Exaggerated Risk and Urgency Redux

Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen


exaggerate_featuredAs if the latest IPCC 1.5 °-limit report wasn’t alarmist enough,  a mob of 23 authors, including a couple of the usual suspects, double down on it with  a Review Article in Nature Climate Change titled “Broad threat to humanity from cumulative climate hazards intensified by greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Eureka press release was covered here at WUWT in “Greenhouse gasses triggering more changes than we can handle”.

From the title, one would think that it is a review of the literature that found threats to human society being intensified by climate change.

Not so.  This effort searched for papers that found negative effects on humanity from weather events and then compared these as they would or could possibly be intensified in all of the possible imaginary future scenarios of climate change in IPCC literature.

Really — they searched the literatureto find case examples of climate hazards impacting human systems.” (When they say climate, they mean the usual,  average weather of a location.)

Here’s the method:

“A systematic review of observed impacts was conducted by creating a table in which ten climate hazards (warming, precipitation, floods, drought, heatwaves, fires, sea level, storms, changes in natural land cover and ocean chemistry) were listed in columns and six aspects of human systems (health, food, water, infrastructure, economy and security) were listed in rows.”

“This table was used as a guide for all possible combinations of keywords to search for publications reporting the impacts of climate hazards on key aspects of human life.”

It comes as no surprise to anyone even vaguely familiar with climate change literature that they were able to find “over 12,000 references …, we identified 3,280 relevant papers that were read in full to find case examples of climate hazards impacting human systems.”

It is important to note that they did not make any judgement as to whether “climate hazards” were caused by change of any sort — climate or otherwise.  They just identified climate hazards — well, really weather hazards:  warming, precipitation, floods, drought, heatwaves, fires, sea level, storms, changes in natural land cover and ocean chemistry.  The only ones I see that they left out of the list are “cooling” or “severe winter weather”. Nearly every adverse impact on human systems possible has been blamed on some aspect of weather and/or climate change in the literature over the last 30 years.

They supply this chart, obviously meant to instill fear and panic:


Click HERE for full-sized image.

Among the “intensified hazards” humanity will face (according to their version of IPCC projections) are:

  1. Solastalgia; 2.   Affective Disorder;  3.  Zoonotic Envenoming (which usually refers to snakebite);  4. Toxic chemical exposure;  5.  Addiction;  6. Depressions;  7.  Injuries (in general);  8.  Risk of Accidents;  9.  PTSD;  10.  Prenatal Health (I guess they mean threat to…);  11.  Vector-borne disease;  12 .  Mental Health (magicaly different from #s 2, 5, 6 and 9); 13.  Food Poisoning;  14. Suicide;  15. Death (again, in general, death is a bad thing…must be caused by and will surely be intensified by climate change).

This ridiculous list has worn me out — I’m still in the red section of the chart.  This mob of serious scientists have put together a terrific list and a totally incomprehensible colorful chart — altogether, they “found case examples for 467 interactions or pathways by which humanity has been impacted by climate hazards.”  Who would have known that the weather has that many adverse effects on human systems?

The list is a lot longer than the DailyCaller’s “Global Warming Ate My Homework: 100 Things Blamed on Global Warming “ but very short of John Brignell’s A complete list of things caused by global warming’.

Of course, there is virtually no evidence whatever in the paper that any of the adverse effects have been caused by climate change — just that someone once said in some paper that such-and-such adverse effect on a human system was associated with a weather-related hazard.

They do have some real eye openers (or maybe, better said, eye rollers):  Gender Inequality.  Now, that is obviously a climate hazard — to whom, I have no idea.  How about Military Build-up?  — another sure hazard from the changing climate.  And with military build-up, there will be more Conflict  or maybe the other way around.

Let’s not forget this one, which is obviously endangered by Climate Change:  DemocracyAsk Tim Ball if democracy is endangered by Climate Change — he has a lot to say about it — of course, he means democracy is endangered by the UN-led Climate Change Consensus political movement.  Social Order is on the list of things threatened.  Tim Ball would again agree, as he points out the political leaders of the Climate Consensus repeatedly call for a total overhaul of the social order  to eliminate capitalism, democracy and replace these with  their own odd version of equality, social justice and ultimately to redistribute world wealth — all under their own “enlightened” direction, of course.

Favorite quotes from the paper illustrating examples of the dire “already happening” climate hazards:

“There were also impacts on hunting, such as warming and melting sea ice in the Arctic shifting the distribution of walrus, leading to the loss of subsistence hunting grounds.” 

 Livestock mortality was associated with warming (for example, the livestock disease bluetongue was positively correlated with increasing temperatures in Europe)”

 “Likewise, floods, heatwaves and intense rain have been related to increases in snake bites due to inhospitable conditions forcing animals to move closer to people.”

Here a good one in which drought and floods apparently conspire:  “Drought was associated with outbreaks of West Nile virus, leishmaniasis and chikungunya virus, and hantavirus when interacting with floods.” 

“…from 1980 to 2014, over 780 events of excess human mortality were reported during heatwaves worldwide, drowning during floods (approximately 3,000 deaths in the 1998 floods in China), starvation during droughts (approximately 800,000 famine deaths attributed to the Ethiopian drought in the 1980s), blunt injury during storms (roughly 140,000 deaths occurred in the 1991 Cyclone Gorky in Bangladesh) and asphyxiation during fires (approximately 173 deaths occurred in the 2009 Australian Black Saturday fire).”

 [As we are talking here at WUWT about fires recently,  let me note that the official cause of the Black Saturday Fires in Australia was “Around midday, as wind speeds were reaching their peak, an incorrectly-rigged SWER line was ripped down at Kilmore East. This sparked a bushfire that would become the deadliest and most intense firestorm ever experienced in Australia’s post-1788 history.“  The same sort of event apparently caused the Camp Fire that incinerated most of Paradise, California.]

 “Direct physical losses occurred due to storms (for example, roughly 35% of bean production was lost to Hurricane Mitch in Honduras in 1998), precipitation (a 10 mm increase in rainfall caused a loss of 0.3 t ha-1 of paddy rice in the Mekong Delta), floods (over 7,600 ha of agricultural land was destroyed by floods in Vietnam in 2009), sea-level rise (agricultural land has been lost to saltwater intrusion in Bangladesh), fires and drought (approximately 33% of grain production was lost to a mixture of fires and drought in Russia in 2010).”

With 30 years for weather history from which to cherry-pick,  the authors managed to find a marvelous selection of bad weather-related things that happened to someone somewhere during that period.  None of the events are claimed to have been caused by climate change. Many of the quotes above are events that were caused by local political and societal forces and choices that have resulted in human disaster.

The purpose of this paper is perfectly clear — they are not doing science — they are doing politics and their conclusion ends not with a scientific assessment but with a demand for policy acceptance and enforcement:

“Overall, our analysis shows that ongoing climate change will pose a heightened threat to humanity that will be greatly aggravated if substantial and timely reductions of GHG emissions are not achieved.”

…and is timed to coincide with the upcoming 24th annual climate circus which is to be held  in Poland in a couple of weeks.

To wrap-up, I quote the late Hans Rosling:

Fear plus Urgency leads to “stupid, drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects.”

And one more, Rosling’s warning to the authors of this paper, who like Al Gore, insist on exaggeration of risk and jumped up false urgency:

Exaggeration once discovered makes people tune out altogether.”

 # # # # #


Author’s  Comment Policy:

This is an Opinion piece.  It is my opinion and not the opinion of Anthony Watts, Charles the Moderator, or anyone else associated with this web site.

It is my carefully-moderated-for-public-consumption opinion.  My raw opinions are a bit stronger.

There will be a lot of nattering in comments from Junior Climate Warriors ™ defending their sacred cows.   While my replies to them are normally as patient as I can make them (sometimes, I admit, they do manage to wear me down and I get a little snippy…), I find them tiresome for the most part.  Somehow they just never seem to get the main point of a column — but try to nibble the author to death over inconsequential details or contested word definitions (see the recent endless silliness over forest fire vs. wildfire vs. WUI fire.)

[A big THANK YOU to all of you who have donated, or even just wanted to donate, to the WUWT Camp Fire Relief Fund.]

Thanks for reading.

# # # # #



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Global Cooling
November 20, 2018 7:22 pm

How far are we from 1.5C target? Why are then not talking about it?

And what difference does it make? What would it be to live 50-200 km nearer the equator? Lawn grows so much that it needs to be cut?

Bryan A
Reply to  Global Cooling
November 20, 2018 7:28 pm

Rainforests migrate Northward, Mexico becomes a lush paradise, U.S. citizens start crossing the border south, Mexico builds a wall.

Ron Richey
Reply to  Bryan A
November 21, 2018 3:36 am


Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Global Cooling
November 20, 2018 7:28 pm

We are at about 1 deg C, if you assign all the post-1950 warming to anthro-CO2.
The alarmists do the double talk of using post-1850 warming temperatures, but then acknowledge that CO2 levels didn’t become sufficient for significant warming until post 1950. Such details are lost on an ignorant society and the Left uses that to their propaganda advantage.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 21, 2018 5:55 am

Joel ==> Right you are, like all “trend lines” or increase/decrease, the crucial factor is where one starts and ends, and why.

The choice of “pre-industrial times” — usually 1850-1890 — is based on anti-human bias and anti-capitalism/corporatism. Industrialization brought mankind our of a state almost too horrible for modern people to understand yet the anti-CO2/anti-industrialization UN IPCC/CAGW crowd wants to return civilization to a pastoral fairyland that never existed.

Even serious climate people do this — instead of calling it “the end of the Little Ice Age” which is correct climatically, they cal it the start of the industrial age.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 21, 2018 12:39 pm

When any non-brainwashed person sees just the 1.5 degree figure, they immediately think “Much ado about nothing.”

But if they yell down a bottomless well really, really LOUD maybe they think someone will listen.
Someone needs to tell them “the train has sailed.”

Reply to  Global Cooling
November 20, 2018 8:30 pm

That’s it. What disaster.
Think of all the added grass clipping.
And we also need more workers that do, what Americans are unwilling to do.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Global Cooling
November 21, 2018 6:53 am

“How far are we from 1.5C target?”

That’s a good question. There has to be a starting point from which we calculate a 1.5C increase but nobody seems to know what that starting point figure is.

We know the upper limit to reach 1.5C must be higher than the highest temperature reached in Feb. 2016, because humanity was not destroyed in Feb. 2016, and since that time the temperatures have cooled approximately 0.6C so we are farther away from the point of destruction now than in 2016.

How much higher we have to get than Feb 2016 to face destruction, I don’t know. Probably at least 0.4C higher than Feb. 2016, would be my guess since 1934 was that much hotter than 2016, and humanity survived that temperature level, too.

How long will it be before global temperatures get as high as they were in Feb. 2016? Currently CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, but the temperatures are cooling. Just the opposite of what the CAGW speculation predicts. It might be a long time before we hit 2016 levels again.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2018 7:07 am

UN insiders have been making a simple case for some years preceding the Paris 2015 accord. IPCC has claimed that in their judgement keeping atmospheric CO2 less than 450 ppm ensures future warming will not exceed 2C. I don’t buy it, but that has been sold to Paris signatories. Now comes increasing the ambition to limit warming to 1.5C, and the same authorities translate that into a limit of 430 ppm of CO2.

So where does that put us on the path:
comment image

The blue line is CO2 in ppm observed at Mauna Loa. The linear regression line shows the continuation of the 1.53 ppm per year rate projected to the end of this century. As noted above the blue line is already exceeding the earlier rate. The orange line shows CO2 hitting 430 ppm in 2032 at the 1.53 rate, or earlier if more recent rates continue. For example, if the 2.14 ppm per year rate continues, 430 ppm is reached by 2028. The red 450 scenario is reached in 2045. Both scenarios presume zero additional CO2 after those dates.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2018 6:02 pm

“How far are we from 1.5C target?”

Let’s ask the Alarmists a straightforward question: How much warmer than February 2016 does the Earth have to get before we reach the 1.5C “danger zone”?

This ought to be an easy figure for the Alarmists to supply to us and then we will know just how far away from disaster we are. What’s the number?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 22, 2018 4:49 am

“What’s the number?”


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 23, 2018 6:35 am

Now wouldn’t you think the Alarmists would have this figure readily available? Shouldn’t they have this number readily available since reaching that number would be a catastrophe for humanity (their claim)? Yet all we get is silence.

This is illustrative of Alarmist climate science: Big on the claims, vague on the details.

If they can’t answer this simple question, then what can they answer?

An article ought to be written asking this question. Let’s see if the Alarmists have an answer.

Reply to  Global Cooling
November 21, 2018 7:03 am

The original claim was that a 2.0C increase since 1850 would take the world into “unknown territory”, since at that point the world would be warmer than the warmest part of the Medieval Warm Period.
Since that wasn’t scary enough, they then started to proclaim that instead of unknown territory, a 2.0C rise would lead to disaster.
Of course explaining why getting warmer than the MWP would be disastrous was never explained.

Then since that wasn’t scaring people enough, they dropped the threshold to 1.5C.
Once again, they never explained why getting as warm as the MWP was supposed to be so bad, especially since the MWP is acknowledged as a good time for man kind.

They also haven’t explained why life didn’t come to an end the dozens of times during the last 10K years the world was much warmer than the MWP.

Joel O'Bryan
November 20, 2018 7:23 pm

Climate Change is indeed the incompetent politician’s ultimate “The Dog Ate My Homework” excuse.

Any public ailment can be blamed on it. And as a veritable “Get out of jail”-Free card for political malfeasance, it comes with its own justification for more taxes, curtailment of liberties, and more government regulations.
And the RentSeek’n pseudoscience academics keep riding the grant gravy train.

What Socialist wouldn’t love Climate Change?

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 21, 2018 2:14 am

Surely the unusual cold, snow, sleet and ice in southern Britain are caused by man-made global warming:


John Bell
Reply to  John Tillman
November 21, 2018 5:43 am

It is well below average cold here in Michigan.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Bell
November 21, 2018 8:10 am

The Weatherman just said on tv that New York City looks like it is going to set a record for the coldest recorded temperature tomorrow on Thanksgiving.

The previous records were: (coldest high) 1817 22F; 1901 26F; and 1882 27F; (coldest low) 1871 15F; 1876,1901 19F; 1905, 1930, 1938, 1972 21F

New York City residents better get those fireplaces going!

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 21, 2018 11:54 am

And the chestnuts ready for roasting! Soon Ol’ Jack Frost will be chomping on their noses.
Not just New York – all New England (at least) is going into a deep freeze.

Reply to  John Bell
November 21, 2018 12:46 pm

John Bell, I was out blowing out my driveway this morning here in da UP and it was 4 F. About 20 degrees below normal highs.

November 20, 2018 7:36 pm

“Broad threat to humanity from cumulative climate hazards intensified by greenhouse gas emissions.”… This is nothing to do with science and everything to do with propaganda and future funding.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  karin-ann tesdorf
November 21, 2018 10:10 am

Yes, the ‘study’ speaks of desperation on the part of the authors to convince the public that AGW is on the same level as a pandemic or world war and has to be met with the same dedication and sacrifice.

Tom Halla
November 20, 2018 7:37 pm

Climate change is such a convenient excuse, as with Jerry Brown blaming the fires on it, rather than the fecklessness of catering to the fantasies of the green NGOs on forest management.

michael hart
November 20, 2018 8:20 pm

What’s with the British/Tudor crown symbol in the headline? I don’t get it.

John V. Wright
Reply to  michael hart
November 20, 2018 10:59 pm

Michael, it’s Kip’s ironic reference to the “Keep calm and carry on” meme which started in the UK during World War 2 as a Government poster to encourage we phlegmatic Brits to be even more phlegmatic. It was always accompanied by a symbol of the Crown. These days it can be found on mugs, tea towels, aprons etc.. not just in Britain but around the world and has been adapted humourosly to suit various purposes “Keep calm and vote Brexit”, “Keep calm and drink more whiskey”, “Keep calm and buy her flowers” etc.

Reply to  John V. Wright
November 21, 2018 6:26 am

John ==> Thank you for filling in the historic context. The meme is so common “over here” that I didn’t feel it needed any explanation.

michael hart
Reply to  John V. Wright
November 21, 2018 5:47 pm

I have to confess, I’m not much wiser. I’m obviously familiar with it having grown up mostly in the UK, but I don’t recall ever coming across its use when I lived in the US in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

Reply to  michael hart
November 22, 2018 12:25 pm

mcichael ==> We see it on t-shirts, mugs, plaques for display – lots of onlne companies offer to make custom items using the meme.

November 20, 2018 8:34 pm

Climate change impacts research is a joke.


Reply to  Chaamjamal
November 21, 2018 6:29 am

Chaamjamal ==> Thanks for the link!

The link in Chaamjamal’s comment leads to a list of climate change impact studies with full cites and their abstracts. Useful.

Reply to  Chaamjamal
November 21, 2018 6:55 am

I wouldn’t rush to judgement as there might be something in it-
“Trends in urban rat ecology: a framework to define the prevailing knowledge gaps and incentives for academia…”

Mike Rosati
November 20, 2018 9:31 pm

Minutiae for fame and $$$. The ones who wail and gnash their teeth live not in humble abodes – like one Albert Gore.
Me thinks he doth protests too much.

November 20, 2018 9:39 pm

The snake-oil method as opposed to the scientific method.

James Clarke
Reply to  warren
November 21, 2018 7:31 am

These Professors are apparently working from the playbook of one ‘Professor Harold Hill’!

“My friends, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of increasing CO2 in your atmosphere! Oh, we got trouble!”

old engineer
Reply to  James Clarke
November 21, 2018 7:12 pm

What a great example of reality imitating art (rather than the other way around)! Just replace Prof. Harold Hill with Prof. M. Mann and “pool” with “climate change” and you have the past 30 years in one song. Can’t you just see Mann dancing around singing “You got trouble, with a capital “T” that rhymes with “C” and stands for Climate Change!”

November 20, 2018 10:12 pm

You would think that after 20 years of this scare story, they would have actual data to show the negative impacts of climate change, and not just model outputs (i.e. activists’ guesses). Show me real data trends and I will pay attention. Sadly I am not their target audience, it’s the willfully ignorant leftist media and their blind followers.

steve case
Reply to  WR2
November 20, 2018 11:35 pm

WR2 November 20, 2018 at 10:12 pm
You would think that after 20 years…

Dr. Hansen’s famous testimony before the United States Congress was in 1988.

But yeah they’ve been going on about this for thirty years and so far tropical cyclones are about the same, the polar bears are still here – maybe even in larger numbers, the number of extreme tornadoes seems to be down. There’s been an uptick in sea the rate of sea level rise but that’s happened before. The fires are more an artifact of poor forest management than anything else.

Kristi Silber
November 20, 2018 10:38 pm

I agree that there appears to be an element of assumption in some of the references in this paper. Natural disasters in themselves cannot be directly attributed to climate change. There must be patterns of change over time for even a bit of supporting evidence – and even that is not always enough.

On the other hand, it is equally presumptuous to assume that none of these events has anything to do with climate change.

I don’t know. Nor does anyone else here.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 20, 2018 10:58 pm

So now you got the basic so go the next steps

You are still going to be hit with natural disasters if you fix climate change or not. No matter what you do with climate policy nothing much will change in 50-100 years even if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow and CAGW theory is spot on. The expected lifespan of most buildings and structures is in the same sort of range 50-100 years.

Now plot your cheapest and best way out and I guarantee you emission control like any prohibition act would be dead last.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  LdB
November 21, 2018 4:30 pm


” No matter what you do with climate policy nothing much will change in 50-100 years even if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow and CAGW theory is spot on. ”

This is your assumption. That’s all it is.

There are plenty of buildings that are over 200 years old, but I don’t really know what your point is.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 22, 2018 9:20 am

Not my word you are calling all the Climate Scientists and commentators on 350.org and Real Climate liars 🙂


knowing that 20% to 30% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for a time ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand years.



What it shows is you are ignorant about Climate Science but feel free to tell us all how it is.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  LdB
November 23, 2018 5:56 pm


Where does it say that a change in climate policy would have no effect on what happens in the coming 50-100 years?

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 22, 2018 9:54 am

Now lets deal with your claim there are plenty of 200+ year buildings.

Lets use New York City as a guide want to guess at the number?
Well lets help you this is the 20 oldest building in NYC

Number 16 was built in 1840 so it is 178 years. So Kristi there are less than 20 buildings in NYC that qualify. Now we need a total so want to guess the total number of houses built between 1718 and 1818 the 100 years before a house just qualifying as 200 years old I will leave you to look it up.

If you want to see what happened to them this will give you a clue

Kristi Silber
Reply to  LdB
November 23, 2018 6:00 pm
Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 20, 2018 11:26 pm

The Victorian fires Kip noted were a stones throw from home and so we took special interest in the analysis of cause and effects that followed.
We can find zero credible evidence that Climate Change, IPCC style, was a factor of significance. Sure, if one wanted to argue that a factor in that tragic event contributed 0.001 percent of the harm, you win but only on a technicality.
Dealing with factors that people can change to reduce future harm, we are back in the real world with concepts like clearing of bush near power lines, reduction of arson, more exit roads from known danger areas and so on – factors that contributed more than 0.001 percent.
I’m happy to answer specific questions.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 21, 2018 1:36 am

Agree. I lived through the Ash Wednesday bushfires in Feb 1983. Same deal. Hot notherly winds brought down power lines. Official cause “Faulty powerlines, arson, and negligence after years of extreme drought” after the 1982-83 Super El Nino.

Note the land area burnt compared to Camp Fire.
“Burned area
2,080 km2 (513,979 acres) in South Australia and 9,954 km2 (2,459,687 acres) in Victoria on one day. “

Reply to  pbweather
November 21, 2018 3:44 am

I was in BOTH states on those days in 83 and 09..and they were foul hot dry and windy days. the sort of days your eyelids feel like your’e standing in front of a hot oven when you go outside
the days ALL rural aussies spend most of the day scanning the skies for smoke puffs and sniffing the air for smoke.
and praying we sense neither.
and praying more for everyones safety when you do see/smell.
Vic wont be good this yr if we get a run of hot ones over 35c again, a lot of 5ft high Phalaris buildup on roadsides from the last 3 good winters is unslashed thanks to the idiot regs not cutting roadside trees back(cant get in/around with machinery to cut em)
lack of burning off as alternative. and obscene regs re removing prickly acacia which burns violently and very hot when green, along with a lot of bracken fern endemic in my area, throw in stringybark with long dangling runners of bark to feed fire right up to crown fast..
if she goes up its going to be nasty.
a few yrs ago a powerline on farm fell over and started what should have been a smallish controllable fire, well until it hit the roadsides I mention
multiple firecrews on it fast and it still burnt out near 10km before they could stop it at a sideroad that acted as a firebreak, yet? they have done NOTHING to stop a repeat incident.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  ozspeaksup
November 21, 2018 7:26 pm


“stringybark with long dangling runners of bark to feed fire right up to crown fast.”

Not sure which stringybark you’re talking about, but some stringybark is a fire adaptation. But from your mention of fern, maybe it’s wet sclerophyll? Those aren’t as fire-tolerant.

“5ft high Phalaris buildup on roadsides from the last 3 good winters is unslashed thanks to the idiot regs not cutting roadside trees back”

Will the roadside trees eventually shade out the Phalaris? Not sure what kind of roads you mean – one-lane dirt tracks, or 2 lane highways.

I took a camping trip from Sydney down to the Vic border once. Gorgeous forests there. Lived in FNQ for a few years, my mom lived in Sydney and Gosford for decades. I miss Australia! Loved it there.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 21, 2018 5:19 pm

Geoff Sherrington,

I lived in Australia on and off for a few years, and know something about fire and forest there. It is quite similar to the ecology of Californian forest. It’s striking how many people here have had experience with dangerous wildfires.

I don’t know what “IPCC style” climate change is.

I certainly don’t think evidence for climate change is “winning” anything. That’s insulting. I don’t want to see AGW; I would be thrilled and relieved if it turned out to be wrong. I hate the whole concept of “winning” so often talked about here, as if it were a game or a battle; it just makes people take sides and fight against each other, and that promotes bias and detracts from reason. Whenever I say something that is different from what people expect from me, there are those who think I’m starting to switch sides.

I think managing wildlands around settlements where fire is a problem is a necessity, along with other aspects of planning and construction. That’s not a controversy. At the same time, to dismiss climate change as a factor in the increased likelihood of disastrous wildfire is not warranted. It’s not just a matter of how dry the vegetation is, but other factors, such as insect outbreaks that are killing vast tracts of forest or particular species within forest (e.g. ash trees). Climate change affects a wide array of biota and ecosystems that in turn affect human well-being (economy, safety, agriculture, fisheries, etc.).

I’m not a hard-liner in terms of policy. I think the approach put forward by the IPCC is wrong. We cannot expect to change so quickly without economic hardship, and we must allow development to proceed. But with planning, technology, lifestyle changes and open minds I believe we can slow climate change with minimal sacrifice – and slowing it is more important than stopping it. It allows people and organisms time to adapt, and that is essential.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 21, 2018 6:39 am

Kristi ==> Much better! And of course you are right. It would have been “equally presumptuous to assume that none of these events has anything to do with climate change.” — which I did not do. The point is that the Mora et al. paper did no assessment of attribution — they just looked for papers that recounted adverse effects from weather/climate — not climate change (which we do not have the scientific ability to discern).

Having found then a list of bad things that could happen due to weather/climate, they pumped up their scenario models to see if suspected weather features would be “worse” in those future scenarios– and since this is a built-in feature of the models, they did.

The proof of the pudding — the evidence that Rosling was right — is that the general public, when polled, lists climate change threat quite low in things they are worried about — despite all the hammering on the subject in the media. Exaggerating threat and urgency leads to people tuning out.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 21, 2018 5:45 pm


It depends on the country polled whether they think climate change is important. A 2017 Pew poll conducted in 38 countries found that among 8 top concerns to national security, “13 countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa, publics identify global climate change as the topmost threat. It is the second-ranked concern in many other countries polled.”


But I think you are right that in some countries, such as America, people are getting tired of hearing about it. But perhaps more important, it’s a very politically partisan issue, and the polls reflect that. I’m guessing people also don’t see how the suggestions of the IPCC could be fulfilled, and therefore become dispirited and apathetic. They also know that many the ridiculous predictions made by that idiot Al Gore have not come to pass, and no longer trust ANY predictions. People like him, and the alamist media, ruin the credibility of climate science.

(I noticed your reference to “silliness.” There would have been no “nibbling” at you if you hadn’t been so insistent about it being a “forest fire” in your attack on the NYT writer, or if you could just admit I had a valid point – I spent hours to be absolutely certain I did before saying anything. It’s not inconsequential when you presume to be fact-checking someone. We are both stubborn!)

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 22, 2018 6:27 am

Kristi=> The silliness began with the NY Times’ Kendra “Gloom is my beat” Pierre-Lewis. I suspect you were suckered into wasting a lot of time trying to “defend” her silly point — and it turned out she was technically wrong in the first place. National Forests are called forests regardless of the differing types of vegetation at various spots — and many contain areas of habitation, little urban pockets, etc. The whole “The President was wrong because he called them a forest fires” meme is just plain idiocy.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 23, 2018 6:17 pm


Obviously this argument is going nowhere.

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 21, 2018 7:07 am

If it’s happened before without climate change, why is it presumptuous to assume that this time doesn’t require climate change either?

Kristi Silber
Reply to  MarkW
November 21, 2018 5:53 pm


“If it’s happened before without climate change, why is it presumptuous to assume that this time doesn’t require climate change either?”

That’s a legitimate question. However, as soon as you take an approach like that, you dismiss all problems and disasters as “just weather” without ever looking for patterns: are the disasters becoming more frequent? Are weather events becoming, on average, more extreme? Do 100-year-floods start happening every 6-10 years?

Assumptions in general should always be questioned. You have assumed you knew things about me that were totally false, for instance.

James Clarke
Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 21, 2018 10:28 am

Kristi, Is it also presumptuous to presume that none of these events has anything to do with Zeus and the gods of Mt. Olympus, space aliens, witches, the Judeo-Christian God, an ancient Egyption curse, numerology gone wild, time travelers from the future or the past, children playing hopscotch in an alternate reality, and so on?

I don’t know. Nor does anyone else here.

Does our ignorance require that we implement policy to cover all of these possibilities? That would be impossible, foolish and insane.

Nature actually dealt with this problem of climate change billions of years ago when it gave life the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment! It did away with the need to control the environment in order to survive. It is not only a quality that enhances survivability, it is a quality that enhances evolution.

There is no doubt that the world is changing. The world has always been changing and always will be changing. We are gloriously equipped to deal with this ever-changing world, and we are completely ill-equipped to stop it from changing. Yet there are many who so misunderstand this basic truth that they are actually proposing that life, after billions of years, can no longer adapt and that we must stop the world from changing, or all die! These people are so out of sync with reality, they are generally very unhappy.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  James Clarke
November 21, 2018 6:20 pm

James Clarke,

“Does our ignorance require that we implement policy to cover all of these possibilities? That would be impossible, foolish and insane.”

Ah, but we are not ignorant! We may not be able to be certain, but we can look at patterns and probabilities. We don’t need to cover all possibilities through policy while still considering what is most likely.

“We are gloriously equipped to deal with this ever-changing world, and we are completely ill-equipped to stop it from changing. ”

We can’t stop the world from changing, but we can decide to stop changing the world deleteriously. We can decide not to pollute our streams with hazardous waste, for example, and actually do so. And we can decide to slow the anthropogenic warming of the planet, and implement measures to do so. I don’t advocate massive, rapid change in energy sources, I advocate planning, efficiency, technology, lifestyle change within reason, and helping developing countries to get the energy they need through sound investments, education, and planning for the long-term. (This is very vague and incomplete; I don’t want to go into specifics here – my point is that economic health is important and I believe lowering CO2 emissions can be done without jeopardizing it.)

Rapid climate change has a far greater cost than slow climate change.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 21, 2018 12:20 pm

Christy What exactly are you scared of?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 21, 2018 12:21 pm

Sorry Kristi . I spelled your name wrong

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 21, 2018 7:00 pm


That’s a very reasonable question!

I’m concerned that rapid climate change will not allow organisms time to adapt, and that ecosystems will become destabilized. I’m concerned that rapid climate change will not allow PEOPLE time to adapt, whether it’s by moving to safer areas, developing new crops, improving infrastructure resilience…and perhaps most important, understanding what’s going on and planning to prevent major problems.

The California wildfires are a case in point. There is much data supporting the idea that fires are becoming larger and more destructive, and that this is exacerbated by increased temperature and drought. Assuming this is a trend, it is essential to have the time to take the steps to adapt to fire as a part of life, through land management, urban planning, construction codes, etc. It’s bound to be a slow process, involving many stakeholders, but it needs to happen to prevent more disasters like the Camp Fire.

Slowing climate change is more important than stopping it. That means reducing CO2 emissions. This is a reasonable goal, if people around the world cooperate in doing so. It doesn’t require use of fossil fuels to end, and I would never advocate that. We have to stop looking at the question in black-and-white, stop seeing climate change as a political fight, stop all the insults and animosity and propaganda that happens on both sides, and start using reason and compromise.

AGW cannot be directly proved through controlled experiments.
There is simply no way to measure ECS precisely. But there is a whole lot of good evidence from theory and observation that increased CO2 is causing increased global temperature, and that it’s coming at a cost that’s likely to outweigh the benefits – more than enough to start really thinking about what we should do about it.

(I loathe alarmism and stupid science like this paper. However, I also recognize that press releases are an awful substitute for reading the scientific literature, something that is not fully appreciated on WUWT.)

Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 22, 2018 12:38 pm

Kristi ==> The full paper is available to those who have access or know how to gain access — the paper itself is every bit as intentionally alarmist as the press release. quotes from the authors ib the press are even worse,

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 23, 2018 6:19 pm


I was speaking generally. I already said this paper looks like stupid science.

michael hart
Reply to  Kristi Silber
November 21, 2018 4:42 pm

Kristi Silber
November 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm

I agree that there appears to be an element of assumption in some of the references in this paper. Natural disasters in themselves cannot be directly attributed to climate change. There must be patterns of change over time for even a bit of supporting evidence – and even that is not always enough.

On the other hand, it is equally presumptuous to assume that none of these events has anything to do with climate change.

I don’t know. Nor does anyone else here.

Kristi, as the great Skeletor once remarked, “I could write a book about what you don’t know”.

Less seriously, don’t fall into the common global-warmer’e trap of thinking that ignorance can actually support your theories.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  michael hart
November 21, 2018 7:05 pm

Michael Hart,

First you’d have to know what I know before writing a book about what I don’t. But heck, volumes could be written about what I don’t know! A whole library! That’s not saying much.

No, ignorance does not support my “theories.” That would be weird. But thanks for your concern.

November 20, 2018 11:03 pm

1.5C is a statistical construct. Practically, i.e. within the capability of a person to do anything about its impact on them, it means nothing.

Reply to  chrisinoz
November 20, 2018 11:49 pm

Was probably 1.51C but they’re trying to frighten us with 1.5C rounding. It won’t work as I’m a patient fellow and I’ll just wait for their tipping point to be moved forward a few years again. Besides I’ve fed all the tipping points into my computer model and it comes up with 5 years on average but near the end of a decade it gets shorter so the model predicts 2020 as their next consensus tipping point.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  observa
November 21, 2018 6:33 am

Its actually only .5c till dantes inferno, we have survived 1c already,………
But now buckle up here comes the pain over the next 30 yrs till we go extinct,………..innit.

Watched a CNN interview with a 104 yr old woman.
She had a drink in her hand.

Interviewer,….. i see you like a drink.

Old dear, ….. yes for 60 yrs now.

Interviwer……. isnt it bad for you.

old dear……. oh thats what 2 of my doctors told me, but i like a couple of drinks, and their both dead now anyway.

John V. Wright
November 20, 2018 11:08 pm

Mods, I posted a response to Michael Hart’s query at 8.20pm but it keeps getting ‘eaten’. Can you find it and place it after his query? Thanks.

Reply to  John V. Wright
November 21, 2018 6:43 am

Michael ==> either the Mod did it or it was just slow — there now this morning.

November 20, 2018 11:29 pm

Speaking of handling changes The Australian reports today-

‘The head of the UN’s environmental body has resigned after an audit found that he had claimed nearly $500,000 in travel expenses in under two years.
Erik Solheim’s frequent flying prompted accusations that he risked damaging the reputation of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), which calls for reductions in emissions to prevent climate change.’

Not a good look as- ‘Mr Solheim previously said that travelling was essential to his job because “making good on our global agenda demands engagement with the world”.’

No doubt the snouts in the trough at the UN would wholeheartedly agree with his jet fuel use and swanning around the globe except that- ‘Some countries were said to have held back funding from the body because they were unhappy with his conduct, risking undermining its finances.’

Can’t have the trough getting empty with ‘reputational risk’ as the audit report put it so sublimely as Erik fell on his sword for the cause.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  observa
November 21, 2018 12:20 am

However, nobody objects to the thousands that fly in to every COP conference? Can’t insult the paying audience, I guess. Solheim is a former left wing politician in Norway, and has made some waves lately as a UN rep. by saying that we should not feel guilty for flying. He says that many environmetalists play on this guilty conscience, but he would rather make air travel more efficient (like not having to circle over Heathrow for a long time before landing, try to sell a new runway to the locals, Erik), and puts his faith in future electric airplanes. One wonders at such an attitude from the UN climate boss, because surely cuts must be made immediately and deeply in order to avoid the disaster? But Erik can wait for electric planes some time in the future.

Link in Norwegian:

More seriously, his demise is probably far more related to attempts to reform the UN system, where critcism is not encouraged.

November 20, 2018 11:50 pm

……..but try to nibble the author to death over inconsequential details or contested word definitions”

Brilliant description………of anyone in particular?

I’m sure we could all proffer some candidates.

Reply to  HotScot
November 21, 2018 6:45 am

Hot ==> I was feeling a little “snippy” when I wrote that.

November 20, 2018 11:58 pm

This makes me wonder, just how long are we going to have to keep debunking this kind of utter nonsense? There is a whole industry churning it out, the supply seems to be inexhaustible. As long as it takes presumably.

Reply to  Stonyground
November 21, 2018 6:23 am

“Intensified hazards” humanity will face will not come from CAGW, but in the form of a creeping international economic order and the elimination of nation states and individual freedoms – the notion that all nations and peoples of the world are to become a single coffee coloured collective and governed by an unelected elite. Climate change is the global menace that ‘they’ will protect us from.

The ongoing PR tsunami will therefore not stop.

Reply to  Stonyground
November 21, 2018 6:50 am

Stony ==> Judith Curry has, in the past, had a lot to say on the subject, and I have posted a couple of Guest Essay’s over there in the past.

It is a perversion of science resulting from a lot of factors — funding bias, the urge/need to do confirmation studies, scientific tribalism, peer pressure and approval for “going along”….. the list is long.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Stonyground
November 21, 2018 8:27 am

“As long as it takes presumably.”

Yes, as long as it takes, Stony.

The Alarmists have a very weak CAGW case and it’s getting weaker (temperatures cooling while CO2 increases), so all they can do is resort to scare tactics to keep themselves in the ballgame. Their attempts to connect CAGW to current weather events is a sign of desperation.

Henning Nielsen
November 21, 2018 12:07 am

“…relevant papers that were read in full…”
It’s worse than we thought!

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Henning Nielsen
November 21, 2018 3:14 pm

There is a HUGE difference between reading a publication and understanding it. Were the readers competent in the latter aspect?

November 21, 2018 12:28 am

The bureaucratic mind doesn’t like change, because any change threatens its’ own existence and importance, especially if it can’t control the change. The entire wagon wheel above is an ideological polemic against change of any kind, even of things which aren’t changing, which they entirely fail to recognize. It’s an attempt to keep even the weather the same, in order to avoid the fear of change.

Reply to  thingadonta
November 21, 2018 6:54 am

thingadonta ==> My favorite was using the term “Zoonotic Envenoming” in the chart to sound “oh so much scarier” than simply using “poisonous snake bite” which is what is used in the paper they refer to.

November 21, 2018 12:28 am

“From the title, one would think that ( IT?) is a review of the literature that found threats to human society being intensified by climate change.”

Great essay Kip.

Reply to  Marcus
November 21, 2018 6:56 am

Marcus ==> Thanks for reading so carefully — appreciate it. Love a Good Reader!

November 21, 2018 12:37 am

Black Saturday Fires in Mel Australia.
Much more CO2 from evil coal.
Every year was meant to be worse.
10 years now and nothing!

Reply to  Warren
November 21, 2018 3:48 am

this summer IF? it manages to get hot(so far not very) but it can change fast, I would’nt be too sure it wont happen again badly. the nth of the state is in a bad way with drought and dry

November 21, 2018 12:42 am

Good Post Kip.
I think this era of climate alarmism will be remembered as the time when humanity lost his collective mind.
Climate alarmism is a bonanza for the “science” community and there’s definitely too much money rolling into this scam ! And this is our money ! This must stop !

Reply to  stephane
November 21, 2018 7:04 am

stephane ==> I tend to agree with you — when the field finally comes to its senses, the excesses will be obvious — but I fear will be explained away as “well,that’s how it looked at the time”.

CliSci practitioners who have committed prosecutable crimes in the name of Climate Science have not only been excused by their peers, but given honors. (Contrast this to: if Schneider inappropriately accidentally touched a female colleague at a drunken faculty New Years Party — he would be fired immediate;ly and vilified).

November 21, 2018 12:46 am

Kip: I would love to read your ‘raw opinions’ 🙂

Reply to  NorwegianSceptic
November 21, 2018 7:06 am

NorwegianSceptic ==> wouldn’t you now…..won’t see them here, I’m afraid :-0

November 21, 2018 12:53 am

The stratospheric polar vortex forms the second center over the northern Hudson Bay.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ren
November 21, 2018 8:40 am

A lot of cold air is being pumped into the northeast US. There will be records set in the next few days.

How long will it sit there in that location? I guess that’s the next thing to look for.

I’m really fascinated by the relationship between the Earth’s magnetic field and its weather systems. Thanks for all this information you provide, ren.

November 21, 2018 1:01 am


With climate change and global warming breasts will get smaller and men will become asexual. More importantly crops will fail or will be eaten by plagues of locust/ants/termites/critters, as mould and bacterial infestation overrun store houses of food. Soya beans will continue to become inedible.
Hotdog sausages will get smaller as will sheep and camels, matzahs will become even less nutritious, while the redheads will fall into fits of depression and people with green eyes will just die-off.
This is what climate change means! An never ending list of scientifically invalid claims. So if you want it to stop pay the UN tax, or the risk and urgency claims will get evermore strident as 2020 approaches (and the evidence of a global cooling become more obvious).

Reply to  tom0mason
November 21, 2018 7:11 am

tom0mason ==> Even worse, the tardigrades will die because of climate change too!

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
November 21, 2018 1:02 am

Instead of giving importance to such trash publications, why the writers should go with presenting historical facts on such issues around the globe. I did this since 1975. I published articles; I published in my Ph.D. Thesis submitted to The Australian National University, Canberra; I presented in my book of 1993 on agroclimate/agrometeorological techniques; I presented in my book of 2008 on climate change: myths & realities; I presented in my book of 2016/17 on climate change and its impacts: ground realities; very recent article “Role of climate change on recent weather disasters [Acta Scientific Agriculture, vol. 2(4): 22-29 (2018)];
on 16th November 2018 presented a talk “Impact of climate change & human interference on water resources availability, organised by American Water Works Association [AWWA], Hyderabad. Also several seminars in the last one and half decades.

Other-wise we are wasting time by highlighting such trash reports/publications.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Reply to  Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
November 21, 2018 8:35 am

Dr. Reddy ==> The reason I write about Mora et al. and not your personal research is that Mora is being splashed all over the front pages of the world’s most influential newspapers in support of AGW hysteria. Not only do the papers fail to critically review the paper, they ramp up the threats and urgency even further.

Perhaps you could submit a response to Nature Climate Change?

November 21, 2018 1:15 am

The next big IPCC meeting Cop24 starts December 3 in Poland. Around this time every year we start to hear more frequent climate scare stories in the run up to these climate summits. They usually release the scariest stories right in the middle of the summit, for the greatest emotional and political effect. And after the summit ends, everything goes quiet for a month or two.

It’s so routine now, its like clockwork.

Reply to  Klem
November 21, 2018 1:22 am

The wave of Arctic air now reaches Europe. The temperature is a few degrees lower than average.

November 21, 2018 1:30 am

Unfortunately, El Niño does not work.

Reply to  ren
November 21, 2018 1:38 am
Peta of Newark
November 21, 2018 1:31 am

Fear plus Urgency leads to “stupid, drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects.

= The perfect description of paranoia
Brought on and exacerbated by the long term use of chemical depressants, notably refined sugar, cooked starch, alcohol and increasingly, cannabis
Trash TV also, plus the increasingly shoddy state of the interweb

And who exactly not only approves of but increasingly mandates their use if not Government and their scientists/advisers?

Exaggeration once discovered makes people tune out altogether

IOW, Don’t exaggerate, it destroys your credibility – the words any and every lawyer will tell their client just before they enter the court-room or witness-stand.
What is truly amazing is that the greatest exaggerations come from the land with the greatest per capita number of lawyers.
Well. I do declare. “Things have never been better”

What I see, and of course their is A Soundtrack to go with it (DYOH), our elders/betters/leaders do actually realise that their (gravy) train is coming off the rails.
What are the doing about it?
Attempting to buy A Stairway To Heaven – using everyone else’s money of course as they are permanently bankrupt, financially as well as morally.

Today’s thought:
A long long time ago but still implanted within us, The Greatest Romantic Gesture/Overture that A Boy could make towards A Girl, would be to offer her a meal of saturated fat.
If The Boy was sustainable with his offers/gestures, The Girl would allow him to be the father of her baby.

Nowadays, The Modern Romantic Gesture/Gift has turned into chocolates, wine and/or flowers.
Of course, Modern Girls feign delight & surprise in the hope that this will encourage The Boy to bring something of real substance at some future time. =Courtship.

But but but, with the possible exception of the flowers, sugar, vegetable fat and alcohol destroy human minds bodies and souls.
Modern Boy is poisoning Modern Girl in his drunken and shoddy attempts to get her to make babies.

Even worse, he then goes on to poison any babies that are made by force feeding them with artificial milk based on carcinogenic vegetable oils
Meanwhile, the mother enjoys the ‘freedom’ to have every penny she earns in her work taken off her to satiate Government Cronies in the Childcare & Financial industries.

I declare again, Things Have Never Been Better.
Wonder what the girls have to say? Do they share this vision?

I think I no

A tiny glimmer, if I were 30 years younger I’d be off to Greenland.

Certainly the bit about the crater is interesting, not a lot we can do about that, but The Really Lovely Bit is the guy in the video near the end.
He’s a bit confused about AGW Climate Change Wotsit but otherwise,
He Knows About Mud And Dirt
and is generally clued up about how plants work.
I like that. We should have a fundraising page for him…….

(Isn’t English a fantastic language)

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 21, 2018 1:42 am

I forgot:
How much of the mud the Video Guy is talking about actually came from windblown dust off existing deserts and modern farmland?
Also soot of course, one of The Best soil conditioners there is although no-one is entirely sure why.

I think soot (and Biochar) work like our appendix does. It is a store, a backup copy if you like, of Good Bacteria. It is a water resistant shelter for them so that in the event of an epic rainstorm that washes away their free-swimming brethren, the ones hiding in the soot and Biochar can quickly recolonise the dirt and keep everything, climate included, on the right track.

Ron Richey
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 21, 2018 3:58 am

Are you related to Steven Mosher in any way?
I’m guessing not because your spelling is really good.
Enjoyed your post. Understood almost all of it.
Ron Richey

PS: My wife went on a shoe buying spree right after I offered here a meal of saturated fat.

November 21, 2018 1:38 am

My eye was caught by “Solastalgia” in the wagon wheel, which I’d never heard of. We’re at risk of Solastalgia? What is this condition? Related perhaps to sunshine…?

From Wiki, if anyone else is in the dark too:

Solastalgia is a neologism that describes a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change. In many cases this is in reference to global climate change, but more localized events such as volcanic eruptions, drought or destructive mining techniques can cause solastalgia as well. Coined by philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003, it was formed by the combination of the Latin words sōlācium (comfort) and the Greek root -algia (pain).

Reply to  Jit
November 21, 2018 7:16 am

Jit ==> Thanks for clearing that up for readers. I did supply a link….I had to look it up myself!

November 21, 2018 2:56 am

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken

Bruce Ploetz
November 21, 2018 3:16 am

Kip, I’m no expert, but aren’t most of these gloom-and-doom papers just follow-on papers that ride on the AGW coat-tails of the IPCC?

Seems like there are a very few papers that actually study climate change, mostly using models, and a huge number of papers that use those same models to predict dire consequences.

It almost seems like the publish-or-perish crowd know that all they have to do is add a frisson of fear to their otherwise mundane publications to make them instant high priority puff pieces in “respected journals”.

Say you’ve done a lot of research on butterfly migration. An interesting subject, but pretty mundane. As an academic it is time to make a splash in hopes of securing a tenured position. With reference to a few models that everyone can access, and a splashy title like “Climate Change Threatens Insect Migration Patterns” your boring paper suddenly jumps into the cool club.

With luck and some very broadly inaccurate summarizations in the NY Times or the Guardian, your fairly pedestrian paper can become a prestige item suitable for fund-raising efforts among the alumni. A situation guaranteed to put one on the short list for glory.

This makes for a high percentage of papers in the literature that have the necessary key words for a terrifying “consensus analysis” but no actual contribution to the march of human knowledge. The consensus is really “If it bleeds it leads”.

Reply to  Bruce Ploetz
November 21, 2018 7:22 am

Bruce Ploetz ==> Judith Curry refers to this type of work as Climate Science Taxonomy as in : “This leaves us with the unnamed 4th quadrant, which is often characterized as ‘taxonomy’, i.e. research that is neither useful nor contributes to fundamental understanding. ” See my essay here.

November 21, 2018 3:26 am

““There were also impacts on hunting, such as warming and melting sea ice in the Arctic shifting the distribution of walrus, leading to the loss of subsistence hunting grounds.”

Then I guess the sea-ice must have been really sensational back in the 18th century when there were walrus on Sable Island:


Walrus are in no way dependent on sea-ice. I’ve personally seen several thousand. One was lying on sea ice.

Reply to  tty
November 21, 2018 7:25 am

tty ==> From my quick survey of the papers’ abstracts that were reviewed, no effort was made to determine if the studies were valid (well designed, well carried out, statistically correct). Usually a Review finds studies on the topic, weeds out the chaff, and then reviews and combines the findings of the good, solid work. Not so this review — it is chaff about chaff.

James Bull
November 21, 2018 3:53 am

“Exaggeration once discovered makes people tune out altogether.”

If They’ve told us once They’ve told us a billion times don’t exaggerate!

That’s my thought on their work.

James Bull

Steve O
November 21, 2018 4:05 am

A conclusion like this which advocates policy without considering economics has nothing to do with science. Actions which have costs and benefits need to consider those costs and benefits and weigh them against each other. There is no support for advocating a mitigation strategy over one of adaptation.

But I love the format of that ridiculous circular bar chart. It confuses the presentation for no reason but it’s very scientifical-looking! (Oh, I guess that’s the reason.)

Reply to  Steve O
November 21, 2018 7:28 am

Steve O ==> I’m still mystified by the chart — haven’t a clue how to read it. Charts are supposed to clarify the data by putting it in graphic form for “visual learners”, I think. This chart just confuses the issue.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 21, 2018 10:25 am

You said, “This chart just confuses the issue.” Perhaps that was actually the intent! Present some fancy, colorful graphic, which is unintelligible, just to impress the easily impressed.

November 21, 2018 4:10 am

Aha! A circle/spiral chart! The new favorite way to present bogus data in the most inflammatory way possible. Automatic fail.

Steve O
November 21, 2018 4:10 am

Now let’s go to Venezuela and chart the risk factors from socialism.

In fact, we can chart the risk factors from authoritarian government in general. That would be especially relevant, because a “temporary” suspension of democracy is often discussed as a necessary element in fighting climate change.

November 21, 2018 6:37 am

That’s really impressive. Marvellous what computers can do nowadays. I assume you can turn it around with the app. Sure beats the old tube kaleidoscope when I was growing up.

November 21, 2018 8:20 am

A calculation made determined that to stop 1.5°C would, after even an initial reduction in methane emissions, require negative methane emissions. Children in the playground at school will have to be restrained from saying to each other : “Quick, pull my finger!.”

November 21, 2018 8:49 am

a mob of 23 authors

Can’t say mob, so have to say a caravan of authors.

Reply to  beng135
November 21, 2018 9:15 am

Beng ==> There is a long list to choose from at Collective Nouns for Animals.

“Mob” can be used for deer, kangaroos, and sheep AND (according to me) “climate scientists” (in quotes).

Reply to  beng135
November 22, 2018 4:44 am

How about a “folly” of authors?

November 21, 2018 11:22 am

It’s raining beautifully in Chico.

November 21, 2018 11:33 am

Think I’ll write a paper that cites papers over the last twenty years showing all causes of indigestion. Then I will use this to write alarming headlines about how human eating habits are in peril, showing no correlation (let alone causation) between indigestion and human eating habits.

This is … “making shit up” … at its finest.

November 21, 2018 12:03 pm

‘over 780 events of excess human mortality were reported during heatwaves worldwide, drowning during floods’

Proof they are uninformed, but not too shy to speak, anyway.

“It is better to remain silent and appear foolish, than to speak up and remove all doubt.”

The overwhelming cause of death in floods is blunt trauma. ‘Drowning’ is the
proclamation of the ignorant.

Alan Tomalty
November 21, 2018 12:16 pm

“total overhaul of the social order to eliminate capitalism, democracy and replace these with their own odd version of equality, social justice and ultimately to redistribute world wealth”

How do the climate warriors plan to force China to go to 0 emissions of CO2? Protesting in Tiananmen square just won’t cut it. In fact , just organizing a potential protest in Tiananmen square would now be impossible given the Chinese control of their social media. Greenies have no answer for the China question except to say that we have to lead by example. The Chinese have no intention of following us off the cliff.

November 21, 2018 12:40 pm

From the report: “over 780 events of excess human mortality…”

What pray tell is excess human mortality? One, ten, 50? This is BS.

Reply to  mkelly
November 21, 2018 12:51 pm

U.N. Environment Programme head Erik Solheim in a recent 22 month period spent an average of US$ 22,727/month on airfare & hotels, for a total of US$500,000. Guess the CO2 involved was for “the children” since on average he spent 80% of his time out of the office. He just resigned.

November 21, 2018 12:52 pm

comment image

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 21, 2018 2:12 pm

Robert==> Very cute! (Readers — click and see, you can decline to sign up).

Thank you.

Gordon Dressler
November 21, 2018 3:07 pm

Funny, I did not find “Stupidity” in the pie-wheel of listed of effects.

Physician, heal thyself.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 21, 2018 4:44 pm

Intelligence obviously is not a sustainable resource.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
November 21, 2018 5:33 pm

Gordon and Robert ==> The study does find that “Educational Attainment” is threatened. I mean, it’s obvious right…?

Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 21, 2018 9:06 pm

Yeah, but NOT threatened by climate. Some stupid just is and has no causation.

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