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Public Enemies

Phil Gutis

Posted June 23, 2008

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Today's Guardian newspaper quotes NASA climate scientist James Hansen calling for the executives of large fossil-fuel companies to be put on trial for crimes against humanity. "When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one [of] the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organizations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime," he tells the newspaper.

Crime is an interesting word. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I do believe massive malfeasance is at work. And not particularly at the oil companies. They have a product to sell and the world stupidly keeps buying it.

Where I think the finger should be pointed is at our political leaders, people like Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma who tells the Washington Post today that Hansen, Al Gore and everyone's favorite punching bags -- the media -- "have been trumpeting man-made climate doom since the 1980's."

"But Americans are not buying it," Inhofe says, citing the recent failure of climate legislation to reach the 60 votes necessary to end a Senate filibuster. "It's back to the drawing board for Hansen and company as the alleged 'consensus' over man-made climate fears continues to wane and more and more scientists declare their dissent."

Interesting stuff, Senator. Yes, the climate legislation was unable to climb past your obstructionist roadblock although it received more support than ever before.

And perhaps some scientists are coming out against the idea that humankind has warmed the planet and continues to spew increasing pollutants into our atmosphere. If so, they are awful quiet about their challenge. Perhaps they should post their arguments here and let NRDC's real climate experts take them on.

But truthfully, what proves that Senator Inhofe is part of an increasingly isolated cabal is that much of corporate America understands that we cannot continue unabated our polluting ways. The United States Climate Action Partnership includes some of the biggest names in business and the environment coming together to say this issue is real and a solution must be found. The daily newsletter Environmental Leader cites business after business scrambling to take steps to cut carbon pollution.

Is some of it greenwashing? Probably so. Is a good deal of it real? Most certainly.

The First Amendment correctly protects folks like Senator Inhofe from prosecution for their political views. But the Constitution certainly cannot protect Inhofe's future standing in American history. It is there that his behavior is likely to be judged criminal in the broadest sense of the word.

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Richard S CourtneyJun 23 2008 05:59 PM


You say:

“And perhaps some scientists are coming out against the idea that humankind has warmed the planet and continues to spew increasing pollutants into our atmosphere. If so, they are awful quiet about their challenge. Perhaps they should post their arguments here and let NRDC's real climate experts take them on.”

Well, I am an Expert Peer Reviewer for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); i.e. I am one of the often touted “thousands of UN Climate Scientists”. I and thousands of others speak, publish and sign petitions in attempt to get the media to tell the truth of man made global climate change. And in response to your invitation I post that truth below.

The AGW-hypothesis asserts that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) – notably carbon dioxide – in the atmosphere will cause the globe to warm (global warming: GW), and that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air with resulting anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW).

I think a clear distinction needs to be made between
(a) the science of AGW, and
(b) the perception of AGW - and the use of AGW - by non-scientists.

The science

The present empirical evidence strongly indicates that the AGW-hypothesis is wrong; i.e.

There is no correlation between the anthropogenic emissions of GHGs and global temperature.
Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is observed to follow change to global temperature at all time scales.
Recent rise in global temperature has not been induced by rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.
The global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose from 1970 to 1998, and fell from 1998 to the present (i.e. mid-2008). This is 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near-constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940
Rise in global temperature has not been induced by increase to anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.
More than 80% of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide has been since 1940, and the increase to the emissions has been at a compound rate of ~0.4% p.a. throughout that time. But that time has exhibited 40 years of cooling with only 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940.
The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent.
The AGW hypothesis predicts most warming of the atmosphere at altitude distant from polar regions. Radiosonde measurements from weather balloons show slight cooling at altitude distant from polar regions.

The above list provides a complete refutation of the AGW-hypothesis according to the normal rules of science.: i.e.
Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed in the empirical data, and the opposite of the hypothesis' predictions is observed in the empirical data.

But politicians and advocates adhere to the hypothesis. They have a variety of motives (i.e. personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, etc..). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis.

Hence, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates (e.g. Hansen). And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming that they are.

Richard S Courtney

Brian ValentineJun 24 2008 12:20 AM

It is my considered and professional opinion that, taking the objectivity of the IPCC peer-reviewed reports as given:

the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the IPCC demonstrate, beyond the reasonable shadow of doubt, that no "greenhouse" gas other than water has ever influenced the global climate perceptibly.

This is very far from the actual conclusions of the IPCC, and it results from differing interpretations of the analysis (and the analysis is taken to be absolutely objective). Interpretations of the analysis may differ as a result of the assumptions made by the authors in their analysis - that is, if many of the assumptions are weakened, the conclusions point opposite what many of the authors or have stated within the Assessment Reports.

A detailed commentary in the space available here is impossible. I am located in Washington, DC - and would be glad to meet with any of the NRDC representatives or their designates in the DC area - preferably as a discussion open to the public - and I would be glad to delve into the details of what I state.

My motives for doing this have been questioned considerably (with a lot of unfriendly speculation!). I simply want to do all I can to remove fear – most importantly, fear of things that are beneficial and help people. The use of rational thought to examine the physical world is one of the most remarkable capabilities that people have; where ever our reasoned considerations take us, we shouldn’t be afraid to explore, either

Paul BudderyJun 24 2008 09:31 AM

Phil, I missed your qualifications that make you more qualified to have a meaningful opinion on this subject than the likes of Senator Inhofe.

Perhaps you could give us a scientific explanation as to why, despite ongoing increases in CO2, the planet has not warmed for a decade. One day, people like yourself will be the ones apologising for costing the world billions of dollars and causing untold suffering to the world's poor. Though I doubt that you'd be big enough to offer an apology.

Jim JohnsonJun 24 2008 10:41 AM

"Yes, the climate legislation was unable to climb past your obstructionist roadblock although it received more support than ever before"

Actually you should be grateful for the "obstructionist roadblock" because if we assume AGW is a real threat then that little piece of legislation would do nothing about it other than spit in the wind while killing the economy. Thus hampering our progress toward any legitimate alternative energy. You can't just wish that stuff out of thin air.

You are also wrong about the amount of support. It hasn't really changed. It did receive a high number of votes to take it off the table. This was spun as increased support. You need a more critical eye and not just accept what sounds of feels right to you.

You are right in that it will be interesting to see who history views as criminals after all the hype is gone. I think AGW hype has hurt the credibility of the green movement. Jane Goodall is a better advocate for the planet than the likes of Al Gore in her focused concern about the obvious and measurable destruction of the rain forest that gets no attention now. In fact the biofuels debacle threatens to undermine what little progress had been made. Yet it was done under the guise of being "green". The whole "green" movement has now become a graphic depiction of how the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It may also be accused of killing the credibility of science because the demagogues pretend it's on their side and they have the ear of the media for now.

Jim PedenJun 24 2008 12:13 PM

As soon as anyone can provide me with some good solid empirical science that proves global warming is real, I'll be on your side, fighting to save the planet. Sorry, but computer modeling doesn't count, since it is not science.. simply computerized Tinkertoys with which one can fabricate any panic he choses.

So until that time, I'll have to remain just a simple skeptic ( and atmospheric physicist ), wedded to the laws of physics and watching the ice grow in both the Arctic and Antarctica, the average global temperatures steadily declining, ocean temperatures doing the same thing, and CO2 steadily rising among the whole scene.

Please don't refer me to for "proof" that AGW is real. I've already been to Disneyland, thanks...

Dan TroutmanJun 24 2008 12:30 PM

I'm only a nuclear physicist but I also agree with Mr. Peden's comments.

How about making it a crime against humanity to have more than 1 child? After all, unchecked human population growth is responsible for the increase in raw materials such as oil, metals, food, etc.

A carbon tax on every baby before birth - talk about birth control! :) Have parents pay for their child's proposed carbon footprint from 0-18 years old.

Rejean GagnonJun 24 2008 12:30 PM

I imagine that the above responses are not what you were expecting, Phil. But how can we blame you for falling for the deliberate misinformation campaign about (gasp!), CLIMATE CHANGE (booo-hahaha).

Scott SaturdayJun 24 2008 03:38 PM

Phil - Whew, I'm not a physicist (either nuclear or atmospheric) so my opinion counts about the same as Al Gore's. As an 'armchair scientist' however, who has taken a keen interest in climatology over the last 3 years, I encourage you to take that indignation and point it at the underlying science of so-called climate change. If you have even a high school level science education, it won't take you long to realize that the premise is totally unsupported with any kind of observational, empirical evidence.

Rita @ NRDCJun 24 2008 04:08 PM

For those interested in the overwhelming scientific evidence that human-caused global warming is underway, NRDC’s annotated bibliography of global warming science provides a yearly wrap-up of scientific studies. Other resources include New Scientist's Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed and Real Climate, a blog by leading climate researchers.

Brian ValentineJun 24 2008 04:30 PM

Gosh, Rita -

and with all due respect, I think your response to all this is pretty lukewarm.

People have taken their time to respond, in a responsible manner, to the "challenge" posed by the web page author himself.

But when they do the only response they get is, essentially, an (unnecessary) invitation to watch "An Inconvenient Truth"

[hate to say it but this is kind of false advertising or 'bait-and-switch' advertising]

ErnstJun 24 2008 04:54 PM

So Brian, you are not going to check out the link?

Also, exactly what sort of response were you expecting? In your own words, "A detailed commentary in the space available here is impossible."

George E. Smith (Physicist)Jun 24 2008 05:52 PM

Here's a very simple question for your "climate experts" I got it from Al Gore's book, pages 66/67, where he plotted paleo records from ice cores, of CO2 and surface temperatures for 650,000 years or so.
Despite Al's attempt to hide the fact(by vertically separating those two graphs) it is patently obvious that the surface temperature warms (or cools) BEFORE the CO2 concentration rises (or falls). In fact this is not disputed by anybody, and the delay between temperature change and CO2 response is about 800 years.

So tell me (you climate experts) how rising CO2 causes surface temperature to rise 800 years ago, before the CO2 moved.

And we now have a period of rising CO2 (from Mauna Loa); and lookie, what happened 800 years ago. We had the mediaeval warm period (well Michael Mann missed that) from 1000 to 1350 AD, just the right time to cause our present CO2 rise.

Guess what followed the mediaeval warm period; we had the little ice age. Somebody wake me up when the CO2 starts to go back down again perfectly naturally as it has been doing for the last 650,000 years.
So long as we have the oceans we couldn't change the temperature of this planet, either up or down even if we wanted to. CO2 has nothing to do with the earth's temperature; it depends solely on the properties of the three phases of water, which conveniently you climate experts don't include in those video games you play on your X-boxes.

Jim AllisonJun 24 2008 06:16 PM

Hey, Phil!

Where are the real "climate experts" refuting the responses to your challenge? Rita's ref to the Gore Gospel does not address the several specific disproofs of the AGW hypothesis. In case you are not familiar with scientific methodology, one disproof trumps 100 'I Believes.'

I spent 40 years building predictive financial computer models. Tell me what you want your weather model to prove, and I can prove it. I can, but I wouldn't.

Brian ValentineJun 24 2008 07:08 PM

Ernst -

Either the people who have responded here are posers of the most unsophisticated variety -

or they would already be familiar with the references Rita provides.

Has NRDC pre-judged the magnitude of the challenge presented by those who have littered these web pages?

Jim PedenJun 24 2008 07:52 PM

Quoting as a reliable source of information on climate science is like quoting for reliable information on mouse behavior.

"Real Climate" is a staged and contracted production, which wasn't created by "scientists", it was actually created by Environmental Media Services, a company which specializes in spreading environmental junk science on behalf of numerous clients who stand to financially benefit from scare tactics through environmental fear mongering. There you will find the word "model" used a million times, for the entire basis of the Global Warming Hoax is based on computer modeling ( not climate science ) which has thus far failed to predict anything accurately since day one.

For example, one of their past clients, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, hired them to create the illusion that Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) was somehow dangerous, despite the fact that it had been fully tested and approved by the FDA. After a lengthy national fearmongering campaign by Environmental Media Services, Ben & Jerry's proudly announced that their ice cream was "BGH-free"... as if it made any difference.

Real Climate has become the Alamo for folks like the highly discredited Michael Mann, whose original analytical blunder led to the famous "hockey stick" curve, which helped kick off the Great Global Warming Hoax after it was picked up by science illiterate Al Gore and proudly paraded around the globe. The hockey stick was proven to be an absurd blunder, but by then you couldn't put the genie back into the bottle, and today we are wasting billions of dollars on a cure for a nonexistent disease.

Perhaps the best summary of "Real Climate" was given by a Harvard trained atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Richard Lindzen, who said,

"This website appears to constitute a support center for global warming believers, wherein any criticism of global warming is given an answer that, however implausible, is then repeated by the reassured believers."

Richard S CourtneyJun 24 2008 08:22 PM


The issue is more serious than you state.

This blog supported an assertion from an AGW advocate (i.e. James Hansen) that climate realists are guilty of “crime” because they tell the truth of AGW. It accused climate realists of “massive malfeasance” and said they are “an increasingly isolated cabal”. These are serious accusations that the subsequent discussion has demonstrated to be completely false.

AGW advocates proclaim their message in every possible way, but they avoid debate of their assertions. Indeed, they commonly claim that no debate is needed because “The science is settled”. Such excuses to avoid debate are not surprising because the AGW advocates must know they have little chance of winning a debate when the AGW hypothesis is denied by much empirical data.

But this NRDC blog that insulted climate realists clearly invited debate when it said to climate realists;
“Perhaps they should post their arguments here and let NRDC's real climate experts take them on.”

And it is not surprising that some climate realists accepted the opportunity to “post their arguments here and let NRDC's real climate experts take them on.”

The result is plain for all to see. “NRDC's real climate experts” have chosen not “to take them on”. The “real climate experts” of the NRDC have not addressed a single one of the points presented here by climate realists. All those “real climate experts” were willing to do was to refer the climate realists to a science fiction horror movie, a propaganda blog, and some AGW propaganda broadsheets.

In the light of the NRDC’s failure to provide what was “written on the tin”, it is reasonable to expect an apology to climate realists from the NRDC for the serious accusations against climate realists made in the blog. But I will be surprised if the apology is provided.


Jim JohnsonJun 24 2008 09:12 PM

I think everyone is tired of seeing anyone critical of AGW treated like some kind of disingenuous oil shill or as someone just not smart enough to see things the alarmist way by people who certainly have no greater authority to talk. That condescending attitude without anything to back it up is why the alarmists fail to make any gains despite all the money they toss on their campaign. RealClimate jumped the shark when the resorted to directing folks to known far left smear sites as an answer any time a name of a critic of the AGW theory was mentioned. How can anyone take realclimate serious if it associates with known venomously partisan sites? Not to mention they are backed by the same people. In the old days these people would be selling snake oil out of the back of a horse drawn wagon. So yes I think everyone who has taken an interest in the subject has ran across RealClimate. Jim Peden even mentioned it before Rita posted. See, at least someone is reading the whole posts. I view AGW as the 90's theory that co-opted the green movement and only ego and political games hold it up now. Hopefully that leech will be removed before the green movement is sucked dry.

Brian ValentineJun 25 2008 01:31 AM

Jim Johnson -

Glad you're reading the posts from folks like Peden and Courtney - great authors, lot of fortitude, coupled with common sense to share.

As I like to tell people - Join Al Gore and me. We both believe the carbon dioxide story is complete nonsense.

We both live our lives according to what we believe - and it just so happens that my words are consistent with my actions, here; I'm not going to criticize anybody for hypocrisy, however. I have enough faults of my own and I have no business or need to criticize anybody else

Tuukka SimonenJun 25 2008 04:06 AM

Richard S Courtney says that the temperature is similar to 1940.

That is utterly bollocks.

Rick himself is full of fossil industry money:

And his claim doesn't make ANY sense at all!

Look at Hadley Centre temp data here:

Look at Gossard Institute (GISS) data here:

How on earth can anyone claim anything like that? If you can find one month that is as cold as it was in the 1940's that doesn't meant that the CLIMATE (even a child knows what it is ) is as cold. And we're talking about climate here.

Mary ChapinJun 25 2008 09:29 AM

Many posts that came before mine have doubted the link between increasing green house gas emmisions and climate change. Although I agree with the climate change theories as popularized by Al Gore, there are many other reasons to support development of alternative energy: the measure that Inhofe sought to block.

Our national security and integrity is threatened by our extreme dependence on foreign oil. We currently subsidise the oil industry, so why not support subsidies for wind, solar and biomass?

Our balance of trade is seriously out of wack, and the Asians, especially the Chinese, are buying our debt. This further errodes our independence as a nation. The more our economy can produce its own energy, the better.

Brian ValentineJun 25 2008 09:56 AM

Ms Chapin,

Your comments reflect real difficulty the Nation faces, and are well considered.

Senator Inhofe opposed legislation that would make energy cost too much - from renewable sources in regions where other sources such as coal would be far more appropriate.

You and I both recognize (and feel a lot of emotion about!) the need to improve America's economy - and prevent foreign ownership of the whole thing. We both know such a thing is within the realm of possibility (do you feel like carrying a Red Book of Quotes from Chm Mao around with you?)

You can't tell me - in your wildest stretch of accounting - that legislation designed to block "use" of fossil resources, as well as legislation that mandates the use of one energy source over another - THAT IS NOT DIRECTED BY MARKET FORCES -

won't hit the economy AND domestic ownership of money and property worse than anything else you could do.

You know it as well as I do - so if you're going to hit Senator Inhofe over something, -the idea that he is somehow "anti-US" isn't going anywhere

Jim PedenJun 25 2008 10:43 AM

Mary, just for a minute, consider the theoretical possibility that Sen. Inhofe, myself, and the 32,000 other scientists who have come forth in protest are correct. I'm not asking you to believe us, just to consider what might happen if we were in fact correct and that our climate is an essentially natural thing over which we have no control.

The new Green agenda essentially calls for the destruction ( taxing out of existence ) of our conventional industry and replacing it with "green" industry. While this is a noble and altruistic goal (disregarding the method), in fact utilization of every pinch of alternative energy currently under consideration could only replace perhaps 20% of our energy needs - and many argue far less, so I'm being generous.

I can understand the Green motivation. In the past, alternative energy has not been cost effective, so little serious progress has been made. The California wind farms, for example, are heavily subsidized by the taxpayers and could not compete with fossil fuel power plants in a free market economy. We cannot subsidize alternative energy to complete utilization, there simply are not the financial resources.

So the Greens say, "let's drive up the cost of fossil energy based industry so high that alternative energy will be competitive".

On the surface, that may sound almost reasonable. The free market has failed to promote alternative energy through normal competitive enterprise. Why not artificially introduce legislative market forces that balance the playing field?

Dr. Jim Hansen, an intelligent and well educated man, seems to sincerely believe we are approaching a "tipping point" beyond which our climate cannot recover. I am also a high-IQ type and well educated person, and I respectfully disagree. But having brought up the subject of "tipping points", we should be aware that our world economy, upon which civilizations may rise and fall, also have "tipping points".

In 1929, a one-day sharp decline in market prices triggered a 10 year depression. The market wasn't the cause, it was the "tipping point" which toppled an economy which was already in serious trouble but no one had bothered to notice it.

The U.S., and indeed even world economy is currently under similar stress. Let's walk through a simple scenario:

A small business is forced to lay off two workers because it can't pay both them and their new Carbon Tax, The two workers are now unemployed, and their productivity is removed from the economy. Their consumption drops to that affordable by unemployment compensation, which can only last for a short time, and they must find other employment. Now multiply that by many companies, both large and small. Demand takes a sudden downturn and manufacturing responds with more layoffs and plant closings. Now there are no jobs for the original two laid-off workers, and we are now beyond a recession, we are in a full-blown depression. As world economies are now linked, the depression spreads worldwide. Soon, gangs are roaming the streets looking for food, and the remaining solvent citizens are barricaded in their homes with firearms. The police and even the military are overwhelmed and total anarchy takes over, leading to the collapse of civilization as we know it. We are now in a new Dark Ages...

Sound farfetched? Perhaps it is, but my point is, economies have tipping points, we may be closer to ours than we think, and the current proposals in congress and elsewhere have all the earmarks of the straw that could break the camel's back.

All caused by computer models which do not accurately reflect the actual climate, both today and in the past.. in the midst of a cooling trend which has to date brought our "global temperature" down to 1940's level.

There is great evil in the Global Warming Hoax. Jim Hansen and Al Gore are not inherently evil persons, but what they have done to spread worldwide panic and a hysterical rush to find a cure for what I and my 32,000 science brethren consider a nonexistent disease, is potentially the greatest calamity in the history of mankind which will lead to starvation for millions, if not billions of people on our planet.

The Greens say, "We can't take the chance even if we are wrong about the climate. We must act now and vigorously head of this pending disaster even it it turns out to be a false alarm. We simply cannot take the risk."

To me this is like saying, "Our computer models are predicting we are all going to starve, so let's all quickly shoot ourselves in the head and avoid the suffering."

I'm hoping you are a bright person, Mary, and will at least consider what I have said here before calling for Sen. Inhofes' head on a platter. Wouldn't it be ironic if Sen. Inhofe turned out, in the end, to be the Saviour of civilization by bravely standing up against this global insanity until world reason could replace mass hysteria?

Richard S CourtneyJun 25 2008 11:12 AM

Tuuka Simonen

You say;
“Richard S Courtney says that the temperature is similar to 1940.
That is utterly bollocks.
Rick himself is full of fossil industry money:”

No, it is not “utterly bollocks”: it is simply true. Please do not take my word for it but check it for yourself.

I cite CRU data from

In that CRU data set the 1940 monthly values of temperature anomalies from the 30 year mean are presented in degrees Celsius.
They range between -0.191 and +0.057 with an annual mean of +0.018.

In that same data set the monthly 2008 anomalies to date are +0.053, +0.192, +0.430, +0.254 and +0.278. This is a mean value for the months in 2008 to date of +0.241.

The ranges of the monthly values for these years overlap; i.e. the highest monthly value in 1940 (+0.057) was higher than the lowest monthly value in 2008 (+0.053).

I think it very reasonable to say they are “similar” when their ranges overlap.

However, my use of the word “similar” could be considered to an understatement because the mean values differ by only 0.223 degrees Celsius and the data has inherent error of +/- 0.2 degrees Celsius.
So, within their inherent errors the mean values are not similar because THEY ARE THE SAME.

But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased by more than 30% since 1940 and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is supposed to induce "dangerous" global warming.

Also, I am not impressed by reference to a blog that only exists to smear and defame climate realists. I fail to understand how that in any way refutes the facts I have presented here and that anybody can check with little effort.

So, Tuuka Simonen, if you are one of NRDC’s “real climate experts” who wanted to “take on” climate realist arguments then you need to do much better than you have managed so far. However, I do give you credit for trying to address one of the points made here. You completely failed, but your attempt was the only one that NRDC’s “real climate experts” have provided.

Incidentally, nobody calls me “Rick” (or they only do it once).


Brian ValentineJun 25 2008 11:45 AM

Just wanted to throw in an alternative scenario to the one Capt Peden has painted:

The economy takes a nose dive from some "carbon" legislation, and business and manufacturing in the US go out like a light.

Bankrupted businesses and useless commercial property are bought for next to nothing by people with patience (The Chinese, for example).

When business operation in the US is impossible, and there is SEVERE social upheaval -

the Chinese offer to re-open business (that they own), on their terms only.

Climate and carbon legislation will be reversed all right - but people will feel more inspired wearing steel-gray loose fitting uniforms with Mandarin collars.

At least there will be no more bickering over "dress codes"

George E. SmithJun 25 2008 02:12 PM

Well hello Mary Chapin; so you believe climate change theories that are "popularised" by public figures. What sort of scientific methodology is that?

If Oprah Winfrey or Jay Leno started spreading some theory of this or that; would that be reason enough for you to accept it as truth.
But I'm not here to trash you; I'm glad you commented; so let's talk about your "alternative energy" which you say Sen Inhofe sought to block. Would you agree that the ONLY possible source for "renewable energy" here on earth is our sun. This is not rocket science; the principle of energy conservation says energy is neither created nor destroyed; so energy is either already here on earth; and hence not renewable; or else it has to come here from somewhere else, and the sun is the only source of anything but the most minute amounts of energy from other stars in the cosmos.
So whether you are talking wind, tidal, bio-fuels or any other "renewable" energy, that mechanism is renewed from the sun.

And there is the problem. The sun took 4.5 billion years or so, to store up the so-called fossil fuels here on earth, and we supposedly are about to use up the last vestiges of them, having taken something less than 200 years to render useless what the sun took 4.5 billion years to send here.

What do you think is the likelihood that energy is arriving from the sun fast enough to satisfy our cravings for it. It isn't, not by a long shot.

Humans started with nothing but renewable green energy. We clambered around in fig trees all day gathering fruit, and it consumed so much of our time, that our numbers barely sustained themselves.

It wasn't until we discovered fire, and stored chemical energy fuels like woood, straw, peat, tar, coal, and then petroleum, and natural gases, that we were able to live in increasing numbers on this planet.

"Fossil fuels" got us to this 6+ billion population point, and they or some other stored fuel like nuclear energy, will be required to prevent massive global starvation.

Your "Green" energy is certainly renewable; but it is not sustainable, because the sun ships it here at too slow a rate for our needs.

Read the Jan 2008 issue of Scientific American Journal for an article on a green renewable solar energy plant proposed for the southwest desert wastelands. That proposed plant to collect renewable green solar energy requires 30,000 square miles of land (every bit of it). That is 19.2 million acres of land; which is exactly the size of the entire Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

And the energy companies say they need only about 2400 acres out of that ANWR desert wasteland to recover stored energy deposits much greater than what will be produced by the renewable green energy plant proposed for the south west desert wasteland; that requires every square foot of that 19.2 million acres; and for security reasons would require the expulsion of the millions of people who presently occupy that land, and the exclusion of all visitors forever.

That is your renewable green energy pipedream; Mary.

Brian ValentineJun 25 2008 03:10 PM


It isn't sustainable, George, because it cannot persist by the revenue it generates.

I guess the advocate's answer is to force the Government to keep it afloat through the infusion of billions of dollars from here to Eternity, which is absurd.

The UN and other outfits run by idealistic bureaucrats with some kind of allergy to fossil fuels has condemned (probably billions) of unfortunate people to eternal poverty by supporting virtually useless "sustainable" energy projects in developing countries -

these projects provide absolutely no means for people to advance their economies a bit because the amount of useful electric power produced is insignificant compared with the cost - and the amount of capital they could possibly amass.

Mary, if this is the kind of "dream" you envision bringing to the United States, you can HAVE IT

Scott SaturdayJun 25 2008 04:10 PM

Sorry Rita, I can't let the references to New Scientist (Nude Socialist) and go without offering up a few of my own. Those of us who've turned an unbiased eye towards the issue have already weeded out obviously lopsided sources such as those you quote and don't generally bring them up unless someone else does first. If you truly have a desire to see what all the fuss is about, and why this blog seems to be so short on the promised "NRDC's real climate experts", then I respectfully offer up the following sources for you to peruse at your leisure:

These are just of few of literally thousands of sites that continually weed out the propaganda from the hard science. Climate Audit's Steven McIntyre was half of the team who blew the whistle on Michael Mann's famously wrong 'hockey stick' graph which as noted earlier in this blog, basically launched the AGW movement. Was he given a medal? Was it even reported widely? Not a chance. The IPCC simply (and quietly) left it out of the last few ARs. Remember Rita, in today's world of AGW... it's all about the source.

Jim PedenJun 25 2008 05:03 PM


Just to keep things in perspective, you should know how large the proposed drilling area is in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

Assuming you live in a typical American home, place a postage stamp on your living room floor.

That's where we'd like to recover some of our own petroleum in the Refuge.

Next vacation, take a trip up there and look around. You'll find it to be one of the most desolate, barren places on earth.

When the Alaska Pipeline was proposed, the Greens howled in protest, claiming the 12,000 Reindeer population would be adversely affected. We built the pipeline anyway, and today the reindeer population is approaching 100,000 animals.

Phil GutisJun 25 2008 08:10 PM

Apologies for the silence. I'm guilty of a post-and-run; I posted and then hit the road for work.

I do promise to soon respond more thoughtfully to some of the many arguments that have been raised here, but thought it might be interesting to quote a study that came out today from those ultra-liberals known as the U.S. intelligence community.

To quote the Wall Street Journal report: "Global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for national security over the next two decades, affecting the stability of some developing countries and potentially contributing to civil conflict, according to the first public intelligence analysis of the security impacts of global warming."

That's the Journal's initial take on the testimony of Dr. Thomas Fingar, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis. Dr. Fingar testified today before the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. His testimony can be found at:

More soon.

Brian ValentineJun 25 2008 08:37 PM

Thst is truly attention-grabbing material, Mr Gutis - and could be applied with equal sobriety to gun runners, hurricanes and typhoons, white-collar criminals in collusion with Governments, locust infestations, mineral price fixers, moral degradation sweeping society, and ancient Tribal disputes.

I don't know if you have any influence or a personal relationship with Dr Hansen - none of the people who I personally know whose names appear here have such a relationship -

I for one think that an open and public discussion involving Dr Hansen and somebody of certain convictions (similar to mine - many of those persons have commented here) would be of great value to the Public.

Do you think such a discussion would benefit the public, Mr Gutis?

I for one would be interested to hear Dr Hansen's reply to the question, why he doesn't believe the same principles outlined in the first paragraph of your article apply to him.

This is one question among others I would personally like to ask him before an audience. What do you think?

Tuukka SimonenJun 26 2008 03:32 AM

Rick said:

"The data has inherent error of +/- 0.2 degrees Celsius."

OH NO IT DOESN'T! Give me a scientific proof of that. From 1940 to 2008 there is no +/- 0.2 degrees Celsius inherent error (at least if 95 % probability is used, which is a standard).

You're making stuff up to prove your point. And your previous comment really proved that you have no idea what climate is all about. Climate is the average and variations of weather in a region over long periods of time. If you are talking about climate change, the highest and the lowest month overlapping are totally irrelevant.

If you can find months that are overlapping, that only proves that you can find cherry picking arguments to prove your point. However, anyone with an IQ higher than a 3 year old child can see that it's too cheap argument to believe.

I can find months that are as warm from the 19th century. Does that mean that it was as warm in the 19th century? Or does that prove that there are wiggles from the trend and that's perfectly normal?

Please read this:

You can see that the decade you're referring to (I think decade is the shortest period you can refer to if you talk about climate) is approximately 0.4-0.5 degrees Celcius colder than the current one.

"Expert reviewer" can mean almost anyone when we're talking about openly accessible documents and it doesn't mean that IPCC agrees with you in a single word. And it doesn't because what you're trying to say about greenhouse gasses is simply not true!

Also, check this when you're trying to say that there is no correlation:

AkseliJun 26 2008 08:44 AM

Hei Tuukka and Others

Check from here how temperatures has been fluctuating in Finland in past 7600 years.

In GISS temperature records there is only two locations from Finland which go to 1940's. Sodankyla and Helsinki/Seutula.

Sodankyla is the more reliable because Helsinki/Seutula is effected by Urhan Heat Island effect, land use changes and station location changes.

Sodankylä temperatures are here:

Haparanda Sweden gives pretty much the same view than Sodankyla.

Tuukka SimonenJun 26 2008 08:59 AM

And to further prove my point, here you can find Hadley Centre data:

Annual estimates are far less than 0.2 degrees Celcius. TOTAL UNCERTAINTY of the temperature in the year 1940 does not overlap in any full year after 2000.

Also, if you look at their web pages, they specifically say that:

"In the global and hemispheric plots, the final value for an incomplete year (green bar) is a preliminary value. Please note that until June this final value is not likely to be representative of the year as a whole. This is due to higher variability in the northern hemisphere during the winter period and the frequently different behaviour of later parts of the year."

You totally ignore that and just look at the monthly numbers. Why not look at decadal trends? Why not look at annual averages? Why not look at the trends? Why not believe in any scientific report?

Because they all say that you're wrong. That's why.

However, to make my point about your cherry picking argument, here's a list of years when it was warmer than 1940:

1944 ~ 0.0 degrees Celcius warmer than 1940

1973 ~ 0.0
1977 ~ 0.1
1979 ~ 0.0

1980 ~ 0.1
1981 ~ 0.1
1983 ~ 0.2
1986 ~ 0.0
1987 ~ 0.2
1988 ~ 0.1
1989 ~ 0.1

1990 ~ 0.2
1991 ~ 0.2
1992 ~ 0.0
1993 ~ 0.1
1994 ~ 0.1
1995 ~ 0.3
1996 ~ 0.1
1997 ~ 0.3
1998 ~ 0.5
1999 ~ 0.2

2000 ~ 0.2
2001 ~ 0.4
2002 ~ 0.4
2003 ~ 0.4
2004 ~ 0.4
2005 ~ 0.5
2006 ~ 0.4
2007 ~ 0.4
2008 ~ 0.2 (so far)

You really think that it hasn't warmed since 1940?

This decade has been as an average about 0.4 degrees warmer than the year 1940 (which you cherry picked because it was a lot warmer than others around it.

Also, every single year after 1985 has been warmer than 1940.

So even with your cheap cherry picking argument, you, Rick, fail to show that it hasn't warmed since 1940. It has, and it is because of increase in greenhouse gasses.

Jim PedenJun 26 2008 10:11 AM

Readers should be aware that there are 4 distinct temperature history sets which are widely quoted. Of the 4, only one (GISS) shows significantly higher data than the rest.

Dr. Hansen is continually "modifying" the GISS data upward on an annual basis, to support his models which are always falling short of reality. One such "modification" was analyzed and found to have been falsified by a simple mechanical rotation around the center axis, making the temperature increases more extreme.

For this reason, most practicing climate scientists now distrust the GISS temperature data and generally use the HadCrut data in their analysis, which is out of the clever Dr. Hansen's power to manipulate and falsify. Even then the HadCrut data is consistently higher than the remaining two others.

The original, un-tinkered GISS data clearly supports the notion that today's (2008) temperatures closely approximate the temperature of the 1940's. Fortunately, a number of scientists archived the original data before Hansen started modifying it. You can run, but you can't hide.

Since data sets differ, it is popular to look at "anomalies" rather than the raw data. The choice of reference point always determines the trends in the anomaly charts.

The rough facts are thus: The 1930's were an extremely hot decade, resulting in the dust bowl and ending with a high temperature by 1940 and surface CO2 measurements being in excess of 400 ppm - well beyond Dr. Hansen's panic-stricken "tipping point".

A cooling trend followed until the 1970's and then a warming trend followed until 1998. Now we're back in a cooling trend for the past decade.

So comparing one point today with another single point in the past is relatively meaningless. The climate changes, temperatures go up and down. Get used to it.

Brian ValentineJun 26 2008 10:58 AM

Mr Simonen,

Hyvää huomenta.

If you want to refine the details of the data you are discussing to monthly averages, why not refine the scope of your discussion to include position as well?

Do the data demonstrate "global" warming - or are anomalous temperatures asymmetric on the Earth?

