The path forward: adaptation, not alarmism

From Oregon State University

Researchers advocate for climate adaptation science

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An international team of researchers says in a new paper that climate science needs to advance to a new realm – more practical applications for dealing with the myriad impacts of climate variability.

The scientific capability already exists as does much of the organizational structure, they say, to begin responding to emerging climate-related issues ranging from declining snowpack, to severe storms, to sea level rise. What is missing is better engagement between the scientific community and the stakeholders they are seeking to inform.

Their paper is being published on Friday in the Policy Forum section of the journal Science.

“Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy and regions of the globe,” they wrote. “However, without the appropriate science delivered in a decision-relevant context, it will become increasingly difficult – if not impossible – to prepare adequately.”

Philip Mote, an Oregon State University climate scientist and co-author on the paper, said climate adaptation science involves trans-disciplinary research to understand the challenges and opportunities of climate change – and how best to respond to them.

“What we need is more visibility to gain more inclusiveness – to bring into play the private sector, resource managers, universities and a host of decision-makers and other stakeholders,” said Mote, who directs the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State. “The stakeholders need to know our scientific capabilities, and we need to better understand their priorities and decision-making processes.”

Oregon State is among the national leaders in climate adaptation science. In addition to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, the university has two regional climate centers – one established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work with municipalities, utilities, emergency management organizations and state and federal agencies; the other by the Department of the Interior to work primarily with federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

Mote, who is involved with all three centers, said work with stakeholders is gaining traction, but the gap that exists between scientists and decision-makers is still too large.

“The centers here and elsewhere around the country are driven by stakeholder demands, but that needs to reach deeper into the research enterprise,” Mote said. “We’re working with some water districts, forest managers and community leaders on a variety of issues, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Richard Moss, a senior scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said the Science article grew out of a NASA-funded workshop held in 2012 at the Aspen Global Change Institute in Colorado, which focused on how to improve support for decision-making in the face of a changing climate.

“Traditionally, we think that what society needs is better predictions,” said Moss, who was lead author on the Science article. “But at this workshop, all of us – climate and social scientists alike – recognized the need to consider how decisions get implemented and that climate is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt.”

OSU’s Mote said examples abound of issues that need the marriage of stakeholders and climate scientists. Changing snowmelt runoff is creating concerns for late-season urban water supplies, irrigation for agriculture, and migration of fish. An increasing number of plant and animal species are becoming stressed by climate change, including the white bark pine and the sage grouse. Rising sea levels and more intense storms threaten the infrastructure of coastal communities, which need to examine water and sewer systems, as well as placement of hospitals, schools and nursing homes.

Mote, Moss and their colleagues outline a comprehensive approach to research in the social, physical, environmental, engineering and other sciences. Among their recommendations for improvement:

  • Understand decision processes and knowledge requirements;
  • Identify vulnerabilities to climate change;
  • Improve foresight about exposure to climate hazards and other stressors;
  • Broaden the range of adaptation options and promote learning;
  • Provide examples of adaptation science in application;
  • Develop measures to establish adaptation science.

One such measure could be the development of a national institution of climate preparedness in the United States comprised of centers for adaptation science aimed at priority sectors.

“More broadly,” the authors wrote in Science, “support for sustained, use-inspired, fundamental research on adaptation needs to be increased at research agencies. A particular challenge is to develop effective approaches to learn from adaptation practice as well as published research. Universities could provide support for sustained, trans-disciplinary interactions. Progress will require making a virtue of demonstrating tangible benefits for society by connecting research and applications.”

###
Advertisements

96 thoughts on “The path forward: adaptation, not alarmism

  1. What a painful read.
    “What we need is more visibility to gain more inclusiveness – to bring into play the private sector, resource managers, universities and a host of decision-makers and other stakeholders,” said Mote, who directs the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State. “The stakeholders need to know our scientific capabilities, and we need to better understand their priorities and decision-making processes.”
    How the hell is any of that going to help? It’s going to be like Bureaucratic Whack-a-Mole. Model predictions continually changing, while cranially-challenged lawyers wallow in a cesspool of weepy alarmist scientific bamboozlement.
    Just wait until some thing is apparently happening, like catastrophic sea level rise, and move uphill, sillies.

  2. What a load of jargonised rubbish.
    By all means maintain and improve the observation of climate and learn – and stop trying to build a mega bureaucracy where none is justified. This just more of the same “jobs for the boys” IPCC styled carp

  3. To paraphrase Monty Python…these guys have a PhD in ‘The Bleedin’ Obvious.’
    I think academia should purge people who make $hit up or just use high falutin’ jargon to expound upon the bleedin’ obvious.

  4. Huh. Made a typo in my email and WordPress threw away my comment. This silly paper doesn’t warrant retyping it all.

  5. Oregon State certainly is in ‘ Corn Valley ‘ and this waste of paper / electrons deserves only the bit bucket. Save it for April 1st !

  6. So they advocate more of the same green graft government corruption in service of the lie, even as the world comes to understand it to be a lie.
    The very definition of moron.

  7. 1. “Understand decision processes and knowledge requirements;”
    A. A working thermometer.
    2. “Identify vulnerabilities to climate change;”
    A. People not smart enough to get out of the rain.
    3. “Improve foresight about exposure to climate hazards and other stressors;”
    A. More thermometers.
    4. “Broaden the range of adaptation options and promote learning;”
    A. Umbrellas might work to stay out of the rain.
    5. “Provide examples of adaptation science in application;”
    A. Roofs keep people out of the rain.
    6. “Develop measures to establish adaptation science.”
    A. We’ve never read any books by Charles Darwin.

  8. Many of the problems they worry about are much easier to overcome when they don’t exist in the first place. #justsendmoney.

  9. Unbelievable arrogance. And there is likely to be more of this. Know-nothings sensing that the game might be up, so are sliding sideways, without having the slightest notion that others have been working on resilience to climate hazards for decades. Hazards that arise from climate sameness, not climate change. Stuff that has happened before and will happen again.
    These people ARE the “other stressors”. They make the real work more difficult to do.

