Wannabe climate scientist goes political

On July 11, 2021, David Andrews, to pursue his political career, sent this public email to several people including Montana elected officials:

Gentlemen, and Susan,

I am sending an update on my ongoing conversation with Big Fork’s Ed Berry regarding climate change.  I have added a few more Republican friends to the distribution list and so will repeat some points I made to some of you 10 months ago.  In brief:

  • Berry maintains a blog in which he argues that the well documented rise in atmospheric CO2 during the industrial age is “natural”, not human caused.  This is, of course, not the conclusion of mainstream science. In 2019 he published his model in “The International Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science”, a Pakistani pay-to-publish “predatory” journal, and he has since also written a self-published book.  Though he has a PhD in meteorology, Berry has no peer reviewed publications in the last 50 years, unless you want to count the 2019 one.
  • In the spring of 2020, I pointed out to Berry a clear technical mistake that he had made.  Herman Harde made the same mistake and reached the same conclusion as Berry about anthropogenic CO2, publishing in a different journal of the same Pakistani publishing house. Berry denied the mistake and blocked me from further posting on his blog.  After some back and forth by private email he finally suggested to me that I publish my observation. Perhaps to his surprise, I did, in August 2020. [see Correcting an Error in Some Interpretations of Delta C14 ] Several of you saw our email exchange last September in which he still refused to admit his error, claiming that unnamed “experts” said I was wrong.
  • Early in 2021 Berry conceded on his blog that I was right after all about the technical mistake. This came after Harde had conceded the same point in a draft article that Berry posted on his blog. But now his claim was that the mistake didn’t matter, even though it dramatically changed the data that had once supported Berry and Harde’s conclusions. (See my paper for details.)
  • At this point Berry let me back on his blog, and we sparred further on various topics. But he again showed a limited tolerance for reasoned criticism, and after being unresponsive to my identification of further specific flaws in his model, he has once again blocked me from posting. So much for the free exchange of ideas.  Hence this note, which should come as no surprise to Berry, whom you will see is copied.

I would let Berry live with his delusions were he not politicizing a scientific question affecting important public policy decisions.  Our political prejudices have plenty to say about how we think an issue like anthropogenic climate change should be addressed, but they should not get in the way of an honest search for the scientific basis for policy. 

The Republican Party is becoming irrelevant on the climate change question, and that bothers me.  I saw the power of private enterprise in my 22 years in industry, before teaching at U Montana.  I saw and helped innovative medical imaging technology get better and better.  We were motivated by profit. With proper incentives (eg a revenue neutral carbon tax) private enterprise can help get us out of the climate mess. 

But as long as Republicans let the likes of Ed Berry be their spokesman on scientific questions, the only policy initiative on the table will be the Green New Deal.

Dave

This is my reply to Dave Andrews’ public email.

The University of Montana wrote of David Andrews when he retired in May 2012:

“David Andrews joined the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2004 after many years working in industry… Dave retired in May 2012 to pursue a political career.

2012-13 Retirees.pdf (umt.edu)

Andrews is a member of the political groupthink that believes human carbon emissions threaten the planet. He cannot defend his groupthink belief with true science, so he attacks and try to destroy those who prove his groupthink belief is wrong.

Andrew’s Freudian slip explains his own problem. His political prejudice prevents him from understanding climate science. He admonishes,

Our political prejudices have plenty to say about how we think an issue like anthropogenic climate change should be addressed, but they should not get in the way of an honest search for the scientific basis for policy.” 

Andrews complains that I blocked him from making further comments on edberry.com, which I did. He claims this shows I have “a limited tolerance for reasoned criticism.

Andrews lies. I allowed him to make 114 comments with no length restrictions on edberry.com, which is sufficient for any scientist to make scientific arguments. And Andrews lies about the “concedes” he claims in his email.

Andrews does not tell you I blocked his comment privileges because he attacked the messenger rather than the message after I warned him that I do not tolerate attacks on the messenger. Andrews wants me to give him free rein to turn edberry.com into his own social media bitching and attack site. I won’t allow that.

Specifically, Andrews attacked meteorologist Chuck Wiese, who knows far more meteorology than Andrews will ever know. Wiese wrote an article that shows why the recent heatwave was not caused by “climate change” but was caused by the timing of normal heat waves. Chuck’s article challenges Andrews’ groupthink, but Andrews can’t show that Chuck made any errors. So, Andrews attacked Chuck personally. That’s why I terminated Andrews’ privilege to comment on edberry.com.

Andrew’s email (above) uses a strawman that he would know is invalid if he were a real scientist.

  • Error #1: Andrews incorrectly assumes “mainstream science” defines scientific truth. That illogic went out with Aristotle.
  • Error #2: Andrews incorrectly assumes the NUMBER of published papers outvotes QUALITY scientific papers. My papers are quality papers.
  • Error #3: Andrews incorrectly assumes his attack on the journal (like an attack on the messenger) disqualifies a scientific paper.

