Dessler to Debate ‘Climate Flat Earther’ Koonin: Why?

By Robert Bradley Jr. — February 17, 2022

[Andrew] Dessler said anyone arguing that the science is too uncertain isn’t arguing from a legitimate position…. “[Koonin]’s a climate flat earther.” (Quoted in Benjamin Thorp, October 18, 2021).

“Dumb arguments” is too harsh? He’s just a old white dude whose vast experience in the halls of power gives him a unique ability to point out the errors that other people make? Nope. (Andrew Dessler, October 14, 2021)

Andrew Dessler, a climatologist at Texas A&M University, will have nothing to do with any critic of climate alarm. This activist has pure scorn toward his intellectual and scientific doubters. “Angry Andy” is certain that climate science is settled and drop-everything alarming.

deep ecologist (nature is optimal and fragile; human interference cannot be good), Dessler has long concluded that we are headed for (or already in) a climate dystopia. Any fair hearing of the less extreme view of global lukewarming/CO2 benefits, consequently, would be a leak in the dike, one that could expand and take down the Wall of Climate Gloom.

So the cancel culture is in full mode in climate science activism. Michael Mann (Dessler’s colleague in arms) put it this way:

All of the noise right now from the climate change denial machine, the bots & trolls, the calls for fake ‘debates’, etc. Ignore it all. Deniers are desperate for oxygen in a mainstream media environment that thankfully is no longer giving it to them.

Report, block. Don’t engage.

Imagine an open-minded young person considering a career in climatology. He or she wants to really wants to probe the look-the-other-way areas of uncertainty with climate-feedback physics and with climate models. Seek and expand the frontiers of knowledge under the highest standards of the scientific method. Show professionalism and respect for the views of colleagues and others. Experience politeness and social skills, given and received.

That person best not enter into a profession where an Andrew Dessler or a Michael Mann or a John Holdren would sneer and blackball. Remember what Mann said about Judith Curry in Climategate: “I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing, but it’s not helping the cause, or her professional credibility.” Cancel Culture 101.

Steven Koonin

Enter Steven E. Koonin, University Professor at New York University. This noted theoretical physicist is author of the best-seller: Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters (2021). Having taught theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology for most of his career, Koonin went on to work for BP (new technologies) and then as Obama’s Undersecretary for Science in the U.S. Department of Energy. In this position, Koonin oversaw climate research and energy technology work.

Koonin has a BS in Physics from Caltech and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from MIT. A specialist in modelling complexity, Koonin wrote the classic 1985 textbook Computational Physics.

Koonin is author of 200 peer-reviewed papers in the fields of physics and astrophysics, scientific computation, energy technology and policy, and climate science, as well as having been lead author on multiple book-length reports, including two National Academies studies.

In short, Steve Koonin is a leader in his field and well respected. And, it turns out, he is honest and of an age and tenure where he can speak truth to power.

Dessler’s Smears

Here is Dessler on Koonin:

I actually hate to weigh in on Koonin’s book …. Here are a few thoughts. First, Koonin has a track record of making dumb, over the top, exaggerated arguments.

Second, his facts are carefully cherry picked to present a specific narrative. For example, he says heat waves in the U.S. were more severe in the 1930s than today. OK, but the U.S. covers 2% of the planet. Globally, heat waves are more severe today.

Also, his belief in models is quite selective. We can’t trust climate models at all — the climate is too complicated!! — but we can have 100% confidence in absurd economic models of GDP growth.


It is important to realize that virtually all experts in the area ARE convinced by the data that humans are ~100% responsible for modern warming. So you can believe Koonin or you can believe the 99.9% of scientists.


Koonin’s arguments are 1) cherry picking of factoids and 2) value judgements about his interpretation of the data and his interpretation of risk. His judgements of the data disagree with virtually all expert scientific opinion. His risk assessment is based on his values.


I typically don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but the fact that Steve Koonin continues to get high-profiles endorsements of his dumb arguments suggests that some powerful media agents have decided that he’s their best bet for trying to cast doubt on climate science. Thoughts?

Dessler likes to use other words against Koonin’s views such as “idiotic complaint” and “denier shuffle.”

Andrew Dessler pretty much embarrasses himself, his department, and his university with such vitriol. Why?

Part of it is Dessler’s certainty that the science has reached certainty on what is known and not known. No shades of grey on the very pessimistic, alarmist black-and-white conclusion: humankind is on the road to doom.

So hyper-emotionally invested. Anything less than alarm–even by a scientist every bit as credentialed as himself–and Dessler must turn emotional and angry.

Second is old-fashioned envy. Koonin’s Unsettled — with sales exceeding 100,000–has outsold all of Dessler’s books put together. Koonin, moreover, has a reputation that Dessler does not. And Koonin is a go-to for a lot of organizations that are trying to cut through a lot of politicized science.

Little wonder that Andrew Dessler will not dare debate Koonin at Texas A&M. (I have offered to underwrite such a campus-wide event to no avail.) The climate alarmist, arguing a speculative position, cannot get away with a lot with the bright lights on. [1]

Appendix: Wrong Again?

Regarding Koonin’s major points against settled, alarmist climate science, Dessler states:

I don’t see that these are the kinds of arguments that get traction with the broad public anymore…. Most people, they look out their window and they can see climate change is real. Given the fact that what’s happening is exactly what was predicted by scientists decades ago. I think that people understand that climate science is real, as described by the scientific community.

Really? Is this a ‘settled’ fact, Professor Dessler?

Actually, it is panic time for climate alarmism among the political and intellectual elite. Citizens are protesting, and voters are voting against the forced energy transformation, itself the flip side of climate exaggeration.

Better yet, with the problems of wind/solar out in the open (and at an early stage of the transition!), the open-minded are looking anew at the science and false climate prognostications of years and decades past. They are not very impressed. Expect sales of Koonin’s Unsettled to grow and another edition to appear in the next years.


[1] My email exchange with Professor Dessler (11/09/2021) follows. I stated:

Let’s have a debate between you and Steven Koonin or even David Friedman with a full house at Texas A&M to put you on record–will you consider that?  I’ll make a $5,000 contribution to the university to help make it happen. Put the bright lights on where the statements will be on the record. Televise it. But it has to have a fair moderator and set-up.

He answered that day:

Add a zero ($50,000, donated to the Texas Center for Climate Studies at Texas A&M) and you have a deal.  You can even moderate the event and handle all of the logistics. I’ll find a room on campus.

I answered (11/14/2021):

No thanks for the invitation to increase my contribution from $5,000 to $50,000. And for me to moderate, etc. I want a real debate with me in the audience or watching it on TV. It deserves prime time with physical climate science on trial.

No reason to relegate a climate discussion/debate to the ‘back of the bus,’ right? That is an insult to you, your opponent, and science itself.

So work on a serious budget, and let’s give it the attention it deserves. I will increase my donation appropriately….

A fair debate between the alarmists and the optimists is prime-time important. Why have it in some basement? Let’s put the lights on and have a marque event….

Professor Dessler did not respond….

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Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 2:10 am

Andrew Dessler says “Most people, they look out their window and they can see climate change is real.”
I look out the window and see nothing has changed. What is more, I have been doing that for 80 years now. Geoff S (scientist).

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 3:53 am

But things have changed, we know that for a fact, and they have largely got better. NASA tells us the planet has greened by 14%. The IPCC, amongst others, informs us there’s no increase in ‘extreme’ weather, in fact in most cases it’s showing a decline. Global temperature rise has hit yet another pause whilst increasing atmospheric CO2 continues unabated. Any sea level rise in measured in millimetres per decade, it’s not a threat far less a disaster.

The bizarre, unsupported claim now has moved from 97% of scientists agree the planet is warming to 99.9%, despite a peer reviewed study published years ago by Chris Monckton demonstrating the 97% as an immense scientific fraud, the real number being 0.3%.

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 6:33 am

Tony Heller’s youtube – “My Gift to Climate Alarmists” confirms what you have said – I highly recommend it for anyone that really wamts the accurate info – and didn’t 31,000 scientists sign the Portland document against man made warming? Hard to get 99.9% in favor if that is the case

John Hultquist
Reply to  William
August 13, 2022 2:22 pm

 It is called the “Global Warming Petition Project” –
found here:

Under the title it says:
“31,487 American scientists have signed
this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs”

I suggest reading the FAQs.
There are a few issues; minor I think.
I wonder if all are “American” and if all are “scientists.”
There is much leeway in those characterizations. For example, while I and my now deceased wife have completed and published research, neither of us claimed to be “climate” investigators. In fact, when we were in college there was nothing called “climate science.” Learning goes on regardless.

Anyhow, reference to the “Global Warming Petition Project” should not be mislabeled as the “Portland document against man made warming.”

Reply to  William
August 14, 2022 4:07 pm

How many scientists are there? I doubt that there is an accurate count. I doubt that anyone knows how many climate scientists there are.

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 7:43 am

You are talking about reality — past and present climate
With data
Climate Howlers live in a fantasyland
— the coming future climate emergency
Always coming but never arrives !
No data, just predictions

You are both in different “time zones”
They are in the Twilight Zone !

Coeur de Lion
Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 8:55 am

It’s important to read Andrew Montford writing for the Global Warming Policy Foundation who dissects Cook’s famous 97% paper (2013) and calls it multiply fraudulent. Did it excite the attention of the Queensland police? Also see José Duarte’s scathing exposé. But as with Climategate there are still deluded supporters,

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 10:04 am

Wait! The Puffins have turned into Canaries. That’s bad, isn’t it?

John in Oz
Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 9:16 pm

Dessler’s losesdebating points when his quote moves from ‘experts in the area’ to ‘99.9% of scientists’. Apples and oranges

It is important to realize that virtually all experts in the area ARE convinced by the data that humans are ~100% responsible for modern warming. So you can believe Koonin or you can believe the 99.9% of scientists.

He also mistakes weather for climate when looking out of his window

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 4:04 am

Geoff S.: “[…] I have been doing that for 80 years now.”

I wish you many more years of looking out your window, Geoff. And I don’t think you’ll see anything different from what you’ve seen for the past 80 years.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  H.R.
August 15, 2022 6:12 pm

Many thanks. You are one of the few people who has written something simply nice to me on WUWT. Appreciated. Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 5:18 am

Looking out my window, it’s not quite sunrise and I can faintly hear but barely see my sprinklers running, watering the lawn. It’s 18C now and will be over 30C this afternoon.

Somehow 1C of warming over a century doesn’t seem significant nor certain. I’ll go for a bike ride after it warms a couple more degrees.

Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2022 5:56 am

And I moved to Florida escape cold weather — and the next ice age.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  John Shewchuk
August 13, 2022 1:30 pm

I don’t think you were the only one

Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2022 7:55 am

“Somehow +1C of warming over a century doesn’t seem significant”

And +1.49 degrees C. is also not significant
No big deal.

