EconomicsGlobal Warming/Climate ChangeSociety

Climate Change – Meet the Scientists

It’s tiring hearing some write off many thousands of peer-reviewed studies by climate scientists — by brandishing apparent petitions by ‘thousands of climate skeptics‘ who supposedly say the exact opposite. Now, these thousands aren’t putting forth peer-reviewed studies and thoroughly researched counter-claims. No, they’re just putting forth their signature…. As a sound bite, it sounds pretty convincing, but a little research shows it’s merely smoke and mirrors. So, just to set the cat amongst the pigeons….


  1. Calling this article “biased”, I seriously wonder whether calling for scientific integrity these days is considered as “biased”.

    Sometimes, it almost seems to.

  2. It’s interesting how media are supposed to be unbiased by giving equal weight/coverage to views that are disproportionately unbalanced. If 98% of scientists believe a certain way, and 2% another, is being ‘balanced’ giving 50:50 coverage? I think not, as it makes it appear that they’re on an equal footing, which is entirely misleading for the public.

  3. Why would they expect their answers to be any different, when they all ‘experts’ seem to use the same hypothetical computer models. There is little science involved – the computer programmers have more effect on the results than the weather!

    Best regards


  4. David,

    what they actually checked was the temperature record, i.e. actual measurements, not model predictions.

  5. Ok, so I wanna say some words…

    I’m a physicist and I’m not part of any study regarding “climate change”, but I have my opinions because I care about the subject, have read a lot of “important” point of views and I’ve got to say I support permaculture and sustainable projects, over all.

    But, “global warming” could be as natural as the frozen ages, because, I think, another stellar systems impact their energies (electromagnetic, i.e. light) to our system and, of course, to our planet; Now, these systems are not always on the same position, so, it implies changes on the energy received by our planet -thus, climate change.

    Of course CO2 and other emissions from industry are really unhealthy and should not be done in the way they are, but their increment doesn’t mean, necessarily, that “more CO2 implies higher temps”; even further, there are studies and graphics (as result) that show that “higher temps implies more CO2 in the atmosphere”, wich sounds totally consistent through osmosis, or states in statistical mechanics.

    So, my message is, go cleaner, go sustainable, go against industries, but don’t believe in “guilty behavior theories”.

    from Chile, Sebastian.

  6. No one buys that man can change the climate. We KNOW scientist can lie and change data. We know Gore, GE and others can get rich off the fear. Man CAN pollute. Man can abuse. Don’t try to say man can change the climate. Look to the Sun and natural earth cycles. Since man cannot cause climate-change, man CANNOT prevent it IF it does occur. I once looked up to permaculture and tried to tell friends about it as a way to self-sufficiency. Now, I have been totally turned off by these puff pieces. I have also been turned off by permaculturist helping with the “sustainability” laws being passed around here in America. Using a nice sounding name does NOT hide what is going on. It is a TOTAL power-grab. Something you would ALL be screaming about if it was someone doing it to you. Telling people where and IF they can build a home, not allowing them to catch rain-water and saying a main goal is “social justice”. Guess some of you did not get the memo that the Soviet Union COLLASPED! Your social justice is just code for an attack on the People of the West. But I know, I am a fool, while all of you are enlightened. The same was said by Marx, Lenin, Satlin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. I will stick to bio-intensive and “high farming”, my last penny has been spent on anything saying permaculture.

  7. Sebastian,

    Of course do higher temperatures imply more CO2 in the atmosphere. If you heat a bottle of soda water, well, the CO2 will escape. That’s not an especially deep or profound insight. If you want so: the dissolved form has lower entropy than the gas, and hence gets disfavoured at higher temperatures.

    But it’s precisely the same with any gas. Fish get oxygen-starved in warm water for the same reason.

    So, in what way does this observation have any significance for the issue whether more of a heat trapping gas in the atmosphere raises global temperatures?

    Note that “X implies Y” does not have as a consequence that
    “Y does not imply X”. But that should be obvious.

  8. Thomas,

    what I’m saying is that I do not believe that our CO2 emissions have altered the climate, neither the surface temps on our planet -and it’s highly probable that are just natural events.

    I see kind of a redundancy here…

    volcanoes have higher CO2 emissions than we do-

    I think that there are way better (faster, local) arguments to go against insane toxic gas emissions; like the thermoelectric plants (at least in my country) that have mercury emissions into the air and sea, wich affect the environment (-thus us) really fast, devastating the communities and eco systems around.
    No “climate change” approach to the problem.

  9. Here here sebastian well said.
    No man in a suit is going to tell me to look after mother nature when i’ve been doing it for 20years. Just remember these same, men in suits funding for oil,men in suits funding the depletion of major forest around the world, men in suits funding mining and poluting rivers, land and rainforest.
    Now men in suits fund climat change, the man in a suit now wheres a green tie.Great!

  10. Sebastian,

    your claim about volcanoes is factually wrong.

    Actually, volcanoes on average put about one-sixth of a Gigaton of Carbon into the atmosphere. Anthropogenic emissions are about 50 times larger, at around 7 Gt/year.

  11. Pete,

    I’ve actually watched the first minutes of that talk you reference above. There is a quite “interesting” statement at 05:54:

    You are all familiar with the fact that temperature in thermodynamics being an extensive quantity – when you add temperatures you get something mathematical which is not a temperature and has no relationship either to enthalpy, entropy, energy, or temperature. So, the global temperature is not a temperature. It may be interesting, but it’s not a temperature. (…)

    Quite likely, he wanted to say “intensive” rather than “extensive” here, as temperature indeed is not an extensive but an intensive thermodynamic quantity, and adding extensive quantities (such as mass – twice as much stuff, twice the quantity) does make sense. But look at the structure of his claim: he claims that, as one cannot meaningfully add temperatures, one cannot meaningfully average temperatures.

    By the same token, if I add my height to my wife’s, I get “something mathematical which is not a human height”, and therefore, it clearly would be “unscientific” to claim that our average height is 1.80 meters – by his logic, there is not such a thing as an average human height.

    Well, lengths and temperatures are a bit different in one respect: adding lengths is something everybody is familiar with from everyday experience. And we do know that we can meaningfully define averages. With temperatures, most people are not aware of what “twice as warm” is supposed to mean.

    Let me just give the scientific answer to this: a consequence of the 2nd law of thermodynamics (“one cannot build a perpetuum mobile that keeps on converting heat to work at 100% efficiency”) is that all perfectly reversible heat to work conversion processes (idealized heat engines) that transfer heat between a hot and cold reservoir of given temperature have to have the same thermodynamic efficiency quotient N=[work out]/[heat in].

    This property can be used to define the “thermodynamic temperature scale”. Temperature T1 is “twice as hot” as temperature T2 if an idealized heat engine exchanging heat between them would have efficiency quotient 1/2.

    So, using the thermodynamic temperature scale (which actually is what everyone does), it is perfectly straightforward to define an “average temperature”. For two temperatures Ta, Tb (Ta being the hotter one), it works as follows: (1) Work out the efficiency N1 of a reversible heat engine operating between Ta and Tb. (2) Find a heat bath with temperature Tc such that the efficiency of a heat engine operating between Ta and Tc is 1/2*N1. Then, Tc is the “average temperature” between Ta and Tb.

    Incidentally, as “peer” above mentioned McKitrick: McKitrick also seems to be agnostic about these elementary principles of classical thermodynamics and have problems with the concept of “average temperature”.

    I actually do see why someone may have second thoughts about averaging temperatures, but certainly NOT for the reason as stated in this talk. (One might validly claim that a “global average temperature” is not as interesting as the temperature one would get if one thermally isolated and equilibriated the entire planet at a given instant. But basically, this is not too far off “average temperature”. If this were otherwise and there really were a major conceptual problem with discussing “average temperatures”, we could instead switch to discussing total thermal radiation output of the globe and average Watts/m^2 over Earth’s surface. In fact, climate physics often is discussed in terms of W/m^2 differences rather than temperature differences.)

    There are more strange things in this talk. I actually stopped watching after 10:28, when he discussed his interpretation of the temperature record and the strange claim that “we’ve had twelve years of either a plateau – if you are conservative, or a slight decrease if you are ready to fit the data”.

    Actually, I would challenge Courtillot to show how “the data” and a least squares fit (as one usually fits data) on them. I actually did myself check that one calculation once – the trend clearly is upwards, regardless of the very hot year 1998 in the past.

    But in addition to all this – isn’t it strange how he wants to have it both ways: first, he explains at length why he thinks that global temperature averages were meaningless as one could not add and hence average temperatures, then he goes into detail about the global temperature average going down.

    In one place, when he referred to scientific careers of students, he was involuntarily funny (or would have been so were the issue not so serious) – 05:12 “aging people who don’t worry about their future, like me”. A “Freudian slip”?

    EIKE actually is quite an interesting organization, but that’s another topic.

  12. He’s talking about the average global temperature Thomas, as you well know, which is a figment of advocate scientists imagination, and less use than the average height of you and your wife in the real world (unless it’s to support more funding).

