The first of an occasional series. For the benefit of non-UK readers, “Climateballs” is a homage to the great late British sports commentator David Coleman who was legendary for his “Colemanballs” –  lines such as “If that had gone in, it would have been a goal.” The term was coined by Private Eye magazine and can be applied to other commentators.  So here are some recent Climateballs from commentators in the climate debate:

It’s cold because of global warming

See also the New York Times, and the Indystar, where we read that “Cold snaps are not exclusively a global warming-caused phenomenon”. Really?

In October, NOAA predicted a mild winter for the US.

Finance conference isn’t talking about climate!

Climate Home News, one of dozens of climate propaganda outlets, is a rich source of Climateballs. They are shocked to find out that this week’s American Finance Association meeting is not talking about climate change! How could anybody not talk about climate change? There is literally nothing on climate change in the whole program! Its all about finance.

Scientists can can’t attribute individual events to global warming

Researchers can now blame warming for individual disasters” says an article in E&E news.

Way down in the piece it says “Today, scientists still generally agree that it’s impossible to attribute any individual weather phenomenon solely to climate change.”  (HT Roger Pielke)



This story is in Newsweek, quite a big organisation, who you think might have writers with science training. But clicking on the author of that article reveals that “Her work on women in politics has been featured in publications like BUST Magazine and Marie Claire. She loves cats, coffee and politics.”

When first published, Newsweek claimed that the world had warmed by 33.8F:

but this was later corrected after the silly mistake was pointed out in the comments. Notice that almost all the comments are sceptical. Unsurprisingly the junk science behind this comes from UEA.

Climate change through the lens of intersectionality

Finally, courtesy of  @RealPeerReview this gem of academic excellence from the journal Environmental Politics.

Investigations of the interconnectedness of climate change with human societies require profound analysis of relations among humans and between humans and nature, and the integration of insights from various academic fields. An intersectional approach, developed within critical feminist theory, is advantageous. An intersectional analysis of climate change illuminates how different individuals and groups relate differently to climate change, due to their situatedness in power structures based on context-specific and dynamic social categorisations. Intersectionality sketches out a pathway that stays clear of traps of essentialisation, enabling solidarity and agency across and beyond social categories. It can illustrate how power structures and categorisations may be reinforced, but also challenged and renegotiated, in realities of climate change. We engage with intersectionality as a tool for critical thinking, and provide a set of questions that may serve as sensitisers for intersectional analyses on climate change.


  1. Who can forget that great climateball: it’s a paper about polar bears because it contains the words “polar bear”. That was a corker!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor Len, came to a discussion of ideas completely unable to participate.
    But on to the topic at hand:
    For me the most interesting one lately us the slick move from predicting the end of winter when there were light winters, due to global warming, to the predictions of heavy winters due to global warming when heavy winters returned.
    The ability to get people to suspend critical thinking and believe such bs is awe inspiring.
    We do have examples if people dumbed diwn enough to believe it.
    Heck some even post here.
    But to think of journalists and intellectuals swallowing such obvious crap and repeating it as if they believe it- that is amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. More than a whiff of desperation. When there was warming, they could claim CO2 was to blame and complicated scientific discussions left the public lost. When temperatures went flat, confusion ensued but believers could claim the heat was hiding in the ocean and warming will resume. If and when temperature decline and some people freeze in the dark from unreliable green energy, there will be hell to pay. They have to get out ahead of this and make sure that cooling is also caused by CO2.

    BTW Lawrence Solomon has an article suggesting that economists who embraced carbon emissions trading may soon need to advocate carbon incentives to increase emissions to save the planet from the next (hopefully little) ice age.


  4. Ron,
    “Desperation” is a good term to describe the keystone cops style scrambling the climate consensus is flailing around…..except the media thinks the show is “real”….


  5. If Mannikins has such a good understanding of climate/weather he should have predicted (97% certainty) that the US east coast would experience a cooold snap.


  6. According to the National Weather Service, the lowest temperature on Friday, -41C (-42F), was recorded at Embarrass, Minnesota.

    Nomen est omen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The warming causes cold polar vortex thing started with Holdren at the White House, IIRC winter 2014. Didn’t fly then and isn’t flying now.


  8. Paul, your last quotation, from Environmental Politics is a real corker. I have now tried to read and understand it seven times. I start out well, I can understand the words, but combined they lose their meaning, my mind wanders and I approach that precipice – the will to live. I try again, and with the greatest of effort assimilate another line, before drifting away. Before congratulating myself in my new achievement it dawns on me that I have lost my hard gained understanding of the earlier part of the paragraph. Its no good skipping my way forward in search of nuggets of comprehension. They are there, but are scattered like isolated pebbles on a beach, not in contact. Realization then sets in that I don’t really care. Then all motivation is gone and the writing dissolves into incoherent Aleutian.
    Is it me, have I lost too many neurons? Is old age really setting in – will I soon be unable to understand a modern equivalent of Dandy or Beano? I fell heavily on Wednesday and it shook me up. An inability to read and translate modern socialese might be a warning sign of the grim reaper’s approach.
    Need a good Whiskey Mac, even though today is the last day of Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This Tyndall Working Document from 2004 was ahead of the field in addressing the disconnect between the AGW agenda and the weather. Here are some pertinent extracts:

    Working Paper 58

    “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change”

    Dennis Bray and Simon Shackley, September 2004. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

    “We suggest that, in the realm of the public, forces act to maintain or denounce a perceived reality which has already been constructed. That is, an issue introduced by science (or media for that matter) needs continual expression of confirmation if it is to be maintained as an issue.

    In this paper, we explore under what conditions belief in global warming or climate change, as identified and defined by experience, science and the media, can be maintained in the public’s perception.

    As the science itself is contested, needless to say, so are the potential policy changes. So how then do people make sense or construct a reality of something that they can never experience in its totality (climate) and a reality that has not yet manifest (i.e. climate change)?

    To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.

    Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change if the issue is framed as global warming.

    Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.

    We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.”

    More background and detail here:

    “Global Warming – The Social Construction Of A Quasi-Reality”

    The science was of course settled by James Hansen in 1988 and there were no longer any doubts at Kyoto in 1997.


  10. Alan

    I hope your fall was none too serious, and that you are feeling better now. Whisk(e)y Mac usually helps.

    I wouldn’t worry about your cognitive functions. I couldn’t take that passage in either, and I think I’m quite a bit younger than you. Also, I’m a solicitor, so I’m used to reading stuff that most people find to be unintelligible!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Alan Kendall, the modern equivalent of the Beano and Dandy is known as Peer Reviewed Climate Science Literature, equally full of gaffes and goofs, with the same comical pompous pretentious oafs, endlessly repeated.

    Mark Hodgson, perhaps Alan meant Whiskey McCs?


  12. Mark. Thanks for your kind wishes, I have almost recovered.
    You can brag about being able to decypher legalese, but I’ll match you and raise you student examination scripts!


  13. Paul. I won’t be able to sleep tonight. The ocean floor is sinking and that is probably accelerating. Ocean floor spreading has slowed down and the flanks are cooling and contracting. I will be interested in learning how the evil dioxide molecules manage that trick. Betcha Hollywood is now planning its new blockbuster: contraction of the ocean floor opens huge cracks, down which the oceans drain. Can’t work out how a young, well endowed and blond environmentalist saves the world in less than two hours.


  14. Alan – glad you’re recovering. I surrender regarding ability to decipher nonsense; I think you just trumped me.

    Paul Matthews at 9.46 a.m. The American Meteorological Society’s report “Explaining Extreme Events of 2016 from a Climate Perspective” contains this gem:

    “It has therefore been speculated that continued Arctic sea ice loss would cause more cold extremes in the continental midlatitudes. This does not seem to be the case in the United States where very cold winters have become less likely due to global warming (Wolter et al. 2015; Trenary et al. 2016).”

    This is the link if you want to read it for yourself:

    Click to access ch24.pdf

    I wonder how they’ll explain the recent extreme cold in Canada and USA when they write “Explaining Extreme Events of 2017 from a Climate Perspective”?


  15. Must British Children in future have to go to Morocco to build snowmen?


  16. I am confused about the term “climateball”. It is explained here that it is a homage to Coleman’s utterances, but the way some people use it (Willard for example) it’s used more in the sense of a competition where you frustrate your opposition by prevarication, procrastination and obfuscation – thus akin to Rollerball. Interesting because the film Rollerball was set in 2018.

    [PM: Yes, fair point, but there’s a subtle distinction between “Climateballs”, a Coleman-esque balls-up, as used here, and “ClimateBall” the point-scoring game, as used by Willard!]


  17. No no, Alan, the allusion for Climateball has never been to Rollerball but Calvinball. Spence_UK claims precedence in making the connection, on Climate Audit, over ten years ago. This was discussed further in September 2014. But Paul’s coinage is plural and clearly speaks of David Coleman and Private Eye. Though, as already pointed out by Oldbrew, Pseud’s Corner may provide even greater inspiration over time.


  18. But, but, Richard you need to tell Willard and his(?) ilk. They are definitely playing climateball a la Rollerball and people are getting hurt. I believe ATTP may similarly be mistaken.
    What is Calvinball; do you get to play this in kirk?


  19. My apologies Richard, I should have looked up your link. Yes a Calvin and Hobbes link seems plausible. Not only is the game never played the same way twice, with ever changing rules, but the tiger never wins. This explanation echoes my own “misunderstanding (and that of many others) that it’s a competitive sport.


  20. Richard. Thank you so much for reminding me of Calvin and Hobbes. I have about four albums of their comics. I leave them alone for several years so that I don’t fully remember them. Then I read them cover to cover. Individual strips are not usually funny by themselves, but reading them one after the other always works: a particularly clever one doubles me up laughing.
    Was sorry to read in your link that there was a last CandH strip, but I suppose there must have been. I bought my albums in the 1980s. I suppose they were never popular in the UK, because when I returned from North America (clutching my albums) I found very few people who had ever heard of the comic strip and I found nowhere to purchase new albums.
    I shall indulge and reread my albums tonight and see if Amazon has copies for sale.

    Liked by 1 person

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