New Video : Debunking The Debunker

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60 Responses to New Video : Debunking The Debunker

  1. feathers says:

    This is what happens when an engineer debates a journalist…absolute destruction!

  2. Simon Platt says:

    Yes, Potholer seems to think that Earth’s climate is unstable. I think not.

    • Mark says:

      Potholer doesn’t know that the climate system is never stable.

      His balanced plank analogy makes it clear that he does not understand that the system is never in balance and is always seeking balance but never finding it.

      For the system to find balance, all inputs need to be stable and regular and that has never ever been the case on this planet.

      To summarize, potholer doesn’t know what he is talking about, doesn’t understand climate science enough to understand how much he doesn’t know, how much we all don’t know.

      Lastly, he must surely realise that so many areas of earth sciences are poorly understood, and yet.. portrays our knowledge as far more than it actually is

  3. arn says:

    This guy uses some tricks by changing the shape of the weights on the plank to cause the imbalance.

    Who all of a sudden changed the shape of one weight?
    That’s like a sudden change of structure of molecules and that only happened in the 80ies when co2 turned evil.

    Once the weight roles down the balance it will never ever return where it originally was as stones roll downhill but not uphill.

    It may be possible that something huge can exist for a very long time and can easily be disbalanced(though very unlikely) ,but entropy will keep it disbalanced and the system will be broke forever (or at least until a much much stronger power corrects the system and if such a deus ex all of a sudden came into existence this power must be very insightfull and can travel through time as it needs to know how the system looked liked before the collaps and put the plank and weights exactly there where they once were)

    Considering that warm and cold periods are going on since forever the system
    is selfregulating and works very well and there is no magic little something
    that can change the system,even not AGW’s most favourite fairy dust co2
    (though they abuse the butterfly effect to make it sound real)which is not adjusting climate but simply following it.
    Co2 is not a trendsetter,just a follower.

    • spike55 says:

      Just another mindless attempt at an irrelevant analogy..

      … because he can’t explain his fantasy any other way.

      • Mark says:

        His analogy is nonsense because a chaotic non linear coupled system can never ever be in balance.

        Potholer therefor is a buffoon, arrogance and ignorance combined

        • Phil. says:

          His analogy is nonsense because a chaotic non linear coupled system can never ever be in balance.

          Sure it can, if the stationary point is a stable focus.

      • MGJ says:

        Exactly. Analogies used IN PLACE OF an argument provide a very useful beacon when assessing other people’s claims.

        We immediately know we are dealing with a fraud or someone whose thinking is so muddled that he’s no business claiming anything.

    • GCSquared says:

      “This guy uses some tricks by changing the shape of the weights on the plank to cause the imbalance.”

      The really creepy aspect is that this animation is so persuasive and appealing. It’s a great example of a nonlinear system that anyone can understand. So much so, that the reader is effectively misdirected past the important fundamental question of exactly how, and whether, this see-saw has anything to do with climate, directly to thinking about why climate behaves this way.

      Even a lot of us in this blog are arguing about the behavior of the kind of feedback this model suggests, instead of seeing that the model should be thrown out the window in the first place, given the dearth of validation provided by Potholer.

      I’m thinking a lot about how brilliantly he’s tricked everyone so effectively. The case is an object lesson.

  4. Anon says:

    Has anybody seen this yet? (from 3 days ago)

    Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2013, showed that leading climate change models seemed to predict a much faster increase in ocean heat content over the last 30 years than was seen in observations,” Hausfather said. “That was a problem, because of all things, that is one thing we really hope the models will get right.”

    “The fact that these corrected records now do agree with climate models is encouraging in that is removes an area of big uncertainty that we previously had,” he said.

    “Scientists are continually working to improve how to interpret and analyze what was a fairly imperfect and limited set of data prior to the early 2000s,” Hausfather said. “These four new records that have been published in recent years seem to fix a lot of problems that were plaguing the old records, and now they seem to agree quite well with what the climate models have produced.”

    In 2015 there was a similar data problem with the surface temperature data:

    Global warming ‘pause’ caused by glitch in data

    In 2017 there was a similar problem with the RSS Satellite Troposphere data:

    Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998

    **Actually Tony predicted the change to the RSS data before it happened:

    Look for the satellite data to be adjusted to bring it into compliance with the fully fraudulent surface temperatures. The Guardian is now working to discredit UAH, so it seems likely that RSS will soon be making big changes – to match the needs of the climate mafia. Bookmark this post.


    WTF? I have never seen anything like this in my life! Any data they don’t agree with they dispose of.

    • Gator says:

      It’s the TDUC method, used by all the best and brightest alarmists. Torture the data until it confesses.

    • arn says:

      Whenever they get in trouble some miracle-on-demand happens that helps them arrange things to fit in the storyline.
      AGW is so much above the laws of physics as the Clintons are above the laws of justice.
      No matter what happens there never will be consequences and popular opinion will always be on their side.

      • Anon says:

        It just happened again with the Arctic being Ice Free any time soon. As Tony is pointing out, the Arctic ice is increasing. To explain that, a previously unbeknownst to science negative feedback mechanism has just been discovered (arriving right on cue):

        Wintertime Arctic Sea Ice Growth Slows Long-term Decline: NASA

        These model simulations showed that in the 1980s, when Arctic sea ice was on average 6.6 feet thick in October, about 3.3 extra feet of ice would form over the winter. That rate of growth has increased and may continue to do so for several more decades in some regions of the Arctic; in the coming decades, we could have an ice pack that would on average be only around 3.3 feet thick in October, but could experience up to 5 feet of ice growth over the winter.

        “This negative feedback mechanism increasing ice growth is unlikely to be sufficient in preventing an ice-free Arctic this century,” Petty and his colleagues concluded.

        So if any of your “warmist” friends are concerned about an ice free Arctic, you can tell them Al Gore was wrong and it won’t be ice free probably until the end of this century, after all the grant money has been distributed and these climate modelers have long since retired or died.

      • Anon says:

        Miracles on Demand ought to a title for one of Tony’s future videos illustrating how this seems to ALWAYS OCCUR and can even be predicted…

        It would be a good title for a Dilbert comic strip as well.

        • arn says:

          Yes-some crazy conspiracy theorist have some really incredible psychic skills.
          They can predict stuff better than nostradamus and edgar cayce combined,
          though others claim that this has nothing to do with supernatural but with analytical skills=decoding the process of storytelling,the real intentions behind the promises and what is necessary to push/keep the story alive.

          A easy way to understand how those miracles and storylines work is the first media war ever.
          in 1898 Randolph Hearst wanted to save his struggling media empire and sent his presstitute Frederic Remington to pull some sensationalist news about the non existing
          Spanish American war so that he can sell more newspapers.
          Remington cabled:
          “There won’t be no war”
          Hearst cabled back.
          “You furnish the pictures and i’ll furnish the war”
          (so the spanish american war was as real as AGW until the storytellers decided to make it real)

          Political Correctness,Official Realities and Public Opinions are almost always determined by those who controle the flow of information and money.

      • czechlist says:

        “Whenever they get in trouble some miracle-on-demand happens…”
        Like finding ballots in the trunk of a car?

    • Another Ian says:

      On that faster warming

      “A Small Margin Of Error”

    • GCSquared says:

      “Oceans are warming even faster than previously thought”

      This recent article points out that Hausfather’s data is suspiciously cleaner than it has any right to be:

      It’s what you often see when someone tries to fudge data to make a point, like Mendeleev’s genetic studies which reported statistical variations that were actually too small. But the criticism in the WUWT article doesn’t go so far as to directly question how the data might have been adjusted.

    • Mark says:

      The Irish times one was written by a Guardian writer and is pure bollox Guardian climate change propaganda

      Karl Mathiesen is an Australian ecomut like dana Nuccitelli

      “Editor-in-chief @climatehome. Associate @UTAS_. Tasmanian. Signal: +447869704645

      he has a vested interest in lying, and he is a liar, Tom Karl’s paper was junk science by any measure.

  5. Norilsk says:

    OK you crusty bunch. Check out this climate change humour from 22 Minutes, your source of Canadian humour. lol
    22 Minutes: Sexy Climate Change Song

  6. Disillusioned says:

    It appears lag times between temperature changes and CO2 changes is a matter of months.

    The maximum positive correlation between CO2 and temperature is found for CO2 lagging 11-12 months in relation to global sea surface temperature, 9.5 – 10 months to global surface air temperature, and about 9 months to global lower troposphere temperature.

  7. Bernal says:

    The proposed model: (minus the arty-farty brit accent) The rent seeking politician enlists the aid of rent seeking perfessers, who are paid by the rent seeking politicians to say what must be said thus producing a positive feed-back loop. These two enlist their journalist friends (let’s call them mee-thane) to cook off not because they are rent seeking but because they get paid by the scare, pennies per scare, which is not a lot, so they must keep up the scare. When, into this unstable mix is added, travel to exotic locations and copious alcohol in the form of fruity drinks run-away positive feed-back occurs and the teeter-totter hits the floor and we all die. Thass watcher call yer run away feed-back Earth- Venus/snow-ball Earth phenomenon.

    But, as it turns out, run-away feed-back loops often run into something, especially when the political/accademic/jouralistic gaseous mixture presents the french guy the bill for $10 gas and he says “WTF!” and the spherical weight jumps back onto the teeter-totter like magic. And that’s how you get more Trump.

    Some loops get pushed out a way before they come back, like say, Venezuala, but at some point somebody is just going to tip the saw-horse over entirely and then what you got is Potboiler’s plank flat on the ground. Green New Deal. Sounds good until no hot showers and hipsters can’t catch an Uber to the bar Saturday night.

    Say it loud and say it proud “Orange Man Bad!”

    UR the greatest Tony Heller!

  8. Pathway says:

    Excellent video. You need to work on the British accent so you sound more convincing.

  9. MichiCanuck says:

    Nice presentation Tony. Like you, I have a background in both Earth Sciences and Engineering and when I look at the Pleistocene T and CO2 record, to me it looks like a bi-stable non-linear oscillator whose timing is controlled by some external driver.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this paper by Ellis and Palmer that very neatly explains the timing of glacials and interglacials and it makes a good case as to the major feedback controls. You can see the reference at:

    Basically, they argue that the timing of both hot and cold transitions is controlled by maxima and minima of the high latitude N. Hemipshere insolation, which in turn is predominantly driven by precession. This works fine for the onset of glaciations, but the mystery has always been why we need to go through 3-4 insolation maxima before coming out of a glaciation and into an interglacial. From the graphs you show, there is a clear asymmetry between the two states, with “normal” being incredibly cold.

    Ellis and Palmer argue that the “input” is indeed precession and the two major feedbacks are albedo and CO2, but the CO2 feedback is not what the alarmists argue for. As you point out, the atmospheric absorption mechanism is far too feeble and we come out of a glacial when CO2 is incredibly low. Totally bass-ackwards.

    In their model, a drop in insolation triggers a glacial era and positive feedback from the high albedo ice pushes things colder still. The high albedo is far too powerful to be overcome by the next insolation maximum or two or sometimes even three.

    The CO2 feedback finally kicks in and the mechanism is very clever and for skeptics, very delicious indeed. Eventually, the extreme cold of the oceans draws the CO2 down to truly dangerously low levels (~190 ppm) and even C4 grasses (which evolved to handle our currently low CO2 times) can’t handle it. They are so CO2-starved that vast areas of grasslands die off . This in turn causes massive dust storms. It’s the dust that coats the ice sheets and then when the next insolation maximum comes along, whammo, the ice melts and we go into a short-lived interglacial. Very elegant. So it’s the lack of CO2 that “provides the floor” and prevents us from going into full Snowball Earth.

    The cautionary part of the story is that there’s no protection from going into a glacial, so the next insolation minimum will start the next glacial. I think at that point, it might make sense to dust bomb the infant continental ice sheets before they really get going.

    • Menicholas says:

      How much snow does it take to cover up dust so it might as well not even be there?

      • arn says:

        Far less snow than it needs to cover meadows and streets as those are much warmer than the surface of the arctic and are generally less exposed to strong cold winds(as long as they are not in certain regions of northern patagonia)

        The question here maybe more :
        a)is this dust darkening the snow while falling down as there is so much in the air?

        b)if there is so much dust how can there be warming?
        As huge volcano eruptions have caused regional cooling as the erupted dust in the atmosphere blocked the sun.
        A lower arctic albedo caused by darker ice becomes somehow irrellevant when the dust in the air is blocking sun rays from reaching the surface.

      • MichiCanuck says:

        The key part of their argument is that dust makes it difficult for the continental ice in places like N Manitoba and N Quebec to survive the summer, when temperatures at those latitudes are likely to be at or above freezing. Remember that during periods of high solar insolation, the summers will be as long or longer than now. One of the wierd things about how this works is that you get warmer summers if summer occurs when you are furthest away from the sun. That’s because you spend more time in the orbit at apihelion. If you have dirty ice and it’s not snowing during the summer, you’ll get a net loss of glacial ice. The CO2 rises only when things heat up again, so there should be plenty of dustt around until plants start to recover.

  10. Nutation_discombobulation says:

    What a load of rubbish, he needs to remove his head from the pothole. Isn’t positive feedback entropic, I guess that’s why he shows his balance busted after tipping. What I find the most ridiculous is that he states an orbital wobble effectively a variation in insolation every 100,000 years causes an iceage, then how could a change in a trace gas have any feedback to this system so as to influence the external energy input.
    The bottom line is, socialists just love “tipping points” it conjures up a percieved finality and sense of immediacy of action required by the listener to act without delay.

  11. aging boomer says:

    Kudos to Scott Adams for bringing into mutual firing range the best climate change skeptic on YouTube (Tony Heller) and the best climate change believer (potholer54).

    Potholer can speak for himself, but as a lay person and wannabe skeptic who tries (perhaps not very successfully) to understand this area, I believe (sadly) that there are responses to each of the criticisms Heller makes of potholer. Part of the problem is that Heller discusses only one of potholer’s many videos, and some of the questions are covered in other videos.

    1. Heller says potholer leaves open the question what causes the initial small cooling or warming (I’ll speak mostly of warming in this discussion) that starts the process of glaciation or deglaciation. In other videos this is attributed to increased or decreased solar forcing due to orbital changes, or to geological events such as volcanoes or other fissures in the earth’s surface that release trapped CO2 (though this gets tricky because such events may also release reflective, i.e. cooling, aerosols), or on the cooling side, increased “trapping” of CO2 in chemical compounds over long periods.

    2. Heller argues that current estimates of climate “sensitivity” (a two-thirds likelihood of 1.5-4.5 degrees C. per doubling of CO2) do not support the contention that a small initial increase in CO2 could produce the temperature increases necessary for deglaciation. My understanding is that these “sensitivity” estimates are estimates based on a given doubled amount of CO2 and which include such “feedbacks” as an increase in water vapor (itself a greenhouse gas) but which do not include further increases in CO2 produced by the initial increase, i.e. a “feedback” in the form of a change in the terrestrial CO2 cycle itself, releasing more CO2. Over time such positive CO2 feedback could warm the earth by more than the sensitivity estimates.

    3. Heller points out that, once the warming or cooling gets going, potholer does not explain why it does not continue indefinitely until we have a hothouse earth or snowball earth. In other words, what is the “ground” underneath the illustrative seesaw in the video? In other videos potholer posits that as the earth warms, it emits more heat, until there is an equilibrium between planetary input and output of heat, at which point the temperature (and I guess CO2 levels) stabilize. One thing I don’t understand in other potholer videos is why in the earth’s long, long past there have been instances of snowball earth and hothouse earth, but more recently deglaciation has left us with a stable, moderate climate for several thousand years. Why is there ground beneath the seesaw in some epochs but not others? What has changed?

    4. I’ll pass on methane, but I would note that (1) it’s not particularly comforting that methane is unstable in the atmosphere, given that it decays into CO2 and water vapor, both themselves greenhouse gases (2) if it’s true that lots of methane could be released by the melting of the permafrost, that’s would be the functional equivalent of a disruption in the terrestrial carbon cycle, raising the possibility of greater temperature increases than forecast by “sensitivity” estimates.

    I wish Heller had not said that potholer “has no idea what he’s talking about.” Apart from being a laughable claim to anyone who has followed potholer’s treatment of climate issues on YouTube, this is the sort of rude, ad hominem smear that just must be eliminated from internet discussions of important issues.

    I, on the other hand, may indeed have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s a very difficult area.

    • tonyheller says:

      Potholer has no idea what he is talking about.

    • spike55 says:

      Potholer invented an irrelevant analogy with that idiotic “scale” farce.

      He did it because he is incapable of explaining any real process because he does not comprehend them himself. He said as much.

      The whole thing was a child-minded fantasy and a slap-stick farce from start to finish.

    • Menicholas says:

      Aging boomer is credulous and gullible, may be nearly scientifically illiterate, and has no idea what he is talking about.
      Fortunately people who do know how to think for themselves and are educated in the relevant disciplines, do not need the approval or reassurances of head-nodding know-nothings.

      • Disillusioned says:

        I found the claim at the top of aging boomer’s analysis (that a.b. is a “wannabe skeptic”) to be disingenuous. The second-to-last paragraph removed any doubt.

        I didn’t want my paradigm smashed. I fought against it. I wanted to continue believing. Empirical data brought me to disillusionment. I was sick at my stomach; it was wrenching. It was real.

    • Gator says:

      1- We don’t know.

      2- Positive feedbacks do not exist in nature, only models.

      3- Interglacials are not stability, they are flux.

      4- The effect of so called “greenhouse” gasses is logarithmic.

      5- Potheader has no idea what he is talking about.

    • MichiCanuck says:

      Climate sensitivity estimates do include feedbacks. Otherwise you’d never get the huge warming estimates from some models. You’d basically be stuck at ~1-1.5C per doubling of CO2.

    • LexingtonGreen says:

      Is there a link to a good source supporting the “its the sun” that got the warming going that caused the CO2?

  12. GCSquared says:

    I suppose potholer COULD hypothesize a feedback mechanism, but where does he test the hypotheses to verify it? (Animated cartoons don’t count.) He sure puts that one over slickly.

    What limits the range of system fluctuations are nonlinearities, like for instance the fact that the earth can’t get TOO hot because radiative emission will eventually drain all heat sinks, nor too cold because the earth’s radiation will drop below what the Sun is providing.

    But in between, all bets are off, at least to myself, and probably to anyone else who has a familiarity with nonlinear dynamics. IMHO, runaway or oscillatory dynamics is way above the paygrade of contemporary climate understanding (a point made by Happer).

    As an approachable(?) illustration, check out Australian economist Steve Keen’s “Minsky” program and calculations.
    You can get a quick sense of what he’s up to if you go to the 34:25 min mark, from where he starts to describe what he’s considering in words, up to about the 37 min mark, where he demonstrates the occurrence of a spontaneous financial crisis (Keen is a fan of Minsky, whose claim is that capitalist economics is intrinsicaly “boom-bust”). The example illustrates how a “simple” economy that seems to be moderating, spontaneously blows up, for no apparent reason, just as a consequence of how reasonably sensible behaviors interact.

    You can criticize or conclude what you want from this, but the point is, you’d have to show me more than a cartoon see-saw to persuade me that you have some understanding of climate mechanisms.

  13. Rosco says:

    Why is it that no-one ever mentions the fact that these ice core records have no bearing on today’s climate ?

    All of the Milankovitch orbital parameters are constantly changing.

    Currently at Perihelion Earth is ~147.09 million kilometres from the Sun and at Aphelion ~152.1 kilometres.

    Using the inverse square law this calculates to ~1408 W/m2 at Perihelion and ~1316 W/m2 at Aphelion.

    Currently the northern hemisphere winter is at Aphelion – ~1408 W/m2 TOA and summer at ~1316 W/m2 TOA..

    These are constantly slowly changing.

    Given the land mass area in the northern hemisphere it isn’t difficult to see that when the NH summer coincides with ~1408 W/m2 TOA there could be considerably hotter summers whilst with ~1316 W/m2 TOA during winter it could be considerably colder.

    Earth’s eccentricity, axial tilt and precession all change all the time – the time frames may be long but no-one really knows if these are constant so comparing ice cores to the present may be just another form of half guessed junk science anyway.

    But I do know 92 W/m2 changes in solar “radiative forcing” as apparently occurs annually due to current eccentricity, which is currently more circular than the extreme elliptoid orbits, certainly well and truly trumps the alleged 0.9 W/m2 “radiative forcing” Trenberth et al 2009 claim for CO2.

    • GCSquared says:

      “Why is it that no-one ever mentions the fact that these ice core records have no bearing on today’s climate ?”

      I have to take exception to this: looking at ice cores, or equivalent proxies, bears DIRECTLY on the issue of how all factors have cause climate changes in the past. Without recourse to models or explanations, proxy data puts in front of us what the earth has actually been doing.

      After all, without such data Milankovich himself would have had no climate data to correlate with the changing orbital parameters, that you invoke to claim that ice-core studies are useless. And Charvatova, Svensmark and Shavir have also used climate proxies to correlate with their mechanisms. So I’m very confused here, because you seem to hold at least some respect for these theories.

      To be fair, if you’ll let me guess, I think the heart of your objection applies to some of the more naive “explanations” that claim to explain proxy climate variations while ignoring important factors like solar-system physics. I specifically target the APGW, CO2 reductionism “models” with this criticism.

  14. DCA says:

    Here’s some more “climate leadership” from China:

    China: No Wind Or Solar If It Can’t Beat Coal On Price

    • arn says:

      China has zero interesst in pushing Wind/Solar
      except for showcase/propaganda purposes and some lipservice to the UN.

      1)China can increase co2 production until 2030+.

      2)Chinas new economy is based on capitalism&co2 and they are very well aware that there is a very strong correlation between co2 production and wealth/power of a country.
      Therefore china is pushing very very hard to produce as much co2 as they can until 2030 as they know:the higher the co2 cap the wealthier their standard will be in the years after 2030.

  15. Jeff Jones says:

    I hope you are sending your videos to the Whitehouse.

  16. CO2isLife says:

    Tony, great video as usual. A few points. Go to MODTRAN and change the settings to looking up from the surface and change CO2 from 270 to 410. The backradiation reaching the oceans is 0.94W/m^2. Sunlight is 1,050W/m^2. Simply do the math. It takes months for CO2 to provide the energy of just a few hrs of sunlight. Also, the Ocean cycles release enormous amounts of energy from the system, overwhelming anything CO2 could ever hope to add to the system. CO2 is like adding a garden hose to the Alaskan Pipeline. Here is a better description of the concept that might make a good video to balance Potholer’s teeter-totter.

    An Einstein Thought Experiment on Climate Change

    • Disillusioned says:

      “For the Climate Change “Experts” to be correct, Mother Nature has to be wrong.”

      Bingo! The dilemma I was facing as a CAGW believer right before I became disillusioned was precisely that.

      The disillusionment was terrible. I was nauseated. But I thank God for the discernment and the subsequent disillusionment. I will never make the mistake of believing a corporatist governmental “consensus” again. Never.

      Facts matter. Financial and pressure-based peer opinions do not matter at all. The larger the pressure group, the more it smells. Science is not about opinion.

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