Pielke’s retort to AP’s Seth Borenstein: “how climate change is making us dumb”

Yesterday, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. responded to Seth Borenstein’s Tweet about his article in the Associated Press on the upcoming 30 year anniversary of Dr. James Hansen’s Climate Predictions from 1988. Borensteins title was: ”

Warned 30 years ago, global warming ‘is in our living room’

Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. But the change has been so sweeping that it is easy to lose sight of effects large and small — some obvious, others less conspicuous.

Pielkes retort: “…how climate change is making us dumb”. Here is the series from Pielke’s Twitter feed:

Pielke’s paper: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-17-0184.1

Pielke adds:


Today, Seth Borenstein is likely to have another episode of “dumb and dumber”, stay tuned.


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R. Shearer
June 19, 2018 7:10 am

Seth Borenstein has doubled in thickness (figuratively and literally). What more proof do you want?

Brian R
Reply to  R. Shearer
June 19, 2018 10:17 am

It started with his head.

June 19, 2018 7:13 am

“Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right. ”

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Reply to  David Middleton
June 19, 2018 8:29 am

oh stop it….don’t you know by now that little El Nino tic on the end proves them right?

Reply to  Latitude
June 19, 2018 8:48 am

There are actually people that stupid… And they regularly share their stupidity with us by claiming that the 2016-2017 El Niño spike demonstrates that the models were right.

Dan Tauke
Reply to  David Middleton
June 19, 2018 9:35 am

Often people use the wide range of scenarios to argue that the “forecasts were right”, but in theory only 1 of those scenarios – at a given time – is the one whose assumptions most closely mirror reality and that scenario is the one that should be used to ascertain the accuracy of the forecast. Which scenario is currently the one whose assumptions are the most accurate? I’m guessing one of the ‘hotter’ scenarios since many others build in various degrees of C02 reduction which are not happening. However, world economies have been relatively low growth and so that may be a C02 sink relative to forecast. In a nutshell, should we be looking at Scenario A, B or C above when determining forecast accuracy?

Pat Frank
Reply to  David Middleton
June 19, 2018 9:38 am

Good call, David.

Jim Hansen’s incompetent testimony was exposed in a WUWT post here.

His 99 % sureness of AGW rested on his use of ±0.13 C, the 1-sigma of his 1951-1980 normal, as though it represented all of the natural global temperature variability.

The fact that there is no physical justification at all for this didn’t seem to bother anyone, including a trained Ph.D. astrophysicist (Hansen himself) or his reviewers.

Jim Hansen imputed physical causality for AGW using model projections of unrevealed, unremarked, and almost certainly uncalculated accuracy.

And they were computed using a model (GISS Model II) that was (and remains) unvetted by any published critical physical analysis.

His testimony was a litany of shame.

Reply to  David Middleton
June 19, 2018 3:39 pm

You can add to it that CO2 equivalents for all ´trace gases´ increased in average by about 1.5 % from 1990 to 2010. Hence, the trace gas growth increased as in Hansen´s business as usual scenario A:

IPCC 2014 Synthesis report Figure SPM.2:
38 Gt/year in 1990
49 Gt/year in 2010

1.5 %/year growth in trace gas growth from1990 would give:
51 Gt/year in 2010.

The predictions by Hansen was presented in his testimony to Congress in 1988. Hansen was Director of Nasa Goddard Institute of Space Studies at the time). His predictions were dead wrong.

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Reply to  Science or Fiction?
June 19, 2018 3:41 pm

*1.5 %/year growth in trace gases from1990 would give:

June 19, 2018 7:14 am

Borenstein assumes one will actually check his assertions?

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 19, 2018 8:57 am

I don’t think he even considers that angle at all since he is not a smart thinker.

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 22, 2018 5:13 am

My weatherbug app is the only way he is exposed to me. I’ve messaged them several times about his nonsense showing up in their newsfeed and haven’t seen his “articles” in a few weeks. Maybe they got the message!

June 19, 2018 7:16 am

My home maintenance and repairr costs have gotten more expensive – must be that old climate change.

Reply to  Steve
June 19, 2018 8:27 am

My gasoline costs spike like crazy when the economy superheats, and everyone is making money. Must be the vast Global Warming conspiracy between oil company executives and the moonbat Global Warmists. They’ve BOTH fleeced the hell out of consumers with this charade

June 19, 2018 7:21 am

Long ago, on an island, two people lived in harmony with nature, both with its beauty and with its harshness. Every so often, a very powerful storm would blow down their straw hut, causing the couple to have to rebuild. This was an inconvenient cost, but an unavoidable cost of living in said paradise.

Sixty years later, the population of paradise had grown significantly, and, along with the number of people, the number of straw huts had increased tremendously too. The straw huts were more opulent and equipped with more ingenious gadgets to make life even more paradise-like. NOW when a storm of the same power hit, MORE straw huts were blown down, and MORE of the implements of paradise were destroyed, simply BECAUSE THERE WAS MORE OF IT.

More people now witnessed the storms. More people now talked about the storms. More people made an effort to focus on the storms and the damage of the storms. Because there were MORE people and MORE observations of MORE property destroyed, people started saying that the storms were worse than ever before. In a way, this was true, because the storms were worse, ONLY because MORE people experienced them, observed them, talked about them.

Moral of the story — More people and more property in paradise makes a storm worse FOR MORE PEOPLE, but the storms themselves are no worse than they ever were.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
June 19, 2018 8:39 am

In fact, aside from Katrina, etc. storm numbers seem to have decreased according to the charts above.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
June 19, 2018 9:26 am

Robert, I’m on one of those rocks out in the ocean
Our hut is strengthened to 200+ mph winds….

Bryan A
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
June 19, 2018 10:04 am

In fact, the worst storm to hit the Caribbean area was the Great Hurricane of 1780 which decimated and/or scrubbed clear a number of islands and killed 24,000 people, a huge portion of those population of the time. A similar storm today, with structures built in the same fashion as 1780 would kill hundreds of thousands.

Walter Sobchak
June 19, 2018 7:29 am

The Borenstein series has been running on the front page of the local fish wrapper for the past two days. I haven’t bothered to read it as I am sure that complete deconstructions will appear here at WWUT in due course.

June 19, 2018 7:33 am

Anyone want to share a joint debunking of Borenstein’s piece — split it up by topic? email me at my first name at i4 decimal net. — Kip

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 19, 2018 7:42 am


Wouldn’t that be a bit unfair… A bunch of us ganging up on poor Seth. A fair fight is about a dozen Seth’s vs one of us… LOL!

Reply to  David Middleton
June 19, 2018 8:30 am

You can’t add 12 dumbs…and get smarter

Reply to  Latitude
June 19, 2018 9:37 am

That’s like expecting 9 ladies to be able to make a baby in one month.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  MarkW
June 19, 2018 11:15 pm

Are you saying I wasted my money?

June 19, 2018 7:35 am

Will the very low temperature of the North Atlantic last until autumn?
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Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ren
June 19, 2018 6:41 pm

No one knows, and it’s off topic.

June 19, 2018 7:41 am

Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other doomsayers were right.

So it’s finally happened?! The West Side Highway is finally underwater?


Reply to  Schitzree
June 19, 2018 8:02 am

Twenty of those years, Hansen and his team were adjusting temperatures to support Hansen’s claims.

June 19, 2018 7:50 am

The climate scare ecosystem depends on continuous public ignorance of publicly-funded research and data programs in satellite measures, ARGO, polar research, and many others. The hockey stick model also mined the public ignorance of data and statistical techniques. The real elephant in the policy room is the ongoing pattern of reliance on proprietary data, biased models, and biased proxy selection. We would not drop our standards of proof for any other ‘fire in the theater’ call from soft sciences on any other issue.

steve case
June 19, 2018 8:09 am

Seth Borenstein tweet says, “…Fires doubled…”

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Bryan A
Reply to  steve case
June 19, 2018 10:07 am

It is worser than we thoughted
Just look at that Doubling of acreage burnt from 1996 to 2008.
What a Blade that increase makes /s

June 19, 2018 8:12 am

I had almost forgot about Hansen’s testimony at the congressional committee with Al Gore chairing stunt in June 1988 with the building air conditioners turned off. Rigged hearing, rigged input data and rigged models and output are what global warming is all about!

Ha ha

Reply to  JBom
June 19, 2018 8:40 am

I wonder if they turned off the heat at Hoaxahagen? ( I have to leave before my private jet gets snowed in )… And did it snow in Morocco just after a climate love fest there? Are the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro gone.. as predicted???

June 19, 2018 8:14 am

This is just the beginning of the end of AGW theory. I predict by 2020 it will be obsolete because the climate has started to cool and is gong to continue as we move forward.

I have said prolonged minimum solar conditions will accomplish this through the lowering of overall sea surface temperatures and increasing the albedo slightly. Overall sea surface temperature now in a down trend for the last year and I expect a slight up tick in albedo moving forward. Result is global cooling.

The solar conditions needed are 10+years of sub solar activity(post 2005) in general, followed by a period of very low average solar parameters(year 2018) .

These two solar conditions coming into being in year 2018.

The climate test is on now in year 2018,not prior to this time when natural variations in the climate such as ENSO, high solar through the end of year 2005, lack of explosive volcanic activity all conspired to push temperatures up overall in a zig zag fashion from 1850-2017. Some periods of down but against a back drop of an upward trend.

AGW theory hi jacked natural climatic variability which was responsible for the slight warming and tried to attribute it to AGW.

When the climatic regime is in the same climatic regime which it was from 1850-2017 changes of +/- 1C are very probable due to ENSO,VOLCANIC ACTIVITY, OCEANIC SHIFTS SUCH AS 1977(THE CLIMATIC SHIFT) but the climate remains in the same regime which is what has taken place from 1850-2017, which is in no way unique. Prior to 1850 the climate was in a different climatic regime but when solar activity picked up that propelled the climate into the regime we have had from 1850-2017.

If this was truly AGW the climate would have gone beyond the climatic regime solar brought us into from 1850-2017. In other words another climatic regime shift would have occurred. This of course has not happened.

When the climate changes it usually changes at the top of the previous climatic regime in the opposite direction which I think is happening now.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
June 19, 2018 8:27 am

I hope you’re right. This is one time in human history where cooling would actually be a good thing – to rid humanity of the CAGW plague once and for all.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2018 11:27 am

I fear you are being too optimistic…if it gets cooler someone will come out with a study proving that cooler weather is consistent with Global Warming Climate Change.

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
June 19, 2018 8:30 am

Reply to  Salvatore Del Prete
June 20, 2018 8:55 pm

I hope you are right… but I fear you are not… they will change their story slightly and say whatever the weather is at that time was exactly what they predicted and things are direr than ever.

June 19, 2018 8:26 am

This obsession with global warming is deeply concerning to me.

Finally, the heat spell in my kingdom broke, and we now have cooler temperatures and some nice, heavy rain (from warm southwestern air meeting colder northern air) and that means I won’t have to water the lawn after all.

If these grant-guzzling egocentric people could spend some time in the real world, they might be as concerned as I am that if the rains don’t come at the right time, there won’t be any food on their plates.

Or maybe I should not worry about it at all? ]

Unfortunately for them, they are going to look as ridiculous down the road, in 30-40-50 years to other people as they look to me now. I hope they all get snowed in for a week this winter… a week with no coffee or donuts or pizza deliveries.

James Beaver
Reply to  Sara
June 19, 2018 10:04 am

They believe food comes from the grocery store, and electricity comes form the wall socket. Farms, trucks, power transmission lines, and power plants are entirely outside of their experience, and so don’t matter.

Reply to  Sara
June 19, 2018 12:17 pm

Hmmm…. very true, James Beaver. The enormous volume of trade in produce between Mexico + South America/Central America and the USA puts fresh food on my table in the winter at a lower cost than it would fetch if it were only available in the spring through fall.
I know this. YOU know this.
But The They don’t know it, and would deny it, and/or blame it on Glowbull Warming instead of labeling correctly as free trade.

Nick Schroeder, BSME, PE
June 19, 2018 8:49 am

Three decades of rancorous handwavium debate over evidence for and the mechanism behind RGHE.

Too bad it’s not real.

The 33 C warmer w/ atmosphere is based on two completely unrelated made up numbers.
Volokin and Kramm clearly conclude that w/o an atmosphere the earth would be much like the moon, hotter not colder.

The up/down/”back” LWIR is a theoretical S-B BB baseline calculation and not real. Contiguous participating media render impossible any BB emission from surface.

Am I wrong?
Better be.
’cause if I’m not wrong decades of research, “evidence,” publications and billions of dollars goes straight in the dumper and an entire global industry is suddenly unemployed.

Too bad they dug such a deep hole, tried to take away their shovels, got 86’d for trying.

June 19, 2018 9:05 am

In the coming months, El Niño should not develop.
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Steve O
June 19, 2018 9:14 am

This just in. Construction has increased the net value of real estate since the year 1900.

June 19, 2018 9:31 am

To commemorate this momentous anniversary and Seth, the Antarctic sea ice coverage measure is moving back up to the long-run average from being slightly below, the AMO continues to cool in that long run cycle turning point, and the Arctic is also moving back to normal temps after a super El Nino in recent years. And this next trillion dollars in breach front building is in difference to you bud.

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2018 10:16 am

This Global Stupid Change has sure got out of hand.

June 19, 2018 10:31 am

And in more news: since 1900, the number of human casualties caused by storms has … greatly decreased. Surely the main metric for sane people. McIntyre’s challenge stands: can the warmists name one bad effect, affecting human beings, of the increase in CO2 or, if they insist (the connection being questionable), the slight increase in temp? One?

June 19, 2018 11:09 am

I guess there is only so much idiocy a sane scientist can take

June 19, 2018 11:42 am

Anytime someone trots out economic damage as evidence of climate change we get a little dumber.

If CAGW were real, they wouldn’t have to resort to fraud to bolster it. Open minded people see through that kind of thing quite easily. Seth, old buddy, it’s not helping your cause.

Reply to  commieBob
June 19, 2018 3:57 pm

” Anytime someone trots out economic damage as evidence of climate change we get a little dumber.
If CAGW were real, they wouldn’t have to resort to fraud to bolster it. ”

Then, too, they conflate “Inflation” with “Cost of Living”; the to are not the same.
Inflation relates to the money supply and in that case has increased 124X (+/-) since 1900.
COL, on the other hand, is a basket of goods, weighted heavily toward consumables.
Food, electronics, clothing, transportation, all change as much due to supply & demand and will be supplemented , or replaced. For example, meat gets expensive due to pressure by Dept of Interior, and people substitute chicken. When PITA pushes those prices up, people substitute pork; when that gets another hippy-dippy push, people substitute Soylent Green…

As for housing and the like (residential and commercial), a house that sold for $8000 in 1950 now can cost (depending on the market it’s in) $280,000. Imagine the relevant cost in typical hurricane zones.

CoL numbers are often bogus as hell, much like GDP/GNP numbers.

Joel Snider
June 19, 2018 12:23 pm

And where oh where would warmists be if they didn’t have the dumb to exploit?

Alan Tomalty
June 19, 2018 1:54 pm

To think Roger Pielke used to be a global warmist until the alarmist crowd got so stupid; that Roger finally came to his senses and became a full fledged skeptic. Gooooooooooo Roger!!!!!!

JRF in Pensacola
June 19, 2018 2:57 pm

Just read this article at FNC and immediately thought that it was the biggest pile of garbage written to date in support of AGW.

Jim F
June 19, 2018 4:03 pm

Can’t believe (sure I can) that Seth is so dumb as to use economic damage as as indicator of the strength of hurricanes. So Seth, if Katrina had hit in, say, 1600 instead 2005 and had caused only a few thousand dollars of damage, would that mean is was therefore a very weak storm? Because that’s the “logic” you’re using.

June 19, 2018 7:17 pm

If not Climate Change, then what? Clearly something is making people dumb.

Reply to  RoHa
June 19, 2018 7:17 pm

Smart phones.

June 19, 2018 7:24 pm

I saw the headline of that story on the front page of my local newspaper and before even looking at the author I blurted out “Seth Bornstein!” almost like an epithet. Why does Seth continue to be employed as a climate writer when he is so obviously bad at reporting on climate science? Talk about fake news, sheesh.

June 19, 2018 10:28 pm

I know that the Atlantic will stay cool until winter.
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June 20, 2018 6:01 am

Vegetation in Siberia has an impact on the level of carbon dioxide.

June 20, 2018 9:32 am

Question about Pelke’s item 3:

“The collective damage done by Atlantic hurricanes in 2017 was well more than half of the entire budget of our Department of Defense, said MIT’s Kerry Emanuel.”

The graph below that comment purports to show Atlantic hurricane damage as a percentage of DoD budget, per year. Why does the graph’s bar for 2017 only rise to about 15% – and does not go above 50% as the MIT professor claimed?

Am I misinterpreting something?

Chuck in Houston
June 20, 2018 10:14 am

This seems appropriate. One of my favorites:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQCU36pkH7c&w=854&h=480%5D

June 27, 2018 8:24 pm

I didn’t know anyone bothered to argue with Borenstein.

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