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« Wind in the doldrums | Main | Selfie Mann - Josh 294 »

Watts up with Mann?

This is a guest post by Katabasis.

It’s been an interesting few days, having attended both the Cook and Mann talks and have some valuable meetings (many for the first time) with other climate sceptics. I wanted to share a perspective that deviates somewhat from what appears to be an emerging – er – ‘consensus’ among a number of the people I had the pleasure to spend time with over the last week or so. There has been discussion in person, here and over at WUWT regarding the pursuit of some kind of rapprochement with the mainstream of climate science and climate scientists. A significant feature of the conversation thus far appears to be concern over the fractious nature of the debate, especially online. In particular there have been concerns raised regarding the effect on, and perception of, sceptics more generally as a result of the more angry and impassioned amongst us.

I want to offer something of a counterpoint. I want to, instead, make a few points in defence of angry sceptics.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sympathetic to the arguments made thus far in favour of maintaining calm, polite discourse. However, I think it’s important to remember that you can’t control other people’s reactions – and that’s where most of the anger resides, anger in response to perceived provocations. Moreover I don’t think the anger is going to let up any time soon, even if some of us ‘angry sceptics’ mellow somewhat – new sceptics are joining the fold every day, and many of them are pissed off from the moment they’ve ‘turned’ to climate realism.


Let’s review the two Cabot Institute talks. First we had Cook repackaging his “97% consensus” propaganda for the hapless Bristol audience. I say ‘hapless’ because at no point in his presentation was there even the slightest acknowledgement that his work – and the prior efforts that had inspired it – had come under such severe and comprehensive criticism that it was holed below the waterline. If one of my papers had received that kind of criticism I think I would have been embarrassed to even mention it in public, never mind carry out high profile presentations of it, hoping that mere repetition of memes would carry me through.

As I mentioned over at WUWT,[1] I found the whole presentation highly offensive. Cook continues the proud tradition of the ‘team’ where they paint a cartoon image of a sceptic in crayon on the wall and then go through a clown-dancing performance of `dialogue' with the gurning visage of primary colours they’ve splattered in front of them. Just the criticisms and points Cook received in the Q & A afterwards should have shattered that image of ‘sceptics’ as defined by the Skeptical Séance team for the undecided in the audience. Or at least one would hope. His presentation was largely fact free drivel and assertion that his research was right. It was the classic ‘team’ bait and switch of asserting an authoritative consensus over a modest area (the ‘basic physics’ of CO2) and then arguing through direct implication that this applied to an astronomically wider domain (catastrophic outcomes).  This is despite his work having been comprehensively monstered by José Duarte[2] and many others.  I even cited Duarte’s work in my own question to Cook, highlighting the inclusion of numerous, ridiculously inappropriate, papers in the measure of the ‘consensus’.  A point which, like all of the others, he airily dismissed whilst going on to trail the politician’s path of answering the question he would have preferred you had asked.

Then there was Mann. There has already been significant commenting here and elsewhere regarding the bizarrely short Q and A at the end. James Delingpole[3] has noted that Mann even posted about it on Facebook. As I noted in the comments, Mann and his sychophants  are backslapping eachother over how it `speaks volumes',  that `there were no questions at all from the climate change denier contingent that supposedly had come out in force'. There weren’t many hands up it is true, but I know for sure that mine and Barry’s were two of them.   I noticed that Mann had also taken the liberty of deleting Barry’s perfectly polite and reasonable replies on that thread.

The primary thrust of Mann’s talk, prior to slating as many perceived enemies as he could, was ‘going large’ on the bait and switch I mentioned above. He even used an identical slide to Cook on the `many lines of evidence' that support AGW. He emphasised the venerability of the ‘basic science’ and then machine gunned the audience with imagery of extreme weather. Every single damn point he made about extreme weather from then on in, as far as I can tell, is unsupported by AR5. And yet the audience lapped it up. There must have been dozens of academics in the audience who just swallowed it uncritically. There was no mention of the ‘hiatus’ (his x axis stopped shortly after the year 2000 on temperature graphs); Cook on the other hand explicitly denied it using the famous Sceptical Séance ‘escalator graph'.[4].  This is despite the fact that the ‘hiatus’ is now a major topic of discussion in the ‘mainstream’ of climate science – I can verify this personally as it was brought up regularly by the IPCC scientists present at the ‘RSclimate’ event last year.[5]

Cook, Mann and many of the other members of ‘the team’ are wilfully deceptive. They should have been laughed off the stage, not applauded. I’m not willing to accept the ‘Noble cause corruption’ narrative and neither, it seems, are some others.  This isn’t just individual failure, it’s institutional. And that’s where it really sticks in the craw for me. And it drives much of my anger, as well as that of the people who I have successfully introduced to climate scepticism/realism. 

The wellspring of that anger deserves proper articulation. There’s a quote attributed to Martin Luther King that I have always liked that is apposite:

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

If any of those reading consider themselves part of the ‘climate mainstream’, then I urge you to meditate on the above carefully when reading what follows as it applies to you on several levels.

When I am introducing someone to the sceptical range of views an exercise I often use  is to give them a link to the IPCC WG1 report (now AR5, previously I linked them to AR4). I then invite them to pick three chapters at random – any three whatsoever (other than the Summary for Policymakers (SPM)) – and skim them (or read them in full if they have the time) and come back to me with their impressions. I experience the same response every time and indeed, it matches my own. Reading the report’s individual chapters (sans the SPM), one comes away with the impression of a scholarly, ponderous document. Lots of caveats, uncertainties, doubts, gaps and so on are clearly articulated. In short, it is what one generally expects from academic output. Then the anger flows in. It is a painfully sharp contrast to the mainstream narratives. Within those there’s disaster lurking at any moment, around every corner. It’s always ‘worse than we thought’. The climate science establishment are unanimous in agreeing that thermageddon is imminent – they’re 95% certain, in fact! About every aspect of the topic!

At this point the brakes screech. The red lights start flashing. As I get older each year, the people I introduce to sceptical books, blogs and insights become ever younger.  They move ever closer to that group of young men and women just entering adulthood who have not seen global warming for their entire lives. Yet they’ve been indoctrinated right from the very start. Many come out of our education fearful for the future, as our host has amply demonstrated.[6]

They are told incessantly that the world is dying, there isn’t much hope without urgent and extreme action, and it’s all their fault for living with some creature comforts.  We’re drowning in something, but it isn’t rising sea levels. It’s prognostications of doom in a legion of screaming litanies that continually fail to occur as advertised. Why hasn’t action been taken? It’s those evil ‘deniers’ and their tobacco/oil/[insert idiocy] industry backing spreading doubt and preventing action. Except it isn’t. The ‘mainstream’ of climate science is chock full of doubts, including about the hysterical prophecies of the reverend Al Gore and sychophants. The heart rate rises, respiration increases. A state of low level adrenal emergency is entered.  Why didn’t they tell us? Why have our school teachers, our media, our parents, our climate science establishment not reined in the irresponsible activist-scientists and their supporters in advocate groups? Angry? You bet.

And that’s just among the general public. What of those of us who have, or have had, a continuing relationship with academia? Some of the reactions I’ve witnessed there have eclipsed even my white hot reaction.

Of my friends and family who take an interest in sincere discussion on these issues, those with a more political bent I sent to Pointman’s blog.[7] Those of a more philosophical to Ben Pile’s.[8] For those of my friends pursuing academic careers however, I sent them to Duarte’s holdout. Duarte does two things particularly well – he provides a comprehensive and scholarly critique of recent Cook and Lewandowsky offerings. He also proffers a very particular kind of outrage. That of the academic betrayed.

I felt exactly the same when I turned fully to climate scepticism/realism. As I discussed this week with Barry Woods and Richard Drake, I was working in a lab at the time. I still regarded the scientific and academic establishments as the last hold out for hope. It didn’t matter that political and economic wrangling was hopelessly fragged. Science and the quest for an ever clearer insight into the ways of the world, led by paragons of integrity, would see us through. Or so I naively believed.  Discovering that a substantive area of science had let itself be presented in such a monstrous form in the public eye was an extremely bitter pill to swallow indeed.

I discovered that being a climate sceptic in the ivory towers was dangerous. It’s why I maintain a veneer of pseudonymity still. I can’t express the anger or bitterness at the sense of extreme betrayal in the written word, though I’ve often burst my top with expletives on the subject online and off. To find that the bladder bursting conniptions of our literati concerning our imminent doom as a result of our carbon sins is in fact an exaggeration of the facts off the scale even when compared to the famous UK ‘dodgy dossier’ on Iraq was, for a budding academic, the worst betrayal.

I didn’t sign up for this. Duarte didn’t sign up for this. Nor did any of my friends and colleagues in my age group who planned a career either in, or closely related to academia. The covenant has been broken. It’s precisely this kind of hyperbole that they should exist in order to rein in, to let cooler heads prevail. But there’s no ponderous pontification here, the overheated chicken littles run the roost whilst the ‘mainstream’ of climate science appears to sit comfortably, keeping eggs warm for the future.  I’ve met a few of you in person now. You tell me, quietly, that you don’t agree with the hysteria at all, and that it’s clear from your published work.

Not good enough.

Some of you may remember from my report on the ‘RSclimate’ event that I challenged Mat Collins on this issue.  That’s the same Mat Collins who is the Joint Met Office Chair in Climate Change.  When I asked why he and others didn’t attempt to rein in the hysterics, who do not represent what the IPCC actually says, he said it wasn’t his responsibility. More recently, at the Walker Institute annual lecture, on climate change communication, myself and Barry Woods questioned none other than the government’s chief scientific adviser himself, Mark Walport. I put it to him that AR5 did not support catastrophic conclusions with any certainty. He responded that when he said climate change was going to be ‘bad’ he did not mean ‘catastrophic’. He failed to provide a definition of ‘bad’. This was the keynote lecture for a climate change communication outfit. If he can’t communicate something so important that is so very easily misconstrued into the worst case scenario to someone like myself who is relatively well informed on the topic, what hope the general public?

In short, there seems to be no stomach amongst the ‘mainstream’ climate establishment to do anything very much to counter the incredibly pernicious effect of our Cooks, Manns, Lewandowskys and Hansens. You don’t seem to realise that the public already lumps all of you together and some of us who know better are at the end of their tether in trying to maintain that distinction.  The effort is a law of diminishing returns – why should we attempt to lift you out of a hole you continue to keep digging deeper? History won’t care what your inscrutable paywalled article actually said. Neither will the general public. They’ll care that you didn’t speak out when you should have. That you allowed everyone who raised objections be painted as part of some shady conspiracy funded by billions in filthy lucre.  That you allowed their children to be terrified by a vision of monstrous and hopeless futures. The anger is going to continue to grow until a significant portion of the climate mainstream steps up to the plate, and would be well advised to do so before the leash well and truly snaps.

Whilst I’m loathe to use a Socialist Worker Party slogan here, this one is entirely apt:

If not us, then who? If not now, then when?











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Reader Comments (139)

I could not agree more.

Sep 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Very well said.

Sep 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered Commentersschrodinger's Cat

Thank you Katabasis, for such a measured response to developments I find so deeply troubling. I can see no accommodation to be made with people such as Cook or Mann, while they still trumpet falsehoods like 97% and at the same time run a personal charm offensive on prominent skeptics.

Any rapprochement reached with the climate establishment would have no discernible political effect, domestically or in the developing world.


Sep 26, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

I agree with every single word.

Sep 26, 2014 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Very well Xenophon. A couple of points:

1. Let's not waste time about Noble Cause Corruption. As with the idea that CAGW is a conspiracy or a scam, it is a detour to the main point and pretty much impossible to demonstrate unless somebody confesses, in old age on their deathbed perhaps.

What matters IMNSHO is that whoever believes or pretends to believe they are saving the world for whatever noble, corrupted or nobly corrupted reason, there will be nothing beneath them, nothing that is despicable/inhumane/unjustifiable enough to elicit in them and their followers any sense of disgust.

Pick any ideology, from Christian Papism of the middle ages to Mao's Great Leap Forward, and you will inevitably find countless idealists willing to destroy even more countless lives for the good of Humanity. There is no reason to believe climate-changeists are any different.

2. I am not angry at anybody. Manns and Cooks are dangerous but unlikely to be aware of it: I am horrified by them not hateful. The Betts's and Edwards's and Hawkins's elicit in me frustration (and a steady stream of sarcasm): they just can't get into their heads that when the extremists will get in charge, they will look for heretics more than for infidels.

Stalin focused on eliminating any Communist that would not think Stalin's way. Even Islamic terrorism has killed and is killing many more Muslims than non-Muslims. Likewise, there is nothing more dangerous to Richard's or Tamsin's career than an arch-warmist.

Remember Wagner and Dear Kev.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I think Skeptics have managed to escape the biggest ravages from the alarmists. Think of:

Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke senior and junior and Judith Curry - they all have been met with severe venom

Also I think Mann, Cook, Trenbeth, etc. are annoying but how can anyone get angry at such poor delusional people. That is why some pretend to be Nobel Laureates. Basically they have no real contribution to science or society.

My chief annoyance is the vast number of climate "scientists" who have stood by silently (and complicitly) taking their grant money (or is that pieces of silver), saying nothing about the attacks and idiotic statements. Who spoke out when Al Gore made his "Inconvenient Truth"? Who spoke out when Mann presented his Hockey stick nonsense? Even now has anyone publically spoken out about Peter Wadham's drivel.

Once CAGW is exposed publically, how many of the climate "scientists" will merrily go back to academia or government-funded institutions and wait for the next gravy train!

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Spot on.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:17 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Nice essay but you are only addressing the role of the small fry - on the "Getting Lower" thread you'll find my copy paste of Ban Ki Moon's Closing Statement from the UN Climate Summit. Here is one extract:

Pricing carbon

Putting a price on carbon will provide markets with the policy signals needed to invest in climate solutions.
•Seventy-three national Governments, 11 regional governments and more than 1,000 businesses and investors signalled their support for pricing carbon. Together these leaders represent 52 per cent of global GDP, 54 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and almost half of the world’s population.
•Some leaders agreed to join a new Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition to drive action aimed at strengthening carbon pricing policies and redirecting investment
•More than 30 leading companies announced their alignment with the Caring for Climate Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing.

