What's climate change ruining today?

Got a chart for the ph levels of the ocean basins of the Earth ?


Oh for fuck’s sake. The greenhouse effect is a trivial result of thermodynamics/statistical physics, which as far as we know, there are no exceptions to, and which we understand extremely well and can use to make accurate predictions about an enormous range of phenomena. We can see the same effect on Venus, and we can see the other side of it in the missing bands in the spectra of stars, which we use to identify the gases outside their photospheres. In the case of Earth, we can measure the extra energy (IR radiation) being re-emitted back towards earth, in accordance with the predictions of thermodynamics, and we can see the missing bands in the Earth’s blackbody spectrum from space. The extra energy has to go somewhere.

Rather than quoting bullshit, I would suggest that, in the future, you begin your denialist screeds with how you would set up and solve the relevant blackbody problem, and how you would test the conclusions you came to, both in the form of systems in nature that behave as you would expect, and simple experiments that you would perform. (Hint: they’ve probably been done already) If you can’t do this, please have the good grace not to bother us over here at the grownups’ table, where we don’t ignore basic physics when we don’t like the answers it gives.

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Maggie: Your undergraduate degree in journalism and anthropology ill prepared you to delve into the details of climate “science.”

The site all of your links are from is run by evangelical Christian comic pane artist John Cook who is not only fond of hosting images of himself and buddies as Nazis on his site, but was recently involved in not one but two brazenly fraudulent studies of skepticism, the first being a survey of skeptical blogs that was mainly posted to AGW enthusiast blogs instead of skeptical ones as claimed, and the second being a “confirmation” of the original bogus 97% consensus claim in which he studied paper abstracts using the bizarrely boutique term “global climate change” instead of the legitimate term that reverses his results which is “climate change,” and which the actual scientists who wrote those papers quite loudly rejected. The original 97% claim was based on a survey that was so generic that the vast majority of skeptics are also in that “consensus” which merely considers that recent warming has been enhanced by the greenhouse effect, not that it has serious policy implications.

Do you have any idea how frustrating it is when the response to posting of hard data plots is a bunch of links to a laughing stock site and a snarky “Hope that helps!”?

What else can I say to make people like you actually look at hard data instead of propaganda sites?

“While the claims quoted below aren’t exactly what you’re saying…”

No, they are not what I or the majority of serious skeptics are saying at all, whatsoever. They are a crafty junk scientist’s dragging of serious skeptics into straw man arguments. For instance, you parrot “…that includes empirical evidence that the planet is accumulating heat.” as if skeptics claim that there’s no warming at all, which is not the claim being made. The claim is that the current pause in warming and possible cycle change to cooling falsify the computer models that form the very backbone of climate alarm. This outlook comes not from skeptic blogs but from mainstream climatologists themselves, as Climategate helped reveal, and blogs merely started pointing out after digging up dozens of quotes from frantic climate modelers.

If liberals double down now and dig a deeper hole for themselves, the backlash will lead to the likes of President Palin who even condemned fruit fly research, one of the main pillars of biology. I’m sorry, I’m not as organized as six figure professional Greenpeace activists, but I am an avid BB reader who remains perplexed by the air of superiority expressed by people who have never been in a research lab after midnight, every night, for months and years and so fundamentally lack experience in empiricism.

If a plot that shows that your own city and my city too and the city where climate policy is created and the city where climate treaties are negotiated all show no upswing from their multi-century natural trend, and I include data sources that are official, and you just flippantly dismiss them, I’m afraid anti-science Replublicanism wins very big, since this time they spotted corruption and you have demonstrated that straw man based nitpicking is enough of an argument for you and that you are thus incompetent, as it seems may be the case of your whole hipster generation.

Are you even aware that the main skeptic clearing house site has banned cocky theories that there is no greenhouse effect?! We call those guys “Sky Dragons.” Are you even aware that computer models add a whopping (3X) amplification of the old school greenhouse effect based on water vapor, and that it is this highly speculative hypothesis forms the basis of all climate alarm?

Diagrams of what types of books liberals and conservatives read show that neither side tends to even look into opposing arguments.


Serious skeptical voices have been banned by your own blog in the past and indeed banned by the main AGW enthusiast sites. They do allow newbie skeptics and Glenn Beck listeners in though, strategically. John Cook is notorious for this and for allowing in a few initial serious critiques and then suddenly banning followups and then subsequently editing of his original content. Are you aware that the main Hockey Stick Team web site, RealClimate.org was registered by the very same professional PR firm that was behind both the junk science silicone breast implant scare the bankrupted Dow Corning and the vaccine/autism scare that destroyed the lives of thousands of kids? It’s not a conspiracy theory I offer here, just bemused finger pointing at how activist federal funding of both R&D and green energy and banking schemes drags in some rather curious company.

