Why Are Dendro Shafts So Straight?

I am perpetually flabbergasted at the outright denial of scientific facts by alarmists.  When I comment on alarmist blogs and the conversation turns to dendrochronology, I point out the facts that bristlecone pines have a very limited temperature growth range.  I’ll include a picture from the Treering Society(pdf).  The reason for this is two fold.  One, to demonstrate the very narrow range of the growth in terms of temps and time (the right side of the graphic) and then 2) to give the people with biology backgrounds something to mull over what this graphic is actually stating, which I’ll get to after my main point. (and how it relates to the left side)


We see that we have no lower bounds (or upper for that matter) of the regional temps.  So, the sensitivity to temps are constrained within this narrow margin of time and temps.  Even if all of the other factors going into tree growth were quantified to such an exacting purpose as to be able to pick up on a few 1/10ths of a degree (they are not) the physical limitations of growth means we would see see a flattening in the plotting of temperatures.  No extremes could be plotted because the trees are incapable of divining such a signal. 

I’ll attempt to illustrate this with a thought experiment.  Suppose we took all of the monthly temp readings for the last 20 years and plotted them on a graph…… well, we do this already.  I’ll use the RSS data as an example.

Source: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1992

We are all very familiar with this graph.  We see the extreme swings up and some of the ones down.  Now, suppose I, like the tree rings, withdrew the more extreme data plots and substituted them for lower and upper bound values.  In this case, I’ll do this with the values of -0.2 to 0.2.  We get a graph which appears like this…….


Why are the hockeystick shafts so straight?  I can’t figure it out! 

Food for thought section:

I could have used many other graphics or other forms of information to convey the temperature growth limitations, but this I thought a bit too delicious not to pass on.  Obviously, those aren’t tree rings displayed, they represent the pine needles of a branch of a bristle pine tree.  So what, you ask?  Well, the needles perform a function necessary for the tree’s growth, specifically, photosynthesis.  From the referenced literature….


So, the needles, which are effected by the temps of a particular season are retained for at least ten years and could be up to nearly 6 decades.  The needles directly effect tree growth.  So temperatures which occurred 20 years prior to the ring being measured directly effects the size of the ring.  How valid could a temp reconstruction possibly be given this knowledge?

Why do alarmists simply refuse to accept scientific fact?

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269 Responses to Why Are Dendro Shafts So Straight?

  1. Latitude says:

    damn……be back in a min

  2. miked1947 says:

    The size of the needle cluster affects the growth as long as that cluster is part of the growing cycle each year.
    The Dedros not taking that into account makes the study of tree rings for temperature a real CLUSTER $%#^$^! 😉 You know what I am getting at.

  3. miked1947 says:

    Your minute is up! I can not hold my breath any longer.

  4. miked1947 says:

    Tell the wife I said Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Latitude says:

    had some things to do…..
    ….this is common sense…..and I’ve never considered it before

    I’m a “tard!
    this is kick ass!!!
    “So, the needles, which are effected by the temps of a particular season are retained for at least ten years and could be up to nearly 6 decades. The needles directly effect tree growth. So temperatures which occurred 20 years prior to the ring being measured directly effects the size of the ring. How valid could a temp reconstruction possibly be given this knowledge?”

    • suyts says:

      I thought you’d like that part. It didn’t really dawn on me either, until I was looking at that graphic….. just staring at first….. then like a light dimmer slowly being turned up….. it occurs to me what the implications are.

      • Latitude says:

        just think of all the things that could cause a pine tree to loose it’s needles, it would take 10 years to get back to where it left off….but another 10 years to be consistent with the prior record….

      • suyts says:

        Yes, and also each additional needles also reflecting the growth season’s temps, but being reflected in the subsequent years until they finally quit helping with photosynthesis and fall off.

  6. Latitude says:

    I suppose the argument could be that it would throw the “time”line off ten years…..
    but that won’t work, because it would affect the rings through the entire period

    ….I’m trying to reverse engineer it

    • suyts says:

      And, they aren’t consistent about what needles are or aren’t retained. Except that they’re retained for at least 10 years. could be 20, could be 30…..

    • miked1947 says:

      You can not because it is an ongoing process. You would have to know how long each cluster remained on the tree and the quantity of each cluster that contributed to the growth. Then you have to take into account the amount of branches that the tree supports for each year and the girth of the tree. If the trees are close enough the wind acts as a tree trimming service, breaking off branches. But if the trees start out close together the stronger trees will choke out the weaker trees as they mature. Those things will have an effect on the growth rate.
      Trees in nature start out close together and self thin. I watched that first hand on my property.

    • suyts says:

      Yeppers, you can not.

    • Geoff Sherrington says:

      @Latitude – one can’t reverse engineer it. Not enough measured variables. I’ll posed, similar to borehole temperature reconstructions.

      • Latitude says:

        thanks Geoff….that’s the wall I ran into

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Well boys, unfortunately tomorrow I have to get back to doing actual science. You know the stuff with experiments, figures and such that might actually go into the published literature! 😉

          So i’ll bid you ado. Please remember to take a break from all the skepticism/denialism, whatever you want to call it and get out and enjoy the spring weather. Will make everyone feel better.

          Suyts please keep me informed of your next exciting post – especially something in my area. Or on any of those favorite social issues!



        • suyts says:

          Ph, it’s been fun. And, I hope enlightening, although I think much may have been missed. The social posts will certainly come up. I may have to work up something for your area of expertise. 😉 I’ll see what I can do.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Oh please do. I don’t mind a little name calling from the mindless, especially if it increases your traffic! Now I really will say good night!


  7. miked1947 says:

    This particular day reminds me of the time I went to this house to fix the phone. The man of the house was showing of his toddler son and saying how proud he was of little Jammal. Jammal was playing with his toys like any other toddler and the Mrs. walked into the room. Jammal threw his arms wide and shouted Mother in a perfectly clear voice. The father beamed with joy and proclaimed: See how smart Jammal is he can already say half a word!

  8. Taphonomic says:

    suyts says:
    “Yep, it’s a cluster of something…..”

    The word, as sanitized for broadcast TV, is “clusterflop”.

  9. ThePhDScientist says:

    A little melodramatic in your posting, no? The National Academy of Sciences clearly agrees that natural gas produces far less “damage’ than coal burning plants but even among these plants there is significant variability with some plants performing extremely well and other plants, not so much. And as far as I know, no “cancer clusters” have been associated with natural gas plants as have they have with coal plants.

    Still, I think you know the environmentalists are always going to push the envelope and fight for the cleanest most renewable energy possible. They don’t want to see merely just a shift to another fossil fuel and no continued development of clean and renewable energy. Afterall the US is not very fast about changing an entrenched infrastructure. How long have the Europeans been traveling on high speed rail? What do we have on our densely populated coasts – Amtrak in the Northeast and basically nothing connecting San Fran to LA?

    I find it interesting that you feel your findings are more conclusive than the National Academy on climate change. I believe their credo is something to the effect that man is unquestionably altering global climate, but the big question is how important and how soon we need to worry or act to change this…Now I’m certainly not a climate change scientist, but as a scientist I do have a good idea of where to put my money when it comes to scientific research. Typically I’m not a stalwart believer in anything funded from private corporations seeking to advance their own agenda through science.

    • suyts says:

      PhD, which post did you want this comment under? If it’s this one…… https://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/and-now-the-attention-moves-to-nat-gas/

      just let me know and I’ll move it over there and then the conversation would make more sense.

      The move to “cleaner most renewable” energy is unsustainable. In your other comment, you asked for my qualifications. My background is in computer science. I work for a small electric utility. Most of my work involves implementing smart grid technology along with outage management GIS mapping .

      I don’t regard my post as melodramatic. The move from cheap reliable energy is intentionally done. Consider it a preemptive effort to ensure you can continue your work uninhibited from power outages. That we try to ensure foods are kept fresh by refrigeration……. weird stuff like that.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        And what evidence do you have that because a few activists are making noise against coal plants (which are monstrous polluters associated with increased risks of lung cancer for those who live near them) and now natural gas that the world is soon to enter some critical shortage of power? A bit melodramatic… Is it Denmark that actually exports wind power?

      • suyts says:

        Sure, Denmark exports wind power. As does Germany. That isn’t the question. The question is, when do they export wind power? Recall, this is AC energy. We cannot store it. So, when the wind blows, we have an abundance of power. That, in itself, is entirely meaningless. Are we all suppose to go home and wait for the wind to blow?

        Where we run into difficulties is demand for growth. As we constrain our energy usage, so too, do we constrain our economic growth. If your looking for proof of unstable grids, just look toward Germany, California, and Texas. It isn’t whether the pinwheels and whirlygigs generate electricity, it is a matter of reliability and when. All of these have to be backed up with traditional sources of energy. Which makes the windmills entirely useless and creates needless additional expense to the end consumer. We’re effectively building one generation plant for the price of two. Or, if we don’t build the back up generation plant, then we’re building something which will be intermittent.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          So then we’re stuck? There are no effective compromises? There are no continuing with the cleanest sources of energy possible today, while continuing to build and invest in the better sources for tomorrow? It’s coal-way or the highway?

        • Eric Barnes says:

          ThePhDScientist says:
          May 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

          Sure there are effective compromises. It’s called personal freedom. Unhook from the grid and use whatever energy you are most enamored with that day. That’s the wonderful thing about living in the US of A.

        • suyts says:

          PhD, no, that isn’t what I stated. The simple minded and unimaginative twits we call decision makers and science advisers have locked themselves into believing the impossible. Wind and even solar can never adequately replace traditional sources of electricity.

          Instead of investing all of our time, energy and capital in nonsensical solutions to imaginary problems, accept that these solutions can’t work and go find a different one. One that has the potential to work effectively.

          In the meantime, we should continue to advance the human condition by encouraging cheap and reliable energy. I’m a huge fan of hydro-electric, but it to has its limits.

  10. ThePhDScientist says:

    And no disrespect Suyts, but by your posts with graphs and charts and tree rings – you’re essentially presenting yourself to your readers as a knowledgable expert in this area. And while I’m sure you’ve spent countless hours honing your denialist ways, what are your actual credentials? Can you point me to peer reviewed publications you have on this matter? I’m curious to hear the response of established climate change scientists on the material you put forth. Or is this strictly a one-sided debate?

    • suyts says:

      I’m not sure this field has a knowledgeable expert. I assume you’re fairly new to the climate discussion, so I’ll explain a couple of things which will allow for a smoother dialogue.

      First, there is very little I deny in the underpinning science. It is the interpretations which are disputed. We call these people skeptics. The term “denier” or “denialist” can be reserved for racist people denying the events of the Jewish holocaust in Europe in the 40s.

      It isn’t that I mind pejoratives thrown my way, but, I believe it weakens the term and the history it should conjure. We should never forget, nor should we dilute the word’s meaning with disagreements over our climate.

      Secondly, the qualifications and credentials of people who are skeptical of the dendro reconstructions seem to carry little or no weight with the climate alarmist community. There is an entire corpus of work in the statistical field which challenge the conclusions of Mann’s reconstructions…. . Peer-reviewed by well qualified statisticians. David points out one such paper, McShane and Wyner. McIntyre has a couple more. So, it would seem that it would be difficult to argue from authority on this issue. The alarmist community have rejected the authoritative arguments.

      You’re correct, in this regard I’ve no credentials. But, I don’t need them, either. My statements are Boolean. They are either right or they are wrong. Considering that many alarmists have readily admitted to bias, and the actions of others openly display advocacy, we’ve no reason to believe we are being presented with objective science.

