Tuesday, February 24, 2015

So I failed. I was a fool to try.

So I failed. I was a fool to try. I let myself forget that I was dealing with a class of people where the gap between actual and perceived ability is not only wide, but is a gaping chasm. To expect mainstream science reporters to understand science is like asking an environmentalist to be reasonable. I should have remembered most journalists suffer from reporteritis, the degrading ailment whereby because reporters cover important people and events they come believe they are important, too. Sadly, there is no known cure.

William Briggs


This concerns the paper Lord Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and I wrote entitled “Why models run hot“, which carries the good news that we have a potential and likely explanation why climate models perform so badly that they should not be trusted.

Yet instead of celebrating this or at least asking relevant or pertinent questions related to the physics, those of a certain political persuasion panicked. What matters to these sad people is not truth but belief. Only evidence which is consonant with their belief is countenanced. Evidence which questions or refutes their belief isn’t challenged or engaged, instead it is anathematized, and the bearers of the bad tidings are damned and hounded.

Now it is utterly, completely, starkly irrelevant, and obvious to any but a bug-eyed zealot, how the four of us came to our result. It does not matter if Greenpeace itself, as that cult-like organization often does, paid for the writing of the paper. It doesn’t matter if the government, awash as it is in billions, asked us to do the work. It even doesn’t matter if we discovered the results printed small on a Chinese fortune cookie. The result is what and is all that is important.


You’ve heard it said that the science is settled. And it’s true. It is settled—settled beyond the possibility of any dispute. A fundamental, inescapable, indubitable bedrock scientific principle is that lousy theories make lousy predictions.

Climate forecasts are lousy, therefore it is settled science that they must necessarily be based on lousy theories. And lousy theories should not be trusted.

William Briggs

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You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison