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Climategate: Here Comes Courage! (Is climate catastrophism losing its ‘politically correct’ grip?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 4, 2010

The times are changing in the wake of Climategate. And more is to come as the polluted science embedded in the email exchanges gets reviewed by talented amateurs and pros alike on the blogosphere (see Climate Audit,  Roger Pielke Jr., and WattsUpWithThat, in particular).

Given time, the rethink will go mainstream. Scientists are truth seekers at heart, but an entrenched mainstream of climate scientists–so many of them friends and political allies–will need to be nudged out of their denialism.

Old voices are challenging their ‘mainstream’ colleagues, and new voices are coming forth. I have seen this clearly here in Houston (examples below), and I expect it is happening elsewhere.

Consider what Andy Revkin, the recently retired climate-change science writer at the New York Times, told the public editor at the Times regarding Climategate: “Our coverage, looked at in toto, has never bought the catastrophe conclusion and always aimed to examine the potential for both overstatement and understatement.”

Sounds like the Times will report both sides of the issue now, rather than just trumpet alarmism as it was prone to do in the past (remember William K. Stevens?). Joe Romm at Climate Progress (Center for American Progress) is furious at this development, but just maybe over-the-top Joe has himself to blame for getting Revkin and the like to want to report on both sides more than ever before. And Romm himself is now considered damaged goods by the Left, thanks to the four-part expose by the Breakthrough Institute.

Climategate, in short, is making quite a difference. But much more courage is needed.

Dr. Michelle Foss (University of Texas at Austin)

Consider Michelle Michot Foss, an internationally respected energy economist with the University of Texas at Austin who is past president of both the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (2001) and the International Association for Energy Economics (2003). Her December 8th letter to the New York Times read:

To the Editor:

Your editorial concludes, “It is also important not to let one set of purloined e-mail messages undermine the science and the clear case for action, in Washington and in Copenhagen.”

Hold on a minute. It was precisely because “one set” of opinions has been driving climate politics that the whistleblowers, not hackers, published the evidence. And it is precisely because of the type of coverage that The New York Times and other mainstream news organizations are giving the whistleblowing incident that the integrity of both the scientific and journalistic communities is being threatened.

Honest questions have been raised and honest attempts have been made to shed light on questionable claims about climate science for decades. We need to push for greater disclosure, more scrutiny, better research and a halt in the action before we jump into policy and regulatory schemes that we will deeply regret.

Dr. Foss has kept her views somewhat under wraps given her university position, but Climategate was enough for her to go public in the above very public way.  And she has received a number of emails of support–and some emails by her alarmist friends to the effect: ‘gosh Michelle, I agree with you on Climategate, but I thought you were one of us….’

To such critics, her answer can be: Climategate proves that alarmism is exaggerated, and most modest warming scenarios win the debate for adaptation over mitigation. Robert Murphy has made this point in a post very widely read among economists and entitled “Apologist Responses to Climategate Misconstrue Real Issues.”

I think that if some on the UT-Austin faculty were to try to silence her powerful voice, they would have a (climate) McCarthyism issue on their hands post Climategate. What a difference compared to several months ago!

Dr. Neil Frank

Also consider the case of Dr. Neil Frank, a former director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami and a weather forecaster at KHOU-Channel 11 in Houston. He previously did not want to enter the climate fray for fear of being marginalized by the mainstream–including the hometown Houston Chronicle, whose editorial board is a bastion of alarmism, except for their science writer Eric Berger (skeptical of Gore-type alarmism) and business columnist Loren Steffy (anti cap-and-trade).

Dr. Frank just published an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, Climategate: You Should be Steamed, where he explains why the silent majority in his profession have been mistreated by the academic mainstream/IPCC crowd. (His op-ed is reprinted as an appendix below.)

Dr. Peter Hartley (Rice University): Courage Following Berger’s Courage

It is a sad state of affairs–a Climategate-like situation–when a tenured, chair professor has to sneak his skeptical views about climate alarmism into the public debate. But this is the situation for Peter Hartley at Rice University, and specifically at the James A. Baker Institute where Dr. Neal Lane, a former Clinton Administration official and confidant of Obama science advisor John Holdren (who has been featured at climate events at Baker without balance on the other side) has shut down debate on the physical science of climate change.

Dr. Hartley has been beaten down at Baker for years, and he is full of stories about how other Rice University professors have concerns about climate models (and the “hockey stick” work of Climategater Michael Mann) but have stayed quiet because so much government funding is at stake. I have been present at a meeting of the Houston Chronicle editorial board where Dr. Hartley lamented the situation at the Baker Institute on climate-change science. The editors may not have taken note, but Chronicle science writer Eric Berger did. And it was Berger who mustered up a bit of courage to write a telling blog on feeling duped by Al Gore and climate alarmism. And as a comment on Berger’s blog, Hartley came out of the closet to note:


First, thank you for maintaining an open mind on this subject. It is unfortunate one has to say that, but certain groups have worked to make it very hard to do so, or at least to admit to it in public.

