And it is, it is a glorious thing to be a Christian president!

September 20th, 2005

I am the very model of a modern Christian President,
My sanctified advisers are both transient and resident,
I know our planet’s history in milestones theological,
From Genesis to Malachi (but nothing geological).

I’m very well acquainted too with matters exegetical,
I parse the scientific into holy and heretical,
In embryonic stem cells, I see Satan’s plan to capture us,
But space-based X-ray lasers make me positively rapturous!

But space-based X-ray lasers make him positively rapturous,
But space-based X-ray lasers make him positively rapturous,
But space-based X-ray lasers make him positively raptu- rapturous!

I will not rest until our era cuts off at the Holocene,
And all our high school students have Intelligent Designer genes.
In short, with pious counselors both transient and resident,
I am the very model of a modern Christian president!

Pat Robertson’s advice for me has never failed to fascinate —
Especially which foreign leader we should now assassinate.
To pick Supreme Court justices, I never have to wait and see —
Pat puckers up his eyes and asks the Lord to make a vacancy!

For drilling in the Holy Land, I’ve always had a softer side,
Don’t tell me of the Hubbert Peak — it’s Providence that will provide.
My daddy and his daddy knew their bidness King Faroukh-ular,
But never bring it up with me, because I might go nucular!

But never bring it up with him, because he might go nucular,
But never bring it up with him, because he might go nucular,
But never bring it up with him, because he might go nucu- nucular!

I don’t believe in global warming; Kyoto is anathema.
I haven’t put the weather in my plans — and neither has FEMA,
But still, with pious counselors both transient and resident,
I am the very model of a modern Christian president!

When I can tell you what is meant by adenine or cytosine,
When I can tell by sight a PCR tank from a bread machine,
When I’ve acquired the rudiments of epidemiology,
And list the latex virtues with no hint of an apology,

When I know any factor that gives rise to tropical cyclones,
When I know more of physics than our mascot did at Skull and Bones,
When I have mastered any part of of basic science policy,
You’ll have a Christian president who clearly isn’t all at sea!

We’ll have a Christian president who clearly isn’t all at sea,
We’ll have a Christian president who clearly isn’t all at sea,
We’ll have a Christian president who clearly isn’t all-at-all-at-sea!

For, although in sacred matters I’m a walking, talking Pentium,
In science I have only reached the early first millennium.
But still, with pious counselors both transient and resident,
I am the very model of a modern Christian president!

Incompetence Sufficiently Advanced

September 6th, 2005

In a display of the rapid response for which they are justly famous, the Bush team has mobilized to shield the administration from the political consequences of Hurricane Katrina. In parallel with the official effort to shift blame to local authorities, we are now receiving a pitch-perfect chorus of talking points from the usual apologists. One choice bit of misdirection is to say that any criticism of this administration’s performance is equivalent to blaming Bush for the hurricane.


Bush can’t be blamed for the hurricane, but he can be blamed, and rightly, for the failure of his administration to take any preventive action to mitigate the effects of a predictable disaster, and his failure to respond when the inevitable occurred. As voices were raised from all sides asking how Bush could have managed so completely to avoid fulfilling any of his duties in a time of crisis, he assured us on Thursday morning that the consequences of Katrina were … unforeseeable.

“I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.”

In fact, massive levee failures in the event of a major storm were predicted years before Katrina.
Scientific American even ran a feature article in October 2001 (hat tip PZ Myers for the reminder) with a chillingly accurate forecast of the disaster to come.

In 1999, the late Marc Reisner gave the keynote address at a conference on water use. He said at that time that the loss of land from the Mississippi delta, caused by channelization of the river and proceeding at a rate of 16,000 acres per year, was the most important environmental story in the US. More recently, research into storm dynamics led to an estimate that damage to New Orleans from hurricane winds could be increased by 25% due to the loss of the delta’s cushioning effect.
These predictions were uncontroversial at the time they were made. They were accepted by emergency planning agencies, including FEMA — which conducted its own simulation exercise just last year.
But was protecting New Orleans properly a Federal responsibility? And could the federal government have done anything about the threat? Yes, and yes. Responsibility for flood control along the Mississippi has for years rested with the US Army Corps of Engineers, which built the impressive levee system that channelized the Mississippi and caused the coastal erosion just mentioned. In 1995, the Corps was chartered in the SELA project with improving southeast Louisiana’s coastal defenses.
However, that effort had slowed to a crawl in recent years:

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

The linkage between this administration’s priorities and the lack of preparation for the current disaster could hardly be clearer. And this is just a single example (though the most horrifying in its effects) of the Bush team’s attitude toward unwanted advice from scientists. As Chris Mooney has noted, George W. Bush and his advisers have from their first day in power treated science as an unwelcome distraction and scientists as an interest group.
In today’s world, this approach cannot be regarded as just another style of governance. Given the importance of getting the best scientific advice available and acting on it, Bush’s failure to do so is simple dereliction of duty. The best summing-up I’ve seen is a twist on Arthur C. Clarke’s dictum:

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

Ten Questions to Ask Your History Teacher

August 17th, 2005

One of my objectives in self-improvement is to stop correcting people who misuse the phrase “begs the question.”
As has been said about teaching a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.
But even if we feel awkward telling people “that’s not what ‘begging the question’ means”, we still need an example of what it does mean.

Luckily, the Discovery Institute has supplied a valuable teaching tool in the form of a list of ten questions, each one more question-begging than the last, for students to ask their biology teachers.

Now, some people would recommend that anyone who starts a sentence with “Why don’t textbooks discuss the ‘Cambrian explosion’,” be smacked with a rolled-up newspaper until he stops peeing on people’s brains.

But not me!

I think what we need is a lot more question-begging, willfully ignorant, smug, supercilious hooey posing as innocent requests for fairness and balance!

I feel so strongly about this that I’ve even generated a starter kit for those who want to bring this noble crusade to the rest of the academic disciplines.

So — kids, the next time your history teacher starts trying to force-feed you Revolutionary “theory” as if it were “fact”, you know what to do!

Ten Questions to Ask Your History Teacher

Q: ORIGIN OF GOVERNMENTS: Why do history textbooks claim that the modern British monarchy originated with the “Norman conquest”, in “1066”, when nobody has ever seen a calendar for that year, and there has never been an English king named “Norman”?

Q: WASHINGTON’S BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT: Why don’t textbooks discuss the “Civil War,” or the fact that all US governmental bodies appear together at that time, instead of branching from a Constitution — thus contradicting revolutionary theory?

Q: THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Why do history textbooks claim that the “Revolutionary War” started with a “Declaration of Independence” and quote its words, then claim that a suspiciously old-looking document in Washington D.C is the same document because it contains the same words, — a circular argument masquerading as historical evidence?

Q: GEORGE WASHINGTON. It is well known that the infamous “cherry tree” story was faked, and that “George Washington” never said “I cannot tell a lie” — that is, if he ever existed. Why do textbooks use drawings or “artist’s conceptions” of “George Washington” as evidence that he existed? Why does no single history textbook anywhere point out that there are no photographs – zero! – of “George Washington” in existence?

Q: ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Why do some history textbooks give Alexander Hamilton’s year of birth as 1755, and others as 1757? Why do historians refuse to discuss, or even acknowledge, the controversy? Why do many textbooks even claim that this (probably imaginary) figure was killed in a duel with “Aaron Burr”? Take out a $10 bill and see whose picture is on it. Do you think this duel actually occurred, and that the US then decided to put the loser’s picture on its currency?

Q: WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE. Why do history textbooks all use the same picture of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” — when historians have been aware for years that the picture was staged? Any idiot knows that you can’t get ten guys in a canoe without capsizing, and “Washington” is standing up? Get real.

Q: SILLY HATS. Why do textbooks claim that Revolutionary Fashion can explain the use of Tricorner Hats by the colonists — even though these hats were not used in the French Revolution, and there are no such silly hats anywhere else in history?

Q: REVOLUTIONARY WAR. Why do textbooks represent the Revolutionary War as having been won through a series of “small victories” when, every time you look at an actual battle the colonists fought against the British, as likely as not they got their asses handed to them? Do you think a nation as magnificently complex as the United States could come about through a random, undirected sequence of military engagements?

Q: GOVERNMENTAL ORIGINS. Why are artists’ drawings of a bunch of middle-aged guys in poofy wigs used to justify Revolutionary claims that we are all descended from a parcel of ninnies who didn’t have the sense to be at the beach in July — when historians cannot even agree on who they were or what their actual hair looked like?

Q: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION A FACT? Why are we told that the American Revolution is an historical fact — even though many Revolutionary claims are based on misrepresentations of the facts?

And remember — when some liberal revolutionist starts spouting off about imaginary events supposed to have taken place in 1776, all you have to do is look him in the eye and ask “Were you there?”

Mmm … DDT … Yum!

June 20th, 2005

Thanks to John Quiggin and Tim Lambert, we have pointers to yet another uninformed anti-environmentalist loyally repeating the party line that DDT has been banned for use against malaria, and that the ban has cost millions of lives. This is a crock, as a quick visit to the Malaria Foundation will confirm.[1]
While flogging this one around the track one more time, Miranda Devine takes a moment to muse on the attitudes that prevailed before the publication of Silent Spring:

Advertisements of the time, which today seem preposterous, extolled it as a benefactor of all humanity, with slogans such as “DDT is good for me-e-e”.

Tim Lambert supplied a link to an advertisement with that slogan. The same rendering has been widely reprinted. The advertisement perfectly captures the cheerful carelessness that led to over a billion pounds of the stuff in the US alone being applied to everything in sight. The singing cow and the dancing cucumber seemed about right … but … I did wonder how much the company paid whoever came up with the name “Killing Salt Chemicals,” and the reference to Star Trek seemed out of place. So I looked up the original (in Time magazine of June 30, 1947) and compared it with the reprinted version. The linked-to version has been modified from the original, but not by much:
DDT is good for me-e-e!
The blithe willingness to sprinkle DDT on everything from the barley to the baby, celebrated so colorfully in this advertisement, led in just a few years to widespread insecticide resistance among malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In Sri Lanka, Gordon Harrison observed[2] that

Anopheles culifacies, completely susceptible to DDT when the spray stopped in 1964 was now [in 1968] found resistant presumably because of the use of DDT for crop protection in the interim. Within a couple of years, so many culifacies survived that despite the spraying malaria spread in 1975 to more than 400,000 people.

This pattern was repeated in many places. If governments had paid more attention to Rachel Carson in the 1960s, this weapon against malaria might have retained its potency.

[1]“But,” some will object, “didn’t some environmental groups want to ban all use of DDT?” They sure did. And they got talked out of it. The simple fact is that DDT has never been banned as an antimalarial agent.

[2]Mosquitoes, Malaria and Man, Gordon Harrison, E. P. Dutton, 1978, p. 255

I christen thee … Samizdat!

May 30th, 2005

In 1625, King Gustav of Sweden commissioned a warship, the flagship of his fleet, to be called the Vasa. Built to the king’s own specifications, the ship would be the largest in the world — a fitting symbol of Sweden’s naval might. August 10, 1628 was a sunny day, and crowds turned out to see Vasa launched. The great ship was indeed a beautiful sight. As the city cheered, she slipped into the waters of Stockholm harbor, sailed a mile or so, turned upside-down and sank to the bottom.

It was the most humiliating ship-launching in naval history.

On May 14, 2004, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution announced the upcoming release of a book by its president, Ken Brown, to be titled Samizdat. According to the AdTI press release the book would “directly [challenge] Linus Torvalds’ claim to be the inventor of Linux.” With obvious pride, AdTI said that

Brown’s account is based on extensive interviews with more than two dozen leading technologists in the United States, Europe, and Australia, including Richard Stallman, Dennis Ritchie, and Andrew Tanenbaum.

The announcement caused a flurry of publicity. Within two weeks, nearly every well-known name associated with Unix and Linux (including Richard Stallman, Dennis Ritchie, and Andrew Tanenbaum) had weighed in, and their opinion of Brown’s thesis was unanimous.

Andrew Tanenbaum, Brown’s primary source, published a brilliant (and often hilarious) account of Brown’s efforts to tease accusatory statements from him, contradicting him on every point and remarking in passing that Brown is “not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”

Alexei Toptygin, the expert Brown had hired to find evidence of copied code in Linux revealed that his analysis had found just the opposite, and that Brown had promptly dropped the code comparison from discussion. About Ken Brown, Toptygin remarked in passing that “to the best of my knowledge he is talking out of his ass.”

Knowledgable people from all corners of the Unix / Linux universe added their respective takes to the discussion. Eric Raymond remarked in passing that “Judging by these excerpts, this book is a disaster.”

Failing even to do Ken Brown the courtesy of being offended, Linus Torvalds offered his own theory: Linux was written by “the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.”

Comments from the experts continued to stream in over the following weeks.
Ilkka Tuomi, the author of a study of the credits list of the Linux kernel, remarked in passing that “he tried to help Mr. Brown to comprehend the study, but that he had ‘only limited success'”.

But the unkindest cut was administered by Microsoft. After a month of hideous embarrassment over what Redmond must have seen as the spectacular incompetence of its PR firm, a company spokesman called the study “an unhelpful distraction from what matters most — providing the best technology for our customers.”

For AdTI, a pseudo think-tank funded largely by Microsoft, and for Ken Brown, that must have been tough to take.

Today, over a year later, the book remains unpublished, and AdTI is doing everything it can to pretend it all never happened.
This may have been the most humiliating attempted launch of a book in publishing history.

The Golden Horseshoe Award: Jaworowski and the vast CO2 conspiracy

May 17th, 2005

In Dashiell Hammett’s story The Golden Horseshoe, much of the action takes place in a bar of that name in Tijuana. At one point the narrator, an operative for the Continental Detective Agency, kills a few strategic seconds by studying the decorations:

I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar:


I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …

Sometimes I come across an article, web posting, advertisement or other statement that makes me feel when I read it just as I imagine the Continental Op did in that Tijuana bar.
How can they possibly pack so much misinformation into such a small space?

To honor exceptional achievement in mendacity, I would like to present the Golden Horseshoe Award to that writer who has out-performed his or her peers in density of false statements per column-inch.
To receive the first Golden Horseshoe Award, I can think of no more worthy recipient than Zbigniew Jaworowski.

First, a few introductory remarks.
There is a robust consensus among climate scientists that the concentrations of certain gases in the atmosphere, most notably CO2, have been rising over the past two centuries, largely due to human activities, and that this increase is causing a general warming of the earth’s climate. Because many scientists also expect this warming to have undesirable consequences, proposals have been advanced to limit emissions of those gases. The most important of these is the treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol. And because those proposals are disliked by a variety of groups for a variety of reasons, there has been a lot of attention lavished by those groups on anyone who will undermine the rationale for emissions-limiting proposals, especially Kyoto. Enter Zbigniew Jaworowski, who claims that the consensus regarding increased CO2 is based on a biased interpretation of the evidence, and purporting to offer evidence to the contrary. Such an argument is hugely appealing to many who do not want to believe that human beings have any important influence on climate. For this reason, the statement has been widely reprinted by climate change contrarians, for example here.

This post is an examination of the Jaworowski statement, and the Golden Horseshoe Award is a celebration of just how mind-bogglingly wrong, from beginning to end, it manages to be.

Jaworowski makes several specific assertions that the methodology used in atmospheric measurements from ice cores is flawed. Each and every one of these assertions is mistaken.

He makes sweeping accusations of data manipulation by climate researchers. Those accusations are unsupported by any evidence, direct or indirect.

These extravagant claims of bias and dishonesty in the scientific community reveal a deep misconception of the state of climate research, and of the scientific process generally.

Jaworowski’s statement is not likely to help the public understand the state of our planet’s climate and the process by which scientists go about investigating it.

In fact, there is so much wrong with this statement that it’s hard to know where to start. Here’s a map:

jaworowski markup

Let’s start at the beginning.
(1) ” …written for the Hearing before the US Senate …”
The statement opens with the following subhead:

Statement written for the Hearing before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
March 19, 2004

In fact, there is no evidence that Jaworowski gave testimony before the US Senate on March 19, 2004, or at any time in the past two years, or that anyone in the US Senate has ever seen him or the statement.
(2) ” … about 20 [papers] on climate research.”
Jaworowski does not need to have credentials as an expert in gas measurement from ice cores in order to criticize those who do have them; if his arguments are valid, they can stand on their own. But being perceived as an expert elevates one’s credibility, at least at first. To pick up a little of that luster, he leads off with a recitation of his ice-related activities, including 40 years in glacier studies, 11 expeditions to measure “natural and man-made pollutants” in glaciers, and extensive studies of dust and lead in the environment. But when we look for Jaworowski in the literature, he seems never to have done any primary research on the extraction and measurement of gases in ice. Later on, Jaworowski says that climate researchers’ motives are suspect. But when it suits his purposes, he is happy to claim to be a climate researcher.
All this is not to say that Jaworowski’s name has been unknown to print in recent years. He has had an article in 21st Century Science & Technology, published by Lyndon Larouche. Need I say more?
(3) ” … contains liquid water …”
This is just one of many deceptive statements, delivered in rapid-fire. Jaworowski likes to point to some published result, hint at a problem with measurement of gases in ice cores, and move on quickly. He says:

This is because the ice cores do not fulfill the essential closed system criteria. One of them is a lack of liquid water in ice, which could dramatically change the chemical composition the air bubbles trapped between the ice crystals. This criterion, is not met, as even the coldest Antarctic ice (down to –73oC) contains liquid water[2].

Mulvaney, Wolff and Oates were reporting on concentrations of H2SO4 in extremely tiny volumes at the boundaries between ice crystals. Many of Jaworowski’s claims reveal a lack of understanding of the relevant chemistry, but it is unlikely that even he believes that significant quantities of CO2 are dissolved in these interstitial volumes.
(4) ” … 20 physico-chemical processes …
As we sift through Jaworowski’s claims, one striking feature jumps out at us: for his most aggressive claims, he seems to be his own authority.
For example, we have

More than 20 physico-chemical processes, mostly related to the presence of liquid water, contribute to the alteration of the original chemical composition of the air inclusions in polar ice[3].

In peer reviewed publications I exposed this misuse of science [3, 9].

[I]n 1993, glaciologists attempted to prove experimentally the “age assumption”[10], but they failed[9].

An ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence[3, 9], solved the problem …

Reference [3] is a 1992 article in The Science of the Total Environment, co-authored with Segalstad and Ono. Reference [9] is a 1994 review article by Jaworowski in Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The 1992 article is an ambitious attempt to identify all the things that could possibly go wrong with measurement of gases in ice cores. That is a worthwhile goal in itself — science is supposed to be self-correcting, and defining a problem is the first step toward a solution. But Jaworowski et al. present no solutions. Instead, the list of “20 physico-chemical processes” turns out to be a laundry-list of undefined mechanisms supposed to affect the reliability of ice-core measurements, with no theories offered as to how they might affect results, or suggestions as to how they might be mitigated or compensated. The 1994 paper is a shorter version of the 1992 paper. Its primary virtue is that it elicited a reply by Hans Oeschger, who tore it to shreds.
(5) ” … all air bubbles disappear ..”.
Jaworowski describes the clathrate transformation in a fundamentally misleading way. With increasing depth and pressure, the air bubbles trapped in the ice are steadily compressed. Clathrates appear at depths of several hundred meters (700 – 1300m for GRIP), and coexist with air bubbles over a wide range of depths, until all air bubbles disappear (Shoji and Langway (1983) reported that “air bubbles disappeared completely between 1500 and 1600m”). Upon decompression, the clathrate crystals revert to gas, with the bubbles expanding as the ice relaxes. These physical processes, as well as the fractionation Jaworowski describes, have been extensively studied, and are routinely taken into account (for example, by Indermuhle et al.) in reconstructing atmospheric records from ice cores. The reality is nothing like a mysterious and uncontrollable process of bubbles disappearing only to return as “microscopic grenades.”
(6) ” … contaminates them with the drilling fluid …”
Jaworowski knows perfectly well that drilling fluids, for example butyl acetate, are chosen to have minimal interaction with the studies that will be performed; also, that sample handling is a well worked-out technique and is conducted with excruciating care. Most of these developments were in place long before Jaworowski wrote his 1994 paper, as Hans Oeschger reminded him at that time. That he continues to spread this falsehood is disgraceful.
(7) ” … microscopic grenades …”
Jaworowski lets on that clathrate crystals “explode”, presumably fracturing the samples beyond usefulness. He cites Shoji and Langway (1983) as support for the statement “In the bubble-free ice the explosions form a new gas cavities and new cracks.” But what Shoji and Langway actually observed was the expansion of pre-existing bubbles, and new bubbles from air hydrate inclusions, over a period of days — in what would have to qualify as one of the most languid “explosions” on record:

In fact, the bubbles in ice samples are substantially intact up to the point they are crushed. This is something Jaworowski seems to have gone to a lot of trouble not to know.
(8) ” … values lower than in the contemporary atmosphere …”
It is puzzling that Jaworowski makes claims that are so easily checked and shown to be untrue. CO2 levels vary widely within deep cores, and are well correlated with climatic changes, as indicated by independent measures such as (for example) the type and composition of organic residue in ocean sediments.
(9) ” … a clear inverse correlation …”
The CO2 record from Siple, Antarctica shows an increase from 275 ppm to 315 ppm from around 1750 to 1950 AD. Atmospheric measurements beginning in 1958 agree well with those from the ice cores, reinforcing the conclusion that CO2 has indeed been rising over the last two centuries. But Jaworowski argues that the lower concentrations of CO2 with increasing depth and age should actually be seen as a reduction in CO2 concentrations with increasing depth and pressure. The Siple data to which he refers could be interpreted either way, since CO2 continues to drop all the way down to the lowest level sampled:
Siple plot
But if we look at a deeper core, we can see immediately that there is no “clear inverse correlation” between CO2 concentration and depth:
Taylor Dome plot
Jaworowski’s vague theory of CO2 concentration in ice cores being determined by depth has a superficial plausibility, which is why he invoked it in connection to Siple. But it won’t stand up to scrutiny, which is why he doesn’t dwell on it.
(This point has been modified; see Changelog. Gavin’s correction of this point is gratefully acknowledged.)
(10) ” … CO2 concentration … was ‘too high’ …”
Here, Jaworowski begs meaning with the quotation marks around “too high”, as if one of the researchers had issued a memo complaining about the data. This is just one of the many misleading rhetorical tricks Jaworowski employs in lieu of evidence.
(11) ” An ad hoc assumption …”
Again, Jaworowski imputes base motives to other researchers, and cites (who else?) himself in support. In fact, Neftel et al.’s methods were perfectly sound, and their results have been backed up by multiple independent studies.
(12) ” … but they failed.”
No, they didn’t. The experiments demonstrating the age of the firn-ice transition, and of the air trapped above and below that depth, have been quite successful, a fact Jaworowski has been diligently ignoring at least since 1992.
(13) ” … ignored the evidence …”
Slocum said no such thing. Does Jaworowski think that no one will bother to look up his references?
(14) ” … a biased selection …”
Among Jaworowski’s citations, this is my second favorite. He actually has the spectacular brass to take a figure from a paper that agreed with Callendar’s choice of data, redraw it and offer it as evidence that Callendar was biased! He also fails to cite Fonselius et al. (1956) properly in this statement, and claims that it is a criticism of Callendar (1958), which requires a time warp, but those are venial sins compared to the rest.
(15) “A study of stomatal frequency …”
This is one of the few new arguments — that is, not just warmed over from the 1992 paper — made in this statement. Unfortunately for Jaworowski, it is bogus. In fact, studies of stomatal response to CO2 concentration across several species have shown “Without evolutionary changes, SI and SD may not respond to atmospheric [CO2] in the field and are unlikely to decrease in a future high CO2 world.” In other words, stomatal frequency does not change quickly enough to reveal the rapid changes Jaworowski claims occurred. (Thanks are due to Yelling for the citation, and to Dano for pointing out its significance.)
(16) ” … pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming …”
Jaworowski’s contempt for climatologists, and his true purpose in writing this paper, become clearer as he approaches its end. He offers zero evidence that there has been “[i]mproper manipulation, and arbitrary rejection of readings that do not fit the pre-conceived idea on man-made global warming … in many glaciological studies of greenhouse gases.” In fact, the very papers that he cites afford powerful evidence to the contrary. Yet he feels comfortable in making this blanket condemnation of a discipline, because he has support from … (continued in next comment).
(17) ” … exposed this misuse of science …”
Zbigniew Jaworowski, of course! In citing (yet again) his 1992 and 1994 papers, he displays a certain pride in having “exposed” all the bad behavior in the climate science community. But his pride may be misplaced, considering that the only comment ESPR published regarding his 1994 paper said that it “deserves little attention.”
(18) ” … not supported from the annual pool of many billion “climatic” dollars …”
Among Jaworowski’s citations, this is my very favorite. Jaworowski knows he has a problem when the overwhelming majority of scientists in the field do not believe as he does. He is not the first to notice this, so he does what others have done in the same situation: he implies that climate researchers are all biased in the same direction because they slurp from the same trough. This an implausible accusation on its face (there is more money to be made arguing the other side); moreover, there is no evidence to support it. Nevertheless, Jaworowski asserts boldly that outsiders are far more reliable than the experts corrupted by the fount of government money, and who does he offer as an example? The gang that couldn’t compute straight!
When choosing an authority to counter the accepted ones in an observational science, it is usually smart to pick one that can tell the difference between degrees and radians. Just a suggestion.
(19) ” … methodically poor paper …”
Look who’s talking.
(20) ” … diagnosed and criticized …”
Nature’s editors might be surprised to hear that they had “diagnosed and criticized” the “apparent scientific weaknesses of IPCC and its lack of impartiality.” The theme of the 1991 editorial was that climatologists could have (and should have) seen coming the political storm that swept over their work, and that policy decisions cannot (and should not) be made by scientists alone:

Global warming will affect not simply physical and biological systems (sea level and agriculture, for example), but the whole fabric of society. But who, at this stage, would guess at the extent to which substantially higher costs for surface transport will change the character of industrialized societies, and affect their productivity? Or how far an effective greenhouse convention will require that the world’s population should also be regulated, and how? These, it should be acknowledged, are the real uncertainties.

The subhead for the 1994 editorial was:

If the threat of global warming is serious (which cannot be denied), it deserves more seemly ways of making authoritative public opinion than that followed at last week’s meeting at Maastricht.

Nature’s criticism of the IPCC was that the organization was sitting on the details of its Maastricht meeting until its secretariat had reviewed them and Cambridge University Press was ready to publish them.
In both the 1991 and 1994 editorials, Nature leveled serious and legitimate complaints at the IPCC, but “scientific weakness” and “lack of impartiality” are not among them.
(21) ” … IPCC conclusions …”
Jaworowski seems to think that the IPCC consensus on the causes, effects and likely cures for global warming all rest on the assumption of low pre-industrial CO2 levels, and that if he can just kick out that prop, the whole shebang will come tumbling down. Not so. Even if it were impossible to gauge the level of CO2 in the atmosphere before people started changing it, we would still have direct atmospheric measurements showing the increase over the past 46 years, we would still know how much we are pumping out, and we would still know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Ultimately, Jaworowski’s campaign to discredit ice-core research is no more than a rear-guard action, but that is all it needs to be.
(22) ” … economically disastrous Kyoto Protocol …”
And so, at long last, we reach the end of this sad exercise — with its reason for being. Kyoto certainly deserves to be debated on its merits, but whether or not its provisions are wise cannot serve as a guide to whether or not the underlying research was conducted properly. Zbigniew Jaworowski is probably sincere in his belief that proposals for emissions reduction are ill-conceived, but his willingness to work backward and conclude that any research supporting those proposals must be wrong verges on self-delusion. He is now in at least the sixteenth year of a campaign to cast doubt on good research because he disapproves of its uses. In the end, it is not only an insult to the scientific community of which he claims to be a part, but a profound disservice to the public.