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« Steve Jones and his research | Main | Season's greetings »

No challenge

Even in the season of goodwill to all men, the mispresentation of the climate debate continues apace. This morning we had Professor Steve Jones interviewed yet again on the subject of BBC coverage of science, with the great man once again given the opportunity to portray the climate debate as being between "science" and "deniers".

Once again I wonder whether the BBC has ever interviewed a denier, in the sense of someone who disputes the existence of the greenhouse effect. Once again I wonder why the BBC feels that we need to have this false representation of the debate put forward. And once again I wonder at the failure of the BBC's interviewers to challenge it.

The audio is below.

Jones Today Prog

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Reader Comments (310)

As I've said before, you don't have to deny the greenhouse effect to be a "denier". There are plenty of examples of that on this blog.

Dec 26, 2013 at 12:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

"And once again I wonder at the failure of the BBC's interviewers to challenge it."
Why would a BBC interviewer commit career suicide in order to put a minor dent in the organisation's institutional groupthink?

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Prof Steve Jones states that human induced 'climate change' is now accepted universally. If it's accepted universally, then there are no deniers. Oh dear, he again shows himself to be the ignoramus we have long since discovered him to be. This ever-increasing rhetoric claiming that the concensus is now 100%, reveals the death throes of the climate change scam.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Chandra. As I have said before, the only thing we deny is the fantasy/fraud that is CAGW.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

It being the season of goodwill, I shall extend that to the duty troll and simply ask:
1. Please provide us with your definition of "denier" in the context of the climate debate.
2. Please provide is with some examples of "denialism" as you understand it.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Season greetings to you too Chandra.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterChaveratti

Normally I DNFTT, but as it is the season of goodwill, Chandra, I
am interested.
Just what is your definition of a "denier"?

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon keiller

i deny i am a denier.
quite stupid to use a word with relative meaning to define somebody in an absolute way.

why not old denier? why not old unfair denier?

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterlemiere

Sadly, Steve Jones joins Mark Walport in detention. He will be asked to go to the board at the front, and draw the data (roughly) from memory, and I will ask him which bits he finds so convincing. Then I will ask him which bits he thinks his "deniers" denying.

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermichaelhart

Worth a listen to Paul Nurse on the BBC iPlayer - about 45:00 into the Today prog for 26 Dec. Would that he practiceth what he preachetheth ...

Dec 26, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterfilbert cobb

To equate proving that the Earth is flat to proving that the Earth will not warm more than 2C, just shows Prof. Jones complete ignorance of the debate. It would be interesting to ask Steve Jones to explain to BBC listeners exactly how the enhanced CO2 greenhouse effect works and will lead to dangerous climate change. I doubt whether he can do that without a script.

The other problem I am having is the sheer hypocrisy of the advocacy/science argument expounded recently by Gavin Schmidt. There is no problem for me if scientists warn of a potential increase in global warming but they also have to propose a solution that actually works. Otherwise it is crying wolf to play politics.. You can't simply blame the oil industry, coal power stations, road and air transport, banks, big business or right wing pressure groups. You must also propose a solution that can actually work worldwide.You have to propose a solution that does not leave developing countries in poverty.

ASIA is now responsible for 60% of increasing CO2 emissions. If just the new coal plants currently under development in India and Indonesia were instead to be completed using latest technology it would save as much CO2 as all the wind turbines in Europe combined. Technical subsidies by Europe to achieve this would be a far cheaper means to tackle climate change than current policies..

Dec 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

If 100% of scientists believe that you can predict the future then we have a real problem with science and to clean out the Augean Stables that have become academia.

You don't have to be a scientist to know that the limitations of computer models, and therefore take their output with a v. large dose of salt. If you are a denier for not believing that computer models can foretell the future state of the climate and the resultant disasters caused by the changes, then I am a denier.

So too were the scientists who wrote in the TAR WG1

Dec 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Dec 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commenter Clive Best

I don't believe that scientists are equipped to provide the solution. They can outline the problem, and what they think is the probable cause, but they have no qualifications that I know of to provide real world solutions, those are the provenance of Engineers, Economists, Sociologists, Medical Researchers and Politicians working together on the scientific advice as to cause.

Let's take one of their predictions, that drought will be more intense in areas where drought is prevalent. We have to look at all aspects of the problem, will the increased wealth we will get from the burning of fossil fuels have changed the engineering capabilities to deal with drought? We don't know, just as Malthus' simplistic "static analysis" (assuming two variables will have the same effect on each other when there are a myriad of other variables not directly associated with the proposition that can affect the outcome - in Malthus' case the improvement in agricultural methods) was unable to predict the real future outcome because of unconsidered factors outwith the problem.

You can see for yourself by looking at the likes of Steve Jones and Paul Nurse that, although eminent men in their own field, they are cursed with vanity and an inability to provide advice on practical issues. So no, Clive, much as I admire science and scientists I don't think they should be any part of any practical solutions to the problems they raise.

Dec 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

So no, Clive, much as I admire science and scientists I don't think they should be any part of any practical solutions to the problems they raise.. Scientists need to be involved in the search for solutions to technical problems in getting viable solutions, just not the same scientists?

Dec 26, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I doubt the BBC has ever conducted an interview with a "denier" like they have done with Nurse or Jones etc where the denier has been allowed to prattle on without interruption or ever having to qualify a statement. It's just not in their jeans...sorry...genes!


Dec 26, 2013 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman


And suppose there is no solution ? First look at the problem. Cheap energy is the primary diver for increasing living standards worldwide. Cheap coal is moving billions out of poverty in ASIA as it did in Europe and US. Energy demand can only increase. Renewables are too low density to have any net effect. Politicians are currently making a pigs ear of energy policy. Scientists need to do the sums and point out stupidities despite vested interests. We have three choices:

1. Do nothing and wait and see. Future problems will either eventually drive innovation or society collapses.
2. Return to pre-war living standards in an attempt to combat "climate change". Probably this will also fail.
3. Invest in new nuclear because anyway fossil fuels will eventually run out. Thorium and eventually fusion are potentially inexhaustible.

Dec 26, 2013 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterClive Best

I'm not a denier because I do not deny that there has been no global warming for the past 17 years, or that it was just as warm in the Medieval Warm Period as it is today, nor do I deny that the performance of climate models has been poor ... There are quite a few other things that I don't deny either.

Does Steve Jones accept the above points or is he a "denier" ?

Dec 26, 2013 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

As per Mike Jackson and others above, I too would like to see Chandra justify the use of the word "denier".

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterRM

Once the "Denier Gene" has been isolated a cure for denialism would be offered to deniers or alternately voluntary(ish) euthanasia be made available to them. This will in time eradicate the "Denier Problem" and thus could be seen as the final solution to the "Denier Problem"

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn H

"Once the "Denier Gene" has been isolated a cure for denialism would be offered"

It does puzzle me that well-educated folks who make use of the "denier" pejorative are so deaf to its sinister overtones.

The other thing I don't "get" is why there aren't more warmists with integrity putting their heads above the parapet to call out the pseudo-scientific concept of "climate change" - always verifiable, but never falsifiable.

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRM

I don't have a definition for "denier". I just know one when I see one. They are generally quite easy to spot, although some are more crafty than others, currying their denial in reasonable-sounding waffle. Your typical denier may well pretend to accept CO2 as a greenhouse gas but then bring up notions of insignificant trace gasses or question whether CO2 really behaves as a GHG outside the laboratory. He (or she) is likely to pronounce the lesser melting of Arctic sea ice this year as a remarkable recovery or some such and acclaim the increases in Antarctic sea ice. And he will probably lose no opportunity to slag off climate models while being happy to trumpet 30 year forecasts of economic models. Of course he will refuse to countenance any suggestion that fossil fuels have any negative externalities that make their real cost much higher. And it goes without mention that he will pick and chose from starting any measurement of a trend on a high point, claiming that science does not consider natural forcings, claiming that acidification can't exist outside an acidic solution, claiming that Polar Bears are thriving, claiming that any organization that endorses the IPCC consensus is corrupt etc, claiming that there is not consensus and even claiming that increases in CO2 are not anthropogenic. That is just a short list of course, but you know the rest already.

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

@chandra: 'Forcing' is precluded by standard radiative physics. The IPCC claims IR energy emitted by the Earth's surface is the same as its Radiation Field, but that is a potential energy flux. Work is done by the vector sum of the opposing Radiation Fields. 23 W/m^2 heats the atmosphere, the rest, 40 W/m^2 goes to Space.

The experimental proof of this is the ARGO data which show only the Indian and S. Atlantic Oceans are warming at present:

The explanation is that atmospheric and ocean heating and cooling is primarily from changes of cloud cover and albedo. To claim that the IPCC physics is correct is the real definition of 'denier'.

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

Nothing says cheap intellectual punk better than for some rent seeking academic or wannabe academic to pretend that the AGW issue is akin at all to flat earthers. If anything, the tools and fools who promote the idea of a global climate crisis are the flat earthers.

Dec 26, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Please don't feed the troll. Starved of the oxygen of attention they quickly whither up and die.


Dec 26, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

I don't deny anything about the climate changing. I'll leave that to the experts and their critics. To me it's a sideshow.

I just question the measures we're supposed to take to prevent it changing.

I can't see how even the most drastic measures proposed could have anything but a net effect of making things worse even set against the most drastic predictions. That's what the debate should be about, not how many degrees the world hasn't/will/won't warm/cool, although it should of course inform adaptive measures.

I can't help thinking the "denier" tag is a away of avoiding that side of the debate altogether.

For voicing thoughts like that on th einternet, predictably, I get called a "denier" or a "shill" (stupid American word that they can stick up their "strawman's" backside) because I work in drilling, and am proud of its positive and essential contribution to life on earth..

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

@And once again I wonder at the failure of the BBC's interviewers to challenge it.

Because to move beyond the most superficial and facile misapprehensions would be to move that bit closer to an examination of the actual evidence and methods of analysis.

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterchippy

Jones is introduced with the following preamble ...

"Professor Steve Jones, The Geneticist is here, he led a review ....."

Now I am not saying that a "Geneticist" might not have a valid personal
view on "climate change", but however he cannot be described in any
shape or form, as a "climate expert".

His view on what or what does not constitute a "Denier", and the meaning
of that pejorative is a personal one, and does not behove other "scientists",
or even "lay persons" to pay heed to what "Professor" Jones says, with any
more force than any other personal opinions of other people, whatever their
actual academic qualifications.

The report was preceded by a long weather report of extensive flooding,
particularly in England, and this is laid at the door of climate change,
instead of just a weather event, caused by changes in the Jetstream,
which brought Arctic air swooping southwards. No amount of fiddling
with minute amounts of CO2 emissions would have forestalled that
Jetstream perturbation, and indeed this was predicted by forecaster
Piers Corbyn's Weatheraction dot com, months ago, and the reasons
for this perturbation, which has to do with cosmic forces, and not CO2.

The question is, why does not the BBC have "Professor Corbyn" on
their show, the man who actually predicted the correct result, rather
than "Professor Jones", who predicted nothing other than Hokum ?

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterListen to the Details ...

I dislike the use of the word "denier". I dislike the word because of its link to the denial of the existence of the Holocaust. There may well be families of victims of the Holocaust who are offended by, hurt by or dislike the use of the word in a context where its use can be seen as intentionally offensive. For example, where it is used by Jones and others to describe people who they suspect do not share their views or offer challenges to their opinions on climate science. Such use by Jones may be a "hate crime". Its use might be reported to the Metropolitan Police by anyone on this blog. One does not have to be personally affected by a "hate crime" to make a complaint. I am not going to do it. I have a series of letters to write to the BBC and I live in Scotland. Even so, I would be glad if one of us did make a complaint about the use of "denier" as a "hate crime".


Dec 26, 2013 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commentersam

Don Keiller/RM
I think we've done our bit for the cause, don't you? And, as expected we got the usual shit shovelled on us for our pains.
Sorry I disturbed your Christmas!


Dec 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Any doubt that Chandra is a Troll has well and truly been removed IMHO.

I recommend he is ignored by all.

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:24 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Today - 26/12/2013
Duration 180 minutes
First broadcast BBC Radio 4,
6:00 AM Thu, 26 Dec 2013
ONLY Available until ....
9:02AM Thu, 2 Jan 2014
*(Now available to people even if not using a UK ISP address)

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterFull BBC Show ...

I don't have a definition for "denier". It's someone whose opinions on matters related to climate I disagree with.

Dec 26, 2013 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhandcar

To my mind, the debate is actually between climate alarmists and those who are sceptical of climate alarmism. Since we now have decades of alarmist predictions failing to come true to look back on, it would seem to me that the sceptics, at the very least, have a point.

Dec 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

I found it funny that Professor Jones would start learning Norwegian for his Nobel prize if he was able to prove that the Earth was flat. I wonder what the Swedes would think.
I think that his take on 'the culture of science' is quite telling. "Scientists (are) desperately (trying to) disprove someone else's ideas". My view on science is that you desperately try to disprove your own ideas.

Dec 26, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

Exactly so, Stonyground.
The only thing I am denying is that there is any cause for panic or even serious alarm.
The climate will need to stray outside the boundaries of natural variation and the scaremongers will have to stop dissembling (polite word for lying through their teeth) about sea levels, ice levels, severe weather frequency or severity and making up pseudo-science like "the dog ate my warming" and they will have to learn to admit that they do not have a monopoly on wisdom or knowledge and that some of their hypotheses are being seriously challenged even as we speak.
Then, I might start believing them.
Meanwhile back to the festivities.

Dec 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

What's exasperating about the whole thing is the faux partitioning of the evidence and the arguments mostly it has to be said by people of the pro CO2 AGW persuasion largely on the basis that it fits with other facets of their world outlook / politics and this is the case with most of the BBC. Loads of folk have observed that Prof Jones is pronouncing on stuff he's little experience of - blinded by the footlights and fueled by the misapprehension that status is a substitute for knowledge he flounders on.... one has to assume that his prominence is attributable to being a dinner party guest at various media royalty soriees attended in company with his missus. "Oh you're a scientist! how fascinating!"

It just seems to me that every time somebody quite reasonably says "how does that work then?" - if the likeliest answer is "I dunno" or conflicts with some morsel of consensus dogma then "denier" is wheeled out.

Chanting Zealots are pretty much always tiresome and usually wrong.

Why - oh why can't these fools simply volunteer that they don't know? - but then when one looks at the movers and shakers in AGW one has to wonder if it was ever about science per se. The luvvies at the BBC can't tell the difference between an engineer and a scientist anyway....

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:04 PM | Registered Commentertomo

"likely to pronounce the lesser melting of Arctic sea ice this year as a remarkable recovery or some such and acclaim the increases in Antarctic sea ice"

Well, yes we might do that in a flush of bravura, but more reflectively we'll note the total sea ice levels are remarkably constant over the short time they have been quantitatively monitored, and question why the CAGW brigade trumpet this as a supporting proxy for their beliefs.

"And he will probably lose no opportunity to slag off climate models ."
But they haven't done very well of late, now have they?

"Of course he will refuse to countenance any suggestion that fossil fuels have any negative externalities that make their real cost much higher"
I doubt that, but I will note in passing that Lomborg observes that in the western world emissions of SO2 et al are now less than they were just after the second world war; so we do care for the environment, just as much as you.

"And it goes without mention that he will pick and chose from starting any measurement of a trend on a high point"
The best example of this that springs to mind is Church and West trying to 'prove' an acceleration of sea level rate of rise - as pitiful as any third-form physics practical report.

"claiming that Polar Bears are thriving".
But they are, aren't they?

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

So you ask me to explain denial but you don't like the answer. Maybe I am mistaken. I always thought that people proposing such things knew full well that they were untrue or misleading but nevertheless did so for political or other reasons. However, if you really think that the aspects of denial I listed are in fact valid or true, then I am truly, awfully, sorry. Deniers is indeed the wrong epithet. Ignoramuses fits better.

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Dear Chandra

Thank you for rising to the challenge. But I feel short-changed. You say you cannot define a denier but "you know one when you see one". Then you list a number of tell-tale signs. But let's try to stay rational and focused here. For each of your "signs", I'd suggest they are either ones that no one pretty much asserts, or they are ones that if asserted are contentious (so that "denier" is seriously inappropriate). Let's consider them:

"CO2 is an insignificant trace gas": It is a trace gas. Hardly anyone thinks it's "insignificant". Quite a few question how significant though. That of course is not the same doubt. That is the very good and extremely difficult scientific question of climate sensitivity.

"Does CO2 really behave as a GHG outside the laboratory": That's not an unreasonable question to ask. The epistemology of science is empiricism after all. But frankly I don't think many "sceptics" question this, do they?

"The lesser melting of Arctic sea ice this year is a remarkable recovery": In good science, you should be more interested in possible falsification than in verification. If the theory predicts more melting, and you don't get it, that IS significant. In this context the "denier" would be the one who rules a priori that this little piece of the jigsaw be excluded.

"And acclaim the increases in Antarctic sea ice". See above. Did your models predict this? Or do you say this is false? if you say it "must" be false, you are the denier of course.

"Slag off climate models while being happy to trumpet 30 year forecasts of economic models": It must be that I don't get out enough, as I know of no one who trumpets "30 year economic forecasts". Especially after our recent debacle, and the claims of "abolishing boom and bust"! If someone did do this, and if at the same time they would not accept climate models (purely because they were models), that person would be a hypocrite. But a "denier"? I think not.

"That fossil fuels have any negative externalities that make their real cost much higher.". I'm sorry - "negative externalities"? Who he?

"Starting any measurement of a trend on a high point". That would be bad analysis, but not "denial". Just point out the error of their ways! (What point would you start on that is objectively reasonable and uncontroversial?)

"Claiming that science does not consider natural forcings". Expressed like that, that would be simply false (but not "denial"). Claiming that science does not consider natural forcings sufficiently - well that's a perfectly reasonable idea. I would expect most respectable climatologists worry about that issue every day of their working lives.

"Claiming that Polar Bears are thriving". It is clearly not a simple matter to assess the polar bear population (what it is, how it is changing, and why it is changing). Differences of opinion are obviously possible without being a "denier" of anything.

"Claiming that any organization that endorses the IPCC consensus is corrupt". Put like that - who makes such a claim?

"Claiming that there is not consensus". It is a simple matter to falsify the idea that there is a scientific consensus on AGW. Just one dissenting "atmospheric physicist and Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology" should be sufficient (though there are many others of course). Unlike professor Jones, Lindzen has the advantage in that it is his field.

"Claiming that increases in CO2 are not anthropogenic". Do you "deny" volcanoes? Perhaps you mean "primarily anthropogenic"? But again, I don't think many of your opponents would have difficulty accepting the latter.

You know what I think Chandra? I think those who wheel out this "denier" concept just can't face the complexity of the difficulties of ascertaining the facts of the matter in this case, and the very grave methodological problems faced by climate science. Your grab for faux certainty smacks of desperation.

What motivates that desperation?

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRM

This is about "Steve Jones" and not "Phil Jones"
though both may be from a similar mould in a sense.

Steve Jones is an alumni of the school of green mummery
at Edinburgh University, home of the well known advocate
of Carbon Pumping, "Professor" Haszeldine.

Even worse, Steve Jones now works at the infamous
Galton Laboratory, which if we need reminding was set up
by none other than, Francis Galton himself in 1904, as the
Eugenics Record Office !

Now we see where Steve Jones is coming from. He may well
subscribe to the ideas of Galton, Erlich, and Holdren. However
Jones himself claims that Eugenics is anathema to him, but
still he is an apologist for Galton, and makes jokes about it.

In any case None of what he studies is even remotely actually
connected with the study of the Earth's Atmosphere, and the
subsequent effects manifest as weather and climate.

In a BBC Radio 4 Show, broadcast on Sun 19 Jun 2011 at 05:45 am
Called, "Steve Jones: The Legacy of Eugenics" where he attempts to
whitewash the character of Galton, saying that Eugenics was a minor
part of his work, and that we hardly use the term these days, and so on.

The radio show also has a contemporary text can be read here :
"Francis Galton: The man who drew up the 'ugly map' of Britain"

On 27 May 2012 Steve Jones asked this question :
"Are some people born evil? ", in an eponymous TV Show.

Geneticist Steve Jones believes the word “evil” is unscientific.
Steve says that doing evil acts has much more to do with the
society you grow up in rather than your genetic makeup.

Stick to your subject Jones, and don't profess from ignorance.

Dec 26, 2013 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon't be Confused

Just as drowning kittens in the Zoo wading pool doesn't make you a hunter of tigers...

Calling people you haven't the courage to face "deniers" on the BBC, doesn't make you a great man.

Dec 26, 2013 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterpapertiger

Taking them from the top, number 1 (insignificant trace gas): questioning how significant is just a weaselly way of saying they and not significant. 2 (GHG outside the lab): You'll find some on BH, one in particular on this thread. 3 (Arctic sea ice): no theory and no "warmist" predicts monotonic melting. 4 (Antarctic sea ice): I have no idea whether models predicted Antarctic sea ice increase, but there are explanations for it that those acclaiming the increase will never mention. 5 (models): The Bishop himself is keen on 35 year economic models of gas prices. Call him a hypocrite or a denier as you like. 6 (externalities): you prove my point. But if you really don't know, look it up in a dictionary. 7 (trends): point out the error of their ways? why don't you when you see it, next time you hear your friends quoting no warming for 17 years. 8 (natural forcings): there's plenty of studies of natural forcings, and they all give the same general result - that they don't explain the observed warming. 9 (Polar Bears): narrowly, possibly true. 10 (IPCC consensus): oh come on, which scientific body hasn't been condemned for adopting a pro-climate-science stance? 11 (no consensus): consensus does not mean unanimity. The consensus that smoking causes lung cancer is not damaged by Linzden dissenting. 12 (anthropogenic CO2): you haven't come across Salby's followers on BH then?

The thing is that any of these points on its own could be innocent skepticism and not mark out a denier. But most people who display one display others and taken together they point in only one direction.

Dec 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Chandra @ Dec 26, 2013 at 4:45 PM

'And he will probably lose no opportunity to slag off climate models while being happy to trumpet 30 year forecasts of economic models.'

You obviously miss the irony in this statement. The fact is that economic models are based upon tangible evidence which can, and is, driven by human activity. CAGW is INTANGIBLE because none of the BILLIONS of contributory factors to climate change can be so influenced by human activity.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Mother nature controls climate change.

Dec 26, 2013 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterYertizz

You're dealing with a believer who doesn't know and only makes assertions

So why the skepticism? We have known mass loss in Greenland and we have a shift in the pole - a cut and dried case I think. Dec 18, 2013 at 9:42 PM | Chandra

I don't know whether 200Gt is a lot relative to the net value of uplift Dec 25, 2013 at 11:30 PM | Chandra

Dec 26, 2013 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommentersandyS

@Chandra: the use of 'Forcing' in IPCC Climate Alchemy implies that a Radiation Field is a Real Energy Flux rather than a Potential Energy Flux to a sink at absolute zero (strictly speaking the Zero Point Energy of empty Space).

Thus 'Forcing' has no existence in standard radiative physics, any climate modelling using 'Forcing' is useless, defined as having no long term predictive outcome, and it is the basis of a pseudo-science constructed for political reasons.

In the future, when the enquiry is complete, the conclusion will probably be that the mistaken view that radiative emitters continually emit 'photons' at the S-B level**, merged with the failure of meteorology to understand the difference between a RF and a real EM energy flux. The resultant pseudo-science has cost many lives and incredible waste of capital.

**Planck hated the concept of 'photons'.

Dec 26, 2013 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose


Taking them from the top, number 1 (insignificant trace gas): questioning how significant is just a weaselly way of saying they and [sic are] not significant

I am astonished by this. This is the issue of climate sensitivity. It seems you think it unimportant? Do you think it's an easy measure to establish? How can it be insignificant?

I think you are missing the issue here. We can certainly disagree honestly and in good faith about difficult matters of fact. For example, on how polar bears are faring; By how much and for what reason Arctic and Antarctic ice is increasing or decreasing; What is the human contribution to current CO2 levels, and so on. But why does disagreement with you condemn a soul to Denier hell? This tactic is intellectually disreputable and conveys the impression that you and your like wish to inject certainty into matters in which such certainty is absent.

BTW - your point on Lindzen is pure ad hominem. Lindzen's expertise is climate science (unlike Jones). I don't give a toss what other whacky views he may have outside his area of expertise. But if you come to me saying "there is a consensus in climate science" and I find such a prestigious climate scientist is outside that consensus, then you can equivocate as much as you like about "consensus" versus "unanimity", but it won't wash.

Let's take another climate scientist outside your "consensus", one at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) whose chief interests are satellite remote sensing of global climate and global climate change, and who is best known, jointly with Roy Spencer, for the first successful development of a satellite temperature record. Now what's your preferred ad hominen for him? What happens when your ad hominems dry up?

Dec 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRM

Chandra: "(Antarctic sea ice): I have no idea whether models predicted Antarctic sea ice increase, but there are explanations for it that those acclaiming the increase will never mention." AR4 WG1 was quite clear on predictions of Antarctic sea ice decline, e.g. see Figure 10.13. Panel (d), in particular, shows the predicted reduction in extent in the austral winter to exceed even the Arctic boreal summer loss.

As for there being explanations after the fact, yes, there are. That's what happens (or at least should happen) when models collide with reality. But why do you have such high confidence in those explanations? It's clear that the models do not yet have all the relevant factors included, or their relative strengths, else we would be seeing at least motion in the correct direction. In fact, the very existence of these "explanations" is an admission that the models are immature in this area. Even the explanations have yet to be proven out.

It seems that a cardinal difference in the beliefs of skeptics vs. "warmists", lies in the confidence attributed to the predictions of models. Surely the admission of AR5 WG1 that the most common metric of warming, global average temperature, has not hewed to the models' predictions, must have dented your confidence somewhat.

Dec 26, 2013 at 9:39 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Can't tell if Chandra is satire or not. Calling them a troll is not much different than them calling people a denier though.

Dec 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRc

Easy. An acceptor or a sceptic argues from the evidence.

A denier ignores the evidence.

For example, a sceptic would argue that climate sensitivity due to CO2 has been overestimated and quote papers to support his view. A denier would say that the downwelling long wave radiation from CO2 does not exist,despite the fact that it can be measured and monitored. I have encountered both on this site.

Dec 26, 2013 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Don't waste your time with Jones. He might be a snail expert but his writing is one bad gear-change after another. If you try to read "Like A whale" or whatever it's called, you will be drawn into a miasma of meaninglessness..

Try it in your local library, chuckle over a few paras, then thank the lord you didn't hand over the spondulicks.

It is rubbish.

Hey Steve, I am a fellow Welshman, and you are an embarrassment.

Dec 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Crawford

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