How the Koch Brothers Manipulate Climate Change Studies

By Joao Peixe. Cross posted from OilPrice

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, and two of the most obstinate climate change deniers out there.

It actually turns out that they will stop at nothing to try and dirty the reputation of climate science, even going as far as fixing renewable energy studies to provide proof to their cause.

Even when Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist, reported earlier in the year that his 3 year long, Koch-funded investigation proved that global warming did exist, that human activity was largely responsible, and that it is having a far worse effect on the planet than commonly thought; the Koch’s just ignore the results and focused on another study that shows climate change is fake.

Two of the Koch brothers most powerful anti-climate science weapons, are the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute, both funded by Koch organisations, and both renowned for their anti-climate change stances.

Under the direction of the Koch brothers ALEC, a lobby group, played a key role in derailing plans to setup the Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, a six state cap and trade agreement. Then, there is the Heartland Institute, probably best known for its billboard that it erected in Chicago last May which compared supporters of global warming with ‘Unabomber’ domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski.

Then just recently both organisations have been involved in a campaign against the new Electricity Freedom Act, which looks to increase utilities use of renewable energy and is already used in 29 states, claiming that it dramatically inflates electricity prices.

The reality is that electricity prices in the 29 states where the model legislation is already in effect, has not increased, in fact if anything it has decreased a bit.

When ALEC or the Heartland institute want to make a point, or release an attacking statement against renewable energy or climate change, they usually turn to studies commissioned by the American Tradition Institute, and State Policy Network, both of which are funded by the Koch brothers.

In a recent study undertaken by the Beacon Hill Institute, economist Michael Head admitted to the Washington Post that he and his colleagues manipulated the data to try and influence the results. Not necessarily anything huge, but just by leaving out certain key figures they can make the results seem to prove climate change sceptics when in fact they disprove them.

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  1. IowanX

    Yves, get well soon. This cross-post is not your best effort, in any way shape or form. I bet you have something better shortly.

    1. OregonX

      The cross post is clearer than your insinuation, IowanX. Climate Change is real and our reliance on cheap fossil fuels is making the environment in some areas more hostile for those inhabitants. To add, Corn for fuel, instead of food, is a classic example of idiotic policy that makes some rich while imposing hardship on the majority.

      How long before Iowans start begging for Drought relief? You think the Koch Brothers will step in too help?

        1. Goin' South

          This thread is fascinating with its accusations and counter-accusations, and its general skepticism toward science.

          The lesson I draw is that when profit and greed rule, everything and (nearly) everybody can be bought.

          The result is that Truth, Trust and Common Purpose all die.

          More casualties of Capitalism.

            1. davidgmills

              You get to hear Svensmark in person and decide for yoruself. You get to hear lots of other scientists who are on his team and who support his ideas. Go for it.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Oh, bollocks. Je repete: If an idea isn’t worth defending in this community on this thread, it’s probably not worth defending at all.

                NOTE “Get to hear”? Listening to a YouTube is a privelege now?

                1. davidgmills

                  I meant getting to hear in the sense that you actually get to hear the person with the ideas. Often on the internet what you get is hearsay.

                  1. Lambert Strether

                    For the third time, the point you ignore: If an idea isn’t worth defending in this community on this thread, it’s probably not worth defending at all.

                    Please stop with the distraction. It’s borderline trolling.

                    1. davidgmills

                      If an idea is not worth defending here, then where? Only a science blog? Problem is, most of America doesn’t go to science blogs. If they did, maybe it would not be necessary to have this kind of discussion on an economics blog.

                      It seems to me that much of the global warming debate occurs on economics blogs and political blogs. Stop bringing it up on economics blogs and political blogs and then there would be no need to have frank discussions about it on them.

                    2. Pam from Public Relations

                      David, when you’re through here, would you please pick up Mr. Koch’s dry cleaning, thanks!

                    3. skippy

                      Google davidgmills and climate… its like dark humor… funny and frightening at the same time.

                      If you look at his original link, it only goes a 100-ish years back, mostly 50-ish. Its nothing more than a copy and past hack job with a few unsubstantiated opines and then youtube offerings when further challenged.

                      Skippy… Hell… the usage of Professor Nigel Weiss to give it some gravitas, only to have him align with AGW is indicative of the buffoonery. Yet rhetorically pander, he’ll get a Nobel, I’m an ecologist, et al and never acknowledge – ALL – the other indacators, sea temp (location migrations), acidification, permafrost, extinction event, or the fact that human mass and local proximity has been quite well recorded to the effects… thousands/tens of thousands of years, of it. From stone age to today. The well spring of this shite is always the same too, the advantaged, the hoarders10x, to retain privilege over any other consideration… Barf…

                    4. davidgmills

                      Nice try Skippy. Go to Dissident Voice and search my name for five or six of my publications there. Dissident Voice is a real conservative rag. Not.

                    5. skippy


                      Your first link “The friends of Science” / Lavoisier Group’s / carbon heavy industry backed shite is all I need to point out, mouth organs, all of them. Then there’s the point of the usage of Professor Nigel Weiss work, seems that was a flop. So now your down to your last straw or should I say cloud.

                      Here’s another name from your original link: David Archibald

                      David Archibald is a Perth, Australia-based scientist operating in the fields of cancer research, oil exploration and climate science. After graduating in science at Queensland University in 1979, Mr Archibald worked in oil exploration in Sydney and then joined the financial industry as a stock analyst. Mr Archibald has been CEO of multiple oil and mineral exploration companies operating in Australia. He has published a number of papers on the solar influence on climate, and is a director of the Lavoisier Society, a group of Australians promoting rational science in public policy.

                      Skip here… I live in Australia, I have first hand professional knowledge of the on goings, who pays the bills, what political party’s state and federal are behind this, and the individuals ie Rienhart, Palmer, Murdoch[s et al. its the same the world over mate.

                      Let me make this perfectly clear. You and your mobs underlining bias has zero scientific rigor, it is clearly ideological. The observation that humans have altered weather on a local level spans our history, this has been expanded by the increase in population and activity’s to encompass the globe.

                      Skippy… why don’t you go back to spamming Occupy boards with your cults ignorance, you will find no purchase for that seed here. FYI people are actually being exceedingly nice around here, at times, when folks like you and james try your shtick. Well… the shredding is more akin to a wood chipper.

                      PS. If there was truth in advertising laws worth a crap… your mob would have say… brought to you by big oil, mining, neoliberal party white people for – our – prosperity climate skeptics* rag (*Deniers).

                    6. James Cole

                      I posted links to actual science articles (see above) to *debunk* Svensmark and davidgmills, and skippy lumps my “shtick” in with theirs.

                      skippy–if you can’t take the time to read the science, at least take my word for it that I believe the AGW consensus, just as you evidently do.

                    7. rob

                      I woud imagine that there are fewer “global warming” debates on actual scientific blogs. My guess is that the lack of scientific consensus on the side of those that say nothing is changing….is kind of laughable.And really wouldn’t be tolerated.People would say”so what do you have?”And not being able to produce very much, would be the first strike against such an arguement. Especially considering the money koch bros and the american petroleum institute throw at these prostitute scientists,to come up with SOMETHING.ANYTHING….

                  2. e23

                    Another Big Thinker who can’t solve a 1st-order linear diffyq but he thinks he knows enough to debunk a dozen GCMs.

            2. davidgmills

              What gets my goat liberal is that people will come on a blog like this and treat this author as if he is some kind of expert on AGW.

              But they won’t take the time to listen to a prominent solar physicist speak about his ideas and his work and won’t listen to his team members and the other prominent scientists around the world who are using his work to develope other theories of past global cooling and warming. For example, Nir Shaviv an astronomer/astrophysicist from Israel, is also interviewed, and Shaviv postutaltes that increased cosmic radiation of the solar system, when it is moving through one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy, causes ice ages. Ice ages match up to times when the solar system is traveling through spiral arms of the galaxy.

              You really owe it to yourself to hear what these guys have to say.

              By the way, they are all published.

              1. kimyo

                thank you for your valiant attempts to spread knowledge, and for putting up with every flavor of attack.

                please continue. it is appreciated.