IMO This is the juggernaut that means all the poor practice of the Lews, Cooks, Manns, AR SPM authors etc remains accepted and tolerated. Unless somebody starts taking the same meticulous public auditing approach to the finances of "climate change" that the blogosphere has taken to the science, the skirmishes with the small fry will remain irrelevant.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet


Interestingly people have begun to speak out about "Peter Wadham's drivel" as you put it: Ed Hawkins was leading the way IIRC. Which makes it even odder that they stay silent about far sillier pronouncements by Cook and Mann.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Nice contribution. Know this.

The issue of "climate change" is, and for some time now has been, political. It is about a politicial-commerical alliance of self interest.

As even recent day's reports about threats to our energy suply come from Belgium, the UK, Germany the deiciosns being forced on our society are already proving harmful to us.

These interests need to be destroyed compeltely, otherwise they morph themselves into some other dangerous and incideous force. Look no further for an example than the self-restyled "socialist movement" that now forms the core of the envinornmental movemnt in general and the climate activist movement specifically.

Unless we fully vent our outrage at the damage these people do, the responsibility they bear and the imperative that they be completely marginalised in the policy making process, they will continue to do what they are doing and try and achieve their objectives via any other useful malfecious means.

So I am behind the Mark Steynes of this world. Michael Mann is a disreptutable academic fraud. But more importantly the silent assassins, those that present themselves as the "reasonable", "concerned" elements of the Alarmist community - including many "luke warmers" are perhaps more insidious. They are not the friends of dispassionate science and decision making. Clime into bed with them at your peril.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

JJ - I guess the difference is Peter Wadham's putting up claims which will, to the public at large, easily and obviously be shown to be wrong.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Katabasis, this is one of the best things I have read in a long time.

I do wish you would blog more frequently.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Abbott

Couldn't have said it better. Thank you, Katabasis.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve C

Thanks for doing that Katabasis, better than I could.

Let's not forget the rôle of the MSM in all this. If they truly wanted to ask the questions, they would find someone with the answers. A greater number of scientifically educated journalists probably wouldn't do any harm either. Yet what kind of people does the BBC employ in this capacity? Some of them are clearly just activists.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Agree. What a breath of fresh air it would be if, instead of gently coaxing and manoeuvring behind the scenes there was a more public stance made by academics justifiably disturbed by the behaviour of, for example, Lewandowsky and Cook. What happened to robust, public academic debate?

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan Woolley


The sad fact is: the career prospects of teachers, lecturers & minions within the Met Office & BBC will be adversely affected by outward demonstrations of climate realism to their peers.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

What we do seem to be building up to here is a throwing of some convenient human sacrifice under the bus. The human sacrifice being Michael Mann. All the while forgetting their unwillingness to speak out, their unwillingness to push for full disclosur eof data and methods, the all too willingness to protect and defend in the greater good of the "concensus".

Then, the "concerned and reasonable" climate scientists can continue on their merry way.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Thanks Katabasis. I was once a true believer, until I did some risk analysis in 1997 on what was then called global warming for a policy maker. It was quickly apparent that a high probability/large consequence scenario was the only acceptable one. In particular rising sea levels would wreak certain havoc within 10 to 15 years. My more reasoned approach was totally ignored, of course.

In 2008 I was working in the Caribbean during a tropical storm which had a minimal impact on the sea level, and yet the Guardian published a picture taken from the same hotel claiming that this rough sea was a consequence of CO2 emissions. The predicted climate refugees from that island have never materialised, and the hotel is not under water.

And yet the extreme scenario is still treated as reality by otherwise apparently sane people. On twitter yesterday I was told that I did not understand risk analysis by a recent PhD who would have been in short trousers in 1997 - so I am not confident of the next generation's ability to withstand the activists.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

Wow! Brilliant! Thank you.

Sep 26, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

There is a very apposite passage from 'Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy' when George Smiley is interrogating Toby Esterhasey who, when not a spy, was an art dealer.

GS. "Toby ever bought a fake picture"
TE "I sold a couple once"
GS "The more you pay for it, the less inclined you are to doubt it. Silly, but there we are.

The truth is, the whole world (or most of it) has bought a fake and is beginning to wake up to brutal reality of the consequences. Of the venders, some always knew, some should have known and many were deceived themselves.
Either way, those that can are beginning to note the fragility of their posterior aspects and seeking the emergency exits.
Once the parcel of blame starts to be passed, the game will become fast and furious and peoples reactions will be unpredictable. Amongst the forces unleashed will be followers of 'Conan the Barbarian'.

"What is best in life?"
"Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women! "

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Great stuff. Someone needs to stand up and start organising like minded academics into some kind of body that can present a united front, so that individuals don't feel like they are risking isolation.

The lack of organisation, co-ordination is the key here. All the information is available, it needs to be delivered in the right way.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Furniss

I was going to let it go, but I notice that M Mann is linking to articles/blogs on is Facebook page, that mock and mention by name Anthony Watts (and myself). So here is my question I put to Michael Mann.(I had my hand up at the Cabot Institute)

Mann deleted my comment and added his own...

I replied but he had deleted me (fair enough, it is his Facebook page, I have no right to comment there..)

But Mann then made a comment, about the deletion, rather than just remove it, making assertions about me,. As my comment was there for a number of hours, many people (his fans) will have seen it, and know who I am, (and potentially parrot Mann's words about me, without any evidence of what I actually said to him..

So here is Mann's response to my deleted comment and the comment I would have made n response if I was able.


"just a note, if you make a habit of making making false, inflammatory and/or defamatory statements about climate scientists then no, this facebook page isn't for you. There are other outlets for that, Thanks" - M Mann

well at least he said if ;-) !

I don't by the way, you know, do anything he said, let alone make a habit of it..

I have said Cook and Lew were unethical towards (I did not mention who on his Facebook page), so I guess myself and Mann will have to disagree about whether they were 'false', etc.

in my 'defence' some evidence - Prof Markrams PUBLIC opinion of Cook, Lew et al actions on their retracted paper (Recursive Fury)

"...The authors of the retracted paper and their followers are doing the climate change crisis a tragic disservice by attacking people personally and saying that it is ethically OK to identify them in a scientific study. They made a monumental mistake, refused to fix it and that rightfully disqualified the study..." Markram

"Activism abusing science as a weapon".

(he added that in comments of his own article and the Lew/Cook paper was RETRACTED
in full, and in context here:


" But there was no moral dilemma from the start – we do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent. " - Markram Frontiers

Professor Lew still cannot see this (no apology yet) - yet he is a professor in psychology

So total agreement with Katabasis- any contempt I have, is for the academy (University of Western Australia, especially with their invesitigation that found nothing wrong - note they were investigating the Universities own failures as well)) that allowed Lewandowsky's and Cook's political activism to flourish and according to Markham, unethical conduct against standards of the field to protect the public.

yet, these guys win prizes, attention and plaudits, and have never apologized and other scientist still talk to them..

(Richard mentioned he and Lew has cleared the air between them, so that makes it all right then? Where is the apology to Geoff, Lucia, Steve Mcintyre, Anthony Watts, Jo Nova named in the paper and dataset, including myself)

Only Jose Duartes has the appropriate reaction from the academic perspective, and we see others smear him.

UWA, APS, Psychological Science, Cabot Institute. silence/and or supporting them against 'attacks' by sceptics.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I agree with the feelings but not the strategy.

Look, in academia, education and the science media there has been an implicit required pledge of allegiance to faith in catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. And there has been for a generation. It doesn't matter if people believe it - they have to say it.

Standing against that is dangerous. It is always easier to be a freeloader and let others fight the battles, take the risks. We want the cowards to speak out but why should they? When the AGW drifts into obscurity a lot of funding will dry up. They don't want to be outside the herd (front or back).

So make it clear that they can edge to the front of the herd and not be picked off by sceptical lions. They shouldn't need to step out one by one... because they won't.
But they might edge together away from "Ice-free Arctic in 10 years" and "the world will heat by 6°C this century" and "the warming is lurking in the deep, unseen".

And then the funding won't all disappear in disgust. Which almost no-one will vote for.

Do we want the guilty to be punished or the integrity of science to be restored. Because for the latter you just need the hard-core warmists to go away. That's not scary. But punishments being handed out... people won't want that; the sceptics would lose first.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

"Cook, Mann and many of the other members of ‘the team’ are wilfully deceptive. They should have been laughed off the stage, not applauded."

Good job I was not there. I don't think I'd have held my peace - but I'd probably just have come across as a deranged loony.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Well said.

What we are seeing is no let up in the propaganda campaign that has been running for the past 10 years. The IPPR paper "Warm Words" sets out the intent as did an earlier paper produced by the Labour government (whose name I cannot immediately recall) which actually advised that the propaganda should proceed on the basis that the case of CAGW had been made. We are at the stage where we are witnessing a Big Lie (tm Joeseph Goebbels).

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

There should be absolute Outrage at what the Scientists, MSM, Governments and the UN are doing.
They are wasting untold Billions, if not Trillions of Dollars/Pounds while a large part of the world starves, are cold, have no electricity, no clean water, no medicine or a reasonable life expectancy. All this while many of them get very rich in the process of denying the rest of the world.
Sory for me it is nothing short of a Crime Against Humanity

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterA C Osborn

M Courtney,

The "integrity of science", as you call it, requires that scientists are prepared to take the risk of speaking unpopular truths. Without that, what they are doing isn't actually science at all.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

You are right we are letting the activists TARNISH the good name of science and skepticsm
IT is noticeable that when you meet a true believer the behaviour is of the dramagreen type
: absolute anger that you don't believe too
: but instead of a careful explanation of the case for catastrophe CAGW, they act as if it is a God given truth .."you are stupid for not believing" best you might get a false piece of evidence like "97% of scientists say"
.. if you then dare do any CHALLENGING (like point out that 1. That is the fallacy of argument of authority ..2. That both 97% surveys are flawed due to tiny sample size/method) ..there is no fair debate from them, just shouting you down and walking away (cos "he is a denier")
Yes, Instead of explaining their case point by point, they use the over-simple technique of conspiracy theory "if you disagree with me you are a denier" (ironically an act of DENIAL to say that someone can't have a better rational argument than you)
- Yes, It is us who should be angry in the good name of science and skepticsm, but their anger comes frustration that their own argument is so weak they cannot defend it. Whereas if anyone gives enough time , we can demonstrate point by point that the CAGW alarmist argument is flawed. We don't need to use shouty anger, but passion and weakly keeping our heads down cos we want to keep in with the "nice pretty girls/boys" is not good enough.

- Finally it is not only science and skepticsm that are being harmed, but democracy itself. They don't seek to show evidence & arguments to persuade to get "green policies" implemented, but rather believe they are justified in usurping the democratic process so THEIR pet policies are implemented and that YOU will pay in cash and giving up your freedoms, whether you agree or not.
(another irony as they falsely shout "there is a consensus, there's a consensus" yet when it comes to implementation of policy there is no thought of building a CONSENSUS of those who will PAY, but rather bullying greens will get it all their own way)

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Well said, Katabasis, and well written.

My own fear is that the Galileo Movement may have hit the nail on the head – it is not a scientific movement, but a political one, one that the left-wing have leapt on with enthusiastic fervour. Look at how the Frankfurt School of thinking has pervaded so may institutions, be they broadcasting, political or educational, all over the globe; it is truly alarming:

“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family, tradition, national patriotism and religious dogmas.

“The re-interpretation and eventually eradication of the concept of right and wrong which has been the basis of child training, the substitution of intelligent and rational thinking for faith in the certainties of old people, these are the belated objectives of practically all effective psychotherapy”. (Brock Chisholm, first Director General of the World Health Organisation.)

If that does not chill you to the very marrow then read it again…. Then again, and again, and again.

Von Rompuy, the appointed “President of Europe”, slipped this into his acceptance speech: “…this is a major step towards world government

Should we be afraid? Yes – very, very afraid. Should we fear ridicule of being labelled “conspiracy theorists”? No – we all should know that it is a common ploy to ridicule your enemy, and to cast them all together under the same laughable label (hence the word “denier” – though its origins are no laughing matter), no matter how disparate they may be. This fear of AGW Armageddon (thermageddon) is a gift for those who wish to destroy all that “the West” has built up, reducing the bulk of the population to docile minions living brief lives in abject poverty, serving the omniscient State. Science be damned; they have taken this gift and are running with it; we have to wake people up to see this, otherwise our future – everyone’s future – will be bleak, indeed.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Jonathan Jones says

The "integrity of science", as you call it, requires that scientists are prepared to take the risk of speaking unpopular truths. Without that, what they are doing isn't actually science at all.

Agreed, although they may be gathering useful data.
But wouldn't it be better if they were doing science?
At the moment most don't feel they can. And any doubts they may have are kept secret. I'm asking how to change that.
If I didn't think you right about where we are now... I wouldn't want to change it.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterM Courtney

Well, agreed. What else!

Scattered observations:

1) Noble cause corruption? There is nothing called noble cause corruption. I saw 'Noble cause corruption' first as a diagnosis with Mosher and Fuller's book. My reaction was to think: wait a minute, there are all these emails out not too long ago. Even if you are intensely familiar with the subject matter, it would take a much longer period to go through the material released to make sense of it all. How the heck did you reach a conclusion about the motives or driving forces of the people involved? Jean S pulled together a definitive narrative sequence of the hide the decline emails - now - close to 5 years after the emails were released.

Noble cause corruption is just a lazy shortcut to avoid confronting the nature of your opponent. It keeps some of your humanity and sanity intact. That does not mean it is true.

The impulse to make friends with your opponents is a sign of weakness. No one is opposed to John Cook or Michael Mann on personal grounds. The issue is with their academic and intellectual material. Are there any grounds for re-conciliation, when it comes to these individuals, with respect to their intellectual output?

2) I've said this many times: Climate activists paint sceptics as lunatics, why do so many sceptics bend over backwards to prove they are not? It is an Alinskyite tactic and it will fetch the activists some returns and eventually these will diminish.

