the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The AGW Skeptics Curse!

Posted by Jeff Id on October 1, 2008

I apologize for another delay in posting. My company is taking precedence right now over ever less likely global warming. Still the fact that my time is taken up with work gives me a moment to reflect on the last month of revelations on global warming in general.

It wasn’t long ago when I realized that something called a temperature proxy was being used to prove historic temperatures were flat. (Proxy means stand in replacement for the actual temperature.) I used to think proxies were tested proven objects which clearly responded to temperature. You know things that were measured and the response was known. This is not the case.

In engineering if you make a sensor which you expect will respond to temperature, you follow some basic steps. You would calculate and fabricate your device, then you would test it. It would be important to know that your sensor responded as expected to temperature but it would be equally important to know it didn’t respond to other potential environmental issues, like light, vibration, CO2 or whatever you might imagine.

Paleoclimatology has ignored these principals, choosing to rather look for any potential way to measure temperature first. Then, without validation by tests they choose to do validation of response by statistics. AS EVERYONE KNOWS STATISTICS CAN BE MANIPULATED.

The statistics field is too complex for 95% of humanity to understand even at the most basic levels. Most of my readers are above that level (fortunately for me), however that leaves us as a separate group isolated from the rest. The common public makes judgements through emotion rather than logic and “scientific evidence” is as elusive as mercury to a fork.

How can we counter it. Steve McIntyre and company, I can’t list them all, have JUST BEEN PROVEN CORRECT on M98, that’s ten years to fight and disprove a single paper. A paper which is now ancient and hundreds more have been issued specifically avoiding the pitfalls McIntyre pointed out while achieving the same result thorough equally flawed methods i.e M08. Those who are not funded by government contracts know the fallacy of this science so easily and obviously it really hurts. It isn’t a close call.

Foresters like Craig Loehle have been screaming as loud as science will allow that tree ring WIDTHS are NOT LINEAR WITH TEMPERATURE! This is totally obvious to an objective thinking person, yet there is no response in the media. Papers on tree ring temperatures continue to flow. An absolute death nail to every hockey stick, yet no response. For obvious reasons the intergovernmental panel on climate change (ipcc – no caps for them) will likely not even consider his obvious and extensively referenced paper to modify or even dilute their policies. If you don’t understand this last sentence, read up my friend we are in trouble and YOU need to figure this out.

This kind of paper should be the headlines even in ultra left ‘give government our soul’ San Fransisco, yet there is nothing. Where is the Times, Washington post, Newsweek. My head is going to explode soon, and the little overworked high blood pressure hamster that powers it is going to kick the bucket!!!!!!

Today, I have made some conclusions. Humans, have no idea what temperature was even 200 years ago, we really don’t know. We don’t know what temperature was1000 years ago.. even more. When we see glaicers melt and find a 3000 year old man who died in an apparent village full of people, the headlines read “Biggest Melt in History!”. It is pretty obvious that it must have been warmer not so long ago, but we are as a race not smart enough to even understand that.

While most humans and I mean MOST rely on emotion to determine courses of action, those who do not need to find ways to communicate our understanding. The AGW crowd has the money and clear motive to follow this deliberately deceptive course, there are dozens of examples of this intent to deceive for the ‘greater good’. They do have our best interests at heart after all.

All the while those who have spent careers fighting the obvious blatant distortion of science must hold to strict scientific principal or be pushed even further to the outside. Any single mistake is disastrous to the popularly emotionally labeled ‘deniers’.

When we deny we’re deniers, we become double deniers, “we’re skeptics not deniers”, we scream collectively to the tin cans hoping for an echo!

We need to find a better way.

Obviously we have to work guard against throwing away principal and science because then we become as bad as the other guys. Still a mild bit of organization and showmanship could go a long way.

16 Responses to “The AGW Skeptics Curse!”

  1. John Nicklin said

    Well said.

  2. PeteS said

    I agree with everything you say Jeff. I find the bias of much of the media frankly disgusting, one of the worst offenders in the UK is the BBC whose charter includes educating the public. We can never expect our politicians to encourage counter AWG research and establishment scientists like Professor Sir David King, saying that AGW is the more dangerous than global terrorism are worse than useless. I am afraid that the only way we will ever see real climate inspired science getting headlines is if a really great, well known name like Professor Stephen Hawkings speaks out against the ipcc pseudo science.

  3. IanH said

    I agree, the best hope strangely enough is the courts, at some point someone is going to decide being penalised for CO2 emissions on this shaky science needs to be tested in a court of law. I know this was nearly the case when the UK govt wanted to distribute the Inconvenient Truth, but in that case the defence wanted to defer to the IPCC and the prosecution agreed to do so in order to test the narrower point about balance. At some point someone is going to challenge being taxed on the basis of the IPCC Dodgy Dossier.

  4. Clark said

    I see only two ways that the wall of silence that greets any critiques of poor climate science could be overcome:

    1. Some young climate scientists try to make a name for themselves by bucking the “consensus.” In most fields, disproving well-established models is a route to fame and grants. It’s always more difficult to get these kinds of papers published, but the pay-off is high enough to motivate studies trying to debunk widely-held ideas. In climate science, I think the payoffs are much smaller (how many seminar invites will you get for saying Mann is a fraud?), and the difficulties larger, since you will have a uniformly hostile set of reviewers.

    2. Temperature continues to remain stable or drop. This is a slower process, but a more guaranteed outcome. GISS can try to “adjust” data upwards indefinitely, but at least we have the satellite data to provide some reality. The problem is that temperatures go up and down all the time, and the next upswing will be hailed as the return of global warming, and the “pause” will quickly be dismissed and forgotten.

    On the optimistic side, the public in general has been rather more resistant lately to the alarmism of AGW. However, if my 7-year-old is any indication, the indoctrination about evil humans destroying nature and causing AGW is alive and well in public schools.

  5. Matt Y. said

    While much of the public says they “believe” in global warming, at least they aren’t very motivated to do anything about it. In poll after poll, global warming is constantly near the bottom of issues people are concerned about. Maybe that is what worries those on the gravy train?

    The head scratcher is why so many “scientists” go along with it? Or at least choose to remain silent. Surely, Mann knows his work is crap. He must really be getting tired of Steve McIntyre (among others) pulling his pants down. Is he just a true believer who knows he is “right”, even if he has to fudge the data to prove it. Does he just want to help further the green agenda? Is he happy just to be a cog in the machine and have a job? The motivations are really hard to understand. Who wants to generate bullshit? Who wants to adversely affect millions of lives for no good reason? Who wants to waste untold time, money, and resources on an utter fallacy? It really makes me mad. And I know I’m not alone. Imagine, whole industries evolving around carbon trading. We might as well have 1000’s of people digging ditches and then filling them back in.

    Re #4: Public schools are trying to indoctrinate my 8 yr old too. She was almost in tears one day because I was “wasting all the water” by taking a shower every day. I had to calmly explain that it ends up right back in the ground where it started, no worse for wear. Some people have no shame.

  6. Stefan said

    “The head scratcher is why so many “scientists” go along with it?”

    It may just be a desire to do something important in life, rather than merely tinkering.

    The world, the planet, humanity and nature, are seen as the important “higher purpose” and so the work is directed towards these big issues.

    The fact that they don’t know how nature works, and they don’t understand people, doesn’t seem to figure much in their thinking.

  7. Jeff Id said

    This public school thing is the most scary to me, an entire generation of people brainwashed into believing. Hell AGW may be true, but all the science I can find shows natural variation is a much bigger concern and the hockey sticks which show less variation are CRAP!

    I posted on a thread early this year which claimed a water only powered car could work, just to put my 2 engineering cents in. I remember one of the greenies was FULL CAPS screaming how dumb it was to change to water power because then we would run out of water next.

    You just can’t fix stupid.

    Matt Y.

    You probably already know but I can’t point out enough that at the top of the 100 billion dollar AGW research industry (not green companies – research) is the IPCC. The IPCC filters the papers to highlight only the ones which show the greatest warming and the worst consequences. They do this because it directly affects their funding. Scientists who write pro AGW papers end up with a world stage and great funding (Mann is famous), those who don’t are pushed to obscurity.

    If the IPCC finds man is not warming the earth, they would have no reason to exist and for the first time in the history of Earth a government agency would be recommending its own dissolution. — Ain’t too likely.

  8. Terry said


    “Steve McIntyre and company, I can’t list them all, have JUST BEEN PROVEN CORRECT on M98, that’s ten years to fight and disprove a single paper”

    Other than the work posted up on CA and the original M&M, is there another published ref for this.

  9. Jeff Id said

    Ian Joliffe is my favorite, recent one. I have a link here

    But you can use them to find the original comments at Tamino’s blog. Tamino was in the process of explaining how McIntyre didn’t understand the statistics when Jolliffe stepped in and corrected the matter convincing Tamino that perhaps the math wasn’t right after all.

