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Discussion > The thread of Phil Clarke's gripes

Context from previous discussions

So long, suckers.
Dec 23, 2018 at 11:47 PM | Phil Clarke

Consequently, in 2019 and beyond, I will have no time to spend in this cesspit of lies.
Dec 26, 2018 at 12:40 AM | Dr. Phil Clarke

My work here is done.
Jan 31, 2019 at 11:48 PM | Phil Clarke

I give up.
Feb 5, 2019 at 9:34 AM | Phil Clarke

Apr 13, 2019 at 10:37 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Climate anti-skepticism seems to me have a culture of deception
eg a site which is against Global Warming skeptics
.. chose to call itself

The irony is it is NOT a skeptical site, and that it's discussions seem not science, but rather UNscientific

So I am not sure what is going on with PC
but it seems he has a grievance against WUWT
and seems to think that he is banned from commenting there comes across here to post the points, he thinks he would have made there.

It's a free country, but if people look though the old posts they might well find that there is something circular going on, as the same old points are rehashed again and again.

Apr 13, 2019 at 10:45 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

BTW a point I made was never answered

The main claim here seems to be that WUWT can be dismissed as 'just propaganda'

Yet today I can spot the alarmist activist Steven Mosher, commenting all over a new WUWT thread without problem

Jan 11, 2019 at 1:41 PM | stewgreen

Apr 13, 2019 at 11:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The main claim here seems to be that WUWT can be dismissed as 'just propaganda'

Because it is a Straw Man. My actual point, which I supported with examples, is that Mr Watt's filters do not prevent him posting complete tosh, always, always anti-AGW or increasingly anti-anything remotely good for the environment. He allows some sceptical commenters, notably the incredibly tolerant Nick Stokes, but selectively bans and censors to ensure they are always totally outnumbered.

Remember Yamal? How the proxy record was (ludicrously) claimed to be based on just one tree? Well Watts has found one tree stump in what is now frozen tundra, which apparently disproves the whole edifice of climate science.

That kind of thing.

The movement of the treeline in this region is well-documented btw, and is largely due to changes in local insolation

Apr 14, 2019 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Do you have an example of 'Skeptical Science' being 'unscientific'?

Apr 14, 2019 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

The SS Uniforms?

Apr 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterfred

The biggest problem with climate science is its reliance on peer review rather than systematic quality control. Unless 'Skeptical Science' advocates the latter it is unscientific on a policy level as opposed to an academic one, and if it is demanding that, the science is ignoring them. Science can get away with peer review while it is unimportanrt to society - eg the end of the dinosaurs is an academic problem that doesn't matter if they get the right or wrong answer. Climate sensitivty very much does matter. Accurate temperature data matter. The effect of UHI matters. All these things should be fully documented, justified and available to anyone to examine. There should be teams tasked with finding fault. There should be a body with rules and regulations it enforces. Nothing that has not passed through a rigorous system of replication and checks, should be used in the IPPC reports. That and much more is what is needed for policy science.

Skeptical Science is just a cheering section for a science that's not fit for purpose.

Apr 14, 2019 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

My point was that if I go to WUWT and the first comment I see is from Steven Mosher
.. that shows that commenters from the anti-skeptic side are certainly allowed to make their points
Even though various commenters have been banned for breaking some of Watts rules,
... including a wing of Climate Skeptics who call themselves the Dragon Slayers or something.

Apr 14, 2019 at 12:24 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

'Skeptical Science' being 'unscientific' was always routinely unscientific shouting "97%, 97%" is unscientific
Popularem Fallacy

Apr 14, 2019 at 12:25 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

For the record, Stormfront Phil, the Yamal post by Watts was a mirror of the original Climate Audit post.

I think you ought to take it up with the originator at Climate Audit. You're not banned there. Why not wow them?

Apr 17, 2019 at 3:59 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

I leave it to the experts

Apr 18, 2019 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

realclimate ?

what - the gallant Gavin & moronic Mikey's soap box / echo chamber?

you jest

Apr 18, 2019 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterfred

Hi Phil

You say: “I leave it to the experts.” That is the comment of a second rate scientist.

As I recall, the late, great Richard Feynman explained : “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”. I am with Richard Feynman!

Kind regards


Apr 18, 2019 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterStoic

Heh, MC, even neverending auditor won't take it up with the auditor.

Which reminds me, one of the best lines I ever had at climate audit was once when someone suggested that I'd accidentally wandered into the wrong classroom, I replied that I was just auditing the course.

Apr 25, 2019 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Phil 2 serious questions

The UK has spent a lot of money on Climate measures
and the laws restrict some businesses and advantage others
..whilst some of our freedoms have been lost.

#1 How many UK lives have been saved so far ?
in Quality Life Years if possible

#2 How much richer is each UK individual so far due to UK climate measures ?

May 29, 2019 at 9:58 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I leave it to the experts

Appeal to conformity

May 30, 2019 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

I leave it to the experts>/i<

May 30, 2019 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe


Glad to oblige, but would need more detail, specifically:-

- How much money do you estimate has been spent on climate measures? Please factor in net gains, for example the savings from insulation grants/more efficient boilers etc under various Green initiatives.

- Examples of businesses advantaged/disadvantaged (Surely this applies to all major policy measures?)

- An example of a freedom lost.

And, to ensure you are asking the question in good faith, what discount rate do you assume for the calculation of current versus future costs and how do you value a current life year versus a future life year?

May 30, 2019 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

PS This just in ...

Here we find that when both co-benefits and co-harms are taken fully into account, optimal climate policy results in immediate net benefits globally, overturning previous findings from cost-benefit models that omit these effects. The global health benefits from climate policy could reach trillions of dollars annually, but will importantly depend on the air quality policies that nations adopt independently of climate change. Depending on how society values better health, economically optimal levels of mitigation may be consistent with a target of 2 °C or lower.

The impact of human health co-benefits on evaluations of global climate policy

Can anyone cite me a study that does not support the assertion that mitigating climate change is less expensive both in long term economic and human health terms than doing nothing?

May 30, 2019 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


Thanks for the link - an interesting read. I would just observe that the paper proceeds on the assumption that cooling is beneficial and warming is harmful, so it was always unlikely to come to any other conclusion. I'm not seeking to play the men rather than the ball, but given the outlook of the joint authors, it was never really likely to come to any other conclusion.

Noah Scovronick is a public health scientist working on topics related to climate change. He is affiliated with the Climate Futures Initiative and the Woodrow Wilson School. During his appointment, Noah will focus on quantifying and valuing the health benefits of climate change mitigation as part of a broader interdisciplinary research program that uses integrated assessment modeling to explore the economic and climate trajectories of different climate policy approaches. He was educated at Emory University, the University of Cape Town, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Mark Budolfson works on interdisciplinary issues in public policy, economics, and ethics, especially in connection with sustainable development, planetary health, and collective action problems such as climate change and other dilemmas that arise in connection with common resources and public goods. Current research includes sustainable development and climate change economics, global ethics and international institutions, population-level bioethics, and business ethics & individual reasons for action in collective action situations.

Dr Dennig is interested in policy questions relating to climate change and inequality. For example, it is possible that climate change as well as climate policy will affect poor people disproportionately. Climate policy might thereby have an important impact on inequality. With a group of co-authors, Dr Dennig has looked at how this and other factors, such as population growth and health co-benefits, are best taken into account in climate policy. Dr Dennig is also interested in understanding other determinants of economic inequality. With other colleagues, he is investigating how family planning might affect the distribution of capital and how the market in the supply of education might affect the distribution and the returns to human capital. The motivation is to tackle questions that might lead to useful policy implications on these important issues.

Frank Errickson - My work combines atmospheric science, economics, and statistics (and marine biology as of late) to understand the complex relationships between human and natural systems. I am a member of the Data Science for the 21st Century National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program as well as the Sustainable Climate Risk Management Network (

Fabian Wagner is a Senior Research Scholar in the Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases (AIR) Program, and associate faculty both at the Complexity Science Hub and the Technical University in Vienna. Between 2014 and 2016, he was the Gerhard R. Andlinger '52 Professor for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also engaging in science policy, strategic planning and research evaluation.

Before joining IIASA in 2004, Dr. Wagner was a researcher with the IPCC located at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in Hayama, Japan. Prior to that, he was a postdoc with the International Energy Analysis Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

I can't cite you a study that does not support the assertion that mitigating climate change is less expensive both in long term economic and human health terms than doing nothing, as I'm not aware that any grants are available in academia for coming to such conclusions!

May 30, 2019 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I would just observe that the paper proceeds on the assumption that cooling is beneficial and warming is harmful, so it was always unlikely to come to any other conclusion.

Can you quote me the part where it says that? Or is that just your standard excuse/rebuttal? It is using the well-established peer-reviewed RICE model, first published two decades ago and developed, accepted and adopted by every researcher working in the field. That this model is not fit for purpose would be an extraordinary claim, and you know what you say about those....

