Sunday, November 10, 2013

Resurrecting an Inhofe Science Denier at WUWT - Nobel Prize Winner, MIT-educated Philip Lloyd

Sou | 1:39 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

It looks as if Anthony has been dredging for articles and has resurrected another science denier at WUWT.  He's got a guest post by Philip Lloyd, a petrochemical engineer from Cape Town, South Africa.  I hadn't come across him before, but he's previously chosen WUWT to express his denial of climate science.

Who is Philip Lloyd?

Philip Lloyd is Managing Director at Industrial & Petrochemical Consultants (Pty) Ltd (profile archived here).  He also lists himself as a Professor at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.  This latter may be just an honorary post.  My research suggests so but is not definitive.

Philip Lloyd describes himself as a "senior engineer" with the following specialties: Energy, petroleum industry, mining industry, extractive metallurgy, climate change.

Climate change you might ask? It turns out that, outside of his home country at any rate, the closest he has brushed with fame when it come to "climate change", apart from his two WUWT articles, is as Coordinating Lead Author of a chapter of an IPCC report.

Which report?  Well it's a 2005 report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage.

Which chapter was he coordinating lead author of?  It's not exactly a chapter, it's an Annexe.  And it's not the first Annexe, it's Annexe II: Glossary, acronyms and abbreviations :)

Read on for more...

Philip Lloyd, science denier

Back in January this year Philip Lloyd wrote at WUWT (archived here):
Where the sceptic differs from many other scientists is in ascribing the warming to human activities – specifically, the burning of fossil fuels and the concomitant rise in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.
This is truly weird, given that Philip Lloyd has a career in the coal mining industry.  He even has a PhD in Chemical Engineering.  So you'd have thought he would know that burning fossil fuels yields carbon dioxide. Well, it seems he might have got that far, but that's about as far as he's got.  He wrote:
A prime difficulty with the anthropogenic warming thesis is that it is not known how much of the warming is natural and how much might be caused by carbon dioxide. 
Philip is wrong of course.  It is known.  Certainly enough to warrant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In today's article (archived here), Philip goes on about changes between the first and final IPCC drafts, as if early drafts shouldn't have been amended. He's all hot and bothered about the corrected chart that I and others have discussed before.  He reckons it shouldn't have been corrected!

Philip talks about the tropospheric "hot spot" and wrongly says:
None of these methods have managed to find any evidence of warming at anything like 0.6 degrees Centigrade per decade.  The thermometers suggest slight cooling; the satellites slight warming.  This huge discrepancy between model and measurement has been the subject of intense discussion since the 2007 Assessment. ...
...This time I read out to the IPCC the actual papers from the peer-reviewed literature that they should have been using: -
and listed five papers that he says the IPCC should have referenced papers, including this one:
Allen, Robert J. and Sherwood, Steven C. (2008) Warming maximum in the tropical upper troposphere deduced from thermal winds. Nature Geosci 1 (6), 399- 403, http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n6/full/ngeo208.html
The abstract for the Allen and Sherwood paper shows that Philip Lloyd lied when he wrote "none of these methods have managed to find any evidence of warming at anything like 0.6 degrees Centigrade per decade:
Climate models and theoretical expectations have predicted that the upper troposphere should be warming faster than the surface. Surprisingly, direct temperature observations from radiosonde and satellite data have often not shown this expected trend. However, non-climatic biases have been found in such measurements.
Here we apply the thermal-wind equation to wind measurements from radiosonde data, which seem to be more stable than the temperature data. We derive estimates of temperature trends for the upper troposphere to the lower stratosphere since 1970. Over the period of observations, we find a maximum warming trend of 0.65 plus minus 0.47 K per decade near the 200 hPa pressure level, below the tropical tropopause. Warming patterns are consistent with model predictions except for small discrepancies close to the tropopause. Our findings are inconsistent with the trends derived from radiosonde temperature datasets and from NCEP reanalyses of temperature and wind fields. The agreement with models increases confidence in current model-based predictions of future climate change.

