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« How important is climate policy to the rise of UKIP? | Main | Upholders do climate sensitivity. Badly. »

Kevin Anderson gets shirty

Kevin Anderson, the Tyndall Centre's uber green worrier-in-chief has written a heated riposte to Peter Lilley's Spectator piece about shale gas. It's pretty strange stuff.

The immediate source of his ire appears to be Lilley's description of him as the "Ayatollah of the green movement". It's hardly how you'd like to be introduced to your prospective mother-in-law, but it's not exactly the most cutting insult around, particularly in the climate debate. However, Anderson seems to take considerable umbrage. In particular, the fact that his name only appears once in the article - in connection with a wish to keep shale gas in the ground - seems to have escaped him, and he leaps to the conclusion that every criticism made by Lilley is directed at him. Much huffing and puffing ensues, and on Twitter, dark accusations of "lies and half truths".

Last time an university bod went off on one like this, I wondered out loud about the lack of professionalism within the academy. It was Doug McNeall, I think, who said "welcome to academia".

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Reader Comments (112)

Sensitive wee thing isn't he? Lucky he isn't a nasty denier otherwise the names he would have been called would have made him cry like a baby.



May 13, 2013 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

They know full well that the AGW scam they have built is on foundations of sand and that sand is running out. The stress that people like Anderson is under is due to the realisation that they are going to be found out before they retire. This stress manifests itself through the vile and totally unprofessional way they behave, especially towards their critics.

May 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Ahhhh, Professor Anderson, eh?

He participated in an alarmist play on BBC Radio 4 in 2009, partly a fictionalised portrayal of a future Britain where we have a "Coastal Relocation Authority" evicting the population of Grimsby as sea levels rise, and partly the wise words of leading academics in the subject.

It can still be heard at: and is well worth a listen!

You can hear Professor Anderson say - and I quote - "I mean there are some things in science, you know, gravity will remain roughly the same, there will be lots of things in science that remain the same. And therefore we can say quite a lot about the physical makeup of the world. And if you know there’s 9 million billion people in there about how they may respond.”

He seems to be saying that his profound knowledge that F = "roughly" G.m1.m2/r2 this gives him the power to predict human affairs?

Does he also think that F = roughly m.a? E = roughly m.c2?

May 13, 2013 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

More on the subject of Getting To Four Degrees:

My favourite bit is where a householder refuses to open the door to a bureaucrat trying to billet several climate refugees from Asia on him. He yells through the letter box "Why me? Why don't you ask local Asians to put 'em up?" and gets the answer, "Mister Smith, THEY ALREADY HAVE!"

May 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

According to him we are all doomed:

"His work makes clear that there is now little to no chance of maintaining the rise in global mean surface temperature at below 2C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary. Moreover, Kevin’s research demonstrates how avoiding even a 4C rise demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society."

He is possibly getting sensitive as he sees his cushy job slipping away from him as more scientific truth escapes.

May 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Anderson is a tetchy little soul isn't he?

Climatology seems to attract such types...Mann, Anderson, Jones (P) all seem to be quite lacking in the backbone department.

Maybe it is because there is no real 'commercial' or 'industrial' strand of climatology that they can decend into their childish little games without the threat of 'real people' taking them down a peg or a dozen and puncturing their pomposity and egocentricity.

Kev baby - just because big Pete gave you a mensh, it doesn't mean it was all about you.

But then Carly sang it better forty years ago

May 13, 2013 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

What a bizarre and incoherent over-reaction. Anderson talks of a "series of personal accusations" when in fact he is only mentioned once. And the one quote about gas having to stay in the ground, he admits to saying regularly.

I'd like to reassure people that this is not normal behaviour in academia.

May 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

An analysis of the personality-types of those attracted to the promotion of alarm in society is one of the tasks I hope is already underway in relevant disciplines. The more we can understand about the astonishing success of the alarm about CO2, the less likely we shall see something like it again in the near future. Anderson is surely providing grist for several mills with his latest outburst.

May 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

I think he's having a hard time coming to grips with the reality of a wasted life. Truly feel sorry for him and his ilk. Well, a little sorry.

May 14, 2013 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Mike

If I'd agreed with the reasons Lilley states the green movement use to argue against shale gas, then no doubt you'd all have ridiculed my naivety compared with collective wisdom of Bishop Hill. But when I point by point note how I disagree with the views Lilley attributes to the movement he asserts I lead, Bishop HIll contributors simply aren't interested - even when they share my disagreements.

As Paul Matthews rightly notes, not all academics, or Biship Hill contributors, are interested in the arguments - much more important is the heady mix of eloquence and bile from little men massaging each others egos.

It's again sad to see not much has changed at BH, all the more as there are many decent arguments to develop on the merits and drawbacks of shale gas; but unfortunately there is no sign these will be forthcoming from either BH or Lilley.

Kind regards

Kevin Anderson

May 14, 2013 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Anderson

The trick is to start with the evidence and then formulate your viewpoint from it.

You do not come close to reality by starting with a belief and then only accepting evidence that supports it.

May 14, 2013 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

Oh dear Mr Anderson

You seem to substantiate with your postings the observations made above, that many Green figures assume an unfounded sense of self-importance. Lilley's reference to you in the article ran to one sentence. You then conflate this with his reasoned criticisms of the extreme Green approach to shale exploitation, portraying the result as a "series of personal accusations."

It really isn't all about you, Kevin.

Did you do this because of hubris, narcissism, egotism or some other weakness? Or was it because the straw man you made let you attack Peter Lilley's analysis as "eight lies and two half-truths"? Either way, you're argument is entirely unconvincing. And the 'absence of integrity' you so casually accuse Peter LIlley of looks more like a case of 'projection.'

Little wonder, then, that you are 'sad' that little has changed at BH. Or that you readily resort to snide, self-centred remarks ("But when I point by point note how I..... Bishop HIll contributors simply aren't interested", "much more important is the heady mix of eloquence and bile from little men massaging each others egos").

Well said, Kevin. Anyone reading can form a clear picture of your humility, integrity and open-mindedness.

May 14, 2013 at 3:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Oh look, a parasite that think its host is too healthy.

May 14, 2013 at 3:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterSleepalot

Where did Anderson get the idea that meeting an 'obligation' to limit the planet to a mythical 2 degrees of warming, which, in the general scheme of things would make life easier, more productive and more comfortable, is so much more important than pensioners and the less affluent in society not having to worry about heating their homes AND eating?
He is the very model of the nastiest kind of Green busybody, now frightened and aware that his particular gravy train is not far from hitting the buffers.
It is supremely ironic that he labels Peter Lilley as 'unprincipled'.

May 14, 2013 at 3:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Lilley's article mentions Anderson just once...and that just to attribute an undisputed quotation to him and describe him as an 'ayatollah' (=senior respected scholar) of the green movement.

Anderson's reply runs to over 1100 words and uses the pronoun 'I' 21 times.

Kev - like Gixxerboy said 'it really wasn't all about you'.

Grow a pair.

May 14, 2013 at 4:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

You can read the full transcript of THE IMPACT OF SHALE GAS ON ENERGY MARKETS by the HoC Energy Committee here. Besides the committee members Witnesses: Francis Egan, Chief Executive Officer, Cuadrilla Resources Ltd, Corin Taylor, Senior Economic Advisor, Institute of Directors, and Graham Tiley, General Manager (Ukraine), Shell International Ltd . Also: Professor Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, UK Tyndall Centre, University of
Manchester, Jenny Banks, Energy and Climate Change Policy Officer, WWF UK, and Tony Bosworth, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

Peter Lilley and Professor Anderson have a bit of a ding dong from Q196

May 14, 2013 at 4:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterSankara

I confess to having a certain sympathy with Anderson's aggrievement here, especially having read his comment at 1.50 am. Can even understand his unkind (but not entirely unjustified) observations on BH and contributors.

But I do wonder, if he really does hold the opinions he says he does, writing at, why does he have anything at all to do with the Grantham Institute? He makes himself sound like an entirely reasonable person, welcoming of sensible debate, and not at all an Ayatollah of anything except sweet common sense.

The disagreement with Lilley about whether the Commitee had access to evidence from the oil and gas industry, or not, is easily settled - there are records. Someone's wrong here. Who is it?

But I also agree with the criticism that on his blog he inferred (subtly!) to the superficial reader that Lilley had directly or approximately quoted him in the 10 numbered points on his blog. If that is not so, and if we are to take his itemised rebuttals at face value, I ask again - What on earth is he doing at the Grantham Institute? He comes across as a most unlikely comrade of Bob Ward.

Of course I may be arguing from a degree of naivete here, since Australia is a fair remove from the UK. Do we have any actual examples of Professor Anderson going full froth-mouthed greenie that I don't know about? (Direct quotes only, please.)

May 14, 2013 at 5:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

I pretty much agree with Professor Anderson's position on most of the shale debate, and had read Peter Lilley's article without attributing any of the criticisms he'd made about the green movement's position to Professor Anderson. Every one of the points that Professor Anderson refutes have been made by the Green movement, and need to be addressed. That Professor Anderson agrees with the pragmatists on many issues is good, but he shouldn't shoulder the burden for the green movement's lies and distortions all alone. Nor should he misread Mr. Lilley's every word as applying to him and only him.

A word to the wise Professor Anderson, you are in public life and the public eye, although it's not the case, the public see people such as you as being above the fray, and above petty personal insults, so coming onto a blog and calling the denizens of that blog "... little men massaging each others egos." is only going to make you look intemperate to the neutral observer.

Be passionate by all means, but let the little people use abuse instead of argument. You have demeaned yourself.

May 14, 2013 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Think when Scotland goes independant North Sea oil will stay under the sea?

May 14, 2013 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Hahaha, what a baby.

May 14, 2013 at 7:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Oh Dear ....... How *wonderful* to see one of these over-inflated buffoons throw a hissy fit - makes them seem almost human. Call the men in white coats? Certainly time to buy shares in popcorn. JOSH?

May 14, 2013 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

In his point 10, Professor Anderson says "Shale gas, or any additional fossil fuel development, cannot fit within the emissions budgets accompanying the UK’s international commitments on 2°C" and that seems a perfectly correct statement. So the thing to do is to get rid of UK international commitments on 2 deg C. Which of our political elite hahaha might step up for that challenge in the short to medium term?

May 14, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

May 14, 2013 at 7:23 AM | jamspid

I suspect that the position with respect to North Sea Oil is complex.

First, there will be a dispute between Scotland and England as to which fields are Scottish and which are English. This is because the boarder between these two countries is not hoizontal but rather it runs at angle running from SW to NE and my understanding is that that boarder has to be extrapolated out, at the same angle, into the North Sea. If that is so, then some of the more southerly fields would lie within English, not Scottish, waters.

Second, rights with respect to these fields has already been handed out. What is the Scotish government going to do with those rights? It might not necessarily be in the long term interests of the Scottish government to nationalise those rights, at least not without compensation to the Oil major involved. Don't forget that Oil majors have much influence and the Scotiish government may wish to deal with the Oil major in the future. So the Scottish government needs to consider carefully whether it will do the same thing that Argentina did to say Repsol. If Scotland is part of the EEC, then that too may have a bearing on whether it can nationilise oil fields without compensating the licencee.

Third, it may be difficult to tax profits being made by Oil majors from oil/gas extracted from Scottish fields because of the domicile of the company and double tax treaties. Again, if Scotland is part of the EEC then that too may play a role in this.

I do not know what the position is, but I consider that it is niaive to assume that Scotland can exercise effective control over all North Sea fields.

PS. As an English person, I don't have a say on Scottish independence, and I am far from opposing it and far from considering that it is in the best interests of the UK that Scotland remains part of the UK. I do not know the full facts but my gut position is that England would benefit from Scottish independence, not least because of the political implications of being able to run the affairs of its own country, only having to prop up Wales (no disrespect to Wales, I love the country).

May 14, 2013 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Personally I think that it is the height of bad manners to mock people who are prepared at least to argue their corner.
My initial reaction to Anderson was that he was being — as we used to say in my youth — precious. Certainly he came across as a bit of an egotist and he appears to be stuck with this idea that 2C is some sort of magic figure. It isn't, Professor, and never was.
On the other hand my opinion of him was modified somewhat by his willingness to stick his head into this lion's den where all we have done is confirm his opinion of sceptics.

May 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

------ and he leaps to the conclusion that every criticism made by Lilley is directed at him.

Poor chap must have failed Reading Comprehension in his Primary School.

May 14, 2013 at 8:49 AM | Registered Commenterperry

On North Sea Oil... My first job as a professional geologist was to log geological cores taken in North Sea exploration wells. In the early days, pre the oil discoveries in 1969 and onwards, the cores were all numbered with the prefix "E" if they came from the English area, and with "S" if they came from the Scottish area. In the old days (pre 1969) all the gas was in England and all the Scottish wells were dry.

Sometime, after 1969 the prefixes "E" and "S" were dropped. Was this because all of the cores taken in the oil producing areas had an "S" prefix?...

May 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh.

Unfortunately (IMHO) Lilley's article - greate though it was - did permit Mr Anderson to "misunderstand" parts of it due to (IMHO) some slightly sloppy (maybe rushed) wording.

For example Lilley doesn't mention that Mr Anderson's "movement", as he puts it, holds the views esposed and not Mr Anderson himself, which allows Mrs Anderson a rant of his own. His views don't seem all that seperate to most here after all.

He also doesn't mention that Anderson says the "stuff must stay in the ground" in the context of the UK's promises over CO2, made in that suicide note known as the CCA. Like most of us here I want the CCA and those impossible promises to be dropped.

Also this passage from the Lilley article :

"When the PM received a briefing on shale, Cuadrilla was excluded. The select committee instead had to listen to an array of bodies from the Committee on Climate Change to the WWF — none best known for their geological expertise"

looks like it is discussing the same event, but it isn't. It actually refers to two seperate events - a briefing for the PM (where the shale gas people were not invited - it was mentioned on BH at the time) and the committee hearings which I watched live with others.

In the great context of the discussions around AGW and what to do about it, both articles seem a waste of time and electrons.

May 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMorph

My immediate thought is: "They do not like it up them"

I smell fear. If I were an ( essentially unaccountable) green academic who found himself named, even ever so briefly, in such a bitter diatribe from an increasingly powerful voice as that of Mr Lilley's I suspect I too might hasten to distance myself from the radical views ("must remain in the ground, etc") I thought were being attributed to me in an effort to protect my academic status.

However, what I would not do is panic, and reply as if all Lilley's criticism was directed at me personally. I suspect that Mr Anderson does actually (personally) hold all or most of the views generally criticised but is actually professional enough not to put them forward academically because there is very little factual evidence to support them.

All the arguments criticised/rebutted by Lilley have been put forward at one time or other by the Green Lobby. Lilley speaks as a politician too, so we must expect spin etc and all the other tricks.

All credit to Kevin Anderson for posting at BH, even if the effect so far has been to reinforce the original contention that he is a sensitive plant. If he felt he was being tarred with the same brush as the radical greens he should have read Lilley's piece more carefully and then made a less breathless rejoinder. But then he was commenting on his blog, not in a letter to the Times.

As the CO2 madness gradually fades away, people like Kevin Anderson will be anxious not to be associated with activism.

Apologies to Mr Anderson for speculating about his motives and methods in public...but, hey, as you are finding out, if you will put yourself out there, you are fair game.