              2. James Cole

                Easy enough to debunk Svensmark:


                An excerpt:
                In reference to the present anthropogenic climatic changes that we’re driving through alteration of the planetary energy balance notably through greenhouse gas emissions, we can theorize what certain “fingerprints” of enhanced greenhouse warming should look like, and examine observational data to see whether those fingerprints show up. And they do.

                Moreover, we can examine the claims made by Svensmark, Shaviv, and others who proclaim GCRs drive climate and see whether or not they hold up. They don’t:

                We can look at the paleoclimatic record during periods of significant changes in GCR activity, and there is no corresponding change in climate, e.g. the Laschamp excursion ~40kya (Muscheler 2005).

                We can examine the change in GCRs in response to solar variability over recent decades or the course of a solar cycle, and find there is no or little corresponding change in climate (Lockwood 2007, Lockwood 2008, Kulmala 2010).

                We can look at alleged correlations between GCRs and climate in the geologic past due to our sun passing through galactic spiral arms, and find that these “correlations” were based on an unrealistic, overly-simplified model of spiral structure and are not valid (Overholt 2009). Standard climatic processes (like CO2) more parsimoniously explained the climatic changes even before taking the flawed spiral model into account (Rahmstorf 2004).

                We can examine the specific mechanisms by which Svensmark and others have claimed GCRs influence climate via cloud behavior and show that alleged correlations between GCRs and clouds were incorrectly calculated or insufficiently large, proposed mechanisms (e.g. Forbush decreases) are too short lived, too small in magnitude, or otherwise incapable of altering cloud behavior on a large enough scale to drive significant climatic change (Sloan 2008, Erlykin 2009, Erlykin 2009a, Pierce 2009, Calogovic 2010, Snow-Kropla 2011, Erlykin 2011).

                Basically, what’s actually been demonstrated by Kirkby, et al. isn’t at odds with the IPCC. What is at odds with the IPCC hasn’t been demonstrated by Kirkby, et al. And the claims by Svensmark, Shaviv, and other ‘GCRs drive climate’ proponents have been debunked at pretty much every step of the way. GCRs may have some influence on cloud behavior, but they’re not responsible for significant climatic changes now or in the geologic past.

                1. davidgmills

                  At least James you appreciate the scientific method and the debate. Certainly there are those who think Svensmark is wrong and have cited some research to disprove him. But Svensmark himself and Shiviv have both answered the criticisms of their work in published papers. Their critics find little correlation between GCR’s and temperature and they find what they believe to be a strong correlation. Svensmark et al find little correlation between CO2 and temperature and the AGW proponents see all kinds of correlation.

                  Who is right? Only time will tell.

                  As for Jasper Kirkby, and CERN, depending on who you talk to the CERN experiments either support Svensmark or they don’t. Kirkby’s published paper had ommissions that his online ppaer did not and there was far more in Kirkby’s online paper to support Svensmark than there was inthe published paper. Kirkby and CERN have done further experiments and the results of those are due out any day and we shall see what those experiments say.

                  I would rather have this kind of discussion though than the dismissive he’s a Koch troll BS that most people here sling. It is amazing what passes for legitimate scientific criticism now. Most people don’t know enough about logic or scientific inquiry to make true scientific critcism. It is all about attacking based on perceivied bias and lots of logical fallacy. And lawyers are as bad about it as anyone. In fact, one of my great beefs about the legal profession is exactly that. Our rules of evidence not only allow attacks based on bias and legal fallacy, they encourage it. Lawyers could never do that against each other in court, but attacking “experts” based on bias and logical fallacies are the rules of the game.

          1. skippy

            @davidgmills…. well a lawyer in Rockhampton (Cattle and Mining town) is not my sort of bias free scientific go to guy… eh. And as you well know its a small world around here, wife’s close relative is a made man at McCul­lough Robertson, sons RBU club is a one stop shop for all kinds of whispers, have family scattered all over the place between rocky and brizzy, etc. The aussie based climate denier mob is quite the show.

            So when you come here offering links to obviously politically orientated quasi scientific sites, please desist with the lets be objective shtick. I mean how could your link get Professor Nigel Weiss so wrong, wheres the accuracy in that factoid? Instead of meeting the challenges pointed out to you, you’ve instead, consolidated your hole position around one person and their theory. Kinda desperate don’t you think?

            Skippy… If you have a slow day, take a drive up to Mount Morgan, lovely vistas. Then drive down to the Irish sector down by the tailings creek. The Orange glow is beautiful in the right light, that or go fishing in Gladstone bay, take Clive too…

            PS. @James… dally with these morons at your own peril. If you had looked into the backgrounds of proffered links, you would have seen political industry backed underpinnings. Give these breathers one little opportunity and everyone gets to pay the price.

          2. skippy

            @davidmills… Draft IPCC report leaked

            MARK COLVIN: A blogger has put most of the drafts of the fifth International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, due next year, on the internet.

            The blogger Alec Rawls is a climate change sceptic.

            He and other climate sceptic journalists and bloggers have isolated one section of the draft to suggest that cosmic rays, such as those of the sun, may have a greater influence on warming than had been claimed.

            The leaked IPCC drafts cover a range of subjects from the quality of climate models to measurements of sea level rise and Arctic ice loss.

            Professor Steve Sherwood is a director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

            He is also a lead author of chapter seven of the IPCC report, which happens to be the one the sceptics are claiming for their side.

            But Professor Sherwood is scornful of the idea that the chapter he helped write confirms a greater role for solar and other cosmic rays in global warming.

            STEVE SHERWOOD: Oh that’s completely ridiculous. I’m sure you could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite, that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible.

            MARK COLVIN: They’re saying that it is the first indication that the IPCC recognises something called solar forcing.

            STEVE SHERWOOD: It’s not the first time it recognises it. What it shows is that we looked at this. We look at everything. The IPCC has a very comprehensive process where we try to look at all the influences on climate and so we looked at this one.

            And there have been a couple of papers suggesting that solar forcing affects climate through cosmic ray/cloud interactions, but most of the literature on this shows that that doesn’t actually work. – snip.


      1. rob

        aside from certain drawbacks to ethanol,the “corn for fuel” initiative is an agri-business creation.It is a form of corporate welfare.
        the natural reality is, ethanol does work as a its way.within its limitations.
        now, no one said you have to use corn… except the agri-industry giants,the big five who control 85-95% of the buisness.
        Actually, 95% of the corn grown in this country is “feed corn”.Now, corn is not a great feed. It is high in starch, which gives animals gas.(this methane is also a contributor to greenhose gasses).Aside from being uncomfortable for the animals,This starch can be removed.This leaves behind a residual feedstock, that doesn’t have starch in it. The starch is what is used to make ethanol… so there is one product.Now that feedstock that is left over is another product.Its “mash”.This is something that is already traded in limited quantities…The problem Is the corporate structure model.They want centralized efficiency. this product after extracting the starch is “wet”. These conglomerates want something they can store,ship and sell… which means they have to dry it. Now drying it means they have to use fuel, which makes the process, less profitable…therefor it is not done.But what needs to happen is instead of five big conglomerates, there needs to be cooperatives set up in every state, this will create business for many different entrepreneurs.Local systems for collecting the feed corn, for extracting the starch,for distributing the wet mash to local farmers who want a high quality feed,and finally to distribute locally the ethanol for whatever purposes… as one of the drawbacks about ethanol is it is rough on pipelines.
        This is what a free market would produce ,rather than the “captive market” these huge conglomerates create through political power and propaganda.

  2. Gaylord

    One could add their companies are among the worst polluters. So, what can we do? Boycott their products. Do a search and you’ll find the list. I would also suggest putting public pressure on the recipients of their philanthropic money, such as the NY City Ballet, to refuse it henceforth. (The Komen Foundation treatment.)

    1. OregonX

      To name just a few:
      Koch Industry Gasoline:

      Union 76

      Koch Industry/Georgia-Pacific Products:

      Angel Soft toilet paper
      Brawny paper towels
      Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
      Mardi Gras napkins and towels
      Quilted Northern toilet paper
      Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper
      Sparkle napkins
      Vanity fair napkins
      Zee napkins

      1. Susan the other

        As gasoline distillers you’d think the Kochs would want the price of oil to drop, and welcome the competition in alternative energy which will bring this about. Yesterday the Link to Oil Price was an article: How the US Could Eliminate Its Need for Crude Oil. A plan by chemical engineers to mix fuels; a combination of gasoline and biofuels with much of the gasoline being made from coal – as Hitler was doing. The selling point was not that coal could be turned into a clean energy source but that by using biofuels a 50% reduction in pollutants could be achieved. However in order to do this the price of crude must remain relatively high to make it cost effective. It will cost about 90$/barrel.

