Climate Extremism in the Age of Disinformation

From Dr Roy Spencer’s Blog

November 18th, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Do the global warming wars ever change anyone’s mind?

I suppose there are a few people whose minds have been changed. As I recall, Judith Curry has said Climategate (now “celebrating” its 10 year anniversary) was her wake-up call that institutionalized climate science might not be all it claims to be. She is now a well-informed and unabashed skeptic of the modern tendency to blame every bad weather event on humans.

While I’m sure there are other examples, the unfortunate truth is that fewer and fewer people actually care about the truth.

The journalist who broke the Climategate story, James Delingpole, yesterday posted an article entitled The Bastards Have Got Away with It!, James concludes with,

“Climategate was the event when, just for a moment, it seemed we’d got the climate scamsters bang to rights, that the world’s biggest scientific (and economic) con trick had been exposed and that the Climate Industrial Complex would be dismantled before it could do any more damage to our freedom and our prosperity. But the truth, it would seem, is no match for big money, dirty politics and madness-of-crowds groupthink. We’ve lost this one, I think, my friends. And the fact that all those involved in this scam will one day burn in Hell is something, I’m afraid, which gives me all too little consolation.”

You see, it does not really matter whether a few bad actors (even if they are leaders of the climate movement) conspired to hide data and methods, and strong-arm scientific journal editors into not publishing papers that might stand in the way of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mission to pin climate change on humans, inflate its seriousness, and lay the groundwork for worldwide governmental efforts to reduce humanity’s access to affordable energy.

The folks were simply trying to Save the Earth™, and we all know that the ends justifies the means, right? So what if they cheated? Boys will be boys, you know. The science is sound, and besides, 97% of all scientists agree that… something.

The Roots of Polarization

One would think that the practice of science would be objective. I once believed this, too. As a fresh post-doc at the University of Wisconsin, when I discovered something new in satellite data, I was surprised to encounter NASA employees who tried to keep my work from being published because they feared it would interfere with a new satellite mission they were working toward. I eventually got it published as a cover article in the prestigious journal, Nature.

But the subject I was dealing with did not have the profound financial, political, policy, and even religious import that climate change would end up having. Furthermore, 35 years ago things were different than today. People were less tribal. There is an old saying that one should not discuss politics or religion in polite company, but it turns out that social media is far from polite company.

From a practical standpoint, what we do (or don’t do) about human-caused climate change supports either (1) a statist, top-down governmental control over human affairs that involves a more socialist political framework, or (2) an unconstrained individual-freedom framework where capitalism reigns supreme. So, one could easily be a believer (or non-believer) in the ‘climate emergency’ based upon their political leanings. While I know a few socialists who are skeptical of human-caused climate change being a serious issue, this is the exception rather than the rule. The same is true of capitalists who think that we must transition away from fossil fuels to wind and solar energy (unless they stand to make money off the transition through subsidies, in which case they are financially rather than ideologically driven).

Or, on a spiritual level, a human who desires to worship something must ultimately choose between the Creation or the Creator. There is no third option. I find that most Earth scientists are nature worshipers (showing various levels of fervor) and consider the Earth to be fragile. In contrast, those who believe the Earth was created for the purpose of serving humanity tend to view nature as being resilient and less sensitive to lasting damage. Both of these views have equally religious underpinnings since “fragile” and “resilient” are emotive and qualitative, rather than scientific, terms.

So, I would argue it really does not matter that much to most alarmists or skeptics what the evidence shows. As long as 8 billion people on the planet have some, non-zero effect on climate — no matter how small or unmeasurable — the alarmist can still claim that ‘we shouldn’t be interfering with the climate system’. As a counter example, the skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg actually believes the alarmist science from the IPCC, but claims that economics tells us it’s better to live in and adapt to a warmer world until we have more cost-effective substitutes for fossil fuels. For this stance regarding policy, he is labeled a global warming denier despite fully believing in human-caused climate change.

The Role of the Disinformation Superhighway

Baylor Professor Alan Jacobs has an interesting essay entitled On Lost Causes regarding the tendency for people to believe anything they see on the internet if it supports their biases.

He mentions a recent novel in which a high-tech billionaire, fed up with the disinformation he sees on the Web, concocts an elaborate online story that Moab, Utah has been obliterated by a nuclear explosion. He has CGI video, actors, witnesses, and an elaborate (but fake) social media presence to support the story. Al

The plan is to then show the world how easily they were duped, so that people would become less credulous when digesting information.

But instead, people cling to their belief. Even after many years, the ‘Moab truthers’ claim that anyone who disputes that Moab was destroyed are trolls or paid shills. People could actually travel to Moab to see for themselves, but virtually no one does.

