Monday, April 21, 2014

The Heartland Institute can't get anyone to promote their NIPCC report

Sou | 2:28 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment

The poor chaps at the Heartland Institute are doing it tough. Craig Idso (respected scientist?) can't find anyone to do some free PR and advertising for the Not the IPCC Report version umpteen. So he is falling back on an old standby, Anthony Watts and his pseudo-science blog, wattsupwiththat.com (archived here).  Which means, of course, that he is preaching to the converted.

I'm not sure that WUWT is an old standby. It might just be a fallback position. While Anthony occasionally posts an article by one or other of the Idso family of disinformers, it doesn't happen very often.  Still, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Their "big launch" of the latest version of the Not the IPCC report attracted the following people, according to skepticalscience.com:
  • 5 Heartland participants
  • 5 grumpy-looking old white guys 
  • 1 supporter from the American Enterprise Institute
  • 2 bored looking middle-aged guys playing with electronic devices
  • 1 journalist from CNS news ("The right news. Right now")
  • 1 guy running the Fox TV camera 
  • 2 women who came in late
  • An SkS author and co-conspirator.

They knew they were in trouble. Maybe they put in a call to their mate, Tom Harris, because yesterday it was Tom Harris from Canada and the grandly if inappropriately named International Climate Science Coalition, who explained that bible science trumps climate science, and then denied having written it.  He also denied writing that "In the long run, the climate scare will be revealed as the most expensive hoax in the history of science", which is pretty odd, because it turns out he's claimed climate science is a hoax on other occasions too (h/t Anonymous).

It could be they weren't satisfied with Tom's promo, or maybe it was part of the PR effort but today it's Craig Idso's turn.  To his credit, he admitted right up front that he couldn't get reputable media organisations to publish his nonsense, so he's making a plea for any science denying bloggers to put his article up on denier blogs.

Too hot dull wrong to handle!

Craig Idso started off somewhat hopefully: "NOTE: This op-ed is apparently too hot for some editors to handle."

Ha ha - when was an op-ed about climate "too hot to handle"? More commonly they would be considered too dull to handle.  In this case it wasn't that it was too hot or too dull, it turns out it was too wrong to handle.  As Craig admitted (my bold italics):
"Late last week it was accepted and posted on politix.topix.com only to be abruptly removed some two hours later. After several hours of attempting to determine why it was removed, I was informed the topix.com editor had permanently taken it down because of a strong negative reaction to it and because of “conflicting views from the scientific community” over factual assertions in the piece."

Yep, Craig didn't portray the science properly.  So let's see how much he got wrong. His first paragraph was okay but then he quickly strayed from the facts, writing:
Really? Is Earth’s climate so fragile that both it and our way of life are in jeopardy because of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions?
In a word, no! 

Craig is wrong! And he doesn't accept paleoclimatology.  A sudden rapid change in CO2 can precipitate a major extinction event.  Earth's climate is fairly robust as long as nothing changes too rapidly.  The earth system has fast and slow feedbacks and prefers slow changes so that everything in the system has time to adjust.  Give it a big shock and the results are difficult to predict.  But looking at big shocks to the system in the past provides some clues.  For example, the Permian-Triassic extinctions.

Then Craig makes a couple of other "wrong" statements in quick succession:
  • The human impact on global climate is small; Wrong! Human activity is probably responsible for more than 100% of the warming since the 1950s, and some of the warming before that time).
  • any warming that may occur as a result of anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is likely to have little effect on either Earth’s climate or biosphere - Wrong again!  It is already and will continue to raise temperatures, melt ice, raise sea levels, drop ocean pH etc etc, all having massive flow-on effects to life on land and in the oceans.

Craig gives up at this point. The rest of his article is mostly empty rhetoric with lots of mentions of his silly Not the IPCC report, which he can't seem to be able to give away to too many people.  I noticed that Craig provided no evidence for his bald statements of untruth, other than his Not the IPCC report.  Readers are meant to take on faith that all the world's scientists are wrong and the Heartland Institute is right.  Which if you stop to think about it is ridiculous.  (If you have to stop to think about it you are probably not familiar with the Heartland Institute.)

