False Consensus: The Onion Spoofs Climate Science

Guest essay by Robert Bradley Jr.

The Onions recent satire on climate science, “Climate Researchers Warn Only Hope For Humanity Now Lies In Possibility They Making All Of This Up,” presents a paradox worth solving.

“Saying the time to act has come and gone,” the piece begins, “a group of researchers from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned Tuesday that any hope for the future of humanity now hinges on the possibility that scientists like themselves are simply making all of this up.” The spoof continues:

After reviewing our climate models and projections of worldwide CO2 emissions, we have come to the conclusion that the only scenario in which the human race survives is if our thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies on climate change turn out to be something we’ve been lying about all along,” said climate scientist Philip Vanderwall…. “The evidence indicates our planet still might stand a chance of averting a complete climate catastrophe as long as my colleagues and I belong to a cabal of charlatans who are secretly paid huge sums of money to trick everyone into believing excess greenhouse gases will precipitate record-breaking natural disasters and worldwide famine. Otherwise, we’re all doomed.

Have a chuckle, then note the paradox. A bevy of mainstream climate scientists has sounded the alarm—and for thirty long years. Many models back up their prognostications. And it is not a bad dream or made up.

Yet, global food production is at an all-time high, and climate-related deaths have declined precipitously as fossil-fuel consumption and population have soared in the last century. Virtually all human welfare indicators are positive in capitalistic countries in the manmade greenhouse gas era, as documented at HumanProgress.

So, what gives with the so-called scientific consensus on problematic, even catastrophic, climate change? Why the false “consensus”? Part of the answer is a deep-seated bias against humankind’s quest to tame and overcome the limits from nature, the latest manifestation being climate alarmism.

The Malthusianism Virus

Climate angst is another verse of an old lament. Today’s melancholia can be traced to a 1798 pamphlet, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which mathematically determined a future of subsistence living. Its simple model compared a geometrically increasing population to an arithmetic increase in food supply. “The argument is conclusive against the perfectibility of the mass of mankind,” Thomas Robert Malthus declared, and “decisive against the possible existence of a society, all the members of which should live in ease, happiness, and comparative leisure.”

In the last half-century, popular Malthusian scares have gone from the population bomb of Paul Ehrlich to resource exhaustion of the Club of Rome, oil and gas exhaustion (Peak OilPeak Natural Gas), and even global cooling. Elevated fears of genetically modified foods and other mini-scares add to this list.

The “Cabal of Charlatans”

The population bomb, resource famine, and Peak Oil/Gas were consensus science for Association of the Advancement of Science, “the world’s largest general scientific society,” and its flagship publication, Science. But a “charlatan” article in that magazine in 1980, “Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of False Bad News,” inflamed the membership. Paul Ehrlich asked: “Could the editors have found someone to review [Julian] Simon’s manuscript who had to take off his shoes to count to 20?”

The consensus was an inverse relationship between people and the environment, captured in the model I = PAT, where (negative) environmental Impact equals Population times Affluence times Technology.

Simple model—except that the very opposite has proven to be the case. Per Simon, environmental improvement and prosperity (including safety) is positively correlated with the same three factors in a regime of private property, market exchange, and the rule of law.

Julian Simon was a shining example of the adage, one plus the truth equals a majority. But (contrary to Onion), a “cabal of charlatans,” top scientists all, has ruptured the alleged consensus. Judith Curry is the most active dissenter from the climate-crisis troupe, and such high-powered scientists such as John Christy, William Happer, David Legates, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, and Roy Spencer, among others, are effectively challenging the high-sensitivity estimates from climate models run by establishment scientists.

Conclusion

The Onion is right-on regarding the sirens of climate alarm. “We have at most ten years” to act, stated James Hansen twelve years ago, echoed by Al Gore’s predicated “point of no return.” And just last week: “We are pushing the planet toward an irreversible ‘Hothouse Earth’,” stated Joe Romm. “And we may be much closer to the ‘point of no return’ than most people realize.”

Laugh at the Onion piece but unmask the irony. Climate models may enjoy “consensus,” but they are not science. Physical science is prediction, independent replication, and potential falsifiability, not Malthus-in Malthus-out modeling.

When it comes to the climate “consensus,” just remember that the same people with the same agenda and with the same confidence and zeal proclaimed global resource famines, mass starvation in American streets, and Peak Oil and Gas. Humility, anyone?

The real laugh is on Malthusian consensus, past and present, not on the critics of doom-and-gloom.

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163 thoughts on “False Consensus: The Onion Spoofs Climate Science

    • As much as I agree that their is deception, part of me can’t shake the need to believe that the other side is sincere. Selling fear is every so much easier than selling uncertainty. Most of the people on WUWT seem to be intensely familiar with the problems of uncertainty.

      I walk the same path every morning. My iphone tells me that I have walked 4.9mi. If I trace it on google earth, the path says 4.08 mi. If I drive it in my car, 3.7. The problem in the car is related to not being able to drive the exact path I walk. The phones misinterpretation of the distance is quite likely associated with changes in my pace length. If I were a good salesman, I push that I walked 4.9 mi. If I am a good engineer, I point out the discrepancy.