In the climate wars, I see this behavior from both skeptics and alarmists. The alarmists point to increasing storms, heat waves, wildfires, etc. as evidence that humans are making weather worse. When they are shown evidence from a century of more of data that, no, things are not getting worse, these ‘storm truthers’ still bitterly cling to their beliefs while calling us skeptics “deniers”.

On the flip side, I routinely engage skeptics who claim that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect, and that it is physically impossible for the cold atmosphere to make the surface warmer by increasing its CO2 content, anyway. No matter how many different ways I try to show how they are wrong, they never change their stance.

As a result, despite being a skeptic on the subject of humans having a serious effect on global climate, I’ve had to block more fellow skeptics from commenting on my blog than I have blocked alarmists. So, I get attacked from people on both sides of the issue.

I partly blame the public education system for the current state of affairs. Students are increasingly taught what to think, rather than how to think. Also to blame is the (probably unavoidable) funding of science by government, which President Eisenhower warned would cause science to become corrupted by a handful of powerful elites who did not have the advancement of scientific knowledge as the central goal.

When politicians have control over the purse strings, is it any wonder that politicians would preferentially fund the science which benefits certain policy outcomes, usually involving more government control over the lives of citizens? There have been innumerable funding programs to explore the human influence on climate (spoiler alert: every change we see is human-caused), yet almost no money goes to understanding natural sources of climate change.

Both Delingpole (describing the failure of Climategate to change attitudes) and Jacobs (describing the tendency of people to believe anything that supports their tribal beliefs) end their articles on a sour note. I have already quoted Delingpole’s conclusion, above. Here’s how Jacobs end his essay:

“..if at this stage of the game, given what we know about how social media work and about the incentives of the people who make TV, you’re still getting your dopamine rush by recycling TV-news clips and shouting at people on the Internet, you’re about as close to beyond hope as a human being gets. There is no point talking to you, trying to reason with you, giving you facts and the sources of those facts. You have made yourself invulnerable to reason and evidence. You’re a Moab truther in the making. So, though I do not in theory write anyone off, in practice I do. It’s time to give you up as a lost cause and start figuring out how to prevent the next generation from becoming like you.”

Delingpole and Jacobs come to sobering — even depressing — conclusions. Unfortunately, like these two authors I do not have much reason to be hopeful that things will get better anytime soon.

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November 19, 2019 10:34 am

“The science is sound, and besides, 97% of all scientists agree that… something.”

We gotta protect our jobs!

Greg Woods
Reply to  icisil
November 19, 2019 10:58 am

I believe that Reality, that is, nature, will prove who is right, the Alarmists or the Realists…

Steve M
Reply to  Greg Woods
November 19, 2019 1:03 pm

Depends on how much they can “adjust” the data. Even if Nature decides to cool for a good, long time, it might just be adjusted away.

Reply to  Steve M
November 20, 2019 5:13 am

They can’t adjust away the freezing point of water.

John Endicott
Reply to  Sparko
November 21, 2019 6:59 am

Doesn’t matter. they just adjust the records so that you can’t prove whether or not the water frozen in the past. Perception, not reality, is what they’re selling and politicians and the compliant media are buying it up and pushing it onto the masses regardless of what the actual underlying reality is.

November 19, 2019 11:00 am

“Do the global warming wars ever change anyone’s mind?”

Of course. Those who admit they don’t know. Those who say, “I don’t know (the secret of all learning), teach me” (the evidence of humility, with, and only with, truth can do its work)”.

Reply to  icisil
November 20, 2019 12:24 am


I was a 100% gullible believer in Al Gores Cult. I realised I was wrong when I asked the simple question ‘where is the definitive evidence that CO2 causes the world to warm’. Over ten years later I’m still looking.

I was convinced the planet was warming from trivial observations I made in the 70’s and 80’s but I couldn’t quite swallow that a change of (then) ~200 ppm in atmospheric CO2 could cause it. Of course when It dawned on me that man’s contribution to that was ~3% I became truly sceptical.

I’m no scientist but I recognise that there is a considerable body of evidence which, perhaps not entirely correct itself, provides sufficient doubt that humankind should not be reacting with the political knee jerk response it has adopted.

By all means, clean up emissions from dirty power stations and stop chucking industrial volumes of plastics into the oceans, but rushing headlong into woefully inadequate renewables, EVV’s, and wholesale societal change in the west, is murdering people elsewhere.

The inevitable, political knee jerk reversal will be at least as financially and politically catastrophic.

Kenneth Hunter
Reply to  HotScot
November 20, 2019 9:55 pm

Hear! Hear!
Well and truly stated my friend.
Thank you.

Reply to  icisil
November 20, 2019 12:25 am

Yet another post of mine sent for moderation.

Mark Broderick
November 19, 2019 11:09 am

“Delingpole and Jacobs come to sobering — even depressing — conclusions. Unfortunately, like these two authors I do not have much reason to be hopeful that things will get better anytime soon.”

The 2020 re-election of President Trump will be the proverbial “straw that breaks the Socialist camels back”.
Even if you hate President Trump, for the sake of freedom and democracy, vote for all Republicans….Your grandchildren will thank you….

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Mark Broderick
November 19, 2019 7:31 pm

If Trump is elected again, I predict large scale violence from the left. They are overly emotional and thoroughly unhinged already.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Robert of Texas
November 20, 2019 3:49 am

Trump’s re-election as POTUS will only prolong America’s decline into Anarchy ….. simply because the “social pendulum” has done swung too far to the “left” past center to ever swing back via a re-nurturing/re-education of 3 or 4 generations of the population.

The Public Schools are “turning out” far more lefty liberal socialists each and every year …. that makes it impossible for any corrective actions to be taken.

Thus, like the Death of the Phoenix, …….. America will have to be destroyed so that it can (hopefully) arise anew from the ashes.

November 19, 2019 11:09 am

Do not despair! The sheer hysteria and absurdity of the activists is about to be exposed. Here in the UK we have a general election as critical as the 2016 Presidential. In it the “committed” alarmist parties, ( labour, libdems and greens) are holding an auction into the years to (an obviously impossible) “zero emissions” UK, ignoring the easily describable cost to the life of every citizen. They have handed the agenda to the psychotic clowns of “ extinction rebellion” who are, at this moment, conducting a hunger strike outside the headquarters of the opposition leader Jeremy Corbin. The BBC and MSM are silent about this! Boris Johnson is uttering empty platitudes and maintaining a distance from this issue. Consider the “yellow vests” in France, now a year of activity and still proceeding. The riots in Chile and Iran, for god’s sake. German farmers adopting the French tradition and closing down cities ( Hamburg) with “tractor power”. Compare China’s cautious reaction in Hong kong compared with that in Tianamen Square those years ago. Civil disobedience now weighs much higher and more effective in the age of electronic media. I think that globally the genie is emerging from the bottle and once out, will not be replaceable.
The bottom lines;
Almost all future increases in CO2 emissions will come from the “developing” world.
NO unilateral or other local action will make the slightest difference to the global outcome.
The local outcomes, if any – certainly positive in temperate regions for at least 3 generations- are built in.
“Zero emissions” are clearly impossible and the attempt, economic and therefore political, suicide.

By popcorn futures.

November 19, 2019 11:35 am

Do not despair! The absurdity of the climate activist position is fast becoming exposed. Here in the UK we are in a general election in which the prime opposition parties, Labour, Lib Dem’s and Greens are engaged in an auction as to how soon to implement a clearly impossible “zero emission” nation.
In doing so the have passed the agenda to the psychotic clowns “extinction rebellion” who are presently, unreported by the BBC and MSM, conducting a hunger strike at the headquarters of the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbin, because his trade unions backers have forced him to forward “zero emissions” from 2030 to 2045. Boris Johnson has uttered empty platitudes and so distanced himself from the debacle. The others are this as the weapon to force Brexit off the agenda — good luck with that!
Look at the world outside. The yellow vest protest in France, now a year old and still going on.
The riots in Chile and Iran, for God’s sake (or perhaps Allah’s) over fuel prices. The German Farmers, adopting the French tradition of using tractor power to close cities (Hamburg) over the green bankruptcy that threatens them. Note the Chinese caution in Hong Kong compared to their response to Tianemen Square protests those years ago.
The peasants are certainly revolting because the basic truth cannot be hidden any longer in the world of electronic media communication.
The future increase in emission will be entirely in the “developing” world.
No unilateral action be any entity will have any measurable effect on future outcomes.
“Zero emissions” Are economies and political suicide in any state.

Buy popcorn futures

November 19, 2019 12:06 pm

Good article and comments.

Thee IPCC gives the alarmist movement the appearance of approval.

Solution, the USA who as I understand it, pays the most t to the UN should tell them to abolish the IPCC or else all monies will stop .

For President Trump to tell the EPA to go ahead with a court case to prove that CO2 is a good gas. And for him to call a conference of top science to discuss energy and the myth of CC .

Other than all of that we can only wait till the economies of various countries in the West start to collapse and their politics move to the right. Snag with that is we may again see a far right party emerge, which while it wipes out the nonsense of CC, will also take away many of our hard fort for “”Freedoms””


Reply to  Michael
November 19, 2019 1:17 pm

Far right or a left-right nexus of totalitarian-anarchist ideologies.