I checked and that paper was indeed cited in the IPCC AR5 report in the section on upper air temperatures (p 2-41).  So that paper was cited in AR5.  Not only that, it doesn't find what Philip wanted it to find.  Huh! so much for his complaints.

So I check Philip's other references to see if they were cited in AR5.  It turns out that three of of his list of five papers were cited:

Cited twice in Chapter 9 in the section on tropical troposphere temperature trends (page 9-30)
Douglass, D. H., Christy, J. R., Pearson, B. D. and Singer, S. F. (2008), A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. Int. J. Climatol., 28: 1693–1701. doi: 10.1002/joc.1651 

Cited in Chapter 2 (page 2-40) in the section on upper air temperatures:
Titchner, Holly A., P. W. Thorne, M. P. McCarthy, S. F. B. Tett, L. Haimberger, D. E. Parker, 2009: Critically Reassessing Tropospheric Temperature Trends from Radiosondes Using Realistic Validation Experiments. J. Climate, 22, 465–485. doi: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008JCLI2419.1

I only found one citation from the dubious "journal" Energy and Environment and it wasn't the Singer et al paper.  So sad :(  (Will that single citation provide ammunition for Donna Laframboise to allege that AR5 WG1 didn't stick solely to peer reviewed literature?)

So apart from the E&E "paper" by Fred Singer, the only reference not cited from Lloyd's list (hey, not that Lloyd's List!) was this one:
Lanzante, John R., Melissa Free, 2008: Comparison of Radiosonde and GCM Vertical Temperature Trend Profiles: Effects of Dataset Choice and Data Homogenization. J. Climate, 21, 5417–5435. doi: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008JCLI2287.1;
However other similar papers from Lanzante and Free were cited more than once in AR5. For example, among others:

How's that for "making up stuff".  Philip Lloyd is a very suitable contributor to WUWT.

Who is Philip Lloyd?

So who is Philip Lloyd?  The WUWT article states (archived here):
Professor Philip Lloyd is from the Energy Institute, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town S.A.

I dug deeper and, thanks to Tim Lambert, found that he was one of Senator Inhofe's quoted "skeptics". In the 2008 Senate Minority Report (the one purportedly listing 650 "skeptics" but actually only three or so from the IPCC) he is mentioned as follows:

CO2 is insignificant, says "Nuclear Physicist" Philip Lloyd

Oh, and this "nuclear physicist" and coal mining consultant claims to have studied the ice record in detail!
Nuclear Physicist and Chemical Engineer Dr. Philip Lloyd, a UN IPCC cocoordinating lead author on the Technical Report on Carbon Capture & Storage, was in charge of South Africa’s Chamber of Mines’ Metallurgy Laboratory and was a former professor at University of Witwatersrand where he established a course in environmental chemical engineering. Lloyd has served as President of the South African Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Federation of Societies of Professional Engineers, and the Associated Scientific and Technical Societies of Southern Africa. Lloyd, who has authored over 150 refereed publications, currently serves as an honorary research fellow with the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town. Lloyd rejects man-made climate fears. “I have grave difficulties in finding any but the most circumstantial evidence for any human impact on the climate,” Lloyd wrote to EPW on January 18, 2008. “The quantity of CO2 we produce is insignificant in terms of the natural circulation between air, water and soil. I have tried numerous tests for radiative effects, and all have failed. I have tried to develop an isotopic method for identifying stable C12 (from fossil fuels) and merely ended up understanding the difference between the major plant chemistries and their differing ability to use the different isotopes. I have studied the ice core record, in detail, and am concerned that those who claim to have a model of our climate future haven't a clue about the forces driving our climate past,” Lloyd wrote. “I am particularly concerned that the rigor of science seems to have been sacrificed on an altar of fundraising. I am doing a detailed assessment of the IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policy Makers, identifying the way in which the Summaries have distorted the science. I have found examples of a Summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said,” he concluded.
Next question - who or what is EPW?  Did Lloyd write a denier letter to Economics and Politics Weekly back in 2008?  Maybe Inhofe could quote WUWT next :)

I searched Google Scholar for his "150 refereed publications".  I found only 20 items listed in Google Scholar going back nearly fifty years, of which several were obviously not "refereed".  He didn't have any publications listed in the IPCC carbon capture report he co-authored.

