Pielke and Lomborg accused of “fact mongering”

Reposted from cliscep.com

Posted on 10 Jan 19 by Paul Matthews

Here’s a remarkable example of the post-truthiness of some elements of contemporary academia.

A magazine called Issues in Science and Technology has published an article Fear Mongering & Fact Mongering, by Adam Briggle, a philosopher at a third-rate institution called University of North Texas.

The article starts by dismissing the old-fashioned claptrap of Poincaré and Feynman, and then talks about research misconduct and ‘responsible’ research. But the main thrust of the article is to try to introduce a concept of “fact mongering”.

Where fear mongering can stoke irrational panic, fact mongering can cause irrational calm and complacency.

Briggle illustrates the distinction by referring to the notorious alarmist article The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, full of irresponsible pseudo-scientific fear-mongering about “panic”, “terrors”, “death” and “destruction” (which, as I noted recently, has serious consequences for the mental health of those who fall for it).  Briggle mentions that the article was criticised by scientists, but doesn’t have the decency to link to any of these criticisms, such as this one where the Wallace-Wells article is described as “Alarmist, Imprecise/Unclear, Misleading” by a team of climate scientists including Richard Betts, Chris Colose and Victor Venema. Even Michael Mann says that it exaggerates.

Amazingly, Briggle claims that the scientists who corrected Wallace-Wells’s alarmist falsehoods were irresponsible fact-mongers:

It prompted some denunciations, but also soul-searching among the climate science community about its rhetoric. Perhaps in their desire not to be discounted as fear-mongers, scientists had become fact-mongers. They may have assumed that they don’t really have a “fact” until it is scrubbed clean of all emotion, especially fear. This is certainly not misconduct in a narrow sense, but it may well count as a form of irresponsible research. Has the climate science community hid behind neutral facts and insufficiently scared the public? If so, theirs would be a rhetorical, not a logical, failure.

Briggle highlights two people who are guilty of fact-mongering: Roger Pielke Jr and Bjorn Lomborg.  He says he was a student of Pielke’s 15 years ago, and is concerned about Pielke’s WSJ article on natural disasters (edit: paywalled, but there’s a free version available at his blog).

Thus, I was surprised to see his op-ed counseling us to be “factful” when it comes to climate change. He has, it seems, adopted Lomborg’s view that there are facts on one hand and irrational fears on the other. And the fact is that despite all the bad news, times have never been better. He argues that there is little evidence that climate change has made weather more extreme. Indeed, natural disasters are claiming fewer lives than 50 years ago, and as a proportion of global gross domestic product the costs of natural disasters have actually gone down.

Pielke has been delivering this message for years, and as with Lomborg it has earned him the ire of many environmental scientists. As far as I can tell, his thesis is logically, or empirically, flawless. It is the rhetoric of it that has me wondering. He highlights a set of facts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about specific weather phenomena. What he doesn’t mention are the words in bold at the top of the same report stating that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and changes are “unprecedented.” When Pielke says the IPCC substantiates his claims, that may be literally true, but also rhetorically questionable. When does a reasonable argument slip into cherry-picking, or cherry-picking slide into misrepresentation?

So according to Briggle, Pielke’s article in the WSJ about natural disasters should have included some statements from the IPCC that have nothing whatsoever to do with disasters.  Briggle also appears to believe that the concept of using facts to rebut irrational fears is a new idea invented by Lomborg. And that Pielke’s logical, flawless thesis is rhetorically questionable.

Pielke has a letter in response (and there are other letters too), published in the same journal and also posted at his blog.

I’ve long argued that the world has seen a dramatic drop in lives lost to disasters, and that as poverty around the world has been reduced, the economic toll of disasters has not increased as fast as increasing global wealth. This is indeed good news. These are hardly controversial views, as they are also conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which produces periodic assessments of climate science, impacts, and economics, as well as being indicators of progress under the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

He says that Briggle is “late to the party”, mentioning previous smears that he has been subjected to for failing to join in the fear-mongering.  Briggle’s article

represents yet another effort from within the academy to silence others whose views are deemed politically unwelcome or unacceptable. At most research institutions, the penalties for researchers who engage in FFP are severe, and often include termination of employment. Of course, Briggle is not alone in sending a powerful and chilling message about which views are deemed acceptable and which are not.

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January 12, 2019 10:11 pm

Pielke has his little axe to grind, about how things are not bad now.

He’s to old to worry about “are not bad yet”.

It’s not the warming to now that matters.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 12, 2019 10:55 pm

Dr Pielke is right to point out that global warming is not occurring at much more than one-third of the predicted rate, and that the supposed damages from global warming are far less than the weather-related damages that occurred before our influence was appreciable.

Since global warming is not occurring at anything like the predicted rate and is not at all likely to do so in future, and since warming is proving net-beneficial and would continue to do so even if there were as much as 5.4 K warming by 2080, according to the EU Commission’s research, our children’s children can look forward to a better planet as well as a warmer one.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
January 13, 2019 8:21 am

But Pielke is still a warmist, who thinks CO2 should be mitigated. I don’t get it, really.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2019 8:27 am

I haven’t read Pielke Jr.’s rationale, but as a “Lukewarmist”, he probably argues for a “no regrets, precautionary policy / fossil fuels will eventually run out”, yadayada approach. Besides, being employed at the U of C, vehemently opposing a Carbon Tax might get him into more trouble than he already is.

paul courtney
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 13, 2019 12:13 pm

Kurt: Did you just “yadayada” left-induced energy poverty?
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

h/t Seinfeld 2x.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 13, 2019 12:46 pm

In this article, Pielke Jr is quoted as saying:

Climate change is real, and aggressive mitigation and adaptation make very good sense. Trump is still wrong. Which makes an error of this magnitude so much the worse.

I have seen zero evidence which would require aggressive adaptation, much less mitigation. Normal adaptation for things that really need it is just fine.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
January 13, 2019 10:05 am

Re “damages that occurred before our influence was appreciable.”
I have yet to see any quantitative evidence that humans have had ANY influence on climate. If you have some, I would like to see it. Even a simple t-test or chi square will do. A human activity on one end and a climate variable on the other of a correlation will. I think that Lomborg and other luke-warmers make a needless concession to CAGW alarmists simple by agreeing that there is ‘some’ human influence. Show me!
Ronald Havelock, Ph.D. (yes, I am a scientist and long ago I taught elementary statistics.)

Joseph Campbell
Reply to  Ronald Havelock
January 13, 2019 10:25 am


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Joseph Campbell
January 13, 2019 12:50 pm

I’ll see your 10 and raise you 20!

Pat Frank
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
January 14, 2019 8:39 am

Adam Briggle implicitly displays another logical failing as well.

He wrote that, “What [Pielke jr.] doesn’t mention are the [IPCC’s] words in bold at the top of the same report stating that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and changes are “unprecedented.”

Adam Briggle then constructs an argument from authority, namely that the IPCC’s statement upends Pielke jr.’s fact-based analysis.

The inverse is the more rational response. Namely that if Pielke jr. is factually correct — and he is — then the IPCC is necessarily wrong.

But Adam Briggle is evidently incapable of thinking independently.

So he surrendered himself to IPCC authority, and then blindly went on to construct a righteous and accusatory screed based upon his false logic.

Adam Briggle’s screed accomplished its main end, which is that it obscured from Mr. Briggle himself, his own failure of intellectual courage.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 12, 2019 11:14 pm

“It’s not the warming to now that matters”

So only imaginary warming from unvalidated models matters.

Facts.. not so much?

Is that what you are saying ??

Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2019 10:01 am

“Who controls the data controls the facts.”

Thanks to data-mongering, the past will always be colder than today and today will always be warmer than the past.

Danley Wolfe
Reply to  MarkG
January 13, 2019 12:09 pm

Who controls the data creates, not controls, the facts. If the data doesn’t fit the storyline, change the data, … i.e., “how to make the hiatus disappear” by changing the data, what Thomas Karl / NOAA in the months prior to the Dec 2015 UNFCCC conference at Le Bourget near Paris. This supported Barack Obama’s (not the United States) agreeing in principle to the Paris Accords. It was not ratified by the United States government. Karl’s results were reported in Science Express in June, 2015. As I understand it he and NOAA were subpoenaed by U.S. Congress, Lamar Smith’s Science and Technology committee to disclose all of the underlying data involved in restating the historical temperature data and refused. AAAS (American Association for the Advanced of Science, publisher of Science Magazine strongly supported Karl’s / NOAA’s refusal to disclose the scientific data. A good example of “just how transparent and honest) this U.S. government taxpayer funded body is. Any red flags???

Reply to  fred250
January 13, 2019 10:56 am

It’s like the zombie apocalypse. Zombie experiences of the past are well documented. I can show you endless hours of video footage of hundreds of humans being attacked by zombies, many of them famous actors. A trip to Haiti will quickly reveal the incredible (interpret with caution) devastation this can cause.
And yet this is already on the record. Zombie history is history. What matters now is spending all available money and borrowing more besides to prevent what we extrapolate to be the eventual consumption of EVERY HUMAN BRAIN ON THE PLANET!!!
Already we see a large percentage of the population unable to perform simple math or differentiate between fact and hypothesis or even rank speculation. Our leadership has been particularly effected, leading many to wonder if there is some conscious guidance behind this zombie nightmare, while others see only stupidity.
We are approaching the point where we will have to decide whether society needs to act. Is the zombie apocalypse real? Or have there always been idiots throughout human history?
Perhaps evolution is a somewhat unfocused engineer.

Jerry Henson
Reply to  john
January 13, 2019 2:13 pm

The zombie apocalypse must be real. Hornady sells ammo to repel them!

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  trafamadore
January 12, 2019 11:24 pm

You seem to be expecting a temperature hockey stick, soon.
But maybe not real soon, if you think 50 years of age is relevant. [Roger Pielke Jr’s age.]
Maybe you can clear up what you do think.
It’s not the warming to now that matters.

What change in T does matter? When? Why does there seem to be a delay?
What does “bad” mean to you?

Mike Bryant
Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 2:50 am

“It’s not the warming to now that matters”
That’s what they were saying in the 1980s…

D. Anderson
Reply to  Mike Bryant
January 13, 2019 7:24 am

In the 1980s they were saying “It’s not the cooling to now that matters”

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  D. Anderson
January 13, 2019 8:28 am

That was in the 1970s.

Mike Bryant
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 13, 2019 9:26 am

Me too, Kurt.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 13, 2019 5:45 pm

Wasn’t it the Ozone that mattered in the 80s?

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 14, 2019 2:47 am


Yes, in the 80s, Ozone was a thing (also in the 70s and the 90s).
In the 80s, there was also Peak Oil, Waldsterben, Species Extinction, Acid Rain, Nuclear Winter and Overpopulation (to name a few).

Mike Bryant
Reply to  D. Anderson
January 13, 2019 8:38 am
Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Mike Bryant
January 13, 2019 8:57 am


My response was to D. Anderson, not to you.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 5:04 am


A first comment utterly devoid of merit or facts.

Instead traffy daffy slings ad hominems and false claims against esteemed honorable Professor Roger Pielke, Jr.


“Adam Briggle, a philosopher at a third-rate institution called University of North Texas.
The article starts by dismissing the old-fashioned claptrap of Poincaré and Feynman”

Not even a pseudo scientist is accurate described by Dr. Lindzen:

“Low-quality scientific work and the low-quality scientists themselves are not being filtered out because they know how to use the fad and publish lousy papers that will be promoted by the environmental ideologues, anyway. That’s called the “opportunism of the weak”.

Briggle ignores science and focuses on demonizing legitimate science and scientists; even demonizing late physicists that rank amongst the greatest of scientists, ever.
Briggle specious claims regarding climate alarmist idealogue fantasies that marginalize and deride solid scientists, whereby Briggle attempts to benefit by riding climate alarmism anti-social and very anti-science despotic fads.

Daffy ignores that Briggle, himself, is apparently grinding an old axe.

“Briggle highlights two people who are guilty of fact-mongering: Roger Pielke Jr and Bjorn Lomborg. He says he was a student of Pielke’s 15 years ago”

i.e. Briggle chose a philosophy career rather than adhere to scientific process, procedures and factual observations.

Reply to  ATheoK
January 13, 2019 6:39 am

That’s called the “opportunism of the weak”.

I would call it parasitism. The correct thing for an organism to do is to expunge the parasites. The fact that it hasn’t happened is a sign that the system is sick, not just climate science but western civilization in general.

Another symptom of decline is laid out in The Coddling of the American Mind. People demand to be protected from the slightest disturbance. If climate change could possibly cause any inconvenience, some people demand to be protected from it. Of course, the adult reaction would be that you grow a set and deal with the world as it presents itself.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. H.L. Mencken

CAGW is one of those imaginary hobgoblins.

Reply to  ATheoK
January 13, 2019 10:45 am

Please tell me that Briggle’s article is satire—no one could be so delusional–even if from North Texas State.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ATheoK
January 13, 2019 12:17 pm

“Instead traffy daffy slings ad hominems”

Pot, kettle, black…

Roger Knights
Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 5:33 am

“It’s not the warming to now that matters.”

