Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ronald Bailey Admits He's Wrong About Global Warming

Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine fame admits he'd been wrong about global warming.

(Has Bailey been brainwashed at one of the United Nation's Climate Change Conferences?)

See posts which have all led to this conclusion (State of Brainwash)

He has attended such conferences and in November 2006 continued to attend, writing a series of article...


Bailey announced his reversal...

We're All Global Warmers Now
Reconciling temperature trends that are all over the place

Ronald Bailey | August 11, 2005

Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up. All data sets—satellite, surface, and balloon—have been pointing to rising global temperatures. In fact, they all have had upward pointing arrows for nearly a decade, but now all of the data sets are in closer agreement due to some adjustments being published in three new articles in Science today.

People who have doubted predictions of catastrophic global warming (and that includes me) have long cited the satellite data series derived by climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). That data set showed a positive trend of 0.088 degrees centigrade per decade until recently. On a straight line extrapolation that trend implied warming of less than 1.0 degree centigrade by 2100.

A new article in Science by researchers Carl Mears and Frank Wentz from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) identified a problem with how the satellites drifted over time, so that a slight but spurious cooling trend was introduced into the data. When this drift is taken into account, the temperature trend increases by an additional 0.035 degrees per decade, raising the UAH per-decade increase to 0.123 degrees centigrade. Christy points out that this adjustment is still within his and Spencer's +/- 0.5 margin of error. What's the upshot? Although reluctant to make straight-line extrapolations, Christy notes in an e-mail, "The previous linear extrapolation indicated a temperature of +0.9 C +/- 0.5 C in 2100, the new data indicate a temperature of +1.2 +/- 0.5 C."

However, the Remote Sensing Systems team has made some additional adjustments, such that their global trend is 0.193 degrees per decade. Christy and Spencer disagree with those additional RSS adjustments, but acknowledge that it's an open scientific question which team is correct

Astonishing development since Bailey edited a book entitled:

Global Warming and Other Eco Myths How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death

According to a number of respected scientists, however, leaders of the environmental movement are guilty of twisting - and sometimes manufacturing - facts in an effort to frighten people into joining their cause. In this eye-opening book, some of the most respected researchers in the US explode the myths behind much of the doom and gloom of today's environmental movement. Readers will discover how the hysteria about global warming, overpopulation, mass extinctions, coming food shortages, biotechnology, energy shortages and more are grounded not in reason but in false science and a fear of progress. Ultimately, this book will show that uniting much of the environmental movement is an agenda that is not so much antipollution as antihuman

and another

The True State of The Planet (The Free Press)

and another

Earth Report 2000: Revisiting the True State of the Planet (Paperback)
by Ronald Bailey (Editor)

Wrote numerous Op-Ed pieces and gave countless interviews challenging global warming

Interview listings

Another Bailey book entitled:

Ecoscam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse

As to the alleged global warming crisis, he reminds us that just 15 years ago "eco-doomsayers" were predicting the advent of a new ice age

Bailey's columns regarding Michael Crichton's State of Fear entitled:

Ron Bailey's review in the Wall Street Journal:

A Chilling Tale By RONALD BAILEY December 10, 2004; Page W1

The Global Warming Code
Michael Crichton tells the truth. Ronald Bailey
| May 2005


What about the trend in global average temperatures, a question central to the debate in State of Fear? According to satellite data, since 1978 the planet has been warming up at a rate of 0.08 degree Celsius per decade. Simple arithmetic reveals that, if that rate continues, the planet will warm by 0.8 degree Celsius by the end of the century. That compares with an increase of 0.6 degree Celsius during the 20th century. No catastrophe there. Indeed, Crichton has one of his characters note the costly uselessness of the supposedly heat-reducing Kyoto Protocols

A mere couple of months later, Bailey pens his shocker:

We're All Global Warmers Now
Reconciling temperature trends that are all over the place Ronald Bailey
| August 11, 2005

Listing of Bailey's columns on global warming

Notice, just the day before announcing he's no longer a global warming skeptic, August 10, 2005, it seemed all was wrong about global warming's catastrophic theory, with Bailey using assuming... if... if and questioning:

The Pleasure of Climate Change A Bush administration global warming breakthrough? Ronald Bailey | August 10, 2005

"Assuming dangerous global warming is happening. What to do about it? If accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere— gases produced by burning fossil fuels and other human activities—are to blame for increasing global temperatures, the adage "the first thing you do when you find you're in hole is stop digging" comes to mind. So the obvious idea is, why not stop emitting greenhouse gases? ...