  10. Did they just say we should be ready for a big time cooling when they said climate chage?
    Is this the start of the admission that everything they said in the past was garbage?
    Thanks
    JK

  11. Ahhh… but we also have to eliminate “carbon” and without “carbon,” there is no adaptation. Oh wait… windmills will save us.
    This is the golden age of information. So how in the heck did our dumba$$ ancestors in untold past generations manage to survive an ever-changing climate such that we are here today? The truth of the matter is that we have been so successful in adapting to climate – central heating, central air, only hours to travel to a place with climate to our liking – that few people have the basic knowledge of weather and climate that most farmers have had going back untold generations. Our forefathers would have killed for our doppler radar and satellite images. Now we have the technology to “see it coming” but no one seems to have the sense that god gave a goat to get out of the way./rant

  12. This process would no doubt result in much more fuel reduction on the forest floor and the removal of windmills that are destroying untold thousands of birds, to name but two benefits. Who the said stakeholders and how do i become one?

  13. I wonder how much this conference cost us? If NASA is short of funding, I know one area they can save money. When did we mutate from homo sapiens to homo incapaces? My guess is that we still retain the ability to adapt to almost anything, particularly slow moving events like a changing climate. It’s probably in our genes.
    I’m also getting tired of the “path forward” cliche, sorta reminds me of the old Lenin posters.

  14. Not a single climate model can make a reliable regional forecast beyonda few days and these guys want to give infrastructure advice?

  15. Can anyone name a place where the climate has changed enough in the last 30 years to require any “adaptation”.
    There are areas which have always had problems (built on a delta, coastline subsiding or eroding, periodic hurricanes, alternating drought and rainfall cycles, desert), but these conditions have not changed from what they were 100 or 200 years ago.
    The only change we can really point to is that vegetation is growing better due to the increased CO2.

  16. Somewhat off topic but pure alarmism all over again
    I was just looking at the english version of the german mag, “Spiegel on line”.
    The lead article tonight [ eastern Australian time zone ] was “A Brighter, Dimmer Future: Germany’s Saviors of the Night” which deals with the problem of light pollution from a German astronomers point of view .
    Then the Spiegel article goes on to quote “scientists”
    [quote;]”
    The assembled ecologists, entomologists, physicians, lighting designers, astronomers and lawyers agreed that since inventors like Thomas Edison unleashed the power of the lightbulb more than 130 years ago, life on the planet has been plunged into a large-scale experiment that becomes more volatile every day. Its outcome is uncertain. For millions of years, darkness was part of life. And now, suddenly, darkness is absent.
    &
    The adverse effects of all of this nighttime lighting are all too apparent. Myriads of insects die each year on street lamps or in the webs of the unnaturally large numbers of spiders that now live on street lamps. This reduces the number of insects available to eat for animals much higher on the food chain. Birds, for their part, become confused in the light cloud and collide with brightly lit high-rise buildings. Some bats avoid the light and flee to darker realms, while many moths are no longer reproducing sufficiently in brightly lit areas. “Biodiversity is declining in many illuminated regions,” says Hölker.
    [ end]
    More of the same sickening wailing , weeping and gnashing of teeth as the “woe, woe, we are rooned all over again” follows in the Spiegel article.
    During my 75 years I have supported science and because of my interest in science, have served as a layman on a number of committees and groupings where science was the reason for their existence.
    But maybe looking back and looking at the path that modern science is now taking I may have just wasted half a lifetime on promoting and facilitating science.
    .
    I am utterly fed up to the back teeth with constant wailing and predictions of new horrors about to descend on mankind unless we mend our ways and follow the dictates of “those who know and are EXPERTS and SCIENTISTS’
    Frankly after the last few months of blatant alarmism ad nauseum without any evidence at all being presented on any number of supposed scientifically [ sarc ] predicted horror events about to overtake mankind sometime in the immediate future, I am totally fed up to the back teeth with scientists and their sheer idiocy in the way they seem so desperate to destroy the image of science as an endeavor that is totally unique and has been of immense benefit to mankind, lifting our species up from a near animal existence to a globally wide civilisation.
    The rapidly progressing destruction by scientists themselves of science as a vision proceeds apace and the vision that science will be guide and a beacon that will lead mankind onto an even better future is fast vanishing in a morass of sickening self pity and hand wringing by the scientific fraternity
    Instead we see a selfish, self important, self promoting, whingeing, whining cabal of hand wringers who go by the name of scientists and who it seems can no longer provide any sort of uplifting vision,for mankind.
    The only vision we, the public see today from science is one that promotes multitudinous visions of numerous deadly Hades in mankind’s future and the promises of the shades of the Hells to come.
    Science and scientists are becoming the Charons of modern times, salivating while waiting to ferry the souls of the dead across the Styx to the Hells on the other side and collecting their coins of payment for the deed.
    End of rant/

  17. After reading the article, I wanted to comment, but I’ve got nothing to add; you’ve all managed to say everything that needs saying. If only the fools in Oregon could acknowledge they’re similarly late to the party.

  18. I read the book 1984 as part of my education in to becoming an engineer. It was a compulsory read and an analysis, for the English literature part of becoming an engineer. That was fifty years ago.
    These people have taken a novel and made it a mantra, a new way,a progressive way, a way of using newspeak where war is peace, warming is cooling,children of today have only their parents to educate them in truth. In america the democrates call themselves liberals and progressives both terms are the reverse of truth, such as thank big brother for the increase in the chocolate ration.
    This article is just newspeak and total BS, adaption is a natural trait of all animals including us, I do hope this was freebie thing and no body actually paid these people for this cr#p.

  19. But at this workshop, all of us – climate and social scientists alike – recognized the need to consider how decisions get implemented and that climate is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt.
    Oh dear! An unholy marriage of climate scientists and social scientists. More Lew paper on the way.
    In some respects in seems quite natural that social scientists and climate scientists should get together. They need to thrash out whether any of them do ‘science’ at all. Perhaps they should change their respective subjects to ‘social studies’ and ‘climate studies’; the better to interact with ‘media studies’ graduates with whom they have a close relationship.

