100 discredited, self-interested and/or deluded "scientists" question climate change

Fri, 2007-12-14 08:28Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

100 discredited, self-interested and/or deluded "scientists" question climate change

The great Groucho Marx used to say that he would never join a club that would accept him as a member. It's amazing that no hint of such pride can be found among the signatories to the latest letter advocating inaction on global warming.

Who, really, would want his name to appear on a list that included the likes of Dr. S. Fred Singer or Dr. Tim Ball, men who have made truth telling a hobby rather than a habit, men who take money directly or indirectly from energy companies (see here and here) and then go on to practice public relations, while calling it science?

This new letter, addressed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, contains a predictable list of “usual suspects,” people who have signed such petitions in the past. Check this new batch against the signatories to an earlier letter (to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and you will see a predictable overlap. Click further on the DeSmogBlog Denier Database, and you will find the many occasions on which these “scientists” are actually public relations types indebted to the energy industry. See also the number of occasions on which the word “emeritus” pops up, indicating that that academic in question has done impressive work in his or her career - but not lately.

That latter comment is admittedly churlish, for some of these people (well, Richard Lindzen, at least) have, indeed, enjoyed impressive careers. But even these are stepping forward at a critical time in human history - and in many cases stepping outside their personal field of expertise - to advocate inaction on an issue that the latest science demonstrates is a danger to the habitability of plant earth. These signatories would have us throw caution to the wind on the basis of … what? … the threat that 5,000 years from now we may tip back into a global cooling cycle?

This is unreasonable, reckless and, in cases like Singer and Ball, corrupt. Again, you would think that a proud scientist might have declined the “Groucho” glasses and run for cover.

Previous Comments

The signatory that most caught my eye is Edward J. Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia. Most of you will recognize that this is the Wegman who authored the Wegman Report. Here is a quote from his report: “there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis, however, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility”.

WOW, talk about being “hoisted by your own petard!!

I’d much rather be involved in a social network of honest scientists than the den of lying deniers that he has now shown himself to be associated with.

Ian Forrester

You are calling Edgar Wegman a “lying denier” Ian?

I assume you have many peer-reviewed articles to back up your slanderous assertion, no?

Paul S/G you continue to have trouble understanding simple English. You are an arrogant trouble maker who distorts anything and everything to suit your twisted agenda.

Why do you have this problem? Is there something lacking in your basic education or is it a character flaw?

Ian Forrester

My problem is I am not a mind reader like you are Ian.

And I can find the peer-reviewed articles exposing Edward Wegman as a liar where?

Only that he was throwing his hand in with a den of liars. There is a difference as I am sure you know but then you wouldn’t have an argument.

I think it shows his true feelings on AGW and shows that he is not the unbiased mind that he was portrayed to be. I always thought he was an AGW denier, why else did Barton pick him?

Ian Forrester

Barton picked him because he knew statistics.

You can mind read “feelings” too Ian?

Paul S/G (you have to figure out what your name is some time, if you ever get lost it will be easier to send you home if you know what your name is) said: “Barton picked him because he knew statistics”.

If Wegman is such a good statistician as you suggest, why has he signed his name to a letter which is so categorically wrong based on very simple statistics?

The information contained in that letter is seriously flawed based on statistics.

However, you AGW deniers will do anything to try and bring down your perceived “totems” of climate science. Last week Arrhenius, this week the “hockey stick”, who or what will it be next week Paul? That’s all you deniers have left. You don’t even try and understand the science just attack a few “totems” which get priority in the media but are just very, very small parts of the whole picture.

You deniers have brought nothing new to the table in nearly 10 years, meanwhile the science goes marching on, more and more data confirming what any sensible person knew ten years ago.

Ian Forrester

Paul S, why do you continue trying to communicate with Knuckle Dragger? If this was a more respectable blog, his intemperance and intolerance would have led to his banning long ago.

I’m not sure ZOG, I guess I enjoy poking fun at thin-skinned zealots.

“And I can find the peer-reviewed articles exposing Edward Wegman as a liar where?”

That is hilarious, but sad, that one of the grumblers would have this view of science publishing, that a “peer-reviewed” article would be published about someone being a liar.

And, if it did, what would “peer review” would have to do with it?

I think this is someone has not seen the inside of a library (or literature search engine) in a long time.

…when it comes to climate science.

Here is what he had to say recently to Congress:

“Carbon dioxide is heavier than air. Where it sits in the
I don’t know. I’m not an atmospheric scientist…”

Anyone who doesn’t realize that CO2 is well-mixed in the atmosphere
and then signs his name to a statement supposedly debunking global warming is a lying buffoon.

Listen to the lying buffoon Wegman at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5569901 and hear Wegman’s stupidity for yourself.

You’re a class act Caerbannog. Maybe you and Ian should team up.

Of course Wegman is not a climate scientist, you must be the last person on earth to know. And as Wegman amply demonstrated, Michael Mann is not a statistician. Hence, it gets harder every day to find the Hockey Stick on the web. Anyone else seen it lately?


Hence, it gets harder every day to find the Hockey Stick on the web. Anyone else seen it lately?

Ummm… It’s in the latest IPCC report.

Check out figure 6.10 in the “Paleoclimate” chapter of the IPCC 4th assessment report, which was released just last month.

The latest IPCC report is quite easy to find on the web (at least for folks who know how to use “the google”.)

Perhaps the question should be reworded, “Has anyone seen the hockey stick anywhere that matters?” As usual, the IPCC is a couple of years behind the times.

You’re correct ZOG, the Hockey Stick is disappearing. I can’t even find it on David Suzuki’s site.

“Consensus science”, which we all know is “settled science” appears to be in the process of quietly discarding the Stick.

The Hockey Stick is NOT disappearing. It appears quite prominently on the latest IPCC assessment report (check out p. 467, or 35 out of 66 on this pdf file):

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter6.pdf

The Hockey Stick is very much alive. Time to stop your lies and BS, Paul and ZOG.

Had you even bothered to look at the 2007 IPCC report, you would have seen a plot of an entire ensemble of climate reconstructions, two of which were published in *2006*. The 2006 reconstructions look very similar to the MBH “hockey-stick”, which, btw, is included in the ensemble.

With respect to paleoclimate reconstructions, the latest IPCC report is quite up to date.

If Wegman doesn’t understand the simple process of atmospheric mixing, he has no right to comment on anything to do with climate science. This lack of consideration is revealing in that he shows his lack of expertise on the issue and is, in reality, a detriment to the “denier” community as a whole, not like the “denier” community isn’t full of whackos and people who don’t really understand climate science as it is.

You misunderstand science then Stephen. Wegman did not have to pass a litmus test on atmospheric mixing because his critique did not involve atmospheric mixing.

For the record MBH99 did not involve atmospheric mixing either; surely you are not arguing otherwise.

Wegman helped provide an independent (and not a cursory peer-review) of the statistical methodology employed in MBH99. Needless to say, the claim of MBH99 “that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his (Dr. Mann’s) analysis.”

If you are going to pretend to quote someone, give the exact citation. Of course, if you were honest, you would also try to explain the context for your quotation.

“You misunderstand science then Stephen.”

What? So, what kind of educational background do you have in climate science, Paul? I don’t believe you can criticize my understanding on this issue if you haven’t devoted years of study to climatology, which is something I have done. (I have an honours B.Sc. in geography focusing on weather and climate.) While I am not an expert in climatology, I am likely more informed than you are with respect to the science.

Get a life and stop acting like a jackass!

“If Wegman doesn’t understand the simple process of atmospheric mixing, he has no right to comment on anything to do with climate science.”

1) MBH99 did not involve atmospheric mixing in any way, shape or form, or didn’t you know that Stephen?

2) Wegman and the panel of experts reviewed the statistical methodology behind MBH99, in essense, they looked behind the Hockey Stick graph, and what they found was not reassuring.

It’s usually called the “right-wing echo chamber,” and I think his analysis is dead on. After all, who would know better?

indeed.

I am really impressed how easily, factually and thoroughly you can pick apart your opponents arguments!

Could the “emeritus” mean they don’t need to worry about getting their research grants blocked by the enforcers anymore and thus feel free to speak up their minds publicly?
By the way - I love it when scientific argument is advanced by ad hominem comments. Along this line - I am looking forward to some research and then comment on the personality and business interests and endeavours of Maurice Strong, “the architect of the Kyoto Accord”.

Thats a silly comment, research grants are either governmental or from private industry. You cant do research without a research grant no matter what title you have.

In general governmental research grants in sciences typically NSERCS etc are considered “pure” as they as come with no strings attached or vested interest in the research. While industry grants are not specifically hooked, there is typically a vested interest in seeing the research going a certain direction in order to maintain funding.

A number of folks listed on that sig list, are retired not doing any research, some are also industry consultants (yikes, as if anything they say isnt connected to he who holds the purse). Anyways at that point they dont receive any grants or conduct any research and might have no done so in many years. In general in sciences active researchers are considered experts in their field, as science consistantly changes. While that doesnt disqualify non researching scientists from having an opinion, it can be out of date. This is also a reason why universities retain and desire active researchers as their instructors as they are upto date and current in their particular fields. That said there are a handful of active researchers on that list…more would be better, but then again iam sure anyone could get 100 scientists named steve to support the IPCC to.

…endorsed the letter on his website today.

You’ll never guess who organized this letter!
From the Telbec news release

For further information: Tom Harris, Executive Director, Natural Resources Stewardship Project, (613) 234-4487, tom.harris@nrsp.com, WWW.NRSP.COM

See: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2007/13/c2742.html

…you are. Indeed. Quit the ad hominem attacks, try to argue on the merits.

The scientific arguments have been made in the primary scientific literature. The talking points and spin offered up by this group has been debunked many times elsewhere (check out the Scientific American guide linked on the opening page for Desmogblog.com [http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/dn11462] or try skepticalscience.com). This website is about identifying PR disguised as science and following the activities/motivations of those who spin science the most. Desmogblog has no obligation to keep bringing out the same old debunkings every time the tired old ‘arguments’ are treaded out by this same group – it’s boring. It would be exciting is if members of this group would try to address the debunkings of their ridiculous re-hashed arguments. You whine that Desmog doesn’t address the ‘arguments’ of these jerks – apply the same criticism to them since they haven’t addressed the debunkings … they just ignore good arguments and repeat the same old garbage over and over.

Jerks? Wegman is a jerk? Do I detect a whiff of desperation in your post, Steve?

I don’t know Wegman. Never read his stuff, just others quoting him. Tim Ball is a jerk, though. And so is anybody who repeatedly trots out the same old garbage without ever addressing the fact that their talking points have been discredited.

“Never read his stuff.”
That figures. Philistine.

Would you read stuff written by people who deny that gravity is a force acting on the planet? Reading stuff by “deniers” about climate change is just the same a reading stuff by the aforementioned group.

You can listen to Wegman here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5569901

He’s a liar and/or a fool. I guess that’s why the stupid wingnuts here love him so much…

I call it “Scientific American” when I should say, “New Scientist”. Sorry about that.

See how easy correcting one’s self is? I didn’t even need to get told. I figured it out myself. I wonder why Tim Ball never apologizes and corrects himself. Perhaps because he has no respect for the truth.

This den of deniers are so infamous in their lies, distortions and misinformation that it is a real waste of time to dissect their every disgusting “paper”.

What is more useful is who is winding them up and pulling their strings.

Ian Forrester

Tim Ball being one of the more humorous of the bunch. I swear the stuff he says cracks me up. Even his former department is ashamed of the things he says. I couldnt help but ask what they thought of him, when out with drinks with some of them during the summer.

Assume that this group of deniers are impartial and actively researching scientists. They have presented an argument that contradicts the current thinking of modern climate science. Well, if they’ve got something new to offer, the global scientific community should hear their argument then, shouldn’t it? Of course it should.

However, when it’s the same argument that’s been brought out before, this group of “scientists” are owed absolutely none of anybody’s time or consideration. Their argument has already been proven wrong (see previous debunking listed and “The science is clear” on Desmog), and since the majority of us are focusing on solutions and effective change, we can’t hold up the train of progress for the same rhetoric, over and over again. Unless they are able to advance their logic to meet the debunking of their “junk science”, they are comparable to chicken little who incessantly went on that the sky was falling, out of fear and lack of perspective.

And don’t forget, that’s in the instance that they are impartial and actively researching scientists, which the facts clearly show they are almost entirely not.

Ah, yes. The typical ad hominem attacks from Little More. Again, finding yourself unable to argue the merits, you fall back on your usual smear tactics.

But perhaps that explains the (pardon the glaring oxymoron) “prestigious PR award” Desmogblog has won? Well, that, and the crude photoshop jobs and infantile Youtube videos. Then again, getting an industry PR “award” is sort of like getting a medal from Idi Amin for chopping off heads and sticking them in refrigerators.

“Click further on the DeSmogBlog Denier Database, and you will find the many occasions on which these “scientists” are actually public relations types indebted to the energy industry.”

Well, if you listed your ideological enemies in your own DeSmogBlog Denier Database (tm) (your list of anyone who expresses displeasing, incorrect opinions), it must be true. Such greasy tactics recall those of your fellow Vancouver latte leftists at Adbusters, when they published their list of suspected Jews.

http://www.cjc.ca/template.php?action=briefs&item=67

Keep up the good work. Maybe you’ll get another PR award?

No ad hominem attacks from you.

Funny line on the oxymoron, too, although I can't quite follow how writing about climate change deniers is analogous to mass murder. Perhaps you'll explain it in a future example of high-road commentary.

I will admit, however, that your accusation against me has some merit. Try though I might, I have not figured out how to call Fred Singer and Tim Ball liars without making it sound kind personal. Regardless that we have the goods - that we have demonstrated again and again that Singer and Ball freely stray from the path of truth and honesty - the charge still sounds rude. I'm happy to accept advice on that as well, as long as I don't have to get bloody in carrying out your directions.

I don’t know what to make of the comments by our resident freepers. I guess writing on this blog is preferable to waiting for the black helicopters to come.

It starts with “It is not possible to stop climate change”.

I.e. the authors certainly do not question climate change, as you falsely (and I assume deliberately) state in your headline.

From http://www.m-w.com/dictionary:
lie = “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive”

Humanity is in clear & present danger of losing the exquisite value to be found in one of God’s gifts to humanity: the carefully and skillfully developed science on climate change.

Is it possible that the standards for determining what is real and true in our culture today are these: whatsoever is widely shared, consensually validated and judged to be ecomonically expedient, politically convenient, socially agreeable and religiously tolerated is true and real……….. the biophysical conditions of the natural world notwithstanding?

At least to me, it seems that good science is ignored, countless distractions presented or else silence allowed to prevail whenever reasonable and sensible evidence comes into conflict with what culture prescribes as real and true. Perhaps science does present culture with evidence of inconvenient truths.

Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A.
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, established 2001

Not once have they gotten the computer models for these sky is falling predictions that have become your religion to give the same results twice.

Your “scientists” have created a religion out of global warming caused by man.

As more and more scientists shine a light on the LACK of PROVABLE EVIDENCE that the high priests of your religion spew out, the more and more the public can’t be sold the other FANTASY that there is a consensus.

Science is MATH not committees and your math just doesn’t add up

The more you rail against those that disagree with you the more you expose the foolishness of your religion to the public.

You can’t convince people the world is going to flood and the temperature is going to be x degrees 100yrs from now if you can’t tell them what the temp will be next Tuesday at 1pm in Times square

I’ll suggest that it might be useful for you to brush up on the difference between weather and climate. It will certainly help you to construct your arguments in a way that is relevant to global warming.

And I always thought that weather was a component of climate. Silly me.

BTW, if weather isn’t relevant, why is it that, every time we have a spell of hot weather, intellectually challenged warmist propagandists get up on the barnyard fence and crow,”See, this proves it. The climate is changing, the earth is melting and it’s all your fault and we’re all going to diiiieeeee.”

Not true. This is the media’s doing. The thousands of climatologists within the IPCC never make such remarks.

Climate scientists say that one weather event does not prove nor disprove global warming. They say, however, that the rising frequency and intensity of extreme weather may be the result (and is the predicted result) of atmospheric warming. That is, the cumulative change in extreme weather severity and frequency is expected to increase with AGW. A heat wave, surprisingly strong hurricane, unexpectedly high tornado outbreak, and/or anomalously high SSTs over a whole ocean body during one year add to the concern scientists have for the effects of AGW and that AGW may be starting to become uncontrollable.

Zog, you’re starting to tire me and get on my nerves. Why don’t you grow up and actually think before typing away.

“The thousands of climatologists within the IPCC never make such remarks.”

Where do you get that the IPCC panel has thousands of scientists? Hardly. The IPCC reports are written by perhaps a few dozen actual scientists.

A little rusty on your math, perhaps???

The IPCC lists several hundred lead authors and coordinating
lead authors. See the following links for details:

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press-ar4/wg1/wg1authors.pdf
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press-ar4/wg2/wg2authors.pdf
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press-ar4/wg3/wg3authors.pdf

Also from the IPCC web-site:

IPCC reports are written by teams of authors, nominated by governments and international organizations. They come from universities, research centres, business and environmental associations from all over the world. More than 800 contributing authors and more than 450 lead authors were involved in the writing of the AR4.

That’s over 1200 right there. Add in outside reviewers and you are up over 2000 easily….

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