From the WUWT comments

There wasn't all that much discussion of the scientific content errors in Craig's article. The majority of comments didn't seem to relate directly to the article at all. The commenters got distracted by other commenters' comments :)

Ian W says rather hopefully:
April 20, 2014 at 8:24 am
Panic must really be breaking out if the politicians and grant seeking catastrophists have to pull strings to remove such a mild ‘op-ed’. They obviously have not heard of the Streisand effect.

Greg cries "censorship" and says:
April 20, 2014 at 8:25 am
Hardly radical. This well demonstrates the fact the alarmists now realise the game is over and all they have is an attempt at total censorship of opposing views and information.

RMB says something about not being able to heat water through its surface. He's wrong. How does he think that water evaporates - from underneath? (This is something you'll read in the WUWT comments from time to time, usually refuted by other WUWT commenters):
April 20, 2014 at 8:30 am
The good Dr doesn’t appreciate just how right he actually is. The fact is that you cannot heat water through its surface. If you doubt me try heating water through the surface using a heat gun. The heat is completely rejected. Energy only enters the ocean via the sun’s rays not via the heat of the atmosphere. The reason is surface tension. Surface tension is not a powerful force but it is powerful enough to block heat passing from the atmosphere into the ocean. No matter how much co2 is put into the atmosphere the heat from it cannot pass through the the surface of water. In short there is no way of storing or building heat on the planet, no matter how long you leave your suv idling. Therefore there is no such thing as anthropogenic global warming and the oceans cannot be boiled away.

Leonard Weinstein comes to the rescue of WUWT and does refute RMB and says:
April 20, 2014 at 8:43 am
Your reply manages to contaminate a good blog, and give ammunition to pro CAGW viewers, that will quote your error as typical skeptic ignorance. Surface tension is not the cause of blocking heat entering the oceans. 

Col Mosby points out that the article has no evidence and says (excerpt):
April 20, 2014 at 8:37 am
What’s lacking in the op-ed is some nice concise facts to illustrate the main failings of the AGW position ...

 Steven Mosher puts his head on the WUWT chopping block and says:
April 20, 2014 at 8:48 am
“The human impact on global climate is small; and any warming that may occur as a result of anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is likely to have little effect on either Earth’s climate or biosphere, according to the recently-released contrasting report Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts, which was produced by the independent Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).”
so the science is settled. little effect?
I wonder how the clowns who wrote the NIPCC scientifically determined that there will be little effect in the future? how’d they do that? I read the NIPCC. I saw no experiments that proved there would be little effect. I saw no statistical analysis in that report that proved there would be little effect. And they explained why you could not use models to project the effects.
How did those clowns deduce from no evidence that there would be little effect

From here on in, as expected, much of the discussion turns to Steve Mosher, not Craig Idso and the Not the IPCC report.

BioBob is partly correct when he responds to Steve Mosher and says:
April 20, 2014 at 9:20 am
Steven Mosher says: April 20, 2014 at 8:48 am How did those clowns deduce from no evidence that there would be little effect
Is this a trick question ? Here is my response….
The same way warmists concluded the opposite: they made it up ? /sarc

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter) dumps on Steve Mosher and says:
April 20, 2014 at 9:25 am
Clowns, mosh? My apologies to Anthony and the rest, but you just took a HUGE step down in whatever estimation I had of you. 

Brad says how sad it is that deniers get criticised for their nonsense:
April 20, 2014 at 9:28 am
Once again you exhibit the fear your side has for an alternate stance. You are reduced to calling people you disagree with “clowns”, and generalize the NIPCC findings to suit your position.
Very immature, and very sad.

kim says:
April 20, 2014 at 9:28 amUh, moshe, it’s paleontology. CO2 warms and greens the globe. Be thankful the level has risen.
The Early Bird shares the worm. Bon Appetit.

