Understanding the climate movement: the impotence of science.

Guest post by Dr Paul Rossiter.

Like many other ethical and well-meaning scientists, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the climate “science” debate. By resorting to rigorous measurement and analysis of real data, we have a reasonable (but perhaps naïve) expectation that the facts will determine the outcome of the AGW argument. And yet, despite the huge amount of information available, much of it through sites such as WUWT, it appears that the popular debate is clearly being won by the alarmists. Seemingly reputable organisations like IPCC, WHO, WWF, NASA, NOAA, CSIRO, EPA keep issuing reports heralding pending climate doom that appear to be at odds with any unbiased examination of the facts. And when they do, they are immediately picked up by an opportunistic mainstream press and amplified through social media, leading to widespread fear amongst the population, clearly evident in the recent “strikes for the climate”. Ill-informed adolescents become the new Messiahs, preaching the climate doom gospel and given standing ovations in the fact-free climate gab-fests. School children are now the upset victims of corporate (i.e. fossil fuel) greed and government stupidity.

Governments are naturally sensitive to popular sentiment and, with the goal of remaining in power, they ride the wave through policy and spending settings. Behind all of this there are the opportunists, both private and corporate, fanning the flames for financial gain. Anyone who has the gall to express an opposing view is pilloried and even suffered potential personal and financial ruin through public humiliation and termination of employment. Free speech is no longer tolerated.

That the ethical scientific community appears to be losing the debate indicates that there are much more potent forces at play, both ideological and financial. It appears that the whole climate debate is little more than a convenient vehicle to push a deeper agenda. Scientific fact, of which there is much debate in WUWT, is little more than a bye-line.

While browsing through the introduction in a new book: The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray, a lot of the pieces started to fall into focus. Although this text is not directly concerned with climate issue (its main focus is gender and race), it became clear to me that the same powerful underlying social drivers were at work. The introduction includes the following:

We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant. The daily news cycle is filled with the consequences. We see the symptom everywhere, we do not see the causes.

This is the simple fact that we have been living through a period of more than a quarter of a century in which all our grand narratives have collapsed.

The explanations for our existence that used to be provided by religion went first, falling away from the nineteenth century onwards. The over the last century the secular hopes held out by all political ideologies began to follow in religion’s wake. In the latter part of the twentieth century we entered the postmodern era. An era which defined itself, and was defined by, its suspicion to all grand narratives. However, as all schoolchildren learn, nature abhors a vacuum, and into the postmodern vacuum new ideas began to creep, with the intention of providing explanations and meanings of their own.

Whatever else they lacked, the grand narratives of the past gave life meaning. The question of what exactly we are meant to do now – other than get rich where we can and have whatever fun is on offer – was going to have to be answered by something.

The answer that has presented itself in recent years is to engage in new battles, ever fiercer campaigns and ever more niche demands. To find meaning by waging a constant war against anybody who seems to be on the wrong side of a question which may itself have just been reframed and the answer to which has just been altered.

The interpretation of the world through the lens of “social justice”, ‘identity groups and ‘intersectionalism’ is probably the most audacious and comprehensive effort since the end of the Cold War at creating a new ideology.

The speed at which they have been mainstreamed is staggering.

To me that begins to provide an understanding of the impotence of the “scientific” debate. We are not just battling scientific fraud, misrepresenting and cherry-picking data, we are up against a huge social dynamic, almost a new meaning for life no less!

Later in the book he states:

For most people some awareness of this new system has become clear not so much by trial and error as by very public error. Because one thing that everybody has begun to at least sense in recent years is that a set of tripwires has been laid across the culture. Sometimes a person’s foot has unwittingly nicked the tripwire and they have been immediately blown up. On other occasions people have watched some brave madman walking straight into no man’s land, fully aware of what they are doing. After each resulting detonation there is some disputation and then the world moves on, accepting that another victim has been notched up to the odd, apparently improvisatory value system of our time.

What everyone does know are the things that people will be called if their foot even nicks against these freshly laid tripwires. ‘Bigot’, homophobe’, ‘sexist’, ‘misogynist’, racist, and ‘transphobe’ are just for starters.

In our context, “climate denier” clearly needs to be added to the list.

He goes on:

The rights fights of our time have centered around these toxic and explosive issues. But in the process these rights issues have moved from being a product of a system to being the foundations of a new one. To demonstrate affiliation with the new system people must prove their credentials and their commitment.

This is how to demonstrate virtue in this new world.

Each of these issues is infinitely more complex and unstable than our societies are currently willing to admit. Which is why, put together as the foundation blocks of a new morality and metaphysics, they form the basis for a general madness. Indeed, a more unstable basis for social harmony could hardly be imagined.

If for no other reason than that each of these issues is a deeply unstable component in itself. We present each as agreed upon and settled. Yet while the endless contradictions, fabrication s and fantasies within each are visible to all, identifying them is not just discouraged but literally policed. And so we are asked to agree things which we cannot believe. It is the central cause of ugliness both online and real-life discussion.

That sounds very familiar in the climate debate! He then presents the case that there is an underlying ideology providing the energy and philosophy driving the whole movement: its Marxist foundations:

In 1911 a famous poster appeared, entitled ‘Industrial Workers of the World’, depicting what it claimed to be the ‘Pyramid of the Capitalist System’. At the bottom of the pyramid were the brave men, women and children of the working class. With their proud, sturdy yet struggling shoulders they were holding up the entire edifice. A floor above them, wining and dining in black tie and evening dresses were the well -off capital classes. Above them were the military, clergy, monarch and finally at the top was a great bag of money with dollar signs on the outside. ‘Capitalism’ was the label for this highest tier of State.

The embodiment of this philosophy in the current context is similarly rooted in ‘social justice’. Here the pyramid has been transformed into a new one with the virtuous victim at the bottom, bearing all the pain and anguish of the forecast climate change, the smug climate deniers at the next level and the bag of fossil fuel money at the top.

Murray goes on:

The purpose of large sections of academia had ceased to be exploration, discovery or dissemination of truth. The purpose had instead become the creation, nurture and propogandization of a particular, and peculiar, brand of politics. The purpose was not academia, but activism.

This was make-believe masquerading as science .

This movement has been incredibly successful since it is nurtured and propagated right through the education system by teachers and academics with a strong leaning to the political left. The power of this dynamic is the subject of another text: The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. We are not just battling scientific fraud, but a whole system of leftist ideology deeply embedded throughout the entire education system.


One of the traits of the Marxist thinkers has always been that they do not stumble or self-question in the face of contradiction, as anybody aiming at the truth might. Marxists have always rushed to contradiction.

By contrast, anybody who got in the way of this direction of travel found themselves mown down with astonishing vigour. The weapons at hand (accusations of racism etc. (include climate denier)) were all too easy to wield and there was no price to pay for wielding them unfairly, unjustifiably or frivolously.

In the climate debate, this has been manifest in many ways: banning non-alarmist comment from print (e.g. The Guardian), TV (e.g. the BBC), live (banning guest presenters) and on-line platforms (e.g. the “The Conversation” site). It has also been manifest in stacking IPCC panels to exclude dissenting opinions and even “de-platforming” countries form the UN Climate summit (e.g. USA and Australia). Possibly the most offensive actions are discontinuing or sacking academics for expressing opinions that don’t toe the party line (e.g. Peter Ridd, Murry Salby, Bob Carter, Bjorn Lomborg, and others).

He then comments on the series of spoof articles submitted to social science journals and accepted after peer review. The same comments apply to much of the pseudo-science disseminated by the alarmists:

The spoofs made a number of deadly serious points. Not that just these areas of academic study had become playgrounds for frauds, but there was absolutely nothing that could not be said, studied or claimed so long as it fitted into the pre-existing theories and presumptions of the relevant fields and utilised its disastrous language.

He then looks at how the new ideology has propagated so quickly:

If the foundations of the new metaphysics are precarious and the presumptions that we are being asked to follow seem subtly wrong, then it is the addition into the mix of the communications revolution that is causing the conditions for the crowd madness. If we are already running in the wrong direction then tech helps us to run there exponentially faster.

Social media turns out to be a superlative way to embed new dogmas and crush contrary opinion just when you need to listen to them most.

Furthermore, it has now emerged that many such platforms have inbuilt bias to promote the agenda. This is manifest in the results of searches on platforms like Google which often exhibit bias to a particular point of view. Many are not just impartial sources of information but a cog in the whole mechanism of social change. Murray attributes this to the left-leaning academics and technologists that have built many of these platforms.

He finishes on a slightly depressing note:

People looking for this movement to wind down because of its inherent contradictions will be waiting a long time. Firstly because they are ignoring the Marxist sub-structure of much of this movement, and the inherent willingness to rush towards contradiction rather than notice all these nightmarish crashes suggests that it is really not interested in solving any of the problems that it claims to be interested in. It is expressed not in the manner of a critic hoping to improve, but as an enemy eager to destroy.

The new metaphysics includes a call to find meaning in this game: to struggle, and fight and campaign and ‘ally’ ourselves with people in order to reach that promised land. In an era without purpose, and in a universe without clear meaning, this call to politicize everything and then fight for it has an undoubted attraction. It fills life with meaning, of a kind. Politics may be an important aspect of our lives, but as a source of personal meaning it is disastrous. Not just because the ambitions it strives after nearly always go unachieved, but because finding purpose in politics laces politics with a passion – including rage – that perverts the whole enterprise. If two people are in disagreement about something important, they may disagree amicably as they like if it is just a matter of getting to the truth or the most amenable option. But if one party finds their whole purpose in life to reside in some aspect of that disagreement, then the chances of amicability fade fast and the likelihood of reaching any truth recedes.

There are very powerful agencies driving this agenda, both at the national level: left vs right political parties vying for control, as well as bodies such as the UN and EU striving for global influence. Just how the powerful Green/Left protagonists managed to infiltrate key political positions in Europe and the U.S. and to establish (or gain control of) institutions that gave them unquestioned authority over the subject is described in considerable detail in Rupert Darwall’s two books The Age of Global Warming: A history and Green Tyranny: Exposing the totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex.

And let’s not forget to “follow the money”, whether this be noble cause corruption, often driven by wealthy donors lurking in the background, or financial opportunism based upon corporate profit or just pure greed. The personal fortunes amassed by people such as Al Gore must be a powerful driver, as must the need by Directors to sustain government –funded scientific organizations.

History has taught that such great socialist vs conservative struggles have often led to wars. Given that the “climate crisis” is little more than a Trojan horse for such global social upheaval, it is clear that the science debate will, by itself, be totally impotent in determining the outcome. Simply debating the merit of some fine scientific point, while a necessary part of the scientific method, will not lead to resolution of the AGW argument (which is where I came in) or indeed the grander scheme of things. Science itself will just be collateral damage but those from the Green/Left will probably not be too concerned.

My background:

PhD in Physics from Monash University.

Over 60 scientific publications in refereed journals, 4 book chapters in scientific tomes and a book for Cambridge Press.

Was Head of the Department of Materials Engineering at Monash, then Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Research and Development at Curtin University of Technology. I have run my own consulting company and also a small manufacturing business.

Was Fellow of The Australian Institute of Physics and Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.

Now retired.

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J Mac
September 26, 2019 6:20 pm

Irrational fear mongering for political gain takes precedence over rational assessment of data and trends by honest scientists.
Welcome to the post-modern fantasy!

Reply to  J Mac
September 26, 2019 11:48 pm

The UN has never believed in significant climate change and therefore never believed in anthropogenic global warming.

Here is how I know.




Reply to  Roger Surf
September 27, 2019 2:11 am

As far as I can see the refurbishment started in 2008 and brought the UN building up to (then) latest green standards…

I really don’t see your point??

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 4:39 am

hmmm.. could it be that it’s right on the river and therefore vulnerable to SLR due to the melting ice that you are always reminding us of. Would you spend any money on a building that will be inundated in a few short years?

Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 7:16 am

Spending other people’s money is such a good way to prove your commitment.

J Mac
Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 10:52 am

“As far as I can see…”
Griff – Your ‘green’ myopia is well documented in your comments.

Jim Whiting
Reply to  J Mac
September 29, 2019 2:10 pm

Roger Pielke Jr, whom I can recall admiring, has written an article in Forbes that riffs on a PwC recent report lamenting all talk and no action on CO2 mitigation.

“Climate change is among the most successful social movements in recent history. Sure, there remain skeptics and deniers, but if political action on any issue required 100% agreement, nothing would ever get done.” says RPjr.

But in order to be comfortable with crippling the world’s economy – and he’s right, there does seem to be considerable reluctance to do that, east of Europe – we’d have to be comfortable with the notion that CO2 is in control of climate change, and we are in control of CO2.

For the first, we’d have to show that when CO2 changes direction, global temperature changes after that in the appropriate direction and when CO2 continues to rise of fall, the temperature rising or falling persists. That doesn’t happen, we know, since from our emergence from the LIA in 1840 CO2 has risen gently with some little increase in rate, and the world warmed from 1840 to 1880, cooled from 1880-1910, warmed from 1915-1942, cooled from 1942-1970 (enough to provoke alarms about the Coming Ice Age – see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early 70s) and warmed until 1998, with a fragile statistical pause since then.

For second, we might note our 4% contribution to the annual increase in CO2, and the fact that when human production of CO2 diminished by 30% in 1929-1931, CO2 continued its languid rise. And in WWII and postwar reconstruction with massive human output, CO2 did not change its slope, and the world did not warm.

“No one knows how to do this.”
That’s correct. And rational folks don’t know why they should do it. What they do know how to do, and are able to do, as the Dutch do, is deal with rising sea levels no matter what CO2 does. That will perhaps cost as much as CO2 mitigation, but it at least will have some benefit. With what’s left over we can clean up the plastics in the rivers and oceans.

Jim Whiting
Reply to  Jim Whiting
September 29, 2019 2:47 pm

Speaking of climate devotion…
A major scientific paper, which claimed to have found rapid warming in the oceans as a result of manmade global warming, has been withdrawn after “amateur climate scientist” Nic Lewis found major errors in its statistical methodology.
The paper https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1585-5, from a team led by Laure Resplandy of Princeton University, had received widespread uncritical publicity in the mainstream media when it was published because of its apparently alarming implications for the planet. Its uncritical reception might have been the result of the prestige of the multiple authors and their institutions. However, within days of its publication in October 2018, Nic Lewis found several serious flaws. Yesterday, after nearly a year’s delay, the paper was officially withdrawn by Nature, and grudgingly accepted by the authors, without acknowledging any change in their conclusions.

