Dilbert Creator Scott Adams on Climate: "Hockey Stick is a Symbol of Lying"


Dilbert creator Scott Adams sees the climate change "hockey stick" for what it is, a pack of lies.

Scott Adams Will Save the World

Adams has an excellent video on climate change.

He says that hockey stick graphs are "the most famous symbol of lying in the world".

Yet, if you think the video is an attack on science you are mistaken.

The video is not really about climate change at all. It's about persuasion and what it takes to get people to change their minds.

Both Sides Lying

Adams thinks, as do I, that both sides may be lying. Certainly, both sides overstate their case. The question is to what degree, and about what.

In the video, Adams states he genuinely is unconvinced about climate change science. So am I, even though it may not seem like like it.

What Does a Comic Writer Know?

So, what does Adams know about climate?

The same as me, perhaps a bit more or perhaps less, which is to say, not much, at least compared to climatologists. But I can smell lies. So can Adams.

Art of Persuasion

Adams knows a lot about persuasion. The Dilbert comic strip itself is about persuasion. Adams is a master of persuasion.

Adams points out that the tactics used to persuade the young and naive are not the same tactics that are needed to persuade older businessmen.

When 97% of people agree on something that is genuinely unknown or debatable, I am inclined to take the other side, as is Adams.

He gives many examples of strong agreement. Some of them are humorous.

In the economic world we see the same thing. Fed governors believe they know something for sure, but their models blow sky high all the time.

Climate Change Religion

Climate change has become a religion. That makes persuasion all the harder.

Adams asks an interesting question: What would it take to get you to change your mind?

What the Hell is NASA Hiding?

I know that I changed a few people's minds based on emails following my post Climate Change Religion and Related Cover-Ups: What the Hell Is NASA Hiding?

Adams didn't discuss data suppression but that is clearly another red flag.

Hockey Stick

For excellent commentary on the above comic strip, please see the Watts Up With That article ‘Mikes Nature Trick’ Revisited- @ScottAdamsSays edition.

My problem with WUWT and many other deniers is the site tends to cherry pick things out of articles, sometimes a bit out of context. But both sides do that.

Many confuse weather (what's happening now), with climate change that happens of millions of years.

Six Red Flags

Adams mentioned three red flags on climate change. I have at least three more to add.

  1. Hockey Stick Graph
  2. Prediction Models
  3. 97% agreement
  4. Suppressing or Hiding Data
  5. Changing the Data or the Data Sources
  6. Constantly changing the model to explain what's happening

Climate change scientists have been caught red-handed lying and manipulating data.

When data is not to their liking, the climatologists find another source, suppress the information, or change their model such that the model now predicts what just happened.

If you fail to spot these things, then you simply are not paying attention.

These things do not make the scientists wrong, but it does make them liars.

Play the Video

Please play Adam's excellent video start to finish. It will be 18 minutes well spent no matter what your climate position happens to be.

Once again, the video is not at all about climate change, it is really about persuasion and persuasion techniques.

New Green Deal

AOC wants to spend $100 trillion or so on a "New Green Deal"

I am open to changing my mind about climate. Most aren't.

But I have another angle that Adam's failed to mention.

The notion that politicians will do anything sensible about the problem seems ridiculous.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (74)
No. 1-15

It used to be called global warming and then 1998 was really hot and was warmer than the next 18 years, so they renamed it climate change. And now, every time there's bad weather, it's blamed on climate change. The theory has switched to more weather extremes. Something vague that can't be quantified. It can never be proven right or wrong. What kind of science is that?

There are a lot of places on earth, so it's almost always guaranteed there will be bad weather somewhere. We had the mildest tornado season ever in 2018 and it's never mentioned.

I think the earth is slowly warming and rising CO2 levels are contributing, but stating with certainty the results of it is asinine.

Also, the 97% statistic is very misleading. Google it to find out why.


The politics are the government needs another stream of income and now they have this thought that they can tax to help with climate change or appropriate dollars where they will be used so beneficially for us all. This is just like the the war on terrorism. This war will never be over there will always be terrorists so they will always need money and the right to look at everything so as to protect us against this terrible threat. It's the never ending war to distract us from their inability to get the "job done" in so many other areas. The day we eliminate terrorism will be the day it begins there have always been terrorists and they will always be. The prefect war! Climate change is the perfect cause never ending!


I have a question for climate change deniers: Where did all that carbon that got buried in the ground in the form of oil come from during the Jurassic Period?


How can anyone lose with 'climate change'?

If it gets hotter, we told you so.

If it gets colder, we told you so.

If nothing happens, it is because of the changes we made.

As for climate is what happens over millions of years? That's wrong. Written history recounts numerous occasions were climate changed over the period of mere centuries, witness the Vikings in Greenland.


While I think Scott Adams is an intelligent and sincere man, I would not put all of my eggs in one basket. While Tony Heller may be a prominent critic of global whatever, I would not be totally persuaded by any such debate.

In regards to Generation 4 nuclear power, it is still pretty much experimental and at least a decade for real world implementation. That all depends on whether it pans out as feasible. That's a big 'IF' at this point.

I would direct anyone to a very quantitative piece written in 2011 by Lisa Zyga on Phys.org. It is titled "Why nuclear power will never supply the world's energy needs" Sadly, it is very persuasive with numbers. Pesky numbers.


So here is a pretty simple way of thinking about the physics of climate change for non-physicists. Climate deniers like to say that the only reason scientists are on the climate change bandwagon is because they can make lots of money from government grants. Okay, let's say that's true for arguments sake.

What about the other side of that coin? Suppose you could definitively prove, through physics and math, that AGW was false? Would there be any money in that? If you could prove that, could you sell that knowledge for a few cool billions to say ExxonMobil or the Saudi's? I know if I ran a big oil company I'd pay anything for that proof.

And yet there hasn't been a single scientist able to pull that off. In the entire world. Not one. Why not?

Could my mind be changed? Absolutely.

  • Just show that specific bands of infrared radiation don't cause molecular dipoles in greenhouse gases.

  • If that doesn't work, just show that there isn't any real growth in greenhouse gases.

  • If that doesn't work, just show that human burning of fossil fuels hasn't created enough new greenhouse gases to cause that growth.

Just show that any one of those is true, and you're rich beyond your wildest dreams. Unless, of course, there is some liberal, socialist conspiracy to withhold that information from our dear friends in the oil and coal businesses.

But most people ground their truth in their ideology, not, um, truth.


You have to wonder if when Mish needs to amp up his comment numbers with "The Maven" he throws a little denier drivel out there (carefully wrapped in "I'm no scientist, but I can divine the truth with my intestinal superpowers").


It doesn’t matter if Mish or Scott Adams don’t believe in Global Warming, Climate Change, or even extreme weather. Just as it wouldn’t matter if they thought the earth was flat. It won’t change the facts.

Climate change is already costing the world a lot and it is only going to get worse. It is estimated that roughly two-thirds of these costs are borne by the US. This makes you think that the US would be the party most interested in working with other countries to help solve the problem. Instead, the Trump administration is denying the problem even exists.

Please note that I am not predicting the “End of the World”. I am simply saying that there will be increasing costs resulting from Climate Change. At some point, these costs will become too large to ignore.


I'd like to see the world get a little warmer. It would lengthen the growing season in the two largest countries, Canada and Russia, which are too cold for humans to flourish in. Warmer climates tend to have more moisture.

Growing plants, including crops, consume more CO2 which would tend to mitigate the effects of 'excessive' CO2 (about 1/25 of 1% of the atmosphere).

Unfortunately, however, the world is not likely to get any warmer due to human activity in the near future, because human population is set to decline in Europe, North America, Japan and China and eventually everywhere.



"It won’t change the facts."


"Climate change is already costing the world a lot and it is only going to get worse. "

How the hell do you know? Did you not play the video?


What would change my mind to support AGW? I would support AGW if the skeptics were given sufficient funding to try to prove their case. Maybe allocate 20% of the Global Warming research budget to skeptics and agnostics. Call them the "Red Team." Let them go head to head with the entrenched "Blue Team." I think there are plenty of scientists who are capable of working on this issue that would jump at the money. I don't have any doubt that a "Red Team" group of computer modelers could demonstrate that greenhouse gases actually cause global cooling. Only after seeing both types of models can we have a real debate about which model to believe.

I would suggest that we take the same approach with the anti-vaxxers. The NIH should set aside a small pool of funds to support legitimate medical research that tries to prove that vaccines cause autism, or whatever. Give them some money and say "put up, or shut up."


“These things do not make the scientists wrong, but it does make them liars.”

I’ll drink to that.

I want these clowns to relinquish the right to label themselves as scientists. They are liars. They do to truth what a wrecking ball does to a condemned building.


Liars can figure, but figures don't lie.


I listened to a 2-hour podcast with Scott Adams and Sam Harris a couple of years ago. I've seen Adams present, and also know people who know him. The guy is a very insecure jerk.

The whole hypnosis angle and influence fetish is his desperate attempt to be the cleverest person in the room. Sam Harris gave him a level playing field and he couldn't stop himself manipulating the medium - which was pointless because nobody was trying to trip him up.

I don't recommend the podcast unless you want to see how sad this pathetic little man is inside. If I hadn't been on a long road trip with some buddies I'd have switched it off. It was very sad.


While I appreciate the reframing of the argument I am not convinced it will lead to a solution. If you spend enough time you can find good scientific evidence to support that there is a problem, though perhaps not exactly as typically stated, and that we have only a well educated guess as to what is going to happen from here over the long term. All is not lost though as there are some fundamentals about how the system works that both sides can agree on. The natural step got scientist to gather exactly this: http://archive.grrn.org/zerowaste/4steps.htm While I have little hope in our current elected officials solving any of these problems, I am actually am quite excited about AOC's GND at least in the sense that it is used to build consensus for backcasting (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeDm-HTFuiY&list=PLEXqjIYY5zi6hWCvm5idXYLH2Qtv7fT-f&index=6) to what our goals are. If government is going to even pretend to serve the people it should at least have public debates over what the next generations, up to say 7 generations in the future, goals are (even if this is initially framed in the context of climate change). The further out the more emphasis should be given to the younger generations that will be living in those times. If you want the the millennials to buy into really working towards a future it will have to be their future not one created for them by the baby boomers. Yes they are going to make mistakes, its not like we haven't made a few, but they will also come up with solutions that are beyond our imagination because we firmly believe they are not possible.

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