        Then another Oil Price article followed, this one about how Iran is a thorn in the side of the oil industry, especially vexing to the Saudis because if Iran were allowed to modernize its oil industry it could sell oil much cheaper than the Saudis, who have come to rely on high oil prices to keep their citizens happy. It was implied that the control (interference with) Iran is an attempt to keep the price of oil high. And it mentioned the Shah. Curious. Did we depose the Shah for oil? To keep the price of oil high? Not because he wanted to have a socialist government?

        1. rob

          We didn’t depose the shah.
          we overthrew the democratically elected gov’t of mossedegh in 1953.the shahs of the pahlavi family were puppets of british patroleum ;which at the time was named “Anglo-Iranian oil co”,since the twenties.the first shah, had instituted a police state to control the people.He was there to sign the contracts,which were touted as a “sharing” plan with anglo-iranian and the iranian people over the profits derived from the resources that belonged to the iranian people.Sounds nice ,huh?Those split profits would pay for needed infrastructure,schools,hospitals and all that good stuff….but the reality was that the oil was sold by “anglo-iranian” at pretty much cost to @30 subsidieries of anglo-iranian(meaning they were owned by the owners of Anglo-iranian/now BP),which meant those profits that were to be shared…never materialized for the people.,which led to unrest by the late forties, then mossadegh;who was already a public figure; who was promising to nationalize the oil again,which would nullify the contacts with BP/anglo-iranian,and would allow the iranian people to benefit from the oil being extracted from their country.Now in 1953(or ’52?)mossadegh won an election. the shah was on his way out…. but thanks to operation:”TP AJAX” under the leadership of kermit”kim” Roosevelt,from the basement of the US embassy, a “coup” was fomented. protesters programs pulled together to “pretend” these protesters were legit>>>and winning” while some assainations were being executed, and mossedegh was detained?or just in hiding? left the scene….and the shah was re-instated…. now this either was the first shah, or his son, who was the shah that was eventually ousted by the fundementalist revolt in 1979.Our actions in 1953, led to the resumption of a police state that funneled the peoples money to BP/anglo-iranian, and eventually led to the frustration of the people who eventually supported the ayatollahs in 1979,,, and have since been still harassed by the west to this very day…
          and yes, they were “not on our side”. sure if we were fair to them, they might have been. but saudi arabia was a creation more of american opposed to our special relationship with britian.
          The propaganda in the west,(years later, at the time, the US denied any knowledge of the coup) as to why we supported the overthrow of mossedegh,was that they were worried that iran would become in the orbit of the soviet union…which after we spurned them, they probably would have, despite their not being a communist bent, but the soviet union was their neighbor.This was something even sold in the state dept, to the underlings who went along with this plan.despite that the soviet union was really created in part by the west, and was constantly saved from financial collapse by the same wall st banks who were making money by the cold war support of the military industrial complex.I knew the asst ambassador at the iranian embassy, the weekend the coup took place. the ambassador went out of town that weekend,specifically so the US could claim they “didn’t know anything about it”, which is exactly what he did…. claim no knowledge whatsoever… despite kim roosevelt running around in the chaos downstairs.. pulling a coup together…..there is a reason why others don’t see america and britian as different places… our establishments do each others bidding, as needed, and still do to this day.

          Ironically, the first koch,the grandfather who developed a better “cracking” process, was run out of america by the “network” of american standard oil… ,because he was a competitor….he went and built the oil industry for stalin…so the koch bros money started as a a communist enterprise….for the arch enemy(supposedly)of america…then his son(the second generation of koch) was a founding member of the john birch society,warning americans of being taken over by the communists… and now today, we have a communist created conglomerate, (now the two kochs/grandchildren)trying to take over the american political system….man, can you make this stuff up…people wouldn’t believe it.

          1. JEHR

            rob, you are getting better–two paragraphs instead of none. But the whole piece could be divided into about 12 paragraphs, then I would read the whole thing. Try to make a new paragraph every new idea.

          2. Susan the other

            Yes, thanks Rob – I was actually thinking “OH no, did we depose the Shah in 1979 just to keep the price of oil high.” Because we did not accept him as a political refugee and sent him on to Mexico. Right? At the time he was dying of cancer. Anyway, it’s all to elaborate to follow given the layers of disinformation. So, yours was a good synopsis.

          3. LucyLulu

            Thanks. That was really interesting, Rob. Especially about Grandpa Koch working with Stalin. What would Koch-funded Tea Partiers accusing those on the left of being “socialist” and “commie” say?

  3. davidgmills

    Screw the Koch Brothers. It is not about them.

    But what is important to know is that there is a competing scientific view regarding why the 20th century was so hot. Check out this very inconvenient paper explaining the competing scientific theory: the sun’s variable protection against cosmic radiation affects the amount of clouds on earth and thus the earth’s climate.

    Cosmic radiation causes clouds. Solar protection from cosmic radiation reduces clouds. When the sun is in a highly magnetic phase (as it has been for most of the 20 the century) its heliosphere protects the earth from cosmic radiation and the earth produces fewer clouds and warms.

    1. kimyo

      so, the 99% pay a carbon tax while the koch bros laugh all the way to the bank. along the way, they bill us for bogus, non-effective carbon capture technology.

      look at gore, monbiot, et al. all supporters of nuclear power. it is not obvious where their loyalties lie? what kind of twisted logic does it take to be pro-nuke?

      all this as the solar cycle winds down and we head into the next little ice age:

      let’s prepare for the right future. stop pretending to punish kochco by paying a carbon tax.

    2. skippy

      Ref. your link.

      Lavoisier Group’s

      Ray Evans

      Since July 2001, Ray Evans has been Director of Ray Evans & Associates, a consultancy specialising in political and economic advice. From 1982 until 2001, Ray Evans was Executive Officer at Western Mining Corporation, (WMC Ltd) a major Australian mining company, where he was engaged in the ideological, political, and economic challenges facing the mining industry in Australia and internationally. He has published widely in a number of fields including environmentalism, Indigenous peoples’ movements, and economic and political issues affecting the mining industry.

      Prior to his appointment at WMC he taught electrical engineering at Deakin University, Victoria.

      He is President of the H R Nicholls Society, an Australian society dedicated to the cause of labour market reform and Secretary of the Lavoisier Group, an organisation which seeks to encourage debate about, and raise concern at, the implications of the Kyoto Protoco


      Then your link sites:

      Nigel Weiss, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge says that throughout earth’s history climate change has been driven by factors other than man: “Variable behaviour of the sun is an obvious explanation,” says Dr. Weiss, “and there is increasing evidence that Earth’s climate responds to changing patterns of solar magnetic activity.” The sun’s most obvious magnetic features are sunspots, formed as magnetic fields rip through the sun’s surface. “If you look back into the sun’s past, you find that we live in a period of abnormally high solar activity,” Dr. Weiss states. These hyperactive periods do not last long, “perhaps 50 to 100 years, then you get a crash,” says Dr. Weiss. ‘It’s a boom-bust system, and I would expect a crash soon.”

      In addition to the 11-year cycle, sunspots almost entirely “crash,” or die out, every 200 years or so as solar activity diminishes. When the crash occurs, the Earth can cool dramatically. These phenomenon, known as “Grand minima,” have recurred over the past 10,000 years, if not longer. In the 17th century, sunspots almost completely disappeared for 70 years. That was the coldest interval of the Little Ice Age, when New York Harbour froze, allowing walkers to journey from Manhattan to Staten Island, and when Viking colonies abandoned Greenland, a once verdant land that became tundra.

      In contrast, when the sun is very active, such as the period we’re now in, the Earth can warm dramatically. This was the case during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings first colonized Greenland and when Britain was wine-growing country.

      No one knows precisely when a crash will occur but some expect it soon, because the sun’s polar field is now at its weakest since measurements began in the early 1950s. Some predict the crash within five years, and many speculate about its effect on global warming. Several authorities are now warning of global cooling because the sun has entered a quiet period.