September 26, 2019 6:37 pm

“Oh ye of little faith”

I generally agree with your analysis, though I think there are signs that a large section of the public are not really buying the message despite what they might be telling polls. Tony Abbott had a landslide victory after dismissing the climate scare. Trump has been openly sceptical but not likely to make a big issue of it before the next election. In Australia, Morrison won the “unwinnable” election after theatrically bringing a lump of coal into parliament. Britain has kicked the can down the road to 2050. That’s just the Anglosphere. China, India, and Africa are going gangbusters with new coal plant.

Whether this is currently on the increase or decrease I can’t tell, but I’m sure the current extreme push, or putsch, will backfire.

For a more detailed summary of how I see the state of things see Climate Confusion and Fear: http://brindabella.id.au?c=DGHE. Two key points that one doesn’t need to be a scientist to understand:

1. Between IPCC’s AR4 and AR5 their definition of the GHE has gone from vague to meaningless.
2. For the GHE to raise temperatures by 33C, as claimed, the atmosphere needs to “trap” heat for an average of 19 days. This is 150 to 200 times more than other evidence suggests for heat transfer from surface to space.

Andy Espersen
Reply to  dai davies
September 26, 2019 11:13 pm

Yes, I agree that “……there are signs that a large section of the public are not really buying the message ….”. Polls all over our western world show that an increasing number of people (at this moment probably half of us) think that yes, the world is the hottest it has been in a thousand years – but no, though increasing atmospheric CO2 of course must warm the world, nature of course must cause a certain percentage of the warming. I say of course – simply based on the scientific fact that 8,000 years ago, at the climatic maximum, global temperatures were at least 2 degree C. higher than today – and sea levels about 2 metres higher than at present. Together with the proven fact that over the intervening 8,000 years global temperatures have been fairly regularly fluctuating, with colder and warmer periods – but, over all, cooling with decreasing sea levels. And all this irrespective of atmospheric CO2 content. Richard Feynman once said that one ugly fact can destroy a host of beautiful theories. People in the western world (the rest of the world have their own ideas – they are not silly) are slowly realising this. The incredible, idiotic climate change mass movement we are witnessing views this as a black-or-white issue – which it simply is not.

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  dai davies
September 27, 2019 4:47 am

Britain has, in fact, committed to be carbon neutral by 2030. How is that “kicking the can down the road”?

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
September 27, 2019 1:52 pm

They’ve made zero progress.

Words alone are not a demonstration of faith or/ Saying it is so, doesn’t make it so.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
September 27, 2019 4:35 pm

It takes a lot of misplaced faith to believe that the goals and timetable of commitments will be met. As soon as there is a serious backlash against any of it, the can will be kicked.

Mark Whitney
Reply to  dai davies
September 27, 2019 6:48 am

An underlying message in this presentation is that such a condition inevitably will evolve into greater conflict rather than reasoned resolution. That implies the unthinkable, and I hope it is such, that AR 4, 5 or 6 are essentially irrelevant and that AR 15 is all too likely.

September 26, 2019 6:41 pm

Looking at reality through any “lens” means you are viewing a distorted image.

Jason Calley
Reply to  ScienceABC123
September 26, 2019 8:53 pm

But without a lens you get no image at all.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Jason Calley
September 27, 2019 1:34 am

The invention of glass, and then the lens, are the two most significant inventions/technologies man has ever created for the advancement of humanity. Shame it’s wasted today!

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 27, 2019 4:35 am

I disagree. Indoor plumbing and food preservation are the two greatest inventions of Mankind.

All hail Thomas Crapper and Nicolas Appert.

Reply to  Buckeyebob
September 27, 2019 7:16 am

Cheap cotton underwear.
Wash and dry overnight.
You can’t do that with wool.
The health benefits are immense.

Reply to  Photios
September 28, 2019 4:50 am

If you’re Scottish or Irish, that’s not a problem 🙂

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Buckeyebob
September 27, 2019 9:33 am

My choice for being the greatest invention of Mankind would be the stove/heater for the controlled burning of “dead biomass” (and fossil fuels).

Without a precise means of controlling “fire”, the progress of human civilization would probably still be stalled in the Neolithic age.

Reply to  Buckeyebob
September 28, 2019 11:30 am

I am more in the evolutionary biology camp on this one; development of language. Not precisely a technological invention, however, without it would abstract thinking ever developed in the species?

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Buckeyebob
September 29, 2019 4:19 am

Many animal species have their own unique “development of language” for communications between same species ……… and “abstract thinking” is not just a “human thingy” given the fact that members of several different animal species are noted for their mental ability to perform said.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 27, 2019 11:06 am

I nominate the flaked flint point and friction-ignited fire.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 27, 2019 12:40 pm

Oh my, via your above post, …… it just dawned on me, ….. and I t’was wondering if maybe an early human flint napper, per chance, ever used a piece of meteorites (FeNi) as a hammerstone?

Reply to  Jason Calley
September 27, 2019 6:41 am

Pinhole cameras do not require a lens to form an image. The eye of the Nautilus is a good example.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  dylan
September 27, 2019 11:11 am


Viewed through the lens of history, you are correct. Without it, would Canaletto have produced his greatest works?

All thanks to the lensless Gemma Frisius.

Reply to  ScienceABC123
September 27, 2019 6:47 am

Yes. This post is about an evolving ideology, which is apparent. All ideologies, no matter the type, are identical to religious faith. Anything that challenges the ideology is an invading pest that must be killed off, not listened to.

However, most human beings aren’t ideologues. Even most religious people aren’t that fervent about their religious faith. A large majority of Americans, for instance, claims to be religious, with a majority of them identifying as Christian .. yet relatively few Americans routinely attend religious services, which used to be the measure of one’s religiosity.

Same with belief in climate hysteria (I no longer use the term “alarmism” as it has metastacized clearly into the category of hysteria today). Many poll respondents will say they are “concerned” about climate change, and they say the want’ government to “do something about it”. But as soon as the government actually does something that imposes costs on the general population (rather than just on rich “polluters”), such as large carbon taxes, or restrictions on their personal mobility, the masses react extremely negatively, and the governments are often forced to back off.

September 26, 2019 6:42 pm

Yup, it’s a new religion. Unlike traditional religion you won’t have the freedom of choice to not comply with its precepts. Full compliance is demanded.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  KT66
September 27, 2019 7:17 am


It is unfortunate that “religion” was put on the poster instead of “Clerics”. Clericalism is a far cry from Religion.

“In 1911 a famous poster appeared, entitled ‘Industrial Workers of the World’, depicting what it claimed to be the ‘Pyramid of the Capitalist System’. ”

Consider: as a model, this is far closer to reality than the GCM’s used for IPCC references.

The question is not that the economic system was rigged to keep the rich from becoming poor, it is”What to do about it.”

The solutions offered by Maxists and Leninists and worse, Engelsists have been tried and found wanting. The concept of “perpetual revolution” is sick. People would like the “aluta” not to “continua”.

In the early years of the 20th Century there were far more options on the table, many of which have not been tried. A core principle (not seriously taken up anywhere) is that “capital” (savings) has rghts and labour has rights.

Capital and labour work together in all enterprises, without exception. Under old-style capitalism labour does not have a right to a share of the profits generated by the joint venture. The communists, in calling for the destruction of the “capitalist class” (but not the destruction of capital) allege that capital is no more than stored labour and that it belongs to the labourers. There will be no need for savings because everything one might save for will be provided by the collective. Kind of like The Borg in more ways than two.

Until capital and labour are brought into economic balance, there will be real-world perpetual chaos, not perpetual struggle between concepts. Capital must recognize the rights of labour and vise versa. Since 1911 labour has pressed for its rights without admitting the role of savings the labourers accumulate. Labourers have a right to invest and retire. Marx did not agree with this concept, relegating the role of the labourer to that of being a cog in a giant national machine government by “The Party.

It does society no good to have most of its members disempowered economically while being kept in a self-operated prison located somewhere in the spiritual wilderness. Observe how unhappy people become in such a system. Similarly a system which does not recognize the valid rights of labour to a share of the pie they generate looks a great deal like the USA: homelessness for millions, addictions of multiple kinds, widespread bewilderment at the riches that surround them and their own material deprivation.

Finland (a country no one talks about) has taken a very different approach, but still suffers from widespread addiction to alcohol. The East Block is hopelessly sunk in alcoholism (literally). These are signs, indicators.

The “climate” fad gives people hope for meaning. They invest in it, they want something glorious to be true about it. Of course they will eventually be disappointed when it fizzles away like the morning dew. Clearly the biggest threat to humanity is ignorant, avaricious, willfully blind humans bent on going to war to solve problems. The solution to that is political and comes before all else can be achieved.

September 26, 2019 6:49 pm

Brilliant, insightful article summarising why science is being ignored in the climate debate and why it’s irrelevant to it’s resolution.
It’s all about Wold government. Climate ‘governance’ forms a proto-infrastructure for global, centralised control over every aspect of our lives.

Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 7:05 pm

I would question the assertion that that the debate is being won by the alarmists. Given that CO2 levels
are not only rising but in fact increased by a record amount in 2018 it would seem that deniers have their
foot firmly on the pedal and emissions are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.

I will believe that the debate is being won by the alarmists when governments start closing working coal
fired power stations. Until then it is just sound and fury signifying nothing.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 7:30 pm

In other words, victory is defined as the utter destruction of the economy and billions of people starving to death.
All to support the lie that CO2 is the major controller of climate.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2019 8:09 pm

How would you answer the question as to whether or not alarmists are winning other than by
looking at the actions of various political parties and governments? Other than planting a few trees is any government doing anything right now to address the supposed crisis?

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 10:53 pm

Izaak Walton

It’s more than just a binary winning or losing question. The problem is the insidious effect the climate alarm cause is having on taxes for example. Carbon taxes specifically, but less obviously energy taxes to subsidise alternative energy otherwise known as increased energy bills.

Then the bizarre claim that we all must become vegetarian to save the planet, with planned taxes on meat etc. That would change the face of agriculture and society in general.

The imposition of electric vehicles by government mandate (certainly in the UK) by 2040 and the UK government commitment to spend £1tn of taxpayers money on something yet to be observed, on things yet to be identified, to solve a problem with no beginning and no end.

slow to follow
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 2:42 am

Isaak – in my opinion the situation is far worse than Paul argues. Objective science and reason is not losing the debate – it has lost.

Read this to realise how far policy actions have gone and will continue to go:


Stepping back from these type of programmes and commitments is not going to happen. Even if tomorrow some incontrovertible new piece of evidence or logic comes to light which absolutely demonstrates that targeting global CO2 emissions is not necessary or sensible, there will be no turning back in our lifetimes.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 7:19 am

I didn’t address your claim that you were winning, I addressed the consequences of your winning.
Regardless, while the various political organizations are all talking a good fight, when it comes to actions, … not so much.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 7:35 pm

This happened. Ontario has closed three working coal plants in the past decade; Nanticoke, Lambton and Lakeview. Nanticoke at eight units of 480 MW each was arguably the largest operating coal plant in North America.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 7:39 pm

This actually happened. Ontario has closed three fully functional coal fired stations in the past decade: Nanticoke, Lambton and Lakeview. With eight units, 480 MW each, Nanticoke was arguably the largest coal-fired station in North America.

Reply to  cgh
September 27, 2019 2:12 am

The UK will have closed all but 4 of its coal power stations by April 2020 and the rest must shut by 2025 at latest.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 5:44 am

UK politicians (among others) are Extremely misguided. It looks like “Idiocracy” to me. The inmates have taken over the asylum. They are taking drastic, harmful actions based on nothing but the delusions in their heads, telling them CO2 must be reduced.

Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 7:20 am

And as a result, 10’s of thousands extra people die every winter because they can no longer afford heat.

Reply to  griff
September 27, 2019 4:49 pm

Which is why they are building new CCGT plants.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for non-fossil fueled, renewable energy.

John in Oz
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 8:32 pm

Given that CO2 levels
are not only rising but in fact increased by a record amount in 2018 it would seem that deniers have their
foot firmly on the pedal
and emissions are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.

Did you not read that contradictions are inherent in the current crop of ideologies?

Why state that it is the ‘deniers’ (assuming this means we people who want proof/un-tampered data, etc) with their foot on the pedal?

All of the do-gooders protesting for change are using the very products they say are destroying the world and have every rationalisation possible for why someone else is to blame.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  John in Oz
September 26, 2019 9:23 pm

So John,
Take the statement that ” the powerful Green/Left protagonists managed to infiltrate key political positions in Europe and the U.S. and to establish (or gain control of) institutions that gave them unquestioned authority over the subject” where is the evidence for that? Can you point to any
actual policies that governments anywhere in the Europe and the US that have gone against the
standard neo-liberal consensus? What actual green policies that make a difference have actually been implemented?

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 10:49 am

2014 _ 5 _ 401.88 …. +2.12 __________ 9 … 395.35
2015 _ 5 _ 403.94 …. +2.06 __________ 9 … 397.63
2016 _ 5 _ 407.70 …. +3.76 El Niño __ 9 … 401.03
2017 _ 5 _ 409.65 …. +1.95 __________ 9 … 403.38
2018 _ 5 _ 411.24 …. +1.59 __________9 … 405.51
2019 _ 5 _ 414.66 …. +3.42 __________9 … 408.50

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  John in Oz
September 28, 2019 4:38 am

You need a better authority for your “facts”.

HA, the record increase of +1.59 ppm CO2 in 2018 was greater than the record increase of +1.17 ppm CO2 in 2011.

