An Honest Liar

Before Merchants of Doubt, the E-Street theater had a trailer for another movie about a magician, with this great line :


No matter how smart you are or how educated you are, you can be fooled.

An Honest Liar

Randi is  a climate skeptic.

Then they put fraudsters Michael Mann and Katherine Hayhoe on the stage. The irony was lost on the audience.

About stevengoddard

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23 Responses to An Honest Liar

  1. gator69 says:

    What? Lemmings that don’t get irony?

    • Dave N says:

      They don’t understand much at all. If it sounds bad, is attributed to humans, and requires urgent action to “save the world”, they’ll believe it; regardless of how stupid it is.

  2. Oliver Manuel says:

    Thanks for the message.

    Many radical environmentalists are honest liars, guided by an emotional, rather than a rational, conviction they are saving the planet.

    If we respond with self-righteous anger, we become honest liars too.

  3. BobW in NC says:

    The quote reminds me of Dr. Richard Feynman 1974 Cal Tech address when he said, “The first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.”

    • Windsong says:

      Thanks for the link. James Randi acknowledges this is his amateur opinion, but it is one of the best amateur opinions I have ever read on this topic. From 2009, no less.

    • daveburton says:

      Well, Randi certainly got this wrong: “The basic principle of what’s known as the ‘greenhouse effect’ is quite simple: in a glass-enclosed environment, sunlight enters through the glass and strikes a surface, where it is transformed into longer infrared rays which do not easily reflect back through the glass; they’re trapped. and raise the temperature. “

      That’s not how greenhouses work, mainly. If that were how greenhouses worked, then you couldn’t successfully make greenhouses of PVC sheeting. Greenhouses work primarily by passing incoming sunlight while blocking air movement, and thus blocking convective heat loss.

      (Randi’s also wrong about I.D., but that’s another argument.)

  4. sfx2020 says:

    ” Once all the infrared rays have been “captured” by the greenhouse gases there is no additional increase in carbon dioxide.” from the Randi article

    I’ve read that greenhouse gases already “capture” all the IR within 10 meters at the surface. The difference an increased greenhouse effect makes is it changes at what point in the upper atmosphere the IR easily escapes to space. The “extra heating” from increased CO2 takes place in the upper atmosphere, not near the surface.

    I wish I could find that article. Anyone else ever read that?

    • Gail Combs says:

      Actually one meter. Links and quotes from three physicists in these comments:
      Dr Robert bBrown and Gallopingcamel (also a physicist) and Dr. Happer

    • daveburton says:

      That’s only correct for the main parts of the absorption bands. It’s at the fringes, the narrow ranges of wavelengths where CO2 is almost-but-not-quite transparent, that additional CO2 has a modest but significant effect.

      For a very in-depth, authoritative treatment of this subject, I recommend Princeton Physicist Will Happer’s UNC lecture about the IR absorption and emission characteristics of CO2:

      MODTRAN tropical atmosphere calculates that we should see 0.96 °C of warming for a doubling of CO2, when water vapor amplification is included (see column F). It should be a bit higher toward the poles, because the cooler air is drier, so water vapor feedback has a greater effect.

      The NCAR Radiation code calculates 1.8 °C of warming for a doubling of CO2 (see column I), but that’s probably too high.

      If you watch the Happer lecture, you’ll learn that those calculations are probably based on inaccurate spectral models, which exaggerate the warming effect of additional CO2 by about 40%. Also, those calculations don’t take into account likely “negative feedbacks” from water cycle cooling and clouds, which should also attenuate (reduce) the warming effect.

      Plus, we’ve already seen about half of the warming from a doubling of CO2, even though mankind has only increased atmospheric CO2 levels by about 40%, thanks to the logarithmically diminishing effect of additional CO2.

      Those are not worrisome numbers. Even if NCAR is right, taking CO2 to 600 ppmv would add only about 1 °C, compared to current temperatures, and it is doubtful that mankind will ever be able to get CO2 levels much above that. Such a modest increase in temperature is nothing to worry about.

  5. Hope says:

    “No matter how smart you are or how educated you are, you can be fooled.”

    It is a great line line, no wonder it struck you, it applies to you perfectly Steve/Tony.

    • That is true. The climate fraudsters had me fooled for decades, until I looked at the data for myself.

      • Alan Poirier says:

        Data. Data is the key. Once I looked at the data, I could see the lies. Sadly, empiricism is lost on them. They mangle, twist and contort the data until it fits preconceived notions.

    • AndyG55 says:

      So imagine how easily someone as dim-witted and uneducated as you would be to FOOL !!!

    • Tel says:

      We live in a world made rich by division of labour. So consider that Intel CPU mentioned above, the typical buyer of that CPU would have no hope of making one for themselves. Thanks to division of labour, they don’t have to, we can have a bunch of lifelong specialists working on just CPU design and everybody gets to use the device those guys built.

      However, division of labour comes with a dark side, which is that I have to trust other people and often I cannot check for myself to see they are doing the right thing. I can check a little bit, but who has time to check everything? I bought a firewall recently, with full anti-virus subscription, which I’m trusting implicitly because I have no idea how many viruses it’s really going to screen out. If it stops one I suppose I got my money’s worth.

      The scam artists know about this concept and steer themselves (and each other) into positions of trust. They make sure all the things that outsiders can easily check look quite legitimate, but they know it’s a lot of hard work to dig in deeply (and with hidden data sets even more hard work) to really confirm what’s going on.

      With a CPU you can say, “Oh well it’s very stable and never crashes” but how do you know there isn’t some deliberate backdoor built in? Maybe some sort of “kill switch”? The Chinese government (for example) insisted on building their own Loongson chip as a clean room implementation of the MIPS specification, even though that’s a large project (China is not short of manpower, but they needed to commit a lot of their top resources to it) and essentially reinventing the wheel when they could easily buy many off-the-shelf MIPS chips with greater performance. They just couldn’t trust any American company to supply something that is likely to be used in government and military equipment.

  6. Don says:

    Sorry Tony, I had not seen your thread on the deep ocean cooling.

  7. Tom Moran says:

    Whenever I hear her name I always picture a rap band kicking it up… Yeah boy!

  8. Climatism says:

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
    ― Feynman

  9. As expected after James Cameron’s disastrous TV series this movie will not do any better. People are tired of the hype.

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