The Challenge is Impossible/It’s a Religion

There has been a rash of two false arguments made by deniers lately that I would like to address below.

The Challenge is not possible because you can’t prove a negative with the scientific method.

This, of course, is a completely false argument made by deniers that are having a hard time dealing with the fact that they are put on the spot. It is most certainly possible to prove man made warming doesn’t exist by using the scientific method. All you have to do is provide an alternative explanation for all of the scientific evidence that is itself, scientific.

The claim deniers make is that I am not following the scientific method myself. Their claim is that I am putting forth a hypothesis (man made global warming is real) and it is up to me to prove that hypothesis. By making the challenge, I am attempting to put the burden and them and forcing them to prove a negative. But, that is not the case and is merely a false argument they are using to avoid being held accountable.

The truth is, the deniers are the ones that have put forth the hypothesis – i.e., man made global warming is not real and it can be proven with scientific evidence. Now that they have put forth the hypothesis the burden is on them to prove it. Notice something about this, my stand on global warming is irrelevant in this challenge. The hypothesis originated with them, not me. I could be a denier myself and the challenge would still be equally valid.

So far, I have received thirty-something submissions. Some of them have been pretty silly. Some of them have been genuine scientific attempts. None of them have turned out to be scientifically valid. Let me repeat that point to be sure I am clear: The reason they failed is because they are not scientifically valid. Just as soon as someone provides a scientifically valid explanation that covers all of the observed facts, they will win.

So, tell me how that is not possible under the scientific method. It is not possible because the science isn’t there, but it is certainly valid under the scientific method. And, when deniers say otherwise, they are just trying to make excuses.

Climate science is a religion.

Just another denier false argument to try explain away how they can’t defend their position to anyone that understands science.

The definition of a religion is something that is believed on faith and doesn’t need any evidence. That is the very description of deniers and their beliefs. When someone tries to engage me in a global warming debate I ask them one question, “Is there anything I can do or say that will change your mind?” If their answer is, “No,” then I see no point in going on. So far, no one has ever said, “Yes.” That one question sure saves me a lot of aggravation.

So, deniers will stick to their beliefs in the very face of massive scientific evidence and will not even consider they are wrong. Scientists examine the evidence and are continually changing their understanding of the science.

Which one is a religion and which one is a science? You tell me.

Personal Attacks are NOT Proof

Apparently, deniers are of the thought that attacking anyone that opposes their mindset constitutes proof that man made global warming is not real. I have shown some of comments that I have received (I am avoiding the most offensive ones) below. This is just a sampling. There are a lot more and many of them are much more offensive than these. Also, note how many of them are posted anonymously. If they were credible, why don’t they show themselves? And, don’t go on about how you might not be able to post with your name because you can certainly sign it. Many of the anonymous posters do just that.

The question is, how do these personal attakcs fit in the debate? How does attacking me, or any other scientist, prove their point? Obviously, it doesn’t. Global warming will be the same with, or without, me. So, by attacking me, or any other supporter of the science, what they are really doing is being bullies. They are trying to intimidate any opposition to the point no one will stand up against them, then they will have the public stage all to themselves.

To keep the record straight, there are many that have been very civil, even friendly. Just because we differ in our stand doesn’t mean we have to resort to personal attacks.

The key point to remember is that personal attacks are not proof of their claims. And, if they had proof, why are they resorting to all of these personal attacks?

Just asking.


This is bullshit. How could one submit anything using a scientific method if the determination of plausibility/proof, will be decided by one who has already concluded that its impossible to prove? This is what is wrong with mainstream science. That is, the oligarchy of scientific opinions (The people getting funding to further elite agendas) start with a bias. How can you objectively review submissions if you have already concluded one way or the other? You cant. Take your ego, and preconceived notions out of this and replace it with a real appetite for truth without fear of being wrong, and you MAY be enlightened. 

I realize that you are a religious zealot, but the proof is logic.

It’s gotta suck to issue a bullshit challenge and still get proven to be a bitch, eh “Doc”?
As a scientist, I must speak up here.

Dr. Keating, you are offering a reward for someone to prove the null hypothesis. No self-respecting scientist would ever do this. The default position is that climate change is NOT man-made, and it is up to anyone who would claim otherwise to present demonstrable evidence to the contrary. One cannot prove that something does not exist, and in asking someone to do so, you are incorrectly shifting the burden of proof. This is extremely unscientific — and you should have learned this as an undergraduate.

Your offer is ridiculous, and is identical in logical structure to me offering you $10,000 if you can prove that I am not a dragon

You should be ashamed for becoming publicly recognized for this stunt. I fear for your reputation, and it is hard to imagine you will be taken seriously in the future. 

Dr. Keating, your obvious prejudice and response proves my point that your entire “contest” is like you, a fraud. Honestly, do you even have $10,000 to your name? You can’t prove you have set aside $10,000 for this “contest” can you?

All you are trying to do is create a “buzz” to get your name in the press so someone will hire you to conduct bogus climate research; and to promote your book. So sad and pathetic.


How come all this prize money is not being held by an impartial third party in a bank account?

So far there is no proof, like a posted bank statement image, that any prize money is real and available. WOW! Sounds like the basis for a climate research paper! All talk and no credible proof. 

I think we need an impartial and unbiased judge for this contest! Dr. Keating, it is a fact that a judge of anything needs to be unbiased, ergo you have rigged this contest because you will never be convinced you are wrong. Sound familiar? Oh are you a “climate scientist?”

I prefer the $10,000 in $100’s and $50’s please, as there is no doubt in my mind your check would bounce. 

Page title: $30,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge II

Dr. Keating: I am announcing the start of the $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge

I see the lies began with the first line on the webpage! Yes your attention to simple details speaks volumes on your execution of the scientific method. And you want to evaluate my submission?

Hindemburg funny man! you do realize the “challenge” is designed so no one will win? this is all designed to promote Dr. Keating and create a buzz for his book, and line up those speaking engagements.

4096 characters limit?!

What is this, a Joke?

You have to play games Christopher?

I so own you, you little cheat. 

What a crock…..This guy offers a bogus challenge with no guidelines except for “Whatever he says the criteria are” How stupid. Typical liberal. Man made global warming is bogus. I will offer $30,000 to anyone who proves me wrong. I will be the final judge as to the submissions made.



  1. Jon, but he made you look! this is all a scam to create a buzz to promote his book and get paid for appearances. 

Naturally Occurring Cycles Are Not Responsible For Today’s Warming

The claim that there have been naturally occurring warming cycles in the past has become the single most often stated ‘proof’ that man made global warming is real. I have discussed this before, but thought it was time to address it again.

There are lots of naturally occurring cycles and the climate has gone through many warming and cooling phases in the past. Take a look at this plot of temperature and CO2 over the last 800,000 years. Today is on the left.

It is very easy to see that there have been lots of warming periods in the last 800,000 years. I could 13 separate times the global average goes above the baseline, including today. You may get a different number based on how you define ‘separate.’ We also see the level of CO2 in the atmosphere rises and falls with a very high correlation coefficient.

The denier argument goes like this: Evidence of past warming cycles proves today’s warming trend is just a naturally occurring cycle. To put it succinctly, it goes like this:

There were warming periods in the past.
We have a warming period today.
The warming periods in the past were natural.
Therefore, today’s warming trend is natural.

Does anyone disagree with my characterization of the denier argument?

Does anyone see the fatal flaw in this argument?

Let me give you an identical argument.

Pneumonia kills people.
Gunshot wounds kill people.
Pneumonia is a naturally occurring disease.
Therefore, gunshot wounds are a naturally occurring disease.

The problem with this argument, and the reason it is a false argument, is that it makes a false connection between the first part and the second. It is automatically assumed, without any evidence, that pneumonia and gunshot wounds are related merely because they both kill people. At no time is any evidence presented to link them together or to show that there is only one way to kill people (a naturally occurring disease).

The denier argument makes an equally false connection between past warming trends and today’s warming trend. It is automatically assumed, without evidence, that today’s trend and all past trends are related simply because they are both warming trends. At no time is any evidence every presented to link them together and it is assumed, without proof, that there is only one way to cause a warming trend (a natural cycle). All of these are false arguments designed to fool and deceive. There even multiple ways to have a naturally occurring cycle. They are not all the same simply because they occurred naturally.

The real truth about natural cycles is very disturbing for deniers. There are lots of naturally occurring cycles and they are studied a lot by scientists. There is the Milankovitch cycles, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the solar cycle, solar activity (not the same as the solar cycle), and more.

Deniers will pull one of these cycles out with an ‘Ah ha! Caught you!’ type of attitude, as if they are the first person to find them and scientists are ignoring them. Ask yourself one question, who do you think discovered these cycles in the first place? Some denier playing around on his computer? No! They were discovered by scientists and we work these cycles into our calculations.

Two very influential cycles are the AMO and solar activity. Both of these give a lot of correlation to global average temperature. Unfortunately, both of these were in a negative phase throughout the warming trend of the 1980s and 1990s. The AMO has turned positive (warming), ironically during the same period deniers claim global warming has stopped (not true), but the solar activity has continued to be in a negative phase.

The sum of the natural cycles is that we are in a naturally cooling phase, not a warming one. If it was not for man made greenhouse gas emissions, the climate would be much cooler than the long-term average. All of the heating above the long-term average (actually, above what it would be without our emissions) is due to human activity in the form of greenhouse gases which trap heat in the atmosphere that would otherwise escape into space.

Reaction to Supreme Court Ruling Shows How Polarized We Are

The Supreme Court issued its ruling on a case concerning the EPA extending it regulatory authority. The case concerned how the EPA extended its rules to new construction. The Court let stand most of the EPA’s authority and agreed with scientists that greenhouse gases are pollution, but said the EPA had gone too far.

So, what kind of headlines did it make?

From Fox News (with a heavy denier bent):

Supreme Court limits EPA global warming rules

The Supreme Court delivered a setback to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday, placing limits on the sole Obama administration program already in place to deal with power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

The decision does not affect recent and highly controversial EPA proposals to set the first-ever national standards for new and existing power plants. One recent proposal would aim for a 30 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

Rather, at issue was a requirement that companies expanding industrial facilities or building new ones that would increase overall pollution must evaluate ways to reduce carbon emissions. The justices said Monday that the EPA lacks authority in some cases to force companies to do so.

While from the more liberal CNN:

Court slows EPA on emissions, but largely backed its rules

The Supreme Court on Monday took away some of the government’s power to tighten emission standards, but preserved the majority of its authority under federal law to regulate greenhouse gases.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices affirmed conclusions by much of the scientific community that greenhouse gases blamed for global warming are pollutants.
Quite a subtle difference. One stated the EPA was set-back, the other says the EPA was supported. The interesting thing is that both articles are correct.
And, that illustrates just how polarized we’ve become on the issue of global warming.

Global Warming Has Not Stopped

One of the most common false arguments climate change deniers make is that global warming has stopped. This is remarkable for a number of reason, the first being that it is simply not true. But, I also find it amazing how the deniers keep pulling this out, no matter how many times they are shot down. So, let’s review this claim to see just how much validity there is to it.

First, let’s be clear of what is going on. Deniers point at a plot of data such as the one below and say, ‘Ah ha! There has been no warming since 1998. If we draw a line from there to today it is a flat line!’ See for yourself.


This is what is known as cherry picking, selecting the data to get the desired result. The problem is, why pick 1998? If we pick 1999, the next point on the graph, we get a tremendously different result. The line starting at the 1998 data point is pretty flat. The line starting at the 1999 data point increases quite a bit. The fact is, both would be cherry picking and both would be false arguments. That is why scientists use averages and long-term trends. We are not trying to obtain some predetermined result – that is what the deniers do, not scientists. We are trying to find out what is going on.

But, even if we cherry pick the starting point the denier claims are not true. Look at this plot of data from NASA/GISS:

Clearly, the warming has slowed down in recent years, but is continuing. In fact, nine of the ten hottest years ever recorded, and the three hottest, have occurred since the year 2000. Those figures alone give the lie to the claims of the deniers. But, there is much more.

The biggest lie in their claim is that they have been using the data above as ‘global’ warming. But, that data is only the surface temperature, basically the temperature of the air and land. When we say ‘global’ warming, though, we mean just that – the entire globe. What the deniers don’t want anyone to think about is the oceans. If you want to know about ‘global’ warming, take a look at this plot that shows how much heat is being stored and where its being stored:

The amount of energy being stored in the oceans is many times greater than what is being stored in the air and land. And, the amount of energy stored in the oceans has continued to rise. How is it possible for any person to look at this data and still insist global warming has stopped? I repeat my oft-made claim – the only way someone can deny global warming is to deny science. Deniers prove the validity of that claim every time they say global warming has stopped.

Now, they are in for even more trouble on this point. The temperature in April was tied for the hottest April ever. And now, we are told May was the single hottest May ever recorded.

And, the news keeps getting worse – worse for all of us, unfortunately. El Nino is setting in and there is a 70% chance of one occurring this summer and an 80% chance of one this fall. If it happens, then 2014 will continue to see warming temperature averages and 2015 could be even worse.

What do you think the deniers will say to cover their rear-ends when even the average person on the street will be able to see the deniers have been lying all along?

Climate Change Means Trouble for the GOP

I have previously posited about why the GOP is so anti-climate change. I have said before that I think part of the problem is that Republicans hate Obama and Gore so much they reject any evidence of global warming rather than agree with those two men on anything. I still think this is true, but I believe it goes much further than that and I am at a loss to understand why the GOP has become the party of science rejection. This is born out by some recent polls.

Take this survey by the Public Policy Polling. Yes, the Public Policy Polling is liberal, but that doesn’t mean the results are any less valid. What they found was that independent voters don’t support candidates that reject climate change. In fact, they found that only 29% of independent voters would be willing to support a candidate that is a climate skeptic (count this blogger in that group of independents). Independents support a 30% reduction standard by a margin of 59% in favor versus 29% opposed. When asked who they trust more on the subject of climate change, Senator Mark Rubio (a denier) or climate scientists, independent voters picked the scientists 57% to 27%.

Clearly, independent voters believe in global warming and support measures to counter climate change. And, it is the independents that determine the elections.

Unfortunately, independents don’t get to vote in primaries (I have never voted in a primary due to the fact that I have never belonged to any political party).  That means candidates are selected by the party faithful. For the Democrats, that means candidates are selected by a bunch of socialist progressive liberals that have rejected any kind of logic. For the GOP, that means candidates are selected by a bunch of fundamental Christian conservatives that have rejected science. It makes for a pretty poor set of choices for all of us in the middle.

The Pew Research Center in a survey released last fall found similar results. The bad news for Republicans is that it found even a majority of Republicans believe the climate is getting warmer (61% of non-Tea Party respondents). The good news for Republicans is that acting on climate change was ranked 29th out of 30 on the priority list.

So, things are not going the deniers way, but the GOP is still ignoring the facts. In a recent study, only about 3% of Republicans in Congress acknowledged there is a problem with climate change.

This has produced a certain crisis for the GOP. Their candidates are selected by people that reject science, but the election is decided by non-GOP voters. Clearly, the GOP is counting on voter dissatisfaction with ObamaCare to carry them to victory in November. But, as the primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor showed – Don’t take the voters for granted.

Obama Is Right On This One

There is precious little that I agree with Obama on, but this is one of them. Addressing the graduating class at University of California – Irvine, Obama said in the commencement address that deniers are ignoring science. This has been my claim for some time, now. In fact, the premise of my book is that there is so much evidence supporting man made global warming that anyone can prove it now. The only way you can deny global warming now is to ignore science.

So, I guess I could say Obama is actually agreeing with me because I said it first. Either way, it is a true statement and am prepared to debate the science with any denier. And, I might point out that no denier has been willing to take either $10,000 challenge or my $1000 challenge. Of course, the reason is because they can’t. You can’t get into a scientific debate when you ignore the science.