MARCEL CROK, THE SUPER BAD GUY OF THE CLIMATE DEBATE

From the “Dr. Evil” department, it’s not what you think.

Crok, who is a professional acquaintance of mine, just had a five page profile in de Volkskrant, which is the Netherlands version of The New York Times. He’s kind of like the European version of Marc Morano, but travels in scientific circles a bit closer than Morano does. This article makes for interesting reading, and as you can see from the photo, they tried to make him look a bit sinister.

By Maarten Keulemans, originally published in de Volkskrant

Translation by: Kees Schöneveld

Photograph by Jitske Schols, https://jitskeschols.com/

No, to be invited to address the party congress of a new political party was the last thing, Marcel Crok, climate journalist and long standing and vocal critic of the established order in climate science, had expected: and that (right-wing) party not even of his primary political preference. In fact, you would sooner classify this tie-less, car-less, plain-dressed family man as having greenish, leftist, or pro-animal leanings. But in those circles he is far from welcome, as a climate sceptic with his cross-grained message; but to the right-wing party-leader Thierry Baudet he was. In fact, “I had been so as long ago as in 2011, and before anybody had heard of him,” as Crok recalls. “At the University of Amsterdam Thierry had a small reading club where he invited authors to hold forth on the book they had written. I myself was invited too, and sat there of an evening discussing climate with twenty youngsters; and we have kept in touch.”

In the mean time, in climate matters Crok has developed into a kind of ideologue of this political party “Forum for Democracy.”

At one time, when Baudet had been frightening the man in the street to death by a tweet positing that CO2 is good for the growth of plants, climate is warming slower than expected, and weather extremes still leave us waiting, he sent Crok an app: “that’s how it is, isn’t it Marcel?”

Grist to the mill for Crok, chemical scientist, number crunchier, and author of reports like “A Sensitive Matter, How the IPCC hid the good news about climate warming”, or recently “Why the KNMI climate scenario’s will not materialize.” He is trying to organize a “counter narrative”, as they call it: to show another side to the opinions dominant among scientists, politicians and in the media, who are saying that climate is changing dangerously fast, and so we must get cracking, immediately, quickly, and that now!

Crok begs to differ. They are trying to pull us a lot of “green” wool over the eyes, he thinks. “An illusion is being created that there is a climate problem which can be fixed quite easily. And in the meantime a small, but very noisy group of activists is beginning to determine the whole of governmental policy in this matter. Also the application is entirely ideologically coloured: it has to be done through wind and the sun — a CO2-poor option, like nuclear energy is not even on the table. It makes me very cross. This is happening downright undemocratically.”

A huge left-turning conspiracy to the exclusion of the populace: no surprise then that Crok’s criticism is in perfect sync with the Forum for Democracy’s ideology. Earlier on he had been consulted by the (Christian) State secretary for the Environment and the (Liberal) Minister for Economy.

“To this moment nobody has felt any effect of energy transition,” he says. “It was cute, Mr Al Gore saying that we are going to roll back our sleeves and to work on a better world. But it just can’t be done. To decarbonize the economy is an insanely heavy, costly intervention. Germany is the first in beginning to feel the pain. Their industry is moving abroad, they will not achieve their CO2-target.”

CLIMATE OPTIMISM

“Climate scepticism light” is what this was promptly called — but adherents themselves prefer to call it climate optimism or climate realism. For although Crok may think that we are exaggerating the climate problem and may have an aversion to what he sees as “alarmism” —- you will not hear him denying that the earth is warming and CO2 is contributing to it, or hear him shouting that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy. Instead, he produces statistics, quotes from the UN IPCC-survey reports and duly refers to published studies from recognized science periodicals, even though his opponents accuse him of selective shopping.

We have been acquainted now, Crok and I, for fully a decade. And quite well too: we used to be editorial colleagues at the monthly Natuurwetenschap & Techniek (Science and Technique), now called New Science NL. A cheerful, jovial science reporter of a warm temperament, a good sense of humour and a huge passion to dive into complex scientific issues — features even recognized by his severest opponents.

We were joined in the same editorial job, the same phase in life, the same passion for science and the same aversion to stories of doom and exaggeration. We invented the country’s first fact-check column: “BANG!”(afraid), subtitled: “what is it this month that we are made afraid by?” We discovered that stories of scare in our time —from sickening “dung bacteria”, to gruesome nuclear cancers— frequently derived from environment activist sources and that on closer scientific inspection they were almost always grossly exaggerated.

It angered us. A sense of injustice, that the loudest screamers of doom had their way. A pattern we also noticed in the climate debate then still busy trying to mobilize politics: those who sound the trumpet of doom the loudest get the attention— mentioning bright spots or nuances being prohibited. But while I myself turned the page, embraced new subject matter and resumed my journalistic freedom, he became a “climate reporter” and ever deeper entrenched in the poisonous morass of the discussion.

“My point is” he now says eleven years later, “that on the basis the IPCC you can also arrive at a an utterly positive and balanced view of climate change. Why do we never hear that story? Why does everybody only emphasize the risks, the dangers, the problems? I find it worrying that one side of the story is kept entirely out of the picture.”

That side of the picture in a nutshell is: the earth may be warming at a much slower rate than everybody seems to expect, simply since greenhouse gasses like CO2 are not heating up the temperature so fast, due to all kinds of restrictions and feed-backs in the system. This is a possibility which, fair is fair, does belongs to the realm of science — be it at the very edge of what the IPCC thinks possible, and you will find few scientists who believe in this. But Crok toes the line of, among others, the British scientist Nic Lewis: when you see at what rate the world-temperature has risen since 1860, it appears that CO2 is only providing half as much “warming force” as the climate models indicate — which would mean quite something!

“Of course, there is a real question of warming. It is only some 30 per cent slower than the climate models indicate. Up to 2050, probably only a few tenths of a degrees will be added. And around 2100 there will be a warming of about 2 degrees compared to the pre-industrial period.” Stronger still, according to the calculations of the two of them the warming power of CO2 is so low, that the emission of greenhouse gasses does not have to be reduced very much. “In our opinion, even with an emission just above the level of 2015, we will have in reach, in keeping with the Paris accord, a maximum of 2 degrees warming to the end of the century.”

“But you are almost all alone in your opinion. A survey study in Nature Geoscience even recently called the low warming speed ‘hard to attain’—-a scientifically polite way of saying ‘this is bullshit’. In the meantime, you would have expected more support for your theory if there was anything in it.”

“What I see is primarily a science field very busy with: ‘how can we salvage the climate models?’ Don’t forget: almost al methods in use are based on climate models, which is strange. What should normally be preferred? Observations, of course. But you do not see any preparedness to say: ‘the observational estimates are the best thing we have at the moment.’

That climate models are no good is a popular refrain in climate-doubting circles, whereas the established order is pointing out that observations, hailed so much by Crok and Lewis, are not a good gauge for the future, and that a low warming-speed does not square well with almost everything that is know about the atmos­phere.

We go on squabbling about aqueous vapour, root particles, pre-historic heat waves, volcanic ashes, and tropical heating. But Crok, clever in debate and armed with ten years of technical know- how, is sweeping all objections from the table with the help of literature references, while relishing his sandwich.

REPORTER’S AWARD

He had just won The Glass Griffin when I first became acquainted with him, consisting of € 10.000 and a sculptured journalistic prize, occasioned by his dismantling an iconic graph showing how the world temperature has been rising from the year 1000: looking like a hockey-stick, with a sudden upward curl since the time of the greenhouse gasses—as it was presented and claimed, amongst others, by the IPCC, which presented the graph in a prominent position. But Crok had spoken to two researchers who had proved that it contained a statistic mistake: whatever data you enter into it, a hockey-stick will always come out. So Crok writes on the front-page of his report in tall script: “The proof that man is warming the earth does not wash.”

Even then this was contested. He was said not to have been critical enough. “Crok accepts it from them, joins them in anger, but has not figured it out”, grumbled this daily newspaper De Volkskrant. “Crok offers half a story with a lot of noise.” He was booed while receiving the award.

This touched something in him. He had worked at it for months on end. He had been to Hamburg, had adduced an indepen­dent statistics expert to recalculate the whole thing. Was there any part in the story that was not to be told? “In the end it is all about the cool, verifiable numbers, is n’t it? If you wish to understand me, this is the beginning,” he says after­wards. “My first story about climate, and it started immediately: Marcel Crok is a climate sceptic; Marcel Crok only looks at one side of the story. I did not know what befell me.”

This is how he came under the spell of the counter voice; not so much attracted to it—rather pushed into it., as he sees it. “The planet gets frizzled up. We are all going down the drain, and whoever is asking questions is a grumpy and havoc-making guy. It triggered me no end”, he recalls. “If a prominent piece of evidence like the hockey-stick is shaky, what then about the other claims? I wanted to understand the whole discussion.” He quit his editorial job, was going to use the prize money to write a book about academic climate criticism and went out into the world, in search of scientists whom had he heard the same ban proclaimed on as on himself, angry and making amok. He did not have far to seek. The politocologist Roger Pielke, jr., who had half the world at his throat after he had established that cyclones are not getting more violent.; Judith Curry, Professor of Climatology, who noticed that climate science is dominated by a clique of cocks covering for each-other; Henrik Svensmark, the Danish physicist, who has an exotic theory about cloud-formation by cosmic particles.

These were the outcasts from the climate debate, Crok realized. And no, they did not all tow the line of the oil industry, and breathing heavily like Star Wars’ villain Darth Vader, they did not do either.

STRONG LOBBY

“Welcome to the Dark Side, Luke.” Irritated by the quotation from Star Wars : “Why do you have to call it the Dark Side? Is that what it is? Anyone who does not support the consensus to the full, is instantly suspect, belongs to the ‘bad guys’, has to be cast out. The result is that all criticism is pushed to the margin: Dark Side, take care.” “But not quite without justice? Particularly in the United States there is a strong lobby to put climate science in an unfavourable light.” “Oh, that story has become so out of date in the meantime. When Matt Nisbet of Northwestern University was figuring out what the truth is about those reputed floods of money behind the climate lobby, he discovered to his amazement that more money was present on the pro-climate side—the Al Gore camp. Yes, there is money too on the fossil side, except that this does not go to climate scientists, but just to the political lobby in Washington. All those well-known climate critics: Nic Lewis, Steve McIntyre, Henrik Svensmark, Judith Curry, Roger Pielke jr., Richard Lindzen — do not get a single penny from the oil industry”.

“But you did get some wrong friends. You were writing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a right-wing think-tank whose aim it is to expose extremely harmful climate policies, under the leadership of a sour old right-wing Briton, Thatcher’s ex-energy minister Nigel Lawson.” “But I am not saying that this is ideal, in fact the question is: where can you get a critical report, such as Lewis and I wrote, published? Hardly anywhere. So what happens? You are driven into each-other’s arms,”

“But you are a journalist. So you approach a newspaper, when you observe something wrong.?” “Yes, but which? I have approached nearly all newspapers and several magazines. Every time it was: sorry, we think that you have a too outspoken position in the debate. They mean to say, a wrong position. Expertise plays a minor part in this matter; it hinges primarily on the message you are sending. To be critical about climate is not a good earning model.”

In the meantime Crok is sometimes also writing for the weekly Elsevier magazine. In this newspaper, De Volkskrant, he did publish a plea for nuclear energy. Sour smile: “ironically, I live like a green-left-wing guy. I have no car, hardly any income, do everything by bike. Sometimes I think: what if everybody became climate-critical my way, that would leave our carbon-footprint a lot lower.”

Suddenly open-hearted: “in 2015, prior to the Paris climate accord, I realized more and more that I have become a lone voice from the desert. And let me just admit: it is not easy to be that. At a given moment you think: what am I doing? No one will listen to this. You are just being cornered; you don’t belong.”

“Climate criticism does go before the wind with Donald Trump and Thierry Baudet, doesn’t it?” “Now and then, some politicians come to the surface who dare sing a counter tune. But these two do serve as exceptions. if in whatever way they are voicing criticism on the climate story, they are immediately scoffed at—it’s a shame. When Trump opted out of the Paris climate accord, the whole world put him to shame. That is what we have to deal with in this debate. You have the good guys and the bad guys. And I am the super- bad guy of course. I do not actually believe that CO2 is such a problem.”

“During the preparation of this interview there were indeed people saying: do not grant him this platform.” “Yes, what can I do about it?” “At the party congress of the Forum for Democracy you were saddled with an outright screamer: ‘that climate sceptic Crok should happily join the [ultra rightwing Geert Wilders] Party for Freedom, someone from the audience yelled at you.” “The forum is under fire, of course, on account of its immigrations views, but sustainability even triggers much deeper emotions than the Islam does. Somehow, I do understand this: people worry about the future of their children and grandchildren, but what I don’t understand is that subsequently they put me in the corner of the bad guys, as if I do not wish the very best for my children and grandchildren.”

“What you are reproached for is primarily your one-sided­ness: you always put the stress on one side of the story, while the risks, from melting poles to waves of refugees are certainly not lying.” “This might possibly be my sort of counter-reaction to all those stories of doom. My feeling tells me that this is because the Weather Bureaux of this world are only telling one half of the story.”

“Don’t you now think you have become an activist yourself —but then against climate policy?” “I do not see myself as such. Nor am I against climate policies, but mine would look entirely different, with much greater emphasis on adaptation to climate change and less to extremely expensive measures to reduce green­house gasses. I find it somewhat uneasy to brook the injustice of not hearing to whole story. Take the Dutch political Energy-Accord: the minister of economy has never told what the total costs would be. Nobody knows! In fact, it may be well beyond 100 milliard Euro’s. There has not been a single debate in Parliament about it, nothing. I find that shocking. All the cards should be on the table, the uneasy ones too.”

“Wait,” he suddenly says, he had printed out some matters, producing a pile of colourful graphs. “Here, the deathrate from starvation, rrrrr: down; world poverty, rrrrr : down; deaths caused by natural disasters, dwindled almost to zero.” His fingers rest at the bottom of the statistics. “And today, just as it the world is doing fantastically, everyone starts being hysterical about climate change. The large line is: greater prosperity, better health, higher agricult­ural produce, but the IPCC tells you: warming causes the agri­cultural produce to go down. Pardon me!” Quasi astonished look! “What they mean is: agricultural produce is steadily rising, but when we run our models, we see that owing to climate change it is perhaps a little lower than otherwise.”

He waves his arms, his voice is rising in indignation: “Come on boys! Do just tell us that fucking story!”

Scientists do not agree with Crok

Indeed, it is conceivable that Lewis and Crok are right and that the earth is warming more slowly: this chance is about 1 in 20, according to the latest IPCC report. But, so say six climate experts who were consulted by de Volkskrant independently from each other: but this is now ‘untenable’, ‘indefensible’ and ‘physically unrealistic’.

‘There are basic errors in the method that Lewis is proceeding with’, ass Björn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg mails to us, at our request. ‘Probably no errors that are so great that they make the method useless. However, they do colour the results.’

How greenhouse gases can provide more heat is still unclear. The IPCC uses a ‘climate sensitivity’ between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees: i.e. if you double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, the atmosphere will ultimately become between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees warmer. In practice, this can make the difference between warming that is quite o.k. and unavoidable climate disaster.

Although many recent studies result in a middle average of about 3 degrees of warming per doubling of CO2, Lewis and Crok point out that the warming experienced so far indicates a much milder warming of about 1.6 Celsius per doubling, Crok and Lewis point out that the warming actually measured seems to indicate a more limited warming, of 1.6 degrees. Some other analyses too seem to confirm that warming is taking place more slowly, although the difference is well within the coincidence margin.

This does not mean that Lewis and Crok are right. ‘Marcel might have a point that models predict more warming than we see in the data’, says Guido van der Werf, Professor earth sciences (Free Univ. Amsterdam), ‘but I think the difference is much smaller than he pretends.’ He himself used a method similar to the one of Lewis and Crok: he ended up with a warming that is hardly slower than the models indicate. ‘The best you can say about it, is that the historical warming is difficult to reconcile with a high climate sensitivity of 3.5 C or higher’, Stevens admits.

Others says Crok’s view of the issue is one-sided and biased. ‘Marcel ignores three lines of evidence which exclude a climate sensitivity lower than 1.5 C. And even then he chooses the absolute lower bar of what might be possible’, says Pier Siebesma, Professor of earth sciences (Technical Univ. Delft).

‘You just cannot sweep other estimates for climate sensitivity, such as those based on prehistoric data, under the carpet’, says also Wilco Hazeleger of the eScience Center in Amsterdam. Bart Verheggen, Amsterdam University College: ‘With a climate sensitivity of only 1.5 C you simply cannot explain that the earth’s climate changed so drastically in the distant past.’

Bart Strengers of PBL (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) participated in several public debates with Crok. ‘The sceptic, that’s me actually’, he believes. ‘Marcel follows one specific line of evidence, whereas I look at several methods and do not defend one specific view.’


Marcel Crok: https://www.destaatvanhet-klimaat.nl/

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lance Wallace

“Bart Verheggen, Amsterdam University College: ‘With a climate sensitivity of only 1.5 C you simply cannot explain that the earth’s climate changed so drastically in the distant past.”
Well of course you can’t explain it if you think that CO2 is the only cause.

Indeed. Any unbrainwashed onlooker would conclude the climate is sensitive to other things. It’s something that a 8 year old has the capability of understanding.
Andrew

Thomas Homer

http://www.seafriends.org.nz/issues/global/global33.gif
It’s not a coincidence that Earth’s temperatures center around the apex of this curve.

Alan Tomalty

please explain this graph. It is very confusing when you say that the 2.5cm of water is spread over entire surface of the earth.

Thomas Homer

“please explain this graph” … I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
Rather, let’s focus on the glaringly obvious self correcting mechanism that centers Earth’s temperatures towards the apex of this curve. Did I oversimplify it?
We can compare this idea, quantified in the chart, to the theory that a 17% change in the density of a gas that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere has us on the verge of some runaway future to be feared. This theory is based on a property that cannot be measured, ergo cannot be quantified.
Yeah, Occam’s shave kit and all.

Alan Tomalty

Where did you get the number 17% from?

Alan Tomalty

According to your graph the average amount of water vapour is about 0.75% (the intersection of the vapour line with the earth average temp line) Is that correct> This graph is very interesting but I dont see how the dew line cannot intercept with the vapour line. I”m lost.

Greg

Volksrant is basically dutch for “rant of the people”.

Greg, it’s ‘Volkskrant’ with an extra ‘k’: ‘the people’s newspaper’.
That sounds a tad more Communist Party in English than it does in Dutch 😉

But “Volksrant” would presumably be a good joke (pun) in Netherlands or German (although the “pun” is somewhat an English thing I guess.)

paqyfelyc

‘With a climate sensitivity of only 1.5 C [per CO2 doubling] you simply cannot explain that the earth’s climate changed so drastically in the distant past.”
This is true. But it is a lie nonetheless, because NO climate sensitivity to CO2 can explain the past.
It even happen that climate sensibility is negative (that is, CO2 up or down opposite to temperature)
“Climate sensitivity” is a useless concept, more obfuscating than enlightening.

AGW is not Science

Agreed. The problem is still the poorly supported ASSUMPTION (and it’s nothing more than that) that CO2 “drives” temperatures to any extent.

Climate sensitivity is not a constant in space and time, postglacial sensitivity was high because of the strong albedo feedback of the retreating Laurentian and Scandinavian icecaps. Current renaining icecaps are bounded by sea and loose mass directly by calving so there is no albedo feedback.

Indeed, the “Co2-is-the-climate-control-knob” school of thought has hijacked the paleoclimate debate, creating a certain bias.
Previously researchers argued the shifting continents altered how heat was transported from the tropics to the pole. 50 million years ago, the ocean bottom waters were 10 degrees warmer and palm trees resided along the Antarctic coast. Then bottom waters were fed by warm sinking brine due to evaporation. After plate tectonics created the Antarctic Circumpolar Current that isolated Antarctica, the Antarctic Ice cap formed and brine rejection from newly forming sea ice, brought cool dense waters the ocean bottom. The oceans had to cool for another 30 million years, so that upwelling now brought much cooler waters to the surface, cooling the air, so that Greenland finally began to develop an ice cap. CO2 global warming does not explain that 30 million year divergence in ice cap formation. But plate tectonics and the Antarctic Refrigeration effect does!
http://landscapesandcycles.net/antarctic-refrigeration-effect.html

Greg

Thanks Jim. The breadth of your knowledge on such matters never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for existing. It gives us hope.

Thanks so much for your kind words Greg and Anthony,
You made my day! And probably my week!

Robertvd
WBWilson

Let me add my thanks too, Jim. As usual your broader (geologic) perspective brings the bigger picture into focus. Runaway warming indeed! The actual situation of continued cooling is much more alarming, if it persists.

clive hoskin

IPCC official, Ottmar Edenhofer, speaking in November 2010: “But
one must say clearly that we redistribute, de facto, the world’s
wealth by climate policy. … one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute, de facto, the world’s wealth…” “This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy, anymore.” http://www.nzzDOTch/aktuell/startseite/klimapolitik-verteilt-das-weltvermoegen-neu-1.8373227

Sparky

how “distant” is the “distant past” 200yrs, 2000yrs,.. 20,000 years? What was the exact global temperature back then (not localized proxies, but the ‘global temperature). Right,.. ambiguous and…
unknowable.

Tom Halla

Pretty good translation, with one homophone error–it should have been “toe the line” not “tow the line”.

Eustace Cranch

Very common mistake. Many, many people think it’s “tow.” Same with “it’s” used as a possessive (should be “its”- no apostrophe). That one drives me crazy when I see it, like a thumb in the eye.
My mother was a proofreader; I inherited her genes & attitude.

jmichna

“Near proximity” and its cousin “close proximity” get my goat. What in blazes to you think “proximity” means?! “Near proximity” is like saying “near nearness,” and “close proximity” is as “close closeness.”

OK S.

Are you saying that a “close proximity” and a “loose proximity” are approximate terms?

Ellen

Modern literacy is dreadful. When you add accents, voice dictation, and computer spell-checking, homophones rule. Tow the line, reign the horse in, to, too, two .. the list is endless. And then there’s discrete versus discreet.
And dammit, the kids won’t get off my lawn.

gnomish

my favorite was ‘bear breasted’

Although it is possible to tow the line. I watch sea tugs towing large ocean barges laden with cargo containers off our beach in Fort Lauderdale. Is a way to reach lesser Caribbean Islands that dont justify a container ship port of call.

That’s a very unique way of stating it!

Greg

Towing a line is also a way of pulling a barge or pulling with the team. This seems like a much more likely origin of the phrase to me.
English canals have what is called the “tow path” where the beasts towing the load would walk. Note that this is not called the “toe path”, it’s the “tow path” .

Tom Halla

In the context of the article, the usage for “tow the line” was adhering to a certain position, so it was a homophone error for “toe the line”. I can get pedantic.

Eustace Cranch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line
“Toe the line” is an idiomatic expression meaning either to conform to a rule or standard, or to stand poised at the starting line in a footrace. Other phrases which were once used in the early 1800s and have the same meaning were toe the mark and toe the plank.

Phil's Dad

You can also toe the scratch (same as toe the line were the line in question is scratched in to place) and from that we have “up to scratch”. Lovely language.

Phil's Dad

Prize for the first to notice that I meant where and typed were

John F. Hultquist
RoHa

I frequently encountered “toe the line” in print, but never saw “tow the line” written anywhere until it started popping up on the internet. One does not tow a line. One uses a line to tow a barge, a car, or something similar.
But in the eighteenth century Royal Navy, sailors stood at rigid attention with their toes on the line while waiting for a bad-tempered officer to find an excuse to flog them. The expression “toe the line” reflects this coercion.

Jer0me

My favorite is when people argue about the use of “your” and “you’re”. I love to reply:
“Yore rite”

Greg

I have never bought into that bit of smart-arsery. It’s probably one of the many WRONG answers provided by the makers of Trivial Pursuits. Played it once and spent to long arguing about incorrect answers or improperly phrased questions, I never played it again.
Those who win TP are those who own the game and have read all the answers ( whether they are right or wrong ).
the now widely quoted “toe on the parliamentary line”, just smacks of pseudo-science BS. You would not have to have your “toe on the line ” in order to vote with the “whip” ( jargon for party discipline in UK parliament ) , ie fall into line with official policy. It just does not add up.

John harmsworth

To :toe the line” makes perfect sense. It means to obey the rules.

jmichna

Greg,
Re “… Played it once and spent to long arguing about incorrect answers…” you mean “…spent too long….”
Sorry, what with all the rampant pedantry — including yours truly — I simply could not contain myself!

C.W. Schoneveld

Luckily I was not the only one making a homophobic mistake, or were you really wanting “to long” for something like arguing?

BCBILL

Anybody who has read the fascinating Patrick O’Brian- Aubrey-Maturin novels knows full well that toe-the-line is a nautical expression referring to sailors lining up along a join in a wooden deck. I choose to believe this explanation because the books are so wonderful and that is better justification than the warmistas have for their beliefs.

Makes more sense to me too. since many of our expressions have a nautical origin, such as clewless (not clueless, the homophone).

Geoff Sherrington

FC, “a nautical origin, such as clewless (not clueless, the homophone).”
Maybe, in the Chinese navy, “crewless”? Geoff.

Bloke down the pub

‘ Judith Curry, Professor of Climatology, who noticed that climate science is dominated by a clique of cocks covering for each-other’
Now that’s an image that I’m going to have trouble getting over.

LdB

Science isn’t a popularity contest and what people think regardless of their credentials makes no difference. The question is can they prove him wrong and given the information in the article it says not. We have plenty of examples in hard science of people not being accepted but were correct, Peter Higgs was the latest in that club. His initial work was rejected as “of no obvious relevance to physics”, it is still often cited as one of the biggest failings of peer review process.

John Garrett

Given my Dutch proficiency (i.e. zero), I hesitate to criticize others but this is not a great translation.

mothcatcher

I’m not proficient in Dutch, either, but I like the tone of the translation. Gives it a lyrical quality, and makes you concentrate more on what is being said. Smoothing it into your favourite English idiom destroys the charm and vulgarises the content. Much the same way as the antique English of the Authorised Version of the Bible really makes you think about the message, in a way that modernised translations do not.

michel

Volkskrant may be the Dutch equivalent of the Guardian. Telegraaf is perhaps the Daily Telegraph, bordering on the Express. NRC perhaps the NY Times equivalent, or the pre-Murdoch UK Times. Trouw probably has no Anglo Saxon equivalent.

noaaprogrammer

The Dutch reporters were more even-handed with Crok than left-leaning U.S. reporters would have been.

Robertvd

But most (all) dutch ‘news’ agencies are on the Global Warming bandwagon. They have to follow the party line like the dutch school system brainwashing the next generation.

paqyfelyc

Last words to “Scientists do not agree with Crok” of course, but this interview is just unbelievable to even exist, so this is really good, all considered.
Do you imagine The New York Times doing the same with Anthony Watt? Zero chance.
His point of view (which is more or less mine) is almost honestly reported.
(great translation indeed, kudos Kees Schöneveld)

Chris Schoneveld

Small correction. His name is not Schöneveld but Schoneveld (I am sure, because he happens to be my brother)

C.W. Schoneveld

I’m ashamed of my “tow” the line, as if I did know the correct spelling and hence meaning! My brother might have added that (for bibliographical reasons) I myself never enter my usual name “Kees” in any of my publications but always use my initials C.W. or Cornelis W. —- also years ago on this site when I was called “that witty guy” after coining the phrase “pal review” .

Roger Knights

“Do you imagine The New York Times doing the same with Anthony Watt? Zero chance.”
Well, PBS did an even-handed interview a few years back, but never will again, because of the angry pushback from outraged subscribers.

Fredar

That hostility to other views is one of the biggest things I don’t understand. Everyone should agree that the discussion is serious, but whether you think that climate change is real and dangerous or not, shutting down debate doesn’t make any sense and makes me automatically distrust the person’s motive. That’s classic tactic used by tyrants and religions, because they don’t want people to question their views. But we in the 21st century are supposed be smarter than that and embrace free speech, because we think that debate and exchange of ideas is good, and that you should fight with your mouth and not with your fists. If those people think Watt is wrong, they should explain why he is wrong, and not try to shut him down. Another example is how the “science” magazines ignore skeptic views, because the editors don’t personally agree with them. That is not how science should work. Bad ideas should be answered with good ideas, not with bad ideas.

It is disturbing that an unacceptance of catastrophic warming is seen as a conservative right-wing trait by many academics. That is no different than assuming all academics are radical left-wing radicals. It does, however, put the lie to a consensus, since at least in North America, the split is someplace close to 50/50.
I would like to nominate this study for the ridiculous award.
Why some conservatives are blind to climate change
https://goo.gl/Rf7bHX
From the Canadian edition of The Conversation.
This link is to the actual paper.
https://goo.gl/BLX4oe
You may have access to more than the abstract.

John harmsworth

I wouldn’t call it disturbing so much as telling. The enviro-activists and the loonie Left are one and the same. They think they can create some kind of paradise by purging the world of all forms of industry. They are modern day Luddites who lack the ability to see the many ways in which technology improves human life and the potential for high technology to minimize our impact on the globe. So they invent problems that can be blamed on industry. The productive class is likewise evil to them as they are jealous and can’t motivate themselves to achieve anything and therefore have little power.
So they prefer to usurp it by casting blame. They are actually the LEAST capable so they are dangerous to our progress.

bitchilly

well said john. they are unable to see the wood for the trees.

My (American) professor of Earth science corrected me by saying that the skeptical view is scientifically conservative. The radical view is that mankind influences climate.
Thomas Kuhn would have agreed with my professor: The old paradigm held that 20th century global warming was continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age. The paradigm that was overturned was that climate fluctuates in natural cycles.
An even older paradigm held that witches and warlocks were responsible for extreme weather events.

RoHa

And when we got rid of the witches by burning them, the Little Ice Age came to an end and the weather started improving.

Well, that was a nice article in De Volkskrant, I didn’t expect something like that in The Netherlands, although more and more people begin to realize that it will cost them extremely much money. The Netherlands still has a lot of natural gas, but the main source gives currently a lot of troubles with earthquakes as the bottom is sinking. For the rest they have one nuclear reactor (500 MW) and no mountains for hydro, so all is gas and coal, with enormous costly plans to move to mainly wind and partly solar. Still they will need (Russian?) gas as backup…
I have met Marcel a few times in the past, a very nice person who knows where he is talking about…

Robertvd

The next economic crisis will break the global warming’s neck. You have to be rich to pay for this nonsense.

Bruce Cobb

“Bart Strengers of PBL (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) participated in several public debates with Crok. ‘The sceptic, that’s me actually’, he believes. ‘Marcel follows one specific line of evidence, whereas I look at several methods and do not defend one specific view.’”
Sure, whatever you say, Mr. asbestos-pants.

Interesting article. But is this really fair on Prof Stevens?
” … ass Björn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg … “

One thing that many people don’t seem to consider is climate sensitivity not being constant. It was higher during the glaciations of the Pleistocene, because comings and goings of ice sheets and snow cover in middle latitudes caused a great change in absorption or reflection of sunlight. So climate sensitivity now is less than it was in prehistoric times when the climate was known to have low stability.

joelobryan

The less ice cover on the high latitude oceans must certainly decrease TCR. Not so sure about long term ECS.

joelobryan

“We go on squabbling about aqueous vapour, root particles, pre-historic heat waves, volcanic ashes, and tropical heating. But Crok, clever in debate and armed with ten years of technical know- how, is sweeping all objections from the table with the help of literature references, while relishing his sandwich.”,

This is the essence of why Mikey Mann, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt and others on the alarmist side will not publicly debate climate change as it relates to CO2 sensitivity with others in the field like Crok, Roy Spencer, Judith Curry. They’d get their butts handed to them.
Because it all centers around this difficulty for the alarmists:

““What I see is primarily a science field very busy with: ‘how can we salvage the climate models?’ Don’t forget: almost [all] methods in use are based on climate models, which is strange. What should normally be preferred? Observations, of course. But you do not see any preparedness to say: ‘the observational estimates are the best thing we have at the moment.’”

They try and try to salvage the cargo-cult science that is their precious climate models. Those are now essentially job factories, that exist for no other reason than to keep climate modelling teams employed at tax-payers expense.
One very pertinent question now needs to be asked, “Why do we need a CMP6 effort?”
And then it begs the question, “What new information for policy makers will an AR6 provide that hasn’t already been addressed?”
And the IPCC and the COP clearly only exist to keep alarmism alive in the Leftist press. To keep a failed narrative alive. To keep the climate job factories running as self-licking ice-cream cones.
Because what new is there to be found by any of the hand-tuned climate model outputs regarding CO2 sensitivity? They can get any CO2 sensitivity they want by merely adjusting highly unconstrained parameters within the models, that’s not science, it is the pure definition of crack-pot junk science. And in 30 years of modelling, the CO2 sensitivity model estimates have only increased, mostly at the low end with the high end stuck at 4.5 deg C (solely due to confirmation bias by the modellers).
It is far past time to end the climate scam.

Ed Zuiderwijk

I am a paying member of Baudet’s party, Forum for Democracy. Because it is the party of people who can think. And since many people can’t think for themselves and only ape what they have been told the FvD gets a lot of flack.

Robertvd

Good to hear. We know most people think with their stomach. They don’t care how the world will look in 100 years. They think in how to pay the rent and food the next holidays and the dentist cost. If energy cost because of government fighting a global warming most people can’t feel or see, is going to skyrocket and their standard of living is going down only then they will revolt and see that BIG GOVERNMENT is the problem.

MarkW

“number crunchier”
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when my numbers get mushy.

I met Marcel 2 weeks ago and he’s NOT the “super bad guy” but a very nice person, open minded!

Robertvd

Open minded. That makes him for those in power a super bad guy.

jorgekafkazar

His positions are extremely reasonable and should ultimately prevail in a just world.

Earthling2

What if the sensitivity of CO2 turns out to be Zero, but it is everything else like land use change and UHI that turns out to be adding the (human induced) precious warming we have had the last 150 years since the end of the LIA? Along with a normal rebound warming in Natural Variability, which should go without saying.
What if we dialled back human CO2 use to preindustrial times magically, but it made no difference whatsoever to any actual temperature decrease? But we still had the human footprint with nearly 8 billion people adding to the UHI and land use change that adds a lot of additional thermal convection heat to the planet. Not to mention that 7.6 billion people currently on the planet just breathing, is about 8% of total present human induced CO2 addition to the biosphere. And there must be a basic ratio of CO2 consumption/production for every human, just because we are carbon based life forms that are totally dependant on CO2 for every breath we exhale and everything we eat, not mention cooking and basic living, as if we were a preindustrial civilization. So getting to a Zero carbon lifestyle is itself a misrepresentation of the role in Carbon and CO2 in human life, a false narrative that has been promoted, including the absurd notion that CO2 itself is some type of pollution. This is what is being taught to school children today!
If you think about and accept that land use change and UHI do add significant warming on a daily basis, then obviously CO2 can’t be responsible for every bit of warming. Therefore some amount of sensitivity of CO2 has to be reduced accordingly. Which we never hear about, because the climate orthodoxy is just fixated on a singular focus, which is Anthropogenic based, (i.e. GHG’s) causing all of the warming.
Until the IPPC and the scientific community start reporting honestly and with no bias, I think they are rapidly losing the general public on the debate today. The only reason why some Gov’ts are still in the climate deception business is either the Carbon taxes they can collect or the thought of free money from the 1st world, which now with USA cancelling their Paris participation is going to dial that back substantially. Using the scare tactics like some media does to sell copy or viewership, or some in the scientific community just making stuff up out of thin air, or worse, manipulating data to show things are worse than they thought, is just turning a lot of people off to the whole subject. People aren’t stupid, especially when you tell them that the reason why it so cold and such a nasty winter, is because of global warming/climate change. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that these are total lies and bullshit and people know it when they hear it.
It is obvious that we live in a climatic optimum and is why we have achieved the success that humanity has had the last 150 years. And that is because of a gentle moderate planetary warming the last 150 years that combined with fossil fuel use had led to the greatest advance ever in human civilization.

Robertvd

You mean it is a Mann made problem.

joelobryan

Climate alarmism is merely a Trojan Horse in the Left’s attempt to hide within it a new socio-economic world order based on neo-Marxism diktats.

BoyfromTottenham

The IPCC cannot ‘report with no bias’ in the larger sense because their role is defined as: “…to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.” (see here: http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization_history.shtml). In other words, their terms of reference determine that they can and must only consider “human-induced” climate change, and must ignore or disregard ALL non-human causes such as the sun, natural climate cycles, etc. This is their great “get out of jail” card. IMO there is ZERO chance of this changing any time soon, but the more that this awkward fact is repeated, the more people might question the IPCC’s pronouncements of doom.

Wim Röst

BoyfromTottenham, you have exactly chosen the right sentence. This sentence lies at the basis of all biased thinking about climate. When the most comprehending ‘government machine’ (United Nations – IPCC) started re-shaping climate science in a way that ‘natural forces’ [nearly] became excluded from research, only a one sided view could be developed.
Moreover, because of the not-studying of natural forces, the minor impact of human behaviour stays out of the picture. If you don’t learn about the enormous impact of natural forces, how can you be able to understand the relative amount of the human influence on climate?

Urederra

Meanwhile Dutch are staking over the frozen canals in Amsterdam, instead of reading the Volkskrant. Who read newspapers nowadays?:

Wim Röst

Not so many books I’ve read twice. But Marcel Crok’s ‘De staat van het klimaat’ (in Dutch) I read twice, with some years in between. After reading the book the first time my idea was: ‘ A well told bad story about the hockey stick’. But still I couldn’t believe that it was that bad with more or with most of mainstream science.
Later, I became interested in geo-engineering, something which is close to my education as geographer. I read about the possibility to use ‘olivine’ (a mineral) to bend CO2 in order to get it out of the air. And I tried to figure out how we best could use ‘olivine’ to ‘save the world’. A multi-billion dollar project resulted, even the try out would be billion dollar project. But I wandered, “what in case that after some years I would discover that ‘It ain’t necessarily so’ – with the danger of CO2?” Before trying to realise something I decided to do some fact-checking.
At that moment, I remembered Marcel Crok’s book and decided to re-read it. I read it carefully and I was astonished about the good analysis, and all and everything based on facts. A very dirty story, the story about the hockey stick: “what if all climate science was that un-funded or even plain wrong?”
Marcel’s book (or his website) gave me a links to some critical websites and WUWT was one of them. I started reading, especially about facts, and I got one surprise after the other. I discovered that the words ‘may, might, could, ‘if’ and ‘when’ were central in mainstream climate science. You will find those words everywhere, nearly always in a scaring context. No proofs, but fearful suggestions and ‘models’.
After a year of two or so of reading, I could only be astonished about the small base on which thousands of billions of dollars and euro’s are spent to change a problem without any real proof that there is really a problem: all ‘may, might, could, if and when’ stories. That is the base for an extended policy. While words like ‘may, might, could, if and when’ normally are never (!) used in science……
I met Marcel at the Climate Conference in Dresden where he was a speaker and later at a meeting of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. I can confirm: he is a very nice person and always very well informed.
It’s a pity De Volkskrant could not photograph him as he really is.

Mumbles McGuirck

“It’s a pity De Volkskrant could not photograph him as he really is.”
It’s an old and very obvious trick the media use to ‘paint’ someone as good or bad. I recall back in 2005 when Kerry Emanuel came out claiming he found an uptick in hurricanes due to global warming. The NYT’s article on it featured this very flattering, artsy photograph of him, just to help sell him as a ‘good guy’. And once the media figured out Bill Gray wasn’t on the CAGW Express they stopped using photos of him smiling. Bill smiled ALL THE TIME. He was an upbeat fellow.
I guess the lesson is : propaganda is not subtle.

RickWill

Wim – I wonder if your view would be completely different if you had managed to get funding for your geoengineering project.
Most people involved in wind and solar projects start out with a view that they are doing good for mankind. They have not thought it through. Their income ends up completely reliant on subsidies so they have to maintain the line on climate disaster.

Wim Röst

“Their income ends up completely reliant on subsidies so they have to maintain the line on climate disaster.
Rick, I think you are right. That’s exactly how it works. All people involved became dependent on the system. A Dutch expression: “Whose bread one eats, his words one speaks”. The moment I finished my regular job and started my own firm, long ago, I knew that I wanted to be completely independent to be able to say what – following my own information and my own logic – was right to say. Fortunately I am now in that position, but I realize that that is not true for many people.
The need for being independent was also why I started ‘checking the facts’ before I even started to look for funding for the project. And of course I had to quit the idea of the project, after checking the facts. I feel pity for all the people that are so involved in the system that they can only continue with ‘groupthink’.
The whole ‘climate change policy’ is based on ‘fear’. Having fear for ‘climate change’ and being dependent on the system is the worst combination there is. ‘Opinions’ and ‘beliefs’ became (and become) more important than ‘facts’ and ‘logic’. And more important than ‘science’.
I am aware of the fact that I can be one-sided in my information or wrong in ‘my logic’. I try to read and to look from both sides. And in the end only is important what really ‘is’. As far as I can understand.
It is good to read that Marcel Crok managed to be independent as well, although he has to pay a price for that. He really deserves respect.

Rob v

Photographed by Jitske Schols
https://jitskeschols.com/
So if you really don’t like someone ask here to make the pictures.
https://jitskeschols.com/portfolio/portraits/marcel-crok-volkskrant/

M Courtney

That climate models are no good is a popular refrain in climate-doubting circles, whereas the established order is pointing out that observations, hailed so much by Crok and Lewis, are not a good gauge for the future, and that a low warming-speed does not square well with almost everything that is know about the atmos­phere.

It’s a fair point that the future may not be like the past. But surely it is also a fair point that the future might be like the past.
After all, the world doesn’t know we are at the exact moment when everything changes. Not yesterday, or the day before but Today or Tomorrow (or maybe the Day After). Reality can’t know that but fortunately the IPCC knows better.
However, I do wish that the article had explained in more detail “everything that is know about the atmosphere”. And how we know it when that knowledge is acknowledged as being not based on observations of the real world.

Rob v

““But you did get some wrong friends. You were writing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a right-wing think-tank whose aim it is to expose extremely harmful climate policies, under the leadership of a sour old right-wing Briton, Thatcher’s ex-energy minister Nigel Lawson.”
I have approached nearly all newspapers and several magazines. Every time it was: sorry, we think that you have a too outspoken position in the debate. They mean to say, a wrong position.
“Climate criticism does go before the wind with Donald Trump and Thierry Baudet, doesn’t it?” ”
So my conclusion is that this article is not about climate and it is not about Marcel Crok but is about attacking Thierry Baudet. To show that he is some sort of idiot who doesn’t believe climate change is real like 97 % of the scientist.
De volkskrant and most other news media are working for those in power who see Thierry Baudet as a threat so will use all means to throw dirt in his face and ridiculise him like they did with Ukip’s Nigel Farage.
The Netherlands has become a very dangerous place to tell the truth.

jorgekafkazar

Sinister? I can picture him saying: “You are about to discover why they call me ‘Dr. Crocodile,’ Mr. Bond.”

RoHa

Persian cat needed.

RoHa

“the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a right-wing think-tank whose aim it is to expose extremely harmful climate policies, under the leadership of a sour old right-wing Briton, Thatcher’s ex-energy minister Nigel Lawson.”
Trying to make amends for Thatcher pushing the Man Made Warming story onto the world?

Solomon Green

RoHa should not be taken in by the Climate Lobby claiming that Margaret Thatcher was one of them
This post at WUWT by one of her advisers explains that, as a scientist, she wished to see evidence that CO2 might be the culprit behind AGW.
“Margaret Thatcher: the world’s first climate realist
Anthony Watts / June 16, 2010
Guest posting by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
“Anthony Watts’ earlier posting about Margaret Thatcher’s sceptical approach to the climate question prompted some comments asking whether I could add anything to the story, since I gave her advice on science as well as other policy from 1982-1986, two years before the IPCC was founded.”
*******************
“In due course, the scientific results began to arrive. It became as clear to Margaret Thatcher as it has to me that our original concern was no longer necessary. The warming effect of CO2 is simply too small to make much difference and, in any event, it is orders of magnitude cheaper and more cost-effective to adapt to any consequences of “global warming” than to wreck the economies of the West by trying to demonize CO2 and cut our emissions.
Margaret Thatcher was very conscious that the Left tries to taint every aspect of life by attempting to politicize it.
In her thinking, therefore, there is genuine outrage that the coalescence of financial and political vested-interest factions in the scientific and academic community that are driving the climate scare should be striving to bring the age of enlightenment and reason to an end by treating scientific debate as though every question were a political football to be kicked Leftward.”

RoHa

That’s odd. The translator gets it right here, “But Crok toes the line of, among others…”, and yet errs at “And no, they did not all tow the line of the oil industry”.

C.W. Schoneveld

Thank you for pointing this out: it strengthens my point that the wrong spelling was just a stupid spelling error, and that I knew better.

Scott

After 40 years or so of research, ECS estimates have actually WIDENED. The range used to be 2.0C to 4.5C. Then a few years ago the high priests widened the estimates to 1.5C to 4.5C. After hundreds of billions of dollars I’d expect more certainty, not less.

The Climate debate is the triumph of statistical science over physical science. The physical evidence does not fit the statistical model, ergo climate science related to AGW is bad science. But no-one in the scientific community is allowed to express that view without extreme criticism.