Debunking the Deniers of Global Warming
Cohen’s proposed $5,000 bet denying “Global Warming”
An example of
Roger Cohen is out of touch with reality when he claims
No “global warming for well over 10 years now”
1) A (retired) Exxon Mobil executive’s attempt to use money to
promote his personal agenda. (Which is to denying “Global
Warming”.) Roger Cohen’s former position at Exxon Mobil was
“Manager, Strategic Planning & Programs”
2) What appears to be biased reporting by a small town newspaper
to further promote this denial agenda
Summary of the
On Jan. 26, 2008 the Durango Herald published a large
front-page story (Front page portion was 3 columns wide and over a
foot long) describing a “Global Warming” denial bet challenge by
Roger Cohen. (A retired Exxon Mobil executive)
Apparently “Opinion articles” had been exchanged
between Roger Cohen and other parties on the Durango Herald’s
Opinion Page (which is where these arguments should have stayed),
but on Jan. 26, 2008 the Durango Herald published a large front
page article that promoted Roger Cohen’s agenda of denying “Global
Warming”. The article included the following statement by Mr.
Cohen in regard to other posts that had appeared on the Opinion
“If they’re willing to write letters but not bet,
they shouldn’t be taken seriously.”
The top heading for the front-page newspaper article was “No one
warms to his challenge” followed by a large picture of Mr. Cohen
prominently holding a $5,000 check. A subtitle to the article
stated “Durangoan willing to bet $5,000 Earth won’t be hotter in
Articles that promote an individual’s agenda do not
belong on the front page of a newspaper. When a newspaper does
this, it is biased reporting.
As for Roger Cohen (the retired Exxon Mobil
executive), his behavior is typical of past Exxon Mobil behavior.
“Don’t bother us with the facts, just use money to see if you can
force a particular agenda.”
If an issue has merit, it should be supported by
evidence; and particularly, documentation of this evidence should
be backed up by references. For example, references should include
Internet links and/or research articles published in credible
Instead of using evidence, Mr. Cohen’s modus operandi
Exxon Mobil) is to try to use money to force an issue. Mr. Cohen’s
motivation appears to be “I’m right because I can bet $5,000”.
Public policy regarding the causes and consequences of “Global
Warming” / “Climate Change” should not be decided by bets by
someone who has an ego problem.
Response to Roger Cohen’s Bet
I have sent E-mails to Roger Cohen and the Durango
Herald indicating that I would take the other side of the bet, but
with conditions attached. These conditions require that 1) the
Durango Herald must give equal newspaper space to evidence that
“Climate Change” / “Global Warming” is occurring, 2) the Durango
Herald must allow me to copy material that appears in the
newspaper including posting the information on Internet web pages,
and 3) that 10-year averages are used as a measure that “Global
Warming” is taking place. The text of Roger Cohen’s bet (as sent
to me via an E-mail), and my response follow.
Text of Roger
Cohen’s Proposed Bet
A public wager on climate change
Herald readers have had the opportunity to discern the
flimsiness of the climate catastrophe case and to witness
catastrophe advocates’ anger against those who disagree and
their reluctance to debate technical issues. If advocates
remain confident of impending climate catastrophe and firm in
their belief that worldwide government interventions are
urgently needed, they will seize the opportunity I offer here.
I offer a public wager of $5,000 that the Earth will be
cooler in 10 years.
❂ The wager is open to one individual or group of
individuals. If more than one individual or group is
interested, I will choose one and notify the others.
❂ The determining metric will be simple: whether the
global average temperature for the year 2017 is higher or lower
than 2007, as determined by the authoritative “HadCRUT3” data
set (Climatic Research Unit, U.K.), or its successor.
❂ Funds will be deposited in an escrow account. Interest
earned will be paid to the escrow agent.
❂ There will be a simple written agreement between the
parties (I will pay legal counsel to prepare), and the parties
will sign an escrow agreement relating to the deposited funds.
❂ My winnings will be donated to a local charitable
organization promoting science education.
The wager is aimed at focusing attention on the critical
issue: future climate and our ability to predict it. The United
Nation’s climate panel relies on computer models for its
projections and predicts that the Earth will likely be warmer in
10 years. The wager involves actual global climate data – no
computer predictions, cherry-picked anecdotes, appeals to
“majority opinion,” distortions of fact, or unfounded
No excuses. If the amount is too high, advocates can run
a fundraiser. If it seems low, propose a different amount. Want
a different data set? Propose one. Trying to divert attention to
those “nasty energy companies” and similar smokescreens will
only emphasize the weakness of your position.
Parties should respond by mail – P.O. Box 3162, Durango
81302 – within 20 days of this publication. If no one responds
by that time, there will be no wager.
Roger W. Cohen, Durango
(Sent to both Roger Cohen and Dale Rodebaugh of
the Durango Herald)
On Jan. 26, 2008, the Durango
Herald ran a front page story about a bet offer by Roger Cohen
under the story title “A chilly response”. I would like to take
the other side of Roger’s bet, but there would be some
First, the temperatures of record must be the 10 year averages
from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies for their
“Global Temperature Land-Ocean Index”. (The front 10 years would
the 10-year average from 1997 to 2006 (up-to-date displayed
data) while the end 10 years would cover 2007 to 2016).
Charts showing the 5 year average temperatures for this index
can be seen as the red line at:
2) The Durango Herald must give me a written guarantee that it
will give me (or anyone that I chose as a delegate) equal
coverage to Climate Change evidence. In particular, this must
include a front page story in the Durango Herald that has the
same size coverage as the “A chilly response” article that the
Durango Herald published on Jan. 26, 2008. This coverage will be
independent of any subsequent coverage of the bet and must
include a picture of the above graph. (And be of comparable
3) I regard Roger Cohen as an Exxon spokesman who is part of the
“Denial Machine”. I also think that the Durango Herald has been
very one-sided in its coverage of Roger Cohen’s assertions. If
this goes forward, I will also need written permission from both
Roger Cohen and the Durango Herald that I may use copies
(without restriction) of any material on this subject that may
be printed in the Durango Herald. This permission must also
include allowing me to use the material as part of Internet web
pages. Internet web pages will be similar to a page that I have
already posted on the Internet.
“The Great Global Warming Swindle” is itself a Fraud and a
If these conditions are acceptable to both Roger Cohen and the
Durango Herald, it should be relatively simple to work out the
rest of the details. Note: I am perfectly willing to have my
“winnings” (if I win) also go to charities. (What would be funny
is that there’s also a remote chance that both Roger Cohen and I
support the same charity.)
Update as of 4 PM MST Jan. 28, 2008: Subsequent correspondence
with representatives from the Durango Herald indicates that they
have a long-standing policy that does not allow me or anyone else
an unrestricted right to copy their copyright material. Thus the
conditions for the bet from my side can not be fulfilled, and for
my part, the bet is no longer relevant.
The photograph to the
right shows Roger Cohen prominently displaying his tentative
$5,000 check. It clearly illustrates what is most important to Mr.
Cohen. As per usual for Exxon Mobil executives (even retired
ones), it is an example of their attempts to use money to promote
an agenda - and bypass scientific accuracy in the process.
The original article in the Durango Herald appeared under the
following headline: (Headline and photograph were 3 columns wide.)
A chilly response
Durangoan willing to bet $5,000
Earth won’t be hotter in 10 years
By Dale Rodebaugh
Herald Staff Writer
Note: The photograph is a copy of the photograph displayed at http://theclimatebet.com/category/roger-cohen/
. It was not copied from the Durango Herald’s website or from the
original article that appeared in the Durango Herald. Click
to see the web version of the original Durango Herald
article. (The original link is not active. An archive can be seen
The final version of the bet will compare the average temperature
anomaly for the years 2005 to 2007 vs. what happens from 2015 to
Added Sept. 29, 2014:
The graph above is updated monthly and shows temperature anomalies
as tabulated by NOAA/National Climate Data Center ( https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-references/faq/anomalies.php
Roger Cohen continues to claim that the earth is cooling. (For
example, see Roger Cohen’s letter to the editor at http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20110415/OPINION03/704159945/Nature-not-listening-to-climate-alarmists
) Realty shows that the earth is continuing to get warmer. It
would appear that Roger Cohen is out of touch with
reality. Mr. Cohen should pay attention to the scientists.
End of Sept. 29, 2014 addition.
The “Deniers” usually use “Cherry Picked” local data
that has been selective edited (or even outright falsified) for
their arguments, but it is important to remember that “Global
Warming” evidence is based on “Global Data”. If at any time that a
“Denier” shows a temperature chart as part of his assertions, it
is highly probable that it has been edited, culled, or otherwise
distorted such that it does not represent the true historical
If you restrict a temperature comparison to a single
year vs. another single year 10 years later as per Roger Cohen’s
bet proposal, the short term random variations (“noise” and
“static”) will obscure the trend. If you are going to use single
years for comparison (not the world’s best metric), then a much
longer time period should be used. For example, if Roger Cohen’s
proposed bet used a 100-year time spread of 1909 vs. 2009; then
the difference in the two temperatures would be more
representative. But then again, the “Deniers” aren’t
interested in the real trend. They are only interested in
promoting their own agenda.
Who is winning
The final terms of bet state that if the average
temperature for 2015 to 2017 is warmer than the average
temperature for 2005 to 2007, then Roger Cohen loses the bet.
Guess who is going to “eat crow?
Jan. 1, 2016
As of Dec. 24, 2015 Roger Cohen has conceded the bet.
‘We’ve all lost’ in bet about
climate change, says Durango man
Data forces skeptic to concede bet on warming temperatures
There is one positive aspect that separates Rodger Cohen from most
other Deniers. He has demonstrated an ability to recognize
of Global Warming
The most obvious evidence that
Global Warming exists is provided by the glaciers.
The originals of the above photographs can be seen at: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF17/1731.html
The (historic) Muir Glacier is an extreme example,
but there are many other examples. (If you have Google Earth on
your computer, go to 59.012N, 136.163W and look slightly west of
due north to generate a view similar to the views above.)
Wikipedia has an extensive article documenting
glacial retreat around the world including several “then and now”
photographs. As documented in the article, glacial retreat has
accelerated since 1990. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850
A Google image search using << glacier “global
warming” >> returns hundreds of thousands of
photographs/images showing glacial shrinkage due to Global
The twin photographs above can be seen at http://glacierchange.org/2011/11/mendenhall-glacier-2011-update/
show what is happening to Juneau, Alaska’s most famous tourist
attraction – the Mendenhall Glacier.
bets by the “Deniers”
Finally, it seems that betting that the earth will
not undergo “Global Warming” seems to be somewhat of a fad among
the “Global Warming Deniers”. If you run a Google search
using < “Global Warming” bet
>, you will get hundreds of thousands of hits. Apparently, the
deniers believe that making lots of noise and generating lots of
controversy is a substitute for evidence.
Some examples of other publicity bets by the
“Climate change sceptics bet $10,000 on cooler world”
“Betting on Climate Change - It's time to put up or shut up -
Ronald Bailey | June 8, 2005”
“A professor at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of
business has challenged Al Gore to a bet over global temperatures.
The bet is for $10,000”
“If you think it's a no-brainer that humans are causing
catastrophic global warming, here's your opportunity to earn an
easy US $150,000.00!”
“Richard Lindzen's "Climate Bet"”
Typically these bets are rigged by the “Deniers” to
give themselves a huge advantage. For example, Richard Lindzen
(above) wants 50 to 1 odds on the amount for his bet. As for the
“JunkScience.com, in its sole
discretion, will determine the winner, if any, from UGWC
entries. All determinations made by JunkScience.com are final.”
They of course will keep the $15 you as the “sucker”
forked over in order to enter the rigged bet. Then the
“Deniers” claim that they must be right as no one accepted their
OK “Deniers”. How about a bet on a 100 year time
interval? Let’s use the 100 year span from 1909 vs. 2009 as
measured by the NASA GISS Land - Ocean Index. And to make the
stakes interesting, how about an even odds bet for let’s say
(Note: The above “proposed bet” is presented as a parody. However,
if Mr. Cohen would really like to go out on a limb, and if a
reliable third party would like to run the operation, then the
possibilities for a real bet exist.)
Update Jan. 30,
The two pictures above show “Print Screen” excerpts
from a Jan. 27, 2012 “Global Warming Denier” article in the online
copy of the Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html
The highlighted portions include the statement “Perhaps the most
inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10
and Roger Cohen’s signatory agreement
Also note that Kevin Trenberth’s statement doesn’t
say that there has been a lack of warming for over 10 years. The
“over 10 years” phrase was manufactured by Global Warming Deniers,
and then falsely attributed to Mr. Trenberth. A real scientist
would check his data source before quoting it, but checking data
sources is conveniently bypassed if your job was “Manager,
Strategic Planning & Programs” at Exxon Mobil and your primary
interest is political tribalism.
Let’s take a look at what has really happened during the last
“well over 10 years”.
The picture above shows the global temperature record
through the end of 2015 as measured by GISS. (GISS = Goddard
Institute for Space Studies which is a joint research facility by
NASA and Columbia University. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/about/
) The graph shows that global temperatures have continued to rise
with 2015 being the warmest year on record. Updated versions of
the graph can be seen at: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/
The picture above shows the global temperature record
as measured by NOAA. The NOAA temperature data base shows a
similar rising temperature trend. The graph above can be seen at:
The third major compiler of climate information – the
“HadCRUT global temperature dataset” – also shows 2015 as
the warmest year in recorded history.
(Note: It is likely that these records will be broken during the
next “El Nino” event.)
Finally, The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study
analyzed 1.6 billion temperature records to draw their own
independent conclusion of what has been happening to the earth’s
temperature. The graph above (from http://berkeleyearth.org/analysis/
) shows their results along with those from GISS, NOAA, and the
Hadley Climate Research Unit. All 4 organizations show similar
Does Roger Cohen use these datasets, or does Roger
Cohen resort to misrepresentation for his assertion of “Perhaps
the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well
over 10 years now.”?
Thermometers (whether manufactured or natural) record
changes in temperature by the expansion (or contraction) of a
liquid. In a manufactured thermometer, if the temperature of the
liquid becomes warmer, the volume of the liquid expands and forces
a portion of the liquid to go up the stem of the thermometer. The
height of this expansion is measured via a printed scale on the
thermometer which gives us a temperature reading.
The world’s oceans are a natural liquid thermometer.
If the water in the world’s oceans becomes warmer, it will expand
upward - the same phenomenon that we observe in manufactured
thermometers. Also, if warming takes place on land, glaciers will
melt and this contributes additional water. Thus a rising sea
level is a natural measurement that the earth is warming.
The graph above shows changes in the world’s sea
level as measured by satellite radar altimetry. Up to date
versions can be seen at http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php
As seen in the graph, sea level has continued to rise
in recent years. The volume of water in this “ultimate
thermometer” has continued to expand due to thermal expansion and
glacial melting. The “ultimate thermometer” is showing us that the
world continues to warm.
As stated on the http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdLiarsIndex.html
“Global Warming Deniers claim that
Global Warming is a hoax/fraud/scam.
They lie, they are willfully ignorant, and they are wrong.”
Roger Cohen signed a statement stating:
the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for
well over 10 years now.”
Switzerland’s World Glacier Monitoring Service
The graph above shows the cumulative change in mass balance
(volume) of 40 reference glaciers and the change in worldwide
glaciers since 1980. The rate of decline in ice volume has become
worse since 2000. If there has been a “lack of global warming for
well over 10 years now.”, what is causing the world’s glaciers to
takes stock of Earth's melting land ice”
“Using satellite measurements from
the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate
Experiment (GRACE), the researchers measured ice loss in all of
Earth's land ice between 2003 and 2010, with particular emphasis
on glaciers and ice caps outside of Greenland and Antarctica.
The total global ice mass lost from Greenland, Antarctica and
Earth's glaciers and ice caps during the study period was about
4.3 trillion tons”
If there has been a “lack of global warming for well over 10 years
now.”, what is causing the world’s glaciers to melt?
Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway wrote a book –
“Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the
Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming”. The
review from “Publishers Weekly” states: “Oreskes and Conway tell
an important story about the misuse of science to mislead the
public on matters ranging from the risks of smoking to the reality
of global warming.”
The picture above is a Print Screen copy of Roger
Cohen’s review of the book as posted at Amazon.com. The review was
posted August 18, 2010. Roger Cohen’s “carefully composed”
“Never mind that the world hasn't warmed for more
about 15 years.”
This pushes back the “claimed date” for “the world
hasn’t warmed for more about 15 years” to 1995. Please compare the
documented evidence of glacial melting and sea level rise with
Rodger Cohen’s statement.
Roger Cohen has changed his Amazon ID to Rwc, but the above
“review” can still be seen at:
Roger Cohen (and others): “the Earth has been cooling for ten years”
July 1, 2009 Open Letter to Congress
Another denial statement by Roger Cohen
demonstrating his ignorance of reality
Roger Cohen and William Happer coauthored the paper
“Understand Climate Science Before Making Climate Policy” which
was published by the George C Marshall Institute. http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/889.pdf
The following quote is from page 3 of this paper:
“Existing climate models have
failed to predict the course of global temperature or identify
an observed greenhouse gas fingerprint. Counter to model
predictions and in spite of increases in atmospheric CO2, Dr.
Cohen argued there has been no statistically significant global
warming since around 1995 and in fact, the oceans have cooled
slightly since 2004.”
The statement “Existing climate models have failed to
predict the course of global temperature or identify an observed
greenhouse gas fingerprint.” is a willful misrepresentation of
what has been observed. The “fingerprint” for Global Warming” (due
to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide) is stratospheric cooling.
This has been observed. http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html
Climate models predict Global Warming.
Temperature measurements show that the earth is warming. GISS,
NOAA, and CRU (latest revision – see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/03/updating-the-cru-and-hadcrut-temperature-data/comment-page-1/
) all agree that 2005 and 2010 are the warmest years (so far) in
For years, climate models have predicted that the southwestern U.
S. will become drier.
(Please see “Transition to a more arid Southwest” (and related
technical paper links) at http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/drought/science.shtml
) In 2010 the water level in Lake Mead dropped to its lowest level
since it was being filled in the 1930s. The 2012 snowpack in the
Rockies is again way below normal.
The oceans continue to warm.
As shown by NOAA (http://ibis.grdl.noaa.gov/SAT/SeaLevelRise/LSA_SLR_timeseries_global.php
and CSIRO (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/sl_hist_last_15.html
), global sea level is at record levels and continues to rise due
to thermal expansion and glacial melting. Why does Roger Cohen
(who claims to be a scientist but in reality is a retired
executive from Exxon Mobil) continue to deny real observations?
Real science is based on verifiable observations and
data. What and where are the observations/data for Roger Cohen’s
“Perhaps the most
inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10
As I noted earlier:
“Global Warming Deniers claim that
Global Warming is a hoax/fraud/scam.
They lie, they are willfully ignorant, and they are wrong.”
Where does Roger Cohen fit in?
Warming has not slowed when “Cherry Picking” is eliminated
Many Global Warming Deniers (including Roger Cohen)
assert that warming stopped after 1998. They “cherry pick” 1998
(which had an abnormally strong El Nino) as their starting point.
The following charts have been copied from the
“Global temperature evolution 1979–2010” research paper by Grant
Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf. The article can be seen at:
The authors of the research paper used mathematical
techniques to adjust raw temperature observations for El Nino/La
Nina, volcanic aerosols, and solar variations. When these shorter
term variations are removed from the raw temperature data, the
underlying trend is clearer. The illustrations and text below are
taken directly from this research paper.
(From the research paper)
This analysis confirms the strong influence of known factors
on short-term variations in global temperature, including
ENSO, volcanic aerosols and to a lesser degree solar variation.
It also emphasizes that LT temperature is affected by these
factors much more strongly than surface temperature.
Perhaps most important, it enables us to remove an
estimate of their influence, thereby isolating the global
warming signal. The resultant adjusted data show clearly,
both visually and when subjected to statistical analysis, that
the rate of global warming due to other factors (most likely
these are exclusively anthropogenic) has been remarkably
steady during the 32 years from 1979 through 2010. There
is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global
warming, beyond the variability induced by these known
natural factors. Because the effects of volcanic eruptions and
of ENSO are very short-term and that of solar variability very
small (figure 7), none of these factors can be expected to exert
a significant influence on the continuation of global warming
over the coming decades. The close agreement between all
five adjusted data sets suggests that it is meaningful to
them in order to produce a composite record of planetary
warming. Annual averages of the result are shown in figure 8.
This is the true global warming signal.
October 24, 2015
As of April 20, 2015, Roger Cohen was still denying that the
climate is warming.
The Print Screen picture above is from Judith Curry’s webpage at:
The comment is by Roger Cohen with the highlighted text saying:
“there has been no global warming for nearly two decades”
The comment is signed:
“Roger W. Cohen, Fellow, American Physical Society”
We are living in a world where most people acknowledge reality
while other people live in an “alternate reality”.
Also, please see:
The “Global Warming Stopped” Lie
November 29, 2015
Roger Cohen isn’t the only Global Warming Denier in
the household. Roger’s wife, Lorraine Yapps Cohen, writes a right
wing-nut column for the San Diego Conservative Examiner. She is
also willfully oblivious to the evidence that the earth is
(Click on the above picture for a large version.)
In the Nov. 28, 2015 Examiner, Lorraine Cohen said:
“The experimental data in the climate change case shows no warming
for the last two decades.”
Now take another good look at what has been actually
happening. (Temperature data, photographs and mass balance of
glaciers, rising sea level, etc.)
Lorraine Cohen has persisted in her delusions even
with 2016's spike in global temperatures.
“1. No recent warming
Nothing busts a myth better than facts. For the record – and
there is one – global temperatures have not risen for more than
San Diego Conservative Examiner
May 31, 2016
For what it’s worth, despite all of Roger and
Lorraine’s “patriotism” to “Save America”, neither has bothered to
vote since 2008.
Cohen’s data source is:
Rules for How to be a Denialist
1) Allege that there's a conspiracy. Claim that scientific
consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the
accumulation of evidence.
2) Use fake experts to support your story. “Denial always starts
with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a
facade of credibility,” says Seth Kalichman of the University of
3) Cherry-pick the evidence: trumpet whatever appears to support
your case and ignore or rubbish the rest.
4) Carry on trotting out manufactured “evidence” even after it has
5) Create impossible standards for your opponents. Claim that the
existing evidence is not good enough and demand more.
6) If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded, move
7) Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking
measures are Nazi.
8) Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then
knock down your straw man.
9) Manufacture doubt. Falsely portray scientists as so divided
that basing policy on their advice would be premature.
10) Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when
"dissenting" arguments or experts are rejected.
And above all, make lots of noise.
“If you tell a lie long enough, loud enough and often enough, the
people will believe it.”
-------attributed to both Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels
For more information on Roger Cohen please see:
Also please see:
Great Global Warming Swindle” is itself a Fraud and a Swindle
The “Global Warming Stopped in 1998” Lie
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