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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Stretching credulity or the limits of knowledge at WUWT: An ice age cometh

Sou | 2:55 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment

There still isn't much happening in deniersville. The hottest year ever has flummoxed them, leaving them flailing ahead of Paris - so far. Anthony Watts is so stuck for contributions to pin on his blog noticeboard that he's scraping the bottom of the barrel with a very dumb "ice age cometh" article by petroleum geologist Dr. Norman Page (archived here). I wonder if this is the sort of thing that Anthony will publish in the first edition of his OAS journal?

Norman is a science-denying ice age comether from way back who by now should have learnt a few things. He hasn't. What he claims to have done is written an article for an eight year old child. From what he's written, an eight-year-old would run rings around Norman when it comes to climate science.

Norman starts off badly, when he can't even get the name of a well-known publisher of dictionaries right. I mean it's cute, but ...:

Miriam (sic) – Webster defines Epistemology as
the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity

Then he wanders off into a very long-winded article, the nuts and bolts of which meander from basics about day and night and the seasons, then through pseudo-science cyclical quackery before degenerating into One World Guvmint conspiracy nuttery:

Norman Page's view of surface temperature compared to reality

Here is what has happened with global surface temperature since 1880:

Here is how Norman Page sees it:

I am not joking!

From the WUWT comments

Mike says he started losing interest when Norman talked about 1,000 year cycles:
August 31, 2015 at 10:54 am
I started losing interest at about the same point. Not because of sig.figs but that assertion that the very speculative “1000y cycle” exists and will reproduce itself again.
Pumping out this kind of non-scientific hypothesis as fact to a young and impressionable mind of the supposed 8 year old is despicable. This is just as bad as the indoctrination that is currently going on our schools. It is not any more acceptable simply because the message is a non AGW one.
Honestly, this article is junk science of the same kind that I would expect to see on SkS and the likes. WUWT is going down hill rapidly with a number of very poor science articles recently.
Very disappointing.

andrewmharding thinks it's fantastic
August 31, 2015 at 7:48 am
Norman, what a fantastic essay. I have been e regular on WUWT for several years and I did not know this quote existed
” lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures”
I have said this before but will say it again. The UN is acting very much like the EU in attempting to govern multiple countries, by stealth. Both the UN and EU are fixated with AGW scares as a means of control, it can be the only logical reason why safe nuclear power (by uranium or thorium) is not higher on the research agenda. They know AGW is not happening.
Once you control the energy supply of a country, you control that country. 

Solar physicist lsvalgaard put up some charts and wrote (extract):
August 31, 2015 at 7:52 am
...There is no evidence that we are ‘close to the 1000 year peak’ or of such a peak in general. Any 8-yr old can see and understand that right away. And can also understand that your Figure 3 covers a time much too short to say anything about a 1000-yr cycle.

After the hottest decade on record, the hottest year on record (2014), and this year shaping up to be another hottest year on record, Gloria Swansong is firmly in the land of deluded deniers:
August 31, 2015 at 8:02 am
With reference to Bob’s sine wave graph, recall that at the trough of its 30-year down trend in the late 1970s, scientists were worried that the cooling trend would continue, leading to another Big Ice Age.
But instead the trend bottomed out and ticked up, leading to worries about the Venus Express. Now the wave is headed down again, but “scientists” are loathe to jump off the climate gravy train. 

Anthony Watts knows he has to provide something to please every one of his deluded deniers. BallBounces is happy:
August 31, 2015 at 8:23 am
Thanks for this. If I had a top-ten list of climate change articles, this one would be in it.
The following bit seems more polemical than sober facts/evidence-based. The argument would be stronger if it stuck to observable facts, i.e., they shifted their concern to climate change, without imputing motive. It’s difficult to impute motive, unless you have access to internal documents. Here’s the bit:
Ten years later it was obvious that the predictions of imminent death and disaster were wrong. The people at UNEP still wanted to take global control of the worlds economy. They realized that if they could show that the CO2 ( carbon dioxide) produced by burning coal and oil to make electricity and drive our cars might cause a dangerous warming of the earth they would be able to scare the Governments and people into writing laws giving the UN ( and them) control over the world’s economy by controlling the type of energy used and its price. 

Paul Homewood, one of Judith Curry's heroes, doesn't believe in science:
August 31, 2015 at 9:30 am
Whether we quibble about 1000-yr solar cycles or not, the evidence of warm and cold cycles of this sort of length is abundantly clear.
What caused these cycles? We don’t know for certain, and probably never will.

jclarke341 wrote:
August 31, 2015 at 10:27 am
I believe that evidence supports 1,000 year and (to a lessor extent) 60 year cycles in Northern Hemisphere temperature, but I do not believe that we have identified anything in solar activity that explains this. I cannot effectively explain the cycles, and, to my knowledge, neither can anyone else. But our ignorance in explaining them does not mean they do not exist.
Aside from tying the cycles to the sun, the rest of the article is spot on, and the more people know about how this whole myth of catastrophic global warming came about, the better. I am sharing a link to this article on Facebook.

Keith thinks Norman's profoundly stupid article will ruffle feathers. Seriously?
August 31, 2015 at 10:55 am
Wonderful post. Of course lots of feathers will be ruffled by it. 

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. Sou, it is worse.

    The graph he uses to illustrate the 1000 year cycles is for air temperatures in Greenland. That's not the whole planet so far as I remember.

    Secondly, the line mysteriously ends about 80 years before year 0, ie now. Is he hiding the incline?

    Thirdly, the peaks are at best 1000 years +/-250 years. Any attentive 8 year old would point out the trough at 4000 years rather than a peak.

    So all in all typical denier fare.

    1. You're right Catmando. But there was so much wrong with what he wrote about cycles, that it would have made this article way too long.

      The GISP2 chart (Greenland) begins 95 years before 1950, so in 1855. It doesn't include the ice sheet temperature of the past 160 years. Since that's been pointed out lots of times at WUWT, and Norman is a regular, he would know that but took the decision not to mention it.

      Also, even on the top of an ice sheet in Greenland, his 1000 year "cycles" are nothing but a figment of his imagination.

    2. He's using Richard Alley's GISP2 ice-core. The data ended in 1855. In the original data "Present" was 1950 (standard practice for ice-core), and Alley's data ended 95 years before present. Alley's GISP2 graph is commonly misused by deniers and leaves out the last 165 years.

    3. Sou, do you have an updated graph with the Greenland temperatures for the last 160 years added to Richard Alley's GISP2 data? I seem to remember you did one a while back.

    4. At the bottom of the above article, I've added some more links to articles that have some info on Greenland temperatures above. The first decade this century (to 2010) was warm, but not the warmest in the Holocene.

      There's also a page here with links to automatic weather stations in Greenland.

    5. Ceist, As Sou points out, deniers love misrepresenting the GISP2 data and pointing out that it is curated by Richard Alley - a 'warmist' (ie mainstream) scientist. Don Easterbrook is a repeat offender and there is an excellent debunking of his assertions, including a comparison with recent temperatures at the 'Hot Topic' blog.

      As for Alley, he wrote a detailed piece at Dot Earth on this very topic, including this quotable quote which I try and weave in to any response to denier GISPgate

      "So, using GISP2 data to argue against global warming is, well, stupid, or misguided, or misled, or something, but surely not scientifically sensible. And, using GISP2 data within the larger picture of climate science demonstrates that our scientific understanding is good, supports our expectation of global warming, but raises the small-chance-of-big-problem issue that in turn influences the discussion of optimal human response."



    6. This misrepresentation of Alley's results really needs to be written up properly and published (i.e. not blog style) so that this crap can be shot down instantly. If you misrepresent the results everybody can see that you are a fraud, instantly.

      R the ANon

    7. Thanks Phil, interesting about Easterbrook- it was so obvious what was done. I wish there was a website called "Hide the Incline" where those fraudulent graphs and others were all in one place with an explanation of what was done. From experience on forums where science deniers have used faked graphs and someone else has shown how they were faked, they just ignore it post them again a few weeks later. The deception and dishonesty of some of these people while screeching about "the scientists are faking data!" etc is quite astounding to the point where it looks like a mental illness.

    8. It's one thing if some non-scientist on a blog to fakes a graph, but for a Professor Emeritus like Easterbrook to engage in academic fraud like that, and seemingly get away with it, is mind blowing to me.

      I remember reading about Lindzen making accusations against NOAA-GISS using a false slide at a presentation, then his 'mistake' being exposed. He blamed someone else of course.
      From RealClimate:

    9. People from Don's faculty complained at one point:

      I haven't seen anything from him lately at WUWT (or anywhere else). He might have retired from his career as a science denier. I don't know. He'd be getting on in years by now I expect. Also, since none of his predictions of cooling came to pass, he might just be sulking.

    10. Thanks for that Sou. It's good to know that he was called out on it by the faculty at least.

  2. This guy had me wondering if he was a Poe: but no, climate change deniers are truly that dumb. I love the way that, according to his past predictions, we are already in a cooling phase even as in the real world we see record breaking global temperatures.

    And just to make it all even more obvious, his affiliation to the fossil fuel industry is there for all to see. A bloke from CFACT one day, a petroleum consultant the next. So hard to see where WUWT is really founded.

    And still, so many numpties over at WUWT are lapping it up.

    1. I don't understand how a person can write this sort of nonsense year after year, be told where he's going wrong, and still keep doing it. There's probably some explanation in cognitive science literature.

      It's as if people like Norman and his fans get shown a picture of something, say, a cat - and what they see is a mouse. Then they are given a real live cat to hold, and they still swear black and blue that they are patting a mouse. Then they are put in front of the lion enclosure at the zoo, and they turn around and say "that's rather a large mouse, isn't it"..

      There's something wrong with their brains.

    2. The article reminds me of the type of Gish Gallop the Creationists like. They just pour it on with no critical thinking.

  3. Sou, maybe he thinks your last name is Webster.



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