Climate deniers? Science deniers?


I am astonished (well, maybe by now not very astonished) at the hubristic way in which Warmists like to refer to sceptics as “climate deniers”.  (We deny that a climate exists? No.  We deny that it changes?  No.  We deny that the earth seems to have got slightly warmer in the last 100 years? No. We do not).

And now I notice the phrase “science deniers” creeping into the debate (or should I say, into the abuse?).  Same questions apply.  Do we deny the principles of science? No.  Do we deny the second law of thermodynamics?  No.  Do we deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?  No.

But it seems that the Warmists are quite happy to deny that atmospheric physics is an inexact science, that the earth’s climate system is non-linear, complex and chaotic (chaotic, that is, in the mathematical sense).  They seem happy to deny that recent changes in mean global temperatures are entirely consistent with well-established, long-term cyclical patterns that owe much more to astronomy than to atmospheric physics.  They seem happy to deny that over the very long-term, there has been just about zero correlation between levels of atmospheric CO2, and climate.And they deny (or fail to notice) that with regard to the undeniable correlation over the last 600,000 years or so, CO2 levels lag temperature, suggesting (if you understand the first principles of science) that temperature drives CO2, and not vice versa.

The fact is that both alarmists and sceptics agree (broadly speaking) about the underlying science.  We take broadly the same data, but we reach different conclusions.  Climate science is not like arithmetic.  Arithmetic says two and two make four, and anyone who disagrees is just plain wrong.  But in climate science, there are many data sets, sometimes conflicting, and a complex climate system where conclusions are anything but clear and linear, and are open to interpretation.  For example the climate sensitivity of atmospheric CO2 is critical to any analysis, but the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report itself suggests a wide and range of values, probably (my emphasis) between 1.5oC and 4.5oC.

There is considerable evidence, and not only from the famous Climategate e-mails, that there are deliberate, widespread and systematic attempts — let us not be unkind and say to falsify, although that may be justified — let’s just say to cherry-pick data to fit a pre-conceived theory, rather than (in the proper scientific way) following the data, developing hypotheses and predictions based on them, and testing the hypotheses against further data.

US Senator Lamar Smith has set up an investigation of alleged biases in climate data.  If you have 2½ hours to spend, watch the hearing from December 2015 in the Science Sub-Committee of the Senate Commerce Committee. Meantime Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation is assembling a committee of distinguished scientists and statisticians to study and report on allegations of tampering with temperature data sets.

The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is reportedly resisting questions on the integrity of its data from the US Senate   There are at least grounds for suspecting the validity of some temperature data sets, especially of terrestrial temperature measurements.  There may well be proper grounds for adjustment of raw data, but we need to be reassured that the adjustments are fair and unbiased.

It is critical to stress that perhaps the largest study from the sceptical point of view is that done by Professor Fred Singer’s Non-governmental International Climate Commission, and it starts from essentially the same data as the IPCC, but reaches radically different conclusions.  Professor Singer is one of the most distinguished atmospheric physicists in the USA.  Sceptics would argue that the IPCC is not a scientific body, but an advocacy group tasked to promote the orthodox view.

We are told that “97% of scientists support man-made global warming”, although the study leading to that conclusion has been comprehensively rebutted.  But the fact is that global warming theory is not so much based on science and observations as on models and predictions.  This is the classical approach to science.  Observe phenomena.  Create theories to explain them.  Make predictions, and then test the predictions against observation.  Theories are never finalised (e.g. Newtonian mechanics were eventually overtaken by Einstein and relativity), although they can be falsified.

Warmists are keen on forecasts and models, but much less keen on testing their models and forecasts against observation.  So I was amused to see recently the following Tweet from a certain JWSpry: 97% of climate models say that 97% of climate scientists are wrong.  Models Are Running Too Hot”.  Check the graph at the head of this posting.

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35 Responses to Climate deniers? Science deniers?

  1. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    The real challenge is ahead:

    Can we forgive those who deceived us for seventy years (1946-2016) about the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a sincere effort to save society and themselves and from worldwide nuclear annihilation described in the last paragraph of Aston’s Noble Lecture on 12 Dec 1922?