Reply to  n.n
November 19, 2019 4:35 pm

The vast majority of groups that the media proclaims to be far right, are in fact far left.
For the most part the right just wants to be left alone. It’s the left that feels the need to control how others live their lives.

Reply to  MarkW
November 20, 2019 12:36 am



I’m as far right as one can get. I believe in free trade, the democratic process, small government and low taxes, the rule of law etc.

What I don’t do is march the streets with a skinhed, bovver boots and covered in N@zi tattoos.

And if anyone cares to trot along to therein lies the irrefutable evidence that H!tler was a socialist, writ in black and white.

Reply to  Michael
November 19, 2019 3:36 pm

Expecting Trump to take appropriate action is surely a lost cause. It’s hard to discern any commitment from him to fostering truth.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Dwieland
November 19, 2019 6:01 pm

Who’s done better, Dwieland? Which president?

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 19, 2019 7:30 pm

I didn’t say there is or was anyone better, only that Trump is unlikely to be very helpful.

John Endicott
Reply to  Dwieland
November 21, 2019 7:08 am

Pulling out of the Paris accord alone is more “helpful” than any other politician you could name would have been. unless you can name a candidate who would have done more (and we both know you can’t). So railing about Trump being “unlikely to be very helpful” just doesn’t stand up to the facts and the reality of the situation – Trump has been more helpful than any other contender for the job.

Alasdair Fairbairn
Reply to  Michael
November 19, 2019 7:02 pm

The IPCC not only approves the warmist movement it generated it.
Also I do not think that the climate debate is necessarily a left/right thing . Best be wary of conflating the two.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alasdair Fairbairn
November 21, 2019 9:29 am

the two get conflated because the leadership are pushing a left-wing agenda under the cover of “saving the planet” from CAGW aka “climate change”. While there may be useful idiots on the right who align themselves with the CAGW crowd, for the most part CAGW is a left-wing cause celebre

Bryan A
November 19, 2019 12:23 pm

Dr Spencer,
While it would be impossible to prove/disprove the assertion that Skeptics banned from your blog vehemently affirm a disbelief in the Greenhouse Effect, it would be equally impossible to affirm that those same skeptics weren’t in fact alarmists attempting to give climate skepticism a bad name. (Unless they were persons you personally know and also have physical contact with).
I certainly wouldn’t put it past the Big Green funded Alarmist Movement to post whacky skeptic posts just to paint an otherwise healthy climate science skepticism in a bad light.

Reply to  Bryan A
November 19, 2019 2:38 pm

The well known “false flag” operation.

Reply to  Bryan A
November 19, 2019 3:08 pm

Don’t be fooled Bryan, there are plenty of wingnuts on the skeptical side too. Cotton springs to mind, there are many others.

Joel O'Bryan
November 19, 2019 12:42 pm

Take heart Roy. Black Swans keep appearing.

1. Rise of China after its 2002 WTC entry, and totally disrupting post-WW2 trade flows and manufacturing centers across the developed countries. With the side effect of becoming the world’s largest CO2 emitter and willfully unconstrained by the COP process, with no reason to expect any mitigation until at least 2030.

2. US Fracking revolution for tight oil/gas, beginning under the nose of President Obama, that continues un-bowed by OPEC’s 2014 attempts to crush it with cheap oil. US Energy dominance now means secure US oil/gas supplies (should the domestic political environment allow it) and oil remains globally affordable on this increased world supply. Domestically, cheap nat gas places market disincentives on more solar and wind power that can only be counter-acted by more subsidies for renewables down the road (watch for it). The US export LNG revolution is a second wave of this Black Swan energy tsunami — cheap natgas (LNG) will crush wind and solar schemes around the world as well unless subsidies for those are ramped up even higher in those locations. In Germany, the Russian NordStream2 gas pipe will cement Germany’s dependence on Putin, but also allow it to finally turn off the last brown (lignite) coal-fed power plants as vulnerability to Ukraine instability will be eliminated. The UK can and should look to fracking for natural gas in the North Sea of its own and to US supplies of LNG as Brexit takes-hold. These are shock wave ripples of US Energy Dominance.

3. The election of Trump and hiseffectively telling the UNFCCC COP to go replicate itself was probably the 3rd Black Swan the Climate Change alarmists never expected. Now US Energy dominance is real, but this Black Swan will fade quickly if a Warren or Sanders (maybe even a moderate Democrat because forces within that Party are becoming anti-fossil fuel energy to draconian levels) were to become President after the 2020 election. A Democrat President who follows thru on promises to shut-down fracking everywhere and stop oil and gas leases on Federal lands and offshore waters would shatter the US economy overnight and put the global economy into a tailspin. The result of a world-wide recession of course would be loss of demand for oil thus softening the ultimate loss of affordability, but ultimately blocking any recovery. Into this arsonist-created crisis, Progressive-Socialists would swarm with their socialist policies riding to the rescue on the crisis they created. As a quick payback to Environmental supporters, a 2021 Democrat President would probably on Day 1 issue an EO directing the cessation of ANWR oil/gas exploration, which would also certainly put the Alaskan pipeline on a deathwatch countdown. That result would be the stranding of much of the remaining North Slope reserves already leased and removal of Alaskan oil from the US daily output in probably a few years.

As we’ve seen in the French Yellow Vet movement, and protests in Chile, the people pushing back aginst the higher energy costs can have an effect on a national level. The Leftists have pulled back for now, hoping for a 2020 Democratic victory in the US before another big push. From this I expect they’ll moderate any world economy killing demands out of COP25, but not the climate alarmist rhetoric.

How China handles Hong Kong has the potential to be a non-linear game change event for its relations with the West. Iran is still effectively in a proxy war with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Syria is finally winding down. Where Venezuela, with its large oil reserves, goes in the coming year will certainly be interesting.

So Black Swans are stilling certainly going to keep coming. By definition they are unknown until their realization has swept past like a tsunami wave hitting in darkness only to see the effects in the daylight after it has passed.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 19, 2019 3:02 pm

1. Rise of China after its 2002 WTC entry,

Buildings 1,2 and 7 disappeared in a cloud of dust in 2001. Which part of WTC did China enter in 2002?

Reply to  Greg
November 19, 2019 3:40 pm

Perhaps that was supposed to be WTO?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Greg
November 19, 2019 7:33 pm

Yes, I meant WTO. Obvious. Duh.
I deployed for 4 months to SE Asia after 9/11 in the military campaign to topple the Taliban and eliminate AQ.
So you don’t have to get snarky on me on what was at stake or what we lost at the WTC.

The actual date was 11 December 2001 for communist China formal entry to the WTO. Close enough to 2002 for my memory.

Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2019 12:43 pm

A false eqivalence is being made, between Alarmists of all stripes and a fringe group of Skeptics who (supposedly) claim that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist. Most Skeptics/Climate Realists say that it exists, but has a diminishing effect as levels rise, and that we can’t (and haven’t been able to) actually point to what warming man has actually caused. In other words, whatever warming man has caused is a) small, and thus inconsequential, and b) whatever slight warming we may have caused is net beneficial. That isn’t the same as claiming that it doesn’t exist.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 19, 2019 1:27 pm

I agree Bruce.
The Charney Sensitivity (ECS) from observation is now likely between 0.7℃ to 1.7℃ per doubling-CO2.
That is a warmest-skeptic position that the GHG effect is both real and based on reasonable interpretations of climate physics w/o the need for unobserved positive (water vapor) feedbacks.

But that range is not an alarming value like the UNFCCC wants/needs for its globalist Agenda 2030.

So we can expect the IPCC AR6 to go further into Fake Science activism with claims well above it’s long-held 1.5℃ to 4.5℃ range. And when they do that, the reactive pushback from warmist-skeptic position will require our voices remain being heard. But the Left is now deeply intent on silencing Free Speech and the reasonable Skeptic science arguments.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 20, 2019 8:09 am

“The Charney Sensitivity (ECS) from observation is now likely between 0.7℃ to 1.7℃ per doubling-CO2.”


The Charney Sensitivity (ECS) from observation is now likely between 0.7℃ to 1.7℃ per doubling-CO2 IF and ONLY IF you assume that all of the temperature change “observed” is caused by CO2, which it most certainly is NOT.

The “sensitivity” of temperature to atmospheric CO2 is essentially ZERO, based on observations, including the paleoclimate record. At any time frame examined, atmospheric CO2 level changes FOLLOW temperature changes (when correlated at ALL), and are thus the “cause” of NONE of those temperature changes. The notion that atmospheric CO2 has ANY effect on temperature is PURELY HYPOTHETICAL.

November 19, 2019 1:03 pm

“start figuring out how to prevent the next generation from becoming like you”

Easier said than done, given the success of “the long march through the institutions.”

john cooknell
November 19, 2019 1:20 pm

This is a quote from the Otto (2018) attribution model paper on which all this climate change attribution depends.

“We do this by simulating possible weather under current climate conditions to identify the likelihood of occurrence of an event in question in today’s climate and compare this with the likelihood of occurrence of the same kind of event in a counterfactual climate with the human-induced drivers removed.”

The model predicts the model QED. Appears to be circular thinking at its most awful.

