Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Posts Tagged ‘global warming

WSJ’s Message is Always Deny or Delay: Koonin Just the Latest Misinformer

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The Wall Street Journal’s Saturday Essay by Steven E. Koonin, titled Climate Science is Not Settled follows WSJ’s standard playbook. Have a so-called expert either deny the science or advocate for delay on action to address the issue.

I spoke to my liberal arts classes about this essay and focused on four simple points:

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Written by Scott Mandia

September 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

Facts Cannot Slow Down the Runaway Climate Confusion Train

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Saturday night I sent the Tweet you see below because, once again, there are people who are criticizing Dr. Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” research that shows today’s climate is warmer than at any time in the past 2000 years. The latest attempt to discredit Mann’s work comes from Dr. Judith Curry’s post titled Fraudulent(?) hockey stick where she writes “accusations of data cherry picking and flawed statistical analyses and interpretations seem to be justified.Dr. Curry and others should know that the hockey stick curve shows up in other research even when using different types of data and different types of data analyses. (I blogged about this in 2010 with Shooting the Messenger with Blanks.)

Twitter cap 3

Enter Paul Clark (@cbfool). His three main points were:

  1. Hockey sticks are based on tree rings and tree rings are unreliable
  2. Ice core data from Greenland shows the past was much warmer than today
  3. Greenland in the 1200s was more conducive to agriculture than today so it must have been warmer than today

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Written by Scott Mandia

September 15, 2014 at 7:03 am

Thumbs Up to Consensus View & Its Scientists, Thumbs Down to Opposing Views & Its Scientists

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J.P. Abraham, J. Cook, J. T. Fasullo, P. H. Jacobs, S. A. Mandia, and D. A Nuccitelli, Review of the Consensus and Asymmetric Quality of Research on Human-Induced Climate Change, Cosmopolis, Vol. 2014-1, pp. 3-18, 2014.


Climate science is a massively interdisciplinary field with different areas understood to varying degrees. One area that has been well understood for decades is the fundamental fact that humans are causing global warming. The greenhouse effect has been understood since the 1800s, and subsequent research has refined our understanding of the impact of increased concentrations of greenhouse gases on the planet. Also increasing has been the consensus among the world’s climate scientists that the basic principles of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are correct. This has been demonstrated by multiple reinforcing studies that the consensus of scientists on the basic tenets of AGW is nearly unanimous. Nevertheless, the general public in many countries remains unconvinced not only of the existence of AGW, but also of the degree of scientific consensus. Additionally, there remain a few high-profile scientists who have continued to put forth alternative explanations for observed climatic changes across the globe. Here, we summarize research on the degree of agreement amongst scientists and we assess the quality of scholarship from the contrarian scientists. Many major contrarian arguments against mainstream thinking have been strongly challenged and criticized in the scientific literature; significant flaws have often been found. The same fate has not befallen the prominent consensus studies.

The paper is behind a pay wall but one of my co-authors, Dana Nuccitelli, has a good summary posted at The Guardian.


Written by Scott Mandia

April 11, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Needs Your Help!

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The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) was launched in January 2012 by Scott Mandia and Joshua Wolfe to provide valuable legal resources to our climate scientists who are in need. CSLDF needs your help.

CSLDF needs to raise $80,000. The great news is that philanthropist Charles Zeller has graciously offered to MATCH the first $40,000 that is raised and philanthropist Peter Cross has offered to put up the first $10,000. This means CSLDF already has the first $20,000 and needs only to raise another $30,000 in private donations to reach the goal. We need your help so CSLDF can reach this goal.

For the previous two years, CSLDF has been managed by Scott and Josh  “from their kitchens”. They both have full-time jobs and families with small children and neither receives compensation for their time. Scott and Josh have accomplished much over the years on a part-time basis. To date, CSLDF has:

But now it is time to “go professional” and that is where you can help. $80,000 can move the organization to this next level. CSLDF will use your tax-deductible donations to hire a full-time Executive Director who will manage the day-to-day operations of providing legal help to our experts as well as increasing fundraising efforts. Having the full-time professional helps to assure that CSLDF will be there for our scientists years down the road. After all, climate change is not going anywhere and the sad fact is that neither will the legal attacks on our scientists.

Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent by visiting the CSLDF website at and clicking the Donate button. Donations are sent to our fiscal sponsor PEER but are earmarked for CSLDF. Through PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility), a private non-profit organization organized under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue code, your contribution will be tax-deductible.

You can also send a check made out to PEER, with Climate Science LDF on the memo line, to support efforts to help scientists defend themselves:

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
c/o PEER
2000 P Street, NW #240
Washington, D.C. 20036

International donors can use PayPal. Send to as the recipient and put CSLDF in the subject line of your payment.

Thank you for your support.

Joshua Wolfe (left) and Scott Mandia (right) at 2012 AGU

Joshua Wolfe (left) and Scott Mandia (right) at 2012 AGU

Update (03/20/14 @ 2:50 PM ET): CSLDF is NOT providing financial support for Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation suit against CEI, Simberg, National Review, and Steyn nor for the libel case against Tim Ball.

Written by Scott Mandia

March 20, 2014 at 7:36 am

Whore-calling Charles Krauthammer vs. Science, Military, Health, and Insurance experts

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Charles Krauthammer calls the President of the United States a whore and its science experts propagandists. We can choose to listen to this unprofessional diatribe and not worry about climate change or we can choose to listen to the 98% of the word’s climate experts who tell us that humans are dangerously warming the planet by dumping billions of tons of heat-trapping gases into the air each year.

We can listen to a man who calls the President a whore, or we can listen to the conclusions of the United States National Academy of Sciences and every international academy of science who agrees that humans are dangerously warming the planet.

We can listen to a man who calls the President a whore, or we can listen to the United States Military and Intelligence community who warn that climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions.

We can listen to a man who calls the President a whore, or we can listen to health officials who warn us that climate change could be the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.

We can listen to a man who calls the President a whore, or we can listen to insurers who manage trillions of dollars when they tell us that climate change is one of the greatest strategic risks currently facing the property/casualty insurance industry.

So who are you going to listen to?

Written by Scott Mandia

February 22, 2014 at 8:02 am

Republican Meteorologist & Entrepreneur: Debating Cause of Climate Change is Moral and Scientific Equivalent of Debating Gravity

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A few weeks ago, a journalist contacted the Climate Science Rapid Response Team to get various opinions about whether climate scientists should take a public position or in some sense a political position on the issue and get involved in the debate/discussion over climate change in public venues and through media coverage. After sending the request to several climate experts, I also asked Paul Douglas, a meteorologist, registered Republican, and entrepreneur, for his thoughts. With permission, I have posted his response below:

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Written by Scott Mandia

February 18, 2014 at 6:07 am

Three perfect grade debunkings of climate misinformation

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Reposted from 21 January 2014 Skeptical Science (John Cook)

Professor Scott Mandia at Suffolk County Community College teaches his students using the approach of agnotology-based learning. Agnotology is the study of ignorance and misconceptions. Agnotology-based learning addresses misconceptions and myths while teaching climate science. Two decades of research have found that  direct refutation in the classroom is one of the most effective ways of reducing misconceptions.
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Written by Scott Mandia

January 23, 2014 at 6:16 am

COP-19 Warsaw: Arguing Over Who Leaves House Fire First

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On reading The US and China Play Chicken Over Climate Change in The Diplomat, I could not help to think of the following analogy:

Mr. Sam and Mr. Wong are two competing businessmen trapped in a house fire along with all of their widgets. Keeping the price of their widgets low is the key to their economic success. It is vital that they, along with their widgets, get out of this fire as soon as possible. This should be obvious to all.

So why are they not rushing out of this house fire? Well, there is a catch. The only exit available requires a fee. The first person to exit pays a little more than the second person to exit.

Sam and Wong continue to argue about who exits first because each wishes to pay the lower second exit fee.

Written by Scott Mandia

November 27, 2013 at 9:12 am

A Tweet-chable Moment

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I would like you to follow my lead and use Twitter to increase science literacy. For the past two weeks, and at least once per day, I have been posting a Tweet that explains a climate science concept. It is harder to do than you think given the 140 character limit. In those cases I post a few in a row to hammer home the concept. A few of these Tweets appear below but you can see all of my Tweets at







The idea to use Twitter for climate literacy came from the CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network) mailing list. Here are some others put forward by CLEAN colleagues:

Petroleum we burn pollutes the air and engulfs Earth in heat trapping CO2 disrupting climate. Let’s use sustainable energy instead.

Forests we decimated could have been absorbing excess heat trapping CO2 that disrupts Earth’s climates. Let’s help forests flourish.

I can’t tell you the temperature two weeks from Tuesday, but I can predict its average over the next 5 summers. Ask me to prove it.

Scientists certain burning fossil fuels is heating planet; there are alternatives to carbon fuels but not food & water: be climate smart.

Almost all human contribution to climate change is tied to energy. We need to use far less energy and we can do so in ways that improve quality of life.

Earth’s atmosphere, including its composition of gasses and clouds, acts as a radiative blanket that controls the surface temperature.

Rapid climate change is caused by too much greenhouse gas. We’re causing it. The effects are everywhere. We have the power to change.

Empirical studies & surveys show substantial agreement on smart energy steps is hidden by global warming disputes:

When it comes to climate science trust the experts. You wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for an opinion on your cancer treatment.

#Education is the foundation that prepares us all for the challenges and opportunities presented by #climatechange. #climateliteracy

The dirty coal, oil, and gas we burn, pollutes the air with heat trapping CO2. Using clean energy to fuel our lives can solve the problem.

We can all make climate-smart choices to help reduce global warming, become resilient to climate-related impacts, AND boost our economy.

If I disagreed w 97% of surgeons, I wouldn’t demand that surgery be guided by mob rule

Aside from # of “patients”, how is climate different?

Damage from our CO2 is NOT $0/ton, but our atmosphere is still a free sewer. Why?

Instead of taxing what we earn, let’s tax what we burn.

Climate changes if radiative forcing changes

Bad if too fast to adapt by migration, evolution

Our CO2 forcing = 10x faster than end-Permian!

It’s not the amount of electricity each light bulb takes, it’s the amount of energy it takes to get that light bulb to light, so everyone CAN help.

80% of emissions are from 20% of the people: us; we must provide the knowledge and knowhow to minimize impacts and help the most vulnerable.

It’s settled science this climate change-we humans have control. Demand climate literacy/action of yourself/others. Climate change: own it!

Earth’s atmosphere, including its composition of gasses and clouds, acts as a radiative blanket that controls the surface temperature.

Scientists certain burning fossil fuels is heating planet; there are alternatives to carbon fuels but not food & water: be climate smart.

I would love to see your Tweets in the comments section. Point me to the URL and I may RT. 🙂

Written by Scott Mandia

November 19, 2013 at 6:08 am

Humans Pummeling Mother Nature Against the Ropes: Scientists Predict which Round She Gets K.O.’d

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Ironbound-BoxingThere are numerous studies describing the impact of human-caused climate change on various ecosystems. (See my MET103 – Global Climate Change class notes and Impact of Climate Change web page for more information.) Now, a study just published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature (Mora et al., 2013) tells us the timing of when ecosystems will be forced into an alien environment by human-caused climate change. For the world as a whole that year could be as early as 2034 (2047 ± 14 years). Imagine somebody telling you that New York could feel like an alien planet in 21 years. Just like species in nature, we would have to move, to adapt, or end up dead.

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Written by Scott Mandia

October 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

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