A New Year’s Look At WUWT

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Today, as the result of a series of wrong turns and bad choices, I ended up at the Wikipedia entry for Watts Up With That. It says:

Watts Up With That? (WUWT) is a blog promoting climate change denial that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.  

The blog predominantly discusses climate issues with a focus on anthropogenic climate change, generally accommodating beliefs that are in opposition to the scientific consensus on climate change. 

Appalled by the misrepresentations in that, I thought I might comment on them.

First, the blog doesn’t “promote climate change denial”. I always laugh when I read about “denial” because none of the authors of such nonsense ever get around to telling us exactly what we’re supposed to be “denying”. Me, I deny nothing. I disagree with some of the revealed wisdom of those who believe in “consensus science” but that’s a very different thing. And for those who would like a full explanation of why “consensus” has nothing to do with science, let me recommend a wonderful paper entitled Aliens Cause Global Warming.

The real misunderstanding, however, is that WUWT doesn’t “promote” anything. Instead, it serves a very different purpose. Let me explain what WUWT really is, which will require a bit of a digression. But then if you know me, you’ll know that I’m susceptible to being sidetractored …

Many, perhaps most people don’t understand what science is. Some say they rely on “the science”, as if such a thing existed. Others think that science is a subject. Some believe that a scientific “consensus” establishes truth. 

In fact, science is a process, not a subject. And it is a most curious process, one that has brought infinite good to the world. The process works as follows:

  • Someone comes up up with an idea about how the world works.
  • They publish their results in some public forum, along with all of the facts, logic, references, mathematics, and/or computer code that they think will support their idea.
  • Then other people try to poke holes in their facts, logic, references, etc.
  • If they are successful in that process, then the idea goes down in flames. 
  • If nobody can find any errors in what they’ve done, then their idea is provisionally accepted as being valid.
  • The reason the acceptance is “provisional” is that at some time in the future, someone may find something wrong with the idea. 

Now, there are several import things to note about this process we call “science”

  • It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea. Either it is valid or it is demonstrably incorrect.
  • The education level of the person who came up with the idea is also immaterial. The only valid question is whether they are right or wrong.
  • Similarly, it doesn’t matter who poked holes in the idea.
  • The education level of the person who poked holes in the idea is also immaterial. The only valid question is whether they can show the exact problem(s) with the idea.
  • It doesn’t matter where it is published. E=MC2 is not untrue just because you find it written on a bathroom wall.
  • The system only works when there is transparency and access to the facts, logic, etc. If other people can’t see what the person has done, how can they possibly determine if it’s valid?
  • The system is totally adversarial. If I can show that the central idea in someone’s entire lifetime of work is incorrect, they will not be happy with me … my saying about this is, “Science is a blood sport”. So we should not be surprised if passions run high.
  • The more people who try to poke holes in the claims, and the better they understand the subject, the better the system works.

Now, historically there were no “scientific journals”. New scientific ideas were circulated hand-to-hand or mailed between people who knew each other. But the process described above was how they judged the ideas. If someone could show the idea was wrong, it would be discarded.

Then along came the scientific journals. Historically, they started earlier, but they only became prevalent in the 20th century. Same idea. But they use “peer reviewers” to secretly judge the validity of the ideas. 

And as you might imagine … this system is highly slanted towards whatever is currently believed. People whose continued employment depends on some idea being correct will only very rarely be honest enough to say that a new idea is worth publishing if that new idea will cost them their job …

Finally, in modern times, in some cases, we’ve gone back to the original, pre-peer-review method. And THAT is what WUWT is. It’s not a place that only publishes things that are 100% validated. There’s little point in that.

Instead, it is a place to expose new scientific ideas to the harsh glare of widespread publicity in the crowded public marketplace of new ideas.

People say “But WUWT publishes some things that are obviously false”, as though that were a bad thing.

That’s true, and it’s not a bad thing. It is a good and necessary thing. The more that incorrect ideas get exposed to critical review, the sooner they will be shown to be incorrect.

And inter alia, this is why I love writing for WUWT. If my work contains errors, they rarely last more than a couple of hours before someone points them out. This is infinitely valuable to me, as it keeps me from wasting months haring down a blind alley.

It is also a place where I can publicly defend my ideas against people trying to poke holes in them. As mentioned above, science is adversarial, and to make that work, the person who came up with the idea needs to be able to defend it, rather than have it censored by what I call “pal review”. There’s a description of one of my interactions with the peer-review system in my post called “Michael Mann, Smooth Operator“.

Next, compared with WUWT, the peer-review process is infinitely slow. On WUWT I can think of a new idea in the morning and see it published by the afternoon, and then totally demolished the next day, not six months later. And this is good because I’m not interested in being famous or garnering citations. I’m interested in having an effect on the ongoing discussion of climate science, and for that my ideas need to be current.

Next, unlike my ideas being shot down by a few peer-reviewers with a large investment in defending the consensus ideas, there are literally thousands of people out there who would like very much to prove me wrong. Heck, there are whole websites that do little else but tell people what a jerk I am. Having this many adversaries provides a far more rigorous, skeptical, public, and fair peer-review than having say three people with fixed ideas on the subject censor my ideas in secret.

(In passing, I am happy that there are websites that spend much of their time dissing my ideas, or me personally. They’ve obviously never heard the old Hollywood axiom that “All publicity is good publicity.” In my case, what looks like bad publicity is actually good because when people read that my ideas are wrong, wrong, wrong … well, a certain percentage of them will wonder why the folks on that site are so opposed to me, and they’ll come here and read what I actually wrote. So they’re just driving traffic to WUWT in general and to my work in particular. What’s not to like?)

To summarize, WUWT is not a blog for “promoting” anything, as Wiki falsely claims. And it is assuredly not a blog that only publishes just what is “correct” or just what skeptics say.

Instead, it is a place where scientific ideas of all kinds can be most critically examined and publicly peer-reviewed in a modern, efficient manner. And curiously, it is one of the few places in the world where this is true.

Finally, in that regard let me say that without Anthony Watts, Charles The Moderator, and the various moderators around the world, none of this would be possible. My thanks to the whole crew—WUWT is a huge contribution to the testing of new scientific ideas.

And now? … now I’m going for a walk in the sunshine with my gorgeous ex-fiancee, my delightful wife of forty years.

My best to everyone, and wishes for the finest of new years.


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December 30, 2020 10:08 am
  • <i>It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea. Either it is valid or it is demonstrably incorrect.</i>

That last part; “demonstrably…” is a favorite misdirection from the warmist camp. Rarely will you see a claim that can be disproven. Their alarmism is laced with “may,” “could,” and any number of escape hatches.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
December 30, 2020 6:04 pm

 Rarely will you see a claim that can be disproven. Their alarmism is laced with “may,” “could,” and any number of escape hatches.”

Use of nebulous waffle words is a critical failing of many, especially alarmists.

Usage of nebulous waffle words/wording prevents postulations and speculations from being scientific claims, at all.
Instead it is an attempt to any measurement of success or to avoid verification, validation or replication.
Waffle words are a CYA statement that provides an escape clause.

Which is why so many people have been upset that multiple government agencies steadfastly refuse to authenticate, verify or audit monies they’ve handed over to pseudo scientists.

It is not the job of science or scientists to disprove speculations. It is the job of the speculators to prove that their speculations are, in fact, serious claims.

A giveaway of this failure by speculators is how many readers/commenters/reviewers expect to see those magic words or implications in so many published research conclusions; “Give us more money/grants” or similar “More research is needed”.
Speculators are very interested in establishing their careers as grifters parasitizing public funds.

Which is why so many readers/commenters/reviewers remark about how such nonsense would never be allowed in private companies and corporations.

Randy Stubbings
December 30, 2020 10:10 am

It is sad but true that WUWT is one of the few forums for the free exchange of ideas. I can’t thank Anthony, Charles, and the posters and commenters enough.

David Yaussy
Reply to  Randy Stubbings
December 30, 2020 12:16 pm

Same here. My heartfelt thanks to all.

Pat Frank
Reply to  David Yaussy
December 30, 2020 4:11 pm

I third that. 🙂

Reply to  Randy Stubbings
December 30, 2020 4:37 pm

I don’t want to seem like a cheerleader but WUWT is better than a University education!

December 30, 2020 10:16 am

I have always noted the similarity between the scientific method and legal trials.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  ColMosby
December 30, 2020 11:18 am

Legal profession has developed its own problems, but is supposed to be similar, they rely on opinions, scientists conclusions, now too much hypotheticals. It is a good education, need to have more subjected to real, but not pejorative, cross-examination. I know of a few embarrassing examples where testifying “experts” were so biased that they “forgot” (omitted) their own research on the subject. Happens also too often in “peer-reviewed” papers often on other’s research. Maybe the Wiki guys need more cross-examination, everybody does.

Reply to  ColMosby
December 30, 2020 11:22 am

I too have noted the similarity.
It is a new idea or concept that is on trial; opposing attorneys represent the support and deny side of the new idea, and many different attorneys may take part; the jury represents the scientifically knowledgeable about the new idea, but who presumably do not have a vested interest in it. The judge represents the scientific method, and both have the duty of seeing that the process follows the “Rules”. The courtroom audience represents teh broader public who have an interest in the proceeding and the outcome.

And just as with jury trials, sometimes the process gets it wrong.

Reply to  donb
December 30, 2020 11:42 am

And experimental data and modeling in support of a new scientific claim (and sometimes against) represent witnesses and evidence presented at a trail, also in support or against.

Reply to  ColMosby
December 30, 2020 2:32 pm

“the similarity between the scientific method and legal trials”

True in a fashion.

Except that these days “evidence” in a legal trial is expected to be rigorously tested / contested.
“Reasonable doubt” is an accepted basis for rejection of evidence.

In THE climate “science” method however, “evidence” is accepted based upon who presented it, and whether or not it has been republished verbatim from a press release.

Sad times for science in this discipline.

Reply to  Mr.
December 31, 2020 7:14 am

Another basis, not accepted, is “you filed too late”, as in Georgia. No discovery, no investigation, no trial.

oebele bruinsma
Reply to  ColMosby
December 31, 2020 8:37 am

The similarity lies in the observation that both use methodologies to REDUCE an or more uncertainties.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  ColMosby
December 31, 2020 3:44 pm

There are two methods for verifying truth claims. The first, described by Willis here, is the scientific method- although I will note that he left out of the process the creation of a model, usually mathematical, which allows one to predict future events or states. This is, after all, the purpose of science: to allow us to predict how some part of the universe works well enough to anticipate future events.

The second method is the historical/legal method. Like the scientific method, the goal is to be able to predict unknown data, to describe not what will but what did happen. However, since you can not recreate a murder completely in a court and you cannot interview, say, Julius Caesar to find out what happened, historians and lawyers have developed a set of techniques for verifying documents and eyewitness accounts and reconciling various accounts, which may have discrepancies.

Both systems have their place, both have their strengths and limitations. The scientific method relies heavily on statistical analysis and certain assumptions about the universe, especially that if you do the same thing twice you will get the same result. The legal/historical method, of course, must work with the historical evidence and cannot experiment. On the other hand, they do compliment each other and you will seldom find a field which is purely one or the other.

Thomas Gasloli
December 30, 2020 10:17 am

Will Wikipedia give you permission to correct their entry? They seem to block non-progressives from correcting blatant errors made by progressives.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 30, 2020 10:28 am

It is because of these actions that I now decline to donate to Wiki. If they go under, it will be no big loss I am afraid.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 30, 2020 10:34 am

No they won’t, in effect. I speak from experience. You can add, correct, delete to your hearts content but your amendments will not pass the self-appointed moderators. It’s not restricted to WUWT but generally any subject where the politically correct information must be ruthlessly enforced. Wikipedia has been completely Borged, taken over by the woke. I supported the project ar first, until I wisened up.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 30, 2020 10:59 am

You have to pick your battles on Wikipedia. It is a waste of time to try to change some, because their defenders are so numerous.
On the other hand, some things slip through the cracks. The Wikipedia article on Mt. Kilimanjaro does tell us that there is snow on that mountain. It doesn’t mention Al Gore and others’ claims that it would be gone years ago, but this refutation of that prediction hasn’t gone down the “memory hole” as of today.

But that should change soon. Surfacing that weak spot here will get that Wikipedia page onto some group’s protected list.

Bernd Palmer
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 31, 2020 8:54 am

They won’t ever. If you correct anything in a way they don’t like, they will remove or change it again. A never ending battle. I know it because If have battled uphill over a year on an completely over another but evenly controversial subject. Even complaining to the administration at the top of Wikipedia didn’t help.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
December 31, 2020 8:19 pm

It should perhaps be referred to as Wokipedia.

Steve Keohane
December 30, 2020 10:20 am

Thank you Anthony, Willis and all who contribute and comment here.

December 30, 2020 10:20 am

Thank you very much for voluntarily spending a lot of time here being an author and commenter for this marvelous place!

Last edited 25 days ago by Sunsettommy
Phil Rae
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 30, 2020 11:40 am

I agree 100%

Always interesting, often eye-opening, sometimes mind-bending and frequently amusing, Willis’ contributions to the knowledge, and fun, on this site are superb!

To Anthony, all contributors, moderators & other denizens of WUWT, thanks for everything! I continue to learn from you all. Thanks for helping to keep science alive!

Reply to  Phil Rae
December 31, 2020 12:24 am

I second that; to me WUWT is a place of learning and reflection.

Doc Chuck
Reply to  Sunsettommy
December 30, 2020 10:44 pm

Willis, With your skillful graphing of data I was able to assemble much more balanced reports than most were privy to from mass media regarding the Covid epidemic over the spring and summer months, even to alerting a hospital director in Africa what he might expect and when, as fortunately his tropical region’s experience proved much moderated in a setting of widely dispensed antimalarial medications. Good on you, man.

