Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Silhouettes of climate science deniers by Potholer54

Sou | 3:00 AM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment
Potholer54 is back with another excellent video, this time about fake experts. He starts with Australia's own Galileo Movement and Bob "not a climate scientist" Carter. The video features a seminal work of Bob's in the International Journal of Feelings:) Watch out for one of WUWT's favourite conspiracy theorists, who fears for his life so much that he contributes several posts a month under his own name at WUWT.

Q: Was 1934 the hottest year on record? A: No.

WUWT has been deadly dull. It's in a slump. When 'phony authority' Bob Tisdale is providing the best entertainment (archived here) that you know things are getting pretty bad in deniersville. All the WUWT-ians can come up with are protests about 2014 being the hottest year on record. I don't think any of them could provide another candidate year - except for someone who says it might have been 1934. So this is for Alan MacRae, who thinks that 2014, the hottest year on record, is "nothing unusual" and that "MAYBE 1934 was the warmest year since 1850" - or MAYBE not!

Data source: NASA GISS


  1. That video was good. As a Canuck I loved the exposure of Tim Ball---the fact that he'd participate in such a tv charade reveals all you really need to know about his character and his trustworthiness.

    1. So the reporter on the ferry to the unnamed "small town on the outskirts of civilization" where the cleverly disguised Tim Ball was hiding for his life was actually heading to Victoria BC, the capital of Canada's third largest province?

      Under that affable balding exterior is Michael Mann really that dangerous?

    2. i went to find his twitter account, in case he'd left any "here's a selfie of me hiding out in sunny Victoria, BC from the evil Al Gore climate death-squads" silliness.

      well, his posting history isn't quite what i was expecting, but still rather.....interesting.

    3. On that ferry I've seen whales, eagles, even seagulls! I worried we might fall off the edge of the Earth, but we made it.

      I have terrible cell reception problems at my in-laws' place which is out that way -- I keep catching US towers.

    4. @ ligne

      Just a vague hunch, but I think he might be trying to push his book.

    5. Magma, what gives you that impression...?

    6. Did you know he has a book? A book? He has one, you know. A book. Book book book.

    7. It's not "The Corruption Of Geography Professors" by T Ball and A N Other Ball, that famous pair of Balls, by any chance?

  2. Bob Carter used to get a run on the ABC, when they thought it was important for balance and controversy to get "all points of view". All it did was increase my yelling at the TV/Radio and diminish my respect for their producers and the interviewers who did not have the nouse to ask questions that would explore the shallowness of his understanding of the subject Bob was going on about.

    I see Potholer also popped up a reference to Australia's post-boy PhD for creationism, Andrew Snelling. Tony Abbott could well be proposing a Consensus Centre for Evolution to lure the esteemed academic back to Oz.

  3. Sou. A link is missing in the sentence " Bob Tisdale is providing the best entertainment (archived here)"

  4. Sou, thank you for the video link. I would've missed the Potholer video. We all appreciate the work you do, thanks again!

  5. 1934 was quite a warm year... in the continental U.S.

  6. Excellent Video, Potholer thank you, and Thanks be to Sue for her tireless efforts.

  7. Hard to disagree with Peter Hadfield-aka potholer 54-if he did say this;

    "Hadfield has stated that both sides in the global warming debate have made erroneous statements, saying, "while sceptics like Christopher Monckton and Martin Durkin fabricate a lot of their facts, many environmental activists tend to exaggerate theirs."

    Intrigued to note that he talked at the Australian Sceptics conference last year. Is there a video on it Sou?

    BTW I do not understand this obsession with Monckton. He certainly does not speak for me or many other sceptics. He is entertaining though.



    1. The Australian Sceptics are true sceptics (as opposed to the so-called 'climate sceptics') and seem to be more concerned with the paranormal, anti-vaxxers, spoon benders, creationists etc - see, for example: http://www.skeptics.com.au/resources/educational/.

      At one stage they had a clear statement on their web site that they saw climate change as a real issue (more-or-less agreeing with the nasty IPCC) and distancing themselves from the 'climate sceptics'. It may still be there.

      I don't see anything intriguing about Peter Hadfield talking at their conference. They are working at debunking other nonsense.


    2. Neil

      Thanks for this. I had assumed it was a general sceptics forum, it was more that I was interested in what other topics Peter debunked. I will look at your link


    3. I wish people would cite their sources. I had to search for Tonyb's quote and found it at Wikipedia, which didn't cite it either. Then I found it at the Guardian. It's much better read in context:


    4. Sou

      I had not heard of Peter before so looked for a good general bio on him. The Wikipedia source is a better one in as much it covers his activities in a broader sense.

      I had not seen the Guardian blog and do not feel it gives as good an impression of the person as the wiki one, whereby it can be seen that he looks at scepticism generally and not just related to climate.

      Your links are not live and had to be pasted in to my browser. The short phrase I gave, if done in the same way, goes instantly to the source of the bio.



    5. I'm a bit surprised you'd not come across Peter Hadfield before, Tony. He's been around for a very long time.

      The wiki source does give an overview, but the quote you gave reads better in the context in which Peter Hadfield wrote it. (And much of Florida is likely to be under water within hundreds not thousands of years - maybe even sooner. I doubt Peter would make the same complaint today with what's happening in Western Antarctica).

      The reason I prefer to read quotes in context should be obvious. Quote mining is a favoured pastime of some people, and they give a very different impression.

      To get a good overview of Peter's career, watch his youtube video here:


      Yeah - you can copy and paste the link into your browser.

    6. Tonyb:

      "I had assumed it was a general sceptics forum"

      It is, in the traditional context of skepticism of paranormal claims and various other pseudo-scientific and anti-scientific denialism.

      Apparently you were hoping it was some sort of general science denialism venue, when traditional skepticism in this context is very different. The website "skeptical science", which exists to debunk climate science denialism and to promote actual climate science, lies within this framework of understanding.

    7. Sou:

      "the quote you gave reads better in the context in which Peter Hadfield wrote it"

      I don't see anything wrong with the quote as written, as he's talking about environmental activists, not scientists. I'm sure tonyb has misread it to mean that Peter thinks that, while skeptics like Monckton fabricate data, climate scientists (who I'm sure tonyb believes are politically-motivated activists) do to.

    8. Potholer54 is no fan of Al Gore's or catastropism either.

      The point he is always hammer home is if you did not read it in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, you can treat it as opinion.

      I loved him ripping into Tim Ball in that video, it made my day.

    9. Sou, well done for chasing down that Hadfield quote which was found via a search leading to Wiki and then the Guardian.

      As you wrote the context is worth considering but having done that what are the bets that this further down in that Guardian article is now true:

      "As a science journalist I could not, with a clear conscience, report that the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice caps will drown most of Florida (as Al Gore does in An Inconvenient Truth) without pointing out that this is not likely to happen for thousands of years."

      With Jason Box's later findings on Greenland, the WAI unstable and the Totten glacier too threatening the stability of large areas of East Antarctica I think even a thousand years is far too long to give e.g. Florida

    10. A large part of Florida goes under this century, with 3 feet of SLR under even RCP 2.6.

    11. To me, this extremely conservative outlook on potential sea level rise by Hadfield is a great example of Lewandowsky's 'seepage'. He's bending over backwards in an effort not to appear too alarmist.

      As numerobis says, even the 3 ft of sea level rise we're likely to get *this century* would be enough to put a serious dent in a lot of very valuable Florida real estate, like... Miami for starters.

    12. He wrote that in 2010. The reason I said that I don't think Peter Hadfield would say that about Florida today is that the studies showing the much faster melting in west Antarctica have been coming thick and fast since he wrote that article.

      Agree - a lot of people are saying that Miami will suffer probably later this century. The east coast of the USA is apparently particularly vulnerable to Antarctic melting. Seas will rise more quickly there than in some other parts of the world.

    13. Here is a more recent video (21014, I think) where Hadfield cites studies giving evidence for a 2m sea level rise by 2100. 2m will do a lot more damage than just flooding Miami. Hadfield might not be prepared to say Florida will drown by 2100, but he's certainly acknowledging the scope of the problem.

    14. Bert from ElthamJuly 15, 2015 at 9:10 AM

      I am more worried about the uncertainty of any prediction. The supposed stable large ice sheets are showing an accelerating melting due to unforseen mechanisms. If the frozen undersea clathrates and the permafrost then follow and they will and they are. We are definitely in deep shit or is that just water.
      My best guess is more than six meters or twenty feet well before the end of the current century.
      At least I am all right as my place is at 52 meters above sea level in the hills of Eltham. I look forward to catching a ferry down the now very wide Yarra to the CBD to do a spot of diving. Bert

    15. Bert from ElthamJuly 17, 2015 at 6:04 AM

      Robert Scribbler has a good article on sea level rise here.


      It is far worse than I thought. Bert

  8. Sou

    Perhaps it might be more accurate to say that the name may have been very vaguely familiar but he could have been an Aussie batsmen or politician for the detail I knew of him.

    I would not have identified him in connection with his climate change work or general scepticism in other matters. .


  9. tonyb. You should watch the Monckton Bunkum videos on YouTube. They are wonderful.

  10. Prince Mishkin

    As I say, he does not speak for me but he is good entertainment. I shall go and look


  11. Tisdale concludes
    "So, 2014 was a very warm year. Was it a top 10 year? Yes. A top 5 year? More likely than not. The warmest?
    which is not completely bunkers, after some reasoning that for a change is completely offn a fruitcake either.
    Anyway, 2015 will settle everything. For as long as the year takes - after that it will be years of 'an ice age cometh', of course, or at least another 'hiatus'.

    1. "that for a change is completely" -> "that for a change is NOT completely"

    2. That quote wasn't from Tisdale, but from John Kennedy of the Met Office.


    3. It's more likely that 2014 was the hottest year than that any other year was the hottest year. The main point is that each decade since 1970 has been hotter than the previous. WUWT-ers act as if the world isn't getting hotter and hotter and hotter. As if, if 2014 wasn't the hottest year it might have been 1950 - which is nuts. If it wasn't 2014 then it was 2010/2005 that was the very hottest year. And as CRR says, it will soon probably be 2015 that's the hottest year - and if the PDO index stays positive, probably 2016 after that. It's not as if it's going to cool down any time soon.

  12. Hadfield is good value! He started out dealing mostly with the evolutionary history of the planet - there's some great stuff in those vids - and confronting The Woo! and/or Creationism, and was a bit inclined to the 'even-handed' exaggerations-on-all-sides approach when he first began to look at AGW. Even his very popular 'Science vs. the Feelies' of a couple of years ago plays to this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjD0e1d6GgQ); I submit that there is *absolutely nothing* wrong with the quoted passage from Dennis Kucinich - of all people; he's hardly a prominent spokesperson for 'Warmism' in any case. In fact, this is a very good example of going to absurd lengths to provide 'balance'. 'Seepage' indeed!

    But the fact that he has to do this is, in turn, quite the endorsement of the 'warmist' case!

    And the video itself is a cracker, systematically demolishing those who really deserve it.

    But since he relies on the peer-reviewed literature his position has always been sound, and his focus has shifted increasingly to the highlighting the absurdity of the denier circus troupe - particularly, and beautifully, Monckton, and, of course, Ball - as, after all, the scientific case has only hardened.

    It's great that someone like Hadfield, one of the stars of YouTube, is out there doing this! Just look at these view-counts; https://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54/videos ; all rationalists should be so lucky!

    The few bones that may have been tossed to the fake-skeptics along the way are paltry fare indeed when compared to the feast of reality on offer...

  13. Remember that for analysis of policy implementation you generally don't have a peer review system; rather, you have more or less independent reviews and their reports. But the good ones are good...and in surprising places Auditors-General are strong: Uganda has a constitutionally protected one, for instance.
    See, from yesterday, the latest external report on emissions trading in the New England and mid-Atlantic states of the USA came out (Analysis Group, 14 July 2015). The RGGI arrangement auctions emissions permits for significant electricity generators, and uses all net proceeds for other carbon-reduction projects.

    Over the three calendar years 2012-14, emissions trading produced US$ 1.3 billion in benefits to the participating USA states. It reduced energy costs by US$ 460 million in those states - $ 341 million reduction in electricity bills, $ 118 million reduction in gas and heating oil bills.

    In Australia, the RET review found that renewables were reducing electricity costs to Australian consumers.

    So, on the evidence, we would get lower energy costs and big economic benefits by expanded RET and emissions trading with net proceeds going to carbon reduction.

    Abbott doesn't want lower energy costs: so he wants to block renewables, reduce or remove RET, and run a scare campaign about emissions trading. Oh, and stop the funding body for clean energy from making loans for commercially sensible renewable energy projects.

    Abbott should be scared. Why, with emissions trading and clean energy funding, we could meet a worthwhile carbon emission target and cut our energy costs. And fossil fuel proprietors would have less money to fund some conservative politicians.


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