    • suyts says:

      Continuing…… no, this isn’t a one-sided debate. You are more than welcome and invited to find science which refutes what I’ve presented. It’s how learning takes place, no? Given that the established climate community entirely ignores established statistical arguments, I’ll more than happily move the discussion to the physical biology side of the discussion.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Honestly I don’t have near the time to study all the ins and outs of climate change. I consider my own research slightly more pressing (human health/cancer related). Still, no disrespect, I find a hard time believing no one in the academy considers the naysayers of Mann’s work.

        If it’s up for such heated debate, why is that essentially every credible scientific organization on earth supports the conclusion that man is affecting climate? The entire World is hinging solely around one argument? Why is is that the last “scientific” body to formally issue a dissenting opinion was the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Are you under the impression that everyone is just being “duped” by big science? To me the skeptics/deniers, whatever you want to call them, seem a bit akin to the folks who said George W Bush flew the planes into the WTC.

        • suyts says:

          PhD, you answered your own question….. “Honestly I don’t have near the time to study all the ins and outs of climate change. I consider my own research slightly more pressing (human health/cancer related).” I wonder, how many other learned scientists have that same perspective? And left the conclusions of a small cabal of ideologues posing as scientists to be representative of science in general?

          Further, when you state “I find a hard time believing no one in the academy considers the naysayers of Mann’s work.” You haven’t been paying attention. There have been several academy members rail against such statements. Usually ending with resignations.

          Big science? No, I suspect most would have the attitude as yourself. There really is very few scientists actively working on controversial aspects of our climate.

          Again, read David’s offering. All of what he’s stated is verifiable.

        • Lou says:

          Ooh… cancer! A best way to dramatically cut down risk of cancer is by simply making sure everybody not stay chronically vitamin D deficient! http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/

          Problem solved.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          LoL problem solved! Suyts one can state their credentials without being identified. For instance i’m an early stage investigator in cancer research (specifically the immune system’s interaction with cancer). I have a bachelors, a master’s degree, and a PhD and work at a top 10 university on the east coast. Anyone know who I am?

          Point being, its easy to sit back and point fingers without having actually done anything to further the science.

        • suyts says:

          It isn’t the furtherance of science I object to. It is the misuse, misapplication, and invention of data I object to. For instance, this post. I’m not trying to create new science. But, science cannot advance until the faux science is rooted out.

          I wish we could have an accurate energy balance to work with. I wish we had a proper historical perspective of our climatic history. You can’t have good science based upon errant datum or information. Can you?

          Sure, this is a one-sided effort. This is intentional. To express it terms baseball enthusiasts can understand….. I’m not a pitcher, but I know a strike when I see one. I’m not trying to be a pitcher.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          I actually like you, because I don’t believe you’re an ideologue (like many of the posters on your board). I think you genuinely believe what you say and I think you do care about advancing the truth.

          But if you’re so confident in your results, why not publish them? As I’ve already stated, I’m not an expert in this field and am not going to pretend to be one. But as a scientist what I would love to see is your ideas discussed amongst knowledgable practicing scientists in this area. Submit a manuscript for peer review! Publish the reviews/critiques of your work, here on your blog?

          Be a part of the process, not just someone yelling from the sidelines.

        • snaparooni says:

          The entire scientific community also believed, for hundreds of years, that the sun went around the earth. So consensus means truth? What do we “know ” today, that 100 and 200 years in the future people will look back on us and say “how could they have believed that”?

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Actually snaparooni you’ve got your analogies wrong. At least in terms of demographics the climate change debate is more akin to the HIV/AIDS debate. There are in fact still some famous scientists that deny HIV causes AIDS – Kary Mullis among them (but what does he know, helps invent PCR and thinks he gets to be called a virologist..lol). But the vast overwhelming majority of the community widely accepts HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Fortunately, in that debate the hypothesis is readily testable. Unfortunately, it seems Dr. Mullis has not volunteered for the study.

        • Lou says:

          I’m guessing University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wi? http://www.naturalnews.com/032202_vitamin_D_deficiency_disease.html

        • Duster says:

          The answer to your question lies in your use of the word “believe.” An argument to authority is not a scientific argument. In effect “peer review” was intended as a means of vetting work, since no scientist has the time, energy or funding to replicate all the interesting ideas that come his way. Peer review theoretically provided a justification to trust an athority. Np utterance with the words, “belief,” “believe,” or “faith” in it can be a scientific utterance, not even the assertion that one “believes” in the scientific method. What that means in turn is that the only areas where a scientist truly practices science is where s/he is either testing or replicating empirical knowledge. Otherwise, the behaviour is that of a “mere human” operating on trust and faith that “authorities” are not mistaken or lying. A close examination of the field of climatology reveals that it’s practitioners demand a great deal of faith, trust, and adherence to dogma – dogma which frequently has little correlation to empirical reality – and I am not speaking of merely the AGW school of thought. Foe many sceptics, the issue is a matter of faith as well.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Perhaps there are so few scientists working on the “controversial aspects” because they’re not all that controversial. You do realize the climate “skeptics” have a long history of not doing much original research, but merely trying to find any unanswered questions in current scientific thought, blow those up, distort them, and do the “see you can’t explain that so I’m right” dance…

        • suyts says:

          PhD, I don’t think you’re understanding the dynamics of the discussion very well. It happens when people live a sheltered life and only engage with like minded people.

          And, specifically addressing your characterization of “skeptics long history”, ….. do you see any of that in this post? I’ve other posts specifically regarding dendro. I’ve not pointed out where they can’t explain.

          I assert that using dendrochronology for temp readings is not any less valid than phrenology. I’m not bringing up unanswerable questions, I’m directly challenging their findings not by the statistical questions, but by the physical processes. They claim they can find a temp signal in tree rings. And, to a very limited point, one can. But not anywhere near the precision they claim. And this post directly challenges their ability to properly chronicle the temps. BTW, this isn’t anything which couldn’t be readily and easily understood even by the sophists in dendro. Go here http://phys.org/news/2012-02-tree-underestimate-climate-response-volcanic.html

          Then, all I ask is that you consider the implications. What was stated and not expanded. And what wasn’t stated, but should have been brought up.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          So what i’d like to see from you then is what points you agree with regarding climate science…I’m sure you don’t think the National Academy’s briefing on the climate is total bull? Perhaps you even think 95% of it is correct….

  11. David says:

    Curious how some people wish to change a thread to a widespread debate on the entire field of CAGW, and at the same time thow in attacks on credibility with insulting assumptions of bias, all the while never commenting on the ideas presented in the post.

    So dear PHD scientist, if you really want to know what the mainstream “climate scientist” think of the entire proxy reconstruction field, when they are not in the public but honest among themselves, then read what they themselves write.

    I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year “reconstruction”.
    I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly cannot be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead.

    Cook goes on to propose a unifying climate reconstuction paper by the entire team of “climate scientist” and then states what he thinks they will learn from it.
    “…Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I
    almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will
    show that we can probably say a fair bit about 100 year variability was like with any certainty i.e. we know with certainty that we know fuck-all.
    Of course, none of what I have proposed has addressed the issue of
    seasonality of response. So what I am suggesting is strictly an
    empirical comparison of published 1000 year NH reconstructions
    because many of the same tree-ring proxies get used in both seasonal
    and annual recons anyway. So all I care about is how the recons
    differ and where they differ most in frequency and time without any
    direct consideration of their TRUE association with observed

    Wow, now having trashed all the reconstructions as junk, and stating he does not care about there “true” association with temperatures, Cook the desribes how to make these useless reconstuctions appear credible in the next IPCC report…
    ” I think this is exactly the kind of study that needs to be done
    before the next IPCC assessment. But to give it credibility, it has
    to have a reasonably broad spectrum of authors to avoid looking like
    a biased attack paper, i.e. like Soon and Balliunas.”

    So, “PHD scientist”, I suggest you read the paper by McShane and Wyner in The Annals of Applied Statistics (Vol. 5, No. 1, p. 5-44). You can see in their study they found that random noise was as effective as the proxies processed by the Mann algorithm in predicting temperatures. As they put it “random series that are independent of global temperature are as effective or more effective than the proxies at predicting global annual temperatures in the instrumental period. Again, the proxies are not statistically significant when compared to sophisticated null models”. Do you know what that means?
    This is not even taking into account Mann leaving out 40 years worth of data when he purports to show that his proxies correlate to temperatures in the thermometer era. If you are truly interested in understanding Mann’s work, you should read and digest the The Hockey Stick Illusion by A.W. Montford. Then you will maybe be ready to discuss the subject of this post just a little, and also hopefully be less inclined to try to boaden a discussion to the entire subject of CAGW in one ranting post of broad generalizations and insulting statements.

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Oh ok right so this one paper disproves the international consensus that men are affecting climate?

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        You would also agree that like-minded skeptics, tend to start only believing like minded skeptics – which is why i’m particularly curious to know which (of the volumes and volumes) of literature published affirming climate change you agree with…

        • You won’t find many “like minded” skeptics. You see, skeptics tend to think for themselves and are therefor not prone to groupthink. Hence skeptics are all over the map in terms of belief on climatic impact of raised CO2 levels, as well as the actual rise and longevity of elevated CO2 levels themselves. Personally, I’ve found an e-fold time of CO2 to be less than 40 years and I see no evidence at all of a higher climate sensitivity than unity. Thus, I think we are pursuing wrong policies today. Best regards,

        • suyts says:

          I can only echo kondens. Skeptics don’t group think. If you want to see some vicious arguments on climate, wait for a moment when alarmists are quiet for a bit.

          And, that’s the problem. How there can be a consensus of cause, sensitivity, and the dire effects of both stretches credulity beyond its point of elasticity. The consensus isn’t science based, it is ideologically based.

      • suyts says:

        No, and that isn’t/wasn’t the purpose. And, most of us don’t question that humanity effects our climate in one way or another. That isn’t the general position of most skeptics. Though there is no unified position of skeptics.

        Most of us question the pronouncements of catastrophe. There is no evidence that 2-3 degree warming would be catastrophic. There is only a flimsy correlation that CO2 is capable of increasing temps to that degree. Many argue the earth’s sensitivity to CO2 arguing that the temp increase would only be an addtional ~ 1 ° C per doubling atmospheric CO2. (560 ppm)

        While many other skeptics would disagree with me, I maintain that it cannot. The window (the IR spectrum with which our heat escapes) isn’t closed by CO2. It would be akin to trying to warm your house in winter with a laser pen with your window open.

        In this particular case, the dendro is important to the alarmist side because prior to the chronologies the MWP and LIA were accepted in nearly all schools of science. The MWP and LIA demonstrate natural earth variability and the changes we’re seeing today are WNL. But, if you eliminate those periods, then the case for mankind dramatically altering our climate is made stronger.

        As I’ve demonstrated, the straight shaft reflected by the chronologies is because there can be no signal to extract when the earth is in extreme climate conditions. To much heat and the trees quit growing, too little and the trees don’t grow. Thus, a graph which shows less extremes.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Ok so let me get this straight. There is strong evidence that the earth is warming. The vast majority of the main stream (credentialed) scientific community believes that fossil fuels and other activities are contributing to this warming. It it is true that it is difficult if not impossible to determine the potential “catastrophic” consequences of warming, but does this mean policies shouldn’t be put in place to try and minimize man’s impact on climate using the best available data?

