the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Bad Scientist of the Week

Posted by Jeff Id on March 25, 2009

Andrew Weaver wrote a piece for the Vancouver Sun which I would describe as typical doublespeak for a politician but Andrew Weaver holds himself to be a scientist. Andrew’s won the newly invented yet highly coveted and sought after ‘bad scientist of the week’ award.

Andrew Weaver is a lead author for the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is also a guest blogger for, where there is a lively discussion on these issues. He is based at the University of Victoria.

‘Environmentalists’ are abandoning science

There are many depressing things about being a climate scientist these days. The emerging data is going from bad to worse and the political leadership is still acting as if we have all the time in the world to deal with global warming. But what I find in some ways even more depressing is the fact even some environmental groups have chosen to abandon science and campaign against clean energy and climate policies.

There is so much to say about his opening paragraph but we know damn well what the emerging data looks like Andi and I don’t like deliberate falsehoods (lies) Andi. They and their purveyors get treated pretty badly around here. Sure you can couch your statement in all kinds of BS but in every aspect warming has not fallen behind the models, warming has not followed the IPCC predicted trends, ice hasn’t continued to melt at predicted levels and the ‘actually hoped for’ disasters have not come true.

The last sentence of the above quote almost makes me laugh though, Andrew is struggling with the reality of the politics and the true wish of the greenies. They wan’t no economy not just some economy. You would think he would realize that by now, there isn’t enough energy in solar and wind to replace fossil fuels with even today’s best technologies, it doesn’t exist. It’s scientifically impossible but here’s what Andi says.

The scientific community has a very solid understanding of what is causing global warming: It is overwhelmingly because of the combustion of fossil fuels. Thus, the primary solution to the problem is as simple as it is daunting: The elimination of fossil fuel use in our economies.

Zero fossil fuels! Our planes will need to fly on anti-matter I guess.

Few people outside the scientific and engineering community have yet come to terms with the immensity of that task. In my home province of British Columbia, for example, we frequently hear about how “green” our energy system is — the rationale being that hydro dams make up the vast majority of electricity generation. Very rarely does anyone point out that electricity is a small part of our overall energy consumption which, even with the blessings of hydro, is more than two-thirds fossil fuel.

Few people! Well welcome to the Air Vent. I quite regularly point out that HYDRO and WIND cannot provide enough power to replace fossil fuel. There simply isn’t enough energy there.

So, even in a province fortunate to have lots of hydro, we still need a massive transformation in energy. All those fossil fuel emissions need to be eliminated. And we must do so quickly if we are to have any chance of stabilizing the climate and maintaining human civilization as we know it.

We need staggering amounts of energy conservation, emissions cuts and renewable energy. And all need to be deployed at an unprecedented rate.

All the fossil fuel needs to be eliminated!! Andi sounds like an extremist to me. Again see the answer– conservation and cuts. Why don’t these people ever consider the billions of lives which will be destroyed if the worlds largest economies cannot operate at ever increasing levels? Sure there’s an eventual limit but sudden stops are um …… bad Andi. How many of your friends have lost jobs recently from our recent ‘very small’ slowdown? More than 70,000 factories in China have shut their doors sending their poor masses into the streets, I’ve seen it! Oh yeah, I forgot you’re a government funded climatologist who’s above those mundane details like FOOD and WATER.

Switching from fossil fuels to emissions-free energy sources is not going to happen without resistance. Each new hydro and wind project is being opposed by well-meaning citizens and environmental groups not familiar with the science. Each energy conservation policy is fought bitterly by “public interest groups” demagoguing to keep energy subsidized. Each attempt to tax carbon and each law to reduce emissions draws the fossil fuel lobby into action alongside these “public interest” groups.

The public dialogue is riddled with outlandish and demonstrably false assertions such as windmills will devastate local bird populations or a hydro project will create more greenhouse emissions than it will displace by eliminating a coal-burning power plant. Some of the most insidious arguments attempt to slow things down: That we should do more planning, that we should do energy conservation first and build renewable energy later, that we shouldn’t do anything until China does.

The insanity of this dude is really apparent. He has made absolutely no consideration of unilateral economic disarmament of the largest and freest economies. He has no concern for the inability to produce cheap food, no concern of giving the unwilling (and apparently smarter) communist government of China a huge competitive advantage. No reasonableness about how really ‘not’ bad a degree or two would be. Only the elimination of the single thing which has lifted the globe from poverty and strife — energy!

These arguments are fundamentally not serious. They come from groups and spokespeople that have simply not grappled with the math — with the scale and speed at which we must eliminate fossil fuel emissions.

We’ve done the math Andi, even an afternoon with a computer tells us that your solutions cannot work. There is not and cannot be enough ‘green’ energy in the world without massive nuclear to replace fossil fuels. The efficiencies of conversion do not exist!! The costs for the solutions are often prohibitive and this false prophet of climate doom cliams a superior math knowledge and non-existent science on green energy as his source.

Again I have to say AGW may exist, but this alleged scientist starts his article with a demonstrable lie so he’s a ‘false’ prophet. He’s a fundamentally dishonest man with an unstated goal.

We need a global agreement and action. This means rich countries like Canada must take decisive action and demonstrate that we are willing to shoulder the responsibility for what our emissions have done to the rest of the world. To that end:

– We need to build and transition to entirely emissions-free energy.

– We need to tax carbon emissions and legislate their elimination.

– We need aggressive efficiency policies.

These measures must happen extremely quickly and on an unprecedented scale. We desperately need all civil society organizations advocating as hard as possible for this effort and we cannot afford to have so-called environmentalists opposing what science shows to be necessary.

These measures are scary to an extreme. Canada is a ‘rich’ country because of low cost energy and free market competition. This dude says enviro’s are abandoning science which they never supported or understood. This dude is making false statements to enact a political reality which will destroy billions of lives.

It is therefore with great pleasure that for outstanding misrepresentation of facts, Andi Weaver receives the Air Vent’s bad scientist of the week award.

Let’s all give our congratulations, he can put it next to his Nobel plaque.


For legal reasons and because the US is a ridiculously sue happy country this piece above is while completely correct, is an opinion piece and represents only my views.

9 Responses to “Bad Scientist of the Week”

  1. Matt Y. said

    Yikes. Even the most over the top AGW predictions sound like a picnic compared to what this guy wants to see happen. Scary to think that this guy was a lead author. Anybody still think the IPCC is anything but a PAC?

  2. Phillip Bratby said

    It’s scary that these people, with their down-right lies, have such influence.

  3. JAE said

    How is it possible for a scientist to be that stupid?

  4. Hal said

    #3 JAE

    He is not stupid, he is,like our friend Gavin, paid to keep the agenda going.

    It’s funny, reading RC today I saw lots of the evasion techniques (stated in the skeptics handbook
    once again. I like the Ginger Spice one. Ha Ha.
    I should count them, but it’s not worth it.

    We’re just lucky that the bad economy will delay this political juggernaut long enough for reality to become obvious.


  5. Hal said

    Sorry on the link to Joanne’s page

    leave off that last closing parenthesis.


  6. pspear said

    A friend of mine took a course with Dr. Weaver a year or two ago as part of a Masters degree in Oceanography. He handed out a required reading list of 15 to 20 papers. Every last paper had been authored by Dr. Weaver. Indoctrination or what!? The guy is obviously quite full of himself.

    Dr. Weaver, in a perverse way actually pushed me off the AGW bandwagon. I was interested in how CO2 was modeled in the GCMs. I dug through a bunch of papers and documentation describing Dr. Weaver’s work. I was staggered to find they used a trivial parametrization to model the forcing effect of CO2. I followed the references offered to an a paper that talked mostly about water vapor and barely even mentioned CO2. On seeing this I realized that all of Dr. Weaver’s modeling work was based on an assumption that didn’t have much to back it up. It is pretty hard to listen to him go on about how his results show this or that, when you know it is based on such a weak foundation. Pathetic. Almost as bad as Dr Suzuki.

  7. JAE said

    Oh, a modeler! That explains a lot. Have you noticed that many of those that are the most absolutely certain about the CO2/AGW connection are the guys and gals that get their “data” from computer models?

  8. Hal said

    7. JAE

    You mean

    “Oh, a modeler! That explains a lot. Have you noticed that many of those that are the most absolutely certain about the CO2/AGW connection are the guys and gals that get their “PAY” from computer models?”

    He could care less about “data”


  9. Jeff Id said

    #5, I never read that before. It’s pretty good. I don’t know why this stuff which seems like basic common sense doesn’t get into the public’s minds.

    As you’ve noticed I don’t need much help being a skeptic.

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