Union Of Nervous Scientists Hate Facts About Global Warming

From Christy’s testimony

Stream: Union Of Nervous Scientists Hate Facts About Global Warming: Don’t say ‘climate change’. We were promised global warming.

No scientist I have ever met has ever—and I mean never—denied the earth’s climate has changed. So obvious are observations of change, that I have never even heard of a civilian denying change, either.

No scientist I have ever met has ever—and again I mean never—denied the earth’s climate has changed in part because of human activities. But then, these same scientists also know that every creature, from aardvarks to zebras, has an influence on the climate. (Didn’t we read recently that spiders both weigh and eat more than men? Think about the climatic havoc these eerie arachnids wreak!)

Because nobody, save the odd lunatic, denies the earth’s climate has changed, and all scientists agree that mankind affects the climate, the term climate chance denier has to be one of the dumbest, inapt, and foolish slogans of our times.

Anybody who uses it proves that she is ignorant with the science of climatology. Or that she has something other than the practice of science of her mind. Like, say, politics.

Take the comments of Ann Reid and her two co-authors writing for the Union of Nervous—oops, make that Concerned—Scientists. Motto: Science for the healthy planet and safer world. Incidentally, before we get to Reid, it is worth emphasizing that planets cannot be healthy or ill. Only things that are live can be healthy or ill. Planets are not alive—though pantheists believe they can be.

Anyway, Reid (and her pals) writes “Is No Place Safe? Climate Change Denialists Seek to Sway Science Teachers.”

There’s the telling phrase: climate change denialists. This is a sure signal we’re about to be treated a political and not scientific discourse.

Seems Reid isn’t happy that Heartland Institute had a conference to which they invited scientists to opine on how likely global warming will destroy us all (I have spoke before). Their answer? Not likely.

Heartland also sent the booklet “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to science teachers across the country. When Reid angrily referenced this book, she twice appended the notation “sic“, which is a signal to readers that the obvious error present in quoted material was not put there by the quoter.

Well, there is nothing grammatically wrong with the booklet title, and nothing is misspelled. And, indeed, the booklet is about why scientists disagree about global warming.

So what was the mistake Reid wanted to signal?

Global warming used to be what they called “climate change”—before the science of global warming went sour. Reid doesn’t like to be reminded that the science of global warming is a failed science.

How do we know it’s failed? Easy.

The primary purpose of any scientific theory is to make skillful predictions of reality. Any scientific theory that cannot do so, is a false or flawed theory. And false or flawed theories should not be relied upon to make decisions about the world, particularly decisions that greatly influence all people.

The theory of dangerous man-made global warming has not made skillful predictions of reality. Congress was reminded of this recently by…[click over to read the rest].

Theory says you can click this link and read the rest. My bet is that this theory makes better predictions than global warming.

Update Mistaking accuracy in simulations and accuracy in predictions of future temperatures is a common error. A sloppy error, and really unexplainable because you’d think scientific training explains the difference. Climate models do a lousy job predicting future temperatures, and this is all that counts if we are to ask questions and make decisions about those predictions. That the models can more-or-less accurately simulate some other measure or derived parameter is of only marginal interest, and beside the point.

Mistaking simulations with predictive accuracy is like a civil engineer saying, “Yes, the bridge fell and many died. But you’ll notice the predictions of the rust factor in the steel in the third arch were almost perfect. Therefore you have to believe the next bridge we build won’t fail like the previous thirty did.”


  1. Michael Dowd

    It must follow that the science of climatology is not a science in that it lacks predictability.

  2. Yawrate

    No rational person denies that there is a climate.
    No educated person denies that climate changes.
    Few educated persons deny the potential for anthropogenic influence on climate.
    Many educated persons are skeptical regarding the predominance of anthropogenic influences.
    Many educated persons are skeptical regarding claims of impending climate catastrophe.
    Much of current climate reporting and political rhetoric intentionally masks the difference between climate change, anthropogenically-induced climate change and potential catastrophic anthropogenically-induced climate change.

    It is an emotional appeal to the uneducated and uninformed, of whom our educational system assures an ample supply.

  3. Gary

    The one comment on Reid’s blog post by “Gordo”:
    Maybe the heartland offices can be converted into the prison for climate deniers.
    Such lovely people.

  4. Christy’s graph is similar to one’s he’s been showing since the 1990s. His mistakes were pointed out at the time, and periodically since then (http://history.aip.org/climate/20ctrend.htm#a_sattemp). Although the graph doesn’t show what Briggs says it shows, its certainly useful in convincing the gullible, and is a favorite of climate crackpots all over.

    Climate simulations, upon which climate “alarmism” are based, in fact have performed remarkably well: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/jul/27/climate-models-are-accurately-predicting-ocean-and-global-warming

  5. I’m not sure what Briggs is trying to say in his new “update”, but it sounds as if he’s a little confused about how scientists use computer models to make predictions. If you have a climate model, say, that means you have a computer program that simulates the climate. It might be a good simulation or a bad one. If you want to use it to make a prediction of the future temperature, you use it to simulate the climate, with whatever assumptions you decide to include, some distance out into the future. Then you can wait and see if your prediction came true. You will probably run a lot of simulations with different assumptions, for example different amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere, because you don’t know what that will be. In addition to the article I cited in my previous comment (which refers to actual papers), this recent paper in Nature (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n3/full/nclimate3224.html) shows that predictions (yes, simulations of temperature) made in 1989 accurately predicted temperature up to the present. Models have gotten much better since then; both those models and the current ones are the source of climate “alarmism”. The objective conclusion would be that “alarmism” is the stance best supported by science.

  6. LOL! Yeah, the “nervous” scientists… meanwhile, the Trump admin is outright thwarting science agencies from so much as observing and recording data… who‘s nervous again?

    As a man of numbers and science, you should hang your head in shame for supporting such a blatantly anti-scientific administration.


  7. OK, “DAV”, I’ll try.

    (1) You didn’t notice that this is the same graph that’s at the top of Brigg’s article;

    (2) You didn’t read the article I already linked to that explains why this graph doesn’t show what Briggs wants you to believe it shows;

    (3) You didn’t read the papers referenced in that article, that show in detail why Christy has been wrong since the 1990s;

    (4) Since you won’t take the effort to look behind the propaganda, Briggs’ ploy worked. You are his intended audience, and his purpose is entirely political. It’s not just that he doesn’t understand the science; the science is irrelevant.

    Did I explain it?

  8. DAV

    Did I explain it?

    Unsurprisingly, not at all. You merely made claims about me (and Briggs) which you can’t substantiate. Seems typical of you.

  9. You just substantiated my claims for me. Why do the work when others will do it for you?

  10. DAV

    What a silly twit you are. You not only can’t explain it you can’t provide evidence for your claims so you change the subject. Poor Lee.

  11. When the other guy resorts to personal insults, you know who wins, right?

  12. DAV

    As I said. If you don’t want to be perceived as a silly twit, don’t act like one. Until then, your actions define you.

  13. acricketchirps

    I’m interested to know how Trump is thwarting scientists from even recording data. Broken fingers? Outlawed pencils?

  14. If you don’t want to be perceived as a toddler who’s having a tantrum and filling his diaper because he lost an argument on the internet, don’t act like one.

    Hey, this is kind of fun.

  15. DAV

    filling his diaper because he lost an argument on the internet, don’t act like one. Hey, this is kind of fun.

    You have a really odd definition of “argument”.

    I’m quite sure you find being a twit fun. Why act that way if there wasn’t an upside? Enjoy your foolishness. Toodle-oo!

  16. Ken

    We need traffic signals to say, instead of “Don’t Walk,”:
    Don’t Walk
    Dash Trot

    Of course not — people know the meaning of the term, “don’t walk,” and a literally comprehensive listing is not necessary. Anyone arguing, or trying to argue, before a judge about violating a “don’t walk” prohibition because they were skipping would, justifiably, be laughed out of court or even fined for a frivolous waste of the court’s time.

    But its just that sort of frivolity that forms the core Briggs’ analytical acumen:

    “Nobody… denies the earth’s climate has changed, and all scientists agree that mankind affects the climate, the term climate chance denier has to be one of the dumbest, inapt, and foolish slogans of our times.”