But over +1.5 degrees C, is very significant.
Shoe soles will melt on the hot sidewalks.
Old timers walking outdoors will be collapsing everywhere.
Millions will die from the heat.
This is a fact, about +1.5 degrees C,
because scientists say so.

Reply to  Scissor
August 13, 2022 3:22 pm

You live in one climate, I’m pretty sure I live in a different one. At any rate, the planet has many to choose from but the idea that there is a global climate that is the recipient of some particular action/response is a fantasy. Many areas of climate undergo changes, and even on a human lifetime scale, some of them are observable, but they are certainly not the same changes, not even changes in the same direction.

Reply to  Scissor
August 14, 2022 4:13 pm

I’m sitting in the car, looking out the window. It’s about 85 F with nary a cloud in the sky, with a pleasant breeze. Like this most summer days. Dessler is just plain wrong

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 6:07 am

I think he meant television, not window.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  MarkUK
August 13, 2022 7:22 am

Agreed. It is the “scientists” that can’t tell the difference between the two that frighten me the most.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 7:40 am

Going outside in SE Michigan, from the same home since 1987, I have noticed milder winters, with very low snowfall last winter — lowest since I moved to Michigan in 1977, by far (living 4 miles South of my current home until 1977)

We love the mild global warming here and want a lot more.
You can’t “feel” (measure) climate change from indoors.
You’ve got to get out more,
Living in the same home for 35 years
helps the detection of climate change.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 15, 2022 9:42 am

I’ve lived in SE Michigan my entire life. The summer of 2012 was one of the hottest ever but according to the local media we then had record snowfall in 2013 and a record cold winter in 2014. Is that global warming or global cooling?

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 8:49 am

I look out of my window, and see the “fag-end” of the best summer we have had in the UK in my lifetime, beating 1959 and 1976. Ask the wildlife – geese, ducks, even voles – what they think. Climate change during my lifetime has been good, not bad.

Laws of Nature
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 8:51 am

Most importantly, statements like that are religious and Anti-science!
Dessler should be called out for making those!

navy bob
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 8:55 am

I’ve been watching the tides rise and fall at my pier on a Chesapeake Bay tributary for 33 years, and sea level there hasn’t noticeably risen at all during that time. That’s 1/3 of the last 100 years, when presumably we should have gone underwater by now. I’m not saying it hasn’t gone up at all–I probably wouldn’t notice a couple centimeters increase–but to the standard human eye, there’s been no change whatsoever. Calamitous sea level rise exists only in the computers and fevered brains of the climate-change mongers.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 9:07 am

I look out of my window, and see the best summer in my part of the UK in my lifetime. Better than 1959 or 1976. Surely, this summer is coming towards an end. But climate change during my lifetime has been a good thing, not a bad.

Reply to  Neil Lock
August 13, 2022 11:49 am

I remember the 1976 heatwave very well, which lasted over a month, and 2022 falls well short of it so far. My parents took to sleeping in the garden, it was so hot at night.

Eamon Butler
Reply to  Neil Lock
August 13, 2022 5:10 pm

1976, the summer days began in May and continued until the rains finally arrived, in August. A most beautiful summer indeed.

Rick C
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 13, 2022 9:15 am

Things I cannot see looking out my window:

  1. average global temperature
  2. sea level change
  3. extent of sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic
  4. number and condition of polar bears
  5. amount of coral cover on the GBR
  6. number and severity of hurricanes
  7. droughts and floods
  8. frequency and severity of forest fires
  9. melting of mountain glaciers
  10. disappearance of winter snow
  11. etc.

In the real world no one can look out their window and see “climate change”. We are told it’s happening and we’re causing it by a group of “scientists” who rely on regular grants from mainly government agencies for their livelihood. They’ve made thousands of claims of negative effects of climate change while generally dismissing any evidence of positive impacts of increasing CO2 or slightly warmer temperatures. They are supporting a scam perpetrated by a consortium of radical anti-capitalists, socialist politicians, billionaire capitalists posing as liberals, government bureaucrats and main stream media.

But virtually every claim made of catastrophic effects collapses upon close examination. Nothing I’ve seen either out my windows or in alarmist publications reveals weather events that are outside the of historical range of normal variability.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 14, 2022 5:49 am

Any debate has to be on reality.
Actual climate change.
Climate Howlers only want to spout imaginary predictions of climate doom in the future. And they say government authorities make such predictions, so they must be right. The predictions are allowed to pass peer review and get published.

We can’t debate predictions being made now.
It could take decades to prove them wrong.
We don’t have to debate current predictions

47 years of always wrong scary climate predictions for warming at least twice as FAST AS ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and all sorts of environmental disaster predictions since the 1960s that never happened = 100% wrong.

Reality is that actual warming was mild and harmless

Fantasy is always wrong predictions of climate doom
by government bureaucrat “climate scientists”

Discredit past wrong predictions and the people who made them.

Never forget that CAGW is merely a prediction — not realty.

Steve Case
August 13, 2022 2:42 am

Second, his facts are carefully cherry picked to present a specific narrative. For example, he says heat waves in the U.S. were more severe in the 1930s than today. OK, but the U.S. covers 2% of the planet. Globally, heat waves are more severe today.

The United States isn’t the world, but it spans North America with a good variety of geography and topography which makes it a good sub-set of a land mass. World-wide, the US has the best sampling of weather data of any significant land surface. If the US does not show warming, a strong explanation is needed as to why it is an outlier compared to the rest of the world as a whole. 

Taken from (Richard Verney, WUWT, July 2017) LINK

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 3:12 am

While the US has the most comprehensive record, there are also newspapers which tell when Australia has had terrible heat waves, when Europe had droughts and thousands died from the heat. While the average temperature has probably gone up slightly, what has gone done is the deaths from these events, almost always because of fresh water and air conditioned housing. Brought to us by fossil fuels

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Matt Kiro
August 13, 2022 5:55 am

There are unmodified, regional temperature charts from all over the world showing it was hot in the Early Twentieth Century, just as hot or hotter than today.

What do we have this year? A heat wave in the United States, and a “heat wave” in England and in Spain, and a heat wave in Russia. Why, that’s all around the world! But it was different in the 1930’s, the alarmists want us to believe.

Btw, here’s an interesting statistic from the heart of the current heat wave in Tulsa Okahoma (I got this off the local weather broadcast):

100 degree days in Tulsa, year to date, thru August 11th 2022

1934 50 days

1980 41 days

1936 41 days

2011 36 days

2012 32 days

2022 24 days

So, as you can see, the heat wave of today is far from being a record breaker.

And it looks like the hot weather pattern has finally broken and we are getting rain and cooler temperatures. Some good rain and we would be in good shape.

The heat of 2011 and 2012 was as hot as I’ve ever seen it around here. I wasn’t around for the 1930’s. The year 1980 had a few more hot days, but the 2011-2012 heat wave was two years long effectively. It cooled off a little over the winter, but not much and it warmed up fast the next spring and we were getting temperatures over 110F for too many days during the summer.

Things are a lot better, and milder now. So far, anyway 🙂

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 13, 2022 8:45 am

I’m keeping this list. I keep telling people it is not getting “hotter”, it is getting “less cool” or “less cold” at night and during winter. Not scary to me…

Bob Close
Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 4:08 am

You are correct Steve, the historical US temperature database is almost unmatched as a quality product compared to other regional databases around the globe. I distinguish this historical data from the recent UHIE affected data that encompasses most of the modern warming shown in the NOAA data as exposed in recent posts here by A Watts. No doubt Dessler believes the latter homogenized measurements are correct and represent AGW at work.
The fact that rural or uncorrupted stations in the US show little modern warming, and they are matched by Balloon and satellite UAH data, confirms the evidence from the historical data that recent warming is not unprecedented or unusual, so we have no evidence for a climate crisis in the US.
The same can be said of Australian temperature data, that has been even more heavily corrupted by a similar homogenization process, whereby historical temperature peaks from 1880 to 1930 that were higher than recent peaks, have been either ignored or reduced by dodgy algorhythms. We are dealing here with a scientific ‘cult’ who believe they have a moral imperative to save the planet from polluting humanity, by forcing a dangerous warming crisis on us. So we will panic and change our comfortable technological but decadent lifestyles to suit these environmentally deluded luddites.
I say let the scientific process rule, let the evidence be discussed in public, so all can judge
what is really happening with climate, then we can make proper policy to suit the prevailing conditions, and not just play politics.

Reply to  Bob Close
August 13, 2022 9:33 am

The planet isn’t being cooked, the data is.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 11:52 am

You can bet your bottom dollar that CAGW alarmists would be trumpeting the US record if it showed the 1930’s were actually cooler than today.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 3:30 pm

I haven’t examined the data nor graphed or made computations thereon but I’ve read the reports of others who claimed to have done so and found that the higher temperatures of the 1930s US were also recorded in Europe and some other places, much like signals of the Medieval Warming Period have shown up from pole to pole and many places in between. Most likely not “globally”, as the planet has considerable variability, but not limited to the US.

August 13, 2022 3:30 am

Now, this is a very strange thing: Professor Dessler and his fellow alarmists claim global warming presents an existential threat to humanity, yet he apparently does not want to convince us by proving his case. Does he understand that science is NOT by consensus? Can anyone say Einstein or Galileo?) To show the absurdity of the “consensus” argument, imagine giving a math problem to 1000 people, but only one got it correct. Since people tend to make similar mistakes, many may have agreed on an erroneous answer. OK, go ahead, pick that one!

A correct theory makes correct predictions. It’s that simple. A “theory” that cannot make correct predictions, is, I submit, no theory at all. Methinks that the CAGW folks ought to have a better track record by rote chance.

Here is checkmate on the CAGW conjecture:

In particular, check his comments starting at about 2:20.

Professor Dessler, you have made yourself a rather poor scientific experiment. QED.

The brilliant Dr. Koonin’s book “Unsettled?” is excellent, but if anything, he pulls his punches. Nice guy.

And if Dessler was able to understand Happer and van Wijngaarden’s paper on saturation, he just might be able to relax a little, in the serene knowledge that things are actually going to be OK.

(RB, nice job.)

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Rod
August 13, 2022 5:46 am

And shouldn’t guys like Dessler be running around in the streets in a panic now that China has ‘threatened’ to stop ‘climate cooperation’? I couldn’t type that without laughing.

George Daddis
Reply to  Rod
August 13, 2022 7:07 am

How ’bout imagining 1000 people solving a complex math problem and using the
AVERAGE of the results as THE answer.
What organization would do something as irrational as that?

Paul C
Reply to  Rod
August 13, 2022 9:28 am

A “theory” that cannot make correct predictions – is a falsified theory. That means that the falsified theory (climate change) is NOT science.

Reply to  Paul C
August 13, 2022 4:36 pm

Yep. It’s that simple.