That’s not what Gore, Obama, and Pelosi are saying, which is: ^Look out your window, destructive climate change is all around us now.^ (Wildfires, hurricanes, excess-rain flooding, droughts.) Pielke is justified in rebutting that.

paul courtney
Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 6:49 am

I am trying to grasp the meaning of this new term, “fact-mongering.” Maybe it helps to see the opposite, one who “mongers” no facts. Thanks, traf.

Reply to  paul courtney
January 13, 2019 7:54 am

Fact mongering is using facts to convince people that there isn’t a problem, when activists need people to believe there is a problem in order to protect the income of the activists.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2019 8:58 am

“Fact mongering is using facts to convince people…”

We are truly living in an Owellian society:
Facts are bad.
Poincaré and Feynman are dismissed.
Freedom of speech is not tolerated.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
January 13, 2019 10:43 am

Facts are bad to those who want us to believe their fantasies. Why should they have to live in the real world, rather than their fantasy world? It’s just so NOT FAIR!

Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2019 10:28 pm

I think he should have said “Fact Mangling”

AGW is not Science
Reply to  ghl
January 16, 2019 12:30 pm

No, that’s what the Eco-Nazis do; they call it “adjustments.”

Steven Fraser
Reply to  paul courtney
January 14, 2019 2:04 pm

The word ‘monger’ denotes a ‘dealer or trader in a specified commodity’, i.e., ‘fishmonger’.

A secondary definition casts the commodity in a perjorative light, i.e., ‘warmonger’.

Based on this, I would think a ‘datamonger’ would be a good line of work.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 7:51 am

It’s not bad yet, and there isn’t a shred of evidence that it will ever get bad.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  MarkW
January 16, 2019 12:31 pm

Nor a shred of evidence that any of it is caused by CO2 level changes or the minuscule human contribution thereto.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 8:46 am

Joe Greene
Greene is widely considered one of the greatest defensive linemen to play in the NFL. He was noted for his leadership, fierce competitiveness, and intimidating style of play for which he earned his nickname.

Born and raised in Temple, Texas, Greene attended North Texas State University (now University of North Texas), where he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior playing for the North Texas State Mean Green football team.

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 8:48 am

Sort of an ‘edge of the earth’ scenario:
“Sure the waters look calm…now, but just you wait until we approach the edge! But, of course you cant see the edge… its over the horizon.”

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 9:33 am


Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 11:29 am

Your statement, “He’s to (sic) old to worry…” makes we wonder if you are confusing the age of Dr. Roger A. Pielke, Sr (PhD meteorology) age 72, with the age of Dr. Roger A. Pielke, Jr (PhD political science) age 50. Being well north of 50 myself, I contend Pielke, Jr, is not “too old.”

Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 12:38 pm

The correct spelling is “too old”, which he is clearly not.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  trafamadore
January 13, 2019 7:50 pm

You haven’t seen bad yet. We are in the middle of a bloody Ice Age, and when the ice sheets return, then you will see bad. Enjoy the warmth now and use it to prepare, that’s what humanity should do, because the ice will return, regardless of what we puny humans do.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Paul Penrose
January 16, 2019 12:34 pm

You said it. Campaigning against a warming climate is like campaigning against pleasant weather.

January 12, 2019 10:12 pm

“As far as I can tell, his thesis is logically, or empirically, flawless”

Nuff said.

Bill Powers
Reply to  tweak
January 13, 2019 4:26 am

Exactly! Briggle comes across as an over-educated pseudo-intellectual who bends words around a paragraph to make the salient point invisible.

Psuedo’s tend to gravitate to majors in fields like philosophy were they can spew nonsense sans facts. Briggle reads like a PPHD. in post modernist nonsense.

Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  Bill Powers
January 13, 2019 9:03 am

Briggle should be a new verb as in “You can briggle the facts all you want, but it still doesn’t change the truth.”

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
January 13, 2019 12:01 pm


Phil Rae
January 12, 2019 10:25 pm

Bjorn Lomborg is one of my personal heroes and has been since I first read The Skeptical Environmentalist back in 2002 or thereabouts. One of the most important works ever published IMHO. One of the few rational voices from academia at the time, Lomborg has continued to make eminently sensible suggestions about all aspects of the environment, climate change, energy and dealing with genuine world problems since then, much to the distaste of the Green Blob.

Briggle’s opinion counts for nothing!

Joseph Borsa
Reply to  Phil Rae
January 13, 2019 1:17 pm

I agree. I first read Lomborg’s seminal work “The Skeptical Environmentalist” almost two decades ago and found it to be a truly transformational piece of work. Uses hard facts to illuminate so many areas of false darkness. Of course it’s publication set off a fire-storm of criticism from the left, but the basic conclusions of Lomborg’s work have withstood the worst efforts of the crazed eco-fanatics.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
January 12, 2019 10:30 pm

All claims are subject to the test of truth.

If an irrational avoidance of disaster is untrue, in terms of speaking truth to the people or truth to power, then it should be corrected. Similarly, if irrational promotion of disaster is untrue, we must similarly speak the truth and correct it.

The IPCC in many places promotes alarm with dubious projections supported by dubious confidence. Calmly pointing out the truth of matters is what everyone should do, not just a few scientists. Being right can hardly be criticized as inappropriate.

What Briggle really objects to is that the IPCC’s information – the scientific content of its reports – is not alarming. That is the bottom line. The world is warming, and nothing untoward is happening. There is no sign that something untoward will happen. The political bosses want something to “probably happen” that they can claim credit for avoiding. That’s too bad. That is not how the world works. They want a world filled with dummies, which it isn’t.

Why should anyone be alarmed about something that is not alarming? Why is it “wrong” when you aren’t alarmed? Why am I wrong when I’m not?

Fact mongering – let’s look at the word “monger”

-monger. [ˈməNGɡər] [Combining form]
– denoting a dealer or trader in a specified commodity: “fishmonger”
– a person who promotes a specified activity, situation, or feeling, especially one that is undesirable or discreditable.

Spot on! A monger is promoting anything that someone considers “off message”. Remember that catch phrase from the Climategate emails? Right. So an assemblage of facts that demonstrates there is no looming catastrophe is “fact mongering” because….? Vested interests, maybe?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
January 12, 2019 10:59 pm

H.L. Mencken said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Fact mongers work to frustrate politicians, therefore politicians want so suppress the the fact mongers. Wise men listen to fact mongers and shun politicians.

Now who are the good guys and who are the bad guys?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 16, 2019 12:37 pm

H.L. Mencken, in that quote, penned the best one line description of “global warming” or “climate change” or whatever they call it next that has ever been written.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo but really in Beijing
January 13, 2019 6:40 am

“Being right can hardly be criticized as inappropriate.”

Good point, Crispin.

January 12, 2019 11:21 pm

“Where fear mongering can stoke irrational panic, fact mongering can cause irrational calm and complacency.”

Thoughts from a neurotic personality disorder? LOL

M Courtney
Reply to  eyesonu
January 13, 2019 12:59 am

Why do they assume that calm and complacency based upon facts are irrational?

Joel O’Bryan
January 12, 2019 11:21 pm

Briggle’s personal website offers a look into the madness of a modern-day inhabitant of Wonderland.

I have no doubt Dr Briggle personally approved of the blatant dishonesty and scare mongering in the fake documentary Gasland.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 12, 2019 11:56 pm

Yes, there was some spooky mind-set there. If you are looking for a philosopher’s viewpoint on fossil fuels, I suggest you try Alex Epstein at http://industrialprogress.com/. This boy has it together.

BTW, my daughter just got her MBA at UNT (formerly North Texas State), a school most famous for being the alma mater of “Mean” Joe Greene. Should I advise her to ask for her money back?

Reply to  secryn
January 13, 2019 4:42 am

Just what she spent on philosophy courses.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
January 13, 2019 5:04 am

Oh, and it looks like he’s raising his son (daughter?) transgender. Ain’t that sweet?

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  John DeFayette
January 13, 2019 2:08 pm

John DeFayette,

No, not particularly sweet. Boys, after all, are about nails, snails & puppy-dog tails, remember?

But what troubles me most is the parents’ decision to utilize their young one as a pawn to promote political activism, as a poster-child for the Trans-movement. It strikes me as simultaneously exploiting and exhibitionistic, potentially deeply damaging to the child’s development.

But I’ll reserve judgement on their parenting decisions – it’s their realm, not ours.

However, I take strong exception to Briggle’s article, which is nothing more than a hatchet-job, reminiscent of Lewandowsky’s tactics. Since Lomborg and Pielke, Jr. have made sound arguments, apparently motivating multiple individuals to question some at least some of the most egregious of catastrophic claims from the field of Climate Change (as well as the proposed recipes for mitigation of these), their voices should be celebrated in academia as contributing to the scientific discourse.

Instead, they are vilified for not having presented a sufficiently fear-mongering message, in keeping with the practices of their tribe of ‘climate-concerned’. Dissenting voices must be shamed and silenced. Briggle and his cohorts are thoroughly convinced of their own moral superiority of the catastrophic message, which itself is hopelessly corrupted, through the marriage of future climate conjecture with politics.

This is a fearsome development. It is a nefarious trend, which must be stopped.

It is instructive to note how vehemently the most prominent Lukewarmists are vilified (and by whom).

Pielke, Jr.

The radical Left is on a mission, the trappings of which are outright Orwellian. “Truth-mongering”, what a term. It trumps self-parody… and the author doesn’t even realize it.

It is instructive to read the comments to Briggle’s article. Pielke, Jr.’s response is eloquent and wise. The other commenters have also drunk the Kool-Aid.

Scroll down to “Facts And Fears”

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 17, 2019 7:57 pm

Followed the link , as you say comments well worth reading.


That Academic institutions are part of the Propaganda apparatus in late stage empires should not come as a suprise.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Obama, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”
Replace “Obama” with “Hitler”, and you have the original. It’s from Milton Mayer’s classic They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, and the words are those of a university colleague of the author, explaining “the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people.”

Bart Tali
January 12, 2019 11:25 pm

Facts just used to be facts. Then something happened and now facts have to be wrapped up in emotive text so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or even worse, not talked about at all, as if they don’t exist.

I’m not sure when this happened. I suppose it came about with social media’s rise and enough people living in bubbles they didn’t understand reality anymore.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Bart Tali
January 13, 2019 12:07 am

George Orwell predicted it. He was only off by 16 years. By the time around the year 2000 things started to coagulate and move sharply to the left. Political correctness started to get crazy. Communism started a revival after it took a beating 11 years before with the Berlin wall collapsing. The Global warming scam really ramped up. Leftests wrested control of many judgeships. We are now fully in George Orwell’s world where even Twitter has stopped banning people because they now have a computer generated vetting process for tweets. If your tweet has certain combinations of words it gets sent to cyberspace never to be seen. Twitter and Facebook are contributing to the suicide of the Greco Roman culture.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
January 13, 2019 10:45 am

It’s not suicide. It’s murder.

As you say, communists have spent decades taking over the institutions to turn them against the society that created them. That’s why the West is in the trouble it’s in; the vast majority of people never wanted this mess, just a small minority of evil people who want power and don’t care how they get it.

John V. Wright
January 12, 2019 11:28 pm

Breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. As I read Briggles article I became aware that I was shaking my head from side to side, flabbergasted not just by the sense of moral corruption which pervades it but also by the effrontery with which Briggles delivers it. That such people can exist in academia could lead one to despair – if it wasn’t for another realization that the article engenders. The sound you can hear is that of the bottom of the barrel being scraped. The sense of sheer desperation is palpable. This is what panic looks like in the warmist community.

Reply to  John V. Wright
January 13, 2019 12:10 am

I used to think that the bottom of the barrel had been reached with Lewandowsky. I stand corrected.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John V. Wright
January 13, 2019 7:02 am

“This is what panic looks like in the warmist community.”

Yes, they just can’t figure out why their dire warmings about CAGW are being ignored by the majority of the population, so they end up exploring weird avenues like this one about fearmongering and factmongering..

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 13, 2019 10:10 am

They’re frantically trying to dodge Occam’s Razorburn.

The simplest explanation is too distressing to accept, so any other will be enthusiastically pursued, no matter how far-fetched or insulting to the intelligence.

January 12, 2019 11:33 pm


Climate Politics as Manichean Paranoia – Roger Pielke Jr @ The GWPF, July 2017

This Talk at the Global Warming Policy Foundation is well worth watching.
Irresponsible Fact Mongering is a term which could be pulled right out of the Instruction Manual for Winston Smith in room 101.


Two main factors are driving the deterioration in prosperity. First, the underlying economy has been deteriorating, a trend disguised by the spending of borrowed money.
Second, in America as elsewhere, the trend cost of energy continues to increase markedly, even while market prices are trapped in a cyclical low. This cost acts as an “economic rent”, and translates into individual experience primarily through the cost of essentials, which are energy-intensive.

The Texas Paper is pure Fascism, Obedience to above and command from above, never question the Narrative. A false Narrative cannot withstand the Inconvenient truth being on the other Foot?

Hitler’s famous formula,
Verantwortung nach
oben, Autorität nach unten
, (responsibility towards above, authority towards below) nicely
rationalizes this character’s ambivalence.


January 12, 2019 11:46 pm

Didn’t someone about Darwin’s evolution, ‘let’s hope its not true, but if it is, it doesn’t become known!’

Briggle comes from the same school of thought.

M Courtney
January 13, 2019 1:02 am

In fairness, if you take the emotion, fantasies and panic out of climatology the subject is far more dull. And as such it would be far less funded.
That would be a disaster for people who earn their living off running the Ghost Train.

This fairground barker is begging for his living.

Reply to  M Courtney
January 13, 2019 9:54 am

Ha, ha. A tempest in a teacup, writ large.

E J Zuiderwijk
January 13, 2019 1:21 am

What Briggles really means is data molestation. Or is it data fiddling? His focus on skeptics is a clever ruse to get the message across.

Alternatively, should philosophers dabbling in climate matters be locked up and forced to drink hemlock?

January 13, 2019 2:13 am

Alemonger, fishmonger, factmonger. I can wear that.

Mike Bryant
January 13, 2019 2:22 am

“Fact mongering” is more simply called telling the truth. I’m sick of academia’s penchant for renaming everything. And why is calmness linked with complacency? Every good thing is accomplished by calm and steady effort. Complacency is the sin of those who have been panicked into profligacy. Don’t be complacent. Reject the snake oil that’s been peddled by the fear mongers.

January 13, 2019 2:27 am

Briggle is just another example of the truly evil and destructive philosophical cults of NeoMarxism and Postmodernism started in the early/mid 20th century by French and German philosophers such as: Baudrillard, Lyotard, Foucault, Haliemas and Grünberg.

These despicable philosophies postulate there are no moral, logical, ethical and empirical truths (which are deem “artificial constructs”), and that “reality” is merely defined by what one believes to be true at any point in time, despite irrefutable empirical evidence proving such notions are impossible.

These despicable philosophies soon infected Leftist US colleges and universities, and were later subtly inculcated into public K-12 schools, which partially explains why our public schools have become so terrible.

The embracement of Postmodernism and neoMarxism will eventually lead to the death of Western Civilization as these evil philosophies are the antithesis of empiricism, natural law, logic, rationality and Judeo~Christian ethics upon which modern Western Civilization and the Enlightenmet were founded.

CAGW apologists love postmodernism as they are no longer bound by the rules of the Scientific Method, so even though virtually all emprical evidence show CAGW to be disconfirmed hypothesis, it’s still blindly believed by Leftists because it’s a convenient wrecking ball to destroy Western Civilization and Capitalism.

Anyone who points out the irrefutable fallacies of CAGW and hard empirical evidence are now deemed “truth mongers”—again, the death of Western Civilization..

Sure, CAGW “scientists” pretend to adhere to the Scientific Method, but they accomplish this through lies and the manipulation of raw data, which isn’t a problem under postmodernism because morals, ethics, logic, truth, and rational thought are mere “abritrary constructs”—the ends justify the means…

It’s my sincere hope that the demise of CAGW will be the catalyst to the demise of neomarxism and postmodernism.. so many naive Leftists sincerely and unequivocally believe CAGW is an existential threat to humanity. When they find out CAGW was the biggest and most expensive hoax in human history, perhaps they’ll learn it was evil philosophies of neomarxism and postmodernism which allowed this hoax to continue for as long as it did…

We’ll soon see if my hopes are justified..

Reply to  SAMURAI
January 13, 2019 2:44 am

That’s from before postmodernism. «…so much the worse for the facts» is Hegel.

Reply to  TBeholder
January 13, 2019 4:40 am


Yes, Hegelism was the precursor of: Marxism/Socialism/neoMarxism/postmodernism philosophies.

It’s a shame that even with Marxist/Socialist regimes killing 100+ million of their citizens in the 20th century, and destroying so many econimies and cultures, these evil philosophies are now gaining in popularity…

When will people start learning from history?

Jarrett Rhoades
Reply to  SAMURAI
January 13, 2019 3:49 am


Mike Bryant
January 13, 2019 2:35 am

“Where fear mongering can stoke irrational panic, fact mongering can cause irrational calm and complacency.”
Fear mongering stokes irrational panic, telling the truth instills calmness and rationality.

January 13, 2019 2:52 am

He is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.

Philosophy used to be a part of deterministic science, as deductive reasoning, based on facts. Clearly any such rational tendency has left the subject and it has no part to play in rational debate. This guy Biggles seems close to the level of the Bruce’s philosophers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9SqQNgDrgg

Beliefs are beliefs as order are orders to such zealots. And, ultimately, he lacks the education to understand the facts. While ad hom is inappropriate in real science it is the very stuff of climate climate change alarmism. No attempt at debating on the facts is made by Biggles, he merely attacks the messengers of fact with unsupported assertion.

For a scientific criticism of such an approach let Richard Feynman explain, philosophy joins sociology as a non science:

Reply to  Brian RL Catt
January 13, 2019 3:13 am

My guess is that Briggle (Bruce) is in charge if the sheep dip . . .

Reply to  ChrisDinBristol
January 13, 2019 3:17 am

. . . Of the sheep dip (bloody phone!) . . .

Allan MacRae
January 13, 2019 3:08 am

I am dictating this response, so kindly pardon the typos.

First, the climate alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record – every one of their very-scary predictions about dangerous global warming and wilder weather has failed to materialize.

In science, the ability to predict is probably the best objective measure of one’s competence, and the failed predictions of the IPCC and the warmest camp are proof of their utter incompetence. Nobody should believe them.

Earth is clearly colder than optimum today. Evidence of this reality is the number of excess winter deaths that occur every year, totalling about 2 million souls.

Last winter, United Kingdom had more than 50,000 excess winter deaths, as compared with an average of 100,000 per winter in the USA, a country with five times the population of Britain. This was a national tragedy, and it was clearly exacerbated by costly, foolish green energy policies implemented by Tony Blair and successors.

Cheap, abundance, reliable energy is the lifeblood of society. Fully 85% of global primary energy is fossil fuels, unchanged in decades. Foolish greens want to eliminate fossil fuels. Do that tomorrow and almost everyone in the developed world is dead within a month from starvation and exposure.

When imbecilic/corrupt politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. Most politicians are so ignorant about energy systems that they should not even opine, let alone set energy policy.

To date, green energy systems have been an unmitigated, costly disaster, driving up costs and increasing excess winter deaths. We predicted this green energy disaster in 2002, and it has unfolded as we predicted.

