Spencer on Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapses, Nobel Prizes, and the Psychology of Catastrophism

Last week I had the privilege of being invited to present a talk at a small conference of world experts in a variety of disciplines.

The venue was spectacular, on the French Riviera, and we had an entire late-1800’s hotel to ourselves, right on the Mediterranean. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I had the feeling that the organizers wanted the event to have a low profile, and so I won’t mention names.

I had about 12 minutes to lay out the case for climate skepticism. My talk was generally well-received and led to many follow-up discussions over the following days.

One of the attendees was an elderly particle physicist who was also a Nobel Prize winner. During Q&A, he mentioned how he had been teaching a climate class at his university for several years, and that he thought my skepticism was unwarranted.

He was convinced that the Antarctic ice sheet was headed for collapse and we would have to deal with a 30 m rise in sea level as a result.

What was more than a little disturbing was that he openly declared that climate policy would not be able to move forward like it needs to until old skeptics like me die out.

Part of my talk was about the fact that credentialed and published skeptical climate researchers are indeed slowly dying out, with an average age of around 70 now, and that governmental bias in climate funding will basically kill off skeptical research if things don’t change.

I approached him afterward and politely said I didn’t think either one of us was going to change our minds and hoped we could just enjoy the nice dinner that was planned for us. He politely smiled and agreed to that.

I guess what was interesting to me is that the “belief” (his word) in catastrophic climate change, like religion, exists at all education levels. One also can’t help but notice how Nobel Prize winners tend to also be experts in all disciplines after they win their prize. Stephen Hawking comes to mind.

The whole experience was quite fascinating.

Read more at Dr. Roy Spencer’s website

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122 thoughts on “Spencer on Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapses, Nobel Prizes, and the Psychology of Catastrophism

  1. Hawking was never awarded a Nobel Prize, for the good reason that his work didn’t merit one.

    • We actually dont have proof that black holes exist. I am now doubting the whole theory. As well as the big bang theory and along with that the cosmic background radiation, dark energy, dark matter, and gravitational waves. I now think all of this is bogus and astronomy and cosmologists should just start over. The clue to all this was when they started to take string theory seriously. The key fact about string theory was that it was impossible to test. Anything that is impossible to test doesnt exist.

      • Black holes and gravitational waves have been detected.

        The LIGO team was awarded a Physics Nobel last year for their observations confirming the predictions of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

        • Black holes haven’t been detected. What have been detected are phenomena consistent with the existence of black holes.

          • Perhaps I should have said that gravitational waves have been detected and the effects of black holes have been detected, for which observations there is no other explanation but the black holes predicted by relativity. That means that, technically, they’ve been inferred rather than detected.

            Observations show that something more massive than neutron stars must exist.

            But the existence of galaxies alone, with star systems orbiting their centers, shows that not just stellar mass black holes, but supermassive BHs exist.

      • Black holes “fit in” with what we know, are almost unavoidable in the math, and there is quite a lot of evidence that they exist, actually, with unseen massive companions of stars we *can* see. The cosmic background radiation exists, was seen, and was *not* expected. Interpretation is another matter. Gravitational waves *probably* exist and may now have been detected. Data should rule science.

        That said, the dark matter/dark energy/string extrapolations are all hypothetical mathematical playthings that have no shreds of evidence. They are offered as imaginary solutions to a basic problem in observational data running headlong into theoretical calculations, namely that using Newton/Einstein Gravity theory one can’t explain the motion of galaxies based on the observed mass (so invoke dark matter/dark energy), or are offered as a rather bizarre way to bridge between Quantum Mechanics, and General Relativity (strings, yeah, that’s the ticket).

        You can say just about anything in math, up to and including direct contradictions (see Kurt Goedel). Physics requires data. Even Mathematical Physics.

      • As too of course has been the cosmic background radiation. Everywhere we look.

        It’s simply an observation. The Big Bang Theory explains it. As with all valid theories, such as heliocentrism, universal gravitation, atomic matter, evolution, electromagnetism, nuclear radiation, special and general relativity and quantum mechanics, it is continuously improved upon.

        • Then Big Bang theory explains nothing … neither does the God
          story … though perhaps Genesis is more entertaining.

          • Rex, have minored in anthropology (not my choice) I have often pondered the Big Bang and the Genesis story. Think for a moment how several thousand years ago a leader would explain the Big Bang Theory to an illiterate population, who asked the question where did it all come from ?

          • Such an explanation would look nothing at all like the creation myths in Genesis 1 and 2.

            It would start something like this: In the beginning, everything that would or could ever exist was concentrated in a space much, much smaller than a mustard seed and hotter than the hottest fire. Then God said, “Let it expand!” And it has done, for thousands of millions of years. If the tribe had a word for millions.

            Rather than starting with a breath or spirit moving across the face of the waters, wherever they came from.

          • The statement that God spoke the universe into being is a religious belief, but not a scientific hypothesis, since it’s not subject to the scientific method.

            But my response was to the belief that one or both of the creation myths in Genesis are a plausible way of explaining the Big Bang to prescientific people. They aren’t.

            Some have suggested that “Let there be light!” reflects recombination, when it became possible for light to travel through the universe, which before it cooled enough, thanks to expansion, for hydrogen atoms to form from the opaque “fog” of electrons and protons.

            But the rest of Genesis 1 and all of Genesis 2 bear little or no relation to the actual history of the universe, galaxy, solar system, Earth or life on it.

            If it can’t be tested by the scientific method, it’s not science. Religion is about faith, believing what some supposed authority has said or written, even or especially when contradicted by all experience of the real world. Science requires doubt, even or especially in the word of supposed experts.

          • “The statement that God spoke the universe into being is a religious belief, but not a scientific hypothesis, since it’s not subject to the scientific method.”

            That is what make it transcendent. A computer program or mental simulation can’t prove the existence of its Creator in terms of its own finiteness either.

            The Big Bang is religion too since it can’t explain the origin of all the matter and energy, neither can it explain Information and Order out of chaos.

            God based explanations at least come with a metanarrative, pretty much everything else leads to Nihilism.

            If you have to choose a religion…

          • The BBT doesn’t need to explain the origin of all matter and energy. That’s not what it seeks to explain. Its various models instead try to explain the origin of the universe, to account for observations such as the CMB radiation.

            Just as biological evolution doesn’t attempt to explain the origin of life, neither does the BBT try to explain what came before the origin of the universe.

            That it explains only what it sets out to explain hardly makes it a religion rather than a scientific theory.

          • “since it’s not subject to the scientific method.” Neither is the big bang religion. When two separate studies said Universe was shrinking. Scientists didn’t say if true big bang theory was wrong, they said it must be shrinking and expanding so big bang religion could no longer be proven or disproven. Flaws were found in both studies but the reaction to them was very telling. There is a lot emotion tied into the bang bang as an answer to the universal question for which all intelligent people know the answer is 42.

          • ironargonaut – this is an interesting clip about 42. It’s too bad that Douglas Adams didn’t know all this stuff.

          • The BBT is not a religion but a well-supported scientific theory, based upon observations. People might become emotionally attached to their theories, but that doesn’t make the theories religious.

          • Religion is indeed about faith and belief. However, it does not require disbelief or lack of faith in observable fact or science. As a matter of fact, (pun), many religions (like Roman Catholicism for instance) believe that Genesis is allegorical in nature. This is supported by the fact that Jesus spoke in parables. The silly beliefs of the extreme or feeble fanatics are poor arguments. Even Catholics find ways to disagree with the Pope.

          • If I may weigh in on this, from a different perspective. The first principle of natural law is mentalism, i.e., you have to have thought before manifesting action or force, therefore good spoke it into existence. It’s an esoteric pronouncement that, again, first, one must think before speaking or acting. It’s not that complicated.

            Most religions have patterns that overlap Astrotheology, which was esoteric explanations for the adepts or initiates to remove internal conflict and find true purpose in life. Hence, the holy Trinity. Alchemical wedding in the spirit between sacred feminine and sacred masculine, or simply put:
            As I think, so I feel, therefore I act. Complete, undivided person, or a true in-dividual. Without division.
            Sacred feminine being compassion and empathy, love. Think chalice. The cup Runneth over.
            Sacred masculine being creative force, action, rigidity. Think blade. Forged for forceful action.

            Upon examination of the most prominent religions, this is at the core of the esoteric teachings, if one understands the language of symbolism. For the profane masses, deemed unworthy by the adepts, they were handed the exoteric, or literal translation which served to control them by essentially brainwashing them to appeal to external authority (Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Allah, the Roman church, etc), thereby reducing their ability to take full control of their personal lives. Always waiting for an invisible Savior and relying on priests for direction, or the Church, it even the state. Other men to rule them.
            It’s a pretty simple con that gets the profane up in arms because it shatters their spiritual foundation, which is built upon philosophical sand.

            This nonsense about atheism not being faith is silly, as AWG succinctly remarked upon. All of us are faithful because the origin is unknowable, unprovable, and forever beyond the comprehension of our species. It’s a paradox, and man is clearly not God. Period. So we choose which faith we accept at that point, and none other. It’s either accident or Divine.

            It’s really all so simple if you know the language of the higher mysteries, and it’s honestly nothing complex at all. Again, eliminate internal conflict and one will be aligned with the universal creative force, whatever that may be.
            Taking the right action is the hard part

          • It’s either accident or Divine?

            What does the word divine mean?

            An accident implies a prior plan or expectation or prediction.

            The universe looks extremely complicated because we see it through the eyes of survival.

          • yes, it is either one of two options:
            a supremely powerful force (God) created everything
            or it is meaningless an accidental, or without a supreme creator.

            There is no other option. both require faith. Either existence is without purpose (atheism) or existence has a creator (deism). This isn’t SJW reasoning here, you can’t manifest 17+ options for existence, it is binary, just like gender.

            Something more powerful than humans created everything (indisputable).
            if you want to get into semantics, I won’t do it. you know dang well what I’m talking about and I don’t entertain sophists.

          • Unlike global warming, the Big Bang theory can be falsified by observations that do not fit the theory.
            So far there haven’t been any.

          • I disagree. When observations where claimed by two independent studies that universe was shrinking, scientists instead claimed it was still valid just universe must be shrinking and expanding but mostly expanding. Which of course now made it immune to falsication. Studies were wrong but that doesn’t change the reaction.

          • The reaction to the alternative cosmological concept wasn’t the least bit out of the scientific ordinary. Challenging hypotheses is how the scientific method works.

            The problem with the alternative is that it’s not scientific because it can’t be tested:

            http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/08/the-universe-is-shrinking-a-radical-new-theory-challenges-accepted-view-of-an-expanding-cosmos.html

            “But, reports Nature.com, the one huge problem wih Wetterich’s theory is that it can’t be tested. Mass is what’s known as a dimensional quantity, and can be measured only relative to something else. For instance, every mass on Earth is ultimately determined relative to a kilogram standard that sits in a vault on the outskirts of Paris, at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. If the mass of everything — including the official kilogramme — has been growing proportionally over time, there could be no way to find out.”

        • Rex,

          The BBT does indeed explain the CMB radiation. Whatever problems it might have, that isn’t among them.

          I find the BBT more entertaining than either of the irreconcilably contradictory creation myths in Genesis, but maybe that’s just my take on them. I’ll grant however that the second story, with Woman made from Man’s rib and after the animals, is a rib-tickler, if not a belly laugh out loud.

          • Yes and no. The BBT has been jiggered to make expansion work with respect to CMB. Re-jiggered, i fact, to accommodate changes in CMB findings.
            It’s kinda like climate science, they can explain anything (magic strings instead of magic molecules), only the physicists aren’t trying to destroy the economic system and get rich at it. Except Neil DeGrasse Tyson

          • John,

            I don’t know what you mean by “jiggered”.

            Improved observations of the CMB reconfirm the BBT as the best explanation for them. Recent observations, such as by the Planck Spacecraft, support the BBT, for which different models exist.

            The high degree of CMB uniformity throughout the observable universe and its faint but measured anisotropy (irregularity) lend strong backing to the Big Bang Theory in general and the ΛCDM (“Lambda Cold Dark Matter”) model in particular.

            Further, the fluctuations are coherent on angular scales which are larger than the apparent cosmological horizon at recombination (when neutral H atoms formed from a plasma of electrons and protons, permitting a transparent rather than opaque universe). Either such coherence is a remarkable accident (“acausally fine-tuned”), or cosmic inflation occurred.

          • Right you are. “Inflation” is preferable to “expansion”, although we speak of inflation, and accelerating expansion.

          • Felix – “…we speak of inflation, and accelerating expansion.”

            the expansion of the universe looked like it was accelerating …. but more data analysis of ten times as many Type IA supernova, published in 2016, showed that perhaps this was all wrong and just a statistical fluke, and the universe is merely expanding at a constant rate after all.

            And now this problem has been re-investigated and this infant universe evidently began expanding more rapidly (accelerating) after a brief slowdown about 8 billion years ago (when DE became as strong as gravity. ‘Lucky for us and our future.).

        • I’m afraid that all of you appear to have been taken in by the complete falsity of general relativity, possibly because the errors are hidden in the complex mathematics invoked by Einstein, and which he cannot have understood. Tensor mathematics is very complex and extremely well defined. It is very difficult to visualise and therefore easy to bend to erroneous conclusions, in exactly the same way as climate computer models. If you want chapter and verse look up Stephen Crothers papers on Vixra, which are mathematically correct and prove that GR is wrong (in that may criticise but none have yet found any mathematical errors, so infinite peer review!). I will explain the basic problem of GR in simple terms: Undoubtedly you will have seen the rubber sheet analogy pictures, which clearly show the problem if they were drawn correctly. Imagine two planets (spheres) in a gravitational field. Each must attract the other, so each must be in a single depression with the other, but both must be lower than the other! This cannot be drawn and is a physical impossibility as well, and this also cannot be described as a Riemann manifold by tensor calculus! If you think this is too simplistic, look at the maths in Stephens papers. There is no solution for Einsteins psuedo-tensor so the whole theory must fall. How gravity works is still completely unknown! Black holes are a mathematical construction based on faulty mathematical manipulations, but this does not rule out places of high gravity, we just have no idea how they are constructed.

          • ” …but both must be lower than the other!”

            I don’t see why you say that.

            But you’re probably right about GR. Now that Witten has found that we need 10 dimensions to unify gravity with the other forces — reality is probably far more subtle than humans can conceive of — with their macro ideas.

