What is the Meaningful 97% in the Climate Debate?

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

For a brief period, the New York Times added a column to their best-seller book list. It identified the percentage of people who finished reading the book. As I recall, the outright winner for lowest percentage was Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose with only 6%. It is an excellent and fascinating book if you understand the Catholic church, its theological disputes, know much about medieval mythology, understand Catholic religious orders, and are familiar with the history of Italy in the Middle Ages. As one reviewer wrote, “I won’t lie to you. It is absolutely a slog at times.” This phrase struck me because it is exactly what a lawyer told me after reading my book “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.”

I told him it was a slog to research because it required reading all the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a task that few, certainly fewer than 6%, ever achieve, including most of the people involved with the production. This is the tragedy. There are so many people with such strong, definitive views, including among skeptics and the general science community who have never read the Reports at all. The challenge is made more difficult by the deliberate attempt to separate truth and reality from propaganda and the political agenda.

In media interviews or discussions with the public, the most frequent opening challenge is; “But don’t 97% of scientists agree?” It is usually said obliquely to imply that you know a lot, and I don’t understand, but I assume you are wrong because you are in the minority. I don’t attempt to refute the statistics. Instead, I explain the difference in definitions between science and society. Then I point out that the critical 97% figure is that at least 97% of scientists have never read the claims of the IPCC Reports. How many people reading this article have read all the IPCC Reports, or even just one of them? If you have, it is probably the deliberately deceptive Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Even fewer will have read the Report of Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. Naively, people, especially other scientists, assume scientists would not falsify, mislead, misrepresent, or withhold information. It is worse, because the IPCC deliberately created the false claim of consensus.

I wrote earlier about the problem of communications between groups and the general public because of the different definition of terms. Among the most damaging, especially in the public debate, is the word consensus. Exploitation of the confusion was deliberate. On 22 December 2004, RealClimate, the website created to manipulate the global warming story, provided this insight;

We’ve used the term “consensus” here a bit recently without ever really defining what we mean by it. In normal practice, there is no great need to define it – no science depends on it. But it’s useful to record the core that most scientists agree on, for public presentation. The consensus that exists is that of the IPCC reports, in particular the working group I report (there are three WG’s. By “IPCC”, people tend to mean WG I).

In other words, it is what the creators of the Reports consider a consensus. This is classic groupthink on display. One characteristic of which says they have,

“…a culture of uniformity where individuals censor themselves and others so that the facade of group unanimity is maintained.”

The source of the 97% claim in the public arena came from John Cook et al., and was published in 2013 in Environmental Research Letters. It was titled “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.” I acknowledge to people some of the brilliant dissections of this claim, such as Lord Monckton’s comment, “0.3% consensus, not 97.1%.” If I have time, I explain how the plan to exploit the idea of consensus was developed by the same people and corrupted science exposed in the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009.

Harvard graduate, medical doctor, and world-famous science fiction writer, Michael Crichton provides an excellent riposte.

“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

The attempt to deceive and divert was built into the structure, format, and procedures of the IPCC. Few people know that a major part of the deception is to identify all the problems with the science but only identify them in the Report of Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. They know most won’t read or understand it and can easily marginalize the few who do. In 2012 I created a list of several of these acknowledgments, but only one is sufficient here to destroy the certainty of their claims about future climates. Section 14.2.2. of the Scientific Section of Third IPCC Assessment Report, (2001) titled “Predictability in a Chaotic System” says:

“The climate system is particularly challenging since it is known that components in the system are inherently chaotic; there are feedbacks that could potentially switch sign, and there are central processes that affect the system in a complicated, non-linear manner. These complex, chaotic, non-linear dynamics are an inherent aspect of the climate system.”

“In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (My emphasis).

This is not reported in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) that is deliberately different. David Wojick, an IPCC expert reviewer, explained,

“What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.”

He should add, it is deliberate advocacy, as the RealClimate quote shows.

The SPM receives scant attention from the media and the public, except for the temperature predictions and then only the most extreme figure is selected. The Science Report receives even less attention, but that is by instruction because it is released months later. All of this is why I quoted German physicist and meteorologist Klaus Eckart Puls (English translation version) on the cover of both my books.

“Ten years ago, I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it.” “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob.”

The real challenge of the 97% consensus claim is to get more of the 97% to do what Puls did, read the Reports and find out what the IPCC did and said. They need to do it because the misuse and loss of credibility of science aren’t restricted to the climate deception. As I read and hear from all sectors of science and society, it is endemic (fake news) and potentially devastating. I think one of the most important achievements of my successful trial with Andrew Weaver was to go beyond the defamation charge, against my lawyer’s advice, and show that the misuse of science will and must elicit passionate reactions. So, next time you are confronted with the 97% oblique charge, simply ask the person if they have read any of the IPCC Reports. Just be prepared for the invective.

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213 thoughts on “What is the Meaningful 97% in the Climate Debate?

  1. Dr Ball: 97% or not (and I think not) the stranglehold on scientific zeitgeist is nearly complete. TV companies around the world refuse to even entertain an opposing view on AGW on the grounds that people who do so are the scientific equivalent of Holocaust Deniers and Flat Earthers.

    I don’t know what is to be done except to note that it has been a disaster for some to associate both with AGW skepticism and extreme right-wing politics.

    I believe that science will right itself eventually but as Max Planck once said mournfully “one funeral at a time”

    • It isn’t worth worrying about. The “scientific zeitgeist’ can flip antiphase overnight if the political winds of the day favour it. Many academics in my general experience care little for much outside of their status, ego, next grant and pension. Morality is an infinitely plastic and evanescently thin medium in the ivory towers and is readily coalesced into whatever form secures the most grant money. With due apology to the moral academics amongst you.

    • [snip – wildly off-topic, ugly, and uninformed to boot. Not appropriate for this venue. Further replies will also be deleted. Anthony]

    • Speaking of Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum (a great book by the way, but again a slog) was in many ways a metaphor for the climate scam. In it (as best I can recall after 15 years) a writer decides to appeal to an audience of established crazies and weirdos by building a case for having identified the location of the Chalice from extant and existing writings and builds a flimsy, to him, case such that the crazies and weirdos think he actually knows, and they start hunting for the writers … and it is a hell of a chase where whatever they do seems to play into the narrative they’ve constructed, such that the hole gets deeper and deeper, where even the dis-proofs support the conclusions, and damn the protagonists.

      • I have been trying to finish that for two years. The reason it is a slog imho is that the author felt he had to put every piece of research he did into the book. After a bit it’s just like is there a point to this book? Unfortunately, sometimes the articles here feel the same. But, not every citizen scientist is an excellent writer. So, it takes more work to get to the info.

    • “…extreme right-wing politics.” is anarchy. Historically anarchists have been tools of the left. This phrase, “right-wing”, was invented by the left to mischaracterize reasonable and rational people as extreme (deniers) in order to elicit the mob mentality of useful idiots, who can then assist these same anarchists in creating a political vacuum (anarchy) the whole lot can slither right into. AGW is just one symptom of this grave conspiracy to dumb us down and make math and science “social” in nature, so reasonable and rational people can never debate any point or protest too much.

      • In the eyes of many Europeans, someone who wants to slow down the advance of socialism is a right winger.
        Someone who wants to actaully roll back socialism is an extreme right winger.

    • 97% of scientists agree on global warming??
      98% of them haven’t read 99% of the literature!
      That usually works…

  2. ” I think one of the most important achievements of my successful trial with Andrew Weaver was to go beyond the defamation charge, against my lawyer’s advice, and show that the misuse of science will and must elicit passionate reactions. So, next time you are confronted with the 97% oblique charge, simply ask the person if they have read any of the IPCC Reports. Just be prepared for the invective.”

    “Successful” LOL

    https://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0205.htm

    “Apology to Dr. Andrew Weaver

    On January 10, 2011, Canada Free Press began publishing on this website an article by Dr. Tim Ball entitled “Corruption of Climate Science Has Created 30 Lost Years” which contained untrue and disparaging statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

    Contrary to what was stated in Dr. Ball’s article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next IPCC; (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010.

    As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. That work began in May, 2010. Dr. Ball’s article failed to mention these facts although they are publicly-available.

    Dr. Tim Ball also wrongly suggested that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with his presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling him during the talk. CFP accepts without reservation there is no basis for such allegations.

    CFP also wishes to dissociate itself from any suggestion that Dr. Weaver “knows very little abut climate science.” We entirely accept that he has a well-deserved international reputation as a climate scientist and that Dr. Ball’s attack on his credentials is unjustified.

    CFP sincerely apologizes to Dr. Weaver and expresses regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by the unfounded allegations in the article by Dr. Ball.”

    And then there’s this ….(The Judges judgement)

    Further, despite Dr. Ball’s history as an academic and a scientist, the Article is rife with errors and inaccuracies, which suggests a lack of attention to detail on Dr. Ball’s part, if not an indifference to the truth. For example:

    a) He purports to cite a paper from Michigan State University stating that most college students do not understand the scientific basis of the carbon cycle, when in fact, he was referring to an online article written by a professor of education who was describing a study published in the science journal BioScience;

    b) He suggests that Dr. Weaver has consistently refused to debate the climate change issue, an allegation not borne out in the evidence;

    c) When describing his presentation at UVIC, he alleges that Dr. Weaver’s students showed up to disrupt the presentation, which again, was not established on the evidence, and Dr. Ball had no basis for making that allegation in the Article; and

    d) He alleges that Dr. Weaver had announced his intention to withdraw from the next IPCC and had advocated for the resignation of the IPCC chairman. Dr. Ball said he took this information from a newspaper article, the veracity of which he did not confirm, and which was disputed by Dr. Weaver.

    [61] While each of these errors, looked at individually, may seem quite minor, collectively, they illustrate that Dr. Ball’s approach to gathering facts in support of his opinion or thesis is less than rigorous.

    “[75] First, as discussed above, the Article is poorly written and does not advance
    credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate
    science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the
    Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr.
    Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science. In Vellacott v. Saskatoon
    Star Phoenix Group Inc. et al, 2012 SKQB 359 [Vellacott], the court found that
    certain published comments were not defamatory because they were so ludicrous
    and outrageous as to be unbelievable and therefore incapable of lowering the
    reputation of the plaintiff in the minds of right-thinking persons (at para. 70). While
    the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, they
    similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore
    potentially defamatory.”

    • Anthony, it appears you left out the judge’s opinion and the resolution of Dr. Weaver’s lawsuit against Dr. Ball.

      Conclusion
      [85] Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.

      • “[85] Dr. Weaver’s claim is dismissed. If the parties cannot agree on costs, they may make arrangements to speak to the issue.”

        Dismissed by trashing Mr Ball’s scientific credibility.
        If he considers that “successful” then he sets a low – I would say, a negative, height bar

        • “Dismissed by trashing Mr Ball’s scientific credibility.”

          I don’t follow. I’m not seeing from any of the quotes above where the judge in this case trashed Dr. Ball’s scientific credibility?

          Did you mean something else?

          • “I don’t follow. I’m not seeing from any of the quotes above where the judge in this case trashed Dr. Ball’s scientific credibility?”

            OK, fair enough – maybe not “scientific” credibility, but credibility certainly.

