Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam

Read time: 9 mins

Updated: June 15, 2009

There is a line between public relations and propaganda - or there should be. And there is a difference between using your skills, in good faith, to help rescue a battered reputation and using them to twist the truth - to sow confusion and doubt on an issue that is critical to human survival.

And it is infuriating - as a public relations professional - to watch my colleagues use their skills, their training and their considerable intellect to poison the international debate on climate change.

That's what is happening today, and I think it's a disgrace. On one hand, you have the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – as well as the science academies of every developed nation in the world – confirming that:

  • climate change is real;
  • it is caused by human activity; and
  • it is threatening the planet in ways we can only begin to imagine.

On the other hand, you have an ongoing public debate - not about how to respond, but about whether we should bother, about whether climate change is even a scientific certainty. While those who stand in denial of climate change have failed in the last 15 years to produce a single, peer-reviewed scientific journal article that challenges the theory and evidence of human-induced climate change, mainstream media was, until very recently, covering the story (in more than half the cases, according to the academic researchers Boykoff and Boykoff) by quoting one scientist talking about the risks and one purported expert saying that climate change was not happening – or might actually be a good thing.

Few PR offences have been so obvious, so successful and so despicable as this attack on the science of climate change. It has been a triumph of disinformation – one of the boldest and most extensive PR campaigns in history, primarily financed by the energy industry and executed by some of the best PR talent in the world. As a public relations practitioner, it is a marvel – and a deep humiliation – and I want to see it stop.

Here’s how it works: Public relations is not a process of telling people what to think; people are too smart for that, and North Americans are way too stubborn. Tell a bunch of North Americans what they are supposed to think and you’re likely to wind up the only person at the party enjoying your can of New Coke.

No, the trick to executing a good PR campaign is twofold: you figure out what people are thinking already; and then you nudge them gently from that position to one that is closer to where you want them to be. The first step is research: you find out what they know and understand; you identify the specific gaps in their knowledge. Then you fill those gaps with a purpose-built campaign. You educate. If people are afraid to take Tylenol (as they were after someone poisoned some pills), you explain the extensive safety precautions now typical in the pharmaceutical industry. If people think Martha Stewart is arrogant and uncaring, you create opportunities for her to show a more human side.

In the best cases – the cases that are most personally rewarding – your advice actually guides corporate behavior. That is, if a client wants to protect or revive their reputation, if they want to convince the public that they’re running a responsible company and doing the right thing, the most obvious public relations advice is that they should do the right thing.

It's the kind of advice that, historically, has been a hard sell in the tobacco industry, in the asbestos industry - and too often in the automotive industry. Those sectors have provided some of the most famous examples of PR disinformation: “smoking isn't necessarily bad for you;” “it's not certain that asbestos will give you cancer;” “your seatbelt might actually kill you if you're the one person in five trillion whose buckle jams just as your car flips into a watery ditch.”

But few PR offences have been so obvious, so successful and so despicable as the attack on the scientific certainty of climate change. Few have been so coldly calculating and few have been so well documented. For example, Ross Gelbspan, in his books, The Heat is On and Boiling Point sets out the whole case, pointing fingers and naming names. PR Watch founder John Stauber has done similarly exemplary work, tracking the bogus campaigns and linking various pseudo scientists to their energy industry funders.

I have filled a whole book with details of the documented corporate action plans to deny climate change and confuse the public. Climate Cover-up hit the shelves in the fall of 2009.

One of the best proofs of climate disinformation came in a November 2002 memo from political consultant Frank Luntz to the U.S. Republican Party. Luntz followed the rules: he did the research; he identified the soft spots in public opinion; and he made a clever critical judgment about which way the public could be induced to move.

In a section entitled “Winning the Global Warming Debate,” Luntz says this:

“The Scientific Debate Remains Open. Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.”

If you download the memo and read the whole thing, you will notice that Luntz never expressly denies the validity of the science. In fact, he says, “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but is not yet closed.”

” … not yet closed”? Among those who disagreed with that assessment when Luntz wrote this report were the 2,500 scientists in the IPCC, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada.

In 2004, Donald Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Science magazine, said, “We're in the middle of a large uncontrolled experiment on the only planet we have.” And to back up this sense of certainty, he reported that University of California, San Diego science historian Dr. Naomi Oreskes had published an analysis in Science in which she had combed through 928 peer-reviewed climate studies published between 1993 and 2003 and found not a single one that disagreed with the general scientific consensus.

Yet journalists continued to report updates from the best climate scientists in the world juxtaposed against the unsubstantiated raving of an industry-funded climate change denier - as if both were equally valid.

Notwithstanding, Luntz wrote: “There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.” He recommended that his Republican Party clients do just that. He urged them to marshal their own “scientists” to contest the issue on every occasion. He urged them to plead for “sound science” a twist of language of the sort that George Orwell once said was “designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.”

Luntz's goal – which was embraced with unnerving enthusiasm by the Bush Administration - was to manufacture uncertainty and to politicize science. Like all tragedy, it would be hilarious if you could play it for laughs.

