Posted by: Barry Bickmore | January 20, 2016

The Monckton Files: Threatwatch 2

Your humble correspondent must report yet ANOTHER bombastic threat issuing forth from the ever-dependable Lord Christopher Monckton.  This time, the unlucky recipient is Peter Sinclair, creator of the video I publicized in my last post about how the scientist responsible for producing the RSS satellite temperature data, upon which Senator Ted Cruz pins all his climate hopes, doesn’t agree with Senator Ted’s interpretations of said data.

But first, a brief, nostalgic walk down memory lane.  Following is the current version of the “Threatening Those Who Disagree With Him” section of Lord Monckton’s Rap Sheet.

  1. Monckton has threatened to instigate academic misconduct investigations and/or libel suits against several professors who have exposed his misrepresentations.  The list so far includes Naomi Oreskes, John Abraham, and myself.  He has even threatened a libel suit against John Abraham.  UPDATE:  Monckton has now threatened to extend the libel suit to include Scott Mandia.  Here is Scott’s reply.  UPDATE:  John Abraham tells me that Monckton has threatened lawsuits against him several more times, and Monckton has also threatened me, once again.  He also wrote my university administration to tell them I was mentally imbalanced, and that I had been sending him “hate mail”.  Well, at least the second part is false. 😉  UPDATE:  He also tried to get Tony Press (U. Tasmania) fired.  UPDATE:  Monckton also lodged a complaint at a New Zealand university against professors Jonathan Boston, David Frame, and Jim Renwick for “academic fraud” and libel.  The university investigated the complaint, then blew it off.  But before the verdict was in, Monckton threatened to sic the police on the university if they were to… you know… blow him off.  I’m sure the police have an entire unit on the case as I write this.  UPDATE:  When a philosophy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Lawrence Torcello, wrote an article saying it ought to be against the law to knowingly spread disinformation about climate change for profit, Monckton led the charge to send letters to the university administration asking for Torcello to be disciplined/fired because Torcello was allegedly attacking free speech and academic freedom.  The funny part about this one is Monckton’s flagrant hypocrisy.  Not too long ago, he  threatened to have IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri jailed for fraud (see #9 below) and whipped up an Australian crowd, chanting about having all the corrupt climate scientists jailed.  UPDATE:  Now Monckton is even threatening his fellow climate contrarians (Leif Svalgaard and Willis Eschenbach) with lawsuits and trying to get them fired from academic jobs.  And he’s probably threatening to threaten me, again.  We’ll see.  UPDATE:  Svalgaard hasn’t heard back from Monckton.  In fact, Monckton keeps claiming (to others) on the Internet that he is going to sic his lawyers on me for Lord Monckton’s Rap Sheet, but miraculously, I haven’t been contacted by his lawyers, either.
  2. He launched a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission in the UK against The Guardian because of a column George Monbiot wrote about Monckton’s antics.  The PCC threw out the complaint. In a bizarre twist, George Monbiot reported that someone claiming to be Monckton and using Monckton’s IP address had tried to edit his Wikipedia page to falsely claim that he had won a £50,000 settlement from The Guardian because of Monbiot’s article.
  3. Monckton lobbed threats against Arthur Smith after Arthur objected that Monckton (and the Science and Public Policy Institute) had violated copyright.  Smith had written a rebuttal of one of Monckton’s articles, and was trying to get it published.  Monckton put the entire thing up on the web along with his comments, and altered the article to imply that Smith had written it at the behest of his employer, the American Physical Society, which was not true.  Arthur prevailed after threatening legal action, because he was clearly in the right.
  4. John Mashey pointed out an instance where one contrarian had plagiarized from Monckton (and cited papers that had been challenged and withdrawn), and then Monckton turned around and praised the work.  When Richard Littlemore reported this, Monckton left a comment on the page saying that Mashey was “under investigation” for breaching “doctor-patient confidentiality,” and that he was guilty of “interfering in an unlawful manner on the blogosphere.”  To this day, I don’t think anyone has any idea what Monckton was talking about.
  5. George Monbiot chronicled how Monckton has threatened several times to sue The Guardian for libel.  The U.K. has libel laws that are absurdly in favor of plaintiffs, and yet, these lawsuits have never materialized.
  6. Senators John Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe wrote an open letter to Exxon-Mobile, urging them to stop funding climate-contrarian “think-tanks,” whose tactics resemble those of the tobacco industry, Lord Monckton wrote an open letter to the senators, in which he said, “In the circumstances, your comparison of Exxon’s funding of sceptical scientists and groups with the former antics of the tobacco industry is unjustifiable and unworthy of any credible elected representatives. Either withdraw that monstrous comparison forthwith, or resign so as not to pollute the office you hold.”  Ok, so this isn’t really a threat, but Monckton’s language is so bombastic and filled with fake moral outrage that it almost feels like a threat.  I should note that 1) in his letter, Monckton falsely claimed to be a member of Parliament, and 2) Naomi Oreskes, a prominent science historian, and Erik Conway, have shown that not only do the most prominent organizations fighting mainstream climate science follow the same playbook as the tobacco industry, but it’s often the SAME organizations and people doing the fighting on both fronts!
  7. Monckton launched yet another complaint to the Press Complaints Commission against New Scientist magazine, which had the temerity to point out that Monckton’s article on climate sensitivity in an American Physical Society newsletter was not peer-reviewed, among other things.  Of course, the editor had specifically noted that the newsletter is not a peer-reviewed publication, but Monckton said he had the article critiqued by a “Professor of Physics,” i.e., someone who isn’t a climate specialist.   The complaint was not upheld.
  8. His Lordship complained to Ofcom, the British regulator for TV and radio programming, that he had been unfairly treated by the producers of the BBC documentary, Earth:  The Climate Wars.  Ofcom found that the show’s producers should have given more information to Monckton upfront about the nature of the program (even though Monckton expressed familiarity with how the BBC had covered the issue in the past.)  However, they found that the lack of informed consent did not result in any misrepresentation of Monckton’s views by unfair editing.  The complaint summary linked above is a fascinating read, if you have about 15 minutes.
  9. Monckton threatened to have IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri jailed for fraud because he used an IPCC graph that turns out to be correct, but misleading.  In his letter to Pachauri, however, His Lordship used a temperature graph that had already been shown by several scientists to be blatantly fabricated.  I’m sure Monckton is on his way to Scotland Yard right now to give himself up.
  10. The BBC aired a documentary called “Meet the Climate Sceptics” which apparently focused largely on Lord Monckton.  (Click here to see the trailer.)  In fact Monckton unsuccessfully attempted to have the courts stop the BBC from airing it unless they allowed him to insert a 3 minute video rebuttal into the program.
  11. The ABC (Australia) aired a rather stunning gutting of Monckton and his crowd.  Journalist Wendy Carlisle brought up several instances where Monckton’s sources contradicted him, the fact that he falsely claims to be a member of Parliament, his miracle cure-all, and more.  So of course, Monckton threatened to sue unless given airtime to reply.  They blew him off, and Monckton filed a complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, but the ACMA found that the ABC report did not violate its standards for impartiality and factual accuracy.
  12. Monckton threatened to have Al Gore jailed when Gore gave a speech in Gibraltar .  “If you come to any British territory and you talk the rubbish you’ve been talking elsewhere, then you will be arrested and prosecuted.”
  13. The Gibraltar Chronicle printed a redacted version of a letter Monckton wrote.  When Monckton’s PR guy threatened them with legal action unless they printed an unredacted version, the Chronicle told them to shove off, because the parts they took out were probably libelous.  The Chronicle article about the bullying incident seems to have been taken down, now, but I have a PDF copy.)
  14. Monckton threatened William Connolley and Kevin O’Neill for suggesting that he created a graph that was included (and referenced) in a newspaper article written by His Lordship.  Then he threatened the proprietors of the VisionLearning site, which also made the same attribution.
  15. His Lordship told random Scots that he would have them jailed for racism when they yelled, “Go back to England” at him as he preached against Scottish independence.

This time, His Benificence takes issue–nay, 20 issues!!!– with Peter Sinclair’s video in a recent post on Watt’s Up With That?, a website that will publish literally anything that contradicts the consensus scientific view on climate change.  I don’t have time to bother with all 20 issues, but suffice it to say they are stupid.  For example, Monckton complains:

that the video deploys a device used by the IPCC and by the Met Office, displaying global temperature in decadal blocks, though the decadal blocks were calculated to conceal the absence of global warming over much of the past two decades, while the full HadCRUT4 dataset clearly shows the recent slowdown in global warming:

clip_image018

Uh, yeah.  The choice of decadal blocks… such as “the 1950s” and “the 2000s”… was carefully “calculated to conceal the absence of global warming over much of the last two decades”.  You know, because if the selection of decadal blocks weren’t carefully “calculated,” they would have chosen more natural decadal blocks, like April 23, 2003 through April 22, 2013, or some such.  Only some kind of evil genius would think to look at decadal blocks like “the 1990s.”

FRAUD!  That’s the only reasonable explanation!  So, of course, the perpetrators will be going to JAIL!!!  Or at least they would be, if that nasty Obama administration didn’t give the fraudsters a free pass!  I give you His Indefatigability, Christopher Monckton.

The perpetrators of the offending video are, so they think, so well protected by the current U.S. Administration’s prejudice on the climate question that they can get away with a campaign of multiple, wilful, mutually reinforcing and no doubt profitable deceptions on this monstrous scale with impunity, to the detriment not only of the truth but also of two diligent and hard-working scientists.

Without saying anything more in public at this stage, we shall see. In the meantime, readers may care to recall the terms of 18 U.S. Criminal Code §1343 (wire fraud):

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

But don’t give up hope, fellow Patriots!  The first comment on Monckton’s post, by one Alan Robertson, reveals a ray of hope.

That last bit about prosecution… in a little more than 1 year from now, the US will have a new administration. The current administration will not prosecute members of it’s own team, no matter the offense. There is timing in everything.

Yes, Peter… the Sword of Damocles may not have fallen, but it’s there, hanging by a single hair of a horse’s tail.

P.S.  No, really.  Satellite temperature measurements are not the gold standard.  Let climatologist Andrew Dessler, Ph.D., explain why in Peter Sinclair’s new video.


Responses

  1. “a website that will publish literally anything that contradicts the consensus scientific view on climate change.”

    Well yes, a nice counterbalance to SkS that publishes anything confirming the consensus. It’s like Mormon vs Anti-Mormon; is it possible to have a neutral point of view blog? Maybe, but who would read it?

    • Please peruse the article at the link I provided, and then point out anything… literally ANYTHING… on SkS that is as ridiculous as the WUWT posts I mentioned. I’m interested to see what you come up with.

    • is it possible to have a neutral point of view blog?

      Not one that wasn’t promoting garbage almost all the time.

      • sks IS a neutral point of view blog. They don’t take either “side” at their word and look at the information, evidence and actions and determine which one is doing best at proving their point.

        • Yes, a fair point. I was, however, interpreting “neutral” as I think M2 was intending, rather than as how one might actually assess a blog. I think M2 intended neutral to mean something like “halfway between SkS and WUWT”. However, “halfway between SkS and WUWT” would simply be half as bonkers as WUWT🙂 .

          • Why let him shove the overton window over to the middle of the conspiracy nutjobsphere, though?

            He asked for, and did not qualify as to how biased he wanted it to be, a neutral site.

            And that’s SKS.

            If he wanted some site where it claims EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG as “neutral”, he should have said he wanted a denialist crackpot site that isn’t as batshit crazy as heller or watts. About the best he’d get there would be SoD on the “not freely making stuff up” side, or royspencer on the “will make stuff up freely” side.

            Neither are really neutral. SoD far more than roy, though.

            • I think you’re way over-interpreting what was intended to be a flippant response to a silly comment.

            • And I think you need to think before claiming thinking about things should be minimised before talking.

              Yes, your response may have been flippant. This doesn’t mean that it cannot ever be taken seriously, though. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t be underthinking your flippancy.

            • Wow,
              Thanks for the advice. Having done as you suggest and thought about it for a while, I think I shall simply ignore it, and – in future – you.

            • Nothing like the reflective ignorance of the denier, eh, ATTP. Only they have this problem.

              I bet you wonder why denial gets such screentime, don’t you, and reality so little shrift. It can’t be the carelessness of the “rational”, can it. I mean, the rational person doesn’t just stick their fingers in their ears and go “LALALALA You poopyhead”, do they.

              Oh, hang on, what’s that make you..?

            • Nothing like the reflective ignorance of the denier, eh, ATTP. Only they have this problem.

              The other similarity is that deniers are often absolutely convinced that they’re right and there really is no reasoning with them.

              Oh, hang on, what’s that make you..?

              I have no idea, but most discussion I’ve had that are similar in style to this have been with science deniers. I realise that you aren’t one that doesn’t mean that this discussion hasn’t been utterly bizarre.

            • ATTP writes “most discussion I’ve had that are similar in style to this have been with science deniers. I realise that you aren’t one that doesn’t mean that this discussion hasn’t been utterly bizarre.”

              Wow is a contrarian. It calibrates the meaning of the word. He is right, you are wrong, and if you agree with him, he will change so that you are still wrong.

              It can be entertaining in a tedious sort of way and shows a streak of intelligence and a good grasp of language.

            • And the other similarity is the use of tu quoque.

              And the fake flounce.

              And the refusal to acknowledge anything as being accurate unless it accords with agreeing with their assertions made without evidence.

              You’re doing well, ATTP. We’ll make a GSW of you yet!

              However,this is getting tiresome for barry, since the problem is STILL that Mike here wanted to aver a FAKE “unbiased” and you were fine with him making the goalpost shift. That you hate the fact that you just done f-d it up by thoughtlessness is neither here nor there to that.

              If you decide to make substantive claims, I will respond to those, but please cut out the childish rhetoric of “So what? You did it too!” I skipped that when I was 6 as a stupid tactic. YMMV.

          • I will explain “neutral” in more detail in a new reply at the bottom. The short version is that it is a defined value. But as you can define it one way and I another, neutral will frequently not be a property of the thing itself, but of the beholder.

            Jump to the end for more…

            • If it’s based on personal preference, then it cannot be neutral, Mike.

              Utter fail.

            • Wow “If it’s based on personal preference, then it cannot be neutral”

              Yes, that is what I have explained. Only a computer can be neutral, because it does not care. I am delighted that you grasp the concept.

              SkS is not neutral for it is written by non-neutral persons, nor can they be neutral, for they cared enough to write for SkS. It will seem to be neutral by its own writers, one of whom is probably your alter-ego.

            • Then you’re asking for a non neutral party but calling it neutral in your demand for it.

              Why?

              And what the hell do you think you’re doing by your stupid flip flopping?

              “Only a computer can be neutral”

              Wrong.

              “SkS is not neutral for it is written by non-neutral persons”

              Yes they are, and they do.

              But you also just claimed it could never be because it’s humans not computers.

              You’re really just blabbing, now.

    • what’s nice about wuwt? only to someone who is wedded to the idea that the science and evidence for AGW is somehow so morally evil that any act done against it is justified (a la “final solution”) thinks wuwt is “nice”.

      Merely being contradictory is no evidence f being right or even warranted.

      It isn’t neutral to say “No it isn’t”. It’s not skepticism to say “Nuh uh”. That you think so is why you’re a denier, not a skeptic.

  2. Michael,

    Define “neutral point of view” with regards to the graph of the METoffice cited above

    • He means “Doesn’t accept it as valid”.

    • heijdensejan writes: Define “neutral point of view” with regards to the graph of the MET office cited above.

      Graphs do not have a point of view. People have points of view. It is of limited utility to try to discern a persons point of view from a single graph. However, it appears that the persons responsible for this graph do not accept the warming of the 1930’s as being significant. I believe they prefer Manchester United to win over KNVB (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond ) at the next World Cup.

      My perception of the graph is that it portrays a non-monotonic but gradual increase of whatever data is being displayed.

      The claim is that it is “global overall mean temperature” which I know is imprecise since “global” has never been measured prior to the satellite era and suddenly satellites are suspicious anyway. So there is no “global” anything. As to the values, it appears to span about 0.6 degrees in 160 or so years. Since my daily variation is typically 20 C or so, I have a doubt I would notice 0.3 C in my lifetime.

      But it clearly gives employment to MET. Good on them!

      • Graphs may not have a point of view, but since the question was what would be a neutral point of view OF the graph (by an OBSERVER), and that an observer DOES have a point of view, your childish reply is, obviously, childish.

        Given you don’t know what “neutral” means either, you are yet more wrong in your assertions and have utterly failed to understand the most basic thing about rational discourse, never mind the english language you are pretending to use.

  3. 1-20: Monckton is in a league of his own as an audacious nutcase.

    In the long radio piece from Australia’s ABC, an important record of some really odd behavior, Monckton can be heard at 22:42 pretending to be a scientist” “..as we scientists say…” after criticising Al Gore for misreading a paper cited in AIT…beyond irony

    • Well, he thinks he’s the science adviser to Maggie Thatcher and also a member of the House of Lords, and the owner of the cure for the disease he suffers from still.

      Thinking he’s a scientist is peanuts compared to those.

    • Though mike here seems determined to prove Monckton has a rival in the “Batshit crazy loon” stakes.

  4. Since several people have questioned my use of the word “neutral” I will explain.

    I consider the word “neutral” to have no applicability in science properly conducted. A Democrat and a Republican measuring the value of the acceleration of gravity ought to obtain the same answers provided of course they conduct the experiment properly.

    A difference will exist if the Democrat and the Republican are each free to pursue government grants according to their desires. To use a stereotype, the Democrat is going to seek grants to study birds and the Republican will seek grants to study geology, perhaps seeking oil or water.

    In that way, eventually everything is studied and documented.

    Passion

    During my Navy career, I was for a time a volunteer with the US Fish and Wildlife department. My passion was birds. So, yes, I ought to have been a Democrat. I studied them, learned the vocabulary, have a whole shelf of books on the topic. I did daily surveys out on the tundra.

    The young biologists were similarly passionate. But the old ones tended to be bureaucrats and in my limited experience also not very honest. Clever maybe, but not honest. By lying about eagle kills the government was persuaded to build perches on power poles which dramatically reduced eagle kills. Would it have been done by honest reporting? I don’t know; it wasn’t played that way. Is lying for a worthy cause justified? I don’t know the cosmic answer to that either. As for myself, I lean toward honesty and would have tried to find some other way to build perches because once your dishonesty is found out and becomes part of the culture you will be persuading no person of anything after that.

    Discovering the politics of F&W was a huge disappointment; rather like being pummeled in a boxing match. As someone else here wrote, many academics enter the field because of love of learning.

    So now you know why my profession is computers. They don’t argue, they don’t conspire, they have no desires of their own. They are well and truly “neutral” equally likely to annoy Democrats or Republicans. Of course, your choice of computer *is* related to your ideology (Democrats lean toward Mac and OS/X, Republicans toward Dell and Windows, Libertarians to Linux!)

    So — can there be neutrality in climate website?

    Impossible. Here’s why: Neutrality is relative to one’s point of view; it is not a property of the website. Notice “Wow” fawning over SkS, claiming it is perfectly neutral. How is that possible? It is possible most likely because he is one of its contributors and he measures neutrality against his own belief system.

    While “neutrality” has no meaning in science; “science” has little meaning to many or most of 7 billion people. So when they, or I, use the word “neutrality” it does, and must, refer to some realm where “neutrality” is meaningful: Politics!

    Global warming was the hobby of some scientists until it became political. It is now almost exclusively political.

    When Climategate burst on the world stage all sorts of commentary came onto the blogs. Nearly all blogs were and remain biased in some way; it relates to passion I have described above. Each blogger engages in this labor for a personal reason, and that reason cannot be neutral, for the only thing neutral is a computer and it won’t of its own initiative write a blog.

    Not yet anyway.

    Is there any neutral science in SkS? Probably. WUWT? Sure; does anyone argue against the ENSO meter? Most blogs that are science oriented have some science. Someone mentioned Science of Doom; and yes, that one is pretty good; more science, less ad-hominum Insultee of the Day which would be a badge of honor for and by many people.

    So when someone claimed that the atmosphere was “opaque” and adding more CO2 cannot make it more opaque, I had my doubts about that claim but where do I turn to find the truth? It took a very long time to make my own answer which ultimately came from chemical property and engineering websites having nothing to do with global warming.

    So I learned about CO2 infrared absorption, emission, and wavelengths over which these things operated. I learned that it is not broad spectrum, some infrared can leave the surface of the Earth and go straight to space, do not pass Go and do not collect $200. The atmosphere is not opaque. So what is it? Resistive. I have considerable training in electronics and signals and so I can relate the phenomenon to my skills. More CO2 means more resistance, longer “time constant” in passing surface-sourced heat to outer space.

    From Lubos Motl’s site, learn some details about quantum mechanics; CO2 at sea level transfers most of its energy by collision rendering the emissivity of CO2 somewhat, but not entirely, “moot”. It can still absorb infrared, but doesn’t so often emit, either up or down. So simple models are not accurate, not correct, if they simply assume CO2 holds and then re-emits infrared.

    So what is accurate? Well, that’s really complicated. Accept no simple answers.

    I am a citizen of a nation, my duty is to participate in government, to choose wisely economic and government decisions. So I do the best I can and I study claims.

    Neutral is simply that which agrees with your world view, and if you have not decided what is your world view (common for the INTP personality types), then “neutral” does not exist nor can it.

    I started this by comparing to a religion over which strongly held but widely different views exist; Mormon being a good example. What could possibly be “neutral”? If you agree with the claims then you are one thing; if you disagree with the claims you are the other thing!

    It may be possible to consider “neutral” a website that doesn’t have a dog in the fight and doesn’t care how it goes; but how can global warming NOT influence very human person on Earth?

    Any website that uses the words “global warming” or global anything for that matter already is not neutral, for the Earth does not have a temperature! It has a continuum of temperatures depending on where you are (including how high or how deep).

    So to assume the Earth has a temperature is to create an artificial thing out of many things; and this will be done for a purpose. When and if it turns out the purpose is not being served, change the artificial thing, it is a robot, a construction, the creation of its creator.

    • Hi Michael,

      I agree with your assessment of the word “neutral”. People who claim to be “neutral” are usually too lazy to do what it takes to make up their minds, in my experience.

      That said, there is still such a thing as a good argument, and such a thing as a bad argument, at least for people who try to be honest. I actually started out as something of a doubter about climate change, because I didn’t think humans could change things that much on a global scale. However, when I started comparing arguments (at least where I had the expertise to do so), I found out that “alarmists” existed, but they were on the fringe of the side that wanted some action. The intellectual leaders on that side of the fence relied mainly on arguments that struck me as being scientifically responsible. However, I found out that the intellectual leaders on the other side of the fence were relying mainly on arguments that were so bad, they indicated to me (at worst) a lack of intellectual honesty, and (at best) a severe lack of scientific understanding.

      I know SkS is not a “neutral” source, but I have never seen anything coming from there that I thought was completely absurd. I challenge you again to take a look at the examples I gave in the article I linked, of patently absurd arguments made on WUWT. Try to come up with any claims published on SkS that are even in the same ballpark.

      • “People who claim to be “neutral” are usually too lazy to do what it takes to make up their minds, in my experience.”

        And that people would include Mike here. Mike wants neutral to declare he is right, and if it won’t, then it can’t be neutral. But if neutral has to come to a preconceived conclusion, it cannot be neutral, therefore Mike’s “neutral” cannot logically exist.

      • SkS IS a neutral source, Barry. What makes you claim otherwise?

        Hell, only by precluding the scientists who are investigating the climate systems as scientists from being neutral, which would be claiming they are not being scientists, please provide evidence!), would *realclimate* be a biased source.

        Why?

        Because you don’t go looking for the evidence proving you right if you’re doing science as a scientist. Therefore the conclusions of the scientists cannot have a bias toward finding the conclusion UNLESS AND UNTIL you provide evidence this was the case (as has happened with some denier papers).

        But if you want a source neutral to the papers on climate, SkS *IS* a neutral party.

    • Here is an example of an argument I consider absurd. The bit about the Earth not having a temperature is nonsense for a couple reasons. First, it’s pretty clear what people mean by the “surface” of the Earth, which is approximately where everything lives, so the part about “how high or how deep” is a pedantic, meaningless distraction from the issue at hand. Second, if the temperature of the Earth is a “continuum,” meaning that the value at one point in space is related to the value at the next point over, then spatial averaging techniques should be meaningful. Therefore, sampling and spatial averaging is a very reasonable way to come up with a meaningful “global mean surface temperature”.

      • Barry Bickmore “The bit about the Earth not having a temperature is nonsense for a couple reasons.”

        Strange that you essentially end up agreeing with me despite that judgment.

        “First, it’s pretty clear what people mean by the surface of the Earth, which is approximately where everything lives”

        Ah, well then let us discard measurements from any place not currently or recently inhabited by humans such as deep sea layers and the sea surface and perhaps arctic and antarctic.

        “so the part about how high or how deep is a pedantic, meaningless distraction from the issue at hand.”

        Except when it isn’t, such as finding hidden heat in deep ocean layers.

        “Second, if the temperature of the Earth is a continuum, meaning that the value at one point in space is related to the value at the next point over, then spatial averaging techniques should be meaningful.”

        Yes, with the provision that the points chosen do not change over time. The resulting calculation is an index, sort of like the Dow Jones index, or in business the “cap rate”. It is not itself a temperature.

        Indexes are useful but not exactly meaningful.

        “Therefore, sampling and spatial averaging is a very reasonable way to come up with a meaningful global mean surface temperature”.

        Hansen’s 1982 puts it pretty much the way you do; the chart is the mean of many temperatures. In other words, the line on the graph is the mean. There’s been a subtle change over the years and now it appears common to think of the Earth as having a temperature, but that invites the comic mental image of sticking a giant thermometer in the Earth to measure its temperature.

        The most significant index would weight temperature measurements and other climate indicators relative to their impact on human survival. Farming comes first to my mind. The trend of climate (rain, temperatures) in Iowa are WAY more important, most likely, as compared to Wyoming or Vermont, for the simple reason of Iowa’s food productivity as compared to Wyoming.

        So instead of a “temperature”, it might actually be useful to have something like “HSI”, Human Survival Index, a composite of various factors (regional temperature trends, growing season, frequency of crop-killing frosts, rainfall also indexed for stability — predictable rain, great or small, is better than highly variable rain).

        Look out your university classroom window perhaps at Mount Timp if you have a view that direction. How much has that view changed in 20 years besides having a great many more expensive houses intervening? Have you personally noticed the 0.3 degree change?

        Homogenized data:
        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=425004261350&dt=1&ds=14

        The screenshot of my hometown which I made from that website back in 2009 or so showed no trend that I could spot, but now, it has the obligatory nearly monotonic upward trend.

        Interestingly, inspection of the underlying data (the text file for that station) shows summer temperatures have been pretty flat since 1990, that was the local peak, it is winter temperatures that are rising, probably due to UHI (many heating sources on a rapidly growing town and campus).

        It is also possible that CO2 is actually making a difference but determining its contribution is a task beyond my capability or interest.

        • “It is also possible that CO2 is actually making a difference but determining its contribution is a task beyond my capability or interest.”

          And yet you have already confidently implied nefarious manipulation of data:
          “but now, it has the obligatory nearly monotonic upward trend.”

          Bah. At the very least Michael 2 realises he is biased and thus argues from his own bias.

          • Mike realises no such thing, Marco. At least never admit it, but I think the ego-protective goggles he wears (an the tin foil chapeau accoutrement) actually preclude mike from even noticing it, even if you take it out, point it out to him, rub his nose in it and repeat the conclusion until the end of time.

          • Swallowing camels but straining at gnats…

            Marco wrote “And yet you have already confidently implied nefarious manipulation of data: but now, it has the obligatory nearly monotonic upward trend.”

            Manipulation is obvious; nefarious less so. I understand (I think) what they are trying to do; you cannot compare apples and oranges so you convert apples to oranges; or oranges to apples, and then compare. The comparison is useful. Whether the newly minted orange is meaningful and accurate will be the topic of many debates. Changing data is a disaster from a public relations point of view. Your opponent need only show the before-and-after and say “the data has been changed”. If the result of the change is to strengthen your prior point of view, so much the worse, even if the result is actually more correct and meaningful. But my own anecdotal review of a few changes suggests they are automated and not based on good reasoning. It would have been better to NOT change data, let 1940 be warm, and deal with ungood data; for now you have less ungood altered data that would not be worth a wooden nickle in a court of law.

            “At the very least Michael 2 realises he is biased and thus argues from his own bias.”

            Of course.

            • “But my own anecdotal review of a few changes suggests they are automated and not based on good reasoning. It would have been better to NOT change data, let 1940 be warm, and deal with ungood data; for now you have less ungood altered data that would not be worth a wooden nickle in a court of law.”

              So you agree that some data manipulation is necessary to make the data “less ungood”? Well, that’s a start. And yes, it would stand up in a court of law, especially if the jury relies on testimony of “expert witnesses,” say statisticians, who know what they are talking about.

            • Barry Bickmore wrote “So you agree that some data manipulation is necessary to make the data “less ungood”?”

              Yes. Since the task at hand seems to be to establish whether or not, and how much, real change is taking place, all confounders must be identified and removed. “TOBS” is one such confounder.

              “And yes, it would stand up in a court of law, especially if the jury relies on testimony of “expert witnesses,” say statisticians, who know what they are talking about.”

              Risky. It would depend entirely on the jury believing those expert witnesses, but only some expert witnesses.

              You see, the prosecution will parade some and the defense will parade some.

            • In other words, Michael 2 tells us to use the data that we *know* to be wrong, rather than the data that is enormously more likely to be right.

              And Michael 2 also knows ‘anecdotally’ that the changes are not based on good reasoning. I look forward to the paper in, say, the Journal of Climate, in which Michael 2 shows that the methods used by GISS, NOAA, BEST, HADCRUT, and JMA (all notably different) are not based on good reasoning, and that good reasoning would lead to a different correction.

              I predict no such paper will ever be forthcoming, because Michael 2 is presently arguing from his biased position (and at the moment *not* realizing it).

            • Marco “I predict no such paper will ever be forthcoming, because Michael 2 is presently arguing from his biased position”

              It isn’t that complicated. I’m not in the club.

            • You do not need to be a member of the club, you just need to substantiate your claims. And so far the evidence suggests you can’t do that.

            • Marco “And so far the evidence suggests you can’t do that.”

              Agreed. The evidence is in the hands of the Club. Interpretation of the evidence is up to each person, most here being in the Club.

              Despite these advantages the burden of proof is still on the Club. Proving GW is possible depending on how literate is the jury; proving the “A” part of AGW less certain — and that’s just laying the foundation for what comes next.

              What nearly everyone here seems not to understand is “reasonable doubt”. Altering the data, for any reason or no reason, is likely to create reasonable doubt in the jury, namely, the voters in any democracy.

              The original data is sacred. You don’t touch it. To be sure, you can include these adjustments in your process of trying to convince people of the A and the GW, but don’t mess with the data.

              Speaking of sacred, the same problem pertains to Christianity. Any attempt to modernize the bible destroys its authority. It is now suddenly what Joe thinks it means. Unfortunately that is true of any version I can actually read and this is where knowledge of the politics in play help understand possible bias in the interpretation.

            • Even a double face palm is not enough here…Michael 2 tells us we should use data we *know* to be wrong!
              You are free to make an interpretation of the instrumental record based on your own politics, but I know you can’t, because you know you could not but say that a correction you make is because that decreases the warming, not because of objective reason A, B, or C.

            • Marco “Even a double face palm is not enough here…Michael 2 tells us we should use data we *know* to be wrong!”

              Data is neither right nor wrong. It’s just “data”.

              In what way is adjusted wrong data any less wrong?

            • ““So you agree that some data manipulation is necessary to make the data “less ungood”?”

              Yes.”

              So you need to stop claiming the data manipulation is wrong because it exists, then.

              Except you won’t because you really don’t care a fig for rational discourse or accuracy.

              “Since the task at hand seems to be to establish whether or not, and how much,”

              Except you’ve never claimed that was the task at hand, you just claimed it was wrong because it was manipulated. You now need to find your proof it’s wrong.

              So far, not only have you not managed it, you’ve not cared to try.

              “It would depend entirely on the jury believing those expert witnesses,”

              So what you want is just parade two sets of experts who have opposite claims and hope that your denial wins at least a delay???

              No that’s not what happens.

              The expert explains the changes and why. And the conclusions have been held up BY EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO TRIED IT. Even BEST.

              It would definitely hold up in court because YOUR pathetic manipulations of the language would get short shrift in a court. You can’t BS the judge with half-assed ignorance of what language you’re using.

            • “Marco “And so far the evidence suggests you can’t do that.”

              Agreed. ”

              So we’re all agreed: you can’t do it, but you’re not going to be letting honesty stop you pretending you can.

              The information is available for you. You just don’t want to, because like BEST you will find it’s solid.

            • “Manipulation is obvious; nefarious less so.”

              So the data is fine and the conclusions robust, then.

              And please stop giving flies blowjobs. It’s disgusting.

            • So, Mike more nothing from you, in fact you brazenly and openly proclaim the lack of anything in what you’re saying.

              “Data is just data”

              But, according to you those words mean whatever you want them to mean.

              So what do you mean by the first “data” you use? After all, I know what I would mean by it, but you use words to mean what you mean them to mean, so we need to find out what you mean by that word “Data”.

            • Wow wrote “But, according to you those words mean whatever you want them to mean.”

              Indeed.

            • So, Mike more nothing from you, in fact you brazenly and openly proclaim the lack of anything in what you’re saying.

              “Data is just data”

              But, according to you those words mean whatever you want them to mean.

              So what do you mean by the first “data” you use? After all, I know what I would mean by it, but you use words to mean what you mean them to mean, so we need to find out what you mean by that word “Data”.

              You wouldn’t want us to get the wrong meaning from your statements, would you?

            • Wow asks “You wouldn’t want us to get the wrong meaning from your statements, would you?”

              I do not understand you wouldn’t would you (or the reverse you would wouldn’t you) questions.

              So I’ll just say “yes” and let you figure out if the yes binds to “would” or “wouldn’t.” 🙂

            • Now you are just getting silly, Michael 2. But I understand, it is hard when the scientists adjust data in a direction you don’t like. Then surely the adjustments must be wrong and be done for all the wrong reasons, even though you cannot say why the corrections are wrong, other than your belief that because they go in the opposite direction of what you want, it must be wrong.

              Wow, I still maintain that Michael 2 is at least aware of his own personal bias. The problem is that he then apparently assumes that others on ‘the other side’ have the opposite bias, and perhaps even more than he.

            • Marco writes “But I understand, it is hard when the scientists adjust data in a direction you don’t like.”

              I think I would be happier if it were as you suggest, a scientist adjust data based on sound reasoning, or any kind of reasoning. I recognize that the volume is enormous and consequently the closest a scientist is likely to come to the data is to help specify the computer program that decides, for example, that a station in Alaska needs various kinds of adjustments just because a station in Las Vegas needs those adjustments.

              “Then surely the adjustments must be wrong and be done for all the wrong reasons”

              I am uncomfortable with “right” and “wrong” in this conversation. those are moral judgements that have little relevance in science. But your inclusion of these moral words is unsurprising and unsettling.

              “even though you cannot say why the corrections are wrong”

              I have already described in particular why a particular correction is “wrong”. I expect that most of the corrections are reasonably well founded; but I can speak only to the ones I have personal knowledge about, and found it less than satisfying. It tells me that a scientist did not actually decide to adjust that particular station; a computer chose those adjustments not knowing the climate norms at that location.

              “The problem is that he then apparently assumes that others on ‘the other side’ have the opposite bias, and perhaps even more than he.”

              Little doubt about it. I remain interested in studying the situation, relatively polite to my opponents and not in anyones herd or hive. I note that several here, BBD in particular, are deeply invested in their belief systems and even you seem not to notice my words that agree with you, noting only disagreements for future argumentation.

              You seem to need to argue. Wow certainly does; it is his bread and butter. I’ll admit to some enjoyment but I learn something from almost every argument.

            • The reasoning is very sound, Michael 2, unless you are ideologically biased and thus required to dismiss the corrections that in your opinion go ‘the wrong way’. And no, you did not describe in particular why a particular correction is “wrong”. You just said it was, even though you cannot know the full situation. You find them “less than satisfying” most likely because they go, as I noted before, in a direction you do not like.

              Regarding “agreement”, I don’t see where you agree with me. I just see you continue to double down on your attempts to cast doubt on data adjustments, based solely on your own personal experience, rather than your personal knowledge. My non-apologies for calling out such BS.

            • Marco writes “The reasoning is very sound, Michael 2, unless you are ideologically biased and thus required to dismiss the corrections that in your opinion go ‘the wrong way’.”

              Good reasoning is independent of bias.

              My entire home town goes the “wrong way”, UHI is *cooler* here in semi-arid mountain west because of abundant trees that exist mostly in the town. Adjusting for UHI is likely to bias the record the wrong way if the adjustment assumes increased local temperatures.

              “And no, you did not describe in particular why a particular correction is wrong. You just said it was, even though you cannot know the full situation.”

              Hold that thought.

              “You find them “less than satisfying” most likely because they go, as I noted before, in a direction you do not like.”

              Hold that one, too.

              “I just see you continue to double down on your attempts to cast doubt on data adjustments, based solely on your own personal experience, rather than your personal knowledge.”

              Wrap up these two held thoughts and the summation: It is you that resists my words. Such of my words that do not agree with your bias simply does not go in and you decide I have not explained myself.

              So this phenomenon is indeed interesting; people with beams in their eyes telling me to remove the mote in mine.

              I have described in as much detail as seems necessary that UHI adjustments and TOBS adjustments are irrelevant, unnecessary and almost certainly wrong under a climate belt always windy, always cloudy, and always at the same temperature — a tiny island surrounded by the Japan current.

              So the fudgement computer went ahead and fudged the data anyway.

              Now I wonder how it is possible for “personal knowledge” to be any different than “personal experience”.

              I was there. During a great storm of 1978 my barometer showed change of a full inch of mercury per hour and that was one heck of a storm. Got down to 27.9 or so at sea level. Blew the roof right off the barracks (it had a double roof, concrete under aluminum; the constructors — idiots — added an eave, an overhang, and it had an airfoil shape. So the wind pressurized under and created lift above; it was a goner. Didn’t need it anyway; it was a stupid idea.). That particular storm blew the anemometer off its tower; peaked at about 180 knots before it vanished. It’s known as the williwaw. But not just williwaw. Combine cyclonic wind with williwaw.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williwaw

              To this day I still park pointing into the wind.

            • “Wow, I still maintain that Michael 2 is at least aware of his own personal bias.”

              Indeed, Marco, there’s two choices: stupidity or malice, and it definitely could be malice aforethought.

              “The problem is that he then apparently assumes that others on ‘the other side’ have the opposite bias, and perhaps even more than he.”

              See “Projection”.

              Rapists “know” that she/he “wanted it” or is a slut or whatever,because that’s how such heinous acts can be “justified” to their ego.

              Mike here is doing no more than that.

            • “I do not understand you wouldn’t would you”

              What do you mean by the word “I” there? I wouldn’t want to get the meaning of the word wrong, given that you use words to mean whatever you want them to mean.

            • Wow asks “What do you mean by the word I there?”

              Existence. Cogito ergo sum. That which exists. I exist. You might not.

            • But what do you mean by the word “Existence”? That word can still mean anything you want it to mean, so until that word is described as to your meaning by it, “I” remains undefined.

            • Wow “But what do you mean by the word Existence? That word can still mean anything you want it to mean”

              Precisely so. It means what I want it to mean. What it means to you is for you to say.

            • Precisely.

              So what DOES it mean?

            • Wow “So what DOES it mean?”

              I regret I cannot answer your question for lacking knowledge of what you mean by “mean”.

            • So you don’t know what even YOU mean by “mean”? Then how can you claim that any word means what you mean it to?

              You are clearly and obviously lying your ragged ass off.

            • You also clearly do not know what you mean in any of your other posts, so their statements are meaningless by your own admission, since for you to know what they mean requires knowing what you mean by mean and you don’t know that unless someone says what they mean by it.

              Indeed your ONLY (and rather worthless) contribution is to semantic idiocy (not word games, they’re at least wordplay rather than ignorance) in an undirected and unsupported complaint against science you neither understand, wish to understand, nor want to accept as in any shape or form a valid conclusion from reality as known

              Marco, I proffer this as proof that mike here knows they’re full of crap but refuses to acknowledge it outside of his own ironically clueless rhetoric, positioned merely to make lame excuse for his lack of proof, evidence or even logical cohesion.

          • Edit: “wooden nickel”.

            • Edit: remove all your rubbish.

              When you’re going to let yourself be limited to what is supported by reality, feel free to post again.

        • “Strange that you essentially end up agreeing with me despite that judgment.”

          Strange that you think agreement on what the science says should be strange if anyone else does it other than you…

          “Ah, well then let us discard measurements from any place not currently or recently inhabited by humans ”

          This is already done. And the trend there supports AGW and refutes the claims of the deniers.

          There is ALSO the dataset including sea surface, which DOES affect us. Sea breeze for example. And I would have thought someone who claimed to be in the Navy didn’t think humans ever went on the ocean, mind.

          “and perhaps arctic and antarctic. ”

          But I guess what you don’t understand is that the surface of the earth (where we live) includes the sea surface, the polar cap surface and anywhere on the surface a human isn’t currently standing on, which is almost all of the land surface of the planet.

          What you are doing here is just “pretending” (you may ACTUALLY be this incredibly stupid that you don’t know what any of the words mean, mind, so this may not be pretense, just abject and crippling stupidity) you don’t know what the surface of the earth means. Just like you don’t know what “an opinion of” or “neutral” means.

          “Except when it isn’t, such as finding hidden heat in deep ocean layers.”

          Only because morons like yourself claimed that it was cooling and this “proved” AGW wrong. To prove that this was a false statement required showing where the heat energy was going, and that was into the deep ocean. If YOU MORONS hadn’t made shit up from your asspulls, we wouldn’t have looked in the deep oceans. We looked there only to prove your claim wrong. NOW you’re whining that we looked there????

          “Yes, with the provision that the points chosen do not change over time. ”

          Why?

          Also, a stationary satellite is impossible. GRAVITY, ever heard of it?

          “The resulting calculation is an index,”

          No it isn’t. You don’t know what “index” means either. Care to post your dictionary of words you do know, because that appears to be a fairly minor list…

          “It is not itself a temperature.”

          Yes it is.

          However, we don’t do that to show the warming, since it’s much simpler to show how much temperature changed in an area as measured by thermometers sampling in that area, then finding the average warming.

          But we can, and do, give average temperatures by the method under discussion here, and they really ARE temperatures. Apparently “temperature” is yet another word you don’t know the meaning of.

          “Hansen’s 1982 puts it pretty much the way you do; the chart is the mean of many temperatures. ”

          No it doesn’t. Apparently, even when you yourself choose what you know, you don’t, in actual fact, know it.

          “In other words, the line on the graph is the mean.”

          The mean of what? Apparently you don’t know the meaning of “mean” either.

          “There’s been a subtle change over the years and now it appears common to think of the Earth as having a temperature”

          It always was that way, it wasn’t a change. And the earth DOES have a temperature. Just like every other macroscopic body, whether solid, liquid, gas or plasma.

          Did I already note that “temperature” is another word you don’t appear to understand?

          “but that invites the comic mental image of sticking a giant thermometer in the Earth to measure its temperature.”

          Only to morons who don’t know what temperature is, nor how you can measure it. In other words, and evidenced by both your display of ignorance AND the admission of having this comic mental image, you.

          “The most significant index would weight temperature measurements and other climate indicators relative to their impact on human survival”

          No it wouldn’t. And even if it were, it is meaningless and a nonsequitur, since we’re talking about global warming leading to climate changes, and proving the mechanisms for doing so are right (AGW), so that if we’re doing something bad, we can stop doing it.

          We don’t rate an index of toxicity to determine if poisoning someone is murder, we just make laws and agree not to use poisons in people’s food.

          “So instead of a “temperature”, it might actually be useful to have something like “HSI”, ”

          I’ve already said this is a nonsequitur, right?

          “How much has that view changed in 20 years besides having a great many more expensive houses intervening?”

          More nonsequitur.

          “The screenshot of my hometown which I made from that website back in 2009 ”

          So you don’t know what “Global” means. Or that you’ve just claimed to know the temperature of a town without sticking a giant thermometer in your town.

          “showed no trend that I could spot, but now, it has the obligatory nearly monotonic upward trend. ”

          And other places showed an increasing trend. Given no bugger lives there compared to the number who don’t live there, what the hell does your town have to do with what you claimed earlier was a better index?

          You also haven’t worked out the trend. nor the noise in the trend. Nor the change in the trend before and after 2009. So you don’t know the meaning of “no trend”, or even how you are supposed to find a trend.

          It isn’t by claiming “I can’t see one”.

          “Interestingly, inspection of the underlying data (the text file for that station) shows summer temperatures have been pretty flat since 1990”

          Indicating that the worldwide trend, as well as your local one, cannot be due to the sun, since it would have had its effect most in the summer.

          “that was the local peak”

          Apparently you don’t know what that means either. Given you don’t know what temperature is, you can’t be blamed for not knowing that those values aren’t absolutely 100% accurate for the entire town for the entire year, therefore you cannot claim it to be a peak unless you assign probability to that claim.

          “It is also possible that CO2 is actually making a difference but determining its contribution is a task beyond my capability or interest.”

          Then don’t claim it isn’t AGW or that those who DO and CAN determine its contribution are not neutral.

          Neutral doesn’t mean “don’t care, can’t care, won’t care”.

        • “Yes, with the provision that the points chosen do not change over time. The resulting calculation is an index, sort of like the Dow Jones index, or in business the “cap rate”. It is not itself a temperature.”

          Also untrue. One can test this easily enough by leaving out large chunks of the data and running the same statistical models on the remaining. And yes, it’s been done. For example, the Berkeley Earth project was specifically conceived to use more of the available weather station data using some newly developed statistical techniques. They not only got essentially the same answer for the global land surface temperature time series as the other groups, but they got the same answer when only using 2% of the station data.

          This works because, as you say, the temperatures are a “continuum” from one place to the next.

          • Good heavens. Well, I remember the difficulty I had “grokking” this concept.

            Temperature is not heat.

            Comparing the temperature of a cubic foot of water to a cubic foot of air is meaningless.

            Comparing air temperatures at different altitudes also fails to note the change in air pressure.

            Temperature is not a substance. It is a composite measure; heat per unit volume and even then meaningful only when comparing instances of the same substance at the same pressure.

            Temperature is, in large part, the vibrational energy of the molecules of a substance. You can have a very high temperature in thin air, but almost no heat (and in fact is the case near outer space).

            So what does it mean when you aggregate water heat, air heat?

            It means nothing. It is an index, and if you keep measuring the same way in the same places you get a useful trend, but the resulting number is not a temperature. If one says the average temperature of Earth is 17 C (or whatever it is said to be), that speaks to a certain excitation energy of its molecules. But what molecules? Air? Water? What is air?

            Suppose I said, “I have two containers of water. Each is exactly one meter tall, each is filled to the top. Do they contain the same amount of water?”

            That would actually be an entertaining test. What do you say?

            • “Temperature is not heat.”

              Nonsequitur. Again.

              “Comparing the temperature of a cubic foot of water to a cubic foot of air is meaningless. ”

              No it isn’t. Energy flows from hot to cold. If you can’t figure a temperature difference between different phases

              a) nothing would be able to freeze or boil
              b) you would be unable to have an atmosphere much above 100kelvin.

              Again, while you’re claiming you know something, you most evidently do not. Have you ever thought of not blowing hot air over something you know nothing about and wait until AFTER you know what the hell it is?

              “Comparing air temperatures at different altitudes also fails to note the change in air pressure.”

              Which is yet another BS nonsequitur.

              “So what does it mean when you aggregate water heat, air heat?

              It means nothing. It is an index”

              Nope, it doesn’t. It means a temperature value.

              “but the resulting number is not a temperature.”

              Yes, it IS a temperature.

              “17 C (or whatever it is said to be), that speaks to a certain excitation energy of its molecules.”

              It also speaks to a certain temperature. Seventeen degrees celsius.

              “But what molecules?”

              Those molecules.

              ” Air? Water?”

              Yes.

              ” What is air? ”

              The stuff you breathe.

              “What do you say?”

              When you feel like visiting reality, let us know.

          • Another example comes to mind. Temperature is to heat as voltage is to electricity. Each is a measure of pressure, the direction of energy flow if a path exists to flow.

            Static electricity is very high in voltage but has very little “energy”. If I rub my shoes at church I can get a centimeter spark from my fingertip and that’s about 10,000 volts.

            But if I grab a neon sign transformer that’s 10,000 volts, I’ll get the same spark but fat, hot and I’ll turn into a crispy critter.

            Suppose I average a tesla coil at 100,000 volts and a neon transformer at 2,000 volts. That’s 51,000 volts if I did this right in my head.

            What does it mean? Nothing. You cannot use this result in a computation of E=IR. It isn’t really an “E” except in an imaginary sense. The Tesla coil has almost no current availability, the neon transformer has quite a lot; but this variance is not conveyed in 51,000 volts.

            Suppose I replace the Tesla coil with the output of a hydroelectric dam also at 100,000 volts. I still get exactly the same “average”, but a whopping increase in power.

            So the average is pretty close to utterly useless for anything.

            Knowing the power available, on the other hand, is nearly everything, but without voltage the power isn’t actually available, so voltage (temperature) is a useful property and the first electrical instrument almost any budding electrical engineer gets is a voltmeter. When I was a teen my father bought me a Heathkit VTVM (vacuum tube voltmeter) which I assembled.

            • “Temperature is to heat as voltage is to electricity. Each is a measure of pressure”

              So, all those things you haven’t a clue about too.

              “What does it mean? Nothing.”

              No, it means that you don’t realise that temperature isn’t voltage.

              “So the average is pretty close to utterly useless for anything.”

              Only for the hopelessly clueless like yourself.

              “Knowing the power available, on the other hand, is nearly everything,”

              Not knowing that this isn’t electricity IS everything. It’s also everything you’ve forgotten.

              “When I was a teen my father bought me a Heathkit VTVM”

              If only he’d followed the yellow brick road and bought you a brain….

          • Oops. too much bolding. I followed a bold tag with an end-italic tag. Oh well.

        • “Look out your university classroom window perhaps at Mount Timp if you have a view that direction. How much has that view changed in 20 years besides having a great many more expensive houses intervening? Have you personally noticed the 0.3 degree change?”

          I do notice the winters getting generally warmer, in point of fact. My apricot tree often blooms too early, while it’s still winter, and then the next cold snap kills almost all the blossoms, so I get almost no fruit. This has been happening more frequently, of late.

          Also, there has been a 9% decline in Utah snowpack over the last 40 years, even though the total precipitation has remained about constant. Would I have noticed that myself? I doubt it. Is it significant? Absolutely.

    • And your answers to what is neutral merely indicate that you want a partisan party who agrees with you to be counted as neutral, WHICH IS NOT WHAT NEUTRAL MEANS.

      YOU don’t get to decide what words means, otherwise you can ferkle minstrup until the cows come home.

      NOBODY CARES whether you were, as you claim, in the Navy. It’s neither supported by any evidence nor is it relevant to what neutral means.

      The rest of that long (very very VERY long) screed is likewise merely words hiding the fact that you want to be asserted to have a neutral view merely because you “think” you’re right, and have NO CLUE what neutral means.

      • Wow writes “and have NO CLUE what neutral means.”

        Words mean precisely what I wish them to mean.

        • No they don’t. you moron.

  5. BB writes: “there is still such a thing as a good argument, and such a thing as a bad argument”

    Agreed. While definitions vary and more than one have merit, I will suggest that a good argument is one that accomplishes something; one person at least moves a little in some direction of understanding. It might not be either of the participants of course but is difficult to know if readers have changed their minds as a result.

    “I actually started out as something of a doubter about climate change, because I didn’t think humans could change things that much on a global scale.”

    In which case we have approached from opposite starting points and crossed paths somewhere along the way. I served in the navy during the cold war and was acutely aware of man’s ability to quickly change all climate everywhere via “nuclear winter”. If a single volcano can change climate (Krakatoa) so can factories.

    “The intellectual leaders on that side of the fence relied mainly on arguments that struck me as being scientifically responsible.”

    Agreed, somewhat provisionally. Finding the actual science was difficult in 2009, now I think it is almost impossible. It’s there, but buried in an avalanche of commentary and blogs. I have no opinion on things like Transient Climate Response; I see a lot of arguing and I love the arguments because sooner or later the wrinkles will be ironed out.

    “However, I found out that the intellectual leaders on the other side of the fence were relying mainly on arguments that were so bad, they indicated to me (at worst) a lack of intellectual honesty, and (at best) a severe lack of scientific understanding.”

    That may be. I doubt the existence of “the other side” and hence the existence of intellectual leaders. But this corresponds with my view of the “right”, that there isn’t one; it is defined by the left, which is defined.

    To me, all of human endeavor is basically a “monopole” — there’s the herd and everything else. What a person chooses to be if unsocial, differently-social or anti-social is unpredictable and hardly anything that can be lumped together. But the herd, well, by definition it can be only one thing, one think. It exists because it works most of the time for most people. But humans have also always had explorers, people that don’t want to be in a herd and yet have an instinct to find a pleasant place for people to life; and sheepdogs that, while not being a member of the herd, nevertheless feel a sense of duty to the herd. That is me. 20+ years in the Navy, 18 of them outside the continental united states. I feel a sense of duty to the herd and the species, but herd more than species, and yet I don’t belong in the herd. Nowhere I have traveled have I felt “at home” although my Scottish and Norwegian roots make me happiest in subarctic climates that most people seem to hate.

    “I know SkS is not a “neutral” source, but I have never seen anything coming from there that I thought was completely absurd.”

    I do, or did, but on closer inspection it is not quite as bad as it seems. The problem is the summary for idiots:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Talk about a stack of straw-man arguing. The short answers to the short questions are almost always “straw man” missing the argument completely.

    Consider #2: “It’s the sun” In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions

    Well, hello, for the past 20 years carbon dioxide and climate have gone in opposite directions, or at least not tracking. Also the thermal peak of 1940 is not explained by CO2.

    A reasonable short answer is to agree with the argument, after all, nearly all energy on Earth is actually from the sun, and while acknowledging some variation of the sun, try to quantify its impact rather than just look stupid by denying it, making SkS the denier.

    How about #3: “It’s not bad” Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.

    Not yet they don’t. Finding actual negative impacts is not trivial, finding benefits is pretty easy, for now.

    But you asked for absurd. Gee, where to start.

    #6 “Temp record is unreliable” The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.

    Say what? Now THAT is absurd. Also, SkS is a bit slow on receiving the memo to “not use the satellites”.

    #12: “CO2 lags temperature” CO2 didn’t initiate warming from past ice ages but it did amplify the warming.

    How about just say “yes, that is an interesting phenomenon, something we hope governments of Earth will pay to study!”

    #19 “Al Gore got it wrong” Al Gore’s book is quite accurate, and far more accurate than contrarian books.

    Same thing. Why cannot just say “yes”? Al Gore is a political scientist whose name ought not to be mentioned in the same paragraph as global warming or climate change.

    #26 (see also #7, same issue) “It’s Urban Heat Island effect” Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.

    No, they don’t, prior to homogenization anyway.

    This one is borderline absurd:
    #35 “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas” Rising CO2 increases atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse.

    CO2 does not increase atmospheric water vapor. Availability of water, combined with warmer air, accomplishes this. Now it may be that CO2 causes the air to be warmer enabling this chain of events, but that is not what the answer says.

    123 “Sea level is not rising” The claim sea level isn’t rising is based on blatantly doctored graphs contradicted by observations.

    Blatantly doctored? http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9439040

    Okay, absurd:

    135 “Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup” By breathing out, we are simply returning to the air the same CO2 that was there to begin with.

    That is true of essentiall all CO2 everywhere! Even if you have to go back to precambrian to find your CO2 that turned into a carbonate rock that weathered that became a clamshell eventually eaten, pooped out, joined somehow to oxygen, sucked up in a carrot and you ate it and metabolized the hydrocarbons.

    What I inhale is mostly nitrogen, some oxygen, and a hint of CO2. What I exhale has less oxygen and a lot more CO2 (a swap, as it happens).

    Absurd:

    143 “Water vapor in the stratosphere stopped global warming” This possibility just means that future global warming could be even worse.

    Well, does this indicate SkS agrees that global warming has stopped?

    Of course the future could be worse. It could get hotter, it could get colder; I wish I knew so I could migrate north or south to retire!

    Possibly absurd:

    148 “Venus doesn’t have a runaway greenhouse effect” Venus very likely underwent a runaway or ‘moist’ greenhouse phase earlier in its history, and today is kept hot by a dense CO2 atmosphere.

    No mention of Venus being a lot closer to the sun (duh). The high pressure atmosphere means that the infrared capture and emit property of CO2 is probably mooted by physical collisions (conduction and convection).

    “The premise is as follows—through supposed adjustments, nefarious scientists manipulate raw temperature measurements to create (or at least inflate) the warming trend. People who subscribe to such theories argue that the raw data is the true measurement; they treat the term adjusted like a synonym for fudged.”
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/truth-about-temperature-data.html

    Well, I’ll admit that it is a computer based automated fudgment but essentially yes, that’s it. I looked at the adjustments for where I was stationed in the Navy in Alaska and the adjustments are absurd. There is no UHI when the daily average wind is at least 20 knots and the community is barely bigger than a village. The weather station was about 200 feet from my barracks. On a daily basis, sometimes several times a day, weather balloons were launched. The Navy is and was meticulous in its weather reporting especially in Alaska because of its impact on aviation. Who has the right to change that data? Nobody!

    “Imagine that you reset the thermometer at 4:00pm on a hot summer afternoon. ”

    Hah! What I wouldn’t have given for a hot summer afternoon in Alaska. We saw the sun at all an average of ten days a year. Day and night had essentially the same everything — temp, wind, everything. BLEAK. I loved it but I was almost the only man that did. I think I was born under a stormy sky (Pacific Northwest, no surprise).

    So they stick a TOBS adjustment on a site that doesn’t need it. Great.

    Still, overall the article is pretty good.

    I do wish graphers would be sensitive to colorblind. I have a bit of difficulty with fine red and green lines. Fat red and green I’m okay with but fine lines give me some difficulty.

    So it looks like the raw data show cooling from about 2003, actually all the lines look like that but adjusted is higher.

    what about WUWT?

    Well, I’m not even going to try to find the most absurd article, story or comment there. Perhaps you would suggest one or three. It is a very busy site and I don’t go there for the absurd. It’s a great place to get climate related news, and sometimes news not particularly climate related but interesting to some people.

    Gotta run; no time to review and proofread three times as I usually do. I hope the formatting tags are balanced. Well, here goes!

    • “I will suggest that a good argument is one that accomplishes something; ”

      Then none of yours have been good ones.

      “one person at least moves a little in some direction of understanding”

      Please define what you mean by “understanding”. Remember, words you use mean what YOU mean them to mean, not what everyone else has decided the English word means.

      Because under my understanding of “understanding”, you refuse to understand anything and will never change or modify, therefore making an argument with you pointless BECAUSE YOU WILL MAKE IT SO.

    • “what about WUWT?

      Well, I’m not even going to try to find the most absurd article, story or comment there. Perhaps you would suggest one or three.”

      Yet you spent much time looking for (And failing, might I add) finding the absurd on SkS.

      Biased much?

  6. So I was reading through Michael 2’s last post and took a look at the tide gauge he cited:

    http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=9439040

    That gauge happens to be for Astoria, Oregon the city of my birth so I’m fairly familiar with the area.

    M2 presents that graph as evidence that the SkS post on sea level rise is wrong because he found one station where the trend is downward. I’m sure others can be found as well.

    What he fails to consider though it that the North Pacific coast of the US is subject to subduction zone uplift. As the ocean plate subducts under the North American plate it causes the edges of the NA plate to rise as the subducting plate pushes against it. The thing is when the next subduction zone earthquake happens the uplift will be given back and the areas will drop.

    I went looking for some information about uplift along the Pacific Coast and found this:

    http://geodesygina.com/Cascadia.html

    It is a presentation on methods used to study the area and results of of research. It is quite interesting in a general sense and I recommend reading it.

    But there is a graph of uplift rates along the NW coast and just eyeballing the graph it looks like the rate of uplift in the Astoria area is around 2 mm/year. The tide gauge for Astoria shows a trend of -0.27 mm/year (+/- 0.34 mm/year). So if the uplift rate is 2 mm/year and the tidal trend is -0.27 mm/year there’s a discrepancy of about 1.73 mm/year and that could well be due to sea level rise.

    My point is it’s not very useful to cite one tide gauge without taking into account local factors that may affect it.

    • “My point is it’s not very useful to cite one tide gauge without taking into account local factors that may affect it.”

      It IS if your aim is to lie and mislead. Then ignoring those features is all you have to help you.

  7. Barry, even though I agree that satellite temperature measurements are not the gold standard (yet), their spatial and temporal coverage can not be matched by land based measurements.
    Also, I’m glad to see your obsession with the good lord is up and running in the new year (:

    • Hi Colin. You are correct about the coverage being much more even. And yes, your humble Monckton correspondent has been somewhat derelict in his duty, but no more!!!!

      • Haha. Well that certainly brought a smile to my face.

  8. […] Monckton issued thinly veiled threats to send Peter Sinclair to jail for FRAUD!!!! because of a perfectly reasonable video Peter […]


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