      It also tells me that I slept an entire 22 minutes last night.

      There are people here who can make the connection between a discussion of my phone accuracy and the accuracy of temperature. There are also people here who are very capable of telling me how temperature and distance are completely different things.

      All of them are likely sincere.

      My uncertainty DOES NOT SELL. I would like to think that managers would like people on their staff to tell them when things don’t have to be done. I have found very few such managers.

      I don’t know that the scientific truth can ever actually emerge from the fog. It takes more than a little training to start seeing the flip side of the analysis. I can point out the inconsistencies to people who write the checks. To the people who just do the recycling, they think they are helping save the world. They don’t quite see that it is cheaper to buy sand from South Carolina and ship it to the west coast to use to make glass beads than it is to get free glass from the recycling plant. They might even pay you to take it away in some places. This is an uncomfortable truth out of the mouth of a bead maker — glass that has been a bottle likes to be a bottle, it doesn’t like to be a bead… The bead maker is very worried about the cost of the energy source to melt the glass. He is not so worried about the price of the raw materials. He is very worried about how long a rod of glass he can make because of the meter drop on the rod. The price he can get for the beads he makes demands he make a certain number of beads within a certain time frame.

      All of that IS related to any discussion of climate change or temperature. Getting it understood by people who can immediately dismiss it as irrelevant borders on impossible. It is irrelevant and they are right to deem it to be irrelevant (although I sort of deem them ignorant for not being able to comprehend the connection). They win though because making the connection takes more than a little time and time is money…

      • Yes, those that believe the lies are sincere in their belief, not because they understand what they believe, but because they fearfully accept what they are told. Fear is a powerful motivator and supercedes the requirement for understanding. Replacing the fear of warming with the fear of cooling, which is a far more likely and inevitable future, will flip the masses. If the Sun is entering a period of low activity, as it seems to be doing, this may happen sooner than later.

        Global cooling is a far more fearful outcome. In the past, much of the populated regions in the developed world were buried under km’s of ice. This will inevitably happen again and no amount CO2 will prevent it.

      • Brad, all you need to know is the commie highschool drop out, Maurice Strong, who created the UNFCC, the IPCC, the Kyoto and Stockholm conventions is a scientific illiterate. To understand AGW, check out Bertrand Russell’s orbiting teapot on wiki.

        • Gary,
          So if I was to argue that the planet is only 2 degrees from “Hothouse Earth” and will pass a tipping point at some unspecified date based on an unverifiable opinion drawn from a squadron of computer models, an analogy with Russell’s orbiting teapot would be appropriate……
          Thanks.Most amusing.

      • Nice one brad, the coincidence with this arriving today in my inbox is quite amazing:
        https://foodrevolution.org/blog/meat-dairy-greenhouse-gases/
        The contrived thinking in there (and the decimal places) is something to behold – and *there* is The Real Problem.

        Apparently from ‘those in the know’ references to saturated fat being bad are ever so quietly disappearing from US government health-advice websites.
        Just disappearing like ‘melting snow’
        haha
        Something to watch for all fatties and (pre) diabetics out there.

        And these guys can keep their Big Willies and small aeroplanes inside their pants for this year at least.
        Seemingly (from Wunderground I think), Greenland and its environs are having a Heat Wave right now – to the extent that ‘unmeltable ice’ is now melting.
        “Unmeltable” – stuff that really really did imply the End of the World when it melts is melting, right now as we speak, and breaking into chunks and floating away.
        Bring it on Ma Nature, we’re luvvin it!!!

        • Fact: We have the gut-to-brain-size ratio of carnivores, not herbivores. We also lack a cecum (it’s now the vestigial appendix) which is the fermentation-vat capable of digesting cellulose. Yes, we can consume small amounts of plant matter, but it largely goes right through us like grass through a goose. We broke ranks with lower primates and expanded our brain size to become homo sapiens during the great glaciations when we ate meat almost exclusively. The fossil record leaves this in little doubt, nor does the works of Steffanson, Taubes, et. al.

          Anyone who feels “superior” for going “vegan” may respectfully knock themselves out.
          Having read the (now un-PC) works of the late Weston A. Price (Google it!) I am happily enjoying grass-fed butter, pastured pork including great slabs of bacon, and raw milk while watching the “woke” bunch suffer from infertility, autism, auto-immune disorders and deficiency diseases uncommon to the modern age resulting from their falsely assumed “moral high ground.” At the end of the day, the kale-and-quinoa bunch will be out of the gene pool because it ain’t nice to mess with Mother Nature. Score: Nature 1, elevated philosophy 0. Good luck with that . . .

          • you dont have to be vego to eat kale or quinoa;-) kale actually does have some very good properties that are being proven to help fight colon cancer and quinoa does contain ALL the required by human aminoacids. both are quite edible in a stirfry;-) made with butter to fry the meat OR coconutoil;-)

          • kale actually does have some very good properties
            ========
            Which are greatly improved by leaving the kale in the ground.