If one REALLY wants to understand the CAGW thing, read this brilliant essay by mathematician Dr. James Lindsay:

Chilling. Even though he doesn’t mention CAGW.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Rod
August 13, 2022 9:00 pm

Or as Mark Twain more succinctly put it: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

August 13, 2022 3:43 am

Sceptics just don’t ever learn, even when being slapped around the face with a wet kipper.

The ‘science’ of climate change, the cold hard facts, will never convince anyone it is, or isn’t happening, yet sceptics cling onto the forlorn hope that they can change peoples minds with science.

This futile imperative has prevailed for the last 50 years and look where we are. Wind turbines and solar panels destroying the energy policies of entire continents the first time they are tested.

90%+ of the world do not have a higher scientific education, I would go as far as to say the vast majority of that number don’t understand the first thing about science, most of them couldn’t describe the science behind boiling an egg, so how can anyone possibly persuade them of anything using science?

The left realised this many years ago and adopted propaganda instead of science, because everyone understands propaganda. I mean, it’s screaming out from this article. Even before a debate was even agreed, the smearing of Koonin began. If the debate were to happen he’s playing catchup before he’s opened his mouth.

Clearly, the leftist, alarmist, jungle drums began as soon as the offer was made and the usual suspects were willingly recruited to begin the familiar old smear process. It’s a propaganda machine and until sceptics recognise what’s going on and adopt their own propaganda machine, nothing will change.

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 5:43 am

Yes, there has to be a more effective communication strategy. Arguing the science might only sway a small percentage of people if that. Still, it’s important to get at the truth.

More still, one could denounce Dessler for his policies that lead to poorer quality of life for us all and don’t do anything but enrich Dessler and the elites he supports as their useful idiot.

Point out that Dessler has been wrong in his predictions and put him on the defensive. Get him to say that men can give birth or at least point out that he’s on the side that says they can. Get him to defend the crazy notion that inflation is now 0% and that borrowing more money to build destined to fail green projects will reduce it.

Get him to defend his asinine positions and expose him for the club of crazy people and liars to which he belongs.

Mark Whitney
Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 7:46 am

Indeed, there is little “ology” in alarmist climate dogma. “Shut up!” is their only consistent argument. > ; }

Reply to  Mark Whitney
August 13, 2022 4:42 pm

Oh boy. Is it ever. SHUT UP!!!!

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 8:11 am

Your comment should be a sticky.

Reply to  HotScot
August 13, 2022 11:55 am

What you say is true, alas, but John Q Public DOES understand the significance of the failed predictions of the Alarmists. Ridicule works.

August 13, 2022 3:43 am

From the article (my emphasis):

Remember what Mann said about Judith Curry in Climategate: “I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing, but it’s not helping the cause, or her professional credibility.

I’m sorry, but I was always taught that science consisted of hypothesis, experiment, observation, results/data, analysis and then refine and repeat if needed.

I don’t recall ever running across “The Cause” when I was being taught in the sciences. In my 68+ years on this planet, the only places I seem to find that is in the writings or speech of political idealogues determined to effect some change from current societal conditions.

Science examines and explores what is regardless of outcome. A “Cause” is some desired outcome achieved by advocacy or other means.

Steve Case
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2022 5:51 am

Dr. Michael Mann has also been quoted talking about “The Cause”

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 9:53 am

In case you missed it, Steve; that was a quote, by Mann, M., I was commenting on, although it would not surprise me if there were other quotes by him that use “the cause.” I dunno and I am not going to search for other possible instances.

Steve Case
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2022 11:09 am

Yup, missed it. Thanx for pointing it out.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 12:39 pm

And I thought there might have been more. Probably is.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2022 9:09 pm

I believe it was Donna Laframboise who unearthed some comments from participants of the Dornan survey who were only too happy to weigh in and “help the cause.”

Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2022 10:49 am

Michael Mann is worried about “THE CAUSE” more than “professional credibility” because he mentions it first.

This is called “a tell”. It’s his own psychology tattling on itself.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  H.R.
August 13, 2022 10:50 am

Excellent observation. Sometimes the mass slips and they accidentally tell the truth. 

Reply to  Stephen Philbrick
August 13, 2022 4:51 pm

CAGW, as the above commentators seem to imply, is a religion. I suppose that makes us heretics.

One thing the man-on-the-street CAN understand, because it underlies much of their somewhat unconscious skepticism, is that correct theories make correct predictions. They intuitively understand that.

(I’m an EE – I can be sued if I am wrong. Can you imagine if the climate boys had to meet that standard? I love pointing out to the man-on-the-street that our predictions ALWAYS work, else we miscalculated. And that if we were as bad as the climate folks, you car wouldn’t start. Computer would never crash because it would never boot. The plane would crash, if it got airborne. Oh well.)

Carlo, Monte
August 13, 2022 4:24 am

“Climate Studies” is a religious faith, totally divorced from rational scientific discovery.

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
August 13, 2022 7:37 am

Climate “scientists” like Dessler/Mann are little different than the educated clergy of the monarchies who provided the science of the day of the king’s right to rule by divine providence. In this fashion they get to share in the plunder of the peasants and the rulers can take away the peasants liberty and property without the messy use of the sword.

August 13, 2022 4:24 am

“Dessler to Debate ‘Climate Flat Earther’ Koonin: Why?”

Nice try, but truth is stranger than fiction so I shan’t try to anticipate it.

I asked this a few threads ago, why now when he said he would never debate?

I would guess his economic outlook has changed.

August 13, 2022 4:57 am

As Andy posted two weeks ago:

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.

Richard Page
Reply to  Yooper
August 13, 2022 9:01 am

Is there some way of recording the live stream so it can be checked with the commercial recording? Not that I’m accusing anyone of cutting inconvenient parts out or anything but, y’know, stranger things have happened.

August 13, 2022 5:31 am

It is amazing that a nimrod like Dessler can claim to be a scientist and at the same time claim that all than can ever be known about climate science is already known and cannot/must not be debated.

Effectively he just took himself out of the profession, and out of the game, permanently retired.

OK then humanity therefore has your permission to ignore you. Buh bye!

Steve Case
Reply to  Duane
August 13, 2022 7:07 am

It is amazing that a nimrod like Dessler can claim to be a scientist and at the same time claim that all than can ever be known about climate science is already known and cannot/must not be debated.

Did he really say that? I didn’t find that claim in the Robert Bradley Jr. article.
Anyway, it reminded me of the famous Charles H. Duell quote: “Everything that can be invented has been invented

But Wikipedia (Not always one sided) says the actual quote says nothing of the sort.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 10:34 am

I paraphrased. He wrote it with the exact meaning I wrote. Go back and read it

Robert W Turner
August 13, 2022 5:43 am

We need a Science Hall of Shame museum. A science museum dedicated to the pseudoscientists of the past, present, and future, from alchemy to phrenology to man-made climate change.

August 13, 2022 5:47 am

This post doesn’t mention it, but Dessler and Koonin actually are going to be debating in just two days on Monday Aug 15 at the Soho Forum in New York. Location, Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker Street. Time, 6:30 PM. Go to for tickets. There will also be livestream, and tickets for the livestream can also be obtained at the same site. Let’s get a big audience for this! (I am one of the sponsors.)

Reply to  Francis Menton
August 13, 2022 10:11 am

Will the livestream be put on YouTube or Rumble?

michael hart
August 13, 2022 6:50 am

If the science is so settled, why is Dessler even doing it anymore?

More to the point, why is he being funded to flog a dead horse?

August 13, 2022 7:01 am
Steve Case
Reply to  aaron
August 13, 2022 7:25 am

Following your link, finds this from Dan Rather:

Dan Rather

Of all of our political divides, the fact that one party votes unanimously to address the climate crisis and one votes unanimously to do nothing might be the most jaw dropping for future generations (as it is to many who are here right now).

That observation should tell Dan that the issue is 100% political.

Luke B
Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 11:13 am

Of course it will impress future generations, but almost certainly not the way he thinks it will.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 2:22 pm

Dan is 100 percent political.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Steve Case
August 13, 2022 2:40 pm

Dan is now 90, so likely you can’t tell him much.
His best contributions to the world will be the
“Ratherisms”, also called “Texanisms”,

August 13, 2022 7:26 am

Why are we reading a 6-month old article as if it was recent news?

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  Javier
August 13, 2022 10:53 am

Teasing the upcoming debate on Monday. Now a well-delivered tease, but that’s the rationale.

August 13, 2022 7:33 am

Why is a good question.

Koonin has no chance of winning a debate because leftists like Dessler do not debate. They start with the Appeal to Authority logical fallacy: This is what government bureaucrat scientists say and they are science authorities.

The next step for Dessler is to parrot the predictions of climate doom (CAGW) which would take decades for Koonin to refute.

Koonin is a man if science and is not skilled in debating politics. But CAGW is politics — it does not exist — it is a prediction, and always wrong predictions of doom (CAGW) are not science.

The only way to win a debate against the Appeal to Authority is to attack the “authority:\”. They have a legacy of 100% wrong predictions of environmental doom since the 1960s.

“Climate change” (CAGW) is yet another prediction of doom. You attack predictions by detailing how foolish and wrong the prior predictions were. You mock the prior wrong predictions and ridicule the people who made them.

Koonin is not capable of such a presentation. Therefore, this so-called debate is just an opportunity for Dessler to do his climate scaremongering to a new audience.

I only read the first ten pages of Koonin’s “Unsettled” book before deciding not to buy it. His basic concept that government bureaucrat scientists claim climate science is settled is wrong.

Al Gore made such a claim, but he is clueless.
In fact, climate science is an avalanche of new studies and articles predicting new types of climate doom, falsely associating bad weather events with climate change and “it’s worse than we thought” studies and articles.

The Climate Howlers throw lots of mud (predictions of doom) on the wall and hope some sticks. They predict crises faster than climate realists can refute them

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 13, 2022 12:19 pm

“The Climate Howlers throw lots of mud (predictions of doom) on the wall and hope some sticks. They predict crises faster than climate realists can refute them”


Reply to  Bill Rocks
August 13, 2022 10:44 pm

Yes, it is a normal debate tactic called “elephant hurling”. Biblical creationists see it ALL THE TIME from macroevolutionists.

John Bell
August 13, 2022 7:43 am

Ask Dessler how he got there, by plane? car? horse? He used fossil fuels all the way from Texas to New York?

August 13, 2022 7:46 am

Also, his belief in models is quite selective. We can’t trust climate models at all — the climate is too complicated!! — but we can have 100% confidence in absurd economic models of GDP growth.

A nice straw man there Andy but I doubt too many have much faith in economic models of wonderful growth just at present. On that score you might look at all the forecasting of economic growth with solar panels and windmills and all the Green jobs and cheaper power to boot. LOL.

Mike Donohue
Reply to  observa
August 17, 2022 9:37 am

Many of the green jobs created by the Obama/Biden administration came through reclassification. All of the employees of a bus company became green job holders overnight when they they were reclassified from Transportation jobs to Green Transportation jobs.

