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


Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012



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

ClimateMadness mocks John Cook’s “escalator”

(Click to go to Climate Madness)

Pop in on Australian Climate Madness and enjoy Simon’s parody “Escalating Hysteria”. John Cook pretends that skeptics “deny” the warming trend, and see the world as a series of flat segments. (Who’s in denial of the “halting”?)

But it’s alarmists who ignore the fact that the long term warming trend started two to three centuries ago, long before most man-made emissions, and the long underlying trend hasn’t changed. It was the IPCC who took the rising part of a regular cycle and falsely claimed acceleration by looking at shorter and shorter segments in a fake mathematical trick.

Only an unscrupulous fan of global warming could explain why the last decade “has warmed” by blending that data from last ten years into graphs from the last hundred.

 Hat tip to Dave!

Oh Wait! Bricks and mortar will create warmer nights (weren’t we supposed to blame CO2 for that?)

I thought warmer nights were a fingerprint of CO2 induced warming? John Cook has claimed that at least five times on his blog:  The human fingerprint in the daily cycle. It’s also known as Diurnal Temperature Range, and the theory is that extra CO2 keeps us warm all night.

Now Excellent* (Alarmed) Climate System Experts are saying that UHI (Urban Heat Island) effects can cause warmer nights too, at least in the future. (Perhaps this only applies to future-bricks, not past ones — you think?)

City expected to feel heat as it expands

Ben Cubby

Parts of Sydney will be up to 3.7 degrees hotter by the year 2050, as urban expansion spawns ever more asphalt and concrete, new research suggests.

The ”urban heat island effect” – the build-up of heat in built-up areas – will amplify climate change, particularly in the outer fringes of Australian cities, according to University of NSW researchers.

”If you are living near the edge of a city today, you will notice the temperature change, mainly through the minimum temperature change at night,” said Daniel Argueso, the lead author of the study that was prepared at the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

”There [...]

John Cook of (un) SkepticalScience, admits “climate change denier” is inaccurate. Will he stop name-calling?

I don’t think John Cook realizes how his latest article affects virtually everything else he’s written.

(Repeated on the SMH too.)

How accurate is a book when even the title describes a group of people who don’t exist? Will Cook stop abusing English?

So he finally admits the banal, that there is no rational explanation for calling skeptical scientists “climate deniers” or “climate change deniers”. Bravo. (No one denies that climate changes, or thinks the Earth has no climate.). But this is terminology he uses everywhere, and it describes a group of people that don’t exist. Has he only just noticed?

We think through our language, and when we use sloppy, inaccurate words, we get sloppy inaccurate results. Abusing our language is what people do when they don’t have a rational argument.

Misleading language is de rigueur for Cook. Even the name of his “SkepticalScience” website is the anti-thesis of accurate English. He’s not skeptical of “official science” in the slightest, and with a gaping hole in his logic (see below), not too scientific either.

Look out for the “fake” tag, too. Since when did a representative of a university call another university academic a fake? Since Cook did. He [...]

The IPCC 1990 FAR predictions were wrong

Have the 1990 IPCC predictions been proved completely, unarguably and utterly wrong? Yes.

They predicted that if our emissions stayed the same, temperatures would rise by 0.3 C per decade, and would be at the very least 0.2, and the most 0.5. Even by the most generous rehash of the data, the highest rate they can find is 0.18 C per decade which is likely an overestimate, and in any case, is below the very least estimate, despite the world’s emissions of CO2 continuing ever higher.

Climate Scientist Matthew England called that “very accurate”. Since when did 0.18 = 0.3? (Shall we call it “climate maths”, or just call it wrong?) The IPCC had a whole barn wall to aim at, and a battalion of government funded gold plated AK-47s to hit the target, but they still missed.

Both England and the ABC owe Minchin an apology.

The un-Skepticalscience page uses a pea and thimble trick to argue the IPCC 1990 predictions were right (“Lessons from Past Climate Predictions: IPCC FAR”). As usual John Cooks site looks  “technical” but uses complexity to hide the way they redefined the prediction in order to pretend it wasn’t wrong. Excuses excuses. Intellectual wordsmiths [...]

Skeptoid – like a skeptic but not quite

Here’s a new sign of the times.

Almost no one has gone from skeptic to believer on global warming. The conversion flow is nearly all one-way traffic. But on the Skeptoid site, author Craig Good is a “convert” of a sort, and I have to give him credit for writing the most sensible advice yet for believers of man-made global warming (see below).

But before anyone gets too excited, the two key questions here are: how much of a skeptic was he, and what did it take to change his mind? Answer, not much and not much.

This is not a big believer-awakening-moment of the Mark Lynas type, or another Judith Curry sort of conversion. Both of those were active, involved and outspoken in the climate debate.  Craig Good’s entire skeptical position can be summed up in a few paragraphs, so yes, he qualifies as a skeptic, of the gut-hunch-it’s-wrong-but-haven’t-read-a-single-skeptical-paper-type skeptic.

If there are grades of skeptic from 1 to 10, he was only a 2.

So here’s the flash of insight, that’s never been seen before from alarmist circles

This is great stuff (if blindingly obvious):

To my friends on the Left: Do you want [...]