December 30, 2020 10:22 am

Your descriptions and thoughts are so true re: WUWT. It is what annoys those who do not recognize or seldom are forced to recognize they live within a blood sport.

Steve Case
December 30, 2020 10:30 am

Today, as the result of a series of wrong turns and bad choices, I ended up at the Wikipedia entry for Watts Up With That. It says:

Did you consider editing or rewriting the entry?

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
December 30, 2020 10:40 am

Oh! Thanks for the link to the Wikipedia article on WattsUpWithThat. I did read it, but after my post above I plead unworthyness on that point. But the Wikipedia article wasn’t as toxic as I thought it would be, and covered a few points I hadn’t known before.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 30, 2020 10:43 am

I have often heard from people whose work is posted on Wikipedia correct misleading information, only to discover that their corrections are removed, sometimes within a half-hour.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Kpar
December 30, 2020 4:16 pm

I once corrected misinformation on Wikipedia about the biological chemistry of vanadium in tunicates (sea squirts), on which I had long done research.

One might think such scientific arcana would be immune. My corrections were deleted out within a day. That was it for me.

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 30, 2020 6:12 pm

The rule is that you have to cite a published reference. Since you’re editing anonymously, you can even cite your own web site. That said, it’s more convincing to cite peer reviewed work published somewhere other than your own web site.

There is such a thing as an edit war. Wikipedia has policies to deal with the problem which are listed in the link.

I’ve never had an edit totally trashed. Articles change over time but I happily note that the bones of my contributions still remain visible.

Wikipedia encourages drive-by editing, which is what I do. The lack of red tape (other than insisting on proper citations) results in more contributions.

I must say that I have felt a lot better about Wikipedia since they forbade William Connolley from making climate related edits. As far as I can tell, he’s still banned.

Reply to  commieBob
December 30, 2020 7:19 pm

Wikipedia hasn’t forbidden Connolley from making climate-related edits. He is still there, and he and his cabal of activist allies ruthlessly enforce their point of view in all climate-related Wikipedia articles, to the enthusiastic applause of Wikipedia czar Jimbo Wales.

Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source for information about any controversial topic. Inevitably, partisans for one side of the argument take over the articles, and turn them into propaganda. Gender issues and climate change are particularly notorious examples, but you really cannot trust Wikipedia for information about anything controversial.


Since Jimbo Wales is a leftist, his thumb on the scale ensures that that side of the argument generally “wins” on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is not completely useless. Sometimes you want to find out what the Left’s position is on an issue, and Wikipedia works for that. It is also fine for looking up data cable pinouts, and the like.


Brooks Hurd
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 8:28 am

I agree.

Wikipedia could have been a much more valuable resource, if Jimmie Wales had been more concerned with facts rather the the left’s obsession with feelings. As you stated, cBob, Wikipedia is valuable for non-controversial topics, or for the left’s perspective on an issue. The problem that I see with Wikipedia is that leftists have been invading so many academic areas that Wikipedia is becoming more feeling based, rather than fact based every day.

The good news is that there are many other resources on the web, like WUWT, which encourage a free flow of ideas. Willis’ article explains the value of having WUWT and similar forums where ideas are discussed and tested.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 8:27 pm

It’s become Wokipedia.

Pat Frank
Reply to  commieBob
December 30, 2020 7:20 pm

My work on tunicate vanadium is peer-reviewed, cBob.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Pat Frank
December 31, 2020 8:34 am

Yeah, but what about the endocronic properties of resublimated Thiotimoline?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 31, 2020 10:18 am

Obviously, the micropsychiatric applications of Thiotimoline should be therapeutically applied to the neuronal health of vanadium-challenged sea squirts.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 12:48 pm

Wiki is contributor-funded. Need I say more?

And Thank You All for your great work. I learned so much on this website.
And I do read many of the replies.
Signed: Daily Lurker

Roger Knights
Reply to  Vicky
December 31, 2020 8:31 pm

Wiki is contributor-funded.”

I’ve read that it gets $30 million annually from some leftist foundation, and that its pleas for contributions from its readers are camouflage.

December 30, 2020 10:30 am

There is one simple question which never fails to reduce proponents of CAGW to silence: “What tangible, empirical evidence do you have to show that CO2 concentration controls global temperatures and not vice-versa? Output of computer models is not evidence.”

I have never had a coherent answer to this question yet.

Reply to  Graemethecat
December 30, 2020 10:47 am

I posed this question to a new friend (who happens to be a retired EPA administrator). More specifically, I asked him if he knew that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were a trailing indicator of temperature, rather than a leading indicator.

He did not believe me- he had never heard of the Greenland ice core sampling.

Last edited 25 days ago by Kpar
Reply to  Kpar
December 30, 2020 2:08 pm

They are both thick and ignorant.

Reply to  Kpar
December 30, 2020 6:06 pm

Geeez Lluizzzzz!!!!! You’d think someone working in a science-based Fed office would at least have enough scientific education to understand what was being talked about!!!! That idea goes all the way down to the secretaries and the entry level lab techs, and LAWYERS

Reply to  Philo
December 31, 2020 11:10 am

The EPA is not a science based fed office. Years of appointments of leftists and hiring of those of similar thought to the bureaucracy have created the perfect deep state leftist federal political department. Think of the first TRUMP! appointed administrator hounded from office after being spied on by his subordinates, Scott Pruitt. If I remember correctly he even tried to soundproof his office to stop the eavesdropping by the cabal of leftists surrounding him.

The major problem the conservatives have had is the never ending forward motion of every leftist democrat president in appointing leftists and padding the bureaucracy with leftists and the 8 years of W where his appointees did nothing to counteract the appointments of Clinton. Think of all the FBI higher ups who started their climb under Clinton and what they did to TRUMP! in 2016 to 2018. If W had been competent, he would have cleared out much of that political trash in the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Pentagon.

Apparently TRUMP! may have removed many of the leftist generals in the Pentagon. His appointing of so many generals, thinking they were Americans first, actually cleared many of them from positions of power in the military. He later discovered his generals were just leftist politicians, and dumped them all.

In 4 years, if a true conservative Republican is elected, if not TRUMP!, he/she could appoint TRUMP! as the bureaucracy reduction Tsar to cut through the whole of the DC swamp and with his 4 years of experience, he could clean house. Also a continuation of relocating federal bureaucracies from DC to the middle of nowhere would be beneficial.

Ultimately I would like to see a substantial drop in residential housing values in DC and the surrounding suburbs due to the reduction in the number of federal swamp creatures. If enough are dumped, Virginia could go back to being purple, especially if retired fed employees were prohibited from being consultants, giving them no reason to stay in the DC area.

Wishful thinking, I know, but I can dream, can’t I?

Brooks Hurd
Reply to  Kpar
December 31, 2020 8:40 am

During the 8+ years that I lived in the DC area, I was active in the AIChE chapter. I met many engineers who worked for the EPA. One newly hired EPA engineer was complaining that the EPA employed more lawyers than engineers. I explained to him that he was discovering the true nature of Washington, DC.

Mark Besse
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 30, 2020 4:11 pm

Since everything is caused by CAGW, everything proves CAGW must be true. /sarc

I once had a PhD atmospheric “sciencist” state that proving the negative is all it would take to disprove CAGW.

Reply to  Graemethecat
December 30, 2020 8:19 pm

Graemethecat wrote, “…one simple question… “What tangible, empirical evidence do you have to show that CO2 concentration controls global temperatures and not vice-versa?” … I have never had a coherent answer to this question yet.”

There are several problems with that argument.

1. You’re arguing about the wrong thing. The fact that CO2 concentrations have an effect on temperatures is not legitimately disputable. We know it from spectrographic data, like this; note the big, green notch, which represents energy that did not leave the Earth as radiation, because of CO2 in the atmosphere:
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That’s not where the climate crackpots go off the rails.

Where they go off the rails is with their claim the effects are harmful, or even catastrophic. The overwhelming evidence is that the the effects of rising CO2 levels are net-beneficial, and the modest warming is benign. After all, real scientists call warm periods “climate optimums.”

2. That’s a bit of a red herring, because you’ve posed it as an either-or proposition. The reality is that neither is correct. CO2 concentration affects temperatures, but it is not the only thing that does. Temperatures affect CO2 concentration, but they aren’t the only thing that does (and these days they are a very minor factor). Neither controls the other.

From the ice cores we know that temperatures have an effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and we can roughly quantify it.

The decline in temperature from MWP peak to the bottom of the LIA reduced atmospheric CO2 level in Antarctic ice cores by only about 9 ppmv, in 450 years, which is a rate of change averaging only about 2 ppmv per century. Likewise, the difference between interglacial peak CO2 levels and glacial maxima CO2 levels is only about 90 ppmv, from the combined result of ocean temperature changes, ice sheet burial and probably other mechanisms. Here’s a paper:


Here are Law Dome (Antarctic) ice core data, back to year 1010. Scroll down to “CO2, 75 Year Smoothed”, then keep scrolling. Watch CO2 levels climb to their peak of 284.1 ppmv circa 1170 (MWP), and fall to their lowest level of 275.3 ppmv circa 1615 (LIA):


284.1 – 275.3 = 8.8 ppmv, from a prolonged temperature change which probably in the neighborhood of 1°C (global average).

Over the much more longer time periods of the glaciation cycles, global temperature changes which are generally thought to have averaged less than 10°C, and perhaps as little as 6°C, caused CO2 level changes of about 90 ppmv.

From those data we can conclude that 1°C of globally averaged temperature change can be expected to cause somewhere in the range of 9 to 15 ppmv atmospheric CO2 level change.

3. Temperature increases have not caused the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 emissions did that.

Average atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased by about 99 ppmv since precise measurements began in 1958. From the ice core data we know that it would take between 6 and 11 °C of global warming to change atmospheric CO2 concentration that much, and to do it in just 62 years would require even more. I hope it is obvious that we’ve not seen that much warming since 1958.
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4. Graemethecat, less than three months ago you wrote that, “I have challenged several proponents of CAGW to provide me with tangible, empirical evidence that CO2 affects global temperature… I have yet to receive an answer.”

I’m definitely not a “proponent of CAGW,” but I gave you an answer to that question.

1. It is a mistake to argue about whether CO2 has a warming effect. It does. That’s proven physics. If you argue otherwise, you will lose the argument.

Argue, instead, about the things that the climate catastrophists get wrong.

Talk about the stubborn refusal of things to get worse; things like sea-level rise, storms, droughts, fires, polar bear numbers, etc.

Ask them if they know what a “climate optimum” is, and why it’s called that?

Talk about the compelling evidence that higher CO2 levels are dramatically beneficial for both human agriculture and natural ecosystems.

Show them graphs like these:
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Show them maps like this:

https://www.sealevel.info/greening_earth_spatial_patterns_Myneni.htmlcomment image

Last edited 24 days ago by Dave Burton
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 7:06 am

Well said. Roy Spencer also has a good blog post on weak skeptic arguments.


I would only slightly disagree with one point. I think the temperature increase and/or land-use changes since 1600 caused much of the CO2 rise before the mid-20th century. However, I agree that almost all, or all, of the CO2 rise since 1950-1960 is due to anthropogenic emissions.

While it’s impossible to determine the exact percentages, we know from the Law Dome DE08 ice core that atmospheric CO2 stopped rising for 10-20 years in the mid-20th century, despite increasing emissions. This was most likely due to the mid-20th century cooling.

One thing to keep in mind about the Antarctic ice cores, is that only the Law Dome DE08 core can resolve relatively short-term changes in atmospheric CO2. Over the past 2,000 years, it has a resolution of 10-30 years. Most other Antarctic ice cores have difficulty resolving century-scale changes.

Owen Jennings
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 11:55 am

Isn’t the real problem with the warmist’s theory the “amplification” or “feedback” effect? CO2 does some minor warming, the warmists agree. But they go on and multiply up that small amount of warming by suggesting the additional water vapour amplifies the GHG capacity to slow escaping energy.

Reply to  Owen Jennings
January 1, 2021 2:01 pm

Yes, and water vapor feedback is only one of many climate feedback mechanisms, which complicate the Earth’s climate system. Some of those feedbacks are positive (amplifying), and some are negative (attenuating/stabilizing).
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It is generally expected that warmer temperatures should increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, because warmer air holds more moisture (roughly 7% more for each 1°C of warming). This effect is usually crudely approximated in climate calculations by assuming stable relative humidity as temperatures change. Under that assumption, warmer temperatures cause greater amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere, and since water vapor is a greenhouse gas, increased water vapor in the atmosphere should increase greenhouse warming: a positive feedback.

warmer air → increased absolute humidity → more “greenhouse effect” → warmer surface → warmer air

This is generally believed to be the most important positive climate feedback mechanism. Quantifying it is difficult, though.

The 2015 version of the U. of Chicago’s online MODTRAN interface calculated that for a Tropical Atmosphere water vapor feedback should increase the warming effect of CO2 in the tropics by only about 8% to 9%. That’s probably incorrect: most other sources give much higher estimates, generally between 60% and 100% (i.e., up to doubling).

AR4 section cites Forster and Collins (2004)‘s estimate that water vapor feedback adds 0.9 to 2.5 W/m² of radiative forcing per 1°C of warming (best estimate 1.6 W/m²). For comparison, a doubling of CO2 is estimated to cause a radiative forcing increase of about about +3.7 W/m² (generally estimated to add a little over 1°C to average temperatures), before feedbacks (though Prof. Will Happer has found evidence that CO2’s forcing is commonly overestimated by about 40%):


Such a wide range of values tells us little about the magnitude of the amplification from water vapor feedback. E.g., if Forster & Collins’ best estimate of +1.6 W/m² per °C of warming is assumed, and if it is also assumed that 2.8 W/m² causes 1°C of warming, and if other feedbacks are ignored, that would imply ƒ = 1.6/2.8 = 0.571, i.e., a very strong 57% positive feedback, which, with “compounding,” would result in a net amplification of 1/(1-ƒ) = 1/(1-(1.6/2.8)) = 2.33×, adding 133% to the original warming. But if 1°C of warming increases radiative forcing from water vapor by only 0.9 W/m², and it takes a +3.4 W/m² forcing to increase temperature by 1°C, then ƒ = 0.9/3.4 = 0.265 (26.5%), and, with compounding, the net amplification would be only 1/(1-ƒ) = 1/(1-(0.9/3.4)) = 1.36×, adding just 36% to the original warming.

Much more usefully, AR5 drops the Foster & Collins (2004) reference, and instead considers Water Vapor and Lapse Rate feedbacks together, with a much narrower estimated range (section 7.2.5, p.587) of +0.96 to +1.22 W/m² per 1°C, for the net effect of the two feedbacks, combined. If we also assume that 2.8 to 3.4 W/m² forcing causes 1°C of warming, that would imply a 0.96/3.4=28% to 1.22/2.8=43% positive net combined feedback from water vapor & lapse rate feedbacks, which, with “compounding,” would result in a net amplification of 1/(1-ƒ) = 1/(1-(0.96/3.4)) to 1/(1-(1.22/2.8)) = 1.39× to 1.77×, adding 39% to 77% (best estimate 54%) to the original warming.

The highest estimate (by far!) that I’ve ever seen was in a 2013 paper by Lacis & Hansen, et al, which claims (without support) that the “feedback contribution to the greenhouse effect by water vapour and clouds” effectively quadruples (adds 3× to) the warming effect of CO2 and other GHGs.

Steve Carson’s “Science Of Doom” blog has fairly in-depth discussions, here:

● http://scienceofdoom.com/2015/04/30/clouds-water-vapor-part-eight-clear-sky-comparison-of-models-with-erbe-and-ceres/
● https://scienceofdoom.com/2011/09/02/radiative-forcing-and-the-surface-energy-balance/&nbsp;

A complicating factor is that atmospheric water vapor levels do not appear to be increasing as expected:

● http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/new-paper-on-global-water-vapor-puts-climate-modelers-in-a-bind/
● http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/14/another-ipcc-ar5-reviewer-speaks-out-no-trend-in-global-water-vapor/
● http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/06/nasa-satellite-data-shows-a-decline-in-water-vapor/
● http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/28/new-study-claims-to-confirms-water-vapor-as-global-warming-amplifier-but-other-data-says-no/ 

A further complication is that, although water vapor feedback certainly amplifies temperature increases, it probably amplifies temperature increases due to rising CO2 by less than it amplifies temperature increases due to most other forcings, because of the overlap between the absorption bands of H2O vapor and CO2, on the long (>15 µm) side of CO2’s LWIR absorption band.

Note that some scientists use the term “water vapor feedback” in a broader sense than I’m using it, to encompass not only the direct greenhouse warming effect of atmospheric water vapor, but also water cycle (evaporative) cooling, lapse rate cooling, and/or perhaps clouds. For example:

● http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/09/water-vapor-feedback-and-the-global-warming-pause/
● http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/05/new-satellite-upper-troposphere-product-still-no-tropical-hotspot/
● http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/08/new-evidence-regarding-tropical-water-vapor-feedback-lindzens-iris-effect-and-the-missing-hotspot/

Last edited 22 days ago by Dave Burton
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 1:32 pm

“Much simplified,” eh? 😉

You make lots of great points there, Willis. E.g.,

I’m suspicious as can be of all of the modern iterative climate models. They are all tuned to hindcast the past … but the climate sensitivities in all of them are different. How can that be? Well … it can’t. It means that they’re just making it up. I discussed this problem here, it’s a big one.

Well, yeah. It is clear that the GCMs are not fit for purpose. The GCMs listed in AR5 (Table 9.5) make wildly different assumptions about basic properties of the system which they’re trying to model. For example, properties like ECS and TCR both vary between models by more than a factor of two! If the physical processes that they’re trying to model were actually understood, that could not happen.
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Last edited 22 days ago by Dave Burton
Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 3:53 pm

Could you perhaps help me with this point that I hear a lot? “But we’re changing the CO2 levels faster than can ever occur naturally, therefore the system will spiral out of control.” (Or something similar.)

Roger Knights
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
December 31, 2020 8:49 pm

See the recent W. Happer paper on the ineffectiveness of additional CO2 on raising the temperature. The GWPF, in its recent weekly threads here, has highlighted that paper three times, and reprinted much of it.

It has been rejected by three leading climate journals, which adds to the disgracefulness of the warmist side. The only way to bring them to book is to make them an offer they can’t refuse: a no-cost, week-long series of debates at the Oxford Union.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Dave Burton
January 1, 2021 6:00 am

Thanks, Dave Burton. Great post.

And Extra goodie special thanks, to Willis, for the fog clearing article.
Keep holding their feet to the fire.

Richard Lock
Reply to  Graemethecat
January 3, 2021 12:32 pm

Does this answer your question? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQ3PzYU1N7A

Dan Sudlik
December 30, 2020 10:33 am

Spot on as usual Willis. That’s why they will ignore it or hide it or do whatever they do to prove you are an evil “Denier”. Keep it up.

December 30, 2020 10:35 am

The future Dystopia — when everything that is not approved is censored and cancelled. It is starting now with Google, YouTube, Facebook, and more.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Toto
December 30, 2020 2:27 pm

One thing about it, noone is forcing anyone to use Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and other leftwing social media sites.

I would say the leftwing social media needs some competition from the rightwing social media. Why play on the left’s home field? They can’t censor you if you are not taking part in their games.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 7:53 am

I would also think conservative media platforms would attract the lefties, too. Why not? They won’t get censored if they behave themselves properly. They won’t get censored for their ideas. Their ideas will just be refuted with good arguments.

One of these days conservative social media will reach critical mass and then the internet social tide may turn.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 10:16 am

Their ideas will just be refuted with good arguments.

That’s probably why they will avoid such platforms. Easier to stay in the echo chamber and not deal with any intellectual challenges.

Brooks Hurd
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 9:36 am

There are already many competitors to the leftist big tech cabal.

DuckDuckGo is search engine that actually searches without the misdirection of Google.

BitChute, Rumble, Parler and others compete with YouTube.

There are many browsers which do not track everything you do. Brave, Vivaldi and Firefox are better than Google.

Wimkin, Gab, Minds and others compete with Facebook.

The problem in competing against Big Tech is the insidious nature of the left. Once a competitor shows up, Sleeping Giants and their ilk go to work to destroy the competitor. First they go after their advertisers, then the work to deplatform their sites, then they get PayPal, Visa and MC to cancel their accounts to cut their funding.

Mark Besse
Reply to  Toto
December 30, 2020 4:13 pm

It’s worse, as the Twitter handling on the Post story on Biden’s laptop proved. Evidence is not permitted but unfounded conjecture is.

December 30, 2020 10:38 am

“the old Hollywood axiom that ‘All publicity is good publicity.'”

I’d always heard it as Madison Avenue, but I’m not sure there’s ever been much difference, and it probably goes back centuries. Martin Luther and his Popes probably understood it.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Felix
December 31, 2020 8:37 am

With Cancel Culture, I think that axiom has been proven false.

December 30, 2020 10:39 am

To my mind the concept of peer review is not part of the scientific process, it is a political process devised by so called “policy makers” to subvert the action of scientific enquiry and to skew the answer to support a partisan political objective.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 30, 2020 10:45 am

Peer review assumes two fundamental things: 1) that reviewers are knowledgeable and 2) that they are honest. My experience (with over 40 publications to my name) is that both assumptions are false. The review system is inherently vulnerable to subversion, caused by either ignorance or by malicious obstruction or both. It is an outdated concept and ought to be abolished.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 30, 2020 6:30 pm

Ed, your comment reminds me of James Lindsay’s Grievance Studies hoax. While plumbing the depths of the academic peer review in soft sciences, he and his colleagues were able to publish absolute garbage quality academic papers. Here’s a short video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVk9a5Jcd1k

Reply to  leowaj
December 30, 2020 8:34 pm

Exactly right!

Everyone: if you haven’t yet seen that “grievance studies” video which leowaj linked, do yourself a favor, and watch it now!

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

Unfortunately, the Left has subverted many fields, substituting politics and special interest propaganda for sound science. Climate science is one of those fields, but it certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, many fields are now dominated by complete crackpottery.

Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 4:25 am

BTW, if you want to know why the video “in-lined” for me, but not for leowaj, I think it is because I put the video’s URL on a line by itself, and leowaj put it at the end of a line of text.

It worked for me even though I used the longer version of the URL, which includes the “&lc=UgyqbK1IDJFBj1mrRC54AaABAg” part to highlight a particularly astute comment (by Prof. Mark Frost):

Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 4:30 pm

Whoops, I expected that one to post as a link, but it didn’t. It had text on the same line as the YouTube URL, before the URL, but no text after the URL.

I’m going to try again, using the same URL, but this time with text on the same line both before and after the URL:

This text is before the URL, on the same line. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVk9a5Jcd1k&lc=UgyqbK1IDJFBj1mrRC54AaABAg This text is after the URL, on the same line.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
December 30, 2020 1:56 pm

There is peer review and peer critique. Publishing scientific journals is very profitable and key to keeping the expensive academic library subscriptions being renewed is to maintain a reputation of being authoritative and trustworthy. Thus, there is a built-in bias for being very conservative (thus weeding out the ‘perpetual motion machines’) and not rocking the boat with research that challenges the current paradigms. To that end, so-called peer review is actually a function of ‘gate keeping’ that weeds out anything really controversial or that goes against the paradigm consensus.

On the other hand, the real purpose of journals was originally to allow the peers of researchers to critique the published research and conclusions as part of the process of the Scientific Method.

Unfortunately, because of the overwhelming profit motive, the ‘out of the box’ ideas and paradigm-upsetting research finds it very difficult to get published in the old line journals. And, the peers usually don’t get a chance to critique really novel ideas. Therefore, advances in science are slowed to make sure that the journals stay in business. It is a tradeoff that favors profit more than advancement. That, and the tendency to award grants to Big Science that supports the status quo.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 31, 2020 1:42 am

Weeding out anything ‘controversial’ is purely subjective. The reviewer ‘advises against publication’ because he or she does not like your conclusions, not by showing that your methods or logic are flawed.

Pat from kerbob
December 30, 2020 10:48 am

I love being called a denier as I think it means I won the argument.
The part that saddens me is that when I post a comment on LinkedIn or elsewhere there are many that I know agree with me but are too afraid to signal that directly
The reality that people feel they cannot express their opinion is something the climate scientologists will have to answer for someday

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 30, 2020 11:59 am

What a great phrase…climate scientology! Can I use that?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
December 30, 2020 3:19 pm

Alastair, I cant claim to have invented the phrase but I think it fits best with the quasi religious nature of the arguments on here from some of the alarmists.
How else to describe Griff where he blathers endlessly about reduced arctic ice but never will acknowledge that regardless of ice cover the bears are increasing, because his religion states less ice MUST be bad for bears
So it must.

People like him are why I couldn’t stay in the Catholic Church 40 years ago, for which my mom never forgave me

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 30, 2020 2:10 pm

I keep my views on climate change and many other controversial topics away from LinkedIn as I don’t want to lose business.

Gotta eat

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Redge
December 30, 2020 3:15 pm

Sure Redge, but if the direction of thought and policy is going to destroy my business, I have to step out?
Canada leads the world in virtue signaling, all in for the Paris accord, but I simply ask why we need to reduce CO2 production when the amount we are supposed to decrease by 2030 is equivalent to 1/30 of what China is allow to INCREASE over the same period?
How can I possible take this seriously and not crap publicly all over it.

I have been attacked by a couple guys who I recognize from commenting here, I point out that they alway leave here with their heads being handed to them

Such a great site

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 31, 2020 12:57 am

I get it, Pat.

I have spoken out on occasions when ill-informed, supposedly intelligent people have made ridiculous statements such as “millions are dying now because of climate change!”.

I’ve pointed out the lack of evidence for this and the true killer in poor countries – lack of sanitation and education – and I’ve noticed a drop in enquiries for my services.

This is not just climate change.

On the black lives matter movement, one of my (white) contacts posted a rant about US cops killing an unarmed black man.

My response was measured. I agreed with him it shouldn’t have happened and the police should be held accountable. The moment I mentioned the number of black people killed by black people on a daily basis, I was all of a sudden a privileged white racist man.

It’s the same with slavery. What happened was wrong, but try pointing out black Africans sold their countrymen into slavery and you’re a racist.

I avoided a discussion of the racist aspects of 60s/70s British comedies, although I wanted to point out that the white racist was an unlikeable man. This man always lost out to the better looking, better educated, more eloquent black man who was often lusted after by the ignorant white man’s object of affection.

British comedies were not racist, they were anti-racist.

Personally, I think these discussions shouldn’t be on LinkedIn, but, from a business point of view, sometimes it’s best to not get involved.

In my business circle, I’m known for my honesty and integrity. I won’t overcharge even when it’s an open cheque and if I say something will be done to meet a clients deadline, it will be done.

I have a good reputation and a successful business.

I’m not going to lose that over something I have no real control over.

Reply to  Redge
December 31, 2020 3:01 pm

Extremely important to take the Great Reset seriously.
Credit for “successful business” will be first digital, thus easily vetted for green compliance, and be-damned if you do not measure up.
Green reputation is going to be key.
Shareholders will experience extreme pressure, from the like of BlackRock to do due green diligence, reputations will be smashed.
Linked-in is only the start.

So says Prince Charles, soon to be King of the USA.

