Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham rejects climate science and brings out the utter nutters at WUWT

Sou | 7:15 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts is still promoting full-on rejection of the last two centuries of climate science at WUWT.  He doesn't know if he's coming or going as far as the science goes, but when it comes to politics he does know where he stands.

Anthony is willing to promote flat out rejection of two hundred years of climate science in order to persuade people to be luddites.  To persuade people not to embrace the energy revolution.  To persuade people that the aged out-dated technology of dirty coal is preferable to tried and tested technology of clean renewable energy.

Today Anthony is promoting the wacky ideas of Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham (archived here).  Steve's ideas are so wacky that the Heartland Institute was forced to try to give away his latest book, sending it out to scientists at universities so they could use it as a doorstop or mock it if they thought it was worth the effort of doing so.

Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham writes today:
Since climate change is dominated by natural, not man-made factors, there is no United Nations agreement that will have a measureable effect on Earth’s climate. 

Climate change is dominated by natural not man-made factors?  That comment of his places him squarely in the "utter nutter" camp of science deniers.  And by default it places Anthony Watts right there alongside him for promoting his nonsense.

[In the main WUWT article, which is a repost of a Washington Times article, Steve Goreham is bemoaning the fact that the United Nations Global Compact has "released guidelines to help companies engage in climate policy in a transparent and accountable way that is consistent with their sustainability commitments".  Here's a link to the guidelines themselves.  I'll be interested to read them.  I'm aware of other initiatives over the years involving some of the world's leading management consulting firms.  And I'm somewhat familiar with similar efforts here in Australia.  Some of these initiatives are more useful to business than others.]

Well-mixed greenhouse gases far outweigh "natural" forcings

Going back to Steve Goreham's rejection of the greenhouse effect, below is a chart looking back more than one thousand years, showing the radiative forcing from volcanoes (upper left scale), changes in solar irradiance (middle right scale) and well-mixed greenhouse gases (bottom left scale).  Click the chart to enlarge it.

Source: Box TS.5 Figure 1 page TS-103 AR5 WG1 IPCC

The chart makes it obvious to everyone (except maybe the most hardened science denier like Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham) that it's the increase in greenhouse gases that are having by far the biggest impact on earth these days.

Components of radiative forcing

There's more.  Below is what the science shows are the main components of radiative forcing, from page TS-91 of the latest IPCC report:

Source: Figure TS.7 page TS-91 AR5 WG1 IPCC

Why does Anthony Watts promote greenhouse effect deniers?

 Anthony Watts professes to accept the science explaining the greenhouse effect. So why does he promote the opinions of greenhouse effect deniers?

I can't read the mind of Anthony Watts but he has given clues in the past.  It's not because he knows something about climate that no-one else knows.  It's because of his political stance.  For example, he has said on public television that he rejects climate science because it has implications for policy.  See 54 seconds into this interview with him on YouTube:
Interviewer: "What bothers you the most about the arguments that there is serious global warming?"
Anthony Watts: "They want to change policy, they want to apply taxes"!

From the WUWT comments

As you can see from below, there aren't too many semi-coherent comments yet.  Here's the current archive.

norah4you says - I'm not sure what she's trying to say:
November 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm
So if FN aren’t supported from facts instead of computermodels, then business is next in line to be called for help?

Graham of Sydney interprets it in his own way and says:
November 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm
“Business must lobby governments to fight climate change, according to the United Nations.”
Translated as:
“Look, will youse just shuddup already and hand over the dough, FFS?”

A.D. Everard says:
November 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm
I can’t see businesses being too keen, they are feeling the pinch already, many of them on the brink of going under. I would imagine they will lobby the governments in quite the opposite direction, or at least I *blinking* well hope so.

rtj1211 says "it's all about money":
November 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm
‘Bankrupt yourselves and die, then the world will be left for us rich folks’.
That would just about sum up the UN/CEO approach.

RockyRoad goes for conspiracy ideation of a most exaggerated type and says:
November 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm
Another desperate appeal based on fantasy.
Everybody knows this centralized power structure is losing their grip.
Their reign of power is collapsing.


  1. Many of the comments remind me of what I see over in the young earth creationist sites, where commenters say that evolution is collapsing, scientists are running from it, the reign of power is collapsing, etc. Other similarities between the two streams of denial are well-noted by now (shameless self-promotion alert---I made those connections well ahead of the curve, and postulated (i.e. guessed) we'd see a similar mindset spillover into other areas of science, like climatology. I had no idea just how much though).

    1. Yes, Dan. What always gets me is how there are so many comments adding nothing at all of substance. Empty, vague and often inarticulate protests.

      PS Have you written about this, Dan? If you have, would you share it? Sounds interesting.

    2. It's typical of cult behaviour : the truth, so obvious to cult-members, is always on the verge of being recognised because the conspiracy suppressing it is crumbling, and this belief can be maintained indefinitely.

      When I first heard that climate science had been demolished the deed was attributed to one John Daly - that's how old I am - and I've been hearing the same claim ever since from the same people.

    3. "Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends!"

      Cugel, be careful invoking the name of that crank - you never know which knuckle-dragging troll will be lured to comment in response!

      On the matter of the lunacy of Daly though, you might be interested in a rather long stint of trolling-of-the-reel-'em-in kind in which I engaged at Deltoid very late last year, where Spangled Drongo embarrassed himself to the point of abject humiliation. At one point Drongo appealed to the ghost of Daly and I had rather too much fun setting him to rights. I've not seen these rebuttals to Daly raised elsewhere, so it probably won't hurt to note them here for posterity - if Sou doesn't mind me using her blog as a bookmark! ;-)

      Bernard J.


Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.