Anthony Watts belatedly joins in with the lynch mob. He wanted to wield the axe to chop off Steve Mosher's head and rescue Craig Idso and says:
April 20, 2014 at 9:38 am
Mr. Mosher needs to learn the value of debate and alternate ideas. Don’t be a Mannic oppresive. 

Chad Wozniak says to hell with airing differences of opinion:
April 20, 2014 at 10:38 am
The only “clown” here is Steven Mosher, with his disingenuous attack on the real science offered by Dr. Idso. Steven, why don’t you just shut up and go away somewhere? Go find a place that provides you with no energy nor any of the other benefits of carbon-based civilization, and stay there. 

Mark Bofill comes to the rescue of Steve Mosher and says (excerpt):
April 20, 2014 at 10:59 am
Steven’s only saying what he often says one way or another, which is that skeptics should apply (where applicable) the same standards and criticisms to reports with conclusions we like as we do to reports with conclusions we do not like. As usual, it’s hard to argue with his point. 

Matthew W bemoans the fact that dissension diverts discussion away from unanimous applause and says:
April 20, 2014 at 11:34 am
It’s a real shame that some of the best topics here get little to no real disscission in the replies because most of the replies have to deal with Mosher saying something stupid. 

James Ard makes the point that Steve Mosher asks the impossible of fake sceptics and says:
April 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm
Did Mosher just imply that the onus is on us to prove their doomsday scenario is wrong? I thought he was smarter than that. 

thegriss reckons Steve Mosher ought to hang out with the science deniers not sceptics and says:
April 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm
Moshpit, you really should stick to low level journalism. ! The one thing you might be good at.
And ‘hangin’ with the crew from BEST isn’t helping your scientific credibility 

There were quite a few other comments diverted to Steve Mosher rather than Craig Idso's article. Some telling him in no uncertain terms to shut up and go away, others implying that he's wrong or a traitor to the cause or something. I won't bother with them.

Santa Baby doesn't understand science, but knows what he/she likes (or in this case, doesn't like) and says:
April 20, 2014 at 9:16 am
The whole climate theme is so political created by the democrats and Al gore, Obama etc.. in the USA that it’s vomiting to watch it.
Policy based science is what it really is. And policy based on policy based science is no longer a sign of a functional democracy?
USA better wake up and rid themself of this ideological corruption before it’s to late?

cnxtim copies and pastes her/his regular comment and once again builds a strawman. Does s/he know the difference between the troposphere and the upper layers of the atmosphere? Does s/he know that the greenhouse effect is in the troposphere not the upper atmosphere?  Has s/he ever heard of convection? S/he and says:
April 20, 2014 at 10:36 am
And can anyone here on either side of the CAGW debate please explain to me, by what physical process(es) CO2 generated at ground level by the burning of fossil fuels makes its way to the upper atmosphere to become a greenhouse gas? 

Chad Wozniak can't contain himself as a rare event has just taken place, he bursts out and says:
April 20, 2014 at 10:41 am
I just gave myself an idea – we skeptics are defenders of carbon-based civilization!

Terry Oldberg seems to think that science is divided according to party politics in the USA and says:
April 20, 2014 at 11:17 am
Among the news outlets that do not tolerate deviation from the party line are the San Francisco Chronicle and PBS News Hour. The other night, in reporting on global warming politics the latter organization presented its audience with two experts, each of whom presented the Democratic party line. Cancellation of one’s subscription to the Chronicle and contributions to public broadcasting stations would be appropriate responses.

Steve from Rockwood says:
April 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm
50 years from now Michael Mann and James Hansen will either be regarded as ahead of their time brilliant leaders of science who fought so bravely against the hoard of denying heathens … or … complete buffoons who duped so many with their faulty science and set the world’s great economies on a wild goose chase while so many were forced to remain in poverty. I’m leaning heavily toward the latter.

Paul Woland says:
April 20, 2014 at 4:29 pm
Incidentally, the Pentagon thought that climate change was a serious threat even under bush. Do you think that was political manipulation as well? Then how do you explain it considering the fact that Bush never accepted the reality of climate change?