Next day, Bailey pens

We're All Global Warmers Now Reconciling temperature trends that are all over the place Ronald Bailey | August 11, 2005

Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up

What happened between August 10, 2005 and August 11, 2005?

Bailey stumps readers of his columns in Reason Magazine online a year later as well as shown in follow-up posts to another article.

Global Warming Data Sets Reconciled Ronald Bailey | May 3, 2006, 10:44am

What happened to Ronald Bailey between approximately May 2005 and August 2005?

Did Bailey attend a United Nations summit featuring a film about global warming?

Were subliminal messages hidden in the film and handouts?

Was a target date of August 11, 2005 set for global warming skeptics to receive email notifications about three studies which would convince them beyond any doubt of catastrophic man-made global warming reality?

Were hidden subliminal messages embedded in emails or pdf formatted pages or pages of Science Magazine?

Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere
B. D. Santer, T. M. L. Wigley, C. Mears, F. J. Wentz, S. A. Klein, D. J. Seidel, K. E. Taylor, P. W. Thorne, M. F. Wehner, P. J. Gleckler, J. S. Boyle, W. D. Collins, K. W. Dixon, C. Doutriaux, M. Free, Q. Fu, J. E. Hansen, G. S. Jones, R. Ruedy, T. R. Karl, J. R. Lanzante, G. A. Meehl, V. Ramaswamy, G. Russell, and G. A. Schmidt
Science 2 September 2005 309: 1551-1556; published online 11 August 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1114867] (in Reports)

Global Warming Science: An Annotated Bibliography
A summary of recent findings on the changing global climate.

Satellite and Surface Temperature Records Reconciled
C.A. Mears and F.J. Wentz, Science
(August 11, 2005)
A. Revkin, "Errors Cited in Assessing Climate Data," New York Times
(August 12, 2005)

A puzzling discrepancy among different approaches to measuring global warming was resolved when scientists discovered an error in previous calculations used to correct satellite temperature readings. Global warming naysayers had long pointed to satellite-based temperature measurements published by two scientists at the University of Alabama as evidence that there was great uncertainty about global warming. These measurements appeared to show that the earth's atmosphere was warming far more slowly than the earth's surface, contrary to the expectations of climate scientists and the predictions of climate models used to forecast the effects of increases in heat-trapping pollution. Scientists at Remote Sensing Systems reanalyzed the raw satellite data and found that the lower atmosphere is actually warming slightly faster than the surface, in agreement with theory and models. These scientists found that the previous analysis of the satellite data had inaccurately corrected for changes in the satellites' measurement time resulting from the decay of their orbit. The diurnal temperature cycle of warmer temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night means that a gradual change in measurement time introduces a spurious temperature trend that must be removed from the data. The University of Alabama scientists have now acknowledged that they made a mistake and have adjusted their data series, making it much more in line with other results...

In his piece, Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore
Actually no one paid me to be wrong about global warming. Or anything else. Ronald Bailey September 22, 2006
, Bailey reveals:

On the day that the studies were released I wrote a column for Reason in which I declared that my skepticism of man-made global warming was at an end...

How many other skeptics read Science Magazine that day?

How many others are willing to place their trust in data which is corrected and adjusted ... making it much more in line with other results.

Whew, we don't have access online The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature
Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz
Science 2 September 2005 309: 1548-1551; published online 11 August 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1114772] (in Reports)
, those embedded subliminal messages won't work on us...

Mentions a summit somebody else attended prior to August 2005


Was Ronald Bailey in attendance??

Since August 11, 2005, Bailey - the convert - writes

Global Warming Data Sets Reconciled Ronald Bailey | May 3, 2006, 10:44am

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released a report that looks at the various global temperature data sets and finds that they are now all "consistent" with man-made global warming. The chief cause is the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels.

