Dear Marc Morano: we say climate change, you say NASA moon walkers! NASA! Moon walkers! NASA, HOAX!

“Man walked on moon: therefore, climate change is a hoax”

For those new to the climate debate – or unfamiliar with day-to-day scandals that seem to consume the attention of climate “sceptic” and “warmist” bloggers – the biggest scandal these past few weeks has been the “Affaire Lewandowsky”

Professor Lewandowsky, and fellow authors Klaus Oberauer and Gilles Gignac, released a paper titled NASA faked the moon landing: therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science.

Their research indicated a strong relationship between climate change scepticism and a conspiratorial worldview.

It caused quite a stir in the climate “sceptic” community, with prominent sceptical bloggers such as Anthony Watts and others stating their objections to being called conspiracy theorists.

They’ve suggested the results were based on a flawed methodology and the product of a conspiracy between Lewandowsky and the founder of Skeptical Science, John Cook.

Meanwhile, on the blog Shaping Tomorrow’s World, Lewandowsky and Klaus Oberauer have been explaining the research methodology supporting their results and answering questions being raised by sceptics.

With this by way of background, the team who support the blog Watching the Deniers (actually it’s not one person, but a collective of anarcho-syndicalist-socialists committed to putting a wind turbine in every backyard and death camps for pensioners) thought it was in the public’s interest to have the issue resolved.

Thus we contacted Marc Morano, the owner of Climate Depot (one the most visited Climate Sceptic blogs in the world) and a man intimately involved in the climate debate for well over a decade.

Morano is noted for his strong views on climate change, and for posting the email addresses of scientists prominently on his blog so concerned members of the public can contact scientists and ask polite, refrained and penetrating questions.

Morano recently posted an editorial on his blog claiming the paper’s methodology was deeply flawed. He also noted the findings contradicted the views of former NASA astronauts who held sceptical views on climate change.

Marc joined us in a taped Skype discussion to explore this issue more fully.

Unfortunately during the process of backing up the sound file the power to the WtD offices failed – a recurring problem when relying upon the vagaries of solar power.

We are now investigating the possibility of installing a small, purpose-built fast-breeder nuclear reactor in the basement to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power. While the staff of WtD are dedicated to fighting climate change, we are only prepared to take our activism so far.

Fortunately we’ve preserved the transcript of our conversation, which we present below.

WtD interviews Marc Morano

Conversation: Saturday 15 September 2012, recording began 11:28pm EST.

WtD: Thanks for taking time away from running Climate Depot Marc.

Morano: Thanks for you time. Did I mention the part about NASA moon walkers yet?

WtD: You’ve made some strong allegations against Professor Lewandowsky and his colleagues, stating how “desperate” the tactics of the promoters of “man-made global warming” have become. You’ve also accused those researchers of facing “serious academic questions about their research methods”. Would you care to elaborate?

Morano: Sure, Moonwalker Jack Schmitt – he’s an astronaut you know – doubts global warming. Therefore Lewandowsky’s paper is wrong. He’s a moon walker.

WtD: I believe Schmitt did walk on the moon, but…

Morano: And he was once part of NASA. He rode a rocket. To the moon.

WtD: Yes, that’s true…

Morano: Yes, therefore climate change is not true. A NASA moonwalker said so. They’ve been to the moon. They’re astronauts.

WtD: I see…

Morano: Jack was on a rocket once or twice. And the rocket went “10, 9, 8, 7, 6….” Brrrrrrsh! Weeeeeeeee! Lift off!

WtD; Ok, back to the methodology you claim was somehow flawed for the NASA faked the moon landing, therefore (climate) science is a hoax” paper? Could you outline your concerns?

Morano: Jack said it was flawed. He told me: just the other day. He’s an astronaut you know. He’s a geologist. He’s pretty smart. And he’s been to the moon.

WtD: But the paper addresses the psychological aspects of climate change scepticism, so I’m not sure how Schmitt can comment…

Morano: He’s an astronaut. He’s been on the moon. And he worked for NASA once. To be an astronaut you have to work for NASA.

WtD: I believe that is axiomatic… but that does not refute the findings of the Lewandowsky paper.

Morano: Yes it does. You know who else said the paper was flawed? Joanne Nova, she’s also sceptical of climate change. She’s a blogger. She said the paper was the worst she’s, like, ever seen. I mean, like ever.

