Open Mind

Open Thread #17

December 24, 2009 · 146 Comments

Merry Christmas.

Categories: Global Warming

146 responses so far ↓

  • Deep Climate // December 24, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Reply

    And Merry Christmas to you, Tamino and to all the wonderful, thoughtful contributors here.

  • Tony O'Brien // December 24, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas,

  • Former Skeptic // December 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Here’s some good Xmas reading from Jim Lippard on “who are the climate change skeptics?”. The usual suspects are all there.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 24, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply

    Of course, Mr. Personality, Lubos Motl is getting into the holiday spirit by threatening to sue Lippard for printing the truth. And in other news, the pope is rumored to be Catholic.

    Merry Saturnalia. Jupiter bless us, every one.

  • David B. Benson // December 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Reply

    Yes, season’s greetings to all.

  • Daniel J. Andrews // December 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas, and thank you, Tamino, for your posts.

  • Eamon // December 25, 2009 at 12:50 am | Reply

    Merry Christmas ‘n’ cheers for all the hard work Tamino!

  • Johnmac // December 25, 2009 at 1:02 am | Reply

    AS a lurker and reader who has found great value and information here, and from many of the regulars in various blogs elsewhere as well, a Merry Christmas from New Zealand. We’re already well into it, of course!

  • Timothy Chase // December 25, 2009 at 1:09 am | Reply

    Merry Christmas, Tamino. In a world that often seems to me to be dark and dreary, than you for sharing with us your brilliant light.

    I don’t really have much that I can give, but with your permission I would like to at least share a couple of panoramas I made yesterday:

    Seattle Late Afternoon I of II (4645×2093)

    Seattle Bathing in Sunlight (3309×1113)

    I had been having difficulty just walking down hills prior to the stents. Yesterday I walked from the south end of Capitol Hill to West Seattle. Six and a half miles, basically on the spur of the moment.

  • jg // December 25, 2009 at 3:04 am | Reply

    Merry Christmas, and thank you, Tamino. At my slow pace, you’ve given me a few years of projects to work on, and I keep coming back for more.
    John Garrett

  • Kevin McKinney // December 25, 2009 at 5:37 am | Reply

    Merry Christmas to all. . .

  • barry // December 25, 2009 at 6:49 am | Reply

    Merry Christmas, Tamino, from a regular reader and occasional contributor.

    And to others who I’ve read in this and other fora, who’ve supplied interesting/edifying commentary – names I like seeing:

    Tim Chase, Ray Ladbury, Deep Climate, BPL, cce, Chris Colose, Eli Rabett and many others.

    And to manacker and other critics. One day of charitable thoughts is no bad thing.


  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 25, 2009 at 9:57 am | Reply

    Yes, I can see why people would want to sue Jim Lippard. His indiscriminate use of ’skeptic’ instead of the semantically correct ‘denialist’ gives skepticism a bad name.

    Former Skeptic, surely you mean Former Denialist? Never give up on skepticism…

  • Barton Paul Levenson // December 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas, y’all!
    Or as appropriate:
    Happy Chanukah!
    Joyous Tet!
    Faithful Ramadan!

    BTW, Ray, the appropriate greeting for the Saturnalia is, “May the age of gold come round again!” There’s an echo of it in a Christmas carol, of all things, which just shows that the lyricist knew his classics.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 25, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply

    BTW on sueing people, I see that lots of denialists are sue-happy, Singer in the old Revelle days, Donald Rapp, now the Motl; somehow it seems finding money for that is no problem. Like it or not,we should learn to play those games too and give some pushback. There’s plenty of actionable libel out there.

  • Magnus W // December 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas,

    What do you expect will come out of the Wegman reanalysis?

  • Ray Ladbury // December 25, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Reply

    GP, you may be right, but I really hate going down that path. There have been some astounding feuds in the history of science, but mostly they’ve been resolved outside of courts (well, other than the Scopes trial).

    Voltaire once said ” I was only ruined twice in my life–once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.”

    Ultimately, our problem is that we are trying to tell people something they don’t want to know. People are complacent, and it is all too easy for them to oscillate between denial and hopelessness. And of course, hopelessness makes them want to slip back into denial. We have to find a way that our message is one of hope and not just sacrifice and peril. Only then will we be able to compete with the narcotic of complacency.

  • Jim Lippard // December 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Reply

    Gavin’s Pussycat: I think it’s a rhetorical, ethical, epistemological, and practical mistake to make indiscriminate use of the term “denier.” “Skeptic” is accurate if a person is legitimately questioning, even out of ignorance. “Denier” is someone who is engaged in strategies of evasion, failing to apply the same level of scrutiny to their own views that they apply to others, assuming that finding a single anomaly, error, falsehood, or fabrication is sufficient to bring down an entire field of science, and so forth. Being fooled by a denier doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a denier.

    I think most, if not all, of the organizations I referred to in my post meet the “denier” conditions, but probably not all of the individuals do. Part of what the “denier” organizations do is misrepresent questions about some aspect of climate science as a complete denial of anthropogenic global warming, and I think it’s important to argue against that misrepresentation. It’s the same thing that creationists do with disputes in evolutionary biology or paleontology. It’s the same thing the Discovery Institute’s “Dissent from Darwin” petition does–it just says “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Anybody who thinks there is at least one more mechanism of evolution (like genetic drift) could agree with that, yet it’s used to argue “there are lots of scientists who think evolution is false”!

    I think indiscriminate use of “denier” is a rhetorical strategy that will make one’s arguments less palatable to a potentially persuadable skeptic–it provides a built-in excuse to ignore it.

  • Philippe Chantreau // December 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas ya’ll, thanks for your hard work Tamino.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Reply

    Jim Lippard, While I respect your sentiment, I am afraid I refuse to let them have the title of “skeptic”. Skepticism requires that one be suffiently knowledgeable about the evidence and theory to render an educated opinion. Frankly, I do not see any true skeptics left on the question of anthropogenic causation of the current warming epoch. Even the contrarians like Christy and Spencer and the professional contrarians like Lindzen admit we are warming the planet. One can be skeptical of the degree of warming–though I’d be loathe to call anyone who ventured below the 95% CL lower limit of 2 degrees per doubling a skeptic.

    No, to be a skeptic, one must acknowledge the evidence and have a sufficiently plausible alternative framework for its interpretation that makes it plausible to assign a lower degree of credence to the consensus position. Under such circumstances, informed, civil and productive debate is possible–debate that actually moves the understanding forward. An example would be Einstein’s skepticism of Quantum Mechanics. Even though Einstein was wrong, he did move the understanding of the quantum realm forward significantly.

    In contrast, what we have in the climate debate are the scientists and the ignorant, the willfully ignorant, the denialists and the tin-foil-hat-and-black-helicopter conspiracy theorists.

    It is unfortunate that many in the latter groups take ignorance as an insult. It is not. Rather it is a diagnosis of a curable condition. Many in the scientific community, myself included, are currently taking this cure as we work to teach ourselves about the science.

    Willful ignorance is a more serious condition. It occurs when one’s ideological blinders prevent one from looking at the evidence. It is much harder to cure, but sometimes responds to the logic that ignorance of the evidence also undercuts one’s ideology as well.

    I reserve the term denialist for those who simply refuse to admit that there are mountains of evidence, despite repeated attempts to get them to look at it. Either they maintain the implausible fiction that the existence of a few contrarian scientists or an absence of complete and absolute understanding of all aspects of climate invalidates what we do understand, or they try to invalidate the methodology of how the evidence was collected (usually without understanding it fully).

    This leads quite naturally to the final category–the tin-foil-hat wingnuts. Anyone who contends that climate scientists–and by extension, the entire scientific community–are perpetrating a fraud or a hoax is delusional. Such people are so crazy that there is simply no hope of reaching them. This also goes for the crowd who claim confirmation bias–conveniently ignoring the fact that the conclusions and methods used in climate science have been validated by outside panels of science with impeccable credentials and integrity.

    I have found the above system more than adequate for classification of the different opponents of the consensus model of Earth’s climate. In none of them have I found the true curiosity or intellectual integrity is associate with the term “skeptic”. I well, therefore, not soil the word by associating it with them.

  • Deech56 // December 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Reply

    Merry Christmas, Tamino, and thanks for making the maths more understandable for the rest of us. And Merry Christmas/Best Wishes to all, especially the regulars, and thanks for making this blog and others around these innertubes a richer place.

  • Jim Lippard // December 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Reply

    Ray Ladbury: I think you’re in a similar position as those who want to preserve “hacker” for those who aren’t engaged in criminal activity. I understand and appreciate the sentiment, but I think “skeptic” already has (and, unlike “hacker,” has actually always had) common currency in a much broader sense as one who doubts, for whatever reason.

    I also think that there are many skeptics involved in the organized and disorganized skeptical movement in the U.S. (the one started by CSICOP) who don’t meet your criteria of “sufficiently knowledgeable about the evidence and theory to render an educated opinion” even with respect to many paranormal and pseudoscience claims, let alone with respect to climate science. There’s an unfortunately large subset of “skeptics” in the CSICOP/JREF/Skeptics Society sense who are also climate change skeptics or deniers, as can be seen from the comments on James Randi’s brief-but-retracted semi-endorsement of the Oregon Petition Project at the JREF Swift Blog and on the posts about climate science at

  • Timothy Chase // December 25, 2009 at 7:25 pm | Reply

    Speaking of a Merry Christmas, it appears that Real Climate may be getting ready to break 10,000,000 today, and if not today then certainly before 2010 — which seems rather auspicious in and of itself.

    One of the unintended effects of Climategate — by attempting to smear climate scientists and climate science they have increased interest in climatology — and the numbers of people visiting Real Climate — or buying Climate Cover Up, for example. Prior to “Climategate,” Real Climate had less than 9,000,000 hits since 2004 — so traffic has more or less gone through the roof since the story broke.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply

    Jim, Seasons Greetings by the way.

    The attempt by the climate denialosphere to claim the skeptical mantle strikes me in many ways as the mirror image of one of my favorite Ben Franklin quotes. Franklin said that to call him an Englishman without granting him the full rights thereof was like calling a steer a bull; he much appreciates the compliment, but would much rather have what is rightly his.

    In contrast, for someone who has not done the work of becoming familiar with the science and the evidence to call himself a skeptic is to usurp what is an honorable attitude that is central to the scientific method. The term skepticism has served the scientific method well for 400 years. If we allow this usurpation, then what are we to call true scientific skepticism?

    And it is not merely a case of coming up with a neutral term for those who have not yet learned the science. If they are the “skeptics,” then what term shall we use to refer to the scientists–the true skeptics who form their opinions based on evidence. It is not enough to hold the moral high ground. We must also use that position to defend the rhetorical high ground or we will lose the argument in the public mind.

    Nor am I persuaded by the fact that folks like James Randi have claimed the skeptical mantle. Randi and his minions have shown themselves to be not skeptics, but rather to be selectively credulous.

    Skeptic is a title you earn, not one you adopt. And I am not about to bestow it upon those who have not earned it.

    I am fine with the idea of coming up with a neutral term for those who have not yet learned the science, or who are having trouble coming to terms with some of its intricacies. Hell, let’s have a contest to come up with such a term. You must realize, though, that such people are becoming increasingly rare. We will not win them over by caving in to our opponents on terminology. And increasingly, many of those who most vocally oppose the science are showing themselves to be ineducable.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Reply

    > I think indiscriminate use of “denier” is a rhetorical strategy

    Jim, you’re insulting me. Proper semantics for me is not a strategy, it’s one manifestation of honesty, the only currency we scientists have. And you’re the one who is being indiscriminate by using “skeptic” when no skeptical attitude is to be seen within a five mile radius.

    Perhaps you should spend some time in the company of scientists instead of politicians. Winning over no matter how many “skeptics” isn’t worth losing the language of Shakespeare over.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm | Reply

    > GP, you may be right, but I really hate going down that path.

    Yep, fun it is not. But… I honestly feel that all other paths (including the one you outline) have been walked to the end. The enemy is now really playing dirty. We cannot afford to leave any weapon unused. And libel litigation is legal and can be honourable.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 1:13 am | Reply

    Agreed with Gavin’s Pussycat…

    Winning over no matter how many “skeptics” isn’t worth losing the language of Shakespeare

    We can’t win the PR game. We shouldn’t even try. ’science vs. skepticism’ is a false war. We should insist on precise and static meaning. And avoid politically correct destruction of language. Public trust in scientists is our only natural advantage.

    honesty, the only currency we scientists have

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 1:48 am | Reply

    honesty, the only currency we scientists have

    And for this reason I believe there’s nothing to lose from releasing data and code. Without data the denialists make stuff up out of whole cloth and convince just as many idiots. Let the PR side expose themselves by spinning released materials. The public trust openness. They don’t trust penny stock mining shills. They don’t trust PR or large oil companies. Decision makers pay attention to IPCC reports. They don’t pay attention to one guy who snips “We want the truth” from “dilutes the message” and repeats the latter ten times in one blog post!

    Don’t just be open… be seen to be open.

  • dhogaza // December 26, 2009 at 4:50 am | Reply

    And for this reason I believe there’s nothing to lose from releasing data and code. Without data the denialists make stuff up out of whole cloth and convince just as many idiots

    Uh, actually, they do the same with data and code … look at the recent bullsh*t regarding Darwin, Oz and with some of the code coming from CRU via the hack.

  • sidd // December 26, 2009 at 4:54 am | Reply

    Mr. Tamino:

    Thank you for your informative articles. Best wishes to you and your loved ones.

  • Deep Climate // December 26, 2009 at 5:15 am | Reply


    You’re right there is most likely nothing to lose by releasing the data and code. But even with that in hand, the “skeptics” aka “denialists” aka contrarians make stuff up anyway.

    You mentioned “one guy who snips ‘we want the truth’” (and a bunch of other relevant stuff).

    Yet few realize how misleading McIntyre has been (see Michael Tobis’s latest for instance).

    If the media gave the same scrutiny to Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick that has been given to Michael Mann and Phil Jones, we could get from Climategate to McClimategate in a hurry.

  • Barton Paul Levenson // December 26, 2009 at 10:31 am | Reply

    Lazar, 95% of the CRU data was always publicly available. The rest is available from the National Met Services which let CRU have it only on the condition they not release it to anyone else, which is why the FOI judge ruled they hadn’t done anything illegal. If you can pay for it, go to those services and ask for the data. Or use NASA GISS, all of which is public domain, or RSS or UAH ditto.

    Go to RealClimate and they have a “Climate Data” page which includes links to source code for no less than seven GCMs.

    The data and code are already out there. Only the denier woo-woos keep asking for “full release.” Don’t be one of them.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply


    Uh, actually, they do the same with data and code

    Hence “convince just as many idiots”.


    the “skeptics” aka “denialists” aka contrarians make stuff up anyway

    Yup. Hence “Let the PR side expose themselves by spinning released materials.”


    The data and code are already out there.

    Agreed that there’s enough data and code to show the science is solid. There are still benefits to be found from further release; for science research, for public education, and for public perception. “Don’t just be open… be seen to be open.”

    Am I being obtuse? Do I need to iterate?

  • george // December 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Reply

    My guess is that the American media are probably largely responsible for the inappropriate use of terminology in this case, including the labeling of deniers and contrarians as skeptics.

    In fact, as with so many other issues, on the climate change issue, the media are really responsible for creating the (largely political) “climate” in the US.

    Their obsession with (faux) “balance” has led them to give equal time to scientists (represented by thousands of individual scientists worldwide and scientific groups like NAS, Royal Society etc) and what the media have labeled the skeptics (comprising a fairly small number — though well funded — of think tanks and individuals who are ’skeptical’ of the science, highlighting the uncertainties and advocating for inaction).

    The equal time given to the scientists and the contrarians/deniers leaves the public with the impression that the science of climate change is simply another aspect of the American political debate, with large numbers of advocates on both sides, and no “right” answer, which leaves the public free to choose the answer they “like” best.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Reply


    If the media gave the same scrutiny to Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick that has been given to Michael Mann and Phil Jones

    Agreed that the media are a severe problem. The facilitators of so much nonsense and turning a blind eye to correlations between fossil money and policy. They are severely irresponsible :-) I can’t see that changing any time soon.

  • dhogaza // December 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm | Reply

    Agreed that there’s enough data and code to show the science is solid. There are still benefits to be found from further release; for science research, for public education, and for public perception. “Don’t just be open… be seen to be open.”

    Am I being obtuse?

    Well, or blind, I’m afraid. We have ample evidence that making data and code available won’t stop denialists from screaming that data and code aren’t available. Look at McIntyre and the russian Yamal tree ring data, whining FOUR YEARS AFTERWARDS HE GOT THE DATA that Briffa was refusing to share it.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Reply


    I’m glad we agree…

    there is most likely nothing to lose by releasing the data and code.


  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Reply

    I am fine with the idea of coming up with a neutral term for those who have not yet learned the science, or who are having trouble coming to terms with some of its intricacies. Hell, let’s have a contest to come up with such a term.

    Ray, may I suggest for those actively rejecting the science they don’t understand, “suckers”. No, it’s not what Carnegie would recommend, but it is semantically accurate: willing footsoldiers for ignorance. Nobody wants to be a sucker, but millions are.

    For those reserving judgement and just trying to figure out things, “lay person” seems just fine to me. Please, no Joe Sixpack, Dummy or whatnot.

  • Jim Lippard // December 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Reply

    Ray: You make a persuasive argument for attempting to preserve “skeptic.” Since I’ve just been defending against the colloquial misuse of “begs the question,” I think I can likewise endorse a defense of “skeptic” against “pseudoskeptic.” However, I think I will continue to be about as reserved in my use of “denier” as I am in my use of “liar.” I don’t make accusations of lying unless I have evidence not just that a person is uttering falsehoods, but that they’ve been presented with good evidence that they are uttering falsehoods, and continue to do so anyway.