November 19, 2019 1:33 pm

I think the reason that maybe some of those dubious skeptic comments are tolerated here is that it serves a purpose in real skeptics having to check their bs meter, and/or their actual scientific learning to analyze whether or not we are being led astray by dubious claims from some so called skeptics such as there is no greenhouse effect or other such claims that are generally accepted by most everyone as valid science. I can think of a few here who repeatedly post the same message there is no greenhouse effect almost as a copy/paste of their previous comments on the same matter.

Notwithstanding that this site is in support of free speech as long as it is on topic, not a banned topic and is proper civil discourse. I think it is better to put up with the few out to lunch skeptics that post nonsense science, than to outright ban them as most of the MSM sites do with all skeptical comments, since it serves a purpose in making us think. Besides, when you see their name after awhile, you can just skip reading what they wrote since it is probably bs anyway.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Earthling2
November 24, 2019 7:30 pm

E2, Maxwell proved Thermodynamically and via IGL, that there can be no ghe. In the 1860s.
Einstein then, in 1917, used Maxwell’s Statistical Mechanics to prove it beyond doubt.
But you know better…..Others, from Woods to Soon and Connally(s), continue to show you lukies up. I still regard us as in the same boat, but tire of their weak grasp of Physics and of cause and effect. Radiation being the weak effect of Kinetic Energy and its resultant gaseous bouyancy. With WV being the dominating wild card. Sad, really. Brett Keane

Reply to  Brett Keane
November 25, 2019 7:49 am

From what I understand, WUWT does support the science that there is a GHE and it is ‘official’ policy here. It is minimal and also logarithmic so adding more CO2 over time doesn’t necessarily mean things keep getting warmer. Or we don’t fully understand any negative feedbacks that may reduce or cancel out any net warming effect. Anyway, a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial times of 280 ppmv to 560 ppmv barely adds 1 degree C overall, and what’s not to like about that? How could anyone prove that a small warming is bad or that it isn’t an insurance against a natural variation cooling event.

At worst, it is probably at least 50-50 good/bad proposition and probably more likely that 2/3 or more of any warming is a major net plus for the biosphere. Not to mention that CO2 is an essential plant food and responsible for the great greening of the good Earth. I think the hard core skeptics who argue against the GHE and insult other skeptics here who say there is an ghe and that the science is valid but beneficial overall do an injustice to both science and this site. Calling others you disagree with lukies or warmistas while this site allows your opinion is a bit disrespectful. Sort of like all of us here being labeled deniers for having the views that we do have on climate science. Belittling people and slinging mild ad homs at some of us because it doesn’t meet your standards just make the site look bad. I don’t mind your opinion and don’t react personally to your posts that you claim there is no ghe effect. Why you say it is sad that I do? Anyway, I agree that WV is the vast major dominant GHG. What we both would probably agree with is that there is no vast feedback mechanism that would make catastrophic warming worse on top of any calculated warming from the GHE itself, which is the core of the alarmist message.

William Astley
November 19, 2019 1:36 pm

It is a physical problem, not a fight. of deniers vs believers.

If CAGW was completely bogus, cooling would be possible. What we need is cooling to change the conversation, say 0.3C in the next three months.

The plateau of no warming leaves extreme weather for the cult to push as evidence of something.

There is hard evidence and analysis (more than a half dozen independent lines of thought in peer reviewed papers) that supports the assertion that humans caused less than 5% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2.

For example, we have discovered that C14 from the atomic bomb tests has made its way via surface particulate organic carbon that is sinking to the deepest trench in the ocean with almost no delay.

The finding that there is a massive amount of surface carbon that is carried down to the bottom of the ocean as particulate organic carbon completely disproves the CAGW Bern’s equation which makes the assumption that there is zero particulate organic carbon sinking to bottom of the ocean every year and that the only way the deep ocean can gain carbon is by ocean circulation that takes hundreds of years.

Carbon cycle modelling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2: on the construction of the “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma.

The Bern model assumes that ocean circulation (with hundreds of years delay) is the only method for deep sequestration of CO2 in the ocean.

The alleged long lifetime of 500 years for carbon diffusing to the deep ocean is of no relevance to the debate on the fate of anthropogenic CO2 and the “Greenhouse Effect”, because POC (particular organic carbon; carbon pool of about 1000 giga-tonnes; some 130% of the atmospheric carbon pool) can sink to the bottom of the ocean in less than a year (Toggweiler, 1990).

Bomb C14 Found in Ocean Deepest Trenches

‘Bomb Carbon’ from Cold War Nuclear Tests Found in the Ocean’s Deepest Trenches

Bottom feeders
Organic matter in the amphipods’ guts held carbon-14, but the carbon-14 levels in the amphipods’ bodies were much higher. Over time, a diet rich in carbon-14 likely flooded the amphipods’ tissues with bomb carbon, the scientists concluded.

Ocean circulation alone would take centuries to carry bomb carbon to the deep sea. But thanks to the ocean food chain, bomb carbon arrived at the seafloor far sooner than expected, lead study author Ning Wang, a geochemist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, said in a statement

November 19, 2019 1:46 pm

You are missing the `wave function` in all of this
The scientists want to work and the governments (and funders) give them money to do just that,
the companies want to earn profits so work and sell to do just that.
and the science is settled. (they say)
Unfortunately the next wave of untarnished and unsullied scientists and companies are out there slowly gestating, and they will grow into a world that they will question and measure and learn more than the `old settled science` guys know, and they will have people who catch the media. and they will raise discussions and write reports, and things will once again change. especially if its not getting hotter/drier/wetter/more/less/higher/lower/etc !
just look how long it took to get the zero into use, or the decimal place, gosh – its only taken Blighty about 60 years to `go metric`

November 19, 2019 1:53 pm

Ok, I’m a skeptic. Prove that CO2 has any measurable greenhouse effect and Connolly and Connolly and Nikolov and Zeller are wrong. Max. Effect from CO 2 doubling is 0.85 degree K at most ie negligable. Tumbleweed….

November 19, 2019 2:05 pm

The article mentions “the modern tendency to blame every bad weather event on humans.”

It’s hardly a modern tendency, the old testament is full of extreme weather events that are regarded as proof that mankind needs to repent and change behaviour.

Much of climate ‘science’ could, quite reasonably, be called old testament science.

B d Clark
November 19, 2019 2:11 pm

Heres one MSM who have gone against the grain and posted the truth

What the sceptic movement need is a leader, I also believe the alternative media have and continue to expose the climate lie ,many many people would be unaware of a opposing view if not for the work of hundreds of web sites ,blogs ect ect including this site, people search for answers when they know something is wrong ,hence the trolls yell when links are posted to a sceptics web site,there afraid of a opposing view.

The question has to be asked with so many knowledgeable people here what are you doing ? Is there a plan or more years of talking? I suspect theres many folk willing to support a plan of action.

Esther Cook
November 19, 2019 2:30 pm

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

We need something new, a distraction that doesn’t make anybody wrong. And there is one. One of the green platform items is actually sane and productive. Profitable, even. That is Restoration Agriculture. It is a growing thing, both as in increasing popularity and as in my heroine name Lady Life Grows. As greens get into it, and persuade farmers to use cover crops, etc. farming gets more productive, food tastes better, and carbon is sequestered into the soil, the only place it needs to be sequestered. And then they can quit screaming with frustration about “deniers.” They WILL figure out eventually that carbon dioxide means MORE LIFE.
Right now, they feel helpless. Obummer gutted the coal industry and CO2 ppm continued steadily up. Obviously, we aren’t doing anything to stop the Earth from boiling to death. When carbon returns to earthworms and bugs and soil mycelia and other plant symbiotes, they will have made a real change. Panic can stop and they can face reality.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Esther Cook
November 20, 2019 8:29 am

“Obviously, we aren’t doing anything to stop the Earth from boiling to death. ”

Obviously, the Earth ISN’T “boiling to death,” and we don’t NEED to do ANYTHING in that respect.

November 19, 2019 3:46 pm

Been reading a bit of stuff like this recently, but you’ve voiced it more clearly than most. I’m not too interested in public-debates in general, for the same basic reasons, especially with regard to anything nuanced or complex. It’s not just a matter of learning how to think, but also learning how to teach yourself because the ‘teachers’ are almost all dishonest blind-guides. It did not take long to be disabused of any hopey notion that the internet would collectively form a giant global brain that would make humanity smarter than ever possible before. It’s partisan nonsense, empowering warped agendas, all the way down. Most of the nu-‘enlightened’ decided they really hate humans, especially hate civilization, hate capitalism, hate cheap energy, hate good people and hate success most of all.

So much for social-media and ‘public-debate’ as it’s now “Members-Only” who are ‘chosen’ to ‘debate’ the merits of the Climate-Religion.

We’re right back to the mental equivalent of casting-out of demons, ratcheting up fanaticism, public funded Climate Madrasa’s and scorching the feet of heretics to make them repent and ‘convert’. At least Saint Greta isn’t going for Mann’s promotion of indulgences.

Ulric Lyons
November 19, 2019 4:14 pm

Experts on both sides of the coup are reluctant to change theirs minds on the natural variability of weather and climate being internal and unforced. While evidence of how the Sun drives it is the pathway to breaking the coup, and to weather and climate science with real utility. Such evidence is a great challenge for experts on both sides of the coup. But how are we to explain climate if we cannot explain weather.

I didn’t notice Roy proving me wrong on this before he blocked me:

November 19, 2019 4:14 pm

The only thing keeping the warmists from actually winning and implementing their programs is that the programs are insanely expensive and wildly impractical. Add to it that ordinary people who might buy the warmists’ story still want to be cool in the summer, warm in the winter , refrigerate their food. and drive their kids to soccer practice The masses may be gullible, but they want what they want and aren’t giving it up just because some guy who they believe is smarter than they are tells them to.

Roger Knights
November 19, 2019 5:01 pm

“I find that most Earth scientists are nature worshipers (showing various levels of fervor) and consider the Earth to be fragile.”

And feminine, and virginal, and threatened by MAN’S EMISSIONS, and in need of a white-knight savior.

Robert B
November 19, 2019 5:21 pm

I don’t think Dr Spencer will accept the gratitude, because he is not sceptical or cynical enough, but thanks to you and Dr Christie for without your good work, the world would be three degrees warmer (and CO2 levels at 500 ppm).

Mark Shulgasser
November 19, 2019 6:29 pm

I don’t attribute as much power to ideology as you do. What we’re seeing is an economic war, a competition between two industries, the fossil fuel behemoths, and the technological mavericks who see fortunes to be made in seizing part of the energy pie. Renewables are not about to alter the face of capitalism. Fossil fuel companies are at the ready to take over renewables, just as tobacco companies will take over cannabis trade. Both socialists and individualists are being opportunistically manipulated by market makers.

Eugene Lynx
November 19, 2019 8:18 pm

Good one.

John F. Hultquist
November 19, 2019 8:42 pm

Roy, thanks for the essay.

Students are increasingly taught what to think, rather than how to think. “

I taught introductory Earth Science in college and had students ask for the information needed to pass the class (tests). Some wanted to know why I discussed material that wasn’t going to appear on the next test.
These encounters made me wonder what was going on in high school.

Ronald Bruce
November 19, 2019 11:22 pm

The point being missed here is that the warmists are not interested in the climate, the temperature, sea level rise, or storms or any other of those events, what the real aim is and this has been going on for nearly 40 years, is to impose a One World socialist government, climate change is only a means to that end.

Reply to  Ronald Bruce
November 24, 2019 5:34 pm


Martin A
November 20, 2019 12:44 am

Unfortunately, like these two authors I do not have much reason to be hopeful that things will get better anytime soon.


2000 years from now, we will still be praying to St Greta and St Michael to save us from the demon Seodoo. The fact that CAGW never happened will be the proof that the total ban on fossil fuel was what saved us and that, in our mud hut dwellings, further sacrifices are necessary.

Thomas Dillon
November 20, 2019 5:42 am

Well written Doc. Thank you.

Michael Carter
November 20, 2019 11:22 am

“Or, on a spiritual level, a human who desires to worship something must ultimately choose between the Creation or the Creator. There is no third option.”

Maybe, but a 3rd fraternity exists that worships nothing. We have an attitude that things “are as they are” and that the best we can do is observe, learn, and admire. Some of us may adopt a career or interest that investigates the great matter further with no underlying principles to which our conclusions must comply.


Jim Whelan
November 21, 2019 9:03 am

Back when the “hockey stick” was first published the internet was in its infancy. Universities had web sites that were pretty mush completely open. No security, no paywalls. I started looking around for details to determine how much of a threat this warming was. One of the first things I found was a climate scientist saying it was okay to ignore contradictory data “because the theory is so obviously true”. Right away I knew that he wasn’t actually a scientist. From then on I doubted the theory and considered everything I saw about warming with skepticism. “Climategate” wasn’t any surprise to me.

Brett Keane
November 24, 2019 7:39 pm

E2, Maxwell proved Thermodynamically and via IGL, that there can be no ghe. In the 1860s.
Einstein then, in 1917, used Maxwell’s Statistical Mechanics to prove it beyond doubt.
But you know better…..Others, from Woods to Soon and Connally(s), continue to show you lukies up. I still regard us as in the same boat, but tire of their weak grasp of Physics and of cause and effect. Radiation being the weak effect of Kinetic Energy and its resultant gaseous bouyancy. With WV being the dominating wild card. Sad, really. Brett Keane

Brett Keane
November 25, 2019 12:51 am

The above, plus Einstein’s 1917 Paper on the subject, have comprehensively shown the way to those who choose to rise above radiation, a weak negative 4th Power result not cause of effective Kinetic Energy. I back Maxwell, Einstein and even my own research (last and least of course). Brett Keane, NZ

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