May 14, 2013 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Life must be tough when you have nailed your green career to the "belief" mast that temperatures are going to exceed 2C due to us and we are all doomed if we don't do something about it and then reality strikes in the form of the physics and the evidence all going in the opposite direction. All people like Anderson can do is to lash out against the unfairness of reality (quote Feynman). Still, like many alarmists, he's had a good run at the taxpayers' expense.

May 14, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

This post puzzles and intigues me. I've twice tried to post an average sized comment but both haven't appeared.
Anyone else had the same problem?

[Not sure why they got stuck in moderation queue - but I missed it for some reason, so apologies for the delay in its appearance]

May 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

What is going on here?

KA reacts to an article about shale gas as if it were all about him, and then he comes here to a thread which is all about him and reacts to it as if it were about shale gas.

May 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

KA - "there are many decent arguments to develop on the merits and drawbacks of shale gas"

I think BH is a good location for these arguments.

What are the decent arguments for the drawbacks of shale gas apart from the private investors involved in it possibly losing all their own money (like any speculative investment).

May 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Perhaps Dr Anderson should go and visit Brazil and tell them to abandon hydrocarbons:

The director of Brazil's Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) reports significant interest from operators in Brazil's upcoming 11th bidding round as the country pursues its plans to double its oil and natural gas production. The bidding round is the first since December 2008 and the first under the nation's new hydrocarbon law.

ANP will offer 189 blocks across 11 Brazilian states. Ten of these states are located in north and north-eastern Brazil in the 11th round, the largest in terms of activity since the ninth bidding round, in an effort to expand oil and gas investment from the southeast to other parts of Brazil, ANP director Magda Chambriard told attendees Wednesday at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

Sixty-four companies were qualified for the round and 44 companies received bid bonds, and 30 oil and gas companies have already been classified as operators. Companies from 21 countries expressed interest in the round, including a number of new entrants to Brazil. Seventeen Brazilian companies have been qualified as operators, as well as seven U.S. companies, five UK-based companies, five Canadian companies and five Japanese companies.

May 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

Lilley outlines a suite of categorical arguments he proclaims the green movement use to oppose shale gas extraction.
Lilley then asserts I lead the green movement - and thereby broadly support those positions.

Lilley’s failure to recognise any of the nuanced issues reveals his disinterest in the arguments for and against shale; he simply has a position to assert.

Bishop Hill’s initial comments to which I responded did not address any of the issues - but only mounted the usual personal attack (as has been typical every time I have tried to engage constructively). My response was aimed directly at those particular BH posts and reiterated the overall argument I had made about Lilley's piece - but also made what I maintain was a fair, if perhaps unnecessarily rude, comment on the sort of folk who don't want to engage in arguments of substance, but prefer petty and unsubstantiated personal attacks.

I note that some of the later posts are at least broaching the issues as well as continuing the personnel insults (with the odd exception). But overall it again appears BH do not want to attract dissenting views – but rather maintain a site solely for those that share their dismissal of all who work on climate change as money-grabbing charlatans. Fine, but that is not going to forward any understanding or get their sometimes-legitimate concerns aired more widely. Perhaps BH is actually a site of AGW fundamentalists deliberately luring dissenting voices away from where they can have useful input?

Kind regards


May 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Anderson

If you want to enjoy the qudos that centuries of rigorous science, practiced by generations of scientists, accrued due to its contribution to human progress then remain objective. If you want to become an activist, that is something entirely different. To confuse or mix the two is the worst dis-service you can do because it won't be activism's reputation that suffers.

May 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones


'Lilley then asserts I lead the green movement - and thereby broadly support those positions'

I see nowhere that Lilley asserts that you 'lead the movement'. I doubt he thinks you have that amount of influence.

He calls you 'ayatollah'. A word that means something like 'professor' or 'learned scholar'. There are many ayatollahs in Islam. Even the top rank of of Grand Ayatollah has 70-odd members.

And Khomeini led the Iranian Revolution not because of his being an Ayatollah but because of his personal qualities.

In essence you are vastly-overreacting to Lilley calling you 'Learned Professor'. What's not to like?

May 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"But overall it again appears BH do not want to attract dissenting views"

It's a blog, pretty much anyone can post pretty much whatever views they want. It isn't academia where people generally don't like to criticise other peoples work publically.

May 14, 2013 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

It is people like Professor (Climate Psience at UEA) Anderson who give academia a bad name.

May 14, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Dr/Mr Anderson

"Lilley then asserts I lead the green movement - and thereby broadly support those positions."

Lilley's arguments were arranged in a sequence (All arguments have to be. There is no way of making them all at once). That does not mean what follows explains all that it preceded (!). The one thing he asserts about you, you don't contest at all - that all the stuff has to stay in the ground. You can contest the ayatollah part, but you don't. Instead you appear to don the mantle and proceed to answering for the whole movement.

Do you really believe Peter Lilley was claiming that *you* promote or pay heed to the Gaslands movie?

May 14, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Registered Commentershub

Perhaps someone responsible for this sort of scaremongering should expect some mocking at his expense:

Warming will 'wipe out billions' 29 November 2009 By Jenny Fyall

"MOST of the world's population will be wiped out if political leaders fail to agree a method of stopping current rates of global warming, one of the UK's most senior climate scientists has warned.

Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, believes only around 10 per cent of the planet's population – around half a billion people – will survive if global temperatures rise by 4C.

"For humanity it's a matter of life or death," he said. "We will not make all human beings extinct as a few people with the right sort of resources may put themselves in the right parts of the world and survive.

"But I think it's extremely unlikely that we wouldn't have mass death at 4C. If you have got a population of nine billion by 2050 and you hit 4C, 5C or 6C, you might have half a billion people surviving.""

Sunday Times March 15, 2009, Professor Anderson, in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: called for a “planned global recession” to cut carbon emissions. “Emissions are rising so fast that we are heading for a world that will be 4C-5C warmer than now by 2100. That would be catastrophic,” he wrote. “Unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonisa-tion, it is difficult to foresee anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilising the climate.”

The Tyndall Centre produced a report, in September 2005, called Decarbonising the UK, in which they said all householders, motorists and businesses would have to reduce their carbon dioxide pollution to zero if the growing aviation industry were to be incorporated into Government climate change targets for 2050. The report also considered the potential of policy instruments to cut carbon dioxide, such as a proposed scheme of citizen’s carbon permits in the form of a carbon credit card.

Dr Anderson has been vociferous on these matters and was co-author of another report, Growth Scenarios for EU & UK Aviation, commissioned by FoE, saying at that time: "There is a clear consensus amongst the scientific community that stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at, or below, 550ppmv is necessary to avoid ‘dangerous climate change’.

His web details no longer, as they used to, describe him as a marine engineer, but his position as Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester, seems to confirm that he is indeed an an engineer turned modeller and not a climate scientist.

His work on the subject starts from the premise that IPCC claims are incontrovertible and he then produces computer modelling based on their flawed claims that CO2 emissions are driving up global temperatures, first by 2 deg C and now by 4 deg C. If the basic premise is wrong, as is evidenced by the failure of global temperature to rise despite continuing increases in CO2, then all his modelling and mitigation claims are also wrong. It must be difficult to countenance, when so much effort has been expended on it.

May 14, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA


If it looks like an Ayatollah, and quacks like an Ayatollah, then it just might be an Ayatollah.

May 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

Dear Kev put your hand bag down.

May 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

This is one of the problems about having a debate with the Alarmists.

When they bring forward somebody to talk science, the person should preferably be chosen from among those who have learned to listen to constructive criticism without bursting into tears.

There seems to be a considerable shortage of those.

May 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

"But overall it again appears BH do not want to attract dissenting views – but rather maintain a site solely for those that share their dismissal of all who work on climate change as money-grabbing charlatans."

Professor Anderson, your article set out a rebuttal of Peter Lilley's article based on a clear misunderstanding of what he actually attributed to you. I've read both articles and did not connect you personally to any of the criticisms it seemed to me that they were aimed at the green movement in general. As it stands I don't believe you would find much opposition from the people on this thread - some but not much - to a pragmatic approach to the exploitation of shale gas. We have an "discussions" section on this blog which I for one would welcome your, or any other warmist views propounded for discussion.

In the meantime the excitable tone of your posts isn't helping.

As for "money-grubbing" I don't know that I'd use that particular description, but there's no doubt that money is pouring into the coffers of those selling catastrophism and it would be unnatural for anyone so benefitting to change their position. It's human nature.

So let's have a post on how we're going to keep the lights on with the governments current energy policies.

Then maybe we can have a debate on why shale gas won't be cheap because if it is it will be taxed to make renewables competitive with it, and how this will be seen by the British people when they realise what the greens have been up to.

May 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I'm sorry to say this, friends and comrades, but I despair!.
Personally I think Anderson is wrong; I think he's not bothered to think through the climate change arguments; he is a scaremonger and is determined, come what may, to do his best to destroy western civilisation (if only because he seems unable to get to grips with the idea that no-one (repeat no-one) outside the effete west is listening). His 4, 5, 6 degree figures are pie in the sky. As several scientists every bit as learned as he have pointed out there is no evidence that CO2 has the dire effects or is even capable of having the dire effects that he predicts.
He refuses to countenance these arguments and accuses us of doing much the same thing.
But he comes on here to make his argument and instead of making any attempt to engage, we insult him.
Not only that we dissemble. We all know the pejorative implications attached to the word 'ayatollah' and we can all be pretty sure that they were what Lilley had in mind so let's not pretend otherwise.
Personally I would be delighted to find out from Professor Anderson why he thinks the way he does and attempt to explain to him why I think the way I do. At least it should be more constructive than trying to reason with trolls.

May 14, 2013 at 11:46 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"His work on the subject starts from the premise that IPCC claims are incontrovertible..."

Well he clearly chooses the sections that agree with his worldview and ignores those that don't.

" “ … In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

IPCC TAR, Section 14.2 “The Climate System”, page 774."

May 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"His work on the subject starts from the premise that IPCC claims are incontrovertible..."

Well he clearly chooses the sections that agree with his worldview and ignores those that don't.

" “ … In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

IPCC TAR, Section 14.2 “The Climate System”, page 774."

May 14, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Mike Jackson

I agree with you up to a point, but Kevin came on here and opened up with "..... the heady mix of eloquence and bile from little men massaging each others egos", so I think it is understandable that he gets a bit if flack.

May 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterGummerMustGo

@ Mike Jackson at 11:46 AM and previous.

I'm with you. The thread has taken a decidedly disagreeable tone. It did right from the start.
I now have much less respect than before for many prominent and frequent contributors to this site.

May 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Anyone looking for an immediate insight into Prof Anderson's style and position, should get themselves a coffee and settle down to listen to this talk he gave in 2012 (you'll need about an hour):

He speaks quickly, with a naïve trust in authorities amongst whom he includes the IEA on climate change, King as Chief Scientist, as well as the IPCC. He lacks gravitas, and comes across to me as confusing about his position other than the aforementioned trust. Listen to his jumble on ‘globalisation’ for example, early in the talk, and try to get his point on your first listening, other than that it is ‘quite new’.

More links on this, including to a transcript:

So, I am with Comrade Commenter Mike (11:46AM) here, in hoping to find out more about why he thinks the way he does, along with a bit more about what he thinks. From the lecture, I conclude, with some hesitation since he does speak so quickly, that he believes that CO2 is a control knob for global mean temperature, that 2C is a critical limit, that we should be reducing CO2 emissions very dramatically in order to avoid the catastrophe he is confident will occur if we don't. He is disparaging about some group of economists (refers to them as 'astrologists'). He also asserts that the 'scientific community' is deliberately keeping quiet about something, which I think is to do with rates of CO2 emissions being faster than predicted. In other words, it is worse than we are being led to believe? Perhaps other comrades could listen or read the words of the talk as well, and help clear this up for me.

May 14, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

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