August 11, 2008 | Graham

Quiggin: cleaned-up or cleaned-out?

Yesterday, Jennifer Marohasy posted a blog asking for peer reviewed scientific papers that:
“1. examine the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming, and

2. quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.
This would seem like a brave call, but Jennifer’s been having some success lately. Her suggestion thatf the Coorong should be flooded with sea water is moving closer to becoming official government policy, so she could be on a roll.
Later that day she left the same post on John Quiggin’s blog. Quiggin responded with typical do-my-homework-for-me insouciance, referring her to the IPCC 4th report, “particularly Chapter 9”. Nothing like a specific reference to a specific paper, is there?
I would have thought there would be lots of papers investigating both issues, although, given the range of the IPCCs temperature scenarios, nothing definitive. Others appear confident that there aren’t. Michael Duffy has upped the ante, offering $1,000 to anyone who produces such a paper.
Even though Quiggin already earns $256,000 p.a. as a federation fellow, this would appear to be an easy windfall, well above even his usual hourly rate of pay. And the added benefit would be to clean-up and clean-out both Marohasy and Duffy. If he doesn’t rise to the challenge, then he will be the one cleaned-up.
There have been a couple of responses on Quiggins’ website. James Haughton suggests “Callendar, G.S., 1938: The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 64, 223–237.” And “D. J . HOFMANN, J. H. BUTLER, E. J . DLUGOKENCKY, J . W. ELKINS, K. MASARIE, S. A. MONTZKA and P. TANS, The role of carbon dioxide in climate forcing from 1979 to 2004: introduction of the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, Tellus B, Vol 58, Issue 5, pp.614-619, 2006.”
Ken Miles suggests “Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years by Thomas Crowley. It was published in Science (July 14, 2000 Science, 289: 270-277).”
I think they are all going to badly need a judging panel if they are to prise Duffy’s money from his fingers.
[Note added at 20:20: I missed a post on John Quiggin’s thread where he nominates three papers, before Duffy even makes the challenge, and 8 hours after he fobs Marohasy off. The papers are:
J.D. Annan and J.C. Hargreaves (2006), Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity, Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (6): Art. No. L06704
Harvey, L.D.D. (2000), ‘Constraining the Aerosol Radiative Forcing and Climate Sensitivity’, Climatic Change, 44(4), 413-18.
Stainforth, D.A. et al. (2005), ‘Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases.’, Nature, 433(7024), 403-06.
I’ve asked him for a copy of these papers. He wants an apology. I’m not sure what for, but you can see his comments below.]
There is a rash of offers of money on various global warming issues. JunkScience has The Ultimate Global Warming Challenge with a prize of $500,000. Their challenge is to disprove:

UGWC Hypothesis 1
Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases do not discernibly, significantly and predictably cause increases in global surface and tropospheric temperatures along with associated stratospheric cooling.
UGWC Hypothesis 2
The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.

Economist [correction, should have been Engineer] Michael Economides is also apparently offering $10,000 for anyone who can find “ONE peer reviewed paper that shows that incremental anthropogenic CO2 can cause the multi-degree temperature increases that have been ascribed to it. What I need to see are calculations showing this through any discernible law of heat transfer or thermodynamics.” [His email is if you want to correspond with him].
There could be more money than I thought in global warming.

Posted by Graham at 2:20 pm | Comments (24) |
Filed under: Environment


  1. And after that biologists could take Kent Hovind’s money by offering proof of evolution.
    And then there is a whole heap of cash up for the taking from various Nigerian gentlemen.
    Oh wait, at the heart of any such exercise, is the issue of trust. And why should anybody trust.
    I submitted a paper simply to watch Duffy wiggle out.

    Comment by Ken Miles — August 11, 2008 @ 4:34 pm

  2. And after that biologists could take Kent Hovind’s money by offering proof of evolution.
    And then there is a whole heap of cash up for the taking from various Nigerian gentlemen.
    Oh wait, at the heart of any such exercise, is the issue of trust. And I don’t have even a shred of trust in the integrity of any pseudoscientist nor internet scammer.
    I submitted a paper simply to watch Duffy wiggle out.

    Comment by Ken Miles — August 11, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  3. You can’t even read. Well before Duffy’s offer, I’d listed three papers on climate sensitivity, selected because I’d cited them in my current work on the topic. Not that I’m expecting to see the money or anything – as Ken says, there’s always an escape clause in this kind of thing.
    And, I’m not expecting an apology from you for yet another false claim.

