Are you a scientist?

Then you know that scepticism is quite normal—it’s not a mental illness

If you don’t believe me, see a doctor

He will ask, quite properly, what’s wrong with you. But he should confirm that scepticism is normal, that if you need to overcome scepticism, evidence works well and, for God’s sake, don’t accuse sceptics of being unbalanced. Oh, wait; that’s exactly what Victoria University plans to do. See this brochure.


Brochure for upcoming VUW lecture in South Auckland on climate change (beliefs and biases?). Apparently the home of our national Climate Change Research Institute has no evidence for global warming, so it’s asking a psychologist to explain that people who want to accept the mainstream theory of dangerous global warming are prevented from doing so by the mysterious psychology of belief. Click to see more.

Evil practice reaches New Zealand

As this brochure manifests, mainstream scientists are resorting to casting doubt on the mental faculties of sceptics. It is extremely disappointing to see this evil practice reach New Zealand, since the root of the “problem of non-belief” is a lack of evidence.

The nation’s foremost climate scientists in the Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University find that they’re losing the argument for dangerous man-made global warming. They should use evidence but, since it’s a fair bet the Associate Professor in Psychology is no expert in climate science, they will instead help fellow believers teach sceptics about “the psychology of belief” and “bias in decision-making.”

Yeah, that’ll help. Ignore our questions about recent long-term lack of warming, poor integrity of temperature records and disputed adjustments, uncertainty over climate sensitivity to CO2, sparse data for ocean warming and your continued evasion of honest inquiry—you’ll certainly establish the truth by maligning your critics as imbalanced.

Auckland sceptics: get ready for Otara, 22nd July

Anthony Gottlieb says David Hume advises us to be sure to exercise the “degree of doubt, and caution, and modesty, which, in all kinds of scrutiny and decision, ought for ever to accompany a just reasoner.” Apart from anything else, Hume says this would help to cure people of their “haughtiness and obstinacy.” Good advice for any generation. Gottlieb goes on:

In theory, we have all learned Hume’s lesson, because a modest scepticism is the official philosophy of the modern sciences, which avow the maxim that every result is to be probed, repeatedly, and no truth may be admitted until it has stood the test of time. But, in fact, we have not learned his lesson. Nobody has time to wait and see whether yesterday’s experiment will still stand several decades from now. Life is short and writers have deadlines. So scepticism is a philosophy that is not easy to live up to. But who would want a philosophy that was?

In the scientific community, mainstream climate science is distinguishing itself for meeting sceptical inquiry with scorn, ad hominem abuse and libel suits—even hounding the employers of troublesome questioners in often successful attempts to dismiss them. Far from preventing these nefarious activities, scientific academies like the Royal Society, to their eternal shame, join in. Neither the establishment bodies nor the scientists they employ make any effort to practise Hume’s difficult philosophy of “doubt, and caution, and modesty.”

The global warming believers will put a psychologist in front of us to analyse our scepticism—our lack of belief. But a person’s belief is anchored in evidence and there has been no evidence for warming.

There’s no mysterious psychology behind this contrary climate belief but rather the reality in observing 20 years of warming stasis.

Analyse that!

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This Tyndall paper may be relevant: The Social Simulation of The Public Perceptions of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change Abstract This paper uses a dynamic simulation model to situate the role of variables representing environmental processes in the social construction of the issues of climate change and global warming. In effect, it presents a quantitative dynamic simulation model of the social construction of a quasi-reality. By quasi-reality we mean a reality that thus far is defined by expert knowledge and is surrounded by uncertainty. A description of the model is followed by a demonstration employing a series of climate scenarios. Clearly there are many potentially serious limitations to the approach we have developed here, including the legitimacy of the postulates and the difficulty of acquiring suitable data for future calibration. However, in the broader context of promoting interdisciplinary efforts (necessary for increasingly geo-physical societal complexities), we hope, none the less, to have offered a demonstration of developing methodological possibilities. and from page 4 of the paper itself Our starting point is similar to Berger and Luckmann’s concern with how ‘reality is socially constructed’… Read more »

Alexander K

Reality may very well be a ‘social construct’, but only idiots ignore real-world evidence. I worked in a ‘social science’ department in a university many years ago and my ears never bled, but I used to laugh very heartily at the utter nonsense that floated about. Now, when I attempt tor read the stuff from my past, my brain wants me to go and do something satisfying such as gardening, baking a cake or painting a picture.
The American term ‘circle-jerk’ comes to mind.

Trying to shut down those who disagree by calling them mentally ill suggests they’ve lost the climate change debate. I notice they seem to be pulling out all the stops in the run up to Paris at the end of the year, because they know that if they can’t push climate change regulations through then that it’s all over. Last rattle of the dice for those pushing climate change, and they’re getting desperate.


The mental illness tactic was used in the Soviet Union by those that went against the State driven pseudo-science of Lysenkoism.

As for social science, Karl Popper had a lot of (bad) things to say about this in his various books on the philosophy of science (Conjectures and Refutations)

Unfortunately, the social sciences and their language now dominate academic life


One of the things that galls me is the statement (or put down) “he is not a climate scientist” (therefore not qualified to discuss this difficult topic)

For goodness sake, climate is complex, but it is not exactly at the forefront of physics

Take, for example, Freeman Dyson, one of the greatest minds in physics alive today, who practically invented quantum electrodynamics.
His Wiki page is incredible:

and his position on AGW Is fairly clear on that too,
yet DeSmogBlog dismisses this intellectual giant as a “denier” who appears to have had a fairly average career according to them

Richard C (NZ)

>”scepticism is quite normal”

>”mainstream scientists are resorting to casting doubt on the mental faculties of sceptics”

US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told a White House audience “normal people,” not “climate deniers” will win the debate on global warming

The winner, or loser, of the debate will be whoever has made the correct, or incorrect, predictions whether warmy or denier or whether McCarthy thinks they are normal or not. Right now CO2-centric climate science looks to be the loser given the tacitly admitted failure by the IPCC of their CO2-forced models (AR5 Chap 9, Box 9.2).

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard P. Feynman

And the climate of the earth is the final arbiter, not McCarthy or psychologists Wilson and Carter.


Just another bit from Dyson’s Wiki page worth sharing

Friends and colleagues describe Dyson as shy and self-effacing, with a contrarian streak that his friends find refreshing but his intellectual opponents find exasperating. “I have the sense that when consensus is forming like ice hardening on a lake, Dyson will do his best to chip at the ice”, Steven Weinberg said of him. His friend, the neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, said: “A favorite word of Freeman’s about doing science and being creative is the word ‘subversive’. He feels it’s rather important not only to be not orthodox, but to be subversive, and he’s done that all his life.”[18] [clarification needed] In The God Delusion (2006), biologist Richard Dawkins criticized Dyson for accepting the religious Templeton Prize in 2000; “It would be taken as an endorsement of religion by one of the world’s most distinguished physicists.”[33] However, Dyson declared in 2000 that he is a (non-denominational) Christian,[34] and he has disagreed with Dawkins on several occasions, as when he criticized Dawkins’ understanding of evolution.

Richard C (NZ)

>”not ……..psychologists Wilson and Carter”

Psychologists are irrelevant to the debate. Psychology is merely a sideshow outside the main tent, they’re just feeding off the frenzy. They are not radiative heating specialists, the critical issue, they can’t engage at that level so why listen to them or give them air time? They are adding nothing except for their own benefit and self-promotion.

Climate scientists aren’t radiative heating specialists either – and here lies the root of the fallacy of their conjecture. Perhaps the psychologists should turn their attention to this fundamental problem. They may as well now because they will have to eventually – if they’ve still got the stomach for the topic when the theory is convincingly falsified, say around 2020.

Richard C (NZ)

>”Are you a scientist?” ‘When Will Climate Scientists Say They Were Wrong?’ by Patrick J. Michaels, May 29, 2015 Day after day, year after year, the hole that climate scientists have buried themselves in gets deeper and deeper. The longer that they wait to admit their overheated forecasts were wrong, the more they are going to harm all of science. The story is told in a simple graph, the same one that University of Alabama’s John Christy presented to the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 15. The picture shows the remarkable disconnect between predicted global warming and the real world. The red line is the 5-year running average temperature change forecast, beginning in 1979, predicted by the UN’s latest family of climate models, many of which are the handiwork of our own federal science establishment. The forecasts are for the average temperature change in the lower atmosphere, away from the confounding effects of cities, forestry, and agriculture. The blue circles are the average lower-atmospheric temperature changes from four different analyses of global weather balloon data, and the green squares are the average of the two widely accepted analyses of satellite-sensed temperature.… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

‘We’ll All Be Dead Before Climate Change Orgs Admit They’re Wrong’ Says MP

Member of Parliament David Davies has warned of the stubborn nature of organisations like Britain’s Royal Society – the oldest grouping of eminent scientists in the world – who have admitted that they will not accept any other thinking on global warming for at least “fifty years”, even if the data shows otherwise.

# # #

Bring in the psychologists.

Richard C (NZ)

Overheated Global Warming Models ‘Will Take Down’ Climate Science

Read more:


Bertrand Russell, the philosopher and mathematician, wrote of how it would be possible to give children an unshakeable belief that “snow is black” Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific technique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology…. Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called “education.” Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part…. It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.” Russell continued, “The subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship….The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

>”Lionel Carter is not a psychologist but Professor of Marine Geology.” Correction noted. But still not a heat specialist i.e. he is no more able to argue the critical issue, radiative heating effect, than a psychologist. He can observe changes within his specialty and he can make a human attribution (assuming he does) based on IPCC reports and the “consensus” but that doesn’t make him correct just because he’s a Professor of Marine Geology. If the AGW theory is wrong his attribution is wrong – period. And his specialty is not one that enables him to make a judgment either way on the critical criteria, unless he simply looks objectively at the predictions of the theory (models) vs observations as can anyone. At this level he’s as much a scientist as anyone else is irrespective of his specialty, and, as Pat Michaels puts it above: “It’s impossible, as a scientist, to look at this graph and not rage at the destruction of science that is being wreaked by the inability of climatologists to look us in the eye and say perhaps the three most important words in life: we were wrong.” Lionel Carter… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

The brochure says:

“If it’s so obvious, why doesn’t everyone believe in climate change?”

Answer: definition of terms and attribution (the lecture is a redundant exercise).

I believe in climate change but my attribution (natural process) is not in terms that the UN FCCC and IPCC define (and even those differ).

Richard C (NZ)

>”If it’s so obvious”

It’s not, it’s undetected.

Stephens et al (2012) in their global energy update stated a range of uncertainty in the surface budget of 34 W.m-2 2000 – 2010.

Berkeley Labs (2015) found an empirical CO2 forcing of 0.2 W.m-2 at Oklahoma and Alaska 2000 – 2010.

Loeb et al (2012) found a “steady” (no trend) 0.6 W.m-2 imbalance in the TOA budget 2001 – 2010.

The effect of the CO2 “forcing” has not been detected at either surface or TOA i.e. it is negligible.

IPCC AR5 Chap 3 Ocean: Observations was unable to find the “air-sea fluxes”, speculated to be the anthropogenic ocean warming mechanism in Chap 10 Detection and Attribution, among the noise of natural fluxes. Net LR surface flux is a cooling flux (OLR) anyway.

The human fingerprint on climate has not even been identified outside natural variation, let alone “so” obvious.

Climategate II emails:

[Tommy Wils, Swansea University] – “What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably”



>”If it’s so obvious”

Why do they need to use “tricks to Hide the Decline”?
Why do they need to make adjustments to records that are always in the up direction?
Why do they need to run campaigns to get sceptical scientists sacked from their jobs?
Why do they need to refer to respected physicists and other scientists as “deniers”?
Why do they refuse to publish source data in the public domain?
Why do they never ever correct some of the utter rubbish that passes as science these days?


Richard C (NZ)

>”If it’s so obvious”

Why do they “need to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”?
Why do they need to use scare tactics?

[Bloomberg editorial] – “It’s as though they’ve decided that people need to be scared into accepting whatever governments might propose”

The scare is based on unconfirmed theory and unvalidated models. reality is catching out both.

Richard C (NZ)

[Stephen Schneider] – “So, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”


If it’s “so obvious” people will have already been convinced, models will have been validated by now, predictions will have started to come to fruition.

What doubts could there possibly be?

Richard C (NZ)

>”If it’s so obvious”

Why do we have to “free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy”

Why has this “almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore”

It is about the climate changing, isn’t it? Or has the issue been hijacked by a socialist agenda?


If anyone watched the YouTube link of Backbenchers I posted a few days ago, you would see how the language has been corrupted around the subject.

Wallace Chapman asked all the panel members about the storm in Wellington: “Is it climate change, yes or no?”

The question is completely nonsensical, yet he persisted in this line of questioning.
All the panel bar one said yes, the one who didn’t say no, but hesitated, was jeered by the audience

The storm wasn’t “caused” by climate change, exacerbated by it, the storm is climate change, a visual embodiment of ManBearPig, right before our eyes

Richard C (NZ)

>”the language has been corrupted around the subject” [one storm becomes climate change] Agreed. This is why we now have a lecture by a psychologist and a marine geologist about “beliefs, biases and measures” when they probably only have, at best, a very sketchy knowledge of the core tenets of AGW theory which is tricky to get a fix on because there has never been formal documentation of the hypothesis (but we go with what we can – see below). Neither is the theory within the scope of their respective specialties. This is why I am adamant that it is the fundamental issues of the theory that are what is at stake, anything else is a sideshow and irrelevant. So what exactly is the theory? A search does not immediately return a document(s) as one would expect. Instead all that can be gleaned is presentations from various institutions (and you have to really dig into university course notes) but no falsifiable hypothesis. For example, from the UK Met Office: What is climate change? Scroll down and you get to the “greenhouse effect” (a misnomer if ever there was one). Text reads: 1.… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Note that the theoretical 1975-2012 CO2 “forcing” of 0.93 W.m-2 (i.e. in respect to 1975 an increase from 0 to 0.93), is now greater than the estimated “steady” (Stephens et al, Loeb et al) radiative imbalance of 0.6 W.m-2 on average at TOA 2000 – 2010.

In other words, increasing CO2 in the atmosphere has no effect on the earth’s energy budget at TOA.


Richard C (NZ)

IPCC Chapter 2 Observations: Atmosphere and Surface

2.3.2 Changes in Top of the Atmosphere Radiation Budget [Page 182]

Since AR4, CERES enabled the extension of satellite records of TOA
fluxes into the 2000s (Loeb et al., 2012b). The extended records from
CERES suggest no noticeable trends in either the tropical or global
radiation budget during the first decade of the 21st century (e.g.,
Andronova et al., 2009; Harries and Belotti, 2010; Loeb et al., 2012a,

In summary, satellite records of TOA radiation fluxes have been substantially
extended since AR4. It is unlikely that significant trends exist
in global and tropical radiation budgets since 2000.

# # #


This is NOT “overwhelming evidence” for man-made climate change, it is in fact contra-evidence to CO2 forcing theory, the underlying theory of man-made climate change.


Denial despite overwhelming evidence is an example of cognitive dissonance which probably does need a psychologist to unravel.
I wonder if Andy is tempted to apply for the job of Australian Windfarm Commissioner? He could be just the unbiased expert that Tony Abbot is looking for.


“Psychologists are irrelevant to the debate”

Not sure, they might just have a use. I would like to see a thesis on:

“How financial incentive and peer pressure consistently applied to academics discourages independent thought and dissenting views.”

Surely not every psychologist has gone to the dark side.

Richard C (NZ)

[Simon] – “despite overwhelming evidence” What exactly is the “overwhelming evidence”, or any evidence Simon? As upthread evidence in terms of IR radiative forcing theory, the underlying theory of man-made climate change. Just one comment above yours there’s contra-evidence quoted from IPCC AR5 Chapter 2, 2.3.2 Changes in Top of the Atmosphere Radiation Budget: “no noticeable trends in either the tropical or global radiation budget during the first decade of the 21st century” A major problem for human attribution because there should be. Should be since this is is the period of the highest human CO2 emissions in the industrial era and CO2 “forcing” is currently increasing at 0.2 W.m-2 per decade (empirically, a little more theoretically). No detectible effect on the earth’s radiation budget by CO2 “forcing” means no evidence at all for man-made climate change because the underlying theory the MMCC conjecture is based on prescribes progressively decreasing OLR i.e. a progressively increasing TOA imbalance. Neither of these has been detected. OLR is increasing and the TOA imbalance is trendless. You can’t back up your claim in terms of the critical IR radiative forcing theory being confirmed with recourse to the… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

>”Denial despite overwhelming evidence is an example of cognitive dissonance”

Upthread I wrote:

“I believe in climate change but my attribution (natural process) is not in terms that the UN FCCC and IPCC define (and even those differ).”

Counts me out as a “denier” of climate change Simon, who are you referring to?

Richard C (NZ)

>”You can’t back up your claim in terms of the critical IR radiative forcing theory being confirmed with recourse to the IPCC as above. Confirmation is absent, no observational evidence at all let alone “overwhelming”. You lose Simon.”

Cognitive dissonance appears to be on your part Simon.

