IPCC Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy Protection

Guest post by David M. Hoffer

IPCC reports AR1 through 4 were published in relative obscurity. ClimateGate and the emergence of the blogosphere as the primary forum for debate of the science and public policy intersection changed all that. AR4 in particular has been put under the microscope, and thoroughly discredited. It was laced with references to gray literature, claims that were known to be false, and written in a misleading fashion with important information that didn’t fit the narrative downplayed or omitted.

Knowing the level of scrutiny AR5 would receive, my expectation for some time has been that the IPCC would put considerable effort into maintaining their alarmist narrative while not completely bankrupting their credibility on the science. Near-term projections (2016-2035) being Chapter 11, where they have the most to lose the soonest, seemed to me to be the best place to see how they would handle things.

Indeed, Chapter 11 is literally laced with caveats. To be fair, some of them are legitimate. Volcanic eruptions for example, cannot be factored in because we don’t know if, when, where, or how big they might be. On the other hand, they go out of their way to say that their projections are predicated on a major reduction in aerosol emissions over the next few years. Perhaps they have legitimate reasons to expect this, but with countries like China, India and Brazil ramping up fossil fuel consumption at a rate that dwarfs western world consumption, I find that a bit less than likely. More amusing however is their repeated (and repeated, and repeated) admonition that their projections may not be detectable due to natural variability. Given that skeptics were mocked for pointing out that the temperature record to date is well within natural variability, I find it a bit disingenuous that they now want to use that same natural variability to shield their inability to clearly demonstrate the very effects that they have for so long insisted were dominant, urgent, and catastrophic.

But the IPCC’s efforts to shroud every projection in a cloak of bankruptcy protection caveats may well be part of their undoing. Their extensive efforts on this range from the amusing, to what may well turn out to be bombshell material. Here’s one example of the amusing side of their efforts:

There is high confidence that baseline surface ozone (O3) will change over the 21st century, although projections across the RCP, SRES, and alternative scenarios for different regions range from –4 to +5 ppb by 2030 and –14 to +15 ppb by 2100.

Can you imagine a financial expert getting on a news program and, with a straight face, saying that after exhaustive analysis he is highly confident that in a year’s time the NASDAQ will be either higher or lower? To be fair, I think they’ve poorly worded what they meant, but that’s hardly the only example. AR5 was leaked in the first place because of the way the issue of solar variance is handled. While this next excerpt from Chapter 11 is on the one hand amusing, the issue it exposes is more serious:

As discussed in Section 8.2.1.4.1, a recent satellite measurement (Harder et al., 2009) found much greater than expected reduction at UV wavelengths in the recent declining solar cycle phase. Changes in solar uv drive stratospheric O3 chemistry and can change RF. Haigh et al. (2010) show that if these observations are correct, they imply the opposite relationship between solar RF and solar activity over that period than has hitherto been assumed. These new measurements therefore increase uncertainty in estimates of the sign of solar RF, but they are unlikely to alter estimates of the maximum absolute magnitude of the solar contribution to RF, which remains small (Chapter 8). However, they do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate (as discussed in 10.3.1.1.3), that are not necessarily reflected by the RF metric (see 8.2.16).

Let’s try and summarize that:

1. Observational data suggests they got the physics completely backwards

2. Despite which they’re sure the amount of change is small….but

3. It may result in larger regional impacts than projected

Say what? They think they got the physics completely reversed, but we should still trust them that the order of magnitude is small, but allow that the impacts might be larger anyway? Just like the ozone projection, they’ve cloaked their wording in so many bankruptcy protection caveats that they won’t actually be outright wrong no matter what happens. As to what the actual effects are…. the only conclusion I can draw is that they don’t really know.

But this last example is, in my opinion anyway, the most egregious of them all. It relates to the climate models themselves. Using start dates such as 1960, they go into great detail explaining how well the models mirror actual observed climate indices up to the present. They then talk about a variety of techniques to make them more accurate, one of which is “initialization”. Without going into a lot of detail as to exactly what initialization is, here is one rather startling quote:

While there is high agreement that the initialization consistently improves several aspects of climate (like North Atlantic SSTs with more than 75% of the models agreeing on the improvement signal), there is also high agreement that it can consistently degrade others (like the equatorial Pacific temperatures).

I don’t know that any amount of bankruptcy protection caveats can get them off the hook on this one. But I have to hand it to them, they do try:

As discussed in 11.3.1, most of the projections presented in 11.3.2–11.3.4 are based on the RCP4.5 scenario and rely on the spread amongst the CMIP5 ensemble of opportunity as an ad-hoc measure of uncertainty. It is possible that the real world might follow a path outside (above or below) the range projected by the CMIP5 models. Such an eventuality could arise if there are processes operating in the real world that are missing from, or inadequately represented in, the models. Two main possibilities must be considered: 1) Future radiative and other forcings may diverge from the RCP4.5 scenario and, more generally, could fall outside the range of all the RCP scenarios; 2) The response of the real climate system to radiative and other forcing may differ from that projected by the CMIP5 models. A third possibility is that internal fluctuations in the real climate system are inadequately simulated in the models.

The fact of the matter is that when you adjust a model and as a consequence one part becomes more accurate and another part becomes less accurate (as did happen with their initialization techniques) that is compelling evidence that the model is suffering from exactly such problems. This is evidence that there are factors in the real world that are improperly modeled or missing entirely from the models. Given that in the same chapter the IPCC is admitting that they probably got the physics of solar variation wrong first by ignoring it entirely when they should not have, and then by including it but getting the sign of the effect completely backwards, that seems like a pretty obvious conclusion. In fact, Chapter 11 also suggests that the models are having a tough time with aerosols, Atlantic Multidecadal Variability, Pacific Decadal Variability, Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation and Walker Circulation.

In brief, the evidence that the models are getting the right answers for the wrong reasons is staring them in the face. The models can sort of kind of get the climatology right, but only for the years we already have data for. In brief, they can use 1960 data to get 2012 right, but only because we already know what the answer for 2012 should be, and the adjustments deliver it. When those same models try and make projections into the future, and then we wait a few years for the future to arrive (AR4 projections from 2007 for example are already looking way off for 2012) the matter becomes readily apparent. AR4 suggested that if no warming showed up for 15 years, the models were probably wrong. AR5 seems to provide even better evidence that they are, in fact, wrong, surrounding their projections with so many caveats that anything short of an ice age or spontaneous combustion could be said to fit within their error range.

Of course this isn’t the final draft. Only time will tell how they choose to handle these issues now that they are exposed. But the contrived nature and density of the caveats makes what they are trying to protect themselves from seem obvious.

Chapter 11 can be downloaded here (PDF)

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97 Responses to IPCC Chapter 11 – Bankruptcy Protection

  1. GlynnMhor says:

    They sound like politicians explaining their policies rather than scientists explaining their theories.

  2. Petrossa says:

    Hilarious.Unfortunately Europe has rabid warmer Hedegaard so we are done for. AR5 will be summarily put into EU regulation destroying any chance of economic recovery.

  3. Ric Werme says:

    Oh, a real Chapter 11. I couldn’t imagine how a UN agency declare bankruptcy. I’ve been through Chapter 11 bankruptcy twice. The first time was a worthwhile experience (in part because I kept my job and could watch), the second time seemed a bit redundant, (in part because I lost my job for a while).

  4. ingvare says:

    The reasoning around modelling clearly show how they succeeded in “curve fitting” on historical data that later shows having no prognostical value whatsoever. A classic.

  5. harrywr2 says:

    “reduction in aerosol emissions over the next few years. Perhaps they have legitimate reasons to expect this, but with countries like China….”

    Full Text of China’s 12 Five Year Plan Updated October 2012
    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/740169.shtml

    Relevant excerpt -
    Existing power plants have speeded up their desulfurization and denitration upgrading, and coal-fueled generating units with flue gas desulphurization facilities accounted for 90 percent of the national total. Coal-fueled generating units reported a 100-percent installation of dust-cleaning facilities and a 100-percent discharge of waste water up to the relevant standards.

    They’ve still got quite a ways to go in cleaning up their cement,steel and chemical industries as well as reducing the number of households that heat with coal.

  6. Kev-in-Uk says:

    A darned fine review David, and well written (not sure if admonition in 3rd para shouldn’t be admission though?).
    You are correct, of course, AR4 was torn apart – and if nothing else, they now know that the skeptics WILL read every line and check their work. I have noticed this ‘style’ of writing through the few sections I have read – and it will indeed be interesting to see what the final report says and more importantly ‘how’ it says it.

  7. ntesdorf says:

    The audience is leaving the theatre and the curtain should be coming down on the CAGW comedy-thriller quite soon, for the last time, after very disappointing reviews. The plot was bad and the acting was worse.

  8. Brent Hargreaves says:

    Good work, David. Minor typo in para 3: “literally” should read “liberally”.

  9. Ed Reid says:

    “Predictions are very hard, especially about the future.”, Yogi Berra, American philosopher

    Perhaps the IPCC could learn from the answer to a question asked of Wayne Gretzky. When asked the secret to his success as a hockey player, Gretzky reportedly answered: “I always skate to where the puck is going to be.”

  10. Jeff Alberts says:

    In brief, the evidence that the models are getting the right answers for the wrong reasons is staring them in the face. The models can sort of kind of get the climatology right, but only for the years we already have data for.

    Isn’t it always an average of model runs from the whole ensemble? So, an average of runs from a bunch of demonstrably wrong models might be right?

    Worse than useless.

  11. Skeptikal says:

    The science is shifting from settled to unsettling.

  12. Timberati says:

    Reminds me of a psychic’s prediction/profile of a murderer: “He (or she) will be left-handed unless he (or she) is right-handed.

  13. Doug Huffman says:

    Rationalist (faux-rational) logic seems to be to argue from their conclusion to premises selected to most likely support the desired conclusion and back again, ad hoc. Syllogism following premises and conclusion following syllogism is too honest and unpowers their hegemony.

  14. Gunga Din says:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is losing traction because “Ma Gaia” isn’t cooperating and they know it. So they write a chapter to preserve their bureaucracy regardless of the weather. Is anyone really surprised?

  15. “It is possible that the real world might follow a path outside (above or below) the range projected by the CMIP5 models.”

    That’s fine. But what is the IPCC’s confidence in CMIP5 models? Is it going to be 90% or not?

    Because if you’re 90% sure that the CMIP5 runs are correct, but they are simultaneously outside the 95% confidence interval of observations, then there is a disconnect there.

  16. Bruce C says:

    “Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.”
    &
    “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence.”

    - Thomas H. Huxley

  17. Not to be concerned. The IPCC is “to big to fail” so it will be bailed put by political and ideological baffle-gab just like the former “masters of the universe.” Don’t laugh to hard the kinds of errors (unfounded assumptions) made with the non dynamic numerical models used by both groups are essentially the same.

  18. Jean-Paul says:

    And yet… the politicians will hear what they want to hear : that the CAGW is real and extremely dangerous (especially for our wallets)

  19. not put but out, sorry about that, my dyslexia at times get of me sometimes.

  20. EJ says:

    This is so wonderfully refreshing, seeing the draft, and tragically sad at the same time.

    One hopes that this might be a well organized ‘walk back’ by climate scientists from their failed reliance and confidence of their models.

    Hopefully the scientists get their voice back from the UN cabal of royalty. It’s about time.

    Keep the transparency going!!!

    EJ

  21. D Böehm says:

    Excellent article, David.

    Although global warming has stopped, and is now headed down, it may restart at some point. Therefore, the only legitimate way to look at it is on the longest time frame for which we have reasonably accurate records.

    This shows that the long term global warming trend has remained within well defined parameters. Global warming has not accelerated, despite the rise in CO2. Therefore, CO2 has had no measurable effect. In fact, the green trend line shows that the warming trend has been slowing.

