Befuddled Warmist Richard Muller Declares Skeptics Should Convert to Believers Because His Study Shows the Earth Has Warmed Since the 1950s! — Climate Depot Responds


By: - Climate DepotOctober 20, 2011 10:44 PM

Climate Depot Editorial

[For updates on Richard Muller, check out the new Climate Depot Muller page here.]

Berkeley University Professor Richard A. Muller is a very confused man. Muller is claiming in a October 21, 2011 OPED that skeptics of man-made global warming fears no longer have any basis to doubt “global warming” because his new study confirms that the Earth has warmed since the 1950s! Muller seems to imply that the terms “global warming” and man-made global warming are interchangeable and any warming is somehow “proof” of human causation.

Muller is being described by many in the media — including NYT’s Andrew Revkin – as being a climate “skeptic.” But clearly, Muller must not have gotten the memo, as he is lustily referring to skeptics as “deniers” in his media blitz. See: Richard Muller: ‘The deniers pay no attention to science’

Muller’s WSJ OPED is designed to confuse the public with perhaps some of the most banal and straw man arguments yet put forth by a global warming activist. Muller (ramuller@lbl.gov) in his OPED and in his spin to the media, is implying that warming somehow equals human causation. But the climate debate has not centered on whether the Earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age about 1850 or since the 1950s. The climate debate is about how much humans may or may not be contributing to the warming trend. (and the science and data is solidly favoring skeptics.) [Note: The highpoint of global temperatures is still 1998 and any claims of 2005 or 2010 being the “hottest on record” are laughable and ‘purely political.” See Climate Depot’s analysis: 2010 tied for ‘hottest’ year?! Relax, it is ‘purely a political statement’ — Even NASA’s Hansen admits it is ‘not particularly important’ — Prof. mocks ‘hottest decade’ claim as ‘a joke’ — ‘Claims based on year-to-year temp data that differs by only a few HUNDREDTHS of a degree’]

Muller’s study is already being met with massive scientific blowback from his colleagues. See: 1) Climatologist Dr. Pielke Sr. On Muller’s study: ‘Unless, Muller pulls from a significantly different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his [temp] trends are the same’ 2) Meteorologist Watts: The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review… making a ‘pre-peer review’ media blitz despite errors 3) Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl Rips Muller’s Temperature Study: ‘It is not true that the Berkeley group has found relevant evidence for the core questions in the AGW debate’ 4) Scientist reveals Muller’s impact: ‘Richard Muller Gives Permission To Be Climate Skeptic, Shows Why’ 5) Meteorologist D’Aleo: ‘Muller’s results are predictable, since he appears to have worked with much of the same raw data all 3 global data centers used or started with’ 6) Scientist Mocks Muller’s claims: ‘The Doubt Is Over – Temperatures Rising Almost As Fast As James Hansen’s Zero Emissions Scenario’ — Muller’s headline [in WSJ] is exactly wrong. [Muller should instead declare he has made] ‘The Case Against For Global-Warming Skepticism’

Climate Depot since at least March of 2011 had been publicly warning that Muller’s entire BEST project was a predetermined con set up to take down a straw man argument. See: On 3-23-11, Climate Depot wrote in group email to fellow skeptics: ‘This whole [Muller] project has to be a set up to screw skeptics. Who disputes warming has taken place? Why have we allowed Muller to set up a straw man argument to take cheap shots at skeptics? It appears Muller is incapable of running this project. He has allowed leaks, media distortions, allowed [warmist activist Joe] Romm to publicly hijack project and Muller remains silent’ – [Note: For Climate Depot’s comprehensive report on Muller in April 2011, see here.]

So it was not a surprise Muller’s October 21 headline in the Wall Street Journal read: ‘The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism There were good reasons for doubt, until now.’ According to Muller, global warming skeptics based their entire skepticism on a belief that the Earth was not warming.

Muller even lamely tries to beef up his skeptical credentials in this paragraph: “The number of named hurricanes has been on the rise for years, but that’s in part a result of better detection technologies (satellites and buoys) that find storms in remote regions. The number of hurricanes hitting the U.S., even more intense Category 4 and 5 storms, has been gradually decreasing since 1850. The number of detected tornadoes has been increasing, possibly because radar technology has improved, but the number that touchdown and cause damage has been decreasing. Meanwhile, the short-term variability in U.S. surface temperatures has been decreasing since 1800, suggesting a more stable climate.”

Ok. Muller makes some good points. [Note: Climate Depot has a much more detailed analysis of how ‘Recent scientific data and developments reveal that Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke on the promoters of man-made climate fears. The scientific reality is that on virtually every claim — from A-Z — the scientific case for man-made climate fears has collapsed’ ]

But the next few lines in Muller’s WSJ OPED appear to be victim to some sort of logical or perhaps editing error.

Muller writes: “Without good answers to all these complaints, global-warming skepticism seems sensible. But now let me explain why you should not be a skeptic, at least not any longer. Over the last two years, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project (BEST) has looked deeply at all the issues raised above.”

Huh? Muller’s study “looked deeply at all the issues raised above”? This statement is in error. Did Muller’s study look at hurricane data and come to conclusions? No. Did Muller’s study look at tornado data and draw conclusions. No. Then why does Muller claim his study included these factors? It appears that either Muller may have goofed in the editing process of this OPED or he is using sleight of hand, falsely implying that his study covered a plethora of climate change issues.

Muller then proceeds to explain how his BEST study found that – indeed — the Earth has warmed! Now that Muller has revealed this news to the general public and to high-profile climate skeptics, we are all supposed to convert from ‘deniers’ to believers in man-made global warming fears.

Muller insults the intelligence of Wall Street Journal readers and anyone who can follow logical thought with his convoluted attempt at convincing people that “global warming is real.”

Muller finally admits BEST did not study AGW

Muller saves the best for last: “When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups…Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”

Whoa. Muller waits until the end his OPED to finally admit that his study did not even look at what caused temperature trends. By saying the loaded phrase “global warming is real” — which the media, politicians and most people would interpret as actually meaning “man-made global warming” is real – Muller is in engaging in nothing short of propaganda. Muller is seems to enjoy implying that his study addresses the core question of whether and how much humans may contribute to global average temperatures.

Muller is unable to conceal his zeal to influence the media coverage of his study to imply that finding a warming trend equals human are responsible and thus he believes a total defeat for skeptics. Muller clearly is relishing the pre-planned manipulation of this study through pre-publication media blitzes and his timed commentary in the Wall Street Journal.

The media is hyping Muller’s study and twisting science into new contortions.

Say What?! Wash. Post: ‘Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science’

Climate Depot Response: Of my, what a con this whole project was. The media thinks showing that we have warmed since the 1950s is the crux of the AGW debate?! Warming now equals human causation?! Muller should be ashamed of himself for promoting media spin like this.

Below is a small sampling of scientific reaction to Muller’s BEST study thus far:

Climatologist Dr. Pielke Sr. On Muller’s study: ‘Unless, Muller pulls from a significantly different set of raw data, it is no surprise that his [temp] trends are the same’

Pielke Sr. on NCDC, GISS & CRU: ‘The raw surface temperature data from which those 3 analyses of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same…The new Muller et al study has a very major unanswered question — as to the degree of independence of their raw data from NCDC,CRU & GISS. I have asked it on [Judith Curry’s] weblog since she is a co-author of these studies [and Muller never replied to my request to answer this question]’

Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl Rips Muller’s Temperature Study: ‘It is not true that the Berkeley group has found relevant evidence for the core questions in the AGW debate’

‘Some people including Marc Morano were predicting that this outcome was the very point of the project…all the people in the ‘BEST’ project were just puppets used in a bigger, pre-planned propaganda game…the newest events seem to confirm the predictions by Morano that the Berkeley project was pre-engineered to get misinterpreted exactly in the way that the Guardian shows today: ‘a skeptic shows that skeptics were wrong’…Muller is not a real skeptic’

Confused warmist Muller: You shouldn’t be a skeptic of anthropogenic global warming; by the way, we didn’t assess the anthropogenic component of global warming

Muller: ‘How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that’

Skeptical Scientist Matt Briggs: ‘Somebody has to remind Muller that skeptics aren’t skeptical of that some warming (and some cooling) has occurred. We are skeptics about our ability to explain this warming (and cooling), and to predict skillfully future warming (and cooling)’

Scientist reveals Muller’s impact: ‘Richard Muller Gives Permission To Be Climate Skeptic, Shows Why’ — He even ‘admits that it has not been growing stormier’Scientist Dr. Briggs: ‘Muller concedes what many skeptics have claimed for years: that our temp record is poor, especially over oceans, that it is limited, filled with errors & biases, & when used as a basis for judgment, leads to over-certainty…If you look at say 1945 & compare it to 2010, you find warming of a certain size. But if you begin at 1940, just 5 years earlier, you find much less warming. Temp increases (or decreases) are always relative’

Scientist Mocks Muller’s claims: ‘The Doubt Is Over – Temperatures Rising Almost As Fast As James Hansen’s Zero Emissions Scenario’ — ‘Temperatures are lower than that [Hansen’s] scenario, which would imply that increasing CO2 has essentially no effect on the global temperature. Richard Muller believes that Hansen’s temperature record is accurate, which would mean that Muller’s headline [in WSJ] is exactly wrong. [Muller should instead declare he has made] ‘The Case Against For Global-Warming Skepticism’

Meteorologist D’Aleo: ‘Muller’s results are predictable, since he appears to have worked with much of the same raw data all 3 global data centers used or started with’

The long pause in warming confirmed: ‘Global warming real? Not recently, folks. The black curve in graph confirms what experts have known for years, that warming stopped in mid-1990s’

Physicist Dr. Lubos Motl: ‘Muller is just being dishonest if he allows the journalists to misinterpret the results of his work in this way’

Physicist Motl mocks Muller for ‘hoping [his research] will win over those people who are properly skeptical’

Response: ‘Muller does suggest that it’s not only the journalists but it’s himself who has had and still has an agenda…My views on the core climate change issues can’t be ‘won’ by your research because the research has nothing to do with them’

NYT’s Andrew Revkin claims Muller is a ‘skeptic’ because he criticized Michael Mann: Physicist Rebuts Revkin’s Claim: ‘Muller is no skeptic’

Physicist: Just because Muller ‘realized that Michael Mann has made things that can’t be tolerated in science is nice and it may make you a heretic among some hardcore believers but it’s not enough for you to be a genuine climate skeptic’ — ‘Richard Muller’s ultimate goal and the basic features of the not-quite-honest methods to achieve it are analogous to those of Michael Mann’

Muller & his Berkeley team’s analysis: Global temp correlates more closely with the state of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index – a measure of sea surface temps in the N. Atlantic’

‘The team suggests it is worth investigating whether the long-term AMO cycles, which are thought to last 65-70 years, may play a part in the temperature rise, fall and rise again seen during the 20th Century’

Muller: ‘Had we found no global warming, then that would have ruled out AGW’

Oh no, not Richard Muller’s confused world again! The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project puts PR before peer review… making a ‘pre-peer review’ media blitz despite errors

Climate Con: ‘In 1850, [thermometers] covered less than 1/3 of planet – yet HadCRUT reports temperatures within 0.01 degrees’

‘The surface record is of very limited value, as the coverage is limited and erratic. Why did Richard Muller not point any of these things out in his Congressional testimony?’

Climate Depot has been on to the antics of Muller for very long time.

April 4, 2011 report: Climate Depot Round Up on Richard Muller: Scientists trashing Muller’s work…Muller stands accused of being ‘front man for geoengineering org.’ — Muller Responds to Climate Depot’ – Muller’s Temp Project called ‘The Berkeley Scam’ — Muller makes ”contradictory statements’ — His ‘Transparency Becomes Vaporware’

Below are excerpts from Climate Depot April 2011 report on Muller:

Richard Muller’s Temperature Project Aptly Termed The ‘Berkeley Scam’ — ramuller@lbl.gov — Muller’s team ‘are completely unbiased and open minded, though they have already determined (ahead of their neutral study) that global warming is the most serious problem in the world’

Muller responds to Climate Depot via NYT’s Revkin: ‘Muller, reacting after receiving an attack e-mail from Marc Morano of Climate Depot’ — Muller: ‘In the olden days, people would have checked with me before accusing me of wrongdoing. The pressure to be the first to blog is apparently winning’

Climate Depot Response to Muller: ‘On the contrary, remarkable restraint occurred in holding off exposing your views and the BEST Project’ — On 3-23-11, Climate Depot wrote in group email: ‘This whole [Muller] project has to be a set up to screw skeptics. Who disputes warming has taken place? Why have we allowed Muller to set up a straw man argument to take cheap shots at skeptics? It appears Muller is incapable of running this project. He has allowed leaks, media distortions, allowed Romm to publicly hijack project and Muller remains silent’

Scientist Ridicules the Muller Con: ‘I forecast Muller will continue to play role of neutral observer, & will continue to shock us with revelations that climate change is ‘worse than he expected’

Background on Muller’s BEST project: ‘Who is Novim and why are they messing with the Earth’s Temperature update?’ — Muller’s Berkley Earth Surface Group is part of the Novim Group…they are very much into Geo-Engineering: ‘Novim’s Exec Dir. Ditmore: ‘We’re running out of time’ — ‘The Berkley Earth Surface Group is not without an agenda’

Muller calculating his scientific claims?! ‘He basically destroys the reputation & research of most of [AGW’s] most notable super stars & yet he believes the science they promote is sound — amazing!ramuller@lbl.gov Muller’s alleged ‘skeptical’ climate quotes manufactured?! ‘On one hand he says that virtually all the science flowing from IPCC and various proponent organizations is shoddy, yet he believes that the science that underpins it which is product of those same individuals and organizations is accurate’

Muller responds to Climate Depot via NYT’s Revkin: ‘Muller, reacting after receiving an attack e-mail from Marc Morano of Climate Depot’ — Muller: ‘In the olden days, people would have checked with me before accusing me of wrongdoing. The pressure to be the first to blog is apparently winning’

Climate Depot Response to Muller: ‘On the contrary, remarkable restraint occurred in holding off exposing your views and the BEST Project’ — On 3-23-11, Climate Depot wrote in group email: ‘This whole [Muller] project has to be a set up to screw skeptics. Who disputes warming has taken place? Why have we allowed Muller to set up a straw man argument to take cheap shots at skeptics? It appears Muller is incapable of running this project. He has allowed leaks, media distortions, allowed Romm to publicly hijack project and Muller remains silent’