  20. True, it is an interesting challenge as to how to respond to our boring climate. We might just die of boredom, and that would be bad (I think). But, if we make stuff up, like “the declining snowpack”, and throw in things that have always occurred like severe storms pretending they are somehow more severe or more frequent, and then, for good measure throw in the “sea level rise” bogeyman, as if that, too hasn’t been happening all along, perhaps people will be scared enough not to notice the complete lack of actual science.
    Because it would be really bad if these “climate researchers” were to be out of a job.

  21. Worry not, Climate Adaptation Science, millions of dollars are being sent your way as we speak. Kudos to you for letting us know how important (and needy) you are.

  22. The adage “adapt or die” is one my grandmother taught me a half century ago. The concept probably originated with Alfred Russell Wallace, who has been deceased for 100 years. Astute of the researchers to notice this.
    It is a summary of the elegant mechanism behind the Law of Natural Selection and by extension the Theory of Evolution. Anybody who cannot retreat from a sea level rise of 20 cm/century deserves to die, and anybody who believes such as sea level rise is a threat to any life form is already brain dead.

  23. Shorter Mr. Mote:
    “You ignorant skeptics have exposed our scientific lies, but we can still implement the full Green Agenda by going over your heads to the career plutocrats hidden in the government. So There.”

  24. “begin responding to emerging climate-related issues ranging from declining snowpack, to severe storms, to sea level rise”
    Of course, these problems are not happening, which can only mean that they are rebranding “climate change,” aka global warming, as “climate variability.

  25. The scientific capability already exists as does much of the organizational structure, they say, to begin responding to emerging climate-related issues ranging from declining snowpack, to severe storms, to sea level rise. What is missing is better engagement between the scientific community and the stakeholders they are seeking to inform.

    We have always had to deal with all of the above since even before 1850. The Medieval Warm period had declining snowpack, severe storms were rampant during the Little Ice Age and sea levels have been rising since the end of the last de-glaciation. What the heck does any of the above have to do with co2?

  26. This is adapted from a post placed on Judith Curry’s Climate Etc blog
    I keep on seeing this constant meme that we need to ” find a solution” or “we must do something” to counter or neuter or control the so called climate change.
    What exactly are we supposed to solve as a changing climate has been a part of Earth’s most basic characteristics for all of it’s 4.5 billion years of existence.?
    And in fact the very Climate Change that all the unthinking, seemingly ignorant promoters of “we must do something” meme want to eliminate has led to the rise of intelligence by constantly challenging life in all it’s forms to adapt to those changes in the global climate.
    When a species has failed to adapt to the sometimes immense past changes in the global climate, it perishes.
    But in perishing it makes available a new large niche for a more adapted species to occupy.
    And that is how our species, a species with a level of intelligence above any that have previously existed in our world’s evolvement down through the aeons of time but which is likely to be far from the end of the line in intelligence levels as far as Nature is concerned [ Is there ever an end to anything that involves Nature? ] has evolved and come to dominate, at least in our self centred view, all life on this Earth.
    [ Maybe one should ask the 350 million year old termite species of this earth if humanity is the dominant species,! The answer I would think would be No!, But we will let you keep on believing that it is.]
    Our species one outstanding and defining characteristic that single us out over and above all other species that have ever existed is that we are the only species ever on this Earth to have learnt to both control and use energy to our species great benefit and it’s drive towards being the dominant species.
    And for that we are “Humanity”
    Even here the drive to control and use energy was in the end driven by the need of our species to be able to adapt to and live in what in our natural state, were hostile and ever changing climatic conditions as human kind spread across the planet and into every conceivable location.
    In locations where the climate and temperatures and water and food availability are readily conducive to human occupation, the use and development of energy and the development of that use was low and stagnant for the entire couple of millions of years that it took for our species to evolve.
    Only in a harsh climatic challenging locations where humanity could barely survive if at all without significant energy use, did the more advanced development of energy and it’s use take place..
    And with that development of energy use came civilisation, driven by the constant changes in the local, regional and global climate and the need for humanity to both adapt to and find means of coping with those challenging, changing climatic conditions.
    The ever changing global Climate has driven and forced life on this earth to rise from a bacterial level to a level of high intelligence and perhaps futuristically will lead to an ever increasing series of intelligent species which may not be humanity as we know it now.
    So now our so called intelligent species, ie; humanity or at least some sections of it which seem to driven more by paranoi than intelligence or rationality want to stop climate change, the very item that through it’s challenges and it’s winnowing of unsuccessful and unable to adapt life forms has led to the rise of intelligent life on this planet.
    If they succeed then Earth’s life forms over the future aeons of time just slowly sink into an never changing torpor and for sentient life on this earth that means a slow downward death spiral to extinction until once again only the bacterial species are left in an endless never changing global climate.

  27. Can we adapt to the current rate of sea level rise? We did and we can.
    How warm will it get? The IPCC does not know, they just told us.
    Can we adapt to the greening biosphere and increased crops? Hmmmmmm.
    What about violent tornadoes, hurricanes, storm surges etc? The past tells us to the contrary.
    Why are these people allowed to manufacture a false emergency? Is it so they can make money out of this ponzi scheme? There isn’t anything special we need to do. Let’s just adapt the way we have always done since the last de-glaciation. Sheeeeeesh!

  28. Adapting to climate change. How have we done so far without crooked schemes these people propose. Well, man came out of tropical Africa and proceeded to populate every continent, except Antarctica. Funny that, I wonder why? We have people living on the equator, we have people in frigid Arctic Canada, we have people living in deserts, we have people living above water on stilts, we have people living in tree houses in PNG, we have people in the mountains, forests, in Iceland, Finland, Siberia and even death valley. All this before we were told that we need to ‘adapt’!!!! What a bloody joke. It’s a con job, don’t fall for it.
    The more you think about humans and how we have managed so far the more ridiculous this paper sounds. We will adapt on a case by case without any international co-ordinating bollocks. Netherlands anyone? Thames flood barrier anyone? Manhattan Island anyone? Sheesh! Where is the BULLSHIT BUTTON?