Serious skeptics have this to say: Yes it’s warming, and lots of things are changing because of it. Yes, the greenhouse effect is retaining some extra heat. But no, history is not a hockey stick and climate does not suffer from massive amplification of the greenhouse effect and best of all, warming helps expand the biosphere along with a massive double digit percentage boost in plant growth and ocean calcification exactly due to plant and algae currently being starved of CO₂ . To spend money now on emergency measures steals money away from the basic science R&D, and in an era of growing antibiotic resistance and a permanent recession this is not only going to bankrupt young adults but kill them too. The amount already spent on Global Warming schemes would alone have paid off all of your student loans. We are not attacking science, but defending it against yet another attack on it indeed, pissed off that our old friends still in academia cannot yet risk speaking out since the heads of the agencies that fund their career would make a public example of them and ruin their lives.

The quote from Tim Leary on my global temperature infographic fits this debate quite well given that the funding ratio of Global Warming supporters to skeptics is about 1000:1 with tobacco farmer and now petrodollar mogul Al “Jazeera” Gore alone tossing $300M into climate alarm media campaigns…


Posting this costs me profitable work time, personally, but saying nothing about your continual climate alarm posts here wasn’t good for my nerves.

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. (Columbia/Harvard)

“The greenhouse effect is a trivial result of thermodynamics/statistical physics…”

I addressed your straw man argument in my long reply. At the real Big Boy Table, you know, the one where members learn science by spending holidays and weekends in real Ivy League laboratories with fume hoods and spectrographs instead of just supercomputer terminals, we actually read books from both sides of the debate, which you have now publicly demonstrated that you do not, for fuck’s sake.

“When you seriously oversimplify things …”

They are just plots, dude! Plotting them simply for a lay audience is not dishonest. If old real thermometer and tide gauge records really were hockey sticks instead of toothpicks and thus did support instead of debunk the amplified greenhouse effect hypothesis, you and I both know they would be plastered all over IPCC reports and environmentalist brochures. Do you want to see real disingenuity about the Central England temperature record? Try this, from one of the central characters involved in Hockey Stick Team science, and also see how I overlay plotted the global average to show how Central England is actually a great proxy for it and not just local variation:


And look what Team Hockey Stick is now promoting via Maggies’ favorite SkepticalScience blog and sincerely compare it to what real thermometer records show happened or didn’t happen during the major upswing in postwar emissions:


In that study which Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann celebrated extensively online, Marcott re-dated his original Ph.D. thesis data in order to get that final headline grabbing upswing by simple data drop off at the end and yet it passed peer review in Science magazine (!). All of this stuff is on skeptical blogs and now books you can get on Amazon such as “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” They are not conspiracy theory books, motivated by politics. Hockey sticks are made by pasting thermometer data onto proxy data which suffers from a lack of century scale sensitivity, so precedent for our current warming spike is whited out.

Global Warming is the same type of government sponsored junk science that promoted the Food Pyramid that told everybody to eat processed carbs and avoid satiating fats, all based on lobbying by Ancel Keys of the UofMN as he too promoted a “single bullet theory” in which cholesterol intake controlled heart disease, just as the Carbon Footprint Counter now promotes carbon dioxide as the controller of climate, both theories proudly failing to consider how both physiology and climate are full of homeostatic feedback mechanisms, and especially how junk science hurts people and in this case steals billions away from basic science R&D so the synthetic organic chemists and biologists who might save you from cancer and hospital infections are now unemployed.

John Cook’s book that I own has a picture of a Global Warming activist who denies natural climate change on its cover:

John Cook is an academic drop out, revealed by the Wayback machine:

His site partner, Dana Nuccitelli, who doubles as Maggie’s equivalent at the Guardian newspaper blog, works at Tetra Tech, an engineering company that receives $300M green energy grants and who was also runner up in designing the Keystone pipeline. You don’t need to organize a conspiracy when a money grubbing frenzy will do just fine, thanks to Enron’s carbon trading initiatives that have now gone mainstream. But a conspiracy certainly helps:

“Badgersouth and I were just discussing the potential of setting up a coordinated “Crusher Crew” where we could pull our collective time and knowledge together in order to pounce on overly vocal deniers on various comments sections of blogs and news articles.” - Rob Honeycutt (internal Skeptical Science forum, February 11, 2011)

I thought you guys liked whistleblowers, alas…

“A myth is a fixed way of looking at the world which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth, all evidence supports that myth.” – Edward de Bono

OMG, Nik. What a troll. I can’t believe Boing Boing hasn’t banned you and deleted your comments yet. You would not last five seconds on my site.

NikFromNYCeeeee is, unsurprisingly, lying about a whole host of things here.

Let’s start with his complete dishonesty about John Cook’s relevant background.

John Cook is currently completing his PhD at the University of Queensland, where he is the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute. His doctoral work is, amusingly, concerned with the very behavior “Nik” is displaying here, and how it relates to communications on climate change.

Nik is also lying about the recognition mainstream climate science, and the Skeptical Science website, show for the significant role of natural variability and non-human forcings have played in the climate system over a variety of timescales. Nik is either lying or confused about the distinction between recognizing that the present warming is being driven on multidecadal timescales overwhelmingly by increases in GHGs like CO2 vs. the primary role natural variability and non-anthro forcings play and have played on interannual timescales as well as during periods of past climatic change.

Nik is also lying about the purported benefits CO2 is supposedly having on crops. Lobell et al., 2011 found that improvements in technology and the supposed benefits from CO2 were being largely balanced out and (in the case of corn and wheat, overwhelmed by): climatic stressors:

“[I]n the cropping regions and growing seasons of most countries, with the important exception of the United States, temperature trends from 1980 to 2008 exceeded one standard deviation of historic year-to-year variability. Models that link yields of the four largest commodity crops to weather indicate that global maize and wheat production declined by 3.8 and 5.5%, respectively, relative to a counterfactual without climate trends. For soybeans and rice, winners and losers largely balanced out. Climate trends were large enough in some countries to offset a significant portion of the increases in average yields that arose from technology, carbon dioxide fertilization, and other factors.”

I could go on, but it’s pretty clear that “Nik” is just looking to spread FUD rather than have a legitimate, evidence-supported discussion of the issue.


Nik, what department were you in at Harvard?

Nik, you’re being demeaning towards your host.

They’re plots with a trendline you claimed showed a continuing natural warming trend, which is dishonest, since a best-fit line would not bend no matter how much the climate changed. Now you’re dishonestly claiming they’re “just plots”, to hide that you tried to sneak a wrong interpretation into them.

Of course, that’s only the beginning of what you’re lying about, and I am happy to see Peter Jacobs taking you to task for the rest. I just wanted to make sure anyone uninformed had a chance to understand exactly why your plots don’t say anything you claim they do.

“Nik, what department were you in at Harvard?”

Chemisty. My Ph.D. is in organic (carbon) chemistry, including pure carbon in the form of strained graphene segments. I worked three years with George Whitesides with extensive (ugh!) time at M.I.T. in their clean rooms and laser facilities. I lived carbon chemistry in real labs for over a decade, and most of that was Ivy League hours, not state school ones.


P.S. Thanks for jumping on the ban bandwagon, and thus revealing that indeed it exists, as I claimed above. Your own background is quite revealing, but I hadn’t heard of you before today’s search of the main clearinghouse site:

P.S.S. Just because you’re panicking about losing a now fair (thanks to the Internet) debate does not qualify your opponent as being a “troll.” By your definition, the formal Oxford Debating Society recently “trolled” Global Warming enthusiasts too by concluding: "That this House would put economic growth before combating climate change.”

Personal attacks, accusations of dishonesty, name calling, desperate ban campaigns… Dude, if you want to see hockey sticks where everybody else can clearly see toothpicks, I suggest you are among the double digit percent of people who suffer from the form of group think that psychologists regularly confirm exist in decision making committees who are fed false opinions by paid actors. Arab oil money and green banking schemers can afford whole armies of paid actors, Al “Petrodollars” Gore alone announcing $300M public relations campaigns (!).

“…a fit line would not bend no matter what.”

There is one plot that a line will not fit: a hockey stick! There is a plot which a line fits nearly perfectly: a fuzzy toothpick.

The vast majority of tide gauge records are also fuzzy toothpicks that are objectively clear matches for linear trendlines and not bent hockey sticks. At the current unchanging New York City trend, the current National Geographic cover image of a half sunken Statue of Liberty would require twenty thousand years. But the trend remains the same (TTRTS):

“Nik, you’re being demeaning towards your host.”

Those who condescend earn no right to be demeaned? Must I be a saint to present data and analysis for consideration? Is tobacco farmer Al Gore a saint, the one who calls Apollo astronaut skeptics “moon landing deniers”? My host is quite happy to regularly allow anti-science and Holocaust survivor demeaning slurs like “denier” to fill entire threads. Jim Hansen’s right hand man who runs RealClimate.org during work hours above Tom’s Diner up the street from me here at Columbia, even he has strong words demeaning your opponents with such a label:


The hypocrisy that infects Climatology members is notorious. I even made a pretty logo for you guys…

It was part of a much larger and for me quite cathartic 2010 scrapbook of climate claims:

Here’s a chart showing random data from 0 to 2, and then with an exponential added from 2 to 3:

The line isn’t a good fit, but they’re not good fits in your charts either, and you didn’t bother to look at the quality of fit before presenting it as proof the leading scientists are all scammers. So yeah, you can draw a line through anything, even though you shouldn’t. I think that is enough to show anyone whether you are being honest.

As for name calling, you just made fun of Maggie for her anthropology degree, Cook as a Nazi sympathizer and dropout, and Gore for I don’t even know what to do with Al Jazeera, as well as complete nonsense attacks on everyone to do with climate studies except some known-to-be-dishonest people like Watt. So you can complain about being called a liar for no better reason than being caught lying, but really, why should anyone care?

“Here’s a chart showing random data…”

Now fit a hockey stick instead of a line to a group of old real thermometer or tide gauge records to immediately convert 95% of skeptics to your argument. Simple plots are not lies, but you do seem to have an issue with lying eyes. Simple plots of real data deviate from a linear trend a mere twenty years or so at a time over many centuries and otherwise hug it like ants crawling along a telephone wire. A single cycle drawn in a computer room I very much agree does not merit a linear fit. We are in total agreement there. A single cycle such as you offer affords no historical baseline trend to compare recent variation to, like real T and sea level records indeed very much do.

“I don’t even know what to do with Al Jazeera.”

You mean you are unaware that divinity major Al Gore who got undergraduate Ds in science just sold his Current TV cable channel for half a billion petrodollars and it is now the US version of Al Jazeera or do you mean you just don’t know what to make of a vast well of hypocrisy? Do you know what to “do” with his mafia movie worthy seaside palace?:

nik, its awkward to watch someone insult their hosts and then whine about how they get banned for their controversial ideas.

If you get the ban you’re seeking, it will be for making personal insults, not for blowing hot air about climate science.

In fact, I applaud your efforts at recycling. I wish you were recycling paper and plastic and not flawed denialism arguments while dragging the holocaust into an unrelated discussion, but hey, it takes all sorts to fill a freeway.

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“If you get the ban you’re seeking, it will be for making personal insults…”

Count the insults on the page, dude, and contrast and compare. Here I have been accused of being: “disingenuous,” of “quoting bullshit,” of not being at “the grownups’ table,” and that links to a smear site are offered up as being “helpful” as a paid activist with a history of libel labels me a “troll” and best of all I have been “caught lying” for fitting trendlines to official data and from you that I am “blowing hot air.”

Each and every reply is an unmoderated spitfire insult, including your own which calls for bans on insults.

This is just delightful at this point, as it is insultingly insisted that I respond to a barrage of insults and condescension with pacifism instead of normal human defensiveness.

Skepticism used to be hard. Now it’s a gentleman’s hobby, a great break during my highly technical workday. Back to gold diffraction gratings now! The UV cured epoxy warped last time, in the wrong direction to be useful. Gads!


P.S. In your current BB/EFF fight against Big Brother, you (liberal libertarians) need us skeptics (real nerds) much more than we need you.

Yes nik, you’re the real victim here. Enjoy your day.

I also work with fume hoods and a wide variety of physical experiments, and am not a climate scientist, but simply a physicist who uses statistical physics on a daily basis to design computer chips. I also use COMSOL and Simulink to model the systems I study, so I have some experience with both the power and the limitations of computer models. I think, if you investigated the matter, you would find that most of the cutting edge engineering of the technical marvels that surround us relies heavily on the computer simulations that you seem so quick to utterly disparage.
From your response, it seems like you admit that GHGs are causing anthropogenic global warming, but you don’t think it’s as much as the people who have bothered to run the calculations seem to think it is. It also seems like you don’t think that increasing the temperature will increase the water vapor concentration, or melt permafrost, releasing methane, and that those couldn’t lead to a positive feedback effect. Please correct me if I’m wrong about that. Also, when I said that we can see the extra IR radiation, I meant that they actually check their models against the actual spectrum we observe on the surface right now, and that those data are in line with their predictions. The extra energy is there and the recent pause in warming was interesting, because the energy has to go somewhere. They recently found it in the deep ocean, which is acting as a heat sink, hence the pause.

The basic point though, is that, when you are dealing with a situation in the natural sciences where there is a strong consensus among specialists in a field, the only people in a position to disagree with that consensus without falling prey to Dunning-Kruger syndrome are specialists in the field. For an organic chemist to think he knows more about climate science than climate scientists would be like me, as a physicist, telling a bunch of biologists that they don’t know shit about gene expression.

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