My PhD is in Mathematical Statistics, though I am now a Data Philosopher, Epistemologist, Probability Puzzler, Unmasker of Over-Certainty, and (self-awarded) Bioethicist. My Masters is in Atmospheric Physics, and Bachelors in Meteorology.
Authored or co-authored 67+ papers, two books (with another coming shortly), dozens of abstracts and preprints in fields of statistics, medicine, philosophy, meteorology and climatology, solar physics, and energy use. Various professional memberships, editorships, and so forth.
Latest posts by William M. Briggs (see all)
- (Hot) Air Let Out of California’s Climate Change Lawsuit - April 2, 2018
- California Sues Over Global Warming, Judge Orders Climate Lesson - March 14, 2018
- Union of Concerned Scientists Hates Truth About Global Warming - April 20, 2017
The left-wing Washington Post, stepping up its advocacy, issued a set of words yesterday teaching the global warming controversy and ignoring science. Typical.
The somehow aptly named E Wemple gave us “NPR attacks alleged ‘attacks’ on climate-change skeptic.”
Wemple begins “On the front page of its Sunday edition of Feb. 22, the New York Times pretty much blasted a hole in the climate-change denial movement.”
False. And childish. Blasted a hole? Pretty much? Climate-change denial movement? This is advocacy, as I said, and not reporting. It is also rotten writing, which is the greater sin.
Wemple can’t be bothered to discuss the simple scientific fact that for decades climate models have been spitting out unskillful, basically wrong forecasts. This proves — logically proves — that the models are flawed, that they are in error, that they should not be trusted until they are fixed.
What are their flaws? Nobody knows for sure. If we did know with certainty, we could use that knowledge to fix the models. We know nobody has done this because the models are still broken.
Some reporters having just enough mental acuity to recognize that the thousands of predictions of doom have never obtained, and seeing dimly that this calls for an explanation, speak of “missing” global warming, or a “hiatus” or a “pause,” terms which prove the skeptics’ point but disguise it. The skeptic says, “The promised warming never occurred,” and the foolish scientist and ignorant reporter reply, “It has paused,” which is logically equivalent to what the skeptic said, but with the addition, “The non-existent warming will return,” a statement which is unproven and against the observational evidence.
So the models are broken. Even though nobody knows why, there are some guesses. One was put forth by Lord Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates, and Yours Truly in the paper “Why models run hot” (pdf).
This paper caused a sensation. Not so much in scientific circles — science moves slowly, a good thing — but in the camps of activists and (redundantly) the press. After the paper became internationally known at the end of January, my site was hacked.
Not much happened to Lord Monckton, who is independent, but the employers of Legates and Soon received FOIA requests to reveal their emails. Legates’s employers rebuffed the request because, as the four of us said, we received no money for “Why models run hot.”
But Soon’s employers happily gave over Soon’s emails to Greenpeace, and that cult-like organization discovered … nothing. There was nothing to discover. We said we received no money, and we didn’t, which was proved.
Having no handle on three of us, and not satisfied that our paper reminded the world that climate models are busted, Greenpeace floated the rumor that Soon did not acknowledge his “conflicts” of interest.
I had many exchanges with reporters explaining to them that there was no conflict. None seemed in the least interested (see the links below). Wemple is also not interested. He wrote “No matter your take on climate change, the facts about Soon’s funding and his failure to disclose conflicts are just that — facts.”
This is either ignorance or a calculated lie. I’ll let you decide which. Wemple repeats the charge against Soon as if it were true, as if repeating it were all the evidence one needed. This kind of thing happens so often in the press that you have to wonder if it’s taught in “J” school.
Never mind that Soon disclosed all his interest in all his papers, and in particular “Why models run hot”; never mind that it was Soon’s employer that signed all Soon’s contracts (and took about half the money); never mind that Wemple’s “charge” has been answered time and again.
Then came the witch hunt, which is still ongoing. Ruffians in Congress tried to strong-arm employers of several workers in climate science, not so much to discover but to frighten others, to teach the lesson Disagreement with the government Consensus will not be tolerated.
It is true that some pro-government-consensus climate scientists have received hate mail, but this is true, as I have documented, of myself and other climate skeptics. It is true that some pro-government-consensus climate scientists were hacked, but this is true of myself and of organizations like Heartland. (Do we remember Peter Gleick?)
It is true that skeptics like myself, Soon, and others, lose jobs and money because of our skepticism, as I document here, but it is also true that pro-government-consensus climate scientists are well-fattened at the government-grant trough. It it is true that pro-government-consensus climate scientists are lauded in the press as heroes, while skeptics routinely have muck thrown on them.
Yet Wemple (who manages to drop his own name in his “report”) is irked that somebody somewhere in the press pointed out that some skeptics like Soon have been attacked. Yes: That is the excuse for his column.
No matter your take on climate change, the facts about Soon’s attacks and my hacking and our perfect compliance with disclosure rules are just that — facts. Facts Wemple would prefer you not know.
I’ll send him this post. Any bets on whether he’ll read it?
The Why Models Run Hot Affair
In reverse chronological order.
[Note: This was first published at WMBriggs.com]