Andrews says my Ph.D. is in meteorology when my website clearly says my Ph.D. degree is in theoretical physics. I studied logic and philosophy of science, as well as physics and math. I am one of the few Ph.D. physicists who is also a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) of the American Meteorology Society. Go count the number of PhD’s in physics who also are CCM’s in Montana’s university system. The number is zero.

Andrews has no qualifications in climate physics, logic, philosophy of science, numerical models, the scientific method, or meteorology. You don’t learn climate physics by doing 22 years in the medical industry.

Andrews claims my 2019 paper is wrong because it uses a common scientific terminology in one figure. He thinks that technicality makes my paper wrong. Andrews does not understand the flow of logic in my paper. The conclusions of my paper would still stand even if I deleted the figure. I will bet that Andrews cannot understand my Ph.D. thesis that still continues to get more citations every day because it paved the way to understand how clouds make rain.

Andrews does not understand that the figure he objects to in my 2019 paper proves nature, not human emissions, is the dominant cause of the carbon dioxide increase. I explain that more fully in my 2021 paper, Section 6.1.

Related post

In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court rejected the Global Warming petition by Our Children’s Trust.

According to attorney Quentin Rhoades, whom I hired to defeat the petition, “This establishes once and for all, at least as far as Montana law is concerned, that climate science is decidedly not settled.”

Therefore, it is illegal for Montana schools, colleges, universities, and government agencies to teach, promote, or make decisions on the groupthink belief that our carbon emissions threaten the planet.

When they lost, the attorneys for Our Children’s Trust vowed to take their case to a Montana court because they claimed in 2011 that human emissions will affect life on earth in only a few years if we don’t stop our carbon emissions.

Why did they not file a lawsuit to prove their climate belief is true? Because they know that they cannot win such a lawsuit.

The Democrat governors since 2011 refused to enforce this Montana Supreme Court decision. Now Republican Governor Greg Gianforte has the opportunity to establish climate truth in Montana.

7 Comments

  1. I check your blog at least daily and find the discussion of your articles interesting and full of information.

    I read all of the exchanges with David Andrews and thought that it was mostly about semantics. Early in that discussion I was convinced that even if his interpretation was right it did not change the fact that CO2 residence time was short compared to the IPCC statements.

    Thus I saw his contentions as so much straining at a gnat. As I have studied this subject I saw the same attempt to critique Salby and Harde by focusing on minutia but leaving the major points and conclusions unexamined.

    I am thankful for your clear language and thought. Please keep up the good work.

  2. Mr. Andrews’ remarks have been an expanding distraction from insightful discussion. His poor judgment to broadcast his ad hominem dribble beyond this site speaks volumes.

    DMA summed it up well.

  3. Since pre print two I also check your site daily. You respond to all reasonable (and some unreasonable) comments and questions in good faith and with integrity and intelligent debate. As a non scientist I learn a lot from these discussions and rate this my most informative site for this subject. Cheers.

  4. David Andrews says (see above),
    “But as long as Republicans let the likes of Ed Berry be their spokesman on scientific questions, the only policy initiative on the table will be the Green New Deal.”

    True science is independent of ideologies and authorities. Berry does make political statements but Andrews is very wrong to imply that Berry’s science is guided by his Republican political ideology. The truth of this matter is demonstrated by Berry’s response to my science.

    I am a traditional left-wing British socialist whose views of climate change are guided by my science. In 2005 I and colleagues published a peer-reviewed paper which concluded the pertinent data can be interpreted to encompass both completely anthropogenic and completely natural causes of the recent rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration although a natural cause is most likely.

    Subsequently, in 2008 I gave a presentation which explained and expanded on that conclusion. Ed Berry saw the paper I then presented. He published it on his blog at
    https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/limits-to-carbon-dioxide-concentation/

    Importantly, Ed Berry builds on a finding in my 2008 paper by making a breakthrough in understanding (which I and all others failed to make). This has enabled him to assess the data in a way that quantifies the natural and anthropogenic contributions to the cause.

    So, the science of a traditional British socialist and an American Republican have combined to advance understanding in ways which are informative for all political policymakers who want to benefit people.

    This so enraged David Andrews that he went into full ‘attack mode’ in the thread (linked above in this post) which discussed my paper on Ed Berry’s blog. His attack began with a reasonable comment which is at
    https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/limits-to-carbon-dioxide-concentation/#comment-97165
    and I answered it in full. Andrews responded to my answer with a blatant lie concerning my reply. The discussion degenerated from there until Ed Berry posted a graph that Andrews had to concede demonstrates his ‘complaints’ at my paper have no substance

    The discussion concluded with my post that said,
    “David Andrews,

    I am not a “shill” for anybody or anything. You on the other hand …?

    As for my “sensitivity”, I object to lies and smears of me and my work especially when they come from an obnoxious troll such as yourself. If you had any decency at all then you would have apologised but you don’t so, instead, you have added another offensive lie.

    Richard”

    Richard

  5. Did I change something or is the comments list that used to be on the right side of the screen disappear for everyone? I do miss it.

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