December 30, 2020 10:49 am

Willis, you write:

  • If they are successful in that process, then the idea goes down in flames. 
  • If nobody can find any errors in what they’ve done, then their idea is provisionally accepted as being valid.

Somewhere between flames and provisionally there needs to be discussion of the new idea (model, conjecture, viewpoint) allowing a prediction about things as yet unseen. “If we raise prices, demand will fall.” “If the speed of light varies with the motion of the earth we will detect interferometer patterns.” “If the tree rings represent GLOBAL weather patterns then new samples from Norway will match previously collected samples from Siberia and Canada.”

By chance, just before arriving at WUWT I was looking at this:


Which is a closely crafted model of scientific reasoning. Progressing from intuition to notion to conjecture to hypothesis — to consensus. But there is no way to EXPERIMENT with the idea. No prediction, no measurement, no way to refute.

Fun, for sure. “Scientific” in the fashion of thought and being consistent with other observations of actual phenomena. But — not predictive.

SO, I suggest you add a line in your discussion / definition to account for the processes of testing predictive values of any scientifically generated hypothesis.


December 30, 2020 10:49 am

Spot on, Willis. Thanks WUWT.
Happy New Year, Everybody!

Last edited 25 days ago by Zoe Phin
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 1:43 pm

Thank you, Willis. I have always admired your writing skills. I just wish you wouldn’t neglect what’s beneath your feet, so to speak.
Have a happy new year. Best regards, -Zoe

Rory Forbes
December 30, 2020 10:51 am

What the AGW true believers hate most about WUWT is having their leaders and pundits regularly exposed for their bad science and ludicrous claims.

In fact, this site has become possibly the only platform in which people from both sides and even those riding the fence can cross swords on neutral ground. As Willis indicated, WUWT is one of the few places where real “peer review” takes place.

CD in Wisconsin
December 30, 2020 10:52 am

Those who attack the skeptics that are critically analyzing the AGW alarmist narrative (and finding it wanting) are the ones attacking science, not the other way around. The idea that the skeptics are attacking and denying the “science” of the AGW theory comes from those who do not understand how science and scientific discourse work.

The failure to understand how scientific discourse works is one of the things that permits the AGW narrative to survive and prosper in politics, in the mass media, on the Internet and elsewhere. Keeping the masses ignorant of this is vital to the AGW narrative’s continuing survival. The dominoes of climate alarmism could start falling when there is a concerted effort to do something about that.

Biden won’t be the one to change the status quo.

Steen Rasmussen
December 30, 2020 10:53 am

Happy new year Willis and to all on wuwt!
I totally agree, that science should be kept in the scientific trail and that all political and religious debates should be kept where they belong. Science IS not about consensus.
I do hope that all you bright guys out there will be able to shoot a big hole in the simple black body model which is the “scientific” basis for the greenhouse effect. It seems to me, that there is a hugh problem, when CO2 should be accountable for a 33 C temperature rise, and I can’t find data that suggest that. As I see it this model is false due to the fact, that black body Earth model don’t consider a complex atmosphere, a rotating Earth, with a gravity that creates a pressure (=warming) and that Earth contains 2 complex water and water vapor based fluid systems.
Lets get to the root of the problem! and once and for all get this theory falsified!
Happy new year!

Kind regards

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 2:21 pm

What if steel greenhouse is heated only by sunlight at 1 AU from the Sun?
And between shell and surface is vacuum.
And/or varying amount atmosphere- which amounts to varying amount internal pressure upon the shell. Say near zero to 10 psi.
One could also have shell spin and/or planet {or it could be planet, Earth}.

For vacuum the “planet” could be the Moon.
In terms of real world, structurally, it seems difficult. And economically, crazy.
And miles above the surface, even worse.

Since economically crazy, let’s base it on political decisions, so all transportation system must be 100 meter {or higher] above the natural lunar surface.
So, got tracks, encircling world, and after thousand years bureaucratic hell, you tracks going everywhere- will spaces between tracks filled in. And this shell
is not spinning- it’s fixed to lunar surface.
Does it affect temperature of “natural surface” temperature.
And there is a political question to answer, if painted it with reflective paint or black paint, does make much difference to the “natural surface” temperature?

Earth, since have atmosphere, perhaps one can use atmosphere to hold up the sphere. And since it’s dumb idea, we will assume it’s also political decision.
Let’s say the desire is to have uniform average temperature of 15 C as measured 5 feet above the surface.
A basic problem is the sunlight would not uniformly warm the sphere.
If we had the magical technology of Ideal thermally conductive blackbody, one could make the sphere have uniform temperature {which would be about 5 C}.
If lapse rate is 6.5 C per 1000 meter: 10 C / 6.5 = 1538.46 meters above sea level.
And the weight shell could not exceed the weight of Earth atmosphere above
1538.46 meters above sea level. Or something like say 7 tons per square meter
of shell. Or removing amount atmosphere above shell to equal it’s mass.

Reply to  Steen Rasmussen
December 31, 2020 1:48 am

“I do hope that all you bright guys out there will be able to shoot a big hole in the simple black body model which is the “scientific” basis for the greenhouse effect. “

It seems you talking about Ideal thermally conductive, blackbody.
Which at earth distance from Sun would have uniform temperature of about 5 C.
The unscientific bit is part where it’s reflective.
Quite simply, ideal blackbody is not reflective.
But if accept the nonsense of Ideal thermally conductive, blackbody which also reflective
one would it is said to have uniform temperature of about -18 C or maybe it’s an average temperature of -18 C.

The ideal thermally conductive blackbody at 1 AU distance from the Sun having a uniform temperature of about 5 C seems like a somewhat useful model.
And I believe there are some fast spinning small space rocks at around 1 AU which conform to this model.
Earth does have anything approaching a uniform temperature, but one can say Earth has a more uniform temperature as compared to Moon, as the Moon much further away from having a uniform temperature. Due to slow rotation and it’s surface is no where near being ideally thermally conductive. Though if the Moon had enough atmosphere it would be more towards that of being thermally conductive.
Ideal thermally conductive could bring to mind material which highly conductive of heat- silver, copper, diamond, and metals in general.
But broadly the idea of it, is being able to absorb energy.
And Earth’s atmosphere and oceans can absorb a lot energy.

“It seems to me, that there is a huge problem, when CO2 should be accountable for a 33 C temperature rise,..”

The Greenhouse Effect theory seems to allow the idea that CO2 and CO2 alone can cause 33 C temperature rise, but that mainly because “Greenhouse Effect theory” is utter garbage that is written by committee of idiots.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 3:53 pm

“I’ve never read anyone saying that the black body model represents the earth, or that it is the scientific basis for the “greenhouse effect”. And in fact, your calculations of the average temperature of a blackbody at 1AU from the sun assumes that the blackbody is superconductive of heat … and nobody makes that assumption.”

“An ideal thermally conductive blackbody at the same distance from the Sun as Earth would have a temperature of about 5.3 °C (41.5 °F). However, because Earth reflects about 30% of the incoming sunlight, this idealized planet’s effective temperature (the temperature of a blackbody that would emit the same amount of radiation) would be about −18 °C (0 °F)”

Yes, an ideal thermal conductive assumes superconductive transfer of
And Wiki “a temperature of about 5.3” when it’s actually uniform temperature of  5.3 C.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 4:35 pm

Let me recommend to you the excellent explanation of the problem by Dr. Robert Brown entitled “Earth’s baseline black-body model – “a damn hard problem“. It is not a simple question in any sense.

Well that interesting.
I will add stuff.
With Moon it’s first few inches in highly insulated and the geothermal heat of moon can seen in it’s dark crater which have measured at cool at 30 K.
And of course lunar poles are sunlit and have a lot shadows. Due to low angle of sunlight level areas not heated by much but stuff like mountain side can be heated.

And regarding earth, when considering longer time scales, one has included geothermal heat of the ocean which also being cooled the falling waters of polar regions.
Very complicated.
But in terms of simple, the entire ocean temperature which is about 3.5 C
determines global average air temperature.
Or cooling or warming by 1 C, makes large difference upon global average surface air temperature.
And regard the number 3.5 as not related ideal thermal conductive blackbody
of about 5 C- mostly a coincidence. Other than planets roughly could be around 5 C at about 1 AU from Sun.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steen Rasmussen
December 31, 2020 8:46 am

It seems to me, that there is a hugh problem”

What did Hugh ever do to you?


John Garrett
December 30, 2020 10:58 am

Nicely stated, Mr. Eschenbach.

The wikipedia “cancel culturists” and bullies (this means you, William M. Connolley) are the antithesis of scientists.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 6:16 pm

William is an editor, which is the term applied to any of the millions of people who have made an edit. He was an administrator at one time, but that was stripped. He’s not the antithesis of a scientist, he’s an actual scientist, which makes him rare among Wikipedia editors.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  John Garrett
December 30, 2020 12:29 pm

John, I’m so glad that you mentioned William M. Connolley. Just look at how Wikipedia itself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Connolley ) currently portrays his past outrageous, personally-biased editing of many, many articles/additions/corrections submitted to Wikipedia by other qualified contributors on the subjects of climate and climate change:
“Connolley received national press attention over several years for his involvement in editing Wikipedia articles relating to climate change.”

A world of sins are hidden under that phrase “national press attention”.

Here is a significant fact that you will not find in the current Wikipedia article on Connolley:

After a finding of his malfeasance in editing climate articles on Wikipedia, Wikipedia management “punished” Mr. Connolley in late 2010 by banning him from making any edits for 6 months. It is disgraceful that Wikipedia did not ban him from ever again editing even a single Wikipedia article, no matter the topic.
(source: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/14/willia-connolley-now-climate-topic-banned-at-wikipedia/ )

The above link to the Oct 14, 2010, WUWT is still active (thanks 10^6, Anthony!) and provides additional details on the Connolley “slap on the wrist” from Wikipedia, as well as reference to other publications that carried the same story at the time. Of course, Wikipedia itself finds no reason to mention this significant event in their “purified” story over the greatness of having Connolley as one of their “renowned” editors. Not too surprising, there!

The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, is reported to be a big Greenie and strong advocate of AGW, so you can see why Wikipedia’s censoring and outright falsifications related to climate change subjects could have become policy at that once-honorable, comprehensive Web resource.

The above scandal was the reason that a decade ago I ceased donating to Wikipedia. I see no reason to revisit that decision.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 30, 2020 2:37 pm

“It is disgraceful that Wikipedia did not ban him from ever again editing even a single Wikipedia article, no matter the topic.”

Yes, it is! It’s an outrage! One of many in climate science.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 30, 2020 6:19 pm

6 months is a fairly significant ban, and especially for someone who at one time was an administrator. Can you point out examples of problems after he returned from his ban that are problematic?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 30, 2020 7:29 pm

No. Why should I bother?

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 31, 2020 7:37 am

You should bother because I will take action if you point out a clear example.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 31, 2020 8:54 am

Well, others have fulfilled your request, per posts below with clear examples.

Now, what specific “action” do you promise to perform?

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 1:51 am

Groupie is the word you were looking for.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 8:42 am

You misjudge me.
I think Connolley’s contributions to Wikipedia are mixed, some positive, many negative, and on balance have been negative, but being a net negative is not license to say anything you want about them. I have defended Connolley when I think the aspersions are inaccurate. I trust you would do the same. If you examine the history of my interactions with him. you will see I am usually not in support of his edits.

Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 30, 2020 9:56 pm

Here’s Connolley’s recent edit history:

Here’s an example of him editing on climate change:


As you can see, Connolley’s “revert” reinserted the following statement into an article entitled “Global Cooling”:

The current [[scientific consensus on climate change]] is that the Earth underwent [[global warming]] throughout the 20th century and continues to warm.

Obviously that is untrue. There’s a broad consensus that the Earth cooled (rather than warmed) from the early 1940s through the mid-1970s, though the amount of cooling has been reduce by numerous revisions to the data:

https://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1940/to:1975/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1940/to:1975/trendcomment image

Here’s another example of Connolley editing on climate change::


As you can see, Connolley deleted the following from the description of the Paris Climate Treaty:

which had never actually been ratified by the Senate as required in the U.S. Consititution,

Apart from the spelling error, the statement which he deleted was true.

Notice, too, that the “handle” of the writer of those 15 words is in red, which means that his account has been deleted. I don’t know whether Connolley had a part in that, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

That person had also committed the heretical act of deleting a false accusation against Dinesh D’Souza, which was also quickly reverted, but that sin didn’t get his account deleted. His last edit before his account was deleted was the attempt to write something true about the Paris Climate Treaty (which Connolley reverted 36 minutes later).

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 8:29 am

I removed that sentence from the article. I don’t expect to prevail, but let’s see what happens. .Anyone who wants to weigh in to the discussion is welcome to.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 31, 2020 8:33 am


I want to thank you for responding with actual facts. Let’s see how this turns out.

David Kamakaris
December 30, 2020 11:01 am

Well written, Willis.
Happy New Year to you and yours.

December 30, 2020 11:01 am

“thousands of people out their”


December 30, 2020 11:08 am

Wikipedia has a bot that moderators control. I forget the name. The bot is script driven so you can automatically monitor and revert pages without human intervention. Change a page and within a few seconds a bot will take action.

WUWT could of course set up a dueling bot but then higher powers would get tnvolved.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Ferdberple
December 30, 2020 6:12 pm

Wikipedia has thousands of bots (2469 in the English Wikipedia at last count). Each of them is controlled by their body operator which may or may not be an administrator. There is no such thing as a moderator in the world of Wikipedia. Each bot has to be approved by a committee so no it is not of course that WUWT could set up a dueling bot. I can’t be absolutely sure which one you are referring to but Cluebot has millions of edits, and is one of the more common ones. It reverts edits according to certain rules. It works pretty well, in my opinion. Some of the reversion seem obvious but others seem more subtle. It rarely (a fraction of a percent) makes an error but there is a reporting mechanism in those rare cases so that it can learn.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 30, 2020 6:13 pm

bot operator not body operator (is there no longer an edit option?)