      Skip here… lets see what he said Tuesday 11th December 2012… ummmm.

      Global warming “man-made” says professor
      Professor Nigel Weiss, Emeritus Professor in Mathematical Astrophysics at Cambridge, has affirmed the announcement by scientists that global warming is primarily a man-made problem.

      Weiss echoes the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in Paris on 1 February. The panel stressed that humans are the most likely cause of global warming, emphasising that a concerted and universal effort to reduce emissions is necessary to lessen the risks.

      There has been recent support for suggestions that solar activity is a more significant cause than human consumption, and that a fall in solar activity would lead to a cooling that would negate the effect of greenhouse gases. Weiss has rejected this stance.


      Skippy here… not worth the time deconstructing this Von Mises Think Tank Liberal industry driven crap any further. Hows it feel to be mouth organ idiot, really. See per your link:

      Warming is Good for Your Health

      The health benefits of a warmer planet are many times greater than any harmful effect. The positive health effects of heat have been well documented over the past quarter century. The early studies of Bull (1973) and Bull and Morton (1975a,b) in England and Wales, for example, demonstrated that even normal changes in temperature are typically associated with inverse changes in death rates, especially in older people. That is, when temperatures rise, death rates fall, while when temperatures fall, death rates rise.

      Speculations on the potential impact of continued warming on human health often focus on mosquito-borne diseases. Elementary models suggest that higher global temperatures will enhance their transmission rates and extend their geographic ranges. However the histories of three such diseases – malaria, yellow fever, and dengue – reveal that climate has rarely been the principal determinant of their prevalence or range. Human activities and their impact on local ecology have generally been much more significant. It is therefore inappropriate to use climate-based models to predict future prevalence.

    3. Teejay

      “Friends” of “Science” sure looks like a astro turf organization fronting for fossil fuel industry climate
      change deniers and you’re simply trolling for them.

      1. davidgmills

        When are we going to learn that science has little to do with the interests who benefit or lose based upon scientific discovery? Perhaps the fossil fuel industry will benefit from this scientific theory, perhaps not.

        I used to think that an Inconvenient Truth was the best documentary ever made. That is until I heard about Dr. Henrik Svensmark, a Dane solar physicist (who probably never heard of the Koch brothers) and his theory that high cosmic radiation was the cause of low cloud cover and global cooling, and that high cosmic radiation was caused by a sun that had gone into a magnetic decline.

        Svensmark’s theory is being taken very seriously by many in the scientific community, especially now that the highly magnetic sun of the twentieth century is now in serious magnetic decline. Dr Habibullo I. Abdussamatov, a Russian solar physicist (who probably also never heard of the Koch brothers) predicts that by 2030 or 2040 the magnetic output of the sun will be so small that we will have another mini-ice age as we did during the Maunder minimum (1645-1715) when the sun’s magnetic output was so small that sunspots vanished for about 50 years or so. (sunspots are indicative ot the sun’s magnetic output — the more sunspots the higher the magnetic output). You might also look up Jasper Kirkby (a British solar physicist who probably never heard of the Koch brothers either) who recently, with a team of some of the world’s best solar physicists at CERN, are in the process of testing Svensmark’s hypothesis with the best cloud chambers in the world. The paper I cited shows some of their work and explains Svensmark’s hypothesis.

        You might watch a video on Svensmark and his theory called “The Cloud Mystery.” Takes about an hour of your time to discover that there is another genuine scientific theory that explains the global warming of the 20th century:

        Have the courage to think for yourself.

        1. Jim Meek

          I see! The disastrous effects will be delayed until after that 70-year cool period ends and the sun again becomes more active.

          So it won’t be us that suffers, it will be our grandchildren.

          Whoo. For a while there I was worried.

        2. jrs

          Ok now how do we deal with ocean acidification and the potential die off of the vast ocean ecosystems and all that means for human and other life on earth that will follow? Because excess carbon release still means ocean acidification, means ocean ecosystems in danger …

          1. Susan the other

            I noticed that stuff got left out too. How to mitigate all the disasters and extinctions. Can’t blame the poisons on cosmic particles; the sun’s magnetic field only protects us from the warming cloud cover, if true.

    4. Susan the other

      The cloud thing doesn’t compute for me. We live in the high desert; dry summers; good snowfall winters. Before 2000 we had a predictable desert climate, but for the last 10 years we have had killer winters; 12 feet plus of snow, etc. And the sky has changed from primarily clear (as in not a cloud in the sky for days on end both summer and winter) to clouds every day. The weather fronts that come in across the Pacific have been huge. Looking at the radar maps can be downright terrifying. Really big storm fronts. So, just an observation.

      1. Susan the other

        I just tried to post a comment but it got lost. Just wanted to say that the Swensmark video was very interesting and the science seemed convincing because different fields all correlated the same phenomenon. I also think it is interesting that this theory seems to verify the night time warming effect – it is warmer at night these days but there is less day time warming. This is usually attributed to cloud cover.

    5. Francois T

      Do you know where you are when you try to post here?

      This is NC, the 5th most influential financial blog on Earth. It didn’t become so because the Commonwealth For Unrestricted Asshatery took over. It is so because 1) Yves Smith is one of the very best which in turn 2) attract pretty sharp readers and 3) among them very knowledgeable commentators.

      Hence, trying to sneak in climate denialism crapola will not work. It ain’t going to happen, so…don’t even try!

      You were the weakest link…bye now!

    6. save the dumbshits

      Right, gmills, you poor dumb dupe, just keep telling yourself that. When you’re penned in a refugee camp in your hellish red-state dustbowl, standing in line for FEMA powdered milk and posing for relief-porn photos with big sad helpless third world victim eyes, I will be laughing at you from the 60th parallel.

  4. affinis

    Here are some pretty good write-ups on how the game is played.

    Much of the point is to manufacture doubt. A lot of these strategies were first developed and honed by the tobacco industry, then promulgated elsewhere.
    From an infamous 1969 Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. internal memo: “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy”

    Here’s another organization analogous to the Heartland Institute, but targeting endangered species: the so-called “Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy & Reliability”

    When you encounter any group that uses the word “science” in combination with the words “sound” or “best” or “accuracy” or “reliability”/”reliable” – as in “sound science” or “best science” or “complete, clear, accurate science” – be aware that it’s likely to be an industry front group. These words/formulations work well in messaging (because of how people naively respond to them – people generally take them at face value and respond positively) and the names are often focus-group tested. The use of such a formulation (e.g. “best science”) is a tell-tale sign that you’re dealing with an industry front group trying to manipulate your perceptions.

    1. From Mexico

      There is, however, a problem with science itself.

      Robert H. Nelson, in Economics as Religion, explains the fundamental problem:

      Since the eighteenth century, however, the authority of God as a source of absolute truths of the world — the essence of the historic claim to authority of Jewish and Christian religion — has been superceded in many areas of society by the rise of science.

      Threfore, everybody and their dog wants to put the imprimatur of “science” on their moral, theological, political, social or economic project. And of course one of the principle perpetrators of pseudo-science was the Church. As Stephen Toulmin writes in Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity: “With the transition from Summas to Manuals, from speculative and revisable doctrines to immutable and infallible “dogmas”, theology and rationalism entered into an ambiguous alliance…

      The ambition of the Counter-Reformation, it [the Traité de l’autorité du concile de Trente en France] tells us, was “to prove invincibly our most fundamental belief.”

      The result of all this misuse of science is the dumbing down of science and, ultimately, science loosing much of its cachet.

      Kant warned of such. What man can know, Kant cautioned, is only “an island, enclosed by nature itself within unalterable limits. It is the land of truth—-enchanting name!—-surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the native home of illusion, where many a fog bank and many a swiftly melting iceberg give the deceptive appearance of farther shores, deluding the adventurous seafarer ever anew with empty hopes, and engaging him in enterprises which he can never abandon and yet is unable to carry to completion.”

      Kant’s successors were not content to stay upon this tiny island, and set sail into the impenetrable night. Of these, the Church and the economists were amongst the boldest and most reckless of these adventurers.

      But other disciplines, such as evolutionary biology and the pseudo-science of Richard Dawkins, have also fallen victim to the “ambiguous alliance between theology and rationalism.” And much to its discredit, the scientific community seems to be all but blind to what is science and what is not science, which brings much discredit upon the scientific community.

