the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Culture of Certainty

Posted by Jeff Id on March 8, 2010

I’ve spent several hours today looking at gridded temperature but didn’t finish again.  It was only at a quarter to eleven tonight that something struck me which seemed to need to be said.  All my favorite blogs are overrun by new readers ready to slaughter any climate scientists AGW conclusions at the blink of an eye.  As a result of the new traffic, many people have explained here about what tAV and other blogs should or should not do, should or should not say, how to approach the problem of having an incomplete science and foolish policy forced down our throats.  The problem is that I’ve known these bloggers for some time now and there isn’t a single one who is not used to being in control of their own decisions and direction.  I’m owner of my own company as is Anthony Watts.  Just try to get Steve McIntyre to write or do something he’s not directly interested in and guess what, Lucia, Pielke’s and the rest aren’t likely any different.

When people write, ‘hey Jeff this is what you should do’, I think — get a free blog and start writing.    Start working the math and data, give some hours. It’s not easy to build a blog readership.  Try doing a single post on sea ice and you’ll find out that it’s ten times harder to write a post than you think – people don’t get that.  There weren’t many classes on climate in engineering school.  In climatology, there are always data quality problems, calibration issues and instrument quirks over a 30 year period.  For laypeople, it’s amazing how bad humanity is at keeping a measurement consistent over even a ten year period. Instruments are not typically able to last that long. The problem is far more critical when your audience consists of a couple thousand people who have as much or more technical background than yourself.

Technical blogging is challenging because of  a hell of a lot of difficult decisions also.  First, there is no way I can know everything about climate science so when someone writes on a  new topic and asks me to post, I need to read carefully, take a risk or say sorry.   There have been tens of posts offered to me which I cannot carry, simply because they are incomplete,beyond my experience or too amateur.  Amateur is more common.  Probably five people have written posts recently which do nothing but ask one question after another, answering none.  At least they have learned that it’s hard to write anything about climate from a position of knowledge.

The part that struck me tonight though, was the intent by some to try and maximize effect of a skeptic blog by presenting an issue a certain way.  Perhaps, we should ___ .  What if we did ____. In my opinion, that is equally as bad as the advocate, leftist, high priests of climate science.  They are leftists too, despite the fact that so many have told me to stop writing it.  It’s policy, wrapped in advocacy, poorly disguised as science all done for increased money and power.  Who is using whom, politicians or scientists, is a difficult question.  The point is though, that a coordinated direction is absolutely not required to write about science and despite peoples opinions IS highly destructive to whatever cause might exist.

It’s not that far off topic to mention that I met a gorgeous and very young future eco-hydrologist this weekend in Reno after the trade show.  She was so far gone you wouldn’t believe it.  No idea who was going to pay her, no idea that people would suffer first from limiting usage of water, just that her eco whatever was going to help the planet, the rock, the wild gerbils, plants, beasts  and several other non-self-aware items. This lack of understanding was implemented by our govt. mandated ever worse school system.  Poor thinking skills absolutely pervade the minds of the next generation. You should believe me that even if by some act of magic the failure of public schooling’s effects are limited, we will still pay dearly for it.  Her generation has no idea what science is comprised of.  Critical thinking requires the ability to consistently force your own wishes to the background.

The problem I see though with the view that we bloggers should _____ , which is probably the single thing here that all you skeptics probably can agree with, is that you can’t tell a skeptic, independent thinker what to believe!  You can suggest alternative views of course, but there is simply no method to push a guy like myself to approach the problem in a unified front with someone else.  Scientists are normally the same way.  They know what they do from experimentation and results.  After that it’s very difficult  to change their direction, and rightfully so.  Scientists ARE normally the same way, experiment and result — take a moment to think about that in comparison to hide the decline.

So where does the climate science community’s stated need to ‘attack the credibility of bloggers’ come from?  Where does the need to label and defeat skeptics come from?  Why declare consensus?  How is it that an Aeronautical Engineer with ability to plot data is so immoral and too evil to even post comments at Real Climate??  Why do so many professional scientists and PhD’s hang around a blog like this if so much disinformation is spread here?

It’s simple to me, it’s because this blog and several other skeptic blogs will not intentionally present bad information. There is not a single post here which hasn’t suffered the scrutiny of many.  Claims have been repeatedly recanted and corrections made but in the end, understanding is the result.  How is it that Real Climate, Tamino,  Climate Progress and many others never make any mistakes?  The question, is of course, self answering.

These are the biggest problems with climate science.

So when you find yourself wishing that a skeptic blog, or groups of blogs, had a unified opinion on some topic — I hope you’ll reconsider.  Like government spending to create jobs, this is the opposite of what is required.  It’s the independence of thought, requirement of evidence and willingness to admit error which makes blog science so powerful.  My view is that any large scale consensus is an unnatural state forced by an outside pressure. Like the advocates, we must be always vigilant against the wish for a scientific result and realize that it’s not ever redundant to acknowledge that physics determines the results of global warming, not wish or belief.

When GHCN data shows a huge upslope, I have a choice to make — hide the decline (so to speak) or post the result.  tAV posts the result, climate science still hides the decline — more often than any main stream media has figured out.

51 Responses to “Culture of Certainty”


    its all about the math.The rest is opinion

  2. Tim L said

    Well , it is all true, at least 80% of the hang outs are collage edge u mickated …… lol tough crowd.

    TCO would say: cricket stick to the numbers.

    sun spots are down for the moment!

    Luke Sky warmer

  3. “The problem I see though with the view that we bloggers should _____ , which is probably the single thing here that all you skeptics probably can agree with, is that you can’t tell a skeptic, independent thinker what to believe! You can suggest alternative views of course, but there is simply no method to push a guy like myself to approach the problem in a unified front with someone else. ”

    Let me just second this.

  4. curious said

    Good post Jeff – the data is the data and it should be followed where it leads, not dragged along the path we want to travel. Keep up the good work according to your own principles, as you say “understanding is the result”.

  5. Mark Williamson said


    As a long time lurker I too have noticed loads of “new traffic”. While it makes it harder for me to follow the technical discussions, I, personally, thinks it is good that so many more people are getting involved in this important issue. Given that I am “new traffic” I will not make it harder for myself and will immediately stop. (-:

  6. […] If we refuse to fail we refuse to learn! […]

  7. ClimateQuoter said

    That’s one of the strengths of skeptics, the refusal to comply with the ‘consensus’, the ability to think for oneself. That’s why many want to label those who disagree with climate change as ‘deniers’ because ‘skeptics’ reveals something they don’t want to admit: we make decisions for ourselves.

  8. Eric said

    I’m part of the new traffic too. I suspect that my experience is fairly typical. I had followed the climate debate sporadically but I was startled and my interest very definitely piqued by what has come to be called “Climategate.” Now I’m trying to make sense of it all, so I’m much more inclined to follow the discussion than to offer suggestions about how to lead it. In that regard, I very much appreciate the welcoming and open atmosphere here and on some other blogs. That is not the case everywhere.

  9. CoRev said

    Jeff, I totally agree. I’ve noticed another trend in the past few months that much of my GW email traffic is from the pro set providing articles.

    I appreciate your and the many other bloggers’ efforts. Few know the amount of work required, unless one runs a frequently updated blog.

    Climategate was a tipping point in the fight for public opinion. Now blogs like yours are the leaders in clarifying the science.


  10. David Swift said

    If only the CRU etc had been as open as this site with their results and methodology. Personal ego and over-investment in theories led the AGW researchers into a tissue of lies and deception. INFORMED debate stops us sceptics making the same mistake. Keep up the good work.

  11. CarlGullans said

    Hey jeff, I think you should do more posts like this!!!!


  12. BarryW said

    Individualism is part of the definition of a skeptic. If you easily follow where others lead then you will accept the pronouncements of others as facts instead of determining whether they are true or not on your own. Ideologues fit their facts to their beliefs even if they’re right about some things. This is true whether they’re Karl Marx or Ayn Rand.

  13. tarpon said

    You are right, do what you do best … The rest is not material. By sticking to what you know, you make the greatest contribution. And isn’t that really what open science is all about, contributing what you know or would like to look into.

    BTW: Good site you have here.

  14. hswiseman said

    What really drives me nuts are people who demand that serious contributors to a blog discussion/analysis at Blog A carry their water to refute something they disagree with at Blog B. That, and treating hosts and folks writing and running code like a data processing service demanding that the analytic process in the thread should follow their personal whims.

  15. T G Watkins said

    Well said.
    I completely agree with the state of education generally. It cost me a fortune to send 5 kids to private schools as one cannot trust the state system in the UK. The simplest ‘science’ is beyond most people these days, including politicians and journalists.

  16. Somebody wrote me, “I’ve been reading the skeptic blogs. I’ve found at least 100 great criticisms of AGW science. If all these could be put into a book, that would carry a lot of weight.”

    Yes, it would. But easier said than done, and the people who are running those blogs aren’t obliged to do it. Plus, once a book is out, there is no guarantee it would make its way into mainstream press coverage, let alone favorable coverage.

  17. RB said

    Consensus and mainstream-ism apparently is useful in science to focus the research community’s efforts.

  18. MikeW said

    Good points, Jeff. I must disagree with you on one, however. The AGW crowd does indeed admit to errors.

    Witness the latest media push from the Met office responding to the growing skepticism regarding AGW. In effect: “We’ve re-reviewed the same old data we looked at before and OMG!!! it’s worse than even we thought!” They’re changing the odds that AGW is bunk to just 1-in-20 from the IPCC’s old 1-in-10 chance.

    Why can’t someone just ask them “Gee guys, that’s a strong change in your evaluation of information you’ve had for a while. What specifically did you notice this time through that you overlooked or dismissed last time? And why do you give it credence now that you didn’t before?” Heh heh.

  19. Eric said

    #16 Jon Rappoport makes fair point, but I don’t think that he wins the argument. For all the power of the blogs, the center of gravity in the marketplace of ideas is still found in books. With the right authorship, I think that a comprehensive skeptical manifesto could be a bestseller–not to mention a step forward in the debate.

  20. JAE said

    Great right-on post! If you stoop to the level of the advocate blogs, you lose all respect from the truth-seekers.

  21. bob said

    Blogging is not as easy as most people think. It is one thing to write an opinion blog where all you do is state your opinion. Even at that, you have to be correct in what you say because the readership will call you on getting the facts wrong.

    In a technical blog you have no choice but to be correct no matter what your opinion. Others can play the “hide-the-decline” game, but if you are in the game to make intelligent, and factual, statements, you have to know your stuff.

    Good job, Jeff.

  22. Earle Williams said


    Rather than be correct, one could instead just ban the individuals that point out your errors.




  23. Jimchip said

    ‘hey Jeff this is what you should do’ is let me make a comment on your post.

    I don’t think that most, ahem, more elder ‘climate scientists’ had classes on climate. It looks like, for some, math classes were weak, too. Most of this climatology school/department stuff came about in the last ~20 years. There were real programs in climatology before that with good graduates but, then, the bandwagon hit and it was hip to be a ‘climate scientist’. [‘hip’ to me means popular program with low standards in order to maintain high retention of students and admins saying to dumb it down because it’s a cash-cow (for them) used to milk clueless freshman wannabees.]

    Before that, whatever was going on in the field was by interdisciplinary groups of discipline-trained scientists and some newly minted “Climatologists”– Not a bad situation. They also seemed, at the time, to be doing real work and not just preaching to the converted. Then we come to a, ahem, less elder group, (I will include Mann, and Schmidt) who I don’t think took many classes (if any) in climate, either. For example, Mann, a physicist, wanted to be on a frontier. A lot have done very well for themselves as part of the bandwagon mentality. This phenomenon is not unique to climate ‘science’ but the idea of MSU (no, not the technical acronym!)…”Make Stuff Up” seems to have taken hold. As I interpret some of Phil Jones’s recent testimony, Phil can rely on tradition:

    Q95 Graham Stringer: Can Professor Jones answer the question I asked
    about the list of stations, the computer programmes and the methodology?
    Nobody has ever argued that the data was not available. When your
    scientific papers are published why cannot independent people check them
    for their validity?

    Professor Jones: That is not traditionally done. You publish the paper
    but you do not always make the data available.

    It ain’t a tradition I was ever taught about or knew to practice. I bolded what I did because it even means “some bloggers”

  24. HotRod said

    Seconded in every way.

