Jerry Brown’s Anti-Anti-Climate Science Site

California governor posts a direct rebuttal to climate change contrarians

Governor Brown is pushing back against those who deny the evidence for climate change and this week, used a Lake Tahoe environmental conference to say that he’s taken his campaign online.

Jerry Brown's new website is a countermeasure against climate science "deniers."

The Governor has long been a vocal supporter of climate action but his new “Just the Facts” website represents his most definitive reaction against what he calls “the deniers” of widely accepted climate science.

About half the site is devoted to a rehash of the evidence that global warming is real and effects are happening now. The other half is a rebuttal to climate science contrarians, whom the site describes as, “a small-but-vocal group” that “has spread misinformation about the science, aiming to cast doubt on well-established findings and conclusions.”

I asked Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford who actually wrote the copy for the site. She told me that it was authored by “staff” at the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, in consultation with climate scientists and several state agencies. She said it’s been in the works for about six months.

Asked if there was some precipitating event for the site, Ashford said only that the Governor was, “aware that there continues to be an undercurrent of mistrust of the science,” that he wanted to address. The site breaks no new ground. Portions reflect the writings of social scientists like Naomi Oreskes, who have sought to document efforts by entrenched industrial interests to cast doubt on the science, taking a page from the playbook of the now-defunct Tobacco Institute.

“Because of the serious impacts of climate change,” the Governor’s site explains, “the delay and obfuscation tactics of the deniers are particularly concerning, which is why we present some responses to the denier arguments on this website.”

Jerry Brown’s Anti-Anti-Climate Science Site 13 August,2012Craig Miller

54 thoughts on “Jerry Brown’s Anti-Anti-Climate Science Site”

  1. Kudos to Governor Brown for this!!

    Denial is crumbling in the face of reality and this is exactly the right time to keep up the drum beat for rational engagement with this imminent crisis.

    1. Have you ever thought that this might not be man made and it just might I mean just might be mother nature doing what she does. Have you even thought that we might not even have a role in this. Or if we did just a small one. Have you even thought that this might just be one of the earths cycles. Or even the fact things are getting warmer cause the earth has moved a couple inches closer to the sun. Of course not cause you are closed minded liberal eco nut.

      1. Yeah I’ve thought about it and so have hundreds of scientists, yet they’ve concluded that what’s happening now is more than just that.

        As amazing as it may seem to you, I put more belief in scientists with advanced degrees who’ve spent their lives studying something than in comment trolls who can’t spell correctly and some of whom are probably employed by the Koch brothers to continue spreading misinformation. When you have a medical problem do you go to an MD or a witch doctor?

        So what’s your background? How long have you been studying global climate? Inform us please about your areas of expertise.

        For someone who complains about being called names you do quite a bit of that yourself. Maybe it’s time to wipe the spittle off your computer screen and take a few deep breaths.

        1. Scientists like who? 

          Peter Gleick the identity thief?  

          Naomi Oreskes, the political scientist? Whether goes her credentials? 

          The unindicted co-conspirators of climategate? 

          The political activist Jimmy Hansen?

          Well, you are simple.  

          1. Surely a professor of History and Science Studies is better qualitfied than most to put together an analysis of scientific papers that go back a many years?

          2. That’s five posts in a row from an engineer hucking social studies.

            Let me guess. You came on a student visa.

            You’re a funny guy Tony.

          3. Sticks and stones … lets play nice and refrain from personal attacks, although this does seem to be an all too common tactic in this and similar blogs unfortunately. Despite being an engineer with a skeptical view of science, I believe in scientific consensus, I’m guessing you do not?

          4. So your position is “Please don’t call me names while I assist the state in stealing you blind.” Sure. I haven’t called you a name one. But there you are pretending to be offended while projecting your own pathologies.

            So you have a skeptical view of science sometimes, just not when it comes to social studies or politics? Where do you keep your skeptical opinions when people are looking?
            Looking for a place where it will be safe to put them on the table?
            Here’s one now. Right here. Go to it brother.
            You know the sad thing is I believe you when you say your an engineer. It’s the sad state of our education system.

          5. I am sorry you feel the need to be so insulting, I will have one final attempt to put forward a sensible polite response. I have a healthy skepticism of science but that does not stop me believing in a scientific consensus when I believe I am confronted by an overwhelming body of evidence. However, your extreme views on a range of topics means I fear there is no room here for reasonable debate, I am afraid one more insulting comment will finish off my attempt at a sensible discussion.

        2. First off that is what I am talking about people like you can name facts. All you can do is find something wrong with them and attack mode. You cant spell. Like that already makes me a dumb ass. Then you go to your talking points by blaming koch brothers. But you never said any facts. Then you said you would rather believe scientist who have come to a consisnces. Guess what that is a group of people with a agenda. You can go back in history and see where this has happend before. Cooling heating warming holly shit even a ice age. What about in the 70’s when they all were screaming global cooling. Did that happen no it did not. So find something wrong with my spelling or how i said something wrong or my credituals or even were i got my info. But the diffrence between me and you is i am open minded and dont believe everything that some over educated punk with a agenda tells me i do my own reaserech and study ifo that is out their to the public from nasa and other sorces. I have never said their is not global warmingi just said i dont believe we have anything to do with it. But you are a robot and to lazy and closed minded and believe what they tell you. Oh and i bet you voted for obama to.

        3. Yes, it would have been an improvement to the website to have links to the Climate Change deniers websites and I agree it is essential to understand where the information on both sides of the argument is coming from. But as a new US citizen it amazes me how this issue results in such strong outbursts, gentlemen play nice please. OK, some people dont like scientists and even though I am an engineer. we could not  be communicating in this way without them surely? And although scientists put the study together that says 97% of scientists now agree that climate warming is largely man made, even my dumb unscientific brain tells me that this percentage cannot be wrong  can they? Or are all 97% short of funding?

          1. Is this a serious constructive debate or not? There seems to be a bigger issue here, there are those who accept science plays a part in society and the science-deniers 

          2. Now now Tony. Let us not conflate a disgust to the 
            olfactory  emanating from the climate change ring, with a dislike of science.

            If you send out a mailer with a questionnaire to a hundred thousand and only get a reply back from two hundred, and of those two hundred 97% answered the questions exactly the way you framed them to be answered, is it fair dikkum to publish that as 97% of scientists questioned believe in global warming?  
            Naomi Oreskes thinks so. So does Joe Romm and Richie Littlemore. 

            But I think that just exposes a flaw in their character.

          3. Can I politely suggest you read the paper, the main conclusion of that paper was based on an analysis of 938 papers published in scientific journals, not the survey, it is actually very easy to read.

          4. All the more reason that the “97% of climate scientist agree” claim is unfounded. When the government is shopping for papers that say “climate change is real and spectacular” and firing people who say otherwise, you will get a bumper crop. 

          5. The Orestes essay I read does not state that 97% number, have you read it? I admit openly that I am not a climate scientist and hence I form my opinions by reading peer reviewed papers and the Orestes essay is a serious attempt to summarize those papers.

          6. So why are you bandying that 97% number?
            No Tony, from what you have stated over and over again (7 times appealing to social studies and counting) you don’t read the peer reviewed papers to gather an opinion. Instead you read summarizations written by political activists, and got your opinion from that shaky source.

          7. I agree, the 97% number is not as convincing as the summary from Orestes. I am quite sure like me you read the occasional peer reviewed paper unless you are a climate scientist or a researcher into the history of science, unless you have read all 928 papers? Now the insults and slurs have stopped I hope we may have a more constructive debate? Why do you find Orestes to be a shaky source? I gather from your previous posts that you mistrust all academics, is this the case? Who would you say is a trustworthy source of climate change information?

          8. Now this is interesting, the first few days of the blog we saw some pretty radical (and really rather rude and personal) stuff being put out there from both sides but when real evidence on the contrarian view is politely asked for, nothing happens, and furthermore clearly no wish to enter into any sort of civilised discourse, what is that all about then?

        4. On June 27, the Intergovernmental
          Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a statement saying it had “complete[d] the
          process of implementation of a set of recommendations issued in August 2010 by
          the InterAcademy Council (IAC), the group created by the world’s science
          academies to provide advice to international bodies.”

          Hidden behind this seemingly routine
          update on bureaucratic processes is an astonishing and entirely unreported
          story.  The IPCC is the world’s most prominent source of alarmist
          predictions and claims about man-made global warming.  Its four reports (a
          fifth report is scheduled for release in various parts in 2013 and 2014) are
          cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. and by national
          academies of science around the world as “proof” that the global warming of the
          past five or so decades was both man-made and evidence of a mounting crisis.

          If the IPCC’s reports were flawed, as
          a many global warming “skeptics” have long claimed, then the scientific footing of the
          man-made global warming movement — the environmental movement’s “mother of all
          environmental scares” — is undermined.  The Obama administration’s war on
          coal may be unnecessary.  Billions of dollars in subsidies to solar and
          wind may have been wasted.  Trillions of dollars of personal income may
          have been squandered worldwide in campaigns to “fix” a problem that didn’t
          really exist.

    2. Oh here are some more facts you kinda people dont look at. What is the number 1 greenhouse gas. Oh hell it is water vapor. Where does it come from? Oh hell the ocean, lakes , streams, rivers, oh hell all natural. Number two green house gas methain. What is it biggest source? Oh hell decaying debris in swamps and in nature. What is another gas that is bad for the eco nut? Is it co2. Oh hell once again biggest source for that is mother nature. Valcanos.
      Now even with those facts out their you are going to go run your mouth and push your views and lies on other people. And when they debate you on it you are going to belittle them call them names cause all yall greeny wennies have is lies and talking points.
      On December 25 2010 a volcano erupted and spewed out so many of these gases that the the air all around the world was awful. Greenhouse gases ash carsigens all the bad stuff. And would you know it with in the end of the next month the air was back to normal. Back where it was pre eruption

    3. A null-hypothesis is a default position. To overcome the
      null-hypothesis you have to show a certain statistical significance (or
      probability) that the evidence fits your hypothesis better than the default
      position. We’re not talking about absolute proof, just probability.

      Let’s use gravity as an example:

      The evidence that best fits the theory (by a
      high probability) is that gravity is generated by mass. If you were to say that
      gravity used to be generated by mass but now it’s mostly people, you had better
      be able to show a high probability that the evidence fits your hypothesis
      better than the current default position. If you didn’t you would be scoffed
      at. However, human caused climate change has never done this! The evidence fits
      the null-hypothesis like a glove. Why? Climate change is the norm, not the
      exception! It always has and always will change. There is not one paper that
      falsifies the null-hypothesis!

      By not overcoming the null-hypothesis, the
      human caused climate change hypothesis does not even qualify as a theory. These
      people who play it as a fact, are in fact in denial of the scientific method!

    4. Apparently Governor Brown, you’ve never visited the weather station at Lake Tahoe
      Posted on August 13, 2012 by Anthony Watts
      I had to laugh. Governor Jerry “moonbeam” Brown has created a comical clone of the Skeptical Science website at his state office website, and announced it today in lake Tahoe with this missive via the Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert:The Democratic governor, in Stateline, Nev., for the annual Tahoe Summit, has long been frustrated by conservative politicians who say the effect of global warming is overstated, or who argue government intervention to address climate change is a drag on the economy.“Global warming’s impact on Lake Tahoe is well documented. It is just one example of how, after decades of pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humanity is getting dangerously close to the point of no return,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “Those who still deny global warming’s existence should wake up and honestly face the facts.” 

  2. It is not a  “rebuttal to climate science contrarians”, it is an abusive attack on anyone who dares to question the climate change panic, by (1) labelling them ‘deniers’ in an attempt to draw parallels with holocaust deniers (2) attempting to associate them with the cigarette smoking industry  (3) associating them with oil companies. 
    The argument is so feeble and transparent that I am surprised that anyone is taken in by it. 

    1. Those associations are correct. The “arguments” against the possibility of human caused changes, which are mostly hugely inflated minor nits and misinformation, are directly modelled on the industrial denial of a smoking link to cancer. It’s all been documented and written about, but of course you are free to ignore whatever you want.

      1. Here’s an argument for you. 

        Methane, supposedly a mighty greenhouse gas, integral to the so called “tipping points” that are allegedly going to flood the climate system if the permafrost in Canada melts, alleged to be 20% of the AGW  as things sit right now. 

        Methane is a principle component of the atmosphere on the moon, Titan, making up roughly the same proportions there (5% of the atmosphere) and acting the same as water vapor does here on Earth (methane is liquid, forms clouds, rains out, on Titan) .

        Hyperion is an oblong moon in orbital resonance with Titan. Hyperion has no atmosphere, but by a quirk of fate, it does have the same albedo as Titan. That is to say both moons absorb the same amount of sunlight, proportionally speaking

        Titan has a thick earth like atmosphere composed of nitrogen and methane. Should have a strong greenhouse effect, but instead the temperature on Titan is  exactly the same as Hyperion, (93K).

        Show me where I am wrong? 

        There is no {insert suitably strong expletive here} greenhouse effect. It’s a sham to fool the public into allowing con artists, shysters, and  public officials, to steal  money through taxes and utility fees.

  3. I’m wondering how it could be possible that Jerry Brown, doddering old geriatric that he is, would be forced to tap out a blog with his arthritic fingers, a rehash of “Skeptical Science” no less? 

    What’s the matter? Isn’t the word of a defunct Australian political cartoonist (John Cook at SkS) persuasive? 
    And who are these “deniers”  Jerry is on about? 

    A quick perusal of  the Climate Watch blog roll show zero denier websites. Surely if these noisome “contrarians” existed to such an extent that they warranted a response from the Governor’s bully pulpit, they would be listed prominently on the government funded media’s blog? 

    Not even one “contrarian” blog link? I mean doesn’t that violate the Public Broadcasting charter? 

    You know fairness. Covering the whole story and what not.

  4. Desperation is a stinky cologne, Jerry.  Maybe Brown should surrender to the invisible boogie-men while he’s still behind.

  5. “Just the Facts” linking a political hacktivist like Naomi Oreskes? That’s hysterical. 

    There are no entrenched industrial interests casting doubt on global warming. Peter Gleick’s crime ( ) confirms that. 

    The only entrenched industrial interests involved are interested in keeping the global warming government funding gravy train rolling.

    BP addressing the global challenge of climate change 

    Chevron addressing climate change 

    1. As I detail in the piece below and in my other online articles, what is more likely happening is that enviro-activists back in the ’90s were and still are “manufacturing doubt about the credibility of skeptic climate scientists and those who support them”:  “Open letter to California Gov Jerry Brown: Prove Your Accusation Against Skeptic Climate Scientists”

  6. Come over to the McClatchy Home page. We could use more Conservative thought and ideas.

    1. Love these libtards they only know how to attack peoples flaws. Not defend their ideals.

  7. Here are some questions which seem unanswered by our wise Moonbeam:
    1). Isn’t the foundation for all scientific discovery skepticism?
    2). How much CO2 is actually in the atmosphere making these huge climatic changes: 385 part per million? That works out to about 4% of 1% – as opposed to water vapor, which is about 97% of our atmosphere.
    3). What percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere is contributed by mankind? From what I can find, man contributes about 3.2% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere. So of the 4% in the atmosphere, we contribute about 3.2%. That works out to a total of 12 parts per million of all the CO2 in the atmosphere.
    4). How much will 12 parts of CO2 in the atmosphere contribute to a rise in temperature that wouldn’t be attributed to water vapor and the other approximately 373 parts per million of the killer, CO2?

    I think it laughable NOT to question this so-called science. I don’t think you need a degree in climate science to see the foolishness of this idiocy. ANY scientist who does not question an unproven theory should not call themselves a scientist of any persuasion and anyone else who does not question such propaganda should consider themselves no better than sheep.

    1.  This comment is riddled with inaccuracies:
      – cepticism isn’t the foundation of scientific discovery, experimentation is
      – Most of our atmosphere is nitrogen and oxygen – not water vapour
      – Mankind is responsible for the increase in CO2 from below 200ppm pre the industrial revolution to the current 385ppm, ie almost a doubling: in addition to which we have caused methane to double too
      – The fouth point is therefore inaccurate in its premise and irrelevant
      No scientist will dispute that without greenhouse gases the average temperature of the earth would be around 30C lower than it actually is. Adding more greenhouse gases raises the temperature further – that is an obvious dedustion even before all the proof we have.