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 31, 2020 8:58 am

Yes there is. If you mouseover your comment, a small gear symbol should appear in the lower right corner of the comment area, click that. It might be timed so as not to allow edits days later, not sure.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 31, 2020 4:05 pm

Thanks for responding. I haven’t found it, but will keep looking

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
December 31, 2020 4:32 pm

Found it, but I guess it times out.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
December 31, 2020 9:14 am

Unjustified and not-clearly-revealed censorship to impart a personal or organizational point-of-view bias is nonetheless abhorrent censorship, no matter what pretty wrapping and bow you want to put on it.

Software robots carrying out the editing mandates of humans (“a committee”, to use your words) is no excuse for such behavior.

Of course, you are fully entitled to your expressed opinion that “it works pretty well.”

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
December 31, 2020 4:08 pm

Can you identify an example of a Cluebot reversion that is in error? I’m sure there are some, but I’ve looked at hundreds of its reversions and don’t recall one that was wrong. Wikipedia has issues with organizational point of view bias, but I haven’t seen it in Cluebot.

John Tillman
December 30, 2020 11:10 am

“Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society” first published in 1665. A French journal was also founded that year, but wasn’t limited to scientific papers.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 11:22 am

The scientific method requires that your guess, ie hypothesis, make testable predictions capable of being shown false.

An hypothesis which doesn’t yield testable, falsifiable predictions isn’t scientific, but mere baseless conjecture.

A commenter here, for instance, believes that the so-called “Cambrian Explosion” resulted from horizontal gene transfer, but can cite no evidence to support this idle speculation. So his guess isn’t science.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 1:59 pm

“An hypothesis which doesn’t yield testable, falsifiable predictions isn’t scientific, but mere baseless conjecture.” – John Tillman.

Such an hypothesis may not be scientific. It may, or may not, be baseless. Even a wild conjecture may cause somebody to think, and work out said falsifiability. Continental drift when first proposed, was ridiculed. Later, it was subsumed into the theories of plate tectonics. But – if somebody had said, back in 1912, “That means they’re probably still moving,” that would not be falsifiable. How in the world would you even measure that?

If you can’t test it in the world, it turns out, getting off the world with GPS satellites can do the job. Today we know how to do the measurement. But was it still science when nobody knew what was going on or how to measure it? Perhaps not – but hardly baseless.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ellen
December 31, 2020 8:57 am

There would have been ways to measure drift back then. Wouldn’t necessarily have been easy or cheap, but it could have been done.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 2:41 pm

“An hypothesis which doesn’t yield testable, falsifiable predictions isn’t scientific, but mere baseless conjecture.”

That sounds like a description of Alarmist climate science.

Pat Frank
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 4:24 pm

One might view the incorporation of the pre-mitochondrial or pre-chloroplast bacterium into primordial eukaryotes a sort of horizontal gene transfer.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 12:21 pm

Annalen der Physik dates from 1799, and important journals like Lancet, Nature, Science and the sadly corrupted SciAm from the early to late 19th century.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 12:39 pm

NEJM 1812. US was among 19th century leaders in science and medicine journals.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 1:04 pm

Peer-review was introduced to scholarly publication in 1731 by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which published a collection of peer-reviewed medical articles. But the practice didn’t become common until the 20th century. Einstein objected to it early in the century.

After the war and into the ’50s and ’60s, specialization of articles increased, and so did the competition for journal space. Journals proliferated.

In this century, the practice has been corrupted into pal review, largely thanks to bogus “climate science”. But blogs are filling the yawning void.

However, even without peer review, scientific journals have been important conduits of research since the 17th century.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 12:57 pm

Memoires of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris, 1699 to 1793.

Its important contributor Lavoisier was beheaded in 1794.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 31, 2020 4:29 am

For destroying state property : he burned diamond, which are not forever.
Now Dr. Schellnhuber the be-knighted great de-carbonizer would behead humanity. Makes Robespierre look amateur.
Some forget what actually happened to Danton, Marat, Robespierre…..

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 1:19 pm

Annalen der Physik, in which Einstein published his four famous papers in 1905, did not subject those papers to the process known today as “peer review”.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 1:37 pm

Regardless of peer review, my point is that scientific journals have existed, some continuously, for hundreds of years. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, letters and publications, ie pamphlets and books, got the scientific word out.

Even in the late 18th century. Jenner described his vaccination activities in three booklets published at his expense by a London printer, 1798-99. I don’t know if he tried on the RS first or not. He was advised that his initial write-up wasn’t ready for prime time.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 2:37 pm

Because you said that historically there weren’t journals, which isn’t true from the middle of the 17th century.


Now, historically there were no “scientific journals”. New scientific ideas were circulated hand-to-hand or mailed between people who knew each other. But the process described above was how they judged the ideas. If someone could show the idea was wrong, it would be discarded.”

In the next paragraph, you mention peer review. But even in the 17th century, editors decided which communications would get published.

But in fact, peer review did exist for over 200 years before Einstein objected to it in 1936.

That Nature adopted the practice later than other journals is really neither here nor there.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 3:40 pm

So your statement that, “Now, historically there were no “scientific journals”. New scientific ideas were circulated hand-to-hand or mailed between people who knew each other” means nothing?

I’d have thought the point obvious. Scientiric journals existed for 300 years before 1965.

John Tillman
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 4:37 am

But, if by “historically”, you meant 1543 to 1665, ie the first 122 years of the Scientific Revolution, you’re right.

December 30, 2020 11:21 am

Question to Willis Eschenbach:
Two decades ago you published a graph http://www.john-daly.com/stations/vardo2.gif about “Vardo Temperature Discontinuity” http://www.john-daly.com/press/press-03b.htm (see excerpt below; but you never asked why it happened. It marked the start to an intense sudden Arctic warming, effecting the entire Northern Hemisphere for two decades until winter 1939/40 (in the United States until about 1933). Actually between 1914 and the end of 1918 there was war in Europe and severe naval activities around Great Britain. All water masses from there ended up in the North. If interested see: http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/ ,  

Willis Eschenbach < willis@taunovobay.com > did a closer examination of Vardø and also found the same discontinuity around 1920, amounting to 0.73°C. When that artificial discontinuity is discounted, the temperature rise is only +0.12°C per century, a tiny result for a region that according to the models should have undergone rampant warming in the last century.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 1:44 pm

Thanks W.
I would be happy and very interested to get your view, as a man from the sea,
Happy New Year and good health

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 4:52 pm

Willis – not sure if you noticed but there is an email address for you in the post you responded to. If that email is still valid you might want to fix that.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 9:04 am

So, it’s been addressed.

Reply to  ArndB
December 30, 2020 12:34 pm

A similar 0.4°C discontinuity seems to have happened before and after the 1998 El Nino and a smaller 0.2° one after the 2016 El Nino (using Dr. Roy Spencer’s data) This in spite of the huge increases in CO2 emissions from China, India, rest of the world after 1998 that should have led to a very distinct rising temp graph, not the 15 or so years of flatlining around the new discontinuity level. Thank you for bringing to light another discontinuity.

Reply to  PCman999
December 30, 2020 2:02 pm

The point why I mentioned the Vardo incident is that the observation by W. Eschenbachin 2003 was a great observation and, as mentioned, occurred at the end of WWI, and as many other indication related to WWI, show strong  links to the Early Arctic Warming, a matter still poorly understood after 100 years.

Joe Crawford
December 30, 2020 11:23 am

Willis, another big advantage WUWT has over the journals is the broad experience of the readership. Where a journal’s readership is usually limited to academics in a specific field, at WUWT you have many practitioners, specialists and experts in practically every field of science, pseudoscience and engineering reading both the material posted and the comments. The amount of cross-pollination is amazing. Enrico Fermi would be impressed.

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 2:48 pm

As portrayed in that ancient parable – “the king has no clothes!”

December 30, 2020 11:24 am

Wikipedia actions sound a lot like China directives….

China clamps down in hidden hunt for coronavirus origins – ABC News (go.com)

Leif Svalgaard
December 30, 2020 11:28 am

Thanks Willis.
My very first scientific paper [https://leif.org/research/DMI-R6.pdf] was submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research (the most important journal in my field) and was roundly rejected by the greatest expert in the field at the time [he is still around btw]. My finding [which was a few years later recognized and is now known as the ‘Svalgaard-Mansurov Effect’] was that the sign of the interplanetary magnetic field [brought to us from the sun by the solar wind] was important for the effect of the solar wind on the earth. The referee’s objection [on physical grounds – disregarding the observational data] was that ‘everybody’ knew that the energy of a magnetic field depends on the square of the field – regardless of its sign, and that therefore my observation must have been a fluke, justifying the rejection.
In my case, the scientific process eventually worked and the result of the rejection only lasted a few years. The lesson is that if the evidence is strong enough, the finding will eventually prevail. Now, over half a century later, I have myself reviewed hundreds of papers and rejected a good many of them [and a lot of junk is actually submitted, so rejections are still necessary], but as always: the good ones will eventually prevail, as they should.

John Tillman
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
December 30, 2020 11:50 am

At least it didn’t take as long for your correctness to be recognized as for geologists Bretz or Wegener, in the latter case after his death.

Reply to  John Tillman
December 30, 2020 4:23 pm

Funny story
My son did a science fair project for Middle school. We were testing the flow of heat through 3 different materials (copper, iron, silver) and also through different gauges of each material. I asked him for his hypothesis on which gauge (diameter) would transfer the heat faster for each material. He replied that the smaller diameter would do it faster since they would have to move faster. Did the experiment, noted the results, graphed and then revisited the hypothesis, he was wrong. I did not allow him to correct the paper. He presented the experiment, and showed that his hypothesis was wrong, the larger diameter wire transferred heat faster . They gave him first place in the school and the county.


Leif Svalgaard
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 1:20 pm

The critical thing is how strong the evidence is. If strong enough, general acceptance is usually quick [e.g. moving plates instead of drifting continents, big bang instead of steady state, etc]. The reason that opposition against climate alarming is not gaining ground, is simply that the opposition is splintered, their ‘ evidence’ and counter-arguments are most often junk or nonsense or just emotional rather than scientific, and so on. I am confident that when the end of climate alarmism comes, it comes hard and swift.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
December 30, 2020 2:12 pm

“hard and swift” is typical of a paradigm shift. Initially, most are against the evidence and wonder how anyone could be so stupid. After the revolution, those same people wonder how anyone could have possibly doubted what is so obvious.

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
December 30, 2020 2:53 pm

But Leif, even the hardest of winters these days doesn’t convince the acolytes that AGW is a crock.
They just fall back on the “climate CHANGE” mantra.
(aided and abetted by the media and academia, whose vested interests in continuing the alarmism should be evident to any rational adult. Which lets out Greta)

Leif Svalgaard
Reply to  Mr.
December 30, 2020 6:57 pm

When it comes to ‘people’ evidence and science don’t really matter. To wit, no rational, educated person today can doubt that evolution by natural selection is simply a fact and that the earth is billions of years old. Yet, there are many people [even on WUWT] that vehemently and willfully oppose that, so evidence, logic, and science are not ‘convincing’ to them. Religion, politics, and emotions rule the day and it is hopeless to combat those forces. My reference to ‘hard and swift’ excludes those ‘unwashed masses’ for which there is no hope.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
December 30, 2020 4:47 pm

The reason that opposition against climate alarming is not gaining ground, is simply that the scientific societies have betrayed science.

They have lent the authority of their agreement of a falsehood to the claim of AGW.

And betrayal is the correct word. How hard is it to realize that radiation physics plus ceteris paribus is not a theory of climate?

If physicists had been as skeptical of AGW as they were of cold fusion, nothing of this outrage would have transpired.

Last edited 24 days ago by Pat Frank
Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Pat Frank
December 31, 2020 4:12 pm

That’s a great observation.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
December 31, 2020 2:07 am

One of my first papers, mostly observational with a bit of spectral analysis, was kept in limbo by the referee(s?) for the better part of a year. Not long after it finally appeared another paper appeared in another journal with very similar results. The authors of that outing had the chutzpah of claiming that their results had been ‘confirmed by Z et al.’ But when you looked at the submission dates and the data logs it turned out that their paper had been submitted miraculously a month before my humble contribution had been accepted while the data had been collected a year later than ours. We had a good laugh about it, and the story always was a good conversation starter at conference dinners.

Michael in Dublin
December 30, 2020 11:35 am

Historically the best scientists have had two things in common:

  1. careful observation and record of this
  2. followed by the process of careful reasoning, experimentation and meticulous record of the results

Some of the most prominent scientists today are guilty of the worst logical blunders which are even more embarrassing when this is pointed out by laymen – like the child who cried, “the emperor has no clothes on!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
December 31, 2020 9:10 am

You assume those “logical blunders” are actually blunders. Most of those I see are willful.

Abolition Man
December 30, 2020 11:54 am

Once again you throw sunlight and fresh air into the subject at hand; sadly, most of our critics will insist on staying in their sensory deprivation chambers where logic, facts and reason need not be confronted! You remind me of the debate over the Folsom site discovered by George McJunkin in 1908 and disputed by leading scientists until 1926 when a group from Colorado finally excavated it properly!
McJunkin, a black cowboy, was born into slavery in Texas and was largely self-educated. He had the audacity to claim that authorities like Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, the curator of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian, were underestimating how early man had reached North America due to the depth and size of the bones he found with obvious human artifacts mixed amongst them. Tony Hillerman wrote a wonderful little short story of it in his collection: The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other True Stories. I highly recommend the collection as the bank robbery story alone is worth the price of admission!
Happy New Year to one and all!

