Puzzle picture


Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. One for cognoscenti. Who can resist “the master butcher of Leigh on Sea”? Don’t google that, it makes it too easy. And I see welcome homage to Pump: Young Lust and especially F.I.N.E.:

‘Cause I’m
Your momma says I’m
Your daddy says I’m
and my old lady says I’m

And one for… well, almost everyone:



* AlphaGo v Fan Hui – Match Referee’s View and the report itself.

Cainozoic history of southern New Zealand: An accord between geological observations and plate-tectonic predictions

11999605_975651442499789_7475492872909350438_o “Cainozoic” is a somewhat archaic word for Cenozic. But the paper in question is from 1976, so it is allowed to be somewhat behind the times. It is, as you’ll immeadiately recognise, Robert Carter’s most cited paper, with 154 citations according to Web of Science, or 193 according to Google scholar, but that is often a touch unchoosy about who it associates with. That’s a shade under 4 citations per year since published. My best paper for citations is Recent Rapid Regional Climate Warming on the Antarctic Peninsula at 644, but I’m not lead author. My best as lead is An Antarctic assessment of IPCC AR4 coupled models with 63 citations since 2007, or somewhat over 6 per year. Really highly cited papers – for example MBH ’98 – get nearly 2000 cites.

You take the point I hope: there’s nothing obviously distinguished about Robert Carter, viewed from his publication record. Note to those who are not and have never been in the game: yes, measuring success by citation count isn’t perfect, but there’s nothing better so everyone does it.

[Update: James Annan also wonders.

Another way to measure people is to read their obituaries and tribute posts. WUWT had an eulogy; for example. But notice what isn’t there: any mention of his scientific contributions or ideas. Heartland has pages and pages of people saying how great he was. JoNova, same. Not one of them mentions any original contribution to science. What they love him for is clear enough: his denialism. But that’s all they want him for; that comes across very clearly.

If you look at his scientific contributions, it is clear that his work on climate was negligible. What hope he has of an academic record rests on his geologic-type contributions. Which are precisely the ones those slavering over his corpse have no interest in. Particularly telling is the 2015 Winner of the Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science Award that Heartland gave him. Read it; weep; it is empty.

Let’s read the abstract from his most highly cited paper:

Sea-floor spreading data from the Southwest Pacific have recently been used to predict the Cainozoic geological history along the Indo-Australian/Pacific plate boundary. Geologic and sedimentologic data pertaining to this plate boundary where it crosses southern New Zealand, as the Alpine Fault, are summarised and discussed. It is concluded that there is a close accord between the plate-tectonic predictions and South Island Cainozoic geological history. In particular, (1) no Cainozoic plate boundary traversed the New Zealand region prior to 38 m.y. B.P. (late Eocene); (2) transcurrent movement on the Alpine Fault took place largely between ca. 30 m.y. B.P. (middle Oligocene) and ca. 10 m.y. B.P. (late Miocene); and (3) the period 10 m.y. B.P. to present corresponds to a phase of oblique compression, continental collision, and mountain building along the Alpine Fault sector of the plate boundary. There is a close correlation between the sites and histories of Cainozoic sedimentation and this tectonic timetable.

There you go. Just by reading that, you and I have shown more interest in Carter’s actual work than all the “skeptics” put together. It still gets cited; I think it has attained the status of “the paper you cite if you’re talking about that bit”; but I’m guessing; it is geology, after all.

This brings me to the last few ways of measuring someone’s contribution: by the influence of their work on the field; and by actually reading their work to see how good it is. As to influence, I’m too remote from geology to say; on climate science he had no influence at all. As to reading his work, no-one in the grand kerfuffle around his death is doing him the honour of even trying to read his stuff.

Minor: Carter’s wiki article used to say ” 2005 – Outstanding Research Career Award, Geological Society of New Zealand”. I’ve removed that because I can find no source for it that isn’t a mirror of Carter’s own puff pieces.

Science advances one funeral at a time

Actually A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it, but I’m allowed to paraphrase in titles. And anyway he said it in German, naturally. Today brings us news of another such advancement in science, with the reported death of Robert Carter.

As far as I can recall, he was a minor figure in the Great Climate Wars; at least, I don’t seem to have been very interested in him. He gets those usual suspects Robert M. Carter, C. R. de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany, David Holland & Richard S. Lindzen wrote in 2007; a throwaway line ($1,667 per month) from Heartland in 2012. That seems to be it. It’s a bit of a sad end when even I couldn’t be bothered to attack him. Sou was a bit more interested; or Deltoid back in the day.


* T’was on the Good Ship Venus (NSFW)
* Prescience from Carl Wunsch? – no; he’s too nice for that; but I suspect intent by RS
* Brian at Eli’s for a characteristically more generous response.
* Death of a salesman
* Veteran Climate Science Denialist Bob Carter Dies of Heart Attack – Graham Readfearn at DeSmogBlog (h/t w)
* Me in the Graun 🙂
* I come to bury Schneider not to praise him – James Delingpole in the Torygraph.
* Bob Carter Does his Business – Tamino
* Sick Warmists come to bury Schneider not to praise him and God only managed ten – RS
* So what did he actually do? – James’ Empty Blog
* An ironic tribute from JoNova
* Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science Award from the [[The Heartland Institute]] goes
* Bob Carter (1942-2016): Timing of death outdoes Kim Philby (FOGT)

Thanks, mt.

WATN, 2015

as A successor to Where Are They Now, 2014.

First and foremost, and although not quite in 2015 I shall ignore that, was David Bowie.

2015 was the year I finally kicked the habit of reading denialist blogs – well, nearly – which was a good idea, but it does mean I’m not as in touch as I used to be, since I now get it second hand from Sou mostly.

The only new thing I can think of that died in 2015 was The Pause. A somewhat shameful episode in climate history, as I said in my review of the year. Other than that, we’re onto the probably-still-dead things from 2014.

Pattern Recognition in Physics remains dead; the current issue is from 2014. Lennart Bengtsson, Salby and Sue-Me Monkers, who all made 2014, faded into obscurity this year. In LB’s case I’m sure he’ll be pleased.

Sou found tentative signs of life from the Open Atmospheric Society in June. On July 20, 2015 they were “Seeking applications for the Board of Directors”, and said “A vote of the membership will be convened within 30 days”. That seems to be about it. There’s a fb page; I left them a friendly message and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

The headless corpse of Force X from Outer Space is, to my surprise, still being propped up by Jo Nova and David “Rocket Scientist” Evans. But everyone else ignores it.

AW’s epoch-making paper appeared pretty dead in 2014, though there were possible signs of life in June 2015 and it then burst into glorious, if perhaps only partial, re-birth as an AGU poster and promise of a paper; or see VV. However, as I pointed out at the later and which EJ rather unsubtely failed to explain, they’re not publishing the draft paper this time.

If you’ve read all the way to the end, you likely want to know that Denial Depot is back, hurrah!

Speaking of denial, a late update: Robert Carter has kicked it; see comment #12 [update: and post].

Note to self: next year, don’t forget the GWPF’s “review“. See-also Moyhu.


* Fake Sceptic Awards for 2015, Sou.
* Trains set free to roam as they please
* Ingenious Pursuits: 2016 – the year ahead

Oh, and we were Gone / Kings of Oblivion

Lay me place and bake me Pie
I’m starving for me Gravy
Leave my shoes, and door unlocked
I might just slip away

Sighing, the swirl through the streets
Like the crust of the sun
The Bewlay Brothers
In our Wings that Bark
Flashing teeth of Brass
Standing tall in the dark
Oh, And we were Gone
Hanging out with your Dwarf Men
We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions

Something I grew up with; far better than the more recent work as so often, alas. I wouldn’t know how to interpret the lyric of this song other than suggesting that there are layers of ghosts within it.


* Fat Bottomed Girls: “I’ve been singing with my band / Across the water, across the land / I’ve seen every blue eyed floozy on the way / But their beauty and their style / Went kind of smooth after a while / Take me to them naughty ladies every time”
* Torygraph: 100 greatest songs of all time By Neil McCormick. Oh man, look at those cavemen go.
* Should I kiss the vipers fang / Or herald loud the death of man?

ZOMG: Denialists meet flooded brains 20 years late and on the wrong side of reality

From The Indie: Government ministers meet flooded locals 20 minutes late and on the wrong side of a collapsed bridge, via facebook:

Seemingly determined to prove their incompetence to already derisive Cumbrians, a delegation featuring members of two government departments had to make a 20-mile round journey after allegedly finding themselves stranded on the wrong side of the collapsed bridge. Floods Minister Rory Stewart, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and an extensive entourage had been due to meet residents of the villages of Soulby and Pooley Bridge to discuss efforts to rebuild the local community in the wake of the recent floods. But in a scene worthy of BBC political comedy The Thick of It, the group appear to have found themselves stuck on the wrong side of Pooley Bridge and faced with a dilemma over whether to try and swim across the swollen River Eamont or to make a rather embarrassing call for help.

To be completely honest, I ought to point out that they claim to have an excuse at the end, but its not very plausible. That’s amusing, but not as funny as Denier weirdness: It hasn’t warmed since 2017! at HotWhopper, which I’m going to shamelessly copy. Here’s the take-home pic:

Fairly bog standard: it’s been getting warmer, no surprises there. And this graph appeared at WUWT and is Bob Tisdale’s excuse for not taking Mark Boslough’s bet; because, errrm, its obvious it has got warmer. It’s as though the denialists have parked two sides of their minds on opposite sides of the river.

ZOMG: ExxonMobil and Sierra Club Agreed on Climate Policy—and Kept It Secret

o I’ve decided to try the “ZOMG” prefix for these things, instead of postfixing a mark of interrogation. Perhaps it makes things clearer. Anyway, the latest breathless nonsense is ExxonMobil and Sierra Club Agreed on Climate Policy—and Kept It Secret from Bloomberg (h/t JS). Why is it nonsense? Firstly, they’re pretending this is news. It isn’t news: this is essentially a re-tread of How two ExxonMobil and Sierra Club lawyers agreed on a carbon tax which is a much better article and more than a year old. Notice that it doesn’t make any foolish claims about secrets. Secondly, Exxon’s support for a carbon tax in 2009 was public; see the Calgary Herald: Exxonmobil corp., the world’s largest crude oil refiner, supports taxing carbon dioxide as the most efficient way of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, its chief executive said, via the highly-sekrit [[carbon tax]]. Note that precedes the document Bloomberg swoons over by months.