But that 2018 record increase couldn’t hold a candle to the 2016 increase of +3.76 ppm or the 2019 increase of +3.42 ppm,

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 26, 2019 10:09 pm

Closing coal fired power stations has already happened in Australia
In the state of South Australia the former Labour government closed the state’s only coal fired power station while in Victoria the Labour government effectively brought forward closure of a major brown coal fired power station (Hazelwood ) by bringing in a large increase in the royalty payments for accessing the state- owned brown coa.l
The company owning Hazelwood closed it down as it could not afford the high maintenance bill given the increased costs of brown coal fuel it now faced

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 12:49 am

There is no climate crisis Izaak Walton ,
Just because the temperature has risen a little over 1 degree Celsius since the little Ice age ended and CO2 levels have increased with the warming that proves nothing.
Just because some ,but not that many activist scientists have pushed the story that does not prove anything
It started out as” 2500 scientists believe “as that was how many were involved with the first IPCC report but as a lot of them said” hey we never said that ” it was changed to “97% of scientists believe ” which makes no sense as the theory is but a theory never been proven .
100% could believe but until it is proven beyond doubt it is only a theory so that means it is very like a religion .
There is no evidence ,none ,not any, zilch that the rise in temperature is mainly caused by fossil fuel combustion .
The world has warmed many times before in history and the earth has been warmer than present at least 3 times since the last ice age receded 12000 years ago .
No news reports ever mention these facts .Its all doom and gloom and Saint Gretta.
Anything that the western world does will be quickly nullified by China and India .
An exercise in futility on both sides of the debate . On the skeptical side a complete waste of effort as it does not need to be done and on your alarmist side it can make absolutely no difference that can be detected in any temperature records around the world .
It will destroy a lot of peoples hopes of living a comfortable life as electricity will become so expensive that only the wealthy will be able to heat and cool their homes
We have so many useful idiots preaching dire warnings that the end is nigh as they believe what they are told without question .
Graham ,
Proud to be a farmer

Reply to  Gwan
September 27, 2019 12:48 pm

> There is no evidence ,none ,not any, zilch that the rise in temperature is mainly caused by fossil fuel combustion

I’m afraid that doesn’t matter if the majority of people belief that there is plenty of evidence. Their votes will reflect this belief.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 3:36 am

Izaak why do you dislike CO2?

Andy Espersen
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 3:50 am

Agreed : the alarmists can huff and puff, rant and rave, march in their thousands – the reality is that it is physically impossible to diminish present global fossil fuel use in any significant way.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 4:23 am

well sth aus and vic shut 2 that were well able to be maintained and kept running
for many mil less than the crap greenpower n batteries that they (didnt) replace the output with

Phil Salmon
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 5:11 am

It is not “deniers” who have their “foot on the pedal” of CO2 emission.
It is just ordinary people who don’t want to die.
Current human populations are dependent on fossil energy. Taking away fossil energy is a form of genocide.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
September 27, 2019 8:04 am

Any gov’t. starts “taking away” fossil fuels in the form of heat, cooling, transportation, or meat, they’re very quickly going to have a REVOLUTION on their hands. The “Gilets-Jeaunes” were a genteel and restrained warm-up act to what they can expect; NO WONDER they want our guns!

Out here in the real world, the average person is not engaged with this issue at ALL. This past week a majority polled were completely unaware of the so-called “Green New Deal.” My theory is the media is now nothing but a noise machine, so far from veracity the people have completely tuned it out in favor of Netflix or Hulu or PornHub or Fortnite. I mean, if it’s ALL lies and repetitive slander of mostly boring politicians, why spend your time on it?

AGW is a very fashionable “niche” issue for max virtue signaling with zero sacrifice for the One Percenters; has-ben actors’ tweets, social climbers’ status symbols and aged-out hippies’ nostaliga trips standing in the town square with homemade signs. It’s a competitive SPECTACLE for those with time and money on their hands. For people on the way to honest work, it’s a JOKE and is treated likewise!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Goldrider
September 27, 2019 11:13 am

Right you are, Goldrider, …… and if I might add, …… I find it quite astonishing, verging on the unbelievable, that those per se One Percenters you speak of, ….. have never, ever considered how they are going to “support” themselves after they destroy capitalism and find themselves on an “even” playing field of trying to provide for themselves. Having money won’t matter because there will be nothing for sale.

Russell Johnson
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
September 28, 2019 5:48 am

Well stated. Everyone should re-read “Atlas Shrugged”. The current crop of demo-socialists plan destruction of the US economy to “stop climate change”. But don’t worry “it’s for the good of the people”.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Izaak Walton
September 27, 2019 10:45 am

Izaak Walton – September 26, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Given that CO2 levels are not only rising but in fact increased by a record amount in 2018 it would seem that deniers have their foot firmly on the pedal and emissions are going to keep going up for the foreseeable future.

You need a better authority for your “facts”.

HA, the record increase of +1.59 ppm CO2 in 2018 was greater than the record increase of +1.17 ppm CO2 in 2011.

But that 2018 record increase couldn’t hold a candle to the 2016 increase of +3.76 ppm or the 2019 increase of +3.42 ppm, …… to wit:

2014 _ 5 _ 401.88 …. +2.12 __________ 9 … 395.35
2015 _ 5 _ 403.94 …. +2.06 __________ 9 … 397.63
2016 _ 5 _ 407.70 …. +3.76 El Niño __ 9 … 401.03
2017 _ 5 _ 409.65 …. +1.95 __________ 9 … 403.38
2018 _ 5 _ 411.24 …. +1.59 __________9 … 405.51
2019 _ 5 _ 414.66 …. +3.42 __________9 … 408.50

NOAA’s Mauna Loa Monthly Mean CO2 data base
@ ftp://aftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/products/trends/co2/co2_mm_mlo.txt

September 26, 2019 7:05 pm

I have to agree with you 100% Paul.
The world is on a crazy ride and the whole thing is being pushed by lies .
We have had a month of propaganda running up to the climate boondoggle in New York where Saint Gretta was installed .
Every thing in our news about the climate emergency can be debunked and the perpetrators of this scam are now enlisting children to push their agenda with climate strike protests and we now have politicians pushing to lower the voting age to 16 , and that would allow children of the same age as Gretta to stand for parliament and the lauding that she was given in NY some electorates would elect her .
If the people that really think that we are heading for a climate catastrophe were serious they would be advocating for nuclear power as most countries cannot afford to reduce their energy supply to their populations .
As for Gretta calling for a reduction in growth that is extremely foolish as the UN forecasts that the worlds population is still growing and will top 9 billion by 2050 .
If the worlds population was falling the world could safely reduce growth but with a 20 % increase that means 20% more of food, shelter, health care and education for a start .
How dare you Gretta deny these unborn people the basic necessities of life .
For the world to go into a frenzy over an unproven theory that is only backed up with climate models that are all running hot questions have to be asked.
The people asking the questions are vilified and called deniers .

Jean Parisot
September 26, 2019 7:09 pm

We have a cycle of religious revivials, the age fantasy is one.

Clyde Spencer
September 26, 2019 7:18 pm

Crowd behavior is best understood as a form of mass hysteria:

Note the frequent reference to the susceptibility of children and females.

Alarmists frequently demand evidence of conspiracy. However, besides the monetary incentive, the behavior of alarmists is perhaps a manifestation of mass hysteria.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 12:02 am

“Alarmists frequently demand evidence of conspiracy.”

As someone famously said here about 8 years ago, “A conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice.”

Curious George
September 26, 2019 7:19 pm

“The popular debate is clearly being won by the alarmists.” I would substitute “socialists” for “alarmists”. Then, historically, we see the Soviet Union, Mussolini’s Italy, finally the Third Reich. All of them finally ran out of other people’s money and collapsed. It is safer to watch it from the outside than from the inside; some people are still fascinated with it – like some hurricane watchers.

September 26, 2019 7:20 pm

“Seemingly reputable organisations like IPCC, WHO, WWF, NASA, NOAA, CSIRO, EPA keep issuing reports heralding pending climate doom that appear to be at odds with any unbiased examination of the facts.”

Failed to mention the BBC.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Jones
September 26, 2019 10:59 pm

Failed to mention the BBC.

Always a sound plan…

Roger Knights
Reply to  Jones
September 27, 2019 12:05 am

“Failed to mention the BBC.”

Actually it was mentioned: “… this has been manifest in many ways: banning non-alarmist comment from print (e.g. The Guardian), TV (e.g. the BBC) ….”

September 26, 2019 7:23 pm

… a new book: The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray …

Say What!?

Not to be confused with:

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

published more than a hundred years ago.

The lessons are just as true now as they were then and just as ignored.

September 26, 2019 7:26 pm

I agree that the frauds now winning. That is only because the Media and Academia has taken off their mask. Up until about 2 or 3 years ago, they pretended to be unbiased. Of course they weren’t unbiased, but they pretended and covered themselves. But over the past couple of years (since Trump?), the Media and Academia have morphed into outright unabashed and proud propagandists. I think they are scared of Trump. They know that conservative politicians are cowards who will never expose them. But Trump is fearless, and a bit crazy. So I think they are genuinely scared their lies will be exposed to the masses (and not just AGW, but all of the other lies they have been shoving down our throats). Can you imagine the RAGE that will be directed at the Media and Academia if all those people they brainwashed realized that it was all a deliberate, planned, lie. So the Media and Academia’s only choice is to now go full blast and throw everything in to make sure Trump is not re-elected. This is now all about making sure Trump is not re-elected, because if he is, the AGW hoax will be exposed in his next term, and they are very scared of the consequences of that.

Roger Knights
Reply to  ggm
September 27, 2019 12:21 am

“Up until about 2 or 3 years ago, they pretended to be unbiased. Of course they weren’t unbiased, but they pretended and covered themselves. But over the past couple of years (since Trump?), the Media and Academia have morphed into outright unabashed and proud propagandists. I think they are scared of Trump.”

Very good insight, and something I hadn’t thought of. I think that, for many reasons, some valid, Trump has so enraged his opponents and many independents, that the enraged have freaked-out, and been given carte blanche to say vociferously what they will, without pushback. All their extremist positions have gotten more credibility in the wake of this derangement syndrome, just as all leftist / Marxist interpretations of politics and history gained traction in the wake of the Vietnam war. The mainstream takes the view that “any stick will do to beat the devil,” and may feel that by hyping “climatism” they are indirectly making Trump’s resistance look foolish or worse.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ggm
September 27, 2019 6:01 am

“So the Media and Academia’s only choice is to now go full blast and throw everything in to make sure Trump is not re-elected. This is now all about making sure Trump is not re-elected, because if he is, the AGW hoax will be exposed in his next term, and they are very scared of the consequences of that.”

The radical Left, those with poltical power and the Leftwing Media are waging a political war against the Right. The Left has the enormous advantage of having the Leftwing News Media promoting the leftwing narrative, so all most people hear is the Left’s point of view. Even so, the Left is losing, although the news media keeps it close.

It’s time for Republicans to realize they, ALL of them, not just Trump, are under attack by the Left, and it is time to fight back and support Trump. Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse should shut up and go away. Worthless b@$t…… We can’t count on them, can we. We need to elect people we can count on. Trump has done more for conservatism than anyone in living memory, and these fools oppose him for personal reasons, and put the nation second, as a result. Go away, fools!

Ed Powell
September 26, 2019 7:27 pm

Two great religions fell in the 20th century, Christianity and Marxism-Leninism. Though holdouts of each remain here and there, they are both mostly finished in the West. These falls created a huge gap in our self-conception and search for moral answers. They have been exploited by neo-Marxian Environmentalists who have constructed a new religion for the West (and the world). It has rituals (that make no sense like recycling), saints (like Rachel Carson), dogma (climate change), priests (“scientists” like Michael Mann and his buddies), and all of this shoved down our children’s throats is government schools in as complete a marriage between church and state as has ever existed. The Inquisition would have loved to have as much control of youngsters’ minds as the Green Church does today. Into this world has come a *moral panic* similar to the great moral panics of the past, whether it was witches, or prohibition, or anti-drug hysteria, or the McMartin Preschool hysteria, or the hysteria surrounding Dungeons and Dragons, or even Harry Potter. Moral Panics exist when there is a strong religious undercurrent against what the religious authorities believe to be something standing in their way of creating a righteous society on Earth mirroring whatever heavenly society they intend to create. Today’s moral panic is about the almost entirely fictitious phenomenon of “white supremacy,” because it was primarily white people who voted for and elected a person standing in the way of the neo-Marxian environmental totalitarianism that this new religion wants to impose.

The white supremacy moral panic started with real racists (though not white supremacists, of which there are none), and has moved to everyone else who disagrees with the new church’s dogma. This website (which I’ve been reading for years) has never once said anything about race, so one would think it was immune from charges of white supremacy, yet that is not how the new religious totalitarians think. Anthony is white. Anthony provides the number one web site that argues that climate change is not an imminent threat. Therefore, Anthony, and all who help him and read him must be white supremacists. That’s the logic, and while it may not have come yet, it will come soon. WUWT will be put on some list of “hate groups” by the SPLC or ADL or other thought police organization. Your ISP will be petitioned to dump you. You will be banned from Facebook and Twitter and Youtube. Paypal will dump you. And you will have to scramble to find a new digital home. The reason you have not been attacked yet is that the modern Inquisition is opportunistic and is going after easier targets first. But make no mistake, they WILL come after you. Have a plan in place. Have a backup site in place. Previous moral panics have cost thousands or even millions of people their lives. The idea that this moral panic will leave a website like WUWT alone is ridiculous. Look at their masked black-shirted terrorists roaming our streets shutting down debates, lectures, universities, and governments. For people who brain their opponents with bike locks or punch them in the face on live television, shutting down a website is peanuts.

Have a plan.

Reply to  Ed Powell
September 27, 2019 1:00 pm

I agree with this analysis. YouTube will crack down more and more on those who disagree with the main narrative. I hope Tony Heller has a backup plan. Same for other platforms. Maybe thinkspot.com will be a holdout, but nobody knows.

September 26, 2019 7:33 pm



It is a belief based system not one based on understanding. Blind, unquestioning adherance is always required.

Joel O'Bryan
September 26, 2019 7:36 pm

Very well stated and defended positions Dr Rossiter. A well written clear essay on what is going wrong in today’s Western world.

Chinese and Russian leaders no doubt are laughing their butts off right now. They must smile and cheer at the antics of the Left driving Western capitalism and the well-spring of Individual Liberty ideas into the dirt with their “wokeness” and social-justice idiocy.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 27, 2019 12:29 am

Dr. Paul and Joel, Dudes! I represent err… resent your descriptions of my tribe. Due to your extended list of our characteristics that are greeted as micro-aggressions to our tender sensibilities, as recompense (though never fully) you owe us your unquestioning support for our fondest dreemz.

Our proud misanthropic self-esteem propels such newfound virtues as a chronic seething hatred and personal inhumility that promise to propel our desires beyond all limits stemming from consideration for others. Meanwhile we’ll claim the right to a ‘safe space’ away from contradiction that would deflate our assurance (of course we’ll in no way reciprocate). And if we don’t soon get what we want, in our resulting despondency we’ll hold our breath and turn even bluer. YOU GET MY DRIFT?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 27, 2019 1:02 pm

> Chinese and Russian leaders no doubt are laughing their butts off right now.

I would worry if I were them. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

Flavio Capelli
September 26, 2019 7:42 pm

Eric Hoffer, “The True Believer”, is another fundamental book on these issues. The gist of it is, you cannot convince the masses with facts and reason.

