Getting the Public's Attention on Global Warming: The Final Challenge

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

It is 28 years since Channel 4 in the UK produced The Greenhouse Conspiracy. It covered almost all the skeptical critiques. They are still valid, but now they are time -tested. Sadly, even today most people would not understand what was said in the movie and how it disproves the claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Encouragingly, there are some signs that the continued efforts of the global warming skeptics are influencing public opinion, but overall little has changed. The public is in a holding pattern, knowing something is wrong but not reaching a final understanding for several reasons including that:

· The information is coming from government, and that is always held with suspicion, although the amount varies nationally. For example, Americans are more suspicious of government than Canadians.

· Government information comes in two major ways, bureaucrats, and politicians. Public distrust of bureaucrats is because most people have dealt with them and find out the adage that you can’t fight city hall has much truth. In addition, the disclosures currently about the deep state in the IRS, the DOJ, FBI and EPA are reinforcing and confirming suspicions.

· Distrust of politicians is at all-time lows, especially in the US.

· Approximately 80 percent don’t understand science and so don’t say anything.

· Most of the 20 percent who are comfortable with science do not understand climate science and also tend to be quiet.

· A majority of those who voice opinions do so vociferously and definitively and confirm Mark Twain’s observation that it is wiser to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid than to open it and prove them right.

· Many know that the switch of terminology from “Global warming’ to “Climate change” was done for a reason, but they don’t know why. Nonetheless, it raises suspicion.

· Many knew that Al Gore’s comment to Congress that the science is settled, and the debate is over was inaccurate.

· Many of the predictions of doom and gloom did not materialize.

· They are numbed to the extremism of the media. Even FOX News has “Extreme weather” rather than just, the weather. Public ratings of the media are at an all-time low.

· The claims that people would react negatively and violently to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord proved false.

· There is a growing distrust of science generally, and climate science specifically as this quote from a Pew Center report shows. Overall, many people hold skeptical views of climate scientists and GM food scientists; a larger share express trust in medical scientists, but there, too, many express what survey analysts call a “soft” positive rather than a strongly positive view.”

This last quote partially confirms why the people are in a ‘holding pattern.” They don’t know who to trust so avoid the issue by setting it aside. This is quantified differently in other major polls. Figure 1 shows a Pew Center poll of public priorities with “climate change” 18th out of 19.

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Figure 1

Figure 2 shows a more telling holding pattern of almost 10 million people. Climate change is 16th out of 16.

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Figure 2

Politicians who claim they look at polls are clearly not looking at these or are deliberately ignoring them. Other than Trump, most politicians are still making blustering claims about the need for action. Witness the ignorance displayed by Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Environment Minister. I am painfully and expensively aware of how little lawyers know about climate science. However, I am also aware that McKenna, as a lawyer, should know better than most that there are two sides to every issue.

The question is why are the public in a holding pattern? The public constantly hears from skeptics that CO2 is not to blame for global warming and latterly climate change. The problem is skeptics usually fail to provide a viable alternative explanation for the change, often, even if pushed. This is evident in the responses to articles on WUWT about the sun/temperature connection. Of course, even if a clear, concise scientific explanation were provided a majority of the public would not understand.

Fortunately, most also understand they will never fully grasp the complexity of the science. I say fortunately because that means there is something else making them hesitant. What they are hearing is that beyond normal scientific conflict there are claims of malfeasance. Consider this in the context of discussions about legal action. The courts argue that a scientific dispute is “your paper” versus “my paper” and they are not qualified to arbitrate. That in itself is a sad comment on the legal system. Science has been a major part of society with enormous influence for at least 200 years, yet the legal system still hasn’t made an accommodation.

Such was the case in the recent misplaced excitement about Judge William Alsup’s unique request. He invited all sides to answer specific questions as the basis for a “tutorial.” The Heartland Institute and the participants in the amici curiae brief did a superb job in responding to the opportunity provided by the trial and the judge’s request. The difficulty is they were only able to provide scientific answers. These elucidate the basic differences between their “paper” and those identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) “paper.” The Amici showed that it remains a scientific difference and that,

“…there is no ‘consensus’ among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic.”

It is not enough and explains why the public opts for the sidelines.

In the last week, I was interviewed on eight different radio stations across America. Each interviewer understood the difference was more than scientific. They all knew about some of the malfeasance so effectively laid out over the years by Anthony Watts and his many contributors. I know when people realize the difference is more than scientific there is an automatic question that comes to mind. Every interviewer asked it directly or indirectly. What is the motive?

The judge’s opening comment at my recent trial was that his court would not be used to settle the global warming debate. He then made comments about the article at the center of the case that showed he knew little. He didn’t appear to realize that the case was about “my paper” against “your corrupt paper.” My concern was the motive, the misuse of science for a political agenda. The prosecution lawyer knew the dangers to his client of establishing that argument.

He did what happens in almost every interview or debate I have ever done about AGW when people realize they are losing an argument and are not prepared to admit it. He began a personal attack. It was not a frontal assault but an attempt to show my thinking and positions were so outside the mainstream that they lacked credibility. He suggested I believed that there was a conspiracy. I was, in fact, a “conspiracy theorist.” The evolution and adaptation of this as a weaponized term was explained by one author as follows.

“Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate.

AGW proponents do a very good job of marginalizing opponents as members of fringe groups, such as global warming skeptics or climate change deniers. If those fail, they resort to the charge that you are a conspiracy theorist. This is very effective because most of the public doesn’t want to be associated with extremists or losers. Of course, the reality is conspiracies do occur otherwise the word would not exist. In my trial I explained that it didn’t matter whether there was a conspiracy, the reality was science was used for a political agenda and that must never happen.

If you accept the conspiracy argument, you usually believe that it was carried out by a small group. That reinforces the inaccurate public belief that a small group cannot fool the world. This is an extension of Abraham Lincoln’s claim that you cannot fool all the people all the time. However, Anthropologist Margaret Mead observed,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Lincoln’s comment is possibly true over time, but in the short term, you can especially if you deliberately marginalize those who speak up. That is what happened to the few who dared to question or challenge. Part of the problem is that the public thinks a conspiracy requires a large group of people, but one definition dispels that myth.

An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.

There are reasons why I was attacked so openly, and they all speak to the threat I represented. They could not say I wasn’t qualified. I challenged the pseudoscience of global warming because the same thing happened with the “consensus” about global cooling when I began studying climate in the 1960s. I developed a natural teaching ability to explain complex issues like climate change to the public. This included honing this ability by teaching a science credit course for Arts students for 25 years. Most important, because my interest was in the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on the human condition I studied and taught a course in geopolitics. The basic theme there is that geography and climate are the stage and history the play acted out and influenced by that stage. I did what most scientists deliberately avoid, I studied politics and understood from the beginning what and how science was used. I explained the motive and the method. Many articles and public presentations about the entire story culminated in the publication of a detailed and documented explanation in the 2014 book, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science. However, I was a target long before that as the lawsuits that are now in their 7th year continue.

The “holding pattern” will continue until we can explain to the public the motive behind the AGW claims and activities. Unless more people, especially skeptics understand the motive and speak out, it may be another 28 years. I have another dozen or more radio interviews scheduled so maybe the cross-pollination of the internet will trigger an exponential increase in the number who move out of the holding pattern because they know the motive. We better move fast because it is evident, with Obama’s net neutrality and the Zuckerberg hearings, that those who seek to control are moving in on the internet. Oh, sorry, is that another conspiracy theory?

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Thank God alarmists don’t read WUWT. Otherwise they might figure out what they’re doing wrong, and change their tactics or strategy.

Bruce Cobb

You mean they might realize that they have to start telling the truth?

For most activists, its their livelihood, they will just redouble their efforts after reading this site…

donb

The best way to get the public’s attention is through their pocketbooks, when they find out how much alternate forms of energy and suggestions on how to fight climate change will cost them.

MarkW

Hasn’t made much difference in Europe.

Gerry, England

In reply to Mark, it hasn’t hurt them enough yet but it is getting closer. As electricity gets progressively more expensive then more people will die during the winter, more industries will move elsewhere taking their jobs with them and the onset of regular blackouts arrives, then it will get more attention. This winter, climate taxes only killed nearly 30000 in the UK. Once that gets to 3 times that the questions will come.

BallBounces

“Distrust of politicians is at all-time lows” This sentence needs tweaking.

Cold in Wisconsin

Ditto.

M Courtney

Checking the link, it’s the trust of politicians that is at all-time lows.

Craig

Mark Zuckerberg. He certainly did ‘zuck’ a lot of people in did’nt he? All 85 million and counting.
On the the main topic, unless we start to vote the skeptics into positions of power to balance out this irrational debate, we will continue to see the weaponisation of science and the likes of Christine Figueres distort the global economy through wealth redistribtuion

Tom Halla

The Zuckerberg-Cruz exchange during the hearings was interesting. Zuckerberg could not quite be nailed down on the content of what Facebook censors, just that it does censor content.

I read every word – great post – but very depressing.
It’s going to take money. A small group of dedicated people isn’t enough. An advertising campaign is what’s needed and they don’t come cheap. Harry and Louise defeated Hillary care and a similar effort could slay the climate change monster but Harry and Louise need to be compensated.

Cold in Wisconsin

The reason it takes money is because the Googles and Facebooks of the world “monetize” information and access to information. Perhaps what we need is a search engine that just searches honestly without tipping the scales. People can pay enough money to silence an issue, or escalate a non-issue. Have we not already surrendered truth when we submit to that type of filtering?

Michael Kelly

The search engine is Duck Duck Go, the default of the Tor browser. It doesn’t collect information, and it’s pretty decent, search-wise.

With $100biilion+ going to the deniers every year, money wont do it. We can have sub zero summers for the next 20 years and there will still be “avid believers”………..Im not hopeful, and most of the politicians go along with it…since its easy to preach I care about the environment, the children and send me money…

waterside4

Yes Michael Kelly, same here. I cannot understand why so many web users who detest the corrupt silicone valley zillionaires continue to use their products. Laziness perhaps?

McLovin

How about Henry and Louise freezing to death in their WI (or pick one of a dozen plus states) home…in APRIL, because heating costs are too high?

Alan Tomalty

That already happens in England and will soon happen in Canada.

Richard of NZ

Dear McLovin,
You had me wondering how the West Indies could possibly be cold, what with being so close to the equator and being surrounded by shallow seas, then I realised you meant Wisconsin. Could you please remember that many non-Americans read this blog and they may have different interpretations of abbreviations to you. Any attempts to minimise the chances of confusion would be appreciated.

MarkW

Our Australian friends will often talk about watching the ABC. The first time I saw this I spent a few minutes trying to figure out why they were watching the American Broadcasting Company.

ricksanchez769

This is why one needs to stick to the warmist’s original vernacular – global warming – the average Willy and Wilma does not believe in global warming however they do acknowledge climate change. However, to sane people I ask “what is this climate change that you believe in?” and the answer invariably is always “uhm…I’m not sure”….so anyway…………..

William Colwell

Another good question is: if the climate is changing, what is it changing from and what is it changing into. A follow up is what is optimal climate that we should be measuring from in order to observe this problem of change and aim for as a solution? People need to ask themselves these simple questions if they’re going to use a nebulous term like climate change.

Steve Keppel-Jones

Where I live, in Ottawa, Ontario, the climate is “temperate”. When it changes to “subtropical” or “subarctic”, I’ll let you know…

The science is settled. This is an unbelievably stupid statement that can only come from unbelievably stupid people or someone with a political or monetary agenda spouting useful propaganda. Every single scientific principle is questionable or can be defined to a greater accuracy or “truth”.
Take the time to read at least one of the IPCC reports. You will find that almost every so-called fact is qualified as having some degree of likelihood. The qualifications range from extremely unlikely to extremely likely or presented as having very low confidence to very high confidence. I cannot think of an instance of them making any relevant statement in complete confidence. Does that sound a bit like a Trump tweet to you? Does it sound like settled science? Does it even sound like an accepted opinion?
There is no such thing as settled science. That can only be construed as a convenient lie. https://goo.gl/8nf699

Cold in Wisconsin

I read WUWT frequently but intermittently. I see Dr. Tim Ball mentioned frequently and read posts that he has authored. But I know little if nothing about the legal battles. Could someone point me to a source to understand what the legal battle is about? It sounds horrible, and I know from personal experience that legal battles sometimes outlive the antagonists. Good luck Dr. Ball!
One more reason for public skepticism: We are sitting here looking at 4” of snow and sleet in April! Scientifically I know that it is weather, not climate, but the weather continues to confound the supposed experts. They are asked to provide new explanations for why global warming causes global cooling, and other similar nonsense. The answer really will not be known in our lifetimes. We might as well be discussing the existence of the afterlife. I think that some people who don’t understand science at least understand that much, and therefore it is number 16 out of 16 among their concerns.

Philip Mulholland

Cold in Wisconsin…at 2:21 pm
…the weather continues to confound the supposed experts. They are asked to provide new explanations for why global warming causes global cooling, …

The odds are that what we can expect as a result of global warming is to see more of this pattern of extreme cold. – – – Dr. John Holdren, The White House – 1/8/2014

Gary Pearse

Well if global cooling is caused by global warming, what is the emergency we are talking about. Perhaps global warming will lead us right into a glacial maximum.

John harmsworth

So does that mean that more global warming will create more global cooling? Eventually we will get so hot that we freeze to death?

Roger Knights

“Eventually we will get so hot that we freeze to death?”
Oh Susanah!

Here is a direct cause to the current cold in North America and on the Eurasian continent. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_cloud_water/orthographic=-11.79,54.00,672/loc=-129.443,42.984
What you are looking at are surface winds blocking warm surface winds from moving north into the Arctic. This process started last April. Only on occasion have warm surface winds broke through that block to enter into the Arctic over the course of the last year. The blocking surface winds have always reasserted themselves in short order
Here is another key location on the planet where a similar change started up last August and has remained dominant ever since. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-76.17,-38.14,672
Currently, surface winds are pushing south through Drakes Passage for several days now, but this will break up shortly with very cold air pushing those warmer south winds northward. That is the change. In previous years the status quo was always warm surface winds moving south through Drakes Passage, thus driving cold surface winds, and surface waters north up the west coast of South America.

Error: “In previous years the status quo was always warm surface winds moving south through Drakes Passage, thus driving cold surface winds, and surface waters north up the west coast of South America.”. The last part of that sentence didn’t belong there, “thus driving cold surface winds…” north after breaking the warm flow to the south.

Roger Dewhurst

The fellow who said that 30,000 winter deaths in the UK is not enough to change public opinion but 90,0000 might be, is probably right. Sadly it is only deaths of others in large numbers or loss of money to them, in large numbers also, can be sure of triggering a response.

M Courtney

The problem is that the error the ‘mainstream’ climatologists is not an error of fact. Or not necessarily an error of fact.
It is an error of certainty.
From basic spectroscopy it seems very likely that CO2 will increase the hold-time for energy passing through the atmosphere.
But so what?
The claim that this change is significant is entirely unproven. Yet that subtlety is had to explain.
Science should say ‘how it works’. That’s what the media wants. That’s what the busy, disinterested public wants. They haven’t got time for the subtlety.
But in reality we are arguing about ‘how much it works’.

Cold in Wisconsin

This is where I love it when the engineers jump in. Science is always telling us what is possible, but engineers tell us why it will or won’t work. They take the possible and make it practical.

M Courtney

That’s broadly my point. And more succinctly put. Nice.
And well done for getting that when I forgot to write the “make” in my first sentence.

Yirgach

Last time my local Jehovahs came to call, I politely told them that Science is about HOW we are here, religion is about WHY we are here. Both being highly debatable…
They got unusually quiet, thanked me and left.

“hold time” … that looks a lot like trapping to me. How about the release time ? — wouldn’t there be more of this too with more CO2 ? … over a greater volume of atmospheric gas ?
Public attention is shaped by emotional appeals from people with advanced academic degrees, popularized by famous people, marketed with lots of money, endlessly, in high-volume repetition.

The engineering term, which does work, is “heat transfer coefficient”- the fraction(coefficient) of energy that moves through a specific area in a certain amount of time. The equation is simple and pretty accurately descirbes how heat is transferred into a metal can to kill the bacteria in the food inside. It’s really difficult to apply in a system as complex as the atmosphere- the area(the can) changes size, shape, position and temperature continually for each little parcel of atmosphere. The climate models work on cells a couple hundred of kilometers in size. For accuracy the cells need to be centimeters or less, an impossible computation task. See Christopher Essex and Edward Lorenz.

logicalchemist,
No. Heat transfer has nothing to do with the way CO2 restricts the flow of heat from the atmosphere to space. This is an electrical effect, similar to the way a microwave oven heats objects containing dipole moments or induced dipole moments.
Don’t give any ammo to those who question the science here.

Motive, or the motives? Motives vary with people. There’s the core people who manufacture this scare and the climate activists, who are caught up, pushing it. Talking to them, I often get the impression it does not matter to them what’s true or false. All that counts, for them, is what I can be conned into believing. They are like scientologists, used car salespeople, or even, con men. Their motive is to get me to believe their tall tales.

Wolf

Motive, or the motives?
Good question. The answer is there was no conspiracy, just groupthink and multiple motives.
For the environmentalists – a world wide emergency that united almost every NGO and gave them global prominence on the world stage while they fought to “save the planet”.
For the socialists – the ultimate “gotcha” against free market democracies they so hated and an ultimate “cause” for the social justice warrior.
For the UN – another chance at global governance and their long sought goal of a guaranteed income outside the control of sovereign governments.
For the scientists – grants and public prominence.
For the politicians – a new reason to tax.
For the wind and solar carpet baggers – subsidies, glorious fat subsidies!
For the media – it’s the end of the world. Again! (And this time it’s even better than CFCs).
Many different groups, many different motives. With so many so heavily invested, it is easy to see why this modern outbreak of Lysenkoism is so hard to end.
The only way to break the two party duopoly (AKA the Uni-Party games), is to make preferential voting non compulsory. A ballot with one or more candidates numbered should be considered a valid vote. There should be no rule that all candidates must be numbered.

John harmsworth

I agree 100% with this. I never really believe in conspiracies because more than about a half dozen people can’t keep their mouths shut. But a conspiracy of self interest is another matter altogether. We live in a democracy. That is a conspiracy of self interest. We are more or less ( mostly less these days), a Capitalist economy. That is a conspiracy of self interest.
AGW is one of these, as described above by Wolf. The difference is that it benefits a minority and is therefore parasitic. That’s why it dovetails so nicely with these parasitic groups. Environmentalists, Socialists, Social Justice Warriors, phony climate scientists and a few others who consider themselves disenfranchised.
Money and power in our society usually accrue to those who do the most economically valuable things or make outsized contributions. These people want money and power without all that effort.

Patrick

Were it only that petty. Truth has no value to them. They are miserable people who must punish those who they have fixed into their head are to blame, because they are miserable. As this does nothing lasting to alleviate their misery, they push all the harder.

Kristi Silber

Patrick,
From their perspective, truth has no value to you – you make up any excuse to deny it. And it’s because you’re selfish and don’t want to be responsible for the effects of Americans’ cushy, wasteful lives on the rest of the world.
I’m not saying this is my perspective, I’m saying there are different perspectives, and those that vilify, blame and despise are not constructive.
It’s time for everyone to stop playing the victim. It’s become a national pastime to blame all one’s troubles on Others.

@ Kristi ..so you have finally figured out that we stand opposed in thought, very nice.

Alan Tomalty

Kristi this obsession with CO2 which is a fundamental compound for all life and which the atmosphere certainly needs more of NOT LESS is already hitting the poor people all over the globe. People in England have actually froze to death because they had to turn the heating down cause they were on pensions that couldnt afford to pay for the sky high energy prices that the greenies have forced on everyone. The whole green revolution doesnt really work which Germany is finding out day by day as they give away energy when the wind blows strong and pay dearly when it doesnt blow. They then have to get their energy from Sweden’s hydroelectric dams. The Swedes dont actually charge the Germans enough because unbelievably they entered into agreements with Germany that actually raised the cost of power in Sweden. Even so the Germans and the Danes have the highest electricity prices in Europe caused by unconscionable subsidies to wind and solar. A couple of madmen climate scientists with computer models that have never been accurate in their 40 year history were able to spread theit alarmist madcap theory of global warming and by stealth it got into the mainstream and here are in the mess that we see today.

JRF in Pensacola

KS:
So, because I have a scientific disagreement based on methods, interpretation and conclusions regarding an issue under intense study, I somehow do not value truth, deny it and am selfish and don’t want to take responsibility for America’s impact on the rest of the world? All because I have questions about how our climate changes?
I realize that you said that is not your perspective; and, I suggest that the others that believe such need to allow the scientific method and inquiry to run its course because the freedom to disagree is the foundation of scientific debate as it is in all debates.

MarkW

The difference Kristi, is that it is trivial to demonstrate that the things you accept as truth, aren’t.
To you, truth is whatever those you accept as experts have told you. You never test these “truths” for yourself.

Kristi Silber

Patrick,
“So, because I have a scientific disagreement based on methods, interpretation and conclusions regarding an issue under intense study, I somehow do not value truth, deny it and am selfish and don’t want to take responsibility for America’s impact on the rest of the world? All because I have questions about how our climate changes?
I realize that you said that is not your perspective; and, I suggest that the others that believe such need to allow the scientific method and inquiry to run its course because the freedom to disagree is the foundation of scientific debate as it is in all debates.”
Well of course there are your counterparts on the other side of the issue. You believe truth has no value to them, and they believe the same about you. Both sides think they know better than the other. They look at each other (from afar) and believe they know each other’s motives. Then the generalization comes: the counterpart is not an array of ideas and beliefs, it is a label and listing of attributes. Sometimes even people who comment here make generalizations about their own group that aren’t true, such as “no one denies climate is changing.”
I know the variation in skepticism and reasons for it far better than I know my own “side” because I don’t hang out with them. It is interesting how much variation there is. The common traits seem to be a belief that AGW is not a great risk, and policy to avert risk of climate change is wrong. The last is not clearly stated by all, but it seems to be understood – there is no argument. Nearly everyone seems to believe that the mainstream climate models are too uncertain and too wrong to be believable and that the field has been corrupted.
It is assumed that climate scientists have become so dominated by some other motive (fill in the blank) that their word is not trustworthy. This encompasses “mainstream,” “believer” AGW scientists, not the skeptics; it is the latter who dare to question, who have independent ideas and the courage to tell the world.
Many also make policy statements that meet no argument:
– moving toward renewables is immensely costly and a waste, and they resent paying for it through their taxes and electric bills
– it is immoral to force renewables on America or on third world countries, who need the cheap energy of coal.
This site is about science and about policy, and the two are all mixed together. It can lead to bias against science that clashes with policy goals. Of course, the bias is already there, proudly spreading ridicule of the Other and acting as venue for any article that casts doubt on “CAGW.” I imagine there are counterparts on the other side.
America is becoming ever more tribal, and that’s a terrible thing for national stability and security. If we are to remain a world leader, we must be united. We must discuss rather than demonize. We must pursue truth even if it doesn’t suit what we’d like. We must stop making assumptions about the MOTIVES of people we don’t know.
I don’t believe the climate science community wants climate change. I think the evidence for it has been so convincing that it is now accepted, and science is deep into the stage of studying how it works. The knowledge is not perfect, and there are significant areas of debate and uncertainty – but it’s pretty astounding how far the evidence-based knowledge has come, and continues to move forward. (If you ever get a chance to see a Science on a Sphere presentation, I recommend it. I visited my uncle at NOAA and got a private screening, and that was terrific, but I be the regular shows are even better. There’s a free desktop version, SOSEx, on the NOAA site.)
I can’t begin to understand the complex interactions of climate. I have to choose whom to trust. For many, many reasons I choose the trust the majority. I believe in the integrity of the climate science community as a whole. I also have reason to disbelieve some the arguments of the contrarian community and question the objectivity of some members…but I recognize it’s good to have those who disagree to raise questions and point out problems. It would be for more worrisome if all scientists agreed. The trouble is that many Americans think this disagreement amounts to significant scientific debate between ideas. Arguing for a good idea is constructive. Arguing against an idea by spreading rumors, distorting conclusions, innuendo and assumption is also constructive, but only from a political perspective. It is what science is meant to eliminate through proper practice. It is the enemy of science: it is bias.

Tom Halla

Kristi Silber, your trust in “mainstream climate science” is misplaced, as if you would learn if you read the posts and commentary on this site for awhile. You have fallen into a common fallacy of “appeal to authority”, which is contrary to actual science.

Kristi Silber

MarkW,
You have always had the idea that you know me. Is this true? Do you recognize my name, and know me in the real world? No, that’s impossible, or you wouldn’t say such erroneous things about me.
If it’s so trivial to demonstrate that the truths I believe are wrong, why hasn’t it been done? I consider what is presented here. Sometimes there are interesting ideas, and I pursue them. Sometimes there is evidence based on poor methods or false assumptions. Even if the science isn’t great, many have been informative anyway, and I am often spurred to learn on my own. However, others start with a desire to poke a hole in the ideas or models to show they are BS, which is a very poor motive for research, liable to lead to logical errors. Find a hole, fine, report it, by all means! Don’t make your own. Natural variation, for example, is such an obvious idea that it’s phenomenal to me people think scientists are stupid enough to deny it, or forgot to study its past and recent impact. That is an imaginary “hole” in AGW science reasoning, an illusion created by those who wish to deface and damage the opposition. “It’s the sun, stupid!”

Kristi Silber

Ton Halla,
“Kristi Silber, your trust in “mainstream climate science” is misplaced, as if you would learn if you read the posts and commentary on this site for awhile.”
Oh, but I have! And I’ve followed up on the claims. I’ve found them weak or wrong, for the most part. I’ve found distortion and assumption and error and lack of logic. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that this site is not going to supply a balanced picture of mainstream climate science, but is more likely to report the oddities and what are perceived as errors.
“You have fallen into a common fallacy of “appeal to authority”, which is contrary to actual science.”
And you have fallen for the common fallacy of believing others must think as they do because they (fill in the blank). It saves you from considering whether I might have reason to believe what I do.
Those who practice skepticism must apply it to all assertions equally, or it turns into bias. When faced with the idea of tuning being used to adjust model outcomes, I questioned my assumptions, so I learned more about tuning and how it is applied. When the idea arose that people tuned to the same time frame against which they validated their models, I looked into that. The major areas of uncertainty and problems in the models are well-known, discussed and debated – they are not hidden. Scientists critique the work of others within the “mainstream” community as well as outside it (recently Hansen et al. said the models were all biased in their treatment of polar meltwater and oceanic currents, for example) Because I see integrity expressed through the scientific literature, I have no reason to doubt that it extends into the research behind it, nor has anyone here or elsewhere given me good reason to doubt it – only poor ones. I have no faith in Ball’s objectivity at all because I’ve seen how misleadingly he interpreted the “climategate” emails. From stealing them to cherry-picking to distorting their meaning, it was a truly reprehensible campaign to defame science. I’ve looked into that, too. What’s most abominable is that no amount of independent investigation would suffice to convince some people there wasn’t misconduct, so attached are they to their belief in corruption.

Roger Knights

Kristi Silber April 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm
Ton Halla,
“Kristi Silber, your trust in “mainstream climate science” is misplaced, as if you would learn if you read the posts and commentary on this site for awhile.”
Oh, but I have! And I’ve followed up on the claims. I’ve found them weak or wrong, for the most part. I’ve found distortion and assumption and error and lack of logic. The other thing you have to keep in mind is that this site is not going to supply a balanced picture of mainstream climate science, but is more likely to report the oddities and what are perceived as errors.

She wouldn’t say that if this site prioritized its best basic threadsits top 100, say—as a “category” and then contained a suggestion in its heading that newcomers and media people read those first. This would not involve a lot of effort. A group of volunteer old-timers here could nominate their favorites and then whittle the list down, after which those threads would have a “Begin Here” category added.
if new visitors just skim through the torrent of daily threads here many of them are likely to be put off or unimpressed, as KS has been.
I’ve been suggestion this for years along with other simple and obvious site-fixes, so it’s likely that nothing will be done. There seems to be a lack of awareness at the top (i.e., Anthony) about how to “market” our skepticism, and how our site is unfriendly to non-regulars.

GT Path

“Once you label me you negate me” Soren Kierkegaard

Neo

Clearly, we have past so many “tipping points” that surely we are ALL GONNA DIE. What is the point of trying to stop the inevitable ?

MarkW

In the last couple of decades, we have passed so many tripping points, that I can’t understand why anyone cares anymore. It’s obvious that we are past the point where anyone can do anything about anything.

pochas94

Figures 1 and 2 indicate that the public is not concerned with the issue. This is a victory for skepticism.

Clyde Spencer

Lincoln also said “You can fool some of the people all the time.” I think that applies to the liberal snowflakes who don’t understand science and tend to get emotionally involved with what they think to be true.

commieBob

… Obama’s net neutrality …

As opposed to regular net neutrality …

Net neutrality is the principle that governments should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. link

As far as I can tell, net neutrality is roughly the same as common carrier, basically a level playing field.

nn

Net Neutrality was a scheme to to redistribute costs of high-bandwidth applications and operations to non-subscribers a la “shared responsibility” of Obamacare and other monopoly-oriented regimes.

No, it passed to help big data…. There is often a need to prioritize data, the simplest example is voice traffic….Netflix can wait 1/10 of a second for the data to start buffering, as long as the overall speed of data is greater than watching, you will only have the first 1/10 second delay. A phone conversation starts to become difficult with 1/10 second delay, especially if different packets get postponed. Its attempt to push network costs down to the carriers and off companies like netflix, google and facebook. It also makes it impossible for carriers to collect data to compete with facebook..

I encourage Dr Ball in his battles with the watermelons and the rent-seekers. I grew up to think of science as a field where the motivations of its practitioners were ethical. Fifty years later my naivete has given way to extreme skepticism, not only of climate “science” but of science in general. Apparently the results published in up to 80% of scientific papers cannot be replicated. That alone tells the story.

John harmsworth

Agreed. It appears that we have far too many “scientists” who can’t metaphorically ( or experimentally) tie their own shoelaces. As a fan of science it is extremely disappointing.

markl

Claiming “conspiracy theory” is always the last ditch effort of the AGW crowd to shut down discussion. We should be using “conspiracy theory” ourselves up front to counter the AGW claims.

sophocles

AGW is just a Weapon of Mass Distraction.

HotScot

Dr. Ball
not to undermine you, but figure 2 of your examples has been a favourite of mine for some time now.
And as a layman, I’m inclined to disagree with you about the holding pattern of the layman. In my experience, most laymen have an opinion on climate change, one way or the other. One is informed by the media, the other informed by an inherent suspicion of the media.
Whilst we laymen are largely ignorant of science, we’re not entirely daft. Most of us older codgers remember what a Periodic table is from secondary school Chemistry classes. Chemistry was a mystery to me, other than having to recite the table.
Physics seemed more logical to me, until it included too much maths, at which I was also crap. So I engaged in Applied Mechanics, and discovered the lever was central to humanities existence.
Forget everything else, without a lever, man couldn’t pick his nose, make breakfast, or build a bridge.
The solution to conveying the climate change truth to the public is KISS (God how I hate that abbreviation) Keep It Simple Stupid. Never mind the science, or the politics. there must be some simple, and understandable mantra’s the media can grasp (they are the simpletons, not the layman) e.g.
– CO2 and temperature have never been lower in the planets existent that it is now without descending into an ice age.
– 80% of the planets existence has been without polar ice caps.
– Plants meaningful to humanity die at 150 ppm atmospheric CO2, we are only 250 ppm away from extinction.
– Submariners thrive on 6,000 ppm CO2.
– The planet has greened by 14% in the last 30 years.
Etc. etc. etc…………….
Voters don’t vote on science, they vote on convincing ideas.
When the influencers of the sceptical community grasp the concept that the layman understands sound bites, not science, we will be home free. And laymen, in this context, includes the media.
Providing those sound bites are based on sound science, the jobs done, because the media don’t do science, that’s why sceptics are easy to refute.
The alarmists grasped the concept of sound bites long ago. That’s why sceptics have such an uphill struggle. And as the last generation or two of kids don’t know what a Periodic table is, never mind recite it, why the hell are we banging on about science to them, they don’t get it.
If we continue to bang on about science, we impress a dwindling few scientists relative to the planets population, rather than doing as the alarmist’s do, go for the jugular and impress 97% of the planets layman population with sound bites.
Forget battling loony science with science, it just won’t work when most of the population don’t understand science in the first place, loony or otherwise.
So give them sound bites and stories they can all remember, recite, and win an argument in a pub with, even with circular reasoning. The alarmist’s do it all the time, why not us?
I wonder if the noble art of media was based on the ancient art of PUBlishing? In other words, a gossip over a beer. As opposed to the ignoble destruction of trees, turned into paper, for propaganda purposes.

Bruce Cobb

To that end, I highly recommend the book Inconvenient Facts, by Gregory Wrightstone, which came out last year. It pokes 60 holes in the Warmists’ arguments, beginning with the fact that CO2 is not the primary greenhouse gas and ending with most of Antartica is cooling and gaining ice mass. Written for the layman. By the end, a rusty sieve would hold more water than Warmist ideology.

Phil Rae

+100
HotScot, you hit the nail on the head. Sound bites and simple, accurate statements highlighting some easy-to-understand, common sense stuff are what we need to get the message across. The “substance” is on our side but we fall down on the marketing – the other side has ALWAYS been good at marketing their BS and have decades of practice on their side.

John harmsworth

An interesting summation, I think. It always seems to be that the U.S. is the main battle ground for these ideas and that legal aspects always come to play a part.
I wonder why U.S. media entities can’t be taken to court for not providing a perspective on the sceptic arguments. If an assemblage of relevant papers is put together that refute the Warmist arguments, wouldn’t it be possible to challenge the outright neglect and dismissal of a contrary scientific viewpoint? I want to see a PBS special titled, “The Warming That Never Was”!

MarkW

The only place where there is a legal obligation to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; is on the stand when you are under oath.

rubberduck

“Government information comes in two major ways, bureaucrats, and politicians.”
In Australia the main source of government information is the government media machine, ie the ABC and SBS. Taxpayers give them $1.3 billion (and rising) each year so they can tell us what to think.

Unless more people, especially skeptics understand the motive and speak out, it may be another 28 years.
The motive is, and always has been, power. Early humans were organized in small tribes led by a chieftain, invariably the strongest warrior and best fighter. The tribe turned to him for food and protection. But that didn’t mean the chieftain was smart. So what was the smartest person in the tribe to do when the chieftain wanted to do something completely stupid? Telling him he was stupid was a good way to become dead. Thus was born the shaman, who could interpret the sounds of thunder or omens, could read chicken entrails or scatter some bones on the ground and tell others what the gods were saying. By proclaiming their opinions as coming from unseen gods, the shaman could influence the tribe without being in direct confrontation with the chief.
Power corrupts. So shamans have been threatening the rest of us with the wrath of unseen gods that only they can understand. Let’s rephrase that. Climate scientists have been threatening us with the wrath of science that only they can understand. Its been going on for centuries, 28 years at best will just replace one kind of magic with another.
With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke, we now live in a world where any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.

Brilliant!

I see a somewhat similar picture, but I would offer that the western people finally learned that they needed to respect the shaman/mystics to the point where those personages gained respect. Whereas, for example, in Africa the strong man always ruled even to this day. That meant that the shaman often was the first one to go when things went south. Thus their intellectual growth was stunted, imo.

John harmsworth

Great last line!
Computer models analyzing systems that are fundamentally chaotic and deriving accurate projections constitute an impossibility. This is the “sufficiently advanced magic” that the shamen ( is that a word) have tapped.

Latitude

I don’t see why it’s difficult at all……they have never made a prediction that came true

nn

The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Cooling/Warming/Climate Change campaign has the conventional secular motives: capital, control, and social progress.

WXcycles

Urban Heat Island effect overprinting Natural Variability = Myth of Human-induced ‘climate-change’.

zazove

“Many know that the switch of terminology from “Global warming’ to “Climate change” was done for a reason, but they don’t know why.”
“disproves the claim of anthropogenic global warming”
This sort of rubbish is the tip of the conspiratorial denialism iceberg that Watts promotes here. Shame on you.
[??? .mod]

MarkW

Someone saying something you disagree with is a conspiracy?
Interesting. Have you always been this paranoid?
Regardless, why then did your side drop the term Global Warming?

Kristi Silber

“Regardless, why then did your side drop the term Global Warming?”
It confused folks like you who don’t know that global warming is in reality an average trend, with plenty of regional and temporal variability. “Climate change” encompasses that variation as well as other weather parameters such as precipitation, and ideally makes it easier for the public to understand.
Do you see now, Mark? It’s not so hard, really.

WXcycles

Zazove’s just a bit disturbed that CAGW’s been a total no-show. Not even getting our ankles wet. But over-run with surplus penguins and polar bears. And the plants are loving it. As are all the very well fed Apex preditors of Earth. But poor Zazove though, mooing like a cow, sounding-out like a hollow man. All the petty misanthropy not working out for you?

Kristi Silber

“Zazove’s just a bit disturbed that CAGW’s been a total no-show”
Tell that to South Floridians, Californians or Africans.
Have you ever looked for evidence, or are you assuming it’s not there because you don’t know about it? Has the whole idea of evidence been so tainted by the idea of corrupt science that you can’t believe what’s there?

paul courtney

Quick reminder- Zazove posted crap from a press release recently, accusing an author of cherry picking. When my fellow Courtney asked for a link to actual paper, zazy admitted to posting from the press release, had no idea how to find the paper. Zazy has all the signals of a paid tr0ll.

Cam_S

Dr. Ball,
You wrote “Witness the ignorance displayed by Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Environment Minister. I am painfully and expensively aware of how little lawyers know about climate science. However, I am also aware that McKenna, as a lawyer, should know better than most that there are two sides to every issue.”
My experience with lawyers is, they are not interested in the truth. They only want to represent their clients interests. In this case, McKenna is protecting Liberal party policy.

Alan Tomalty

She is only a puppet. In the Canadian political system if the governing party has a majority the Prime Minister becomes the defacto dictator for 5 years. The only pushback is a weak Senate and some provincial premiers and eventually the media if and when they turn against the prime minister. So until /unless that happens the the PMO rules over all the cabinet ministers outside of cabinet meetings and the PM is the dictator inside cabinet meetings. Of course the press has to fall for the obligatory quotes from the cabinet ministers cause who else are they gonna get to talk to them? The bureaucracy is forbidden to talk to the press. The cabinet ministers are told what to say by the PMO office who work for the PM. The whole system can change if the party loses the next election but in the whole history of Canadian federal politics there have been only 3 parties that have formed the government with the Liberals taking it 60% of the time and the Conservatives taking it 38% of the time. There was a union of former conservatives and liberals that gained power from 1917 to 1921. That was the only exception to the 2 party rule in Canada even though there have been many fringe parties over the years. So the US system is much more democratic than the (Canadian one which borrows its politics from the UK.)

donald penman

When I was doing a module in Science with the Open University I listened to a tape by Richard Feynman where he criticized the use of simple analogies in understanding complex processes , the Open University should be subsidized again as it was when I took these modules, while simple analogies may help those who don’t understand the science it can lead to errors in understanding the issue. I don’t think that climate scientists use simple analogies like “heat engines” for example today because we would not understand the complexity it is because their computer models don’t understand anything but simple analogies.

History is the study of conspiracies. Anyone who challenges this, hasn’t studied history.
The history of science is the study of those who dared challenge the established authorities in the field. From Galileo to Einstein, a revolution in science is an uphill battle.
In the Middle Ages, any bad condition, particularly weather, could be blamed on witches. Any woman could be accused as a witch, and there was no defense.
Now, any bad condition, particularly weather, can be blamed on Climate Change. Since Climate Change isn’t a person, but an idea, no defense is possible.
But an idea is vulnerable to contradictory ideas. We only need to continue to attack the idea of Climate Change and show it’s full of holes. Carry on, ladies and gents, we’ll win in the end.

Kristi Silber

Ronald: “But an idea is vulnerable to contradictory ideas. We only need to continue to attack the idea of Climate Change and show it’s full of holes. Carry on, ladies and gents, we’ll win in the end.”
You may not have intended it this way, but this about epitomizes what is most reprehensible in the stance of many “skeptics”: it’s not about finding the truth, it’s about winning a fight. It’s not about what the science says, it’s about agendas, politics, conspiracy…it’s about MOTIVES.
I knew Galileo would come up. Galileo was the new paradigm conquering the old. AGW is a new idea in the same way, with consensus accruing over the course of decades. To overthrow that would be like overthrowing Galileo. That would be wrong.

Galileo was the new paradigm conquering the old. AGW is a new idea in the same way
Galileo did not demand that the world economic order be remade, to his demands, for his benefit. The two cannot be equated. Galileo had facts and reason on his side, AGW has nothing but IPCC reports that are so vague as to be meaningless. Not to mention that Galileo’s science could produce verifiable, accurate, predictions. The last few IPCC reports, the supposed epitome of modern climate science have repeatedly failed in their predictions (which they quickly try and morph into “projections” as if that somehow excuses failure) have repeatedly dialed back their sensitivity estimates and stated for all the world to see that climate change will impact society much less than everything from technology to energy prices. Even winter tourism will be affected much less by AGW than a host of other factors, the IPCC said so. Winter tourism!
Your comparison with Galileo is ridiculous. The very science that you supposedly support contradicts the alarmist position. Yes AGW exists. It just isn’t big enough to be afraid of. So sayeth the best science we have available. Try reading that instead of sensationalized news reports.

Alan Tomalty

Galileo had the truth on his side. and he was all alone. He didnt fudge data. He didnt conspire through letters to co conspirators to hide data. He didnt call his critics holocaust deniers. He didnt have computer models that have never had a correct prediction and cant even hindcast without screwing up their forecasts. He also didnt have the faculties of Global warming otherwise known as Atmospheric science. He also didnt have the media on his side. Nor the politicians. He simply had the truth. And us skeptics will win in the end because we have the truth. In the city of Ottawa Canada i obtained the temperature records for the daily low and high for every year since 1872 from someone who had connections to Environment Canada. You cannot get that info from their website. They dont want the public to know about the data. here is the latest 7 year graphed period. I have compared this one to other decades. There is no global warming in Ottawa for the last 146 years.

gammacrux

Galileo had facts and reason on his side, AGW has nothing but IPCC reports that are so vague as to be meaningless.
This is of course by no means true. AGW has really good science that supports it.
CAGW is a fairly different story and much more uncertain and speculative.
And much more importantly whenever a skeptic (rightly) points out that:
Galileo did not demand that the world economic order be remade, to his demands…
it is nevertheless nothing but laughable false reasoning.
Of course it is not because we actually cannot technically curb seriously our CO2 emissions and “remake world economic order” without killing or augmenting the suffering of a lot of people that the AGW science is wrong and the problem does not exist.
A problem may of course very well exist and nevertheless not have a satisfactory solution.

MarkW

Kristi, if you will stay here long enough, there is a small chance that you will learn something.
Disproving a false truth is also part of searching for truth.
Why do you take it so personally when holes are blown in the theory that gives your life meaning?

dennisambler

Replying with science doesn’t work, becuase theirs is right and our isn’t. The Press reports theirs.

Kristi Silber

Gammacrux, thank you for injecting some reason here – and I say that no matter how you feel about the risks or appropriate policy measures.
I dislike the “CAGW” acronym as much as “skeptics” don’t like being called “deniers.” What does “catastrophic” mean? Is there a time frame? Is is global or local? It’s meaningless, just an insulting generalization, like “alarmists.” Sometimes I use “deniers” when I’m overwhelmed by a particular strain of comments.
“A problem may of course very well exist and nevertheless not have a satisfactory solution.”
I believe there will be benefits and problems, but that the risks of very large problems is great enough that it warrants action. I don’t advocate total abandonment of fossil fuels. We need them into the foreseeable future. I think it is wise for long-term economic and national security reasons to become less dependent on FF. I believe we have an obligation to cooperate with the rest of the world in their efforts AS WELL AS an obligation to keep alive the reputation of our country as world leader in more than our military might. Like it or not, we are part of an international community. If the world is moving unstoppably toward globalism, do we want to lead, or do we want to refuse to take part? Then there is the moral obligation to be responsible for our contribution to the problems in those countries that had almost no contribution and are least equipped to deal with problems – one of the roles of the Green Fund of the Paris Accord, which we could join for less than $6 pp., with no subsequent legal mandates. It’s embarrassing that even while many states and municipalities went ahead with trying to meet the goals, the federal government moves in the opposite direction, a flip of the middle finger to the rest of the world. I believe America can afford to move gradually into renewables, as well as greater efficiency and less waste. Cheap energy means it’s not highly valued, and there has been little incentive toward greater efficiency. These are my current ideas, but I don’t know enough about the economics to discuss policy in any depth, and don’t wish to do so. (And FWIW, everyone, I’m a capitalist, just like every single liberal I know.)
….So there is just a glimpse of my ideas about policy, a superficial glance. I don’t know why I got into it, I try not to because I’m interested in the science side – that’s my battle.

Kristi Silber

Davidmhoffer,
“Your comparison with Galileo is ridiculous. The very science that you supposedly support contradicts the alarmist position. Yes AGW exists. It just isn’t big enough to be afraid of. So sayeth the best science we have available. Try reading that instead of sensationalized news reports.”
It wasn’t my comparison to begin with.
The only sensationalized news reports I see are those ridiculed here. I stay away from the media when it comes to climate. I read the science, David. What do you think is the best science available? What is “big enough to be afraid of”?

Kristi Silber

MarkW,
“Kristi, if you will stay here long enough, there is a small chance that you will learn something.”
Oh, I’ve learned plenty! Absolutely nothing from you, though – you’ve been a canker since I got here.
“Disproving a false truth is also part of searching for truth.”
And giving the illusion of falsity in the desire to hide the truth is what?
“Why do you take it so personally when holes are blown in the theory that gives your life meaning?”
Poor Mark is so threatened by me that he must attach an insult to every post he makes, trying to denigrate me before others. (That’s an insult-ala-Mark)

Kristi Silber
I read the science, David. What do you think is the best science available?
I’ve read the last three United Nations IPCC AR reports (III, IV and V). Where they reference published work, I’ve often read the papers referenced and/or looked at the data myself. Not the juvenile Summary for Policy Makers, but the actual reports and the papers they are based on. When I argue with alarmists, I generally base my entire argument on the very science for the simple reason that when you sit down and consider it in detail, it basically says there’s not much to be concerned about.
I dislike the “CAGW” acronym as much as “skeptics” don’t like being called “deniers.”
CAGW was coined by the alarmists and abandoned by the alarmists when they couldn’t make it stick. “Deni*r” was coined by the alarmists to smear skeptics by associating them with holocaust deni*l. The two are not comparable.
What is “big enough to be afraid of”?
Is a continuation of:
but that the risks of very large problems is great enough that it warrants action.
Action has consequences. Ceasing the use of fossil fuels entirely for example would throw the world into chaos and condemn billions to poverty at best and starvation at worst. Partial cut back of FF use may not have as dire consequences, but make no mistake that every cut back has negative consequences for large swaths of people, the poor in particular. Given the choice between preventing something that the best science we have says MIGHT and WON’T be a very big deal (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/01/01/we-have-bigger-problems-than-climate-change-so-sayeth-ipcc-ar5/) in return for immediate wide spread damage to society that WILL happen, I choose to do nothing. I’m not willing to deliberately harm humanity in general to protect humanity from highly unlikely events.

gammacrux

Kristi Silber
As far as I’m concerned I try to just stick to the facts and briefly here is my position:
I agree of course that it is plain idiocy and/or just ugly hypocrisy to dispute endlessly the observed global warming data. Even worse is the idiocy, physics illiteracy and/or just ugly hypocrisy of those who deny the GHE itself or the anthropic origin of CO2 increase in atmosphere.
Now, because of complexity in technical sense, science is not and will not be capable to predict what amount of warming and climate change will eventually really take place, uncertainty ranges from not that much to catastrophic.
I also agree that for climate reasons as well as important other ones it is suitable to curb our fossil fuels use, take advantage of and switch eventually to “renewable” sources of energy. Yet this is obviously very difficult, for instance here in Europe, Germany tries very hard and …up to now rather increased than decreased its CO2 emissions. So it’s fairly uncertain to be readily achieved even in rich countries and we do not even know if it’s simply technically possible at appropriate scale globally with present population level of 7+ billion people. With much less people it is certainly possible since we were already on 100 % renewables 5 centuries ago. But remember, no democracy by then and doing science for instance was essentially a privilege of very few people belonging to a small class of parasites fed thanks to the slavery of the mass of ordinary people.
So when i see on the other side of the fence university professors publishing papers that claim that the grids in US or EU may be switched on 100 % renewable by 2040 or so I consider that this hardly less idiocy and nothing but laughable wishful thinking.
More humility and honesty on both sides of the fence would be highly desirable.

Kristi Silber

Gammacrux,
A very well-reasoned and reasonable statement!
Getting to net zero emissions seems a pipe dream. However, it is encouraging that emissions have slowed substantially despite population growth and development. My impression is that in Germany (the European country I’ve spent most time in) there has long been more emphasis on energy efficiency than in the U.S., so that there’s less room for improvement than we have. The massive influx of migrants must have had an effect, too.
I fear that because the US won’t join the Paris Accord, some of the political incentive to meet goals has diminished.
I find it interesting to look at the statistics on renewables in developing countries. There are many showing a drop in proportion of renewables in the last decades or so, which their renewable energy potential has increased quite a lot. The picture is one in which hydropower was important, FF are increasing as a result of development, yet renewables are also being installed. I think this is a good sign – there is a consciousness that emission should be kept down even though from a pragmatic perspective they won’t be stopped, and they are important to development. It’s not an either/or decision. I believe that slowing the climate change should be the focus, rather than saying, “we must do X by year Y or Z will happen.” Slowing the change will provide more time for humans and biota to move and adapt, and I think this is key to minimizing detrimental effects. (It frustrates me endlessly when people treat ecosystems so simplistically that they think warming+CO2 is so beneficial that it cancels out the risks, and refuse to believe there is more to it…then insult my education. Expertise, knowledge, integrity, willingness to learn and consider other views…they count for nothing. Sorry for the rant, I’m a little frustrated right now.)
Thanks for your comments!

Kristi Silber;
(It frustrates me endlessly when people treat ecosystems so simplistically that they think warming+CO2 is so beneficial that it cancels out the risks, and refuse to believe there is more to it…then insult my education
It frustrates ME endlessly when I dig into the science in detail, including the ecosystems, read it and cross reference it extensively, point it out to others, point them at the IPCC reports, and the papers the IPCC reports are derived from, and they, without doing the same, complain that I’m insulting THEIR intelligence.
If things are as you say, provide the links to the actual science that says so. No sensationalized news reports, actual credible papers. I’ve been asking one warmist after another to show me credible science instead of hype. They all slink away. So if you have the education you claim, by all means show me the science.

Kristi Silber

David,
I did not make a claim. I said I was frustrated that others glibly made claims. I do not know what the balance will be when it comes to CO2’s effect on plants, crops, etc. I can only imagine it, along with the evidence from the literature i’ve seen, such as the fact that in enhanced CO2 conditions leaf N seems to be lower in many plants. Another study looked at caterpillars and found they had slower growth on these plants. You’ve seen the literature on the FACE project?
These are changes that plants have not seen in millions of years. They adapt, but there are limits. Their capacity to increase growth and CO2 uptake can be limited by other factors, such a nitrogen availability. Then there are microbial relationships, mycchorhizae, water table and regional climate effects, herbivory, invasive species, the relative rate of evolutionary adaptation among different taxa…
It’s not my job to teach people my area of expertise. I’m usually insulted for it. But I see beyond the silly idea that CO2 is pure benefit to the complexity and uncertainty. No one knows the whole picture of the future.
We are in a process, and it’s hard to know what is going on; there is always a lag time between a change and being able to document it.

Kristi Silber;
These are changes that plants have not seen in millions of years.
Untrue. The geological record makes it clear that the plants we have today for the most part not only survived eras when CO2 was much higher, but they appear to be specifically evolved to maximize production at those higher levels. It is why much of the produce we eat every day comes from greenhouses that deliberately pump high levels of CO2 into them.

WXcycles

How old are you Rob, about 22? You seem to be an ignorant fellow, in many areas.
The false provocation attacks by SS forces, in Polands to create a pretext for German invasion of Poland, have been well documented.
You’ve got to be a bit of a glib fool to not grasp how the world works from the openly available documented history of it.
—-
Gleiwitz incident
” …. The Gleiwitz incident (German: Überfall auf den Sender Gleiwitz; Polish: Prowokacja gliwicka) was a covert Nazi German attack on the German radio station Sender Gleiwitz on the night of 31 August 1939 (today Gliwice, Poland), widely regarded as a deceitful false flag operation staged along with some two dozen similar German incidents on the eve of the invasion of Poland leading up to World War II in Europe.[1] The attackers had been posed as Polish nationals. Adolf Hitler invaded Poland the very next morning after a lengthy period of preparations. During his declaration of war, Hitler did not mention Gleiwitz incident by name, but grouped all provocations staged by the SS as an alleged Polish assault on Germany. The Gleiwitz incident is the best-known action of Operation Himmler, a series of special operations undertaken by the Schutzstaffel (SS) to serve Nazi German propaganda at the outbreak of war. They were intended to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany in order to justify the subsequent invasion of Poland. The evidence for the Gleiwitz attack by the SS was provided by the German SS officer, Alfred Naujocks in 1945.[1] … ”
References
Gleiwitz casus belli. Google Books. 2018. “Nazi government under Hitler’s leadership staged the Gleiwitz incident as a casus belli for the invasion of Poland the following morning”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
Invasion of Poland
” … On 30 January 1933, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, under its leader Adolf Hitler, came to power in Germany.[19] While the Weimar Republic had long sought to annex territories belonging to Poland, it was Hitler’s own idea and not a realization of Weimar plans to invade and partition Poland, annex Bohemia and Austria, and create satellite or puppet states economically subordinate to Germany. As part of this long-term policy, Hitler at first pursued a policy of rapprochement with Poland, trying to improve opinion in Germany, culminating in the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. Earlier, Hitler’s foreign policy worked to weaken ties between Poland and France, and attempted to manoeuvre Poland into the Anti-Comintern Pact, forming a cooperative front against the Soviet Union. Poland would be granted territory to its northeast in Ukraine and Belarus if it agreed to wage war against the Soviet Union, but the concessions the Poles were expected to make meant that their homeland would become largely dependent on Germany, functioning as little more than a client state. … ”
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland
—-
Nope, no conspiracies to start WWII there.
Open your eyes Mr. Rob, you can’t really be that thick and still claim or pretend to be ‘educated’

WXcycles

How old are you Rob, about 22?
The provocation attacks by SS forces in Polands to create a pretext for German invasion have been well documented. You’ve got to be a bit of a glib chappy to not grasp how the world works from the openly available documented history of it.
Gleiwitz incident
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland
—-
Nope, no conspiracies there to start WWII. Open your eyes Rob, you can’t really be that thick and still claim to be ‘educated’

Jon Jewett

There were conspiracies that led to WW2. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

WXcycles

No Robby, I didn’t claim any of that stuff, you did, to smere with drivel. This is what I factually replied to:
Robby said:
” … so, what you are saying is that WWII was a conspiracy?”
And that’s now been factually establushed and proven to you that WWII was in fact started via a series of well-known conspiracies.
If you can’t face the basic facts, even historically, but seek to avoid and deny them in a little hissy-fit, don’t expect to be taken seriously by anyone, because it sounds like, “pure and utter goobledygook” when you keep doing that. 🙂
I note your inability to cope with being proven completely wrong … well get used to it. 😉

Referring back to the definition of conspiracy, in response to “Rob Bradley,” and taking one thing at a time –

An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.

The signing of the Constitution was a conspirasy [sic]

Well, it was, in a manner of speaking. Many State legislatures were misled into the belief that the Convention was to amend the existing Articles of Confederation – not to throw the whole thing out and replace it with a new agreement, one which vastly expanded the power of the central government. “Illegal” by the measure of the instructions given to some of the delegates. Which is one of the major reasons why the Constitution “shall” was very quickly followed by the Bill of “shall nots.”

Landing on the Moon was a conspirasy [sic]

Stupid assertion. Landing on the Moon was certainly not illegal. Some dodgy accounting and political favors during the program – but that was government SOP.

building the pyramids must have been a conspirasy [sic]

Again, stupid assertion. Building the Pyramids could not have been illegal, when the only law was that of the Pharaoh.

Wilbur and Orville’s first airplane ride

Again, not illegal. Although if the current regulatory environment had existed then… OSHA, EPA, NTSB, etc. would definitely have made it impossible to do (legally).

was the bombing of Pearly Harbor a conspirasy [sic]?

Yes! Unprovoked warfare, illegal under the Charter of the League of Nations (although Japan had withdrawn from it in 1933, there was no mechanism for doing so – another illegal act).

Was the election of Trump a conspirasy [sic]?

That depends on how much belief you place in the MSM. Myself, very little; but I suspect that your mileage varies substantially.

MarkW

Rob’s specialty is distraction via hyperbole.

McLovin

How about an ad campaign where Henry & Louise are found frozen to death in their house…in APRIL, because they couldn’t afford to turn on their heat?

Sommer

Thank you Dr. Ball. Perhaps WUWT will provide links to your interviews so that readers here can help to circulate them to as many people as possible.
Indeed, you do have a “a natural teaching ability to explain complex issues like climate change to the public.”

Gary Pearse

Tim sceptics do punch holes in theories but it is a bit much to demand alternative explanations, other than that natural variability is the biggest part, or the whole thing appears to be a net benefit. If there is little real issue there, alternatives are not required. Think Bertrand Russell’s undetectable orbiting tiny teapot postulate going around the sun out beyond Mar’s orbit. The postulator bears the burden of proof – a negative is nigh impossible to prove.
Pointing out that observations show warming is exaggerated 200-300% is the best we can do. Showing a Pause of 2 decades during which time most of the CO2 growth took place is what we can do. Make these folk have to cheat and adjust temperatures so egregiously that the motives are self evident. Show the statistics are improperly employed….
Indeed Sceptics have done a superb job. They are largely unfunded and outnumbered by several orders of magnitude. Every university, technical society, school teacher, government, the vast majority of mass media outlets, etc are on the devils side.
It is coming down. Governments are changing, Trump (and Eastern Europe) has addressed the imbalance. It isn’t satisfactory but this massive waste of resources and lost scholarship will quietly be snuffed out and the players will metamorphose, retire, refer to small rationalized phrases in their papers that show they were on the right side of history and it never happened the way some people remember it just like the big cooling scare was a conspiracy of fake news.

Gary Pearse

I’m right on topic and have used no insults. HEY mods, it is this kind of a topic.

Herbert

Gary,
You have put to Tim the same points that I wished to make.
Agree entirely.

+10

Luc Ozade

Good comment, Gary. I totally agree.

Tim Ball

Trump and the other governemnts did not withdraw from the Paris Accord because of the science, if he tried that he would have failed because most would not have understood the science and he would have been quickly stumped by simple science questions.
The advice i gave to him through the “cooler heads coalition” under the direction of Myron Ebell was to withdraw because it was a bad deal and his theme and election platform is dealing with bad deals.
Interestingly, he faced a dilemma because it was reported that Ivanka wanted him to stay in the Accord. Apparently, after he explained what a bad deal it was she changed her mind.

Mike Slay

“The public constantly hears from skeptics that CO2 is not to blame for global warming and latterly climate change.”
That is NOT the skeptic’s position. It is a tactical error to say things like this. The skeptic’s position is that climate change is not a crisis and that the benefits of CO2 outweigh the costs.

Bruce Cobb

Actually, both “global warming” and “climate change” as used by Alarmists are myths. They are loaded terms, meant to confuse and disinform, implying both that they are somehow “scary” and “unprecedented”, and also caused by man. The skeptics position is that the warming we’ve experienced since the LIA, a brutally cold period, has been nothing but a boon to mankind, and man’s CO2, if it caused any warming, it is not measurable. Furthermore, there are no “costs” to CO2, only benefits.

Ozonebust

A Question, If I may
Example – If the CO2 content of the atmosphere is 400ppm, and that same atmosphere has a Relative Humidity of 70%.
Under the current theory of warming, will the CO2 warm the moisture in the suspended immediate atmosphere. That is, if the humidity increases in that immediate atmospheric parcel, does the atmosphere warm proportionally ?
Thanks and regards

Thank you, Dr. Tim Ball for your hard work, persistence and good advice. Hang in there, we need you.

Edwin

After the various comments from a couple of the past leaders of the UN-IPCC, stating basically that AGW was the greatest tool to drive socioeconomic change in the world, to finally change the long running and very successful economic system, we should have no question what AGW is all about. Each segment of the “religion” is in the game for difference reasons. For some it is just power. For others it feeds their egos. Imagine been an old tree ring reader, where could you possibly get fame and notoriety. For many scientists it is all about the money, not to get rich but to continue working at all. Appreciate the modern history and funding of meteorology, climate research and oceanography. It began during WWII when it became evident that being able to accurately predict the weather was in our vital national interest. So after the war, especially with the Cold War heating up it became even more important. Being able to predict crop failures in the USSR turned out to be important. Then we put missiles on nuclear submarines. To hide a “boomer” requires a detail understanding of the thermal structure of the ocean. More and more money was dumped into research. Consortiums were created at the four corners of the country. The first satellites that went up to track weather were not for fun and games and to feed the Weather Channel. Then the Soviet Union rebranded itself. The Cold War was supposedly over. The research dollars looked as if they were going to dry up. What to do? Appreciate that the funding came through a variety of alphabet federal organizations and groups like the National Science Foundation. I knew graduate students working on research project who couldn’t understand why they needed a security clearance or what happened to them if they violated their clearance. Do some in the game conspire to drive and promote this religion you bet. Do some conspire in small groups to protect their specific interest in AGW certainly. Is there an over arching group driving this train. Probably not. Are there people using CAGW as a tool to destroy capitalism without a doubt. Many diverse groups have allied themselves using CAGW as the center piece but they care nothing about CAGW, they see it solely as a means to an end.

KT66

One problem of pointing out the true motives are that they open you up wide to the being labeled a conspiracy theorist. The Devil himself could not have come up with a more diabolical scam.

Edwin

KT66 I have always pondered why when someone tries to explain complex drama and trauma leading to an event the person is attack as being a “conspiracy theorists.” In many cases it is an attack ad hominem and little more. What I have found is that many just refuse to accept complex explanations even when supported by facts and data. They buy into some simpler explanation, usually sold by some group of so called experts, and reject any other explanation. The simpler explanation may be based on relatively easily proven fallacy. I sometimes think many are just mentally lazy. It is easier to buy the simple explanation than to attempt to understand reality which is often complex. AGW is a great, albeit a huge example. It is simple to believe that warming since the last glaciation has accelerated since 1850 because evil industrialists exploiting the world and the workers forcing us to burn ever more fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide and therefore must be the cause of any warming. And anyway a super computer told me so. [Note: just 30 years ago the average even well educate person was afraid of computers; didn’t trust them.] Trying to understand what we are witnessing is nothing but the Earth’s climate doing its thing requires understanding how the climate really works, one of the most complex natural systems we have ever attempted to understand.

Herbert

Tim,
Correct me if I am wrong but Figure 2 is from the U.N. survey myworld2015.org the number of participants now approaching 10 million people.

joelobryan

Many of the predictions of doom and gloom did not materialize.

Have any? I am not aware of any.

JCR

“In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” -Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day 1970
“By the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe [will occur] which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” -Mustafa Tolba, 1982, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program
“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of eco-refugees, threatening political chaos.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
“If Canada proceeds [with its tar sands oil development] sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction.” -James Hansen, 2012

Phil Rae

Tim!
“Distrust….is at all-time lows” – I Guess that should be changed to “Trust….” or else the sentence needs to re-jigged to read “all time highs”! Just sayin’…..

Argus

Fight fire with fire. Alarmists are essentially Malthusian anti-Humanists. Ask them how many people they are willing to kill off

Kristi Silber

“This is quantified differently in other major polls. Figure 1 shows a Pew Center poll of public priorities with “climate change” 18th out of 19.”
No, it answers the question, what percentage see ________ as a top priority for Trump and Congress. No wonder it’s near the bottom.
The other poll has climate change pitted against having adequate health care, a phone, affordable and nutritious food, and other things that directly affect individuals on a day-to-day basis. Not a good comparison.
“The public constantly hears from skeptics that CO2 is not to blame for global warming and latterly climate change. The problem is skeptics usually fail to provide a viable alternative explanation for the change, often, even if pushed.”
True!
“…Of course, even if a clear, concise scientific explanation were provided a majority of the public would not understand.” One the scientific community can believe would be a good start.
“…The Heartland Institute” (A non-biased, non-partisan scientific institution, of course.)
“…These elucidate the basic differences between their “paper” and those identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) “paper.” The Amici showed that it remains a scientific difference and that,
“…there is no ‘consensus’ among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic”
AHA! Any difference would do! It doesn’t matter if it’s untrue, as long as it’s a difference. That is such a silly argument even the judge must be cognizant of it.
“…In my trial I explained that it didn’t matter whether there was a conspiracy, the reality was science was used for a political agenda and that must never happen.”
So why are so many contrarian scientists affiliated with conservative think tanks with obvious political agendas, including the denial that AGW is a problem? Why is this such a partisan debate, not for one or another hypothesis, but for or against a theory? Why are politics such a huge part of the comments around here? Why has the fossil fuel industry gotten involved? Why are contrarian scientists mentioned by name in energy industry memos as spokespeople?
“The “holding pattern” will continue until we can explain to the public the motive behind the AGW claims and activities.” What motive? What lie will you tell the public to spread distrust, Dr. Ball? You are not talking science at all, you have an agenda: to destroy the public’s trust in AGW science once and for all. Persuading the public of an evil motive is all you have, because you don’t have the science – there’s no viable alternative, as you said.

So why are ALL consensus scientists affiliated with socialist organizations with obvious political agendas, including the assertion that AGW is a problem?
Bonus question! Why are ALL consensus scientists convinced (or at least pretending to be) that the only solution is to throw billions back into Dark Ages poverty, and ensure that more billions will never even see more than that poverty for even a brief time? Those that survive their “Final Solution,” that is. (Excepting themselves and their ideological peers, of course – they will never surrender their skiing in Switzerland, or their beach sunning in Acapulco.)

Kristi Silber

Writing Observer and Bruce Cobb,
That’s an awful lot of unsupported assertions there.
MarkW
As usual, making stupid, false assumptions about me! That’s one thing I can depend on.
Since my best friend is a staunch conservative, that would make me dishonest!
And once again, attacking my education, implying I’m a mindless tape recorder spewing out things he says I learned at college. Blah, blah, blah. Mark and many others here can’t seem to accept that people can think for themselves and also reject the claims of “skeptics” – many of the same ones who unquestioningly accept the claims that “mainstream” scientists are corrupt and that there has been no evidence for global climate change, and increased CO2 is pure benefit. They are the ones it’s hard to call “skeptics.” If I learned about climate at college, Mark must have learned it at the school of blog.
Paul Courtney:
“I assume you are too young to know this, or you might discover that partisanship and reprehensible misuse of science (causing public to lose faith in science) is not a conservative method, it’s a left wing thing. I don’t think this will help, as you seem to be our new concern tr0ll and you’re not here to learn.”
You know, if you hadn’t ended your message with an insult, I might have conversed with you. “Troll.” Nice one. Shows a lot about you.

Bruce Cobb

The Null Hypothesis is that the warmup we’ve experienced since the LIA is natural, as previous warm periods such as the MWP were. The conjecture of “manmade warming”, despite Warmists ardent desires, has failed miserably. The only thing keeping it alive (just barely) now is politics, and sheer inertia. Indeed, the dismantling of the manmade global warming/climate change machine will take some years yet. The beauty of it is that truth wins out, at least in societies which are free, which is why Warmunists prefer governments such as China’s which is able to both supress information as well as quash any efforts at discovering truth.

MarkW

Kristi, since fighting increases in CO2 mean less money for all those other things, it’s a fair comparison.
BTW, I love the way Kristi assumes that being affiliated with anything conservative proves you are dishonest.
On the other hand being affiliated with a liberal group or with the government is proof that you are pure and honest and never to be questioned.
Then again, that’s what her high priced professors taught her so she can’t question it.

dennisambler

“why are so many contrarian scientists affiliated with conservative think tanks with obvious political agendas, including the denial that AGW is a problem?”
Because Podesta would never let them into CAP or publish on Climate Progress? Because Gavin and friends wouldn’t invite them in? Because NYT wouldn’t publish their articles at the drop of a hat, like they do with every press feed from the Agenda Scientists? Because the main journals are run by the Protagonists, with editorial boards that read like an IPCC Who’s Who? And of course no political agenda anywhere to be seen.
Where else are they going to get a hearing?

paul courtney

Kristi must be very young, so I’ll try to be nice. Before you were born (guessing) in the 1970’s, there were these crises where we were supposedly running out of oil and natural gas. Some got the idea that we needed energy sources for when these resources dried up, and renewables were born. It was quickly seen that renewables were not economic and would not survive without subsidies. Then a great man, Ronald Reagan, was elected, and brought oil markets back to reality. We learned, before your time (evidently) that the market would actually take care of this crisis very nicely. This horrified eco activists like Jim Hansen, low oil price meant renewable subsidies would have to rise. He c0nspired with a Dem Senator named Wirth to use the US Senate for a bit of street theater. He and Wirth and a few other Dems (Al Gore ring any bells?) wanted to get rid of oil (and gas, and coal) and were willing to tell lies to get there. You’re pretty young, but you may have read about it. Basically, you are projecting onto current conservatives what eco activists did in the 1980’s. I assume you are too young to know this, or you might discover that partisanship and reprehensible misuse of science (causing public to lose faith in science) is not a conservative method, it’s a left wing thing. I don’t think this will help, as you seem to be our new concern tr0ll and you’re not here to learn.

+10 ..and thanks for the history update.

Roger Knights

KS says:

So why are so many contrarian scientists affiliated with conservative think tanks with obvious political agendas, including the denial that AGW is a problem?

“… obvious political agendas, including the denial that AGW is a problem”
Such denial is not an “obvious” political agenda except to warmists who can’t imagine that there could be good-faith, purely scientific opposition to their cause. And denying that AGW is a problem “frames” skeptics’ psn incorrectly; the denial is that CAGW is a problem. (There will only be CAGW if there are positive feedbacks from increasing water vapor, a hypothesis which doesn’t stand up to analysis of the data.)

“why are so many contrarian scientists affiliated with conservative think tanks”

I’m sure they’d be happy to be affiliated with liberal think tanks that are skeptical of warmist alarmism—but if there are any, they are not sponsoring conferences, or holding “dinners” with speakers, or publishing books or articles by skeptics in their newsletters.
“Affiliated” is a word that can be stretched to insinuate more involvement than is actually happening. Something like 600 climate experts have allowed their names to be listed on the Heartland site as being available for interviews by journalists. That doesn’t mean they are working hand-in-glove with Heartland, or getting paid by it, as “affiliation” in a strong sense implies. Similarly, scientists who have spoken at one of Heartland’s annual conferences are likely listed by sites like SourceWatch as being “affiliated” with it, although that too is too strong a word. A better term would be “associated with” which doesn’t insinuate a cash nexus.
There are only a few dozen climate scientists who are strongly affiliated with conservative think tanks, primarily the pair who work for Cato, or some others who are affiliated with the GWPF in London. Others, like the Idso’s, receive funding for their research. But this doesn’t add up to a great number. If you look at Wikipedia’s list of skeptical scientists, few of them seem to have such affiliations.

Kristi Silber

Roger Knight,
Exxon contributed over $30 M to conservative think tanks between 1998 and about 2009. Here are just three, with some familiar names associated/aligned with them.
The point is, there is far too much opportunity for conflict of interest, which scientists have a professional duty to avoid. Science and politics are not good bedfellows. Neither are climate change and oil.
Competitive Enterprise Institute received over $2 m from Exxon
Myron Ebell
Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy
Source: CEI website, 3/04
John Christy
Contributing Writer
Source: CEI website, 3/04
Sallie Baliunas
Scientific Expert
Source: CEI website, various
Steven Milloy
Adjunct Analyst
Source: CEI Website 5-2006
Chris DeFreitas
Scientist Lobbyist
Source: Amicus brief written by Competitive Enterprise Institute
Bjorn Lomborg
Awarded Julian Simon Award 2003
Source: Bjorn gets Julian Simon Award from CEI
……………………………………………………………………
George C. Marshall, $865,000 from Exxon.
Sallie Baliunas
Former Senior Scientist; Science Advisory Board Member
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Frederick Seitz
Chairman Emeritus, Board of Directors
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Willie Soon
Senior Scientist
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Margo Thorning
Roundtable Speaker
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Ross McKitrick
Expert
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
David R. Legates
Expert
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Sherwood Idso
Expert
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Craig Idso
Expert
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
James R. Schlesinger
Expert
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
Howard Kleinberg
Research Analyst
Source: George Marshall Institute website 5/06
………………………………………
Frontiers of Freedom, $1,172,000
S. Fred Singer
Adjunct Fellow
Source: Frontiers of Freedom website 5-06
Christopher C. Horner
Adjunct Fellow
Source: Frontiers of Freedom website 5-06
Malcolm Wallop
Chairman and Founder
Source: Frontiers of Freedom website 5-06
Myron Ebell
former Policy Director
Source: Frontiers of Freedom website 5-06
Paul Driessen
Senior Fellow
Source: Frontiers of Freedom website 5-06
Willie Soon
Chief science researcher for the Center for Science and Public Policy
Source: Article in Wall St Journal

paul courtney

Kristi, what conflict? Didn’t Exxon “know”? If Exxon agrees with AGW theory (as Chevron says it does, maybe you can name an oil co. that is “deni@list”), there is no conflict when it funds scientists who disagree. Your post is a blatant smear, implying that all listed names are not looking for facts or exposing alarmist pseudo-science for the sake of truth. You try to present as nice and reasonable, but posts like this expose you as a tr0ll. I put it to you that MarkW knows you better than you know yourself.

Roger Knights

Instead of “associated with,” “aligned with” would be more neutral.

Argus

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
― Mark Twain

Dave Ward

On UK TV tonight at 8:00PM: “The True Cost of Green Energy: Channel 4 Dispatches ”
http://www.radiotimes.com/tv-programme/e/gf4cqk/dispatches/
“Reporter Antony Barnett investigates a subsidised renewable energy industry that turns trees into fuel, and asks whether burning wood instead of coal is really an environmentally friendly answer to climate change”

DWR54

Had a look through the documentary. The principal scientific objection to ‘global warming’, even c.1990, seems to have been the fact that UAH satellite lower troposphere (TLT) data disagreed with the surface temperature record between the years of 1979-1989. The surface data, produced then by HadCRUT, estimated a slight warming trend (~0.06 C/dec); whereas the satellite trend was dead flat. The conclusion of the documentary seems to be that the surface data was contaminated by urban the heat island effect and the satellite TLT data wasn’t. There was no warming between 1979 and 1989, so one ‘pillar’ of global warming theory collapses.
However, this was all before the well documented alterations made to the UAH data set in 1998, when they corrected for orbital decay of the satellites, which was introducing a false cooling bias to TLT data. Other adjustments have followed, but the upshot is that, in terms of temperature trend, the latest version of the UAH TLT data set is now in good agreement with the latest HadCRUT data set between 1979 and 1989: both now show the same warming tend of ~0.06 C/dec. So it seems that there probably ‘was’ slight warming between 1979 and 1989 after all. The first supposedly ‘collapsed pillar’ of global warming theory has effectively been reconstructed by improved knowledge over time.

The “pillar” was the catastrophic warming predicted by the best models that money could buy. Whether you use HadCRUT, “old” UAH, or “new” UAH – that pillar was not just collapsed, it was blown into shards, quite a while ago.

DWR54

Writing Observer
As I mentioned above, my comment re the first ‘pillar’ of global warming theory was based on the documentary, which specified this as the (then) disagreement between UAH TLT and HadCRU surface data sets.
The disagreement at that time was deemed to have collapsed what the documentary referred to as the first pillar of the theory. We now know that the disagreement between HadCRU and UAH between 1979 and 1989 was the result of inaccuracies in the UAH data; failure to account for orbital decay introduced a false cooling bias.
As such then, this so-called ‘collapsed pillar’ has been rebuilt.

DWR54 aka WD40 – I disagree with you, as follows:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/20/from-the-the-stupid-it-burns-department-science-denial-not-limited-to-political-right/comment-page-1/#comment-2615837
The essence of science is the ability to predict, and the IPCC and its minions have a perfectly negative predictive track record – NONE of their scary predictions have materialized. That means that the IPCC has NEGATIVE scientific credibility, and nobody should believe anything the IPCC or its minions say.
I have two engineering degrees in earth sciences and have studied this subject since 1985, and I have found NO evidence of dangerous humanmade global warming, and ample evidence that it does NOT exist.
The debate on global warming alarmism concerns one parameter – the climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 (“ECS”). Global warming alarmists falsely suggest that ECS is high, yet their estimates of ECS have been declining for the past decade and are still far too high to be credible. There is ample evidence that ECS is low, probably <=1C/(2*CO2) and possibly much less than 1C.
Here is just one of many lines of evidence that ECS is low:
The ~35-year global cooling period that commenced in ~1940, even as fossil fuel consumption sharply increased, adequately falsifies the hypothesis that increasing atmospheric CO2 is a significant driver of global warming. The CAGW hypo is further falsified by the current ~20-year “Pause” in global temperatures, as atmospheric CO2 continued to increase.
That is why the global warming alarmists have more recently been falsifying the temperature data records to minimize the ~35-year cooling period and increase their alleged warming during the Pause.comment image
There was a ~22 year period of global warming starting about 1975, but much of that warming period was a natural recovery from two major volcanos, El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991. Real global warming probably did occur after the Great Pacific Climate Shift, circa 1977.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/15/report-ocean-cycles-not-humans-may-be-behind-most-observed-climate-change/comment-page-1/#comment-2613373
Conclusion:
Since 1940 there has been ~22 years of positive correlation of temperature with CO2, and ~55 years of negative or ~zero correlation. The global warming hypo is contradicted by a full-Earth-scale test since 1940. CO2 is NOT a significant driver of global warming.
Regards, Allan

Barry Cullen

+10 or more

DWR54

Allan MacRae, aka ‘It’s really going to start cooling soon this time, honest. No, really!’

The essence of science is the ability to predict, and the IPCC and its minions have a perfectly negative predictive track record – NONE of their scary predictions have materialized.

From what I can see current surface observations are well within the range of the CMIP3 and CMIP5 projections. No one (surely?) expects that observations will exactly match the multi-model mean, or any individual model. The best that can be hoped for is that observations will track projections along the general direction of travel and with reasonable boundaries, which they have done.
Now, compare the CMIP5 models’ performance against similar forecasts made around the same time, including a forecast made by one ‘Allan MacRae’ back in 2008.

In 2007-8, the PDO turned cold again, so we can expect several decades of naturally-caused global cooling.

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/is_this_the_beginning_of_global_cooling/
What happened to your cooling Allan? Oh, and how do you think a high order polynomial trend line would look on that UAH chart now? Seems like all that warming you imagined had magically disappeared in 2008 came back.

DWR54 aka WD40:
Our 2002 prediction was for global cooling to commence by ~2020-2030 – that is still looking good.
NASA called the shift into a PDO cool phase in 2008. It was cold for a few years and then the PDO turned positive again.
If a global cooling period does materialize as we predicted in 2002, people will be arguing for decades as to when it started, based on the evidence. Some are already saying that cooling started circa 2005.
http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/elnino/decadal/pdo.html
“The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index value for 2016 (annual mean) was +1.3. Negative values were generally observed from around 2000 to the early 2010s, and positive values have been recorded since 2014.”
Here is a plot of the PDO data:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1538024529608437&set=a.1012901982120697.1073741826.100002027142240&type=3&theater
\

Peta of Newark

Step way way waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. and look.
We have this:

The public is in a holding pattern, knowing something is wrong

and also we have Figure 2.
My logic here started from thinking about Saturated Fat.
It is quite plain that that ‘thing’ was driven by one particularly charismatic, forceful, well connected and well-intentioned individual. Climate Change Science is almost a carbon-copy of that.
Hang on. Isn’t that what climate science is. Are we talking Maurice Strong? Wirth and Hansen maybe
But wait. These sorts of individuals are all over human history – more often than not lauded as great visionary leaders – Socrates, Plato, Alexander, Caesar, Knut, Henry 8th, Lincoln, Churchill etc etc
Of course YMMV when considering the greatness & goodness of those folks depending on which ‘side’ you were on when they were kicking off. Its entirely true that a lot of the time, they hurt a lot of people in trying to improve the situation of another group.
BUT, the human race continued, Despite the good, bad or misguided efforts of these visionaries, we came through it.
Can I maybe suggest Herd Wisdom.
The visionary types are *always* going to pop up. Always. And they’ll be allowed to do their thing for a while but at some point, they’ll become marginalised, fade and die.
THAT is what Figure 2 is telling us. The balloon has gone up, many folks initially looked, said ‘wow’ and were generally impressed by it but the balloon is now slowly deflating. It’s losing its initial shine and gloss and ‘The Herd’ is starting to ignore it and just generally let it sink and die.
But it takes time and The Herd is a generous forgiving thing. It cannot just shoot the balloon straight down out of the sky because a lot of folks have attached themselves to it and are floating high in the sky. To just shoot it down will hurt a lot of folks and the kind & forgiving herd won’t/can’t do that.
Patience. Mindfulness. Forgiveness plus that thing I keep banging on about, empathy – the understanding of the other person’s position.
Also the strength (self confidence) to know that The Herd is out there and looking after itself and to acknowledge that you are part of it.
It will overcome anything. Maybe not you personally but it will certainly transport your genes, your children, children’s children way way into the future. A fantastic exciting place.
Much more effectively than any amount of healthcare, intelligence, money or stuff ever will.

Maureen

People look out their windows and realize that all the gloom and doom that the climate crazies are trying to sell is just not true. I spoke with a meteorologist about 3 years ago and asked him why they never seemed to get either the temperature or rain correct for the weekend. After a long explanation he finally admitted that weather is hard to predict. So I reminded him that if weather in a local area is hard to predict 3 days out, what were the chances that worldwide temperatures would be accurate 50 years out. He tried to give an explanation, but ended up with the standard line that weather is not climate. Which of course means nothing and people know that.
Besides, people are more concerned about real problems in the environment such as clean water, clean air, clean soil (such as run off into rivers, streams and lakes), the amount of trash that seems to be everywhere – here in my city the bureaucrats decided to issue standard wheelie bins instead of just putting green garbage outs for pickup and you could only put out 5 green bags. This was because everything would be automated. At the same time, they changed the schedule from once every 10 days to once a week, and the bins hold about 10 green garbage bags. Every Monday morning when I walk my dog at 6 a.m. the wheelie bins are out and they are full to brimming. This is in addition to the once every two weeks pickup of recycling bins that are the same size as the garbage bins – every other Wednesday those bins get rolled out and they are full to brimming. The city is touting this as a success but I don’t see it. Besides none of the recycled material actually is recycled – we are in fly over country and trucking broken glass to a plant to melt and recycle is more expensive that any money you would get for it. So it is piled in a ‘special’ part of the city dump. It is all in how you define ‘success’!

ResourceGuy

The final challenge is hooking up everyone to electrodes in order to get the right responses out of them. Insurance coverage for opioid addiction and medical marijuana is a good first test though.

Tom Anderson

I think Dr. Ball’s comment about science in sound bites is not a bad idea. How about,
We live on a water planet – it’s 71% of the surface. Like the radiator for your car engine. As long as there’s water the engine or Earth can’t overheat. (Its convection and evaporation for the engine, for the planet evaporation and convection.)
Okay. Not very good. But “something like” could work. What about a skeptics’ PR agency to beat them at their own game?

Dennis Stayer

To Dr. Tim Ball, a hero for the advancement of truth in scientific discourse, the motivation behind the warmists’ agenda is as old as humanity itself! For the politicians it is power and money, for the pseudo-scientist it is more about grant money, but they enjoy the modicum of power that the politicians and bureaucrats are willing to give them to achieve their agenda. What is that agenda? In my opinion for the progressive it is global rule on the line of the EU model, why rule rather than governance? Because they view the masses as herds, not as individuals, “they” are more qualified to make the important decisions than the masses are. It is as simple as that!

David S

I think the motive for perpetuating the climate alarmist myth is more simple than money or global socialism. Whilst it may have started conspiratorially by using the UN as a mechanism to implement a global socialist agenda by using many of those original proponents are either dead or irrelevant. The vast majority of beings scientist, media , politicians etc that now perpetuate this myth were at one stage or still are true believers. They believe that everything they do is for the greater good so manipulating data or embellishing and exaggerating climate stories is ok. The consequences of being wrong is that their opinions and research have led to trillions of dollars being wasted on a non problem. Even though there is plenty of things anecdotally that indicate they may be wrong , admitting that they might be wrong is a step to hard.
Humans hate to admit they are wrong in their beliefs especially if the consequences of those beliefs are significant. Rusting desal plants, hideous blighting of the land scape by windmills, destruction of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year. Please don’t tell any compassionate alarmist he is wrong the guilt would be pretty overwhelming. So what is the normal human response…. Put your hands over your ears , double down on the theory and change the name, manipulate the historical data so it looks right and hope and pray that it really does start warming ( or the climate starts changing) in a cataclysmic way.
I believe most alarmists pray not for the riches associated with the global warming industry but for the more frequent death and destruction that Mother Nature brings upon the world year on year so that there may at last be some evidence they are right. Ironically even increased climate events are not proofs that their occurrence is due to CO2.

sarastro92

One thing people do understand is $7 a gallon gasoline prices, power blackouts and 30 cents a kWh for electricity. That’s where the AGW hysterics are most vulnerable. Arguing the science makes most people glaze over… most buy into the catastrophe narrative. It’s only when the reality of blackouts and Carbon Taxes comes up that people wise up really fast.

I attended a lecture on climate change given by a Katharine Hayhoe (Professor, Department of Political Science Director, Climate Science Centre, Texas Tech University and one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people) recently at the Progressive Forum in Houston. She opened with a time-temperature series of the global temperatures to about 2016 at the peak of the El Nino high. According to Hayhoe, (1) the increasing earth temperature was caused by an increase in the concentration of CO2 in the stratosphere that obstructed the normal process by which heat escaped from the earth, and (2) In the absence of the extra CO2 produced during and following the industrial revolution, the unusual increase in earth temperatures would not be happening.
Left out were the facts the rate of increase of the trend of global temperatures has decreased or remained constant since 2000 and may become negative within the next 20 to 30 years, the likelihood that CO2 is not a main driver of earth temperatures, and the fact that all GCMs have overestimated future global temperatures for the last 30 years. These issues were not discussed after the talk because time was not allotted for questions from the audience.
Based on the premise that the global temperature is increasing and will continue to increase into the future, Hayhoe proceeded to assert that rising temperatures will result in extreme rainfall, melting glaciers, draughts, floods, heat waves, more intense hurricanes and rising sea levels with little reference to supporting studies. She ended by advocating a carbon tax, the use of alternate energy sources and reducing the use of fossil fuels for energy to mitigate future hazards. The points from this lecture has been repeated in many of her lectures across the U.S.
The message was simple, unambiguous, delivered in a folksy way and well-received by an audience of mostly seniors. Hayhoe often uses cartoons to explain complex technical issues such as the “greenhouse effect.” The fact that such a presentation does not adequately describe the real world does not seem to matter. Hayhoe might as well have simply asserted increasing CO2 causes warming of the earth without the cartoon, and the audience would have felt equally enlightened. Climate alarmists are good at staying on a simple message. The liberal maxim, the ends justify the means, may be in play here.
In contrast, a snippet from an article that questions the validity of the “greenhouse effect” by Valery P. Oktyabrskiy from the St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics follows.
“The IR absorption spectrum of the water molecule is well-studied [5]. Along with the fundamental frequencies (tones) v1, v2 and v3 (see Table. 1), a series of overtones and combined frequencies is observed not only in the infrared, but also in the visible range (Table 2). For example, it can be seen from Table 2 that the transition from the first overtone band of the symmetric deformation vibration (0, 2, 0) to the combined frequency band (2, 0, 3) corresponds to the change in frequency from 3152 to 17,495 cm–1.”
Hayhoe represented the “greenhouse effect” with a cartoon of a blanket wrapped around the earth. Which explanation would be the most well-received by a general audience? How to deliver a technically correct message to a general audience is another matter.
Climate change realists might do well to take note of how climate change alarmists deliver their message. I suggest that climate realists could improve on communicating the alternative viewpoint on climate science to the public. Do they lack the organization and coordination needed to sustain clear, consistent messages? I suggest the standard talking points of the AGW crowd have to be roundly rebutted and alternatives clearly presented at every public presentation. The audience should leave a presentation with no doubt about where the truth lies. Is this happening? I don’t know.
My two cents worth.