  10. Richard Lund said

    What no-one has stated is that AGW is a political issue. It is the way that capitalism can be “put to sleep”, and “control” on all of us can become total. What I don’t get at all (like many of you have stated) is how so many of my truly intelligent scientist friends are so totally drawn up in this fantasy. I understand the politicians; I particularly don’t understand the “big” scientists. I guess my perception of their being “big” is a bit off.

  11. Clark said

    I’m not completely discouraged by the indoctrination. I received the same garbage about pollution back in the 70s, and seemed to be able to overcome that. I remember during the energy crisis of the 70’s being told that we were running out of gas forever. I was so pissed that I would never be able to drive a car, because all the gas would be gone before I hit 16.

    This idea that human progress is bad and that nature is a loving mother has been going on for decades.

  12. LeeW said


    Here are just a few referreed papers (I understand that they all are not directly related to MBH98 or Mann et al 2008, but, they all represent a collective representation as to why we should proceed slowly and skeptically)…

    “On the credibility of climate predictions”
    Koutsoyiannis et al
    Hydrological Science, August 2008

    “Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth”
    Douglass & Christy
    Energy & Environment (Accepted, August 2008)

    “Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations”
    Spencer et al
    Geophysical Research Letters, August 2007

    “Comparison of climate field reconstruction techniques: application to Europe”
    Riedwyl et al
    Climate Dynamics, March 2008

    “Environmen tal Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”
    Robinson et al
    Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, December 2007

    “Knock, Knock: Where is the Evidence for Dangerous Human-Caused Global Warming?”
    Economic Analysis & Policy, September 2008

    These next two are more radical, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be considered…

    “Cooling of Atmosphere Due to CO2 Emission”
    Chilingar et al
    Energy Sources, October 2005

    Energy & Environment, February 2007

    Finally…if you would like an interesting read, may I suggest the following two…

    Freeman Dyson
    (This is an essay that not only applies to climate science, but to science and life in general)

    “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?”
    Richard Lindzen
    (A long read, but well worth it from a very intelligent man)

  13. Eric Anderson said

    Jeff, I think the phrase is “death knell” not “death nail,” although the latter does have a kind of graphic relevance, if one is thinking of putting the stake through, who was it, Dracula? 🙂

  14. Geoff Larsen said


    Interesting post & comments.

    Personally I’m not so pessimistic & I think sanity will prevail & sooner than a lot of us think.

    These things go in cycles. I remember the Club of Rome, MIT “Limits to Growth” (1972)(“modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies”- Wikipedia link below)came out with a lot of pretentious fanfare.

    I recall my wife writing an essay critiquing this book. One of her sources was Cole et al, “Models of Doom: A Critique of Limits to Growth”.

    Quoting from an editorial review of this critique at “Models of Doom, by an interdisciplinary team at Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit, examines the structure and assumptions of the MIT world models and a preliminary draft of Meadows’ technical reports. Based on computer runs, it shows that forecasts of the world’s future are very sensitive to a few key assumptions and suggests that the MIT assumptions are unduly pessimistic. Further, the Sussex scientists claim that the MIT methods, data, and predictions are faulty, that their world models–with their built-in Malthusian bias–do not accurately reflect reality”.

    Sound familiar? This is more about politics than science.

  15. Jeff Id said


    I like the Wikipedia link. If petroleum runs out completely in 20 years, I guess we don’t need to worry about CO2 anymore cause we’ll all be driving rubber band powered cars.

    I hope you’re right about sanity prevailing. The dialog in politics and climate change (and other things) gets more nuts every day. My worry is that sanity might come as a negative feedback in the form of no more money.

  16. Dodgy Geezer said

    “..I agree, the best hope strangely enough is the courts, at some point someone is going to decide being penalised for CO2 emissions on this shaky science needs to be tested in a court of law…”

    Alas, the courts are already on record as saying that they are NOT scientific laboratories. They will make decisions based only on legal evidence. This allows greater weight to be given to authority, so if you stand up in court and claim that the hockey stick is wrong, and your opponents field the heads of the Royal Society and NOAA to claim it is right, they will win.

    If you were to do the same thing at a scientific convention, you might win. But there authority would be meaningless, and the science would be everything.

    Steve McIntyre has often stressed that it is correct for politicians (and the courts) to be guided by authoritative science pronouncements. Any alternative would be worse. The only thing we can do is try to expose what is happening inside the scientific establishment, and Jeff Id’s simple seminars wil be an invaluable tool for this…

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