Adding fuel to out-of-date scepticism.

I must admit I was intrigued to hear about a climate change debate happening in Oxford especially when it was involving ‘one of the world’s leading climate change sceptics’, atmospheric physicist, Professor Richard Lindzen. Little did I know, not only was it a complete waste of my time but I may of played a vital role in the push to bury any attempts to encourage the world to act on climate change.


Richard Lindzen (left) and Medhi Hasan (right) go head to head, March 7 2013, Oxford Union

In a room that hosted speakers from the Dalai Lama to Steven Hawkings, Al Jazeera presented a televised debate on “Climate Change, Fact… or Fiction?” were its host Medhi Hasan went head to head with professor Lindzen. Comments were taken from expert panellists; Professor Myles Allen from the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, Mark Lynas, author and environmentalist and David Rose, the token Daily Mail reporter.

For those who understandable don’t know who Richard Lindzen is, please let me explain. Lindzen, professor of Meteorology at MIT, proposed that the Earth acts like an infrared iris, the iris being the part of your eye that widens in the dark to let more light in. In Lindzen’s theory, the Earth’s iris uses the cloud system to allow the swift exit of the surplus heat we are creating in our atmosphere due to the increase in CO2 emissions. Long story short, we can emit as much as we want and the Earth will never heat up due to this handy little escape valve. *Surprisingly, this paper was never successfully published in a scientific journal due to the lack in credibility. However, he has been a major influence in scientific policy as lead author in the IPCC Third Assessment Report on Climate Change.

*Sarcastic comment.

Al Jazeera invited Lindzen and his buddy, the Daily Mail reporter to shine light on a debate that should be long out-of-date, yet certain members of the audience dotted around the union made it clear that there was still a conversation to be had. Without sounding as conspiracist as the sceptics themselves, these audience members had an agenda and that was to make loud, misconstrued statements, interrupting the debate out of turn. When on the subject of changing weather patterns, an aging interjector announced that while in his house in Oxford during the winter, he didn’t open his window once. *Some obviously clear evidence to debunk climate change.

*I seem to use sarcasm to funnel my anger.

Hasan started the debate asking Lindzen if he’d categorise himself as a sceptic or a climate change denier. He refused both claiming he didn’t wish to be labelled, despite going by the strap line ‘most credible of all climate skeptics’. Hasan continued by presenting all the accusations that were made against Lindzen, such as science journals rejecting his paper, his theories going against proven data records and the fact that there’s a 97% consensus by climate experts that climate change is going to affect us all. Lindzen admitted to charging “oil and gas interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services”.

At the age of 73, Lindzen didn’t make an exceptional speaker, pointing this out when Hasan commented on how relaxed he was that it was due to what his doctor had prescribed him. He agreed that the Earth is warming gradually (not in the past decade he adds) with the increase in greenhouse gases, but he spent the majority of his time on stage boring the hell out of me. He claims that the climate is not as sensitive that we think it is and it can control the heat that we produce in the atmosphere. He’s sides with the IPCC in taking proper precaution in making predictions and calls mainstream media ‘alarmists’. It got interesting when the Daily Mail guy, David Rose started making claims that global warming stopped 16 years ago, bless him. Mark Lynas made reluctant attempts to speak next to hot headed sceptics while Professor Allen tried to come to some sort of consensus with Lindzen, failing at each painful attempt. The whole time, these dotted interjectors hissed and mocked any actual science that was discussed.

This was nothing but a cockfight with male experts either fighting or trying to appease Dick, the reason for this fowl debate on the subject.

It was at this moment where I began to agree with Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE. Ward expressed his anger, via Twitter, that we were giving air time to a person who is now completely irrelevant to science and research in climate change: “Yet another example of the media hosting a falsely balanced debate about climate science instead of covering the real issues.” Ward did not attend this debate and I very soon saw his point. Not only would this be reaching media in the UK, but globally and with such power to control what people take away from this issue.

Hasan, on the side of real science made some intelligent statements but the audience were too polite to speak compared to the loudmouths in front tossing the debate around, making it seem more complicated then it was. I am sorry I was there, I felt like I was a contributor to this horse and pony show. The aim was to shame the sceptic, but we just gave him a stage.


175 responses to “Adding fuel to out-of-date scepticism.

  1. Actually he did get several “iris”-related papers published starting in 2001. But while the mechanism (not the claimed magnitude of effect) seemed plausible at first, within a few years data started coming in that made it doubtful. More recently he’s published some papers that don’t mention the iris but are more or less stalking horses for it, and then most recently he hasn’t been able to find a legitimate scientific publisher, being forced finally to resort to an obscure Chinese journal. So at this point he appears to have pretty much run out of steam, being reduced to the denialist rubber chicken circuit and the occasional WSJ op-ed.

    But there’s actually a much longer history to all of this. Originally, back around 1990, there was a big theory-data discrepancy in the tropics for which Lindzen proposed “cumulus drying” as a solution. This implied lower climate sensitivity than seemed reasonable based on the the paleoclimate knowledge of even that time, but even so he was a bit of a hero for making the data and theory agree (scientists just love that). Unfortunately for him, within a very short time it turned out that the data was wrong. Cumulus drying was dead.

    But Lindzen did not give up. He cooked up the iris idea (different mechanism but same general effect as cumulus drying) and started flogging that. So what we have here is somebody whose basic thesis was rejected about 20 years ago and has spent the subsequent time obsessing with reviving it in one form or another, even while fewer and fewer of his colleagues are willing to even listen. So at this point he’s just a crackpot, not too different from the unemployed PhDs who bombard the physics journals with refutations of relativity or whatever other bedrock scientific concept.

    What’s sad about this is that prior to all of this Lindzen did a lot of great work that earned him tremendous respect in the field. I expect that this experience contributed mightily to his unwillingness to recognize that he’s just plain wrong about something he feels in his gut must be right. That sort of thing is what caused Max Planck to propose that science advances one funeral at a time.

    Of course a book could be written about all of this, but I’m not aware of anything detailing the whole story that I could just link to, so I thought I’d give you the outline version.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Thank you Steve for that really great explanation. I had no idea his theory began with his published papers on ‘cumulus drying’.
      You could definitely write a very interesting book on this.

      • Yea, sure. Talking only to yourselves you will be always right. It’s an axiom.

      • Tara, are you going to correct this false statement?

        “Surprisingly, this paper was never successfully published in a scientific journal due to the lack in credibility”

        It has been shown to you repeatedly that this is not true.

      • Tara's eco science blog

        I’m not going to correct anything on the original just like I’ve allowed every comment to be available. Where’s the fun in that?
        I have accepted that I was slightly irresponsible and naive with comments I’ve made yet I’m not ready to do anything until I’ve done a little further research.
        It’s been great fun reading the links that people have sent me, thanks for your input. Tara

  2. According to the chairperson of the IPCC Rajenda Pachauri, there has been a 16 year pause in warming, bless him.

    97% consensus is a fact? Would you be able to provide evidence to support that assertion. A two question survey in which the vast majority of scientists who responded and had their responses culled, does not equal a consensus.

    Also climate change is the natural variation of climate. Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a more apt and less deceitful description.

  3. “The aim was to shame the sceptic…..”
    So……er…..not a debate, then. More a show trial or witch hunt that did not go quite as planned? Glad you made that clear.

  4. “The aim was to shame the sceptic”, how pathetic.

  5. Lindzen has over 200 published papers on climate, and as you state, was lead author on the IPCC TAR.

    Niether Ward, nor yourself, has any climate qualifications.

    I suspect you are sorry only because the greens lost the debate. Again.

  6. I think rather than being “bored to hell” you should have listened and learnt something rather than putting your fingers in your ears and lala-ing.

    It’s a bad day when you don’t learn something new.

    Just a suggestion.

  7. Opportunity Lost?

    Myles Allens thoughts on the debate.

    Myles: “I was deeply embarrassed to be associated with Hasan’s ad hominem attacks on Dick Lindzen, in particular his going on about speaker fees and airline tickets. I thought this was going to be a discussion of climate science, and most of it seemed to be, as ever, about people and politics. As I hope I made clear when I had the chance, these were completely irrelevant to the discussion (and nothing he brought up seemed in any way exceptionable anyway) and that kind of attempt at personalising everything is just what is preventing a sensible discussion. I am very sorry that a visitor to Oxford was treated in this way.

    On the science side, I’m happy to accept that studies comparing simple models with observations of the recent record, of which several have been published recently, suggest a climate sensitivity in the region of 2 degrees (although this isn’t the only line of evidence). But even a two degree sensitivity, if we do decide to burn all available fossil carbon, which would take concentrations well over 1000ppm, would be more than enough for 4+ degrees of warming. The real question, therefore, is whether 4+ degrees is OK. That’s what we need to be discussing, and unfortunately, because once again it was side-tracked onto irrelevancies, the debate didn’t go there.”

    Myles Allen, commenting at the sceptic blog Bishop Hill

    Mark looked pretty uncomfortable about this aswell.

    I was there front row, by the way

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Thanks for this Barry and it was lovely to meet you. This is a great comment by Myles and a debate I would of loved to see. I think it would have been a giant hurdle to get a consensus in the room on the 2 degree sensitivity before we could of started talking about adapting to 4+ degrees of warming. Too many people were getting hot heads over the discussion that our atmosphere is actually warming in the first place.

  8. “The aim was to shame the sceptic…”
    Say it all, really. Sad.

  9. It might be difficult for a young mind, well indoctrinated in group think support of a false paradigm to accept, but Physics does not support the GH effect or Carbon climate forcing. This is not the only science that creates the false paradigm, as misnamed ‘fossil fuel’ is abiogenic and ‘sustainable’ energy is unsustainable. My website has articles and links to hundreds of works supporting a completely different narrative on reality. A good summary is “Becoming A TOTAL Earth Science Sceptic”. I’d be happy to have a private email discussion. Find and share Truth….it is your duty as an Earthling.

  10. Tara…

    Thanks for the report. Sorry you thought the Oxford Union debate was a waste of time… But, sorry to say, there is a sea change underway on the issue of CAGW … especially driven because the temperature records for the last 17 years or so are discordant with alarmist climate models. According to those models, global temperatures should have continued to rise sharply.

    At this point, people such as Hansen are looking to account for what their eyes are telling them… without much success. A lot of emphasis is placed on sunspot activity … but the trend there, if anything, is for cooling temperatures. Politically that will put the cause to bed past 2030.

    Personally, I believe the next decade will help us understand climate science a whole lot better.

  11. In a scientific debate “the aim was to shame” one of the debaters…
    Where, again, does this fall into the scientific method?
    This says all you need to know about one of the sides in this debate and this poor young lady.

  12. Louis Hooffstetter

    “a debate that should be long out-of-date…”
    This debate would be long out-of-date if there were reproducible empirical data to support the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. There is not. However, there is a plethora of reproducible empirical data to support the fact that CO2 is a relatively minor driver of climate change.

    “an aging interjector…”
    “At the age of 73, Lindzen didn’t make an exceptional speaker…”
    “I seem to use sarcasm to funnel my anger”

    Well bless your heart, you certainly do (albeit ineffectively). Hopefully it’s something you’ll grow out of as you become an adult.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Me too. Thank you for your comment. Any chance you can link me to some of your ‘plethora’ of reproducible empirical data to support the fact that CO2 is a relatively minor driver of climate change? And if it is not CO2, what is it?

