The dark history of the climate debate

Part 1: Big Bang to Present

Science says that climate change, which is real, is caused by human activities.

But not everyone is convinced science exists. Some even call it a hoax—a story told to frighten young children and academics.

The history of this fascinating controversy has been told before. Unfortunately, all previous attempts (see Part I and Part II) are undermined by their almost tongue-in-cheek tone, which verges at times on the semi-facetious. At CliScep we believe the past is no giggling matter, so we’re proud to present the first truly scholarly timeline of the intractable tragedy that is the climate debate thus far. Enjoy learn!

Oreskes on the anticonsensus movement 034
The most boring thing about understanding history, yawns Naomi Oreskes, is that you have to understand the past. The Harvard prof is the world’s first historian of scientific consensus, a concept she made up in 2004.

c. 4.1–3.8 bya

As the Hadean gives way to the Archaean, the Earth begins to cool; the autotrophs begin to drool.

c. 200,000 BC

The first humans act, causing human activity which then changes the Earth’s previously-immutable climate.

1642–1727 AD: Newton, Sir Isaac 

“MY RÔLE model? Newton, no question. There’s an old saying in science, which we came up with in 2009 after our emails were publicly leaked:

“‘Hey, gravity doesn’t stop working just because Newton was an asshole!’

“My illustrious countryman taught me all I know about being a decent person, and why it’s unnecessary.”

Prof. Phil Jones
FOI critic


First ‘Green Revolution’

The last whale ever murdered to fuel a lantern is laid to rest.

From now on, civilized people can rest assured that every drop of oil they use will come from ethical, eco-friendly dinosaur juice.

Like all human progress, this is a bad thing. The new “fossil fuel” industry may have solved one problem for the planet but it will ultimately create a much graver one: anthropogenic global warming (also known as man-made climate change) skepticism.

1880–1930: Wegener, Alfred Lothar

“MY BIGGEST inspiration? I’d have to say Alfred Wegener, the father of the scientific consensus on plate tectonics.

“Wegener’s faith in mainstream geology was so unwavering that he stood up for our ruling paradigm even when all around him ridiculed it—a lone voice for accepted science in a sea of contrarian rejection. His example teaches us the preciousness of majority science, a flame we must never suffer to be extinguished.

“Speaking out for the consensus can be lonely work, as Alfred Wegener learned the hard way.”

Naomi Oreskes
Harvard Professor of Majority Opinion in the Earth Sciences
Author, ‘Wegener: How One Man (Eventually) Won the War on Geology Deniers


In a “jabbering” address to Lords, Victorian pseudonaturalists warn that with brillig brilling earlier each day, mome raths may be forced to grib farther outwards in search of the toves that make up the bulk of their yearly snatch. An air of uffish mimsy whiffles through the House as Little Timmy, the leading orphan of the period, gimbles forth to perform An Ode To Silent Spring for the edification of the Marquesses and Marquessesses in attendance. The song pre-mourns the chortle of the last Jub Jub, explain scholars of Late Middle Gibberish.


Naomi Oreskes shat from Beelzebub’s cloaca, already fully-malformed and 5000 years old.

1951–1953: Search for the Double Helix 

“MY FAVORITE lesson from history? The power of positive visualization.

“That’s what I take from the amazing story of Watson and Crick, who dubbed themselves the Double Helix Team and embarked on a 3-year scientific quest for the shape of DNA… which turned out to be a double helix!

“What I wouldn’t give to be at that Cambridge pub when the dynamic duo burst in to announce drinks were on them—they’d found the sought-after spiral at last, and it was right under their noses the whole time: in the nuclei of their nasal epithelia!

Conceive It, Believe It, Prove It: if there’s a better definition of the Scientific Method, I’ve never been taught it.”

Prof. Michael E. Mann
Captain of paleoclimatology’s Hockey Team


Trouble on Twisted Tree Heartrot Hill!

The primeval bristlecone pine trees of the American desert, nature’s ’canary in the goldmine,’ have acted as a proxy for climate constancy since time immemorial—until their physiology suddenly “flips” during the Kennedy administration.

Climate skeptics can’t explain the inversion, which should be taken as an admission that the theory of climate skepticism is wrong. Meanwhile, the tortuous xerophytes remain the first, last and best known casualty of climate change.


John Cook conceived

Stephan Lewandowsky, a Wisconsin psychologist, ingests a neurotoxic potion that makes the vilest gorgon look like the fairest maiden in the land, allowing her to seduce him.

When the alcohol finally wears off, Lewandowsky is alone in his bedchamber. The succubus—who gave her name only as Naomi Oreskes—has stolen silently away, carrying his precious seed within her. He never even knew her academic title.

The fruit of their drunken coupling, a boy-child named John Lewandowsky-Oreskes, will change his initials to those of Julius Caesar, the Antichrist, when he comes of blogging age. Thus will the ancient projections be validated.

Meanwhile, Lewandowsky tries to put the tryst behind him. But it’s futile; his fate is intertwined with Oreskes’ forever. The lovers are destined to lie together again, and again and again and again (mainly in the peer-reviewed literature).


In a dramatic change from previous years, climate stays the same this year. But this will all change next year when—for the first time in as long as some babies can remember—the climate begins to change.


In the severest case of science denial in the annals of psychiatry, Tennessee preacher A. A. Gore refuses to stop selling tobacco after watching his own sister die of lung cancer.


Climate science discovered

Thanks to testimony by James Hansen—who tampered with the air conditioning last night in order to emphasize the facts—Americans become aware of a new field called climate science.

This academic pursuit can be defined as the human attempt to understand the atmosphere by surveying the beliefs of humans who believe they understand the atmosphere.

IPCC created

Tasked with producing new science from nothing but existing science, IPCC authors will eschew such traditional solutions as meta-analysis and systematic review, finding they can achieve higher levels of science per gram via novel processes like ‘Summary,’ ‘Synthesis’ and other forms of stapling.

Heads of state everywhere worry that the latest science will be too heavy to hold aloft whilst saying “this is the Latest Science,” so the IPCC will issue ergonomic ‘Policymaker’s Summaries’ in advance, from which Sciencemaker’s Assessment Reports can then be extrapolated using more words.


Conservative War on Science hatched

Wartime consiglieres for North America’s oil, ivory and landmine-dealing families today announce a major summit to conspire against science. The strategy sitdown, at an unnamed family restaurant, is thought to be the first time all five bosses have ever met in one McDonalds.

What emerges is a plan—in the argot of organized crime—to “make them an argument they can’t refute.”

In what pundits describe as “an idea so crazy it just won’t work,” all five families will spend the next 40 years concentrating their entire firepower on science’s strongest point—climatology—knowing that once it falls, the other, less-solid fields will put up little resistance.


Glaciers, icecaps and other ice-based objects continue to melt—a disturbing and unprecedented phenomenon we can only explain by admitting The Science™ is right.


When a neighbor’s cat leaves its half-eaten prey on Dr Ben Santer’s porch, decades of hilarious paranoia, misunderstanding and climate hatred ensue!

Clinton, Gore re-elected

Vice President Gore’s last-minute blueprint for saving the atmosphere has to be postponed for another 4 years when America refuses to let him leave the White House. 

Behind the scenes, Gore is said to be furious at the planet’s setback, chewing his campaign staff out for making him “so goddamn f___ing likeable.”

(Pollsters, however, believe the real draw-card for Dem voters was the Clinton ticket’s law and order platform, Sex Molesters Should Get Four More Years.)



Opponents of the climate—unable to counter the increasingly overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that science is real—resort to the OISM Petition.

This naked appeal to numbers (the ad populum or ad consensum fallacy), a manoeuvre to which no self-respecting scientist has stooped since the Lysenkoists, becomes the butt of immediate ridicule. Everyone from mainstream climate scientists to up-and-coming comedian Jon Stewart lambasts the gambit as “a sign of desperation” and “the mating call of  the evidentially bankrupt.”

Start of hiatus

Global warming—an incontrovertible, paradigmatic truth of nature on par with gravity or evolution—temporarily stops being true.

Fearing a collapse of public trust in science itself, climatologists have no choice but to keep quiet about the ‘pause.’ Concealing the truth goes against every fibre of their being, but their courage is today credited with having prevented a worldwide orgy of looting and arson. 


Michael Mann is the first victim, as well as the discoverer, of what he calls the ‘Serengeti Strategy.’ The besieged scientist takes comfort in the little-known fact that predators never go after the lame runt, the invalid gimp or any other vulnerable member of the herd, so it stands to reason that nobody would audit a paper to bloody shreds if they thought it was sub-par in any way.


Contrary to the widespread lie, it isn’t the climate establishment but Frank Luntz—the Wunderkind of Republican propagandology—who this year tricks the world into using ‘climate change’ as a euphemism for ‘global warming.’ Luntz’ coinage is such a stroke of memetic genius that it even propagates backwards through time, convincing the United Nations to set up the IPCC (not the IPGW) twelve years ago.


First reports emerge of a new, ahypothetical form of evidence. Scientists believe this substance—dubbed simply ‘the evidence’—may be capable of ‘piling up,’ gaining ‘weight’ and ‘pointing to’ various scientific and political conclusions.     


Well-known secret Bush operative Rajendra Pachauri obtains strategic control of the IPCC, placing him perfectly to take down the climate-political process from within. But you have to get up pretty early in the morning to trick the world’s 2500 top scientists, who spring into action and give Pachauri the boot within days of discovering he’s a text predator in 2015.


Mann broken but not bent

It’s back to the drawing-board for a demoralized Hockey Team, whose eponymous graph has somehow been invalidated by a work of “pure scientific fraud.” At their lowest ebb they joke about changing their name to The Happy With Any Signal We Find In Nature So Long As It’s The Truth Team.

In the end, though, the decision not to throw out their team T-shirts will prove remarkably prescient when new, improved science happens to find the same, hockey-stickish curve that their old, spurious methods had spat out, more or less!

It’s one of those coincidences you couldn’t possibly make up (because you’re not qualified in the relevant earth sciences).


Naomi Oreskes, intellectual superstar of the climate movement, publishes her most profound thinking in a one-page essay on the mystery that has exercised some of history’s greatest minds: Do most scientists reject the majority view within science? Her finding—that they don’t—can only be described as “remarkable,” so she does.   


Hurricane Katrina ushers in the misleadingly-named Age of Superstorms. Some of North America’s more excitable meteorologists even call her the continent’s “hurricane to end all hurricanes,” which will turn out to be accurate, if not necessarily in the way they think.

At the Movies: You can’t handle the Inconvenience

Al Gore releases An Inconvenient Truth. The film’s most iconic graph indelibly burns into our consciousness the synchronized dance of CO2 levels with global temperatures. (To avoid confusing viewers, Gore uses Mike’s Nature trick to hide the lag.)

Evidence has officially jumped the ‘field barrier’: scientists everywhere go to the cinema only to learn that their papers have answered a question they didn’t ask.

The documentary is an instant hit with school teachers. Unfortunately, skeptics seize on a number of isolated lies to imply they somehow discredit the whole movie.


When asked to explain “the scientific purpose” of his new expedition, oceanographer Steve Zissou says simply, “revenge.” The one-word answer provides a good laugh to moviegoers, a meme to the Internet and several grant applications to Stephan Lewandowsky.

Lewandowsky nodding contentedly colored
Face of a philanthropist: Few have done more to help climate skeptics understand their flawed thinking processes than Prof. Stefan Lewandowsky (pictured above, at centre). He often receives letters from recovering deniers thanking him for his research. “That’s what keeps me going. I certainly don’t do this for the money,” says Lewandowsky, who refuses to take a salary.


Justice Burton of the High Court of England and Wales finds it unlawful to show An Inconvenient Truth in UK schools without ‘guidance notes’ alerting children to the film’s “political bias” and “errors of science.” Eager to win back the British education market, Gore’s editing team experiments with cutting all falsehoods and/or dishonest statements from the film. But the new, deception-free version tests poorly with teachers, who complain that its 12-minute run-time isn’t even enough to waste a school period.