Philip Lloyd - Coordinating Lead Author of an IPCC report

Philip Lloyd was touted in Senator Inhofe's minority report as a Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC .  I went through all the main reports and couldn't find his name - not in any one of them.  Not as an author nor in the list of references.  I extended the search and discovered he was listed as an author in the 2005 IPCC Special Report: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage:

  • Chapter 5: Underground Geological Storage - one of the 21 lead authors (working under two coordinating lead authors)
  • Annex II - Glossary, acronyms and abbreviations - Coordinating lead author!
He was a lead author in Underground Geological Storage.  Fair enough.  But the effort he must be most proud of his role as Coordinating Lead Author of the Annex of Glossary, acronyms and abbreviations!!!

What did Philip Lloyd do at MIT?

In Philip's LinkedIn profile (archived here) he claims education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  But when I looked down his profile further it didn't list any degree of any kind from MIT.  All it said was "Nuclear engineering".  He listed his qualifications as follows:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear engineering
1962 – 1965
Activities and Societies: Fellow School for Advanced Studies, Outing Club, Choral Society
University of Cape Town
PhD, Chemical Engineering
1959 – 1961
PhD thesis on uranium solvent extraction
Vice-president of SRC 1960-61 and de facto president because president generally absent from campus
Activities and Societies: Students Representative Council
University of Cape Town
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Chemical Engineering
1955 – 1958
University of Cape Town
BSc, Chemical Engineering
1954 – 1958
Activities and Societies: Mountain & Ski Club, Yacht Club, Photographic Society, Classical Music Society
Interesting.  Did he get two PhDs in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town or was that a slip?  And what did he do at MIT apart from singing in a choir?  Was that a post-doc position?  Did he start something and not finish?

My BS antennas are quivering.  This chap was a student politician and is still one today (look at his "I was really effectively the SRC president because the real president was away a lot"!)  Shades of 60 year olds whose greatest academic award was given while they were in high school, so they still boast about it.

Philip Lloyd proudly proclaims his Nobel Prize - more than once

And there's more.  Philip Lloyd, in his LinkedIn profile, when he mentions his role at the IPCC, proudly claims to have been part of team sharing the Nobel Peace Prize:
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
December 2007
Part of team sharing Nobel Peace Prize

Padding and self-promotion to the extreme

It's not the only place where he boasts of his Nobel Prize.   I found this paragraph in a press release from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (archived here).  (Did he write this himself?)
It’s certainly not the first time Lloyd’s scooped such prestigious recognition. In 2007, Lloyd’s contributions to carbon capture and storage were acknowledged by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as sufficient for him to form part of the nominated Nobel Peace Prize team, together with former United States president Al Gore.

That's what I call ironic promotion for a climate science denier!  (Am I correct in recalling Anthony Watts mocking Michael Mann for saying that he contributed to IPCC's efforts that resulted in it being awarded the Nobel Prize?  When is he going to blast Philip Lloyd for doing so?)

(I checked, and the SANEA did give him the Energy Award for a lifelong contribution, back in 2010.)

By the way, here is the website of the Energy Institute of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.  (I had to search directly because there is no link from this page in the list of Research Centres in the Engineering Department.)  You'll see it is proudly supported by Eskom and the Fossil Fuel Foundation:

When I went to the Eskom website, this is what I found:

Incidentally, I don't know what the policies of the Fossil Fuel Foundation are or it's attitude on climate change.  However I did come across a transcript of a speech by a guest speaker who spoke about climate change in realistic terms.

Just another nutty denier?

Philip Lloyd comes across as just another science denier, albeit one who wouldn't appear as an utter nutter if he stuck to his real accomplishments and didn't pad them so much.  Ironically, he is a science denier who boasts a Nobel Prize from his contribution to the IPCC while making out that the IPCC reports are a load of crock.  He opened his article with the following:
People have the nasty habit of giving their opponents names.  Those who are convinced that humans are wrecking the world by burning fossil fuels call those who don’t believe them “denialists.” It implies that they are close to the Holocaust deniers, and so are clearly beyond the pale.
I have come to the conclusion that they are wrong. The true denialists are those who believe in global warming, and who will go to any lengths to deny the evidence against that position.
Philip Lloyd, no matter how much you deny the fact - you are a climate science denier :)

From the WUWT comments

A quick scan revealed nothing worth repeating.  You can read them archived here if you want to.


  1. "Shades of 60 year olds ..." He started an undergraduate degree in 1954. Probably more likely late 70s, early 80s unless he was a child prodigy.

    He completed his PhD in 1961, nearly 20 years before the 1979 Charney report, the first of the modern scientific investigations into global warming. I suspect that this is a major problem for the elderly climate science deniers - all the scientific research happened well outside their academic heyday.

    As for the whining about being called a "denier", it is now official.
    "a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence:
    a prominent denier of global warming
    a climate change denier"


    1. Please pass the following on to your friends.

      National Day of Climate Action, next Sunday 17th November.
      In every Australian capital city and 100s of regional towns.


    2. Mike, with the "shades of" comment I was referring to someone else whose biggest claim to academic fame that people seem to cite was winning a math competition when he was in high school :)

      I've often quoted the Oxford definition first at HotCopper and here at HotWhopper. Deniers are not impressed :)

    3. There are some interesting profiles of attitudes to climate action by age and other criteria here at the ABC Compass election survey.

  2. WUWT is looking more and more like a retirement home for grumpy old men.

    1. It's more like an asylum than a retirement home.

  3. Looking back, it's a darned shame that the CFC/ozone layer thing played out when it did. Seeing what happened with that must have scared the HC industry no end, but worse it showed them their way forward. The CFC struggle was lost by its respective industry but then much needed to be learned and of course the stakes were less.

    Part of the learning was this: mobilize enough cranks, moonlighters, demented emeritus professors and other elements of the fringe and at least some will inevitably end up with seats at the table of policy-making, begin to be heard where otherwise it would have been impossible.

    Nuttiness has been formally incorporated in the transition zone between climate science and climate policy. It's almost impossible not to participate in this dance; using the term "skeptic" to describe someone such as Lloyd is to voluntarily play according to the terms of discussion created by the opposition, similarly to using the term "abortion clinic" or abandoning earlier terminology in favor of "unborn child."

  4. not sure if i'm about to double post, so i'll keep this brief:

    "Next question - who or what is EPW? Did Lloyd write a denier letter to Economics and Politics Weekly back in 2008? Maybe Inhofe could quote WUWT next :)"

    it's Inhofe's US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works - he used Lloyd among all the other crap in his report "disputing" AGW...


    1. Thanks. I should have twigged to that one. (I've learned a lot about US political structures and politics through researching climate science denial. Funny that!)

  5. Thank you so much for your kind econium. A few corrections, however - you headed your piece "Nobel Prize Winner" - I have not claimed to be one, as you have noted elsewhere, merely that I was recognized formally as a member of the IPCC team that did share the Peace Prize.

    As regards my role, you are a little disparaging about doing a glossary. You missed that I was also a Lead Author of another chapter in the IPCC report. And you did not recognize that, when we wrote the report, CCS was a relative newcomer with its own language, and we had to freeze that language in the interests of clear communication. As a result I got to edit almost every chapter in the report to make certain the text conformed to the glossary definitions. One of the battles I partly lost was avoidance of acronyms - and author insisted on COE - the "cost of electricity".

    Re my age, it's no secret - I was born in 1936. When I studied at MIT, one of my electives was advanced optics III and the lecturer was brilliant. After his first class, I asked a fellow student just who "Ed" was - "Oh! He's Ed Land, he owns the Polaroid Corporation." "What's he doing lecturing?" I asked. "Dunno! You better ask him." So I asked him, and he told me "Every penny I ever made I made out of knowledge I acquired in college, and I'd be a poor American if I couldn't share some of the the fun I've had with the young people of today. Welcome to my class!" I thought that a good idea, and when I was formally retired from the world of international construction I returned to academia and am still enjoying my third career. I'm not grumpy - that is reserved, I have found, for those who have never enjoyed their work and have retired.


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