    Forgiveness may be the only way to move forward in the evolution of mankind and the best way to avoid a social revolution that could return humanity to the Stone Age.

  2. Jim Hunt says:

    Hello again Roger,

    0) Your debating tactics seem to involve saying nothing whatsoever?

    1) What do you make of the evidence that 2015 global surface temperatures were the “warmest ever” (since modern records began) by a considerable margin?

    2) Have you read Rasmus Benestad’s paper entitled “A mental picture of the greenhouse effect” yet?

  3. Anyoldiron says:

    The pictures on television of President Bush addressing “the rest” on his decision not to ratify the Kyoto treaty, and to see the faces of “the rest” when he said he was aware that not one country had ratified the treaty, was a scene to behold.

    Each country appears to be so keen on Kyoto, particularly our country that has to be seen as goody-goody and leading the field, that I felt sure that there must be another side to it.

    My file on Kyoto is very large and from what I have read from the British angle, “most” if not all are keen to “save the planet” in every way imaginable, there does not seem to be one voice of descent. If there was, I have missed it. I noted the words spoken in “The Lords” when it revealed that at two points in the world’s history there have been catastrophic releases of methane hydrates from the ocean floors, which came at a certain point in the warming of the oceans, raising the temperature of the Earth by some 8 degrees. That question perhaps highlights my thoughts on the subject, because apart from some one sitting on the sea bed, plugging the hole from which the methane hydrates are emanating from, I doubt there is little else we can do. And so it goes on!

  4. davidbuckingham says:

    To unashamedly repeat myself, I still like the analogy of climate alarmism with eugenics through the whole first half of this century. For fifty years eugenics was universally believed by the most benignly regarded intelligentsia globally and rampant politically – until Hitler gave it a bad name. Here’s hoping we won’t need a similar illustration of the idiocy of climate alarmism before it’s abandoned.

  5. Climatism says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Good read.

  6. Richard111 says:

    Roger, I haven’t read all your essay yet. Just had to step in with a comment now. There is no such thing as a ‘greenhouse gas’. There are certainly radiative gasses but they CANNOT TRAP HEAT! They radiate the heat away or pass it to other atmospheric gasses via kinetic collisions. These other atmospheric gasses, nitrogen, oxygen and argon, some 99.7% of the atmosphere CANNOT RADIATE HEAT AWAY. But they can pass the heat energy vis kinetic collisions to the radiative gasses and so cool down. Lets us see if we can get some discussion on the science of heat transfer from the usual trolls.

  7. I am not following this debate because I am more interested in Europe at the moment.
    So thank you for the catch-up!
    Isn’t it encouraging how even the most dangerous and silly ideas can be persuasively put, generally agreed and then slowly fade into oblivion.
    If you do the i Ching, the two little entwined fish – one black, one white, have eyes of the opposite colour. This is deliberate because the stronger and more powerful the idea, the more likely it is to turn, all of a sudden, into its opposite.

  8. Richard111 says:

    Jim, interesting paper but seems too reliant on ‘models’.
    Sorry Roger, I think you are wrong. A molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere, roughly one for every 2,500 molecules, which are battering each other via kinetic collisions some billion times a second ARE WARMING THAT CO2 MOLECULE SUCH THAT IT CANNOT ABSORB RADIATION FROM THE SURFACE. Let is take local air temperature as being anywhere above 243K (-30C), gives us a fair altitude range up the atmosphere.
    Now that molecule which has been warmed by energy from the surface via conduction and convection and kinetic collisions is indeed radiating over the 13 to 17 micron bands, which constitutes about 18% of black body radiation for a temperature of 15C (288K).
    So we now have the surface radiating up and the CO2 molecules radiating down with energy at the same level. Please explain what is being warmed and how that warming happens.

    Simply put, CO2 molecules are already too warm to absorb any energy from the surface in the 13 to 17 micron bands.

    BUT, those same CO2 molecules can absorb energy from the sun over the 2.7 and 4.3 micron bands, energy with a temperature potential of 400C and 800C. Luckily those ‘hot’ photons don’t reach the surface.

    • Jim Hunt says:


      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      However I think you’ll find that physics is full of “models”. What else is there apart from equations of varying quantity and complexity, testable by experiment?

      • Ex-expat Colin says:

        “physics is full of “models””
        So it is but ultimately they have to express/animate reality and in the context of climate models… they don’t. Using them to drive policy that damages the lives of the poor on this planet is close to criminal.

        Can you explain “equations of varying quantity”.

        Complexity is rather irrelevant to those who construct and understand such expressions. And there exists falsifiability that appears often absent or perhaps unacceptable.

      • Jim Hunt says:

        I wonder how you format equations on here?

        E = mc²

        is easy to format, and of quantity 1. GCMs, on the other hand, incorporate equations of greater quantity and complexity.

        You are aware that there is only one Planet Earth? Many people think performing dangerous experiments on it is not a particularly cunning plan!

  9. Oliver K. Manuel says:

    AGW is only the latest front in the 70-year advancement of STALIN’S SCIENCE

  10. Richard111 says:

    No model required to show CO2 gas in the atmosphere cannot trap heat. Simple science and some understanding of the ‘science’ of photons helps. Be aware that ‘photons’ are a figment of scientists imagination yet I still read reports that refer to ‘photons’ as particles. Take HEAT. How do you measure it? By utilising molecular vibration. But molecular vibration is the term for HEAT!
    Lots of confusing stuff in the ‘science’ of CO2 generated global warming.🙂

  11. Jim Hunt says:


    CO2 gas in the atmosphere cannot trap heat.

    If that is indeed the case, how do you explain this simple laboratory demonstation of CO2 gas absorbing infrared radiation?

  12. Richard111 says:


    Weird! That would mean CO2 gas is a ‘black body’!!!

    CO2 has a very well defined radiative spectrum, mainly over the bands 2.7, 4.3 and 15 microns.
    Carbon dioxide CANNOT absorb light which occupies the 0.4 to 0.7 micron bands.
    Something seriously wrong with that demonstration. Bet he got a good increase in funding.🙂

  13. Jim Hunt says:

    Did you bother to watch the video Richard? In particular the bit at the beginning where Prof. Stewart says:

    “This heat sensitive, or infrared, camera”

    • Oliver Manuel says:

      Hi Roger,

      Have AGW critics perhaps focused too much on differences, rather than on common concerns among people for the totalitarian world government that abuses government science to control the public?

      Please scan and let me know your response to my reply (below) to The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

      Thank you for all you have done to try to address this problem. I look forward to your reply.

      With kind regards, Oliver

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Oliver Manuel > Date: February 17, 2016 at 9:40:40 AM CST > To: Megan Toombs > Subject: Re: MUSLIMS, H-BOMBS AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS: WHAT WILL BRING PEACE? > > Thank you, Megan. > > Stalin’s lock-step science in the old USSR was duplicated in the West after WWII ended. Anonymous reviews of research proposals and research papers allowed public grant funds to be used to build false “consensus” opinions to deceive the public, much as George Orwell predicted in the book he started writing in 1946, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” > > > > The primary goal seem to be totalitarian control of the whole world by the technique of 16th-17th Century Popes who opposed the scientific revolution: Hide from the public the FORCE that sustains sustains atoms, lives and planets in the solar system: > > > > I will forward a copy of this reply to a few other politicians, investigative reporters who are also trying to understand why science was used to deceive the public after WWII. > > With kind regards, > Oliver K. Manuel > Former NASA Principal > Investigator for Apollo > >

  14. Richard111 says:

    Yep. I’ve watched it three times now and it still does not make sense. I am sure you are aware that over every square metre of the worlds surface there is some 6kg of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere above. Rather more than the good professor can feed into that tube. Seems like the world should be much colder than it really. Good demonstration of how CO2 cools things down.

  15. Jim Hunt says:


    Seems like the world should be much colder

    I don’t follow your reasoning, so please can you elucidate? It’s a good demonstration of how CO2 warms up the surface of a planet with CO2 in its atmosphere.

  16. Richard111 says:

    Some serious science must be discussed but I will try and keep it simple otherwise this will take all day. First, that candle flame: the ‘light’ from that flame is mostly in 0.4 to 0.8 microns. CO2 cannot absorb those photons PERIOD. I will call Professor Ian Stewart a fraud to his face on that point alone. CO2 absorbs in limited bands of the NEAR infrared and FAR infrared as I point out above. Now I suggest you look up the transmission characteristics of GLASS. Over the ‘light’ bands transmission is 0.95 or better, glass is effectively transparent to light. But at 2.5 microns transmission drops to less than 0.4 getting worse as wavelength gets longer towards the far infrared. This is why glass is good for greenhouses, it can absorb a lot of infrared. Glass effectively absorbs more infrared than CO2 if you look at the respective Planck curves.
    That ‘demo’ simply does not stand up to close examination. The candle flame disappears entirely…. sheeesh!

  17. Jim Hunt says:


    Here are some example specifications for a range of infrared cameras:

    Please point me to the bit that mentions “0.4 to 0.8 microns”.

    Thanks in anticipation.

  18. Richard111 says:

    Thanks Jim, interesting link. My first EVER look at data for IR cameras. You are quite correct, IR cameras don’t record light in the 0.4 to 0.8 micron range. Obviously not required! Doh!
    That data file does not indicate micron ranges but does indicate temperature ranges. The most common seems to be -20C to +120c. I will take those temperatures as PEAK temperature for specific micron bands. There is a quick and dirty formula from Wien’s displacement law that gives you the micron range for blackbody temperature. Divide 2898 by the temperature in Kelvin and there you have the peak radiation in microns. So, -20 + 273 = 253K into 2898 gives us 11.4545 microns, and 120 + 273 = 393K into 2898 gives us 7.374 microns.
    Hmmm, that range of 7.347 to 11.4545 microns is not exactly close to any CO2 absorption figures. Let’s look at CO2; the 2.7 micron band has a peak temperature of 1073.33K (~800C) and the 4.3 micron band has a peak temperature of 673.95K (~400C). IR camera not seeing any of those temperatures. Now we look at the 15 micron band for CO2 which covers roughly 13 to 17 microns. Do the sums and you get -50C and -103C.
    So the IR camera can see from 11.4545 microns to 7.347 microns, non of which is blocked by CO2 absorption.
    So why did the candle flame disappear?
    My guess is the camera was switched to the 0C to 650C range which would have shown the 4.3 micron range being shut down by CO2 and the rest was already shut down by the glass layers at each end of the tube.
    I am going to call double fraud now because the 4.3 micron band can only absorb photons at the required energy for that band from the SUN (~400C). CO2 absorbs specific bands of sunlight which do NOT warm the surface. CO2 is a coolant in the atmosphere. PERIOD.

  19. Richard111 says:

    Sorry Jim, lost me there. Arctic ice and 7.5–13 µm ???
    Be great if you can get an explanation from Prof. Stewart as to why the candle flame disappears entirely in his demo.

  20. Anyoldiron says:

    Carbon Footprints.

    If you worry about the environment
    Look up at the sun in the sky,
    Politicians would have you think of CO2’s
    Environmentally, I don’t know why.
    Perhaps we take for granted
    The sun that shines each day,
    Even though at times it hides
    Behind those clouds of grey.

    But what if the sun burnt itself out?
    What would warm us up then?
    What if it exploded? Blew itself up?
    Turned the day into night again?
    Just suppose it fell right down
    Out of sight of our earth one day?
    To warm up another planet
    What would politicians then say?

    As the earth started to freeze right over,
    In a permanent kind of way,
    No more ‘hundred year’ cycles
    We knew of, in ‘global warming’ days.
    What happened to environmental tax
    We paid to save our world?
    Where is the “global warming” now?
    As my story starts to unfold?

    There is no doubt we need to recycle
    In this easy come and go world we live,
    We take resources out of the ground
    But nothing in its place we give.
    But to be spied upon, bugs in bins?
    Be watched and tagged is no fun,
    Make a mistake, an on the spot fine?
    Its what a dictator would have done?

    I have read the CO2 calculator,
    Worked out what is expected of us,
    The importance of greenhouse gases
    Of dry-ice, and the need to fuss.
    But without our sun, moon and stars
    The earth will surely die,
    These tales of carbon emissions
    Surely it wasn’t all a lie?

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