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Discussion > Zombie blog - what's the point?

Radical Rodent

Denial? It's not necessary specific points, it is the general attitude that any published science relating to climate change must be wrong.

Similarly anyone suggesting that future changes might cause problems is condemned as an alarmist.

As a minority group, you sceptics are improving. The lunatic fringe insisting on "no warming since 1998", sky dragon slaying or conspiracies have become much rarer (looking at you, Kim). Much more more common are the likes of Mike Hodgeson and Alan Kendall who accept climate change but do not believe it is our fault, or that there will be long ternm consequences.

Such optimism is touching, but reminiscent of an early stage cancer patient refusing to seek treatment because none his organs have failed yet.

Sep 5, 2016 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Trying your old trick of "divide and rule" EM?

Sep 5, 2016 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

EM: what you and Mr Clarke do seem to miss is that I have pointed out that there are a vast number of known variables involved, many of which could affect the only system that you insist is meaningful; there could also be unknown variables. To get a better overall picture of the world, it would be better NOT to have many people getting many readings from many instruments, in arguable locations – yes, you might be able to reduce errors in the instruments situated at the mythical 60 well-sited locations, by getting loads of readings from them, then applying the theory of the Law of Large Numbers, but… you can’t. Instead, you have to collect and collate readings from several thousand sites, many of questionable location (I mean – on the apron at Heathrow? Get real!). How often are these instruments checked and calibrated? How often are they replaced? How well trained are the observers? The list could go on. Would it not be better to have a few people obtaining many readings from a few instruments that monitor a far larger area, irrespective of topography. This is where the satellites come in. Okay, they have not been in operation for very long, yet, but we all have to start somewhere; however, it is far too early to reach conclusions, yet.

Okay, so those labelled “denier” are not actually denying anything; whereas you continue to insist that we should be alarmed, but object to being labelled “alarmist”. Well, that makes sense. Of course, there is the possibility that the patient does NOT have cancer; surely, it would be more sensible to confirm the diagnosis before launching into drastic treatment.

GC: just look at my brilliant idea! I do hope you do not suggest that I – I – might be wrong! After all, it is no dafter than many other schemes in this scam.

Sep 5, 2016 at 7:30 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

PC, the Climategate emails provided plenty of what you claim to be interested in seeing examples of. Not that TY there have not been many before and since.
But most true believers talked themselves into ignoring the large body of evidence that Climategate represents. Indeed, the true believer response was generally to find an excuse to ignore them and to believe instead silly self serving rationalizations explaining the damning evidence away.

Sep 5, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


Bit like saying God exists and then when asked for evidence being thrown a Bible and told 'its in there - find it yourself'

Trouble with intercepted mail, you are inevitably going to get jargon, in-jokes, missing history etc etc.

But surely not that hard to provide specific evidenced examples of fraud or egregious errors? Just two or three?

Sep 5, 2016 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


The sceptic community range from lukewarmers to sky dragon slayers and none of you agree among yourselves. You make all sorts of contradictory statements about the science without any reliable evidence.

Logical fallacies abound, like simultaneously claiming that the temperature record shows no warming since 1998 while being a meaningless product of a conspiracy.

Anything I might say would be superfluous.

Sep 5, 2016 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

So, sceptics should all speak as one, much as the alarmists do. Debate and differences should not exist in scepticism. Who knew?

That is the very point of debate, EM: it is to discuss personal observations and experiences, and how the evidence gathered should be addressed and interpreted. You do not need further evidence to point out flaws in another person’s logic. Taking the example given, after 60+ papers have been published by those you hold in high regard in this subject that endeavour to explain the “hiatus” in global warming (a phenomenon that ensured the term “climate change” be used, as it is so much more anodyne), the new narrative is now that there was no pause. How is that done? Simple: by shifting the reference point beyond the time of the start of the pause. Phil Clarke even uses an el Niño year to declare that global warming has resumed – and accuses a sceptic of cherry-picking when a comparison is made with another el Niño! It would be interesting if you could provide us with examples of these logical fallacies.

Sep 6, 2016 at 12:38 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent, I have viewed historical records and modern maps about Harlech Castle and Winchelsea. Sea level at Harlech has dropped faster at Harlech than at Winchelsea. Both became significant for the Defence of these shores during the Medieval Warm Period, however as Medieval Engineering did not extend to telescopic "standpipes" to record sea level falls over the cooler centuries that followed, another 700 years of satellite monitoring will be required to establish a link between sealevel and temperature.

However, to resolve this issue, there would be no valid reason why standpipes could not be installed now, to see if sealevel continues to fall at a similar rate.

Having used a traditional non-automatic, laserfree "dumpy level", I feel I could have a go at it myself, but either the land or sea would need to be at a constant height to set up a reliable "Benchmark".

Sep 6, 2016 at 1:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

EM 11:46, isn't it up to the Professional Climate Scientists to come up with credible ideas and theories first? If you are complaining that interested amateurs never do anything other than point out mistakes made by professionals, then there is no point in taxpayers paying for the same failures to be repeated, and replicated, again and again. See Gergis for details.

Sep 6, 2016 at 1:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You demonstrated my point not only predictably but clearly.
we are the ones who say your faith is bogus, and you have your head so far up into your circular reasoning you cannot even start to critically think...almost as if your job depends on it.....
ACK, in noticing bad faith in the true believers, especially ones who make their money off of it, seems to be on to something.

Sep 6, 2016 at 4:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

EM. Your complaint that we sceptics offer " is the general attitude that any published science relating to climate science must be wrong" is almost true. However your comment should be changed slightly "... it is the general attitude that any published science based on models or inappropriate statistical methods must be wrong". This is why I value analyses by Roy Spencer or Willis. They examine data, usually without models, and some of their products appear to be truly elegant.

Sep 6, 2016 at 7:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Asking for evidence = Bad Faith ? Wow.

The inability to substantiate the disgraceful slurs speaks volumes but hardly astounds me.

Myth: The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails prove that temperature data and trends were manipulated.

Fact: Not true. Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results.

Sep 6, 2016 at 7:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, just because you quote EPA as a reputable source on science or law, does not make the EPA a reputable source on science or law.

Sep 6, 2016 at 7:54 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

PC. Whitewash cannot disguise malfeasance. Malfeasance includes (amongst other things) deliberately obscuring contrary data, and manipulating affairs to prevent publication of contrary opinion. This taints any product produced out of CRU.

Very interested to hear that you consider that it is only a minor matter that the results of a study do not change despite the fact that the data sources in the PAGES 2013 paper changed. In my area of science that would be a "hanging matter".

Sep 6, 2016 at 7:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK


Thanks for responding again. Now we're getting somewhere. So what data was obscured and what contrary opinion suppressed (and how? I thought CRU was a fairly small player in the scheme of things).

I am not completely au fait with the PAGES 2K 'chicanery'. What was the the situation before and after? Did it affect the conclusions?


Sep 6, 2016 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC. A little while ago you let it be known that you are involved somehow in administering the affairs ( grant applications?) of academic research scientists. If this is correct, you have my deepest sympathy. It would go a long way to explain why you post here (we must be easy targets) and your abilities to shrug off insults.

Sep 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Phil Clarke, just because you quote EPA as a reputable source on science or law, does not make the EPA a reputable source on science or law.

Indeed not. Unlike the other panels that exonerated the scientists however, the EPA report is subject to judicial review.

There comes a point at which the conspiracy theory has to stop, no? I mean, how far up does this thing go? The Pope?


Sep 6, 2016 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC. Don't play coy. You know full well what was obscured (or hidden), and you and I have discussed the PAGES chicanery at length on another discussion thread on this site ( a site moreover that you began and presumably moderated). I refuse to be played with, as you commonly do with others here.

Sep 6, 2016 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

It is not that relevant, however I said I worked at a University (Birmingham, as it happens, long time ago now). I was a humble software developer in the Administrative Data Processing Unit and we developed applications in the area of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Admissions, Student Records and Exam Mark Collection. In all my years in the job, private and public sector, I've never encountered a more difficult client group, a large slice of whom would be simply unemployable outside academia.

But enough of my CV, you seem to be rowing a back a little from claims of fraud and egregious errors to rather more mundane matters of academic housekeeping. Fair?

Sep 6, 2016 at 8:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

OK, don't tell me ;-)

That's why I wanted to be sure. Not sure the fact that a draft differed in a way that had effectively no impact, from the final published version of a paper rises to the level of malfeasance, never mind fraud. Smacks of desperation to me.

Sep 6, 2016 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, you are very keen to accuse people of fraud.

How do YOU want the Gergis debacle to be described? You said it should be added to the list. List of what? Failure? Farce? Fiasco? Fraud?

Sep 6, 2016 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

PC. Suggest you read through the relevant parts of the discussion thread you moderated. Not a change from a draft to a final paper, but two versions of the Nature accepted paper, the older version of which magically disappeared from the web almost immediately after I discovered it. Fortunately I retain a copy of it.

You have now used up whatever slack there was on your fishing line, and you are free to distort whatever I have written to fit your own narrative.

OAM. As a software developer, what do you make of the commentary that accompanied the computer code released during Climategate? I concluded it was more damning than the emails.

Sep 6, 2016 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Oooh someone deleted an obsolete document off of the internet !

Accepted <> Published. Impact on the science, nil to negligible.

If you are referring to the personal work log HARRY READ_ME. Nothing out of the ordinary, it was 4 years of notes by Ian Harris who was frustrated at trying to bring several heterogenous datasets into alignment for the legacy TS2.1 product, (not the flagship HADCRUT series used by the IPCC et al). Horrible task, but you should judge the quality of the sausage rather than look at the sausage factory.

I've worked with several QA methodologies and none of them recommends 'grab the developer's notes and comb through looking for flaws' I've seen worse issues resolved and good quality software produced. (Not that I am endorsing TS2, I haven't looked at it, its fairly niche and was superceded by TS3 so presumably the issues got resolved).

Sep 6, 2016 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PC: I had no idea that myth existed. Wow!

It was the “Climategate” e-mails that tipped me into scepticism. One of the key points was when there was open discussion on how to destroy the career of a scientist who had been part of the peer-reviewers, who had questioned the paper under review. Such thinking was not to be allowed; peer-reviewers are there so that the paper can claim peer-review, and an example had to be set. (This also led me to be highly suspicious of the entire “peer-review” process, but that is not for this thread.) There was also constant reference to “the cause”. This puzzled me at first, but it soon became obvious that “the cause” was the creation of the myth of cAGW.

There were other points, too, many of which I cannot recall. Channel 4 did an “exposé” on these emails, selecting many and “debunking” much that was claimed about them, the principle defence being that they were being taken out of context. This programme made me review my own developing scepticism (whaddya know! Sceptics sceptical about their own scepticism!) about the subject, and read those chosen by Channel 4 in greater depth, as well as those that had aroused my suspicions, following the chains further, backwards and forwards. The result, I hope, is obvious, only the scepticism is more avowedly so. I remain sceptical of my own scepticism, and continue to constantly question it; as yet, I have yet to prove myself wrong.

Sep 6, 2016 at 9:54 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

It was the “Climategate” e-mails that tipped me into scepticism. One of the key points was when there was open discussion on how to destroy the career of a scientist who had been part of the peer-reviewers, who had questioned the paper under review.

Again, a pretty strong claim.It would be great to see the mail in question. Just as no papers were actually excluded from IPCC by 'redefining what peer review is' (which was obvious hyperbole), was anybody's career destroyed or was it perhaps just overheated rhetoric?

And what was the impact on the science? All the examples I saw of people attempting 'gatekeeping' had the aim of preventing obvious crap (e.g. Soon & Baliunas) from polluting the literature.

Sep 6, 2016 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke