3 Things for AGW Deniers to Stop Saying

I suppose it’s good for shipping traffic, but not for much else. Sea ice reflects a lot of solar radiation back out to space. When there’s a lot of it, it’s easier for the Earth to get cooler (the “Snowball Earth” effect); and when there’s less sea ice, it’s easier for the Earth to warm even more.

Anyone should find this graph (credit: Wipneus) a bit sobering. It’s only one of many such climate observations we make around the world. This is not a prediction, an estimate, or a calculation. It’s an observation.

Stop saying the alarmists’ predictions have all failed to come true. Any specific predictions have been fantasies in the minds of those seeking to show climate models are wrong. Climate models don’t make specific predictions; they never have, and they don’t now. Climate models produce probability curves. Many variables go in, many curves come out. If you’ve ever heard someone say “Sea levels will rise 33 feet by the year 2005” or anything like that, its source was not climate modeling. If you truly believe your insight into climate models is greater than the those who create the models, then you need to at least understand the fundamentals of what a climate model is. An AGW who says predictions have been missed has just demonstrated that he doesn’t know the most basic information about climate models.

Stop saying there are two sides to this. Creationists believe there are two sides to the question of what caused species to change over time; science supports only one theory, it does not also support a fundamentally different alternative. Conspiracy theorists believe there are two sides to the question of whether the moon landings were hoaxed; history gives us only one timeline, it does not also support a fundamentally different timeline. Similarly, our climate models produce results in which nearly all scenarios show a probability of warming increasing. They do not also show a second, fundamentally different result.

Stop saying AGW is a money-making scheme for a few corrupt scientists. Refer again to the graph at the top of this page.

I’m not a political type, but I do believe that any thinking person has at least one or two disagreements with the platform of their preferred political party, and I hope most people would agree with that. I encourage everyone to allow the global warming issue to be one where it’s OK to disagree with your party.

About Brian Dunning

Science writer Brian Dunning is the host and producer of Skeptoid.
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84 Responses to 3 Things for AGW Deniers to Stop Saying

  1. William Kincaid, P.E. says:

    Thank you.

    • Jonny says:

      For supposedly smart people yall pretty dumb.

      Sea ice doesnt alter sea levels, its only frozen seawater floating in the seawater.

      Same as a litre jug of water with 2oz removed, frozen and then returned to the jug wouldnt raise the level past the 1 litre liquid level.

      • Noah Dillon says:

        Melting ice doesn’t just happen at the surface of the ocean: it also happens in permafrost, glaciers, on Antarctica, etc. Those large stores of ice will absolutely raise sea levels and change temperatures and currents. They also disrupt habitats and, in the case of permafrost melting, release enormous amounts of additional carbon gasses.

        • Jack Hagerty says:

          This is true, however, when you run the numbers it gets a lot less apocalyptic. Take the total volume of water in the ice currently supported by land. Predict the fraction that will melt over the next 10 years. Multiply by the fraction of that melt that will find its way to the ocean. Divide by the surface area of all the Earth’s interconnected oceans. That will be the amount of sea rise due to melting ice in the next decade.

          • John Sawyer says:

            Don’t you think that climatologists already run those kinds of numbers (and more) when they try to calculate potential ocean level rise? They do, and they usually come up with significant ocean level rise as a result of ice melt.

          • Jack Hagerty says:

            Then why aren’t their predictions of sea level rise borne out? (serious question).

      • Peter Strange says:

        I`m Australian – what does “yall” mean ?
        (Sorry for my ignorance and I don`t mean to be doltish)

        • Shane Harvey says:

          It’s short for “You are all or you’re all or are you all”, It depends on context, I’m Australian to but I watch a lot of American TV.

          • Pete says:

            Thanks – for some dumb reason I thought it was Hebrew.
            I didn`t get a chance to google it.
            Strange word though.
            I don`t watch TV (I have one that never gets used from week to the next)
            Thanks again,

          • Steven Thornton says:

            Ya’ll is a Southern United States colloquial contraction of the two words “you” and “all.”

            So when someone says, “Let’s go ya’ll,” there are actually two Southern colloquial contractions in the sentence. Properly stated it should read: “Let us go you all.”

          • Noah Dillon says:

            It’s “y’all.”

        • skypilot says:

          y’all= you
          All y’all = you and everyone else.

          They are Southern terms, more Texan than other states

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks. That is a clear graph. I especially like that it compares the entire year for each year.

    It is a bit odd that 2016 is so markedly different than the rest when this is a gradual process. We had climate change way back in 2015 and yet there was more sea ice then. Does this mean we hit some kind of positive feedback point? Did we have 3 months of bad data? That is a dramatic and sudden effect.

    • Kim Weaver says:

      This is horrifying. That is a complete decoupling. How to tell what the next departure will be? Is there a new equilibrium point anywhere in out near future?

  3. Richard Fecteau says:

    Of course, that chart covers so little time that it is fairly meaningless.

  4. sszorin says:

    So what if the planetary ice melts ?… why make a big fuss about it ?

    • Graeme Nitz says:

      Nothing much just a large percentage of the world will go underwater! Including most of the worlds major cities!

      • sszorin says:

        And what is wrong with that ? The life is too good for the degenerates of our era, especially those in the major urban centres. A bit of hardship and misery might knock some good sense into their heads.

        • Robert says:

          murdering people by neglect because you disagree with their lifestyle is evil.
          i can only assume you’re making a joke in bad taste. in which case i concur, it would clean up the streets of new york finally.

          • sszorin says:

            I was being most serious. Why are you concerned with “murdering people by neglect” ? Which cosmic law or law of nature says that people have sacrosanct right to life ? Please submit the proof of such a law. Also, what gave you an idea that not caring if people die in a calamity equals “murder” ? If not caring is murder then what is DELIBERATELY killing pre-born children in abortuaries ? The law says that it is not murder, and even encourages these acts of aborting lives. So what if the seas rise and people die ??

          • Shane Harvey says:

            I Agree with Robert, “murdering people by neglect because you disagree with their lifestyle is evil.” But we do just that every day, and not just by neglect. In the middle east American/Chinese/Russian/German..etc made weapons are killing people innocent or not and are being use by allies and enemies alike. There are countries at war and as of a result of climate change are dying of disease and starvation because they don’t share the same religion or political ideology we do. If murdering people by neglect because we disagree with their lifestyle is evil then most of the human race is evil beyond description. We only complain when it happens to us. Evil, like truth and justice is a very subjective word meaning different things to different people.

        • Holly Wood says:

          A couple of questions if discourse is of interest to you:

          A catastrophic rise in sea levels would affect everyone, not just those who you consider degenerates, including you and your loved ones. Does knowing that change your thinking?

          What is the nature of the good sense you think will be knocked into someone’s head by the hardship and misery of a massive natural disaster?

          Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply

        • Peter Strange says:

          Another person obsessed with abortion….
          What a strange time we live in when people kill Drs to save foetuses and then when no one wants the foetuses and they turn out bad and go awry they take great delight in giving them the death penalty.
          Sadly sszorin as soon as you mentioned abortion you lost me and I found your retort absolute rubbish.
          Save everyone a lot of time and stick to saving babies that you won`t ever have to worry about looking after.

      • skypilot says:

        Graeme: Puleeze, think about what you wrote. “A large percentage of the world will ‘go underwater.’ A rather strange assumption. What does that mean? You ignore the percentage that goes under water every twelve hours with the tides. You assume that humans are so maladaptive that they can’t move to higher ground or build sea walls etc (Not that I support living below sea level like New Orleans). Too many cities are already below sea level, supported by the taxpayers for their stupidity when free markets should dictate otherwise – again – take New Orleans for example.

        • Noah Dillon says:

          In many ways, free markets do decide where cities are: they’re often concentrated most at ports and harbors. Enormous wealth is found in these places around the world, and has been for almost forever. Think about it: Venice, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, etc. Yes, the tides come in and out, but what’s threatening now is much more than that twice-daily occurrence. And while people can adapt, it will be enormously disruptive and has the potential to wipe out really enormous amounts of wealth. Imagine if the world’s great seaside capitals had to relocate, even over the course of a century. It would be extremely chaotic. Instead we could try to avert such an outcome and create new wealth in the process. The choice seems rational.

          • skypilot says:

            Noah said: “Imagine if the world’s great seaside capitals had to relocate, even over the course of a century. It would be extremely chaotic. Instead we could try to avert such an outcome and create new wealth in the process. The choice seems rational.”

            Then focus on that and stop casting at windmills. NYC already has seawalls and they plan flood gates, so they are ahead of the game. I have to point out that despite the disinformation of some, NYC land is sinking as the Great Lakes rebounds from the great ice sheets. It has been known for over 100 years. Before precision GPS and surveys, the guy standing at the tide gauge didn’t know if the gauge was lower or the water was higher. Now we do and it’s the gauge that’s moving.

            Good luck with averting natural forces. IPCC and others calculate that stopping worldwide CO2 production today would have negligible effect over the next 100 years. The uselessness of the issue makes political solutions untenable.

            In the electric power business there is a term called power factor – PF – that environmentalist pretend does not exist, but to a grid manager it is the difference between a stable power grid and blackouts. PF is the ratio of actual 24 hr output of a source divided by it’s calculated capacity. A 1000MW coal or nuk plant usually has a PF in the 95% range. The 5% goes to maintenance. Solar and wind of the same calculated capacity might have a PF in the teens because nature and not the grid manager throttles output, and it reliably goes to zero after dark. So you need 5x as many green sources to meet the daytime PF of one legacy source. We are talking millions of acres of land for projects that produce zero output at night or calm wind. And when that’s done you still need legacy spinning reserve for night and winds that are either side of optimum. If the coal plant is staffed and fired, why not use it?

            You ignore relative risk: Is the risk of economic problems created by carbon taxes, fuel taxes, social engineering more or less than without? What is the risk of replacing a 1000MW coal plant that has a PF 95 with a solar project with a PF of 16? The germans have had to buy power from the French nuclear plants at non-happy hour prices to run factories on cloudy days, and the average german electric bill has gone up 5x in 8 years. German steel and automakers have had a taste of this and moved out of Germany. Unemployed labor lost their houses to the power company. Talk about chaos! http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/08/31/germany-insane-or-just-plain-stupid/#50dd5e102fe0

            I recommend the book ‘green illusions’ by Ozzie Zehner. https://smile.amazon.com/Green-Illusions-Secrets-Environmentalism-Sustainable/dp/0803237758/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480291908&sr=8-1&keywords=green+illusions

            He does a far better job than I at analyzing the pros and cons of various energy sources. For example: a 1000 megawatt coal plant occupies about 500 acs and costs around 2 billion. The same capacity for a solar or wind farm with no battery backup nears a quarter million acres and costs 3-4 times as much, with an annual 10% failure rate due to flaws in materials, wind, kids with rocks, hail and weather. That billion per year in repairs buys a lot of coal or uranium.

            Windmill blades and transmissions are heated for antice and flex, so when they are not producing, they are consuming.

            Power companies put power generation near the load to reduce transmission losses, which makes PV farms in remote desert areas a non-starter. Offshore wind has similar problems.

            In retrospect, the USA has gone down other rabbit holes with ethanol. If you can balance an energy equation you’ll see that gasohol uses tractors to convert diesel to alcohol to fuel subsidies. Remember the hydrogen economy? Someone balanced the equation and it was stillborn, but not before the USG spent about 5 billion studying it, subsidized car makers to do it, and Arnie spend more than 5B in california doing the same thing. Then Pfff! It was gone.

            Electric cars use coal to charge the battery. It took my neighbor 24 hrs to charge a Chevy Volt on a 125v charger. After a $5k house rewire (buried service) and $6k charger he can drive it every day – about 60 miles – and use the headights or the heater, but not both.

            Asking government to fix things that you see as risk is going to have unintended consequences. Please don’t.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            You know, a lot of this stuff sounds solvable with some engineering, and I don’t know why anyone would spurn government aid and regulation to juice that process. Yeah, even if we stopped producing carbon today the globe would continue warming for 75 to 100 years. OK. So why not stop there? Or go carbon negative? Electric cars are powered by coal? Then help the move to solar, wind, nuclear. Sorry to hear that your neighbor is unhappy with his hybrid. I don’t know what to tell you about that story. No one else I know has had a similar experience, but no one I know bought a Chevy or is your neighbor. It doesn’t really say much about how to deal with climate change.

            Do your cost calculations for coal power plants factor in healthcare costs for miners, the radioactive waste produced by burning lignite, climate change-related damage to property, fires, health hazards for people who live around coal-fired plants and so on? It seems to me that this crying over cost is absurd, considering how extremely wealthy the planet has become in the past 100 years.

            Build seawalls? Sure. (NYC doesn’t currently have any, I’m pretty sure, as a resident, though I think they’re coming.) But those merely minimize the negative impacts from global warming on one city. It’s like saying all we should be doing to stop deaths from drunk driving is to make sure everyone driving a Lexus has an airbag. In any case, the counter reasons you bring up (your neighbor doesn’t like his car?) seem far less threatening than another Hurricane Sandy, worldwide droughts, the Marshall Islands disappearing, negative feedback loops from melting permafrost and Greenland, etc. etc.

          • skypilot says:

            Noah: For some reason I can’t reply in turn, so this is out of sequence.
            In response to your comment about lignite nuclear waste: It is true, but exposure to those living in the stack shadow is equivalent to an additional five minutes in the sun each day and no difference to the rest of us. Your relative risk analysis needs work. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

            Your claim of disappearing Marshall islands is a red herring drug thru the streets by alarmists. The average elevation is 3 ft and the mean is 7 ft, so a gentle breeze pushes seawater inland. It always has, and now it is worse because the winds have shifted so waves erode new ground, not because they are higher or deeper. Obama encouraged Foreign minister DeBrum to turn this into an opportunity to promote AGW fears, and it pays well. The Compact of Free Association with the United States gives the U.S. sole responsibility for international defense of the Marshall Islands, and natives are treated as US citizens in many respects, especially when used as shills for political causes. It allows islanders to live and work in the United States and establishes economic and technical aid programs. It appears that AGW is right up their alley and natives are leaving in droves not because the place is disappearing but because it is a disease ridden shit-hole with little opportunity, but there is a better opportunity in America with no travel or immigration restrictions.

            Little real data is available on the Marshalls, but a lot is available about nearby Kwajalein and Bikini Atolls, because they are uninhabited nuclear test sites. Those islands have experienced no change in sea level. Please explain why Majuro – the island where the politicians live – is the only one experiencing rising sea level.

            You said: “You know, a lot of this stuff sounds solvable with some engineering, and I don’t know why anyone would spurn government aid and regulation to juice that process.”

            I agree, engineering can solve problems. Taking money from taxpayers to do what free enterprise won’t do is the problem. Venture capitalists were all about going green in 2008. Today exactly zero are funding wind and solar because without subsidies and tax abatement they are money pits, and both can disappear with the stroke of a pen. Solyndra and Winergy did exactly as you suggest, went tits up to the tune of almost $900M and nobody cared. It was just tax money, or worse yet, ‘stimulus’ money, dollars created out of thin air – like counterfeiting. That’s hidden inflation – whatta deal for the low wage earners.

          • Noah Dillon says:

            I’ll just leave you with these two recent articles, which make a great case that catastrophic submerge-the-house flooding isn’t necessary for severe economic disruption, and has already begun. They describe it as a housing bust that there will be no recovery from, since the threat of regular flooding will destroy the market for seaside property and drive insurance rates through the roof:


            Your analysis of the investment power of the federal government ignores a ton of success stories, as I’m sure you’re well aware but choose to minimize. And the claim about investment leaves out further context, such as how much money the Chinese have dumped into beating us in markets such as solar panel production, which seems to be pretty effective government spending it seems. The price for solar panels has plummeted and there are now more people working in solar than coal. And so, too, with the “dollars created out of thin air” claim. Alright. I’m done. This is silly and cynical.

            Also: please bear in mind that this blog and its comments threads are intended for educational use, too, so it would be greatly appreciated if you cut out the profanities and not refer to the Marshall Islands as a “disease-ridden sh*thole” (which is actually how you’d write that). Thanks!

          • skypilot says:

            Noah: Thanks for the NYT articles. The way they are written employs the usual sleight of hand, which I’ll get to shortly.

            AGW and GW are two distinct animals with the same outcome: A change in weather. Special humans think they can control the weather by controlling AGW, ie, man’s hand is on the throttle. But nature throttles the rest and IPCC report 5 specifically states that we may not be able to detect the AGW signal among the natural noise, implying that policy makers heed to stop with the stupid and do reasonable things, as the NYT articles describe. Nature will do what it does, your little F350 be damned (or is that dam*ed for the sensitive snowflakes out there?)

            From one of the NYT articles is this gem:
            “For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline.’

            GW is not caused by human emissions, AGW is. The distinction is important because we can’t ignore orbital mechanics, solar variance, earth heat, solar wind and cosmic rays. But the author just did. I hate the deception and you should too. If the IPCC can’t detect the AGW signal, then all that’s left is to lie by exception.

            True, the author later quotes scientists who point out that the earth has been here before, sea levels rose and the dinos were not running coal plants. And the city manager in Miami concludes that ‘in the end, nature wins.’ That reminds me of a briefing I got from a wildland fire incident commander: The only thing that will stop fires is nature: When it snows the fires will go out.

            The feds encourage foolish behavior with taxpayer subsidized flood insurance that separated rate from risk. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJKv2iyBCIc

            Building military bases in tidal flats and marshland is the same: Eventually, nature wins (And they built there because nobody else wanted to. Only the government thinks they can fight nature and win. There was a time when the USG couldn’t give coastal Marshland away: Then we invented DDT, sump pumps and air conditioning.)

            Noah said: “I’ll just leave you with these two recent articles, which make a great case that catastrophic submerge-the-house flooding isn’t necessary for severe economic disruption, and has already begun. They describe it as a housing bust that there will be no recovery from, since the threat of regular flooding will destroy the market for seaside property and drive insurance rates through the roof.”

            Shucks, that’s too bad. I wonder if the author spoke with an economist about the devastation a housing bust spread over 100 years. I think that townships inspectors will work slowly, condemning those homes least habitable and work from there as waters rise.


            The feds passed the national land management policy act in 1976. States have all adopted versions of NLMPA for wetland preservation, land and water protection. It essentially says thou shalt not permit construction in 100 year floodplains and floodways. Some states apparently ignore it, or as one person did in the article, raised the lot so his house would be above the flood plain.

            After the storm surge from hurricane Andrew in FL the state confiscated land along the coast near McDill AFB and planted a greenbelt of trees to break the wind and tidal surges. They permitted settlements inland out of the flood plain. I know this story well because USAA insured the military who built dream homes on the beach and ate the losses when the state declared eminent domain. But insurance rated eventually dropped because the new homes were built better, higher and away from storm surges so the long term risk to USAA was lower. Funny how that works.

        • Graeme Nitz says:

          OK I should have said a large percentage of now dry land will go under water. For instance most of Florida! Now fair enough Florida is already pretty wet and I don’t particularly care for Miami but that is just a “ferinstance”. You are not differentiating between tides and sea level just like most people don’t differentiate between weather and climate.

          You may dislike some of the big cities on the coasts but they are the lifeblood of the world. The economy is going to be stressed to the breaking point but the “I am alright Jack” attitude won’t help when this happens.

          I happen to live in Oklahoma so rising sea levels won’t effect me directly but it is the indirect problems which will effect me and dispite your ideas you too!

          And yes I did think about what I wrote. I always think about what I write!

          • skypilot says:

            No Grame, a rather tiny part of dry land will be under water. It will be the expensive, hard to insure waterfront property to be sure, but not a big %. Here are maps that claim to depict 60M and 100M raise in seawater. http://projectavalon.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2601

            I don’t know where all that water comes from. Floating sea ice adds nothing. Glaciers add some and ice caps like Antarctica and Greenland would add some – but others who claim to know such things say the meltwater would not run off because the weight of the ice sheets has turned the islands into basins that will retain the water, and it will take 300 years to melt all of it. But hey, I’m not going to quibble over tiny errors of 10x-20x. It’s all guesswork.

      • Eduardo Ferreyra says:

        Most world major cities underwater? Wow, and triple wow! Can you give a scientific fact (not computer model projections or Greenpeace’s prophecies) about a highly improbable event… in the light that sea level rise rate has been decreasing in the last years and the increasing cooling of ocean waters.

    • Sherwood Botsford says:

      Well, ALL the glacial ice melting is going to result in substantial depressions in the price of real estate in coastal cities — where well over half the world’s population live.

      Much of the real damage from climate change will be due to rainfall pattern changes. One report I read done by analysis of weather records suggests that each degree warmer makes a 6% cut in Kansas wheat crops.

      This may be balanced by larger harvests in northern zones, but there is a lot less land as you go further north. (And present boreal forest will not make good farm land. Soil is wrong.

  5. JIMJFOX says:

    Most effective way to combat Climate Change is for about 5 billion people to die very soon. Maybe more…
    And most livestock, too. They won’t be needed by the survivors!

  6. Bart says:

    Not sure where you get your information but NASA and NOAA scientists absolutely have made numerous failed predictions.

  7. Bart says:

    Quote: “…Stop saying AGW is a money-making scheme for a few corrupt scientists. Refer again to the graph at the top of this page.”

    The graph is about sea ice area. How does that debunk the claim that AGW is a “money-making scheme for a few corrupt scientists”? Are climate scientists somehow immune to greed? Billions have been spent on policies related to climate change research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.

  8. skypilot says:

    The beauty of predictions is that they are testable. James Hanson ‘discovered’ AGW a while back and has indeed made predictions based on his computer models, and they have been grossly wrong. Others picked up the fight and created the IPCC who’s job it is to promote the theory and findings. It’s no surprise that given their mission they have succeeded.

    Michael Mann’s treatment of ‘observations’ came under fire and it’s hard to tell if he’s right or wrong. But IPCC AR3 headlined his hockeystick graph based on observations. Climategate intervened and the graph is nowhere to be found in IPCC AR5. I see that as an indictment of how the observations were presented. We also know that readings from many land stations and more than a few buoys are suspiciously corrected using algorithms declared proprietary and ‘secret.’ Yeah – that’s good science.

    Here’s a discussion on Hanson’s predictions and work. I’d be curious to hear an analysis done by true AGW believers. http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/14/global-warming-prediction-30-years-later

  9. skypilot says:

    Brian said: “Anyone should find this graph (credit: Wipneus) a bit sobering”.

    Brian: The red plot is so far from the range that it should prompt skepticism, not acceptance. I’m a pilot and recently flew the North Atlantic route. I did not see an unusual lack of sea ice, icepack or icebergs, so I have to challenge the graph based on plain-old seat-of-the-pants mark-one eyeball analysis.

    When an airplane gauge goes nuts like this graph, the first inclination is to verify the gauge and look for confirming data. If all else is normal, write ‘Failed’ on a Postit note and place it over the gauge. Press on and keep looking for confirming data.

    Since the graph lacks a credible source and methodology, how do we know that ‘wipneus’ isn’t a made-up source and this is Brian’s way of testing readers for basic skepticism?

    • Shane Harvey says:

      “plain-old seat-of-the-pants mark-one eyeball analysis” Name that logical fallacy?
      Here’s what you need to know. This is a weather event, not a climate event. In fact, it’s two weather events. It’s happening at both poles. It’s a freak weather event. This sort of thing is happening more often around the world and will continue to happen with greater frequency as the globe continues to warm. I would whole heartedly agree with you if Wipneus (means upturned nose in Danish) was the only source.


      As a consequence http://phys.org/news/2016-08-giant-cruise-ship-arctic-journey.html
      Could one day be a regular event.

      Wipneus is a regular contributor to the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, I don’t know anything else about him but he produces a lot of these graphs from available data sources.

      • skypilot says:

        Shane – Yes, please name the logical fallacy associated with observation. Here’s your sign: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/system/App/Settings/size24x36posters/000/000/001/original/FallaciesPoster24x36.pdf

        If wipneus is a blog and nobody tells us what the blogger’s street cred is, isn’t that the logical fallacy of appealing to a higher authority that lacks credibility and authority?

        WRT the cruise ship, It’s been done in the Antarctic, and failed. http://abcnews.go.com/International/52-passengers-rescued-stranded-antarctic-ship/story?id=21395171

        Arctic explorers have had spotty success, but the passage has been open on and off since the 1910, so you’re right, this is just weather. A little cyclonic activity to bring down frigid upper air will change conditions in days,

        The logistics of taking old, fat environmentalists with lots of money far from emergency rooms and doctors sounds fun. Even funner is how to rescue them if the need arises. A case of cholera would create havoc. The contingency planning has to be rather detailed for the Canadians to sign off on it. These ‘explorers’ are not Shackleton’s young and buff crew that eat strips of whale and seal blubber for breakfast and tow supplies over pressure ridges and open water 50 miles a day. Old fat environmentalists are hard to rescue without casualties. Then there is the large inconvenience. I flew search and Rescue out of Keflavik – happy to help those who need it, not so happy to risk lives to save stupid people.

        Then there are bears. Big, fast and mean. Stupid people looooove to see how close they can get, forgetting that the bear has a 3x speed advantage and has been doing this a while.

        But hey, if the shipping company can extract the $100,000 fare per person without squawking, has the equipment to do their own rescue and the Canuks are Ok with it, go for it.

        • Shane Harvey says:

          wipneus isn’t an authority and I never said he was, climate science is reliant on multiple independent sources of data pointing in the same direction. The informal logical fallacy you used is the appeal to personal experience (anecdotal). I have that sign on my desktop. Never met a fat environmentalist though, they’re usually hairy, unemployed and broke. The only rich environmentalist I’ve met is Dick Smith though I’m not sure he counts, he’s gone a bit potty of late. My Aunt cleaned luxury yachts before she retired and as far as I know there were no multimillionaire environmentalists. Only property developers, media celebrities, shipping execs and casino operators among her clients.

          • Bart says:

            Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann isn’t doing too bad though:

            “…half million dollar grant from the economic stimulus package to Penn State Professor Michael Mann, a key figure in the Climategate controversy.”


          • Shane Harvey says:

            Wow, he can afford a whole quarter of a house on the gold coast. Unfortunately it doesn’t go to him personally, only his department. I suspect Al Gore would qualify as a millionaire environmentalist, though he was already rich and didn’t get rich from being a scientist/environmentalist. He did it like the rest of them by cheating on his tax returns and stealing from the middle class and poor. My Sister gets that much in her annual budget to employ a couple of dozen phone jockeys, she works for a telecommunications business. And she couldn’t give a flying fist full of cash about the environment. At least not while she’s at work. There isn’t much money in science these days, we’re losing our best minds to the finance/technology industry because that’s where the money is. The idea that there is real money to be made in environmentalism is just hilarious. Not in a trump lead world it’s not. If it contradicts or doesn’t feed the neo-con narrative it wont get funded.

  10. SwampWitch7 says:

    Ahem. All interested in global climate changes should begin by checking out the pattern of climate changes recorded in the Arctic ice packs. It is very clear that the global climate changes over time. It is also clear that, based on the patterns of the past, the globe is over-due for an ice age.

    About 40,000 years ago there was a biggie that allowed human and animal populations to walk from the Old World to the New World. About 10,000 years ago there was another one. In a past recorded in the stones in Wyoming and Montana the ocean covered most of the central time zone of the US.

    For all those paying attention, the climate on this planet has changed repeatedly without human input in the past, and that tidy graph doesn’t tell me one damn thing about how human input is affecting the climate now.

    By all means, go ahead and argue about global warming or global cooling. In about 5,000 years one camp or another will be able to sneer at the other camp and say “I Told You So.”

    • skypilot says:

      But but but Swampy, you forget that James Hansen and Michael Mann PREDICT the opposite and Miami basements have flooded during buffoons – if they are dumb enough to build basements. The great climate scientist Algore made a movie and got some sort of prize for it, and the other great climate scientist Leonardo DiCaprio agrees, since he died at the hands of a Hollywood iceberg swinging a huge hockey stick.

      Your faith in history has to be wrong. How can we address it and the opinion of experts without cognitive dissonance? We can’t, so you just stop it with that historical data stuff and put your faith in the modern gawds of AGW. These men are the oracles of doom. The beauty of predicting the future is that it’s testable, and so far Hansen and Mann’s predictions have been off by an order of magnitude. https://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2015/06/climate-wars-done-science/

      I’m amazed that Brian Dunning buys into it, but you know – probabilities are not specific. Odd that Mann, Hansen, Algore and Hollywood pretty boys don’t know that.

    • JIMJFOX says:

      “For all those paying attention”

      Now, pay attention, Swampy- 5k, 10k, 40k years is totally irrelevant. Humanity won’t last anywhere near that long; one century max is my guess. SO- what’s your ‘point’ ??

  11. There are two senses in which predictions from the alarmist side have been wrong. The first is that various individuals arguing that side in public, such as Australia’s official chief scientists, have made very strong claims that were not born out. That does not show that the position is false, but it is a reason not to take such claims seriously.

    The other and more important sense is that the IPCC in its reports has consistently projected future temperature higher than it turned out to be. In the case of the first report, warming since then has been below the bottom of the “business as usual” projection. The later reports did not do as badly, but actual warming has been consistently near the bottom of the projected range. Doing that repeatedly is unlikely if the predictions correctly describe the probability distribution for future warming. The predictions have consistently performed worse than a straight line extrapolation of warming from 1911, when the current warming started, to the date of the first IPCC report.

    For details see:


  12. Whether there are two sides to the argument depends on what you think the argument is over. The evidence that gradual warming has been happening for the past century or so is good. The evidence that it is in part due to humans is convincing. But to get from that to policy recommendations, such as a carbon tax, you need both projections of future warming and predictions of the effects of it on humans. On both of those issues there are not merely two but multiple sides. Some of them make defensible arguments implying that AGW is happening but is not a problem.

    Two points are usually ignored in the alarmist argument. One is that warming has both positive and negative effects, both are large and uncertain, hence it is not clear whether the sum is positive or negative. The other is that humans currently live over a range of climates much larger than the projected shift. We know people can prosper in a climate four or five degrees C warmer than the current climate of Minnesota, because people in Iowa currently do. Similarly for all but the hottest parts of the world.

    One striking thing about the alarmist position is how conservative it is. The assumption is that change is bad.

  13. Jack Hagerty says:

    “Climate models don’t make specific predictions; they never have, and they don’t now.”

    Then they’re completely worthless. Science is predictive. It uses models to describe systems and outcomes, but the models need to be validated. Not one climate model, to my knowledge, has been validated, and by that I mean made a testable prediction that can be falsified by a test protocol.

    I’ve used the scientific method for 35 years in my career and what I see of “climate science” isn’t science. It’s gigantic amounts of statistics that are mined mostly to suit political agendas.

    Please tell me of what use a model is that can’t make a specific prediction.

    • mudguts says:

      Maybe you should have got a job with them.

      Lots of people have made your claim in Skeptoid comments (look at the Fukushima commentary). After an absolute waste of cross commentary, they only had experience in something else.

      • Jack Hagerty says:

        I have, as I said, 35 years experience using the scientific method in my job. The last 15 have been in the medical device industry where we make life-sustaining implantable medical devices. If we don’t do that right (by applying the scientific method) then people die. Not in some vague statistical manner some decades hence, but right now, within seconds. I know what I’m talking about.

        Here’s the short version. The scientific method starts with a falsifiable hypothesis. In the case of AGW it is “Human-generated CO2 in, temperature up.” So now we have to test that. I would suggest a test protocol based on “When human-generated CO2 reaches X million tons per year then the temperature will rise Y degrees over the next Z years.” Take your climate model and fill in X, Y and Z. Then specify exactly how the temperature rise is to be measured. Next, and this is crucial, we execute the protocol and collect the data. However, YOU DO NOT GET TO COLLECT OR ANALYZE THE DATA. That’s the only way to guard against confirmation bias. You have specified in your protocol how it is to be done. You don’t get to “adjust the results” if they don’t come out the way you expected.

        Science doesn’t care how many experts you have lined up. Before Maxwell formulated electromagnetic theory, I’m you could find at least 97% of physicists believed in the aether, since there was no other conceivable way for light to travel through the vacuum of space.

        This is why the scientific method was developed in the first place. It is the only way to find the real truth of something, not the truth that you want to prove at the outset. The whole point is to separate opinion, supposition and bias from what’s really going on.

  14. mudguts says:

    Brian.. congrats on the superb smoking gun episode this week..

    I got it sent to me by an old colleague.

    You reflected what we have been saying all along.. “look into it”..

    Class worthy for high school..

    What more praise can you get for that article?

    • skypilot says:

      Mud: are you referring to this? https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4549

      What do you mean by ‘class worthy for high school”?

      I have a basic science question: Does spectroscopy indicate heat content?

      I was under the impression that GHGs don’t store heat, they absorb and re-radiate at a different frequency omnidirectionally, which makes the ‘blanket’ description somewhat inaccurate: Isn’t it more apt to call it a reflective screen, allowing convection but reflecting a little bit back toward the surface?

      Greenhouse is a misnomer because a greenhouse prevents convection.

      The reference to the rising tropopause seemed unclear: It is a function of adiabetic lapse rate, which is a fairly constant 2C drop in temp per 1000 ft altitude gain due to drop in pressure until we get to a reversal in temp. That point is the tropopause, and by definition the air above the tropopause begins to warm and is called the stratosphere. The height MSL varies by lattitude: Higher at the equator and lowest at the poles. It isalso seasonal. I’m confused by how it can be rising due to AGW.

  15. skypilot says:

    The name of the graph with the little red line is titled: “Global sea ice area”. That means it fuses the ice shelves of antarctica with the sea ice of the arctic and the thousands of square miles of frass, ice slush and bergs afloat. When they melt, they will have exactly zero effect on sea level. The chart does not indicate depth and mass, only area, so one might assume too much and that prior years include millions of miles of frass. Or not. The more I study other NOAA and Nasa charts and graphs, the less meaningful the global sea ice area graph becomes. Merging Arctic sea ice going into winter and antarctic sea ice coming out of winter seems fraught with potential error due to cloud cover, ocean currents, cosmic rays, sloshing of el nino/la nina and sensors to report all that. Nasa has data going back to 1910, and the 1910 to 2016 trend line is flat while the 1978-2016 trend is down. Odd, that.

  16. Rob says:

    1. Wipneus? serious?
    2. Our country used to be covered by laciers in the past. Since then the glaciers retracted to the north. Why should they stop? because we want to ?

  17. Bobloblaw says:

    Watching sea level rise is like watching paint dry. You alarmists are really on to something…..

  18. Peter Strange says:

    I actually enjoyed the story and thanks for the insight and some information and stats that have convinced me as I was fence sitting on it and couldn`t make my mind up.
    Sad how the religious right can`t accept it. They best prepare themselves for the apocalypse or at least give it a head start by doing us all a favour and making themselves disappear before it comes…..

  19. Eduardo Ferreyra says:

    Mr Dunning you wrote: “If you truly believe your insight into climate models is greater than the those who create the models, then you need to at least understand the fundamentals of what a climate model is. An AGW who says predictions have been missed has just demonstrated that he doesn’t know the most basic information about climate models.”

    I am sorry Mr. Dunning (not too much), but It looks that it is you who doesn’t get the fundamentals of climate modelling.


    Computer Predictions Of Climate Alarm Are Flawed
    New paper by climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry explains inherent flaws of computer models predicting future climate change.

    London, 21 February: Claims that the planet is threatened by man-made global warming are based on science that is based on inadequate computer modelling.

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