Climate science deniers on the Left, captured for viewing

Summary: One of the more disturbing themes of the FM website (judging from the comments) describes the similar nature of the Left and Right in America. Our culture and ruling elites have shaped us. The result is an easily manipulated people, a delight for our leaders — and quite unlike the unruly cantankerous Americans of the past. Today we have another example, good liberals talking quite like their enemies.  Too sad to be entertaining.

Faces of denial by Narek
By Narek, Creative Commons license


Study the reaction on the Left to this article. Although it accurately reflects the current consensus of climate scientists about the pause in warming of the Earth’s surface (consensus for several years), Leftists denounce it — denying the science and denouncing the author.

A Pause, Not an End, to Warming“, Richard A. Muller (Prof Physics at Berkeley, head of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, NY Times op-ed, 25 September 2013 — See his Wikipedia entry and his website (includinghis CV). Excerpt:

Most of us hope that global warming actually has stopped. … Perhaps the negative feedback of cloud cover has kicked in, dampening global warming, or the ocean absorption of atmospheric heat is playing a new and more decisive role.

Alas, I think such optimism is premature. The current pause is consistent with numerous prior pauses. When walking up stairs in a tall building, it is a mistake to interpret a landing as the end of the climb. The slow rate of warming of the recent past is consistent with the kind of variability that some of us predicted nearly a decade ago.

Instead of learning (asking for supporting citations) or agreeing, the Left continues their denial of the data and the science. Read the comments in this post at Brad DeLong’s “Reality-based” website (Delong is a Prof Economics, Berkeley). They exactly mirror the tactics Leftists denounce when used by “deniers”.

  • They mock eminent scientist, in this case a Professor of Physics at a major university, the head of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.
  • They ignore the the publications of climate science agencies (e.g., the UK MET Office) and the many peer-reviewed articles discussing the “pause” (also a “hiatus”) — using those exact words. The comments seem unaware of all this. One mentions a blog post to support their denials.
  • They ignore the eminent climate scientists who have discussed the pause (e.g. Phil Jones of the UK Climate Research Unit, who saw this even back in 2010).

Delong strongly moderates comments, so their themes seldom conflict with his views. He and his commenters seem oblivious that they precisely mirror the tactics they condemn when used by conservatives. This is part of a larger trend on the Left, abandoning the climate sciences in favor of alarmist amateurs writing at ThinkProgress and Skeptical Science. An extreme example of this is the “IPCC is too conservative” meme (examples in Scientific America’s blog and Skeptical Science).

Comments about Prof Muller’s article

Irrationalism, artist unknown


Delong: “I think he gets it somewhat wrong. … There may have been a slowdown in the pace — or there may not have been. The data are much too noisy to see.”

guthrie: “what kind of idiot draws a line from the top of one outlier, to the 5 year running mean? Is he inumerate {sic}?”

dan p: “For a physicist, Muller is remarkably uninquisitive about the well-understood physics of global warming…”

sanjait: “I’ll add though, Muller seems perfectly worthy of derision.”

srb: “You are much too kind to Muller. He is not trying hard to be informative, because “trying hard” would require some kind of effort on how to interpret data responsibly.”

Jeffrey Davis: “Following WW2, ordinary Germans could (somewhat) plausibly claim to know nothing of the camps. Today, trained scientists cannot claim to not know when they’ve cherry picked data. Seeing a trained scientist do that makes me ill.”

Dave: “Anyone interested in the truth would not have said what this guy said.”

bahko: “Muller is a flake. Is he really that dumb? Or is he trying to sell more books by generating more controversy?”

Min: “Why is there any such debate? Take a look at the graph. Where is the pause? Where? There is nothing to debate.”

See this post to read climate scientists talking and writing about the pause.  This post has longer excerpts.  Both short and long excerpts show that Muller accurately represents the trend of climate science.


These comments’ symmetry with behaviors on the Right should not surprise, since both Left and Right draw from the same pool of American society. Our emotional and defective analytical skills allow our easy management by the 1%.

These comments could be from any thread celebrating irrationalism: creationism, denying global warming, advocating against vaccines, denouncing water fluoridation. All Americans should denounce these behaviors, even when they are in support of your views.

WWF: Stop climate change
Fear-mongering propaganda

For More Information

(a)  Reference Pages about climate on the FM sites:

(b)  Posts about the pause:

  1. Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now.,
    14 October 2012 — Scientists analysis of the pause
  2. Possible political effects of the pause in global warming, 26 August 2013

(c)  About global warming:

  1. When did we start global warming? See the surprising answer., 18 October 2012
  2. Lessons about global warming from Alaska, 9 January 2013
  3. Secrets about global warming that you must not know, least they ruin the narrative, 22 January 2013
  4. Hidden news about our weather in July: experts tell us what even well-informed people do not know., 8 August 2013
  5. The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT), 18 August 2013



13 thoughts on “Climate science deniers on the Left, captured for viewing

  1. you might find this interesting

    “A trailer by Adam Curtis for the Manchester International Festival 2013 commission”

  2. Pitiful behavior.
    Sorta adolescent Anti-intellectualism from intellectuals.
    How did we get here and so easily/soon?

    What is really sad is these things, types of accepted behaviors, take a generation or more to change even after being recognized.


    1. John gives one of my favorite rebuttals to the work of climate scientists: waving his hand vaguely towards some authority — in the case the IPPC Summary for Policy-Makers, but I’ve also seen it done towards journals (i.e., Science), with sublime confidence that somewhere in there is the text proving climate scientists wrong — and the amateur alarmists correct. To the faithfully indoctrinated, there is no need to actually read — let alone cite specifics.

      For the rest of us, details matter. In this case, for example see these:

      (a) From footnote 5 on page 3 (the IPCC doesn’t mention this, but peer-reviewed research shows that the 0.07°C per decade change is not statistically significant):

      Trends for 15-year periods starting in 1995, 1996, and 1997 are 0.13 [0.02 to 0.24], 0.14 [0.03 to 0.24], 0.07 [–0.02 to 0.18] °C per decade, respectively.

      (b) From page 12:

      The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence).

      1. The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle.
      2. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend.
      3. There is medium confidence that internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability.
      4. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols).

      The Summary for Policy-Makers is the political document, with substantial changes made on “request” of several governments (Bloomberg News, 29 August 2013) from the leaked drafts, which more clearly addressed the pause. The actual science, without the censorship, will be in the full document released (I believe) next week).

    2. John,

      Here is a better report of governments’ interference with the scientists of the new IPCC report: “Climate report struggles with temperature quirks“, AP, 19 September 2013 — Excerpt:

      Leaked documents obtained by The Associated Press show there are deep concerns among governments over how to address the purported slowdown ahead of next week’s meeting of the IPCC. “I think to not address it would be a problem because then you basically have the denialists saying, ‘Look, the IPCC is silent on this issue,'” said Alden Meyer of the Washington-based advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists.

      In a leaked June draft of the report’s summary for policymakers, the IPCC said that while the rate of warming between 1998 and 2012 was about half the average rate since 1951, the globe is still heating up. As for the apparent slowdown, it cited natural variability in the climate system, as well as cooling effects from volcanic eruptions and a downward phase in solar activity.

      But in comments to the IPCC obtained by the AP, several governments that reviewed the draft objected to how the issue was tackled.

      Germany called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted, saying a time span of 10 to 15 years was misleading in the context of climate change, which is measured over decades and centuries.

      The U.S. also urged the authors to include the “leading hypothesis” that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean.

      Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for any statistics. That year was exceptionally warm, so any graph showing global temperatures starting with 1998 looks flat. Using 1999 or 2000 as a starting year would yield a more upward-pointing curve. In fact, every year after 2000 has been warmer than the year 2000.

      Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for skeptics.

      We will know more about the actual science when the full report comes out.

  3. It doesn’t matter if there is a pause…
    “The research highlights business-as-usual and mitigation approaches, yet the first disturbing finding is that 70% of the business-as-usual temperature increase is unavoidable regardless of what mitigation efforts are made between now and 2041.”
    Tuesday, 23 July 2013
    Climate Change and LA: December may be hotter than we think

    1. Winston,

      A bit of missing the point in the Regional Studies Assn article.

      First, as the IPCC reports, current climate models have little ability to model regional trends.

      Second, the IPCC reports — esp their Extreme Weather report — say that there is relatively little evidence for impacts other then temperature. Wildfires in the US are largely a function of the Forest Services’s century-long policy of fire suppression, and the resulting conversion of western forests into tinderboxes.

      Third, the author is really confused about the difference between climate science and gypsy forecasters:

      “but the research highlights the impacts of climate change on weather temperatures between 2041 and 2060 on Los Angeles and the results are disturbing.”

      We do not know for sure — even with reliability — what global temperatures will be 20 to 40 years from now. And far less what regional trends will be (no, the whole world does not warm uniformly). The problem raised by the pause is that the major climate models are running warm in their forecasts.

  4. Actually Left and Right, Rep. and Dem. do not matter to me. Their brains are all twisted. The US military is preparing for climate change where they need to and they don’t care what is causing it or who is debunking or pushing the science. That’s a good attitude to take in all this left, right nonsense. Besides, we are going to destroy ourselves. The “climate” will sit back and laugh.. Alas, didn’t Ronald Reagan say that “trees cause more pollution than automobiles.” Let’s agree to blame the trees, the sun, electrons and protons for it all. No point in humanity taking any responsibility for anything. I am thinking of Soundgarden’s tremendous song Black Hole Sun–and the video too. The way things are going in this world,we might be better off running into a black hole. “An away we go!”

    1. John,

      “we are going to destroy ourselves. ”

      There is little scientific basis for your fears. Certainly not in the IPCC.

      You are reading activists, who seek to manipulate your fears for political purposes. Quite like the Right does with anti-Islam hysteria. Your fears are identical in form to those of the past that look so silly today — that by 2000 we’d all be dying of pollution, that resources would have been exhausted and commodity prices a 100x higher, that food production would not have kept up with population so that billions would be starving, and many more. These things were asserted as facts, just as you do today. There were wrong, as your fears probably are wrong.

      I suggest changing your information sources to more reliable ones. The links on these posts about climate going to high quality sources, written by experts. They will show you a different and more reliable perspective.

  5. No, no…I am not afraid…In fact I am an apostle of Heath Ledger’s Joker….I welcome the change….At any rate, if you have not already done so, read Edward O. Wilson (Social Conquest of Earth), Murray Gell–Mann (Crude Look at the Whole–speech given at NDU and elsewhere I believe), Erwin Schrodinger (What is Life?–good view of how micro and macro organisms work up to free will)…Lastly, as Bohr said, “predictions are very difficult, particularly about the future.” I have collected most of his works along with those of Marcuse and Camus and MIT’s Semio Text Intervention series and Vasily Grossman, Roberto Bolano. I say this not to impress you but to give you a sense of who has shaped my fears, as you call them. I am not sure what an expert is. Give me the great physicists of the 20th Century who could talk politics, chemistry, quantum mechanics with ease…Heavyweights like Bohr, Feynman, Silizard, Einstein, Oppenheimer, et al….Anyway, good discussion FM!

  6. FM SEA is sinking under sea. So is Bangladesh, Maldives. island nations are feeling the brunt Sea rise in US East Coast as well.

  7. In East Coast I can see weather pattern changes. No longer what I experienced in college. Rainfall patterns are changing. Developing countries are noticing it.

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