December 30, 2020 12:05 pm

Great website and great content. All the best for 21

David Wojick
December 30, 2020 12:34 pm

Consensus is here a proper noun that should always be capitalized. It names a large group of left wing academics that falsely claims there is a consensus supporting their controversial claims. The Consensus controls most of the academic journals, which will typically only publish research based on the Consensus beliefs. The Consensus then defines science as that which is published in their journals.

In short, the Consensus is real, the consensus is not.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Wojick
December 30, 2020 2:55 pm

“The Consensus” is real”

I like it!

It’s kinda like “The Swamp” only more international. 🙂

December 30, 2020 12:36 pm

I can’t count the number of WUWT articles I’ve read over the years. I would have to say I’ve read at least 97% of the ones published here. I think I first arrived at WUWT via the original Surface Stations project, but I can’t remember how I found that. Back then, I had many questions about the hypothesis of catastrophic man-made global warming and the then-popular Kyoto protocol. I found good info at JunkScience.com, Number Watch, and others, as well as McIntyre & McKitrick’s publications.

The morning coffee wouldn’t be the same without WUWT. 🙂

Tom Abbott
Reply to  PaulH
December 30, 2020 2:56 pm

“I would have to say I’ve read at least 97% of the ones published here.”

I see what you did there! 🙂

M Courtney
December 30, 2020 12:44 pm

The education level of the person who poked holes in the idea is also immaterial. The only valid question is whether they can show the exact problem(s) with the idea.

Not sure that applies.
If an emperor wore invisible clothes and a little boy laughed at him for being naked, the little boy would be crushed and silenced.
Now you might say that has nothing to do with science. That would be true.
But it seems to be the case in Climatology. Which are the rules that Wikipedia are applying.

Last edited 24 days ago by M Courtney
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  M Courtney
December 31, 2020 9:12 am

No, it still applies. If someone can show that the clothes exist, but are invisible, then the system has worked.

December 30, 2020 12:45 pm

This is a really fantastic website, and I know when the byline says Willis, the article will have an interesting way to look at data. I worry that this place will be deplatformed by pressuring the hosting company, or blocking donations.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  joe
December 30, 2020 3:05 pm

“I worry that this place will be deplatformed by pressuring the hosting company, or blocking donations.”

That’s a valid worry. The Radical Left will be gunning for everyone who disagrees with them, and they are almost to a position where they will be bold enough to try to impose restrictions on their political opposition.

Wait until January 6, 2021. That’s when Republicans will challenge the votes of the contested States in the House of Representatives. Senator Josh Hawley has signed on to contest the votes, so that means we are going to get to hear the evidence that Trump and his lawyers have claiming the votes were illegitimate in those contested States.

The Trump team says they have evidence that over 200,000 more votes were cast in Pennsylvania than the number of registered voters. If proven, that alone ought to invalidate Pennsylvania’s electoral votes going to Biden.

And the Trump team claims they have evidence to invalidate the other contested States’ electoral votes.

We shall see. No telling which way this thing is going.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 12:29 am

The prospect of President Kamala Harris terrifies me. The SJW’s will have won, and we can kiss farewell to the principle of objective, physical reality. Dark days ahead.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 31, 2020 9:28 am

Well, if the joint session throws out the electoral votes from enough of the contested states and no candidate gets 270 votes the House gets to pick the President (i.e, Biden, assuming the voting is not by state) and the Senate gets to pick the Vice-President, most likely throwing out Kamala. Then, when Biden succumbs to dementia at least a Republican would again be President. Pretty far fetched but not out of the realm of possibility.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joe Crawford
January 1, 2021 6:31 am

“Well, if the joint session throws out the electoral votes from enough of the contested states and no candidate gets 270 votes the House gets to pick the President (i.e, Biden, assuming the voting is not by state)”

The voting is by State delegations and the Republcians have the majority of these so Trump would get the nod if it went to the House (assuming fearful Republicans will vote that way. You never know with these guys).

Republicans are scared to death that the Media will come after them if they do anything that would upset the election.

What Republicans should be concerned about is how the Media and the violent Left have silenced the Repubicans (and the Supreme Court). Self Silence. Intimidation works.

Republicans (not all) are afraid to speak their minds for fear of attack from the Left. A legitimate fear, but where’s your backbone, guys? We’re talking about freedom or slavery for our future. When are you guys going to step up and defend our freedoms from the criminals who are trying to take it away?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 1, 2021 10:01 am

It is sad that Republicans are so afraid of being attacked by the press that they won’t take a stand.

It is pathetic that they haven’t learned that they’ll be attacked no matter what they do.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TonyG
January 2, 2021 6:12 am

“It is pathetic that they haven’t learned that they’ll be attacked no matter what they do.”

That’s exactly right. They can’t mollify the Left unless they toe the Left’s line. If they toe the Left’s line, then they get invited onto MSNBC and CNN where they can be used to bash other Republicans for not toeing the Left’s line.

Fear of being attacked by the Democrat Media is a legitimate fear. Look what they have done to Trump. Nobody would want to be treated like that. They would avoid it if possible.

The level of attack the Democrat Media inflict depends on the level of danger they sense to their socialist agenda from Republicans. If you’re not much of a threat, they just toss a few slurs at you. If you are a great threat to their socialism, like Trump is, then they go all out to destroy you. Nothing is off limits.

But we can’t live in fear. We have to push back. We are already at the point where fear causes Republican politicians and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justices to stay silent as the Republic is stolen from us by criminal Democrats.

The Democrat Socialist Mob is running this country by intimidation, and our institutions are allowing it, some, even promoting it.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Graemethecat
January 1, 2021 6:14 am

“The prospect of President Kamala Harris terrifies me.”

Just to demonstrate how dumb Kamal Harris is, the other day she was making claims about celebrating the Kwanza holidays when she was a kid and it turns out to be an easily demonstrated lie. Kamala lied when she didn’t have to. What does that say about her lack of character? It says a lot to me.

She says whatever she thinks the audience wants to hear whether it is true or not.

And on top of her ignorance, and deceitfullness, she combines radical socialism, which I guess is natural since ignorance precedes a belief in socialism.

We have a really dumb, partisan potential vice president that hardly anyone knows anything about. I guess we’ll have to put her in the presidency to find out what is in her. It’s like Nancy Pelosi on passing the unAffordable Care Act: “We have to pass the bill before we know what is in the bill”,

Yes, Kamala is scary for a number of reasons. Let’s hope she never gets the presidency.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 31, 2020 8:25 am

I also heard another member of the Trump team say that according to the records, 130 percent of Democrats in Arizona voted for Joe Biden.

Even the Soviet Union bosses were not so bold as to claim over 100 percent support. They would usually bring that number down to about 90 or 80 percent approval to make things look a little more legitimate.

So we have more Democrats voting in both Pennsylvania and Arizona than there are registered voters. That ought to invalidate both Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s electoral votes and all it will take is one more State to have its electoral votes invalidated, and that puts Joe Biden below the 270 electoral vote threshold.

Then the presidential choice goes to Congress. The House of Representatives votes for who will become president and the Senate votes for who will become vice president.

The circumstances of these votes both favor electing Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Of course, all this depends on how much backbone the Republicans have. They haven’t shown much backbone in the past, but maybe this existential threat to our Republc, a stolen election, will be enough to motivate enough of them to make a difference.

If you think the Leftwing hate was bad before, just wait until this gets going. It won’t be pretty, but it never is from the Left.

I see where the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled a hearing for Trump two days after the Jan. 20, inauguration day. Real brave souls. It is claimed this reluctance to get involved is centered in Justice Roberts. I don’t doubt it. Refuse to do your job, John. Go ahead and let the election be stolen.

Well, at least, since Senator Hawley is going to join in on challenging the electoral votes (it takes one House member and one Senate member to legally challenge the votes), we will at least see whether the Trump Team can connect the dots and demonstrate that the elections were stolen in the contested States.

This may not keep Trump in Office, depending on the spine of the other Republicans, but it will expose the truth of the election.

If Trump cannot make his case, then his complaint will be dismissed by most Americans, even Repubicans, and we will proceed from there.

If Trump can make his case that the election was stolen, then even if there are not enough Republican politicians with a spine to reverse the theft, Trump can make a very good case for righting this wrong by electing him in 2024 to undo the damage Biden has done and put the U.S. back on the right course.

If Repubicans think the election was stolen, then they will stick by Trump come hell or high water.

Trump’s Team has to connect the dots.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 1, 2021 6:38 am

Trump won’t win the battle for public opinion because the Left are the ones that say what public opinion is.

What is important above all else is that Trump convinces his supporters that they were robbed of this presidential election.

This will set the stage for Trump running again in 2024 (if the vote in Congress doesn’t go his way) and will set the stage for a movement just as important: The reform of the U.S. election system. Trump can take a personal hand in reforming every State government voting procedure. This will be a good issue for the 2022 elections.

And when Trump doesn’t have anything else to do, he can primary the Never-Trumpers who are still in office in preparation for Trump going back to the White House in 2024.

Gerald Machnee
December 30, 2020 1:12 pm

If you comment on Wiki it will be changed or deleted. I never use them for info.

December 30, 2020 1:14 pm

Good on ya WUWT! A shining light in the darkness of end justifies means chicanery science!

December 30, 2020 1:20 pm

I believe that notwithstanding the difficulties in trying to change the content of the Wikipaedia , Anthony, Willis and other senior contributors ought to:
a) agree on what they would prefer the Wikipaedia entry to read;
b) every day for one week, make an attempt to change the Wikipedia entry;
c) having established that it will not be allowed, set up an independent web page, with the text;
d) link to that page in the ABOUT tab on the WUWT homepage OR
link to that page in some more visible place, eg in a box under the “Donate” box.

Why is this important?
1) I think it is important because people who are new to WUWT need to be able to get a short, clear, accurate statement of WUWT is all about.
2) It will make Anthony and the other senior contributors review what the site ought to be about. (Personally, I see articles on Astronomy and on curious things like Stargate to be irrelevant and distracting from the focus of WUWT, and I’d be happy to see an end to them, but that’s just my opinion)
3) Most importantly, it will enable WUWT to claim the moral high ground, and enable it to ask Wikipaedia to either correct the entry or to completely remove it. Probably they would do neither, but given the increasing worldwide governmental concern at the way American IT firms are bankrupting mainstream media and publishing fake news, any indisputable evidence of their malpractices is of value in itself.

Easy for me to say, because I’m asking Anthony et al to do all the work. However, the WUWT site contains a tab for HINTS AND NOTES, and if Anthony approves the use of it, I’m willing to make a stab at writing what I think the entry should say, and post it there for starters.

Anthony, over to you, sir

Reply to  OldCynic
December 30, 2020 3:05 pm

The wiki warriors have these tactics covered OldCynic.
A prime example of their tactics is revealed in the Climategate email from the head of Australia’s BoM (Jones?) crowing about how when he is asked for temp data records from interested outsiders, he swamps them with humongous files of raw readings, knowing that the inquirers don’t have the resources to properly organize or analyze such mountains of numbers.

Perfidy personified.

Writing Observer
Reply to  OldCynic
December 30, 2020 7:22 pm

Hrmph. Every time I see a complaint about “WUWT losing its focus,” I grind my teeth a bit.

The title is “Watts Up With That” – not “Watts Up With Climate.” (“Whoot” trips off of the tongue better than “wook,” anyway…)

“That” is science, scientific inquiry, and things that affect science and inquiry. It is one of the few, if not the only, journal that is still free – in both the mental and financial aspects. (Financially, not to Anthony, of course; send him a few dollars once in a while!)

When WUWT starts publishing articles on needlework or cooking, I will be unhappy. Right now, though, Anthony – don’t change a single blasted thing!

(On second thought, a very occasional article on the best way to generate large amounts of CO2 and fine particulates from my very own back yard wouldn’t be seen amiss in this household. Aussie contributors take note, please. I am reliably informed that Outback Steakhouse is to barbie as Taco Bell is to Mexican cuisine.)

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Writing Observer
December 30, 2020 11:19 pm

” I am reliably informed that Outback Steakhouse is to barbie as Taco Bell is to Mexican cuisine.

There is an “Outback” in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Have eaten there three times in the past 10 years as part of group outings. Have to specify “no pepper” when ordering. And forget about “Vegemite” – they’ve never heard of it.

A happy and hopefully peaceful New Year to one and all…..

Last edited 24 days ago by Tombstone Gabby
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tombstone Gabby
December 31, 2020 9:17 am

And, in spite of their advertising, Outback Restaurant does actually have rules.

@Writing Observer: As to Taco Bell, if you don’t like it, don’t go there. Simples.

Last edited 24 days ago by Jeff Alberts
Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  OldCynic
December 31, 2020 4:21 pm

This is a truly terrible idea. Sometimes I’m surprised, given the ubiquitous of Wikipedia, many people don’t understand some of the basic rules. One of those basic rules has the short cut name COI. Conflict of interest. Wikipedia strongly discourages people editing articles where they have a conflict of interest. This means, inter alia, that you shouldn’t edit an article about your own website. Encouraging Anthony to edit the Wikipedia entry about WUWT is encouraging him to try to break the rules. No, that won’t go well, but it won’t go well because it’s wrong not because of bias.
If you are seriously interested in improving Wikipedia contact me and I will help. I shouldn’t directly edit the article because I’m a financial supporter of WUWT and that might be enough to create a conflict of interest for me, but I can help others steer clear of the many many minefields.