  29. ‘Philip Mote, an Oregon State University climate scientist and co-author on the paper, said climate adaptation science involves trans-disciplinary research to understand the challenges and opportunities of climate change – and how best to respond to them.’
    “What we need is more visibility to gain more inclusiveness – to bring into play the private sector, resource managers, universities and a host of decision-makers and other stakeholders,” said Mote, who directs the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State. “The stakeholders need to know our scientific capabilities, and we need to better understand their priorities and decision-making processes.”’
    How could science of any discipline have become subverted and distorted so that rubbish such as this management-speak nonsense is uttered, never mind published in a science journal?
    But given that it’s ‘climate science’ I’m not surprised at all.

  30. “Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy and regions of the globe,” they wrote. “However, without the appropriate science delivered in a decision-relevant context, it will become increasingly difficult – if not impossible – to prepare adequately.”
    Here’s some good news for ya, chuckles – adaptation is not about preparation. It is about responding. Preparation involves making predictions of scary stories, and demanding bags of money and political action based on those predictions. That isn’t anything new, and it certainly isn’t adaptation. It’s just the same old ‘global warming’ BS being sold under a different name. Same rent seeking behaviour.
    Adaptation does not require “appropriate science delivered in a decision relevant context … to prepare”. All adaptation requires is that people get on with their lives and deal with things that actually occur instead of “preparing” for things that won’t.

  31. The Maldives are adapting to ‘dangerous climate change’ just fine. They are building 5 more ‘underwater’ airports and 30 additional new luxury class hotel complexes. Thereby encouraging more flights, more co2 resulting in a decline in sea levels. This is how you tackle ‘climate change’ folks. It’s a con, it’s a con’ it’s a con.
    The new hotels
    http://notrickszone.com/2013/11/03/developers-dismiss-sea-level-rise-claims-plan-to-30-new-luxury-hotels-in-the-maldives-nasheeds-cash-machine/
    The new airports
    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/maldives-to-build-five-more-underwater-airports/

  32. Adapt to what crisis?!
    Does adaptation mean creating untold wealth and privileged for the elite and destitution for the masses? Does it mean complete control over published research and funding as indicated by the climategate conspiracies? Does it mean a steady concentrated stream of propaganda and movies targeting our children from preschool to adulthood? Does adaptation mean the corruption and discarding of the scientific method?
    Just asking… GK

  33. Why should you adapt to something in the future? Why not adapt as it happens, like we have always done? The reason I raise this critical point is due to the wasting of valuable resources. Australia adapted by building de-salination plants before the Biblical floods. Dams were dangerously full to overflowing. They were eventually mothballed wasting billions; the precautionary principle FAILED in this instance. What if we had adapted to USA tornadoes? Tornadoes recently went off the legend because of historic lows. Stop this insanity.
    Sometimes we Warmists talk about adaptation. This can be dangerous because it means we might have to spend money on something that MIGHT happen in the future. What if it doesn’t happen? No, we should adapt as things arise and not before something has occurred.
    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2012/s3604572.htm
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/mothballs-at-the-ready-for-18bn-desal-plant/story-e6frgczx-1226607172584

  34. We may have to deal with;
    Slightly warmer temperatures
    More rain worldwide
    Faster plant growth
    Longer growing seasons
    Higher crop yields
    Yes it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

  35. charles nelson – you’re absolutely right about this being a ‘statement of the bleedin’ obvious’ – however it wasn’t Monty Python – it was Basil Fawlty commenting on something which his dreadful wife Sybil said.. (Apologies if if I’m being picky…)
    Anyway – mankind has always adapted to the climate.
    Rain..? Make roof for house.
    Cold..? Put heating in house.
    Hot..? Invent air conditioning.
    Etc…
    Its not rocket science..!

  36. My alma mater. I am so proud. Ingenious. An old home economics and agriculture now post-normal research university trying to figure out a way to create a research department dedicated to the practice of teaching bureaucrats how to herd sheeple.

  37. Please tell me this is parody produced with the aid of one of those random buzzword generators.
    This profoundly pathetic nonsense makes me weep for the future of science.

  38. Adaption would require government oversight. That would require bureaucrats and a huge budget and lots of data gathering. That would require Google – the “do no evil” model for NSA. Any good bureaucrat knows an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so things will have to change – the old ways need to go, new regulations written, generating plants to shutter. Windmills will become the new chicken in every pot. It also means turning over to government management that part of the economy not already expertly guided by the geniuses behind Obamacare. Win/win.
    Start with OSU. Go, Beavs. Go. Please.

  39. Ya know, engineers, not scientists are the ones who do this kind of work. It’s “rocket science” (there is no such thing as a rocket scientist) all over again. Why is it that engineers, whose work is all around us don’t figure very prominently in the scheme.
    “The scientific capability already exists as does much of the organizational structure, they say, to begin responding to emerging climate-related issues …”
    In the blurb, engineers get a small nod after social scientists!!! What on earth can social scientists contribute here? Anyway, if and when any adaptation becomes necessary, you birds will be asked to stay out of the way.

  40. kingdube says:
    November 8, 2013 at 6:31 am
    Guys, this is better than saying we MUST throw ourselves on our economic swords.
    Not by much. This is just a new branch of the same old field of Climastrology. Plenty of room for all, including mitigation.

  41. Adaptation is of course what we need to do. It is also precisely what we have been doing since the dawn of civilization. The question is – adapt to what conditions precisely? Since no-one even in the alarmist camp can agree what the actual impact on a scale relevant to adaptive responses will be (i.e sub-regional), the only thing we can do is to increase our capacity to adapt to whatever the prevailing conditions will be – when any changes actually occurr.
    And what is is we need to increase our capacity for adaptation? The scientific and engineering expertise to apply solutions and the resources (especially energy) to adopt them. And these are the very things which we are losing in the ridiculous scrabble for “alternatives”. Development has been what we have done to get to our current state of civilization (which is not only pretty damn good, but is getting better all the time) and what we should put all of our efforts into more of the same.

  42. Like tteclod (November 8, 2013 at 4:21 am) I found that everything I wanted to say was already said by previous commentators. We may not know everything about the climate, but we sure know everything there is to know about these climate carpetbaggers.
    I just wanted to add a shout-out to ROM (November 8, 2013 at 4:07 am) and his wonderful rant! Sometimes it is necessary (and refreshing) to take the gloves off and just tell it like it is. Well done! Well done!
    I particularly liked: “I am totally fed up to the back teeth with scientists and their sheer idiocy in the way they seem so desperate to destroy the image of science as an endeavor that is totally unique and has been of immense benefit to mankind, lifting our species up from a near animal existence to a globally wide civilization.”
    While not as old as ROM, I was still born in the age of optimism, with science the bright beacon that was leading the way. But now the noble sciences have been subjugated by mankind’s least noble creation: government bureaucracy! Science no longer provides knowledge and solutions, but promotes problems and despair; the life-blood of bureaucracy.
    .

  43. Gary Pearse says:
    November 8, 2013 at 7:32 am
    Ya know, engineers, not scientists are the ones who do this kind of work. It’s “rocket science” (there is no such thing as a rocket scientist) all over again. Why is it that engineers, whose work is all around us don’t figure very prominently in the scheme….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Because unlike the idiots professors in ivory towers they have to be firmly grounded in reality. (They also take a heck of a lot more math)

  44. Maybe it’s because I’m an engineer and I use precise wording as part of my job, but I have absolutely no idea what these guys are saying other than: “Give me some money so we can do some research that is going to help some stakeholder somewhere at some time (in the future).”
    By the way, not sure if this is pertinent but Richard Moss is (or was??) a vice-president at WWF: http://web.archive.org/web/20120512151723/http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/media/press/2007/WWFPresitem1326.html

  45. Jim Clarke: “While not as old as ROM, I was still born in the age of optimism, with science the bright beacon that was leading the way.”
    Which is the problem. Any discipline that moves from useful products to a brand name filled with trust and status attracts those that should have neither trust nor status.

  46. The greatest fear of the catastrophic climate change adaption is that nobody will take them seriously. They need to make the lack of CCCA scary. Oops – already done. Check mark!

  47. Bill Illis says:
    November 8, 2013 at 4:01 am
    Can anyone name a place where the climate has changed enough in the last 30 years to require any “adaptation”.
    _____________________________________________________________________________
    In the US east of the Rockies over the last 40 years, I’ve had to adapt to climate in North Carolina, Ft. Sill, OK, New Orleans, Kalamazoo, MI, and Richmond, VA. Moving from NOLA to KZ requires a heck of a lot of adapting. I’ve also noticed that the father north of 60 I get the more adaptation is required even in Richmond.

  48. I cannot agree that climate change is not a problem and a threat. But I can certainly agree that we do not need pay scientists to work on it. Indeed, it seems to me that stopping their pay may be the entire solution. But the horse has already bolted. Might as well sit back and enjoy the ride as spend money on conferences.

  49. Riiiiigghhhtt. This is the same OSU that employed George Taylor, and gave him the title of State Climatologist, until his non CAGW views got him “untitled” by then Oregon Gov Kulongoski. So I say, yes, let’s talk about OSU spearheading this, just as soon as they denounce the hockey stick touting Marcott et al that came from their office.

  50. ROM…don’t hold back now. Tell us how you really feel. *grin* I loved your rant.
    But don’t despair. Science is, and always should be, the key to understanding our world and each other. As such a tool, it has already proven that, eventually, truth wins and folly leads to ruin. No one I know views “science” as the bad guy here, because science is just information. Rational people know that it is the people misusing it (or not using it at all) that are the problem. How can they look down upon, or discount, or doubt something that consistently and stubbornly remains the same no matter how much it is twisted, distorted, ignored, or abused?
    In fact, I believe in actual, real science so firmly, that I believe it will be their undoing. The harder they push, the more they squeal and hand wring, the more foolish they’ll look as time goes on. And the more they inspire good, honest, brilliant people to become the scientists that prove them wrong. Nothing inspires real heros more than real injustice.

  51. There is a lot of criticism here, but I take this paper as a good sign. Mitigation relates to the future. Adaptation has to take place in the present. That means present reality will have to be recognized by climate science.
    This paper is part of the climb down from alarmism, and it is coming from OSU. We should be tentatively pleased.

    • No way is this pleasing, it’s just trying to figure out how to implement the worst of the Green Agenda WITHOUT the science backing them.
      How many climatology papers have been ENTIRELY premised on, “Suppose global temperatures rise by 2 degrees C, what happens to the Snail Darter? Catastrophy or complete extinction?”
      Activists don’t need no stinkin’ science, the memes have already been implanted in the hive mind.

  52. Rob Potter says (November 8, 2013 at 7:49 am): “…the only thing we can do is to increase our capacity to adapt to whatever the prevailing conditions will be – when any changes actually occurr.”
    Well said. As WUWT readers are well aware, climate is still unpredictable, so adaptation is the only practical strategy. Since the key to adaptation is wealth, these clowns should focus on how to improve the economy. They could start by getting real jobs instead of wasting taxpayer money.

  53. I have a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, good for the next 30 years, which I think they will find very useful; it has the added utility of being easy to understand, and very succinct.
    Buy Some Sweaters.

  54. kingdube says:
    Guys, this is better than saying we MUST throw ourselves on our economic swords.

    No it is not. It’s the same $#!^ in a different bag.

  55. “Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy and regions of the globe,”

    Every individual… neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it… he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. [1]

    “However, without the appropriate science delivered in a decision-relevant context, it will become increasingly difficult – if not impossible – to prepare adequately.”