          • Which is always my point… everything should be taken in moderation… including this advice!

        • A couple more references about skepticism regarding consensus science, Google: WSJ, The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease,” and NYT, “The Government’s Bad Diet Advice.”

      • If you’re a climate scientist you are sleep walking “TOWARD CERTAIN DOOM”! Which explains the extra distance. It is predicted by all the latest models.

      • @brad tittle

        “We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.” -Stephen Schneider, lead IPCC author, 1989

        “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-Founder of Greenpeace

        “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, first ipcc chair, 1994

        “Only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention.” -Monika Kopacz, Atmospheric Scientist

        “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Environmental Studies, UCSB

        • Thanks for those quotes, I’ll add them to my collection.

          I hope the Onion reads this! What always strikes me is the double standard, wherein conspiracy theories only work one way. That there is a fossil fuel industry conspiracy corrupting scientists (thousands of them??) is perfectly acceptable to the left. That there could be a conspiracy of vested interests on the other side of the equation is ridiculed, despite so much evidence to the contrary. When we see the results of poisonous ideologies enacted upon unwitting citizens by those in power (and often with the obliging participation of intellectuals, scientists and the citizenry themselves), then why is it such a ludicrous proposition that CAGW is indeed exactly what the Onion is satirising? After all, wasn’t Das Kapital a ‘scientific’ theory that led to the death of millions, when applied with ideological zeal by those with a lust for power and a belief that what they were doing was morally justified?

        • The IPCC report(s) was(were) baffling to me from the very second I encountered the first one. It was 2008, was the 2007 report out by then? In any event, the very first thing that sprung off the page at me: Summary For Policy Makers… I knew instantly, that had absolutely nothing to do with science, that was strictly activism!!!

        • Even more difficult when they have spent a lifetime being told falsehoods and then dedicated their education and career to saving the world from the falsehood.

      • Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire.

        I am certain that there is too much certainty in the world today. Michael Crichton.

      • The problem with “uncertainty” is it makes it much harder to get government funding. Politicians love to spend money, but they would rather not do it on something that is known to be uncertain. It is a lot easier to waste money on something that is based on scientific consensus. If they end up spending vast sums on a boondoggle, like much of the spending on green energy has turned out to be, they can point to the scientific consensus and say, “It’s their fault, not mine.” Those who provide the scientific consensus may not be all that convinced in the beginning, but it becomes a lot easier to believe your own hype when your paycheck depends on it.

    • “humanity will be saved once the scientific truth emerges from the fog of deception.”
      I’m afraid that’s yet another thing to add to the list of things that are always “only 10 years away”.

      • We can use the deception against them. If the ECS is as high as claimed, a mere 1% decrease in solar forcing (2.4 W/m^2) should result in almost 2C of cooling based on the absurdly high nominal ECS of 0.8C per W/m^2.

        I’d like to see them try and explain how the sensitivity is high only as the forcing increases, but not as it decreases.

        • Dont forget Co2, that dimming also causes cloud reduction to offset the effect of cooling. Read Willis on this.g

          • Gary,

            Willis’s hypothesis can be falsified. If you look at the data, while water vapor and the volume of clouds monotonically increases as the temperature rises, the amount of surface covered by clouds decreases as their height to area ratio and resulting emissivity increases.

            We don’t really need cooling to offset the expected warming. The problem is not that cooling effects are being ignored, but that the expected warming effects are exaggerated far beyond what’s actually possible independent of any cooling effects.

            In this scatter plot, the albedo is seen to decrease (Y axis) as the solar forcing (X axis) increases.

            http://www.palisad.com/co2/sens/pi/ab.png

            Confirming data is that the average fraction of the surface covered by clouds also decreases with increasing temperature.

            http://www.palisad.com/co2/sens/pi/ca.png

            Below 0C, clouds increase with increasing temperature, while between about 0C and over 33C, clouds decrease with increasing temperature. This is a clear indication that clouds are adapting to conditions, as the only relevant change around 0C is that below 0C clouds only warm the surface as the incremental reflection from clouds is absent since surface ice and snow reflect about the same as clouds. Above 0C, increasing clouds also cool by reflecting energy away and since the cooling influence is larger than the warming influence, fewer clouds are required for balance.

            For confirmation of the linearity in the power domain that supports the above analysis, the averages from this scatter plot of the SB surface emissions corresponding to the average surface temperature vs. the average solar forcing (the larger dots) unambiguously demonstrate linearity from pole to pole and across all surface temperatures and corresponding emissions.

            http://www.palisad.com/co2/sens/pi/se.png

            Once more I must point out that this data originated from GISS. All I’ve done is present it in a manner where it’s easier to see the relationships between the variables, especially relative to solar forcing.

          • — Speaking of increasing albedo — We have a ready-made experiment going on in the northwest with all of this smoke from forest fires in British Columbia.

            Any studies being done on its effect on temperature? I’ve seen several predicted daytime highs being lowered partway through the day with comments about the haze lowering the expected high.