    Since CO2 has had no measurable effect on global warming, and since global warming has not accelerated — but rather, has stalled for the past decade and a half, then the only scientifically rational conclusion is that AGW remains a highly questionable conjecture. AGW may certainly exist, but if so, it is merely a minor, third order forcing, and far too minuscule to affect global temperatures in any meaningful way. It is swamped by second order forcings, which are an order of magnitude greater, and by first order forcings, which are an order of magnitude greater than second order forcings [thanks to Willis Eschenbach for the definitions].

    The short term coincidental correlation that took place between rising CO2 and rising global temperatures is now broken. CO2 continues to rise, but temperatures are no longer rising. Any honest scientist would strongly question the CO2=AGW conjecture at this point. But as we have repeatedly seen, when the alarmist clique is faced with a contradictory choice between what their models say, and what the planet is saying, they typically discard the empirical evidence and argue instead that their always-inaccurate computer models are reality. That pseudo-science is the reason the climate alarmist crowd has lost all credibility among honest scientists.

  22. markstoval says:

    I hope that the real science minded people will keep the heat on the IPCC because there are still many people out there that have been fooled by these charlatans. But the IPCC may not be the worst offender; look at how the Americans “adjust” the climate data to support their fraud. Shameful.

  23. Gunga Din says:
    December 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is losing traction because “Ma Gaia” isn’t cooperating and they know it.

    Here’s the epigraph to a shocking 1960s sci-fi novel, You Sane Men:

    This I know: Mother Nature is a maniac.

  24. DirkH says:

    “This is evidence that there are factors in the real world that are improperly modeled or missing entirely from the models.”

    Well, during the time of TAR the IPCC said this:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/279.htm
    “Most current atmospheric GCMs do not simulate the QBO and are therefore incomplete in terms of observed phenomena. ”

    Haven’t heard much about breakthroughs in simulating the QBO. What’s the warmopedia say?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QBO
    Ah, the QBO causes sudden stratospheric warmings, and it is hypothesized it’s caused by gravity waves (good luck with that one)…

    What’s AR4 say?
    “Due to the computational cost associated with the requirement of a well-resolved stratosphere, the models employed for the current assessment do not generally include the QBO. ”
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch8s8-4-9.html
    Oh I see, too computationally expensive… hey cheapskates, buy more of my GPU’s will ya.

    Stay tuned for more in AR5…

  25. Robert of Ottawa says:

    I like the juicy crimatology experiment that the release of this draft allows us to perform. When the final gospel is released, we can ask what happened to the apocryphal sections.

  26. DaveG says:

    An Engineer of would laugh these guys of the floor. Can you imagine an engineer saying:There is high confidence that wheels will stay on, although projections and alternative scenarios for different gears and cogs might prove differently. However we should trust this uncertainty and spend $2 billion building it anyway!
    IPPC = LOL.

  27. arthur says:

    The view from here would be great, but the mountains are in the way.

  28. RoHa says:

    One of my skills is that of teaching Academic English. If the IPCC cares to wave a lot – or even a bit – of money my way, I can make myself astonishingly available to teach them how to write clearly.

    But perhaps that isn’t what they want.

  29. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    As pointed out, a draft at this stage. BUT, these self-incriminating comments have been made. Even if retracted or altered, their current meaning is clear and spells out a failure to justify their claims and certainly, the political and industrial processes that they set in motion are shown to have no supporting basis. The Emperor has no clothes! Great article David!

  30. Tim says:

    any chance the draft was leaked in order to attract some free editing? to see what could be gotten away with?

  31. they go out of their way to say that their projections are predicated on a major reduction in aerosol emissions over the next few years. Perhaps they have legitimate reasons to expect this, but with countries like China, India and Brazil ramping up fossil fuel consumption at a rate that dwarfs western world consumption, I find that a bit less than likely.

    The only way to get a major reduction in aerosol emissions is by building a lot of coal (or gas or nuclear) fired power stations in the developing world, as this will replace domestic consumption of fossil and non-fossil fuels.

    I anticipate they will be at least partially correct in this prediction. And as a result, places like India which have shown cooling over the 20th century from aerosol increases, will experience a period of warming.

  32. Mooloo says:

    If I was a scientist alarmed by the warming alarmism, but wanting to keep both my job and interest in environmental sciences high, my strategy would be to ensure that the IPCC put caveats on everything.

    By building up a series of such caveats, each one defensible to the vast majority of scientists, you end up with the likes of what David is talking about – a document so laced with restrictions that it is obvious that the conclusions are meaningless.

    That is the only way the reasonable majority can defeat the hard-core who dominate the inner circle, by the sort of obstructionism against alarmism that yet defends science. Perhaps we see the majority taking back, slowly, by this means.

    I doubt very much this is being driven by the acolytes of Mann, Romm, Schnellnhuber etc, trying to decrease their chances of being proven wrong. Their style is to reduce the concept of scientific uncertainty because they are so certain in their own minds.

  33. Peter Miller says:

    It is all very simple:

    IPCC et alia climate model inputs:

    Well understood factors: x

    Poorly understood factors: 2x – 10x

    Not yet recognised factors: 10x – 50x

    So it’s just guesswork with big complex computers. However, the model makers become infatuated with their creations, similar to people converted to a new religion. In other words, they become fanatical about their new findings and beliefs. Climate fundamentalists and religious fundamentalists are not really all that different – they just can’t understand why everyone doesn’t think like they do..

  34. Jimbo says:

    On the other hand, they go out of their way to say that their projections are predicated on a major reduction in aerosol emissions over the next few years.

    But of course.

    China’s carbon emissions grew 9.9 percent in 2011 after rising 10.4 percent in 2010 and now comprise 28 percent of all CO2 pollution compared with 16 percent for the United States.

    India’s emissions grew 7.5 percent last year versus 9.4 percent growth in 2010, while emissions in the United States and the European Union fell 1.8 percent and 2.8 respectively in 2011.
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/12/02/climate-emissions-india-china-idINDEE8B107B20121202

    Coal fired power plants, car ownership expansion………………….That’s right, a “major reduction in aerosol emissions over the next few years”.

  35. Jimbo says:

    I forgot to mention to ask what happens as the world comes out of recession?

  36. DirkH says:

    Peter Miller says:
    December 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm
    “So it’s just guesswork with big complex computers. However, the model makers become infatuated with their creations, similar to people converted to a new religion. ”

    While I’m always having fun documenting the things that they can’t simulate yet, make no mistake: Even if they could simulate all processes AND would initialize their models with the correct initial state they would STILL fail, as it is by the definition of chaos not possible to keep the deviation between a chaotic system and its simulation on a model with finite resolution under any predefined bound (the deviation measured e.g. as the vector distance between the two states in the state space used by the system and the simulation, or any other useful distance metric).

    Assuming that running a simulation to the year 2100 is short enough to avoid this exponential-quality increase in deviation beyond tolerable bounds would be an extraordinary assumption in need of evidence. That evidence could only be accumulated by running a model alongside reality and measure the deviation.

    If it turns out that the sun controls the climate on short timescales, the situation changes dramatically, as in that case Earth’s climate would not be an entirely freely oscillating system, and long term predictions might become feasible. But that would invalidate the models instantly as well as they have no such dependency built in.

  37. Gunga Din says:
    December 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is losing traction because “Ma Gaia” isn’t cooperating and they know it. So they write a chapter to preserve their bureaucracy regardless of the weather.

    ICPP

  38. thorsten says:

    We have an old saying in Germany that seems to be very appropriate here:

    “Wenn der Hahn kräht auf dem Mist,
    dann ändert sich das Wetter,
    oder es bleibt wie es ist.”

    (“When the rooster crows on top of the manure pile, the weather will change, unless it stays the same.”)

  39. RS says:

    As long as the answers are more government power and the transfer of wealth to the third world, aren’t the questions really irrelevant?

  40. Jimbo says:

    AR4 suggested that if no warming showed up for 15 years, the models were probably wrong. AR5 seems to provide even better evidence that they are, in fact, wrong, surrounding their projections with so many caveats that anything short of an ice age or spontaneous combustion could be said to fit within their error range.

    This is where we are at in the climate wars. AR5 will push back the 15 years because it has to. It will pick up on a ‘new’ paper (based on new and improved models) giving them N years into the future. AGW / CAGW / CC can never and will never be falsified because it is not science.

    More papers to follow I’m sure.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JD016263.shtml
    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

  41. Other_Andy says:

    @Jimbo

    “I forgot to mention to ask what happens as the world comes out of recession?”

    Not much chance looking at all the ‘lend and spend’ governments currently ‘in charge’.
    Europe and the US won’t see a real recovery for years to come.
    The Keynesians and socialists have bankrupted the system some time ago.

  42. harrywr2 says:

    Jimbo,

    “Coal fired power plants, car ownership expansion………………….

    If you put SO2,NOx and soot scrubbers on coal fired power plants you get a major reduction in aerosol emissions. The Chinese are putting SO2,NOx and soot scrubbers on their power plants for reasons that have nothing to due with climate change…I.E…They like to breathe.

    The major reduction in aerosols is predicated on an official Chinese policy.

  43. lsvalgaard says:

    D Böehm says:
    December 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm
    This shows that the long term global warming trend has remained within well defined parameters. Global warming has not accelerated, despite the rise in CO2. Therefore, CO2 has had no measurable effect.
    The Global Warming depicted has also not followed the evolution of solar and geomagnetic activity which have not shown any trend over that period.

  44. LazyTeenager says:

    Of course this isn’t the final draft. Only time will tell how they choose to handle these issues now that they are exposed. But the contrived nature and density of the caveats makes what they are trying to protect themselves from seem obvious.
    ———-
    Well I would say the IPCC got suckered by the trap you guys set for them in your criticisms of the previous drafts.

    Remember how there was a framework set way back then for describing uncertainty. And despite that how you guys banged on incessantly about how wicked the IPCC was for not making a big enough deal about the uncertainty.

    I knew what you were up to and ignored your banging on about uncertainty. Looks like the IPCC are not as quick off the mark.

    I anticipated that as soon as the IPCC started getting too wishy washy about their conclusions you guys would start exploiting that. Well here it is. Well done.

    The basic problem is making decent assessments of the evidence and the risks involved takes some insight, clear thinking and courage. Risk assessment is not something people do well. And we can’t afford to stay at home like some neurotic.

  45. Jim Cripwell says:

    David Hoffer you write “But the contrived nature and density of the caveats makes what they are trying to protect themselves from seem obvious.”

    But this creates THE major problem, which is in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). In the past the various SPMs has been extremely definitive on how positive the IPCC is that CAGW is occurring. Things like “very likely”, meaning “90% probability”. As we have seen in this leaked SOD, the SPM is still carrying on in the same way. It was for this reason that Alec Rawls leaked the document in the first place. What he noted that although the authors of Chapter 7 had made changes of the sort he suggested, the SPM had not changed. He was afraid thst unless this was pointed out at an early stage, the whole mess could be covered up.

    The problem the IPCC has with the AR5 is not in writing things like Chapter 11, as you are discussing. It is how do you explain to an ever increasingly skeptical bunch of scientists that weasel worded chapters support the extremely strong statement which must be in the SPM. Becasue if the SPM does not contain such positive statements, then it is obvious that previous IPCC reports did not have any basis for their strong statements.

    I cananot ever recall myself writing the conclusions of a report, before all the science was completed. The last things we ever wrote were the conclusions. But here in the SOD, and presumably the FOD, are all the conclusions firmly stated, and the closing date for new science is, I understand, March 2013. The SPM of AR5 MUST say the same as all the previous SPMs. The problem is how can the IPCC support the strong statements in the AR 5 SPM with weasel worded chapters.

  46. D Böehm says:

    lsvalgaard says:

    “The Global Warming depicted has also not followed the evolution of solar and geomagnetic activity which have not shown any trend over that period.”

    So we can rule out both CO2 and geomagnetic activity. We’re getting it narrowed down, a little. Good.

    •••

    Lazy T,

    It’s called “transparency”. There isn’t nearly enough of that in mainstream climate science.

  47. DirkH says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm
    “The basic problem is making decent assessments of the evidence and the risks involved takes some insight, clear thinking and courage. Risk assessment is not something people do well. And we can’t afford to stay at home like some neurotic.”

    Where has the IPCC and its member scientist demonstrated insight, clear thinking, or courage? Please bring an example. It doesn’t demonstrate clear thinking to run unvalidated models over a 100 years and assign any significance to the endstate. If anything, it demonstrates muddled thinking.

    As for the risk assessment: you are right, they are not doing it well (they pull numbers out of thin air).

    Do you have evidence that neurotics stay at home a lot? Maybe a peer-reviewed paper?

  48. Gary Pearse says:

    I note it is our Ms Haight doing this driveling. Ms Haight, all three of the possibilities you cite that may cause reality to lie outside the model forecasts (note the arrogant subordination of reality) are, with 100% certainty in operation. Also, it is totally disengenuous to base forecasts on a decline in aerosols that are not going to happen(China, India, Brazil….) This is a blatant preparation for another failure of models to match reality and is dishonest in that the problem with the models is not only how wrongly they handle aerosols. I think a fine counter strategy for handling this is for a sceptic climatologist to write a forecast of where aerosols will be in 2030. Let me even estimate they will be at least 50% higher – this will be closer to reality than Ms Haight’s and IPCC’s.

    I think a “counter” publication timed to come out ahead of IPCC’s AR5 should be prepared dealing with all these issues in anticipation of the sleight of hand IPCC will be publishing. Heartland sounds like a good organization to do this. I would boldly also forecast the flat or declining temps and see whose graph reality’s path chooses. Shame, shame, shame.

  49. u.k.(us) says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    “The basic problem is making decent assessments of the evidence and the risks involved takes some insight, clear thinking and courage. Risk assessment is not something people do well. And we can’t afford to stay at home like some neurotic.
    =============
    What was the problem ?
    I forget.

  50. Jeff Alberts says:

    DirkH says:
    December 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    While I’m always having fun documenting the things that they can’t simulate yet, make no mistake: Even if they could simulate all processes AND would initialize their models with the correct initial state they would STILL fail, as it is by the definition of chaos not possible to keep the deviation between a chaotic system and its simulation on a model with finite resolution under any predefined bound (the deviation measured e.g. as the vector distance between the two states in the state space used by the system and the simulation, or any other useful distance metric).

    Which is why weather models fail miserably after just a day or two.

    Just watch your local weather forecast carefully. As the 3 or 4 day out forecast gets closer, it changes, and sometimes matches reality.

  51. Jeff Alberts says:

    D Böehm says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I think you quoted the wrong person ;)

  52. Rick Bradford says:

    Seems to me that in their desperation to have their models fit the historical data, they have begun to model noise rather than signal, a classic error made by bad scientists.

  53. lsvalgaard says:

    D Böehm says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm
    So we can rule out both CO2 and geomagnetic activity. We’re getting it narrowed down, a little. Good.
    We have good geomagnetic data going back that far and many researchers agree that the Ap-index [which can be constructed back to 1844] is a sensitive measure of the sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind speed in the heliosphere. The index touches ‘both ends’ of the stick, so to speak: the sun’s magnetic field that controls TSI, UV, flares, CMEs, and Forbush Decreases, and in combination with the solar wind speed controls the modulation and level of galactic cosmic rays reaching the Earth. Here is the variation of the Ap-index: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-now.png
    As you can see, there is no trend whatsoever, while over the same period global temperatures are believed to have risen about 1 degree.
    So, according to you your logic we can rule out TSI, UV, flares, CMEs, and Forbush Decreases, and the modulation and level of galactic cosmic rays.
    I would wholeheartedly agree with you. Thank you for coming aboard.

  54. David L. Hagen says:

    In summary all models are projecting hotter than data for the last ten years.
    Further more, the mean of model temperature projections are hotter than 95% of the data trend ranges for certain periods (since 1985, 1999, 2001 or 2002) (>97% one sided) red adjusted or arima11 .
    Consequently we are told we must be alarmed over their catastrophic predictions and spend hundreds of trillions of dollars!
    Could we get back to the scientific method?

  55. Scarface says:

    IPCC: Ignorant Projections based on Computer Crap

    This abbreviation may well turn into a 21st century version of GIGO, since so many failures in modern society originate from unlimited yet inappropriate trust in computer models.

  56. TBear says:

    Petrossa at the top of the comments has got it right: this is the typical language of political spin. No wonder about that, the Bear guesses. Damn hot in Sydney, today.

  57. davidmhoffer says:

    Jim Cripwell;
    But this creates THE major problem, which is in the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). In the past the various SPMs has been extremely definitive on how positive the IPCC is that CAGW is occurring. Things like “very likely”, meaning “90% probability”. As we have seen in this leaked SOD, the SPM is still carrying on in the same way.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Agreed. But I think Alec Rawls has given us a major opportunity here. With AR4, the SPM was read and absorbed into the public’s collective mindset years before we started to understand just how shoddy the science was, and how blatantly the SPM departed from the science in the WG1 chapters themselves.

    Alec has given us the chance to play offense this time. Take apart the science first, publicly, and loudly. If the final draft doesn’t change much, the SPM had better match it, or they’ll look like idiots. If the final draft does change a lot, they had better be able to justify why. The more we take apart AR5 publicly now, the tougher it will be for them to get away with a final draft of the SPM that doesn’t put them way out on a limb.

  58. John Blake says:

    Climate charlatans create all scenarios, and only those scenarios, that do not create themselves. Do climate charlatans create their own scenarios?

    In logic, this is known as Epimenides’ “Paradox of Contradictory Self-reference.” As Kurt Godel proved, it is a “formally undecidable proposition”– if Climate Charlatans do create their own scenarios, then they do not; but if they don’t, they do. Logical positivism from Bertrand Russell on has foundered upon Epimenides, resolving the issue only by asserting that any complete set of axioms must encounter contradictions rendering all meaningless, or that any consistent set of axioms must necessarily be incomplete.

    On this basis, “models vs. observations” begs the question of how and where Climate Catastrophists’ scenarios originate. Since the answer is wholly indeterminate, we regret to say It Doesn’t Matter. All anyone can know for sure is that self-serving propaganda of this nature has no valid logical basis whatsoever. Beating Catastrophists’ dead horse with brutal facts is a distraction, by definition a logically futile exercise.

  59. davidmhoffer says:

    All,
    Please forgive me. I’ve got 14 pages of notes that I’ve made about AR5 Ch11 SOD. I missed one treasure of a quote that absolutely should have gone into this article. I reproduce it now here for reasons that need little additional comment:

    Using another metric, Knutson et al. (2012a) found that CMIP5 models did slightly better than CMIP3 in reproducing linear trends (Figure 11.34, see also Figure 10.2 FOD). However, some of the apparent agreement appears to be for the wrong reason. Many of the models that appear to correctly simulate observed high regional trends do so because they have a high climate response (i.e., the global temperature rises quickly) and do not simulate the observed spatial pattern of trends (Kumar et al., 2012).

  60. Coke says:

    It’s been great reading WUWT these past couple of weeks. There’s been so many revelations and scientific literature coming out to refute the AGW hypothesis lately, I’ve been hard-pressed to keep up with it all. I can’t help but feel sorry for the AGW crowd.

  61. Peter Pond says:

    In all the discussion based on the leaked SOD of AR5, it would appear that (a) more papers contrary to the “consensus” position, at long last, are being included; (b) in many instances there are now obvious disconnects between what individual papers say and what the summaries say – which will have to be rectified before the final AR5 is released (or else the IPCC will look even more ridiculous than it already does); leading to (c) my optimistic hope that we are seeing a return (albeit very tentative) to “proper” science – where observations/facts are important and politics are secondary.

  62. If aerosols go down sharply from China’s scrubbers, but temperatures fail to rise as a result, that will make things awkward for AR6.

  63. Kralizec says:

    I’d have appreciated a straight-up description of the issues, without your complicating everything with this opaque metaphor about “chapter 11 bankruptcy.” It’s not nearly as clever as you seem to imagine it is, and it got in the way to such an extent that I just quit reading the post.

  64. Ted Swart says:

    Has anyone noticed that the Chapter of the draft AR5 draft report that has exposed the IPCC’s almost complete inability to forecast what the Earth’s climate is going to do, over the next decade let alone beyond that, happens to be Chapter 11. As we all know — when it comes to bankruptcy — it is Chapter 11 that lays down the groundrules. The truth is that IPCC is totally bankrupt and we should do everything we can to force them to come clean. It is encouraging to see that this seems to be exactly what is happening. They have vey little by way of wriggle room and — no mattrer what they do — bankruptcy is banruptcy. There must be some scintists working on AR5 who recognize that the game is up. Let’s hope that they have the courage to speak out.

  65. Christopher Hanley says:

    If it wasn’t for natural variability, a dartboard would suffice.

  66. markx says:

    LazyTeenager says: December 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    “…I anticipated that as soon as the IPCC started getting too wishy washy about their conclusions you guys would start exploiting that. Well here it is. Well done.

    The basic problem is making decent assessments of the evidence and the risks involved takes some insight, clear thinking and courage. Risk assessment is not something people do well. And we can’t afford to stay at home like some neurotic…..”

    So, the conclusion is foregone, in spite of a greater emphasis on the uncertainties involved? Not sure why we bother to do the science, if you already know what is happening.

    This is starting to sound like more of a religious belief system you have, Lazy.

    And it puts you into the marvelously illogical “Do something! Do Anything! But do it NOW!” mindset.

  67. ZootCadillac says:

    c

  68. ZootCadillac says:

    @lsvalgaard so, your response to this topic about the model fsilures and the language used to disguise that is “well, never mind about all that, why dont we return to my notion about how it’s nothing to do with the sun so I can bang on about that some more” eh?

    Leif, how about stop with the deflection, have some respect for the author and discuss the topic to hand?

    You’ve had plenty of space elsewhere to repeat ad nauseum your views on solar. This thread hardly seems an invitation for more.

  69. noaaprogrammer says:

    At John Blake: What you state is true for the more Platonic realms of mathematics, but to the extent that scientists are currently ignorant of any axiomatic system from which to derive physical laws, I don’t think the global catastrophe modelers can be accused of engaging in a logical futile exercise on that basis, even though they may be so doing on other bases.

  70. Go Home says:

    It seems to me that the smart ones in the skeptic community should put their heads together and put together the skeptic version of “Summary for Policymakers”, now that there is time before official release based on the evidence (or non evidence) provided in AR5 chapters. It would give the skeptics a chance to put into words a summary of our views based on the science presented. It could be a game changer.

  71. EJ says:

    Wow.”What’s AR4 say?
    “Due to the computational cost associated with the requirement of a well-resolved stratosphere, the models employed for the current assessment do not generally include the QBO. ”
    I am a simple civil guy. We have reliable data and have designed several economical solutions to typical projects.

    I hope my design lasts a century. If it does, I will say you are welcome.

    If it doesn’t, oops, sorry. At least I was engaged in the debate.

    EJ

  72. James Allison says:

    Until recently GCM was the modern day equivalent of the ancient witch doctor who peers into the entrails and bones and makes predictions of doom and gloom. The latest IPCC draft report appears to be the equivalent of an uninformed punter who puts a dollar each way on a horse race.

  73. SAMURAI says:

    Let me see if I got this straight….

    The IPCC still believes CAGW is a valid theory (even though temps flat for 16yrs) and that global temperatures will definitely warm, and if temperatures don’t rise, it’s because of natural variability, and because they buried this caveat deep inside AR5, if temps DO fall, they predicted they may fall, so the theory is still valid and politicians can continue to throw $trillions down the toilet to prevent a problem that may or may not be a problem after all…

    Wow! Quite a theory they got going there…

    They’ve replaced the Scientific Method with CYA.

  74. John F. Hultquist says:

    Others have mentioned the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM). In the past, was this not widely distributed before any of the science parts were available? It seems likely that the higher up the policy ladder one is the less time a person spends trying to understand the science. Once these science parts are reviewed and changed (or not) there is still a great need to counter the hype of the next SPM. I am assuming it too will be a political statement and well publicized to those at the top of the political classes.
    Thanks, David, Alec, others for the current work.

  75. John F. Hultquist says:

    LazyT @ 4:43 claims “. . . the IPCC got suckered by the trap . . .”

    You are even sillier than M. M. in his strange tweet about the cartoon calendar. You made me laugh, though.

  76. thingadonta says:

    Scientists don’t tend to get paid when they say they don’t know.

    Socrates (more of a philosopher than a scientist, but you get my drift) asked for paid meals for saying he didn’t know, and got excecuted instead. Well at least we have improved a little in 2000 years, we have gone from excecuting people to not paying them in 2000 years if they admit they don’t know something, perhaps in another 2000 years we might actually reward people for getting it right when they say they dont actually know something.

  77. HenryP says:

    By putting the Gleisberg solar cycle into a chart, as I have done, (and others can follow and copy??), I think it is possible for me to estimate for me that all observed warming is natural or very nearly completely natural. Please correct me if you think I am wrong.
    Consider the fact that we really do not have a global temp. record to speak of since at least around 1925. In those days they just manufactured thermometers, never realizing that after time they need to be re-calibrated…..I have challenged anyone to bring me the calibration certificates of thermometers used in weather stations from before that time, with no response.
    This means that if we look at my chart, which is looking at energy-in
    (not to be confused with energy-out)
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

    we must rather look at the absolute value (positive) of the increase in the heat coming through the top of the atmosphere from 1927 (85 years ago) until 1950. This means an increase of ca. 0.037/2 (roughly integrated) x 23 = 0.43 degrees K. In the next period from 1950 to 1995, when records were firmly established we are seeing the warming that everyone started to fear, namely 0.037/2 (roughly integrated) x 45 = 0.83 degrees K. From 1995 until 2012 it looks we went down on the maxima by ca. 0.037/2 x 17 = 0.31

    So I have 0.43 + 0.83 -0.31= 0.95 degrees K up on the maxima since 1927

    I have also determined that the ratio maxima : means that pushed up the means by increasing maxima is 5 : 2
    see here
    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/04/23/global-cooling-is-here/

    So my final result for natural variation due to Gleisberg cycle is 0.95/2.46 = + 0.4 degrees K up on the means since 1927.

    now look here:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1927/to:2013/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1927/to:2013/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1927/to:2013/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1927/to:2013/trend/plot/rss/from:1927/to:2013/plot/rss/from:1927/to:2013/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1927/to:2013/plot/gistemp/from:1927/to:2013/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1927/to:2013/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1927/to:2013/trend

    there is no “extra’ man made global warming?
    But, please do correct me if you think my reasoning is wrong.

  78. David Jones says:

    Jim Cripwell says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm
    “The problem is how can the IPCC support the strong statements in the AR 5 SPM with weasel worded chapters.”

    That’s easy, they’ll do what they did before; get Ben Santer to rewrite the “science” chapters tp agree with the SPM, after publication of the SPM.

    The true science community needs to be ready to argue loudly that the SPM is irrelevant if the other chapters are not published simultaneously.

  79. SandyInLimousin says:

    I think this can be summed up by the response an old stalker used to give to the question will it rain tomorrow.
    “Well maybe it will, maybe it won’t”

    It’s a good response I’ve used many times over the years since to respond to the question “but will it work?”

    Merry Christmas to all

  80. Thanks for a clear and very readable analysis of Chapter 11 – the IPCC “get out of jail free” card. I’ve always thought that IF the models differ from one another then it follows that there’s NO possibility of any more than ONE giving the “correct” result. In that case, then averaging the results won’t give a “better” result, as the “correct” result will disappear in the averaging process.

    From your analysis so far I’d say that Chapter 11 is saying that “things are gonna change, but we don’t know by how much, nor in which direction”. That’s a really excellent basis for planning for the future.

  81. richard verney says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    December 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Humans are bad at managing risk. Usually, the greatest risk that one can run is to be certain of the outcome of an event, when in reality one should be uncertain as to the outcome.

    The precautionary principle is misguided because it is based upon a false premise; the disaster that one should endeavour to avoid is not the ‘disaster’ that one foresees, but rathe the disaster that is occassioned by acting in a manner which one incorrectly assumes will minimise the risk that the foreseen disaster will occur.

    In the CAGW context, the ultimate disaster is what happens if we try to mitigate but that mitigation turns out to be unsuccessful. Mitigation may turn out to be unsuccessful for example because:
    1. CO2 does not control temperature such that steps to reduce CO2 emissions prove fruitless.
    2. Global temperatures continue to rise unabated due to natural factors (CO2 not being a control – see 1 above) and rising temperatures truly are a problem and having wasted trillions of dollars on unsuccessful mitigation, the world is now bankrupt and cannot afford the steps that are required to adapt to the problem caused by rising temperature.
    3. It is subsequently discovered that rising temperatures would be a God send and that life on Earth in general and for mankind in particular, rising temperatures would be beneficial and life would flourish, but unfortunately the mitigation has deprived us (and other life forms) from having and enjoying a bountiful rnvironment.

    If the science is truly uncertain then acknowledging this uncertainty and taking it into account is a necessary requirement of risk management. Not to do so would be foolhardy in the extreme.

    In a nutshell, why waste hundreds of trillions of dollars on something that is not necessary? If we are to waste such money, may it not be better targetted on something more productive, eg/ eradicating famine and poverty in 3rd world countries? There is plenty of causes to waste money on, and if money is to be wasted, it would be at least some comfort to see some measurable outcome of success.

    PS. Perhaps I am being cynical that famine and poverty are incurable facts of life (possibly because of human nature itself). Perhaps with the wherewithal these could be overcome,.

  82. Juraj V. says:

    ..like North Atlantic SSTs with more than 75% of the models agreeing on the improvement signal..

    Pardon me? This is the North Atlantic SST record vs models:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/natlantic1.jpg?w=640
    Except of model tuned to fit the 1975-2005 period, the model bears no resemblance to the real word.

