An Example of AR4 WG2 False Alarmism

By Rud Istvan,

This post is a lightly reworked last third of much longer essay No Bodies in ebook Blowing Smoke, foreword by Professor Judith Curry of Georgia Tech. It concerns the demonstrably misleading dishonesty of AR4 WG2 concerning climate change caused species extinctions, and the shoddy science behind the one paper AR4 ultimately relied upon. It is a saga not yet told at WUWT, which Charles the Moderator thought might be interesting since actually very science based in a perverse way.

One of the firmer catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) predictions made by IPCC AR4 WG2 was an alarming increase in species extinctions. §4.4.11 Global synthesis including impacts on biodiversity was fairly specific. If warming reached 3°C above pre-industrial levels (projected absent serious mitigation) 21-52% of all species were committed to extinction (not necessarily yet extinct) by 2100. This official finding was based on 78 conclusions from 57 peer-reviewed papers on climate change biodiversity impacts, all listed in WG2 table 4.1. It appears to be supported by overwhelming scientific evidence. It isn’t.

How did IPCC AR4 WG2 reach its apparently scientific conclusion? A bit of forensic investigation starting with figure 4.4 shows how deceivingly dubious the IPCC process was.


The highlighted temperature rise of 1.7°C causing 9-31% species loss is supported by findings 5-7; 3°C causing 21-52% species loss is supported by findings 46-52. Most other findings discuss areal changes in habitat, or possible species impacts in specific ecosystems, for example the highlighted polar bears.

This official figure really says only 10 of the 78 references listed in table 4.1 actually support the IPCC global extinction estimates. The 10 references are:


Table 4.1 suggests deliberate IPCC intent to deceive in 4.4. The 1.7°C temperature estimate depends on only one reference, #1, not three. The 3°C global estimate also depends on only one reference, again #1, not the seven listed.[i] The entire IPCC AR4 global extinction estimate comes down to a single peer reviewed paper, #1 Thomas et. al. from 2004. [ii] In fact, 13 of the 78 IPCC 4.1 references are this single paper, including all numerical WG2 extinction estimates except freshwater fish. And fresh water fish weren’t globally risked in that sole other paper, as Table 4.1 #53 noted. [iii] This apparently deliberate IPCC deception merits closer scrutiny.

Thomas et. al. used a mathematical model of the exponential relationship between species number and species areal extent within ecosystem ‘climate envelopes’. Number of species S=c Az. Larger areas/envelopes A have more species; smaller areas/envelopes have fewer species. So as climate envelopes shrink with climate change, ‘extinctions’ rise since the equation says there will be fewer species. The exponent chosen by Thomas for final estimates for all species types in all regions was Z=0.25, which a paper footnote said was empirically appropriate for tropical birds given logging deforestation, citing a reference.[iv] That is a more than just dubious exponent value for all species including plants, and for climates outside the tropics.

A stronger methodological critique concluded this equation always overstates extinctions, no matter what exponent ‘Z’ is plugged in. [v]

HadCM2 was used to model temperature and rainfall change in seven regions for 2050, and hence future regional envelope areas A. Modeled regional climate change is dubious because of well-known problems with regionally downscaled GCMs. [vi] HadCM2 was also run “hot”. Supplemental information table 1 says a global mean anomaly of 2.6°C in 2050 for scenario SRES A2, ranging 2.1-3.9°C by modeled region. That is nearly twice what IPCC AR4 said. WG1 SPM Figure 5 scenario A2 ≈1.6°C. WG2 Figure 4.4 imaged above gives 1.5°C-1.7°C. Thomas modeled 2.6C for 2050 is absurdly inconsistent.

Using a dubious Z in a faulty equation with excessively hot climate model input, this paper then assessed 20% of Earth’s terrestrial surface in 7 specific regions, using seven groups of regionally endemic species including 112 mammals, 238 birds, 69 butterflies, and 607 plants. The Thomas supplemental information (SI) unfortunately does not identity the 1103 species assessed. Those endemic species results were extrapolated without modification to the world, a ‘hidden’ selection bias further overstating CAGW extinction risk.

(Note to WUWT readers. The earlier 2/3 of the ebook essay discussed species and extinction definitions in extensive detail, each with an illustrated example. An endemic species is one found only in some restricted, bounded singular ecosystem. The classic example is Costa Rica’s golden toad, found only in a 4km2 section of the Brilliante Ridge hiking trail of its famous MonteVerde Cloud Forest Reserve, The golden toad is now extinct because tourists hiking the Brilliante trail brought in chytridiomycosis fungal disease. Endemic species are automatically at much higher extinction risk by definition.)

Despite the missing SI species information, some things can be inferred about the Thomas paper’s species selections using birds (since they are passionately well studied by ‘birders’, and the basis for its ‘Z’). ‘Small’ Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) account for about 2500 of the known 10518 avian species, and 93% of all range restricted birds. EBAs are intensely monitored by birders since half of the EBA species are already classified as threatened (CR, EN, VU per IUCN). Thomas Table 1 says endemic birds were assessed in Queensland Australia, South Africa, Europe, and Mexico. Queensland has 630 bird species of which 20-22 are endemic; table 1 says 13 were used. South Africa has 843 bird species of which only 19 are endemic; 5 were used. Europe has about 800 species of which only about 10 are endemic; 34 were used. Mexico has 1054 species, 145 EBA’s, and 98 endemic species; 186 were used. The paper selected 238 out of 3019 bird species known in the studied regions, 8%. The selection is weighted at least (149/238) 63% EBA birds—half already listed as threatened. That is a strong selection bias. It is not subtle, merely hidden.

Queensland can be scrutinized even more closely. All 20-22 endemic bird species (sources vary as to how many are just in Queensland) have limited ranges and specialized habitats. For example, Victoria’s Riflebird (the Duwuduwu) is a bird of paradise found only in Atherton Tableland (Plateau) remnant cool rainforests (the rest of those originally extensive cool rainforests having been logged and converted to farmland). Half (11) of Queensland’s endemic birds live only in those high cool rainforest remnants, as viewed from the Mt. Bartle Frere hiking trailhead above present Atherton Tableland farms.


Select only range limited endemic birds surviving only in a remnant cool rainforest ecosystem, regionally downsize HadCM2 to model excessive overheating and reduced rainfall in it, and voila! Avian climate change extinction risk increases—a lot. Queensland birds were the highest risked of all animal species/regions in the Thomas paper’s Table 1 assessments. Even if it were true (it obviously isn’t), this finding would not extrapolate to the other 610 Australian nonendemic birds inhabiting a much broader range than a single remnant ecosystem. By limiting assessed avians to endemic/ near endemic species, results were inherently (but silently) biased toward extinction risk. The paper’s bird result is methodologically overstated even for EBA species. It does not apply at all to the other three fourths of bird species. Yet it was. Then that overstatement was compounded into a simple averaged high end IPCC AR4 WG2 estimated extinction risk for all species.

Two further examples of Thomas et. al. selection bias can be identified for plants. The World Wildlife Federation estimates there are 80,000 plant species in the Amazon region. Thomas et. al. selected 9 (but did not say which 0.01%), then modeled a 69-87% extinction risk for those. Those estimates became part of the simple averages for all plants. Thomas et. al. selected 243 out of roughly 400 species of South African Proteaceae (afrikanns ‘suikerbossie’ or sugarbushes). The Proteaceae family comprises 80 generi and roughly 1600 species worldwide including the familiar macadamia nut. South African Proteaceae grow mainly in a small Cape Hope ecosystem known as the Fynbos, which covers just 6.7% of South Africa. The Australian Atherton Tableland EBA ‘trick’ was deliberately repeated with South African Fynbos Proteacease plants.

IPCC AR4 WG2 provably relied on nothing but this one grievously flawed paper for its oft-repeated extinction estimates.

[i] AR4 WG2 T 4.1 Fn 30 is Najjar 2000. Raymond Najjar is a well-known ecologist at Penn State University. A complete list of his publications is available at PSU. In 2000 he published 6 papers, four on ocean chemistry and two on the US mid-Atlantic seacoast. Nothing about butterflies, extinctions, or Australia.