At the movies: Mainstream science finally hits the mainstream

Filmmaker and skeptic-hater James Cameron brings us the story of a band of noble savages and their fight to save a global web of teleconnected trees from the rapacity of an evil mining executive. Not only does it make mad money, Avatar also dethrones An Inconvenient Truth as the most scientifically-accurate movie about the Hockey Stick to date.


Deniergate happens

Australians scandalized, misinformed when Gillard Government Chief Climate Commissioner Distinguished Panasonic Sustainability Professor Timothy J. Flannery, PhD denies the last decade of climate change, claiming on national TV that “there hasn’t been a continuation of that [former] warming trend.”

Computer scientist Andy Pitman is forced to write an op-ed explaining that the Hauptklimakommissar was being “silly,” and reminding the public not to trust anyone but a climate scientist.

Climategate is committed

The so-called Climategate affair (a nontroversy whipped up by the right-wing media) succeeds only in revealing the impeccably kosher and professional quality of the work done by scientists at the University of East Anglia, which is why almost none of them consider killing themselves.

Glaciergate transpires

Fundamentalist Feynmanites, Popperian puritans and other Methodist groups—adherents to a discipline they call ‘the scientific method‘—insist the IPCC must abandon its hypothesis in the wake of revelations that it made a false prediction about the Himalayan glaciers.

But legal spokesmen for the IPCC counter that—with its headquarters on international soil—the Turtle Bay, N.Y. organization has diplomatic immunity to the rules of science, in light of which “our clients wouldn’t reconsider their hypothesis even if they remembered what it was.”


Stephan Lewandowsky has absolutely no preconceptions about “deniers” until he makes a remarkable find during a dig in Ethiopia: a human skull with prominent bulging of the conspirativeness faculty (an organ of the ideational lobe).

Climate communicators’ jobs just became easier with today’s invention, by the obscure Australian scientist David Karoly, of an “organised campaign of death threats” being waged by the skeptical community. (At the risk of explaining the self-explanatory, Karoly explains that this massive criminal conspiracy is motivated “to discourage scientists from presenting the best available climate science.”) In a cruel irony, Karoly is too scared to hand over any proof of this plot to Federal Police, because he’s also received “an organised campaign of death threats to discourage me from presenting evidence that I’ve received an organised campaign of death threats.”

Portrait of a Man with Cerebellar Ataxia: Prof. David Karoly denies being some sort of pinko and insists that Boris Yeltsin’s influence “begins and ends with the major alcohol dependency we have in common.”

Operation Nonspiracy launched

The climate leadership begins a concerted drive to hose down conspiracist ideation by removing all appearance of secrecy about its ambitions to re-engineer the world.

Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, explains in precise German that, “we are in fact redistributing the world’s wealth by climate policy… one must free oneself of the delusion that climate policy is [about] environmental policy.” It’s a message repeated ad nauseam by public figures from Tim Flannery and Christina Figueres to Pentti Linkola, Gina McCarthy and Jacques Chirac. But it seems that no matter how openly the agenda is spelled out, how often, or in how many languages, skeptics will continue to portray it as some sort of clandestine plot.

CRU cleared

Last year’s so-called Climategate emails revealed nothing suspicious at all, which is why thirty-seven independent inquiries have been held to make sure.

Their resounding conclusion is that “quotes from” the emails “have been [cherry-]picked [out of context] by” skeptics “of [climate] change,” who “are… wrong” (source: SkepticalScience).

Most importantly, the science is “…not. Corrupt…,” in the verdict of wind-farm millionaire Lord Ron Oxburgh.

In the Literature: Merchants of Doubt discovers, corrects flaw in Western knowledge

It’s almost laughable today, but just a few years ago, before Naomi Oreskes’ revelation that knowledge is nothing but ‘the ideas accepted by the fellowship of experts,’ most people fell for Aristotle’s lies about ‘justified true belief.’

Penn State leaves scandal behind for good

Penn State University—the corporation for which ‘Climategater’ Michael Mann works—carries out a thorough investigation into his conduct, methods, data and publications, concluding that they’ve brought in $4.1 million.

In The Literature: The Hockey Stick & The Climate Wars launched

Despite the denialist preoccupation with Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick, the groundbreaking graph is actually a minor footnote, and the conversation urgently needs to move on from Hockey-Stick-this, Hockey-Stick-that—a point to which Mann devotes several chapters of The Hockey Stick & The Climate Wars, his new bestseller about the unimportance of the Hockey Stick.

Look for it in the autohagiography section of your local legitimate bookstore.


A blog post by Chris Mooney dated June 27 makes the earliest known mention of the theory that “better math and science education” would only make climate skepticism worse. Perversely, perplexingly and paradoxically, ‘the science’ (mainstream opinion in climatology) is thought to be the only correct belief system that’s less convincing the more you know about it—with the possible exception of religion, with which it has nothing else in common whatsoever.

BackwashGate washes back on Gore

In a secretly-recorded, profanity-laden address to the Aspen Institute in Colorado, former Vice President Gore pronounces the top three skeptical arguments as listed at to be “bullshit!” and blows the lid on perhaps the most diabolical plot in history: “They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists!”

The claims are immediately rejected by peak pseudoscience groups, who threaten to sue over the aspersion on their integrity.

“Mr Gore, we are not for sale,” reads a Union of Insouciant Pseudoscientists press release. “We ‘pretend to be scientists’ for one reason and one reason only: because that’s what it means to be a pseudoscientist. We have never asked for a cent, though we’re happy to accept a small gratuity if a client feels our imitation is particularly lifelike.”

In a letter to the Huffington Post, Prof. Richard Müller admits that “I was never a climate skeptic”—debunking his own claim to be the first scientist ever cured by a closer examination of the evidence.

Senator Barbara Boxer [Dem., pro-science] treats fellow lawmakers to an oration on the devastating effects of atmospheric CO2 on our children’s ability to breathe, an issue the world’s scientists and doctors have managed to keep secret… until now. Babs earns the seal of approval from the RealClimate team, who find that she Gets The Science Right, Give Or Take—the highest category of praise a non-scientist is eligible to win.

Climategate 2.0 perpetrated

The reprise of 2009’s cyber-probing traumatises the climate community afresh. “It feels like being violated, scrutinized and gloriously exonerated all over again,” says one climate scientist, who feels too dirty to give his or her name.

In Delhi’s Habitat Centre, Rajendra Pachauri—”the world’s top climate scientist“—briefly wonders if he should cheer his staff up by announcing that every day is henceforth Hug A Climate Scientist Day. But the mere thought of it is enough to send a tingle up his entire staff, so he doesn’t bother sharing the idea.


Keenly aware of the power of a catchy title, Stephan Lewandowsky seeks funding for a study he plans to call ‘NASA faked the moon landing—Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax.’

Mark Steyn describes the Hockey Stick as fraud, making the costly mistake of forgetting to say “pure” and “scientific” first.

Panic breaks out at the ANU Climate Change Department after a retiree wields a document at a dinner event. Staff demand relocation to a “more secure” facility. 

In The Literature: The Republican Brain published

Scientifically-illiterate English grads everywhere marvel at neuroscientist Chris Mooney’s ability to somehow speak at their level.

Bodyguard of Lies doctrine unveiled

“Truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” argues Stephan Lewandowsky by way of Winston Churchill in a seminal Conversation piece. The article goes on to recommend between 12 and 20 lies per truth, depending on the monetary preciousness of the latter.

The relevance of the Churchill quote practically speaks for itself, since—much like climate scientists today—the great man was engaged in a total war of mechanized murder against a population of millions.

Readers vote Lewandowsky’s piece as one of The Conversation’s most thought-provoking stories this year. “I’ll have to think twice, three times before believing anything a climate scientist says now,” reads a typical comment.

The article’s core thesis—that science is war, and war is deception—is now considered the unifying paradigm of the Science Communications Sciences, where it is often abbreviated to ‘Science is Deception.’


Dr Peter Gleick knows only too well that once he releases the ‘Heartland Institute Strategy Document,’ it could define his entire legacy. The water scientist, climate informer and paid ethicist spends several minutes wrestling with questions of legality, morality and font choice.

Gleick is a scientist first, but he’s also a man, and it is as a man that he has a vendetta against Heartland, for which he makes no apology. (The animus is mutual; someone inside the think-tank apparently produced a long memo parodying Gleick’s writing style. Sources call it an “uncanny impression” of his idiosyncrasies.)

By hitting Print, the McArthur Genius will ultimately sacrifice his career and reputation to make HI’s agenda on climate known far and wide, saving the Institute most of its annual media budget.

The first Australian ‘Hockey Stick’ paper gets past spell-check and into a journal, but fails the ultimate quality-control test of climate science: Climate Audit review. To its credit, it does survive 3 weeks of scrutiny—a whole week per $100,000.

Prof. Stefan Lewandowsky says reactions to his NASA paper ”have illustrated the impoverished epistemology of climate denial better than any mountain of data”—which is lucky, because the data didn’t illustrate anything.

Setting aside our differences for the first and last time in the Climate Wars, the two camps come together to tut-tut Heartland’s Unabomber billboard. The beautiful, short-lived truce attracts comparisons to Christmas Day soccer in no man’s land 98 years earlier.

And lo, he saw a pillar of fire

In what scientists are calling “the new normal,” a Biblical vortex of flame that springs up from the shrublands of Curtin Springs, NT, Australia is captured by TV cameraman Chris Tangey.

While ordinary twisters are definitely a thing of the past, scientists warn that it may not always be possible to say in advance whether a given freaknado is made of fire or sharks.

In the Literature: The Brain That Changes Itself published, deplored

Legitimate scientists condemn the neurology bestseller by Norman Doidge, MD as “empowering” and “chang[ing] the way we think about the way we think.”

Vocal critic Naomi Oreskes warns that most people’s brains aren’t qualified to change themselves, adding, “I’m a legitimate scholar and I still get my brain changed by professionals.”

Chris Mooney, who says he gave up at the title, pans the book as “lazy.”

Mooney, the man-child behind such science-communication hits as The Wrong Right: What Science Says About the Science of Why They Don’t Believe in Science, points out that credible authors always use subtitles, allowing them to convey the nuances, complexities and qualifications they can’t fit in the main title.

Firenado (c) Chris Tangey
This is what climate change looks like, if anyone asks. (c) Chris Tangey


For people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS], especially those still reeling from a diagnosis of ALS—not to mention the army of unsung heroes who care for ALS sufferers—there’s probably no bigger problem in life than global warming. That’s what John Cook tells himself as he prepares to empty a bucket of polar icewater over his head, with all proceeds going to help struggling climate researchers.

How bizarre!

Rapid polar weirding ensnares the ship Akademik Shokalskiy, whose precious cargo includes the UNSW climate scientist Chris Turney,  in a blanket of unseasonal sea ice.

Turney’s expedition, which was supposed to find evidence of a record melt, is seen as a major embarrassment to those who deny that we’re making the planet weirder. The science of man-made global weirding [MMGW] predicts such unpredictable data points in black and white, Turney gloats in hindsight.

Stossel Event averted

Dr Gavin Schmidt is praised for running away from a critic on national television, preserving the dignity of science.

Early reports suggest the scientist to whose scientific arguments Schmidt narrowly escaped exposure was a science denier.

Colleagues agree that if not for Schmidt’s quick fleeing there might have been a full-blown “climate debate”—the theoretical state in which (scientists fear) it might look as if there were two viable “sides.”

Recursive Fury censored

Scientists have always known their doubters were conspiracy theorists, but never dreamed there would one day be any evidence for this. A new study by Prof. Lewandowsky could change all that, and revolutionize the way we deride skeptics forever. Alas, celebrations are short-lived: barely a year after it is published, the paper is retracted. The journal’s editors announce that they’ve spinelessly caved in to ethical considerations.

But Lewandowsky doesn’t trust the official narrative for a second—he’s sure his conspiracism paper was really the victim of something he describes as “less visible, subterranean means of attack,” eerily echoing the “activities beneath the surface, hidden from public view” unleashed against an earlier paper. Such a “sustained and ongoing attack on the research and my work in general” by a coalition of shadowy interests only vindicates Lewandowsky, in Lewandowsky’s mind, for exposing the link between science denial and a readiness to indulge in conspiracy theories.


On September 22, thousands march to send a simple message: that the world is ignoring the climate issue. The demonstration is more successful than intended.

The website Scared Scientists is launched to fight the widespread perception of climate scientists as stoic, objective fact-bots.

“The evidence” being ignored by skeptics now passes the grim 50GT milestone, its growth rate seemingly limited only by the number of scientists employed to collect it.

a defiant Rajendra Pachauri 3.png
Reasonable doubt: an angry Rajendra Pachauri says he’s “skeptical” of the idea that he serially harassed young women, but is too good a scientist [sic] to deny it completely.


TataGate bursts wide open

The previously scandal-free climate world is now rocked by reports that forgers unconnected to Peter Gleick have been impersonating Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, while sending lascivious text messages to his female staff.

In Delhi’s Lodhi Colony Police Station, a special task force (codename: Denuded Slopes) is sworn in and charged with bringing Pachauri’s extortionists to justice. The 20-detective squad starts by looking into groups that might feel threatened by the science of railway engineering.

Anti-inoxxer movement born

Drawing on the latest findings from the quasiscience of immunoanalogy, John Cook announces the ‘inoculation’ principle of climate communication: that you should only expose readers to an attenuated, or ‘straw-man,’ form of the arguments you’re trying to rebut. Pro-science bloggers take their lead from SkepticalScience, scrupulously pre-nerfing the virulent ideas they disagree with.

The science-doubting community, by contrast, proves to be every bit as anti-inoculation as it is anti-climate. The conclusions of pseudovirology pose an obvious threat to their libertarian faith in the primacy of rational discourse, honesty and individual deliberation, so skeptics refuse to stop quoting and accurately paraphrasing live opponents (an unhygienic practice that continues to this day).

Laudato Si’ sells like hotcakes

In his hit new encyclical Pope Francis mixes and matches theology and climatology at will, building what one critic called “the world’s shortest bridge,” from religion to the science of global warming and back. He isn’t the first leader to overlap these magisteria, but the pontiff may well be the biggest-name Catholic in a club that includes Bible College dropout Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri of ‘my religion, my dharma’ fame, devout Anglican John Cook, evangelical minister Sir John Houghton and outspoken Baptist Dr Katherine Hayhoe.

In a tearful address to St Peter’s Square His Holiness begs forgiveness for some of the more rubbish sections of the encyclical, explaining that he was in a hurry to make the IPCC inclusion deadline.

The interfaith outreach soon bears fruit. A recent Pew poll shows pew occupancy up; in the climate world alone there is a 2% drop in denial of Christ’s message; and Francis is now the clear frontrunner for next year’s Templeton, the world’s top cash prize for services to the cause of mystifying science.


Marisa Tomei snubbed at Sagans. Again.

In nationally-televised envelope malfunction, Peter Gleick is accidentally awarded the 2018 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

Gleick urges the Sagan Estate to ignore widespread mockery and forge on, forge on, like he would. Inspired by his words, Sagan’s widow ignores the many voices urging her to retract the honor and re-award it without the extraneous ‘pu’ in the word Popularization.


Greta Thunberg born, accuses warmist aparatchiks and IPCC jetsetters of “evil,” weathers backlash from skeptics [sic], collects a maturity award, sails home to Scandinavia without ever finding out How They Dare.

WUHAN, Hubei Province, China: known only as the Chinese virus, a novel chinavirus jumps the bat-pangolin barrier in the first known case of bat-to-pangolin transmission when a bat and a pangolin infect each other during a brutal bat-on-pangolin cage match. This mundane event could have happened any day, anywhere in the world, yet it will change society forever.


The greatest moral and economic challenge since World War II

A decade has passed since politicians discovered that climate change kills 300,000 people per annum [Annan, K., UN Global Humanitarian Forum report, 2009].

Somehow this all seemed so remote, so abstract, so academic, until the outbreak this year of COVID19, a virus that causes old people to die of old age. For health systems round the world the first wave of cases proves to be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Hospitals from Rome to Madrid to New York—already at breaking point in the fight to keep hundreds of thousands of climate-change victims alive—are faced with the agonizing dilemma of who should get an ICU bed.

But as per always, it’s the victims of AGW who lose out as respiratory patients are given priority over imaginary ones.

When we continue: what does the future hold for the climate debate? We can finally tell you, thanks to the latest in Forecasting The Facts technology.


  1. A fair summary, Brad, although the grammer left much to be desired and in particular your usage of the word ‘it’s’ which, on 5 occashuns, lacked it’s mandatory apostrophe!**@

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s no good, even when you make it funny, my blood pressure still rises when I see those names. Every time I get to about 1999 I need to bite someone.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dr Mann recognizes the importance of qualifiers such as “pure” and “scientific”. I also recognize their importance. This is why I always make sure to reference Stefan Lewandowsky as a “transparent” charlatan, but I’m not as qualified as Dr Mann in such matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I salute your qualifications, Canman—lexical precision is a dying art.

    Just don’t call him a “transparent obscurantist.” That would clearly muddy the waters.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 2003
    Mann broken but not bent

    You possess a real knack for creative writing and wit, but my ignorance has me wondering about the origin of the above subtitle regarding Mann. ‘Bent but not Broken’ is a book title that has been exploited by multiple authors, and there are variations such as ‘Bent not Broken’, ‘Bent, not Broken’, etc. But…’broken but not bent’ has me puzzling a bit. Is this Brit double-meaning humor? I was thinking that perhaps ‘cracked but not broke’ might be a more appropriate characterization of Mann.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dave L,

    it’s a bit like when you’re boxing and you’re “[knocked] out but not down.” Does that help?


  7. To my mind the fact that there is no evidence as such, merely lines of evidence, is what makes the science of AGW so undeniable. Random evidence can never be as convincing of evidence that comes in lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 2007 “Justice Burton of the High Court of England and Wales finds it unlawful to show An Inconvenient Truth in UK schools without ‘guidance notes’ alerting children to the film’s ‘political bias’ and ‘errors of science’.”

    This is where I came in, shocked that a judge should be deciding what schoolchildren should be allowed to see. I’d read some (or maybe all three) of the articles in the Guardian on the subject, not one of which indicated how Justice Burton came to his decision: by comparing the statements in “An Inconvenient Truth” with those in the most recent IPCC report. Justice Burton, reasonably (if not very scientifically) chose to believe the IPCC over Gore.

    One week later Gore and the IPCC shared a Nobel Peace Prize (a bit like Henry Kissinger and the North Vietnam Foreign Minister). Everyone was happy, except me, since I’d meanwhile discovered Steve Goddard and Anthony Watts…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bizzarley, Brad, Ballydoyle’s Sir Isaac Newton has just won the Wolferton Handicap at Ascot.
    But while Ballydoyle may own Sir Isaac Newton, Chicago claims James Watson, not the British.

    [Francis Crick remains the sole property of Weston Favell, Northampton, capital of God’s own county.]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “all major scientific bodies in the United States whose members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.”

    Check out:

    “Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change, which is a sub-panel of the NAS “America’s Climate Choices” panel. The reports are basically a re-hash of IPCC reports, which is not surprising when so many IPCC authors are on the panel, but with few actual climate scientists on-board.

    It includes for example Dr Richard H Moss, who is Vice President and Managing Director for Climate Change at the World Wildlife Fund. He is a former Senior Director for Climate Change and Energy, United Nations Foundation. The UNF was founded in 1998 with $1billion from Ted Turner, its President is Timothy Wirth, who helped to launch James Hansen into global warming fame in 1988.

    Moss has been a member of the IPCC since 1993. He is a Review editor for IPCC AR5 WGII Ch. 14, “Adaptation needs and options”. From 2000 to 2006, he served as director of the coordination office for the United States Climate Change Science Program. His doctorate is in Public and International Affairs.”

    There’s more……

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Michael Hart,

    hint (belatedly) taken. I’ve removed the description of Watson and Crick as “the Brits who…”



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