Tag Archives: Gavin Schmidt

Keep It Going, Gavin!

An overexcited Andy Revkin sings the praises of Gavin Schmidt, first recipient of some rich prize assigned by an organization lead by some journalist with an English Major. Cue substantially less-excited commenters, from all sides of the debate. Cue Revkin commenting on his own blog much more often than usual, defending Schmidt with a classical “can’t win” argument.

Also IMNSHO Gavin can’t win. But the reason is that he is a poor debater. Very poor, to the point of appearing repeatedly like the best thing that ever happened to climate skeptics (check his puerile behavior against McIntyre and Pielke Jr, absurdist references to Feyerabend, involvement with the NYT self-censorship of March 2010, incredible claims about data analyses being good only if they improve the models, etc etc)

As for his campaigning skills, read it from the horse’s mouth at CNN.

I guess Revkin has fallen in a self-referential trap. Just as only wheelchair-bound persons will truly understand how many obstacles are routinely placed against their freedom of movement, only a non-believer in climate change catastrophism will be able to appreciate how much RC is middle-ground (or isn’t).

The Climate Article The New York Times Editors Did Not Want You To See

As reported here on March 2, there has been a very unique phenomenon at the International Herald Tribune (IHT) / The New York Times (NYT): for the first time ever, an IHT printed-paper article was not immediately available in the NYT website. And a front-page article it was: “Feeling the heat from critics, climate scientists battle back“, by John M Broder.

The article finally appeared online in the early AM GMT hour of 3 March, titled “Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate“. Tellingly, the structure has been heavily changed, and the interviewees as well. I have had a series of e-mail exchanges with Mr Broder today and won’t report any of them. The impression remains that some Editor at the NYT panicked (**) after reading the IHT version, and got Mr Broder or some sub-editor to rewrite it almost from scratch to eliminate some inconvenient names and acquire warmist respectability by giving the concluding remarks to Gavin Schmidt (*).

All in all, it has been an episode wholly consistent with an atmosphere of climate bullying at the NYT.

I have scanned the IHT article and here it is in 2 parts:

JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 part 1
JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 page 1
JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 page 8

For an example of what has been changed, note the mysterious disappearance of Judith Curry from the NYT version (Prof Curry is out there to conclude the IHT article), whilst a Peter C. Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, plus Gavin Schmidt, are parachuted in literally out of thin air.

ps Gavin being Gavin, he’s now quotable with a “Good science is the best revenge“, some sort of instinctive plagiarism of Willis’ exhortation a few days earlier: “Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well

(*) see also WUWT “Willis makes the NYT, Gavin to stop “persuading the public”” and Willis Eschenbach’s generally positive comment to Broder’s NYT piece

(**) In fact, see what kind of mess they made of the NYT website around the same time… 😎

UPDATE March 7: To be 100% clear, this is how I see things have happened:

1. After weeks of deafening silence on Climategate and derivatives, Mr Broder got commissioned to write finally an article about it, once enough “scientists fighting back” quotes could be summoned

2. Mr Broder wrote his piece (version “A”) on Monday AM EST but felt it necessary to include things at they stand, including Judith Curry’s “fiasco” remarks

3. Version “A” passed all editorial checks and by Monday noon was singled out for importance and relevance as one of the front-page stories for the IHT

4. Somebody above the Editors did not like it, likely because there was no quote from GISS. Monday evening word came down to change the article.

5. It was too late for the IHT and therefore I saw version “A” printed there.

6. But it was early enough for the web so version “A” did not show up there at all

7. Mr Broder was asked on Tuesday AM to talk to Schmidt and the other guy

8. A sub-editor changed version “A” to version “B” eliminating the inconvenient pieces, moving things around and adding what was wanted, including the “good science is the best revenge” dramatic quote at the end

9. Alas, it took a while to do all that, so version “B” appeared on the NYT website only very, very late on Tuesday evening.

Be Good At Christmas – Help Save The AGWer

(Love the WWF)

If the consensus disappears then it will be game over for the AGWer.

Act now. Adopt now. Adopt an AGWer. With your continual support we can do more to help the AGWer in its struggle for survival.