September 26, 2019 7:44 pm

Not exatcly, maybe, but very similar to climate politics:

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

Charles Mackay, Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, “Preface”:


It may be that Charles A. Ponzi thought he was actully making money for everyone, but, even if not, he had a lot in common with modern catastrophic climate predicters.

michael hart
September 26, 2019 7:44 pm

I’m not quite so despondent. Politicians sometimes deserve more credit than they get. They are past masters at saying lots to placate the mob whilst actually doing very little or nothing. There is more than little bit of this going on wrt the global warming lark.

William Abbott
September 26, 2019 7:50 pm

Yet… We have been doing exactly the same thing to “science denying” proponents of intelligent design for forty years. When are we going to understand science can’t unlock the unobserved secrets of the past any more than it can model the unobserved future?

The little prophetess Greta Thunberg intones to Congress, “listen to scientists”. The priests and priestess’ – authorities with secret knowledge about our prophetic future. We wouldn’t be in this predicament if we had been honest from the beginning: Scientists don’t do any talking. Matter speaks to us itself through the scientific method. Hypothesis, Null Hypothesis, Experiment, Observations, Measurements, Repeatability for confirmation. Matter will and does reveal its transformative nature, in very incremental and progressive terms; if, and only if, we ask it ‘true or false’ questions in exactly the prescribed way.

The remembered past is history. History is the only basis of prognosticating the future. What is a weather forecast? Global forecast models are very sophisticated remembering machines. They aren’t doing meteorology – they are remembering meteorological patterns and saying, “I think we have seen this before” You can’t build a forecast model (a good one anyway) without understanding meteorology, but your model is not doung meteorology. You must use the scientific method in the present. It doesn’t work in the future or the past.

The patterns of Intelligent Design are obvious in all living & inanimate matter. The notion that science has “proven” otherwise is senseless. Science can observe and measure all sorts of things. But without experiments and falsifiable hypotheses, you don’t have a method whereby matter speaks truth about itself. The scientist has to do all the talking, and he is just speculating.

Climate modeling is trying to model the future based on an imagined future. They will never work. They are built on a unfalsifiable hypothesis. They are a thought experiment about the future. Thought experiments are incompatible with the scientific method. Evolution is exactly the same thing looking backwards. Evolution and deep time are thought experiments, and not a very good ones. There are so many observed non-conformaties to the observations, measurements & conclusions that honest scientists have to say “I don’t know”. We long ago prostituted the scientific method and we have been pretending for a long, long, time that science reveals the past to us. We don’t have a legitimate leg to stand on when we complain it can’t predict the future.

Reply to  William Abbott
September 26, 2019 9:21 pm

“Evolution and deep time are thought experiments, and not a very good ones”.
I totally agree. They are deceptions just like Global Warming designed to herd humanity into their mold.


Clyde Spencer
Reply to  William Abbott
September 27, 2019 10:12 am

William Abbott

You claimed without support, “The patterns of Intelligent Design are obvious in all living & inanimate matter.”

Yes, everyone sees faces and creatures in cloud formations and random rug patterns. It is obvious that they are seeing things that aren’t really there. It is the mind assigning familiar patterns to totally random alignments.

William Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 6:58 pm

Design implies form with purpose. Darwinian evolution sees the purposeful design (adaptation) that is not intelligent. By analogy, a machine such as an automobile has obvious intelligent design. Bill Gates has described DNA as something like a computer programing language, but exponentially more complex. The intelligent design in DNA is obvious. DNA did not randomly assemble itself and then life spontaneously arose. A simple, single-cell bacteria is capable of synthesizing over 4,000 individual protein complexes. Cellular biology is irreducibly complex, intelligent design is obvious.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  William Abbott
September 27, 2019 8:45 pm

William Abbot
I agreed with your first three sentences. Then you claimed, “The intelligent design in DNA is obvious.” It may be ‘obvious’ to you, but NOT to me. You then go on to express your personal beliefs as though they are facts that need no proof other than your assertion. That is not sufficient.

William Abbott
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 29, 2019 8:25 am

I could have expressed the probabilities as a ratio 1 to 1 to the 260 power. It is so improbable that DNA/RNA randomly self-assembled into its complex design that the alternative, intelligent design, becomes more probable than the sun coming up tomorrow.

It’s hard to stick to the facts where there are none. There are only probabilities.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 29, 2019 12:31 pm

Golden Ratio

It’s in plants, snailshells… DNA… galaxies…

September 26, 2019 7:54 pm

Bootlegger-Baptist coalition

Rent-seeking in Washington is a highly developed art-form and when really humungous amounts of money are involved, it is always the case that a Baptist-bootlegger coalition has been put together to get the necessary legislation through Congress

Climate Mob are the contemporary Baptists

September 26, 2019 8:03 pm

Agree. The Marxist/Socialists have never stopped trying to infiltrate the world and despite their poor track record of governance they still have followers. Some of those followers have money and are willing to spend it on their ideology by purchasing media outlets to do their propaganda bidding and other media outlets are just taken over and controlled by the government. I believe you can only lie for so long and the AGW lie can never be proven so it too will eventually fail.

September 26, 2019 8:06 pm


A) What you describe, only applies to Western Democracies.

B) WWF is not reputable, ever!

C) NASA and NOAA have been corrupted by activists, including James Hansen who has pushed his pet theory despite evidence to the contrary for many decades.

D) EPA also invite activists to write much of their regulatory apparatus during Obama’s reign.

E)WHO and IPCC have admitted publicly that the whole climate drama is to force socialism upon democracy and redistribute the wealth.

F) The whole assault by leftists and corrupt government components upon President Trump’s administration is because the elitists were frustrated in their attempt to force socialism and wealth redistribution upon civilians.

G) That many coddled spoiled persons have refused learning logic and the sciences in concert with their addictions to like minded echo chamber internet has greatly aided elitists and socialists in their intrusions into Western civilizations.

Jim Gorman
September 26, 2019 8:09 pm

Rich folks that own coastal properties won’t receive much sympathy if the seas do rise.

As electricity becomes an expensive and less reliable commodity people are going to be unsympathetic to politicians. Sooner or later, people will ask for proof that the predictions used to justify demolishing our way of life are accurate.

At some point teachers, academics, politicians, and scientists will be held to account should Armageddon not occur. People will stop accepting constantly pushing out the date of Armageddon.

May our Creator be merciful.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 27, 2019 12:34 am

“At some point teachers, academics, politicians, and scientists will be held to account ….”

Here’s an appropriate punishment for Consensus Crusaders After the Fall (the debunking of CAGW): They must be made to read their alarmist pieces annually on national TV (and once into an organized YouTube archive of such readings) for 20 years, including their implicit haughty / condescending / rabid tones.

Bill Murphy
Reply to  Roger Knights
September 27, 2019 5:03 am

…annually on national TV (and once into an organized YouTube archive of such readings) for 20 years…
OMG, Roger! You want to subject all of us to seeing M. Mann on TV for 20 years?? Just who, exactly, are you trying to punish? The US Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment for perpetrators, and you suggest this cruel punishment for the victims? I suggest prison time, perhaps 1 year for every excess winter death that can be attributed to energy poverty caused by CAGW hysteria. That way we won’t have to look at them for a few thousand years.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jim Gorman
September 27, 2019 2:07 am

Our Creator seems to have random tendencies.

September 26, 2019 8:25 pm

Interesting essay and I agree with most of it however this…”People looking for this movement to wind down because of its inherent contradictions will be waiting a long time”…..I’m not so sure of. If you consider the speed with which it manifested, I see no reason why it’s (the co2 driven climate movement’s) inevitable crumbling will occur with the same speed once it becomes ”unfashionable” to adhere to the collective mind – particularly given the modern ability to transfer information.

paul rossiter
Reply to  Mike
September 26, 2019 10:01 pm

I think that what Murray is saying is that the up-front issue (race, gender, and I add CO2) is no more than the Trojan horse, and if/when that fizzles then the movement will simply jump to a different issue, whatever the merit. Note the almost seamless jump over time from nuclear winter, to acid rain, DDT , fluorocarbons, whaling, CO2, glysophate, vaccines and more recently, plastics. Whatever the merits of the claims made in each case, they are just vehicles to further the Green/Left movement. At least that is how I understand his argument.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  paul rossiter
September 27, 2019 10:42 am

The fear of human progress has long and deep intellectual roots. Think back to “Prometheus Bound.” What was that Greek god’s ‘crime’, giving humankind the gift of fire (read “technology” or scientific understanding in modern terms.) The modern post-religious version of future fright starts with Malthus and is picked up by Paul Ehrlich and then the “Club of Rome.” We are doomed because we are the fools that we are, mindlessly increasing our numbers like colonies of invasive insects. It doesn’t matter that food supplies are increasing, not decreasing, that life spans are longer, not shorter, that world-wide poverty is actually decreasing, not increasing. CO2 hysteria is just the latest of these scares, and it has the ring of scientific truth because it flagrantly abuses statistics to distort and obscure the basic truth that nothing alarming is happening to climate, despite the increased use of fossil fuels. There is no interest in gathering more data on the actual ups and downs of atmospheric CO2 worldwide, the ‘experts’ relying almost exclusively on the reports of one scientist reporting from near the top of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Oh, the horror! It will always be true that masses of people can be fooled into following crazy leaders with crazy ideas. Trump is just one example. Mussolini and Hitler were others. Religious founders are others. What makes the latest scare movement somewhat unique is its boast that it is backed by an army of ‘scientists’ doing ‘science’. Unfortunately, most scientists, even some good ones, don’t really know what science is. They didn’t start out with Popper. Maybe they don’t even know what the null hypothesis is, but once they have their PhD and credentials in one field, they think they can pontificate by analogy to other fields, sometimes wisely, sometimes foolishly. Edward O. Wilson, for example, is a genuine expert on insects, and used his bully pulpit to pronounce, without any evidence whatsoever, that modern civilization is leading to countless mass extinctions (why bother counting). Paul Ehrlich made his first reputation as a butterfly expert. Al Gore, besides being a smart politician and the son of another, also fancied himself as an important public intellectual, hence his first scare book, “Earth in the Balance.” After a heart-breaking election loss, he rode that horse into fame and fortune with “An Inconvenient Truth.” Freud must have been smiling in his grave over that one, because the most inconvenient truth was that the whole movie was a very convenient lie.
Many on this list conflate liberalism with both communism and climatism, but I am a strong believer in liberalism supported by scientific evidence and method. Greenism does not have any clear roots in Marxism, BTW. I am not surprised that Donald Trump has done little to prick the doom balloon of climatism in three years of opportunity. He doesn’t get it either. His only interest is himself.

Reply to  Mike
September 27, 2019 4:25 am

ah, but…the transfer of any oppositional info IS being blocked by gurgle n others
its the only hope they have to keep the sheeple in the crush, to be shorn/slaughtered

Rob JM
September 26, 2019 8:37 pm

We cannot fight ignorance with data, for the inherent confirmation bias of humans will always see them look the other way rather than face uncertainty.

Instead we need to make them outraged, we must make the same appeal to emotion as they have.

The way to do that is with ethics!
“Climate science is unethical!” That is the way to battle these frauds.

Learn the Mertonian norms, the ethical principle of science.

Then show the world the unethical nature of climate science,
The cartel like gaming of the peer review system
The rewriting of an entire scientific discipline with a novel methodology they they wont release for verification.
The torturing of data to generate desired results
The suppression of dissenting view through unethical and unsubstantiated personal attracts
The false appeal to the authority and other logical fallacy reasoning.
And of the repeated and deliberate use of fake data like upside down proxies.

This is a battle for hearts. According to the Mertonian norms us scientist are ethically obliged to combat those who would use the good name of science to push their political agenda.

Its time to fight the lies with language that conveys the outrage.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Rob JM
September 27, 2019 10:47 am

I will gladly join this fight. Where do we start?
How about the AAAS? or the American Statistical Association?
How many crimes against statistical method will they tolerate without an answer?

September 26, 2019 8:38 pm

“In the climate debate, this has been manifest in many ways: banning non-alarmist comment from print…”

Watching a video interview* alone, I found myself screaming angrily at the interviewee, the editor of “The Conversation” site (I’m sure Google was listening but I just didn’t care!). Every time he spoke it made me mad! The slimy gutlessness, the terrifying lack of self reflection and the complete absence of personal accountability. Above all what disturbed me the most, was the weakness of character on full display. That simpering cowardice that fails to live up to the reality of its own freedom, that is true lawlessness and that “is how the world ends.” ;-(

Briefly and regrettably, they belong to the LEVELLERS, these wrongly named “free spirits” – as glib-tongued and scribe-fingered slaves of the democratic taste and its “modern ideas” all of them men without solitude, without personal solitude, blunt honest fellows to whom neither courage nor honourable conduct ought to be denied, only, they are not free, and are ludicrously superficial, especially in their innate partiality for seeing the cause of almost ALL human misery and failure in the old forms in which society has hitherto existed – a notion which happily inverts the truth entirely! – Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil”


September 26, 2019 8:51 pm

The true argument has never been about CO2, otherwise they would have gone full nuclear.
All so called climate cures are socialist policies, thought up well before the climate scare, and a lot of those policies are damaging to the planet.

Reply to  Tez
September 26, 2019 11:24 pm

That is the issue when does science ever get involved in prescribing one and only one solution. It’s just shear luck the one solution they push happens to be a perfect socialist policy and doctrine.

Patrick MJD
September 26, 2019 8:59 pm

The world has gone crazy! Mass disruptions, mass strikes everyone having their feelings hurt by inaction, everyone wanting to be seen to be doing something, what exactly nobody knows, but at least doing something. Begging leaders for action, what that action is, nobody knows. The only solution offered by leaders and economists is a tax on energy. Yup! That taxes fix everything.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 27, 2019 3:14 am

Yes, all of my friends who believe in climate change are so angry and despairing to the point of nihilism all the time, yet they do nothing about it. I live a more low-carbon life than them, since I am a gardener and just was raised to be thrifty. Most of them drive, fly frequently, buy lots of pre-packaged “organic” food, eat out at restaurants all the time, upgrade their computers and smart phones annually, and then make themselves feel better by yelling online about how non-believers are the problem.
It’s a curiously Christian concept, actually – that belief is the central tenet of the cult, rather than action. I could show them all I do and prove to them I have a lower “carbon footprint” than they do, but if I were to tell them I am a non-believer they would still believe I am damned because my good works profit me nothing.