(Un)Skeptical Science uses unmeasureable fudge factors

A comment from Tel late last year was so surgically cutting, it’s worthy of it’s own post.  Un-Skeptical Science was trying to explain why climate sensitivity is high. The post includes formula’s and fancy graphs, and looks authoritative — yet underlying everything are errors of reasoning that nullify all the points that rest upon them. Things like assumptions about linearity (which means more or less, they make the mistake of assuming that all forcings and feedbacks operate at similar ratios and strengths when the planet is an iceball as they do when Earth hits a rare warm phase). An unmeasureable variable is the telltale signature of a fudge-factor. It is what you make of it. Fits better in a course analyzing postmodernistic intertexuality of Swahili neo-linguists.

Guest Post by Tel

This “Skeptical Science” post is an excellent choice to show how little credibility there is in the whole feedback house of cards:

It’s important to note that the surface temperature change is proportional to the sensitivity and radiative forcing (in W m-2), regardless of the source of the energy imbalance. The climate sensitivity to different radiative forcings differs depending on the efficacy of the forcing, but the climate is not [...]

What does it take for a worldwide consensus? Just 75 opinions.

It’s true, 97%-of-experts agree the world is going to hell in a handcart. It’s part of the frontline toolkit used by the Big Scare Campaign.

Do a google search on “97% of climate scientists agree” and 3,920,000 links turn up.

Like everything in the Big Scare Campaign, a tiny semi-dried kernel of truth becomes inflated, distorted and repeated into a  planetary group chant. Here’s how one small online survey was distilled to the point where the opinions of 75 climate scientists doing a 2 minute online survey could be headlined up as: “97 percent of scientists say man-made climate change is real”. (Worse — for those of us with a scientific bent — this mantra to the imaginary Gods of Science is even referred to as “Scientific” evidence.)

In August 2010, the HockeySchtick site pointed out the 97% figure was just 75 self selected scientists.  As as example of the way the chant is spun, the author, “MS” linked to the unSkepticalScience site and the screen image that John Cook posted in an article titled: “Visually depicting the disconnect between climate scientists, media and the public”.

Don’t miss the fact that the graphic is subtitled “SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE”. [...]

Skeptics iPhone App Endorsed de facto by Critic

Endorsed? Even the supposed blog experts on Climate Change can’t find an error.

The Guardian Blog has posted John Cook’s thoughts on the new skeptical iPhone App – Our Climate.

Has he found errors, lies, or critical omissions? Read it yourself. No, hardly, and “as if”. Instead he’s found “cherry-picking”,  confusion (his), and strawmen.

Really, this is a great endorsement — after all, Cook runs the ambush site If Cook can’t find an error, or name the peer reviewed paper with evidence for catastrophic positive feedback, who can? is a parody of skepticism. It is “skeptical of the skeptics”, which is all very well, but it accepts everything offered up by Authorities as if it is the Word of God.  “NOAA can do no wrong” (and was that NOAA or Noah?)

All of the points held up by Cook are weak “whatever” issues: things that are hardly a flaw. He’s noticed that the disorganized mass of real skeptics sometimes disagree with each other, golly gee, which proves we think for ourselves and don’t answer to a higher bureaucracy. John Cook — who so wants to be seen as skeptical –  instead is anything but, and conforms strictly to [...]

The Unskeptical Guide to the Skeptics Handbook

It’s taken 21 months, four professors, and three associate/assistant professors, and THIS is the best they could come up with? The printed version listed no author (the pdf has been updated with John Cooks name*) yet wears the logo of the University of Western Australia (UWA), which will embarrass that university as word spreads of the intellectual weakness of their “Guide“.

Did UWA commission this piece of rather inept, qualitative “feel-good” science and clumsy reasoning? Stephan Lewandowsky invited John Cook to speak at UWA and “offer assistance“.

The booklet uses a mislabeled graph with a deceptive scale, won’t show the damning graphs it supposedly debunks,  assumes positive feedback occurs despite the weight of empirical evidence against it (Douglass, Spencer, Lindzen), and repeats irrelevant information even though The Skeptics Handbook describes why rising sea levels and glaciers and ice sheets can’t possibly tell us what causes the warming. It misleadingly discusses a different fingerprint — one that isn’t the key point and isn’t disputed by skeptics. Cause and effect are mixed up, and naturally there are strawmen arguments to unnecessarily destroy for the spectacle of being seen to do something. To top it off, Cook still thinks a measurement is [...]

How John Cook unskeptically believes in a hotspot (that thermometers can’t find)

John Cook might be skeptical about skeptics, but when it comes to government funded committee reports, not so much.

The author of “skeptical science” has finally decided to try to point out things he thinks are flaws in The Skeptics Handbook. Instead, he misquotes me, shies away from actually displaying the damning graphs I use, gets a bit confused about the difference between a law and a measurement, unwittingly disagrees with his own heroes, and misunderstands the climate models he bases his faith on. Not so “skeptical” eh John? He’s put together a page of half-truths and sloppy errors and only took 21 months to do it. Watch how I use direct quotes from him, the same references, and the same graphs, and trump each point he tries to make. His unskeptical faith in a theory means he accepts some bizarre caveats while trying to whitewash the empirical findings.

In the end, John Cook trusts the scientists who collect grants funded by the fear-of-a-crisis and who want more of his money, but he’s skeptical of unfunded scientists who ask him to look at the evidence and tell him to keep his own cash.

These two graphs are not the same [...]