Second, as a science writer for a major newspaper I think you should ponder the policy implications if natural climate change is more significant than was thought and can dominate the effects of CO2. It ought to make adaptation strategies more attractive since they can protect against climate shocks whatever the source while limiting the build-up of CO2 world-wide (assuming it can be done any time soon) can at best protect against just one source of climate change. This case is further strengthened [if], as is almost surely the case, additional CO2 in the atmosphere has direct benefits for plants and thus for agriculture, ecosystem productivity, greening of the deserts and much else besides. Good adaptation strategies would allow those benefits to be retained while controlling the costs of climate effects.

Fortunately, a thaw is in the air, as a climate discussion/debate has been planned for the evening of Wednesday January 27th at Rice University (but not at the Baker Institute!) between skeptic Richard Lindzen of MIT and Jerry North of Texas A&M.  Stay tuned.


The emergence of new voices is an important development brought on by Climategate. But other voices are still intimidated into silence. There have been mini-climategates at a lot of places, including top universities (email releases anyone?).

It is time for science and ideology to come clean in what could and should be a new era of transparency for physical science and associated public policy. Climate alarmism and the whole neo-Malthusian worldview toward population, resources, etc. needs a full pro/con hearing.

May the best science and public policy win!


Climategate: You should be steamed


Jan. 2, 2010, 4:28PM

Now that Copenhagen is past history, what is the next step in the man-made global warming controversy? Without question, there should be an immediate and thorough investigation of the scientific debauchery revealed by “Climategate.”

If you have not heard, hackers penetrated the computers of the Climate Research Unit, or CRU, of the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia, exposing thousands of e-mails and other documents. CRU is one of the top climate research centers in the world. Many of the exchanges were between top mainstream climate scientists in Britain and the U.S. who are closely associated with the authoritative (albeit controversial) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Among the more troubling revelations were data adjustments enhancing the perception that man is causing global warming through the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Particularly disturbing was the way the core IPCC scientists (the believers) marginalized the skeptics of the theory that man-made global warming is large and potentially catastrophic. The e-mails document that the attack on the skeptics was twofold. First, the believers gained control of the main climate-profession journals. This allowed them to block publication of papers written by the skeptics and prohibit unfriendly peer review of their own papers. Second, the skeptics were demonized through false labeling and false accusations.

Climate alarmists would like you to believe the science has been settled and all respectable atmospheric scientists support their position. The believers also would like you to believe the skeptics are involved only because of the support of Big Oil and that they are few in number with minimal qualifications.

But who are the skeptics? A few examples reveal that they are numerous and well-qualified. Several years ago two scientists at the University of Oregon became so concerned about the overemphasis on man-made global warming that they put a statement on their Web site and asked for people’s endorsement; 32,000 have signed the petition, including more than 9,000 Ph.Ds. More than 700 scientists have endorsed a 231-page Senate minority report that questions man-made global warming. The Heartland Institute has recently sponsored three international meetings for skeptics. More than 800 scientists heard 80 presentations in March. They endorsed an 881-page document, created by 40 authors with outstanding academic credentials, that challenges the most recent publication by the IPCC. The IPCC panel’s report strongly concludes that man is causing global warming through the release of carbon dioxide.

Last year 60 German scientists sent a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to “strongly reconsider” her position supporting man-made global warming. Sixty scientists in Canada took similar action. Recently, when the American Physical Society published its support for man-made global warming, 200 of its members objected and demanded that the membership be polled to determine the APS’ true position.

What do the skeptics believe? First, they concur with the believers that the Earth has been warming since the end of a Little Ice Age around 1850. The cause of this warming is the question. Believers think the warming is man-made, while the skeptics believe the warming is natural and contributions from man are minimal and certainly not potentially catastrophic à la Al Gore.

Second, skeptics argue that CO2 is not a pollutant but vital for plant life. Numerous field experiments have confirmed that higher levels of CO2 are positive for agricultural productivity. Furthermore, carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas. More than 90 percent of the warming from greenhouse gases is caused by water vapor. If you are going to change the temperature of the globe, it must involve water vapor.

Third, and most important, skeptics believe that climate models are grossly overpredicting future warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide. We are being told that numerical models that cannot make accurate 5- to 10-day forecasts can be simplified and run forward for 100 years with results so reliable you can impose an economic disaster on the U.S. and the world.

The revelation of Climate gate occurs at a time when the accuracy of the climate models is being seriously questioned. Over the last decade Earth’s temperature has not warmed, yet every model (there are many) predicted a significant increase in global temperatures for that time period. If the climate models cannot get it right for the past 10 years, why should we trust them for the next century?

Climategate reveals how predetermined political agendas shaped science rather than the other way around. It is high time to question the true agenda of the scientists now on the hot seat and to bring skeptics back into the public debate.


Neil Frank, who holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University in meteorology, was director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–87) and chief meteorologist at KHOU (Channel 11) until his retirement in 2008.




  1. TheSkyIsFalling  

    This article scores a bullseye. No doubt it will be widely publicised by the skeptical blogs and hopefully by the media. Once again a very professionally written piece.

    I certainly agree that climategate has emboldened many people. I see it amongst colleagues who once thought it “nutty” to challenge global catastrophists “projections” – close to zero remain of that opinion now interestingly enough. The alarmists ran an excellent campaign until very recently and the more articles like the above that come out the more sense will be injected into plans to tax wealth and appropriate rights over freehold property for “carbon sinks” without any compensation (you may have noticed the Australian article today re the last matter). The catostrophists now seem to be the fringe group; as it should be.


  2. Hopalong  

    “Climategate, in short, is making quite a difference.”

    Not to the actual science it isn’t. Sceptics and deniers can take not serious heart from this trivial side show.

    “The catostrophists now seem to be the fringe group;”

    Nice try. But fail. The hardcore deniers are the ones who have yet to make a serious case against mainstream climate science, and have had to resort to their own versions of alarmism (‘the economy will be rooned’, etc).


  3. Robert Bradley Jr.  

    Hopalong: Climategate is about exaggerating and pushing science in political directions. That is widely recognized and will not go away–it is a lesson for the ages, in fact.


  4. TheSkyIsFalling  

    Professor Barrett, award winning Antarctic scientist (2004): “After 40 years, I’m part of a huge community of scientists who have become alarmed with our discovery, that we know from our knowledge of the ancient past, that if we continue our present growth path, we are facing extinction. Not in millions of years, or even millennia, but by the end of this century.”

    Only 90 years until we find out if the prophesies of Barrett and his huge community are correct. The last of the generations of man are already upon the earth. 😉


  5. Chris Horner  

    It isn’t the skeptics who have the case to make. They aren’t asking for money, power, or sacrifice. All they seem to be asking for is to stay true to various relevant principles of science and policymaking, as opposed to throwing them out the window for this one brass-ring issue.

    The alarmists are the ones making the demands, and regardless have the case to make even had they simply limited themselves to science as opposed to letting slip their social and ideological demands.

    What ClimateGate reveals, in the authors’ own words, in full context, is that they cannot make it. And what they will stoop to in the face of this.


  6. KDK  

    Thanks… Yes, the UN is the MOST corrupt organization and the us gov is not far behind. The UN Must be stopped as climategate shows, the UN agenda is ANYTHING BUT about helping the beings on this planet–minus, of course, the UNs masters and operators.

    The UN must be stripped of all its power given by our ‘gov’ in, more than likely, an underhanded manner–meaning, the citizens have no clue how our ‘gov’ gives away our money and freedom to the UN… sick.

    No swine flu, no oil for food (good one, O4F and AGW… lol), no global warming…. just billions of dollars STOLEN from the citizens of the world and many experimented upon.

    The same gov that tells us to “double the amount of MERCURY in our ‘vaccines’ to combat the flu” (Mercury is one of THE most toxic elements on the planet) and that “CO2 is a pollutant” (one of the most essential and non-threatening elements on the earth. LOL… it is insanity people.

    Listen to all the skeptics about everything/every issue. If the MSM calls other opinions/theories a conspiracy… guess what you should do? Listen to the engineers, scientists, architects, and Doctors that DISSENT from our social engineering mechanisms (msm/UN/FED/etc) because they put their selves on the line for truth… Yes, TRUTHs based on FACTS and SCIENCE that can be proven. Don’t let the foolish guide your head via emotions and lies… Our US gov is corrupt and all one has to do is look at the majority of their investments… bho in pharma and cap/trade should be a start on this hot topic that should lead to investigations into ALL promoters.

    B-Sept 11, 2001, Healthcare, AGW, Agenda 21 (what will happen with cap/trade–very bad), Codex Alimentarius (forcing you to get a script for VITAMINS–yes, control of nutrition…look it up)… MSM is owned by the people that will benefit at your/my expense and this UN fiasco MUST, MUST awaken people to the fact that there are LARGE conspiracies that steal our freedom and capital.