[ii] Thomas et. al., Extinction Risk from Climate Change, Nature 427: 145-148 (2004)

[iii] The fish estimate was 4-22% in just 66 out of 165 rivers (AR4 WG2 table 4.1 #53 said >10%) from a single paper Xenopoulos et. al., Scenarios of freshwater fish extinction from climate change and water withdrawal, Global Change Biology 11: 1557-1564 (2005). This paper took IPCC AR4 drought predictions, modeled additional irrigation water withdrawals, and then modeled fish extinctions as river flows declined. In 99 out of 165 rivers there were none.

[iv] Brooks et. al., Deforestation predicts the number of threatened birds in insular Southeast Asia, Conserv. Biol. 11: 382-394 (1997) and Deforestation and Bird Extinction in tropical forest fragments, Conserv. Biol. 13: 1140-1150 (1999)

[v] He and Hubbell, Species-area relationships always overstate extinction risk from habitat loss, Nature 473: 368-371 (2011)

[vi] Pielke and Wilby, Regional Climate Downscaling: whats the point?, EOS 93: 52-53 (2012)

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December 16, 2018 4:31 am


Article in The Times by Matt Ridley, Sunday, 28 June, 2015.

You will be shocked at how few species have gone extinct yet we are being told climate change is currently wiping out species.

Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 7:02 am

Here again, the signal vs. the noise: No one can even tell us how many species and sub-species have gone extinct in say, the last 1000 years because no one actually knows how many species exist and have existed on the earth! Science is recognizing newly discovered flora and fauna all the time! Further, natural forces have always driven arising and extinction of life–and no one can tell you how many, when, and where without hard fossil evidence, and even then causality is almost guessing. Why are there giraffes? Pandas? Fugu blowfish and dingoes? All of those seem to have arisen without relationship to human activity, and the world’s great historical extinctions happened long before human industry as well.

Reply to  Goldrider
December 16, 2018 8:04 am

Additionally, most species have ranges that vary much more than 3C from the northern most to the southern most. If the temperature actually did start to rise by a degree or two per century, the species would adapt by shifting their ranges poleward.
PS: Even the IPCC admits that places that are the most humid would see the least temperature change. So focusing on tropical species is a fools errand.

Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 8:58 am

Not exactly extinction, but more like genocide.

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. [Lemkin]

Something similar happens to flora and fauna under similar circumstances, where the invasive species either fails to assimilate or the native species fails to adapt.

Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 9:03 am

Perhaps not extinction per se, but rather genocide, extinction’s social cousin.

Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. [Lemkin]

Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 9:05 am

Perhaps not extinction per se, but gen-ocide, extinction’s social cousin.

Generally speaking, gen-ocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aimed at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. [Lemkin]

December 16, 2018 4:31 am

So basically more abuse of statistics with the usual modus operandi. They must have to take special classes to be as morally and scientifically corrupt with statistics. I am sure next we will get the stupid “attributed deaths” statistics to do the rounds again.

Hocus Locus
Reply to  LdB
December 16, 2018 8:06 am

“Based upon our trials, we conclude that 1 in 2,600 people will experience an adverse reaction to Agent X.”
“But if the trials had no adverse reactions at all, how would you arrive at that figure?”
“It’s the noise thresholds of all the steps added together. We were conservative so we rounded up to get a figure rather than no figure. Responsible error management I say. ‘Fudge rather than disclose’. If we think Agent X is harmful, the incidence surely cannot be lower?”

“Doctors maintain that anything producing an adverse reaction will likely have a mortality rate of 1 in 1,000 among at-risk patients.”
“How did you arrive at THAT figure?”
“An unscientific poll, conducted scientifically. When specifically asked about something! anything! — no doctor will ever profess a smaller risk. No one has ever lost their job implying that something might be harmful, but the risk of saying something appears safe is incalculable. And those at-‘risk patients’… poor things, knocking at death’s door. It’s a bonanza. Surely some of them are killed by more than one thing, so we can toss Agent X in there with no professional backlash.”

“So we have a clean Agent X mortality rate of 1 in 2,600,000. Good. What to do with that?”
“It’s the population of Chicago. We get to kill off an integer person, fire off press releases, buy a headstone, stage a protest march and mock funeral and lay them to rest.”
“That’s a really cute baby! And the canister of Agent X next to it. Campy, but nice touch.”
“It’s from a stock photo. No one could ever suggest that it would not be a baby, they’d seem like a monster because it might be.”

“Sounds like a plan. Oh by the way… what is ‘Agent X’? I suppose you’re keeping it a secret, but you can tell me.”
“It’s literally nothing, actually. I’m just assembling a set of word processing templates we can use in the future, when we find something that needs to be publicly skewered.”

Bloke down the pub
December 16, 2018 4:36 am

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

steve case
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
December 16, 2018 6:58 am

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Lies, damned lies, statistics and the IPCC.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
December 16, 2018 10:11 am

Updated hierarchy of lies and frauds:

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, Excel Spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, Computer Model Outputs.

Garland Lowe
December 16, 2018 4:46 am

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future. Yogi
Climate science = deception.

December 16, 2018 4:57 am

“Endemic species are automatically at much higher extinction risk by definition”

You guys are missing the biggest elephant in the room…

All the new species that have been discovered….and they are “endangered” the second they are discovered

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 7:05 am

Or else subspecies developing in unique locales are statistically contrived to be re-identified as unique species, and then immediately put on the endangered list.

Reply to  Notanist
December 16, 2018 7:33 am

…exactly what is happening

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 9:02 am

It seems that the null hypothesis would be endangered, until the order of diversity and viability is established.

December 16, 2018 5:03 am

The WUWT site has now been going for some years. I would be interesting to see a graph of the number of alarmist papers produced each year over the period. I suspect it will show an exponential characteristic.

Reply to  Alasdair
December 16, 2018 5:20 am

The link is leftist science media that have a clear publishing bias. Climate Science doesn’t seem to care about quality of papers just so long as they get published to convince an ever increasing skeptical public who see through the more and more outrageous claims.

Reply to  Alasdair
December 16, 2018 5:58 am

Oddly the number is related to dates, for example in the run up the IPCC jamborees there is an increasing level of publication with extreme claims, by ‘lucky chance ‘
Which is a reminder of how much of the process is politically process with little to do with science.

Reply to  knr
December 16, 2018 12:07 pm

This is happening in Canada. Our Prime Minister, Trudeau 2.0 is pushing for a Country wide carbon tax to make himself look good to the UN for a future position in that corrupt institution. What is happening the CBC, liberals tax payer funded PR machine, is ramping up reporting “climate Change” doom the closer to the carbon tax date.

December 16, 2018 5:11 am

“It is a saga not yet told at WUWT, which Charles the Moderator thought might be interesting since ( IT IS ?) actually very science based in a perverse way.

Gerald Machnee
December 16, 2018 5:21 am

Somewhere in the text I saw the word “modelling”.
No need to read any more.

December 16, 2018 5:29 am

Some animals move to different habitats. Some animals evolve rapidly if their habitats change. link

Just because a habitat changes, that does not mean that the flora and fauna inhabiting that habitat are doomed to extinction.

Reply to  commieBob
December 16, 2018 5:58 am

Some animals make really bad and stupid evolutionary choices….

…like evolving to live on only one side of one particular mountain, at a specific elevation, at a specific and very narrow climate and moisture level

But nature threw it out there…if it doesn’t work…try again

Tom in Floroida
Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 6:37 am

I would think logically that any species with a limited range and small population would be most likely to become extinct with even a minor change in circumstances.

R Shearer
Reply to  Tom in Floroida
December 16, 2018 9:33 am

Interestingly, the Rocky Mountain Locust had a fairly large range, large population and lived in varied terrain. They died out during the latter part of the 19th century, somewhat around the time of extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. (I hope that someday the Passenger Pigeon can be brought back.)

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 11:05 am


Plenty of Haggis left in Scotland.

They mostly inhabit supermarket shelves these days though.

(Cunning blighters!)

Reply to  HotScot
December 16, 2018 11:55 am

In my childhood, Haggis was a threat. 🙂

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 4:07 pm

This is where most species extinctions seem to come about. For instance, in the Snowy Mountains, there are species of fish that only exist in a single creek system. A different (but virtually identical) species exists in the creeks of the mountain opposite.

Nobody ever tests that they are actually different species, though. That wouldn’t be playing the game; after all, finding a new species carries naming rights. Nobody is interested in showing that they are actually different races of a single species.

December 16, 2018 5:51 am

Show me the corpses of the crime.

December 16, 2018 5:53 am

GIGO would be the normal way to describe this process, however in the case of climate ‘science’ its garbage in, ‘gold dust ‘out in the sense the results value, which has nothing to do with normal ideas such as accuracy, is ‘gold dust’ to those who need a certain style of result to ensure the grants keep flowing in .

mike macray
December 16, 2018 6:23 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t 99.9% of all the species that have ever existed on the planet now extinct?
Since everyone and everything has a finite life span i.e. becomes extinct sooner or later, why should we be surprised let alone alarmed at the reality of the inevitability of extinction? It’s a sort of corollary of evolution.
Like time or entropy that are irreversible.

Steven J Hill
December 16, 2018 6:34 am

The models, the models, everyone talks about never does a thing about……

December 16, 2018 6:55 am

What I find most interesting is how carefully constructed the Thomas et. al. paper is. They focused on endemic species, small isolated populations, and so half way to extinction right there. Then they selected avian species thought to be vulnerable. Finally they used an exponential model with most dubious parameters, selected from the above carefully selected avian species.
I submit that this is not GIGO at all. The authors knew *exactly* what they were doing. And for AR4, the paper served the purpose.

Endemic species, an alternate take:
My favorite are the iguanas of the Caribbean. Every island has there own population said to be a unique species found only on that island and vulnerable to extinction. Clearly, all these species have a common ancestor, which obviously was quite adaptable. These creatures are indeed quite resourceful and adaptable. I do not think any of these populations are doomed to extinction any time soon.

Turks and Caicos Islands:
A day trip to one of the uninhabited out islands allows tourists to enjoy pristine beaches. Among the abundant Sea Grape plants are the famous Caicos iguanas. Obviously, they live off the sea grapes, which were ripe then and are not bad. Shy at first, one fellow got interested in some French Bread I has brought from the hotel dining room. After just a moment or two, the fellow was happy to come out in the open and pose for photographs. The Caicos iguanas are *suckers* for french bread, they love the stuff.
{Her: EEK! Keep it away from me.} (They do look like monsters.)
The Caicos Iguana has found a whole new ecological niche to exploit. That of amusing the tourists in exchange for french bread.

The island of Bonaire:
After arrival and check-in at the resort hotel, walking to the rooms, one is confronted with a sign:

“Please do not feed the iguanas”

Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.

Reply to  TonyL
December 16, 2018 7:06 am

This is my favorite iguana toy….

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 7:16 am

Oh, for shame. You do not go around shooting them, they are harmless enough.

On The Other Hand:

Reply to  TonyL
December 16, 2018 7:37 am

You bet I do…LOL…we are over run with them

They eat the whole yard….poop everywhere like a cow…and can carry diseases that can kill you

..the repeatair is perfect…I can get 6-8 pellets in one before it even has time to move

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 9:56 am

“They eat the whole yard”
Well that is a whole different story. Any critter thinks it is going to get a free lunch out of my garden is in for some news. Time to take the gloves off and it’s Game On. Wait until that varmint gets a taste of my rifle fire.

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 11:13 am


Better with a .22, only one shot needed.

I bought a Chinese one recently, to replace the 50 year old rifle that dropped pellets out the barrel, to kill a rat in our garden. I was also given the sweetest female Jack Russell/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross around the same time.

The rifle remains in its cover, still unused. No more rat though.

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Hot, I’ve got them….we just can’t use “fire” explosion arms in the city…
..have to be air rifles/guns

But with some very simple mods….the repeatair is a little stronger than a .22

Reply to  Latitude
December 16, 2018 3:02 pm

The pellets, being smaller and less aerodynamic won’t carry as far as a .22. Which inside a city is a good thing.

December 16, 2018 7:09 am

Problem is there are going to be a lot of extinctions when the cold of the coming ice age really kicks in. Lot of people going to be totally unprepared.

Reply to  Richard111
December 16, 2018 9:39 am

Thanks to fossil fuels and technology, we have options we never had before in the history of humanity.

Indoor farming is becoming viable because LED lights are getting really cheap and efficient. It’s exciting to think that agriculture could be uncoupled from the weather. link

We don’t have to worry about mass extinction when the next glaciation hits. It’s only 10,000 years since the last one and life didn’t go extinct then.

Thanks to human ingenuity, when the next glaciation hits, we don’t even have to worry about the collapse of civilization.

Reply to  commieBob
December 16, 2018 10:01 am

That’s the bit that worries me. We are supposed to stop using fossil fuels.
Long before the snow and ice arrives food production will suffer from the reduced growing periods.
Indoor farming is indeed excellent but needs to be massively expanded especially for third world countries. Exciting times for future civilisations.

kristi silber
Reply to  Richard111
December 16, 2018 6:01 pm

Richard 111,

Let me get this right. You believe indoor growing should be expanded, requiring far greater energy expenditure, and you’re worried about needing to stop using fossil fuels because of the next glaciation period? Don’t you think it might be wise to conserve the fuel we have, in that case?

This seems to be a missing component of the skeptics’ argument that fossil fuel use shouldn’t be restricted: they are in limited supply. Yes, we have reserves, and more are being discovered, but the developing world will increase consumption and as demand escalates and the reserves become harder to access, prices will go up. It seems to me that conservation and diversification of energy sources (including renewables) makes sense on that basis alone, regardless of climate impact. But people seem to not care what future generations will face, just as long as we don’t have to think or change.

Reply to  kristi silber
December 17, 2018 12:15 am


‘needs’ not should. Your argument explains what’s coming.

Reply to  kristi silber
December 17, 2018 2:41 am

The greatest myth and con spoken by the greenies that there will be a shortage of energy and or fuel and we need to conserve it. There is energy and fuel everywhere in the universe the only thing in question is what is the current cost to utilize it. Oil just happens to be the cheapest easiest fuel to utilize right now. In the future it probably won’t be nor does it matter we will adapt and there are plenty of options. Like many of you ideas Kristi they are completely devoid of understanding of science.

Reply to  kristi silber
December 17, 2018 6:18 am

Do you know how much energy conventional agriculture uses? link

Indoor farming is new and the technology is improving rapidly. example The linked article talks about big fans to control humidity. The first thing that comes to mind is that heat recovery ventilation can recover latent heat and save a huge amount of energy.

kristi silber
Reply to  Richard111
December 19, 2018 1:46 pm


Interesting link to the indoor grower. I wonder if he augments the CO2.

Richard was talking about indoor growing in developing countries, most of which are tropical or subtropical. That is an entirely different situation from the high latitudes in the developed world, where people will pay $5 for a basil plant. In much of the tropics the issue wouldn’t be heating, it would be cooling. The exception is where water is limited and the soil is infertile. Israel has extensive indoor agriculture, for example. But they are a developed country. It’s an investment to set up such schemes, and while they may provide fruits and some vegetables, it’s unlikely that they will any time soon house subsistence crops like maize, rice, sorghum, millet, or soy beans, nor sugar cane. It may be exciting for agriculture to be decoupled from weather, hopefully it won’t be necessary.

Sure, agriculture is energy-intensive, but what your charts didn’t show was productivity (kcal) per unit energy.

However, once developing countries have the ability to invest in indoor agriculture (which would include having dependable electricity), I can see a place for it, especially as climate changes, in areas where drought and periods of extreme heat become more common. Actually, it could be an appropriate situation to make use of solar power, if the air conditioning and irrigation only need to be done during the day.

kristi silber
Reply to  Richard111
December 19, 2018 2:01 pm

LbD said, “The greatest myth and con spoken by the greenies that there will be a shortage of energy and or fuel and we need to conserve it.”

This is a myth and a con? It all depends on how long we look into the future, and how much we use in the meantime. The reserves are finite. Yes, there’s plenty now, but what about in 200 years? We can’t anticipate the geopolitical situation then, and fossil fuels are equally distributed across the planet. If every country in the world used as much per capita as Americans do, we are bound to run out at some point. And petroleum is not only used for energy. Sure, we can put off changing our energy sources. But we also have the option to slowly shift toward diversification as we retire old plants – or in the developing world, provide access to renewables, where appropriate. The fact is that in some cases it is more appropriate, and cheaper, than fossil fuels. Where there is no grid, no power plant, no railroad, steep terrain, low density population, and in countrie that have yet to adequately supply their cities with electricity, it makes sense to use solar and/or wind now rather than have people wait a decade or more to get on the grid. There will be economical grid-capacity battery storage, it’s just a matter of time.

“Like many of you ideas Kristi they are completely devoid of understanding of science.”

Where’s the science, LdB? I’m trying to be practical, and expressing an opinion. Maybe I’m taking a broader view of the question than either “We’re in imminent danger of running out” or “Let’s just keep wasting fuel – someone else will deal with it when it’s in short supply.”

You can insult me all you want, LdB, if that’s what turns your crank. Doesn’t bother me.

Reply to  Richard111
December 16, 2018 12:18 pm

Yeah, may be tough to grow kale. Vegan apocalypse . . .

December 16, 2018 8:52 am

The phrase “Endemic Species” carries with it a stunningly misleading concept: a “Species” being defined by where it lives! Consider the noble gorilla. There are two species of gorilla, Mountain Gorillas and Lowlands Gorillas. Guess what: they cannot tell each other apart, and if a male Mountain meets a female Lowlands, babies happen. What species are the babies? Excellent opportunity for Science to discover a new “Species” of gorilla!

Northern Right Whales, Southern Right Whales, dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes, All these different Species that can interbreed, well, really are they different species at all? Polar bears mate with Grizzlies, and if you shoot one of the offspring you can get in serious trouble because the court might think it was a Polar Bear when it was actually a “Hybrid.” What it was, was, a bear.

Biologists love new species, and no part of common sense enters into the process of adding to the Tree of Life every chance they get…

Reply to  Michael Moon
December 16, 2018 4:13 pm

As I said higher up: Naming Rights. Nobody bothers to name a new race, so it creates a bias towards assuming everything is a new species.

Joel O'Bryan
December 16, 2018 9:07 am

Free repository (not paywalled) access to Thomas et al. 2004, in pdf form is available here:

HD Hoese
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 16, 2018 2:05 pm

19 authors for four pages, more than that acknowledged. Sounds like a type of a meeting that I quit going to.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 16, 2018 2:37 pm

Joel, thanks. I had to buy the paper with hard cash in order to do the book research. Paywalls are certainly crumbling via various legal and illegal means.

HD Hoese
December 16, 2018 9:23 am

I was surprised decades ago while teaching evolution that these coming extinctions were actually hypothetical extrapolations apparently based on island biogeography. Large islands have more species of plants and animals than small ones. Then you take any comparable area regardless of its surroundings and calculate the numbers. It is possible that this could lead to either speciation or extinction depending on lots of factors.

Marine species always seem less likely, but this very specialized one was claimed with the loss of eelgrass beds dying apparently from a disease. Carlton, J. T., et al. 1991. The first historical extinction of a marine invertebrate in an ocean basin: The demise of the eelgrass limpet Lottia alveus. Biological Bulletin. 180(1):72-80. Others survived.

Jim Steele
December 16, 2018 9:42 am

CD Thomas’s catastrophic predictions were part of an incestuous climate change relationship working with Camille Parmesan that resulted in her bogus catastrophic predictions

described in: Fabricating Climate Doom: Hijacking Conservation Success in the UK to Build Consensus!


How the American Meteorological Society Justified Publishing Half-Truths

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Jim Steele
December 16, 2018 2:55 pm

Jim, highest regards. I had no way of knowing that when doing my ‘outsider’ book research. Makes sense, as the warmunists seem to run in packs. Paeloeclimate, extinctions, ice sheets…

December 16, 2018 10:16 am

Quote from John Davis book “Statistical and Data Analysis in Geology”:

What could be cuter
Than to feed a computer
With wrong information
But naive expectation
To obtain with precision
A Napoleonic decision?

December 16, 2018 10:20 am

The IPCC would do better to investigate species actually threatened by climate change hysteria and act accordingly.

December 16, 2018 10:31 am

Maybe the authors of these reports of ignorant of the fact that every single species alive today can trace it’s heritage to time when the climate was much warmer and much colder than today.
All the animal, plants, fungi, microbes, etc., that are here now are the products of adaptions and are the winners — the survivors. 🙂 Those unlucky ones that failed to adapt, or were caught in catastrophic natural disasters, have all left this earthly stage. They left giving space for today’s species to adapt in to and populate.

Reply to  tom0mason
December 17, 2018 2:24 am


Your observation is absolutely that of common sense which is totally lost in this global warming delusion.
The species now alive have survived four natural warm periods of this holocene and the ice age before it. And much more.
Destruction of natural habitats by man by land use is a real threat in some cases.

Petit Barde
December 16, 2018 10:35 am

The IPCC would do better to investigate species actually threatened by climate change hysteria and act accordingly.

Reply to  Petit Barde
December 16, 2018 11:19 am

Petit Barde

Yea, humans.

December 16, 2018 1:12 pm

I hope the CAGW species becomes extinct.

December 16, 2018 1:37 pm

As Goering said: “When I see the word “modelling” I reach for my gun.

December 16, 2018 2:47 pm

Hmmm….from pole to equator there is about 1 degree change per 125 Km….So you’ve got to admit, most creatures wouldn’t notice the difference of being one state further south….much less go extinct over it….

kristi silber
December 16, 2018 5:36 pm


Nice critique of the Thomas et al. paper. I agree, the methods and data are weak. Sample sizes much too small in most cases. Species-area relationship is poorly supported.

Hard to say with the rest of the AR4 table without delving into it further, but this example doesn’t speak well for its credibility. It would be better had they not tried to quantify these things in a highly-visible summary format, given the amount of uncertainty – more appropriate left as brief mention in the text.

BTW, the plural of “genus” is genera.

(Aside – I lived on the Atherton Tablelands for about 3 years altogether, it’s where I did my graduate research. An amazing place.)

Highest regards,

Reply to  kristi silber
December 17, 2018 2:44 am

I am sure Adani will help fix the Atherton Tablelands and save those species facing extinction 🙂

Aynsley Kellow
December 16, 2018 6:40 pm

Excellent analysis Rud.
FYI, I had a chapter on the species-area rule and the claims of extinction in my 2007 book Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science. That was shaped in part by my experience as an Expert Reviewer for AR4 WG2 (chapter on ‘Key Vulnerabilities’), where (as put it), a warmer world would be a wetter world, but none of the increased rainfall would fall in anyway that was beneficial. As I note there, the recorded number of species extinctions in the past 500 years is about 800, and the 50,000, 100,000 (think of a number) bandied about by NGOs like Greenpeace would include unknown species and many moods and slimes.

Ulric Lyons
December 17, 2018 9:46 am

There is a 100% loss of AR4, every page is 404 page not found.

December 17, 2018 10:38 am

I wrote a critique of these alarming forecasts and could not get it published. Big surprise I know.

Johann Wundersamer
December 26, 2018 2:26 am

Most mammals carry valuable furs and furs.

you won’t let that get extinct.

Most marine inhabitants supply valuable fats, vitamins, proteins etcetera pp.

you won’t let that get extinct.

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