Sent from my iPhoneAmnn

Reply to  Allan MacRae
January 14, 2019 4:13 pm

“First, the climate alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record – every one of their very-scary predictions about dangerous global warming and wilder weather has failed to materialize.”

Some of them have been doozies. I really wish I had kept a list! Has anyone perhaps compiled these many failed predictions and posted them on some obscure webpage? I would love to see them in one place. Comic relief.

Reply to  mikesmith
January 15, 2019 2:35 am

“Has anyone perhaps compiled these many failed predictions and posted them on some obscure webpage?”

Here is one such list – there are better ones:


Bill In Oz
January 13, 2019 3:19 am

Adam Briggle, a third rate philosopher ? Yes

So why give his dopey writings any breathe of publicity ?

The silly bugger will be wetting his knickers in excitemnet at having scored this write up in WUWT

Robert of Ottawa
January 13, 2019 4:14 am

Climate as we know it is deceptively normal but it will get worse, irrespective of facts.

Larry Geiger
January 13, 2019 5:36 am

Dr. Pielke is the bomb!! Love that guy. Him and Steven.

January 13, 2019 6:23 am

Thanks, Charles, for the article from the guys over at CliScep . . . they do great work!

Mark - Helsinki
January 13, 2019 6:37 am

Adam Briggle
‏ @adambriggle
7 Aug 2017

Lenin’s Eco-Warriors https://nyti.ms/2vbvwBT

All you need to know, another mentally ill progressive

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
January 13, 2019 7:40 am

Hello Mark,

Per the NYT, the article to which you linked is authored by a Fred Strebeigh.

RED CENTURY – Lenin’s Eco-Warriors
By Fred Strebeigh

Where do you see a connection to Briggle?

January 13, 2019 7:15 am

I would love to see climate alarmists address real science. They are given a pass by simply claiming consensus. The problem is they are never forced to address explanations that the average person would understand. Here is something climate alarmists should be forced to refute.

An Einstein Thought Experiment on Climate Change

George Daddis
January 13, 2019 7:28 am

Briggle’s argument of “cherry picking” makes no sense.

What he doesn’t mention are the words in bold at the top of the same (IPCC) report stating that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and changes are “unprecedented.”

1. The statement that “warming of the system is unequivocal” does not say that that warming is catastrophic or even dangerous. That attempt at “misrepresentation” (his word) has been used by everyone including Obama and Mann. Dr. Pielke has made it clear in all of his works that he assumes adding CO2 to the atmosphere has a warming effect. (Isn’t that then “cherry picking” as defined by Briggle?)

2. The 2nd statement regarding “unprecedented changes” is obviously what Dr. Pielke is challenging; and per Briggle “As far as I can tell, his thesis is logically, or empirically, flawless.”

So where is the rationale for his criticism?!?

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  George Daddis
January 13, 2019 8:18 am

George Daddis,

Solid points. The ‘rationale’ for Briggle’s criticism would appear to be that neither Pielke Jr., nor Lomborg have accepted the authority of Mainstream Climate Science / UN IPCC, thus these individuals’ rationale for pushing back against alarmist rhetoric repeated on a daily basis by so-called climate activists.

Per Briggle’s employer, he is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Philosophy and Religion, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at the University of North Texas. He received a PhD in environmental studies from the U of C before being paid by a Dutch university in the subject of Philosophy of Technology, specifically the “intersections of ethics and policy with science and technology”.

Based on his writing*, Briggle has obviously “drunk the Kool-Aid” as have likely many of his colleagues and friends [regarding society’s need to act immediately to reduce our collective CO2 footprint].

As such, he is merely arguing what he believes is a solid position of authority. This is rather sad, one could almost say disqualifying, for an Associate Professor of Philosophy.

He is essentially doing the grunt work of the self-appointed authorities, naming and shaming public intellectuals whose ‘lukewarmist’ positions might temper the zeal of the masses to support the cause.

*Briggle has also penned articles and essays for Salon, Science Progress, Slate and Truthout (underlying his deep opposition to fracking).

Don Jindra
January 13, 2019 7:56 am

My wife and I (and my sons) went to the University of North Texas. It’s not a third rate institution. That’s just a backdoor ad hominem. Stick to fact, not opinions, particularly when they are logical fallacies on top of opinion.

Reply to  Don Jindra
January 13, 2019 8:31 am


In all fairness to the author of this post, I just checked US News and World Report’s ranking of University of North Texas, Which put it at #96~127th for regional universities, so how would you describe such a low-ranking?

It certainly isn’t a 1st or 2nd tier national university, which leaves…..

Just sayin’…

Don Jindra
Reply to  SAMURAI
January 13, 2019 8:43 am

With all due respect to US New, they have no ability to rank such things. It’s like those surveys that try to tell us the top ten beaches, or the top ten places to live. They’re all garbage. We’re becoming a culture that believes in the garbage others generate. There is no ‘best’ university. All education is what the individual puts into it. It doesn’t matter where he goes to school. To me, that kind of thought — the thought that a university makes you — is just masked socialism.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Don Jindra
January 13, 2019 9:47 am

It’s understandable that you would take offence, but it should not be taken as an attack on alumni. It is an attack on the faculty. It’s obviously true that you get from education what you put into it. Yet you are more likely to get something out of your efforts if your teachers are competent. If you are competent despite incompetent teaching, then you get a gold star.

Don Jindra
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 13, 2019 3:21 pm

That’s a difficult question — how does one measure a competent teacher? I’m glad I didn’t have a Chomsky. I only had one incompetent teacher (English Lit.). In my experience — granted it was a long time ago — the best teachers tend to get run out of town due to professional jealousy.

John Endicott
Reply to  Don Jindra
January 14, 2019 11:04 am

With all due respect to US New, they have no ability to rank such things

Indeed. A lot of these rankings in MSM news outlets tend to be subjective opinions masquerading as objective news. That said, many of them claim some kind non-opinion based set of criteria behind their rankings. So while I agree that such rankings are largely garbage for the most part. sometimes the criteria for the ranking actually have some validity (it really does depend on the criteria and how that criteria is assessed). For example, A ranking of “most expensive universities” that used tuition, cost of books, dorm expenses, available scholarship and other financial costs and aids as the criteria would probably come up with a fairly decent ranking of how expensive each university was, on average, compared to it’s peers. Even if it might not be a good ranking for a particular individual (due to their circumstances being different than the assumptions of the criteria – ie they will be commuting instead of living in the dorm, don’t qualify for some of the scholarships the ranking considered, etc).

