How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future

From the Fabius Maximus website. By Larry Kummer

Summary:  This, my 305th post about climate, explains what I’ve learned so far. I believe that climate science as an institution has become dysfunctional; large elements of the public no longer trust it. The politics of climate change are polarized and gridlocked. The weather will determine the evolution of US public policy. All we can do is learn what went wrong so we can do better next time, and wait to see the price we pay for our folly.

Scientists tell the UN about the coming disaster in “When Worlds Collideclip_image001” (1951)

clip_image003

Contents
  1. Why doesn’t America lead the fight against climate change?
  2. How do scientists alert the world to a catastrophic threat?
  3. Case study: the pause.
  4. The most incompetently conducted media campaign ever?
  5. My personal experience.
  6. The broken climate debates.
  7. For More Information.
(1)  Why doesn’t America lead the fight against climate change?

Why does climate change rank at the bottom of most surveys of what Americans’ see as our greatest challenges? (CEOs, too.) Since James Hansen brought global warming to the headlines in his 1989 Senate testimony, activists for action on this issue have had almost every advantage. They have PR agencies (e.g., Hansen’s new paper, the expensive propaganda video by 10:10. They have all the relevant institutions supporting them, including NASA, NOAA, the news media, academia, lavish funding from foundations and charities, even funding from the energy companies (also here), They have support from the majority of scientists.

The other side, “skeptics”, have some funding from energy companies and conservative groups, with the heavy lifting being done by volunteer amateurs, plus a few scientists and meteorologists.

What the Soviet military called the correlation of forces overwhelmingly favored those wanting action. Public policy in America should have gone green many years ago. Why didn’t it?

(2)  How do scientists alert the world to a catastrophic threat?

“Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.”

— Harsh but operationally accurate Roman proverb.

We have seen this played out many times in books and films since the publication of When Worlds Collideclip_image001[1] in 1932 — A group of scientists see a threat. They go to America’s (or the world’s) leaders and state their case, presenting the data for others to examine and answering questions. They never say things like this…

In response to a request for supporting data, Philip Jones, a prominent researcher {U of East Anglia} said “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

– From the testimony of Stephen McIntyre before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (the July 2006 hearings which produced the Wegman Report).

They don’t destroy key records, which are required to be kept and made public. They don’t force people to file Freedom of Information requests to get key information; the response to FOIs is never like this…

The {climategate} emails reveal repeated and systematic attempts by him and his colleagues to block FoI requests from climate sceptics who wanted access to emails, documents and data. These moves were not only contrary to the spirit of scientific openness, but according to the government body that administers the FOI act were “not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation”.  {The Guardian}

The burden of proof rests on those warning the world about a danger requiring trillions of dollars to mitigate, and perhaps drastic revisions to — or even abandoning — capitalism (as in This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climateclip_image001[2] and “In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism“).

Steve McIntyre has documented the defensive and self-defeating efforts of climate scientists to keep vital information secret, often violating the disclosure policies of journals, universities, and government funding agencies. To many laypeople these actions by scientists scream “something wrong”. It’s not how people act when they have a strong case, especially with such high stakes.

(3)  Case study: the pause

Starting in 2006 climate scientists began to notice a slowing in the rate of atmospheric warming. By 2009 there were peer-reviewed papers about it (e.g., in GRL), and the pace of publications accelerated (see links to these 29 papers). In 2013 the UK Met Office published a major paper about the pause, which shifted the frontier of climate science from the existence of the pause to its causes (see links to these 38 papers). In the past few years scientists have forecast the duration of the pause (see links to 17 forecasts).

During this activists wrote scores, probably hundreds, of articles not only denying that there was a pause in warming — but mocking as “deniers” people citing the literature. The leaders of climate science remained silent, even those writing papers about the pause. While an impressive display of message discipline, it blasted away the credibility of climate science for those who saw the science behind the curtain of propaganda.

Eventually the tension grew so great that public mention of the discrepancy became acceptable, such as this mild note in Nature Climate Change (August 2014)…

“Climate science draws on evidence over hundreds of years, way outside of our everyday experience. During the press conference, scientists attempted to supplement this rather abstract knowledge by emphasising a short-term example: that the decade from 2001 onwards was the warmest that had ever been seen. On the surface, this appeared a reasonable communications strategy. Unfortunately, a switch to shorter periods of time made it harder to dismiss media questions about short-term uncertainties in climate science, such as the so-called ‘pause’ in the rate of increase in global mean surface temperature since the late 1990s.

“The fact that scientists go on to dismiss the journalists’ concerns about the pause – when they themselves drew upon a similar short-term example – made their position inconsistent and led to confusion within the press conference.”

Referring to the “so called pause” is typical message discipline, use of scare quote despite the scores of papers using the term. Another example of message discipline is the successful effort to conceal from the public that most forms of extreme weather have not increased during the past decade (data here, and here).

(4)  The most incompetently conducted media campaign ever?

“Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.”

— True when journalist Charles Dudley Warner said it in 1884. Still true today.

A kerfuffle occurred over claims that 2014 was the “warmest year” on record, with harsh denouncing of people pointing to substantial qualifications of that claim in the NOAA and NASA presentations (“it was more unlikely than likely”). Equally successful was the massive media campaign that convinced the public that California’s drought results from anthropogenic climate change, despite numerous studies showing that it is a minor factor. These are two in a long list of information operations by climate activists (see section 7 here).

The goal is always the same: keep the message simple, crush dissent (no matter how well founded). These propaganda successes required the complicit silence or active participation of scientists. This does not mean that the climate change threat is a Potemkin Village. It means that many climate scientists behave as if it is one. Hence the public policy gridlock.

Now many climate scientists and activists are doubling down on these failed tactics. Stronger denunciation of critics. More extreme headlines such as “The beyond-two-degree inferno“ in Science and “Halfway to Hell” in New Scientist. I doubt these change any minds.

(5)  My personal experience

I first wrote about climate change 7 years ago, and have written 305 posts since. Most defended the IPCC against Left and Right (see my recommendations here). I found the climate a subject of interest as an important public policy issue and a test of our ability to see and respond to severe but long-term challenges.

In my 35 years in finance I’ve often relied on scientists for advice (in both the physical and social sciences), and developed methods for successfully engaging with them. These failed with most climate scientists. First, they were more reluctant to engage than in any other field I’ve worked with — including those doing secret work in defense and biotech.

Second, and more important, their responses were unlike anything I’ve seen before. A few responded in typical fashion. For example, I ask Roger Pielke Sr. a question and receive a full package of citations — which he’ll explain in detail, if asked. It’s the usual practice of scientists.

But in climate science a more common response is a probe to determine my tribe — us or them? Oddly, either way I often get snark (friendly or hostile, depending upon the how they ID my tribal identity). Probing, however careful, meets with empty rhetoric or outright hostility (i.e., classification as “foe”). The conversations often quickly became strange, and do not build confidence in their institutions.

(6)  The broken climate debates

“The time for debate has ended”

— Marcia McNutt (editor-in-Chief of Science, next President of the NAS) in “The beyond-two-degree inferno“, editorial in Science, 3 July 2015.

I agree with McNutt: the public policy debate has ended. Climate science as an institution is broken, the larger science community applauds its dysfunctionality, and a critical mass of the US public has lost confidence in it. As a result, the US will take no substantial steps to prepare for possible future climate change, not even preparing for the inevitable re-occurrence of past extreme weather.

The weather will determine how policy evolves. All that remains is to discuss the lessons we can learn from this debacle so that we can do better in the future.

(7)  For More Information

For more information see The keys to understanding climate change and My posts about climate change. Especially see these…

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114 thoughts on “How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future

  1. All you can do is watch as the most absurd mass political ruse maybe ever starts dismantling. You cannot write this type of stuff and that is why it’s intetesting to me. It is proof that life is silly and I for one take comfort in that.

    • We can only hope, but I’m not as optimistic. The front runner to become the next POTUS has made this issue (or non issue) her #1 priority and is campaigning on it. The current POTUS is using fiat powers to take action on this issue. The propagators of CAGW have appeared to gone all in and have reached the level of absurdity of actually claiming that observations currently match their doomsday predictions. The next 14 months are truly a cross roads as we are now reaching the point of actually enacting (or not) economy-killing policy in the name of saving us from the climate bogey man.