If you see anomalous temperature asymmetries, can your theory of "global" warming from "greenhouse gases" explain them?

The plural of "gas" is "gases," I apologize for calling attention to trivia

Tuukka SimonenJun 26 2008 12:11 PM

Pardon me for using the wrong plural, I don't know where that came from. It's been a couple of years since my last English course.

HadCRUT3 data covers the globe well enough so that we can talk about "global" warming (even though some places are cooling and some are warming) since the average temperatures have been rising. There is no doubt about that.

I am aware that the dataset does not cover the whole world very well, but that's the data we just have to rely on because we can't just make up the temperatures of the places which were not measured. The satellite data backs up the station data VERY well and therefore I don't see why we would have a reason to doubt that the data is wrong.

It is obvious that there are local changes in the weather and it can be very cold in one place and very hot in many others. The weather is a chaotic system. However, in the long term we can measure the increased energy in the atmosphere by measuring the average temperatures in the long term. Because of asymmetries in local temperatures (and because energy can be in many forms and ocean currents play a big role in short term temperatures) short term temperature changes do not tell us anything about the climate trend.

You have to remember that there are many forcings, and sun has been very passive recently. Still, 2007 was very warm and 2008 will very likely be warmer than for example 1996 when solar activity was very low.

Richard S CourtneyJun 26 2008 12:53 PM

Tuukka Simonen

I correctly said that global temperature in 1940 is similar to now.

You disputed that in a rude manner.

So, I showed you that the monthly CRU data overlap; i.e. the highest monthly value in 1940 is higher than the lowest monthly value so far this year. Hence, they are clearly similar. That is simply a fact.

And those monthly data are the data. Indeed, they are all the data. It is not “cherry picking” to cite all of the data. It is cherry picking to only choose the data that fit an argument. But you accuse me of “cherry picking” because – you say – I should use the annual means of those monthly values and not the values themselves. Nonsense!

And you have claimed that I was “making things up“ when I pointed out that the annual means of those data are the same within their inherent errors.

The annual mean of the global temperature is the mean of the 12 monthly values in each year. And the mean for this year is the mean of the 5 monthly values that exist to date which I listed. And I said the uncertainties in these means are +/- 0.2 degrees Celsius. I used the normal 95% confidence level for these uncertainties. If you are not capable of doing the very simple sums to determine this for yourself then most cheap pocket calculators are capable of doing it for you. The most polite way to put this is that my statement is correct and your dispute of it is not merited.

I recognise from your writings that uncertainty is a difficult concept for you to grasp. But that does not justify your writing to me:

“You totally ignore that and just look at the monthly numbers. Why not look at decadal trends? Why not look at annual averages? Why not look at the trends? Why not believe in any scientific report?
Because they all say that you're wrong. That's why.”

NO! That is NOT why. I cited the monthly means because they are all the data concerning the simple truth that global temperature in 2008 is similar to that in 1940. It is a very simple truth but apparently it is an inconvenient truth for you.

The decadal trends support my statement and I did “look” at them. I said;
“The global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose from 1970 to 1998, and fell from 1998 to the present (i.e. mid-2008). This is 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940.”

And I did “look” at the annual averages and showed you that the global temperature is the same within their inherent errors (and I have again explained that here).

Importantly, there are no “trends” to “look at”. Climate varies in cycles (ENSO, PDO, NAO, etc.). Those cycles have to be deleted from the temperature record for observation of AGW. Two important cycles have lengths of ~1,500 years and ~60 years. The longer of these gave us
the Roman Warm Period,
then the Dark Age Cold Period,
then the Medieval Climate Warm Period,
then the Litle Ice Age,
then the present warm period.
All the cycles are overlaid on each other and the shorter of these cycles gave us
cooling to ~1910,
warming from ~1910 to 1940
cooling from ~1940 to ~1970,
warming from ~1970 to 1998,
and cooling since 1998.
Determining a trend without deletion of the cycles will almost always give a trend value but it will be meaningless. If you cannot understand this then sample parts of a sine wave and trend analyse those parts.

Furthermore, I do not “believe” any scientific report (not even my own) because I am a scientist. The first duty of a scientist is to question all information and not to believe it.

However, it is clear how you feel about my pointing out the errors in your faith.


Scott @ NRDCJun 26 2008 01:38 PM

Hi everyone,
We appreciate the spirited nature of the conversation but would remind everyone on all sides of the issue to please keep it civil.

Brian ValentineJun 26 2008 02:16 PM

Paljon kiitoksia, Mr Simonen.

You have presented a lot to discuss; following are some of my objections to what say. Overall, though, I find there are too many inconsistencies to accept the idea of “global warming from greenhouse gases;” if we find more obvious explanations for observations, I think it is more appropriate to accept those explanations than it is to try to force some theory to explain apparent contradictions – eventually, the explanations given to “patch” apparent contradictions end up contradicting themselves.

In the following, the quotations are yours:

“... since the average temperatures have been rising. There is no doubt about that.” Dr Courtney did point out that there is more than shadow of doubt about that and I won’t reiterate here what he has stated. At some point, you might like to review the methods of data reduction applied by the (four) data sets Dr Courtney has referred to – and examine, in particular, the differences in the ways that measurement errors are treated. I find it particularly interesting that by the methods employed by the GISS – the larger the measurement errors – the larger (and POSITIVE) deviation from a mean value the results appear to be reported.

“The satellite data backs up the station data VERY well ...” Yes and no. There is a persistent (and unexplained) statistical bias that results from correcting satellite data for azimuthal drift (change in location of apparent horizon as viewed from the satellite tracking station and viewed from the satellite). When the corrections are made, apparent temperature trends obtained from ground based measurements may not persist after the corrections are made (or conversely, trends may be introduced after the correction apparently were not present before correction of the drift). More importantly, however, is the apparent LACK of correction to satellite temperature data needed to account for “sulphate aerosols” that, according to modelers, must be present as a large (negative) feedback that influences radiant transfer within and from the atmosphere.

If it weren’t for sulphate, so the story goes, CO2 would have caused the oceans to pretty much boil away long ago. But where is it? Why doesn’t it influence the satellite temperature measurements in the IR?

And if it isn’t there, how can a system such as the Earth and its atmosphere with a large dominant positive feedback (namely water) remain stable for ANY length of time? And how does it come to (mysteriously) balance – exactly – the influence of the positive feedbacks over any length of time?

“However, in the long term we can measure the increased energy in the atmosphere by measuring the average temperatures in the long term.” Careful. The temperature and the average kinetic energy of the air are related. That is not the total energy of the atmosphere, however, and not the only way the atmosphere can store or dissipate energy – as you note in the following sentence. In the long term, all that can be said is that energy changes in the atmosphere will be dissipated as pV work of the atmosphere.

“Still, 2007 was very warm.” - not particularly

“ ...and 2008 will very likely be warmer than for example 1996 when solar activity was very low.” I will bet 2008 will turn out to be one of the coolest years in decades – simply because the Sun seems to have forgotten about solar cycles

Brian ValentineJun 26 2008 10:11 PM

Final note to Mr Gutis,

I think you can see from your own solicitation for possible objection to the "conventional" global warming idea that there are quite a number of people who must have considered objections to it for quite some time.

I think it is more important, though, to recognize the harm that wild demands and accusations from persons with authority such as Dr Hansen can cause - to science, and to society in general.

If I made such statements as he has in public - and I don't care what the subject matter is - I would certainly be dismissed from my employment, given NO regard or sympathy from anyone (except possible sympathy for suffering mental illness but not if it appeared I knew better), and I would have no reputation.

If the issue were put in the abstract to a reasonable person such as yourself - I feel certain you would agree

Tuukka SimonenJun 27 2008 03:51 AM

Dear mr. Valentino

First of all, mr. Courtney is NOT A DOCTOR even though the right-wing lists say he is.

I can bet $ 1000 that 2008 will NOT be coldest for decades. I can bet much more if you want because about half of the year has been warmer than most of the years in 1990's and almost all the years in 1980's. All the months this year would have to be about half a degree colder than so far so that you would win the bet. Probability for such happening is so small that I could bet my own appartment on it.

There is a very close correlation with station data and satellite measurements. For example:

They go hand in hand.

The argument about CO2 causing boiling of the oceans is nonsense. CO2 cannot warm the earth so much. We've seen it in the past, CO2 levels have been over 2000 ppm. The more there is CO2 in the air, the less it warms. Therefore it can't cause an inferno. That doesn't mean we're not expecting bad things if we don't reduce CO2 emissions because the present way of life with almost 7 billion people in this planet is very fragile. A heat wave can kill tens of thousands of people in days. A drought can kill millions.

I'm not an expert of water vapor. I think this article tells more than what I can tell about the subject:

And then... to Rick S Courney

Please give me the calculations you used to get a 0.2 degree Celcius uncertainties with 95 % confidence level. It should be no problem since you said you can do it with a normal calculator. I bet you can't even calculate it.

