11 Dec 2019

Murphy Twin Spin

Bob Murphy Show 46 Comments

==> In ep. 84 of the Bob Murphy Show, I give a short (30-min) intro to Nelson Nash’s Infinite Banking Concept (IBC).

==> At IER I respond to Katharine Heyhoe’s NYT article on Christianity and climate science.

46 Responses to “Murphy Twin Spin”

  1. Transformer says:

    In his IER post on Christianity and Climate change Bob remind us that he does not reject the science on climate change – he just believes the IPCC and other government bodies are spinning it to favor greater government intervention in our lives. I am in agreement with this analysis.

    In his post Bob then claims that many Evangelical Christians also do not reject the science and they (like he and I) are skeptical of the use the science is being put. He draws our attention to ‘an entire organization—the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation—that proudly marries Christian doctrine with a free-market approach to climate change policy’. Bob explicit references them as an example of American evangelicals who do not reject climate science. That sounded interesting so i checked out their credentials.

    I find:

    ‘We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.’

    (source: https://web.archive.org/web/20091208023646/http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming

    This sounds to me like 100% climate science denialism to me and is presumably exactly the kind of belief-based and unscientific thinking at which Heyhoe is taking aim.

    • guest says:

      The “science” is doctored, not settled.

      Don’t Let Media Whitewash Climategate! Read Chapter excerpt revealing the truth behind scandal 10 years later
      [www]https://www.climatedepot.com/2019/11/18/dont-let-media-whitewash-climategate-read-chapter-excerpt-revealing-the-truth-behind-scandal-10-years-later/

      “A Washington Post editorial on November 25, 2009, summed up the unfolding scandal:

      “According to one of the stolen e-mails, CRU [Climate Research Unit] Director Phil Jones wrote that he would keep papers questioning the connection between warming and human activity out of the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” …”

      “… Other e-mails speak of withholding data from climate-change skeptics…. Climate scientists should not let themselves be goaded by the irresponsibility of the deniers into overstating the certainties of complex science or, worse, censoring discussion of them. …”

      “… Climate blogger Tom Nelson dug through and collected a slew of the Climategate emails on his website:

      • Email 1819, Nov 2003, warmist Tom Wigley to Mann et al on possible responses to McIntyre and McKitrick’s request for data: “The second is to tell them to go to hell”

      • Email 4868, Sept ’05: IPCC reviewer McIntyre asks to see the data underlying a paper; warmists complain this is a “major abuse of his position”

      • Email 1897, Dec 2008: After Phil Jones admits deleting material, UEA’s FOI officer David Palmer writes: “Phil, you must be very careful about deleting material, more particularly when you delete it”

      • 2000: Warmist Phil Jones goes to “solar variability and climate” conference in Tenerife; finds that “Many in the solar terrestrial physics community seem totally convinced that solar output changes can explain most of the observed changes we are seeing”; laments that THEY are “so set in their ways”

      • Email 4657, Oct 2000, It’s a small world after all: Editor of Journal of Climate, Michael Mann, gets Phil Jones to review a paper by Tom Wigley and Ben Santer

      • 2004 email: Phil Jones on why he thought the last 20 years was warmer than the Medieval Warm Period: “This is all gut feeling, no science”; warmist Tom Wigley also calls the hockey stick “a very sloppy piece of work””

      • guest says:

        From the same article:

        ““The 97% estimate is bandied about by basically everybody. I had a close look at what this study really did. As far as I can see, this estimate just crumbles when you touch it. None of the statements in the papers are supported by the data that is actually in the paper,” Tol said. “But this 97% is essentially pulled from thin air, it is not based on any credible research whatsoever.” Tol’s research found that only sixty-four papers out of nearly twelve thousand actually supported the alleged “consensus.” Tol published his research debunking the 97 percent claim in the journal Energy Policy.

        “Meteorologist Anthony Watts summed up Tol’s research debunking Cook’s claims. The “97% consensus among scientists is not just impossible to reproduce (since Cook is withholding data) but a veritable statistical train wreck rife with bias, classification errors, poor data quality, and inconsistency in the ratings process,” Watts wrote.”

        • Harold says:

          “Tol’s research found that only sixty-four papers out of nearly twelve thousand actually supported the alleged “consensus.” ” That is not quite the case, he found only 64 specifically endorsed and quantified. 922 explicitly endorsed but did not quantify.

          if we are keeping to apples-to-apples comparisons, there are 64 papers that explicitly endorse and quantify the consensus and 9 that explicitly disagree. This gives us 87% consensus, using the criteria preferred by the skeptics. Not quite 97, but still large. Given the small numbers it would be bold to put too much weight on the specific number.

          If go to the next level:
          Explicitly endorses but does not quantify or minimize: 922
          Explicitly minimizes/rejects AGW but does not quantify: 15

          Giving 97% agree.

          Most did not state explicitly whether they agreed or not, as you would expect in a field where there was general agreement. I doubt very many biology papers explicitly endorse evolution, not geology papers state explicitly that the earth is billions of years old.

      • Tel says:

        Yes the science has been doctored.

        https://delingpoleworld.com/49-will-happer/

        You can add Will Happer to the list of scientists who had their careers terminated by Al Gore … he gives a detailed interview explaining how it happened. I had never heard of Happer before listening to that interview, perhaps some other people knew about him.

        In the book “Environment Betrayed” you get a very similar story from Ed Krug.

        Also the late Dr William Gray described the same thing happening to him.

        Judith Curry describes how colleagues turned on her in retaliation for even mild skepticism on the climate question.

        Far too many of these cases for it to be coincidence, there’s a clear modus operandi at work here. The whole thing has abandoned the Scientific Method and become a religion … a new type of politicized religion that is deeply entwined with big government.

    • guest says:

      [Timestamp: 03:13:28]
      10.28.19 Environmental Resources and Energy on Livestream
      [www]https://livestream.com/accounts/21610338/events/8870526/player?width=640&height=360&enableInfoAndActivity=true&defaultDrawer=&autoPlay=true&mute=false

      [Marc Morano]: … the 97%, as was previously mentioned, was pulled from thin air, according to United Nations Lead Author, Dr. Richard Tol. So, even the United Nations Lead Author admits it was pulled from thin air. And multiple studies, including by Dr. David Legates … </strong)

      [At this point, Morano is interrupted by climate socialists saying "Not true" (apparently, so as to be heard, on record, objecting to Morano.)

      Here's the proof that Morano was right:

      [Timestamped]
      Hearing: Examining the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process (EventID=102283)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OlEQ2VcKro#t=49m30s

      [Dr. Richard Tol]: "I mean, it's pretty clear that most of the science agrees that climate change is real and most likely human made, but this 97% is essentially pulled from thin air. It's not based on any credible research, whatsoever."

      Obama's 97 percent climate change consensus includes 'deniers'
      [www]https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/25/obamas-97-percent-climate-change-consensus-include/

      "“Neither of these arguments have been proven, and they represent the extremes to which the ‘believers’ will go to push their agenda,” said Mr. Legates in an email to The Washington Times. “These questions are seldom addressed by the ‘believers’ when they are trying to manufacture their supposed ‘consensus’ since they will not find widespread agreement.”