Luntz himself actually backed off this position a couple of years later, saying that the evidence of climate change was overwhelming. So it’s difficult to tell who is being wilfully blind and who, like Luntz, was falling victim to gross negligence in the way they ignore the science - and in the potentially catastrophic risks that they promote. Whichever way you cut it, their actions reflect badly on the whole public relations industry.

As you might assume from my earlier criticism, I'm not suggesting that Frank Luntz or even a dubious cabal of ethics-free PR people are solely to blame for the public confusion on climate change. They have received extensive, if clumsy assistance from the media, which in a facile attempt to provide “balance” is willing to give any opinion an “impartial” airing as long as it is firmly in contradiction with another.

This is not just a feature of the point/counterpoint talking heads that have emerged as the principal vehicle for television news. Newspaper reporters are just as guilty of canvassing “both sides” of every argument, often without providing any critical judgment as to the validity or relative weight of either side.

On the issue of climate change, journalists have consistently reported the updates from the best climate scientists in the world juxtaposed against the unsubstantiated raving of an industry-funded climate change denier - as if both are equally valid. This is not balanced journalism. It is a critical abdication of journalistic responsibility. Any reporter who cannot assess the relative merits of a global scientific consensus - especially in contradiction to an “expert” that the coal industry is paying to help “clear the air” - deserves to have his pencil taken away in solemn ceremony and broken into bits.

There is yet more blame to go around. You could criticize scientists for the dense, cautious and conditional language that they use in talking about the threats of climate change. But in science, credibility is a currency (this, in apparent contradiction to the state of affairs in journalism or PR). A scientist who strays, even momentarily, off the path of certainty or who wanders from hard science into policy is immediately dismissed as someone with an axe to grind.

You could also criticize environmentalists, whose tendency has been to stray too far in the other direction, extrapolating scientific assumptions to create scare stories so dispiriting that they create apathy rather than activism. These, in turn, have made easy targets for the energy industry's climate change deniers.

The important thing at this point, however, is not to assign blame. It is to educate yourself and to join this increasingly urgent political debate. This is not one of those relatively low-level PR boondoggles. We're not talking about single individuals dying because the auto industry held out against seat belt laws. We're not even talking about many 100s of thousands of people dying of lung cancer because the tobacco industry held out for “sound science” while actively increasing the amount of addictive nicotine in their product. We're talking about the future of the planet.

So please read on.

Read everything.

If you are actually practicing public relations, take a close look at your clients and at your own performance. There has to be a point where principle trumps short-term economic gain, a point where you admit to yourself that it’s not worth the money to put the planet at risk.

Whatever you do, you must keep a wary eye. By all means, read the sites that deny the reality of climate change. But then check on to see who paid for those opinions. Read the DeSmogBlog. Don't accept the word of people who pass themselves off as “skeptics.” Be skeptical yourself. Ask yourself what motive the scientific community has to gang up and invent a phony climate crisis. Compare that to the motives that ExxonMobil or Peabody Coal might have to deny that burning fossil fuels indiscriminately could change irrevocably our existence on the planet.

And if you still leave the lights on when you're done, make sure they're shining in the shamed faces of the PR pros who are still trying to prevent sound, sensible policy change to affect this, perhaps the biggest threat humankind has ever faced. 

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I remember the day, not the date, when the Toronto Globe and Mail climate reporting changed. In 1988, Hansen, the midwest US drought, and in Canada, the Changing Atmosphere conference had put global warming on the front page. From now on that’s where it will be, many thought. The Globe and Mail then ran stories periodically, as a few years went by, always stating the then commonly quoted “scientific understanding” that if emissions were not controlled in some way that global temperature would rise by between 1 and 4 degrees C by a date, then the story, whatever it was, Chairman named for Earth Summit, whatever. The years went by, then one day one of these reports stated that the scientific consensus was that global temperature was going to rise by 1 degree C. Period. The instant I read it I knew something was going on. From that point on the issue faded in that paper. The reporters must have received orders from either editors or owners that it was time the issue should be minimized by lying about what the “scientific consensus” was. The reporters duly wrote the reports and everyone kept working, as if no one had a problem.

However I look at what the lobbyists can be blamed for I lay this kind of thing right at the feet of the so called “fourth estate”. Its one thing to realize that the same kind of campaign tobacco manufacturers were convicted for has been going on over global warming science, buts its another to say the lobbyists deserve all the blame.

The intelligent among us should have seen through it. I don’t mean the people who saw this and have been trying to alert civilization for decades, I mean all those who say they are the smart money on Wall Street, the incredible geeks in the Valley, the analysts at the NSA, the people who say they are concerned about national security in Washington, the hangers on at all the universities in the world, the leaders in all of our communities, everyone who thinks they care about the future they are handing down to their own children.

The war lobby runs into real trouble as they find themselves unable to sustain things like Vietnam, or Iraq. They couldn’t keep the Pentagon budget up at 7% of US GDP once the Soviet Union was gone.

There is some reality underneath all the lobbying, and one reality is that you can look back as far as ancient Greece and you can find them unable to understand, even as they were aware that they had trashed their own country by logging so many trees that the topsoil had flowed down into the sea, that there was some limit to what they could do to the planet. Sophocles wrote there was no limit, and in the same play he wrote that there was. We’ve been acting out in that contradictory way leaving it to our descendants to hit the wall or resolve it ever since.

I wonder if you’ve considered the work of Dan Kahan, and his suggestion to present the scientific information from trusted sources:

For instance, he writes “In our HPV-vaccine experiment, polarization was also substantially reduced when people encountered advocates with diverse values on both sides of the issue. People feel that it is safe to consider evidence with an open mind when they know that a knowledgeable member of their cultural community accepts it. Thus, giving a platform to a spokesperson likely to be recognized as a typical traditional parent with a hierarchical world view might help to dispel any association between mandatory HPV vaccination and the condoning of permissive sexual practices.”

There is also a more recent article about him here:

And there are a couple of recently published article relevant to climate change available from his web site:

he writes: “Many of the mechanisms of cultural cognition involve the use of cultural cues as a heuristic or mental short-cut. But as experimental studies show, it’s possible to disable or blunt culture’s heuristic influence: when people’s cultural identities are affirmed, they don’t experience the threatening affective response, or are less influenced by it, as they consider information that challenges beliefs that pre-dominate in their group; when they can’t discern a consistent connection between the cultural identity of advocates and positions on some risk issue, they can’t simply adopt the position of the advocate whom they perceive as having values most like theirs.”

You had lots of evidence re the “science” to give you reasons to be cautious.

I offer of proof McIntyre’s work on MBH(see The IPCC adopted bogus science without checking… shame!!!

McIntyre and McKitrick Submission to NAS Panel on Millennial Paleoclimate Reconstructions
Washington DC, March 2, 2006

(b) What are the principal scientific criticisms of their [Mann, Bradley and Hughes] work and how significant are they? (c) Has the information needed to replicate their work been available? (d) Have other scientists been able to replicate their work?
Our answers to these questions are as follows.

(b) With respect to Mann et al. [1998, 1999] (MBH98-99), our most important objections [see McIntyre and McKitrick, 2003, 2005a, 2005b, 2005c, 2005d and] are:
• The study used “new” statistical methods that turned out to “mine” for hockey stick shaped series. These methods were misrepresented and/or inaccurately described in important particulars and their statistical properties were either unknown to the authors or unreported by them.
• The reconstruction failed an important verification test said to have used in the study. This failure was not reported and the statistical skill was misrepresented both in the original article and by the IPCC.
• Dominant weight was placed on proxies known to be inappropriate temperature proxies, along with, at best, misleading information about their impact and, at worst, actual withholding of adverse results;
• The method of confidence interval calculation leads to unrealistically narrow confidence intervals;
(c) No. Systematic obstruction was placed at every step of the way of replication attempts. The underlying data were exceedingly hard to identify and obtain. The methodology was not accurately described in the paper and the computational code was withheld until the intervention of a Congressional investigation.
(d) No. Some authors (Ammann and Wahl) claim to have replicated the MBH results. Contrary to their representations, they have not confirmed MBH claims of statistical skill and robustness or dealt with all relevant aspects of MBH. Their emulation of MBH is almost identical to ours. Differences between us pertain entirely to the characterization of the results, rather than to the calculations themselves. In fact, their code actually confirms our claims about MBH verification statistics.
We have also carefully studied the data and methods of the major multiproxy studies used in the reconstruction of surface temperatures for the past millennium [Mann et al., 1998; Mann et al, 1999; Jones et al 1998; Crowley and Lowery 2000; Esper et al, 2002; Mann and Jones, 2003; Jones and Mann, 2004; Moberg et al, 2005; Osborn and Briffa, 2006]. We will focus our discussion on the most prominent of these studies, MBH98-99, which was heavily relied upon by the IPCC, but we will also itemize issues regarding the other studies, that should be of concern to the Committee.
Our concerns with other studies frequently cited in support of MBH are related to the above. For every study, there are pointless obstacles to replication, causing long delays to any statistical researcher attempting to evaluate the results. The studies are neither independent in authorship nor in proxy selection. None of the studies describe objective protocols for proxy selection. Because they have very small populations, their results are highly sensitive to proxy choice. The repetitive use of proxies known to be questionable as temperature proxies, but which happen to have a hockey stick shape (such as the bristlecone growth index), raises questions about potential bias in proxy selection. There is also evidence of considerable instability in well-known site chronologies depending on sample (e.g. the Polar Urals pre- and post- recent resampling), yielding remarkably divergent results even from the same site.
We can only briefly survey these questions and will leave list of major issues and questions for the Committee to consider.
With regard to Rep. Boehlert’s question (3b):
3) How central is the work of Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes to the consensus on the temperature record?
MBH is the origin of the claims that 1998 was the “warmest” year and the 1990s the “warmest decade” of the millennium. It was relied upon both by the IPCC and then, subsequently by national governments, including Canada. It became a standard for every subsequent multiproxy study and is included in all representations of millennial climate. Its results and methods continue in use, directly affecting papers released as recently as last month.