    The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. [2]

    In other words, their is no more dangerous a council who fancies itself fit to exercise a power to direct private people in the manner they employ their capital.
    “No man shall be deprived of the free enjoyment of his life, liberty, or property, unless declared to be forfeited by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.” [3]
    “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law;….” [4]
    “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”[5]
    [1] Smith, Adam.; Wealth Of Nations, <a href=http://www.adamsmith.org/quotesBook IV, Chapter II, p. 456, para. 9. 1776.
    [2] Ibid. para. 10.
    [3] Magna Carta, 1212
    [4] US Constitution, 5th Amendment, 1791
    [5] Gideon J. Tucker (1866), (popularized by Mark Twain, ?date)

  56. Bill Illis says:
    November 8, 2013 at 4:01 am
    Can anyone name a place where the climate has changed enough in the last 30 years to require any “adaptation”.
    As always , it depends what you mean by climate change.
    The most profound climatic change that I , as an agriculturalist, will experience in my lifetime is the switch between phases of the PDO. Being wholly pastoral , without irrigation , my farm is a different place since about 1999, but entirely for the better in terms of productivity and ease of management. I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to the switch back to predominantly el Nino sometime around 2030 , but at least I do know how to prepare for the inevitability, having experienced it between 1975 and 1998.

  57. For the Busy Scientist: Highlights (with comments!) from
    “Sustainability” By Any Other Name Is Still a Lie
    “Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy.”
    Translation: CONTROL
    “… how decisions get implemented and that climate is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt… ”
    Translation: CONTROL
    “… water districts, forest managers *** water supplies, irrigation for agriculture, and migration of fish…”
    Translation: CONTROL
    “Develop measures to establish adaptation science.”
    Translation: CONTROL
    Finally,
    “…just the tip of the iceberg.”
    Ah, ha! Here’s where the ol’ S.S. Beaver goes hard aground on Reality:
    Their “iceberg” is a snowjob and it is melting rapidly as we speak — the OBVIOUSLY NONSENSICAL hot air belching from their mouths greatly speeding up the process. Keep running that mouth, Mote, lol.
    ******************************
    So MANY great comments above — WUWT commenters are the BEST!
    (can’t applaud them all, though I should…)
    Nice summary, Mr. Rasey!
    @ Gary Pearse (and Gail Combs) — Excellent point. Engineers are marginalized for the same reason criminal defense attorney’s try to keep them off juries (see any legal seminar about jury selection aimed at defense counsel): they are too interested in the truth.
    *********************
    Mentioning 1984 was spot on.
    (from memory only)

    Vague and imprecise language
    is no accident.
    It is a conscious attempt to confuse and deceive.

    George Orwell

  58. Tamara says:
    There is a lot of criticism here, but I take this paper as a good sign. Mitigation relates to the future. Adaptation has to take place in the present.

    No.
    You are mixing up your concepts. WRT ‘global warming’, mitigation and adaptation are two different strategies for dealing with the problem. The difference between them is not temporal. Both may relate to the future, both may take place in the present.
    That means present reality will have to be recognized by climate science.
    No it doesn’t. As these rent seekers are approaching it, adaptation means dealing with their doom and gloom ‘global warming’ predictions with policies and infrastructure other than CO2 reduction schemes.
    This paper is part of the climb down from alarmism, and it is coming from OSU. We should be tentatively pleased.
    No. This paper is about keeping the money flowing to the ‘global warming’ scientists, and keeping their policy objectives moving forward, even though they have accepted that people are not going to buy into the carbon elimination plan right now.
    Instead, they want you to buy into their environmental policies(keep the bears on the ESL), and land use planning policies (you can’t build there), water use planning policies (you can’t have that water), public works programs, etc, etc, etc. This is still 100% ‘global warming’. They aren’t backing down 1 inch from the scary story, they are just reprioritizing their demands.

  59. In recent decades China has dramatically built up its flood control and irrigation infrastructure, thus enhancing its hydroelectric output considerably, and saving millions of lives during the rainy seasons that earlier in the 20th century killed tens of millions of people altogether.
    Over the same time span, the cities of New York and Philadelphia did not improve their defenses against heavy rains and storm surges.
    Lack of information was not the key difference between the regions.
    We already have the most important information that we need, namely the historical records of rains, flooding, droughts, tornadoes and other storms in each region. With or without CO2-induced changes, such variability will re-occur.

  60. ROM says:
    November 8, 2013 at 4:07 am
    “Spiegel on line”.
    “A Brighter, Dimmer Future: Germany’s Saviors of the Night” which deals with the problem of light pollution from a German astronomers point of view .
    I d say they’re intellectually “in the dark”.

  61. @ J. J. (re: 11:19am today) Precise and accurate. And well said.
    (from post title) “adaptation not alarmism” is, unfortunately, mistaken.

  62. A couple of corrections from my last comment, I meant the opposites.

    ….Tornadoes recently went ONTO the legend because of historic lows. Stop this insanity.
    Sometimes we SCEPTICS talk about adaptation……..

  63. Perhaps Mote should consider further the way people in groups adapt.
    For example how a village reacts to a fool, who repeatedly cries”Wolf” when there is none.
    We are adapting to a society where endless false fears are promoted by the media(Presstitutes), quoting self proclaimed “Scientists”.
    First we learn to ignore them, but when their constant screeching drowns out the real and present dangers of our world, we start to turn on them.
    Being staked out to meet the wolf is only appropriate retribution, for the person who’s clamour of “Wolf,Wolf,Wolf” allowed the fox to clean out the henhouse.
    Course in Mote starts thinking, he will need to dig a moat.

  64. JJ says:
    November 8, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Thank you JJ, you said it better than me. I do hope Tamara reads the example in Australia where they wasted billions of Aussie Dollars on desal plants only to be mothballed after massive deluges. They believed the dire projections of permanent drought. FAIL.
    Secondly, our generation is better equipped than our ancestors to deal with current changes of climate and natural disasters. Future generations will be even better equipped based on our continued innovation, inventiveness and gathered knowledge. There is no need to do anything about some speculative future fear. Deal with the problems now and as the arise.
    A few reminders:
    Children won’t know what snow is.
    Ice free Arctic in 2013 and 2016 – fail and certain to fail
    Stronger winds – surface winds have slowed down
    Extreme weather – no evidence of robust trends – no evidence caused by co2
    Accelerating rate of sea level rise – errr no. Maldives building 5 NEW airports
    / end rant.