          • “OK, fair enough – maybe not “scientific” credibility, but credibility certainly.”

            Thank you for being honest about your mistake, but/and no, not credibility in general, but rather, “credibility certainly” only as pertains to this specific case where in the judge’s opinion Dr. Ball didn’t libel Dr. Weaver as Dr. Weaver had charged him of doing.

          • “only as pertains to this specific case where in the judge’s opinion Dr. Ball didn’t libel Dr. Weaver as Dr. Weaver had charged him of doing.”

            No but it was derogatory …

            “[72] That is not to say that the Article is wholly benign as it relates to Dr. Weaver. On Dr. Ball’s own interpretation, the Article suggests that Dr. Weaver is not competent to teach climate science or, at least, teaches it from a biased perspective. The Article suggests further that Dr. Weaver would not be qualified to participate in a multi-disciplinary panel on climate science.

            [73] These allegations are directed at Dr. Weaver’s professional competence and are clearly derogatory of him. Indeed, it is quite apparent that this was Dr. Ball’s intent. Why else would he include a description of Dr. Weaver’s allegedly paranoid behaviour at the meeting in Dr. Weaver’s office, given that it has no direct relevance to the central thesis of the Article? (I note again that Dr. Weaver denies Dr. Ball’s version of that meeting.)

            [74] However, not every derogatory statement is defamatory. The test again is whether the impugned words genuinely threaten the plaintiff’s actual reputation (Weaver, at para. 68). Here, I am not satisfied that the impugned words of the Article reach that level. I reach this conclusion for the following reasons.”

          • “No but it was derogatory … ”

            You mean as in this example:

            “Dismissed by trashing Mr Ball’s scientific credibility.
            If he considers that “successful” then he sets a low – I would say, a negative, height bar”

          • From the finding:

            {83} In summary, the Article is a poorly written opinion piece that offers Dr. Ball’s views on conventional climate science and Dr. Weaver’s role as a supporter and teacher of that science. While the Article is derogatory of Dr. Weaver, it is not defamatory, in that the impugned words do not genuinely threaten Dr. Weaver’s reputation in the minds of reasonably thoughtful and informed readers. Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.

            In other words, only unthinking , ill informed folks would agree with Dr. Ball.

          • “In other words, only unthinking , ill informed folks would agree with Dr. Ball.”

            As would be the case with those who agree with Dr. Weaver:

            “Dr. Weaver has therefore failed to establish the first element of the defamation test.”

          • sycomputing,

            Personally, after reading many of Dr. Ball’s posts, I don’t have a problem with saying derogatory things about them. His reasoning is poor and his arguments are not cohesive or well-supported. To me it seems like they are mostly propaganda.

            That said, his post about communicating with non-scientists had some good points.

          • “Personally, after reading many of Dr. Ball’s posts, I don’t have a problem with saying derogatory things about them. His reasoning is poor and his arguments are not cohesive or well-supported. To me it seems like they are mostly propaganda.”

            Then you just contradict yourself with your criticisms of others saying derogatory things about you, Kristi. Doesn’t that leave you open to the charge of hypocrisy?

            If you contradict yourself, for what logical reason would anyone give anything you have to say any care, even much less care if you prove yourself an hypocrite by decrying that sin which you yourself commit?

          • “His reasoning is poor and his arguments are not cohesive or well-supported. To me it seems like they are mostly propaganda.”

            Kristi have you ever heard about something called “psychological projection”?

          • sycomputing,

            “Then you just contradict yourself with your criticisms of others saying derogatory things about you, Kristi. Doesn’t that leave you open to the charge of hypocrisy?”

            Fair point. I’m not writing posts, but I suppose that doesn’t make a difference. What I should have said is that I find some of his posts poorly-reasoned. That is not talking about the person, but his product. I’m aware that my comments are sometimes wrong and poorly reasoned. None of us can reason well all the time. I don’t mind when others point out my mistakes – I wish they would do it more often, as long as they back it up with evidence. That’s the way to learn.

            And I don’t mind that you pointed out my hypocrisy now. I shouldn’t have said what I did.

            …Evidence for poor reasoning is Dr. Ball’s post:
            “Then I point out that the critical 97% figure is that at least 97% of scientists have never read the claims of the IPCC Reports…. the deliberately deceptive Summary for Policymakers (SPM). ….. It is worse, because the IPCC deliberately created the false claim of consensus.”

            These are unsupported assumptions. I try not to make assumptions and generalizations like that, though I may say, “SOME skeptics,” or ‘it seems to me…” See the difference?

          • “Fair point. I’m not writing posts, but I suppose that doesn’t make a difference. What I should have said is that I find some of his posts poorly-reasoned. That is not talking about the person, but his product.”

            Many thanks!

            “These are unsupported assumptions. I try not to make assumptions and generalizations like that, though I may say, ‘SOME skeptics,’ or ‘it seems to me…’ See the difference?”

            Yes ma’am sure do…

            All the best and take care!

        • Credibiity? The sum of Dr. Ball’s discourse suggests “97 %” may be the fraction of the IPCC reports he simply does not comprehend.

          • Has utterbilge read any of the IPCC reports in full? Or has he only read the summaries after they were rewritten by politicians?

          • Here is a classic move:

            “Credibiity? The sum of Dr. Ball’s discourse suggests “97 %” may be the fraction of the IPCC reports he simply does not comprehend.”

            The move is simply to dismiss someone of great specific experience in their field by flippantly asserting that they do not understand the basics of their own field. I saw this as a standard maneuver with the long Gerlich & Tscheuschner paper, where people asserted relentlessly that theoretical, mathematical physicists did not understand the basics of their own field, even when they answered all their critics’ specific, detailed criticisms with relatively calm, equally expert rebuttals.

            Consequently, I think the above quote in bold is little more than an ego fart, exuded as a cloud to repel challenges that might pull one out of his intellectual comfort zone. In other words, the comment simply stinks of shallowness and unwillingness to do the work that would be involved to fully support such a statement.

          • Solomon Green: Yes. Each iteration takes the better part of a month

            The only Robert Kernodle Google Scholar turns up is the chap who invented the collapsable hogshead on 1932.

          • How about Cook et al “97% meme”.

            From the abstract –
            “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. ”

            So 97.1% of 32.6% of Abstracts. Not even 97.1% of climate scientists.

          • And here another alarmist demonstrates how to perform an ad hominem.

            Notice how he doesn’t bother to refute anything Dr. Ball wrote. That’s because he can’t, and he knows it.

          • Now bilge demonstrates the art of appeal to authority.

            He declares that Robert’s response must be wrong because bilge doesn’t recognize Robert as an authority.

            Will bilge rest on his laurels, or will he attempt to complete the fallacy hat trick.

        • It really is sad how these alarmists have to twist the truth in order to justify their hatred of those who disagree with them.

    • It is very important to note that the lawsuit by Weaver against Ball was completely dismissed. The B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ron Skolrood, in his dismissal of this libel case also agreed with Dr. Ball that many of the meanings advanced by Weaver were extreme and not borne out when the words are considered from the perspective of a reasonable, right-thinking person.

      “Specifically, I do not accept that the article, read in its entirety and properly construed, alleges dishonesty on Dr. Weaver’s part or attacks his character in the sense of imputing moral fault or blameworthiness,” said Judge Skolrood. The judge also noted that the laws of defamation provide an important tool for protecting a person’s reputation from unjustified attack. But the judge added that the laws were not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest or compensate for every perceived slight or quash a contrary view, no matter how ill-conceived. Only when the words used genuinely threaten a person’s actual reputation can defamation be proved, he said, and that was not evident in the Weaver case. Hence, Dr. Ball was not convicted of any libel. This was clearly a nuisance slap suit against Dr. Ball by Dr. Weaver. Weaver is just a misinformed thin skinned little know it all, throwing a tantrum as is evidenced by the result of his lawsuit. Just like his leadership with the BC Green Party and propping up the NDP in power.

      So, Dr. Weaver filed a Libel lawsuit against Dr. Ball, and Weaver lost, big time. The lesson is don’t attack the messenger, attack the message. That is what Dr. Ball did, and why he won. Unfortunately, the judge didn’t know and didn’t care to know about the nuances of climate change, and knowing that climate change is just such a mine field, made comments that both sides were over heating in rhetoric by stating that many of the meanings advanced by Weaver were extreme, and Ball’s article was poorly written, and no one would place any stock in it anyway.

      I just hope that court costs were awarded to Dr. Ball, since this was a straight up hit job by Weaver. I never did hear how that was settled. But it goes to show that frivolous slap suits by the likes of the scoundrel Weaver do work, in that it has a chilling effect on anyone advocating for true scientific research, and not just preaching consensus science as the final be all truth.

      • Earthling2,

        Did you ever read the response I made to you in that other post, the one about debate? I don’t want you to think I was ignoring you.

        • Yes, thanks. But would be nice to hear from the other shoe on the other foot, what you have learned here about the reason why so many of us are from Missouri, so to be speak. Now I am interested in the psychology of ‘climate change’. What makes someone a believer in this subject, or what makes some a skeptic, like me for example. I just assume everyone would really want to dig down into the scientific details and discover that all isn’t what it appears with the official teachings of AGW. The science behind AGW appears to be more of a faith exercise, not a rigorous scientific exercise. To be a good scientist, one has to be constantly a skeptic and be ready to challenge one’s own views. That’s why I thought you had a really good idea.

          • Earthling2,

            If I were a skeptic (and I am, but not in the normal sense of “climate science skeptic”), I would especially note the way the models are made, parameterized, and the way at least some of them are tuned. I would talk about the range among the simulations, and the unknowns involved. I would probably point to the work by Dr. Curry about their uncertainty and the way it’s calculated. I would talk about the evidence of lack of professionalism found in the Climategate emails. I would probably point out the potential for “groupthink.”

            It’s rather a difficult exercise beyond that, I find, to come up with arguments and maintain my sense of integrity.

            The psychology of the climate change debate! Now there’s an interesting topic. One of the main points, I believe, is the way policy and politics has colored what should be a purely scientific question. Liberals have been affected by the alarmist media and environmental organizations; conservatives by the conservative media, think tanks and at least couple decades of fossil fuel propaganda. And, on both sides, blogs – though it seems WUWT has reached a lot more people, and a wider range, than any single “pro-AGW” blog (or maybe all of them put together). It’s probably also significant that there are more liberals in academia – that doesn’t make them smarter, but perhaps more likely to side with other academics. I don’t know the figures, but I imaging there’s quite a liberal skew among climate scientists, too. Then there are the liberal moral foundations of “caring” and “fairness” that conservatives have, but to a lesser degree and expressed in different ways (this is according to the work on moral foundation theory). For instance, I believe it is Americans’ responsibility to make an effort to lower our CO2 emissions because we have contributed so much in the past, the effects are worldwide, and other nations are making sacrifices; why should we, who have among the highest per capita income in the world, say we won’t contribute $6/person to remain in the Paris Agreement, thereby contributing to the Green Climate Fund? There are no legal obligations to cut our emissions by a given amount; we can’t be penalized for it if we don’t make the goal. Oh, but now I’m slipping into my own argument, not talking about the psychology of it.

            There’s a start. What do you think?

            It would be nice to take this discussion out of WUWT; I hate to think of the backlash I might get. Plus there’s a time limit.

          • Kristi…If I were an ‘alarmist’ or let’s say someone who holds an opposite opinion on the scientific merits of dangerous climate change, the argument I would be making is the future economic danger of keeping all my ‘eggs’ in the fossil fuel game. FF are all well and good as witnessed by the last 150 years of human progress, but there will come a day when their price point becomes so high that it will not be economic to utilize precious FF’s for a thermal auto engine that is only 25%-30% efficient. When that day comes, and if we haven’t developed alternative fuel supplies, then the whole economic train comes crashing down. That is a far worse outcome than some global warming or ocean level rising because it will be happening at a maximum economic growth and a time of the largest population. We can mitigate some changing weather and climate and adapt, especially if it is from warming because that is what humanity has always done. Colder represents a huge problem, also witnessed by history and calamitous. But when fossil fuels become too precious to use for thermal applications, and best be kept for the thousands of products we need to make out of FF, then that is the day that no one has examined in a not too distance future and not in much detail yet. What does humanity do when we inevitably run low on cheap accessible fossil fuels? Whether it 25, 50 or 100 years from now, that day is coming.

            That is what my opening argument would be for putting the shoe on the other foot regarding making an argument for the other side of the fence. But I would bet you a good bottle of wine, I could convince you we don’t have much to worry about with a disaster from a changing climate by 2050 or 2100, unless it is to the drastically cold side. There are 1001 other problems much larger than that which we have now and will have to worry about in the future. Civil breakdown, as you allude to elsewhere, is just the beginning of our problems, and it arrises out of deeply entrenched positions both on the far right, and the far left. In part, the climate hysteria on the left has driven the rise of the populist right, because many feel that the science has been misrepresented to appear that there is a massive breakdown in actual climate, when as we see, the good Earth now supports 7.4 billion people, because of a warming climate, and fossil fuels. I think it is a major problem for humanity when we run out of affordable fossil fuels, and if that was the argument being made for a reduction in such now, at least it would be an honest argument. For future dangerous climate change, IMHO, not so much.

    • “Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views”

      This seems to me to generally be the case with Dr. Ball’s articles. But that’s just my opinion.

      • Any person who reads any of your posts is totally unlikely to put any credence in your pointless and worthless opinions.

        To most people, your comments are just irrelevant leftist troll yapping.

  3. I’m a denier. Among other things I deny that the world is flat. When asked why I never, ever, state that almost 100% of scientists agree with me. I present actual, voluminous evidence, much of which can be verified by individuals.

    • The word “denier” should only be used in the context of The Holocaust – not in jest, not facetiously, not as a criticism. It is a word that should be reserved only for those who refuse to believe, acknowledge or accept the truth and historical basis of The Holocaust.

      The use of the word in the context of climate is intended to brand someone as a bigot, anti-Semite, anti-science, disbeliever in historical facts, as a horrible person without moral character.

      The use of “denier” in the context of science is a despicable slur that must not be tolerated.

      • Eric Brownson. Bringing the Holocaust into the AGW debate is stupidity. The Holocaust did not occur and nor is AGW. The problem is we want a warmer planet. Burn more carbon.

        • Brian Johnson,
          There have been many Holocausts. The Holocaust by the Nazi’s is the most famous. But Stalin’s Russia had it’s Holocaust, as did Mao”s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Idi Amin’s Uganda. Anyone who disbelieves that any of these took place is either ignorant or a liar trying to stir things up.

      • Equating the term “denier” in the context of AGW to Holocaust denial is an insult to both the victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

        As it seems to be a red flag, I have stopped using the “denier” term in favour of Katherine Hayhoe’s phrase “dismissive of climate science” which I divide into two categories: “the deceivers” and “the deceived”

    • Who is Greg Woods to challenge the lierary taste of so eminent a professor of Canadian semiotics and grand master of the codes, signs and hidden geomantic meanings of geese migrations as Professor Ball ?

      As Turin’s leading climate skeptics say, “Ma gavte la nata !”

    • I finished NOTR but grew becalmed in the mid-latitudes of Moby Dick. If you find me and my ship, let me know and bring home my parched bones, if the white whale has not taken me whole to the depths.

      • I just finished Moby Dick. I can empathize. The ending was pretty good, though.

        Nice post. Evocative language.

        • Many years since – my recall of Moby Dick is that is is a great book – love all the first hand experience of whaling and sailing ships. Good for a fireside read in the depth of winter.

    • I finished NOTR but grew becalmed in the mid-latitudes of Moby Dick. If you find the remains of me and my ship there, let me know and bring home my parched bones, if the white whale has not taken all whole to the depths.

      • Decades ago I read Ulysses, with a guide and a condensation of the original.
        I was pleased with the accomplishment.
        Thinking anything was possible, I took on Finnegan–stopped dead–got nowhere.
        I still wonder if it is a spoof?

        • Many years since – my recall of Moby Dick is that is is a great book – love all the first hand experience of whaling and sailing ships. Good for a fireside read in the depth of winter.

    • For me, TNOTR was a page turner. But, unlike most reporters, l also read scientific publications and find many to be interesting.

  4. “The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

    Thank you Dr. Ball for having read much of the IPPC and explaining it to the masses, including participating in the IPPC process. We also thank you for the sacrifice you have made by allowing your good name and character to have been assassinated by daring to question the consensus climate change dogma from the beginning. Many in history have been persecuted for going against consensus science only to have been proven correct after their death. You have been going against the grain, against your peers, with hard facts, evidence and science, whilst your opponents resorted to smear, twisting of facts and court cases against you personally. Your name will be remembered as one of the true early climate scientists that tried to speak scientific truth, and were temporally shouted down by the liars in scientific consensus. Eat your veggies and get some exercise so as you stay in good health and are here to write about it now for the next 20 years, as the biggest scientific fraud in the history of science is unmasked.

    • Earthling2,

      “You have been going against the grain, against your peers, with hard facts, evidence and science, whilst your opponents resorted to smear, twisting of facts and court cases against you personally. Your name will be remembered as one of the true early climate scientists that tried to speak scientific truth, and were temporally shouted down by the liars in scientific consensus.”

      But smear and twisting of facts is exactly what Dr. Ball did and continues to do!

      Where’s the evidence that Dr. Ball tried to speak the scientific truth and was shouted down by liars? He’s still speaking – though not about “scientific truth,” but about how the consensus is supposedly filled with frauds and liars – and despite the lack of evidence (Climategate is not evidence of scientific fraud! Nor is it evidence that the climate science community as a whole is unprofessional or in any way corrupt), you believe it.

      Where is the evidence for scientific fraud??? Where? There have been scandals showing lack of professionalism and ethics violations on the contrarian side, too, some of which were revealed by CRU scientists – but they have been willfully misinterpreted to show “suppression of debate,” rather than the abuse of the peer review system they were. Are you unaware of this?

      • “But smear and twisting of facts is exactly what Dr. Ball did and continues to do!”

        At this rate I’m going have to take my irony meter to the shop in order to have the needle replaced.

      • “Where is the evidence for scientific fraud??? Where?” says Kristi.

        Projections made since 1988 that water vapor feedback from increasing CO2 that led to many computer model predictions with excessive planetary warming, some up to 4.5 degrees by 2050-2100 above pre-industrial temperatures. Many of us skeptics agree that there is GHE effect, and perhaps half of the .8 C temp increase the last 150 years has been caused by all human kind activities, including CO2. But forcing a water vapor feedback into long term climate predictions and then utilizing that to set major public policy is a scientific fraud. There is no good provable evidence to suggest that increasing CO2 levels will cause that water vapor feedback loop and any long term planetary temperature increase caused by such. It is pure scientific speculation that is driving global policy.

        • Earthling2,

          No, that is not fraud.

          http://science.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219
          https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2008GL035333
          https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.energy.25.1.441
          https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3052.1
          http://www.pnas.org/content/110/45/18087.short

          There is evidence that water vapor is a positive feedback. At worst, it’s a mistake to include it as a positive feedback in the models, but that doesn’t make it fraud. You seem to think that models are being intentionally nudged to give disastrous results in order to get people to spend more money on mitigating climate change. That makes no sense to me. If climate change isn’t a problem, there would be no reason to try to avert it, so what would be the point of trying to make it sound bad? A global socialist conspiracy? I don’t buy it.

          • OMG Kristi Silber are you that naive as to believe “. . . If climate change isn’t a problem, there would be no reason to try to avert it. . . ” follow the money man!
            • Billions for green subsidies (EV’s & Elon Musk)
            • Billions for big cAGW science
            • Billions for new carbon taxes
            • Billions in profits fromscams like cap’n trade
            • Billions in profit for wind & solar scammers
            • etc etc etc

          • “At worst, it’s a mistake to include it as a positive feedback in the models, but that doesn’t make it fraud.” says Kristi.

            Yes, of course you are correct to conclude it’s a mistake to include positive water vapor feedback in the models. One would have to prove fraud in that regard, and it is possible that the scientists were just using an extreme example. That doesn’t make it right to assume then those models are correct. That is what this whole climate charade is about. It is the excessive warmth in some of the hottest running models for the planet by 2050 to 2100 of up to 4.5 C above baseline levels prior to the industrial age, circa 1850.

            Some of the worst predictions for global warming were by Dr. Andrew Weaver for a 4.5 C temperature increase in the long term future, which was what led to Dr. Ball to make some of the statements he did. Which led to the court case against Dr. Ball, which Dr. Weaver lost big time. Principally because it was not established at all that Dr. Ball intended to disparage Dr. Weaver’s good name. Dr. Weaver invited that criticism of his work, which is what that was all about.

          • Sun Spot,

            None of that directly benefits scientists. Even funding for research doesn’t line their pockets. Funding for research comes because it’s deemed important, and it’s done well. It’s highly competitive in the U.S. Low-quality researchers have a harder time getting funding; fraud will ruin a career. In some other countries, scientists are less dependent on getting grants for their research, so that isn’t part of the picture.

            What would really give scientists fame and fortune is if they discovered a different plausible hypothesis for global warming, with adequate support.

            Then you could turn the question around, and look at the funding from the fossil fuel industry, which has spent millions of dollars fighting support for AGW. I heard the other day it spent a billion dollars on 2016 election campaigns.

          • Earthling2

            “Yes, of course you are correct to conclude it’s a mistake to include positive water vapor feedback in the models. ”

            No, that’s not what I said. You didn’t look at the evidence I posted.

            I don’t care about the court case.

    • I second the sentiment expressed by Earthling2 “Thank you Dr. Ball for having read much of the IPPC and explaining it to the masses, including participating in the IPPC process.”

  5. Naively, people, especially other scientists, assume scientists would not falsify, mislead, misrepresent, or withhold information.

    Oh yes!

    In ‘Listen Liberal’, Thomas Frank points out that the Democrat party has embraced a well-graduated professional class. Those folks automatically believe others of their ilk. They love complexity. Simplicity is beneath their dignity. They like to think of themselves as superior to the rest of us. Of course they believe in CAGW. Of course they are mostly clueless about the underlying science. link

    Listen Liberal is a pretty good description of how we got where we are.

    I would remind all those smug, well-graduated, out of touch, little s**ts out there of the immortal wisdom of Richard Feynman.

    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. link

    • commieBob,

      Why do you think Feynman’s words apply to any particular group more than another?

      They, they, they…they think and act this way. You know all about them, and how cookie-cutter uniform they are, just a bunch of clones.

      Aren’t you just as guilty of thinking your group is superior?

      I hope one day we can all grow up and stop the perpetual blaming and finger-pointing and arrogance. I do it, too, but at least I’m trying to change (you all may not see it, but you don’t know me or how I have changed).

      • Aren’t you just as guilty of thinking your group is superior?

        What group is that?

        You are treading into moral relativism. It’s like saying that the gut bacteria that keeps me alive is the same as the bacterial infection that can kill me.

        There is the Zen (and Daoist) principle of non-judgement. The question to ask is how monks and hermits live to old age. They do not judge the wolf as more evil than the lamb but somehow they manage to avoid being devoured by wolves.

        If something is causing a problem I am allowed to name and describe it.

        • commieBob,

          Sorry, maybe you just think you are better than “they.”

          What does moral relativism have to do with my comment? Do you think you are morally superior, too? Or are you referring to, “I hope one day we can all grow up and stop the perpetual blaming and finger-pointing and arrogance.”? That has nothing to do with moral relativism. (Thanks for the link, but unnecessary.)

          Something is causing a problem. It’s assumptions and generalizations and insults (like HRC’s despicable “deplorable” comment), and liberal alienation of the right, and the imbalance of liberals and conservatives in academia, and the power of wealth in politics, and the fact that the wealthy are getting wealthier while the middle class is stagnating (and NO, I am not a socialist!). It’s the fact that everyone is angry, and they are turning against each other rather than looking for solutions. It’s the biased media and internet sites that promote confirmation bias. There are lots of problems.

          It’s a problem that I lose my temper and lash out because I’m sick of being constantly insulted by a few, and having my groups insulted by many. I identify with scientists, and I’m tired of having them called frauds and idiots for no good reason.

          Yes, there are problems.

          • I identify with scientists, and I’m tired of having them called frauds and idiots for no good reason.

            1 – If you live in a system that will harshly punish you for stepping out of line, toeing the line does not make you a fraud or an idiot.

            2 – When smart people do stupid things, does that make them idiots? I’m not sure.

            I would say that the well-graduated professional class so loved by the Democrat party is certainly blind to its own foibles and failings. They, as a group, are out of touch and arrogant. Many scientists are

            Thomas Frank has a very good take on what’s ailing the nation. The book is an easy read because it is well written. It does not lack substance. You can probably borrow it for free from the library.

            Anyway, pointing out the system’s problems is not the same as finger pointing.

      • “I hope one day we can all grow up and stop the perpetual blaming and finger-pointing and arrogance. “

        I can’t see you showing any indication that you are going to even try to change.

        Your ego won’t let you.

        The first indication would be for you to stop being a sanctimonious leftist troll.

        Not going to happen.

          • You know nothing about me. You see what you want to see.

            I’m sick of liberals and conservatives. I’m sick of all the political partisanship, the hatred and arrogance, the black-and-white thinking and the assumptions and generalizations. I’m tired of blame and entitlement and victimhood. I want people to be able to get along, converse and cooperate.

            I know I’m not a good role model of patience and forgiveness and kindness and humility and diplomacy. I don’t always reason well. I don’t have expertise in climate.

            It ain’t easy being constantly attacked, though, either, especially for things that don’t even describe me.

            So, think what you want. Just be aware that you don’t know me.

          • So, think what you want. Just be aware that you don’t know me.

            Ah but I know where your goat lives. 😉

            Anyway, there’s a reason why I know that an analog meter needle can be wrapped around its stop. The humor of the mental image of a destroyed meter cuts both ways.

  6. Tim, only halfwits, the gullible and the naïve would believe anything scientific produced by or for a group of unelected politicians, like the UN? The UN’s IPCC is a political entity, not a scientific one. Thus their reports are politics at its worst, NOT science at its best.

    The problem is, we’re arguing with a bunch of halfwits, the gullible and the naïve and those who are attempting to take advantage of that bunch.

    Cheers,
    Bob

    • Bob, I attended an oficial UN event, the IAEA Redbook event in Vienna, as an official Country Representative, and I find your characterization of them (generally) as halfwits, etc, to be 97% understated as to their true worthlessness. But I guess you are trying to maintain some political correctness. Keep up the good work.

    • IPCC AR5 was written by several hundred unpaid volunteer scientists, no politicians were involved. The SPM is a political document. Do not confuse or conflate the two.

        • Excellent Terry, it’s enlightening to get an inappropriate characterization from a pseudo-intellectual like you.

        • Meanwhile the NIPCC was funded by the Heartland Institute. Michael Ball was one of those paid to write a report that is endorsed by not one single academy of science on the planet. None of those academies dispute the conclusions of the IPCC.

          • Ah yes, anyone who is paid by government is purer than the driven snow.
            While anyone who isn’t being paid by government is corrupt and can be ignored.

        • Pop,

          “One would need to be an activist to do the work gratis. Time to suspect confirmation bias.”

          Only if money and politics are one’s only interests. Academic scientists would be fools to enter their profession for the money. There are much more remunerative careers, especially considering the education and work involved.

          Peer review is also gratis. Are all scientists who do peer review in every field of science victims of confirmation bias?

          Your suspicions are simply assumptions. It’s easy to assume things about those with whom one doesn’t agree based on no evidence whatsoever (like the fact that I’m fresh out of school, conditioned by my professors).

          • ” … Only if money and politics are one’s only interests. Academic scientists would be fools to enter their profession for the money. There are much more remunerative careers, especially considering the education and work involved. … ”

            Oh Kristi, that’s lovely that you feel so forthright, but actually it’s a means to pay the mortgage and cloth the kids. This virtuous soldier of truth stereo-type is just your delusions over-running their bounds and taking command of your keyboard again.

            97% of people won’t buy that stuff, too much artificial-sweetener in it. 😉

          • WXcycles

            “Oh Kristi, that’s lovely that you feel so forthright, but actually it’s a means to pay the mortgage and cloth the kids.”

            Working gratis? How so?

      • The fact that AR5 had to arbitrarily “cool off” CMIP5 models in the mid-term should give pause to anyone placing faith in WGI. The fact they left the laughable long term fantastic model warming in is a testament to their mendacity.

        “Multiple lines of evidence” is pure political B.S.; all of CAGW is based on inaccurate IPCC climate models. Everything else is a result of the approximately 300-year minor warming coming out of the Little Ice Age. Yes, it has warmed slightly, in fits of ups and downs. No, CO2 is not the primary driver.

          • 6000 years of cooling?
            You make it sound like there was a smooth gradual cooling.
            Instead it’s been a period of warmth interrupted by periods of cooling, with the peaks of the warm periods gradually decreasing.
            The current warm period is still cooler than the previous warm periods and still cooler than most of the last 10K years.

          • Wow! You folks are getting desperate with your attacks; indicative of your panic at the continuing loss of credibility of the AGW scam meme.

          • As always, the activists declare that anyone who receives any money, no matter how little, from someone they dislike has been polluted and must be ignored.

      • Those involved have admitted that the SPM was finished first and all of the chapters edited to match it.
        They may have been unpaid volunteers but that didn’t stop them from being political activists doing what was necessary to protect their careers.

  7. Excellent posting. When I first heard and read of Man Made Global warming I had an instinctive “danger Will Robinson” reaction. I thought this could be a problem. Then a Politician, not a very bright one I might add, stepped onto a morning show and proclaimed that the debate was over and that a 97% consensus of scientists agreed. A 97% consensus drumbeat began on network and cable news. My next reaction was “Rhett Roe” we are being had, given my learned distrust of Politicians and the words that come out of their mouth. As friends and acquaintances began parroting 97% I would stop them in their tracks with a few simple questions. First, Who arrived at that number? Second, What methodology did they use to reach that conclusion? Third, who did they consider qualified to be queried to arrive at that result? To which the answer to all was, I don’t know. To which I responded then how can you be sure? I will forward this to all my friends who didn’t know the answers to my questions.

  8. As we continue to muddle along with the same temperatures I wonder how long it will take for my kids to become skeptical.

    • What if global temperatures actually trend lower over the next 30 years? The Sun seems rather quiescent lately. A rising CO2 concentration doesn’t appear to have much empirical effect on temps.

      I hope to be around to see how the following generations parse this situation.

  9. I have some problems with the idea of reading all the IPCC reports when what we know of the set up and marching orders given to scientists wouldnt lead to a scientific result. Especially considering the non-scientific ideologue founders of the whole enterprise and the quality of scientists that would agree to undertake it (even given a lucrative rockstar status and life).

    Tim, you yourself admit that they were prepared to deal with those who did read it. I’m a geologist and engineer who even studied paleoclimate in stratigraphy, paleontology and sedimentary petrology. I certainly know the planet has had considerably warmer and colder periods than we have at present with just Nature doing her stuff and that we had an atmosphere in which nearly all the oxygen was tied up in CO2 in the Archean. Yet I’m told that I’m not a qualified climate scientist so my objections don’t count. Reading all this drek put out by an IPCC wouldn’t qualify me. Look what they do to those that do qualify and are sceptical! You have to fight them, but if you are hoping to convince the public, it must be by unrelentingly pushing the failures of the “projections”and the theory and kill this with 10,000 cuts.

    One way NOT to convince anybody is to write a slog that wont be read. That is the author’s failure not the reader’s. I have had concerns about the flood of sceptic counterattack books having the opposite effect to that intended for that reason. The stuff you write here is okay and often very interesting for the knowledgeable reader, but evocative writing is a skill few have. You have to be able to transcend the professorhood lecturing type of communication and choose pithy bits that the reader can conclude from.

    The best takedown of climateers I’ve read is by non’ scientist, non-academic Mark Steyn in his “Disgrace to the Profession ..” book on Michael Mann. He just assembled all the ugly putdown remarks made by real climate scientists speaking about Michael Mann. Chrichton, too, could do it. George Carlin did it brilliantly and comedic scorn is a killer… worth rewatching. You have to entertain to get a result with the public.

    • Gary,

      “You have to be able to transcend the professorhood lecturing type of communication and choose pithy bits that the reader can conclude from.

      “The best takedown of climateers I’ve read is by non’ scientist, non-academic Mark Steyn in his “Disgrace to the Profession ..” book on Michael Mann. He just assembled all the ugly putdown remarks made by real climate scientists speaking about Michael Mann.”

      This says absolutely nothing about the validity of climate science. Nothing! You think just because scientists don’t like MM that is somehow meaningful in the grand scheme of things? Who gives a damm about one egotistical scientist among thousands? You shouldn’t if you want to rationally discuss the subject of climate change.

      “Pithy bits” are the makings of propaganda, not the pursuit of truth – no matter what side of the debate the pithy bits fall on. Pithy bits are what the alarmist media and Al Gore rely on, after all.

      • Are the “trite bits” OK for you then?

        I’m guessing your favorite flavor is ‘Vanilla-Troll’, with sprinkles on top.

