Horseshit Power

Two fake skeptics of global warming, Willie Soon and Nils-Axel Morner, have written a commentary in the Washington Times about sea level rise in which they use the most shoddy “science” imaginable to claim that sea level rise data is based on shoddy science.

In particular, they attempt to discredit sea level data based on tide gauges. That claim is based on the “work” of Cyril Galvin, who apparently told them quite a story:

While examining tide gauge records from Atlantic City’s Steel Pier, Mr. Galvin discovered a remarkable effect apparently caused by spectators who came to watch horse-diving between 1929 and 1978. From old photographs, it was estimated that there must have been about 4,000 spectators who would come to watch. Given that this crowd probably weighed about 150 tons, the pier was subject to significant loading and unloading cycles. The initial 1912-1928 data showed the sea level rising at a rate of 0.12 inches per year. The rate tripled around 1929 when the horses began diving. When the shows were suspended from 1945 to 1953, sea level fell at a rate of 0.06 inches per year. When the diving resumed, the sea level rose again at a rate of 0.16 inches per year.

If we look at tide gauge data for Atlantic City from Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, we see that there was indeed a brief slowdown from 1945 through 1953 after a rapid rise from 1929 through 1944:


What might have caused such a fluctuation? Could it be the weight of the massive crowd, spurred on by immense horsepower? If so, the crowd must have been even bigger than those old photographs suggest, because their impact was felt far beyond the confines of Atlantic City. The same pattern is evident in tide gauge data from Charleston, South Carolina:


It’s also visible at Key West, Florida:


You can see it at Pensacola, Florida:


Hell, you can even note the same pattern all the way to Galveston, Texas!


Some (not Tamino, to be sure) might suggest that those were some super-powerful horses diving at Atlantic City! But there’s an alternate explanation which seems to me far more likely — that the whole idea is some super-powerful horseshit.

Curiously, Cyril Galvin wrote a reply to a book review in which he talks about how “The differences reflect compaction of sediment under the gauges, geological uplift, El Niño, and other natural factors that must be separated out.” Evidently these known natural factors weren’t enough to satisfy him about Atlantic City, he decided instead to invoke the horse-diving effect.

Galvin also complains about the difference is sea level change patterns between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the U.S. Evidently he isn’t aware that when you account for those known, natural factors there is a clear pattern of consistent sea level rise throughout the 20th century. Apparently it takes actual scientists who study sea level to do that. He also seems unaware that there are indeed differences in sea level rise between different ocean regions, for a lot of reasons, including changes in wind and current patterns and the changing gravitational field of the earth as the melting of land ice redistributes mass around earth’s surface. I’m a little surprised that Galvin missed the latter effect — he should have taken into account the gravitational field caused by the mass of all those spectators watching horse-diving in Atlantic City.

In addition to slandering the sea level record based on tide gauge data, Soon and Morner regurgitate the now-morbid meme about the absence of acceleration in sea level rise according to such ludicrous work as that of Houston and Dean. One of the perennial favorites of global warming deniers is a truly idiotic treatment of sea level rise acceleration, one we’ve dealt with repeatedly on this blog.

The real story here isn’t about sea level. It’s about how completely, totally, stinkingly obviously wrong is the essay by Soon and Morner. It’s an insult to the intelligence of any thoughtful reader, to pass off such claptrap as though it were actual science. If this is what global-warming deniers think people will actually swallow …

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68 responses to “Horseshit Power

  1. The Soon and Morner piece is in the Washington Times, not the Washington Post. Big difference!

    [Response: Oops! Fixed.]

  2. Whoa, Nellie!

    That’s the Washington Times, not the Post. The Post is a newspaper. The TImes is right-wing fishwrap.

  3. Washington Times, not WaPo.

  4. Morner recently put out a work through SPPI (Science and Public Policy Institute, a known denial organization),, claiming that sea level fell from 1950 to 1970, staying level since then. This has a foreword by Monckton, who is one of the SPPI staff. Morners data is presented in a graph (his ‘Figure 1′) that labels satellite and tide gauge data as “Modeled”, with an apparently hand-drawn curve representing his own “Observations”.

    In other words, he claims that _all_ of the known data is incorrect, that his tiny subset of uncorrected data is in fact the best measure.

    Soon has had a couple of publications out recently claiming that “it’s the sun”, using TSI estimates extended from Hoyt et al 1993, a long-discredited paper, which among other things uses scaled solar cycle length as an input. More up to date TSI measures all show decreasing insolation over the last few decades. And then comparing his now unsupported TSI projection with _individual stations_ that come close to correlating, rather than the global data.

    In other words, _blatant_ cherry-picking.

    I’m not surprised they’re working together on this WP commentary. Total, absurd nonsense – Morner and Soons statements are indeed an insult to all readers.

  5. Your link is written as to the Washington Post rather the Washington Times which, of course, is an expected vehicle for such embarrassing stupidity.

  6. Amusing, indeed. One slight typo (3rd last para):

    “Galvin also complains about the difference is (‘in’) sea level change patterns.. “

  7. You mean the right wing Washington Times, not the merely Kloorian Washington Post.

  8. The piece by Soon and Morner is in the Washington Times, not the Post. They are definitely NOT the same paper.

  9. Horatio Algeranon

    Jon Anderson said it best in Soon (with a few minor tweaks here and there by Horatio)

    Soon, oh Soon de-nies
    Pass for science and serve the endless lies
    And wait here for you
    His reason to be here

    Soon, oh Soon this time
    All he moves to gain will cloud and blind
    His Heartland’s open
    His reason to be here

    Long ago, set into rime

    Soon, oh Soon de-nies
    His to shape for all time, theirs the lies
    The sun will lead him
    His reason to be here

    Soon, oh Soon de-nies
    His to shape for all time, theirs the lies
    The sun will lead him
    His reason to be here

  10. All of those people gathered to watch the horse diving must be Galvin’s ‘pier’ reviewers.

  11. It is amazing just how cringingly awful denialism has become. I hope this represents its final, degenerate phase before it just curls up and dies of embarrassment. But I am probably wrong.

  12. As a UK resident I wasn’t familiar with the newspaper, so I indulged a little research:

    The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C… …founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon…. …Moon said: “The Washington Times is responsible to let the American people know about God” and “The Washington Times will become the instrument in spreading the truth about God to the world.”

    Thankfully in the UK we’d never let news outlets be owned by such an obviously biased proprietor broadcasting their own propaganda.

    No, we’re proud of the
    1) Telegraph
    2) Mail
    3) Sunday Times

    and their owners
    1) The Barclay Brothers “estimated.. ..wealth at £2.25 billion”
    2) Lord Rothermere “ranked 51st in the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 with an estimated wealth of £1.02 billion… …Rothermere is a supporter of the Conservative Party leader David Cameron.
    3) Rupert Murdoch. Nuff said.

    Anyone spot a pattern emerging?

    • You expected large media organisations to be owned by poor people ?
      I guess you could conceivably have distributed ownership, but that is not a guarantee of unbiased reporting – it just means that the person in charge is effectively accountable to no one.
      Then there’s the internet, where anyone can publish, and is consequently awash in nonsense (tamino excluded obviously).

      • Well, actually there are large media organisations not owned by rich individuals. Good examples in the UK are the Guardian and the BBC. Note that they are also sane on climate change.

        Also, it’s interesting to consider why large media organisations tend to be controlled by rich individuals, whereas large corporations in general tend to have a more distributed ownership model.

        And to ask how our democracy suffers as a result.

    • Totally off topic, and I’m not sure this is the forum for discussing media ownership and its influence (malign or otherwise), but this Guardian piece by Carl Bernstein about Petraeus and Fox News president Ailes and Murdoch’s influence bears reading.

  13. And an advanced question for quick learners:

    Match the global warming denier to the billionaire owner.

    Delingpole, Rose, Leake.
    Murdoch, Barclays, Rothermere

    Welcome to democracy from the home of the mother of parliaments.

  14. Tamino: “It’s an insult to the intelligence of any thoughtful reader, to pass off such claptrap as though it were actual science.”

    …commentary in the Washington Times …

    Oh… Never mind.

  15. Galvin is quite wrong. The entire problem with sea level on the East coast of the United States is due to isostatic adjustment of the craton under its increasing tremendous burden of National Geographic back issues. It’s astounding that Galvin should have missed this earlier and more compelling research finding, long escaped from the barn as it is.

    See: National Geographic, the Doomsday Machine
    The Journal of Irreproducible Results, vol. 20, #3, March 1974, pages 22-23

    • Doug, having moved my boxes of NG at least seven times, I am forced to take the JIR piece somewhat seriously. The collected print runs of NG could be bundled and used as the space elevator orbital counter mass (this continues the theme of the Mars trilogy).

      While I laughed out loud when I read tamino’s post, I do not look forward to going into the trenches at various news sites. Morner & Soon’s horseshit will be taken by climate reactionaries as evidence of the Great Global Warming Hoax. No critical thinking necessary.

  16. Way back in the 1980′s (late 1970′s?), Morner submitted a paper that I was asked by a mainline journal to review. It had to do with paleo (late Quaternary) sea levels. I judged it bogus, and noted that 17 out of 21 references he listed referred to his own papers. I referred to this as a ‘self-citation index’ (S-CI). His 68% S-CI value was and still in unprecedented in my (almost) 50 years of professional experience. It left two basic choices: (1) either Morner’s prior work was by itself more important than the work of the rest of the scientific sea-level community on that subject combined, or (2)… well, fill in the blanks.

    In the intervening 2-3 decades, I sense that Morner has veered farther off track and become one of those people whose work is not worth citing by any knowledgeable sea-level expert for any reason. Bothering to shoot it down is not worth the words or effort. My advice: just ignore his stuff, unless he undergoes a miraculous return to logical science.

    Bill Ruddiman

    • I can see the headlines now: “Scientist admits Morner’s work is ‘unprecedented’ in humilating backdown!”

    • I thought the Pielke’s, especially Sr., were trying very hard to beat the Morner record S-CI?

    • “I sense that Morner has veered farther off track and become one of those people whose work is not worth citing by any knowledgeable sea-level expert for any reason. ”

      We gotta come up with a snappy, easy-to-remember term for scientists like Morner, Lindzen, Curry, Spencer, who, although at one time were respected scientists, fell into the sway of the denialist movement, for god knows what reasons and in doing so, became irrelevant.


      • Horatio Algeranon

        “The Denientologists”
        – by Horatio Algeranon

        A Denientologist, that is me
        Of the Church of Denientology
        I practice the Science of Deniance
        With a Notell Prize, for closing eyes.

    • Hey – I really like your “Earth’s Climate Past and Future” book! It is on my shelf, sitting next to my Seinfeld & Pandis. (ok, they are perhaps aimed at slightly different audiences, but they are both classics in their own categories)

    • His 68% S-CI value was and still in unprecedented in my (almost) 50 years of professional experience.

      In Australia we have an expletive for instances such as these…

      “Holy snapping duck shit!”

      There must be a threshold S-CI above which the reliability of the citing party falls into serious question. Has anyone done any work to determine what that cross-pollination threshold might be?

      In the same vein, there should be (if there isn’t already) an index of citation-sampling from across one’s discipline of research. If the citation of an author doesn’t represent adequate representation of the area of research it’s likely to be compromised – after all in science incest is little better than a wank.

  17. KR: SPPI an organization? :-)
    SPPI is a PO Box in a suburban UPS store in walking distance from Robert Ferguson, who is actually an employee of Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, although that is not obvious from the SPPI website. As far as I know, SPPI = Ferguson,, with some website help from Joe Marshall, an interesting GMU grad. See PDF @ Fakery 2, Appendix K.3, and also Fig. K.1.1, which shows the great money-laundering by Charles Koch (i.e., Cluade Lambe Foundation) to funnel $ to Ferguson, and by (somebody) through DOnors Capital, the money laundry described in Appendix I, and mentioned at the end of Climate of Doubt.

    • My, that’s fascinating – I hadn’t dug into the SPPI information very deeply. But somehow not surprising…

    • I’d never heard of Donors Trust before that Frontline program aired. I did my own search to find out who they were and found Graham Readfearn’s Feb piece, which I must have entirely spaced out seeing myself back then. Did Desmog provide them with that info, or did they stumble across Graham’s blog by themselves? Me, I need more sets of eyes so I don’t miss so much stuff.

      • The history goes like this:
        1) In trying to track down Heartland finances, I found DONORS TRUST/CAPITAL in January, following a hint from someone else. It was weird, in that FC Online is generally pretty thorough, but oddly didn’t have DT or DCF at that point.

        2) Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax came out 02/14/12, with Appendix I devoted to DONORS, as its funding was entangled with Heartland and CSCDGC (and SPPI)..

        Graham followed up 02/29/12 with How Heartland-style Climate Sceptic Campaigns Play “Hide the Deniers” Using Secretive Fund, which was nice because that focused on that and spread it around some more.

        3) 10/12/25 Fakery 2 was published, i.e., an updated version just after the Frontline piece. Most of that was actually done in June, but we decided to hold off to give Frontline a clear shot, but they had copies about that time, and we talked about it a few times. That has the big spreadsheet of where DONORS money goes. HINT: mostly policy organizations.

      • Again, John, not at all surprising. I had a sibling who worked for a major tobacco company as their in house “denier” for the dangers of second hand smoke. No fool, he handed me (a couple of months after starting the job) a copy of “Thank you for Smoking” (a book about the tobacco lobby), stating:

        “This is my job. I _am_ this man!”

        The efforts to which economic and ideological interests will fund disinformation to delay public action is well established.

      • KR: definitely not surprising.
        See a talk I did for the Center for Tobacco Control, Research & Education @ UCSF (i.e., one of the main places in the US, and the home of the wondrous Legacy Tobacco Documents Library that I’ve used often.) I’ll be on their Advisory Board starting February. Good folks, we trade info. Many thinktanks learned the trade from the tobacco guys.

    • That’s awesome! As soon as I saw the title for that Frontline program a couple of weeks before it came out, I could guess what they were going to cover, since I remembered the little bit about the Heartland Institute they had near the middle of their last big climate change program “Heat” in 2008. It was really short!

      • It is not just Heartland. See the spreadsheet of DONORS grants, sorted in descending order by totals, with cumulative %. (Warning, you may want to hide some columns, like O-AJ, if you don’t have multiple screens side-by-side.)
        Major $ flow through DONORS to names people may recognize, about $60-70M/year or so. Whitney Ball signs a lot of checks.

      • My bad! I DID have your Feb 14 piece in my notes collection about tobacco tactics, but I have no memory of seeing Whitney Ball / Donors Trust. When I looked at it again, I think what happened the first time is I saw the SEPP & Heartland names by just doing a partial spin of my mouse wheel and I didn’t read far enough down into it, or else the name just went in one ear and out the other. So much to read, so little time to read it all!

        Speaking of the tobacco side and your friendship with Stephen Schneider (?, that’s correct, right?), you might be able to confirm if it was he that first brought up the tobacco industry shill comparison with his Sept ’92 Discover magazine article “Can We Repair the Air?”. Ross Gelbspan perhaps more famously got that out later, but I also remember how he interviewed Schneider in ’92 right before he retired from the Boston Globe, which makes me wonder if Schneider didn’t steer Gelbspan into looking into that more deeply around that time. And speaking of that and Frontline, I remember their much more hard hitting Hot Politics program in 2007 where they had him in the program and their producer Oriana Zill de Granados linked straight to heatisonline at her Frontline web page. So now that you mention it, it makes me wonder if it was him and Desmog getting the info to that program or just his own private efforts, or if somebody sent them to him, like Mark Hertsgaard maybe, since they listed him in the credits as being with the program. I imagine there must be a networking system to get info to the right people.

        Hope you don’t mind me asking such things, my fascination more recently is with the mechanics of how the public is informed and the history of the issue in relation to the media element of it. By way of example, I ran across a newspaper’s online article about published reports showing Fred Singer was a paid consultant for Exxon, but when I emailed the reporter about which reports those were (I assumed UCS or ExxonSecrets), all he did was say he googled Fred Singer, and I could find the Newsweek and other articles he found. So he meant other reporters’ stuff which is really weak if you think about it since he could have gone straight to the sources. Suppose he had also wrote about a Wall Street Journal or Weekly Standard article, then he would have just had the old irresponsible journalists on fair balance thing Schneider mentioned way back in 1992.

      • 1) Well, I’d been working on that for months, but only discovered DONORS & Whitney Ball late in the game. Read the Fakery2 version for additional items, including her father. In February, it was clear that there was more to be known, but also clear that ti would take a while, and the main focus was the thinktanks.

        2)Sadly, I only met Steve S in 2001, so that was before my time in this, as I was busy building microprocessors & supercomputers, and flying around the world a lot. Sorry. However, regarding networking, of course, relevant people talk to each other.

        3) Needless to say, if you haven’t read Proctor’s book Golden Holocaust, it has a great deal of info on the tactics honed by the tobacco companies and inherited.

        4) Digging out funding takes a lot of work. See p.28 of Fakery2 for soem of Singer’s funding chains.
        “Singer insists he is not on the payroll of the energy industry, but admits he once accepted an unsolicited check from Exxon for $10,000.”

      • Thanks! Especially for the Robert Proctor book ref, I would have skipped it on the idea that it covers a done deal just on cigarettes. I see your review is the top-most one at Amazon, and at GoogleBooks preview, I see Oreskes is mentioned several times. If you have any hand in getting that into books from your own networking, you are mighty influential. A focus on the primary issue at hand is one thing, but I always am a little sad when people, particularly the younger folks, don’t see how their own advocacy is standing on the shoulders of uncredited giants.

        Maybe such a backstory is worthy of its own separate telling (like what caused you to meet Schneider and others, given your background), in the manner your “John Mashey on how to learn about science” was copied out of the Deltoid comments. But that might just be my own liking of how ‘history/context’ can further enlighten people.

        On Singer, I knew of the 10 Grand Exxon thing from way back, but Gelbspan’s 2001 Bush’s Global Warmers article in The Nation adds to that sentence “and $65,000 to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which shared building space with SEPP”, which I don’t spot in Fakery 2… I see you have Atlas 4 times, but not that specific one … it was a bit of a thin stretch, maybe? I’m something of a student of his writings after learning about him by total accident in an off-topic thread at a forum that didn’t have a thing to do with the environment. When someone has never heard of writers like that and they look into a new wide world they were not paying attention to, it’s a real eye-opener! It was for me, anyway!

  18. If ignorance, stupidity and scientific malfeasance could sequester CO2 we’d be saved!

  19. George Montgomery

    Obviously a gelding called Game Changer [Sire: It's the Son, Dam: Who's Stupid] out of the WUWT stable, jockey Soon, handler Morner, trainer Monckton, strapper Goddard, etc., etc.

  20. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    Speaking of horseshit…

    This Morner PPT comes complete with a tilted graph.

    Best slide is #27 – Which clearly and unambiguously proves that thermal expansion will cause zero sea-level rise at the sea-shore.—Heartland-Institute


    • That is *truly* one of most unscientific, unattributed piles of horseshit I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a LOT! Methinks the denialologists (thanks, Horatio! I KNEW you’d come through!) are in a hot tizzy because they *know* that this thing called–oh, what’s the word? [snap snap] Oh yea: REALITY–is rapidly and inexorably clamping down on their tin-hatted foolishness, and their ever-upward ratcheting of howls and screams are really, graphically, cries of desperation. I say, pay’em out the rope.
      Come September–and if anything like what the scientific body claims to occur, wrt to heat, SLR, and other extreme weather–or even in the next 5-7 years, if the projections come to pass, the denialologists are goign to really, Really, REALLY look like tools. And fools, though that they already be…

  21. It looks like the WSJ has gone all-in in attacking the AR5 even before the final version is published. There’s a piece of Matt Ridley (the very famous climatologist) citing, amongst misinterpretation of two other papers, another world famous climatologist (Nic Lewis) on climate sensitivity.

  22. Horatio Algeranon

    “Morner-ing has broken”
    – Horatio Algeranon’s rending of Cat Stevens’ lovely song

    Morner-ing has broken, like the first Morner-ing.
    Willie-Soon has spoken, like his first sneers.
    Praise for horse-diving, praise for the Morner-ing,
    Praise for them springing fresh from the piers.

    Sweet the Times’ new fall, Soon-light from heaven.
    Like the first manure-fall, on the first grass.
    Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
    Sprung in completeness where horse hooves pass.

    Mine is the Soon-light, mine is the Morner-ing.
    Bjorn of the one light Curry saw play.
    Praise mathturbation, praise every Morner-ing;
    The Lord’s* recreation of the new day.

    Morner-ing has broken, like the first Morner-ing.
    Willie-Soon has spoken, like his first sneers.
    Praise for horse-diving, praise for the Morner-ing,
    Praise for them springing fresh from the piers.

    *Lord Monckton, who else?

  23. It wasn’t Cat Stevens, though he did a lovely version of it; it’s an old hymn. But your version did crack me up.

  24. Morner is also a strong proponent of dowsing, which led to this discussion of him by the debunker of Uri Geller and other pseudoscientists, James Randi:

    Basically, the guy is a complete crackpot, which of course is why he is such a natural fit with the denialist community.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “Morner is also a strong proponent of dowsing”

      So it really comes as no surprise that he would also be a fan of dowsing horses.

  25. The horse’s hooey starts here:

    …it was estimated that there must have been about 4,000 spectators who would come to watch. Given that this crowd probably weighed about 150 tons, the pier was subject to significant loading and unloading cycles.

    4000 people weighing 150 tons! C’mon… I know it was a different era and that obesity wasn’t so much of an issue as it is today, but what were those 4000 people? Children? Size 0 anorexic beanpoles? Even when using the right sort of ton (that UK long sort with 2240 lbs in it) that gives an average weight of only 84 lbs (6 st in proper money) as opposed to the 75 lbs (5 st 5 lbs) using short measures! I think you could almost double that estimated weight.

    [I was going to stop here.]

    Ah, but… how many would have been there anyway if it wasn’t for the horse diving? Say about half? OK, so perhaps 150 tons might not be a bad guesstimate, but pity about the logic in arriving at it.

    [I was going to stop here, too.]

    Ah, but… how is that weight distributed? All on a square micron? On a square inch? … Well, taking me as an average Joe P — just shy of 160 lbs and with a foot that is, well, a foot, and given I have two feet and that about half of what would be my flat-footed area is in contact with the ground at any one time (say, 26 in^2 foot area contact to spread the load over then) that would give an extra compressive stress on the structure of about 6 lbs/in^2 due to my presence watching a horse jump into a tank of water.

    Ah, but… there were 4000 of us Joe Ps weren’t there. OK, so that gives an extra compressive stress on the structure of about … ooh 6 lbs/in^2, since they’ve all decided not to invade each others’ personal space, leaving my size 12 plates of meat untrodden on. Actually, I think the extra compressive loading will likely be less than that on the columns holding up the pier if you think about how the structure is built and how loads are transmitted, and how the people are distributed, and how I’m not exactly an average JP in the weight or foot size department. But no matter, 6 lbs/in^2 will suffice for BOE.

    And 6 lbs/in^2 is but a fraction of the compressive stress due to the weight of the pier structure itself, not to mention the added weight due to the pier amusements’ superstructures.

    OK, I’ve had my fun. To take it any further you’d need to know some design and materials specs, but I’d hazard the deflection that that extra “150 tons” would cause in the columns holding up the pier would be in the 1/10^5 inches region, but perhaps an order of magnitude either way (but I’d hazard, possibly wrongly, 1/10^6 side rather than 1/10^4)?

    [Modulus of elasticity of steel supports: a conservative 30 x 10^6 lbs/in^2 maybe? Design structure loading: maybe to a third to half the elastic limit maybe?]

    And that deflection’s going to be measured by a tide gauge?

    Now, I wonder what stresses are put on that structure during, say, a stiff breeze or during that diurnal excursion of the water up and down the beach…

    Horseshit indeed, IMHO, even before you get to Tamino’s analysis of the horseshit.

    • “And that deflection’s going to be measured by a tide gauge?”

      Messr. P. Lewis, if you’ve aimed your rational response towards a true tin foil-hatted denier, your answer will be, “Yes. Whats the point you’re trying to make? Didn’t we ALREADY state our belief, without all your *pesky* “facts? Bugger orf.”


  26. Have no fear. An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal reports that Nic Lewis, semiretired successful financier from Bath, England, with a strong mathematics and physics background, has shown that doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of 1.6°-1.7°C.

    • Well, Lars, *assuming* that the WSJ and Mr. Lewis, who is NOT a climate scientist, AFAICS, are correct in their estimation, that particular meme–yes, it’s an old one, and is close to reality–never puts into the equation the *additive* effects of other forcings, like methane, water vapour, OHC, and about 25 other things.

      When you do that–y’know, give *complete* answers–then the overall forcing from ALL of AGW-derived effects is just what Jim Hansen et al state; about 2C to 4.7C. And that ways lies great harm and pain for us, and all the rest of Earth’s inhabitants, who have O CHOICE byut to suffer what we keep spewing on them.

      • But Harry, Nic Lewis is not just anybody. He is a semiretired successful financier! And he has a strong mathematics and physics background! Can you possibly be any more qualified to have an opinion on climate sensitivity? Not very bloody likely! The WSJ could not have found a better source on climate science, I say.

    • I was about to dismiss his comments, until I saw he was an “expert reviewer” of the Ar5!

  27. It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry at such stupidity.

    This particular fake skeptic meme seems to fit a pattern that is popular in the denialosphere of using some sort of folk history, usually of a more or less esoteric subject such as wine production in Roman Britain as a counter to actual science.