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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ice Ages, Witches and Magic from Marc Morano, Anthony Watts and Alan Carlin

Sou | 12:59 PM Go to the first of 29 comments. Add a comment

I suppose I can understand the fixation that deniers have with religion, given the world view they hold. It goes some way to explaining their inability to distinguish scientific research from witchcraft and sorcery. Those who've had the benefit of any education in science, not so much.

Marc Morano - burning witches

Today Raw Story reported how Marc Morano, a professional disinformer, explained to a rapt audience of science deniers, how policies designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions are like blood sacrifices to the gods. He is reported as saying:
Aztec priests encouraged people to sacrifice blood to the gods to end severe drought...Today we are told we need a fundamental transformation of our lives in order to end bad weather, ...  We are told we need EPA regulations and UN treaties in order to spare us from more hurricanes and floods and droughts and all this bad weather.

Marc is probably right to speak in the language of witch-burners to an audience that still lives in the middle ages. An audience that is happy to use all the gadgets and gizmos brought to them by modern science without understanding the magic that makes those gizmos and gadgets work. It appeals to their lynch mob mentality. "Burn them at the stake" is something extreme right wingers would lap up.

WUWT and its "Church of Environmentalism"

At the anti-science blog WUWT today, Anthony Watts is promoting a book by someone who worked as an economist with the EPA (archived here). This person rose to infamy for protesting environmental regulations back in 2009. He's not a climate scientist. He's not a scientist in any related discipline. He's an economist. A science denying economist. His name is Alan Carlin and he's written yet another science-denying book for the right wing wreckers of the environment to spend their hard-earned money on. Anthony published the promo for his book under the title of "Leaving the Church of Environmentalism".

Probably about the only correct thing in that book is a part of a sentence that is reported as being in the introduction, where Alan Carlin wrote:
Although I and the many other climate skeptics are now referred to as ‘deniers’ by the climate alarmists, that does not change the science...
He's right in that part. Whatever rubbish deniers come up with, it won't change the science.

Carlin writes about how he swung from pillar to post looking for a "cause". In his youth he was a member of the Sierra Club. In his old age he's a member of the fake sceptic society. You find people like this from time to time. They have a strong need to belong to some movement or other. There was another chap who did the same thing. His name escapes me - he sells Golden Rice and climate science denial these days. An odd mixture, but I suppose it helps settle his mind.

By the way, the person who wrote the blurb for Alan Carlin's book is Alan Caruba. who has been featured at HotWhopper before - here and here. He's associated with the denier lobby group, the Heartland Institute.

Anthony Watts, the ice-age comether

Anthony Watts has turned into an ice-age comether today. (Yesterday he was a ozone chemistry denier. The day before that he was a denier that he was a denier.) The cartoon that he posted above his Church of Environmentalism promo depicted a witch-like figure holding a sign that said "snow is a thing of the past". That witch figure was frozen in a large block of ice, and there were two figures in heavy fur-lined jackets looking on, surrounded by snow.

Deniers pray to their god, the rest of us act on the science

Remember when Rick Perry, the then Governor of Texas, prayed for rain to ease the drought in Texas? He didn't just pray for rain, he designated the Days of Prayer in a gubernatorial proclamation. He's probably now praying for dry. Rick doesn't "believe" science. He puts his faith in his prayers. They weren't answered at the time.

From the WUWT comments: More Prayers

The "thoughts" are selected from the WUWT article on the Church of Environmentalism. Note the religious phrasing - it's all there.

Mike Bromley the Kurd prays for the casting off of the "witch" Gina McCarthy
May 27, 2015 at 4:27 pm
Rein it in….and cast off its chief Pixie, the colossally ignorant Gina McCarthy.

Louis Hunt prays "Amen" to this (seriously, I didn't make it up):
May 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm
“…we must… speak out against environmental extremism. We must elect new people to govern in a more realistic, science-based fashion. We must urge our current legislators to rein in the rogue Environmental Protection Agency.”

John prays in vain for some "Common Sense" - capitalized:
May 27, 2015 at 4:36 pm
Let Common Sense prevail over the lies.

Menicholas prays to denier Alan Caruba:
May 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Saints, and Alan Caruba, be praised. 

James at 48 was also floundering about, looking for a group to take him in, such as the Deep Ecology group - capitalized words and all:
May 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm
Back in my reckless youth (early 1980s, underclassman at Uni) I was way more radical than Carlin. I was an Earth First! devotee, all into Deep Ecology and wanting to foment a revolution like the one described in the Ecotopia books. I nonetheless left The Church. The Church of Green is rotten to its core.

The other "thoughts" were mostly along the lines of angelartiste1 - fearful of all the reds under the bed:
May 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm
The goal of these “environmentalists” is not reducing “climate change”. It is replacing capitalism with communism. Since capitalism is the greatest economic system in human history and communism is one of the worst, they are clearly self-destructive and insane.

I think the words "climate science denier" aren't adequate to describe WUWT, its owner or its flock (to keep to the theme). What do you think?


  1. (continued)

    This is why science can make no progress against the indoctrinated. Science is based upon empirical evidence and repeated testing of hypothesis, proving what is true (real) and what is not.

    Science has rejected religion except at the very deepest levels (string theory) - but not because science "knows" enough, but because science has not been able to prove the unknown. Proof of the unknown however is not proof of anything - it is simply proof (evidence)of what is not known.

    Climate denialists are motivated by brute ignorance of science, evidence, facts, logic and reasoning. Their defense is emotion, religion, even fear. Their ignorance of the real world in which they live is very profound. They react to anything that affects their limited worldview and how this might wash away their shaky foundation.

    Don't ever expect anything from WUWT. The site is populated by ignorant morons shouting in an echo chamber. Science would do well to ignore the profane pronouncements of the indoctrinated idiots that would pull the world back to the Dark Ages.

    1. You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into

  2. Anthony sets the target and loads the gun but he lets his commenters pull the trigger. He thinks it gives him plausible deniabilty or at least an arm's lenght from the egregious comments he encourages from the faithful (JC has adopted that tactic too).

    He thinks no one notices his shell game of running an anti-science echo chamber whilst asserting that he acknowledges physics

    1. Yeah - but Anthony denies physics, doesn't he. He wants to pretend he can be just a "little bit pregnant".

      Almost without fail he rejects the science in every scientific press release he posts - with his "claim" headlines. Then today he pictorially posits that an ice age is comething.

      He's just another utter nutter every bit as bad as the most extreme of his deniers. Worse. Because what he's selling is disinformation.

  3. "Remember when Rick Perry, the then Governor of Texas, prayed for rain to ease the drought in Texas? He didn't just pray for rain, he designated the Days of Prayer in a gubernatorial proclamation."

    I've long thought that the whole idea of praying for something makes no sense at all, even from the Christian perspective. Think about it. They claim to believe in a god who is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent. A god like that would have to be aware of the drought, and its length and severity, and would have to be prolonging it for a good reason.

    Praying for the drought to end would only make sense if you thought your god was forgetful, or otherwise incompetent, or perhaps a sadist who liked to watch people grovel for him. It makes no sense if their god has the characteristics they claim he has. They should, to be consistent, be thanking him for being so nice to them, since imposing the drought is obviously a benevolent act.

    The logical conclusion is that they don't actually know what they believe in, and just make shit up as they go.

    1. I believe the theology is that the catholic God gives us free will, so we have to say what we want, otherwise we wouldn't be free.

      The OT God is pretty violent, and repeatedly tones down his violence (ok, no more flooding the world, etc). The NT God tones it down further. But regardless it all rather feels like you risk ending up in a cornfield when you get too close to him.

      Different branches of Christianity have different interpretations of course. The doctrine of free will is particularly controversial.

    2. And when the christian perspective in the US starts to shift as the result of moral papal leadership, the catholic right throws the switch to Morano

  4. "The cartoon that he posted above his Church of Environmentalism promo depicted a witch-like figure holding a sign that said "snow is a thing of the past". "

    Its not often discussed, but the ice extent anomaly in climate change denial cartoon world is trending in a direction embarassing to the IPCC.

    1. Millicent means total sea ice area (Arctic and Antarctic), which has only decreased from 45 million km2 to 41 million km2 since 1979.

    2. Are you and Millicent saying the AR5 WG1 is embarrassingly wrong ?

    3. Bert from ElthamMay 28, 2015 at 8:04 PM

      PG Millicent is saying all that extra ice in the cartoon is totally and utterly wrong! The cartoonist should be embarrassed not the IPCC. Bert

    4. I'm saying that with a record drought in California, record floods in Texas and a record heat wave in India, deniers are retreating from the real world into 'climate change denier cartoon world' where they can have whatever 'reality' suits them.

  5. Sou

    "He's just another utter nutter every bit as bad as the most extreme of his deniers. Worse. Because what he's selling is disinformation."

    Getting a good price for it too. This utter nutter is sane enough to milk the denier lobby groups. He was given $76,000 in 2012 from the Heartland Institute for a website which never appeared.

  6. Bert from ElthamMay 28, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    These professional disinformers of climate change remind me of the overzealous preachers who gamble whore and take illicit drugs and got caught while robbing their followers that they exhort to be pure and free of sin. I am not a psychiatrist but I know psychcopathy when I see it.
    Morano etc runs the full spectrum of lies by his projection and false analogies. None of the crap he spouts makes any logical sense or has any internal consistency.
    The conservative mindset is perpetually immersed in the emotional part of the brain ( The Amygdala ). They only push fear and loathing with their narratives full of lies rather than solutions to problems.
    I reckon I could teach my dog the finer points of Quantum Mechanics before these liars stop leading their ignorant followers astray. Bert

  7. Bert from ElthamMay 28, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    I have discovered a new law. On various sites when an article has evidence of Global Warming the number of denialist posts is directly proportional to the weight of the evidence. It may even be exponential.
    The Guardian and Climate Progress suffer from this phenomena.
    These denialist posts just regurgitate the usual debunked memes. Of course these morons spewing their rubbish will scream 'free speech' if they are moderated.
    Maybe it is about time that if any post mentions a debunked meme as some sort of unfounded evidence it is just simply scrubbed. Bert

  8. Off-Topic: For anyone heading over here from WUWT, here is a 30 second debunking of the nonsense with which Lord Monckton recently made a nuisance of himself at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. I'm ignoring His Lordship's hearsay description of the meeting, and the scientists' reaction to his rudeness; on past experience these probably belong in the realm of the fantastical. Here's the Moncktonian 'science'.

    Monckton: We were not told, of course, that of 11,944 climate-science “publications” in the 21 years 1991-2011 only 41, or 0.3%, had even gone so far as to say most of the global warming since 1950 was manmade.

    M is only counting papers which explicitly, in the abstract, endorsed the consensus. Absurd, you could probably get a similar proportion of Biology papers 'endorsing' the Theory of Evolution. Cook et al's survey of papers as rated by the authors themselves found a percentage in the high nineties agreeing with the proposition. The consensus is strong because the science is strong, not vice versa.

    Monckton: Next, some cherry-picking. Springtime snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere was declining (we were not told that annual northern-hemisphere snow cover shows no change throughout the satellite era).

    Well it’s the Springtime extent that is important, climatically. Nonetheless, M is wrong again. He appears to have got his graphs (which he mislabels NIDC, presumably he means NISDC) from a Earth Observatory page; the accompanying text is

    The 28 year trend in snow extent derived from visible and passive microwave satellite data indicates an annual decrease of approximately 1 to 3 percent per decade with greater deceases of approximately 3 to 5 percent during spring and summer.

    Monckton Professor Hegerl mentioned Antarctic as well as Arctic sea-ice extent, but said the former had increased only “slightly”. We were not told that the increase in Antarctic sea ice now largely compensates for the loss of Arctic sea ice, […]

    We were probably not told this because it would be a lie.

    1. (Continued)

      Monckton We were told the ocean was “acidifying”. We were not told by how much. Not surprising, really, because no global measurement has ever been taken. All we have are a few transects and one or two local records. We were not told that the ocean was actually acid 55 million years ago, and yet the calcite corals that evolved 550 million years ago and the aragonites that first achieved algal symbiosis 175 million years ago somehow survived, and here we all are.

      The ocean is in fact acidifying faster than at any time in the last 300m years. See 'Climate change and the oceans – What does the future hold?', Marine Pollution Bulletin Volume 74, Issue 2, 30 September 2013, Pages 495–505

      And the rugose and tabulate corals that were around in the Cambrian and Ordovician periods are long since extinct. Not the best example, then.

      Monckton Professor Hegerl said observed temperatures had exceeded predictions in the 1990s. She heard me growling at this and reiterated it. However, the warming from January 1990 to December 1999, even on the average of the three much-adjusted and exaggerated surface temperature datasets, was 0.22 degrees, compared with the IPCC’s prediction of 0.28 degrees per decade over the medium term in its 1990 First ASSessment Report.

      This is a misrepresentation that Monckton repeats over and over again. Briefly, the IPCC report projected 4 different forcing scenarios, A-D and calculated the temperature rise it expected for each. In fact forcings proceeded somewhere between scenarios B and C, and the global temperature followed the associated projection remarkably well. Monckton ignores all the scenarios other than 'A', the most extreme, which did not come to pass. Scientific fraud, pure and simple.

      M We were not told that in the last 18 years 5 months that “linear relationship” had broken down, with CO2 emissions and concentration continuing to rise at rates not seen in more than 800,000 years, and yet global temperatures showing no change at all over the period

      Cherry Pick.Tropospheric temperatures as estimated by satellite based microwave sounders may show no trend, however global surface temperature, as measured by ground stations, have just recorded the warmest 12 month period in the record and the warmest start to a year on record.

      Clearly, anyone turning to His Lordship for reliable information is making a category error, but then what do you expect from a fantasist who believes that the historic Queen Street Gardens belong to him?

    2. "We were not told that in the last 18 years 5 months that “linear relationship” had broken down, with CO2 emissions and concentration continuing to rise at rates not seen in more than 800,000 years, and yet global temperatures showing no change at all over the period."

      I am staggered that the Denialati are so intellectually incapacitated that they cannot grok the fundamental reason why the "no warming for..." meme is a load of dog's vomit.

      I have lost count of how many times I've tried a basic statistical approach to drawing attention to the flaw in the denialist argument. Perhaps it's just because they lack the fundamental education to grasp the simple notion involved. If that's the case them perhaps a modern digital analogy might help...

      The shorter the interval of time is considered in trying to identify a warming trend, the lower the resolution one has. It's like pixilating an image - beyond a certain level of coarseness the lack of resolution leads to an insensitivity that completely masks the underlying pattern.

      The Denialati can't print at anything more than 20 dpi.

    3. Bert from ElthamMay 28, 2015 at 10:11 PM

      It is a bit like Japanese porn where the genitals are pixelated. I just do not understand the point of their porn. Violence is graphic and very real in its depiction in Japanese Movies to the point where I find it very disturbing. Bert

    4. As soon as anyone grasps at the "coral in the Cambrian" trick you just know they are full of shit. I ran into that one back when I first started looking into this stuff. It took very little effort on my part to find out the score there, so anyone who can't be bothered doing that is obviously not interested in being honest.

      Same goes for the old "CO2 levels in the Cambrian" diversion.


  9. Monckton reminds me of "Clark Rockefeller", who in reality was an expat German named Gerhartsreiter -- he came to the US as an exchange student, assumed an identity, and made up fantastic stories about himself while running a con for decades. It's an amazing story. Unfortunately, he's been convicted of the murder of at least one person who apparently figured out he was a fake.

  10. Alas, Monckton is for real. He just resides in a universe at some remove from the one most of us inhabit. If I may impose on Sou's hospitality again, I'd like to reproduce a post I just left over there, as last time I engaged with his Lordship over there, the mods started censoring after a while ...

    Science by legal affadavit? Really? Regardless of the outcome of such a novel procedure, the assertion that the consensus rests on the tiny percentage of abstracts in the literature explicitly endorsing it is balderdash. Even Richard Tol, perhaps the most outspoken critic of Cook et al tells us that

    There is no doubt in my mind that the literature on climate change overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that climate change is caused by humans. I have very little reason to doubt that the consensus is indeed correct

    I am grateful to His Lordship for conceding that I was correct in pointing out that his assertion that '
    annual northern-hemisphere snow cover shows no change throughout the satellite era' is indeed untrue. As to the literature …

    Analysis of Northern Hemisphere spring terrestrial snow cover extent (SCE) from the NOAA snow chart Climate Data Record (CDR) for the April to June period (when snow cover is mainly located over the Arctic) has revealed statistically significant reductions in May and June SCE. Successive records for the lowest June SCE have been set each year for Eurasia since 2008, and in 3 of the past 5 years for North America. The rate of loss of June snow cover extent between 1979 and 2011 (−17.8% decade−1) is greater than the loss of September sea ice extent (−10.6% decade−1) over the same period. Analysis of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) model output shows the marked reductions in June SCE observed since 2005 fall below the zone of model consensus defined by +/−1 standard deviation from the multi-model ensemble mean.

    Derksen & Brown 2012

    A 17% /decade decline during Spring. A lesser trend during other seasons. It seems to me that anyone not concerned by this is the one lacking a sense of proportion.

    Again I am grateful to his Lordship for confirming that his original assertion that 'calcite corals that evolved 550 million years ago' survived is untrue. Again, if one is merely setting the bar at more recently evolved corals merely not becoming extinct rather than the massively problematic effects detailed in the paper I cited, then I would opine that it is not I who lacks a sense of proportion. Surely we can aim higher? For a description of the less-than-extinction-but-still-serious effects of acidification on the marine environment, see the paper I cited, or indeed any other authority on the topic.

    His Lordship dismisses Tamino's conclusions on global sea ice extent, even though the statistician's data is well-sourced. Perhaps he would like to give his own figures for the trends in Antarctic and Artic sea ice extent to back up his assertion that the modest increase in the former compensates for the steep decline in the latter?

    1. His Lordship defends his sole use of IPCC 1990 Scenario A (ignoring all others) on the grounds that the report 'graphed emissions' (yes they did, in an Annex, as an 'example') and CO2 emissions are now above Scenario A, according to Le Quere . This is unscientific and disingenuous. Firstly emissions in a single year are irrelevant to the warming effect. What matters is concentrations, and IPCC Scenario A has CO2 concentrations well north of 400ppm by now. Indeed his Lordship's own recent paper showed CO2 forcing trailing the Scenario A forecast by about a decade. Secondly CO2 is the major, but not the only forcing, Figure 7 in the report put CO2 at 55% of the total Greenhouse effect. Other forcings, notably methane, have also not tracked the increases projected under Scenario A, meaning, as I correctly noted, that real-world forcings most closely followed the trajectories of IPCC Scenarios B and C, and hence these are the ones that should be used to assess how the projections performed, rather well is the answer.

      His Lordship points out that ' the rate of warming over that period (the last 18 years), taken as the mean of the three longest-established terrestrial datasets, is equivalent to only three-quarters of a degree per century – again, well within natural variability.'

      I haven't checked those figures, but while we're considering relatively short periods, the 18 year period ending in 2006 in both the RSS satellite data and HADCRUT4 series had a linear slope well in excess of two degrees per century. Was this within natural variability? If one 18 year period is significant, why not the other?

  11. I'm ignoring His Lordship's hearsay description of the meeting, and the scientists' reaction to his rudeness

    I bumped into Gabi [Hegerl] into the corridor at work yesterday and she said, in effect, that Monkton had been resoundingly put in his place. Probably wrote the post to puff up his ego again.

    1. Probably. Somebody else who was there has just posted on WUWT that the article merely highlights the peer's 'arrogance and personal prejudices'

    2. Yes I saw that comment, from someone who was there. I'd thought about going along, but was too busy. The previous evening Professor Ottmar Edenhofer (co-chair, WGIII) had talked for an hour about, in his opinion, the need for a carbon tax as a way of providing benefits to developing nations now as well as mitigating the effects of future climate change.

      Monkton's arrogance that he knows more than the combined expertise of the RSE speakers is, as always, gobsmacking.

  12. I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned but Nic offered qualified support for Hegerl on WUWT whilst in the same breath, praising Screaming Lord Such for his interesting piece which included an outrageous attack on her. Nic is full of shit. I wouldn't trust him as far as I could kick him.


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