          • You’re making a very common “climate scientist” mistake… you’re taking the Earth’s atmosphere as a static entity. It is not. It is not only dynamic, but chaotically so. The real thing about clouds is they are condensed moisture, that right there is a phase change, involving huge amounts of energy, but that’s not the most important part. As clouds increase in size, they develop an upward velocity and punch a hole right through the insulation of the atmosphere. So that essentially all the energy given up by the phase change of water from vapor back to liquid, and often the next phase change of liquid to frozen, is transported to the top of the cloud, where it is at virtually the top of the atmosphere and is no longer constrained by the insulating properties of the atmosphere, thus it radiates to space and cools the earth. Therefore, ipso facto, QED and thusly, clouds cool. Now that’s just cool!

        • You are trying to use a hypothesis to disprove a hypothesis. What you have is two competing hypotheses, neither of which may be true. A hypothesis is invalidated by experimental observation and it doesn’t matter whether any alternative hypotheses exist.

  1. Thanks Robert.

    In 1989, Harrowsmith magazine in Canada (a liberal, back-to-the land periodical) featured a story about David Suzuki (who the Canadian readers at WUWT will be more than familiar). The article was written by David Lees. It was titled, “The man who cries wolf.” Remember the year—1989. Here is an excerpt. It is not clear what year this refers to, but I assume 1987 or 1988. No matter…about 30 years ago.

    … Start quote from article …
    In one of his last columns in the Globe, Suzuki quoted Ehrlich’s view of public apathy about the perils of economic growth … A few weeks later, when the Star began to publish the column,
    Ehrlich was featured in it regularly. “Ehrlich concludes that it would be a dangerous miscalculation to look to technology for the answer to [environmental problems]. Scientific analysis points toward the need for a quasi-religious transformation of contemporary culture.” …
    and three weeks after that [Suzuki wrote], “Stanford University ecologist Paul Ehrlich reminds us that … we face a ‘billion environmental Pearl Harbors all at once.’ ” On December 2, Suzuki
    wrote, “We no longer have the luxury of time … when people like Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University …tell us we only have a decade to turn things around.” And in his Christmas column on December 13, Suzuki wrote, “As eminent ecologist Paul Ehrlich says, ‘the solution to ecocatastrophe is quasi-religious.’”
    … End quote from article …

    The year was 1989.

    If anyone wants the article I can email a PDF copy.

    • Meanwhile humanity is still thriving almost 2 decades past the dooms day, and life is improving.

    • We have been presented another false dichotomy by the Warmists. Similar to the guns or butter false economic dichotomy, we are presented with the … “Destroy capitalism or face never ending Wars over limited resources” … dichotomy. According to the Warmists … I should already be DEAD, having been slaughtered by my hungry neighbors … or should be cowering in a foxhole … or living underground in my updated 1950’s bomb shelter. It seems not to matter how WRONG these “Stanford-educated” fools become … they have a PRIVATE ($costly$) degree and pedigree … so THEY hold the TRUTH. Me? I’m just a deplorable grad from the (ewwww) Public University across the Bay. Go Bears!

      • Stupid aren’t they. Deeply stupid. We need to destroy civilisation to save the world. The misanthropes just want humans to die off or kill each other, but if all the systems and energy sources that sustain civilisation fail, that’s when you’ll see ecological disaster. How will all the forests fare when people start cutting them down to keep warm because there is no power? How will all the endangered species fare when billions of starving people start hunting them? In Venezuela they were eating horses. How about lions, tigers, cougars, wolves, elephants, panda bears, koalas, eagles, pelicans, pets …in fact anything that moves? How will delicate ecosystems cope when marine parks become open slather for fishing and shellfish or turtle egg collecting?

    • ah Harrowsmith, that takes me back. I used to have a subscription. Early on it had many great articles about practical low tech solutions to country living problems. Let it lapse when the focus changed in the mid 80s.

    • Craaaaazy Dave is interesting in that he didn’t seem to particularly favour one doom scenario more than any other of the dozens that he promoted over the years. C. D. was as happy to promote death by pesticide as death by global warming or super volcano or asteroid. In once sense he was probably correct that humanity will some day come to a horrible end. In the meantime, he made a very good living off the Malthusian schtick, thank you very much. Crazy like a fox. I feel he missed the most imminent horrible end to humanity which is death by declining intelligence. Something has emboldened the not very bright (a growing category) to believe that they have the moral imperative to save us from ourselves. Very scary.

    • Suzuki made a fortune in the following decade off his pseudo-scientific claptrap…so mission accomplished as far as he’s concerned. He turned “it” around!

    • That anyone still buys into this is evidence of how behind-the-curve “progressive” thought actually is; mired in the debunked assumptions of 1960’s hysteria. Sigh . . .

  2. When doom has been predicted right soon now all my adult life, I tend to get cynical when I see the next imminent catastrophe claimed. The green blob has the same sort of track record as certain evangelical groups predicting the Second Coming, stating a date, being wrong, and glossing over their failure.

    • They don’t even gloss over their failed predictions, they simply shrug and walk on to the next prediction. Less said the better for them.

    • ‘This is from the “passing the 12th floor and everything is ok so far” department.’

      Did you just equate CAGW with Triskaidekaphobia?

    • Yep, still climbing and continuing to improve.
      Can’t say as much for the reputations of the doomists though.

    • There is absolutely no evidence that there are any problems, but some people aren’t happy unless their scared of something.

    • RyanS,
      Not sure what you are trying to say here, but I remember as a lad going to the top of the IDS tower in Minneapolis with my mom. I was excited going up, but the elevator seemed to be going pretty fast on the way down. I have to say that I was feeling pretty happy when we passed the 12th floor without any issues, because I knew everything was fine, having started on the 50-something floor. That’s where humanity is now. We have overcome so many potential species ending disasters, that at this point I’m no longer worried. I am confident we will solve future problems just as we have in the past. Why do think we won’t? What is it about your psyche that is attracted to these doomsday scenarios?

  3. Brilliant! Top marks to The Onion for a great piece of satire and an uncompromising exposure of CAGW and its proponents! I’d love to see this piece picked up by somebody and disseminated far & wide!

      • Paul, that is how I read it d well. Maybe a bit of a jab at the models, but mostly some at skeptics

        • Last week one of the major cable channels admitted in their broadcast that “global warming pieces are a huge ratings loser.” That’s really all you need to know about how many people are keeping themselves up at night twisting their sheets over this.

          I’d bet about now that’s a subset of warmist troughers whose grants are in jeopardy.

    • I heard they’re ditching the print version because it’s just a matter of time before it would burst into flames while you’re reading it anyway. Heard it from some Mann named Hansen or something.

  4. The Onion and National Enquirer, especially, embody the most noble of journalistic standards these days.

  5. The other day, I’m listening to an NPR interview of Naomi Oreskes making the argument that science is consensus. Her example was the reliability of modern automobiles. That they are the result of consensus of thousands upon thousands of experts. I’m pounding my dashboard and yelling at the radio – “That engineering, not science! They’re dealing with known knowns!”

    • dragineez,
      “…science is consensus.”
      It speaks volumes that Oreskes confuses politics with science!

    • I think Galileo understood exactly the difference between science and consensus as he went against the Church on whether the Sun orbited the Earth or vice versa.

      • And back then the Church held sway over the Governments so by extension putting real science up against Government mandated consensus was a crime. Now today we call it EPA regulations.

      • It’s easy for man to shrug and go the easy route and simply nod their head with their unthinking contemporaries. The real thinkers have always been the ones intelligent enough, brave enough, and righteous enough to face the unthinking mob and tell them they are wrong and why, because everyone knows the unthinking mob takes more than a generation to correct their thinking.

    • “Science is consensus”?
      Where I live the movie “The Story of Louis Pasteur” ended about half an hour ago.

    • reliability of modern automobiles
      ≠=========
      The reliability comes from the experience gained from millions of failures. If the experts had been right to start with these failures would never have happened.

      What history shows is that the experts almost never get anything right. Rather what happens is that eventually through the process of trial and error we eventually stumble upon the better mousetrap.

  6. If machines do all our work and AI does all our thinking there will be nothing left for us but to eat, recreate and procreate.

  7. “thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies on climate change”

    …If only this had actually been done. Alas, all that has been done is to use computers to calculate incomplete conjecture at a faster rate.

  8. The difficulty and expense in fact checking inexact climate science with its extensive models and adjusted data sets to veil the fact checking is not so funny. Theocratic rule from Rome, Mecca, Qom, or Geneva (UN) that last centuries is costly to society and human progress.

  9. Hold on just one minute!

    Was that Onion article peer reviewed?

    We all know how important that is.

    /more grin

  10. Not sure I understand. It seems to me as though the writer is not making a parody of climate science but rather of skeptics in noting the “thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies on climate change” and that “every nation on the face of the earth” would have to be in on the charade. Just seems to me like the author is making fun of those like us who understand it to all be bunk.

    • That’s the way I read it. The implied assumption is that no conspiracy could possibly be so enormous, ergo skeptics must be wrong. But this ignores the human talent for seeking opportunity in unlikely places. And opportunity abounds for those who can find something unexpected and then proclaim that it is due to AGW. Whether it be the melting of glaciers or the bleaching of coral, any author can join the parade and gain expedited access to the grant disbursement window. Just a few words, generally unconnected to any data in their paper but supporting the hysteria, are sufficient.

      • Giving the IPCC the Nobel peace prize was part of the conspiracy. The Warmists love appeal to authority.

    • Thousands and thousands of empirical studies…the Onion has become unawaringly self-mocking, not traditional humor but I’ve always found unintentional self-mocking to be the best humor.

      • The empiricism that these “empirical studies” employ is the implementation of George Booles’ algebra in the physical form of semiconductor circuits constructed around Alan Turing’s notion of a hypothetical computing machine. This brief reply, encompassing literally billions of cycles of my computer’s processor, let alone the much higher number of operations performed in the network that connects me to your server, is empirical proof that George and Alangot it right. Computer models per se can achieve nothing more.