        1. From Mexico

          Don’t you perceive the cognitive incoherence built into the omnipotence-of-science credo?

          Science’s cachet is attributable almost entirely to the triumph of the doctrine of utilitarianism. Scientific-technical information has hegemony over other modes of knowing in our society because this type of knowledge is believed to have contributed so much to our national successes in extending longevity, creating affluence, and using technology to make life more comfortable, convenient, and stimulating. The trend is to entrust the scientific experts with even more power and influence, and in ever more realms of human existence (read economists).

          Now, all of a sudden, the scientists are telling us it isn’t true. Man must curtail his usage of fossil fuels! And make no mistake about it, despite all the fantasies being evangelized by the energy Utopians from both sides of the political spectrum, there is no replacement for fossil fuels on the drawing table. All the energy alternatives are either more expensive (less efficient) or lack portability. Thus the promise of making human life ever more affluent, comfortable and conventient is being called into question.

          What is at stake then is the progressivist or modernist vision — the linear, constantly upward trajectory of history or, in Marxist and market fundamentalist (Fukuyama and neoliberal) thought, the ‘end of history’ culminating in some proletarian or market Shangri La.

          The incoherence in the omnipotence-of-science credo is made explicit in Naomi Oreskes’ talk at a conference hosted by The Science Network:

          Speaking of the premises of the conference, she identifies it as “a belief in science and a conviction that science has the power to change the world.” She goes on to state that “that’s a conviction that I share” and whose veracity is “amply demonstrated by the empirical evidence of history.”

          However, she then immediately launches into a discourse, the subject of which is what science is currently telling us. And what science is currently telling us is that “AGW is real.”

          So the argument I am making is not to dispute what science is telling us, which is that AGW is real. The argument I’m making is that this collides head-on with the progressivist and utilitarian philosophy of science which Oreskes opens her talk with.

          Layered on top of this is the fact that the Science Network provides not only a platform for the highly emotional, anti-religious bigotry of folks like Harry Koto, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennet, but also Dawkins’ and Dennett’s “Darwininan fundamentalism,” as Stephen Jay Gould called it. And people are just now awakening to the fact that Dawinian fundamentalism is little more than the evolutionary biologiist’s equivalent of market fundamentalism, with no more basis in reality.

          Scientists know that they are losing the battle to win the hearts and minds of the masses. But, as the three Science Network “Beyond Belief” conferences demonstrate, they just can’t figure out why. But in my way of thinking, it’s obvious why they’re losing.

          1. skippy

            “Scientists know that they are losing the battle to win the hearts and minds of the masses. But, as the three Science Network “Beyond Belief” conferences demonstrate, they just can’t figure out why. But in my way of thinking, it’s obvious why they’re losing” – Mexico

            Skippy… their losing because of the generational imprinting… why did so many willingly sacrifice them selves to machinations of priests, of what ever stripe, through out the ages, in the forlorn hope it would better the harvest. BTW Capitalism is a sort of harvest… eh.

          2. James Cole

            You way overstate the claims that science makes for itself by encumbering it with the particulars of the political-economic moment in which we currently find ourselves, which are not at all necessary for the scientific endeavor to be useful or valid. And, like so many other tools of reaction, you are doing so in order to utilize the fact science never has nor ever will it have anything to say other than hypothetical imperatives as a rhetorical device to challenge the notion that if one wants to maintain the planet as an environment hospitable to humanity, one must see to the end of carbon based energy production.

      1. liberal

        Threfore, everybody and their dog wants to put the imprimatur of “science” on their moral, theological, political, social or economic project.

        That’s silly. It’s clear that true science only attempts to answer the question “what is,” not “what ought to be”.

      2. Claire

        From Mexico,

        I enjoyed your comment!

        It sounds like Stephen Toulmin might have a lot in common with Paul Feyerabend.

        Below is a link to excerpts selected from Feyerabend’s work.

        And you might find the long quote on empiricism especially interesting (from pgs. 43, 44 and 45 of Against Method) which begins:

        “[On Empiricism ] It is evident, on the basis of our considerations, that this appearance of success cannot in the least be regarded as a sign of truth and correspondence with nature….”

        1. From Mexico

          Great stuff, Claire. I had not heard of Feyerabend, so thanks for the heads up.

          It’s becoming fairly obvious, despite all the lofty pretensions of science, that human beings just don’t do reality. Nor do they do uncertainty. Mythology and dogma reign supreme. Scientists are no exception, science being nothing but a piece of metaphysics.

          Animal rationale, it turns out, was nothing more than an man-made myth constructed to bestow privilege upon the social elites. Marx’s definition of man as animal laborans stood in conscious oppositon to and challenged the traditional definition of man as animal rationale. Marx felt the necessity of finding a new definition of man under the assumption of universal equality. “The tremendous practical advantage of Marx’s ‘scientific’ over utopian socialism was, and still is,” Hannah Arendt writes in Karl Marx and the tradition of Western political thought, “that it liberated the socialist movement from its worn-out moralizing attitudes, and recognized that the class questions in modern society could not longer be solved by a ‘passion for justice’ or on the basis of a slightly modified Christian charity.”

          So in response to the animal rationale mythology came the counter-mythology, animal laborans.

          I think it’s important to keep something in mind, however, and that’s what the evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson said in Darwin’s Cathedral: “Even massively ficticious beliefs can be adaptive, as long as they motivate behaviors that are adaptive in the real world.”

          Sloan Wilson’s thought, however, is not novel, but merely a reiteration of something that Nietzsche had articulated a century earlier. Though metaphysics is an illusion from the point of view of science, Nietzsche observed, science in turn becomes but another stage of illusion as far as absolute truth is concerned. In The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche already attacks the scientific optimism of his time under the guise of “Socraticism.” Faith in the omnipotence of reason shatters, for the courageously persistent thinker, not only on the fact that science can never complete its work but chiefly on the positive apprehension that reality is irrational. As Nietzsche writes later, “We are illogical and therefore unjust beings from the first, and we can know this: that is one of the greatest and most insoluble disharmonies of existence.”

          Man, nevertheless, has been an incorrigible pragmatist and, like other animals, ever maintains the truth of those beliefs which seemed to help him live. Because of the age-long selective process, surviving modes of interpretation probalby do stand in some favorable relation to real conditions — just favorable enough for survival. “We are ‘knowing’ to the extent that we can satisfy our needs.” That truth is always best for life, however, is a moral prejudice. Falsification has been shown to be essential; truth is often ruinous, and sheer illusion helpful, as experience testifies. And of course there is no certainty about even the pragmatic value of our beliefs; there is merely the fact that we have survived so far. Beliefs not immediately harmful may yet be fatal in the long run.

  5. polistra

    If you’re fucking stupid enough to believe the GW scam, you’re free to worry about who funds the factual side.

    But bear in mind that YOUR side, the criminal side, is funded by BP and especially by Wall Street and the big re-insurers.

    You claim to be against the banksters, but in fact you’re accomplices to their crimes.

    Useful fucking idiots.

      1. Up the Ante

        Like, let’s see, your sunspots are guaranteeing an ice age in ~ 100 yrs, we shouldn’t save those carbons for then .. as we’ll need them ? No ?


        See, that’s what happens to those who snarl AS they fall asleep, they wake the next day looking out of their ‘anti-face’.


  6. digi_owl

    I find myself thinking about the Age of Uncertainty posted here a while back about the “gilded” age…

    These brothers sounds like a robber baron anachronism…

    1. ambrit

      Dear owl;
      Unfortunately, these slimes are labouring mightily to make anachronism become the new new present reality. Think the Peterson Organization, the Waltons, whoever gets the Gates money, etc. The Guilded Age was about the concentration of economic power. Today is a repeat of the process. What’s interesting is the lack of a coherent public outrage, that lead up to the ‘Trustbusters’ of the turn of the last century. Who will be our Teddy Roosevelt?

  7. YouDon'tSay?

    Well, let’s face it, global anthropomorphic climate change ain’t anything the masses really want to accept anyway, is it now? It’s not like it takes a whole lot of mud slinging to convince the common classes that the alternative to their current arrangements will be a life of GREAT deprivation and hardship (What? NO SMART PHONES! BULLSHIT!). The fact is, catastrophic changes due to climate change are almost certainly already locked in and government policies world wide simply can’t change even if they wanted them to (and they don’t) without conceding the fact that several billion humans are going to have to depart immediately and not be replaced to stabilize things in a post carbon fueled world and that, even then, things are likely going to spiral out of control anyway. The time for our current dialog on the subject was 50 years ago. Now? Too late, MUCH too late. Such are the delayed effects of releasing all that sequestered carbon into the atmosphere. So yeah, we’re being lied to AGAIN. What else is new? That’s pretty much the story of the US government and its associated propagandists since WWII at least, when it first embarked on its current quest for global domination. They’ve lied and we’ve willingly believed them in support of the idea that “The American Dream” made us somehow “exceptional.” Imperial delusions are like that. As the famous 80’s movie line line goes: You [We] can’t HANDLE the truth!

  8. LeeAnne

    I do my part. Every time I see the David H. Koch Theater plaque at Lincoln Center in New York City, the building that currently hosts the New York City Ballet, rather than give into a gagging sensation, I just keep walking. I boycott the ballet.

    But Koch outsmarts us. The plaque that is prominently positioned on the side of the building facing the street is, appropriately enough for a guy like Koch, dedicated to the building; not to the ballet.

    A quote by Koch himself on his own beneficence: ‘“When you’re the only one who survived in the front of the plane and everyone else died—yeah, you think, My God, the good Lord spared me for some greater purpose,” he says. “My joke is that I’ve been busy ever since, doing all the good works I can think of so he can have confidence in me.”’ here -the essence of delusion.

  9. Jim

    Warming grows the food you and I find necessary, CO2 is part and parcel of the food cycle. Just as the water cycle is necessary for your freash water supply. Unfortanatly there are people who want to control the amount of and the quality of the foods and waters you have available. I was reading on aanother weblsite about how “warming” has changed the quality of the wheat available for growing, But wheat is a weed according to the WHO. Who is right?
    Just as for scientific purposes, the sun is declared a constant output star. Heating the earth to 1.6 kw /m2.Right. Fewer sunspots the last 3 years, lowered the output to less then 1.2, and the followin 2 months show a cooling earth, and its not reported, just that we have had the warmest year ever, discounting the MWP, and last year.and the year before they fudged the numbers again.
    I’m begining to think that science should be regulated, just like people, you lie, someone dies, you go to jail. No million dollars in between.A bunch of scientists would go to jail then. Global warmists are lying to you right now, and people are dying becasue of their lies. Not bad science, but pushing an agenda. They are not humanists, there are christian extremists, and moslem extremists, there are other terrorists in the world, and they wear labcoats.

    1. JCC

      I’ve yet to read anywhere that carbon dioxide is the sole contributor to Global Warmng, and I don’t think that the majority of scientists involved in research in this area believe that it is the sole contributor.

      On the other hand, anyone that knows anything about excessive human pollution, carbon dioxide included, also knows that humans can contribute to the destruction of their environment. Historically undoubtable records abound.

      With that said, comparing those who attempt rational scientific investigation regarding issues of pollution to terrorists is, without a doubt, one of the most ignorant things I’ve read regarding this “controversey” in a long long time.

      1. davidgmills

        I think you miss his point. I am an environmentalist. I certainly think man has shown to be quite capable of causing major detriment and destruction to the plants and animals of this world. Just because we seem to be particularly adept at killing off plants and animals, it does not necessarily follow that we are capable of changing our climate.

        1. JCC

          I did not miss his point comparing legitimate scientific enquirey with terrorism… it was pretty damn obvious.

          I also did not miss your point; “it does not necessarily follow that we are capable of changing our climate”.

          There are recent studies, for example, with strong support regarding the abandoning of Inland Cities by the Mayan Culture. There is evidence that due to their large scale irrigation systems and massive deforestation of their immediate areas of living, they actually changed the local rainfall patterns (climate) and indirectly, if not directly, contributed to local droughts serious enough that food production was greatly harmed. In fact, harmed enough to actually force people to move away from the cities to the Atlantic and Pacific shores where water, and fish, were more abundant. They definitely affected their climate, albeit within a local/regional area.

          They were a very small civilization relative to our own and there is no reason at all why we are not sloppy enough with our waste to affect our “local” climate on a much grander scale.

      2. Jack Parsons

        We already once changed the atmosphere in a life-threatening way by destroying the ozone layer. When I was a kid in the 60s/70s, nobody wore sunblock. Because we had an ozone layer. We dumped enough chloroflourohydrocarbons to remove a molecule from the outer skin of a sphere with a diameter of 23k miles. That’s why you have to wear sunblock when you go outside.

        What does this have to do with Global Burning? We are now acidifying the oceans to the point that corals are dying out in some areas.

        Finally: do you trust your judgement enough to purchase oceanfront property? Staten Island has some bargains.

    2. Larry Barber

      Climatologists do not consider the sun to be a “constant output star”, they are quite aware that the luminosity of the sun varies. If you had read anything besides the crap that outfits like the Heartland Institute publish, you would know that.

      Warming also is not necessarily good for plant growth, while it’s true that increased concentrations of CO2 increase plant growth, higher temperatures can slow it. At around 100 to 105 degrees (Fahrenheit) photosynthesis shuts down completely, and it slows considerably well before that.

      I also find it hard to believe that the WHO considers wheat to be a weed (although context matters in what is and is not a weed), you’ll have to furnish a citation before I’ll believe that.

    3. liberal

      Heating the earth to 1.6 kw /m2.Right. Fewer sunspots the last 3 years, lowered the output to less then 1.2

      You’re either high on crack, or innumerate.

      You’re suggesting that solar output changed by 0.4/1.6 = 25%? That doesn’t pass the laugh test, and the Wikipedia article on “solar variation” claims that

      Variations in total solar irradiance were too small to detect with technology available before the satellite era, although the small fraction in ultra-violet light has recently been found to vary significantly more than previously thought over the course of a solar cycle.[2] Total solar output is now measured to vary (over the last three 11-year sunspot cycles) by approximately 0.1%,[3][4][5] or about 1.3 Watts per square meter (W/m2) peak-to-trough from solar maximum to solar minimum during the 11-year sunspot cycle. The amount of solar radiation received at the outer surface of Earth’s atmosphere averages 1366 W/m2.[1][6][7] There are no direct measurements of the longer-term variation, and interpretations of proxy measures of variations differ. The intensity of solar radiation reaching Earth has been relatively constant through the last 2000 years, with variations estimated at around 0.1-0.2%.[8][9][10] Solar variation, together with volcanic activity are hypothesized to have contributed to climate change, for example during the Maunder Minimum. However, changes in solar brightness are too weak to explain recent climate change.[11]

      That looks to me like you’re off by two orders of magnitude.

  10. Jeff L

    The Koch Foundation only gave the Heartland Institute $25,000 in 2011, and that was for projects related to health care. Can the author document the massive funding the Heartland Institute has been receiving from the Koch brothers, or the oil industry? Repeating falsehoods is disingenuous. The AGW supporters receive much more funding from government grants than scientists sceptical of AGW receive from anywhere else including the oil industry. Show me otherwise with references please.

    1. jrs

      Meh, so what, why even bother?

      You want to insinuate something bad about government funding for AGW supporters, but there is pretty much noone else who supports basic science for science sake in the U.S. EXCEPT the government. It’s not that the government may not have some agendas (mostly U.S. military and economic supremacy – hegemony or whatever you like). But it’s nothing like you imagine, a lot of basic science does get done, and there’s really not much interest in funding this at all except via the government.

  11. Stelios Theoharidis

    The general ignorance expressed in the comments regarding AGW are terrifying. It is an article about how you have been duped by a sophisticated public relations campaign and you cite the same ‘skeptical PR’ talking points that have been discredited again and again. I can never understand how people allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes. Are you afraid to admit that your lifestyle is damaging to the environment? AGW is a reality, the science and peer reviewed journals all point in the same direction. Yet you want to cite something that you read on the internet. That doesn’t give your opinion any credence. I think humanity would be best served if you take that vile distaste for reality and utilize your ignorance towards obtaining a Darwin award.

    1. davidgmills

      It simply is not. I used to believe the AGW line. After Svensmark’s theory and research became known to me, I changed my mind. It had nothing to do with Republicans or tthe fossil fuel industry and everything to do with solar science. In fact, I am as progressive as progressives get, except for this one issue.

      1. liberal

        And your bona fides as to mathematical/scientific competence to evaluate competing claims consist of…?

        1. They didn't leave me a choice

          Obviously it’s due to the vast experience he has at reading things written on the internet. After all, if you read everything and take an average of it all, you MUST obtain the final, ultimate truth. Right?

    1. davidgmills

      You are adicted tothe opiate of consensus. Have the courage to learn about Dr. Henrik Svensmark. He will probably win the nobel prize for science someday.

  12. Paul Tioxon

    The Koch brothers continue in the family business of reactionary & counter revolutionary politics to preserve power for the wealthy and prevent any social, political or economic change that trickles down to anyone other than people just like them. Their father was a founder and funded the John Birch Society. Today, without Communist Enemies to beat with any stick that is available, a new beating weapon has been developed with the proud tradition of paranoid all Amerikkkan anti intellectualism. It is science, immoral godless science which is leading God Fearing Greedy Bastards astray from divinely held profits. Like father like sons. Not only wealth but power is now culturally transmitted by means of ersatz institutes and centers of research on conservative thoughts and policies.

    Take the Mercatus Center at George Mason U, in Arlington, VA, same town as The Pentagon.

    The Mercatus Center, part of George Mason University, is one of the best-funded think tanks in the United States at the moment. It is listed as “sister organization” to the Institute of Humane Studies. “Mercatus generates knowledge and understanding of how institutions affect the freedom to prosper and holds organizations accountable for their impact on that freedom,” it states on its website. [2]

    The Mercatus Center was founded and is funded by the Koch Family Foundations. According to financial records, the Koch family has contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit organization. Democratic strategist Rob Stein described the Mercatus Center as “ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington.”

    The Mercatus Center has engaged in campaigns involving deregulation, especially environmental deregulation. It now fills the role once played by the economics department at Chicago University as the originator of extreme neoliberal ideas. Fourteen of the 23 regulations that George W Bush put on his hitlist were, according to the Wall Street Journal, first suggested by academics working at the Mercatus Centre.[1]

    The Wall Street Journal has called the Mercatus Center “the most important think tank you’ve never heard of,” [[3]]

  13. Jack Bunce

    A couple of comments on the cross-posted screed:

    1. The OP never actually ties The Beacon Hill Institute to funding either directly or indirectly received from or provided by the Koch brothers. Instead he cites two other organizations of a similar nature which have received such funding and which have produced reports of a similar nature immediately before The Beacon Hill Institute thereby implying that they have received such funding without actually saying it. This is a rhetorical ploy.

    2. If one actually reads the study ( one would see that the data, i.e., the legislative cost caps, purportedly left out of the policy analysis are in fact discussed quite fully at the beginning of the paper.

    This is a religious war folks. It is better to take what you read from any side with a large amount of skepticism and take the time and energy to chase down and read the original documents before reacting.

  14. Lambert Strether

    Manufacturing doubt isn’t at all the same as encouraging critical thinking, is it?

    “Have the courage to learn about Dr. Henrik Svensmark”

    Is a super example of tendentious argumentation from a denialist:

    1. Argument from Authority: “Dr. Henrik Svensmark…”

    2. Genetic Fallacy: “… have the courage…” (i.e., courageous people are more likely to be correct in their thinking, rather than evaluating the thinking itself.

    And then we have the distraction/diversionary tactic of sending readers off site to look at YouTubes (how authoritative!) etc.

    Clue stick: If an idea isn’t worth defending in this community on this thread, it’s probably not worth defending at all.

      1. JCC

        When I said “this guy” I was not referring to Mr. Mills. I’m sure that he is not trolling and honestly believes in Svensmark’s theory. A lot of people do, although a lot of people also believed the earth was flat, too, but that did not make it true.

        Besides Svensmark’s wikipedia entry (for a quick overview), there is a little more on this latest fad theory that is heavily promoted by AGW denyers… check this:

        And, for what it’s worth, I take his point that these discussions always seem to end up on political/economic blogs, although I do not agree with his inference that science sites are not discussing this at length, too.

        The reason it ends up on political/economic sites is pretty obvious, however. That is where the controversey is kept alive… for reasons of money and the protection of the status quo – both are economic/political concerns, not concerns of *legitimate* science.

        Overall, though, there is no doubt Mr. Mills stirred up the soup :)

  15. Joel3000

    It could be the sun is the source of climate change. Carbon levels in the atmosphere have shifted widely over the earths geologically scaled history.

    It could also be the man made carbon.

    If it is the man made carbon, we can do something about it, and that is worthwhile. A high carbon climate is not conducive to human life.

  16. 70andOut

    Climate changes, but not by “our” miniscule effects; envision natural forces in a sinusoidal pattern with the amplitude and period of your choice

  17. rob

    This is a great example of many smart people who for whatever reason are unable to think critically about what is happening.People who doubt “climate change” are being silly. 10,000 years ago, there were glaciers over wall st.,making long island…10,ooo years before that too…
    So we are obviously living in a world that undergoes climate change.Most people wouldn’t argue with that obvious statement.
    Right now, we are experiencing the warmest temps in the short history of record keeping,hundreds of years.
    There is not “a guy”, telling of unprecednted levels of this or that,there is vast agreement in many different fields by many diffent groups saying we are moving into a time when our enviroment will be different than it has been ,since our societies have been in existance.all of our “systems” as they have been created , have no record of dealing with what will be our new set of perameters.That does not mean all things will be worse, and not all things will be better.
    Even a layman like myself. knows “science”, is not a static answer. It is the search and accumulation of tested knowledge.It is ,what shows itself to be true..Science is happening now.we are living in a time when there cannot, by the nature of the question,be a definitive answer as to the ultimate absolute outcome/effect.There are more specialties to study than I even know what they called.But everytime, I see people who specialize in any of these areas,They tend to agree to alot.which is just an observation at this time. Many do extrapolate that we do know the earth is a closed system and as such, can be modeled with varying degrees of accuracy. but the laws of physics do exist.the dynamics of systems are being played out…All of this just lends credibility to the idea that we are heading into uncharted territory. Life as it is known, has adapted before
    But you know what, we don’t each have to be a scientist, to “know” the forces and histories in question. There is so little contrary evidence against global warming, that those guys don’t stand up very well to scrutiny.But, as there are no absolute answers;so who knows, maybe some part of the science a well meaning person makes may contribute to what is known someday?
    What is knowable is who the koch bros are? We know plenty about their part in the “conservative”world view propaganda.We know their part in funding these organizations,think tanks,institutes..WE can tell by the voices these groups like the heritage foundation,cato institute, american enterprise institute,americans for tax reform,mercatus ,etc..have to say.they have a stake in deregulation,lowering tax rates for the rich, opening tax loopholes for corporations, defanging enviromental standards, privitzation of things like education,gov’t services,national resources,etc.
    we should also know the koch bros are not a “republican” group.they also fund the DLC, democratic legislative council, where bill clinton got his start, and david koch, when he ran for gov of mich. ,ran as a democrat. It is like john d rockefeller IV,being a democrat….
    what the koch bros have is a lot of businesses.They are one of the top 10 polluters. So it is a business decision for them to propagandize the people into conflating doubt about the way to fix global warming,as a pretext to nullify pollution regulations.
    My opinion is global warming is happening.
    That does not mean I think creating carbon taxes is anything other than some other scheme these big corporations are going to put in place to gain more revenue,from somewhere where they don’t get it today.look at the tobacco industry, when clinto “shook them down” in 1993, the company heads said the gov’t wanted a bigger “cut” of their “take”. when they refused, the gov’t brought out their muscle… in very expensive suits.. and they took it….the pr people made americans think they were doing it for their children..blah,blah,blah…but today, the industry makes more money by selling less product.
    It is a no brainer to me, that a sane people would mitigate as quickly as posssible the possible negative side effects of something.The real question is what…what first?
    First, pollution that probably causes global warming.. also happens to pollute the hell out of locals air/water and soil. By first attcking what can be done,solar and wind and wave power is the cleanest alternative. It satisfies all those mundane,immediate response questions.Now by doing something comcrete, like switching over,gradually,to new forms of energy, we could clean up the immediate enviroment,put people to work and possibly create a sustainable model for the future… and if we can at the same time, mitigate global warming; great. But that is not what it is all about.just a move in the right direction.
    These koch funded groups answer, is to address nothing. keep moving in a direction that is wrong on so many is the osterich response.

  18. JEHR

    And here is the Canadian connection of ALEC with PM Harper (there always seems to be one) which explains why Harper is creating harsher criminal laws (even though crime has gone down in Canada), building more prisons (for those whose crimes have not been reported!), getting rid of the long-gun registry, and denying any climate change is being exacerbated by man’s activities plus letting the tar sands produce as much CO2 as they can by expanding them forever:

    1. jrs

      or it demonstrates that their are trolls who respond randomly across the web to keywords in posts, like “global warming” and “climate change”.

      1. Jack E. Lope

        By “randomly”, don’t you mean “systematically”?

        If you search on some of the denier-posters in this thread, you will find that they drop in on many forums when such topics come along. Often, they post supportive comments of each other.

        I wonder if they work from home, or if they’re supplied with an office – with cubicles, a cafeteria and such.

  19. Don Last

    Few would dispute that climate is changing. The insanity is in believing humans caused it or can stop it.

  20. Bernard

    fascinating how much denial there is. that is America today. i am amazed how so many choose ignorance. obviously, they have never had an aquarium or terrarium. i’ve killed too many tropical fish in my aquarium not to know how the input of “chemicals” works.

    it is sad our children and grandchildren will have to pay for the willfull ignorance of so many lied to by the Rich. Money is the obvious winner here. but once the tipping point is reached, money won’t be able to save the world. Science might, but science is being destroyed and ignored by the Rich, who will fight and kill all life just to keep their “riches.” The Dark Ages return.
    no matter how much the Kochs and those of their ilk proclaim otherwise, sowing the seeds of ecological destruction has long term effects. sad, very sad indeed.

    the American Dream, indeed. screwing over the “other”.

  21. skippy


    “I always find that an occasional swastika goes down well with the base,” he said.

    “We are aware of your thinking,” Bast replied icily. “But I want the Unabomber and Bin Laden. Hitler and Lulu are out, and that’s final.”

    “What about my poster designs?”, Monckton asked plaintively.

    “They’ll do,” Bast had replied. “The first one’s up tomorrow.”

    “Great,” said Monckton. “Now, about my conference keynote…”

    “We’ll get back to you,” said Bast. The line had gone dead, and Monckton’s brow had ruffled with odd thoughts and insecurities. Surely they still loved him?

    Scrotum dragged his wandering thoughts back to the present. “So what’s the problem?”, he asked Mycroft. “He was supposed to get Heartland into hot water.”

    “Yes, but not to give them third degree burns. Not only will they never trust him again — which means we’ve wasted a lot of time and effort in making him into an unwitting double agent — but some of the more excitable Americans have hired a hit team to ‘take him out’, as I believe the cousins put it.”

    “Good God.” Scrotum was shocked. “You mean the guy in the street was a hit man? You said ‘the mob’. You mean mafia?”

    “Nothing that mundane,” said Mycroft. “A team of former special forces operatives who normally ride shotgun for Bankroll Barry, the last big Heartland backer. We call them The Mob because they come from Chicago and like to go around in fours.”

    Scrotum whistled softly. “So the Laird’s in danger.”

    “Yes. They know he’s in London. We think they’ve had a little help from inside the Pentagon, which is why that bloke in the street knew our signal. My best guess is that they were planning to snatch you then force you to lead them to Chris.”

    Scrotum turned a whiter shade of pale. The room was spinning harder, and his mind was turning cartwheels across the floor. He steadied himself with a deep draught of tepid tea.

    “Do they know he’s in Pratt’s?”

    “We’re not sure,” said Mycroft grimly. “We need you to get him out of there, and to a place of safety.” – snip



    And so. Another set of climate talks done, this year dusted with Doha sand and labeled the “Doha Gateway”. I’m not sure what they’re a gateway to, certainly no immediate improvement to the climate. The final hours were bizarre, to say the least. We began the day on Saturday with a text much improved from the day before, but with some major issues outstanding. Ministers wrangled behind closed doors for most of the day, changing bits of text here and there.

    We were preparing for Russia who, with Kazakhstan, Belarus and the Ukraine, were set to continue the talks way into Saturday night. They were holding out in the informals, furious about the discussions on hot air.

    Hot air

    The “Russian factor” is one those of us who’ve been involved for a few years are all too familiar with. Just when you think there’s general agreement, in come the Russians who manage to drag the talks on for hours.

    “Hot air” has been major problem with the Kyoto Protocol for years. Somehow, the Russians managed to get the Kyoto negotiators to agree to a baseline of 1990, before the collapse of the former Soviet Union, which meant millions of tonnes of carbon credits ended up in the hands of Eastern European countries, bringing them a handy income, and other countries an easy and cheap option to do nothing at home and buy cheap hot air. Russia has 6Gt of hot air – that’s how much it’s been cheating the atmosphere.

    In Durban and Doha, New Zealand has sided with this team against the wish of the rest of the world to make sure that this “hot air” didn’t get carried over into Kyoto’s second commitment period (CP2).


    Skippy…. no need to refute… only to obfuscate… then let the chips fall… where there best positioned… for the insanely insatiable wealthy. Wealth = Truth… which always triumphs over Fact = science ( the never-ending search for the best explanation of events… past, present and future).

    PS. Inbreeding is bad stuff folks, that in its self is irrefutable.

  22. dutch

    Consider the recent reports that CERN physicists may have discovered the Higgs boson. They report that to a confidence level of 5-sigma (that is less than a 1 in 3 million chance that their results are random noise) the Higgs boson has been observed. They continue, however to reserve judgement pending independent confirmation. Many physicists are skeptical that this result will hold up. No one however, has accused these skeptics of being “Higgs deniers” or of being in the pocket of big (name your favorite evil industry here). Real scientists accept skepticism as an essential part of the scientific process. No real scientist attempts to justify his/her beliefs by appealing to the numbers of other scientists who agree with him/her. No real scientist would ever say that “The science is settled.”

    I do not believe that proponents of the AWG theory have claimed anything close to 5-sigma confidence in their conclusions. Yet the vitriol and moral outrage expressed against “climate skeptics” is incredible. Clearly this is no scientific dispute, but rather a contest of world views. A Manichean death match between good and evil. Don’t get me wrong, I also think that the Koch brothers are evil, but it’s their views on political economy that pose a danger to the rest of us, not their stance on global warming.

  23. davidgmills

    I hate the Koch brothers. They are the epitome of fascists.

    You guys are something else. If I happen to agree with one position they happen to take, Iam somehow a troll for them. I doubt the Koch brothers have ever heard of Svensmark. And if any of you watched the video, you would know that Svensmark had great difficulty getting funding to do his research. No Koch handout for Svensmark. Which makes his results even more impressive in my book.

    What I really hate is the politication of science and the financial influence on science. He who manages to get or buy the loudest megaphone wins.

    If 99% of the scientists come up with the wrong answer on a math question, do we go with their answer or with the 1% who got the answer correct? Hopefully with the 1% who got the answer right. Science is not supposed to be about consensus.

    As a lawyer, I certainly understand the need, for legal reasons, and political reasons, and economic reasons to go with the consensus of opinion, but it doesn’t make the science any more right. I remember the days when I could get a doctor to testify that a man’s heart attack was caused by stress on the job. That was the consensus then. Not anymore. Not for a long time.

    Science moves on. We will not solve the global warming debate on this blog. We will just politicise it and add financial influence to it.

    1. Jack E. Lope

      I see that Svensmark was awarded the “Energy-E2 Research Prize” in 2001, but I’m having trouble finding anyone else who won this prize in any year. I’m having trouble finding information about which organization awards that prize, and what that organization is trying to encourage by awarding that prize.

      My search results are consistent with a fabricated award, but it may just be a one-time award by some organization that failed and disappeared.

      Next, I’m going to search on the “Knud Hojgaard Anniversary Research Prize”, to see if it has ever been awarded to anyone but Svensmark….

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