  83. knr says:

    Bottom line no what happens somewhere AR5 will have something that approximately includes it.
    A basic fail for an undergraduate piece of work is once again seen to be acceptable to the ‘best science’ in the area . When will the scientific establishment pull its finger out and call out such nonsense ?

  84. Chuck Nolan says:

    Nice try David and Anthony but Lisa Jackson has POTUS support and backing so my guess is there will be no bankrupcy. I believe the IPCC and climate science as we know it will get a bail-out no matter how they have to lie and work the books.
    cn

  85. Gail Combs says:

    James Allison says:
    December 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Until recently GCM was the modern day equivalent of the ancient witch doctor who peers into the entrails and bones and makes predictions of doom and gloom. The latest IPCC draft report appears to be the equivalent of an uninformed punter who puts a dollar each way on a horse race.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Best description I have seen of the whole mess LOL

  86. catweazle666 says:

    Who cares?

    Even the United Nations seems to have given up on its own offspring the IPCC, it didn’t even get invited to the UN’s own COP18 yearly piss-up at Doha this year, what a slap in the face for uber-egotist, railway engineer and pornographer Pachauri that must have been.

    In any case, judging by the ‘dash for gas’ that appears to include just about everybody who can stump up for a drilling rig and a fraccing set – even Germany is getting in on the act now, carbon dioxide reduction seems to be the least worry on the minds of the leaders of most industrial nations these days.

    Possibly they they catch on quicker than the Watermelons that the CAGW hoax has run its course, and the jig is up?

  87. lsvalgaard says:

    ZootCadillac says:
    December 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm
    Leif, how about stop with the deflection, have some respect for the author and discuss the topic to hand?
    As the author invokes solar activity, it seems to be on topic to discuss that.

  88. Vince Causey says:

    I am shocked, I tell you. I have been told so many times that the science is getting tighter and better, that climate scientists are so confident in their climatology, that I would be expecting them to make real robust predictions. Instead, they cloak them in the deliberate ambiguities of a clairvoyant.

    Are they less certain than they keep telling the world?

  89. HenryP says:

    henry says
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/23/ipcc-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection/#comment-1181168

    henry says (to himself, seeing as they are all too dof here)

    it looks like the warming from 1927 to 2012 is a bit more than 0.4
    probably more like 0.5 or 0.6, on average, on the 3 relevant sets.
    The difference would mean a considerable % of the warming being due to human influence.

    true.

    However, I also looked at my own data set again to find that the ratio of warming looking at
    maxima : means
    is not constant. It appears that in warming periods it is a lot higher than in cooling periods.
    So the factor 2.46 that I used in my earlier comment based on my own data set (from 1974-2012) is simply too high.
    But I do not have the maxima on the 3 relevant sets and my own set covers too short a time period.

    The only data set I have that has maxima and means covered over the whole period 1927-2012 is the CET data set. In due time, I will see if I can work out the relevant factor over the period from that.
    I still expect to find that all observed warming and subsequent cooling is and was completely natural.

  90. Auto says:

    So, a first, brief, draft of the sceptic’s SPM:

    Climate changes, and will do so.
    There are many things that do, or may, affect climate, to some degree.
    One or more of those is the effect of humanity’s actions.
    AR5 now recognises that CO2 is not the only, or even the main, influence, whilst starting to explore at least some of the things that past climate models have not handled well – or even omitted.
    Amongst those influences, we mention solar variation; the thermohaline circulation; and clouds, and their causes. There are others.
    Consequently, the IPCC recommends its own dissolution, and will pass its Nobel Peace Prize to Pol Pot, Comrade #1.

  91. lsvalgaard says:

    Auto says:
    December 24, 2012 at 9:56 am
    AR5 now recognises that CO2 is not [...] the main, influence
    Nowhere do they ‘recognize’ that.

  92. Doug Proctor says:

    I’ll be most interested in seeing how all of these recognized uncertainties in input and models affects certainties in outcome. I mean the “95%” certainty.

    I’m not being sarcastic here if I wonder if the 95% certainty is really that the actual outcome will be between the high and the low end of their scenarios, but without any further certainty as to where within the range the outcome will be.

    What exactly is this 95% certainty?

  93. Matthew R Marler says:

    More amusing however is their repeated (and repeated, and repeated) admonition that their projections may not be detectable due to natural variability. Given that skeptics were mocked for pointing out that the temperature record to date is well within natural variability, I find it a bit disingenuous that they now want to use that same natural variability to shield their inability to clearly demonstrate the very effects that they have for so long insisted were dominant, urgent, and catastrophic.

    I think that skeptics should hammer home this point. All along natural variability has been large compared to the computed short-term effects of increases in CO2; now that IPCC is claiming that the large ratio of noise to signal is why there may not be any apparent signal, that message should be repeated.

  94. Matthew R Marler says:

    Such an eventuality could arise if there are processes operating in the real world that are missing from, or inadequately represented in, the models. Two main possibilities must be considered: 1) Future radiative and other forcings may diverge from the RCP4.5 scenario and, more generally, could fall outside the range of all the RCP scenarios; 2) The response of the real climate system to radiative and other forcing may differ from that projected by the CMIP5 models. A third possibility is that internal fluctuations in the real climate system are inadequately simulated in the models.

    Now that the full weight of the IPCC is behind a skeptical position, perhaps the skeptical position will be taken more seriously.

  95. Mario Lento says:

    @lsvalgaard says:
    December 24, 2012 at 11:26 am
    Auto says:
    December 24, 2012 at 9:56 am
    AR5 now recognises that CO2 is not [...] the main, influence
    Nowhere do they ‘recognize’ that.
    +++++
    Hello Mr. Svalgaard: I believe Auto was saying that the IPCC should make this claim in their SPM. Do you feel that CO2 is the primary driver for the increases in temperature during the last century? I am no sure what you think. I think you believe the solar cycles are not the cause of the warmth. I am curious what your take is.
    Mario

  96. Mario Lento says:

    Adding this post to be included on this posting follow ups

  97. Brian H says:

    As Kev-in-UK implies, the IPCC is spooked. It has no case, it knows it will be expertly critiqued and debunked, so what to do? This last kick at the can is going to achieve nothing. It is a last hurrah.

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