John Izzard: A retrospective on the life and work of John L Daly

Posted: September 6, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, alarmism, books, climate, data, solar system dynamics

It’s 10 years since the death of John Daly, but we forgot to mark this decadal anniversary back at the end of January. Here is the article by John Izzard originally published at in 2009, which looks back at his life and work. If anyone has a copy of his book “The Greenhouse Trap” please let me know. Google and Amazon aren’t interested (and probably think n0-one else should be either).

John L. Daly (31 March 1943 – 29 January 2004)

Daly-picYesterday I visited John L. Daly’s tiny office where he lived on the outskirts of Launceston. It is about the size of two telephone boxes. His wife, Amy, has kept is just as it was when John died in 2004. His computer, his files, the maps on the wall — his notes, letters, photographs and dairies. She has also kept alive his web-site which he was still updating at the time of his death.

Looking at his scientific work today gives an insight into why the people at the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit were so annoyed with Daly’s work and why he was such a thorn in the side of their climate theories and research.

Daly was a pioneer in the questioning of global warming theory when the rest of the world was taking little interest in the issue. In the year the IPCC was formed under the shelter of the UN (1988), and a year before Margaret Thatcher gave the IPCC her blessing, Daly was writing a scathing book on what he called the myths and politics of the Co2 scare campaign.

Entitled The Greenhouse Trap— Why the greenhouse effect will not end life on earth., the book, published in 1989, clearly laid out what would be the crucial arguments later presented by the IPCC. To each and every argument Daly countered with his own arguments, questioning the “orthodox” science.

Greenhouse-TrapHe was perhaps the first to point out and identify, in his book, what he called “The Armageddon Syndrome”, “The False Prophets”, “The Cult of Experts”, “The Science of Non-Communication” and pounded away at “The Burden of Proof”. His chapters on “How Nigh is the End” and “Spotty Sun, Pimply Earth” and “The Ice-Man Cometh” combine a sense of irony with surgically-precise scientific argument.

His charts and diagrams look eerily like those presented today. His predictions of dodgy computer modelling have a spooky ring to the present day questioning ofmodelling science, and indeed the notion of “self-fulfilling prophesy” that seem to be at the heart of present day scepticism of the IPCC’s modus operandi.

And what John Daly seemed to recognised back in 1989 was that it wasn’t the “almost 90% certain” part of the climate-change science that needed to be examined, questioned and rigorously debated, but the remaining 10% that was in doubt. That 10% of doubt is avoided like the plague, with climate scientists using every available device to stop research and debate. Spin, ridicule, lies, deceit, destruction of evidence, avoidance of oversight and character assassination are now clearly on the record for future historians to mull over.

Name any funding, by any government or academic institution, that is designed to examine the 10% of doubt.

John Daly was born in Bournemouth, UK in 1943. He followed his father’s occupation and joined the merchant navy as a radio officer in the Blue Funnel Line. He and his family migrated to Tasmania in 1980 where he eventually became a lecturer in economics at Launceston College. In a kinder age he would have been considered a ‘Renaissance Man’ being self-taught in a range of earth and climate sciences. No-one financed John L. Daly’s research. It all came out of his weekly wage.

Daly’s last great battle with the “science-is-settled coalition” was over a small line and arrow carved into a rock on the shoreline of the Isle of the Dead, at Port Arthur, Tasmania.

daly-port arthur-l

The 1841 sea level benchmark (centre) on the `Isle of the Dead’, Tasmania. According to Antarctic explorer, Capt. Sir James Clark Ross, it marked mean sea level in 1841. Photo taken at low tide 20 Jan 2004. Mark is 50 cm across; tidal range is less than a metre. © John L. Daly. If the benchmark is difficult to see, try these.

It was placed there by the Antarctic explorer Captain James Clark Ross in 1841 to mark the Mean Sea Level in Tasmania.

The marking venture was approved, curiously, by the Governor of Tasmania at the time, Sir John Franklin. Franklin was later to become the Arctic explorer who died trying to find the Northwest Passage.

Daly’s research uncovered flaws in claims made by scientists that the Isle of the Dead base-line mark proved a rapid rise in sea levels. Daly showed this to be wrong. Scientists then tried to claim that Ross was marking the high tide level. Again Daly proved this to be wrong. The latest claim by climate scientists is that the Isle of the Dead is “Rising” up out of the sea, so the mark is misleading. Really!

After looking at the website she still maintains and the material that Amy still keeps – the nasty, snide letters and emails from IPCC members and other scientists, the evidence of the endless efforts to destroy his reputation – it seems ironic that the man the IPCC scientists so disliked, and tried to destroy, has now come back to haunt them. The comment by the Chief Scientist at CRU, Phil Jones, on learning that Daly was dead — “… in an odd way this is cheering news” — was not one of the great moments in scientific endeavor.

Daly’s life was perhaps best summed up by Professor Emeritus John Brignell of the University of Southampton who said at the time of his death in 2004:

No matter how long you live on this planet, the shock of sudden death never seems to lose its potency. One moment someone is a vital presence that you are inclined to take for granted, the next they are gone. Daly was the epitome of a new phenomenon of the post-scientific age, a lone scholar with all the traditions of meticulous attention to detail and truth that the word implies, with limited means upholding the principles of the scientific method in the face of adversaries with vast resources. He usually won, but the establishment media ensured that the world never got to hear of it. He was the eternal small boy gleefully pointing out that the emperor had no clothes.

What a pity so few in Australia recognised the work of John L. Daly. What a pity so few know about it.


  1. Bob Greene says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    John Daly’s website was one of the best.

  2. Thanks to Ami John’s wife for keeping the web site( ) going (Ernst Beck’s daughter is keeping going). I was looking at both these sites before climategate but the Jones email in the climategate LEAK (by a honest person at UEA ) focused me to download many of John’s posts particularly the one on sea-level at Port Arthur. I had previously obtained from the author the 2003 paper Hunter et al “The sea-level at Port Arthur, Tasmania, from1841 to the present” Geophysical Research Letters Vol40, No 7. This already had disproved the IPCC scares about sea-level rise but John’s work reduced that rise further. There are other Australian sites JoNova, Warwick Hughes (also mentioned in the Climategate emails), and Jennifer Marohasy which are doing great work. You also forgot the work of Dr Bob Carter, and the books of Dr Garth Paltridge ( a Tasmanian who encourged John Daly) and Prof Ian Pilmer

  3. colliemum says:

    It is extraordinary that John Daly’s book (which I regretfully don’t own) has literally vanished from the face of the earth.
    Perhaps someone, somehow, can use an existing copy, and with the agreement of his widow re-produce this as e-book? I’m sure we’d all want a copy!

  4. Richard111 says:

    “”the evidence of the endless efforts to destroy his reputation””

    I hope these persons can be identified and ridiculed when the cold sets in full time.

  5. tallbloke says:

    CF: The people you mention are not forgotten, and if you have any links to summaries of their work I’ll happily post them.

  6. marchesarosa says:

    A copy is available via Amazon from mygrandmasgoodies at $356.19 + $3.99 shipping

    Seems a bit dear!

  7. hunter says:

    A good man who would find the vindication of his perspective provided by time to be very meaningful.

  8. tgmccoy says:

    Thank you, I knew about John, even exchanged E-mails . Hobart and Coos Bay are similar in may ways, he is missed…

  9. @colliemum,
    Publishing it as an ebook should be simple. Why not ask Amy to add a .pdf file to the Daly website so that it can be donloaded?

  10. Phill says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize my book was so valuable! I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve gone back and reread this book. AIso, I found something at [mod: spoilsport –Tim] . It appears to be a downloadable copy but I can’t make it work. Give it a try, if you can’t get it to work, send me an email.

    Cheers Phill (in Melbourne)

    [mod: This is dubious. Broken site. Workaround provides .zip (10MB) appears clean. Inside is .rar very dubious format and proffered links to cloaked password sites.
    For PDF given so many Abobe exploits I don’t trust it. Other formats, still are exploits. Plain text is not proffered. –Tim]

  11. Paul Vaughan says:

    Recently I read some of Davis & Brewer’s work on LIG & LTG (latitudinal insolation gradients & latitudinal temperature gradients). They cited a branch of the literature I had not previously encountered. It all began with Paltridge in the 1970s. I’m still sorting through a small mountain of papers on entropy, turbulence, & boundary constraints. It’s quite helpful for learning the terminology used in other fields, thus aiding efficient cross-disciplinary communication. Results I’ve shown on sunspot integral & solar cycle deceleration can be viewed and interpreted through this framework. I’ll share some highlights whenever I finish compressing redundancy. Having now (belatedly) encountered this seminal work by Paltridge, I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen it brought up and discussed more on climate blogs. Tomas Milanovic is the only climate commentator I can recall touching on these themes.

  12. tchannon says:

    Comment from Tim about the book.

    Staying on the right side of the law is wise, particularly so given hostile third parties.

    Bantam Books are today part of the Random House group. I think they are sitting on significant sales for a reprint, time is right but they are not going to be thinking about an ancient tiny seller.

    What his widow can do I think depends on the original contract.
    There might or might not be computer readable copy.

    Maybe the legal owner of the copyright can waive sole rights. How to do this would be very useful information.
    I have a similar problem, a late relative who founded an organisation authored a book which would still sell or be of interest if copyright is relaxed.

  13. Richard Page says:

    The trick is to retain copyright so that their can be no challenge to ownership, whilst relaxing it enough to allow it to be downloaded or reproduced. Given some of the books they’ve published recently, I can’t see Random House republishing it any time soon.

  14. I wisited John’s site almost daily for several years, and we exchanged some private emails about nature. He was a wise man.

  15. tallbloke says:

    I’ve emailed Random house to ask if ‘The Greenhouse Trap’ could be made a ‘print on demand’ book.

    There is a single secondhand copy from a private seller on Amazon for $356 – ouch.

    Meanwhile, some warmists have published a book under the same title with a ficticious ISBN number as a free epub download ($3 registration)

    It’s all getting a bit Kafkaesque

  16. steverichards1984 says:

    Unless specifically mentioned in his will, the copyright of his book will pass to his widow, and the copyright ‘privilege’ will last 70 years for his death (UK law).

    Many publishing contracts contain paragraphs which will force a living author to offer them first refusal for one or two years after your first book is published (just in case they have a JKR!).

    They usually have a para stating that if, due to demand, they no longer wish to retain the book ‘in print’, they will ‘not unreasonably’ prevent the book to be published/printed elsewhere.

    The only problem I see here is if the widow does not have a copy of his original ‘proof checked’ material. I suspect in those days, it was all, hand typed, paper only copy. With illustrations on separate A4 or larger single sheets.

    A possibility would be for the widow to authorise/enter a contract for the work to be ‘updated’ with revised content. Perhaps with comments about how many of John Dalys predictions proved true?

    Perhaps a respected person could be contacted to undertake such a task?

  17. Phill says:

    Tim, I have a copy.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Phill: You have mail.

  19. John Knowles says:

    Daly’s book is a brilliant intro to the field and carries two critical diagrams relating to the “fingerprint” frequencies of the various IR absorbing gases. Still today I find many people are lost when it comes to understanding why CO2 density is such a small factor in determining temperature.
    It would be beneficial if the Daly family could arrange an e-book.
    Richmond, NSW, Au stocked one copy and I’m glad I purchased my own as I have often referred to it.

  20. Paul Vaughan says:

    In memory of honest pioneering climate explorers who toiled before us:

    • Absolute Deviation of Osculating Length of Earth-Moon Year with respect to Solar System Barycenter (days)
    • Bidecadal ERSSTv3b2 (°C)

    (more details forthcoming if/when Talkshop hosts a “Bidecadal Oscillation” workshop…)

    Best Regards

  21. tallbloke says:

    Anytime you’re ready Paul. 🙂

  22. Paul Vaughan says:

    If I remember correctly, it was John Daly’s site that first directed my attention towards Landscheidt’s work, which was one of 2 key factors (the other was local ~1930 precipitation patterns) originally inspiring me to carefully explore solar & climate data.

    • Velocity of Sun with respect to Solar System Barycenter (SSB)
    • Solar Hale Cycle rotated 1/4 cycle
    • Bidecadal Sea Surface Temperature (SST)

    An aim here (obviously) is to encourage careful comparison & contrast of Nicola Scafetta’s & Tim Channon’s bidecadal suggestions.

    There’s a connection with Earth’s Chandler wobble that I’m sure TalkShoppers will appreciate. I’ll let further details trickle out during a discussion devoted explicitly to bidecadal oscillations. I hope TB will give Ian Wilson, Nicola Scafetta, & others advance notice that we’re planning such a discussion so they can prepare to contribute. I think there’s good potential here to have a really productive, classic Talkshop-style discussion, especially if we stay engaged slowly over a period of a few weeks rather than trying to rush the discussion over a few days.

    Best Regards