Climate change and wildfires. An Interview with An Imperfect Union

By Jim Steele

I was interviewed by journalists for a video journalist group, Imperfect Union, who make videos for Facebook Watch. They interview people with opposing views on a wide range of topics. This was their first climate oriented video. They sought a discussion on the possible effects of climate change on California’s wildfires. The journalists were very nice and seemed totally unbiased. I liked that The Imperfect Union tries to create a respectful dialogue between opposing viewpoints, but due to their contract with Facebook, their videos are limited to 6 minutes.

The interviews lasted about 3 hours. Sometimes we were interviewed singly and other times together. They then add a segment where we, with opposing views, are photographed working together for a good cause. So part of our 3 hours was spent at the Peninsula Humane Society that had been supporting their local chapters that were dealing with pets stranded by the Camp Fires. Unfortunately, because the interviews were condensed into 6 minutes of video time many of my arguments didn’t make the final cut. Although I like their intentions to create a respectful dialogue, the time was far too short to be meaningful and the editing subjective. A red team-blue team climate debate, that can similarly and respectfully delve into these issues, but in more detail manner is what the public really needs in order to separate extreme climate catastrophe speculation from more solid scientific investigations .

We were not told who we would be debating until we first met in order to prevent us from doing google searches that might provide “ammunition” during the interview. My opponent was Laura Neish, a member of the SF Bay area’s 350.org, Bill McKibben’s organization that relentlessly pushes the idea of the 97% of the scientists agree. Laura was totally unaware of the scientific literature regards wildfires and many other climate issues. So she continuously pushed 350.org’s advocacy of the mythical talking point that 97% of the scientists and all the scientific organizations agree that human produced CO2 is causing climate change and all observed catastrophes, despite the fact there has never been a survey of scientists regards climate and wildfires.

The Imperfect Union gets 100,000 views or more. So I suggest that it is a good place for people to add comments and improve the discussion with more detailed points that An Imperfect Union’s format could not allow.

View the 6 minute video below.

 

UPDATE: The original post linked to a video on Facebook, which note everyone could view. The video has been updated with a local copy. – Anthony

85 thoughts on “Climate change and wildfires. An Interview with An Imperfect Union

  1. The rep from 350.org is stuck on the 97% theme and the precautionary principle, neither of which are actually science.

    • What survey found that 97% of “all scientists” (however defined) believe that man-made global warming is responsible for CA wildfires?

    • Whenever I hear the 97% mantra I know that the speaker never read the survey and doesn’t understand it. Same with the argument “We must do A because otherwise B might happen.” There is no point in further listening because they don’t understand the scientific method or how to reason.

      • The only survey/study I have seen that legitimately asserts 97% consensus is the original Duran survey. This was based on less than 100 climate scientist that were actively publishing (their criteria). It asked if man had a measurable (their word was ‘significant’) affect on global average temp. Hard to use that in a conversation to argue…. anything.

        • “Duran survey”

          I think it was Doran, and Zimmerman. Or maybe they were just hungry like the wolf. 🙂

        • D & Z surveyed over 3000 government and academic scientists (none from the private sector), but publicized only 79 “actively publishing climate scientists”, ie largely GIGO computer programmers rather than real climatologists.

          Of these, 77 answered yes to the first question, whether the world had warmed since the mid-19th century. To question two, whether humans were mainly responsible for this warming, 75 said yes. So even in this cherry-picked sample, fewer than 97% agreed with both questions. There was no third question as to whether warming was good or bad.

          All the other categories of scientist responded with lower levels of approval, with “economic geologists” below 50%. Yet people who should know better parrot the media’s Big Lie that “97% of all scientists” believe in dangerous man-made climate change.

          • And significantly, neither question asked anything about CO2 and neither could be answered without subjective assumptions by the responder.

          • If I recall — and I can’t find the reference on Wikipedia (surprise, surprise) — some time in the last two years Maggie Zimmerman recanted and admitted that the 97% was meaningless.

            The entire survey was flawed since a) it was a self-selected 3,000 that replied; b) even that number was whittled down to a handful (reason unknown); c) the first question was irrelevant in terms of who was responsible for warming and the second unscientifically vague as to extent.

            No doubt Doran came out if it with brownie points (which was probably the aim). Not sure it did Zimmerman any favours long-term.

      • Indeed Greg, I asked her what survey she had read to get that number but she didnt know. That interchange didnt make the cut She clearly did not know fire ecology and had not read any research papers on the subject.

    • I remeber watching an question session in front of congress (I think) of the chief of the Sierra Club. After the first couple of easy questions the only answer he, or any of his so called advisers sitting along side, could give was “97% of scientists agree with this”. It was the most pathetic display of ignorance that I have ever seen – and that includes the UK’s Prime Minister’s Question Time

  2. She uses the words “belief/believe” and “don’t have time” which are just plain wrong for a discussion that is supposed to be based on science.

    • But you gotta love that she starts out by stating she believes in physics and science…then is dim enough to believe that she and Jim are essentially on the same page. I don’t think she heard a word he said.

    • Science has left the climate scene, it is now a political/emotion based “issue”.
      Notice the recent shift to the use of phrases like “don’t have time” and “local” public protests which ignore the rule of law.

      A beachhead for new memes is being established and it is not healthy.
      The game is afoot.

  3. Hopefully I don’t have to tell the good folks here that the 97% myth is based on one survey conducted 11 years ago? From Wikipedia itself, the site that describes WUWT as a site “promoting climate change denial” (which characterization I have repeatedly edited to no avail BTW):

    “In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. The survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; 41% say they thought the effects of global warming would be near catastrophic over the next 50–100 years; 44% say said effects would be moderately dangerous; 13% saw relatively little danger; 56% say global climate change is a mature science; 39% say it is an emerging science.[30][31]”

    In other words, although 56% of those surveyed stated that they felt global climate change is “a mature science – which I personally find hilarious given that none of their predictions have come true – 59% of that sample of 489 people felt that there would be no catastrophic results.

    And then of course, you have this sample of 31,487 scientists: http://www.petitionproject.org/.

    Any reasonable person has to then consider the real drivers behind the imagined consensus: career relevance, grants, publish/perish, social control, fame and celebrity, and all the other very human pitfalls science is and always has been subject to. For governments this was an unexpected windfall that made the dollar signs light up in eyes: tax-grabs and social control through distraction and redirection from their own avarice, power hunger, and ineptitude. Pathetic that this pseudoscience not only persists, but grows like a damn tumor no matter how ludicrous their claims get.

    • Michael wrote: “the 97% myth is based on one survey ”
      Actually there are at least 4 such things.

      The report by Idso, Carter, and Singer [2nd edition, Why Scientists Disagree . . .] Cover Photo, only lists 4 reports from which one might get the 97% number.
      The writers describe each of the four, and explain why they are wrong/meaningless.

      Although the “Petition Project” is interesting, not all the signers are or were active scientists, may not have done research, and if they did, it may have had little to do with climate. It is not a random sample.
      Further, in the same way that the canine Kenji is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists [here, the Petition Project seems to have not filtered the signers very well.
      Disclosure: My wife and I did submit our names. We do have science and degrees in our backgrounds, but neither of us are “climate scientists.”

      • but neither of us are “climate scientists.”

        Neither is Al Gore and he is the respected godfather of Global warming.

        • Virtually all of them are mathematicians, not scientists, their science credentials are mere participation medals.

          He was educated at The Corsham School, earned a BA (Hons) in mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford, and a PhD in applied mathematics at University College London.[3] Schmidt worked on the variability of the ocean circulation and climate, using general circulation models (GCMs). He has also worked on ways to reconcile paleo-data with models. He helped develop the GISS ocean and coupled GCMs to improve the representation of the present day climate, while investigating their response to climate forcing.[4]

          • Gary Ashe

            No one else in his classes?

            And with all these credentials he wouldn’t debate with Roy Spencer.

    • Some big personalities guard the hallowed halls of Wikipedia. I’ve tried making a couple of pages, but they continually get flagged and removed. I’ve also had some dealings with a couple of the admins and they had massive egos that were entirely self-referential “I’m correct, just ask me” types.

      Wikipedia is a helpful page in some respects, but you’ll always need to be mindful that you are only getting the information that gets past the mod team.

      • Voltron
        WikiPedia is perfect for looking up information
        on the old Leave it to Beaver TV show

        On important subjects, it is a steaming pile
        of farm animal digestive waste products,
        policed by many leftists, who are experts
        in such things.

        Over a decade ago I tried to correct
        a ridiculous page
        on audio equipment testing,
        based on 40 years of experience,
        as an audiophile,
        but my cool, calm
        and collected revisions
        disappeared within hours.

        Since that time
        I have used WikiPedia
        only to do research on
        the Leave it to Beaver show.

        When I hear the words “Wikipedia Says …” ,
        I plug my ears with my fingers and hum
        the national anthem, so I don’t hear
        anything else.

        Wikipedia is an example of how much an
        “encyclopedia” can deteriorate when
        a majority rules it.

        • Yes. One issue is that Wikipedia is not about correctness, but citeability.

          Articles on some hard science topics are very good indeed, because they’ve got very little opinionating and a lot of fact from an expert backed by good sources.

          Articles on political topics let political opinions through, and since they are political, whoever wrote them is inclined to defend them. This means a kind of majority vote democracy wins and the minority will be obliterated.

          It is very difficult to get any facts published if they undermine the CAGW in any manner, and if they get published, the article will probably self-refute so that the findings that are not on-message, will be neutralized.

          I”ve given up. In many cases, sources claim so weird things that any article based on these sources may say anything. And this is reality in all politically very controversial topics. What should we do? Short term, wait. Either sea levels rise 6m in 80 years, or just a foot, and the future wikipedians will get that fact right.

          In my opinion, Wikipedia should allow more space for diversity of view, but this is impossible to force where key authors are of an extreme opinion.

          I continue to contribute, but not to very political articles, due to the leftist mob.

      • Wikipedia is an outshoot of Oreskianism when it comes to climate: dissent is not allowed.
        What is Oreskianism? It is climate science cast in the form of Lysenkoism, thanks to Oreskes and company, who reject any outside critique of consensus climate science. The comparison of consensus climate science to Lysenkoism was first made by William Happer.

        Don132

  4. It is a start, even if the alarmist side was poorly represented by someone who didn’t know much about the subject.

    The usefulness of six minutes is limited on a broad subject. That’s OK, the value is the rise of people willing to consult instead of holler.

    It would not matter much what the topic was, if you were to consult a 350.org representative. They already know the one magic answer to all questions.

    As 350.org is a money-taking advocacy organization, perhaps they could pick a scientific organization’s representative who is at least aware of the literature and resource data sets.

  5. Out of 3 hours, that was the best that they could ? Maybe next they should let the interviewees be the editors, 3 minutes each ?

  6. Science isn’t consensus, and consensus is not science.
    – Michael Crichton

    The only policy relevant question regarding climate change and mankind’s impacts on it is, “What is the climate sensitivity to increasing levels of CO2 gas?”. Everything else is just advocacy for rentseeking and/or a quasi-religious, faith-based noble cause to justify an ideology.

    Getting caught down in the weeds of starving polar bears, wildfires during fireseason, and hurricanes during hurricane season on the Gulf are all forms chasing ghosts. There is nothing there unless you want to see them. And if you want to see them, you will.

    Science has been the tool of the last 500 years that has led humanity out of the darkness of superstition from our imaginations. It first brought Western Civilization and then the world out of witch burnings, voodoo human sacrificial ceremonies, and all that surrounds imaginary superstitions. Climate change alarmism scare stories are just the latest in this long history of human imaginations run wild, and just like the past, prophesized by a small class looking to use it as a means of power and control.

    • People whose IQ is not good enough to do science or engineering go into politics. The result is a modern society. Should we become royalists?

      • No; inbreeding is even worse, as is “royal” succession of purely stupid actors (Prince Charles, we’re talking about YOU!).

        Meaningful term limits (for for politicians & managing bureaucrats) is part of the answer. Another piece is no corporate donations

          • Who decides the qualifications, such as belief in CAGW is required? Term limits are double edged sword all bureaucrats have to do is BS and delay until next guy is elected.
            I propose myself as dictator for life, after that not my problem 🙂

          • Ocasio-Cortez underscores a need for some minimal level of competency. Can you imagine several dozen more of her kind in Congress?

        • At least with royalty the uselessness is random. With politicians they are selected for their uselessness by other useless politicians hence the uselessness is not random. Not only that but it is self reinforcing and so down the slippery slope we go with only the occasional Trump to slow the descent for a while.

          Queen Elizabeth has been quite sensible, her idiot batwing eared gormless nerd of a son is what the genes threw up. The next one stands a good chance of being decent, even the one after that. Unfortunately our next president is virtually certain to be a gormless loon who will dance on our hopes and dreams just to impress his cohort.

          I don’t despair, really, but I do find it hard to smile now and again.

      • An ideal situation could be a benevolent dictatorship a la De Gaulle. The problems are (1) There aren’t enough De Gaulles around, and (2) How do you keep the dictator benevolent?

  7. “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”

    ― Galileo Galilei would not “believe” in the 97% consensus drivel….IMHO

  8. I’d love to see a transcript of the entire two hours. The six minutes I saw was thoroughly uninformative. Jim made the point that it’s the minimum temperatures that are seeing the increase. That was perhaps the only substantial point made in the entire six minutes.

    • Steve,
      The ‘Imperfect Union’ apparently thinks their audience has a very limited attention span. I’m thinking they are right….

  9. Ron says, “Neither of us are Climate scientists” , but what is a “Climate scientist” ?
    Is there such a person ?

    To quote our famous Australian politician Pauline Hansen, “Please explain”.

    As for Äl Gore, , the so called “Godfather of climate science not being one. He Gore is the modern day version of the infamous Dr Gobbles, the original master o art of disinfamation.

    MJE

    • Michael don’t forget that Dr Hansen was Gore’s main adviser for his AIT and even he told us that Paris COP 21 was just BS and fra-d. ( see guardian interview DEC 2015) Kinda tells you something doncha think?

  10. If I limited any of the discussions I had about anything important to 6 minutes I would be wasting the full 360 seconds.

    Is there any reason why they could not publish the full unedited videos on YouTube or another online video platform?

    • Yes, there is a reason: you don’t actually want the “skeptic” to score points or, god forbid, win the debate.

      You want the scruffy SJW to give the smarty-pants fully-qualified scientist a thorough trashing.

      This is what always happened in the old Japanese horror movies: mainstream scientists couldn’t control Mothra – it was always the young scientist in the back of the room with the lady in a tight sweater who won the day & saved the earth.

      /s

  11. One bloke is talking about the REAL planet earth and a silly woman is talking about Bill McKibbon’s fantasy planet and never the twain shall meet.
    If you’re not prepared to provide real data/evidence you are just providing more silly religious dogma. And religion is a belief and certainly not science.
    You may as well talk to a strainer post, because very few of these anti data freaks ever wake up.

  12. One of my pet peeves about the 97% mantra is that activists who repeat it not only commit a logical fallacy of appealing to authority, but often commit another fallacy by applying it to all things coming out of climate science that it wasn’t meant to cover (i.e., extreme weather, drought, sea level, wildfires, whether the warming is catastrophic, etc…).

  13. Only 5% of the American population (33% are college-educated; of those, only 15% have STEM degrees. 33% * 15% = 5%) have the education required (scientific method + differential equation math skill) to form such an opinion.

    Did you see what happened to the minutely qualified Willie Soon?

  14. Well then, I guess this begs the question: how many of the 489 in the 2011 survey I cited were themselves actively involved in “climate science”? ARE meteorologists “climate scientists”? Or geophysicists? Hansen, Gore’s handpicked science whore and the progenitor of the entire movement, specialized in the climate of the planet Venus I believe. Does that make him an authority on the climate of the planet earth?

    In any event, as others have pointed out, consensus means nothing. 100% of Nazi scientists were certain of the superiority of the German people over every other, and actively practised the extermination of the mentally disabled, Jews, Slavs, etc., which consensus barely needs mentioning here. Eugenics was massively endorsed by scientists and governments the world over at one point in history. I have little doubt thar future generations will understand what is happening now, and will be astonished at the sheeplike lockstep obedience, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias of so many otherwise intelligent people.

  15. Jim, thank you. You have totally outclassed her. As a result, this video won’t be shown anywhere.

  16. 6 minutes may seem scandalously short for any complex and important topic, but it’s enough for somone to discover that there actually are two sides, and get a broad outline of the main arguments. I’ve run into people who were surprised to learn that there is another point of view besides what they’ve heard in school, the media, etc.

      • Jim,
        It is my experience that the alarmists are so thoroughly indoctrinated that it is beyond their ken that anyone could legitimately hold a different opinion. That is why they so readily, and uncritically, accept the claim that anyone who disagrees with them must be in the employ of the fossil fuel industry. They are reality challenged!

        • The indoctrination is akin to Lysenkoism. Dissent is largely suppressed and the video, although interesting, wasn’t substantial enough to do any damage to the reigning narrative, a narrative that’s closely guarded and is about power and control, not science.
          Don132

  17. Here’s Dr Rosling’s data for the world since 1810 to 2010, where 200 countries move from poor and sick to wealthy and healthy. This is REAL DATA evidence since the start of the Ind Rev. Just 4 minutes of your time to view the progress of the world as the graph moves in front of your eyes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

    And here at his TED talk he asks a few simple questions of a large audience with very poor results. Just watch the first 5 minutes as they struggle to understand the REAL planet we live on. Or as the video tries to help us NOT to be ignorant about the world we live in.

  18. “not nearly as informed and smart and educated as you Jim”
    Hey Facebook that’s hate speech, isn’t it?

  19. She does a lot of virtue signalling, hoping that by getting the word out then someone out there will sacrifice the good life for the weather benefit.

  20. Facebook and their contractor all goodness & light up to the editing stage.
    Were the subjects offered the opportunity to review the heavily edited (180 to 6 min) final cut?
    Ah no . . .

    The Imperfect Union will be perfectly in step with the alarmists in no time.
    When the green mafia see this they’ll be straight on the phone to Mark & Co.
    It’s a small World at that level.

  21. The Left and other fraudsters call it Climate Change or sometimes just Climate but they really mean ‘Global Warming caused by burning fossil fuels’. Climate has always been changing. Compelling evidence as follows is that CO2 , in spite of being a ghg, has little to no effect on climate.
    1. In the late Ordovician Period, the planet plunged into and warmed up from the Andean/Saharan ice age, all at about 10 times the current CO2 level [3].
    2. Over the Phanerozoic eon (last 542 million years) there is no correlation between CO2 level and AGT [3].
    3. During the last and previous glaciations AGT trend changed directions before CO2 trend [2].
    4. Since AGT has been directly and accurately measured world wide (about 1895), AGT has exhibited up and down trends while CO2 trend has been only up. [2]
    5. Since 2001, average temperature uptrend calculated by Global Climate Models (GCMs, aka General Circulation Models) which assume CO2 causes AGW is about twice measured. (Section 8 of my blog/analysis)
    6. Analysis of CO2 and Temperature data 2002-2008 shows a close correlation between dCO2/dT and lower tropospheric temperature. This demonstrates that CO2 follows temperature and not the reverse. [30]
    The references [ ] are given as live links in my blog/analysis (b/a) at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

    NASA/RSS has been measuring average global water vapor by satellite and reporting numerical data since 1988. The data is reachable through http://www.remss.com/measurements/atmospheric-water-vapor/tpw-1-deg-product which eventually gets to http://data.remss.com/vapor/monthly_1deg/tpw_v07r01_198801_201810.time_series.txt where the last two digits are the month. When a new month is reported the previous month is deleted.
    According to these data, WV trend has been increasing about 1.5% per decade, 8% since 1960. This is about twice that calculated from the increased vapor pressure due to average temperature increase of global surface water. Data since Nov, 2017 have been below the linear trend.

    WV is a ghg and its increase has contributed (my estimate about 35% 1909 to 2017) to planet warming as a result of the (misleadingly named) ‘greenhouse effect’. The slight increase in warming is welcome and self-limiting but some infrastructure improvement is probably cost effective to reduce flood damage.

    “How much of recent flooding (with incidences reported worldwide) is simply bad luck in the randomness of weather and how much is because of the ‘thumb on the scale’ of added water vapor?”

  22. One of the most compelling reasons to reject the global warming hypothesis is that most of the people who support it are neurotic, dogmatic, patronizing, monomaniac, intellectually challenged, overbearing and outright pains in the neck.

    • Yes, as Feynman famously said “Science is the belief in the neuroticism of your opponents”
      Richard Feynman “Things stupid laymen believe” 1985

      • I forgot to add pretentious, querulous, contentious and prone to extended bouts of sophistry and logical fallacies, as is manifest in your reply which is replete with the following:

        1. Appeal to authority
        2. Bandwagon Fallacy
        3. Circular Argument

        Besides,the quote by Richard Feynman proves nothing because
        1. He is a quantum physicist, and his skill set does not relate to climatology
        2. The meaning of his remark has been gravely misinterpreted
        3. The remark has been misquoted, fraudulently if not deliberately.

        Of course, I can be accused in turn of the ad hominem fallacy, except in the case of global warming, it is an accurate summary of the behavior of its adherents, and this behavior has had a direct effect on the outcome of the debate.

        Global warming is a hypothesis only and anyone who treats it as a gospel truth is seriously demented.

        I challenge you to prove otherwise.

  23. Dodgy, at best.

    “I liked that The Imperfect Union tries to create a respectful dialogue between opposing viewpoints”

    Dialogues that get edited to six minutes?
    That is censorship in action.
    Editing choices decided by the editor’s personal opinion regarding what wll play well on Facebook.

    Nor are “fair” dialogues maintained by a third party ever “fair”.
    Even if they somehow keep the dialogue under “Roberts Rules of Order”, or “The Queensbury Rules”, conditions such as you describe where you are paired against someone professing religion, leaves monitors/mediators unable to truly steer a central course.

    All too often, mediators tend to follow a guideline that all discussions are successful when they meet in the middle. A belief that allows discussions between extremes, e.g. Churchill and Hitler, to be considered successful if Hitler only kills 5.5 million civilians.

    Science should be held to scientific principles, practice, evidentiary proof, replication and independent verification.
    Win/win discussions belong in the circular file.

  24. An additional riposte to the claim that all the world’s scientific societies endorse alarmism are:

    1) Their reports were made (I assume) by committees of self-selected volunteers who were (I assume) 97% greenies who are too-ready to assume that any human impact on Nature has bad, indeed catastrophic, consequences.

    2) Their reports do not all necessarily come to an alarmist conclusion.

    3) A few scientific societies have not endorsed the consensus (Russia and an Austrailian geological society that was unable to agree on an update to its prior alarmst report).

    4) The procedure by which some scientific societies have come to an alarmist conclusion is disgraceful (e.g., the APS and the AGU), as a result of top-down pressure by greenie officials.

  25. I wonder if the debunking of the Global Warming Petition Project by Ron here was cribbed from an alarmist site? Because here’s what I have on the signatories:

    “Of 31,486 scientists who have signed, 3,804 are trained in atmospheric, environmental, and Earth sciences; 935 in computer and mathematical methods; 5,812 in physics and aerospace sciences, and 4,821 in chemistry.”

    Please provide corrections with citations if this is incorrect. Thanks! Also wonder whatever came of the Senate hearings conducted with ~700 scientists including several IPCC expert reviewers, does anyone know? Sample quotations from my files:

    “The claims of the IPCC are dangerous unscientific nonsense.” – Vincent Gray.

    “Most leading geologists throughout the world know that the IPCC’s view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible.” – Tom Segalstad.

    Etc etc…

      • No, they’re still scientists obviously, they just aren’t trained in those particular disciplines – the ones that are of particular relevance to the subject under discussion.

        Speaking of which, hope someone can advise me of the outcome of the Senate hearings. there are (or at least were) Utube videos of segments, some quite long, but wondering why and how the whole thing was clearly relegated to the round file.

  26. Fire is a natural phenomenon here in Australia some seeds will not germinate until burnt. Every square centimetre of Plant Earth has been on fire in the past and will be on fire in the future. Forest management: try burning it twice.

  27. I hesitate to enter into this conversation, as it is clear that any amount of discussion is not going to change anyone’s mind here. The name-calling in this stream is plenty of evidence of unreasonableness and incivility. Nevertheless, as CIO for 350 Bay Area, here’s my 2 cents:
    First, 350 Bay Area is not part of 350.org. We are a community group that we formed that is inspired, and, on occasion, supported by 350.org.
    Second, on the Imperfect Union piece: We feel the video did not well represent the conversation that took place. It was more a corporate fluff piece to show that people who disagree can have a civil conversation in person, countering the vileness found on Facebook. It was not journalism, as evidenced by the agreement between Laura and Jim, that was not shown, that we should get off of fossil fuels.

    On the issue, since this discussion centers on scientific consensus, I’ll offer two rebuttals to the challenges to the ~97% finding:
    https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/scientists-agree-global-warming-happening-humans-primary-cause#.XBFMwmhKhXk and
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-robust.htm
    Also, not addressed here is the overwhelming confirmation by scientific societies of AGW. This list of almost 200 societies ( http://www.opr.ca.gov/facts/list-of-scientific-organizations.html ) includes highly respected organization. What is the equivalent list denying AGW? Dissing the IPCC also disregards the substantial qualifications of its worldwide participants.

    I agree that consensus among scientists does not equal truth. Scientific “truth” is always the “best guess” as based on evidence. There is significant evidence that the IPCC projections have understated AGW: https://www.skepticalscience.com/ipcc-scientific-consensus.htm

    I’ll make a point about risk. Whether or not you agree that AGW is happening, ask the question, what if you are wrong? If AGW is not happening, and we pursue an aggressive reduction of fossil fuels – what is the downside? Answer: Clean energy, less pollution, perhaps at a greater cost – though the trend is unmistakably for renewable energy to become cheaper than fossil fuels -already cheaper than coal and now challenging natural gas, esp. when huge subsidies for fossil fuels are taken out. And if AGW is happening, the downside is a hot, ruined planet for millennia to come.

    Finally, I’ll make a point of about delay. With the feedback loops and tipping points that earth’s climate has (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/aug/15/humans-are-pushing-the-earth-closer-to-a-climate-cliff) delay is the problem. IMHO McKibben’s point is well taken: winning slowly is the same as losing. A runaway climate is like a hill that gets steeper and steeper, turning into a cliff. This is un-terraforming 101. Concern about the climate used to be bipartisan. The profit-driven doubt funded by Exxon (most likely, illegally), Koch, etc. – and embraced by Republicans following Bush’s flip – has delayed the transition to clean energy, making it much more expensive and difficult. Further delay in putting on the brakes will make it impossible to turn back, if we we haven’t passed the point of no return already.

    Like I said, I do not expect to change the mind of anyone here. But I wanted to register a rebuttal, and again emphasize that Jim and Laura did agree that getting off of fossil fuels is needed.

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