Josh on Pielke Jr. and Mann-ichean paranoia in Climate Science

Josh Live-tooned the talk at the GWPF recently by Roger Pielke Jr.

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Roger Pielke Jr.: Manichean paranoia has poisoned the climate debate

The talk is posted on Twitter, follow this thread:

Summary:

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Why have there been such meager results from the three decades-long campaign for public policy action in America to fight climate change? Professor Roger Pielke Jr. explains how activists on both sides brought Manichean paranoia to the debate, poisoning it. The results might have historic painful effects. He shows how we can fix the debate, if we try.

“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
— Attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson.

Pielke Presentation at GWPF about Paranoid Climate Politics

The movement for massive US public policy action to fight climate change began (as an arbitrary date) with the testimony of James Hansen on 23 June 1988 in a sweltering (due to careful preparation) Senate conference room. During the following 29 years vast sums were spent to build public support for such measures. Academia, the news media, NGOs, and government agencies provided full spectrum support, laying down a barrage of propaganda — ranging from scholarly and compelling to outlandish or even horrific (see 40 posts with more examples).

Now it has come to a standstill, having accomplished little. The Republicans running Washington want to roll back what little has been done. The majority of the public ranks climate change low on the list of public policy concerns. As a public police concern, the environment was ranked #12 in a 2014 survey. Climate was #14 in a 2014 survey. Climate was rated in a 2016 survey as “below average in importance” by people in both parties.

Why? Climate scientists made major tactical errors. But worse was how activists on both sides poisoned the debate. In this presentation Professor Roger Pielke Jr. describes the result as Manichean Paranoia. He suggests some simple steps America can take to fix and restart the debate. Let’s listen to him. After the presentation are some likely results if we fail to do so.

 

This presentation posted with his generous permission.

 

About the Paranoid Style of American Politics

“Paranoia has a long history in the American polity. American politics has often been an arena for angry minds. … I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right wing. I call it the paranoid style simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind. … It is the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant.”

— “The Paranoid Style in American Politics“ by Richard Hofstadter in Harper’s Magazine, November 1964.

From the publisher… “Historian Richard Hofstadter’s book offers a valuable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs. He investigates the politics of the irrational, showing how fringe groups can influence — and even derail — the agendas of a political party.”

Conclusions

“We don’t even plan for the past.”
— Steven Mosher (member of Berkeley Earth; bio here), a comment posted at Climate Etc.

The political gridlock on a public policy response to climate change has prevented the most obvious and easy first step — preparing for the almost inevitable repeat of past extreme weather. Events like superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina were warnings, showing our mad lack of preparation for likely weather events. Unless we change soon, we will pay dearly for our folly.

As for climate change — irrespective of the politics, the climate will eventually decide who was correct in the climate policy wars.

Roger Pielke Jr

Roger Pielke Jr.

About the author

Roger Pielke, Jr. is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the U of CO-Boulder. He was Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. He is now Director of the Sports Governance Center in the Dept of Athletics. Before joining the faculty of the U of CO, from 1993-2001 he was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

His research focuses on science, innovation and politics. He holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science from the University of Colorado. In 2006 he received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research. In 2012 Roger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America.

His research focuses on science, innovation and politics. He holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science from the University of Colorado. In 2006 he received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research. In 2012 Roger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America.

His page at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research has his bio, CV, and links to some of his publications. His website has links to his works, and essays about the many subjects on which he works.

He is also author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, including The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (2007), The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming (2010), The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change (2014), and The Edge: The War against Cheating and Corruption in the Cutthroat World of Elite Sports (2016).

Some of his recent publications.

Truth Will Make You Free

For More Information

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

  1. Important: climate scientists can restart the climate change debate – & win.
  2. How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future.
  3. A status report on global warming. Much depends on the next few years.
  4. Good news for the New Year! Salon explains that the global climate emergency is over.
  5. A story of the climate change debate. How it ran; why it failed.

To learn more about the state of climate change, see Pielke’s book The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change. See my review.

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77 thoughts on “Josh on Pielke Jr. and Mann-ichean paranoia in Climate Science

  1. ” Events like superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina were warnings, showing our mad lack of preparation for likely weather events. Unless we change soon, we will pay dearly for our folly.”

    Preparing for inclement weather is a sensible thing to do, suggesting that by changing our behaviour can can control or alter the weather is little more than wishful thinking and science fiction.

    • behaviour can can control or alter the weather
      ============
      human beings have believed their behavior could change the weather for thousands of years. What farmer hasn’t prayed for rain? What picnic organizer hasn’t prayed for sunshine?

      Virtually EVERYONE on the planet has at sometime said a silent prayed to change the weather. A 100 percent consensus. Even those that don’t believe in prayer. Unfortunately the path forward is all too predictable.

      Along the long path of human history it is a short path, exceedingly short from prayer to offerings to sacrifice. Carbon taxes are just another offering to the Gods, a prayer for good weather to come. When the taxes fail to deliver, it will because we haven’t sacrificed enough. Once started, these movements to control the weather always end badly.

      “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”

      • That is an interesting idea, that the main motivation behind CAGW is the desire to finally satisfy the need to control the weather.