    Please… for your/my children and your selves, make sure you at least strip away what you’ve heard and research DISSENT on your own; everything above would be a great place to start.

    Oh, and yeah, Agenda 21 will take your property away and force us to live in communes–not today, not tomorrow, but those planners don’t plan short-term, they plan LONG-term (which is beyond the masses understanding apparently) so they can make minor changes and allow the masses to think they have quit. No… WE NEED transparency and the UN must go.

    Don’t forget, our gov is supposed to be for the WELFARE of THIS (or YOUR) country, NOT a patsy for WORLD GOV…


  7. a. n. ditchfield  

    The Lebensraum doctrine of Green activists rests on three tenets they accept with an act of faith:
    • We are running out of space. World population is already excessive on a limited planet and cannot grow without dire effects.
    • We are running out of means. The planet’s non-renewable resources are being depleted by consumption at a rate that renders economic expansion unsustainable.
    • We shall fry. Carbon dioxide emitted by human economic activity causes global warming that shall make the planet uninhabitable.
    When such tenets are quantified, the contrast between true and false stands out sharply.
    Is overpopulation a grave problem? The sum of urban areas of the United States is equivalent to 2% of the area of the country, and to 6% in densely inhabited countries such as England and Holland. And there is plenty of green in urban areas. If comparison is limited to land covered by buildings and pavements the occupied land in the whole world amounts to 0,04% of the terrestrial area of the planet. With 99.96% unoccupied the idea of an overcrowded planet is an exaggeration. Population forecasts are uncertain but the most accepted ones foresee stability of world population to be reached in the 21st century. According to some, world population may begin to decline at the end of this century. With so much elbowroom it is untenable that world population is excessive or shall ever become so.
    Strictly speaking, no natural resource is non-renewable in a universe ruled by the Law of Conservation of Mass. In popular form it holds that “Nothing is created, nothing is lost, all is transformed.” Human usage is not subtracted from the mass of the planet, and in theory all material used may be recycled. The possibility of doing so depends on availability and low cost of energy. When fusion energy becomes operative it will be available in practically unlimited quantities. The source is deuterium, a hydrogen isotope found in water, in a proportion of 0.03%. One cubic kilometer of seawater contains more energy than can be obtained from combustion of all known petroleum reserves of the world. Since oceans hold 3 billion cubic kilometers of water, energy will last longer than the human species.
    There is no growing shortfall of resources signaled by rising prices. Since the middle of the 19th century The Economist publishes consistent indices of values of commodities and they have all declined, over the period, due to technological advances. The decline has been benign. The cost of feeding a human being was 8 times greater in 1850 than it is today. In 1950, less than half of a world population of 2 billion had an adequate diet, above 2000 calories per day. Today, 80% have the diet, and world population is three times greater.
    There is a problem with the alleged global warming. It stopped in 1998, after having risen in the 23 previous years, and unleashing a scare over its effects. Since 1998 it has been followed by 11 years of declining temperatures, in a portent of a cold 21st century. This shows that there are natural forces shaping climate, more powerful than manmade carbon dioxide and anything mankind can do for or against world climate. The natural forces include cyclical oscillation of ocean temperatures, sunspot activity and the effect of magnetic activity of the sun on cosmic rays. All such cycles are foreseeable, but there is no general theory of climate with predictive capacity. What knowledge exists comes from one hundred fields, such as meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, paleontology, biology, etc. with partial contributions to the understanding of climate.
    Devoid of support of solid theory and empirical data, the mathematical models that underpin alarmist forecasts amount to speculative thought that reflects the assumptions fed into the models. Such computer simulations offer no rational basis for public policy that inhibits economic activity “to save the planet”. And carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it is the nutrient needed for photosynthesis that supports the food chain of all living beings of the planet.
    Stories of doom circulate daily. Anything that happens on earth has been blamed on global warming: a Himalayan earthquake, a volcanic eruption, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, tribal wars in Africa, heat wave in Paris, recent severe winters in North America, the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, known for five centuries, the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota. Evo Morales blames Americans for the summer floods in Bolivia.
    Global warming is not a physical phenomenon; it is a political and journalistic phenomenon that finds parallel in the totalitarian doctrines that inebriated masses deceived by demagogues. As Chris Patten put it: “Green politics at its worst amounts to a sort of Zen fascism; less extreme, it denounces growth and seeks to stop the world so that we can all get off”. In the view of Professor Aaron Wildavsky global warming is the mother of all environmental scares. “Warming (and warming alone), through its primary antidote of withdrawing carbon from production and consumption, is capable of realizing the environmentalist’s dream of an egalitarian society based on rejection of economic growth in favor of a smaller population’s eating lower on the food chain, consuming a lot less, and sharing a much lower level of resources much more equally.” Their dream is the hippies’ lifestyle of idleness, penury, long hair, unshaven face, blue jeans, sandals and vegetarian diet, imposed on the world by decree of Big Brother, and justified by the Lebensraum fallacy.


  8. Bruce Stram  

    Full disclosure, I know principals on both sides of the GHG issue that I find to be cogent and compelling and honest. I’m in the middle leaning strongly toward believing climate change.

    My challenge to the skeptics is this: granted some scientists have become advocates and behaved badly, granted we’ve had an increase in CO2 caused by humans and a warming verified by a broad melting of ice and other observations.

    Given these it is not unreasonable to ask whether the human CO2 might be causing the warming. Grant also that the science is very difficult (uncertain not difficult in the sense of Quantum Mechanics), and that the consequences are potentially of great concern. Clearly the “world” needs some advice from science on this matter. How might that be organized? I have a hard time thinking of a better process than the IPCC. You argue, I think, that this process has been corrupted. If so, what alternative is there for science to advise policy makers on potentially momentous matters whose cause and effect may be uncertain?

    Whatever we might conclude about global warming, I can’t imagine any sensible person not coming to the conclusion that human activity is now of a scale to substantially affect the globe. Any related science will likely often if not always be uncertain. What are we to do?


  9. Robert Bradley Jr.  


    I think we can just about all agree that there is a human influence on global climate, but the key question is: where is the balance of evidence on high or low sensitivity, and if it is high sensitivity, how does ‘government failure’ compare to ‘market failure’?

    I do know that with each passing day, adaptation becomes stronger and mitigation weaker as a public policy given the log relationship between GHG forcing and climate change.

    Also, on philosophical grounds, I see the ‘planetary emergency’ as the 1.5 billion without modern energy, not the 5 billion who use fossil fuels 85% of the time.

    So it seems to me that the “Left” should on egalitarian grounds reconsider the climate crusade. Think it will happen?


  10. steve C.  

    Maybe human activity has an impact on global temperatures, but I can’t take anyone seriously who labels CO2 as “pollution”.


  11. stan  

    Given the extraordinary examples of gross incompetence by so many of the major players in climate science, it is becoming clear that climate science is broken and probably fatally. Not because of the gross incompetence itself, but rather because the community of scientists has demonstrated that it cannot police itself to correct errors (whether negligent or fraudulent).

    When the temperature monitoring network was exposed as a complete mess, nothing was done to demand it be corrected. It is bad enough that climate scientists didn’t site or calibrate instruments properly. It’s even worse that they don’t correct the problem when it is exposed.

    The revelation that the CRU’s code and data is an amateurish mess is only the latest of a number of such problems with quality control to be exposed in various climate datasets. The system is broken, but the scientists won’t come clean to repair the mess.

    Where were the calls to demand adherence to the scientific method? Where were the calls to demand replication of key studies and an insistence on the transparency necessary for such replication?

    Where was the outrage when the bias in assessments like the IPCC’s was exposed? When a variety of scientists came public with their examples of cherry-picking and stonewalling, where were the responsible scientists who should have stood up for accuracy?

    Where were the cries of outrage when bogus studies such as those by Mann, Rahmstorf, Steig and Briffa were exposed? There doesn’t seem to be but a mere handful of scientists in the climate area who are willing to demand even a minimal level of quality in the work. Until someone stands up to rid the field of the gross incompetence, the public is right to view their climate claims with the disdain they so richly deserve.

    To tweak James Carville’s famous admonition — It’s the incompetence, stupid.


  12. Jon Boone  

    Good range of comments. Climate science is very new and its informational base remains nearly inchoate. The inquiry itself must be interdisciplinary–and few institutional venues are equipped to handle interdisciplinary work in any subject, let alone this one.

    We are now in the third decade beyond the original period for which catastrophic results have been predicted, time enough to test prediction with observation. However, each year, newer versions of the “global warming thesis” make predictions that are further out–a situation that jeopardizes any meaningful accounting for falsifying the thesis. As everyone should know, if an hypothesis is not falsifiable, then it’s not really scientific.

    I could say, as the Honorable Elijah Muhummad has, that alien black astronauts now in orbit on the far side of the moon will invade the earth by the end of this century, establishing a new political hegemony for the planet. And since few will be alive in ninety years to test such a prediction, where’s the real accountability? And how can it then be falsifiable in ways that are politically actionable today?

    Injecting three billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere beyond normal respiration processes may have negative consequences now only poorly understood. Our technology seems indeed on the threshold of influencing the nature of the planet’s environment, and prudence, as well as good science, would dictate that we thoughtfully consider alternatives to such a behavioral scale of action.

    From what I’ve read, there are ways to do this that would embark us on meaningful mitigation efforts, even as we adapt to changes in the climate, as we have done for nearly 200,000 years. I continue to believe the dialectic between adaptation and mitigation is not an either/or situation.

    One hopes that Rob is correct that the so-called Climategate episode will cause many to investigate more intelligently how complex the science of climate is, in the process considering the economic responses in the spirit that Rob has suggested.


  13. KDK  

    Let’s NOT FORGET to include EXACTLY what Cap/Trade will do, has done (around the world) in the ‘debate’. It is foolish. CapTrade does NOTHING good for the USA. In fact, it does much damage to the pocketbooks, and future pocketbooks; the few gain, the masses lose more than one can imagine.

    Our politicians are supposed to do what is RIGHT for their respective countries FIRST. Bho is a lunatic, power-hungry, liar and INVESTOR.


  14. Charles  

    The true value of Climategate is to reveal the poor state of public science as it exists at present. While one of your posters above draws attention to the incompetence, the unfortunate case is that it is just one more of a string of bad science outcomes that have been pushed into the political sphere.

    Having worked with and alongside public scientists for almost 30 years, it is obvious to me that Climategate is merely the revealed operation of what is a fairly consistent process.

    In order to gain funding, public scientists strive to promote a certain amount of alarmism into their submissions. Therefore, every future investigation is automatically programmed with ‘a worst case scenario included, in order to provoke as much pressure on the funding providers as possible.

    I believe the climate change hoax is only a stronger than usual manifestation of this syndrome, and has possibly got beyond the control of the original proponents.

    However, we need to be aware that much of our public science suffers from this same problem which should mean a review of all other fields of science which are tax-payer funded, such as medical, agriculture and environment


  15. Chris  


    I understand your predicament. I have studied GW for 2 years now. I have a PhD in chemical engineering and my thesis was pollution control of coal-fired power plants (i.e., SOx/NOx removal). My research involved both experimental study and computer modeling (FORTRAN, like the GISS code and the climate models). Anyway, my point is that I feel minimally qualified to review the science as an outsider to climate research. What I found was appalling: the claims by those at Real Climate cannot be backed up by a single piece of evidence. It’s like convicting a person for murder based on hear-say. A lot of times (like the amount/role of aerosols in the climate models) assumptions clearly made up to make the models converge, never mind if the numbers are verifiable. This is not climate science, but climate scientology! In summary, as best I as I can determine, mean temp rise for the 21 st century will be somewhere between 0.3 -1.0 C. Could it be higher? Sure, but why ruin today’s economy on something so poorly understood? Better to wait till 2025 or 2040 to know for sure (which by the way coincides with results of economists who’ve studied the question as to when is the most efficient time to address the problem, if there is one). The trouble is that we have politicians and environmental communists who want to solve the problem today.


  16. Charlie3  

    The President has all the authority he needs to instruct his science advisors to insure that the skeptical scientists are given their fair share of Federal funding and respect. Otherwise he undermines the integrity of the science and no one should trust it.


  17. Stas Peterson  

    The Times seem to demand Catastrophism.

    Mankind has traveled between Scylla and Charybdis and emerged from the period when Mankind could have returned to the Stone Age in any 15 minutes. The totalitarians had faltered. Democracy was assured; and enlightenment and development for the balance of Mankind, seemed assured. A large proportion of the population now lives at a level, envied by the Kings of not so Old. More than ever before, in proportion and also in outright number.

    But it failed to Satisfy somehow. The old Pieties no longer suffice. Classical religion, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and perhaps Muslim thinking, is less accepted in this age. But yearning for Belief and Meaning remains. Ever alert, the demagogues arise to offer instant Belief, Relevance and Meaning. And many did rush after the new prophets, and their cults.

    A particular college- trained, religious rabble rouser, seemingly competent in only this field, cognizant that his religion was no longer attractive, brooded. He sought Power, Money, and Fame.

    Born to a position of influence he tried for Power directly, and Lost. But he had used his bestowed powers to populate key governmental ministries with friends.

    He resurrected old animist Druidism, and wrapped it in modern pseudo-Scientific claptrap. He had carefully placed in certain key governmental ministries his followers. With his carefully chosen pseudo-scientific Priesthood, he went forth on a crusade, to spread the Word. Men like Priest Hansen, Priest Turk, Priest Schmidt, Priest Ammans, and told them to spread the Gospel of Impending Doom, for Sins of Western Man. Western Man had tasted of the Fruit of Knowledge and he was killing Mother Gaia. Catastrophe would surely follow. Mother Gaia would seek retribution and Burn him in the cleansing Fires of AGW. Such was the message. Tapping into the universal religious Myths, and exploited by the Demagogue.

    He came close, but the Demagogue was revealed. The Goracle is writhing and dying once again, in the glare of the light of reason. Just as he did, in his first bid for Power and Fame.


  18. Mike  

    This piece brought to mind a line from Russia House where Barley [Sean Connery] says, “Now days, you have to think like a hero just to behave like a merely decent human being.”


  19. Climategate: Here Comes Courage! « Watts Up With That?  

    […] by Robert Bradley Jr. from masterresource.org January 4, 2010 […]


  20. David L. Hagen  

    Robert Bradley Jr. at 9
    Thanks for exposing this issue of scientific McArthyism.
    I affirm you observation:
    “Also, on philosophical grounds, I see the ‘planetary emergency’ as the 1.5 billion without modern energy, not the 5 billion who use fossil fuels 85% of the time.”

    Amplifying that is the rapidly looming tsunami of peaking of conventional light oil will dominate all other concerns and have financially existential impacts. The very high inelasticity in transport fuels/energy caused a 2.5% increase in demand caused a 250% increase in oil prices in 2009 from $32 to $80.

    Average decline rates of 6.7% in existing oil fields will accelerate with age. Combined with 1.5% growing population, this implies that we need to replace existing alternate transport fuels/energy or new discoveries & production within about 12 years.
    Yet it takes about a decade from conception to production to bring major fuel projects on line. That high feedback delay with very little storage gives a highly amplified and very underdamped control system.

    The coming financial rollercoaster will totally swamp concerns of climate alarmists. The coming financial fluctuations have economically catastrophic consequences on both the developed and developing world if not addressed. Climate change and OPEC’s “hiding the decline” have both blinkered us to the real economic tsunami of transport fuel shortages.

    Calling for an 80% reduction in fossil fuels by 2050 is a Sunday picnic compared to how to address the likely 80% reduction in exports of current transport fuel production by 2020. This is the greatest challenge facing us from “hiding the decline”.


  21. HotRod  

    Brice Stram – “Whatever we might conclude about global warming, I can’t imagine any sensible person not coming to the conclusion that human activity is now of a scale to substantially affect the globe.”

    Can’t you? Really? Substantially?


  22. a. n. ditchfield  


    Lebensraum is space needed for survival.
    Since there is not enough lebensraum to go around only the fittest survive, said the Nazi ideologues. Their doctrine brings to mind the joke about the space mission, sponsored by the United Nations to promote world peace. Three astronauts were assigned to the mission: a Russian, an American and a dark representative of the Third World. There was the proverbial failure and the imperative of ejecting one astronaut to save lebensraum for the other two. This unleashed a clamorous movement to save the obvious victim, and the vote of the majority prevailed. The survivors would be the winners of an intellectual contest. Since the representative of the Third World was known for his wide knowledge, the hard choice would be settled between the other two; a plague on both their houses. So the contest began with questions put to the Russian, the American and the Third World representative.
    First Question: Who dropped the first atomic bomb?
    The Americans, sneered the Russian astronaut.
    Second Question: What cities were destroyed by atomic bombs?
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki, replied the American.
    Third Question: Names & addresses of the victims?
    The question put to the representative of the Third World was not answered. Ejection followed.
    The Green activists of Europe damn progress as an illusion that led to plunder of the planet to serve wasteful consumption of too many. They want to shrink world population and economy, which they rate as excessive for the non-renewable resources of a finite planet. They have already had their way in Europe, with countries with declining populations and stagnant economies, and want the rest of the world to join them in a suicide pact.
    Suicide is the right word, and not a metaphor. In its support there is an organization, VHMENT Voluntary Human Extinction Movement that preaches this openly. See http://www.vhment.org with its slogan: “May we live long and die out”. It means that they only want human reproduction to cease, and that in good time the planet would be saved by the natural death of all living humans. The dodge avoids charges of incitement to violence. In their view, mankind must extinguish itself in a magnanimous gesture to a tormented planet so as to return it to the natural beauty it had before it was defiled by human hand. Save the planet for whom? Save it for an audience of grateful crabs and cockroaches?
    Others are in a hurry. It is the case of Theodor Kaczynski, better known as the UNABOMBER. A graduate of Harvard and Michigan universities, he started an academic career at the University of California – Berkeley. In 1971 he exchanged his career for the life of a hermit in a remote cabin in the Rocky Mountains, Montana. He was prompted to his deeds as a terrorist after seeing human encroachment on his surroundings. He never tried to enlist followers, a trait that for 17 years made it hard to track the perpetrator of mysterious bombings. Between 1978 and 1995 this lonely terrorist sent 16 homemade bombs to technological research institutes and the offices of airlines. The bombs killed 3 and wounded 23. In April 1995 he sent a letter to the New York Times promising to abstain from terrorism in exchange for publication of his manifesto, The Industrial Society and its Future in the New York Times or Washington Post.
    This was done. Publication led to Kaczynski’s identification by people who had a recollection of his ideas in old letters; he was tracked, arrested, faced trial and was sentenced to imprisonment for life. The Manifesto, with 35 thousand words, does not have the incoherent language of a raving madman; it is well crafted and has the structure of the usual academic thesis with numbered sections and cross-references. It opens with the statement: the Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. Kaczynski justified the bombings as a way to draw attention to the erosion of the world by modern technologies demanding big organizations that grow at the expense of gradual stultification of man. The Green activists disassociate themselves from morbid personalities for political and public relations reasons, but if they want the inspiration of lucid text for writing a Suicide’s Note of the Western World they should read the Manifesto at: http://cyber.eserver.org/unabom.txt
    With Europe in their pocket and a wavering America under Obama, the nightmare of Green activists is the economic expansion of China and India. Brazil matters little; its growth is at half the Asian rate and its population is less than one tenth of the combined populations of the Asian giants. Russia is on the way out, with a declining population and mired in the legacy of 70 years of Communism. The Greens fear that billions in Asia will rise to a better standard of living, be it at a level much lower than those of the West. They know it would be politically incorrect to label the Asian hunger for a better diet as the sin of gluttony but their mean spirit is present in worries over the launching of the Nano popular car, the least expensive on earth (US$2500) by Tata Group of India. They envisioned it as a harbinger of Doomsday, with Asian fleets of hundreds of millions of cars, demanding non-renewable resources and emitting CO2. The Lebensraum Doctrine once again shows its ugly head.
    The giants India and China have weight and stature to reject the fate of the dark astronaut of the joke. Their economic rise will continue and they may some day dwarf the Western world, even if the sun stands still and the heavens fall.


  23. RockyRoad  

    Dr Leonard F Khilyuk and Professor George V Chilingar (Geologists) University of Southern California concluded from their study:
    “Any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4–5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.”


  24. Ferdinand  

    It interesting how many intellectuals are unwilling to use their questioning faculties with the climate alarmism . Dr.Lindzen has highlighted the fact that so many otherwise intelligent people have not used their critical powers. Political analysts will recognise this failing in AGW supporters so perhaps those who have described climate alarmism as a political scam are correct.


  25. ClimateGate roundup, Jan. 9: “domestic extremism” edition « Spin, strangeness, and charm  

    […] Bob Bradley (again via WUWT) notes AGW-skeptic voices are beginning to speak up within academia and the MSM. […]


  26. SirRuncibleSpoon  

    Notice: No one here at this prestigious blog has brought up the issue of zombies. If this planet truly runs the risk of either catastrophic warming or destruction by cap and tax economics or through infusion of the atmosphere by sulfur dust, you’re going to have zombies.

    My point: eggheads and policy wonks, as usual, drift behind the curve while our auteurs and artists and writers lead the way envisioning our future. Just visit any bookseller or cineplex or skim through an evening’s worth of DishTV offerings. What do you see? That’s right: zombies!

    We can do absolutely nothing to effect (or is it ‘affect’? Darn. I never get that right!) this planet’s climate. Not one iota. But we will generate conditions that inevitably produce zombies the way progressives and freakonomic types are going. Zimbabwe’s got’em right now. So’s Congo. They had to do it the old fashioned way, bottom-up: burn, steal, pillage, starve and deploy run-amuck-with-sticks-and-pitchforks misbehavior.

    The rate the present administration pushes various suicide mission debt bomb legislation packages, we’re not far behind. So, our demise, if and when it comes, develops top-down. Barney, Nancy, Harry and the president have the plan and the field advantage. But I sense a counter surge and feel its welcome heat right here! Great article.


  27. G.S. Williams  

    To: Sir RuncibleSpoon

    ¨Effect¨ is the noun and ¨Affect¨ the verb.

    I hope that this is of help to you.


  28. The Scientific Consensus on Global Warming « The Climate Conspiracy  

    […] about many professionals who had to hide their skeptical views in order to keep receiving funding. See it here. Tagged as: alarmists, consensus, global, skeptics, warming Leave a comment Comments (3) […]


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