Communicating uncertain climate risks

Note to NSF: It isn’t the method of communication, it’s the message itself. See the latest Gallup Poll to see how global warming aka climate change has come in dead last for environmental concerns.

The authors of a recent Perspectives piece in the journal Nature Climate Science say it is not enough to intuit the success of climate communications. They contend the evaluation of climate communication should be met with the same rigor as climate science itself. Here, someone uses the 220 megapixel HiPerWall display at the University of California, San Diego to discuss 10 time varying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change simulation runs. Credit: Falko Kuester, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), University of California, San Diego

From the National Science Foundation

In wake of recent shifts in public opinion, researchers analyze climate change communication

Despite much research that demonstrates potential dangers from climate change, public concern has not been increasing.

One theory is that this is because the public is not intimately familiar with the nature of the climate uncertainties being discussed.

“A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential” climate change, says a new Perspectives piece published today in the science journal Nature Climate Change.

The article attempts to identify communications strategies needed to improve layman understanding of climate science.

“Few citizens or political leaders understand the underlying science well enough to evaluate climate-related proposals and controversies,” the authors write, at first appearing to support the idea of specialized knowledge–that only climate scientists can understand climate research.

But, author Baruch Fischhoff quickly dispels the notion. “The goal of science communication should be to help people understand the state of the science,” he says, “relevant to the decisions that they face in their private and public lives.”

Fischhoff, a social and decision scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Nick Pidgeon, an environmental psychologist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom wrote the article together, titled, “The role of social and decision sciences in communicating uncertain climate risks.”

Fischhoff and Pidgeon argue that science communication should give the public tools that will allow them to understand the uncertainties and disagreements that often underlie scientific discussion. He says that understanding is more likely to happen when people know something about the process that produces the conflicts they hear about in the press.

“Communications about climate science, or any other science, should embrace the same scientific standards as the science that they are communicating,” says Fischhoff. He says this is crucial to maintaining people’s trust in scientific expertise.

“When people lack expertise, they turn to trusted sources to interpret the evidence for them,” Fischhoff says. “When those trusted sources are wrong, then people are misled.”

Fischhoff and Pidgeon propose a communications strategy that applies “the best available communications science to convey the best available climate science.” The strategy focuses on identifying, disclosing and when necessary reframing climate risks and uncertainties so the lay public can understand them easily.

“All of our climate-related options have uncertainties, regarding health, economics, ecosystems, and international stability, among other things,” says Fischhoff. “It’s important to know what gambles we’re taking if, for example, we ignore climate issues altogether or create strong incentives for making our lives less energy intensive.”

Key to effective communications is what the authors call “strategic organization” and “strategic listening.”

Strategic organization involves working in cross-disciplinary teams that include, at a minimum, climate scientists, decision scientists, social and communications specialists and other experts.

Strategic listening encourages climate scientists, who often have little direct contact with the public, to overcome flawed intuitions of how well they communicate. Strategic listening asks scientists to go beyond intuitive feeling and consider how well they communicate by using systematic feedback and empirical evaluation.

“I think that it is good for scientists to be in contact with the public, so that they can learn about its concerns and see how well, or poorly, they are communicating their knowledge,” says Fischhoff. “That way they can do a better job of producing and conveying the science that people need.”

###

Fischhoff’s research on science communication is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Decision Risk and Management Sciences program.

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118 thoughts on “Communicating uncertain climate risks

  1. “They contend the evaluation of climate communication should be met with the same rigor [mortis] as climate science itself”

    Does that means that they are going to make up and evaluate their own lies and not just rely on the old dead lies from climate scientologists.

  2. If they had told the truth about “uncertainties” fifty years ago, and stuck to it…

    …they would not be in this mess right now

    Of course, then, neither would we…………………;-)

  3. What a waste of time and money. We need best communication science to convince people about BeSt climate science … how impressive.

  4. “they contend the evaluation of climate communication should be met with the same rigor as climate science itself.”

    Mission accomplished! Woo, that was easy, wasn’t it.

    This entire article is a simply a large pile of nonsense that translates to “the proles don’t believe us, so obviously we failed to adequately factor in their stupidity when tailoring our message.”

  5. The warming camp outspend the skeptic camp by 10 to 1. And they are not getting their message out?

  6. Yeah, I read that. It was an interesting piece, acknowledged some of the problems, but again missed the boat completely.

    They still think the issue is bad communications … someone ought to explain to them about the credibility problem of the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    Because clearly they think the Boy’s problems would be simply solved by giving him a bigger megaphone and some instruction in speaking methods and framing and better communication strategies …

    w.

  7. It’s not a communication problem, but a awful/bad science problem. Repeating constant failures sticks up like a sore thumb and the public increasingly notice the planet not responding to far from reality predictions. Repeating the same mantra with angry and arrogant tone is a sure sign of something not going to plan. Good science speaks for itself, is noticed and is not required to be shoved down peoples throats on a daily basis. When this happens it is a sign of the product not reaching the right qualities, so desperation in sale of the product occurs. The public increasingly catch on to contradictions, bad product and normally when something like this happens the warning signs appear in big scary letters. ‘KEEP AWAY’

  8. ‘Few citizens or political leaders understand the underlying science well enough to evaluate climate-related proposals and controversies,” the authors write, at first appearing to support the idea of specialized knowledge–that only climate scientists can understand climate research.’
    ———————————————————————

    What a load of tosh this whole article is. In effect it is saying that people can’t see through BS. Well Baruch Fischhoff and Nick Pidgeon you better learn to understand that people are well versed in seeing through BS – it has been a means of human survival for aeons. Your argument is a bit like the people who profess to have the ONLY hotline to god. So stop wasting your time.

    Douglas

  9. “Communicating Uncertain Climate Risks; Like, there’s Certain Climate Risks ??

    The essence of risk is uncertainty.

    And we do know the level of uncertainty. The IPCC standard fudge factor is 3:1 ; or nominal +/- 50% for those statistically minded, and needing a spread.

  10. In the above post, should be not generally a communication problem. There is one exception and that is the alarmists often calling us deniers and hiding away from the true science that both divides actually disagree with. This prevents progression of science and stagnates debate. We know climate changes, the planet has warmed, but the issue is how much from natural factors, environmental changes and human CO2. Whether these will or will not contribute enough to cause humans serious problems in future.

  11. Follow the money. As long as funding and research grants are exclusively pro global warming alarmists with no balance for the converse view. The opinions of those who would challenge or question those funded findings will be labeled as Sceptic not understanding the science.

  12. “When people lack expertise, they turn to trusted sources to interpret the evidence for them,” Fischhoff says. “When those trusted sources are wrong, then people are misled.”

    Certainly they aren’t admitting that the IPCC et al. might have misled?

    And, am I the only one to suspect that the “risks and uncertainties” are going to lean heavily on the risks and not so much on the uncertainties?

  13. Guess they need someone to read that gibberish scrawled on the wall..

    “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin”

  14. Climate science communications had yet to overcome three major obstacles:

    1. The climate science “community” was co-opted by the political left and enviro-greenies as the means to their desired ends. Average folks recognize this and because they really don’t relate well to either the far left or extreme green, they tend to discount the message.

    2. The “settled science” tells us that when a gas thats 0.04% of the atmosphere becomes 0.8% of the atmosphere, the world as we know it will end. And the predictions of end of the world are based on computer models built by the group that were dumb enough to be co-opted by the left & greenies. Sorry, but for average folks this is a bridge-too-far.

