Koonin-Dessler Debate

By Andy May

Andrew Dessler and Steven Koonin will debate the resolution “Climate science compels us to make large and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” Dessler will take the affirmative, and Koonin will take the negative. Dessler is a Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University and Koonin is a Professor of Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU, his background is in theoretical physics.

They had separate back-to-back long-form interviews with Joe Rogan this past winter, Koonin’s interview is here, and Dessler’s is here. Koonin’s best-selling book, Unsettled, was focus of both interviews. Koonin’s book emphasizes that the ideas that humans are causing climate change and climate change is dangerous are not “settled” facts and may very well be incorrect. Dessler did not dispute the facts and analysis presented in Koonin’s book but thought that Koonin did not tell the whole story about human-caused climate change. This debate will allow them to discuss their differences on climate change, it should be very interesting.

The debate will convene at The Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street in Lower Manhattan, at 6:30 pm East Coast time on Monday, August 15, 2022. Tickets are available to attend in person or to participate in the live stream. A recording of the event will also be available about a week after the debate. I will be watching the debate on the live stream ($7.43 with tax); I hope all of you do as well.

There will be the traditional pre- and post-debate polls of the in-person audience views on the debate resolution, it isn’t clear if the on-line audience will be polled before and after. I’ll let you know when I find out. You might recall that in the last major climate change debate in 2007, at IQ2US, the website was tampered with and changed to report the wrong results, see here for the details. I notice that sometime in the past few months, the IQ2US results for the 2007 debate have been removed entirely, even the false results are gone.

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Paul S.
July 30, 2022 10:05 am

Well finally we get a debate!

Reply to  Paul S.
July 30, 2022 2:59 pm

I think Dessler debates a good bit, but this one might be fun. He is a bully so may need to be controlled. Koonin is pretty soft spoken. Koonin chaired a debate some years ago for the American Physical Society (physicists not body builders). That may be when he became a skeptic. Given Dessler discussed Koonin’s book they each should have an idea what the other’s arguments are, which is useful,and time saving.

The alarmists have lots of complex arguments, as well as counter arguments to the primary skeptical arguments, so I do not expect a knockout.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 7:33 am

I listened to both Dessler’s Rogan “debate” and to his original “debate” with Lindzen. In neither case did he debate so much as spout the usual garbage involving “big Tobacco”, “Big Oil”, “Merchants of Doubt” etc.
I will be surprised if he does anything different this time.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 5:09 pm

“The alarmists have lots of complex arguments, as well as counter arguments to the primary skeptical arguments”

Curious as to what you think those are? In 25 years of debating with them I’ve yet to see a cogent rebuttal to empirical data, the geologic record and basic logic.

Right-Handed Shark
July 30, 2022 10:21 am

Koonin should wipe the floor with Dessler. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for Dessler to lose his composure.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 30, 2022 11:58 am

Were I Dressler, I’d have some activists in the audience lose my cool for me at the appropriate signal. I’m pretty sure we can expect some underhand tricks from them.

Strange and alarming times:

  • Andrew Dressler debates
  • Bin Laden admitted he loves yankees!
  • Wokes admit they were wrong
  • BLM call for more police funding
  • Pigs will fly
Reply to  Mark Pawelek
July 30, 2022 12:09 pm


Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 30, 2022 3:19 pm

I think it might be best to keep an open mind and respect the participants till the event is over. These debates are rare so when two individuals are willing to participate let’s just be polite and give them a chance to present their best arguments.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 31, 2022 9:55 am

Koonin is mostly a luke-warmer middle-of-the-roader…it might not go as well as anti-warmunists hope…..

Rud Istvan
July 30, 2022 10:24 am

Should be fun. Thanks for the alert, Andy.
Dessler cannot win and Koonin cannot lose for the basic reason that everything the Dessler side predicted HAS NOT happened.

  1. The modeled tropical troposphere hotspot does not exist in reality. That by itself makes all other model based predictions suspect.
  2. Modelled ECS is twice what energy budget methods observe. The observed ECS is no cause for alarm or action. Where action has been taken, the ‘results’ just show renewables are ruinables.
  3. Sea level rise has not accelerated.
  4. Summer Arctic sea ice has not disappeared; it has grown since about 2012.
  5. Weather extremes have not increased in either frequency or intensity.

Such irrefutable facts make Dessler’s ‘climate science’ UNSETTLED. QED.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 30, 2022 2:23 pm

But Dessler has the mad, staring eyes….

Rich Davis
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 31, 2022 3:50 pm

Yes looks like a psychopath

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 30, 2022 3:05 pm

Unfortunately all of these claims are arguable and Dessler knows the arguments against them. He is a pro at this debate. I have been studying and tracking the debate since 1992 and every argument by each side has a counter argument by the other.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 30, 2022 4:11 pm

Arguable? Very diplomatic.

Reply to  Loydo
July 30, 2022 4:44 pm

More factual I think. They are in fact being argued.

Reply to  Loydo
July 31, 2022 4:09 am

Sorry for your diplomacy but: summer sea ice has increased.
Try facts instead of diplomacy.
comment image

Reply to  Loydo
July 31, 2022 5:35 am

Is it your turn with the brain today 🤔

Rich Davis
Reply to  Loydo
July 31, 2022 3:53 pm

Yes, arguable as in it being possible to make a reasonable argument. Not spouting propaganda as per your modus operandi.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  David Wojick
July 30, 2022 4:26 pm

“every argument by each side has a counter argument by the other”

Which is proof that it’s all politics and not science. When do chemists have to debate chemistry?

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 30, 2022 4:42 pm

I am sure there are lots of debates going on at the frontiers of chemistry. Debate is central to scientific activity. Take a major issue and look at the competing hypotheses.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 6:23 am

Well it depends on the definition of “debate”. Science dissagreements exist but they’re different than politicized debates. Science debates can often be resolved through the practice of science. Politicized debates can’t ever be resolved because they include permanent disagreements over value systems. The climate debate is mostly about the politics of resources and who benefits/loses depending on policies.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 4:06 am

“Summer Arctic sea ice has not disappeared; it has grown since about 2012”

Cryosat2, the only mission specifically designed to monitor sea ice volume shows an increase of 65% in ONE YEAR from the low of 2012 to the min of 2013.

8 out of 9 years since 2012 have been higher, including last year. So much for the “death spiral”.

comment image


Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 9:41 am

‘Unfortunately all of these claims are arguable and Dessler knows the arguments against them.’

I respectfully disagree, as Rud’s claims are all supported with data. However, if that’s not true, I’d be grateful if you could submit a post here to that effect so that I, or anyone else skeptical of the CAGW, can avoid the pitfall of making these claims in future.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 1, 2022 9:10 am

Since David has “been studying and tracking the debate since 1992 and every argument by each side has a counter argument by the other” it should be very easy for him to respond to your request.

(It has been 24 hours … and still no counter response.)

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 30, 2022 4:05 pm

Statement 5 shows that there is no Climate Emergency !

5. Weather extremes have not increased in either frequency or intensity.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 30, 2022 4:10 pm

This is the problem a professor of atmospheric science faces when “debating” atmospheric science: countering the list of half-truths, misreprestentations and outright lies that abound in the so-called skeptic sphere.

Rud Istvan: blowing smoke up everyone’s arse since 2006.

Reply to  Loydo
July 30, 2022 5:36 pm


I can’t find where I can buy a digital version of The Collected Works Of Advanced Climate Mechanics by Loydo.

Shipping / postage is not worth the publisher’s efforts – this book only runs to one page. And that only says –

“This Page Intentionally Blank”

Reply to  Loydo
July 30, 2022 9:22 pm

It really is fascinating how you would rather believe fairy tales rather than hard science.
I guess that’s why you have been so easily conned by your fellow climate alarmists.

BTW, I’m still waiting for you to actually refute one of these “outright lies”.

Gerry, England
Reply to  MarkW
July 31, 2022 5:32 am

You will have a long wait….

Reply to  MarkW
July 31, 2022 5:37 am

Loydo is becoming Griff

Reply to  Loydo
July 31, 2022 4:51 am

There’s also a long “list of half-truths, misreprestentations and outright lies” from AGW supporters with & without scientific credentials.
Groupthink. There’s a lack of critical reviews, lack of replication, missing truthful statements of limitations, abuse of independent thinkers, ignoring alternative theories that fit the evidence, AGW favours AGW etc.

We’ve seen wild claims in the media, in summaries/conclusions & sometimes in the body of journal articles.

When skeptics point out cases that disagree with AGW claims, the AGW supporters say ‘the big picture counts, the few cases do not matter’. When skeptics point to longer/larger data sets supporting claims, the AGW supporters say ‘what about these few cases that show extremes’.

I’ve seen a lot of AGW supporters resort to attacking the person not the claim/evidence & claim eminence over evidence. Or they refer again to the same claims/graphs that were just shown to have errors or significant limitations.

For all views/sides, YMMV.

Reply to  tygrus
July 31, 2022 10:50 pm

As lolly does above in response to Rud Istvan.