WtD: Sorry I don’t know who Joanne Nova is? Is she another astronaut who’s been to the moon?

Morano: Let me get back to you on that one… But did I mention NASA moonwalkers doubt climate change yet? The moon is like, really far away. It’s not like you can drive there, I mean… you have to be an astronaut who doubts man-made global warming to get there and…

WtD: I’m not sure that makes any sense Marc…

Morano: …and there are these, like rockets, that go “BRRRRRRRRSH!!!!!!” with fire and stuff! And did I mention climate change is a hoax?

Conversations ends.

42 thoughts on “Dear Marc Morano: we say climate change, you say NASA moon walkers! NASA! Moon walkers! NASA, HOAX!

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Please tell me this is parody? You know how sometimes some people act and speak in a way that makes you think it couldn’t possibly be true but then, having seen the way Marc Morano is at times and knowing he can act a bit beligerantly……
    If this is parody its very good because its just believable but if it isn’t then I would actually be a little bit surprised that he was THAT beligerant.

  2. john byatt says:

    WtD: Sorry I don’t know who Joanne Nova is? Is she another astronaut who’s been to the moon?

    No but her partner is a rocket scientist, so there

  3. […] Continue reading here: Dear Marc Morano: we say climate change, you say NASA moon … […]

  4. H says:

    Next they’ll be saying the moon, like controls tides and stuff. These guys walked on the moon. There were no tidal controls up there. They couldn’t cause a flood or part the Red Sea or anything. Only God can do that. So there.

  5. Moth says:

    Ha! Wind turbines – George would faint!

  6. Tony Duncan says:

    Typical warmist propoganda.
    I have READ Marc Morano and I have NEVER once heard him use the word “like” in that way. You guys are SOOO paranoid and gullible. I bet it was Peter Gleick, that lying scumbag fraudulent cheating Commie, who sent you a FORGED transcript of the interview. and you are now passing it off as a real inteview
    And while I KNOW climate change is a fraud, NONE of you have ever answered any of the questions regarding the faked moon landing. I watched the video proving the fake and it is so convincing that I don’t need to know anything else about it.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      You got us there! Dang it… Morano would never use the word “like” in a sentence twice. Bloody copy writer, will have to fire them! Our cunning piece of propaganda has imploded, thus exposing the massive $CAGW$ scam with it!!!!


  7. By the way guys, a former NASA astronaut by the name of James Irwin lead an expedition up Mount Ararat to find Noah’s Ark:

    “Beginning in 1973, Irwin led several expeditions to Mount Ararat, Turkey in search of the remains of Noah’s Ark. In 1982, he was injured during the descent and had to be transported down the mountain on a horse and then to the nearest hospital by Lieutenant Orhan Baser and his commando team. Lieutenant Baser was assigned to protect and lead the team on this expedition…”

    True story.

    • john byatt says:

      He is an idiot the creation museum found Noah’s ark years before and it is at their Kentucky exhibition, you even get a free 40 cubit Noah burger and coffee with every purchase of a Tshirt depicting the Historic event.
      The person who found Noahs ark was Eugene Dumday as reported by Salman Rushdie in the satanic verses

  8. Nick says:

    Am I seeing this right?

    Marc Morano is standing in front of an Accuracy in backdrop?!!!

    Why,I do believe he is!


  9. Barry Woods says:

    You may recognise Tom Curtis who is comenting at Shaping Tomorrows World, as a contributor and regular of Skeptical Science (and he is certainly not a fan of Mcintyre)

    But even he sees the problem with this paper (in quite strong terms (he commented further at Skeptical Science)

    If Tom’s sees this, what do other people here make of Tom’s thoughts?

    Tom Curtis:

    “It is very difficult to believe that the title is anything other than a deliberate attempt to be offensive so as to draw attention to a paper of poor quality, but which is thought to be useful for “messaging” in the climate wars. Steve McIntyre has incorrectly attempted to infer a moral condemnation of Lewandowsky from certain of my comments (now corrected). Let me leave no-one in any doubt. In choosing the title of his paper, Lewandowsky not only acted unscientifically, but immorally as well. It was a despicable act.”

    Is Steve Mcintyre a ‘denier’ by the way, in the opinion of this blog and others?

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Yes, McIntyre is a denier. And I’ve been tracking Tom’s comments since day one – it his opinion. I think he’s jumped the shark.

      • Barry Woods says:

        You’ve obvioulsy not met him, talked to him or followed his blog for amy length of time. Someone that has heard him speak, is:

        Professor Richard Betts (Met Office, Head of Climate Impacts, IPCC AR4 wg1 Lead author, now a IPCC AR5 lead author)

        Richard’s mind was open enought to go and see Steve Mcintyre speak and afterwards he tweeted. (by the way is Pielke a ‘denier’)

        @richardabetts @dougmcneall @RogerPielkeJr Yes that’s right, and yes I agree. On the basis of that talk, I’m astonished that McIntyre is called “denier”

        • Watching the Deniers says:

          No – I’ve not met SMc. No I’ve not talked to him. And yes I’ve followed his blog for years. His “work” is central to the myth the hockey stick is broken and he is a regular commentator on WUWT. He is a noted FOI fisher. Nice try. Interesting way you worry away at an issue, quietly trying to frame the conversation.

          Standard trope of the concern troll – faux offers to help, tactical focus on language and occasional shouting “a plague on both houses”.

          I mean, you’re just asking questions? Right?

          Interesting. But nah, aint gonna bite.

          Unless you have an actual point, I’m done. I’ve got a new game on the iPad to play.

    • Nick says:

      I think that response to the title by TC is OTT. It’s possibly a provocative title,but it’s the analysis in the paper that’s the important issue. I don’t happen to think it’s a very valuable work. Polling puts many people on guard. A more time-consuming,and obviously costly,review of actual comments at ‘skeptic’ and realist blogs would produce more detail and interest,plus the chance to study the history of shifting themes in denialism.

      Is Steve M a denier? Who cares about how much exactly of climate science he rejects? Look at what he is willing to talk about. He’s a quite clumsy political animal,and has played a role in furthering stolen emails myths. His lack of ‘auditing’,or interest in ‘audits’, of ‘skeptic’ papers and pamphlets is simple evidence he has only one eye. He stays well clear of observational evidence,most
      proxies,and physics. The strategy is to make dendro proxies look useless,but he’s not the authority his followers think he is. Obsessed with the framing: childish bullshit like ‘The Team’,etc. How very surprising that,if he collectivises and attacks a number of researchers,they WILL respond sometimes as a group.

      • Watching the Deniers says:

        See above. Well put.

      • Barry Woods says:

        when he says the team.. he is merely wuoting how ‘the team’ have referred to themselves.
        M Mann was even selling signed hockey sticks, just a little while a go!!

      • Nick says:

        Barry,I seem to remember that ‘hockey team’ saying was based on a realisation by McIntyre that palaeoclimatology had thrown up a lot of independently derived ‘hockey sticks’,and he coined the expression. This was picked up by paleoclimatologists…they did not refer to themselves as ‘the team’; it was the ensemble of recons that was ‘the team’.

        Since then,McIntyre has broadened the application to the personal. Since the framing has become so ubiquitous,it’s little surprise that palaeo people have resigned themselves to it.

        Re Richard Betts’ assessment, well you have to look at McI’s strategy for that London audience,cutting his cloth,so to speak…as I said,look at the themes on his blog and the conspicuous absence of interest in moving off the ground he regards as safe. Look also at his role in Wegman,so carefully analysed by Deep Climate,and McI’s avoidance of that. McI’s deafening silence on incompetent stats
        by his occasional associate McKittrick also speaks volumes…given his expressed
        passion for excellence. A perceived need to keep alliances may be compromising his own real voice… He is certainly very focused on himself,and putting himself at the centre of a story. That’s understandable in the sense of keeping track of exchanges and narratives,and having a story to keep your readership involved,but I think his self-regard is a little overbearing.

        According to accounts, McIntyre told his London audience-where Betts met him- that “policy makers were failing to prepare the public for climate change and had become obsessed with ‘petty acts of virtuous behavior'”….! Sure,McI is not a policy maker,but that pretty much sums up his own work in seven years of pretty intensive blogging!!

  10. Barry Woods says:

    concern troll -!? 😉

    Just trying to point out t oany passing reader that if a IPCC lead author, Professor, and Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office, and who advises the UK government, thinks Mcintyre is not a ‘denier’.

    Why should anyone be concerned by a blog called ‘Watching the Deniers’ by a chap called Mike.

    • Barry Woods says:

      I think the M Mann signed hockey sticks were $300 !!

      I was even tempted myself..

    • Nick says:

      I think that Richard Betts really doesn’t have a full handle on McIntyre. That isn’t surprising as Betts has better things to do than endlessly follow blogs like we semi-retirees 😉 Don’t rush to judgement,Richard!

      There’s an ‘account’ -more a hagiography- of McIntyre and his speech in ‘The Register’ which is a good laugh. Apparently some audience members were surprised to hear McI advocate IPCC positions when he’d “done so much to demonstrate its work provided a poor empirical base for policy-making”. So much? A few contentious claims about a couple of palaeo studies and a lot of idle speculation is ‘so much’?

  11. Tony Duncan says:


    I only occasionally have looked at McIntyre’s blog, and i would classify him as a denier solely on the basis of his lack of ANY “auditing” of the massive amounts of garbage that passes throught the denier blogosphere. I am not a scientist and while I have a decent undertanding of physics and scientific principles, I can’t engage in many of the specific argumtents he makes.
    But in order for me to consider him a sceptic. i would have to see some evidence that he is sceptical of claims from both “the consensus” view” and the denier view. Since I have never seen him do so, I do not take any of his work seriously unless someone who I do not see as one sided agrees with him.

  12. James says:

    I’ve been following the debate between Steve McIntyre and Stephan Lewandowsky regarding the quality of the questionnaire, the survey methodology, the statistical analysis and conclusions drawn in the paper, as no doubt have other interested parties.

    It is doubly interesting because both Lewandowsky and McIntyre attended the University of Toronto at about the same time. Lewandowsky was in the Psychology Faculty while McIntyre was in the Mathematics Faculty. In a more recent blog McIntyre pointed out some problems and stated he was unable to duplicate Lewandowsky’s results using his data. Lewandowsky retorted in his blog (after attempting an explanation for the discrepancy) that perhaps McIntyre needs to revisit Multivariate Analysis 101.

    McIntyre’s detailed response – having the benefit of Lewandowsky’s ‘explanation’ is linked below. I have extracted is final couple of paragraphs because the gloves are coming off well and truly, and if Lewandowsky thinks he can support his analysis then surely he would have a case for defamation against McIntyre: (Note: while I am qualified myself in this area, I have not taken the time to check McIntyre’s work so I’m not going to place bets. But given the shoddiness of the Lewandowsky survey, his poor study methodology, and limited data, and lack of controls over ‘gaming’ the survey, it wouldn’t surprise me to find there are basic errors in data analysis too.)
    Lewandowsky’s Accusations

    Lewandowsky ended his blog post with the following accusation about McIntyre:

    There are two explanations for this obvious flaw in Mr. McIntyre’s re-“analysis”. Either he made a beginner’s mistake, in which case he should stop posing as an expert in statistics and take a refresher of Multivariate Analysis 101. Or else, he intentionally rigged his re-“analysis” so that it deviated from our EFA’s in the hope that no one would see through his manufacture of doubt.

    McIntyre responded as per the URL link above, finishing with:

    As noted above, the reason why I was unable to replicate Lewandowsky’s explained variance claims was because they were incorrect – they came from the eigenvectors (from principal components) and not the factors (from factor analysis). The person who appears to be in need of Multivariate 101 is Lewandowsky himself.

    Lewandowsky’s attempt to divert attention to the number of retained factors was a fabricated diversion on several counts. I made no attempt to emulate lewandowsky’s unreported retention procedure. I used two factors to analyse the FM question not because of a “fiat” on my part, but because Lewandowsky himself had used that number. Nor did I propose the use of two factors for the third (CO2) analysis: I noticed that 86% explained variance arose with two factors. As matters turned out, Lewandowsky had made a different error – one that I had not guessed in my previous post, but one that pervaded his other factor analyses as well.

    Lewandowsky repugnantly alleged that I might have “intentionally rigged his re-“analysis” so that it deviated from our EFA’s in the hope that no one would see through his manufacture of doubt.”

    Lewandowsky’s results are bogus because of his reliance on fake and fraudulent data, not because of replication issues in his factor analysis. Nor do I believe that there should be any “doubt” on this point. In my opinion, the evidence is clearcut: Lewandowsky used fake responses from respondents at stridently anti-skeptic blogs who fraudulently passed themselves off as skeptics [to] the seemingly credulous Lewandowsky.

    That Lewandowsky additionally misrepresented explained variances from principal components as explained variances from factor analysis seems a very minor peccadillo in comparison (as I noted at the time.) On this last point, to borrow Lewandowsky’s words, there seem to be two alternatives. Either Lewandowsky “made a beginner’s mistake, in which case he should stop posing as an expert in statistics and take a refresher of Multivariate Analysis 101″.

    Or else Lewandowsky, cognizant of how thoroughly compromised his results are by fake/fraudulent data, rather than thanking his critics for spotting defects and withdrawing his study, has decided to double down by trying to manufacture doubt about criticism of the degree to which his data and results have been thoroughly compromised in the “hope that no one would see through his manufacture of doubt.”

    • Tony Duncan says:


      I do not have the expertise to make heads or tails of this argument. I will assume that you analysis of this is exactly correct, and Lewandowsky’s paper is fatally flawed. If so, it should be roundly criticized and either retracted or changed to fix the mistakes ( removing any data that is shown to be suspect, etc).

      Even if this is the case and the study is seriously flawed that does not mean the main conclusion is wrong. In reading denier/sceptic blogs over the last three years I have encountered exactly the phenomenon that the study is alluding to, to such a degree that I would be shocked if it was NOT true that commenters and many denier/sceptic blogs have a much higher preponderanc of unsupported conspiracy thinking than blogs and commenters that support ACC. In fact about the only thing that comes close to “conspiracy” thinking that I encounter of ACC blogs is funding by fossil fuel companies, which while the claim is clearly often exaggerated falls intot he realm of typical political accusations of bias and financial hanky panky that all sides constantly accuse each other of.

      In fact I just brought this issue up with you, and as I will respond in more detail on your blog – your willingness to jump to a conspiracy regarding Libyan attacks on Islamists, is in my view typical of Denier/sceptic mentality. Now i say typical, but in your case I find you MUCH more reasonable in discussing these types of issues, and if all denier/sceptics were as thorough and willing to discuss issues with some level of rationality, I would not be as concerned about it.

      But another situation that struck me as bizarre was the view that Steve Goddard presented last year, when I pointed out his mistake about Hansen. And you somewhat supported that there was a conspiracy between James hanson and Bob Reiss when it was proven that Hansen had never made a claim of Manhattan being underwater by 2012. That Goddard felt he HAD to continue believing what he had been accusing Hansen of for many months caused him to resort to a totally untenable conspiracy scenario and that numeorus people supported him in that position indicates a severely irrational willingness to believe anything as long as it can be used to support ones ideological position.

      I see this kind of thinking constantly in denier/sceptic blogs, where in order to support some claim vast conspiracies have to be true. What is interesting to me is that there is almost never any contradiction of even the most extreme and absurd claims. On WUWT, Goddard, Jo Nova, and Curry, I hardly have ever seen anyone contradict crazy unsupported claims. Yet I DO see that on sites like Rabbit, Tamino, Skeptical Science, Realclimate, etc. There are certainly exaggerations that are often not contradicted, but any patently absurd unsupported argument is treated as hogwash by most if not all of these sites.

      I admit that this does happen on the left to some extent. When I was involved in trying to impeach Bush, I was often amidst the most extreme and irrational leftists you could imagine, but even in that context the conspiracy nuts were always completely and easily overuled by the vast majority of those who listened to their accusations. Arguments about Bush setting up concentration camps to round up leftists after he would declare himself dictator, that sort of garbage were never given credence, even though their presenters would often be allowed to birng up the issue and waste everyones time with it.

      • James says:

        With regards to this and other comments:

        “In fact I just brought this issue up with you, and as I will respond in more detail on your blog – your willingness to jump to a conspiracy regarding Libyan attacks on Islamists, is in my view typical of Denier/sceptic mentality.”

        I think you must have me confused with some other James as I do not have a blog.

        With regards to the point you make, I think I would find myself stating the exact opposite except that I know your perception is significantly impacted by your position on a subject. Certainly I have seen embarrassingly silly things said on both Skeptic and Alarmist sites, which are ‘left alone by their supporters’, because they tend to focus their attention on the enemy rather than their idiot supporters – of which both sides have many!

        I’m afraid that even if you do feel the conclusions of Lewandowsky are correct, which are at best anecdotal on your part, to ‘massage’ data within an inch of it’s life to ‘prove’ that conclusion is just not science and Climate Science does not need that type of support.

        One very good point which has been made about the (I think it was) alleged skeptic respondents who allegedly believed the NASA moon landing was faked, is that they also believed that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. We know it is an alarmist meme which parallels climate skepticism with the smoking lobby. But there is no evidence that there is any connection between climate sceptics and the belief that smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer, (and don’t suggest Lindzens paper which corrects the numbers on second hand smoke as evidence). In fact a number of skeptic bloggers searched their in total millions of comments and could not find a single skeptic suggesting smoking does not cause lung cancer. This high incidence with faked moon landing and lung cancer beliefs definitely seems to point to the survey being gamed by people posing as skeptics rather than real skeptics completing the survey.

        Tony you mention the only alarmist conspiracy theory you are aware of – that skeptics are funded by big oil, big coal, the fossil fuel industry etc. But that is a HUGE one and there is absolutely zero evidence of this. Yet it gets repeated time and again, particularly by the likes of Professor Lewandowsky. So how can you trust any ‘research’ he might do, even if his conclusions might suite your beliefs?

        But there are other skeptic myths. The most amusing one I find is the ‘white middle aged male’ who is supposed to make up the large majority of the skeptic ranks. Not only is this sexist, racist and ageist, something I would have thought many left wing thinkers would immediately fight against, but on inspection, it describes almost all the key players in the climate alarmist ranks such as Al Gore, James Hansen, John Holdren, ‘The Team’, Lewandowsky etc etc.

      • Tony Duncan says:

        thanks for the long reply. you very much remind me of another James, who has a similar perspctive as you. Sorry for the confusion.
        I agree with you that if lewandowsky is guilty of the things you assert it is irresponsible and unforgiveable, and tarnishes the actual science unfortunately. Yes, my conclusions are anecdotal, and certainly subject to my admitted bias, but I have experienced this phenomenon over and over again during the last three years, and I am quite confident that there is a a huge difference in denier and ACC supportive sites.
        I agree that I have not seen any supporters of the faked moonlanding, or that smoking does not cause cancer, and certianly “alarmists” have conflated the second hand smoke with smoking in general. But in this case at least there is a corelation that is valid. Major sceptics/deniers have been involved in supporting tobacco companies and have been paid to do so. the same is true of fossil fuel, and mining ocmpanies and their relation to sceptics/deniers. Soinger and Lindzen both have had financial gain from those associations. there is also a strong connection between religious findamentalsists and some high profile denier/sceptics> the fact that the majority of bloggers who are deniers do not recieve any or significant financial support is, in my view due to an intense ideological framework, usually connected to anti government views. The only “leftist” I know who was a denier for Alexander Cockburn, and his was totally ideological as well. Corporations are evil, Evil goes toward money, Money can be made from renewable energy, therefore Corporations will push a fraud about climate change because it wil give them the best return on investment.
        There is of course plenty of evidence to show that fossil fuel concerns have supported both cliamte deniers and alternative energy. there is no contradiciton there. they have money, and certainly there have been numerous exposé’s showing money from these concerns supporting those who deny any significant consequence from cliamte change. there is no great need to pour huge amounts of money becuase the extemist conservative and fundamentalist base is so entrancehd that the interior resources of all the gorups associated with this issue will run with it in order to re-inforce their ideologies.

        And as for the myth of white middle aged male, again anecdotally i find this overwhelmingly to be the case on denier blog sites. Of course the fundamentalist and libertarian ideological elements add people from those demographics too, but I find myself in arguments mostly with white middle aged males, whereas the cliamte scientists I have seen (with the notable exception of Curry, who is quite an odd fish in this fishbowl) are of varying ages and include many more woman than the denier side.
        If you actually go to WUWT, Goddard, jo Nova, Bishop Hill, or any of the other major deneir sites, I am confident you can make a count of absurd claims that is at least an order of magnitude more than on the consensus sites. At least as regarding the science. Having years ago been on similar arguments about evolution, those that oppose current evolutionary theory posit myriads of “revolutiuonary” apporaches that the mainstream scientists missed and THEIR research has proven XXX with no possibilit yo fo doubt. I see this all the time on denier sites. Whereas on consensus sites I otent see the qiuestions of uncertainty responded to rationally, and an more rational back and forth of people looking to get genuine ifirmation, even if they are biased soemtimes and even if they make political or policy statments or even exagggerations of consequences.
        I do see some mischaracterization of quotes on the consensus side, and things like the attributionto smoking when it is second hand, but the degree of bizarre distortions of what people have acutally said and written, especially around Hansen is often so absurd as to be comical.
        I will be happy to point these types of instance out to you, as in almost any of the denier blogs they pop up pretty regularly.
        I would be interested if you could show me the same sorts of bizarre claims totally untethered from any real science on consensus blogs.

        • James says:

          Tony, I’m not going to trawl through what you so generously call the ‘consensus’ sites. I have for instance a major issue with the term ‘denier’ which I have expressed to Mike at this site before – but I won’t dredge over that again except to say it seems the definition of what exactly is ‘the consensus’, and exactly what is being ‘denied’, seems to be a moving feast. Is it that climate changes, that some climate change is caused by human caused green house gases (and if so to what extent and how is it measured and separated from natural climate variability), that dangerous climate change is caused by human caused green house gases? If it is towards the latter what is the speed and timing and is it reversible and what is the evidence?

          My point being that there are agreements and disputes in the ‘consensus camps at many levels and agreements and disputes in the so-called ‘deniers’ camps at many levels. neither ‘side’ is homogeneous, and neither side has definitive science beyond understanding of the basic greenhouse effect and a not so good correlation between modern day land temperature records and increased human greenhouse gas emissions.

          Despite this, and without trawling through ‘consensus’ sites, we see every day examples where claims are made which are totally unsupportable, and have proven to be unfounded by climate alarmist leaders and repeated ad nauseum around the internet and main stream media.

          There are many examples and I will only talk of a few here. But we should all remember how it was claimed snow in the UK could be a thing of the past. In Australia we were told drought was a permanent part of our climate system now. Some ‘experts’ claimed Hurricane Katrina was a result of human caused climate change and that we could expect many more and more severe weather events – this heralding what turned out to be one of the quietest periods for hurricane activity in US history. Hansen of course made his famous temperature model predictions in 1988 which were used in nearly every alarmist site as evidence we needed to take drastic action on carbon emissions. As it happens carbon emissions have dramatically outstripped Hansens ‘worse case’ scenario, yet temperature is below his ‘best case’ scenario where the world commenced dramatically reducing carbon emissions. ‘Consensus’ sites continually reference papers which make predictions of what might happen to climate, or eco systems, or various species if certain temperature projections are reached. Those predictions are then treated as some sort of scientific fact without looking at the basis of the temperature projections which are based on climate models which have already failed, and which by the modellers own admission fail to take into account known, major climate variables which are poorly understood. It is the presentation of such things as ‘inevitable’ when they are simply theoretical suppositions, which I would consider equally as bad as anything stupid or unsupported by facts which you may find on what you call a ‘deniers’ site.

      • Tony Duncan says:


        I think there is much we agree on, in general. I too think that many people make assertions about the consequences of climate change that are not sufficiently understood to make claims about. And i think that ther are many issues that are peripheral to the discussion. For example, i don’t know if Polar bears are going to be decimated if global temps rise anopther 2°C, and I think it is rather irrelevant. It would certainly be a sad thing if it happened. Similarly with hurricane frequency and intensity. I see it all the time where advocates of a political or policy position exaggerate and ignore facts to suit their purpose.
        That is one reason I call myself a sceptic, becuase I do not just believe assertions even if they fall within my “bias parameters”.
        that said I do not take a strict Popperian view of science. that is one of my criteria for calling people “deniers’ rather than sceptics, or some other non pejorative name. And certainly there are gradations among all the people. i ma quite willing to make ajustments to my labels of people as i learn more or see them change their views. Someone like Steve Goddard is at the extreme end of what I call a denier. Hs appears unwilling to accept any evidence from any branch of science that supports ACC. He is very smart, and is able to find some angle on every issue to try to present the consensus view as being wrong. He is a fanatic idealogue whose only interest is in being right and proving ACC wrong, and is unable to admit ever being wrong (in the small number, maybe a few hundred I have read of the thousadns of posts of his). For instance he has been saying for years that the Arctic sea ice was recovering form the anomalous low of 2007. I have engaged him on this issue, and especially this year since he was trumpeting the “normal” ice extent in March. he constantly taunted “alarmists” by presenting distorted and meaningless posts that i and a couple of others contested. He basically said a new record was impossible, and yet now that there has been not only a new record, but one lower than only the most alarmist predicted, he turned to attacking the sateliteds and the bodies that prsent the data, and then, of course, deciding that it is a meaningless factor in ACC. There is no acknowldegment that this is a prediciton of ACC and it is occuring, which then does lend so credence to the theory
        Goddard is an extreme example but many other sites are only marginally better. And this does not adress the rather insane theories that are presented by commenters on cliamte hcnage sites that present “proof” that ACC is not occurring because of reasearch they have done on their own, and go into long technical explanations that show how every climate scientist is wrong, including. Lindzen. Christie. Michaels, etc.. I used to be involved in debates abotu the reality of ecvolution and saw this over andf over again. Amateurs with their own pet theory that disproved evolution.
        As I said i rarely see these peoples comments critiqued by other antagonists to ACC. Whereas on ACC promoting sites i see a lot of disagreement and discussion about the relative merits of various factors. Of course I also see iuncritical acceptance, but the fact that I almsot never see any critique of what I call denier comments on denier sites, makes me discount them to a significant degree. I still frequent them becuase i get a lot of important information from them, but I take no conclusions seriously until I see some resposne form ACC suportive sites and then i make my jusdgements.
        Another factor is behavior. Goddard banned me a few days before the record minimum was broken. he has done so in the past, never for a valid reason, but in this case it was so obvious, as to be silly, and in my opinion quite cowardly. he claimed I continouosly lied about him not making predictions and he posted a silly prediction about 5 year ice and a short term trend, whne I was clearly talking about the SIE minimum. But that was all he had to go on and of course he gave me no warning or attempt to respond

        • James says:

          Well if what you say about Goddard is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, I wouldn’t be wasting my time at his site. Of course I would say that the fact the sea ice extent is shrinking, and melting faster each season is to be expected in a naturally warming northern hemisphere and may or may not be indicative in part or in whole of ACC. The scientists have not provided us with sufficient evidence for us to determine with any accuracy. However we do know that it has happened before, in the relatively recent geological past, and the polar bears and the planet survived.

          I take your point about ‘idiot’ comments. Really, though, whether they support ‘my side’ or not, life is too short to bother making any attempt to correct them. Most of the time I just think that the fact the are ‘idiot’ comments would be evident to almost every reader, and the fact that the person made such an idiotic comment proves I would be wasting my time trying to discuss the issue with them logically. Perhaps this is the kindest explanation for the phenomena you describe. As to whether it occurs more on ‘denier’/’skeptic’ sites vs ‘consensus’/’alarmist’ sites – perhaps you could suggest that as a future study for Lewandowsky? But I think it is possible you are correct – but I’m not sure it means anything, as I would say that ‘consensus’/’alarmist’ sites are full of what I would call ‘cheers squad’ comments. This is where the blogsite owner, and/or a few key correspondents tend to make the key posts, with the contributions of their followers simply being ‘sheer squad’ comments which add nothing to the discussion. They usually take an opportunity to denigrate the ‘other side’ or ‘cheer on’ their team. I guess all of this is human nature and it shouldn’t surprise us at all.

  13. Tony Duncan says:


    don’t have time to respond fully, but again there is much i agree with. I stlll consider the arguments for ACC , the ones that contend there s a strong likilihood of serious destructive consequences, to be very compeling, so I consider some of the cheerleading to be valid and responsible, but I have no problem acknowleding the polarization of this issue causeing some to be alarmist in support of ACC in ways that are not warrenated and that those views are rarely countered on ACC blogs.

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