“The global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose from 1970 to 1998, and fell from 1998 to the present (i.e. mid-2008). This is 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming, and global temperature is now similar to that of 1940.”

You really don't have ANY clue what climate is all about. The year 1998 was way out of the trend because that year we got the stronges el Nino for a century!


Look at this again. The 1975-1998 trend (if extrapolated) follows the current temperatures perfectly. How on EARTH can you talk about cooling when we have been experiencing as rapid warming as before the year 1998?

Also, look at the 5 year smoothed lines of HadCRU and GISS temperatures:

Do you see a tipping point in the year 1998? DO YOU? NO YOU DON'T!

Also, if you calculate whether the deviations from the trend are statistically significant, you'll see that they are NOT. So if you really can count, then you KNOW that the warming hasn't stopped in the year 1998.

Brian ValentineJun 27 2008 08:58 AM

"You really don't have ANY clue what climate is all about."

Tuukka, there are probably a LOT of people who will agree with you about that statement! I think most of those people have convinced themselves that it is possible (somehow) for water vapour to absorb more in the IR if you mix a little CO2 in with it.

All the best,

B Valentine
Washington, DC

Richard S CourtneyJun 27 2008 09:09 AM


To address the only substantive point in your recent posting, you say:

“Look at this again. The 1975-1998 trend (if extrapolated) follows the current temperatures perfectly. How on EARTH can you talk about cooling when we have been experiencing as rapid warming as before the year 1998?”

I took the trouble to explain why extrapolating trends is misleading and foolish.

To illustrate the point again, look at the 1940 to 1960 trend. Or look at the 1998 to 2008 trend. They are both negative. In fact there has been no significant trend since 1995 (only variations up and down) although atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased by more than 4% since 1995.

There seems no point in responding to you when you either choose not to address the points made or you are incapable of understanding them.

Also, you persist in your untrue slanders of me. However, even if your attacks on me were valid they would not alter the truth of what I have written here and that anybody can check with little effort.

The providers of this blog asked for civility and you are the only person posting to this blog who has not provided it. One can only hope that they will edit your postings to delete profanities, insults, slanders and personal abuse.

Richard S Courtney (Dr)

Tuukka SimonenJun 27 2008 10:52 AM

Rick, you really don't get it. You really don't get that you don't measure the climate by cherry picking single years and then say whether it has been warming or cooling since.

Also, I am 100 % sure that you can't show the calculations how you got 0.2 degree Celcius uncertainties with 95 % confidence level. You are NOT a doctor. If you were, there would be proof of it. You have NEVER published any peer reviewed scientific articles of climate change. Therefore you are not a climate scientist. You are not an expert in climate issues. If you were, you would have loads of published papers. But you don't.

I just finished my first peer reviewed scientific article. It has nothing to do with climate science, but I know what you need to get papers published. And if you tried to convince the real scientists with the mumbo jumbo you spread over the internet you would NEVER get stuff like that published even on Energy and Environment.

Other readers can see the discussion of Rick being a doctor or not here:

1998 was the warmest so far because of very strong el Nino. Because single years can be far from the trend or the average of the decade, you should NOT compare temperatures between 1998-2008 by just checking the temperature of 1998 and comparing the following years to it. You have to take longer averages. And that's what every single real climate scientist does.

The whole 21th century (counting every full year) has been a lot warmer than 1995. Still you think it hasn't warmed since? Oh PLEASE!

You should really stick to being a methodist preacher, because science isn't obviously your thing.

Brian ValentineJun 27 2008 11:32 AM


Do you believe everything people write about other people that appears on the Internet?

Why are you so bitter? Or more appropriately, do you think people are more credible if they display contempt for other people? I have found that such people have the most difficulty convincing themselves they are right.

I've been slandered, abused, mocked, threatened, - and questioned about my moral integrity by people on the Internet - but that didn't change my opinion very much about the dielectric and optical properties in the infra red of low molecular weight compounds in their gaseous state.

In any case, you have reminded me that absolutely nothing is accomplished by attempts of abuse, and for that, all thanks

B Valentine

Travis MonitorJun 27 2008 01:11 PM

"James Hansen calling for the executives of large fossil-fuel companies to be put on trial for crimes against humanity."

What a vile, vile thing to advocate.
This is classic totalitarian dissent-suppression at work. What problem will be solved by hauling those who provided the valuable service of energy that we all use? Is Hansen so mad with rage that he cant see that its OUR USE that leads to them providing these goods and services? If James Hansen has so much as used those fossil fuels to drive to the store or used it for his lights at night, he is a hypocrite at best.

And if the issue is their 'guilt' in daring to challenge global warming theory, well this is the first time I've heard of western Science using the bludgeon of the law and crime to win the argument. This is the stuff of Stalin and 1984, Making it CrimeThink to deny all-knowing James Hansen's "truth" about global warming.

Anyone who cares about free speech, academic freedom and open scientific inquiry should be appalled and horrified that people should be forced into silence through the law.

I am beginning to think that Hansen's view of Global Warming is just overheated Lysenkoism.
he cant stand the heat of an open debate so he wants it shut down.

"You really think that it hasn't warmed since 1940?" - As of today in 2008 - it's 0.2C warmer than 1940. If the argument is over whether the 0.2Celsius is close enough to zero to be 'the same', let leave that as a matter of interpretation of approximations.

What is not meaningful is to point to 1998 temp as some sort of proof of trend. that was ten years ago, and a 1998 followed by later declines weakens rather than strengthens the view that such warming is due to CO2. If it was CO2 induced and not other variability factors, we'd expect a straight-line increase. The data contradicts that.
Furthermore, it is absurd to call picking 2008 'cherry picking' as 2008 is *NOW*. We should be most concerned about what the world is doing now, and apparently its now cooling off a bit from previous highs.

Grant PerkinsJun 28 2008 10:44 PM

Phil writes:

"The First Amendment correctly protects folks like Senator Inhofe from prosecution for their political views. But the Constitution certainly cannot protect Inhofe's future standing in American history. It is there that his behavior is likely to be judged criminal in the broadest sense of the word."

OK. So would that mean that if Gore, Hansen et al. are found to be wrong, but had persuaded people in authority to expend a few trillion dollars of tax payer's cash for no good reason, that would make them criminals in the same context?

Grant PerkinsJun 28 2008 11:02 PM

Phil writes:

"But truthfully, what proves that Senator Inhofe is part of an increasingly isolated cabal is that much of corporate America understands that we cannot continue unabated our polluting ways."


Or maybe they have realised that here is an opportunity to take advantage of the consumer's conditioned expectation that things will become more expensive. Build the expectation of higher prices and they will come.

Add in subsidies from tax dollars (guaranteed income for no output but even better if you can tweak the 'bonus' schemes in your favour when there is no real experience on which to set a price) and the creation of vast new markets for more-expensive-than-traditional products that will be additional costs for the captive population legally enforced and the rationale may be a little different. Perhaps not too publicly though - the pollution message is probably the better cover story.

In fact I suspect that the senior business people feel that they could not avoid following this action even they wished to. The potential returns, for very little input, are too great. If they did not follow the golden subsidy road they might well risk being prosecuted for poor business governance.

I would guess also that at a personal level they will not find the lifestyle changes and additional costs too inconvenient. In fact they probably won't really notice them at all.

So, no reason not to sign up.

Odd how Big Business can flip from ogre to hero so quickly, isn't it?

Derek AlkerJun 29 2008 07:05 PM

Tuukka Simonen wrote,

" The whole 21th century (counting every full year) has been a lot warmer than 1995. Still you think it hasn't warmed since? Oh PLEASE! "

How about comparing the 1930s to your 1995 "baseline".
Given your dreaded CO2 rising so much inbetween, why are they so similar.
It's obvious to see why your on your first "paper".
Can I have a copy, - just incase there is ever a toilet paper shortage.

I offer this quote as advice,

" How is it possible for a theory,
which is false in its component parts,
to be true as a whole?
-- Jean Francois Revel, Neither Marx nor Jesus, p. 15. "

Dr. Richard S. Courtney said to me (in NY) regarding AGW, that it is the attempted justification of
"taxes you have to pay".

In short, a politician's nirvana.

You appear to be following the money,
not the science.
Maybe you could go into politics, or the media.
Aaar, but you already appear to be doing so.

Jody FirstJun 29 2008 07:52 PM

I read this in another Forum, which appeared to me very convincing. The question is why every single National Academies and Scientific Societies agree with the role of CO2 on global warming? Certainly these scientists are not stupid, I assume. Scientists in China and India and places like that do not even have to worry about funding, they get government funding no matter what. In fact the scientists in China are going against the government's wishes when the signed the recent joint declaration for immediately curbing CO2 production
( )

Can someone give a good reason why these reputed scientists do not consider global warming as a hoax. (French Academy of Sciences among others). Royal Society’s position (UK) (Royal Society’s special discussion on climate change) U.S. National Academy Reports Royal Society of Canada (State of the Canadian Cryosphere) EPA (American Geophysical Union) (American Meteorological Society) (American Institute of Physics) (National Center for Atmospheric Research) (Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society)

William HydeJun 30 2008 01:09 AM may be interested to know that, due to your abusive, contemptous dismissal of some contributors to this website, I, a disinterested observer, automatically discounted you as a valid opinion holder. I didn't want to brush over your comments, but my brain had already told me to "Move on, nothing happenning here folks." I'm afraid I've seen this sort of behaviour too many times. Perhaps you should try to become more open-minded and agreeable. Well, that's my two cents worth.

Tuukka SimonenJun 30 2008 07:06 AM

Derek Alker said:

"How about comparing the 1930s to your 1995 "baseline"."

It wasn't my baseline. Rick said that there is no trend after 1995 (there is, if you look at statistics and for example 5 year averages (which tell you much more about climate than monthly values). That's why I compared the 21st century temperatures with 1995 temp.

But what the hell, let's do it your way and compare 1995 to the temperatures of the 1930's!


1995: +0.276 degrees Celcius anomaly

1930: -0.173 degrees Celcius anomaly
1931: -0.141
1932: -0.177
1933: -0.349
1934: -0.199
1935: -0.203
1936: -0.161
1937: -0.046
1938: -0.028
1939: +0.008

That's quite a difference. None of the 1930's annual averages are even close to the average temperature of 1995! Many years are about half a degree cooler and the warmest are about 0.3 degrees cooler! :D

Why I am on my first paper? It's because I'm not even a master yet. And that's mainly because of my AGE. I have several years left before I turn 30 and by that I should have a couple of papers finished already, looking forward to start writing the next one this fall as soon as I finish gathering the data.

My first paper is still in press and I will present it in Turku, Finland on August at Well-Being in the Information Society and the title is "Facilitators and Barriers of Automated Dose Dispensing in Finland". I can't publish it online yet, you'll have to wait for a couple of weeks.

Richard S. Courney is still not a doctor (until proven otherwise) and I think it's illegal to call people with titles they don't have.

Richard hasn't stood out with any accusations. He also hasn't shown the calculations for his 0.2 degree Celcius uncertainty. There is no proof of him being a "climate consultant", he is working in a coal industry paper (CoalTrans International) and hasn't written any peer reviewed studies of climate change.

Why should we listen to him instead of REAL climate scientists?

Richard S CourtneyJun 30 2008 08:00 AM


The facts of man-made global warming are clear.

They are:
All recent climate variations are within the range of climate variations that have happened in the past and since the last ice age.
The list of inconsistencies of the AGW hypothesis with empirical data that I provided at the start of this discussion is correct.

Anybody can easily check these facts. And any reasonable person would conclude from these facts that there is no reason to accept the AGW hypothesis.

However, a person who supports the AGW hypothesis has listed a series of slanders against me on this blog. Whether or not those slanders were true they would not affect the validity of the facts I have stated here and that anybody can check with ease.

That person now writes of me:

“Richard S. Courney is still not a doctor (until proven otherwise) and I think it's illegal to call people with titles they don't have.
Richard hasn't stood out with any accusations. He also hasn't shown the calculations for his 0.2 degree Celcius uncertainty. There is no proof of him being a "climate consultant", he is working in a coal industry paper (CoalTrans International) and hasn't written any peer reviewed studies of climate change.”
Why should we listen to him instead of REAL climate scientists?”

My credentials and my publications are a matter of record. I see no need to “prove” them to anybody except a potential client. And my client list is confidential.

The only approximation to fact in the above list of lies is that a decade ago I was the Contributing Technical Editor for CoalTrans International.

Importantly, I do not ask anybody to accept what I say concerning the AGW hypothesis. I ask everybody to check the facts for themselves


Grant PerkinsJun 30 2008 03:13 PM


With the proviso that I think the so called debate (apparently now over although I don't recall it ever existing in the public domain before it was claimed to be over), was always about politics and really only touched peripherally on science in order to try to obtain some form of secular credibility ... may I ask the following questions of you?

Firstly, how would you define and categorize the credentials required to be a 'real' climate scientist?

It is after all a comparatively new field of research, at least by its grouping title, that seems to need to bring many disciplines together to achieve fulfilment of the breadth of knowledge required.

Second question:

You asked above; "Why should we listen to him instead of REAL climate scientists?" and that prompted my first question.

But it also suggests that you do not expect to be listened to either since, no matter how capable you are as a scientist, the title of your paper in press does not seem to relate to climate science. That suggests you are not a 'real' climate scientist according to your own definition. So why should anyone listen to you?

Before you get mad about that observation, and I fear you might, I do not intend it to be any sort of negative comment about you personally or your capability. For all I know you could make an excellent climate scientist and maybe you will move in that direction.

The point is that science, in my view, is about working towards knowledge with precision using iterative methods and observations about tests applied to prove or more likely disprove theories.

Even for fairly simple topics those processes can take decades and require many different skills. For climate science to be conceived, as the study of one of the most chaotic and least understood aspects of the natural world, and be presented as all-knowing (to the level that supposedly removes any doubt about political policy making) in less time than many very smart scientists have needed to begin to understand less complex matters, seems, shall we say, extremely fortuitous. At best.

That we cannot know whether the hypothesis is correct for 40 or 50 years as a minimum because that is the period the specialists have chosen to work with (and that is likely to be a moving target of course, they always are), makes me wonder if there are alternative motivations here.

This is a 50 year experiment to be undertaken in uncontrolled conditions.

It may be an interesting socio-political and economic experiment but it doesn't sound much like science as I understand the word. Did your first paper employ such flexibility and still pass peer review? If your own field or expertise seeks some precision why do you find admitted lack of knowledge and precision and certainty, illustrated by the use of certain words and phrases, acceptable as a standard for others?

The people I worked with in Finland about 20 years ago were remarkably pragmatic people and enjoyable to work with. They were probably the most logical group of people I have ever worked with. So I hope your logic will be able to enlighten us all through the answers to my two small questions.

My thanks in advance for anything you feel able to offer.


Scott SaturdayJun 30 2008 03:20 PM

Jody -
You bring up a good question: Why do so many scientific societies endorse AGW? It's baffling to me as well. I looked at the first several of your links and was disappointed to find papers quoting only the IPCC and (God forbid) Michael Mann (see above). Some were from 2005 quoting research from 2001,2002 that is now out of date and discredited to boot. It's only been in the last year and a half that the research has begun to catch up with the rhetoric. 2007 may go down in history as the year that AGW began it's inevitable fall from grace amongst scientists (James Hansen notwithstanding). There have been some rather high profile defections in the last year from the IPCC "consensus" as well. And let's not forget that most of the scientific bodies you've quoted above are political entities - not scientific institutions. I suspect if you were to delve a bit deeper into their membership, you'd find significant dissent. Other than runaway 'groupthink' and the notion that we don't know what is causing the slight observed warming so it "must be C02" I don't have a good answer for you. Perhaps the societies listed have a statistical preponderance of computer modelers as members....

Jody FirstJun 30 2008 11:00 PM

Scott, Thanks! Here is my opinion, and may be you will see why I have a hard time in believing the skeptics (this is probably true for a number of people). Many of the URLs I gave earlier quote (especially the books by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences) more than IPCC and Mann. IPCC only collects published work and summarize it, and from what I understand even a skeptic of AGW cannot find enough published papers to make any dent in the conclusion. Mann’s work, as I understand it, was thoroughly analyzed by the National Academy and the conclusions were found to be correct, and the statistical errors were not enough to change the outcome. Of course the Wegmen report was critical, but how Wegmen was selected by a political process (by the U.S. Rep. Joe Barton) casts significant doubt on that report.

I am not sure whether there are any new recent fundamental findings that can challenge AGW. Probably the recent paper by Roy Spencer and Stephen Schwartz’s paper on heat capacity are the only two exceptions I can see. Even in those, Spencer never claimed any wider applicability (as opposed to what he is claiming in his blogs), and Schwartz’s single constant assumption has been challenged, so I am not sure how significant they are in challenging AGW. On an empirical basis, the present cooling (if there is one) may not be any different than the short term cooling observed after 1880s or after 1940s. Those were short term cooling periods in an overall warming pattern. So, I am not sure how much of the fundamentals or the empirical evidence of AGW can be challenged with the new findings.

Well, I am a graduate student (in chemistry) and my advisor is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. According to him, only the best scientists can get into the academy (they limit the new members to 60 or so) and the membership is based only on scientific standings. So, I do not have a rational basis to doubt their conclusion. If we take a look at this URL:

and see how many organizations agree with AGW, it is rather impressive. The only group with some reservations is the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (and that is not very difficult to figure out).

When you look at the skeptics list:

We don’t see many reputed climate scientists (there is Lindzen, Spencer and Christy, that is pretty much it). There is also a list of former AGW skeptics, although that is immaterial here.

