'The mostly non-scientist proponents of climate hysteria realize that distant forecasts of remote problems by inadequate models are unlikely to motivate people to shut down modern industrial society. They, therefore, attempt to claim that we are seeing the problems right now. Of course, the warming that has occurred over the past 200 years or so, has been too small to have been a major factor. However, objective reality matters little when it comes to propaganda – where repetition can effectively counter reality.'

Monday, 23 July 2018

Climate Panic Puzzle Partly Pinned Down

The astonishing, and depressing, success of the climate alarmism 'movement' has long been a puzzle to me.  The explanation of it may well take decades to settle down on a widely agreed version, not least since so many academic disciplines are involved, and many not so academic drives to gain power and wealth are there too. 

But a puzzle well-described is a puzzle more likely to be solved.  On the science sides of the puzzle, the role of the so-called climate scientists has been evocatively captured by a chap called Smolin looking at another field that shares with climate studies a severe shortage of good or adequate data.  Here are his observations as presented by the oceanographer Carl Munsch (hat-tip Judith Curry):

From one point of view, scientific communities without adequate data have a distinct advantage: one can construct interesting and exciting stories and rationalizations with little or no risk of observational refutation. Colorful, sometimes charismatic, characters come to dominate the field, constructing their interpretations of a few intriguing, but indefinite observations that appeal to their followers, and which eventually emerge as “textbook truths.”
Consider the following characteristics ascribed to one particular, notoriously data-poor, field (Smolin, 2006), as having:
1. Tremendous self confidence, leading to a sense of entitlement and of belonging to an elite community of experts.
2. An unusually monolithic community, with a strong sense of consensus, whether driven by the evidence or not, and an unusual uniformity of views on open questions. These views seem related to the existence of a hierarchical structure in which the ideas of a few leaders dictate the viewpoint, strategy, and direction of the field.
3. In some cases a sense of identification with the group, akin to identification with a religious faith or political platform.
4. A strong sense of the boundary between the group and other experts.
5. A disregard for and disinterest in the ideas, opinions, and work of experts who are not part of the group, and a preference for talking only with other members of the community.
6. A tendency to interpret evidence optimistically, to believe exaggerated or incorrect statements of results and to disregard the possibility that the theory might be wrong. This is coupled with a tendency to believe results are true because they are ’widely believed,’ even if one has not checked (or even seen) the proof oneself.
7. A lack of appreciation for the extent to which a research program ought to involve risk.
Smolin (2006) was writing about string theory in physics. Nonetheless, observers of the paleoclimate scene might recognize some common characteristics. 
Note that string-theory is part of theoretical physics, a field noted for having a high proportion of very bright scientists.  Contrast that with the field of climate science, noted for being a somewhat ramshackle collection of often self-identified 'experts' from fields not known for high intellectual challenges such as geography, computer coding, weather forecasting, and planetary science.
The task of helping those who have been through the school system over the last 30 years, and those entering it soon, will be made easier the more insight we have into the causes of the Climate Panic.  Helping with what?  With the dismal, destructive, degrading, distorting world view that mankind is doomed thanks to industrial progress and the associated production of carbon dioxide.  There is not a shred of convincing evidence or argument for that view, but it seems widely adopted in political, media, and academic circles.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Warmism 2 is upon us - a new wave of scaremongering around CO2 to sustain the 'golden shower of research grant money'

JR writes:

'The evolution of global warming theory

I have not seen any explicit comment on this but it seems that there has been a large change over the years in what Warmists try to scare us with. There has been a Warmism 1 and a Warmism 2.

Warmism 1 is the Warmism of Al Gore, with sea level rises of 20 feet drowning most coastal cities. That was certainly scary and warranting of urgent action. But it was most implausible. 96% of the earth's glacial ice is in Antarctica and even at the continental margins the temperature there is many degrees below zero. So a few degrees of temperature rise might melt some sea ice but nothing more would happen. Melting sea ice cannot raise the sea level.  So where was the required great volume of water going to come from? Mars?

Warmism 1 had another fault as well. It assumed a most implausible effect of clouds. It said that warming would be gradual until the cloud cover became much more extensive than it now is. And there is no doubt that a warmer world WOULD have more clouds as more water evaporated off the oceans.

But Warmism 1 at that point made two great theoretical leaps. They said that the increased cloud cover would warm the earth when clouds in fact normally cool the earth by blocking out the sun. But let's glide over that point and accept their assumption that clouds would warm us. The Warmist at that point makes another great leap. He says that at some point a "tipping point" would be reached so that warming would suddenly accelerate and we would really roast.

Normally, when scientists try to predict the future they make a straight line extrapolation from existing trends. But Warmism 1 aborts that.  Because of the tipping point, the past is no longer a guide to the future. Things will get a lot hotter very suddenly. They will get much hotter than they would under a normal extrapolation from the past. So while scientific prediction of the future is possible in some instances  -- by looking carefully at the past -- Warmism 1 abandons that and makes a prophecy based purely on speculation.

I have tried to tell the story of Warmism 1 as straight as I can but I think its implausibilities are nonetheless obviously gross. And, although it has never been formally abandoned by anyone, it has quietly faded away from most Warmist discourse. It is, for example, years since I have heard anything of the tipping point. 

So Warmism 1 has been replaced by Warmism 2.

Warmism 2 is much less fantastical. It has reverted to the normal scientific method of predicting the future by extrapolations from the past. There is no Deus ex machina that causes warming to suddenly leap. It hypothesizes a steady process of warming at some specified rate. But finding that rate is the issue. Vast guesses about what CO2 does are used to get a rate.

Different authors assume different rates and the actuality always seems to be less than any predicted rate. So the accepted rate of warming has trended steadily down in the face of all the predictive failures.  So under Warmism 2 we will have a temperature rise of only about 2 degrees Celsius and a consequent rise in sea levels of inches, not the yards predicted by Al Gore.

But that is rather boring. It is hard to frighten people with just a few inches of sea level rise so a whole new industry has arisen which says that the few degrees of predicted warming will lead to catastrophic weather events -- hurricanes etc. But even that is a dead end as dramatic weather events considered overall do not seem to be increasing and may even be decreasing.

So Warmism has in a way disappeared up its own back passage. It no longer has any pretence of science behind its warnings of doom. It is merely an example of telling a big enough lie often enough so that less informed people will believe it. And while it continues to give scientists a golden shower of research grant money, the myth will be maintained -- JR.'

'JR' is John Ray, an astute Australian commentator on the climate alarm scandal.  His 'Greenie Watch' blog postings are invaluable.  The above text was posted there on 2nd April, 2018.  See: http://antigreen.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/the-evolution-of-global-warming-theory.html#links

Note added 3 April 2018.  For useful background on the gestation of part of Warmism 2, see: http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2018/04/climate-change-trial/

Friday, 23 March 2018

Three Cheers for 'Human Achievement Hour'

The disgraceful panic over rising CO2 levels has led to many harms, not least to the mental well-being of children, and the physical well-being of just about everyone.  The jejune 'Earth Hour' is but one manifestation of the rot that has spread into many groups, organisations, and even governments.

Celebrate 'Human Achievement Hour' instead:   https://cei.org/humanachievementhour

Or, how about 'Energy Hour':  https://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/earth-hour-is-phoney-energy-hour-is.html

And the 'must-read':   https://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/i-abhor-earth-hour-abundant-cheap.html

Note added 24 March.  Jo Nova calls for  'Power Hour':   http://joannenova.com.au/2018/03/fight-the-forces-of-darkness-celebrate-powerhour-tonight/
'It’s your chance to show your commitment to fighting the forces of darkness.'
Note added 25 March.  Mark Morano's site provides more links to sensible responses to the 'Earth Hour' lunacy:  http://www.climatedepot.com/2018/03/24/star-treks-william-shatner-promotes-earth-hour-darkness-but-he-is-rebuked-by-forces-of-light/

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Inch by Inch, Row by Row, Make the Climate Rascals Go

Here's a slightly modified first verse of an even more heavily modified 'Garden Song' which I put together about 5 years ago:

Inch by inch, row by row
Make the climate rascals go
All it takes is to check, don'tcha know
For their claims are so unsound.

And here is a recent example on WUWT of what people can find when they check climate-alarm-campaigners' scare-stories about climate.  There is surely great scope for including such examples in school textbooks as and when the climate alarm fad fades away and the whole sorry farce can be studied in ways to help children and adults recover from the propaganda onslaught they have endured.

'... Climate Alarmist have over time gone from focusing on Global Warming, to Climate Change to simply fear of Carbon. Thus, this research sought to determine the credibility of Ten (10) very frequently cited Climate Alarmists Claims.

Below are Rebuttals to each of these ten typical climate alarmists’ claims. The rebuttal authors are all recognized experts on their topic and each rebuttal demonstrates the claim fallacy by merely citing the most credible empirical data.

Claim #1: Heat Waves are increasing at an alarming rate and heat kills
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Heat Waves

Claim #2: Global warming is causing more hurricanes and stronger hurricanes
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Hurricanes

Claim #3: Global warming is causing more and stronger tornadoes
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_CA – Tornadoes

Claim #4: Global warming is increasing the magnitude and frequency of droughts and floods.
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Droughts and Floods

Claim #5: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Wildfires

Claim #6: Global warming is causing snow to disappear
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See:  EF_RRT_CA – Snow

Claim #7: Global warming is resulting in rising sea levels as seen in both tide gauge and satellite technology
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_CA – Sea Level

Claim #8:  Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice loss is accelerating due to global warming
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Arctic, Antarctic, Greenland

Claim #9: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification, which is catastrophically harming marine life
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_CA – Ocean pH

Claim #10: Carbon pollution is a health hazard
For Rebuttal and Author Credentials See: EF_RRT_AC – Health'

More from the WUWT article:

'On February 9, 2018, The Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC) submitted a fifth Supplement to their Petition to provide additional new highly relevant and credible information. (See:EF CPP Fifth Supplement to Petition for Recon FINAL020918 ) It relates to variables other than temperature describing the Earth’s Climate System. '

Monday, 19 February 2018

Clearing up the Mess produced by Climate Alarmism: watch out for Nolans and Baizuos.

The damage done to children and other vulnerable groups by the climate alarmists has yet to be quantified and assessed, but seems likely to be deep and extensive.  Here is one recent example: young women, whose entire education could have been contaminated with climate alarmism, are agonising over whether or not to have children:  http://wgntv.com/2018/01/31/climate-change-is-impacting-some-womens-decisions-to-have-children/

This blog will continue to report on people and materials that can help those who wish to repair such damage over the coming decades.

Here are a couple of types of people who will get in the way of such efforts: nolans and baizuos.

NOLAN /di’khe’d/ A bigoted blowhard, someone unwilling to listen to other points of view, someone who thinks they have licence to cast moral judgement upon others, someone who makes a show of being independently minded, intellectually rigorous and scrupulously impartial but is in fact someone who toes the party line and is in reality no more than a PC ‘bot’ churning out the Liberal Establishment orthodoxy whilst suppressing inconvenient facts. Alternate /J.O’Brien/

BAIZUO.  'The word 'baizuo' is, according to political scientist Zhang Chenchen, a Chinese word that ridicules Western “liberal elites”. He further defined the word “baizuo” with the definition “People who only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”. The term has also been used to refer to perceived double standards of the Western media, such as the alleged bias on reporting about Islamist attacks in Xinjiang.  The use of the word “Baizuo” could be an insult on the Chinese Internet.'
'Baizuo' is apparently pronounced 'buy-tshwaah'

Monday, 8 January 2018

Repairing the Damage to Children Caused by Climate Alarmists: letters from Ross McKitrick and Richard Lindzen

It seems the high school students mentioned in the previous post sent their 5 questions to other distinguished climate authorities, not least to Ross McKitrick and to Richard Lindzen.  Both have made their replies public.  Here is the one from McKitrick:

Five questions from students about climate change
Ross McKitrick January 2018

'In late 2017 I was contacted by a group of students at a high school in Europe asking if I would answer some questions on climate change for a project they were working on. Here are the questions they asked, and the answers I gave them.

1. What is behind global warming? Over the last 150 years there have been influences due to strengthening solar output, land-use changes, increased greenhouse gases and natural variability, among other things. The dominant school of thought in climatology is that rising greenhouse gas levels explain most of the overall warming trend since the 1950s. There are good reasons to support this, although the climate system is too complex to assume the matter is settled. The mechanisms by which the sun affects the climate are not well understood, nor are the mechanisms behind clouds, ocean-atmosphere interactions and other basic processes. The relative lack of warming in the tropical troposphere and over the South Pole are not easily explained under the theory that greenhouse gas levels dominate the climate system.

2. What can we do to prevent global warming? If it is a natural process, nothing. If it is mainly due to rising greenhouse gas levels we need to ask instead whether we would want to prevent it. It would require complete cessation of fossil fuel use, which would cause intolerable economic and social costs and would only yield small changes in the time path of global warming for the next century or more. Even large-scale emission reductions (such as under the Paris and Kyoto treaties) would only cause a small slowdown in the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100, so any benefits from such policies are likewise tiny, yet the costs would be enormous. The small warming that took place since the early 20th century was largely beneficial, and the astonishing social and economic benefits associated with cheap fossil energy far outweighed any problems it might have created. It is likely that this will be true over the next century as well.

3. If we don't do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants? Humans flourish in every climate on earth from the tropics to the polar regions. We are very adaptable. The only issue is whether changes take place so quickly that we cannot adapt, but history shows this to be a rare situation. Climate processes are slow, and if the climate models are correct, the changes are gradual and predictable. People can adapt to warming conditions more easily than to cooling conditions. The IPCC predicted that over the next hundred years, changes in economies and technology will have a much larger effect on peoples' lives than changes in climate.

4. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable? There is no chance that greenhouse gases will make the Earth unlivable. If an asteroid hits, or another ice age begins, or something like that, then we face catastrophe. But the question essentially asks, what happens if we all die? The answer is, we all die.

5. How can we save Earth if it isn't too late? To ask the question is to reveal that you greatly overestimate your size in relation to the Earth. We could not ruin the Earth even if we tried, nor could we save it if it faced ruin. Our planet is a remarkably adaptable and robust home. We don't live in a giant china shop where everything is fragile and breakable, it's more like a playground where everything is made to withstand considerable wear and tear. Over the Earth's history the amount of CO2 in the air has typically been 2-10 times higher than at present yet the plants, animals and oceans flourished. Much of the past half million years have been ice age conditions which wiped out life on the northern continents, yet it always came back as soon as the ice retreated. If you take the view that the ordinary human pursuit of prosperity and happiness will somehow destroy the planet you will end up adopting an anti-human outlook. This is both a scientific and an ethical error. Set your sights on a more modest scale, by trying to be a good citizen and be helpful to the people around you, and you will make much better decisions than if you are thinking in terms of faraway abstract categories like saving the Earth.

Good luck with your studies.'

Downloadable from here:   https://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/5questions.pdf

Unfortunately, the Lindzen reply is behind a paywall, here:

Hat-tip for both to SEPP: http://www.sepp.org/twtwfiles/2018/TWTW%201-6-18.pdf

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Repairing the Damage to Children Caused by Climate Alarmists: a letter from Ken Haapala

Anyone on the look-out for materials, ideas, approaches that could help repair the emotional and intellectual damage caused to children (and vulnerable adults) by climate alarmists?  This letter from Ken Haapala of SEPP seems to me to be a good contribution in the right direction:

'Letter to Dr Singer from students in Denmark asking important questions:

We are starting a project next week and the topic is "change". We have chosen the subtopic "global warming"
Do you have the time to answer a few questions in writing?
1. What is behind global warming?
2. What can we do to prevent global warming?
3. If we don't do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants?
4. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable?
5. How can we save Earth if it isn't too late?


Dear Students:

Dr. Singer was not available to answer your questions. I have worked with him for the past seven years, and he approved this response to you.

You ask some very good questions, which require answers with some detail. Science advances by asking good questions, providing answers that may or may not be correct (guesses), then testing the guesses against all hard evidence, that may or may not support it. If the strongest evidence does not support the guess (the hypothesis), then the guess must be discarded or changed.

The climate has been warming and cooling for hundreds of millions of years. For over two million years, the globe has usually been cold, with long ice ages interrupted by short warm periods of 10 to 15 thousand years. We live in one such warm period of about 10,000 years. The longer periods of cooling (and shorter periods of warming) have been explained as resulting from a changing of the orbit and tilt of the globe in relation to the sun, known as the Milankovitch cycles.

Within the generally-warm past 10,000 years, there has been shorter periods of modest warming and cooling. During a warming period, agriculture began and with it, civilization. The most recent cooling period is known as the Little Ice Age. It occurred between about 1300 to 1850 and was very hard for those living in Northern Europe and China, where we have written records. In Europe, many died from starvation and associated diseases because crops did not ripen. The Nordic settlements in Greenland were wiped out. Great storms occurred in the North Sea, killing thousands of people living in the low countries. It is thought this cooling period was caused by a weaker intensity of the sun, which resulted in increasing cloudiness and corresponding cooling.

Understanding what is behind the current warming of the last century or so, requires a complete understanding of what created periods of warming and cooling over the past 10,000 years, which we do not have. The earth’s climate is extremely complex. It can be described as the result of two fluids in motion interacting with the land. The fluids move in response to the heat generated daily by the sun.

One of the fluids is the ocean, which transports heat on the surface from the tropics to the poles, where it escapes into the atmosphere and to space. A famous surface ocean flow is the Gulf Stream, which keeps Northern Europe much warmer than the corresponding latitudes of Canada. The other fluid is the atmosphere, which transports heat from the surface to the upper troposphere by convection, from which heat can escape to space by radiation. We simply do not understand the movements of fluids sufficiently well to explain exactly how these systems work.

Adding to the complexity is the rotation of the earth, which changes the intensity of solar energy hitting any specific location on the globe. That varies both daily and seasonally, which adds to the ever-changing motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. It may take hundreds of years before these complex motions are fully understood.

In answer to your question: What is behind global warming? We simply do not know in detail, but can guess, then look at the evidence.

Over 100 years ago, scientists wondered why the surface of the earth does not cool as rapidly at night, as many thought it should. An explanation, since then well tested, is that some gases in the atmosphere delay the transport of heat from the surface to space, keeping the earth warmer at night. These gases are called greenhouse gases, the most important of which is water vapor. Deserts, with low atmospheric water vapor, cool more rapidly at night than humid areas at comparable latitude.

A lesser greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide which humans emit by burning fossil fuels. But research by different laboratories have shown that adding carbon dioxide to today’s atmosphere will cause only a small warming, nothing to fear.

Prior to the time when satellite measurements began (1979), the surface thermometers that indicated warming were largely on land, mostly located in the US, Western Europe, and other Westernized areas. The coverage was not global. Surface temperatures may indicate what is occurring in the atmosphere, but are influenced by many other human activities such as building cities, land clearing, and farming. For over 38 years, we have had the benefit of accurate temperature measurements from satellites that cover nearly all the earth, including oceans.

Meanwhile, computer models, known as General Circulation Models, have been used with relatively little success. Built into them is the assumption that the slight warming caused by CO2 will be amplified into a much greater warming due to water vapor. The principles of the scientific method demand that real data from observations be used, and for a computer model to be valid, it must reproduce the observed data. Any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases will be stronger in the atmosphere than on the surface.

Satellite measurements of temperature trends in the atmosphere have been studied intensely, including even tiny corrections for drifting orbits. Furthermore, the temperature trends are double-checked by using four different sets of atmospheric temperature measurements, taken with different instruments, carried by weather balloons; and all closely agree. Now stretching over 38 years, these show a modest warming trend.

From this evidence, we can conclude that: unless compelling evidence indicates otherwise, the warming influence of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, has been greatly overestimated; efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will not prevent global warming; carbon dioxide-caused warming will be modest; and the Earth will not become unlivable from carbon dioxide warming. Life began on this planet when the atmosphere was far richer in carbon dioxide, and far poorer in oxygen, than it is today.

Starting in 1972, Landsat satellites have been taking images of the earth. They show that the earth is greening with increasing carbon dioxide, becoming richer for life. Thousands of experiments show food crops grow better in atmospheres richer in carbon dioxide than the atmosphere today. Indoor plant nurseries routinely increase the carbon dioxide concentration of their air to three to four times that of today’s atmosphere.

Through the wonder of photosynthesis, using energy from the sun, green plants convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and carbohydrates (food). All plants and complex animals depend on this food. We should praise carbon dioxide, not fear it.

To directly answer your questions:

  1. What is behind global warming? We don’t know exactly, but based on evidence, greenhouse gases are not the main cause.

  1. What can we do to prevent global warming? Nothing. The main cause is natural variation, which we cannot prevent.

  1. If we don't do anything about it, how does it affect us and our descendants? You and your descendants will live in a world richer in carbon dioxide, which is a benefit to plants, the environment, and humanity.

  1. What will happen in the future, and what are the alternatives for us, if the Earth becomes unlivable? Life began on earth with the atmosphere many times richer in carbon dioxide than today. The earth will not become unlivable from carbon dioxide-caused warming.

  1. How can we save Earth if it isn't too late? The earth does not need saving, but it needs good stewards. You can help by not polluting with trash, not wasting energy, and living healthy lives.

Best wishes,

Kenneth Haapala, President
Science and Environmental Policy Project
December 22, 2017'

Source: http://sable.madmimi.com/c/16467?id=468806.21087.1.702e167e90d3764e59f9302489c6a55f