    • “thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies on climate change”

      The foundation for all these thousands of studies is based on a false narrative and bogus, bastardized temperature records.

      It only took a few Charlatans in strategic places to change the temperature record and the course of climate science, and all those thousands of studies done based on these lies do not make the authors of those studies co-conspirators, it makes them dupes of the Climate Change Charlatans.

      The conspiracy was among a handful of influential liars, not among the majority of scientists.

    • I refuse to believe The Onion folks are gullible enough to buy AGW. I think the “thousands upon thousands” is a tongue-in-cheek giveaway. And “meticulous” is suspiciously obsequious. Ditto “every nation on the face of the earth”. They’re purposely trying too hard. Satire can be subtle.

  11. “…as long as my colleagues and I belong to a cabal of charlatans who are secretly paid huge sums of money to trick everyone…”
    — You mean it’s not charlatans on one side, and paid shills for the fossil fuel industry on the other? I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m accused of being a shill for the fossil fuel industry, acting in bad faith. Or acting out of selfish greed.

    But I assume it’s still the case that funding is inherently evil only if it comes from only one side…

  12. Now if we can only save global warming from melting my ice cream all will be well….

  13. I guess the utter silence surrounding peak oil and gas these days provides a sample of the sound of global warming alarm during global cooling and the roll over of the 60-year cycle in the AMO. Perhaps plastic scare will replace CO2 scare since we know a shift is more likely than total silence or admissions of mistakes.

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/NOAA%20SST-NorthAtlantic%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/AMO%20GlobalAnnualIndexSince1856%20With11yearRunningAverage.gif

    http://climate4you.com/images/ArgoTimeSeriesTemp59N.JPG

    http://climate4you.com/images/OceanTemp0-800mDepthAt59Nand30-0W.gif

  14. Paul Ehrlich was a prophet of doom with his 1968 book the Population Bomb and subsequent predictions of stuff running out by the end of the 20th century. He’s just a hippie who doesn’t understand that human beings solve problems as well as create them. The solution to the problem of overpopulation was improving plant yields, use of fertilisers and pesticides plus better irrigation and drainage of soils…. and urbanisation coupled with industrialisation. Today we haven’t run out of lead as predicted because we stopped putting it in petrol, and we haven’t actually run out of anything as recycling and new sources of fossil fuels and minerals have been discovered.

    As population control is politically unacceptable the ecologists moved to another displacement activity to seek to impose their future of a post industrial world of poverty and simple technology they find so attractive in their communes that thankfully they don’t have to toil in – doing all that recycling, patching up tipees/log cabins and hand digging/ weeding the organic veg patch is tiresome – because of academic bursaries, college jobs while jetting around the world to chat to the likeminded. Climate control – the very name is false as none can control the climate other than God, who they don’t believe in. First it was anthrogenic global warming, then just global warming and now there isn’t much warming it’s climate change… something that has happened for thousands of years. We have wasted as Lomberg decades ago highlighted trillions on useless windmills and solar panels paid for by consumers paying higher prices for electricity and fossil fuels so that our standby capacity of fossil / nuclear fuelled generators is exactly the same as it was before all this “green energy generating” stuff was added, whose efficiency is appallingly bad. If sea levels are rising (or land is sinking) money needs to be spent on sea walls not windmills. If rainfall levels are falling money needs to be spent on better water managment, not solar panels. If the sea ice melts, it has no impact on sea levels. If land ice melts, it certainly hasn’t meant sea levels have risen any faster in the last 50 years compared to the 100 years before.. under an inch per decade.. so under a foot since 1880 https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-sea-level

    Doom mongers are called out by reality and when their predictions from models (garbage in – garbage out tweaked to produce the “right answer” don’t match reality, they do something appalling – the adjustment of historic data upwards to prove warming. Belief in the crisis (what crisis?) has become a cult for groupthink believers who cannot contemplate that their predictions have been wrong and the warming is normal as it’s happened before in Roman times and in the middle ages.

    • Population control may be politically unacceptable when imposed from above, but the very fact of transcending dirt poverty and women’s illiteracy is sufficient to drop the average family size the world over to below replacement. I think we’ll very soon see peak human population, if we haven’t already, and except for pension funding for the bubble of elders on the horizon it’s already a non-problem.

      At the rate the leftists are actively promoting every single non-procreative deviant sexuality known to history, I suspect we may be an endangered species in a couple of generations! Who wants to trade the “Zipless” you know what for 20+ plus years of responsibility for offspring?
      (sarc.)

    • And yet if functions also as the perfect parody mirror of Con-sensus alarmists also.
      A ‘Pairody’, perhaps?

  15. The problem is the Onion article is made to mock AGW skeptics. It’s some major irony that the resolution will be the science is wrong, but being mocked does not help the skeptics case.

    • OOOH! Was The Onion article peer reviewed? There is no higher scientific authority! If you know what I mean by “higher”.

  16. Even a casual troll should have been able to figure out that technology lessens environmental impact, it doesn’t increase it.

    • That can often be the case, but is not necessarily so. Often technology will allow environmental impacts, from man, that otherwise would not have occurred, such as ability to extract resources from a previously unreachable location where mankind had no impact before.

      Creation of an impact where before none existed is not lessening the impact.

    • “Thermometer up a wolf’s butt! Thermometer up a wolf’s butt! Thermometer up a wolf’s butt!”

  17. Funny that you get the general gist of the satire (that all the world’s climate scientists are involved in a massive conspiracy to corrupt the data, for ‘whatever’ reason) but take the “we’re all doomed” bit literally.

    Both are satire. We’re not doomed, even if the surface temperature record is correct.

    • Oh my god, it must be GLOBAL WARMING, because hurricanes have never hit Hawaii before…wait – never mind.

    • Dangerous to mention models here, but most of the models currently have the eye tracking south of the islands. Some have it plowing into the big island (where cyclones go to die). (Honolulu could be hit though.) Also, most of the models have it losing intensity from cat 4 to cat 2 or even cat 1. I didn’t look into it to see if it is cold water or shear or dry air (or something else) that would cause the loss in intensity. So definitely worth watching if you have some interest in Hawaii, but likely not much more than a tropical storm on land.

    • Is the “sorry” because you posted off-topic? But you did it anyway. Doesn’t sound like you’re sorry.

    • Quelgeek, while that is indeed the Onion’s intention, that doesn’t negate that the result can also be viewed the opposite way.

      Put another way, in trying to satirize AGW skeptics they’ve inadvertently also satirized (so-called) climate science.

  18. Proof that it is all the product of a cabal of charlatans lies in the fact President Trump could cancel CAGW and the Parisite Accord with a few Tweets, a short speech on the Whitehouse Lawn and a signature or two.

    I’ve tried to locate a classic photo of Trump mocking sea level rise with index finger and thumb an inch apart, but the Silicon Valley Revolutionary Guards have deep sized it in their search engine prison.

  19. You DO realize that we “deniers” are the butt of The Onion’s joke?

    meticulous empirical studies … cabal of charlatans … secretly paid huge sums of money to trick everyone

    That you’d have to be a conspiratorial nutbar to “believe” such far-fetched notions. They are mocking OUR healthy, reasoned, intelligent, skepticism as … utterly ridiculous. As much as I enjoy The Onion, they’ve bought into the Lie.

    • Indeed. The onion is pretty lame these days as the types of simpletons that fall for Chicken Little sky is falling scaremongering generally aren’t capable of good humor.

    • “You DO realize that we “deniers” are the butt of The Onion’s joke?”

      Yes we do. What the Onion thinks doesn’t change the science, or lack thereof. If they really knew the score they wouldn’t be making fun of skeptics.

  20. Mods I take exception to deep sizing my modest post. Is it because I used the word “charlatans”, which was in the title of the article?!

  21. Seriously, the Progressive left – particularly in regards to Climate Change – is literally a gold-mine for a genuine comedian – you couldn’t WRITE material like they’ve been coming up with.

    I’m trying to imagine a Sam Kinison routine.

  22. My suggestion for an Onion headline:

    New Poll Shows 97% of Climate Scientists Say they are in the 3% that Don’t Believe it’s Dangerous

  23. “After reviewing our climate models and projections of worldwide CO2 emissions, we have come to the conclusion that the only scenario in which the human race survives is if our thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies on climate change turn out to be something we’ve been lying about all along,””

    Unfortunately their “thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies” really only consists of “thousands upon thousands of computer models” that have thus far spectacularly failed at modeling the actual climate (hence the even widening gap between model predictions and actual temps)

    • “Unfortunately their “thousands upon thousands of meticulous empirical studies” really only consists of “thousands upon thousands of computer models” that have thus far spectacularly failed at modeling the actual climate (hence the even widening gap between model predictions and actual temps)”

      And the same small group of people using the same bad statistics with the same lame proxies. And then they call those studies “independent” verification.

  24. Just because it hasn’t happened yet is no guarantee it won’t. We are pushing the limits faster than population is rising right now. But it’s a very Red Queen sort of game*.

    https://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/images/RQ.png

    CO2 and fossil fuel ain’t the problem. In 100 years fossil fuel may be.

    In Southern Africa, water is a problem.
    In other places food.
    Or warmth. Or space for houses.
    We need to slow the pace a bit and sort out what we want.

    *”Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

  25. Just a comment on the cartoon at the beginning of the post.
    The default should have been “Save the World from XX!
    Then the other sandwich board catastrophes could be able to be hungover, so to speak.

  26. This is a little off the presence subject but I think it is important.
    I wanted to know where a lot of the AGW warmers thinking comes from so I did an overview of philosophy by RC. One thing which came out of it was the thought of skepticism.
    Today we live in a world of skepticism coupled with the postmodernist view of truth, ‘truth is what you make it.’ ‘Your truth and mine might differ.’
    Therefore you get many ‘experts’ without facts.
    Just recently I heard of two people who didn’t have any idea but who just supported AGW policies regardless of the cost.
    It comes back to the old ‘if you hear it often enough you will believe (anything) it.’
    It is quite ironic that many of the ‘experts’ on AGW will not debate a denier (so called) on TV or anywhere there is an audience.

  27. ……Hmmmm…

    The Daily Onion is making fun of skeptics.
    That it accidentally shows how full of nothing burgers the consensus argument is, is beside the point.

  28. ‘Believers’ should be highly suspicious of terms like ‘consensus’ and ‘denialism’. They should consider these simple questions:

    How can there POSSIBLY be consensus on a prediction for which there is no precedent??? How can there POSSIBLY be consensus about the behaviour of a system that is so complex and so poorly understood?

    Both “denialism” and ‘consensus’ only make sense regarding events that have been proven to have already occurred (and even then there will be debate), or future events that can be reliably predicted, due to reliable, long term patterns. We infer from the past all the time what is likely to happen in the future and reach consensus. For example, one might be said to be in denial if they stated that the coming summer will be colder than the winter, or that night temperatures are usually warmer than day temperatures.

    The true ‘denialism’ therefore is from those who refuse to accept the historical data and all the long term geological patterns which show that CO2 has NEVER been the driver of climate. The true ‘denialism’ is from those who ignore the fact that even predictions made less than 30 years ago have failed to eventuate. Why do people ‘believe’ that longer term future predictions will be accurate, given the already failed predictions?

    People are so gullible. I think it’s interesting that many ‘believers’ think they are better at critical thinking, and are more challenging of authority…speaking ‘truth to power’. It’s the exact opposite. It’s frightening how deferential, easily cowed and manipulated and uncritical most people are, and how they cleave to orthodoxy.

    • Sylvia
      How can there POSSIBLY be consensus on a prediction for which there is no precedent???

      Exactly – there is no precedent for CO2 driving temperatures in climate history, the opposite is found, CO2 follows temperature and is nothing more than a proxy of temperature.

      It is surprising indeed how many unquestioningly follow the AGW story. The left have found a successful vehicle for channeling people’s anxiety about a crowded and polluted world and taking them to a place of moral superiority. That is too sweet for most of them to let go despite evidence to the contrary.

      An important vulnerability of this belief structure may prove to be the global greening issue. The evidence of profound benefit to the ecosystem from CO2 fertilisation keeps getting stronger. The AGW priesthood is finding it necessary to corral the faithful with increasingly earnest and dubious arguments about why more plant growth is actually bad (just “bad” is not even enough, apparently it’s “terrible” – see Kip Hansen’s recent WUWT posts on this.) Reasonable thinking people are coming closer to a place where they will realise they are being deceived.

  29. CO2 is a simple molecule and only absorbs in three wavelengths (2.7; 4.3; 15 micrometers) that amount to 8% of what the Earth emits. And that the CO2 re-emits randomly only about half of that will be heading back towards the earth. I’m not sure but it seems like losing 96% > receiving back 4% @ 410PPM.

  30. …..“one plus the truth equals a majority”.
    So Professor Freeman Dyson plus the truth(“ the impact of greenhouse gases on the climate has been grossly exaggerated”) is a majority!
    I always thought so.

  31. “Saying the time to act has come and gone,” the piece begins, “a group of researchers from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned Tuesday that any hope for the future of humanity now hinges on the possibility that scientists like themselves are simply making all of this up.”

    A Russian saying is very applicable to this:

    “In every joke, a little bit is joke and the rest is true”.

  32. Peak oil is very real and represents what is found in all oil field production, a bell curve. However, what the book failed to add is that if you keep adding bell curves to your oil production as new sources and new types of energy extraction come online, then you get a complex trend of their summation. As production of a world bell curve declines causing prices to increase, then previously uneconomical locations and methods become feasible and thusly, the bell curve is extended. These are new production bell curves. The first scare of the end of oil I am aware of is the story from my father who stated that in 1935 it was widely circulated all world oil had been found, and production was declining to our doom. He lived through that scare. That was before drilling for deep oil was possible, using drop hammer bits instead of drill bits with diamonds, no offshore exploration except the Louisiana swamp on shallow platforms in 10 ft of water, before Arctic drilling, and now before fracking. Each wave created its own peak oil curve.

  33. some mindsets will go to their grave believing the agw scam. I met one this week
    i was informed i was ignorant because? the ARCTIC was on fire!
    and she really thinks it is
    the smallish sections of sweden that are IN the arctic circle had some bushfires..but shes a AVAAZ member and she knows the truth..
    i just said enjoy the cool-aid n left;-)

  34. There is an old adage. “Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.”

    Climate is the average of weather over 30 years. And when you average out all this talk without action over a period of 30 years you get the Paris Climate Agreement.

    • “Climate is the average of weather over 30 years. And when you average out all this talk without action over a period of 30 years you get the Paris Climate Agreement.”

      I think someone just pulled that number out of their butt ox. I don’t see any reason to think 30 years is any better than any other number.

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