Reporting On So-Called Climate Reporters: Update 4

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

Update Be sure to come back on Sunday and see my wrap-up column.

The first section of this article contains background on the subject which should be read, the second records correspondence with several “science” reporters which can be skimmed, and the third has an analysis on the state of science. Feel free to pass this article around (but in its entirety and with a link back here).

Fallacies galore

This concerns the paper Lord Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and I wrote entitled “Why models run hot“, which carries the good news that we have a potential and likely explanation why climate models perform so badly that they should not be trusted.

Yet instead of celebrating this or at least asking relevant or pertinent questions related to the physics, those of a certain political persuasion panicked. What matters to these sad people is not truth but belief. Only evidence which is consonant with their belief is countenanced. Evidence which questions or refutes their belief isn’t challenged or engaged, instead it is anathematized, and the bearers of the bad tidings are damned and hounded.

Now it is utterly, completely, starkly irrelevant, and obvious to any but a bug-eyed zealot, how the four of us came to our result. It does not matter if Greenpeace itself, as that cult-like organization often does, paid for the writing of the paper. It doesn’t matter if the government, awash as it is in billions, asked us to do the work. It even doesn’t matter if we discovered the results printed small on a Chinese fortune cookie. The result is what and is all that is important.

As it is, none of us, as I have repeatedly said, received consideration in any form from anybody for the work we did. This means that even if you embraced the childish fallacy that the origin of ideas mattered to the truth of them, here the result is as pure as pure can be.

The easily frenzied did not believe this, and were convinced a conspiracy was afoot. Some, whose grasp on sanity is faintest, organized a petition to have one of us (Soon) fired, because why? Because they falsely accused Soon of failing to fill out a journal form properly. I do not joke nor jest. As it is, Soon and the rest of us honestly, openly, and properly filled out all forms. Not that any of that matters to our result.

It was at this point real dread set in. It looked like the four of us were telling the truth. We were. And to the deluded who cherish the genetic fallacy this appeared that our result might be true, too. So the mentally feeble David Appell (sometime scourge of the comment box) put a FOIA request to the employer of Legates, but the poor soul was rebuffed because no state monies were involved in the writing of the paper. As we claimed. Then Greenpeace contacted the employer of Soon with the same intent, and Greenpeace discovered that Soon was in the same state as those who receive Greenpeace money. Which is to say, Soon in his career received money from sources other than our beneficent government. But he didn’t get anything for the paper the four of us wrote. How disappointed Greenpeace must have been to have discovered that.

Science mistaken for politics

Greenpeace was stymied again. But they have friends in low places, who they contacted because Soon soon (a joke!) was inundated with “science” reporters asking for interviews.

One of these was Jeff Tollefson, US Correspondent for Nature, who pestered Soon. I wrote to Tollefson (complete with my typos):


A little birdies told me you’re writing an article which won’t discuss Lord Monckton et alia’s “Why models run hot” paper, but which will instead try to discredit the paper by talking about anything but what’s in it.

When I heard that I said to myself, “No reporter at Nature can be that pig ignorant or wantonly scurrilous.” Am I right? “No,” I said, “the reporter must be writing about two common fallacies used by those who deny science. The genetic fallacy and the non sequitur.”

When confronted by an unpleasant result, non-scientists in the media love to encourage the genetic fallacy, which is when they try and get their audiences to believe that the origin of a truth is false because of that truth’s origin. I know you’ll have difficulty believing this, Tollefson, but this strategy actually works! People are so gleeful at the possibility that they don’t have to confront the truth that they leap at the chance to turn the discussion to money or politics. Shameful and more than a little sad, no?

And then there’s the non sequitur that falsely accusing a man of not checking off a box on a paper submission form therefore invalidates the results of that paper. Embarrassing that anybody would believe such a thing. But it happens!

I know you know these things, Tollefson, but I had to say them because I wanted to share my misery over the shoddy state of science these days.

Incidentally, isn’t it wonderfully cheering news that our results in the “Why models run hot” paper show that multitude of the-end-is-nigh forecasts are very likely exaggerated?


He replied:

Hello Mr. Briggs,
I’m writing a story about the broader issue of industry funding as illustrated by these documents that are about to come out. The study in Science Bulletin will likely come up, but this is not a story about that discussion. That said, I just submitted a request to our librarian to get me that paper (we don’t have free access), and I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass it along (with any supplemental materials).

Many thanks,

To which I said:


Broader issue, eh. So you do prefer politics to science? Well, I’ll look for you to point out the fallacies I mentioned to your readers.