September 26, 2019 9:05 pm

This essay nicely describes what I have been feeling for some time. We have just come through a brief period in history where there was an official if not general submission to the authority of systematic observation and rational analysis. Science was never fully accepted by the masses as evidenced by the normally ineffectual scientist portrayed in science fiction/ disaster movies and by the continued widespread public acceptance of nonsense (chiropractee, healing power of magnets, Y2K, accupuncture, economics, demonization of fat and salt, stretching before exercise, etc.). In fact the general public’s ability to distinguish s**t from shinola has continued to be dismal even at the height of the supremacy of rationalism. It seems to me that the factor which has recently changed is that for several decades previously, leaders felt that their powers were enhanced by embracing or at least paying lip service to rationalism but that is now gone. A series of preposterous miscalculations by the MSM (Y2K, H1N1 pandemic, the fat fiasco and others) had the unexpected consequence of clearly demonstrating that there was no downside to politicians and reporters to being utterly and preposterously wrong. The scientific community was shown to be feckless and irrelevant with regard to holding the media and politicians accountable for wild divergence from the probable. Simultaneously, science has been going through a crisis of its own (the reproducibility crisis) brought about my many factors but most notably the collapse of standards for university education, the commercialization of scientific publication and the directing of research by financial interests (including importantly, big green). Given that the influence of rationalism was tenuous at best, I fear there is no going back. If history teaches us anything, it is that people are quite content to indefinitely believe the most irrational nonsense. AGW may well be the fantasy that broke the back of rationalism. And as per usual for the last century, the left is in there fomenting chaos in the hopes that they will sweep to power in the confusion. That may in fact be their only strategy for grasping control of societies where the majority of high functioning people are generally repulsed by childish notions of equality (equal rights-yes, equal ability- never)

Reply to  BCBill
September 26, 2019 9:53 pm

“It seems to me that the factor which has recently changed is that for several decades previously, leaders felt that their powers were enhanced by embracing or at least paying lip service to rationalism but that is now gone.”

In my mind, the factor that has changed the most is that it is now also the self-annnointed “scientists” who are trying to advance their theories by appealing to emotion instead of scientific achievement. It’s the “scientists” like James Hanson who resort to using children as props in lawsuits, and like Michael Mann who advance an unscientific reliance on “consensus” to somehow demonstrate the truth of an assertion, and to squelch dissent. These people in truth are not scientists. They are just academics posing as scientists.

Can one truly lay claim to being a “scientist” without once stepping outside the sheltered ivory towers of academia? Is it just publishing some threshold number of peer-reviewed research papers that makes a person a “scientist” even when those papers do nothing but opine on theoretical things that never once result in any demonstrable scientific or technological advancement? Or does being a scientist require that a person actually implement an experiment or procedure that produces real-world data that speaks for itself, without any subjective interpretation by some professor?

Reply to  Kurt
September 27, 2019 2:43 am

I certainly agree that science is in large part responsible for its loss of credibility. It starts with university education where every student is an honours student and continues on through hiring where merit is way down on the list of hiring criteria, number of publications takes precedence over quality of publications for advancement, much of what is published has been published previously at roughly ten year intervals and cabals of junk scientists publish and protect their own. I don’t think scientists brought about these changes except by their spinelessness, which continues. Universities were taken over by bean counters and government research apparently has zero requirement for demonstrated effectiveness in the handbook of the Cult of Managers.

Reply to  BCBill
September 27, 2019 1:01 am

On the Y2K thing.

This may have appeared to the layman to be a hoax, but speaking as a team leader for a major corporate on the contingency planning, I can assure you that, for us at least, it was a real issue, that, if we had done nothing, would have had an impact.

Through thorough risk assessment, and implementation of mitigation plans, the impact was reduced to negligible.

Sans mitigation, bad things would have happened in our industry.

Just sayin….

Patrick MJD
Reply to  mark
September 27, 2019 1:32 am

Rubbish! I can tell you now, countries like Romania and Ethiopia did nothing! It *WAS* an issue for banks, and interest calculations (I worked for a bank at the time), nothing more. It *WAS* a hardware issue too, not software but software was affected. It boiled down to reducing hardware costs as hardware was expensive then. 6 memory registers for a date as opposed to 8 (If BIOS didn’t include the slashes)?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 27, 2019 7:27 am

Any software with date calculations built in had the potential of having a problem.
Almost none were catastrophic, but all could cause problems if not noticed and handled.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 27, 2019 7:30 am

One example was software that controlled elevators. When Y2K hit, the software would calculate that it had been over 100 years since the last time the units were maintained, so it would send the elevators to the basement and hold them there until they could be checked.
Not a catastrophe, unless you lived on the 50th floor, and easily resolved in the short term by lying to the computer about what the real date was.

Reply to  mark
September 27, 2019 2:15 am

Yes. I also participated in Y2K remediation for a major US corporation, which took 18 months and over 150 people.

we could run the test systems with a date of Jan 1st 2000 and watch them fall over…

Reply to  mark
September 27, 2019 2:28 am

As Patrick points out certain countries did very little and had no problems but even in the US, some companies and other organizations like school boards did nothing and had virtually no problems. You must also remember that Y2K also entailed sales of emergency generators, dried foods and countless other survival gear which no doubt sit unused in basements. Whatever slight risk there may have been didn’t warrant the hysteria that developed.

Dave Fair
Reply to  mark
September 27, 2019 2:32 am

Mark, as a GM/CEO of an electric power company, had I not taken Y2K seriously I would have violated my commitment to supplying reliable power supplies to my customers. All potential computer glitches were identified and appropriate actions were taken ahead of time.

The evening of December 31, 1999 (U.S. West Coast time) I had all relevant managerial and technical people on board at Headquarters and manning sensitive electrical system locations. As the (non) results of European and U.S. East Coast became apparent, I let everyone go about 10 PM local time. I stuck around a bit longer because I am a real leader, not a stuffed suit like the current FBI head.

Molon Labe.

September 26, 2019 9:14 pm

No…Sure I’ve seen videos of a bunch of kids getting a day of school off….because they are so concerned? Exactly who believes that? The kids are obviously only propaganda props. I don’t know a single soul that gives a single thought about the Climate in their daily lives. Except me that is… because of my concern for the truth and because of the corruption of the institutions of science and for the ultimate risks to the Constitution.

Consequently, there will be little to no political energy to be sucked out of the voters to redirect (i.e. change) actual votes in the 2020 general elections from the Climate issue.

Steven Mosher
September 26, 2019 9:33 pm

” Seemingly reputable organisations like IPCC, WHO, WWF, NASA, NOAA, CSIRO, EPA keep issuing reports heralding pending climate doom that appear to be at odds with any unbiased examination of the facts. ”

Pending doom?
future doom, in SOME cases, if we do nothing.
conditional prediction, otherwise known as scenario or projection.

The “predictions” of future events are not at odds with existing facts in any interesting way

It is the very nature of predictions to be “at odds” with existing facts, unless you are predicting change.

Here is another “prediction” of doom. If we transition from FF to clean energy, billions will die.

of course its at odds with facts as billions are not presently dying

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 26, 2019 11:39 pm

”The “predictions” of future events are not at odds with existing facts in any interesting way”

You must be joking. What about the fact that models of global climate are complete hogwash with the accuracy of using a squashed watermelon to measure length. Come to think of it, probably less accurate that that.

”If we transition”

”Transition” is not a verb.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Mike
September 27, 2019 4:11 am

“You must be joking. What about the fact that models of global climate are complete hogwash with the accuracy of using a squashed watermelon to measure length. ”

You are wrong about their skill.

nice try though

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 1:16 am

Here is a prediction you may be young enough to live to see pan out:

If we continue closing down ff generation in the U.K. in favour of renewables the numbers of premature deaths among vulnerable people will rise steeply. Even The Guardian has managed to notice this and published an online report detailing 50,000 premature deaths the winter before last.

As the costs of energy are relentlessly rising in the U.K. to finance the renewable scam of building ever more unreliable forms of energy generation this is not going to help much, especially as idiotic opposition to nuclear power and fracking means neither of these very reliable forms of power production are going to fill the growing gap.

The latest projection by our national grid operators actually seems to plan to use inter connectors to EU countries to supply and forestall an expected shortfall in electricity of something approaching 20 per cent – and no one seems to be blinking an eye at this irresponsible idea. Given the current politics of Europe it is unlikely the U.K. will be at the head of any queue for Scandinavian supplies when Germany especially will be screaming for supplies in the dark days of winter when all the Whirly-gig machines grind to a shuddering halt and the sun isn’t shining.

Of course, in the calculations of important people the poor and old don’t count that much so they can continue to die needlessly to save the planet.

But you are probably right that billions won’t die because fortunately India and China and the African continent are beginning to get bored by the nonsense that a small increase in global temperatures which is nowhere near outside natural climate fluctuations is any kind of threat outside of the minds of the neo-colonialists and green imperialists who conjured up this fantasy (sorry, prediction/projection).

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:33 am

The fact is that CO2 levels have been much higher then even the worst case “scenarios”, with nothing bad happening.
The fact is that temperatures have been as much as 3 to 5C warmer than they are today in the last 10,000 years, and nothing bad happened.

Any scenario that predicts doom of any kind due to CO2 is in direct contradiction to all of the facts.
Anyone who pushes such scenarios is a liar.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 1:00 pm

Millions are currently dying, Mr. Mosher, through a lack of reliable energy supplies. The insane global banking system is denying funds for reliable fossil fuels. All because of the political (not scientific) hysteria engendered by ideological activists and rent-seekers of all stripes.

John Sandhofner
September 26, 2019 9:47 pm

Great article Dr Rossiter. Help explains a lot of what is happening in our culture today of which the AGW issue is a major part of the battle. It gives real clarity about why the scientific debate is not winning the day. We need more people of renowed status to speak to the Marxist/socialist aspect of this movement. The other part of this battle has a spiritual aspect to it since these people treat their beliefs as a form of religion. It has a spiritual component to it. It is intended to replace Judeo-Christian values that have kept our culture together for centuries.

Steven Mosher
September 26, 2019 9:51 pm

“Like many other ethical and well-meaning scientists, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the climate “science” debate. ”

First clue that someone is untrustworthy, is that they try to vouch for themselves.

I’m ethical!!!!

the next rhetorical move is to Transfer this ethical claim to “others” in your group

“That the ethical scientific community appears to be losing the debate indicates that there are much more potent forces at play, both ideological and financial. ”

The last step is demonize your enemy.

I’m ethical. My fellow tribe is ethical. We ethical guys are losing, Therefore the other guys
must be evil.

The funniest part is whining that free speach is dead. very ironic.

Skeptics lost the debate because they didnt build better science. with a couple notable

1. Mcintyre
2. Watts
3. Lewis.

All published. All made important contributions. None brought the science down, because c02 is ghg.
hard to change over 100 years of physics.

If ya’ll did more of what these 3 did, and less whining about politics, and name calling, and being moderated by social media, you’d be in a better position. If ya’ll did more science and less arm chair
philosophizing about how bad the other guy is, your retirement years might still be productive.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 26, 2019 11:48 pm

Mosh pup,

Ya mean like Pat Frank???

GCMs are pseudoscience junk. We already knew that. He showed in just one way of the many that they are.

Ya mean like Tropical Hotspots that aren’t there that are supposed to be? But the scam runs onwards ignoring their failures of prediction.

What the climate science is is junk science, most especially high sensitivity model outputs, and “fingerprint” attribution nonsense. You know that.

Stop acting like climate science is anything but junk cargo cultism GroupThink run amok for 40 years seeking rent. Of course, it does pay your rent too.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
September 27, 2019 4:12 am

Ya mean like Pat Frank???

he is not even wrong.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:36 am

Once again, attack the man, not the science.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 12:07 am

Almost as if you never heard of the attempts , with some success, of Mann and Co to ‘rig the process ‘ get journal editors fired etc .
Expect you do know all that and that ‘good science ‘ as opposed to climate ‘science’ is very far supportive of climate ‘doom’
Classic ‘confirmation’ bias , which scientists always have to be aware off , with the dishonorable exception of climate ‘scientists’ were along with the reject of other scientific principles , this forms standard practice .

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 12:41 am

Steven Mosher,

You say,
“First clue that someone is untrustworthy, is that they try to vouch for themselves.”
OK, I accept that is your explanation of why you think the writer of the article is untrustworthy.

That explanation also says why you do not claim yourself to be “trustworthy”.

It would be useful additional information if you were to explain why nobody other than yourself says you are “trustworthy”.


Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 12:42 am

Steven, I think the situation is a bit different. And Murray’s book is being used to indicate that we are dealing with a widespread cultural phenomenon, restricted apparently to some but not all Western countries.

The phenonemon is probably only familiar to those who are acquainted with late Romanticism as it emerged and was argued for in the late 19c. There was in the advanced literature and social comment of the time a widespread endorsement of irrationality and violence. There is a well document and astonishing account of it in Mario Praz ‘The Romantic Agony’. Unfortunately much of the supporting material is provided without translation, so those without good enough French to read Flaubert in the original will find it hard going.

The extremes of this phenomenon were found in progressive artistic circles in France and Germany, but inevitably became background assumptions generally in political circles and in other countries including the UK. So we find such a very liberal and well meaning writer as Forster talking, in Howards End, about a war with Germany as a great trial of strength.

To be familiar with this background is to realize that the mass slaughter of WWI, and the apparently insane persistence in it for year after year, was not a sort of cultural anomaly, it was rooted in attitudes to reason, violence and the emotions which legitimized and even praised and promoted it.

Something similar is happening to us today in the US, the UK, to some extent in Germany, and to some extent in Australia. Perhaps Scandinavia also. It is not however happening in China, India, France, Italy or Eastern Europe. Or Russia.

The underlying phenomenon is Post Modernism. This, like the excesses of late Romanticism, is something few WUWT readers will be acquainted with. But its spread enough to be the basis for a similar cult of irrationality to that of the 1890s. Its characterized by the contradictory ideas that all assertions are relative, and only testify to the speaker’s class, gender and ethnicity. But that there is a certain progression of history, that its possible to be on the right or the wrong side of it. And increasingly that doom laden predictions are possible with certainty.

We thus move to a kind of argument where any dissent from policy prescriptions allegedly based on science are rebutted by personal attacks. In climate matters, any dissent from an agenda of doom, to be remedied by renewable energy on a grand scale, is denialism. In gender, any suggestion that men cannot be made into women (or vice versa) by the application of surgery and hormones is transphobia. Any objections on whatever grounds to same-sex marriage are homophobia. Any suggestion that Islam has a less than stellar human rights record is Islamophobia.