Global warming skeptics (and I was definitely one of them) have cited the findings of John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville who have produced a temperature series based on satellite measurements since 1979. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the UAH data series saw little or no warming and its findings were bolstered by separate weather balloon data that also found little warming. In the past few years corrections made to the data sets have boosted average global temperatures in both.

NOAA's new report takes a look at all of the data sets and finds that they all point toward a trend of increasing average warmth:...

Exxon secrets Fact Sheet on Bailey

Bailey explains his past thinking and admits he was wrong about global warming:

Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore
Actually no one paid me to be wrong about global warming. Or anything else

Ronald Bailey | September 22, 2006

...In 2002 came Global Warming and Other Eco-Myths (Prima Publishing). The global warming contributor was University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologist John Christy who is also the principal investigator for the satellite temperature measurements. Christy pointed out, "Since 1979, the global temperature trend is a modest +0.06 degrees Celsius per decade through March 2002." The myth about global warming was not that it was not happening, but that it was unlikely to be catastrophic for humanity or the planet. Christy concluded: "No global warming disaster is looming. Humans are causing an increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which will likely cause a very slow rise in global temperatures with which we can easily cope."

So there was a contradiction in climate science. The models projected and the surface thermometer records were showing significant warming. On the other hand, the satellite dataset and various weather balloon datasets showed only very modest warming. Which was right? In 2001, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report at the request of the Bush Administration that found that a lot of proxy data indicated that warming was taking place. However, the NAS also noted that the divergence between the satellite data and the thermometer data was troubling. "The finding that surface and troposphere temperature trends have been as different as observed over intervals as long as a decade or two is difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of the processes that control the vertical distribution of temperature in the atmosphere," declared the report. The NAS added, "Because of the large and still uncertain level of natural variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the time histories of the various forcing agents (and particularly aerosols), a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established."

Given this divergence in the various temperature records, climate scientists naturally spent a lot of time and intellectual energy in trying to explain it. In August 2005, Science magazine published three papers that went a long way toward resolving the issue. One paper found that Christy and Spencer had failed to take proper account of satellite drift, which produced a spurious cooling trend to their dataset. Another found that the operation of weather balloons also tended to add spurious cooling to their data. When the corrections were made the satellite and weather balloon datasets were in better agreement with the surface thermometer datasets that showed higher warming trends.

On the day that the studies were released I wrote a column for Reason in which I declared that my skepticism of man-made global warming was at an end. The column was titled, "We're All Global Warmers Now." The first line read: "Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up." The bottom line? Christy and Spencer's corrected dataset finds warming of +0.123 degrees per decade. The corrected balloon data tend to support Christy and Spencer. However, the scientific team that found the errors in the satellite data corrects it to find warming of +0.193 degrees per decade. And the surface measurements show a warming trend of 0.15 degrees per decade. In the column, I quote Christy saying, "The new warming trend is still well below ideas of dramatic or catastrophic warming."

Then in May 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report of which John Christy was a co-author that further reconciled the differences in temperature trends. The report found that "global-average temperature increased at a rate of about 0.12 degrees C per decade since 1958, and about 0.16 degrees C per decade since 1979. In the tropics, temperature increased at about 0.11 degrees C per decade since 1958, and about 0.13 degrees C per decade since 1979." I blogged the report at Reason ' s Hit & Run the day the report was issued. I also noted that Christy told the Washington Post that he has a "minimalist interpretation" of the report because Earth is not heating up rapidly at this point.

Just to bring my intellectual journey in reporting and opining about the global warming issue up to date, I reviewed former vice-president Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth for Reason. I agreed that Gore has "won the climate debate" and that "on balance Gore gets it more right than wrong on the science" though I argued he exaggerates just how bad future global warming is likely to be. However, I agree that the balance of the evidence pretty clearly indicates that humanity is contributing to global warming chiefly by means of loading up the atmosphere with extra carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels...


So I didn't get any stacks of $20 dollar bills in brown paper bags from ExxonMobil (don't believe any photoshopped pictures you may see to the contrary). I also don't think that I was duped by paid-off scientists. Except for climatologist Robert Balling, as the embedded links above show, the sleuths at Exxonsecrets have uncovered no payments to the scientists I chiefly relied upon in my reporting over the years. But was I too skeptical, demanding too much evidence or ignoring evidence that cut against what I wanted to believe? Perhaps. In hindsight I can only plead that there is no magic formula for deciding when enough evidence has accumulated that a fair-minded person must change his or her mind on a controversial scientific issue. With regard to global warming it finally did for me in the last year. That was far too late for many and still too early for others. However, I can't resist pointing out that I became a "convert" on global warming nearly a year before some other prominent journalistic skeptics such as Gregg Easterbrook and Michael Shermer changed their minds.
So then not a whore, just virtuously wrong. Looking to the future, I can't promise that my reporting will always be right (no reporter can, but I will strive to make it so), but my reporting has always been honest and I promise that it always will be.

Published on 23 May 2006 by EB. Archived on 23 May 2006. Tide turns on global warming by Staff

Flipped Positions, too, and when?

Finally Feeling the Heat Greg Easterbrook, NY Times (Op-Ed)
(24 May 2006)

[Jonathan Adler, September 23, 2006 at 6:33pm]
Ron Bailey Comes Clean:

Science writer Ronald Bailey, a longtime skeptic about whether global warming presents an apocalyptic threat, responds to charges that he and other climate "skeptics" are nothing more than paid stooges for evil corporations...

Skeptics flip

Bailey 2006

Global Warming Solutions
Markets, taxes, or nothing at all?

Ronald Bailey | December 15, 2006

Assume man-made global warming is a big, bad problem. Let's try some thought experiments concerning what, if anything, should be done about it.

One "solution" might be recognizing, at least, that there is nothing to be done about it. One might argue that for the sake of lifting billions of poor people out of abject poverty humanity must continue to burn cheap oil and coal to fuel economic growth in this century. One unavoidable side effect is that this will increase the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thus boost global average temperatures by between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. People three generations hence will just have to adapt to this increase. Fortunately because of the wealth produced by burning fossil fuels, average incomes will have increased about sevenfold and so they will have the resources to do so. In addition, wealth may enable them to develop new low pollution energy technologies...

Pay It Forward What can carbon markets do for economic development? Ronald Bailey | November 15, 2006

"Climate Change Tourists" Go Home! The Nairobi global warming conference grinds to an end Ronald Bailey | November 17, 2006

Bailey 2005

Betting on Climate Change It's time to put up or shut up Ronald Bailey | June 8, 2005

The Kyoto Protocol Launches! But Will it Matter? Ronald Bailey | February 16, 2005

Bailey 2004

Two Sides to Global Warming
Is it proven fact, or just conventional wisdom?

Ronald Bailey | November 10, 2004

...So is dangerous rapid global warming merely the new conventional wisdom—or a credible forecast of our climatic future? There's plenty of evidence for both positions, and I'll keep reporting the data and the controversy...


November 12, 2004



As CT commenters pointed out on my last post, there’s a rush of former sceptics announcing their change of views on global warming. Here’s Gregg Easterbrook and John Tierney. Ron Bailey, who changed his view on the science last year, has now taken the next step, observing that the economic costs of Kyoto are likely to be modest

Still after the foregoing...

More Evidence Against Manmade Global Warming

also see links on the post: State of Fear Exposes Truth of Deception

Search for more Ronald Bailey articles on global warming before and after his conversion...

Year 2000

Rush to Judgment Ronald Bailey | April 2000

Discussion Hit & Run (Reason Magazine) Bailey


uncle sam | May 3, 2006, 12:30pm | #

Given that the climate has been warming for hundreds of years, the lack of change indicated by satellite measurements would seem anomalous.

What I want to know is how they can shown how much of the recent warming is manmade. I am not impressed with statements like "probably manmade" or, we can't imagine any other reason for it" etc.

Sam | May 4, 2006, 1:24pm | #

Also, is a good site run by real climatologists explainging or rebutting climate news and claims...

joshua corning | May 4, 2006, 4:43pm | #

Also, is a good site run by real climatologists explainging or rebutting climate news and claims.

to bad realclimate has been proven dead wrong on every claim it has made on multi proxy cliamte studies...

see here:



No-No No-No of Journalistic integrity

Betting on Climate Change
It's time to put up or shut up Ronald Bailey | June 8, 2005

* This article has been corrected. An erroneous reference to William M Connolley has been removed. (Return to the corrected portion.)