  12. Pingback: McIntyre gets some new Yamal data – still no hockey stick | Watts Up With That?

  13. Latitude says:

    Hey goofy……Anthony finally caught up with your blog….he has it linked on WUWT

    …..we’ve been trying to get his attention on this post for days! LOL

  14. Latitude says:

    There’s strong evidence that the only way you can get warming…..is by manipulating the historic temperature record……….LOL
    Even the best temp records only show 1/2 degree of warming…..and that you can only get by doing the math the way they do it
    Co2 levels have gone up ~100ppm……..5% of that is man made……….man’s contribution to CO2 levels has been to increase CO2 levels by 5%

    If man completely stopped all production of man made CO2……CO2 levels would be 387…instead of 392….and when CO2 levels rose the fastest…..temps stopped

    ….besides that, they use a 30 year record…….1/2 of that record, temps have been steady or declining

    Obviously climate scientists do not know enough……all they can do is extend trends….”if this trend continues”…….when they trend does not continue…..then they scramble looking for ways to explain it……at no time did they predict it

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      And your academic affiliation, publication record please?

      • Latitude says:

        I’m a three legged, bagpipe playing, border collie…with advanced typing skills

      • Lou says:

        You’re really obsessed with that stuff… It doesn’t really matter.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Actually Lou the problem is not with the science, the problem is with the way YOU are choosing to interpret it. Saturated fats have not suddenly fallen out of fashion. And there is overwhelming evidence that a diet low in saturated fat is better for one’s overall health and lower risk of heart disease, cancer etc.

          You seem to have an inability to differentiate between increased risk and “cause”. Careful with the pejoratives you’re throwing around. Based on what you’ve written, someone might tell you, he who live’s in a glass house should not throw stones.

      • suyts says:

        PhD, I’m sure you can appreciate the desire for anonymity in some cases such as this. Being pronounced a heretic could be career ending. This is one of the reasons why we limit our conversations to discussing the actual science without appeals to authority.

        • Lou says:

          What we have in USA is a form of science censorship. It sucks that some of scientists can’t even look at new things without getting in trouble because it offends people at the top. I remember the old days when low saturated fat and cholesterol consumption causing heart disease was all the rage so everybody freaked out and they started cutting out eggs, fatty food, etc only to find out recently that it was really the excessive amount of carbs that kept sugar blood chronically high which causes heart disease. Same for sun scare to prevent melanoma skin cancer only to find out it caused widespread vitamin D deficiency that contributed to the rise of many more cancers of all kinds plus many more other types of diseases including autism, asthma, autoimmune system and so on. All of these proved by someone else that weren’t trained for that stuff. How embarrassing. It’s like idiots teaching people how to be idiots sadly.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          You see suyts the way science works. You have an idea, I hypothesis you run experiments trying to gather all the information you can in support of it. Then you make your best case for whatever is the conclusion and you submit your work for publication and scrutinization by a committee of your peers. And let me tell you, peer review in science is a brutal ugly thing. In this way, the best most accepted ideas rise to the top. While there are always the occasional hiccups, this system has worked extremely well in the US.

          What you’re doing is preaching to the choir. That’s not real science. And this is why i’d like to know if any of the posters have done any actual science.

        • Lou says:


          You totally missed the point… No matter how well trained you are, you tend to have a very narrow view on how a certain thing should work while ignoring other things. Others trained in something else tend to saw something that you’d never thought of. That is how science progress yet you just dismiss it quickly just because that’s not their qualification. Pfft.

          For example – Sun scare… to prevent skin cancer… we get vitamin D from the sun in large amount, much more than we’d ever get from the food. Why? In my old clinical nutrition book, it mentioned that vitamin D (calcitriol) plays a role in anti-cancer fight role. Now there are pharma working on vitamin D knock offs to see which one works best without side effect for cancer, etc.

          You mentioned that your work involves with immune system? It is really simple. Vitamin D. Why is it so effective against flu, virus, etc? Ever wonder why we tend to catch these during winter but not summer? More sun in the summer!


          How the heck the daily recommended amount turn out to be very low in the first place? That’s called crappy science.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Actually I got exactly the point that you made. So do you think you are here to clear this all up for everyone? Bit arrogant?

        • Mike Mangan says:

          Heh. Phd trying to talk down to the mouth-breathing skeptics cracks me up. Must be in the Alarmist DNA, they can’t help but drip arrogance.
          Phd, peer review in “climate science” means pal-review. The close knit community of “climate scientists” are either publishing together, reviewing each other’s papers for publication, or conspiring to keep contrarian papers from being printed. We have their won emails to confirm this. This crowd will not be impressed with your 2006 issued talking points.
          This is a political decision we are talking about. Hundreds of millions of people in democracies are being asked to cough up trillions for what is prima facie lunacy: lowering the planets temperature by a degree one hundred years from now. They will make that decision any way they want. Your self-selected group of “experts” are lacking in credibility in the eyes of the majority. Certainly your cause is further harmed by an army of the unpleasant, UN bureaucrats, Michael Mann, Algore, George Soros, and the legions of shrill, pretentious poseurs such as yourself.
          Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          And yet you are unable to form a consensus majority of scientific experts who agree with your positions? What should the world public make of that?

      • Latitude says:


        • Latitude says:

          I’m waiting on someone to do the math….
          …and using the most extreme numbers, figure out that man can only be responsible for 0.04 degrees warming since the LIA…which is a number that can’t even be measured

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          I’m waiting for you to publish those findings!

  15. Dromicosuchus says:

    Hm. I’m not familiar with dendrochronology, but if what’s been described in this post is correct, then what I would expect to see for a temperature trend reconstructed from tree rings would be excellent coverage of year-to-year temperature swings, poor coverage of decadal temperature changes (because needles left over from previous years would tend to “blur” such shifts) and good, but delayed, coverage of multidecadal changes (because that would give the trees enough time to shed their old needles). This is assuming that temperatures stayed within a livable range for the trees in question, of course, but if they’re still alive today then obviously temperatures did stay within that range for the most part, and any deviations outside of it were short-term and likely not climatologically significant. I wonder if that’s related to the divergence problem for trees in the higher latitudes of the Northern hemisphere (Yamal, etc.)? It’d be a tidy explanation, if so, and would also cover why (and correct me if I’m wrong on this, I’m going off of memory and my memory has been known to fail me before) the divergence problem is seen mostly in high-latitude trees; that’s where the greatest shifts in temperature are taking place, so if there were to be a place where temperatures were rising too rapidly for the tree record to keep up, that would be where you’d expect to find it. Hm. I’ll need to look into this some more.

  16. Latitude says:

    reminds me of all the peer reviewed papers…that predicted the imminent and next pandemic

    woulda, coulda, shoulda, maybe, might, can………..if this trend continues

  17. suyts says:

    PhD….. here are just a few places where the blog owners have published peer -reviewed papers. http://wattsupwiththat.com You should check out this particular post…. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/15/mcintyre-gets-some-new-yamal-data-still-no-hockey-stick/ 🙂


    Then there’s a luke warmer site…. http://judithcurry.com/ Dr. Curry is well published in climate related areas. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/ Dr. Pielke is well published.

    There’s plenty more, if you need more places to look and see, simply ask. But, this is where the process has broken down in the climate science arena. The reviews do not stop the tripe, if it conforms with the orthodoxy, it get’s published. If it doesn’t, then the brutality you mentioned occurs.

    To give you an example. A Dr. Dessler published a reviewed response to a work of Dr. Spencer. It was made available on the internet prior to actual publishing in the journal. The response was destroyed in about 1/2 hour by skeptics on blogs. So much so, the publishing of the original work never occurred. It was actually edited before the delayed actual publishing in the journal. The “review” of Dessler’s response took about two weeks of actual reviewing.


    Here’s another amazing lightening speed reviewed work …. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/16/trenberth-gets-a-rebuttal-to-spencer-and-braswell-published-turnaround-1-day/

    But, mostly, you should read this. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/16/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/

    This is your consensus of science societies.

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      So back to my original question. If there is so much “legitimate” controversy why has not one international body accepted it? Both Europe and Asia seem to agree man is affecting climate.

      • suyts says:

        Err,, eh…. uhm Asia? That’s some pretty shaky ground. But, more than that, you’re asking me to interpret other people’s actions and thoughts. I could only surmise on their motivations. Better it would be to go to the source and ask.

        • Latitude says:

          divide the world up into countries that pay….and countries that get paid…..with the vast majority ‘get paid’ ….and take a vote

          The U.S., Russia, China, Japan, India, etc…..said no

        • Dromicosuchus says:

          Erm, pardon me for both butting in and derailing the conversation a bit, but…shaky ground? Between Japan, China, and India, there’s quite a lot of very, very good science done in Asia.

        • Latitude says:

          …and the China temp reconstructions show no warming at all

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          So do what I said. Publish your findings! Let me see the reviews and critiques! From your postings I know you wouldn’t use that old boys club excuse. “those cronies would never publish my findings that reject everything they think”

          Good science can always be published. Stop just being someone who criticizes and become someone who contributes!

        • Eric Barnes says:

          Nobody needs to “publish findings” to see there is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperatures. Face it PHD. The AGW scare was a socialist inspired scheme to take money from everyone and add it to the bottom line of bureaucrats, financial speculators, and “green energy” companies worldwide.
          Tell your buddies to start over and come up w/ a theory that holds water the next time they try to shake everyone down.

      • Peter Messenger says:

        I’m your average man in the street, i.e. I hate being ripped off by anyone.

        If the case is so solid for cAGW why IS there so much controversy?
        Why is there even a hint of un-disclosed data?
        Why are those of us seeking enlightenment treated like child abusers, just for asking?
        Why do you ‘believers’ always say that there are no serious climate scientist preaching against the orthodoxy?

        Well, here’s one. Prof Bob Carter. Here’s his bio:
        Professor Bob Carter is an adjunct Research Fellow at James Cook University (Queensland). He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than 40 years professional experience, and holds degrees from the University of Otago (New Zealand) and the University of Cambridge (England). He has held tenured academic staff positions at the University of Otago (Dunedin) and James Cook University (Townsville), where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999.

        Bob has wide experience in management and research administration, including service as Chair of the Earth Sciences Discipline Panel of the Australian Research Council, Chair of the national Marine Science and Technologies Committee, Director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program, and Co-Chief Scientist on ODP Leg 181 (Southwest Pacific Gateways). He is currently Chief Science Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition and an Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs.

        I’m sure there are others.

        • suyts says:

          Oh yes Peter, there are many others. Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy…… many, many more. Our friend PhD chooses not to delve too deeply into the science, because he knows what he’d find.

  18. SandyFromTayside says:

    Never trust a contributor who uses his qualifications as a pseudonym on a science related blog. AppealsToauthority would do just as well.

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Touché! Always trust someone with a laptop and too much time on their hands!

      • SandyFromTayside says:

        If the cap fits wear it:)
        The thing is actually discussing the science tends to happen between sceptics, although insults can come from both sides. I haven’t seen a great deal of references to the consensus. In the famous Delingpole/Nurse cancer incident Nurse seemed to forget about Barry Marshall and Robin Warren. Then there’s Alfred Wegner who was vindicated after 45 years, Harlan Bretz another vindicated after quite a while in the wilderness. Finally of the things I’m familiar with there is phlogiston, ether drift and wave theory of light. Things you wouldn’t believe the natural nuclear reactor at Oklo.

        Anyway I’m going to see the family now.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Except that you have the image of the skeptics being like Galileo claiming the world is round and most see them more as the guy standing up saying HIV doesn’t cause AIDS.

        • Keith Battye says:

          Don’t overlook the DDT nonsense and what is fast becoming a bit of a joke, the ozone hole.

          It would be nice to get as much funding for research as the Climatologists but citizen science often wins the day.

    • Latitude says:

      I didn’t save the link…..but I remember seeing that a year or two ago…..about the time Japan bailed on the IPCC…

      • Dromicosuchus says:

        …Wait, I may have misunderstood you. Did you mean reconstructions of Chinese temperatures, or reconstructions of global temperatures by Chinese scientists?

        • Latitude says:

          I honestly don’t remember right now……a quick search on WUWT turned this one up…..but it doesn’t look familiar….so I don’t think that’s the one I read


        • Latitude says:

          oh, it was China temps……not world temps
          but they got the MWP and LIA too

        • Dromicosuchus says:

          Ah, interesting. That series looks pretty similar to one of the tree series in the second link I posted–not identical, of course, since one is from the Tibet and the other from Qinghai province, but pretty close. It surprises me that Watts should crow so much over there having been similar regional temperatures in the past; that pattern, after all, is seen worldwide. The warming we’ve had so far is, regionally, not all that impressive on a millenial scale, but the synchronicity of the warming–most places in the world are warming at the same time, rather than warming a bit on continent A and cooling on continent B–is really unusual.

          …As for the second part of that post, I…I don’t even want to think about it. The fact that the authors thought they could just run a Fourier transform and get physically significant cycles out of that–and the fact that Watts just ACCEPTS that, no qualms at all–is painful to me. A Fourier transform allows you to describe a line–ANY line–with a series of sine functions. That’s it. Give me a bit of string and let me twiddle part of it between my fingers, and you could describe to arbitrarily high accuracy every curve and twist of the string using a set of sine functions. Unfortunately, that tells you absolutely nothing about what the rest of the string, dangling free outside my grasp, is doing. It’s possible, sure, that there are some long-term oceanic or solar cycles that we aren’t aware of that have the–what were those values? “1324 a, 800 a, 199 a and 110 a?”–frequencies described, but to just abstract those frequencies using a Fourier transform and assume that they have physical significance…Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh! It burns usss! It freeezes!

          …Okay, rant over now. My apologies.

        • Latitude says:

          rotfl……good rant!

          truth is, neither side knows enough to be doing what they are doing

          ….and that’s why it’s all bunk

  19. Joe Prins says:

    PhD: I am just a nobody that likes to read the details of history. The reason I got involved in this whole scam is precisely the fact that the LIA, MWP had disappeared according to Mr. Mann. My next question was therefore: Why are all the historians quiet in this climate debate.
    Reading translations from monks writing with a quill and ink, or the Norse labouriosly penning their history for future generations, there is no doubt in their writing that the MWP and LIA existed. They lived it. So I thought I’d ask the local University, peer reviewed, historians. Essentially they have two answers: a) We know these Climate Scare people are wrong, but we are not going to say something. It eventually will come out or b) I do not involve myself in this debate and stick to my own expertise. The problem PhD is that it exemplifies the typical scientist today. No guts, stay in your rut, do not question outside of your expertise. In fact, you really sound and write the same as a brother in law. The fact that you are in this debate speaks well of you. Mr. Mann will not even debate the details of his papers. Dr.Asimov where are you?

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      I’ve already said I’m not an expert in the area, nor do I have the time required to become one. You see Joe, the problem is with all the self-proclaimed interent “experts”. They’ve never had to stand in front of a committee of scientific experts and defend their thesis. They just pick up a bread crumb here or there and run with it. All the while proclaiming they have found the real truth.

      That’s easy science. What I do is hard science, getting things published in actual scientific literature, and because of this I really don’t have the time to get as knowledgeable as I would need to be before proclaiming I know for sure the established science is wrong and I’m right.

      Again I’ll say, why is there so little published from the skeptics. One major reason…Getting published is hard! Making a blog post is easy!

    • suyts says:

      Well, PhD, I realize this has been a busy thread, so I understand if you haven’t processed all of the information provided. While it is true that there is much more published works of alarmists than skeptics, it probably isn’t a proper characterization to state there is little published works of skeptics. There are likely thousands of published papers by skeptics. But, coming to an agreement of what constitutes a skeptic paper and what doesn’t would be difficult.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        True because the consensus of established credentialed scientists is that that there is no controversy. Actually, from what I’ve read it appears much of the world is shaking their head at the US climate change “denialists”…The same way they shake their head when they see our school systems in court battles with creationists over whether or not intelligent design needs to be taught alongside evolution as “science”…They’re appalled that such a great country gets side tracked in such foolishness.

        • suyts says:

          Then you’re reading the wrong material. The overwhelming majority of the world’s populace thinks it’s insane to think we can control the weather. Let me break this down for you.

          Most of CAGW hypothesis originated from English speaking countries. While the opinion of the people vary from country to country, most of us think it’s tripe. Much of the rest of the world…. with perhaps the exception being Germany….. maybe is that it’s foolishness. China, from time to time will issue statements concurring, but the fact that the EU pays them $billions for them to plant whirly gigs and pinwheels can hardly go unnoticed. Neither, the fact that they’re the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels can go unnoticed nor them being world’s largest producer, almost exclusively, of REE, necessary for the construction of windmills. We’re being laughed at, but not for the reason you’re ascribing to.

  20. DH says:

    ThePhDScientist’s obsession with credentials is B.S. Ditto the obsession with publication. It so happens that I also have a Ph.D. in physical science from a top university, but I would never dream of using that as an argument to support my views. Climate science is not theoretical particle physics. Any mathematically savvy layman can understand it, and if he investigates, can also see the garbage that passes for science in this field.

    Science is a way of thought, not a guild. The facts in this particular posting can be checked by anyone with a bit of time and energy. We already know thanks to Steve McIntyre that the hockey stick is an artifact of poor data analysis (invalid use of principal component analysis and confirmation bias in data selection) and that bristlecone pines are poor thermometers (the divergence problem and “hide the decline”). This posting adds more color to these proven facts. And, by the way, facts are facts even if 100 or a million “scientists” deny them — and even if the facts are not published in peer reviewed journals but “merely” on a blog.

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      RIGHT, the best science is surely to be found in a blog! What kind of Kool-Aid are you drinking? Kary Mullis published in his autobiography that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, should we take that to the bank as well? Where do we turn for the best scientific information?

      • DH says:

        Assuming you are capable of thought, you turn to your own brain. Specifically, you gather objective, measurable facts that do not depend on anyone’s opinion or consensus. You then see how various people have analyzed them, and then you THINK in order to determine whether the analysis makes sense. I realize that thinking is harder than spewing sarcasm, ad hominem, and appeals to authority. But that’s what it means to be a scientist.

        Appeals to authority have a place in religion. They have no place in science. So if you want to refute Kary Mullis, you point to facts, not to consensus.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Haha oh how convenient.. So it’s not at all telling that the denialists have little original published research? We should just assume their blog post rantings are as legitimate as those articles published in Nature that have been been through all kind of intense scrutiny? You see the thing with people like Kary Mullis is that one is not required to do any sort of work to retort the crap he spews. It’s simply laughed off for the drivel that it is…

    • Latitude says:

      DH, that’s true
      At first I thought he was some kid….then I realized he’s in medical…..
      There’s a strong need in medical for them to be in agreement that they are all right….

      ….immediately followed by the ad from a law firm
      “If you took this pill and your head exploded……call us”

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Haha and I’ll say again, it’s easy to post something in a blog. Congratulate yourselves on being right and never have to defend your thesis amongst a field of experts. Man I wish that’s the way my science worked, it would be so much easier!!!!!

        • Latitude says:

          sorry I didn’t realize you were so brilliant…………

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Oh latitude please don’t go down that road…Nowhere in my post did I claim any sort of brilliance. What i merely claimed was having done actual “science”. The kind that doesn’t consist of me just posting something to some of my fans and having everyone tell me how insightful it was. Rather, the kind of science I have to do is one where someone questions my every figure, where they suggest my conclusions are wrong and that I need to perform additional experiments to conclusively make my point. The kind that takes 6-12 months of back and forth revisions before it gets published online. The kind of science most of the posters here have no experience with…

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      By the way didn’t Nature publish an article affirming the Hockey Stick graph after the whole controversy? I don’t follow this field that closely but I think I remember seeing that in the magazine, have to look it up…

      • suyts says:

        PhD, you have to understand the what isn’t being stated in those stories. I don’t subscribe to nature, so I can only surmise about what you’re reading. Likely it is one of two ventures.

        One, the HS was affirmed by other people reconstructing the temps with essentially the same data and same mathematical processes. Which, is a shocker. Another affirmation was constructed using additional paleo records other than dendro. I’ve not looked into the other paleo temp proxies as deeply as I have dendro, so I can’t really comment on them. Other than the relate to you that in one of those, our friend Mike Mann used a paleo series which was interpreted upside down. …. sediments …. where later bridge building or some such occurred flipping the sediment.

        It is one of my favorite tales to relate. Why? Because that zipped right through your precious and oh-so-difficult-to-get-through-process of peer review.

        You can go here for the quick version http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/22/manns-inverted-tiljander-data-survives-another-round-of-peer-review/

        And, if and when you ever decide to actually look into the maths on the dendro issues….. start here…. http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/14/upside-side-down-mann-and-the-peerreviewedliterature/

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Tell me you’re not doing it again. You do know that climate change skpetics get a very negative rap for not doing any actual “work” and merely highlighting any problems or controversies. So in one instance this got through peer review, that happens a lot. Then when reader’s like me find something awry we contact the journal editors and tell them. Problem corrected. What’s your point? Now let’s explore that Nature article some more. I can get it, did you want a copy?

    • suyts says:

      PhD, I’m not asking you to take my information offered “to the bank”. I’m asking you to apply a bit of logic and critical thinking to what I’ve presented. If you disagree with what is posted, present it. As you already know, I do very little moderating. Or, you can simply argue for the authority of other people’s work who you have admittedly not delved into.

      And, in the case of climatology, yes, the better science is on the blogs. Though, I would exclude this one from being a better science blog. While I often write about climate science, as you know, my interests are much broader in scope.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        No Suyts it’s the science that you and your politics agree with. There’s no evidence that it’s any better. And if it was truly better it would eventually make it into the mainstream scientific thought and not just be some shadow bloggers shouting from the sidelines. If you want anyone to take it seriously you’re going to have to do some original research, not just try to pry holes in the other’s guy’s science…

        • suyts says:

          As I stated, my interests are much broader. Specific to climate science, the traditional avenue is dead. It is as much ideologically run as my blog. And, quite frankly it is why posts such as mine exist.

          I know that may be difficult for you to accept right away, but it is true nonetheless. Maybe for yours and others benefit, I may do a small series on the shenanigans and corruption of climate science. Most of the commenters here are already very familiar with the ancient history. But, people new to the discussion would have a hard time believing their actions.

          But, I understand other schools of science are having as much if not more difficulty ensuring proper science getting through peer-review.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Why not do good science and also include the shenannigans and corrpution of the denialists. I’ve been reading some interesting stories about Anthony Watts…

        • suyts says:

          Careful about believing what you read. It may not be entirely true.

          But, even if it is, does Anthony threaten to get editors fired from journals publishing material he doesn’t like? Did he corrupt the peer review process? And, how does this relate to my post on dendro?……

          Actually PhD…. given that you’re a bit of a novice, I’d be happy to answer any specific questions I have any direct knowledge about. Or point you to the source if I can.

  21. NZ Willy says:

    For bristlecone pines, they are obviously using the needle length as direct measurement sticks for temperature, and not relating them to tree ring growth except as calibrators. But surely needle length depends on both temperature and precipitation. (Btw, syntax: “affect” = verb, “effect” = noun, usually.)

    • suyts says:

      Right, but that wasn’t my point. (I do thank you for the corrections, however, the lesson is rarely recalled after a few beers. )

      The point is, the needles are essential to photosynthesis and so the needles play a huge role in ring growth. The lengths of the needles play a factor in the photosynthesis process. So, the growth of a ring is weighted not only by the temp conditions of that particular year, by the temperature conditions of the preceding years, but how many years and how much can not be known in the years that the needles have already fallen off.

  22. Billy Liar says:

    ThePhdScientist says between 5:32am and 1:18pm

    Don’t you have work to do? You’ve spent nearly a whole working day trolling on this blog, saying nothing relevant to the topic. Does your research establishment pay you to do this?

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Actually I have a little time off, due to a sick family member. Thanks for your concern however 🙂

      • agfosterjr says:

        In resorting to such arguments of authority and consensus you need to be reminded ot Wegener’s case (Britannica, sv. “Continental Drift”):

        “Whatever the cause, continental drift, having been rejected by the vast majority of geologists the world over, retreated into obscurity and remained there for roughly three decades. Ironically, though, Du Toit so successfully kept the fires burning in the Southern Hemisphere that it remained quite respectable there to profess oneself an adherent of continental drift during the very years that such a confession north of the equator would have exposed one to ridicule and disbelief.”

        Most scientists are quite incompetent, and when you come across dissension without understanding its argument, you do best to stay out of the discussion–you have no way of determing whether they are idiots or the only ones with any sense. In Wegener’s case, members of the American Society of Petroleum Geologists were unanimously idiots. The more informed the student, the less the student cares for consensus. Cutting edge science usually involves dissent from orthodoxy. –AGF

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          That’s a convenient argument that doesn’t hold much water. We can’t all be experts in every field. Therefore, to survive in the world we have to be able to look to the work of others. Using our best judgement we have to be able to decide who we want to believe and who we’re much more skeptical of…For instance, if one is suddenly diagnosed with cancer they are not likely to become an expert on that subject. Sure they can scour the internet reading as much as they can, but having never worked in the field nor treated any patients with the disease they cannot become an expert. Thus, the patient must choose to put some of their trust in the hands of an experienced physician. Now that patient can choose to go to MD Anderson or Memorial Sloan Kettering or they can seek care at Madame Touseau’s House of Miracle Cures…

        • DH says:

          Nicely said, though I wouldn’t quite agree that “Most scientists are quite incompetent.” If we speak of real science — physics, chemistry, biology — I think most practitioners are at least competent, though not necessarily brilliant. It’s the fringe “sciences” — homeopathy, intelligent design, the paranormal, climate “science” — where you find more outright incompetents.

          Having said that, the number of competents or incompetents in a field says nothing about the validity of any specific claim. You have to look at the evidence.

        • agfosterjr says:

          ThePhDScientist says:
          May 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm
          A few minutes on the internet might help a new cancer patient save a llittle money, maybe $100k

          “Wherever data were uncertain, the authors deliberately erred on the side of over-estimating the benefit of chemotherapy. Even so, the study concluded that overall, chemotherapy contributes just over 2 percent to improved survival in cancer patients.”

          Your trusted doctors will be happy to take your money and give you a universally accepted quack cure. And if you die they’ll bill your estate. There’s a sucker born every minute. –AGF

  23. Trevor says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but this thing with the 10-60 year retention of needles, it seems like that doesn’t really matter when you’re talking about the multidecadal time scale of so-called CAGW. ACCORDING TO MANN, temperatures have been going up for 40 years.You could “smooth” the data on a 10-year moving-average basis (or even 20 years), and it would still show a hockey stick. Of course, Mann’s work is wrong for a lot of reasons, I just don’t think this is one of them.

    But on the limited temperature response range, yeah, Iyou got something there.

    • Latitude says:

      Trevor, the problem with using rings, trees, corals, etc….is that they all have a certain mid point where conditions are just right for growth….above or below that mid point looks the same

      Take a narrow ring for example…..did it show a short growing season because it was too hot, or too cold, or because temps were rapidly changing and stayed at the mid point for a very short time
      ….a wide ring would be just as inaccurate…..was it wide because temps were stable, or
      because temps were warmer, or because temps were mostly colder and didn’t swing into the too hot zone as much….and on and on

      it’s sorta like reading tea leaves………..

      • Latitude says:

        bad example….let’s say a tree makes the widest rings in a temp range of 60-75 degrees..
        ….did that wide ring tell you that temps ranged from 60 – 120 degrees?
        or did temps range from minus 20 – 75 degrees

      • Trevor says:

        I’m more of an agronomist than a dendrologist, but the same botanical principles apply to trees as to crops. And the way it works in crops is this (note, the temps shown here are average daily temps, not max). There are no growth benefits from heat up to about 40 or 50 F (depending on the crop). From that point up to around 92F, growth increases pretty much linearly with temperature. Above 92 F, growth is steady at the HIGHEST POSSIBLE RATE, regardless of how high temperatures get. (Caveat – this has only ever been analyzed on THIS planet, and only in areas where crops are usually grown, so the upper limit of this have never really been explored. It’s entirely possible that there IS some negative impact on growth for temperatures exceeding, say 120 F. But that’s just not gonna happen, not for AVERAGE daily temps, anywhere on this planet, even if man-made global warming IS real.)

        (The above assumes that adequate moisture is available for the plant at all temperature levels. If not, then yes, higher temperatures are “bad” for the plant, not directly, but because the plant loses water to the atmosphere more rapidly, and if there’s not enough moisture in the ground to replace it, then you get drought damage.)

        Now, I presume the same kind of thing happens with trees. Up to some low temperature, no growth occurs at all. From that low temperature to some higher temperature, growth increases with temperature, and beyond that higher temperature, growth remains at its highest possible rate. This presumption is, in fact, consistent with the graph presented by our host. If your (Latitude’s) statement about the effect of temperature on tree ring width were correct, then instead of tree ring width flattening out during the periods of high temps, it would actually DECREASE whenever temperatures rose above whatever that optimum temperature is.

        In other words, at least with plants (both crops and trees – I can’t speak to coral), there is no “midpoint” optimal temperature for growth. Growth does reach a maximum at some temperature, but beyond that temperature, growth does not decrease, but remains at that maximum as temperatures continue to increase (at least up to any average daily temperature likely to be seen on THIS planet, and assuming adequate moisture).

        No, Latitude, the REAL problem with tree rings is that there are MANY factors, besides temperature, that affect their width. The most obvious, and most influential is, of course, precipitation. If we knew the values of precipitation, and all the other variables that effect ring width, over the entire period of the study, then we could possibly control for them and isolate the effect of temperature from the other variables and state with some kind of certainty what the (local) temperatures were in the past (though this levelling-off effect noted by our host would limit the range over which we could estimate temperatures). But we don’t know the values of the other variables and we can’t control for them. And that’s why I put ZERO faith in ANY pre-instrumental temperature record based on tree rings.

        • suyts says:

          Trevor, I’m sorry I hadn’t had a chance to get back to you on this. You have an excellent comment which should at least be acknowledged. I agree with most of what you’re stating. In fact, your final point, I entirely agree. The only quibble (and quibble is all) I’d have is that your caveat runs afoul your premise on high temp limits. Yes, you’re correct. If there’s enough moisture, and soil nutrients…. ect… then plants grow well at 100 ° F. Oddly, we see only very specialized plants thrive in such an environment. (think jungles)

          The environment the trees picked for the studies aren’t in the jungles. They are high altitude and high latitude areas. Many of them would be semi-arid. I’d have to find the literature again, but as I recall, once the average temps went over about 80 F the trees quit growing altogether. As you say, it is likely moisture dependent. But, either way, the premise is still true. After a certain average temp is attained, there is no value to be attained. It could be 80 degrees or 100, either way, the ring isn’t going to tell us what it was.

    • suyts says:

      Thanks Trevor, complete agreement with your host isn’t required. I despise echo chambers. Is why we keep PhD around. 🙂

      I understand what you are stating about the multidecadal scaling. However, I consider it in this manner…. suppose I drilled a core. We look at each ring to gain the chronology. But, each ring may contains influences (via needle’s photosynthesis) from 10 years past or 20, or 30…. etc. But, there is no possible way of knowing how much went into the formation of the ring and from how long back.

      But, you may be correct, one may be able to smooth it. It’s one of those things I’ve got to mull around in my head for a while. And that wasn’t my central theme. it was bonus info, if you will. The limited temp range is what I was really getting at. The fiction that our climate was stable until a few years ago is a thought which seems to be gaining traction.

      • Trevor says:

        I would HOPE complete agreement is not required. I’m a skeptic myself, in general agreement with you on the important points. But if we never have to answer the critics (alarmists) on our own blogs, then we’re not prepared to argue with them in public. And if we’re not intellectually honest with ourselves and each other, and don’t recognize or point out flaws in reasoning in a friendly setting, then we’ll look like idiots when the alarmists point them out in public. So blogs like this, I feel, are the best place to “fine-tune” our arguments (or drop them entirely if necessary) before we try to convince the public with them.

        That said, I really was just playing devil’s advocate. Mann’s work with bristlecone pine trees was worthless. I don’t know if he did any “smoothing” or not, but the last 50 years of his “reconstruction” weren’t based on tree rings at all, but were simply the instrumental record tacked on at the point where Mann chose to stop using tree rings, not because that’s when instrumental records became available (they were available a hundred years before that point), but because that’s where the tree ring reconstruction diverged from the instrumental record. In other words, when tree rings showed what he wanted them to show, they were the best possible indicator of temperature, even better than INSTRUMENTAL temperatures, but when they ceased to show what he wanted them to show, then instrumental temperatures were better. He was trying to have his cake and eat it too, and he got flat, cold busted for it.

        I acknowledge that the needle retention thing was not at all the central theme of your post, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to discuss it with you further. Like you, I find this very interesting, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it, but unlike you, my gut tells me it doesn’t really matter, not even on a year-to-year basis, let alone a multi-year, moving-average basis.

        Ok, needles produced during warm years are LONGER than those produced during short years. If we assume that the NUMBER of needles (and their width also, I suppose) is unaffected by temperature (or at least not affected negatively), then it follows that total photosynthetic potential of needles produced in a warm year is larger than total photosynthetic potential of needles produced in a cooler year. And so one warm year could increase the tree’s total photosynthetic potential for at least 10 years, perhaps 30 years or more. Conversely, one cool year could have the opposite impact, but for just as long. So you could say that tree growth in the current year is a function, not of the temperature in the current year, but of average temperature over at least the last 10 years (you could say the last 60 years, but only if you used a WEIGHTED average temperature, with the weights decreasing as you go back from 10 years to 60).

        But newer needles are further away from the trunk than older needles, and thus the newer needles will SHADE the older needles to some extent, preventing them from reaching their FULL photosynthetic potential. Shading will be more prevalent if the earlier years were cool and the later years were warm, and less prevalent if the earlier years were warm and the later years were cool. So, it seems that warm years have a stronger impact on future growth than cool years. So you would have to include some kind of “shading factor” for each year’s needles. This shading factor would be less than 1 for all but the current year, would decrease the further back you go (more years worth of needles to shade them) and would increase with warmth in the needle year (more needle length to catch the limited sunlight making it through more recent years’ needles), but decrease with warmth in all subsequent years (more needle length in recent years to block sunlight).

        Wow, this is getting complicated quickly. I’ll stop there for now and see what you have to say on it.


        • suyts says:

          Lol,… oh sure! Uhmm, …. yes!!! … or No???

          It got complicated. It would take someone much more knowledgeable than me in both statistics and the biology of that specific tree.

          The length of the needles shading the tree is interesting. But, I think there comes a point where we’re discussing how much the ocean rises when we spit in it.

          What I’m pretty sure we can agree upon is that anyone telling us that it averaged 54.5 degrees in 1627 or even for the decade of 1620s is FOS, and they’re playing “magic with numbers”. And has nothing to do with science.

  24. ChrisM says:

    The PhD scientist
    If you want peer reviewed literature, why has the issues raised in LaMarche & Stockton 74 ever been addressed by IPCC? That old paper shoots down almost all of the dendrochronology on which Mann, Briffa et. al. so heavily rely.

  25. KNR says:

    PhD scientist given your claimed addiction to the scientific method care to supply a reference to support the claim that the majority of scientists support AGW? The standard will of course be a peer reviewed article which is what you demand of others.? But bare in mind that the 75 out 77 paper is worthless unless your claiming there are only 77 scientists of any type in the world .

    And one small point to note , to know any what percentage any sub group is of a bigger group you must first know the size if the whole group , now that is basic Math. So you could start with providing the peer reviewed research that shows how many scientists there are in the world in the first place .

    Once you done that you can claim to your own standard that the majority of scientists support AGW , should be easy for you given your claims , so why not do it ?

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Lets make that whole process much easier…name one credible internationally renown scientific academy, organization, or institute that claims to be a climate change denier????

      • Tom Harley says:

        None of them of course, because it’s you that is now the “denier”. There are many skeptic scientist’s institutions, organizations and the like, as well as peer reviewed papers, few of which though are on the government teat which is selling this dud hypothesis on an ideological basis.

    • suyts says:

      ish……. PhD, you’re going to have to reword that. No one claims to be a “climate change denier”. That’s a pejorative ascribed to skeptics by alarmists.

      The usual position of skeptics is that the climate changes. It always has. It always will. Most skeptics would also state that the changes we see today are within normal limits of past climate variability.

      Try the Heartland Institute. SEPP. ect….. there’s a couple of European institutes which focus mainly on sea level changes, a couple more, I believe, which focus on the solar variability impacts on our climate

      The problem with your question is that you’re asking a skeptic to engage in a line of thinking which is anathema to a skeptic. We don’t do “appeals to authority”. A better question would be show me that when I add CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere that the earth’s atmosphere got warmer. And show me how this consistently occurs. Or maybe, show me the analysis that states arable land in Greenland is a bad thing. Or show me the quantitative and qualitative analysis that a warmer world in general is bad. Here’s one…… show me the predictive skill of the various climate models. (hint, they are consistently wrong) It isn’t so much that skeptics believe they hold the answer life’s questions, it is that there is no convincing evidence that the alarmists are correct. They simply make posits, write them up, fly them through their pal review and scare the hell out of the public.

      Here’s a question to ask an alarmist, will global warming result in more snow or less snow. The answer you get will be, yes. And, then when winter comes if is snows more, they say, “See, we told you so!!”, and when it snows less, they say, “See, we told you so!!!” Click here…. https://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/image_thumb90.png?w=652&h=389 to see the empirical data and trend of our snow extent.

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Here’s my major issue suyts. Real science is also apparently an anathema to the climate change “skeptic”. I asked if you’re so sure in your positions why not publish it? Nature and Science love cutting edge, well founded contrarian opinions. The debates over science are some of my favorite things to read in those journals. So why not?

        Better yet why dont we get a televised forum to discuss climate change. We can take a few self proclaimed experts from this board and a few actual scientists and let them debate the facts. I’m sure the public would love to watch! I know I would! Volunteers?

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        BTW completely DISAGREE with your snow example. Every reputable climate scientist I’ve ever heard speak says we cant draw any conclusions from a single weather event, snowy season etc., carefully pointing out that weather is not the same as climate.

        • suyts says:

          I wasn’t referring to one winter, I was referring to a trend. The one winter example comes from climatologists. When we had snowageddon the climate alarmists did say it was because of a warming world. But, that was after it was stated that snow would be a thing of the past. I’d wrestle up the quotes, but I don’t have them on hand. I’m sure you’re more than adept with Google. But, I show there’s absolutely no trend in the last 20 years.

      • suyts says:

        PhD, I’ve pointed you to several places which are run by “published” skeptics. There is a huge corpus of work out there to be read. I disagree with your characterization of Nature….. but, I allow that’s subjective.

        A televised forum? Lol, any day, any time. You won’t find a shortage of skeptics willing to engage. You will, however, find a shortage of alarmists. It does get done from time to time. Always, skeptics win the debate. I’ve never once watched or read otherwise.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Haha a non published skeptic would be wise to follow up that last statement with “in my humble OPINION”

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          And clearly you’re not reading enough Nature and Science then if you’re not enjoying all the back and forth that arises. It usually gives me giggles. Don’t take the easy road of simply saying they won’t publish my peoples work – that’s beneath you…

        • suyts says:

          The part about skeptics winning? Naw, not my opinion, a tally of the observers. I acknowledge I’m biased. So, I don’t rely on my perspective. It’s something I wish alarmists would do.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Come on now Suyts – the only thing this board has offered is one man’s opinion with a few supporters chiming in… That’s why, for your sake, I’d like to see you do some real science.

        • suyts says:

          Except this isn’t my opinion. It is an interesting thought though. But, what would I write that wouldn’t be plagiarism? That the trees only grow in a small window of time and temps? This is already well established. Or that needles are part of the photosynthesis process? Again, this is well established. The statistical work refuting Mann has already been published…… several times!

          So, sure, I’d be more than happy to submit. I’m at a loss as what I would submit. A giant paper that screams “USE YOUR HEADS!!!”??

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          oh so the work has been submitted, was overwhelmingly strong and now there is a consensus among experts that his work is invalid and climate change is not occurring? Or on the other hand, was some work submitted which picked up on one or two minor controversies in the study, real scientists rechecked there work using alternate methodologies and the field as a whole saw no major reason to change the original findings?

        • Latitude says:

          James posted a short list of boards that post “real science”….it’s by no means a complete list….but a good place to start
          You know about those boards….why are you not posting on them then???

  26. wrangler says:

    ThePhDScientist says:
    May 15, 2012 at 10:36 am
    “You see suyts the way science works. You have an idea, I hypothesis you run experiments trying to gather all the information you can in support of it. Then you make your best case for whatever is the conclusion and you submit your work for publication and scrutinization by a committee of your peers. And let me tell you, peer review in science is a brutal ugly thing. In this way, the best most accepted ideas rise to the top.”
    To progress all scientific theories must be challenged:

    “If it (the theory) disagrees with experiment it’s wrong. In this simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is; If it disagrees with experiment it’s wrong.”
    Richard Feynman

    Fortunately in a free society, ANYONE (not just peer reviewers) is allowed to check a theory against experiment, observation or experience. If they can demonstrate that a theory disagrees with experiment, observation or experience then the theory is wrong.

    You say: “Honestly I don’t have near the time to study all the ins and outs of climate change.”
    It shows when you use words like ‘consensus’ and ‘denialist’.

    Richard Feynman also said: “We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt.” This crucial statement about science is something which is lacking amongst many prominent climate scientists who claim “the science is settled”.

    The point of the article is that it is about the observation that bristlecone pines have a very limited temperature growth range. This relates to the questionable use of selective dendrochronology by some climate scientists in producing the infamous hockey stick graph.

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      No lil wrangler when I say denialist – I’m referring to someone who’s conducted no actual science but merely has a political or ideological agenda for trying to disprove climate change. These people aren’t in it for the pursuit of science.

      • suyts says:

        “These people aren’t in it for the pursuit of science.”…… lol, I know!!! That’s what I’m trying to tell you! This alleged “science” is nothing but an ideology.

        I show accepted science which calls into great question the validity of the dendrochronology of climatology. You say it doesn’t count unless it’s published, but it is published. Nearly all of my posts on climatology is sourced by accepted science or data from accepted science institutions.

        I even make it easy for people such as yourself. There’s a link to a paper in my post. Can I help it if the ideologues choose to ignore what is there?

  27. wrangler says:

    You clearly don’t know what wrangler relates to.

    No one is trying to disprove climate change. The climate changes, always has, always will. Who are you claiming has a political motive and on what basis?

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      You clearly don’t understand the average denialist. Their position is man did not affect the climate of the earth – or has not caused any significant warming and thus we should continue if not accelerate the current burning of fossil fuels. They are largely funded by private industry resources with a significant stake in this type of pseudoscience being accepted by the community.

      • Latitude says:

        It’s like reading a text book…..
        …all the same talking points

        do they give these guys flash cards?

        God is this old and stale……………

        • suyts says:

          No doubt….. its the same stuff over and over again.

          The funny part is, they never refute what is presented….. well, I can’t say never, but most often they don’t. And can’t. But, they attempt to characterize us as denialists? How’s that for some projection?

      • wrangler says:

        Why is someone who thinks that a scientific theory is wrong to be compared with deniers of the holocaust? Which private industries are funding who? What do you mean by pseudoscience? A powerstation? A car?

        Why don’t you take a little time to read a little about climate science instead of using the cliches of environmental activists?

    • suyts says:

      LMAO!!!! “Largely funded by private industry”……. uhmm no. We’re not. Fact is PhD, because you are a large part of my increased traffic recently, I’m cutting you in for half of what I make from this blog!

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        LMAO – Oh so Exxon Mobile hasn’t been helping bankroll the HEARTLAND INSTITUTE. GMAFB!
        And i’m glad you’re getting increased traffic. See it helps to have someone who doesn’t simply kiss your ass every time you make a post. Now find a real climate scientist to debate with. If you want to tell me how we have the cure for cancer, but are just unwilling to let Americans know what it is because of all the money we make doing cancer research – well then I’ll be more than qualified to debate that up and down…

      • suyts says:

        Lol, with what? $10,000? You’re a scientist….. how far does that take you? BTW, HI is a wonderful institute, but they’re not what moves nor motivates skepticism.

        PhD, Exxon doesn’t care about this crap. They sent 10 times the money the other way. Shell doesn’t care, BP doesn’t care….. what makes you think they’d care?

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Please don’t be so naive. Newt Gingrich and some of the most influential lobbyist in Washington decided long ago that if they were going to compete with agencies like the EPA and the Academy etc. then they had to do it at a scientific level. They needed to “publish” their own data to refute that of the established scientists. Thus private industry science was born. There are some fascinating books detailing the whole thing. One title something like “The War on Science”…

          And Exxon gave Heartland at least 1/2 million dollars. That would fund me several postdocs working for several years – so yeah that is a good junk of change!

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          I love it when you can follow the money trail. Let’s see where the Heartland Institute’s money actually comes from. Here’s who bankrolls your “wonderful” institute…Yeah clearly none of these groups have agenda’s. WOOL OVER EYES!

          Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation $1,037,977
          Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation $648,000
          Exxon Mobil $531,500
          Walton Family Foundation $400,000
          Sarah Scaife Foundation $325,000
          Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust $190,500
          Jaquelin Hume Foundation $166,000
          Rodney Fund $135,000
          JM Foundation $82,000
          Castle Rock Foundation $70,000
          Roe Foundation $41,500
          John M. Olin Foundation $40,000
          Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $40,000
          Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $37,578
          Armstrong Foundation $30,000
          Hickory Foundation $13,000
          Carthage Foundation $10,000

        • suyts says:

          That’s nice PhD….. You mean some conservative minded people throw some change towards conservative thinktanks? Wow! Whooda thunk it? What is the time period and how does it compare to Chesapeake Gas funding the Sierra Club to the tune of $26 million?

          You don’t know the game which is being played on you. And you’ve no idea about how much money is going towards the alarmists. You’re in the wrong business.if you wanted to make money with your degrees.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Hahaha! Touche, to the omnipotent suyts – perhaps you are the one who doesn’t know the game being played on you. I’m actually in the game, you’re merely screaming from the sidelines.

          You’re right if I wanted to make money I could go work for private industry perhaps Pharma or a lobbying company on Pharma’s behalf. I could have lobbied on behalf George W’s Prescription D drug plan. Great for pharma companies terrible for folks on medicare! I could come up with all sorts of science to show how great it would be for American citizens! And i’d never have to have my statistics scrutinized by anyone. I could just throw them out there freely. Man sometimes that sounds appealing – a bit of a sell out, but appealing!

  28. Latitude says:

    I’ll fess up…
    I have dual PhD’s…
    Pathobiology……and Space Physics and Engineering

    I specialize In parasites on Uranus………….

  29. wrangler says:

    Oh dear the Troll is losing it. I’m going to bed :o)

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      It’s funny that if you come on a blog and don’t kiss everyone’s ass and merely pat posters on the back who have like opinions then you’re termed a troll…LoL Is that because climate denialists only have the courage to speak with people of like positions?

    • suyts says:

      PhD….. you are showing your ignorance of the history of skepticism. Do you have any idea why Steve McIntyre’s blog got started? Earlier you asked that I should find a climatologist to engage with. I did. Several of them. My comments are blocked. Without exception. There are a couple of sites out there who will allow for comments, but, they edit them afterwards. There’s only a few hundred thousand people who would attest to the same.

      This is why there are skeptic blogs. They don’t engage, they won’t engage. They block the statements or alter the content. While troll is a common pejorative, that isn’t nearly what I’ve endured over the years. The hate and vitriol spewed towards skeptics would be described as hate crimes would it be towards other types of people.

      You want to see a debate….. ask Gavin to pop by for a few. He nor any of the rest of them have the testicular fortitude to do so.

  30. suyts says:

    And, PhD, you still haven’t explained why big oil would care. Do you think they’re concerned that demand for oil will suddenly dry up? Explain please……

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Why would cigarette companies care if smoking caused lung cancer? Big oil, big coal and any other big are concerned about public perception and more importantly their own bottom line. How can Republican politicians continue to divert public money to tax breaks for oil and coal if the public believes these sources of energy have a negative impact on the environment and that much of that money would be better spent researching and implementing cleaner energy solutions? But, I highly doubt you don’t know all of this…

      • Latitude says:

        James….you owe me a coke

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Are we similarly denialists about tax breaks for energy companies…lol

        • Latitude says:

          nope….I bet James that you would do the tobacco thing next

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          A fitting parallel!

        • Tom Harley says:

          Winner…by knockout

        • suyts says:

          Ph, I’m not opposed to eliminating special tax breaks for specific industries. As you may have gathered, I’m a bit of a free market person. With oil though, we run into a bit of a problem. It’s a global commodity. If we make it to where it isn’t profitable for them to drill here, they’ll drill elsewhere….. or not. The demand wouldn’t diminish so what we would accomplish is further impoverishment of the American people.

          And then there’s that pesky fact that oil doesn’t have any unique tax breaks.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Really no special tax breaks? Seems the investment guys would disagree with that…


        • suyts says:

          Lol, now explain how that’s different from any other ground extraction tax break… such as a copper mine or rock quarry etc….. they all get the same.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          How about I explain how almost none of my other investments have those kind of breaks… Do yours?

        • suyts says:

          Invest in a gold mine….. you’d be surprised. I would, but I’ve got all this big oil money coming to me. So, there’s that……

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          How could you? You’re not a scientist who’s actively publishing. I didn’t think Exxon funded bloggers, but maybe?

      • suyts says:

        Ph, you’ve simply regurgitated nonsense spoon fed to you by nonsensical imbeciles.

        Now, let’s try a bit of reality. The global economies run on oil today. They will run on oil tomorrow and next year and the next decade and likely for the remainder of this century. Now get this part….. this is irrespective of how the climate debate ends. How do I know this? Because in spite of all of the vitriol, vim and fury, alarmists have come up with no viable alternative to oil. Nothing. What are we going to use to move our ships around the world? What is going to fuel our jets? Trains? Semis? Oh, petroleum products, that’s what. Just because people think it’s bad, do you think they’ll stop eating? Or flying? That’s laughable. The lunatics preaching to us about flying are the worst offenders. The fact is, this is a global economy. Oil will be with us, whether we like it or not for long after you and I are gone. The profiteers of big oil as well. They don’t give a rats ass about this issue. Give everyone in this country a Prius, and big oil wouldn’t skip a beat on their profits. They’d just lower supply and the price jumps. There is no vehicle to move us from a petroleum based transport economy.

        This is what happens when blinders are put on and people only focus on what they wish. Sure burning oil, like coal emits CO2. But, coal, oil and natural gas serve functions which only overlap. They aren’t the same thing. For the past 20-30 years, the only thing which has been accomplished by the lunatic left is to move electric generation from coal to nat gas. And it will take 50 years before that’s completed.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          What’s laughable is someone so short-sighted. No one said that the world was going to switch off oil tomorrow, next year, next decade. But there are countries, as you’ve already admitted, that are moving away from traditional sources of energy and then there are countries that wish to be stuck forever in the past. I guess 40 years ago you didn’t believe we could increase the fuel efficiency of an automobile either? And i suppose fuel efficiencies do nothing to the demand for oil either?

        • suyts says:

          Ph, yes, they’ve tried to move away from coal….. that doesn’t address transportation. They’re not the same. Coal, in this consideration is used for electric generation. Oil isn’t typically used for electric generation.

          BTW, Germany is backtracking something awful on their renewable energy. 70% of the nameplate future electric gen capacity in the next 3 years is coal and nat gas.

          As far as your notion towards efficiencies, you must understand the human condition. Efficiencies allow man to do more. Not less. Of course we can increase our efficiencies. And we should, and we do…… without the impetus of government. But that doesn’t solve consumption.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          So if every car on the road in the US has a 50 mpg rating – then we’re all going to drive proportionally more so no net effect on consumption? Seems a hard sell…

        • suyts says:

          Yes it’s a tough sell. So, we should take a look back at our history. I’ve no idea of your age so you may not recollect. But, there was a time when most of our vehicles were huge V8 monsters. They’d suck gas close to 12mpg. They’ve been replaced. We now have little plastic cars with fuel injection. Even the larger ones approach 20mpg. My pickup gets 17. Where an equal sized one just 20 years ago would hardly get 10. So, what’s happened with our demand as more fuel efficient vehicles entered the market? It’s done nothing but increase.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Oh I see…So we’re comparing now to the 1960s before the suburban spread, before people started regularly commuting 20,30,40,60 miles to work? There is no possibility we’ve reached a tipping point there and doubling fuel efficiency could make a nice dent in consumption. I’m glad you’re so confident! I never get that luxury in my own science (or at least i’ve done many experiments before I get to that level of confidence)…

        • suyts says:

          Ph, you’re getting me wrong. I’m all for increasing fuel efficiency. I’m all for finding an adequate replacement for gasoline. I’m pissed that more hasn’t been done towards hydrogen automobiles. …. but, there’s that damned energy density thingy. And humanity, and its nature.

          As towards your specific points, do you think more efficient vehicles played a part in facilitating sprawl?

          But, to the larger point, in which you may be an expert. When man has more fuel, more energy, does he do more? Or does he get to the point of saturation? Does he quit climbing because he’s done it before? Do records of human achievement stand forever? Efficiency leads to excellence and achievement.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          They most certainly played a role! My point is do we think this is a never ending cycle. Sure if cars get more efficient people will drive more. But I can tell you i’m not going to want to the fight commute. I used to drive an SUV around, now imagine that SUV got 40 miles instead of 12. Would I have drove a bit more? Probably. Would I still have consumed less – CERTAINLY!

        • suyts says:

          Yes, Ph as an individual you would have consumed less. And, this occurred, and yet, national and global consumption of oil continued to increase. Why? Well, we took our savings and applied it to a different need. When I grew up, my family had one car.

          What will be the next need? I’ve no idea. But, I’d hate to think we’ve limited ourselves when we find a need.

          Only when we find a viable alternative will consumption of oil, on any scale,
          decrease. But, I’ve no doubt that we will. We just have to let it happen as opposed to trying to force something to happen which can’t happen.

          I recently did a post on the changing of electric sources. You should read the paper I sourced. Go here…….https://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/new-science-study-demonstrates-futility-of-soft-renewables/ or here for the paper…… http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/1/014019/media/erl410200suppdata.pdf

          Any concern over atmospheric CO2 is simply someone worrying about things they can’t control. We are, whether we want to or not, going to go well beyond 560 ppm of CO2. Enjoy the ride.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Interesting from only reading the abstract it appears the piece you reference doesn’t deny man’s impact on climate change…

        • suyts says:

          Lol, that’s true. But, is there anything else we can glean from the paper?

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Hmm yes, we can glean that the author’s believe climate change is real, that it’s tough to make the switch from dirty fuels to more clean renewable energy forms, but that it can be done and in time should positively effect the planet. Nice study!

        • suyts says:

          So, you’re of the opinion that increasing atmospheric CO2 by 50-100 mtCO2 over the next 80-100 years improves something? I’m proud to count you as a skeptic! Cool! You see, we’re all doomed by then. The solar panels and windmills offer no reduction in atmospheric CO2, only less of an increase.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Oh how I love that skeptics take on science! Keep fighting the good fight. However, some day you have to come into my lab and work for a week. See how real science is conducted, deal?

        • suyts says:

          Deal! I’d love to see what justified the cost of all those marvels I purchased when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Last thing before I hit the sac. I had an idea for your next social issues blog. Heard about Colorado Republicans not even wanting to allow gays a “civil union” – we’re not talking about marriage, but even some basic protections the a union would allow.

          Blog Title: Homophobia reaches new heights in the mile high city.

          Discuss…. 😉 Night!

        • suyts says:

          I hadn’t heard that……… I would discuss it, but as I’ve explained before, it isn’t on my care list. I’d have to brush up on the differences between a civil union and marriage and just living together.

          It would help if you provided a link to such information. If you did, I’d pop over to the link as see if they were trying to do something insipidly stupid like denying basic human rights and dignity to people. In which case, I’d call them out for it.

  31. Tom Harley says:

    Have a read through this PhD, you may learn something: SPECIAL REPORT: More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims – Challenge UN IPCC & Gore …at Climate Depot

    • suyts says:

      It’s a consensus!

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Interesting what passes for a consensus. Don’t think even the top 5% on that list would get a job at my institution…


        • Tom Harley says:

          Just from the first page (of over 350pdf) 5 at random, Dr Robert Austin from Princeton, Dr Kobus from Oakland, Dr Laughlin from Stanford, Dr Jelbring from Stockholm, Dr Reid from CSIRO in Oz, probably none of whom would want a job at your institution. At least they don’t hide behind a pseudonym. All those listed (over 1000) use their own names. There are thousands more (I believe around 36,000) that have signed a petition rejecting the hypothesis, and even more who have to use a pseudonym for various reasons, often to do with their employment agreements.
          By the way this list if you had chosen to read is updated regularly to make sure that people like Gleick don’t corrupt it, and make things up as reputations are at stake.

  32. Latitude says:

    and it’s five out of five for the win…………………..

    Once you realize their flash cards are numbered….it’s easy

    • ThePhDScientist says:

      Hahaha more celebrating from the non-scientists who are claiming victory over a cancer biologist. Oh how you’ve furthered your cause! Celebrate! Celebrate!

    • Latitude says:

      nope, just means James’ blog is a bigger threat than he thought

      • ThePhDScientist says:

        Bigger threat to what? A self proclaimed cancer biologist and non-expert in the field of climate change. What have you accomplished here? You haven’t published anything that anyone would read. You’ve professed that you have had no original thought or science. You haven’t changed any minds. You haven’t influenced policy. So what is the threat? I’m missing it…

      • Latitude says:

        you obviously think it’s important enough for all this……….

        since you keep arguing from authority….
        here’s your chance
        post some of your papers

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Oh ok! Great I will. What do you think of the role of Th17 cells in either propensity for causing inflammation leading to tumorigenesis or the ability to actively inhibit a growing tumor?

        • Latitude says:

          I think curcumin would work better……….

          post your papers that you have had published

        • ThePhDScientist says:

          Hmm how much curcumin do you think you’d need in your system to clear an actively growing tumor. Though i am interested in the potential anti inflammatory properties of curcumin and perhaps lowering the risk of developing certain cancers through this anti inflammatory activity – that would be cool!

        • Latitude says:

          since you keep arguing from authority….
          here’s your chance
          post some of your papers

  33. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Please allow some room for a scientific observation stemming from the illustration that Willis provided at the top.
    Some dendro researchers have got into esoterics like isotopic decay to help derive temperatures from plants. However, I have yet to see a scientific paper (which might reflect nothing more than my limited reading) where the mixing of isotopes that happens when old pine needles drop to the soil for eventual partial re-uptake is included in the reconstruction. Formal papers seem to examine static circumstances more often than dynamic, if you can understand my shorthand, while dynamic processes are one expression of Life.
    This is not a topic that is easy or even possible for me to put into a peer-reviewed paper. I do not have a laboratory, a grant, an assistant or a friendly connection with the University of East Anglia.
    However, as a scientist who has studied plant growth, I feel that this observation has adequate merit to be mentioned, even on a blog. Indeed, it might be more valuable as a short blog comment than as a full-fledged paper. It might be no more than a memory jogger for a topic well known, or it might be a new factor to be considered in future. It would be extraordinary if the corpus of Learned Societies around the world knew that this might be a new fatal flaw for isotope dendros.
    It is an inexcusible error to scoff at the value of the blog mechanism. You show premature ageing if you do that.Ditto in a belief that all-powerful scientists know all powerful detail.

    • suyts says:

      Geoff….. if you’ve got something or could put something in the form of a blog post on the subject, I’d be more than happy to carry it.

      I’m not convinced about the isotope counting for the very reason you mentioned. People tend to view things as static, or as they are now. But, we all know that isn’t the way it works. Even my post views things as they are now. But, we’ve no idea how long pine needles stayed on a tree in 1675 or 1350. Was the average 10 years or 15 or was it 70?

  34. Tom Harley says:

    Tree rings can also be affected from many sources, such as heat from fires, where the trees may not necessarily be burnt, just singed, changes in nutrients from external sources including floods, fauna, changes in competition from other vegetation, all of which can happen over a long time period, regularly or rarely. Then the big one is moisture availability, and all this happening at random…talk about chaos theory.

  35. Tom Harley says:

    Is this the same guy? Making electricity from viruses A Man With A Ph.D.

    Sheets of Virus Generate Electricity when Squished

    Squishing a stack of virus sheets generates enough electricity to power a small liquid crystal display. With increased power output, these virus films might one day use the beating of your heart to power a pacemaker, the researchers behind them say.

    Piezoelectric materials build up charge when pushed or squeezed. These materials may be familiar to you: they generate the spark in a gas lighter, and motors powered by such materials vibrate some cell phones.

  36. Man Bearpig says:

    PhD Scientist:

    Is that you Clippo ?

  37. Why do I get the feeling ThePhDScientist is one of those commenters that comes on busting the bank with comments for a few days then disappears? They run out of routine, usual suspect rebuttals and have nothing left to say. I have found almost all global warming believers have a shallow core. I think they find that out too.

    But I hope ThePhDScientist will break out of that mold and keep his end of the debate rolling.

  38. GoodBusiness says:


    enjoyed your discussion with PhD Scientist. I started my studies in Chemistry at four years of age with a PhD Chemist that was employed by my Father in the manufacturing of Zeolite for use in the water conditioning industry. so, I will now just cut to the center of the issue as I see it developing.

    I have a friend that is with the Scripts and UCSD climate study group and we have debated the issue of data and data sets. Scripts has had buoys across the Pacific for decades and have more data than 10 supercomputers can process in a decade. I have also debated a NASA PhD over the same C02 AGW issue. Both claim to have the backing of the majority of scientists that global warming is occurring – a fact I observed at age 5 [ gee no more American ice cover].

    Now the real issue arises – why did they select C02 [the basic building block of all life except the sulfur based on sea floor vets and some acid based in volcanic pools] as the potential cause agent? My only conclusion based upon the huge grants given to NASA and the Universities funding chairs and entire departments forced the creation of data sets to give a predetermined result. There is a very large social element injected into the “REAL SCIENCE” of AGW. If you can control and TAX CARBON then you can control and tax life itself.

    In closing all my reading and debating silly concepts like SETTLED SCIENCE – really settled by what? I found no real PEER reviewed information that was even accessible, as the base data was always withheld – if you do not know what built the data set computer model how can anyone verify the conclusions? After the leaked emails all have been discredited as they should be – they should all write letters of apologize to all those that funded the great grant chase – they should all apologize to all of academia as they proved academia is for sale. There can be no peer review as the hypothesis was constructed on a false premise. A false premise requires no reply.

    • suyts says:

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, carbon first. Water is next.

      • GoodBusiness says:

        Yes, without either one there is little life on the globe.

        Have you found in your research any real evidence of actual PEER review. I was active for a few years and I never saw any nor would anyone provide a link or source – all proprietary data – My old Chem Prof would have run me out of the lab if I presented any conclusions without fully developed based data – he said why do you waste my time with opinions – opinions are for journalists not chemists or scientists.

        • Latitude says:

          Hey GB, if you’ve never seen this…..it’s sorta the history

          Notice, not much has changed in over 100 years……….

        • GoodBusiness says:

          We all understand that all things are changing at all times and the link proves that the main interest appears to have been a way to increase REVENUES TO GOVERNMENT BODIES. Man is a remarkable animal – he lives on a planet that is billions of years old and thinks he is so important on the earth system when measured over a few hundred or even a few thousand years.

          I often say that the worst thing that happened to mankind was developing the technology to measure things down to parts per billion as that number is meaningless to humans. Now we are at parts per trillion and the EPA is raging around claiming increases in metal content of water over the last fifty years. They just ignore the fact that all metals and [most] chemicals occur in nature – that is they leach from the soils as the water cycle washes the land and air. They then like to set aside the huge volcanic eruptions as sources. It is all mans fault.

          Man did a lot of damage during WWII to the environment by the government just saying build the iron, steel, plane, chemicals, bombs, ammo and we will clean it up later. The damage that was apparent and was well understood but like the Nuclear sites – they were slow to clean them up – thus giving the E=GREEN movement a cause.

          Our society wastes billions each year by making standards so tight that they force the cost curve up with very little actual improvement in the total system. Growing up in the water treatment business I just laugh at all the panic about arsenic, iron, mercury, selenium, and other metals or poisons in the drinking water. They set standards based on distilled water and then count the parts per trillion when parts per thousand would in most cases protect the human from damage.

        • Latitude says:

          GB…this is the easiest way I can ‘splain it

          Is the world getting warmer……




        • GoodBusiness says:

          There were two studies done before the big E=GREEN push that I read – one was from the University of Arizona and it was a tree ring study and the other was a Geology paper from University of Southern California which collected volcanic rocks from around the world and took samples of the air inside. As I recall neither supported the C02 theory. Most likely why I never saw them discussed.

          All must admit that the world has been both very hot and very cold in the long term history. Changes recorded in ice are a localized sample – like a micro climate in a garden where a frost would damage a plant but it ls still living after a frost. Not all climates are global is the point.

          Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.
          Mark Twain

          In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.
          Mark Twain

  39. GoodBusiness says:

    Found a follow up article that shows my feeling and I think you would agree with – simplify –


  40. Nice post Suyts. As a thankyou, here’s an expert opinion on the cause of our woes 😉


  41. PhD you say it’s easy to have “skeptical” papers published. What utter tosh! Garth Paltridge, Albert Arking and Michael Pook’s paper Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity from NCEP reanalysis data took over two years to see the light of day.

    Apropos funding from Big Oil, Greenpeace estimates that Exxon gave $10 million dollars to what they call conservative thinktanks. They gave $100 million to Stanford for research into alternative energy. Lord knows how much they have given Big Green in total.

    Apropos consensus, do you believe the recent consensus in medicine that stomach ulcers are caused by stress rather than a bacterium? Or that cancer cannot possibly be caused by viruses?

    I recall a lecturer in medicine telling me back in the late 60s that 40% of what he taught would be deemed complete bullshit within twenty years. Unfortunately, he told me, he didn’t know which 40% was bullshit.

  42. GoodBusiness says:

    Found an interesting lecture – what say you all?


    • suyts says:

      Luboš is one of my favorites. He’s a sharp fellow with a keen sense of reality. The Reference Frame is one of the places I wish I could spend more time on.

      I’d only quibble with Happer…..

      Radiation to outer space is the only way for the Earth to cool itself. We’re shown some absorption as measured by the satellites and comparisons with the black body curve. The greenhouse gases don’t stop the radiation from escaping; it’s just emitted from the top of the troposphere at a colder temperature.

      The spectra at 280 ppm and 380 ppm of CO2 show almost no noticable difference. Even another doubling has a tiny effect.

      In one sense, yes, radiation at the TOA. But, moving it up there engages different processes. I think it is important to note this distinction. People confuse heat and light. Heat, regardless of its medium, will always move in a specific direction. We can say it takes the form of IR, but it doesn’t matter. It moves up and out. Always. The heat/energy the earth has, comes from two places: The sun, and our core. Equilibrium, with time and space involved, will be achieved. CO2 blocks light, not necessarily heat. CO2 blocks a very limited amount of light……. an inconsequential amount of light.

      It is like trying to warm your house with a penlight laser with the windows wide open.

    • DirkH says:

      If CO2 is a pollutant, should the EPA not mandate tight limits to the allowed indoors concentration, and reduce them to zero over time? We can’t have indoor pollution, after all.

      • GoodBusiness says:



        • suyts says:

          Lol…. we all must breath harder!!! Then we’ll be okay!!!

          You are correct. There is no mechanism in which we can change our climate.

        • kim2ooo says:

          Haha ha ha…


        • philjourdan says:

          Love the Sarcasm! And it is so true. The alarmists are being reduced to prehistoric superstitious caveman status!

        • GoodBusiness says:

          And darkness fell over the land. Caused by the man in the moon. Ha ha ha ha

        • philjourdan says:

          “And darkness fell over the land. Caused by the man in the moon. Ha ha ha ha”

          We must round up all Virgins and sacrifice them immediately to bring the sun back! Climb mount Pinatubo and throw them in! That is the only way we can appease the carbon dioxide gods!

  43. Mark Strout says:

    Great website, thanks for share this article with us

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