Video of Roger Pielke Jr. on ‘Climate Politics as Manichean Paranoia’

Talk by Prof Roger Pielke Jr. at the GWPF, London 20 July 2017

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49 thoughts on “Video of Roger Pielke Jr. on ‘Climate Politics as Manichean Paranoia’

  1. I’m beginning to think it isn’t about the climate. This video is the first of two parts which shows how the Marxists, having been totally discredited and unable to win any rational arguments, have resorted to anything that will drag down western civilization. The CAGW thing is just a great way to destroy the American economy.

    • CBob? I have known this since the 1980s, when the enviroloons embraced the anti-America/anti-NATO demonstration movement in Europe. Anyone honestly concerned about the environment could look at Warsaw Pact and CCCP and know they were NOT about protecting the environment. And yet they jumped right in bed with them. Told me all I needed to know.

    • Its clearly not about the climate for many, to see this consider a thought experiment, imagine a breakthrough in climate science that finds feedbacks that ensure a stable climate. Would there be rejoicing by alarmists, or would toys be thrown from prams, followed by a frantic hunt to find another scare?

    • Sadly bob most of the “skeptic” community rolls its eyes by reference to the extreme underlying political culture of western academia since the fall of the Soviet in particular.

      Part of the aversion is war fatigue, the Cold War is the most massively minimized human conflict in history. Economically it cost 10x WW2 at a minimum and permanently split vast sections of western society to their graves. Certainly “climate” politics are part of the fractured academic split of the 50′-60’s that evolved from there.

  2. Excellent talk, linking from my youtube subscription list to a very varied group of people, from rednecks to engineers to farmers. THIS is how we kneecap the environwacko movement. Thanks for posting these, Chuck Da Mod, you rock.

  3. He has a lot of great points in this talk. But it’s grating to hear him mispronounce Manichean.

    • Manichean = A follower of, or related to the religion of Manichaeism, and NOTHING to do with being “Manic”.

      It was a religion founded by Manes, the Persian prophet (AD. 216-276); a synthesis of Zoroastrian dualism between light and dark and Babylonian folklore and Buddhist ethics and superficial elements of Christianity; spread widely in the Roman Empire but had largely died out by AD. 1000

  4. The whole lecture was based on the notion that man-made climate change is a fact; that global warming is caused by human activity. Neither proposition has been backed by any credible evidence; ergo the lecture was self-serving and worthy of, to quote Mr Pielke, the Eff-U response.

    • “The whole lecture was based on the notion that man-made climate change is a fact; that global warming is caused by human activity. ”

      Yeah, assuming facts not in evidence is not a good thing for a scientist to do. A scientist should know the difference between a guess and facts.

  5. My disappointment was that he still seems to think there is not much to challenge in the CACC/CAGW message from the likes of the IPCC. And, maybe even more disappointing, nobody seriously challenged that in the Q&A. It all seemed to be ‘We know it’s happening. What are we going to do about it?’

    • I agree. Sounded more like the same old argument … we know (C)AGW is happening, but we need a better way to communicate it. Just a more nuanced version of that from John Cook et al.

      However, nice take down of the 97% consensus.

  6. After 57 min of vid ……. I get the impression that this Pelke supports CAGW but takes the persona of being neutral in order to cleverly slant the audience to believing how the Miracle Molecule is responsible for everything without being explicit. He talks about the carbon in the atmosphere, how much is being generated, etc., then he goes on and talks about how the two sides are divided and cemented in their beliefs. He goes on to show how this can be reduced by asking the individuals how the process works. This is clever – the audience is led into carbon emissions and we have to get the two sides to discuss the issue. This automatically implies that carbon/CO2 levels must be addressed.

    I think the game plan is to soften the two sides to ‘negotiate’; which means a carbon tax. Negotiation has done nothing for the U.S. in the last 50 years. It is a political tool to show ‘bipartisan’ support so the politicians can slap themselves on their backs – it does not reveal what would be specifically good for the country.

  7. He is a good man.
    I’m about half way through.
    I still can’t shake my impression that the warmist side is sinister.
    Contrary to his assertion, I came to this subject as believer and turned 180 to the skeptic side.
    From where I sit, the criticism of Mann and the IPCC have factual basis.
    The attacks on Pielke and Curry do not.

    .

    • rebelronin

      I get the impression that a lot of people on WUWT are disappointed that Pielke didn’t deliver a sceptical rant or some scientific proof, that we have all heard before, which irrefutably proves that CO2 can’t warm the planet.

      What I saw was an argument for changing the direction of the impasse the whole subject has reached. Perhaps well timed for the Red team Blue team initiative, indeed, perhaps deliberately timed for it.

      I have never thought of Pielke as either an alarmist nor a sceptic nor, do I suspect, does he, and I think what he’s saying is that unless someone, somewhere, approaches this in a grown up manner, it’s just yet another divisive political issue, and it shouldn’t be, irrespective of whose fault it is.

      Whatever the outcome of it all, there will be no winners, the best we can hope for is to bang the scientists heads together, tell them to dry their eyes and get on with the job of science as a route to political decision making, not using science as a political end in itself.

      By his own admission Pielke says that the majority of academics are left wing, so get the politics out of the subject and their political leanings are no longer an issue.

      But we can’t expect miracles, this will take some years before scientists are on the right track. But the Red team Blue team approach might be the start.

      As for Trump getting involved in all this, I think he’s wrong on that subject. I said when Trump was elected that he’ll roll the grenade in, duck for cover, then clean up the mess afterwards. So far, it seems to be his strategy, and I think US politics will be all the better for it in the long run as if he’s doing nothing else, he’s not shirking his responsibility for making the big decisions.

      Unlike his British counterparts, we have to tolerate on this side of the pond.

      • HotScot
        I am not disappointed. Didn’t want or expect a rant.
        I get annoyed by the faux intellectual detachment of much of the educated class.
        Lab rats assessing lab rats.
        I kinda think all of us win because the predictions of doom have not panned out.
        No one will remember the predictors or any us that ignored them.

      • rebelronin,

        the problem is the tax burden the whole matter exerts on us, and our descendants. And of course, once a government has implemented a tax, it’s almost impossible to have it removed.

        Witness the current issue with leasehold properties. One of the taxes imposed under that particular legislation in Scotland is a ‘feu’ tax. To the best of my knowledge that is a feudal tax, how can that possibly exist in the 21st Century, but it does.

      • Hot Scot
        Seriously? is it actually called that …’feu’ tax?
        I pretty much think that ‘climate change’ is the Trojan Horse for the new feudal masters to rebound. .
        Making me one of the unwashed sods Pielke is talkin’ about..

      • I’m not sure if it still exists, I haven”t lived in Scotland for 30 years, but it was certainly the case in the 70’s.

      • Re: “I have never thought of Pielke as either an alarmist nor a sceptic nor, do I suspect, does he…”

        Perhaps because he is a Scientist, and one worthy of the title!!!

    • I did not watch. Yet, from where I sit and measured I dont see any man made global warming.
      It is all natural.
      Why would anyone 1000 years ago build villages in Greenland that are still covered by some snow today?
      We are going back to the clinate as it was 1000 years ago.
      .

    • He is NOT a good man.
      He purposely brings up The Cost of Climate Change without any discussion as if it was a set in stone valid point. This again sets the stage for the existence of CAGW to the audience.

      Since you can’t separate the human CO2 atmospheric molecules from those emitted by nature, any quantifying dollar costs were just pulled out of their butts. The Social Cost of Carbon = BS.
      How about the Social Benefits of Carbon – did Pelke cover that?

  8. I’m guessing that the term manichean derives from the term manichaen, which refers to the gnostic philosophy that Augustine (a former Manichaen) incorporated into Roman Catholicism, and that Calvin and Luther later incorporated into Protestantism (because they followed Augustine). The gnostics, for the most part, had a dualistic worldview that considered anything physical to be evil, and only spirit was good. That abstracted, dissociated mindset allowed practitioners to justify all manner of evil because the belief was that it didn’t matter what a person did, because only the good intention of identifying as a spiritual being mattered. It was an extreme form of denialism.

  9. Pielke, Jr. follows the data and keeps his fingers off the scale. I have no issue with the content of his talk. In many respects he is like Steve McIntyre, acknowledging some basic aspects of the climate debate while critically assessing conclusions that are without empirical support. He makes some telling points about the internet being an echo chamber and that we need to work hard to actually question our own assumptions as well as the assumptions of those that we disagree with.
    He makes a very powerful argument when he argues for focusing on the short term costs and benefits of policy prescriptions.

  10. I really enjoyed the video. It helped explain why I go ballistic whenever someone says 97% consensus. At which point I would ask the question “Which study are you talking about? Is it the one where they surveyed over a thousand people and they only counted 77 of the results or the one done by the cartoonist?”

    The person most responsible for me being a skeptic is Michael Mann. His paper basically said there was no MWP. In order to do that he left out recent data which would his methodlology would of shown a recent cooling instead of the warming that actually occurred. What the left out data implied is that the past temperatures in his paper were not accurate. I have much more respect for climate scientists that are objective. But the objective ones do not seem to be driving the debate.

  11. I thought Roger gave a very thoughtful talk with many important points on how to carry on the conversation and then the debate in a civil manner. However, the longer he spoke the more apparent his attitude, at least in my opinion, is one that he has accepted the “warming” findings. I felt as though he were balancing all so precariously during his whole talk that I began to feel his anxiety in delivering his content.

    I find it interesting that his other field of endeavor is research on sports governance which deals with corruption among other issues within the various sports organizations specifically FIFA and NCAA.

    As he states, he is a social scientist. And yet one of the troubling issues facing the climate debate is corruption of the science (data) and collusion of scientists (by the individuals and institutions) to cover up their errors which he never alludes to nor mentions as a problem. Corruption, collusion and cover ups are big social issues. The integrity of the science is an issue and one that causes the debate to not to be a debate, because of mistrust. It would have been nice if Roger had addressed those social issues and proposed solutions as how to rectify it from a social science standpoint.

  12. IMO you either implement the fantasy policy of supposedly limiting the global thermostat to 2C above the pre-industrial level or you have the courage to do nothing, there is no ‘sensible centre’.

  13. Roger Pielke Jr appears to be promoting a purely academic point of view – a non starter. Are not we adversarial by nature?

    Examples; our justice system relies on adversary to seek the truth. To get elected politicians intentionally polarise the debate. Commerce is adversarial – you won I lost. Science uses adversary to advance knowledge. We incorporate adverasry into democratic systems because it appeals to our nature.

    Pielke Jr mentions a mechanism process we need to adopt. He should use the very mechanism process he advocates to explain how he intends removing conflict and adversary from our society. Otherwise its just interesting academic blather.

    Possibly I mis-heard the main point of his talk and happy to be corrected.

    • “Commerce is adversarial – you won I lost. ”
      ..
      This is not true. In any given transaction, the buyer and the seller both benefit, otherwise the transaction would not happen.

      • “Commerce is adversarial” Anyone who actually believes this should be blocked from ANY roll in government or public education. Period. Full stop.

  14. The last ten minutes before the Q&A were concentrated on finding ways to move policies forward. Wouldn’t it be just a bit better to show that they were actually needed first?

  15. IMO Pielke really doesn’t have a clue. He’s completely mischaracterizing the issue. He’s simply trying to avoid controversy. He’s part of the problem.

    And I agree with a previous commenter – The way he pronounces manichean (ma ‘nee chee en) is annoying. It’s pronounced man eh ‘key an

    • Yes, Pielke is a dithering “lukewarmer”, and so even the Bishop of Hippo Regius would have had trouble understanding these skewed assumptions. I surmise that he would have vehemently disagreed with Pielke, as would have Manes himself.

  16. I don#t understand how a bright light like Pielke is in favor of a carbon tax…. We must be living on the wrong side of the Iron Wall now.

  17. We desperately need smaller government and even more important, less, much less Government spending.
    This remedy will solve a lot of problems instantly and gives us our freedoms back.

  18. Never saw a greater disconnect in a person in my life time. This guy sells autonomous cars with a permanent data link keeping track, he wants people to travel in underground tubes without a beam of sun light or a view on the passing landscape, he wants to send people to Mars on a one way ticket and he is affraid of a future with Artificial Intelligence? What he needs is some social intelligence and a long long view in the Mirror. This guy is not from this world. Has anybody checked if he has a positronic brain?

  19. I posted a comment yesterday, which appeared briefly but since has been taken down.

    May I ask why?

  20. All of my comments are gone. I was not especially kind to Pielke

    It seems WUWT is going te way of all blogs.

    Becoming one sided.

    • If you don’t like the man why not go to his twitter account and tell him so? Plenty of criticism of his positions/views in this thread.

  21. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/23/josh-on-pielke-jr-and-mann-ichean-paranoia-in-climate-science/comment-page-1/#comment-2560450

    {Re-posed from the previous WhatsUp article on PIeke’s talk:}

    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.

    • You are wrong. “activists” HAVE shutdown any ACTUAL scientific debate on the issue. THAT. IS. THE. POINT. PIN. HEAD. Wake the [snip]

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