    That, as if arguing literalness of words somehow negates the actual meaning (it does not).

    Everybody knows that climate alarmists assert/believe that climate change is occurring, due to human activity, to a dangerous degree and that “deniers” are “deniers” because they refuse to accept that the changes due to human activity are, in the long run, sufficiently contrary to human self-interest to constitute a severe enough problem to act to remedy. The phrase does not mean that deniers deny climate has and is continuing to merely change (and nearly nobody in the literary modern world interprets the jargon as such any more than a “don’t walk” sign only prohibits walking but permits jogging into cross-traffic). (ditto for Briggs remark about a ‘healthy planet’ — that’s about ensuring the planet is healthy for human habitation, not some pagan standard) Such feeble attacks on semantics, unsupported by the reality (yesterday’s blog topic) of the meaning of the jargon, is not only transparently juvenile and petty, it smacks of deceit (lies) to try & twist plain & established meaning into something totally different — there’s a recurring integrity issue here.

    That aside…

    There is so much more substantial rationale to doubt, or argue the refutation of, [so-called] “climate science” and/or argue that “climate science” is really pseudo-science (i.e., not even science). Here’s a couple of such examples from bloggers lacking the academic credentials of our host:



    Why can’t our PhD host rise to the level of analytical prowess of, for example, a cartoonist (2nd link, above)?

    ‘Today’s essay is a rambling nearly incoherent series of responses that [because it twists meaning into nonexistent issues based, again, on trivial semantics] none of which can be considered a rational thought; everyone visiting this blog is now dumber for having read the essay; Briggs, you earn no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.’*

    * Paraphrased, with apologies to the 1995 flick, Billy Madison.

  17. acricketchirps

    Just skimmed it, Lee, but it seems to say private citizens no longer have to supply the EPA with info, not that EPA scientists are thwarted from recording anything.

  18. acricketchirps:

    Literally true, if by private citizens you mean corporations engaged in energy extraction. The information is only supplied because a regulation compels it. When the regulation is removed, there is nothing to record, so I think it’s reasonable to describe the recording of the information as “thwarted”.
    (This is the kind of thing that would normally be, and was, hidden by the corporations unless forced to reveal it.)

  19. Briggs


    I left the comment of this “Jim” fellow intact as an interesting case study. Here is a man, I venture to guess, who himself has no or nearly no training in the fields he is criticizing, dynamical climatology and statistical verification. Yet it suffices him to call Christy, whom I wager he has never met and a gentleman who does have this training, a “flat earther” and “clown” who peddles “pathetic wares”.

    Jim’s need to believe in dangerous global warming is so strong that all he needs to hear is that one expert on “his side” has disagreed with an expert on the other side. He needn’t, and surely doesn’t, comprehend that disagreement; he cannot identify its obvious flaws. But that it exists is all that is required for him to become a self-righteous twit.

    This is the problem. The science of climatology/statistics is so politicized that there will be no convincing true believers like Jim of anything happening right outside their windows.

    This global cooling nonsense will be with us for decades yet.

    I meant global warming.

    I meant climate change.

    I meant sustainability.

  20. Jim:

    That’s an excellent link, as it makes clear the deceptions in John Christy’s recent
    testimony before congress on climate change.

    One (just one) of his errors (or deliberate deceptions) is the misleading use of averages. This, and his failure to plot error bars or anything like it, makes Briggs’ promotion of his faulty graph most curious. Aren’t the abuse of statistical parameters and the lack of indications of uncertainty one of his obsessions? I guess these sins can be overlooked if the result aligns with his agenda.

  21. Briggs


    I see I’ll have to write about all this again (the realclimate piece, I mean). Now just as a for-fun, since it’s nearing the dinner hour, a quick comment. Since you are an honest fellow, explain to Jim the reification of the “trend” (the histogram in the realclimate link), and why such reifications are dangerous.

  22. I don’t accept assignments from crackpots. Especially as they are unlikely to be able to afford my consulting rates.

  23. acricketchirps

    Lee: I think what you’re saying is that instead the rather duplicitous

    Trump admin is outright thwarting science agencies from so much as observing and recording data…,

    Jersey would rather have said truthfully,

    Trump admin is outright thwarting science agencies from so much as forcing others, under threat of punishment, to supply them with data…,

    but for its lack of rhetorical punch.

  24. swordfishtrombone

    @ Lee Phillips:

    “Christy’s graph is similar to one’s he’s been showing since the 1990s. His mistakes were pointed out at the time, and periodically since then (link). Although the graph doesn’t show what Briggs says it shows, (snipped insult)”

    The link you provide doesn’t prove the point you say it does. The footnote links to a series of back-and-forth exchanges between Christy and various critics. It’s not at all clear who has ‘won’ this debate.

    In any case, it’s ridiculous to dispute the graph by saying the satellite data isn’t accurate, when it’s clearly much more accurate than models which cover a huge range without saying which actual temperature in that range is the ‘right’ figure.

  25. swordfishtrombone:

    “The link you provide doesn’t prove the point you say it does.”

    I’m pretty sure it does.

    “it’s ridiculous to dispute the graph by saying the satellite data isn’t accurate”

    This shows that you haven’t really absorbed the information, or understand the “debate”, because this is not the issue at all.

  26. Briggs

    Be careful swordfish, he may call you a ‘crackpot’, from which there is no return.

    It’s science!

  27. “from which there is no return.”

    True, I can’t think of an example of someone who, once descended into full-throated crackpottery, made a recovery. But there should always be hope.

  28. swordfishtrombone

    @ Lee Phillips:

    “This shows that you haven’t really absorbed the information, or understand the “debate”, because this is not the issue at all.”

    In that case, perhaps you would be kind enough to state clearly exactly what you think is wrong with the graph posted above, as you don’t seem to have done so yet.

  29. swordfishtrombone:

    It’s not what I think. It’s what has been demonstrated by others who have already taken the trouble to explain three glaring errors in the construction of the graph and the analysis behind it. The link provided by Jim is probably the most useful starting point. If you can’t understand that, I don’t know what else I can do for you.

  30. Michael Dowd wrote:
    “It must follow that the science of climatology is not a science in that it lacks predictability.”

    Since no one knows the socioeconomic future — all future GHGs emissions, solar variations, volcanic eruptions, etc — one indeed cannot “predict” climate.

    That’s why climate scientists call them “projections.”

  31. DAV

    It’s not what I think

    Of course not. You posted it for no reason.

  32. Michael Dowd

    Briggs has again succinctly summarized the conclusion. Climate change predictions/projections/whatever are not legitimate and are not scientific.

  33. DAV

    One (just one) of [Christy’s] errors (or deliberate deceptions) is the misleading use of averages.

    There are eight horses in the next race. I name all of them as potential winners. One of them does indeed win. I therefore correctly predicted the winner but, on the average, I am wrong.

    There are a large number of climate models. All have the potential to predict future temperatures. One of them comes close to observations but, just like the horse race, on the average they are wrong.

    Seems like a legit use of “average”.

    Claiming all of them as potential outcomes is as useless a claim as claiming all entrants in a horse race as potential winners. At least with the horses, one of them will actually win. With climate models, who can say which will come close?

  34. ‘Seems like a legit use of “average”.’

    It’s not. Why not read the article that Jim provided a link to, if you’re curious about this subject? Having an intro stats textbook by your side might be helpful there, too.

  35. DAV

    It’s not.

    You’ve already told us, via
    It’s not what I think
    , your opinion doesn’t matter so why post one?

  36. DAV:

    You fail to understand. These are not my opinions. You are the one with opinions.

  37. DAV

    These are not my opinions

    No, of course not. You are merely parroting without opinion in re the value of the parroting. Not that, as you admit, your opinion would matter.

  38. Lee Phillips


    I’m sure that sequence of words means something to you. I literally have no idea what you’re trying so say.

  39. swordfishtrombone

    Okay, so you won’t (or can’t) defend your claim about the graph but refer me to a link given by someone else? Oh well. Incidentally, I read through the link you gave originally for a second (and third) time and I stand by my characterisation of it as little more than a ‘back-and-forth’ exchange, which doesn’t support your claim at all.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts:

    1) Different types of numbers.

    AFAIK, the IPCC uses the model mean to get its estimate of climate sensitivity, so I’m not sure how this objection is supposed to make sense. If it’s invalid to use the model mean, it’s also invalid to claim a specific model is the ‘right’ one so you’d have to admit the full range from the lowest to the highest model output, in which case it’s then obvious that the model outputs disagree with each other anyway, so can’t be correct. In any case, the individual model outputs are shown on the graph, so this objection is completely invalid.

    2) Satellites don’t measure surface temperature.

    This objection is essentially invalidated by a correction to the article.

    3) Temperature from satellites are also model results.

    Everything is a model, including surface temperature datasets, so this objection is also invalid unless you want to invalidate all of science. Further invalidates point 1 by admitting models and satellite data are really both statistical models.

    4) How to compare the models with observation.

    Uses a graph of different satellite datasets (which, because of the very strong correlation shown, further invalidates point 3.) compared with the 95 % confidence range of the model outputs (which further invalidates point 1: if it’s invalid to use the model mean, how is it okay to use the 95 % confidence range?). Even with this bogus manipulation of model outputs, the satellite data drops out of the 95 % range. This objection (if it even is one) is invalid.

    5) Hard evidence of misrepresentation.

    Doesn’t provide any hard evidence at all and is just a conclusion. Not even an objection.

    My conclusion:

    The linked article doesn’t in any way invalidate the graph shown in this article.

  40. Ye Olde Statistician

    Thucydides observed a long time ago anent the Pelopponesian war that the common habit of men was to accept without question that which they find agreeable while bringing all the force of logic and reason to bear against that which they find disagreeable. Now he was discussing the debate regarding the proposed Athenian invasion of Sicily, but it applies just as well to this here debate.

    That’s right, deprived of actual comment on what was actually wrong with satellite, balloon, and radiosonde measurements and discontent with the ad homines that diligently applied bad faith rather than good science to scientists who reached heretical conclusions, YOS actually clicked on the link provided to a tendentious website at http://history.aip.org/climate/20ctrend.htm#a_sattemp and read the account! There, he found…

    …even more ad homines and a certain amount of quite enjoyable Irish step dancing, but also a variety of special pleading worth a closer look by Mr. Thucydides. To wit:

    While the skeptics persisted, most scientists believed that although the computer models were surely imperfect, the satellite data analysis was too ambiguous to pose a serious challenge to the consensus that global warming was underway.

    History, they say, is written by the winners. YOS recalls when the pravda ran the other way; but that was then and this is now. Too many reputations and too much funding is on the line. (See Eisenhower’s Farewell Address regarding the perils of the government-science complex for details.) But notice the First Special Pleading: The satellite data are indeed “ambiguous. Why they are ambiguous is not mentioned in this article, but YOS tracked it down later. However, ground-based temperature data are also ambiguous, but this is not mentioned at all. One is irresistibly reminded of what the president of Harvard once told Alan Dershowitz as to why more Jews were not admitted to Harvard back in the day: “Jews cheat.” “But Gentiles also cheat,” Dershowitz pointed out. “Don’t change the subject he was told.”

    This hunch would be confirmed in 2004 when meticulous analysis of both satellite and balloon observations turned up systematic errors. The mid levels had in fact been warming.

    Again, we are left in suspense. We are told, not shown, that “systematic errors” had “turned up.” Were these errors “systematic” in the same way that “adjustments” to data always seem to raise the temperatures of recent years and lower those of the past? That is, did they have a telos?

    It was one of several cases where computer modelers had been unable to tweak their models until they matched data, not because the models were bad but because the observations were wrong.

    According to my cosmologist friend, his professor in modeling at Berkeley had told him that with seven variables you can fit any set of data as long as you can tweak the coefficients, so this may not be as gob-smacking an accomplishment as it may seem. [Aside: the professor later became Unabomber, so you can add that to your Degrees of Separation table.]

    To be precise, the raw data were fine, but numbers are meaningless until they are processed; it was the complex analysis of the data that had gone astray.

    Amazingly enough, this is correct. There is no such thing as a fact, pure and simple. “Fact” comes from factum est, the participle of a verb and means “that which has the property of having been made or accomplished.” It is cognate with “feat,” and the two terms were used interchangeably down to Jane Austen’s time. Like any other produce, a fact is the result of a certain production process and the same measurement produced by a different process will not in general be the same. This does not mean that any old adjustment will do. See Deming’s Statistical Adjustment of Data for details. He gives for example two different ways in which the surveyed angles of a triangular plot of ground that fail to sum to 180 degrees might be adjusted after the fact — and the circumstances that might lead you to choose one over the other.

    He also points out when an average cannot be taken of a series of data.

    In the public sphere, deniers of global warming continued to cite the satellites and other erroneous data; once an idea gets on the internet it can never be removed from circulation.

    It does not occur to the writer that errors identified decades ago may have been corrected in the meantime.

    So we still don’t know what the error was. [Actually, I did, since I had read of it decades ago, but pace] We followed a footnote to here:

    The satellites, balloons, and radiosondes that measured upper atmosphere temperatures had been designed to produce data for daily weather prediction, not gradual long-term climate changes. Over the decades there had been many changes in practices and instrumentation.

    This is the Second Special Pleading because exactly the same thing can be said of the ground stations used to estimate surface temperatures. If such things make the satellite, balloon, and radiosonde measurements pervese, how much more so do they make the ground measurements? NOAA went so far as to say that the US did not have a reliable climate monitoring network! NOAA, USCRN Program Overview, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/crn/programoverview.html
    The new network would make a metrologist’s heart go pitty-pat, right up to when they got temps that were two degrees cooler than the historical network; at which point the calibrated the new grid to the old one….

    The orbits of the satellites, for example, had shifted gradually over time, introducing spurious trends.

    Of course, the problem was that the satellites did not report a trend, so we have to suppose that the spurious trend canceled out the real trend. This precession of the orbit was what I had read about years ago: a known problem regarding all satellite data.

    For example, the observers had not taken proper account of how instruments in the balloons heated up when struck by sunlight.

    The truly odd this is that this phenomenon enabled the balloon data to mimic the pattern of the satellite data caused by the orbital precession. Curious, no? This is not to be confused with the way ground instruments might be heated up by asphalt paving, gravel, air conditioner exhausts and other heat island effects, which we are assured are minor. (That was the Third Special Pleading.)

    In the public sphere, even a decade later Christy and others would continue to rely on the slippery satellite data to deny that the world was warming.

    Of course, Christy denies no such thing. The world has been heating up for the past 400 years, ever since the end of the Maunder Minimum, as the sun advanced into a solar Grand Max. What is at issue is the extent and causes [note plural].

    Critics kept focusing on such minor discrepancies and pointing them out as publicly as possible. Usually this was an exercise in “cherry-picking,” pouncing on the few items among many hundreds that supported a preconceived viewpoint.

    Wait, was the author talking about critics of alarmism or about the alarmists themselves?

    At worst, the models were somehow all getting right results for wrong reasons

    Gosh, so did the Ptolemaic model. We guess that wasn’t so bad, then. It worked from the Third to the Seventeenth Century. That’s a pretty long run for the settled, consensus science, you Euclid-denier, you.

    Side comment:
    There was a criticism that the “Christy Graph” used averages without “error bars.” I almost fell from the stalk. One seldom sees “error bars” on any of these graphs from alarmists or not. Or any explanation of how the error bars are derived beyond the occasional note that they are one standard deviation, which makes this old quality engineer sick with laughter. In common usage, this means roughly one chance in three that the average of the model is beyond the interval. Depending on the sample size, the actual temperature might be well beyond that. But then I wonder, how was a random sample taken of these temperatures? I have read that these are “samples” of models run against one another. I have also read that they are “samples” of multiple runs of the models. IOW, they are not samples in the statistical sense. And most sources of error in modelling don’t have error bars anyway.

  41. swordfishtrombone

    @ Lee Phillips:

    “You haven’t understood the content of (link) and your conclusion is incorrect.”

    Total BS. Your reply really means “I can’t think what to say in response”.

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