Everybody identified that Global warming has taken place. I don’t think this is a good way that we have a debate on Climate warning is caused by whether man or natural. But having find how to reduce or avoid it will be better and have meaningful for us.

The politicians and Big Business does not worry about the state of the climate, only money and power..

With a 6% increase of global biomass and recognition by the IPCC that there has been no global warming for at least 15 years. Farmers get a little annoyed about the bad press being given to that building block of life Carbon. Instead we are being told our cows are causing global warming - never mind the mass extinction of animals over the past couple of centuries such as the buffalo herds and the flocks of Passenger pigeons. Our industry relies on knowing what the weather is going to do yet how often do the experts get it wrong on a regular basis. Yes we do keep records. Our industry whilst one of the smallest in man and vote power is still required to feed the masses so - Try to understand. Carbon is good. If the planet warms then there will be more land that may be cultivated, a doubling of c02 will simply make our crops do better. That our industry is without doubt the most affected by global warming/climate change/extreme weather it is still given the least consideration. We keep farming and the grass is green thanks to C02

the greatest threat to the survival of man i man himself

  • climate change is real;
  • it is caused by human activity; and
  • it is threatening the planet in ways we can only begin to imagine.”

The first claim is meaningless, since the climate always changes. The second claim is that humans are responsible for climate change. But on this planet climate change has gone on for at least a billion years, and the humans have been here for far less a time then that. So here nothing specific is being said.  The IPCC has to learn to speak English to get its message across. The third claim is that climate change threatens the planet. The planet is not threatened by climate. Humans can be threatened by climate change. A cold snap would eventually lead to a drop in CO2 levels. A drop in CO2 levels would lead to famine. The recurrence of a glacial period could wipe billions of people out, although it might well save our sea life.

 But the planet is un-moved by climate change. The planet has been subject to climate change these last billion plus years. Some say the planet has been around four billion plus years, with the climate always changing. 

So a good starting point to the public relations of this movement would be to start speaking English. Although if what you are saying is nonsense, speaking clear English about it may well give the game away. 

Most of the propaganda has been spread by those whose belief in anthropogenic warming is of such religious fervor that they countenance no intrusion of scientific data or facts (re. “inconvenient climate truths”) into the debate. The best and most reliable climate science data, contrary to pronouncements by Al Gore, Jim Hansen, and other science fiction writers, do not support man-made global warming (now “climate change”) theory.

Perhaps that is why Japanese environmental physical chemist and IPCC report contributor Dr. Kiminori Itoh has dubbed man-made global warming “the worst scientific scandal in history,” and why Norway’s Nobel Prize winner for physics, Dr. Ivar Giaever, has denounced it as the “new religion.”

“If you are actually practicing public relations, take a close look at your clients and at your own performance. There has to be a point where principle trumps short-term economic gain, a point where you admit to yourself that it’s not worth the money to put the planet at risk.”

Unfortunately i don’t see this happening anytime soon.  I would love to believe otherwise, but in an economy like the current one, it is nearly impossible to convince people to follow any kind of principles. 

I once wrote a post on integrity, and although I believe integrity is crucial… in this day and age, too many people are lacking it.

the denialist trolls and plain old spammers are swarming this thread like ants and honey!

My sense is that the /contrarian/denialist/skeptic propaganda is increasing in volume and effectiveness and the consensus propaganda, while not going away, is sounding more shrill and desperate.

I think that the consensus side needs to make some kind of adjustment in this fight. Not sure quite what, but somethings not right.

Hello, Dear, I agree with you!!  I think you are right!! You must hold on!! I support you!!

For those in Science writing/journalism, Eric Pooley’s paper is a must read and very relevant to this post. When i did a series of reports on Climate last year, I was asked about, giving equal time to dissenters.

I replied that we do not usually have people on who think the Moon landing was a hoax every time we do a story about it. If it’s in peer reviewed journal, it’s likely fair game, but just because a few (very, very few) scientists disagree, does not obligate a journalist to offer equal time in every story on climate change.

Most news organizations have “gotten” this now, with the exception of some of the more notorious outlets like Fox News and the Wall St. Journal whose science reporting is nothing less than ridiculously inept.

Pooley’s paper from the Harvard web site:

Let me get this straight. A worldwide panel of certified legitimate climate scientists from the worlds leading climate / science organisations (USA, Britain, Japan, every nation on the planet) literally thousands of scientists who got together and produced the IPCC reports (all 4 of them) on the undeniability of climate change are all wrong. The scientists work for no more money than they normally make, essentially a volunteer group. (The deniers are paid for by oil companies.) Peer review is wrong because some git somewhere managed to scam it, yet some guy who has produced one, maybe at a stretch, two peered reviewed scientific papers is correct. The IPCC reports (all 4 of them) are wrong because they forgot to punctuate the last sentence in paragraph 4 page 82 which clearly shows that they don’t know what they’re talking about and are only trying to get more funding. But Joe Average with no expertise in science or climate surfin the net clearly sees through the scam, because he’s seeking “truth” not consensus. oh and Fox news says its not true. Are you guys all drunk? Get a grip. Just a bunch of conspiracy theorists hiding behind the same old crap “I know the truth.”. Yeah and space aliens are being held at area 51.

Wow Jim You Sure Hit a Nerve!

And boy did the trolls crawl out of their caves to spout their foul drivel.

If that wasn’t indicative of a coordinated denial campaign, I don’t know what is.

Keep it up Jim, when you’re receiving flak, you must be over the target!

Note the diagnostic sign that the first troll has a go at Al Gore.

These troll posts are so full of ‘stupid’, it’s virtually impossible to know where to begin. Don’t these trolls realise that ‘stupid’ is a depletable resource. The world supplies of ‘stupid’ must be declining rapidly.

The politicians does not worry about the state of the climate, only money, money, money and money. Thx from Italy

Unfortunately, there is also an unknown phenomenon until recently called “Global Dimming” that has been confusing the data.

Some bodies of water are actually cooler in places because particulate matter in the air from pollution and jet plumes dim the sun. cheap web hosting The sun is markedly dimmer all over the planet than it used to be, which has not only mitigated the effects of global warming but also confused researchers.

What this means is that we are actually in a whole lot more trouble than we thought and that global warming due to greenhouse gas emmisions should actually be happening at approximately twice the rate it is now.

Unfortunately dimming has given us cooler weather in places and at times that Consrvatives have been able to exploit for their own ends.

Now that we have data on dimming, which was confirmed after 9/11 when all air trafic was grounded in the US and temperatures and sunlight rose while being monitored, web site development we can address this skewing of the data on global warming.

The skeptics won’t have much fuel for much longer. Its only been about a year since this phenomenon was widely known and proven. internet marketing It will become a part of the discussions on Global Warming soon.

For the moment I will ignore the tsunami of panic-stricken denialist scrabbling about, and say congratulations to you both on getting this out.  And thank you for a much-needed and very clear-headed analysis of the shenanigans of your less-than-ethical colleagues in PR

The point that all of the deniers seem to be missing is that the book is not about the science itself, but rather about how the science is being mis-represented and how to think critically about sources.

I’ll be giving out this book to anyone I meet who is sitting on the fence or falling for the Lomberg/Monckton/Ball/Lindzen/whoever nonsense. 

I was, BTW, vastly amused to see that a couple of commenters actually invoked the esteemed Dr Timothy Ball, chairman of the NRSP (Not Really Science People).  Is he still alive?  He’s certainly not relevent.

So well done Jim & Richard.  Based on the number of comments here, I think you really got up their noses!


We can opine about changes in sea level, salinity, ocean currents, weather patterns, etc. But what good does it? Change has formed this planet and continues to shape it. Climate has always changed and change is inevitable. Life will, no doubt, evolve with it or go extinct. We must change our way of thinking about it. Our concern needs to focus on making sure our planet is a healthy place to live and keeping life sustainable. Arguing about the existence of global warming is a waste of time. Instead of arguing let’s innovate and bring solutions for a healthier planet to the table.

The greatness of our country was built on the solid rock of “principles.” The soft, easy life of an affluent society may be our undoing.Our forefathers had it tough. Most of us living today had a cake-walk, comparatively speaking. Our forbearers had to live their principles - or face the defeat of poverty, ill-health, and despair.

Our children can bring us back if only we will take the time to teach them those simple principles. More than teaching, we might help them practice those principles in their daily lives until habit makes them permanent. Begin while they are still playing in the sandbox. They will grow soon enough into men and women who live principle-centered lives!

Both sides have their propagandists that feel free to bend the truth. This article cleary is an example of the use of spin, half truths and outright falsehoods on the side of the AGW cause.

The first bit of spin is in the third paragraph when the IPCC is described as “Nobel Prize winning”. True, but many would think this is some scientific accolade. Of course the IPCC merely won the Peace Prize which is basicaly a prize awarded for outstanding political correctness.

The first lie comes shortly after when it is stated that the science academies of every developed nation in the world confirm that AGW is threatening the planet in ways we can only begin to imagine.  The statements of almost all academies are far more limited and guarded as too what they say about AGW.

Then comes another big lie - “those who stand in denial of climate change have failed in the last 15 years to produce a single, peer-reviewed scientific journal article that challenges the theory “. This often repeated  statement is so ridiculously wrong that it immediately discredits anyone who states it (Google it if you doubt this).

One of the prime drivers of my scepticism is that so many of the champions of the AGW theory feel free to grossly exagerate the science and the likely impacts and have agendas that have little to do with addressing climate change.

If you really want to convince me then you must first embrace the values of rigorous honesty. This would mean that the leaders of  the AGW cause should routinely denounce the dishonest and the exaggerators on their own side and refuse to publish any scientist unwilling to fully expose their data and their methodology to public scrutiny.  It is not peer review that leads to the truth but open public scrutiny. Peer review just perpetuates group think.

Great post! Thank you very much! Anyway science is not democratic. That 98.5 percent does not change reality my friend.

I have heard (from global warming deniers, i.e. The Heartland Institute) that NASA satellite mean global temperature levels for the last ten years have not measured any increse; in fact a non-statistically significant increase has been measured. Is this correct? And if it is how do you explain this? Bob

Well, regardless if people cause ‘climate change’ or not (I believe we are contributing) and if oceans are rising or not(well, they actually are), people can fix self-inflicted ‘climate change’ by using nuclear force. If energy policy change does not slow/stop/reverse ‘climate change’ or when people decide they have reached the point of no return; as a last resort, humanity can detonate a number of nukes in each of the deserts of Earth, couging up enough dust to begin to cool the planet. This action could be regulated.(smarter people than me can figure out the particulars) Humanity would have to prepare for the jolt of changes to ensue by dropping the planet’s temperature in this manner, but that could be well planned, again by smarter people than me.

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites weblog list and will be checking back soon.
Lai suat|Ty gia

The IPCC you so clearly adore, promised 50 million refugees by 2010. Ooops! Ever wondered if so called Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Disruption, or whatever it’s called these days had not been ‘invented’, I bet nobody would have noticed anything different. But don’t worry, this was never anything to do with climate, you see the idea was to get everyone to be so scared that they would allow the political elite to control our lives and save us. hence the ludicrous predictions the ‘on message’ scientists foretold. Now nothing in the slightest cataclysmic is happening, they will still implement their policies with or without us. So you have nothing to worry about, you’ll get your way anyhow.

Global warming or climate change do not happen.

Scientist has used extreme weather as an excuse that climate change is happening. But there is some place where the weather actually improve. What was once experiencing flood, drought and tornado, is now no longer have them.

Scientist do observe surface heating. But what the news do not mention is the surface heating happen mostly because of trails. And not even Al Gore consider trails as something that need to be taken care of even when scientist agree that trails is worse warmer than CO2.

I have to say that is only in the benefit of the large public to have more sides of the climate change story. And I am not sure that scientist even have the same opinion, so it is really great that more and more people share their views. My opinion is that oceans have a big contribution in the climate change and that, by affecting the oceans with their wars, humans affected climate (see There are many that do not agree with me, but I think is it very important that people realize that global warming is a big issue.

Jim Hoggan needs to provide us with the experiment that shows that CO2 does what some maintain as far as being the driver of the earth's climate. I do not need to be reminded of Tyndall's 1859 lab experiments that do not prove that humanity's CO2 emissions are warming the planet. In the real world, other factors can influence and outweigh those lab findings and that is why these experiment must deal with the real world and not computer models that do not have the ability to factor in all of the variables that effect the earth's climate. If they can not provide a verifiable experiment regarding the present amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and how it effects the climate and creates their anthropogenic global warming, then believing that it does so is akin to believing that Santa Clause is real and you need to be good to get something left under the tree.

It is a fact that real scientist devise experiments to either prove or disprove their hypotheses and welcome people to try to disprove them so that they can move on. They sure do not say that the science is settled and the argument is over because there are REAL scientist out there doing REAL scientific work that are not blinded by some agenda that they support so that they can get more “research” money or money to fund a boondoggle renewable energy scheme that will never work.

Albert Einstein addressed the theory of quantum entanglement. In Dec. of 2011 this experiment was carried out:

Quantum Entanglement Links 2 Diamonds.

Speaking of Albert Einstein, he had an answer for those continually trying to claim that there is a consensus for their flawed, unproven hypothesis regarding anthropogenic global warming, climate change or what ever the charlatans now call it: “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth” Albert Einstein.

Einstein was right, neutrino researchers admit.

“The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action.

“The neutrinos were timed on the journey from CERN's giant underground lab near Geneva to the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy, after travelling 732 kilometres (454 miles) through the Earth's crust.”

If these experiment could be carried out, why has an experiment regarding CO2 and the climate never occurred?

RE: “No. International meetings require participants to be there, otherwise language and custom and practice vagaries can result in miscommunication, in errors and in angst.”

Odd, I used to work in engineering where extremely large projects were carried out jointly by groups in the US, China, and India. We avoided our “angst” by using written communications and followed up with joint conference calls. This required us to come in after hours but of course we operated on a for-profit basis and could not afford to waste our money and unfortunately had no authority to steal it from the taxpayers pockets like our government “scientists” do. This all required us endure meat loaf at home - even when local weather might have beckoned us to the places where the beautiful people go to avoid the vicissitudes of the seasons.

If we could have stolen taxpayer cash to do so, and really had no responsibility of actually producing something of value, I’m sure we would have likewise held our joint meetings in the Seychelles, Rio, etc, etc. Since we were always busting our asses in order to pay the taxman, I’m sure everyone would have enjoyed a 5 star, all expense paid vacation at a beach resort every 6 months or so while we all expressed our collective “angst” over the wine, the caviar, and some succulent lobster all paid at someone else’s expense. How all of our “angst” would have melted, just like the drawn butter used to drown our morsels of lobster.

RE: “As more energy becomes available from renewable sources, electrical cars will become more and more and more sustainable.”

It has been my observation that you Marxist groupies of state-science are completely ignorant of facts on the ground when it comes to real science; I’m talking physics here; not your happy-clappy,
pie-in-the-sky evangelical “science”.

Electrical transmission is not free, it requires boosting the current to very high voltages to keep most of it from dissipating along the way through reactive losses. High voltage transmission lines are both expensive and environmentally destructive; You “Greenies” used to protest even a few miles of them before GE and their fellow Marxists decided they are now really very cool.

We used to place large and extremely reliable generation facilities near to the places where the electricity was consumed in order to “save the planet” from thousands of unnecessary miles of these expensive and destructive transmission lines and towers. Now the “greenie” solution is to wire untold thousands of miles of these destructive transmission lines and towers to tiny, expensive, remote, unreliable sources - it would be comic if it were not so tragic. There wont be a bird or insect-eating bat left in the country once you and GE have “saved the environment”

RE: ” - wrong.”

I am devastated by such a comprehensive rebuttal - but typical of you know nothing ignoramuses. Show me your figures if you got by eighth grade arithmetic which is more than the majority of you have, including your Pied Piper - The Goracle.

RE: “Solar can be developed in any currently-empty desert region (e.g. most of North Africa, Central Australia, etc) ”

I rest my case - we are to do what????

Are we now to run untold thousands of miles of of transmission lines across the oceans to buy our power from the Arabs or will it be the Abos?

The average depth of the oceans is 2 miles and that makes for mighty tall transmission towers - or will the transmission towers bob about on the tempest swept seas while on pontoons?

The purpose of capitalism and free markets is precisely to keep you people where you belong - in mom and dad’s basement playing video games and cursing the culture who have rightfully discarded your grade school brain flatulence.

All you people ever do to advertise your stupidity is to talk - keep it coming

In following the development of the global warming theory it is impossible to ignore the informed scientists who do not feel able to agree that the subject is properly represented. An example is here: I want to be sure I understand what is being said by the scientists and do not see why I should automatically reject the views of a person who appears to hold down a position of prestige in a serious university and submit peer reviewed papers in the subject. Who is Pielke’s PR flak? What can Pielke possibly get out of this stand other than trying to avoid being misrepresented? If the various suppliers of data radically differ in their offerings (example:NOAA data versus NASA UAH MSU for May) then it does the alarmists no credit to ignore it or reject it out of hand. Show the science that can allow these differences to exist. The first year that I saw reports that “the Wilkins ice shelf broke up” I tended to believe it and credit the global warming for it, but when you see Wilkins Ice Shelf disappearance stories every year around the same time I tend to think that somebody is having me on. So I checked back, and sure enough as recently as 2005 this “ancient” ice shelf was open water. If alarmists claim the imminent destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, then they should match this claim against the actual report that it is indeed slowing in its growth. But an annual 2% growth (down from about 4%) is not necessarily going to lead to destruction any time soon

The motivations for the scientists and the petroleum industry for manufacturing evidence are the same: job preservation. I trust the ethics of scientists (the group of people least likely to have them in my opinion) about as much as petro-industry wonks. That said, I still trust science as my source of information on all things scientific, like say for example, climatology. It seems so obvious to me that you would ask a climatologist a climate question, not your minister or oilman or brother-in-law, etc.

What worries me is that if there were in fact evidences against global warming, actual scientific evidence, it would get buried because it is not orthodoxy. It just does not worry me as much as the more likely scenario that the Earth is becoming a more dangerous, more populated, warmer place. After all, the consequences of a conspiracy of scientists to hide data and/or manufacture a crisis is that there is no crisis, and money gets shifted around. So what. So we spend too much money on wind turbines and fusion research, oh my! We all know what the consequences are if the campaign against climate change is shown to be the misinformation it appears to be. I don’t think an apology will quite cut it when your breadbasket turns into a desert and your coastal cities are destroyed.

Watergate was preceded by some illegal actions. Think about how you felt about that.

The waste of natural resources is awful. The biggest problem is the size of the human population. This needs immediate action. The charm of the CO2 man made global warming is that it might lead to burning less oil. This is absolutely necessary.

Testing if it is possible that CO2 warms the earth has been tried by Dr. Heinz Hug. The old scientific way. Put CO2 in a cylinder warm it by infrared and see what happens with the radiation. The man gets slaughtered by the CO2 believers. The words they use are vile. But they have something which is interesting and resembles science. They claim that they have proof from statistics and computer models. They continue countering the model by dr. Hug by stating that his statistic model cannot be extrapolated into the complexity of the atmosphere, that’s still fine by me.

However if there is now growing evidence that the data they use is manipulated then we have a serious problem.

If it comes out that he CO2 warming claims are FALSE then this hurts the world
more than climate skeptics could ever have done.

We face enormous problems. My number one issue is 7 billion people on this planet. When we were 2 billion (20 years or so ago) other scientists already predicted the end of the earth. A favorite biologist of mine once said. Imagen 7 billion elephants on this planet. And a human does much more damage than an elephant to the environment.

Now if the general voting public once again gets disgusted by false science making false claims on CO2 then these scientist can be held responsible for giving the final blow to all things that really needs to be done and now will not be done because no one believes in politicians and scientist anymore.

We need to reduce our pollution our wasting of natural resources drastically and most of all we need to reduce our numbers. China much slandered for CO2 has at least some program on that.

If CO2 warming is a scam those scammers are responsible not just for lying but also for murder.

Nothing worse than leading people into false beliefs even if you claim to be after a right cause.

replied that we do not usually have people on who think the Moon landing was a hoax every time we do a story about it. If it’s in peer reviewed journal, it’s likely fair game, but just because a few (very, very few) scientists disagree, does not obligate a journalist to offer equal time in every story on climate change more information you read web site

I saw Gore’s movie… went “hmm, sounds serious”.

I dug some more, found out that key points in his movie were either complete fabrications or hid the complexity of the discussion. Not minor errors either.

That led me to digging, and finding that the subject is NOT cut and dry, and therefore IS open to debate.

Before starving half the world to death as we put our food crops into our gas tanks, we should have a real dialog. I want the ‘models’ released as open source. I want honest open scientific debate.

Gore managed to take an issue and move it from not being discussed directly to ‘discussion is over’ instantly. That doesn’t work for me. Not for something this critical. And barking back and forth at one another on forums like is occurring here is NOT debate. Both sides of this issue are handling it with PR rather than discussion.

People are choosing sides on this issue strictly based on whether they like Gore or not. Again, that is not science.

And by the way almost everyone who freelances has done work for Petrol companies (possibly Gore at times as well), my old new media company did work for Shell - that doesn’t make me a lackey for Big Oil.

This is the second time I’ve read your article and it’s the best written one I have read in the months I have been surfing global warming. Keep up the good work. Mike

continue to deny real climate science, i.e. one that is facts based and not politically motivated consensus progaganda. They also lie as they call the upcoming IPCC report a scientific report, while in reality it is a political report, written by politicians, for political purposes. And these politicians are too scared to show the underlying scientific reports, model data etc, to the public (before publishing this they need a few months to “re-write reality to fit the map”).

I feel compelled to pound yet another wooden stake into the heart of green stupidity; the undead that wont die - stupidity is their only “sustainable” product.

Dingbat (otherwise known as xyz123-the omega and alpha of stupidity no doubt…and ass backwards too, of course) suggests that we should be building solar panels in the deserts of North Africa - what grand idea. Of course he hasn’t got two cents to put behind his wonderful “idea”

Now it may come as a surprise to dingbat but North Africa is a land full of Islamic Fundamentalists who hate us as well as any energy ideas beyond “sustainable” camel dung.

He suggests we should build solar panels by the hundreds of square miles on the shifting desert sands - how special. No Doubt we can hire the people who hate us to shovel the mega tons of sand off these panels - I hope they don’t scratch too easily - maybe we could coat them with diamonds.

Here is a more realistic plan for you sheep-dip brained idiots; lets let scotty from Star Trek fame build an anti-matter machine and we can draw all the energy we need from it for nothing.

Mmmmm, we ought to start out by hiring yet another million know-nothing bureaucrats to “study” the issue - oh and then must attend their gala conventions twice a year at 5 star resort spas too.

One does not have to be skeptical about the science of global warming to be skeptical of excessively “certain” long term predictions that involve weather and climate, the ultimate chaotic system that cannot be accurately predicted. OK, the earth is warming—it is always warming or cooling, after all. But there are enough credible, non-politically motivated contrarians in the scientific community to remind us that on this topic (unlike many of the others that the author improperly compared global warming to), there is huge room for disagreement. They just found a volcano under Antartica–gee, ya think that just might effect ice melting levels there? All those scientists didn’t factor in THAT—they couldn’t. A year ago we were told that global warming would lead to more hurricanes. Now a study comes out that says it may lead to fewer. You call THIS consensus? Is there anything that could occur in the next 5 years that would either prove or disprove global warming theories? No! Well then, is it responsible to spent billions of dollars, disrupt the economy, paralize developing nations and divert resources from other far more certain problems—infrastructure collapse, public health, funding social welfare programs, when more volcanos might be lurking? When other assumptions about the effects of climate change may be shown to be 180 degrees wrong? This is an ethically inert and scientifically inept article. When we are taling about such momentous consquences and sacrifices, “broad” consensus and “general” agreement are not enough. God bless the skeptics.

1975…The “science” showed we were heading towards a global cooling trend and melting the ice caps was the consensus. Actually, the proof was coming in so quickly the scientists could not keep up with it. The major difference was, these were scientists in the FIELD of climatology and not simply tree huggers that latch onto every passing fancy. Want to put an end to GWarming? Remove the biggest factor, our lakes and oceans which account for 90%+ of the cause. As for Pr…no subject in recent memory has had the PR the “climate change sky is falling crowd” has had.

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong”. – Albert Einstein

“Doubt may be uncomfortable, but certainty is absurd.” – Voltaire

You are just another militant group who is using junk science to promote a false premisse. Climate change is not man made as the geologic record shows. Do not fault others who use the same tactics you use.

In 5000 years, when the Earth is a hot, sweaty planet with myriad pockets of sludge and other hardy forms of life: bugs, shrubs, plankton, protozoa, and lizards, she will heave a sigh of relief as her fever begins to wane; her body finally rid of the short-lived viral infection known as Homo erectus globalibis.