Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?” Anthony Watts decides to read nefarious purpose into the timing of a RealClimate review of denialist scientist Roy Spencer’s book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. They seem to have posted it on the same day that a series of massive tornadoes (nothing to do whatsoever with global warming!!!!!) took out power in Spencer’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama.

Did they deliberately release their review when they thought they would be safe from Spencer’s devastating intellectual rebuttal? Those cunning, corrupt, dishonest communist climate scientists! But the always high-minded Anthony Watts sorted it out with an e-mail offering ethics advice. Anthony’s readers start the libeling by themselves.

So what of Spencer’s book? Could he be right? Would it really take “only one research study to cause the global warming house of cards to collapse”?

Well unless you embrace Spencer’s astonishing belief that decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world could actually flip into untold thousands of admissions of “my bad”, no.

Instead Spencer accuses “the IPCC researchers” of “fundamental mistakes” that only he has discovered, but never identifies the dumb scientists or references their alleged mistakes. He waves away detailed paleo data with “we don’t have a clue”. (I suppose as a creationist he is uncomfortable with any date before 4004 BC.) He’s so intellectually flexible that he’s already contradicted his own book in later papers. Is it true that “short-term fluctuations in the energy balance and surface temperature are consistent with a low climate sensitivity” (the whatever-he-can-get-away-with book, April 2010), or  that “the climate system is never in equilibrium” ( the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, August 2010)? I guess the ice ages are impossible.

Perhaps next Spencer will be confidently asserting that toothpicks are made when beavers sneeze? He should stick to remote sensing, where he actually has some expertise.

Read some other critiques at Climate Progress and Barry Bickmore. Anthony Watts and right-wing blogs such as “The American [un]Thinker” offer gullible high praise of course.

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