The Fork in the Climate Road: Eliminate fossil fuels by Monday or “we pass on a dying planet to our children.” An Anthropocene Fairy Tale.

Guest philosophizing by David Middleton

There are three options in tackling climate change. Only one will work

We’re now at a fork in the road: either we cut out fossil fuels completely, or we pass on a dying planet to our children

Mayer Hillman

The world faces a near-impossible decision – one that is already determining the character and quality of the lives of the generations succeeding us.

It is clear from the latest IPCC climate report that the first and only effective course, albeit a deeply unpopular one, would be to stop using any fossil fuels. The second would be to voluntarily minimise their use as much as climate scientists have calculated would deliver some prospect of success. Finally, we can carry on as we are by aiming to meet the growth in demand for activities dependent on fossil fuels, allowing market forces to mitigate the problems that such a course of action generates – and leave it to the next generation to set in train realistic solutions (if that is possible), that the present one has been unable to find.

These are the choices. There are no others. Future generations will judge us on what we choose to do in full knowledge – accessories before the fact – of the devastating consequences of continuing with our energy-profligate lifestyles.

What a legacy we are bequeathing – regions of the world becoming uninhabitable at an accelerating rate, creating potentially millions of ecological refugees; a burgeoning world population, diminishing reserves of finite and other resources, shortages of water and food, calamitous loss of genetic variability, and wars of survival.

[…]

The Grauniad

Basically…

First off… I actually feel guilty about not subscribing to the Grauniad… I have way too much fun ridiculing their idiotic Climatariat propaganda.

Secondly, who in the Hell is Mayer Hillman?  And why in the Hell should anyone care about his opinion… Particularly when he doesn’t know what a “fork in the road” is.

A “fork in the road” does not have “three options.”

Personally, I prefer the philosophy of Yogi Berra to that of Robert Frost. I was also a catcher during part of my “stellar” Little League career.

Mayer Hillman is an architect.  I could end the post right here… But there’s way too much fun to be had with this.   Starting here:

The Roads Not Taken

We can assume the economic “road not taken” by sane human beings will be Mr. Hillman’s preferred road back to the Pleistocene.  So let’s look at some other “roads not taken.”

Back in 1975, our climate thankfully took the high road and opted not to follow the road to “The Ice Age Cometh?”…

According to the Climatariat, the GHG emissions since 1975 saved us from and ice age… Yes, that is a real Science News cover from March 1975. I enlarged the date and improved the resolution. But the cover is real.

While taking the high road, our climate opted not to take Jimbo Hansen’s even higher road to the Eemian/Altithermal…

Scenario C had humans un-discovering fire in 1999.

Our climate has consistently taken the road that avoids all of the really bad models (>95% of the models), and only followed to good models (<5% of the models).

UAH 6.0 vs IPCC TAR (2001)

 

UAH 6.0 vs AR4 (2007)

UAH 6.0 vs IPCC AR5 (2014)

The climate has even been very selective about following the road with only the best of the good models.  UAH 6.0 vs RCP4.5 (a strong mitigation scenario) from Carbon Brief (2017).

It gets even better if the models are initialized earlier…

Models initialized to 1979-1983. (Dr. Roy Spencer)

Even if we used the pause-busting Mears-ized RSS satellite temperature data the “road not taken” is RCP8.5 Nightmare Lane

“Fig. 1.  Global (70S to 80N) Mean TLT Anomaly plotted as a function of time.  The black line is the time series for the  RSS V4.0 MSU/AMSU atmospheric temperature dataset.  The yellow band is the 5% to 95% range of output from CMIP-5 climate simulations.  The mean value of each time series average from 1979-1984 is set to zero so the changes over time can be more easily seen.  Note that after 1998, the observations are likely to be in the lower part of the model distribution, indicating that there is a small discrepancy between the model predictions and the satellite observations.(All time series have been smoothed to remove variability on time scales shorter than 6 months.)” Remote Sensing Systems

95% of the model runs predicted more warming than the RSS data since 1988… And this is the Mears-ized RSS data, the one in which the measurements were influenced to obtain key information (erase the pause and more closely match the surface data).  The RSS model ensemble is historically forced prior to 2004.

