The Warmists fight back!

Following the launch of my recent poster campaign, a Derby academic, Dr Richard Pope, university reader in climate change, writing in the Derby Telegraph said I was probably correct regarding the “chaos” surrounding current climate change policies and the possibility of spending money unwisely. 

 But he added: “I disagree with his climate speak as it is riddled with misconceptions. “Mr Helmer suggests that a 0.7 degree rise is a well-established, long-term natural climate cycle. This simply is not the case. It is the greatest and steepest increase at any point in the last 600,000 years and is related to human-induced greenhouse gases, particularly C02 .

“Mr Helmer appears to appears to have misunderstood clear trends emerging from data. Perhaps rather than flying off to the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mr Helmer would have better spent his time improving his knowledge and current understanding of recent climate trends.”
Frankly, I am astonished that someone claiming to be an expert in the subject could be so ignorant of the facts.  I think Dr. Pope needs to do a great deal more reading on Climate Change!  In fact very similar rises took place before the Mediaeval Warm Period, and before the Roman Optimum.  That’s the last 2000 years, not 600,000.

Around 12,000 years ago, at the beginning of the current Interglacial, there was an event known to geologists and climatologists as “The Younger Dryas”, when temperatures rose at least ten times as fast as current rates.  According to the National Climatic Data Centre, part of the US government’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, temperatures in Greenland rose by 10°C in a decade, with similar changes reported around the world.  See
It is typical of climate alarmists that they make general, sweeping assertions, apparently in total ignorance of the facts.

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24 Responses to The Warmists fight back!

  1. Cimate change has been taking place – ever since our planet had a climate! Of course, there have (and always will be) significant fluctuations in temperatures from time to time. However, the climate alarmists continue to be selective, with the periods in history from which they make claims about our planet’s temperature. As Roger points out – the scientists who spread unnecessary fears about climate change rely upon making “general, sweeping assertions” (regardless of the facts). Their tehcniques of scientific analysis and interpretation, should be subjected to proper scrutiny by scientists who disagree with them – using mainstream media (in addition to scientific journals and books).

  2. tony leatham says:

    Hi Roger

    I am pretty stunned that this Pope character can make such outrageous statements. Shows why we have such a mess when plausible academics utter this type of nonsense with such confidence.

    Words fail me.


  3. Axel says:

    I saw that article in the Derby Telegraph, an what stuck me was this phrase… “Dr Richard Pope, university reader in climate change”. Pope then went on to make some unsupported statements, and this is hardly surprising to me however, because in fact Dr Richard Pope, is not actually the university’s reader in climate change at all.

    According to his official webpage at Derby University.

    ipse dixit:

    Dr Richard Pope
    Faculty: Education, Health and Sciences
    School: School of Science
    Subject Area: Geography
    Job title: Lecturer in Geography


    Beware ye liars and exagerrees,
    for the truth shall find ye out,
    So pray and beg there on your knees,
    for ye are a shame-ed chump, no doubt.

    • Robin says:

      Dr Richard Pope, so called University Reader in Climate
      Change, does not have a single publication in the subject. He is,
      however, brilliant at creditimg himself with other people’s work
      and lying his way into the subject. Wonder what the Univerity of
      Derby is doing!

  4. Robert Darke says:

    Dr.Richard Pope of Derby University has literally buried his head in the sand – he specialises in Soil and Mediterranean Geomorphology – probably making many trips to Greece and Spain on projects with students.
    How does he become the “city expert” ?
    I`d suggest an exchange visit to one another`s studies would be an eye-opener for him when confronted with Roger`s library!

  5. Jonathan Ward says:

    It strikes me every time that I read this blog that anyone who disagrees with any aspect of Roger’s various hypotheses and assertions on climate change is a ‘warmist’. This is not an adult or scientific way to debate.

    As for the claims about the medieval warm period and other climatic aberrations in the Holocene period, I’ll come to those in a moment.

    What Roger does not seem to ever enter is the problem of attribution. He seems to look at observation and detection when the ‘facts’ are convenient but not the causality. The current climatic variables taken together suggests the Earth is ‘operating in a no-analogue state’ (steffen, Sanderson, Tyson, et al. 2004). The climatic observations we are, and have been, witnessing are not explained by non-anthropogenic parameters alone, and indeed, this combination of parameters does not appear to be a reproduction of any other situation that has been identified in the work of quaternary geology.

    There are some interesting discussions on this and the MWP and the Little Ice Age in Frank Oldfield’s Environmental Change textbook from Cambridge University Press if people fancy a read.

    The balanced view is that the evidence from proxies shows a largely N.Hemispheric warming in that period, not a global warming, and with different parameters (e.g. Milankovitch, Maunder minimum, GHG levels, Albedo cover, Polar Ice Mass). There is dispute over the exact level of warming, and indeed the exact global level of temp in this period, but from what I have seen, globally, it’s well below today in climatic terms.

    The Little Ice Age did have a more pronounced global temperature coverage and may have been strongly correlated with the low sun-spot count (Maunder min) layered onto other sources of variability.

    There have been other abrupt changes, but this is largely due to positive feedback mechanisms, which means the temperature can swing strongly up or down in such a situation.For example the 8.2Kyr event in which a melting ice sheet (Laurentide) resulted in freshwater disturbance to the North Atlantic Deep Water (part of the oceanic conveyor belt if you like) which result in abrupt cooling.

    It’s always best to have a strong thesis for the causality of events before throwing ‘facts’ around.

    • Oh come on, Jonathan. The evidence for the MWP is clear and extensive and covers the whole world. As for causality, you don’t need to invoke an exceptional cause when the phenomenon you seek to explain is familiar, repetitive and cyclical. I discuss causality — and in particular the reasons why extra atmospheric CO2 can no longer exercise a significant warming effect — on my web-site.

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        Roger – I would dispute this. Which evidence? I would genuinely be interested to see it.
        Have you looked at Hughes and Diaz (1994), or Moberg et al. 2005 ( The latter does dispute some of the other more noted climate proxy reconstructions (such as Mann) but still attests that “The peaks in medieval times are at the same level as much of the twentieth century, although the post-1990 warmth seen in the instrumental data (green curve in Fig. 2b) appears to be

        It goes on to say “We find no evidence for any earlier periods in the last two
        millennia with warmer conditions than the post-1990 period—in agreement with previous similar studies. The main implication
        of our study, however, is that natural multi-centennial climate variability may be larger than commonly thought, and that much of this variability could result from a response to natural changes in radiative forcings. This does not imply that the global warming in the last few decades has been caused by natural forcing factors alone, as model experiments that use natural-only forcings fail to reproduce this warming. Nevertheless, our findings underscore a need to improve scenarios for future climate
        change by also including forced natural variability—which could either amplify or attenuate anthropogenic climate change

        I think this is what I call scientific debate. It is critical of existing assumptions and methods, which demonstrates that science is rather different than many commentators would like the public to believe.

        As for the cyclical aspects – is the 8.2kyr event or LIA cyclical in the same way as the glacial,inter glacial epochs are – or are you saying they are like stadial and interstadial epochs?

    • Jonathan: If you don’t like “Warmist”, what term would you prefer? Zealot? True Believer? I saw a suggested neologism this morning that might fit the bill: “Apocrophiliac”, suggesting someone who loves apocalyptic (and apochryphal?) theories.

      • Jonathan Ward says:

        I have demonstrated in my comments above that there is genuine debate going on to advance the knowledge in this area, particularly in the area of paleoclimatology and global climate modelling. These studies have clear methodologies and are grappling with the empirical evidence from proxies and using them to calibrate and test models.

        I’ve not seen any direct evidence from you to counter any of this.In particular, all you have suggested in this case is Fred Singer’s book. As I understand it, he is not currently working in research in this field (a retired atmospheric physicist). If I was to be harsh I’d be concerned by his alleged associations with the tobacco industry (see in attacking the science and work of the Environmental Protection Agency.

        Regardless of this, I’d still like it if you posted just a couple of the studies which support any assertion that the MWP was either more than a N/Hemispheric warming event, and that the average temperatures in this period, were statistically (and with a high significance level) above those in the past 30 and 150 years. I’d be more than happy to look through and review these.

        If you have several studies that support this, and perhaps they demonstrate evidence that that period is analgous to the current one in terms of climatic parameters, then we’ll let the evidence and strength of the studies speak from themselves.

        Finally Roger, names.

        I think when you start calling people names, you’re one step from losing the argument, and you diminish the debate by polarising a continuum of responses.

    • John says:

      Richard J. Pope alias Jonathan Ward and Richard J.?

  6. For those interested in following Mr. Ward’s query, I recommend Fred Singer, “Unstoppable Global Warming — every 1500 years”. He quotes dozens of examples of MWP evidence from all around the world, all supported by peer-reviewed research references.

  7. Mark Demmen says:

    ‘University’ of Derby. Need you say more?

  8. Charles Duncan says:

    Perhaps those gentlemen who say that the only explanation for the warming from 1970 to 1995 is the increase in CO2 will explain to me why we have had no statistically significant warming for the last 15 years, a period over which CO2 levels have continued to rise. Even Kevin Trenberth admits it is a travesty no one knows. And please don’t insult our intelligence by saying that it’s the difference between climate and weather.

  9. Amongst the responses to this blogpost, Jonathan Ward has demonstrated the fact that his clique of climate alarmists (and liberals in general) resort to making the issue a personal one – once forced to recognise that they have lost the argument. In this case, he attempts to dispute the meaning of a specific term in a vain attempt to suggest that he has reason to be offended.

    • Jonathan Ward says:


      your sentence does not make much sense to me. Could you point out which term I have disputed the meaning of?

      And why is it you still label me, and also suppose that this is something about politics, when the arguments on this post have centred on the science of temperature reconstructions and the evidence for analgous periods of higher temperatures in the Holocene to contextualise the current warming?

      I’m more than happy to stick to scientific discussion if you are?



      • Jonathan, it is the term “Warmist” as you know perfectly well. Roger has also suggested quite a good choice of alternative terms, for liberals of your kind. I will not discuss any subject with you from now on, since you still refuse to accept that there is no need for climate alarmism. The facts speak for themselves.

  10. Jonathan: “I think when you start calling people names, you’re one step from losing the argument, and you diminish the debate by polarising a continuum of responses”. Warmists typically describe dissenters as sceptics, or even as deniers (with a clear and pejorative reference to the Holocaust). I describe followers of the orthodoxy as Warmists. It’s a purely decriptive term, and not pejorative. I have invited you to suggest an alternative, and you have not done so.

    On the MWP, I have given you an excellent source of a wide range of peer-reviewed papers, and all you can come up with is childish smears about the tobacco industry. I certainly don’t have time to flip through the book and type out all the references for your benefit.

    • Jonathan Ward says:

      Roger I only asked for one or two references. If you have time?

      Perhaps I misunderstood your use of Warmists – it certainly came across as pejorative to me.

      You can call,label, people who are non-empirical in their processes, who believe in a faith-style manner in global warming, and are unwilling to acknowledge new areas of evidence or debate as warmists if that’s your wish.

      My point still remains, that you seem to be, and please correct me if I am wrong, polarising the debate into two camps. With Warmists being one of them.

      I have continually tried to debate with you, and also acknowledge deficits in knowledge, using best available evidence,that is subject to peer-review in recognised journals. Does this mean i lie in a non-warmists category? DO you not acknowledge a spectrum of opinions on the extent and implications of climate change, even amongst people such as myself who have seen no convincing evidence thus far to the contrary disputing the basic physics and chemistry of the links to anthropogenic forcings?

      So my answer is, don’t polarised and debase a much more complex and nuanced issue.

  11. Richard J says:

    Reply to Jonathan Ward December 16, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    You do seem to be prepared to consider evidence for a global MWP, but you current understanding is that it was a local event confined to the N hemisphere (NH). It is certainly true that there have been more proxy interpretations reported in the NH, and it may well be the case that cyclic climatic swings are genuinely more pronounced in the NH due to the disparity in ocean/land distribution affecting ocean and air current systems disparately in the two hemispheres. But the main reason is purely and simply a disparity in suitable opportunity sites for study. None the less, there are some quantitative MWP estimates from the SH, and a lot more qualitative ones.

    If you can bring yourself to explore the Medieval Warm Period Project pages from the CO2 Science website, without condemning it for being sceptical of CAGW, you will readily find the references you ask for, as well as summary quantitative and qualitative report counts clearly supporting Roger Helmer’s view.

    • Thanks Richard. Oh, and by the way, the current slight warming is more pronounced in the Northern hemisphere.

    • Jonathan Ward says:


      Thanks for your suggestion. I looked at the website, and the graphs and the abstracts. I did not find how they had accounted for their position or how they extrapolated their results from the papers mentioned, as there is no explanation. Neither could I find definitions on what is the Current Warm Period in terms of dates and temperatures and the source of this data. I have emailed them to see if they can respond to these questions and also to release the raw data.

      I will come back to you once I have got some response.



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