  2. The issue is not important on the American’s horizon because, we, the people, of the United States of America are: 1). Not stupid and can discern when something is wrong; “I am but mad North North west; when the wind is Southerly, I knowe a Hauke, from a hand saw.” 2). Paranoically suspicious of anyone or any entity telling us how to behave; 3) Distrustful of anyone or any entity which tells us that they know better than we do; 4). downright hostile to anyone who utters the phrase “Trust me/them”; 5). outright disbelievers of scientific consensuses – e.g., Alar, red food dye; cholesterol, dietary recommendation (which change semi-annually), and so on.
    I am a geologist and I know a lot about this issue, and I can teach people the relevant facts in less than an hour (I do it routinely) and they, every man-jack one of them, can make the deductions and conclusions on their own. They like that. They don’t want a conclusion rammed down their throats. They don;t like government and only accept it as necessary. When I present unadulterated facts (I strive to eliminate my own biases to the extent I can) and give them references for them to check on their own, they not only conclude that they have been sold a bill of goods but they invariably thank me for explaining this issue to them for the first time and then they request copies of my references and materials.
    In brief – the average American knows when she/he is being lied to, and this story is s WHOPPER!

    • Tom,
      I believe I understand your perspective, but I have a different spin on this. The public policy gridlock appears to have affect not just preparation for future climate change, but also preparation for the inevitable repeat of past extreme climate.
      For example, eventually a major hurricane will hit an East coast city. As Hurricane Katrina and tropical storm Sandy proved, our preparations for this range from “poor” to “what preparations?” The drought that hit Texas and the current California drought show this on a larger scale.
      Contrast this with the extensive preparation over decades for an earthquake in California, showing how this can be done.
      The cost of learning this lesson might prove expensive.

      • California was not prepared for a drought because the “environmentalists” have been successful in blocking new dams and aqueducts for the last generation. Their proposed solution for global warming, if it is indeed a real problem, is voluntary poverty. Of course, they don’t have a big following.
        Even if we were convinced by the “climate scientists” hysteria that major warming of the world is imminent, the remedies they propose seem to be far worse than the problem. Will “global warming’ cause sea levels to rise? Maybe it would be cheaper to move to higher ground, or to build sea walls, [In Manhattan, you build sea walls. In South Jersey, you move inland] than it would be to stop using fossil fuels. Will warming produce more tropical disease (of course it won’t tropical diseases are caused by poverty, not warm weather)? Maybe we should drain the swamps (a/k/a ecologically important wetlands) and use DDT.

      • Walter,
        “California was not prepared for a drought because the “environmentalists” have been successful in blocking new dams and aqueducts for the last generation.”
        California has been building dams for a century and a half. French Lake Reservoir, the oldest still in service was built in 1859. Now there are over 1,400. A map of the dams, canals and pipelines in California’s mountains looks like the design of a pinball machine.
        We’re already making good use of the State’s water. There are still some good sites for new dams, but not nearly enough to make much difference in a multi-year drought, let alone a multi-decade one — as have happened in the past.

      • How about not wasting the rain that does fall on a few buckets full of minnows?
        And the point was not whether there were dams and aqueducts, but how many new ones?
        In 1859, what was the population of CA?
        What was it the last time a major new water project was undertaken?
        You seem to imply that because there are a large number and you can make glib pronouncements about pinball machines, then the issue is not lack of planning. That there is more than enough.
        Wrong…it is lack of planning. There is not enough. Particularly when it is wasted stupidly. Some would say it is criminal stupidity.
        By historical standards, the current drought should not be at all unexpected. If it is not unexpected, and the population is known, and water use per capita is known, there is no excuse.
        And…multi Decade drought? Are you saying that CA is having one of those?
        The west coast of the US north of CA has massive amounts of water flowing into the sea.
        Wake up.

      • The only issue I have with what you say is in the implicit presumption in the position that those extreme events can be linked to CO2 emissions and that a response which involves CO2 emission reductions will somehow contribute to the well being of future generations. I might have read this wrong, in which case all you are advocating is preparation to deal with a changing climate regardless of the direction of the temperature/precipitation and regardless of the cause.

      • Tom,
        “you are advocating is preparation to deal with a changing climate regardless of the direction of the temperature/precipitation and regardless of the cause.”
        Exactly. Extreme weather of past will repeat — centuries, even millennia. Preparing for this should get everybody’s support, but the politics are gridlocked. Unless we’re lucky, people will pay for our folly.
        Menicholas,
        “multi Decade drought? Are you saying that CA is having one of those?”
        It’s not my field. I believe reliably making such forecasts lies beyond the current state of the art. But the historical record shows that such things are normal for California.

      • Spending precious time and money on imaginary things is also a waste of opportunity.The cost of learning that lesson has already proven expensive. Ought we spend a trillion dollars on something so poorly proven as CO2 mitigation when actual, real , physically verifiable, threats, actually exist? This mantra of “we simply need to DO something” is for idiots. Do something about what, for what purpose, with what measurable metrics and results? Thus far, the Warmist Clan has been an utter failure. Wasting time and money to see if witches float or unicorn farts power the world are simply exercises in funding self congratulation. Get the politics out of the science and then you might have a chance. Otherwise, you are simply kidding yourselves.

      • California built a large desalination plant decades ago during a past drought, then as soon as the rains inevitably returned they abandoned it. They didn’t even bother to mothball it so now that it might be useful again it would cost more to repair the decrepit plant than tear it down and build again. And of course the environmental permit would never be reissued for new construction.
        But is this mistake more costly than the $100 billion medium speed train they are building in the hopes that by appeasing the carbon gods the rains will return?
        Drought is also not just a function of precipitation, but also of water usage. California has been growing rapidly without building out their own water resources or protecting existing resources from the clutches of the environmentalists. They’re now finally facing their comeuppance due to a weather pattern that is historically precedented, and hoping their train fiasco will be their deliverance.

      • And then, In a state that has historical drought cycles, why would they encourage/allow water intensive crops like rice, almonds and alfalfa. Not real bright are they.

      • BFL,
        “encourage/allow water intensive crops like rice, almonds and alfalfa. Not real bright are they.”
        I understand your perspective, but it is not accurate. Both California’s farmers and politicians profited from decades of growing water-intensive crops in the desert using government-subsidized water. They were bright by nature’s primary criteria: success.
        We, the people of California, were not too bright to allow this.
        When Americans routinely make this analytical distinction we will have taken the first step to reform.

      • @Menicholas +1000 One other issue is you can’t recover from mismanagement of capital investments for decades in weeks. But at least we could stop water from escaping to the Ocean before it has been slowed enough to replenish the aquifers. Smelt and Sucker fish , even salmon should not be writing water management doctrine!

      • California was “not prepared” for the drought because ultimately there is nothing that can be done for the even moderately extreme cases, and the current “drought” doesn’t qualify as more than a dry spell on any realistic scale of dry weather in California. Either Jerry in his former incarnation as governor or Reagan had a study of rainfall done in the early ’70s. The conclusion of that study was that we could dam every stream in the state and there still would not be enough water to provide for the population AT THAT TIME, which was less than 20 million. The extreme, century-long droughts of the MWP in the Sierra were identified in that study and then promptly ignored. You friggin’ can’t impound enough run-off to provide a stable water supply for 40 million people in California under even moderate drought conditions like the present. This is especially true because majority live in two monstrous urban areas with next to no serious local catchments.
        Its is too easy to look at Southern California, where the immense majority of the water they use travels hundreds of miles. In Northern California we often ignore the fact that if a real drought hit the Sierra, San Francisco is a lost cause. A major fraction of their water comes from Hetch Hetchy – in the Sierra Nevada, where century-long droughts happen. The Bay Area is another disaster waiting to happen. Back in the 19th Century, the Naval base on Mare Island captured millions of gallons of rain run-off in 1000,000 gallon cisterns, which, with the remarkable foresight of modern bureaucracies, the Navy began in-filling in the mid-20th century after the Island was supplied with water from the main land.

      • Several commenters miss Fabius’ main point: by pushing CAGW in such a shoddy manner, these scientists are losing credibility. So when sane scientists and policy makers come along, and push for policies to address real events that have happened and will surely happen again, they will get “the boy who cried wolf treatment.”

      • Duster, California is not the only place in the world grappling with water shortages. Unlike every other state that depends on Colorado River water, California has a massive untapped ocean beside it. Other places around the globe use desalination for water security, but California believes it’s easier to secure water from the Colorado through political strong arm tactics than develop their own water resources, including the ocean. So far they have been right about that, to the detriment of every other dependent state.
        They are behaving like a corporation that had decided it is cheaper and easier to break the law and pay a fine if they get caught than to accept the limitations that exist. They whine that desalination is too costly, and as long as they can continue taking an outsized share of Colorado water that is true. I think they need to be weaned off of that water and ultimately cut off. That’s the only way to make them see desalination as a solution to their problems instead of the problem to avoid.

    • Tom….”1). Not stupid and can discern when something is wrong; “I am but mad North North west; when the wind is Southerly, I knowe a Hauke, from a hand saw.”” True. Just to naïve to be educated (Obama).
      “2). Paranoically (sic) suspicious of anyone or any entity telling us how to behave;….Bwahahahahha….see #1 above, plus all the blue states.
      ” 3) Distrustful of anyone or any entity which tells us that they know better than we do; Again see #’s 1 and 2.
      #’s 4 & 5 follow the same. You drunk? Or just forget the /sarc tag?
      In 6 years the Chicoms will own you. Heck, they own half of you now. And there will be massive riots on the campuses of so-called “higher learning”. Likewise here in Canuckistan. Unfortunately, where goes the USSofA, so do a lot of other countries. The UN is orgasmic at the outcome.

      • In California, the rainfall presents a natural variability — even the temperature of USA presents a natural variability. In such scenario we need to build more dams/checkdams to meet the water needs of the increasing population with the time. There are people who oppose dams saying this causes Earthquakes, etc. When compared to modern massive buildings in urban areas dams are nothing.
        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Dr.Reddy, more dams won’t help, in fact can’t help. Right now the situation has come to the point where water districts in norther California are ready to fight Southern California. Farmers are ignoring the “mandates” of Herr Brown despite threats of fines. There is simply not enough water running down the major Northern California rivers to provide a ready supply to agriculture, which is immensely more important to the state than L.A., and to the urban regions in the Bay Area and Southern California. Redding, Chico and Sacramento are unique in California in that they can use water, treat it to safe levels, and return it to the flow. L.A. and San Francisco are terminal use points and resist the idea because they would have to use it themselves. Regarding earth quakes, the filling of the Oroville dam triggered seismicity in the Sierra, and most proposed major dam locations along the western Sierran front have the same weakness.

      • Duster – The dams, as you say, do cause seismicity; however, those earthquakes are minor, and the dams/everything else easily tolerate them. California needs more dams to satisfy its growing population.
        The study you cited in your other post, if memory serves me correctly, contained major faults, as additional dams properly located will be able to store more water.

  3. Larry, these “sciences” are a product of an affluent and leisure society…where people have time to sit around and pontificate about where we went wrong and what the future will bring.
    When the economy is not doing well, people can’t find meaningful jobs, countries that are not crashing or practicing genocide are broke, cities are having crime, etc etc
    …people have more important things to concern themselves with, and talk about.
    It’s really on a sliding scale…when no much is going on….let’s talk about the weather

    • Global warming (often called climate change but the meanings are the same) proponents follow the Leninist Soviet Union response “Deny everything, never admit anything, and fight back with a barrage of counter claims and vicious attacks.”

    • “… people have time to sit around and pontificate about where we went wrong and what the future will bring …”
      ================================
      Quite so, and moral vanity: “… the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of remorse, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world ….” (Dickens, Great Expectations).

  4. Climate Science (TM) is suffering the fate of many institutions, which start out with a purposeful mission, but eventually exist mainly to perpetuate themselves.
    Larry’s article is a nice history of “what went wrong” in the case of Climate Science (TM). I did my first writings on Climate 40+ years ago, and it’s real sad to see the degeneration of my favorite field of science. Perhaps I should have stuck to astronomy, where I started out. If you discover data that shows an earth-busting asteroid would just miss our planet, and save our collective skins, you’d be a hero. If you discover data that shows the CAGW armageddon is not going to happen, you’re a denier, shill, and worse.

    • How are you a hero?
      That is like noticing that someone almost had a car accident.
      You had nothing to do with it.
      Now, discover one that will hit, in time to prevent it…now you are important.

  5. I agreed with everything you said until this:
    As a result, the US will take no substantial steps to prepare for possible future climate change
    Do not underestimate the determination of Barak Obama, nor his effectiveness. He has proven far more dangerous to the world and the US alike as a lame duck than he has at any previous time in his presidency. Paris is coming, and he intends to leave a legacy.

    • Obama will have a legacy, but it’s already quite certain that it will be one of the least favorable in all of U.S. history.
      His economic policies have failed. (We’ve recovered as much as we have in spite of, not because of, his policies.) His foreign policies have failed. His military interventions have failed. His State Dept. has failed. His EPA has failed. His Supreme Court appointees have failed. (But we must also lay blame with the Justices already sitting.) His health plan has failed. His Department of Justice has failed. In fact I don’t recall a single resounding success during his entire time in office.
      None of them have been TOTAL failures, but they need not be. Just far worse than any other President in history. And yes, I even include GWB in that list.

    • I never heard of a president so concerned wirh his “legacy” I actually never heard of anybody talikng about their own while they are still alive. I have no idea why my generation thinks he is a good president. My only theory is that they like being in the “in” group even though they are way past highschool. That and after highschool they just went to college and got a job and moved next to the same type of people they have been around thier whole life. Now somehow they feel they know everything about things they never lived around,experienced or have any skin in the game for. I don’t like being told what to think about issues Im not well versed in. Climate change is no exception.

      • I never heard of a president so concerned wirh his “legacy” I actually never heard of anybody talikng about their own while they are still alive.
        He is not only obsessed with his legacy, he has anointed Hilary Clinton as the best candidate to continue on with it. Like that’s the job of the POTUS. To work on their predecessor’s legacy.
        The arrogance of the man is…. I’d say “breathtaking”, but the word is wholly in inadequate to the task.

      • Blair as the same in the UK. Indeed, he wanted a “legacy tour”. Paid for by us, of course. Happily, he was persuaded not to do so.

      • Yep. Politicians wanting to hit home runs and leave “a legacy” come across as worse than narcissistic.
        There is a lot to said for dull politicians.

    • I don’t know the exact date of nomination but based on the deadline date it was less than 3 months after being elected president, before he had done anything, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize which he was awarded. He was given this prize based on his pre-election speeches on what he would do regarding war and nuclear non-proliferation. Since he has completely failed regarding his peace prize ( USA still at war and recent deal with Iran regarding nuclear facilities) he HAS to try and leave a legacy of some other sort.

  6. Point 8: Why do the vast majority of the proposed solutions that are being urged in the most urgent tone, all seem to converge on socialism? That is on solutions that reduce personal liberty, have higher costs and taxes, and imply far bigger government?
    On my part, I am still waiting for sound research showing the optimum climate for our present biosphere. But most “research” is really an attempt to secure the optimum level of government intrusion in our lives.

    • Why do the vast majority of the proposed solutions that are being urged in the most urgent tone, all seem to converge on socialism?

      Because when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

      • When your only goal is to use the hammer, you make every effort to make everything look like a nail.

  7. A very clear and concise summary. Thanks, Larry.
    Real measurements of temperature have exposed exaggerated computer-model projections of global average temperature rise over the last 18 years.
    It would seem likely that activists will now re-set their aims to get enough sympathetic political regimes to sign up to climate change policies at the forthcoming IPCC talkfest in Paris so that a continued no/slow rate of actually-measured global warming can be then used as “proof” that those policies were both needed and effective.
    Potemkin’s Village stuff, indeed!

  8. Buckwheaton

    On my part, I am still waiting for sound research showing the optimum climate for our present biosphere.

    My vote is for near-tropical warmth pole-to-pole, but I believe the last time that happened, mosquitoes were a foot across. If we don’t develop some heavy duty mosquito repellent by then, I may have to rethink what I wish for.
    It’s always something, innit? Who among us humans has the wisdom to set the climate at the perfect conditions for all? The climate will do what it will, so let’s just all rearrange ourselves about the planet until everyone is comfortable, shall we? I’ll go make coffee for us while everyone settles in.

    • “…mosquitoes were a foot across. If we don’t develop some heavy duty mosquito repellent by then, I may have to rethink what I wish for.”
      Yikes, almost as big as the native Michigan mosquito. #9 bird shot work fine, that’s assuming we can still have guns in the future? I’m a fan of the 4 seasons, some more than others.

      • Mosquitos, also famous in Florida though they don’t get near as big. I have a hypothesis that lends quite a bit sympathy for Michigan. Central Florida Halloween seems to be about the 50/50 point of having a cold snap cold enough to trim back the mosquitos. September is bad, but OMG there’s no deterring Halloween mosquitos. They will dive through an entire bottle of deet to get to you. It seems they’re very cognizant of no time being left. Seemingly from the couple of weeks of summer in Michigan you’d almost need air-raid shelters.

  9. “Scientists” have failed to convince people a non problem is a problem worth addressing by claiming it’s an even more serious problem than they themselves mistakenly believe it is. I fail to see the problem.

  10. This entire Climate Change Industry relies on a completely ignorant and gullible electorate.

    Voters in 2012 approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act by a large margin, closing a tax loophole for multistate corporations. The Legislature decided to send half the money to fund clean energy projects in schools, promising to generate more than 11,000 jobs each year.
    Instead, only 1,700 jobs have been created in three years, raising concerns about whether the money is accomplishing what voters were promised.
    “Accountability boards that are rubber stamps are fairly common, but accountability boards that don’t meet at all are a big problem,” said Douglas Johnson, a state government expert at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California.
    The State Energy Commission, which oversees Proposition 39 spending, could not provide any data about completed projects or calculate energy savings because schools are not required to report the results for up to 15 months after completion, spokeswoman Amber Beck said.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150817/us-green-energy-promises-9d6a0af60a.html
    The fraud, waste and abuse is on an epic scale. Something has to be done. We can’t allow these looters to destroy the economy, budget and credibility of our essential institutions.

  11. Skeptics think that the alarmists are wrong.
    Alarmists think that skeptics are not just wrong, but evil.
    Sensible debate is immediately rendered impossible.

  12. There is a way to transform this depressing situation into a net win, but it requires a determined focus to carry through …
    The climate change debate has exposed some very problematic aspects to not only academic culture, but also very importantly, the way in which members of the public digest scientific claims. The best thing that could come of it would be to take the lessons that have been learned, and build new systems for learning about and discussing scientific controversies. I do not recommend waiting for academia to build these systems; even if they wanted to, we can plainly see that such systems must be run by outsider mavericks. We can take this challenging debate and use it as a sort of prototype for exposing ALL of the controversies that academics are trying to bury. This is not the only one; it is simply the most visible.
    If somebody was able to pull this off, and society ended up learning about a whole host of previously unknown controversies as a result, it would put a net positive on the entire experience. I already follow two other controversies, and I can tell you that there is a general pattern to what you are seeing.

    • Very good observations.
      Academic science needs to be held to account. The key difference between “new systems” for learning and discussing about science and the traditional one would have to be openness. The internet has enabled blogs like this one, where everyone who is interested can participate in open and critical discussions, and which collectively are making a difference. (There is a reason why China goes to such lengths with respect to censoring the internet.) The move toward open-access science publishing is another helpful element.
      The situation somewhat resembles the age of the protestant reformation, which happened shortly after the invention of the printing press, and the translation of the Bible from Latin to the modern languages of the day. The protestants held that priests did not have a monopoly on interpreting the Bible; everyone who could read it was free to interpret and understand it for themselves. The catholic church survived this, but it was profoundly transformed and rejuvenated nevertheless. I hope that the same will occur with academic science today.

      • Very good observations.
        Academic science needs to be held to account.

        That is exactly right and why I have been arguing for a Scientific Data and Conclusion Verification and Validation Agency that would apply double blind testing methods to all data and conclusion paid for by the tax payer and used to support public spending programs. That is how we treat corporations, Wall Street, Drug Companies. We have agencies like the EPA, FDA, SEC to watch over the public interest. The EPA and IRS have failed miserably, but the fact is we created them to be watch dogs. We need to ensure that these “scientists” that arrogantly seem to act with impunity and treat the public treasury as their piggy bank with no regard to cost benefit analysis are held to account.
        If put up for a vote to kill 50 million sub-Saharan Africans it would never pass, in fact I bet we would go to war to prevent it. Allow the environmentalists to ban DDT and 50 million blacks are killed and on one lifts a finger. The KKK only dreams of being as effective as the EPA, Environmentalists and Planned Parenthood.
        Evil with a smile and faux good intention if far more effective than evil with fangs bared.
        MALARIA VICTIMS: HOW ENVIRONMENTALIST BAN ON DDT CAUSED 50 MILLION DEATHS
        http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1259
        Dr. Ben Carson on ‘Black Lives Matter,’ Planned Parenthood
        Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

  13. If this is all about CO2 reduction WHERE is the Manhattan style project to build ZERO CO2 producing Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) in the USA? Where? Why is Germany shutting down ZERO CO2 producing NPP?
    The AGW crowd is shouting five alarm fire and sending in un-proven un-workable CO2 increasing remedies. If you have a five alarm fire you do not send in two volunteer 100 year old fire trucks (Wind and Solar). Obama wants 28% Renewable energy and all but excludes NPP. (Read the EA. all that is offered is “consideration” for new plants and little if that. Existing NPP is not counted and utilities will go bankrupt – i.e. Illinois.)
    Do the math. 28% renewable energy will double our national debt and quadruple the cost of electricity! Look what it has done to every country that has tried it. BUT the AGW crowd is not satisfied with even that. They want 100% Renewable. That is a physical impossibility in the USA – DO THE MATH. They woulkd never approve enough dames for hydro and pumped storage and to get 1/3 Solar or 1/3 Wind requires the equivalent of 100% name plate installed capacity of each. From http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_03_01_a.html – 2013 TOTAL 4,065,964 Thousand Megawatthours Or 4,065,964,000 Megawatthours OR 4,065,964,000,000 Kilowatthours (per year) divide that by 8,760 (hours in year) and you get 464,151,000,000 Megawatts per hour of generating capacity. That is 232,075,000,000 2-Megawatt (nameplate) Wind turbines, And about that same number of homes with solar panels on their roof. But wait, there are only about 150 million homes and we would need 1,500 times as many homes. Thus that means massive solar farms, the size of Connecticut. And worse yet, these numbers for solar only work in Sunny California. NOT in Connecticut. Now figure out the cost. To giv you a hint, you could build 20 times the number of NPPs needed to do the job and produce ZERO CO2 just from the rebates given to those building wind farms and solar farms and roof-top solar panesl trying to achieves this economically impossible dream
    Get the picture? IT IS A SCAM

    • Exactly. The writer proposes a Lessons Learned on where the climate change sales pitch went wrong so it can be avoided in the future. It does not address that science measures whether something is or isn’t and opens that for robust testing for eons. So far, the measure is minimal.
      He points out the failures of the sales pitch and that perhaps this bred people who took much of a closer look. He does the same in stating Trump is the outcome of the 1% and uneducated people who have been fed lies about history and economics. In either articles, he misses the point.
      Additionally, he requests that preparedness measures be taken for future cycles of disasters…which are a real probability. We used to. It was called All Hazards and a hurricane is a hurricane is a hurricane ( not a hurricane from climate change or a hurricane from cold water or whatever). I worked in disaster preparedness as did many of my colleagues. We are not working. The money and funds were siphoned off for climate change. Those climate change projects have no measurable outcome, no impact and do nothing.
      Are we to continue allowing 11.9 million people a year die because of lack of clean water, sewer systems and indoor air pollution from stoves or lack of vaccines because of lack of energy?
      I have yet to see how a combine to plant and cut corn and then sow soybean will be created using solar panels. Considering how that fuel is used to create so much food for so many people….If we take those away, how may more will die?

  14. The CAGW hypothesis is dead.
    All the empirical evidence and physics suggest added CO2 may contribute about 0.5C of total global warming by 2100, plus or minus whatever the sun decides to do over the next 85 years.
    Since there is a growing probability the sun may be entering a new Grand Solar Minimum, global temps may well be cooler 85 years from now…
    Regardless, there is growing evidence that most of the 20th century warming can be attributed to the strongest 63-yr string (1933~1996) of solar cycles in 11,400 years. When these strong solar cycles ended in 1996, so did the global warming trend:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1996.6/plot/rss/from:1996.6/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.6/normalise/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.6/normalise
    The discrepancies between CAGW hypothetical projections vs. reality already exceed 2 standard deviations, and within 5~7 years, they’ll likely be off by 3+ SDs, which is sufficient disparity and duration to officially toss CAGW in the trash for good.
    Once the CAGW hypothesis is officially tossed in the wood chipper, the blowback against Leftists, who were almost solely responsible for allowing the CAGW farce to continue for so long, will be overwhelming and profound.
    Imagine all the good the $trillions wasted on CAGW could have been used for… It boggles the mind.

    • “All the empirical evidence and physics suggest added CO2 may contribute about 0.5C of total global warming by 2100, plus or minus whatever the sun decides to do over the next 85 years.”
      It suggests nothing of the sort. Real-world evidence suggests that whatever it has contributed, or may contribute in the future, it is too small to sort out of all the other inputs, and our records both too incomplete as well as just plain bad for various reasons.

