A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Not a 100% believer? Even borderline climate apostates like Pielke must be punished in the witchhunt

The witchhunt over tenuous connections to fossil fuel funding wants to do a lot more than just silence a few people. The aim is to maintain the global chill over all of academia. That’s why it’s so important we support the individuals under fire, and don’t give in.

Congratulations to Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Judith Curry, Steven Hayward, Roger Pielke, David Legates, and Robert Balling. All of them have been named to be investigated and lined up for character assassination like Willie Soon. Obviously they are effective and convincing speakers, and a threat to the climate-industry.

Stephen Hayward is flattered, and mocks the critics: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been a Climate Skeptic?”

“Let’s start by axing a simple question: If I say “two plus two equals four,” does the truth of that proposition depend on whether I’ve received a grant from the Charles G. Koch Foundation? Apparently it does for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He has sent letters to seven universities targeting seven academics who, according to the Democratic spokesman for the committee, were chosen because they seem “to have the most impact on policy in the [...]

Death by a thousand cuts: how the machinery of academia enforces conformity

The strange case of the Greenpeace FOIA of David Legates (Hydroclimatology prof, and skeptic) at the University of Delaware (US)

The Delaware State Law says FOIAs only apply to things supported by state funding and David Legates didn’t receive any. That should make this story incredibly short, except that, as Jan Bilt explains: “For reasons administrators have declined to explain, a small portion of Legates’ teaching salary was, curiously, placed on the list of state-funded activity shortly before Greenpeace filed its FOIA request in 2009.” In the end a heavyweight, Lawrence White, at the Uni of Delaware leaned heavily on Legates to provide not just everything Greenpeace asked for, but virtually everything he’d ever done  — his teaching notes, emails, even ones written on his own time, and on his personal computer. At the same time the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) filed FOIAs against three other people at the Uni of Delaware who had worked on IPCC reports. The same Lawrence White  said simply “No” to those requests. When is a law a law, and when is it merely a tool to fulfill the personal wishes of those in high places? Apparently when it’s on a university campus.

Compare Legates fate [...]

Cook’s 97% consensus is a case study of Agnotology – ignorance and misinformation

Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation. You might never have heard of it, but it’s the perfect term for the climate science “debate”. Predictably its use began when those convinced of man-man global warming claimed fossil fuel groups were funding misinformation. But as per usual, unskeptical scientists opened a promising new front only to got burned by the evidence.

In the latest volley, from Legates et al 2013, John Cook’s “97% consensus” survey has become the case study in agnotology. Based on incorrect results, a flawed method, and a logical fallacy,  it kept key facts hidden while sloppily blending vague language into a form that is easily and actively misinterpreted. That it passed peer-review is another damning indictment of peer review.

Cook still refuses to provide about half the data, but the data that has been made public shows (after some digging) that a mere 41 papers out of 12,000 was called a 97% consensus. The trick is that Cook et al interchangeably use different definitions of consensus.

The Bait and Switch

The Bait: In the introduction Cook states that the reason for the paper is “to determine the level of scientific consensus that human [...]