‘…when there is one overwhelming factor, you don’t have to worry the details…’


Industrial strength confirmation bias, Eli Rabbit style.


‘…we exclude only the divergent portions of these series …’

The above is from a paper (Porter et al Quarternary Research 2013) cited in the new hockey-stick paper that has gathered hype based on university press releases.

Porter and co-authors developed a ‘divergence-free’ chronology by throwing away that portion of tree-ring-width data that ‘diverged’ from temperatures … Remember, ‘divergence’ can only be diagnosed when there is both thermometer and proxy data from the same site. If tree rings don’t line up with temperatures, there is no ‘divergence,’ there is only junk. And PAGES 2K just used it.

It’s just a series of numbers. Like chicken entrails, liver divination and tea leaves.

This is what ‘Mike’s Nature Trick’ amounted to, more or less. After all these years paleo’climatology’ continues to indulge in data cherry-picking, screening, and discarding data to manufacture hockey sticks. The trick still lives.

Is this science? I don’t think so …

Now do Hawkins stripes for the Medieval Warming Period for Somerset


Between two El Ninos

Climate alarmists rape language between two El Ninos. When an El Nino is in progress, they like to show graphs and pretend to be scientific. They particularly like linear trend lines.

In the lull between two though, they grow restless. The engines of moral outrage and hatred start revving. ‘Science’ cannot sustain. Words become casualties in the attempts to whip up the nervous energy and excitement needed to provide momentum.

Concepts, and your reaction to their destruction, become their very fuel.

A mob gathers Momentum

They don’t like it – when someone gives it to them in the newspapers.

‘How dare the prestige press – which we literally own – print the heresies of the enemy’ – they seem to go. ‘Think about the readership! ‘What thoughts would enter their minds were it our communion be questioned, disrupted?

Here’s Hereward Corley in the Financial Times:

Corley is talking about this article: a somewhat rambling piece about why Extinction Rebellion is different than the countless other environmental movements that have come before.

Stuck in right in the middle is this (emphasis mine):

If the new movement can focus on climate emergency, and not mind whether it is capitalists or communists who find ways to keep fossil fuels in the ground, preserve rainforests, achieve a quantum leap in battery storage, and gear up carbon capture and storage, it deserves to gain a much wider hearing.

You can look at the online mob started by one Andrea Sella in the twitter thread starting with the one below:

Think about it: Corley’s is a letter to an already published article of a few hundred words – it is already a response, to begin with.

But that doesn’t matter. It cannot be allowed to exist.

  • How can the response pass without a response?
  • This is ‘slander’! (do computer models have feelings, and reputations? Who is slandered here?
  • He worked for big (palm) oil (Kees van der Leun seems to have forgotten he works for a renewable energy outfit himself)

… and so on and so forth.

If the timing is correct, Andrea Sella’s already dashed off a multi-signatory letter to the Financial Times castigating them for their audacity, their utter nerve.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mob whipped itself up into a frenzy and came down hard on the FT that they withdraw Corley’s letter.

I have to say though, I find Hereward’s Corley’s points to be largely correct: computer models are the only instruments that can produce climate projections, they are largely unable to simulate the past (1910-1940 warming, anyone?), warming is good, so is CO2, and Extinction Rebellion -induced policy disasters will only make life for those in developing countries worse. Not just for those in developing countries though.

More reason to suspect the letter won’t survive.

Since when is being a skeptic a bad thing?

Roger Pielke Jr has complained several times on Twitter about Scott Waldman of EENews labeling him a climate skeptic in an article. Science magazine, that bastion of propriety, has republished the pay-walled article here.

There is a long thread here explaining what happened – juicy email excerpts included.

Roger wants EENews to characterize him and his position correctly, and that’s fair enough.

But since when is being labeled a skeptic – inadvertently, or even deliberately – character assassination?


One could understand if the word ‘denier’ was used. But, skeptic?

Should Pielke Jr be in such a rush to salvage his reputation from alleged insult from every dog and pony outfit that he surrenders simple words that mean nothing nefarious to the climate police?

It’s like watching George Costanza rushing out of a children’s party when a fire breaks out.

Or, knowing the kind of people he deals with in his field – a field of his own choosing – knowing the kind of ratfuckers they are, eager visit consequences upon you for being labeled a skeptic on EENews, Pielke Jr should have perhaps carefully avoided criticism of climate science.

By his own logic, that is the only way of being ‘smeared’ as a climate skeptic.

Met Office quid pro quo science

The latest kid on the climate activist block – and these are constantly born each year – is Extinction Rebellion, a UK-based boomer-adolescent activist group whose ranks are swelled with academics.

Extinction Rebellion has made a name for itself making absurd demands, and pulling assorted antics that include stripping, marching, yelling and vandalization. Which is required to get news coverage, which in turn legitimizes their actions by leading to a Wikipedia page because Wikipedia will only quote official news sources.

Their latest stunt was a traffic-snarling march around London that included smashing glass and painting graffiti. Activist ‘Olivia Evershed’ is quoted by the AP as saying:

If we don’t do anything to change this, our children will die”

This is the new breed of climate activism: marked by utter vapidity and ignorance. This is a generational shift in action.

David Rose posted:

This is Richard Betts’ response:

That’s right: the only way you’re going to get criticism of idiots like Extinction Rebellion from Richard Betts is if Rose repeats the IPCC catechism at the Mail on Sunday. Even then, Betts will deign to explain why ’emissions need to be zero,’ i.e, why Extinction Rebellion is correct.

There are no responses from Tamsin Edwards, Doug McNeall, Gavin Schmidt or ‘Climate Feedback’ ( basically Victor Venema’s ego pad).

In the past few weeks to months, scientists were dewy-eyed about Greta Thunberg, a child who is perhaps the first documented case of ‘scienxploitation.’ Not one person who seemed a bit concerned about the use of children in pushing political agendas, either.

There is a tacit silence in the face of scientific ignorance of the young. This is something new, something missing in earlier years. This is climate activism admitting defeat: they need to go down to 10- and 12-year olds to find believers.

No, scientists don’t have to criticize activists once in a while to balance out some kind of a scorecard. But science doesn’t need deal-making of any kind to be shown correct, either. No journalist is under any obligation to be stenographer for the IPCC

Activists have dragged the name of science into the mud but that doesn’t seem to bother scientists much. Here is the website of ScientistsWarning whose UK head is Alison Green, a lead signatory to Extinction Rebellion’s latest letter to the Guardian:

Some more:

and more…

… and on and on it goes, with more junk buzz words like ‘fly less’ and links to organizations equally as ridiculous as ‘the Alliance of World Scientists.’

Where are the scientists who will laugh these clowns off the podium?

Off Twitter

I am moving off Twitter. The problems I mentioned three years ago regarding Twitter have only gotten worse. The platform is in the forefront of engineering a new ‘safe’ internet haven that only disgusts me with each passing day. The censoriousness, the shaming campaigns, the monetization of shaming campaigns and destruction of people’s reputations and lives, the struggle sessions, and last but not least, the fake happy tweet collections called ‘Moments’ – there is only so much plastic Silicon Valley crap one person can take.

What would I miss the most? Interacting with my ‘twitter friends’ –  a group of people whose faces and messages I saw everyday. Honestly, I would be incredibly happy if I got to continue to talk to them on a different platform, or even see their posts occasionally, anywhere. And the odd chance to interact directly with people whom you respect and admire. 

I plan to get back to writing more. This would be a ‘new’ intellectually satisfying and fruitful way to do things that drew me online, in the first place.


Polar bear attack paper invalidated by non-independent analysis


From Bart Verheggen’s blog, where he clearly identifies himself as a co-author of a paper in a post promoting it

Stephen Lewandowsky has co-authored (yet another) paper attacking climate skeptics. His colleagues-in-arms this time are long-time climate consensusite Jeff Harvey , Bart Vergheggen, and a cohort of ecologists along with Michael Mann. First author Harvey is well-known to climate commenters as a rant-prone passionate bulldog for the climate cause.

The main supposed finding of the paper is that zoologist Susan Crockford is the source of a number of skeptical blog posts. Harvey and colleagues claim a large figure (80%). The authors then claim to identify a ‘majority-view’ position in the polar bear literature, which they say is diametrically opposite of the Crockford-based blog position/s.

Polar bear alarmism has a checquered history and scientists Ian Stirling, Steven Amstrup and Andrew Derocher have been prominent proponents. All three have made several statements pushing a specific line – that polar bears are under severe threat, that anthropogenic global warming is the cause, and that their ability to adapt to changing conditions is limited. Of note here, the paper is co-authored by Ian Stirling and Steven Amstrup. Susan Crockford has been critical of both scientists on her blog and other venues.

My first thought was on seeing the Harvey et al text was whether the so-called ‘majority-view’ papers mainly cited Stirling, Amstrup and Derocher papers in support of their views. Did they identify a view present in the literature which traced its antecedents to their own papers?

It turns out the situation is much worse.

Of the 92 papers included in the study,  6 are labeled ‘controversial.’ Of the remaining 86, 60 are authored or co-authored by Stirling or Amstrup, or Derocher. That is, close to 70% (69.76%) of the so-called ‘majority-view’ papers are from just three people, 2 of whom wrote the attack paper themselves.


Papers analysed by Harvey et al. Hightlighted in yellow – papers co-authored by Stirling, Amstrup or Derocher.

In other words, Stirling and Amstrup did not discern an organically coalesced body of opinion from several polar bear papers by sifting through the literature. They did not even uncover a body of literature supporting a particular stance that cited their own work, as self-referential as that might have been. They ‘found’ their own papers to constitue a ‘majority-view’ in the polar bear literature!

Stirling and Amstrup attack Susan Crockford for not following the ‘majority-view’ and the ‘majority-view’ is what’s expressed in their own papers.

But there’s worse to come. The authors list 6 papers as being ‘controversial’ for  eliciting ‘critical comments and discussion in the peer-reviewed literature.’  It turns out Stirling, Amstrup and Derocher themselves wrote comments to 4 out of 6 of these papers. Put another way, Stirling and Amstrup labeled papers they did not like ‘controversial.’

Quartz %d

It is no wonder the ‘majority-view’ (green triangles above) displays such a tight cluster of perspectival homogeneity. It is not a majority view but rather a minority one, of just three scientists. The near-absolute lack of variability in opinion along the PC1 axis is likely just due to standard boilerplate alarmist text in the papers of Stirling, Amstrup and Derocher, repeating the mantra of polar bear doom from melting ice, rather than any emergent phenomenon in polar bear literature.

A true majority view (if there can be such a thing) can be discerned only if a representative sampling of the polar bear literature is carefully assessed, with attention to their scientific content (as opposed to mere headcount), the nature and strength of supporting evidence presented and the caveats that scientists are careful enough to always include. In such a setting opposing viewpoints cannot be dismissed as being controversial merely because they oppose one’s own views.

The paper has several hallmark characteristics of a Lewandowsky piece: the language is dominated by ad hominen attack (for e.g, the word denier occurs 31 times) and the text is notable for a number of false statements. The authors purport to analyse ‘the views’ of blogs but ascribe views to the blogs themselves followed by analysis of the same views. Last but not the least, the full data from the paper is not made available. But the fatal flaw of non-independent analysis by the paper’s authors renders its conclusions invalid.