2011-02-11 10:17:44Candidate for dumbest skeptic argument yet?
John Cook


Someone emailed me this argument they encountered (comment #3):


  • not in any way to dismiss human co2 releasess from contributing to global warming, however, as I understand the Solar wind has been ablating Venus' primarily co2 atmosphere into interplanetary space within Earth's orbit. If this is correct, could Earth's atmospheric co2 levels be increasing as a result?

That's right - Earth's CO2 rise is coming from Venus.

2011-02-11 15:40:30wow
Dana Nuccitelli
Holy crickeys that's bad.  The worst part - the guy doesn't even appear to be a "skeptic", just a woefully misinformed sap!
2011-02-11 15:47:33The two other dumbest arguments I've heard would have to be...
John Cook

1. The earths orbit is decaying because it got hit by an asteroid

2. Global warming is caused by microwave transmissions from satellites

if I had nothing better to do, I'd program up a poll, let readers vote on entertaining stuff like this.

2011-02-12 01:43:15
Ari Jokimäki


There's huge amount of really stupid arguments. A class of stupid arguments is models don't have this and that, where this and that are something that are included in the models when you check. Typically it is claimed that oscillations, such as ENSO, are not in the models (I think I have been told also that clouds, water vapor, and convection are missing from the models). Another class is IPCC does this and that, when IPCC really doesn't do much else than creates reports of the state of climate science. One IPCC claim was made in my blog some time ago: CO2 is not increasing but IPCC has forged the CO2 records to show increasing concentration.

2011-02-12 01:47:05
Ari Jokimäki

Oh, and one Finnish TV program once claimed that Mann's original hockey stick graph was in the cover of some IPCC report (probably third). It wasn't.
2011-02-12 03:09:45


The great philosopher and writer of "The Odyssey"and "The Iliad", Homer, knew about the "two steeds of Mars". The great philosopher Voltaire told of these moons in the story of Micromegas more than 100 years before their discovery (by telescope) The name Phobos means "Fear", and Deimos means "Panic"

Therefore, since the ancients didn't have telescopes, to see these moons the Earth must have come near to Mars in the recent past proving its orbit is unstable with its distance to the Sun varying significantly.

2011-02-12 14:26:43Astronomical arguments
James Wight


The astronomy-related arguments are some of the silliest because they demonstrate ignorance of the time and space scales involved. Venus’ atmosphere must have been shrinking for a very long time, but CO2 has declined over Earth’s history to the point of being a trace gas. There’s no reason why the solar wind would suddenly change its behaviour so dramatically at the time of the industrial revolution.

The argument “Pluto is warming” fails to acknowledge that Pluto’s orbital period is 250 Earth years long, and we have made a sum total of 2 climatic observations of Pluto, 14 years apart, from a distance of billions of kilometres!

And then there’s the argument that global warming is caused by a mysterious doomsday planet on a comet-like orbit which approaches the Sun and messes up the solar system every 3,600 years… really skeptical stuff.

2011-02-12 19:15:07


I find it strange that some of the more bizarre ideas seem to attract the most interests even on less sceptical sites.  This is another 'astronomical' one from the Environment Site Ward's look at the cause of Global Warming.

No less a figure than John Gribbin had a similar idea. See the 'Jupiter Effect'.  It's all very embarrassing!

2011-02-13 00:59:45
Paul D


Another argument starting up here:


2011-02-13 02:25:30
Paul D

Maybe Glenn could respond to Dahuns no. 60 comment here:

2011-02-13 02:26:31The Ville
John Hartz
John Hartz
Are you referring to Dahun's comment #60? 
2011-02-13 02:31:42
Paul D

Oohh errr. I think my comments are beginning to have an anti-American tone! That's not good. Sorry about that Badger!
2011-02-13 02:38:47
Paul D


Sorry, I have been posting here in the wrong thread!

I meant to post my comments about Politico and Dahun in the Beer_Lambert CO2 thread.


2011-02-14 08:21:30

Two Denials for the price of one spanning different eras, my prize I think!
...how is DDT related to global warming? DDT was invented in the 1800s, but its ability to kill insects was not discovered until 1939. It was first used on a large scale in the 1940s, by Allied troops in WW2 to kill lice. Its use expanded to massive levels after the War, when farmers began using it to kill insects in their crops, while at about the same time, it became the cornerstone of attempts to eradicate malaria, by killing its mosquito carriers. Use remained at very high levels throughout the 50s and 60s. But then it was banned by most developed nations in the early 70s. What happened to global temperatures during that time? They dropped dramatically throughout the 1940s while DDT usage was increasing. Temperatures remained low throughout the 50s and 60s, while DDT use remained at high levels. And in 1975, after most developed nations had banned DDT, temperatures began to skyrocket and have continued to do so ever since. There is, therefore, a NEGATIVE correlation between DDT use and global temperatures. The more DDT is used, the lower the temperatures. How does DDT keep temperatures low? By killing insects. Insects, you see, exhale carbon dioxide, the so-called culprit behind global warming. And they exhale nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as all human industry.

Read more:
2011-02-15 00:30:15
Paul D


 I was going to post this on my own blog, having been inspired by the comments here. But if anyone thinks it is worth developing for SkS, I am happy to take it further. Would like to add a few more.


Over the years I have come across some really bizarre ideas about the causes of climate change, here are few, with some explanations of why they are crazy:

Pluto is warming

This is the type of theory that implies an external forcing (the Sun) is causing warming. Unfortunately the orbit of Pluto is so different to ours that any comparison isn't very productive. It takes 250 years for Pluto to orbit the Sun and it is billions of miles away. Only a small number of observations have been made. It would be like trying to determine Earths climate trends with just a few (Earth) months of temperature measurements taken from the edge of the solar system, an impossible task.

CO2 from Venus is being 'blown' towards Earth

Well at least this has the merits of accepting that CO2 is the problem and in this respect it completely contradicts those that imply CO2 isn't a problem. It also implies an understanding of the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus. But it is amusing to think that a combination of sudden solar activity at the start of the industrial revolution and Earth's orbit being in precisely the correct place would result in CO2 from Venus accumulating in our atmosphere, causing our world to warm up as well. It is also incredibly disrespectful to humanities abilities to measure CO2 in Earth's atmosphere or account for the majority of sources and sinks.

Satellite transmissions are warming the planet

There are two problems with this. Firstly satellites use very low powered sources of energy, tiny in comparison to the amount of energy that the Sun rains onto the Earth and secondly the frequency of radiation from these satellites has been specifically chosen NOT to excite (warm) materials or life by a great deal. Satellite emissions are not designed as 'death rays' capable of heating the atmosphere and the ground by any significant amount.

Lets take a typical satellite powered by photo-voltaic solar panels, the panels are at most about 20% efficient and only respond to a limited band of energies of solar radiation (light). In fact more energy is probably reflected or absorbed by the rest of the satellite than by it's solar panels. So by the time that the satellite has converted the panels output into useful microwave signals, most of the energy from the Sun has been wasted. In fact, logically the satellite has probably achieved a minuscule amount of cooling of the Earth.

Oh well, so much for satellite conspiracies!

2011-02-15 01:16:14Lots more examples in the database
James Wight


·                    It's planetary movements

·                    Venus is hot due to internal heating

·                    Venus is hot from a collision

·                    It's Milankovitch cycles

·                    The earth’s orbit is decaying

·                    A drop in volcanic activity caused warming

·                    It's ozone

·                    It's magnetic poles

·                    Magnetic Polar Shifts Cause Global Superstorms

·                    It's ice crystals

·                    It's the Milky Way

·                    It's geothermal

·                    It's God

·                    It's magma

·                    It's Internal Radiative Forcing

·                    It's the moon

·                    It's wind

·                    It's waste heat

·                    It's overpopulation

·                    Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

·                    It's heat from combustion

·                    It's latent heat flux from increased plant water use efficiency

·                    It's gravity

·                    It's interstellar dust

·                    It's Nibiru/Planet X

·                    It's global brightening

·                    It's earthquakes

·                    It's geomagnetic activity

·                    It's the clearing stratosphere

·                    It's something we haven't thought of

2011-02-15 01:26:42
Paul D

What I might do, is extend my post and put it on my blog, with links to Skeptical Science.
2011-02-15 02:43:04My 2 cents
John Hartz
John Hartz

It's a mirage!

It's anything except what it is!

2011-02-16 07:04:55
Paul D


Someone just posted this in a comment at SoD.

2011-02-16 07:45:57LOL to "it's something we haven't thought of"
John Cook

Hadn't seen that one added to the database. Sums it up really, encapsulated the ABC mentality (Anything But Carbon)
2011-02-16 09:09:56
Paul D


SoD pointed the commenter to this:


(I seem to be on the notify list for an old post at SoD, so am getting updates by email).

2011-02-16 09:16:12The Ville
John Hartz
John Hartz

I'm engaged in anoter marathon slogging session with Dahun and his cronies on Politico.com. Please join in if you have the time.