Their “small discrepancy” would be abject failure in the oil & gas industry.  And in energy, the “road not taken” has been the Unicorn Expressway…

Fossil Fuels Rule! Renewables Drool!

Wait a second… The energy fork in the road does have three options!

  1. The Fossil Fuel Expressway
  2. The Hydroelectric and Nuclear Service Road
  3. The Unicorn Bicycle Path

So… Maybe Mr. Hillman wasn’t that far off.

Featured Image

 

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75 thoughts on “The Fork in the Climate Road: Eliminate fossil fuels by Monday or “we pass on a dying planet to our children.” An Anthropocene Fairy Tale.

  1. Who are these idiots that talk about fossil fuels…and can’t be bothered to even look and see who’s using them?

    …and then talk about the UN/IPCC report…and not look up what they have caused?

    • They will only be able to judge us if they haven’t staved it death first from the inevitable famines caused by expensive energy.

      On the other hand, the judgement on doomsday heralds is rarely as flattering as he imagines.

  2. The Yogi Berra quote was based on the fact that to get to his house the road forked, but each fork eventually ended up at his house. Hence the directions to avoid confusion…

    • I will worry about future generation as much as past generations worried about me. If you have any generational worry currency to spare, spend it on the present generation. There are plenty of opportunities to do so including the Syrian refugees, the desperate Latinos threatening to “ invade” the U.S. etc.

  3. As always, David, a great debunking of the typical nonsense spewed out by the alarmist press. I suspect there’s no hope of changing the tack of the Grauniad, sadly…………but we might hope that it will do the decent thing and fold in the not-too-distant. The propaganda spouted these days by what was , in the distant past, a respectable-enough newspaper is difficult to read. It has the dubious honour of being even worse than the BBC when it comes to objective reporting on issues related to climate, energy and the environment.

    Keep up the good work, David! Thanks!

  4. regions of the world becoming uninhabitable at an accelerating rate, creating potentially millions of ecological refugees

    Forgive me for asking, but where is the evidence for “ecological refugees”?

    There are lots of refugees fleeing war and corruption but I’m not aware of any fleeing ecological collapse. Indeed, this can’t possibly be supported as NASA tells us even the deserts are greening thanks to increased atmospheric CO2.

    He can’t be meaning severe weather events either as even the IPCC tells us these have nothing to do with climate change, besides, their incidence is falling, not rising.

    Dwindling water supplies? Even that doesn’t make sense because if CO2 is the single most important factor in changing the climate and mankind does succeed in extracting it from the air, and global temperatures fall, then vast areas might find water is a lot more difficult to irrigate with when it’s frozen solid than when it’s running free.

    Nothing ecological I can think of suffers from an increase in global temperatures and increased CO2. Indeed, we might find that billions of acres of land in Canada and Russia are released from perma frost to productive agricultural land. Imagine that, the world wastes some 30% of it’s food production at the moment, but apparently there’s too many people on the planet to feed? I’m not sure how that works.

    • Lawrence Berra is my favorite “philosopher”,
      and was my favorite New York Yankee
      when I was growing up in New York.

      I highly recommend his books,
      especially those written by
      Dave Kaplan.

      Unfortunately, some great Yogi quotes
      were not said by him, or were changed
      by others to be funnier, or were older quotes
      that he just repeated.

      Yogi definitely did not originate the quote
      you like most, and the language
      of that quote is more complex
      than I’d expect from a Yogi original.
      https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/10/20/no-predict/

      You should pick a real Yogi original
      as your new favorite.

      Not only was Yogi a great catcher
      (after the first two years) and a great
      hitter, he was also a great family man,
      and in a good mood much more often
      than most people. I was sad when
      I read of his death in 2015.

      My favorite Yogi quote was his response
      to another quote that was falsely attributed to him,
      at least one that he did not recall saying:

      “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

      • I mostly remember Yogi from when he was the NY Mets’ First Base Coach and then manager after Gil Hodges died. Casey Stengel was another character who was part of the Mets organization back then. In the 1961 expansion draft, the Mets chose 3 catchers among their 15 picks. When asked about this, Casey said, “You have to have a catcher, otherwise you will have a lot of passed balls.” Casey once said this about Yogi, “He’d fall in a sewer and come up with a gold watch.”

        http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quosteng.shtml

        Those were the days!

  5. At least fundamentalist predictors of imminent doom like Harold Camping had the good manners to stop preaching after a few failures. This doomsaying has gone on my whole adult life(and I’m not that young), and the devotees still keep funding it.

    • Tom

      I think it’s because we live in the western world where there are innumerable wealthy, virtue signalling, ideological socialists. In other words, those who preach equality as long as they remain more equal than others. Their weapon of choice is to tell everyone how bad things are in their lives, and how much better it’ll be when everyone is suffering equally, except them.

      Climate change is manna from heaven for them as they can concoct whatever fiction they can dream of to scare people into submission and convince the gullible they will be saved from whatever Nature, and the evil Capitalists can throw at them.

      The difference between socialists and Capitalists? socialists are eternal pessimists and Capitalists are eternal optimists. Everything good on the planet is thanks to imaginative, aspirational Capitalists, and the bad bits are far outweighed by the good bits. socialism has been proven a failure time and time again, with the bad bits far outweighing the good bits. Capitalists make money overtly and rejoice in it; socialists make money covertly, and condemn it. Capitalism is sharing wealth through endeavour, socialism is extracting wealth by compulsion.

      AGW is socialism at work but in over 40 years I have yet to see any meaningful change in developing nations from the money the west has devoted to it.

      And like you, I have seen it all my life and I’m now in my 60’s.

      • The term Capitalism was supposedly coined by Marx to indicate it was the opposite of of socialism. It was meant to be derogatory and it referred to the way free people conduct business, or the natural order of things, in contrast to Marx’s new and enlightened system. Of course, all economic systems have “social” implications. They would be more accurately described as something like “individual free-market economy” vs. “collective rigged-market economy”.

    • Many evangelical Christians are unmoved by the climate disaster narrative. We’ve been embarrassed so many times by people within our own community like Camping that we now tend to be more skeptical about apocalyptic predictions in general.

      • The thing which I keep in mind is that the Temple will need to be rebuilt before the end. When I see construction begin on that I will maybe start to pay attention.

  6. We keep passing their deadlines and they keep moving them back. I wish they’d just go on to the next big thing, climate change was worn thin a long time ago.

  7. How the heck can you have “…a burgeoning world population,” when you have all the other stuff detailed in that same quote below???

    What a legacy we are bequeathing – regions of the world becoming uninhabitable at an accelerating rate, creating potentially millions of ecological refugees; a burgeoning world population, diminishing reserves of finite and other resources, shortages of water and food, calamitous loss of genetic variability, and wars of survival.

  8. Before you take the fork in the road you have to take the Slausen Cutoff. Art Fern fans will know what comes next.

  9. Sure looks like the Grauniad is worried about the upcoming US elections, their tuning fork is at a pitch heading right out of hearing range, hypersonic hysteria.
    The cat can still hear it though – must be a closet Dem.

    • It’s called ‘dog whistle’ politics. Dems always accuse Repubs of it, but usually engage it themselves. They “women’s rights” but their base hears “abortion”.

  10. Everybody bloviates about bad human qualities such as greed, selfishness, impatience, cowardice, and so on. But, over the last thirty years I’ve come to the conclusion that the absolute worst – and never mentioned – quality of all, the worstest of the worst, is the inability to, at least occasionally, experience joy.

    That’s what the climate wars are really all about.

  11. “He studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and practiced as an architect for several years, before seeking a change in direction. He completed a PhD on transport, planning and environmental issues in 1970 at the University of Edinburgh[2], without a scholarship and supporting a young family with his wife Heidi Krott.

    Career
    Established at the PSI, a policy thinktank, Hillman became eclectic contributor to debates on transport, the environment and health.”

    He’s another tinfoil hat thinker as being an actual architect was unfulfilling.

    Basically, he is recycling doom claims from others.

    “A strong proponent of personal carbon trading, he specifically helped develop the concept of personal carbon allowances.

    Hillman has been a lifelong cyclist, arguing against compulsory helmet laws in 1992, and in favour of cycling’s health promotion possibilities in a British Medical Association report in 1992. Hillman has not flown for more than 20 years as part of his commitment to reducing carbon emissions. But he is now scornful of individual action which he describes as “as good as futile”

    Note the claim “scornful of individual action which he describes as “as good as futile”. One notes that he didn’t mind using a bicycle that was mined, refined and constructed using fossil fuels; which helps explain his derision for personal sacrifice; yet he pushed for personal carbon trading.

    That’s the trouble with tinfoil hats, they’re irregular at controlling reception through all of the static.

    “He believes that, “Even if the world went zero-carbon today that would not save us because we’ve gone past the point of no return.” He announced his withdrawal from speaking and writing on climate change and other topics in late 2017, with these statements”

    He couldn’t resist returning to proselytize his doom religion, again. Rehashing the same tired doom scenarios pushed by MSM for the IPCC’s prior SPM. Even as Hillman claims efforts are useless because the world is already doomed.

  12. The elimination of fossil fuels will only happen when/if they run out centuries from now. The advantages of fossil fuels are so superior and in some cases the only answer (ships/airplanes/backup) that they overwhelm today’s wind and solar energy generation. Despite all the braggadocio about eliminating them there isn’t a country that could actually achieve it without chaos….. and they know it.

    • and I do not think we will every actually run out of them because soon it will be possible to grow hydrocarbon fuels very efficiently with algae.ku

  13. From my childhood, we listened to 3 tales- The Emperor’s new clothes; The man, the boy and the donkey ; and the boy who cried wolf. These are never mentioned anymore-it would offend the PC virtue signaliers brigade.
    They are not just fables for kids- they are cautionary tales that are a warning about this ultimately society destroying mass hysteria. Kids are poor at picking lies, but have better BS meters than adults. They have less social inhibitions to call out BS than adults.

    Societies that have fallen for the virtue signalling trap inevitably collapse as they descend in to a spiral of ever more absurd one upmanship on who can think the way they think they should think. All reason goes out the window until that society collapses under the weight of its own stupidity. Collapsed societies are violent in the extreme.

    We laugh at regimes such as East Germany, North Korea,Soviet Union, Cuba and other Socialist regimes that shove BS down the throats of their citizens by implicit and explicit threats for not towing the PC line. Time to look in the mirror and stand up to the lunacy before the tyranny of living under threats from the PC brigade costs us all our freedom.

    Here in Australia, the state of Tasmania has proposed a bill that birth certificates are genderless. All this to appease the 1300 Australians that identified as transgender in the last census. This is one in 20,000 Australians. To appease one in 20,000 to the detriment of the other 19,999 can hardly be regarded as Democracy. Tasmania, with a population of just over half a million would have a mere 26 transgenders. Dehumanising the rest to appease 26 people who probably don’t really rate it as an issue because the “leaders” think they are supposed to think like that is beyond absurd. It is quite likely that no rational person genuinely believes that birth certificates should be genderless, which begs the question why the issue is even mentioned. The shrill cries to abandon fossil fuels NOW is just as absurd.

    To start, simply do not vote for politicians that tow the PC line. Do not patronise businesses that fall for the PC line. Ridicule the “leaders” that have not been real leaders-just appeasers.

    Above all else, get politically active. We MUST flush the fools out of ruling us before the tyranny of not being able to speak freely (because you might offend someone-boo hoo) totally deprives humanity of freedom of speech and thus our actual freedom.

    • Well said High Treason,
      I can not see how fossil fuel use can be linked to the global birth rate .
      The wealthy countries of the world have low birth rates and if they were not accepting immigrants the population of most developed countries would fall .
      With a phase out of fossil fuels the world population would soon perish from lack of food and in colder climates from cold .
      I farm along side one of New Zealand’s major highways and a few hours observation would soon show any person that without transport of goods to our factories and ports our economy would fail,
      Our government has had a Nuclear moment as they have the support of the Green Party and they have stopped new exploration for oil and gas off the New Zealand coast .
      They now are regretting the hasty decision as if we don’t extract our own oil and gas we will have to import it from elsewhere .
      So many politicians and commentators are ideology driven and have No idea how produce and goods are grown , processed and transported to the supermarkets .
      We currently have a zero carbon lobby in progress and a likely chance that a carbon tax or charge will be imposed to drive up the cost of everything , for no gain and a lot of pain for most of the population.

  14. David,

    Long ago I learned that folks who set up “forced choice” scenarios are trying to
    sell you something you might not otherwise want.

    This applies to hidden biases in political polling questions, budgeting options,
    used cars, architectural decisions and “seeing” into the future.

    Strange game…

  15. Unaccountability and lunatic claims are frivolous goods that come from a wealthy, modern society. But in real terms they are about as important as items in the dollar section of the local ‘party’ store.

  16. All this “future generations will think this…” twaddle never seems to get as far as thinking through even the first implications of the statement.

    There are few places in the world with a visible industrial heritage as long as the UK. When I look at the old abandoned quarries, mill buildings, railways, canals etc, I often see modern leisure facilities, parks, up-graded yuppie flats, cycle paths, and new micro environments for plants and wildlife. Even slag-heaps can be readily transformed with minimal effort and investment when there is a will.

    The legacy I see is that former generations did what they had to do to build the economy and improve their living standards. That is what has left us as wealthy as we are, and able to afford such luxuries as giving more time to improving the environment. I am grateful for the industrial revolution, but some would have us cast it all away in search of some Cider-with-Rosie rural idyll that never existed.

  17. The reality is that, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we are experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. Despite the hype, there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them.

    • There is no reason to “conserve” coal.

      (I don’t think coal conserve would taste very nice at all, not at all like Vegemite)

      Use it as efficiently as possible, yes.

      Limit real pollution from coal, yes, of course.

      But “conserving” it by making it unavailable to people who’s economic progress and prosperity is held back by not using it?? NO WAY

      To turn electricity supply systems into erratic hard to manage, expensive systems reliant on just the “correct” weather for them to deliver and make it hard for poorer people to pay for that electricity??

      … That is just IDIOCY !!

  18. When I come to a fork in the road, I swerve to miss it. Forks are not good on tires. I will conserve my own personal energy use. I will use fossil fuels because of efficiency factors and not believe catastrophe will happen because of it. I will vote next Tuesday for who I believe are not followers of the Cult of Doom and Gloom. My grandchildren will probably thank me.

  19. The Fork in the Climate Road: Eliminate fossil fuels by Monday or “we pass on a dying planet to our children.” An Anthropocene Fairy Tale.

    Good rebuttal.
    Guess we can stick a fork in this one!

  20. Future generations will judge us on what we choose to do in full knowledge – accessories before the fact – of the devastating consequences of continuing with our energy-profligate lifestyles. What a legacy we are bequeathing. ”

    Who’s “we,” Mr. Hillman? Just the West? If it is, “our” curtailing the use of fossil fuels won’t stop the catastrophe. If it isn’t, then why are you preaching to us, whose emissions aren’t rising much?

    How do you feel about nuclear power? Have you opposed employing it? If so, then you are the villain.

  21. I know Mayer Hillman personally. He used to be my neighbour.
    He’s a hard-left socialist who lives on a street in Hampstead. It is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in London. His house (which is lovely – I’ve been in it) must be worth at least £2 million. He’s yet another one of the wealthy armchair socialists telling the poor people how they should live.
    I’ve watched him talk of a personal carbon allowance. It is a frightening concept – controlling how others live and attempting to restrict their lifestyles. To me, that smacks of Communism.
    However, I can report that whenever he mentioned CAGW at local residents association meetings, the other attendees would just groan. No one else cared, I’m happy to say.

  22. Ah, April 1st comes early!

    So by Monday morning we’re all supposed to drain the gas tanks of our automobiles and disconnect the gas line that fuels our furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves? (Don’t worry about shutting off the elrctrivity because all the utilities that burn fossil fuels will have already shut down so there won’t be any electricity to shut off!)

    Honestly, I have far better things to do such as watch another Trump rally, anticipate more economic growth, and prepare for a blockbuster holiday season.

    If we all took this bozo’s advice, by Monday most of us would be facing divorce and charges of child abuse. Besides, it would put our civilization in grave danger of annihilation!

    The people who advocate such actions simply can’t be sane!! Criminal insanity describes them much better! They aren’t the least bit sentient!

  23. Once again we are presented with limited,carefully chosen options. Warmists do not seem to see how easily spotted their ‘fale dilemmas’ are.

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