Rod Evans
December 30, 2020 1:31 pm

I am not a religious person as such, incidentally I don’t feel any different towards those who are “believers” compared to those of us who are without “faith”
I do however thank god or nature as I call it, that WUWT exists and helps to keep us all sane and open minded.
Without question the views of the writers and the breadth of the knowledge displayed in the comments makes WUWT the most important portal/forum for scientific discussion on the planet.
Long may it continue. Thank you to all the team, for providing the opportunity for us to contribute and for your willingness to tolerate the sometimes banal from those of us, constantly searching for the truth..
Happy New Year everyone including you Griff, and let us hope 2021 is a better year than 2020.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 30, 2020 1:44 pm

In the immortal (I hope, but now have reason to doubt) words of Thomas Jefferson, “Nature and Nature’s God”.

December 30, 2020 1:52 pm

I loved the Crichton essay and remember reading it probably back when it was new. How prescient was he when you look at all that has transpired in the nearly 20 since then. It is definitely going out to all my homies for a refresher.

BTW an old pal long since passed went to high school with Sagan and wondered how Sagan ever got out of HS without his face be severely disfigured given his proclivity to induce a punching reflex from nearly everyone he encountered.

Happy New Year

December 30, 2020 2:01 pm

Mouthpieces of the Left like Wikipaedia would naturally think that “WUWT is a blog promoting climate change denial” because all the Left does is promote things, it does not reasearch things. It can think in no other way except the political. The Left is not interested in careful research for the Truth but only in coercion and promotion of their own obsessive ideas. Going on Wikipaedia is only safe when you are looking at topics that are of no interest to the Left as their monitors patrol all Wiki entries of interest to the left and corrupt their form.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 31, 2020 4:22 pm

Well-said. I fought, and lost that battle.

John Pickens
December 30, 2020 2:05 pm

Don’t worry, WUWT will soon be eliminated from the internet by the forced blacklisting of web service providers. Just wait and see. Visa, Mastercard, and the banking system will make doing business impossible for web providers who continue to deal with “climate deniers”.

/unfortunatly NOT sarcasm. I predict this will happen within 3 years.
I hope I am proven wrong, like the many alarmist predictions which have not come to pass.

Last edited 24 days ago by John Pickens
Reply to  John Pickens
December 30, 2020 5:59 pm

John that is a very interesting prediction and I can totally see that happening.

Reply to  John Pickens
December 31, 2020 4:38 am

Davos is openly intoning this. Even BlackRock is onboard. The FED, the EU, and BoJo, Brexit be-damned.
Lookout for central bankers digital currency wallets. They will be green graded, one false comment….

December 30, 2020 2:10 pm

I don’t post much here because I am not an expert in climate but I am on the site daily as it has replaced Science News and Scientific American. I think this post should have a permanent link called About Us or Mission Statement so others will understand what this site is really about. The site has evolved beyond climate as it covers Covid and other topics that may have weak or no link to climate. It has become a great resource for anybody brave enough to have their ideas examined in the light of truth.

December 30, 2020 2:12 pm

In honor of ‘Modern Monetary Theory’, the only theory that I know of that denies the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (i.e. you can’t get something for nothing), I would like to propose the ‘Modern Scientific Method’:

‘The Modern Scientific Method’

  1. The ‘Powers That Be’ create ‘The Narrative’.
  2. ‘Modern Scientists’ invent theories to fit ‘The Narrative’.
  3. Data is fabricated to ‘Prove’ the theories.
  4. Papers are published in Peer (i.e. ‘Modern Scientist’) Reviewed Scientific Journals.
  5. The ‘Media’ spreads ‘The Science’ to the masses.
  6. ‘The Science’ is declared ‘Settled’
  7. All who question ‘The Science’ are ‘burned at the stake’.

Many of you will recognize that a method similar to this is used to support much of Climate Change Science as well as the more recent Pandemic Science.

Good blog Willis. I am a fan of WUWT because it is a great place to both be informed and discuss traditional science.

Hoyt Clagwell
December 30, 2020 2:16 pm

For me, WUWT has always been a blog that I can turn to in order to explain why popular mainstream “science” doesn’t seem to match my real world experience and why all solutions are perpetually “only10 years away.” Thanks Anthony, for allowing me to engage and learn without having to get a Phd from an institution with questionable objectivity.

Tom Abbott
December 30, 2020 2:17 pm

From the article: “Instead, it is a place where scientific ideas of all kinds can be most critically examined and publicly peer-reviewed in a modern, efficient manner. And curiously, it is one of the few places in the world where this is true.”

That’s exactly right. Critical Review is what we do!

Bruce Cobb
December 30, 2020 2:23 pm

Hey, I’m a Denier. And proud of it:

Don’t let them define who we are.

Lawrence E Todd
December 30, 2020 2:33 pm

What Michael Mann does is not “pal review”; it is more of co-conspirator review

Dan Hughes
December 30, 2020 2:43 pm

A newly proposed concept either agrees with measured empirical data or it does not. It’s Validation, and that’s Necessary and Sufficient.

Andre Den Tandt
December 30, 2020 2:47 pm

Am I the only here who notices that the system for stating approval or disapproval of a particular comment is off the rails. On a single touch it goes up by as much as ten, sometimes a lesser number. Is this a case of technology gone astray, or is someone trying to destroy the site’s reputation?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
December 30, 2020 2:54 pm

Just tried it on your comment
Went up by one

Maybe you drink too much coffee, tremors registering 10 hits instead of one?

Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
December 31, 2020 9:58 am

Well, the numbers are not updated in real time. So while you read and not refreshed other people have voted.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rainer.Bensch
January 2, 2021 6:18 am

I think that is the explanation. I also have had occasions where I vote and the number increases by more than one.

Rud Istvan
December 30, 2020 2:57 pm

Do not disagree with anything, but would like to broaden the perspective in two additional dimensions.

First is in the philosophy of science, scientific paradigms (Kuhn, 1962, Structure of Scientific Revolutions) A paradigm is the then ‘consensus’ science, eventually disproven by an accumulation of discrepancies resulting in a new paradigm. Paradigms are useful even if wrong because they exclude crackpottery at the risk of also excluding a real discrepancy. His two main examples were phlogiston theory of combustion (disproven by LaVoisier) and the luminiferous aether theory of electromagnetic radiation propagating in a ‘vacuum’, disproven by the Michelson-Morley experiment.

Kuhn’s concept breaks down when there is NO pre-existing paradigm, as with Wegener’s continental drift. What is odd about AGW, CAGW, and climate change is that there was and remains a valid pre-existing paradigm of natural variation. On multi centennial scales, MWP to LIA as seen in Alpine glaciers. On multi millennial scales, repeated glaciation/deglaciation. AGW seeks to compress this natural time frame blaming anthropogenic CO2. The problem is, for the last 40 years all their compressed time frame predictions have proven wrong.

The other perspective is socioeconomic, best represented by Mackay, 1841, Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. The Mackay example best fitting AGW was the Dutch tulip bulb mania. It was very profitable and everybody played, until it wasn’t and many lost everything. AGW is very profitable (research grants for playing computer model games, and renewable peddlers)—until it won’t be when its unscientific edifice implodes.

Burl Henry
December 30, 2020 3:18 pm


On the surface, a very good article. However,in my experience, WUWT has refused to consider submissions which would significantly advance the understanding of Climate Change, for trivial reasons.

As an example, I have recently had a peer reviewed article published


Based upon previous experience, it will also be rejected.

But perhaps readers of WUWT will comment upon it.



Burl Henry
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 5:59 pm


The link that the publisher gave me works, i must have copied it wrong.

Will try again:


Burl Henry
Reply to  Burl Henry
December 30, 2020 6:09 pm
Joe Born
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 12:52 pm

Without denying WUWT’s contribution, I can’t entirely agree that “those that have even a chance of being real, even if they might disagree with skeptical thoughts, generally get published.” 

All or almost all of my submissions had been accepted before I showed that Christopher Monckton’s “irreducibly simple climate model” actually was irredeemably innumerate.  After that it was only when Anthony Watts was on sabbatical that I was able to slip a couple in, and one of those rather by subterfuge. 

In contrast, WUWT ran nearly a dozen pieces over the course of a year by Lord Monckton that were various variations of the fatally flawed “proof” presented at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebokc6z82cg. Readers would have been in less danger of being taken in if Mr. Watts had been impartial and allowed me to demonstrate the theory’s problems.

Again, I’m not disputing this site’s great contributions. But it’s not impartial.

Joe Born
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 5:08 pm

Actually, I was referring to two Monckton theories, not one. 

The first was his “irreducibly simple climate model,” whose Equation 1 is a fundamental error in linear systems. And as you observed I did indeed get two pieces published about that one, although I was soft-pedaling a little in those because at the time I still harbored the notion that perhaps Lord Monckton might see his error and correct it. But Mr. Watts turned me down when I submitted a response to Lord Monckton’s (in my view, intellectually dishonest) third piece, and it was at that point that Mr. Watts appears to have black-listed me.

Lord Monckton’s other theory, which Mr. Watts didn’t accept my responses to, is the one I linked to in the comment above and about which Mr. Watts ran maybe a dozen of Lord Monckton’s posts beginning with the one at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/19/global-warming-on-trial-and-the-elementary-error-of-physics-that-caused-the-global-warming-scare/.

Unfortunately, there’s some feedback and electronics in the authors’ errors, I’ve only encountered about half a dozen guys at this site who seem able to comprehend those subjects, and I sense you aren’t really interested in this enough to plow through it anyway. So I won’t go into detail. I’ll just mention one error in the first theory and one in the second.

One error in the first theory is the authors’ Equation 1, which contradicts a linear-systems fact that I think you may actually know. The linear-systems fact is that the response y(t) of a linear system to a stimulus x(t) is the convolution of x(t) with the linear system’s response h(t) to the Dirac delta function. Equivalently, it’s the convolution of the stimulus’s time derivative x’(t) with the linear system’s response u(t) to a unit step function. The authors’ Equation 1 says instead that y(t) = x(t) * u(t). 

That’s not true in general. In linear systems the authors’ central equation is roughly like the arithmetic contention that you can calculate the product of two numbers by adding them; there are an infinite number of number pairs for which that works, but usually it doesn’t.

One error in the second theory is that it’s essentially bad extrapolation, which you can see in the “single slide” at the end of the post at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/30/climatologys-startling-error-an-update/. The authors claim that when feedback is involved Hendrik Bode says extrapolation is calculated in accordance with the average slope rather than the local slope. Again, not true in general

I’m sure that’s all too terse, but there it is. If you really have the stomach for the math, I did as I said manage to get a post in somewhat by subterfuge that sets it out: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/16/remystifying-feedback/#comment-2747162

As to the credentials of Lord Monckton’s co-authors, I don’t know what to tell you.  I’m just a retired lawyer, I know nothing about astrophysics, I’m inept at statistics, and I’ve had my errors in all manner of fields pointed out to me over the years as I dealt with a lot of brilliant scientists and engineers. 

But I did have occasion to discuss the finer points of feedback with Bell Labs engineers back in the 60s, I’ve had numerous occasions since to deal with that topic as well as linear systems, and I’m confident that despite their credentials Lord Monckton and his co-authors made some extremely elementary errors in linear systems and feedback.

Joe Born
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 4, 2021 3:53 pm

My apologies to any interested lurkers for failing until just now to notice Mr. Eschenbach’s question about the relationship between my simple conventional notation y(t)= x(t)u(t) and Lord Monckton’s more opaque \Delta T_t= q_t^{-1}\Delta F_tr_t\lambda_\infty

Briefly, Lord Monckton’s q_t^{-1}\Delta F_t is the stimulus x(t), his \Delta T_t is the system’s response y(t) to that stimulus x(t), and his r_t\lambda_\infty is what the system’s response u(t) to a unit step function would be. 

(Incidentally, I actually sent Mr. Eschenbach a detailed explanation of that relationship through a different channel a few days ago without realizing that I was thereby answering a question he had asked.)

Joe Born
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 6:03 am

I’m afraid none will be of much help. Steve McIntyre did wave readers off from discussing Lord Monckton on his site, and Roy Spencer’s piece called “Climate F Words” was critical of Lord Monckton’s work, but neither blogger explicitly agreed with me (and my emphasis would be different from Dr. Spencer’s anyway).
Now, I believe insightful commenter kribaez (aka “Paul_K”) did explicitly agree with me at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/08/feedback-is-not-the-big-enchilada/#comment-2724185 about the “irreducibly simple climate model,” and maybe you’ll find something about Lord Monckton’s “grave error” theory in kribaez’s comments elsewhere on that thread.  Also, I think commenter Bernie Hutchens probably agreed somewhere with my take on Lord Monckton’s electronics errors, although I can’t put my finger on his comments just now.

Mostly, though, I don’t think many readers grasped the math, so although I admire your courage in attempting it I question your judgment. And, frankly, I’m not interested in the subject much myself now that the danger of Lord Monckton’s adversely affecting an important law suit has passed. Still, I’ll be happy to answer questions if any arise.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Joe Born
December 31, 2020 4:23 pm

Joe Born:

You are correct, WUWT is NOT impartial. I have experienced its partiality multiple times. Although I am generally no longer being moderated, my replies in an on-going “conversation” are not announced in an email, but instead are buried in the comments, where the other party is unaware that I have replied. For others, even one-line replies show up in an email

The same applies to comments that I have initiated. No email announcement, but, again, usually found buried somewhere within the comments. A very subtle discrimination. ,

Burl Henry
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 31, 2020 7:55 pm


Your replies DO show up in an email on my computer!.

I have replied to your “Droning Maud” data on two previous threads, but you never responded to them, apparently because you had no idea that I had replied.

Which I see as a problem affecting my posts. But others DO get email announcements..

You stated in this essay that WUWT “is a place where scientific ideas of all kinds can be most critically examined and publicly peer-reviewed in a modern, efficient manner”

As you know, I have maintained that SO2 aerosols are the sole driver of Earth’s climate, changes ,and the corrected link which I have sent you will take you to my paper titled “A Graphical Explanation of Climate Change”

I believe that it will convince even YOU that Earth’s climate is extremely sensitive to the amount of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, and that CO2 can have no climatic effect.