  65. In 1942 an early November snowstorm hit Minneapolis/St. Paul. It dropped 17 to 19 inches in < 24 hours. It took about 10 days to completely clear the streets and restore "normal" functionality to the Mpls/St. Paul area.
    In 1991, a snowstorm started on Halloween. It lasted for 36 plus hours. It dropped 30 to 38 inches on the Mpls/St. Paul metro. It DID paralyze everything for about 30 hours. Complete drivability was restored within 48 hours.
    Why? As the urban area grew bigger, more dependent on truck traffic, freeways, etc. We became MORE conscious of the damage a major snow storm could do. We became aware of the need to maintain drive-able streets during all conditions. NOW how do we evaluate this better "preparedness" in 91 compared to 42? Adaptation to "climate change"? Or just social/systems progress?

  66. You should be aware that Mote is essentially a political appointee. Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulingoski instructed OSU’s administration to remove faculty member and state climatologist George Taylor and to replace him with Mote, a member of the faculty at the University of Washington.
    Taylor’s removal was prompted by his open-minded approach to climate science and not adhering to the state’s policy position on the matter.

  67. Bill Illis says:
    November 8, 2013 at 4:01 am
    Can anyone name a place where the climate has changed enough in the last 30 years to require any “adaptation”.

    I hear the ISS (space station) is getting a bit gamey.

  68. adaptation, not alarmism</blockquote.
    =====================================================================
    I've no problem with that.
    If it gets warmer, build more lawnmowers. If it gets colder, build more snow-blowers.
    People will buy what they need.
    The problem is when Government mandates what they need or, even worse, thinks it can do anything to determine what they will need.

  69. guymax says:
    November 8, 2013 at 8:41 am
    I cannot agree that climate change is not a problem and a threat…..

    What problem? What threat? Is it man-made climate change you are talking about? Where is the beef?

  70. Tamara says:
    November 8, 2013 at 9:20 am
    There is a lot of criticism here, but I take this paper as a good sign. Mitigation relates to the future. Adaptation has to take place in the present. That means present reality will have to be recognized by climate science.

    Mitigation against what? Adaptation is a no brainer, it has always been done or people move to better ground. Why do we need a paper to state the bloody obvious? Why do we need a paper to tell us something we don’t need to be told. As for the future guessing gate, that’s for the suckers at the IPCC who have proved themselves to be as useful as used toilet paper.

  71. I saw a great program (on the BBC no less) called “Don’t Panic” presented by Hans Rosling, the chap with the great Gapminder graphics. In it, he points out that thanks to education, particularly of young girls and women, the number of 0-15 year olds is going to stabilise at 2 billion in about ten years time. The average number of children per woman in Asia, America (North and South) and Europe now stands at 2.2. Only in Africa is it higher at about 4.
    As a result, the world’s population will stabilise at 11billion by 2090, mostly because everybody can be expected to live longer, with about 1BN in Europe, 1BN in the Americas, 5BN in Asia, and 4BN in Africa. Of course, towards the end there was the usual sop to our CO2 footprint, but it was said in the context of allowing Asians and Africans to emit more in order to fuel their prosperity, so I gave him a pass on that. This is manageable.
    What this also means is that suppose the disasterbaters’ every wish came through and all the ice melted, great tracts of Canada and Russia, as well as Greenland and Antarctica, would become habitable and arable. But suppose it happens the other way, a great global cooling. It’s my belief that the hot deserts of the world currently would then become habitable and arable, so other than having to migrate according to the new regime, we should still be able to live and have pretty much the lifestyle we have now, because through technological advancement, we will all be using less resources for the same outcome.
    The sad fact is, that the people writing this tosh would be unemployed (and unemployable) otherwise, and that to me is going to be one of our greatest challenges going forward. How do we divvy up the productive work such that everybody gets a chance to do some and pay their way. Especially here in the West more people are employed now to slow down technological advance (bureaucrats, “scientists”), than to speed it up or enhance it (engineers). As a result, we in the West are at a point where the best we can hope for is to keep the standard of living that we have, while Asia, and possibly South America, race off ahead of us.

  72. This is an example of a fundamental misunderstanding of “adaptation.” Darwinian “adaptation” is the effect (result) of natural variations becoming advantageous in a changed environment. The “adaptors” play no active role in the process.
    Contemporary “adaptation” is intentional modification (by the “adaptor”) to cope with a changed environment.
    Do the authors recognize the difference?

  73. Like I said future generations will be better equipped to deal with climate changes and weather disasters. Where are those wonderful Malthusians now? The population worry will soon be over.
    It’s worse than we thought!

    Many people don’t know about the enormous progress most countries have made in recent decades – or maybe the media hasn’t told them. But with the following five facts everyone can upgrade their world view.
    1. Fast population growth is coming to an end
    It’s a largely untold story – gradually, steadily the demographic forces that drove the global population growth in the 20th Century have shifted. Fifty years ago the world average fertility rate – the number of babies born per woman – was five. Since then, this most important number in demography has dropped to 2.5 – something unprecedented in human history – and fertility is still trending downwards……
    2. The “developed” and “developing” worlds have gone
    Fifty years ago we had a divided world…….
    3. People are much healthier…..
    4. Girls are getting better education
    5. The end of extreme poverty is in sight …..
    But the number of people in extreme poverty, according to the World Bank, has fallen from two billion in 1980 to just over one billion today…….
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24835822

  74. @ROM – Rant well said, but the usual problem is that the mollusks aren’t listening.
    @Cornelius Gotchberg – Yeah, and they think Marie Antoinette Obama is worthy? How sad.
    I’m inclined to demand a refund of my taxpayer dollars that paid for this disingenuous waste of time. The authors betray their statism in spades – which is what the whole CAGW scare is all about to begin with. Tax, regulate, bureaucratize!
    One hopes that the exposure of der Fuehrer’s lying about Fuehrerabuse ( = Obamacare) may also impair his creditability with respect to his climate change agenda. That’s just as much a lie as his promise that “You can eekp yout plan, PERIOD!”

  75. “keep your plan” – my lousy typing again, but perhaps Freudian since it would well describe the level of learning behind CAGW.

  76. People just won’t be able to cope. It’s worse than we thought! For every story of doom and gloom there is a little reality. Things are bad, but not as bad as the media and Warmists would like us to believe. Human progress continues around the world.

    BBC – 11 July 2013
    Africa’s economy ‘seeing fastest growth’
    Africa’s economy is growing faster than any other continent, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB).
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23267647
    —————
    Economist – Nov 2nd 2013
    No need to dig
    Many of Africa’s fastest-growing economies have not relied on oil or mining
    …A study published this week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finds that eight of the 12 fastest-growing economies in Africa in recent years did not rely on natural resources. Together these economies grew more quickly even than the group of oil producers….

  77. Professor Drapela should add a civil rights violation to his complaint for wrongful termination. OSU has certainly trampled his right to free speech.
    Roy Innis, Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, states in his new book Energy Keepers, Energy Killers: The New Civil Rights Battle, that affordable energy should be regarded as a basic human right. it would certainly appear to be at least on a par with any posited right to healthcare. And der Fuehrer is definitely on the wrong side of this battle (consistent of course with his utter disregard of constitutional rights and civil liberties in everything else he does).

  78. An attempt to co-opt adaptation into mitigation of predicted problems, which currently do not exist (severe weather, etc.) , and show no signs of developing.

  79. ‘Mann are from Venus.’
    Wrong planet I think 🙂
    The obvious thing is that said scientists believe the hiatus can’t last and that the IPCC is right that AGW will continue on apace. Just as soon as they find the missing heat.

  80. @Cornelius Gotchberg –
    Wow, it gets worse! What are they going to do? There has to be a cause in here somewhere for filing criminal charges against those reptiles at OSU.

  81. The president’s solution to any problem is to declare his dismay, promise the folks who generated it will be held accountable, and wait ’til it blows over.
    It would appear that the warmists, with their tax based government stooges, have decided to stop trying to deal with climate projections from a technical standpoint and simply assume all their worries are justly founded. Now they can cap and trade, build sea walls, and burn food for fuel without any argument to deal with

  82. Mote is a nasty piece of business.
    Mote claimed large snowpack loss when he was Washington state’s climatologist. The state’s assistant climatologist, Mark Albright had data that disagreed and refused to toe the line with Mote. So, Mote discharged him. Mote also took the state climatologist position in Oregon when highly respected incumbent George Taylor refused to ignore the data and toe the line with our Governor.
    Mote played politics in going after gubernatorial candidate Art Robinson. He emailed an environmental group that a Robinson victory “would put us in the tragic ranks of our climate colleagues at University of Oklahoma (Senator ‘global warming is a hoax’ Inhofe) and Univ of Alaska (Rep. ‘scientists have their opinion, I have mine’ Young).” Predictably, Mote’s email leaked to skeptics. Two days later he apologized for “inflammatory language” that failed “to conduct and communicate research objectively.”
    Mote also says, “There is no plausible scenario in which (the Northwest) cools over the next 40 years,” he says. “It’s a problem we should be tackling.” Yet, NCDC data shows Northwest March-May temperatures have trended downward at a rate of 0.9 degrees F per decade during the last 28 years, 0.8 degrees F per decade during the last 20 years, and 3.2 degrees F per decade during the last 10 years.
    If you read the Oregonian newspaper, you can’t find a climate article where an OSU researcher didn’t proclaim, “it’s worse than we thought.”

  83. Mote was also a key player in causing OMSI ( the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) to cancel a scheduled presentation on climate hosted by the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society by Climatologist George Taylor, Astrophysicist Gordon Fulks and myself. He claimed our work wasn’t “peer reviewed” science even though the material was thoroughly peer reviewed and accepted years ago as established physics. What Mote really didn’t like was the fact that our presentation had a credible refutation to his claims about how CO2 is changing the climate.
    We succeeded in presenting with the assistance of the Oregon AMS but had to switch the meeting venue. The adverse publicity on Mote and OSU blew up in his face and actually gave us a record turn out for our presentation.
    I debated Mote personally 10 years ago at the invitation of a private group and back then he claimed that using the work of Walter Elsasser, a physicist from Harvard ( whose work was also peer reviewed and found in most atmospheric dynamic meteorology text books on atmospheric radiation ) was “outdated” and superseded by his “superior” ideas incorporated into climate models. Last I heard, physics doesn’t get “outdated”. It must be proven wrong, refuted successfully with theory and observation. “Climate Science” has not disproven the founding work.
    I am in the midst of fighting another battle which is connected to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute today, where our Oregon Health Department claims heat waves are becoming more common to our region. The actual climate records support no such contention, and Mote’s office continues to supply government agencies in our area with projections of failed climate model simulations, suggesting they are still accurate and reliable, citing seal level rise of up to 54 inches
    by 2100, more severe storms, declining snowpack, ect. Pure unsubstantiated climate hysteria.
    Oregon State University has become a major bastion for the climate pimping of federal and state funding to the tune of tens of millions per year. I am ashamed of this great university as my own alma mater of stooping so low as to vacate the truth and integrity that should associate with science to the substitution of money, bureaucracy and power as a new relative truth. Oregon’s government as well as the federal government have become strange bed fellows of sort with academia. It appears they need each other to secure their futures which they view as large and robust bureaucracies, isolated from the free market economy as well as isolated from any accountability to the public in how their money is spent. Forcing carbon taxes and regulation from the EPA is a key component to the success of this goal.
    Chuck Wiese
    Meteorologist

Comments are closed.