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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Allies in Denial: Roy Spencer joins the Heartland mob at WUWT

Sou | 7:48 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment

Roy Spencer has joined the Heartland mob rejecting scientific evidence. He's written an article with Joe Bast of all people (archived here). I wonder what's in it for him? Remember when he called his fellow scientists Nazis? Now he's joined up with the denier crowd who compared everyone who accepts mainstream science with mass murderers.  That's the same mob who upset the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

What a nong! Thing is, he and his mate Joe list a number of papers that have shown that the overwhelming proportion of scientific papers that attribute a cause to global warming show that it's being caused by humans. To counteract proper science, he wheels out a dumb paper coauthored by the potty peer as "evidence".

Do you want to know how many scientific papers attribute global warming to causes other than humans? Well, in the past 20 years or so, the Cook study showed that of the 11,944 papers published between 1991 and 2011 there were 4014 that expressed a position on global warming.  Of these 4014, 3896 papers or 97.1% endorsed human-caused global warming, 78 or 1.9% disputed it and 40 or 1.0% indicated the cause was 'uncertain'.

You wouldn't know that if you only read WUWT. But then if you only read WUWT you'd probably think that global warming is caused by Russian steampipes and that the world is about to plunge into an ice age and that killing off mammals would be a good solution to stopping the global warming, which isn't happening but if it is it's caused by insects.

How long will it be before Roy Spencer starts arguing that burning fossil fuels doesn't release carbon dioxide? He's already explained how he fudged the charts he fudged, now he's snuggling up to Heartland, it's no big step to greenhouse effect denial.

From the WUWT comments

Latitude is typical of denier illogic and wants to be able to reject science in peace, without anyone pointing out the overwhelming consensus - and says:
May 30, 2014 at 2:18 pm
What amazes me the most… that most people don’t think claiming something like that….is as lame as I think it is
If the science was “robust”…they wouldn’t have to claim anything….and they wouldn’t

Latitude probably thinks that pointing out that mainstream science shows that evolution is real only prove it's a myth.

From Anthony Watts, alarmist

Anthony Watts added his two bobs worth of alarmism, writing that shifting to clean energy will "cripple our economy". It's much more likely climate change will do that if we don't start shifting to clean energy in earnest soon:
There’s just one problem – aside from the fact that this assertion [Sou: that most scientists accept mainstream climate science] is being used to help justify policies and regulations that are closing down fossil fuel power plants and crippling our economy. The claim is completely bogus. As Heartland Institute president Joe Bast and climate scientist Roy Spencer make clear in this article, the papers used to create and perpetuate the 97% claim are seriously and fundamentally flawed. The alleged consensus simply does not exist; much less does it represent anything remotely approaching 97%.

Ha ha ha. Anthony thinks that most climate scientists don't accept climate science. He puts his faith in an anti-science lobby group and a wacky scientist who reckons his god will save him from all natural disasters (but not economic failures). Anthony reckons it's "bogus" to say that scientists accept science. What a nutter! I wonder what proportion of climate scientists he thinks do accept climate science? What does he think the rest of them do - dog astrology?

Cook, John, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A. Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs, and Andrew Skuce. "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 2 (2013): 024024. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024


  1. As we know, Roy has creationist religious convictions (eg Thingsbreak back in 2008) that prevent him from accepting the scientific consensus.

    Many commenters here will be familiar with Spencer's endorsement of this:


    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.



    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

    I find it heartening (sorry) that he has ended up co-writing nonsense with Joe Bast. The pool is drying up and its denizens are forced together.

  2. "In God we trust," eh?

    I thought the general idea was that God was thinking it would be nice to be able to trust us?

    Can't leave the house for five minutes without us little punks finding the matches and burning it to the ground.

  3. Sou asks "How long will it be before Roy Spencer starts arguing that burning fossil fuels doesn't release carbon dioxide?"

    Burning fossil fuels (and deforestation) are responsible for about 200% of the atmospheric CO2 increase. In 2008, Dr. Roy Spencer wrote Oceans are Driving CO2 which claims that "The long-term increases in carbon dioxide concentration that have been observed at Mauna Loa since 1958 could be driven more than by the ocean than by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels."

    Dr. Spencer seems to be claiming that the ~200% anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric CO2 increase could actually be less than 50%.

    How is "Oceans are driving CO2" significantly different from item #7 on his list of "skeptic" arguments that don't hold water?

    That WUWT article still hasn't been retracted. Has Dr. Spencer retracted his claim that "oceans are driving CO2" elsewhere?

  4. The consensus is very painful for the deniers. It should be repeated at every opportunity. If it doesn't exist, as Anthony asserts by spitting his dummy out, then a simple repitition of Cook's survey using the same methods and criteria would easily show it up. That it hasn't been done publicly suggests either the deniers accept the result or have given it a go and found the same result plus or minus a per cent or two. It's really quite simple.

    1. It's just as simple for the Denialati : they have a blogpost where Monckton claims to have done a better survey showing only trace support for AGW. Even better, they have a WSJ editorial pointing to the blogpost, which gives it even greater credibility.

      What percentage of Denialati time and effort is put into denying the concensus these days? One wonders. Is it more or less than the time spent denying their conspiracist ideation? Between those and whining about being silenced by the scientific establishment, it's absolutely all about them now.

  5. i take it these would be the same deniers who also love to claim that the peer-reviewed publishing system is biased against them by the evil gatekeepers? (the fact that everything they *do* publish, either as preprints or in tame journals, is complete bumgravy should be ignored -- it's still a conspiracy against them!)

    you don't have to spend more than a couple of minutes browsing the literature to realise that contra-concensus papers are rarer than hens' teeth.

  6. It's been sad to watch Spencer's descent. Not that I agree with what he's done, but in a way I feel sorry for him.

  7. There is a cure for AIDS. From the American Journal of Haematology:

    The way it works, a small number of people are naturally immune to HIV. HIV attacks cells via specific receptors on the cell surface. Some people have a beneficial mutation which prevents these receptors from appearing - they are not critical to cell viability, so such people live normal lives, except they can't catch HIV.

    The "cure" is, you can transplant an immune system from one patient to another, via a bone marrow donation.

    In doing such a transplant, you also transplant the original patient's natural immunity - as the new immune system establishes itself, it wipes out the recipient patient's virus payload.

    You're not likely to see this process on Medicare anytime soon - it is hideously dangerous, part of the procedure involves what is left of the immune system of the HIV sufferer with radiation therapy, then somehow keeping them alive until the new immune system establishes itself.

    But a cure is real, and has been performed - so you can't call someone crazy anymore for suggesting a cure for HIV is possible.

    1. Not Monckton's cure, but you probably meant to post your rant here.

    2. Whatever. Just pointing out that a total cure for HIV is now mainstream science, even if it isn't as yet a medical procedure which could be applied on anything larger than an experimental scale..

    3. Pointing out on the wrong article that Sou was criticizing Monckton for suggesting a cure for HIV is possible, when she actually criticized him for saying Monckton himself had cured HIV.

      Are you actually this dense, or does it merely serve your purpose as a merchant of doubt to add an extra layer of confusion to all your comments by pretending to have a very hard time understanding the most basic concepts? After all, that results in a "debate"...

    4. Eric, are you saying that Roy Spencer or Anthony Watts has AIDS? That's news to me.

    5. Eric, I'm not sure mainstream science has ever denied the possibility that a cure for HIV may one day be found. That would explain why they are looking for one and reporting anything, like this, that is in some way effective. Problem is, a man and his endocrinologist working without the support of the best equipment and methods is unlikely to come up with a cure for HIV. And if he had, Monckton has had several years to get the backing of even a small pharmaceutical company. Last time I asked him about it he made some stupid and ignorant and conspiracy laden comment about being unable to do the trials in the EU because of regulations.

      In my considered opinion, Monckton has developed a medicinal compound known in pharmaceutical circles as a placebo.

    6. " someone crazy anymore for suggesting a cure for HIV is possible"

      Did anyone suggest that a cure for HIV is not possible? Perhaps you could point out where?

    7. not just AIDS: from UKIP's puff-piece when they made him deputy leader, he's not only claiming to have cured AIDS, but also that "[p]atients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI", all with a single treatment and no side-effects.

    8. Eric Worrall.

      Your enthusiasm for a general "cure" for HIV is misplaced for a number of reasons.

      Back when CCR5 was discovered by several groups contemporaneously in the 90s my colleagues and I immediately surmised that CCR5 -/- might work as a transplant therapy. There are a few stings in the tail though, not the least of which is that evolution has not rendered the receptor or its ligand redundant and there may be appreciable negative side effects in some people, even where others exhibit none at all.

      With respect to transplanting a CCR5 -/- phenotype into an HIV patient, there's the issue of graft versus host disease, the common scourge of hæmatopoietic transplantation. Finding suitable donors is often not possible, and although GM tinkering can be mooted this in itself would present other immulogical sequelæ that might not be beneficial, although such discussion is not germane to this post.

      Further, the loss of functional CCR5 activity has been shown to enhance GVH responses, which is a bit of a problem in a heterologous transplant context. Certainly some people might escape the problem but it is recognised in at least some investigations of the receptor system.

      There's also the small issue CXCR4 also acts as a coreceptor for HIV, along with or sometimes even in place of CCR5, and therefore a CCR5 -/- transplant may not be an effective solution for all people. And CXCR4 is an essential molecule in the development of many taxa - it is highly conserved and its absence results in early lethality during embryonic development.

      Lesson: whether climatology or immunology, one swallow does not a summer make.

    9. Perhaps more relevant than AIDS is 'Lord' Monckton's belief that he's cured his own Graves's, which presumably means he's no longer taking his meds. Amongst symptoms of Graves's are grandiosity and paranoia, and I hardly need point out evidence of that in his behaviour. Finding much else would be the tricky job.


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