Delusion central

Australians and others who were happy to be included on Senator James Inhofe’s list (PDF, may need converting) of “scientists” whose “work” contradicts the mainstream view on anthropogenic global warming (scare quotes deliberate) may be interested to know that Inhofe has now emerged as a Birther, or at least a fellow traveller. Of course, Inhofe is also a young earth creationist, and his list includes people like creationist weathercaster Chris Allen who has no more (and no less) relevant qualifications than most of the Australians on Inhofe’s list.

It’s sad to see people with distinguished careers like those of Don Aitkin and Ian Plimer ending up supporting lunatic conspiracy theorists like Inhofe. But the whole basis of climate science delusionism is a conspiracy theory. It’s only by invoking a conspiracy among mainstream climate scientists that delusionists can argue that any attention should be paid to the views of a minority so tiny that even a list of 650 has to be padded out with economists, retired historians, weathercasters and lots of cranks: the number of active, regularly publishing climate scientists on the list is in the single digits.

169 thoughts on “Delusion central

  1. @Pedro


    Another denier canard. The Mann “Hockey Stick” was not ‘fabricated’. It is still used in the latest IPCC assessment reports.

    For a discussion of this issue, see here.

  2. JQ, you are a master of the baseless personal attack. Keeping away from the science, as you do, is hardly a convincing way to bolster your argument.

    The IPCC have been caught out time and again in falsifying the science in their so called Summaries. Remember the XStrata case, where the Judge pointed out that the assertions of the Fourth Summary were disproved by the very science set out and attached to the document, asserted to be the scientific proof?

    How about former lead author Kenneth Trenbath, who unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his name from an asserted opinion of his which was tampered with by the IPCC, before being included in the Summary?

    In December 2007, when the globe had already been cooling for 5 years,and had not warmed for 9 years, Ban Ki Moon made an impassioned speech in Bali, about global warming, based on 2003 IPCC predictions, already proved wrong, to warn us of the consequences of not taking action to limit emissions of a beneficial gas falsely charcterised as causing global warming.

    Global warming ceased in 1998. Even the warmist RealClimate acknowledges that, although it refers to a “pause”. A “halt” is more than it can bring itself to acknowledge, but 11 years seems like a halt, to anyone reasonable.

    How about dealing with some realities JQ, before you go back to sliming realists.

  3. Tell me Jock Lenehan, are you suggesting Dr. Naomi Oreskes findings of 100% general scientific consensus of 928 peer-reviewed climate studies published between 1993 and 2003 is bulldust?

  4. If you’re a scientist, Jock, maybe you can point us to your publications.

    If not, perhaps you can explain why your bogus talking points, recycled cherrypicking and so on should be preferred to the judgement of actual scientists, which is what I rely on, rather than “arguing the science” with uninformed ideologues and cranks.

    Judging by your misspelling of his last name and mistake on his first, I don’t imagine you actually know anything about Kevin Trenberth, but he is not a “former lead author”, and he is a strong supporter of the mainstream viewpoint. He was a lead author of the most recent IPCC report and will very probably be a lead author on the next one. Here’s his website

  5. @Jock Lenehan

    Global warming ceased in 1998

    {sigh} …. Look here or here for a response to this oft-repeated talking point.

    For the record, RealClimate does not say that global warming paused in 1998. This is simply a flat lie. Here’s a sample of what they actually say, which Jock doesn’t of course quote:

    John Tierney and Roger Pielke Jr. have recently discussed attempts to validate (or falsify) IPCC projections of global temperature change over the period 2000-2007. Others have attempted to show that last year’s numbers imply that ‘Global Warming has stopped’ or that it is ‘taking a break’ (Uli Kulke, Die Welt)). However, as most of our readers will realise, these comparisons are flawed since they basically compare long term climate change to short term weather variability.Schmidt & Rahmstorf, Jan. 1998

    You anti-mitigation activists are without scruple when making claims.

  6. So, Jock, science should be determined by judges now? (Not that the judge said what you said he said…) I thought you denialists objected to the outcome of science should be determined by government or ex-government figures. Please feel free to say something about Al Gore being fat at this point, and Hansen threatening to lock you up.

  7. Well JQ – you did label this post “Delusion central”. Perhaps you could have called it Delusion Central Railway and we then could point the delusionists to the nearest train leaving the real world.

  8. Um Fran, the Hockey (Hokey?) Stick is a statistical analysis. It went before a panel of eminent statitsticians who said:

    “Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and
    that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.”

    I don’t know if RealClimate is the place to find objective reporting on the issue when the same panel said:

    “It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely
    heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical
    community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results
    was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much
    reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent.”

    The thing is, people should keep an open mind. The science is not settled either way. It is not even largely settled and the truth of that is becoming more not less apparent. Who is delusional, the sceptics or the people who day the globan warming has been accelerating? Especially when you see leading climatologists (yes, not economists) saying things like:

    ““Here is what I propose to Real Climate in an attempt to move to a constructive dialog. I request that they answer these questions:

    1. Using the upper ocean heat data from 2004 to the present, what is the Real Climate best estimate of the accumulation of heat in Joules?

    2. Using that value of heat accumulation, what is the diagnosed global average radiative imbalance over the time period? How does this compare with Jim Hansen’s value of an imbalance of 0.85 W/m2 for the end of the 1990s?”

    I said I would update you on their response.

    They, including Gavin Schmidt, have ignored this request for a scientific dialog.

    This, by itself, illustrates to all of us yet again that Real Climate (including Gavin) is not a useful inclusive resource if one wants to read about the scientifically supported views on the current issues in climate science.

    Real Climate and Gavin clearly find the above questions “uncomfortable” as their answers, no matter how they might seek to spin them, would invariably document that we know less about the climate system than they claim. That they are seeking to spin the lack of recent warming is clearly evident from their recent guest weblog by Kyle Swanson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, whose implication is effectively summarized at Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog.”

  9. Oops

    “Who is delusional, the sceptics or the people who say that global warming has been accelerating?”

  10. JQ, In the light of subsequent comments by Tony G, pedro, et al, I retract my comment regarding the choice of the heading for this thread. I assumed it is obvious to ‘everybody’ that no conclusions about the subject matter of AGW and CO2 emissions can be drawn from Senator James Inhofe’s list (no signatures, ..). In the tradition of a sceptic, I now conclude that my assumption was wrong.

  11. Pedro, who let you out of the den, go back and hibernate for the rest of winter for the science is settled when it comes to climate change albeit for the few delusionary sceptics who like to conjure up fairytales.

  12. James @ 32 said; “then STFU and go back to school”; and then @44 he said

    As has been pointed out, the experiments showing CO2’s ability to trap heat were first published in 1859 and have been verified many times since…

    Who has to go back to school?

    In physics and thermodynamics, heat is the process of energy transfer from one body or system to another due to a difference in temperature.
    So this thermal energy has to be actually be in the process of movement between one body and another to be technically called ‘heat’.

    So you can’t trap ‘heat’? Clown, so STFU!

    Carbon dioxide doesn’t act like a net that “traps” energy in the atmosphere. Instead, it (along with the other greenhouse gases) changes the layer of the atmosphere that energy is able to move to space to a colder layer. Probably that sounds bonkers, especially since it is contrary to pretty much every simple physics explanation you’re likely to find. But stick with me and I’ll try and explain it.

    Earth’s atmosphere doesn’t act as a single unit, but is made up of hundreds of different layers. Some of the energy radiated from Earth’s surface is absorbed by the greenhouse gases in each of these layers. The energy is then re-radiated in a random direction, but on average we can say that the energy is moving “up” or “down.” The atmosphere gets thinner as you go higher, so eventually the radiation will reach a layer high enough and thin enough to escape to space.

    If you increase the concentration of a greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere, the thin upper layers will become more opaque and thus absorb more of the outgoing terrestrial energy; therefore the place where the majority of the energy finally escapes moves to a higher level. These higher levels are much colder, and so they do not radiate heat so well. Thus the rate that radiation escapes to space is lower, and the planet will take in more than it radiates. As the higher levels emit some of the excess downwards, the lower levels will warm all the way down to the surface.

    The imbalance will remain until the higher levels get hot enough to radiate as much energy back out as the planet is receiving.

    And there you have it folks the AGW esoteric cult’s explanation of how CO2 warms the atmosphere. It is understood well enough to be modelled in a computer and spruiked as proved by the AGW esoteric cult. Yet the cult offer no repeatable real world experiment, that quantifies the variation in heat flux for different and varying quantities of CO2. Considering the variation in CO2 is measured in the parts per million any scale or size of experiment would suffice..

    To the rest of you who had a go at me; you would not have to shoot the messenger if you could come up with a falsification to justify your theory.

  13. Tony G, why don’t you submit your findings to Nature/Science and await the Nobel prize you so richly deserve. Or is the scientific world not ready for your brilliance yet? They laughed at Galileo after all.

  14. Same can be said for Einstein, it took 16 years for the scientific world to accept that radiant energy is quantized.

  15. Tony G:

    In physics and thermodynamics, heat is the process of energy transfer from one body or system to another due to a difference in temperature.

    No, that’s heatING, not heat. Don’t give up your day job Tony. Science is not your forte.

    Same can be said for Einstein, it took 16 years for the scientific world to accept that radiant energy is quantized.

    Congratulations Tony. Which journal is your paper published in? A minor point, the scientific world actually took 14 years to accept Einstein’s work with Millikan’s experiments. However, similarly to Einstein, we can expect Tony to receive his Nobel prize in 2025.

  16. Chris, I never said science was, but it is definitly not yours.

    If you have a problem with the definition of ‘heat’ take it up with Schroeder, Daniel V. (2000). An introduction to thermal physics
    “Heat is defined as any spontaneous flow of energy from one object to another, caused by a difference in temperature between the objects.”

    They don’t seem to be saying heatING is defined as any spontaneous flow….?

    Chris, I am not proposing to change the modus operandi of the world based on my misguided knowledge of science, you are.

  17. Tony, I apologise for comparing you to that bungler Galileo. Einstein is much more appropriate. Since the journals and their stuffy old referees will probably refuse to publish your new Unified Theory of Everything, let me offer this blog as a platform.

  18. So Tony G claims that nothing can be said to possess heat energy, or therefore a temperature, unless it is in contact with something else. One could make a sort of subjectivist/Machian argument to that effect, I suppose, a sort of “if a denialist fails on the internet, and no-one pays any attention, do they really exist” sort of case…
    Finally a specific claim: no-one has quantified the changes in energy flux resulting from changes in the concentration of CO2. That’s easily disproven.
    Start with: Tyndall, John (1873). “Further Researches on the Absorption and Radiation of Heat by Gaseous Matter (1862).” In Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat pp. 69-121. New York: Appleton,
    and go on to: Plass, G.N. (1956a). “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change.” Tellus 8: 140-54

  19. Gee, who are the real denialists. Is this bit of the furore setted:

    “In January, 2005, Landsea withdrew from his participation in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Landsea claimed the IPCC had become politicized and the leadership ignored his concerns.[2] Landsea does not believe that global warming has a strong influence on hurricanes: “global warming might be enhancing hurricane winds, but only by 1 percent or 2 percent”.

    “In an interview on PBS, Christopher Landsea said “we certainly see substantial warming in the ocean and atmosphere over the last several decades on the order of a degree Fahrenheit, and I have no doubt a portion of that, at least, is due to greenhouse warming. The question is whether we’re seeing any real increases in the hurricane activity.” He went on to say “with the Atlantic hurricanes in particular, they’re due to changes both in the ocean as well as the atmosphere. Just changing the ocean where it’s a little bit warmer isn’t sufficient.” As for climate change affecting hurricane strength, Landsea said that global warming theories and numerical modeling suggest only that “hurricanes like Katrina and Rita may have been stronger due to global warming but maybe by one or two miles per hour.”

  20. Hmm. Reading the primary source material (i.e. Dr Landsea’s open letter announcing his decision to withdraw from the AR4 process, and the AR4 itself), it appears that Dr Landsea decided to withdraw from the AR4 drafting process because he disagreed with some statements made by Dr Trenberth, one of the coordinating lead authors of the WG1 chapter on Observations of Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, at a press conference.

    Dr Landsea felt that Dr Trenberth’s statements exaggerated the impact of AGW on hurricane activity, and that the other lead authors didn’t adequately censure him – when Dr Landsea raised it with them, they noted that Dr Trenberth was speaking as an individual, not on behalf of the IPCC.

    The relevant chapter of the IPCC does not actually appear to contain findings which greatly contradict Dr Landsea’s view. While it contains information relating to the findings of some scientists that the intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes has increased, it also expressly notes that Dr Landsea and others have critiqued some of these findings. It also has a considerable discussion of the non-AGW influences and climatic variations which affect storm and hurricane intensity, as well as as section devoted to a caution regarding the difference between perceptions of increased storm activity caused by increased media coverage, and actual data indicating increased intensity. On the whole, the discussion in the Chapter contains no indication whatsoever of ‘alarmist’ or unfounded claims. This suggests that Dr Landsea’s concerns may have been premature or overblown.

    It’s also worth noting that Dr Landsea’s statement in the quote provided by Pedro clearly indicates that he is not a ‘climate skeptic’.

    Nothing to see here, move on.

  21. Tony G:

    In physics and thermodynamics, heat is the process of energy transfer from one body or system to another due to a difference in temperature.
    So this thermal energy has to be actually be in the process of movement between one body and another to be technically called ‘heat’.

