Celebrating Sue’s 88th Birthday

Bill Gray did a guest post on this blog January 5, 2016. I’m repeating it now because it was important material, and because tomorrow is an important anniversary. Bill would have been 88 now, but passed away not long afterwards.

Bill’s legacy continues to be my main motivation for doing the blog, and tonight I will be taking Sue out for her 88th Birthday dinner.



Last week I had the pleasure of dining with my two favorite Fort Collins octogenarians – Dr. Bill Gray and Sue Brackenbury.  Their mothers were best friends, but Bill and Sue hadn’t seen each other for decades. Both have been icons of the community in Fort Collins for many years, where Bill’s late wife was mayor in the 1980s. Today is Sue’s 86th birthday, and Bill has a special gift for us.

The Practice of Personal Attacking Global Warming Skeptics – Rather than Responding to Their Scientific Criticisms
By Bill Gray      January 5, 2016

While visiting the Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Poona, India in August 1966 I met and interacted with a young (~21) and promising Indian meteorologist named Jagdish Shukla.  I have not been surprised to see his later scientific rise and very successful meteorological career in the US.

At an evening social event in Poona (August 1966) a number of us (including Shukla) were discussing the then recent China-India War (1962) over China’s infringement on India’s northern border and the political tensions which had continued up to that time.  China was then in its isolated cultural–revolution period and was belligerent to most outside nations.  China’s strong intervention in Korea (1950-53) was still relatively fresh in people’s minds.  The US was in the early stages of the Vietnam War and there was worry about China’s possible intervention on the side of the North Vietnamese as they had done in Korea.  China was also rapidly advancing in its effort to develop a nuclear bomb.  Some people (at the time) were advocating the bombing of China’s nuclear facility before it had developed the bomb (as Israelis did to the Iraq nuclear development facility a number of years later).  We discussed the desirability of the US and its allies taking such action.  As best I can remember, I did not advocate taking such action and I’m glad that no such action was ever taken.

Fast forward 35 years later to a NOAA Climate meeting Shukla and I attended in Washington around 2001.  I was trying to obtain NOAA funding for my CSU project hurricane research which was partly involved with seasonal prediction.  My talk at this meeting was directed to the complicate nature of the earth’s climate system and the lack of confidence we should have in the then current numerical climate prediction models of rising CO2 amounts causing large global warming.  I specifically criticized the unrealistic positive water-vapor feedback in the climate models, the inability of the models to resolve individual convective units, the lack of proper inclusion of deep ocean circulation processes in the models, and other factors.  This was not what the government officials and most of the meeting attendees wanted to hear (and I didn’t get the funding I was seeking).  I now see that I was naïve in thinking that the global warming question was not totally dominated by governmental and environmental politics unrelated to the science behind the warming issue.

I expected and was prepared for negative comments about the meteorological problems I had pointed out in my talk.  The first response came from Shukla.  But he didn’t question anything I had just presented.  He went directly after me personally – by announcing I was the type of fellow who had earlier advised the bombing of China’s nuclear development facility.  He implied by this that I was the type of person too far out of the mainstream to be trusted on any of the serious questions concerning the AGW topic.  Shukla was not at all hesitant about bringing up and twisting what he thought I had said 35 years earlier.  I was 36 at the time I was then in Poona and about 70 when I gave my later NOAA talk.

These types of personal attacks on us AGW skeptics (unrelated to the physics or science of the topic) are not so unusual.  I have heard a number of similar stories about the aggressive isolation and criticisms of skeptics who do not follow the global warming party-line.  Most skeptics, as a result, are not able to obtain federal grant support.  They pay a high price for trying to tell the truth.

The attempt of the warming crowd to discredit us skeptics can take many forms other than the merits or demerits of the scientific questions we ask.  Warming proponents will typically not discuss or defend the physics behind the AGW hypothesis or how their climate models produce the large global warming results they do.  They tend to have a ‘take-it’ or ‘leave-it’ mentality or they typically refuse to discuss the warming mechanisms within their models on the grounds that the scientific questions have already been settled.

The warmers usual response to criticism seems to be to try to dig up whatever negative personal information they can uncover about the skeptic and then from this manufactured degraded outlook to imply that the science behind the skeptics criticisms must be similarly flawed.

Why are the warmers so afraid to have open and honest discussion about the basic nitty-gritty assumptions of their AGW hypothesis?  I think it is because they well know (but will not admit) that the science behind the AGW hypothesis is ripe with conceptual errors and, in the long run, be proven to be wrong.

I am but one of many AGW skeptics who have been subjected to the warmer’s attempts to isolate, ignore, and personally marginalize us, in order to deflect attention away from the basic scientific problems confronting the AGW hypothesis and its model output representations.  I doubt that the global warming crowd would so act if they were really confident of the reality of their science.  The warmers are now on a downward slide (which I believe they know but won’t admit) and cannot or will not face-up to the fact that they have picked the wrong horse to bet their future scientific reputations upon.  The older warmers are now too far down the AGW road to be able to gracefully extricate themselves.  Other warmers may feel that their prestige-enhancements and the governmental funding rewards they have gotten have been worth it – even if their warming alarms are later proven wrong.

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20 Responses to Celebrating Sue’s 88th Birthday

  1. RAH says:

    Did Bill every directly address the claim that climate change would cause an increase in the power of hurricanes?

  2. Michael Davis says:

    Thank you for sharing that again

  3. Rufus says:

    Nicely done. Excellent (re)post.

  4. AndyG55 says:

    That ex-GISS clown Jan Perlwits, or something, like that showed his desperation on NoTrickZone recently.

    Still REFUSED to provide basic empirical proof of CO2 warming.

    Evaded, twisted, squirmed…

    scurried around like a chock without a head..

    Even tried the “I’m Important, I’ve got a PhD” routine.

    Egotistical prat !!

    So Funny :-)

  5. Leonard Lane says:

    Nice post Tony and nice of you to help Sue celebrate her birthday. Thanks.

  6. Texas sharp-shooter says:

    This is heartbreaking to read. Really decent people like Dr. Gray react to betrayal with disbelief and shock when anger seems more appropriate to a lesser man, as myself.

    Gray nails it, the positive feedback of water vapor; three times the warming from water vapour as from COO? They must have that positive feedback for COOs effect to be catastrophic. None of the warmist bastards want to talk about that and much less do their acolytes even know that it is on that frail thread that hangs the dread they seem so much to enjoy.

    I’ve always thought that this war will be settled on the ground. “It’s damn cold and my TV won’t light up because the wind ain’t blowing and the Sun ain’t out.” There is beauty in an almost infinite number of decisions made by large numbers of fairly ignorant people rather than the enlightened decisions made by small numbers

    If greens told people what the grand plan is: people living in the cold and dark and dying early, the wisdom of the ignorant would hit them upside the head with the 2000 pound WTF! hammer. “You have got to be kidding me you sombitch. That’s what this was all about. Not poley bears and people not being able to ice skate on the Thames?” Lying liars; it is what they do, who they are.

    With all that Dr. Gray maintained his composure, his grace. Good to honor that in this post.

  7. gregole says:

    To me the saddest part of the Global Warming debacle is that real scientists, studying the real world atmosphere, have been gas-lighted and demonized by a small group of well-connected charlatans. Disgusting.

    We really “know” very little about earth’s atmosphere and this small group of clowns masquerading as scientists (I’m not a real doctor, but I play one on TV…) has effectively set us back at least a generation with their ignorant, vulgar, gaming.

    Shukla. Give me a break.

    • Freddy Boom-Boom says:

      Not just that, but what if the forecasts for a protracted freeze (Grand Solar Minimum, etc.) are correct? We’ve had time to prepare and at 0 hour we find out its for the wrong thing? Should we not be/have been preparing for growing food indoors on a massive scale? Seems to settle that problem no matter what direction the climate goes, or whatever (more isolated) incidents it throws at us. Otherwise, good luck growing anything north of, say, 45deg N if we’re heading for a long freeze.

  8. 4TimesAYear says:

    Much appreciation for sharing this again. Precious memories….

  9. Freddy Boom-Boom says:

    Powerful article. I also listened to the podcast you shared yesterday – good conversation and you actually played off the sinus infection pretty well. In any case, you seem like you’re on the level and I admire those who stick with their friends through the thin as well as the thick. Good on you for it. You’re most recent post is amusing also. Amazing just how many knots one must tie his/herself into in order to hold the AGW line. No wonder NPR never emailed me back! Keep up the good work.

  10. sunsettommy says:

    Being around very special people for a while creates good memories.

    I had the joy of being with John Dobson and Richard Berry at a Star Party back in the early 1990’s. John who created the Dobsonian Telescope and Richard who was Editor of Astronomy magazine.

    I still remember how ecstatic John was over John Casino’s 36″ F4 Telescope, he kept say: “this is gonna be jolly” several times while appearing to be floating over the ground as he went around the giant scope, I the developing dark. He was already 76 years old at the time.

    Because of them, I got into the BIG telescope bandwagon for the next 20 years, before I finally sold off my 25″ F5 Obsession Telescope 5 years ago. Dabbled in the CCD stuff too, using the “Cook book” set up Richard wrote.

    I still have two books written by two other special people too from meeting them at Star parties, Steve Overholt with his unusual Telescope and the other who’s full name escapes me at the moment, It was Mr. Veio who wrote how to make a solar Telescope to see the sun in specific bandwidths.

    Maybe I should try to build a Solar Telescope?

    I miss the star parties, but the memories are strong.

  11. shempus says:

    May he rest in peace. Very good thing you are doing by helping her have good birthday.

    I know there are more like him and you, but not close to enough.

  12. ossqss says:

    Tony, I just hit your tip jar to buy Sue and you a beverage of choice tonight in memory of Dr. Bill. Thanks for doing what you do!

  13. Chuck Wiese says:

    Dear Tony Heller: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! For continuing to expose the next aspect of the attack on science Bill Gray so articulately wrote about here just before he passed.

    Now that the academics who have prospered so much by trashing the founding principles of atmospheric science by supplanting them with these ridiculous and failed models, you could predict the next phase of the operation would be to cover-up gross model failures through manipulation of the surface temperature records like you have taken an enormous amount of time to uncover and expose.

    Please know your work, effort and time are most greatly appreciated and I would like to talk with you more about it. I am very much involved in exposing this climate fraud as I was fortunate enough to study atmospheric science when the degree programs were honest and all of the founding principles taught in atmospheric science were exactly as Bill Gray said they were, in that atmospheric CO2 CANNOT control the earth’s surface IR flux to space in the presence of water vapor and the earth’s hydrological cycle. It does not control any aspect of the climate system.

    Chuck Wiese

  14. John W. Garrett says:

    A colleague alerted me to Bill Gray’s pioneering work on Atlantic cyclonic storms way back in the early ’90s. I was impressed by his work and made a point of paying attention to him thereafter.

    Thank you for this reminder of his productive and well-lived life.

    • gator69 says:

      A revised model, so nothing new, just basic geology that I was taught four decades ago. No need for updates, unless you are a grantologist.

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