Slick Jim Hansen slanders Lindzen

he has nothing else — his climate predictions have failed

he’s a disgrace

James Hansen under arrest

I received a report about Hansen’s address at Massey last night. Don says:

I have just returned from James Hansen’s lecture at Massey. The Japan Lecture Theatre was packed; I didn’t count, but there were probably about 200 people in the audience.

At the end I got to ask a question. I was very polite, and said how grateful we all were that such a distinguished expert had come to talk to us about his beliefs, but I was concerned that his whole talk rested on the premise that the science is settled. He had said the only dissenters are those in the pay of the oil industry, and I expressed regret that they hadn’t offered any lucre to me.

Dr Richard Lindzen

His reply was polite, but condescending. He conceded there are a few scientists whose chronic skepticism blinds them to the truth. For example, he said, he knows Richard Lindzen, who is a nice guy, but doesn’t dare, when he’s with other scientists, talk the kind of nonsense he writes in his newspaper columns. Also, Lindzen has never accepted that tobacco causes cancer, so obviously his judgement can’t be trusted.

Afterwards a few members of the audience came up and thanked me for what I had said.

The belief is strong in that one

Thanks for that, Don. That’s an intriguing look into ‘Slick’ Hansen’s attitudes.

First, congratulations for your criticism of Hansen for not sticking to the science; I’m sure many people noticed it when you thanked him for talking about his “beliefs.” The physical world works independently of anyone’s beliefs, so when he talks about them, he discusses no science. Well done.

Though Slick claims the science is settled, there is evidence of quite unsettled science (see my post Study undermines “science is settled” claims then Google ‘science isn’t settled’), yet the media seems unable to challenge him on it.

Slick’s repetition of the old saw about Lindzen’s denial that tobacco causes cancer is vile. I spent a couple of hours this morning trying to verify this allegation and found nothing more than unsupported allegations in blog comments, plus an inference that he once expressed doubts about the magnitude of the risks from second-hand tobacco smoke and so what? It doesn’t match Slick’s slimy insinuation. I had to move on, but if anybody can prove or disprove this allegation, please do so. I’ve emailed Richard Lindzen asking for his comments. Watch this space.

The time-worn allegation that climate sceptics are paid by “big oil” is rotten and loathsome because it is a lie! Nobody pays me for my sceptical articles, yet they take so much of my time I earnestly wish that somebody would pay me! Anybody — I’m not particular. As long as the message I’m passionate about gets a wider hearing, I don’t mind who helps to achieve that.

A senior scientist like Slick Hansen disgraces himself by echoing such counterfeit gossip and he does it for the sole purpose of deceiving us.

The funny thing about coal

You know, there’s a funny angle to the coal protest. Slick’s whole argument over coal is that it puts out more CO2 than other fuels per unit burned. He doesn’t argue that CO2 itself is bad, so much as saying that the CO2 from coal is “dirtier” than the CO2 from gas or petrol.

In other words, he strangely insists that we shouldn’t emit the CO2 from coal, but only from gas and petrol. He has likened trains carrying coal to the “death trains” of the Nazis and has called for leaders of coal companies to be locked up for “crimes against humanity.” He’s not complaining about the ordinary pollutants in coal — of which there are many which should be scrubbed out of the emissions — but to CO2, because it “damages” the climate.

Now, come on, Slick, tell us the difference between coal, petrol and natural gas! Why do you want us to continue burning petrol and gas but leave coal in the ground? Surely there’s no difference of kind, only of degree?

No belief in scepticism

I’m fascinated to hear that “chronic scepticism” apparently “blinds” a person to the truth!

An essential requirement of scientific enquiry is to be sceptical, so each and every observation is tested again and again, and in creative new ways, in a ceaseless effort to find fault with it. A true scientist reflects endlessly on trying to falsify his own work. Amazing! Nor should such scepticism be merely an occasional resort when one needs to project an image of sincerity, but rather a constant companion. It should not be an irregular condition but a chronic one, present at all times.

However, Slick claims that chronic scepticism is wrong, because it blinds a person to the truth! Now, that’s an argument greatly at odds with the understanding of the vast majority of us — an understanding that surely enjoys an overwhelming scientific consensus! Scepticism is to science what probity is to law.

Strange understanding Dr Hansen! What’s blinding him? In the absence of scepticism, it can only be strong beliefs. Beliefs which are, necessarily, empty of evidence.

42 Thoughts on “Slick Jim Hansen slanders Lindzen

  1. Robin Pittwood on May 15, 2011 at 9:02 am said:

    I reckon of any group should be challenged as to a crime against humanity, it should be those who are diverting tons and tons of food, from the mouths of hungry people to the petrol tanks of the rich. Biofuels are a crime against humanity.

  2. Pingback: Climate Conversation Group » Lindzen dismisses Hansen’s defamations

  3. Nandor on May 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm said:


    My understanding is that he isn’t saying that the CO2 from coal is worse, but simply that it is highly unlikely we can prevent the extraction of the “easy” oil. It is not unrealistic, however, to think we can prevent the wringing from the earth of the more difficult stuff such as tar sands and oil shale, as well as head off the massive amount of CO2 that would come from burning up all our coal reserves (including the really stupid idea of turning NZ lignite into diesel). He says (I understand) that even if we burn the conventional oil we can still reduce atmospheric CO2 over the next few decades by tackling coal and unconventional fuels etc.

    You clearly disagree with his conclusions about climate change, and of course that is your right, but your facile misrepresentation of his arguments, plus the whole “slick” thing, suggests that this is a site for people who seeks polemics rather than understanding. That is also your right, but please don’t try and fool yourself (and others) by pretending otherwise.

  4. Actually, Nandor, your understanding is incorrect. I heard Jim interviewed on TV1 and he said quite clearly that the way to save our grandchildren is to leave the coal in the ground. Not the oil or the gas, only the coal. Ergo, the coal is worse. Not because of the “ordinary” pollution it emits (which, as I’ve said many times, ought to be removed or diminished), but because of its effect on global warming. That effect is only through CO2. Did you know that, the more CO2 goes into the atmosphere, the less each unit of it raises the temperature? It’s a logarithmic influence, not linear. There’s no cause for concern except what emerges from inaccurate climate models. Why isn’t the global temperature rising now?

    I guess the ‘slick’ thing is a product of anger, Nandor. Anger that the “father of climate change” would, in public, regurgitate bald-faced lies against an honest scientist. This site, as it bears witness, contains plenty of factual content for those who are genuinely curious about global warming, and is the leading NZ site for investigation into errors in the national temperature record. There’s more to come on that score, by the way, so watch this space!

    I don’t know what “pretence” you’re referring to, because I haven’t engaged in any I’m aware of, but I’m genuine in my criticism of Hansen for his unprovoked attack on Lindzen.

    I note your lack of comment on Hansen’s behaviour and wonder if you approve of it?

  5. Alexander K on May 19, 2011 at 1:45 am said:

    Is Nandor a real person, or is it a reactive autotroll of the type that the US secret service boffins were keen to impose on the internet as fast-breeding idiots which would be triggered by a set word or phrase and deliver a flood of short but mindless posts to the string on the blog which was the source of the trigger?
    Or if it’s the Nandor I suspect it might be, he hasn’t learnt much in the last decade. Hansen’s law-breaking and his long list of scary but utterly failed and essentially silly non-scientific statements and predictions are a matter of public record, as are his long list of ‘adjustments’ of climate history. It’s very interesting that when Hansen recently lectured in China, not a word about evil coal passed his lips. Polemics are a two-edged sword, Nandor, and yours has no handle.

  6. Andy on May 19, 2011 at 8:47 am said:

    I presume that Nandor is the former NZ Green MP and Rastafarian.
    Here is his website

  7. Andy on May 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm said:

    The Hansen fan club continues with Brian Fallow’s article in the Herald

    Fallow quotes:

    “There is a huge gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community and what is known by the people who need to know – the public. That gap has actually increased in the last several years, partly because our knowledge of the science has changed and it has become clear the matter is more urgent than we realised even five years ago.”


  8. Andy on May 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm said:

    There’s about 28 comments on the Herald article so far. Quite a lot of sceptical ones, as usual.

  9. Neil on May 21, 2011 at 5:47 am said:

    My comment from a few days ago did not make it through. I thought it was quite reasonable, I merely said that Hansen was a religeous zelot from the Church of Climate Change. Must have qualified as abuse.

  10. Hi Neil,

    Sorry for the delay in moderation; I’ve been in the hospital for tests, out of reach of the internet. There’s no sign of your previous comment, so I’m sorry, but I don’t know what happened to it. I wouldn’t have deleted it, although I might have tut-tutted. However, I’m in the right mood to call Hansen a religious zealot, so feel free to send it again! It will be posted automatically. Thank you.

  11. mick on May 22, 2011 at 1:32 am said:

    Richard, you ask ‘Slick’ James Hansen to tell us why he will allow us to produce CO2 from oil but not from coal.
    My understanding of what Hansen is saying is it would be best to stop emitting all fossil fuel CO2, but it is impractical to do this right away. However calculations about future CO2 levels predict that it is possible to return to (hopefully safe) CO2 levels of around 350ppm within 50 years even if we allow the consumption of ‘easy’ oil reserves. To do this we must leave the coal in the ground, forget about the tar sands & shale oil and also avoid looking all around the planet for more conventional oil.
    The transition away from fossil fuels will take time. The most pragmatic first step is to stop burning coal.

  12. Thanks, Mick. You’re the second person to offer this explanation, so I guess I ought to accept that you’re describing what Hansen believes! Still, when listening to Hansen in New Zealand, he leaves the crystal-clear impression that coal is a demon and using it will cause “runaway climate change” and destroy life as we know it. I’m aware of no other climate scientist making the claim of “runaway” warming, so Hansen is on his own with that. Either that, or his acolytes go further than they should. The fact that he lets them reveals an intention to mislead.

  13. mick on May 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm said:

    Hi Richard. Thanks for your response. I went to Hansen’s lecture in Auckland but the impression that was crystal-clear to you was not left with me. I didn’t hear him talk about runaway climate change, or use the word demon when talking about coal.
    I notice that you are a professional writer so I guess my understanding of your last two sentences is close to what you intend. You imagine Hansen controls a group of climate scientist ‘acolytes’ and achieves his aim of misleading the public by instructing them to publish scientific papers supporting his own position – right?

  14. Richard C (NZ) on May 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm said:

    Mick, re Hansen’s acolytes.You might be interested in this thread.

    Featuring:- Foster, Annan, Jones, Mann, Renwick, Salinger, Schmidt and Trenberth

  15. Bob D on May 23, 2011 at 10:35 am said:

    Mick, I don’t think Richard is talking only about one particular meeting. He references previous writings of Hansen and also mentions the TV1 interview. Hansen’s comments on runaway climate change and coal are well-known, and he repeats them often.

    See here:
    The tipping points of James Hansen, climate scientist

    And on coal:
    Coal-fired power stations are death factories. Close them

    Coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet

  16. Bob D on May 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm said:

    However calculations about future CO2 levels predict that it is possible to return to (hopefully safe) CO2 levels of around 350ppm within 50 years even if we allow the consumption of ‘easy’ oil reserves.

    350ppmv eh? We’re currently at about 390 ppmv, which is not safe, according to Hansen 9and I gather, you).

    So let’s just have a look at the effect of this ‘unsafe’ level of CO2 over the past decade or so (since the IPCC A1B model runs):
    Temperature since Jan 2001 along with trends and IPCC projections for surface temperatures forced using the A1B scenario

    So the effect of the unsafe levels has had how much influence? Well none, so far. Every year we fall further and further behind the IPCC projected temperature increase of 0.21°C/decade. When will we catch up, I wonder? Will it be a sudden jump, or will the current rate jump from around zero to say, 0.42°C/decade for a while?

    It’s all very exciting.

  17. Andy on May 23, 2011 at 1:49 pm said:

    I guess I’ll have to listen to the whole Hansen lecture. I believe the key argument is the inertia in the system, which I presume means “missing heat” in the ocean.

    The recent paper that Hansen published admits that ocean uptake has been less than he expected.

    However, he continues to stick to his ground on CO2 by re-adjusting the effects from aerosols to fit the theory.

  18. Bob D on May 23, 2011 at 2:18 pm said:

    Yes, it’s interesting to see him squirm on this one. The OHC is the killer of AGW, and I’d love to see an update of Hansen (2005) using recent data (ie: since 2000). As you say, by excluding cloud cover / solar magnetic effects he’s left himself no room to move. GHG forcings must necessarily rise, and there haven’t been any decent volcanoes to reduce the temperatures.

    So bang goes the model. All he can do is introduce spurious aerosols etc. in a desperate attempt to balance things out, but even then he fails, because if there was warming in the pipeline, it should be manifesting itself in the oceans.

    Now of course the 0.85W/m2 imbalance depends entirely on Hansen (2005). No imbalance, no warming inertia. It’s fun to watch.

  19. Australis on May 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm said:

    Four unexpected occurrences are killing the CAGW hypothesis stone dead:

    1. No warming for a decade, plus severe NH winters;
    2. Endless affordable energy from shale gas;
    3. Political momentum lost once serious money was at stake*;
    4. ARGOs can’t find increasing OHC;

    * This one reminds me of numerous businessmen who are gung-ho right up to the day the cheque has to be signed. The annual UN talk-fests kept Environment Agencies happy for 20 years, but the last couple of years have perforce involve Treasury. When ecologists were replaced by economists, it was a whole new ballgame.

  20. Andy on May 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm said:

    I wonder whether the lunacy of the UK climate change bill can be added to that list.
    Once lights start going out, and bulldozers start chopping up every last square inch of British countryside to build windfarms, then the public are sure to make their feelings felt, just as the Greeks are right now with their economy only weeks away from implosion.

  21. Richard C (NZ) on May 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm said:

    The “squirm” you refer to I assume to be Hansen’s “delayed rebound effect” of the Pinatubo eruption.

    Classic squirm.

  22. Richard C (NZ) on May 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm said:

    Nice graph Bob (but not for AGW). I’ll add it to my “Climate Metrics” collection.

  23. mick on May 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm said:

    I put ‘noaa global temperature trend’ into google clicked the first result page and at the top was this graph:

    Looks like warming to me.

  24. mick on May 23, 2011 at 8:24 pm said:

    Hi Richard C, The link you posted looks like some climate scientists expressing concern about the scientific rigour of a paper co-authored by amongst others the completely discredited Bob Carter.
    I’ll take a wild guess that the scientists hold Carter to account over cherry picking data, straw-man arguments and dileberate misrepresentation of evidence.
    If, as you and the other Richard suggest, this is the quasi-religious influence of James Hansen I’ve got bad news for you. It’s spreading and they now teach this approach to science in universities, colleges – even schools! In fact they’ve been doing so for years.

    I know you’ll want the last word, so please – be my guest.

  25. Andy on May 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm said:

    How much time have you got Mick?

  26. Andy on May 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm said:

    “completely discredited Bob Carter”

    By whom, where and why?

  27. Bob D on May 24, 2011 at 10:33 am said:

    Yes Mick, nobody is claiming no warming since 1880. In fact, it’s been warming since the little ice age (LIA) in the 17th century. What’s under debate is extra warming due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly CO2.

    The IPCC itself only claims that humans could have had an influence since 1950. The extra warming would have the effect of accelerating the warming rate, since there is already an underlying, constant warming trend.

    For a while there, about 1976-2000, it looked like an accelration was actually happening. According to Hansen (2005), the energy imbalance of 0.85 W/m2 caused by GHG was heating the oceans much faster than they could get rid of the heat. This was termed “warming in the pipeline”, and this was expected to cause long-term warming even if we stabilised the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Note however that the warming rate 1976-2000 is no greater than the warming rate 1910-1940. It is therefore consistent with natural warming.

    Unfortunately in 2000, suddenly the unthinkable happened. The oceans stopped warming, and started shedding their heat quite happily. Since 2003, when we started measuring ocean heat content properly using the ARGO network, we have only seen gentle cooling. How can this happen, if the GHGs are blocking the out-going LW radiation?

    Well the answer is it can’t, unless there is something blocking incoming solar radiation. This is Hansen’s last hope. He has invented “delayed rebound” from the Pinatubo eruption of the early 1990s. Sounds like a stretch? It is. Volcanic eruptions (of that size) only effect the atmospheric temperatures for 2-3 years.

    The graph I showed above is clearly marked 2001-2011. It shows the temperature history from when the A1B scenario was modelled. It shows that the actual temperatures are not increasing at 0.21°C/decade as the IPCC said they would, and instead are flat-lining. Every year that passes we fall further behind the IPCC curve. When will we catch up? Who knows? But it always makes me smile when folk claim “it’s worse than the IPCC said”. It isn’t even close to what the IPCC said, let alone worse.

    Clearly, the earth has been in balance this past decade. Therefore there is no “warming in the pipeline”, since if the oceans were storing excess energy every day, by now we would know about it.

  28. Andy on May 24, 2011 at 11:03 am said:

    Good summary Bob. I wonder if these points were brought up during Hansen’s recent tour?

  29. Bob D on May 24, 2011 at 11:09 am said:

    🙂 I doubt it.

  30. Andy on May 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm said:

    Hansen provides an open letter to John Key linked off this page

  31. Richard C (NZ) on May 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm said:

    Bryan Leyland is having the last word using McLean de Freitas and Carter’s “rebutted” and “discredited” science (something the IPCC has yet to master).

    BTW, when do you think the latest climate science developments will be introduced in “universities, colleges – even schools”. I’m referring to the conclusions that ocean oscillations and cosmic rays are significant climate drivers (ignored by the IPCC until now). This means that the models will have to be reconfigured to take account of another 2 natural external forcings and new simulations run making all previous simulations redundant and irrelevant. It also means that the anthropogenic influence on climate is considerably less than estimated in AR1 – AR4. It’s back to the drawing board for the IPCC and they will have to “settle” the science all over again.

  32. Richard C (NZ) on May 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm said:

    It looks like warming to you because that’s what you want to see (it’s called confirmation bias). Just ease yourself out of your 80s – 90s comfort zone and the bigger picture will dawn on you. The warming that you see is the upswing of a warm phase in a warm-cool-warm-cool cycle overlaid on the rise since the LIA.

    Now that you have joined us (I hope) in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, it’s easy to see that the upswing has reached a zenith and we will now have to wait and see whether the cycle moves to cooler temperatures relative to the last decade or whether they just remain flat out to about 2030.

    Scafetta investigates the cycle in detail. See:-


    Scafetta, Submitted May 2010

  33. Richard C (NZ) on May 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm said:

    Mick, before the red mist descends and you rush to slag Leyland it might be worth noting that others have used natural climate driver phenomena to similar effect, notably: Landscheidt (ocean oscillations) and Holtam (solar – lunar model).