    That definition is not the only one and as such it doesn’t necessarily mean that heat must be moving from one body to another e.g. from Clark, John, O.E. (2004). The Essential Dictionary of Science:

    Heat is a form of energy possessed by a substance by virtue of the vibrational movement, i.e. kinetic energy, of its molecules or atoms.

    The greenhouse effect in CO2 includes CO2 molecules gaining heat in the form of kinetic energy from electromagnetic radiation.

    If you increase the concentration of a greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere, the thin upper layers will become more opaque and thus absorb more of the outgoing terrestrial energy

    Tony, Tony, Tony. You’re falling prey to the greatest conspiracy of all time. Carbon dioxide does not absorb outgoing terrestrial energy. You should know better than anyone that that false measurement was faked 150 years and the conspiracy to cover up that fake has continued ever since. As you keep reminding us, no one comes up with a fact to prove that isn’t true.

  22. Tony G, et al,

    Here is an example of a credible article written for non-scientists or non-specialists. It is credible because the scientists in relevant specialisations have written the article and put their names to it.

    Quotes, actual or fictitious, selected by so-called ‘communicators’, sometimes called the ‘public relations machinery’ or ‘media managers’, and lately also ‘weasel word merchants’ are a waste of time. These people fool themselves because they wrongly assume the public is as silly as required for their methods.

  23. Tim, seeing delusion is the topic, lets see if we can find some.

    First, surely you won’t deny that substantial increases in strength and frequency of tropical storms is one of the big horror stories of AGW. Landsea said that is bunk in his expert opinion. Nothing to see there?

    Second, Landsea said that he thinks AGW is a factor in sea temp increases. Did he say how much of a factor? No, I didn’t think so, but you still say he is not a sceptic. One of the more famous sceptics in Steve McIntire from Climate Audit referenced earlier, yet he also believes in AGW, just no so much as some people.

  24. Chris, one of the fundamentals of a thermodynamic system, heat [Q] can be introduced or transmitted through to produce work. So I dont know what kind of a system Clark is on about?
    Other people are confused about whether heat is energy being transferred or the energy transfer?

    In the context of the laws of thermodynamics, and thermodynamic processes, it is reasonably clear what heat is; the energy that is moving across the system boundary = heat.

    So Chris, it fact it does absorb outgoing terrestrial ENREGY, but it does not absorb HEAT.

    A greenhouse is an example of a closed system exchanging ‘heat’, so if your understanding is that heat ‘doesn’t move’ there is not much left of your AGW theory.

  25. Ernestine, thanks, the scientists’ message is pretty bluntly stated. Guess they are fed up with being ridiculed by a selection section of the media, and other hangers on.

    BTW, I would expect that most people who visit this blog regularly would have seen Dave Keeling’s CO2 curve, with its zig-zag seasonal pattern superposed upon an exponential (actually it is probably hyper-exponential) curve. But how many people have seen Ralph Keeling’s O2 curve? [Ralph is Dave’s son.] The O2 curve is a zig-zag seasonal pattern superposed upon a monotonically decreasing curve. In fact, by using the O2 values against the CO2 values, it may be established that the terrestrial biomass is extracting 15% of the human emitted CO2 from the atmosphere.
    [Bender, Michael L., Mark Battle, and Ralph F. Keeling. “The O2 Balance of the Atmosphere: A Tool for Studying the Fate of Fossil-Fuel CO2.” Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 23 (1998), 207–223.]

    Unfortunately, plant-life isn’t growing at a fast enough rate for that 15% to hold; it is decreasing because plants are growth-limited by other environmental factors. Bum.

  26. @John Mashey
    Amusing indeed, to see our good friend Bjorn listed as a “scientist”, accurately enough, I suppose, since his only academic publication was in political science. I must have missed Crichton’s death, though.

    Pedro, if you are serious about the storms issue, you couldn’t do better than to read Chris Mooney’s Storm World. But, your comments give the impression that what you actually want is to find one point on which there is real scientific debate still going on, and conflate that into a general suggestion that the people on Inhofe’s list are playing some sort of legitimate role.

  27. First Law of Thermodynamics: The internal energy of a body can change by the flow of heat or by doing work
    delta_U = delta_Q + delta_W
    Here delta_Q is the energy increase as a consequence of heat flow and delta_W is the energy increase from work done. We usually understand this as a statement about the conservation of energy. But in its historical context the law asserted that as well as the familiar mechanical form of energy, heat was also a form of energy. Today we understand this as the kinetic energy of the constituent particles of a system; in earlier times the nature of heat was unclear.

    [pp 4–5: Brian Cowan, “Topics in Statistical Mechanics”, Imperial College Press Advanced Physics Texts – Vol. 3, Imperial College Press (2005)]

  28. @jquiggin
    I’m reading Mooney’s “Stormworld” now. Another interesting book – once the first few pages of clunky prose are over and done with – is “Fixing Climate”, by Wallace S. Broecker and Robert Kunzig, Hill and Wang (2008). Easy to read and makes a strong case for the mainstream climate science along the way. For those of us who also own Plimer’s excrutiating H&E, it puts to the lie that climate scientists ignore geological evidence and so forth – Broecker’s book is littered with passages concerning scientists from other disciplines contributing to climate science.

    Just thought I’d mention it.

  29. @jquiggin

    “The media portrays climate scientists as having delivered a final verdict on global warming.

    They haven’t.

    There remain some holdouts who say this consensus is little more than conformity to a politically correct idea. Perhaps even more surprising is that a few of these global-warming skeptics are actually respected!”

    A quick reading might produce the false impression that Bjorn was a climate scientist, but a language-lawyer would say:

    “But holdouts didn’t explicitly say holdout scientists, just holdouts, and the article title said skeptics, not skeptic scientists.”

  30. Tony G:

    so if your understanding is that heat ‘doesn’t move’

    Doesn’t have to move.

  31. pedro:

    Um Fran, the Hockey (Hokey?) Stick is a statistical analysis. It went before a panel of eminent statitsticians who said:

    “Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments

    Why this obsession with one author’s papers using out-of-date methods that are ten or more years old? IPCC uses 10 other papers as well in studying this data. If Mann’s 98 and 99 papers are the only ones you can focus on I suggest you see a psychologist for your obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  32. In any case, the Wegman attack on Mann et al said more about the “eminent statisticians”, a bunch of GOP and oil industry hacks who later outed themselves as delusionists, having posed as independent experts for this exercise. Wegman is on Inhofe’s list of cranks and crooks, and signed the open letter to Ban Ki Moon.

  33. John, I understand Wegman is a leading statistician and highly regarded. Does being sceptical about the extent of AGW automatically make you a dummy.

    Chris, please show where another author using modern methods has demonstrated that the hockey stick is valid. If the hockey stick is not valid then why is so much reliance placed on it?

  34. Hmmm, I guess from the title for this post I didn’t have to ask you the question in my last comment. That is exactly what you think.

  35. “Pedro, if you are serious about the storms issue, you couldn’t do better than to read Chris Mooney’s Storm World. But, your comments give the impression that what you actually want is to find one point on which there is real scientific debate still going on, and conflate that into a general suggestion that the people on Inhofe’s list are playing some sort of legitimate role.”

    John, do you think there is only one point on which real scientific debate continues? No ongoing research into the effects of the sun? No uncertainty about the proper metrics for even measuring AGW effects? No other lack of consensus or scientific uncertainty?

  36. Pedro, presenting yourself as an independent expert on statistical aspects of a scientific subject where (unbeknownst to your readers) you have strongly held views rejected by nearly all mainstream scientists in the field makes you considerably worse than a dummy in my book.

    And, by the way, Wegman’s report was a load of rubbish, exactly as you would expect when someone is lying in support of a hidden agenda.

  37. Pedro, who said this ‘…the stick has been replicated time and again, using different termperature proxies and different methodologies. And guess what? In every instance, the image looks like a hockey stick’.

  38. actually JQ….malicious dummies… and if they didnt have such a major malicious mummified and ossified murdoch owning the means to disseminate propaganda and BS as news and his (and similar groups) financially rewarding the delusionist dummy anti science clown princes – there would be less dummy deulsionism flying around the media.

    The great media mummy walking dead pharoah King doesnt want carbon taxes (and thats probably about the sum of it) and he and his mates with their bottoms perched right on top of the pyramids of fossil fuel and other industries have vested SHORT TERM interests in convincing Mrs and Mr citizen way way down here on the street that the sun is shining and there is no GW.

    But, they forget…we vote and we are not dummies…except for the walking dead amongst us…

  39. @jquiggin

    Wegman, in 07/27/2006 hearing gave this clear bottom-line assessment, hardly ever quoted:

    ‘As we said in our report, “In a real sense the paleoclimate results of MBH98/99 are essentially irrelevant to the consensus on climate change. The instrumented temperature record since 1850 clearly indicates an increase in temperature.”
    We certainly agree that modern global warming is real. We have never disputed this point. We think it is time to put the ‘hockey stick’ controversy behind us and move on.’

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