    3. Because they can’t really explain the science and the uncertainties associated therewith, the climate science community spends most of its time and research dollars dreaming up one catastrophe after another. Problem here is that “Chicken Little” and “Boy Calling Wolf” aren’t the best of spokesmen — they’re fairy tales.

    And, I forgot….there’s this little thing called Climategate.

    I think their communication problem would be helped if people stopped paying attention. Maybe they should just keep quiet for a while.

  15. As many of you know the Australian Government has employed scientists to promote the need for a carbon dioxide tax. They have assessed the need for better communication of the accepted science ie that of the IPCC. It is also imperative that alternative scientific views be banned. That my friends is propaganda.

  16. The only skill required to foist climate propaganda onto people, is the ability to lie with a straight face. They’ve tried celebrities, scholars, and politicians but nobody really believable. For some odd reason, they just can’t make the lies stick. Hmmm, maybe they need to try animals in pathetic situations… No, that didn’t work either. Geez, this is a toughie.

  17. Willis Eschenbach “… someone ought to explain to them about the credibility problem of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. ”

    You should read the story. The wolf was real. The boy failed to communicate the need for practice drills.

  18. Paraphrasing someeone else’s tweet.

    You know what would improve communication about CAGW, If it was true.

  19. From a British Think Tank
    Warm Words :How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?

    “ behaving as if climate change exists and is real”

    “To help address the chaotic nature of the climate change discourse in the UK today, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won, at least for popular communications. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.”

    http://www.ippr.org/publicationsandreports/publication.asp?id=485

  20. What a wonderful idea. Please do communicate – publish your original data, publish the methods by which it was massaged, publish the code for your computer models, maybe even publish those emails that the original whistle blower either missed or did not have access to. I can assure you that it will be carefully read and widely discussed

  21. “Uncertainty” is an interesting way of putting it, almost implying there is some calculated probability of a bad outcome. But there is no such thing. There are runs of climate models which produce different kinds of garbage depending on what garbage is fed in. The climate models predicted increased AO, but lately it is more negative so they are blaming that on lack of ice. What, the climate models didn’t know about lack of ice?

    Genuine uncertainty exists in exogenous factors like volcanoes and solar. But those are things the climate scientists never talk about because they simply don’t care about real uncertainty (that includes cooling), only fake uncertainty from CO2 feedback scenarios like permafrost melting and other century or millennial time scale factors that don’t matter today.

    Climate models are completely inadequate. They don’t adequately model weather especially increases in convection (which is not modeled at all). The problem is not uncertainty but that the models are wrong and can’t predict anything with any level of certainty above a coin toss. As a simple example, it is either 100% certain that the world will warm 5C by 2100 or it is completely impossible. There is no uncertainty in the fundamental nature of weather and climate, only very coarse models that can’t explain or predict anything.

    Uncertainty is a canard. It is a red herring. It is made from fake probability distributions from model runs, or worse, it is invented from “climate expert” opinion surveys. All those nice gaussian-looking probability distributions for temperature or sensitivity? All fake, not based on any applicable empirical data (paleo data is useless since the transition from dry ice age to wet interglacial is driven by water vapor, not CO2). All the long right tails with 10C of warming? Fake. The 5% “probability” that sensitivity is equal or less than a modest 2C? Fake. There is either 100% certainty of modest warming (apart from exogenous events) or 0%. There is no probability distribution derived from anything other than nonscientific methods.

  22. Four basic problems :

    1) You can’t lie about the weather. Everybody experiences it every single day of their lives. If you try and tell them the “world is warming” just after they’ve experienced (as we have in the UK), the coldest December in living memory, they’re going to laugh in your face. Quite right, too.

    2) A lack of confidence in long-term forecasting. If you can’t say, with any certainty, what the weather will do next Tuesday or next month, how the heck to you expect people to believe you when you tell them what it will do in 2060. Play the “weather is not climate” card (which is wrong anyway since climate is merely a long-term statistical expression of weather and, by definition, climate cannot change unless the weather does) all you like, but people (sensibly) are simply not going to buy it.

    3) Over-hyping the problem. Anybody with a grain of common sense knows that the MSM goes out of its’ way to sensationalise everything. It’s what they do. It’s what they HAVE to do. Most people lead very busy lives and, at best, put aside about 5 or 10 minutes to grab their news through sound-bites and headlines. At this point the MSM has to grab their attention, because without that attention they will wither and die.

    The consequence of this is that when any climate scientist speaks to the media, the media tune out all the qualifiers and uncertainties. All they are interested in is the absolute “worst-case scenario” and how many people might conceivably die as a consequence. If they can tell their readership it will all be their own stupid, selfish fault so much the better.

    Needless to say, none of these climate-related “horror scenarios” has ever yet come true, but it is the climate scientist, not the media who were merely “reporting what he/she said” who are made to look completely divorced from reality.

    4. Given that I don’t give a stuff about polar bears (who would eat me for lunch as soon as look at me) and take the attitude that every thing in nature exists because of its ability to adapt to climate changes far in excess of the trivial warming that has supposedly been bought about by a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2, that my ageing bones react increasingly badly to cold weather and that I am facing an astronomical gas bill for the “luxury” of keeping my house at a temperature of 18C for the last 4 months, why should I embrace the prospect that the globe will continue to warm slightly with anything other than enthusiasm?

  23. Nice analogy, Willis.

    My opinion is shifting. I used to think that the Climate Catastrophe camp just didn’t ‘get it': that they failed to see the issue was a lack of convincing content, not merely shortcomings in the communication. They were so discombobulated by their messages losing traction that they scratched their heads in genuine wonder. They fervently believe CAGW theory to be true, so they were puzzled that others could not see it to be so.

    Now I’m not so sure. It strikes me as remarkable that a large group of intelligent people cannot see that the whole CO2-caused runaway greenhouse theory is so shot full of holes. I mean, it is, isn’t it? How on earth could anyone with a reasonable IQ look at the uncertainties and reliance on assumptions (climate models, for example), the findings that diverge from the theory (e.g relative tropospheric temperatures, decade-plus divergence between CO2 levels and temps), the shaky data (station inadequacies, UHI, Dendro and other proxies), proven scientific ineptitude (Stieg, IPCC, et al) and the clear evidence of at least some manipulative practices in things like peer review and the hockey stick, then say “Hear what you’re saying, but it makes no difference.”

    Rather than give pause, the instincts of most climate catastrophists has been to waffle on about not getting the message through. This is absurd. If there was genuinely sound scientific back-up, the climatologists would be very confident. As in anything, knowledge is power, and being master of the facts gives one supreme confidence: ” Go on – ask me a question. Any question.”

    If I am questioned by anyone, no matter how well-prepped and hostile, on a subject in which I am expert, I’m confident. Because I know the facts, and have a passion for the subject, I enjoy taking the enquirer through the knowledge. It’s important to pitch the information at the right level for them. But if you’re a master of the topic, that’s easy.

    That’s just human nature, right?

    But this doesn’t square with the CAGW alarmist camp at all. They’ve got some smart people in their tent, but there’s a shrill hostility to the way they respond. Or they deflect from addressing the questions raised and do things like this – blame the lack of traction on communication shortfalls.

    I used to think the majority of climate alarmists believed in CAGW theory. They had arrived at it though their study and endeavours and were possibly suffering from a dose of cognitive dissonance. I’m beginning to conclude that a much larger group than I thought know that the man-made CO2 greenhouse theory is by-and-large rubbish. But they don’t care. They know it won’t hold up to serious scrutiny, but they want the ‘outcomes’, so they stick behind it as though it were incontrovertible.

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I am struggling how else to understand this collective case of Emperor’s Clothes Syndrome.

    The end result, naturally, is that the climate alarmists get marginalised by their weird behaviour and failure to acknowledge reality. Clinging to their modelled world of runaway catastrophe, where everything that goes wrong is down to Global Warming, they begin to look more and more odd.

    So my question to WUWTers is, do you think they are just holding out in the hope of bringing their grandiose schemes for global agrarian communism to fruition? (Thinking it will then be too late to turn back.) Or do you think they genuinely believe in the wacky science of climatology?

  24. ‘But, author Baruch Fischhoff quickly dispels the notion. “The goal of science communication should be to help people understand the state of the science,” he says, “relevant to the decisions that they face in their private and public lives.”’

    The people understand the state of the science. They understand that, beyond Arrhenius’ hypotheses about CO2, there is no science. From Arrhenius’ physical hypotheses, one can predict at worst that warming from CO2 will be no more than one degree centigrade. In other words, there will be no dangerous warming even if the worst case scenario occurs.

    Pro-AGW scientists have no science. They have no physical hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict the climate “forcings,” especially changes in cloud behavior, which they say will increase the effects of CO2 and cause dangerous warming. All that the pro-AGW scientists are able to do is extrapolate so-called forecasts from old data and graphs. Extrapolation from data is not prediction and is not science. It does not rise to the level of explanation and prediction. It cannot because it does not employ physical hypotheses.

    Because they have no science, pro-AGW scientists often switch to the so-called Precautionary Principle. They argue that the risks are so great that we must commit to CO2 mitigation policies even though we do not have the science that will permit us to predict the effects of CO2. Yet their strategem contains a hole that one could drive a 747 through. The only reason we have to fear harm from increasing CO2 is that they claim that their science predicts such harm. Yet they have no science, as explained above. One should not worry that that CO2 poses harm when there is no science to support the claim that CO2 poses harm.

    As for their computer simulations of climate, which they erroneously call “models,” the general public knows that computer simulations cannot rise to the level of physical hypotheses and cannot be used for prediction. Obviously, the computer simulations are being used by pro-AGW scientists because they have no science.

    It is time for spokespersons for the pro-AGW position to come clean. When they refer to the science that supports their claims of harm from CO2, they are referring to data and graphs but not to physical hypotheses. Everyone should call the bluff of these spokespersons. Demand that they show their physical hypotheses and the hypotheses’ records of confirming true predictions. Do not take a so-called “expert’s” word. If they can make the predictions, they can provide the hypotheses and the interested layperson can make the predictions too.

  25. I’m beginning to think a plethora of “No thanks, I already have a savior”, “No solicitors allowed”, and “No Trespassing” signs are the only way to get through to these people. And I’m not religious! So read my lips.

  26. Every effort the AGW opinion leaders and believers spend thinking about or working on the idea that it is the packaging of their message that is the problem is a wasted effort.

  27. Mike says:
    March 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    “You should read the story. The wolf was real. The boy failed to communicate the need for practice drills.”

    Close, but no cigar. He failed to communicate that he was calling practice drills without warning and whenever he so desired.

  28. “Here, someone uses the 220 megapixel HiPerWall display at the University of California, San Diego to discuss 10 time varying Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change simulation runs. ”

    What an expensive and totally useless stunt!! I wonder how much the “HiPerWall” cost the poor taxpayers of California…

  29. Very few people in the public understand the theory of relativity, almost everyone believes it. The problem for the AGW crowd is the general public does understand climate change.

  30. Global Warmists: “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!”

    Public: “No it’s not.”

    Global Warmists: “The sky is rapidly descending, the sky is rapidly descending!!!”

    Public: “No it’s not.”

    Global Warmists: “The sky is getting closer, the sky is getting closer!!!”

    Public: “No, it’s not!”

    Global Warmists: “What, are you deaf?”

  31. GixxerBoy says: March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Nice analogy, Willis.

    [My opinion is shifting. I used to think that the Climate Catastrophe camp just didn’t ‘get it’: that they failed to see the issue was a lack of convincing content, not merely shortcomings in the communication—-
    So my question to WUWTers is, do you think they are just holding out in the hope of bringing their grandiose schemes for global agrarian communism to fruition? (Thinking it will then be too late to turn back.) Or do you think they genuinely believe in the wacky science of climatology?]
    ————————————————————————–
    Well GixxerBoy. I have also come to the conclusion that they (the ‘Climate Scientists’) are caught up into a much bigger and more grandiose scheme of things. They really have no say but are forced to maintain this charade to the bitter end, whether they like it or believe it, or not.

    That ‘bigger thing’ is, of course a form of world government. I know this sounds paranoid and so one is reluctant to countenance the idea but when one sees the EU in action with its agenda for control of all of Europe that ultimately renders the powers of its member ‘sovereign’ states impotent, then one is inclined to think that it is possibly true. And then its bigger brother the UN is there doing a similar thing but ultimately on a grander scale.

    And they nearly pulled it all off at Copenhagen but for ‘climategate’. They (the ‘scientists’)are gradually running out of ‘oxygen’ but their ‘masters’ are rolling ahead – no sweat. Just look at the latest EU pronunciation regarding no cars in cities. Totally undeterred by the lack of evidence regarding ‘global whatever it is now’. The agenda is bigger and the scientists mere pawns who have served their purpose. They are irrelevant now. The science doesn’t matter – the story has served its purpose. As they say in politics ‘never waste a good crisis.’

    So, I hate to say it but you might be right.

    Douglas

  32. Fischhoff’s research on science communication is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Decision Risk and Management Sciences program.

    The Decision, Risk and Management Sciences program supports scientific research directed at increasing the understanding and effectiveness of decision making by individuals, groups, organizations, and society. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, doctoral dissertation research, and workshops are funded in the areas of judgment and decision making; decision analysis and decision aids; risk analysis, perception, and communication; societal and public policy decision making; management science and organizational design. The program also supports small grants that are time-critical and small grants that are high-risk and of a potentially transformative nature (see Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER).)
    =============================================

    Moooooooooo……………………….

  33. If the earth’s atmosphere can be made dynamically unstable, why does the earth still retain a very substantial atmosphere over billions of years and in the wake of many destablizing events. For me, they have not made the case.
    When they make the case, communication will take care of itself. I am not holding my breath on this one.

  34. GixxerBoy has it. The key is the word “shrill”. Any time you hear religious or political activists screeching louder and louder and getting hotter and hotter, you’re hearing the characteristic resonance of Cognitive Dissonance.

    It’s the neural equivalent of a dry bearing.

  35. My mother always told me that once you tell a lie, you would eventually get caught. The reason being that you had to lie over and over again in order to support the first lie. You would eventually forget what you had lied about and get caught up in your own web of deciept.

    This seems to be what is happening with the climate debate, or lack thereof. They have distorted the data to support their social agenda and it has finally caught up with them.

  36. That there is a repeated pattern in human history of predicted catastophe. The prediction requires that we (government) must act now to avert the disaster. None of the predictions were later found to be true. The “must act now” action ended up making things worse.

    The key point of the prediction is the “must act now”. A sales gimic, to panic a buyer into taking a bad deal.

    Starting with Hansen, we have been hearing “must act now” for what, 30 years? Surely we have passed the point where we “must act now”, and thus there is nothing to be gained by acting now.

    Just over a year ago in Copenhagen, we heard “the world must act now”. We didn’t, so now it must be too late. Otherwise, what we were told at Copenhagen was a lie. If we had to “act now” at Copenhagen, there can be no reason to act now, as it must now be too late.

    This is what people understand. Only one time can it be true that you “must act now”. These second time you say it, the first time must have been a lie, so why should they trust you the second time.

  37. Winter Arctic ice coverage tied for lowest ever recorded

    Since the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., began tracking sea ice three decades ago, only 2005-06 saw as little ice during a Northern Hemisphere winter — 5.65 million square miles, a tie with this winter.

    Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/03/29/1781404/winter-arctic-ice-coverage-tied.html#ixzz1I2pw4toK

    ========================================
    Tied means there has been no change in the past 6 years….

    Since they can’t hype warming, they are trying to hype tied.

    This is their communication problem.

  38. I thought the public’s understanding of the climate change issues is about as good as it ever will be when that same public’s level of comparative understanding of many other contentious issues is considered.

    A large section of the public has made up it’s mind and another large percentage is well on the way to making up it’s mind on the global warming / climate change issue and they are all steadily trending towards full blown skepticism.
    I also suspect that there is a considerable percentage of the public who may still list global warming / climate change as a serious concern but who do so more for politically correct reasons amongst their peer group than for any firm commitment as to the way they feel about the subject.
    In that case all the extra pro AGW tax payer funded propaganda will now make very little or no difference to the public’s beliefs as the public has already had a two decade very long exposure to the pro AGW extremist hype.
    That public is now just switching off like they do with long running over exposed and increasingly nauseous commercial advertisements when the climate activists who are acting more and more like a quasi religious cult continue to try to force their beliefs onto an increasingly skeptical and cynical public.
    The climate activists seem psychologically and grossly incapable of seeing any good aspects to global warming such as higher food production due to rising CO2 levels, greater bio-mass production across the entire planet, a wetter planet overall and many other really significant advantages for life on Earth with higher CO2 levels and higher global temperatures.
    They just continue on with the same sad old story of an oncoming catastrophe that blames mankind for any so called global warming / climate change and so by implication blames every individual person for being responsible for the always forecast oncoming but never realised climate change catastrophe.

    Nobody likes it when such opprobrium is heaped on them even indirectly and subconsciously for extended periods and that resentment at being constantly branded as being personally responsible, as evil and as destroyers of the climate and the planet by the more fanatical climate activists is at the heart of a lot of the resistance and increasing skepticism to the AGW / climate change catastrophist’s claims.

    And the slowly dawning realisation that the climate warmista activists intend that the ordinary citizen is going to have do without many formerly reliable and necessary services and do without many of the small pleasures of life, to suffer significant drops in their already precarious living standards and to pay and pay for their climate sins if the warmista activists get their way.
    And cynically knowing all the while that those same climate scientists and activists who are promoting this tax payer funded propaganda drive on behalf of their beliefs will not and do not intend in any way to reduce their own standards of living.

  39. And another thing – I hate having to provide for and worry about your children’s children.

  40. “One theory is that this is because the public is not intimately familiar with the nature of the climate uncertainties being discussed.”

    …as if those advancing these theories are themselves “intimately familiar with the nature of the climate uncertainties”.

  41. “strategies needed to improve layman understanding of climate science”

    Suggestion for noble educators:
    Develop understanding first (i.e. before attempting to teach).

  42. “A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential climate change”

    What I can’t figure out is how these people became specialists in trying to explain a double-negative, or worse, a potentially uncertain double-negative. I can’t imagine what their home life consists of.

  43. “Climate Change” will not normally be observed by humans, they only live max 100 years. Most “climate change” occurs over thousands of years. Weather events may occur over 7-11 years, probably due to solar events.

  44. “All of our climate-related options have uncertainties, regarding health, economics, ecosystems, and international stability, among other things,” says Fischhoff. “It’s important to know what gambles we’re taking if, for example, we ignore climate issues altogether or create strong incentives for making our lives less energy intensive.”

    Yes, but if they accurately state the uncertainties and the risks of action as well as inaction, then they’ll be in even more trouble! :)

  45. Mike says:

    “You should read the story. The wolf was real. The boy failed to communicate the need for practice drills.”

    Bad analogy, Mike. There were plenty of real wolves in the boy’s neighborhood, with plenty of real world evidence, like witnessing wolves killing livestock and eating people. Remember Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf?

    But CAGW? Not so much evidence. In fact, there is no evidence to support it. None. No CAGW wolves have ever been seen. But still they cry “Wolf!!”

    Now, why do you $uppo$e they would do that?

  46. “give the public tools that will allow them to understand the uncertainties”

    Impossible, for we are dealing with IGNORANCE, NOT uncertainty.
    [Please take note swiftly Judith Curry…]

  47. “When people lack expertise, they turn to trusted sources to interpret the evidence for them,” Fischhoff says. “When those trusted sources are wrong, then people are misled.”

    When those “trusted sources” are corrupt, then people are betrayed.

  48. The problem is “explaining the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential climate change”?? So “The Science” is no longer settled? Poor luvs, the cold has really addled their brains. That’s surely a cry for help to have someone explain it to them.

  49. What most scientists do and what most climate scientists don’t do is provide the data used to reach their conclusion. If there had been a culture in climate science fostering free discussion in the literature based on the evaluation of the data used by those propounding AGW by other scientists (who may be “alarmists” or “sceptics”) papers such as that to which you refer may well not have been necessary. This lack of openness has really damaged the messages climate scientists hoped to get across

  50. @John M says: March 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm
    “…you can recognize the moral of the story like everyone else does.”

    It seems odd to be told to think like everyone else does on a blog that supposedly promotes skepticism. What’s wrong with alternative readings?

    @Smokey says: March 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm
    “But CAGW? Not so much evidence. In fact, there is no evidence to support it. None.”

    Once again clear proof that Smokey is in denial. He does not say he disputes the evidence or the he feels the bulk of the evidence supports his views. He denies that existence of that which he dislikes.

    I’m not claiming everyone who disagrees with the mainstream scientific view of climate change is like this. Indeed Smokey is an extreme case. But when you read various skeptics look carefully at what they say. Are they true skeptics, that is are they open minded and curious and willing to consider alternative points of view? Now there are certainly dogmatists on each side of this or any issue. But you should want to ferret them out regardless.

  51. Warmists are outspending skeptics 10:1. Recent poll has climate “change” dead last among public environmental concerns. Who is fleecing the warmists?

  52. @Mike,

    Provide testable, reproducible, empirical evidence that convincingly shows that CO2 causes global damage. You know, just like the scientific method requires.

    If you do, I will grant you that your CO2=CAGW position is supportable. If it is valid evidence, I will agree with your view.

    Otherwise, I’m a scientific skeptic, and all your baseless ranting in the post above is just evidence-free hot air.

    The ball is in your court, Mike. Put up or shut up.

  53. “Fischhoff, a social and decision scientist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Nick Pidgeon, an environmental psychologist…” gives me great confidence that they too understand the science behind climate “change” research……yeah.

  54. “When people lack expertise, they turn to trusted sources to interpret the evidence for them,” Fischhoff says. “When those trusted sources are wrong, then people are misled.”

    I’d agree with that – plenty of politicians have turned to the IPCC, and been misled.
    Seems a bit obvious, but at least they’ve acknowledged it…

  55. “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill … All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”

    Alexander KING, Bertrand SCHNEIDER – founder and secretary, respectively, of the Club of Rome – The First Global Revolution, pp.104-105

    I am a conspiracy realist.

    The science is un-important to these people.

    They want a World Government.. and nothing will stand in their way.

  56. I have been tried three times to post on this thread without success.

    I am wondering what it is that I am saying that is causing the blocking of my post.

    I am merely agreeing with the likes of Douglas and GixxerBoy that the agenda is One World Government.

    But I was also using a quote to support my theory.. was the quote the problem?

    The comment id number of my last attempt was 632087.

    Could someone at WUWT give me a clue as to what the issue is?

    Reply: The word “conspiracy” triggers the spam filter. I’ve released one of them now. ~ ctm

  57. Come on Mike, Smokey is waiting for you to prove how extreme his view is.

    10 bullet points – how about 5 even ?? Scientific evidence that anthropogenic CO2 causes global warming, climate change, climate disruption, climate crisis, climate phrase of the month – your choice.

    No links, just a concise bullet point answer showing how you know this, in your own words, and no models or experiments from the future please.

    Tick tock, tick tock.

  58. Communications about climate science, or any other science, should embrace the same scientific standards as the science that they are communicating,”

    Scary indeed.
    Moreover we can all think we have won a decisive battle but the war is still being waged on the utilities front, supported by activists, subversion, and big money. Of course accomplice governments at the civic level and provincial level in Canada push the whole thing. So there is much more to do to finish the green lobby off.

  59. I’ll try and help Mike out a bit.
    1) Look at the Hockey Stick temperature reconstruction. No way to explain the sharp upward trend in temperatures in the 1900’s unless CO2 is the culprit. (Oops.. darn… the hockey stick has been shown to be fraudulent)
    2) Sea level rise! Ah yes, sea level rise is increasing (opps, it started rising in the 1800s before CO2, hasn’t accelerated at all since CO2 and in fact is currently slowing)
    3) Hmm…… yes Tropospheric warming. (Ah.. but dang, it supposed to be warming faster than the surface and it not, in fact its barely been warming at all lately)
    4) The antartic ice is melting.. it’s the canary in the coal mine according to Nature Magazine and Stieg et al! (Dang… O’Donnell et al kinda showed that to be poor analysis of data)
    5) Well, how bout the appeal to authority? Surely when you hear Hansen and Mann and Stieg and Gavin and Briffa and Phil and the rest of the team say AGW is real you must accept that they have impeccable credentials and their honesty is beyond reproach (cough).

    Hmm… running out of data…. going to have to resort to models for proof.

  60. ‘…..at a minimum, climate scientists, decision scientists, social and communications specialists and other experts’.

    What is a decision scientist?

  61. “When people lack expertise, they turn to trusted sources to interpret the evidence for them,” Fischhoff says. “When those trusted sources are wrong, then people are misled.”

    Yeah, like the former U.S. vice president, Al Gore, and the IPCC? Too bad they weren’t just wrong but had ulterior motives for misleading people.

    “I think that it is good for scientists to be in contact with the public, so that they can learn about its concerns and see how well, or poorly, they are communicating their knowledge,” says Fischhoff.

    I think the public is starting to realize the climate psientists are blowing smoke.

  62. Christopher Hanley says: March 29, 2011 at 10:59 pm
    Douglas says:
    March 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm:
    That ‘bigger thing’ is, of course a form of world government. I know this sounds paranoid….
    ==========================================================
    Paranoid?
    Not at all (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Global_Governance)…
    … and ‘Climate Change’ has been an perfect instrument (http://www.afn.org/~govern/strong.html).
    ————————————————————————
    Christopher – yes – I know about Maurice Strong. But I did say ‘sounds paranoid’ because most people would dismiss support of this argument as exhibiting a level of paranoia. However I am concerned about the level of support in the highest circles for world government.

    This I believe is quite misguided. It is the ultimate form of totalitarianism. We see the signs of it coming out of the UN and the EU and from what I see of it, it’s all about control without accountability. To whom is world government responsible?

    And we see this reflected in the actions of the IPCC.

    Douglas

  63. GlixxerBoy says:
    I used to think the majority of climate alarmists believed in CAGW theory. They had arrived at it though their study and endeavours and were possibly suffering from a dose of cognitive dissonance. I’m beginning to conclude that a much larger group than I thought know that the man-made CO2 greenhouse theory is by-and-large rubbish. But they don’t care. They know it won’t hold up to serious scrutiny, but they want the ‘outcomes’, so they stick behind it as though it were incontrovertible.

    I agree. They think alternative energy is economically feasible, or would be soon with a little governmental jump-starting. They think our society is wasteful, so trimming its consumption wouldn’t really hurt it, it would just trim the fat. They think we’ll have to transition away from fossil fuels fairly soon due to their increasing expense, so the earlier we start the transition the lower the long-term costs. They like the idea of redistributing wealth to the 3rd world. They like the idea of “Science” and especially “concerned scientists,” having a leading political role.

    Basically, they think they’re doing the right thing, if you look at it from the right perspective. What is truth, after all, but a matter of perspective? Plus, it’s a fad in academia, and they’ve got swept up in it and are in too deep now to back out. Etc.

  64. Hey ShaneCMuir

    I’m not propounding that the underlying cause is a drive to ‘One World Government’, tempting as that might be to explain things. I was just expressing my consternation at the behaviour of climate alarmists, and my shifting perspective. You might be right – maybe it is some kind of collective political master plan. I’m more inclined to see the usual ever-so-human desire to seek what we think are noble ends, even when the evidence around us shows that our plan is failing.

    They want the outcomes. They want the science to be true. It was all such a grand dream and it seemed to be going so well. So let’s ignore reality until the very last.

    All rather redolent of Downfall, actually.

  65. The opening assertion is plainly wrong:

    One theory is that this is because the public is not intimately familiar with the nature of the climate uncertainties being discussed.

    “A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential” climate change, says a new Perspectives piece published today in the science journal Nature Climate Change.

    The article attempts to identify communications strategies needed to improve layman understanding of climate science.”

    as far as I understand, for the last 10 years at least, but more significantly since Hansen’s speech, and since”Inconvenient truth” was broadcast to audiences worldwide, this is all climate science has been communicating. The notion that AGW has identifiable human causes has been so promoted that it became very effective until recently.
    In fact, they couldn’t have communicated it any more effectively, and for such a prolonged period, given their vehicles of delivering the message (IPCC, MET office, NASA etc).

    If the layman cannot be convinced by this, then the layman senses advocacy, regardless of the eminence of the institution promoting it, and it is therefore time for these venerable institutions to go back to the drawing board and change their perspective, based on an objective evaluation of all the parameters that have a causal effect on the climate.

    One such idea would be to totally scrap this antiquated temperature measurement method. Atmospheric energy would better be measured by joules psm than by temperature measurements. (Temperature is not a measure of energy)

  66. I think the change in strategy has less to do with improving communication and more to do with retaining their positions of power and influence having mislead the public for so long.

    In my country (the UK) they had the field to themselves for nearly two decades, and never once do I remember an uncertainty being expressed.

    The problem was that all this certainty was based on a presumed sensitivity in the climate that just doesn’t seem to be there.

    The question should now be how to undo the economically suicidal policies that were enacted with the promise of an imminent catastrophe. The catastrophe may have been fiction, but the policies were not.

  67. The more they communicate the more support they lose. I pointed it out here.

    2008
    Increased Knowledge About Global Warming Leads To Apathy, Study Shows

    November 2010
    Doomsday Messages About Global Warming Can Backfire, Study Shows

    The more I have learned about AGW the more inclined I have become to believe that it is an utter FRAUD. Here are some examples of why AGW is a FRAUD.

    San Francisco less foggy
    San Francisco more foggy

    Sea level rise accelerated
    Sea level rise deceleratedfull pdf

    Soil moisture less
    Soil moisture more

    Squids get smaller
    Squids get larger

    Winters maybe warmer [??]
    Winters maybe colder ;O)

  68. Mike says:
    March 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    “Once again clear proof that Smokey is in denial. He does not say he disputes the evidence or the he feels the bulk of the evidence supports his views. He denies that existence of that which he dislikes.”

    The ball is in the Warmista court. Produce the physical hypotheses that can be used to explain and predict the forcings of cloud behavior that must exist if warming caused by manmade CO2 is to be dangerous. You cannot do it. No one can do it. There are none. The emperor has no clothes.

  69. GixxerBoy says: March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    […]
    I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I am struggling how else to understand this collective case of Emperor’s Clothes Syndrome. […]

    No conspiracy required. (unless you see (p.14) religion as a conspiracy)

  70. They just don’t get it, Anthony, do they? The alarmists’ communication is excellent; we just don’t believe their message.

  71. Smokey says:
    March 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Got to laugh really, why do you think that simply saying “there is no evidence” means that there isn’t? Mr Monckton tries that old chestnut but is shot down time and time again.

  72. GixxerBoy says March 29, 2011 at 5:54 pm: “Clinging to their modelled world of runaway catastrophe, where everything that goes wrong is down to Global Warming, they begin to look more and more odd.”

    The lunatic apogee of the AGW religion is the belief that “carbon sequestration” – pumping “captured” CO2 into the deep underground – is both possible and some kind of solution to Demon CO2.

    There is just so much wrong with the loony sequestration idea that it’s hard to know where to start.

  73. When I trained as a teacher a long time ago, it was made very clear to me by experienced teachers training me that if the lessons I planned were enjoyed by my pupils and rewarded them on extrinsic and extrinsic levels, my teaching could be deemed successful.
    What the above researchers fail to recognise is that using gloom and guilt as motivational tools in teaching (getting the message across) is not only counterproductive, it motivates the ‘learners’ to investigate the content of the ‘lessons’ and if those ‘lessons’ are found to be even slightly dishonest, the promoters of those untruths will lose their credibility entirely and the ‘learners’ will seek a more intrinsically rewarding activity.
    For any ‘learner’ who has rebelled against the mindless guilt-trips the AGW cadre have attempted to impose on them, the Hockey Team have increasingly destroyed their credibility as each new piece of evidence emerges that CO2 is nothing other than an essiantial element in the Carbon Cycle.
    The teaching of the message of Man-made catostrophic climate change has failed and the increasingly shrill and silly Chicken-Littleish proclamations are proof of this; as to the motives of those who have promoted the bad science and the alarmism, these will surely unfold and history will not be kind to them whatever their motives.

  74. philincalifornia says:
    March 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Humans are currently emitting around 30 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. Of course, it could be coincidence that CO2 levels are rising so sharply at the same time so let’s look at more evidence that we’re responsible for the rise in CO2 levels.

    When we measure the type of carbon accumulating in the atmosphere, we observe more of the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels.

    This is corroborated by measurements of oxygen in the atmosphere. Oxygen levels are falling in line with the amount of carbon dioxide rising, just as you’d expect from fossil fuel burning which takes oxygen out of the air to create carbon dioxide.

    Further independent evidence that humans are raising CO2 levels comes from measurements of carbon found in coral records going back several centuries. These find a recent sharp rise in the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels.

    So we know humans are raising CO2 levels. What’s the effect? Satellites measure less heat escaping out to space, at the particular wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat, thus finding “direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect”.

    If less heat is escaping to space, where is it going? Back to the Earth’s surface. Surface measurements confirm this, observing more downward infrared radiation. A closer look at the downward radiation finds more heat returning at CO2 wavelengths, leading to the conclusion that “this experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming.”

    If an increased greenhouse effect is causing global warming, we should see certain patterns in the warming. For example, the planet should warm faster at night than during the day. This is indeed being observed.

    Another distinctive pattern of greenhouse warming is cooling in the upper atmosphere, otherwise known as the stratosphere. This is exactly what’s happening.

    With the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) warming and the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) cooling, another consequence is the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere, otherwise known as the tropopause, should rise as a consequence of greenhouse warming. This has been observed.

    An even higher layer of the atmosphere, the ionosphere, is expected to cool and contract in response to greenhouse warming. This has been observed by satellites.

    We now have many lines of evidence all pointing to a single, consistent answer – the main driver of global warming is rising carbon dioxide levels from our fossil fuel burning.

  75. Crap proofreading on my part – 1st ‘extrinsic’ should read ‘intrinsic’. :-(
    Sorry!
    AK

  76. Yesterday in another thread, Jimbo provided a link to a study that shows that enhanced communication will produce exactly the OPPOSITE result sought by these scientists (who are clearly not social scientists).

    Increased Knowledge About Global Warming Leads To Apathy, Study Shows

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080327172038.htm

    “The findings that the more informed respondents were less concerned about global warming, and that they felt less personally responsible for it, did surprise us. We expected just the opposite.” (They expected their own confirmation bias to be validated – how scientific)

    So yes indeed, please do communicate more – especially the uncertainty bits.

    It seems that the giant distributed desktop supercomputer called the General Public has analyzed the problem and written it off.

  77. Mike @ 5:42 PM yesterday.

    The wolf that came was real, but it was not the one the Boy Cried about, because he’d been imagining a danger. You miss the point of the old story. And it’s not nice to mess with Nature or old stories. You rouse the Furies.

    Nonetheless, the population is now aroused to the real dangers of hysterical response to imagined dangers. The drill goes on.
    ========

  78. National Chicken Little Climate Foundation: “The sky is falling, run!”
    John Q: “Oh dear” (looking up).
    NCLCF: “What are you doing? We said run!”
    John Q (squinting up at the sky): “I can’t see it. Where or how is it falling?”
    NCLCF (testily) “What’s the matter, don’t you trust us? Here’s a graph and some GCMs so that you can see that it’s not only falling, but will be plummeting shortly, so stop your dilly-dallying and run!”
    John Q (walking slowly): “Yes, those are impressive.” Looks up again, and stops.
    NCLCF: “Now what’s the matter?”
    John Q: “I’m sorry, I still don’t see it. Also, your graph has been refuted, and the GCMs don’t seem to be based on reality. I don’t know who or what to believe.”
    NCLCF: (Smiling, through gritted teeth) “You really need to believe us, we’re scientists. Would we steer you wrong?”
    John Q: I guess not, but still – (looking up).
    NCLCF: “Stop that!” We said you need to run, so run!”
    John Q: “There doesn’t seem to be any need to, and besides, why aren’t you running? And, weren’t you caught being untruthful recently?”
    NCLCF: (Talking amongst themselves). “They aren’t getting it. How can we convince them? I know! Let’s hire some psychologists and marketing specialists, and geer up for a big campaign to better communicate the fact that the sky maybe is falling, or definitely will be. All for one and one for all!!!”

  79. Ah, I see John M and Smokey have already made similar expressions of dismay at Mike’s reading of the old tale. Mike has failed to respond except to get into the ‘denialism’ bit about one of the two.

    Mike, might it be that the belief system you have about CAGW is warping your perception of the tale? I grant that, just like many old stories, there is more than one message in this tale of the untruthful boy. You have an interesting idea about him simply not realizing the value of the promotion of drills, as drills.

    But why have you not understood the point that the boy was not drilling the villagers? He was lying to them in order to provoke them into an action which was against their interests, and only loosely and briefly in favor of his.

    Maybe it’s a communications problems. For one thing, I know I’m being excessively pedantic, but it amazes me the extent to which some people will excuse lying. That’s what it is my child. Now, off to rest, and to dream.

    Wake up a better person, for your own sake.
    ================

  80. I learned recently that NOAA employs Regional Climate Change Directors (I think that is their title) to communicate about climate change. When the fellow I met communicated, it was all the standard stuff, but he also said “This not political, I am not a political person. This is not my opinion, this is fact” Oh Really?

  81. I’ve got to thank you for one thing, Mike, and that is for the idea of climate scientists purposely taking the heat as the prevaricating boy in order to tone up the citizenship for real dangers ahead. I’ve been looking for a way to redeem the miscreant scientists, and willingly offering themselves as victims in order to increase awareness is an act with redemptive promise. For sure, often their motives were not those so trivial as the original Boy W. Cr. W. So we shall see.

    And we know there is at least one small stoat out there, looking longingly at the sheep, and imagining large sharp teeth, powerful jaws, and ravening spirits.
    ===================

  82. NSF addressing CLIMATE COMMUNICATION? Proof that the issue is all political and no science.
    I don’t see the NSF addressing Astrophysics communication or Biochemistry
    communication or electromagnetic theory communication.

  83. SteveE says:
    March 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Smokey says:
    March 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Got to laugh really, why do you think that simply saying “there is no evidence” means that there isn’t? Mr Monckton tries that old chestnut but is shot down time and time again.

    I assume this means you have such evidence? If so, kindly present it. To my knowledge, you’d be the first, in the history of WUWT. Remember, we know there has been some warming since the LIA, (though the magnitude of said warming is debateable), we know that C02 has some warming effect on climate (though there again, the magnitude is debateable, due to negative feedbacks like clouds), and we know that man is responsible for at least some of the rise in C02 (again, magnitude debateable).
    Good luck!

  84. @various personages.

    “Mike has failed to respond…”

    Some of us work for a living. Someone asked for bullet points without links. OK.

    Direct Experiments show CO2 traps radiative heat waves but not light waves.

    Humans are producing CO2.

    CO2 is increasing.

    Global mean temps have gone up about 0.7C (1.26F).

    Satellites have measurement shown that more energy is coming in from the sun than is leaving. Thus the Earth must be warming, as noted, it is.

    (I’m skipping H2O feedback.)

    Significant uncertainties remain. Most of the extra heat energy is in the oceans. Direct measurements have shown this, but there are uncertainties in how best to measure ocean heat content. When and where that energy will warm the atmosphere is not well understood. Natural ocean cycles can lead to temporary cooling. The response of clouds to warming is uncertain. It is possible cloud cover will increase and slow the warming. So far this has not happened and there is little evidence to showing it will. Credible researchers like Spencer and Lindzen think it will, but they are in the minority. Palioclimate studies do not support the cloud hypothesis, but do not rule it out altogether.

    Major concerns about impacts are drought, extreme whether events, and sea level rise. There is evidence droughts have increased. It is not 100% clear this is due to AGW. researchers are debating whether recent extreme weather events are linked to AGW. I am agnostic. Sea levels are rising. Large glaciers are melting. So, sea level will continue. How fast is not clear. Many ecological systems are responding to climate change. Some species will adapt some will not. There are upsides to the mild warming we have had so far and plants do like CO2.

    If the warming were only going to be 1 or 2C, I would not worry. We could adapt. But we have only increased CO2 by 40%. We are on track to triple pre-industrial CO2 levels. There is no evidence that I am aware of that this can be done without warming the planet. How much? We have rough evidence from climate models and palio-studies showing the increase in quite likely to be 2-6C by 2100. But warming won’t stop in 2100. We will very likely hit 4C at some point; the uncertainty is when not if. For studies on impacts see: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/67.full

    Have I proved CAGW? No. Of course not. You don’t have proof in empirical sciences like you do in math. We can only look at the preponderance of the evidence and weight the risks of various actions or inactions. I respect that different people will come to different conclusions. But asserting that evidence for or against AGW does not exist shows a rigidity of thought not skepticism.

    Now back to work!

  85. Is it just, just possible that their forecasts in the year 2000, that we would see no more snow in the northern hemisphere and that the seas were going to drown us all in ten years time, and that this year, one of the coldest winters on record together with fires in Russia and floods in Australia and India etc. etc., are all due to global warming? Might all these bogus and discredited pronouncementsis just have a bearing on the level of credibility of the AGW cult in the eyes of the public they wish to reach? out to?

  86. Mike says:

    “Credible researchers like Spencer and Lindzen think it will, but they are in the minority. Palioclimate [sic] studies do not support the cloud hypothesis, but do not rule it out altogether.”

    So the credible researchers are in the minority. So what? Albert Einstein was in the minority, too. Consensus has nothing to do with scientific veracity, and group-think based on government grants has produced zero evidence of global harm due to CO2.

    As Bruce Cobb says above: “I assume this means you have such evidence? If so, kindly present it.”

    Yes, kindly provide empirical, testable, falsifiable evidence [as the scientific method requires] showing conclusively that the trace gas CO2 has caused global damage.

    Absent any convincing evidence, your CO2=CAGW claim is simply conjecture. Isn’t it? Show us actual global damage, attributable specifically to the rise in CO2, or concede that the demonizing of CO2 cannot credibly get past the conjecture stage of the scientific method.

  87. Bruce Cobb says:
    March 30, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Please refer to my previous comment:

    SteveE says:
    March 30, 2011 at 5:33 am

  88. SteveE says:

    “Got to laugh really, why do you think that simply saying “there is no evidence” means that there isn’t?”

    There is no evidence showing that the rise in CO2 has caused global damage.

    If you believe there is, post it. Any such evidence must be falsifiable, testable, and attributable specifically to the rise in CO2, per the scientific method.

    When I state that there is “no evidence,” that is exactly what I mean. If you have verifiable, convincing evidence, present it now.

  89. The fundamental problem for the CAGW movement is that their science is flawed. As regularly pointed out on WUWT it is heat that should be the metric not temperature. It takes a lot less heat to raise the temperature of dry air by 1 deg. than the same volume of wet air. Global surface temperature measurements per se are therefore worthless as a measure of global warming.

  90. As a matter of routine, I hereby confess that I am an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate, with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

    This looked like the sort of paper a couple of under employed academics would come up with to earn brownie points (yet another peer reviewed paper). So that was its purpose – we were not meant to read it.

    However, I checked the internet for information on the welsh end of the duo that produced this masterpeice, and found that our Pidgeon is Professor, no less, and co-author of a selection of 25 papers dated 2008 or later. So a writer, no doubt. Currently, he reports that he no longer teaches following award of an ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Climate Leader Professorial Fellowship. The ESRC, I then found, disburses government funds. So, Prof Pidgeon is actually paid to peddle UK government policy on climate, and we are meant to read the paper. However, in the circumstances, we would not take it seriously, would we?

    Incidentally, one of the Prof’s other papers was about the industry I used to work in. The opening line of the abstract of this paper (which was concealed behind a pay wall) reads ‘There is a growing effort to provide (my industry’s product) that has the trust of (the industry’s customers) …’. Not by the industry, there wasn’t, or by its customers, or by the public. Must have been by the Professor and his mates. Oh Dear!

  91. “A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential” climate change, says a new Perspectives piece published today in the science journal Nature Climate Change.

    When climate scientists can get around their own uncertainties by providing data, predictions based on that data and the reasons why the data led to those predictions, then saying that if the predictions fall flat, then we must have been wrong; only then will I believe in what they tell me.

  92. Few citizens or political leaders understand the underlying science well enough to evaluate climate-related proposals and controversies

    No.

    We understand very well.

    1. we’re talking about a few tenths of a degree
    2. nobody likes being cold. warm is better.
    3. any attempt to “fix” it will result in higher costs for energy, lower standards of living, and it’s “us” who will have to pay for it.

    The problem isn’t that you’re not doing a swell sales job. We just ain’t buying what you’re trying to sell us.

  93. SteveE says:
    March 30, 2011 at 5:33 am
    philincalifornia says:
    March 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    We now have many lines of evidence all pointing to a single, consistent answer – the main driver of global warming is rising carbon dioxide levels from our fossil fuel burning.
    ——————————————————
    Nice try SteveE. Lots of theory there, but no final connection. For example, do you not notice the subtle difference between:

    “Satellites measure less heat escaping out to space, at the particular wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat”

    and:

    “If less heat is escaping to space”

    You forgot the disclaimer.

    Rather than theory, why not look at the data:

    My conclusion from the data is:

    We now have a line of evidence pointing to a single, consistent answer – the MAIN driver of global warming is NOT rising carbon dioxide levels from our fossil fuel burning.

    Actually, I’m not sure why you took on proof of global warming by CO2. Wouldn’t you be better served by taking on proof of climate change, or would you be ostracized from your tribe for talking about negative feedbacks ??

  94. Mike says:
    March 30, 2011 at 8:16 am
    …Significant uncertainties remain. Most of the extra heat energy is in the oceans. Direct measurements have shown this, but there are uncertainties in how best to measure ocean heat content. When and where that energy will warm the atmosphere is not well understood. Natural ocean cycles can lead to temporary cooling. The response of clouds to warming is uncertain….

    …There is evidence droughts have increased. It is not 100% clear this is due to AGW…. So, sea level [rise] will continue. How fast is not clear….

    …We have rough evidence from climate models and palio-studies (sic) showing the increase in quite likely to be 2-6C by 2100. But warming won’t stop in 2100. We will very likely hit 4C at some point; the uncertainty is when not if.

    Have I proved CAGW? No. Of course not. You don’t have proof in empirical sciences like you do in math….

    I just love ‘settled science’ in action.

  95. Mike says:
    March 30, 2011 at 8:16 am
    “Satellites have measurement shown that more energy is coming in from the sun than is leaving. Thus the Earth must be warming, as noted, it is.”

    I would love to see a source for this. All i know is that Hansen and Schmidt have published a paper about this, combining satellite measurements with model runs. Is there measurement data that shows it without using the help of a GCM? In that case, the only point of failure would be instrument calibration. That would be more convincing than Hansen and Schmidt’s result.

    “(I’m skipping H2O feedback.)”

    That’s a pity, as the assumption that there is positive H2O feedback is the biggest achilles heel of AGW science. I hope you will show evidence for it real soon.

  96. NSF is so-o-o-o into the 70’s. Wasn’t it Marshall McCluhan who coined the phrase: “the message is the massage?”[no]

  97. SteveE said “Another distinctive pattern of greenhouse warming is cooling in the upper atmosphere, otherwise known as the stratosphere. This is exactly what’s happening.”

    Your categorical statements (in a thread about uncertainty!) are exactly why nobody will take you seriously. There are many thing about which you (or whoever you cribbed from) have very limited knowledge. What about the natural variations that show up spatially and temporally and quite obviously disprove your cause and effect statement?

  98. Communication

    The sharing of information of two or more parties.

    Not the complete submission, handover-all-our-money, at the end of a stick trying to beat our future great great grand kids to death.

  99. “Communications about climate science, or any other science, should embrace the same scientific standards as the science that they are communicating,” says Fischhoff. He says this is crucial to maintaining people’s trust in scientific expertise

    So apparently, the scientific standards of the science they are communicating are:

    CO2 is bad.
    Government is good,
    Man is bad, (especially if they don’t believe CO2 is bad)
    Government jobs are great. (but they don’t pay enough)

    Patvann says:
    March 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    “Environmental psychologist”

    ??????

    I think its the same as a Doctor of Lysenkology.

  100. Here’s one scientist who knows how to communicate and what luck, Professor Dr Vincent Courtillot is on our side.

    He covers all bases and thinks it’s time to bring ‘observation’ back into the debate.

  101. Eric (skeptic) says:
    March 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Your categorical statements (in a thread about uncertainty!) are exactly why nobody will take you seriously. There are many thing about which you (or whoever you cribbed from) have very limited knowledge. What about the natural variations that show up spatially and temporally and quite obviously disprove your cause and effect statement?

    ————-

    Can you point me in the direction of the data your using to say that it’s natural variation and the mechanism that is causing this variation please?

    My information is from:

    http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/~mnew/teaching/Online_Articles/jones_et_al_attribution_3d_GRL_2003.pdf

    Figure 1c shows the observed temperature change of the stratosphere with the grey shaded area representing the uncertainty range.

  102. philincalifornia says:
    March 30, 2011 at 10:50 am

    ——–

    So the graph you link to is the temperature of the Lower Troposphere which shows that it’s warming… which is what I said in my statements.

    Have a look at figure 7, you’ll see the troposphere is warming and the stratosphere is cooling. This is all consistant with the cause of global warming being linked to increases in CO2.

    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_monthly_binary_data

  103. Anthony;
    Your own Gallup post that you point to still has the wrong 2nd chart, just a dupe of the first. Or maybe the first is a dupe of the second. Neither has a year label attached. So hunose?

    fred berple:

    Just over a year ago in Copenhagen, we heard “the world must act now”. We didn’t, so now it must be too late. Otherwise, what we were told at Copenhagen was a lie. If we had to “act now” at Copenhagen, there can be no reason to act now, as it must now be too late.

    This is what people understand. Only one time can it be true that you “must act now”. These second time you say it, the first time must have been a lie, so why should they trust you the second time.[?]

    Prezakticisely!
    Oops, it’s too late! Guess we’ll just have to suffer through it. What we’re having to suffer through is all the louder and bigger repetitions of the suite of Big Lies, of course.
    The sea is rising! (Uh, no it’s not, actually.)
    The globe is frying! (Except south of the Arctic Circle.)
    and onandonandon.

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