Santer – Douglass Smackdown/Matchup

ETA: I’ve revised the headline to reflect that this is still … still … still ongoing as we are waiting for Douglass et all to provide a peer-reviewed reply.


Yet another chapter in the continuing saga “As the Denialists Spin” for your reading enjoyment:

Here’s a copy of the Douglass and Christy et al article A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions.

ABSTRACT: We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere, being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data. Copyright  2007 Royal Meteorological Society

ABSTRACT: A recent report of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) identified a ‘potentially serious inconsistency’ between modelled and observed trends in tropical lapse rates (Karl et al., 2006). Early versions of satellite and radiosonde datasets suggested that the tropical surface had warmed more than the troposphere, while climate models consistently showed tropospheric amplification of surface warming in response to human-caused increases in well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs). We revisit such comparisons here using new observational estimates of surface and tropospheric temperature changes. We find that there is no longer a serious discrepancy between modelled and observed trends in tropical lapse rates.

This emerging reconciliation of models and observations has two primary explanations. First, because of changes in the treatment of buoy and satellite information, new surface temperature datasets yield slightly reduced tropical warming relative to earlier versions. Second, recently developed satellite and radiosonde datasets show larger warming of the tropical lower troposphere. In the case of a new satellite dataset from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), enhanced warming is due to an improved procedure of adjusting for inter-satellite biases. When the RSS-derived tropospheric temperature trend is compared with four different observed estimates of surface temperature change, the surface warming is invariably amplified in the tropical troposphere, consistent with model results. Even if we use data from a second satellite dataset with smaller tropospheric warming than in RSS, observed tropical lapse rate trends are not significantly different from those in all other model simulations.

Our results contradict a recent claim that all simulated temperature trends in the tropical troposphere and in tropical lapse rates are inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on use of older radiosonde and satellite datasets, and on two methodological errors: the neglect of observational trend uncertainties introduced by interannual climate variability, and application of an inappropriate statistical ‘consistency test’. Copyright  2008 Royal Meteorological Society.

Douglass and Christy, “A Climatological Conspiracy?”

The CRU e-mails have revealed how the normal conventions of the peer review process appear to have been compromised by a team* of global warming scientists, with the willing cooperation of the editor of the International Journal of Climatology (IJC), Glenn McGregor. The team spent nearly a year preparing and publishing a paper that attempted to rebut a previously published paper in IJC by Douglass, Christy, Pearson, and Singer (DCPS). The DCPS paper, reviewed and accepted in the traditional manner, had shown that the IPCC models that predicted significant “global warming” in fact largely disagreed with the observational data.

B. D. Santer’s Response to “A Climatological Conspiracy?


A paper by D.H. Douglass, J.R. Christy, B.D. Pearson, and S.F. Singer, published online in the International Journal of Climatology (IJoC) in December 2007, contained a serious error in a statistical test.1 This error led Douglass et al. to make the incorrect claim that modeled and observed tropical temperature trends “disagree to a statistically significant extent”. These incorrect conclusions received considerable publicity. The nature of the statistical error is clearly explained in a paper my colleagues and I published in the online edition of the IJoC in October 2008.2 The statistical flaw is also explained in readily-understandable terms in the attached “fact sheet” (see Appendix A below).

Douglass and Christy have now focused on the selective interpretation of emails stolen from the U.K.‟s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Their suggestively titled article, “A Climatology Conspiracy?”, was recently published online in “American Thinker”.3

In “A Climatology Conspiracy?”, Douglass and Christy make a number of allegations against the primary authors of the 2008 Santer et al. IJoC paper and against the editor of the IJoC. The focus here is on addressing two of the most serious allegations. The first allegation is that there was a conspiracy to deny Douglass et al. the opportunity to respond to the Santer et al.  IJoC paper. The second allegation is that there was collusion between the editor of the IJoC and some of the authors of the Santer et al. IJoC paper. Douglass and Christy suggest that the aim of this collusion was to subvert the normal, rigorous, peer-review process.