Richard C (NZ)

“Overwhelming evidence”

Of all the vacuous unsubstantive catch-all phrases applied to MMCC this is the worst. It’s like an empty bucket all the warmies carry around saying:

“Look! Look at all the overwhelming evidence in my empty bucket. It’s full. Full the brim I tell you!”


The MMCC Emperor has no clothes.

Richard C (NZ)

>”CO2 “forcing” is currently increasing at 0.2 W.m-2 per decade (empirically, a little more theoretically).”

This “forcing” is supposed to be effective at TOA – it isn’t. MMCC theory has failed at the first hurdle, any other anecdotal “evidence” is moot (embarrassing for likes of Simon, Gareth Morgan, and UK Met Office).

Using Mauna Loa data the theoretical CO2 “forcing” is now 1.24 W,m-2 1959 – 2014.

Except it doesn’t “force” anything at TOA. The TOA imbalance is an on average trendless 0.6 W.m-2 2000 – 2010 (Stephens et al 2012, Loeb et al 2012, IPCC AR5 Chap 2).

CO2 “forcing” is now double the TOA imbalance over the IPCC’s anthro attribution period. We could double CO2 levels in the atmosphere to 800ppm and it wouldn’t make any difference to the TOA energy budget.

This, I think, needs to be shouted in Tim Groser’s ear.

Richard C (NZ)

[HemiMcK] – I would like to see a [psychology] thesis on: “How financial incentive and peer pressure consistently applied to academics discourages independent thought and dissenting views.”

From ‘Does peer review do more harm than good?’ by Luc Rinaldi on 13 Jun 2015

The debacle must have seemed like déjà vu to Alex Holcombe, a University of Sydney psychology professor. In 2011, he and a small group of academics wrote a protest letter to seven journals that employ paid fast-track peer review; a few later dropped the policy. “It ran contrary to many of the scientific values that I hold dear,” says Holcombe, “which is: What appears in scientific journals is determined not by money, but rather the merit of the actual science.” He says fast-tracking is a formula for taking shortcuts—such tight timelines may force reviewers and editors to make decisions without proper scrutiny—and worries it will jeopardize reviewers’ neutrality. “I’m in psychology,” he says, “so I’ve got research suggesting people are influenced by money, even when they implicitly think money doesn’t inform decisions.”

Not quite what you want but it’s past thesis level Hemi.

Richard C (NZ)

The UK Met Office explicitly states climate change in terms of “the planet’s energy balance” – nothing else: Why is our climate changing? “Anything that affects the amount of energy being absorbed from the Sun, or the amount being radiated by the Earth – the planet’s energy balance – may produce long- or short-term cooling or warming.” Therefore the TOA budget is the primary, and only, (natural or anthro) climate change metric in UKMO terms. WARMIST’S NOTE: They attribute the warming of the early 20th century (e.g. 1910 – 1940) to solar change: “Increased solar energy” “Scientific research into the energy we receive from the Sun has found that it is not the main cause of the current warming trend. However, solar radiation is thought to have been responsible for increased warming early in the 20th century.” How they make this distinction when solar input to the planetary system continued to increase after 1940 to Grand Maximum levels 1958 – 2005 (except SC 20) is beyond me. Usoskin graphs this level as the highest for around 11,000 years. And solar input is still very close to that level. This is the simple… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

‘Gina McCarthy and Obama’s Totalitarians’ Shades of insane asylums for Soviet dissidents. Jamie Glazov, June 25, 2015 Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov disappeared from public view in early May, 1984 after he had begun a hunger strike to get permission for his wife, Yelena Bonner, to travel to the U.S. for heart surgery. In the Soviet paradise, wanting one’s anti-Soviet wife to live, and, worse still, to be saved by evil capitalist surgeons and not by the holy surgeons of the Soviet utopia, was, clearly, an exercise in abnormal psychology. Sakharov was undoubtedly “mentally ill.” No wonder, therefore, that Soviet authorities forcibly confined him in a closed ward of the Semashko Hospital in Gorky, where he was force-fed and given drugs to alter his state of mind. This is how Soviet authorities believed they would get the Soviet dissident to not only stop caring about his wife, but to also make a public recantation about his abnormal anti-Soviet views – a gambit in which they ultimately failed. The Soviet system had a long and cruel record of perverting psychiatry to abuse political dissidents. Labelling many thought-criminals ”insane,” the communist regime institutionalized them under horrifying… Read more »

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