CAGW: a ‘snarl’ word?

By Andy West

The term ‘CAGW’  has both appropriate and inappropriate usage.


Rational Wiki says: ‘CAGW”, for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”, is a snarl word (or snarl acronym) that global warming denialists use for the established science of climate change. A Google Scholar search indicates that the term is never used in the scientific literature on climate.’10

Where in turn the link for ‘snarl word’ says: ‘A snarl word is a derogatory label that can be attached to something (or even to people), in order to dismiss their importance or worth, without guilt. When used as snarl words, these words are essentially meaningless; most of them can be used with meaning, but that seldom happens.

So setting aside the snarl implications of the word ‘denialist’11 above, is all the usage of the ‘CAGW’ acronym meaningless, i.e. it is essentially a snarl word only? Or is there significant meaning associated with some usage, i.e. does it have legitimate, ‘non-snarl’ currency also, associated with real meaning?

In typical usage ‘CAGW’ may be followed by words such as narrative, message, story, line, debate, controversy, mantra, meme, myth, scare, hysteria, hoax, scam, religion, cult, cause, movement, believers, faithful, crowd, advocates, promoters, proponents, consensus, theory, hypothesis, premise, claim, case, conjecture and various others. Or it may appear in sentences without any direct descriptors such as those above, for example: ‘Proof positive that CAGW is about power, politics and greed is the fact that…’, ‘Without this strong feedback there is no real basis for CAGW since…’, ‘I have been waiting for someone, anyone, to enunciate a unique, broadly accepted goal for a program to “dodge” the CAGW “bullet”…’, ‘Cost / benefit analysis is apparently against the rules when it comes to CAGW…’, ‘The alarm is not about a warming of the globe, nor particularly AGW. It is about CAGW’.12

These demonstrate a much wider application than for just the ‘established science’, which I take to mean mainstream science, as expressed in the Working Group Chapters13 of the IPCC’s latest full report (AR5), so hereafter AR5WGC. Whether or not any such usages of ‘CAGW’ are justified, they are broadly categorized (albeit with overlaps, especially meme and consensus at the boundaries) as follows:

  1. expressing a communication aspect, applicable not only to climate scientists but to any parties communicating or exchanging on climate change, such as social authority sources, policy makers, NGOs, businesses, other scientists, whoever, and reflected by the words above starting narrative, message and similar.
  2. expressing a social phenomenon aspect, whether assumed to have deliberate causation or emergent causation, and reflected by the words starting, myth, scare and similar.
  3. expressing the aspect of adherents of the phenomena in b), as reflected by the words starting believers, faithful and similar, OR of subscribers to the science per d), OR both.
  4. expressing the science aspect, as reflected by the words starting theory, hypothesis and similar.
  5. expressing the aspect of actual physical climate change, sarcastically or not, as being potentially catastrophic (usually without extra descriptors in this context).

Usage without descriptors per the example sentences, are generally contextualized by one of these same categories.

The communication aspects

This is the most straightforward category to characterize. Within the public domain, there is manifestly a widespread narrative of certainty (absent deep emissions cuts) of near-term (decades) climate catastrophe. This has emanated from many of the most powerful and influential figures in the West throughout the twenty-first century, as exampled by the quotes listed a) to z) in footnote 1. While based only on English language reportage, this sample nevertheless includes leaders, ex-leaders and candidate leaders from 8 Western nations (with the US, Germany, UK and France being economically 4 of 7 and politically 4 of 6, top world powers9), along with high ministers, high UN officials, the Pope and UK royalty, over about the last 15 years. The narrative is also framed in a most urgent and emotive manner, which hugely increases its re-transmission capability14, is global in scope (‘the planet’), and unequivocally attributes the imminent catastrophe from global warming to humans (via ‘emissions’), i.e. the ‘C’ is due to AGW.

Rational Wiki is essentially correct regarding the literal usage of ‘CAGW’ in climate science literature (I found a few references on Google Scholar). Yet it’s right too in a more meaningful sense; i.e. nothing like this narrative of high certainty and imminent global catastrophe is represented within mainstream climate science, i.e. per the AR5WGC. A point that has been noted before on this and other climate blogs. Albeit ‘catastrophic’ (or similar) is actually used in AR5WGC, this is in reference to local / specific improbable scenarios only (e.g. the term used for maximal, yet very rare end of spectrum, episodic river flooding)15. No reasonable interpretation could produce the exampled narrative framing that has achieved such a high public profile over many years. So according to mainstream science, i.e. no skeptics required, this climate catastrophe narrative is flat wrong15a. Even at the best stretch it drags fuzzy possibilities plus probabilities from behind a hedge of caveats and limitations, then pushes them all front and centre, promoted to high certainty within an apparently well-mapped space15b. Nevertheless, this narrative / story / line / mantra exists, and at the highest authority level.

The sampled authority figures do not just speak for themselves. They represent their governments and parties and organizations, to some extent their nations. The power of this representation coupled with high emotive framing should be a very significant factor in the propagation of the catastrophic narrative across society, and especially down the pyramids of functionality spreading out from national / UN leaderships, so influencing policy (impending catastrophe is often cited as the main reason to act). However, other sources are transmitting in parallel, e.g. environmental NGOs, and total propagation will be due to the merged contributions of all. Penetration / propagation of the same catastrophe narrative is highly visible further out from primary leaderships, as exampled by the quotes listed a) to z) in footnote 2, which cover lesser-ranking / local politicians, leaders of less influential nations, NGOs, economists and influencers.

Emergent narratives typically spawn many variants, which are briefly analyzed in the companion post ‘The Catastrophe Narrative’, with further analysis in the (common) footnotes file.

There is nothing inappropriate about coining a name for the widely communicated narrative of certainty of imminent (decades) catastrophe as exampled by footnotes 1 and 2, which prior to the exception of the current US administration permeated Western / UN (and other) authorities high and low, and that falsely claims to be underwritten by ‘the’ science. ‘CAGW’ as a label for this narrative is suitable and has full meaning. Likewise for the narrative variant categories as exampled by footnotes 3 to 5; while as noted in the companion post, a few of such specimens or more emphatic localization may technically escape either full-on certainty or full-on global or maybe, depending especially upon ambiguous word-choices, full-on catastrophe, even this subset are highly emotive pitches of the same ilk that typically aren’t backed by mainstream climate science.

As climate scientist Mike Hulme noted a dozen years ago, this narrative created significant impact even back then: “It seems that mere ‘climate change’ was not going to be bad enough, and so now it must be ‘catastrophic’ to be worthy of attention. The increasing use of this pejorative term – and its bedfellow qualifiers ‘chaotic’, ‘irreversible’, ‘rapid’ – has altered the public discourse around climate change.” In 2010, Hans von Storch agreed16a.

The science aspects

Emphasizing the Rational Wiki quote above, Jacobs et al (in 2016 book) finds no merit in the claim ‘that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is the mainstream scientific position’, i.e. mainstream science doesn’t support the concept of a high certainty (absent action) of imminent global catastrophe. So, although the IPCC integrates a range of scientific opinion and incorporates various outlier possibilities, within the scientific community there cannot be a widely accepted theory or hypothesis or premise or case for this. Hence directly tying mainstream climate science (including conventional AGW theory, no ‘C’) to this concept via ‘CAGW’ labeling, or implying that ‘CAGW theory’ is dominant (so perforce must cover the mainstream), is inappropriate. Some think no current science can claim the catastrophic15b, however…

This doesn’t imply an absence of scientific support for the principle. A minority of scientists, some very vocal, believe that ‘CAGW’ scenarios are more realistic. Footnotes 6 and 7 provide examples of about 50 climate scientists plus environmental and other scientists expressing their views of the catastrophic. To express a truly held belief is not to dissemble, so presumably these individuals have theories (probably not all the same) which lead them to this view, albeit not reflected by the mainstream / AR5WGC. Or at least they think such theories from other sources are highly credible. Their expressions typically ignore more balanced interpretations from their mainstream colleagues, or otherwise criticize the mainstream as being too conservative, often performing the same transformation / promotion as mentioned at the end of paragraph 2 section 2 above. Emotive phrasing is common, also featuring a large range of highly negative metaphors (e.g. hell or ballistic missiles or cars speeding towards cliffs), and / or the end of humans or civilization or the planet, with typically a sense of inevitability (unless major action). Hence using say ‘CAGW theory’ to label the claims of specific such scientists, is legitimate. But the much more typical sweeping references that imply ‘CAGW theory’ is the ‘official’ science, are illegitimate. In relation to the current mainstream, ‘CAGW theory’ is very much unofficial science.

Portraying scientists who propagate ‘CAGW’ notions as representative of the mainstream, via ‘CAGW’ labeling or any other means, is also inappropriate. However, this is a forgivable sin for the general public; how would they know that James Hansen, for instance17, occupies a minority fringe at odds with the main climate science community? And they aren’t the only ones subject to confusion about what is mainstream and where particular scientists might stand. Catastrophe narratives have infiltrated climate science and science communities generally. Their strong emotive content erodes objectivity17a and pressures scientists to reflect such narrative, hence especially within science communication.

In his book climate scientist Mike Hulme describes a step change towards the catastrophic in the ways that climate change risk was expressed in the public sphere, following an international climate change conference held in Exeter UK, in 2005. And to continue Hulme’s 2006 quote (via the BBC) from section 2: “This discourse is now characterized by phrases such as ‘climate change is worse than we thought’, that we are approaching ‘irreversible tipping in the Earth’s climate’, and that we are ‘at the point of no return’. I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric. It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) skeptics. How the wheel turns… …Why is it not just campaigners, but politicians and scientists too, who are openly confusing the language of fear, terror and disaster with the observable physical reality of climate change, actively ignoring the careful hedging which surrounds science’s predictions?” (bold mine). Yet in the face of continuing emotive pressure, even 12 years later a wider acknowledgement of this issue is still weak25.

So, in respect of the science aspects ‘CAGW’ has both appropriate and inappropriate usage. Without a proper survey it seems more typically the latter. Thus it’s likely regarding purely the science aspects that Rational wiki is mostly right, albeit only technically, in saying: ‘Despite the qualifier, denialists apply the term indiscriminately to anything approximating the mainstream scientific view on climate, regardless of whether or not “catastrophic” outcomes are implied’, and notwithstanding its own serious snarl word issue11. In practice, the deep entanglement of catastrophe narratives with climate science communication creates very understandable confusion, and an environment where serious misunderstanding is inevitable.

Given also that for many years the climate change narrative from highest authorities to the public is insistently catastrophic, Rational wiki’s claim that deployment of the acronym is a deliberate ploy of the desperate (‘an attempt to move the goalposts’), is one that ignores the big picture. A-list presidents and prime ministers plus the UN elite and other authorities too (along with some scientists), already moved the goalposts, and indeed repeatedly reinforce that the catastrophic is backed by mainstream science. This impressive and coordinated array of authorities are not generally referred to as ‘deniers’, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that very many folks believe their attribution. Hence such folks are confronted by a complete clash between the unequivocal authority expression that the catastrophic is indeed backed by science18, and affront from individual scientists or their supporters as expressed on side channels when they’re specifically associated with the catastrophic. This affront is very understandable18a. Yet so is the response of those who feel that somewhere within this clash they’ve been hoodwinked, and assume the enterprise of climate science must be the culprit (in fact, an emergent phenomenon is ultimate cause). It’s especially confusing that some actors have a foot in both camps (e.g. significant IPCC contributors who publicly express catastrophe narrative19).

Starting even before AR5 some scientists projecting more severe climate change consequences, including a subset clearly claiming catastrophic outcomes20, complain that mainstream science per the IPCC is way too conservative, even politically diluted. Whether their science is bunkum or has a basis in reality, they likely have significant support. Albeit that the important distinction between ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ isn’t provided, 41% of 998 AGU+AMS members asked about ‘the likely effects of global climate change in the next 50 to 100 years’, replied ‘severe/catastrophic’ (2012, pay-walled, but some details at Wiki). In a more recent expression (Mar 2018) some climate scientists objected to oil companies presenting AR5 as evidence showing lack of serious harms, claiming it was outdated (published 2013/14), and later science predicts much worse consequences. Some scientists emphasizing much higher impacts are socially touted as having better understanding than the majority driving the ‘conservative’ consensus.

However, notwithstanding plenty of catastrophe narrative ballyhoo30 from usual voices regarding the new SR15, as the content itself indicates31 there seems little chance that the steady and incremental evolution of the IPCC reports will change to a dramatically different position for the full AR6, or indeed afterward. And ironically, if various outlier theories regarding the catastrophic did gain enough ground to cause a paradigm shift, becoming mainstream, most of the inappropriate usage of ‘CAGW’ would transform to legitimacy overnight. It’s likely that social pressure to converge upon (cultural, not scientific) narratives of the catastrophic, has contributed to such theories; emotive memes are a major component via which many large-scale social consensuses are formed, e.g. within religions. Such consensuses don’t relate to truth. Note: scientific probing of worst case scenarios is potentially useful, as long as such efforts don’t morph into emotive narratives that help panic the public and policy makers towards perceived ultra-urgency and radical solutions, or indeed towards any agenda. With its speculative nature preserved, such exploration doesn’t earn a ‘CAGW theory’ label. Yet wielding it as authority with sexed-up likelihoods and / or emotively overwhelmed conditionals in order to pressure and persuade (e.g. footnote example 7aa), certainly earns the label ‘CAGW narrative’.

The social phenomena and adherence aspects

Just as with the science section above, there is appropriate and inappropriate deployment of ‘CAGW’ to describe social phenomena in the climate domain. So for instance it’s appropriate to talk about a social consensus in catastrophe among certain groups, but not a scientific consensus within the IPCC, say. It’s appropriate to describe ardent members of a green NGO who are heavily involved in promoting climate catastrophe narratives, as ‘CAGW advocates’ say, yet certainly not to apply this term to ‘all Democrats’, for instance, even if statistically there is somewhat more catastrophe narrative promotion by members of that party. Such labelling even when appropriate, does not imply any wrong-doing or dysfunction on the part of those so labelled, although some level of ‘faith’ (to use another partner term that crops up) in the narrative that many world leaders have lavished on the public for many years, is both likely and eminently understandable. Partner terms like ‘hoax’ and ‘scam’ are generally inappropriate too, because they cannot be main causation for the CAGW phenomenon32.

It comes down to who is adding the catastrophic, or ‘C’, to the mix. Michael Barnard at Quora notes in his discussion of ‘CAGW’: ‘Emotive adjectives are intended to create an emotional response rather than an intellectual response. Catastrophic is an emotive adjective.’ Yes. For sure, over-emotive content tends to cloud judgment; in memetic terms more-emotive memes have a greater selection value than less-emotive ones in domains of high (or even perceived high) uncertainty, thus preferentially prospering. Which is exactly why the narrative of catastrophe abounds within authority statements about climate change, per footnotes 1 to 5, plus is so pervasive within the public domain generally. (However, an ‘intent’ can’t be assumed; regarding emergent narratives the great majority of people are propagating what they genuinely and passionately think is truth). The Quroa text continues: ‘Adding catastrophic to the neutral phrase “anthropogenic global warming” is making it needlessly emotive.’ So, if indeed the person deploying ‘CAGW’ is needlessly adding the ‘C’, then yes. But… if that ‘C’ merely reflects the catastrophic that already existed regarding the social phenomenon or group or followers being described (e.g. Greenpeace politically pressuring with a campaign based upon certain catastrophic climate change), or indeed per section 2 catastrophic narrative or section 3 *specific* science / scientists aligned to catastrophe, then the ‘C’ is a correct and proper description. Emotive persuasion was injected by that being described, not by the mere act of (correctly) describing it.

Michael’s valid points about emotive descriptors and neutrality miss the big picture. While emphasizing as I do that ‘CAGW’ misrepresents mainstream / AR5WGC climate science, he makes no mention that according to an array of the highest authority sources, so largely within the public understanding too, the catastrophic is backed by mainstream climate / AGW science. Not to mention missing that describing pre-existing highly emotive phenomena, requires a meaningful reference to the emotive content.

Summary and Discussion

According to majority / mainstream science and indeed minority skepticism too, the CAGW narrative is a major misrepresentation22. Yet according to a minority of scientists at the opposite fringe to skeptics, this narrative reflects a more realistic position. Whether future history proves notions of CAGW to be right or wrong, acronym usage like the last 2 instances is entirely meaningful; notions of the catastrophic (absent major emissions cuts) and a copious narrative about them, patently exist. Such narrative is widespread in the public domain, being emphatically promoted by highly influential Western authority (until the current US admin exception) plus a raft of other authorities too23, who frequently cite imminent catastrophe as the principal reason for action on emissions. Nor has it spread via demonstrable scientific confirmation (albeit such confirmation may conceivably occur one day), but merely via emotive persuasiveness.

Nevertheless A-list presidents, prime ministers and the UN elite (the latter contradicting their own IPCC) claim that CAGW is validated by mainstream science. It’s difficult to see how this false backing could ever be questioned in the public mind, unless the mainstream science community pushes back far more strongly against such assertions. Meanwhile the fringe camp, i.e. those scientists (general and climate disciplines) comfortable with catastrophic projections, are much less shy about pushing authority with their concerns.

Despite oft-used inflationary descriptors or terminal metaphors5g,7h, sometimes references to extreme weather, or even straight propositions like the ‘save the planet’ or absent action a collapse of civilization, catastrophe narrative as it appears in footnotes 1 to 5 has no consistent definition of what ‘catastrophe’ actually means, or indeed quite how this state is arrived at. From the PoV of narrative success this is a fantastic attribute, allowing the latitude for each person to interpret the worst in their own terms (hence over numerous propagations, a generic apocalypse canon eventually emerges). Perhaps such vagueness might be expected from non-scientists, yet the public propagation from exampled scientists6,7 is no less emotively descriptive and no more consistent regarding actual meaning. Arguably, it is more lurid and emotively penetrating, and less objective.

This fluidity allows the CAGW narrative to hi-jack any view that is not actively skeptical via highly emotive persuasion, also seize the perceived moral high ground, while simultaneously bypassing objective considerations about the real meaning, and by omission avoid culpability regarding any unsupported (by the mainstream) mechanisms of, and uncertainties regarding, global catastrophe, which are not actually detailed. (When quotes are from scientists some detail may appear in associated papers, typically falling short of the framing of high certainty of global catastrophe, yet the public and likely authority too, only sees the public quotes anyhow). In short, it has very high selective value. Its emotive potency even sets the bounds of what skepticism is perceived to be within the public domain, and thus enables authority sources to claim mainstream territory even though mainstream science doesn’t support the catastrophic via any reasonable interpretation of this collective narrative.

Along with appropriate usage, there is much inappropriate usage from engaged skeptics deploying the term ‘CAGW’. In complete contrast to the situation with A-listers and influencers above, whose linkage of the catastrophic with mainstream science isn’t challenged, indeed is often praised, similar associations from skeptics typically attract vociferous objection. Misuse increases polarization and impedes greater understanding; this blunder28 from skeptics shouldn’t be overlooked. However, it seems unlikely that the great majority of the public are even aware of the ‘CAGW’ acronym26, so the impact upon them of any misuse via this term must perforce be very modest indeed. Yet whether leaning skeptical or orthodox or indifferent regarding climate change, few of the public will be unaware of the narrative of certain (absent action) man-made catastrophe that perfectly reasonably earns the acronym ‘CAGW’.

The misdirection and bias plus instinctive kick-back invoked by such highly emotive misinformation, as propagated for years by the exampled A-listers / authorities / orgs, utterly dwarfs any above impact. This acronym may indeed be an invention of skeptics24, yet not the untamed narrative that it describes. The latter doesn’t injure only mainstream science, but all science, including even that work which may point towards more severe consequences, because its long and high profile in the public domain isn’t any result of science, and the emotive biases it amplifies leak back into science21.

So ‘CAGW’ can be used as a ‘snarl word’, and is, albeit misunderstanding is likely the main cause. It is also a perfectly reasonable and meaningful term for a long-lived narrative elephant (with consequent effects) in the public domain and from top authority sources, plus a presence in some science too, and an ethic behind some social responses. Thus, when describing these phenomena, CAGW is not at all the straw-man that some of the orthodox claim. When the naming of a valid concept is avoided, discussing that concept becomes difficult, with awkward / obscure phrases and dancing around the issue. Or still more comedic, like whispering about he-who-must-not-be-named in Harry Potter. Hence despite some acquired cultural aggressiveness, which often sticks to terms within conflicted domains, the appropriate use of ‘CAGW’ is meaningful and necessary. Without it, the domain would simply need a virtually identical replacement term27 to express the valid concept it accurately covers.

Andy West.

Link to footnotes [Footnotes]



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John Tillman
November 27, 2018 10:12 am

If a warming climate is not dangerous, as Pres. Obama called it, then why worry about the change? Global climate has been warming since c. AD 1690, during the Maunder Minimum depths of the LIA. That change has indubitably been good for humanity and other living things. So has been the increase in plant food in the air since the end of WWII.

More CO2 would better, up to the ~1200 ppm maintained in commercial greenhouses to promote growth in C3 plants, which include all trees and most crops. Regretably, burning all presently recoverable fossil fuels probably wouldn’t get us any higher than around 600 ppm. The present frigid climate system just can’t sustain higher atmospheric plant food levels.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 10:14 am

PS: I prefer the snarl acronym CACCA anyway. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism.

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 10:35 am

or to be more precise
‘Cacca verde’

neil watson
Reply to  vukcevic
November 27, 2018 10:39 am


Reply to  vukcevic
November 27, 2018 12:21 pm

Just the fact, no hype +10

John Tillman
Reply to  vukcevic
November 27, 2018 1:09 pm

Caca como sandia: verde por fuera pero rojo por dentro.

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 2:35 pm

Cacca come cocomero: verde all’esterno ma rosso all’interno

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 7:01 pm

You’re right that the Italian for “caca” fits the acronym better than Spanish.

Sun Spot
Reply to  vukcevic
November 28, 2018 7:25 am

vukcevic you said ‘Cacca verde’ did you mean ‘Cacca merde’ ?

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 1:24 pm

How about
the Coming Caucasian-Caused CO2 Climate Change Catastrophe ?

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 27, 2018 3:07 pm

You have to find CCCP. In Cyrillic letters it was the initials of the Soviet Union.

John Tillman
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 27, 2018 6:59 pm

Catastrophic Climate Change by People?

But of course transliterated CCCP is SSSR.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 27, 2018 11:46 pm

Yeah. Most people wouldn’t know how to interpret the English transliteration where CCCP becomes SSSR.

The English acronym could then stand for Simplistic and Self-Serving Responses (etc).

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 10:22 am

If a warming climate is dangerous……why did the UN/IPCC establish a system that allows the vast majority of countries to increase their emissions

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 12:38 pm

If a warming climate is not dangerous …

The acronym CAGW specifies the conditions that must be met for the anti-CO2 narrative to be valid.

Catastrophic – If it’s not catastrophic we don’t, as you point out, have to worry about it.

Anthropogenic – If it’s mostly natural, we can’t prevent it no matter what we do.

Global – If 3/4 of the globe benefits and 1/10 suffers, what then?

Warming – If it’s not warming that much, no problem.

All four conditions have to be met before we declare war on our CO2 emissions.

William Astley
Reply to  commieBob
November 27, 2018 1:36 pm

That is why the cult of CAGW does not want us to use the word CAGW.

A. The temperature changes do not even correlate with anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

B. The CO2 rise does not correlate with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. (This is easier to show than A.)