      • Vastu versus Climate Change: Modern Vastu versus Global Warming
        With the Modern Vastu and Global Warming people behind them got benefitted in amassing wealth and fame; and with the Traditional Vastu and Climate Change concepts community in general benefitted. Let me present below briefly on these:
        The literature is rich with rational and irrational theories as well as eccentric beliefs and prophecies. All these formed part of civilized societies. Among these Astrology and Vastu are playing an important role in the modern society. Here “we” of 60s changed to “I” in 70s and “money in 80s”. Thus, people started looking for ways and means of earning wealth through all means, as the social status in the modern society is reflected through the wealth one possesses. In the middle of 1990s the seeds of modern vastu have started its roots in this direction.
        The Chinese Vastu “Feng-Shui” is nothing but “wind and water”, the two components of pancha bhootas. The buildings were symmetrical with the north- south orientation, and the main gate facing the south. The south facing was preferable because the winds from Mongolia carry great deal of yellow dust and is terribly cold. People avoided placing even windows on the north and such practice became common. Even now many Beijing houses do not have windows or other openings on the north. The trenches in front of the main gate in the south carry water to protect inmates from heat. The modern Chinese vastu transformed in to more of interior decoration practices mostly developed for Western consumption but spread far and wide including to India. They have linked this to certain imaginative forces (they call them as dragon forces). However, from the 60-year cycle of Chinese astrology it is clear that these imaginative forces change every 20 years.
        The traditional Indian vastu has two components, namely science and socio-religious practices. The science part relates to the principles of architecture and planning of structures in an environmental context that may vary with place to place, situation to situation, type of material available locally, security needs, etc. Like in Chinese vastu, here also the concept of pancha bhootas played the principal role. Wind and water relates to the monsoon system, fire relates to the movement of the Sun, Earth relates to the strength of the soil, etc. Metaphysics/Superstition was added to the traditional socio-religious part. Thus the science of architecture is replaced by the metaphysics/superstition. This helped the consultants to mint money overnight. Engineers joined this bandwagon.
        Marcus Vitruvius Pollio the Roman architect of the first century BC, the Indian Bureau of Standards, World Meteorological Organization brought out reports on the scientific aspects of Vastu, wherein pancha bhootas are the principal component. All these are discussed in my book published in 1997 [in Telugu & English] “Vaastuvyamoham: Bramalu-Vastavalu” [Vastu: A Practical Guide]. However, our engineers are least bothered on these vital science aspects but to get money they forgot their profession. See for example B.N. Reddy – he called himself as Vastu Expert and got his book on Vastu released by the President of India but his multistory building [Virgo complex] collapsed even before it was inaugurated as he failed to look at the “The Earth” component of “pancha bhootas”. In Vastu, the first thing is to conduct a test for the stability of the soil and accordingly prepare the soil for foundation. He failed in this aspect.
        Climate is represented by several meteorological parameters. Over a given place they changed over time based on the changes in environmental conditions – change in climate system [as defined by IPCC] –. Over the years scientists studied these issues for application in agriculture, water resources management, etc. In India traditional temples are classical example for this. Tanks are part of Temples. For example, Mahanandi in the State of Andhra Pradesh of India has a pond in-front of the Siva temple. The water flows into the pond [nobody knows where from this water is coming] and goes out for utilization for agriculture. The water in the pond is crystal clear even to date – if you drop a coin, you can clearly see this on the bottom of water floor –. Farming Systems of Agriculture were well defined based on climate of the place and region. Based on the climate the irrigation systems were well developed. In all these cases, there was no personal interest except community interests. With the globalization, corporate groups played dominant role for gaining wealth. This has a drastic impact on climate under the disguise of global warming, which is another face of modern Vastu. Both are bounded by wealth. With the wealth, public relations component played the major role in their propagation. Under these scenarios, people at individual level and community level suffered severely as they are not getting right direction. With the global warming under carbon credit policy and research, groups benefitted a lot that served the negatively to community. These benefits, unfortunately are far far higher than those involved in modern Vastu.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Quoting ferdberple’s posted statement of:

        Once started, these movements to control the weather always end badly.

        WOW, with a couple changes, the above becomes a per se “vanilla statement” that can be applied to dozens, if not hundreds of politically initiated movements.

        To make it a “vanilla statement” that makes it suitable for public use, just make two (2) changes to the text, to wit:

        Revised version:

        Once started, politically (government) initiated movements to control the “(name of subject or entity)” always end badly.

        List of applicable subjects: drug use, welfare, weather, climate, urban gangs, gun control, illegal immigration, Head Start education, Public School education, government waste, dishonest Offficers of the Courts, etc., etc.,

      • Few years back, Institute of Engineers of India [AP Chapter] formulated Energy Conservation Mission (ECM). I am one of the founder member and Convenor of Agriculture Group. The main objective here was “Energy Saved is Energy Produced”, as wastage of energy is high in all sectors due to several reasons. Agriculture is part of it with poor quality of motors, high HP motors use with low water supply, pilferage, etc. Also propagated use of solar systems [roof-top]. However, all these constitute a minor component of thermal and hyderal power production.

        Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Is “brilliant” bizzaro-speak for “brainless waste of money”? The entire project cost is only revealed in the comments section and amounts to $50 million. A 1 MW diesel generator is about $265,000. So, for the same cost they could have bought about 188 diesel generators. There is fuel, of course. But still; 12 times the output. And the $22 million in savings is over the 30-year life of the project. So, you could have bought 15 units for $3,975,000. Assume they run 12 hours/day at 100% load (most unlikely) consuming 50 gal/hr. That’s 6,570,000 gallons over 30 years. At $3/gal (which I doubt is what the Council would pay) that’s $19,710,000. So, total is $23,685,000. Now mind, diesel fueled generators are about the most expensive way to make electricity with fossil fuels, but even at that, you’ve got $26,315,000 left over. Help me out here; is that more or less than $22 million?

        I did some work at the Kearny NJ PSEG peaker plant cluster. Six jet engines pushing out 45 MW each. Total cost for the installation was $255 million, or less than $1/watt, all in. Your solution: $3.33/watt, all in. Hope your virtue signalling keeps you warm at night, ’cause Valdora won’t.

  2. As Michael Crichton pointed out, there have been earlier “science” supported public policy movements that proved to be both disastrous and embarrassing for the proponents, notably eugenics. Nixon’s “War on Cancer” was less notorious, and just sort of petered out, except for anomalies like California’s Proposition 65.
    Political science tends to have rather bad outcomes.

    • The problem with the war on cancer, was that cancer turned out to be a lot more complicated than early researchers thought it would be.
      The war on cancer is being won, but we are decades (or more) away from total victory.

  3. By all means make coastlines safer. Stop building on the sand bars and within storm swell areas. Raise roads and buildings as they get rebuilt. Raise coastal walls. All of this is reasonable preparation for naturally occurring rising seal levels over decades and centuries – right up until they start falling again. Prepare for the likely.

    This is different then blaming a harmless and necessary gas for everything and wasting money trying to control it, which we already know will do almost nothing about the real problems. Transferring our wealth doesn’t prepare us. Making energy 3 or 4 times more expensive doesn’t prepare us. Subsidizing entire industries that can’t compete economically doesn’t prepare us.

    These people cannot see the truth through the fog of their groundless convictions.

    • Making energy 3 or 4 times more expensive doesn’t prepare us for “climate change,” but if climate is getting colder, it sure can get rid of a lot of people that can’t afford to pay for heat.

  4. The money wasted to prevent what is claimed to be “The Man-Made Inevitable” that could have been used to prepare for the natural inevitable … all to gain a few votes or a few bucks at the expense of those left unprotected and unprepared … wasted for “The Cause”.
    How do they sleep at night? Do they really like what they see when they look in the mirror?

  5. Yeah, no. The time for debate is long gone. The destructive, totally-wrong Warmist ideology is in it’s death-throes now, and must be destroyed completely. No quarter.

    • I keep thinking that will vanish any day, Bruce, that Warmist idiotology will evaporate like apostrophes in personal pronouns. But no.

      • It will Jorge. Just be patient. Already many people can see with their own eyes that nothing is changing in the weather.

        The usual excuse is that maybe its not changing here but you should see what’s happening over there. But that excuse is wearing a bit thin for many people. I mean how many times can you be told that California is having a permanent drought and then the next year you see it rain and flood there before you begin to realize its all just normal weather for California. One year the Arctic Ocean is warmer the next year it is colder.

        I suspect what is going to happen is that we will get three or four colder than normal winters and most people will just walk away from global warming. They won’t say anything, they will just stop believing in global warming. And the university people, the politicians and the news media people will claim they never really believed in it anyway. If they say anything at all.

  6. Pielke makes a typical and common error. He says that the result of advocating extreme and unachievable policies is to frustrate the activists, because they are not realised, and this then makes them more paranoid, bitter, isolated and reinforces their extremism.

    This is a mistaken account of the dynamics. What actually happens is that the policies are advocated in the full knowledge that they are unachievable. The activists positively want to debate policies that they know will be rejected. The last thing they want is to advocate measures that are accepted and enacted.

    Why?

    Because the activists are not bothered about climate one way or the other. They do not particularly believe in future catastrophe, nor do they think there is any real need to lower emissions.

    Why then do they prophesy doom and demand draconian reductions?

    Because these demands are effective in the process of radicalization. They give the activists a lead-in to move on to their advocacy of a world view which is consistent with support for the climate agenda. And to keep on using the issue for decades.

    The problem with getting measures adopted is that they either work or they do not. Either way they are no use to an activist involved in radicalization. If they do not, he loses credibility. If they do work, he has lost an issue and has to find another.

    The worst possible outcome from a radical activist point of view will be to achieve power. At that point you are responsible for making things happen, you become accountable, you become electable, but also can be unelected.

    This may seem absurd, paranoid, incredible. But I would ask everyone who feels skeptical to examine the stances taken by the climate movement, and consider how incompatible they are with what the activists claim to believe.

    They claim to believe that raw tons of CO2 emitted are a threat to human civilisation. So you’d expect them to want global reductions. They do not. They want reductions by the West, but are happy to see enormous increases by China and India. This is usually justified on various grounds, history, fairness, per capita, export, they are building out renewables.

    Note that none of these justifications have any bearing on the harm their emissions are, if the activists believe what they claim to, doing to the planet. In fact, we have Governor Brown claiming to believe that the Chinese in raising their emissions from 10 billion to 15 billion tons under Paris, as they are allowed to, and in building huge numbers of coal burning plants all over the planet, are leading the world in tackling climate chnage.

    He obviously cannot believe that emissions are the cause of climate change. He must know that the Chinese are raising theirs. So they only explanation for what he is saying is that its not intended to describe reality, its a vehicle for radicalisation.

    Similarly when he claims that California must pass the latest carbon and subsidy legislation or doom the planet. He knows perfectly well this is not true. He does not really want it to be passed at all. What he really wants is to be turned down by the legislature. THAT is something that he can use in activism very effectively. Whereas if they were to pass it, he would be accountable for the consequences.

    The activists do not advocate real reductions by the chief emitters. But they also advocate in country programs which are not going to happen either. An example is the UK Climate Change Act. No-one in the UK has the slightest idea of how to implement this, and none of the parties has any intention of even doing studies to find out. Another is the recent French announcement on the move to all electric vehicles.

    And finally they advocate programs which, if they were to happen, would have no effect on what they believe to be a huge problem. Paris is an example.

    In general in debates on forums such as Ars Technica, or the Guardian, what we find is a focus on belief and orthodoxy. The great insult is that you are a denialist. That is, you are not a believer. There is almost no discussion of policies. People are not interested in what we should do, they are interested in what you believe. They are trying to winnow out those who can safely be admitted as members and regarded as such. And they are continuously watching each other to keep everyone on track. With belief in the cause, not with any commitment to any sort of action.

    Pielke does not grasp this because he thinks that climate radicalism is about the climate. Its not. Climate is the peg to hang radicalism on. If it had not come along, something else would have been pressed into service.

    What would falsify this diagnosis? Well, the main thing would be if the Greens were to start demonstrating outside Chinese and Indian embassies, demanding an end to the construction of coal plants and for China to make net reductions in emissions. The day we see the placards demanding the Chinese get below 3 billion tons a year, then we know that this diagnosis is no longer valid, if it ever was.

    I am not holding my breath, though.

    • This notion is very reminiscent of the Messiah idea in Judaism – the Messiah is only a goal that will not be reached – but one needs to thrive for it all the time anyway.
      Religion…

  7. Honestly, what’s left to debate? One side claims evidence it’s unable to present, the other claims there’s no evidence presented. There’s really no point in continuing “the debate”.

    • I disagree. Keep presenting skeptical, easily verifiable evidence. Contest warmunist claims at every turn. The tide has turned for warmunists, and they know it. That is why their projections get more rediculously shrill, while their support shrivels.
      Two simple examples. 1. This century comprises ~35% of the entire rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1958, yet (except for the now cooled 2015-16 El Nino and Karlization) no warming. 2. There is no acceleration in SLR as measured by the best long record diff GPS land motion corrected tide gauges.

      • Rud – Fully agree.

        Now is the time to really turn up the heat – no pun intended.

        The devil is in the detail.

        It is the warmusts that must prove their claims. Their theory (s) have that many holes, one could use them as a sieve. Density vs ppm is one.
        Regards

      • I think what would really turn the tide is if there were some very high profile climate scientist defections from the pro AGW camp and a few more govts rejecting the group think blind AGW support. Until then….it is hard to see an end to this anytime soon.

      • @ ozonebust

        Now is the time to really turn up the heat – no pun intended.

        You mean like this?

        Hey NPR: Take your global warming nonsense about kids and blow it out your F-150 tailpipe

        So for the sake of our great nation, I call upon my fellow countrymen to gas us their F-150’s, barbecue some burgers, grab the Mrs. and put on some Barry White baby-making music.

        And if the NPR chatterboxes give you any grief, just tell them to take their global warming nonsense and kindly blow it out their tailpipe.

        Read more at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/21/hey-npr-take-your-global-warming-nonsense-about-kids-and-blow-it-out-your-f-150-tailpipe.html

      • I agree with you Rud.

        And I reject the following statement from the above article as false:
        “Climate scientists made major tactical errors. BUT WORSE WAS HOW ACTIVISTS ON BOTH SIDES POISONED THE DEBATE.”

        The author is suggesting there was an equivalence in the conduct of the warmist and skeptic camps, and there clearly was NOT.

        There are numerous well-documented unethical and criminal acts by the warmists, such as the intimidation of journals and academics, the persecution and firing of skeptics from academia and the falsification of data and research, resulting in the squandering of trillions of dollars of scarce global resources and the wasting of millions of lives through green energy schemes.

        Global warming alarmism is the greatest sc@m, in dollar terms, in the history of humanity. Enormous damage has been done by false global warming alarmism, and it is time to hold those responsible to account.

        There has never been any credible evidence that ECS is greater than about 1 degree C, and there is no credible evidence that there is any real humanmade global warming crisis.

        There is ample evidence that global warming alarmism is a false crisis that has been used to misappropriate trillions of dollars of public funds.

        It is now time to fully investigate the many fr@uds that have been perpetrated upon the public by the warmists and to hold them to account.

      • I agree with you Allan M.R. That bothered me in the article too. The author tried to establish a moral equivalence betwen the true believers of global warming with their propaganda and funny numbers, discredited studies as one side of the argument and on the other side the skeptics. There isn’t a moral equivalence between the two sides. The global warming people lie, distort the data, exagerate, call people with whom they disagree vicious names like “denier. The skeptics are just skeptical – and maybe that is a couragious position.

  8. The whole “97%” thing is a complete zombie. Killed 100 times, keeps coming back and eating people’s brains.

    In fact, an earlier iteration of it was part of my journey to skepticism. If you keep fronting a lie, you might well not be telling the truth about other things.

    • This is a key point. The public may never understand the science, but they understand dishonest tactics. “97 percent of all scientists agree” or “he can’t be trusted, he once gave speech to a group that received a donation from Exxon, he’s just a tool of Big Oil”. The side that has to lie probably has a weak case.

      • A good tactic for our side would be for someone to assemble a top-ten list of similarly outrageous and undeniably wrong warmist “stretchers” and failed prophesies, make a five-minute film and video of it, and post it on YouTube.

        For a list of 20-plus things that would be happening (but aren’t) if climate contrarians were actually “well-organized and well-funded” (as warmists claim), see my WUWT guest-thread, “Notes from Skull Island” at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/16/notes-from-skull-island-why-skeptics-arent-well-funded-and-well-organized/

        That’s three items already. Nominations are open for seven more.

      • PS, here are ten warmist-stretcher or -blunder nominations off the top of my head:
        1. Gleick on Heartland;
        2. Steig on Antarctic warming;
        3. Thompson on Kilimanjaro’s glacier;
        4. *** (and Nature magazine) on amphibian decline;
        5. Durocher et al. on polar bear decline;
        6. *** on butterfly migration;
        7. Gore et al. on increased hurricane/tornado damage.
        8. Flannery on endless droughts and need for desalination plants
        9. Holden and Obama on Solyndra and dozens of other failed energy initiatives.
        10. Ontario’s clean energy disaster.

        I omitted the following, because they are not slam-dunk items, or are too complicated to deal with both briefly and fairly: Climategate; Hockey Stick; Marcott; the Pause; failure of model’s temperature projections.

      • Definitely has a weak case, but public perception is managed entirely by lies, so in a democracy the lie is the most potent political tool there is.

        Works well in dictatorships as well.

        If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

        Joseph Goebbels

  9. Now writing is on the wall, there are siren voices from the now setting in, and in the not so distant future the depth of despair, “lets have a debate”, meaning ‘let’s save what is may be possible to save’ translated into plan english ‘our jobs, grant money and reputations’ (in that order of priority).

  10. The fundamental problem is that the inquiry about real-world consequences of greenhouse gasses is simply not amenable to the scientific process. What has happened is that certain scientists who are environmental activists first decided on a public policy to redress a problem they can’t scientifically demonstrate to exist, and then tried to justify that policy by disguising mere hypotheses about how the climate responds to greenhouse gasses as data, or evidence of, the hypotheses, using computer models and pretending that the output of those models is data.

    Mr. Pielke’s proposal, while well intended, is ineffectual because it doesn’t address the fundamental truth that science will never be able to determine whether rising greenhouse gasses create any quantifiable problem. Thus, there only possible rational public policy that can ever be chosen is to do nothing, and ignore the theory of global warming,

  11. Some fifty years ago the ‘scientists’ were carping about global cooling and possible devastation of an ice age, but none of it came about.
    At the time George Harrison wrote a ‘prophetic’ poem (see today Telegraph)

    If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
    If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
    Don’t ask me what I want it for
    If you don’t want to pay some more
    ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
    Now my advice for those who die
    Declare the pennies on your eyes
    ‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
    And you’re working for no one but me.

    Californians beware.

  12. They are still winning-look at Gore with a new scam. Not many even remember his past predictions that were so wrong.

  13. somebody still giving lip service to debate? molon labiate this!
    the only debate is about how much of your stuff they’re gonna get you to give up.
    and if you negotiate, you forfeit any right to complain. to play is to lose.
    preserve your stuff, your dignity, your rights – if you think you are worth it.
    and if you don’t understand this critical point, you prove that you are not.

  14. Jack Morrow,

    I watched Senator Bernie Sanders interview Mr Gore on youtube a couple of days ago. Mr Gore concentrated his talk, led by the Senator’s questions, on the progress of wind farms and solar energy, and was fulsome in praise for that progress. However I noticed that he never mentioned any of the predictions he made in his “Inconvenient Truth” video. This is totally understandable given the predictions have failed spectacularly. Mind you, the Senator assisted Mr. Gore by studiously avoiding the topic.

  15. “Climate scientists made major tactical errors. But worse was how activists on both sides poisoned the debate”

    I am curious, who is a skeptic activist?

    • “Climate scientists made major tactical errors. But worse was how activists on both sides poisoned the debate”

      And how have skeptics “poisoned the debate”?

    • Larry Kummer seems to believe that in order to be credible, he has to cr@p on both houses. As a result he often finds minor players on one side to criticize to balance out his criticism of the major players on the other.

  16. I tell my obsessive compulsive friend that there is no hygienic need to keep washing his hands. He looks at me strangely for a moment and then goes back to washing his hands.

    Pielke offers a rationalists solution to something clearly passion-driven.

    Since the early 1970s, environmental campaigns have been launched in Americans in just this way since anti-DDT and anti-SST, (with EDF and FoE). The contrast on these issues with the European experience is telling of what has happened with global warming. This contrast is more so with the UK than with German, and this has a history. Indeed, it is difficult to avoid taking it back to the 17th century when the UK exported its Manichean enthusiasts to create their various utopias in the new world. Hence, the Restored Anglican Church became deadly sober and reasonable (and atheistic on its own prior definition), while, across the Atlantic, enthusiastic preaching became the model for politics. The only mode of response that can be heard in the American polity is the same kind of shrill. Outsides observe this passion with surprise and alarm on this very blog. You even see folks trying hard to be as sober and reasonable as the cool slayer of the Hockey Stick from Canada, before falling into a fit of passion.

    In American, the sober and reasonable campaign against excessive global warming alarmism (by those on both sides and by luke warmers) has been made and won. But you would hardly know it. It matters nought, while the holly war rages.

      • I presume it is a holly war because of all the pricks?

        Nah. It’s cos it’s Ever-Green….
        I’ll get my coat…

    • Rev. Badger / Leo Smith
      I was born ignorant, after 80 years I am still ignorant, please explain to me, the oceans are rising 1.3mm per year ? The Oceans ?
      The volume “estimated” of all water in the oceans would be about 332.5 million cubic miles (mi3 ) or 1,386 million cubic kilometers (km3 )
      A cubic mile of water equals more than 1.1 trillion gallons, now if we add temperature, weather, (climate) the moon, sun, earthquakes, little boys peeing, etc., the weather forecast for 2 weeks in advance , only a Professor Doctor Professor Doctor Doctor could beleave this fable from Alice

      • Doesn’t matter what you choose to believe, but the oceans are rising. Mostly the result of warming and melting glaciers.
        However the rate isn’t dangerous and is easily dealt with by those who live on the oceans edge.
        The rate also isn’t accelerating.

      • We know that it was significantly warmer for much of the interglacial, on the historical records. Vikings farmed Greenland, agricultural activities in Roman and Egyptian times required higher temperatures than now. How can any claim temperatures are higher now be credible?

  17. Let’s turn Pielke’s argument around.

    Suppose that for the last 4 decades the government and all government funding of climate science had been under the control of the skeptics. No IPCC, no study of global warming, just funding for meteorology, etc.

    And all that time, a small, poorly funded handful of warmers had been yelling and screaming that the sky is falling and that we need to spend tax dollars studying AGW, enact carbon taxes, quit eating red meat, etc.

    And then lo and behold, the warmers elect a President (an anti-Trump) who is a warmer and wants to spend billions on AGW!

    Under these circumstances, would Pielke still call for “debate” and “moderation”, etc. between both sides as he is doing now?

    We skeptics are winning. Now is the time to double-down, not back-off for goodness sake….

    The AGW crowd has wasted 100’s of billions of our tax dollars proposing horrid, un Constitutional solutions to a fake problem – all the while castigating and pillorying anyone who dared to disagree with them.

    And now that we are winning we should shake hands and be nice? Really?

  18. To summarize : The man made warming alarmists have been wrong from the beginning but lets humor them and pretend they were right and raise taxes by billions. In the 1970’s energy use was causing global cooling , 25 years later energy use was causing global warming.

    • Yes! Yes! I see your point! Excellent suggestion! Repay their magnanimity! What’s that? They never showed any? Still don’t? Well then, this is awkward.
      Hang the lot of them!

  19. Dr. Pielke (and Larry Kummer) need to understand that we don’t want to “rekindle the debate”. When half the elected MPs in Oz don’t believe in “climate change” as presented, we’ve won. When the Republicans want to roll back the Obama-era EPA/climate/CO2 nonsense we’ve won.

    There never was a debate and I fail to understand why Fabius Maximus, in the absence of any evidence for that proposition, thinks there was. Maybe between his own ears? We couldn’t get the alarmists to even discuss climate let alone climate change. We got nothing but abuse, ad hominem and other logical fallacies designed precisely to avoid debate. How many prominent alarmists deliberately avoided public debate – wouldn’t appear on the same platform as “deniers”?

    The FACTS have already proven who was right and who was wrong. Why do we need to get down in the mud and wrestle with the pigs again?

    • I wasn’t really going to comment but…

      …yes. I too found Pielke a bit too lukewarm for my taste. This is not a political debate or a negotiation where compromise positions are possible and desirable. This is a straight all out fight to determine whether or not a hypothesis, whose casual acceptance has cost the globe trillions in wasted effort, is supported or refuted by the evidence.

      And I don’t mean the trivial and useless claim that man (in unspecified ways ) is causing climate change (to an unspecified extent).

      I mean the claim that man via CO2 emissions is causing dramatic and measurable rises in temperature of at least two degrees and these cannot be explained in any other way and that they will inevitably cause massive and negative impacts on man and society in general, as well as to the rest of the ecosphere, and that political action could and would make a difference to this.

      Every single one of those elements, is highly debatable and I would personally say they are demonstrably false claims.

      You may think I raise straw men, but surely when the chaff is winnowed out, that is the core of the warmists argument.

      Its not just about the science. Its about the technology of renewable energy, it’s about the political policy of energy control and the use of environmental arguments to pursue commercial goals, and its about the dangerous abuse of faux science for political and commercial purposes.

      Much is made of the ‘tobacco company’ affair. This is of course a Big Lie.

      It is the environmental movement itself that is emulating the tobacco companies desperately using faux science they have paid for to try to show that CO2 is bad, and their remedies are good, when the reverse is the case.

      This shouldn’t be about Pielke trying to get his academic chums a get out of jail free card. If their positions were in fact reasonable, they already have one. If they were under duress, and can prove it, they already have one, but if they chose a political activist stance to promote their careers, bank balances and egos, they deserve to go to jail.

      Mann, Jones, Gore, plus countless journalists who probably did know better are in fact guilty of conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to affect the outcome of elections, conspiracy to effect constructive dismissal, demanding money with menaces, racketeering, mail fraud.

      These are not nice science guys who got it wrong, these are frankly career criminals who are getting away with murder.

      The skeptics didn’t start the activism. The warmists did, and the methods they used to suppress dissent and the arguments they used to justify their position should be applied to them in the exact measure they attempted to apply them to people who merely expressed deep reservations.

      Sceptics didn’t start out saying that warmists who are in denial of the truth about climate change are like people denying the Holocaust. The warmists did.

      So when it is found out that they are in denial of the truth – that CO2 is positively beneficial – it is they who should become social outcasts and shunned.

      Live by the sword, die by the sword.

      It’s time to stop ‘making allowances’ and ‘giving people the benefit of the doubt’. The warmists never did. The first hint of opposition and it was jugular time, and the full power of the media turned on the dissenter.

      You dont negotiate with a cancer, and leftism and greenism and warmism are cancers eating the heart out of civilisation. Civilisation depends on adhering to certain social moral and commercial codes of conduct. If not, it collapses.

      The USA in its naive innocence loves to say ‘what will happen if we don’t?’ Having no history they refuse to learn its lessons.

      Well they have found out what happens if you dispense with public morals, rectitude, honour in business, diligence in science and no god save Mammon: A descent in to rats fighting for control of a pile of dung that isn’t even worth possessing. And its infected Europe as well.

      The left parades its faux morality because it has none.

      These are the Great Lies of our Time.
      – That man made global warming is a serious and present threat to global society
      – That political control can change the above.
      – That politicians can control global economies.
      – That diversity of culture will lead to a stronger diverse culture, rather than destroying all save the most ruthless culture. Yes please drive on whichever side of the road your religious leaders tell you. It is your right…..
      – That the left actually cares.
      – That the lefts solutions are in any sense whatsoever a solution to the problems the Left places on the agenda.
      – That the left’s problems are actually problems of any real note. When did you last have a weeping person telling you how terrible they feel because they can’t get married to a person of the same sex? Compared with seeing a homeless beggar on the streets or an alcoholic schizophrenic staggering through a reality they dont recognise, and which has no time for them?
      – That in the final analysis, the picture the Left presents of the world, as full of jolly good well meaning chaps, who with just as a bit of legislation can be persuaded to behave like awfully caring sharing social politically correct beings, is any more than a fairy story designed to endorse policies which are in effect policies of moral, economic and social enslavement.

      Bullsh1t Baffles Brains. It doesn’t baffle uneducated simple people half as much. Which is why Donald Trump has the support he has from the blue collar sector and flyover states. His BS they find amusing, and they know that he knows that they dont actually believe most of it. And they like the way his BS is baffling the democrats brains, who are getting a taste of their on medicine at last. “I fully support the environmental movement……

      ……provided its open honest transparent based on well researched science and doesn’t cost the nation ”

      We who possess a little education and a little intelligence have been blind sided by careful analysis of apparent scientific social, political, moral and intellectual eloquence that in the end has turned out to be nothing more than artfully constructed BULLSH1T. Don’t be a denier. Accept you have been had, you have been trolled, you have been led by the nose round a maze of complicated faux science, each time discovering it was flawed, until you finally looked up and asked the really important question ‘why are you doing this?’

      And the answer is, its just business. People may die. nations may be ruined, cultures may vanish, new dark ages may dawn, but in the end its only business.

      Promises are cheaper than presents.

      I am I am afraid sometimes a little irritated by the regular diligent scientific contributors. Duly dissecting the latest GreenClaim to see where it falls apart.

      James Delingpole said ‘the moment they started calling people ‘deniers’, I, a student of nothing scientific, knew they were lying, because why else would they resort to such tactics?’

      Gentlemen, stop wasting your time. This isn’t even bad science. Its a load of total unadulterated wombat turds and complete and utter BULLSH1T. That’s all you need to know.

      Climate change isn’t even wrong
      It’s just BULLSH1T

      • Exactly. Every word +1
        Debate has raged because debate has been entered into – as Delingpole is saying. It was/is a matter of having the guts/where-with-all to call it what is is from the very outset.

        Few people called BS and they thought they could wade in and debate. Niceness, political correctness, good manners possibly but, it takes a *much* stronger mind/person to Simply Say No (and mean it)
        Watch and Learn from Donald Trump

        Huge strength of character to simply walk away and leave the alarmists to rant & rave. Entering into debate with them is just like trying to negotiate with a drunk. There are no winners in those sort of ‘debates’ and the person who went in to try and reason with the drunk(s) is often the one who lands up in hospital – or with a monster tax bill. Same thing really.

        It could have remained reasonable, sensible, scientific and civilised if, if only, they/someone/anyone could have given a logical explanation of the Green House Gas Effect.

        Where is such a thing?
        Nowhere. That’s where.

        So, using clear headed and self confident logic of Delingpole (and Trump) – the whole thing Is A Big Stinking Crock.

      • Wow!!!!

        On the 500th year anniversary of the reformation, your critique should be stapled to the door of the National Assoc. of Scientists.

        When we look at the atrocities in the history of mankind, I am perplexed at how entire societies have been duped and manipulated into performing such horrendous acts.

        And yet, the climate science cult shows how easy it is to deceive.

        We have a broad international movement that is convinced (or feigns allegiance) to the notion that the essence of life (carbon) is a pollutant.

        Think about that!

        Virtually every living organism is fully dependent on this element. Once abundant in our primordial atmosphere, it is barely above life sustaining levels.

        Did climate science forget the formula for photosynthesis?

        There is definitely something sinister in all this. The lack of transparency in the research. The labeling of opposition. The stifling of debate.

        While group think and the herd mentality explains some of this, deep in the heart of this darkness, there is evil afoot. Mann knows his research is bunk. The climategate e-mails lay bare the fraud. Honest media would excoriate all the participants in this climate fraud collusion. Instead, we get Kabuki theater.

        Power, prestige, inclusion are the siren songs that lures this weak minded “scientists” to “correct” their data, but do they not know that “evil endures when good men do nothing”?

      • the most powerful word is NO.
        when reason is not coin of the realm, that’s what you need to defend your life, liberty and property.

  20. “Call out those who demonize others…..”

    This is one of the worst crimes by climate “scientists”, either their total silence or some wimpish statement in the face of bad behaviour/science.

    That is why Michael Mann, Al Gore, etc. get away with so much!

    • Dr Strange: because people are afraid of reprisals by the warmers – job losses, nasty actions, political jibes.

      • Dave
        There is a new law in Germany that says that it a crime to criticize the political classes on social media.
        Here we go again

  21. Larry summarizes that, “Why? Climate scientists made major FACTUAL errors.” There, I fixed it for you. You are welcome.

  22. I would love a few example of “activists” on the skeptic side who have “poisoned the well”.
    PS: Comparing major players on the AGW side with some guy who writes a blog that has 100 readers a year isn’t valid.
    Not if you are trying to play the pox on both their houses card.

  23. OK. Someone said we need an anthithesis to climate change disaster. So how’s this? Not only an alternative and opposite climate disaster but also has the merit of being fact based with high probability of success, unlike the science fiction of “disastrous climate change” the other way.

    Brian Catt
    ====================================
    Scientists Warn of Climate Armageddon as Next Ice Age Begins

    A major catastrophe IS about to befall the developed society we have created in the normally short interglacial period of perhaps 20,000 years. This is based on the proven records of climate over the last Million years. It is not the degree or two warming and millimetres of sea level rise, maybe, guessed at by the junk science models of so called climate scientists, keen to get the grants and awards that go with supporting this trendy belief, unprovable in science fact, probably the opposite of the apocalypse that is very probably about to descend on developed human society. Rather slowly, but inexorably. The same disaster that wiped out the last human civilisation, the Neanderthals, and left them as hunter gatherer cave dwellers fleeing before the same climate catastrophe.

    The 80,000 year ice age that ended in our current interglacial, maybe a short 12,000 years ago, will soon return, and much of Northern Europe will be engulfed by massive glaciers, scraping the infrastructure that supports our civilisation off the face of the Earth. . Global temperatures will plummet 12 degrees as the ice buries our cities and the oceans will fall 100 metres as they go to form the ice, making the UK accessible to invading European hordes, not that that matters, as most of it will be under ice that will reach as far south as The Thames.

    ALL the world’s ports and great trading seaside cities and resorts will soon be 100 metres above sea level, with a great view of the sea which didn’t drown them after all, as will the islands of the Indian Ocean whose holiday houses won’t need stilts any more. Bangladesh will be mainly dry all year.. The Great Barrier Reef will become a novelty cliff. a short walk from the former Australian mainland, as most of the continental shelf becomes dry land. Strewth. This is not much of a guess, as the other climate change is.
    This is a well documented and imminent natural cycle that has recurred every 100,000 years for the last 1 million years, almost certainly driven in some way we don’t understand yet by the change in the Earths eccentric orbit around the Sun, which follows this periodicity. See the Ice core records linked, or check others as you wish. This is not a guess at what might happen. This IS a proven, repeated, well documented in the geological record natural phenomena, linked to our well studied and changing orbit around the Sun. Unlikely to be troubled by a small amount of CO2.

    Can we do anything to warm the planet and delay or stop this imminent disaster?
    The only way we can slow or stop this icy Armageddon is to prevent the planet cooling as it enters the most elliptical phase of the Milankovitch orbital cycle. One way to do this, if the consensus on climate change is correct, is with maintained and increased Greenhouse gas emissions.

    If we stop emitting them now it won’t be a few tenths of a degree and millimetres of sea level rise a decade rise or so, maybe or maybe not. that we have to worry about, a iittle. And even this is not a high possibility, so called climate scientists have guessed but can’t prove their science, their forecasts don’t match what actually happens, and worse, they distract us from the future of a looming wall of ice devouring our countryside, infrastructure and cities as the oceans recede, also destroying the natural habitats of the flora and fauna we depend upon for basic survival. .

    So the most probable climate threat looming over civilisation is in fact the regular return of the ice age cycle, a relentless fall of 12 Degrees and 100 metre ocean drop as the ice builds from evaporation and precipitation. This is not open to much debate, it has happened 5 times before in the last 500,000 years, regular as clockwork Only taking action to prolong or maintain the current and normally very short warming of the interglacial we are in offers a chance of preventing this disaster for the peoples of the World. See graph again.

    To be clear, if history repeats itself there will be no Russia, Canada, UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Baltic Sea or states, etc. The data is unequivocal and agreed by all those who study the historical climate of Earth over geological timehistory. Perhaps it is time we stopped exaggerating what is no more than noise in the climate on its inexorable path to the next ice age, which will destroy much of civilisation unless we plan properly for it. By the time this occurs we will probably have a broadly developed global society with a stable 10 Billion population occupying a planet highly dependent on its technology, global cities and their connecting infrastructure to maintain itself.

    Climate change as advertised isn’t a disaster, not even proven, and not a serious threat to anyone at the macro level. But the next ice age is a looming and inexorable disaster for mankind.

    Euri Ing Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA ©2017, Not for profit reproduction permitted.

    • A clear summary of a very cold truth that I fear a few ppm of atmospheric CO2 cannot abate. It makes one wish that CAGW was real- at least there would be some hope!
      A small correction;
      ” making the UK accessible to invading European hordes, not that that matters, as most of it will be under ice that will reach as far south as The Thames.”
      This happened in last but 2 glaciation, the Mindel about 420k ya. It diverted the Thames and reached Havering which is now my back yard. In the last glaciation it only reached Norfolk (and Cardiff) so maybe my property will retain some value in 2500AD.

      • I read the glaciers reached St John’s Wood, which would at least gte rid of the American fighters for the cause du jour, for profit. We will have to invade Europe or die. And a LOT more nuclear power will be needed, I imagine an African grid will be essential. It seems, if civilised technological society is maintained through the majority ice ages, that the people who got us yechnologically sophisticated will be the ones marginalised by climate, and the poor people who didn’t will be living where the climate is hospitable, most of the time..

  24. Caught this dude on C-SPAN yesterday:

    GAR ALPEROVITZ: Well, that’s what’s interesting. Because if you use the common techniques –- they call it quantitative easing –- if you use those techniques, you could create sufficient funds, essentially, to buy out the oil companies and nationalize them. And to create that kind of a fund, and get them out of the way politically, for doing what has to be done on climate change,urgently.

    Because they are the major blocking power that’s stopped us from doing all the solar insulation, and doing all the solar development, wind development, insulation in general. There’s a whole series of things we know ought to be done — and stopping using fossil fuels.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18959:Time-to-Buy-Out-Fossil-Fuel-Corporations—Gar-Alperovitz-on-Reality-Asserts-Itself-%2812%29

  25. It looks very clear. Dr. Pielke Jr. has three “yes” answers to the three main questions which divide both sides in the debate.

    1. Is there a problem with CO2 and the climate?

    2. Can we solve the problem?

    3. Is the solution better than having the problem?

    His three “yeses” make him a clear and undoubtedly climate alarmist. He may be quite more civilized than the mean climate alarmist. He may be much more politically intelligent. Or he may be more sincere — and is not using the climate alarm for other purposes. It doesn’t matter he is the improbable nice climate alarmist, he is in the climate alarmists side non the less.

    Which is not bad per se, but necessarily his problems cannot be the problems of non-alarmists. So, I think he is not talking to most folks here, nor addressing any of their problems. Basically a waste of time.

    There is no midway between thinking “evidence” is a consensus (opinion), or some fancy models, and thinking in the old classical way.

    • If the answer for 2. is YES then the answer to 1. must be NO. I fear the issue is that the actual answer to 3. is NO and it is quite obvious why. It requires the enslavement and impoverishment of vast numbers of people. It is clear that these people (in the third world) , from their actions, do not accept Yes as the answer to 1. They can see the outcome offered to them and (rightly) assume that the outcome betrays the intent and are acting accordingly. The “Paris Accord” clearly shows the soundness of their perception.

    • If you’re going to call Roger Pielke a climate alarmist then you have to apply the same label to lukewarmers like Judith Curry and that is clearly absurd. If you don’t think adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming, then that puts you out on the “denier” place on the spectrum.

      We’re getting carried away with hubris here, and where is the hubris coming from? Is it Trump’s election? We’re declaring people like Roger Pielke the enemy because he’s willing to look at skeptics and declare that their behavior hasn’t been perfect. Do people here really think skeptics have been above reproach and have no moral or scientific weaknesses? If you do you’re creating a fantasy world equivalent to looking down the rabbit hole.

      Trump’s election is indeed an encouraging sign for skeptics, but the problem is that Donald Trump, a wild card of the first magnitude, may become an alarmist himself if he concludes that it’s good for his real estate empire. Also Trump probably won’t be around very long. Either he’ll get bored and move to Mar-A-Lago with Ivanka, Jared and the rest of his functionaries who can cowtow to his ego without stirring up the fake news press, or he’ll lose the next election assuming the Democrats can produce a candidate with at least one eye and half a brain. We can hope that he/she will have a skeptical thought in his/her head.

      So what are other sources of skeptical hubris? Is it the “manufactured science” of the IPCC? That would be a possibility if you ignore the solid majority of scientists that agree with it – never mind the “97%”. The truth of the matter is that the consensus view is the majority view – albeit with some major flaws and uncertainties that smart skeptics have identified. Time and additional evidence will tell who is right. We’re going nowhere if we think we’re winning the war or think that the other side will just give up.

      Skeptics need to act like a strong minority who works hard to pick up allies and hammers away at evidence that buttresses the skeptic view. We don’t do that by belittling allies and true skeptics like Roger Pielke. We need to act like a strong minority with the confidence that we’ll eventually prevail if the truth is pursued.

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