    You stopped watching? I’m not surprised.

    05:12 “aging people who don’t worry about their future, like me”. A “Freudian slip”?

    No, nothing Freudian about it. He was referring to climate science being taken over by IPCC advocates, and the fact that any student in climate science who does not follow the IPCC advocates gets ostracised, i.e. it would be a bad career move for a student to publish a non-advocate paper, so this work is often done by old experienced scientists who do not have to worry about their career. Advocate papers get through all the time, as it’s a good career move for students, hence the reason there is so much rubbish in climate science.

    Science is not done by a show of hands, unless it’s in the IPCC. And we know the lengths the IPCC team go to to suppress anything contrary to their advocate stance, even the MWP was suppressed, one tree, yes just one tree (YAD061) is responsible for the whole “unprecedented” claim, amazing how they got away with it this long really.

  13. In response to Sebastian Ordenes:

    Just one more point about volcanoes, from a geologist (I am not a volcanologist though,(but i am a geologist!and did study there effects to the level of which I am talking about here) Large volcanic eruptions, can produce a large amount of particulates, ‘that travel high up into the atmosphere, block out the earth’s sunlight, thus reducing solar radiation and lowering mean global temperatures. This is known as the haze effect.’

    ‘The small amount of global warming caused by eruption-generated greenhouse gases is offset by the far greater amount of global cooling caused by eruption-generated particles in the stratosphere (the haze effect)’

    If you want to read more, a quick search found me this page:

    Which my quotes are taken from.

    So in other words, volcanoes have minimal effect global warming.

  14. Thanks for that Craig, interesting article.

    Though not new to me, I think its interesting in showing how life isn’t just black or white (unless you live on daisy world (the computer simulation, introduced by James Lovelock and Andrew Watson, to show the effects of the gaia hypothesis) and that things aren’t as simple as people like to make them out.

    I personally believe that the earth will survive this episode of Global Warming, and will balance its self out (eventually). But the earth’s cycles don’t have any respect for the time scales of us humans. Along the way we will see yet another Mass Extinction, over the course of the next hundreds or even thousands of years (these kind of numbers are nothing when you look at the world from a geological perspective), and its very possible that humans will be part of the extinction. Life (I hope!) however is resilient enough to work through our mess.

    Hopefully what evolves after us might be a bit more respectful of the environment it lives in!

  15. Volcanoes – I’d like to meet the who chap counted, quantified, and declared on all the undersea volcanoes, I’d have some pertinent questions ;^)

  16. Pete,

    so, you on the one hand claim that global average temperature “is a figment of advocate scientists imagination”, and on the other hand, you parrot the claim that global average temperature were falling since 1999:

    I’m not sure whether you actually realize that, erm, logic does not seem to have much relevance to your way of thinking (to put it mildly). But does that actually matter? I think it’s pretty evident to those readers who bother to take a look at the comments sections of articles that you behave just like any ordinary troll.

  17. Usual fair from the resident IPCC advocate.

    try this – irrelevant and falling anyway, therefore even more irrelevant (if that is indeed possible).

    Name calling again I see, soon be calling for those of us with counter opinions to be banned again As I have said before, I stand behind the pragmatic approach to climate change Geoff teaches in the PDC. Do you attack Geoffs PDC with the same enthusiasm?

  18. Pete,

    certainly you can substantiate the “IPCC advocate” claim? I have debunked many a false claim about fairly straightforward physics here, but one would have to look quite hard for an instance where I actually referred to an IPCC publication.

    Considering the scientific perspective, I don’t consider the IPCC as particularly relevant, so I do not even bother to look into their specific claims. One doesn’t need much more than fairly basic physics, some guesstimations, and a few robust experimental results to see that we are in a very dangerous situation concerning our present CO2 emissions.

    Actually, where did I call “for those of us with counter opinions to be banned again”? Can you substantiate that claim?

  19. Strike IPCC advocate, insert AGW advocate. (one and the same really unless we’re being pedantic)

    you called for someone who disagreed with you to be banned not so long ago, something along the lines of “If I were running this site” I’m not wasting my time reminding you as you well know what you said.

    I was going to say thank our lucky stars you are NOT running this site, but I couldn’t be bothered as it serves no purpose, much like all my interactions with you.

    Do you attack Geoffs PDC with the same enthusiasm?

  20. Pete,

    as a reminder for those readers who care: what actually is behind your “you called for someone who disagreed with you to be banned not so long ago” assertion is a response I posted to a comment which stated:

    “If I have offended anyone up to this point it was certainly on purpose.”

    The comment was:

    my response was:

    But you spin this as if it were because “he disagreed with me”. Thanks for reminding everybody reading this site how you distort facts.

  21. This is tiresome, really Thomas, what is the point?

    You have failed to address the points made by the scientists in the video I linked, you admitted you didn’t even look at contra evidence, instead you derail the thread with personal insult.

    I hold the same pragmatic view of climate change as taught in Geoffs PDC, why do you feel the need to act like a climate lobby attack dog every time this subject comes up?

    Why is it I can have long adult, sensible conversations with Craig on this, where we disagree vehemently, without being insulted, and yet childish point scoring nonsense, peppered with insult, is your first line of attack?

    What is the yield of this thread to anybody? By jumping on the Global Warming bandwagon, Permaculturists are enabling bad policy, weather they decry the bad policy being done in the name of global warming or not. By promoting it, you are enabling bad policy, face it.

    It is evident that climate change threads will continue to be a mounting source of division, as people who previously believed the spoon fed pseudo-science of the IPCC, shovelled down their throats by MSM and the globalists, actually start to investigate the uncertainties of the “settled” science.

    What use, what yield, are climate change threads to the Permaculture movement? Besides division, antagonism, and ultimately misdirection from the primary reasons to act, principally Soil Erosion, Biodiversity loss, and pollution?

    Really I have far more important research to do than run down your semantic rabbit holes, get a grip man, and grow up.

  22. Pete,

    isn’t it bemusing how you now tell me to “grow up” when it actually was you who started this by posting a propaganda video by the climate change denialist industry to this thread.

    I just won’t let you get away that easily with spreading mis-information about science on this blog. But as blog readers will notice, I’m quite indifferent if it’s you or somebody else talking nonsense about science, or if it’s about climate change or other science related issues.

  23. What’s bemusing is how you know it’s mis-information when you don’t even look at it. That’s not scientific Thomas, it’s dogma.

    “Most scientists, on both sides, also agree on how much a given increase in the level of carbon dioxide raises the planet’s temperature, if just the extra carbon dioxide is considered. These calculations come from laboratory experiments; the basic physics have been well known for a century.

    The disagreement comes about what happens next.

    The planet reacts to that extra carbon dioxide, which changes everything. Most critically, the extra warmth causes more water to evaporate from the oceans. But does the water hang around and increase the height of moist air in the atmosphere, or does it simply create more clouds and rain? Back in 1980, when the carbon dioxide theory started, no one knew. The alarmists guessed that it would increase the height of moist air around the planet, which would warm the planet even further, because the moist air is also a greenhouse gas.

    This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

    That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

    Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

    This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.

    At this point, official “climate science” stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory”

    The evidence does not support the theory, some of that evidence was presented in the video you call “propaganda” without looking at it. I’ve seen plenty of propaganda from the warmist industry on here.

    Why can’t you accept people can hold a different view and still have the goals of Permaculture?

    Answer the points regarding Permaculture and explain what good these threads are to the movement, because I fail to see the value, even if CAGW were the big problem you think is.

    IS the climate change position taught on the PDC “propaganda” too then?

  24. How hard is it to understand that carbon dioxide traps heat? The planet is already in positive feedback, entire oceans are set to die, all this debating is going to seem pretty stupid when we are all dying of heatstroke and dehydration. Even if you dont believe in anthropogenic climate change, the practice of mining is undeniably destructive, and the legacy that oil has left in places like Nigeria and Ecuador is absolutely disgusting, beyond repair, you really have to have no compassion for the planet or things living in it if you support fossil fuels while fully comprehending the fallout of the industry. We should all be deeply ashamed in the west and getting rid of these primitive and dirty energy sources. They are worth trillions yet leave some of the poorest in the world to live in oil soaked landscapes? For decades? F**K that.

  25. Hi Emma

    “How hard is it to understand that carbon dioxide traps heat?” Not hard really, how hard is it to understand that Co2 slows so little heat from leaving our system that is inconsequential?

    “The planet is already in positive feedback” And your evidence for this would be?

    “entire oceans are set to die” Probably, nothing to do with Co2 though, more like pollution.

    “but all this debating is going to seem pretty stupid when we are all dying of heatstroke and dehydration.” All this debating seems pretty stupid now. AGW has conveniently diverted the environmental movement from addressing peak water too, but I doubt that was your point. All this debating will seem even more stupid when people are dying from hypothermia again this winter, as they were last winter, and the winter before that. If the Solar physicists are correct, in that we are heading for 20-30 yrs of cooling, all this debating will seem as stupid as stupid could be.

    “Even if you dont believe in anthropogenic climate change, the practice of mining is undeniably destructive, and the legacy that oil has left in places like Nigeria and Ecuador is absolutely disgusting, beyond repair, you really have to have no compassion for the planet or things living in it if you support fossil fuels while fully comprehending the fallout of the industry. We should all be deeply ashamed in the west and getting rid of these primitive and dirty energy sources. They are worth trillions yet leave some of the poorest in the world to live in oil soaked landscapes? For decades? F**K that.”

    I agree all except for “ We should all be deeply ashamed in the west” I have nothing to be ashamed about, I am trying to starve the “system” by refusing to pay their tax (I bet Thomas pays the higher rate too), besides the fact I’m implementing Permacuture design, WFT do I have to feel guilty about?

    I came here today to see if I could help anyone on the compost tea brewer thread. I think we’d all be better off researching and implementing Aerated Compost Tea systems than wasting our time on a non problem. It will address soil erosion (number 1 reason to act) it will address biodiversity loss (number 2 reason to act) and prevent pollution (number 3 reason to act) and hey, it could even sequester 600lbs of carbon per acre if you care about that!

    but no, lets use the subjects posted on the blog as a barometer to see what is currently important in Permaculture, and then waste each others time arguing instead

    Someone please explain the yeild from these climate threads in Permaculture terms.

  26. Pete,

    ad: “What’s bemusing is how you know it’s mis-information when you don’t even look at it. That’s not scientific Thomas, it’s dogma.”

    Isn’t it interesting how you keep on distorting things? I think I did go into quite some detail why the speaker in the talk you linked talks nonsense. If you bite into a rotten apple, you of course eat it all just to make sure it really was rotten, right?

    You keep doing this over and over and over again when it comes to climate physics. Quite many of your claims (physics related or not) are – technically – not a lie, like the one above: “you called for someone who disagreed with you to be banned not so long ago”. You did not actually claim that I called for this guy to be banned because he disagreed with me, but to everybody who is not aware of the details, it sounds as if it were so – which very clearly was not the case.

    A general remark: we are collectively in a situation that is difficult and dangerous in many ways. One of the major reasons that got us there was that people followed too readily some crooks and believed their oh-so-great stories. I think we agree on that.

    Now, do we stand any chance to turn things around if we do not make a conscious effort to address the core problem of people gullibly believing the lies of propagandists? I think we also agree on that answer.

    Of course, you have a very strong concept of who the propagandists are. But how do you know you did not make a major mistake when making up your mind on that? Tricky problem, right? Well, of course everybody has that problem – so do I. After all, how to know who’s right on an issue and who’s not?

    Fortunately, there are a few quite reliable methods to find this out. If somebody asks you to believe things that are in conflict with quite basic physics, that is quite a clear sign. You wouldn’t invest money into people trying to engineer a perpetuum mobile, would you?

    Now, the problem is that on this, you yourself have repeatedly been caught right here making demonstrably false claims about fairly basic physics, quite clearly with the intent to manipulate other people’s opinion towards buying the story of known frauds such as Fred Singer on climate change.

    Look at you. You clearly are on a mission to spread the Fred Singer gospel in the comments to pretty much each and every climate related posting on this site. Oh how you would love to get away with this, without drawing rectifying comments from people who actually do happen to see the contradictions between your claims and basic physics. Note that I say “basic physics”, not “climate science”. Quite a number of the things you’ve been claiming in the past sound absurd to anyone with a sound physics education – even if one is completely agnostic about atmospheric physics.

  27. One mans science is anothers propaganda, it works both ways. I see the IPCC position as a distortion. I find your claim that you do not back the IPCC as disingenuous, I think you agreed the hockey stick should be dropped (well you tried to disown it at least) yet you still seem to believe todays temps are unprecedented.

    This puts things in perspective, something your stance lacks.

    Nothing I have posted disregards basic physics, but neither does it take it beyond the science/evidence as you and the IPCC do.

    Can you put these threads in a Permaculture perspective? Clearly not.

  28. Pete,

    I’ve cut down my response to just two points:

    “Nothing I have posted disregards basic physics” – this, I can by now confidently call a lie.

    Ad “Can you put these threads in a Permaculture perspective? Clearly not.” – so you come here to spread your propaganda, for which the question what the permaculture yield (to use your term from earlier above) is certainly does not arise, but when you get debunked, you try to hide behind “that’s not relevant for permaculture”? Well, shouldn’t have started on your propaganda trip then in the first place!

    Note in particular that you keep on spreading propaganda even in the post above, where you simultaneously complain that replies that debunk such stuff were “permaculture off-topic”.

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