But since politics and not science is your beat, then what effect do you think the billions of government money flooding into the system has? Why is it government money is seen as “pure” and industry money “tainted”, especially when the government far outspends industry. The government is, after all, an interested source. Just think of EPA grants. What will you say of the common practice whereby scientists review grants and also receive them from the same agencies (not simultaneously of course)? Tremendous conflict of interest! Do you recall Eisenhower’s speech where he not only cautioned against the military-industrial complex but also about the corrupting influence of government money?

Incidentally, the paper is open source. But I’ll attach it for you.


That was one reporter. Another was Sylvan Lane, Congressional Correspondent at The Boston Globe, Washington Bureau, who we met before and whom I offered to instruct in physics. He wrote:

Hello Dr. Briggs and Lord Monckton,

I hope all is well. I’m writing to ask you a couple of questions about your and Dr. Soon’s work on “Why models run hot.”

We received documents today that Greenpeace obtained through FOIA indicating that the Dr. Soon received several $100,000 during the time you all were working on “Why models run hot.”

Were you two aware that Dr. Soon was receiving this money at the time? Do you believe that this should have been disclosed as a conflict of interest, given the proximity of the receipt of funding to the work on the paper?

Thank you very much,

Sylvan Lane

I replied:


Still no questions on the physics? Have you even tried to learn any in the interim?

Plus I notice you didn’t answer any of the questions I asked before. Why is that? Are the answers too embarrassing for you? Are you compromised in some way? You can tell me.

If you’d like me to suggest a course of reading on physical modeling, let me know. After you have that under your belt, perhaps we can then have a relevant, intelligent discussion.


Surprisingly, Lane never wrote back.

A third reporter, Dave Hasemyer at InsideClimate News, starting harassing Soon at home. This cheeseball in part wrote (it’s only “in part” because I am affording Hasemyer of stripping off his email and phone number):

I am doing a story that tracks some of your recent published studies — reporting in which questions are being raised about whether you violated any conflicts of interest guidelines by not disclosing your funding sources.

I’m also need to talk with you about the ethics of what you have said about trying to sway public opinion and influence public policy though the results of your studies that address climate change and global warming.

I didn’t write Hasemyer because it’s almost certain he’s beyond helping. That last sentence of his is a doozy and is all the proof you need of the one-sided nature of this public debate.

Another reporter, a Justin Gillis, Environmental Science Writer for the left wing New York Times, wrote something similar. His email also admitted his relationship with Greenpeace.

About two weeks back, another reporter, Chris Mooney of the Washington Post wrote this:

Yes, can you address two points — and anything else you’d like to address?

1) The article suggests there should have been some type of disclosure. Does Dr Soon have a response to this? Or you, the authors?

2) There’s a citation of “more than $1 million Soon has received from companies and interests supporting studies critical of climate change.” Is that accurate?

Also: You’re acting as a spokesperson for Dr. Soon? How do I identify you?


Chris Mooney

I answered:


A) Let me ask you this. Are you getting paid to write this upcoming piece? Do you feel that this money biases you? Do you feel under pressure to, say, bend the truth, leave out pertinent details, or otherwise misreport the story based on your funder’s desires?

B) I notice you didn’t ask questions about the physics. Why was this?
Our argument is that the physics used in climate models is sorely lacking at specific points. Are you familiar with the Genetic Fallacy? This is when somebody says an argument fails because of its source. It is a fallacy because it does not address the argument itself. How about the non sequitur? In this case, the fallacy is the crude and foolish attempt to distract from the argument, presumably because there is no answer for the argument. Will you be addressing the central argument of the paper or ignoring it? Will you make the same points I made in this paragraph?

1) There was a disclosure, all in full accordance with the journal’s policies. None of us were offered nor did any of us take any form of consideration for writing the paper. Suppose instead the counterfactual, that we, for instance, accepted a grant from Greenpeace or Government. Would that make our central finding—that climate models are poor—true or false? Do you often write stories asking whether authors filled out intra-journal paperwork correctly? How many have you written?

2) I have no idea about that “citation.” But at what level of funding from non-governmental sources makes an author’s finding doubtful? Is there an accepted figure? Does money from places like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club and, say, Apple Corporation count toward it, or is there an official list of tainted firms? If so, may I see it? And why is it that government funding is seen as pure and disinterested? The government spends vastly more on grants than do private sources. Interestingly, the same people who sit on grant awarding committees also themselves apply for and receive grants from those same committees (albeit not simultaneously). Isn’t that a huge conflict of interest? If so, why doesn’t anybody ever declare this? Talk about an unreported scandal.

Let me know if you have more questions.


Mooney actually replied saying (ellipsis original), “Just one other question — you are speaking for Soon, for the group of authors, or….?” I thought this question silly and didn’t answer.

And there are more, including those schooled by Lord Monckton, but that’s enough. You get the idea.

The End is nigh

Listens up, lovers of truth. Do not play their game. Refuse to honor their dishonorable requests. This is an attempt by malcontents to change the subject from WHY MODELS RUN HOT to some putrid political point.

The very second you start on their diseased path, they win. Everybody will forget that climate models stink, that they have no skill, that they should not be trusted, that something is very deeply wrong with the science behind these models, that the IPCC forecasts are awful, that the science is far from settled. Instead, we’ll have some nonsensical “debate” about paperwork.

They are hoping you are as dumb as they; they are hoping that if, as is false, some box on a form was improperly checked, the results in the paper are therefore wrong. Can you imagine the level of mind that is convinced by an argument like that? I can. We are swimming in a sea of such people. This is why the science is now yet another branch of politics.

Never did I once get through to any of these “science” reporters. Why? Their minds are too clouded, they are incapable of understanding the subjects on which they are reporting, or they are on a mission to discredit a good man simply because we questioned a cherished belief.

What a sad story. What vast ignorance. What despicable people. What a farce.

Oh, by the way. Climate models have no skill. They should not be trusted. The science behind climate models is woefully incomplete. The forecasts from these models have been a bust for decades now. If you’d like to learn why, you can’t go too far wrong than by starting with the paper “Why model run hot”, available at the link above.


Lane finally emailed me back. Here’s what he said:

Dr. Briggs,

I assume you’re not willing to answer my questions then? We’ll be running a story this weekend that I’m finishing up today.



To which I replied:

I assume you’re not willing to answer my questions then? I’ll be posting your responses.

Why is it reporters think they’re immune from questioning their motives?

Tollefson also emailed:

Hello again Mr. Briggs, and hello for the first time Lord Monckton,
So I wanted to verify your position regarding the alleged conflict of interest, given Willie Soon’s funding, and then provide some comments that I received regarding your paper in Science Bulletin.

First regarding the alleged conflict, I saw that you were quoted, Lord Monckton, in the Boston Globe saying that there was no such conflict because all of the work for this paper was done in your own time. Is that correct? But regardless, shouldn’t Willie Soon’s funding be acknowledged just as a matter of due diligence so as to avoid questions like this?

Second, I’m pasting in a quick critique of the Science Bulletin paper from Kevin Trenberth below, who summed things up with the following question: How did this get published? Your responses are welcome, although to be clear the story I’m writing is not about this paper but about the question of science funding and conflicts of interest.

Many thanks for your time.


I’ll post Trenberth’s critique and my response to it in a separate post. But notice that Tollefson still can’t be brought to discuss the point at hand. I replied to Tollefson:

Well, you’re finally getting to the real point. Instead of trying to distract and mislead your audience with irrelevant and already asked-and-answered questions, you have actual science to discuss. What a wonderful change!

What I’ll do is to put up for all to see Trenberth’s critique and my response. I’ll let you know when this is done. Lord Monckton may wish to do his own, of course.

Update Note the New & Improved title!


Gillis of the far-left New York Times is a pathetic creature who without talking to Soon jumped to pre-judged conclusions. Without evidence or corroboration the foolish Gillis accused Soon of an “ethical breach”.

So I emailed this foolish ethically breached man:


I understand you’re attempting to distract your readers with persiflage about whether Dr Soon incorrectly filled out a journal’s paper submission form. I am one of the authors of that paper.

Why are you doing this? I understand you are funded by progressive corporate interests that have a stake in the politics of climate change. I’d like to ask you whether your acceptance of this corporate funding has influenced the conclusions of your reporting. I’m guessing it has. Can you explain yourself?

I’d also like to know why you feel falsely accusing people of trivial paperwork mishandling contributes or detracts to science. Do you feel you’re on a mission to “change the world”? Don’t you agree that scientific truth is more important in this case? If not, why not? Do you yourself feel important in some way by making these false charges?

I’m most concerned that you did not ask any relevant science questions. Do you know much about the physics of climate change? Can you, for instance, tell me what cloud parameterization scheme you like best? Can you expound for me on the scientific principle that bad forecasts imply false theories and its relation to global climate predictions?

Again, I’m pretty concerned that because your employer, a well known far-left publication, is involved that you no amount of argument can talk you out of your pre-conceived and false notions. Do you think this is an apt charge? How do you defend yourself?

I’m going to press with this story pretty quickly, so I’d appreciate a quick response.

WM Briggs

Update Want more proof that climatology is no longer a science? Somebody slipped their restraints and started emailing me, Willie Soon, and a bunch of others attempting to taunt us. Though “taunt” is too strong a word. This person calls itself “Willie A Soon” with email The latest email was this poem from The Hobbit:

I cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
I lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes I fills.
I comes out first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.

So it self-identifies as Dark. Sheesh. Is there a place I can apply to government for victim status? I really ought to be compensated.

Update The naughty Sylvan Lane has a Boston Globe article on some politician trying to boost his take by frightening people about global warming, or whatever, in which he fibs, “Co-author Dr. William Briggs declined to comment.” Which, as you can see above, is not so. And don’t forget my earlier back-and-forth with Lane here. Tons of correspondence. What a pest this earnest but ignorant young man is. I just wrote to him this:

Naughty naughty, Lane.

I have all the correspondence between us posted, which proves your fib that I refused to comment.

I hope you at least blushed when writing that.


  1. I do like a person who sticks to the topic at hand while totally disregarding all the irrelevent, petty nonsense that the unscientific jump to when confronted with real science!

    No one really seemed to get/report the actual finding of the paper, why climate models perform so badly. Perhaps that’s incomprehensible to most. Or just too scary to contemplate, as you note.

  2. DAV

    Why do people give their kids names like Sylvan? Don’t they know it means wooden? Or are they prescient and know their kid will grow up to be a wooden headed puppet? OTOH, “Sylvan Lane” does sound dreamy. Maybe the inability to think is genetic. Is this a “genetic fallacy”?

  3. Gary

    Typo? “The result is what [it is] and is all that is important. ”

    Science writers these days, I suspect, are turned out of J-schools with little coursework in science. They probably grew up watching Bill Nye and Kratt’s Kreatures and thought science was fun but too hard to do professionally so writing about it was the next best thing. Problem is they were trained by muckrakers rather than scrupulous scientists. Their worldview is that everybody’s got something to hide except me and my monkey (obscure Beatles reference). Couple that with a self-righteous agenda and you’ve got witch trials. Keep playing offense; once you go defensive they play you. If more folks would call out these weasels and stick to their malfeasance, they would have to devolve to outright lies in their stories rather than the stock-in-trade half-truths and innuendos. It won’t stop them, of course, but you would have a better case for defamatory suits.

  4. John B()

    Proof That Climate Reporters Are Uniformly Ignorant And Can’t Differentiate Science & Politics

    I think “Uniformity” is key

  5. ken

    “A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real
    reason.” – J. P. Morgan

    Briggs notes: “Evidence which questions or refutes their belief isn’t challenged or engaged, instead it is anathematized, and the bearers of the bad tidings are damned and hounded”

    That observations sums up the clear evidence that the “good reason” put forward is really a cover for some other “real reason,” or, as so often is the case, the “real objective.”

    Thus, proceeding by arguing the merits & demerits of one analysis vs. another entirely misses the point.

    The logical next analytical progression, upon realizing that the overtly stated rationale is a cover for something else is to explore what that something else is.

    In the case of climate alarmism its the same as prior and other environmental protection initiatives — find some dire threat that can only be solved by government intervention. Climate alarmism is just another chapter in an ongoing saga of concocting a justification for government intervention to create a socialistic/communistic utopia.

    People endorsing such things don’t care if their logic is very good, it only has to be good enough to support a superficially plausible facade to justify what they to do–and that’s to be taken care of, by the government (and, to be made to feel better about themselves by tearing down those who are “better” than they are by various criteria, with wealth being a favorite — on that latter theme see:

  6. James Hans fooled ya didn't I

    Most journalists are idiots. Not just in this particular case; the front page of the NY Times is consistently loaded with garbage on every subject that demonstrates real journalism died long ago.

  7. hi doc..

    I know how you feel – and agree with your comments.

    Many years ago I did a series on Linux for the mainframe – and got nearly 3,000 hate filled responses including one, handwritten on a senior CIO’s personal stationary and delivered by fed ex to my home. I was, of course, right – duh.

    At the time I thought of doing a book made up entirely of these emails and notes – I choose not to, but you and your colleagues may wish to consider it.

  8. There was a time, a few years ago, when I imagined the debate was between two well reasoned but opposing points of view over a complex topic. Back in the old days (circa 2007) Hansen was 99% certain of things that later turned out to be completely wrong. Nobody now talks about tipping points (except with an embarrassed cough) – instead, the debate now, or what’s left of it, is why atmospheric warming stopped. It’s easy to forget how fashionable Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, was, not so long ago. Nor does anybody talk about “the heat in the pipeline” these days — remember it was inevitable right up until the point where everybody stopped waiting for it to show up. (Waiting period = approx. 20 years.) And of course let’s not forget about those super El Nino’s which were all around the corner. Maybe next year or the year after or the year after that at the latest. Earth was a pressure cooker. Super El Nino’s were going to show up to let off the steam. But of course they never showed up. (Although we did get a double La Nina instead.) Needless to day, Hansen was still 99% certain of everything he’d predicted. The timing was just out a little, damn it. This was starting to impact on my credulity.

    Because I’m a daily reader of these topics I tend to follow the back and forth between the two groups closely. Something strange happened one year. Extreme weather. One month before, no mention of it. One month later, that’s all the ‘consensus group’ wanted to talk about. Huh? Where did that come from? Yes it had been mentioned a few times in the literature prior to that, but you had to dig deep. But now that’s all this group were prepared to talk about now. It’s as if they’d done a team huddle, or a switch had been flicked.

    Now as little as a year ago, Trenberth comes out and declares that the up coming El Nino was going to cause all global warming records to be broken. Except it didn’t happen. We didn’t even get an El Nino. Not a bang, just a whimper. Clearly though, someone had to take over Hansen’s mantle and be 99% sure about everything related to global warming. (Well one can’t be 100% sure. People who are 100% sure of things are crazy because they view themselves as infallible. But people who are 99% sure are just amazingly skilled experts who really know their stuff. That 1% of doubt allowance makes all the difference.)

    A while ago I pondered how old Paul Ehrlich had been doing. He’d been predicting the end of the world for 40 years or so, and he never got anything right, so whatever became of him? I looked it up. Well in 2009 he was awarded the Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology and Environmental Sciences. In 2012 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. And in 2013 he received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology. Doom mongering clearly makes good business sense.

  9. With minds so closed and tainted by the red mist of self righteous belief, they have become useless to the advancement or communication of science.

    They appear utterly unable to think even remotely critically and I agree with you, those that are still able to think critically and objectively should simply ignore and publicly deride this kind of drivel and slight of hand that is not related to the science.

  10. Briggs


    It’s a good idea except this malcontents are trying to have Soon fired.

    They can’t fire Monckton or me because we don’t have jobs. Legates the tried to go after but they failed .

  11. Katie

    It’s nice to see the Gollum is up and about and well enough to opine; but I can’t quite discern his true feelings on the (busted) climate models with that riddle.

  12. I recall Richard Lindzen was attacked by activist groups who asserted he denied that smoking caused cancer. What was asserted was the link between second hand smoke and cancer had little to no scientific basis. (An assessment that was completely uncontroversial in amateur skeptical circles.)

    Interestingly, Wikipedia, and DeSmogBlock don’t or no longer attempt to promote this. Unsurprisingly, the activist “source watch” still peddle this misinformation.

  13. Gary

    I’ve long thought “journalists” should be required to publish their credentials AND conflicts of interests so that one can judge their writing in context. Professional licensing isn’t the answer since it would be relatively easy to game. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, you know. I like your challenge for them to put their cards on the table. More people outside the consensus ought to follow that lead. You’re not going to get any favors from them, so make their deficiencies obvious.

  14. I did a stint for about 5 minutes back in the ’80’s as a journalist. Not for the money, as it didn’t pay much. I just liked to write and I was writing technical books at the time, which also didn’t pay any money so I stopped writing those. I wrote a little bit for popular science journals.

    Basically you do not require any qualifications. You can write whatever you want, everything is done to a strict deadline, and there is no time to research or understand anything you’re writing about. The quickest solution to this conundrum is to read what your fellow journalists just wrote in other publications and paraphrase. You might still be wrong, but as any impala will tell you, there is safety in numbers.

  15. TomE

    If you are ever involved in a situation which is covered by the newspaper you soon realize that there are two stories.
    1. What actually happened.
    2. What the newspaper says happened.

  16. Well, as all the comments say, the science journalists (including those on TV) are poorly educated in critical thinking.
    What can we do about it?
    Alas, nothing because those who hire journalists are also poorly educated. What can we do about that?
    Alas, nothing.
    And one more problem is that those who read what these journalists write are also poorly educated.
    What can we do about that?
    Alas, nothing.
    Let’s push home schooling and charter schools–maybe in a generation things will change, if the world last that long.
    Secession is usually put in geographical terms; is there any way for right thinkers to secede? Form communities like the Shakers and Amish?

  17. John

    Eventually, it becomes necessary to address the self-righteous clarion calls of the ignorant.

    “when bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle”
    -Edmund Burke

  18. James Parliament

    I daresay, you were made for this. I thought Twain was dead.

  19. FYI, Sylvan Lane’s Jan 26, 2015 Globe hit piece against Dr Soon quoted Kert Davies (a person who was originally part of the old Ozone Action trio I describe here ) in a manner hardly different that what a 2011 Tim Gardner Reuters piece ( ), including quoting the same Kert Davies. I emailed Lane directly the same day 1/26using the same [hidden] email address I used to login here about his wipeout on ‘illicit funding’, and I repeat two verbatim excerpts from my email: “As you have worked at the Boston Globe for only a couple of months, perhaps you have not had the opportunity to explore the accusations about Dr Soon entirely on your own yet.” ….. “No newspaper writer will ever win a Pulitzer for repeating a worn-out, unsupportable twenty year-old+ talking point about skeptics’ ‘industry corruption’. However, it is entirely possible that investigative reporters could win Pulitzers if they turned the tables on that accusation. Take an extended look into the origins of it and the people who first promulgated it. Expect an eye-opening series of discoveries.”

    Apparently the man has not taken my advice.

  20. k. kilty

    Nitschke: Hansen’s 99% uncertainty is circa 1988! It takes effort to be wrong so long.

    Briggs: You have got admire their ability to stick to talking points. Robots are like that.

  21. k. kilty


    I rattled your tip jar, but in the interest of full disclosure I want to say that the origin of that money was oil leases in Wyoming. Yes, you are now officially in the pay of “Big Oil”.

  22. K. Kilty’s disclosure made me wonder if my donation is coming from wages earned from oil and gas, does that again make you in the pay of “Big Oil”? If so, I would like to note that the current drop in oil prices and employment may make “Big Oil” less lucrative than global warming believers seem to think it is. Assuming these people actually think about any of this, of course.

  23. BillThe Geologist

    Great Posting Mr. Briggs. I had foreknowledge of this Gillis Hatchet Job on Willie Soon in the NY Times on Sunday and phoned Gillis yesterday several times for a chat but got no reply. It’s more of the same – if you can’t attack the science, go after the messenger and that is exactly what Gillis and Schwartz have done – and they have the effrontery to call themselves “science writers” . This is starting to be seen by many as a Racist attack on Willie Soon and the NY Times is sailing very close, if it has not already entered the realm of, Hate Crimes behavior. Hopefully there is a lawyer or two out there who can take up the banner and head for Willis and Schwartz and their employer.

  24. Les Johnson

    It is interesting that a Charles Alcock of Harvard-Smithsonian, criticizes Soon in the New York Times.

    Alcock states: “I think that’s inappropriate behavior”

    I find it extremely odd that it the letter from the Koch Foundation is addressed to Alcock. From his NYT quote, one would think that he knew NOTHING about this funding.

  25. Conwell Dickey

    Just found your blog. I’ve subscribed to it and expected to be a loyal follower (of your blog, not of you.) I have long struggled with the multitude of logical fallacies that appear in publications, especially with regard to climate change (and also energy which is my primary area of interest.)
    I am a long time reader of the NY Times and was deeply disappointed today when I read their article about Willie Soon. I was therefore very pleased to find a link to your blog via Judith Curry’s Climate Etc Blog. Her blog also had a link to an email exchange that Freeman Dyson had with a reporter. ( ). Professor Dyson also had much to say about climate models. You are talking in your blog about two topics of major interest to me, computer models and logical fallacies. Keep up the good work.

  26. “…. Climate models have no skill. They should not be trusted. The science behind climate models is woefully incomplete. The forecasts from these models have been a bust for decades now. ”

    “Do you know much about the physics of climate change? Can you, for instance, tell me what cloud parameterization scheme you like best? Can you expound for me on the scientific principle that bad forecasts imply false theories and its relation to global climate predictions? ”

    For those who would like to see a video on these subjects by a professor of applied mathematics, I recommend Dr Chris Essex’s lecture on Youtube.

    He and Ross McKitrick, professor of economics have a book on the subject,

    Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming

  27. BillThe Geologist wrote:
    “It’s more of the same – if you can’t attack the science, go after the messenger”

    Soon has been producing crap for years. His infamous 2003 article in the journal Climate Research, with Sallie Baliunas, was chock full of errors and illogical claims. (Several of the journal’s editors resigned in protest that their article was published.) I reported on their science here, so you can’t claim no one every examines his science:

    “Hot Words: A claim of nonhuman-induced global warming sparks debate,” Scientific American, June 24, 2003 (Web) and August 2003 (print), pp. 20-22.

  28. Will Nitschke wrote:
    “Nobody now talks about tipping points (except with an embarrassed cough)….”

    “Tipping point for Antarctic melting,” Nature 509, 136 (08 May 2014)

    “Western Antarctic ice sheet collapse has already begun, scientists warn,” The Guardian, 5/12/14

    “Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises,” National Academy of Sciences, 2013
    – on a press teleconference for this report, Richard Alley of Penn State said Arctic sea ice has already passed a tipping point.

  29. Briggs:

    The reason no one takes your paper with Mockton et al seriously are:

    1) the science was just wrong, as was detailed in at least two posts I read
    2) you failed to acknowledge earlier work you utilized
    3) you published it in a obscure journal, hardly read here, making it look like you couldn’t find any better journal to accept it
    4) you had Mockton as a PR agent!! Big mistake. He was his usual bombastic, ridiculous, sad and laughable self, spouting his usual histrionic claptrap that makes him impossible to take seriously. You should have hitched up to a better wagon, because no one in the scientific community takes him even one iota seriously.

    Sorry, but that’s the truth.

  30. Annnnnnd the ever-rotten appell finally makes an appearance, smashed flat to the bottom of the barrel by the very evidence he is incapable of comprehending.

  31. Phillip Bratby

    I’m always amazed at how Trenberth’s fake physics ‘Earth Energy Budget’ ever got published. So how can Trenberth ask the following question: How did this get published?

  32. swordfishtrombone

    Mr Briggs, I’m really impressed by your measured response to the cowardly bullies and liars who’ve attacked you and your co-authors over your paper. Speaking of which…

    David [not-a-scientist] Appel: “No one takes this paper seriously”

    Really? You obviously do as you’ve posted four comments in a row here trying to attack it and you’re apparently responsible for placing the FOIA request. It’s obvious that you’re unable to make any valid scientific criticism of it at all so you’ve resorting to mud slinging. What a loser.

    Sorry, but that’s the truth.

  33. Conwell: Excellent link. Thanks. I like reading interviews with Dyson. He answers until there’s no point and then just leaves!

  34. k. kilty

    The four posts by David Appel in the wee hours are bizarre, angry. Reword the claims made in the last one and does one have? First, Briggs is wrong because I, David Appel, have read two posts that say so. Briggs fail to attribute earlier work. What work and by whom? Briggs et al published in an obscure journal. Well, it’s not so obscure now. Finally, no one takes Monckton seriously because he expresses himself with bombast. This is akin to saying no one should take semiconductivity seriously because William Schockley said unPC things about IQ.

  35. One of the things I’m giving up for Lent is responding to individual comments, so I won’t bring up the bit about ad hominem arguments again for the commentators who justify attacks against Soon–I wonder whether they have the ethical or intellectual beliefs to understand what “ad hominem” is all about. (Someone might well ask, and I’ll consider it, why not give up commenting also?)
    I would like to make a general statement. The warmist academics (I refuse to call them scientists) and their pimps in the MSM have done an evil thing to science by making fudging data legitimate (and attempting to justify it with “peer review”) and by perverting the peer review process.
    The beginnings of this loss of integrity in science is documented by links in my post “Scientific Integrity: lessons from Climategate”
    and continues, as shown by the recent posts in this blog, and by the revealed fudging of data from Paraguayan weather stations.

  36. Bob: If you say someone lied to Congress, is that an ad hominem attack? Or is it a statement about them?

  37. Language clarification for the troll:
    Saying someone lied to Congress is not an ad hominem. It is an accusation.
    Calling someone a liar may be an ad hominem if you cannot prove it.
    Calling someone a believer in conspiracy theories and therefore their belief in global warming is obviously false is an ad hominem.
    Calling someone an idiot is just a plain insult.

  38. Les Johnson

    I would not take the work of Appell too seriously. He can’t tell the difference between Celsius an Fahrenheit, or high temps vs low temps, nor admit his error when it was pointed out to him.

    This is how I ended it then:

    One of the first tenets of science, is that if you commit an error, then it needs to be admitted and exposed, not denied nor hidden.

    One of the first tenets of journalism, is that if you commit an error, retract it, don’t deflect it.

    You follow neither tenet, which speaks volumes of your avocational competency.

  39. k. kilty

    David Appell
    FEBRUARY 22, 2015 AT 12:07 PM

    Thanks for responding to my point. I have gone to the site suggested, and i have squinted hard and fail to see what it is that has you and Jan Perlwitz so worked-up. I’ve been around this scientific publications block a few times, and I see not much to complain about.

    First of all energy balance, including feedbacks, is a long established tool in engineering. No one would reference any paper for its use per se. I suppose that the climate science community may feel that by using a well known tool in a new context they deserve to be cited for a very long time, but I fail to see why. Of the three papers Perlwitz mentions two are quite old, and thus only Roe is at question. Yet, he and Monckton apparently spoke about this paper, and Roe was cited in another context. Look, at some point one simply stops looking for the n-th relevant citation and move on.

    The exercise over at Perlwitz’ blog was pointless. It looks to me that the real issue is irritation and not high principle. The various posters there were snotty and playing the game of mocking Monckton for possibly not knowing the e-folding time. They might not themselves, and we don’t know that Monckton doesn’t. It looked pretty smug over there, and as someone with a Ph.D. in science–I don’t like smugness of that sort. It gets in the way of reasoned debate and conveying knowledge.

    By the way, how do those guys at NASA GISS find so much time to blog?

  40. MarkW

    In my experience, leftists tend to view govt as pure and the private sector as corrupted as a rule.
    One Democrat congressman recently stated that people go to work for the govt, in order to “feed their souls”.

  41. StumpfeggersGift

    (Rotten) Appel – “No one takes this paper seriously.”

    Is that sort of like, “Nobody likes to eat kale”? Stupidity is hereditary, sir, but ignorance is voluntary. Why do you choose to be ignorant?

    (Rotten) Appel – “He was his usual bombastic, ridiculous, sad and laughable self”

    Since one of your later comments indicated that you have trouble identifying an ad hominem attack, you should know that was a perfect example. Now… if someone, for instance, said that you were an emotionally stunted, corrupt little pillow-biter, would THAT be an ad hominem attack, or a statement about you?

    The truth, Herr Appel, is that you bear an almost freakish resemblance to another character from history. Do you recognize the source of this quote?
    “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”

    Ultimately, I’m sure your life will be as meaningful as his, and leave a similar legacy. Hopefully soon.

  42. StumpfeggersGift: That would be an insult. Unless you are disbelieving his arguments because he’s an emotionally……..

  43. StumpfeggersGift

    I made no insult, only asked a hypothetical question. It was a discussion of the nature of logical fallacy, wasn’t it? Ultimately, it is his steadfast use of logical fallacy that makes me disbelieve his “arguments”.

    Still don’t know what historical figure Appel has modeled himself after? I’ll give you another quote. The resemblance is undeniable:
    “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result. It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”

  44. StumpfeggersGift

    STILL don’t know? This quote should be a dead giveaway:
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Kommen hierher, Herr Appel. I have a little something for you.

  45. Just look at all the nasty, ad hominem attacks coming out. No one has any science to offer — let alone better science — and name calling is all ya got.

  46. k. kilty wrote:
    “First of all energy balance, including feedbacks, is a long established tool in engineering. No one would reference any paper for its use per se. I suppose that the climate science community may feel that by using a well known tool in a new context they deserve to be cited for a very long time, but I fail to see why.”:

    Because energy balance *IS* global warming. The planet, like any system, is warming because more energe is coming in (sunlight) than going out (infrared radiation). The Earth is warming up in order to get back to equilibrium. Energy balance, created by GHGs and feedbacks, is the entire essence of AGW.

    “Of the three papers Perlwitz mentions two are quite old…”

    That’s was the point — this simple zero-dimensional model has been around for decades, and Monckton et al failed to cite it. They made it seem the model was their creation, when it was not.

    “…and thus only Roe is at question. Yet, he and Monckton apparently spoke about this paper, and Roe was cited in another context.”

    Roe was citied after the model was built, and it wasn’t cited for the very similar model but on another point.

    “Look, at some point one simply stops looking for the n-th relevant citation and move on.”

    Scholarly articles cite earlier work. In this case, Monckton et al set n=0

    “It looked pretty smug over there, and as someone with a Ph.D. in science–I don’t like smugness of that sort.”

    Then why are you reading Briggs?

    “By the way, how do those guys at NASA GISS find so much time to blog?”

    Science communication is part of their job.

  47. I wrote:
    “Energy balance, created by GHGs and feedbacks, is the entire essence of AGW.”

    Should be “Energy IMbalance…is the essence of AGW.”

    The Earth is warming up so that its outward energy flux (thermal radiation) comes back into balance with its inward energy flux (sunlight). It will continue to warm up until equilibrium is restored.

  48. cd

    Dr Briggs

    The problem here is that you’re making the assumption that all journalists are interested in truth. They’re interested in a story and the idea that private industry is bad and that NGOs and Government is good makes for a better narrative. In truth journalists are interested in stories not the truth. They don’t need to be impartial either; their is no review process only editorial lines.

    But your strategy here of publishing correspondence is an excellent one. It means that they can be held to account. It also highlights just how irrelevant the MSM journalists are becoming – they’re fast becoming obsolete in the reporting world. Well done

  49. k. kilty

    David Appell,

    You didn’the quite follow what I was saying about using energy balance. It is so common place that there is no point citing earlier papers employing it. I don’t provide citations when I employ differential calculus, similarly.

    Indeed I agree that energy balance is the entire issue of global warming which is exactly why the paper in dispute is relevant. The problem is that energy balance is difficult to measure, and we are using temperature as a proxy (an imperfect one); but temperature is difficult to measure and there are a hundred arguments about measurement and adjustments. Not too long ago I spent a lot of time researching how the USHCN are processed and I swear they are homogenized out of the order Karl originally specified. As another example Duncan Steel has said that measuring albedo may not be possible. Does albedo vary? How does one know if there is no way to measure it?

    I suspect that earth is warmer than it was 100 years ago. I don’t know by how much, I do not know the cause entirely, and I sure do not know that it will be much of a problem. I doubt it will, and i’m pretty confident that taxes, mandates, regulations, prohibitions, conferences, bureaucracies, etc., may simply become problems in their own right.

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