Order now

Start giving a regular donation today and you’ll receive your adoption pack within the next couple of weeks. It contains an irresistibly fluffy Al Gore doll, skeptic bag, certificate, photos and a greetings card. We’ll also send you three updates through the year, letting you know how your donations are helping. An AGW Skeptical Adoption would make a great present, so why not give the gift that makes a big difference!

Photos of AGWers

Don’t forget you can also keep track of our group of AGWers, with our special online tracker. You will find all the details of this in your adoption pack.

Last minute gift?

No problem! If you are worried the adoption pack might not arrive in time, you will be able to print or email a gift certificate to give on the day.

A continuous struggle…

Reality is causing the Global Warming consensus to melt and what remains is thinner and more treacherous. AGWers need the consensus to hunt so they are having to travel further and further to reach their prey. As the consensus melts the area is also opened up to proper debate and free discussion and scientific exploration adding independent thinking to the many threats the AGWers already face.

Adult AGWer with two members of the public (AGWers-in-the-making)

Did you know…

…AGWers shelter the public from independent thinking in the safety of their “the debate is over” dens when they go hunting for skeptics. But as the consensus melts, these dens are collapsing – leaving the public vulnerable to skepticism and exposed to extreme discussion conditions.

…experts predict that Global Warming consensus could disappear completely in summer by 2011.

AGWer adoption/gift/present pack

Adopt an AGWer today…

…by adopting an AGWer you can help us save the AGWer and its home from the effects of reality and free discussion.

We must act now to try and save the AGWer from extinction.

The CRU Hacking Song (With Apologies To George And Ira Gershwin)

(And no…I am not going to leave my day job)




It ain’t necessarily so

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so
The t’ings dat yo’ li’ble
To read in de IPCC,
It ain’t necessarily so.

Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
He fought Big Solar Influence
Who lay down an’ dieth !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !…

Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Fo’ he made his home in
Dat institute’s warming.
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU.

Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
He floated on bristlecones
Till Ol’ Briffa and colleagues,
They saved him, they said, and dat trend.

Wadoo …

Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De skepticism’s a villun,
But it ain’t necessarily so !

To get with the Science
Don’ bet your emissions!
Live clean ! Don’ have no pollution !
Oh, I takes dat IPCC gospel
Whenever it’s pos’ble,
But wid a grain of salt.

Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
But who calls dat writin’
When no reality will give in
To no man with nine hundred blogs ?

I’m preachin’ dis sermon to show,
It ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t necessarily … so !

The Funnier Side Of Monbiot & Schmidt's "Plimer Débâcle"

It is clear that George Monbiot has made himself the loser by not agreeing to publicly debate with Ian Plimer about global warming in London in November. The rule is very simple and universal: a no-show is invariably a loss.

The whole thing looks like an elaborate trap prepared by experienced debater Plimer with the goal of convincing Monbiot to run away from the debate. And it looks like it worked.

Talk about the elephant being afraid of the mouse. Yet again, one is glad not have the likes of Monbiot (and Schmidt) on one’s side! 😎

But wait…it gets even funnier. What I just wrote might have crossed a few minds already, of people unfortunately too eager to bite the bait, therefore missing the chance to take their own reasoning to its natural conclusions:

  • Take Schmidt’s blog on the topic, where he argues that Plimer’s list of questions “is quite transparently a device to avoid dealing with Monbiot’s questions and is designed to lead to an argument…” and then…marches on onto the device regardless!
  • Greenfyre defines Plimer’s questions as “pure juvenile bafflegab” that should not be “dignif[ied]…with repetition“. Perhaps. Why then repeat that very same concept FOURTEEN times? It certainly looks like dignifying them to me
  • Greenfyre even identifies as “possible answers…to answer them in the spirit in which they were asked…give answers equally convoluted and nonsensical“. If that is so, what is the meaning of going on and on with links to sites where Pilmer’s questions are taken instead at face value?
  • Likewise for Tim Lambert: “I suspect that this is a tactic so he can weasel out of answering Monbiot’s questions” before a link to RealClimate to respond to Pilmer’s questions nevertheless…
  • Chris Colose appears to have a vague idea that there is something going on: “all together this is jumbled up nonsense and shows that Plimer is intentionally trying to mislead others“. Mysterious cue then to “for other of Plimer’s questions, I’ll let commenters tackle those“. Isn’t that a way for Colose to participate in the misleading?
  • Tamino…well, Tamino is obviously too superior a human being to recognize a thing.


Dear Schmidt/Greenfyre/Lambert/Colose: one suggestion if I may dare.

If you are debating with anybody, and they use any logical device of any kind, please oh please DO NOT follow through along the device, for any reason whatsoever.

Otherwise, it’s not going to look pretty…


Monbiot & Schmidt 0 – Plimer 1 (After Spectacular Own Goal)

Alternative titles: “Dear George, In Any Sport, No-Show Means Automatic Loss“, and “Don’t Mention Gish If You Can’t Debate


I am not at all surprised that George Monbiot (and by inference, Gavin Schmidt) have lost their public (virtual) debate against Ian Plimer even before having a public (real) debate. That’s because:

  • I have been following Monbiot’s antics for quite some time, and have never been struck by the power of his at-times-downright-silly arguments
  • Likewise concerning Schmidt, a known debate (sore) loser
  • Skeptic vs. Climatechanger debates are few and far between, and not for the lack of willing skeptical debaters (one suspects, it’s because skeptics invariably win, just like against homeopathy practitioners, UFO believers, creationist/ID proponents, chemtrails counter-conspirators, etc etc)
  • Plimer is no debate spring chicken, once described as having a “street-fighting style

Why has Plimer won the debate? Because the end result is that Monbiot has refused to publicly debate with him. And in any sport, failure to show up automatically makes you a loser.

This is too bad as Schmidt’s responses look even more impressive than Plimer’s bunch of heavily-sounding questions (the actual bait). And Plimer’s non-answers to Monbiot could have made the basis for a smooth, trouble-free attack/counterattack to Plimer’s argument.

If Monbiot could sustain a debate, that is. I have my doubts.

The Monbiot/Schmidt couple took the Plimer bait actually a tad too easily. Evidently knowing how to make opponents fall flat on their faces even when apparently much more powerful than him, all Plimer had to do is artificially concoct an “escape route” that would allow Monbiot to declare himself the winner without actually having won anything.

The “escape route” is Plimer’s refusal to answer in print. And Monbiot, shall I say OF COURSE, eagerly took it, unable to understand the consequences.

Isn’t it more heartwarming to be able to tell one’s own troops about how bad the enemy is, rather than getting into a dangerous, live debate with that same enemy?

Especially when one has extremely poor argumentative skills, like Monbiot when he includes the mention of the “Gish Gallop“, “named after [creationist] Duane Gish […] a special case of fast talking (the technique famously employed by Snake Oil Salesman that confuses people with fast long strings of words long enough to convince them to buy snake oil“.

Yes, but: people like Michael Shermer (and Ian Plimer, by the way) have actually debated with Gish. They haven’t just sat at their desk whining about the Gish Gallop.


Now we will only get Plimer on Thursday 12 November at 2 Savoy Place, London WC1, where he “will give a 30 minute lecture on global warming and then take questions/points from the audience for 60 minute“.

I will believe in that only when I see it happening, by the way…whose kneecaps is Plimer going to try to (figuratively) break? 😎

Swanson's AGW Song, or How At RealClimate, It's Always Naivety Time…

Sometimes I ask myself if the RealClimate guys understand the implications of everything they publish on their site.

For example some time ago Gavin Schmidt more or less told the whole world that to him observations were of little interest apart than as a way to improve climate models (thereby denying the very possibility that climate models could be demonstrated false, under any circumstance).

Now it’s the turn of a guest blog by Kyle Swanson, encouraged and published by Raymond T. “Raypierre” Pierrehumbert. The stated intent of the blog is to show that Swanson and Tsonis’ recent paper about “Has the climate recently shifted?” has “very little” to do with Global Warming, of the anthropogenic variety obviously. But its actual practical consequences are more interesting.

(1) Andy Revkin through Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog notes that Swanson and Tsonis take off the steam yet again from anybody and everybody that tries to “portray global warming as an unfolding catastrophe here and now“.

That is, with RealClimate in tow, and after Swanson and Tsonis, we can yell out loud and clear that the scientific consensus says that all AGW-related troubles that we could be concerned about, they belong to the future.

Repeat with me: AGW as a matter of grave concern for the whole of humanity, is not happening. That is, there is no scientific justification at all to discuss AGW as an issue for the present instead of properly, as a risk management question involving some decades in the future.

(2) All this discussions about the recent “pause in warming” (in Swanson’s words…as if it had any meaning given the above) are ammunitions that will be used to argue against AGW once the warming resumes (eventually, it will…). If 10 years can’t say much in a direction, they cannot say much in the other direction either.

(3) In other words, all scientific discussions in climatology should confine themselves to the climate of the end of the 1970’s. Anything that has happened after that, it’s by definition too early to talk about.

(3) Raypierre tries at length to justify Tsonis’s words published in an interview. Among those:

if we don’t understand what is natural, I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand — first the natural variability of climate — and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural

I am afraid all “comments were taken out of context” (Raypierre’s defense) are excuses simply demolished by Swanson’s writing that:

humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and […] there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond

Repeat with me: We have little clue about the Earth’s climate will respond to anything, be it natural or man-made. The final result might be a cooling, a warming, or no much change at all.

And so about AGW, we should be spending time reflecting about the opportunity of reducing that “poking”, not on idiotic multidecadal projections of various degrees of warming.


Let me finish by noticing two details. First of all, in Swanson’s words presumably approved by Raypierre/RC, Global Warming (AGW) is now “the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions“. And I thought it was multidecadal? Not any longer: even 50 years of global cooling will be compatible with AGW.

But to conclude on a high note: the anti-skeptic RC filters of old don’t appear to have been heavily used this time. Who knows, it might even be a way to show that the RC folks are thinking of getting rid of their aburd fear for debating.

But don’t hold your breath about that…especially when they will realize what the stuff they publish actually means.

On Feyerabend, or…With AGW Believers Like These, Who Needs Climate Skeptics?

Curious choice of preferred “philosopher of science” for Real Climate’s Gavin Schmidt: Paul Feyerabend.

Who he? According to Schmidt:

Feyerabend had what I consider a better appreciation of how science actually works and the difficulty of trying to assign a methodology to what it is that scientists actually do

Why Feyerabend? Most likely, because Popper can’t do. Climate models cannot be falsified, you know. Much easier to stick with them if one believes that “science is an essentially anarchistic enterprise“…

But there’s plenty of more surprises behind Schmidt’s statement (why limit oneself to Wikipedia…). In a 1983 article on The New York Times (“New Attack on Galileo Asserts Major Discovery Was Stolen“), William J Broad writes:

In his 1975 book ”Against Method,” Dr. Feyerabend argued, using Galileo’s grand eloquence and reputed corner-cutting as key examples, that all progress in science depended not only on rational argument but on a mixture of subterfuge, rhetoric and propaganda.

Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth, in a letter by Feyerabend, published on The New York Review of Books on Oct 11, 1979:

Discussing the rise of Western rationalism I pointed out that the transition created more problems than it solved, that most of the problems are still with us, that they do not occur in Homer, that Aristotle was aware of this advantage and therefore adapted philosophy to common sense.

That letter is a scathing attack against a June 28, 1979 review by David Joravsky of several books, including two by Feyerabend: “Science in a Free Society” and “Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge” (the one mentioned by Broad above). Joravsky replies himself quoting from “Against Method”:

[Feyerabend writes that] “Galileo the mountebank” used “deception,” “trickery,” and outright “lying” to promote views he knew he could not prove by rational argument with available evidence; and that’s the way that science develops.

Finally, two excerpts from a website allegedly publishing the whole Analytical Table of Contents from “Against Method:

[…] Galileo prevails because of his style and his clever techniques of persuasion, because he writes in Italian rather than in Latin, and because he appeals to people who are temperamentally opposed to the old ideas and the standards of learning connected with them […]

[…] Thus science is much closer to myth than a scientific philosophy is prepared to admit. It is one of the many forms of thought that have been developed by man, and not necessarily the best. It is conspicuous, noisy, and impudent, but it is inherently superior only for those who have already decided in favour of a certain ideology, or who have accepted it without having ever examined its advantages and its limits. And as the accepting and rejecting of ideologies should be left to the individual it follows that the separation of state and church must be supplemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution […]

In summary: it can be argued that according to Feyerabend’s “appreciation of how science actually works

  1. Science relies on a mixture of subterfuge, rhetoric and propaganda
  2. Rationalism should be adapted to common sense
  3. Science commonly develops with deception, trickery and lying, especially when one doesn’t have rational arguments or evidence to promote one’s views
  4. A scientific point of view may as well prevail through persuasion and by becoming more fashionable
  5. Science is inherently superior only for those ideologically believing in it
  6. State and Science should be separated

Yikes! Points #1. #3 and #4 describe what many have accused RealClimate of doing. Points #2 and #5 refute the prevalence of climate models over real-world observations. Point #6 is incompatible with the very existence of the IPCC as intergovernmental entity in charge of assessing the science of climate change.

Is that really the way Gavin Schmidt wanted to describe his field of work? Perhaps he should have checked one thing or two about Feyerabend first. Because with AGW believers like these, who needs climate skeptics?

ps no, I do not think all of Feyerabend work was incoherent rubbish

RealClimate, or The Biggest Molehill In History

A “molehill“, says Gavin Schmidt on a RealClimate blog regarding a giant GISS temperature error in Northeastern Russia. A “glitch“.

Too bad it was a “molehill” in need of the 1,117 words of Schmidt’s blog.

There are two very reasonable replies to such a monumental self-declared waste of an effort, in the Climate Skeptic blog’s “Sorry Dr. Schmidt, But I am Not Feeling Guilty Yet (Part 1)” and “Responses to Gavin Schmidt, Part 2“.

For my part, I can only make reference to a basic principle of mine. Whatever you need to show, you are not. There is no need for me for example to wear a tag saying “male”: it’s rather obvious from the way I look.

There is not even a need to show I’m Italian, as anybody listening to my accent will immediately find out.

So I won’t spend 1,117 words to show either of that.

And therefore, what should one make of the fact that Gavin Schmidt felt compelled instead to argue the following?

No heads will roll, no congressional investigations will be launched, no politicians (with one possible exception) will take note

Molehills truly are mountains for very little people.

UPDATE NOV 14: Nice to see Lucia at The Blackboard make a very similar point (among many others)

Gavin does seem hellbent on turning the molehill into an even bigger mountain. If he keeps this up, maybe the mountain can turn into a volcanic eruption of Krakatoa like proportions which would then lower the GMST. . .

Whither a Climate Debate?

Gavin Schmidt writes at RealClimate

“The obvious ineptitude of this contribution underlines quite effectively how little debate there is on the fundamentals if this is the best counter-argument that can be offered.”

But it has been my impression that the main story, Monckton’s press releases notwithstanding, has been (and still is) the FPS Editor remarking that there is a considerable number of scientists skeptical of the IPCC conclusions.

The FPS Executive Committee now states on the FPS July 2008 page that they do not agree with the previous remark, suggesting it is all a matter of opinion.

However, with the APS jumping in against Monckton’s paper with red inks (thankfully now turned to black), and more than one call for the FPS Editor to be “fired” from his volunteer position for the mere reason that he made that remark, I wonder what kind of “debate” could at all be possible?

Actually, I’d rather the APS had replied with Gavin’s words “The obvious ineptitude of this contribution etc etc” challenging any of its readers to come up with something better than Monckton’s.

That would have given debate a chance. As things stand, I pretty much doubt any against-consensus contribution would appear on the FPS in the future, even were such a contribution to surface (and am sure, it won’t: otherwise yet more people’s bosses will receive e-mails asking to “fire the heretics”, an ominous metaphore it there’s ever been one)