Climate

More on the laughable, padded “Inhofe 400”

I have previously debunked the absurd list of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) with over 400 names of supposedly “prominent scientists” who supposedly “recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called consensus’ on man-made global warming.” So had many others (and here and here).

At Grist, climate scientist Andrew Dessler, has continued running “The ‘Inhofe 400’ Skeptic of the Day” repeatedly identifying some skeptics who were completely unqualified and others who are qualified but not actually skeptical. His latest posting is so good, parts deserves repeating here. Meteorologist George Waldenberger is on the list. In response, George sent an email to Inhofe’s staffers that began:

Take me off your list of 400 (Prominent) Scientists that dispute Man-Made Global warming claims. I’ve never made any claims that debunk the “Consensus”.

You quoted a newspaper article that’s main focus was scoring the accuracy of local weathermen. Hardly Scientific … yet I’m guessing some of your other sources pale in comparison in terms of credibility.

You also didn’t ask for my permission to use these statements. That’s not a very respectable way of doing “research”.

Yet, as Dessler notes, “he’s still on the list.” Dessler’s other conclusions:

Second, the more I look through this list, the more it perfectly demonstrates the weakness of the skeptics. The AGU, for example, has 50,000 members, the majority of whom are Ph.D. Earth scientists. Inhofe would have been tickled pink to take any one of them. But he couldn’t. Despite the huge numbers of qualified scientists out there, Inhofe could barely muster a few dozen for his list.

As a result, Inhofe was forced to include on this list people with zero qualifications as well as people who are not actually skeptics. In the end, I estimate that his list is 80-90 percent bogus — which leaves a few dozen credible climate skeptics on the list. Hmm, just what I’ve been saying all along.

Third, several commenters here as well as other websites have taken it upon themselves to look at the qualifications of the authors of the IPCC. Despite their best efforts, none of them has been able to provide names of any authors of the working group 1 report that are similarly unqualified.

It seems that a careful analysis of the situation shows clearly that the scientific consensus is as robust as ever. Keep tryin’, Jim.

My only disagreement with Dessler: I’d end by saying “Stop tryin’, Jim — please!”

20 Responses to More on the laughable, padded “Inhofe 400”

  1. John Mashey says:

    Likelihood of Jim voluntarily stopping trying: ~0.

    On the other hand:
    See issue #2 in:
    http://andrewforoklahoma.com/free_details.asp?id=48

    which says, among others:
    “Andrew Rice knows that global climate change is real and threatens our way of life. He supports policies that reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants that contribute to global warming. He will promote public/private partnerships to develop alternative energy as a sure way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and clean up the environment. Rice will work to shift government investment from oil companies to clean energy technologies. He will support creation of a national, market-based program to reduce global warming pollution and increase fuel efficiency. He wants to help restore America’s role as a world leader on addressing global climate change.”

  2. JR says:

    Want to know what’s really laughable? Those non-profit Carbon Credit firms failed to put hold-harmless language in the “Terms & Conditions” applicable towards the consumer. As a result, as the temperature starts getting progressively colder in about a decade across the board, they are going to be on the receiving end of litigation that makes the Tobacco Suits look like a walk in the proverbial park. That’s not even mentioning the criminal complaints that will surely follow (Fraud, Larceny etc.). There’s even precedent for civil litigation against firms and individuals dispensing false information causing financial loss to another individual who thought this information was in good faith (which it ain’t).

    The leaders of this “Green” movement to prevent man-made Global Warming (now being toted as “Climate Change” due to some embarrassing realities allowing all inclusiveness) are shifting from “protecting the planet” to “protecting their own posteriors (read portfolio).”

    I’m going to enjoy this.
    Cheers,
    JR

    PS: Looks like those pesky global Ocean temps aren’t cooperating either. They were warmer in the 1940’s during warming trends.

  3. Joe says:

    Close. “Climate change” was popularized by conservative strategist Frank Luntz since it sounds less ominous.

    Not sure what ocean temps you mean. Data/hyperlink please.

  4. David B. Benson says:

    Oh dear. Seems that JR does not understand the physics.

    :-(

  5. Paul K says:

    Who coined the phrase the science is settled? I found this apt quote from Gavin Schmidt at realclimate. “Where have you read that I have stated that the ’science is settled’? If I thought that, I wouldn’t still be a scientist. That kind of statement is instead a strawman” – In fact, it is the AGW accepters who invoke “the science is settled”. The skeptics say it isn’t. Gavin seems to agree as he continues – “characterization of what scientists are saying,and at maximum reflects only the basic consensus and certainly not 90% of what it is that scientists are actually doing. For many purposes the outstanding points of contention are not relevant to most people – which is why 90% of papers on climate don’t get a press release”. Amazing, beyond the consensus that CO2 ppm drives climate in a probably bad way, most of climate science is not settled. There is not yet more than a rudimentary understanding all that will be known about climate. The scientists will no doubt continue their work.

  6. John Mashey says:

    Paul K: sorry, I thought you weren’t going to go off into tired rehashes of science debates?

    Do you actually know real scientists? Do you work with them? Is there a university near you where you can attend public climate talks and ask real scientists questions face-to-face? Or do you prefer being an anonymous poster? Do you think that’s contributing anything to anybody? Why?

    Hopefully, you are already rich, or your financial health is tied to oil company profits… because if not, and you are an average working guy, you (and your kids, if you have any) are about to get screwed over real well…

    In any case, when someone says “The science is settled”, they mean that the basic idea is as strongly supported as say, evolution or quantum mechanics, which certainly doesn’t stop biologists or physicists from continuing research on all the things they don’t know. There’s a ton of stuff we do not know about subatomic physics, but that doesn’t mean your computer stops working because the transistors say “Oops, humans don’t know everything, we go on strike.”

    We’ve been able to simulate car crashes well enough for years to drastically reduce the number of real car crash tests needed, but that doesn’t stop people from wanting to build even better models with more detail, like having different sorts of simulated crash-test dummies, and simulating at even finer detail to see where weight reduction is safely possible. But, the basic science underneath virtual cras crashes was settled long ago.

  7. Paul K says:

    John Mashey,
    You are wrong in everything you said about about me including my motivation for citing that quote except for one thing. You are correct. I know nothing about science. I know and have known some scientists. I hold them in high regard. I knew nothing about climate science or global warming before I stumbled on this site last July. I was appalled by Joe’s apocalyptic predictions and intrigued by the methods he proposed to avert disaster. I’ve tried to learn all I could about both the science and the policy. Frankly, the science is beyond me. I don’t understand the math and I can’t decipher the graphs. I think I do have a grasp of where climatology is in its development. While I am skeptical of the future scenarios envisioned at climateprogress, I accept the IPCC as authoritative and would never argue CO2 ppm has no effect on climate.

    I find “the science is settled” particularly annoying for exactly the same reason Gavin Schmidt never says it. In fact he seems to consider it an insult. It is not the contrarians but the warmers who constantly repeat “the science is settled”. But Gavin says there are outstanding points of contention. One of them is sensitivity to the doubling of CO2. There is as yet no definitive answer. The IPCC puts it 3C +/- 1.5C. Joe thinks it is much higher. Since 2005, the cut off for the last IPCC report, many papers have been presented supporting sensitivity above, below and within that range. I’ve looked at some of them, hardly understood any of it. I can say there is uncertainty and this particular uncertainty has a big impact when brought over to the policy side.

    As to who continues tired rehashes of science debates, it was in fact Joe who posted for the second or third time about this month old story of a ridiculously misrepresented list that was laughed out of the discussion shortly after it appeared. You may note my comment had nothing to do with it. When I read Joe’s comment about Frank Luntz coining climate change, it reminded me of what I’d read the other day at realclimate and thought to cite it here. You took this as a hostile act. I assume that from the unseemly venom of your attack on me.

    It is insulting to call me an anonymous poster. A click on my name takes you to my website. You might be surprised what you find. I’m a pretty nice guy. I believe you are really John Mashey but there is no way here to find out who John Mashey is. Who then, is the anonymous poster.

    You perhaps are a scientist or know enough of them to competently discuss it. As a scientist can you really say the statement that there is not yet more than a rudimentary understanding all that will be known about climate is untrue? I think not.

  8. John Mashey says:

    Paul K: sorry for not noticing the pointer [this screen doesn’t distinguish dark green and back so well]. As for me: Google: John Mashey works fairly well. I’m not a climate scientist, but I’ve worked with them.

    But: I’ve seen a lot of your posts… and you wrote, in another thread:
    ‘*An Inconvenient Truth is riddled with well documented errors.* IPCC reports are a very difficult read for most. *There is as yet no definitive understanding of climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks, only a range of estimates.* People respond poorly to what they perceive as scare tactics and exaggeration. On the denier side, misinformation and misinterpretation abounds. *Even though it is no doubt scientifically meaningless, it is hard rhetorically to get around the fact that 1998 remains the warmest year and variations since 2001 are statistically insignificant.*”

    You say you know nothing about science, but you make 100% certain assertions like the comment about AIT. You make sciency-sounding statements like those about sensitivity, etc.

    I’m, sorry if was overly harsh, and if you’re not what you seem to be, I apologize, but really, you may not realize that you are perfectly simulating classic deniers who don’t understand science, repeat propaganda they don’t understand from the usual sources, make wrong or misleading statements with 100% certainty, and sometimes combine “I don’t know much, please help me” with detailed statements, like sensitivities.

    As you noted, this thread wasn’t about “the science is settled”. Why did you feel compelled to bring that over here, and complain about unnamed “AGW accepters”?

    I’ll give it one more try, in the hopes that you don’t really realize how similar your postings are to classic denialists:

    what is your trusted source that lets you (not a scientist) say, with 100% assurance, that AIT is riddled with well-documented errors? i.e., gives us a URL or URLs. Your skepticism of the climate consensus shows up quite often in your posts.

    Are you also skeptical of:
    – evolution
    – smoking relationship with disease
    – CFC influence on ozone depletion
    – Mercury damage to health

    just to pick a few?

    =====
    *I* will say, speaking as somebody who has worked with a lot of climate scientists, talks often with world-class ones, and helped build supercomputers used for many of the simulations that:

    a) Your statement at the end is not meaningful.

    b) We know a *lot* about the climate system, mostly because we know a lot about physics and chemistry, and we have huge masses of consistent data. Calling it rudimentary is an offensive insult to large number of very good people, some of whom of whom are friends of mine, and some of whom have been subjected to personal harassment by people who use the same sort of words as you do.

    it’s not that climate science doesn’t have a lot left to do, but “rudimentary” has strong derogatory *connotations.* I have the IPCC documents, have read big chunks, and they are not rudimentary.

    Would you call Newton’s Law’s of Motion rudimentary? They absolutely are not as good as Einstein’s. Are they good enough to launch satellites? Yes.

    If you were a Nobel Prize winner in physics, and said climate science was rudimentary, I’d be surprised … but in fact, I know several such people, and that’s not what they say. Why do you think that, when you say you don’t know science? Are those the acts of a “nice guy”? Do you talk that way about, for example, medical researchers, because they don’t know everything? Petroleum geologists? Particle physicists? Biochemists? Or is it just climate scientists?

    c) Science provides increasingly-better models of the real world. We certainly don’t know everything, but even if we had no computers, we would know that:
    – The Greenhouse Effect is real, from basic physics.
    – Although temperatures jiggle around, over decades, more GHG’s mean higher temperatures. If you read RC, you should understand by now that random jiggles over a few years are meaningless.
    – People knew enough to make fairly decent projections 20 years ago.

  9. Ronald says:

    I think that saying ‘the science is settled’ and saying ‘there is a consensus’ are two different things. Maybe not entirely different, but different enough that a person wouldn’t say one when they meant another.
    The entire field of climate science is not settled, but parts of it may be and that would be where the disagreements would be.
    I myself have never heard or read anyone saying ‘the science is settled’, but I have heard ‘there is a consensus’ which I’ve accepted.

  10. Dano says:

    Amen to John Mashey.

    As I said elsewhere on this site, denialists got nothin’.

    Best,

    D

  11. Paul K says:

    John Mashey,
    I Googled you. Very impressive. I’m pretty much an idiot around computers, too, but I do have a rudimentary grasp of HTML coding. Rudimentary – pertaining to the first principles of a subject, elementary. Synonyms include initial and embryonic; antonyms, advanced and mature. The word is not pejorative as to climate science, it is descriptive. Gavin Schmidt has compared it to a teenager. Your statement “Would you call Newton’s Law’s of Motion rudimentary? They absolutely are not as good as Einstein’s. Are they good enough to launch satellites? Yes.” is pure sophistry. It took several hundred years for science to develop launch capability from Newtonian rudiments. If you are comparing the state of physics from Newton’s or even Einstein’s time until now to the state of climate science development, you are making my point for me.

    I cited the quote reacting to Joe’s annoyance about another’s misuse of the term climate change. I am annoyed by the constant “the science is settled” from those would would impose often draconian policies. I know enough about science to know that scientists don’t use the term the way those advocating policies do. I think the quote shows Gavin shares my annoyance.

    The comment you referenced from the previous thread thread was in response to Joe’s post on the importance of language in the discussion. It pointed to several reasons I believe there are so many skeptics. I don’t think you can refute any of them. Do you really wish to claim AIT is not full of errors? The scientists, including those that advised on the movie, have acknowledged many of them. It doesn’t matter, they say, because the general tone is correct and, after all, AIT was never intended to be a scientific document. Do you contend IPCC reports are easy to read or that we do have definitive understanding of sensitivities and other uncertainties in climatology? I may not have a scientist’s understanding of these uncertainties, but I comprehend enough to see they are there. I also understand that scientists are working every day to resolve these uncertainties and expect them to do so as time goes on. Am I to understand you do not think people react poorly to perceived scare tactics and exaggeration or that deniers do not spread misinformation and misinterpretation? And finally, the temperature record is the temperature record and people will make what I described as meaningless inferences from it.

    As to your attempt to label me a denier (talk about a pejorative), I’ll go with the IPCC assessment that there is a high probability – 85 to 90% – that CO2 is the likely cause of the current warming. I am all for finding the most effective ways to reduce GHGs and all other pollutants and am trying to formulate an approach to that end. Oddly enough, you and I have both encouraged Joe to deemphasize the science posts and concentrate more on what we agree are the more relevant and pressing policy and technology issues.

    Now, in the interest of thoroughly replying , let me address the other science issues you listed. Evolution – No argument here. The remarkable similarities in the DNA of all living things is hard to ignore. As a side note, I believe in a creator but not “creationism”. There is nothing in the Bible at odds with anything in science and those, especially the young universe proponents, who attempt to use the Bible to refute science are seriously misreading that good book.
    Smoking relationship with disease – Well established, he said with a slight cough.
    CFC influence on ozone depletion – Interesting subject. I used to be in complete agreement, but this summer the leading scientists studying this said there may be other possibly greater influences as yet unknown. One thing they noted is that the hole showed signs of improvement before the ban on CFCs could have had an effect. In any case, I would keep the ban in place.
    Mercury damage to health – Well proven, which is why I oppose the widespread use of CFL bulbs in favor of LED lighting as the way to reduce energy consumption.

  12. Ron says:

    Paul,

    A while back I also noted that ‘the hole showed signs of improvement before the ban on CFCs could have had an effect’ and I was called names around here. Be careful when you question folks’ faith. They’ll turn on you.

  13. Paul K says:

    Ron,
    Maybe they thought you were saying CFCs have no effect on the ozone layer. As I said whether, the influence is major or minor, the ban should stay in place.

  14. Shakira says:

    tiger by the tail?

    Did Andy accidentally grab one now (or the other way around)

    go look ar the actual website

  15. Dano says:

    “The science isn’t settled” was an IndyFunded talking point that was promulgated, IIRC, 2002-2003-ish.

    I’d have to go back into my archives to verify, but Dano used to run down where these things came from at TCS about that time. These phrases are continually recycled all the time.

    Best,

    D

  16. John Mashey says:

    I wrote:
    “I’ll give it one more try, in the hopes that you don’t really realize how similar your postings are to classic denialists:

    what is your trusted source that lets you (not a scientist) say, with 100% assurance, that AIT is riddled with well-documented errors? i.e., gives us a URL or URLs. Your skepticism of the climate consensus shows up quite often in your posts. ”

    I’ve been through this before. I asked once. Won’t bother you again. (virtual) KILLFILE.

  17. Paul K says:

    John Mashey,
    Before responding, I’d like to make something clear. While I am indeed skeptical of the disaster scenarios he presents, I am as committed as Joe is to replacing fossil fuels as our source of energy and power, maybe more so. Reading climateprogress has inspired me to think seriously about how to reach that goal and I will very soon propose an approach I hope both you and he will support. Let me also say that even before I learned of your many achievements, I have been impressed by the quality and intelligence of your comments to this blog.

    Now to the question at hand. There is a recently identified and perhaps troubling falsehood. In AIT, a graphic is presented to prove the validity of the Mann Hockey Stick. The graphic is identified as the Thompson Thermometer. Lonnie Thompson is one of the leading experts on ice core climate reconstructions. Al Gore calls him “my good friend”. He was a scientific adviser to the movie. Well, it turns out the graphic is not the Thompson Thermometer. It is, in fact, merely a slight reworking of Mann’s original graph. Not long ago, Dr. Thompson was asked if he was aware of this error and what he had done to correct it. You can read about it here.

    Here’s an interesting quote: “There are a few scientific errors that are important in the film. At one point Gore claims that you can see the aerosol concentrations in Antarctic ice cores change “in just two years”, due to the U.S. Clean Air Act. You can’t see dust and aerosols at all in Antarctic cores — not with the naked eye — and I’m skeptical you can definitively point to the influence of the Clean Air Act. I was left wondering whether Gore got this notion, and I hope he’ll correct it in future versions of his slide show. Another complaint is the juxtaposition of an image relating to CO2 emissions and an image illustrating invasive plant species. This is misleading; the problem of invasive species is predominantly due to land use change and importation, not to global warming.” Surely, I found this quote on some wild-eyed denier site. Nope, it’s from therealclimate review of the movie by Eric Steig
    How many more examples of errors in AIT and of scientists acknowledging them do you require? They are available by Googling errors inconvenient truth. Please stop trying to smear me as a denier.

  18. Dano says:

    Most, if not all, climate scientists say AIT got it mostly right.

    Quibbling about a few errors and then implying the whole movie is wrong is like saying because the bridge gussets failed in MN all the US bridges need to be replaced.

    But I like it when CA is used as a source. Like I said: they ain’t got nothin’.

    Best,

    D

  19. Paul K says:

    Dano,
    You are correct. CA is, among other things, a haven for those looking for a knockout punch against AGW theory. They won’t find it there. McIntyre, who runs it, continually stresses that he accepts the broad concepts of AGW. His focus is on what he considers sloppiness in climate science practice. He has had some marginally positive effect on it. Whether he is ultimately anything more than a grumpy old man, only time will tell.

    It’s good that they ain’t got nothin’. What is your plan to solve the climate crisis?

  20. kamaranti says:

    What is scientific or wise about polluting our environment to begin with? Do you sleep in your own waste? Would you run the exhaust of your car into your bedroom for a night? I WANT my power company to develop clean solutions. I WANT my car manufacturer to develop a clean and affordable car. I WANT my waste company to process trash responsibly. I WANT my stores to reduce waste. I WANT manufacturers of all products I buy to use common sense and put good effort into not polluting our natural resources, water, air, environment. That’s how I want to live. And economy says that if we ALL do that, it ends up being a lot cheaper. Why would someone want to be AGAINST this very common sense and voluntarily pollute? It’s inconvenient. Very inconvenient. Very very inconvenient indeed. That’s all I can think of.