2011-06-05 20:20:40New user Jon Nicol, who I met at my Physics Colloquium
John Cook


There's a new SkS user Jon Nicol that the moderators have been tussling with. Turns out he's the 80 year old guy I met at my Physics Colloquium the other week. After my talk, he spent nearly an hour telling me various climate myths. At one point, he said "we sent emails to all the climate scientists..." and I asked "who is we?" He said, somewhat evasively a group of climate skeptics he talks with in a google group, then later conceded the group included people like Lindzen, Roy Spencer, etc. But I never got his name on the night.

Then this weekend, he emails me and he turns out to be Jon Nicols, chairman of the Australian climate denial group Australian Climate Science Coalition. He's the chairman, other 'science advisors' include Bob Carter and Ian Plimer:


He's quite a genial old fellow so moderators, don't treat with hostility (which of course we never should do with anyone). But do be aware that he is very well connected and very well entrenched in his views. So and I recommend this when talking to any diehard denier - argue as if there's little to no chance you'll convert them (which is usually the case) but keeping in mind undecided onlookers are monitoring your conversation - it is they who you are trying to reach so always talk with a cordial, fair, reasonable tone - how you talk matters as much as what you say.

2011-06-07 01:39:58For what it is worth, John Nichol recently wrote an article for Quadrant
Tom Curtis


called Science Without Method, available at http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2011/04/scientific-method

It consists of the repetition of a large number of falsehoods and misrepresentations with the purpose of denigrating climate scientists.  (For those not from Australia, Quadrant is Australia's premiere conservative political Magazine.  IMO, Nichol's article does not lower the standards of the magazine.)


His primary "scientific" critique of global warming is available at http://climaterealists.com/faqs.php?id=1347


In it, he argues that the CO2 effect is saturated because all IR energy from the surface is absorbed within the first few meters and than transported by convection to the TOA where it is radiated to space.  To avoid deriving the greenhouse effect from his considerations, he is forced to neglect radiative transfer withing the atmosphere, and the impact of the adiabatic lapse rate (amongst other things).  He has not changed his opinion SFAIK in the two years since I last met him online.

2011-06-07 14:58:34
Dana Nuccitelli

Yeah one of our readers sussed out that he's in the ACSC immediately.  He certainly seems like a polite guy, but man he reels out the climate myths like nobody's business.  I keep telling him to pick one for each comment thread.

2011-06-10 00:39:01
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

As an FYI, he is posting under 2 different IP Addresses and User names:

1.  John Nicol

2.  jonicol


One is likely work/office, while the other a residence (both are from Brisbane).

2011-06-15 15:08:30
Julian Brimelow


I just saw this.  Fail for me.  OK, I'll try harder next time.  But me thinks we have another Gilles-type person to deal with here-- I urge polite, but strict moderation to stop any Gish-Gallop and to keep him on topic.