The Global Warming Inquisition Has Begun

June 22nd, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.


A new “study” has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) which has examined the credentials and publication records of climate scientists who are global warming skeptics versus those who accept the “tenets of anthropogenic climate change”.

Not surprisingly, the study finds that the skeptical scientists have fewer publications or are less credentialed than the marching army of scientists who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 20 years to find every potential connection between fossil fuel use and changes in nature.

After all, nature does not cause change by itself, you know.

The study lends a pseudo-scientific air of respectability to what amounts to a black list of the minority of scientists who do not accept the premise that global warming is mostly the result of you driving your SUV and using incandescent light bulbs.

There is no question that there are very many more scientific papers which accept the mainstream view of global warming being caused by humans. And that might account for something if those papers actually independently investigated alternative, natural mechanisms that might explain most global warming in the last 30 to 50 years, and found that those natural mechanisms could not.

As just one of many alternative explanations, most of the warming we have measured in the last 30 years could have been caused by a natural, 2% decrease in cloud cover. Unfortunately, our measurements of global cloud cover over that time are nowhere near accurate enough to document such a change.

But those scientific studies did not address all of the alternative explanations. They couldn’t, because we do not have the data to investigate them. The vast majority of them simply assumed global warming was manmade.

I’m sorry, but in science a presupposition is not “evidence”.

Instead, anthropogenic climate change has become a scientific faith. The fact that the very first sentence in the PNAS article uses the phrase “tenets of anthropogenic climate change” hints at this, since the term “tenet” is most often used when referring to religious doctrine, or beliefs which cannot be proved to be true.

So, since we have no other evidence to go on, let’s pin the rap on humanity. It just so happens that’s the position politicians want, which is why politics played such a key role in the formation of the IPCC two decades ago.

The growing backlash against us skeptics makes me think of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, which started in the 12th Century. Of course, no one (I hope no one) will be tried and executed for not believing in anthropogenic climate change. But the fact that one of the five keywords or phrases attached to the new PNAS study is “climate denier” means that such divisive rhetoric is now considered to be part of our mainstream scientific lexicon by our country’s premier scientific organization, the National Academy of Sciences.

Surely, equating a belief in natural climate change to the belief that the Holocaust slaughter of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis never occurred is a new low for science as a discipline.

The new paper also implicitly adds most of the public to the black list, since surveys have shown dwindling public belief in the consensus view of climate change.

At least I have lots of company.

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101 Responses to “The Global Warming Inquisition Has Begun”

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  1. We’re right behind you Roy.

    “I’m Spartacus!”

    “I’m Spartacus and so is my wife!”

  2. James Sexton says:

    Dr. Spencer, if I were you, I’d wear that list as a badge of honor. Well, done. Of course, you and Dr. Christy have some work to do, you guys aren’t number one and two on the list! But, then, the metrics are a bit skewed. The authors apparently confused quantity with quality.

    Best wishes,

    James

  3. David Davidovics says:

    I’m with you guys too, and I will wear their title with distinction if demanding answers makes me a ‘denier’. If character assassination and veiled reference to the holocaust is all they have to offer then they truly show their natural colors.

  4. James Sexton says:

    So, 500 published and cited scientists disagree with the “consensus” view………….uhmm??????

    • JB in VA says:

      Just to make sure I have this correctly:

      People who study climate like to have an income.
      The income comes mostly from the government.
      The government “grants” income if the answer is what they want (not being scientists, facts and evidence are not an issue of consequence to politics and revenue).
      If you don’t have the right answer, you don’t get grants (economic forcing?).
      If you don’t get grants, you don’t get published.
      Leading to fewer grants, thereby having negative feedback on “prominence,” reputation and credibility.
      Or you go study something else because food and shelter are good things.
      Therefore, you aren’t qualified to debate the matter, having failed to develop relevant expertise, like railroad engineering for example.

      Do I have this right? Just checking.

      Also, just to point out, the authors:
      ——>
      “Expert credibility in climate change

      1. William R. L. Anderegga,1,
      2. James W. Prallb,
      3. Jacob Haroldc, and
      4. Stephen H. Schneidera,d,1

      1.
      aDepartment of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305;
      2.
      bElectrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G4;
      3.
      c William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA 94025; and
      4.
      dWoods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305″
      “The authors declare no conflict of interest.” <—–
      Uh, riiiiiight…
      I'd like to see where the advertising dollars for PNAS come from…

  5. Markus Svensson says:

    Well Well Well lets see?……

    If we measure competence and check how the planet has reacted according to the profethies of the “Schneider gang” with the “sceptics”.

    Lets see Scheneiders gang Sceptics

    Antarctic ice cover 0 1
    Arctic ice cover 0 1
    Increased storms/hurric 0 1
    significan warming/last15 yr 0 1
    trend in droughts 0 1
    trend in flooding 0 1
    trend in rain 0 1
    No warming of the oceans 0 1
    No hotspot in the atmospfere 0 1
    Himalayan glaciers 0 1
    Decreasing golf stream 0 1
    Winters and snow in north 0 1
    Has alternativ “forces”than co2 0 1
    Increased sea level raise 0 1
    Tuvalu Maldives aso is sinking 0 1
    No consensus 0 1
    Independent 0 1
    Hockeystick 0 1
    Warmest year in USA 0 1
    Tree ring proxi 0 1
    Costs of stormflood due GW 0 1
    New Zeeland temperatures 0 1

    I think they had enough? and clearly it has to be an honour to be listed as “black”. Cause no one with selfrespect would like to be listed and draftet by Schneiders gang.

    But we are generous guys?? cant we help the gang to get atleast one score??? Anyone?? They really need help to score.How about Mexican Lizzards ? Cant we just ignor the wallet/handbag/pet boys pickingupp lizzards to sell alternative so they can get a score just for now??

    I send my deepest and cincere condoleances to the IPCC scientist and a congratulation with all my hart to the brave honest sceptics. Saluting thier proffessional honor not to give up the basic criteria of science.

    Dr Roy Spencer!! Thank you on behalf of mankind!

  6. Mariwarcwm says:

    Thank you Dr Spencer for all your good work.

    This takes us right back to witch hunting. It is very depressing, but also interesting, to find that we have made no progress at all since the 17th C, except, I suppose, that no one will actually be burned at the stake. But plenty of good people have lost their jobs, and even more are frightened of speaking out in case they too will find themselves unemployed.

    My sincere admiration for you and all the sceptic scientists. Truth will out eventually, and as Dr Richard Linzen said, I hope that it happens in my lifetime because I would really like to be there.

  7. Philip Richens (Dr) says:

    Dr Spencer, you certainly do have lots of company! Please accept my support as well, and keep on persisting – your ideas are well worth fighting for. The tactics of the AGW crowd are just beyond the pale.

  8. Gaudenz says:

    It is really very stupid to compare sceptics of AGW to Holocaust deniers. The holocaust is a proven historic fact, AGW is not yet proven and refers to the future. It is really a real low for science!

  9. klem says:

    I’m astonished that the PNAS would publish a blacklist of scientists. What purpose would such a list serve? I know it will deliver a chilling effect to climate researchers so that they tow the corporate line or perhaps jeopardize their funding and career. I have observed so much over the last few years regarding AGW this is just one more bazaar act.

  10. Person of Choler says:

    I find this list to be a very helpful directory of reality-based climate investigators.

  11. David Wojick says:

    I am merely number 348 on the Big Black List of Skepticism, but still proud of it. They think I am Canadian (actually I am American, but I have a summer place in the boreal forest) and have missed my Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science, but hey they spelled my name right.
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/skeptic_authors_table.html

    As someone who has studied the logic (or lack thereof)of AGW for 18 years, I can say with certainty that Warmers dominate the research agenda and get most of the funding, so of course they have most of the publications. In the USA this has been true ever since the federal climate research program (the USGCRP or G-crap) was founded in 1990. Gore had a lot to do with it. It is actually a scandal, not a measure of the truth of AGW.

    Where is the research on natural variability? Instead we have a huge program on the carbon cycle, which assumes AGW.

    David

    • MapleLeaf says:

      David,

      Actually, they did not miss your PhD. If you click on your name, it takes you to a page with your CV on it where it very clearly states your credentials.

      You are ranked #348 in the database because you have one publication (two?) related to climate science, which was/were published in Energy and Environment (not carried by ISN and not consistently be peer-reviewed). In the abstract of your 2002 paper you claim, amongst other things, that “In some cases the leading arguments against human interference are actually touched on, but without being revealed or discussed.”

      That is not true. There is a lengthy discussion on the potential impacts of GCRs on low-level clouds in section 6.11.2.2 (“Cosmic rays and clouds”) in the 2001 report. And that is just one example.

      Anyhow, I am sorry that you feel persecuted. I’m surprised that you ask “Where is the research on natural variability?”. The literature is full of research on internal climate modes and oscillations. I searched the American Meteorological Society’s Journal database for the following key words “natural variability climate change” in the abstract and got 123 hits. That search does not include Int. J. Climatol., JGR-Atmospheres, GRL, Nature, Science and numerous other journals. Of course natural variability is also discussed in the IPCC, and in a recent paper by Stott et al. 2010 (the lead author being one of the scientists on the real black list).

      Perhaps you did not make yourself clear, but the carbon cycle was operating long before we started pumping into the atmosphere. The carbon cycle does not “assume AGW” as you claim, but by emitting GHGs into the atmosphere though land-use change and burning FFs we have added an anthropogenic component to the carbon cycle.

  12. Stephen Brown says:

    This “blacklist” has also made in into the Daily Telegraph, a MSM UK newspaper. Ignore the article and go straight to the comments. There’s a strange unanimity to them!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7845662/Climate-change-sceptic-scientists-less-prominent-and-authoritative.html

  13. toby says:

    This paper seems to have really stung all the denialist/ skeptic bloggers because the response has been waspish to say the least.

    If you read the document, it is not even a list:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

    It is regrettable to see the people who claimed the scientific high ground now shrinking into a wittering victimhood.

    Naomi Oreskes’s published a similar paper in 2004 and people got over that. You’ll get over this too.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

    • David Wojick says:

      In fact Oreskes has now gone from counting papers to muckraking, painting skeptics as a tribe of evil deceivers in her new book. She is an historian of science who cannot see one of the greatest scientific debates in history, even when it is blocking her path.

      But the warmers have a tough job, namely explaining the prevalence of skepticism given their claim that the science is settled. The obvious explanation, that the science is far from settled, is ruled out by hypothesis (as is natural climate change). So they are left with branding skeptics as stupid, or evil, or both. I do not share you apparent surprise that skeptics should resent this name calling.

      • Anonymous says:

        I have not read Naomi Oreskes’ book yet, but I have it on order. Oreskes has a point of view, the malign influence of Big Tobacco and Big Oil on science, and you have to refute it.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

        I read the paper mentioned in the blog and I could not find the words “stupid” or “evil” in an accusatory sense.

        Incidentally, climate scientists have not dragged anyone into the courts as AG Cucinelli has, or published lists like Senator Inhofe.

        http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/sen-inhofe-leads-witch-hunt-prosecute-climate-scientists.php

      • Anonymous says:

        David Wojick wrote: “But the warmers have a tough job, namely explaining the prevalence of skepticism given their claim that the science is settled. The obvious explanation, that the science is far from settled, is ruled out by hypothesis (as is natural climate change). So they are left with branding skeptics as stupid, or evil, or both. I do not share you apparent surprise that skeptics should resent this name calling.”

        i think you’re getting it wrong, david. climate scientists seem not to have a problem explaining the current state of knowledge, which is that the planet is warming due to human actions. the problem is to get this message through when confronted by a huge disinformation campaign, in part financed by Heartland Institute and others. this is not “conspiracy”, just plain observation. if you want to contribute to the debate fruitfully, it is necessary you adhere to two rules: what you say must be evidence-based. and what is once refuted, stays refuted.

  14. Dr G Watkins says:

    I wish I were clever enough to be on the list. With luck, their next paper in NAS will give an honourable mention to those who contribute,even in a small way, to ”sceptical” scientific blogs.
    I would be proud to wear a discrete lapel pin demonstrating my allegiance.
    Dr Spencer, you are not alone.

  15. James says:

    When I first read this research paper I thought it was a sophisticated spoof. The fact that scientists would waste time counting who agrees with them as some means of proving their hypothesis runs counter to real scientific enquiry. You’d think they would spend their time testing their hypothesis and making predictions against which their theories can be measured. Or at least trying to disprove alternative theories.

    What is most amusing is that as a biologist I am sure that lead writer William Anderegg is familiar with the story regarding the discovery of the real cause of peptic ulcers.

    The entire body of medical science in the early 20th century believed ulcers to be caused by stress and dietary factors. Treatment focused on hospitalization, bed rest, and prescription of special bland foods. Later, gastric acid was blamed for ulcer disease. Antacids and medications that block acid production became the standard of therapy. Despite this treatment, there was a high recurrence of ulcers.

    In 1982 Australian physicians Robin Warren and Barry Marshall (who later received the Nobel Prize for medicine,)first identified the link between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and ulcers, concluding that the bacterium, not stress or diet, causes ulcers.

    Had a survey of medical scientists and a count of research papers been done at that time, it would have shown those two Australians were virtually alone in their beliefs. Indeed the medical community was slow to accept their findings. It took a further 15 years before the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with other government agencies, academic institutions, and industry, launched a national education campaign to inform health care providers and consumers about the link between H. pylori and ulcers.

    So we don’t have to go back to the times when the majority of suitably qualified scientists thought the Earth was the centre of the solar system to find examples of why this ‘study’ on expert credibility in climate change truly deserves the label of ‘schoolboy science’. Though that is probably grossly unfair to most schoolboys!

  16. Roy Dameron says:

    I stand with you.
    I employee 80 people.
    I vote.

  17. Andrew says:

    I will only say, that this is the most bizzare spin I’ve ever seen put on a paper which basically proves the presence of very serious publication bias in climate literature. I mean, seriously, they start out with the assumption that the climate literature is this perfect gospel, and when they find that it is in fact incredibly skewed, they declare that the skewness is prrof that the literature is basically gospel, and since the literature is gospel, those whose beliefs are favored by the gospel, should be taken more seriously, than those who question it.

    It’s a bit like reading stories in the major Newspapers, finding left wing views better represented than right wing ones, and declaring, on that basis, that the left wingers have more merit in terms of their arguments, since they get them published by more newspapers more often.

  18. Harry says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    The entire publication in PNAS shows how deep the NAS is involved in the climate scam. I was shocked that this paper was accepted and published in PNAS. They seem to be on a course to get rid of their high standing, just blindly stepping in the paces od Science and Nature.

    To me it looks as if these high ranking journals are comitting Seppoku. Only they are mistaken: comitting Seppoku is an honour, granted only to the most daring warriors, sh@tting on yourself is not.

  19. It’s the most fundamental quality of Science (without which, it cannot be called Science) that has gone walkabout in the scientific mainstream with regard to AGW – Scientific Method.

    Otherwise it would be blindingly obvious to PNAS that a study of the number of Peer Reviewed published studies in Climate Science is not just no proof of scientific ability or integrity, it is totally irrelevant to proving the claims of Climate Science. What a demonstration of how far PNAS (and indeed the whole official scientific establishment) has lost the plot.

    However, I think that the proper reacquisition of Scientific Method as the dominant discipline of Science will only come with a sea change. Scientific Method is a discipline of integrity and integrity is a spiritual quality which embraces room for the unusual, the human, the spiritual and the supernatural in Science – as and when appropriate. And while Scientific Method embraces painstaking exactitude to aspire to “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, Integrity also embraces courtesy and a fullness of humanity.

  20. Jack Mildram says:

    The evidence and science is overwhelming, as is the consensus amongst the planet’s experts. This report (no need to scare quote it) confirms that fact again.

    > …the term “tenet” is most often used when referring to religious doctrine, or beliefs which cannot be proved to be true.

    No it’s not. Tenet: *An opinion, belief, or principle held to be true by someone or especially an organization.*

    > …equating a belief in natural climate change to the belief that the Holocaust slaughter of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis never occurred…

    You’ve got that around the wrong way. Regardless, this is just desperate attempt to establish yourself as a victim. Holocaust denier. AIDS denier. Moon landing denier. Vaccination denier. Global warming denier. They all need to be prefixed to identify them. Only you deniers attempt to suggest you’re being compared to Holocaust deniers.

    > …surveys have shown dwindling public belief in the consensus view of climate change.

    There has been some reduction but still the majority of public accepts the reality of ACC.

  21. JAE says:

    Mildram: the article in question uses the term “climate denier,” rather than “global warming denier” (which is almost as stupid), which also attests to the brilliance of its authors.

  22. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    With all respect, your assertions about fictitious “black lists” are ludicrous. There is a real “black list” out there and it was created by Senator Inhofe. What do you think about that list?

    You say “marching army of scientists who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 20 years to find every potential connection between fossil fuel use and changes in nature.”

    That is nonsense and you should know better. Scientists’ salaries are not paid by research grants, unless as is the case in the USA scientists have to secure funding for the summer months (the same is not true in Canada).

    Do you dispute the actual facts or statistics in the paper? If so, which ones and why?
    Have you ever received funding from the NSF for your climate research?

    Really, your post is ludicrous and smacks of spin and desperation.

    To say I am extremely disappointed that you would engage in such baseless rhetoric would be a gross understatement.

    Posted at 6:25 pm EST 2010/06/22

  23. MapleLeaf says:

    JAE,

    The authors only make reference to the term “denier” in the body text once. And then they state:

    “This group, often termed climate change skeptics, contrarians, or deniers, has received…..”

    Everywhere else in the paper they actually refer to people skeptical of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) as those unconvinced of the evidence or UE. A very neutral term.

    Your comment leads be to suspect that you did not you actually read the paper in its entirety or at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the keyword list under the abstract the second keyword is “climate denier”.

      • MapleLeaf says:

        Anonymous,

        You are misleading. The word denier appeared twice. Once in the keyword section and once in the body text–personally I am also a little perplexed why that term was one of the key words. Now had you actually read the rest of the paper you would note that everywhere else in the paper the authors actually refer to people skeptical of anthropogenic climate change (ACC) as those unconvinced of the evidence or UE. A very neutral term.

        With respect, your argument is wrong. You are clearly choosing to make a generalization or finding any reason to dismiss their inconvenient findings. And for one second how about we consider the pejorative terminology sometimes used by the host of this blog?

        • Anonymous says:

          I drew your attention to an evident fact that you had omitted. I am mystified how this can be “misleading”. I didn’t choose the keyword list.

          You tell me my argument is wrong. I have made no argument.

          You tell me I am making a generalization when I have stated a particular fact.

          I will admit I have not read the whole paper though you cannot have known that from my brief remark. The tendentious use of the expression, “Unconvinced by the evidence” to describe those with whom the authors disagree persuaded me that it was a polemical pamphlet not worth my time.

          (I’m the ‘Anonymous’ above having trouble with the comment system)

  24. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Dr Spencer,

    Thanks again for your tireless efforts to show real data, which will win the argument in the end. It worked for Wegener, Kepler and Galileo, maybe their names should be included on this honour roll as well.

  25. Frank Hunt says:

    Funniest thing I saw was the small line under the abstract that said ‘The authors declare no conflict of interest.’

  26. JT says:

    Sir, you said:

    I’m sorry, but in science a presupposition is not “evidence”.

    From http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/2132/hypothesis
    1. A tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true it would explain certain facts or phenomena.
    2. A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.
    3. A message expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence.
    4. Etymology: from Middle French hypothese, from Late Latin hypothesis, from Greek hypothesis, “base, basis of an argument, supposition”. Literally, “a placing under”, from hypo-, “under” + thesis, “a placing, proposition”.

    It was Newton who said, with reference to the phenomenon of gravitation “I have not yet been able to discover the cause of these properties of gravity from phenomena and I feign no hypotheses…” from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton's_law_of_universal_gravitation.

    If only climatologists were willing to follow his example with respect to global warming.

  27. Christopher Game says:

    I congratulate those who made it onto the honour list of admirable heroes. I don’t see the honour list explicitly in the article. Is it available in explicit form? I am sorry my very slight contribution to criticizing the anthropogenic global warming scam is far to small to earn me a place in the honour list.

    The publication of this article is testimony to the corruption of the publisher, who pretends to be a scientific publisher, while this article is simply political propaganda. The damage to science will come out and will be severe.

  28. Arjan says:

    As a warmist, I think we don’t need any publications like this one. It only polarizes an already strongly polarized research field. There are significant uncertainties in our understanding of climate science (it can be frustratingly complex, but that makes it a very interesting field too), and we also need the skeptics on this one. It’s serious business, if most of the climate scientists are “wrong” (that is, climate sensitivity to anthropogenic GHGs is low), we might make stupid decisions, if they are right (if it is as high as currently thought), well, that would be rather inconvenient too. We need to find out, and best would be soon. For a skeptic scientist, the best way to do that is present good evidence against (catastrophic or high climate sensitivity) AGW. If it is really good, it will eventually be picked up by more and more scientists. For AGW proponent scientists, it is best to present good evidence too. Everything else might help to change public opinion, but not the science, in contrary. Mudslinging -from both sides- is not constructive at all.

    BTW, I really don’t agree with most of your post, Dr. Spencer, but I think I can understand it quite well that you see it as propaganda and that it feels like an attack. However, that is what happens if you come up with “there is no consensus” and implying that this means that most climate scientists are not worried about AGW or consider it a plausable theory. Like I said before, it will however only do more harm than good, and it doesn’t help the actual science.

  29. Cloudman says:

    What do all these “brilliant” global warmers think caused the last four ice ages and intervening warm periods during the last half million years, if not natural? Spacemen from another planet?
    Dr. Spencer has been, and continues to be, one of my most admired and respected scientists and authors.

  30. It is a sad day for science when the leader of the US scientific community, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), is involved in techniques of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy: Blacklisting those who disagree with majority opinions.

    Thank you, Dr. Spencer, for helping to expose the NAS tap root of the Climategate scandal.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor
    Nuclear & Space Sciences
    Former NASA Principal Investigator for Apollo

    • MapleLeaf says:

      Oliver et al.,

      You have been misled. NAS has done no such thing, the only “black” list was created by Senator Inhofe– now that IS low.

      I cannot believe how intelligent people are buying into this ludicrous myth, a myth which Dr. Spencer is encouraging and disseminating. It is also clear that many of the people buying into this myth and/or ridiculing it have not bothered to read the paper.

      Dr. Spencer should set the record straight and should be very clear that there is no black list.

      The truth hurts and that is being made very clear by the irrational and knee-jerk response of the “skeptics” here and elsewhere on the internet. How very unfortunate and sad.

  31. Juho says:

    Just when you think the AGW-proponents have gone as low as they can, they pull another stunt which proves even lover intellectual capabilities.

    Thank you a lot Dr. Spencer for all of your good work and exposing the global warming swindle. You have the finnish sceptics’ full support!

  32. Stephen says:

    Amazing that any scientists would publish an entire study to establish an ad hominem argument (an attempt to persuade which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise).

    Are they really that clueless, or is it just desperation?

  33. Frank Lee says:

    I teach at a university where the entire faculty (except me) falls into line with the alarmists. When I read the comments here from smart people around the world, I wonder why not even one other like-minded person works at my university. Where do you all live/work? Are you secretly all in the same town enjoying intellectual camaraderie that is denied to me? Or are you just as isolated as I am? I have to admit I’m about to throw in the towel and just keep quiet until retirement (in another 21 years!).

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Frank: I work in industry these days in London and I agree it is difficult not to feel isolated around this issue. I imagine that anyone who disagrees with climate alarmism and has a science background (mine is physics) must have thought very carefully about the science – otherwise, why would one bother? And if you do that, how can you avoid ending up somewhere within the sceptic camp? To be honest, I suspect that most of the academics who so strongly support alarmism have simply not bothered to do their homework.

  34. Steve says:

    Why publish this paper unless you’re worried? Smacks of desperation to me.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      No Steve,

      The “skeptics” trying to spin this paper as McCarthyism smacks of desperation. It is also addressing the much touted myth put forward by “skeptics” that climate scientists do not agree on ACC/AGW.

      That said, the “consensus” arises form the scientific literature, not necessarily a head count. And the scientific literature is very clear on that.

  35. D.W. MacKenzie says:

    These guys are setting themselves up for a big fall. What will happen if temps either hold steady or fall over the next five years? If they were smart they would hedge their bets and admit that there is at least a small chance that the PDO and/or solar activity can outweigh C02. They do seem desperate anonymous, and I doubt it will take 21 years Frank. Either warming will resume this decade, or the AGW movement is as good as dead. The data will settle this issue soon.

  36. Jeff says:

    Nullius in verba

  37. Owen says:

    The paper tries to make the case that pro-AGW climate scientists are more published and more cited (and therefore more able to be believed) than anti-AGW scientists. While the “study” is sophomoric and of minor value, it is just that and nothing more.
    The fear-mongering about inquisitions and blacklists seems to be more paranoia than anything else. The list does not even appear in the body of the PNAS paper, and citations in the supplemental materials are to public domain lists that were signed by scientists themselves. No surprises here.

  38. Bill V says:

    Dr Spencer,
    I would really like to believe your research as true because its a much more comfortable explanation than what AGW scientist propose. Every day I read your postings (as well as postings of many scientists not in favor of AGW) to find truth.
    However, credibility is lost when you take a publication such as this and add your own subjective interpretation and opinion thus resulting in your followers taking your comments as the “written word” rather than what was actually written. I am not in full acceptance of this abstract, but I read many comments here today that reflect no knowledge of the abstract’s content. You can and should have an opinion, but if your purpose is to give straight knowledge to those of us un-decided, your review of this article does not help.

  39. JAE says:

    Mapleleaf: Please provide a link to Inhof’s “blacklist” for us.

  40. Chuck L says:

    First, although I am not in the field, I am Jewish. The inclusion of the term “climate denier,” is reprehensible and highly offensive. Second, basing the “classification” of scientists and academics on the number of papers published is astonishingly ludicrous considering the incestuous relationship between a small cadre of scientists and computer modelers, science journal editors, and the IPCC report.

    I hope that the blatant McCarthyism exhibited by this paper and its authors awakens many silent scientists, engineers, academics to the threat of the loss of their academic freedom, and the perversion and destruction of the process of science that is now ocurring.

    Dr. Spencer and others on the list, thank you for your efforts and keep fighting the good fight.

  41. JAE says:

    What is so ironical that it makes me laugh out loud is that this “study” will accomplish exactly the opposite of what it intends! It will only call further attention to the blatant chicanery of the leftist “warmers.” They just ain’t very smart. Science rests on real data and facts, not this kind of ad hominum crap.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      JAE,

      With respect, you just made several ad hominem attacks on the authors. In contrast, there are no ad hominem attacks made on “skeptics” in the the paper.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sorry, but “denier” is an ad hominem attack (a vicious one to some people). Even the word “skeptic” is used in that vein, since all good scientists tend to be very sketpics.

        I am still laughing at this part of the Stanford intelligencia, LOL.

        • MapleLeaf says:

          Anon,

          You did make ad hominem attacks, so that is not a good defense when you accuse others of doing same, especially when in fact they made a point of using a neutral term in all but one sentence of the paper, and that was simply cited to outline the terminology used widely in the public eye.

          Agreed, about the perceived negative connotation, although there are people in denial about AIDS/HIV, tobacco and cancer, CFCs destroying ozone, vaccinations etc. I do not see them jumping to the same defense. Would it help if one said “in denial about AGW/ACC”?

          Yes, very good scientists are “skeptics”, that is why I am using quotation marks in the context of the AGW/ACC debate, b/c many, many contrarians are not applying their “skepticism” uniformly; in fact they are applying it distinctly asymmetrically, which does not make them true skeptics. And that observation is corroborated by some of the comments which have been made here…

          Anyhow, you debating semantics is not very helpful for trying to make convincing objective and quantitative reason for dismissing the inconvenient findings of the paper– almost all the post here attacking the paper have involved rhetoric and invective. While that tactic is rather effective at detracting form those findings, it still fails to refute the findings.

          • Stephen says:

            The point is not who is calling whom what names, it’s that the study is about the scientists making the arguments rather than about the argument itself. This is ad hominem and does nothing to support any argument. The fact that this ad hominem was actually made into a “study” is the revealing part. It is the sort of move that will only be done in an environment sorely lacking is actual science and rational argument, for if they had those, they would use them instead.

          • Stephen says:

            Sorry, “sorely lacking *in* actual science…”

          • MapleLeaf says:

            Stephen,

            Hang on, you claim the terminology is not important in your first sentence and then go on to make it the centre piece for your argument to dismiss the numbers. This was a quantitative study– did you miss the methodology, statistics and figures? In contrast to the (mostly) baseless critique here and elsewhere on contrarian blogs, they made the effort to conduct a quantitative analysis of the data. Feel free to counter their paper with an equally quantitative analysis of the stats and publish it in the scientific literature.

            It should be noted that their stats corroborate findings made in similar independent analyses.

  42. Gad Levin says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    This so called “research” is stating the obvious – there are more papers published and peer reviewed by alarmists than by real scientists.
    There is a simple reason for that – you can find it in the climategate e-mails: The alarmists got a hold of all the major scientific papers and the peer review process and they were blocking as much as they could any “unfriendly” publication, so why do a researcy on this?

    Gad Levin

    • MapleLeaf says:

      Gad,

      More misinformation. It seems that you too have been misled by selective quote mining by fellow “skeptics” on blogs.

      I was wondering when fallacious accusations of “gate keeping” would surface. Did you know what happened at the Journal Climate Research under the editorship of a “skeptic” called Chris de Freitas? It seems not. The short story is that
      “skeptics” had subverted the peer-review process at the journal, and “skeptics” were simultaneously reviewing each others’ papers submitted to the journal. There were other transgressions as well. When this came to light it outraged ethical scientists who happened to be non skeptics.

      Also, Lindzen, Spencer and Pielke have published widely and freely in reputable and mainstream journals– do a search in Google scholar. The reason that “skeptics” have fewer publications are many, and do not necessarily have anything to do with gate keeping. Note also that “skeptics” in the study graduated about 10 years earlier than non-skeptics, so they have had more time to produce more publications….but they don’t, not even close.

      Please actually read the paper yourself.

  43. Roger says:

    Classic cognitive dissonance has set in among the AGW gang, at least certain key members. They see the science running against strong AGW; public support is waning; and strong government action remains elusive. They have spent their whole professional lives on this issue. So their actions and counter attacks become ever more strident and bizarre, just as recorded in social psychologist Leon Festinger’s “When Prophecy Fails.”

    It will take more disconfirmations of serious AGW before the thing finally collapses in Kuhnian fashion. Meanwhile advocates do not realize that what they are doing is stupid, counterproductive, and merely erodes confidence in them.

    Those who remain focused on getting the science right must continue to do so and avoid playing the game. It takes discipline but it will win.

  44. Christian says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer

    this is the inherent warmists swizzle about logic and reason: how can someone “deny” sth. that might (or might not) happen in the FUTURE?

    This way of thinking makes EPAs recent decision explainable. After a few days since the oil spill started the US were offered Dutch skimmers that were tested and could have collected a total of 146000 barrels a day. They collect water-oil-mix from the surface, put it into the ship, let the heavier water sink and pump the water (with only particles of oil) back into the sea. EPA refused because of their rules that say that no contaminated liquid may be poured into the sea. It lasted more than 6 weeks until EPA rescinded their decision. In the meantime the oil reached coastal areas. Nonetheless the oil spill will be misused to push green agendas. In other words: no bad luck can be bad enough for those zealotes.

    Read & listen: http://tinyurl.com/2evwp7p

  45. James Davidson says:

    We must realise that the aGW gang has an excellent propaganda wing. For example, to conflate carbon dioxide, an odourless, colourless gas, with ” carbon footprint” – soot – is brilliant. To accept the labels they put on us – ” Sceptic,Denier,” – is to validate them. Sceptic; I think your idea has some merit, but I have serious doubts. Denier: Dr Elisabeth Kubler – Ross in her book ” On Death and Dying,” described the five stages of grief, for example, on being given a diagnosis of terminal cancer; denial; anger; bargaining ; depression and acceptance. We should choose our own label. As you point out AGW is a matter of scientific faith, so we should choose our label from religion. After the Reformation the British Parliament established the Church of England with the monarch as it’s head and governed by Archbishops, Bishops, etc. Some people, whose reading of the Bible did not support this model of church governance, broke away to form their own churches, – Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians etc, and were known as Dissenters. Parliament passed a law that many avenues of employment were closed unless a person was a communicant member of the Church of England. Sound familiar? so, I am not a Sceptic,not a Denier, but a Dissenter. I think AGW is flat out wrong.

  46. Philip says:

    Bill V @ June 23, 2010 at 4:48 AM

    May I put forward my thoughts on the point you make in your comment?

    The problem with the PNAS paper is not to do with the science as such, but with the way the paper tries to sway opinion by discussing scientists rather than their arguments. If the scientific arguments being put forward by AGW-sceptic scientists are obviously incorrect, then this should be reasonably easy for the pro-AGW folks to demonstrate. It seems that they are unable to do this, and so analyse the scientists instead of the arguments.

  47. JAE says:

    Gee, CO2science.org now lists studies by 842 scientists who think there was a pronounced MWP. This is contrary to the latest IPCC reports. Are all these scientists deniers, also?

    If you cannot explain what caused the MWP, LIA, etc., then you cannot have much certainty about AGW! It is really that simple.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      JAE,

      Unfortunately, it is not that simple. And if the MWP was indeed global, with global SATs as warm or warmer than they are today, then that would in fact point to a higher climate sensitivity than is currently understood and reported in the literature–so be careful what you wish for. And actually there is little dispute as to the timing, extent and magnitude of the LIA.

      The MWP has nothing whatsoever to do with the radiative forcing of GHGs, so you are not only invoking a red herring but also making a strawman argument.

      Even Dr. Spencer has estimated the transient climate sensitivity to be +1.7 C for doubling CO2, and if one applies the correction to obtain the equivalent equilibrium climate sensitivity one gets +2.5 C for doubling CO2. That is very close to the independently derived value of +3 C for doubling CO2 which was reported in AR4.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I know the party line. And I know it is not backed up by even a shred of empirical evidence. You are trying to ignore my concern about the MWP (which certainly WAS global–see the hundreds of peer-reviewed study reports summarized at CO2science.org) by calling it a straw-man argument. Which it certainly is not. Please admit that you currently have absolutely no way to differentiate between natural changes in the climate and AGW-induced changes. Equations that deal with only one of the variables (radiation) just don’t cut it in such a complex system. Sorry.

        BTW, I’m still waiting for a link to the alleged Inhofe black-list.

        • Anonymous says:

          OOps, I didn’t see your note above about a comment in moderation which links to Inhof. Your Google search only brings up articles about his investigation of Climategate. I hope you are not confusing “investigations” with “blacklists.” ?? BTW, the “McCarthy” ruse is greatly overused.

        • MapleLeaf says:

          Anon,

          Please read the earlier posts on this thread– I have (twice) provided the link/information to access Inhofe’s black list. Now in return I request that you produce Dr. Spencer’s alleged “black list”. I’ll save you some time– it does not exist.

          Follow the links in the Guardian article, I can list here the names of the 17 scientists on Inhofe’s black list. He is demanding criminal investigations of the following prominent climate scientists (on page 35 of his report):

          Dr. Raymond Bradley (University of Massachusetts)
          Dr. Keith Briffa (CRU)
          Dr. Timothy Carter (Finnish Environment Institute)
          Dr. Edward Cook (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York)
          Dr. Malcolm Hughs (University of Arizona)
          Dr. Phil Jones (CRU)
          Dr. Thomas Karl (NOAA)
          Dr. Michael Mann (Penn State University)
          Dr. Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University)
          Dr. Jonathan Overpeck (University of Arizona)
          Dr. Benjamin Santer (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
          Dr. Gavin Schmidt (NASA)
          Dr. Stephen Schneider (Stanford University)
          Dr. Susan Solomon (NOAA, USA)
          Dr. Peter Stott (Hadley Centre)
          Dr. Kevin Trenberth (NCAR, USA)
          Dr. Thomas Wigley (UCAR, USA)

          Shall we also talk about demands for public floggings of climate scientists by Morano, for climate scientists to be drawn and quartered by Rush Limbaugh, and suggestions by Beck for climate scientists to commit Hara-Kiri. Or how about CVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s witch hunt against Dr. Michael Mann?

          Now that is persecution and McCarthyism.

          Oh, now the McCarthyism is overused, funny then how Spencer is invoking it here.

  48. D. H. Rushworth says:

    Now lets see here. The authors claim in the abstract that 97% to 98% of 1,372 climate researchers support the IPCC conclusions.

    In a bit of the fine print called “Suupplemental Information”, they claim there were 903 climate researcher names in documents which supported IPCC and 472 climate researcher names in documents which “strongly oppose” IPCC. To me that works out to 64% for and 34% “strongly opposed.” Which did they mean? If 98% is correct, then the authors only accept about 18 of the “opposers” as being competent. Meaning of course that about 1/3 of those who work in the field are incompetent. Oh dear!

    As to those who simply question the IPCC conclusions and find good technical reasons for questioning the “tenet” that anthropormophic CO2 release is the main forcer of warming – I guess they don’t count at all in either the 98% or 64% conclusion. Sorry Dr. Spencer, you dont count.

  49. Kuan says:

    How to Leave a Footprint in Today’s Academia?

    The highly renowned journal PNAS published a heavy-weight article today. It carried a serious name: “Expert credibility in climate change”. Fulltext is available here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107.full.pdf+html

    They did their research by using Google Scholar to check out the academic influence of scientists. The conclusions are, quoting from their abstract, (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.

    Well, they selectively chose the publication records within the climate change research field. This is effectively a refusal to the comments made by researchers in even the neighboring scientific fields.

    The authors are, as appeared after their names:
    William R. L. Anderegg from Department of Biology, Stanford University
    James W. Prall from Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
    Jacob Harold from William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
    Stephen H. Schneider from Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.

    These are very renowned research institution names. They symbolize an interdisciplinary combination of natural science and engineering. My doubt was, apart from the big name Schneider, other names are quite new. Let’s check out who they are and what they work on. Let’s Google the authors, using the same logic in their paper.

    The leading author’s name William R. L. Anderegg was found intensively on this website: http://centerforoceansolutions.org/climate/blog/page/3/. On which he wrote on why he went to the Copenhagen Convention in 2009:
    “As a student at Stanford University, I knew this conference would be recorded in the pages of history”
    “Why am I here? The answers to this are out there,
    materializing like summer clouds before a rainstorm, but somehow none of them quite do justice. To learn. To see what this is all about. To make connections. To make whatever small contribution I can, as a young person, as a young scientist, as a person who cares, to starting to solve this global challenge.”

    Here we see an aspiring young student (undergraduate or graduate uncertain) with a dream for future. That was 2 months before the initial submission of this PNAS article.

    Shouldn’t he be still learning before making such serious accusations? During that 2-month, is it possible that he earned his Ph.D, made his original contributions to Science, and read the papers of the thousands of researchers he labeled in today’s PNAS?

    The second author, James W. Prall, came from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Toronto. This gives people an impression at he is a researcher in the highly competitive ECE field.
    He has a website at http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/
    His CV can be found online at http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/Prall_CV_2010.pdf

    He is not a faculty member, or a researcher at U of Toronto. He is, in his own words, a “system administrator and tech support contact”. He majored in political science and philosophy and minored in math in his undergraduate degree (1980) and got a Master’s degree in Philosophy (1985) from the “Institute for Christian Studies”. And just for the record, according to Wikipedia, “in December 2004 ICS was given ministerial permission to grant PhD and MA in Philosophy degrees on its own standing before the Crown”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Christian_Studies)

    The third author has a website too: http://www.hewlett.org/about-the-william-and-flora-hewlett-foundation/foundation-staff/jacob-harold
    He is described as the Program Officer of Philanthropy, who has a Bachelor’s degree of unspecified major and an MBA.

    None of the first three authors has a visible history of peer-reviewed articles, known scientific contributions, or citation records.

    Today, PNAS humiliated itself by breaking its golden standard. In this case, authors without standard academic trainings or original contributions to Science are now the new Inquisitors.

    • MapleLeaf says:

      Kuan,

      This from the BBC concerning the paper in question:

      “Sceptical groups, however, argued that publication in scientific journals was not a fair test of expertise.”

      So I find it rather bizarre that people here are lamenting about the alleged “ivory tower” in climate science, yet here you are here claiming that someone with “only” a MSc and no prior publications is incapable of doing research. That strikes me as not only contradictory, but also rather hypocritical. You also allege that Anderegg made “serious allegations”, but provided no evidence of such allegations.

      You might also be surprised how many scientists having Master’s degrees do publish (and very successfully I might add) in reputable peer-reviewed journals. Some of them even prior to completing their degrees (whether it be a MSC or PhD).

      Instead of making baseless ad hominem attacks Kuan, please at least try tackle their work. And please remember that all young scientists have to start somewhere, and rather than attacking them as you are doing here one should be encouraging/supporting them.

  50. MapleLeaf says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    I am curious about this statement that you make “most of the warming we have measured in the last 30 years could have been caused by a natural, 2% decrease in cloud cover.”

    I’m assuming that you based this statement on some of your modelling work (a model which may have a strong negative global feedback for clouds). Is that assumption correct? Also, while you preface your statement with “could”, I maintain that the statement in question is potentially misleading, especially when not supported by any evidence that this is indeed is what happened.

    It is true that a change of 1% in the earth’s albedo has a radiative forcing of 3.4 W m-2, which is comparable to the radiative forcing for doubling CO2 (Wielicki et al., 2005). The (negative) radiative forcing of clouds and aerosols is discussed in the IPCC AR4.

    However, as shown below, there is no unequivocal evidence to suggest that the earth’s albedo has decreased by 1% in the last 30 years, or that total cloud cover has decreased by 2% in the past 30 years.

    Two recent papers address the global cloud coverage issue. Wylie et al. (2005, J. Climate) compared the UW NOAA HIRS product with the ISCCP data between 1985-2001, a period of strong warming globally. The HIRS product did detect an increasing trend in high clouds of 2-3% per decade, the only exception being the tropical oceans where no trend in high cloud was evident. The HIRS product did detect an increase in total cloud over the tropical oceans of about 1.4% per decade between 1985 and 2001. However, the superior HIRS product found no trends in regional or global cloud coverage over that time.

    In contrast, the ISCCP data showed a decline of total cloud coverage between minus 1% to 4% (northern oceans, 20-60 N) per decade between 1985 and 2001. The literature suggests that the ISCCP data are inferior to the HIRS data

    Warren et al. (2007) analyzed weather observations from 5400 land stations around the globe for the 26-yr period 1971–96. They noted that “Although there are large regional changes in cloudtype amounts, and significant changes in the global averages of some cloud types, the changes compensate each other to result in only a small trend of global average land cloud cover, 0.7% per decade. This small negative trend is further compensated by a small positive trend over the ocean of 0.4% decade 1 (Norris
    1999), resulting in almost no trend for global average cloud cover over the past few decades.”

    Warren et al. (2007) also make the important observation that the correlation between temperature and cloud cover varies in sign depending on the region and the time of year. They also found that , over land, the amount of high cloud over land has decreased, and it is known that increasing amount of high cloud warms near-surface air temperatures. These data suggest that there is not an unequivocal decrease in global cloud cover which could explain most of the observed warming between 1971 and 1996.

    Analysis of albedo derived from four satellite products (Loebe 2007) show that no long term trend in global albedo between 2000 and 2005. Estimates of albedo using earthshine detected an increase in global albedo (note, this method does not give a global estimate) between 2000 and 2008 (Palle 2008).

    So these data are also somewhat ambiguous. What is clear is that the earth’s albedo has definitely not decreased since 2000, yet global temperatures for the first decade of the 21st century are the warmest in both the instrumented and satellite record.

    Perhaps you could shed some more light on this perplexing and complex issue? Thank you.

  51. MapleLeaf says:

    D. Rushworth,

    This is how they arrived at the 97-98% number. And I quote,

    “The UE group comprises only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200, excluding researchers present in both groups (Materials and Methods). This result closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ?97% of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of ACC (2)”

    What is interesting is that they note that they imposed a 20-climate-publications limit on both groups that you mentioned. That reduced the number in the CE from 903 to 817 (~10% drop), and in the UE group the numbers dropped significantly from 472 to 93 (~80% drop). Note the disparity. Using those data once gets 90% agreement for group CE– as expertise, knowledge and experience in the field of climate science increase so does the understanding that ACC/AGW is real and a legitimate concern. One would probably see the same trend if one were to consider researchers investigating causality between smoking and cancer.

    • Stephen says:

      You don’t get it. Who cares about the researchers? This study is about the researchers rather than about any actual warming science. It does nothing to advance the argument and since it is a much used type of fallacious misdirection, it has it’s own name: ad hominem (an attempt to persuade which links the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise).

      • MapleLeaf says:

        Stephen,

        With respect, I do not agree with your interpretation of ad hominem, and do not understand it to be relevant here. Also, did you mean to say “climate science” rather than “warming science”?

        You seem to forget that this kind of study would not be needed if it were not for the “skeptics” claiming that there is no consensus. This study quantitatively refutes that based on an analysis the scientific literature.

        Anyhow, it looks like we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

        • Stephen says:

          Not only is the character and beliefs of the researchers irrelevant to the argument, but the amount of consensus is also irrelevant. Almost every single advancement in Science goes against prevailing Scientific opinion. How does that decide anything?

          We don’t judge any theory based upon who believes it, we judge it based upon the quality of Science and argument behind it.

          • MapleLeaf says:

            Stephen,

            Then why all the fuss made by “skeptics” that there is no consensus? The “skeptics” repeatedly make contradictory statements like this. Please make up you mind.

  52. kwik says:

    In any belief system, the level of activity will increase to hysterical levels when they sense the end is coming. I think this is what is happening here. Birds flying into mountains.Lizzards. Ocean acidification.Black Lists. Tipping points just around the corner.

    The End is Nigh!

  53. Spencer says:

    I am among those who think it highly probable that AGW is shaping up to be a severe problem, but I agree that this paper should not have been published in this form. The difficulty is not that it addresses what researchers think, since that is a legitimate question (albeit far from the most important question!) and has been debated a lot. Nor is the difficulty that it has a list of people, since all of them have made public statements. The problem is that it ONLY includes people who have made public statements. For many reasons, this group is far from representative of researchers as a whole.

    Moreover, the paper takes people who have signed statements that hold an opposite viewpoint to the IPCC statements (in fact, “deny” them), and calls them people who are “unconvinced” by the IPCC statements, which is quite a different matter.

    The editors probably had this reviewed only by climate scientists — most social scientists would have picked up the problem. We need more work by people in the humanities!

  54. Patrick Jones says:

    What absolute nonsense you write Spencer.

    First up, the PNAS did not put anything like a ‘blacklist’ together, they merely counted the numbers from each side of the debate and found that the vast majority (97% – 98%) were convinced that AGW is real. This is not unlike any interested organisation counting the votes cast for candidates in in an election and declaring that candidate A had the most votes and is therefore declared the winner. If some organisation choose to compare the candidates and then conclude that candidate A won because they were the more informed, honest and credible this is also what the PNAS have done.

    You state,”But those scientific studies did not address all of the alternative explanations. They couldn’t, because we do not have the data to investigate them. The vast majority of them simply assumed global warming was manmade.

    I’m sorry, but in science a presupposition is not “evidence””

    This is more absolute nonsense, “the vast majority of them simply assumed global warming was manmade”, is not true. I suggest you and your followers read Dr. James Hansen’s book “Storms of my Grandchildren” where you will find fact after fact that supports the assertions of the majority of scientists referenced by the PNAS report.

    You dare bring up the term “climate denier” and then try to link it to the disgraceful term “holocaust denier”. This is despicable, there is no relationship between the two terms. All I see you doing is trying to use a shameful denial of man’s inhumanity to man to try to tell people to not call you a denier. An AGW denier you most certainly are.

    Further, you say, “the marching army of scientists who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 20 years”. What hyprocricy! What about the organisations you belong to, support and/or write for, such as The Heartland Institute, George C Marshall Institute and Tech Central Station to name only a few that are/were funded by the fossil fuel industries and/or the tobacco industry. They all have stated objectives of denying the truth, ooops sorry, “exposing the truth”

  55. Ron Broberg says:

    I would be more impressed by the sincerity of this alarming call of Inquisition if Dr Spencer had any history of defending scientists against political hatchet jobs.

    Where was Dr. Spencer when Sen Inhofe was looking into ways to prosecute climate scientists?
    http://tinyurl.com/ykdq7xa

    Where was Dr. Spencer when VA AG Cuccinelli was looking into ways to prosecute climate scientists?
    http://tinyurl.com/26qnypd

    And if Dr Spencer publicly protested either of these actions and I simply missed them, then I am pleased to see that he does, in deed and word, have a history of defending the rights and speech of climate scientists.

  56. Bill V says:

    Thanks, Phillip.
    But my comment was not so much directed at the study as much as how Dr Spencer addresses the study.

  57. howdeee says:

    “After all, nature does not cause change by itself, you know.”

    The creationist engages in quote-mining and distorting the position of the other side.

    How “unexpected”.

  58. howdeee says:

    “Instead, anthropogenic climate change has become a scientific faith.”

    That’s rich, coming from a creationist and all.

    “So, since we have no other evidence to go on, let’s pin the rap on humanity.”

    The creationist fails to mention that the evidence clearly shows that humans are causing climate change. When the creationist does not mention this, is this out of ignorance or dishonesty?

    “It just so happens that’s the position politicians want”

    And it just so happens that the creationist’s position is exactly what the right-wingers want. So hypocrisy, too?

    “The growing backlash against us skeptics makes me think of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, which started in the 12th Century.”

    Creationists are always playing the victim card. How pathetic. Just because your delusions are being blown away by facts doesn’t mean you are being persecuted.

    In fact, it is a BLATANT INSULT to those who were executed and tortured in the name of your religion to compare a scientific paper to that! Truly pathetic, and a new low, even for a creationist denialist.

    “The new paper also implicitly adds most of the public to the black list, since surveys have shown dwindling public belief in the consensus view of climate change.”

    The creationist does not seem to be aware of the fact that scientific fact is not dictated by the will of the people.

    How extremely pathetic.

  59. Wayne Arnold says:

    Keep up the good work Dr Spencer.

    I look forward to seeing both lists (CE and UE reseacher) when the authors finally produce them.

    I am particularly intersesting in seeing which 5 UE researchers make the top 200.

  60. david elder, australia says:

    Newsflash Rome, April 1, Anno Domini 1633:

    Galileo Galilei has had his Copernican hypothesis disproved. The majority of astronomers rejected his theory. That proves it is wrong. Their research was peer reviewed by the Inquisition. Even Martin Luther and John Calvin (boo! hiss!) realised it was wrong. Galileo published less papers than his rivals (especially since the Inquisition gagged him). Only a few nutters like Copernicus (how could a Catholic canon have made such an error?) and Kepler (another nutty Protestant divinity student whose works are thankfully already on the Index Expurgatorius) engage in such diabolical denialism. They will be denying the existence of witches next.

  61. dorlomin says:

    Surely, equating a belief in natural climate change to the belief that the Holocaust slaughter of millions of Jews and others by the Nazis never occurred is a new low for science as a discipline.
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Oh so you are at this too. Watts was squeeling that this paper was somehow the last stop before ‘sceptics’ were forced to wear yellow Juden badges, although in his inimitable clumsy way he is now pretending he did not.

    Now the old deniars are the same as holocaust denialist canard is wheeled out here over the same paper.

    The sheet scale of whining is really getting on the nerves.

  62. Pehr Bjornbom says:

    That this paper at all has been written tells us that there is a lack of sufficiently robust scientific arguments supporting the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming with a significant climate sensitivity. By writing such an article the authors suggest that they don’t believe that there are sufficient such arguments to convince the unconvinced.

    Although there are 500 unconvinced researchers on the PNAS list, many of them with an outstanding prominence, there are scores of names missing.

    In Sweden a petition was submitted in the beginning of this year to the Swedish government initiated by the society the Stockholm Initiative in which I am a member. There were more than 1000 signers of which around 100 were scientific researchers with a PhD, There were more than 45 professors. Only around 10 – 20 of the names on this petition are found on the PNAS list.

    Hence, only from this Swedish list there are around 80 missing PhDs and professors. Sweden has a population of less than 10 million so perhaps more than thousand names are missing from the USA, not mentioning all other countries.

    Keep up the good work, Dr. Spencer! You have a lot of support out there!

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason that I mentioned the word troll referring to your comments was that I have read the following definition in the Wikiepedia article “Troll (Internet)”:

      “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion”.

      Making a test according to this definition gives a “very likely” indication of the presence of a troll.

  63. MLPolska says:

    I’ve found another blacklist of dissenting scientists!

    http://www.cato.org/special/climatechange/alternate_version.html