  13. It’s a pity you thought that the debate was a waste of time as it would be an important first step to understanding the enemy. No, not Professor Lindzen, I mean the grumpy, vociferous adults in the front row. It’s a myth that green lobbies like to put about that the only opposition to CO2 induced catastrophe are cynical, oil funded saboteurs. Most of us are just everyday people who through reading and experience, know that not everything is as it should be in the consensus argument. Questions arise in the science, the effects and the solutions. Masses of them.

    Of course there aren’t that many sceptics who poke their heads above water and the temptation is to think that if only those people could be silenced there would be rapid action on CO2 reduction. No. Unfortunately we represent an iceberg. Many people in that block below the water do not question climate change. They would tick the box that would range them on your side. However like many of the rest, they don’t understand CO2 reduction at all. They assume, erroneously, that cutting CO2 is something other people do. Boy, are they wrong.

    At the current level of technology we can’t cut CO2 appreciably without reducing our lifestyles. So every person who grumbles at the size of their bills or fails to even calculate their CO2 footprint is a denier. The student who decides that they deserve a holiday on a far distant shore to get over their exams is not thinking of the CO2 and if CO2 is important they need to.

    If you’re serious about CO2 then take control of your own future. Plan your life from now to the grave and calculate how much CO2 you’d emit if you reached your goals or indeed if you don’t. The nice house, the odd holiday skiing, the kids, the pets, the car, however eco friendly, and so on. Look at the place you’re living now and work out the costs to make it ultra eco friendly and how much disruption there’d be while the work was carried out. Imagine adding the cost of it to your student loan. If you catch yourself thinking ‘that’s not my responsibility’ or ‘there will be a low energy way of doing that’, don’t. You can’t count on chickens that aren’t even laid, never mind hatched and some day, it will be your responsibility. The target CO2 footprint is 2 tonnes I’m reliably informed and to put that into perspective, a single return flight to New York is a tonne.

    That’s the second stage after belief in AGW. That’s the point where you examine your commitment to your belief. It’s where you have to decide if carbon offsets are fair and if people have enough money, can they follow any lifestyle they choose? As you pay your low energy use tariff for gas and electric, do you feel happy subsidising the solar panels on some London banker’s roof or contributing to the fee to landowners to host a windmill at £15,000 pounds a pop, per year? Examine the moral issues involved and form an opinion on them. Flirt with the idea that you’ll never be able to justify living in anything less CO2 friendly than a flat.

    Consider too, what things might lead you astray. A fiancée in America or free tickets to Antarctica to see global warming first hand? I’ve met real people with this sort of dilemma who passionately believe in climate change but… free tickets, gorgeous man. Tough call. And next year, it will be something else.

    Now think again about that front row. They’re not fighting you for the sake of it. They don’t hate future generations. They have the advantage over you of knowing what life choices they made and what goals they’ve achieved so far. They can see what a humungous task cutting CO2 would be. It caused them to look again at the science. It’s not greed that has made people balk at CAGW, it’s realism. It’s self knowledge. It’s the awareness that without really good science, people and governments will promise forever to cut CO2 but won’t actually get around to it.

    If you follow their path you’ll see that it makes a big difference how much warming is in store for a doubling of CO2. It matters how good models are at reproducing climate. It is significant that probably the biggest audience your blog has ever reached are a bunch of deniers.

  14. Tara, I did not say that global warming stopped 16 years ago. I said that there has been no statistically significant increase in temperature in this period, and that this is leading scientists to revise their estimates of the climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide. It is fine for us to disagree, but not fine for you to misrepresent me in order to make a cheap point. By the way, I work for the Mail on Sunday, not the Daily Mail.

  15. There is an alternative view, and a cartoon, at the Bishop Hill blog.

    In fact Lindzen’s iris hypothesis paper was published, in 2001. See your own link!

  16. “may of played a vital role”
    I’m sure it may of indeed. Good grief.

  17. Oh dear. I knew everything in my early twenties as well. Never mind Tara, time and an (hopefully) increasing maturity are on your side.

  18. I look forward to seeing the debate on TV. The opinions on the blogs do differ significantly as to the accuracy of the information presented. I tend to believe that the truth is somewhere in the middle. (That is, increased CO2 is a concern, but not the hyped-up, greatest threat on the planet as some claim. I will make up my own mind, and encourage others to do the same. By the way, on your frac fact sheet… second paragraph… methane does not have a low permeability since it’s a gas. Perhaps you intended to write “shale” instead.

  19. Ms. Spark, your comment: “At the age of 73, Lindzen didn’t make an exceptional speaker…” caused me to reflect that “Being female, we should excuse any blogsmanship (or is that blogspersonship) failings of Ms. Spark.”

  20. Tara, you might want to read and remember that
    science is about observations, argument and counterargument. You have an agenda. You’ve decided – period. On reflection you’ll doubtless see that that is not the way to do science.

  21. The aim was to shame the sceptic…

    And what a shameful aim it was. Your failure was well-deserved.

  22. Dear Tara Sparks,

    Thank you so much for attending the climate debate at Oxford. It was a treat for you to share your thoughts on your blog. One thread was your disappointment with the “old white men” who were taking the side of Dr. Lindzen. You seemed to think that climate science scepticism is somehow gender linked, or age linked.

    Not so! Thoughtful young women are writing brilliantly on the topic of climate science. Here are only two.

    Joanne Nova writes at the JoNova blog ( This blog is a finalist in the 2013 “best science and technology” weblog contest. Her most recent piece is “Monckton On Tour – Slick Oil Funded Operation.”

    Donna Laframboise writes at the No Frackking Consensus blog ( Her most recent piece is “The IPCC Invites in the Activists.”

    Honest climate science scepticism is found throughout the English speaking world, and beyond, which of course includes men and women, old and young. We all share the same planet.

    Most of the your new readers today would have paid anything to attend such a debate in Oxford, England, or to invite their wives, husbands or friends to enjoy a such an open, thoughtful debate among respectful adults. But, it is a long trip from the colonies. So you are a fortunate young woman to have had the opportunity to be in Oxford.

    Thanks again for your thoughts,

    R. Wright

  23. “……the fact that there’s a 97% consensus by climate experts that climate change is going to affect us all.” Your use of this Fact-free Tripe “denies” you any and all credibility.

    “The number stems from a 2008 master’s thesis by student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Peter Doran, an associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences. The two researchers obtained their results by conducting a survey of >>10,257 Earth scientists<<. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers — in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout."

    Do some Goddamn research!

  24. Hello Tara
    Why don’t you head over to Bishop Hill? A bunch of old people are discussing the Lindzen talk? Well, not all are ‘old’.


  25. Surprisingly, this paper was never successfully published in a scientific journal due to the lack in credibility

    Problem: Following your link, it says the paper was indeed published in the scientific literature. And, a second paper. And, yes, they were rebutted, and confirmed, and rebutted again, and confirmed, and so on. Without an end to this very date.

    But I realize you have a truth of your own, and your only purpose is to “shame” those who don’t agree. I would say this is shame on you, but we can’t agree on everything, can we?

    Some look for knowledge. Some try to impose a “truth”, shaming those who try to know. They call it human society. Relax.

    Note: If you wanted to know, you would have found Lindzen’s work:

  26. A second thought. Lindzen’s Iris Effect depends on clouds. The scientist who has studied and learned more about clouds is probably Graeme Stephens. Not a “skeptic” at all. Try to look up his work. And then tell me we can say anything against (o for) Lindzen’s theory.

  27. RE: 97%: You owe it to yourself to see what many of the survey participants had to say. If you have ANY intellectual integrity, you will ignore the fact that this was posted on Watt’s site, and read it in its entirety.

  28. What absolute drivel. Your mind is made up and you do not wish to be confued by the facts!

  29. The aim was to shame the sceptic, but we just gave him a stage.

    Why was the aim to *shame* the skeptic? Why create such an elaborate setup just to deliberately humiliate and cause distress to an old man?

    I’m glad you didn’t succeed – shame on you.

  30. grammar police

    “may of”? you no write english good.

  31. Tara, I have just 3 simple questions.

    1). What is causing climate change?

    2). In the past has the climate ever stopped changing?

    3). How would you survive if all fossil fuel companies went on strike tomorrow and the strike lasted for 10 years?

  32. I may *have* played a role, surely.

    Not ‘I may *of* played a role’

  33. Tara,
    What makes you think that Professor Richard Lindzen should not be debated. He only has well over 100 publications since 1965. HOW MANY DO YOU HAVE? How many last year? The year before? Do you think you know more about climate than atmospheric Professor Richard Lindzen? If you can’t answer these simple questions then stop standing on the high ground and being so high and mighty. You are not.

  34. Look Tara, here are things I am NOT.

    Right wing, conservative, fossil fuel funded, a farmer, nuclear employee, no fossil fuel or nuclear stocks or interests. Look, I could go on and on but I think you should be getting the idea by now. All I want are facts about the effect of man’s extra co2 in the atmosphere. Nothing else. You would do well to follow the same guidance.

    By the way, when dealing with sceptics, don’t be ever fooled into thinking you are dealing with a bunch of deniers or liars. Al Gore took $100 milllion from oil funded Al Jazeera in Devember last year. You look smart, now act smart.

  35. Hi,
    Yours is an interesting take on the debate compared to what was written at the Bishop Hill blog, of which I am an ardent reader.
    I must ask, do you honestly believe there is no room for debate on this issue, an issue that has such far reaching effects, economically and otherwise, for the people of the world, especially the poor?
    And if this debate is to have any effect wouldn’t it have been better for Bob Ward to attend? At least to defend the current policies in the UK and elsewhere around the world?
    IMO, ALL debate is good on this subject. If the science is truly ‘settled’, examining it closely can only strengthen it, right?

  36. Louis Hooffstetter

    Tara, surely you’re not censoring comments?

    If you truly believe in debating the science of climate change, you’ll post all civil comments, whether you agree with them or not. I look forward to seeing my previous comment posted.

    No comments suggests no one reads your blog. I know that’s not true.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Apologies, Louis. I had no access to wifi this weekend. I am posting all comments and will respectively get back to yours after a good night’s rest.

  37. Tara, you are confusing papers and dates and stating incorrect information.

    Dr. Lindzen’s did successfully publish his Iris hypothesis in a peer-reviewed science journal, “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society” in 2001,

    Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?
    (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 82, Issue 3, pp. 417-432, March 2001)
    – Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, Arthur Y. Hou

    The NYT article you link to cites a comment on this paper but fails to include Dr. Lindzen’s rebuttal,

    * Comment on “No Evidence for Iris”
    (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 83, Issue 9, pp. 1345–1349, September 2002)
    – Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, Arthur Y. Hou

    You are confusing this with a later paper the NYT’s article also discusses, which again was published in a peer-reviewed science journal, “Geophysical Research Letters” in 2009,

    On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Number 16, August 2009)
    – Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

    This is the recent paper the NYT’s article is discussing that was criticized to which Dr. Lindzen addressed all such criticisms and again published an updated version of the paper in a peer-reviewed science journal, “Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences” in 2011.

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 377-390, August 2011)
    – Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

    Thompson Reuters (ISI) Science Citation Index lists the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences as a peer-reviewed science journal,

    Before being so sarcastic in the future please get your facts straight.

  38. Thank you for the funny post, it was great. What do you make of the 16 years of no global warming? Even Pachauri, the head of IPCC aknowledges that the warming has stopped, he says for 17 years. Again, great post keep them coming.