Lolly is downright libelous in his attempt to demean Rud and diminish Rud’s expertise and qualifications.

Mark BLR
Reply to  Loydo
August 1, 2022 4:27 am

Rud Istvan: blowing smoke up everyone’s arse since 2006.

Limiting yourself to the “Name Calling and/or Abuse” level of Paul Graham’s “Debate Pyramid” doesn’t help persuade people that your position is the “right / correct” one.

– – – – –

If I were to time-travel to the mid-19th century I could have done worse than debate orbital mechanics with a (Scottish) university janitor.

In a leg to the early-20th century a discussion with a (German, working in Switzerland) patent clerk about the photoelectric effect (and other physics subjects) would have been relatively enlightening.

Returning to 2022, and after powering down the time machine, reading Rud Istvan’s (and Willis Eschenbach’s, and Nick Stokes’, and …) posts usually results in “interesting” cogitation, and at least they provide enough clues (references, links, …) to be able to check for myself whether their conclusions are reasonable (or not, as does occasionally happen).

– – – – –

Taking the “all IPCC scientists and associated media article writers are ‘as gods walking amongst men’, and so must be treated as omniscient and infallible” approach may work for you (and others like you).

It doesn’t for me.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Loydo
August 1, 2022 5:07 pm

Astounding textbook example of projection.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 31, 2022 8:20 am

Not to mention that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from man’s industrial and transportation is so tiny is is barely measurable and couldn’t possibly have any affect on the earth’s temperature or climate

Tom Halla
July 30, 2022 10:28 am

Most of the advocates for climate change will not debate.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 30, 2022 10:32 am

Some will not even “disclose” in court.

Fred Hubler
Reply to  Ed Reid
July 30, 2022 10:52 am

I know I shouldn’t make it personal, but why is it that Dessler, Mann and Gavin Schmidt look like they are triplets that were separated at birth?

Mary Brown
Reply to  Fred Hubler
July 30, 2022 11:54 am

Birds of a feather

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Fred Hubler
July 30, 2022 1:06 pm

speaking of Mann, what has happened to Steyn case, anybody?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Gregory Woods
July 30, 2022 2:13 pm

Still stuck in the DC court sewer.

Reply to  Gregory Woods
July 30, 2022 8:20 pm

For as much as I don’t like Mann, and do like Steyn, Steyn likened Mann to a pedophile (Sandusky), and I thought that wrong of Steyn.

Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 30, 2022 8:45 pm

Yeah I thought Steyn could have done better on that.

He at least could have likened Mann to Pedo Pete (a ‘specialist’ pedo and hair sniffer with an extensive c.v. in this area).

Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 30, 2022 9:24 pm

Since Steyn did nothing of the kind, Steyn has nothing to apologize.
His statement was that Mann did to data, what Sandusky did to children.
Only someone with a complete lack of knowledge of the English language could get Mann’s (and your interpretation) from that statement.

Reply to  Lil-Mike
August 1, 2022 9:20 am

A one time shot….

Although the bigger picture is:

What kind of an institution protects pedophiles in an effort to protect itself and its monetary interests?

(The same kind of institution that protects Mann, and for the same reasons.)

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 30, 2022 3:59 pm

ECS = Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

July 30, 2022 4:33 pm

Which is a fantasy because climate is a far-from-equilibrium system. Thus ECS does not exist, even as an approximation. It is solely a feature of the models.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 31, 2022 4:58 am

Our weather is driven by the fact equilibrium can never be achieved & the theoretical equilibrium point continuously changes. An average year is never achieved & no year is ever repeated.

Gunga Din
July 30, 2022 10:54 am

Who will be the moderator?

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 30, 2022 11:16 am

Dominion Voting Systems Inc ?

Reply to  Mr.
July 31, 2022 3:15 am

Eric Coomer ?

July 31, 2022 3:18 am

“Eric Coomer had an election-security job at Dominion Voting Systems. He also had posted anti-Trump messages on Facebook. What happened next ruined his life.”

….From a NY Times article…I didn’t want to pay to read the article !!

Reply to  Gunga Din
July 30, 2022 12:53 pm


Reply to  Gunga Din
July 30, 2022 3:09 pm

A good question since Dessler tends to get worked up and may need to be controlled. Koonin tends to be Dr. Cool.

July 30, 2022 10:55 am

Stop calling it science. You cannot do science with debate. There is no experiment possible to show cause and effect with the climate because there is only one climate. So it’s all about climate opinion from different people wearing different costumes. Opinion always devolves into religion with humans.

Reply to  Doonman
July 30, 2022 11:27 am

there is only one climate

I disagree.

Around the world, there are 30-something different climates categorisations, and within each of them, hundreds of regional climates each with their own idiosyncrasies, weather cycles, influences and patterns.

Many regions with little or no proper monitoring / recording instrumentation.

To average all these behaviors into one set of constructed numbers and maintain that this is an accurate descriptor of the state of all weather conditions all over the planet is arrant nonsense.

Reply to  Mr.
July 30, 2022 12:59 pm

👍 👍
Just to add to your excellent comment, Mr., It seems to me that the only measure of ‘Climate Change®’ used is the global average surface temperature (GAST).

I suppose that goes back to the good ol’ days of CO2-based CAGW which was going to cause a runaway hothouse Earth where the oceans boil away while sea levels rise to cover the Earth** due to runaway GAST. That’s why there’s only one measure.

Everyone watches GAST like a hawk. The slightest uptick in GAST is proof that we are all gonna fry, we’re all going to drown, and we’re all gonna die sometime real soon now if we don’t stop using fossil fuels.

**Yeah, I never got that paradox either. Besides, who cares if the oceans boil away if we’ve all drowned after mass starvation due to desertification of the Earth?

Gerry, England
Reply to  H.R.
July 31, 2022 5:35 am

And if only there was a reliable, honest and truly global GAST dataset.

Reply to  Gerry, England
July 31, 2022 9:18 am

True, what we had was not the greatest, but it has been corrupted so badly by *ahem* adjustments that the data is only useful for propaganda now.

It just occurred to me why they chose temperature and yammer and hammer on that. Everyone pays attention to temperature, if only to know what to select from the closet to wear for the day.

So temperature is familiar to everyone and watched daily by everyone. And at the start of the CAGW push, temperatures were rising due to increased UHI effect from population growth as well as favorable AMO and PDO conditions. The Arctic was headed for the low ice phase of its cycle.

Get rid of the Medieval Warming Period and Tada! Global warming is an easy and simple propaganda point to push. Just toss in some sea level rise to alarm the highly populated coasts.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  H.R.
August 2, 2022 3:42 am

The “data” presented today in terms of temperature is not even data any more. The DATA was the actual temperatures recorded by the instruments, not the ” adjusted” garbage they pimp as the “data” today.

jeffery P
Reply to  Mr.
July 30, 2022 5:40 pm

Maybe only one climate system?

Reply to  Doonman
July 30, 2022 11:39 am

Moral, ethical, legal apologies dictated by God, gods, mortal gods, or experts.

Paul S.
Reply to  Andy May
July 30, 2022 3:55 pm

and then there was this memorable debate on SNL

Reply to  Andy May
July 31, 2022 5:22 am

The best science doesn’t use a single test, single outcome to test a theory.
Instead, we use multiple tests with a variable so the outcome varies depending on the value of the variable.
We use double-blinded RCT’s for testing medications.
Physicists try to disprove theories as much as prove them.
We need a valid physical model of the climate to test multiple levels of GHGs to check the effects.
Computer models can only show the outcomes of assumptions, it doesn’t prove the assumptions were correct. Comparing models with real life is essential but we can’t rely on them when only temperature can be moderately correlated while many other measurements don’t (eg. cloud, rain).
I can create a list of random numbers that have a mean match our average yearly temperature but ofcourse is terrible at predicting any single day. The output may look scientific but has no substance. Averaging nonsense should still be considered nonsense.

Reply to  Andy May
August 1, 2022 1:53 pm

Andy says “science is forecasting an outcome with a model of a well-developed idea to see if the modeled result actually happens.”

I’d say science is producing a model that incorporates first principle understanding implementations of processes and their interactions. Lots of high level maths doesn’t make a thing scientific IMO. Using “well developed ideas” is more akin to philosophy because its not a repeatable, testable result. Simplified processes and fits aren’t scientific.

Climate is much too complex for our current understanding and technology and GCMs are not scientific. Neither are weather models but at least they’re useful.

Reply to  Doonman
July 30, 2022 12:04 pm

there is only one climate

There are a host of climates:

  • Tundra
  • Desert
  • Tropical forest
  • Mediterranean
  • Temperate
  • Alpine

for example

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
July 30, 2022 12:39 pm

Mark, there is only one climate. It’s called Tenerife. 🙂

Richard Page
Reply to  leitmotif
July 30, 2022 2:44 pm

Damn I thought that was an atmosphere, not climate!

Reply to  leitmotif
July 30, 2022 3:10 pm

Up Mt Tiede or on the beach?

Reply to  Beagle
July 30, 2022 4:49 pm

Callao Salvaje.

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
July 30, 2022 3:26 pm

Climate is defined as 30 years of average weather over a given area.

Since I was talking about one Earth, there is only one climate. You are talking about minute areas of the Earth which is outside the scope of the discussion, hence it becomes a strawman for purposes of the discussion. So by the accepted rules of logic and debate, you lose the point.

Reply to  Doonman
July 30, 2022 3:19 pm

Actually debate is rife at the frontier of all the sciences. It is how ideas are developed. The Q&A sessions after papers are given at conferences often feature heated debates. Debate is central to scientific activity, especially as things get more complex. The climate change debate easily includes over 1,000 separate arguments, maybe well over.

July 30, 2022 11:02 am


Watching the first episode of the BBC’s “Big Oil v the World

Believe it or not, Ben Santer complains about the Global Climate Coalition using the term “scientific cleansing”

Hey Ben, how about you call out the eco-mental fools calling people who are sceptical of catastrophic global warming “deniers”?

As a stepson of a survivor, I find this deeply offensive.

Richard Page
Reply to  Redge
July 30, 2022 2:49 pm

I saw a bit of it and nearly vomited – this is the same format as they tried with ‘The Trick’ – they’re making these mendacious, lying, conniving fraudsters out to be conscientous scientists who are poor victims of some yuge conspiracy of oil barons and paid henchmen. It’s an appalling and condescending pile of crap.

Reply to  Richard Page
July 31, 2022 12:06 am

 It’s an appalling and condescending pile of crap.

Your license fee in action

Gregory Woods
July 30, 2022 11:37 am

Climate science compels us to make large and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

compels! What’s a poor human to do against the Dark Forces?

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Gregory Woods
July 30, 2022 4:49 pm


AGW is Not Science
Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 2, 2022 3:48 am



July 30, 2022 12:06 pm

Dessler is hopeless. He’s a hale fellow well met, a back slapper, and thinks that will get him through. He’s incapable of realizing he’s losing.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Terry
July 30, 2022 12:14 pm

He sure isn’t very good with math and stats. His 2010 paper touted by NASA found a ‘definite’ positive cloud feedback. In fact, the graph of his clear sky/all sky data was an almost perfect ‘shotgun’ with an r^2 of 0.02. Put that skill set up against theoretical physicist Koonin, and it won’t be pretty.

Reply to  Terry
July 30, 2022 12:56 pm

Dessler is a big blustering character. He doesn’t care what people think as long as he is on that stage.

Win or lose the argument, in Dessler’s mind it’s a win.

July 30, 2022 12:19 pm

Climate science compels us to make large and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
I have yet to see evidence that human CO2 causes more than a small portion of the recent atmospheric increase. I haven’t seen any reasonable correlation of emissions and temperatures or other climate parameters. The rise in temperature is seen in steps and the CO2 is constant.If no science can show that we are causing the problem how can it be compelling us to change our economy and society?

John Boland
Reply to  DMA
July 30, 2022 7:50 pm

Where is there any evidence that if we do change something we will see a result?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DMA
August 2, 2022 3:50 am

More to the point, where is the evidence that WARMER climate is WORSE?!

That’s one of the biggest lies they’re selling.

Bruce Cobb
July 30, 2022 12:35 pm

“Climate science” doesn’t compel us to do anything. Climate Religion does.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 31, 2022 7:30 am


July 30, 2022 12:38 pm

“Andrew Dessler and Steven Koonin will debate…”

Can this be?

“Andrew Dessler declares ‘I won’t debate the science, the science is set’ “


What changed his mind?

Reply to  Andy May
July 30, 2022 1:03 pm

Since nobody really understands how the climate system works it’s a leap of faith

Will Sri Lankans renounce the faith that has impoverished them?

I think they might

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Andy May
July 30, 2022 3:52 pm

“… how climate science should guide policy:” Long ago I came out of Dessler’s university, then a college, with a fisheries degree in a Department of Wildlife Management, the courses all science based. Department name is now Wildlife Science. His department started out as Oceanography and Meteorology of which I have a graduate minor in Oceanography. They had an early primitive radar looking at storms. Department split and best that I can tell the former, still Oceanography, is all science oriented but haven’t kept up with the other and its evolution.

There is great irony in the failure of science to discriminate between assessment and application. Policy has long been one guide in science with the reverse always treacherous. One example may be the Louisiana Coastal Management Plan for 2017 which has just evolved from that in 2012 to one now heavily into models. There is some concern that the policy is more involved than just guiding thequestions. If so there may soon be ‘down to earth’ results.

Like Hayhoe at Texas Tech, administrations are pandering here to the detriment of other faculty. One wonders if this started or at least was influenced by athletics, regardless, we need to change the scorecard, no more quantitative “Impact Factors.” Does higher education hire or have internal ad agencies? I know that they have had internal grant units and there are of course always outside consultants for hire.

Reply to  Andy May
July 31, 2022 3:29 am

If Dessler says carbon emissions instead of CO2, he should be called out on it !!!

Reply to  fretslider
July 30, 2022 8:26 pm

Koonin was on Joe Rogan’s show (you should watch it). Then Rogan hosted Dressler. Joe Rogan talked him into the debate.

I think it all falls back onto the moderator, as Dressler often used ad hominin attacks instead of attacking ideas.

Mr. Lee
Reply to  fretslider
July 30, 2022 11:39 pm

He wants an addition to his house.

July 30, 2022 12:51 pm

So a warmist v lukewarmist debate.

Or one evidence free concept against another evidence free concept debate.

Not really a popcorn event, then.

Does the winner go on to debate with a climate realist in the final? Y’know, like a person whose income doesn’t depend on their taking the view of one side or the other?

Reply to  leitmotif
July 30, 2022 4:15 pm

Someone such as?

Reply to  Loydo
July 31, 2022 5:45 am

Now you are using that brain…who among the climate gravy train isn’t benefiting from government?

I prefer fossil fuels for helping humanity thrive…you probably want to keep Africans down.

Reply to  leitmotif
July 31, 2022 10:35 am

Good point, Leit. Skepticism of AGW per sebis not represented. This debate looks to be over how bad AGW will be.

Reply to  leitmotif
August 1, 2022 9:41 am

So a warmist v lukewarmist debate … how climate science should guide policy.

If this is the case there needs to be a moderator that first focuses on the defn of ‘Climate Science’.

(this appears as a cart before horse debate)

Dave Fair
July 30, 2022 1:02 pm

Note that the public was overwhelmingly against the proposition pre-debate. After the debate the public had overwhelmingly changed positions. The audience, however was split both before and after. The proposition went from negative to positive with a bare plurality and the fence-sitters with no appreciable change. I assume the audience was primarily there to cheer on their favorite meme.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Andy May
July 31, 2022 7:21 am

The correct answer is “We don’t know.” With regard to policy, that means don’t do anything drastic.

Exactly right, Andy. 🙂

Christopher Monckton said it best: Have the courage to do nothing.

July 30, 2022 2:43 pm

The best thing about debating is that Dessler is going to have to carefully look at the arguments against in order to prepare a defence. Most of the strongest sceptic arguments against the notion that AGW is dangerous are factually correct and he has no defence. People will certainly pick up on any of his BS arguments.

Reply to  TimTheToolMan
July 30, 2022 8:10 pm

Here is a Dessler debate with Alex Epstein so you can get an idea of Desslers tactics. IIRC he frequently does not answer the question. Of course Dessler wasn’t debating a scientist.
Epstein VS Dessler debate on: “Do we need to rapidly get off oil/gas?”

Reply to  B ZIpperer
August 1, 2022 4:12 am

“Should America Rapidly Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use to Prevent Climate Catastrophe?”

He barely mentioned the climate at all let alone defended the catastrophe part. Its not like he lost the debate, he never really took part.

But on the energy debate, apparently neither of them understands the strategy we must take. We will eventually run out of fossil fuels so we must be transitioning towards renewable energy sources and we should do it while we have relatively abundant fossil fuels to make that transition possible.

What is misunderstood is the magnitude of the size of the problem of that transition and there is a widespread belief on this forum in particular, that it can be achieved pretty much over night and by market forces, neither of which is true.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  TimTheToolMan
August 2, 2022 3:59 am

There WILL NEVER BE a “transition to renewable sources.” You can’t even produce a windmill or solar panel without fossil fuels, nor can you keep the lights on without fossil fuels providing 100% backup to the worse than useless “renewables.”

You might as well say we need to “transition to the Stone Age,” since that’s where we would be without fossil fuels.

Andy Pattullo
July 30, 2022 3:16 pm

Both participants deserve credit and gratitude for being willing to act like scientists in presenting and defending their positions in the public arena.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
July 30, 2022 8:30 pm

I like Dressler for being a ‘nukes guy.’

But I disagree with his climate change stance.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 1, 2022 9:52 am

“act like scientists”

That is what Dessler does.

Rephrasing what you said as: ‘Both participants deserve credit and gratitude for being willing to perform like scientists in presenting and defending their positions in the public arena.’, does not in any way apply to Dessler.

Reply to  DonM
August 1, 2022 12:30 pm

In re-reading, this doesn’t make any better sense, as act and perform are the same.

Both participants would deserve credit and gratitude for behaving like scientists, rather than putting on a show, act or performance, as Dessler does.

July 30, 2022 3:55 pm

I think a lot will depend on the agreed bounds of the debate. It is possible they could base the discussion around an “agreed” part of the climate science and from there debate the topic. I am sure Dessler has some restrictions in place on what will or won’t be debated.

“Climate science compels us to make large and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” 

July 30, 2022 4:43 pm

🍿 🍿

July 30, 2022 5:02 pm

If anyone is interested in the logical structure of complex issues here is a crude textbook I typed back in 1975:
I discovered this structure in 1973 (50 years coming soon ) and named it the issue tree. But I left academia in 1976 to make money with issue trees so never published more.

Real time debate is actually a poor way to explore a complex issue. The actual issue tree may have an average branching rate of 3 nodes per node but one shot discussions tend to have very low rates of 1.3 or so, because it is hard to get back to prior points to start new lines of reasoning. Thus there is a great deal more left unsaid then said.

Marty Holloway
July 30, 2022 5:26 pm

I listened to much of Rogan’s interview with Dessler. They discussed the 2021 Texas freeze. Dessler said that the failure was in the gas, not the wind. See (Dessler said), we expect the wind to not blow some days, and when it doesn’t the gas is supposed to take up the slack.

What insanity is this? You make the most reliable element the primary element. Otherwise, you are guaranteeing more frequent failure-by definition.

Do you schedule an employee with absenteeism problems to open your store in the morning?
Do you use your e-brake to stop your car and save the pedal brakes for emergency stopping?
Do you want the fire department showing up in a shiny new engine and forming a bucket brigade?
Do you pull your reserve chute first?

I can’t take anyone who makes that argument with a straight face seriously.

Reply to  Marty Holloway
July 30, 2022 8:32 pm

Dressler was correct on that point. The gas plants weren’t winterized, and went down when cooling systems froze.

Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 30, 2022 9:32 pm

Dessler was wrong on that point. Production from gas plants went up by about 9% while production from wind dropped by 90%
Saying that one power system is at fault because it was unable to cover for the absolute failure of another power system, makes no sense whatsoever.

BTW, the main reason why gas plants failed to do better was because the EPA had forced pipeline companies to power their pumps that pressurized the pipelines from the electric grid, instead of using gas from the pipelines the way they used to.
Because of that, when the grids became unstable due to the loss of renewable power, gas pressure was also lost.

Marty Holloway
Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 30, 2022 10:29 pm

Here is what Dessler said on the podcast:

“The Texas natural gas is the power source that backs up the renewables… During the Texas freeze the renewables went down… People play this up like this is a problem with renewables. This is not a problem with renewables. We know renewables stop producing some of the time. When that happens you rely on your firm dispatchable power to make it up. That was the failure-the gas system did not back up the renewables.”

Again, according to Dessler, renewables are expected to fail, while the gas systems are not. Renewables cannot be held responsible; it’s always someone else’s fault!

As to the Texas freeze, here’s a simple thought experiment: What if there were no wind power in Texas and instead there were gas plants of equivalent nameplate capacity. Under which scenario would the outcome have been better? Wind can be credited or blamed for the difference.

Regardless, my broader point still stands: It is negligent system design to use an unreliable power source for critical infrastructure when a more reliable power source is available.

Reply to  Marty Holloway
July 31, 2022 5:47 am

This ^

Reply to  Marty Holloway
August 1, 2022 4:55 am

Texas lost five times more natural gas power than wind power during the freeze. Having more available gas power would not have alleviated the situation one bit. The failure was in Texas not foreseeing any need to winterize their power generation for an event like the 2021 freeze. Wind turbines should have been winterized, gas power plants and supply lines should have been winterized. The state’s power infrastructure completely and utterly failed them.

Reply to  AlanJ
August 1, 2022 9:58 am

How many operational gas plants (up and running at capacity) stopped running during the cold?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DonM
August 2, 2022 4:18 am

The operative question is really how many shut down to protect themselves from damage when 30% of the generation face-planted all at once, and how many shut down due to lack of fuel because of 30% of generation face-planted all at once AND how many plants shut down to protect themselves from damage BECAUSE 30% of generation all went down at once.