Michael in Dublin
August 13, 2022 8:32 am

Having a debate like this complicates matters for the average citizen because they are not able to assess what is valid. I am not against debates but think they are unlikely to change the muddled views of most people. Perhaps we should use many simple analogies which people can understand.

A writer on American Thinker used a good analogy to put the quantity of CO2 into perspective. He used a large stadium of 100 000 seats. He works with CO2 as a percentage (volume?) of greenhouse gases. His Math looks a bit off but the analogy can be helpful.

How many seats represent the CO2 people are responsible for?
How many seats represent the CO2 produced by Americans?
How many seats represent say a reduction of 50% of human CO2 in USA and world?

Please, will a reader who has the info at hand do the sums and post them as a reply.
I think these number of seats will make the whole alarmist narrative look ludicrous.

August 13, 2022 8:49 am
  1. If it’s settled, it ain’t science. If it’s science, it ain’t settled.
  2. If it’s 99.9% settled, then why do you need trillions more in research funding? Shouldn’t all climate scientists be repurposed to something more useful? Why do they keep finding ways to improve models?
Reply to  Felix
August 14, 2022 4:37 pm

The latest model improvements got even Gavin to admit that they were running too hot, and no one knows why. That is an improvement in the dialogue I.

Laws of Nature
August 13, 2022 8:50 am

>> Climate Flat Earther
Jsut wanted to point out that it was the alarmist models, which had the solar flux wrong by a factor 4 because they were assuming the Earth was flat and still got that wrong in parts
Also, to this day the CMIP models reflect the Earth as perfect sphere which is significantly wrong!
“While many of the original approximations have since been improved, one—that the Earth’s surface and atmosphere are locally flat—remains in current models. ”

Dessler´s insult seems to backfire badly here, as facts say that he is defending flat-earthers!

August 13, 2022 9:25 am

Any fair hearing of the less extreme view of global lukewarming/CO2 benefits, consequently, would be a leak in the dike, one that could expand and take down the Wall of Climate Gloom.

Andy sounds a lot like most of the sky dragons.
Anyone who doesn’t agree with them that CO2 has zero impact on anything, is aiding and abetting the enemy. Any deviation from their extremist position is intolerable.

Brent Wilson
August 13, 2022 10:07 am

Robert Bradley Jr,

Perhaps you (we) could set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $50,000?
I know I would contribute, and I’m sure many of the denizens of WUWT would as well. Should be tax deductible if it is a gift to the Uni.

That debate is one I would dearly love to see…

Reply to  Brent Wilson
August 13, 2022 9:55 pm

There is one. See the comment above, by Francis Menton

Bill Sprague
August 13, 2022 11:22 am

If money is the stumbling block for a publicly streamed or broadcast debate, put me down for $5,000. Raising $50,000 or $500,000 should be no problem for this debate, properly moderated and publicly available. Rent out the Lincoln Center to make it easy for Washington Congress People to attend.

This would be a terrific opportunity for Dressler to make his irrefutable case, if there is such a case to be made.

John VC
August 13, 2022 12:23 pm

Dressler is nothing more than an Aggie joke.

August 13, 2022 12:28 pm

So a debate between an alarmist and a lukewarmist.

They’ll end up disagreeing on the number of unicorns currently on the planet.

Should have got a true sceptic like Joseph Postma or someone of that ilk to debate with Dessler. Get someone who can work with the numbers and show that atmospheric CO2 doesn’t affect the climate in any way that is measurable.

Lost opportunity.

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 13, 2022 12:59 pm

 “For example, he says heat waves in the U.S. were more severe in the 1930s than today. OK, but the U.S. covers 2% of the planet. Globally, heat waves are more severe today.”

As per usual the really bad manifestations of ‘climate change’ occur somewhere else.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 13, 2022 1:24 pm

Where there is a dearth of proper instrumentation and record keeping.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
August 13, 2022 1:43 pm

And to be more relevant, the US covers more than 6% of the world’s land mass.

And to be more relevant again, an even larger percentage of the land mass where most people live,

August 13, 2022 2:52 pm

Dessler must have been seriously impressed when Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house” making her an expert on foreign affairs, just as he posits everyone can be an expert on AGW looking out a window.

Reply to  Rhys
August 13, 2022 10:47 pm

That wasn’t Sarah Palin, that was Tina Fey. Sarah Palin correctly pointed out that there are places in Alaska where you can see Russia, specifically the extreme western Aleutian Islands.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Rhys
August 14, 2022 12:43 am

That is a good point. And very funny.

Laws of Nature
August 13, 2022 3:17 pm

>> voters are voting against the forced energy transformation, itself the flip side of climate exaggeration.

IMHO that are two independent points and should be kept separate!
I believe there are those who would protest even if the forced energy transformation was justified and helpful.. it is a fog candle no one needs in this debatte.

>> climate exaggeration.
Let´s keep the eyes tuned sharply on the science and have them debate if
the climate models exagerate like Scafetta suggests (google “scafetta climate sensitivity 2017” for the image) and CMIP6 models finding about 25% higher climate sensitivity with better aerosol and cloud parametrization (meaning the older models policies are based on are very wrong and high emission scenarios in computer worlds are even further away from real data)

I like to see them discuss R. McKitirick´s findings from last year invalidation ANY climate model attribution.
It just seems more important to me that “what do the masses want”, because that seems just too close to religion (on both sides of the fence)

August 13, 2022 5:09 pm

Michael Mann is a gift:-
I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing, but it’s not helping the cause, or her professional credibility.” Michael Mann
So can we take it from this statement that according to Michael Mann, Judith’s first concerns should be “helping the cause” and serving her “professional credibility”? You reveal yourself Michael. Bare naked.