In the Uk we see that any suggestion that the EU as presently constituted is not the best of all possible political organizations is being called racism, xenophobia, and worst of all, being on the wrong side of history. That is history as read by Guy Verhofstadt. Who in this case is making assertions which go well beyond testifying to his race, religion, gender, nationality or ethnicity, and simply promulgate the objective truth which everyone who is not phobic knows to be so.

You could see the results of all this on the quality of political debate on show to the world in the proceedings of the UK House of Commons in the last few days. It has been hysteria innocently broadcast to an astonished world by a country that has no idea that it is descending into irrationality, the taking of mortal offence by association of ideas, and and endless series of argument by non-sequiturs.

Climate science and policy has become submerged in this swamp of irrationality. Readers of Murray’s book will readily see that it is not an exception, it is a common cultural phenomenon. What they will not see is that its restricted to a few countries, who are indeed in the grip of a madness of crowds.

If history is any guide, we should be very afraid of what a cult of irrationality of this sort eventually leads to on the part of people who have absorbed its assumptions unexamined, and proceed to act them out thinking they are just doing business as usual.

Reply to  michel
September 27, 2019 1:08 am

Excellent summary. I agree the current Brexit “debates” are symptomatic of the issues brought up by Murray.

Note to self – must buy that book !

Reply to  michel
September 28, 2019 7:06 am

Exactly. Postmodernism is in my humble opinion a huge danger to our society, since it argues there is no truth, everything is relative, and thus it values feelings over facts. The big problem with it is the speed with which it penetrates the minds and hearts of so many people. For examples just look at the calls for women quota in governments and company boards, and the calls for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity across.. everywhere basically.
The problem with the former being the lowering of standards and the latter that in places where these strategies have been implemented (for example US universities) they ended up in racial segregation. (https://www.thecollegefix.com/nearly-200-universities-encourage-facilitate-segregation-among-students-of-color-report/).

People wanting to know more about postmodernism and it’s catastrophic effect on our society, may listen to Jordan Peterson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLoG9zBvvLQ) and Peter Boghossian who calls it the trojan horse, and who is the real expert on this in my experience (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDFL3xwEEG8).

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 12:43 am

”build better science”

No such thing. You like making things up don’t you.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 12:58 am

This comment comes directly after a thread
that was conducted almost entirely by people clearly expert in palaeontology, geology and zoology and which could be extracted almost intact for teacher notes for secondary or high school students as a rebuttal of some of the alarmist hysteria of the media.
Did you not appreciate it Stephen , as a good example of what you are advising?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 3:02 am

Mr. Mosher: “None brought the science down, because c02 [sic] is ghg.” Trivially true; but CO2 is a weak “ghg.” You are not a scientist, Mr. Mosher, so don’t spout science to we who are. Additionally, your “ethical” discussions about skeptics are tiresome and trite.

Speculation about the theoretical warming induced by additional concentrations of CO2 having specific impacts on water vapor and clouds are not established science facts. The UN IPCC climate models are all over the place on that issue; it is guesswork and model tuning.

I believe that the UN IPCC climate models are not sufficient support for fundamentally altering our society, economy and energy systems. Show me if I am wrong, Mr. Mosher.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:35 am

Notice how the troll doesn’t even attempt to argue the science, instead he invents ever more outlandish reasons why the author is undependable.

While skeptics do science, steve and the alarmist continue to do climate models and proclaim that every weather event is proof that they are right.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  MarkW
September 27, 2019 9:09 am

Steven is not even wrong.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:37 am

PS: As someone who has been let go because I was too vocal about my position on climate science, I find your claims that there is no assault on free speech to be ludicrous and self serving.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 10:30 am

In your trinity list of “a couple,” you also left off Roy Spencer, John Christy, and Fred Singer, just to name three more.

You stated, “The funniest part is whining that free speach [sic] is dead.” Get yourself a spell checker!

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:52 pm

Skeptics lost the debate because they didnt build better science. with a couple notable exceptions.

1. Mcintyre
2. Watts
3. Lewis.

All published. All made important contributions. None brought the science down, because c02 is ghg.
hard to change over 100 years of physics.

Steven, you are too smart to think that anyone argues that CO2 is not a ghg. What’s argued is that it’s the most important ghg. That it is the “control knob” for the climate.

You’re also too smart to think that science is ever decided by debate, or consensus. Just as wet sidewalks don’t cause rain, consensus doesn’t determine what is science. Galileo wasn’t right because of consensus. Einstein wasn’t right because of consensus. Wegener wasn’t right because of consensus. Bretz wasn’t right because of consensus. The consensus was against every one of them.

That doesn’t mean that if one is against a consensus, one is right, either. What it means is that the consensus is irrelevant. It determines the rightness or wrongness of nothing.

Your site still has the “2018 — 4th hottest year on record” headline, yet you told me on my blog that you generate probabilities, not averages. Where is the probability of that “4th hottest year” claim?

Also on the front page of your site is the “Results by Location” link, that takes one to the list of cities and countries. I click on “Tokyo” and then on the “Data Set” link, and it has anomalies from 1845 to three decimal points: January of 1845 is 0.847C. That’s a joke. The data set ends in 2013. That’s a joke too. The graph for Tokyo shows a 1.5°C rise since 1840-something. That’s in 179 years, and that’s impending doom?

Seems like just about everything on the BEST site is “not even wrong.”

Jimmy Walter
September 26, 2019 9:58 pm

The public does not understand science. They decide based on looks and sound, just like they do elections. Substance has no place in the discussion. A majority of scientists has no scientific validity, much less a majority of the less-than-average intelligent (Half of the people are below average intelligence, by definition).
They are also easily bored. This subject is already old and tired to them after decades of scare tactics.
“It’s the economy, Stupid!” That is the only thing they revolt over. And even then it has to be dire.
Democracy is a joust between word wizards and Bene Gesserits’, “The Voice”; a farce, a sham.

September 26, 2019 10:01 pm

Trillions of dollars in clean, Green, renewable redistributive change.

Christopher D Hoff
September 26, 2019 10:03 pm

With any great crime follow the money. It needs to be understood that climate alarmists are not Luddites rebelling against the modern world. Climate alarmists are being promoted by the wealthiest members of western society to acquire more money and power. Karl Marx brother-in-law was the Baron Ferdinand Von Westphalen, the Prussian Minister of the Interior, responsible for the Prussian secret police and prison system. Georg Lukacs of the Frankfurt school was from a wealthy banking family, and so it goes with most of the cultural Marxists. It’s why the ideology is being taught in every school from K through university, promoted by MSM, in every major corporation and government. It’s why they want to jail skeptics,put them in mental institutions, ban them from social media and cancel their bank accounts. It’s why the little people shut up and agree with everything they say even when they know full and well it’s all complete BS. Most of the scientists who do speak up are retired, they wouldn’t dare when their paycheck depends on it. Even children know what positions will get them lower grades on report cards. As everybody goes along to get along they get personally invested in pretending to believe it to the point they can’t tell the difference.

September 26, 2019 10:30 pm

Dr. Rossiter, you state, “That the ethical scientific community appears to be losing the debate indicates that there are much more potent forces at play, both ideological and financial.” Excuse me, but over the last twenty years the ethical scientific community hasn’t been part of any debate. Except for the occasional voice like Bjorn Lomborg’s, the rest of the scientific community has been hunkered down, keeping silent, trying not to get fired. Meanwhile science has been corrupted by activists, by journal editors, by university academics, by politicians, and by the press. Ethical scientists may have seen this growing corruption but they did nothing and are still mostly doing nothing.

I have occasionally hoped that the world’s real scientists would go on strike and loudly denounce the fraud that’s being perpetrated by climate activists. I have hoped they would demand that the lies stop and that critical thinking be engaged. Alas, it still seems like a thin hope. Is there any chance that the ethical scientific community will find its voice?

paul rossiter
Reply to  JMR
September 27, 2019 12:21 am

You are quite right, perhaps I should have used a term that didn’t imply a rigorous scientific discussion and resolution. There have been forums where both “sides” were represented, e.g. some of the Congressional panels. There have also been some “debates” in open forums (some available on YouTube), but often those were between people with widely different weights of authority. As far as I am aware there has never been a proper interchange in which each scientific point was tested one by one.

However, there have been a number of instances where individual scientists have not been hunkered down and kept their silence, as the list of people I gave in the article attests, and they have paid the price. There are also many who have spent enormous effort in both print and on-line media arguing against AGW. I think that we should be very grateful for their efforts.

It is a great pity that President Trump backed away from his proposed President’s Commission on Climate Security to be chaired by William Happer.

slow to follow
Reply to  paul rossiter
September 27, 2019 3:30 am

“It is a great pity that President Trump backed away from his proposed President’s Commissionon Climate Security to be chaired by William Happer.”

Why was it dropped?

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  paul rossiter
September 27, 2019 11:16 am

It is no surprise. Republican leadership always follows the interests of the business community on climate or any other issue. Just look at today’s Washington Post, article “A Shift on climate at oil and gas firms.” byline, Juliet Eilperin. Mark Barron, speaking as lawyer for Energy companies: “It doesn’t matter whether its real, or not real,or what the issues are, that ship has sailed from a political perspective.” Anyone younger than 40 has grown up learning that climate change is “an existential crisis that we need to address.”
That is the sad truth. The propaganda war has been lost and the truth has been crushed.
How do we, who know the truth, fight back? I just don’t know. I do know that Trump is not the answer.

slow to follow
Reply to  Ronald Havelock
September 27, 2019 2:35 pm

Ronald, I tend to agree:

Trump signals a softer stance on climate
Scott Waldman, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Mark S.
September 26, 2019 10:38 pm

I have no clue how Marx or Marxism fits into all this and it doesn’t make sense.
Sounds more like people wanting to make money on a bunch of bunk. Think pseudosciences like alternative healthcare. The political aspect is taxes on CO2 emissions which is actually something capitalist societies do. Think tobacco tax, etc. It took a while convincing the public of the link between cigarette smoking causing lung cancer and it will likewise take a while to expose this CO2 and climate warming nonsense. But it will happen.

Reply to  Mark S.
September 27, 2019 1:10 am

Mark S
Who are pushing climate change .
The greens world wide .
Scratch a green and what do you find .
Red Socialists and Communists

Mark S.
Reply to  Gwan
September 27, 2019 2:47 am

Green private for profit corporations are red socialist and communists! LOL. You don’t even know the definition of the terms. These are capitalist enterprises.

Reply to  Mark S.
September 27, 2019 3:41 am

Waste of time conversing with you Mark S,
Don’t you even know that the Green Party’s are al around the world saying they are there to save the planet and because they know best socialism is the way to proceed . most of the Green parties morphed out of Communist Party’s
Have you not heard of the New Green Deal in the USA not put up by a Green Party but exactly the same communist thinking to take down capitalism because they think that they know best .

Reply to  Mark S.
September 27, 2019 7:42 am

So anyone who tries to make money is a capitalist.

Mark S.
Reply to  MarkW
September 27, 2019 8:29 am

Actually the only goal of capitalist are to maximize profits, preferably in a “free-market”. This initially applied to factory production of commodities but their are other variants. So yeah that is exactly what it is. What did you think?

Reply to  Mark S.
September 27, 2019 11:35 am

Mark S, exactly! A(CO2)GW is a capitalist scam.

Reply to  Edim
September 28, 2019 1:46 pm

Capitalism is not just free-market free enterprise. Capitalism is the system by which the initial operating funds (the capital) for a business are raised by getting donors (investors) to give money to the business operator, in return for shares of the business. The investors receive a part of the business profits as a dividend, a portion of part of the profits paid back to the investors based on how many shares they own.

If I start my own business using my own funds, I am not a capitalist.

If I get a hundred people to give me $1000 each, and in return they get 100 shares of the company stock, valued at $10/share. Now I am a capitalist.

Ron Balsys
September 26, 2019 10:39 pm

A very good read and hit on a number of things I have thought or noticed myself.

Some thoughts for this site: Try and keep politics down boys and girls. The left/right or democrat/republican arguments should be deprecated. In star trek/star wars term “seekers of truth let us be”. This requires we keep an open mind – that we can and will change our beliefs, if the right arguments, ideas or facts show us a better way. Be better than the mad crowd.

I get annoyed at attacks on leftie/green/academics as that describes me quite well. Mind you I believe in nuclear fission/fusion, am a small “C” capitalist (hey I suffer from empathy and a conscience, the poor and weak need my help if I can afford to give it). I believe it is technology (like Space X, agricultural revolutions, IT, sustainable manufacture, etc) that will liberate our future and make our lives better. I believe we should not crap in our own nest and poison it. But I am an empirical scientist so I need to see the crap, not some thought experiment or computer model. Plenty of real environmental issues without chimera like “climate change”.

Keep talking and enjoy the interglacial.

What can we do to counter the loss of hope and doom-stering that has infected the world. Well the pen is mightier than the sword so sites like this are a start. As the madness of crowd book quote ays “they slowly become sane, one by one”. Its the long game that counts. Lets help the crowd find sanity, while not adding to the madness ourself.

Climate always changes so climate change is an oxymoron. In the sixties it was clear we had come out of an ice age over 10,000 years ago and temperature has been increasing ever since. Sea levels have been rising. At 1 degree C from 1900 to 2000. Sea level rise of about 1 foot per century. Not much change in the next century, but I don’t know that because I cannot predict the future (as some think they can). According to the only global temperature measure I take as reliable (UAH, Christey et al) the satellite data for the last 30 years has temp rising at 1.3 degrees C. Hmm… this is adapt range nothing alarming. So why the alarm? (Rhetorical question.) As Rossiter states its the desire of people for meaning in life and the new meaning is to find some “issue” and save the world. Jeez get a real life.

Reply to  Ron Balsys
September 27, 2019 7:45 am

Socialism works on the small scale. Up to perhaps the small village level.
Beyond that it always results in tyranny and loss of freedom for the simple reason that force is the only way to get large numbers of people to behave in ways that are contrary to human nature.

Ronald Havelock
Reply to  Ron Balsys
September 27, 2019 11:25 am

My sentiments almost exactly. Left-right politics doesn’t properly square with this one,
and I doubt if discredited old Marxism would have much to say except it is all the fault of the capitalists and the working classes should take over the fossil fuels and have as much as they need.