      "Those touting the 97 percent figure “ask simplistic, obvious questions for which nearly 100 percent consensus can be attained and then pretend that saying ‘I believe in climate change’ actually means ‘I believe anthropogenic global warming will be disastrous,’” he said."

      • Transformer says:

        So my take away is that Toll accepts that “it’s pretty clear that most of the science agrees that climate change is real and most likely human made” but thinks the infamous Cook paper that claims 97% of relevant papers claim that human activity is the main cause may be based on dubious data ?

        I agree with him.

        • guest says:

          “I agree with him.”

          Ah, but would you agree with a concensus as low as 83%?:

          ‘83% Consensus’?! 285 Papers From 1960s-’80s Reveal Robust Global Cooling Scientific ‘Consensus’
          [www]https://www.climatedepot.com/2016/09/13/83-consensus-285-papers-from-1960s-80s-reveal-robust-global-cooling-scientific-consensus/

          “”If we were to employ the hopelessly flawed methodology of divining the relative degree of scientific “consensus” by counting the number of papers that agree with one position or another (just as blogger John Cook and colleagues did with their 2013 paper “Quantifying the Consensus…” that yielded a predetermined result of 97% via categorical manipulation), the 220 “cooling” papers published between 1965-’79 could represent an 83.3% global cooling consensus for the era (220/264 papers), versus only a 16.7% consensus for anthropogenic global warming (44/264 papers).”

          • Transformer says:

            No, claiming an 83% consensus would be based on just as dubious a slicing of the data as the 97% one.

            • Harold says:

              It is much worse than that. One is a blog post, the other a paper in peer reviewed journal. We do not have the information to judge how good the data is. Since the temperature had actually been cooling, it would be expected that a great many papers would report this. We do not know how many are reports of what was said in other papers

              There is a big difference between looking only at abstracts, which will contain the main conclusions of the paper, and looking in the whole paper for sentences that support your view, without making an assessment of the general thrust of the paper.

              One example, “Stewart and Glantz 1985, reviewing an NDU study, says “With respect to the second part of the study, it was concluded that “the most likely climate change [according to this study], a slight global warming.”

              This is only looking to the year 2000. It is difficult to say that this is a paper endorsing the idea that global cooling was the problem.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Transormer, I admit that I hadn’t seen that passage until you just dug it up. However, they aren’t rejecting science. First of all, what may be tripping you up is that they have the word “dangerous” before “global warming.”

      Beyond that, look at what they wrote: “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”

      So no, they’re not rejecting science here. At worst, you could say they are making a false claim.

      It would be like someone saying, “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God hates rich people,” and then a Christian socialist accuses the person of rejecting the authority of the Bible.

      • Transformer says:

        OK, but I still would claim that any reasonable person who spent any time on their site (https://cornwallalliance.org) could not but conclude that this organization is hard-core climate-change denialist.

        Please point me to something more substantial than the use of the word ‘dangerous’ that would prove me wrong.

        My take on your work is that you respect the science, agree that man made climate change is (if unchecked) dangerous but think that technological progress plus voluntary actions (like tree planting) will suffice to avert the danger. I see nothing on their site that even recognizes there is a problem that needs solving.

        • Matt M says:

          If technical progress (of the general kind that does not specifically need to be targeted towards climate change by some higher authority) and voluntary actions will suffice to avert the danger, then climate change is not, in fact, a “problem that needs solving” because natural human forces will end up solving it anyway.

          I’m reminded of the Mitch Hedberg joke about how a security guard told him to move because he was blocking a fire exit. “As if, if there was a fire, I wasn’t going to leave!”

          I mean sure, sea level rise would destroy beachfront property in Miami assuming everyone with beachfront property in Miami just sits there and does nothing about it and watches as over the years, their property is slowly subsumed by the ocean. But that won’t happen. Property owners will engage in some type of mitigation (up to and including selling or abandoning the property). In a certain sense that mitigation can technically be classified as “humans doing something about climate change.” But in another sense it’s just a naturally occurring thing, because it requires no government intervention. It’s just regular folks acting in their own best interest.

          If a problem can be solved simply by regular folks acting in their own best interests, it’s really not a problem at all.

          • Transformer says:

            I am skeptical; of the realism of Bob’s views on the best way to deal with climate change. As my old boss used to say ‘hope is not a good strategy’. However at least it is premised on the science behind climate change being correct and identifies things that need to happen to mitigate it.

            The Cornwall people just plain seem to deny the science.

            • Transformer says:

              ‘The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost. Is that idea true? We believe not. We believe that idea – we’ll call it “global warming alarmism” – fails the tests of theology, science, and economics.’.

          • Harold says:

            ” including selling or abandoning the property”
            This would be a cost of climate change.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Transformer, I think this is going to play out like people watching the impeachment hearings. A witness will say, “Nobody ever actually said it was a quid pro quo,” and the Fox people will say, “Aha! Vindication!” while CNN people will say, “Ah but we know it was implicit, vindication!”

      Here, the first thing on their site I tried this morning says this:

      1. As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting. Although Earth and its subsystems, including the climate system, are susceptible to some damage by ignorant or malicious human action, God’s wise design and faithful sustaining make these natural systems more likely—as confirmed by widespread scientific observation— to respond in ways that suppress and correct that damage than magnify it catastrophically.

      2. Earth’s temperature naturally warms and cools cyclically throughout time, and warmer periods are typically more conducive to human thriving than colder periods.

      3. While human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate that the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign rather than large and dangerous warming effect.

      4. Empirical studies indicate that natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.

      So Transformer, they admit that human emissions of CO2, other things equal, make the planet warmer. They just think there are negative feedbacks rather than positive.

      This is where the debate is currently focused among professional climate scientists. They all agree on the direct warming from more GHG, they are arguing about the magnitude (and even sign though I agree that is less popular) of the feedback effects.

      If these people are rejecting climate science, then all of the Austrians are rejecting economic science. I know Paul Krugman would say “Yep, now you got it Murphy” but I hope you can see why I think this is an inappropriate use of the word “science.”

      • Transformer says:

        I agree with your first paragraph !

        However couldn’t help myself but to respond further 🙁

        As a starting point I found the following on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus_on_climate_change)

        – Earth’s climate has warmed significantly since the late 1800s.[a]

        – Human activities (primarily greenhouse gas emissions) are the primary cause.

        – Continuing emissions will increase the likelihood and severity of global effects.

        – People and nations can act individually and collectively to slow the pace of global warming, while also preparing for unavoidable climate change and its consequences..

        This seems like a reasonable statement of the consensus. Climate change denial would then be defined as rejection of any of these points. . I see nothing in the extract you include from their web site to suggest that they would accept any of these 4 points(except perhaps the first one that may be encompassed in the cyclically warming and cooling they mention?). I would therefore categorize them as climate science deniers.

        Of course there’s no guarantee that the scientific consensus is correct – and they have every right to challenge it. The only reason I brought it up is because you said: ‘It’s surprising that Hayhoe would write an entire essay lamenting that American evangelicals reject climate science, without mentioning the Cornwall Alliance’,
        which to me seemed to suggest they are an example of American evangelicals who accept climate science.

        I mean if Heyhoe wrote an article attacking Austrian economists for rejecting the consensus on the importance of aggregate demand for purely political reasons and you responded by writing ‘It’s surprising that Hayhoe would write an entire essay lamenting that Austrian economists reject the consensus on AD without mentioning the Mises Institute’, I would equally think it was a non sequitur and a more consistent response would have beeen ‘Of course Austrians reject the claims made for the importance of AD ! Just read Mises.org and you will start to see why!’

        • Transformer says:

          And to address Bob’s defense directly. I don’t think the fact that ‘they admit that human emissions of CO2, other things equal, make the planet warmer’ is sufficiently to qualify them as in in agreement with the scientific consensus. They think the rise is only slight and that its effect is benign. I think it highly misleading to claim that this frames the issue in a way that is consistent with ‘where the debate is currently focused among professional climate scientists’ !

          • Bob Murphy says:

            Oops one more Transformer. You wrote: “I don’t think the fact that ‘they admit that human emissions of CO2, other things equal, make the planet warmer’ is sufficiently to qualify them as in in agreement with the scientific consensus.”

            I’m OK if you want to say they dispute the “consensus” though I think a lot of what is claimed as the “consensus” actually isn’t. I’m not saying the people at Cornwall are part of the scientific consensus, I’m saying they are not anti-science.

            There are a few PhD physicists who think relativity is wrong, not because the Bible or a demon told them, but because of certain empirical facts that they think do not fit the paradigm, and which they think their colleagues are ignoring. These physicists lie outside the consensus of their field but it’s not because they reject science.

            • Transformer says:

              I think I have consistently said only that they deny the consensus on the science of climate change and this categorized them as ‘climate change denialists’ in common parlance.

              There is nothing on their site to suggest they reject science per se- but nothing that could be said to be a scientific explanation for their views either.

              I think its always healthy to have skeptics for any given mainstream theory – but there is thin line dividing those who oppose the conventional science because they think science has taken a misstep from those who oppose the science for political or ideological reasons. I took Hayhoe’s article to be an attack on the latter – and frankly I have seen nothing to convince me the Cornwall Alliance are not a valid target of such an attack.

              Would you consider doing a post on the Cornwall Alliance more fully describing the science behind their views and how this contributes to the debate on Climate Change ?

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Last one and I have to walk away Transformer. You wrote:

          I mean if Heyhoe wrote an article attacking Austrian economists for rejecting the consensus on the importance of aggregate demand for purely political reasons and you responded by writing ‘It’s surprising that Hayhoe would write an entire essay lamenting that Austrian economists reject the consensus on AD without mentioning the Mises Institute’, I would equally think it was a non sequitur and a more consistent response would have beeen ‘Of course Austrians reject the claims made for the importance of AD ! Just read Mises.org and you will start to see why!’

          The correct analogy here would be for someone to lament that Republicans are rejecting the science of economics, and saying there’s a dichotomy between anti-Fed QE ideology versus the scientific findings of economics. In which case, the existence of the Mises Institute would be awkward.

          Look here is their advisory board. A few of the PhDs are in the natural sciences. My point is fine.

          • Transformer says:

            So my take away is that you think that the Cornwall Alliance is to Climate Science what The Mises Institute is to Economics.

            I shall bear that in mind when I read your further articles on Climate Change.

            • Bob Murphy says:

              Right, in that neither institution rejects science per se, in the field to which they’re dedicated.

              My takeaway is that you’re conceding there was nothing wrong with my original article.

              OK *now* I’m done…

              • Transformer says:

                Ha ! I knew I could make you respond again.

                And yes, if rejecting nearly all the consensus views on the science of Climate Change (based mainly on a strong belief in God’s benevolence) counts as not rejecting climate science then I concede.

              • guest says:

                “And yes, if rejecting nearly all the consensus views on the science of Climate Change …”

                Did you mean the scientific concensus that humans were causing catastrophic global cooling, or the more current consensus on catastrophic warming?

                The validity of science does not rely on consensus – that’s a genetic fallacy. Consensus is merely a tool.

  2. Matt M says:

    Bob,

    Have you ever tried to get David Friedman to come on your podcast?

    Aside from having a lot to talk about regarding anarcho capitalism, he’s also quite knowledgeable about climate change economics. I feel like you guys could have a great conversation!

    • Bob Murphy says:

      He’s on my list, I have to check to see if I actually tried to get him on.

  3. E. Calvin Beisner says:

    Transformer says about Cornwall Alliance:

    “I checked out their credentials.”

    Well, no, it seems he didn’t. He went to Wikipedia—you know, the site that so many professors forbid their students to quote in papers because it’s so unreliable?—and pulled out-of-context quotations of Cornwall statements from there, failing (one hopes—since the alternative is worse) to check their originals to see whether they were represented fairly. Had he checked credentials by going to our “Who We Are” page (https://cornwallalliance.org/about/who-we-are/) he would have found, among the nearly 70 scholars listed, 6 Ph.D.’s and 2 M.S.’s in climate science, 5 Ph.D.’s in closely related physical sciences, plus other Ph.D.’s in economics, engineering, chemistry, biology, and other fields relevant to discussions of the causes, magnitude, consequences, and possible responses to climate change. Had he reviewed the list of signers (https://cornwallalliance.org/2015/12/signers-of-open-letter-to-american-people-etc-by-degree-level/) of our “Open Letter on Climate Change to the People, their Local Representatives, the State Legislatures and Governors, the Congress, and the President of the United States of America” (https://cornwallalliance.org/climateletter2015/), he would have found 155 Ph.D.’s, of which 9 are climate scientists, 14 engineers, 14 biologists, 16 physicists, 12 chemists, 8 mathematicians, 2 geologists, 1 an environmental scientist, 2 biochemists—all relevant fields. Had he checked the authors and reviewers of the science chapter of our “Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming” (http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf#page=41) he’d have found 2 Ph.D.’s in climate science and 1 in engineering, 2 in physics (one of whom is a specialist in solar physics and the effect of solar cycles on global climate), 2 in chemistry, and 1 in economics who is also an expert reviewer for the IPCC. There are lots of other instances of credentials found on various articles on our website.

    [Quoting Cornwall Alliance’s “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming” (https://cornwallalliance.org/2009/05/evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/)] “We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.” “This sounds to me like 100% climate science denialism to me and is presumably exactly the kind of belief-based and unscientific thinking at which Heyhoe [sic] is taking aim.”

    We’ll ignore the naïveté of his implicitly disparaging remark about “belief-based … thinking,” on the assumption that he hasn’t studied enough epistemology to know (a) what a belief is (a voluntary assent to an understood proposition—which includes “2 + 2 = 4” and “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and “Leprechauns are dangerous”), and (b) that every intellectual system, including the varieties of science, starts by assenting to (believing in) axioms, that is, propositions that cannot be proved but must be assumed in order for the intellectual system to proceed, and (c) the pivotal role that the Biblical worldview (at a bare minimum, that a rational God created an orderly universe to be understood by rational creatures) played in the development of science as a systematic endeavor (a fact noted by supported philosophers of and historians of science).
    Transformer’s conclusion that what he quoted is “climate science denialism” seems to rest on the assumption that “climate science” means, by definition, the beliefs (there’s that word!) that Earth and its ecosystems are fragile and unstable products of chance; that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration [note the specificity of what follows!] because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry; that recent warming was abnormally large and abnormally rapid; and that there is convincing evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.” Well, define “climate science” that way, and, yes, we deny it. But define climate science as scientific inquiry into the causes, magnitude, consequences, and potential responses to changes in global average temperature (among other things)—that is, define it so as not to commit the fallacy of petitio principii (begging the question) by inserting the conclusion into the premise—and our position is entirely consistent with climate science.

    “any reasonable person who spent any time on their site (https://cornwallalliance.org) could not but conclude that this organization is hard-core climate-change denialist” and “There is nothing on their site to suggest they reject science per se- but nothing that could be said to be a scientific explanation for their views either.”

    Granted his failure, noted above, to check our credentials, and that his only quotations from us are lifted from Wikipedia’s article about us, one wonders whether he has spent significant time on our website. Had he done so, he might have noticed that pages 3–12 of our “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” (2005, http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf) are filled with scientific reasoning and citations; that pages 26–44 of our “Renewed Call to Truth …” (2009, http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf) are entirely scientific argument, by a NASA award-winning Ph.D. climate scientist and a Ph.D. climatologist co-author; that pages 9–27 of our “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Change Policies Gets Stronger” (https://cornwallalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2014-Call-to-Truth-full.pdf), and indeed that there are fully scientific arguments, appealing to data and theory, in hundreds of articles on our website.

    “Please point me to something more substantial than the use of the word ‘dangerous’ that would prove me wrong.”

    Okay, I’ll concede something: In denying “that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry,” we intentionally chose the word “dangerous” rather than the word “catastrophic” (let alone “existential,” which has become the preferred claim of climate alarmists since then) so as not to be guilty of attacking an extreme view many climate scientists, even in the mainstream, would reject and that the IPCC’s assessment reports (as distinct from many media reports about them) do not support. Nonetheless, our wording was careful: We don’t deny that dangerous (even catastrophic) climate change could happen—what we deny is that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration “BECAUSE OF MINUSCULE CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY.” We’ve defended that—and so have climate scientists not associated with us, like Judith Curry and Nic Lewis (see many discussion at https://judithcurry.com/category/sensitivity-feedbacks/).

    “I see nothing on their site that even recognizes there is a problem that needs solving.”

    As a support for his claim that we are “climate science deniers,” this presupposes the alarmist definition of “climate science” outlined above. But that, of course, is, as I said, to commit the logical fallacy of petitio principii.

    “The Cornwall people just plain seem to deny the science.”

    Referring to “the science” is yet another instance of petitio principii, for it implicitly assumes that only scientific data and theory that are consistent with climate catastrophism counts. No one who knows the history of science (as surveyed, e.g., in Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”) would make such an elementary mistake.

    “[Quoting, apparently indirectly through Wikipedia, Cornwall Alliance’s A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming (http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-renewed-call-to-truth-prudence-and-protection-of-the-poor.pdf)] ‘The world is in the grip of an idea: that burning fossil fuels to provide affordable, abundant energy is causing global warming that will be so dangerous that we must stop it by reducing our use of fossil fuels, no matter the cost. Is that idea true? We believe not. We believe that idea – we’ll call it “global warming alarmism” – fails the tests of theology, science, and economics.’”

    “As a starting point I found the following on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus_on_climate_change) ‘– Earth’s climate has warmed significantly since the late 1800s. – Human activities (primarily greenhouse gas emissions) are the primary cause. – Continuing emissions will increase the likelihood and severity of global effects. – People and nations can act individually and collectively to slow the pace of global warming, while also preparing for unavoidable climate change and its consequences.’ “This seems like a reasonable statement of the consensus. Climate change denial would then be defined as rejection of any of these points.
    “I see nothing in the extract [another commenter] include[s] from their web site to suggest that they would accept any of these 4 points (except perhaps the first one that may be encompassed in the cyclically warming and cooling they mention?). I would therefore categorize them as climate science deniers.”

    First, Transformer again commits petitio principii. But second, he misrepresents us. We don’t deny that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of warming (though with most of the “consensus” we would restrict that to the period since about 1960, CO2 concentration not having risen sufficiently before then to explain the prior warming), though we do question it (as do many climate scientists not associated with us, like Curry and Lewis cited above). Indeed, one of our Senior Fellows, Dr. Roy Spencer, has said numerous times that he thinks anthropogenic GHGs might very well be the primary cause of warming since 1960. We would also grant that, assuming that there are some harmful effects from warming (and that makes sense), more warming is likely to cause more of them—but we also point out that there are beneficial effects, and more warming is likely to cause more of them, too. We don’t deny that people and nations can act to slow global warming—indeed, we affirm it, citing at various places on our website, Bjørn Lomborg’s calculation (based on accepting the IPCC’s estimates of CO2’s warming effect and the UN FCCC’s estimates of the emission reductions that would be achieved by its full implementation) that implementing the Paris climate agreement would likely avert about 0.17˚C of warming by the year 2100.

    “I don’t think the fact that ‘they admit that human emissions of CO2, other things equal, make the planet warmer’ is sufficiently [sic] to qualify them as in in agreement with the scientific consensus. They think the rise is only slight and that its effect is benign. I think it highly misleading to claim that this frames the issue in a way that is consistent with ‘where the debate is currently focused among professional climate scientists’!”

    Yet this is indeed one of the hotly contested points of debate among professional climate: What is equilibrium climate sensitivity?

    Presumably Transformer would be willing to recognize that Judith Curry (bio at https://judithcurry.com/about/) is a professional climate scientist. Indeed, she is an extraordinarily well-published one in refereed climate journals. Recently she wrote this about ECS:

    “Apart from the issue of how much greenhouse gases might increase, there is a great deal of uncertainty about much the planet will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide – referred to as ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’ (ECS). The IPCC 5th Assessment Report (2013) provided a range between 1 and 6oC, with a ‘likely’ range between 1.5 and 4.5oC.

    “In the years since the 5th Assessment Report, the uncertainty has grown. The latest climate model results – prepared for the forthcoming IPCC 6th Assessment Report – shows that a majority of the climate models are producing values of ECS exceeding 5oC. The addition of poorly understood additional processes into the models has increased confusion and uncertainty. At the same time, refined efforts to determine values of the equilibrium climate sensitivity from the historical data record obtain values of ECS about 1.6oC, with a range from 1.05 to 2.7oC.

    “With this massive range of uncertainty in the values of equilibrium climate sensitivity, the lowest value among the climate models is 2.3oC, with few models having values below 3oC. Hence the lower end of the range of ECS is not covered by the climate models, resulting in temperature projections for the 21st century that are biased high, with a smaller range relative to the range of uncertainty in ECS.”

    Back to Transformer: “I think I have consistently said only that they deny the consensus on the science of climate change and this categorized them as ‘climate change denialists’ in common parlance.”

    Ah, here Transformer covers himself! He’s only speaking of “climate change denialists” “in common parlance.” So it’s only the naïve, unscientific masses who use “climate change denialist” to denote anyone who questions “the consensus” (such as it is—which isn’t much, as Ph.D. climate scientist Neil Frank argues at https://cornwallalliance.org/2017/06/whats-wrong-with-the-claim-that-97-of-climate-scientists-agree-about-global-warming/). “Common parlance” surely differs from “sophisticated scientific discussion” in some way, doesn’t it?

    “if rejecting nearly all the consensus views on the science of Climate Change (based mainly on a strong belief in
    God’s benevolence) counts as not rejecting climate science then I concede.”

    Here Transformer again misrepresents us, for he ignores, by writing “based mainly on a strong belief in God’s benevolence,” our extensive discussion of the scientific data and theory (a small percentage of which is listed and linked above) that challenge belief in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
    In sum, Transformer seems to be the sort who thinks it scientific, and argumentatively sufficient, to build a straw man and attack it; to substitute ad hominem for logical refutation; to assume the conclusion as part of is argument.
    We disagree.

    • Transformer says:

      Thanks for providing such a detailed response to my somewhat ad-hoc and badly written comments relating to your organization!.

      First to provide some context: Katharine Heyhoe wrote an article that i took to be a critique of Evangelical Christians who rejected the scientific consensus on climate change for purely ideological (and not scientific) reasons. Bob Murphy wrote a response where he attempted to refute Heyhoe in part by referring to the Cornwall Alliance as an example of an Evangelical Organization that did not reject “the science”. I had never heard of the Cornwall Alliance before and being somewhat sympathetic to Murphy’s views on Global Warming I decided to check them out. I was surprised to find that they fitted the bill to what most people (rightly or wrongly) would classify as rejecting the science and appeared to embody the very views that Heyhoe was attacking.

      I think my comments on the Cornwall Alliance can be categorized as follows:

      – the Cornwall Alliance are climate science denialists
      – Anyone reading there web site would agree they are climate science denialists
      – Their site contains nothing that could be said to be a scientific explanation for their views.

      On the first 2 points you accuse me of I petitio principii but I think this is unfounded. I give a definition of the term ‘climate science denialist’ that I think is close to that used in common parlance. The Cornwall Alliance’s own statements on climate science leads to the conclusion that they fit that definition. You may disagree with the definition given but that does not mean I have committed a logical fallacy. I think in retrospect that the term ‘climate science consensus denialist’ is a better term than climate science denialist’ as the latter term does rather suggest that if you reject the consensus you reject the science which is clearly sometimes incorrect.

      On the third point I think I may have over-stated the case. You have pointed to some documents linked-to from your site that does attempt to ‘provide ‘the science’ behind your views. As far as I can see the science you have provided is weak and either easily disproved by the consensus view or is simply picking up on some areas of uncertainty within the consensus view and attempting to position these areas as a bigger challenge to the consensus science than is in fact the case , but I am happy to acknowledge the effort.

      BTW: I am 99% sure I got all the quotes that I attribute to the Cornwall Alliance directly from your site and not Wikipedia. If I misquoted please can you specify where ?

      • Transformer says:

        Also a question:

        How do you reconcile
        ‘Empirical studies indicate that natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.’ (https://cornwallalliance.org/landmark-documents/protect-the-poor-ten-reasons-to-oppose-harmful-climate-change-policies/)

        with

        ‘We don’t deny that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of warming’
        (the claim in your comment)?

        • Transformer says:

          And finally some thoughts on Judith Curry who I had not previously been familiar with. She sounds exactly like the kind of scientist capable of challenging the consensus that we should be listening to in these time of ‘extinction rebellion’ and the recent IPCC Special Reports.

          However I think there is a deep chasm between her attempts to inject a more reasonable tone into the debate and highlight some valid areas of concern and the Cornwall Alliance’s more extreme rejection of the consensus view and consistent rejection of the need for any reduction in fossil fuel usage.

    • Professor Doc Block says:

      E. Calvin: I ain’t really got a horse in this race, but I would back off of this claim:

      “He went to Wikipedia—you know, the site that so many professors forbid their students to quote in papers because it’s so unreliable?”

      As a professor myself, I often send students to Wikipedia, because it’s pretty much kinda reliable. I encourage them to *cite* the papers and books linked to by the Wikipedia article in question, because they are closer-to-primary sources.

      In fact, I find it is high school teachers, who are often themselves unsure of their own expertise in their fields, who are really worried about their students going to Wikipedia.

      Again, I know nothing at all about your work, your Alliance, its reliability, integrity, etc. Not having studies the literature on climate change extensively, I don’t even have much of an opinion on the topic in general! I’m just noting that I don’t think it helps your case to attack Wikipedia, which, while not infallible, ain’t so bad.

      • Transformer says:

        Wikipedia (and Google) apparently conspire against those skeptical of current climate change claims
        https://cornwallalliance.org/2016/09/why-not-to-trust-wikipedia-and-search-engines-on-climate-change/

        • guest says:

          Unless your views conform to what they believe is scientific consensus, they do, in fact, conspire against you:

          Caught Red-Handed: Google Search Suppresses Climate Realism
          [www]https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/22/caught-red-handed-google-search-suppresses-climate-realism/

          “This discrimination is exacerbated by classifying “news about important topics such as international events, business, politics, science, and technology;” as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) Pages, for which Google claims to have especially high quality standards. …”

          “… “For news articles and information pages, high quality MC [MC – Main Content] must be factually accurate for the topic and must be supported by expert consensus where such consensus exists.” (Section 4.2)

          ““… high quality news articles and information pages on scientific topics should represent established scientific consensus where such consensus exists.” (Section 4.5) …”

          “… “All of the following should be considered either lowest quality MC or no MC [MC – Main Content]: …”

          “… Misleading or inaccurate informational content about YMYL topics. …”

          “… Pages or websites with factually inaccurate content which may harm or deceive users, regardless of their purpose or intent. …”

          “… Pages with lowest quality MC should be rated Lowest.” (Section 7.4)

      • E. Calvin Beisner says:

        I left the academy back in 2008, and at least up to then it was widespread practice among professors (it was de rigour at the graduate school where I taught from 2000 to 2008 and the college where I taught from 1992 to 2000) to discourage or even forbid citing Wikipedia in student papers precisely because Wikipedia was, at least through that period, so widely recognized as unreliable. If practice has changed in academia since then, that could be because of either of two things, or a mixture of the two: (1) Wikipedia’s standards have risen, or (2) academia’s standards have declined. I suspect there’s a mix of the two. I myself have found Wikipedia fairly reliable on some things but highly unreliable on others, so I never just take its word for anything. I always look through to the sources it cites to see whether they really support what they’re claimed to support, and I always look for more sources to see if they’ve been ignored. Wikipedia’s infallible but not so bad? That’s a fair way to state the situation. I’d just find myself leaning more toward distrust than you perhaps do.

    • Harold says:

      ” (b) that every intellectual system, including the varieties of science, starts by assenting to (believing in) axioms, that is, propositions that cannot be proved but must be assumed in order for the intellectual system to proceed,”

      it is OK to start there. It is not OK to end there.

  4. E. Calvin Beisner says:

    Transformer: “Thanks for providing such a detailed response to my somewhat ad-hoc and badly written comments relating to your organization!.

    “First to provide some context: Katharine Heyhoe [sic—her name is spelled Hayhoe] wrote an article that i took to be a critique of Evangelical Christians who rejected the scientific consensus on climate change for purely ideological (and not scientific) reasons. Bob Murphy wrote a response where he attempted to refute Heyhoe in part by referring to the Cornwall Alliance as an example of an Evangelical Organization that did not reject “the science”. I had never heard of the Cornwall Alliance before and being somewhat sympathetic to Murphy’s views on Global Warming I decided to check them out. I was surprised to find that they fitted the bill to what most people (rightly or wrongly) would classify as rejecting the science and appeared to embody the very views that Heyhoe was attacking.”

    Beisner: As I pointed out before, “Referring to ‘the science’ is yet another instance of petitio principii, for it implicitly assumes that only scientific data and theory that are consistent with climate catastrophism counts. No one who knows the history of science (as surveyed, e.g., in Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”) would make such an elementary mistake.” Let me expand on that slightly, since the point doesn’t seem to have come through. The insertion of that definite article, “the,” before “science” implies that there is a clearly delimited, largely monolithic and unanimous, body of work that qualifies, to everyone’s satisfaction, as “the science” of climate change. As has been the case in many instances in the past (phlogiston, continental drift, bacterial ulcers, to list just 3), that’s not the case with climate change. SOME scientific work related to climate change seems to support a catastrophist view—mainly, models. Now, models are indeed scientific endeavors, but that doesn’t mean their output (conclusions, simulations) is necessarily right or even credible. As Robert Murphy quoted elsewhere (https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/climate-change/physicist-in-new-york-times-admits-climate-change-might-be-mere-annoyance/), Ph.D. physicist Sabine Hossenfelder wrote, in her article “Is Climate Change Inconvenient or Existential? Only Supercomputers Can Do the Math” (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/opinion/climate-change-supercomputers.html):

    “But we don’t know how to solve [the equations modeling the climate system]. The many factors that affect the climate interact with one another and give rise to interconnected feedback cycles. The mathematics is so complex, the only way scientists know to handle it is by feeding the problem into computers, which then approximately solve the equations.

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based its latest full report, in 2014, on predictions from about two dozen such computer models….While similar in methodology, the models arrive at somewhat different long-term predictions. They all agree that Earth will continue to warm, but disagree on how much and how quickly.

    “In this situation, the best we can do is improve computer models to obtain more accurate, approximate solutions. It is knowledge we urgently need: As Earth continues to warm, we face a future of drought, rising seas and extreme weather events. But for all we currently know, this situation could be anywhere between a mere annoyance and an existential threat.

    Thus far from Hossenfelder. My point is that climate models, which are the best support for climate catastrophism, are not the only body of science relevant to the debate. Indeed, it’s crucial to recognize that models are not EVIDENCE at all. They are hypotheses. Evidence is empirical observation. And when we compare the predictions (projections, simulations—call them what you will) of the models with observation, we find that there’s a very significant mismatch. As Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist in climatology at the University of Alabama Huntsville and winner of a NASA award for his work (with colleague Dr. John Christy) on NASA’s satellite global temperature monitoring system, points out, the models, on average, predict about double the observed global average temperature as of 2018 (see his graph at 6:35 into his video lecture at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=397&v=X1BAhfjH4g4&feature=emb_logo). Further, of the 102 CMIP5 models, only 6 simulated nearly at, or below, the observed temperature trends according to RSS satellite data, only 2 below the 4 Reanalyses observations, and only 1 below the UAH satellite data (see the graph at 9:25 into the same video). The implication of that is that there is likely some systemic error in the models that is shared by practically all of them.

    When we combine that fact (and lots of other scientists have found the same or similar mismatches) with Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman’s famous lesson on “the key to science,” we conclude that the models, as hypotheses, largely fail:

    “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it. [Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law (London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1965), 4.]

    That doesn’t mean the models are useless, but it does mean they need a lot more work before we should be spending $Trillions to avert what they simulate because they simulate it.

    One might reply, though, that the models’ simulations better fit some other global average temperature databases. That’s true, but there are good reasons to think the satellite and reanalyses databases are more reliable than the others—because they’re more global in extent and hence more representative, they’re less (indeed, almost not at all) affected by urban heat island effect, and haven’t been tampered with by highly suspicious “adjustments” to the “data” (see my “Who Are the Real Science Deniers? It’s a Given,” https://cornwallalliance.org/2018/03/who-are-the-real-science-deniers-its-a-given/).

    Transformer: “I think my comments on the Cornwall Alliance can be categorized as follows:
    – the Cornwall Alliance are climate science denialists
    – Anyone reading there web site would agree they are climate science denialists
    – Their site contains nothing that could be said to be a scientific explanation for their views.

    “On the first 2 points you accuse me of I petitio principii but I think this is unfounded. I give a definition of the term ‘climate science denialist’ that I think is close to that used in common parlance. The Cornwall Alliance’s own statements on climate science leads to the conclusion that they fit that definition. You may disagree with the definition given but that does not mean I have committed a logical fallacy. I think in retrospect that the term ‘climate science consensus denialist’ is a better term than climate science denialist’ as the latter term does rather suggest that if you reject the consensus you reject the science which is clearly sometimes incorrect.”

    Beisner: The fact remains that the very definition you give of “climate science denial” incorporates your conclusion. That is petitio principii.

    Further: What evidence have you that “Anyone reading [our] web site would agree [we] are climate science denialists”? Have you polled visitors to our website? This is an empirical claim. You should have some empirical evidence for it.

    Transformer: “On the third point I think I may have over-stated the case. You have pointed to some documents linked-to from your site that does attempt to ‘provide ‘the science’ behind your views. As far as I can see the science you have provided is weak and either easily disproved by the consensus view or is simply picking up on some areas of uncertainty within the consensus view and attempting to position these areas as a bigger challenge to the consensus science than is in fact the case , but I am happy to acknowledge the effort.”

    So what you apparently mean isn’t that we are science deniers, or even climate science deniers, but that you don’t find our scientific arguments persuasive. Fair enough. I would point out, though, that Bob Murphy’s post responding to Katharine Hayhoe went live December 2, and his “Twin Spin” post went up December 11. Your comments were in response to the latter, and they first appeared, apparently, very shortly after that. This suggests (doesn’t prove) that you didn’t have a lot of time to examine Cornwall Alliance’s website before you commented. And the fact that the only quotes you offered from our website appeared also in the Wikipedia article you cited suggests (doesn’t prove) that that’s about as far as you went in “checking us out” before I challenged you with my responses. Frankly, when our website has well over a thousand (several thousand?—I lost track years ago and don’t have the tech savvy to know how to find out) articles, including papers of 23, 76, 39, and 55 pages in length, I find it hard to believe that, before you wrote your comments about us, you had surveyed our site sufficiently to justify any conclusion about the quality of our scientific arguments.

    Now, you think our science is “weak and either easily disproved by the consensus view or … simply picking up on some areas of uncertainty within the consensus and attempting to position these areas as a bigger challenge to the consensus science than is in fact the case.” Well, that’s your opinion, but having been involved in discussions with climate change catastrophists for well over a decade now, I have to say that I’ve not found them able easily to disprove what we’ve argued. Nor is our work only “picking up on some areas of uncertainty.” Yes, we note that there’s plenty of uncertainty in climate catastrophist science, but we go farther: to state that (as I pointed out above) the catastrophist case, relying as it does on model simulations, and those model simulations resulting in predictions that differ markedly from real-world observations, it follows that the catastrophist case lacks credibility. To quote Feynman again, “If it [viz., the hypothesis/theory/guess and the predictions flowing from it] disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.”

    Transformer: “BTW: I am 99% sure I got all the quotes that I attribute to the Cornwall Alliance directly from your site and not Wikipedia.”

    Beisner: The only (two) quotations you offered both appeared in the Wikipedia article you cited. Granted your apparent lack of acquaintance with the credentials or our network scholars (demonstrated in my first response) and unfamiliarity with our extensive scientific discussions (however persuasive you might find them), that led me to think you’d gone no farther. I’m happy to concede that you took the quotations directly from our site—but I do have to wonder whether you found precisely those two quotations, and no others, because you first encountered them on Wikipedia.

    Transformer: “If I misquoted please can you specify where?”

    I didn’t say you misquoted us. The quotations lacked context. A declaration (source of one of them) is by nature going to be brief and not involve a lot of argumentation—unlike the 76-page paper on which the declaration was based. And the introductory paragraph of an executive summary of a 76-page paper is hardly where one would expect to find extensive argumentation. Yet you (depending on Wikipedia?) offered these quotations as evidence of “100% climate science denialism … and … exactly the kind of belief-based and unscientific thinking at which Heyhoe is taking aim” and that we “just plain seem to deny the science.” They might indeed be evidence of such—if there weren’t actually a good bit of scientific argument to back them elsewhere in that 76-page paper or elsewhere on the website.

    Transformer: “How do you reconcile ‘Empirical studies indicate that natural cycles outweigh human influences in producing the cycles of global warming and cooling, not only in the distant past but also recently.’ (https://cornwallalliance.org/landmark-documents/protect-the-poor-ten-reasons-to-oppose-harmful-climate-change-policies/) with ‘We don’t deny that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of warming’ (the claim in your comment)?”

    Again, you’re quoting from a brief declaration that explicitly linked to a much longer document (https://cornwallalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2014-Call-to-Truth-full.pdf). In such a document, brevity can often hinder accuracy. I’m happy to confess that this happened in this case. Various climate scientists associated with the Cornwall Alliance hold different views as to whether the evidence justifies concluding that human GHG emissions were the primary driver, or only a less-than-primary driver, of GW since 1960. I would point out, though, that “indicate” is a softer term than “prove,” and indeed we often intentionally choose such softer terms (as, e.g., above, when I twice wrote “suggests (doesn’t prove).” I personally think it’s more likely than not that human GHG emissions are a minority (but significant) cause of post-1960 warming; Roy Spencer, I think, thinks they may well be the majority (primary) cause, though he thinks there’s a chance they’re not. Neither of us thinks it very likely that they’re the majority (primary) cause of all the post-1850 or post-1880 or post-1900 warming.

    Transformer: “And finally some thoughts on Judith Curry who I had not previously been familiar with. She sounds exactly like the kind of scientist capable of challenging the consensus that we should be listening to in these time of ‘extinction rebellion’ and the recent IPCC Special Reports.
    “However I think there is a deep chasm between her attempts to inject a more reasonable tone into the debate and highlight some valid areas of concern and the Cornwall Alliance’s more extreme rejection of the consensus view and consistent rejection of the need for any reduction in fossil fuel usage.”

    If you’ve been unfamiliar with Judith Curry before now, I can’t help thinking you’re pretty unfamiliar with the whole discussion between “climate skeptics” (whom you might prefer to call “climate science deniers” but who prefer to call themselves “climate realists”) and “climate alarmists” (whom you might prefer to call simply “climate scientists” [though that is vulnerable to the point that there are in fact many climate scientists who aren’t alarmists] and who prefer to call themselves “climate realists”). Curry has become perhaps the biggest name in the “skeptics” camp (she prefers to call herself a “lukewarmer,” just as does Patrick Michaels, another of the biggest names in the “skeptics” camp). What’s particularly important to know about her is that for about two decades she was solidly in the “consensus” (aka alarmist) camp, but after reading some of the emails released in the 2009 Climategate scandal did the unforgiveable (in the opinion of the dedicated alarmists): she actually began reading carefully what the skeptics were writing (especially at http://www.ClimateAudit.org, but also at http://www.RossMcKitrick.com and http://www.WattsUpwithThat.com, among others), and she discovered that their scientific arguments were far stronger than she had been led to believe by all the dismissive statements about them in what had up to then been her community. Little by little, over the next five to six years, she changed her thinking. I can’t help thinking that if you were to engage as carefully with the “skeptics” as she’s done, you’d probably wind up on a path similar to hers.

    Our work at the Cornwall Alliance (and this doesn’t characterize all the work that all our scholars do—most of what they do is entirely independent of Cornwall) is a lot like what one former teacher of mine described as his own: “getting the hay down out of the loft onto the barn floor where the cows can get at it.” We do our best, with tolerable brevity and tolerable simplicity, to make the far more complex arguments you’ll find at those websites and now also http://www.JudithCurry.com accessible to non-specialist readers. There are risks in that—of oversimplification, of over-selection, of some confirmation bias—but those are risks no more for us than for the hundreds of people (scientists, journalists, politicians, educators) who are doing the same but embrace different conclusions. In the process, we provide lots and lots of links to far more technical papers from which interested readers can learn much more.

    Transformer: “Wikipedia (and Google) apparently conspire against those skeptical of current climate change claims
    https://cornwallalliance.org/2016/09/why-not-to-trust-wikipedia-and-search-engines-on-climate-change/”

    Well? Can you refute the arguments in the sources cited in that brief blog post?

    To go slightly further, though I’m not willing to invest a lot of time in this point: Wikipedia’s articles related to climate change have for over a decade been thoroughly controlled by an alarmist editor. Editorial corrections to such articles that offer balancing evidence from a “skeptical” view tend to disappear within hours—consistently. I don’t follow that aspect of the social discourse, so I’m not prepared to give you lots of evidence of it. I’m just writing from memory of many things read quickly over the years but not “pocketed,” so to speak. If you doubt this, you might invest some time to searching the web for discussions of it. You might begin at https://www.conservapedia.com/Examples_of_Bias_in_Wikipedia:_Global_warming, but I really don’t know whether that’s a particularly good start or not. Another quick find on the subject is https://www.heartland.org/topics/infotech-telecom/Wikipedia, which of course might be open to claims of bias itself—but its factual claims should be tested individually. It does have quite a long list of articles and papers on Wikipedia corruption.

    A concluding idea: How about, instead of using obviously derogatory and ad hominem language like “science denier” or “climate science denier,” using less derogatory and non-ad hominem language like “climate skeptics” or “lukewarmers”? That would at least be more courteous and would help to keep the discourse civil.

    • Transformer says:

      Again, thank you for taking the time to respond in such detail.

      First, on ‘the science’ and other questions around terminology. The use of the term ‘the science’ began in Hayhoe’s article and was used (with scare quotes) in Bob’s response. I think it was ambiguity around this term that led to my first comment. I took ‘the science’ to mean ‘the scientific consensus around global warming’ and its clear that this is how Hayhoe used it. When Bob mentioned that the Cornwall Alliance was an organization that worked within the science and had ‘a free-market approach to climate change policy’ I thought that meant that they accepted the scientific consensus around global warming as well as having a free-market approach to climate change policy. When I found that was not the case (the Cornwall Alliance clearly rejects the scientific consensus around global warming’) I posted my initial comment.

      After exchanging comments with Bob and you I now see that ‘the science’ logically must include both consensus and non-consensus views that work within the general framework of climate science. As a result I will now use the term ‘climate science consensus skeptics’ of just ”climate skeptics’ (as you suggest in your final paragraph) rather than the term ‘climate science deniers’. that I used in my comments

      I still think my point in that initial comment was valid – Hayhoe criticizes Evangelical Christians who reject the consensus view , and Bob uses an Evangelical Christian Organization who reject the consensus view as part of his defense. However were I to write that comment again I would use less pejorative terminology and be clearer what I meant by the term ‘the science’.

      I still find your accusations of petitio principii unfounded but will let that pass and likewise your comments around my alleged ignorance of the history of science (OK, I confess!).

      So to cut to the chase: Yes, I think you are correct in your statement ‘So what you apparently mean isn’t that we are science deniers, or even climate science deniers, but that you don’t find our scientific arguments persuasive ‘. I do not claim to be anything close to an expert on the science of climate change but even I could see that most of the arguments presented on your website are the standard ones seen on many ‘climate skeptic’ websites. I feel that these arguments have either been disproved by the consensus science or are acknowledged by the mainstream but not seen as a threat to their overall framework. I am not going to try to take this further here. I suggest to anyone still reading this thread to check out the links you provide above and see for themselves.

      I do find your comments on Judith Curry interesting. I plan to investigate her views and her background in more detail.

      And you are right, I should have spent more time looking at the link on the Wikipedia article before deciding it was appropriate to make a snarky reference to it.

    • Harold says:

      “That’s true, but there are good reasons to think the satellite and reanalyses databases are more reliable than the others—”

      There are also good reasons to think they are worse. They are the output of models. Earth based temperature measurements are much more direct.

    • Harold says:

      See my comment below.

  5. E. Calvin says:

    Wonderful! Looks like we’ve achieved mutually respectful civic discourse! That’s a rare thing these days, especially on the Internet. Thanks for the interchange, and I wish you well–and a merry Christmas!

    • Transformer says:

      Indeed ! I have enjoyed and ;learned from the conversation, and best wishes to you too !

  6. Harold says:

    “Wonderful! Looks like we’ve achieved mutually respectful civic discourse!”
    I will continue the civil discourse.  Civility does not require ignoring the evidence.  Cornwall Alliance were climate science deniers in 2006.

    How can we tell?

    If someone wishes to inform the public of the truth, they will look at all the data and information available and summarize this, with their conclusions, giving justifications why certain evidence is given more weight.

    If someone wishes to misinform to promote a particular agenda they will pick only those bits of information that seem to support their agenda and ignore the rest.  There will be little discrimination in terms of quality of information.  
    It is possible that someone could just be misinformed and not know the whole story.  however, the Cornwall Alliance has made it clear that they have climate experts to hand who presumably do know the whole story.

    Lets take their “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” from 2006.

    One of the authors is Dr Roy Spencer, who runs the UAH satellite temperature monitoring with Dr John Christy.

    Take this section
    ” Further, a number of studies support the conclusion that natural causes–e.g. fluctuations in solar
    output [3], changes in cloud forcing[4], and precipitation microphysics [5]–could outweigh human emissions as causes s of the current global warmth. Other studies find that rising CO2 follows rather  than leads warming and thus is not its cause but might be its effect [6].”

    Is this a genuine attempt at truth seeking, or an attempt to misinform?
    Reference 3 is IPCC report from 2001.  They state that “The radiative forcing due to changes in solar irradiance for the period since 1750 is estimated to be about +0.3 Wm−2 most of which occurred during the first half of the 20th century. ”

    They also say “The combined change in radiative forcing of the two major natural factors (solar variation and
    volcanic aerosols) is estimated to be negative for the past two, and possibly the past four, decades.”

    They also say the 1990s was the warmest decade in the record.

    Can we reasonably claim that this means fluctuations in solar output could outweigh human emissions as causes of warming?  No reasonable person could claim that.  It is obfuscation and misdirection.  The source does not back up the claim.  Nowhere does this source say the natural causes could outweigh human emissions.  It says the opposite.

    Reference 4 is an entire book with no guidance on which part makes the claim made.  

    Reference 5 is from 1994.  It says “The cumulus convection schemes currently in use in GCMs bypass the microphysical processes by making arbitrary moistening assumptions. We suggest that they are inadequate for climate change studies.”  This does not substantiate the claim that changes in cloud forcing could outweigh human emissions as causes of the current global warmth.

    Reference 6 has two sources.  The Marian Koshland Science Museum, which has now closed.  The link they provide does not work.  The other is a book by Fred Singer and Denis Avery from 2006, published on the website of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a think tank dedicated to providing private alternatives to Government spending.  This has also now closed after some financial shenanigans, with the president and the board accusing each other of misconduct.  The paper describes evidence for a 1500 year cycle and has not been peer reviewed.  The conclusions have not been accepted by climatologists.  This reference in no way attempts to explain the current understanding of climate science.

    Reference 7.  This one must be a joke.  It was published as a viewpoint by Robert Essenhigh, so not peer reviewed, in Chemical Innovation in 2001.  The journal lasted 2 years and had an impact rating of 0.1. The piece itself is stunning in its inadequacies.

     says “Logically, there are four possible explanations, but only two need serious
    consideration, unless they both fail.
     Case 1: CO2 drives the temperature, as is currently most frequently
    asserted; and
     Case 2: Temperature drives the level of CO2.”

    No, there is another option, which has been well understood and documented in the literature since the 1960’s: CO2 is both a driver and a result of warming.  This is called feedback and is hardly revolutionary.

    The authors from Cornwall could have used the published literature on this.  The key one is  “Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III” Caillon et al, Science 2003.  This provides evidence that an initial warming from the Milankovitch cycles cause a slight warming, resulting in CO2 out-gassing from the ocean, which resulted in more warming.  This was well known and totally expected.  other papers explaining this are:

    “The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming” — C. Lorius et al., Nature 1990

    “CO2 record in the Byrd ice core 50,000 — 5,000 years BP” A Neftel et al., Nature 1988

    “CO2-climate relationship as deduced from the Vostok ice core” — Barnola et al, Tellus 1991

    “A time-dependent climatic feedback system involving sea-ice extent, ocean temperature and CO2” — Satltzman and Moritz, Tellus 1980

    Essenhigh concludes:
    “The outcome is that the conclusions of advocates of the CO2-driver theory
    are evidently back to front: It’s the temperature that is driving the CO2. If
    there are flaws in these propositions, I’m listening; but if there are
    objections, let’s have them with the numbers.”

    All he needed to do was look at the literature. An initial warming is amplified by CO2 out-gassing.  This is explained and understood and has been known about since the 1960’s

    Now, given all the papers describing this, it is reasonable to ask why those at Cornwall Alliance chose to use this reference instead?  It can’t be that they are unaware of the literature – they have climatologists among their consultants.  What could possibly explain this egregious misrepresentation of the facts?  The facts being what is understood within climate science.  By choosing to ignore all the available literature and select a source that cites literally none of the relevant literature is literally a denial of the science of climate change.
    Do you claim that although the article “A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor:
    An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” was climate science denial, you have now changed your position, methods and procedures so the Cornwall Alliance is no longer denying the science?

Leave a Reply