A Burt Rutan Fan Disappointed He Signed WSJ Article Denying AGW

Russ Steele

Brian Angliss writes at Scholars and Rogues:

. . . I was disappointed to find that you had co-signed a Wall Street Journal commentary regarding human-caused climate disruption along with 15 other scientists and engineers. The commentary was replete with incorrect and misleading information. So much so, in fact, that I was surprised that you, as an engineer, would attach your name to it.

Anthony Watts has published Burt Rutan’s answer to Brian at Watts Up With That.  It is a very reasoned  and compelling answer that all of California’s policy makers should read:


In my background of 46 years in aerospace flight testing and design I have seen many examples of data presentation fraud. That is what prompted my interest in seeing how the scientists have processed the climate data, presented it and promoted their theories to policy makers and the media.

What I found shocked me and prompted me to do further research. I researched data presentation fraud in climate science from 1999 to 2010.

I do not have time here to define the details; if interested in my research, a PPT or PDF can be downloaded at:

In general, if you as an engineer with normal ethics, study the subject you will conclude that the theory that man’s addition of CO2 to the atmosphere (a trace amount to an already trace gas content) cannot cause the observed warming unless you assume a large positive feedback from water vapor. You will also find that the real feedback is negative, not positive!

Specifically, the theory of CAGW is not supported by any of the climate data and none of the predictions of IPCC since their first report in 1991 have been supported by measured data. The scare is merely a computer modeled theory that has been flawed from the beginning, and in spite of its failure to predict, many of the climate scientists cling to it. They applauded the correlation of surface temperatures with CO2 content from 1960 to 1998 as proof, but fail to admit that the planet has cooled after 1998 in spite of the CO2 content increasing.

The failure of the IPCC machine is especially evident in the use of “models” to justify claims, so it might be worthwhile to just look at modeling and science.Modeling is more correctly a branch of Engineering and there are some basic rules that have been flouted by CAGW _ CO2 modelers.

Firstly there has to be a problem analysis which identifies relevant factors and the physical, chemical and thermodynamic behaviors of those factors within the system.

Any claim that this has been done in the CO2 warming problem is PREPOSTEROUS. There are perhaps a thousand PhD topics there waiting to be taken up by researchers.

We could start with work on understanding heat transfer between the main interfaces; eg Core to surface / surface to ocean depths/ ocean depths to ocean surface / ocean surface to atmosphere and so on, not having yet reached the depth of space at just slightly above absolute zero.

To claim that the entire system of atmospheric temperature moderation has been described bythe fluctuations of atmospheric CO2 content while excluding the other obvious factors such as atmospheric water vapour content, solar flux and orbital mechanics is just nonsense.

The whole point of modelling when done correctly is that it links accurately measured input of the main factors and accurately measure target output. Where you have major input factors that are not considered and poor and uncertain measurement of all factors then all you have is a joke or more seriously Public Fraud based on science.
You do not have science.

CO2 is not a pollutant. When the Dinosaurs roamed, the CO2 content was 6 to 9 times current and the planet was green from pole to pole; almost no deserts. If we doubled the atmospheric content of CO2, young pine trees would grow at twice the rate and nearly every crop yield would go up 30 to 40%. We, the animals and all land plant life would be healthier if CO2 content were to increase.

Do the study yourself. Look at how and why the data are manipulated, cherry-picked and promoted. I will bet if you did, you too would be shocked.

The mark of a good theory is its ability to be falsified by new data. The mark of a good scientist is the ability to accept that.


I suggest that you go to Watts Up With That and read the full post, including the comments. George Rebane another engineer has weighed in on the WSJ article HERE.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

30 Responses to A Burt Rutan Fan Disappointed He Signed WSJ Article Denying AGW

  1. Sean says:

    Does Burt Rutan ever discuss climate change with Sir Richard Branson?

  2. Bob W says:

    Sir Richard Branson? He is a famous clown right?

  3. Sam King says:


    Do you usually fall for such denialist nonsense as Rutan claims? Are you that gullible?

    • Russ says:


      Yes, until I see some solid climate science that refutes Rutan’s claims. What is your evidence that Rutan is writing nonsense? I will be glad to post your evidence here.

      • mk says:

        I doubt that you have any interest in any such evidence, if you would refer to an anti-science propaganda site like WUWT; it is certainly easy to come by, as Rutan’s mistakes are rather basic.

        Russ Replies: The rest of the your comment was deleted The above statement is with out merit or proof. It is an opinion that is not held my many. WUWT that is the most widely read climate science blog, which host guest post from renowned scientist and very capable data analysts like Willis Eschenbach. You claim that Rutan made mistakes, yet you provide no supporting evidence. Better try next time.

