An Evening with James Hansen

by James Oliver Deckard

The famous climate “scientist,” James Hansen, spoke at the London School of Economics on the 16th May 2013. Here is an account of his talk and its attendant circumstances.


Last night he gave the usual bilge, truly putting the frighteners on and informing everyone (for about the 10,000th time since 1988) that immediate action is required otherwise thermageddon is guaranteed. Though he has changed his tune a little – the threat is now no longer imminent but (conveniently), “in the pipeline”. That it is going to be catastrophic though, he is in no doubt at all.

Littered throughout his presentation was continuous references to his grandchildren (with pictures). He uncritically presented just about every single contentious alarmist claim as absolute fact (including claiming that temperature had continued rising for the last 15 years – now you have to be a special kind of propagandistic shill to do that without also appending “statistically insignificant rise”), most of which I think many of you, my friends, are already well equipped to debunk.

The place was absolutely packed – hundreds of people were there and I have to admit, as I listened to one questioner after another identify whichever hack activist group or pleading green lobbying special interest they were from, I truly felt like I was alone in enemy territory. I almost backed out and let my fear get the better of me. But I kept putting my hand up regardless – Hansen’s scaremongering could not go unanswered and if it wasn’t by way of putting points and questions to him then it was going to have to be heckles.

Shortly before the mike came to me, one of the activists in the audience pointed out that he [Hansen] was only preaching to the choir, saying that it was important to get people from ‘outside the choir’ to attend such events and asking how.

That was my in. Hansen responded to her that it was very important to get people from ‘outside the choir’ in to such talks but didn’t know how.

I stood up and laid into him. I said that he was high on the hyperbole and hysteria and low on the facts. Most of the people there would unfortunately take him at his word and not look any further so I said I felt obliged to point out that most of his claims were highly controversial and some were flat out wrong and that I’d be happy to go through them with him there and then and debate him.

The crowd then turned on me, exploding in incredulity.

I said that my question to him was that if he truly wanted people from ‘outside the choir’ to get involved then what on earth did he expect to happen when he (and he did) ridiculously claim that there was an “enormous well funded denial conspiracy, funded by big oil and gas”, thereby immediately dismissing anyone who dared to air a single sceptical thought.

After several hostile exchanges with the crowd immediately around me and a bit of back and forth between myself and Hansen, he finally got around to (not) answering my question. His response was bizarre. He came out with the hackneyed bollocks that the basis of science was scepticism blah blah blah. He then said that he had debated Richard Lindzen previously (Lindzen is one of the world’s most famous climate sceptics and most highly published atmospheric physicist). He said (referring to Lindzen) that it was “hard to win against an articulate guy”). He also – bizarrely – claimed that Lindzen had been shown to be wrong again and again and that he [Hansen] would no longer have any kind of debates, public or otherwise, with Lindzen or others because – apparently – “even when he has been shown to be wrong on so many occasions, he just shifts to another point to pick on”.


This is from the same charlatan whose predictions have been so far off they’re not even on planet (c.f. his “scenario C” prediction where he predicted temperatures on the basis of humans stopping their carbon emissions totally over 20 years ago – guess what? – actual temperature data (in spite of fiddling by the likes of Hansen) has come in well BELOW this despite humans pouring ever more gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere). This is the same fraud who regularly provided undocumented post-hoc “adjustments” to NASA’s GISS temperature data set (oh and uses the same data set to “extend” a single data point across thousands of miles to cover where there are no temp stations), that just happened to cool the past and warm the present, creating false warming trends. Any bona fide adjustments required (e.g. because of station recalibration or resiting) would be largely random – the fact that it isn’t should be the first warning that fraud is being perpetrated.

And yes this is the same guy who, in the sweltering heat of the U.S. 1988 summer, when presenting the case for climate hysteria to Al Gore’s committee, knowing the eyes of the world would be on him, purposefully turned off the air conditioning in the building beforehand without telling anyone to exacerbate people’s experience of the heat. That was 1988. You think this was the act of a selfless scientist guided to find and preserve the truth, or a shameless propagandist?

Following the talk I ended up being accosted multiple times outside the lecture theatre. Thankfully there were quite a few people backpatting me and saying “very brave”, but plenty were wanting to argue. I was happy to oblige.

Depressingly, my alarmist interlocutors demonstrated the identical pattern of ignorance I’ve become so used to know which demonstrates how they get their “information” and POVs from a very insular mutual masturbation circle that has nothing to do with sceptics but is happy to paint them in unrealistic cartoon colours. Amongst the numerous points of common ignorance that are so, so common with these people:

Complete lack of awareness of:

• The fact that CO2’s effects follow a pattern of logarithmic decay. The more you add, the less of an effect it has.
• What feedbacks are
• What climate sensitivity is
• Why the above two are absolutely essential to the alarmist catastrophic case
• The fact that the common sceptic view rests upon those two elements
• The fact that the majority of sceptics (myself included) are ‘lukewarmers’ – as in we think humans are contributing to warming but that it is mild and no catastrophe is imminent (or “in the pipeline”)
• The fact that regular measurements of CO2 have only been taken since 1958
• The fact that the temperature sensing network has changed dramatically in the last century – in scale, distribution, technology and methodologies. Depressingly they don’t even have the slightest scientific bone in their body that may initially ask them if they are comparing like with like when talking about temp readings from 1880 and temp readings from 2013. They always have to be prodded, and many refuse to entertain the issue even though, in ANY other branch of science it would be grounds to instantly doubt (if not entirely throw out) the data and any claims made for it (such as the putative 0.8 degree C rise since 1880).
• The fact that Venus’s atmosphere is driven primarily by i) pressure and ii) proximity to the sun and NOT CO2. (Duh).’

4 responses to “An Evening with James Hansen

  1. Julie near Chicago

    Score one for the good guys. Thanks, Mr. Deckard (and WP).

  2. Well done Mr Deckard and bravely spoken.I commend you.Spring is late in the United Kingdom with some of the coldest tempertures on record.It eas snowing in Shropshire two days ago.I have just been watching the Giro D’Italia with awful weather forcing the abandonment of Tour de France holder Sir Bradley Wiggins,And Giro D’Italia holder Ryder Hejedal with torrential rain, and the worst rainfall in Spring in Italy for 200 years.Snow forecast for the next week in the mountains and the possible cancellation of the stage into the french alps.
    Thank you for your courage.

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