Skepticism is a Full Time Job

Skepticism is a Full Time Job

The following post is officially Anthony approved.

Quoting me:

I know I can be brusque.  I can also be funny.  I can even be kind.  Who knows what the wheel will bring on the next spin?


Two days ago I received this story tip:

WUWT Tip submission
Lack of sunspots to bring record cold, warns NASA scientist November 12, 2018 by Robert “It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. ________________ “The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age,” wrote Dr Tony Phillips just six weeks ago, on 27 Sep 2018.

Yesterday I received this one:

WUWT Tip submission
NASA Scientists: Lack Of Sunspots To Bring Record Cold

These story tips set off my incongruency radar.

Here are excerpts from the story

“It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center.


Record cold in a matter of months

“If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold,” says Mlynczak. “We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months.”

This story gave me pause.  Who is this NASA scientist saying these  heretical things? So I looked up the original article from which the above two derived their stories and quotes.

Here are quotes from the article that provide context.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”


“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

Mlynczak was speaking of the thermosphere on the edge of space, not the surface climate where people live.  His statements in context are not remotely controversial.  It is accepted by most mainstream astronomers, atmospheric scientists, climate modelers, climatologists, solar scientists, atmospheric chemists, and just about every field of mainstream climate science that:

The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum (sic).

I view this little episode as illustrative of much of the state of the anti-climate alarmism movement.

My current assignment in charge of this blog is open-ended, unlike the specific length of my previous assignments.  I have no idea if I’ll be here five weeks or five years.  I intend to try and enhance real skepticism, in context arguments, and real scientific discussions on this blog.

I long for the romantic days when the Godfather of Climate Science skepticism, Steve McIntyre, was active at Climate Audit and there were brilliant discussions,  biting comedy, as well as heated arguments, and not just the same echo chamber talking points we so often see today.  Yeah, I’m old and I miss 2008 and the days of baby ice for you insiders.  Even though some may remember that, did you know I was “jeez”?  Those were also the exciting days of Anthony’s making huge waves with his Surface Station project.

Ponder this, Rud Istvan is Iionized here, and Steve Mosher is vilified.  Many, if not most of you don’t know that it was Mosher’s prominent “Free the Code” movement that influenced NASA to open up its model code and greatly move toward transparency.  A bunch of you recently learned he outed Gleick’s forgery.  I understand Mosher is snarky and often behaves like a prick, but most here don’t realize it is because long ago he became fed up with the lack of skepticism and quality arguments I noted in the beginning of this essay.

If you were to sum up the primary scientific disagreement between Istvan and Mosher, it is that both have thoroughly examined  the historical temperature record and one believes it is fit for the purpose of analyzing climate and other doesn’t .  They can have rational, intelligent, scientific discussions over this disagreement and still stay friendly.   Obviously differing policy choices logically flow from this disagreement.

But a core level it all comes down to a legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data.

There are massive amounts of good here at this blog.  I want to nurture that good and make it grow.  But the echo-chamber aspects are not helpful to convincing others, or to being taken seriously by the currently unconvinced.  I want this blog to be a force for education and to grow in influence and that requires upping our game, and maybe even some growing pains.

\end pontification



Superforest,Climate Change

via Watts Up With That?

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