  39. Dear MS Spark!
    We can not have attended the same debate? Im sorry but the scearmingering about global warming is ower.Seventeen years without any warming and the CWGWt theory is completely debunked. Im sure we are both caring about the enviroment but we have to use our heads more than our feelings Lindzen is fantastic and they try hard to nail him with stupid accusations. The “denier” thing is totally idiotic and sceptics should be called ciritics of cAGW instead…

  40. Ward says that such talks as this take away from the “real” concerns. If the real concerns are socio-political, i.e. reducing consumerism, redistributing profit in a currently predatory capitalist world, reducing corporate power and manipulation of political-social structures and “sustainably” living on this planet without exterminating all non-human wildlife, I would agree. But if the real concern is the magnitude of temperature changes brought about by anthropogenically produced CO2, I disagree.

    There are three conversations going on. The first is how much temperature will rise strictly as a result of our fossil-fuel produced CO2. The second is what the impact of this will be, or at least our certainty of both temperature rise AND impact. The third is how we should respond to the threat (or non-threat) at this time. For the last few years we have been locked poltically and socially into the last conversation, as if the first two were concluded. They are not.

    Despite all the observations and computer modelling, which Scenario is going to happen is no more a certainty with any group. Hansen et al still claim that Scenario C, the complete disaster, is in the wind. Observations suggest somewhere between B and C, C being an impossible Scenario because CO2 was modelled as becoming a zero input in 2000. Regardless, not knowing whether A or C-ish is happening means that the first conversation, of how much the temperature will rise, has not been concluded.

    The second conversation, about the impact on the world, is also not concluded. As the seas are not rising as predicted, and only by adding a GIA 0.5 mm/yr (a “ghost” number, as it is taken care of by a rising land mass), the potential threat to the coastlines of the world is not yet visible. Tuvalu is not drowning, nor in any imminent threat to do so. Only in long-range models based on the unconcluded first conversation is there a sea-level problem in excess of sea-level rise from the end of the Little Ice Age. As for the climate refugees, we still don’t know if more warmth (except for a new Hell on Earth) will benefit more of the world than it will harm. In our historical past, the Medieval, the Roman and the Minoan warm periods were times of greater human and vegetative prosperity than now, though not in the restricted locations we now live in. The modelling done is very limited in this regard, and certainly not planetary in scope.

    The third conversation, what we should do, is what consumes us. And what Ward and perhaps you are concerned about. How to avoid the bad things, how to get off the fossil-fuel diet. Yet it is only in undetermined outcomes from an undetermined level of problem (temp rising) that the need to redirect our social activities arise: UNLESS ideologically those changes are deemed right and good and necessary on their own merits.

    Lindzen and others, including me, are still in the first, not just the second, conversation. As the post-LIA to 1940 warmth is, by IPCC admission, not CO2 caused, and as the 1940 to 1965 cooling is neither CO2 caused nor determined (by IPCC proof, not conjecture), we are lead to wonder just how much the temperatures have risen since 1965 due to CO2 and not “natural” reasons.

    The post-1998 slowdown/hiatus is a real blow to the IPCC simplistic view of CO2 as more powerful than nature (hence dominantly the 1975-1998 period). If nature can cool us down since 1998 (slow/stop the CO2 warming) then it is probable, not just possible, that nature had a significant part of the 1965-1998 warming (1/2 the 60-year cycle we keep hearing about). This means that CO2 has only half, perhaps, of the power that it was supposed to have, and thus the warming we might expect with doubling CO2 is more like the B- or C+. All the “damage” is now 200 years in the future, not 100. And the damage is based on the idea that neither we nor nature can adapt in the 100 year period; 200 years may not be bad.

    Even the simple concept of residence time of CO2 has not been well determined. Some say 300 years, some say less. If you put CO2 into the air too quickly, it will build up, but as it builds up it comes out faster (plant growth, chemical reactions). If the residence time is substantially less, then the removal rate will match the injection rate sooner; stability will then be established. What is the residence time of CO2? We don’t know.

    All of this goes back to the conversations. When you skip to the third one, you are assuming the bad things of the first two are established. Since the bad things only come with the magnitude, and the magnitude is in doubt, then the third conversation is ideological, not scientific. And irrelevant if the bad things ultimately are not happening. Lindzen and others like me question the evidence that bad things really are happening or will happen in the next 87 or so years. We think there is still plenty of time to determine what is happening AND we think, to-date, the evidence in the world is not there.

    Lindzen probably bored you to death because stats on an uncertain subject ARE boring. The activists were ranting because stats are irrelevant if you are in the third conversation. Or the temperature rise is not the “real” issue, as per Ward: changing our social and political system for a more humane world is the real issue.

    Change the world. Get off coal and oil. Leave the wildlife alone and reduce the human population/impact. I’m for all that. I am not for achieving that by stoking the fires of fear and guilt and anger through a distortion of any sort.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Hi Doug. Thank you for your comment. I think your right about the three conversations, the first conversation on temperature rise is definitely not concluded. I disagree with your point on having plenty of time to determine what is happening however.
      I would love to find out more information on your point:
      “If you put CO2 into the air too quickly, it will build up, but as it builds up it comes out faster (plant growth, chemical reactions).” I would be really interested in finding out more about residence of CO2 if you wouldn’t mind linking me to some sources.
      Thank you, Tara.

  41. The aim was to shame the sceptic, but we just gave him a stage.

    Really? I think you do not understand what the word debate means

  42. Tara:
    You are young and have a lot to learn. It seems you read Lindzen’s work. He is more right about the long term weather conditions than all the rest of the so called Climate Experts you defend. I have been researching this issue for quite a few years. You are in for a surprise when the weather continues to follow natural long term weather patterns like it has since this globe has had weather patterns.
    The Null Hypothesis is still valid and all the money that as been spent has not ruled out Natural weather variability as what we have experienced for the last 50, 100 10,000 years. Take your pick! History could teach you a lot about weather patterns that humanity has experienced and you should see that we have experienced some of the mildest weather patterns in the last 120,000 years. The period 8,000 to 5,000 was probably better weather wise over all, but it would not have sustained the current human population numbers. What we need is more warming to give the developing nations a chance to develop. The restrictions proposed to fight a non problem will reduce the rest of the world to living standards that were experienced during the period known as the Little Ice Age. A regression of 800 years.
    Good luck in your search for the truth! I hope you find it.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Mike, thank you so much for your humorous and interesting comment. In my search for the truth I was wondering if you could help me figure out how more warming could give developing nations a chance to develop? Would love to find out more about this.
      Cheers, Tara.

      • Tara:
        There is no sign of continued warming at this time and there has been no statistically significant warming for more than 16 years. Warming would decrease the hazards associated with colder weather, such as freezing t death and lung problems from using wood for heat. The availability for those countries to provide reliable cheep energy will advance their life style and help them develop new technologies that increase their life span, just like it did the current developed countries.
        Violent storms are created by differences in temperature and a warming world would warm by equalizing temperature differences between polar and tropical regions. Nights would become warmer as would Winters. Growing regions would expand.
        However there are more indications the globe will be cooling over the next few decades than there are indications the globe will be warming. The AMO is heading toward its cool phase. The PDO is in its cool phase and the Thermal Halene Circulation in the North Atlantic should be entering its slowing phase. All these lead to cooling, as has been seen in the geological records and written history.
        You might want to consider reading this
        or this
        Those opinions are possibly more valid than the opinions of the CAGW crowd. I do not agree there is a danger of immediate glaciation but there is a possibility the globe will continue cooling toward the next glaciation in a few thousand years.

      • Tara's eco science blog

        Thanks Mike. Do you think our warming planet is a happy accident?
        What about if the already hot regions in the world get hotter, would that not cause more drought and therefore slowing development.
        I would be so interested in finding out where you got this information, I’m sick of advocating for something that might not be true and I hope you can help me.
        If temperatures between the polar regions and the tropics equalised, would we not lose our lovely Thermalhaline Circulation which carries nutrients around the world’s oceans and our much needed winds?
        Thanks for the links and your helpful comments.

      • Tara:
        History has showed us that nature is self correcting. That can be seen it the ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. There are cores taken from the oceans and lakes that show the same thing. We are currently in the closing phases of the current interglacial and the globe has been gradually cooling for 5 to 8 thousand years, depending on which research you look at.
        Look through the archives on this site:
        I was active on that site until a few years ago.
        I forgot to answer your first question! Current weather conditions are following patterns that were established about 2 million years ago when the Isthmus of Panama was formed and blocked that path for water flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
        The THC slows and speeds up and is self regulating depending on factors that drive the currents.
        I got my information over a lot of years of reading about geology, weather, history, anthropology and other subjects related to humans and their evolution. Weather / climate is a primary driver in human advancement since the dawn of human existence.
        I imagine the conditions in a warmer world would be similar to what the dinosaurs experienced when the Arctic was more tropical. They have found fossilized tropical plants in that region. Now the tectonic activity also plays its part in long term climate as that is probably what started this Ice Age 38 Million years ago when Antarctica transitioned over the south pole and the circumpolar vortex was created. That allowed glaciation on the Antarctic continent, which lead to global cooling and the climate conditions we are experiencing. With a few other factors thrown in.
        Look for reduced extremes in weather and winds if the planet was to continue warming. I would not be concerned either way as all that takes centuries or longer. We are more apt to be harmed by volcanic activity, earthquakes or asteroids than any immediate climate change. That is not saying that extreme weather is not a concern, as extreme weather should always be a concern, but extreme weather is part of natural weather patterns. The is no evidence it is increasing in strength or frequency and these patterns follow an approximately 60 year cycle, that can be seen in the historic records.
        Good luck in your search.

      • Tara's eco science blog

        Thanks Mike, much appreciated.

      • You could also browse the archives at this web site for additional information.
        Stephen Wilde has some fairly good ideas about weather patterns.
        What many call climate, I consider long term weather patterns because there are weather patterns that last decades, hundreds of years and thousands of years. There are weather patterns that have lasted millions of years, like the ice ages.

  43. My Avatar is a flying pig! Pigs will fly before the promoters of CAGW can get the science right!

  44. “At the age of 73, Lindzen didn’t make an exceptional speaker”

    That’s an awful thing to say. Try
    “As a homosexual, xxx didn’t make an exceptional speaker”
    “Being 60kg overweight, xxx didn’t make an exceptional speaker”

  45. Hi Tara,

    Since your post is ranking so high on Google someone needs to drop in and correct some of your errors of fact. I know facts aren’t that important to you guys, but still.

    1) You write, “Surprisingly, this paper was never successfully published in a scientific journal due to the lack in credibility.” You link to a NY Times article that doesn’t support this claim. Maybe you didn’t read the NY Times article?

    The paper you are referring to was indeed published in a high-impact, peer reviewed journal:

    R.S. Lindzen, M.-D. Chou, and A.Y. Hou (2001) Does the Earth have an adaptive infrared iris? Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 82, 417-432.

    If you go to Google Scholar, you’ll find the paper is cited over 300 times – meaning it’s been discussed widely in the literature.

    Lindzen had trouble getting another paper published recently –

    Lindzen, R. S., and Y.-S. Choi (2011), On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implifications, Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 47(4), 377-390.

    This is what your NY Times article alludes to. Of course, it is published in a proper journal, and a Korean journal seems reasonable given that one of the authors is Korean.

    You’ll certainly hear more in the future about the theory.

    2) You quote Bob Ward approvingly,

    “Ward expressed his anger, via Twitter, that we were giving air time to a person who is now completely irrelevant to science and research in climate change”.

    Sorry, who is Bob Ward exactly? He’s pretty much a nobody in climate science.

    But the claim that Lindzen is now completely irrelevant to science and research? Either Ward is lying, or knows nothing. Probably a bit of both. In any case, if you look at the forthcoming IPCC AR5 report, you’ll see a number of Lindzen’s papers cited, and in the case of this one –

    Choi, Y.-S., R. S. Lindzen, C.-H. Ho, and J. Kim (2010), Space observations of cold-cloud phase change, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107, 11211-11216.

    This paper’s important findings (which imply a lower than AR4 climate sensitivity) are confirmed in the AR5 by several followup studies.

    For someone aged 73, it’s quite remarkable, really, that he goes on doing research and publishing papers, don’t you think?

    3) “The aim was to shame the sceptic, but we just gave him a stage.” You make Orwellian statements like this, confirming what every skeptic always believed – that you people want to bully and silence all dissenters – you just make yourself look very silly.

  46. Tara: please read the following link, review all 240 items, and then publicly retract your foolish comments regarding Dr. Lindzen:

  47. It’s great you’re reporting on this, that in itself is important, even if those darned climate change deniers did their best to drown out any criticisms.

  48. It is cute to see you declaring yourself not being conspiracist and mentioning that Lindzen was “paid by big oil” at the same time. Clearly, big oil paying climate scientists to disrupt battle against CO2 is not a conspiracy theory, it’s well-known fact, except nobody is allowed to talk about it and they hide all the evidence.

  49. “The aim was to shame the sceptic, but we just gave him a stage.”
    Indeed. And isnt that just the crux of the matter, Tara. You are lucky he showed up.

    The day the likes of you could shame the likes of Richard Lindzen is…. Well.. it just aint gonna happen.

  50. Thank you Tara for publishing all the comment, very many of the so called sceptics, are just deleted out of hand, at the consensus blogs, which is why their concerns are not heard, and the debate in green circles is so shallow

    I was sitting in the front row, both of us next to Josh the cartoonist. Mine was the question that Hasan did not know much about the source 97% of scientists, that it was just a soundbite..

    Someone has already linked to my Watts Up With That article, that took a good look at the MSC thesis – The Consensus on the Consensus, M Zimmermann.

    I hope you take the time to read it and form your own opinion.

    Or at least perhaps download a copy of the thesis directly, read that first, and then read my article. (£1.25, or I could email it to you)

    Mark Lynas put Lindzen into list of fossil fuel climate deniers in an article in the New Statesmen, a decade ago, creating the first hall of shame of deniers – Hi co-author (George Marshall) of that article did just that and put to Deniers – Halls of Shame onto the internet, Rising Tide and the Campaign Against Climate Change (CaCC)..

    I had lunch with Mark Last year in Brasenose College he has seen that survey, and he also said to me publicly on a blog, that Halls of Shame are shameful, and he has since stepped stepped down from the Advisory Board of the CaCC

    So perhaps the reactions you have received are really quite civil, considering to you thought the intent of the debate was to:

    ‘Shame the Sceptic’.

    If you read my article (in the comments) or in the thesis itself, you will find the authors thoughts on completion of the survey and her thesis..

    “This entire process has been an exercise in re-educating myself about the climate debate and, in the process, I can honestly say that I have heard very convincing arguments from all the different sides,

    and I think I’m actually more neutral on the issue now than I was before I started this project. There is so much gray area when you begin to mix science and politics, environmental issues and social issues, calculated rational thinking with emotions, etc.” – Magaret Zimmermann – The Consensus on the Consensus

    Margaret’s words are food for thought, perhaps?

  51. Hello,

    Confused by lots of comments regarding “boring statistics”. David Rose has already claimed that an increase in temperature is evident but is not statistically significant. That just means that the P-values attached to the increased temperature coefficient is greater than 0.05; the likelihood of the increase being the product of chance is greater than 5%.

    If the increase in temperature has a p-value of 0.10 it is deemed insignificant; but that just means that there’s only a 90% chance that the higher temperature is not a fluke. So what are the values?

    From everything I’ve read it seems like activists are not the ones dismissing statistics but the ones who seem to be bringing them to the forefront of conversation. They seem to be “ranting” that the true statistics are not scrutinized enough. Far too often findings in the sciences are dismissed because they don’t meet the Holy Grail of “P-value 0.05<=".

    Strange to think that the probability is not the thing being discussed. Tara Clarke and others argue that the stakes are too high for any increase to be dismissed as insignificant.

    Also, many of you are clearly trolls.

    • Update; I’m told I’m wrong about attaching probability values to the error here, but the point still stands. The odds that the increase in temperature is due to a type 1 error need to be discussed.

  52. “..had an agenda and that was to make loud, misconstrued statements, interrupting the debate out of turn.”

    And similar behaviour manifests itself in the comments here. Your account may have its flaws but I don’t see any need to jump down your throut. Thanks for an interesting read.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Thanks David. There is an embarrassing amount of flaws and inaccuracies due to speed blogging and ignorance. The comments have led me into some interesting reading and further research and I hope to come back with something a bit more substantial.

      It’s weird to feel honoured by the backlash. Thanks.

      • ..and in my hurry I mis-spell throat. Cue backlash!

        btw, I think Ivan is thinking on the right lines re. ‘statistical significance’. Not sure David Rose knows what it means.

  53. Tara – a comment from Bishop Hill for you to consider

    Tara, if you should drop by here – apply some of the scientific thinking you are apparently such a fan of and compare these two links:


    Who do you think might have the more scientifically valid comments on climate?

  54. “Shaming sceptics”.

    Hmmm. Shame on you Tara, shame on your closed mind.

  55. Tara, for future reference here are Dr. Lindzen’s extensive credentials,

    Richard S. Lindzen, A.B. Physics Magna Cum Laude, Harvard University (1960); S.M. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1961); Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Harvard University (1964); Research Associate in Meteorology, University of Washington (1964-1965); NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Theoretical Meteorology, University of Oslo (1965-1966); Research Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research (1966-1967); Visiting Lecturer in Meteorology, UCLA (1967); NCAR Outstanding Publication Award (1967); AMS Meisinger Award (1968); Associate Professor and Professor of Meteorology, University of Chicago (1968-1972); Summer Lecturer, NCAR Colloquium (1968, 1972, 1978); AGU Macelwane Award (1969); Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Tel Aviv University (1969); Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1970-1976); Gordon McKay Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Harvard University (1972-1983); Visiting Professor of Dynamic Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975); Lady Davis Visiting Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Hebrew University (1979); Director, Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Harvard University (1980-1983); Robert P. Burden Professor of Dynamical Meteorology, Harvard University (1982-1983); AMS Charney Award (1985); Vikram Amblal Sarabhai Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India (1985); Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (1986-1987); Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (1988-Present); Sackler Visiting Professor, Tel Aviv University (1992); Landsdowne Lecturer, University of Victoria (1993); Bernhard Haurwitz Memorial Lecturer, American Meteorological Society (1997); Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow, American Geophysical Union; Fellow, American Meteorological Society; Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters; Member, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; Member, National Academy of Sciences; ISI Highly Cited Researcher; Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1983-Present); Lead Author, IPCC (2001)

    Please note that he is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher, meaning his work is frequently cited.

    Everyone accepts your right to disagree with him just not your dismissal of his qualifications based on ad hominems.

    • Tara's eco science blog

      Thanks for that. He has done some truly great research in his field and has made fantastic discoveries, there’s no doubt there. I’m more interested in his latest research at the moment but looking forward to the rest. Thanks again.

      • Tara

        Great article.

        The fake sceptics have rather skirted around the fact that everything Lindzen (and Spencer) have published is flawed.

        Here’s an incomplete list of responses in the literature, starting with those to Lindzen’s 2001 iris paper:

        Replies to Linzen et al. (2001):

        Hartmann & Michelsen (2002)

        Lin et al. (2002)

        Harrison (2002)

        Fu et al (2002)

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2009)/Spencer & Braswell (2009):

        Trenberth et al. (2010)

        Lin et al. (2010)

        Murphy & Forster (2010)
        Paywalled, but there’s a discussion at Science of Doom here:

        Dessler (2010)

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2011)/Spencer & Braswell (2011):

        Dessler (2011)

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)

      • Tara's eco science blog

        Amazing. You’ve saved me from hours of searching, really appreciate it. So far the reading and responses from booths sides of the debate have been so interesting. Thanks again, Tara.

      • Glad to help. There’s also a Lindzen archive at Skeptical Science which might be useful if you are researching the strange and wonderful world of Prof. L.

        Have fun!

      • BBD unfortunately ignores the papers with opposing views, e.g.:

        Masters 2012

      • Tara, this is a clear example of the half-truths promoted by sites like “Skeptical Science”, since they do not provide the whole story. Dr. Lindzen has rebutted every published comment on his papers,

        Defenses of Linzen et al. (2001):

        Hartmann & Michelsen (2002) – “No Evidence for Iris”

        * Comment on “No Evidence for Iris” (PDF)
        (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 83, Issue 9, pp. 1345–1349, September 2002)
        – Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, Arthur Y. Hou

        Lin et al. (2002) – “The Iris Hypothesis: A Negative or Positive Cloud Feedback?”

        * Comments on “The Iris Hypothesis: A Negative or Positive Cloud Feedback?” (PDF)
        (Journal of Climate, Volume 15, Issue 18, pp. 2713-2715, September 2002)
        – Ming-Dah Chou, Richard S. Lindzen, Arthur Y. Hou

        Harrison (2002) – “Comments on “Does the earth have an adaptive infrared iris?”

        * Reply to Comment on “Does the Earth Have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?” (PDF)
        (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp. 598-600, April, 2002)
        – Richard S. Lindzen, Ming-Dah Chou, Arthur Y. Hou

        Fu et al. (2002) – “Tropical cirrus and water vapor: an effective Earth infrared iris feedback?”

        * Reply to: “Tropical cirrus and water vapor: an effective Earth infrared iris feedback?” (PDF)
        (Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 99-101, May 2002)
        – Ming-Dah Chou, Richard S. Lindzen, Arthur Y. Hou

        I find this sort of behavior disingenuous as I had to locate these myself when I first started researching this topic since proponents claimed they did not exist.

      • Defenses of Lindzen & Choi (2009):

        Trenberth et al. (2010), Murphy & Forster (2010), Dessler (2010)

        * On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications (PDF)
        (Submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research, February 2010)
        – Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

        On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications (PDF)
        (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 377-390, August 2011)
        – Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi

        Lin et al. (2010) – Does not even cite Lindzen & Choi (2009)

      • Another correction,

        Murphy & Forster (2010) – Also does not even cite Lindzen & Choi (2009)

        This is the sort of inaccurate information you get from people who reference unreliable websites like Skeptical Science.

      • Dessler (2011) and Trenberth et al. (2011) are not direct comments on Lindzen & Choi (2011) but focus on Spencer & Braswell (2011) to which Dr. Spencer has responded,

        Both papers simply “cite” Lindzen & Choi (2011) since a direct comment would be titled, “Comment on Lindzen & Choi (2011)” and appear in the same journal, automatically allowing Dr. Lindzen a chance to publish a rebuttal. This is a common tactic used by proponents to make it more difficult for skeptics to respond. As history has shown, Dr. Lindzen always directly addresses such criticism as seen in Lindzen & Choi (2011),

        “There were four major criticisms to Lindzen and Choi (2009): (i) incorrect computation of climate sensitivity, (ii) statistical insignificance of the results, (iii) misinterpretation of air-sea interaction in the Tropics, (iv) misuse of uncoupled atmospheric models. The present paper responds to the criticism, and corrects the earlier approach where appropriate. The earlier results are not significantly altered, and we show why these results differ from what others like Trenberth et al. (2010), and Dessler (2010) obtain.”

        You are of course free to contact Dr. Lindzen and Dr. Spencer as neither have conceded to Dessler or Trenberth’s arguments and can easily offer up rebuttals.

      • Poptech

        Little problems:

        – The references I list above did not come from SkS as you would know if you had read the SkS reference.

