Climate Physics w/ Professor William Happer on Saifedean Ammous’s THE BITCOIN STANDARD Podcast.

Saifedean Ammous

Princeton Professor Emeritus in Physics, William Happer, joins us to discuss the impact of CO2 on the Earth’s climate and the state of modern science. What is the scientific evidence on the relationship between CO2 and Earth’s climate? Does CO2 drive the Earth’s temperature, or does temperature drive CO2? What does the fossil record tell us about the state of the world’s climate in the past? Is current warming unprecedented? Why don’t scientists study the evidence of prehistoric forests in the Arctic, and what it implies for historical temperatures? Why is there little focus on the enormous benefits of CO2? What is the evidence for CO2 driving ocean acidification? How much better are scientists today from the scientists involved in the Salem witch hunt? How does politicization affect science, and why does Professor Happer think that the more policy-driven a field is, the less trustworthy its conclusions are?

Professor Happer’s 2014 paper Why has global warming paused?:…

The CO2 Coalition website:

Does ocean acidification alter fish behavior:…

Elsmere Island Mummified Forest:….

Professor Happer’s editorial with Harisson Schmitt: In defence of Carbon Dioxide:…

Professors Lindzen and Happer’s Comment on the SEC’s Proposed Rule:
“The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.”:…

Saifedean’s first book, The Bitcoin Standard:

Saifedean’s second book, The Fiat Standard:

Enjoyed this episode? You can take part in podcast seminars, access Saifedean’s courses and read chapters of his forthcoming books by becoming a member. Find out more here:

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October 30, 2022 6:48 pm

Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide article
Oops! The reference in above text is truncated. It is:

Hari Seldon
Reply to  Layor
October 30, 2022 10:16 pm

Please, would it be possible to find a copy of the article without WSJ subscription? Many THX in advance.

Hari Seldon
Reply to  Joe Born
October 31, 2022 7:40 am

Unfortunately not: The link leads to payment for the article.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Hari Seldon
October 31, 2022 10:29 am

The Marshall Institute – In Defense of Carbon Dioxide (

A search on the web with the title will find several.

Hari Seldon
Reply to  John Hultquist
October 31, 2022 12:20 pm

Many THX, it does work.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Layor
October 31, 2022 3:45 am

If the media truly believed that the end of the world was at hand because of climate change they would not be hiding any of the articles that can help the discussion behind a paywall.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Layor
October 31, 2022 4:22 am

It would be really helpful if one of the readers with a WSJ subscription gave us say a 250 word summary of the key points.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
October 31, 2022 6:30 am

It’s a brief article that mostly gives a high level overview of the benefits of Co2. One paragraph provides somewhat of a summary: “The current levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, approaching 400 parts per million, are low by the standards of geological and plant evolutionary history. Levels were 3,000 ppm, or more, until the Paleogene period (beginning about 65 million years ago). For most plants, and for the animals and humans that use them, more carbon dioxide, far from being a “pollutant” in need of reduction, would be a benefit. This is already widely recognized by operators of commercial greenhouses, who artificially increase the carbon dioxide levels to 1,000 ppm or more to improve the growth and quality of their plants”.

The article also talks about how increased levels of Co2 make plants more drought tolerant and other benefits. My guess is that you could find a similar article on

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Barnes Moore
October 31, 2022 11:53 am

Thanks, Barnes, but it is good to get the latest formulations of people like Prof Happer. More attacks mean having to reformulate the facts in clearer ways even though the basic argument does not change.

October 30, 2022 7:14 pm

Great to listen to William Happer.

The main takeaway is that a bitcoin nerd is alert to the scam; albeit not yet well informed.

October 30, 2022 8:24 pm

How does politicization affect science, and why does Professor Happer think that the more policy-driven a field is, the less trustworthy its conclusions are?

As science becomes more and more specialized, its practitioners are driven less and less by curiosity and love for the subject. Here’s a lovely quote from Erwin Chargaff whose research paved the way for Crick and Watson’s discovery of the structure of DNA:

The world of science was open before us to a degree that has become inconceivable now, when pages and pages of application papers must justify the plan of investigating, ‘in depth’, the thirty-fifth foot of the centipede; and one is judged by a jury of one’s peers who are all centipedists or molecular podiatrists. I would say that most of the great scientists of the past could not have arisen, that, in fact, most sciences could not have been founded, if the present utility-drunk and goal-directed attitude had prevailed.

Quoted in chapter 13 of The Matter With Things by Iain McGilchrist

You, as a molecular podiatrist, are stuck in a tiny silo with a small group of other scientists. You have almost no chance of changing silos. Your career and well-being are at their mercy. As well, you are at the mercy of the granting agencies and the journal editors. If you can preserve your miserable career by finding that the size of the thirty-fifth foot of a spiny variegated centipede is exquisitely sensitive to global warming, that is exactly what you will find.

Reply to  commieBob
October 30, 2022 8:44 pm

I have a theory that the reason there are no more Babe Ruths and Ted Williams is that they were the last of the more or less self-taught generation, and self-teaching brings out the genius in natural talents while leaving the so-sos no better off. Nowadays everyone gets so much coaching that the so-sos improve but the natural talents get corrected and lose what made them special.

I don’t think this works for science nearly as well as your Iain McGilchrist’s theory.

Last edited 7 months ago by Scarecrow Repair
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Felix
October 30, 2022 9:24 pm

Self-taught people often have holes in their knowledge base as a result of skipping things they found boring, or weren’t able to grasp without help.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 30, 2022 9:45 pm

I agree, but it doesn’t just apply to self-taught people. After teaching in university I came across a whole bunch of ‘cut and pasters’ who didn’t have a clue but got good grades.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
October 31, 2022 12:11 pm

It seems the old question to university students, what are you reading, has become meaningless for most.

Last edited 7 months ago by Michael in Dublin
Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 31, 2022 12:06 pm

Michael Faraday, one of the greatest English scientists, was to a large extent self taught. He was, however, not able to formulate his discoveries in Mathematical terms and had to leave this to another scientist. Had he had the privilege of completing his schooling and been sent to Oxford, he may have been able to do this himself but on the other hand he may have become lazy and dropped out. It was probably better that he was forced to experiment on his own.

Reply to  Felix
October 31, 2022 6:05 am

There’s something to your theory. Vera Lynn, a wildly popular singer, asked orchestra leader Bob Farnon to give her some voice lessons. Farnon’s reply was that the best that could do would be just to wreck what she already had.

Anyone who has lived long enough has probably heard a favorite pop song ruined by someone with a trained voice.

Similar to above, some of the best programmers I have known have been autodidacts.

On the other hand, a PhD in engineering doesn’t qualify for a PEng without also having a BEng. It’s very easy to get tripped up if you don’t have a firm grasp of the fundamentals.

Rick C
Reply to  commieBob
October 31, 2022 1:31 pm

CB: Just to amplify your point, when I took the PE exam to obtain a license the pass rate was around 30% despite the fact that at least a BS in engineering or related sciences was required. I knew a few with graduate degrees who repeatedly failed the exam. I think the reason was that the exam required far more in terms of critical thinking and creative problem solving than was required to simply pass college courses.

Later in my career I hired or supervised recent engineering graduates who seemed bright and got good grades, but I would not have given many of them a positive reference for licensure because they simply didn’t have what it takes. I even offered to tutor some to prep for the exam. None thought they needed it but they then failed. In 40+ years I recall providing positive references only twice.

October 30, 2022 9:45 pm

 why does Professor Happer think that the more policy-driven a field is, the less trustworthy its conclusions are?

Perhaps he listens to Greta who knows them so well?

October 30, 2022 9:58 pm

A wide ranging interview on climate scince and policy issues by one of the prominent
climate skeptics (Happer) and a recovering climate alarmist (Ammous, who has a PhD in sustainable development, but had an epiphany at some point as to the lunacy of the consensus climate scince).
I liked Happer’s analogies of the witch hunts & eugenics movements [by supposedly the best & brightest academics of their day] to the current state of climate science where many scientists are afraid to speak their mind for fear of being cancelled, lose grant funding or fired.
~ 84 min but it works well run at 1.5x speed.

And we had another beautiful day here in central Arizona, all due to “climate change”. [LOL]

joe x
October 31, 2022 5:53 am

very good video. always educational to hear from mr. happer. the interviewer was a bit long winded. i don’t like questions that are longer than the answer.

Janice Moore
Reply to  joe x
November 4, 2022 3:46 pm

I agree. WAY too high an interviewer:guest ratio. The interviewer should have done a 2-part video if he felt it was vital to give a long lecture. I felt sorry at times that Dr. Happer had to sit there and listen to things he is very familiar with. At least he had his cat, “Sampson,” to keep him company.

October 31, 2022 5:59 am

Credentialism and the development of categories of secular priests on every scientific subject. Only those accepted into the groups are recognized as qualified to opine on the subject. All outsiders are ignored.

Developed during the 70s and 80s, during the first legal battles over the EPA and its laws and rules. Probably developed after observing how the nuclear community dealt with objections to nuclear energy.

Now that the left has complete control of the education system, and most of the communication industry, it controls who gets into the groups and what they think.


Last edited 7 months ago by Rxc
October 31, 2022 7:11 am

“And if you put in clouds that means its only half as effective, you know, because where there are clouds CO2 hardly matters at all.”

If find this around the 15:00 minute mark. Well yes, that is the big point I have been making all the way.

A little excpert from email correspondance from summer last year..


In other words, accurately allowing for surface emissivity and clouds will reduce the pure GHGE from 120 to only 35W/m2, roughly a 70% reduction. The same will be basically true for any estimates on ECS. Under no circumstances these are negligible simplifications. Rather, it is the “holy grail” of climate science.

I might add modtran gives according results. If you add any realistic cloud cover to the model, than double CO2 (from 400ppm to 800ppm) and look up how much temperature offset it will require to get TOA emissions back to the original value, you will find about 0.8K will do, including vapor feedback. Although modtran in this installation is a bit simplified, it is not basically wrong. Rather it is only documenting the issue I did just describe.

.Dr. Happer:

As for clouds, we only discuss cloud-free conditions in the paper mentioned above. We are taking a more serious look at clouds now.

Well, I have done it already..

comment image

Dave Fair
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 1, 2022 10:52 am

Thanks, but I’ll wait for Dr. Happer’s take on cloud effects.

Bruce Cobb
October 31, 2022 7:45 am

But, but, it’s simple physics! It can be written on a notecard what is involved. Even young children understand that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is like adding a blanket or putting on a sweater. Of COURSE you will warm up. Sheesh! Deniers. What are you gonna do? Must be in the pay of Big Oil.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 31, 2022 8:25 am

Young children understand from experience that a blanket or sweater will make you feel warmer.

Young children, and the vast majority of adults, don’t understand how a CO2 molecule absorbs energy at a certain wavelength and probably passes it on when it collides with a nitrogen or oxygen molecule.

Young children can parrot that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is like putting on a warm woolen sweater. That’s the illusion of understanding.

Reply to  commieBob
October 31, 2022 1:58 pm

A very simple means of puncturing the “warm sweater” picture is to ask whether a sweater would warm up a cold statue or a corpse.

Reply to  Graemethecat
October 31, 2022 4:10 pm

A CO2 molecule can’t warm up an object at absolute zero.

October 31, 2022 10:38 am

A climate scientist is rarely capable of doing the math required to analyze the physics of climate change.

Ulric Lyons
October 31, 2022 3:24 pm
Dr. Jimmy Vigo
October 31, 2022 8:02 pm

I saw some comments about the article not being for free, wanting to know info about the interview. I quickly went to see the YouTube link and scrolled to the words; he was talking about making radiocarbon dating on carbonates, like from soil to estimate ancient atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

We all have to realize that the so called “CO2 climate change” is an issue of chemistry, physics mathematics and statistics, so that the complexity is actually a big burden. Nonetheless, I will see the entire interview and pay close attention to the science. I’m particularly interested in a few issues such as 1) a discussion on the thermodynamics of CO2 heat transfer capability at a concentration of 0.04%, 2) the CO2 IR energy absorption and the quantum levels of molecular vibrations; a Boltzmann statistical analysis of number molecules in vibrational states would be very appropriate, 3) the heat capacity of the atmosphere to react to changes in temperature: how much heat the atmosphere can trap before showing a change by 1 degree Celsius, 4) because I saw a reference that first was observed the (apparent statistical significant) global warming, followed by the apparent increase in CO2, I want to know like it says here, who drives who: does temperature drive CO2, vice versa, or there is between then a horribly complex combo of both, when pressure and volumes are added to the gas thermodynamics soup of connections and interconnections.

i expect to learn from this dude. I hope for no disappointment. I will share thoughts from the interview, will try to post here.

Dr. JBVigo

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