I can't cite you a study that does not support the assertion that mitigating climate change is less expensive both in long term economic and human health terms than doing nothing, as I'm not aware that any grants are available in academia for coming to such conclusions!

Conspiracy ideation. That's a pretty offensive allegation against the various research councils. I think that anyone with a proposal for such a study that had a realistic chance of disproving the assertion would find a willing industrial sponsor, don't you? Remember the oil-funded American Enterprise Institute once offered $10,000 a pop for articles critical of the IPCC. Plenty more where that came from, just ask $milionaire Willie Soon ;-)

May 30, 2019 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke


Under the Discussion section of the paper, there's this:

"We find that these impacts have a critical role in determining optimal decarbonization rates, as the potential health co-benefits that result from improved air quality are large, occur quickly enough to be economically important, outweigh the near-term co-harms from lost cooling, and are concentrated in developing regions."

I read that as saying that lost cooling is a harm, which to the ordinary reader suggests they think that cooling is a benefit. Have I misunderstood/do you disagree with that reading? So, no, it's not my "standard excuse/rebuttal." I'm disappointed you suggest that - I thought we had more respect for each other than to write about each other in such terms. Also I did not say that the RICE model was unfit for purpose, though if I had more time, or a funding grant :-), I might look into it!

It's not conspiracy ideation, merely the oft-repeated observation that people are likely to find the results they're looking for, especially if funding depends on it - that's human nature, however well-intentioned the individuals might be. Furthermore, if you have an outlook that predisposes you to a conclusion, and your outlook has led you to work for an organisation where such views are the norm, and everyone there and in similar organisations (who you come into contact with on a regular basis) is writing reports that come to the same conclusions, you're not likely to do otherwise.

Try Bjorn Lomborg for an alternative economic cost/benefit analysis (lights blue touch paper, retires, and waits for character assassination).

May 30, 2019 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

The exact words were : as I'm not aware that any grants are available in academia for coming to such conclusions!

Which implies research grants are awarded for researchers to come to a particular predetermined conclusion, which is (a) an offensive thing to allege, and (b) certainly not the case.

Running the RICE model demonstrates the economic harm done by warming, so you were implicitly declaring it inaccurate.

No need to go ad hom on Lomberg, his work is so full of errors it is hardly worth discussing. Heck there's even a website dedicated to documenting them:-

(This kinda thing does not inspire faith: )

He only escaped an indictment for scientific dishonesty on a technicality ...

May 30, 2019 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

No response to my answering your first point, so I assume I've passed that hurdle successfully.

Naughty Phil, that Wikipedia link contains much more than you suggest:

"In January 2003, the DCSD released a ruling that sent a mixed message, finding the book to be scientifically dishonest through misrepresentation of scientific facts, but Lomborg himself not guilty due to his lack of expertise in the fields in question.[40] That February, Lomborg filed a complaint against the decision with the MSTI, which had oversight over the DCSD. In December, 2003, the Ministry annulled the DCSD decision, citing procedural errors, including lack of documentation of errors in the book, and asked the DCSD to re-examine the case. "

"A group of scientists, Arthur Rörsch, Thomas Frello, Ray Soper and Adriaan De Lange published an article in 2005 in the Journal of Information Ethics,[52] in which they concluded that most criticism against Lomborg was unjustified, and that the scientific community misused their authority to suppress Lomborg."

There are two sides to every story. I'd be more impressed if you critiques Lomborg's work yourself, rather than cited links to the usual suspects. Your response is, however, precisely what I expected.

May 30, 2019 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

That website of supposed Lomborg errors seems to be a bit of an obsession. It is the work of Kare Fog, who seems to be a long-time critic and for whom it almost seems to be personal, when you read his site. Interestingly he also says:

"Kåre Fog has also studied the outcome of Lomborg´s `Copenhagen Consensus´ conferences in 2004 and 2008, and has posted his criticism on this web site. The criticism goes into detail with Lomborg´s use of discount rates.

Although a biologist by education, Kåre Fog tries to cover all fields of study treated by Lomborg, including economics. The basis for this is reading scientific papers and books on relevent subjects, especially discounting."

So the bit we were discussing above (economics/discount rates etc) is criticised by a biologist who is a non-economist who devotes a website to what looks from the outside to be a bit of an odd obsession, and you cite it as evidence that Lomborg isn't worth discussing.

Your "facepalm" website link is to a single page taking a quote from a bigger article from the Guardian:

Try criticising the article for yourself, instead of linking to a silly cartoon that takes a single point out of context and doesn't actually prove it was wrong.

Come on Phil, you can do better than this!

May 30, 2019 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson