19 March 2009

Unreliability at co2sceptics/climaterealists

Last Tuesday I wrote up Misleading yourself with graphs, prompted by plots on the main page at co2sceptics. As I mentioned then, it could have been an honest mistake, so I sent a note to them on their site (message form).

They've neither responded nor changed their site. So I'm afraid they're simply an unreliable source. Maybe the mistake is honest, maybe not. But a reliable site would respond on being shown that they'd made a mistake and were misleading themselves and their readers.

This is less of a surprise to me now since I searched on their name and found one of the references to them is an earlier post of mine about a different unreliable source icecap.us. In that case, they were being extremely un-skeptical.

In Does CO2 Correlate with Temperature, to appear shortly, I'll be taking a more quantitative look at the correlation they want readers to believe does not exist.


Unknown said...


Drop me a line at ClimateRealists.com and I will drop you a line



Robert Grumbine said...

I already did, last Tuesday, the 10th, using that web form. You're welcome to reply here subject to the usual comment policy. If you'd rather reply in email, one address is given in the 'about me' side, and another is plutarchspam at aol dot com. (The former has a worse batting average at losing messages.)

Unknown said...


Your more then welcome to ask me a question, if I can 2nd guess you, your not happy with the graph on the front page of ClimateRealists.Com, we show:

CO2 is still on the UP and yet Temps have been on the DOWN for the past 10 years.

The following chart is a better one to use.


Unknown said...

The original graph I put up was from the following blog.

[url=http://climaterealists.com/news.php?id=2327]Met Office criticised for failure, libel and cover-up. Come to Weather Action Press conference Frid 19 Dec 12 noon[/url]

Hank Roberts said...

Yeah, right. Cherrypicker.

Amazing, if you use Google Image search, how thoroughly the web has been loaded with the deceptive imagery, and how hard you have to look to find anything that doesn't start with that particular peak.

Look at the long term:


Robert Grumbine said...


There's no need for second guessing. The post you're responding to includes in the first sentence the link to the post which documents why it is I feel your graphs are misleading. One route to being considered 'unreliable' is to not do your homework.

Cherry-picking is another thing unreliable sources do.

The graphic you link to now, I've already discussed back in unreliability at icecap. Unsceptically and unrealistically quoting someone else's unreliable graph is another unreliable activity.

If you have something of substance to argue that your using different time periods to examine CO2 and temperature is not misleading, please do show it. I've shown why I think it is. Your substantive reply needs to address those points. It may take some time to make a substantive reply, but that's fine. Comments will still be open.

Your Vostok notes are being held. They're quite far afield from your graphs of recent weather and CO2. The Vostok temperature and CO2 records are quite interesting in their own right, but quite a separate topic. You'd also do well to take a look at my 20 links game before merely quoting some blog somewhere as being an argument. Scientific literature is much better.

Unknown said...

Hi Guys

It's nice to have an edited version of my posts in your blog.

Then you have to say Im cherrypicking, i'd say your being selective in what you want people to read!.

I'd continue but it looks a total sham in the way you show my comments.

Good luck in what you what you want to stand fore, I know my feet are on the ground on this, it's you who have your head in the clouds.

Your more then welcome to use the ClimateRealists Forum to put your points across, we are not like Real Climate, we want debate!


Robert Grumbine said...

Gabriel (Pinyourearsback):
Your posts were not edited. I can't edit the posts even where I'd like to. Your off-topic posts about Vostok were rejected, and you were notified of this.

Of course I'm selective about what I show -- as are you at your site. One selection of mine is that posts have to be on-topic. My readers have previously commented that they appreciate that. Indeed, encouraged greater selectivity on my part. Some day I'll take up what the ice cores have to say. At that time, if you want to comment about Vostok, fine.

For now, though, you are clearly misleading your readers, and with this comment it is clear that you are doing so intentionally. You claim this intentional misrepresentation is 'feet on the ground'. It is, at best, 'head in the sand'.

It's also poor behavior of you to slam realclimate (also you're wrong in what you say) over here. This is not reaclimate, nor am I one of the administrators, nor even a contributor there.

If you had something of substance, you could stay on topic. If you had substance, you wouldn't be cherry picking. Nor would you lie and say that there's no correlation when, in fact, there is a very strong correlation -- in exactly the data sets that you yourself display. And, if you had substance, you would not need to throw mud at people who aren't even present.

Unknown said...

So why is CO2 far higher then the world temperature peak of 1998, and yet we have had 10 straight years of lower temps.

Your more then welcome to debate this issue on the ClimateRealists.Com forum, we do NOT edit debate we want debate!

Many thanks for your time and good luck.


Hank Roberts said...

You can't fight tar.
You can't teach it anything.
You can't get unstuck if you wade in.

Debate is the last desperate refuge of the PR industry when they can't find any science to rely on.


Hank Roberts said...

PS: this is well documented, e.g.:

----excerpt follows----

There is no “consensus”, there is a “controversy”. That is the key message. Doubt is the product.

Philip Lesly expands on this in an article in Public Relations Review [2]:

People generally do not favour action on a non-alarming situation when arguments seem to be balanced on both sides and there is a clear doubt. The weight of impressions on the public must be balanced so people will have doubts and lack motivation to take action. Accordingly, means are needed to get balancing information into the stream from sources that the public will find credible. There is no need for a clear-cut ‘victory’. [...] Nurturing public doubts by demonstrating that this is not a clear-cut situation in support of the opponents usually is all that is necessary […]

-- Coping with Opposition Groups, Philip Lesly, Public Relations Review 18 (4), 325–334 (1992)

Don't imagine they're inviting you to their site to present scientific references. You've seen how they handle them.

Any contact with this sort of PR site merely contributes to their pretense that they are having a "debate" about opinions.

If they had any science, they'd have published it.

Eschew! Unless you want to take a high school class there on tour, perhaps. But the kids better be very good at not getting sucked in and adhering to citable sources.

Hank Roberts said...

One last thought, Robert -- I was serious earlier in suggesting you use Google Image Search with keywords related to anything of this sort that you find on any one of these opinion blogs. Why? Because there are so many, many copies circulating. Any one of them can suck all your available time with no result except to divert your attention and promote the blogger as effective in doing so. Lots of them can't write or think or spell, but oh, can they blog, if you help them by calling attention to them.

Look at how many different places this particular stuff is being promoted, just picking a few search words likely to turn it up:

http://images.google.com/images?q=co2 temperature "10 years"

I'd recommend this approach: instead of spreading your effort around, concentrate on a few blogs like yours and Tamino's that encourage people to learn for themselves. You want the audience that's willing to learn, not the people spoiling for a debate.

Google's PageRank and the other algorithms will bring the attention to you, if you cover the subject; a couple of smart scientists blogging will accumulate a lot more hits that way than going out to the many shadow copies.

Stoat called it the septic edge of the bogosphere.

I call it tar. Either way, it's the pits.

Hank Roberts said...

A last note for now, this may help:


I didn't find this til the 9th page of the Google Image Search mentioned.

It would be an interesting science project to tally up how many copies of the popular images are retrieved and how high their pages rank them in presenting the results.

Unknown said...

With such a topic as this and you have NOT answered my question...

So why is CO2 far higher then the world temperature peak of 1998, and yet we have had 10 straight years of lower temps.

Your more then welcome to debate this issue on the ClimateRealists.Com forum, we do NOT edit debate we want debate!

Many thanks for your time and good luck.

Just goes to show how a AGW site works, as far as misleading my site, why would I do that, what is it I would gain, it's you that mislead your site.


Robert Grumbine said...

Eschew indeed. (Though, when I hear the word, I always have an echo of 'eschew obfuscation' in my mind. Also good advice.)

No chance of me going over there. Their graphs provided an educational opportunity here. When you're trying to do science, it can be easy to mislead yourself and what they did is something to avoid. When it is confirmed that they are doing such misleading things intentionally, no reason to visit them.

For improving rankings and such ... please contact me offline -- plutarchspam at aol dot com, or the bobg at radix dot net. I only sort of understand what you mean, and it's worth more discussion until I understand fully.

Robert Grumbine said...


I'm interested in discussion rather than debate. I'm not interested in either with a dishonest source. And even less so with a dishonest source that can only repeat its whining.

If you simply repeat yourself yet again, that note will be rejected. If you respond off-topic, that will be rejected.

I'll suggest newer readers have a look, in addition to the above note on discussion vs. debate, at:
cherry picking
How to detect climate trends -- results
How to detect climate trends
What is climate? - 2

Hank Roberts said...

Email sent, but in hope of attracting someone who actually knows something about this -- I'm just commenting that -- particularly when I do a Google Image Search, using terms like the ones above -- I consistently get page after page of results almost always from the PR/denial sites, with many repeats of the same images. Sometimes it'll be eight or nine pages down before I get a relevant result from a science site.

And kids particularly are apt to fall for the fake stories when they see the imagery, if they're not practiced at doubting and asking where the stuff comes from.

It can take a long time just backtracking to get an idea where each such image starts and how it's spread. Someone should write a nice software tool for this (sigh).

That's why I recommend and make the effort to try to find the sources, though -- you can easily end up having ten conversations with ten people who know nothing about climate science except what they fervently believe, defending something they just copied without understanding from someplace else.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, man, if you thought Icecap was bad, try this one:


Robert Grumbine said...

Maybe I'll post about that site, but probably not. icecap at least pretends to be doing or about science, and dresses it up some. That site merely asserts things, with no evidence even offered.