William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Mainstream Global Warming Reporters Are Biased, Unteachable, Lazy, & Unethical

Chief, we got a guy here who claims climate models are no good. How do you want me to discredit him?

Chief, we got a guy here who claims climate models are no good. How do you want me to discredit him?

The left-wing Washington Post, stepping up its advocacy, issued a set of words yesterday teaching the global warming controversy and ignoring science. Typical.

The somehow aptly named E Wemple gave us “NPR attacks alleged ‘attacks’ on climate-change skeptic“.

Wemple begins “On the front page of its Sunday edition of Feb. 22, the New York Times pretty much blasted a hole in the climate-change denial movement.”

False. And childish. Blasted a hole? Pretty much? Climate-change denial movement? This is advocacy, as I said, and not reporting. It is also rotten writing, which is the greater sin.

Wemple can’t be bothered to discuss the simple scientific fact that for decades climate models have been spitting out unskillful, basically wrong forecasts. This proves—logically proves—that the models are flawed, that they are in error, that they should not be trusted until they are fixed.

What are their flaws? Nobody knows for sure. If we did know with certainty, we could use that knowledge to fix the models. We know nobody has done this because the models are still broken.

Some reporters having just enough mental acuity to recognize that the thousands of predictions of doom have never obtained, and seeing dimly that this calls for an explanation, speak of “missing” global warming, or a “hiatus” or a “pause”, terms which prove the skeptics’ point but disguise it. The skeptic says, “The promised warming never occurred”, and the foolish scientist and ignorant reporter reply, “It has paused”, which is logically equivalent to what the skeptic said, but with the addition, “The non-existent warming will return”, a statement which is unproven and against the observational evidence.

So the models are broken. Even though nobody knows why, there are some guesses. One was put forth by Lord Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates, and Yours Truly in the paper “Why models run hot” (pdf).

This paper caused a sensation. Not so much in scientific circles—science moves slowly, a good thing—but in the camps of activists and (redundantly) the press.

After the paper became internationally known at the end of January, my site was hacked.

Did you see that, Wemple? My site was hacked. All posts and comments from my database were deleted. My site was down for about a week. Thank the Lord, I had backups of most things.

Not much happened to Lord Monckton, who is independent, but the employers of Legates and Soon received FOIA requests to surrender their emails. Legates’s employers rebuffed the request because, as the four of us said, we received no money for “Why models run hot.”

But Soon’s employers happily provided Soon’s emails to Greenpeace, and that cult-like organization discovered…nothing. There was nothing to discover. We said we received no money, and we didn’t, which was proved.

Having no handle on three of us, and not satisfied that our paper reminded the world that climate models are busted, Greenpeace floated the rumor that Soon did not acknowledge his “conflicts” of interest.

I had many exchanges with reporters explaining to them that there was no conflict. None seemed in the least interested (see the links below). Wemple is also not interested. He wrote “No matter your take on climate change, the facts about Soon’s funding and his failure to disclose conflicts are just that — facts.”

This is either ignorance or a calculated lie. I’ll let you decide which. Wemple repeats the charge against Soon as if it were true, as if repeating it were all the evidence one needed. This kind of thing happens so often in the press that you have to wonder if it’s taught in “J” school.

Never mind that Soon disclosed all his interest in all his papers, and in particular “Why models run hot”; never mind that it was Soon’s employer that signed all Soon’s contracts (and took about half the money); never mind that Wemple’s “charge” has been answered time and again.

Then came the witch hunt, which is still ongoing. Ruffians in Congress tried to strong-arm employers of several workers in climate science, not so much to discover but to frighten others, to teach the lesson Disagreement with the government Consensus will not be tolerated.

It is true that some pro-government-consensus climate scientists have received hate mail, but this is true, as I have documented, of myself and other climate skeptics. It is true that some pro-government-consensus climate scientists were hacked, but this is true of myself and of organizations like Heartland (do we remember Peter Gleick?).

It is true that skeptics like myself, Soon, and others, lose jobs and money because of our skepticism, as I document here, but it is also true that pro-government-consensus climate scientists are well fattened at the government-grant trough.

It it is true that pro-government-consensus climate scientists are lauded in the press as heroes, while skeptics routinely have muck thrown on them.

Yet Wemple (who manages to drop his own name in his “report”) is irked that somebody somewhere in the press pointed out that some skeptics like Soon have been attacked. Yes: that is the excuse for his column.

No matter your take on climate change, the facts about Soon’s attacks and my hacking and our perfect compliance with disclosure rules are just that — facts. Facts Wemple would prefer you not know.

I’ll send him this post. Any bets on whether he’ll read it?

The Why Models Run Hot Affair

In reverse chronological order.

Mainstream Global Warming Reporters Are Biased, Unteachable, Lazy, & Unethical

Journalist Bias For Sale Vs. Academic Freedom: More On The Soon Pseudo-Controversy

Coming Clean On My Global Warming Funding

Government Witch Hunt Of Scientists Begins: DOJ To Join In? Update! Inhofe Fights Back

For The Love Of Models: A Global Warming Allegory

Left Panics Over Peer-Reviewed Climate Paper’s Threat To Global Warming Alarmism

Goon Squad Fails To Distract Public From Fact That Climate Models Stink: Update 3

Response To Trenberth Over “Why Models Run Hot”

Reporting On So-Called Climate Reporters: Update 4

How Good Is That Model? Scoring Rules For Forecasts: Part I, Part II, Part III

Natural Variations In Weather DO NOT Explain The ‘Pause’: Update, With Letter to Nature

Government Funding Is A Conflict Of Interest: Cowardly Calls For Climate Scientist’s Firing. Update

Climate Paper Causes Chaos, Angst, Anger, Apoplexy! (Hacking?)

I Was Hacked

NEW PAPER: Why Models Run Hot: Results From An Irreducibly Simple Climate Model

34 Comments

  1. Re: but with the addition, “The non-existent warming will return”

    It will return with a vengeance, push through the “Gates of Hell”, and warm that place up a bit.

    Re: We said we received no money, and we didn’t, which was proved

    Is proving a negative allowed?
    We know what you’re saying …
    but you would take an opponent to task for this… wouldn’t you?

  2. You can prove a negative, of course you can. You can’t prove a universal negative. Much confusion arises out of failure to observe the distinction.

  3. davideisenstadt

    March 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

    JohnB()
    one can prove a negative
    An example:
    ME: you (JohnB()) killed the archduke Ferdinand setting off ww1.
    You: I wasnt even born then, heres my birth certificate.
    see…a negative, proved.
    geez.

  4. Dennis Mitchell

    March 13, 2015 at 11:36 am

    There is a legitimate and logical question of why otherwise perfectly intelligent scientists would continue to support the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming point of view about greenhouse gases and climate issues since all of the collective results of climate models have been wrong consistently , and blatantly so, for decades. I fear the answer is the same one that Willie Sutton gave in the 1950s when asked why he robbed banks… “ that’s where the money is.” It is long overdue to challenge the ethics of the those raking in the huge dollars because they tacked on the phrase”due to the dire effects of climate change from greenhouse gases” to some pathetic little science project so that government will keep the cash flow coming at full speed.

  5. Environmentalism is a religion and the true believers aren’t about to become apostates despite the fact that none of their predictions, projections or scenarios have come true.

  6. Models are wrong, someone hacked my account, no one paid me…

    Pollution is still pollution, and with the industrial development of the East and South America, which will make the West’s Industrial Age look like a bonfire in Garth Brooks back yard, it’s getting a lot worse.

    You can be pro-pollution, pro-coal and pro-oil, if you like. But on the face of it, it is morally corrupt, so don’t expect observers to assume your heart’s in the right place.