Reply to  John
August 13, 2022 6:12 pm

Mike of Nature trick fame is just one of so many utterly committed to freedom of Wokespeech-
University ‘forces out’ diversity adviser for supporting bullied professor Kathleen Stock (

August 13, 2022 6:15 pm

Flat body is a fake theory that doesn’t theorize anything and doesn’t agree on anything.
There is less agreement on (positive, true) stuff (saying official story is BS is negative).
Flaters agree on even less then 911 truthers.
What do climatists agree on?
What the heck is the greenhouse theory? I can’t find it.
And “CO2 catches (and releases) photons” doesn’t cut it.

August 13, 2022 7:25 pm

Have gone from no ad hominem attacks to it’s unacceptable for an academic to be this bitchy?

Captain climate
August 14, 2022 4:24 am

I’m going to this debate tomorrow.

August 14, 2022 12:25 pm

It’s going to be entertaining to see Dessler’s reaction when the dystopian climate creed is outright falsified by just not happening in the real world. When warming inevitably flips to cooling. When no predicted catastrophes come to pass. Let’s see how much he seeks the spotlight when that day comes.

Iain Reid
August 14, 2022 12:41 pm

I find it very amusing that he uses the term ‘climate flat earther’. Consider the view that the earth was flat was a consensus opinion and ‘flat earth deniers’ eventually proved the consensus wrong.

Burl Henry
August 14, 2022 12:50 pm

According to NASA Sulfur Dioxide aerosols in the atmosphere reflect sunlight and cool the Earth’s surface.

The Green New Deal, or Net-Zero, focuses on banning the burning of fossil fuels, and their megatons of SO2 aerosol emissions, which will cause temperatures to soar.

The attached image shows the present magnitude of SO2 aerosols in our atmosphere. Their major effect is totally ignored in all climate models, which if included, would not predict any warming, unless it is greatly reduced.

SO2 versus CO2 is fundamentally important with respect to our understanding of Climate Change, but it is unlikely to even be mentioned in the debate, making the debate of little use.

Additional to the above, the Central England Instrumental Temperatures Data Set, 1659 to the present shows that every temperature decrease has been due to increased levels of SO2 aerosols into the atmosphere, primarily of volcanic origin, and every temperature increase has been due to a reduction in their amount, either due to periods of no VEI4 or larger eruptions, or to man-made efforts.

fluid column Feb 19, 2022.png
Burl Henry
Reply to  Burl Henry
August 14, 2022 12:55 pm

Attached is the Central England Instrumental Temperatures Data Set

Volcanic Droughts.jpg
August 14, 2022 2:29 pm

The following assertion has so many things wrong with it, but I am going to make it anyway. There were many types of people in University (a long time ago, pre PC and global warming) but one type was the not very bright over achiever. This type was often abused in high school or elsewhere and as a result they developed massive chips on their shoulders. After much struggle they would obtain a PhD in something-or-other which they treated as a permit to sneer at the normal people who had friends while growing up. So many of the sanctimonious crusaders like Dessler and Mickey Mann are creepy, not very bright and very, very angry about something that is not global warming.

Roy W Spencer
August 14, 2022 3:14 pm

It would be nice if someone with the $means would call Andy’s bluff. Based upon my experience with Andy, I don’t think he would fare well in a venue where he has to think on his feet. If someone was to put up $50k for a debate, I predict Andy would find a way out of it.

August 14, 2022 5:19 pm

I have been posting this in response to alarmists – feel free to copy any part or all of it:



5000 years ago, there was the Egyptian 1st Unified Kingdom warm period  
4400 years ago, there was the Egyptian old kingdom warm period.
3000 years ago, there was the Minoan Warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels.
Then 1000 years later, there was the Roman warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels.
Then 1000 years later, there was the Medieval warm period. It was warmer than now WITHOUT fossil fuels. 1000 years later, came our current warm period. 

You are claiming that whatever caused those earlier warm periods suddenly quit causing warm periods, only to be replaced by man’s CO2 emission, perfectly in time for the cycle of warmth every 1000 years to stay on schedule. Not very believable.
The entire climate scam crumbles on this one observation because it shows that there is nothing unusual about today’s temperature and ALL claims of unusual climate are based on claims of excess warmth caused by man’s CO2.

Evidence that the Roman & Medieval warm periods were global:
Evidence that those warm periods actually occurred:

—— Much More Information On Climate ——

Even the IPCC debunks climate alarmism:
Don’t miss the FACT that the earth has warmed LESS THAN one degree since 1850 (up to 2012)! Pg. 209 of

Feel free to disagree by showing actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing serious global warming. (Or show your unwillingness to learn by posting a laughter emoji.)

Learn more & stop worrying about climate –  
1) Climate Alarmist Claim Fact Checks:

2) Frequently argued climate issues in one- or two-page summaries:
Book version:

How environmentalism works: Create a fake problem. Scare people with it. If they send money, keep it up. If they don’t send enough money, create another fake problem.

Good expose of the Multi Billion dollar Environmental industry:
ENVIRONMENT INC – Special Series in the Sacramento Bee:
Restricting USA energy production will DO NOTHING to reduce CO2 as India Reopens 100 Coal Mines
And China is building coal plants too.
Here is some of the Russian Money going into promoting Al Gore’s climate scam:

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