400 Prominent Scientists Dispute Global Warming - Bunk

Fri, 2007-12-21 22:19Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

400 Prominent Scientists Dispute Global Warming - Bunk

Climate change denial lives - though not nearly to the extent that Swiftboater Marc Morano would have you believe in his latest overstatement about “prominent scientists” who dispute man-made global warming.

Morano's list of “over 400” alleged climate quibblers includes the usual deniers for hire Fred Singer, Tim Ball, Christoper Monckton, PR people who have no credibility on issues scientific and who each have a handsome record of saying things widely and demonstrably at variance with the truth.

There is also a group of second-order “scientists,” who are not scientists at all.

There's “Dr. Richard Courtney, a British coal journal editor whose PhD is rumoured to have issued from a Crackerjack box. There's Stephen McIntyre, the one-time mining promoter and amateur statistician who has earned unending fame by constantly attacking the same, remarkably resilient climate reconstruction.

There's the climate quibbler's latest star, “Dr. John Mclean,” apparently another amateur who has neither a PhD nor any specific training in climate science. One might also legitimately question whether a panel of TV weather forecasters actually qualify as “prominent scientists.”

Finally, Morano includes a group of legitimate scientists who are not deniers at all, but who are often quoted out of context.

For example, Morano quotes Dr. Eigil Friis-Christensen, Director of the Danish National Space Centre offering this banal statement of the obvious:

The sun is the source of the energy that causes the motion of the atmosphere and thereby controls weather and climate. Any change in the energy from the sun received at the Earth's surface will therefore affect climate.”

Morano, however, neglects to mention that Dr. Friis-Christensen says, quite clearly, that change is solar radiation CANNOT be demonstrated to have caused the climate change of recent years.

In fact, he says:

There is no reason to neglect a contribution from man made greenhouse gases.”

Giving credit where it's due, Morano is a tireless and creative writer of fiction.

His long screed on this occasion links liberally back to his early bouts of disinformation, making it appear as though he actually has legitimate sources for many of the points that he makes. And this list of 400 includes many names that are new to the DeSmogBlog - people whose qualifications and true positions are difficult to ascertain four days before Christmas.

But given the quality and credibility of Morano's previous work, it seems fair to assume that this, too, is an ideologically driven document with no merit whatsoever, either as a piece of research of, even more laughably, a reliable comment on science.

Previous Comments

We have one group of hysterical loonies who come on and post as though flailing their fists in every direction hoping to hit SOMETHING (anything). They take up a lot of space and erode the continuity of any meaningful discussion. Then there are the ones you describe, who have appeared quite recently (they seem to have developed a new tactic). I like to think that the reason they don’t respond is because they can’t come up with a rebuttal for your well-thought out rejoinders. Maybe they think that they have overcome by sheer weight of verbiage!

It’s also difficult to navigate around here sometimes, and since the trolls are not registered, they lack access to the list of recent posts.

Then there are those who are not interested in your rejoinders as is a foregone conclusion that you will simply dredge up the same old IPCC dogma and proclaim the issue debunked.
It is a well known tactic and quite tiresome.
Some of us simply wish to point out to people with open minds that there is a lot of good science and scientists that don’t agree with the cult mantra and they should broaden their view and have a read.
AGW is simply one theory among several and a rather weak one at that.
We know you will call us names and rant on about trolls etc, closed minds do that.
I have run into the same thing trying to talk to Creationists as well. There simply is no point to replying.

“well known tactic and quite tiresome” – ! Step 1: AGW-denier repeats poorly founded claim in trying to knock confidence in AGW. Step 2: A well-worn counter-argument is presented to show that the claim made in step 1 is very weak; and please respond to the counter-argument. Step 3: AGW-denier (himself obviously very politically partial) says the counter-argument is dogma of a kooky religion (but addresses no factual component of the counter-argument). Step 4: Somebody points out that all of the accusations and similarities to Evolution-deniers thrown around by AGW-deniers can be better applied to the AGW-deniers. Step 5: AGW-denier begins at step 1 on another thread.

Actually, denialists like you are much like creationists; not willing to accept the concrete scientific evidence that does not support what they want to believe.

Gary writes: “there is a lot of good science and scientists that don’t agree with the cult mantra.” Where is it? Back up your claims with solid evidence. Prove you know what you are talking about. But understand that many people here have seen the denialist websites and knocked down their arguments. If your only sources are denialist websites, then you yourself have a lot to learn.

I rest my case.

Thank you.

You have no case. You have offered nothing here but false assertions and bad spelling.

Gary, you’re trading verbal barbs with others, but you haven’t responded to any of my posts. I have taken seriously the objections of the deniers and responded to them in a serious, careful, and fair-minded tone. I have no objection to your sparring with others, but I’d like to read your responses to any of my long rejoinders. I’m giving you the opportunity to engage in a serious discussion. Will you take that opportunity?

Hi Chris:
Sorry to offend.
My comments are not directed at you personally.
However, I have long sence lost my capacity to take AGW advocacy seriously. Any attempt I have seen by anyone to engage in real debate has always been met with the ususal barrage of insults slurs and character attacks, that I simply gave up. Now I only post items that might cause somone to look elsewhere and realize there is much more to this debate than will ever be displayed here or in the MSM.
Since I don’t believe for a moment that anything I could post would sway true believers in any way, (they would just claim it was discredeted or from a bad source or the author once drove a SUV some such lame proclaimation) I don’t see the point in engaging in real debate.
My only hope is to remind people that being skepical is the basis or true science.
Acceptance without proof is religeon.
Again … Nothing personal.

Gary said: “My only hope is to remind people that being skepical (sic) is the basis or (sic) true science.
Acceptance without proof is religeon (sic)”.

Find some honest comment (if you can) and people will debate with you. However, continually regurgitating information from denier sites which is known to be false either shows that you are as guilty as them of purveying dishonesty and obfuscation or shows that you don’t know what you are talking about. Science has moved on and there is no doubt about the “A” in AGW and to say otherwise is not being skeptical but is denying the scientific truth.

Ian Forrester

Ian…. I rest my case.
That comment is utter nonsence and you know it.
Science has not moved on, the cult has.
There is obvously lots of doubt in the A in AGW, Just not on propoganda sites like this one.
“Denying the scinetific truth”??? Pure religeous ferver.

Thank you for illistrating my point so eloquently.

I could not have put it better.

Must feel great to come into a discussion and tell everyone that they are wrong and you are right without providing one shred of evidence to support your case.

I don’t know what sort of background or educational level you have but that is not the way things work in science.

You are a useless troll who has nothing to offer this site.

Ian Forrester

If you have some evidence that you think is convincing, why not give us a reference so that we can read it and engage in a meaningful discussion? Most of the deniers who post here just flail about and cast insults around without offering anything in the way of scientific evidence. You say that “acceptance without proof is religion”. From my point of view, there is valid scientific evidence that CO2 is the primary cause of the accelerated global warming that has been observed during the last 150 years.

Obviously you don’t agree. So lay it out for us and we can discuss the issue like adults.

You said:
Most of the deniers who post here just flail about and cast insults around without offering anything in the way of scientific evidence.
Nearly all the insults I have seen come from the AGW people.
I will post interesting articles when I seen them. But as I said, I post for others not you.
I know already what your response will be no matter what the content of the article is. You guys have already made it clear on the prevous page that your definition of credible is simply agreement.
If the author agrees with AGW, they are credible. If not they are liers, incompetent, in the pay of big oil, what ever.
Just read some of the posts in this thread.
Sheer bull headed brain wahsed bluster.
You guys don’t seem any more credible than Gavin and co over at RC. At least we know they have an agenda.

Your complaint is that some of us are no more credible than the people at RealClimate.org. Okay, what is the agenda at RC? RC covers a variety of issues. Can you pick at examples from at least 2 issues (given your previous comments, I’m sure paleoclimate will be one of them) that explicate this obviously sinister agenda? I bet you can’t.

No offense taken, Gary. It’s just that, in several score encounters with denialists, I have never come across one who would engage in a serious discussion of the issues. I have no desire to swap insults or prove anybody wrong. I’d just like to see if there is any intellectual substance to the denialist movement, and so far, I’ve gotten lots of evidence that there is no such substance. What I always get is a recitation of standard talking points, and whenever I attempt to zero in on those points, to probe them in detail, the denialists always just move on to another talking point. I have yet to meet a denier who has actually read the IPCC reports – I’m hoping that you’ll be the one who breaks the streak. I have yet to meet a denier who has a grasp of the basic physics.

I am absolutely serious in saying that I would enjoy discussing this in a fair-minded way. I have tried to engage deniers in their own blogs and have been chased away by a blizzard of flying feces. One guy got so mad when I asked his opinion of a quote from the IPCC that he fraudulently reported me to a blacklisting organization as a spammer, so as to prevent my further posting. Why he didn’t simply ban me, I’ll never know. If you can direct me to any site that presents the denialist position and hosts honest debate, I’d love to know about it. I have read ClimateAudit, but that blog seems to nibble around the edges of the debate, taking shots at some of the finer points, without ever really coming out with a solidly denialist position.

I feel your frustration.
I certainly get tired of the silly bluster as well.
Sometimes, it seems like I tried to kill their God when all I did was post an interesting link. Talk about closed minds.
I invite you to spend a bit of time at Accuweather’s climate blog. It is the most civil I have found and it is unlikely you will be called names like Troll, Moron or idiot just because your opinion is dfferent.
The subject is complex and poorly understood and definately not settled. If it was, we would not be spending BILLIONS of tax dollars still studying it.
We both know most of the Definitive recoric on both sides is just posturing.
IE: Nobody really believes that the 400 skeptics are all true skeptics and they aren’t liers and shills either. They are honest people who disagree.
Just like we all know the 2500 Scientests that signed the IPCC report were not all Climate scientests and not all of them agreed with the final statement either.
There are no absolutes.
Like I said before however, my only desire is to show others that there is more to this than meets the eye.
I think everyone should get to see all of it and then make up their own minds before committing Trillions of dollor to feel good programs that accomplish nothing.
I have a strong feeling that things will become much more settled in the next year or so however. Then we can all look back and see how our theories stood up.
Good luck in your search.

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check it out.

Forgot to provide link. sorry. http://www.accuweather.com/global-warming/index.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0

The people on the list are (potentially):

- Psychopaths, and have the potential to deny anything that is real equally as easily as they can construct their own version of reality

- Paid liars, who would assume that the possible consequences of being exposed were less than the benefits of the reward

- Cranks, who don’t like to agree with people very much on anything, and take a position here just because of their general disagreeable nature; and have no qualification whatsoever to make a rational conclusion about the subject at all

- Genuinely skeptical, and their conclusions based on reasoning that can be interpreted and checked by others. Moreover, these people have the courage to stick their neck out to be held up to ridicule (or at the worst, bitter emnity) - until their doubts are either dispelled or accepted as legitimate.

Of above four categories of people who might agree to have their names placed on the list, how much would Inhofe’s position be advanced by people identified unequivocally as belonging among the first three?

How many people within the first three categories of (undesireable) supporters of Inhofe’s position would it take to demolish Inhofe’s position (and credibility) completely?

I wonder if Inhofe had the sense enough to check out the stories and the credentials of the people on the list? There are people quite qualified to do that for him.

How dumb do you think Inhofe would be to overlook something like that?

How many people would exhibit that kind of stupidity before making an announcement sure to cause an uproar???

Skeptic: you must be relatively recent to watching Imhofe, Morano and co. They do this *all the time*.

There is *no evidence* that anyone there cares about checking things out. Rummage around here in DeSmogBlog for the Monckton / Schulte vs Oreskes affair, of which crucial actions were done by Morano. the whole point is to cause confusion: Google: luntzspeak
and see: http://www.luntzspeak.com/memo4.html

Also search on Desmogblog for Inhofe (with an “n”).

Just FYI:

The prise money for anyone that can prove the A in AGW is now up to $150,000.
And still no takers? interesting.

No link, no criteria, no evidence that someone has really put up the money for this putative “prise” (sic). Troll.

Where have you been? I assumed everyone was well aware of this prise:
And here are the rules:

If you have any convincing proof, I would be happy to submit it for you for say…. 25%?

Gee Troll Hmm… Name calling. Hmmm. How scientific.

Learn to spell, troll. How old are you, 11?

…2. Entrants acknowledge that the concepts and terms mentioned and referred to in the UGWC hypotheses are inherently and necessarily vague, and involve subjective judgment. JunkScience.com reserves the exclusive right to determine the meaning and application of such concepts and terms in order to facilitate the purpose of the contest…

In other words, there are no objective criteria. The fix is in.

My lack of concern for spelling is an indication of my lack of respect for rudeness and insolence.
IE you.
the rules are vague because AGW is itself is such a vague loose theory that tight rules would eliminate any entries before they started.
IE: If it gets warmer and if more co2 and if this or that it may come to pass that seas may rise .5 inches to 20 feet and yada yada….

Its a lot of money, What have you got to loose? Your arrogance?

Gary, you are out of your league here. You do not know how to have an intelligent discussion with adults. Why don’t you try to engage the people who have tried to address you politely? You could learn a lot from them

I don’t bother to be polite to you myself, because I think you are not willing or able to learn.

VJ…. You are amusing if nothing else.
Happy new year to you.

Gary, I gave you a counter to this on another thread. You’re just going to throw this out again? VJ requests criteria and she’s right to do so. You mentioned that you’d write again when you had a better definition of what would constitute convincing evidence. Still nothing? Interesting….

Better yet, I’d like to see Gary prove the theory of gravity. Proving any theory is not possible. Testing a hypothesis and various aspects of a theory within a certain degree of confidence is though. So in essence you can ask question scientific questions and derive answers.

For example

1)when dropped does an object fall, yes
2)what is the speed at which the object accelerates, the strength of gravity
3)why do planets orbit around the sun, gravitational dynamics
4) and on and on

or conversely
1)are greenhouse gas levels increasing, yes
2)are human activities largely to blame, yes
3)is solar activity increase to any significant degree, no
4)and on and on

But when you come right down to it all you can do is observe its phenomena and test the aspects of it and develop or challenge supporting evidence for the theory which is the tie that holds all the phenomena together. This is why there is more than one theory that explains the phenomena behind gravity. Just the consensus is towards the most widely reported version of it see general theory of relativity.

I realize that I’m wasting everybody’s time with this comment, and I further realize that there’s lots of blog history I’m unaware of, but I’d like to request greater restraint in the insult department. I fully understand everybody’s frustration with “the other side”. And indeed, as I have noted several times, I have never encountered a denier with whom I can carry out a reasoned discussion. That does not mean, however, that we can accomplish anything with vituperation. Hopeless naif that I am, I continue to hope that I can learn something about the thought processes if I can cut through the outer layers and get down to core thinking.

I’d also like to point out that the denialist camp is not homogeneous. Yes, there are lots and lots of idiots in that camp, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all idiots There are plenty of experts who’ve sold their integrity – but that doesn’t mean that they have all sold their integrity. And regardless of the moral worth of each individual, the challenges they make deserve an answer. I acknowledge that those challenges have already been answered in spades. But as scientists, we have a duty to cherish our best devil’s advocates. They’re the ones who keep us honest. Again, I acknowledge that the great majority of deniers are devils, not devil’s advocates. But we just have to wipe the spittle from our faces and concentrate on trying to get it perfect – which of course, we’ll never do. But we keep trying.

Back in the late 60s or early 70s, Carl Sagan organized a discussion of Immanuel Velikovsky’s theories at a AAAS meeting. For those of you not old enough to remember, Velikovsky was a real nut case, far nuttier than any of the climate skeptics. His prime work, “Worlds In Collision” claimed that planets had gone bouncing all over the solar system during Biblical times, crashing into the earth or just grazing it, causing all sorts of mayhem that, remarkably enough, was reported by the writers of the Bible. For example, he claimed that when – dammit, I’m getting old, I can’t remember the name any longer – what’s-his-name was winning the battle and asked God to prolong the day, Mars came conveniently whirling by to stop the earth’s rotation temporarily. Yep – Velikovsky was a real nut case, and scientists everywhere dismissed him as such. Which in turn led to the usual charges about scientists being pig-headed, a closed fraternity, etc, etc, etc. Sagan set up the meeting at AAAS, invited anybody from the Velikovsky community to speak, and when none came forward, drafted a reluctant astronomer to do the best he could. The guy came up with a really speculative case supporting a tiny corner of Velikovsky’s theory. The case was shot to shreds during the discussion. But that pretty much ended the Velikovsky Affair.

Chris, I agree with you. After all, I wish that there were good reasons to doubt AGW and its consequences. I like to think that my posts are made to help AGW-deniers become effective skeptics instead of what they are. When one of them claims something like, “the same scientists were screaming in terror about global cooling in the 1970’s”, instead of making a long response, I refer them to a location where they can read a good, long response. I find they never provide a substantial reply, but instead talk about religion and socialism and economic collapse. I usually try to explain that if they want to change minds then they have to use arguments that go beyond the ready-made replies. But usually what happens is that the same person will ignore me and claim “the same scientists were screaming in terror about global cooling in the 1970’s” again on another thread. When this happens I’ll usually needle the person about it, trying to use their own words/tactics (as I have done above). I don’t consider it unfair to do so. Do you disagree?

No, you’re absolutely justified in taking people to task when they have not behaved with integrity. That’s why I don’t want to direct my complaint at any particular comment or set of comments – I don’t know the history. I would suggest that the “Gila Monster” approach is ultimately more effective, because it’s not explicitly rude. If somebody refuses to respond to a point, you just keep bringing it up over and over until they respond or stomp off. You can do it without ever ruffling Miss Manners’ feathers.


You’re an idiot. There done… I took the same shot as you did in your “A pleah for civility” post but, I wasted far less time. :)

Tim Ball is one of Canada’s first Climatology PHd’s. I suppose you require that he be Knighted as well, before you consider him ‘qualified’ ?

Your ad hominem arguments are looking pretty desperate, right about now.

my post clarifying Tim Ball’s qualifications.

At the University of Winnipeg, Geography Department, he was a sessional lecturer 1973-76, a lecturer 1976-77 and 1978-82, an assistant professor 1983-84, an associate professor 1984-88, and a full professor 1988-96 (8 years, not 32 or even 28 as he has often claimed). He was granted a PhD, Doctor of Philosophy, NOT Doctor of Science as he frequently claims, in 1983 by the Department of Geography, NOT climatology, at Queen Mary College, University of London. He has not published anything in peer-reviewed journals since 1986. This is not an ad hominem attack, it’s just the truth. If you are going to set him up as an expert, it’s valid for others to question that claim.

For a full profile of Dr Ball’s career, see http://www.desmogblog.com/tim-ball-the-first-canadian-phd-in
[space inserted]-climatology, or do a little research on his defamation suit against the Calgary Herald and Dan Johnson at http://www.desmogblog.com/tiim-ball-vs-dan-johnson-update.

Why does Al Gore refuse to openly debate, one-on-one, any scientist with a contrary view ? That the high priest of GW is not confident in risking that, is certainly concerning.

Gore refuses to debate because they would mop the floor with him.
This is common knowledge.

for Al Gore, who is not a scientist but a popularizer, ie a messenger, to debate with a scientist. I’d like to see Kerry Emmanuel, Michael Mann, James Hanson and Andrew Weaver go head-to-head with Tim Ball, Fred Singer, Willie Soon and Bill Gray. Ball et al wouldn’t know what hit them!

Andrew Dessler, a professor in the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University tried to get a denier to debate with him. He was unsuccessful till Tim Ball said he would do it.

The debate was set up for December 17 and was to be broadcast on BlogTalkRadio. When I signed in, surprise surprise, no Tim Ball. It seems as if he contacted them with 5 minutes left to say that he had mixed up the time zones. I find that to be a hysterical comment coming from a supposed geography prof, aren’t they supposed to know about such things?

Details can be found on Andrew’s website at Gristmill.org

Ian Forrester

I think that it is reasonable for Mr. Gore to refuse to engage in a debate with scientists. He is a popularizer, not a scientist, and he freely admits as much. Popularizers play an important role in science. They translate scientific results into terms that the general public can appreciate. In the process, they NECESSARILY simplify and distort the science. There is nothing wrong with this. The only way that the public can understand the real science is to read the real scientific papers – which of course the public can’t understand in the first place. I have been a teacher, and one rule of teaching science is that you lie to the students to help them understand. You give them an oversimplified and distorted version of the truth to get them to lower division level. Then you give them a better version in upper division. Then finally in grad school, you give them the unvarnished truth. They’d never understand the truth if you just dumped it on them at the outset.

Gore has done an excellent job of popularizing the science. Yes, his works have some distortions in them. But that would be true of ANY effective popularization of the science. The question we must ask is, are Mr. Gore’s distortions prejudicial in nature, or are they the unavoidable result of a fair-minded simplification of the truth? I think that Mr. Gore has done a creditable job in this regard.

You should see how gross first year biology at university is. I used to feel that I was letting students down when teaching labs and explaining things a certain why, but I realized it has to be done this way. I agree dumping the entire story in one shot is unreasonable. In reality if it was done that way failure rates in biology courses would go from 35% up to 80+%. Besides learning is a process that requires building blocks of information to lead to a greater level of understanding. I dont think its “lieing” though, but oversimplified if a much better word.

These people are unbelievably relentless. However it seems as though their continued strategies are just making them look sillier all the time.

One wonders whether the energy companies will one day drop them from the payroll in an effort to save face. Keep up the great work exposing this crap!

Good Luck with your new religion Littlemore. Your approach to the issue reminds me of the Spanish Inquisition!

The economic breakdown is said to an effect of the global warming. But, should we really blame it alone? How about the human activities or the way we spend our money? Only 23 people this year were able to pull off a superfecta.  The superfecta is correctly guessing (i.e. betting) the top 4 placing horses at the Kentucky Derby. It appears to be about more or less plain luck, as the winner was the 50 to 1 underdo, Mine That Bird.  The trifecta, is about as hard, as guessing the top 3 accurately.  If a person were to bet every combination to make it, it would cost more than a payday loan, as the maximum bet is $1, and there were 93,024 different permutations of the placement.  (93,024 different superfecta possibilities.) Still, the superfecta winners came away with cash advances of about $278,000.



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