3) Poor education damages the ability of the incoming generation to see through propaganda. There are two consequences. One, they carry on with their deluded beliefs in 'climate' wherever they may be held, come up hard against the wall of reality of having to fend for yourself and open their eyes. Or, the reduced defenses push them more definitively into a lower standard of living.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Registered Commentershub

The problem with trying to find common ground with warmists is that they have a clear track record of presenting such efforts as evidence that we agree with them really (the basis of some of the high percentage agreement stuff) and therefore support their extremist views.

A similar tactic is to broaden and fudge the range of possibilities to include almost everybody then advocate for action on the basis of the worst case scenarios using that inclusion to claim that they have wide agreement.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW

"The end result is that climate science now looks like an old, tired and shop-worn whore whose better days are well behind her.

In the years to come, it will fall to those few good men I alluded to in the opening paragraphs, to mitigate the disaster in credibility brought about by those smaller men and rebuild from the scorched earth upwards what is still an important area of research. No good deed goes unpunished, to use that cynical expression, but it’s a challenge I feel they’ll take on, if only because they were the ones who all along had the strength of character to refuse the king’s shilling."


Sep 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

It's a good post.

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Hey! Just noticed that neither of my links have registered. Here they are in full:

Sep 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Cambridge lecture tackles some issues
I just noted that public climate discussions are characterised by
1. Being rigged & unfair, with lots of green propaganda and no proper challenging allowed from skeptics.
2. Alarmists fail to deal with the actual arguments opponents present, but rather choose an easier option of attacking opponent's motives by means of Wacky unevidenced conspiracy theory of "Big Oil is behind any challenging of CAGW"

Now as I prepare the events list for the Cambridge (FREE) Ideas festival (which I will post in Discussion) I see 1 event bucks this trend as it tackles conspiracy theory of both sides
A climate of conspiracy: a heated debate

"X: climate change is a hoax. Environmentalists and scientists have secretly coordinated to conjure the fear of a warming planet in order to justify their own ideological projects...climategate.."
"Y: the climate change conspiracy is itself a conspiracy. There is no credible disagreement on the science of climate change. The only dissent comes from industry-funded studies.. following the tobacco industry playbook ..climategate ..
"..They both focus more on discrediting the narratives of their opponents"
- So far I found 3 other climate propaganda events like "Faiths for climate action: multi-faith walk" etc.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:02 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I'm glad you have revisited this subject because it caused a few sparks and raised eyebrows earlier.

First, I'm all for being reasonable and having common courtesy with people that have different views, keep it polite etc.

But if our side (and remember that we haven't voted any leaders to represent us) are going to embark on a strategy to bring the sides together then our side should understand the following.

We are dealing with a wide range of adversaries from crooks to ideologues. A slimy coalition of science, peer review and press. 000's of government funded green organisations, Academia full of weirdos that want us treated with medication, sent to campts in the hills, sterilized, jailed or even eradicated.

Under those circumstances, be very careful who you want to cuddle up to.

And be aware that science is being corrupted from outside, trying to police the science is like the dog chasing his tail.

But good luck anyhowz

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

People are dying because of these arrogant twits who believe their views trump science.

People will continue to die because they are unable to pay winter bills so long as the twits in government believe these public-sector paid twits who care nothing at all for the real world outside except what scare they will promote to get their next grant cheque.

That's the be all and end of it. They simply do not care who their careless work effects and console themselves that their appalling "science" is OK because they keep getting the grants and keep being listened to.

Well, bad science and the bad policy advice that it leads to is NOT ACCEPTABLE!

This isn’t just individual failure, it’s institutional.

That sums it up. Individually I would be polite to them. But as group they are the worst kind <snip>

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

The warmist are like The Borg - they adapt and retry. This go around, they're on the "tamp down the outrage" since it's very, very bad press to have folks shouting "kill the deniers" from the steps of their private jets as they do a final wave and head to one of their five mansions.

It's a good adaptation of a very old tactic. It allows the media to virtually silence all except the warmist and their activities and tamps down all those folks that open their energy bills for a month and wonder if they can affort to buy food.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

I can see the allure of thinking we’ve reached a point where we can attract more flies with honey than vinegar but only if we want things to carry on as they have been. A soft landing for the consensus wouldn’t change the direction of the CAGW juggernaut (Not Banned Yet hit the nail on the head with that word). If it could, then we’d be seeing the effects already. Any slow down in policy is purely the result of the difficulty of cutting CO2 and the now embarrassingly long pause that even non scientists can see. Moderate voices in climate science are still unheard. The main message is that the warming is just delayed or hidden, but it’s still on course for catastrophe. Pedal to the metal.

When we still live in a world where Julia Slingo can stand in front of a camera and say that the Met Office think they can link the Jet Stream movements to man made CO2 or in other words blame us for mass flooding, heat waves and record snow, then things have not changed one iota.

When clever people like Obama, Ed Davey, Emma Thompson, Paul Nurse and Brian Cox have no doubts that sceptics are liars, fantasists and crooks then nothing has changed.

When the most extreme warmists are guests on TV and sceptic scientists are ostracised or sacked then nothing has changed.

And think on this – if warmist scientists are unsatisfied with current actions on AGW, when the message puts the C in CAGW, are they likely to flag up any lessening of the C and risk a decline in efforts to cut CO2? No matter how much they sympathise with us or how much we dilute the vinegar, there’s no gain for them to change public tack. If we find common ground it would be seen that we had come round to their side, not the other way round. Climate science would remain unchanged.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

NW: "The problem with trying to find common ground with warmists is that they have a clear track record of presenting such efforts as evidence that we agree with them really"

Warmists are by their very nature, people who don't base their views on the evidence but instead they find some celebrity and parrot their views.

This is why they are so obsessed with "consensus" - they have no ability themselves to work out things for themselves so they need to know that they are "in the consensus" because - they are incapable of thinking for themselves - so what else can they do.

So, the typical discussion between a sceptic and an alarmist is this:

Sceptics ... the facts show that (e.g. 17 years without warming)
Alarmist ... "but Hansen et al says this and Mann et beast says that ..."

We present facts, they cite their favourite celeb.

There is no common ground. Sceptics will always favour the hard facts over any kind of negotiated "consensus" whereas warmists will always favour the "consensus" over anything the actual climate is doing.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

It was a pleasure meeting Katabasis in the Channing, after the Cook lecture. You can +1 me on what he said above.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

oops I forgot the link to Mann's Facebok response...

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Imagine the state of affairs in the climate debate if it were not for the Internet and blogs/websites such as yours. The skeptical position on CAGW would receive virtually no exposure because the mainstream media has bought into the alarmists' position hook, line, and sinker.
In fact the alarmists gained their foothold in the debate before the advent of widespread use of the Internet. A whole generation of young people grew up believing that CO2's impact on global temperatures was "settled science." Mann, Hansen, et al had the spotlight all to themselves. Their hypothesis gained widespread acceptance, not because of the "science" they presented, but because of the social message behind it... the evils of capitalism and fossil fuels. It was an easy sell in the liberal hallways of academia and the news media.
The truth will eventually be known, because it always is. It is apparent to anyone with an open mind and a little common sense that the warmists' claims can not stand up to the facts that are becoming more apparent every day.
Good work by you and the others who have been fighting the fight for many years.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveAndrews

Excellent summary Kata, much appreciated.

If I could add, it is not just silence from the scientists and academics that should know better, it is often complicity. Just look at these recent threads on the Berkeley campus blog -

where Professor Dan Farbert (Law) Prof. Gene Rochlin, Eric Biber, (another Professor of Law) have been actively and shamelessly promoting climate alarmism. Ah, I think I have just found the reason why - it looks like Michael Mann been busy campaigning about the dangers of 'climate disruption':

The Gathering Storm – Michael Mann & Daniel M. Kammen
. (comments open).

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes. I said something similar at WUWT but nowhere near so erudite.

I am angry. I become more angry everyday when I see meetings such as the Bristol ones. These people want to maintain their standard of living and public/private prestige but are fully aware of the near criminal activity being perpitrated by there erstwhile colleagues. They want desperately to be recognised by real scientists (sceptics) but don't want to lose their favours elsewhere.

The pleasant tones and gratifying remarks made by more recognised sceptics only serve to encourage these nasty little people in pursuite of their goal of a cosy life with a large taxpayer's pension at the end. They couldn't give a cuss about my parents or your parents suffering through bitter, global warming winters, havny to make the choice between eat and heat.

I always used to use the tête à tête techniques when I was a senior manager. People do not like face to face conflict. You can persuade people of anything to their face. The truth only comes from anonymous assessments in writing.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Anger is appropriate, warranted and necessary. But it is wrong to assume only 'sceptics' are smart/wise or have moral integrity or whatever. Bad science or activism demands responses and pushbacks.

For a successful response, what are needed are: articulation of anger in a calm measured manner and unbiased independent recipients who hold position, for what you have to say. No one has control over the latter. If Oxburgh is your guy set up to play blinders the game is over before it starts. What is needed is to find ways for rational independent observers to agree with you or your points even as they do not share the same level of anger.

I have major points of disagreement with Duarte, even as I agree with others.

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Registered Commentershub

If schadenfreude is acceptable, the recent climate march in NYC has been mostly ignored by all the archwamist MSM outlets.

Maybe Avaaz is not part of their narrative (yet?)

Sep 26, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Excellent essay by Katabasis.

Sep 26, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

I agree with katabasis, an excellent essay. I have wasted too much of my life (and money) on combating the evils of the impact of the alarmists. I have seen too many people whose lives have been ruined by the scam. Jail the worst perpetrators and sack those complicit in the climate change scam.

Sep 26, 2014 at 1:09 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

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