There’s consensus and then there’s consensus: Climate “Sceptics” Just Don’t Get It (reprint)

Moth at New Anthropocene has a good article on the “consensus debate” – I note some of you have seen it, but worth reprinting:

Every single time researchers go to the otherwise wasted effort of reviewing the standing position of climate research in relation to anthropogenic climate change (for, in what other field of science do scientists undertake such analyses?), we hear the same backlash from the committed sceptics.

In fact, looking at the dismissal charges of conservative columnists in relation to climate change, Elsasser and Dunlap (2013) found that attacking the scientific consensus was by far the favoured approach. This illustrates just how much such anti-scientific groups understand the scientific consensus hurts their position, if it is against them.

And it is against them.

Time and time again, I comment that these committed sceptics just don’t get what scientific consensus is. Without blinkers, when one reads such consensus research papers as the recent Cook et al (2013) they find that such an analysis is NOT the result of questionnaires sent to scientists. It is in fact asking, “what is the position drawn from the conclusions of the paper and are these conclusions pro-anthropogenic climate change or not?”

Scientific consensus here is weighed by the evidence presented within peer-reviewed literature and not merely the expert opinion of a few. This is why it hurts the committed sceptic so much and needs such venomous denigration. Donna Laframboise sounds silly when she says, “science isn’t done by consensus” when one looks at what real scientific consensus is.

Moreover, local gold hoarding conspiracy theorist, Jo Nova, presents just how little she gets science in her reply to Cook et al (2013) by referring to her beloved, Oregon Petition Project;

“You want authority? Skeptics can name 31,500 scientists who agree, including 9,000 PhDs, 45 NASA experts (including two astronauts who walked on the moon) and two Nobel Prize winners in physics.” 

Righto – is that what’s supposed to challenge empirical evidence? A bunch of names of people – the vast majority of which, regardless of their other achievements, are without any relevant training or contributed any relevant analysis to the related fields of science – signing on the dotted line…?

The Oregon Petition Project is a one-sided vote. It is irrelevant.

Science isn’t done by consensus and the scientific consensus isn’t done by people. It is done through evidence. Hence the print in Cook’s infogram; 97% of climate papers stating a position on human-caused global warming AGREE global warming is happening – and we are the cause.

Nowhere do the positions of people come into it. It’s an argument made on evidence, not opinion.

Yet the climate sceptics attempt to denigrate it as opinion, whilst providing evidence that IS based purely on opinion!!

There’s consensus and then there’s consensus. The body of scientific evidence simply does not support the committed climate scepticism and the sceptics know this fact and do whatever they can to present a sideshow and misrepresent the body of scientific evidence because of this.

There is no debate over consensus because the definition of it is different for those who accept scientific evidence and those determined to remain “sceptical”.


84 thoughts on “There’s consensus and then there’s consensus: Climate “Sceptics” Just Don’t Get It (reprint)

  1. john byatt says:

    The most notorious of Luntz’s memos focused on global warming denial in which he urged Republicans to use only the term “climate change” as it was less threatening than “global warming.” Luntz further explains how to bullshit:
    “”The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science…Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.[11]
    He has since distanced himself from the memo and claims to accept the science behind global warming.[

    • Nick says:

      making a primary issue of lack of scientific certainty in the debate is easy with willing fools,who will actually manufacture and attribute learned opinion where there is none.

      News Ltd bloggers link straight to Morano and his stable of unhinged liars,who are currently declaring that tornadic storms were predicted to become more frequent and severe. There is absolutely no support for this idea. None. Of course,absence of support is a entirely suitable pre-condition for rejectionist meme propagation.

      • john byatt says:

        I replied to a local letter to that effect

        poor bastard said longest period with no deaths,

        day later 100 or so, bet he felt like a dickhead

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Sorry Nick, suggesting you guys haven’t been spouting predictions of “the new normal”, increased storm activity, is a barefaced lie.

      • Nick says:

        Never spouted it myself,Eric. There is no projection of more tornadic activity in AR4. Post AR4,there are projections of increased storminess for the eastern half of the US over the next 70 years,the numbers are not much larger.

        Are you confusing projections of drought intensity,rainfall event intensity and the proportion of intense hurricanes per all categories for storm predictions?

        Is this Frankd’s observed ‘intolerance of ambiguity’ at work in you,Worrall?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        American tornado activity is in long term decline Nick – so that prediction is bust.

      • Nick says:

        You actually did not read what I said,Eric! Or your intolerance of ambiguity blocked out the content.

        Tornadic activity is a small subset of total storminess ,though obviously significant in terms of human impact….understand? Storms do not always produce tornados,though storms are a prerequisite. A prediction for more storms–which cannot be tested because the period is not yet run BTW is not a prediction about tornados.

        And tornado activity in the US is NOT in decline. You are conflating the frequency of extreme tornadoes with tornado activity in toto. since the 1950s..

        You should also accept the fact that the frequency of extreme tornadoes is pretty stable over the last 40 years of the record,and barely significant over 55.

        Refer to US NCDC/s US tornado climatology page,and avoid the bullshit.

      • When heat records exceed cold records three to one, Eric’s position is just daft.

      • Eric’s wrong again, this time about tornadoes. There’s been no decrease.

        Bet he used Wattsliesaboutthistoo.

  2. john byatt says:

    Follow A-team at nevens for top comment and visuals

    effin brilliant


  3. Eric Worrall says:

    Cook messed up his assessment – Dr Toll for example disagrees substantially with the IPCC assessment of climate change, at least in terms of the consequences of temperature rise, yet a handful of his papers were included in the “support” category – he is deeply upset about this.

    Watts is currently ringing around scientists who have been classified dubiously by Cook, and getting some interesting responses – though it remains to be seen whether this will raise enough of a ruckus for a forced revision of the paper.

    But more importantly, your science is in trouble, because of the increasing divergence between observations and predictions.

    The current temperature is a long way from the median prediction of climate models – it still hasn’t (quite) strayed outside of the 95% range, but its a pretty good indicator that the predictions are defective.

    There is no equatorial tropospheric hotspot – a major embarrassment for a theory which bases its doom laden predictions on water vapour amplification of CO2 forcing.

    And frankly you guys misbehaviour – trying to claim every storm as evidence as the end times – is wearing thin. Your blatant efforts to piggyback your political agenda on climate “concerns”, when there are obvious solutions to reducing CO2 which don’t require the political changes you guys seem to want (more regulation, more constraints on the market, high energy prices, subsidies for renewables).

    The prospects of international cooperation are receding – and if China’s daring venture into coal to oil synthetic fuel pays off, any further attempts to curb CO2 will disappear in an international rush into new high carbon intensity technologies.

    • john byatt says:


      “Cook messed up his assessment – Dr Toll for example disagrees substantially with the IPCC assessment of climate change”

      Tol fully agrees that most of the warming is due to humans, (IPCC)

      which is the subject of the paper, not Tol’s stupidity that 4DegC warming will be wonderfull

      are you really this stupid? and answer the question posed about disinformation campaigns asbestos etc

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Toll disagrees with the IPCC in that (according to you) he thinks 4c temperature rise would be beneficial.

        To classify this as “agreement” with the IPCC position is a contemptible level of desperation.

      • john byatt says:

        remain stupid, and on your nonsense re tornadoes Tornadoes, Hail, Thunderstorms, Dust Storms and Other Severe Local Weather
        Evidence for changes in the number or intensity of tornadoes relies entirely on local reports. In the USA, databases for tornado reporting are well established, although changes in procedures for evaluating the intensity of tornadoes introduced significant discontinuities in the record. In particular, the apparent decrease in strong tornadoes in the USA from the early period of the official record (1950s–1970s) to the more recent period is, in large part, a result of the way damage from the earlier events was evaluated. Trapp et al. (2005) also questioned the completeness of the tornado record and argued that about 12% of squall-line tornadoes remain unreported. In many European countries, the number of tornado reports has increased considerably over the last decade (Snow, 2003), leading to a much higher estimate of tornado activity (Dotzek, 2003). Bissolli et al. (2007) showed that the increase in Germany between 1950 and 2003 mainly concerns weak tornadoes (F0 and F1 on the Fujita scale), thus paralleling the evolution of tornado reports in the USA after 1950 (see, e.g., Dotzek et al., 2005) and making it likely that the increase in reports in Europe is at least dominated (if not solely caused) by enhanced detection and reporting efficiency. Doswell et al. (2005) highlighted the difficulties encountered when trying to find observational evidence for changes in extreme events at local scales connected to severe thunderstorms. In light of the very strong spatial variability of small-scale severe weather phenomena, the density of surface meteorological observing stations is too coarse to measure all such events. Moreover, homogeneity of existing station series is questionable. While remote sensing techniques allow detection of thunderstorms even in remote areas, they do not always uniquely identify severe weather events from these storms. Another approach links severe thunderstorm occurrence to larger-scale environmental conditions in places where the observations of events are fairly good and then consider the changes in the distribution of those environments (Brooks et al., 2003; Bissolli et al., 2007).

        Although a decreasing trend in dust storms was observed from the mid-1950s to the mid-1990s in northern China, the number of dust storm days increased from 1997 to 2002 (Li and Zhai, 2003; Zhou and Zhang, 2003). The decreasing trend appears linked to the reduced cyclone frequency and increasing winter (DJF) temperatures (Qian et al., 2002). The recent increase is associated with vegetation degradation and drought, plus increased surface wind speed (Wang and Zhai, 2004; Zou and Zhai, 2004).

      • Nick says:

        I see you still have not read the methodology and understood the meaning of ‘endorse’,Eric. This is the only way you could continue your line on Cook…plus your hopeless devotion to Watts,no matter how he mistreats you.

        Idso,Scafetta and Shaviv perhaps do not understand either….though from reading their participations in Watts confection,I think they are misrepresenting their own papers.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Hilarious – Cook understands the papers based on a 5 minute read of the abstract, better than the scientists who wrote them.

        I hope you broadcast that view far and wide – you might piss off the scientists Cook misrepresented enough so they force a retraction.

      • Nick says:

        You linked to Watts’ and the three protesting scientists,Eric,a few threads ago. I looked through each paper in company with the Cook methodology,and could identify how they concocted their disagreements. It is not rocket science.

      • I see Eric is requesting apologies for misrepresenting science. He and Watts have a lot of apologies to write.

      • Nick says:

        You made a mistatement about US tornado trends above Eric. Will you acknowledge it?

    • Nick says:

      Your hyperbole is just stupid, Eric. A bit of media floundering and as ever climate science is responsible for journalistic license. In order for that to cease,you really would have to impose your dreaded centralist information vetting system.

      Stop getting your knickers in a twist. if you bothered to argue from the basis of the literature,you’d save yourself confusion. But you have no intention of giving up what you enjoy,of course.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I must admit you guys provide me with a lot of amusement – your desperate clutching at straws, to try to keep the faith, is a good spectator sport.

      • Nick says:

        See below

      • Dr No says:

        “…. must admit you guys provide me with a lot of amusement – your desperate clutching at straws, to try to keep the faith, is a good spectator sport.”

        Sums up Eric’s position exactly.
        i.e. a bored, lazy, armchair expert.

        Why do we keep feeding this monkey?

    • The models are under-estimating the effects. Welcome to the dark side Mr Worrall. You’ve lost the science. Continue your empty sloganeering if you must. But you will be sneered at.

    • Sou says:

      Eric – you’re daft. Richard Tol was complaining that one of his papers was classified as ‘no position’ based on the abstract, despite the fact that Tol agrees that humans are causing global warming.

      Sheesh – if you’re going to deny at least get your denial talking points right!

  4. john byatt says:

    You can see the deniers having a real problem with the fact that there is consensus in the literature that humans are causing most of the warming, ie agree with IPCC

    eric’s only recourse is to redefine what that means in his battle with cognitive dissonance

  5. john byatt says:

    As I said , I am very patient

    And both of them two gutless to answer

    john byatt says:
    May 24, 2013 at 11:13 am
    this one is for eric and mark

    this secret funding has been used to fund disinformation campaigns on tobacco, asbestos, seat belts and climate change and usualy using the same paid for scientists

    where do you draw the line ?

    The usual reply from deniers is to disregard the disinformation campaigns and claim that because these scientists were wrong about tobacco, asbestos and seat belts does not mean they are wrong about climate change


    • Mark says:


      1. Some of us have lives outside this blog. Yeah, I know you’re shocked that I don’t sit around 24/7 waiting for your next pearl of wisdom so that I’ll have something to respond to. But its true, really true…not disinformation, I promise ya. So if I don’t respond to your latest missive within 23.7 nanoseconds, don’t necessarily take it as proof that I’m out-foxed. It could just be that I’m off doing something useful. On the other hand, it could be that I couldn’t be bothered responding to your latest childish whine… one of t’other.

      2. Disinformation is in the eye of the beholder. What you might consider to be unassailable argument, I might consider to be unresearched propaganda…and vice versa. Now I’ve seen some screwy claims the some scientists in the last 30yrs have denied smoking kills, but that boils down to issues around 2nd hand smoke which is an entirely different issue. There my be some scientists who have both come down on the side of saying AGW is not DAGW and that 2nd hand smoke is not as dangerous as asserted (or at all). I know of one or two such. I don’t know of any concerning asbestos, nor seat belts. Examples please.

      • john byatt says:

        mark ” Now I’ve seen some screwy claims the some scientists in the last 30yrs have denied smoking kills, but that boils down to issues around 2nd hand smoke which is an entirely different issue.”


        On Tobacco

        In a 2001 profile in Newsweek, journalist Fred Guterl wrote that Lindzen “clearly relishes the role of naysayer. He’ll even expound on how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking.” James Hansen recalls meeting Lindzen whilst testifying before the Vice President’s Climate Task Force: “I considered asking Lindzen if he still believed there was no connection between smoking and lung cancer. He had been a witness for tobacco companies decades earlier, questioning the reliability of statistical connections between smoking and health problems. But I decided that would be too confrontational. When I met him at a later conference, I did ask that question, and was surprised by his response: He began rattling off all the problems with the date relating smoking to helath problems, which was closely analagous to his views of climate data.”

        it is not about 2nd hand smoke, you fell for that one as well

        so you are happy for him to disinform on 2nd hand smoke as well?

      • Mark says:

        Wow, your source is Hansen. Well, unimpeachable. What could go wrong? After all, what possible motive would Hansen have for spreading disinformation?

        On the other hand….

        But you won’t believe that, because….it doesn’t fit your belief systems. .

      • Nick says:

        That’s interesting. Nothing Lindzen states in his reply to Treadgold contradicts Hansen’s account of the conversation.

        You may differ,Mark of course. Care to point out where,based on the Hansen account as quoted by John,and Lindzen’s brief reply to Treadgold?

        You’ll also notice the numerous slurs Lindzen makes against Hansen…won’t you? L questions H’s ethics hints that he’s in it fr the money, an slurs his rationality while running down his professional achievements. I don’t care if you agree or disagree with their content ,but you can see that they are slurs,and intended as such? Hansen actually has not attacked Lindzen with that sort of carelessness or personal hostility.

        And this remark for Lindzen is particularly puerile,classic rejectionist rhetoric:

        ” in the case of alleged dangerous anthropogenic warming, the status of dogma is being sought without any verifiable evidence”

        Would you like to support that claim? Or not? Support it with argument,that is,not cheering.

      • Mark – no, anti-science is not in the eye of the beholder. Deniar relativism does not wash.

      • Nick says:

        I had not quite realised how spent Lindzen was. That link of Marks is pretty sad.

      • Our resident conspiracy theorists who call for openness are like startled rabbits in the headlights when they find they’re right, there is a conspiracy. Theirs.

        I love their dissembling. It’s even better than their simply admitting guilty as charged.

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “I had not quite realised how spent Lindzen was. That link of Marks is pretty sad.”

        Lindzen was in a pretty sad state after his iris hypothesis was rejected. I guess he’s been the same ever since.

  6. john byatt says:

    Lindzen and Singer are both associated to the Heartland institute and Cato Institute, extreme-rightist think-tanks and eager defenders of the big coal, oil, tobacco, arms, chemicals and asbestos industry – and funded by these. Heartland institute promotes the extreme neo-conservative approach to economy and regards any efforts by the government to restrict free market forces and big (American) multinational corporations as a nuisance, and perceives e.g. President Obama as a kind of a muslim communist. Government is regarded as an evil force that intrudes on private citizens and puts restrictions on private initiatives (read American multinational corporations). Governments should therefore be kept as small as possible to ensure “freedom”.

    Some of the scientists associated to Heartland institute and other similar think tanks were witnesses for the American tobacco industry, claiming that it was not possible to prove a clear connection between lung cancer and smoking. The parallell between the tobacco industry and the big coal and oil industry is striking. It is now evident that smoking cigarettes is addicting and deadly. When the tobacco corporations understood in the 1980’s that they were facing a court trial with compensation claims to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, they invented the term ‘Junk science” about mainstream medical science, and mobilised “the merchants of doubt”. They had previously bought medical doctors to recommend cigarette smoking, and to claim that the purported hazards of smoking were hysterical. They bought spin doctors and connected these to PR-firms and think tanks. They gave the impression that the government is scaring the public to accept taxes on tobacco by making the warning texts on tobacco products mandatory. The message is that the government just pretends to protect us while in reality they manipulate us and extort our money.

    – Again we see that the American coal and oil industry repeat history. – Even according to president George Bush, we all “are addicted to oil”. Lindzen and Singer defended the tobacco industry 20 years ago and still do, e.g. by claiming that passive smoking is harmless. They claim that the government is again trying to scare us through their “hysterical doomsday prophecies” – in reality just to increase taxes. Again scientists are bought and spin-doctors allied with PR-firms and lobbyists are deceiving the public: “there is no danger! Everything is natural! The big government and the UN are just after more taxes”.
    -These persons act more like lawyers than scientists, defending their clients by any means.

    • john byatt says:

      Merchants of Doubt was one of the most talked-about climate change books of recent years, for reasons easy to understand: It tells the controversialstory of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the scienceof global warming is “not settled” have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.

    • One would think so-called sceptics would know this stuff already. A true sceptic first questions their own beliefs first. It’s just another indicator of their buffoonery.

  7. john byatt says:

    Dr Lindzen replies
    For the record:

    1. I have always noted, having read the literature on the matter, that there was a reasonable case for the role of cigarette smoking in lung cancer, but that the case was not so strong that one should rule that any questions were out of order. I think that the precedent of establishing a complex statistical finding as dogma is a bad one. Among other things, it has led to the much, much weaker case against second hand smoke also being treated as dogma. Similarly, in the case of alleged dangerous anthropogenic warming, the status of dogma is being sought without any verifiable evidence.

    2. I have never stated anything in Wall Street Journal Op Eds that I did not support in my discussions with colleagues.

    3. In his book, Hansen goes so far as to claim that I testified on behalf of the tobacco industry. This claim is absurd.

    I might add that I looked into the possibility of legal redress after Hansen published his book, and learned that I had neither the money nor the time to pursue such a remedy. Incidentally, it should be noted that promoting alarm has proven to be very lucrative. Jim has collected millions and recognition hardly commensurate with his scientific achievements. In that connection, I would be curious as to how much Jim received for his appearances in New Zealand. I suspect that it would be much more than anyone presenting a more rational assessment would receive.

    Best wishes,


    “a reasonable case for the role of cigarette smoking in lung cancer, but that the case was not so strong that one should rule that any questions were out of order. I think that the precedent of establishing a complex statistical finding as dogma is a bad one”

    so he thinks that the link was not strong that is why he spread the disinformation

    glad we cleared that up

    now this one

    “it has led to the much, much weaker case against second hand smoke also being treated as dogma”

    Australia has introduced laws all over the country regarding 2nd smoke,in public buildings, hotels, around children etc etc etc

    Mark thinks it is still in dispute and cheers Lindzen on for the disinformation


    I might add that I looked into the possibility of legal redress after Hansen published his book, and learned that I had neither the money nor the time to pursue such a remedy

    If Lindzen wants to sue somebody, he should have sued Oreskes and Conway for publishing Merchants of Doubt. did he, of course not

    Mark and Eric both know that it is true but must continue to defend the misinformers

    never mind all the deaths they have caused through their campaigns against tobacco and asbestos, coal particle pollution etc

    Just ignore the children who have been subjected to 2nd hand smoke while lindzen fought to delay any action

    eric and mark have

  8. john byatt says:

    Lindzen re. tobacco shilling… see

    + other hits in the database as of July 1999 (many are repeats of his passive smoke denial and a number deal with global warming for some reason or other). He has also “shilled” for the asbestos and HCFC industries. He has appeared as an industry witness–denier–in all 4 areas (i.e., AGW, tobacco, asbestos, and HCFC’s are all without significant harm).

    Also, for anyone who is interested, these tobacco industry documents (files under the agreement end July 1999) are online in searchable form. They clearly show the use of the same firms and same “consultants” in tobacco industry and energy industry in their own documents–Lindzen being one of them. It takes seconds to minutes of searching them to see this. This practice has also been documented in a number of other sources as well.

    the need to login to access the info/ two links broken to stop comment going into moderation

    just deny it ever happened eric and mark

  9. Dr Smellbad says:

    Dear WTD folk,
    A sometime lurker, I drop by merely to invoke the name of Florence Foster Jenkins (1868-1944). Who? I’ll leave you to Wiki up her details. But since WTD struggles daily with those who feel that the issue of water flowing downhill remains ‘unsettled’ , perhaps its time for an informal Florence Foster Jenkins Award of the week/month/ year? For FFJ is surely patron saint of D-K sufferers. Her ‘talent’ shone eerily, like a dead mackerel. Did it bother her that audiences fell to their knees, headbanging the floor, as she sang? Not one bit. O ye who are simple, look to Florence!
    Best wishes to the good ship WTD and all who speed her progress,
    Cheers, Dr.S

  10. john byatt says:

    Getting back on topic, WE have had three major papers all finding the consensus that most scientists support the IPCC conclusion ” most of the warming is due to humans:

    how many papers have the sceptics produced to show the opposite


    why not?

  11. Sou says:

    Did I read Eric doing a Monckton? ha ha ha

    The earth hasn’t stopped warming…

  12. Stuart Mathieson says:

    Eric like all of the deniers as far as I can see, brought up on the epistemological and moral nihilism of post modernism think that “might us right” and “truth defining”. They’ve done their papers in communication studies and marketing and are happy to grovel at the table of the rich and powerful. When you do that don’t be surprised if all you get is crumbs and a regular kick up the aaaarse once you’ve served your purpose. Eric of course thinks he will end up at the top table come the revolution! Fat chance.

  13. Gregory T says:

    People, I believe it’s time again, to post the disclaimer from Eric’s web site in order that we understand his mind set.

    “Referencing this site
    I am not an academic researcher and hence have no need for formal references. However, if you’ve found this site useful, an informal ‘mention in dispatches’ and a Web link wouldn’t go amiss.
    This cuts both ways, however: The algorithms used on this site have not been formally peer reviewed and hence should not be used unverified for academic publication (and certainly not for policy- making!). This site is only intended to help find interesting directions for further research to be carried out more formally.”

  14. Mark says:

    Let’s recap, shall we.

    According to John, I (and Eric, but he can speak for himself) was too gutless to respond to his devastating information that scientists who reject his consensus also took money to spread disinformation on a range of other issues. Oh and,apparently, I was also a retard for avoiding the issue. Quite a guy is John.

    In not avoiding the issue, I opined that John might have been exaggerating a tad and asked for some examples of these evil scientists.

    By way of example he offered one quote from Jim Hanson attacking Lindzen as one such evil scientist. Apparently it didn’t occur to John that Hansen might be just a little biased.

    So I offered Lindzen’s refutation of Hansen wherein he categorically denied that he’d testified on behalf of Big-Tobacco. Let’s also recall that John’s original assertion was that these people had been the recipient of funding to spread this disinformation. That claim seems to have gone by the way-side as John scrambles to find some way of extracting himself from the hole he’s dug for himself. I’m guessing that it never occcurred to him that there might be no evidence for the claim that the climate sceptics were in the pay of big tobacco. He’d been told it was true by his preferred sources (RC, sks, who knows) and, like the claim that Glaciergate was just a typo, he’d bought it hook, line and sinker.

    So that’s where we stand. Out of all the evil sceptic scientists who took money from all those evil capitalists, John has one example that is about as believable as John’s other assertion that Mann isn’t part of the consensus.

    You can always tell when John knows he’s wrong…he doubles down and tries to change the subject.

    eg “Mark thinks it [the dangers of ets] is still in dispute and cheers Lindzen on for the disinformation.

    Since the sum total of my posting on this, up to this post, was to simply observe that some scientists had said ets wasn’t as dangerous as asserted and to quote Lindzen on his refutation of Hansen, I wonder how John knows that I cheer “Lindzen on for the disinformation.”. But John wasn’t seeking to be factual but to simply draw attention away from the fact that his original assertions have been shown to be utter BS.

    I know that these claims are often made. We really can’t blame John for believing them…he seems to believe whatever he’s told, so long as it comes from approved sources.

    OK, unleash the swarm.

    • Chris O'Neill says:

      “the claim that Glaciergate was just a typo”

      Extract from the minutes of the clandestine IPCC subcommittee:

      “How can we get India to go along with us? That 2350 figure just isn’t scary enough.”

      “Hmmm. OK, how about we corrupt 2350 to 2035? That’d scare the shit out of them. Just transpose the digits to make it look like a typing error if our scheme gets found out.”

      “Brilliant. Let’s do it.”

    • Nick says:

      How did Lindzen refute Hansen,again? What does ‘refute’ mean?

      • john byatt says:

        Lindzen “”We’ve already seen almost the equivalent of a doubling of CO2 (in radiative forcing) and that has produced very little warming”

        current forcing is 1.7Wm2 doubling is 3.7Wm2

        not even half way there

        lindzen is a paid for misinformer whether for tobacco, asbestos or fossil fuel companies

        even mark agree that he is a paid misinformer for second hand smoke, or maybe he agrees with Lindzen that there is no evidence that it is harmfull

      • Mark says:

        “even mark agree that he is a paid misinformer for second hand smoke”

        Do I? Where have I said that? Just making stuff up to hide your monumental errors isn’t a good look.

        If Lindzen says there is no evidence that ets is harmful (which I’d doubt) then I disagree with him.

      • john byatt says:

        1,, Mark posted Lindzen’s reply to Hansen in which he said

        “it has led to the much, much weaker case against second hand smoke also being treated as dogma”

        so there it is in black and white ” much weaker case etc”

        now he writes “If Lindzen says there is no evidence that ets is harmful (which I’d doubt)

        doubt no more, he says that the evidence is weak

      • Mark says:

        Yes he says the evidence is weak. But he doesn’t say there is no evidence its harmful.

        Look, just to help you understand a little better.
        Smoking increases your risk of getting lung cancer by a factor of 30 – 40. That is, if you smoke your are 40 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoker.(I’m restricting myself to lung cancer here, although I know smoking causes and/or is purported to cause other diseases).
        Now there are all sorts of semantic issues over this. Smoking doesn’t necessarily cause lung cancer. It is possible to smoke and never get lung cancer.
        Equally not all lung cancers are caused by smoking.

        But epidemiologists have pretty much settled on a RR of 40. This number is quite high and therefore we are comfortable to say that smoking ’causes’ lung cancer.

        Passive smoking is an entirely different thing. Here the RR in most studies comes in at less than 2, which in epidemiological terms is statistically insignificant. Thus the argument rages that ETS may be harmful, indeed most probably is harmful at the margins (eg an asthmatic with a heavy exposure) but is probably not harmful to the general population. (Note again, I’m just talking lung cancer. I know there are other issues like SIDS)

        So when someone like Lindzen says the evidence is weak, I think he means the evidence supporting passive smoking bans is weak. And on that I’d agree.

      • john byatt says:

        found this on a site where fred singer was claiming what mark is claiming

      • Chris O'Neill says:

        “Here the RR in most studies comes in at less than 2, which in epidemiological terms is statistically insignificant.”

        Only if the confidence interval encompasses a RR of 1 which isn’t necessarily the case when the RR is 2.

        These denialists aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to confidence intervals, or anything else for that matter.

      • Nick says:

        Smoking ’causes’ cancer?. Smoking causes enough cancers to say smoking causes cancer. Environmental tobacco smoke? Who needs the risk,particularly when it is not solicited? Being technically correct about findings on passive smoking is fine,but not when it is used in lobbying by tobacco companies to fight against their marginalisation,which should be total. The risk is not acceptable,the benefits of non-addiction are obvious, the product is non-nutritious…it’s a waste of farming inputs. It should be illegal to profit from such a clearly dangerous product. Cancer? COPD is rife in non-cancerous smokers,and is often a precursor to their developing lung cancer.

        Lindzen abuses his authority in going softly on passive smoking.

      • zoot says:

        So when someone like Lindzen says the evidence is weak, I think he means the evidence supporting passive smoking bans is weak. And on that I’d agree, as long as we are talking only about lung cancer and we ignore other factors such as SIDS and asthmatics.

        Clarified it for you Mark. How are the ESL classes going?

      • Mark says:


        In my post,I twice pointed out that I was only talking about lung cancer in terms of the stats I mentioned. Why twice? Because I just knew that the drongo brigade wouldn’t understand my caveats if I only mentioned them once. I also mentioned that I was aware of issues of asthma and SIDS.

        Yet, despite all that, the drongo brigade still has to prove they are…drongos.

      • zoot says:

        Poor petal, keep telling yourself that, I’m sure it gives you comfort.

      • Mark says:

        According to Nick:
        ” Smoking causes enough cancers to say smoking causes cancer.”

        This is how it was explained at a lecture I attended back last century….
        if you stick a knife into a car tyre it will go flat…every time. Knifing a tyre causes flatness. If you run over a bunch of nails, sometimes it will cause the tyre to go flat and sometimes it won’t. Running over nails increases the risk of tyres going flat.

        75% (approx) of heavy smokers (more than 5 per day) do not get lung cancer. Therefore smoking doesn’t cause lung cancer. However those heavy smokers are much more likely to get lung cancer than the rest of the cohort. Therefore smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer.

      • john byatt says:

        sounds like jumping off a cliff just increases your chances of death

        everyone who jumps off a cliff does not die, therefore jumping off a cliff does not cause death. it just increases your chances of death

        not all children who drink toilet cleaner die
        drinking toilet cleaner does not kill children, it just increases their chances of being killed

        is their anything that could not apply to?

  15. john byatt says:

    Tobacco industry trying to confuse changed the terms sidestream smoke and second hand smoke to ETS

    enter the EPA

  16. john byatt says:

    Have just been asked to do a survey.

    a few climate change questions

    Thank you for taking part last March in the ABC’s online campaign (#abcmyvote) asking voters about the issues that matter most to them in advance of the upcoming Australian federal election.
    The feedback from this campaign is now being used to develop Vote Compass, an online electoral literacy application to be launched on the ABC’s website in a few months’ time. By answering a short series of questions, Vote Compass gives Australians a sense of how the policies and politics of the major parties compare with their individual views. Created by political scientists and adapted for the Australian context in collaboration with academics at the University of Melbourne and the Univeristy of Sydney, Vote Compass will be featured as part of the ABC’s online election content.

    In order to ensure that Vote Compass best captures the political landscape in Australia, we are asking a select group of participants from the #abcmyvote campaign to participate in a brief survey. Your answers will aid in determining which issues are included in Vote Compass. We encourage you to make your voice heard and ensure that what matters most to you is reflected in Vote Compass. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and your answers remain completely confidential

  17. john byatt says:

    where did this come from?

    “”No one could have forecast the absolute fall off in revenues that we’ve seen,” .

    “It’s just as a consequence, particularly, of the high Australian dollar and falling commodity prices that we’ve had to rebalance it.”

    Surprise , it was the QLD Newman government

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