  4. Sam King says:


    You must be new at this. Very new. You fell right into the standard denialist canard. Please explain why you don’t understand where the scientific evidence for AGW comes from. Don’t you feel rather foolish sitting there claiming that many decades of climate science demonstrating that AGW is real from thousands of scientists in multiple disciplines can single handedly be overturned by an aerospace engineer who succeeded only in repeating assertions repeatedly debunked?

    Let’s be real, Russ, and try to understand that the burden of proof lies squarely on Rutan’s shoulders, not the other way around as denialists always claim. Rutan, for all the admirable qualities and expertise in his field, has only succeeded in demonstrating his complete incompetence in climate science and fallen for the woo of climate science deniers. It is a prime example of th arrogance of ignorance.

    Then ask yourself why you would ever want to be part of that.

  5. Sean says:

    Mr. King,
    You are speaking in generalities. I know a little about science and can interpret charts and graphs. Rather than just say “its been refuted” can you bring up some specific points and show the specifically which claims are wrong and what is correct? I’d love to discuss and debate the issues.

  6. Sean says:

    Missed a typo while I was editing. The third sentence should read “Rather than just say “its been refuted” can you bring up some specific points and show which claims are wrong and what is correct?

  7. Russ says:


    You have not been reading this blog very long. I have been refuting the AGW claim for years here and at NC Media Watch since August of 2004. The only “evidence” for AGW comes from computer models that have no skill. They cannot backcast to the historical temperatures, why should we believe that they can forecast temperatures decades into the future? Clouds are a major factor in warming and cooling they are not well modeled in the GCMs. All the recored temperatures are blow the Hansen models A, B and C scenarios. How can that be if the models are valid? They are not, and AGW is nothing but scientific fraud being promoted by zealots who cannot think for themselves.

    Now, lets get down to some specifics. Show me why with CO2 increasing, that temperatures are declining? Why have sea levels started declining when they are suppose to be rising? Why are glaciers that used to be retreating, are now growing? Why are cold temperature records being broken all across Alaska?

    I welcome the opportunity for you to show me that I am wrong?

  8. Jerky says:

    >The only “evidence” for AGW comes from computer models that have no skill.

    That’s utter nonsense which can be disproven by 30 seconds of online research. Even if you discount the temperature records, one can use bird migrations, times of first frost, the movement of plant hardiness zones, etc….

    All of your additional claims are also easily debunked. I hope you are not serious with your questions, otherwise you should retire immediately, as you have lost the ability to discern scientific research from propaganda, and basic physics from pseudo-science nonsense.

    I’m not even going to bother to debunk such easy topics, but you might want to get started at skepticalscience.com then come back with some serious questions.

  9. Sam King says:


    Your claim is that the “only” evidence comes from computer models. Now tell us why we should listen to you rather than pay attention to massive evidence from thousands of multi-disciplinary scientists over a period of several decades of which computer modeling is only a part?

    Let me put in in terms that anyone can understand. You have medical symptoms and go to 100 doctors. 97 tell you that you have cancer and that you need to be treated soon to survive. 3 tell you are completely healthy and nothing needs to be done.

    Now, tell us, Russ, why did you chose to listen to the 3 doctors and did nothing?

    Take your time.

  10. Sam King says:


    By the way, show us your source for the claim that temperatures are declining and why.

  11. Sam King says:


    Also, Russ, your source for your other claims. Remember, these are YOUR claims.

  12. Looks like another true believer of the hoax has surfaced here. Go getum Russ with the truth.

  13. Sean says:

    the source for temperature plateauing is Hadcrut3, one of the temperature indexes used by the IPCC. Look at the numbers from 1997 to 2012. Here is a link to a plot of that data at wood for trees, http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/to:2012

  14. Sam King says:


    I’ll have fun watching you and Russ explain how your massive conspiracy theory of thousands of disconnected scientists worldwide over a period of several decades were able to pull off your conspiracy.

    The popcorn is ready. Proceed.

  15. Russ says:

    Popcorn is at the ready. Sam read the Climategate I and II and then get back to me, all the evidence need is in those e-mails. The fraud is described in these e-mails in the participants own words. Please check in when you have read those e-mails, with some proof that no fraud took place in the name of climate science. I will hold the popcorn.

  16. Sam King says:

    The popcorn has gone stale waiting for you to support your claims, Russ.

    I am not surprised that you evaded supporting your own claims above but then you have no science to back you up. You got yourself into trouble in the beginning by asserting,  “I have been refuting the AGW claim for years here and at NC Media Watch since August of 2004.” No scientist worth his salt would ever say that; his/her scientific papers would stand or fall on their own. And no one should be audacious enough to claim expertise single-handedly against the accumulated science of 150 years, do you think?

    Your posts demonstrate you have done no such thing and you evidence no knowledge nor expertise on the subject matter of climate science.

    Indeed, you are not relying on science at all. Instead, you are forced to rely on appeals to unqualified and irrelevant authorities, e.g., “Watt’s Up With That”, a retired TV weatherman; Donna Laframboise, a self-employed photographer who’s claim that WWF “infiltrated” the IPCC and influenced it, sure to attract the conspiracy believers, while maintaining an interesting silence on The Heartland Institute; Art Horn, another weatherman and resident “expert” with The Heartland Institute; and, of course, Burt Rutan. All of whom have no qualifications in climate science and who only share a common political ideology with you.

    I think your readers must wonder how you can refute overwhelming science demonstrating the reality of AGW when neither you nor those on whom you depend know no more than you do about the subject matter. And by trying to shift the burden of proof from your shoulders.

    Finally, you resort to the tired evasion of appealing to “Climategate” with the resourceful assertion that all the evidence is in there including fraud. It reminds me of the days long ago when Kennedy Assassination conspiracists were backed up against the wall intellectually and announced, “Read the Warren Report and show me no conspiracy took place.”

    Kind of kooky, wouldn’t you agree, Russ?

    Fortunately, we do not have to rely on what your claims are about the “Climategate” e-mails; all the denialist’s claims and cherry-picking have been thoroughly deconstructed and debunked. And we are also fortunate to have the manny scientific investigations that completely showed no fraud took place, no data was manipulated, no conspiracy took place, no science changed. Anybody so choosing to educate themselves, including you, can read the most detailed of the investigations here:


    Of course, trying to discredit the investigators was the first thing denialists tried. That failed, too.

    Denialists were also foiled in that the e-mails showed how the necessary implication of their denialist conspiracy claims would have to involve many thousands of scientists – unless you’re prepared to accept the incredible notion that the world’s climate scientists through decades of independent research and thousands of peer-reviewed papers, were incompetent and could be easily duped by a dozen scientists in England. Such notions, ultimately, is what leaves denialist claims laughable. You and your denialist buddies cannot avoid the implications of your claims.

    I’ve dealt with denialism for many years, Creationists, 9/11 “Truthers”‘ moon-landing deniers, vaccine deniers. Denialism is a psychological issue and increasingly understood – its methodology, tactics, and political motivation. You would do well to educate yourself on the subject matter and try to recognize that is what you are doing with your blog on this subject matter. This should help:

    “What Is Denialism”

    In the end, you are fooling yourself and your readers. And you are unwittingly playing a role in the personal attacks on climate scientists:


    I will leave you in peace now with the hope that you will see why you should join the side of reason and come to realize why you are working against your own interest, those of your readers, and those of your grandchildren.


    • Russ says:


      While you cast doubt on the climate data and discussion at Watts Up With That by making reference to Anthony as only a retired weatherman you may have over looked the folks that post at WUWT in addition to Anthony. For example this post by Williams Biggs: Briggs schools the “Bad Astronomer” on statistics

      William Briggs, Statistician to the Stars can be found here: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=5138

      Or this post by Indur Goklany

      On Dentists, Cardiologists, Climatologists and Evidence-Based Remedies

      Over at the Wall Street Journal a group of pedigreed individuals headed by Dr. Kevin Trenberth argue:
      Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

      Wrong answer!!

      If you need surgery you DON’T want “a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.” What you want is “a highly experienced expert in the field who has CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT HIS OR HER OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL!”

      And if before I go to a dentist, I would like evidence that the dentist does not pull the wrong teeth (even on occasion).
      Unfortunately, there is no convincing evidence that climate models can successfully predict future climate — and I mean “climate” not just “temperature.” [The latter is just one aspect of the climate and for many impacts it may not even be the most relevant.]

      You can read the rest of Goklany’s kick a** essay here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/31/on-dentists-cardiologists-climatologists-and-evidence-based-remedies/

      By the way Sam how many peer reviewed papers have you published, Anthony has two. You?

  17. Sam King says:

    You’ve succeeded in illustrating my points for me, Russ.

    You can’t get anywhere on the fall premise that I or you or anyone needs to have published in peer-reviewed papers in order to understand the scientific method and how to evaluate to whom you should listen to. We skeptics learned that in high school and college, as opposed to you denialists who find evidence you don’t like inconvenient. As opposed to you, I accept scientific evidence no matter where it leads. You have shown you cannot.

    We can play your game all day long, but that’s all you have. Your appeal to William Briggs didn’t work. He was easily schooled by Greg Laden:

    “William M. Briggs has misunderstood a high-school level data graph”

    Category: Climate Change • Global Warming
    Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:11 PM, by Greg Laden

    “And I suspect he’s done so willingly. Well, you know what they say about statistics and liars.”


    Indur Goklany failed for the same reason you did in evading why chose to listen to 3 doctors who said you didn’t have terminal cancer instead of the 97  doctors who said you did.

    Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society stumped climate science denier and blogger James on that question just as I easily stumped you:

    “James Delingpole floored by climategate question”

    Published onJan 25, 2011byAdamBienkov

    Leading Climate Change denier and James Delingpole lost for words following a question by Sir Paul Nurse.  Delingpole later reportedly complained to the BBC that he had been “intellectually raped” by Nurse.”

    The question still comes down to why you would appeal to unqualified people on climate science as opposed to qualified people. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Russ. Your denialist stance remains a losing proposition.

  18. Sam should read Vaclav Klaus.

  19. Todd Juvinall says:

    You should just learn something, anything. You are simply a believer in hoaxes and probably have no ethics or morals. But hey, have fun.

    Oh, and Klaus was never debunked, give us your links on that, oh, you can’t? Just as I thought, another bloviator from the left.

  20. Russ says:


    You are through here until you come up with some evidence that CO2 and temperature are directly connected. You are through here unless you can prove that computer models are a true representation of the real world by backcasting yesterdays temperatures. I am not wasting anymore time, trying to change your religious dedication to AGW. We deal in science here, not religion.

  21. Sam King says:

    You insist on illustrating my points for me, Russ.

    As anyone can see, you haven’t been able to address anything I’ve written or asked of you. That includes the fact that the burden of proof remians on YOUR shoulders; I have nothing I have to prove to you. YOU have to support YOUR claims against the overwhelming science demonstrating AGW is real. It’s pretty clear you don’t have a leg to stand on

    I have only helped you illustrate to your readers by your own example to what denialism looks like in practice. They now know why they cannot trust you to present them with the truth about climate science, that you cannot address your own claims about it.

    If you do not like reality intruding on your fantasy world of conspiracy theories, Russ, you should disable pingbacks. That is how I found your site, through Scholar & Rogues. That way, you can say huddled in your bunker, protected from the cold hard reality that you find so inconvenient to your dogma.

  22. Russ says:

    Good by Sam! You have refuse to justify your claim that CO2 directly influences temperature. You have refused to provide evidence that computer models have been proven to have skill in predicting temperature decades in advance, by backcasting temperatures.

    Until you can provide evidence for both cases you are going to full time moderation. Provide the evidence and I will post if for you.

    • Sam King says:

      This post was moderated and removed for intellectual dishonesty. Mr King has been unable to provide evidence of AGW. Until he does, he will remain in moderation.

  23. mk says:

    “CO2 is not a pollutant.”

    It’s a greenhouse gas, which is transparent to incoming solar radiation but blocks outgoing infrared radiation.

    Russ Replies: And your proof that CO2 blocks out going infrared radiation. If CO2 re-radiates infrared energy it is in all directions, not just back toward earth.

  24. DrCruel says:

    Let me see if I’ve got the argument straight:

    The AGW theory is true, because it has been declared as such. Most scientists believe it explains the climate, because people who support the AGW theory say they do. The theory is so true, in fact, that no supporting evidence needs to be posted here.

    People who say that the AGW theory is flawed are quacks. No matter how many of these people speak up, the are to be assumed to be in a very small minority. The evidence they provide for their skepticism isn’t worth looking at. No matter what their actual credentials happen to be, people who deny the AGW theory are either (a) immoral, unethical charlatans, (b) minions of the oil companies, (c) too stupid or ignorant to understand the science or (d) motivated by some combination of these elements.

    Like all the other past ecological terror scenarios that have come before (such as, for example, the imminent return of an early Ice Age proposed by “a majority of scientists” back in the 1980s), the culprit behind our imminent doom is the activities of people and corporate entities that make profitable products. The only solution – the ONLY solution – that will forestall global catastrophe is one that takes these profits and give it to environmentalists and intellectuals associated with the ecological movement. Any other conclusion is not only unthinkable, but puts into serious jeopardy the very fate of life on this planet.

    Have I gotten the argument down properly? Did I miss anything important? Has anyone else ever heard this story before?

    Russ Replies: You arguments would hold more water if you provided some evidence to support your claims. You might want to check out his blog post and maybe refute the results: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/04/ushcn-surface-temperatures-1973-2012-dramatic-warming-adjustments-noisy-trends/

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