Steve O
Reply to  commieBob
November 27, 2018 2:51 pm

One more very important condition must be met. There has to be something that we can about it before we start trying to do something about it. Because we’re talking about expenditures, and decision-making under uncertainty, the expected benefits of any plan of action must outweigh the expected costs.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Steve O
November 27, 2018 8:19 pm

The simple 2 facts as stated above in 2 posts are 1) AGW (whether real or not) and whether (dangerous or not) costs too much to correct or mitigate; therefore we do nothing except to adapt. 2) CAGW which even costs more to correct or mitigate is only rationally dealt with under the theory of ruin. However the insurance costs of correcting or mitigating are so high that unless we are near certainty > x % (you pick the %) of the validity of CAGW, then the theory of ruin says don’t insure. In my view and all the skeptics in here, the x number actually approaches ZERO. Therefore again we do nothing except to adapt. Any other course of action is madness.

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 1:19 pm

A warming climate is better than “not dangerous”,
it is beneficial for life on our planet,
by maximizing the food supply for
humans and animals who eat C3 plants.
The current warming didn’t start in 1690,
it started 20,000 years ago when my
Michigan property was under
up to a mile of ice.
That would have been a disaster,
because I can’t ice skate.

My climate science blog recently named
Barack Obama as its first
“Climate Buffoon of the Year”,
following an incoherent interview
where he somehow tied climate change
inaction to “racism” and “mommy issues”:

John Tillman
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 28, 2018 3:41 pm

Warming from the end of the Last Glacial Maximum peaked over 5000 years ago, during the height of the Holocene Optimum. Earth has suffered long term cooling since then, or at least for the past 3000 years. But on the cyclical centennial scale, we have enjoyed warming since the depths of the LIA.

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 1:38 pm

I took an online course on Climate Change a few years ago. They actually would not allow the term CAGW and deleted it in every post I made. I would post that I believed in AGW but not CAGW and back it up with data and they did not allow the distinction. That allowed them to make me an AGW denier and put me at odds with all available data and science. Therefore I had no credibility and they did not have to deal with any of the actual questions or statements that I made..

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  pat
November 27, 2018 8:25 pm

No one has proved or shown any evidence that AGW is real.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 27, 2018 8:30 pm
[This was posted by an impostor, not the real Dave Burton -Mod.]

Reply to  Dave Burton
November 28, 2018 3:05 am

A tiny statistically tortured forcing that took them 5 years to find, and was almost certainly related to the fact that 2000 was at the bottom of a La Nina, and 2010 was at the top of an El Nino.

comment image

Richard M
Reply to  Dave Burton
November 28, 2018 5:45 pm

The Feldman paper was effectively countered by the Gero/Turner paper that found no increase in overall DWIR. The combination of the two hints at negative water vapor feedback and hence no AGW.

Reply to  John Tillman
November 27, 2018 1:54 pm

Voldemort: He who must not be named: a trick by the author to get attention to the narrative, stir the imaginations of her readers, and stir curiosity in everyone.

Exaggeration and hyperbole are also part of advertising language, specifically meant to get your attention, look at the product and buy it.

In this case, CAGW is the product, with the use of “catastrophic” aimed directly at the part of the target audience, about things that go bump in the night.

The fact that AGW has attracted the attention of every ecohippie within reach of electronic technojunk has simply added to the tendency to turn this science failure into a pseudoreligious order because it appeals to the emotions of fright, fear, envy, and everything else that makes people shop for things that they don’t really need.

I’ve been surprised that Advertising Age hasn’t offered a prize for the efficiency of this promotional campaign to support a money-grubbing bunch of political hacks. Maybe that will come up in the next round of awards.

J Mac
November 27, 2018 10:14 am

CAGW a ‘snarl’ word? No.
In truth, the acronym sounds more like a cat coughing up a fur ball.
That may be an appropriate analogy for the body of humanity rejecting ‘climate change’ fraud.
Forty years and Trillion$ of dollars wasted on this non-science makes me want to vomit…..
How about you?

Reply to  J Mac
November 27, 2018 10:44 am

I quite like CAGW as a “snarl” word. That’s exactly how I use it. As a verbal sneer toward the faux-scienci-nonsense of man-made catastrophic end of days apocalyptic doom and gloom.

Yes … vomit at all the $$$$$ resources we could be directing toward REAL science, and REAL environmentalism. It makes me sick. Sick as my cat.

November 27, 2018 10:15 am

Overkill, Andy.
Sorry, but brevity is the soul of wit, heh?
Gums opines….

Reply to  Gums
November 27, 2018 10:35 am

Comment is about Climate etc. but hard to tell where quote ends

michael hart
November 27, 2018 10:20 am

1984-style attempted language policing is one thing, but attacking an acronym smacks of desperation.

November 27, 2018 10:20 am

So CAGW is a snarl word, who knew? But the last place you would expect to see it used is in scientific literature. There, and echoed by Gore et al, they called it Global Warming, and Anthropomorphic Global Warming, but they didn’t need to add a C as they listed all the apocalypse effects, ad infinitum (and beyond).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Toto
November 28, 2018 6:06 pm

Yet “climate denier” is immune to the same line of thought?
It’s clearly “all in how you read it”.

November 27, 2018 10:20 am
November 27, 2018 10:21 am

I must say that sociological analyses tend to go on a bit.

The reason that CAGW came into being was that it was going to be not just worse than we thought but Catastrophic. Of course it was anthropogenic – if it wasn’t politicians wouldn’t have anything to control. As I remember , it was global warming that everyone was getting steamed up about.

It may be a snarl word but it pretty well encapsulates what every alarmist has been stuffing down our throats for the last 20 years. If it wasn’t warming, we wouldn’t be 18 feet under water, crops wouldn’t be failing…….

I think it’s an excellent word, not because it snarls, but is shorthand for a certain type of stupidity.

Reply to  RCS
November 27, 2018 10:55 am


Reply to  Gwan
November 27, 2018 4:04 pm

I agree with Gwan.
(i.e., Plus 100) to RCS’s comment)

Pop Piasa
Reply to  RCS
November 28, 2018 6:12 pm

RCS, I think that CAGW is an acronym which will define a backward era in history, providing it too shall pass.

David Cunningham
November 27, 2018 10:21 am

Unnecessary word avalanche.

Is there a widespread narrative that man-made, (anthropogenic), global warming will cause a catastrophe(s)?

Yes, it is an obvious and irrefutable fact.
The message being sold is, anthropogenic global warming will be catastrophic.

Therefore Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a perfect description of that theory.

michael hart
Reply to  David Cunningham
November 27, 2018 1:12 pm

Exactly, David. It’s not difficult to understand.
Which therefore leads us to question the honesty and/or intelligence of the people who come out with such drivel.

Steve O
Reply to  David Cunningham
November 27, 2018 2:56 pm

So, to be clear… would you say that Rational Wiki’s objection to the term CAGW as a snarl is unfounded because it is appropriately descriptive?

Reply to  Steve O
November 27, 2018 4:06 pm

Steve O:

Reply to  Steve O
November 27, 2018 4:34 pm

It’s easy to turn rational wiki back on itself, if it isn’t catastrophic then there is no urgency to act, so no need for emission control 🙂

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve O
November 27, 2018 4:35 pm

“would you say that Rational Wiki’s objection to the term CAGW as a snarl is unfounded because it is appropriately descriptive?”

I would say that. Climate catastrophists don’t come out and say “CAGW” specifically, but they imply catastrophe with every pronouncement, so it is descriptive to use CAGW when referring to the catastrophic predictions of the Alarmists.

It is the Alarmists that add the catastrophe to AGW. Skeptics just add the “C” to make it clear what is being talked about.

Reply to  Steve O
November 27, 2018 4:37 pm

As I said above it is actually flawed because if it isn’t catastrophic then we don’t need to act immediately we can observe, plan, procrastinate and think about what we might do 🙂

November 27, 2018 10:27 am

I’m searching for years where the catastrophe remains.
Living in LIA was a catastrophe, yes – it’s over.
Living in a world fearing a coming cold as in the 70th was fearing a coming catastrophe, yes.
Living in a world with reduced CO2 levels and less plant growing will be a catastrophe, yes.
Some tenth of °C increasng temperature is all, but not a catastrophe.

November 27, 2018 10:33 am

CAGW is just an abbreviation for the same drivel that the alarmists peddle, that all significant weather events are now part of the AGW induced climate change and subsequent damage that is caused. Even though they recently claimed that no weather event can be pinned directly on CC, or GW. Until Michael Mann testified before Congress a few years ago, and in his opening remarks to the Committee, he stated under their newly discovered Attribution to AGW, that cows were being being burnt alive in Texas, presumably from grass fires and not being sacrificed inhumanely in some religious ceremony he was presiding over. I am still shocked that nobody called him out on that one, as an example of hyped catastrophe. So yes, the CAGW is an accurate description of the headline seeking alarmists.

November 27, 2018 10:33 am

A catastrophe is to believe, some warming will be a catastrophe 😀

Robert of Texas
November 27, 2018 10:35 am

“Established Science of Climate Change”?

I agree there is established science and it clearly demonstrates natural climate change, and also clearly demonstrates we do not understand all of the mechanisms behind it. But using the phrase “Established Science of Climate Change” sounds like they are trying to elevate themselves into something they are not, like the “Established Science of Physics”. Climate change belongs to the science of Geology, the study of the Earth, and to Meteorology, the science of studying weather, and to other branches of REAL science – it isn’t a science unto itself. You can study Paleobotany to determine what plants grew in the past, or Paleontology to see what animals lived there. You can infer rainfall (but not why it rained so little or much), you can infer temperature (within a few degrees margin), but you cannot study the climate mechanisms that no longer exist or have changed. So “Climate Scientists” can only study existing climates and just infer the past.

Catastrophic Anthropocentric Climate Change (CACW) is EXACTLY what they are proposing. It causes catastrophic change to existing climate patterns, is caused primarily by man, and is change to the existing climate. How is THAT a snarl word? (Never-mind it isn’t even a word).

The fact they cannot in any way demonstrate that it is occurring, after 30 years of trying, means it likely is an exaggeration from the truth. Natural Climate Change can explain every observation – especially the ones that have not been “managed” by changing the data points. I would hardly refer to the CAGW hypothesis as “Established Science”. It is established only in the fact that it can move A LOT of money into proponents pockets.

They have a problem…If dramatic ill-effects of climate change are not occurring by 2030, they lose what little credibility remains. This means they have to step up the disinformation war (through exaggerations, misleading graphics, and changing more data) or admit they were wrong. They can of course, just stop talking about it and soon the Public forgets about it…worked in the 1970’s for Global Cooling.

Tom Halla
November 27, 2018 10:38 am

CAGW is an appropriate term for the misuse of climate change theory, even though it does get involved with the judgement that the alarm is misplaced. It is but the most recent of the ecological disasters predicted over the past fifty plus years, many by the same people or groups.

Joel O'Bryan
November 27, 2018 10:45 am

I couldn’t get past the 2nd paragraph without falling asleep.

That said, the reason the Climate Cult faithful don’t like the use of AGW is because they have tried to change the narrative away from just warming, to “climate change” so they can blame every weather event on their carbon demon. But most certainly, the climate priests religious dogma requires them to peddle a catastrophe narrative in their scriptures and prophecies.

Thomas Graney
November 27, 2018 10:48 am

I guess it’s like the N word. It’s ok for some to use, but not for others.

November 27, 2018 10:54 am

First, the ‘Climate Change ‘ people predict a catastrophe. Then, a while later, depending on the timing, ‘ it’s worse than we thought ‘. The scientific body, institutions, publications and individuals have never uttered those words or implied them? So, CAGW is a snarl word. Burning their candle at both ends, you are a denier if you don’t believe warming will be a catastrophe. And to go along with it, CAGW isn’t a real term that describes anything. ” I think CAGW describes perfectly the stance that the IPCC and drones stand for . Are ‘drone’, or ‘useful idiot’ also snarl words?

November 27, 2018 10:57 am

“The alarm is not about a warming of the globe, nor particularly AGW. It is about CAGW.”

Exactly, which is why, instead of weasel words like “Climate Change,” CAGW is perfectly appropriate and not at all a “snarl” term. Have we not been deluged (no pun intended) with one catastrophic prediction after another, and isn’t this why we’re supposed to fork over trillions of dollars to governments all around the world?

How else can they ask for the money?

November 27, 2018 11:09 am

Tomato Tomahto — Let’s call the whole thing off.

Long past time to put this playpen away and shoo these children off to find some productive work.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  pochas94
November 28, 2018 6:26 pm

Yes, a detour of science by any other name still reeks of malpractice and political bias.

November 27, 2018 11:10 am

Dr. Gobbles where are you, we need a clear message, something simple like “Bullshit”.


Reply to  Michael
November 27, 2018 11:22 am

Dr. Gobbles is a real turkey.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkW
November 28, 2018 6:32 pm

But he is the inventor of “Gobbles Warming”, no?

Smart Rock
November 27, 2018 11:15 am


A lot of words to come to the conclusion that CAGW is probably acceptable as an acronym.

It’s not just the public forum that is dominated by proponents of coming doom. The whole academic ecosystem, including publishing houses and the scientific journals they produce, including the government agencies that distribute research grant funds, is dominated (“controlled” might be a better word) by alarmists.

Those “mainstream” scientists you refer to as not espousing the “C” in CAGW, they keep a low profile. If they go public with any “moderate” statements – verbal or in print – their careers are in jeopardy and their reputations are subject to abuse and innuendo.

“CAGW” is an appropriate term; in fact it’s very mild compared with some of the terms that could be used to label its proponents.

November 27, 2018 11:16 am

If global warming isn’t catastrophic, then there’s no reason to do anything about it.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkW
November 28, 2018 6:36 pm

Exactly, in one sentence. ➕💯

steve case
November 27, 2018 11:16 am

No matter what word or phrase you use to describe the other side it they will complain about it. I use, “You Guys” and I have gotten complaints. Just remember that moron, idiot and imbecile were once legitimate terms. Besides, it seems to be OK for the other side to use denier with its nasty implications.

dog·ma; noun; a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  steve case
November 28, 2018 6:43 pm

OK, got it.

November 27, 2018 11:19 am

While it may be true that the so called “respectable scientists” don’t push the catastrophic nonsense, it is also true that they don’t raise a finger to dispute those who do claim that catastrophe is just around the corner.
In this manner they keep their prissy little fingers clean, while allowing others to panic the populace into supporting the so called “respectable scientists”.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkW
November 28, 2018 6:48 pm

Most fish tend to swim in schools for protection.

November 27, 2018 11:24 am

was this what is was like a few centuries ago ? when the establishment was keen on ripping innocents to pieces and burning witches ?
Did anyone who thought it might be a dumb idea have to put up with this kind of sh1te

Mickey Reno
November 27, 2018 11:38 am

This is just another example of totalitarians thinking they have the right to decide and define all the terms of debate, including those terms coined by the other side out of necessity. This assumption goes hand in hand with the tacit and corrupt understanding that many mass media outlets will not challenge, and will, in fact, promote their side of such polemics and definitions. Most alarmists in the federal bureaucracy, the academic sciences and in the media are okay with demonizing of the other side of the debate, because they think it will help them “win” the public debate. The fools. They still don’t understand how the pattern recognition of these propaganda methods inform and awaken people, often sending them into the other camp. The votes for Trump and Brexit are perfect cases in point.

Absolutely every word making up the acronym CAGW is clinical, descriptive and necessary to communicate a real idea. The rump term AGW is clinical, but it’s inadequate. If anything, we need to add another term, CO2, (CA-CO2-GW) into the acronym to fully describe the alarmist movement. That longer acronym captures the true idea that all the alleged Catastrophe will allegedly be caused by AGW will be caused by CO2 (anthropogenic) emissions. But CA-CO2-GW is pretty unwieldy. CAGW is a reasonable compromise. It describes the climate alarmist movement very wll.

Bruce Cobb
November 27, 2018 11:48 am

“CAGW” is a “snarl word”? BA-hahahahahahahaha!
It’s the most benign “word” there is to describe the Clan of Catasrophic Climate Caterwaulers. Climate Bedwetters is an oldie but goodie – I think Chris Monkton came up with that one. There must be dozens of them out there, all way more zingy than the blah CAGW.

Steve O
November 27, 2018 11:49 am

“Despite the qualifier, denialists apply the term indiscriminately to anything approximating the mainstream scientific view on climate, regardless of whether or not “catastrophic” outcomes are implied’,

— Is there some disagreement on the other side whether outcomes will be catastrophic? Is that not the consensus outcome? If not, it’s time for those who don’t see any impending catastrophe to speak up because public policy seems to be formed based on the need to avoid an impending doom.

November 27, 2018 12:00 pm

That article was a huge waste of space (as well as being unreadable all the way through; something that could have been reasoned in a few sentences.

– “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (AWG) is a noun/nominal phrase. It can stand on its own. No reasonable person suggests AWG does not exist. (Except for the 3 “climate scientists” who said “no” to the first Doran and Zimmerman question.) Deforestation is only one example. But it is a much larger leap of logic to assume that ANY warming caused by man’s activity will be devastating. (Which BHO did when he grossly “exaggerated” the Doran and Zimmerman responses.)

– “Catastrophic” is an adjective. It describes the type of AWG that may not only be somewhat harmful (why not beneficial?) but would cause an end to normal life on this planet as we know it. (Tipping points and all that rot.)

– It is clear why “mainstream” or “consensus” science does not want the adjective applied. Without it they can continue to fool the public into thinking any man-made warming has to be avoided at all costs (and changing light bulbs will make a difference). (Similar to one who one who sneaks into a country and insists on the label “immigrant” claiming “no human being is “illegal””; and we then get data from the MSM confounding impacts of legal and illegal immigrants on the criminal justice or welfare systems.)

– For my part I have no objection to a few degrees of warming on the planet (which might even occur at night and in higher latitudes). I would never enter into a discussion to say there is no such thing as AWG.

– But when so called “experts” (Mann et al) claim “catastrophic consequences” from that warming I want to be able characterize that with which I disagree! How could I possibly enter into such a discussion without introducing that adjective?

November 27, 2018 12:03 pm

CAGW is used out of necessity to clarify the equivocal language of climate devotees. Example:

Devotee: GW is real
Skeptic: Doubt it
D: Science clearly shows that GW has been occurring since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution
S: Yeah, I know the world’s been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, but it’s not AGW
D: Man produces CO2, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, therefore, you deny AGW
S: Listen, whatever warming man adds it’s not CAGW. Get it?
D: I’m offended by your snarly denial of GW

November 27, 2018 12:07 pm

Science is a philosophy of the near-frame. Forward it is prophecy. Backward it is myth. The hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, Anthropogenic Global Warming, Global Warming, etc. are political myths. We should avoid conflating skepticism of political myths spread by politicians, bureaucrats, academics, and the press. We should avoid conflating logical domains, without firm statements of assertions, assumptions, and expectations, that when ignored serve to corrupt science with those beliefs.

Reply to  n.n
November 27, 2018 12:18 pm

The hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, the “anthropogenic” and “global” qualifiers are critical to the political myth, and so is “catastrophic” to a large extent, is asserted based on an extrapolation (i.e. inference) of an effect observed in isolation to global proportions in the wild. The myth and circumstantial evidence is necessary to claim a scientific problem and sufficient to carry out a risk analysis, but does not justify extreme measures of redistributive change and other efforts to abort or otherwise retard development, selectively, opportunistically, for profit.

Steve B
November 27, 2018 12:09 pm

The alarmists are really pushing their agenda. Must be the looming loss of cash flow on the horizon.

November 27, 2018 12:12 pm

It’s sort of like ‘colored people’ is now racist, but ‘People of color’ is not. You have to keep up with the social justice goalposts – apparently even where science is concerned. I was called out just yesterday for using the term ‘global warming’ , and my tormentor scolded me for not using the proper term – climate change. I pointed out that at the heart of the theory…is warming…and he went away angry, confident of my obvious ignorance. CAGW us still in use without the acrimony, but I’m starting to think many of the loudest believers just don’t know what it stands for. We should probably just be thankful that Al Gore didn’t get his way and have everyone calling it ‘global climate disruption’…what a mouthful.

Reply to  Scott
November 27, 2018 12:22 pm

Today it is “diversity” or color judgments/discrimination (e.g. racism). Color before character, or not seeing the trees (i.e. individual, principles) for the forest (e.g. sex, gender, race, and other groupings). The semantic games are in play. One step forward, two steps backward.

Reply to  Scott
November 27, 2018 12:35 pm

It’s morphed into climate breakdown. Not kidding.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2018 4:40 am

Climate breakdown?!?

Dang! Somebody call for a tow truck, quick!

November 27, 2018 12:18 pm

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC): “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserts that limiting global warming to 1.5˚C could avert the most Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change. ”
OK then , not CAGW but CECC.

John Endicott
November 27, 2018 12:19 pm

Rational Wiki says: ‘“CAGW”, for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”, is a snarl word (or snarl acronym) that global warming denialists use for the established science of climate change.

Rational wiki, you lost all credibility on the subject the minute you used the snarl word “denialists”. Unlike that snarl word, “CAGW” has utility as a description of what is being discusses, because if the AGW isn’t C than there’s no need to do anything about it, certainly no need to spend $trillions and destroy economies over it.

Reply to  John Endicott
November 27, 2018 1:52 pm

Right on the money. Now that’s a snarl word. As soon as someone uses “denialist” they’ve lost all credibility with me.

Reply to  John Endicott
November 27, 2018 4:53 pm

Excellent statement.

November 27, 2018 12:26 pm

” Snarl ” seems quite uncalled for.
“Crank” is both more apposite, and easier to quantify, using the time-tested Baez Criteria :

November 27, 2018 12:28 pm

They don’t want don’t even want to define what we are debating.

November 27, 2018 12:34 pm

The term “denial” is most closely, politically, and emotionally associated with the one-time National Socialist practice of denying life they deemed unworthy of life (e.g. selective-Jew), who they believed were guilty of Jew privilege. The close association of “denial” and skepticism of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, Anthropogenic Global Warming, and the truism: Climate Change, is beyond slander, and merits contempt with prejudice.

November 27, 2018 1:16 pm

CAGW? It doesn’t stand for “Computationally Assumed Global Warming?”

Gary Pearse
November 27, 2018 1:28 pm

Despite the analysis to death, a modifer is essential for the issue to have meaning. Were it simply Global Warming, a so-what bland observation made by everybody concerning the last several hundred years, there is no concern built in to GW.

Okay, what happens if we categorize the development as ‘Anthropically’ caused? Well we would get some differences of opinion on how much or if at all, but guess what? Since neither ‘anthropogenic’ or ‘warming’ descriptors are alarming in themselves, this just makes another so-what phrase, equally begging for a modifier.

So, is this AGW a benign development, a nuisance, a worrying concern to humans and their economies or are we heading, unchecked, into a planetary crisis for the entire biosphere with mass extinctions, the statue of liberty up to her armpits in seawater, the collapse of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets…

Oh its planetary! You even want to name the planetary epoch the Anthropocene! Then let’s not hide the horror in a wishy washy terminolgy. Choose a modifier that is a synonym for catastrophic if you dont like ‘Catastrophic’, say ‘Cataclysmic’ or Calamitous, how about Apocalyptic… Catastrophism is at least a scientific term (geol.)

Joel O’Bryan up above had it right. When the globe stopped warming for 2 decades, the same duration of the warming spell that had ‘Established(!) Cimate Science’ all exercised, they changed the term to ‘Climate Change’ so whatever happened was covered. I do believe they dislike the ‘Warming’ part as much as the ‘Catastrophic’ part even when all the worries are that business as usual wil be, well, errr catastrophic.

Rud Istvan
November 27, 2018 1:31 pm

Snarl word CAGW = warmunist projection.
They predicted catastrophes, and snarl when skeptics point out how foolish they later look in reality. West Side Drive still not under water. Arctic ice still there. Polar bears thriving. Tuvalu growing rather than shrinking (ditto Maldives, Vanuatu, and Kiribati). UK Kids have plenty of snow to play in. Wind is still intermittent. Sun still does not shine at night. Neither provides grid inertia. So renewables an economic and grid reliability disaster. No wonder warmunists project CAGW as a skeptical snarl word. If my belief system conflicted with reality as much as theirs, I’d be snarly too.
Great post, Andy West. Learned something new. TY.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 28, 2018 9:19 am

Thanks, Rud 🙂

November 27, 2018 1:39 pm

Can someone run a survey of those mainstream “climate scientists” – do you believe in CAGW?

Reply to  Robber
November 27, 2018 1:58 pm

Why am I thinking the number 97%?

Reply to  Robber
November 27, 2018 4:24 pm

If they didn’t believe it was catastrophic then they would just reporting, we did our study and things are up slightly so we have some basic advice you might like to consider. That doesn’t really sound like any climate scientist I have ever heard, the ones who want to change the entire world political and economic landscape no matter what.
The whole Snarl word junk is just another psychology argument to try and control and frame the discussion. It comes from the belief he who makes the definitions controls the arguments.

jim hogg
November 27, 2018 2:02 pm

Just because it’s misused by some doesn’t strip it of legitimacy when properly used. The acronym doesn’t contain any letter implying imminence, so I think I’ll stick with using it in connection with the disasters the green lobby and AGW scientists are predicting as very likely within the lifetime of those entering the world at the moment – if we don’t drastically change our ways.

Steve Reddish
November 27, 2018 2:03 pm

“When used as snarl words, these words are essentially meaningless; most of them can be used with meaning, but that seldom happens.”

This is where Rational Wiki gets it wrong. I have always used CAGW as a literal label describing a particular body of speculation about man’s influence on our climate. I have never witnessed another skeptic using CAGW differently. I certainly have never used that term to refer to a person, as CAGWist isn’t in my vocabulary.

I think this claim by Rational Wiki is another example of projection. The people writing it use snarl words frequently (denialist) and assume others do too.

Additionally, this is an attempt to weaken the power of the term “CAGW” by gutting it of meaning.


November 27, 2018 2:04 pm

Sigh, more leftist “Newspeak”. If the climate change caused by anthropogenic released CO2 is not catastrophic then why are we spending billions to stop it? This is another attempt to deny anyone who disagrees with a leftist position the use of words that specifically define what they are talking about. Similar to saying that some one can’t be racist because they’re a “person of color”.

Alan Ranger
November 27, 2018 2:37 pm

For a long time I’ve used the rather more honest (and simpler) acronym:
C6 – Capitalist Caucasian Caused Catastrophic Climate Change

Why not just call it for what it is?

Reply to  Alan Ranger
November 27, 2018 3:51 pm

So-called “White” privilege. Been there, done that. The “religious” philosophy of diversity or color judgments is so early to mid-twentieth century.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  n.n
November 28, 2018 1:35 pm

But still implicitly evident in all things “climate change” well into the 21st century. Sad.

Steve O
November 27, 2018 2:47 pm

I think I have this figured out.

For political purposes and to affect public policy, the scaremongering will go on. Catastrophic consequences… worse than we thought… 97% consensus… that’s all good.

But there are some serious people who want to remain silent about the abusive exaggeration of their work for political purposes without being held accountable. They want to whisper their objections from the mountaintop. Preferably one that is remote where no one will hear.

Thomas Black
November 27, 2018 3:12 pm

The whole basis of climate alarmisim is: AGW will be catatsrophic.
If only denialists use it, per Wiki, then why does skeptical science use it?

Reply to  Thomas Black
November 27, 2018 4:28 pm

It’s pretty simple if it isn’t catastrophic then there is no imperative to act, we can consider the advice and think about it for a while. Put that to them and watch them react because you only have x years to save the world 🙂

Michael Carter
November 27, 2018 3:54 pm

I was hoping for a topic in which to post the following:

Within the last 24 hours the Stuff mainstream news media (biggest in New Zealand) have come out with this editorial

A couple of extracts:

“Mature adults can disagree about the impact of climate change and how we should react. We’ll feature a wide range of views as part of this project, but we won’t include climate change “scepticism”. Including denialism wouldn’t be “balanced”; it’d be a dangerous waste of time. The experts have debunked denialism, so now we’ll move on.”

“Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide a venue for denialism or hoax advocacy. That applies equally to the stories we will publish in Quick! Save the Planet and to our moderation standards for reader comments.”

They do give opportunity for readers to comment on most articles. I have put in a few comments lately using our official weather data to demonstrate that their claims that there are now more droughts, floods, storms and tide surges due to climate change are false. A number have not been published.

Now they have come out and said clearly that they will not publish any views or evidence that counter the global warming narrative.

I am quite shocked actually as this has never been the way in NZ. It a sad day for our country.

I admire you white knights that willingly expose yourselves to the viciousness of the GW lobby. I have had a taste of it myself of late and are now relieved that I will never again post a comment on the Stuff network.

I was only relaying official data !

Regards to all

Michael C

Reply to  Michael Carter
November 27, 2018 4:16 pm

When good people do nothing… you know what happens next. If you love your country, please persevere.

November 27, 2018 4:58 pm

So, what was the original intent of this article? Was this an assignment where some sum total of words were necessary, e.g. 5,000 words?

Stuffed single space block text with critical points, statements and claim buried deep and smothered in unnecessary words.
I fully agree with “George Daddis November 27, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Then there is the confusing method where footnotes document partial statements. That is, to further understand this statement read this linked source.

Then there is the absurd claim; “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” and especially it’s acronym “CAGW” are “snarl” terms… Bogus!

Is the current period of climate warming?
Yes, thank God! Though that is another snarl term to many blame mankind devotees.
Ergo; “Global Warming” to describe our current cycle of climate. Though as more and more alarmists realize that the climate ain’t warming according to their religions, they are desperately trying to rephrase their term to the utterly meaningless “climate change”.

It would be dang frightening if the climate cycle starts cooling!!

IPCC and many many of the alarmists desperately want to blame mankind for 100% of the warming.
Ergo; “Anthropogenic Global Warming”.
Even though $Billions have been spent without proving that attribution to mankind.

None of the governmental, NGO, activists and their organizations appear to need factual proof of attribution to mankind.

Which brings up “Catastrophic”!
The entire alarmist medley desperately want to gloss over any of the proofs! Whether CO₂ caused all of the warming and specifically that it is anthropogenic CO₂ causing all of the warming are topics alarmists spin themselves dizzy, trying to distract others from investigating.

Here, “Catastrophe” serves both as a strawman distraction and also as rallying cries!
Name virtually any study that mentions CO₂, and that study inevitability claims some version of armageddon to wildlife. In fact it is a well known ‘de rigeur’ statement to achieve easy publishing and future grants.

Many of these studies are promptly represented in the world’s compliant complicit mass media with lurid catastrophic headlines.

Now apparently, mass media and alarmists want to further censor those the alarmists call “deniers”, a truly repulsive abhorrent term. Once again, pot, kettle, whatever are projecting their darkness onto others.

The real reason?
When alarmists issue another catastrophic headline or attribute unfortunate weather events to catastrophic climate, they do not want the honest to accurately frame their deceptions as CAGW.

Alarmists know it’s the truth and it hurts!

November 27, 2018 5:03 pm

I like to use CACA — Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Aggravation — as a more organic, earthy term.

November 27, 2018 5:45 pm

‘In a statement, UN Environment deputy director and assistant secretary-general Joyce Msuya said it was time for governments to act.
“If the IPCC report represented a global fire alarm, this report is the arson investigation,” Ms Msuya said.’

No CAGW to see here, move along exaggerating denier folks.

November 27, 2018 6:13 pm

For any allegedly serious group to deny that the climate concerned consensus is nit based on catastrophic outcomes is for that group to abandon all pretense of being serious.
From Hansen’s grand public delusional breakdown in the Senate circus, to the latest faux science report from the IPCC, climate promotion has relied on scaring people by either lying about weather or lying about the future. And either way the lues are designed to scare people.
wiki is so far off base with their conspiratorial claptrap about skeptics as to almost be funny.
Instead they are just annoying and pathetic.

Robert B
November 27, 2018 7:03 pm

Thermogeddon is a snarl word. CAGW is not because even if, like Cliff Mass, you stray from human emissions caused Hurricane Harvey et al, you get called insane.

If you search for “catastrophic” in all academic papers, you will find that it is used to describe the predictions of the scientific papers (that they choose to cite) on the ramifications of global warming.

November 27, 2018 7:55 pm

The acronym “CAGW” is descriptive, precise and accurate, which is why Leftists hate the term so much.

Leftists must hide their true intensions through NEWSPEAK/PC/censorship/brainwashing/litigation/Fake News, etc., because if people actually understood their true objectives, they wouldn’t just #WalkAway, they’d run…

It’s much better for Leftists to obfuscate the reality of their CAGW cult by using the “Climate Change” because it’s: vague, obtuse, manipulative, all encompassing, and can never be disproven because, well, the climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system which is ALWAYS changing…

It all comes down to ECS. CAGW originally hypothesized that doubling CO2 levels to 560ppm would cause 3~5C of catastrophic global warming by 2100, and thus cause catastrophic climatic consequences: 2~10 meters of Sea Level Rise, massive droughts and famine, decreased crop yields, catastrophic desertification, mass extinctions, catastrophic increases in the frequency and severity of: typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, pandemics, wildfires, catastrophic Antarctic land-ice melting, etc., etc. etc….

Since NONE of CAGW’s predictions have come even close to reflecting reality, the CAGW hypothesis is already a disconfirmed hypothesis under the rules of the scientific method, which is something the Left will try to avoid admitting for as long as possible, and explains why the Left insists on calling their cult “Climate Change” and not CAGW.

CAGW is already joke and will soon be laughed at given the coming multidecadal global cooling when the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans all enter their respective 30-year cool cycles from the early 2020’s, and a 50~75-year Grand Solar Minimum event starts from 2020.

CAGW is already dead, while “Climate Change” will continue for billions of more years…

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 27, 2018 8:06 pm

There is no “C” in the AGW hypothesis.

The “C” is a strawman built by the rejectionist (note I didn’t use the “de__er” term) group.

If you disagree with me, please provide a link to a peer reviewed scientific paper that uses the “C” word to describe the working hypothesis of the study of the paper’s subject.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 27, 2018 9:01 pm


I clearly explained WHY Leftist grant grubbers try to obfuscate the true definition of their silly hypothesis…

Of course Leftist grant grubbers would NEVER use add the qualifier “Catastrophic” to AGW as it would be far too accurate and descriptive …

Leftist hacks prefer to use vague and undefinable terms such as “Climate Change” because it allows the hypothesis to mean absolutely anything.

Under the silly term “Climate Change”, global temps can fall, increase or remain relatively stable, but as long as there is “climate change”, they think their silly cult is safe from being defunded/disconfirmed…

This isn’t how science actually works…

Reply to  SAMURAI
November 27, 2018 10:01 pm

Basically our hands on all the grant mannah from Heaven are scrupulously clean. Can we help it if some enthusiastic lay folks exaggerate and beat up our research linking everything that goes bump in the night to climate change?

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 27, 2018 9:30 pm

Weasel words as they also serve who sit in stony silence as the spruikers like Ms Msuya and the IPCC carry on with their hysterics and grey literature going right back to Al Gore and the rubbish hockey stick. Peer reviewed be damned with their tree ring circus, fiddled data and computer models as they destroyed the very ethos of it as the Climategate emails confirmed. Fire alarms and arson I ask you? Like their broken record tipping points and shifting sands descriptors. Try inclement weather if you’re struggling with it all.

Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 28, 2018 3:49 am

Wow, Phillip is this stupid and still literate.
Modern medicine is amazing.

John Tillman
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 28, 2018 3:50 pm


If there be no catastrophe, danger, disaster, threat, etc. in presumed man-made climate change, then what is the problem? Proponents of AGW before WWII and WWI thought that it would be beneficial, as indeed it would be if man-made warming did exist globally.

But I don’t know how you missed such catastrophic doomsaying by the leading proponents of AGW as Hansen’s “Venus Express” and “boiling oceans”. As for peer-reviewed papers discussing just “catastrophic” climate change, please look here:

More of course could be found talking about President Obama’s “dangerous” climate change and similar terms prophesying an apocalyptic Thermageddon.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
November 28, 2018 3:57 pm

For your edification, education and amusement. by former director of GISS:

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

Robert B
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
November 29, 2018 2:48 pm
Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems
No use of “catastrophic” in the abstract and its not a climatology paper (and only loosely science).

John Robertson
November 27, 2018 8:04 pm

That is quite the blather,what were you trying to say?
That the bureaus of Climate Change policy makers might be dishonest?
Moving the goal posts is one way to change the result?

By the way,What is this Climate Science of which you speak?
As with the original proclamations of Catastrophic consequences to result form mans burning of fossil fuels,Science has been mighty scarce.
What might invalidate the claims of “Climate Science”?

November 27, 2018 8:18 pm

CAGW as a ‘snarl’ word? That leaves me snarling from ear to ear. I am snarling so hard that I have tears in my eyes!

Reply to  eyesonu
November 28, 2018 6:51 am

Maybe a new version of CAGW is in order.

UCAGW —- Unprecedented Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming

Yea … that’s the ticket! To say it would require a certain amount of pucker of the lips suggesting a snarl!

November 28, 2018 5:26 am

Rational Wiki (and Wikipedia more generally) are now platforms for propagating radical materialistic worldview. Communist propaganda with its aggressive ‘scientific worldview’ would be proud of modern Rational Wiki. I’ve just have a look on the term miracle and you can find such pearls as:

Many of the miracles reported in the Bible are of the tall-tale variety that include the parting of the Red Sea, bringing back a dude named Lazarus from the dead (he was just sleepin’!), and surviving the raging fires of an oven.

Mixture of scorn and childish mentality. Well, I reckon in the company of Jesus Christ, Buddha other leaders and teachers and yes, Lazarus too, ‘climate denialists’ should feel quite well. Far better companions than editors of Rational Wiki.

Reply to  Paramenter
November 28, 2018 9:40 am

Consider the whole point of calling something a miracle: it’s an event that couldn’t happen in the natural world without supernatural intervention. If you reject the possibility of the supernatural, you reject the existence of genuine miracles.

Nowadays the word, like many other useful words, has been cheapened, frequently used to describe a highly improbable (but not impossible) positive outcome.

Reply to  drednicolson
November 28, 2018 12:34 pm

Consider the whole point of calling something a miracle: it’s an event that couldn’t happen in the natural world without supernatural intervention. If you reject the possibility of the supernatural, you reject the existence of genuine miracles.

Fair enough. But Wiki goes further than that. It is something like: ‘because science has proven than supernatural powers are just myths, products of human imagination, therefore science also has proven that there is no such thing as genuine miracles. Highly improbably events may happen indeed but they are still products of purely materialistic causes’.

November 28, 2018 9:01 am

This is hilarious — they describe a “snarl” word, and that’s coming from professional word-smithing, hate-mongering wikapukeia.

November 28, 2018 9:14 am

Charles: Thanks for trying, appreciated, but I fear this diet is not to taste here. Worth noting though folks, that there’s a very sizeable collection (~180) of catastrophe quotes from various authority sources and scientists in the footnotes file, which some may find is a useful ‘all in one place’ reference.

November 28, 2018 9:42 am

Climate Club does not want you to talk about Climate Club.

Pop Piasa
November 28, 2018 6:56 pm

Let’s set science aside and fight over the vernacular! Brilliant leftist straw man tactic!

Pop Piasa
November 28, 2018 7:01 pm

(forgive me)

Johann Wundersamer
December 3, 2018 9:56 am

Andy West,

the acronym CAGW is mindlessly misleading from the beginning when underlying CAGW with the meaning

anthropogenic global warming that is catastrophic

while it should express

anthropogenic global warming that will trigger catastrophes.


Johann Wundersamer
December 3, 2018 10:23 am

Your analysis, anyway, reminds on

Sure science would be better of with some elementary tools from semiotics.

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