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BBC asks CRU’s Phil Jones the climate version of “When did you stop beating your wife.”

By Joe Romm on February 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm

"BBC asks CRU’s Phil Jones the climate version of “When did you stop beating your wife.”"

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The general meltdown of the media on the climate story continues with the BBC’s “interview” of Dr. Phil Jones, the climate scientist at the center of the hacked e-mail scandal.

Many of the question were spoon-fed from the anti-science crowd:  “The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate sceptics.”

The interview reveals Jones is not terribly adept at answering questions, particularly the inane trick-questions from the disinformers.  Like many climate scientists, he issues very carefully worded statements in his own area of expertise and isn’t anywhere near as familiar as he should be on the literature outside of his expertise.  Of course, even the most careful wording can’t stop you from being mugged by the Daily Mail.

The interview is equally revealing of the BBC reporter, who is almost shilling for the disinformers here, asking some questions that go far beyond merely uninformed.  I’m so glad someone else thought that “several of the [BBC] questions were geared to get the answers the interviewer wanted to get, on the order of “do you still beat your wife’.”

This interview just about guarantees scientists and others will hear these questions again.  So let’s try to understand what’s the underlying purpose of some of these questions and look at some potentially clearer answers:

A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

Presumably this question is meant to suggest that the earlier warming couldn’t have been due to GHGs, therefore casting doubt on whether the recent warming was due to GHGs.  But in fact, as Jones explains, the first period is short and the data is more uncertain.  Surprisingly, Jones doesn’t seem to know that the warming in the second period is well explained in the literature by known forcings and shown in the models.  I’ll do a separate post on this because it just keeps cropping up.

Jones does point out “the trend over the period 1975 to 2009″ is 0.16°C per decade and is statistically significant.  But that doesn’t stop Harrabin from asking:

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

What Jones should have said is “a wealth of scientific observations makes clear that warming in recent decades is unequivocal, climate is the long-term trend, and that, as I’ve said, the trend since 1975 is 0.16°C per decade and is statistically significant.  The period since 1995 is really too short for statistical significance, but has seen continued warming.”

Here’s what RealClimate says about Jones’ answer, noting first, as many have, that the Daily Mail utterly misrepresented Jones:

What Jones actually said is that, while the globe has nominally warmed since 1995, it is difficult to establish the statistical significance of that warming given the short nature of the time interval (1995-present) involved. The warming trend consequently doesn’t quite achieve statistical significance. But it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a time interval as short as 15 years-a point we have made countless times at RealClimate. It is also worth noting that the CRU record indicates slightly less warming than other global temperature estimates such as the GISS record.

Even the Met Office posted an analysis showing the CRU record, which basically ignores the Arctic (where recent warming has been the greatest), lowballs the actual temperature trend.

Then the BBC’s Harribin asks a question that borders on the kind of inane pestering that have made the anti-science disinformers so successful in their quest to throw climate scientists off balance:

C – Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

What Jones should have said is “a wealth of scientific observations makes clear that warming in recent decades is unequivocal, climate is the long-term trend, and, as I’ve said, the trend since 1975 is 0.16°C per decade and is statistically significant.  The period since 1995 is barely long enough to achieve statistical significance, so obviously the period since 2002 isn’t long enough.  What is the point of this question?  Other temperature databases, including NASA’s and NOAA’s find that 2005 was the hottest year on record, but in any case, CRU, NASA, NOAA, and WMO find the 2000s were the hottest decade on record, and as climatologist Ken Caldeira has said “To talk about global cooling at the end of the hottest decade the planet has experienced in many thousands of years is ridiculous”.”

As I discussed yesterday at length, Jones might also have added, if he were more familiar with the scientific literature from 2009, that when you look at where 90% of the human-caused warming was expected to go “” the oceans “” you find steady warming since 2002.

D – Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

Here Jones gave a somewhat better answer, even though “This area is slightly outside my area of expertise”:

When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period.  Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

Bingo!

NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt put it more clearly when asked, “What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?”  Since we would have expected cooling, and natural variability is only in the range of 0.1°C, “so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I’d say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming” is due to human causes.

E – How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

Here Jones gave a clear answer, “I’m 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 — there’s evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.”

Let’s jump to:

G – There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

Three dubious premises underly this question.  First, you have to enter the fantasy world where it is “conclusively shown” that the MWP was a global phenomenon.  We already have major studies concluding it was not warm in the Arctic (see Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds and figure below).  And plenty of other analyses showing that it did not extend over many large regions of the planet.  It appears the tropical Pacific was actually on the cool side.  So those studies would all have to be overturned for this question to make any sense.

figure

Second, even if it were global, that still wouldn’t prove it was warmer than today.  The best recent reconstruction said that it was not (see “Sorry deniers, hockey stick gets longer, stronger: Earth hotter now than in past 2,000 years“).  As Jones himself notes, “On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.”  Duh!

Third, even if were were global (which studies say it was not) and warmer than today (which studies say it was not), that still would not mean the warming was random or unexplained!   The scientific literature can explain a large fraction of this warming by solar and volcanic forcings.  I will do another post on this.

As RealClimate notes of Jones’ statements about the MWP:

These are statements with which we entirely agree, and they are moreover fully consistent with the conclusions of the most recent IPCC report, and the numerous peer-reviewed publications on this issue since. Those conclusions are that recent Northern Hemisphere warming is likely unprecedented in at least a millennium (at least 1300 years, in fact), and that evidence in the Southern Hemisphere is currently too sparse for confident conclusions. Mann et al in fact drew those same conclusions in their most recent work on this problem (PNAS, 2008)….

Update 2/16/10. Phil Jones has confirmed to us that our interpretations of his comments in the BBC interview are indeed the correct ones, and that he agrees with the statements in our piece above. He and his CRU colleagues have also put up an initial response to some of the false allegations in the Daily Mail piece.

The “interview” continues:

H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

From watching all those courtroom dramas, I know that at this point the attorney jumps up to say, “I object, asked and answered” or “badgering the witness” or “you look pretty hot, your honor” — oh, sorry, that last one is only for Boston Legal or maybe Ally McBeal or maybe L.A. Law.

Even the patient-to-a-fault Jones, replied, “The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D.”

Now the BBC reporter turns into some sort of robot who has been programmed by the anti-science crowd and can do no thinking for himself, as the very next question is:

I – Would it be reasonable looking at the same scientific evidence to take the view that recent warming is not predominantly manmade?

Jones responds to this witness-badgering, “No – see again my answer to D.”

Let me jump to the question that may be the most disturbing:

N – When scientists say “the debate on climate change is over”, what exactly do they mean – and what don’t they mean?

When did you stop beating your wife, Dr. Jones?  Well, the debate on whether we are warming the planet should be pretty much over, since the warming is unequivocal, and the debate on whether doing nothing to get off our current emissions path risks catastrophe should be over — but they aren’t, thanks to the disinformers and the stenographers in the status quo media.

It’s stunning that any serious journalist would ask this question.  If Roger Harrabin knows of a scientist who uttered that precise statement in quotes — which is exceedingly unlikely — then obviously the reporter should ask that scientist what he or she meant.  If the reporter doesn’t know of a scientist who uttered this statement, then the reporter obviously shouldn’t ask the question in the first place.

Jones should have said, “You cannot be serious.”  I guess the British stiff-upper-lip version of that is: “It would be supposition on my behalf to know whether all scientists who say the debate is over are saying that for the same reason. I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this.  This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.”

The point Jones didn’t make is that the leading scientific bodies all understand that uncertainties do not justify inaction and right now, most of the uncertainties concern whether unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases will have far worse impacts than the IPCC projected.

Gather.com writes of the interview:

The article is interesting in the sense that several of the questions were geared to get the answers the interviewer wanted to get, on the order of “do you still beat your wife.” He admits that some of the questions were “gathered from climate sceptics,” which explains why some of the questions are faulty. Whether the interviewer did this intentionally, or due to lack of understanding of the science, or as an unwilling lackey for the professional denialist crowd is unknown.

I do think the interview was useful from the perspective of serving as a warning to any scientist about the media:  If the BBC is willing to undermine its own reputation by serving up this spoon-fed crap, any major media outlet might.

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28 Responses to BBC asks CRU’s Phil Jones the climate version of “When did you stop beating your wife.”

  1. prokaryote says:

    This is a rush transcript from “Glenn Beck,” February 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GLENN BECK, HOST: Something very strange happened on the way to, you know, the environmentalists’ happy fun land. Because by now, we were not only supposed to have jobs in a wonderful new green economy with free health care for everybody, but we were supposed to have saved the Earth.

    If you think I’m overstating the promise, let me let the president of the United States and his words speak for themselves:

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell the children this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless. This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    BECK: Holding and healing while creating the jobs. Shhh! I’m just creating some jobs over here on the back side of your head Mr. Planet. Yes. And that was time when we were going to start to care for the sick.

    Well, now, back in reality land, where people don’t heal planets, we just face the truth, the economy is far, far worse. Health care failed miserably and cap-and-trade is disaster.

    But, what about the healing of the Earth?

    Still, they seem to march with the whole cap-and-trade global warming thing despite the latest from Phil Jones. Phil Jones, a leading climate scientist from the alarmists’ side of the argument.

    Help, help, we’re all going to die in a fiery flood.

    Right? Central figure of the leaked e-mail scandal known by some who actually read papers that report the truth: Climate-gate.

    Along with his admissions now in an interview with that right-wing organization the BBC, this is what he said: The rate of warming in the late 20th century not unique. What? Really?
    foxnews.com/story/0,2933,586122,00.html

    Beck presents a group of people which seperated themself from the planet – which feeds them. I think it is time to school ignorance more on catastrophic climate changes and clathrate guns. And i wonder how long it takes till people will held personal accountable for the lies they spread.

  2. pete best says:

    Take it a little easier on the BBC. It has to take both sides, it’s how its works over here unfortunately. We seem to think that everything is up for debate over here especially politically motivated ones that include science. The BBC was recently criticised as being overtly sympathetic to the scientific proof side of events but painted as pro warming when the other side has plenty to say but no peer reviewed science to go on. Old debunked material such as shorter time lines show cooling (when it takes 15 years minimum to demonstrate a signal from the noise of weather to show GHG and land use change GHG influence and albedo effects) but longer ones show warming. Some people class this as cherry picking the time duaration.

    President Obama and Gordon Brown both are oonverts to the science of AGW. We spend a lot of time crying foul and posting lots of rebuttals to the obvious limited science of the coolists camp. The BBC is just being even handed to let us all make up our own minds. Its not the right thing to do but the right are shrill here and even better at it in the USA. We have to hear them regardless of right and wrong for some reason. Its not going to end regardless.

    [JR: So tell me why the reporter takes questions from a group of people who keep repeating falsehoods debunked years ago, people who make stuff up -- without any overlay of his own intelligence -- but won't ask any questions that might be asked by people who think, say, that he's grossly understating what we face -- based on the recent scientific literature. This isn't even balance, it's putting your thumb on the scale for the anti-science crowd.]

  3. pete best says:

    Its poor interview and loaded as you suggest. Sorry about that, the BBC should not have done this interview. Good article with excellent points well made.

    Thanks.

  4. paulm says:

    For trick questions, always provide answers to the question it should have been.

  5. Dana says:

    This is a good point. I’d been so preoccupied with the various denier blog and tabloid misrepresenations and misquotes of the interview that I hadn’t even considered the questions themselves, which were essentially designed to provide fodder for those blogs and tabloids to misinterpret.

    Jones got caught in ‘a trap’ in that answering these questions accurately involves discussing statistics which most people don’t understand and can easily misinterpret. It’s the usual problem of communication between scientists and the public. Jones probably should have just dumbed it down, knowing his audience, and knowing that anything he says will inevitably be taken out of context and misrepresented by the aforementioned blogs and tabloids.

  6. MarkB says:

    paulm writes:

    “For trick questions, always provide answers to the question it should have been.”

    I like that! Basically, get rid of the red herring.

    “Update 2/16/10. Phil Jones has confirmed to us that our interpretations of his comments in the BBC interview are indeed the correct ones, and that he agrees with the statements in our piece above. ”

    The denialist spin will be “Jones U-Turns Again!” although such rhetoric won’t be very effective the second time around.

    I would like to see this confirmation in writing from Jones pretty soon. This is a good opportunity to expose these tabloid writers and pop their balloon, but it should be done fairly quickly. Propagandists like Morano are already propagating denialist lies. While critical thinkers can easily cut through them, there’s no better refutation than from the individual who’s words or work are being distorted and misrepresented. This was the case recently with Dr. Lacis. His forceful smackdown of the deniers left them (mostly) speechless and scrambling for new talking points.

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/nasa-scientist-adds-to-views-on-climate-panel/

  7. MarkB says:

    Regarding the interview, yes – many of the questions were definitely loaded – or designed to illicit a response that could be easily spun. It’s like asking “what fraction of the atmosphere is composed of CO2″ and if Jones answers concisely, DailyMail prints “U-Turn: Jones admits atmospheric CO2 not significant!”

  8. Dennis says:

    It’s time for climate scientists to start referring all press inquiries to a media relations office. If the press is going to ask questions on science they really don’t understand, then for fairness the answers to those questions can come from people who are just as poorly trained.

  9. Jeff Kelley says:

    Just keep repeating “a consensus of scientists agree”. Isn’t that the party line? Because a consensus means to much to science. Wouldn’t you agree, Alfred Wegener. You bunch of condescending hacks.

    [JR: It's condescending to call people condescending! It's even more condescending to reference scientists many people may not have heard of. And it's climate science that is like continental drift, not denial, you singular hack!]

  10. SecularAnimist says:

    Jeff Kelley wrote: “You bunch of condescending hacks.”

    Hey, I’ll take a “condescending” scientist over a condescending, weak-minded, ignorant Ditto-Head like yourself any day.

    So, hey, Jeff, just keep repeating “A consensus of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sarah Palin agree …”

  11. Jeff Kelley’s idea of “reason” is anything that assiduously avoids logic, principles, evidence and facts, while self-righteously regurgitating cognitively vacuous drivel compounded by ad hominem — abusive commentary.

    Always a joy to have such a “sterling” — which is to say, utterly common — representative of right-wing ideology taking a moment of his precious time to share a bit of himself with us.

  12. Chris Winter says:

    Jeff Kelley wrote: “Because a consensus means to much to science. Wouldn’t you agree, Alfred Wegener[?]“

    This is meant to cast doubt on the scientific consensus behind global warming. But, Jeff, don’t you see that a bunch of people agreeing on some facts they’ve studied and found to be true is not conspiracy, but just common sense?

    By the way, your example is poorly chosen, because Alfred Wegener lost his life on the Greenland ice sheet, investigating climate change.

    “You bunch of condescending hacks.”

    If we’re hacks, how can we be condescending? Or conversely.

  13. Andy says:

    Re:

    “H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?”

    There is an implicit assumption in this question that temperature increases in the 1800′s couldn’t have been man-made. This is false.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/full/nature08769.html

    This study looked at carbon dioxide feedback from periods of natural warming. They cut their work off at 1800 because of the massive amounts of anthropogenic carbon dioxide input that started about that time.

    Ice core data indicate carbon dioxide has been increasing since the 1700′s probably due to forest clearing for agriculture as well as the burning of coal, etc. While these forcings bumped up temperatures, they weren’t strong enough to overcome natural variability and prevent long drops in the global average subsequent to the periods the BBC asks about. Global warming became apparent in fits and starts that didn’t begin swamping natural variability and man-made aerosol cooling to produce consistent decadal increases in temperature until about 1980. While we still expect slower increases to occur when natural variability would have normally produced a downswing in global temperatures (like the 2010′s with low solar irradiance levels); we also expect temperature leaps upward when natural variability would have produced rising global averages.

  14. MikeB says:

    I’m so disappointed that Roger Harribin did the interview – his reporting is normally excellent, unlike much of the Beebs general journalists on AGW (Naugtie and Webb on Today being some of the worst).
    The problem with this story has been the BBC’s confusion over how to cover it. If they cover it as though the errors are minor and the overall thesis is sound (as the pros are doing), they get flak from the headbangers.
    If they treat it like the general reports are, then its a serious threat to the theory of AGW, and they look like ‘proper’ reporters, and can follow on from the Mail, etc, without having to actually think about what they are doing. Guess which is the easiest to do?

    Of course Phil Jones and other scientists have done a rubbish job, not just in letting errors through, but in the way they’ve handled themselves after the story broke. If Phil Jones had stood up the way Prof. Nutt had done, this might have turned out better. And Mike Hulme did an appalling job on a BBC phone in – simply the worst defence of your own life’s work I’ve ever heard.

    Media ignorance and laziness, lying by deniers and an inept bunch of scientists when it comes to getting their story out. A perfect storm/story of crap.

  15. PeterW says:

    I just took a look at Roger Harrabin’s Wikipedia entry. Could be that he is trying to compensate because of the beating he took from the skeptics in 2008?

  16. DavidCOG says:

    > This isn’t even balance, it’s putting your thumb on the scale for the anti-science crowd.

    Spot on, Joe. As usual.

    Sadly, Jones has been far too trusting and naive. Someone needs to take him to one side and explain how this trench warfare is being conducted outside the laboratory.

  17. Tom Wiita says:

    I think this post would have been much stronger, and easier to follow, if it had included the actual answers given by Jones, as well as the suggested answers representing better handling of the question. Would help us avoid getting trapped like Jones did, when we get asked these kinds of questions by our friends (not not-so-friends).

    [JR: Well, none of you would ever be giving an answer like Jones, so I didn't see the value in reprinting everything he said. It would have made this post much longer, and I'm not so certain it would have been easier to read.]

  18. Richard Brenne says:

    Jeff Kelley (#9) wrote:

    “Just keep repeating “a consensus of scientists agree”. Isn’t that the party line? Because a consensus means to much to science. Wouldn’t you agree, Alfred Wegener. You bunch of condescending hacks.”

    (By the way, you appear to have a 50% chance of using questions marks and the word “too” or “to” appropriately. Also, are you calling Alfred Wegener “a bunch of condescending hacks”? He died in the singular 80 years ago.)

    Alfred Wegener was out doing the science, including when he died in Greenland in 1930 (in addition to developing the theory of Continental Drift he was a great meteorologist, the first to drill for ice core data in Greenland). Because he was doing the science he was in a position of knowledge that those not doing the science who opposed his theories lacked.

    Now we have tens of thousands of Alfred Wegeners out doing the science, and you evidently want to discount all their work in favor of chair-potatoes trolling legitimate climate change blogs to regurgitate Wattsbeckrushdumb, which is D-K Dudery* and Condescending Hackdom at their best.

    *http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=2&t=77&&n=140

    Also see: “NOAA: Warmest January in both satellite records” a few posts ago at Climate Progress, especially comments 21, 22 where the Dunning-Kruger effect of rubes, hayseeds and yahoos thinking they know more than the world’s working scientists put together is discussed.

  19. johna says:

    The tabloid-writing liars might have their balloon popped. Alternately, wide impressions might shift as they did after Clinton & Gore pushed for climate action. As a whole, the public concluded AGW was too complex to follow, or still unresolved or fully politicized. So getting into a mud fight with today’s tabloids has risks. It must be done carefully, simply with clear framing. The public lacks the attention span to follow an endless series of back and forths.

  20. In describing Jones as being too “trusting and naive,” I wonder if we might be missing an essential element of the problem with science and the media?

    Jones has had many dealings with “media” in the past; the “problem” — insofar as one can properly call it a “problem” at all — is that Jones and other scientists are used to dealing with the peer-review literature. This, too, is “media.” As the issue of framing and presentation have been coming up more frequently (and, I would argue, with good reason), I wonder if no small part of this has to do with deeply ingrained habits and expectations that scientists have with regard to their media, that simply do not translate into the corporate-driven, media-ratings standards of the contemporary news services?

    Sorry if I’m being Captain Obvious here …

  21. Nick Comer-Calder says:

    Interesting article but does little to analyse WHY Roger Harrabin/BBC might take the line of questioning they do. There seems to me an unfortunate assumption that any ‘unfriendly’ questions are the work of the devil. A more constructive approach would be to consider the forces at play within the BBC and the media at large. This sort of understanding might engender a more constructive engagement with media editors and journalists.

  22. MikeB says:

    I’m not sure I’d confuse peer review journals with the ‘media’. Peer review isn’t fun, but you tend to understand the rules, and nobody is going to ask the sort of questions that Jones was.

    As to why Jones even answered the questions is a mystery, until you think about how climate scientists have handled themselves generally. Can you think of any group of scientists/academics who have been so bad at putting their case across in their own words? Apart from James Hanson, can you think of anyone in the public eye? You might get Michael Mann mentioned once in a while, but that’s about it.

    Contrast this with almost any other branch of science. Jim Al-Khalili is fronting an excellent series on the BBC about chemistry (although he is actually a Professor of Physics), the people at CERN had a blast in the media last year, zoologists are everywhere. Geologists are presenting whole series. In my own area (archaeology), there are programmes fronted by actual diggers all over the place (in the case of Dr Alice Roberts, a medic turned digger turned goddess http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/bristol/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_7932000/7932061.stm), pretty much everything.

    Even in the political areas of science, such as medicine, there are a fair number of media friendly types around, who are able to put their case to both the viewing audience and journalists. In the case of Prof. Nutt, he was canny enough to know that attack is the best form of defence.

    Climate science, on the other hand – nada. Its not as if the subject hasn’t been talked about either for at least the last twenty years. There must be someone capable of talking about climate change in the media without instantly being swift-boated by the Daily Mail. Even when they do talk to the media, Mike Hulme et al are so weak and feeble, that they actual add to the average readers doubts.

    The media will always ask stupid questions, but its not asking too much to expect people who will be answering such questions to give straight, interesting and robust answers to them. Hiding isn’t going to work, neither is hoping that the media will understand the data. They won’t, and don’t care about data. They care about the story.

    So for the love of God, please get someone to talk to them who can say,I’m a climate scientist, and what your saying is wrong, and this is why’.

    It would make a nice change.

  23. Will says:

    To echo MikeB I think Roger Harrabin is generally a very good reporter and has done a lot to bring climate change to the table in the british media. I haven’t seen the interview, but he obviously felt the need to ask the difficult questions on a man who – unfortunately – hasn’t done himself or the cause any favors over the last few months, but who should have been able to respond in a better manner.

  24. already dealt with? says:

    Have you already addressed this figure? Has it been debunked?

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01156f7ad71e970c-800wi

  25. Leif says:

    already dealt with this, #24: Weather is not climate. A number of points. The time represented is during the largest solar minimum in a long time. Taking trends out of context is gibberish. Statistics are easily manipulated. (A Russian and American horse have a race and Russian horse wins. Paper reports… American horse second, Russian horse second to last!) True to facts, wrong on every level.

  26. already dealt with? says:

    fair enough. but are his lines even right or has he misrepresented the facts even at this level?

  27. Leif says:

    I suggest that you read the link below poster by Joe on CP. There should be more than enough information ti answer your Question.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/17/an-illustrated-guide-to-the-latest-climate-science/#more-19375

  28. sailrick says:

    Regarding the question about the medievel warming period, I think there is a rebuttal that Joe leaves out. Even if the MWP were as warm or warmer than today, what has that to do with the fact that we now have 6 billion people and modern industrialization spewing gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere? Skeptics don’t seem to be using very good logic when they assume, for instance, that because there was warming in the past without these emissions, then how could the emissions be causing warming now? Huh?
    It reminds me of a quote I read ( I forget who said it) – conservatives are people who don’t think anything should ever happen for the first time.