Global Warming Data Sets Reconciled Ronald Bailey | May 3, 2006, 10:44am


D.A. Ridgely | May 3, 2006, 12:03pm

Mr. Bailey:

Is your "was" which has so many here suddenly slack jawed meant to suggest you are no longer skeptical about a global warming trend or that it is in some significant measure man-made?

Dave W. | May 3, 2006, 12:16pm


Do you really believe that all that subtle stuff about interpretation of scientific data was what led Bailey to being (initially) on the wrong side of the global warming divide?

Ron Bailey | May 3, 2006, 1:11pm

Mr. Ridgely: Both--the current evidence points to a relatively small upward trend in global average temperatures and that man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for at least a portion of that trend.

Dave W:

Do you really believe that all that subtle stuff about interpretation of scientific data was what led Bailey to being (initially) on the wrong side of the global warming divide?

Actually that's exactly what happened. I've been reporting on and talking with climate scientists and actualy reading long IPCC reports for over 20 years. However, it is true that my reporting on decades of environmentalist scares (overpopulation, synthetic chemical cancer epidemics, biotech run amok) is what inclined me toward the skeptical camp in the first place. All I asked for was evidence and I am now persuaded--perhaps not soon enough for you, but I don't care what you think.

Brother, Can You Spare 22 Terawatts? Big ideas for the future of energy Ronald Bailey | November 24, 2006

...This means that the world will need an additional 15-22 TW of energy over the current base of 13.5 TW.

So where will the extra energy come from? Relying on figures from the World Energy Assessment by the United Nations Development Program, Nocera looks at the maximum amounts of power that various non-fossil fuel sources might supply. Biomass could supply 7-10 TW of energy, but that is the equivalent of harvesting all current crops solely for energy. Nuclear could produce 8 TW which implies building 8000 new reactors over the 45 years at a rate of one new plant every two days. Wind would generate 2.1 TW if every site on the globe with class 3 winds or greater were occupied with windmills. Winds at a class 3 site blow at 11.5 miles per hour at 33 feet above the ground. And hydro-power could produce 0.7-2 TW if dams were placed on every untapped river on the earth. Nocera concludes, "The message is clear. The additional energy we need in 2050 over the current 13.5 TW base, is simply not attainable from long discussed sources—the global appetite for energy is simply too great."

Burning coal, gas, and oil could fuel the world in 2050, but the carbon dioxide produced by these fossil fuels would have somehow to be captured and sequestered (CCS) underground in order to prevent it from being vented into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. Some CCS pilot projects have been launched but they are not cheap and they are far from proven.

Given the magnitude of the problem of fueling the future with carbon-neutral energy, Nocera argues that the only real alternative for carbon-neutral energy production is some form of solar power. More energy from sunlight strikes the Earth in one hour than humanity uses in a year. But converting sunlight into energy useful to people is a huge unsolved technological problem. In 2000, author Richard Rhodes and nuclear engineer Denis Beller calculated that using current solar power technologies to construct a global solar-energy system would consume at least 20 percent of the world's known iron resources, take a century to build and cover a half-million square miles. Clearly a lot of technological innovation needs to take place before solar becomes an option for fueling the world.

The challenge of supplying the world with carbon neutral energy has a lot of people calling for the launching of a "Manhattan Project" or "Apollo Project." What they mean is that the Federal government should dramatically boost research and development spending for novel energy technologies...

...Maybe Nocera is right that solar power is the way to go, but history teaches us to scrap the Apollo Project model for technology R&D. Federal bureaucrats are simply not smart enough to pick winning energy technologies. Instead, eliminate all energy subsidies, set a price for carbon, and then let tens of thousands of energy researchers and entrepreneurs develop and test various new technologies in the market. No one knows now how humanity will fuel the 21st century, but Apollo and Manhattan Project-style Federal energy research projects will prove to be a huge waste of time, money and talent.

Disclosure: I own 50 shares of ExxonMobil stock. So what!

Post Script to Net the Truth Online Post

Find out which R&D technologies Bailey invests in, has invested in since August 11, 2005,and invest in those...

For more information on this issue use the search feature on this site located at the top left corner

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