Winning Slowly

I wanted to highlight an interesting article by Dr. Daniel Botkin. It seems that it helps to be a Professor Emeritus in order to be able to speak your mind freely. Among other things, Dr. Botkin says:

Whatever is happening to Earth’s climate does not seem to be our fault.

What he said …

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Climate Is Changing, And Some Parks Are Endangered, But Humans Aren’t The Cause

Editor’s note: The climate is changing, but is it humankind’s fault? Daniel B. Botkin, professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at University of California Santa Barbara, doesn’t believe so. In the following column, he dissects the conclusions reached by the Union of Concerned Scientists in its report, National Landmarks at Risk, How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites.

Alternate Text

Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge The only wildlife refuge in the National Park System lies within New York City, and is not on the Union of Concerned Scientists List. The refuge is the largest bird migration stop in the Northeast, and serves as a buffer protecting urban development from major storms. Its well-developed paths among birds and flowering plants and along inland wetlands and waterways are available by public transportation to the 8.6 million residents of New York City. (Photo by the author)

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See the full article here.

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93 thoughts on “Winning Slowly

  1. Excellent article that highlights some of the unintended consequences caused by fighting nature instead of adapting.

  2. Excellent read. Dr Botkin did at the beginning of his analysis of the UCS paper what I also do as a matter of S.O.P., I look at the authors and their affiliations.
    From Dr Botkin’s own words on the 4 listed authors:

    ” Debra Holtz, a journalist; Kate Cell, a fund-raiser for the organization; Adam Markham, with a B.S. in zoology, who was the founder of Clean Air-Cool Planet, a nonprofit organization “to promote innovative community-based solutions to climate change in the Northeast”; and Brenda Ekwurzel, the Union’s Senior Climate Scientist. She is the only author with research experience on the subject, has a Ph.D.

    I’m not focused on the Senior author with the PhD, she of course is a scientist. But this of course from the Union of Concerned Scientists, so especially the first author of what is essentially a Review paper tells you who organized and wrote the bulk of the text, a journalist, and then a fundraiser, and then clearly someone from an outside advocacy group. Hmmmmm.
    I thought Dr Botkin takes the paper apart fairly well. He is overly generous IMO, but that is probably his nature of being reserved and kind.
    But on a humorous note: here is the link to the Colbert Science Cat-Fight between Joe Bastardi and Brenda Ekwurzel.
    http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/l4nkoq/science-catfight—joe-bastardi-vs–brenda-ekwurzel

    • From the Cobert show, Ekwurzel was asked the question “Do you belive in man-made global warming?”.
      She said “Yes, there is overwhelming evidence…”.
      Colbert interrupted and asked “What evidence?
      Ekwurzel responded, “The seas are rising, glaciers melting…”
      Those are results, not causes of anything, man-made or otherwise.
      My question, “When did scientists come to believe it their responsibility to be as sleazy as politicians in avoiding questions?”

      • “When did scientists come to believe it their responsibility to be as sleazy as politicians in avoiding questions?”

        When their funding depends on it.

    • In the hard sciences, which I presume climate scientists believe they are members of, the principal researcher goes last on the list of authors. If the principal researcher did not do most of the writing then the primary author goes first. The rest of the ordering is a bit more random. I assume the journalist wrote the first draft.

      • Almost all universities that have added “climate science” as a discipline of late have put it in their geography departments.
        Hard science? Just as hard as geography, I suppose.

      • Methinks Rocky Road does not understand what “Geography” study is.
        Probably a vague term though. I understand Tim Ball did his work in the Geography department of a U.
        (We don’t need more empires. I take “geography as land and the nature of it, such as vegetation. Encarta dictionary 2005 says “study of Earth’s physical features: the study of all the physical features of the Earth’s surface, including its climate and the distribution of plant, animal, and human life.”)

    • I got it – national parks 😉
      But on a more serious note, the believers in the comments do seem angry. A lot of ad-hom, call to authority and correlation=causation, but nothing of real substance. Previously believers have been angry with those who were sceptical in part because they believed sceptics were delaying action on a real problem. Now it seems more to be anger at the collapse of their belief system, and anger at sceptics for bringing it about.
      I don’t think we have reached peek anger yet. As the number of believers dwindles, the rage against not just sceptics, but those former believers, such as Botkin, that abandon the cause will skyrocket in a self fuelled spiral of rage. Believers express doubt = the fervent spit venom and look increasingly irrational = more believers express doubt = ever more venom and less credibility.
      Ultimately the AGW hoax must collapse. It is based on the false hypothesis of a net atmospheric radiative GHE. Science cannot stay stalled just for politics, individual or group reputations or the profits of subsidy farmers. Willis says “winning slowly”. I believe once the rage spiral gets up to speed, things will become quite fast. A venom spiral in the Internet age could achieve an astounding RPM 😉

      • I’ve noticed that the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle has been applied (mis-applied) in many areas; I remember from my business days a decade or two ago, it was a feature in the study of resistance to (organization) change.
        So maybe I can mis-apply it again here. As many recall the first stage is DENIAL, followed by ANGER (right Konrad?), then BARGAINING (what form will THAT take??), DEPRESSION (Oh, where did those Glory Days go?), and lastly ACCEPTANCE (highly improbable with the current group of true believers).

      • “I’ve noticed that the Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle has been applied (mis-applied) in many areas”

        George,
        You need to understand that the Internet is a game changer. Old rules ( including Kubler-Ross) no longer apply. The grief cycle is vastly accelerated.
        The squealing warmulonians are trying to move to “bargaining”. Sadly the host of this site, Anthony Watts, thinks there is some advantage in bargaining, due to his new-found power. Who’s thick?!
        Science is not about negotiation.
        Black or white. Right or wrong. Those are the rules. There is no “half way” Either adding radiative gases to the atmosphere reduces surface cooling ability or it increases it. Black or white. Right or wrong.
        The warmuloinians got it wrong. The negotiation phase, no matter how favoured by “lukewarmers” is a dead end.

    • You need to understand that the Internet is a game changer. Old rules ( including Kubler-Ross) no longer apply. The grief cycle is vastly accelerated.

      Especially when everyone starts phase one at a different time.

  3. Wikipedia:
    ‘Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years).’
    I’d say, it’s not clear there has been any climate change, anthropogenic or otherwise, for the last couple of decades.

    • I looked at those ‘indicators’ but I fail to see how some of them can be ‘indicators of climate change;, like US Greenhouse gas emmissions (which is really only CO2 so it is misnamed).
      I was curious about the Atlantic Hurricanes indicatoor as well. They show ‘green’ curve that they say is representative of how total Atlantic hurricanes ‘could be’ adjusted to account or the lack of Satellites and Weather AIrcraft in the early part of the record. The ‘adjusted’ hurricane count for 1880-1930 shows a rather sharp decrease in theh number of hurricanes (which makes the trend slightly positive overall). That seems counterintuitive to me. It seems to say that, if we had satellites back in 1880, we would have seen fewer hurricanes. It seems to me we would expect to have seen more hurricanes with better coverage.

      • Linguistic trickery – all too common in the climate world unfortunately.
        These are ‘indicators’ in the sense that certain changes, were they to occur, would indicate climate change is occurring. They are not all indicators in the sense, actual changes to date indicate climate change.
        ‘All of the indicators presented relate to either the causes or effects of climate change, although some indicators show trends that can be more directly linked to human-induced climate change than others.’
        Which means, some indicators don’t show trends that can be directly linked to human-induced climate change and/or don’t show trends at all.

    • I had a look at several of them and the only one that seemed to show a clear multi-decadal change was US precipitation. Precipitation measurements have the same issue as surface temperature measurements – heavy urban bias. Urban areas have large and well documented effects on precipitation, and measurements from these locations are not evidence of global change.

    • I noticed:
      1) The list includes “Arctic Sea Ice”, but doesn’t mention Antarctic Sea Ice.
      2) That none of the indicators listed are indicators exclusive to GHG warming such as a tropical tropospheric hotspot or stratospheric cooling.
      Wonder why.

  4. The Union of Concerned Activist Morons, whose membership is essentially covert. Aside from a few “display” Phd’s, mostly with degrees in PARTICLE PHYSICS, which makes them automatic experts (in the past) on NUCLEAR POWER and NUCLEAR WEAPONS….the other 50,000 claim members are “covert”, and their identities is “non-negotiable”. However, thanks to dilligent work by A. Watts, we DO know the identity of at least ONE non-display member, to whit: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/07/friday-funny-the-newest-member-of-the-union-of-concerned-scientists/
    I’m hoping that Kenji will have the chance to express a “liquid opinion” on the latest piece of puppy paper (i.e.,what it is worth) presented by the UCS as referenced in this article.

  5. “Whatever is happening to Earth’s climate does not seem to be our fault.”
    Good to know. I’ll stop flagellating myself now.
    But the very statement that it is “not our fault” presumes something bad is “happening to Earth’s climate.” I’m still waiting for someone to point me to any solid evidence of the bad things that are happening to Earth’s climate. And, no, I’m not talking about data mining to find something that is different than it was 30 years ago and then claiming, without other evidence, that said something is bad. I’m talking about some bona fide evidence that the climate generally is headed the wrong direction.
    Anyone?

    • ” I’m still waiting for someone to point me to any solid evidence of the bad things that are happening to Earth’s climate.”
      That single question will derail every warmist debate. It’s usually answered with a mixture of; silence, “but the models say..”, and ad hominem. It’s deadly..nobody has ever counter with flimsy evidence.

    • +1 Right now the ‘media’ is hyping CAGW but it has been just the opposite for the last 17 years +/-.

  6. I’m talking about some bona fide evidence that the climate generally is headed the wrong direction.
    What direction is it *supposed* to be going? No one’s ever established that. Or what a “normal” climate looks like.
    This is ridiculous- people saying climate is “going wrong” when there is no defined baseline.

  7. We would all have a different opinion by now if the climate was really changing, if local species were going extinct, if local beaches were disappearing and snow stopped coming. But nothing is really happening.
    If it were not for the adjusted temperature record and the continued exaggeration of everything-global- warming, the issue would be done already.

  8. What a great article! Winning slowly- yes! Finally there are an increasing number of biologists and ecologists who write about climate science without fear mongering and genuflecting. Years ago, my wife, friends, and I spent many a wonderful day birding at Jamaica Bay NWF. Wonderful memories. Now, 40 years later I’m still out doing field work (or play) most days, studying and writing about butterflies- http://butterfliesofmexicoandquintanaroo.blogspot.com/

  9. Isn’t saying that the climate changes a lot like saying that energy flows? Or that the rising Sun warms the world? And doesn’t it contradict the global warming theory that man is forcing the climate to warm?
    One can either believe that mankind is warming the world or that the worlds climate is random, not both.

    • One can either believe that mankind is warming the world or that the worlds climate is random, not both.
      Well nothing precludes both.
      And it would be strange if man’s activity had no effect on climate whatsoever.
      The only question left is how much? and if its less than 0.1C, why are we so worried?

  10. The climate science is obviously not settled but I’m quite sure that both sides can agree on photosynthesis:
    Sunshine + H2O +CO2 = Sugars/Food +O2
    Strange how this science is getting no weighting.
    Maybe, along with replacing fossil fuel energy, we can also replace all food sources that don’t start with growing plants too………….NOT.

  11. Winning?
    Look at any National Park or National Monument website and they all promote the CAGW propaganda. And the presentations by the Park Rangers do the same. How do you bring these entities back to reality?
    One article isn’t going to do much. Need to do more, confront wherever and whenever…we are doing our best and some are on the defensive…

  12. Funding has been confirmed for a £97m supercomputer to improve the Met Office’s weather forecasting and climate modelling.
    The facility will work 13 times faster than the current system, enabling detailed, UK-wide forecast models with a resolution of 1.5km to be run every single hour, rather than every three.
    It will be built in Exeter during 2015 and become operational next September.
    The Met Office said it would deliver a “step change” in forecast accuracy.
    “It will allow us to add more precision, more detail, more accuracy to our forecasts on all time scales for tomorrow, for the next day, next week, next month and even the next century,” said Met Office chief executive Rob Varley.
    As well as running UK-wide and global forecasting models more frequently, the new technology will allow particularly important areas to receive much more detailed assessment.
    Met Office to build £97m supercomputer, BBC News Science and Environment 28 October 2014
    Hmmm – If the new supercomputer makes it possible to add more accuracy to forecasts next week, next month and even next century,
    how come that CO2-experts using simple models and relatively ordinary computersystems still tries to make believe they know what will happen the next 30-50 years?

    • The facility will work 13 times faster than the current system
      ==============================================
      The Met will be able to get the wrong answer 13 times faster.

    • After every supercomputer the Met Office gets they say words to the effect of “we’ll be able to carry out better climate projections”. Has anyone noticed improvements? Ahhhh, here it is.

      BBC – Monday 27 January 2014
      Paul Hudson
      Met Office global forecasts too warm in 13 of last 14 years
      …..The 2013 global temperature also means that the Met Office’s projection that half the years between 2010 and 2015 would be hotter than the hottest year on record (which on the HADCRUT measure was in 1998), issued around the time of the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, is already incorrect. …..

      If only the Met Office would employ a chimpanzee issued with a dart they would HAVE TO perform better. It’s much cheaper than a £97m power hungry supercomputer. They could also stick a wetted finger out of the window.

  13. Interesting article. I learned a few things. Even more interestng comments, mostly because those people that did not like the article used name calling to try to make their points. That is a real turn off for me. Now I have to go look at the NPS site and see what it in it.

    • I don’t’ get your comment. You think that you might have seen more impressive credentials ?
      Moderators, you might want to consider snipping this dogs comment as it add no value.
      [Reply: We don’t snip just because a comment is lame. ~mod.]

      • Here are his credentials
        http://www.es.ucsb.edu/people/daniel-b-botkin
        • More than 45 years of research on possible effects of climate change on biodiversity.
        • Developed the first successful computer ecosystem model, still in worldwide use in more than 50 versions.
        • Did extensive field research in wilderness areas, in forests from Alaska to Michigan to Siberia and in African plains.
        • Was one of the first ecologists to investigate possible ecological effects of climate change.
        • Conducted extensive scientific studies of endangered species.
        • Used historical information to recover wildlife population sizes and sea ice changes.
        • Put forth innovative ideas, including challenges to popular myths about nature.
        Publications
        Botkin, D.B. NO MAN’S GARDEN: Thoreau and A New Vision for Civilization and Nature. Shearwater Books/Island Press, 2000.
        Skinner, B., S. Porter, and D.B. Botkin. The Blue Planet. John Wiley & Sons, 1998.
        Botkin, D. B. Our Natural History: Lessons From Lewis and Clark. Putnam, N.Y., 1995.
        Botkin, D. B. and E. A.. Keller. Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet. John Wiley, N. Y., 1995 (1st edition), 1997 (2nd edition).
        Botkin, D. B., contributing editor to Art, H. W. The Dictionary of Ecology and Environmental Science. Henry Holt and Company, N.Y., 1993.
        Botkin, D. B. JABOWA-II: A Computer Model of Forest Growth. Oxford University Press, N.Y.(Software and manual), 1993.
        Botkin, D.B. Forest Dynamics: An Ecological Model. Oxford University Press, 1993.
        Botkin, D.B. Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century. Oxford University Press, 1990.
        Botkin, D.B., M. Caswell, J.E. Estes, and A. Orio, (Eds.). Changing the Global Environment: Perspectives on Human Involvement. Academic Press, N.Y, 1989.
        Botkin, D.B. and E.A. Keller. Environmental Studies: Earth as a Living Planet. Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill, Pub. Co., 1982 (1st edition), 1987 (2nd edition).
        West, D.C., H.H. Shugart and D.B. Botkin (eds.), Forest Succession: Concepts and Applications, Springer. – Verlag, NY., 1981. 517 pp
        Honors & Awards:
        1995 Elected to Environmental Hall of Fame, at California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona, CA.
        1995 Fernow Award for Outstanding Contributions in International Forestry, given by American Forests and the German Forestry Association
        Mitchell International Prize for Sustainable Development, 1st prize, 1991
        Sigma Xi National Lecturer, 1981 – 82; 1982 – 83

      • Jimbo
        As usual you are trying to confuse things with Facts, you do know that we are talking CAGW here.

    • That’s why his open criticism of the Climate Change establishment is so damaging. It may not get public exposure due to a US media and Press that refuses to report counter-Climate Change analyses, but it does get the attention of those in his field.

    • Siberian Husky
      October 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm
      Wow- reading the comments leaves me in no doubt regarding the biases and intellect of the typical reader of WUWT.
      Perhaps you should also mention Singer’s views on the health effects of smoking and his relationship with the Tobacco industry? This man has zero credibility on scientific matters.
      ————————————————————————————————————————————————-
      A familiar refrain often heard from this particular cult member. He’s a joke, probably even within his own circle of “friends”.

  14. Save the forests, eat smokey the bear.
    Canada has suffered the same insanity, even when the boreal forest burns miles from human habitats, the eco-loons obsess about unchecked destruction.
    One often wonders if they have any idea the number of fire dependent species.

    • One often wonders if they have any idea about the number of wildfires in recent years compared to the past. US fire data shows the number of wildfires was lower between 2004 to 2014 than from 1960 to 1970 or from 1970 to 1980.
      What about boreal forest fires?

      Abstract – 2008
      Climate and wildfires in the North American boreal forest
      …Climate controls the area burned through changing the dynamics of large-scale teleconnection patterns (Pacific Decadal Oscillation/El Niño Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation, PDO/ENSO and AO) that control the frequency of blocking highs over the continent at different time scales…
      ……Since the end of the Little Ice Age, the climate has been unusually moist and variable: large fire years have occurred in unusual years, fire frequency has decreased and fire–climate relationships have occurred at interannual to decadal time scales……
      http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2315.short

    • the number of fire dependent species
      ===================
      Douglass Fir produces more timber than any other tree in North America, and does not grow in old growth forests due to the shade. It needs fire.

      • I often wonder what is wrong with people who scream about natural fires in the USA. Aren’t fires supposed to happen? The opposite seems to be the case.

        …..Many species of plants and animals are fire dependent, requiring fire to live and thrive while many others are fire-adapted, able to live in a frequently burned ecosystem. …..
        There are many other examples across the southeast of fire-adapted species of plants and animals that include the indigo snakes, henslow’s sparrow, red-cockaded woodpecker, carnivorous plants, Florida scrub jays, marsh rabbits, Florida panthers, gopher tortoise, gopher frogs, flatwoods salamanders, sandhill cranes, Bachman’s sparrow, American Chaffseed, and many others. All of these species have learned to live and thrive in the presence of fire.
        http://www.fws.gov/southeastfire/what/ecology.html

  15. Bravo Dr. Botkin, this was a fine piece, but I must point out a factual error. I tried to leave a comment at the source, but they were closed. If someone can reach Dr. Botkin he should be told that Jamaica Bay borders the Atlantic Ocean, not Long Island Sound. It is a feature of Long Island’s South Shore, the ocean side. Please inform him so he can correct this minor error.

  16. This is a very neat, data rich, easy to read summary of where we stand in terms of temperature trends, sea level increases, severe weather and forest fires. What really struck me though is the appalling nature of many of the comments that follow the article. They are genuinely scary in their fanatical belief in CAGW.

  17. Willis is right.
    We’re slowly winning the battle, but the pace to ultimate victory will quicken with each passing year of low~falling global temp trends.
    Just to achieve CAGW’s low-end projection of 3C by 2100 would require a CO2 induced warming trend of about 0.3C/decade for the next 85 straight years starting from tomorrow, which isn’t going to happen.
    The CAGW alarmists will, of course, move the goal posts downward, but there is the Catch 22 in doing so…
    CAGW alarmists’ current plan is to waste $100’s of trillions to cut fossil fuel emissions 50~80% to achieve a global-warming goal of 2C by 2100…
    However, If CO2’s projected ECS is equal to or less than 2C, it would be completely insane to waste $100’s of trillions to achieve a goal, which will occur naturally if we don’t spend a dime…
    Obviously, the way around this Catch 22 is to lower the 2C target, but in doing so, even low-information voters will realize the dishonesty and theft on display…
    It’s fun watching the alarmist squirm…

    • This will be the warmest year on record.
      Not too surprising as it has warmed and wiggles at the top can easily put us over the last high. Even though there has been no real trend this millennium and no correlation with CO2 either.
      But the media will have a field day with that little nugget.
      It ain’t over yet.

  18. Why does Botkin or anyone else think that all of 7 inches of sea level rise in one hundred years is ‘definitely a problem’? Nobody would have noticed if it hadn’t been measured.

  19. UoCS splatted and debunked 100% What will happen to Kenji’s membership now. If I were him (Kenji) I would write in and resign my membership.

  20. Since this is truly not about the weather and climate we so dearly love, the fact we are right means nothing given the true agenda of the people that oppose us on this. They could care less about what is right and wrong, and its impossible to fight a fight that isnt the real fight. Until the people that pull the strings of gvt change, and its not going to happen, it doesnt matter what is right and wrong on a whole host of issues today
    We have to face facts. we are right, they are wrong on the climate. But it really doesnt make a difference since that is not the fight they are really fighting

  21. I read the original and the responses at the National Parks Traveler site. The response by Burnett included comments supported by distorted information. And this is the problem I see with this whole issue, it seems we are trying to engage in a civil debate about an important issue, but we can´t trust the numbers used by the government or quite a few of its supporters.
    Somebody ought to ask Burnett what caused the increase in the firefighting budget, was it a government decision, or was it global warming when the budget TRIPLED in 1999?

  22. Here is the full article as a PDF with discussion included:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_RXGJAF_XL5VzdVUjd3VldDVkk/view?usp=sharing
    The comment by Alfred Runte is noteworthy:
    Submitted by Alfred Runte on October 28, 2014 – 10:47am.
    Just for the record, Dan Botkin has more scientific credentials than anyone could shake a stick at. And is that not the point? Doing science is far different from arguing about it. Dr. Botkin has done science all his life. Most of the rest of us are just tossing out opinions, nor does it matter which side we’re on.
    As responsible citizens we should be open-minded, but no, that is not what the media teaches these days—or higher education. It is all about guilt, guilt, guilt. Who is guilty of slavery? Who is guilty of poverty? And now: Who is guilty of warming the earth?
    Again, for the record, Dan Botkin agrees about the need to replace fossil fuels. But that is based on science and not on guilt. I have read his book on renewable energy. It is another masterpiece committed to solving the problem rather than passing out guilt, guilt, guilt. No wonder the press ignores it. No, I don’t agree with all of its conclusions, but the science behind those conclusions is eminently sound.
    This is to explain the source of so much anger here—and downright anti-intellectualism just to make a point. We get angry when we are made to think. Take that business about the 97 percent of scientists who believe in global warming. Well, what other choice do they have? As Dr. Botkin has carefully explained, global warming is an observable, scientific fact. What the press keeps leaving out is the timeframe, a mere 10,000 years. Dr. Botkin dares complete the thought. Just because we think global warming has gone on far too long, how are we to stop it? No one has been able to suspend the earth at the point he wanted—or thought he wanted—and no one ever will.
    Say we could reverse global warming. Then what? What if somehow we reversed it much too far? A scientist allows for that possibility—all possibilities. The point about dispensing guilt is to gain an advantage based on assertions that no one dare dispute.
    We are barely allowed to call it political correctness. Fake courses in African-American Studies? Did the University of North Carolina really do that? You bet it did, and you bet “scientists” are doing it, too, for that is exactly how political correctness works.
    We prefer our thinking “light.” Lite beer, lite thoughts, lite research—go to commercial. I can just imagine Barbara Walters in 10,000 B.C. reporting on the disappearance of the Bering Land Bridge. “My God, how did the Mastodon Party ever allow global warming to happen? There goes the only bridge we had!”
    Well, we seem to have invented more bridges. Which remains the scientific point. Human beings have needed to adjust for three million years. When the Bering Land Bridge finally disappeared, somehow Asia and Europe learned how to sail. And yes, if the Bering Land Bridge had been a national park, it would have been wiped out in the rising seas. No national park is “guaranteed” to us. Even Yellowstone cannot assure us with absolute certainty that one day soon it won’t blow its top.
    If you want to blame someone, blame the creative forces that made the system, over which we have absolutely no control. Yes, Al Gore will assert we do—and has a prize to prove it—but every graveyard in this country says something else.
    How ironic we no longer ask the question why we would ever want a colder planet. Our ancestors most certainly ran from that. Just as many now hope to run from Africa and escape the Ebola scourge. I would welcome them were it not an infectious disease, but again, who dares say how infectious? Why interrupt a wonderful story of humans doing good? Why? Because it was disease, not global warming, that depopulated the world in 1347, and in 1918 contributed far more deaths on the planet than even World War I.
    Come on, Mr. Gore. You have time to write another book. Or do you? Sorry for the inconvenience, as you say, but Ebola kills you in a week. And with a mortality rate of 70 percent, I would say that is a bit worse than global warming.

    • I agree that Runte did a good fending off some of the more extreme commenters. I hear echoes of Simon, Wildavsky and Lomborg in the Botkin piece. I also see the Ehrlich inspired scare mongering Malthusians, Utopians and Marxists, who essentially want to rid the world of you and me, but not themselves. Pot banging drowns out facts, discourse and debate.

  23. I recently read Botkin’s book, The Moon in the Nautilus Shell. It’s mostly about ecology, and his objections to the environmentalist orthodoxy that an ecosystem is a stable equilibrium until humans disrupt it. But there is a chapter or two on climate change as well, and the perils of relying on models. Well worth a read, as it comes at the topic from a very different perspective.

  24. Winning? Maybe.
    Yesterday I attended, at the University of Pittsburgh, the “Jonas Salk Centenary Symposium on Sustainability: Survival of the Wisest” (Survival of the Wisest is the title of a book published in 1972 by Dr. Jonas Salk who developed the polio vaccine here in Pittsburgh).
    Invited speakers about “Sustainability” used the following equations (although not always present on their slides):
    Fossil Fuel = CO2 + H2O + Heat
    CO2 = Heat
    So, no more coal, oil or natural gas. Only solar panels or wind turbines permitted.
    Widely applauded by the audience, even here with all the jobs created from natural gas extraction and lower cost of energy.
    Forget the photosynthesis equation presented above by Mike Maguire. They don’t know anything about it.
    The last speaker, Nick Kristof from NYT, did not speak on this topic but did mention briefly malaria in Africa and the fact that yes, malaria has been declining with the more recent introduction, again, of DDT. No applause for this. You can guess the country supplying DDT. Something long denied to Africans by the Western World in now supplied by China! Maybe Africa will continue to win against malaria.
    Reflecting on this Symposium, the war against fossil fuels will change terminology.
    First is was Global Warming. This worked for a while. It was changed to Climate Change. Probably still working, but not so well. So to stay ahead, Sustainability has been introduced and will slowly replace Climate Change.

  25. Heh, Alfred Runte’s last word is good, too. I encourage reading through the comments. I’ve only seen the um ‘edited’ comments so I might have missed some of the early flavor, but the comments definitely indicate a movement to skepticism.
    Just look at the tone of what remains among the comments. The fever of madness is passing in this grandest yet example of an ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’.
    =====================

  26. Willis Eschenbach said,
    I wanted to highlight an interesting article by Dr. Daniel Botkin

    Willis Eschenbach,
    The Botkin article was refreshing after suffering through the UCS report’s lack intellectual integrity levels.
    Botkin’s reasonable discussion in an even toned manner had a wonderful communication value for me.
    John

  27. In his article I think Botkin correctly states the UCS’s single fundamental premise of their whole report. Botkin wrote,

    “As is well-known, we [humans] are blamed [by the UCS through its 100% belief in the accuracy and true of the IPCC assessments] for causing a global warming mainly because our burning of fossil fuels is increasing the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere. Since this is a greenhouse gas, we must be warming the climate.”

    &
    In his article I think Botkin correctly identifies nature’s root contradiction of the UCS’s premise. Botkin wrote,

    “Carbon dioxide is definitely continuing to increase in the atmosphere, but Earth’s surface and atmospheric temperatures aren’t tracking it. Even though our activities are adding carbon dioxide rapidly to the atmosphere, it seems to be having no effect right now on Earth’s average surface and lower atmosphere temperature.”

    Right now after the passing of >>25 years since the same premise as the UCS report’s premise was first asserted to be unquestionable there exists insignificant support of it in corroborated and multiple observations of the EAS.
    The UCS report relies on a false premise.
    John

  28. More.
    “Editor’s note: Adam Markham, director of climate impacts for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Climate and Energy Program and a co-author of the report “National Landmarks at Risk,” has written the following rebuttal to Dr. Daniel B. Botkin’s column on climate change and his thoughts on what is, and isn’t, driving it.
    My colleagues and I wanted to respond to a recent column by Dr. Daniel Botkin that criticized a report we wrote regarding the threats climate change poses to historic places and landmarks in the United States.”
    http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2014/10/guest-column-defending-science-explains-climate-change25839
    Meh.

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