So let’s have a “critical examination and peer review” of my conclusions..

Burl Henry
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 2:41 pm


I have to concede that your are correct. An email shows up only when i have replied to someone.

Have you had an opportunity to read my “Graphical Proof” paper?.

It addresses your “Dronning Maud essay.

Reply to  Burl Henry
January 1, 2021 2:57 pm

The subscription mechanism has changed. Scroll up and look just above the comment box – click on the down-arrow by “Subscribe” and you can subscribe to all future comments on the article.

I mentioned elsewhere that there is no longer a mechanism (that I can see) to subscribe to the blog in its entirety, i.e. to be notified of new articles. I’m changing my email soon and will thus lose my existing subscription. Perhaps you can bring this up to someone?

Burl Henry
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 1, 2021 8:42 pm


The Hadcrut4 1850-2019 graph which I annotated shows increased temperatures whenever there is an American business recession/depression, due to decreased levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere.

It also shows that most of the temperature increases result in an El Nino..

It also shows that whenever there is a VEI4 or higher volcanic eruption, temperatures decrease.

Thus,Earth’s temperature changes are driven solely by changing levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere, which attenuates the sun’s rays by greater or lesser amounts…

Regarding your graph, at NO time do I make any claim as to the AMOUNT of temperature decrease caused by volcanic eruptions, just that it always happens. However, the amount of decrease is easily determined from the scale on the graph.

I find it very strange that you are unable to understand what the graph is telling you.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
January 2, 2021 6:35 am

I would add that the biggest volcanic eruptions we have recorded in recent times where we have a temperature record, show that a large eruption can reduce the temperatures in the atmosphere by about 0.5C for about two or so years.

All the SO2 human beings have produced in human history would amount to a very small volcanic eruption, and that’s if all of it was injected into the atmosphere at the same time, which can’t happen, so human-derived SO2 is a minor player in determining the Earth’s temperatures.

I know some of these claims are about natural SO2 but Burl also claims human-derived SO2 caused the temperature decline from 1940 to 1980, but that’s not possible considering how little SO2 effects the temperatures and how large the change was from 1940 to 1980.

Human-caused Global Cooling is a theory that should be put to bed. The facts don’t support it.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 2, 2021 1:43 pm

Tom Abbott:

The nearly simultaneous eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo (Jun 15, 1991) and Cerro Hudson (Aug 9) injected ~ 22 Megatons of SO2 into the stratosphere, and cooled the climate by about 0.5 deg. C.

Annual global Anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions into the atmosphere ,for the years 1940 to 1980 rose from 57 Megatons in 1940 to 135 Megatons in 1980, dwarfing the amount of SO2 from the volcanic eruptions.


SO2 affects planetary temperatures by about .02 deg. C of cooling (or warming) for each net Megaton of change in global SO2 aerosol emissions, either volcanic or man-made.

And since 1980, global Clean Air efforts have reduced the amount of cooling human-derived SO2 aerosol emissions into the atmosphere, and temperatures have necessarily risen

Contrary to your statement, the FACTS do support the theory.

Have you viewed the graph that Willis was commenting on? It shows temperature changes whenever SO2 emissions into the atmosphere change..

Burl Henry
Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 4, 2021 12:26 pm

Tom Abbott:

I was wondering whether you received my Jan 2 reply to your Jan 2 post. It’s an important issue for both of us.. ,

Reply to  Burl Henry
December 30, 2020 4:37 pm

Bad Link……..

The requested page cannot be found

Burl Henry
Reply to  JWurts
December 30, 2020 7:00 pm


Finally corrected
see above

December 30, 2020 3:26 pm

Let me add my appreciation for all of WUWT contributors, and here is hoping for a happy and prosperous 2021.

Hocus Locus
December 30, 2020 3:32 pm

Willis: don’t forget the Talk page,


Also interesting is “Talk+View History” tabs where you select two distant dates to see what has appeared (and disappeared) on the Talk page.


From this you can learn that someone tried to invoke the venerable AP Style Guide to revise the smear to AP-recommended “climate doubter” but the request was denied because it wasn’t deniey enough.

Stephen Brown
December 30, 2020 3:36 pm

Willis, I endorse your description of WUWT and I compliment you and Anthony Watts, Charles The Moderator, and the various moderators for making this the go-to site for just about everything to do with the modern mess which claims to be ‘main-stream’ climate science.
I visit WUWT regularly, comment very infrequently because I am here to learn, not criticise, I enjoy your articles and I like your “Skating Under the Ice” blog.

Last edited 24 days ago by Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 3:45 pm

My <s>denial</s> skepticism of the “science” began with the unscientific CAGW. That hasn’t changed one iota since they changed from CAGW to AGW to climate change.They are still touting catastrophe and blaming humans for the earths climate.
Then there is the emotional demands to acknowledge the virtuousness of the CAGW position as having to save the planet. I can’t swallow that either so, I’ll happily wear the badge of denialist.
Happy denialist 2021 🤗

Pat Frank
December 30, 2020 4:05 pm

Years ago I was deeply involved in arguing religion and science online, in what were then called Bulletin Boards. Bulletin Boards were dedicated to certain topics, and one could go there to find topical friends, opponents, and debates.

Eventually a group of defenders of evolutionary theory recognized one another. We became virtual friends, and the explication of science — what it actually is in fact — was a topic of intense exploration.

Among the group was Thomas H. Ray and David Pun. Tom is a mathematician and David is a physicist. I’m sure they don’t mind their names mentioned here. At the time, I was relatively naive about science, even though I’d practiced it professionally for 15 years already. At the time I figured one had to assume the physical universe. Wrong.

Tom and David engaged my ideas, and reamed me out intellectually. I was a better person for it. So, here’s the deal. Tom and David had science down to its very basics. Tom’s essential formulation of science is Theory and Result. Both present together is necessary. Either alone is insufficient.

Theory is the Popperian standard: monosemous (one and only one meaning), predictive (a specific observable is deduced), and falsifiable (disprovable by experiment or observation).

Result is an unambiguous and repeatable observation or experimental outcome. The result must be so specific as to test the prediction from theory. If the experiment does not conform to the prediction from theory, the theory is wrong. Experimental test is a mortal threat to theory.

Both working together,theory and result, define science. Theory predicts, result decides.

So, in practice, someone gets an idea about how some part of the universe works and produces a hypothesis. The hypothesis looks just like a physical theory. It has one and only one meaning. It is analytically terse and specific. From it, one can deduce that certain phenomena must be observable.

The hypothesizer publishes the hypothesis. The new hypothesis provides detailed explanations for phenomena that were til then unexplained, or shows how diverse and previously disconnected phenomena can be unified under a single physically causal system. The hypothesis explains physical phenomena in some novel way, and deductively predicts that certain further phenomena should be observed.

In steps experiment and observation. Here comes the judge. Others and perhaps the hypothesizer, go out and do the experiment and/or make the observation and perhaps even build new instruments to do it. Are the predicted phenomena observed, or are they not? The hypothesis stands or falls on the result.

If it stands after repeated tests of prediction and result, the hypothesis graduates to theory status. But it is never safe. The ugly experiment, the unexpected observation, can kill the most beautiful and elegant theory.

And so it goes.

The adversarial part of science-in-practice emerges with the humans who practice it. Adversativity is not part of science itself. No theory gets angry or defensive when disproven. No experiment is ever out for blood. But humans do and some are.

And assuming the physical universe? Not necessary.

Science is possible even if we are all just brains in vats hallucinating our experiences.

Science is a way of organizing and describing phenomena in a systematic, causal, and predictive way. One need not assume a physical universe to do that. One need only experience impinging phenomena, over which one has no control.

Whether hallucinations or something else, independent phenomena arriving to our attention are subject to examination and — so far — to explanation by physically causal and predictive theory; theory subject to mortal test.

Science is methodology: theory and result. It is the same methodology in every culture in every corner of Earth (and, I’d hazard, every corner of the observed universe). Anything else is not science. We presently know of no other method that produces objective culture-free knowledge.

Cultural Studies are famous for their many “Critical Blah Theory” which are neither critical nor theory. Exegesis of politically sacred assumptions is not an equivalent of science nor is it a route to alternative ways of knowing.

By the way, Karl Popper derived his view of science on learning of and extrapolating a statement of Einstein’s he heard second-hand, about an experimental disproof of theory. Popper describes this event — this fundamental insight, really — in his The Unended Quest.

One may say that Popper’s view of science is empirically based, which makes it something other than philosophy. If science did not work the way Popper described, then his system is disproved. Popper’s view is better described as a science of science.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
December 30, 2020 9:00 pm

The feeling is mutual Willis. 🙂

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 31, 2020 12:47 am

I’ve always found Popper’s and Kuhn’s ideas valuable but incomplete. Neither seem to have considered a very important avenue of scientific progress which is the introduction of new instruments and techniques.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 31, 2020 10:27 am

I’ve been re-reading Kuhn, and realized he used equivocal language in describing science.

Applying his criteria, one cannot differentiate the work of Newton from Aquinas. This is evidently why post-modern pseudo-scholars so love Kuhn. He muddies the waters, allowing them to claim science is just one more sort of cultural textual.

In my revised view, Kuhn is just plain wrong about science.

It seems unlikely that Popper would disagree with you about new instruments and techniques, Graeme. He seemed more vitally concerned with the intellectual methodology than with the practicalities.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Pat Frank
December 31, 2020 7:48 pm

Few seem to appreciate the progression from speculation, to formal hypothesis, to theory, and ultimately to a law. Not unexpectedly, you show that you understand the nuances.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 31, 2020 9:47 pm

Thanks, Clyde. Evidently, you do, too. 🙂 It came to me relatively late.

December 30, 2020 4:07 pm

Brilliant Willis, thank you.

Happy New Year, and Happy New Brexit.

Let’s look forward to the 6th.

December 30, 2020 4:28 pm

Wikipedia is worthless for anything remotely political. There is an organized legion of unemployed people with worthless degrees who sit in there parents basement hoping to make a few bucks editing wikipedia. They have one agenda, it is not the truth.

If you follow the telecoms supporting the NSA to spy on americans you know who dennis mountgomery is. Go look at the wiki hatchet job on him.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Devils_Tower
December 31, 2020 4:27 pm

I’m not disagreeing that articles in Wikipedia for political articles are problematic, but I’m puzzled at the people hoping to make a few bucks editing Wikipedia. How does that happen? (I am familiar with paid editing, but it doesn’t match what you are discussing.)

Walter Sobchak
December 30, 2020 5:11 pm

I just finished reading a really interesting and well written book. “Hot Hand” by Ben Cohen. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062820729/ It was well written and very entertaining. The subject of the book is the controversy over whether or not there is such a thing as a hot hand in basketball. In 1985, Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky published “The hot hand in basketball: On the misperception of random sequences”, which argued that the “hot hand” is a cognitive illusion, our minds impose a pattern on random events. That idea became “established science”. But, like real scientists, other social scientists and mathematicians did not accept it and move on. They picked at the idea, and eventually proved that the paper had deep seated flaws.

The point here is that the core of science is doubt. Nothing in science can be accepted as “established”. Everything must be doubted and and picked at.

This is true in every part of science. Let us take an example from a core subject of physical science: gravity. Newton’s Principia explained gravity in 1687. It was the beginning of the separation between empirical science and speculative philosophy. Surely, gravity is established science.

Well, not really. Newton’s theory was revised and expanded for two centuries after it was propounded. But, eventually there were problems. In the 19th Century, they found that the orbit of Mercury around the sun could not be explained by Newtonian theories, unless there was another large planet nearby, which nobody could see.

Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity in 1915. The theory refined Newton’s law of universal gravitation, and provided a unified description of gravity as a non-Euclidian geometric property of four-dimensional space-time. It could explain the orbit of Mercury. But, it also opened up a whole new vista of astronomical phenomena that are uncanny, at best, such as the bending of light by gravity, the dilation of time by gravity, the collapse of stars into their own gravitational fields that produce Black Holes, and even stranger yet — gravitational waves, that were first directly observed only recently.

Game over, we have the answer. Gravity is now established science. Right? Not exactly. There are known and real problems with General Relativity as an explanation for life, the universe, and everything. For instance, the Black Hole Information Loss Paradox. I won’t try to explain it. If you want a good understandable explanation go to “The Black Hole information loss problem is unsolved. Because it’s unsolvable.” http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2020/11/the-black-hole-information-loss-problem.html has an explanation and a video. It is by a German theoretical physicist named Sabine Hossenfelder. She has a lot of videos and explanations about basic issues in modern physics.

The point here is very simple. There is no such thing as “established science”, nor can there ever be such a thing. The core of science is doubt. As the Royal Society, to which Newton reported his results, has it: Nullius in Verba. “Take nobody’s word for it”. The only way to prove statements about science is an appeal to facts determined by experiment. https://royalsociety.org/about-us/history/

Last edited 24 days ago by Walter Sobchak
Pat Frank
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
December 30, 2020 9:30 pm

Galileo made the separation between empirical science and speculative philosophy, when he made experiment the basis for theory. Stillman Drake points this out in his excellent book, Galileo, a very short introduction.

Reply to  Pat Frank
December 31, 2020 4:55 am

Galileo told a confidant he understood not one word of Kepler’s book. Today many like Galileo understand not one word of Einstein. Newton did not discover universal gravitation, only alchemy as biographer Keynes reported.
Einstein did not just “refine”, he threw out simultaneity, space and time for spacetime, energy and mass for e=mc**2. Not to mention quanta…
Leibniz threw out Descartes “quantity of motion” for vis viva, today labelled kinetic energy.
Asked by PBS why he kept searching, Einstein said theories were like diamonds found in a mine, to be thrown out – he was searching for the thoughts of God.

Pat Frank