        – None of Lindzen’s responses adequately address the flaws in the original studies and the critiques at which they are directed stand unaffected. Advise you *read* them.

        – Note that in my original comment I said that that ‘everything Lindzen (and Spencer) had published was flawed’. I should have qualified this by adding ‘on sensitivity’, but oddly you missed that. Murphy & Foster is in the section headed:

        Replies to Lindzen & Choi (2009)/Spencer & Braswell (2009):

        See what you did there? Try reading before responding. It usually helps with the quality of the response.

        One last thing. Paleoclimate behaviour makes exactly no sense at all with a sensitivity as low as that argued by Lindzen. You wouldn’t even get deglaciation under orbital forcing. A simple proof than Dick is – and I’m being charitable here – mistaken and intellectually stubborn in equal measure.

      • L&C11 is as flawed as the rest. That’s why JGR rejected it and it ended up in a journal so marginal as to be essentially off-radar. It’s funny the way fake sceptics will defend the indefensible to the death, apparently unaware of how ridiculous this makes them look.

        Once again, replies to Lindzen & Choi (2011)/Spencer & Braswell (2011):

        Dessler (2011)

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)

      • BBD, the only problem is your half-truths.

        I never claimed the list came from SS as I specifically said “people who reference sites like Skeptical Science”, a site you frequent and directly referenced. A site that censors all dissenting opinion so people are never made aware of rebuttals such as these.

        Your declarations against Lindzen’s rebuttals are little more than hand waving exercises and meaningless. The fact that you tried to pretend they did not exist is the type of behavior people who reference Skeptical Science engage in – deception.

        I can read very well, which is why I am confused, did Roy Spencer also appear in this debate somewhere?

        Lindzen has not ignored Paleoclimate sensitivity but directly commented on it,

        “There have also been attempts to infer sensitivity from paleoclimate data (Hansen et al., 1993), but these are not really tests since the forcing is essentially unknown given major uncertainties in clouds, dust loading and other factors”

        This is why you should not read unreliable websites which censor all dissenting opinion run by cartoonists like Skeptical Science.

        The Truth about Skeptical Science

      • Pop

        You are demonstrably clueless and Lindzen is demonstrably evasive. He has *always* dodged the paleoclimate constraint on S because it invalidates his position and he knows this perfectly well.


        There have also been attempts to infer sensitivity from paleoclimate data (Hansen et al., 1993), but these are not really tests since the forcing is essentially unknown given major uncertainties in clouds, dust loading and other factors

        Hansen & Sato (2012):

        This empirical climate sensitivity [3 ± 1°C for doubled CO2] incorporates all fast response feedbacks in the real-world climate system, including changes of water vapor, clouds, aerosols, aerosol effects on clouds, and sea ice. In contrast to climate models, which can only approximate the physical processes and may exclude important processes, the empirical result includes all processes that exist in the real world – and the physics is exact.

      • BBD, try reading what Lindzen actually said not what you want to hear.

      • Pop

        The problem is, Lindzen *doesn’t* say much about the paleoclimate constraints on S.

        If you disagree, why don’t you provide relevant supporting quotes as I did above with HS12?

        Meanwhile, where did you get my name from?

  56. Tara – I don’t agree with your point of view, like lots of other commenters here. But hats off to you for publishing the comments. Best wishes

  57. Great summary of this seminar, thanks. I must commend you, too, on your good-humoured and mature responses to the myriad of patronizing and righteous comments you have received for your trouble.

  58. ‘hate mail’? Do you see any hatred in the close-to-hundred comments above?

    • I see the usual mix of paranoia, venom and ill-informed, condescending wind-baggery seasoned with delusions of victimhood and lightly fried in conservative/libertarian politics…


    • You would see such strawmen, the difference so far is the comments here unlike your stomping ground Skeptical Science have not been censored so people are free to make up their own minds as to your “claims”.

      • I don’t comment much at SkS. More silly misrepresentation. You lot really do *hate* SkS, don’t you… 😉

        The links I posted are as I describe them. Everyone is encouraged to read them and see for themselves.

        You sound exactly as described in the comment to which you are reacting. I won’t dignify what you write by calling it a response.

      • Now you are denying you comment at Skeptical Science?

        Unlike you I check these things out before making such accusations. I don’t hate anybody let alone SS, every accusation I make is fully sourced and verified. The links you posted are a booby trap for those looking to get the whole truth on Dr. Lindzen and his work. In the future please do not be so disingenuous and forget to include his detailed rebuttals.

        The only thing described in your “comment” is strawman arguments and dishonest ad hominems you picked up from your echo chambers.

      • Compare this:

        I don’t comment much at SkS.

        With this:

        Now you are denying you comment at Skeptical Science?


      • It is very easy to search for your comments at SS, Dominic, including those from the last few days.

      • How many comments at SkS in the last year then Pop?

        Go on! Tell us all!


      • Interesting, Andrew, that you have my first name to hand. Perhaps you were responsible for the hack of the SkS site?

        Others will be interested in this too. I just know it 😉

      • There is no easy way to obtain an accurate number without lots of pain of manually checking all the comments for the year for various reasons. I do know that you have been posting there since 2011 and have posted there as recently as a few days ago under the screen name “BBD”.

        I have no need to hack something when moles work better.

      • Pop

        Where did you get my name from?

        It would be *very much* in your best interests to provide a non-incriminating explanation asap.

  59. Well? CO2 rising, temps falling. Same in in the 1940s. Evidence based science, Tara? Note also more and more papers noting that earlier Holocene warm periods were a) global and b) warmer that the Late 20th C warm period.

    Were I you, I’d be finding out about solar periods, Tara. They whump the tiny effects of manmade co2 way out of the field. Another Q – if, as Phil Jones of UAE noted, we can’t model natural variability in climate, how the doodad can we model exceptions?

    You have a nice day. And above all, keep an open mind. That’s what scepticism amounts to. We aren’t heretics, pervs, holocaust deniers etc.

    Oh yes – warm is good, cold is HORRID. It takes a very small drop in temps to kick of an ice age. Do read Brian Fagan’s “The Little Ice Age” (he’s a warmer) if you want to know what it’s like – one third of the population of Northern Europe died as a result of the LIA and its side effects. On the other hand, during the holocene warm(er!) periods, civilisation thrived.

    • The Holocene Climatic Optimum was the result of precessional forcing that peaked ~9ka and waned by ~5.5ka. The general trend in Holocene temperatures has been cooling ever since. Modern warming cannot be attributed to orbital dynamics, nor to increased solar activity. This is a contrarian myth. The most likely, indeed only likely cause is increased radiative forcing from CO2.

      GHG forcing (predominantly CO2) has become increasingly dominant since the early 1960s: forcings and global average surface temperatures (5yr means; top). ‘W-M GHG’ (purple) indicates well-mixed GHGs, predominantly CO2. ‘All’ (red) is the net of all forcings. The abrupt negative excursions are pulses of stratospheric aerosols from major volcanic eruptions. Solar (yellow) can be seen to be rather less significant than is sometimes supposed. All forcings are scaled coherently.

  60. NASA weirded by the lack of solar activity… (having predicted a BIG ramp up for sp 24)

    • We can’t have a low climate sensitivity to radiative forcing (eg Lindzen; Spencer) and a high sensitivity to the solar Schwabe cycle simultaneously. Does not compute. You get both, or neither. Incidentally, the peak-to-trough variability in the Schwabe cycle is *tiny* – less than 0.2W^m2.

  61. BBD | March 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    We can’t have a low climate sensitivity to radiative forcing (eg Lindzen; Spencer) and a high sensitivity to the solar Schwabe cycle simultaneously. Does not compute. You get both, or neither.
    So you say. More please…

    • Only think about it for a moment. If S to radiative forcing from GHGs is low, as Lindzen and Spencer claim, then several very intractable problems arise.

      – the climate system will also be insensitive to slight changes in other radiative terms such as solar luminosity. But this is not the case.

      – paleoclimate behaviour becomes impossible to explain. Deglaciation under orbital forcing is an excellent example. This is a process that requires substantial positive feedbacks be entrained by high latitude seasonal variation in TSI modulated by orbital dynamics (Milankovitch). By definition, positive feedbacks dominate in a *sensitive* climate system.

      These are problems no proponent of low S to GHGs has ever explained satisfactorily.

      • The latest review of paleoclimate sensitivity was published in Nature at the end of last year (Rohling et al. 2012). This substantial analysis extends right back across the Cenozoic (65Ma – present) and essentially confirms the standard position: ECS (2xCO2) in the range 2.2K – 4.8K (IPCC AR4 gives 2K – 4.5K with a most likely value of 3K).

  62. Meanwhile, fantastic news. Enough fossil fuel for us to help the third world join the developed world. How immoral is it for us in the developed world, who owe ALL the comforts we have to fossil fuels, to deny these same comforts to the rest of the world. Indirect genocide, in reality. Add to that, as countries develop, so their birth rates fall. We all win.

    The money we have pissed away on the CAGW scam could have been put to far better use concentrating on REAL energy alternatives (NOT wind and solar – these should be local only) and on assisting the Third World. Why, we could have spent the money on helping Africa reach the huge reserves of water under the continent.

  63. By the way – do not assume that sceptics do not want to protect the environment. They just don’t like it that the environmental movement has been taken over from within. Indeed, Greenpeace founder Peter Moore left Greenpeace as a result if its takeover by left wing activists. Environmentalism is now the modern equivalent of the student Marxism I saw all around me in the 60s – full of people who believe they have the god-given right to tell others how they must live. That I will fight tooth and nail

  64. There’s almost no point dredging through peer review work since very little of it constitutes proof of anything. For every claim, there’s a counter claim as BBD and Poptech demonstrate. Most of it is just untested theory. No sceptic paper will suddenly make you say ‘aha! The consensus has been wrong all along’. Equally, no quantity of papers supporting consensus should automatically make you believe in the theory of catastrophic global warming. Peer review journals are little more than trade magazines where scientists advertise their wares. Assessment of papers is minimal and routinely fails to demand the data and code. A bias has crept into climate science, which is demonstrated in the treatment of sceptical submissions. Certain journals are applying much harder criteria to sceptic papers and since they inevitably have to be sent out to consensus peers, it has become almost impossible for a balancing viewpoint to emerge. Actually I think the efforts they go to prevent publication is fine but the same standards of rigor should be applied to consensus papers.

    There is often a call for sceptics to publish their own papers explaining temperature rises but sceptic theories are not necessary for the sceptic position to stand. Climate is complicated. How does one write a paper to prove that a mere 25 years of warming is down to thousands of little changes to the energy system of the planet rather than one big change due to CO2 or the sun? A week doesn’t seem to go by without some paper claiming that an element of the system isn’t what it was assumed to be. It might be that black carbon has more effect than was thought or that the North Atlantic current works in a different way than predicted. These papers are not being continuously built into climate models. We have been told repeatedly that CO2 overrides these things. So why are the models wrong? Like a bad magician who shouts ‘ta da!’ and nothing happens, credibility is strained each time a claim is made and then is demolished by reality doing the opposite.

    When people talk of consensus I doubt they know what that means. I’ve seen ranges for a doubling of CO2 from 0.5ºC to 9ºC and probably 98% of scientists could get behind that but is a range of 8.5ºC consensus? Personally it looks like not having a clue.

    If AGW is no big deal then it doesn’t matter how good the science is. We’ll just fritter a load of money away on vanity schemes that make everyone think we’re doing something. People will carry on consuming by importing from China because British stuff’s too expensive. The jet set environmentalists will fly off to Africa to buy native crafts and say how important it is that Africans never have coal power so that they can maintain their heritage of low environmental impact.

    If however you think a high CO2 effect is in the pipeline then you need people to know in their bones it’s true. The science can’t be made up of lies, half truths and dodgy statistics. Look at yourself and your friends. Are you living a 0.5ºC life or a 9ºC life?

  65. As fir Big Oil and sceptics, were it not for funding from Shell International, there would be no CRU at UAE. This big oil/sceptic shit is beyond infantile. Just pathetic, truly pathetic.

      • Ha ha ha. The Guardian!!! The UK’s cheerleader for CAGW, renowned for how misleading they are. E.G. Any article on Arctic ice will not mention

        1. Records are less than 35 years old.
        2. The “record” lows of 2007 & 2012 were caused by mega-Arctic storms
        3. NSIDC themselves state that summer ice measurement is far less accurate than that in the winter.

        I don’t believe a word I read in the Guardian. I used to. Then I grew up. You’ll have to do better than that – the Guardian is not a newspaper, it’s a propaganda rag for the hard left in the UK. Seamus Milne. Say no more. The Winchester educated Marxist.

      • Ha ha ha. The Guardian!!!

        You will have to do better than denialism. The reportage is factually correct, widely replicated elsewhere, and – crucially – unchallenged by Donors Trust.

        It stands. Your reply falls.

      • I’m not even going to discuss your ignorance about Arctic sea ice extent with you here. You have demonstrated a history of *changing the subject* every time you are answered on this thread.

        You have nothing, and we both know it perfectly well. Now instead of wasting further time wittering at me, why not read some of the links provided and expand your topic knowledge. Then this exchange will actually have had some purpose.

  66. Shows how desperate the deniers are if they have to shout down every dissenting opinion. Their time would be better spent in actually getting educated about AGW and learning about the Dunning-Kruger effect which seems to be strong amongst them.

  67. Jeremy clearly knows virtually nothing about the ‘ good cop’, ‘bad cop’ strategy corporations use to silence their critics. What they do is give a donation to an environmental group or university department, while providing a much larger sum to anti-environmental groups, think tanks, PR firms and the like. Its a tried and trusted strategy in the arsenal of corporate PR. At the same time, the corporation can boast of its support for an environmental NGO whilst doing everything in its power to eviscerate regulations limiting their activities.

    As for Lindzen, if he is the poster boy for the climate change denial lobby then the lobby is in deep trouble. For one thing, his research isn’t cited all that much: he nets about 300 citations a year, not bad but certainly not a total which would put a researcher amongst the ‘elite’. My published work was cited 516 times last year on the Web of Science (I am a population ecologist) and I don’t expect invites to government, media or corporate shindigs any time soon. Moreover, the climate change denial lobby has been largely depending on the same bunch of characters for the past 20 years. Lindzen, Pat Michaels, Robert Balling, the Idso clan, Willie Soon, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Sallie Baliunas and few others… in 1998 a leaked memo from the American Petroleum Institute expressed concern that the climate change denial lobby would eventually ‘lose credibility’ if they relied on the same small group of (mostly) mediocre scientists to support them. Fifteen years later, and they still rely on the same people. This should be clear evidence of how thin the ranks of qualified deniers is. If the fossil fuel lobby could ‘recruit’ a new generation of scientists, they would… but they can’t.

    Finally, given that the vast majority of senior scientists (myself included) support the theory of AGW and acknowledge the potentially serious consequences of doing nothing about it, I am constantly irritated that the corporate/state media sets up discussion programs in which they give deniers far more air time than they deserve. Essentially they are creating controversy where there is consensus, by giving the impression that the causes of GW are controversial and that the views of scientists are about equally split on the issue. If the public think the debate is contentious, then they won’t think than actions to deal with it are necessary. The climate change denial lobby knows it does not have to win the scientific debate (because it never will); it just has to give the impression that the debate is far from settled and nothing will be done to limit C02 emissions. This has been their strategy all along.

  68. Its a shame to give this idiot child the oxygen of publicity.

  69. Poptech writes: “Please note that he [Lindzen] is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher, meaning his work is frequently cited.

    See my last post above. Michael Mann’s research is currently cited at a rate of 3 times that of Lindzen, and that disparity is going to increase. Last year Mann’s research was cited almost 1,000 times on the ISI Web of Science, yet I see no end of blogs and anti-environmental groups smearing him with ad homs and the like. Mann is 25 years younger than Lindzen, with years of research in front of him: this indicates that the bonafides of him and Lindzen are going to magnify in Mann’s favor.

    Essentially, all Poptech has done is illustrate the rank hypocrisy of the denial lobby. We can smear your guy, who is one of the world’s leading climate-related researchers, but its sacrilege to criticize our guy, whose work is cited less. Moreover, after I co-reviewed Lomborg’s first book for Nature in 2001 (with Stuart Pimm), I was subjected to endless abuse from right wing think tanks and pundits. I still am… and as I said my work is cited much more than Lindzen’s as well. So much for denier ‘integrity’. It is a one way street.

    • And how many of those citations of Mann are by co-authors and friends? I have seen some of the numbers and they are not pretty.

      BTW, who brought up Mann here anyway? Oh that would be you, nice red herring.

      It is not possible for me to represent a strawman argument. I have made no claim that Mann’s work is not cited frequently by his inner circle.

      “I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year ‘reconstruction’.” – Ray Bradley, Contributing Author, IPCC (2001)

      Tara, if you are interested I suggest watching Lomborg’s documentary, “Cool It” (Netflix Streaming) so you can get a perspective of what people like Jeff Harvey try to do to anyone who disagrees with them.

  70. You know – the problem for you warmers is that the public either don’t believe you any more, or don’t care. You’ve lost the propaganda war (too shrill, too apocalyptic {Hello Hansen, Hello Ehrlich]), ant your other problem is detailed here

    But most unprepared of all were the warmists. They have been very quiet indeed, although in due course they will be telling us that this unseasonable snow is down to global warming.

    For us in the sunny North, though, this is the fifth bout of snow this season, with one session having lasted well over a week. We have not experience conditions like this for more than 20 years, and I can’t remember when we last had snow this late.

    With that, it doesn’t matter what the warmists say. They really have lost the public argument. And when the lights go out, I suspect it will be open season for greens. And the more they parade their propaganda, I guess the worse it will be for them.

  71. Out of here, but a couple of things. All that has been done in the name of “climate change” hurts the poorest the most. You need to think about that, warmers. Geoff Lean in the Telegraph the other day was banging on about 4000 deaths from pollution in the UK last year. I note he didn’t mention the 21,000+ who died of the cold. Over a million people a year in the Third World die of smoke inhalation from cooking on wood stoves each year – that doesn’t need to happen, but will happen more and more as it become increasingly difficult for the Third World to access cheap energy,

    And that’s what you warmers are doing. I hope you feel proud, in your centrally heated homes and oil based fuel cars. We might take some notice of you if you lived as you preach. But you don’t. And you won’t, will you?Because this is not about science, it is about ideology and control. And you smarmy self-righteousness and snide Ad Hominems. Shame on you.

  72. Oh, and another thing. To quote FOIA (BTW, CG3 has been released)

    We can’t pour trillions in this massive hole-digging-and-filling-up endeavor and pretend it’s not away from something and someone else.
    It’s easy for many of us in the western world to accept a tiny green inconvenience and then wallow in that righteous feeling, surrounded by our “clean” technology and energy that is only slightly more expensive if adequately subsidized.

    Those millions and billions already struggling with malnutrition, sickness, violence, illiteracy, etc. don’t have that luxury. The price of “climate protection” with its cumulative and collateral effects is bound to destroy and debilitate in great numbers, for decades and generations.

    You must all be very proud of yourselves.

  73. So much more articulate than I could be, I must point you to this article.

    which highlights what Tara and her cohorts support. A summary

    destroy millions of jobs.

    cost trillions of dollars in lost economic production.

    slow, stop, or reverse economic growth.

    reduce the standard of living for all but the elite few who are well positioned to benefit from laws that unfairly advantage them at the expense of most businesses and all consumers.

    endanger liberty by putting vast new powers over private, social, and market life in the hands of national and international governments.
    condemn the world’s poor to generations of continued misery characterized by rampant disease and premature death.

    Again – shame on you

  74. The article that Jeremy linked to is some sort of evangelical tosh. If they were truly concerned about alleviating poverty they’d pressure the west to abandon its expansionist corporate agendas that effectively aim to plunder the resources of the south for profit. Instead of citing such drivel, Jeremy, not read some of Patrick Bond or Tom Athanasiou’s latest work? Both are economists who describe in detail how the US, UK and their proxies loot the south.

  75. More C02 = more biomass?

    Utter nonsense. This stupidity has been so comprehensively debunked that few dredge it up any more. Trust our resident loony Jeremy to do it.

    Let me guess Jeremy – you aren’t a scientist. Am I correct? Of course I am! No, you are another alumnus of the Dunning-Kruger School. Well done!

    Few of my peers would write this kind of trash. My research is on plant-insect interactions and ecophysiology. Under elevated C02 other limiting nutrients – especially N and P – will be shunted from plant tissues. C is not a limiting nutrient. The consequences of increased foliar and floral C is that (1) iinsects will be forced to adjust their feeding rate to acquire sufficient N. This means many will eat more plant tissues. (2) Plants with N-based allelochemistry may well become less well-defended against pests whilst plants with C-based allelochemistry may well become more toxic. And of course some plants are already adapted to high ambient C levels whilst others aren’t. Ultimately, the effects of elevated atmospheric C on complex adaptive systems will be complex and decidedly non-linear. It just another part of the immense experiment that humans are conducting on systems that sustain human civilization.

    This ‘fertilizing’ nonsense is a pure think-tank and/or blog creation; most scientists won’t touch it with a barge pole. One thing Tara: its a shame that your blog attracts a larger than share crowd of denialists with their kindergarten-level understanding of science. I am only a recent arrival but its a shame they can’t remain in their own myopic blogs and feel confident enough to contaminate blogs where real science is being discussed.

  76. Thanks to Jeff and BBD for fighting the good fight here.

  77. BTW, just happened across an article about cutting-edge cloud research that not only gives a flavor of the sort of key work Lindzen is not doing but includes a couple of very neat animations well worth a look.

  78. Steve: thanks to you for your insightful comments as well. I don’t have that much time these days for contributing to blogs (Deltoid is the other site where I do this) as I am very busy at work with my own research, but more scientists need to counter the disinformation being spewed out by climate change deniers who are abusing science. What I have found is that comments sections in the ‘good’ blogs are being over-run by climate change deniers, whereas the ‘bad’ blogs have a habit of deleting messages from critics. This gives the impression to new visitors that there is a ground swell of support for climate change denial.

    • What I have found is that comments sections in the ‘good’ blogs are being over-run by climate change deniers, whereas the ‘bad’ blogs have a habit of deleting messages from critics. This gives the impression to new visitors that there is a ground swell of support for climate change denial.

      Really? You and I seem to frequent approximately the same blogs, Jeff, yet I can honestly say the closest thing to climate-change denial I’ve ever come across is the claim that the MWP and LIA didn’t happen.

      Other than that, and unless you know the secret handshake to some hard-core underground denier club, it appears everybody accepts that climate change is real.

  79. Jeff Harvey | March 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Reply

    ….Let me guess Jeremy – you aren’t a scientist. Am I correct? Of course I am! No, you are another alumnus of the Dunning-Kruger School. Well done!………..Few of my peers would write this kind of trash. My research is on plant-insect interactions and ecophysiology. Under elevated C02 other limiting nutrients – especially N and P – will be shunted from plant tissues. C is not a limiting nutrient………….