    JMJ

  7. This is either ignorance or a calculated lie. I’ll let you decide which. Wemple repeats the charge against Soon as if it were true, as if repeating it were all the evidence one needed. This kind of thing happens so often in the press that you have to wonder if it’s taught in “J” school.

    Of course they must teach this in J-schools. Not explicitly identified as such, but certainly through coursework and practical experience. Nobody could be that thick and hold a job unless it was deliberate and part of the professional culture.

  8. JMJ how many times must be said that being a “global warming” skeptic does not necessarily equate with being “pro-pollution.” Isn’t that brush of yours getting a little dried out?

  9. Whew! Sure am glad nobody knows about my time machine!

  10. RE: “can’t be bothered to discuss the simple scientific fact that for decades climate models have been spitting out unskillful, basically wrong forecasts. This proves—logically proves—that the models are flawed, that they are in error, that they should not be trusted until they are fixed.”

    TRY, just try, to explain that to Phil Plait (aka “Bad Astronomer”):

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/03/11/climate_change_denial_anti_reality_mongers_are_in_trouble.html

    He ought to be (not necessarily is) receptive to Dr. R. Feynman’s minute-long summary of the Scientific Method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

  11. Dear Dr. Briggs:

    I feel your pain – however, I want to repeat something: “the pause” appears to be an artifact of bad data, not a climate phenomenon – and the most obvious reason you cannot say that the models fail is that they have not been either calibrated or tested against real data.

    Newton’s model would, for example, appear to fail if we relied on data showing that free falling objects accelerate more quickly in the first few seconds than the last few.

    The less obvious reason is unknown. Two hypotheses:

    1 – the real models (i.e. stripped of the effects of 40 years of grad student tinkering) are pretty simple minded – perhaps too simple minded ?

    2 – these models use discrete arithmetic to model continuous processes – this may be inappropriate.

  12. The “the warming will return” is a psychic prediction. Just like you will find love, your dog will have puppies, etc. It’s based on nothing. Just hoping to keep you reeled in.

    JMJ: Does your tiny, tiny mind ever leave that fantasy of liberal thought? So far, my guess is “no” You can continue to spout idiotic, erroneous arguments, just don’t expect anyone to think you have any modicum of intelligence. Morally corrupt? Wouldn’t that be spouting lie after lie after lie for the benefit of your own party and political beliefs? Wait, you are the party of lies, so I guess not……..

    Ken: It would be a waste of time. In order for Feynman to have any effect, the listener has to have enough intelligence and not a religious fervor about the subject of science. I doubt Phil has either.

    Note: My blog has an entry on the childish garbage the Obama administration is selling to persons with IQ’s below room temperature. Americans are becoming more and more uneducated and sheep-like daily and Obama is cashing in on the idiocy.

  13. Jersey MCJones,
    I don’t know if you’re a serious poster here or not. I rarely ever comment…. but I’ve seen this theme with you and it’s captured in this quote by you:

    “You can be pro-pollution, pro-coal and pro-oil, if you like. But on the face of it, it is morally corrupt”….

    I just happened on another thread a couple of weeks ago about net neutrality where you essentially said the same thing. That, being against it was morally wrong.
    At the time I thought it was just kind of a way to be quirky about it. But here you are again, this being the only other time I’ve ventured to the comment section.
    I’m actually interested in going through the other comments to see where you declare by secularist fiat that something contra your agenda is “morally corrupt” because you feel it to be.

    Concerns regarding morality are important…. but the vibe I get off of you wouldn’t be that of a religious piety. If I were to guess I wouldn’t peg you as a God fearer (I could be wrong)….
    So, for me, it makes your claims of moral deviance with regards to net neutrality and coal that makes me laugh a bit.

  14. I’m starting the Secular Blasphemy Challenge:
    Post a photo of yourself throwing a soda can in the garbage.

  15. Ken,
    The laughable part is that Phil Plait fancies himself a skeptic while being the most slobbering fanboy and political blue-pill swallower imaginable. His capacity for self-understanding seems quite low. Emotion seems to rule this critical thinking. One thing he gets right though is correct criticism of the anti-vax movement — a stopped-watch/blind-squirrel situation, I guess.

  16. I’ve been reading more of Jersey McJones’ posts…. wow.

    On the death penalty thread he said:

    “Why many conservatives, of all people, fail to acknowledge this argument is beyond me. It’s blatantly hypocritical. They don’t trust the government to do anything – except kill people. It goes to show the dire need for a little higher thinking on the Right.”

    What are your views on abortion, champ?

  17. Ken,

    For someone who is a self-proclaimed skeptic (about everything else), Phil has a strange blind spot when it comes to CAGW. Many of his earlier (and really long ago) posts made it clear he wan’t at all up on the issues or the science and he admitted his beliefs are based on trust. His stance is a knee-jerk reaction to what he sees as attacks on Science. You’d think he would at least try to make an honest assessment. Sadly, one of the sources he likes to quote (and more than once) are the John Cool and the Skeptical Science Kidz. I’m beginning to think most of his other True Science reports are also about the same level of understanding. It’s like learning a bout War And Peace from someone who has only read the Cliff Notes with low comprehension if his rants about CAGW are any indication.

    Stopped reading what he had to say a long time ago.

  18. Phil appears to be just like most so-called skeptics. They rely 100% on the argument from authority. I’ve always believed it’s a CYA move by people who have no qualifications for what they are doing. Skepticism is also heavily anti-religion and anti-paranormal. It was never about science, ever.

  19. “You can’t prove a universal negative.”

    Sure you can… you assume that it is true, follow the logical implications, and find a contradiction.

  20. JMJ you must have grown up next to Newark Airport, inhaling all that pollution has stunted your mental griwth

  21. JMJ

    I know, let’s deny billions of people the benefit of inexpensive power and consign them to a life of poverty and early death…now that is morally bankrupt.

  22. Yawrate, et al

    This “I’m for exploiting fossil fuels because I want the poor people of the world to have the benefits we’ve gotten through such exploitation” meme that I see here and elsewhere on occasion is utter tripe.

    What are any of the people who spout this hogwash doing to make such a thing possible? The billions of poor people you’re claiming to represent will have all the benefits of inexpensive power when they have enough money to buy it.

    Amazing that people pretend that that’s why they believe it’s immoral to champion renewable energy sources to replace a finite and depleting resource. As if they really think “if only the greenies would go away, all 7 billion earthlings could use energy at the rate of 11 kilowatts per capita like we do here in the U.S.”

    Spare me.

  23. davideisenstadt

    March 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Rob Ryan:
    maybe we just wish that those people wouldnt have to cook indoors with dried dung.
    Spare me.

  24. davideisenstatd:

    And what’s preventing that wish from coming true now now? Nobody’s stopped the extraction and refining of fossil fuels anywhere, everyone is extracting it pretty much as fast as they can (though tight oil drillers have slowed drilling in the face of $90 cost for a new barrel of tight oil vs. $50 to sell that barrel). So how’s it going on getting these fossil fuel benefits to those cooking with dung or wood? Yeah, I thought so.

    Spare me.

  25. “You can prove a negative, of course you can. You can’t prove a universal negative. Much confusion arises out of failure to observe the distinction.”

    You can’t prove a universal anything. Negative claims are always (or nearly always) universal. As in, “Prove to me that floating pink elephants don’t exist anywhere in the universe.”

  26. davideisenstadt

    March 14, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Rob Ryan wrote:
    ” Nobody’s stopped the extraction and refining of fossil fuels anywhere, everyone is extracting it pretty much as fast as they can (though tight oil drillers have slowed drilling in the face of $90 cost for a new barrel of tight oil vs. $50 to sell that barrel)”
    Rob…theres New York state, which has enacted a ban on hydraulic fracking..
    there is England which has banned fracking.
    When you make a claim that “nobody’s (sic) stopped anything, two examples taken from recent events is more than enough to refute your point.

    Spare us all your drivel.

  27. Sander van der Wal

    March 14, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Floating elephants already exist on Earth. There are pictures. Painting one pink should not be that hard, you would want to use a paint that doesn’t come off in water.

  28. Has the investigation launched by the Smithsonian been concluded? The Smithsonian has stated that Soon holds a soft-money, part-time position. Naturally, the next question is then where the money that supports Soon comes from?

    So, Mr. Briggs, do you have the answer to my question?

    I know that the soft-money grant is not from the Smithsonian Institution that has blithely absorbed the overhead costs. Not from Harvard either as Soon has never been employed by Harvard.

    It is possible to justify that Soon worked on the paper during his off-grant time. However, if he used Smithsonian’s money to pay for the publication fee to the Chinese journal, then he is technically supported by some grant.

    Research integrity is an important issue!

  29. davideisenstadt

    Your examples are both trivial and non-sequitor in nature. The bans exist because (wrongly in my opinion) it’s believed that groundwater is poisoned by these operations, not because of desiring to not use fossil fuels.

    I’m sure, had fracking not been banned in these locations, the fruits of this fracking would be used to prevent sub-Saharan African poverty stricken villagers from having to burn dung to cook.

    Hypocrite.

  30. davideisenstadt

    March 14, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Rob Ryan wrote:
    ” Nobody’s stopped the extraction and refining of fossil fuels anywhere”
    You wrote that I didn’t. I merely pointed out two places which had erected barriers to drilling.
    Now, you may not like being shown that your argument is totally fallacious in less than one paragraph, irrefutably wrong, incorrect, specious and full of bull excreta, but thats the facts.
    I’m no hypocrite, anymore that you are an individual who argues in good faith.
    The best apart of this exchange is your stubborn stupidity is put on display for all to see and to laugh at.
    putz.

  31. davideisenstadt

    Try to follow along. The point was about “deny the poverty stricken of the world inexpensive energy.” My point is that no one here arguing for no limits on carbon because “poor people cook with dung” don’t give a crap about poor people coojing with dung and that the argument is red herring b. s. I’m sorry that the chain of argument was over your head.

  32. davideisenstadt

    March 14, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Rob Ryan:
    Im sorry you make a lame point, and when confronted with the inanity of it, you double down on stupid, and refuse to admit the obvious.
    Clearly, if there is a world market for energy…any policies that drive the cost of energy up affect poor people first.
    If various jurisdictions prohibit the exploration for and the exploitation of natural resources, it necessarily increases the costs of energy for everyone, and poor people get hurt the worst. That you can’t see this marks you as a fool a shill and a liar.
    I’m sorry you are too dense or stubborn to acknowledge just what an asshole you are.

  33. Phil Plait doesn’t quite get the anti-vax thing either. He is “supermanning” it there also. He sees google’s new ranking system as a positive aspect of reducing disinformation. His stint as Director of JREF did not seem to teach him anything about the wackiness of the human condition. One of the messages James Randi has talked about was how his attempt to reduce the irrational thoughts in the world seemed to actually increase it. People used his debunkings to support their irrational beliefs. I don’t think Phil grasps that.

    The unfortunate side effect of this is that squelching the nut jobs on the internet (I recognize that I may be one of them) will get exactly the opposite of what they want. The highest cost of Freedom is letting idiots be idiots.

    Phil Plait is one of the of the folks that made me realize that the Skeptics were like every other group in history. There was hope that because they all believed in science, that they would behave the way we expect scientists to behave. Phil does a talk about “Don’t Be A Dick,” and I think he might be coming around, then a week later he posts another post that is exactly what he just said to avoid doing.

    Shermer isn’t too far behind. Apparently he decided “It is time for advocacy”. If you are a skeptic and standing as a nominal head of skepticism, advocacy IS NEVER on the table. Uncertainty is the name of the skeptics game.

  34. Yeah!

    I don’t get Shermer either!

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