2011-08-13 12:52:20The Always Entertaining Attention Troll, Doug Cotton; Redux (below)
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

The Latest Snippedge:


DougCotton at 12:26 PM on 13 August 2011

Trenberth on Tracking Earth’s energy: A key to climate variability and change
All right - one more reply ...

If you close one gate in a paddock (the CO2 spectral lines) it doesn't mean all the cows can't get out the other nine gates. I did generalise about all GH gases being able to emit photons, and of course they emit at different frequencies than they block. But even those frequencies (if absent) do not mean that overall cooling is being blocked.

I am not saying that CO2 will not delay cooling each afternoon and evening - it will by a few minutes I estimate - but the heat will usually get away that night or, any build up in summer, by the following winter. So, yes it warms, but it is a timing issue. That is what has been happening every year since 2003, once El Nino had fully passed.

If any GH molecule gets warmed by capturing one photon and releasing a lower energy one, then it still has a propensity to release more photons as it cools: it doesn't have to capture another first.

In regard to the scavenger process, water vapour molecules, methane molecules etc can (and will) all have collisions in which they can potentially gain energy (heat) if they were colder than the molecule they hit.

All greenhouse molecules (like the other air molecules) have a propensity to cool and, if in doing so, they don't lose energy by collision with another molecule, then they have the (relatively easy) option of emitting a photon.

So, just because a CO2 molecule ends up temporarily warmer than the other 2,500 in its vicinity, this doesn't mean that its heat won't soon be shared among the others. Then, as the whole lot drift upwards into a cooler region, IR photons will start to be emitted from the GH gas molecules, not from the O2 and N2 as has been explained.

It has also been confirmed that hardly any emissions are observed from O2 or N2, which is in keeping with the hypothesis that it is (all, but only) greenhouse gases that are radiating out the heat from the atmosphere, both to space and back to Earth.

Now, because of the high propensity of CO2 to capture (more so than water vapour) then it may well be that those photons which CO2 emits mostly keep getting captured again by other CO2, so there may well not be much sign of even emitted CO2 photons. But that doesn't mean the heat can't escape. There is still the collision process, so heat could go from CO2 to (say) O2 then to water vapour, then to radiation.

Again, I remind you, if there were no GH gases at all then the O2 and N2 would get extremely hot and there woud be no life on this planet.

Even if we can't confirm that CO2 is yet emitting many photons, there is still the possibility that it could take on that role more when the total volume of CO2 increases. But logic dictates that, no matter what CO2 molecules capture, and no matter how many there are of them (within reason - we still need O2) there will always be a propensity for the heat to be distributed, and then for all molecules to cool and photons to be emitted by water vapour and, to some extent. other GH molecules.

Mathematically, then, no matter what the mix of molecules, roughly half of the energy of the first lot of photons to be emitted from the surface will return, then half of that on the next iteration, etc .. which equals twice the initial number in the limit (1 + half + quarter + .. = 2)

Simply put, the energy has to be emitted because (as Physics tells us) you can't have hot molecules floating around in the middle of cooler ones for very long (like several microseconds) without the heat being dispersed. Some of that heat must end up in GH gases and subsequent be emitted. It must be and it is being.

Statistics tells us that there certainly is a significant reduction in the gradient of the temperature trend since late last century. (You can start just about anywhere after 1990 and get a lower gradient than between 1970 and 2000.

But, rather than fitting linear trends, history tells us that we should fit a cyclic trend line (with maxima 1880, 1940, 1999) and a sinusoidal one is not a bad fit and certainly a better one statistically.

But, in addition, you need to recognise the long term 900 to 1,000 year cycle which had Roman warming, dark Ages cooling, Medieval warming, Little Ice Age cooling, 2059 warming and will have 2,500 cooling. (I have to admit that about the year 2,990 looks like being a higher maximum than 2059.)

But, for the present, there has been absolutely no accumulation of heat shown in NASA sea surface data since January, 2003 - which is as far back as their site shows. The full year 2011 will almost certainly have a lower daily mean than the full year 2003 which is sufficient to prove that heat has not built up at sea surface in that period. (Obviously sea levels may still be rising as a lagged response to ice melting up to about 2001.)

Now, please, I really am not going to respond to personal attacks and similar comments that really don't address what I am saying. If you genuinely believe you have evidence to refute any statement in this post or #150 (forget the ones prior to today) then I will read it and respond if I feel it necessary to add anything to what has already been stated.

I have never claimed to be a climatologist, but there is a lot of physics (and common sense) in all this, and a lot of statistics as well, in which I am sufficiently versed and, incidently, also have a son with a PhD in actuarial studies.

But this is not about personalities. My motives have never been other than to try to find reasons for the clear-cut reduction in warming that has been observed since 2003 - and to play whatever part I can in helping to calm the unnecessary turmoil that global warming predictions have engendered.

2011-08-13 13:03:34
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Makes Bastardi sound smart and seem knowledgeable.

2011-08-13 14:10:20


Which is why I proposed the Climastrology button for such people!!!

2011-08-13 23:37:08


"if there were no GH gases at all then the O2 and N2 would get extremely hot and there woud be no life on this planet."


That's a whole new level of stupid.  It's more stupid than using dynamite to remove ear-wax.

2011-08-14 15:26:32Wait, there's more unbelievable stuff...
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
DougCotton at 14:55 PM on 14 August 2011

Trenberth on Tracking Earth’s energy: A key to climate variability and change
Tom, thank you for your time in replying. I have read and understood your argument, and did in fact already know about what you have said. I will endeavour to explain what I believe to be the fallacy and why what you say "And that can only be achieved by the surface of the planet, the source of the rest of the radiation, warming" does not give reason for assuming that long-term warming is happening. My points are ...

1) Obviously there have been times of cooling for several years, eg after 1960. Yet at those times there was CO2 in the atmosphere and that would have given a similar plot, complete with notches.

2) We all have walked on hot sand or rocks, so we know the surface warms temporarily on hot days, and cools at night. So that is all your quoted sentence is actually confirming.

3) You might as well just measure the inward and outward bound radiation at the top of the atmosphere, from a satellite I guess. In general, in regard to warming or cooling, it won't tell you any more than what you already know from temperature data.

4) There can, however, be differences between (3) and what temperatures tell us due to build up or decline in potential (stored) energy, such as ice melting, water vapour forming by evaporation etc. So, unless we can quantify these factors over the time span measured, the information is useless. (A company cannot work out its sales from its purchases unless it knows opening and closing stock.)

Just one other point, O2 absorbs at various altitudes - UV-A and UV-B higher up, but UV-C right down to the lower troposphere. In general, UV has much more energy than visible light, let alone IR as everyone here knows. (The O2 may become O3 in the process which is, of course, relatively unstable.) That energy will end up, after collisions, as photons both surface-bound and space-bound. (It has to, or the atmosphere would warm excessively in the long term.)

Finally, feedback photons from CO2 to the surface, convert to heat and thence back to (nearly) full spectrum IR radiation, and so most will not be absorbed by CO2 on the second iteration, or perhaps the third etc. (Feedback is a multi-iteration process.) In the limit, all can get out regardless of the amount of CO2 - within reason - usually by, say, 4am the next morning. But if some heat in the oceans builds up in summer months, it then has winter to cool off - as we observe happens.

2011-08-15 11:18:14As just posted on the Trenberth thread:
Tom Curtis


<blockquote><i>"Remember that, according to 2008 NASA diagrams, 5% of total incident insolation is conducted to the atmosphere (not radiated) and then drifts upwards by convection. This may take months to get to the top of the troposphere, for example."</i></blockquote>

In fact it takes mere days for heat to get to the top of the atmosphere in its optically thick wavelengths by radiation, and mere hours by convection.  Again Doug just makes things up with no attempt to check his assumptions against reliable sources.