    Why do you feel the need to introduce yourself into what is basically a political discussion by beating people us the head with this “I’m a proper scientist – so shut up & listen, proles” crap?

    I comment quite a bit on climate blogs and I spent many years researching RF stimulated, field directed, reactive ionic/molecular gas plasmas – but, curiously, I never feel the need to ram that down people’s throats before I give a political opinion……

    ………… and don’t pretend it’s not political, in your previous rant you say:-

    If they were truly concerned about alleviating poverty they’d pressure the west to abandon its expansionist corporate agendas that effectively aim to plunder the resources of the south for profit. Instead of citing such drivel, Jeremy, not read some of Patrick Bond or Tom Athanasiou’s latest work? Both are economists who describe in detail how the US, UK and their proxies loot the south.

    So basically you’re just like so many other “scientists” who preach the climate change gospel – a left leaning academic with a chip on his shoulder trying to use his scientific credentials to push his naive marxist worldview.

    IOW – another “watermelon”.

    • Foxgoose:

      So basically you’re just like so many other “scientists” who preach the climate change gospel – a left leaning academic with a chip on his shoulder trying to use his scientific credentials to push his naive marxist worldview.

      Without passing judgement on Jeff himself, yeah, it’s impossible not to get the impression that politics precedes science for a great many climate catastrophists.

  80. Oh no.. Brad has tracked me down here from Deltoid… come on, Brad, how many of these blogs do you visit? My guess is that you spend muc h too much of your time on climate change blogs. You need to get out more – seriously.

    As with respect to climate change, you know exactly what I am referring to. Your witty remark isn’t so witty as it seems to be a stable part of the denier lexicon: climate always changes. Sure it does, but given the size (and scale) of the system, the changes currently occurring in less than a century should normally take many centuries at the very least to be manifested… we are talking about a largely deterministic system here (e.g. climate maintenance at the global scale). The problem I have encountered with most of those downplaying AGW is that they haven’t got a clue what the difference between a stochastic and a deterministic process, or in understanding the importance of scale in environmental science. People with non-scientific backgrounds, like it or not, are often not taught this fundamental concept, and thus they fall into all kinds of traps like mistaking weather and short-term climatic processes (e.g. that are stochastic) with longer term dynamics (which are deterministic). In ecology its the same: individual behavior is highly stochastic, community dynamics less so, ecosystems less so still, biomes show high degrees of determinism and the biosphere is clearly the most stable in terms of dynamics.

    The LIA and MWP occurred, but there is profound disagreement as to their geographic extent or as to their severity (most opinion leans towards modest shifts and regional rather than a global events, meaning they were more stochastic), and in any event, their extent tells us nothing about the recent warming episode which is down to us. AGW was on the agenda a full 10 years before Mann et al. published their seminal work in Nature. But in keeping with their strategy of twisting, distorting, mangling and generally abusing science to bolster a pre-determined world view, the climate change denial lobby has adopted the hockey stick as their symbol, their flagship to be attacked at every conceivable opportunity. Why is this? Think about it Brad. See if you can answer it before I do in the next paragraph.

    Had any brainwaves? The simple answer is that those downplaying or rebuking AGW know that they will never win the scientific argument. They lost that a decade or more ago. But they know that they don’t have to win the debate to retain the status quo. Their sole aim has been to sow enough doubt as to render mitigating action to deal with AGW mute. They se the hockey stick as a major symbol in support for the theory of AGW (even though the evidence, when accumulated, makes the hockey stick seem inconsequential). Thus, if it can be publicly rebuked, then the entire empirical and theoretical basis for AGW come crashing down. As it is, the deniers just need to convince the public thinks that AGW is controversial (it isn’t) and little pressure will be exerted on governments to deal with it. Friends of the Earth correctly called this ‘Lobbying for Lethargy’. Its long been a major part of the general anti-environmental handbook.

    Another important factor is that the deniers have spent a lot of time exploiting the clear uncertainties over the outcome of AGW (certainly scientists can only project the potential consequences of inaction) to the process of AGW itself. This cunning sleight of hand has been used to downplay a suite of other anthropogenic threats to the environment. How do I know? Because I have presented lectures on anti-environmentalism for the past decade and a half. I see clear corollaries between strategies used by climate change deniers and other processes including extinction rates, the consequences of losing biodiversity, wetland loss and eutrophication, the destruction of tropical forests, invasive species, various forms of pollution and other areas. In fact, many of the people attacking the science of climate changed have played, or still play a role in downplaying these other threats. In many cases these people and the processes they attack are interchangeable.

    Essentially Brad, your arguments are wafer thin. On Deltoid I have seen through pretty much everything you have written. You’ve cited some climate change deniers to support your arguments, clearly unaware that they are closely affiliated with several far right think tanks and have also been involved in other areas of environmental policy where they downplay the human fingerprint.

    Sorry to be so heavy handed, but your arguments on Deltoid are amateur and have been comprehensively debunked by just about everyone. You don’t want to believe that, so you persist. I don’t know what you expect to achieve; I gave up on your posts some time ago, especially after you cited the opinion of Indur Goklany. For me, that was the final straw.

    • Jeff:

      You’ve cited some climate change deniers to support your arguments, clearly unaware that they are closely affiliated with several far right think tanks and have also been involved in other areas of environmental policy where they downplay the human fingerprint.

      No, I never cite the work of people who deny climate change. Ever. I’m not suggesting you’re lying, Jeff—for all I know, you may sincerely, seriously, honestly, genuinely, earnestly believe that I cite people who deny climate change, but if you attempt to locate an actual example you’ll eventually be forced to recognize it was all in your mind.

      Oh no.. Brad has tracked me down here from Deltoid…

      Er, I got to this thread four days before you, Jeff. (Scroll up and see for yourself.)

      The world doesn’t begin and end with you 😉

      • I stand corrected on the tracking part, Brad, and on that I defer.

        But not on the rest of what I wrote. Science has moved on, or should have, had there not been a concerted effort on behalf of a well organized and funded lobby of climate change denial. The causes of the recent warming are pretty conclusively accepted amongst the vast majority of scientists. The consensus there is strong. The debate is over the outcome of doing nothing, and here many scientists are adopting the precautionary principle on the account of realizing that inaction could have serious consequences for our ecological life-support systems. Those downplaying this I believe have a strong vested interest to do so, given what is at stake.

        This is precisely where my scientific background kicks in, and where many, perhaps most of the scientific deniers don’t have a clue. I’ll ask you a question Brad: what do you understand about the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning? About the concept known as ‘ecosystem services’? About ecological subsidies? About the relationship between biodiversity and human well-being?

        I am not going to explain it here because I leave the ball in your court. In my experience, most of the general public either side of the GW debate often don’t link GW effects with natural systems. Sure, they can opine about some simple forms of entropy, including an increase in the incidence of extreme weather and climate events, but that is where it ends. The you have the deniers who contribute to web sites (e.g. Foxgoose, Jeremy etc) on this thread who are effectively scientifically illiterate and cannot help but wear their far right/libertarian hearts on their sleeves, and who see climate change science as some sort of communist conspiracy. These people are not worth the time of day, and should be ignored. The sad thing is that they feel confident enough for some bizarre reason to write into blogs with their incredibly vacuous take on science. But in the end their political biases bleed through.

        But go on Brad, have a go. Tell me what rapid climate change might mean for nature and for the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystems functioning, and how that could rebound on human civilization. I am interested.

  81. Foxgoose stoops to the ‘ watermelon’ analogy. *Sigh*.

    He/she is upset that I exposed Jeremy’s lack of scientific bonafides, especially the C02 = more biomass nonsense. This is because – you guessed it – Foxgoose is another non-scientist with a kindergarten-level understanding of the field. So out comes the ‘watermelon’ gibberish.

    FYI foxgoose, I was also exposing the false hypocrisy of people like Jeremy (and you, by association), who always pull out these tear-jerking arguments arguing that that dealing with climate warming will cost trillions and will impoverish the poor in the south, so the money would be better spent on other things like sanitation and food aid. This is the same nonsensical argument made by Bjorn Lomborg. But when challenged over western corporate policies, wealth repatriation, the ‘Washington Consensus’, free-market absolutism and the trillions spent by our governments waging resource and expansionist wars, knuckleheads like you and Jeremy suddenly go silent. The money to eradicate poverty is there and has been all along but the will isn’t. The poor have never been a priority when it comes to the agendas of the rich and powerful. There’s ample evidence that for years the main aims of western corporate/state planners have been to ensure capital and resource flows from the poor, underdeveloped south to the rich north. Kennan wrote about it in 1948 and again (just before he died) in 2005; Kissinger’s infamous Memo 200 laid out western policy agendas bare in 1975. Nothing has changed.

    So grow up and learn a little about the way the world works before wading in here again with your willful ignorance.

  82. Jeff Harvey | March 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Reply

    Foxgoose stoops to the ‘ watermelon’ analogy. *Sigh*.

    ……….. But when challenged over western corporate policies, wealth repatriation, the ‘Washington Consensus’, free-market absolutism and the trillions spent by our governments waging resource and expansionist wars, knuckleheads like you and Jeremy suddenly go silent. The money to eradicate poverty is there and has been all along but the will isn’t. The poor have never been a priority when it comes to the agendas of the rich and powerful. There’s ample evidence that for years the main aims of western corporate/state planners have been to ensure capital and resource flows from the poor, underdeveloped south to the rich north. Kennan wrote about it in 1948 and again (just before he died) in 2005; Kissinger’s infamous Memo 200 laid out western policy agendas bare in 1975. Nothing has changed.

    So grow up and learn a little about the way the world works before wading in here again with your willful ignorance……….

    Please carry on Jeff …………. you’re the best example yet of why sane people are spotting the real political agenda behind “climate science” and walking away from it.

    Remind me – what share of the vote did the Socialist Worker’s Party get in our last general election?

  83. Foxgoose again has to dig out some b* about the socialism, and yet hasn’t answered a single point I made. Care to debate me over the silly more C02 = more biomass assertion? Or to challenge the point I made in my last post? Of course not; in both cases Foxgoose has no arguments. Only smears. Get a life, sweetheart.

  84. Large scale nursery flower growers will pump up CO2 to 1000ppm to make their flowers grow bigger and faster. co2 is plant food. So, more c02 more biomass. It’s really quite a simple equation. Get down to 250ppm and we are in big big trouble.

    Do watch the video. And do try to watch it with an open mind eh? If you can.

  85. Knucklehead. I love. Actually, I have a BA from Oxford University, but never mind. You warmers do so love the Ad Homs don’t you – in fact, I’ll tell you a story. Some years back, I believed in AGW. Then I started to notice the language being used against people who dissented. The analogies to holocaust deniers. (Yes, you, Monbiot), the sheer NASTINESS.

    So I decided to dog into it. Do some reading, including academic texts on climate, by H Lamb, for example (who was later to regret hugely the successor he appointed to his post at UAE). The conclusion I came to was that man made co2 has added some (much welcome) warming, but the frenzy had another, hidden purpose altogether – the raising of vast sums of money for big corporations (as it is doing), for the likes of Al Gore (who has made millions from AGW, and has just sold his TV station to oil-funded Al Jazeera) but above all, for the purpose of control. So climate/environment has, in just the same way as the diversity and equality industries created by and beloved by the Left, have generated and are generating reams and reams of legislation and regulation which all take money off us, restrain us, and destroy our freedoms.

    I assume you are all familiar with the early Club of Rome declarations? Well, they weren’t kidding. How can I do other than oppose those who wish to take away my freedom? The fall of the Berlin Wall now, 25 years on, has the Russians pissing themselves as they watch us recreate, in the EU, their failed centrally controlled system. As would I, were I them. They are right.

    Knucklehead. Dear me. Can’t you do better than that?

  86. “Tell me what rapid climate change might mean for nature”

    What rapid climate change? Though, yes, the planet has experienced rapid climate change in the past, both to hot and cold – and here we all are still. The hubris of the warmers is to believe that we can control the planet. Indeed, that is the hubris of the rationalist, reductionist and mechanical belief that we know everything, and that science can account for everything.

    A question for you warmers. Popper’s “null hypothesis” is regarded as a benchmark for new scientific theories. But not by warmer climate scientists


    Answer – because they CANNOT prove that what we are experiencing now is down to anything other than the natural variability of the planet’s climate.

    Me? I’m happy to hang with Popper and Feinmann. You can hang with Mann, Hansen & Ehrlich. The latter two have been predicting ecoapocalypse since I was in nappies it seems, but none of their predictions, or indeed, those of others have their ilk, have come to pass, have they? Have they? It’s a busted flush, and as I noted above – nobody believes you any more.

  87. “The common enemy of humanity is man.
    In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
    with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
    water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
    dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
    changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
    The real enemy then, is humanity itself.

    – Club of Rome

    The real enemy is in fact the profoundly misanthropic Green Movement,

  88. Jeremy 99: Its a neck and neck race who is more profoundly ignorant with respect to science; you or foxgoose. Let’s call it a tie.

    I reiterate what I said earlier: you clearly are NO scientist. You do not understand the concept of natural variability in terms of scale. Most scientists understand that the rate of temperature rise occurring for a largely deterministic system is well beyond any kind of natural variability. The loss of Arctic ice that has occurred seasonally since 1979 is staggering: far beyond the rate of change that would occur under any kind of ‘natural variability’. I can see why my colleagues get exasperated at the anti-environmental loonies out there. You fit the bill. Moreover, I am sick and tired of lay-idiots (ab)using the name of Feynman as if he would support their cause. The man has been dead since 1988. I can assure you that, were he alive, he would distance himself from dolts like you in an instant. I also don’t know what the Club of Rome has to do with the current environmental predicament. Every natural indicator is in decline. Every single one. We can be thankful that natural systems have thus far been resilient enought o withstand their profound simplification. But there is no guarantee that these systems will continue to freely deliver the services upon which human civilization rests if we continue on the same trajectory. Already the planet has a reduced capacity to support man. Heck, I lecture on the subject. Its a travestly that scientifically illiterate dimwits who can’t tell a cricket from a giraffe misquote scientists, abuse data and don’t understand fundamental concepts in environmental science. I’d love to stand in front of an audience at the British Ecological Society annual symposium one year and have a panel of people like you attempt to ‘debate’me and a few colleagues. It would be the ultimate demolition.

  89. On funding … hey. that’s democracy for you. Shit, isn’t it. Regardless, the sums are a drop in the ocean compared with those going to the warmer side. Still, if getting hairy about it floats your boat, who am I to stop you.

    To précis. So what?


    Why do you persist in making an arse of yourself? Why? You have a BA at Oxford. So what. A BA is not a PhD in science, and I get the distinct impression that you have 0 peer reviewed papers in 0 scientific journals. In science terms, your views are those of a knucklehead. Your views on C02 enrichment are gumbified. Get my drift?

  91. I see Marcott’s falling to pieces already. Shame. Apparently his PhD thesis. on which the paper is based had no hockey stick upturn. And then! Lo and behold! The ghost of Michael Mann arose. Marcott does at lease confirm it was warmer during the earlier Holocene Warming Periods.

    This is an interesting read though

    It’s the sun, stupid…

    • … and just to drive home my last point, poor dumb old Jeremy then cites another denier blog to argue that the sun is driving the recent warming. And who is involved in this latest farce? The same band of Dutch deniers I’ve encountered here in Holland several times before. They are going to write up this trash in E & E, a contrarian journal with a non-existant impact factor…

      Again, our pathetic Oxford BA guy still cannot cite the primary literature. Its right wing blogs all the way…

      Oh! The mind boggles…

    • No it isn’t. And this is the second time this has been demonstrated to you on this thread, which is once too often.

      GHG forcing (predominantly CO2) has become increasingly dominant since the early 1960s: forcings and global average surface temperatures (5yr means; top). ‘W-M GHG’ (purple) indicates well-mixed GHGs, predominantly CO2. ‘All’ (red) is the net of all forcings. The abrupt negative excursions are pulses of stratospheric aerosols from major volcanic eruptions. Solar (yellow) can be seen to be rather less significant than is sometimes supposed.

      If we *arbitrarily* scale up the solar curve to examine long-term variability what appears is a divergence from GAT beginning in the 1980s.

      Why are you repeating debunked points like this?

  92. .. and who does Jeremy cite for his b*? The peer-reviewed literature? No! Matt Ridley writing in a loony blog.

    I think for most of you the term is ’nuff said’. Not for Jeremy, who clearly doesn’t read the primary literature. Gosh, why oh why should I bother with these cretins?

  93. Highlights so far from CG3

    Update5: Mike Mann rages and releases the attack dogs Monbiot, Romm, Media Matters and others in response to a perfectly valid and polite inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, suggesting a smear before the reporter even write the story.

    Update6: From, who spotted this exchange: Wigley accuses IPCC and lead authors of ‘dishonest presentations of model results’; Accuses Mann of deception; Mann admits.

  94. Harvey,

    Well I never, another ad hom, is that all you fuckwits have? Did you watch the video? Do you need a chisel crack open your locked down mind? The data is all from internationally recognised sources, but you, you dimwit, choose to ignore the message and shoot the messenger.

    No wonder the warmers are losing. You’re dumb, prejudiced and rude. Get a life, shithead.

    Now you’ve got me angry.

  95. Fun to mix it again. For a while anyway. The good thing is that you those slagging me off simply confirm what I have already noted about the bulk of warmers I come into contact with. The bottom line is that in reality, you are really very unpleasant human beings. That’s how you behave, anyway. Politeness costs nothing. I’m guessing the ruder amongst you are Yanks. Whilst often courteous to a T, you can also be a bunch of grunts who shouldn’t be let out of your homeland. Not in polite society anyway.

    • Ad hominem!


      This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about being correct. You, for example, are serially wrong, as I and others have pointed out here (btw, there’s a response to your repetition of the ‘it’s the sun’ tripe in link-triggered moderation as I write).

      One other thing. Mann is not a proxy for the science of physical climatology. The personalise-and-demonise tactic is a classic example of misdirection and false equivalence. As such, whenever contrarians start huffing and puffing about Mann I stop reading.

      May I remind you that in the extremely unlikely event that there was a global, synchronous ‘MWP’ as warm or warmer than the present, the implications for climate sensitivity are profound and troubling: there is no evidence from the isotopic archives that there was a large change in TSI. This is suggestive of a very high value for S; extreme sensitivity to radiative forcing. Woo.

      ‘MWP’ fans need to be careful what you wish for 😉

  96. If you are not aware of it already, I strongly suggest that you investigate a phrase Lenin was fond of, being “useful idiots”. Why? Because he was talking about people like you. And which is why you’ll oh so rarely find a Climate Jihadi who isn’t a Lefty; despite the clear evidence of history, socialism/communism/collectivism, call it what you will, does NOT work. It achieves equality by impoverishing everyone. Bar the elite, of course. If that’s the sort of work you feel fit to be done, then more fools all of your.


    Emails about your hero. St. Michael of the Hockey Stick. Some of his colleagues are not too enamoured of him.

    From: Ed Cook
    To: Keith Briffa
    Subject: Re: Esper et al. and Mike Mann
    Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 13:20:40 -0400

    Hi Keith,

    Of course, I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in
    Mike’s recon, particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your
    response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his
    letter. It would be too aggravating. The only way to deal with this
    whole issue is to show in a detailed study that his estimates are
    clearly deficient in multi-centennial power, something that you
    actually did in your Perspectives piece, even if it was not clearly
    stated because of editorial cuts. It is puzzling to me that a guy as
    bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit
    more objectively.


    >I have just read this lettter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to
    >death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical
    >area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature
    >representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of
    >regressing these data again any other “target” series , such as the
    >increasing trend of self-opinionated verbage he has produced over
    >the last few years , and … (better say no more)

    Dr. Edward R. Cook
    Doherty Senior Scholar
    Tree-Ring Laboratory
    Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
    Palisades, New York 10964 USA
    Email: REDACTED


    Indeed, a warmer dendrologist from a UK university I had a long and enjoyable discussion with described Mann as a “raging ego”. Shame. I thought he was meant to be a scientist. Anyway, he spends all his time on Facebook these days, and the last I heard was still advertising himself as a Nobel Peace Laureate, despite being asked not to by the Nobel Prize Committee.

  98. On a roll, but I must make this the last today. Supper to cook, and you guys will need time to work up some good insults.

    So I’ll leave you with this thought.

    Is it not odd that climate science is the only scientific discipline in which the results from computer models takes precedence over real world data? `

    And this question.

    Why can nobody tell me, if we are so sure that the planet is warming and too much, that means we must know that the planet’s optimum mean temperature is. Why, then, can nobody tell me what it is?

    • Is it not odd that climate science is the only scientific discipline in which the results from computer models takes precedence over real world data?

      And don’t forget, it’s the only scientific discipline in 250 years in which consensus is considered an argument.

  99. Really, really, sorry

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, them they fight you, then you win”

    Ghandi. What a dude.

  100. I’ve got old Jeremy in a tantrum. My heart bleed for him.

    Jeremy, some advice: you have about as much scientific acumen as an ameoba. You write as if a BA at Oxford confers some kind of scientific wisdom. It doesn’t. Every one of your stupid assertions has no empirical support, and your arguments rely on right wing think tanks and blogs. The latest is Junk Before that it was another denier site and Matt Ridley’s blog. Ever pick up a scientific journal Jeremy? Ever look through the Web of Science? Or are blogs it?

    Also, I am certainly unpleasant to dipsticks like you who parade their ignorance on blogs. As it turns out, I get along with the vast majority of people just fine. But those who espouse the kind of spew that you do – and who try and keep the stone-cold stupidity of that farce known as climategate alive – deserve little respect. Part of the reason for your anger is that your ignorance of an important aspect of plant science – abiotic effects on plant growth and fitness – has been caught out by someone whose research involves plants. I guess you were hoping that the only people who read the trash you write here know even less than you do. Sorry to spoil your party, dude. If you want to debate with me about plant ecophysiology, then get ready to be shellacked.

  101. Here’s Mr. Polite Jeremy in action earlier in this thread:

    “Seamus Milne. Say no more. The Winchester educated Marxist”

    No smear there. No ad hom. The hypocrisy is rank.

    And then he smears Mann, like most of the denier web sites he likes do with impunity.

    POT. KETTLE. BLACK. Yes, people like Milloy and Morano, who Jeremy no doubt cheerleads for, are among the most despicable and rudest people on blogs.

  102. Fill your boots here, lots of emails from CG3. They stink of corruption. Game’s over kids. You lost.

    • So let me get this straight: some stolen emails invalidate a fundamental chunk of established physics and overturn everything we know about paleoclimate behaviour*? Is that right?


      This sort of thing is… rather sad.

      *MBH98/99 are *footnotes* in the field of paleoclimate studies.

  103. Asking questions are truly fastidious thing if you are not
    understanding something entirely, however this paragraph
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