With regard to the first allegation, the authors of the 2008 Santer et al. IJoC paper performed a substantial amount of new and original scientific research. It was therefore entirely appropriate for the editor of the IJoC to treat the Santer et al. IJoC paper as an independent scientific contribution, and to publish Santer et al. as a „stand alone‟ paper rather than simply as a comment on the 2007 Douglass et al. IJoC paper.  This editorial decision did not – as Douglass and Christy incorrectly allege – deny Douglass et al. the opportunity to respond to the scientific issues raised by the Santer et al. IJoC paper.

Douglass and Christy have had every opportunity to respond to scientific criticism of their 2007 IJoC paper, both in the pages of the IJoC and elsewhere. For example, they could have contributed a new scientific article to the IJoC, or submitted a comment on the Santer et al. IJoC paper. They have not done so. Nor has the Douglass and Christy “American Thinker” article adequately addressed concerns regarding the use of a seriously flawed statistical test in the Douglass et al. IJoC paper.

Just for the record.

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50 Responses to “Santer – Douglass Smackdown/Matchup”

  1. It is my observation that bias is seen in news reports (and elsewhere), not so much by the spin they put on the story but by the stories they choose to cover.

    For example, you might have chosen to talk about the fact Mike Hulme of CRU is criticizing the IPCC. See

    Or you might have chosen to discuss the report that it looks as though no crime was committed in the release of CRU emails. See

    Or perhaps you might have discussed the fact India is setting up its own science panel to look at the effects of global warming on India and what this may mean for the future of the IPCC. See

    Or you might have discussed the Netherlands recent questioning of the IPCC claim half of the country is below sea level.

    Or you might have discussed the FOX news story calling the Penn State investigation of Mann a total whitewash. See

    Instead, you choose to highlight a two year old paper which we now know, by the release of Climategate emails, was rushed through the peer-reviewed process. The Santer paper is wrong. Drawing attention to it will only cause more embarrassment to the AGW cause.

    • LOL! The Santer paper “was rushed through the peer-reviewed process” and “was wrong” says Ron Cram.

      Let’s first discuss your first claim: as Santer nicely notes, the time to review the Douglass et al paper was only marginally longer than the Santer et al paper. I guess the conclusion of Ron Cram is then that the Douglass paper was ALSO rushed through the peer-reviewed process? (I’m guessing Ron doesn’t think so).

      And as Santer also nicely points out: NO ONE HAS SHOWN THE SANTER ET AL PAPER TO BE WRONG! Rather than discussing why they think the Santer paper is wrong, Douglass and Christy attacked some of the procedure (including false allegations).

      Ron, you are an embarrassment to yourself. Once again: you continuously demand Susann is open minded, but whenever she brings something up that puts ‘your’ side in a rather dim light, you start a hissy fit!

      • Marco,
        My post was hardly a hissy fit. I made a few observations and expressed my point of view.

        The Santer paper was rushed through the process, compared to the Douglass paper. The differences in the way the two papers were treated shows a clear political motivation by the journal.

        The Douglass paper was submitted May 2007 and was printed Dec 2008 (11 months after online posting and 19 months after submission). The Santer paper (and not comment) was submitted May 2008 and printed Nov 15, 2008 (8 months after submission, 36 DAYS after on-line posting and BEFORE the Douglass paper appeared in print).

        Douglass, Christy et al are looking for a peer-reviewed journal in which to publish the mistakes Santer et al made. Climategatekeeping has prevented publication so far but I am hopeful Climategate will open the publication doors more in the future. The American Thinker is not the publication for these types of discussions. To see Santer complaining they have not been answered yet, while trying to hold the door closed to publication, smacks of more of the same.

        • More evidence you didn’t even read what Santer et al said. The Douglass paper was available online for MANY months already. Of course, Singer (one of the co-authors) had already widely advertised as a supposed nail in the coffin of AGW.