    Just a pity CSIRO and BOM are not quite so adept as the latter or Australia could have saved itself a bundle for de-salination plants (and some flooding angst and irony at the Victoria site – it’s one of those “unintended consequences when you bring in the clowns).

  34. Andy on May 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm said:

    There’s quite an interesting thread starting at Bishop Hill on “What we agree on”

    (based on the recent conference at Downing College Cambridge)

    Interesting stuff on radiation, quantum physics etc.

  35. Richard C (NZ) on May 25, 2011 at 12:25 am said:

    The NASA Climate Model Developed By Hansen Continues To Wildly Overestimate Global Warming

    Recently, James Hansen wrote about computer climate models having major shortcomings. This is not a surprise to the well informed on climate issues, since it has become very obvious that climate models have wildly overestimated global warming over the last 15 years. There is no argument about this…global warming over the last 15 years has literally disappeared.

    (chart updated with April 2011 temperature data; click on the chart to enlarge)

    This chart helps one to visually understand the significant and robust failure of climate models. The green curve represents NASA/Hansen climate model predictions of global temperatures if the world did not attempt to control human CO2 emissions and just let CO2 emissions grow. In fact, the world has not controlled CO2 emissions, and the CO2 emissions continue to grow, but the actual global temperatures (black and red curves) are well below that predicted green curve temperature outcome.

    To add to the IPCC/NASA climate modeler’s misery, current global temperatures are even below the predicted temperature outcome (light blue – cyan curve) if the world had been able to stop CO2 emissions growth.

    One can safely surmise, from the above, that all the empirical evidence points to climate models being programmed to be way too sensitive to atmospheric CO2 levels.

    Again, we will state the obvious: climate models are absolutely worthless as prediction tools, including predicting global temperature averages.

  36. Richard C (NZ) on May 25, 2011 at 12:27 am said:

    More on this here:-

    ABC Rejects — Hansen admit the models are wrong, but alarmism gets the last word on the ABC.


    Hansen is finally being forced to acknowledge some uncertainties that sceptics have been pointing out – that sea level rise has decelerated from 3.1 to 2.3 mm/year, the importance of enhanced indirect solar influences proven in recent cosmic ray studies, that CO2 sinks are not becoming less efficient, the large uncertainty associated with aerosols, clouds, and of course, that the climate models are more uncertain than are usually portrayed.

    Once again, we ask the question, based on the poor performance of the models against observations in recent years: do we really have an adequate scientific case that demands a policy response? More generally if policies are implemented on the back of a one-sided presentation of the science, then it is those policies and science which do society a “disservice”, not us.

  37. Bob D on May 25, 2011 at 9:43 am said:

    Thanks Richard, I hadn’t taken the time to read that paper. Good stuff.

  38. NikFromNYC on June 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm said:

    I let Jim speak for himself, here:

  39. Good one, Nik. Telling.

  40. Andy on June 5, 2011 at 11:01 am said:

    The Jim Hansen NZ Visit Facebook page is still going strong.

    A couple of my fellow commenters have been “disappeared” off the page. I guess they can’t take criticism.

    The page has now taken on the feel of a propaganda exercise aimed at children. In the spirit of Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, it is easier to peddle propaganda at kids whose brains haven’t properly formed yet.

    Feel free to “like” the page, if you are a facebook user, and make your feelings known.

  41. Peter Hannan on December 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm said:

    This is a bit late, but I came to this page when I also was searching for a source for the ad hominem about Lindzen and tobacco. Now, I have found a reference, in Joanne Nova’s blog,, to a connection between Fred Singer and tobacco: she says (and I recognise, without a reference either), ‘As it happens, Fred Singer was never directly paid by a tobacco company, has never doubted that smoking causes cancer, but corrected a scientific error in a paper on passive smoking.’ The same slur on Lindzen was in an article by Donald Prothero in eSkeptic, so it seems that at least two warmists have got the wrong man, and for a distorted rumour!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation