Fix the mistakes that put climate science on a dead end path!

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website.

Summary: Let’s trace the misrepresentation and misuse of RCP8.5 from a new paper back to its earliest days. This shows how a big mistake and a small one combined to put much of climate science on a dead-end road. And how climate scientists’ refusal to recognize these mistakes has kept it on this road. Understanding the past can help climate science become more useful.

Forecasting with models

After three decades, the campaign for public policy action to fight climate change has failed to produce substantial results in the US. With vast investments of work and money, plus support of many powerful institutions, it ranks among the biggest such failures in US history. Let’s trace one reason for its failure, starting with a new paper and looking back through time to the original error. Remember, it is never too late to learn and change course.

William Nordhaus is a professor of economics at Yale and creator of the Dynamic Integrated Climate-Economy model (DICE), one of the most widely cited integrated assessment models providing guidance to policy makers about climate change. His latest paper goes to the heart of climate policy debate.

Global Melting? The Economics of Disintegration of the Greenland Ice Sheet

NBER working paper by William D. Nordhaus, May 2018.

The key message of the paper; red emphasis added.

“Concerns about the impact on large-scale earth systems have taken center stage in the scientific and economic analysis of climate change. The present study analyzes the economic impact of a potential disintegration of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). The method is to combine a small geophysical model of the GIS with the DICE integrated assessment model. The result shows that the GIS is likely to disappear over the next millennium or so without climate policy, but an active climate policy may prevent the GIS from crossing the threshold of irreversibility. …” {Opening of the abstract.}

This is a well-constructed paper. It shares two typical characteristics of its genre. One is fun, the other has had awful effects.

Predictions over absurdly long horizons

“The ice-sheet decline is slow, with a GIS half-life of approximately eight centuries in the baseline path …” {ibid.}

What was high tech 800 years in the past? The wheelbarrow, rudder, and windmill were new inventions. The chimney would soon be invented. The hourglass and paper were a century away. Tech progress was slow. It accelerated in the 12th century, sped up again roughly 300 years ago, and reached incredible rates of progress in the late 19th century. Guessing what will possible even one century in the future is wild speculation.

Also, multi-century predictions of climate change should not be taken seriously. They are far beyond the state of the art.

Misrepresenting the future

“The arrow is the range of model estimates for a high warming scenario (RCP 8.5) from IPCC (2013) p. 1191, and has comparable forcings as the DICE-GIS baseline run.” {ibid.}

RCP8.5 is not just a “high warming scenario” but the worst-case scenario of the four used in AR5, aka IPCC 2013 (details here). As a worst-case scenario should, it assumes ugly changes in important long-term trends – such as tech (from progress to stagnation) and fertility (slow or stopping the decline in emerging nations). Each is unlikely; the combination is very unlikely.

Also, researchers have long questioned if the world has sufficient economically recoverable coal to fuel the 21st century – as RCP8.5 assumes. See two recent papers here (ungated copy here) and here.

If DICE-GIS has similar forcings, it must have similarly improbable assumptions. Therefore, it provides no basis for Nordhaus’ statement that “GIS is likely to disappear over the next millennium or so without climate policy.” He should have said that “under severe but unlikely circumstances, the GIS is likely to disappear over the next millennium.” But what’s the fun in that?

Climate scientists love to write about RCP8.5, from Bloomberg.

Papers using each RCP

Unfortunately, many of these papers misrepresent RCP8.5. Activists trumpet these as predicting certain disaster unless we change our ways. This was the most recent act in the three decades-long campaign using doomster predictions to make the public support policy changes

Two things made this happen. The first was probably a small mistake. The second was a fateful decision by the climate science community.

Climate nightmares

A “business as usual scenario”

One of the earliest papers about RCP8.5 was “RCP 8.5 – A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions” by Keywan Riahi (2011). They describe it as…

“The RCP8.5 combines assumptions about high population and relatively slow income growth with modest rates of technological change and energy intensity improvements, leading in the long term to high energy demand and GHG emissions in absence of climate change policies.”

In the text they gave an additional description.

“RCP8.5 depicts thus a relatively conservative business as usual case …”

This is, of course, correct. It is conservative from a risk management perspective – assuming the worst outcome. It is “business as usual” in the sense of assuming no change in climate-related public policy. It does not assume continuation of our world as it is; it assumes radical changes. The authors use these two terms in complementary fashion: trends change but public policy does not. An awful but unlikely scenario.

But many climate scientists interpreted these terms in the opposite way: that RCP8.5 assumes continuation of current trends (business as usual) but no change in policy. That makes the awful results of RCP8.5 quite terrifying. In a variant of Gresham’s Law, the papers misrepresenting RCP8.5 – with their vivid if exaggerated warnings – drove out the more sedate ones that correctly described it.

But climate scientists made a far larger mistake when designing the RCPs. They designed no RCP representing a “business as usual” scenario: the future if current trends (the exogenous variables, such as tech and population fertility) continue on their long-term path. That would provide the logical starting point for analysis by policy makers and the public, bracketed by more and less optimistic scenarios. This failure has distorted the climate policy debate since 2011, and does so to this day.

The worst mistake

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”

— From Narcotics Anonymous (1981).

Mistakes and oversights become visible in hindsight. That is life, especially on the intellectual frontiers. History is shaped by how people respond after they become visible. During the past four years, many people pointed out the misrepresentations of RCP8.5 and the lack of a realistic “business as usual” scenario. They were ignored by the climate science community. Instead they have churned out scores, perhaps hundreds, of papers describing the terrifying future of RCP8.5. Many misrepresent the scenario; few put it in its actual context (examples here).

This seemed to work. Journalists loved these exciting papers. Climate scientists describing the most cataclysmic future had career success and fame (even if just their 15 minutes) before the prediction of doom arrived).

Activists took these papers and exaggerated them. Climate scientists, so active in fighting “deniers” (rightly so for the real deniers), seldom spoke out against activists misusing their work. The line between the two groups blurred, as they formed a marriage of convenience.

But since the 1960s, the American public has been bombarded with predictions of doom by activists seeking policy actions. The Boomers grew up amidst these. We have lived to see most proven wrong. They have become entertainment, scary headlines that do not affect behavior.

The bottom line

“Not long after civilization fails — and certainly by mid-2026 — the planet will harbor no humans.”

— From a post by Guy McPherson (Prof Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology, U AZ), February 2017. He is the author of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind (2014). He predicted in 2017 that our species will be extinct by 2026.

What impact has three decades of doomster predictions about climate change had on the US public? In March 2018 the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication asked registered voters about their beliefs concerning climate change. See the full report, and especially the section asking about global warming and their intentions for the 2018 election. Only 38% of registered voters (38%) said it will be very important to their vote. Among liberal Democrats, 69% said global warming will be a very important issue.

Even more important is how voters ranked the many issues. Registered voters ranged global warming as 15th in importance among the 28 issues listed. It was only the ninth most important for all Democrats. Even for liberal Democrats it was only the fourth most important issue – probably “below the fold” (i.e., not affecting their vote).

The Future

Success requires learning from past mistakes. Failure is the usual result of political movements because people are seldom willing to do so. As Max Planck, the great physicist said…

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

For More Information

For more useful information than Nordhaus’ speculation, see “The effect of a Holocene climatic optimum on the evolution of the Greenland ice sheet during the last 10 kyr” by Lisbeth Nielsen et al. in the Journal of Glaciology, in press. You might be surprised at the news. Hat tip to Anthony Watts.

For more information see The keys to understanding climate change, all posts about coal, about the RCPs, and especially these …

  1. About RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions.
  3. Good news for the New Year! Salon explains that the global climate emergency is over.
  4. Good news! Coal bankruptcies point to a better future for our climate.
  5. Good news from America about climate change, leading the way to success.
  6. Stratfor gives us good news, showing when renewables will replace fossil fuels.
  7. Focusing on worst case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  8. Updating the RCPs: The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen.
  9. Roger Pielke Jr.: the politics of unlikely climate scenarios.
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61 thoughts on “Fix the mistakes that put climate science on a dead end path!

  1. Abandoning the ship would do more good. They’ve totaled it. It is FUBAR – nothing to fix.

  2. FM is an interesting case, to be read with great caution and attention. In the present case, notice the final para:

    Success requires learning from past mistakes. Failure is the usual result of political movements because people are seldom willing to do so.

    The post neatly slides past the main point. What would success look like to LK? Would it be more enthusiasm among the public for AGW and its supposed remedies? Its carefully obscure, as usual with the FM posts.

    Read FM on gender, or on unions, or almost any policy topic, and you’ll find the same approach. A piece that appears to be critical, but when it comes to the crunch part, it will slip away from taking any position. It gives the illusion of radical rebuttal to some particular liberal view, but never actually delivers it. The current situation on gender relations and the position of women, for instance, is strongly criticised. The implication most readers would draw is that LK would like to see them rolled back. But when commenters suggest that, the reaction is indignation and denial.

    But what does he think the solution is? Ah, now you are asking…

    The problem which the present post fails to confront is not to do with the way the message has been put to the public. Its that the message is fundamentally false, and not just in detail. Its not simply that RCP 8.5 is not the right RCP or has defects or has been misused.

    Its that the underlying premise, that CO2 is the climate control knob, is false. What one needs from LK is a clear statement of where he stands on the issue. How much warming, what measures are appropriate in response. You will not get it.

    Watts readers will read this and think, yes, he is a skeptic. But he is not, if you read carefully. Read carefully and you will see that you do not know.

    That, one suspects, is very deliberate. The question is, why.

    • It’s that the underlying premise, that CO2 is the climate control knob, is false.

      I think this is a tiresome opinion. CO2 is not “the knob”, but is the knob that is of interest in all this (climate change) discussion. If you believe doubling CO2 won’t cause any change, then you are basically in a wrong thread. Kummer is a lukewarmer, that’s no secret. I assume he writes here because he’s willing to write on topics of interest, and writes well. You don’t need to agree on all points to enjoy.

      • If we are interested in ‘things that affect the climate’ rather than ‘the thing that really affects the climate the most’ thenCO2 has to be down there with a gazillion other things like wind farms slowing the winds, solar panels absorbing sunlight, contrails from jets carrying green activists to climate conferences and the like.

        At which point it’s of no interest at all.

      • Although CO2 technically affects the global temperature, it is such a small effect, it is overwhelmed by other (negative) components, such as H2O evaporating and creating clouds, which cools the global temperature.

      • I don’t think that doubling the CO2 will have no effect, but it is far from certain that it will cause warming and certain that the effect will be small compared to other climate variables.

    • Yes Michel – The question is, why.

      Maybe because Larry Kummer is a romantic, not interested in reality or truth but in lies.

      He baths in lies. The Harry Potter of climate change.

    • Michel,

      Excellent analysis. Larry Kummer’s professional background was/is stockbroking. Stockbrokers are professional obfuscators. Their very livelihood requires them to perfect the art of spewing words without actually saying anything. They make you think this stock tip will make you a millionaire, but they never actually promise that.

      Kummer is an expert at this wordy frothing.

      I am an expert on frauds and fraudsters. Every posting by Kummer makes my skin crawl and I hear warning bells.

      He’s obfuscating, and distracting you. His essays have no ultimate point. There’s lots of smoke, but it’s impossible to tell where the fire is, or what the point is.

      Kummer, as you say, pretends to be a skeptic, but the underlying feeling is actually the exact opposite–worship of the UN and the “climate scientists.”

      So, the question is: What is his game? What is he up to?

      Kummer is why I stopped reading Watts regularly. Kummer’s schtick is so obvious and irritating. Don’t know why he continues to be allowed to contribute.

      Stay skeptical! Watch the glib obfuscators!

  3. If you click the white space above where there is no comment you get to the linked page – what is going on.

  4. And how climate scientists’ refusal to recognize these mistakes has kept it on this road.
    And how climate scientists’ refusal to recognize these mistakes has kept it on this road.
    A road which for many as be highly profitable, aloud careers for third rate academics they could otherwise only dream about and given some the keys to power . In many ways climate ‘science’ has been a success beyond its wildest dreams , whole university departments are now based on what hardly existed 20 years ago . But none of those ways are related to good scientific practice or the improvement of the status of science. Indeed, when the house of card comes falling down there is a real danger that in the eyes of public all science will get labelled in the same negative way. And for that those working in science who played ‘three wise monkeys ‘ or worse jumped on the funding gravy train , will be to blame. They passed by and said nothing when they knew lies and BS where being spread , they decided to stick in a ‘climate change ‘ angle to their research where there was no connection .
    The awful behaviour and poor practice of some in climate science , has been mad much worse by those who instead of acting like gatekeepers turned coward or jumped on ‘the cause ‘ to further they own political or professional aims , despite knowing that far from being settled , it was a castle of mud built on quick sand .

    The sad part is we may all end up paying for this , and science in general may be set back years and have to do much hard work to regain public trust .
    So although it can be called a dead-end for some its been a very nice journey indeed.

  5. “This is a well-constructed paper. It shares two typical characteristics of its genre. One is fun…”

    “He should have said that “under severe but unlikely circumstances, the GIS is likely to disappear over the next millennium.” But what’s the fun in that?”

    So trying to influence policy-makers and convince scientists and the public that the GIS is in a course to disappear within the next centuries with grave economical and social consequences unless we change our ways, based on false assumptions and broken models is fun.

    What a seriously distorted and misguided posting.

    • Javier,

      “based on false assumptions and broken models is fun.”

      It is fun for *them*. Which is why there are so many papers doing this.

      “What a seriously distorted and misguided posting.”

      To understand people’s actions, you must look at it from their perspective.

    • Javier, perhaps you missed the sarcasm in the original post. The author was being facetious

  6. For me the mistake that needs to be fixed lies in the definition of Radiative Forcing given by the IPCC which in my view fails to comply with thermodynamic law.
    It was this that triggered my scepticism and am puzzled why no one appears to be worried about it; for it lies at the root of the problem.

  7. Larry Kummer makes always a good reading. So again. Absolutely stunning.

    What is also stunning is such a body of peer reviewed science faithfully reproducing a misunderstanding of some earlier papers, what comes to ‘likelyness’ of Greenland melting! It is, as if there was some bias applied in peer reviews, or that papers with formulations that are easily misunderstood, go through the peer review with waving flags.

    Do we really have painted ourselves into a corner by publish or perish, requirement to get stunning conclusions included, at the price of what appears as a replication crisis?

    Should we return to time, where institutions are not driven by ruler-measured thickness of Nature-published papers, but get money, department by department, by valuation of the work in general? The current policy does not punish from obvious mistakes in the abstract, just awards the author’s group with new funding.

    I’ve been reading a lot of abstracts lately. What is stunning, as well, is how many papers contain fundamental spelling errors on the very basic concept of the topic they handle. Peer-review? Christ, they didn’t even read themselves what they wrote let alone used a spellchecker. And note, I’m not even native speaker, I still note those immediately.

    OT
    Anthony, could you change black font into the comment box? This gray is of very low contrast.

  8. Let’s get real here. Based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is really zero. The AGW conjecture is based on a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. Such a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed anywhere in the solar system including the Earth. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence that AGW conjecture is science fiction. If the future is anything like the past then the current interglacial period will gradually transition into the next ice age but it may take thousands of years for that to happen. The next ice age will cause ice caps to enlarge and ice sheets to form as they have in the past and sea levels will decrease. HIgher levels of CO2 caused by the recycling of fossil fuels should allow plant growth to flourish even as temperatures decrease. The big question is what will we do when the fossil fuel runs out?

    • Gas below the Gulf of Mexico alone can provide up to 500 years of energy for all of North America. And per the US govt. there is more oil underneath Colorado than there is in Saudi Arabia. Plus at some point, the Livermore Lab in CA will come through with fusion.

      • John, you said, “Plus at some point, the Livermore Lab in CA will come through with fusion.” I do hope that you are right. However, on what do you base such optimism? It sounds to me like wishful thinking born of an unwarranted trust in the ability of technology to solve all problems in a timely manner.

        • We really don’t need fusion, it’s still pie in the sky. What we need is A well engineered numbers of modular liquid metal or liquid salt fast breeder reactors. Nearly unlimited fuel supply, relatively safe against hijacking, and minimal risk of any explosion hazards involving the nuclear materials.

          Perhaps we also need a fair supply of government propaganda to counteract the decades of green propaganda tarring any kind of nuclear reactor.

          • Phil
            One day the world might become stable and peaceful. Until then nuclear power plants would be a big target for military attacks, one of the first objectives is to knock out the power grid. Is there a scientist here that has a model for a bunker buster missile strike on a nuclear power plant?

      • .John: “…..Plus at some point, the Livermore Lab in CA will come through with fusion…”
        I’ve stopped holding my breath! I remember the ZETA fusion project in the 1950’s when unlimited clean fusion power was 20-30 years away!

  9. “We have lived to see most proven wrong….”

    Serious question, what are the some that were proven right?

    • None have been proven right. Just not yet wrong.

      It’s a massive game of whack-a-mole. Each time some climate ‘scientist’ make a claim, some real scientist needs to stop doing real research and write a paper explaining just how lame the latest wild claims were. If the public wasn’t funding the whole thing with hundreds of billions of dollars, it would be hilarious.

    • Doug,

      “what are the some that were proven right?”

      Some are still on track to be right, so they have not been proven wrong. For example …

      * The world’s population is on track to hit 10-12 billion, and that might be pretty awful.

      * The seas are in terrible shape, and getting worse. Pollution (of many kinds), overfishing, etc.

  10. Perhaps the questions that should be asked are: How cold is the centre of the Greenland massif, and why it it so cold?

    The answer to the first question is given by Wikipaedia: “On the ice sheet, temperatures are generally substantially lower than elsewhere in Greenland. The lowest mean annual temperatures, about −31 °C (−24 °F), occur on the north-central part of the north dome, and temperatures at the crest of the south dome are about −20 °C (−4 °F).”

    The answer to the second question is also given by Wikipaedia: “The ice surface reaches its greatest altitude on two north-south elongated domes, or ridges. The southern dome reaches almost 3,000 metres (10,000 ft) at latitudes 63°–65°N; the northern dome reaches about 3,290 metres (10,800 ft) at about latitude 72°N (the fourth highest “summit” of Greenland).”

    So, the interior of Greenland is horribly cold, and it is high. This means that you are going to raise the temperature of Greenland a lot in the summer to get the surface ice to melt in substantial amounts, certainly it has to be more than the amount of new snow deposited every year.

    As the oldest ice/snow on Greenland is reputed to be 1 000 000 years old, having survived many warm periods since, one can say that there is a fair chance that the ice on Greenland will last another 1 000 000 years even if climate change keeps going as it has in the last 15 or so years.

    Quotations from :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet

    • And something that isn’t commonly appreciated, is that the weight of the ice has depressed the bedrock of the interior and disrupted the drainage network that existed prior to the growth of the continental glacier. That means, should the ice ever melt, the impact on ocean levels will be less than is commonly calculated because a large lake will exist in the interior until isostatic rebound empties the lake. That is, even in the worst-case temperature scenario, the impact on the oceans will be stretched out thousands of additional years. What will humanity be capable of during those intervening eons?

    • Greenland started melting 8000 years ago and by 5000 years ago it had lost 20% of it’s ice/snow. Temperatures were 3-5C warmer than today. That is the high end of the catastrophic IPCC computer model predictions. Then Greenland started to get colder again. So even if our 2100 year temp would be 5C higher, Greenland would take well over 10000 years to completely melt away. If the arctic ocean completely melted the sea level would not rise because the ice is sitting on the ocean. If all 200000 glaciers in the world melted sea level would go up only 400mm. And Antartica is gaining ice and 10 of the 13 temperature stations there have shown no warming for the past 60 years. An engineer on this site calculated that it would take 105000 years to melt all the ice in Antartica, even if you had all the worlds blow torches purposefully trying to melt it. Folks Antarctica WILL NOT BE MELTING ANY TIME SOON. So what in the hell are we worried about?

  11. Larry,

    If they fix the mustakes… they will be out of work and forced to get real jobs… 😉

    • Larry makes a good point .
      Here’s another question. How many people come out of universities each year and how many jobs are there for those leaving ? They don’t come out any smarter just good at parroting what their been brainwashed with “propaganda”. The way to control the future is to control knowledge. In the right hands global governance is the way to go and in the wrong hands we get what were getting right now. Every body knows that wealth is power and the way to abuse the power of money is not to use your money to create change but to sit on a board of directors and create change from within. It’s all part of the Rockefellers hand book.
      http://educate-yourself.org/ga/RFcontents.shtml

  12. “Also, multi-century predictions of climate change should not be taken seriously. They are far beyond the state of the art.”
    — Predicting temperature trends over 1,000-year time-frames doesn’t seem that hard to me. Throw in a few hundred years of additional warming, another little ice age, then another warming cycle and you’re done. You don’t even need to know anything about CO2 emissions.

  13. Why skeptics will lose the US climate policy debate
    by Larry Kumer, Fabius Maximus website, March 2016

    Forecast: Clinton will crush Trump in November
    Larry Kumer, Fabius Maxis website, March 2016

    The five reasons Trump will lose in November
    Larry Kummer, Medium.com, June 2016

    “Clinton’s probable win (in March I predicted a landslide) [gives] Lehane and his fellow activists a second chance.”
    Larry Kumer, Leaked Clinton campaign memo on ‘climate change’ shows it’s really about politics, not science – WUWT, October 2016

    ============
    Fix the mistakes that put climate science on a dead end path!
    Larry Kumer
    June 2018
    […]
    “After three decades, the campaign for public policy action to fight climate change has failed to produce substantial results in the US.
    With vast investments of work and money, plus support of many powerful institutions, it [the campaign for policy] ranks among the biggest such failures in US history.
    Let’s trace one reason for its failure, starting with a new paper and looking back through time to the original error. Remember, it is never too late to learn and change course.
    =============

    It looks like skeptics have won the policy debate, at least for the time being.
    But Larry, who spends a lot more time talking about policy rather than science, refers to the situation not only as if it were a tremendous and expensive failure, but an error requiring a corrective strategy.

    (edited to close a stray italic – woo hoo!)

    • Khwarizmi,

      While it is nice to have a dedicated reader, you have to read more than the headline.

      (1) We (me, my coauthors, & guest authors) make predictions to give readers clear scenarios of the future, not the usual “if this or if that.” Of course many or most will be proven wrong.

      But our record is pretty good. See the lists of our “hits” and “fails.”

      https://fabiusmaximus.com/future/predictions/

      https://fabiusmaximus.com/future/smackdowns/

      (2) The FM website is about geopolitics. So I discuss climate policy, not climate science (that is, climate science is an input to the discussion – not its subject).

      (3) Election predictions are like picking horses. It’s a fun and popular subject, but not to be taken too seriously (comments show that our other readers understand this). Also, Clinton won by almost 3 million votes (2.1%) – so that was pretty good, as predictions go.

      (4) Important – the climate policy debate is NOT over. I suggest you read the post to learn why.

      https://fabiusmaximus.com/2016/03/21/skeptics-willl-lose-the-climate-policy-debate-95155/

      (5) “but an error requiring a corrective strategy.”

      Let’s look at the summary:

      “This shows how a big mistake and a small one combined to put much of climate science on a dead-end road. …Understanding the past can help climate science become more useful.”

      We need science. A major field such as climate science going dysfunctional is a problem and needs a corrective strategy.

      • “Also, Clinton won by almost 3 million votes (2.1%)…”

        Wrong – she didn’t win anything. There is no such thing as the “Popular-Vote President” in the US system, and no “popular vote prize.”

        “We need science. A major field such as climate science going dysfunctional is a problem and needs a corrective strategy.”

        Climate science–real climate science–is neither a major field, nor an important one, for we cannot change climate. Meteorology serves our needs more than well enough. Real climate science needs no major funding or promotion, no dedicated journalists writing about it, and no teams of psychoanalysts to defame skeptics.

        On the other hand, carbon-forced climatology is not a branch of science, does not resemble science, and exists only as a political weapon to bludgeon the peasants into submitting to a future of expensive energy that will literally disempower the poor, as it is already doing here in energy-rich Australia with the most expensive prices on the planet.

        The best thing that could happen to the carbon-forced cult would be a Heaven’s Gate scenario, or at least the financial equivalent.

        Let’s put an end to it.

      • Your article said that the climate scientists should fix the computer models to make them right. That statement is laughable and shows that you have no understanding of the problem.

        • Here are the 22 major and fundamental problems with computer climate models which i doubt any of them will be fixed. Some are fixable but most are not and the IPCC and climate modelers aren’t listening anyway. Credit is due to CO2isnotevil and Dr Essex for most of these.

          1) Closure problem with equations (too many unknowns with not enough equations).
          2) Ambiguous definition of forcing, where 1 W/m^2 of incremental solar input is claimed to
          have the same effect as a 1 W/m^2 decrease in the size of the transparent window.
          3) Assuming linearity between temperature and forcing when their relationship isn’t even
          approximately linearity across the range of T found on the planet.
          4) Assuming the atmosphere exhibits active gain, when the requisite implicit, internal
          and infinite source of Joules to power the gain does not exist (the Sun is the forcing input
          and not the internal power supply).
          5) Errors 3) and 4) led to misapplying Bode’s feedback analysis to the climate system which
          was the primary theoretical justification for a sensitivity as high as the IPCC required to
          justify its formation and continued existence.
          6) Assuming the normal distribution of sites that’s required to apply homogenization.
          7) Conflating the energy transported by photons with the energy transported by matter
          relative to the radiant balance of the planet.
          8) Accepting a sensitivity that requires 1 W/m^2 of forcing to increase surface emissions by
          4.3 W/m^2 in violation of Conservation of Energy.
          9) Ignoring both the Sun and natural variability as the primary causes of climate change.
          10) The broad application of unsound statistical analysis.
          11)Time averaging of fluid dynamics equations doesnt work correctly
          12) Ensemble averaging is ridiculous
          13) Numerical method will never be as good as solving the partial differentials of Navier Stokes equations but solution impossible
          14) floating point and rounding errors are too large
          15) Representation of infinite process is necessarily cut short and doesnt represent reality
          16) Errors are not random(ex: fake clouds) grid resolution only to 1.5km
          17) Actual greenhouse effect is a fallacy
          18) Water cannot be modeled unless you model it down to a raindrop
          19) There is non exixtent long term variability because otherwise the simulation would become chaotic so the model has to be tuned to flatten the variability
          20) Not enough time to run long term calculations terefore a fake method is used to speed it up
          21) Models are not empirical. They dont have all the earth’s data inputted.
          22) Averaging of field commodities doesn’t make sense because temperature is a local phenomenon.

  14. Kummer’s essay seems to be another, “why the public ain’t buying the orthodoxy we have been selling for thirty years” paper and what we “elitist” did wrong. He comes close to getting it right when he discusses how many failed doom and gloom predictions we have lived through since WWII. Yet he still seems to be inferring that the general public is just too stupid to understand, e.g., the Yale poll reference. Appreciate in similar polls 30 years ago, the environment ranked in the top five concerns. Why? Because environmentalists, government and many scientists seem to only be concerned with the really big issues, like global warming, and not the environmental issues that are close at hand and fixable, e.g., excess nutrients in estuaries and lakes.

  15. How many decades
    of wrong average temperature predictions,
    from the climate computer games,
    will be required before people reach
    the obvious conclusion,
    that the future climate can’t be predicted?

  16. The unscientific claims of the RCP scenarios are errors in their own right, but more important are the basic science errors that are enabling this political foolishness. Among them are,

    1) Misinterpreting causality in the ice cores (this is what got the whole mess started).
    2) Ambiguous definition of forcing, where 1 W/m^2 of incremental solar input is claimed to
    have the same effect as a 1 W/m^2 decrease in the size of the transparent window.
    3) Assuming linearity between temperature and forcing when their relationship isn’t even
    approximately linearity across the range of T found on the planet.
    4) Assuming the atmosphere exhibits active gain, when the requisite implicit, internal
    and infinite source of Joules to power the gain does not exist (the Sun is the forcing input
    and not the internal power supply).
    5) Errors 3) and 4) led to misapplying Bode’s feedback analysis to the climate system which
    was the primary theoretical justification for a sensitivity as high as the IPCC required to
    justify its formation and continued existence.
    6) Assuming the normal distribution of sites that’s required to apply homogenization.
    7) Conflating the energy transported by photons with the energy transported by matter
    relative to the radiant balance of the planet.
    8) Accepting a sensitivity that requires 1 W/m^2 of forcing to increase surface emissions by
    4.3 W/m^2 in violation of Conservation of Energy.
    9) Ignoring both the Sun and natural variability as the primary causes of climate change.
    10) The broad application of unsound statistical analysis.

    There are so many more, it’s absolutely absurd that anyone with a brain would buy in all the BS.

  17. The problem with climate science, and the reason why it has accomplished nothing in the last 35 years, is that it’s been taken over by hubristic non-scientists.

    In their hands, climate science is become a critical theory narrative, in which they assume what should be proven and every study is confirmatory.

    It’s a pseudo-science in which the APS has colluded.

    • Pat, Can you add any more to the following list?

      Here are the 22 major and fundamental problems with computer climate models which i doubt any of them will be fixed. Some are fixable but most are not and the IPCC and climate modelers aren’t listening anyway. Credit is due to CO2isnotevil and Dr Essex for most of these.

      1) Closure problem with equations (too many unknowns with not enough equations).
      2) Ambiguous definition of forcing, where 1 W/m^2 of incremental solar input is claimed to
      have the same effect as a 1 W/m^2 decrease in the size of the transparent window.
      3) Assuming linearity between temperature and forcing when their relationship isn’t even
      approximately linearity across the range of T found on the planet.
      4) Assuming the atmosphere exhibits active gain, when the requisite implicit, internal
      and infinite source of Joules to power the gain does not exist (the Sun is the forcing input
      and not the internal power supply).
      5) Errors 3) and 4) led to misapplying Bode’s feedback analysis to the climate system which
      was the primary theoretical justification for a sensitivity as high as the IPCC required to
      justify its formation and continued existence.
      6) Assuming the normal distribution of sites that’s required to apply homogenization.
      7) Conflating the energy transported by photons with the energy transported by matter
      relative to the radiant balance of the planet.
      8) Accepting a sensitivity that requires 1 W/m^2 of forcing to increase surface emissions by
      4.3 W/m^2 in violation of Conservation of Energy.
      9) Ignoring both the Sun and natural variability as the primary causes of climate change.
      10) The broad application of unsound statistical analysis.
      11)Time averaging of fluid dynamics equations doesnt work correctly
      12) Ensemble averaging is ridiculous
      13) Numerical method will never be as good as solving the partial differentials of Navier Stokes equations but solution impossible
      14) floating point and rounding errors are too large
      15) Representation of infinite process is necessarily cut short and doesnt represent reality
      16) Errors are not random(ex: fake clouds) grid resolution only to 1.5km
      17) Actual greenhouse effect is a fallacy
      18) Water cannot be modeled unless you model it down to a raindrop
      19) There is non exixtent long term variability because otherwise the simulation would become chaotic so the model has to be tuned to flatten the variability
      20) Not enough time to run long term calculations terefore a fake method is used to speed it up
      21) Models are not empirical. They dont have all the earth’s data inputted.
      22) Averaging of field commodities doesn’t make sense because temperature is a local phenomenon.

  18. “Not long after civilization fails — and certainly by mid-2026 — the planet will harbor no humans.”
    — From a post by Guy McPherson (Prof Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology, U AZ), February 2017. He is the author of Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind (2014). He predicted in 2017 that our species will be extinct by 2026.

    This Guy is nuts. If anything, we may see a disaster when intermittent green energy schemes cause the failure of a large electrical grid during a cold winter, resulting in a number of deaths.

    The disastrous consequences of radical greens influencing idiot politicians are not new – millions have died from malaria due to the catastrophic ban of DDT – and most of these deaths were children under five.

    Many more souls have died due to global warming alarmism – from increased Excess Winter Mortality and from lack of cheap abundant energy in the developing world.

    Radical greens are the great killers of our age.

    • (there is actually a link there where only an empty space appears of a wft graph of the relationship between the atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rate and the SSTs of the southern ocean)…

  19. The Versailles treaty after WW1 is an example of an international treaty that many nations believed to be unanswerably right but turned out to be a disaster. The Paris climate treaty is another.

    What do they have in common? The US pulled out of both. After WW1 the US, having agreed to it in Nov 1918, did not ratify the Versailles treaty one year later:

    https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/Feature_Homepage_TreatyVersailles.htm

    Though vilified at the time, with hindsight the US exit from Versailles proved to be as wise as Trump’s exit from the Paris climate treaty will also prove to be.

    Both Paris climate and Versailles treaties show the capacity of world powers to get it wrong big time, and the US’s ability to – accidentally or otherwise – get it right.

  20. Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results

    All this hand wringing in this post about how scientists are failing to own up to their mistakes… The biggest (and most ignored) mistake is that the RCP scenerios are myths. The co2 growth rate has been tracking with the temperature of the southern ocean for sixty years now. It doesn’t matter how much co2 we dump into the atmosphere. The growthrate, for whatever reason, is set by temperature. If we’re fortunate enough to see an extended cooling spell over the next several years, then the blindingly obvious will be blindingly obvious to everyone. (yes, even ol’ ferdi admitted that he will then conceed the point) These next few years may hold the key. With cooling will come a paradigm shift. A shift that will (hopefully) be trumpeted right here at the new new watts up with that

    (this comment was intended to go as a reply with the wood for trees graph above, but didn’t quite get there… ☺)

  21. RCP8.5 is a “what if” scenario based on a flawed analysis. The scenario assumes a long-term warming trend and then considers what actions should be taken to mitigate the warming. Unfortunately, that assumption does not address the fact that probability distributions have two tails. The small probability of environmental issues caused by a warming earth is no greater than the small probability of environmental issues caused by a cooling earth. Policies appropriate for the warming case would be diametrically opposite to those appropriate for the cooling case. Under this reality, regulations promulgated that do not consider both possible outcomes logically would make no sense whatsoever. The damage that would be done by acting based on the wrong premise, a warming planet or a cooling planet, nullifies arguments for any action until the scope of the threat has been sufficiently narrowed.

    The U.S. is on the verge of running off a cliff without a drastic change in the direction of climate research and environmental policies. Climate research should completely retooled to get back on the track before trillions more of taxpayer dollars go down a rabbit hole.

  22. The Greenland Ice Sheet is not going to disappear in 1000 years.

    Its southern dome got perhaps 25% smaller than now during the previous Eemian interglacial, even though that warm interval was much hotter and lasted thousands of years longer than the Holocene to date. The northern dome apparently wasn’t affected at all.

  23. Worrisome to me is the Max Planck quote “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
    Most young people that I know have been indoctrinated by Al Gore movie and “expert” textbooks.

  24. While ever there’s ice on the ground or oceans , aren’t we still coming out of a ice age? and isn’t warming the process that melts ice ? What happens when a hot interior (Earths 6000C core) radiates into freezing air? Were all seen hot coffee thrown into freezing cold air. Isn’t cold space constantly rushing in on the night side and the poles trying to create equilibrium in temps . They call this process magnetic reconnection and one thing we know about magnetics is that opposites attract .

  25. One minor nit to pick:

    What was high tech 800 years in the past? The wheelbarrow, rudder, and windmill were new inventions. The chimney would soon be invented. The hourglass and paper were a century away.

    The hourglass, 800 years ago, was already about 800 years old. It may not have been common in Europe until the Middle Ages but Europe, then, was hardly more than an intellectual back water and a retarded one at that.

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