Somerville, Oreskes Refuse To Debate Fred Singer

Fred Singer offered to debate Richard Somerville and Naomi Oreskes in January in San Diego. Both declined. Oreskes said she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of promoting public misrepresentation of science.”

Richard Somerville works in La Jolla and claims that sea level is rising “at the high end of forecasts.” This in spite of the fact that the beach outside his office has shown little  visible change in sea level over the last 140 years – as seen in the animation below.

The NOAA tide gauge in La Jolla shows no change over at least the last 25 years, and only a few inches difference in the last 80 years.

Perhaps what Oreskes meant to say was that she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of exposing public misrepresentation of science.”

h/t to Marc Morano

Regardless, I personally would prefer to debate this La Jolla girl.


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36 Responses to Somerville, Oreskes Refuse To Debate Fred Singer

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Come on, I can see a 1mm change in that photo. But I didn’t know everything always stayed the same anyway?

    BTW check out this cartoon from a Premier who wants to copy Fartzennger

  2. James Mayeau says:

    The climate con artists will be only too happy to avoid debating secure that the Democrats and their mouth piece enablers in the media will cover for them.

    This is where those handful of climate changie believers in the Republican party could come in handy.
    So if Oreskes doesn’t feel comfortable arguing with people who can talk back, lets drag Arnold out here. He believes in the bullshit. Let him try and convince Fred Singer in front of an audience.

    Or maybe John McCain or Lindsey Graham. Let’s find out what their deep convictions are based on.

  3. Sean says:

    Someone needs to tell Dr. Sommerville and Oreskes that the no debate strategy only works when you have strong popular support. Unfortunately for them, the game strategy they have is like a basketball team that is trailing by 20 points and they decide to slow the pace of the game and concentrate on defense.

  4. sunsettommy says:

    “Oreskes said she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of promoting public misrepresentation of science.”

    What a cop out!

    I am sure she knows why she should not accept the debate challenge.

    Fred Singer has a long and varied career.Here is a link to Wapedia:


    Singer has had a varied career, serving in the armed forces, government, and academia. He designed mines for the U.S. Navy during World War II, before completing his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1948 and working as a scientific liaison officer in the U.S. Embassy in London. [3] He became a leading figure in early space research, was involved in the development of earth observation satellites, and in 1962 established the National Weather Bureau’s Satellite Service Center. He was the founding dean of the University of Miami School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences in 1964, deputy assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and chief scientist for the Department of Transportation. He held a professorship with the University of Virginia from 1971 until 1994, and with George Mason University until 2000. [4]

    I think she know that he would wipe her out in a debate.Thus she is just another line of loudmouthed idiots who run away from the hint of a debate offer.

  5. Eyes Wide Open says:

    Oreskes is just a chicken shit! Not surprising as she knows SDA about science!

  6. Whenever I see the name Naomi Oreskes I always remember a very good woman I know who said Naomi Oreskes tone of voice would improve if someone gave her a new kitchen appliance.

  7. suyts says:

    That’s a shocker. They won’t debate? Truth is a sharp and hard sword. We’ve all been cut by it. I’ve been bludgeoned by it. And until you get on the side that wields it, its easier to run from it.

  8. Russell C says:

    “…with a known record of promoting public misrepresentation of science…” according to whom?

    We’re told skeptic scientists like Fred Singer know in their hearts that AGW is true, but when you wave huge amounts of money in their face, they’ll do anything to convince the public that it isn’t settled science – call it ‘repositioning global warming as theory rather that fact’. That was the gist of the often-quoted New Yorker article this past August by Jane Mayer, who proclaimed the Koch brothers were financing all the doubt about climate change. Who did Mayer cite among her sources for that point? Naomi Oreskes, who herself cited a 2004 Ross Gelbspan book, which itself cited his own 1997 book, which in turn cited a 1991 memo with the “reposition global warming” phrase on it that is otherwise not seen anywhere in its full context. I called it the ‘Oreskes two-step’ in my 9/15/10 American Thinker article, “Warmist Slander of Scientific Skeptics”

    I had to laugh when I saw book author and mega-AGW believer Bill McKibbon say just last month “Jane Mayer’s excellent New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers is just the latest and best of a string of such exposés dating back to Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book The Heat Is On.” I think not. This instead looks like one solitary regurgitated ‘exposé’ based entirely on a phrase that has every appearance of being taken out of context.

  9. Dave N says:

    “Oreskes said she didn’t want to debate someone “with a known record of promoting public misrepresentation of science.””

    Isn’t the whole point that Singer is debating the opposing view? What a complete and utter cop out.

    • Mike Davis says:

      Well I guess she does not talk to herself or any of the others in the CLB that she belongs to. Every thing I have read from her misrepresents science.

    • ChrisD says:

      Dave, it seems to me that there’s a difference between having a dissenting view and what Oreskes claims Singer does, i.e., intentionally misrepresenting the science. It’s the difference between debating someone who disagrees with you and debating someone who lies, which is a foolish thing for anyone to do.

      My comment should NOT be interpreted as taking a position on Singer. I am simply noting that what Oreskes alleges really isn’t the same as just having a dissenting view.

      • DirkH says:

        That’s the definition of a cop-out. If your position is right you are able of arguing against a liar. She isn’t because she’s the liar. (see the mythical Gelbspan coal memo)

  10. jazznick says:

    Hmm, Chicken Little or just plain chicken !!!!?

    The AGW Megaphone must be running low on batteries.

  11. wilbert says:

    His that Oreskes on a beach?? 🙂

  12. Russell C says:

    One other thing about Oreskes and her smear of skeptic scientists – in her widely cited 2007 Powerpoint presentation called “You Can Argue with the Facts: The Denial of Global Warming”, she did the ‘two-step’ I mentioned above in citing Ross Gelbspan for the “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” accusation phrase, but she also did something else I can’t yet figure out. In citing other 1991 ICE PR campaign catch phrases in her PPT presentation besides the “reposition” one, she noted they are now in the “archives of the American Meteorological Society (see the yellow highlighted “archives” words, or do a screen search for “archives” in this html version )

    I’ve searched the online AMS archives, and didn’t find these, and I emailed the AMS to find out if if non-members were allowed to search other archives they had – but I received no response. Then I asked several AMS members, including one AMS Fellow, about AMS archives……. and they said they were unaware of those archives. This is weird. Why would anybody put completely non-weather related coal industry PR campaign internal memos in archives at AMS? If anybody has an idea of what archives Oreskes is referring to, I’d be grateful to learn about them.

    • Mike Davis says:

      It is possible she saw it as a vision during one of her trances. The AMS Archives may be similar to the Egyptian Archives that Edgar Cayce referred to in his writings. They are buried in a secret location that will be revealed in 2045 to the Enlightened members of the ACC CACD CLB cult!
      With Naomi being a current Science History revisionist and promoter of Pathological Science I tend to ignore what is claimed.

  13. Doug Proctor says:

    Once again you prove that, no matter how bad the news is, or in what personal state of anxiety or distress you are, the image of a pretty girl lightens the heart. For 2 out of the 3 preference categories, anyway. Maybe 2.5 of out 3.

  14. MugWump Wagathon says:

    Facts are facts. The sun was very active throughout the 20th century and, nominally, leading to global warming. It’s happened before. Now the sun is anomalously quiet. And, it has been quiet for a while now. It is not surprising to many scientists that the combined satellite and radiosonde temperature data now indicate that there has been a cooling trend for years corresponding with this observed nominal change in solar activity.

    Nature has a way of having the last word. If we are willing to listen, Nature will teach us that the increase in atmospheric CO2 level is not correlated with global warming. However, it is inescapable that changes in solar activity explain both global warming AND cooling. That and cycles on decadal, centennial and millennial time scales and the role of the big planets, Jupiter and Saturn, and the effects on the geomagnetic field and cosmic radiation, leave little room for human causation as an rational explanation for climate change. Everything else is dogma.

    “The fallibility of methods is a valuable reminder of the importance of skepticism in science. Scientific knowledge and scientific methods, whether old or new, must be continually scrutinized for possible errors… Organized and searching skepticism as well as an openness to new ideas are essential to guard against the intrusion of dogma or collective bias into scientific results.” (US National Academy of Sciences)

    Government science authoritarians have made similar mistakes in the past. “History offers a gloomy precedent of such poisoning of science by ideology and special interests: the infamous Lysenko affair in the former Soviet Union, the ruthless opposition to genetics headed by Trofim D. Lysenko and his cohorts between the 1930s and 1960s. In addition to the physical elimination of stubborn scientists who resisted the “consensual official line” (the ‘skeptics’ of the time), the price of such an irrationality pandemics was enormous, costing the Soviet biological and agricultural sciences a half a century hold-up whose consequences are felt still today. “The AGW scare and its political agenda of restricting the use of fossil fuels are serious candidates to the condition of post-modern equivalents of ‘Lysenkoism.'” ~Geraldo Luís Lino

  15. Marty says:

    Please send me the phone number of that La Jolla girl. I live there but can’t find her.

  16. sdcougar says:

    “Richard Somerville works in La Jolla and claims that sea level is rising “at the high end of forecasts.” This in spite of the fact that the beach outside his office has shown little visible change in sea level over the last 140 years…”

    Well, there’s the problem right there. If I was 140 and senile, I wouldn’t debate anyone either.

  17. Deadman says:

    From ABC TV (Australia), last Tuesday:

    Naomi Oreskes: So, early on, the tobacco industry realised that this was a very effective strategy because, of course, it was true, because in science you can never really prove anything, you can never—it’s not, science isn’t like mathematics or logic, you can’t prove something is true. What you can simply do is evaluate the evidence and say what is the most reasonable expectation or explanation based on what we know, based on the laws of physics and chemistry, based on all of the evidence. And so, today, we have a situation where climate scientists have predicted for a long time that global warming would lead to an increase in extreme weather events: they predicted floods, they predicted hurricanes, they predicted cyclones, and now we are seeing all of these things that were predicted ten, twenty, thirty years ago, or even longer—all of these things are coming true. So the most reasonable explanation is that, in fact, scientists have correctly understood the laws of nature and that this is in fact evidence for the very things that we should expect. But, of course, Rupert Murdoch and others can say, as the tobacco industry did before them, “there’s no proof”—and they’re not lying when they say that; but they are giving the public a very distorted view of the scientific evidence.

    To say you’re agnostic about the science to me only makes sense if you in fact have not been paying attention or don’t understand the science, because the scientific evidence is now overwhelming, and anyone who’s paid attention to it, anyone who understands it, anyone who understands the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere knows that scientists predicted climate change from increased green-house gases and deforestation going back to the 1950s. They have built models—of course, models are representations of the natural world, they are not the world itself—so, of course, there will always be uncertainties about the details, but the overall picture is overwhelmingly clear, and it’s exactly what scientists have predicted. And if you talk about the IPCC forecasts—my graduate-students and I have studied this—we’ve looked at what these scientists have predicted on this issue over the past fifty years, and we find that in most cases scientists have actually underestimated the change: we see sea-level rising faster than predicted; we see overall global temperatures rising faster than predicted; we see sea-surface temperatures in the Caribbean rising faster than predicted. So, if anything, scientists have been conservative on this issue. And now we are seeing the changes all around us.
    Tom Switzer: In your book, do you focus on any kind of scandals that have been affiliated with the IPCC, such as the glacier-gate, do you talk about that?
    Naomi Oreskes: Well, that happened after our book was finished. But I think the so called glacier-gate was a typographic error. The IPCC reports are thousands of pages long. In any human activity, in any human institution, of course, there will be some mistakes. I’m sure there are some mistakes in your work too, but you haven’t had teams of people—
    Tom Switzer: Of course, but I’m not—
    Naomi Oreskes: Excuse me, but you haven’t had teams of people scouring it. I actually think that the fact that the IPCC report is thousands of pages long, and the only errors that were found—
    Tom Switzer: It was a pretty significant error—
    Naomi Oreskes: No, it was a typographical error.

  18. Doug Proctor says:

    How do you and the Daily Bayonet get away with the hot babes? The climate skeptic posts must be a male-geek only thing.

    Oh, by the way, any time you want to post pictures of hot babes, could you alert me?

  19. acephale says:

    Actually, Singer did present his standard presentation to real climate scientists while in La Jolla, and was torn apart.

    Look… at this point climate change debate is not about the science, it’s about the policy. It’s a debate about the proper role of government to plan and control complex economies (or lack of role as the case may be). If conservatives have a solution to the problem that works and which does not involve controlling economies, let’s hear it.

    Let’s separate the science from the policy so that we don’t have to be putting up doddering old cranks like Singer against the best scientists in the world in order to make a point about free markets.

    • If Hansen and mann are the best scientists in the world, then we are still living in caves.

    • P.J. says:

      “If conservatives have a solution to the problem”

      What problem? “Progessives” are the ones who have made this out to be a problem. Billions of dollars are being wasted on this stupidity, when there are real problems to solve.

      “the best scientists in the world ”

      See Steve’s comment above.

    • DirkH says:

      “Look… at this point climate change debate is not about the science, it’s about the policy.”

      Wait a moment – you mean climate scientists have finally found out whether the net forcing of aerosols is positive or negative? (Or insert any other of their huge error bars in this statement – I THINK these error bars should first be reduced to, let’s be VERY generous here, 10% of the magnitude of the forcing before one has even the SLIGHTEST chance of a realistic simulation of the world’s climate, and even THEN you must still PROVE that you ghave overcome the principal limitations of trying to simulate a chaotic system.)

      Your science is a screaming utter mess!!!!

    • suyts says:

      Solution to an imaginary problem? How about ignore the extreme leftist totalitarians and worry about real problems.

      Of course, it’s about the science….. or the lack thereof. What did someone proclaim the debate over while the climate wasn’t changing? It hasn’t changed for over 15 years….. since before Mann’s first HS….. ….. falsifying much.

      The solution would be to fire many people and then start the criminal investigations.

  20. Hey guys! You realize there is this process called tidal fluctuation that make comparative photography of sea level ridiculous! Thanks for using that as “proof.” It makes it obvious that your level of scholarship is also ridiculous.

    Only Singer himself would be proud of such nonsense. After all he first tried to convince us that smoking wasn’t a significant factor in lung cancer. Then he argue that the Multi-trillion $ SDI was a worthy investment in taxpayer $, but that acid was too expense to mitigate. In the ’90s the Tobacco industry paid him (cuz apparently physicists know more about medicine than medical doctors, toxicologists, and cancer researchers) to claim that second-hand smoker’s smoke isn’t dangerous. More recently Singer rants about how Rachael Carson is a mass murder because her work lead to the banning of DDT — which in reality was already proving ineffectual against resistant mosquitoes, etc. Basically he’s been wrong about every important thing he’s put his weight behind. But he’s good at arguing — most liars are. Indeed, it’s very hard to argue with people who are willing to lie. I’d be happy to debate Singer, but I understand why the authors of “Merchants of Doubt” did not.

  21. tckev says:

    But is that modern picture at high tide as per the original Hansen prediction 5 meter sea level linear rise, or the later (scaremongering) Hansen prediction of an exponential 5 meter rise?

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