      • My question is, What came before the Big Bang? Supposedly, time and space are interrelated and time began with the Big Bang. But for the Big Bang to happen at a specific point in the past there had to be a “before” and therefore Time was already operating.
        If Time already existed then it is independent of space. This also begs the question of why the Big Bang happened when it did and what the state of the Universe was before the Big Bang.
        I don’t think the Big Bang explains very much at all. No better than a nursery rhyme.

        • The BBT fully explains the CMB, which is a lot more than nothing. Indeed, the accidental discovery of the CMB in 1964 by Penzias and Wilson confirmed Big Bang-based predictions made by Alpher and other scientists in 1948.

          It also explains the origin of spacetime, which expands more rapidly than the speed of light.

          There are different hypotheses for what came before the Big Band, including the Big Crunch of a previous universe. Among others, M Theory also offers an hypothesis. It’s a difficult subject to study, since looking back before the BB is tough, but experimental techniques and theoretical work on the topic are advancing.

          As a shameless pedant, please allow me to point out that the phrase you want is to “raise” the question, not to “beg” it. “Begging the question” is the name of a logical fallacy. It doesn’t mean the same thing as raising a question.

          The biblical creation stories are prescientific, so naturally explain nothing, nor does the Creator God hypothesis, which is not subject to the scientific method, since it can’t make testable predictions.

          • If energy cannot be created only transferred form one type to another , how was the energy available in the first place.
            Where did the matter that existence before the big bang , and without there would be no bang , come from ?

          • The energy was available as mass. As you know, E=mc^2.

            In the main model of the BB, a “singularity” of infinite density existed, containing all the mass and spacetime of the universe. At the BB, quantum fluctuations caused it rapidly to expand exponentially in the brief period of inflation.

            There are other models, but observations in the past few years tend to support the standard model.

        • Time is part of the fabric of our universe.
          Outside of our universe time doesn’t exist. So questions of before and after aren’t relevant.

        • For me, the BBT is just a theory. It can’t be proved, & who actually cares? We are probably better off to accept the Universe as we see it, instead of navel gazing trying to work out where it came from & how it came into existence.
          The idea of all the matter in the universe being contained in an infinitesimally small point is garbage. And time didn’t exist before the BB? I guess that means nothing existed before the BB, therefore god, another ridiculous idea, is equally as likely as the BB.

          • In science a theory isn’t “just” a theory as in common parlance. It’s a well-established and supported body of hypotheses which have been confirmed by observations and predictions found not to be false.

            Different models of the BBT compete for supporting evidence.

            Science looks for explanations of observations of the natural world. Learning how the universe came to be as it is not navel gazing. Cosmology has practical applications, not that knowledge isn’t a good all on its own.

            How do you know that the hypothesized singularity is garbage? It’s the best explanation for observations, such as the CMB. It’s predicted by the General Theory of Relativity, the predictions of which have been repeatedly confirmed. And by Quantum Mechanics, also confirmed. The GTR and QM are relied upon in technology and engineering. GPS satellites wouldn’t work without corrections derived from the GTR.

            Our time began with the expansion of spacetime at the BB. One model of the BB posits a universe before it, which expands and contracts. In this case the BB is more of a “bounce”.

            God is not as likely as the BB, since there is no way to test the probability of God, whatever He, She or It might be.

        • I agree totally, neither science nor religion provides anything other than a faith that satisfies the inherent human need to explain that which is infinite by offering a belief that can be held to explain their very existence.

          • The only scientifically verifiable fact in this whole matter is that none of all previous generations were able to provide conclusive proof of the basis of their particular belief, and I dare predict that neither will the current generation, nor any of all succeeding generations, all reduced to seeking comfort holding to their particular beliefs or faith.

          • Science is not based upon faith, but doubt. It relies on evidence from the universe, not stories made up millennia ago to explain observed reality and imagined supernatural phenomena.

            Science could not have produced so many advances improving life if it were merely a faith and not a method for understanding reality.

        • Back in the dark days of my late teens, some 60+ years ago, I resolved the conundrum for myself based on the classic Einstein formula, E=MCsqared. On the assumption that as the universe expands, matter accelerates until it reaches the speed of light, at which point it becomes energy. This not only explains the existence of dark matter (if it does indeed exist) but provides the raw material for new matter to be created. Hence there is a circularity to the universe that requires neither a beginning nor and ending. No god, no Big Bang.

          As an aside, I wrote to Fred Hoyle, then Astronomer Royal and perhaps the leading authority, with my hypothesis. But surprise, surprise, I received no answer though I imagined I detected intimations of my ideas in his subsequent work…

          • As you may know, Hoyle’s Steady State hypothesis was shown false by discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964.

      • Everything we see around us is cause-and-effect. So now they’ve formulated the origin of our universe out of the concept of the eternally inflating multiverse. This multiverse runs on the energy leaking out of old universes which are rapidly expanding in their old age.

        There’s a mathematical description of an improbable sequence of quantum fluctuations causing the energy level of the Higgs Field to momentarily reach the top of the energy ‘sombrero’, become super-cooled, and then snap back through a phase transition which strongly pushes the inflation of spacetime outward at more than 40 million times the speed of light (for an extremely short interval before slowing rapidly). The eternally-inflating multiverse is the source for these fluctuations, but everything is quantized so this isn’t special pleading. Space time is a strange bird, as they say.

        • The multiverse, if it exist, itself isn’t always inflating, nor the universes within it. Some bubbles pop sooner, while others, such as our universe, last longer.

          Some universes in the multiverse live fast and die young. Others, like ours, enjoy initial conditions which permit longer life, such as the ability to form H atoms, stars, heavier elements, planets and develop life.

          • Just like Einstein concluded about this universe, the multiverse is either expanding or contracting? Multiverses within larger multiverses?

          • If the multiverse be infinite, as thought, then there need be no supermultiverses beyond the multiverse.

          • That’s true if it’s infinite (whatever that means).
            Just our one endless, ageless and eternal multiverse. I guess I’ll have to live with that. lol

          • Some think just our own little private universe is infinite itself.

            It’s complicated. Or so simple that we’ve complicated it.

            Only time and more research will tell. Maybe. Might prove unknowable.

          • Felix – as for universes dying young or being lucky like ours, it’s a curious question today with the identification of the bumps in the Higgs field.

            Why are the per unit strength of Dark Energy and the strength of the Higgs field both so far to the weak side of their theoretical ranges? We shouldn’t complain, it’s the reason we’re here. But why? Could the answer be that there’s just so many universes, as you inferred? 10^500 universes according the vibrational states of the 10 spatial dimensions of string theory.

          • Yes. My implication was the reason why I say we’re lucky to live in a universe that just happens to be ruled by laws which allow H atoms to form, hence stars, planets and life.

            The ten to the five hundredth universes however aren’t infinite. Other versions of M Theory do however predict infinite universes, in which many or most of them pop, like cosmic foam bubbles.

          • They say we need 5 times as much Dark Matter as normal matter for us to have emerged here. Some universes are weirder than ours.

            They’ve found a galaxy with very very little Dark Matter, very diffuse, so this indicates that DM is a real category of strings responding to the accelerations of gravitational fields.

          • Our universe might be on the weird side simply because in ours electrons and protons can combine to make hydrogen. Which means that stars can make heavier elements, such as silicon, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, iron, etc, with which to build planets, moons or asteroids upon which life can evolve.

          • Yes, normal matter might be weird. Dark Matter, which apparently doesn’t couple with the EM force, might be the ‘normal’ matter in all reality. It surely comprises much more of our universe.

  2. Dr. Spencer might have told the physicist that before he dies, Nature will probably already have yet again shown CACA to be BS.

  3. You may have simply asked at what point in his career he decided to abandon science in pursuit of religion?
    Abandon skepticism? What sort of scientist does that?

    • Rocketscience

      You have to understand that Ministry of Truth has redefined a number of terms. This has been going on for some time, ever since Humpty Dumpty took over as Minister. Total revolution also means a revolution in meanings. For example: “forcing” has several new meanings.

      (PS Please get with the program.)

      • ” For example: “forcing” has several new meanings.”

        Why didn’t climatology use “driver”? That was the normal term previously, wasn’t it? A “forcing” has the undesirable connotation of “irresistible.”

    • Only people who believe exactly as you do in every aspect count as scientists?
      I’m used to hearing such nonsense from catastrophists. It’s sad how intolerance has become the new national standard.

    • I would phrase that differently – it has become indistinguishable from a cult. I do not observe it has that major facets of a religion. There are common characteristics of all the major religions:

      There is a Revelator who claims to be one, and fulfils prophecies made by the last one.
      This founder confirms the truth of the one who preceded them.
      There is a Book.
      There is a confirmation of spiritual truths and a new set of social laws provided to guide society – a set of principles that will found a new advance in civilisation.
      The message is essentially about creating a better world through personal transformation, followed by societal transformation.
      Faith is created and strengthened by the successes seen when implementing the guiding principles.
      Personal investigation understanding is an important element of this process.
      There are prophecies of a future Revelator who will come, and the signs of that appearance.
      The Revealer suffers, and the followers benefit.

      A cult, like the climate cult, has a self-appointed leader or set of leaders whose ideas have an unclear provenance.
      Cults tolerate little discussion that is contrary to the core message, save as an example of how not to think.
      The core message changes over time even to contrary positions like the classic from “1984”: “Four Feet Good, Two Feet Bad” morphs to “Four Feet Good, Two Feet Better!”
      The message is essentially that the world is a dangerous, sinful place; only adherence to the cult’s rules can redeem your soul – to undo what you/we have done.
      Personal investigation and understanding is frowned on, with the interpretation of everything left to the elite whose opinion is law.
      Catastrophism abounds, with an emphasis that only close adherence to the group can “save you”.
      Faith is demanded even if the rules and principles when implemented fail to deliver a better or happier or more productive and stable life.
      The cult immensely benefits the leadership.

      Climate catastrophism has many aspects of a cult in which a self-appointed set of not particularly clever or inspired people have used fear to immensely benefit both in monetary and glory terms. As the effigy crumbles they will try to retain their influence by becoming ever-more extreme and demanding of blind faith in their ‘works’.

      Dr Michael Mann said something quite interesting in his presentation at the “debate” with the others a few days ago. He said that there was nothing to discuss about the science – it has been solid for more than 100 years. While this certainly is clearly false, it was the question he did feel was open, which is, “What shall we do about it?” How about, “Nothing?”

      On the specifics of spending trillions of $ per year on ‘trying to control the weather indirectly by changing fuels’, or not, I stand with those who say we will do better by educating, training and upraising the groaning masses of humanity – the 98% – by creating a much fairer world. This contrasts with the general approach of catastrophists who declare the 98% “surplus people” – a burden that cannot be borne by a world limited in its potential by the apocalyptic fantasies of the neo-Malthusians. The only positive thing to come out of the climate catastrophe movement is that the countries have learned to get together in vast assemblages and hammer out agreements – on anything. It doesn’t really matter what, as long as they learn to get along. That is a piece of the future I will buy.

      • Crispin

        With you 100%, right up until the last two sentences.

        The problem with big, clever agreements between what are essentially tribal communities, is that when they fail, they do so spectacularly.

        The EU is failing. One of the arguments levelled against Brexit is that it threatens peace in Europe. I actually believe that’s probably correct.

        But when I ask which country will become the aggressor when the whole thing finally collapses, remainers can’t will the words ‘Germany’ from their throats because they believe it’s too non PC to do so.

        Not that I believe it would necessarily be Germany, but it does hold the whip hand at the centre of the whole mess, and stands to gain the most from the union. It’s also the peaceful rout to what they wanted to achieve by force in 1939. The only thing it lacks is nuclear weapons.

        My belief is, the concept of free trade is a far better incentive to peace than politicians and bureaucrats getting their sticky fingers involved in anything, particularly cross border treaties.

      • The herd mentality is always in play. It is much, much easier to go along with the perceived consensus than to say, “wait a minute, I call bullshit!
        Being sceptical requires effort and the courage to stand alone against intolerant “joiners”. I have read many, many books and other sources of information in order to improve my understanding of issues in politics and science. I’m not sure I could tell you if this was a rewarding endeavour or not. Just something I felt compelled to do. Probably some kind of sickness!
        I do recall that when I assumed that “evolution ” was a valid theory I concluded that I shouldn’t take it on faith and so I read The Origin of Species” in my teens. The scope and quality of Darwin’s argument and the detail and precision of the supporting evidence was a revelation to me in terms of how deep its understanding of the natural world went.
        My investigation of Global Warming likewise came about because I assumed the theory was correct and I should better understand it in order to defend it and support it. My journey to scepticism has been painful but powerful. I no longer see science in the same light. It is subject to the same greed and perversions that mark so much of our modern existence.
        Scepticism is no longer just innocent intellectual curiousity. It is critical armour against the slings and arrows of the all to common corrupt and corruptors which our society creates and rewards in great numbers.


      • There are common characteristics of all the major religions:

        There is a Revelator who claims to be one, and fulfils prophecies made by the last one.
        This founder confirms the truth of the one who preceded them.
        There is a Book.
        There is a confirmation of spiritual truths and a new set of social laws provided to guide society – a set of principles that will found a new advance in civilisation.
        The message is essentially about creating a better world through personal transformation, followed by societal transformation.
        Faith is created and strengthened by the successes seen when implementing the guiding principles.
        Personal investigation understanding is an important element of this process.
        There is a Revelator who claims to be one, and fulfils prophecies made by the last one.
        This founder confirms the truth of the one who preceded them.
        There is a Book.
        There is a confirmation of spiritual truths and a new set of social laws provided to guide society – a set of principles that will found a new advance in civilisation.
        The message is essentially about creating a better world through personal transformation, followed by societal transformation.
        Faith is created and strengthened by the successes seen when implementing the guiding principles.
        Personal investigation understanding is an important element of this process.
        There are prophecies of a future Revelator who will come, and the signs of that appearance.
        The Revealer suffers, and the followers benefit.

        This applies only to the semitic religions – Islam, Judaism and Chrsitianity.

        None of this applies to the Eastern traditions of Taoism Buddhism Hinduism. Jainism , Shinto and the like.

        Broaden your mind before making such sweeping statements.

      • The ability to hammer out meaningless agreements that nobody intends to follow anyway is the only way to save humanity.

        Say what????

        International organizations have never been able to maintain the peace, and never will be able to.

    • TH “Mass movements like environmentalism become indistinguishable from religion.”

      Or, more accurately, environmentalism grew within religion because its principals knew its core science to be non-credible and needing a boost from a belief structure. Geoff.

  4. Dr. Spencer’s website seems to be under assault. I am getting a “can’t be found”
    error.

  5. One of the pieces of evidence that exposes the flim-flam of climate change is how these conferences which could be held in a banquet room of any Marriott type hotel in any big city get scheduled in “The venue was spectacular, on the French Riviera, and we had an entire late-1800’s hotel to ourselves, right on the Mediterranean.” As pointed out this is truly a religion and its College of Cardinals aka “small conference of world experts in a variety of disciplines.” are its Church leaders. Nobody does indoctrination and brainwashing better than faith based religion. The, problem this modern day Climate Religion has with the old geezers it that they got their education when logic and reasoning were still prerequisites undergraduate courses.

  6. “One also can’t help but notice how Nobel Prize winners tend to also be experts in all disciplines after they win their prize.” In many cases they aren’t even real “experts” in their own field. The prizes are awarded for sometimes limited research and often for political reasons. Paul Krugman comes to mind.

    • True of the Peace Prize. The Economics award isn’t a real Nobel. Krugman got it because three Scandinavian socialists agreed with him.

    • I have a guess as to who this might be. However, there are a lot of particle physicists who have won Nobel prizes so odds are that I’m wrong. The guy I’m thinking of is one of the minority who thinks all the hoopla about EPRB and non-locality in quantum mechanics is “widespread foolishness” (I like his opinion on that topic). And, he does believe AGW will ruin the planet.

      Anyway, I agree with your point wholeheartedly.

      It would be fascinating to sit down with someone like that and say to them: “Convince me about this. What is the basis for your belief or viewpoint? What scientific evidence is there behind this?” Not to argue with them but just get inside their head and try to figure out where they are coming from. If Dr. Spencer is reading…and you ever get the chance again…?

  7. Minor edit required for clarity. The first person narrative is Dr Spenser’s correct? The article is attributed to A.W. A subhead indicating guest content would have saved me a bit of confusion.

  8. The aging boomers have never lost their naive enviro passions ever since they buried a VW bug on the first Earth Day.

    • I still enjoy “Sleeper” decades after it first made me joyfully laugh out loud in the 70s…Woody Allen as the feckless Happy Carrot juice bar owner..woken in the far future…then finding and starting up an abandoned VW bug is priceless.

      • I loved it when Allen wakes up on a hospital gurney after centuries of suspended animation
        He blinks and asks asks the white coated medicos who surround him “where am I and where are all my friends ?”
        He is told “its the 23rd century and all your friends are long dead” to which he plaintively
        replies “but how can that be -they all ate macro biotic rice”

  9. The best response (IMO) on Dr Roy’s webpage in how to approach an aging physicist with such a “belief” was this Tolstoy quote from commenter “Ed Mihelich”.

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

    ― Leo Tolstoy

    That quote is worth a bookmark for future reference.

    h/t: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2018/06/antarctic-ice-sheet-collapses-nobel-prizes-and-the-psychology-of-catastrophism/#comment-307942

  10. My simple question for that particle physicist is “I wonder how much energy it would take to ‘collapse the antarctic ice sheet’ and how long would that take given even the higher range of projected warming?” If he couldn’t answer this question (and I’m betting he couldn’t), then I’d advise him to do so before he made any more claims about it. Just the research necessary to make the calculations should give him pause.

  11. Paul Nurse. A liar for the establishment, a David MacKay (also FRS) denier. The worst ones are medics like him, whose “science” is little to do with absolute’ish deterministic physics, where success rates over 50% are good and much depends on statistics, so no laws are ever proved – sound familiar?

    More in common with economics and bookmaking, or high tech bio mechanics.

    But they think they know it all, sucked up into their egos. He has little to no grasp of the renewable fraud on the physics nonsense he promotes in the name of “climate change”, that makes every thing it claims to improve expensively worse, on the science facts. The great and the good? Hardly.

    • David Mackay at times seemed to be a skeptic masquerading as a believer in order to get stuff done. He was overall I believe an honest man.

      I knew him quite well, and whatever he may have appeared to be, he moved UK energy policy a lot further away from renewables and a lot more towards nuclear power than anyone else.

      Some of his writings and broadcasts once he knew he was dying are a lot less ‘climatist’ than before….

  12. “The venue was spectacular, on the French Riviera, and we had an entire late-1800’s hotel to ourselves, right on the Mediterranean. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience”
    Global warming or not, currently the French Riviera is basking in hot Mediterranean sun, beaches are inundated with sun-warshipers young and old (it’s sun that done it, global warming I mean).
    As regards to late Steven Hawkins, whose ashes were interned in the Westminster Abbey next to Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin (?!) only black hole visible to me is the one at bottom of my wallet, due to rather good provencal food and wines.

  13. Maybe the average age of sceptical scientists is related to the fact that it is harder for retired scientists to be hounded out of a job

  14. Those who worship the god of AGW are true
    believers. Convincing them otherwise brings up
    the old caution of “Never Wrestle With A Pig;
    It gets you dirty, wastes your time and the pig probably enjoys it.”

  15. Anthony – I’ve alluded to this before. You are a good guy, but you don’t understand the bad guys.
    “I approached him afterward and politely said I didn’t think either one of us was going to change our minds and hoped we could just enjoy the nice dinner that was planned for us. He politely smiled and agreed to that.”

    Well, isn’t that special. Let me tell you his smile means that I hope you old bastard deniers die so we can reap the benefits. That is what he thinks of you and you treat him as an equal. SAD

    • Personally, I prefer to take the high road, otherwise how are you any different than them? Don’t stop keeping it classy Anthony.

      • Personally, I think you take the dumb road. So, after they cut your 3 year old girls heart out (tied down with no anesthesia), you will take the high road and offer your neck.

        You don’t defeat evil with appeasement. History of people have taught you nothing.

      • you’d probably benefit from watching dan pearl taking the high road- see how it turns out.

    • “He politely smiled and agreed to that.”

      I’ve read some bitter, twisted nonsense on this website, but this takes the cake. SMFH.

      • Shake it harder, maybe some brains will fall out. I’m sure there are some remnants clinging desperately in the hopes you’ll one day go searching for them and decide to employ them

  16. ” During Q&A, he mentioned how he had been teaching a climate class at his university for several years, and that he thought my skepticism was unwarranted.”

    This is the depressing part of Dr. Roy’s story. What is this professor using for data? None of the temperature records show any long term warming for Antarctica. The recent estimates of ice mass show mass gain or trivial loss amidst overwhelming uncertainty. Are there college students that will accept his “belief” without any data to support it?

  17. ” credentialed and published skeptical climate researchers are indeed slowly dying out, with an average age of around 70 now, and that governmental bias in climate funding will basically kill off skeptical research if things don’t change.”

    Scary! Means that the far left control of schools, universities, media and government etc. are having their effect 🙁

    Lets hope that Donald Trump triumphs!

    Cheers

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

  18. It’s a curious modern belief, often bandied about the internet, that when old people with their stupid ideas finally “die out”, the younger and smarter people will be able to finally move forward – as if the old are the only thing holding them back from “progress”.
    Where are the young supposedly getting this great wisdom that the old lack?

  19. It would be good to know what this nobel Prize winner was actually teaching to the students.
    I would be really interested in knowing the course.
    Some years ago an Australian Senator,with engineering qualifications, after asking some direct questions about CO2 of the ANU, was told to come and learn about it and offered courses at ANU.
    The question was not answered.
    That was in the days of ‘settled science’.
    The question was along the lines of
    ‘If Australia shut down all its CO2 emitting industries and transport, by how many degrees centigrade would that lower the temperature of the planet?’
    Perhaps someone who has done such an elective could give a precis of the course structure.

    Now fast heading to the 70 year mark, I feel for Dr Spencer, ‘a voice crying in the wilderness.’
    Sometimes, other voices are raised, also in the wilderness.
    http://joannenova.com.au/

    However ,why bother?
    Probably because such Spencers care.
    Not that the Pope or this Nobel Scientist does not, it just is that the Precautionary tale we have been told since ’92
    has been shown to be of little import.
    In the meanwhile science and the scientific method have gone by the way.
    This site allows those who want to learn of the conflicts in the science that exact opportunity.
    In that context some lecture notes would be a useful primer, particularly from a Nobel Scientist.

  20. One also can’t help but notice how Nobel Prize winners tend to also be experts in all disciplines after they win their prize. – SO well put and true!

  21. Unwarranted expertise maintains at all levels. “… his work didn’t merit one.”

  22. The fact is that I can’t account for the lack of Hawking’s Nobel Prize at the moment, and it is a travesty that I can’t.

    • Einstein got the Nobel for the Photoelectric Effect, not Relativity (too controversial). Could it be Hawking was preparing the below linked report for a while, became unpredictable? Was the big bang to be his next target?

    • Hawking said that if a primordial BH went off (evaporated) close enough to our system to be observed he would get the Nobel.

    • Same goes for Trenberth and Mann’s Nobel.

      Hiding somewhere deep, like the decline and missing heat.

  23. Hawking recanted in 2014 (no joke!) :
    Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.5761

    Basically there are no black holes. The collapse cannot proceed as he had thought. Interesting he compares it to weather forecasting. This, from the master himself.
    Einstein, from a completely different physical angle, showed collapse cannot proceed (his famous collapsing water sphere rough calculation). He proposed, as time slowed change would become impossible – and the stress-energy tensor would convert to “energy of space” (likely meant the waves he predicted).

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