Statistics

NOAA Hires Climate Realist, Media Strokes Out

Dear Men of the Right, you might complain that you have not got all you wanted from President Trump. But you will not be able to deny he has the unparalleled ability to send his enemies into shivering bat-guano fits of drooling insanity. It is a beautiful thing to see. The entertainment value alone of his presidency makes his re-election imperative.

Trump has done his signal service for us again by hiring a friend of ours, David Legates, for a top science position at NOAA.

Long-time readers will remember Legates. He allowed me to tag along on a few papers on the climate (example). The most infamous of which caused—I’m guessing—at least seven TIAs, three full strokes, seventeen angina attacks, and four fatal myocardial infarctions. This was “Why Models Run Hot: Results From An Irreducibly Simple Climate Model“, with lead author Christopher Monckton.

This peer-reviewed sensation made a simple claim: man, like all creatures, influences the climate; he is influencing this one, likely to the tune of a 1 degree C or so global temperature increase with a doubling of pre-industrial atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Now, with all the worry, angst, consternation, fretting, wailing, lamentations, and just plain unhappiness about global-warming-of-doom, you’d think a paper like ours would be greeted with cheers and sighs of relief! Here was hope! We thought we were all going to die of heat death, but here was evidence saying maybe it will be okay. Isn’t that wonderful!

Alas, no.

Word is that that MSNBC reporter lady’s hair caught on fire when reading our story. Environmentalist activists lit torches. Members of Congress—and here I do not jest—launched investigations. Willie Soon, one of the other authors, was hounded, harassed, and hectored. Monkton was disparaged in many foreign languages. My old site was hacked. All of us were called names that I hadn’t even learned in the military.

It was strange. It was almost as if the left did not want good news about the climate! It was as if the left hated the idea that their services to cure this non-problem were not necessary. But how could this be? They loved Science! Yet when science said “Calm yourselves”, that love evaporated.

It’s true. The left became science deniers. A sad thing to see.

Well, five years have passed and we have all grown in maturity and sobriety. We have come to appreciate the massive and unseen uncertainties that lurk in scientific models. We’ve seen how many forecasts have failed, we’ve seen that our fears were exaggerated. Our well-funded scientists, now abashed, have switched from temerity to timidity.

Strange, then, that NPR said “Longtime Climate Science Denier Hired At NOAA“. They said Legates, “a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has spent much of his career questioning basic tenets of climate science”.

Younger readers won’t recall that it used be the job of scientists to question basic, and even not-so-basic, tenets of science. That was how, in the old days, mistakes were recognized and progress made. All that has, of course, changed for the better. Tenets are now supplied by political agencies and are, as is proper, unquestionable.

One has to admit that this change makes doing science much easier. Used to take years, even decades, of gruesome and mostly vain toil to ferret out flubs in theories, and even longer to discover fixes. Now all we have to do is check with the press and we know all the right answers.

This is where the term denier originates. Anybody who questions the official line is called one. Anybody who can prove the parts of the official line are false are not only called deniers, but names I’m not allowed to print (my mother reads this blog). Truth and accuracy are not wanted. Compliance is all that counts.

CNN sent plaintive emails to people asking for dirt on Legates. That MSNBC’s lady’s hair caught fire again. Science magazine, an international journal of politics, not realizing the pun, called Legates’s hiring an “escalation”.

The most devastating critique of all came from the ex-head of the American Society of Interior Designers, Randy Fiser. He said Legates’s use of throw pillows and afghan carpet combination was sure to spell disaster for the country.

Kidding! No, Fiser was hired by The American Geophysical Union, which is evidently an organization devoted to settle the scientific debate of wood floors versus tile. Fiser demanded Legates’s position be revoked. It’s not clear, but Fiser may be holding his breath until he turns blue to show earnest he is.

Then came the hate calls. I have permission for you to delight in this mad woman’s ravings. She apparently believes “climate change”, and not admitted and caught arsonists, are responsible the wildfires out west (how many times have we been reminded that propaganda works?). I have removed all identifying information, so there are a few quiet spots.

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Categories: Statistics

39 replies »

  1. “settle the scientific debate of wood floors versus tile.” Have they succeeded yet? I’m still on the fence on that one.

    Never, ever tell people things are getting better. Humans LOVE gloom and doom. It means their lives are hopeless and pointless and nothing is the fault of their actions. Even climate change is the fault of someone else, the “man” or something like that. Making people actually responsible??? Better to half-starve them in a communist hellhole. So much kinder.

  2. Again! Wow! 1938

    1938 – Global warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide, “is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power.”– Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

    Did the RMS mention “Global Warming, caused by man heating the planet with carbon dioxide” or was that inferred?

  3. The crazy old lady on the phone message sounds demonically possessed. Imagine being a public figure these days with such a baying mob of deranged, screeching, bug-eyed bitties, and worse, on your heels. Yet Trump seems to thrive on it. Remarkable.

    I hope Mr. Legates declares Global Warming to be a heretical, anti-Christian religion, whose proponents are subject to arrest, trial by the Inquisition, and burning at the stake.

  4. Sheri: “…settle the scientific debate of wood floors versus tile.” Have they succeeded yet? I’m still on the fence on that one.

    Luxury vinyl planking, baby!

  5. I must say that I am quite happy with the new change at NOAA and I thank you for that hilarious (though quite sad) telephone call message. I didn’t realize that wealth equalled intelligence and I am glad she straightened us all out! ????

  6. To Sheri’s point, there is actually a psychological description of why, as things get better, people’s perception of how much better things “should be” makes people think things are not as good as they actually are! (Or something like that.) I have been thinking about this phenomenon quite a bit lately, and will dig up some references, if I can find them.

  7. The spectral GHG paradigm is unique in modern science in having neither testable quantitative enabling and explaining classical analytical physical equations , nor experimental demonstration of the ability of a symmetric spectral phenomenon to ` trap a kinetic energy gradient .

    It can’t because it denies by omission Newton’s 333 year old universal Law of Gravity which applies to molecules as well as satellites and quantitatively explains how much hotter bottoms of atmospheres are than their planet’s radiative equilibrium with the Sun and rest of the celestial sphere .

  8. Oh yes! Science!

    WE BELIEVE! in this house! And have a sign on the lawn to tell everyone!

    Neo-pagans.

    Demon addled, intellectually stunted, hysterical, neo-pagans.

  9. I could listen to this Liberal lunatic lady suffer all day! It’s about time we get people in charge who are both sensible and unafraid of the Cancel Culture.

  10. There’s a pretty good population density around the equator. There’s zero population density at the poles and essentially no life. Nobody wants to live there. I don’t believe penguins venture that far inland toward the South Pole where they can’t get any fish.

    Therefore to a first approximation, warming will be more hospitable to humans and life in general. I am not sure we can get warming and am fairly sure we have nothing to do with whether it happens, but I’d like it if it happened.

  11. Amateur Brain Surgeon,

    Thanks for the history of cold/hot planet link! The people that believe Global Warming narrative also believe Covid-19 paranoia.

  12. “This peer-reviewed sensation made a simple claim: man, like all creatures, influences the climate; he is influencing this one, likely to the tune of a 1 degree C or so global temperature increase with a doubling of pre-industrial atmospheric carbon dioxide.”

    Actually, what its “irreducibly simple climate model” does is approximate a linear system’s response y(t) to a stimulus x(t) by y(t) = x(t) u(t), where u(t) is the system’s unit-step response. This is a proposition of surpassing innumeracy. That Dr. Briggs brought it up in connection with Dr. Legates’ appointment is unfortunate.

  13. Joe Born:

    Yes, the paper is of absurdly low quality, and certainly makes no contribution to climate science. Here is a recent article showing how badly the toy model in the paper predicts the actual global mean temperature, in comparison to the success of actual climate models (the kind that our host here routinely derides as “failing” to predict the climate):

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/09/climate-science-contrarian-installed-in-upper-level-noaa-position/

  14. @ Sheri – Cork backed LVT. It’s the best flooring I’ve ever stood or walked on.

    @ Lee – We all know you lie with every sentence. Leftists just can’t help it, because their entire world view is based on lies. And yet you keep coming back here. Do you really think that if you repeat your transparent lies often enough, we will agree with you? Do you get paid for this annoying service, or are you a volunteer for The Adversary?

  15. Lee Phillips:

    True, I found Dr. Legates’ paper execrable. But I also find him more credible in general than most climate alarmists, and certainly more credible than the hit piece you cited.

  16. Joe Born:

    Can you identify any specific inaccuracies in the article that I cited? I’m not sure what you mean by “credibility” in this connection, as I try to let work stand on its own.

  17. Lee, it is quite irritating to get people to include links to opinion pieces. And then ask others to do the work to overturn it. Please list what you find credible about the article at your link. Until then my answer is I find everything there lacking credibility — so there.

  18. David Wojick:

    Thanks for that input. That list is indeed impressive, and I believe we are entitled to infer from it that Dr. Legates is most likely a serious scholar in the field.

    It’s devoutly to be hoped, however, that the paper Dr. Briggs cited above does not exemplify the general quality of the papers on that list. The paper Dr. Briggs cited is based on a fundamental error in linear-systems theory, an error that any upper-class electrical-engineering undergraduate should readily recognize. It’s embarrassing that four prominent skeptics not only signed onto it but also failed to acknowledge their error after it was pointed out.

  19. I’ve only closely read one other paper by Legates:

    David R. Legates, Willie Soon, William M. Briggs & Christopher Monckton
    Science & Education volume 24, pp. 299–318 (2015)

    I believe this is even worse than the one under discussion. This one could be debunked by anyone who has taken an introductory statistics course.

    When I read two papers that are not just wrong (anyone can make a mistake) but incompetent to an absurd degree, I tend not to bother reading anything further by the same authors, unless I really have no choice. I don’t care how many papers Legates has managed to get published. We all know the journals are full of stuff that should never have seen the light of day. It’s not that hard to game the system. But I won’t comment on papers that I haven’t read; maybe Legates used to be a serious scientist. But I’m not about to take him seriously now, and no more than a small handful of working climate scientists (his ideological colleagues) would extend him any credibility.

  20. Of course these papers are not “incompetent to an absurd degree” which tells us a lot about you, Lee. These folks are experts on statistical analysis. It follows that you are the incompetent one. QED

  21. ooops- “In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.”
    “The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations. USCRN temperature stations show no warming since 2005 when the network went online. If anything, U.S. temperatures are now slightly cooler than they were 14 years ago”

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