    Comment by John Quiggin — August 11, 2008 @ 5:02 pm

  4. Personally, I’m considering taking Duffy to the small claims tribunal if he doesn’t pay up.

    Comment by James Haughton — August 11, 2008 @ 5:04 pm

  5. Say, where does Economides make this offer? somewhere legally enforcable?

    Comment by James Haughton — August 11, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  6. John, you’re making it up again. When Jennifer Marohasy asked you for papers this is what you said “# jquiggin Says:
    August 10th, 2008 at 10:51 pm
    On reading this, I thought it must be a hoax. Surely, having written for years on this topic, Jennifer Marohasy would be aware of at least some of the relevant scientific literature. But apparently not – there’s a post at her site in exactly the same terms. This certainly helps to explain how the political right gets things so badly wrong.
    My suggestion for a reasonably well-educated novice would be to start with the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group 1, particularly Chapter 9, on understanding and attributing climate change. This summarises the literature on these questions, and the reference list includes hundreds of papers on both the causal link and the question of sensitivity (the standard way in which these questions are addressed). There’s also a supplementary CD-ROM on sensitivity, if you’re really keen. (All this is well-timed as I’m just working on a paper for an econ journal which has required me to go over some of this literature).”
    Do you have any other mode but “abuse”?

    Comment by Graham Young — August 11, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  7. Apparently you missed this comment.
    Relevant quote
    “Since it appears that you’re set on journal articles, here are some cited in the paper I’m currently working on
    J.D. Annan and J.C. Hargreaves (2006), Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity, Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (6): Art. No. L06704
    Harvey, L.D.D. (2000), ‘Constraining the Aerosol Radiative Forcing and Climate Sensitivity’, Climatic Change, 44(4), 413-18.
    Stainforth, D.A. et al. (2005), ‘Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases.’, Nature, 433(7024), 403-06.”

    Comment by John Quiggin — August 11, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  8. Do you have any other mode but “abuse”?
    If John’s comment counts as abuse then you’re living in lah lah land.
    Jennifer’s question was breath taking. Given the large number of words that she has publically written on global warming and her position in the IPA, one would have thought that a self styled “sceptic” would have done even a smidgeon of reading on the topic.

    Comment by Ken Miles — August 11, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

  9. Yes, but you waited 8 hours to post them. Have you sent the texts to Jennifer? Hard to say from a title how successful they are.

    Comment by Graham Young — August 11, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  10. Neither of these quibbles changes the fact that what you wrote about me, well after (in fact, 8 hours after) I had posted a list of references was, quite simply, wrong.
    As I say, I don’t expect an apology, but I could always be pleasantly surprised.

    Comment by John Quiggin — August 11, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  11. John, I’m not sure what you want an apology for, but I have noted your references above, and would like to see the copies of your papers.
    When it comes to apologies, from some of the correspondence from you that I have been seeing, you’re the one that owes them, not me.

    Comment by Graham Young — August 11, 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  12. I critic the first (Hoffmann et al) of the three papers provided by Ken and James, as the best evidence, as a new blog post here: .
    So far I think Michael Duffy’s money is safe.

    Comment by Jennifer Marohasy — August 11, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

  13. Who wants whom to do their homework for them? Marohasy’s request has to be disingenuous, at best.
    But of course this is the same Jennifer Marohasy who claimed that the Murray had been ‘saved’ 2 years ago in an OLO article.

    Comment by CJ Morgan — August 12, 2008 @ 9:18 am

  14. Some it’s come to this has it. The anti-AGW people are trying pre-primary tactics. Who’s paying their wages? I mean they are having absolutely no impact on the debate, that can’t be value for money. If any of them belong to professional bodies they surely must be bordering on censure. It’s just pathetic seeing adults trying this sort of thing.

    Comment by Patrick B — August 12, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  15. CJ I suspect that Jennifer hasn’t framed her question clearly, but I think I know what she’s driving at. John didn’t have to answer it, but in answering it he should have treated her like an intelligent human being, which she undoubtedly is. He’s done the same thing to me – sent me a google search link once which didn’t actually prove his point. Another time I asked for details of his criticism of the science of a paper whose author he criticised, and nothing was forthcoming. Now I’m waiting for copies of the papers that he instances in this argument. Quiggin’s a polemicist who likes to pretend he’s an expert.
    I haven’t read everything that he has said on the Murray, but I think Jennifer’s record is pretty good, including uncovering dishonesty in the presentation of statistics about salinity in the Murray. She’s made some wrong calls, but who hasn’t. I bet her record stands up pretty well against John’s in this area.

    Comment by Graham Young — August 12, 2008 @ 10:29 am

  16. Your about as likely to find recent papers on the topic as you a likely to find recent paper on the laws of thermodynamics or Darwin’s theory of evolution. To study any of the above you find the library and check out a good textbook.
    Jennifer question indicated she hasn’t been to university or she didn’t learn the most important lesson, where to find the library (I can’t be bothered finding out which).
    Even though greenhouse gases, evolution and the laws of thermodynamics are well understood and are used to predict outcomes it doesn’t stop people pretending global warming doesn’t exist, god created the world in seven days and perpetual motion machines are possible. I read an article the other day that claimed flat earthers still exist ( I do find this hard to believe).
    Given science offers the best chance of predicting future outcomes I would suggest it would be best if we use science and not peoples “common sense” opinions as the foundation for policy.

    Comment by charles — August 12, 2008 @ 11:31 am

  17. Thirty years ago I read a comment by a Buddhist philosopher who pointed out that the sheer fact that we are releasing to much previously stored energy into the world-system altogether, is inevitably going to cause all sorts of unforeseen manifestations in the future.
    Stored energy in the form of coal, oil, natural gas etc etc. And of course Uranium too.
    He also pointed out that human beings are in no way separate from the world and are totally integrated into the vast patterns of inter-locking energetic relationships that constitute the world altogether.
    There is no separation.
    He also pointed out that our collective mind or psyche, also affects the state of the world altogether. We thereby modify the world-process and even in some sense “create” the world in which we live.
    All of which is of course completely offensive to the dim-witted reductionist “realists” from the IPA etc.
    And all the “skeptics” too, especially those like George Pell who pretend to be “religious”.
    The root meaning of the word religion, meaning “to bind again”—to the Indivisible Oneness of Reality altogether, in all of its dimesions.
    There is not a jot of separateness anywhere. Not even a separate molecule.

    Comment by John — August 12, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  18. A quantum understanding of the world, as signalled by Einstein(via E=MC2) and others, including Heisenberg, tells us that the world altogether is a vast interconnected pattern of energy or light in which everything is in one way or another inter-related.
    Following on the Buddhist understanding,
    the new and rapidly developing field of neuro-science tells us that what we see “out there” is in fact a construction and projection of our brain and nervous system.
    What then is the real nature of the world? Are we in any sense separate from it (the world) as the “skeptics” all assert, or imply?
    Neuro-science also demonstrates that everything is inter-connected at a subtle level which is also what Heisenberg told us.
    All of which is to say that most,if not all of the so called “skeptics” are still advocating the Victorian era clock-work “world”-view of Newtonian physics in which everything was presumed to be separate.
    Which is not to suggest that Newtonian physics is not very useful within its own domain and applications.
    It just doesn’t take the wider patterns of relationship(s) into account.

    Comment by John — August 12, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

  19. What amazes me how many try to intimidate GrahamY with comments like OLO is a disgrace for questioning conventional wisdom.Is not this the way the true scientific method works?You test and question your hypothesis from every conceivable angle.The true believers in AGW should welcome such and approach if they have such an unerring faith in their theory.
    With the catagory class 5 cyclones both here and the US a few yrs ago,most of us including myself were convinced that AGW was real.Now with the climate cooling and new evidence from ice cores showing that cause and effect as regards CO2 and heating actually happen in reverse,we are all classed as heretics to even challenge the orthodoxy!
    With $50 billion given to the scientific community since 1990,there is a lot at stake in terms of reputations and money.Kevin Rudd has hedged his bets and morphosed form AGW to “Cimate Change” which covers heating or cooling.
    Once a new tax is imposed ,it is very difficult to remove even if it is based on a lie,since our conniving Govts use tactics like slogans of attrition and slight of hand to deflect our attention to a new arena of general pollution.Hey,we just forgot about CO2 which had no effect!
    Keep up the fight Grahamy,Jennifer Marohasy,Bob carter,David Evans and the like!This could turn out to be the greatest lie that has ever been perpetrated on our humanity in the name of saving our species,yet will make us slaves to Al Gore and Penny Wong’s new world order.

    Comment by Arjay — August 12, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  20. My critique of the paper suggested by Ken Miles is here:
    (I was interested to see the reconstruction of past climate in the paper is based on the work of Michael Mann.)

    Comment by Jennifer Marohasy — August 12, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  21. I take about as much notice of what Jennifer Marohasy and Duffy says as I do of Piers Ackerman and Andrew Bolt.
    The lot of them are Right Wing spinners,who would have trouble laying straight in bed.
    They are not worth 2 bob

    Comment by John Ryan — August 13, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

  22. John Ryan is typical of this whole debate.Attack the dissenter,ignore the facts but alas in this case,he was totally unaware of the mantra.
    Now John,can you name a specific,verifable,scientific experiment that demonstrates that CO2 is responsible for perceived AGW?

    Comment by Arjay — August 15, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

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