Skeptical Nonscience

Richard Muller pretended to be a skeptic, and obtained money on that basis. Then he claimed to have proved global warming.

He just forgot to mention that he never was a skeptic.

December 17, 2003

“Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” –


“It is ironic if some people treat me as a traitor, since I was never a skeptic

Richard Muller, Climate Researcher, Navigates The Volatile Line Between Science And Skepticism

Obtaining money based on false pretenses. Isn’t  there a word for that?

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35 Responses to Skeptical Nonscience

  1. QV says:

    That’s a terrible admission, since all scientists should be “skeptics”.

  2. Bob722 says:

    “Obtaining money based on false pretenses. Isn’t there a word for that?”

    Yes, Democrat…..

  3. Rob Ryan says:

    QV: Moving the goalposts. You know what Muller meant by “skeptic.”

    Question: from whom did Muller obtain money by claiming to be a skeptic?

    • miked1947 says:

      You proved your ignorance now go searching for your answer. Here is a hint:

      Mueller meant he is not a real scientist! We all know that!

      • Rob Ryan says:

        So you’re saying the brothers Koch funded Muller BECAUSE he claimed to be a skeptic. In other words, your point is that the Kochs had a conclusion they wanted to reach and only a skeptic need apply. Correct?

        • I’m saying that the vast majority of the multi-billion dollar global warming research funding goes to known alarmists – because the govt knows they will publish the pre-determined result.

          On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 11:23 PM, Real Science

        • miked1947 says:

          As usual you show your ignorance and did not study what was said by the Kochs. First you should pull your head out of your ass and start reading what is going on rather than regurgitating what the Chicken Little group defecates.
          The Kochs were misled by Muller and thought he could provide unbiased answers to the question about biased temperature records. Like many Sceptics the Kochs are searching for the truth rather than having smoke blown up their asses. My BS meter goes berserk whenever Muller makes his outrageous claims.

        • gator69 says:

          “So you’re saying the brothers Koch funded Muller BECAUSE he claimed to be a skeptic.”

          Maybe. But I’m certain they would not have funded Muller if they had known he was a liar.

        • Rob Ryan says:

          Another interpretation would be that the people who get funded and actually study the subject find that the evidence demonstrates results and conclusions that the brothers K and Mr. Goddard don’t like.

        • Rob. Let go of your fantasy. The global warming scam ran its course and is done.

  4. Jimbo says:

    Yet the Guardian likes to call him a converted sceptic. Either Muller is two-faced or the Guardian is spreading propaganda or both.

  5. Muller has written a bunch of dumb things of late, however I expect that he is out if his depth on these issues, not that he is actually that stupid.

  6. omnologos says:

    Is he running for Congress?

  7. Mike Mellor says:

    Richard A. is a very cool guy. I watched all 26 of his Physics for Future Presidents videos and several others besides. He was the first (comparative) leftist (to the rest of the world, Americans are split between far right and ultra far right) to talk sense about nuclear even before Fukushima, and when that happened he wrote the famous WSJ article “The Panic over Fukushima.” On other videos he proves there was plenty of fire behind the smoke of Climategate, and says that carbon reduction ensures that huge numbers of world’s poor will remain so. This guy is a rock star and when you rubbish him you only succeed in making yourself look stupid. (_!_)

  8. Bruce says:

    Reminds me of Hilary Ostrov’s epic detective work on Dr Muller and all his fingers in many a pie:

    Will the real Richard Muller please stand up

  9. T.O.O. says:

    The BEST project was an effort to resolve criticism of the current records of the Earth’s surface temperatures by preparing an open database and analysis of these temperatures and temperature trends, to be available online, with all calculations, methods and results also to be freely available online. BEST is a project conceived of and funded by the Novim group at University of California at Santa Barbara.BEST’s stated aim is a “transparent approach, based on data analysis. “Our results will include not only our best estimate for the global temperature change, but estimates of the uncertainties in the record.”

    Novim is a United States-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide clear scientific options to the most urgent and complex problems facing mankind. All of its studies are nonpartisan, emphasizing the science at the core of these global issues and ignoring political influences. The group organizes study teams of scientists, researchers, and area experts to examine issues in a non-advocacy environment.

    Muller was not the only member of BEST — these were the other members of the team:

    Robert Rohde, lead scientist. Ph.D. in physics, University of California, Berkeley; David Brillinger, statistical scientist. Professor of Statistics at UCB. A contributor to the theory of time series analysis; Judith Curry, climatologist and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Robert Jacobsen, Professor of Physics at UCB and an expert in analyses of large data sets; Saul Perlmutter, Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Professor of Physics at UCB; Arthur H. Rosenfeld, Professor of Physics at UCB and former California Energy Commissioner; Charlotte Wickham, Statistical Scientist; Jonathan Wurtele, Professor of Physics at UCB and Senior Scientist, LBNL; and Elizabeth Muller, founder and Executive Director

    So, why pick on just one guy? And, how exactly, did Muller “obtain money” by pretending to not be a skeptic?

    • Best ignored 2/3 of the Earth’s surface, and haven’t update their database for years. It was just a propaganda effort.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      1. BEST is land only at this stage, and has evidence of rather large UHIE bias (since Muller and et al underestimate UHIE for whatever reason)
      2. Curry disavowed the final paper in some acrimony

      Muller is rather like Mike Mann, a publicity seeker. You stick your head up and spout crap you’re liable to have it shot off by science.

      • T.O.O. says:


        “Our main scientific effort continues to be the study and exploration of our huge database and the results of our temperature analysis. Because the OCEANS exert a moderating effect, THEIR INCLUSION IS IMPORTANT for estimating the long-term impact of human-caused climate change.”:

      • Bruce of Newcastle says:

        The released BEST data does not yet include oceans (OK I may have missed a press release but woodfortrees doesn’t have BEST global or BEST oceans, only land data as an option).

        Also you should read the article by Ms Ostrov that I linked. A guy with a GreenGov™ consultancy has immediate conflict of interest. His daughter Elizabeth, whom he works in partnership, is also a “sustainable change” consultant.

    • Bruce of Newcastle says:

      Here is an analysis of the magnitude of UHIE. Large. Doesn’t take much human impact on land use for significant temperature effect, eg though land clearing and albedo change, even before you stick asphalt all over it.

      Note also that land based thermometers have been moving to airports over the last 50 years or so. This is because it costs money to measure temperature in the wilderness, whereas airports are legally required to collect climatically useful data. So airports are overrepresented. Airports also have progressively moved from dirt to tarmac, and the aircraft movements have gone from few prop engine planes to many high temperature exhaust jet aircraft, ie increased warming bias with time.

      • T.O.O. says:

        This 13-year old analysis you linked to was superseded by the BEST analysis which included far more data points as well as more up-to-date satellite technology.


        The effect of urban heating on estimates of global average land surface temperature is studied by applying an urban-rural classification based on MODIS satellite data to the Berkeley Earth temperature dataset compilation of 36,869 sites from 15 different publicly available sources. We compare the distribution of linear temperature trends for these sites to the distribution for a rural subset of 15,594 sites chosen to be distant from all MODISidentified urban areas. While the trend distributions are broad, with one-third of the stations in the US and worldwide having a negative trend, both distributions show significant warming. Time series of the Earth’s average land temperature are estimated using the Berkeley Earth methodology applied to the full dataset and the rural subset; the difference of these is consistent with no urban heating effect over the period 1950 to 2010, with a slope of -0.10 ± 0.24/100yr (95% confidence).

        Why do you assume that BEST showed a bias?

      • Bruce of Newcastle says:

        The data is quite clear. Does data from the past change? You should look at it yourself. Spencer would probably give you it if you asked, or you can get it from the usual sources as Steve does.

        OK, next here is Ed Long’s analysis of paired sites in the US using the same data which went into BEST.

        See how the rural stations have been adjusted up, not the urban stations adjusted down, for UHIE?

        If you adjust rural A class sites up you are (1) acknowledging that UHIE is large and (2) adding a spurious warming trend which is not compatible with the CO2 hypothesis.

        Berkeley project is using the same methods as NCDC/USHCN and Hadley. Or there would have been a headline screaming that Berkeley was changing the adjustment methodology (sceptics are very good on finding these things out…there have been no such headlines).

        It is scientifically incorrect to adjust rural A class datasets higher (or adjust the past data lower, which GISS likes to do). The correct adjustment is to quantify and adjust downwards the recent temperatures at sites affected by UHIE, which especially include urban sites and airports. Or better still, database the adjustments made for UHIE so we can all see them transparently.

        Keep in mind that BEST starts higher than the satellite land dataset (TLT) and trends higher still. Did you not just say that satellite data is better?

  10. Brian G Valentine says:

    Rich Mueller was at DOE, 1992-1993 I recall, trying to get Will Happer to fund “global warming” “research.”

    Happer told him to take a flying leap. Happer lost his job over such incidents, and Mueller continued to be the same manipulative sh*t he always was.

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