6. What was the root purpose of the “March for Science” anyhow? I have yet to see that formally communicated.

    Was there a mission statement, or was it just a free for all?

    How many who attended were actually actively involved in a type of science, and what kind?

    • It seemed to me that the primary focus of the “March for Science” was another outlet for some to moan that their choice for POTUS (Hillary Clinton) was not elected. I am not a great fan of our current POTUS by any means – and we are still within the six month window of PDT being sworn in. Color me as “cautiously optimistic” at the moment. Oh – the more that we can expand our natural gas resources and move away from coal as the fuel that fires our power plants – that is a win for our environment and which CO2 does not play any role in…

      • Are you saying that burning natural gas doesn’t emit any CO2? That’s what it looks like you’re saying.

      • CRP, Natural gas has less CO2 per BTU than coal. That’s what he means. Look at the data on US electricity production and how it correlates with CO2 emissions. Nat Gas is displacing coal, and our emissions are dropping.

    • Leftists love to march.

      Why not march for science?

      Gay leftists love to wear costumes and march.

      The best parade to watch in the US is the San Francisco gay parade.

      Beter than the Manhattan gay parade, which was a little sleazy.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      When my wife was a leftist in the late 1960s, she went to Washington DC
      and marched against the Vietnam War.

      When I was a leftist in the early 1970s, I marched in front of the
      County Selective Service Office and burned my draft card.

      Now that we are older, and conservative, there are no marches anymore.

      We miss that.

      Well, there are some potholes on our street —
      maybe we can organize a neighborhood march
      to get them filled in, as our cause ?

      Expected headline:
      “Geezers March Against Potholes”

      • Potholes can be fixed by turning the pothole into a vagina or penis with spray paint. Reddit lovers often post pics of their art that gets “destroyed” when the pothole gets fixed by authorities :)

      • “If you’re not a liberal by 20 you have no soul. If you’re not a conservative by 40 you have no sense.”

    • The marchers have a point, in that Trump foolishly proposes too-large and too-sweeping budget cuts to certain scientific funding.

      • Is the point that monies go to a dozen or so agencies study the same thing, redundantly?

        Any specifics? I thnik Mr. Trump is doing something necessary in treating this government as a business. Kinda like a Six Sigma in manufacturing? Eliminate the waste and we are all better off. Just sayin…..

      • He needs to cut “climate change research” by 90%, as suggested by Dr. Lindzen.

        Most government funded “science” research is not just wasted, but worse than worthless.

        The federal government is running deficits of a trillion dollars a year on a four trillion dollar budget, and has done so for a decade. This can’t continue. The best possible use for US guvmint expenditure is not to spend it. And that goes double for “climate research”. Or triple.

  7. My first post on WUWT in December 2010 generated a fair bit of discussion on other blogs and websites (Accuweather, SkepSci, Yahoo Answers, among others). It even got me an invitation to join the Skydragon Slayers. I’m even listed on a few denier-list websites.

    I very quickly found myself doing “battle” on multiple websites with hordes of Gorebots… I love to argue too much… Must be the Irish in me. It took a great deal of self-control to rein myself back in and try to limit my battleground to WUWT. I still find myself occasionally arguing with Gorebots on Facebook, LinkedIn and comments sections of articles… But I try to avoid debates in those sorts of forums because the opposition tends to be dominated with scientific illiterates and disciples of the precautionary principle (redundant, I know) and it’s not always amenable to graphically supporting my arguments.

    Andy… Your patience and fortitude in carrying out such a daring recon mission behind enemy lines is truly commendable and your tabulation of Facebook comments is unsurprising. Arguing with these folks is about as effective as the mutant humans’ use of illusions against General Ursus and his gorilla army in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

    • David, I doubt I will do it again, but I did get a lot out of the experience. I did find some gems also, like this from Melissa Lee:
      “As a physician I’m constantly looking for bias, funding sources bias, and clinical relevance to my population (a significant lab finding is not necessarily clinically relevant in the complex real world). Laymen may also have reasons to either not be able to personally access, analyze, and judge the relevance of data. So, the answer to reach everybody is not to yell at them that they are stupid and that no one would dare question CO2 as the and only warning cause. The answer is to acknowledge a variety of questions with patience and respect, and give real answers. I see a lot of arrogance and cruel name calling on this website which convinces NOBODY, and therefore fails to reach the greater goal of convincing others with calm logic and respect.” Very well said, I think. Nice to know there are thinking people on both sides of the debate.

      • I always try to start here:

        So, the answer to reach everybody is not to yell at them that they are stupid and that no one would dare question CO2 as the and only warning cause. The answer is to acknowledge a variety of questions with patience and respect, and give real answers.

        But the litany of ad hominem, ad populum, ad verecundiam, straw man and red herring fallacies often drives me here:

        I see a lot of arrogance and cruel name calling on this website which convinces NOBODY, and therefore fails to reach the greater goal of convincing others with calm logic and respect.

        There are times when the best you can do is to make them feel them feel stupid… Because they are running 100% on feelings and 0% on logic.

        I remember trying to explain the science to your friend Nigel on one of your LinkedIn posts…

        How one can make the leap from:

        David Middleton

        The point is that the warming observed in the instrumental temperature record doesn’t significantly deviate from the pre-exiting Holocene pattern of climate change…

        Over the past 2,000 years, the average temperature of the northern hemisphere has exceeded natural variability (+/-2 std dev) 3 times: The Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the modern warming. Humans didn’t cause at least two of the three and the current one only exceeds natural variability by about 0.2 C. And this is a maximum, because the instrumental data have much higher resolution than the proxy data.


        Nigel Goodwin

        David, what you have decided to ignore is basic physics and chemistry.

        Defies any logical explanation… And it got worse from there:

        David Middleton

        No. I have not. All other things held equal, the radiative forcing effect of CO2 works out to about 1 C of warming per doubling of atmospheric CO2. In Earth Science, the “all other things” are never held equal.

        The catastrophic global warming predictions invoke strong positive feedback mechanisms (e.g. increased water vapor content) to increase the climate sensitivity from 1 to 3-6 C per doubling. This is one of the reasons the climate models fail to demonstrate predictive skill 95-99% of the time. All of the recent observation-based estimates of climate sensitivity put the transient climate response at about 1.35 C per doubling (ranging from 0.5 to 2.4 C).

        1.35 C per doubling won’t yield catastrophic warming. It will stay well below the so-called 2.0 C limit. It won’t even be significantly warmer than what would have happened if humans never discovered how to burn things.

        Which yielded an appeal to emotion fallacy:

        Nigel Goodwin

        Are you willing to bet your future, your children’s’ future, and your grandchildren’s future, on your speculation that it will be within 1.35C? You have absolutely no certainty about that. Do a proper risk analysis.

        At this point, I just stopped replying to his comments.

      • “There are times when the best you can do is to make them feel them feel stupid… Because they are running 100% on feelings and 0% on logic.”

        I used to think the same thing but that’s actually counter productive because whom you’re dealing with was not educated to form their opinion, they were brainwashed in cult-like fashion into their current opinion. I’m serious, this is not sarcastic.

        The first step in reverse brainwashing is compassion, as hard as that may be with someone childishly denigrating you. Do not mention that they are brainwashed or that their beliefs are based on faith, only make them understand that you understand why and how they think the way they do. You must first gain their trust because they have been conditioned by their brainwashers to be phobic of anyone or anything that does not conform to their dogma. Never make them feel guilty, don’t place any blame on them, and try not to be negative.

        You can’t move forward without their trust and only then can you start to question their version of reality — a reality that is very real to them no matter how absurd it is. This needs to be done cautiously to not lose their trust. The best way is to not tell them anything, only ask them questions that make them think. If they are wrong on their answers, rebut them in the form of another question. It’s important to stay positive and use questions and language that reminds the person that the world is full of good things.

        A few psychiatrists/psychologists along with atmospheric physicists should work together to create an official CAGW-Deprogramming guide.

      • Mr. May:
        Maybe I missed it … but if you know the reason,
        why did you get invited to join March for Science?

        Did your background as a scientist,
        or a writer of science-related topics,
        get their attention?

        It did not appear that you made any effort to ask them if you could join.

        I’ve not been able to get any of my comments published
        on any pro-global warmunist website.

        I’m skeptical about everything,
        including the claim that CO2 levels above 400 ppm will cause
        any warming, or enough warming to measure,
        so I guess I’m like a silver cross,
        and the CO2 is evil believers are the climate change vampires !

      • Richard Greene, George Alexander (a friend on facebook) invited me. George is an engineer at United Airlines and follows my posts. I think he just thought I’d be interested in what was going on there. In a comment on this post (the one on my web site) he said

        “Glad I sent you that invite but didn’t expect you to light the place up on fire. It’s obvious that other than 5 or 6 respondents, the arguments from the rest 100+ participants were just name calling, anecdotal and ad hominem even though you have sufficient qualifications to analyze and give coherent arguments. Goes to show that much of this crowd is more of a political & ideological following over a skeptical reasoning. The more they keep reacting in this fashion, the more they out themselves as ideologues.”

        So my assumption was he just wanted me to see the site, which is fine. I get email from people who read my posts all the time and I try and read them and follow up when I can.

      • RW Turner,
        Maybe in private, but not on a public forum that is one of the few that is both widely read and discussing the facts, and not dogmatic beliefs.
        Letting them get the last word in, letting them spout drivel without a direct and forceful denunciation and refutation will leave those who are truly on the fence with the impression that either the warmista won the debate, or had the stronger argument, or that it is at least a tossup.
        There are a thousand places they can go comment unopposed.
        There needs to be at least a few places they do not get away with that.

        Andy May,
        I would have pointed out to that self-described physics degree guy that lots of skeptics, like me and perhaps you too, took those same classes. But we had the advantage of learning from people and in an atmosphere that was unbiased and devoted to learning how to think, and we did not learn from people who told people what to think and called them insane if they had any questions. That is not education…it is indoctrination.

      • David, when they start arguing the precautionary principle, I like to point out that back when CO2 levels were 10 to 20 times higher than they are today, life thrived. There is no evidence that a mere doubling of CO2 levels will be harmfull.

  8. “Perry continued that we should not be debating whether man affects climate, humans do affect climate, the debate is over “how much.””

    It is not just how much, it is how – IMO, the biggest how is deforestation.

    • We affect just about everything on this planet… What are we supposed to do? Leave? Die?

      • To your point, Professor Stephen Hawking believes humans have to find a new planet to populate within 100 years. I think he needs to take a stretch from sitting in his chair so long.

      • For some segments of the warmist groups, yes. There is a segment on the left that seem to believe very strongly that mankind = bad. We are the disease. We aren’t natural or part of nature. We are the intruders. Global Warming Alarmism suits them just fine.

      • Hawking only has to worry about the next 50 years or so. In 50 years I would expect that groups of humans will be living permanently in space, barring a worldwide catastrope such as a killer asteriod striking before we have enough time to get them off the Earth.

        There are probably no planets in the solar system that are suitable for longterm human habitat. Instead, O’Neill Habitat/Colonies with Earth-like gravity and radiation shielding will be the future homes of humans until we invent interstellar drives to go find Earth 2.0.

        Yes, I know humans can live on Mars with a little help, but what will Mars-humans look like in 100 years living under decidedly UnEarthly, probably unhealthy conditions?

        I prefer O’Neill Habitats where the environment can be made Earth-like and healthy. Everyone ought to have their own personal O’Neill Habitat. Talk about freedom! You too can be king of your own world. :)

      • At this point the economy of the world is staggering along and we are having a great deal of trouble making progress in such areas as clean water for everyone.
        One might have predicted space colonies in 50 years…fifty years ago!
        In fact many did, and today we have less ability to get into space than we did then.
        And the cost is far higher.
        We still have major accidents just launching a few tons of satellites into orbit.
        Fifty years go by in the blink of an eye.
        Besides, the zero g loss of muscles and deterioration of health is very real, and the effects on a person of being outside the magnetic field of the Earth are very likely to be extremely deadly in far less than the time it takes for a kid to get old enough to have a kid…so no colony.
        And then there are CMEs…good luck surviving one of those outside of a magnetic field and a thick atmosphere.
        We have one home, love it or hate it.
        I grew up thinking I was going to be in space when I got older.
        The reality is far different.
        Besides for all of that…we have people that are tomorrow’s scientists being trained to believe in fairy tales if the cause is good.

      • “One might have predicted space colonies in 50 years…fifty years ago!
        In fact many did, and today we have less ability to get into space than we did then.
        And the cost is far higher.”

        I would have to disagree with that. There is a great deal of momentum building for private companies moving out into the Earth/Moon system over the coming years. Private launch companies are making a lot of progress and there is a lot of interest in many activities in space like mining and space hotels.

        We are just around the corner, I think.

        NASA. I don’t know what they are doing because *they* don’t know what they are doing. I suggest they set a few basic goals.

        Like constructing a habitat module in space that generates artificial gravity and has radiation protection.

        Two habitat modules coated with a meter of water ice would provide the radiation protection. For generating artificial gravity it would be necessary to separate the two modules by a distance of one mile, and connect the two together with a mile-long cable, and then cause the modules to revolve around the common center at a speed of one revolution per minute which will generate the equivalent of one Earth gravity (centrifugal force) inside each module. My formula for this is: 1 +1 = 1. One mile in diameter, plus one revolution per minute, equals one Earth-equvalent gravity at the perimeter.

        If NASA wanted to do an artificial gravity module cheap, they could retrofit a couple of modules that are already in orbit and use them. :) Of course, NASA bureaucrats wouldn’t think of doing anything so common sense as that.

        I bet certain hotel magnates would be very interested in such a project. It could make a space hotel viable.

        This two module, radiation-proof, artificial gravity configuration would not only make a good hotel in orbit, it would make a good Earth/Mars transfer vehicle, where astronauts could spend the long journey in full Earth gravity and protected from radiation. A perfect “Buzz Aldrin” cycling space station. Travel in style to Mars. Why kill yourself by doing it the old-fashioned way, with no artificial gravity or radiation protection?

        If humans are going to live longterm in space then we are going to have to have artificial gravity. No question about it. This is not optional.

        And we need a base on the Moon to supply our future adventures into the solar system, so get busy NASA and come up with a plan.

        You need to fix it so humans can live in space comfortably and and in good health, and you need to establish a Moonbase to supply our space endeavors with rocket fuel and the essential’s of life, water and oxygen.

        First, artificial gravity habitats, and a Moonbase. Then on to Mars.

  9. I had a recent exchange on my web site ( with a guy who seemed to know a little science. We went back and forth until he criticized the term CAGW.

    He said that I can’t create an arbitrary definition of ‘Catastrophic.’ I understood from his remarks that the bad stuff coming out of AGW was irrelevant. How can you have a rational discussion with somebody who is content to have our Economy destroyed and people die from energy poverty, even though global warming may not cause any big problems?

    • In the past several months we have begun to hear some of the warmista trolls who frequent WUWT that there is no C in AGW.
      These are some of the more laughable claims ever made.
      Just in the past few weeks we have seen dozens of references in the MSM and in peer reviewed papers of the end of the world, billions of refugees, sea level rise that would drown a large percentage of the worlds most populous cities…all made in a completely fact-free manner, but delivered forcefully and with emotional appeals out the frickin’ wazoo.
      The cognitive dissonance is simply astounding.
      The warmistas seem to have no idea our planet is so cold over a large percentage of it’s surface that an unprotected person would be dead within anywhere from minutes to hours, and a few days if they had excellent head to toe protection and were in peak health and conditioning.
      The planet is so cold, and the danger of climate cooling so great…that if the alarmist notion of the day was cooling, it would be orders of magnitude more difficult to counter.

      • “In the past several months we have begun to hear some of the warmista trolls who frequent WUWT that there is no C in AGW.
        These are some of the more laughable claims ever made.
        Just in the past few weeks we have seen dozens of references in the MSM and in peer reviewed papers of the end of the world, billions of refugees, sea level rise that would drown a large percentage of the worlds most populous cities…all made in a completely fact-free manner, but delivered forcefully and with emotional appeals out the frickin’ wazoo.”

        Every claim made by the alarmists is a prediction of a catastrophe caused by CO2. CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is the only way to characterize their claims. They are not just saying things are going to get a little warmer, they are saying we are going to be baking in heat which is going to cause very bad things. In other words, CAGW.

        They are trying to take the C out of CAGW and just make it AGW because it is looking more and more like there is no CAGW and they are trying to get ahead of the curve.

        Lots of repositioning starting to go on.

      • TA: “and in peer reviewed papers”

        Can you please provide me with a link to a paper with the term “catastrophic” in the title or in the abstract?

        Thank you in advance.

      • And yet the rhetoric of disaster keeps on rolling, and even intensifying.
        Case in point…the NYT referring to planet scorching CO2.
        Another…the US will be “an oven”.
        Two billion climate refugees.
        18 feet of sea level rise within 82 year.
        President Trump just murdered Planet Earth.
        There is no backing away…just endless doubletalk and all manner of trolling.

      • There is no catastrophe, so quite pissing your panties.
        And pass that along to your pals…they could all use to know the truth.
        thanks in advance.

      • Mike, if 1/4th of the world’s population being climate refugees is not catastrophic, I don’t know what is.
        Are you actually arguing that something is not catastrophic, unless the magic word catastrophic is included in the title?

  10. “The opposing argument is, if we stop or reduce the use of fossil fuels, it might ruin our economies and what if warming continues anyway?”

    Where is the evidence that it might/will ruin our economies?

    • Yeah. Apart from adaptation being a heck of a lot cheaper than ‘prevention’, where is there any assurance that being warmer is a bad thing?

      Given that the planet was quite a bit warmer 10,000-6000 years ago, we can examine at least via some proxies if things were better at that time. Treelines farther north, vegetation piling up in what is now permafrost, it seems a warmer world has a lot to offer. But higher CO2 has far more than a little warmth to benefit us all.

      Perhaps two shocks need to happen to get people’s attention: a significant solar-induced cooling in the coming 20 years, and a consequent drop in the CO2 concentration. I think that would be pretty convincing. With CO2 rising and temperatures pretty much static, there is ‘an argument’ fro a disconnect but it would be stronger if CO2 dropped while human emissions of it rose.

      Andy’s exercise was a great excursion into the Land of One-Eyed Men. The vast majority of people reading blogs of that sort are not skilled at presentation or argument, perhaps not even recognising one when they read it. Even those who could cite papers and ‘talk down’ were not very well read and apparently unable to represent what are unsure position by normal measure. It was all about convincing, repenting and getting into the program. One thing is obvious: the collapse of Western basic science education has consequences.

    • The world will need to invest $44 trillion in the global energy supply, and another $23 trillion in energy efficiency, to cover the growth in energy demand through 2040 and meet current policy goals.

      The findings from the International Energy Agency’s newly released World Energy Outlook only take into account policies put in place by mid-2016, and so they do not include any pledges as part of the Paris climate agreement that have not yet been codified as policy. The IEA states that with current policies, “This is sufficient to slow the projected rise in global energy-related CO2 emissions, but not nearly enough to limit warming to less than 2 [degrees Celsius].”

      Of the $44 trillion, only about 20 percent will go to renewable energy under the business-as-usual scenario. The investment will not only fail to meet the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, but it will also leave hundreds of millions of people without basic energy services up through 2040. Currently, about 1.2 billion people lack basic access to electricity, and more than a billion additional people only have unreliable access to modern energy services.


      $67 trillion is 3.6 times the current US GDP, 90% of the entire world’s GDP. Even if you spread it out over 23 years, it works out to $3 trillion per year. Only 4 nations on Earth have >$3 trillion GDP’s.

      Even if there was an extra $3 trillion/yr of available capital, it would “fail to meet the target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius,” assuming the climate models are accurate (they aren’t) and it would will basically doom the poorest people on Earth (“it will also leave hundreds of millions of people without basic energy services up through 2040”).

    • The evidence is that the use of fossil fuels has created huge wealth for billions because they have provide cheap and massively productive energy for billions. Stopping doing things that create huge wealth will me…no more huge wealth.

      You seem to belong to the group of people who think that if we stop doing the things that allow us to have what we now have, those things will somehow continue to be conjured into existence.

      They will not.

    • The evidence is the real world. Who are the people arguing for expanded intermittent and volatile energy sources to power the grid? Not experts in the energy industry, they will educate you with the problems such energy sources create, it’s science vs politics. When we listen to politicians over experts, we get History of the World 1960-Present, i.e. The “Great” Society, MTBE, Flint water crisis, etc.

      You might as well ask, where is the evidence that blending >10% ethanol into fuel will be disastrous for our economy. Well, just ask the experts — the engineers designing combustion engines. Their advice that blending >10% ethanol would basically be so bad that no one could offer warranties on engines was completely ignored by politicians, e.g. EPA, just like the advice that too many intermittent and volatile energy sources on the power grid will lead to instability was ignored — just ask South Australia.

      If you want progress, the best way to get it is through market competition and a robust economy that allows for investment opportunities. The iron age didn’t arise because some king outlawed bronze, it was innovation and discovery through a robust economy (demand for products) that spurred advancements in metallurgy. Name me one time in human history where progress was made by hindering the economic factors leading up to it.

    • Chris:

      You ask

      “The opposing argument is, if we stop or reduce the use of fossil fuels, it might ruin our economies and what if warming continues anyway?”

      Where is the evidence that it might/will ruin our economies?

      The ” evidence” is demonstrated by the ‘energy crisis’ of the 1970s.

      Advocates of the AGW-scare use the Precautionary Principle saying we should stop greenhouse gas emissions in case the AGW hypothesis is right. But that turns the Principle on its head.

      Stopping the emissions would reduce fossil fuel usage with resulting economic damage. This would be worse than the ‘oil crisis’ of the 1970s because the reduction would be greater, would be permanent, and energy use has increased since then. The economic disruption would be world-wide. Major effects would be in the developed world because it has the largest economies. Worst effects would be on the world’s poorest peoples: people near starvation are starved by it.

      The precautionary principle says we should not accept the risks of certain economic disruption in attempt to control the world’s climate on the basis of assumptions that have no supporting evidence and merely because they’ve been described using computer games.


      • Richard, it appears to me (a novice) that the first oil shock did cause a recession in the mid seventies, however, in the late seventies a different picture emerges. The carter economy was doing so well with even double digit inflation that the heavy handed volker needed to be brought in as fed chair to reign the economy in. It was only through years of higher interest rates that the economy finally broke under reagan and we finally got the long sought after recession… Sure, the initial shock caused inflation, but that can be offset by more economic growth as was demonstrated under carter. The real problem in the late seventies was caused by fed policy. That shouldn’t be confused with the relatively minor damage done by higher oil prices…

      • Re: Oil Shocks
        See James Hamilton at UCSD:

        Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks, coauthored with Christiane Baumeister. Traditional approaches to structural interpretation of vector autoregressions can be viewed as special cases of Bayesian inference arising from very strong prior beliefs about certain aspects of the model. These traditional methods can be generalized with a less restrictive Bayesian formulation that allows the researcher to summarize uncertainty coming not just from the data but also uncertainty about the model itself. We use this approach to revisit the role of shocks to oil supply and demand and conclude that oil price increases that result from supply shocks lead to a reduction in economic activity after a significant lag, whereas price increases that result from increases in oil consumption demand do not have a significant effect on economic activity. See Econbrowser for a short summary of the paper. Data and code to implement here. . . .
        “Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth,” in Handbook of Energy and Climate Change, pp. 29-57, edited by Roger Fouquet. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013. Working paper version here.

        “Historical Oil Shocks,” in Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History, pp. 239-265, edited by Randall E. Parker and Robert Whaples, New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2013. Working paper version here.

      • afonzarelli:

        Wishful thinking is not an adequate replacement for observation of reality.

        The 1970s Oil Crisis happened when access to fossil fuel usage occurred, and there is every indication that similar would now happen if use of fossil fuels were now constrained.


      • afonzarelli, if you thought the economy was great under Carter, then you must not have been alive back then.
        If you think that there is nothing wrong with 10 to 15% inflation, then you aren’t very bright.
        Nobody sought a recession.

      • Mark, the carter economy continued to grow in spite of the inflation. (that doesn’t happen if people are worse off because of inflation) According to bernanke, the recession that followed was deliberate. The fed under volker sought to kill the inflation and the only tool it has in doing that is in making people poor. Poor people demand less, hence less demand inflation. You tell me: Are people better off paying higher prices that they can afford or are they better off with cheaper prices that they can’t afford?

        Richard, the unemployment rate reached its very lowest under carter in the summer of 1979 right before the appointment of volker. The unemployment rate would not go lower than that until reagan appointed greenspan in the last year of his presidency! (how’s that for a reality check?!)…

      • Mark, as a foot note, the ‘stagflation’ only occured after volker was appointed. Double digit inflation AND higher interest rates were not enough to drag the economy down for a year or two…

      • afonzarelli:

        Your parochial American comments do not pertain to my original comment that concerned effects world-wide.

        The economic disaster of the ‘Oil Crisis’ was world-wide and the appointment of volker (whomever or whatever that was) is not relevant to it.

        I said,

        Stopping the emissions would reduce fossil fuel usage with resulting economic damage. This would be worse than the ‘oil crisis’ of the 1970s because the reduction would be greater, would be permanent, and energy use has increased since then. The economic disruption would be world-wide. Major effects would be in the developed world because it has the largest economies. Worst effects would be on the world’s poorest peoples: people near starvation are starved by it.

        To quote a troll comment, “(how’s that for a reality check?!)…”


      • Richard, let me see if i can explain this better. The second oil price shock did indeed cause inflation here in the states. But, that did not stop the economy from growing/ improving under president carter. It was not until the appointment of paul volker to the chair of the federal reserve that the economic disaster ensued. It was his job to create the disaster as a fix for higher inflation rates. (a less robust economy is less inflationary) So the appointment of volker was inexorably tied to the economic disaster of the oil crisis. Now, in general, as is well known, however the economy goes in the states so eventually goes the rest of the world. i don’t know the time line of the economic disasters’ unfolding world wide. It would be interesting to see how the rest of the world fared up until the day that volker was appointed. Federal Reserve demand inflation policy is a circular argument not altogether different than ferdinand’s mass balance argument. i touched on it’s circular nature in the comment above to Mark. If you have any questions about it, feel free to ask. The nice thing about economic policy is that the people who are running the show tell us exactly what they are doing. (unlike Gaia with climate change who remains mum or, at least, is subject to various interpretations) Sorry about my trollishness. We’re all here to help you with your recovery and i wasn’t intending to be an annoyance… fonzie

      • comment on the way. (hung up in moderation) do come back, richard, a better explanation is forthcoming…

      • afonzarelli:

        (a) you have severe inabilities in reading comprehension
        (b) you are ‘waving a red herring’ by attempting to deflect attention from the reality that the Oil Crisis caused severe and world-wide economic disruption.

        I suspect you are trying to wave the red herring.

        I wrote

        Your parochial American comments do not pertain to my original comment that concerned effects world-wide.

        The economic disaster of the ‘Oil Crisis’ was world-wide and the appointment of volker (whomever or whatever that was) is not relevant to it.

        and you have replied by discussing US political RESPONSES to the crisis saying

        Now, in general, as is well known, however the economy goes in the states so eventually goes the rest of the world.

        NO! The world – including the US – was suffering from the Oil Crisis BEFORE those US responses.

        Your twaddle is fooling nobody.


      • Richard, for whatever reason the link here doesn’t work for me, hopefully you’ll have better luck. (i can get it off my device, as i have it stored, but not through the link)…

        “NO! The world — including the US — was suffering from the Oil Crisis BEFORE those US responses.”

        Well… Regarding the US, the data shows otherwise. The carter economy was showing robust growth for several years up until the appointment of volker in august of 1979. So in spite of high inflation, the folks were doing better over time than worse. Now, i don’t know what was happening in the rest of the world before volker (it would be interesting to find out), but i suspect that you don’t know either. Look, Richard, my “twaddle” is not my twaddle alone. Bernanke would tell you the same thing. Indeed, it was because the carter economy was so robust that paul volker was brought in. The US, certainly, was NOT suffering from the oil crisis UNTIL volker was brought in to respond to it. i’m going to give you a link to a lecture that Bernanke gave at GWU back in 2012 where he explains it all. The first half of the lecture covers fed policy from WW2 up until present and only lasts half an hour. (the carter economy is within that half hour) It shouldn’t take me too long to find and post the video which i’ll place right after this comment…

      • (here’s the bernanke video that i promised in the comment which is now hung up in moderation)…


        Richard, the mistake that i think you’re making is very similar to one that many folks make about the great depression. By 1934 the u.s. had pulled out of the depression only to head right back into it in subsequent years. (bernanke actually dubs it “the great double recession”) Many folks are of the belief that FDR’s economic (stimulus) policies were to blame for the return of the great depression. According to bernanke though, it was the fed (nervous about a repeat of 1929), who raised interest rates to ward off risky investments, that did it. The “red herring” here actually being FDR’s policies…

        i suspect that before we had our little discussion here, you knew little to nothing about federal reserve inflation policy. (it’s kind of difficult to attribute the recession circa 1980 to the oil crisis over fed policy if you don’t even know who volker is) The Bernanke video is a gem. I hope you take it all in. It was many years of casually studying this topic before i came across this lecture. For me it was great to see it in that i was (finally!) able to tie together everything that i had learned on my own up until that point. So, i hope you enjoy it and benefit from it as much as i have…

        one footnote: he also did a lecture two days prior to this on march 20, 2012 which covers the origins of the federal reserve up until WW2. Let me know if you want me to post it. (it’s not too difficult to find on your own, but if you want me to do it, i’d be more than happy to)…

      • Richard, i just posted another comment circa 6 pm that’s a no show. (that’s been happening to a lot of people of late) Anthony mentioned that when he returns from his hiatus that he’ll be thinking about dumping word press. i certainly hope so as this is getting to be ridiculous…

      • afonzarelli:

        The mistake I know you are making in your series of increasingly erroneous posts is to confuse cause with effect. I give you a tip: A CAUSE OCCURS BEFORE ITS EFFECT.

        The world-wide economic disruption of the 1970s Oil Crisis was caused by the constraint of oil production deliberately applied by OPEC.

        You may be fooling yourself but you are not fooling anybody else by pretending American responses to that disruption caused the disruption.



        Richard, to be clear here, i’m only referring to the second oil shock, not the first. i don’t dispute that the first oil shock caused economic disruption. (although, monetary policy was there, too, primarily the collapse of nixon’s wage/price controls which caused inflation). It’s the second oil shock of 1979 that we are talking about here…

        [afonzarelli June 27, 2017 1:20pm

        Richard, it appears to me (a novice) that the first oil shock did cause a recession in the mid seventies, however, in the late seventies a different picture emerges.]

        The second oil shock was not caused by opec, rather, it was “due to decreased oil output in the wake of the Iranian Revolution” and “OPEC nations, under the presidency of Mana Al Otaiba, increased production to offset most of the decline…” (wikipedia)

        So, if we were to give a timeline to events it would go something like this:
        — “Amid massive protests, the Shah… …fled his country [January 16, 1979]. Protests severly disrupted the Iranian oil sector…”
        — By the summer of 1979, inflation had reached double digits. Thus Paul Volker was appointed as chairman of the federal reserve on August 6, 1979.
        — The U.S. economy begins to tank under volker’s watch in January 1980…

        And if you would allow me one moment of trollishness, it would go something like this:
        (who’s fooling who here?)

        Richard, if you want to take a break from this let me know. i could go on and on about fed policy, i enjoy doing so very much. Most people are not aware or don’t understand the sheer power of the fed. i really enjoy enlightening people as to that. i hope you watched and enjoyed the video. This is important stuff as what the fed does (and doesn’t do) affects us all…

      • Excellent Comment Richard. With respect to the 1970s, I would add the Iranian Revolution also had a compounding effect at the end of the decade. what galls me is the illusion, or delusion, that the West can transfer wealth – hurting the working and middling classes – to the South and East through the Paris accords in order to put into place inefficient forms of energy conversion that can only leave them mired in poverty, absolute or relative. How is that progressive?

    • Chris: How about you make a wind turbine from scratch, without using fossil fuel to make any component. Begin by sailing to China to mine rare earth minerals with a shovel not made of steel. Good luck, and let us know how your “renewable-based economy” gets off the ground.

    • Chris, if the other respnses have not convinced you read this article in the WSJ, by economics professor Bjorn Lomborg on the impact of the Paris Agreement on Europe and the world:

      Lomborg and another economics professor Richard Tol have demonstrated that eliminating fossil fuels is a greater disaster than global warming for the foreseeable future even if the worse scenarios of the IPCC are correct.

  11. Amazing, when mankind burns wood the CO2 (anthropogenic) has a different chemical composition than a forest fire burning wood (natural). Must be some sort of weird isomer where the bottom oxygen replaces the top oxygen and vise versa. You can’t make up such profound ignorance if you tried, people would not believe you.

    • Burning dry seasoned wood is a lot different than the burning of the natural unseasoned wet wood in a forest fire.

    • Human disturbance of forest ecology has been going on for a long, long time:

      Fire was found to be an important disturbance agent on the Allegheny and Finger Lakes
      National Forests, often corresponding to large river systems and lakesides where Native American
      activities were concentrated. In contrast, fire was relatively unimportant on the Green Mountain
      and White Mountain National Forests based on the witness-tree record. There, the cool, moist
      year-round climate, coupled with lower Native American population densities greatly subdued fire,
      supporting the local view of these as “asbestos” forests. When applying this method to town-level
      witness-tree data for the entire northeastern United States, we found a distinct east-west line
      dividing areas of high (south) and low (north) pyrophilic percentage. Known as the tension zone
      line, the undulating character of this boundary, penetrating northward along major river valleys,
      underscores the importance of Native Americans as a disturbance agent on the presettlement

      Mapping pyrophilic percentages across the northeastern United States …

  12. The ad homers will only ever be persuaded using reverse brainwashing methods, so they can be completely ignored in discussions involving the science.

    I always get a laugh about the people claiming that the interaction of dipole molecules with infrared radiation is physics 101 — more like quantum mechanics. Most of these people would probably also claim that GHGs work just like a greenhouse or a blanket.

    The composite TSI graph shown simply has a .25 Wm-2 graphic to the right, but that’s not what the actual data show. Look at the daily data, the range is from 1364-1368/4 = 1 Wm-2. It’s amusing seeing grade school analyses of solar influence on climate, like a tree ring measurement scientist purporting that a solar influence has unequivocally been ruled out without even citing a source.

    • The worrisome aspect is the number of people who have college degrees and still rely on ad hominem. It’s considered a legitimate tactic in a debate and politics, but we might see more “science” even in political science if the participants were constrained to valid logic.

      • Duster, that says a lot about the value of today’s college education. Instruction in critical thinking has apparently been absent from our educational system for some time. I’m not sure whether it’s planned or just another unintended consequence of the decline.

      • Just look at the comment from Veronique Ooman in the headline posts.
        She proudly proclaims that her atmospheric physics instructor told the class that anyone who questions global warming dogma is insane. As if that counts as an education.
        We are through the looking glass.

    • Because the earth is round, the 1 watt per meter squared gets divided by 4. (hence .25 watts per meter squared)…

    • I was having a discussion with a fresh out of Uni believer who told me that it was only the carbon atom in CO2 that was doing all of the work absorbing the radiation (i.e. completely ignoring the bonds from the O atoms). When I tried to point out that this was scientifically invalid he responded with a “you people” comment at which point I realised further discussion was pointless.

  13. Even if you no absolutely nothing about science it will take you precisely 59 seconds listening to Richard Feynman to know more about science than most so called climate scientists:

    • We are supposed to have the best educated population ever.
      We have access to instant information with a little device as handy as Spock and Kirk’s communicators.
      This should not be the expected result.

      • It has nothing to do with education per se. It is a problem with how people look at opposing arguments.

        The Climate Change debate shares many similarities with arguments about other issues such as immigration, welfare or tax. The actual positions people hold are pretty similar – hardly anybody thinks we should have no immigration and hardly anybody thinks we should have total open door immigration. The same can be said for welfare and taxation. So the debate is about how much, yet the Liberal-Left (and it is just about always that side) argues as if the debate is around having any immigration, welfare or taxation.

        I suspect that man is having a small and relatively unimportant effect on climate, but it is possible there is a reasonably large effect. That has simply not been proven though. Yet that makes me a science denier and evil because unless you believe in CAGW – and the radical restructuring of our societies and economies – , you are denying that there is any effect, not arguing about how much.

        Until we can bring arguments back to reality, having rational debates about important issues with our opponents is pretty much impossible.

      • Thanks to the UNFCCC and IPCC and Al Gore. People who do not/cannot check for themselves believe the propaganda. What is working against the propaganda now is reality. Arctic ice has not disappeared (Wadhams). Polar bears are not endangered (Sterling, Derocher), they are thriving (Crockford). Sea level rise is not accelerating ((Hansen). No permadrought in Texas (Hayhoe). Not only no 50 million climate refugees, none– not even 1 from Kiribati–NZ denied the petition and sent the bugger home.

      • Tim,

        I can’t speak to how others view the apparent disconnect in how these complex matters are perceived, but to me, nobody special, when I see something like this attached to a paper dealing with sea level rise (as in the one linked to by Micheal darby), I discount the findings significantly;

        “The suggested acceleration and improved closure of the sea-level budget highlights the importance and urgency of mitigating climate change and formulating coastal adaption plans to mitigate the impacts of ongoing sea-level rise.”

        I read that as a sign of bias/ulterior motive . . and wonder why anyone would not see it that way, frankly.

      • Darby, i have to agree with you on this one. It’s pretty easy to see that there is a relationship between the rate of sea level rise and the temperature (above equilibrium state). So, unless we haven’t been warming, sea levels are rising “faster than evah”…

      • Michael Darby,
        Too bad you are so gullible.
        You choose to believe some malarkey cooked up by people who are paid to get a certain result under pain of job loss and banishment from publishing (i.e. loss of career and money to pay their bills, their mortgage, their children’s education and health care…etc), and who use modelled results from satellites in space, than to believe what the actual eight of the ocean is based on a solid metal pole anchored in place in the actual ocean.
        I feel very sorry for you.
        So lost in cognitive dissonance you cannot even see straight or think clearly.
        Perhaps the condition is temporary, but you must work at understanding reality, and forget about the dogma you have been fed.

      • M-darby, the paper you reference says that global sea level rise may have gone from about 2mm per year to 3 mm per year. This kind of variation happens and it will need to be seen if it stays that way for another decade or gets worse (or better) before one gets alarmed. This increase would only add about 4 inches total in 100 years, correct? An extra 100 mm in 100 years is 10 cm. Divide by 2.54 and you have less than 4 inches.

      • Michael darby,

        “”“bias/ulterior motive??? ”

        Yes . . they essentially told me they want people to be worried about sea level rise, in a paper that claims sea level rise is greater than it was previously thought to be . . of course I wonder about that desire seeping onto their approach/calculations.

        If such a scientific paper came to the conclusion that sea level rise was not accelerating, and ended with a little pep talk about the need to end climate alarmism, don’t you think that would cause a bit of doubt in your mind about the objectivity of the scientists involved?

        (Nothing wrong with advocacy/opinion expression, mind you, but just not IN a supposedly objective scientific treatment of a discrete complex measurement problem.)

      • Michael Darby, when dealing with a change of 1 mm/year in sea level rise, I think some caution is required particularly when measuring from space. Tidal gauges are more accurate. In any case if you look carefully at the plot I put up you will see several places where the delta sea level rose to over 3mm/year and fell back to less than 2 a few years later. Too early to tell if the recent increase (2009-2015), from a La Nina to an El Nino is anything but a temporary blip.

      • I remember a quality of life survey from many years ago. Rather than trying to compile various crime statistics into a single usable number, the survey used the amount of money a city spent on policing as a proxy for public safety. IE,the city that spent the most money on it’s police dept was obviously the safest city.

        These claims of being the most educated merely count the number of people with college degrees.

  14. “What seems to be missing in common discussions of climate change … is that science is a job”

    IMO considering science to be a job is probably the primary driving force behind junk science.

  15. There’s too much reputational vested interest in this thing to get anyone to change sides or admit their position is incorrect. I merely tagged a recent sceptical video on Facebook for a couple of family members to watch to be met with the full fury of True Believers. They wouldn’t even discuss the issue…apart from insult me. I’m not even sure if a new ice age would convert the brainwashed, they’re just too far gone.

    • I’m not quite sure of your point here but you are aware that the supposed quote from Galileo is a myth – right?

  16. “Dr. Spencer is well qualified to make this judgement call…”

    Would it be possible (rhetorical question) to make a list of notable scientists who have been marginalized by the orthodoxy? For example, Bill Gray, Judith Curry, etc. (that’s all I know off the top of my head)

    • you have unnecessarily limited your list to “climate.” The problem we see in climate “science” has become a pandemic in science in general:

      The the notable aspect of “climate science” is the absence of retractions regardless of the level of flaws in data and method. especially when social science intrudes into the mix we laughingly refer to as “climate science.”

      • I ought to have also noted Scanning reports on PO reveals a pattern of repeated contradicting conclusions, especially in fields like quantum physics, but also more generally among multiple workers in many fields. Each individual report is described with considerable excitement, but the sum of knowledge gained appears to be near zero.

    • Very nice, Duster. I totally agree, However, my question was framed by practical/contextual constraints.

    • You should consider that many objections to sceptical scientists from the other side are on the grounds that said scientists seem to put politics, of a particular brand in many cases, before the science.

      There is also disquiet when scientists appear to be paid by fossil fuel funded think tanks.

      • I’d bet the ratio of scientists funded by tax monies vs. the number of the same funded by fossil fuel funded think tanks is 100:1 (if not 1000:1)

      • It’s the alarmists who put politics before science and get paid by Green think-tanks.

        Projection, Griff, projection.

      • politics, of a particular brand … fossil fuel funded

        Griff, the source of the funding is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether money comes from the petroleum industry, large foundations with or left- or right-of-center leanings, or government agencies whose funding decisions are controlled by ideologues. Similarly the personal politics of the scientists are irrelevant. The only thing that really counts is whether the findings are validated or not.

        The so-called consensus of climate science has produced a large number of short-range predictions that have not come to pass. Need anyone say more?

      • Please provide a list of said scientists and their source(s) of funding. If you can. Good luck with that.

      • More fact free ranting from Griffy.
        The government spends tens of billions every year on climate change.
        Private research dollars are a paltry pittance compared to this.
        And everyone knows it.
        Nice try Griff…in this case I think you purposefully told the truth but reversed the who is who.
        Even warmistas gave up this line of argument long ago.

      • Nice one Griff. Objections to sceptical scientists you say. What other kind of scientist is there? Gullible scientists?

        Definitely follow the money though. But first tell me where those billions in government research grants have gone.

        Comedy is tricky!

      • I’m trying to remember the name of the scientist, who worked for an organization that got a one time grant from a fossil fuel company. The grant amounted to about 1% of the operating budget, for a single year.
        The grant was to the organization’s general fund, not the scientist in question.
        The grant occurred several years before the scientist joined the organization.
        However this single, small donation, was sufficient for the warmistas to declare that the scientist in question was being funded by big oil.

    • ICISIL: The warmists have compiled a quite good list already – it’s on Of course it includes the usual ad homs and accusations of being on the payroll of the evil fossil fuel industry.
      (does mentioning this site send me to moderation?)

      • To those on the left, business in inherently evil, and government is inherently good.
        Therefore even one dollar of support from a private corporation is sufficient to destroy your credibility, but billions from government isn’t.

  17. …There were also more people supporting my position than I would have expected. You can see some of their comments in the figures above. These are just a few of the favorable comments I received. So, even at web sites like this one, skeptical thinking can intrude. Maybe the climate science community isn’t quite as polarized as we often assume. Something to think about….

    “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
    ― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds 1841

  18. I’m not qualified to critique the science, but I have basic deductive reasoning skills. I fell into and out of the alarmist orbit over 20 years ago. First in because it made sense–humans are changing the atmosphere, which would naturally change the absorption and dispersion of heat. So we’re doing something. It seems to be getting hotter, so we’re probably heating it.

    But the more I read up on it (always in mass market publications like Scientific American), the more I noticed the flimsiness of the evidence. The claims that go beyond the data, the conclusions that fail to exclude alternative explanations. In fact, every single report was like that. Which led me to doubt whether they were being honest with the quality of their analysis.

    Nothing I’ve seen since has increased my confidence.

    Loved that last argument–the precautionary principle. Sure, lets decide the big questions by awarding victory to the person with the most dramatic parade of horribles. No one can live like that. no sane person would want to.

    • When they use the “just in case” fallacy, I like to throw out some myself to make them think about their logic a little bit, i.e, we need to move our entire society deep underground because it is inevitable that our planet will be hit by a large meteor some time in the future.

      I usually get no rebuttal, so I assume the response is something like:

      • Awe, apparently wordpress doesn’t let the video start from the time I copied from Youtube…about the 30 sec mark.

    • Tim, your experiences with climate science was much like mine. Whenever the presentation was on a topic for which I had professional and/or personal knowledge, the dishonest presentations and outright lies were evident. Additionally, I fundamentally mistrust anyone trying to sell me something of dubious value.

    • “But the more I read up on it (always in mass market publications like Scientific American), the more I noticed the flimsiness of the evidence. The claims that go beyond the data, the conclusions that fail to exclude alternative explanations. In fact, every single report was like that. Which led me to doubt whether they were being honest with the quality of their analysis.
      Nothing I’ve seen since has increased my confidence.”
      That’s my experience, too.
      I’ll add that I have had the experience of living through the human-caused Global Cooling era of the 1960’s-70’s, so I have seen this very same rhetoric before, and it led nowhere. It disappeared as soon as the temperatures started warming again.
      Then all the Global Coolists switched over to claiming humans were causing Global Warming. They were wrong about human-caused Global Cooling, and they were just as sure of themselves then, as the Global Warming crowd is sure of themselves today.
      Being sure of oneself is not a guarantee of being correct.

  19. The biggest issue I have is that all the effects of warming will be terrible and irreversible. There is absolutely no “good” that may result from any warming. It will be the end of the world, starvation, flooded coasts etc. etc. For that reason alone, their dire man-made AGW predictions should be seriously questioned.

    • To Joe E.

      Adding CO2 to the air was, inadvertently, the best thing humans have done to improve our planet.

      We have slight warming at night — people and animals are happier.

      We have more plant food in the air — people, animals and green plants are happier.

      The climate has been getting better for humans, animals and plants for at least 500 years.

      All predictions should be questioned, especially dire predictions, and usually ignored.

    • For some real soul jarring realizations, pay attention to what makes warmistas happy and excited, and what they refuse to talk about.
      All bad things, bad weather, bad storms, bad and scary predictions…all are caused for excitement and much chatter…but when these things do not happen, when droughts end, storms pass, there are less storms, snowfall exceeds old records…silence…only silence.
      Bad news is good news for them, and good news is studiously ignored.

  20. An interesting article, as I am myself a visitor to the ‘opposite’ side of the argument…

    I wonder, do posters here consider this site is more about the science than politics -and does it have less ad hominem attacks?

    Discussion/debate – an exchange backed by interesting links – is always a good thing in science.

    • To Grifter:
      This site is about science and politics.

      The coming global warming catastrophe is 99% politics and 1% science, IMHO.

      I say 1% science ONLY because some people with science degrees are involved.

      Wild guess predictions by computer gamers are not science.

      After 30 years of wrong predictions, I can only wonder why anyone,
      other than CO2 is Evil Cult members like yourself, take them seriously.

      Your “team” says a climate disaster is coming in the future,
      as if anyone could predict the future climate.

      And then you say the same thing the next year,
      and the next year, and the next year.

      Meanwhile the climate is wonderful.

      It barely changed since 1880.

      It barely changed from the early 2000’s to 2015.

      Grifter, you are here as the punching bag for for people who are scientists,
      or are skeptical like a good scientists.
      You are the comic relief here.
      Now, you may not like my prior two sentences
      but I consider them to be my attempt to communicate with you
      in your native language: Ridicule and character attacks

      PS: Grifter:
      I recommend you get the gondola concession in NYC’s financial district.
      After all the streets flood from global warming, Wall Street businessmen
      will have to get to work on your gondolas.

        So Griff points out that this site has its share of ad hom attackers and your thoughtful response is to call him names. Could this be funnier?

      • Reply to SIMON (ON JUNE 27 AT 12:43)

        I spoke to the Grifter in his own language
        — the language of leftist “debate”.

        You probably didn’t notice, Simon,
        but a novice politician
        used that Alinsky strategy
        and became president.

        At a climate change cult website,
        if we go there to discuss science,
        they fight us with character attacks to AVOID debating science.

        At this website,
        if the Grifter comments and does NOT discuss science,
        I fight back with character attacks to PROMOTE debating science.

        My response was thoughtful,
        to show the Grifter if he criticizes this website,
        then I will criticize him.

        If the Grifter wants to comment on science,
        my response will focus on science.

        Debate with leftists requires ridicule and character attacks
        in response to their ridicule and character attacks.

        I wrote an article in my economics newsletter in 2014 about Saul Alinsky,
        and advised Republicans to follow his strategies if they wanted to win
        in 2014 and 2016.

        That’s what Trump did in 2016, and he won.

        Glad I made you laugh.

      • Richard Greene
        “Debate with leftists requires ridicule and character attacks”

        Really? What a wonderful world you must live in. But thanks for being so honest. It explains why so many here are happy to play the man and not the ball.

      • Emotional arguments are not won with facts and logic.
        And being polite to people who insult your intelligence and impugn your education with their every utterance is no virtue…it is just being soft.

      • Menicholas
        “Emotional arguments are not won with facts and logic.”

        This is only an emotional argument because there is so much riding on it. No one gets up set about the science of why bumble bees fly, but they do about climate change because the stakes are so high. Facts and logic should still win the day. Unless you get a blow hard like Trump, who knows nothing of the science, mouthing off.

    • There’s a wide range of thoughts at this site. Here’s my own response to your question. This site doesn’t represent a unified view on the answers you are asking about. But what it does represent is a fairly unified view on the PROCEDURE of proper science, which involves a lot of questioning, a lot of sharing data, and a lot of proposed investigation and validation. Take nobody’s word for nothing. All as opposed to popular consensus science.

    • Griff, I tried to comment at the ‘opposing side’, but my comments invariably disappeared. That was a very one-sided discussion. I don’t waste my time any more.

    • Griff, You are very welcome here. But, I’m afraid we have impolite people as well. You may need a thick skin. However, we do appreciate visitors with opposing views. We used to have a very distinguished commenter from the other side, Nick Stokes. I haven’t seen any posts from him in a while, so we miss him. He caught all of my mistakes and was merciless in pointing them out. I wish he would come back. Please join us.

    • Griff, if this site was like the cult-warmer sites, you would have been banned a long time ago.

    • Griff, if you would actually present some science instead of links to various propaganda sites, it would be a first.

    • Griff,

      I would prefer to see more science and less politics here. Unfortunately, the essence of the debate is how to deal with the politics supported by corrupted science. It is, therefore, necessary to expose the motivations and tactics used by those who want to dictate how everyone is to act. As I see it, those who believe in the climate being controlled by humans are attempting to force changes in behavior and economics. However, the ‘evidence’ they are appealing to is weak and controversial. They therefore usually attempt to shut off debate with ad hominem attacks and appeal to consensus. So, yes, it has been my experience that this site has fewer attacks than liberal sites like The Conversation. And, I get censored very rarely here, unlike other sites.

      I think that you get teased and insulted a lot because you make claims that seem like little more than propaganda and are topics that have been addressed and shown to be false. By the way, did you ever apologize to Susan Crockford for your insults to her?

  21. Mr. Ouellette is correct that amplitude changes in the Earth’s infra-red emission spectrum depend, in part, on the temperature of the air emitting the radiation. It also depends upon the greenhouse gas concentration and CO2 is an infra-red (IR) active gas, so changes in CO2 will matter, but water vapor is far more important.

    CO2’s most important absorption wavelength is 15 um. It corresponds to a peak emission temperature of -80 °C. link, link

    The effective radiation temperature of our planet is -21 °C. link That’s looking at the Earth from outer space. As we go lower in the atmosphere, temperatures increase.

    I wonder if Mr. Ouellette is aware of the above. CO2 absorbs energy at a temperature that mostly exists nowhere on the planet.

    • commieBob,

      The earth in average does emit IR in a large range of wavelengths, where the peak and range is modulated by the average effective earth/air temperature. Thus while the peak is not at the most effective wavelength for CO2, still some 4.7 W/m2 are absorbed for a doubling of CO2, or a warming effect of ~1 K for 2xCO2, prior to any positive or negative feedbacks.
      As the absorption is in a band where water vapor and other GHGs are not active, the CO2 effect is additional to the effect of all other GHGs.

      See fig.12 in Andy’s essay…

      • I’m beginning to wonder about the conventional explanation. Here’s a blog post by Clive Best where he digs into it and comes away dissatisfied.

        The most common graph shows “Upgoing Thermal Radiation 15 – 30% Transmitted”. Hmmm. To a close approximation, 100% of the radiation the planet receives from the Sun is re-radiated to outer space. Direct radiation from the surface is clearly not the main way heat leaves the planet. It appears that several times as much energy leaves as radiation from the upper atmosphere.

        I would not at all be surprised if someone recalculates the greenhouse effect due to CO2 downward.

  22. From the article:
    “the science I knew during my 42-year career as a scientist.”

    If you were a real scientist, why would you want to get involved with modern climate ‘science”?

    Modern climate science is different — it starts with a conclusion, and works backwards.

    A religious leader might try to control people
    by telling them God will see that they go to hell
    if they don’t follow orders / commandments

    I consider that old-fashioned nonsense.

    A political leader might try to control people
    by telling them someday the Earth will turn into hell
    (from global warming)
    if they don’t follow orders / rules

    I consider that modern nonsense.

    I consider the modern nonsense to be an alternative
    for people who don’t believe the old fashioned nonsense,
    but still want to believe in something.

    If you believe in the old-fashioned nonsense,
    based on faith,
    which is anti-science,
    then is it right for you to criticize believers in the modern nonsense,
    based on faith,
    which is also anti-science ?

    I guess I’ve just criticized all people with religious beliefs.
    As an atheist for my entire life, I see little difference between
    traditional religions and modern religions such as leftism,
    or its subset — CAGW.
    — Beliefs based on faith.
    — Alleged punishment for being “bad”,
    already mentioned above
    — Alleged rewards for being “good”,
    such as going to Heaven,
    or saving the Earth for the children.

    The global warmunists make predictions of runaway warming
    and the end of life on Earth.

    You ask how they can predict the future climate,
    and they say “climate models”.

    You point out their climate models made wrong predictions for the past 30 years,
    and they say there was a slight typo in the code, but they have fixed it.

    You ask how they can be sure there are not other “typos”?

    Then they call you a “science denier”.

    You ask them how they know the 1910 to 1040 warming had a completely different cause
    than the 1975 to 2000 warming, and suddenly you are a “science denier.”

    As soon as you realize politicians and government bureaucrats
    had taken the lead
    … including Al “The Blimp” Gore …
    you know it’s not real science.

    As soon as they predict 100 years into the future,
    you know it’s not real science.

    As soon as they refuse to debate,
    you know it’s not real science.

    As soon as they “debate” with character attacks,
    you know it’s not real science.

    As soon as they claim they have climate models,
    but all the model’s predictions have been wrong for 30 years,
    so you know they are not real models,
    and you know it’s not real science.

    So why would real scientist get involved
    with wild guess climate computer gamers,
    who make wrong predictions of the future climate for a living,
    because that’s what their boss wants to hear,
    yet keep making the same predictions year-after-year,
    and raising the “confidence level” higher again and again?

    Oh, by the way, I’ve heard the IPCC just had a vote of “scientists”
    and the result is a 99% consensus, with the following asterisk***

    *** There would have been a 100% consensus,
    but Professor Schnably’s dog ate his ballot.
    The confidence level for the 99% consensus
    is 102%, up from 95% in the last IPCC Report.
    How can the confidence level exceed 100%, you ask?
    Well, any number is possible in modern climate “science”!

      • Thank you.
        I consider you a “culture war hero” for trying to engage with leftists.

        You really can’t debate with many of them on climate change.

        You might as well debate a religious person on whether God exists.

        I suppose you can fight with leftists if you enjoy fighting with them
        — but they usually know so little about the things they believe in,
        that there’s no chance of a real debate lasting over a minute.

        If I want to fight with someone for fun,
        I just tell the the wife the new coat / dress she just bought
        makes her butt look HUGE.***

        She’ll go berserk, since she is Greek,
        and they tend to do that about once a week.

        But later she returns the dress,
        and I get a credit on my VISA bill.

        *** I would never say that if her butt really WAS big.
        I never criticize people’s appearance to their face,
        or behind their back, unless they have an unusual
        amount of hair on their head, causing me to whisper
        to the wife a classic Greek saying:
        “Big Hair, No Brains.”

  23. The earth’s global temperature spikes and the drops over a 1000 year cycle. We are now coming out of the latest low temperature trough called the Little Ice Age. From a statistical standpoint, shouldn’t we first determine the causes of the historical natural variation as seen since the end of the last Ice Age, and use this as the null hypothesis. Then, and only then, can we determine the effect of man-made factors, be it CO2, UHI, deforestation, increased agriculture, damming rivers, etc. How can we blame all global warming on man without knowing the underlying natural factors?

    • I don’t believe proxy data are accurate enough, or global enough,
      to claim there is a 1,000 year cycle.

      Based on ice core data, it would be reasonable to say
      there appears to be an irregular warming / cooling cycle
      that averages 500 to 2,500 years.

      It would be more accurate just to say the climate appears to vary all the time,
      sometimes by a lot in a short period of time.

      You forgot to mention the Mob Family Analogy
      of modern climate science:

      “Mr. Natural Changes” ran the climate action mob for billions of years.

      In 1940 he was executed by Mr. Man Made CO2,
      who took over the Family.

      Mr. Man Made CO2 struggled during his first 35 years,
      from 1940 to 1975, when Mr. Aerosols on the other side of town
      was taking a bigger piece of the climate action.

      In 1975, Mr. Man Made CO2 bumped off Mr. Aerosol,
      and turned on the heat across the whole city.

      In 2000, Mr. Man Made CO2 was arrested for tax evasion,
      and had to spend the next 15 years in prsion.

      During his 15 year sentence, various Family members
      fought so much with each other for a piece of the climate action,
      that there was no climate action at all.

      Source: The internet.

  24. Here is how I see it. Science is a process which, when followed, allows accurate prediction of improbable future events, as well as allowing the future to be shaped in both amazing and predictable ways. There is no other process that comes close to the success of the Scientific Method in this. The key to the success of any branch of science, is the feasibility of making and testing improbable predictions in a short time frame. This is a major difference between “hard” sciences and “soft” sciences. In climate “science” it seems this fundamental process is infeasible. Climate scientists have been unable to demonstrate reliable repeatable ability to predict improbable events. But this has not deterred them from making bold claims. Which is why this so called “science” is closer to a faith-based religious belief.

  25. The left should look closely at what is happening to the DNC, they have been doing nothing but attacking, committing slander and embellishing fake news stories towards anyone that does not subscribe to the leftist viewpoint, only to see their party continually losing ground. On the AGW debate, the masses could care less about global warming and are beginning to take note of all of the ifs, maybes and possibilities interwoven in all of the Global Warming doom predictions and are beginning to not take the AGW crusade seriously. The whole AGW crusade is already losing public support and is in danger of losing substantial funding, and if the attacks do not stop they will soon be treated as the cultist they are by the public as well as politicians that wish to get reelected.

    • Every day they keep ranting and raving is another rock on the landslide that’s going hit them come late 2018. With any luck, it will be big enough to give Republicans a super-majority in at least one of the houses and make the second half of Trump’s term a much smoother ride.

      • Only in the senate does a super majority matter.
        Luckily, most of the senators up for re-election next year are democrats, and there are enough of them from states that Trump won to make next years elections look mighty promising already.
        Dems have little chance of pulling a 2010 style turnaround of congress.

      • I remember Dan Rather describing the election in the late 1980’s, when the Republicans took control of both houses of congress for the first time in 60 years as “The voters throwing a temper tantrum”.

  26. I recently had a debate with a very religious older person “from Mexico” who believed the AGW alarmists predictions about sea level rise flooding the coasts of the continents in the not to distant future and causing havoc. I explained to her that sea level is only rising around 3mm per year and is not accelerating, but she still chose to believe in the alarmist viewpoint. Then I reminded her that if she believes what the bible says, It very clearly indicates that God promised to never destroy the world again with water. Now she no longer believes in Global Warming. Just one example of how fragile the Alarmists foot hold on the masses viewpoint really is.

    • “Then I reminded her that if she believes what the bible says, It very clearly indicates that God promised to never destroy the world again with water. Now she no longer believes in Global Warming.”

      That’s an angle I never thought of. :)

    • But fire! That’s the ticket.

      Man-made global warming will surely cause the world to burn.

  27. The usual nonsense about TSI. It’s sunspot cycles, coronal ejections and the resulting magnetic field interactions in conjunction with terrestrial axial tilt, procession and lunar cycles that drive climate.
    This is demonstrably the case:

  28. You PhD’s really over think things. I have solved this imaginary problem with a government approved method. I know identify as natural variation. Problem solved, not a penny spent.

    • Another way to spot who the liars are and hence who is telling the truth is the simple social skill of knowing how to spot a liar.
      in this case, the warmistas have massively tipped their hand…you do not even have to catch them in their lies or observe the changing storyline and the evasive mannerisms.
      All you have to do is look at how they are altering history…even the history of what they themselves have said.

  29. An excellent post with which I identify. For my part I trawl the comments with the wisdom of the Romans in mind: 1): Argumentum ad populum: By consensus.: The Lemmings? 2): Argumentum ad verecundium: By reputation. Doubt not my word?. 3): Argumentum ad Verum: By truth?. Or attempt thereof.
    To which I have added my own: Argumentum ad vituperatere: By vilification?. Enough said.
    I find it speeds up the process so I can tickle the grey cells on the “ad Verum” comments.
    Mind you I have been known to have had a dig, or a touch of humour; but I do find that my attempts to generate further “ad Verum” discussion often fail.
    It would be interesting to analyse the comments in the various climate websites with these criteria in mind. (Not me chief, too lazy!) It would give a good insight into the mindset of the respective visitors to these sites. Could there be a them and us factor here where we all seek to re-enforce our views?

      • You are both here at WUWT? because you smelled a rat. Something that was going on made you step back and go “hang on a minute”. Cudos, gentleman/ladies. You have pulled back the curtain.
        All people have to do is pull a single thread to unravel the IPCC tapestry.
        I hope we are on the verge of the public becoming aware of the level of the deception foist upon them.
        I lament I may never see it in my lifetime, but live in hope.

    • It does no good to analyze comment sections that have been heavily redacted and edited.
      They simply erase comments they do not like, or alter them, or just ban the commenters.

  30. Just like theoretical astrophysics ignored the bogus maths that spawned black holes and just went on with theory as if that never happened.

    AGW has gone regardless of the fact the hypothesized mechanisms have not manifested (and or we cannot detect them)

    This amnesia is annoying, and as such every discussion on attribution, CO2 levels, warming and so on are massive misnomers, failed predictions mean you don’t have a theory, you kinda need to ram that home time and time again.

    Focus on the hypothesis, Climate Change is not a scientific theory after all. It’s a collection of misleading claims based on weak to no evidence for any of it.

    When this is the focus, you shred arguments that try move past this to “other evidence” of “other things”.
    Don’t get side tracked, stick with AGW’s mechanisms and whether they manifest or not. Forget the rest

      • Bogus math. It was the perennial favorite grant money maker long before CAGW came along. Every now and again you’ll see a paper by someone like Mersini-Houghton of UNC though most such are met with swift and merciless ridicule by the “scientific community”. has some rather rudimentary papers on the subject.

        Most people brought up with the terror of black holes find it hard to grasp that they only exist in models. (Sounds familiar, huh?)

  31. Has anybody calculated the effect of air conditioning on the temperature readings in cities. All the potential heat that is between 72 and outside temperatue Is put in the outside air plus the energy that is put into the various air conditioners. It makes sense that this would affect temperature readings. If you put you refrigerator in an enclosed box and you put a thermometer in that box the temperature would increase as the refrigerator ran to keep the temperatures inside the constantly lower.

    • I believe the key is in showing where the warming is coming from, as you cannot currently have any real way to disprove AGW directly. By solid evidence of other causes, we can do it by proxy, “if this holds true then that cannot”

      This is why the IPCC has a restraining order against natural warming research

    • A good point. I was surprised to learn that the temperature between panels of a photovoltaic solar power plant was higher than outside the plant. You take some energy away, the temperature should be lower. It would be worth repeating.

      • Photovoltaic panels are dark. They absorb a lot of energy, but convert only a small portion of it to electricity. The rest gets converted directly to heat.
        (The electricity also gets converted to heat eventually, just somewhere else.)

    • All the energy used by human civilization in one year is equivalent to what the sun delivers to the earth’s surface in one hour. It doesn’t even count as noise with respect to temperature readings, unless your met station is in the path of air discharge from the condensing coil (been known to happen). Overall, the urban heat island (UHI) effect has a lot of contributions, most of them related to the changes in the landscape and the installation of square miles of concrete and asphalt and high-rise buildings. The energy consumed in these locations is unlikely to be even a third order effect.

      • True, but what does happen is that paved surfaces and solid materials like buildings drastically alter the way heat is stored by day and retained overnight.
        Cutting trees causes massive changes in heating, near surface moisture, etc.
        It is not only about the actual heat exhausted from buildings and other sources.
        The UHI is very real.
        You can measure it or even see the effect on plants on a single slab of concrete in the middle of an open field in a rural area.

  32. Andy, facebook is one of the worst places to get into a scientific debate on anything let alone AGW.

    It’s good to have a look into this particular group

    I have found the same, the proponents of AGW have a free reign to slate and slant and ad hom but should you engage, boom, you are gone

  33. to gain an understanding of why they think the current warming is dangerous and man-made.
    In short that because that approache brings in the bucks,
    Let us look at insurance, hear is a product which is bought not because of want you know will happen but because of what you ‘fear ‘ will happen , now the more urgent the seller of insurance can make that ‘fear ‘ the more likely you are to buy it. But in seller creating this ‘urgency ‘ there is no effect at all in the likelihood of the event increasing.

    AGW is a fear based ideology because it cannot sell itself on the facts lone , it needs the ‘buyer ‘ to feel the ‘urgency’, hence its ‘dangerous’ warming , its climate ‘doom ‘ , its cities under water , there is ‘no time to waste ‘ etc etc .

    Its the same reason they need to have ‘unprecedented’ when scientific terms the lack of data means this claim is rubbish. They simply have nothing but poor and problem filled proxies for the the temperature of anywhere on earth older than about 300 years . Whilst even now ‘smearing’ need to be used over vast scales to deal with the lack of data for such issues as ocean temperatures.
    You can give climate ‘science’ one thing , no other science has perhaps managed to achieve so much , in finical and status terms , with such utter rubbish . They really have built castle in the air , if a CO2 rich air .

    • People with power and that hold the purse strings know how to buy people and hence buy the results that will gain them more power and larger purses.

      • Very true

        Look at the money from US political right and fossil fuel interests which goes to think tanks and organisations sceptical of climate change…

      • Griff June 28, 2017 at 5:12 am
        Very true

        “Look at the money from US political right and fossil fuel interests which goes to think tanks and organisations(sic) sceptical of climate change

        And you say WE’RE the conspiracy theorists?

      • Poor Griff, despite the fact that government spends thousands of times as much buying the science it wants, he’s still upsite that we skeptics have all the facts on our side.

  34. @Andy May,
    Andy, you concur with Ouelette’s claim that isotopic measurement of carbon allows to discriminate natural (from ocean outgasing) from antropogenic (from fossil fuel emissions) CO2. But it’s a false claim, like any of AGWers’ pretense to scientific certainty. Check it out, data are far far from having enough accuracy for that (and forget about C14 whose baseline is indeterminate because of nuclear atmospheric tests)..

    • Oil contains ancient CO2, but so do the oceans.
      This is why you can’t use carbon dating to date anything that has been soaked in water.

    • Frederic,

      Isotopic measurements are extremely accurate and the difference between (deep) ocean CO2 (zero to +5 per mil δ13C) and fossil CO2 (-24 per mil) in the atmosphere (currently – 8 per mil and fast dropping) is so large that it is quite easy to make the distinction. One can even calculate the deep ocean – atmosphere exchanges due to the “thinning” of the human fingerprint. The same for the 14C decay after the bomb tests. That curve is known, as good as the influence of 14C-free human CO2 before 1945 and 14C decay counting still can be used for carbon dating if one knows that the object is from before 1945 or after 1960.

      The only isotopic distinction one can’t make is between fossil fuels and decaying vegetation as the latter also is around -24 per mil, but the oxygen balance (and satellites) shows that vegetation is a net, growing sink for CO2, thus not the cause for the huge drop in δ13C over the past 165 years.

      The drop in δ13C is spectacular as even large changes in temperature and CO2 levels didn’t change the δ13C levels with more than a few tenths of a per mil in the past 800,000 years. In the past 165 years the drop is over 1.6 per mil both in the atmosphere and in the sea surface as measured in coralline sponges:

  35. That there has been a sharp warming swing of a full degree Celsius globally in the last quarter of the 20th century is undeniable. But comparable swings–in both directions–have been commonplace throughout the Holocene. They occurred without any dramatic changes in CO2 concentrations, such as developed since WWII due to human emissions . That is the crux of the AGW attribution problem, which effectively assumes that CO2, rather than the little understood mechanisms of the historical proxy record, was the modern driver.

    Try as they might–including disreputable ad hoc efforts to make the instrumented GAST record more strongly coherent with CO2 measurements–AGW proponents have failed, however, to obtain the vital cross-spectral relationship between the two variables that would make CO2 concentrations a plausible driver of the recent global temperature rise. Wittingly or not, they maintain their causal claims in the face of contrary empirical evidence from the well-established methods of “blackbox” system analysis.

  36. Collected over 2,300!! views on my WriterBeat papers which were also sent to the ME departments of several prestigious universities (As a BSME & PE felt some affinity.) and a long list of pro/con CAGW personalities and organizations.

    NOBODY has responded explaining why my methods, calculations and conclusions in these papers are incorrect. BTW that is called SCIENCE!!

    SOMEBODY needs to step up and ‘splain my errors ‘cause if I’m correct (Q=UAdT runs the atmospheric heat engine) – that’s a BIGLY problem for RGHE.

    Step right up! Bring science.—We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-

  37. As long as we discuss issues of global warming as climate change as defacto global warming, it provides little sense. At least here we should separate the use of climate change as defacto global warming instead let us use the word global warming.

    The second issue is humans causing — humans role on climate change is different from global warming. This is a vast subject by itself. We rarely count this.

    We mostly follow unscientific path in using terminology. This is bad science.

    Let us not use climate change for global warming and let us not use humans for CO2. Specify the specific terms.

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  38. I’m sorry but I don’t see any logic in claiming various time offset regional cold periods equals global cold. Moving energy or air with lack there of from one point on the globe to another does not create nor destroy energy. The total remains the same. Just like a polar vortex and a hot spot in the southern hemisphere cancel out.
    Now if you are arguing that the time offsets are due to lack of granularity in the various models and likely occurred simultaneously, that makes sense. Might not be accurate but is logical. There are papers that claim global and others that claim local as you pointed out.

    • It’s not that there was a cold mass of air moving about. (A concept that is in and of itself, nonsense on stilts.)
      The issue is that the start and stop times for various places around the world varied. However the entire earth was much cooler during this time than it had been previously and since.

  39. I will repeat my prior comment: When real science can explain the natural variability of climate, then, and only then, can we determine the incremental effect of human activity on climate.

  40. I still do not see how vapor could be a GHG. There are plenty subjects here..

    1. The gap between the observed surface temperature of 288K and that of a PBB of 279 is 9 Centigrade globally. In the equatorial region this gap is about 5K only (27°C versus ~22°C). The greenhouse effect is at its lowest where vapor as the most important GHG has its maximum. This will not add up.
    2. Average temperatures are even higher in the Sahara/Arabian dessert. That is despite less solar input, higher temperature variations (which cause more emissions during their peaks) AND far lower humidity. If vapor was a GHG temperatures would need to be much lower there than at the equator.
    3. Daily temperature variation in the dessert is told to be extremely high, because of the lack of vapor. And nights would turn extremely cold. Sure, if vapor contains heat and it is lacking in the desert, that is just what you expect. The problem: it is simply not true! To give an example:
    Temperatures may drop by up 20 Centigrade from their daily peak in the desert, which is just the same as anywhere else, if the sky is clear, that is cloudless and in the absence of moderating water/ocean. A clear summer day with a peak of 35°C and a low of 15°C is a very common scenario in Europe or the USA. Despite much higher humidity. Again there is no identifiable role of vapor.
    4. Daily temperature variations are completely depending on cloudiness, as I have already shown. As this typical example shows, nocturnal cooling is extremely closely correlated to cloudiness.

    (starting with the hour of sunset, the initial temperature in K is set to 1, x scale gives minutes times 10, cloudiness from 0 (clear) to 8 (overcast), sample size in parenthesis)
    5. It has been suggested this correlation was only reflecting the correlation between cloudiness and (relative) humidity. So I ran this test too..

    so this is the correlation of relative humidity and nocturnal cooling. Interestingly, but not unexcpected, there is no correlation between humidity and nocturnal cooling at all. Only scenarios in the 90%+ range show reduced emissivity, but these levels are strongly associated with rain fall, which again comes from clouds. The second lowest emissivity comes with the dryest(!!!) sample, which is small however. All other samples show no (reasonable) correlation at all.

    Summary: vapor has no GHE what so ever, as it does not intefere with emissivity. Clouds however work extremely strong in containing heat by reflecting it back to the surface. On average cloud reduce emissivity by 35%, which would translate into a GHE of 398*35% = 139,3W/m2 by clouds alone. That is, if we assumed the 398W/m2 emissivity from the surface to be accurate (which it is not, as the surface is not a perfect black body..).

  41. Andy May,

    Nice experience!

    I have been a regular commenter at RealClimate in the early days, until they didn’t publish about half of my comments, even completely on topic… Shame on them, as RC could have been a real good forum for real discussions, but with Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt at the steering wheel…

    I had a similar experience with a complete different forum (dioxin-l) about dioxins, a forum of activists to ban all uses of chlorine in any derivatives as fear for dioxin formation. As I was working in a chlorine/PVC factory at that time, I simply put the observed dioxin releases of different processes on their forum, without any comment (chlorine/PVC was lowest in the list). I will not repeat the ad homs here, as I was worse than the devil himself for them… No matter that, the follow up was quite interesting.

    My experience was positive, as you never can convince the fanatics, but there are lots of lurkers on every forum which never or only occasionally react but read what you write and make up their own mind. If you keep calm and only use valid arguments, you can convince them, despite all the howling of the fanatics… Ultimately I was banned, despite always on topic, because of pressure from Greenpeace in the background. After that I received a lot of personal wishes from lurkers, which did not always agree with my arguments, but didn’t agree with my ban.

    The net result was that the dioxin-l forum ended in total disagreement between the fanatics and the moderate members…

  42. Andy

    I didn’t realise that Roy Spencer had talked about the uncertainties of measuring the radiative imbalance, as it’s called. I’d seen the lack of certainty myself when I read the papers and then followed the references.

    Climate science is one of those things that people fill in the blanks and jump to conclusions. The problem is it has the same level of certainty as early cosmology. There are so many processes on the Earth that we don’t actually know about not to mention coupled interactions.

    And of course we can’t measure any of these reliably. But we must take action now!!!

    I compare it to forcing home owners all over the world, and especially in developed nations, to add many expensive friction tiles to their roof in order to mitigate the risk of Santa’s sleigh falling off and causing damage. There is an obvious Health and Safety risk there.
    When asked about Santa, the reply is you have to prove to me that he doesn’t exist.

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