September 26, 2019 10:57 pm

I think the temperature record is the key. The movement started from “global warming,” and as that position became more untenable, the topic shifted to “climate change.” But it still always comes back to warming.

The quality of the temperature data per se doesn’t even need to be criticized; what’s done– and not done — is worth looking at and pointing out.

Every first-year physics class talks about error propagation and uncertainty before you’re ever allowed to pick up a meter stick or stopwatch. The first topic is usually measurement error: how well can you read that instrument? The starting point is usually one-half of the finest division on the measuring device. If we’re looking at a mercury filled glass thermometer marked off in degrees, that measurement error is ±0.5C.

Let’s be very generous, though: we’ll use ±0.05C as our measurement error.

To get the mean for the month of July, we take the TMAX and TMIN for the day and get the daily mean. All the arguments in the world about time of observation errors, or anything else, have no effect on measurement error. When multiplying or dividing measurements, the absolute error must be converted to the relative form to calculate the propagation of the error with quadrature:

TMIN = 15.2°C ±0.05°C
TMAX = 22.9°C.±0.05°C
TAVG = (22.9+15.2) / 2 = 19.1
error = sqrt((0.05/15.2)^2 + (0.05/22.9)^2)
= sqrt(0.003289^2 + 0.002183*2 )
= sqrt(0.0000108 + 0.00000476)
= sqrt(0.0000156))
= 0.0039

That’s still the relative error, so it’s multiplied by the mean to convert back to the absolute error:
19.1 * 0.0039 = 0.07, so the final TAVG value is 19.1±0.07°C.

I won’t stupefy anyone with 30 months’ worth of calculations, but a ballpark number for measurement error over a baseline’s JULY’s worth of measurements is around ±1.6C This number will vary because the absolute error is changed to relative error, and then back again in the calculation.

When an anomaly is calculated by subtracting the baseline July from the current July, that error propagates in the quadrature as well, as the square root of the sum of the squares; so in the event there could be sqrt( 0.3^2 + 0.3^2) = 0.42C

Well, it’s late, I’m beat, I’ve probably messed up some math somewhere, and if I did, someone will be sure to point it out, and we’ll all learn something.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 4:08 am

Sorry james.

Not even wrong

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 5:03 am

Hi Steven,

The thing I really appreciate most about your replies is the detailed explanations of why you think something is incorrect. The depth of knowledge you demonstrate is truly astounding.

Now, I must beg for more detail; which part is “Not even wrong”? Is it:
1) that there is no measurement error in the temperature record
2) my math was incorrectly applied
3) my math was incorrectly calculated
4) the measurement error should be ignored as though it doesn’t exist

I need confirmation, because you’ve already demonstrated at my blog that you don’t understand or don’t care about error propagation, and significant figures, as you take cover behind the statement that BEST is only calculating a probable global average temperature anomaly. But at the same time, the BEST site has headlines like “2018 Fourth Warmest Year on Record,” with no probability anywhere in sight.

Anyway, if you can spare the time for a few sentences more, I would appreciate knowing where and why I’m not even wrong.


Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 7:46 am

Steve doesn’t do explanations, he just expects you to obey.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 10:58 am

James Schrumpf

Mosher is infamous for his drive-by revelations. It kinda reminds me of the scene in the the James Bond movie, Skyfall, where the megalomaniac comes in with an attack helicopter, with loadspeakers blaring to announce his arrival. Of course, we all know how intimidating that was to Bond and how it turned out.

You haven’t learned that when Mosher makes a pronouncement, he expects everyone to kneel and kiss his ring. Explanations are beneath someone of his status. He is a legend in his own mind, having masterfully cooked the books.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 1:53 pm

I’ve had conversations with Steven on my blog, and he’s very good to speak with when he’s not being snarky.

I don’t see why measurement error is left out of the calculation, except that it would be fatal to the level of precision that’s being used. To use Steven’s metaphor of the field as the Earth, and getting temperatures at each corner and the center, this is the equivalent of having 1000 corners in the field, and measuring the perimeter. Each measurement between fence posts will have a measurement error — say 1/16″, or 0.0625″ — and after measuring 1000 lengths of fence, the relative measurement error would be significant.

Isn’t the measurement error separate from the standard deviation and the uncertainty in the mean? The uncertainty in the mean is a statistical measurement of how precise the mean is. The measurement error is totally dependent on the tool used to take the measurement.

Don’t they both need to be accounted for?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 9:06 pm

James Schrumpf
The problem is worse than suggested. Mosher argues that the Law of Large Numbers allows precision to be increased with the square root of the number of observations. However, that only applies for repeated measurements of the same temperature with the same thermometer. What we have is a situation with different thermometers, with different errors, measuring different temperatures. Strictly speaking, the uncertainties should be added in quadrature (RMS). However, nobody has a database of the individual errors of the thousands of thermometers. So, the best we can do is use the readings with the least number of significant figures (least precision) as the least common denominator, and calculate the standard deviation to give us an estimate of the probability of the range of the calculated mean. Further, the ‘average’ temperature of the baseline, from which anomalies are calculated, is derived from mid-range values of daily temperatures instead of an actual arithmetic mean. It is clear that the uncertainty of all the historical temperatures is greater than what is implied by the claimed averages and rankings. But, the advocates for AGW don’t want to draw attention to the fact that the rigorous uncertainty is far greater than implied by the three significant figures to the right of the decimal point tabulated by NASA.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 7:46 am

steve the troll, has stopped trying to be relevant.
All it is capable of is whining that others must be wrong.

Reply to  MarkW
September 27, 2019 11:49 am

‘…that others are not even wrong’.
Fixed 🙂

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 27, 2019 10:42 am

If your name was “Feynman,” we might pay attention to your oft repeated, “Not even wrong.” Surely you must realize that the collective opinion of your authority for such remarks comes nowhere near your personal self assessment! If you want to be taken seriously, support your opinions with facts and logic. Otherwise don’t bother because you won’t convince anyone you know what you are talking about.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 10:48 am

James Schrumpf
What you have labeled as “TAVG” is more properly called mid-range temperature, “TMR.” It does not have the statistical properties of a true arithmetic mean. There are probably systematic errors that dwarf the theoretical uncertainty.

James A. Schrumpf
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 5:55 pm

It’s how NOAA defines TAVG. If you can find another method on the NOAA site, I’ll use that.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  James A. Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 9:14 pm

James A. Schrumpf
You said, “It’s how NOAA defines TAVG.” Yes, that reflects the sloppiness of agencies that are responsible for analyzing historical data. Only modern automated weather stations are capable of providing an actual “average” daily temperature. But, that data can’t be used with the Tmax and Tmin temperatures from the older stations. We are stuck with what we have. Many have suggested that the historical weather temperatures are unfit for climatology. That may be true, but the real problem is that the agencies responsible for using what is available don’t present the limitations truthfully, and pretend that the temperatures are known with greater precision and reliability than they are.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 27, 2019 10:32 pm

I don’t disagree with your complaint about the “average” temperature, but if all one has is a TMAX and TMIN, then the mid-range temperature is, by definition, the “arithmetic mean.”

Even if one disavows the measurement error, there’s still the statistical uncertainty. A baseline month has 930 daily measurements. I grabbed a single US station’s data and calculated the uncertainty in the mean; it came out to 0.25°C. The single month of July 2011 worked out to 0.47.°C Subtracting to get the anomaly means you have to work the uncertainties in quadrature, so it becomes sqrt(0.25^2 + 0.47^2) = 0.28.

The worst aspect of the entire drill is that the Law of Large numbers works differently from what Steven thinks. He thinks it makes the mean more accurate; it actually makes it more precise. It’s the standard deviation of all the means that were calculated, and all it says is that if one sampled the same population with the same number of measurements as before, there would be a 67% chance that the next mean one calculated would be within that value of the original calculation. It doesn’t mean one suddenly knows the value of the mean any better than before.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 29, 2019 12:34 pm

James Schrumpf
You said, “but if all one has is a TMAX and TMIN, then the mid-range temperature is, by definition, the “arithmetic mean.”

The arithmetic procedure for the calculation of a mean can vary from two samples to an arbitrarily large number of samples. The sensitivity to outliers is inversely proportional to the number of samples. That is, the mean is little affected by a single outlier, with a million samples. However, the ‘mean’ is greatly effected by an outlier with two samples.

Because of the above, the calculation of a mean with only two samples, the smallest number possible, is a degenerate case of means that has been given a special name — the mid-range value. By calling it a mean, rather than acknowledging that it is a special case, implies that it has statistical properties characteristic of sets of a minimum of 20 or 30 samples, typically a rule of thumb for statistical significance. That gets conveniently hidden by climatologists when they insist on calling it an arithmetic mean.

Matthew Sykes
September 26, 2019 11:01 pm

The Cold War was our narrative, our discipline, that kept us focused for decades. Then in 1989 it ended, and since then we have had a chaos of political correctness and eco fascism.

September 26, 2019 11:38 pm

Move the Goal Posts

The correct question to ask is what is the Man Made component to the current global temperature. If they say it is too difficult to measure you then ask what it was 5 years ago. If they say it cannot be accurately calculated you ask why not. You have all the land, sea and air temperatures, you know the composition of the air and amount of cloud cover. If you cannot tell me what the man made component of the global temperature was 5 years ago then why should I believe the predictions for 20 or 100 years hence. If it is a scientist you can double down by asking what climate predictions they have made that have come true.

If they provide an answer for 5 years ago, then ask what was the amount of man made temperature component was 10 years ago, 20 years ago and 30 years ago. Then ask about their prediction. Thank them and say will go away to review as this is new information to me. A timeline graph displaying man’s component in the global temperature and Carbon Dioxide over the period will not stand up to even casual scrutiny.

Move the goalposts and stop playing in their climate modelling sandpit. Demand the graph of global temperature for the last 30 years not to just show the global temperature but also the man made component of that temperature.

Steve B
September 27, 2019 1:11 am

The Man made climate scare was never about facts, just about a narrative to force politicians into reacting and depleting the middle class of their hard earned money. They are all parasites eating into society.

September 27, 2019 1:15 am

The author Ben Mezrich in his book “Bitcoin Billionaires” makes an important distinction, I think, between bubbles that burst and those that survive and thrive. The former, such as tulip mania, the south sea bubble and the Darien project had a focussed object or objective. The survivors , such as the Internet, Facebook (subject of a previous book by Mezrich) , and the bitcoin business were and are basically networks.
Although Mezrich did not mention the CAGW/climate change alarmism it occurred to me that the reason for its unstoppable advance is not the superiority of scientific evidence over the data that indicates only moderate influence from CO2 , but the fact that its proponents have established a social network , as many here have pointed out. Destroying one part of the supposed evidence for alarm , eg extinction of polar bears or the GBR or flooding sea levels, does not destroy the network of alarm that has been allowed to grow.
I do not see any way to stop this network from destroying the prosperity and freedoms in the West that our previous generations fought and worked so hard to provide for us.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  mikewaite
September 27, 2019 7:01 am

“I do not see any way to stop this network from destroying the prosperity and freedoms in the West that our previous generations fought and worked so hard to provide for us.”

Trump is about the only thing standing in their way. Trump and his 63 million+ supporters, to be more exact.

Alasdair Fairbairn
September 27, 2019 1:42 am

The politics and methodologies in this so called climate debate bears a remarkable similarity to the the Russian revolution, The rise of Fascism in Germany and the Chinese Cultural Revolution to name but a few.
Generally they all involve the forced imposition of concepts by fair means or foul ( usually foul) for the purpose of obtaining total control and power over the population.
Over some 12 years I have watched this debate as it morphed from the science to little more than political activism.
In the absence of military force the techniques involve the dissemination of falsities cunningly mixed in with the truth playing upon the fears and innocence of the masses.

Paul in his excellent article here sheds a great deal of light what is and has been happening to cause what has now escalated to extraordinary levels of hysteria.
“Control the media and you control the world” seems to be the axiom of the day driving these activists.

As for the science: it has now been neatly trussed up in the web of false consensus and has become irrelevant to the nuvocommunist political purposes.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
September 27, 2019 7:17 am

“Control the media and you control the world” seems to be the axiom of the day driving these activists.”

That is the key, right there. And the alarmists control the media in all the Western democracies. We are seeing brainwashing at its finest taking place right before our eyes.

Human Beings have an innate desire to conform to the majority view because it is the safest place to reside usually. The media gives the impression of representing the majority view, so what the media say has a powerful influence on people, even Republican US Senators who ought to know better.

Just like some Republican US Senators, the academics of the world also take the media seriously and seek to conform to the view the media approves because they think that is the majority view.

Now the question is: How many people have the media succesfully brainwashed into believing human-caused climate change is real, and Trump is the equivalent of Adolf Hitler? We will know the answer to that in November of 2020.

Meanwhile, Trump’s approval ratings continue to climb, and the media’s credibility continues to fall. We shall see what this all means soon.

If the alarmists/leftists didn’t have the news media in their pocket, acting as their attack dogs, they wouldn’t have anything.

Dave Fair
September 27, 2019 1:53 am

I see your problem, Dr. Rossiter: You are educated and have relevant high-level experience. Those disqualify you in any public discussion of climate change. You should be a 16 year old autistic, etc. female. Then you would have credibility. Slink back in your cave, Troglodyte!

shortus cynicus
September 27, 2019 2:36 am

There are two kinds of people. One is treating themselves and nature as resources. Let’s call them Workers. The other is treating people (Workers) as resource to use, let call them Unproductives.
The split is beautifully depicted in the movie Cloud Atlas.
The Unproductives operate with lies, if one fails, then they move to next one, and so on in the eternity. They have no regrets and no moral code (ref. to Saul Alinsky), but they use moral code of the Workers class to attack and manipulate them. Unproductives hate and despise the work itself, treat it as a symbol of low status, of being at the bottom of society. That explains the Trump Derangement Syndrome – an individual who did real work can never be accepted by the Unproductives as their ruler.
Unproductives are uniting against their common enemy: Workers who dare to protests against their exploitation. Antifa and all kinds of an Intelligentsia are their fighting force, always against anyone who dares to think about limiting taxes, public expenses, amount of “work” and “problems to solve” for an unproductive class.
Fortunate for the Workers, through dealing in a real reality they gain intellectual mussels, the Unproductives get always lazier and stupid In the long time they destroys themselves taking sometimes millions of lives of the Workers class into graves.
The Workers always loose in a short time because they apply own universal moral values to the enemy.
What can be done? Please start to treat Unproductives as they treat you, by their own rules, not by ours.
Example 1: state a fact, that Unproductives do not have any moral code and that they are lying blatantly all the time. If they accuse you of defamation, the say that it isn’t, because they do not believe that lie is a wrong thing.
Example 2: If they accuse you of “racism”, answer that according to their nonexistent set of any universal moral values, any action can never be wrong or an accusation.

Reply to  shortus cynicus
September 27, 2019 3:18 am

This is indeed true. I know a fair number of people who will preach that “everything is relative” and there is no absolute truth. They believe this right up until the point someone takes something from THEM. Suddenly then robbery becomes wrong, without question. It’s kind of funny.
But if everything is relative, how are they so sure everyone but them is wrong?

Mark Broderick
September 27, 2019 3:38 am
Kevin kilty
September 27, 2019 4:57 am

I like Douglas Murray, but he is just one of the more recent persons to catalog the cognitive impairments of people. We could start with Cicero “There is no idea so absurd that some philosopher has not considered it”, then to Charles MacKay Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, to the current evolutionary psychologists like John Tooby and Leda Cosmides who have gone a bit beyond mere listing of the symptoms, to some idea of the mechanism behind it all–evolved adaptations from our stone age past become maladaptive in the modern world.

Now, what to do about it? The first response is “Education!” But mass education is proving to be a source of the problem. As is mass media.

September 27, 2019 4:59 am

A factor I see is people being wary of being seen to disagree with the herd. My wife can’t understand why I don’t ‘go along with it’ and has social anxieties due to my being recognised as a ‘climate denier’. On one of the few occasions where I have spoken to any of my wife’s friends about ‘climate change’ the response was one of first shock, and then ‘not up for discussion’ . This to me seems like a side-effect of the general culture of political correctness. If your opinions aren’t in the script from the left-(not very)liberal consensus, you are simply a non-person and a legitimate target. The people with the ‘correct’ opinions are so arrogant and sure of themselves, they regard people with contrary opinions as somehow lesser beings. I had a house-guest when we were on holiday take me to task for reading the Spectator on the basis that it’s ‘right wing’. I didn’t let it bother me, but I would never have had the bad manners to criticise his choice of reading material.
I recently met a pleasant chap who works for a company that runs gas and coal powered generators in the UK and abroad. I remarked ‘Ah, proper power!’, to which he was almost apologetic, “Err, it’s not very clean…”. It was almost as if he were conditioned to be ashamed of his company’s work by the public hysteria. In a rational world he’d be proud rather than cringing.

Paul Penrose
September 27, 2019 10:17 am

I think a big part of the reason people want to believe in catastrophes is because, by all objective measures, mankind has never had it better. And people are having trouble believing that it can last. The are “waiting for the other shoe to drop”, and while they “hope for the best”, they “expect the worst.” These common sayings reveal a dark fatalism built into the species. How can someone even recognize good news when they are expecting the worst? Believing catastrophic predictions is easy with this mindset.

September 27, 2019 10:19 am

Today I was very surprised by a BBC radio programme called The Corrections, which looks at the part played by the MSM in pushing out inaccurate news items.

“The Corrections re-visits four new stories which left the public with an incomplete picture about what really happened. In 2013 the West Sussex village of Balcombe was the site of a showdown between anti-fracking protesters and the energy company Cuadrilla. Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into rock at high pressure to fracture it and release oil or gas that’s trapped there. It’s controversial. But, in fact, there was no fracking in Balcombe that summer. So why did the “battle” there become such a significant national news story?”


No doubts heads will roll at the BBC, as they say in the programme that there was opposition even before the programme went out.

It is well worth listening to, although I don’t know whether it is restricted to UK listeners.

Bruce Cobb
September 27, 2019 10:50 am

Reminds me of the Oscar Wilde play, “The Impotence of Being Bert and Ernie”.

Robert Austin
September 27, 2019 10:54 am

Hence the worst nightmare of the alarmists would be to discover that increasing CO2 levels will be benign and beneficial to mankind. They so want catastrophic climate change to be true that any contrary information is anathema. I see it in my leftist acquaintances. Please don’t confuse me with facts (hands over ears). Vast majority of scientists, 97 percent etc. Don’t ruin my day with good tidings.

Joe Crawford
September 27, 2019 11:24 am

All I can say is: “Dr Paul Rossiter, It makes sense to me. Thank you for posting it.”

Joe Gordon
September 27, 2019 12:52 pm

History, unfortunately, repeats itself. The dark ages, centuries of religious intolerance and rigid control over the populace, must have started with a period remarkably like the last couple of decades. I’m afraid it’s going to get a lot worse before things improve.

The price we’ve paid for allowing countless school boards and university administrations to eliminate science instruction in favor of this religion is enormous. That, combined with intolerable levels of debt… it’s not looking good for our children.

I’m afraid an electrical grid consisting of solar panels, crumbling wind turbines and potato batteries is not going to be enough to keep them connected to whatever the Kardashians are doing on Instagram all that much longer.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Joe Gordon
September 27, 2019 4:04 pm

Joe, your first two paragraphs are pretty close to what is happening today. I think I could also make a pretty good case that the primary cause of the dark ages (there have actually been several) is when too much scientific knowledge filters down to the populace too fast and they react by falling back to fundamentalist religion. And, sorry to say, they then eliminate the intelligentsia and the scientists or at a minimum exile them off to re-education camps followed by some form of theocracy or dictatorship. Change has to be very gradual for a society to survive and prosper and both the internet and social media have essentially made that impossible. So, my guess is unless someone figures out how to rein in social media and the internet and reinstitute critical thinking in our education system we’re headed for another dark ages.

Reply to  Joe Crawford
September 27, 2019 5:48 pm

Just don’t troll their social media icons OK-
Another leftist media hack weaves the usual drivel paradigm into the simple fact they’re really worshipping a tanty brainwashed child with problems and no science to speak of. It’s what they do.

September 27, 2019 7:15 pm

As in science, so also in history: correlation is NOT proof of causation.

The fact that early Marxists echoed a lot of liberal ‘social justice’ themes which had been current since the French Revolution and British lower class justice movements (which Marx was commenting on because they preceded him) certainly does not show that he started them, obviously.

The Catholic Church actually played a major role in spreading ‘social justice’ ideas starting with Rerum Novarum:


which led to European ‘Christian Democracy’ movements. Later Catholic opposition to ‘communism’ obscures the closeness of the original ideas. This was natural as the Church consisted mostly of Irish and non-Anglo congregations who suffered under the 19th Century WASP ascendency (and had reduced its ties to European elites after the French Revolution).

Studied in context, ‘Marxism’ is a very minor player in these social upheavals – easily proven by how very conservative the Soviet Union was within its borders and how quickly they reverted to very conservative societies – for example the main resistance to Merkel’s globalising comes from former communist East Germany, while even she arose among ‘Christian Democrats’ – Marxism can be seen as peripheral. Same in China which is essential a traditional Confucian society with modern Marxist terminology grafted on. Mao even fought Soviet domination because he stood for Chinese exceptionalism i.e. patriotism. Marxism does not seem to have cause anything lasting in either case: except economic development!

But I know I’m pissing into the wind and yet another herd mentality (‘right wing’ this time) will ‘lynch the Marxists’ or whatever. I agree with the idea that we live in a time of irrational herds of people, almost like cattle really. At least Marx studying the French Revolution had a theory about that. Otherwise no one seems to have much of a clue and will blame the messenger when they misunderstand the message (including those who claim to be on his side but use him to manipulate people).

Roger Knights
Reply to  bruce
September 28, 2019 5:13 am

: I agree that “Marxism” isn’t the root of today’s crusading single-vision visionaries. Egalitarianism goes way back, as does fraternalism. Even further back is the extremist mind-set. That’s what predatory animals have. That’s what is being described by Rossiter in the book he cites.

September 27, 2019 8:55 pm

I would like to know what the evidence that this improves anything. The source is https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources_v3/gistemp.html

A grid of cells is selected (8000 equal area cells covering the globe, see note
below), and for each cell a composite series is computed from station records within 1200 km
of the cell center. Each contributing record is weighted according to its distance from the
cell center, linearly decreasing to 0 at a distance of 1200 km.

Also this, in step 2 of the GISTEMP python code:

This step performs a trend adjustment to those stations identified as
urban. An urban station must meet various criteria to have its trend
adjusted (there must be sufficient nearby rural stations and their
combined record must have enough overlap with the urban station); if an
urban station does not meet the criteria, it is discarded.

And this:

Takes an iterator of station records and applies an adjustment
to urban stations to compensate for urban temperature effects.
Returns an iterator of station records. Rural stations are passed
unchanged. Urban stations which cannot be adjusted are discarded.

This seems to contradict the Berkeley Earth web pages, which state:

The “urban heat island” effect is real, but it has not had a significant impact on global temperatures since 1950.

If UHI is real, but has not had a significant impact on global temperatures since 1950 (an oddly specific statement), why does the GISTEMP Python code apply an adjustment to urban stations specifically for that reason?

Here is the algorithm for the “unneeded” urban adjustment:

For each urban station:
1. Find all the rural stations within a fixed radius;
2. Combine the annual anomaly series for those rural stations, in
order of valid-data count;
3. Calculate a two-part linear fit for the difference between
the urban annual anomalies and this combined rural annual anomaly;
4. If this fit is satisfactory, apply it; otherwise apply a linear fit.

If there are not enough nearby rural stations, or the combined
rural record does not have enough overlap with the urban
record, try a second time for this urban station, with a
larger radius. If there is still not enough data, discard the
urban station.

“If the fit is satisfactory.” “Calculate a two-part linear fit for the difference between the urban annual anomalies and this combined rural annual anomaly.” “If there is still not enough [rural] data, discard the urban station.”

How were these adjustments tested to prove they were better than just straight station averaging? What kind of test data was used? I’ve read parts of the original 1989 Hansen et al paper, and as far as I can see, these adjustments and grid weighting schemes were merely proclaimed to be the way it would be done. What was the experiment design that demonstrated this method to be the best for getting global average anomalies?

Lots of unanswered questions. Where are the answers?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  James Schrumpf
September 27, 2019 9:20 pm

James Schrumpf
I think that the anomaly averages that are calculated should be weighted with distance or inverse-square distance weights. I don’t know that that is what is done.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
September 28, 2019 5:30 pm

Isn’t that in the first box of my post:

A grid of cells is selected (8000 equal area cells covering the globe, see note below), and for each cell a composite series is computed from station records within 1200 km of the cell center. Each contributing record is weighted according to its distance from the cell center, linearly decreasing to 0 at a distance of 1200 km

Jim Whiting
September 28, 2019 2:31 pm

Splendid article, suitably depressing. As one more example, this comment below has been “detected as spam” by the Disqus algorithm on multiple sites. It lasts only a few minutes.
>>It has been a recurring incantation that climate is a chaotic non-linear dynamic system. This has been presented as a challenge for us to eliminate the uncertainties and come to a satisfactory understanding allowing reliable predictions and determinations of causality.

There are recurring murmurs that the uncertainty is not only in the details of the data, but in the process itself. And this has been shown to be correct by a careful statistical analysis comparing temperature and precipitation records at multiple sites in the world and in the USA with the predictions of prestigious climate models* (GCM). All stations spanned at least 100 years of data.
Stations selected for (a) temperature (b) precipitation.

Scientists at the U of Athens, Greece presented their findings and concluded:
“Besides confirming the findings of a previous assessment study that model projections at point scale are poor, results show that the spatially integrated projections are also poor…In a large number of stations, the correlation coefficient has low or even negative values for both temperature and precipitation…At all stations examined, there is not a single model run that successfully reproduces the time series of all variables examined…At the Durban station, South Africa, not a single model output shows the 1.5°C fall in mean annual temperature during 1920–1960; instead, all model outputs show a constant increase…

We think that the most important question is not whether GCMs can produce credible estimates of future climate, but whether climate is at all predictable in deterministic terms. Several publications, a typical example being Rial et al. point out the difficulties that the climate system complexity introduces when we attempt to make predictions. “Complexity” in this context usually refers to the fact that there are many parts comprising the system and many interactions among these parts. This observation is correct, but we take it a step further. We think that it is not merely a matter of high dimensionality, and that it can be misleading to assume that the uncertainty can be reduced if we analyse its “sources” as nonlinearities, feedbacks, thresholds, etc., and attempt to establish causality relationships.”

As a species we are very uncomfortable with uncertainty and we are willing to believe the most arrant nonsense in order to decrease and hopefully eliminate it. As C.S. Peirce said, “It is easy to be certain. One has only to be sufficiently vague.”
(So as information content diminishes, certitude increases until finally, at the limit, we can be absolutely certain about nothing. Thus the attraction of Zen Buddhism.)

Scientists are supposed to be inherently comfortable with uncertainty. And many are, as long as it does not interfere with funding. Thus we note the often profound differences, in scientific papers that have material importance, between the cautious and qualified conclusions and the Summary for Executive Action. Others are simply not immune to the incompatibility of uncertainty with emotional equilibrium.<<

Jim Whiting
Reply to  Jim Whiting
September 29, 2019 10:55 am

Has anyone else had that experience with Disqus, with skeptical comments on AGW being deleted as spam?

James Dill
September 29, 2019 5:28 am

Things to consider after reading the article and accompanying comments:
1) There have been many millenarian movements in human history, they almost always end in violence.
2) The effective reach of the warming hysteria is the anglosphere (including the EU), from the eastern border of the EU to the Pacific it is for practical purposes ignored as it is in Africa and South America.
3) Because of the second point the deleterious economic and social effects will be largely localized to the anglosphere.
4) The tolerance of people in the developed world for large losses to their living standard I expect will be low.
5) EVERYONE can read a thermometer and experience winter which may be a reality check.


Jim Whiting
Reply to  James Dill
September 29, 2019 11:05 am

Right on. On that subject, this is worth reading: https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2019/06/perils-human-imagination — discussing the thought that ideas can be very powerful, and most ideas are bad. I assume that means 51% or more. John Gray, the reviewer of the book is a powerful intellect.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  Jim Whiting
September 29, 2019 11:44 am

Couldn’t spot any intellectual content on that site.
NewStatesman, as i can see, is far left echo chamber, full of typical chaotic content decorated with became-rich-quickly click baits.

What else can we expect from a site making articles titled “Our biggest political crisis isn’t Boris Johnson: it’s a warming planet”

Jim Whiting
Reply to  shortus cynicus
September 29, 2019 11:53 am

John Gray is a sound thinker, no matter where he publishes. I note you don’t reply to his review of / criticism of the book. Perhaps you’re not a sound thinker.

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