Bottom line, take any such rankings with a large dose of sodium chloride, but unless you’ve looked into the criteria behind the ranking (and how said criteria was assessed), don’t be so quick to dismiss it out of hand as total garbage either – there might actually be some valid points that can be found when digging into the details.

January 13, 2019 8:10 am

This Briggle fellow reminds me about the old story about the two academic subjects with the lowest equipment budgets.

The second lowest is the Mathematics department. They only need pencil, paper and eraser.

The lowest is the Philosophy department. They only need pencil and paper.

Greg Cavanagh
January 13, 2019 8:15 am

I feel I need to re-write the title.

Pielke and Lomborg accused of facts.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
January 13, 2019 10:06 am

Much better title. Anthony and Charles are solid writers, but their titles could be much better and draw a larger audience.

January 13, 2019 8:43 am

I am Majikthise.

And I demand that I am Vroomfondel.

It’s all right, you don’t need to demand that.

Alright. I am Vroomfondel, and that is not a demand! That is a solid fact! What we demand is solid facts!

No we don’t! That’s precisely what we don’t demand.

Oh. We don’t demand solid fact! What we demand is a total absence of solid facts! I demand that I may or may not be Vroomfondel.

Who are you anyway?

We are philosophers.

January 13, 2019 9:11 am

Wow! I would think a response from the faculty body is in order.

Al miller
January 13, 2019 10:24 am

What is truly sad is that Mr. Briggle (and many others) are willing to sell out shamelessly to the flavours of the day in order to gain some personal “glory”. All the warmist narrative continues to expose those with incredibly low morals and high hypocrisy quotas. The same crowd will without a doubt simply move on to the next thing when the warmist fad is over.

Bill Murphy
January 13, 2019 10:34 am

“Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can’t think of anything better.”
Samuel Langhorne Clemens AKA Mark Twain

Briggle (not to mention Mann, Hansen, Karl and the rest) seem to have adopted old Sam Clemens’ adage as their standard M.O. Unfortunately, they lack his insight, humor and intelligence. Sad.

January 13, 2019 10:52 am


truth mongering

integrity mongering

proof mongering

In other words, choose any term ordinarily understood to be a good thing, and convert it to a bad thing by adding “mongering” to it.

Now let me apply “mongering ” properly — language-abuse mongering ?

John Robertson
January 13, 2019 11:03 am

Briggles the message beautifully.
Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.

Well, has this not been the message right from the beginning of the UN IPCC ?
Facts are the enemy of fraud.
Up here in Canada our Minister of Climate Change has “No time for deniers”.
And the intellectual capacity of a cabbage, but thats politics.

Briggles highlights the obvious, the end is nigh.
The catastrophic Global warming meme is worn out and does not sell.
Watch it blow up , now it has a real cost to the citizens.

Fantasy is wonderful,until a huckster tries to make you pay for nothing.
When all the meme has left is the likes of Briggles all thats left is incoherent giggles.

January 13, 2019 11:57 am

Let’s see the code talker messages that said all psych faculty could get a raise or promotion off this global PR push contribution from their profession.

January 13, 2019 12:05 pm

He nailed Lomborg…

January 13, 2019 12:07 pm

Yes, all these facts repress peoples feelings and of course the idea is to make people think and act rationally instead of irrational and fear driven. We dont know yet how to control rational people, very dangerous situation.

January 13, 2019 7:30 pm

Biggles states “What he doesn’t mention are the words in bold at the top of the same report stating that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and changes are “unprecedented.”

Can anyone help me here? I have IPCC AR5 WG1 open in front of me right now.
( http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_ALL_FINAL.pdf )
But cannot see anywhere the bolded words “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” or “unprecedented”.
Am I looking at the wrong page?

John Endicott
Reply to  JCalvertN(UK)
January 14, 2019 11:16 am

It’s not in “bold” or “at the top of the report”. What it is, is part of the foreword page near the beginning (on page 7 of the PDF):
“The report confirms that warming in the climate system is unequivocal, with many of the observed changes unprecedented over decades to millennia”. The foreword is written by bureaucrats for bureaucrats (there’s no actual science in the foreword) and as such the ramblings of the foreword really have no place in a discussion of the scientific facts.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
January 14, 2019 11:18 am

The bold in my post is my highlighting the relevant words. That bold does not exist in the PDF.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
January 14, 2019 11:35 am

it’s also found in it’s own box *at the bottom* of page 20 in the PDF – in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) which is more editorial content written by bureaucrats for bureaucrats

Reply to  John Endicott
January 15, 2019 5:21 pm

Thanks for that. I had to go off to work before I could do a proper search. When I did get round to it, the search confirmed what you have just said.

January 13, 2019 9:23 pm

I’m confused. Is it that “alarmism” and “fearmongering” are applicable terms only when the user deems the alarm or fear to be exaggerated or unfounded? Or is it that, as F.D. Roosevelt famously said, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” – or as Voltaire’s Pangloss said “we live in the best of all possible worlds”? If that is the case, why rant against fearmongers and alarmists? Relax and enjoy your paradise.

I also wonder what being a professor at a “third rate institution” has to do with the quality of one’s arguments? Should the thoughts of those who live in third rate states be similarly disparaged?

John Endicott
Reply to  otropogo
January 14, 2019 10:34 am

I also wonder what being a professor at a “third rate institution” has to do with the quality of one’s arguments? Should the thoughts of those who live in third rate states be similarly disparaged?

It’s an ad hominem attack to be sure.
However, putting that aside and looking at the logic of the statement: Universities are places of learning, the quality of the university is based on the quality of the learning which means it’s classes which in turn is based on the quality of it’s professors. So if a University is third-rate that means it’s classes are third-rate and thus it’s professors are third-rate. It’s a back-door way of saying the guys an idiot/not very good at his job.

what makes states third-rate? well it’s not necessarily the thoughts of those who live in them (the state could be filled with deep-thinking Steven Hawking-types, but the roads could be in extreme disrepair because the wheelchair bound don’t make for very good manual laborers) so your analogy falls flat. But ignoring that, what makes states third-rate is the quality of living in those states, which is dependent on may variables – cost of living, state government laws/regulations, state of the infrastructure (for example, the aforementioned roads), etc. thoughts of individuals are pretty far down the list of variables. That said, some people have been disparaged over the state they live in (being called rednecks or hillbillies or worse – indicating they aren’t very bright or very enlightened based on the fact that they live in certain southern states, for example).

Mike Bryant
January 14, 2019 7:19 am

otro… speaking of factmongering… you’ve been Briggled…

Caligula Jones
January 14, 2019 9:55 am

“may be literally true, but also rhetorically questionable”

Orwell weeps.

“Fake, but true”.

Or, “progressives see something work in practice, but debate whether it would work in theory”.

John Endicott
January 14, 2019 10:41 am

the penalties for researchers who engage in FFP are severe

Ok, I’m stumped. (it’s probably something obvious that’s just escaping me but…) What does FFP stand for?

Reply to  John Endicott
January 14, 2019 2:16 pm
John Endicott
Reply to  Jon
January 15, 2019 6:51 am

Thank you Jon

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  John Endicott
January 14, 2019 2:55 pm


Do read the linked article by Briggle in “Issues in Science and Technology” — a link to it is found in the second sentence of the article here.

John Endicott
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
January 15, 2019 6:52 am


see Jon’s reply for a more reasonably worded reply that directly answers the question

John Endicott
January 14, 2019 11:33 am

What he doesn’t mention are the words in bold at the top of the same report stating that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and changes are “unprecedented.” When Pielke says the IPCC substantiates his claims, that may be literally true, but also rhetorically questionable. When does a reasonable argument slip into cherry-picking, or cherry-picking slide into misrepresentation?

1) it’s not “at the top of the report”, it’s part of the foreword (where it’s not in bold), which is at the beginning of the report (on the 7th page of the PDF version of IPCC AR5 WG1) and repeated in the SPM (at the bottom of page 20, where it is in it’s own little box, in the PDF)
2) The foreword and SPM contains no actual science. They’re basically an editorial/opinion piece written by bureaucrats for bureaucrats.
3) if you are looking at the science facts (as Pielke is doing) it’s not cherry picking to focus on the actual science facts in the document rather than the editorial content (that is science-free) designed for bureaucrats.

Weylan McAnally
January 14, 2019 1:46 pm

I am quite familiar with the University of North Texas since I have a psychology degree from there.

It is a university with 38,000 enrollment. It was originally called Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute. It then became North Texas Normal College. Then it was North Texas State Teachers College. Then it was North Texas State College. Then North Texas State University. And finally the University of North Texas.

It is well known for its music program. Famous alums include Roy Orbison, Nora Jones, Don Henley, Pat Boone and Meatloaf. Its jazz music program has been ranked #1 since 1994 and the student 1 O’clock Lab band has been nominated for a Grammy. It also has a rather robust Theater program with alums like Thomas Hayden Church, Peter Weller and Joe Don Baker. Other famous alums include Mean Joe Greene, Bill Moyers, Phyllis George and Ann Rice.

It is considered a Tier 2 research university in Texas, not third tier. It has a medical school, pharmacy school and Engineering program.

I have taken science classes at three universities (University of Miami, University of North Texas and University of Texas at Austin) and the science classes at North Texas are legitimate. In fact, my cell biology course at North Texas was almost identical to my first class at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy. The UT College of Pharmacy is considered a top 5 pharmacy school.

Is it an elite research university? No. Is it third rate? No.

Steve O
Reply to  Weylan McAnally
January 14, 2019 4:49 pm

The “downgrade” was simply a non-factual insult. It provides a good illustration of why inflammatory insults are counterproductive, and dilute the power of the overall message. Also, the name “University of North Texas” is a perfectly credible name for a major university, unlike some of the previous names. It sure took them enough edits to get there!

Reply to  Weylan McAnally
January 17, 2019 7:51 am

Some Fact Mongering for your consideration. A Twitter analysis about the 2016 Election of Donald Trump
Very Interesting.
Climate Change Twitter Analysis
Go to the profile of John Swain
John Swain
Apr 26, 2016
First published (in modified form) on Carbon Brief 26 April 2016.


Steve O
January 14, 2019 4:42 pm

The main point of the original article is that non-scientists are sounding alarm bells to a much greater extent than are the actual scientists. The accusation that the scientists aren’t “alarmist enough” seems to be a common one. Of course, one possible explanation is that there is less cause for alarm in the actual science than in the public prognostications of doom, and that the fear-mongering is not as justified as is generally represented.

No, that can’t be it. It must be that there is something wrong with the scientists.

Reply to  Steve O
January 14, 2019 11:45 pm

“No, that can’t be it. It must be that there is something wrong with the scientists.”

First of all, it’s silly to lump all “scientists” together. They don’t all agree, and some disagree emphatically. Scientific truth is not determined by a majority vote. Sheep are not that smart, nor that courageous.

Second, what’s so new about scientists cowering under the umbrella of conformity/orthodoxy from the guillotine of academic or even social ostracism? I would say that scientists are more prone than the average person to be fearful of social conflict. That’s probably why most of them became “scientists”.

A writer whose name must not be mentioned here documented in great detail how fastidiously the prominent “scientists” of the 18th and 19th centuries avoided even the slightest consideration that any sudden global catastrophes might ever have occurred., despite striking the evidence to the contrary.

They stolidly maintained that globally catastrophic events happened only at glacially slow speeds, and hence there was no need to be alarmed about such things. Of course they didn’t know about nuclear power, asteroid impacts, CMEs, or our capacity to poison our environment.

Reply to  Steve O
January 14, 2019 11:47 pm

I replied to your comment, but my post was instantly removed, despite failing to mention the “writer who must not be named”. The sheep have gotten hypersensitive to critical thought.

January 14, 2019 11:48 pm

I replied to your comment, but my post was instantly removed, despite failing to mention the “writer who must not be named”. The sheep have gotten hypersensitive to critical thought. And then this comment got a snappy response. “you already said that”. So – are you going to let others read it?

John Endicott
Reply to  otropogo
January 15, 2019 6:56 am

I suspect it wasn’t “instantly removed” (as it is currently there) instead it just wasn’t instantly available. Ever since the “upgrade” to the new forum software, I’ve noticed that some posts are instantly available while others take a few minutes before appearing. There is no apparent reason for the behavior.

January 16, 2019 8:45 pm

Thanks for the heads up. My preceding post had displayed and stayed displayed immediately after submission. The follow up disappeared as soon as I hit “post commnent”. The two subsequent ones above disappeared immediately also and were replaced by a pop-up that said “duplicate detected – you already said that”. Then why were they eventually displayed? After all, there’s nothing the poster can do after submitting the post.

Past posts have been automatically censored (as the moderator subsequently explained) because they addressed banned topics or used banned words or phrases. I wonder why a program deemed intelligent enough to exercise such censorship could not also give the specific reason for such censorship to the poster?

I’ve also noticed that ticking the boxes below doesn’t result in any notifications at my end any more.

January 18, 2019 1:12 pm

Thanks for reposting Paul’s article. Can you put us in your right hand Bookmark column? Thanks.

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