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EPA Head Denies Basic Climate Science Facts
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  • Suzy Dixon

    He said nothing wrong. And carbon bearing molecules are naturally sequestered by trees, and even in the ocean. In fact, the oceans currently absorb more than one third of all carbon produced by human activity, and there is promise of using carbon for fracking to sequester it in the ground, as well as further storage in the ocean.

    • Unelected Leader

      Well that’s true. Of course, any carbon bearing molecule is a greenhouse gas, but then again so is water vapor. In fact, water vapor is a more potent greenhouse gas then any carbon bearing molecule.
      Basically, it’s hard to take the alarmists seriously after they have failed to meet their own deadlines for catastrophe for many years now, and theyve yet to provide evidence that such a catastrophe is even upon us

      It’s a lot like the peak oil nonsense that I grew up hearing about. The spigot was about to run dry any day…. except that was totally wrong and the world is still awash in hydrocarbons

      • D4x


        • Suzy Dixon

          Malthus is correct! This is an anti-human agenda and they’re going to need to start executing a lot of human beings as well as cows because their flatulence is a major contributor to methane release.

          • Unelected Leader

            Yep. That’s really how absurd it is — boils down to talking about cow farts.

          • D4x

            From March 7: Peter Thiel, the technology investor and adviser to President Donald … “Maybe it’s methane emissions, and the real problem is eating steak.” Not a coincidence, although I am still learning how TeamTrump ‘stimulates’ new media echoes in order to expose received wisdoms.

            One received wisdom is that cow flatulence is the problem. A few years ago, it was sheep flatulence. Before that, it was landfills. Surprise: now it is termites.

            “…Almost half of the world’s methane comes from natural sources such as wetlands, rivers and streams, gas hydrates on the ocean floor, and permafrost.

            Termites, surprisingly, are the second largest source of global natural methane emissions; they produce the gas as part of their normal digestive process. …”


    • DiogenesDespairs

      Climate will do what climate will do as it has for hundreds of millions of years. Meanwhile, it is wise to base decisions and policy on hard fact.

      Here are some crucial, verifiable facts – with citations – about human-generated carbon dioxide and its effect on global warming people need to know and understand. I recommend following the links in the citations; some of them are very educational. And please feel free to copy/paste this comment wherever you think it will do the most good.

      The fact is, there has been global warming, but the contribution of human-generated carbon dioxide is necessarily so minuscule as to be nearly undetectable. Here’s why:

      Carbon dioxide, considered the main vector for human-caused global warming, is some 0.038% of the atmosphere[1]- a trace gas. Water vapor varies from 0% to 4%[2], and should easily average 1% or more[3] near the Earth’s surface, where the greenhouse effect would be most important, and is about three times more effective[4] a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. So water vapor is at least 25 times more prevalent and three times more effective; that makes it at least 75 times more important to the greenhouse effect than carbon dioxide[5]. The TOTAL contribution of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect is therefore 0.013 or less. The total human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution has been estimated at about 25%[6]. So humans’ carbon dioxide greenhouse effect is a quarter of 0.013, works out to about 0.00325. Total warming of the Earth by the greenhouse effect is widely accepted as about 33 degrees Centigrade, raising average temperature to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. So the contribution of anthropogenic carbon dioxide is less than 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or under 0.1 degree Centigrade. Global warming over the last century is thought by many to be 0.6 to 0.8 degrees Centigrade.

      But that’s only the beginning. We’ve had global warming for more than 10,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age, and there is evidence temperatures were actually somewhat warmer 9,000 years ago and again 4,500 to 8,000 years ago than they are today[7]. Whatever caused that, it was not human activity. It was not all those power plants and factories and SUVs being operated by Stone Age cavemen while chipping arrowheads out of bits of flint. Whatever the cause was, it melted the glaciers that in North America once extended south to Long Island and parts of New York City[8] into virtually complete disappearance (except for a few mountain remnants). That’s one big greenhouse effect! If we are still having global warming – and I suppose we could presume we are, given this 10,000 year history – it seems highly likely that it is still the overwhelmingly primary cause of continued warming, rather than our piddling 0.00325 contribution to the greenhouse effect.

      Yet even that trend-continuation today needs to be proved. Evidence is that the Medieval Warm Period centered on the 1200s was somewhat warmer than we are now[9], and the climate was clearly colder in the Little Ice Age in the 1600s than it is now[10]. So we are within the range of normal up-and-down fluctuations without human greenhouse contributions that could be significant, or even measurable.

      The principal scientists arguing for human-caused global warming have been demonstrably disingenuous[11], and now you can see why. They have proved they should not be trusted.

      The idea that we should be spending hundreds of billions of dollars and hamstringing the economy of the entire world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is beyond ludicrous in light of the facts above; it is insane. Furthermore, it sucks attention and resources from seeking the other sources of warming and from coping with climate change and its effects in realistic ways. The true motivation underlying the global warming movement is almost certainly ideological and political in nature, and I predict that

      Anthropogenic Global Warming, as currently presented, will go down as the greatest fraud of all time. It makes Ponzi and Madoff look like pikers by comparison.

      [1] Fundamentals of Physical Geography, 2nd Edition

      by Michael Pidwirny Concentration varies slightly with the growing season in the northern hemisphere. HYPERLINK “”

      [2] ibid.

      [3] HALOE v2.0 Upper Tropospheric Water Vapor Climatology Claudette Ojo, Hampton University; et al.. HYPERLINK “” See p. 4.The 0 – 4% range is widely accepted among most sources. This source is listed for its good discussion of the phenomena determining that range. An examination of a globe will show that tropical oceans (near high end of range) are far more extensive than the sum of the earth’s arctic and antarctic regions and tropical-zone deserts (all near the low end). Temperate zone oceans are far more extensive than temperate-zone desert. This author’s guess of an average of 2% or more seems plausible. I have used “1% or more” in an effort to err on the side of understatement.

      [4 NIST Chemistry Webbook, Please compare the IR absorption spectra of water and carbon dioxide. ] HYPERLINK “”

      [5] Three quarters of the atmosphere and virtually all water vapor are in the troposphere. Including all the atmosphere would change the ratios to about 20 times more prevalent and 60 times more effective. However, the greenhouse effect of high-altitude carbon dioxide on lower-altitude weather and the earth’s surface seems likely to be small if not nil.

      [6] National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. HYPERLINK “” The estimated 90ppm increase in carbon dioxide, 30% above the base of 280 ppm, to a recent reading of 370 ppm, equates to just under 25% of present concentration, the relevant factor in estimating present contribution to the greenhouse effect.

      [7] History of Earth’s Climate. This account was written by someone for whom English was a second language and focuses on Scandinavia, but it draws together evidence from around the world, and provides insight into the challenges of judging temperatures in earlier geological times.[8] New York Nature – The nature and natural history of the New York City region. Betsy McCully

      [9] Global Warming: A Geological Perspective John P. Bluemle HYPERLINK “” This article, published by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency, is drawn from a paper by the author in Environmental Geosciences, 1999, Volume 6, Number 2, pp. 63-75. Note particularly the chart on p.4.

      [10] Ibid.

      [11] Wikileaks: Climatic Research Unit emails, data, models, 1996-2009 HYPERLINK “,_data,_models,_1996-2009”,_data,_models,_1996-2009.

      See also HYPERLINK “” and

      HYPERLINK “” and, more diplomatically: HYPERLINK “” Et al.


      What initially troubled me was the aberrant behavior of the climate research unit at East Anglia University, which had been the main data source for AGW arguments. They initially refused (!) to reveal their algorithms and data on the grounds that they were proprietary(!!). They responded to critics with ad hominem attacks and efforts to block their publication in scientific journals. Now, as I am sure you know, this is not how one does honest science, in which you PUBLISH your data and methodology and invite critical comment to ferret out error or oversights. It took the now-famous Wikileaks “Climategate” to pry loose the data and expose their machinations. Yet despite the devastating blow these revelations should have to their credibility, the AGW “cause” has taken on a life of its own.

      Fundamentally, the argument seems to rest on a logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc – after this, therefore because of this. We see a rise in temperature and a rise in (principally) carbon dioxide, and therefore conclude one must have caused the other. It does not necessarily follow at all. There can be other causes entirely behind both phenomena, and as you see above, almost certainly there are. Beyond that, I have encountered numerous assertions of fact that cannot add up given the physical properties of water vapor and carbon dioxide that go unchallenged. One-sided arguments proliferate and people arguing the other side are frequently denounced as being employed by business interests rather than rebutted on the merits.

      In sum, I have not come lightly to the conclusion that the AGW argument as it applies to carbon dioxide is largely untrue and certainly does not account for more than a very small, nearly negligible part of the phenomena we are seeing. The implications of widespread assertions of and belief in such an untruth are staggering, and potentially enormously destructive. It is unwise indeed to let oneself be stampeded in this matter, and stampede is clearly what many have been and are trying to induce.

      I can understand politicians behaving this way; a carbon tax or carbon trading regime would allow enormous revenues to fall into their hands. I can understand “Progressive” ideologues; it logically leads to enormous expansion of government power over industry, the economy, and the daily life of individuals, which they regard as a good thing. I understand the environmentalists; they want to shrink the size and impact on the environment of modern civilization. But responsible citizens need to put aside such considerations.

      • rpabate

        Excellent post. Spot on.

  • D4x

    What if the culprit is methane, and/or nitrous oxide? Challenging CO2 is not heresy. Even it is CO2, should the priority be Taiga, and other forests, or more nuclear? Who decided stopping Alberta’s tar sands and Appalachian coal were the priorities?

    • leoj

      What if “The Science” is primarily about curtailing those targets–because something was needed to change everything (N. Klein)–and only secondarily (if at all) about understanding the underlying physical dimensions of the phenomenon. Menton takes up the outrage in a post:

      • D4x

        Yes, to both your primarily and secondarily points, clarifying my original comment. TY so much for link to Thomas Menton, bestcounter-punch to this NYT report, especially when he indirectly notes the late 19th century starting point, which supports my point about Krakatoa.

        “…Excerpt: A January report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concluded, “The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”

        What I have seen is the September 2016 Research Report by Wallace, et al. that demonstrates conclusively and empirically that just a few natural factors — to wit, oceans, the sun, and volcanoes — are completely sufficient to explain all warming that has been observed, leaving nothing to be explained by human emissions of “greenhouse gases.” The Research Report has been extensively peer reviewed and widely disseminated, including at this website. No one has refuted it, or even made a serious attempt at refutation. …”

        And, on a more philosophical note, here is a follow-up to Anton on LIO, which better addresses the problem with our colleges, etcetera that others do not comprehend – the title is misleading – seems, to me, a breathtaking exposition on the thought that led us to “National Sovereignty, Not Populism”:

        A Renewed Republican Party By Joshua Mitchell

        [Apologies for no better summation because I really have to deal with unexpected return of winter today, and fear of more home structural damage from freeze/thaw next few days because I made the mistake of trusting a neighbor posing as an experienced contractor to fix a bad drainage problem. Really should read de Tocqueville to recognize when it will be safe to start trusting neighbors again ]

        • leoj

          Yeah, I am planning to read Mitchell’s piece. Reading Pappin’s on Conservatism first. BTW, Mitchell had some excellent pieces in TAI that I think are still worth looking at:

          • D4x

            TY for the links. I never pursued an intellectual life. My current interest is to understand the ideologies driving the righteous mishegoss of the left, and the fractiousness on the rest of the ‘political’ spectrum. Thus, the Mitchell essays at TAI are bookmarked, for a morning read.

            In searching for Pappin on Conservatism, came across theimaginativeconservative,com, with an interesting look at Bannon.

            Look forward to our next sidebar.

          • D4x

            “What Americans ever voted to make their country one of banking executives on the one hand and Walmart clerks on the other?” is the best sentence in a stimulating de-labeling dissection of -isms, e.g., conservatism, progressivism, centrism…

            This must be the Pappin you were reading:
            I have chosen to NOT read the NYT on American Affairs Journal, but hope TAI will read it, and maybe add some new balance to their dialogs..

          • leoj

            I agree. I thought both essays were excellent, though the Mitchell was perhaps a little more abstruse. NYT reviewed it? Huh, sure they were fair…

            Continetti had a brief write-up on it:
            He mentions the Lowry/Ponnuru essay that caused all the controversy over at NRO. IMO, I liked Mitchell’s typology of nationalism (Covenantal/Liberal/Ethnic) but wish he would have gone into what is meant by covenantal a bit more. He points to Lincoln/MLK and racism which is suggestive but he doesn’t really flush it out. Even for the side of the covenant that remains purely internal it is too reductive (in Judaism there is freedom from slavery and the tablets on the mountain and the promised land, etc.).

          • D4x

            The NYT Arts section has been quite fair on FLOTUS’ fashion since Wintour’s ‘blessing’. Even after I stopped reading the NYT Op-Ed, international, and politics coverage, I still found Business, Real Estate, and most of the Arts sections real. It was the pay wall that cut my morning habit, and this election that made even the 10 free articles per month too toxic.
            This is quite good, well worth the read.
            Thoroughly weaves American Affairs Journal background, reactions, and launch at the Manhattan Harvard Club:
            “…The main event was a discussion of globalization between Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Trump supporter, and
            Anne-Marie Slaughter, the president and chief executive of the left-leaning think tank New America.

            “We’ve already seen a partisan realignment,” Mr. Lind said.
            “What we’re now seeing is an intellectual realignment, as both parties’ intellectuals try to catch up with their bases.” …”

            Catch up on this tbc…

          • leoj

            “intellectual future of conservatism” — You can see they are already trying to domesticate it. In contrast, the “conservatism of the Beltway” are an obstacle and a sort of thing of the past in Continetti’s reading. Otherwise they play little role. This seems to fit with Pappin’s derisive comments about checklist conservativism and conservative instincts:
            Republican and many Democratic voters were voting on the basis of fundamentally conservative impulses. The desire to improve the economy, put America first, and take a firmer line on immigration all express “conservative” instincts in a more fundamental respect than that promoted by Cold War conservatives and their Nineties holdovers.
            The fact that he needs to put conservative in scare quotes is telling… Yes, tbc 🙂

  • Andrew Allison

    Fake news from TAI? How disappointing. What he said was: “But we don’t know that yet,” he added. “We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.” Given that, pardon the repetition, CO2 is up 30% since 1998 and global temperature has not increased by a statistically significant amount, that seems like a reasonable proposition.

    • Matt_Thullen

      Not only that, but he only said that he doesn’t believe that CO2 is the “primary contributor”. He never said that it doesn’t affect climate. The debate over CO2 is whether there is some type of forcing that would make higher levels of CO2 increase warming greater than what normally can be expected. So far, climate scientists have a pretty poor record with the accuracy of their forcing theories.

      Words matter, and it’s disappointing that TAI is failing to read what people actually say, but is reacting against what the authors think a person means. That kind of sloppiness is a credibility killer.

      • Andrew Allison

        Yes, we expect this kind of crap from the MSM, not from TAI.

        • Matt Bodien

          I don’t know the answer myself, but be aware that the source of the article doesn’t determine the legitimacy or the truthfulness of the claims. Be aware that we as humans have a natural tendency to immediately agree with any piece of information that agrees with our prior beliefs (e.g. climate change is a lie), and immediately disregard any piece of information that disagrees with those beliefs. We naturally prefer publications that produce information that agrees with our prior convictions (NYT v. TAI).

          It’s crucial to not confuse “this feels right” with “this is right.” Not suggesting one thing or another about the issue of climate change, just offering up some insight on our instinctual reaction to this type of info.

          • Andrew Allison

            This is not about climate change, or even whether the primary driver is CO2, but about an absolutely ludicrous piece of fake news by a TAI staffer. Here are the facts: Pruitt said that he doesn’t believe that CO2 is the primary driver of climate change, and that we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis. From this, a wet-behind the-ears kid obviously uninterested in the facts deduced “EPA Head Denies Basic Climate Science Facts”.

  • Gary Hemminger

    If greenhouse gasses mean rising temperatures, then why is Mars not exceedingly hot? Mars’s atmosphere is mainly CO2, but it is not hot on mars. Your statement above “Industrialized society is emitting these GHGs in record quantities. It’s exceedingly clear, then, that humanity is culpable for our changing climate, even though we’re still struggling to accurately predict just what these changes are going to bring,” just doesn’t jive with reality. Venus is very hot and has lots of CO2. Mars is very cold and has lots of CO2. If CO2 or other GHG’s by themselves caused warming, then Mars would be exceedingly hot, which it is not. There is no scientific proof that could separate out human caused vs. natural caused climate variation. The climate is always changing. If runaway global warming starts to happen, we can blame it on humans, but I don’t see runaway global warming.

    • Observe&Report

      Mars is much farther from the sun and has a much thinner atmosphere (160 times thinner than Earth’s atmosphere), hence it is colder. Venus is much closer to the sun and its atmosphere is 96.5% CO2 vs Earth with 0.04% CO2. Venus’s atmosphere is also 93 times denser than Earth’s atmosphere, hence it is much hotter.

      • Gary Hemminger

        Exactly. CO2 does not dominate the warmth on a planet. There are other things that matter at least as much as CO2. And the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere is very, very small.

  • Gary Hemminger

    For over 100 years now, people have been trying to convince the gullible public that we are going into an ice age, or global warming. Nothing shows this better than the following chart from the farmers almanac…

    Note that the NY Times in the 1930s was saying global warming, then they switched in the 70’s to global cooling, then they switched back again to global warming. Talk about those not understanding history repeating themselves! Anyone that has studied climate on earth knows that the climate shifts. 10,000 years ago there was a mile of ice over NY. Our SUV’s didn’t melt that.

    • D4x

      Interesting how this chart starts at 1895. Krakatoa erupted in 1883, which did change climate patterns for 5 years. Cooler. Perhaps current particulates are offsetting CO2.

  • Gary Hemminger

    One last thing…science is not based on consensus. Science is based on repeatable findings and experimentation. There was consensus the world was flat. There was consensus that plants and animals just were (until Darwin). To show how political global warming was, answer the following questions:

    1. What one man showed that plants and animals evolved? (Darwin)
    2. what one man provided the theory of mechanics? (Newton)
    3. What one man developed the theory of relativity? (Einstein)
    4. What one man developed the theory of global warming? What is the name of the book that they wrote to prove it? Answer no one and no book. There is no theory of global warming. Never was, never will be.

  • rheddles

    I hate to go all ad hominem, but I have to ask, is the author a graduate of Middlebury?

    • Andrew Allison

      There’s no way to hedge this, no charitable way to read it, no softer way to frame it: the author of this post is an idiot.

      • rheddles


    • Pete


  • Joel W

    You mean the basic science the co2 is less than 3% of the atmosphere and has never been proven to be the cause. Until methane release and geo-engineering programs are acknowledged for their roll in it, there CAN NOT be a serious discussion. And you or anybody else is a complete fraud for not doing so. Talk about denial. As for the tern Climate denier, you and everybody who uses it is plain retarded. NOBODY denies the existence of climate. If you have any integrity you will use the more act term, man made climate change skeptic. Because there is still ZERO proof that co2 has anything but a trivial amount to do with it.

    • Fat_Man

      “co2 is less than 3% of the atmosphere”

      a lot less. The current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 400 parts per million which is 0.4%. As such it is the 4th most abundant gas in the atmosphere, not including water vapor as a gas, Argon is 900 ppm.

      • Joel W

        Oh my mistake. Further validates my point though. Thank you for the correction. And thank for the water vapor addition. Always forget about that too, which traps tons of heat.

        • Fat_Man

          Da Nada.

          The real heat engine that drives the atmosphere on earth is the sun shining on the oceans. The oceans, being a thousand times more massive than the atmosphere contain, about 99.99% of the energy in the climate system. The models “parameterize” the contributions of the oceans to the system. Parameterize is a fancy word for fudge.

          • Joel W

            How dare you use logic and facts. That’s racist. Haha. Yea I always found it very peculiar that the EcoNAZIs refuse to acknowledge that fact even when brought up in direct discussion. Like a gigantic ball of flaming hydrogen could never possible effect anything. Talk about denial of science. Children understand that concept. Until they are brainwashed into believing that human exhaling is the absolutely, positively only factor. Another thing I discovered is that when you point out that the fact that there is a difference between carbon (as in soot, an actual problem) and co2, and that modern exhaust scrubbers have done away with the actual carbon problem, you get the blank stare of a damn zombie. Again, we are the ones who deny and ignore basic science. ‘Idiocracy’ has definitely long ago stopped being a comedy (its hilarious in a holy crap this is too real kind of way) and become an absolute perfectly accurate documentary. Like the meme about 1984, ‘Idiocracy’ was meant to be a warning, not an instruction manual,

          • LarryD

            Yeah, the models might be more accurate, if they were trying to model Mars.

            Models based simply on the cyclic behavior of the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic Decal Oscillations is a better fit to actual observations. All of the AGW arguments are based on a group of models, none of which actually predict global temperatures. In a real science, failure of the actual system to behave as models predict refutes the models. In “climate science” it’s “what are you going to believe, your lying eyes or our models?”

            And they wonder why their credibility is so low.

          • Fat_Man


            You and JH should read:

            New Paper: Computer Predictions Of Climate Alarm Are Flawed
            Date: 21/02/17
            Global Warming Policy Foundation

            Claims that the planet is threatened by man-made global warming are based on science that is based on inadequate computer modelling. …

            The report’s author, eminent American climatologist Professor Judith Curry, explains that climate alarm depends on highly complex computer simulations of the Earth’s climate.

            But although scientists have expended decades of effort developing them, these simulations still have to be “tuned” to get them to match the real climate. This makes them essentially useless for trying to find out what is causing changes in the climate and unreliable for making predictions about what will happen in the future.

            Professor Curry said: “It’s not just the fact that climate simulations are tuned that is problematic. It may well be that it is impossible to make long-term predictions about the climate – it’s a chaotic system after all. If that’s the case, then we are probably trying to redesign the global economy for nothing”.

            Professor Judith A. Curry is the author of over 180 scientific papers on weather and climate and is a recipient of the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992. She recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she held the positions of Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

          • Andrew Allison
          • Fat_Man

            And we are so surprised.

  • Proverbs1618

    What a pile of crapola. First of all, the author never defines what “normal” client is? When was the climate in a perfect state? When NY was under a mile of ice? When US Southwest was much drier than it is today about 800 years ago? When there were tropical jungles on the South Pole? All of these climate events occurred. So I repeat my question to the author and to everyone really, when was this magical state of normality achieved?

    • D4x

      “normal” climate, not client?

      • Proverbs1618

        Yes. Thank you.

  • Fat_Man

    What Pruitt said was absolutelty 100% the truth. The so called “climate scientists” build computer models of the climate that assume that CO2 is an independent variable. They then claim the results of their models show that CO causes global warming. Of course all the models show is what their assumptions are.

    There is a good deal of evidence that atmospheric levels of CO2 are an effect of warming not a cause. Like a can of soda removed from a refrigerator, warm water holds less dissolved gas than cold water. This is called Henry’s law.

    The go to website for unbiased science on the climate is:

    They will undoubtedly soon publish a take down of the NYTimes Fake News on this subject.

    • Matt

      Caution: be careful not to confuse “this feels right” with “this is right.” This is called the affect heuristic and I am equally as susceptible to it as anyone else. The only thing we can do about it is examine evidence from multiple perspectives (liberal, conservative) and be curious about all the causes of the evidence. might hold the most accurate judgment on climate change. NYT and the rest of media certainly got it wrong about the election, and that prediction was for NOW, and not in 10’s or 100’s of years! But, be cautious that we as humans believe what we want to believe and that all media (NYT, TAI, can and does play into that by providing information that agrees with your “mental story.”

    • Fat_Man

      Still no reaction from WWUT, But Judy Curry has reacted. Who is Judy Curry?

      “Professor Judith A. Curry is the author of over 180 scientific papers on weather and climate and is a recipient of the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1992. She recently retired from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she held the positions of Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.”

      She is a real climate scientist, not a leftist political hack. Here is her comment on Scott Pruitt’s statements:

      “If I am interpreting Pruitt’s statements correctly, I do not find anything to disagree with in what he said: we don’t know how much of recent warming can be attributed to humans. In my opinion, this is correct and is a healthy position for both the science and policy debates.

      “Exactly what the Trump administration intends to do regarding funding climate science, energy policy and the Paris climate agreement presumably remain as subjects of debate within the administration. Looking at every little leak and quote out of context as a rationale for hysteria simply isn’t rational or useful.

      “The most interest reaction to all this is David Robert’s vox article:

      “‘The right’s refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.’

      “The ‘problem’: a change of administration and party after 8 years, mainstream media no longer has a lock on the media’s message (given all of the new news sources on the internet), academia’s profoundly liberal bias is being challenged, and the consensus that has been negotiated and enforced by certain elite scientists is being challenged.

      “Three cheers for democracy, the internet and the scientific process.”

  • Fat_Man

    “the basics, on which a scientific consensus exists”

    There is no subject on which a consensus is less relevant than science. In the 1930s, the Nazis published a book titled: “One Hundred authors against Einstein”. Einstein said why do they need a hundred authors, one would have been enough if he were right.

  • CaliforniaStark

    This post is vituperative name calling, pure and simple. The issue of uncertainty is very real in the climate change debate; and has been ably raised by Dr. Judith Curry. The WRM attack on Sessions could just as easily be applied to Dr. Curry, whom WRM has referred to favorably in the past. Sadly, all this post does is discredit this blog. WRM owes Pruitt an apology.

  • Mark Hamilton

    “Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane work to trap more of the sun’s radiation in our atmosphere, and in so doing lead to rising surface temperatures. Industrialized society is emitting these GHGs in record quantities. It’s exceedingly clear, then, that humanity is culpable for our changing climate, even though we’re still struggling to accurately predict just what these changes are going to bring.”

    There’s a big jump there from greenhouse gases can cause higher surface temperates to man is responsible for our changing climate. The author seems to just pretend there are no other causes for climate change in order to blame man for whatever is going on.

    I’m no scientist and I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night either. But if the author’s summary was true, the climate would resemble Mann’s hockey stick. It is true that we are pumping out more greenhouse gases than ever before, yet it is not true that our climate is warming in an exponential rate. In fact, the warming seems to be basically static from what I can tell. One potential explanation for that is that greenhouse gases are simply not the main driver as the author states.

    • Simpatica

      Mann’s hockey stick is a fraud. If you take 100 sets of random numbers and apply his “adjustments” like he did to the climate data you will a hockey stick graph for 80 of the 100 number sets. The Bernie Madoff of climate science.

      • Mark Hamilton

        That may well be the case, but my point is that the author’s logic about climate change – if true – should lead to a hockey stick like result in temperate increase. Man is either the primary driver of climate change or man is not. The evidence, from what I can tell, does not support the author’s certainty on this issue.

  • marcossantiago

    If this was written by WRM, he needs to stick to what he understands. He clearly doesn’t understand climate science. I suggest a few hours with Richard Lindzen and Will Happer to set him straight.

    • rpabate

      Yes, absolutely and Dr. Curry as well.

  • Kneave Riggall

    Dear Prof. WRM:
    Please fire the author of this article, JH, who is completely clueless about the “debate” over climate change.

    • Andrew Allison

      The words after clueless are redundant. It’s not just that JH knows nothing about climate change, but that he’s abysmally ignorant about reporting, as opposed to regurgitating AGW doctrine.

      • Kneave Riggall

        You are correct. I apologize for my prolixity.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Almost all of Donald Trump’s high level appointments amount to “a shame for the country”. What’s new? Corporations are getting a pass for anything they want. Bumpkins are being repaid dozens of ways for bumpkin votes. Thoughtful people, even those such as center-right TAI, are being signaled from the government with what amounts to STFU. This all gets much worse before it gets better. While you’re waiting that out would be a good time to remember that all (ALL) of this administration was brought to you by religion gone cockeyed.

    • Tom

      Let’s assume that everything you’re saying is right, just for arguments’ sake.
      How is what you’re describing different from what would have happened if your girl won?

      • FriendlyGoat

        Competent people instead of wrecking balls would be appointed to agencies.
        Congress would be obligated to behave somewhat more like adults. Millions of people would not be slapped in the manner now commencing and which you have been celebrating. Stay tuned. It all gets much worse from here. We are due for basically an outrage a week (maybe a day) all year.

        • Tom

          Of course, the possibility that wrecking balls might be necessary–or, for that matter, the possibility that the Huffington Post might be slightly over the top–has never occurred to you.
          And let’s be real here–we would be dealing with an OUTRAGE! a week if John Kasich had beaten Saint Hillary of Chappaqua.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I don’t read Huffington Post. I shouldn’t even answer your questions since all you want to do is argue from the spirit of derision.

          • Tom

            Nice Biblical put-down. I approve.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Really? Honest to goodness?

        • Greg

          So, unconstitutional federal agencies are OK with you?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, of course. Even though Muslims believe that the sayings of Muhammad are fixed for all time and are sufficient for all needs, this is not a reason for Americans to believe the same of the U.S Constitution. Most of the agencies are addressing real needs in our time which were not seen in the late 18th Century. If we have an EPA and it is technically unconstitutional by originalist interpretations, so what? We still need to be concerned with many environmental issues, and states, for the most part, are not capable of addressing them. The same is true of agencies for communication, weather, aviation, financial regulation, bank insurance, labor relations, elder programs, education, energy, highways, and dozens of other modern realities.

    • Dale Fayda

      “Thoughtful people” do not endorse Obama twice.

      Personally, I’m pleased as punch with most of Trump’s cabinet selections and am not the least bit outraged. In fact, my biggest concern is that he doesn’t go far enough in ripping the Deep State a new one.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Of course you’re pleased as punch. I sometimes wonder if it really is TAI’s goal to attract the posse of haters and cynics who assemble regularly in this comment section.

        • Anthony

          A goal if only they (TAI) could induce them to pay for a TAI subscription and not economically free ride!

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m sure they would wish for more paying readers, but, seriously, the comments on this particular article should make TAI wonder whether its mission is being taken seriously—–or whether it simply is maintaining a hangout for assorted nuts.

          • Anthony

            You know, FG, I’m inclined to agree as I question where TAI now inclines. Its beginnings certainly offered more exhaustive and informative (ideas/exchanges) give and take among both site contributors (WRM, Fukuyama, Garfinkle, and others) and commentators. Then, there existed much less dogmatism and rigidity and more inclination to engage the hows, whys, and therefore of conflicting points of view. I think WRM in collapsing ViaMedia into The American Interest as well as sidelining his own interspersed comments and replies (and those of Garfinkle, Fukuyama, et al) may have inadvertently open the floodgates you imply. (the aforementioned said while acknowledging decade changes in online open forums).

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m not blaming TAI. There is just very little balance here in the comment section and I have to wonder if the editors don’t scratch their heads at that from time to time and say to themselves, “Gee, we’re trying. Why is our comment section mostly a cynical mess?

          • Anthony

            I didn’t want to infer that TAI is to blame for your puzzlement or that you were laying blame. I think TAI like much of our media environment has become saturated by the intensely motivated (opinionated maybe)- despite TAI’s best efforts at high brow topic consideration. You kind of obliquely hinted at it on another thread (packs, faultfinding captious critics, dogmatism, faux righteous entitlement, not knowing what you don’t know) and TAI’s portal (reputation) has availed veneer of erudition to what passes in real world context as low brow cynicism. So, yes, it may not be TAI but the decades lost and the inadequacies rarely confronted internally.

          • FriendlyGoat


          • Anthony
          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, there really are two kinds of populism. Unfortunately, one of them just lost—— for a generation or more—–as best I can tell. Even when some people wake up and switch sides, they will find that the federal tax code is gone at the high end, their state laws changed against them, the courts are packed against them and a string of new
            precedents are in existence to be overcome. I wish I didn’t feel the need to say such pessimistic things, but the steam roller is rolling and “education” is harder than ever right at this moment.

          • Anthony

            Say what you must (feel) regarding “policies” impacting the average American citizen. You’ve said nothing above that does not need communicating. The populism (2) angle, though, appears another attempt to describe social flux. Categories like list help some people to focus the mind.

          • Greg

            If it’s a “cynical mess”, it’s likely due to deranged idiocy like the subject essay.

        • Dale Fayda

          Is that what you “sometimes wonder”? Only “sometimes”? Too much time on your hands, perhaps? Well, what do you think TAI is doing wrong and what should they be doing differently to attract more enlightened liberals like yourself. Do tell.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m a practical guy with practical observations. Most of the views expressed here in the comment section are far to the cynical right of TAI itself. This is a Breitbart audience thinking itself too educated and sophisticated to be at the real Breitbart, apparently. The point is, the commentary here in the lower section tends to detract from the authors.

  • rpabate

    CO2 warming signature is logarithmic, which means that as the level of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, it warming impact decreases. This is the reason all climate models need to add positive feedbacks for the warming to rise to any meaningful extent. These feedbacks have NOT been empirically validated. The biggest positive feedback in the models is water vapor, because water is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. It is thought than the small warming created by CO2 will cause more water to evaporate, which will create more warming, which will cause more water to evaporate. However, more atmospheric moisture also probably means more clouds. Clouds reflect the suns rays and have a cooling effect. So instead of a positive feedback, water vapor could by a negative feedback. Another negative feedback that I am not aware of being programmed into the climate models has to do with plant growth. CO2 has had a huge impact on global greening, from food crops to natural vegetation. I have read where the earth’s vegetation since the start of the Industrial Revolution has added vegetation equal to the size of two mainland U.S. Let’s not forget that before fossil fuels the heating and cooking fuel was firewood. Today, New England has far more vegetation than in colonial days. All this additional vegetation requires CO2 to live, which take CO2 out of the atmosphere and is a negative feedback.

    There is a theory currently being tested at CERN that the sun influences the climate by its influence on cosmic galactic rays (“CGR”). When the sun is quite, more CGRs reach the earth’s atmosphere where they may seed cloud formation. When the sun is very active, it reduces the CGRs that reach the earth’s atmosphere. Cloud fa certain type can cool the earth. If this theory proves correct, and there is a lot of statistical correlation between periods of low and high sun activity and colder and warmer, respectively, global temperatures. If the impact turns out to be large enough, predicting global temperatures means we would need to predict the sun’s changing activity.

    The climate science establishment has made a huge mistake by allowing the political Left to hijack the science and create the impression that CO2 is the control knob for the climate. Nothing is further from the truth. The climate is a highly complex system that we have only scratch the surface understanding.

    I could go on but I will end this post by providing what I think are three very illuminating statements: two by “alarmists” and one by a “skeptic”.

    Chrisitiana Figueres Former Executive Secretary of U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) at a news conference in February 2015 in Brussels admitting that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

    “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

    Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

    The late Stephen H. Schneider’s, October 1989 interview with Discover magazine

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    What Schneider has described is what is now practiced in this scientific field, post-normal science where personal and political values influence one’s determination of how the science is presented.

    The late Hal Lewis’ Resignation Letter to The American Physical Society

    From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

    To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

    6 October 2010

    Dear Curt:

    When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

    How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

    It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

    So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

    1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

    2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a
    scientific society is at stake.

    • Fat_Man

      “CO2 warming signature is logarithmic”

      In economics this is known as principle of diminishing marginal productivity. The day I began to understand that the principle, which is rooted in basic arithmetic, applied to CAGW, was the day I understood that the theory of CAGW is garbage.

  • Pait

    Denying facts is not about science itself, but rather an attack on the notion of rational argument.

  • ljgude

    I would recommend Edward R. Dougherty’s The Evolution of Scientific Knowledge; from Certainty of Uncertainty. It is available in PDF for free and after an excellent review of philosophy and science explains the emerging epistemological problems of 21st century science primarily in the field of cancer research but also of climate science. In a way oversimplified ‘nutshell’ he says it is not currently possible to get enough data to build models capable of predicting the development of cancer inside a cell or for that matter climate change. While his mathematics are beyond me, it becomes crystal clear that the verbal shift from global warming to climate change occurred because the models failed. The old grand narrative only worked if the temperatures went up. Now it works no matter what the temperature does which is an implicit admission of Dougherty’s point that models lose their predictive power in highly complex areas of study. What is real is pollution. It effects on a global scale is currently unknowable. At the same I do not want Mr. Pruitt in an overzealous deregulation program returning to the release of industrial waste, raw sewage, or nuclear waste into the environment that was the norm when I was a boy. I remember travelling with my parents in about 1950 along the Connecticut river in Massachusetts and spying a rickety catwalk emerging from a tenement leading to a privy perched high above a sizeable tributary to the great river. I knew right there that I would never have the courage to use that facility on a dark and stormy night.

  • Proud Skeptic

    It’s time this “consensus” was openly debated. In four years we will understand the nature of this thing better than we ever have.

  • rheddles

    JH seems to be a denier of the commentariat consensus on the issue of anthropogenic climate change.

    That is what I find so intriguing about this blog. While WRM condemns the blue state model, it’s clear that he voted for Hillary. And the interns certainly did. Yet he attracts a commentariat that I suspect, mostly did not. Yet the discourse remains at a relatively high level. A great blog.

    Thank you all.

  • Anthony

    Merchants of Doubt:

    “The industry attacks on climate science have a clear and simple logic. Despite many disputes on the specifics, scientists have reached a broad consensus on key points: Climate change is real, caused largely by humans, and threatens substantial negative effects. If this consensus comes to be accepted widely—that is, if climate scientists are seen as legitimate guides to key facts—action to constrain carbon emissions is much more likely (Frank Luntz, the GOP messaging expert, captured the essential point in a 2002 memo to potential GOP candidates: Should the public come to believe the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate. The scientific debate is closing [against us] but is not yet closed). Remarkably, even as the scientific evidence accumulated over the next decade, Luntz and his allies would succeed in prying that window open.

    Merchants of doubt have emerged wherever rent seekers resist regulation. But their role was especially heightened in the climate change fight because of several distinctive characteristics of the issue. Not only does reducing emissions require societies to sacrifice short-term benefits to avoid long-term pain, but the costs of action are concentrated on some powerful losers. To make matters worse, we can’t see the problem (unlike, say, a bulging waistline). Though some effects have become increasingly manifest—record temperatures, extreme weather events, disappearing ice sheets—the biggest dangers continue to lie over the horizon. Rent seekers and their supporters recognized these political openings. To undermine the credibility of climate science, they trotted out a range of themes: The scientists and environmentalists were ‘extremists’ or ‘alarmists’ with a secret (‘Marxist’ or ‘socialist’) ideological mission; they were elitist hypocrites because they lived lives of carbon-consuming luxury…or they were simply fools (because ‘sound science’ suggested that warming was not occurring, or took place for natural reasons, or would have minimal or even positive effects).

    The flourishing counternarrative of ‘denialism’ involved a range of specialized groups focused on climate change and funded in part by the fossil fuel industry. A pollster’s strategy paper for the groups outlined the goal of repositioning global warming as a theory not fact. The countermovement involved over one hundred distinct organizations that include expressions of skepticism about climate change as a central part of their agenda. Every one of the major conservative think tanks—including Cato, Heritage, and the American Enterprise Institute. There was even a large increase in books advancing denialist claims; the overwhelming majority of these books were linked to and promoted by conservative think tanks, which provided a veneer of respectability,” (Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson)

    • Fat_Man

      I am still waiting for my check from “industry”. No amount is to small not to be gratefully accepted.

      • Anthony

        Share the proceeds.

        • Fat_Man


          The skeptics are well educated and have researched the issue in the face of a constant barrage of CAGW propaganda. Indeed it was the heaviness of that barrage that made us suspect we were being manipulated by leftist political propaganda that had only a thin veneer of science. Industry is far too politically timid to have been involved.

          • Anthony

            You’re over generalizing (regarding intent of specific reference) and because you think a component of the Manufacturers strategy is/was rubbish does not make the tactic any less real. The skeptics are probably wide ranging demographically but the quoted pollster’s strategy referenced “older, less educated males and younger lower-income women in districts reliant on coal-generated electricity.” Whether you or any others are being manipulated is not at issue – the Hacker and Pierson quote adds another perspective to EPA Head Denies Basic Climate Science Facts.

          • Fat_Man

            No. Anthony. There was no manufactures strategy. It didn’t happen. You don’t need a strategy to get coal miners to oppose Wamnunism, when leftist presidential candidates tell the miners that the left wants to shut the mines down.

          • Anthony

            The attempt was proposed in a strategy; whether it was executed to letter, I am not aware (and actually to that specific don’t care). The point of my post is that other points of view regarding “the science” exists. The left/right of it, I’ll leave to those so disposed.

          • Fat_Man

            It exists solely in the fever swamps of deluded leftism. Any good leftist knows that politics is more important than reality.

          • Anthony

            Maybe so, Fat_Man, maybe so. But the fevered swamps make room for your designated “good rightists” also.

        • Comment Monster

          Because they know anybody sent through college is a brainwashed tool.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “climate denier”

    “climate change”

    “settled science”

    These phrases reveal the lies of the environmental activists. The “Global Warming” hypothesis was disproven when the predicted warming failed to occur. Any scientist worthy of the name, would have gone back to the data to see where they went wrong. Instead we see name changes, personal attacks, and claims of scientific consensus, as if “science” was a matter of political support.

    • Arkeygeezer

      I agree. The idea that CO2 produced by humans is a major cause of climate change is ludicrous, Both human produced and CO2 produced by nature, compose less the .039% of the atmosphere.

      I am glad to see that the EPA administrator has the same skepticism.

  • lukelea

    I would disagree that we have learned a lot more about the effects of CO2 on global temperature over the past couple of decades. The direct effect is well-understood and it is not alarming: approximately 1 degree centigrade for an initial doubling of CO2, less for a second doubling, and less still for a third — nothing we can’t live with or adapt to. The controversy is over the positive feedbacks which may or may not exist, about which the science is still very much out. As a general rule nature favor negative feedbacks because they lead to stability. Positive feedbacks lead to runaway effects.

  • Pete

    If you’re so cocksure that the climate is warming, why have the Greens shifted from the use of ‘climate warming’ to ‘climate change?’ Could it be because the climate hasn’t warmed in the past 20-years or so?

    Scott Pruitt is correct. Now it is up to President Trump to get the U.S. out of that Paris agreement.

  • jburack

    For the life of me, I am trying very hard to see how Pruitt’s statement quoted in this article differs one iota from the author’s claims about CO2 and climate. Pruitt says “I would not agree that [CO2 is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” and then adds, “But we don’t know that yet.” This article says, “humanity is culpable for our changing climate, even though we’re still struggling to accurately predict just what these changes are going to bring.” I suppose someone else can parse these statement to detect a dime’s worth of difference between them. I can’t. What is then truly dishonest is this follow up to the last of the above quotes: “Over time, deniers of climate change have been forced to acknowledge the above. . .” Climate deniers” is a phrase that has in fact NEVER made a lick of sense about any critic of catastrophic global warming alarmism. No one I have ever read denies that climate is changing all the time. Everyone knows that. In fact, one of the key notions in the skeptical case is PRECISELY that no fixed temperature level has ever existed or could ever be called a “norm” against which current trends are to be measured. For this piece to use the bogus and propagandistic concept of “climate denial” as a frame of reference is a disgrace. I expect better from American Interest.

  • Rick Johnson

    The is 100 per cent correct.
    Those who think he is wrong do not understand science.

    • Comment Monster

      Thanks, Ranger Rick. Glad you’re the smartest person in the room again.

  • The ability of CO2 to absorb infrared photons is sharply limited like other greenhouse gasses by the number of energy transitions the molecule possesses in those frequencies. If I remember correctly, the number of such transitions for carbon dioxide is four. Once those transitions are filled, the molecule can absorb no more such photons until one of the excited states decays to its ground level, emitting a photon in the process. Since the lifetime of the excited state is many hundreds of times longer than it takes for a photon to reach the top of the troposphere, most such photons just whiz past without interference to escape into space. This explains why the sensitivity of the atmosphere to greenhouse forcing is much less than was previously thought.

    There is actually a much better model for global warming that does not depend on man-emitted CO2 at all. It involves solar wind from the sun determining how much cosmic rays penetrate the atmosphere to create cloud nucleation centers around which clouds form. See the post Solar Wind, Cosmic Rays and Clouds: The Determinants of Global Warming for details.

  • Comment Monster

    Screw you. You’re bitching that he’s not taking the “respectable” rear-guard view of cowards like you. Co2 increasing benefits the world.

  • D4x

    “…The question is not whether carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The question is whether it is the “primary control knob for the climate.”
    The question is whether it is the greenhouse gas, the one factor that dominates all other factors …’”

  • Metilda Archer

    Exxon Mobil has studied climate change and its affect on their ocean drilling since the late 60’s and they raised the height of all their oil derricks as a result of this study as they realized climate change would affect their company adversely if they didn’t take action before it was too late and too expensive.

    • Fat_Man


  • EMyrt

    As will become clearer over the next months, Pruitt is essentially correct and the author has been misled by junk science, faked consensus and globalist media propaganda.
    The greenhouse metaphor was originally naive and oversimplified, and is now disingenuous at best and deliberately meretricious at worst. The climate models ignore solar, water vapor (a much more effective “greenhouse” gas than either CO2 or methane), clouds and ocean effects.

    For some perspective, see:
    Note that the planet has had periods of much greater CO2 levels than at present, with no human presence as a factor. Also note that we are pretty clearly still in an interglacial, and a mini-ice age is more likely than runaway warming.
    JH could do worse than spend some time on the Watts Up With That site and really read some skeptic positions.

    Finally, if the science is settled, why do the alarmists always lead with such rhetorically shady tactics? Consensus, credentialism, censorship, shouting down, ad hominems, etc., are their stock in trade. This is a tell that they are neither scientific nor intellectually honest, but have prostituted themselves to political globalism in return for money, power and influence.

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