      1. Yeah, I saw that 97% of the atmosphere is water vapor and cringed a little. I’m sure he was thinking about water vapor being  97% of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

        Another thing that is cringe worthy is your claim about pre-industrial CO2 levels being below 200 ppm. 

        But life’s too short for me to correct every uncrossed T and misplaced comma on the internet.

  8. A null-hypothesis is a default position. To overcome the
    null-hypothesis you have to show a certain statistical significance (or
    probability) that the evidence fits your hypothesis better than the default
    position. We’re not talking about absolute proof, just probability.

    Let’s use gravity as an example:

    The evidence that best fits the theory (by a
    high probability) is that gravity is generated by mass. If you were to say that
    gravity used to be generated by mass but now it’s mostly people, you had better
    be able to show a high probability that the evidence fits your hypothesis
    better than the current default position. If you didn’t you would be scoffed
    at. However, human caused climate change has never done this! The evidence fits
    the null-hypothesis like a glove. Why? Climate change is the norm, not the
    exception! It always has and always will change. There is not one paper that
    falsifies the null-hypothesis!

    By not overcoming the null-hypothesis, the
    human caused climate change hypothesis does not even qualify as a theory. These
    people who play it as a fact, are in fact in denial of the scientific method!

    1. Clearly you have a scientific background and your probability argument is  correct and so can we assume you are a believer in the process of peer review to achieve a scientific consensus? And yet you are suggesting that the opinion of 97% of all experts in this field is not a statistically significant consensus? 

      1.  That 97% number represents 72 people taking a poll from some college students who asked very vague questions.   The number of people taking the poll was actually much larger, but was whittled down to 72 so that they could get 97%.

        1. Interesting – this sounds like you have personal experience but what evidence do you have? 

  9. dioxide, CO 2 is not pollution of any kind.
    Carbon dioxide
    cannot do what is claimed by government and Greens.
    It is impossible for
    humans to control carbon dioxide levels in the air.
    To attempt to control
    carbon dioxide levels in the air is futile.It is an act of selfish, weak, cowardly stupidity to lie to divert funds
    from real environmentaland humanitarian needs. It is shameful and inhumane

    1.  Your argument – like your link – is non-existent. Of course humans are impacting CO2 and no scientist claims otherwise.

      1. “A tracer for CO2 transport from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere was provided by 14C created by nuclear weapons testing in the 1950’s and 1960’s.The analysis of 14C in atmospheric CO2  showed that it took some years for exchanges of CO2 between the hemispheres before the 14C was uniformly distributed…
        “If 75% of CO2 from fossil fuel is emitted north of latitude 30 then some time lag might be expected due to the sharp year-to-year variations in the estimated amounts left in the atmosphere. A simple model, following the example of the 14Cdata with a one year mixing time, would suggest a delay of 6 months for CO2 changes in concentration in the Northern Hemisphere to appear in the Southern Hemisphere.
        “A correlation plot of …year on year differences of monthly measurements at Mauna Loa against those at the South Pole [shows]… the time difference is positive when the South Pole data leads the Mauna Loa data. Any negative bias (asymmetry in the plot) would indicate a delayed arrival of CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere.
        “There does not appear to be any time difference between the hemispheres. This suggests that the annual increases [in atmospheric carbon dioxide] may be coming from a global or equatorial source.”
        ‘Sources and Sinks of Carbon Dioxide’, by Tom Quirk, Energy and Environment, Volume 20, pages 103-119.

        1. Ok so perhaps I should have said that 99% of scientists believe humans are impacting CO2 levels

  10. I’m funded by neither Big Oil nor Big Tobacco and have suffered serious consequences for standing up to the climate change bullies. The link to a Wall Street Journal letter of mine about the perpetually re-told lie that I and most skeptics are corrupt is below:

    1. Thank you Harold. His is not an isolated incident by any means. God bless and keep you. You are a pine tree amongst cedars. 

Comments are closed.


Craig Miller

Craig is a former KQED Science editor, specializing in weather, climate, water & energy issues, with a little seismology thrown in just to shake things up. Prior to that, he launched and led the station's award-winning multimedia project, Climate Watch. Craig is also an accomplished writer/producer of television documentaries, with a focus on natural resource issues.

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