  15. I don’t go in to details but show my comments on two important issues raised by several international organizations such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc. They are as follows:
    1. In the last three years itself, India confronted enormous devastation caused by the Uttarkhand floods, by Cyclone Phelin, Kashmir floods and an unprecedented heat wave this year
    These are not unusual to India. They were there in India in the past, in the present and in future. The devastations caused by floods in Uttarkhand and Kashmir are man induced. The government closed their eyes while the unscrupulous people are encroaching river banks and constructing buildings. This resulted reduced channels for river water flows and thus they overflowed by washing away the buildings and people along with the property. In the case of cyclonic activity, India reduced human deaths but not animal and property losses. Here proper planning plays an important role. Heat & cold waves are common to India in summer & winter respectively in association with Western disturbances, a general circulation pattern. I present an article on this as back as 1978 in India Meteorological Department Journal. This years heat wave followed the Figure 7a & b pattern in the article only. They are nothing to do with global warming.
    2. At the Paris climate summit this December, 195 countries will come together to script a new agreement to limit the temperature rise to less than 2.0 oC and deal with increasing impacts of climate change.
    Paris summit is for collecting 100 billion dollars under the disguise of limiting global warming to 2.0 oC. The fact is, the global warming rise reached a plateau with the increasing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gases rise in the atmosphere. The global temperature pattern presents hiatus for the last nearly 19 years. By keeping the Paris meet people started bringing out papers after paper saying that global warming has not stopped — All these groups are pro-warmists. Among these, the three important theories are as follows:
     Firstly, instead of looking this as a part of natural cycle [which we have presented long back with 60-year cycle similar to Indian Southwest Monsoon rainfall cycle, people started telling the temperature is hidden in the Ocean. Several papers were published on this theory in reputed Journals after peer-review;
     Secondly, after the Ocean theory, countering this argument later NOAA manipulated the data to erase the hiatus;
     Thirdly now, K. E. Trenberth says “Internal climate variability masks climate warming trends”.
    Now they accepted the existence of natural variability in climate, principal component of Climate change. They are cyclic in nature and they are beyond human control and we have to adapt to them. This is what our forefathers did in terms of agricultural practices and preserving water resources. Extremes in precipitation and temperature are part of this cyclic pattern only. This is superposed on the trend caused by human actions. At local/regional levels the other important component of climate change that plays the vital role is ecological changes associated with changes in land use & land cover such as urban heat-island effect, cold-island effect, deforestation & mining effect. They play role in the modification of climate at local/regional levels but they play no role at global level and yet global temperature curve includes this data. However, ground based observational network covers only around 20 to 25% of the globe. Because of this the temperatures derived through balloons & satellites present far ower than the ground based data. This shows a rise of 0.25 oC since 1951 to date and off this around 50% is global warming. That means it is insignificant to influence nature, such as sea level rise. However, this is controlled by natural temperature variability of Ocean like PDO, Southern Oscillations, ADO, etc. This are modified by localized/regional human actions along the coast – building infrastructures along the prohibited zones, destruction green belt – protective walls of tidal fury –, drilling for water, oil & gas, sand mining, silting at the mouths of rivers entering the sea/oceans, etc.
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
    Formerly Chief Technical Advisor – WMO/UN & Expert – FAO/UN
    Fellow, Andhra Pradesh Akademy of Sciences
    Convenor, Forum for a Sustainable Environment
    E-mail: jeevanandareddy@yahoo.com; Tel Hyderabad (040) 23550480

    • Indian monsoons should be of particular interest to the geodynamic scientists. Spectral analysis of the Himalayan states rainfall during the last 120 years shows a distinct 16 year periodicity. This signal I found in only one other climate data set (and I have looked into all the major ones) and that is the Arctic temperature.
      That could be of passing interest if it was not for the fact that it is also the next strongest component in the change of Earth’s core angular moment.

  16. Hi, I’m going outside, licking my left index finger and holdong it up to which way te wind is blowing …

  17. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    The problem was that the climate team didn’t understand that the most important in science is transparency. Without transparency and sharing of data there can be no trust. Trust and verification is the key to science. Once you lose that, and the climate team has, you are just expressing opinions of no value and no credibility.

    • Jccarlton,
      Great point. For scientists to play a role in public policy they have to be more than priests in white coats. That might work in other nations, but not in America.
      There is accumulated trust from the great work of previous generations of scientists, but that’s a capital stock that can become exhausted if not renewed.

    • The problem was that the climate team didn’t understand that the most important in science is transparency. Without transparency and sharing of data there can be no trust. Trust and verification is the key to science. Once you lose that, and the climate team has, you are just expressing opinions of no value and no credibility.

      The reason the climate “scientists” won’t release the data is because they are afraid of Steve McIntyre giving their conclusions the same “audit” he gave the Hockeystick. They know their work is fraudulent, and they require only people in on the fraud to “peer” review it. I personally asked Dr Thompson why he won’t release his data and he said he gladly will to other “peer” reviewed scientists. I thought that was odd considering that tax payers pay for much of his funding. How someone is allowed to treat tax payer funded research as personal property is beyond me. We need to pass a law that pulls the curtain away from the data, methodologies and practices of these climate “scientists.” They act as if they are protecting the recipe for Coke-Cola or KFC Chicken.
      Lonnie Thompson’s Legacy
      http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/08/lonnie-thompsons-legacy/
      Lonnie and Ellen, A Serial Non-Archiving Couple
      http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/01/lonnie-and-ellen-serial-non-archivers/
      Why they haven’t been forced to answer to Congress is beyond me. They seem to act with impunity…at least for now.

      the serial non-archiving couple of Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, who, as it turns out, is an even worse offender than husband Lonnie, if such can be imagined. Their long career of non-archiving has flourished despite clear U.S. federal government policies dating back to 1991 which, on paper, require thorough data archiving by the climate community as a condition of receiving grants. Unfortunately, the U.S. climate funding bureaucracy has been thoroughly co-opted by the climate industry
      and has failed to enforce regulations that, on paper, would require the Thompsons and others to archive data. Unfortunately, Boulton failed to do any assessment of why even apparently mandatory government policies have been insufficient to deter to serial non-archivers.

      Here is an example of why Climate “Scientists” don’t want others looking at their work.

      In fact, Thompson’s panel (c) is not calibrated to temperature, but is simply a composite of Z-scores computed from the underlying oxygen isotope ratio data. It is therefore not a thermometer at all as claimed by Gore, but rather is what might be called a Z-mometer.

      http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/calibrating-dr-thompsons-z-mometer/

      Gore was supposed to have used panel c), but mistakenly used panel d) of the same figure instead, merging its two lines into a single graph.

      http://econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/AGW/Thompson6/Thompson6Calib.pdf

  18. google has about 500 results for “climate change” in just the past 24 hours, but methinks the media are speaking to themselves these days, as there are less & less comments, it seems &, even on alarmist sites such as The Guardian, there will as likely be mocking from the readers who do comment.
    today, there is everything from NYT & Grist declaring the “adorable”, “most popular” animal on the internet, the red panda, is doomed, to Sydney Morning Herald’s Daily Doomster, Peter Hannam’s mathematical headline “Global warming to drive quadrupling of extreme weather trifecta, study finds” & even a headline on some website, asking “Can Vanilla Ice Make People Care About Climate Change?”
    after a dozen or so pages of such rubbish, i found:
    17 Aug: Phys.org: Tomasz Nowakowski: Solar activity is declining—what to expect?
    Is Earth slowly heading for a new ice age? Looking at the decreasing number of sunspots, it may seem that we are entering a nearly spotless solar cycle which could result in lower temperatures for decades. “The solar cycle is starting to decline. Now we have less active regions visible on the sun’s disk,” Yaireska M. Collado-Vega, a space weather forecaster at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, told Phys.org.
    But does it really mean a colder climate for our planet in the near future?…
    Helen Popova, a Lomonosov Moscow State University researcher predicts that if the existing theories about the impact of solar activity on the climate are true, then this minimum will lead to a significant cooling, similar to the one during the Maunder Minimum period…
    But according to Collado-Vega, the current minimum in the number of sunspots ***doesn’t mean that the sun won’t show us its violent nature in the coming years…
    http://phys.org/news/2015-08-solar-decliningwhat.html
    ***.”doesn’t mean that the sun won’t show us its violent nature in the coming years” – not sure why this emotive language had to be attributed to Collado-Vega, but hey, it was worth the search for the rest of the piece.

  19. All I hear is a bunch of theoretically grown adults singing in the same choir. Isn’t there one person on this blog that believes in climate change? When I hear all speaking with the same voice, I wonder how that can be so? I’ve been all over America and have never heard such unanimity about anything. When everybody is on one side, the boat usually capsizes. I don’t like what I see here, it’s not American. Americans never all agree, even if they did all agree, somebody would stand up and be the Devil’s advocate just to show that there are two sides to every story. I wish you all the best of luck, I think that you’re going to need it.

    • bobthebear: I live in the UK, and here’s the way I see it.
      What exactly is ‘climate’? Where is the ‘climate change’ we’ve all heard so much above? The tale has been endlessly pushed by the mainstream media, with actual figures never discussed – all we get is ‘The climate is changing! We’re to blame – we must take action!’
      I suggest that climate has changed little, and certainly not in any manner to cause concern. Why?
      The Kӧppen classification of climate was devised by a German climatologist, Wladimir Kӧppen (1846-1940). It has been the best known and most used climate classification system for decades, and describes the UK for eaxmple as having a humid middle latitude, mild winter or Marine West Coast (Cfb) type of climate.
      What the Cfb coding means is that the average temperature of the coldest month is under 18⁰C and above -3⁰C.
      No month is above 22⁰C, and at least four are over 10⁰C.
      And so it remains, regardless of annual variations which are expected – a wide range of temperatures defines climate, as seen for example in the Central England Temperature Record (CET), the world’s oldest temperature record which began in 1659.
      It’s now 2015. Which country has changed has changed its climate as defined by the Köppen classification?
      Here in the UK, as far I’m concerned the climate hasn’t changed at all in the 66 years I’ve been on Earth. Not a jot. We’ve had cold winters, mild winters, hot summers, cold rainy summers and more.
      However, we now have the ridiculous situation where ordinary foul weather is now being routinely described as ‘extreme’ in the newspapers, and I for for one am heartily sick of the second-rate ‘science’ being peddled to second-rate politicians, and broadcast as fact by second rate media. The money being wasted is colossal. The European Union wants to spend 186,000,000,000 Euros on ‘climate change’ between now and 2020, when this money could be spend on real-life needy causes.
      What are we talking about when we say that CO2 levels have risen?
      The pre-industrial era is regarded as the years prior to 1750 AD. We’re told that the CO2 level in the atmosphere at that time was about 280ppm. It’s now 400 or so, a rise of 43%. The term ‘ppm’ means molecules of CO2 per million of all other atmospheric gases. These measurements are made on dry air. That’s an increase of 120 molecules of CO2 per million – and exactly how many of these have been put there by mankind is by no means clear.
      Now look at the Central England Temperature Record (CET) which dates back to 1659. In 1750, the average temperature is given as 9.69C. Last year, it was 10.93, in 2013 9.56, and in 2012 9.70C.
      Such values aren’t unusual anywhere in the record – temperatures above 10C are seen in 1686,the 1700s,the 1800s, and the 1900s.
      Despite this 43% rise in CO2 since the year 1750, somehow the planet appears not to have fried, and we’re all still here.
      Satellite measurements of temperature are considered to be the most reliable.
      Look at the data sets since the late 1990s – all we see are annual oscillations of about plus or minus half a degree compared with the average temperature from 1951 to 1980.
      Where, then, is the dangerous man-made global warming due to CO2?

    • I am person who doesn’t believe in the climate change, but I think I know there is a climate change. More I look into it, more I am convinced that the climate of any particular region (my interest is in the CET- I and my family happen to live there) has never been stationary, it has always changed.
      Question is not if the climate is changing (only uninformed would think otherwise) but what are the mechanisms driving the climate change.
      There you are.

    • bobthebear,
      You are not reading very carefully. Nor do you seem to be well informed.
      You will need luck as well.

    • Bob the Paris conference is proclaiming climate change and what to do about it. Why don’t you stand up and tell the UN etc that there are two sides and they are wrong? The worlds governments tend to agree on climate change more than the folks here sing in the same choir.

    • Meh, you hear critics of skepticism object that we haven’t a single theory to explain climate. Bob, your criticism is far more apt for the lock-step alarmists. Go check it out.
      ==============

    • Do not confuse the issues. There is a difference between CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) and the greenhouse effect.
      CAGW requires all sorts of positive feedbacks to amplify warming, that are at best conjectural. If this planet were so delicately poised that a runaway greenhouse could cause the disasters they imagine we would not be here, as the earth has survived far greater insults and maintained a dynamic equilibrium.
      If there is no danger of a runaway greenhouse then we will adapt and change our behavior. Fossil fuels will not last forever. Personally, I think the most probable technology to replace them will be biofuels from genetically engineered organisms, but those are several years off, at best. We do not have any technology available yet.
      And please don’t tell me about the Manhattan Project, that was engineering, what we lack now is the science.

  20. “I believe that climate science as an institution has become dysfunctional; large elements of the public no longer trust it.”
    Not just the public but also professional scientists like myself who view climate “science” in the same way as astrology!

  21. There’s a very simple problem with climate and it’s this – academics are entirely the wrong group of people to advise government. Unlike commercial consultants or engineers who know they have to be cautious about what they say and only assert things that can be substantiated (or at least won’t do harm), academics have engaged in an orgy or unsubstantiated assertions. Some for good reason, but many because of the liberal green agenda that prevails in Universities have seen this as a way of “getting back at the private sector and industry”.
    And industry itself doesn’t care about academics – because they make money from whatever daft schemes the government dreams up from the advice of politically active academics. But the people who do pay, are the public, our society and perversely academia and science because no one who had the misfortune to get tangled up in this climate debate on the sceptic side will ever trust another academic again

    • Academics who are employed by the government that wants them to endorse a vote catching ideological position are exactly the right people to advise governments…If the desired outcome is votes.

  22. @bobthebear
    Climate change is one instance of a class of problems which are global, in that, no one country on its own can solve them, and I for one would really like to see a world where a kid’s chances in life are not dictated by where they happen to be born on the planet. So there is a theme of “uniting humanity”. But climate change has been pushed well beyond its data, and into a sort of, global grass-roots socialism, and the trouble with that is, it is an outdated system, a system of politics which ties in with tribalism and authoritarianism.
    Yes, one day humanity may integrate globally, but it won’t be via socialism. It’ll be something new. And it may not be for a thousand years. But instead of facing that political and ethical question, how and why to move forward, they took an old politics and hid it inside a science theory. Then they tried to use that to usurp everyone else.
    Protesters hold up signs against building a new runway, saying “we come armed only with peer reviewed science”, whilst same protesters hate GMO, even whilst there isn’t peer reviewed consensus on it being bad. It is obviously all about their cause, and not about science. And they know they are doing this.
    As one environmentalist explained to me, when I asked, what if CO2 isn’t a big problem, she said, “It doesn’t matter if CO2 isn’t a problem, because by forcing people to cut CO2, you’re forcing a cut in production, and a cut in consumption; it is about reducing GREED.” Perhaps she thought I was part of the tribe, in divulging that. Perhaps she thought I didn’t look like a greedy person.
    Well, fine, but science and ethics are two different domains, and if what one wants is a truly ethical advance, it has to be discussed as an ethical question, not as a pseudo-science claim to force people into complying.

  23. Fabius Maximus,
    What an insightful essay. Thank you.
    Your point about the lack of preparation for future “normal extremes” is something I see as one of the greatest costs the climate obsessed have imposed on us all. It is my belief that if one were to review the net impact of the climate community’s policy ideas, research work, treaties, laws and expenditures, one would find little if any actual benefit. Can you list any positive accomplishments by the climate community?

    • Hunter,
      That’s a thought-provoking questions. It depends how one sees the players, the process, and what’s happened. Here’s my view.
      Climate science has made much progress (paraphrased as “the mills of science grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine”). They’ll make more, and answer many of our questions eventually. I prefer to look at science as a social process, usefully described by the schema developed by Thomas Kuhn in his “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”. A field like climate science has a paradigm. The mainstream defends it against attackers. In that sense nothing unusual is happening.
      Looking at a different an larger playing field, the public policy debate in America is dominated by activists, which we can loosely describe as “left” and “right”. Some are scientists. They have politicized climate science for a complex mix of reasons. The opportunity to play in the “great game” of politics has attracted many climate scientists (to varying degrees), as it offers benefits: fame, research money, lucrative jobs, fun conferences at nice locations, etc.
      There is nothing wrong with this. It’s one way society mobilizes resources to address a problem. Unfortunately the process has gone sour, with bad results for our politics and the institution of climate science. The additional resources given climate science have produced some valuable results, but not proportional to the sums. Activists have drawn attention to the effects of climate on society. That could have been good, helping prepare us for the repeat of past weather and future climate change — but instead we have poisonous gridlock.

  24. What’s next in the climate wars?
    Let’s try a thought experiment (I’m writing a post about this). Five leading climate scientists are in a bar and one asks “How do we fix this mess?” What might people do who really believed the world were at risk (i.e., the safety of their grandchildren were more important than their careers)?
    My suggestion: ask for outside intervention. Like the NAS “North Report” in 2006, but on a much larger scale. Ask for serious money to fund an blue ribbon review of climate change by a multi-disciplinary team of outside experts. More like the process for drug approval than the IPCC. I suggest 3 core projects.
    (1) Have a team of software engineers, mathematicians, and scientists examine a few climate models.
    (2) Have a team of experts examine the paleoclimate reconstructions. Dendochronologists, statisticians, etc — specific experts in the relevant fields.
    (3) Have a team of experts (meteorologists, statisticians, etc) examine the modern temperature databases: ocean, surface, and upper troposphere.
    Activists will protest the time lost to the climate fight. But since nothing substantial is happening, nothing is lost. Some might object to the money spent (a modern version of the “know nothings”). IMO it would be money well spent to resolve this issue.
    Comments?

    • Follow-up note: John Christy (Prof of Atmospheric Science U AL-Huntsville, Alabama State
      Climatologist) has proposed this. As here, on 20 March 2014 (probably not his first mention):
      “As important as models can be for problems like this, it is clear we have a long way to go. And it is troubling that current policy is being based on these computer models, none of which has been validated by a formalized, independent Red Team analysis.”
      http://www.centredaily.com/2014/03/20/4093680/john-r-christy-climate-science.html

      • Bruce,
        “The entire field of “climate science” has been so corrupted”
        That’s why I recommend asking for “outside intervention”. There are no neutrals, but there are (excuse the pun) “cooler heads” at the NAS and AAAS. A more balanced view is also possible if this comes from Congress.

    • And these “experts” would be chosen by whom, and on what basis? The entire field of “climate science” has been so corrupted by the so-called “consensus” that it can’t be fixed. It has to fail catastrophically.

    • Great idea in general, but the devilish detail is that the climate catastrophist meme has infected/infested a growing circle of disciplines. As Jennifer Marohasy pointed out about a year ago, and you have inferred here, what is needed is a new paradigm. The new paradigm, as you also infer, would involve “yes, the climate is changing and mankind is influencing that change in multiple ways, but no crisis is happening or likely to happen”. But that does not inflate political egos or financial parasite bank accounts. And thta paradigm could hold them accountable for the years of dereliction in resource and infrastructure management.
      Climate science is currently not much better in either quality of science or freshness of ideas than is Ufology.
      The climate obsession has become a search for the Holy Grail: endless, mythical expensive, and fruitless.
      My take at this point is that the only way one can say that “manmade climate change” is of any significance at all is to change the “A” to “Anthropomorphic” and study it at as a social science experiment run badly out of control.

      • Our pitiful little aliquot of fossil CO2 can only net benefit the globe, the biome, and humanity. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Paleontology has never shown the upper limit of benefit from warming and always shows the detriment of cooling.
        There, the paradigm your grandchildren will understand.
        =================

  25. Fabius Maximus – Excellent post!
    My recent experiences on Twitter with several visible climate scientists [Gavin Schmidt; Doug McNeall; Victor Venema; Bart Verheggen; Chris Colose; Andrew Dessler; Peter Thorne] on twitter illustrates how dysfunctional and ineffective seeking to debate the climate issue has become.
    I have tried to move them from attacking me to an open constructive discussion of the questions I raised with Gavin Schmidt months ago – e.g. see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/19/nasas-dr-gavin-schmidt-goes-into-hiding-from-seven-very-inconvenient-questions/
    Instead,they have launched a team attack to defend Gavin [who, unfortunately, launches his own personal attacks].
    My request to Gavin Schmidt as Director of a federal NASA lab [GISS] for information is standard practice in the USA.
    In the USA system, federal managers are supposed to respond to taxpayer requests, despite Gavin’s claim to the contrary. Indeed, the Congress can mandate it in their Hearings and follow on. As a taxpayer it is expected. Typically, of course, they do not answer themselves, but their staff does. This is even true of the President’s office. Whether the answers have any value is another issue. 🙂
    In air quality work, there is a difference between Europe and the USA, In Europe, there is a need to demonstrate a need to know (regarding pollutants emitted from a factory), while in the USA there is a right to know. Gavin must not know the policy history in the USA concerning communication to the public and others.
    Cochran, L.S., R.A. Pielke, and E. Kovacs, 1992: Selected international receptor based air quality standards. J. Air Waste Mgt. Assoc., 42, 1567-1572
    https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/r-167.pdf
    Here is an extract from that paper
    “‘Need to Know” Versus “Right to Know” In compiling this information, we found it easier to access the regulations from some countries as opposed to others. There is a major political difference between public rights to air quality information. In the United States, for example, the federal law mandates a “right to know,” while the Seveso Directive (#67/548) of the European community permits access based on a “need to know.” This fundamental difference provides further impetus for an ambient based standard, in addition to emission based standards, since the public and other interested parties could monitor air quality at the property boundaries of an industrial facility.’
    Now that CO2 is a “pollutant” in the USA, there is even more reason to insist on communication between policymakers and the public on the climate issue.
    I am going to repeat my questions here from http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/19/nasas-dr-gavin-schmidt-goes-into-hiding-from-seven-very-inconvenient-questions/ [note I left out the one question that Ken Rice and I address at ATTP – https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/assessing-anthropogenic-global-warming/
    *********************************************QUESTIONS******************************
    1. From http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf
    “Climate models fail to reproduce the observed annual cycle in all components of the albedo with any realism, although they broadly capture the correct proportions of surface and atmospheric contributions to the TOA albedo. A high model bias of albedo has also persisted since the time of CMIP3,mostly during the boreal summer season. Perhaps more importantly, models fail to produce the same degree of interannual constraint on the albedo variability nor do they reproduce the same degree of hemispheric symmetry.”
    Q: How do you respond to this critique of climate models with respect to the GISS model?
    2. From https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1116592hansen.pdf
    “The Willis et al. measured heat storage of 0.62 W/m2 refers to the decadal mean for the upper 750 m of the ocean. Our simulated 1993-2003 heat storage rate was 0.6 W/m2 in the upper 750 m of the ocean. The decadal mean planetary energy imbalance, 0.75 W/m2 , includes heat storage in the deeper ocean and energy used to melt ice and warm the air and land. 0.85 W/m2 is the imbalance at the end of the decade.
    Certainly the energy imbalance is less in earlier years, even negative, especially in years following large volcanic eruptions. Our analysis focused on the past decade because: (1) this is the period when it was predicted that, in the absence of a large volcanic eruption, the increasing greenhouse effect would cause the planetary energy imbalance and ocean heat storage to rise above the level of natural variability (Hansen et al., 1997), and (2) improved ocean temperature measurements and precise satellite altimetry yield an uncertainty in the ocean heat storage, ~15% of the observed value, smaller than that of earlier times when unsampled regions of the ocean created larger uncertainty.”
    Q: What is the GISS update to this summary including the current estimates for the imbalance?
    3a Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting average observed regional climate statistics?
    3b Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional climate statistics?
    3c Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting observed regional extreme weather statistics?
    3d Q: What is the quantitative skill of the multi-decadal climate projections with respect to predicting CHANGES in observed regional extreme weather statistics?
    4. Q: Can regional dynamic and/or statistical downscaling be used to increase the prediction (projection) skill beyond that of available by interpolation to finer scales directly from the multi-decadal global climate models predictions?
    5. Q: Since it is claimed that a large fraction of the heat from human input of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has been going into the deeper ocean over the last 10-15 years (as an attempt to explain the “hiatus”), why is the global average surface temperature trend still used as the primary metric to diagnose global warming?
    6. Q: What is the relative role of land use/land cover change relative as well as added aerosols with respect to added CO2 and other greenhouse gases in affecting local and regional climate and changes in regional climate statistics?
    7. Q: What is your conclusion on the role of changes in extreme weather as they affect society during the last several decades?
    I invite Gavin Schmidt, Doug McNeall, Victor Venema, Bart Verheggen, Chris Colose, Andrew Dessler,and Peter Thorne (and others) to engage here or on another website to discuss with me and others.
    Roger A. Pielke Sr.

    • Here’s a question. If there is an increase in radiation onto the surface of earth that raises the actual surface temperature by 1 deg C what will be the eventual increase in the temperature of the centre of the earth and how long will it take to get there? What are the consequences for models, climate and missing heat?

    • Check out Doug McNeall’s twitter stream, @dougmcneall
      In the last two days he’s sent over 40 sneering bullying tweets to Roger Pielke, without a single one addressing any issue of scientific substance.

    • So far [August 19 2015 1250pm MDT], no interest to engage on science by Gavin Schmidt, Doug McNeall, Victor Venema, Bart Verheggen, Chris Colose, Andrew Dessler,and Peter Thorne. For those who thought that science involved vigorous, but cordial and open debate on issues, this experience with these individuals shows that when their view is the politically dominate one, they just ridicule and ignore any need to discuss the science.
      This is a particular problem with Schmidt since as a federal senior manager, he is, in my view, ignoring one of his responsibilities to USA taxpayers for NASA GISS [Schmidt or member(s) of his staff] to respond to a request for information.

      • They know those questions won’t go away, so, the flak.
        Heh, there are waves of bombers, called reality.
        ==========

  26. ‘They don’t destroy key records, which are required to be kept and made public. They don’t force people to file Freedom of Information requests to get key information; the response to FOIs is never like this…’
    If as urgent has claimed , if as settled has claimed if as all important has claimed , the last thing you would see would be smoke and mirror operations because their use make it less not more likley for you to get the types of changes it has claimed ‘must happen’ on this type of scale .
    And yet climate ‘science’ and CAGW followers are the world’s leader in the production and usage of such approaches has they act far more like a religion trying to cover for the reality that is not ‘settled ‘ ,therefore far from clear how ‘important’ it is or if it is ‘urgent ‘ at all.

  27. The other side, “skeptics”, have some funding from energy companies and conservative groups, with the heavy lifting being done by volunteer amateurs, plus a few scientists and meteorologists.
    What the Soviet military called the correlation of forces overwhelmingly favored those wanting action. Public policy in America should have gone green many years ago. Why didn’t it?

    Sorry to have to remind people, but before you go ‘Green’ have a quick look around one of their official sites(1). There is little there about ‘the environment’ excepting where it happens to bolster other goals.
    These (the leadership at least) are the people that think that Communism is a great idea … if only we could try it properly.
    I would lapse into serious depression if I truly believed that America had gone ‘green’. I have always believed that you lot had more sense. As in the good ol’ days of the Cold War, the rest of the ‘West’ looks to America as an alternative to destructive, half-thought out, (five year) planned visions of the future. That way lies North Korea.
    (1) http://www.gp.org/what-we-believe/10-key-values

  28. “The weather will determine the evolution of US public policy.”
    I fear this may be true. And because most people have very short and unreliable memories, any large weather events, however normal statistically, will serve the warmist purpose. Politicians may be very smart in some ways, but they will continue to be unable to put such events in their proper context. We’re going to need a significant DOWNTURN in global temperatures, not just an absence of large warming, before the movers and shakers start to move and shake in a different direction. Sorry to be rather pessimistic…

    • mothcatcher,
      Nicely said! I agree. Any extreme weather in the next few years will be described as the result of CAGW. As we see with the California drought, despite it being quite typical for the region.
      It need not even be visible normal weather, as we see with hype last year about the Super Monster El Nino (that never arrived) and this year’s {predicted} Godzilla El Nino — skillful propaganda can work gullible people into a frenzy about something existing only in their minds.
      Prediction: in October (before the Paris Conference) we’ll see the mother of all alarmist campaigns when 2015 is declared The Warmest Year Even. All those expensive satellites will get dropped down the memory hole, their inconvenient truth ignored.

  29. Hansen threw CAGW against the wall and it stuck.
    Now reality is it peeling off.
    Their conclusion?
    There is something wrong with the wall.

  30. Dear Larry Kummer,
    Re your first paragraph ending in … “All we can do is learn what went wrong so we can do better next time, and wait to see the price we pay for our folly.”
    No ! That is NOT the answer. The time for “sitting on the fence” has long gone.
    Here (below) are words from a respected Australian geologist who, last year, put things into perspective about carbon-dioxide (which is the ENTIRE basis for the Great Global Warming CON !).
    COPY AND PASTE start.
    Ian Rutherford Plimer is an Australian geologist, professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne, professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide, and the director of multiple mineral exploration and mining companies. He has published 130 scientific papers, six books and edited the Encyclopedia of Geology.
    Where Does the Carbon Dioxide Really Come From?
    PLIMER: “Okay, here’s the bombshell. The recent volcanic eruption in Iceland . Since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet – all of you.
    Of course, you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.
    I know….it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kids “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50p light bulbs with £5 light bulbs ….. well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.
    The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere in just four days – yes, FOUR DAYS – by that volcano in Iceland has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time – EVERY DAY.
    I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the Philippinesin 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in all its years on earth.
    Yes, folks, Mt. Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it!!!!
    Of course, I shouldn’t spoil this ‘touchy-feely tree-hugging’ moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keeps happening despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.
    And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud, but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the westernUSA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.
    Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you, on the basis of the bogus ‘human-caused’ climate-change scenario.
    Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention ‘Global Warming’ anymore, but just ‘Climate Change’ – you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past few years and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.
    And, just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax – imposed on you that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.
    But, hey, relax……give the world a hug and have a nice day!!
    COPY AND PASTE end.

  31. Tribalism isn’t just rampant in climate science but pretty much everywhere. According to the Framers of our Constitution, political factions was never mentioned nor embraced:
    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This in my opinion is to be dreaded as the greatest evil under our Constitution.”
    -John Adams
    Personally, I believe it’s a primal instinct for humans to naturally fall into factions (tribes) since after all, civilization has only existed for 0.02% of our existence…We’d like to think of ourselves as modern humans but I still think we have a long way to go in riding ourselves of primal instincts that are detrimental to not only modern society but apparently the planet as well.

    • Dog,
      Yours gets my vote for Best of Thread. It raises a problem probably more important than the climate issues in my post. Tribalism is an illness that has America by the throat, bleeding away the social cohesion that has been one of our great strengths — and we have fought hard to maintain (and recover, when we’ve lost it).
      I see this in my small pond. The FM website has gained and lost audience several times since opening in 2007. We’ll run articles that attract readers from Left or Right, then change to a new focus offending their tribal truths and — bang, gone.
      That’s happening right now. We’ve run articles about our dysfunctional politics, broken financial markets, and growing inequality — gaining readers from the Left. A few articles about climate — largely supporting the IPCC against activists who have abandoned it as “too conservative” — and our West coast traffic has been cut in half. Fast,
      Which brings up an interesting thing about our host, Anthony Watts. He runs a website with one of the widest range of viewpoints of any among the large climate-focused multi-author shops. Most have the range of perspectives like that of a cult. That’s he resists this pattern is impressive, in my book.

  32. The reason why the field of climate science has been so badly tainted, and many climatologists and academic and scientific institutions have become corrupted, is simple … green politics and money.
    The only thing that will expose this disgraceful period of corrupt science will be time. Time will reveal the indisputable truth about the climate changes that lie ahead. And based on some good science, I believe the following video reveals what is most likely to be:

  33. It’s not obvious from your post that you have learned a lot about climate science. Perhaps you are an expert in finance. Are you telling everyone to buy stocks now? Few people would be capable of being an expert in two unrelated subjects, such as finance and climate science. Perhaps you have some wrong opinions about “climate science”? Of course, I could be wrong.
    “Climate science” is a term seized by a small subset of people with science degrees who would more accurately be called climate modelers.
    Geologists, astrophysicists, and many other scientists, are excluded from the climate science “cult”, even though their work is often about, or related to, Earth’s climate
    Based on a strategy developed by Roger Revelle, scientists learned that getting government grants was much easier if you declared with great certainty that an environmental catastrophe was coming, and additional study was needed.
    Climate modelers are people who enjoy playing computer games in air conditioned offices, making scary predictions that gets them media attention and government grants, and doing “work” (playing computer games ) that allows them to tell others they are working to ‘save the Earth’.
    That sounds pretty good to me — getting high pay to play computer games, and then saving the Earth like a super hero !
    In fact, climate modeling is not science at all:
    – Predicting the future is not science, and
    – Computer models are not data — without data there is no science.
    Computer modeling is a methodology to convert wild guess predictions of the future into complex reports that appear to be scientific because a lot of math is used.
    But, in fact, the output of climate models is nothing more than opinions of the people who control the assumptions.
    And those people have no idea whether future decades will be cooler or warmer.
    After all, they have 40 years of wrong climate predictions so far — how many decades of wrong predictions are required before the predictions are ignored?
    On your website you appear to promote more money spent on climate science.
    That would be a mistake.
    Has the taxpayers’ money invested so far given us:
    (1) un-biased “climate science” (no), or
    (2) accurate predictions of the future climate (no), or
    (3) scientists with open minds and integrity (no) ?
    So why “invest” more money in “climate science” when the prior investments are returning nothing of value? In fact, the scary climate predictions lead to slower economic growth through the false demonization of CO2.
    The government should spend much less money on “climate science”.
    Cutting losses is basic investment finance.
    Calculating an average temperature is a waste of money, for one example.
    In fact, after many billions of dollars spent on climate science, all we really know is:
    – Earth’s climate is always changing
    – Causes of those changes are unknown …
    (but range from the sun’s irradiance, the sun’s magnetic field, cosmic rays, extra-terrestial dust, the Earth’s core, Earth’s magnetic field, Earth’s albedo changes from building cities, soot in the air, and soot on the Arctic snow and ice, etc. And maybe CO2 and methane probably have some effect too.)
    “Climate science” as performed by climate modelers is 99% politics and 1% science.
    Computer games are not science.
    Scaring people to enable left-wing politicians to gain political power is not science.
    Earth’s climate in 2015 is better than it has been in hundreds of years, and much better than 15,000 years ago when my property in Michigan was covered by a mile or two of ice:
    – Slight warming after the Little Ice Age centuries has been good news for humans,
    – More CO2 in the air has been good news for plants, and the people and animals who eat them,
    – More warming, and more CO2 in the air, in the future, would be even better news, and
    – The slight warming and additional CO2 since 1850 has been accompanied by the most prosperous and healthy 165 years for humans in the history of our planet — so where’s the bad news ?
    My free climate blog for the non-scientist:
    http://www.elOnionBloggle.blogspot.com

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