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Homework fail - Josh 222

John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli whose tweets and recent survey have been much discussed on the blogs, especially by Brandon and Lucia at The Blackboard, here, here, here, here, here and here. H/t and thanks to both of them for helping get the cartoon right ;-)

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (31)

Dumb and Dumber?

May 25, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I like that!

May 25, 2013 at 7:10 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

But, of course, Cook's efforts have been clearly successful as illustrated by The Washington Post of 24 May that cites his work:

"For the record, and for the umpteenth time, there is no “great amount of uncertainty” about whether the planet is warming or why. A new study looked at nearly 12,000 recently published papers by climate scientists and found that, of those taking a position on the question, 97 percent agreed that humans are causing atmospheric warming by burning fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."

A former political leader in New Zealand lived by the much quoted the dictum, “There is no such thing as bad publicity, there is only publicity.” Cook is clearly thriving in the amount he is being provided with by assorted climate blogs.

May 25, 2013 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDr K.A. Rodgers

Pink shoes? Now that is cruel.

May 25, 2013 at 8:16 PM | Registered Commentershub

Unusually vapid, even for Josh.

May 25, 2013 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Adjective - Offering nothing that is stimulating or challenging:
Synonyms -insipid - flat - Russell - tasteless - dull

May 25, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Beautifully weighted.

May 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Another good one for next year's calendar.

May 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Shub – not only pink, but on the wrong feet! Doubly cruel.

May 25, 2013 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent


Yes but 'Russell' doesn't always mean 'vapid'. The following Russellism read like pretty stirring stuff to me:

"At once over-lawyered and scientifically outclassed, it has provided a very poor return on cultural capital for the corporate rent seekers and Dominionist religious zealots that subsidize it. One has a positive duty to warn Intellectually serious Conservatives to subject its offerings to fiduciary fact checking as a matter of due course, as they tend to implode on even cursory scientific examination."


"Instead of a scientific counterestablishment orchestrating its own interdisciplinary case, this site , like WUWT is a bibliographic wasteland, an intellectual cottage industry catering to the politically incensed and science hobbyists ill equipped to fathom or sort out the good the bad and the ugly in the voluminous literature this subject produces."


"As to your last charge, conservative Bishops imputing climatological expertise to Horace-spouting viscounts are in no position to criticize ordinary bits of scholarly apparatus, i.e. the vide supra seen above.As a fellow tory I hope your pseudoepiscopal snit subsides, lest it pass peer review at Private Eye, and earn a tenner for Mann's defense fund, which really wouldn't do."

May 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Radical rodent, yes! But at least they have matching watermelon socks.

May 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM | Registered CommenterJosh

watermelon socks - green on the right side, orange on the left side. ;)

May 25, 2013 at 11:10 PM | Registered Commentershub

May 25, 2013 at 8:16 PM | shub

Pink shoes? Now that is cruel.

Oh, but it could have been much worse, shub ... he might have been wearing tan shoes and pink shoelaces ...Long *[before] the time of many, here ... but ...

P.S. Fabulous, as usual, Josh :-)
[* corrected as per request below. BH]

May 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

# reposted from WUWT
# yeah, linux user :)

hmm, D-word. Dofus? Dingus? Dopes? Dangleberrys? Dated? Dorks? Dweebs? Danglyheads?

May 25, 2013 at 11:43 PM | Unregistered Commenternormalnew

Its a new kind of double Ds, almost as good to see as the old ones. :-)

May 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterOlaus Petri

Long the time of many, here [...]

Pls. make that "Long before the time of many ..."

[memo to self: you must learn to read what you've written when in Preview mode, or at the very least during the 14 minute window of opportunity to edit!]

May 26, 2013 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

May 25, 2013 at 8:16 PM | shub

Pink shoes? Now that is cruel.

Goes with the scooter !

May 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

At the Possible Self-Selection Bias in Cook: Author responses link:

"We emailed 8547 authors an invitation to rate their own papers and received 1200 responses (a 14% response rate). After excluding papers that were not peer-reviewed, not climate-related or had no abstract, 2142 papers received self-ratings from 1189 authors."

If you were always going to, why would you not exclude papers hat were not peer-reviewed, not climate-related or had no abstract first so that you only had to send out 2142 invitations instead of 8547?

May 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

sHx - I think you've made my case for me, haven't you? :-)

May 26, 2013 at 1:07 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor


So... very nearly 9 climate scientists out of 10 think Cook's pseudoscience is a waste of their time.

May 26, 2013 at 1:15 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

It’s like watching yet another particularly bad piece of homework, brimming with elementary errors, which is being corrected by a tired and increasingly exasperated teacher. Another score of F minus, I’m afraid. Time for a concerned word with young Jimmy’s parents.


May 26, 2013 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Well done, again, Josh! These buffoons are not evil, merely lacking in intelligence and depth. The banality is there though. Apologies to Hannah Arendt, but now we have the banality of alarmism. And once again a great many innocent people are perishing as a result of this not being adequately resisted. And once again, the left is dominant. So far, the casualties have been, if you like, incidental to the ignorance - most of the climate activists, I suspect, really had no idea of the harm they were causing. May it not get worse before the dawn, and the coming of substantial, sustained, highly-motivated resistance to the sloppy thinking and destructive nihilism and malevolence that characterises climate alarmism..

May 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

If you were always going to, why would you not exclude papers hat were not peer-reviewed, not climate-related or had no abstract first so that you only had to send out 2142 invitations instead of 8547?
May 26, 2013 at 12:58 AM DocBud

Without in any way wishing to defend Cook et al, I'd point out that they emailed 8547 authors but had 2142 papers self-rated.

Many papers in climate science have multiple authors and I believe they attempted to contact all authors.

As Dr K.A. Rodgers pointed out, whatever the failings in their methods and the meaninglessness of their results, their achieved great success in once again getting publicity for the "97 per cent of climate scientists" meme.

May 26, 2013 at 9:26 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

It is indeed a fabulously cartoon Josh. Probably your best yet. Are they really naive idiots or are they upto something more sinister?

May 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

For the Guardian to be publishing Dana, well. CP Scott must be turning in his grave. This is just out and out propoganda for a political cause.

May 26, 2013 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Which one is Nutty Jelly and which one is Kook?

May 26, 2013 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexej Buergin


Nutty Jelly has the monobrow - assuming you were really asking.. :-)

May 26, 2013 at 11:49 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

May 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM | John Shade

These buffoons are not evil, merely lacking in intelligence and depth. The banality is there though. Apologies to Hannah Arendt, but now we have the banality of alarmism.

To a great extent, I agree. But if Cook 'n Co. ever decide to hook-up with (and/or latch on to) Bill <> McKibben's latest and greatest (something which is not beyond the realm of possibility, considering their copy-cat tendencies), they will have moved beyond buffoonery - and the banal.

[See: Green activist Bill McKibben lifts page from anti-Israel playbook]

May 27, 2013 at 2:07 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov


You are needed urgenly at Anthony's site:

The head of the AMS and others are talking about weather and climate in terms of personality. Please draw a weather-climate with a Jekyl-Hyde personality - or whatever personalities you like.

May 27, 2013 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin


We know exactly what they're up to, thanks to the lax security on the Skeptical Science site which made their secret forums public last year. See here for details:

From the Skeptical Science "leak": Interesting stuff about generating and marketing "The Consensus Project"

As you can see, the paper was written to support the conclusion they'd already reached, that there is indeed a high-90s "consensus" in the climatology literature. A post from Dana Nuccitelli reads as follows:

It's not revolutionary to us, but a majority of Americans don't even realize there's a consensus. That's why it's critical to market these results as widely as possible. The #1 obstruction to climate mitigation is the lack of public awareness of the consensus. A vast majority of people trust scientists, and a majority of people don't realize there's a climate science consensus. Remedying the latter will go a long way towards addressing the former.

Note that we might create a debunking gap here. People think there's this big debate amongst climate scientists, and we're going to say there's a ~99% consensus. We also have to make the point that the ~1% of 'skeptics' are being given a disproportionate amount of attention in the media.

Not a part of the paper of course, but in any blog posts and other media discussions of the paper.

My highlight here shows the authors had drawn their conclusion before they did their research - very scientific!

May 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Thank you for your awesome article!

Jun 15, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterstanley

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