          Funny you claim “Douglass, Christy et al are looking for a peer-reviewed journal in which to publish the mistakes Santer et al made. Climategatekeeping has prevented publication so far “.

          First of all, where’s your evidence they are being kept out? Ah, that’s right, the lamenting of people who have been caught cheating is “evidence”. Second, E&E would LOVE to publish it, so they don’t need to do any shopping. Douglass and Christy could easily have noted in the AT piece that they disagreed with Santer’s scientific criticism…but didn’t.

          • Marco,
            AT is not the place for a substantive rebuttal to Santer and you know it. No scientist would be satisfied without publishing a rebuttal in a peer-reviewed science journal. E&E is peer-reviewed but not a science journal. Without question, Douglass et al will be looking for a high impact science journal to do the right thing. Be patient.

            • I’m going to be very patient. I know it will not come. And not because of your paranoia of papers being kept out (how on earth did Douglass ever publish before then? Or Christy?)

    • 1. Oh, how terrible! Mike Hulme criticises the IPCC! Of course, just about everyone involved in the IPCC has already said that this should not happen again. Of course, Ron, ‘surprisingly’, does not mention the comments Mike Hulme makes regarding the overall bulk of scientific evidence

      2. A hypothesis, nothing “looks like no crime was committed”. It’s loads of “if..then”. Most damning for the hypothesis is that someone took the material onward (including hacking realclimate) and clearly *knew* it was not something that should be released in the open. If you, by accident, walk into the wrong house and then decide to take something that you know does not belong to you, guess what a judge will say?

      3. Not a problem. Let India set up a scientific panel. It will only strengthen the science. If only it really *is* a scientific panel. Hilariously, the INCCA was already set up in October 2009. Before climategate. Before the glacier report that Pachauri labeled somewhat unfairly. In other words, it is not a response to anything. It was already set up!

      4. Equally hilariously, that information had come from the Dutch themselves, and was rather poorly formulated. 55% of the Netherlands is sensitive to flooding (29% is below sea level).

      5. Discussing something on Fox? Oh dear, where to start with this one? One big attack of the usual suspects.

      Also note that Steve McIntyre falsely claimed the committee did not dig any deeper than the already public records. Major fail. The report *explicitely* mentions that it asked Mann to provide evidence he did not delete e-mails related to AR4. Mann provided the evidence. Those mails are not part of the public record. McIntyre caught again. But will Ron think any less of McIntyre? (I doubt he will)

      • Marco,
        1. Mike Hulme’s criticism was a little more specific than you lead people to think. He is calling for some specific changes, including a return to citing only peer-reviewed literature, a humbler attitude and possibly a change at the top. His criticism of Pachauri is pointed, but he does not specifically call for him to be fired.

        2. The investigation has found no evidence of a crime. That should tell you all you need to know.

        3. India no longer trusts the IPCC or they would not be spending the money to set up their own panel. How many other countries will follow suit?

        4. The Dutch are also losing faith in the IPCC. It appears the lack of faith in the IPCC is spreading.

        5. Penn State made no effort to talk to both sides. FOX News at least attempted to talk to both sides. Unfortunately, Penn State would not answer any questions. You say Penn State talked to Michael Mann. Big deal. Did they just take Mann’s word? Did they subpoena any email records? Do they even have subpoena power? A thorough investigation needs to happen. People are calling on the state of PA to investigate. I think the state of VA will also need to investigate.

        • 1. Some changes that *many* have already noted (including, gasp!, Gavin Schmidt at Realclimate and many of the commenters there). Nothing new, nothing special. Of course, these people are working on WG1, where you’ll be hardpressed to find any non-peer reviewed science.

          2. That’s not what the article says. It, at best, notes that the police investigation has not yet found the culprit. And as you conveniently ignore, even if it *was* on an open server, it is clear from the subsequent actions that the person who downloaded knew it was illegal.

          3. You conveniently ignore, again, that India had already set up the INCCA *before* there was anything going on.

          4. Dutch politics of late is governed by rapid changing statements: elections are coming up.

          5. Sigh. Do I need to repeat again and again that the Penn State committee asked Mann to provide e-mails, and that he did? I guess when Steve McIntyre says something, you blindly believe him. Very much an open mind you have, Ron…
          Note also that Penn State investigated Mann *without having received a complaint*!

          • Marco,
            1. So are you saying you also think the IPCC should go back to citing only peer-reviewed literature?

            2. Quote – “It is not even clear whether the crime of computer data interception has actually occurred.”

            3. Where is your evidence for that statement?

            4. Oh, so now you are saying the politicians have to become more skeptical because the voters don’t believe in global warming. Is that it?

            5. Sigh. So Mann provided emails that say nothing damaging. Big deal. Penn State did not subpoena emails to or from the others involved. A real investigation needs to happen. Legislators are calling for a real investigation. We shall see if one ever happens.

            • 1. Yes, preferably. I know that’s going to be a problem in particular for WG3, so here this requirement must not be so stringent (did you know WG3 cited the American Enterprise Institute and BP? Oh gasp, no, you only heard Greenpeace was cited)

              2. Which is the opinion of the journalist.

              “The Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA), formed last year (October 2009),”
              “The Union Environment Ministry, in October last year, had set up the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)”
              And LOADS of other media. Note also that the second link indicates the assessment will be provided to the AR5. India undermining the IPCC? Not even close!

              4. No that is not what I am saying, politicians in the Netherlands are not more skeptical, but need to act as if they take immediate action. There’s some trouble with an extreme right wing party preying on anything they can use against the “establishment”, and at present it is working for a considerable minority.

              5. Yes, Mann provided e-mails that were not part of the public record, contrary to McIntyre’s claims.

    • Ron, you are of course correct that what someone choses to discuss reveals their biases. My purpose for this blog is biased by my interests. I’m here is to examine the evidence for and against AGW and I felt that the Santer – Douglass exchange was a good example of the back and forth between supporters and denialists/contrarians/skeptics.

      • Susann,
        The top post belies your stated goal of exploring the “back and forth between supporters and denialists/contrarians/skeptics.” Talk of a “smackdown” shows you have picked a side in the fight as does your use of the term denialists/contrarians/skeptics.

        Christy and Spencer were award winning scientists at NASA before they left for academia. Douglass also is a highly respected researcher. The American Thinker published a good article pointing out the problems with gatekeeping made obvious by Climategate. American Thinker is not the place to publish a substantive rebuttal to the Santer paper and Santer knows it. The hubris he is displaying will be badly shattered if gatekeeping fails and Douglass et al get to publish a substantive rebuttal. I predict it will happen.

        If you really want to learn the truth, make a list of credible skeptical scientists. You might start with this list, although it is not nearly comprehensive and includes a few I do not consider credible.

        • “Smackdown” is a common term to denote a battle between two groups or foes. That is the sense in which I used it.

          As to the denialist/contrarian/skeptic, I often use the reverse — skeptic/contrarian/denialist. It depends on how I feel at the moment. I don’t know what Douglass and Christy are for certain so I use all three. I suspect they are either a contrarian or denialist, since they have been associated with the Heartland Institute’s climate change “conference”, Singer and SEPP, which I see them as tantamount to astroturf.

          • Susann,
            Smackdown is used to denote when one side wins a dramatic victory. It is clear you think Santer won a decisive victory when it is not true.

            Denialist is a term used to degrade one camp as similar to those who deny the holocaust. It is outrageously pejorative and poisons the debate. The proper term for everyone who disagrees with the IPCC is skeptic. They may disagree with different conclusions, but they have the term in common.

            • It seems that he won by default since Douglass et al have not bothered to write a comment or another science paper to respond. I’ll gladly post whatever they do post or write when they do.

            • For what it’s worth, the most appropriate term might be “contrarian”. A contrarian is simply someone whose claims oppose to those established:


              Established here would simply mean “held by some establishment”. In our case the establishment is the IPCC. We should rejoice, as financial contrarians oppose to an establishment that is more theorical, to say the least.

              “Denialism” opposes to “alarmism”. One can’t disapprove one and not the other. The usual tit for tat makes that couple quite popular, a sad reality we should accept.

              “Skepticism” is an already loaded term. It is most of the times badly employed on climate dabates. It’s easier to think that only contrarian is meant here. Not relying on clear adjectives is not that bad, as long as we understand each other.

              And since we’re indulging into nitpicking, let’s state that a smackdown is simply a kind of physical or emotional confrontation:


              The violence of the fight seems more essential than the drama of the win. It’s possible to imagine a smackdown ending in a draw, for instance:

              • Contrarian might be a good fit — contrarians usually have a counter theory to explain the given phenomenon — say, GCRs or 1,500 year cycles. If they are just denying the existing science — the bulk of it — and not bothering to push another explanation, and if they are linked to obvious astroturf organizations or ones that have clear political motivations, I deem them to be denialists.

                My position is of course debatable. I welcome it in fact because I can always be wrong.

              • willard, this only proves my point. Susann thinks Santer ko’d Douglass. Nothing could be further from the truth. Santer’s response was probably drawn up by a PR firm. It is completely meaningless. Wait until Douglass et al get their reply published in the peer-reviewed literature.

                • Ron,

                  We should all wait for the result of that smackdown. The smackdown is unfinished business, and we can still think there was a smackdown: a fierce debate, with more than a few jabs under the scientific belt.

                  Saying that a smackdown implies a clear winner is just mistaken. Saying that Susann is saying that, and interpreting Susann’s brain states the way you do, and saying that this proves your point show great rope-a-dope skills more than anything else.

                  • willard, a smackdown is a crushing blow, a knockout. Your example of two fighters who knocked each other out was a rare example. It doesn’t happen often in the ring and never in science. Give it up.

                    Susann thinks the Santer piece was a knockout of Douglass et al and it is not. It is not even close.

                    • Ron, you don’t understand — I am putting up the blow by blow. Of course, until Douglass et al. posts a peer-reviewed reply, it will appear as if Santer KO’d them. If they get up and take a real jab, I’ll post that too. Patience. 😀

            • Denialist is someone who denies the bulk of evidence for something, whether it be for climate change or the link between cancer and smoking, or the link between CFCs and the ozone hole, or the dangers of lead in the environment or any other well-established science. That’s how I use it.

              But a quick google turns up this definition of Holocaust Denialism, which I think is very interesting:

              Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples.[6] For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic[7] conspiracy theory.[8] The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.[9]

              Here is my revised version:

              Most HolocaustAGW denial claims imply, or openly state, that the HolocaustAGW is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy on the part of climate scientists to advance the interest of Jewsclimate scientists at the expense of other peoplesskeptical scientists. For this reason, HolocaustAGW denial is generally considered to be an antisemiticanti-science conspiracy theory. The methodologies of HolocaustAGW deniers are criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historicalscientific evidence to the contrary.

              Works pretty well.

              Denialism it is.

              • Susann,
                You words show you are not seeking the facts or trying to keep an open mind about scientific debate. If you were, you would not align yourself so clearly with one camp and call names of the other camp.

                If this is really your viewpoint, that skeptics are denialists, then drop the pretense you are seeking the facts about the debate.

                • Ron, you appear to have come to your own conclusion about AGW and spend most of your time defending ABAGW — anything but AGW. I am seeking the facts of the debate but everything you keep throwing my way has a rebuttal or is really weak, so what am I to think? Your skeptics seem more like contrarians and deniers than true skeptics. You seem focused on individuals rather than the science, asking me to read CVs and reminding me of the eminence of those you support. I want peer-reviewed literature and theory premised on scientific evidence. So far, you haven’t provided me that.

                  As to my own position, I have always stated it clearly. I started from the perspective that there was no reason to doubt the dominant scientific paradigm, which was supported by mainstream science bodies. The Climategate emails raised questions in my mind and I wanted to explore their meaning and this gave me the chance to re-examine the evidence on both sides of AGW / Not AGW. Despite the politics and spin raised by the Climategate affair, I have not seen any convincing science that would be strong enough to overturn AGW. Nothing. The only thing deniers and contrarians have on their side is a lot of innuendo about motives and unfounded claims of manipulation deceit and fraud. They have no real science.

                  That’s what I’m looking for — I’m looking for science that explains the warming seen in the 20th century, particularly that of the past half-century that does not rely on CO2 or GHG emissions — or — convincing evidence that the warming seen since the mid-20th century is the result of documented erroneous adjustments or fraudulent manipulation. If you can provide it, I’ll be happy because I really do not want AGW to be true.

              • Susann,

                The epithets “alarmism” and “denialism” refer to rhetorical stances. The first one pinpoints the objective of spreading fear; the second one the overall strategy of spreading doubt.

                That does not prevent the denialist to use fear campains (mainly about wealth loss and statism) and the alarmism to use promote doubt (in risk calculation and in data extrapolation, for instance).

                As long as everybody recognizes that these epithets refer to public relations and not to scientific debate, I guess it’s only fair game.

                Saying that it’s a scientific debate would be a bit insidious, don’t you think? I am not saying that you do, on the contrary: you seem to recognize very well that it’s not a scientific debate. Let’s say I am just sayin’, then.

                • willard, of course the debate is scientific. That is why people are discussing peer-reviewed science papers.

                  Study the skeptical scientists listed here.

                  Read their bios. Learn their contributions to science. Find out about the awards they have won. List out how many of them are Fellows of AGU or a similar association.

                  As long as you attempt to de-humanize or de-scientize these scientists, it is much easier to maintain your bizarre point of view that this is not a science debate.

                  • Ron,

                    Are you seriously considering that we are entertaining only scientific debates? If I follow every link you are merely “passing on”, we are only to find science, is that it? So far, Ron, can you honestly say that you only used arguments and figures of speech that are fair in a rational discussion?

                    • willard, I am not saying the debate here is always about the science. Sometimes we enter into policy or even get off topic. But at the heart, the debate about AGW is a scientific debate. You have to be out of touch with reality not to know that.

            • “skeptic” is not a proper term, as it suggest they actually are real skeptics. Considering their desire to run after everything and anything that contradicts AGW, even when it is hopelessly flawed (e.g. NIPCC referring to Beck’s CO2 reconstruction, which was already debunked decades before he did his analysis), “skeptic” they are not.

        • Christy, Idso, Michaels, Seitz, McKitrick, Soon, Pilmer, Baliunas?


          The way to arrive at the truth will be to review the scientific smackdowns, in my view. Scientific point and counterpoint. Look at the scientific evidence for and against.

          The rest is rhetoric and sound bite and politics.

          • Susann,
            Christy is an award winning researcher and respected professor.

            Baliunas and Soon are respected researchers at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

            Both Idsos are/were attached to Arizona State University and are well-respected.

            Why would you have a poor opinion of these people, as your dismissive hand wave shows you do, if not for the ad hom attacks by the AGW attack machine? Have any of these researchers published any poor research outside the AGW arena?

            How about a few of the researchers you did not mention?

            * George Kukla of Columbia University
            * Jan Veizer of University of Ottawa
            * Henrik Svensmark of Danish National Space Center
            * Hendrik Tennekes of RNMI
            * Reid Bryson (now deceased), the father of modern climatology

            Have you heard terrible things about all of them as well?

    • Susann,

      Maybe we should follow on the Netherlands’ geography. We might learn that geography is not as easy nor as crisp as one might think. We also might learn that the Netherlands’ is a very complicated subject.

      More importantly, we might have to mention Randstad, the region that the IPCC statement might be referring to, that even Roger Pielke Jr, the honest broker himself, fails to mention. One could easily observe that CA did no go very far with that gate. (Too bad no one mentioned “floodgate” for that specific statement.)

      • They probably did not want to take it further, because the 55% actually refers to the Dutch area that is susceptible to floods. “floodgate” would have bitten them right back in the behind!

    • A late reply.

      It turns out, that the false numbers about the flood risks in The Netherlands, the ones the government of the Netherlands complained about, were in fact supplied by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, a government agency.

  2. Susann,
    I have come to the conclusion your attempt to persuade readers you have an open mind on the subject of AGW is a complete sham. Your recent comment replacing holocaust deniers with climate skeptics completely destroyed any credibility on the issue of being open minded.

    It is amazing to me, really, because this discussion comes at a time when people everywhere are more skeptical of IPCC claims and the claims of scientists who have shown themselves to be advocates instead of scientists. All around you are people who are coming to their senses. They are giving skeptics more respect and they are trying to figure out what claims are backed by solid science and what claims are not. Instead of joining this sudden rush to rationality brought about by Climategate and IPCC failures, you degrade yourself and your readers with name calling.

    You should read this opinion piece by Margaret Wente. It is quite sensible even though it comes from a believer in AGW.

    I especially like the final paragraph:

    “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper skepticism,” says John Beddington, the chief scientific adviser to the British government. He is a staunch believer in man-made climate change, but he also points out the complexity of climate science. “Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.” In his view, it’s time to stop circling the wagons and throw open the doors. How much the public will keep caring is another matter.

    • Susann,
      Here’s another interesting piece titled “Climate consensus under strain.”

      Several commenters are advising the doors be thrown open to the skeptics. It is about time.

    • Ron, quit personalizing this. Quit focusing on me. I am not important in all this. What is important is the evidence. I am just another person with a blog. Present evidence, respond to challenges, but leave people out of it. Quit citing authorities who reject AGW and quit personalizing things. I don’t care what an a**hole any scientist is, or how eminent they are in their field. I care about how sound their science is. Show me the science is not sound — but don’t just claim it is unsound — provide evidence. Peer-reviewed is best.

      • Susann,
        That’s not true. You excel at dismissing evidence with a hand wave if it comes from a skeptic because you dismiss the skeptic as a scientist. You dismiss Steve McIntyre despite all of his contributions. You dismiss Christy, the Idsos and the others just above. You don’t even know who you are dismissing. I know these are inconvenient facts for your worldview. That’s why you want to avoid them. It is a very human reaction.

      • BTW Susann, another aspect of this debate you should examine is the rising number of skeptics in certain fields. It used to be that most scientists accepted AGW because they believed the climatologists were unbiased. But certain fields are less likely be persuaded.

        I have asked meteorologists, geologists and physicists this question. “How many of your colleagues are skeptical of the claim AGW will be catastrophic?”

        I averaged the answers. Here are the results of my very unscientific sampling:

        Geologists – 99%
        Meteorologists – 80%
        Physicists – 80%

        My sample size was admittedly low on physicists so I have less confidence there. But I am pretty confident of the first two groups.

        • This is entirely bogus and you know it.

          Your question is loaded. If you want to get a more objective result you should ask:

          “Do you accept that:

          1. The greenhouse effect is real, and that;
          2. Human burning of fossil fuels has resulted in an increase in the concentration of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses (AGHGs) in the atmosphere and that;
          3. These AGHGs have resulted in increase in globally averaged temperatures in the late 20th and early 21st century, and that;
          3. Continued unabated increases in AGHGs could result in significant warming and that;
          4. This warming, if unabated, could result in serious negative impacts on humans and other species?

          You ask this series of questions to the same scientists and then we can talk.

  3. Susann,
    More evidence of IPCC alarmism is found at

    This one leads right back to Pachauri who featured the bogus claim in the Synthesis Report and in many of his speeches.

  4. I am a denialist. I have seen nothing that justifies a religious faith that the earth is warming owing to CO2 levels.

  5. Do you happen to know, where Santer’s appendix A is available online? It would be quite useful to have.

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