      • Steyn is not attacking climate science in this book. I don’t know his position on AGW, though I presume it’s skeptical, but what he is doing/did is collect a book of invective and disparaging remarks about Michael Mann and his work by other “climate scientists” as part of his defense against the libel charges brought by Mann.

      • Pithy means something more substantial than you sppear to think. Gore doesn’t do pithy. I could have substituted much of the marqee of prominent players for Mann
        How about listing those you think I should consider as exceptoons? Is it not meaningful to you that I inform you that this whole meme was created by el8te global governance non-scientist ideologues. Look up Maurice Strong and search out his “pithy” quotes on the real
        goals of the UNFCC, IPCC, Kyoto that he created or Christiane Figueres former UNFCC chiefs take on it.

        Kristi, I for one have indeed seen you have changrd snd I respect any one that has the integrity to be able to do this. Some of us, including Anthony have changed too, into sceptics, largely because of the egregious behavior of mainsrteam climate scientists.

          • Gee Jack, if some lefty ideologue says dont you think its our duty to destroy Western Civilization, and the other one I mentioned says even if AGW is all wrong, redistributing Western wealth is the right thing to do, is that enough context for you. First do you agree with these statements or not? Hey have a go at spinning a context that will satisfy you. Your servitude would please your educators.8

          • Go read the the original interviews and you will see the any quotes ascribed to them are out of context and quote mined.

  10. I am a lawyer, not a scientist. However I am dedicated to evidence based argument (courts like that). I started my interest in climate when I read of the medieval warm period and researched how historical changes to climate affected history. Then I moved to examining how quickly climate could change and saw that from research in the Antarctic (Vostok cores etc) that it has, in the past, happened within a human life span. During this time the publicity around AGW was gaining traction. I initially took it at face value “it’s probably right, well, you know, it is from scientists”. I read the second report in full (not just the summary. I was interested in the mid latitude hot spot as that seemed to be the core plank of the AGW theory. Easily tested (not by me). As I looked further into it, very little of the information on AGW seemed to tie in with this hot spot theory. I became more skeptical (as a lawyer I am skeptical by nature). I quickly became convinced the AGW industry is a scam and has fooled most of the people all the time.

    However thanks to solid contrary evidence and sites like Anthony’s (well mainly this site!) fewer people agree with AGW and CAGW especially.

    My take away is that we should dig more into this hot spot*, explain it is the key to the theory and that it doesn’t exist. The most powerful argument is the one that takes the opponents own facts and explains it it a way that shows it is false.

    “you have just told the court that the key basis for your theory that has cost the world many billions is the mid latitude hotspot (quote from the IPCC report). Can you please explain to the court why there is zero evidence of the existence of this hot spot?”

    *yes I know, a mixed metaphor!

  11. I’ve slogged through many of the IPCC’s reports and many of the papers they reference. The science has gotten more and more speculative while decreasing the stated uncertainty. The summary for policymakers has become more and more alarmist.

    I have yet to find any single reference that applies the laws of physics to support the plausibility of any part of the ECS range claimed by the IPCC. The closest they get to theoretical plausibility is by introducing massive amplification by positive feedback, which isn’t even physics as it’s misapplied and otherwise wrong for many other reasons.

  12. “Name of the Rose” w/ Sean Connery.
    Good movie.
    Best line: “Doubt is the enemy of faith.”

    • The effect of doubt on faith depends on how it’s handled. If you hide from your doubts, they may corrode your faith. However if you meet them head on, do the research and make adjustments as necessary, doubt can ultimately promote faith.

  13. Thank you, Dr. Ball. I enjoyed your article. It made me question how much of the IPCC material I have read. I was pretty good at reading the WG1 sections in the first couple of IPCC reports, but my knowledge of what was in them only seemed to piss people off. And my suggestion that other people should read them really seemed to make people mad. They didn’t have time for that.

    Since then, I stopped reading them myself. They were obviously irrelevant! The science was and is irrelevant.

    We have computer models, and that is all that matters now. (God have mercy on our souls!)

  14. Just substitute the free variables in the Lewandowski/Cook Fallacy:
    97% of people who believe in Santa Claus, also believe in Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.
    Therefore 97% of people who believe in Anthropogenic Global Climate Change, also believe in Santa Claus.

  15. “Let’s tell them that 100% of scientists agree with the AGW theory!”
    “Naah, all it takes is one guy, and they know we’re lying.”
    “How about ninety-nine?”
    “Ninety-nine percent sounds like a soap commercial.”
    “Ninety-eight?”
    “An even number. Boring.”
    “Ninety… seven?”
    “Hm. Yeah, that sounds good. We can work with ninety-seven. Tell you what: call up thirty of your buddies, and I’ll get one guy who doesn’t agree completely. We’ll ask if there’s, oh, ‘significant doubt,’ let the one guy disagree, and there you go.”
    “Done!”

  16. The comment 97% of scientists even if true is not relevant because it doesn’t consider the real AGW dilemma , ” can man do something about it ? “. Despite years of R & D and trillions of dollars to find solutions there is absolutely zero impact on temperature or climate change. It is this futility that should drive the agenda. Ie Do nothing to change the climate but adjust to things in the future, such as making electricity as cheap as possible so that everyone can afford to buy and run an air conditioner ( the only real way to control temperature.

  17. 97% of my medical doctors INSIST that high cholesterol levels will GIVE me a heart attack. They are so overwhelmingly convinced, that they prescribed Statin-drugs (2 of em) for me to take daily, to counteract my onetime slightly elevated levels (despite my congenitally very high “good” cholesterol numbers) … and worse … convinced my Health Insurance plan to pay for these drugs with no argument.

    But they have all been proven WRONG.

    Now what happens if they’ve all conspired to shorten my life with their garbage Statins? Can I get the Sierra Club to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of these polluters of my bloodstream? Or does the Sierra Club have deeper pockets to fleece somewhere else?

  18. Regarding the Hollcast its my understanding that its the figure of 6 million which is disputed, and that millions more, of different faiths also died at the hands of some of the German people. Regarding the IPCC’s summery, I recall the various eposodes of Yes Minister and Yes PM, when Sir Humphy puts the big volumme of reports on to Hackers desk, then produces the one page “Summery”. Which does the minister read, the summery of course.

    We now know that even the summery is not writton by scientists but representatives of many countries, mostly the under developed ones of course. . And that they argue over every dot and comma too.

    MJE

  19. Good comment there Tim Ball, I have slogged through two of those reports.
    When Jim Prentice was Minister of the Environment I asked his office,in writing, for the name of the person who accepted these findings on behalf of Canada.
    Naturally the Non answer was”We at Environment Canada defer to the findings of the IPCC”.
    That was their reply to every question.
    Recently I reread the Emperor’s New Clothes.
    Strikes me this was the instruction manual for the orchestration of this narrative.
    Our bureaucracies are corrupt to the core, this scam has exposed their greed and stupidity.
    I now regard Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming,even when referred to as Climate Change as an intelligence test.
    One that most government educated citizens fail.

    • In a related incident I swear I heard the same zombie who wrote the official ministerial replies, on a recent Utube ,where a minion in Toronto is informing Faith Goldie that they cannot run her election adds.
      Same brain dead obedience and constant repeating of same words .
      Spewing forth the talking points ignoring the question.
      Which is the modus of Team CAGW/CC.

    • Thank you for the site. Unfortunately this article is not open access so it will take a few days before I get it.
      What is most interesting at this site are two articles listed about “consensus” and both are open access PDF file downloadable.
      One by Landrum et al. on GMO also discussed climate change. Very interesting to read how they arrived at their conclusion. Long article will take a while to digest.
      The other by Russill is on climate change, a very different approach. Worth reading also.

  20. .
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    ❶①❶①❶①❶①
    .

    A new article, called “It is worse than we thought – by Latitude”.

    https://agree-to-disagree.com/it-is-worse-than-we-thought-by-latitude

    A detailed bar chart, shows information about 8 latitude bands.

    • 90N to 66N – [the Arctic] – approximately 4% of the Earth
    • 66N to 38N – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • 38N to 18N – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • 18N to Equ – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • Equ to 18S – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • 18S to 38S – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • 38S to 66S – approximately 15% of the Earth
    • 66S to 90S – [the Antarctic] – approximately 4% of the Earth

    There are 5 temperature categories. Each temperature category shows how much the “theoretical” temperature has increased, since 1880. These are:

    • red – the temperature has increased by more than 2.0 degrees Celsius
    • orange – the temperature has increased by between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius
    • yellow – the temperature has increased by between 1.0 and 1.5 degrees Celsius
    • green – the temperature has increased by between 0.0 and 1.0 degrees Celsius
    • blue – the temperature has increased by less than 0.0 degrees Celsius (i.e. the temperature has cooled)

    Red and orange can be used to see how much of each latitude band is above the IPCC’s temperature targets, of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius.

    Yellow, green, and blue are all below the temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, yellow can be used to see how much of each latitude band is near the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperate target.

    • You can tell how effective it has been by the number of alarmists who have come here to trash Dr. Ball.
      Not one of them has attempted to refute anything he has written.
      As usual.

  21. i don’t have to read any papers or attend any movies or submit to exhortations or even care.
    anybody is welcome to HIS OWN opinion- not mne.
    muh RIGHTS .
    leave me and mine alone.
    that is all.

  22. Since we live in the real world eventually the real world will confirm or refute AGW. Maybe the real impact of increased CO2 levels will be most appreciated in the biosphere.

  23. In freshman biology I used to teach the scientific method. In that through all levels to doctoral graduate classes, taken and taught, never do I recall the word consensus. I do recall the use once in a meeting about a non-scientific agreement, even then a surprise. No doubt my memory imperfect and it might be worth seeing how its use evolved and followed the politicization of science.

    If there is such a thing as a consensus in science it is the 97% de facto, informal, individually decided, unforced acceptance not to challenge a concept any more because it works so well. Always keep the other 3% around just in case. Obviously what exists, and you among others here discuss well, does not fit that certainty. “Everybody does it” proves little, but might make it worth checking it out, too often stupidity found.

    Keep it up.

    • Real story (short version):

      In the wintertime, a number of us electric utility types were at the Anchorage, AK airport waiting on a small-plane ride across the Cook Inlet to inspect a generation facility. It was dark and blowing snowflakes rather vigorously. The pilot was asked if we could make it across. He said “Probably, but we might not make it back tonight.”

      One of the higher-ups suggested we vote on taking off. Even though a lower level employee, I immediately grabbed my briefcase and made for the exit.

      I don’t risk my life (or anything important) on consensus.

  24. The consensus is not dependent on whether one has read the IPCC reports, nor should it be. The reason the IPCC reports were commissioned was to provide policy makers with a review of the science. There are plenty of other means of deciding whether one agrees that AGW is well-supported by the evidence. Scientists can read the peer-reviewed research itself without relying on the IPCC.

    ” Then I point out that the critical 97% figure is that at least 97% of scientists have never read the claims of the IPCC Reports.” Pure assumption!

    “It is worse, because the IPCC deliberately created the false claim of consensus.” Nonsense.

    “The source of the 97% claim in the public arena came from John Cook et al., and was published in 2013 in Environmental Research Letters.”

    Others papers have supported evidence for a consensus, though not all suggest it’s 97%. The whole emphasis on this exact figure is a mistake, in my opinion.

    “I acknowledge to people some of the brilliant dissections of this claim, such as Lord Monckton’s comment, “0.3% consensus, not 97.1%.”

    There are many logical problems with this comment. For instance,
    “‘An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy (Ding et al., 2011). Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people’s acceptance that climate change is happening (Lewandowsky et al., 2012).’
    The implication is that the authors of all abstracts endorsing definitions (1) and (2) also endorse the catastrophist definition (3)”

    The sentence in the abstract has nothing to do with the idea of “castastrophe.” And the claim of 0.3% consensus is downright laughable, ruining Monckton’s credibility – that figure could only be realistic if it referred to the “consensus” of those scientists who deny global warming.

    “However, the sample size was insufficient to deliver a statistically reliable result, [true or not, Monckton offers no evidence of this] and the respondents were not asked whether they believed the anthropogenic influence on temperature might become sufficiently damaging to require a ‘climate policy’.” So what? Just because a question wasn’t asked is not any reason to ignore the results. It’s a fatuous idea that for consensus to exist, scientists must also agree about policy. The consensus should be seen apart from its policy context – it is a matter of agreement with a scientific idea. The consensus can be considered when it comes to policy, but not the other way around.

    (It’s an extremely common flaw in many skeptics’ reasoning that they see science through policy. Unsupported assumptions that climate science is as a whole is tainted by politics are likewise irrational – especially the assumption that it is only the “consensus” side that is tainted when so many vocal contrarian scientists are affiliated with conservative, politically active organizations.)

    “On 22 December 2004, RealClimate, the website created to manipulate the global warming story [“manipulate”? What do Dr. Ball’s posts do but try to manipulate opinion?], provided this insight;

    ‘We’ve used the term “consensus” here a bit recently without ever really defining what we mean by it. In normal practice, there is no great need to define it – no science depends on it. But it’s useful to record the core that most scientists agree on, for public presentation. The consensus that exists is that of the IPCC reports, in particular the working group I report (there are three WG’s. By “IPCC”, people tend to mean WG I).’

    “In other words, it is what the creators of the Reports consider a consensus. This is classic groupthink on display.” Say what? How is this “groupthink”? If scientists agree with what is written in WG1, that is “groupthink”? Seems to me Dr. Ball is just looking for an excuse to get that word in somewhere. In fact, if he reads the passage closely, all it is saying is that the “consensus” of scientists hold the evidence of WG1 to be true. It’s not very clearly stated, but that’s no excuse to misinterpret it as an example of groupthink! Just because people agree, does that mean they are victims of cognitive error? Why not apply “groupthink” to skeptics, if one is going to make such unsupported accusations?

    ” In 2012 I created a list of several of these acknowledgments, but only one is sufficient here to destroy the certainty of their claims about future climates. … ‘In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible’ (My emphasis).”

    This destroys NOTHING. Future climate states refers to whether at a given time, a particular state of the climate (temperature, precipitation, etc.) is predictable. Of course it isn’t! That has nothing to do with whether average trends in climate are “predictable” given certain assumptions about future scenarios (such as CO2 emissions). Is Dr. Ball too ignorant to realize this difference, or is he simply trying to mislead people?

    Grrr. This essay is just more propaganda from Dr. Ball.

    • “Is Dr. Ball too ignorant to realize this difference, or is he simply trying to mislead people?”

      No Kristi, he’s pointing out the IPCC, even in their own documentation, contradicts the notion of CAGW as certain.

      “That has nothing to do with whether average trends in climate are ‘predictable’ given certain assumptions about future scenarios (such as CO2 emissions).”

      Actually, it would appear to have everything to do it. The full quote Dr. Ball is referencing is below. And it does destroy any logical reason to believe CAGW at this present state of climate science, unless you can contradict the statement with an update from the IPCC that suggests otherwise. Note the section in bold directly contradicts your objection:

      “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.”

      http://ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

      1) We don’t know enough about the climate to describe the physics of it with any certainty, therefore, it’s impossible to predict the long-term state of it.
      2) The best we can hope for is the probability that we might have an accurate prediction based on a statistical analysis of the results of a bunch of climate model runs (ensembles).
      3) But 2) is made more unlikely at the moment because we really don’t have adequate computer hardware yet to handle the complexity of the climate’s physics.
      4) Even if we had 3) the climate models can’t be diagnosed.
      5) Even if we had 3) and 4) they’re made moot because of 1), which, or so it seems to me, is the reason nothing else really matters.

      You have to fix 1) to move forward at all. And you can’t do that Kristi. The IPCC states as much with certainty.

      • The notion that we can compute an ensemble of future climate possibilities is tantalizing. However, the reality is that the CO2-driven models of “climate science” do not model any of the physics that makes the atmosphere chaotic. They all presume that CO2 is the driver, and then they diddle with a magic “sensitivity” coefficient which links water vapor to CO2. It was worth a try, but as Feynman pointed out, the test is whether predictions based on the theory are borne out in reality, and here they fail. Lorenz had it right back in the late 60s, and nothing can change that. One might speculate that there are varying modes of chaos that exhibit somewhat stationary statistics, and perhaps in time we will be able to identify the conditions that characterize those modes. One that comes to mind is the mode where major portions of the Northern Hemisphere are covered with a few kilometers of ice. We know that the climate exhibited markedly different temperatures and sea levels in such times.

        • Robert,

          There are ways to incorporate “chaos” or stochasticity into models. Here’s one paper https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.2153-3490.1976.tb00696.x

          No one assumes that CO2 is the sole driver. Improved solar data will be used in the next round of models, evidently.

          “the test is whether predictions based on the theory are borne out in reality, and here they fail.”

          This just isn’t true. I don’t know why people keep saying this. They aren’t perfect, but the are not bad in estimating some properties, both historic and paleoclimate.

          “In this study, we test the realism of several generations of coupled climate models, including those used for the 1995, 2001, and 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). By validating against observations of present climate, we show that the coupled models have been steadily improving over time and that the best models are converging toward a level of accuracy that is similar to observation-based analyses of the atmosphere.
          https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-89-3-303

          This is a super-long paper. I haven’t read it. It does show, though, that the mean of all models considered is quite skillful.
          https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2007JD008972

          “Climate models are based on well-established physical
          principles and have been demonstrated to reproduce observed
          features of recent climate (see Chapters 8 and 9) and past climate
          changes (see Chapter 6). There is considerable confi dence that
          Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs)
          provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate
          change, particularly at continental and larger scales. Confidence
          in these estimates is higher for some climate variables (e.g.,
          temperature) than for others (e.g., precipitation). ”

          https://pure.mpg.de/rest/items/item_1765216/component/file_1765214/content – this is quite an interesting paper, though long.

          So, there are a few examples.

          • Kristi,

            Thank you for the references. Have you watched Pat Frank’s video:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THg6vGGRpvA

            He makes (at least) two important points. First, you can replicate the “ensemble” predictions of the many climate models that existed when he made the video (2016) using a simple linear relationship on CO2. Second, the models can be fit to “predict” either temperature or water vapor (clouds), but not both simultaneously. If you fit temperature, the cloud parameter walks away from what it should be, and this is important because that value is used in subsequent temperature predictions. This error is compounded as time goes on, and it quickly becomes orders of magnitude larger than the change in temperature that the models predict. I encourage you to view the video and come to your own conclusions.

            Looking at Hasselmann’s paper, I think he’s arguing that we can model chaotic behavior, but the issue is estimating the parameters for the model. So, for example, if we had detailed and accurate records of temperature and clouds in the Little Ice Age over some decent period of time, say 50 years, we could model those records. And in the same way, we might eventually get enough decent data from today’s weather to properly model characteristic parameters. But it is an entirely different problem to compute the weather from first principles. To put this in practical terms, Lorenz made the observation that the butterfly effect wasn’t as daunting as one might fear, because what one butterfly does, another can undo. So with millions of Monarchs, there could well be some quasi-stationary statistics. But there might well be many more Monarchs today than there were in 1650, and they might not be in the same place.

          • Kristi,

            Regarding the improvement of model predictions, the question isn’t whether they get better with more and more data, they should, but whether they can predict the changes that will be caused by changes, plus or minus, in CO2 in the future. This is the political/policy question. This relies on properly modeling the physics of the many processes, and here all the models fail. They simply can’t model such physics because their grids are too coarse, and the data is too skimpy. Critiques of current models usually focus on some aspect of their predictions that are not verified by the data. This is fair enough, because if they don’t predict everything, then they aren’t really analogs of the Earth’s atmosphere. Just because they can reproduce some features of the existing data is not proof that they can predict the result of perturbations from the status quo.

            And this doesn’t begin to address the issue of the changes made to the “historical” record by the advocates of CO2 induced climate change. If anything, their adjustments make it even harder to figure out what constitutes the predictable features of our present climate.

            It is like trying to compute the trajectory and orbital adjustments required to land on the Moon and return to Earth using the state of knowledge that existed prior to Newton’s theory of gravitational attraction. Only we know the physics, and we know it is daunting.

      • sycomputing,

        I agree that we can’t predict climate with “certainty” – that’s asking too much.

        I pointed out before that predicting future “states” is not what the models are aiming for. This is different from “prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states.” The difference is being able to say “It will be X degrees in 2050 (with avg. 759 mm precipitation, 5 hurricanes and droughts in Arkansas and Belarus),” versus, “There is a 65% chance that it will be X degrees in 2050’s, a 20% it will be X degrees in 2040’s, and a 15% chance, X in 2060’s”…and the confidence we have for this prediction is “highly likely” based on the business as usual emission scenario.

        There are two parameters the IPCC talks about in reference to predictions: the likelihood, and the confidence. The likelihood is associated with a percentage probability.

        “When scientists mention ‘confidence’, they are referring to the degree of confidence in being correct. … When scientists mention ‘likelihood’ they are referring to the probability of an event or outcome occurring. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) confidence levels are based on the evidence (robust, medium and limited) and the degree of scientific agreement (high, medium and low). The combined evidence and agreement results in five levels of confidence (very high, high, medium, low and very low)”
        https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/b4ba2892-f126-4c4f-a47e-08ca3767eacf/files/wa-decoding-confidence-and-likelihood-ipcc.docx

        The IPCC quote then goes on to say that it is only by model comparisons that we are able to make such probabilistic predictions – a measure of likelihood, not of confidence. There is no “probability that we might have an accurate prediction” – accuracy is not expressed in probabilistic terms.

        “3) But 2) is made more unlikely at the moment because we really don’t have adequate computer hardware yet to handle the complexity of the climate’s physics.”

        This is the case in some parameters, those with a low range of confidence. But high confidence indicates that the model are in good agreement with each other, there is good supporting evidence, and their predictions are probably right – this doesn’t mean, though, that the probability of something happening is also high.

        “4) Even if we had 3) the climate models can’t be diagnosed.”

        I’m not sure what you mean by “diagnosed.” But they can be tested (validated): they can be run to simulate time periods different from the one to which they are tuned, and test to see whether the emergent properties of the simulations coincide with observational data. Such validation has been successful, at least for some climate properties.

        The individual parameters can also be adjusted to see what happens in a simulation. This gives an idea of the sensitivity of model to changes in that parameter. Different models are focused on getting different properties right (with high confidence), and that can be taken into account when model comparisons are done. In the future, comparisons of methods of tuning may also be taken into consideration, or at least discussed more and become more transparent.

        I think it’s important to keep in mind that models are getting better, especially at regional predictions, something early models weren’t capable of making.

        Anyway, this is my understanding. If there are errors, I hope someone will correct me.

        (I would keep in mind, too, that you are quoting from TAR.)

        • “I pointed out before that predicting future “states” is not what the models are aiming for. This is different from “prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states.” The difference is being able to say “It will be X degrees in 2050 (with avg. 759 mm precipitation, 5 hurricanes and droughts in Arkansas and Belarus),” versus, “There is a 65% chance that it will be X degrees in 2050’s, a 20% it will be X degrees in 2040’s, and a 15% chance, X in 2060’s”…and the confidence we have for this prediction is “highly likely” based on the business as usual emission scenario.”

          You seem to be making my case for me. If the models aren’t “aiming for” the actual future state of the climate with regard to temperature then they don’t seem to be aiming for anything of practical use to we humans, while at the same time making the case against their own premise. Therefore with your interpretation it would appear to me that I have exactly just as much reason to believe in the theory of CAGW as I do under my interpretation. I’m not interested in whether it “might be the case that the ‘probability’ of CAGW has ‘some possibility’ of being true, but we’re just not at all sure how much and to what probability the possibility exists that it is.”

          And this from those who claim to be scientists??? Nay rather, the statement should better be interpreted with its plain meaning in mind, which is, “We don’t really have a clue. We’re shooting at ducks on a roller wheel and trying to hit 1 out of 10 (But we need to investigate further to make sure).”

          The only real difference in your interpretation and mine is what appears to be a good deal of probability double-speak. If I grant your interpretation, then I would suggest the probability double-speak is due to the fact that the IPCC knew (and still knows), very well they didn’t (and still don’t) have any reasonable clue about how earth’s climate really worked, hence, to retain some credibility toward further investigating the matter they make the attempt at a probability scenario.

          Naturally, when “scientists” speak people listen. And a trillion dollar per year industry was born…

          https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/environmental-science

          “The job outlook for environmental scientists is excellent. Employment is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

          https://www.environmentalscience.org/careers

          “Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists.”

          https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm

          “When scientists mention ‘confidence’, they are referring to the degree of confidence in being correct. … When scientists mention ‘likelihood’ they are referring to the probability of an event or outcome occurring. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) confidence levels are based on the evidence (robust, medium and limited) and the degree of scientific agreement (high, medium and low). The combined evidence and agreement results in five levels of confidence (very high, high, medium, low and very low)”
          https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/b4ba2892-f126-4c4f-a47e-08ca3767eacf/files/wa-decoding-confidence-and-likelihood-ipcc.docx

          Once again, thank you for making my case for me:

          George Washington – “Doc, I’ve got a sore throat, can you do something for me?”

          Doctor – “Of course, Mr. President! Among everything else the consensus of the best physicians in the world say to do, we’ll drain 40% of your blood this evening. We’re highly confident you’ll be fine in the morning!”

          Washington – “Doc…40% of my blood? Are you sure? I’m already feeling really weak.”

          Doctor – “Of course, Mr. President, as I told you, we’ve assessed the situation and found that the best available evidence for this treatment has been evaluated as “robust.” Moreover, the degree of scientific agreement that bloodletting will be an effective methodology to cure this sore throat is high. Therefore, we’ve an evidence based consensus that suggests a very high level of confidence you’ll probably be just fine in the morning.”

          No, President Washington died that night. And the overwhelming consensus opinion of the medical community 219 years later is that HIS DOCTOR’S KILLED HIM due to a consensus of stupidity that seemed ever so righteous and true AT THAT TIME.

          https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/bloodletting-blisters-solving-medical-mystery-george-washingtons-death

          I’m not yelling, just making sure the point is crystal clear. Consensus without valid evidence is nothing but speculation. That’s all you have.

          “This is the case in some parameters, those with a low range of confidence. But high confidence indicates that the model are in good agreement with each other, there is good supporting evidence, and their predictions are probably right – this doesn’t mean, though, that the probability of something happening is also high.”

          You mean as in all the best physicians at the time being “in good agreement with each other,” that their prediction based upon “good supporting evidence” that bloodletting was viable for Washington’s ailment wouldn’t kill him?

          Thank you for making my case for me once again.

          “I’m not sure what you mean by “diagnosed.” But they can be tested (validated): they can be run to simulate time periods different from the one to which they are tuned, and test to see whether the emergent properties of the simulations coincide with observational data. Such validation has been successful, at least for some climate properties.”

          It isn’t me saying the models can’t be diagnosed, Kristi. It’s the IPCC. I would argue the plain meaning of the text indicates that the models cannot be diagnosed as to their veracity. This would make sense if one didn’t have enough information about the physical processes involved in earth’s climate, which is exactly what the first sentence of the quote in question states unequivocally. You, however, seem to desire to contradict the very consensus to which you argue for your position?

          “I think it’s important to keep in mind that models are getting better, especially at regional predictions, something early models weren’t capable of making.”

          Getting better at what exactly? You’ve already argued the purpose of the model isn’t to attempt to predict the future state of the climate, i.e., at least the temperature of the climate at some future date. If that isn’t exactly what your side is proposing to be the problem with the continuation of the burning fossil fuels then what is?

          You seem to be contradicting the very consensus opinion that you so often here cite, ma’am. In which case, don’t you contradict yourself?

          • And the way too much bolded is an HTML tag error.

            I’m sorry about that…not yelling…just failing to proofread.

    • One thing I have noticed about Kristi, she never attempts to actually refute arguments.
      She just insults those who don’t believe as she’s been trained to believe.

      • I think you have a valid criticism.

        Kristi?

        What say you about my answer to your objection to Dr. Ball’s quote of IPCC WG1?

        • sycomputing,

          You are saying MarkW has a valid criticism? MarkW? Really? Do you have any idea how many times he has insulted me without addressing my arguments? Sheesh. All he’s ever done is insult me.

          And I do go to some lengths to refute arguments. I spend a lot of time looking up and reading original literature to support my arguments. Not always Dr. Ball’s posts, though – I get too irritated by his insulting, unsupported generalizations – but I did refute some of his points in this post. Presumably you read it, so why are you saying I only insult? Do you think pointing out unsupported, insulting assumptions is not worthwhile? What makes that any more offensive than making them in the first place? Can’t you see that half of what Dr. Ball is saying is opinion? Why should I then not express my own opinion?

          I’ve read Cook et al., 2013. I looked for errors in the methods. I couldn’t find any. It’s significant that they not only looked at abstracts, but contacted authors to rate their own papers – so it’s not just a consensus in the literature, but of scientists themselves. Monckton’s critique doesn’t hold water.

          It’s also significant that as expertise in climate science increases, so does consensus and that a critique of Oreskes’s paper was retracted due to its own methodological errors.
          https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm (I know this isn’t a balanced site, but neither is WUWT.)

          This is also an interesting article about bias against skeptics in science. Not at all scientific, but interesting anyway. It closes with a quote from Andres Millan:

          “”Most global warming sceptics have no productive alternatives; they say it is a hoax, or that it will cause severe social problems, or that we should allocate resources elsewhere,” he wrote.

          “Scientifically, they have not put forward a compelling, rich, and variegated theory.

          “And until that happens, to expect the government, or any source of scientific funding, to give as much money, attention, or room within academic journals to the alternatives, seems completely misguided.”

          • Kristi, Sceptics are doing their full job finding fault with a scientific theory. Its not their task to find an alternative. However, to show that natural variation has had extremes well beyond what we see today and to show by bumper crops and the “Great Greening Epoch ^ тм” that so far “carbon” is convincingly net beneficial is sufficient to peg the CO2 scare invalid so far. Look up Bertrand Russells illustrative proposition of a tiny teapot orbiting beween Mars and Jupiter that cant be detected and ask what the skeptics role in this theory should be!

          • “You are saying MarkW has a valid criticism? MarkW? Really? Do you have any idea how many times he has insulted me without addressing my arguments? Sheesh. All he’s ever done is insult me.”

            Just because someone behaves badly doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

            To contradict myself, however, I’ll admit that with at least this particular article, you’ve really responded to a lot of comments directed toward you. In my experience you hardly ever respond at all.

            I’m not reading this blog quite as much lately though. My apologies if past behavior isn’t present!

            All the best and take care!

  25. As a reality check, Dr. Ball could don a body camera and attend a few national meetings of the AMS and the AGU , and ask the first 100 people he bumps into what they think of this essay.

    I look forward to the undited results.

    • aren’t you just full of ideas what other people should do for your amusement?
      are you inviting people to suggest activities for you?
      asking for a friend.

    • Utterbilge, you’re correct about one thing. Your name reflects accurately what you post which is utter bilge.

  26. I preferred when it was just believers and unbelievers divided up into heretics, apostates, those who were out to lunch, and various factions of the falsest of true believers, and the truest of true-believers (who generally thought each other were not virtuous enough and deserved hell-fires for it … hard core people full of god’s Love or something … I hope it’s not catching).

    BTW, most of them never slogged through a Bible either, so a fairly common feature there, not a bug.

    Plus everyone knew the Church congregation was 97% hypocrites.

    And on that point there was abundant consensus.

    And yes, they picked your pocket with it.

    I did read an IPCC report once (seriously). But I was not interested in reading another. I’d rather read long-winded monotheistic diatribe, demanding blinkered obedience, verses hell-fire, as that would at least be more persuasive an argument.

  27. Whether the world becomes warmer or cooler, humanity will need reliable and inexpensive energy in much greater quantities to maintain living standards of the presently prosperous and to uplift the lives of the hundreds of millions who presently suffer from lack of access to energy. The malign effect of the global warming cult has been two-fold. Firstly the purposeless squandering of vast resources which should otherwise have been applied to assist the poor, the disadvantaged and the oppressed. Secondly a deliberately dangerous reduction in the capacity to provide reliable and inexpensive energy (South Australia is one of many examples). If the world becomes hotter, the shortage of reliable and inexpensive energy will be a problem. If the world becomes colder, as indeed it may, the shortage of reliable and inexpensive energy will be a calamity. Millions will die unnecessarily from cold and hunger. The criminals who have sanctimoniously sabotaged reliable inexpensive energy should be held accountable. These are hostiles who put their own ideology and in many cases their own wealth far above human life. I welcome contact from allies to my facebook page or to mrmmichaeldarby@hotmail.com.

  28. At its ‘best ‘ the infamous 97% was a selection of sub-selection of Journal articles from one time period reviewed via a poor methodology . And that is ‘at its best ‘
    It was never 97% of scientists , not even climate ‘scientists’ , a term that has little meaning given its been applied to failed politicians with no science training at all. Although to be fair good science has never been a requirement of those practicing climate ‘science’ , unlike a massive ego and an ability to smell which way the funding wind is blowing .

  29. The coming IPCC Special Report:- “Global Warming of 1.5ºC”

    On Monday 8 October 2018 the IPCC is going to commit another giant act of misrepresentation. It is going to release a report that was actually written by politicians but pretend that it was written by scientists.

    This is yet another example of what I have blogged about in more detail here.
    http://steelydanswarandpeace.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/ipcc-reports-are-poltics-not-science.html

    This new IPCC report is not a full “Assessment Report” because the next full AR is “AR6” and won’t come out until next year.

    This particular report is a “special” report whose full name is:-
    “Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty”

    This “special” report – like all IPCC reports – will have the “Summary FOR Policymakers”, (written by some scientists and academics) re-written by non-scientists into a “Summary BY Policymakers.”

    The people who do this re-writing will be not be scientists and academics. They will be diplomats and bureaucrats – policy wonks.

    Whole new bits of “science” will be lied into existence by these non-scientists. Similarly, actual bits of science will be lied out of existence by these same non-scientists. Science will be transformed into propaganda.

    The jargon word used by the IPCC for this transformation into propaganda is “approval” . This word is a masterful piece of Orwellian misrepresentation because most people would not think that “approval” means:- radical transformation from “Summary FOR policymakers” to “Summary BY Policymakers.”

    This “approval” (re-write) takes 5 days of continuous political haggling.
    “the approval of the Summary for Policymakers will take place on 1-5 October”
    quoted from:- https://unfccc.int/topics/science/workstreams/cooperation-with-the-ipcc/ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-15-degc#eq-3

    Then on Monday 8 October 2018 comes the proof that the misrepresentation is intentional.
    “Subject to approval, the Summary for Policymakers will be released on Monday 8 October with a live-streamed press conference.
    quoted from:- http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/ma-p48.shtml

    PROOF 1

    The IPCC will intentionally mis-represent the names of the people who wrote the report. It will list as the authors of the “Summary BY Policymakers” only the names of the authors of the original “Summary FOR Policymakers.” The names of the people who wrote the most quoted bits of this new, altered report will be deliberately left-out.

    The list of authors of the new report will mention only the names of the scientists (and academics) who wrote the original “Summary FOR Policymakers” and not the names of the diplomats and bureaucrats who wrote the most politically important bits of this new report.
    Why so shy about their contribution? Is it just modesty that forces the policy-wonks to leave their names off the report or is it deliberate deception? Are they trying to pretend that the “Summary BY Policymakers” is the “Summary FOR Policymakers”

    PROOF 2

    The radically altered “Summary BY Policymakers” will be released to a huge press fanfare under it’s original name of the “Summary FOR policymakers”

    The original “Summary FOR policymakers” will never be released, because the IPCC make sure that it is kept confidential. The “Summary BY Policymakers” will be released only under the deliberately misleading name of “Summary FOR policymakers.”

    PROOF 3

    No mention will be made of the fake science that the new, altered report now contains. The new “science” will be presented as if it had been written only by scientists even though the most politically influential parts of it will have been written only by non-scientists (policymakers) instead.

    I think that the malfeasance is deliberate and that – since it involves literally trillions of dollars of public money – should be investigated by the police forces of every country in the world.

  30. The Church of Warming is a religion. I posit that one could probably not get a 97% consensus if polling Evangelicals about the veracity of the virgin birth. Disagreeing about the virgin birth gets you declared a heretic, similarly the COW declares you a “denier”.

  31. “So, next time you are confronted with the 97% oblique charge, simply ask the person if they have read any of the IPCC Reports. Just be prepared for the invective.”

    With the uttermost respect, I don’t think this invective responses really matter with respect to the question of ‘consensus’. This question is quite simply: do majority of scientist in the relevant fields (geophysics, atmospheric science, meteorology, possibly geology, something else) agree that (1) warming occurs in the recent decades and (2) this warming is predominantly induced by human activity (i.e. burning fossil fuels). Alas, the answer to this simply question is equally simply: “Yes”. True, there may be discussion how many exactly support this position (60, 85, 93%?). But the truth is – most of the scientist agree with AGW. If there was a large proportions scientists who do not agree with the above they surely would be ‘visible’ and audible for quite long time now. Belief that a large chunk of scientists opposes AGW but for whatever reasons choose silence is unfounded, I’m afraid (although there may be quite a few).

    We’re like guerilla warriors fighting against juggernaut: professional, well organized and well sponsored army. There is a good news though: (1) that may change and (2) most of the public is much more immune against AGW scary propaganda than many people from academia and establishment.

    • Given the need for funding you have a faulty premise. I first got an anti AGW view from working in an engineering company with three ex climate scientists who could no longer get funding as from the rejection they showed me ” the work was incompatible with the university’s main source of AGW work and detrimental to the university’s funding. My daughter worked for a rail services manager in exactly the same position for showing the extent of urban heating in European temperature measurement errors.
      The opinion of 97 % of a group selected by the ability to withhold funding for dissent from a given view proves nothing.

      • I can appreciate that relentless financial pressure may affect behaviour of quite few people in the bad way. Those people have stable positions, careers and dependents. Not everyone is willing to risk head clash with powerful climatic establishment, backed by most of the mass media and politicians. I’m sure there are scientists skeptical about AGW yet choose silence. Still, I don’t see significant minority, say 30%, within relevant disciplines that opposes official AGW narrative. Apparently, this minority must be so well hidden that is invisible like the recent warming trend 😉 In one way of another their voice would be heard. But so far we’ve got a silence.

        ” I first got an anti AGW view from working in an engineering company with three ex climate scientists who could no longer get funding as from the rejection they showed me ” the work was incompatible with the university’s main source of AGW work and detrimental to the university’s funding.”

        Did they ever publicized their story? Helped write articles about AGW on blog platforms? Shame to loose such people. If I was sacked due to findings I regard true and important I would subsequently do some effort to make that visible.

  32. To Kristi Silber and her ilk. You want to believe AGW is real. It ain’t – Habibullo Abdussamatov – and it is to late for you to back peddle. We need more CO2 refer to Dr Patrick Moore.
    During WWII a squadron of planes left Iceland, encountered a storm, were blown off course and performed an emergency crash landing in Greenland. All airmen rescued, planes abandoned. Recently they returned and using coordinates drilled down to the planes. Strike at a depth nearing 300′. That is a lot of ice and snow since WWII and a lot of melting to occur to get back to pre WWII levels.
    You may wish to read Don’t Sell Your Coat by Harold Ambler along with the swag of books I have refuting AGW. Generally, intelligent people have not bought into AGW, emotional people have.
    Oil and coal are not fossil fuels, they are abiotic excepting brown coal and peat.

    • Satellite observations over the last decade show that the ice sheet is not in balance. The calving loss is greater than the gain from surface mass balance, and Greenland is losing mass at about 200 Gt/yr.

      https://www.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface-mass-budget/

      My geology and geophysicist friends are bemused by your abiotic claim. One local entrepreneur lost his shirt looking for abiotic petroleum.

      Petroleum is a product of diatoms.

      Coal beds consist of altered plant remains. When forested swamps died, they sank below the water and began the process of coal formation. However, more than a heavy growth of vegetation is needed for the formation of coal. There are four stages in coal formation: peat, lignite, bituminous and anthracite.

      • The abiotic process. The gas is driven off the earths magma. Oil is a condensate from the gas. Through a chemical/bacterial action oil solidifies into coal. I suspect the coal and oil close to the surface to be different ie Middle East oil under the desert sands. The tail of a comet is full of hydrocarbons. It would appear in the distant pas that the earth may have passed through the tail of a comet, Velikovsky stuff and very interesting. I spoke with an Australian who served in their air force. They had problems with fuel lines clogging. In the laboratories they had bacteria growing in oil.

  33. Speaking of court cases:

    “22. The Administrative Law Judge concludes that Peabody failed to demonstrate that an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1 or 1.5°C is correct.

    23. The Administrative Law Judge concludes that the climate sensitivity is reasonably considered to be in the 2-4.5°C range.

    47. The Administrative Law Judge concludes that Peabody failed to demonstrate that the relied upon process is neither peer-reviewed nor transparent.”

    https://mn.gov/oah/assets/2500-31888-environmental-socioeconomic-costs-carbon-report_tcm19-222628.pdf

  34. Why does one even need to look a the reports? A computer model is only as good as the data it is founded on and checked against.
    Even the bottom end commercial products sold here in the UK for just £1.00 have to pas a QA inspection and since climate change is supposed to be world threatening surely it should pas this with flying colours and actually pass the far more stringent life critical applications like pacemaker controls.
    Instead we have even recent data that is not compared against a quality checked standard like the US climate reference network at six monthly intervals for both instrument and measuring environment. This is compared to earlier data using instruments of a totally unknown standard and in a few cases where the earlier instruments are now in museums not of sub half degree accuracy that would be the limit visually anyway. Other data is secondary derived of an accuracy unlikely to be even accurate to a few degrees given other variables ignored by the blinkered scientists more determined to prove point than to prove their integrity and competence.
    When the name was changed from global warming to climate change with its admission that there are regional differences it now needs one reference network for at least one in ten measurement areas and world averages are no longer valid. Instead it requires regions each with the relevant man made CO2 production and drift measurements to compare the warming with the relevant CO2 figures.
    That is before you even start on the method used for prediction of normal which is almost so dated as to be laughable. Signal analysis methods used in marketing engineering and in security applications all show a very different answer which suggests a cyclic pattern not present at all in climate scientist’s predictions.
    In short if the whole methodology is unsound then the final report is irrelevant.

    • Why oh why is there not an edit for us lousy typists who only spot the typos after posting? Please read pass for pas.

  35. Dr. Tim Ball can certainly draw out the flaming trolls! It’s better that they can’t just hit the ‘down vote’ and now have to come out in the open.

    Keep up the good posts, they’re in panic mode! We got 4 on the front line here and they’re giving all they got with their bony fingers. LOL

  36. Leo Smith September 29, 2018 at 3:09 pm
    i think the book most unfinished is either Finnegans Wake or Ulysses.

    Name of the Rose is a great book and an excellent movie.
    ******************

    I agree about the book -it’s one of my all-time favorites, up there with “The Leopard” by Lampedusa.

    But…the sex scene in the NOTR movie , while extremely hot, was utterly gratuitous. Nothing like that happens in the book.

    (but if you look closely in one of the interior scenes involving lowly monks turning a mill (?) you can spot a very young Ron Perlman, he of “Sons of Anarchy” and many other movies/TV series. He looks very much like a mental defective, which probably got him the “extra” part.)

  37. The IPCC releases reports from groups, which are inherently a consensus of those who are in the group. The fact that a group of scientists came to an agreement is worth something, but the group seemingly would have you believe that it’s everything.

    A lot of confusion arises because we are living at the intersection of science and politics. We’ve all seen members of the scientific community making political judgments such as what plan of action we should take, and then becoming defensive when they are challenged, saying the science is settled.

  38. When I first heard the 97% statistic, I was mightily suspicious because I already knew that there is no hard-data-based proof in the peer-reviewed climate-related literature that supports the CO2/warming mechanism. That was immediately prior to my research (in press), which shows that back-radiation from CO2 is simply too cold to support global warming in Earth’s warmer surface and atmosphere. (Comments to davidlaing@aol.com, please. I don’t monitor this blog.)

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