So here is the problem. When people like Jim Peden, Richard Courtney, etc say one thing and all these scientists and scientific organizations say the opposite thing, I have to go with the group that has a higher scientific credibility. Unfortunately I could not find that many publications by Jim Peden or Richard Courtney (I did a rough check since they appeared to claim their scientific credentials, I don’t want to quote the exact numbers here). That is perfectly fine. But when I compare the opinions of Jeff Severinghaus, Michael Mann, Jim Hansen, etc with lots of excellent publications, coupled with the opinions of all those scientific societies, I or any reasonable rational person will have to go along with the group that has a higher credibility in this field. Things will change if the skeptics can come up with an impressive group of climate scientists to support their view in the future.

By the way, Jim, I disagree with your statement that “computer modeling doesn’t count as science” and they are Tinker toys. I work in quantum chemistry, which is pretty much all computer calculations. This field is well recognized as a part of science (John Pople received a Nobel Prize in that field) and quantum results are extremely useful also. So, Jim, Sorry I have to strongly disagree with you.

Tuukka SimonenJul 1 2008 05:10 AM


1. "All recent climate variations are within the range of climate variations that have happened in the past and since the last ice age."

No all of them. CO2 concentration is way higher than it has been for tens of thousands of years and very probably for hundreds of thousands of years.

However, by measuring natural variations we should have been cooling since the 80's. The fact that we're still in the same temperature range since the last ice age only means that the problem still isn't here with its full effect. It does not prove that anthropogenic global warming doesn't exist. The globe is warming rapidly (if you look at the CLIMATE and not the WEATHER) and we're going to experience warmer climate than ever since the last ice age.

2. "The list of inconsistencies of the AGW hypothesis with empirical data that I provided at the start of this discussion is correct."

No they are not. You said that the temperatures are similar to 1940 and they aren't. I can say that I am similar to a gorilla because we share the same genes (well, most of them) but that doesn't make me a gorilla. By saying "similar" it means that the average temperature should be somewhat the same. Which they aren't.

Also you say that there is no correlation between anthropogenic emissions and GW but anyone can measure the absorption of CO2 and CH4 and see that you are wrong. By saying that, you are saying that there is no such thing as greenhouse effect. That is against the laws of physics.

Also, CO2 concentrations do not always lag temperatures and even if they would, that wouldn't mean that CO2 wasn't a feedback after every ice age and wasn't speeding up the warming. That would also be against the laws of physics.

You also said that most of the time we've been experiencing cooling. Look at this:

For the last 60 years, every 5 year period has been as warm or warmer than previous. 5 year periods tell us much more about the climate than 1 year or monthly values because it reduces the effect of noise. Do you agree on that? A real climate scientist would agree.

I'm still waiting for the calculations (0.2 degrees Celcius). You don't have them, do you?

Grant Perkins:

1st: A real climate scientist is someone who has education (preferably a doctor) in an area of climate sciences (astrophysics, climatology ect.) and who has published several peer reviewed articles in scientific journals in an area of climate sciences. It's simple as that. And if we look at Rick here, he has no education nor articles to prove that he is a climate scientist.

2nd: Why should you listen to me? You don't have to. I just show you that Rick is not a climate scientist. You should listen to climate scientists if you want to know something about climate. That's what I do myself, but I only listen to those who have the reputation and education.

I´m not even trying to say that I have the qualifications of being a climate scientist and still I can say that Rick would never get his sayings published on a proper peer reviewed journal (Energy & Environment isn't one and I don't think even they would publish stuff like that). He claims he is a climate scientist even though he isn't and he has recieved massive amounts of money from fossil industry.

Climate sensitivity has been researched since 19th century:

And even the most prominen sceptics like Nir Shaviv say that there is a correlation with anthropogenic GHGs and temperature. What Rick here is trying to say is not only against the climate scientists of the IPCC and the national academies, he is also saying things against the opinions of over 90 % of the climate sceptics.

I didn't get mad at all, I think you made good points to the discussion. My first paper was about the subjective opinions of pharmacy employees using an information system with many stakeholders involved and all I really had to do was to understand what how the system works, what needs to be refined, what were the problems and what is happening in other countries with similar service available. After the publication anyone can do the same as I did and I think the paper would be quite similar with the same problems identified if the same data is used.

It's not as interesting as the climate science but I believe the thing I'm researching can enhance the quality of lives for elderly people. Hopefully I have a small impact on that.

Mark WilsonJul 2 2008 08:18 AM

One issue I have not seen discussed, is the quality of the climate data which everyone, on both sides, is using to support their arguments.

To be kind, the data is ****. Read Anthony Watt's site for an ongoing review of weather data stations. The quality control on these sites run from abysmal to non-existent.

Beyond the micro-site issues that Anthony has been documenting, there is also issues with Urban Heat Island contamination and other land use change issues.

Beyond that, there is significant issues with coverage. The vast majority of stations are located in the US, Europe, and Japan. Less than 5% of the world's surface area. The oceans are virtually uncovered. What data we do have from the oceans are even more questionable than the land data, what with undocumented changes in data collection techniques, and random, uncoordinated data collection points.

A complete and utter mess. To even begin to unravel this mess, you would need metadata on the changes that have occured at and near each station. But with very, very, rare exceptions, such data does not exist.

As far as I'm concerned, the claim that we know the earth's temperature within a few tents of a degree C, is just not supportable. The further back in time you go, the claim gets even less supportable. In all propability, the true error bars for the world's temperature estimates, today, should be closer to 2-3C. Doubling as we get closer to a century ago.

Mark WilsonJul 2 2008 08:37 AM

Before you spend too much time reading wikipedia, remember that the editor of that section is an AGW acolyte. There have been many complaints regarding his practice of removing any data that does not conform to the AGW orthodoxy.

As to the IPCC, that to is primarily a political organization, who's primary authors and editors were chosen by the govts involved. Of the oft quoted 2500 scientists who were supposedly involved in it. Most of them were reviewers. Have you read the review comments, I have. There were many critical reviews that were rejected by the editors without explanation.
The IPCC was written by a small handfull of authors, not 2500. The executive summary, was written by even fewer.

Mark WilsonJul 2 2008 09:03 AM

For a good example, here's a post today regarding the weather station for Sydney, Australia.

As mentioned in the article, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology excludes this station from it's studies, but Hansen's GISS continues to include it.

Just look at the pictures of the area surrounding the station, and try to convince me that the data being collected from the earth based stations is useable.

Tuukka SimonenJul 2 2008 09:09 AM

Read that. You will see that urban heat island isn't a big deal. Even the "worst" stations are doing their job properly.

Actually when you lurk more, you'll see that IPCC says that the temps have been rising 0.7 degrees Celcius in rural areas and 0.65 degrees Celcius full dataset (between 1880-1998):


"While there is little difference in the long-term (1880 to 1998) rural (0.70°C/century) and full set of station temperature trends (actually less at 0.65°C/century), more recent data (1951 to 1989), as cited in Peterson et al. (1999), do suggest a slight divergence in the rural (0.80°C/century) and full set of station trends (0.92°C/century). However, neither pair of differences is statistically significant. In addition, while not reported in Peterson et al., the 1951 to 1989 trend for urban stations alone was 0.10°C/decade. We conclude that estimates of long-term (1880 to 1998) global land-surface air temperature variations and trends are relatively little affected by whether the station distribution typically used by the four global analyses is used, or whether a special effort is made to concentrate on rural stations using elaborate criteria to identify them. Part of the reason for this lack of sensitivity is that the average trends in available worldwide urban stations for 1951 to 1989 are not greatly more than those for all land stations (0.09°C/decade). The differences in trend between rural and all stations are also virtually unaffected by elimination of areas of largest temperature change, like Siberia, because such areas are well represented in both sets of stations."

Any comments?

Mark WilsonJul 2 2008 01:48 PM


The problem is that most of the stations listed as rural, haven't been in 50 years.

As a result, you are comparing the UHI from one urban station to another, so it's not surprising that the UHI affect is minimal.

The claim that UHI has been properly subtracted from the temperature data fails the laugh test.

Tuukka SimonenJul 2 2008 03:55 PM

Mark Wilson, do you have any scientific proof that verifies that "most rural sations aren't really rural anymore". NASA looks satellite pictures of household lighting and identifies the urban stations (and excludes some out of the dataset)? Or did you just make that up?

Also, satellite measurements tell that the station data is correct. Period.

Also, most of the warming has happened in the north pole and around it and there are no big cities at all. Actually if you look at the gridded temp anomalies you'll see that the whole UHI argument is totally flawed. Especially because the satellite measurements verify that the data is approximately correct.

Also, I'd like to see peer reviewed scientific studies that tell that UHI is causing the bias in temp measurements. Anthony Watts sucks at statistics and is no climate scientist. He is a TV weatherman with lousy arguments which he draws back every now and then.

Even a child should have noted that. A real climate scientist would have noticed that in 1 second.

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