Streetwise Professor

July 4, 2017

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: If the Light of Day Scares You, You May Be a Germ

Filed under: Climate Change,History,Politics — The Professor @ 10:30 am

The Climate Change Mafia is threatening to go to the mattresses over EPA director Scott Pruitt’s plans to hold a “red team/blue team” exercise to evaluate climate science. Given the billions the US lavishes on this research, such a review is a salutary thing: but perhaps because it threatens said billions, the Mafia is going nuts:

The idea has been derided by activists and scientists who say it’s “dangerous” to elevate dissenting voices who disagree with them on global warming.

“Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate,” wrote climate scientist Ben Santer and Kerry Emanuel and historian and activist Naomi Oreskes.

“They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity and transparency of existing climate science,” the three wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed.

Defenders of the “consensus” argue the existing peer-review process works well and a red-blue team dynamic is not needed. They further argue scientific bodies, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, provide a forum for scientific debates.

“Developing science, far from being ignored, is confronted directly and openly in such assessments,” Santer, Emanuel and Oreskes wrote.

This is very, very revealing. What Pruitt is planning threatens the role of people like Santer and Emanuel as gatekeepers–although “trolls under the bridge” is probably a better metaphor. They dominate peer review, through a variety of mechanisms. They are the editors of the journals. They are the go-to referees. Look back at some of the references to peer review in the Climategate emails if you doubt this. No Little Skeptical Billy Goat or Medium Size Skeptical Billy Goat is going to make it over their bridge of peer review. But the sight of Pruitt and Trump playing the role of The Big Billy Goat Gruff has them quaking in fear.*

As for “scientific bodies, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” providing a “forum for scientific debates”–don’t make me laugh. There was more open debate at Soviet Party Congresses in the 1930s. Again–these people dominate these forums, and like any guild or clerisy, they cannot tolerate the rise of competing forums where contrary voices may be heard.

This is all very revealing. Truly confident scientists would welcome the opportunity to prove in a very public way that they are right. They would welcome the opportunity to vanquish publicly–and if they are so right, to humiliate–their adversaries.

This lot is very fond of pointing out what transpired during the Scopes Monkey Trial. Well, here’s their opportunity to make their supposedly anti-science opposition a public laughingstock, just like Clarence Darrow did (unfairly, truth be told) in 1925. Yet they recoil at the prospect.

Telling, no?

Also telling is the refusal of many states to provide public records relating to voter registration and voting to the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The media and the governing establishment heap scorn on anyone who dares suggest that there might be voting irregularities in the US. Well then–turn over the records so that it can be proved! If US elections in every jurisdiction in the United States are as pure as the driven snow (I snort writing that, being a Chicago native), you’d think these states would be falling over themselves to prove what a great job they are doing in achieving such an outcome, right?

They say that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Those–like the Climate Change Mafia and state election officials and pols–who shriek at the suggestion that sunlight be cast on their activities just might be germs.

* Looking back on my old Climategate posts, I stumbled across something I’d forgotten: that the Climate Mafia was truly ahead of its time in blaming its discomfiture on Russian hackers.  Just like Hillary and her minions and the media (but I repeat myself), they attempted to distract attention from the damning substance by attacking how the embarrassing emails came to light. I had a very Trumpian response, years before Trump was a political phenomenon–I praised the FSB. Hilarious.


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  1. I’ve done considerable work evaluating the accuracy of the surface air temperature record, and of climate models in their projections of future air temperature (i.e., the impact of CO2 emissions).

    In doing so, I’ve discovered, through the peer-review process, that climate modelers have no grasp of the distinction between accuracy and precision. They truly and falsely think the latter is identical to the former.

    Nor do climate modelers understand anything about physical error and uncertainty. They do not understand or recognize calibration experiments. They do not understand propagation of error.

    Hard to believe, but true. I have all of that documented in black-and-white in the form of peer-review commentary. Climate modelers lack the training to evaluate their own models.

    Here is a presentation I made recently, evaluating the accuracy and reliability of climate models. They possess neither. I’ve been trying to publish this work for four years against a (so-far) completely inept system of peer review.

    For those who follow up and find Patrick Brown’s critique of my analysis, please do read the conversation we had about it at his web-site video. You won’t find this discussion at the YouTube site. Dr. Brown’s comments show he doesn’t understand error analysis either, or the meaning and relevance of a calibration experiment. This is evidently standard for training as a climate modeler.

    Likewise, the people who compile the global air temperature record completely ignore systematic sensor measurement error. They make the very convenient and self-serving assumption that all error has a random iid noise distribution, and it all just averages away. They don’t even recognize the resolution limits of the thermometers; about as fundamentally naïve a mistake as it’s possible to make in experimental science (and engineering).

    I’ve published on the air temperature record here (870 mb pdf) and here (1 mb pdf).

    Negligence, Non-Science and Consensus Climatology summarizes the problems with climate models and with the air temperature record, and also shows that paleo-temperature reconstructions are no more than pseudo-science.

    The whole of the global warming so-called science is a mockery produced by incompetents.

    Here is my profile at LinkedIn, providing evidence of my training and publication record. As a physical methods experimental chemist, I worry about measurement error and instrumental resolution as part of my work. That care about detail is entirely missing from consensus climate science.

    The whole field is a crock.

    Comment by Pat Frank — July 4, 2017 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Although there are many more sophisticated arguments with which to attack the religion of warming, I sometimes feel we should fall back on the most obvious. How can we claim to measure the average temperature for the whole earth to a degree of accuracy that exceeds the margin of error within my back garden?

    Comment by Mark T — July 4, 2017 @ 10:26 pm

  3. @Pat Frank
    I believe your Negligence paper is behind a paywall but read your pdf files and thank you for the papers and will watch your youtube presentation in a few hours. One with experience of numerical modeling of complex systems knows that the results of the climate models are complete bollix and can only be bollix. Your approach in demonstrating this through error analysis is well done.

    Is it difficult holding reasoned views about AGW in Palo Alto-hard for me to imagine that you haven’t been exiled from the city and state. Disturbing that physicists so thoroughly enjoy their seats on the AGW band wagon. Hawkings has now weighed in that Trump’s policies has started an inevitable Venusian death march for life on earth. How can the talking heads of physics (Hawkings, Kaku, Carroll, Chu etal) in good conscience make the statements they do (not debatable, settled science etc). Head of PR for AGW is the sage Bill Nye-he developed the Science Guy persona on a comedy show in Seattle for God’s sake. There is much absurdity in the world and certainly not the least of which is AGW.

    Comment by pahoben — July 5, 2017 @ 5:19 am

  4. pahoben, thanks for your support. If you’d like a reprint of the Negligence paper, email me at pfrank_eight_three_zero_at_earthlink_dot_net.

    I don’t understand the physics community either. Their support for AGW is a big conundrum for me. If they’d been as skeptical of AGW as they had been of cold fusion, we’d not be in this fix. I used to rely on them to be a hard-minded barrier against nonsense. No more.

    Skeptic magazine published a prior version of the analysis of climate model accuracy. That’s available here free of charge.

    You’re right about Palo Alto — it’s very hard to find anyone with a skeptical view of climate alarm. Or to find anyone with a kind word for president Trump. Interesting correlation there. :-)

    Comment by Pat Frank — July 5, 2017 @ 10:40 am

  5. “Hard to believe, but true.” Not hard for me; aeons ago I read quite a few of the early papers. I concluded that the workers were duds. Physical scientists are often clever people: these fellows weren’t. I assume that the workers became crooks because it was the obvious way to try to justify their earlier rubbish.

    Comment by dearieme — July 5, 2017 @ 3:14 pm

  6. @pat, @pahoben & @dearieme. Well done, all. Thank you.

    Another example of these people playing with power tools that they don’t understand is Michael Mann and the hockey stick. He misused principal components analysis (whether out of ignorance or deliberately is unknown) in a way that spuriously created the hockey stick. Running highly autocorrelated data through his PC algorithm creates hockey sticks where they don’t exist.

    McIntyre and McKitrick uncovered this and were brutally assailed by the mafia. The National Research Council empaneled a group of statisticians led by Edward Legman who supported McIntyre and Mckitrick and savaged Mann.

    Mann was not deterred–if anything, he became more obnoxious. He has sued Tim Ball and Mark Steyn. He may be hoist on his own petard, however. (God willing!) I read today that Ball succeeded in getting the judge to order Mann to produce his code and data–and that Mann did not do so by the deadline set by the court. Talk about someone scared of sunshine.

    Re complex systems and imprecision in measurement–there is a crucial interaction between them, as I am sure you all know. In a non-linear/complex system, small errors in initial conditions can result in huge differences in forecasts. It amuses me that many people who wax eloquent about butterfly effects fearlessly make forecasts based on initial conditions derived from crap data.

    Further, the resolution of climate models is far too coarse to provide meaningful predictions about smaller scale phenomena–but that doesn’t stop the modelers from using them for that purpose, regardless. Many of the parameterizations are SWAGs, at best–usually they are just WAGs (nothing scientific about them). Not to mention that the models omit variables, meaning that the parameters that are fit based on data (to the extent that they can be said to be fit at all, in any serious way) are biased. I could go on.

    Then there is is the issue about how the historical data keep changing as the gatekeepers manipulate the historical instrumental record. And wouldn’t you know, the “adjustments” almost all work in the direction of increasing the estimated temperature trend (mainly by cooling off the temps from the 30s).

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 5, 2017 @ 6:56 pm

  7. Let me begin by saying I am a EE by trade, and interested in climate by avocation. As a pilot, once caught in a nasty weather tantrum, I started investigating climatology as an aside. So – in short. I am no kind or expert, but an interested party.

    My take on the whole AGM is that to about an 80-85% quotient, it’s promoted and abetted by political donations. The amount of money available and spent on AGM proponents from the US and other govt sources(the EU), is staggering. It is furthered by entertainment support which is rarely monetary, but always media driven, and we have a convenient left wing intersection of self-flagellation and bias reinforcement. They believe, because – well, they are surrounded by believers. This is not to say there isn’t some AGM happening. In any closed system, when the system begins to modify the energy transfers, there will be a result. I suspect, but do not know to what percent that humans have raised, and are raising global temps. Admittedly, I have no evidence except some clear examples of heat blooms around cities, and the common sense idea that we do burn a lot of carbon than we did in the previous centuries.

    With that as a basis, I’m afraid the AGM proponents have taken the proverbial mole hill, and made not just a mountain, but an entire range of mountains that would rival the Andes. In many cases, the advocates have waved the red rag in front of the bull so fiercely that those with modest skepticism about the reality of AGM have become entrenched in their opposition. Much of it founded by the reports of ridiculous spending levels from govts around the world. As if – we in the US, and the EU have solved all the other serious planetary issues that we can afford to spend trillions on ‘solving’ something that really can’t be solved short of pandemic reduction in human population(ain’t gonna happen).

    I think what troubles me the most are two issues. First is the fantastic hypocrisy among those advocating the solution to AGM. Being a pilot I was gobsmacked when I heard that a staunch advocate of AGM in the entertainment community had to have his two engine jet moved from Burbank airport the entire 7 miles to Van Nuys airport so as to not delay him from leaving for Vail after a tough shooting schedule. Yes, this actually happened in Dec 2009. I was there. Next is the AGM crowd screaming about the worst polluters(primarily the US/EU) while offering no actual, practical solutions. The concept of ‘carbon credits’ and offsets, and payments from first world nations for being so egregiously productive to third world hellholes just because the US/EU is so wealthy is so classically ignorant, I don’t know why someone from the skeptics doesn’t stand up and shout; ‘Look! The king has no clothes on!’ How can people advocate for fiscal payments from wealthy, productive nations to poor, unproductive nations with a straight face? Social engineering? Yes! AGM polution/carbon reduction? Hell no! So, on it goes, now circling the bowl. Maybe the next advocates will actually have some sound science behind them that can stand the scrutiny of double blind studies, and modelling that isn’t as mushy as Play-Doh.

    Comment by doc — July 10, 2017 @ 12:39 pm

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