    On another subject, I’d love to see an equivalent of the Talk Origins Archive (, and in particular Mark Isaak’s “Index to Creationist Claims” ( for climate science (and its denial). Do they already exist?

  • Jim Lippard // December 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Reply

    Gavin’s Pussycat: “Perhaps you should spend some time in the company of scientists instead of politicians.” Now you’re insulting me.

    I think your suggestion of using libel litigation as a strategy is not a good one. With the exception of a few celebrity cases against particularly scandalous claims by tabloids, I don’t think it makes the plaintiff look good. Of late, the use of the UK as a forum for libel litigation makes the plaintiff look like a bully with something to hide.

    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 26, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Reply

      That’s what they’ll think anyway. There is also the opposite logic at work: not sueing confirms the correctness of the libelous claim.

      I expect that only a few of the most egregious examples need to be sued, which would wonderfully focus the minds of the rest of the Internet. Currently there is no price to pay at all for calling Michael E. Mann a fraud. Am I wrong in thinking that there should be?

      Please try to look at this from the propaganda perspective: volume plus repetition equals truth. Weigh that against the speculative risk of being called a bully. I am perfectly happy to be an arrogant bully who is correct about the science; it is what pays my salary.

  • Hank Roberts // December 26, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Reply

  • guthrie // December 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Reply

    Seeing as this is open thread…

    I notice that willis Eschenbach is 0over at in it for the gold, complaining about his treatment by CRU. A glance at his post on wuwt seems to me to leave out a great deal of the story, using the classic trick (theres that word again!) of posting some nice e-mails from 2001 or so, then contrasting with 2005, suggesting that Jones went a bit Mr Hyde in the meantime. Whereas I was under the distinct impression that Jones had tired of Hughes for a reason, that being Hughes science denial and distortion of data previously sent him by Jones. But that is based upon memories from 3 or 4 years ago. Can anyone else recall what happened? THe internet is of course clogged up with denialist sites and its hard to find reliable information.

    There’s also that paper by Qing-Bin Lu that the denialosphere has put into circulation. As far as I can make out their basic paper is probably sound enough, although I note that the original idea was in 2001 and it isn’t clear to me that they have fully answered the objections made at that time.
    However the discussion of AGW boils down to a correlation is causation argument, with the rise in Cl conc correlated with global temperature rise since 1950, allegedly. However I was under the distinct impression that we know what the greenhouse effect of CFC’s is, and papers on that topic were published so many decade ago that I can’t access them online. So either CFC’s ar emuch more potent than was previously thought, or Wing-Bin Lu is a bit mad. There’s the usual “but CO2 is still rising and tempts have fallen, therefore its not CO2″ type argument as well, with a bit of line fitting thrown in for extra persuastion of the rubes.

    So, I’m pretty sure that its a load of rubbish but it has already gone viral in the denialosphere. I’ve seen it twice so far and expect to see my usual opponents using it in a few days. (They’re a bit slow shall we say)

    • Rattus Norvegicus // December 27, 2009 at 1:51 am | Reply

      My impression from reading the post on RC is that Lu, in his initial paper, made a prediction which was a massive FAIL. Sorry that I am to lazy (and involved in watching USC v. Boston College) to look up the post. You know what the search terms are.

  • Deech56 // December 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Reply

    RE Lazar

    Am I being obtuse? Do I need to iterate?

    No, you are not being obtuse. I think openness is valuable in its own right, but this will not silence the denialists. Mike Mann has all kinds of data, code and alternative analyses in his SI and web site, but he is treated like a criminal and crirics still complain that there is no hockey stick without the bristlecone pines. There is a huge amount of data available at NASA-GISS, but does that help the credibility of James Hansen among the critics? No.

    More and more, it is clear that the big disadvantage that the scientists have is that they are bound to tell the truth. I believe that all of the efforts to get the science out there and forestall major carbon release will be for naught, unless we have several years of record-breaking global (especially US) temperatures or reach an early tipping point, like another huge decrease in Arctic ice extent. That doesn’t mean we have to stop fighting the good fight, but we should not expect easy sailing because we stand for the science.

  • tamino // December 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Reply

    I’m in favor of making as much data and code publicly available as is practical. I’m against requirements which would slow down research efforts. I’m offended by the crucifixion of researchers who haven’t put their entire professional lives under the microscope for denialists to slander.

    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply

      Tamino you stole my comment ;-)

      I’ll add that I have a long history of contributing to, and advocating for, free and open-source software, and this perversion makes me feel sick to the bone. As does ever having taken a wacko like ESR semi-seriously. Mea culpa.

  • dhogaza // December 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply

    On another subject, I’d love to see an equivalent of the Talk Origins Archive (, and in particular Mark Isaak’s “Index to Creationist Claims” ( for climate science (and its denial). Do they already exist?

    Skeptical Science has an index of denialist claims, though it’s not as thorough as the talk origins one (then again, climate science denialism isn’t as “mature” as anti-evolutionism).

  • Deech56 // December 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply

    RE guthrie

    There’s also that paper by Qing-Bin Lu that the denialosphere has put into circulation.

    Since a lot of the AGW denialists also deny the harmful effects of CFCs it might be kind of interesting to watch them spin.

  • dhogaza // December 26, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply

    Since a lot of the AGW denialists also deny the harmful effects of CFCs it might be kind of interesting to watch them spin.

    Watts first posted a link to Lu’s work last summer or fall, because he thought it showed that CFCs don’t cause the ozone hole. Headline was something like “New peer-reviewed paper shows that GCRs, not CFCs, are responsible for the ozone hole”.

    That’s because he didn’t understand what halogenated means, and because Lu’s abstract didn’t mention CFCs by name.

    Quite hilarious, actually.

    • guthrie // December 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply

      Found it, the title is “New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over antarctica will occur this month – cosmic rays at fault”.
      In the main section it seems a little unsure of the role of CFC’s in the destruction of ozone.

      One of the larger issues in the present paper is that its University of Waterloo press release reads like it was written by a denialist. Never mind the fact its 3pages at the end which deal with possible implications of the theory for AGW, the uni press release spends its time talking about those 3 pages, rather than the 41 pages of boring science beforehand.

  • Hank Roberts // December 26, 2009 at 7:28 pm | Reply

  • Ray Ladbury // December 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Reply

    Jim Lippard, I appreciate your willingness to engage. Rather than pseudo-skeptic, you could also use ersatz-skeptic, crypto-skeptic, or just plain “sucker” as GP suggested.

    I’ve just made a similar request to yours (e.g. one-stop shopping for rebuttals to zombie arguments) over at RC. This ought to be easier than it sounds, as there seem to be a finite number of memes that are recycled as the mother-ship of denial deems that they might again pass the straight-face test.

    And denialist does have it’s place. I would suggest that anybody who has been shown repeatedly the mountains of evidence supporting anthropogenic causation and still refuses even to acknowledge it merits the term.

    And likewise, anyone who asserts the existence of a secret scientific cabal perpetrating fraud on the globe’s unsuspecting population is undoubtedly a tin-foil-hat wingnut. No other term will do.

  • Cthulhu // December 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply

    “More and more, it is clear that the big disadvantage that the scientists have is that they are bound to tell the truth”

    A bigger disadvantage is that scientists are putting forward positive explainations for natural phenomenon and forming a framework by which climate can be understood.

    The psuedoskeptics on the otherhand try to avoid any commitment and flit between any number of fantasies simply to claim mainstream science is wrong. For example one week they might cite G&T, but if for some reason they can’t get away with it anymore, they’ll switch tack and start citing Beck on co2, or throw out one of the other 101 talking points they have.

    It’s as if we have a base which the psuedoskeptics can fire rounds at, but they have none. So we are always in defense mode and everytime we shoot down one of their ships they just launch a new one. The main problem for science in my opinion is that they seem to suffer no negative repurcussions for their high casuality count. If that could somehow be turned around it would cripple their strategy.

    • Kevin McKinney // December 27, 2009 at 1:25 am | Reply

      I do think the lack of consistency on the part of denialists is no strength. It can be easily pointed up, and sometimes is so overt that it really doesn’t need us to “look foolish,” as Lazar says.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Reply

    Michael Tobis;

    I think there is a real point that the stakes are higher than they have been, that the conduct of climate science needs to be formalized, and that data provenance and computational reproducibility are henceforth core issues for our field. I am deeply disappointed that we did not understand this ten years ago when the first controversies erupted regarding the Mann hockey stick.

  • Lazar // December 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Reply


    I think openness is valuable in its own right, but this will not silence the denialists.

    We cannot *ever* ’silence’ the denialists. But we can make them look foolish :-)

    I believe that all of the efforts to get the science out there and forestall major carbon release will be for naught, unless we have several years of record-breaking global (especially US) temperatures or reach an early tipping point, like another huge decrease in Arctic ice extent.

    Yup. Motivation to action often requires a big, shocking, visual symbol.

  • David B. Benson // December 26, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Reply

    Helps to look in ta dictionary:

    Main Entry: skep·tic
    Etymology: Latin or Greek; Latin scepticus, from Greek skeptikos, from skeptikos thoughtful, from skeptesthai to look, consider
    Date: 1587

    1 : an adherent or advocate of skepticism


  • Ray Ladbury // December 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Reply

    Tamino, For a good laugh, you might want to look at the blog post referenced by young Matthew over at RC Unforced variations, post #811.

    I suppose the advantage of the Internet is that one need no longer maintain a straight face when posting a bogus argument.

  • Deep Climate // December 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Reply

    Here’s where Michael Tobis goes seriously off the rails:

    A couple of odd personalities are at the center of all this. In particular there is Steve McIntyre, and some genuine skeptics among his followers. Eli recommends we treat McIntyre with the same sort of contempt we justifiably aim at the likes of Singer and Michaels. I disagree. While he doesn’t exactly play by the rules, McIntyre raises some real issues.

    I vehemently disagree that McIntyre should be considered a “genuine skeptic” or that he “raises some real issues” (apart from the occasional very minor one).

    For more see:

  • Deep Climate // December 26, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Reply

    Tamino said:

    I’m offended by the crucifixion of researchers who haven’t put their entire professional lives under the microscope for denialists to slander.

    Of course, I wholeheartedly agree, except that written defamation would be libel, not slander. In fact, a big part of the mission of is to make responsible journalists and the general public understand that that is exactly what is going one here.

  • Anarchist606 // December 26, 2009 at 11:05 pm | Reply

    Hi – want to share a couple of posts on global warming denial…

    How Much is Global Warming Denial Worth? $1120 Million Per Day

    Understanding the Mind of the Denialist:
    Global warming denial is an emotional response and not a logical response. That means a number of things: it means that you can’t really win a debate – not because you can’t out-argue them on facts – that’s easy – but because to win them over you have to change an emotional response in their mind-set and facts simply won’t do that, humans are just not wired that way. This is almost a religious thing (which is why I laugh when I get called a ‘believer’ by denialists, it’s evidence of what I am saying – the transference of the emotional state onto the other) it is the new The Protocols of Zion…

  • Scott A. Mandia // December 26, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply

    After blisters on my hands from using the screwdriver and L-wrench, my new rule for next Christmas is:

    No more toys that have greater than 10 peices to assemble! :)

    Seriously, Happy Holidays to all and it really is all about the kids.

  • Hank Roberts // December 26, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Reply

  • David B. Benson // December 27, 2009 at 12:48 am | Reply

    We might approximate climate and long-range weather phenomena via (1) mechanical response and (2) heat response, boht to random shocks; white noise. For the former, see about halfway done the page in
    for the SDOF System Response Plot. About four such approximate ENSO, assumded driven by white noise wind with the linear wave equation approximation for Rayleigh/Kelvin lone period ocean waves. For the latter, we are only intested just now in the temperature at one point; the heat equation reduces to

    du/dt + ru(t) = R(t)

    where u(t) is the temperature anomaly, r is a rate constant [think (1/30)/yr] and R(t) is some (random) forcing. If the forcing is momentary and then 0, the solution is

    u(t) = k.exp(-rt)

    for some constant k. But instead look at angular frequency w (read: omega) of the white noise spectrum to suppose R(t) = A.cos(wt). Then

    u(t) = a(w).cos(wt) + b(w).sin(wt)


    a(w) = rA/(w^2+r^2)
    b(w) = (w/r)a(w).

    We see the cos part amplitude rolls off as 1/w^2 and the sin part amplitude rolls off as 1/w; there is no resonant frequency.

  • David B. Benson // December 27, 2009 at 1:19 am | Reply

    Correction: for “for Rayleigh/Kelvin lone period ocean waves” read

    “for Rossby/Kelvin long period ocean waves”

  • Lazar // December 27, 2009 at 2:12 am | Reply


    We have ample evidence that making data and code available won’t stop denialists from screaming that data and code aren’t available.

    Of course it won’t, I never suggested it would. It will show them as ever more shrill and ridiculous partisans. Meantime the public gain access to the data and code generated using public funds, and research is facilitated alongside public education.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 27, 2009 at 3:26 am | Reply

    Lazar, I’m all for making data available. I do have a problem making code available before it’s gone through a process of validation.

    Mark my words, you will find at least one instance of someone borrowing somebody else’s code, using outside the realm of its validity and producing garbage results. I’ve seen stuff like this even with the GEANT4 library after validation.

    Folks should do their own damned analyses and write their own damn codes.

  • TCO // December 27, 2009 at 5:04 am | Reply

    Ray people can use papers and get garbage as well. Also common sense (in every activity known to man) says that having higher scrutiny of the work product details will drive higher quality. I’ve done my time at a NASA site, too, big guy! ;)

  • Lazar // December 27, 2009 at 6:19 am | Reply


    I do have a problem making code available before it’s gone through a process of validation.

    Mark my words, you will find at least one instance of someone borrowing somebody else’s code, using outside the realm of its validity and producing garbage results.

    That’s a feature, not a bug. People need to learn from these mistakes. And be allowed to. Locking the toys away reduces awareness in the long term, reduces learning, and inevitably increases the number of errors. I want responsible adult scientists, not curtailed children.

    Locking the code away does not allow this and does not help with this.

  • Glenn Tamblyn // December 27, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply

    The fight against the denialists is a hard road and a long one because they are like the erosion that slowly breaks the road down. Brutally effective, just like rust. But take heart. Evidence will usually win out because it is so god-damn in-your-face. But also, Climate change is long term.
    So, just for the moment, go revel in the short term – Family, friends, something that isn’t Big, Important, Profound.

    This war will be here when we all come back next year. It will be here for the rest of our lives. The greatest fight in human history. Win Lose or Draw – What a contest to be in.

    But in the mean time. Take a break. Go spend time with your family. Find some old friend and go out and get pissed together.

    If you are still posting here tomorrow you don’t get it. It isn’t about Tamino’s spot or RC or any of the other white hats. It’s about the great contest. The great game. And sometimes you have to take a spell in the dug-out. To recharge, regroup and come out next year with the next strategy. Between now and then, focus on something other than AGW.

    Try weather. Snow – tobogganing, snowmen etc. Or Sunshine – white beaches, sun burn, big waves. Everyone go away for a while. Go actually see what we are fighting to save.

    See you next year.

    Have a Cool Yule Y’all.

  • Marion Delgado // December 27, 2009 at 11:47 am | Reply

    Tamino, if you’re a born-again Bayesian, I’m now an evangelical R-ian. Been working with Benjamin Bolker’s Ecological Models and Data in R and I think it’s much better than E.T. Jaynes’s Probability: the Logic of Science. For one thing, Bolker shows the differences among statistical paradigms in a more nuanced way than is usual.

    Among my reasons for R advocacy (and this has come up with respect to both climate change and civilian deaths in Iraq):

    Excel can screw up statistics all by itself (does Calc have its statistitcal quirks?). If you use IDL, apparently Fortran “experts” will believe you’re using bad Fortran*. And R is easy to replicate – both graphs and process are essentially logged.

    Yes, most people know Excel or Calc, and yes, it’s easy to verbally say how to do a particular analysis in Excel, But with R, you just load a script and you get exactly what the author of a research paper did, and how he did it. That’s a ot harder to script with VB or VB for apps, IMO, if you use Excel.

    *Just zinging Eric Raymond. Actually:

    IDL provides a GUI-based tool to help read in tabular data found in ascii files. The benefit of this method is that it is quick and easy — however, it does not lend itself to scripting or automatic data processing.

    • guthrie // December 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Reply

      Interesting. I’m currently doing an archaeology MSc to change job from an area with few jobs into a different area with few jobs but work which I’d enjoy a bit more, and the computing and stats module has us using R. One of the other guys on the course has used other stats packages and can’t quite see why we’re being taught R.
      But your post shows why R is very useful.

  • jyyh // December 27, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Reply

    Seasons greetings.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Reply

    OK, allow me to take a few minutes to brag on our host. In the couple of years since I discovered Open Mind, I’ve benefitted greatly from his expertise on statistics. However, what I appreciate most about Tamino is that for him, data series are never just numbers. There is always a realization that there is a physical behind the numbers and a desire to understand the physics behind that reality. The Webiverse if full of folks blindly applying techniques to data without understanding either the data or the techniques. You’ve got the Fun with Fourier crowd, the Lying with Statistics crowd, the All-Statistics-are-Lies crowd and on and on.

    As I have said befor: Any damn fool can lie with statistics. What takes real skill is using statistics to illustrate the truth and to bring understanding. So, Tamino, thank you for your efforts this year and this decade, and I look forward to reading your efforts in the decade to come.
    The year now passing into the history books has been full of frustrations. I think some scientists were taken by surprise when the denialosphere didn’t simply throw in the towel in the face of the impressive tour de force that was the latest IPCC report. If nothing else, we now know with certainty that the denialosphere is not evidence based. We know we have a tough slog ahead. It is always more difficult to tell people what they don’t want to hear.

    However, we also know that the things we are fighting for–a sustainable future for human civilization and the supremacy of truth over denial and complacency–are worth fighting for. Our secret weapon is the truth. It remains secret because our opponents in this struggle do not even recognize it as a weapon. However, the truth has never been defeated in the long term. As long as we have the truth we will have the moral high ground. We must use that position to seize the rhetorical high ground as well. Once we have done that, our ultimate victory will not only be imminent, we can also amuse ourselves by rhetorically pissing down on our opponents.;-)

    Happy New Year, all.

  • Deech56 // December 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Reply

    RE guthrie

    There’s also that paper by Qing-Bin Lu that the denialosphere has put into circulation.

    There’s a new article by John Cook at Skeptical Science that discusses this paper.

    • guthrie // December 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Reply

      Thanks. I’m finding that site to be rather useful these days. I’m also glad to see that they agree with my observations on the paper. ;)

  • David B. Benson // December 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Reply

    What Ray Ladbury // December 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm wrote.

  • Barton Paul Levenson // December 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Reply


    What part of “the data and code is ALREADY publicly available” do you not understand?

  • David B. Benson // December 28, 2009 at 12:38 am | Reply

    E. J. McCoy and D. A. Stephens
    Bayesian time series analysis of periodic behaviour and spectral structure
    International Journal of Forecasting
    Volume 20, Issue 4, October-December 2004, Pages 713-730
    puts together some Bayesian reasoning with GARMA models, these being an generalization of ARMA models. The setup appears flexible enough to capture periodic aspects of climate/weather data as well as the continuum spectral density (which is certainly puzzling). The setup allows for so-called long term memory, which appears to be an aspect of the climate system. The claimed advantage of this GARMA method is to offer good (better?) predictions with far fewer parameters. A later version of quite similar concepts is in

    There are at least one or two papers related to climatology which appear to be using these, or akin work, in attempting to forecast.

  • Marion Delgado // December 28, 2009 at 11:28 am | Reply

    Excellent comment, Ray Ladbury!

    and happy holidays (s novim godom, itd.) to all

  • tj // December 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Reply

    Season Greetings and thank you for a very informative website.

    I am an economist and until recently had no reason to doubt that human activities were responsible for global warming. The recent controversy following the posting of emails and code has motivated me to gain a better understanding of the science behind global warming. I am hoping that you can answer a couple of questions.

    The first is very basic – how is it that CO2 can have such a profound effect on climate when it makes up less than 1/10 of 1% of our atmosphere?

    [Response: How is it that arsenic can have such a profound effect on health if it's far less than 1/10 of 1% of your dietary intake?

    Seriously: we have countless examples from everyday life for which trace amounts have profound effects. The suggestion that CO2 can have only a minor impact on climate because it's only a trace gas in the atmosphere is a fallacy, designed to fool those who don't know the quantitative impact.]

    The second is related to modeling, and I don’t even know if the following method is used to determine the sensitivity of surface temperature to CO2, but I have seen this method used on a couple of other websites-

    Given the linear regression, y = a + b*x + e,

    where y is some measure of temperature, x is some measure of CO2, b measures dy/dx (sensitivity of temperature to CO2), a is a constant and e is an error term with time subscripts omitted.

    How robust is the t-stat and magnitude of b to adding other explanatory variables? (given corrections for auto-correlation, etc).

    I have seen statistical models (CAPM for those familiar with finance) where an explanatory variable is statistically significant because it proxies for the actual explanatory variables, not becasue it is an explanatory variable itself. As a result, the addition of the actual explanatory variables to the regression causes the original variable to become statistically insignificant.

    [Response: The model you suggest isn't realistic. It's not the CO2 concentration that counts, it's the radiative forcing from CO2 that matters. The radiative forcing is (at present concentrations) roughly proportional to the logarithm of CO2 concentration.

    And CO2 isn't the only radiative forcing. There are other greenhouse gases (like water vapor, methane, nitrous oxides, CFCs, etc.), there are aerosol particulates (both reflective aerosols which cool and absorptive aerosols which warm), changes in the amount and distribution of incoming solar radiation, changes in the net reflectivity of earth (it's albedo), etc. etc. etc. Contrary to what many denialists preach, climate scientists take all these factors into account.

    What counts is the net radiative forcing. Radiative forcing is not a "proxy" for some other factor, it's the causal factor -- and that's not a statistical conclusion, it's the laws of physics.

    The radiative forcing due to CO2 isn't a hypothesis, or merely a consequence of the laws of physics, it has been repeatedly confirmed by laboratory experiments (starting in the 19th century).

    When models are constructed to relate temperature change to net radiative forcing, they match observations extremely well (and that includes predictions made decades ago, not just post-dictions). But to get a really good match, models must take into account that the planet has multiple elements, none of which responds to forcing changes instantaneously. It's a mistake to think the whole system responds with a single characteristic time scale.]

    I need these issues resolved in my own mind and then I can go back to dealing with all the folks who blame economists for all of our economic problems and leave you folks to fight off the global warming skeptics!

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.


  • David B. Benson // December 28, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Reply

    Since IPCC AR4 there have been some remarkable “climate surprises”, principally associated with the cryosphere. Are there more in store?

    I link
    “Financial instruments could be spiked with unfindable risks”
    because some of the financial forecasting techniques are based on GARMA models; such models offer one means to statistically model aspects of climate. So does the climate have unfaindable unpleasantries in store?

  • David B. Benson // December 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Reply

    tj // December 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm — Tamino answered very well indeed. For more, please do read “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    after reading Andy Revkin’s review:

  • Hank Roberts // December 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Reply

    As an economist you’re probably already aware of this, but just in case:

    Which begins:

    Uncertainty of the future increases the value of climate mitigation today

    How often have you heard that more certainty in climate science is needed before large scale mitigation polices should be implemented? Certainly many politicians and pundits have made that claim, and while at first blush this seems sensible, economists overwhelmingly say the opposite, as uncertainty increases so does the value of mitigation.

    Costs increase nonlinearly with the amount of climate change. Therefore, the less you trust the IPCC results, the more dangerous the risk profile you face, and the more severe the constraints on carbon emissions and other anthropogenic forcings need to be. Yet, almost everybody argues this crucial point backwards.

    This point was also recently made in a survey by J. Scott Holladay, Jonathan Horne, and Jason A Schwartz from NYU’s Institute for Policy Integrity, which found that “75% [of economists surveyed] agreed or strongly agreed that “uncertainty associated with the environmental and economic effects of greenhouse gas emissions increases the value of emission controls [also known as mitigation policies], assuming some level of risk‐aversion.” …

    (Click the link to read the full item)

  • Jim Eager // December 29, 2009 at 1:51 am | Reply

    TJ, further to Tamino’s answer to the “1/10 of 1%” meme, also known as the dilution argument, perhaps this will put things into perspective for you:

    Over 99.5% of the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are completely transparent to infrared radiation, which means they are not directly involved in absorbing energy radiated from Earth’s surface.

    Meanwhile, all greenhouse gases combined, including water vapour (around .4% of the atmosphere), CO2 (a little less than .04%), methane (less than .0002%), nitrous oxide (around .00003%), ozone (around .000007%), plus chlorofluorocarbons and other exclusively man-made gases (around .0000001%) make up less that .5% of the atmosphere.

    Yet that less than .5% of the atmosphere makes Earth’s average surface temperature some 33 degrees C warmer than it should be based on Earth’s distance from the Sun, cross section (light collecting area), and reflectance.

    Not bad for a minute collection of trace gases, eh?

    An even more extreme example would be chlorofluorocarbons: just .0000001% of the atmosphere is involved in creating the ozone hole in the southern hemisphere.

    The more sensible way to look at greenhouse gases is not what percentage of the atmosphere they constitute, but what percentage of the greenhouse effect each accounts for and which ones are increasing by how much and how fast.

    The fact is CO2, which accounts for around 20% of the greenhouse effect, has increased by around 38% since humans began burning fossil carbon fuels on an industrial scale.

  • Marion Delgado // December 29, 2009 at 7:43 am | Reply

    BTW, if I am using Linux or Mac OS X I use R with calc (R4Calc), but when I use Windows, I use R with Excel – RExcel. RExcel is much slicker and you can create macro buttons so that it’s actually easier to do the R version of a calculation and deposit it in a set of cells than to do the Excel version. I just dislike changing my Linux and Mac habits, however slightly. Excel is also great for getting data from html tables on a remote web site.

    I may give up RExcel and use OpenOffice for Windows and R4Calc, but not because R4Calc is actually better, because, by and large RExcel, with some version of (D)COMM is actually better.

  • Ray Ladbury // December 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply

    TJ, there is another way to look at the 0.04% number that gives a much clearer indication of the physics.

    Consider a 15 micron photon emitted from the surface. In order for it to have a chance to excite a CO2 molecule, it has to pass within a wavelength or so of one. How many CO2 molecules have the potential to interact with the photon as it passes through the atmosphere?

    We know that atmospheric pressure is 101350 Pascals (N/m^2), so we can work out the mass of atmosphere that is contained in a square prism with base 15 microns on a side. The answer is about 20 trillion! This gives you a pretty good probability of absorption. Human activity has added about 7.5 trillion CO2 molecules in the 15 micron column.

    Now, I’m going to predict that when you confront your denialist friends with this info, they will turn right around and say that the effect of CO2 is saturated already. Of course, this is also a lie and merely serves to demonstrate the inconsistency of the denialists. When they do, read this:

  • tj // December 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Reply

    Thanks for the excellent insight related to the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    No disrespect meant, but the topic of global warming has become so politicized that I don’t know who to trust. I am just trying to find factual information from a variety of sources about the models, the inputs, the assumptions, etc.

    I’ll need to read some more to gain a better understanding of the models and the role CO2 plays.

    A Nov 30th article in their opinion section by Richard Lindzen created doubt in my mind because of his credentials.

    His discussion of sensitivities and postive and negative feedback are interesting and raise doubt in my mind with respect to the assumptions behind many climate change models.

    Here’s a snip :

    The notion that the earth’s climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth’s climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today’s. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the “Early Faint Sun Paradox.”
    For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.”

    Here is a link to the article but a google will turn up lots of links.

    • Rattus Norvegicus // December 30, 2009 at 5:12 am | Reply

      One thing you need to know about Lindzen is that he has been looking for a mechanism to support his intuitive notion of low sensitivity for about the last 20 years.

      He has yet to find it. Every paper he has published purporting to show low sensitivity has been shot down. You do have to give him props though, he keeps on trying in spite of the overwhelming evidence showing otherwise.

  • KLR // December 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Reply

    Hi all,

    Is there a way to search only certain blogs? This is particularly of need in respect to AGW, since I search for something like ’surface stations NOAA’ and am confronted with hit after hit from Wattsthemattayou and all his ilk, who I want to filter out in a big way. Have done a bit of research into this but can’t find what I’m after.

    • Deep Climate // December 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Reply


      It’s possible to remove certain sites from your search, but the “echo chamber” will still be there.

      If you narrow the search to:

      “” NOAA response

      you’ll get more hits for what you want.

    • Gareth // December 29, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Reply

      I have set up a “climate blog search” at Hot Topic. It’s a Google custom search that trawls through the sites listed in my blogroll. Feel free to have a play. When you’ve got your results, clicking on “recent4″ at the top of the list will order them with most recent at the top. If anyone wants to see more sites included in the search list, let me know…

  • dhogaza // December 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Reply

    His discussion of sensitivities and postive and negative feedback are interesting and raise doubt in my mind with respect to the assumptions behind many climate change models.

    Yet on December 15th, NASA announced:

    In another major finding, scientists using AIRS data have removed most of the uncertainty about the role of water vapor in atmospheric models. The data are the strongest observational evidence to date for how water vapor responds to a warming climate.

    “AIRS temperature and water vapor observations have corroborated climate model predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

    So here we have observational evidence that the models are right about the strongest positive feedback.

    Meanwhile, Lindzen has nothing but handwaving to back up his assertions.

    Hmmm …

  • KLR // December 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Reply

    Duh, you can limit a Google Blogs search to only certain authors, OK. But what I’m having trouble with now is figuring out what their names are…took me a minute to ascertain that the proprietress of ClimateSight goes by the handle “climatetsight,” not “Kate.” Would be handy to have a whole string of these user names to copy, especially since many of them do inline editing responses instead of posting. “maribo” is Simon Donner = “Simon D.”

  • Barton Paul Levenson // December 29, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Reply


    What evidence we have is that cloud feedback is positive, not negative:

    Clement, A.C., Burgman R., and J.R. Norris 2009. “Observational and Model Evidence for Positive Low-Level Cloud Feedback.” Science 325, 460-464.

    Evan, Amato T., Andrew K. Heidinger, and Daniel J. Vimont 2007. “Arguments against a physical long-term trend in global ISCCP cloud amounts.” Geophys. Res. Lett. 34, L04701-L04705.

  • Barton Paul Levenson // December 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Reply


    Try something like “NOAA surface stations -Watts -WattsUpWithThat -ClimateAudit” in google. The minus sign means “leave out hits with this word prominent.”

    • Rattus Norvegicus // December 30, 2009 at 5:16 am | Reply

      I haven’t tried this, but you should be able to add something like this to your search:

      etc., etc. for your favorite denialist sites.

  • Gavin's Pussycat // December 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Reply

    > the topic of global warming has become so politicized that I don’t know who to trust._
    Yep, awful innit… just trust us ;-)
    Seriously, which ’side’ in this ‘debate’ do you think has an interest in having it this way? Who is trying to make you believe, who, trying to help you understand?
    What wrong with this picture, in which a simple economist like you needs to actually study climatology on a serious level in order to find out who was lying? Try to imagine medicine functioning in this way, having to know enough medicine to know which doctors to trust.

    About Lindzen, just read this
    in context. In my book he is an ex-scientist.

  • David B. Benson // December 29, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply

    tj — Relatively little about the role of CO2 in climate has changed in the last 30 years. Here is the Charney et al. 1979 NRC/NAS report:

  • KLR // December 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Reply

    Barton Paul – yeah, but then you’d exclude commentary mentioning their names, which wouldn’t do.

    I’ll soldier on as is – have already hunted down the names of those linked here for a start, which ought to keep me busy. The string you enter in the advanced Blog search is: DeepClimate|Tamino|chriscolose|climatesight|greenfyre|SimonD|fergusbrown If you do a blank search (i.e., nothing entered for search terms) with these selected as bloggers you want to search, you can bookmark the results for further use.

    Never had to go to such ends before, am primarily interested in energy issues and most of the bloggers are bearish like me, I guess.

  • Hank Roberts // December 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Reply Charney
    gets you every mention _at_that_site_

  • Steve Bloom // December 30, 2009 at 1:42 am | Reply

    The post refuting the Qing Bin Lu bag of hammers (discussed above) is at the Bunny’s, not RC.

  • bjchip // December 30, 2009 at 1:59 am | Reply

    Long question. I did some back-of-the-envelope stuff because I have long advocated getting CATS and using space based reflection as opposed to the more common ideas around injecting yet more junk into the atmosphere. So I did some notional homework.

    My assumption is that humans being generally as stupid as we all know we are, we aren’t going to start doing anything serious about AGW until it is WTL (Way Too Late). I’d like to be wrong. Doesn’t happen that often.

    So we’re going to have to kick back about 4 degrees of warming, starting at around 2040. Actual number isn’t important. Having a target is.

    So –

    Total Insolation on a 1 square meter patch at the earth’s radius from the sun. 1350 Watts/square meter. (I am using Hansen’s numbers from his “target” paper)

    Total difference in insolation in a typical 11 year solar cycle ~ 1 Watt/square meter.

    Total response to this is 0.2 degrees, altered by the thermal inertia of the ocean to look more like 0.1 degrees in a typical cycle. He says it goes to 0.2 if sustained… in any case, that is what I am using.

    Area of the earth as a flat disk perpendicular to the sun. About 127516010 square km.

    We need 20 times the usual solar min, to get 4 degrees back.

    1/1350 = 0.00074 for a single solar min/max.

    20 times that is 0.0148 which would be the proportion of the area we need to obscure.

    So 1887236 square kilometers… twice the surface area of Egypt.

    That’s no small project, even assuming CATS is available it is not small. Probably need to build at L1, but even so… a hell of a job.
    I was all suitably glum when someone pointed out that the additional temperature would not provide such a constant response, that the higher temperature would radiate more effectively and thus things would be easier.

    OK, sez I, you’re right but how much?

    I’m lost at this point. I don’t have access to Mathematica or other tools for the job… integrating the radiation over the spheroid and I am not experienced enough to do it right in any case,… and I am wondering if you folks can … just possibly… help to refine this a little?

    I come here because I think I’ll get better answers here. ;-)

    All suggestions welcome.



  • Lucas // December 30, 2009 at 2:46 am | Reply

    When confronted with the “dilution argument”, I bring the example of the botulinum toxin:
    “C. botulinum is a spore forming, anaerobic bacteria found worldwide in soil. Food poisoning due to botulinum toxin emerged as a problem when food preservation became a widespread practice. C. botulinum grows and produces neurotoxin in the anaerobic conditions frequently encountered in the canning or preservation of foods. The dose that is lethal to 50 percent of the population if exposed (ie, the LD50) has been estimated to be approximately 1 ng/kg. All of the botulinum toxins are slightly less toxic when exposure is by the pulmonary route; the human LD50 by inhalation is 3 ng/kg. The toxin acts presynaptically to prevent the release of acetylcholine.” [1]
    90 nanograms of a widely known toxin can kill a 90 kg adult. Who could have guessed?


  • MD // December 30, 2009 at 3:33 am | Reply

    BJ in the give a fish line, you might try Euler on anything with xwindowing (maybe GTK it on Windows). I would personally do my model in something like python, perl or ruby, get results, then show them via something – even Blender.

  • Former Skeptic // December 30, 2009 at 3:44 am | Reply

    Michael Tobis has attempted to hold a “civil” discussion with Ken Green over at OIIFTG.

    It’s worth a look – especially as mt will strictly moderate the discussion.

    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply

      Yep — more and more folks are picking up on Tamino-style editorial oversight. MT summarizes the policy perhaps best. It’s crazy to hand over the resources of a science blog to anti-science.

  • Jim Galasyn // December 30, 2009 at 5:45 am | Reply

    Somebody has finally picked up the standard and is defending WUWT and CA on my little thread, “Please remove anti-science blogs from the Best Science Blog category.”

    It’s Willis Eschenbach, and the climate-science conspiracy talk is thick.

  • tj // December 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Reply


    The first article refers to low level clouds and the second says the ISPCC data may not be appropriate for trend studies.

    If somebody could point me to a recent journal article on the positive/negative feedback associated with cirrus clouds, I’d appreciate it. What is the main academic search engine for the climatology literature?


  • Steve Bloom // December 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply

    tj, you’re trying too hard. Lindzen has been at this for 20 years now and at this poiont has lost virtually all support for his views. In effect he’s been reduced to arguing that an “iris” is still possible because it hasn’t been directly demonstrated to be impossible (reminiscent of the “god in the gaps” argumentation we see from evolution deniers). Instead there are observations showing no apparent iris effect. Sorry, at some point Lindzen’s “maybe it’s really there but is just too subtle to detect so far” wears a bit too thin.

    But the elephant in the room that Lindzen has always ignored, using the “not my job” excuse, is that we can’t explain paleoclimate with the low sensitivity Lindzen thinks the iris implies. Strictly speaking the paleo evidence doesn’t exclude the possibility of an iris effect, but what it does tell us is that if it does exist it’s overwhelmed by other factors.

    Speaking of the paleo evidence, here’s a frightening new paper describing the climate state in the mid-Pliocene. Note that this is with a planet and CO2 levels little different from today’s. I say “frightening” not because the mid-Pliocene wouldn’t have been a pleasant place to live, but because the present unnaturally rapid transition into such a warm Arctic has among other negative consequences some very bad implications for the large stores of frozen carbon there.

  • bjchip // December 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Reply


    First, thanks for the link. It is a good one.

    I expect the human species to “do the right thing only after it has tried everything else”, which in the case of climate means that we will be doing something LIKE this (and people will be unhappily and irreversibly injecting more junk into the atmosphere if it isn’t this) or letting the climate do what it will with us.

    I don’t think that latter proposition to be real desirable, so the question becomes only what to do and how hard it is.

    I DO expect that along with finally recognizing the necessity of doing this, a certain amount of political “awakening” to the abuses and thefts of the current power-wielding moneyed interests who struggle so hard to obfuscate the truth.

    I expect change in governments to be a big feature of that end game unless they fail sooner.

    So methadone it is likely to be.

    As I have a former heroin addict in my family I know that minimizing harm until the addict figures out his own need and desire to quit, is a valid and reasonable approach to heroin addiction. Nothing else works.

    So yeah.. if all it were going to be was a way to support BAU until all the coal and oil is completely gone I would be loathe to bother as it merely postpones the inevitable reckoning.

    I think however, that recognition of truth will be a rather major feature of any society that embraces the need for such a task, and the task of returning the CO2 to reasonable levels and the planet to sustainable economic, social and business models will be taken seriously… then.

    In addition, the Mass-Drivers, once built, will remain useful to drive mass into near-earth orbits where humans can live and work. This effectively gives us CATS and CATS gives us power from orbit and many other benefits as well.

    The loss of “L1″ to other purposes would be a temporary issue.

    Which is all tangential to the question I am really trying to answer which is related to Hansen’s sensitivity number of about 0.2 degrees for a 1 W/m**2 delta of solar input.

    Does that remain the effectively the same when the temperature has already risen another 3 degrees or does the increased thermal radiation from the warmer earth reduce the sensitivity?


    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 31, 2009 at 4:04 am | Reply

      Does that remain the effectively the same when the temperature has
      already risen another 3 degrees or does the increased thermal
      radiation from the warmer earth reduce the sensitivity?

      No, IIUC it does not… three degrees is small compared to 288K (or 255K at TOA) and the relationship between T and the balance of incoming to outgoing energy will be very close to linear.

    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 31, 2009 at 4:09 am | Reply

      BTW I agree to the usefulness of methadone in an emergency… and I think there should be legal as well as political consequences. Unfortunately the usual suspects will pull a milosevich / pinochet on us before that happens :-(

  • Hank Roberts // December 30, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Reply

    > search engine for the climatology literature?

    Debatable; here’s a pointer to one recent study; ironically, it’s paywalled:

    I think if you’re in an academic environment, a reference librarian who knows what tools are available to you there is your best source of advice. We amateurs are stuck with what we can find, and often do get corrected by real scientists who know more. Fortunately for us.

  • Hank Roberts // December 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Reply

    From the amateur reader perspective, this is how I go looking:

    From that, this looks like a good recent review:

  • Ray Ladbury // December 31, 2009 at 1:01 am | Reply

    BJ, While I applaud the sentiment, we are a very long way from any sort of intervention like this. At present, the largest such structure on the books is the sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope. I can tell you from experience that this is a piece of bleeding-edge technology–not just the deployment mechaisms, but also the radiation properties of the polymer, propellant to counter solar wind, attitude control… Also, realize that L1 is only quasi-stable. The shield would have to orbit about the equilibrium point. The mechanism would likely need to be replaced every few years as the polymer in the shield became crosslinked due to radiation and the optical coating (e.g. VDA) degraded.

    Lift capability also remains an issue.

    It’s a lot more viable than terraforming Mars or Venus (let alone the Moon) or probably sulfate aerosols, and certainly more than carbon-gobbling trees, but it ain’t off-the shelf.

    • Gavin's Pussycat // December 31, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Reply

      Yep. And painting the Sahara white may be easier ;-)

      (I seem to remember a serious proposal along those lines)

  • Deech56 // December 31, 2009 at 1:14 am | Reply

    > search engine for the climatology literature?

    I’ve wondered that myself. In medical research, the standard for us is PubMed (database of the National Library of Medicine). There’s also Agricola (National Agricultural Library) and TOXNET (Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program). All of these are available to the public. (And I remember the days of Chem Abstracts and there was also a biology abstracts database.) And we had to pull out the bound volumes and clay tablets – uphill, both ways.

    There must have been something in use before Google Scholar.

  • bjchip // December 31, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Reply


    Thanks for that.. and I know it is NOT “off the shelf”. Those problems you note are the reason I believe that this “methadone” will only be available to us if, when the fact that there is a REAL crisis finally percolates into the dense noggins of those who obfuscate and obstruct, we already have the mechanisms for CATS.

    In other words, we already have to be out there with some experienced construction people and we must already have some mass drivers here and possibly on the moon, to push the needed raw materials into orbit.

    If CATS is not available BEFORE the crisis, the governments which might have the resources to try won’t have the time to develop it AND do this before they are torn apart with internal conflict. Developing both CATS and the remaining tech to do this takes the “hell of a job” into the category of total impossibility.

    At L1 one could I think, construct a balancing system, as one would be necessary due to the need to counteract the force of the solar wind. A tethered ballast stretching sunward. As more panels are deployed the ballast ( or the length of the tether) is increased. If we are using lunar material and doing more work in space we may simply use glass or polished metal foils for mirrors. Even a polished steel foil would likely work, as there is no oxygen to rust it.

    We ARE a long way from being able to do it… but CATS is the principle issue. Of course, we are going about CATS very wrongly too, or we would already have it.

    Right now we have the paradigm of building everything, even complex and fragile things, down here and then lifting a very light structure into orbit with nobody or a very few people, to support it.

    If instead we lift the people with the knowledge (which weighs nothing at all) of how to build stuff ( light lift compared to the stuff we actually want to build ) and pushed ( using the mass drivers ) raw and semi-finished materials into orbit with them and then construct stuff up there. If we do it THAT way we can have cheap access with tech we’ve already prototyped.

    Then the mass becomes less of a problem, and the objects constructed become more likely to survive up there ( More readily tested in the final conditions). Since human lift into orbit doesn’t have to be so difficult if we aren’t designing to carry all the mass that supports them at the same time, we can work with a system much like Rutan’s or like any of the other SSTO systems and prototypes, to make the human transport work. Consumables get pushed through the drivers.

    What we give up is keeping all the makers of “things” down here on earth, or pushing people AND all the things they will need for a mission, off the earth at the same time.

    So while I agree with you, I see the possibility as greater (if we can somehow get CATS) that we can do this, than that we will agree to meaningful reductions in CO2 before we’ve locked in a fatal trajectory of climate change.

    Given what I have seen so far of our species, we aren’t going to save ourselves by coming to a binding international agreement to cut back on the things and economic systems that make a few people rich and provide the rest with bread and circuses. We aren’t clever about that sort of agreement at all.

    We are more clever with “things” and while this is a very ambitious “thing” we have better odds of doing it than of getting that agreement.

    It may not be the “best” answer but it may be the best one we humans are capable of implementing. If we are to evolve socially to where we can make the sort of agreements needed, we have to survive long enough for that evolution to take place. I’m not wildly optimistic that we will.

    However, to have a shot we have to have CATS as a reality rather than an engineering wet dream.

    The complete economic collapse of the entire civilized world (this is guaranteed to happen, the only question is how long before it does) may reduce consumption by other means…

    (( That is my most optimistic view ))

    …but that would prevent us from getting CATS.

    Which is (IMHO) needed in order to build Satellite Solar Power Systems (good practice), to replace coal plants here on Earth.

    Happy New Year to all, and thanks VERY much for keeping the real information flowing.


  • bjchip // December 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Reply

    Gavin’s Pussycat

    Thanks for the input. I was thinking that 3/255 was a pretty small amount but at this I wanted a second opinion.

    Painting the Sahara white may be easier.

    Maybe…. maybe we do both. To do it here on Earth we have to consider the night – day cycle and the area required goes up fast. OTOH, doing something like that here could reduce the size of the structure out there to more tractable extents.

    I WANT us to do what we should have done after Kyoto, and cut back our emissions. We didn’t, we don’t, and we (apparently) won’t.

    That leaves us with Geo-Engineering or Space-based engineering, or dying-off as options.

    If there is a fourth choice I don’t know what it is.


  • Ray Ladbury // December 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply

    Hi BJ, I think you are underestimating the difficulty of a variety of issues–first and foremost CATS. There’s a very good reason why it hasn’t happened–it ain’t easy. This is not simply a problem of a bureaucratic institution (my employer, the Integrated Worldwide House of Rocket Engines–IWHORE) not bringing resources to bear in the right place. The Russians have also failed. The Chinese, the Japanese and the Indians (even the N. Koreans, I think) have all achieved about the same cost to LEO. Rutan’s costs are lower because his system is a whole lot less reliable.

    BTW, I agree that it makes sense to put the mfg. operation in space–probably buried under lunar regolith. However, I think it makes more sense to make it robotic. Every time you fly a human, you also have to fly everything it takes to keep them alive and healthy–and you also have to bring them home safely, a much more difficult task than getting them up there in the first place.

    In addition, there are materials considerations, new propulsion systems needed and on and on. This is a solution that would take LOTS OF TIME, and the only way we are going to get time is by decreasing CO2 emissions.

    There is no silver bullet.

  • bjchip // December 31, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Reply


    With all those people who have tried, none has done a mass driver.

    All have experimented with railguns and the like… as weapons. None have build a cannon to launch stuff… largely because there is nobody up there to catch and use raw materials and the accelerations do such NASTY things to anything but raw materials. So why build one?

    I used to work for NASA as well. :-) Not disparaging their work or efforts at all.

    ( Well, except for the notion that we should adapt humans with 40 million years of evolution in a gravity well, to weightlessness, instead of building spin into our orbital structures )

    The mass that supports the human for a 10-12 hour trip isn’t negligible but it is small compared to that required for a 15 day trip.

    That’s another reason Rutan is able to get away with his lightweight contraptions. That and the fact that he never tries to hit orbital velocities.

    The “home safely” issue gets easier if mass isn’t such a big issue… but you are correct in that I had not considered it as much as I should have.

    It IS a problem, but the fact that the people-movers can be refueled in orbit, and can be less sensitive to mass-fraction issues makes it, I think, solvable. The people moving can be more expensive than the mass driving system.

    …but don’t see the need for a “new” propulsion system except in terms of the mass driver, as we already have the aerospike and we already have ion thrusters. Nor do I see a lot of new materials being required.

    The answer to the “lots of time” argument is that we have 20 years to develop CATS before the situation goes completely out of control…. and CATS would be a huge benefit to the human species. Worth doing with or without application to AGW. … using Satellite Solar Power to shut down coal plants is the best of both worlds.

    …. but the second part is, if we don’t have CATS before the crisis is upon us, we won’t be able to get it in time to avert the problems. Which is where you are dead right.

    I would LOVE to get people to reduce their CO2 emissions. I just don’t expect them to do so by agreeing to voluntarily give up their hummers or meat on Mondays. I wish they would. I know they haven’t, don’t, and won’t.

    I’ve been trying to get them to do it for over a decade now… to the point where I am no longer sure the species deserves to survive.

    So while I agree, we need to decrease emissions and that is my FIRST choice of solutions. This is definitely plan’ B’ and it needs us to work on CATS now.


  • Ray Ladbury // January 1, 2010 at 3:00 am | Reply

    Hi BJ,
    Sorry, I should have been clearer. The need for a different propulsion system I see is to maintain position/orbit/attitude control over long periods at L1.

    A former employer experimented at one point with Xenon ion propulsion, but the record was mixed. Such a system, at least, minimizes the mass needed for the propulsion system, and that is invaluable for a long mission.

    Cheers and Happy New Year. Ray

    • Gavin's Pussycat // January 2, 2010 at 9:36 am | Reply

      Isn’t it much simpler to use ’solar sailing’ by movable panels? Requires no propellant at all. The forces needed in the vicinity of L1 are very small.

      • Ray Ladbury // January 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        GP, I think that the effects of solar sails would be dwarfed by the effect of the much bigger sun shade. Solar sails are a wonderful idea that nobody has ever quite gotten to work. Problems include the same problems any other large surface in the solar plasma experiences–charging, degradation, fluctuations in the plasma…
        You might not require propellant, but you would require rapid-action mechanisms to provide attitude corrections. They might be part of the answer, but you’d still need another propellant system.

  • Former Skeptic // January 2, 2010 at 3:22 am | Reply

    A bit over the top, but this list of the 15 most heinous climate villians is very funny.

    The usual suspects are in there, including this one:

    Stephen McIntyre, Mathematician

    Misdeeds: Despite having no training or field experience in climate science, McIntyre runs the blog, whose mission is to use arcane statistical analyses to break the “hockey stick” reconstruction of historical climate patterns. He recently claimed victory over the Briffa tree ring data controversy, but failed to note that there are at least 15 studies that don’t need tree ring data to show the identical late 20th century hockey stick shape of rising temperatures and CO2 concentrations.

    Corporate teats: McIntyre lives in tar sands besotted Alberta as a “semiretired minerals consultant,” and served as President of Northwest Exploration Co Ltd before they became CGX Energy, Inc. His funding sources are hidden, since the Alberta government is legally somewhere between Texas and Saudi Arabia, and transparency is not required.

    Most egregious lie: “I constructed a variation on the CRU data set, removing the 12 selected cores and replacing them with the 34 cores from the Schweingruber Yamal sample….” The echo chamber goes wild, but neither they nor McIntyre himself have any idea what he’s talking about, since Climate Audit is all about masturbating to numbers. Even Briffa’s tree ring work was later vindicated by something McIntyre never considered: further scientific research.

    Comeuppance: Sent to the Maldives, given cement shoes and used to mark the rising tide.

    Oh, the comeuppance for RPJr. is something Ethon would approve :-)

    • deech56 // January 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Reply

      That was funny, but I might have substituted Watts for Spencer.

    • Bill O'Slatter // January 3, 2010 at 8:33 am | Reply

      “The Steve” loves to be referred to as a mathematician. However he has published no maths papers in the peer reviewed literature or even on arxiv. His claim to being a mathematician is that he came top in maths in high school.

  • Tom Dayton // January 3, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply

    Tamino, there’s a comment involving stationarity of temperature records over at RealClimate, that I’m sure you’d like to respond to.

  • Rattus Norvegicus // January 3, 2010 at 3:15 am | Reply

    Ho boy, here’s one that needs to be taken apart, as it looks like it may be getting ready to make the rounds of the denialosphere:

  • Lamont // January 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply

    And now for something completely different…

    Someone should take tamino’s climate bet:

    And work it up into something that could go onto intrade and hubdub. I don’t know anything about setting up bets on those sites, but I stumbed across off of the link off intrade yesterday..

  • Hank Roberts // January 3, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Reply

    Tom and Rattus, Tamino already did take that stuff apart: I replied to the guy in that thread:

    — that was for a while a very popular paper in certain circles:
    See also:

    This stuff is in a “rebunking” round now. No need to retype all the corrections again.

  • Hank Roberts // January 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Reply

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