And then see IF any plants stopped running BESIDES those.

Because that’s the ONLY thing NOT caused by the abrupt failure of wind generation.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  AlanJ
August 2, 2022 4:11 am

When wind (about 1/3 of Texas power) face-planted all at once, this caused other plants (coal, gas) to shut down automatically to protect themselves from damage since the grid lost so much generation all at once. Since the pipelines supplying gas were forced to use electric, as opposed to gas fired, compressors to move gas through the pipelines, the gas plants stopped getting gas, causing more shutdowns. The freezing of cooling systems doesn’t occur if the plants are continuously operating since “cooling systems” are quite hot when in operation.

Wind was the domino that nearly brought down the whole Texas grid, no matter how many times you try to blame anything else.

July 30, 2022 7:30 pm

Preview of Koonin versus Dessler


July 30, 2022 10:50 pm

Regarding your final paragraph about the results of the IQ2 US debate being changed,I just logged into the IQ2US.org site where I am a member.
The whole debate “Global Warming is not a crisis”remains on site including video and transcript.
You are right that when you click on “Results” the false results of “Winner! Against 89% Undecided 11%” are gone.
However the video and transcript remain and as your post records the moderator clearly states at 1-38.02 and following that the “For” team won by 46% to 42% with 12% undecided reversing the Pre-debate vote.
Amusingly, under Comments, the objections by several parties (including you) remain, querying why the legitimate outcome showing the “For” side of Lindzen, Crichton and Stott winning has been wrongly interfered with.
A late rush of conscience by the team at IQ2US in removing the rigged “Result” contradicted by the transcript on site?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Andy May
July 31, 2022 7:29 am

I watched that debate as well and was ever so charmed when Gavin Schmidt called Dick Lindzen a liar.

July 31, 2022 3:58 am

“the website was tampered with and changed to report the wrong results,”
If “global warming” doesn’t pan out , rebrand as “climate change”.
If the data does not fit the models “correct” the data.
If you lose a debate , declare that the time for debate is over.
If you lose a poll, hack the website and change to poll results.

I think I can see a pattern here but I need to do more analysis to determine whether is it a statistically significant trend.

July 31, 2022 4:11 am

[snip] uncalled for insult – Anthony

joe x
July 31, 2022 4:57 am

two points.
1. both debaters should be required to disclose all sources on income and funding.
2. no moderators allowed. both parties should present their facts science and data at will and with out interruption. moderators always have a bias.

presidential debates any one?

July 31, 2022 6:08 am

I am glad to hear that this debate will happen. The only problem I foresee with this is that the question of reductions is not just a scientific question in the narrow sense–it is also an economics, econometrics, and ethical question. One might say that catastrophic global warming is a necessary condition for drastic CO2 reductions, but it is a hardly a sufficient condition, unless the catastrophe is so defined and imagined as to entail the massive destruction of life, or some such thing.

Danley Wolfe
July 31, 2022 8:10 am

The IQ2US website now shows the results of the polling “For … blank Against … blank”

Reply to  Danley Wolfe
August 1, 2022 6:05 am

They haven’t erased the transcript yet though 🙂

  • 01:38:16
  • Finally, please be sure to pick up a copy of the Times Literary Supplement—are those actually available, there was some question about that. Is that a—yes, yes, they are available, uh, as you leave the auditorium, and in a minute you can all go home and watch the “American Idol” results show. [LAUGHTER] And now the results of our debate. After our debaters did their best to sway you…you went from, 30% for the motion that global warming is not a crisis, from 30% to 46%. [APPLAUSE]
  • 01:38:58
  • Against the motion, went from 57% to 42%… [SCATTERED APPLAUSE, MOANS] And “undecided” went from 13% to 12%. The hardcore ambivalent are still among us. [LAUGHTER] So, in terms of opinion change, those in favor of the motion, have carried the day, congratulations to the team for the motion. [APPLAUSE]
July 31, 2022 12:12 pm

Note bene: It says 2020, but probably a typo…

The event will now take place at The Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street, which has lifted its vaccine requirement.
If you are holding a simulcast ticket, your ticket is now valid for the live debate at the Sheen Center and reception to follow at Gene’s apartment.  

Monday, August 15, 2020

Andrew Dessler vs. Steven Koonin


Reply to  Yirgach
August 6, 2022 6:54 am

Yeah, August 15 was a Saturday in 2020…

August 1, 2022 1:42 am

I never heard of either of them so I didn’t know who was on what side of the debate when I opened this page.

It’s obvious from the photos which one is the AGW advocate.

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