Which doesn't go down too well with the denialati, hunter says:
April 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm
Paul Woland, Argument from authority just makes you look rather ignorant. You seem to thrive on argument from authority, when you are not relying on condemnation by association (even when you have to fib about the association). 

To which Paul Woland responds and says:
April 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Hunter: My authority in this matter is science. When I mentioned the fact that Pentagon has accepted climate change as a reality for a long time, it was only to falsify the argument of RACookPE1978. I suspect the Pentagon make their choice in part through some institutional process that evaluates science as well. 

lordjim74, citing no evidence or authority at all other than himself, pipes up and says:
April 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm
Argument from authority needs a bit more than ‘my authority in this matter is science’. It requires (inter alia) a genuine consensus amongst qualified experts. There is no genuine consensus amongst qualified experts that co2 emissions will lead to CAGW, so the argument from authority fails. 

I kept looking for discussion of specific points raised by Craig Idso, but they were few and far between. Most comments related to politics, not science.  Or Steve Mosher. Or whether or not the oceans can warm from the top.


  1. Idso knows who pays the bills for his family business. Try pp. 77-83 (CSCDGC) in the PDF @ Fakery 2: More Funny Finances, Free Of Tax, and pp.34-36 on NIPCC.

    It's been 2 years, and there's a new iteration, but I doubt much has changed.

  2. A year ago weren't they jumping up and down and claiming to have got in bed, or at least to first bases, with the Chinese. Guess they're not even Facebook friends any more. Not after one side announced the wedding date and the other said it wasn't even a one night stand.

  3. I loved the way that even when Mosher tried to point out that fake sceptics ought to try and show a little scepticism all that happened is that most of them jumped on him. As with our 'skeptikal' friend here yesterday, there isn't any evidence of rational thought among the herd at WUWT: it is frightening to think that any of them might hold positions of any responsibility in society.

  4. Why no details of the two women? Sate of mind? Youthfulness? Skin colour?

    Not many at the meeting but precious few comments here on your comments on WUWT comments.

    Time to look into your Soul and get a life.

    Me too of course!

    1. Oh, you've got a good eye for detail Nigel :D

      Yes, that's a most important consideration. Much more pertinent than the fact that almost no-one turned up at all. That if you take away the participants, the press and the SkS person and co-conspirator you're left with only 10 people. In other words, only one more person that that lot combined.

      Let me see if I can find out the designer of their couture, what colour their hair was, their racial origin and their age, their voting preference and whether or not they wandered in by accident :D

    2. I am not sure that Nigel does have a good eye for detail. Perhaps their most distinguishing feature was that they came in late. The detail is there in plain text.

  5. Not that I'm going to read their report, but does anyone know if they actually assign probabilities to future scenarios? Even if one decided there was a fairly small chance of catastrophic man-made climate change occurring, it should provide a strong argument for mitigation now. I suppose that's why they all (despite being "independent free thinkers") now also claim to believe that any climate change is bound to be both a good thing and easy to "adapt" to.

    1. Oh, the NIPCC "scientists" aren't into predictions. They are true blue deniers who claim all the models are wrong and none are useful.

      Most of their latest report is about how CO2 is plant food - or what I managed to steel myself to read. They've dug up references going back to the turn of last century to prove it. As if anyone needed any more proof that plants respond to added CO2, all other things being plentiful. What they don't explain is that this will have unknown consequences like, maybe affect soil nitrogen or the proliferation of weeds or the life cycle of insects.

      The report is very tedious and written in the style of a high school student or maybe a first year undergrad.

      It cherry picks the science it wants to use in arguments - it's most definitely not a review of scientific literature. Which is one reason it's known as the Not the IPCC Report.

  6. Sou writes: "Readers are meant to take on faith that all the world's scientists are wrong and the Heartland Institute is right. "

    ahhh, isn't that the foundation of the entire Global Warming denial industry -

    Don't look at our facts,
    Trust our words.

    ;- )

    Sou, keep up your fantastic job of exposing these creeps to the light of day !


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