Irma has made landfall on the Florida peninsula at Category 3 strength. This is not good news but it is a lot better news than (as forecast by some) it making landfall at Cat 5.

It struck the Florida Keys at Cat 4, but even so, in terms of eye pressure, only came 7th in a list of the most intense storms to hit that area.

It does seem that the models rather overestimated the strength at landfall and they were not too successful at predicting the late north turn either.

Much can happen still and Florida is still at risk, but we can all be thankful that a worse case scenario has not happened. Climate change alarmists intent on exploiting an historic disaster may not be so relieved.


  1. Humour is sometimes the only relief, which explains why the climate crazies are so . . . . . well, crazy. They have virtually no sense of humour.


  2. Jaime,

    another explanation (Jo Nova told me this one):

    by its nature, humor is subversive—satire especially

    you can’t subscribe to a pious, moralistic orthodoxy AND be subversive

    renouncing all humor is therefore a condition of entry to the Church of Believalism

    a devil can tell a joke. an angel would be lucky to understand one, let alone tell one.

    future research:

    does the humorlessness of believalists generalize to non-climate subjects of conversation?


  3. Jaime

    complications to my simple scheme above:

    1. pre-existing humorlessness would mean one has less to give up when entering the Church, so one’s more likely to do so, and therefore the predictive/causative direction isn’t entirely clear to me (chicken vs egg)

    2. humor may be literally absent among believalists, but it’s not exactly in great abundance on Our Side…

    I learnt that, to my great appalment [?], at WUWT three years ago (

    Witness an otherwise intelligent skeptic, Gail Combs, oscillate between taking CN literally and realizing it’s a joke:

    When I first read that comment I thought it was satire.

    Now I find it is not. You can read his thoughts here:

    A question for deniers
    Dear denialatus / denialata,

    Have you read the latest IPCC report?

    I have. I’ve seen the science. And it’s not good.



    Mike Mellor says: @ January 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    “I can’t believe the comments in this thread. With some people, you have to be as subtle as a train smash before they spot the sarcasm. A very fine piece of satire, Brad Keyes.”

    I too thought it was a fine piece of sarcasm. Unfortunately it wasn’t! INCREDIBLE

    Even later:

    OK, I think I just answered the question.

    He is a very fine satirist as I first thought.

    I can still show up at WUWT and confuse people to this day.

    My reception at this thread a couple of days ago was summed up thus:

    Congratulations, Brad, at eliciting responses that so clearly distinguish which readers can actually read from those who are just a little, well, slow on the uptake (to be as kind as possible).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brad if you are sceptical about humour in church watch what I consider to have been one of the most serious but funniest comedy programmes – the edition of the Mary Tyler Moore Show that deals with the death of the radio station clown (squashed by an elephant). Mary’s suppressed laughter in church should be appalling, but instead, because of brilliant writing and acting, becomes heart-achingly funny. If you haven’t seen it, seek it out and enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ChrisM,

    Tobis says:

    “Climate change is a very serious problem even if tropical storms go away altogether.

    The linkage has already caused damage to the reputation of climate activism, as it was much touted in 2005, after which Atlantic hurricanes promptly subsided. People remember this. Going for a remake is not a good idea when the original movie wasn’t any good.”

    Which is curious, in that he doesn’t say it’s damaged ‘climate science’, but ‘climate activism’ (which already is damaged beyond repair in my opinion). Or maybe he makes no distinction between science and activism?

    He deserves some credit though for rejecting the narrative around hurricanes and climate change, even if it means being ostracised, but I don’t think he’s ever going to be a Judith Curry.

    “I’ve been criticized for “not being a team player” on this matter. That’s too bad. I really hate going against my friends and allies, and it has costs for me. But as far as I’m concerned, the way the Harvey and climate story has been told is not something I am buying into.”

    He then blows it by saying:

    “Our job as communicators of science is to tell people the scary truth, not just to scare people.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brad, I definitely think 1. above is an actuality. Entry to the class of ‘the climate very concerned’ requires undetectable levels of humour in said candidate. This is not to deny that the odd one probably manages to slip through the net, in which case any residual humour is quickly and effortlessly crushed out of existence by simply observing the weight of a burning world on the shoulders of climate deniers and a small number of oil companies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Poor Tobis. It’s like he almost finds the penny in the corner of the round room.


  8. Brad,
    When people assume the pose that their strong belief in [fill in the blank] is so importnat that it cannot possibly ever be funny, they are suffering from the after effects of humorectomy (humourectomy for my friend’s across the language divide). The tragic results of this elective mutilation of the psyche are seen worldwide.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Cat 1: the ‘storm of the century’ is being torn apart and will drift off north into obscurity, having set impressive records in the Atlantic, but having failed to live up to the foaming-mouthed expectations of climate activists as a land-falling hurricane. ‘This is [not] what climate change looks like’.


  10. Sorry, the density of Tobis’s comment is amazing.
    He still seems to believe he is communicating science!
    However he hopes that by saying in effect that even if the weather improves in the “anthropocene climate”, the fact that it is “anthropocene” makes it inherently bad. As a (barely) self aware person he realizes tgat things might actually make him look bad.
    Kudos to Tobis for not (so far) being one of the climate kooks who have turned the climate of their mind into a vengeful god punishing the deplorable folk who voted for Trump.
    But it is tough to resist one’s peers when one is part of a pernicious social mania…..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hunter, I think in many cases it was probably found that, when the rest of the climate activist’s personality was grafted onto the Ego at birth, physicians discovered there were no biological receptors for humour; so humour ended up in a slop bucket in the corner of the operating theatre.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jaime,
    Humor could be lost at birth, or possibly a sad festival.
    But I see humor (humour) as an organ of the psyche that is inversely proportionate to one’s fanaticism.
    I think fanatics of all stripes undergo voluntary humorectomies to permit their fanaticism to properly blossom.
    Unfortunately fanaticism blossoms as one of thise tropical flowers whose scent mimics putrid carrion and attracts flies as pollinators.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hunter, an old joke:
    Q: How many feminists does it take to share a joke?
    A: Six. One to tell it and five to say: “I don’t see what’s funny about that.”

    Liked by 2 people

  14. ‘the models rather overestimated the strength at landfall’

    Is there anything climate models don’t overestimate in their eagerness to generate scares?


  15. Your analysis is probably closer to the truth Hunter.

    Oldbrew. I think there is a problem with the models in that they do tend to overestimate warming – in the short and the longer term and they do rather tend to overestimate cyclone wind speeds. I can’t think why this would be. It’s a mystery. I think a few meteorologists were forecasting that the eye pressure would drop rather lower than it did too.


  16. Hunter, I think I might offer some ground truth to your proposition that there is an inverse relationship between one’s fanaticism (= support for AGW, especially CAGW) and humour. Of those I knew at UEA only Briffa enjoyed a good laugh. “No snow” Dave was a right misery and activist students had no joy. I cannot see Mann and his evil twin Schmidt as the Chuckle Bros either, but there I have no first hand experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Alan,

    I provisionally “support” (“believe in”) AGW, though if I’m being honest I suspect it’s bullshit.

    It just seems easier to accept the reality of an inconsequential-slash-net-beneficial scenario than familiarize myself with the radiaSORRY, I nodded off there for a sec.

    How long was I out? Anyway, the AGW controversy bores the living and the dead out of me, so my policy is to stipulate it and move onto the strongest and most obviously absurd claim, dAGW or CAGW.

    Does this policy make me a fanatic?

    Or perhaps I should ask—smoke, fire and all that!—is it “fanaticism,” as you put it, that makes me refrain from disputing AGW?

    Quite the opposite. It’s apathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Of course humor is a creature that dies under analysis, like a frog or a crayfish in a biology lab.

    That said, Freud’s idea (about humor (himself a rather serious guy) was that the amusement and delight arises from an awareness suddenly appearing in one’s consciousness without having to work for it. This fits with Brad’s idea of subversive humor in that expressing some awarenesses is prohibited speech in places like Stalin’s Russia, Saddam’s Iraq or N. Korea today, to say nothing of a liberal arts safe space.

    My favorite example comes from Russia during the counter-revolution when the Royalists were retaking control. The story concerns a worker brought before the tribunal for defaming the Czar. In his defense, he said he meant no disrespect, his criticism was leveled at his cousin, who also has the name Nicholas. To which the prosecutor said: “Nonsense. He said that Nicholas is an idiot, obviously referring to our Czar.”

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Ron. Why is climate change advocacy not usually considered humorous to more people? It has many of the necessary elements being inexplicable, strange, or even irrational. I cannot recall a single comedian who has tapped into this potentially rich comedic vein.


  20. Alan, it is a good question. Let me speculate a bit. Start with another old joke:
    Q: What is the difference between God and a doctor?
    A: God knows he is not a doctor.

    It is possible that people are buffaloed by climatists in the same way that business executives were befuddled by their IT gurus in the early days of industrial computing. Lacking any grasp of the details or how the machines worked, those executives were at the mercy of their IT wizards, who could tell them whatever they thought without any serious pushback. In my early consulting days, I remember one CEO who was so proud of his company meeting its objectives year after year, only to discover that his IT guy routinely adjusted the objectives to align with year-end results. (Sound familiar?)

    Climate science relies a lot on technobabble, and many lack self-confidence to object, afraid they will be embarrassed by their own lack of expertise.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ron. Do you really believe that “Climate science relies a lot on technobabble”? That’s not exactly my experience and I doubt it would have had the success that it has had with politicians and the general public if this were so. With the public, I think success came from providing a different explanation for the persistent recovery from the Little Ice Age. This coupled with the frailties of memory, together with a desire to be living through exceptional times has led to public acceptance of AGW. Technobabble confuses such “memories” and explanations and so would be counterproductive. Talk with people who have no detailed knowledge of climate and you will discover they have a reasonable knowledge of the possible causes of AGW which would not be so widespread if it relied upon hiding explanation behind babble.


  22. Alan, I do believe that the climate “experts” have misled the public, some knowingly and others projecting their own fears rising from an environmentalist paradigm which has humans despoiling nature. The razzle dazzle is done by reducing away all of the complexities to arrive at the simplistic narrative: “Man is making earth warmer; The warming is dangerous; Government can stop it.”

    Technobabble is the wrong term for this offering of simplistic certainty. I call it climate reductionism. This post describes how it is done:

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ALAN KENDALL (11 Sep 17 at 11:48 am)

    Of those I knew at UEA only Briffa enjoyed a good laugh.

    Really? That’s fascinating. Were you aware of the conspirational theory that Keith was the source of the climategate leak? In my Apocalypse Close saga
    I portrayed him as the unit’s village idiot, a sort of Baldrick to Jones’s Blackadder, but I always suspected he had hidden depths.
    I don’t expect you to reveal more here. Save it for what could be a bestseller when the house of cards comes tumbling down.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. RON CLUTZ (11 Sep 17 at 1:07 pm)
    I’ve got a Russian joke from the thirties. I’m reminded of it every time I think of my five years wasted commenting at the Guardian (until I was banned) trying to make the editors of this once great newspaper see the error of the ways of their environmental correspondents.

    Then I heard the joke about the loyal communist, condemned for Trotskyist deviationism, shouting to the judges as he’s hauled off to the Gulag: “Just wait till Comrade Stalin hears about this!”

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Humour is alive and well as this parrot. From twitter:

    Eric Idle
    I think that denying climate change is a crime against humanity. And they should be held accountable in a World Court.
    4:37 PM – 15 Mar 2017 from Kensington, London


  26. Alan and Ron,

    My account would be:

    To date, the entire climate-scientific “message” the public has absorbed amounts to a handful of cartoonishly, babyishly facile lemmas you could fit in a Tweet.

    More carbon traps more sun, which is hot, which heats up the sky, which is bad for ice.

    That’s it. We got nothing else.

    Yet The Scientists and The Communicators have been “communicating” at us for TWENTY FIVE YEARS.

    The average person could pass the bar exam by now if they’d spent TWENTY FIVE YEARS communicating Law to us.

    The average person could read Homer in the original by now if they’d spent TWENTY FIVE YEARS communicating Greek grammar to us.

    How have The Scientists and The Communicators succeeded in wasting so much time conveying so little information?

    By padding it with the empty calories of technobabble.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. How have The Scientists and The Communicators succeeded in wasting so much time conveying so little information?
    By padding it with the empty calories of technobabble.

    Yes, but it wasn’t the technobabble that turned the trick, it was something else, something that sent a shiver up the spine of the punter, who was afterwards fed the technobabble which (s)he could repeat as a rationalisation for the shiver.

    Perhaps s(h)e had read Silent Carson’s Rachel Spring, or Vance Packard’s Hidden Makers or his Waste Persuaders back in the sixties. Which primed her/im for the Club of Rome and Paul Ehrlich in the seventies.

    Look at the ecobabble of the 60s/70s/80s. There is no technobabble, there are no data, because there are no apps to transform data into visuals.

    In my day, young man, we drew pie charts with a protractor. And that cost.

    Later there was technonbabble. But my generation, the generation of Monbiot and Lewandowsky and every University Vice Chancellor in theWestern World, we wing’ed it on a hymn and a prayer. Flying by the seat of our pants without the tools (Cook et al.) of modern science. A band of heroes we were.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Geoff

    if ‘ecobabble’ is the soft-science counterpart of technobabble, then i meant ecobabble

    Was ‘technonbabble’ a typo or a profundo?


  29. These days everyone should be equipped with a babblefish. Needed to make the human symbiote confuse weather for climate, readjust past temperatures and appreciate intermittent energy.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Alan

    my babelfish’s chips need a firmware update. It keeps wibbling on about some guy called Nudity Snake’s Eric Intellectually Otiose, Eric Temporarily Out Of Service and Eric Cognitively Indolent.

    No, wait, scratch that, it’s Eric.the half a bee.


  31. ‘How have the seantists
    and communicators wasted
    so much time conveying so
    little info?

    ‘Twas always so
    with philosopher kings.

    ‘We,’ sayeth Plato,
    ‘will tell ye what
    ye need to know,
    possibly, for
    raisons d’etat,
    the noble lie. ‘

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Imagine Beth there’s no warming
    It’s easy if you try
    No cold behind us
    Before us we’ll not fry
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today… Aha-ah…

    Imagine there’s no greenhouse
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to keep CRU for
    And no Goddard Center, too
    Imagine all those people
    Living productive lives. Ah, hah

    You may say I’m a denier
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And this mad world will be undone.

    Singer beneath Bridges (with a little help)

    Liked by 3 people

  33. I will offer another explanation for climate science by comparing it to aerodynamic engineering. Both rely strongly on complex models with serious limitations. In engineering if the code results disagree with the data you usually hear something about ‘understanding the physics’ and expert judgment. Understanding the physics actually means just vague verbal formulations offering no testable predictions. Climate models are much less justified than CFD models so the ‘understanding the physics’ line is quite prominent in climate papers and online (ATTP). So for example, hurricane strengths with warming. The GCMs are hopeless so what is offered is thermodynamic back of the envelope estimates. That’s OK but not very convincing with such a complex and Ill-posed phenomenon. Most people are sufficiently distant from computational science they can easily be convinced that models of climate are just like linear structural analysis finite element codes, I.e, ‘encoding the laws of physics,’. This is mostly wrong of course.


  34. Looks like the “dirty side” of Irma was being knocked down by the interaction with land while the eye was about to interact with the Keys.


  35. I’ll let James have the last word on this one:

    “For the last week, all the usual suspects from green hedgefunder Tom “rhymes with liar” Steyer to anti-capitalist disaster harpie Naomi Klein – plus their de facto allies in Islamic State – have been wetting their knickers with excitement at the prospect of a biblical inundation to rival Noah’s flood . . . .

    But apart from the construction industry which had been hoping to clean up big time after the event, the biggest losers are, of course, the climate alarmists.

    They are losers for two reasons. (Well for lots of reasons actually but I’ll confine myself to just the couple on this occasion).

    First, because climate alarmists are disaster vultures. They seize on extreme weather events like starving raptors because they know that the MSM loves dramatic footage of hurricanes, floods and such like, thus offering the perfect opportunity to publish their scaremongering, junk-science claims that it is all caused by man’s selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle . . . . .

    Second, because what Hurricane Irma’s unpredictable behavior does is remind us of the degree to which weather events remain a mystery even to the greatest experts in the field”.


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