Typhoon Haiyan: My debate on CNN Piers Morgan Live last night

November 12th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I reaallly didn’t want to do this. I was deliriously tired from getting up at 2 a.m. every morning to chase Comet ISON, and I knew it would probably be a hostile environment on Piers Morgan Live.

Piers himself was polite, but the guy they had covering the opposite view on the recent typhoon in the Philippines, “environmental correspondent” Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation, pulled out all the stops. Using the D-word, accusing me of scientific malpractice, etc. It was hard to get a word in edgewise.

Oh well, I’ll let the video speak for itself. If nothing else, it’s fairly entertaining. [They cut out the first part of the interview, where I explain that Typhoon Haiyan was not the biggest typhoon on record…maybe someone can find the full version of this interview for us.]

109 Responses to “Typhoon Haiyan: My debate on CNN Piers Morgan Live last night”

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  1. vivendi says:

    Mark accuses you of denying his BELIEVES (to know what caused the typhoon), and he denies your believes (that nobody knows what caused the typhoon; the null hypothesis valid until falsified).
    I agree, it’s difficult to debate if you are not given the chance to place even a single complete phrase.

  2. Jean-Charles Jacquemin says:

    Dear Dr Spencer, the attitude of the other guy in the interview is just what I fear for our future. The FAITH (and we know how many have suffered because of a FAITH or another)instead of a correct critical position.

    Thanks for sharing.

    JC J.

  3. ren says:

    Is the beginning of the winter months earlier in the U.S. is also the fault of global warming?

  4. RAH says:

    Your way to reasoned and nice for that kind of stuff Dr.

    It is impossible to have a meaningful debate when the other side is unarmed and on such programs when the “drama-greens” are found wanting in their knowledge they start in an ever increasing volume to spout the touchstones of their faith as if they are written in stone. This despite the fact of the so called “pause” in warming. You may as well have been debating Yassar Arafat about the existence of Israel.

  5. Steve Case says:

    An interview with a “reporter” who asks a question and then interrupts the answer is a no win situation.

  6. Steve Hill says:

    Honesty vs. a media moron

  7. M Hastings says:

    Dr. Spencer you have some big balls to step into a contrived situation like that. Kudos!

    That reporter is wrong! IPCC “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e.,
    intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

  8. Segue C says:

    Felt embarrassed by the reporter’s arrogant rudeness. Possibly due to a gullibility not helpful to a professional journalist.

    Happily the saner more scientifically responsible voices are finally being heard over the UN hysteria in Warsaw. Polish national media coverage included a dose of reality:

    “The rally took place one day after CFACT keynoted a climate policy conference in Warsaw co-sponsored by Solidarity, the Institute for Globalization, and other Polish and European NGOs. There, members of the European Parliament, along with representatives from the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Hungary, and Poland formally signed the “Warsaw Declaration” calling on the UN to discontinue work on a new treaty until a genuine “scientific consensus is reached on the phenomenon of so-called global warming.”

  9. Jonas N says:

    What an incomeptent ranting imbecile …

    Dr Spencer! Why don’t you just post your answers to his questions, had he not incessantly interrupted and insulted you, right here under this post (or a seperate one). Starting with:

    “Had I not been [rudely] interuppted, I would to this have answered: ….. ”

    And while you’re at it counter his many ignorant claims and set the record straight on this?

    Luckily, few people that matter or know the least little bit about the climate debate are smarter than this guy assumes (or is capable of understanding). If they google Spencer+cimate+Hertsgaard (or Piers Morgan or CNN) the should find your proper answers.

    Luckily people don’t rely on MSM to forcefeed them ‘the only admissible opinion’ anymore.

  10. At the first mention of the D-word, I would have shouted Piers, I refuse to sit here and put up with hate speech labeling, took off my microphone and left.

    That would have made waves.

    They can’t recover from that.

    • Fonzie says:


    • Pat Smith says:

      Perhaps ‘Climate Agnostic’ is a better description. Yes, the climate is changing, yes, humans have something to do with it, no, not sure it will lead to catastrophic global warming. I see this very much as the output of IPCC AR-5. Over the next 70 years, if CO2 continues to grow at 1% per annum, it says that the global temperature increase will be between 1C and 2.5C, very unlikely above 3C. Up to 2C, this is generally held to be a net benefit to mankind, so two thirds of the IPCC range is beneficial. We can probably all sign up to that, particularly page 11, note 16 which we should repeat whenever we can. ‘No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.’ We are all agnostics now!

    • mike maguire says:

      I disagree but would have felt like doing what you suggested after the D-word was used.

      Taking off the microphone and leaving would have made Dr. Spencer look like he had already lost/conceded defeat and was taking his climate change ball and going home.

      Piers Morgan is 100% responsible for letting this get out of hand and allowing the alarmist to bully doctor Spencer.

      People have different personalities. Dr. Spencer is very professional and respectful. The other guy is arrogant, loud and disrespectful.

      Somebody has to reign in the bully in an interview like this to level the playing field and this is the job of the moderator. Piers Morgan failed miserably which allowed the bully to run loose. It’s possible that Piers was caught off guard too.

      Here’s the transcript:


      There are several ways to respond to getting called a denier. My favorite is to ask why they are denying the law of photosynthesis and many benefits of CO2 as well as the lack of warming the last decade and statistics that show many weather extremes like violent tornadoes has decreased because of global warming.

      However, in this setting, I would not have done as well as Dr. Spencer and would have been bullied even worse than him.

      • mike maguire says:

        Thanks to the link, I watched the first half of the interview and think it was actually going great until the reporter went into his attack mode, interrupting Dr. Spencer, then attacking and accusing him and amazingly, Piers for even having Dr. Spencer on his show.

        It’s hard to know how John Q Public perceives this sort of thing. Probably, like most issues, they will believe whatever reinforces their current view.

        It’s seems likely however, that Piers is not going to invite the reporter back on his show based on his bad behavior. There is no reason at all for Dr. Spencer, being perceived as knowledgeable, professional, respectful and a gentleman to have burned any broadcasting invitation bridges.

        I will say that this alarmist reporter might have scored some points with biased media sources that just love one sided presentations which drown out skeptical views.

      • RAH says:

        I think the way to handle a guy like Mark Hertsgaard in a split screen situation is to smirk when he says something stupid and when he calls one a “denier” then possibly even an eye roll would be appropriate.

        What you have to do is make the bully go really Ed Shultz bonkers. Get him so worked up that the spittle begins to fly.

        By doing this you hope to strip the perception from all in the audience but his own kind that he is a reasonable knowledgeable person who is stating facts and expose him for the unreasoning disciple of a faith that he is.

  11. RW says:

    Wow Roy. Hard to win that one. I commend you for going on though.

  12. Typical responses from those who believe in global man made warming.r

  13. Sparks says:

    That was entertaining, we had a beautiful day today I even saw a rainbow, human carbon dioxide emissions must have been the cause, well, according to the logic of this guys dramatic Journalistic opinion.

  14. MarkB says:

    With regard to the common ‘TV debate format’, there’s merit to Schmidt’s response to Stossel as transcribed below. Conveying non-trival concepts in a sound-bite arena is pretty much doomed from the outset. Alas, it’s all most will ever be exposed to.

    John Stossel – “I’m not qualified to debate you as a climatologist. Why won’t you debate Roy Spencer? He’s not a flake. He helped produce the data that the government uses for atmospheric temperature . . .”

    Gavin Schmidt – “I’m not a politician. You know, I’m here because you asked me come on and talk about the science, and I’m totally happy to do that. Any time you want to ask me again, just give me a call and I’ll come on and I will tell you about the science, and I will point you in the right direction, but I’m not interested in doing this because it’s good TV. I’m interested because what we have discovered as a scientific community needs to be talked about, and you need to talk about it, and Roy needs to talk about it, we all need to talk about it, but I don’t need to be arguing with people because it makes good TV.

  15. Completely agree with Anthony Watts. No tolerance of the D-word in such a public forum should become the standard.

  16. Bart says:

    I think I would have responded, “Not only have I read more than you, I’ve understood it. You’re a journalist, for crying out loud. You probably can’t even hack fractions, let alone the kind of math you need to understand this problem.”

  17. Todd Tharp says:

    The D word Demagogue should be used to respond to the other word. As in. “Piers, I refuse to let this demagogue spew more lies about me or those of us who want a reasoned discussion on this issue. He CLEARLY comes from a biased view and if I had the time I would deconstruct every bit of nonsense coming out of his smarmy mouth. Viewers should check my website for a full reply to his unsupportable nonsense.”

  18. Todd Tharp says:

    You HAVE to punch back twice as hard in a venue like that – and repeat your website enough times to get past the inevitable video edits. There is no other way.

  19. Dr. Spencer’s appearance was great, dressed well. Also the way he held himself was very professional, and he stood his ground while still being very civil.

    The other guy presented himself as a jerk.

    • Otto Weinzierl says:

      Exactly! And allways keeping a smile on your face showed the viewers, that that madman could’nt be taken serious.

    • Mike says:

      What else would we expect from Berkeley but far left rage? The nature of that part of the interview was rather unsurprising. Dr. Spencer handled the circumstances in Most Awesome fashion.

  20. Wilson says:

    “Your job depends on it” – You were doing well until you made that comment. That made you out to be a conspiracy “nutter” (which I don’t believe you are), but it was not a good way to end the interview.

    On attribution, there are a few studies listed here:


    Are you aware of other attribution studies that disagree with them and find natural rather than man-made causes?

    • Bart says:

      How is it a conspiracy for a person to act in his economic interests?

      SS – not a reputable site. There are many studies which find significant natural forcing. Here is a recent one. They’re coming stronger and faster as the globe obstinately persists in refusing to warm according to script.

      • Wilson says:

        Your link doesn’t woprk.

        It is a conspiracy theory if that claim is not backed by evidence.

        • Bart says:

          The Conspiracy hacked my link! Help, help! I’m being repressed!

          Try this.

          • Wilson says:

            I’ve seen it before, it’s not a study of attribution but an observation of internal variability.

            “While the results of this study appear to have implications regarding the hiatus in warming, the stadium wave signal does not support or refute anthropogenic global warming”

  21. David L. Hagen says:

    Thanks for sticking up for science and the truth against unprincipled/misled thugs.
    I agree with you as part of that 97% who agree that humans have contributed some to climate change – and that the uncertainties are so great that we just don’t know how much!
    Hopefully we will generate enough anthropogenic global warming to hold off the onset of the next glaciation.

  22. Bart says:

    BTW, much as I would have liked to see you go for the jugular, you probably came off best just as you were. It really cannot be helped that many viewers would be swayed by style over substance. If you adopt their tactics, you are fighting them on the ground of their choosing, and that would play into their hands.

    You put in an excellent appearance.

  23. Brian Lemon says:

    Doc Roy – you were AWESOME – in a solid scientific way. You should do more TV – you were succinct, spot on and made your points well.
    The highlight was when you laughed at him.
    These idiots need to be laughed at more often.

    Interesting that Morgan did this. I think him doing so is a sign of a new paradigm in reportage.

  24. Susie says:

    Your comment that you’d most likely read a lot more scientific papers than him pretty much summed it up for me. Another journalist arguing without knowing the facts.

  25. Russell Cook says:

    Hertzgaard is, at the very least, quite predictable in his enslavement to the notion of ‘skeptic scientists are Exxon shills’, and has been from the inception of the accusation. I covered how Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe turned the tables on him back in 2011, please see “Global Warming Alarmist ambushes Sen. Inhofe – can the alarmist withstand a congressional ambush on him?” http://www.redstate.com/russellc/2011/02/16/global-warming-alarmist-ambushes-sen-inhofe-can-the-alarmist-withstand-a-congressional-ambush-on-him/

  26. Russell Cook says:

    One more thing: that “journalistically irresponsible” line Hertsgaard spoke of: it’s a 1992 talking point pushed by the late Stephen Schneider, seen in the 2nd-to-last paragraph here in this photo link: http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/gelbspan-schneider-gore.png

  27. Eric Barnes says:

    Thanks for your efforts Dr. Spencer.

  28. You did great, Roy. It’s terribly tempting to reply in kind to guys like Hertzgaard, but I believe staying gracious, even though it might not win the particular day’s battle, wins the audience over the long haul. Eventually people start wondering, “Why do THOSE guys have to be so angry and vicious all the time, while THESE guys are cool, calm, collected, patient, and gracious? If you’ve got the truth, why do you have to be nasty about it?” Nice work, my friend.

  29. SandyK says:

    You did very well Dr, but my goodness, why did you let stand that ridiculously 97% consensus claim? Should have called him out on that. If anything, you were TOO polite (by letting him interrupt), by not reminding him about all the warmists failed predictions (polar bears, Arctic Ice Cap, sea level rise)

  30. James says:

    The journalist had that glassy eyed look you see in evangelists. It was a bit scary! I see that 97% figure is still being used a lot in the US as it is here in Australia. I’m sure many of you are familiar how spurious the figure is, especially since it is variously used to describe those who believe in AGW and those who believe in DANGEROUS AGW equally!

    In case anyone is not familiar with how fraudulent that figure is, and how the research it is based on actually only shows that 0.3% of papers endorsed the latter definition, I thought you might be interested in the following information.

    There was an original claim to a large scientific consensus based on what became known as the Doran survey which was for a MSc thesis. This was generally discredited because it was found to dilute thousands of responses to two simple questions which most skeptics would answer YES to, down to just 79 ‘acceptable’ responses counted of which 77 were considered positive giving the 97% number.

    The latest incarnation of the 97% claim came in early 2013 and originated from this study by Cook, J., Nuccitelli, D., Green, S. A., Richardson, M., Winkler, B., Painting, R., et al. (2013). ‘Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.’ Environmental Research Letters, 8, 024024. The paper can be accessed here: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

    The paper’s own abstract describes what the researcher’s did and their conclusions.

    “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”

    There is a peer reviewed paper analysing the Cook et al data and their results and the assessment is scathing. This is what they found:

    “The 97.1 % consensus claimed by Cook et al. (2013) turns out upon inspection to be not 97.1 % but 0.3 %. Their claim of 97.1 % consensus, therefore, is arguably one of the greatest items of misinformation that has been circulated on either side of the climate debate.”

    The following is an abbreviated version of the press release summarising the above paper. You can find the full content here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/ September 3rd, 2013

    A major peer-reviewed paper by four senior researchers has exposed grave errors in an earlier paper in a new and unknown journal that had claimed a 97.1% scientific consensus that Man had caused at least half the 0.7 Cº global warming since 1950.

    A tweet in President Obama’s name had assumed that the earlier, flawed paper, by John Cook and others, showed 97% endorsement of the notion that climate change is dangerous: “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

    The new paper by the leading climatologist Dr David Legates and his colleagues, published in the respected Science and Education journal, now in its 21st year of publication, reveals that Cook had not considered whether scientists and their published papers had said climate change was “dangerous”.

    The consensus Cook considered was the standard definition: that Man had caused most post-1950 warming. Even on this weaker definition the true consensus among published scientific papers is now demonstrated to be not 97.1%, as Cook had claimed, but only 0.3%.

    Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it.

    Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: a Rejoinder to ‘Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change’ decisively rejects suggestions by Cook and others that those who say few scientists explicitly support the supposedly near-unanimous climate consensus are misinforming and misleading the public.

    Dr Legates said: “It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors’ own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%.
    “It is still more astonishing that the IPCC should claim 95% certainty about the climate consensus when so small a fraction of published papers explicitly endorse the consensus as the IPCC defines it.”

    Dr William Briggs, “Statistician to the Stars”, said: “In any survey such as Cook’s, it is essential to define the survey question very clearly. Yet Cook used three distinct definitions of climate consensus interchangeably. Also, he arbitrarily excluded about 8000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not.

    “In fact, Cook’s paper provides the clearest available statistical evidence that there is scarcely any explicit support among scientists for the consensus that the IPCC, politicians, bureaucrats, academics and the media have so long and so falsely proclaimed. That was not the outcome Cook had hoped for, and it was not the outcome he had stated in his paper, but it was the outcome he had really found.”

  31. John Moore says:

    Dr. Spencer… at first I thought you gave the debate away to that “journalist.” But by the end, I realized that you gracefully let him dig his own grave.

    You had great patience in the face of grossly unprofessional taunting.

    Kudos and thanks.

    Keep up the good work.

  32. Dan Pangburn says:

    Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some politicians and many others mislead the gullible public by stubbornly continuing to proclaim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is a primary cause of global warming.

    Measurements demonstrate that they are wrong.

    CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 was 89.5 ppmv (parts per million by volume). The atmospheric carbon dioxide level has now (through September) increased since 2001 by 25.69 ppmv (an amount equal to 28.7% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; September, 2013, 396.82 ppmv).

    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat (5 reporting agencies).

    That is the observation. No amount of spin can rationalize that the temperature increase to 2001 was caused by a CO2 increase of 89.5 ppmv but that 25.69 ppmv additional CO2 increase had no effect on the average global temperature trend after 2001.

  33. Dan Pangburn says:

    An equation that results in 95% correlation with average global temperatures since 1895 is at http://danpangburn.blogspot.com/

  34. Bill Hunter says:

    You did a great job Dr Spencer.

    Sticking to the facts is the best course of action.

    Mr. Hertsgaard obviously lacks the knowledge to understand that the 97% consensus is not a consensus agreeing with the IPCC estimates of warming. You pointed out that you are part of the 97% and it went over his head.

    It certainly would not have been an easy task correcting his ignorance if that were even possible.

  35. TINSTAAFL says:

    “I have interviewed more scientists”… yeah well you can’t beat thatr, can you?

    • Bart says:

      Sort of like that old commercial that got a lot of flak where the soap opera actor introduced himself for a painkiller advertisement with “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on television.”

  36. Barry Woods says:

    Alex Cull has made a full transcript of the longer video.


    while the video is a must watch to get the tone.
    Many people do not wish to watch video, but will happily read a transcript (ie much quicker)

    What is perhaps more important, is how Roy and MArk came across to other media professional(ie non eco correspondents) which willperhaps alert other journalists to the activism amongst eco journalism (lots gone native)

    Piers Morgan was clearly very unimpressed about being told who he can/cannot interview/put on air

  37. coturnix says:

    Real science can never win a \debate\ on TV against ideological propaganda, simply because real science is always uncertain while audience typically seeks certain answers. Saying something like ‘some warming may be caused by humans’ is lose by default; your opponent knows that or at least feels your defencive position and then uses it. If only it was possible to reformulate science in the form of assertive tv propaganda… not sure if it is possible.

  38. pochas says:

    When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

  39. David Springer says:

    Wow. Piers Morgan sure is a dumb phuckin jagoff!

  40. David Springer says:

    Ah sorry that should have been Mark Hertsgaard who’s the dumb phuckin’ jagoff not Piers Morgan.

  41. mojomojo says:

    Dr Spencer,

    You are way too polite and your adversary was successful in preventing you from presenting information.
    Your opponent was just running down the clock before you could score points.
    In the future ,just state facts and ignore remarks intended to divert the conversation off topic.

  42. Phil Neel says:

    Mark Hertsgaard is a Link TV leftist sheep. Not worth your time.

  43. James Strom says:

    Talk about poor journalism. It is poor journalism to stage a debate between a scientist and an activist. A significant tactical problem that will often arise is that it’s possible for the activist to make so many mistakes in one sentence that they can’t be sorted out in the course of the entire discussion, and trying to do so leaves virtually no time to make any substantive points that might have been planned.

  44. Dan Pangburn says:

    Hertsgaard demonstrated that anything appears to be possible when you have no idea what you are talking about.

  45. Mark Hertsgaard says it is journalistic malpractice to do a science interview with someone who denies the absolute certainty of catastrophic world ending man made global warming. Is it journalistic malpractice to do a scientific interview with someone who has no degree whatsoever in science? I have tried to Google Mr. Hertsgaard’s education, bu find no info so far.

  46. Antonio (AKA "Un físico") says:

    Yesterday I wrote this comment in markhertsgaard.com’s blog:
    “Condolences to these hurricane victims.
    Just to point out that linking anthropogenic climate change with hurricanes is not what IPCC says in, for example, point “TS.4.7 Climate Extremes” of his WGI AR5: “there is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence”.
    If you, Mr. Mark Hertsgaard, want to be informed about climatic science, you could read my essay (and the references inside it):
    And today I have added:
    “Mark, will you have the courage of publishing this post?. Let’s see.
    Mr Spencer, I have not read your blog. So I cannot say that I disagree or agree with your point of view about climate change. But, from typhoon haiyan, to set a debate on climate change is an ilogic nonsense: shame on the CNN guys.

  47. Noblesse Oblige says:

    This is what they do. It defines who they are. I would not play their game.

  48. Bill Brent says:

    It’s journalistic malpractice for a journalist to argue that only one side of the issue be heard.

    Furthermore, it’s revealing that Piers Morgan took no umbrage at the suggestion that he was indulging in journalistic malpractice by inviting Dr. Spenser to the discussion.

  49. Joe Madrid says:

    This reporter is a rude moron…some sort of left wing activist. He couldn’t reason his way out of a paper bag.

    Yep no doubts about it the UN/ IPCC and George Clooney say so. I am always shocked at the naivity of people…The UN?!?
    The most political wordy nonsense organization that exists.

    For some fun watch Lord Monckton (inventor of sudoku)
    as he takes apart the IPCC

    The worst part is these imbeciles are well represented in our current regime.

  50. Howard Wiseman (@HowSmart) says:

    Casting pearls before swine. You did well to maintain your composure.. the old adage-when your adversary is hell-bent on self-destruction, just get out of the way.

  51. Sven Hanssen says:

    The only thing impressive with poor Mr. Hertsgaard is the number of the platitudes he managed to express during these few minutes.

  52. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    If the “debate” had gone on for some more minutes, I believe Mr Hertsgaards could have accused Roy for creating the typhoon by his very disbelieve in the alarming view.

    Reminds me of some movies of crime cases. The worse the crime the less prove is needed to convict the first they find.

  53. Hot Potato says:

    First, a confession. I once believed the hype that human activity was substantially responsible for the warming of the planet and the altering of the climate. I now, like Roy, am not certain. In fact, I’m not certain about a great many things when it comes to this issue now. How could I be? How could any scientist be? There are just too many variables at play and we do not have sufficient enough intellect or technology at this point in our evolutionary history to be able to understand these processes 100% let alone 10%.

    With that out of the way, Hertsgaards was, and is, an ass and is in no way interested in the scientific method or even the spirit of science, or what the spirit of science once was and still should be. You handled yourself well Roy by not allowing him to drag you down in the mud. Venues like Piers Morgan are rarely productive for this reason. One side or the other, and sometimes both sides engage in derailing tactics and it just becomes a shout-down.

    It’s unfortunate because there are a lot of lazy lay people out here who accept this consensus clap trap as gospel and the momentum of it is picking up steam, but at the same time, their theory is crumbling, or at this point resembles Swiss Cheese so many holes have been poked in it. But it may no longer matter that it’s poked full of holes and/or it’s crumbling. Just like Obamacare, the facts no longer matter, or so it appears. They proceed with or without them, and for a scientist like Roy, the implications of that must be chilling.

    For example, take a look at this site. These folks are crazy. They are the slippery slope where there is no Catcher In The Rye. Take a look around. They claim they have science on their side and there is absolutely no doubt that near term extinction of not only humankind but the majority, if not all, of life is imminent….as in twenty to thirty years. It’s like a cult, but what’s chilling about it is, it’s the radical, slippery slope anchor of that line of thinking.


  54. Dr. Strangelove says:

    The “consensus” among meteorologists is only 52% based on survey of members of American Meteorological Society. Therefore, no consensus since they are almost equally divided.


  55. labrat says:

    Just for the record:

    The list in Wikipedia (which is probably OK for this sort of factual nitpicking) of intense typhoons shows that, out of 57 recorded, 3 have ocurred in this century. The most intense was Typhoon Tip in 1979.

    End of discussion. Yawn.

  56. dave says:

    In an interview of this sort you just do the politician thing. You go into the “discussion” with one sentence in your head and simply repeat it, immediately, in response to anything and everything.

    Good evening Dr Spencer.

    Hello, I just want to say that Typhoon Tip in 1979 was a much more intense storm than the latest sad event in the Phillippines.

    Dr Spencer you have been accused of being a Denier. What do say to that?

    Well, I know that Typhoon Tip in 1979 was a much more intense storm than the latest sad event in the Phillippines.

    Should we spend money on curbing carbon emissions? Yes or no!

    I will answer that in a moment. I would like first to remind you that Typhoon Tip way back in 1979 was a much more intense storm than the latest sad event in the Phillippines. Whether cutting carbon emissions would have prevented Typhoon Tip in 1979 is not something I am sure about.

    Dr Spencer you are being evasive.

    I would like to rebut that by saying that I am always willing to debate whether Typhoon Tip in 1979 was or was
    not the most intense typhoon on record.

    Hurricane Clara was caused by Big Oil, was it not?
    And Big Oil paid you to cause it, did it not!?

    I think you over-estimate my powers a litle, ha-ha.
    But I thought you asked me here to talk about the latest sad event in the Phillipines which was certainly caused by a storm – a storm much less intense than Typhoon Tip in 1979, by the way. I was only fifteen then, ha-ha. Surely you are not accusing me of causing the much more intense storm called Typhoon Tip, way back then?

    I accuse you of being a lying, weaselling, clown!

    Well, thank you very much for having me. I would just like to remind viewers that Typhoon Tip in 1979 was a much more intense storm than the recent sad event in the Philippines.
    I will be joining a relief expedition to the Phillippines soon, and I will comfort the people there by pointing out to them that Typhoon Tip in 1979 was worse.

    And so on. The 30% of viewers who disliked you before you even opened your mouth now actually hate you. But a month later all anybody will remember is that the old newspaper item about a sad event in the Phillippines did not mean global warming was a bad thing,

    … because…

    Typhoon Tip in 1979 was a much…

  57. dave says:

    I have been asked privately

    “What about rude interruptions?”

    Well, that is a difficulty.

    I had a political aquaintance who shall remain anonymous in a country which it is better not to mention who found it very useful to bring along a certain policeman without a name who
    sat in the front row and looked at his opponents and occasionally drew a finger across his throat.

    • Fonzie says:

      Dave, you make a good point… If that debate were to have happened down here in new orleans that guy would have violated the disturbing the peace statutes. Maybe that’s just the thing to rein the bad behaviors.

  58. labrat says:

    Mr “Dave” , he make the little pleasantries, no?

  59. dave says:

    Very little.

  60. Dan Murray says:

    Dr Roy,

    It’s best not to argue with a fool. A casual observer may get the two of you confused.

    Don’t wrestle with a pig. The pig loves the attention and you get all muddy.

    This site remains the go to spot “for the rest of us”.

    Thanks to all here.

  61. Mike Lewis says:

    I happened across this interview this evening. Mark Hertsgaard is way out of line, and needed to be dressed down by a competent scientist who is pursuing real science instead of “consensus” that can be skewed due to various political conveniences. You handled him quite well during an interview that, in my opinion, was a set up with the intent of being hostile towards you. Shame on Hertsgaard.

    • Fonzie says:

      This is all the responsibility of mr. morgan… It’s his job to make sure that both guest are polite and disciplined before any of this gets started. AND it’s dr. spencer’s responsibility to get assurances from mr. morgan that he has done that.

  62. nigel says:

    If TV shows were serious about having fair debates it could be arranged with some variant of the “chess clock” system.

    The debaters and the show host would sit in soundproof booths with microphones arranged in such a way that “the system” notices who has the floor and who is interjecting.

    Each debater AND the host would have a ration of time (say five minutes for each debater and two minutes for the host).

    The sting is that each interruption reduces your own ration of time, say by 10 seconds, and it is given to the one interrupted. Therefore, a long-winded bully will be reduced to silence before long, and have to suffer the bullied one making his pitch for the rest of the program.

  63. nigel says:

    But of course in the real world the bullies would mug you before you got on the show. Some variant of that used to happen in pagan Iceland. Law suits were setled in a general public gathering called the “thing” (Norse for “parliament”).
    If you did not turn up in the thing to plead your case you lost. Therefore, pitched battles used to take place at the entrance to the thing. “I am afraid Snorri could not be bothered to turn up for his case. Possibly because he is lying dead outside? I wouldn’t know anything about that”.

  64. Hot Potato says:

    Earlier, I mentioned the slippery slope of blaming humans for global warming and climate change. As I mentioned, after much research and honest deliberation, I have come to the same conclusion as Roy, and that is we just can’t be certain, not yet at least and most likely not for some time, to what extent humans are responsible for climate change, let alone warming.

    Guy McPherson’s blog, Nature Bats Last, is highly disturbing and many who post at his blog are, for lack of a better term, disturbed. Keep in mind, McPherson’s theory is that humans, and most if not all life on Earth, is extinct in twenty to thirty years. He’s emphatic about it, and so too are his disturbed followers. Here’s one of the latest comments. Any objective, caring person should be concerned with this comment.

    So much of the time my life has had a dream like tone.

    I have adopted a personal mission: choose to freely live in a connected world by staying awake and being present.

    Some of the time I feel I am able, but mostly I find I have to repeatedly awaken. And in that moment – each time I now stumble over NTE. And attempt to find my balance again, and again, and again. Now i teeter and totter through my days marveling at the beautiful lunacy of my existance. Still emeshed in the mire of empire, while slashing at the strands but

    I consider the young humans that I ferry about in the school bus in drive part-time, and my heart breaks. I pay attention to my environment to keep them safe, and wonder why. They seem so ensconsed in the delusions of modern consumer life, and optomistic, entitled, and screwed.

    I know that everyone wants, nay needs to be right. And as in the dream of yours Logspirit everyone is clamoring to he heard and to believe that their viewpoint and understanding is truest. Me too. But

    I attempted to address this comment and it was deleted by McPherson. Why? It’s a legitimate concern. McPherson is accountable for his message, and he’s accountable for greasing the skids for potentially destructive behavior. Wasn’t it in Alabama where a disturbed individual not too long ago attempted to take his life and the lives of school children on a school bus? Here’s the reply McPherson deleted, and remember, this is all predicated on AGW Alarmism.

    This statement is deeply disturbing and precisely my concern for some people who pursue this line of reasoning (NTE). I’m going to ask you politely to step away. If you are indeed serious with this statement, and as of yet I’m not sure that you are, please voluntarily remove yourself from your position as school bus driver. You have no business being responsible for the safety and security of children. None. If you truly believe in NTE and are handling it the way you say in this statement, then you are a danger to yourself and to the children. Do the right thing and find a way to occupy yourself, or a way to support yourself, so that when and if you throw in the towel, you don’t take a bunch of innocents with you.

    For those who aren’t too busy and have some time on their hands and like to dig deep on related tangents, an author by the name of Carol Newquist, apparently before being banned for being evocative, started a line of investigation into all things Collapse to include Collapse caused from AGW at this link. There is a lot to digest and a lot of great source material to sift through. This is where this Alarmist garbage is headed if it’s not reined in. Notice the resistance with which Newquist is confronted despite the valid and poignant points made.


    • Fonzie says:

      H.P., could you explain what “NTE” means ? Thanks…

      • Hot Potato says:

        Fonzie, it is a term coined at McPherson’s blog by him and his followers. It’s an acronym for Near Term Extinction. Some at that space have formed derivatives of it to include NTHE, which is Near Term Human Extinction, because they want to see us humans go extinct but not the precious animals.

  65. gorsden says:

    Before we go extinct, our pets will need to go to survival boot-camp. The people you mention would probably want them executed, anyway, as collaboraters with humans.

  66. PeterS says:

    Dr Spencer, don’t worry. People like the one who interviewed you are morons and one day they will be put to shame. Hopefully some of the leaders of the AGW cult will be jailed.

  67. nutso fasst says:

    Walking out would’ve been a big mistake. Hertsgaard’s performance may appeal to many of Morgan’s viewers, but I hope anyone not part of that cabal would find it as infuriatingly obnoxious as I did. Better to let him display his censorious zealotry than give him ‘proof’ of his accusations.

    One question I’d have liked asked of him though: “How many scientists have you interviewed and can you name a few we might recognize?”

  68. Bill Sparling says:

    And to add to the nonsense: the Suzuki foundation did an “opinion survey” in Europe of some 2000 people and now claims:

    Canada ranks worst in developed world on climate policy: European report

    OTTAWA — Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq arrives at a climate change conference in Warsaw today amid exceedingly low expectations.

    A European report released to coincide with the United Nations conference ranks Canada 55th of 58 countries in terms of tackling greenhouse gas emissions, ahead of only Iran, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

    And a new national Environics telephone poll commissioned by the David Suzuki Foundation suggests public confidence in government as the lead actor in addressing climate change has slumped considerably — down six percentage points from the 59 per cent recorded a year ago.

    “Canada is taking a leadership role in international climate change efforts by focusing on delivering significant environmental and economic benefits for all Canadians,” Aglukkaq was quoted in a government press release to mark her departure for Warsaw.

    “The government of Canada is committed to establishing a fair and effective climate change agreement that includes commitments by all major emitters.”

    According to the latest annual report by the Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch, Canada is starting from the back of the pack.

    “As in the previous year, Canada still shows no intention of moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains the worst performer of all industrialized countries,” states the report, released today in Warsaw.

    The comparative report, which has been compiled annually by environmental activists since 2005, shows Canada at the bottom of the industrialized world in terms of emissions per capita, development of renewable energy and international climate policy.

    However the report’s heavy weighting on policy direction will provide plenty of fuel for skeptics.

    China, the subject of international attention this year over deadly air pollution, “improved its performance compared to the previous year and climbed up to rank 46,” said the study, despite China being the biggest emitter of CO2 on the planet.

    A chart in the study showed that China, with almost 19.5 per cent of the global population, was responsible for almost 23 per cent of global emissions. Canada, with 0.5 per cent of global population, emitted 1.6 per cent of global GHG emissions.

    The highly polarized debate, in which the Canadian government claims “significant” environmental benefits while Canada gets trashed by international climate change activists, appears to have taken its toll on public opinion.

    Environics surveyed 2,003 respondents between Oct. 1-17 this fall and found that belief in the science on climate change still isn’t back where it was in 2007 “when climate change was the hot new issue.”

    Six in 10 respondents believe that climate change is real and caused by human activity, a marginal increase over 2012 in the annual poll, but still well back of the 65 per cent who believed in 2007.

    The poll is considered accurate within 2.2 percentage points, 19 times in 20.

    And while government — rather than voluntary actions by industry or consumer — is still seen as the most significant component in tackling climate change, the percentage of respondents who believe government is essential to the fight is down to 53 per cent this year, from 59 per cent in 2012.

    “It’s clear they’re starting to lose trust in the federal government,” Ian Bruce of the Suzuki Foundation said in an interview.

    “The government has not backed up its talk with action.”

    Bruce said the good news is that provinces and municipalities are taking the lead on tackling climate change.

    Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-ranks-worst-in-developed-world-on-climate-policy-european-report-1.1548262#ixzz2l2MTnX6R

    Feel free to go there and leave your comments.

  69. albertabob says:

    “…55th out of 58…” !

    It gives me a warm glow (always useful up here at this time of year). Especially since we are usually so wishy-washy. With one more yawn, one more mutter of “couldn’t care less”, we can make it to the bottom!

    • Bill Sparling says:

      I take it you are one of the “true believers” in the myth of AGW/CC. The point, which I believe you missed, is that the Suzuki Foundation (the pillar of unbiased science and free speech) paid for a survey of 2,003 people out of the MILLIONS in Europe to get this “result”. Selection of respondants and questions asked, not to mention the ability to access the data is not provided.

  70. torontoann says:

    In Toronto, the Mayor is trying to stay permanently lit-up.

  71. Gerald Machnee says:

    For Dr. Spencer – Stipulate conditions under which you will do interview.
    For all the readers here: Send note(s) to Morgan telling him to run a proper interview. Stipulate no name-calling.

  72. RichardLH says:

    David L. Hagen says:

    November 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    “The President of the Philippines now estimates that the deaths from the cyclone may be about 2000 to 2500.”

    Looks like a simple bit of basic journalism (i.e. researching old newspapers) shows that this storm was possibly less/equally destructive than the one on Wednesday 12 January 1898



    7000 Lives Lost.”


    • RichardLH says:

      Sorry that should read



      7000 Lives Lost.

      The hurricane reached Leyte on October 12, and striking Tacloban, the capital, with terrific force, reduced it to ruins in less than half an hour.”

      which is, of course, a much more likely time for this sort of event to occur and also roughly the same time of year as well as per the current event.

      Apologies for the poor ‘cut and paste’.

  73. RichardLH says:

    Heads up to Steve Goddard for this and other newspaper reports of (similar?) events in the Philippines.


    Does not mean that this was not a terrible event, just not ‘unprecedented’.

  74. M. Adeno says:

    A very instructive spectacle demonstrating competences and methods of the protagonists of disastrous climate change.

  75. Ansgar John says:

    Some people seem to perceive `climate sceptics` to be more evil than holocaust deniers. Dr. Spencer I think you did very well. Next time wear a white or blue shirt, if your message is ´radical´ package it in a conservative way that doesn´t distract from what you are saying. http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/home_page_slideshow/IPCC-climate-change.jpg

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