    I am dismayed by the volume of AGW is fraud, bunk, conspiracy nonsense. It’s repetitive, has a crowding-out effect, and also is off-putting to warmist readers who then have every justification for slanging this and similar threads as being populated by deniers, which reflects badly on the blog. The similarity with RC is there.

    Writing this stuff is hard too. I wrote a piece for this month’s Prospect Magazine in the UK (on their web-site, deliberately lightweight given the bien-pensants readership, don’t frighten the horses) on temperature records and paleo, not easy. And I chose the easiest topic.

    Clear thinking (lack of), quite agree, I remember reading The Closing of The American Mind many years ago, pc and relativism everywhere. My education was highly sceptical (politics, philosophy, economics). You were asked ‘why?’ a hundred times more than you were told anything.

    Since the science is not settled is something most sceptics can agree on, go with that. It isn’t.

  25. MikeT said

    As a lurker around your and other scientifically sceptic blogs for a couple of years or more, I never cease to be amazed at the quantity and quality of articles posted. I can quite understand that it is as hard as you say Jeff, which just reinforces my amazement. So, many thanks to you and your kind. I have learned much and continue to do so.

    Great post and I agree entirely with its sentiments.

  26. Excellent essay.

    There are many areas to focus on in the fallout from the wee dust-up the AGW community is embroiled in, with the science itself being only one, though arguably the most crucial aspect. There is no single source for sorting everything out, so many of the critical thinkers are going to multiple sources. I would no more expect an individual blogger to join a one-note choir than I would be willing to join one myself.

    There are threads of malpractice that extend well beyond the particular spotlighted groups of climate researchers of the day and into several other disciplines where one of the common factors is government grants whose application forms indicate the expected range of conclusions that the successful recipient is designing his or her research to lead to. And that’s only one thread.

    We each excel in those areas that interest us most. The issues in play are enormous, and need to be approached from multiple angles if we are to come to a full understanding of where all of this is taking us. A single flashlight/torch illuminates only a small portion of the landscape.

    Those with the writing and other skills essential to good blogging need high-quality sources. The occasional nugget pointing to something valuable can come from the most unexpected places. So, along with the tips come the suggestions of “how to do it”.

    I enjoy it all immensely.

    The question is, how rapidly can we get climate science into rigorous scientific method verified by fully independent, highly rigorous peer review? That question is quickly followed by another . . . how quickly can we get the political process under control to the point where it relies upon well-designed and properly conducted science?

    I suspect the former will prove far easier than the latter, particularly given the trillions of (insert your currency of choice), personal power, and control over human activity in play. Independent voices will get us there sooner than most other methods . . . always assuming those voices are allowed to be themselves.

  27. Motorhead said

    I love this blog and visit every day. You’re doing a great job! Keep up the hard work!

  28. Gary said

    I’ve notices that most people want certainty or as close as they can get to it. Skeptics, classical researchers, and the just plain curious seem to be better able to handle ambiguity. The utterly convinced ones often have some emotion at the root of their certainty, not proof. Quite a lot of the time it’s anger at or fear of the opposition (which sometimes is justified). Emotion always trumps rationality, unfortunately. Once you learn to handle the anxiety of uncertainty, however, it can be fun. Too bad most people have never learned to deal with it.

  29. Chris S said

    That you are receiving so much more attention, comments, criticism, suggestions etc, shows that you are making a difference and people are listening. You do a good job of explaining complex issues effectively, and other commenter’s often help out answering questions.

    It’s only by blogs like yours taking to task flawed, erroneous, misguided science, that people will eventually see and accept that there is a larger, political ideology driving the debate.

    I’ve been coming here daily for a couple of years now, but rarely post. I tend to accept most of your conclusions, and often find that they spark a specific interest that sends me off in search of further information.

    I’m sure this blog requires a great deal of work. It fills a niche without being “in your face”. Hopefully you realize how it’s appreciated far beyond your usual crew;)

  30. papertiger said

    Me, I’m still tickled you posted my Archie Bunker clip.

    Way more influence then I ever figured to have.

  31. Bill Illis said

    Good post Jeff,

    There is so much to do and not enough time and expertise to do a thorough job on everything. It is enough to pick out a small speciality and become an expert in it.

    But that is what needs to be done. Sceptics need to pick out what they are good at and do the best job they can in that area and leave other areas to others.

    In a way, this is what Steve McIntyre has done. He has branched out every now and again (and he is very knowledgeable about many areas of climate science) but he is now the world expert on proxies and temperature reconstructions and the Team cannot snow him. And because of Steve, the Team cannot snow the rest of us either.

    Pick out something you are good in. Become even better at it. Pass on your knowledge base to the rest of us so the snow stops. And this is not meant for Jeff, it is meant for everyone. Guest posts should be based on this idea as well.

    Right now, the GHCN database needs attention.

  32. Jeff Id said

    #31, that’s fantastic advice. The GHCN database is about to be worked to the limit. RomanM at statpad has the clear advantage in it. He’s done an amazing post which has only one comment. We skeptics should be ashamed– not really. 😀 He’s pushed the edges of anomaly combination technology (if there is such a thing) and there have been few witnesses.

  33. TA said

    I have really been enjoying your blog, and I am glad that you and other skeptical bloggers are independent thinkers.

    At the same time, I also think that input from “newbies” has a useful place. Not that you should be in any way obligated to satisfy anyone’s whim about what to write about next. However, people who are just now looking at skeptics’ blogs and warmists’ blogs are, in general, people who could become the next bunch of skeptics. So I think it is useful to see what they understand and what they don’t. If someone is interested in a topic that you aren’t interested in writing about, maybe they could be pointed toward a great article elsewhere, or given a few basics to explore it on their own. Or, if you aren’t interested in doing that either, maybe someone in the blogosphere is and they could be directed over there. Just a thought.

  34. Jimmy Haigh said

    Roman M’s GHCN post.

  35. Jeff Id said

    #33 One of the awful truths of tAV is that readers often need to accept my naturally grumpy personality. I’m interested in everyone learning about what they can but the blog here is really just me learning. There are very few climate issues I can write authoritatively on. Mann08,09, sea ice, Antarctic temps, a few proxies and some very unusual mathematical methods for calibrating proxies. Don’t be put off by it, find your own path. If people ask questions, there are a hell of a lot of pro’s lurking here who can answer them. Just yesterday I published a Tony Brown post which included Beck’s CO2 work and he stopped by himself. A few weeks ago, there was a post on explanations of hurricane strengths and we were treated to one of my favorite threads on this blog.

    All are welcome of course.. Readers are what make blogs go.

  36. Jeff Id said

    Also, it was only a year and a half ago that I nearly got kicked off Climate Audit for venting about Mann08. That’s when tAV became a climate blog.

  37. stumpy said

    “when all think alike, no one thinks very much”


    Nightlights for GISS urban rural stuff. fwiw.

  39. boballab said

    What I have always found the strength of the Skeptic blogs is it’s diversity of opinion, be it that you fit in the mold of someone like Tom fuller, who thinks that the problem is that AGW is just way overblown for the most part. Or you believe it’s au natural, or it’s land use change or some combination there of.

    The people like there is over at RC have basically boxed themselves into a corner of rigid thought. They are “it is this way or you are a denier”. There is no middle ground with them, no give and take. By being this diverse the skeptics come from all angles because they are going to look into many more little nooks and crannies due to what they think is the cause then if they all do what the RC crowd do: Follow the party line.

    Each has there own strengths and weaknesses as an example I don’t think too many of us would be able to stand going through the IPCC report looking at their references for very long, but it was something Dr. Tol and Donna Lamfrombrise (sp?) are good at due to their specialities and look what has happend from that.

    the other thing that is strength is that skeptics will point out mistakes of skeptics right on their own blogs and go from there. RC? forget about it

  40. W. W. Wygart said


    “Herding scientists is like herding cats, or should be anyway.” [my buddy Phi]

    Some possible advice to you from a great researcher and explorer.

    Reading your post tonight I was reminded of a public lecture that my uncle Terence gave to a lay audience on ethnopharmacology many years ago, when at the Q&A at the end a gentleman in the audience proposed a new line of research to him. Uncle Terence, witty Irish wight that he was, without missing a beat replied to the gentleman, “And I think God has chosen you for this work”, before continuing on to the next question.

    May I suggest you try a similar tack? I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you borrowing his line.

    God, I miss him.

  41. Kendra said

    I’ll take this op to show my appreciation, too! I’m pretty much a lurker (learner), although I’ve been studying the science for almost 2 years – only discovered you, Jeff, about 6 months ago through CA (but got to be in on that “famous comment” – was on pins and needles til you got back).

    I’m checking out some of your older posts now.

    I do like the idea that those of us with questions can throw them out to see if anyone happens to have a link / suggestion, hope that’s OK.

    My bugbear right now is finding a critical article on David Archer’s The Long Thaw – I can’t go to the library, I’m in Switzerland – so, if anyone can, I’d appreciate it (it’s not urgent and is only to be able to debate an AGWer friend who seems to think it’s the be-all-and-end-all, sigh).

  42. julie said

    re your remarks about the lack of critical thinking. I find that the ‘new’ historians are the same. First the start with a position or bias and then write (rewrite) the history. They certainly don’t believe they should allow the evidence to form their opinions.
    Our new national school curriculum (Australia) strongly asserts that it will teach critical thinking and claims to regard such thinking as of paramount importance.
    Unfortunately it undercuts these statements as it also vows to inculcate the teachings of AGW into young minds.
    Obviously the authors of the curriculum are not exactly critical thinkers themselves.

  43. gallopingcamel said

    You have put your finger on what is most repellant about AGW “scientists”. Their unjustified certainty makes them appear arrogant and condescending. They seem to think that admitting error would bring their whole house crashing down………………………Oh!

  44. Tonyb said


    Where about in Switzerland are you? I will be in the Montreux region skiing with my wife ar beginning of April. If you had any references on the material you are looking for that are not available on the web, perhaps I could obtain a printed copy and post them to you? If you are near Geneva some of the earliest CO2 readings I refer to here were taken at height near the town


  45. Kendra said


    Thanks so much for your kind offer. I’m pretty far away, Zurich during the week, for work, and the Ticino most weekends (my home, as it were).

    I guess I should explain a little: I’m definitely an amateur, but have learned alot in the last couple of years. I don’t feel I can have much of an effect, but do want to take advantage of what little opportunities I have.

    I was quite upset a couple of months ago – an old friend, a political scientist, was getting ready to teach a university course this spring on “environmental policies” or something. On a rare visit here, we had a discussion about whether or not there was a “consensus.” Without getting into details (altho one evening, we did argue over CO2), when she left, she said she was open to links, etc., I’d send simply to show my evidence that there was *not* a “consensus.” I sent a number of them. She was going to send links to the contrary. Well, that never happened. Then, right before she started to teach the course, she wrote we should “agree to disagree” and simply suggested I read the Archer book, without acknowledging in any way any of the information I’d sent.

    Well, not only does it cost about $30 but I did find a one page summary Archer wrote on it and was not impressed! I’ve also found a site that has some videos / audios.

    Unfortunately, I’m not at the level of critical thinking I’d like to be so I thought if such a book is such a hit, surely there are some critical analyses out there. But I haven’t found any – even hardly any mention of it!

    It’s getting late so I’m probably rambling a bit but the upshot is: If the next generation is being taught a course mainly based on this book, I really would like to know what it’s all about. If I can have any effect at all, it will only be on those I know – especially those few who have “power and influence.” In fact, 2 months ago I was desperate – I felt I had to do something. Then, it just became too late. Still, since then, I’ve had this “obsession” to find out what the theses of the book are(2 of which are in his “summary”) AND on what they are based.

    It’s so strange to not be able to find anything critical – almost as if the book is inconsequential – but then why is it one of the required readings for a course?

    My plan, if no one had any info, was simply to ask my sister in the U.S. to go to the library (assuming they’d have the book) and copy the references so at least I’d know if most of them are IPCC or whatever.

    What would be really wonderful is if you or anyone could put this Archer dude in perspective for me or point me to anything analytical. I feel I’m on some kind of wild goose chase but better that than nothing, eh?

    Tony, I read your article (and I’ve noticed you before in comments) and, even though it’s a bit over my head, I am so appreciative of this kind of information – there are so many variables in the whole issue.

    And enjoy the skiing!

  46. TonyB said

    Hi Kendra

    We often visit Ticino-we are very fond of Lugano.

    If your friend will only engage on David Archers book I guess if you want to engage back you will have to buy it 🙂

    I can’t find any useful critique of it on the web but hear its a pretty dull book. Its on Amazon at $13.77 today.

    I have linked to my own web site below.

    If you scroll down a little there are a large number of articles written by myself and others which are all pretty accessible.

    There are three missing; The one on Co2 I linked to previously, plus;

    Bah humbug (About climate in Dickens time)
    Travels in Europe (about temperatures in Europe in the 19th century).

    They can be found by typing in the title into the search engine on the top left of this blog.

    I shuddered when you said your friend was a political scientist-that says it all really.

    Best regards


  47. Kendra said


    Thanks for your link, it’s really fun – I spent quite some time on it. I’ve already read the Dickens article but will check out the other one.

    Let me know when you go to Lugano again, maybe through here or something (since stalking, don’t want to write my e-mail address). We used to go there alot but then we ended up near Bellinzona – we have a rustico up on the mountains above Sementina. But no big deal to go to Lugano! Or you come sopra Cenere and scope out my low carbon footprint (hahaha) but high particulates (sorry, wood stove) life style which has unfortunately become weekends only due to work. (We used to run our own translation office from there but a combination of “burnout” and the economy made us decide to go dormant and go work for “the man”)

    Archer: It’s about $30 Amazon Germany (no postage and handling charge) and would probably cost the same from the U.S. with the charges. But, and excuse me if you already saw me make this paraphrase somewhere else:

    Why should I spend all that money when I just want to find something wrong with it?

    Hahaha. Glad to hear it’s dull too. No, I’ll just have to handle this some other way.

    Yes, poli”sci” – they say you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. Ain’t quite like that, I’m afraid. And, truth to tell, in most things they’re out of the elitist loop, and we do rarely talk ideology (they know I’m a form of “libertarian” and I know he was – 30 yrs ago – an “agrarian socialist”) – outside of climate scientology, they don’t even know what’s supposed to be “in.”

    Best to you (and thanks Jeff for your indulgence here),


  48. Tonyb said


    Glad you enjoyed the articles-I try to make them accessible as climate science can be complex and rather esoteric.

    We really like the Bellinzona area having passed by the last time we went through Andermatt, and another time over the St Bernard pass. We have friends near Chur.

    I expect we will be going that way in the summer as we are likely to head to Verona for the Opera from our base in Leysin near Montreux.

    I shall keep a look out for the Long Thaw and if I see a second hand copy will buy it, read it, then pass it on to you.


  49. Kendra said


    Glad to see this now, will be off grid down in the Ticino this weekend – great weather expected! 9 a.m. train tomorrow.

    So you’re going to the Verona Opera – I have a friend who was there once, in a “box” up front. She told me she’d rather have been back with the hoi polloi, they had so much more fun. I’ve been wanting to go since forever – but it’s going to have to remain a “someday” thing. Well, I did get to see Juliet’s balcony in Verona once…

    Thanks for offer if you see 2nd hand copy of Thaw, please don’t feel you have to “enable” my obsession. But certainly, any info you or anyone else comes up with, is welcome.

    I hadn’t noticed a “contact” in your site but went back and checked, there is one – so I’ll send my contact info there for when you’re gonna be in my neck of the woods.

    Yes, climate science (scientology) is extremely complex – so much seems to be happening now at once as well – and hardly anyone I know knows anything about it at all (and do they care?). So it gets a little lonely – thank goodness my husband’s on the same page or I’d really be flailing.

    BTW, if you don’t already know the great Devil’s Bridge story, he can tell it.

    Jeff, now that I found Tony’s contact, I’ll stop taking advantage.

    Have a great weekend, and many thanks again,


  50. Walt said


    I can tell you that we amateurs of a certain age, who were thought how to think (in my case, by the Jesuits, marvelous thinkers them), appreciate what you do and how difficult it is. You keep it up my friend. I love your blog.



  51. papertiger said


    Lubos Motl went into some bit of detail on Thomas Jefferson’s meteorological data recording habits in a recent post.
    US president describes climate change.
    My impression was he barely scratched the surface. There might be a line of investigation there for you, and this being Jefferson it’s sure to have been well recorded.
    Anyway maybe another entry for your blog.

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