I do not find this game of wack-a-mole amusing.  I participate in these threads to counter disinformation for the benefit of interested readers who have not made up their minds to believe anti-science rather than reality.  If a denier comes along who just throws out falsehoods as fast as he can imagine them, I cannot keep up, and nor should I have to.

We are frequently reminded that posting on Skeptical Science is a privilege, not a right.  DougCotton is clearly intent on abusing that privilege.  Can I suggest that in future his posts be simply deleted <b>unless</b> he backs every disputed or dubious claim with a reference to either a text book or the peer reviewed literature.

For me it is a matter of both good manners and ethical necessity to take reasonable efforts to ensure that the information you provide is accurate (and to correct it when you discover it is not).  I think that is a reasonable standard to expect of any poster on this site.

I would go further.  Anybody who does not accept the obligation to self fact-check shows by their actions that the truth of what they say is of no consequence to them.  They value that truth at the same level as the effort they are prepared to expend to ensure that what they say is true, which in DougCotton's case is clearly no effort at all.  At that point the question as to whether they are actively dishonest (ie, the knowingly tell untruths) or simply negligently dishonest (ie, they tell untruths because the cannot be bothered to make the effort of telling truths) is purely academic.  They are enemies of truth regardless and have no place in public discourse.

They are thoroughly and utterly beneath contempt.


I suspect it will soon be deleted, but beg the moderators tolerance.


More importantly, could we please impliment the bolded paragraph (or equivalent) as one of the stated conditions of posting in the comments policy?

2011-08-15 12:06:52
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

I revised the Final Warning verbage to reflect that it is incumbent upon the person posting the comment to ensure that they are not making shit up.

Regardless, it is apparent that Mr. Cotton will not stop short of a timeout.

A timeout which I'm prepared to give him, should he not desist (since he's going to be on business for the next 2 weeks I'm going to disbale his account, then reactivate it on September 1st).

Pretty clear he's not going to give us a choice.

2011-08-15 12:12:49Tom
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

You make good points about some extrea verbage being needful in the Comments Policy.

I'll attempt a revision and send it to John for consideration.

2011-08-15 12:48:09
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Like a rampaging bull, wouldn't stop.

Suspended all 3 of his SkS accounts (yes, he had 3).

Sort by
Doug Cotton

The last is the most recently used one & the one which will be reactivated in September.

2011-08-15 13:21:26What a fun time that was!
Dan Friedman

I wonder why we didn't get this gem:

Far more energy reaches the earth from gravitational force than from the sun's radiation. Earth's temperature is affected by heat generated in the core and this fluctuates in several concurrent cycles related to the varying gravitational forces received from the sun and planets.

And I second Tom's suggestion.  Fact police!

2011-08-15 13:46:44


Climastrology button!  One-click migration of comments to the secret graveyeard where pernicious knids go to die, and everyone else goes to laugh at them!

2011-08-15 16:41:46
Rob Painting

Pernicious knids! (lol)

2011-08-16 10:16:30Email from Doug Cotton
John Cook


Got this email overnight, am not planning to bother responding:

Thank you Mr Moderator.  The opportunity has always been there for your readers to communicate privately with me had they so wished, and then I would have replied likewise.  I do not fully see the need for personal advice (such as been forthcoming here numerous times) to be made so public. 

Notwithstanding, I am grateful for a number of links to useful papers, some of which have actually provided material to reinforce my theory, which is well supported by standard Physics, even though I know you all find that hard to accept.

I have been able to pinpoint exactly where the AGW theory goes wrong and diverges from standard Physics, and I have now explained this in detail on a second page.

Temperature data should be weighted 94% ocean : 6% land based on details in this article, for which I am grateful.  This would reflect the relative impact of ocean heat compared with land heat.  But ocean heat data is relatively inaccurate with large error bars as also shown in this article.  Likewise radiation anomalies are next to useless data given all the variables involved, for which I am grateful for another link obtained here which provided useful detail.

All in all, your readers have been very helpful.  Thank you.

2011-10-18 14:57:07Back to spamming the threads
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

In addition to these:

Sort by
cotdoug dougcotton@live.com.au
Doug-Cotton nite-fash@live.com.au
DougCotton sales@acclaim-soft.com
DouglasCotton dougcotton@ozmaths.com
Doug_Cotton ozbarg@live.com.au

Mr. Cotton has returned with these identities to troll the threads:

EarthClimate           support@acclaim-soft.com

NaturalClimate        marketing@ozbargains.com

ClimateCycles         sales@ozbargains.com


Keep an eye out.  He's been taunting us by closing his comments with his name.  If you see that, hit the spam button.


I'm posting more details than normal because I anticipate Mr. Cotton to pursue his moth to our flame gambit.  Given enough info, I hope to more quickly locate his new login ID's during one of these spam-attacks.  Plus, he's made no attempt to hide who he is anyway.

I note that the IP blocker is not working, John.  The last three have been posted in order of their creation/deletion.  The last two have the same IP address, so Cotton is using even the same email provider/IP combination to relog into SkS.

This is a game to him, and more.  To Mr. Cotton, he is in a theological war.


2011-10-18 15:05:30


Wow.  I can't believe the savedbythelamb.com link.  That's just unbelievable.  This guy is a total nut-job.

2011-10-18 15:14:37
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Doug would be shocked that I have actually read Josh McDowell's book "Evidence that demands a Verdict" and its sequel.


Plus, I could probably go toe-to-toe with him on Christian theology.  He makes the classic presumption that God 'cannot work this way' (the way science says the universe was created/made, etc.).

2011-10-18 15:35:42Josh McDowell
John Cook


Wow, I grew up on those books, I think I might still have 'Evidence' on the bookshelf somewhere! :-)

Will check out the IP blocker, something aint right there.

2011-10-18 15:45:21IP Blocker solved
John Cook


Okay, Doug Cotton's IP addresses were never blocked. Daniel, setting his user status to Spammer doesn't automatically block them. The way I've programmed it (this is my hack approach, take the path of least resistance, it works, move onto the next task) was to hardcode which IPs are blocked into my actual PHP code. Clunky hack solution, I know. As an IP requiring blocking only came along every few months (eg - spambots), that was sufficient.

Anyway, for now, I've blocked 4 of Doug's recent IP addresses. He can't even see SkS anymore - all he sees is an error message. If he creates a new account, Daniel, email me the IP.

2011-10-18 15:49:57
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

So then why was Norman blocked when I set his account to Spammer?  I don't know enough about your approach to understand, I guess.

2011-10-18 22:39:35


I don't think youi'll be able to block Cotton by IP address.  I did a whois on those above, and they are all registered to APNIC in large blocks ( -, -, - and -  Within APNIC some of these do not seem to be registered to anyone (which I find very strange), while at least one is registered to Telstra, which is just a business and residential ISP.

As such, any Telstra IP assignments may not be permanent.  If they are like most ISPs and do not assign static IP addresses, then all he has to do to get a new IP address is to power his cable modem off and on and he'll be assigned a new number in those ranges above.  If you block those entire ranges you block close to everyone in the Asian Pacific area.  This can also happen randomly, when the ISP does anything that shuffles IP addresses (e.g. reboots some servers).

In fact, someone else could/would later be assigned one of those IP addresses that he previously used, and they wouldn't be able to access SkS and would have no idea why.

So you'll have to just do it by user ID, by identifying him each time he arrives just through his personality (or his oz and acclaim-soft domain names, although anyone on the planet can create live.com.au e-mail accounts).

2011-10-19 09:01:05How the blocking works
John Cook


A user with status "Spammer" cannot post any comments but they can see the website.

Someone with a blocked IP address can't even see the website.

An IP address is only blocked if I hard code it into the website's PHP code.