About the corruption of climate science

By Larry Kummer.

Summary: Today’s post tells about the corruption of yet another vital American institution – climate science. See how RCP8.5, a valuable worst-case scenario, has been misrepresented to incite fear in the American public. This is a large change for me, but this outrage has gone on too long to excuse or ignore.

Hand holding dry tree in front of a catastrophic background

ID 9523824 © Noahgolan | Dreamstime.

“There are some 20,000 research papers listed on Google Scholar, a search engine for academics, that mention the worst-case scenario for climate change, one where an overpopulated, technology-poor world digs up all the coal it can find. Basically, it’s the most cataclysmic estimate of global warming.”
Bloomberg News, 9 February 2018. There are 182 thousand hits for climate change “worst case” and 82 thousand for climate change temperature “worst case.

RCP8.5 is the most severe of the four scenarios used in the IPCC’s AR5. A well-designed worst-case scenario, it has been misrepresented to become the basis for one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in modern US history. How this happened reveals much about our difficulty grappling with vital public policy issues.

A few of the many articles using RCP8.5 to terrify the public

“{The Green New Deal} would only change the dates for planetary suicide by a decade or so.”
— “We Need Radical Thinking on Climate Change” by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. He gives neither these “dates” or its peer-reviewed source.

America has been bombarded for a decade with terrifying articles, many using projections based on RCP8.5 (others misrepresent different aspects of climate science). Few of those mention RCP8.5’s implausible assumptions. That would ruin the narrative. Here are a few, showing almost certain doom facing us.

  1. Surge In ‘Danger Days’ Just Around The Corner” by Brian Kahn at ClimateCentral, 12 August 2015.
  2. What Your Favorite Cities Will Look Like if We Do Nothing About Climate Change. Fancy a swim?” by Jack Holmes, Esquire, 10 December 2015.
  3. The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future” at Demos, 22 August 2016.
  4. This Melting Glacier in Antarctica Could Raise Sea Levels By 11 Feet” by Frennan Milliken in Motherboard, 17 December 2016. No mention that centuries or millennia are required, or the many qualifications the scientists give to their conclusions.
  5. Typical “reporting” by the Guardian, exaggerating a good study to create alarmist propaganda: “Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people”, 2 August 2017.
  6. VOX: “Watch how the climate could change in these US cities by 2050” by Umair Irfan and Kavya Sukumar – “In some cities, it’ll be like moving two states south.”
  7. More science converted to propaganda. Start with a massive literature The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, Philippus Wester et al. editors. The Guardian reports it as “A third of Himalayan ice cap doomed, finds report” by Damian Carrington, 4 February 2019 — “Even radical climate change action won’t save glaciers, endangering 2 billion people.” This refers to RCP8.5. No mention of its unlikely assumptions.
  8. Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation” in ScienceDaily, 12 February 2019. Looking to life in 2080 under RCP8.5.

See many more of these scary stories here.
fearful woman

The results warm activists’ hearts

“I think looking at grief is quite appropriate, as I believe we are facing human extinction”
— Comment by a reader on the FM website.

Fear of the future rules in the minds of many – or most – on the Left. Their leaders take the most extreme predictions of activists and exaggerate those beyond anything said by the IPCC or major climate agencies. Sentiments such as “carbon emissions may destroy the planet and everyone on it” frequently appear in articles and comment threads (often stated as fact rather than possibilities).

“We’re going to become extinct. Whatever we do now is too late.”
— Frank Fenner (Prof emeritus in microbiology at the Australian National U); Wikipedia describes his great accomplishments), an interview in The Australian, 10 June 2010.

With business as usual life on earth is largely doomed.
John Davies (geophysicist, senior research at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center), 22 February 2014.

“Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'”
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to interviewer Ta-Nehisi Coates at an “MLK Now” event in New York. Video here.

“There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: ‘Is it OK to still have children?”
— Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram, reported by The Hill, 25 February 2019. Business Insider Poll: “More than a third of millennials share Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s worry about having kids while the threat of climate change looms”

After a decade of such propaganda, it takes little to stampede Leftists like frightened deer. Here is a reply in the comments at Naked Capitalism by Lidia to one of my posts: “The North Pole is a frickin’ LAKE, you ass. You are either being paid well for these posts, or you are off your meds.” This was part of the hysteria about a photo of the Arctic Sea with that headline. It was a typical melt pond. It was not at the North Pole. It got 82 thousand hits on Google.
Here is a step-by-step trail showing how legitimate climate science is exaggerated into propaganda. That is business as usual for papers about RCP8.5.

Activists terrify children for their cause.

This is a low but typical tactic of the Left: terrorizing children with propaganda and using them as shills for their political program.

Political effects.

Three decades of propaganda, since Hansen’s senate testimony, have laid the foundation for activists to win. The propaganda about RCP8.5 is the core of the campaign.
News articles have become climate activists’ agitprop. Increasing numbers of peer-reviewed papers are activist screeds. The universities and non-governmental organizations are strongholds of climate activists, putting their imprimatur on activists’ work. A large fraction of Democrats are prepared to take extreme steps to “fight climate change” (or implement standard Leftist policies under that banner). They may succeed if they gain control of Congress and the White House in 2020. A burst of serious extreme weather, of course blamed on CO2, would make this easier.

Extreme Weather - dreamstime_27423027

ID 27423027 © Tom Wang | Dreamstime.

About RCP8.5

RCP8.5 describes a horrific future for the world, as a worst-case scenario should. Fortunately, scenarios showing paths to RCP8.5 require implausible assumptions about key factors. For example, the world probably lacks enough economically recoverable fossil fuels (esp coal, see below). Even more importantly, RCP8.5 assumes radical and unlikely changes in long-standing trends in fertility and technological progress – making it the opposite of a “business as usual” scenario. See this post for details about RCP8.5. See this post with links to articles showing misuse of RCP8.5 in both peer-reviewed research and the popular media.

RCP8.5 makes assumptions about factors that are poorly understood. For example, about the warming from a doubling of CO2 levels. The IPCC’s AR5 estimated this {at 12.5.4.2] with a wide range – relying on “expert judgement” (not hard research) – that they considered only likely (defined as having a probability of 66%+).

“Expert judgement based on the available evidence therefore suggests that the TCRE {transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions} is likely between 0.8°C to 2.5°C per 1000 PgC, for cumulative CO2 emissions less than about 2000 PgC until the time at which temperature peaks.” {1000 PgC = 1000 GtC.}

Eminent climate scientist Judith Curry gives a summary of the various uses of RCP8.5 in “Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?

  • “RCP8.5 may be useful for climate research, for considering processes in a substantially altered environment.
  • Many ‘catastrophic’ impacts of climate change don’t really kick at the lower CO2 concentrations, and RCP8.5 then becomes useful as a ‘scare’ tactic.
  • For policy making, I’m not sure that RCP8.5 is a useful scenario.”

Portraying RCP8.5 as our likely future is the Big Lie at work. It was successful, as usual.

“All this was inspired by the principle …that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

“It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. …

“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”

— From Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (1925).

Responsibility written on a blackboard -dreamstime_50714069

ID 50714069 © Filipe Frazao | Dreamstime.

Who should we hold responsible for this travesty?

Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.
– Roman adage: silence means assent when he ought to have spoken and was able to.

Since I began writing about climate change eleven years ago, I have distinguished between activists and legitimate scientists. I have said that we should trust the IPCC and major climate agencies. After my epiphany (see A new, dark picture of America’s future), I see the situation differently – and I hope more clearly.
Climate scientists, and their institutions, quickly condemn “skeptics” for challenging their conclusions. When their conclusions might be used by skeptics, they often warn against such “misuse.” The misuse of RCP8.5 by activists is obvious, serious, and long-standing. Yet climate scientists continue to churn out papers predicting the effects of this worst-case scenario, usually without mention of its unlikely assumptions, without comparison of it with other (more likely) RCPs – and without condemning activists’ misrepresentation of their projections. Silence means assent.
We have long past the point where this has become implicit support of activists’ propaganda, or even collaboration. Climate institutions such as the IPCC and NOAA have failed in their responsibility to accurately communicate to the public in this matter. The peer-review system has systematically failed to make authors accurately describe RCP8.5 and put it in a larger context.
The effects of this could be far-reaching. Not just in the distorting of public policy, making rational debate about climate change almost impossible, but perhaps discrediting climate science and science itself as institutions.

For more about RCP 8.5

  1. Details about RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No! Links to the papers describing RCP8.5.
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions – how RCP8.5 became misrepresented as a “business as usual” scenario, and its misuse. With links to many papers and general media articles about the RCPs.
  3. Coal and the IPCC” by Dave Rutledge at Climate Etc, 2014 – RCP8.5 assumes a late 21st C shift to coal, assuming unrealistic levels of production.
  4. Risk assessment: What is the plausible ‘worst scenario’ for climate change?” by Judith Curry at Climate Etc, 2015.
  5. The Politics of Inconceivable Scenarios” by Roger Pielke Jr. at The Climate Fix, November 2017.
  6. Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?” by Judith Curry at Climate Etc, November 2018.
  7. Reassessing the RCPs” by by Kevin Murphy at Climate Etc, January 2019.

Does the world have enough economically recoverable coal to burn for RCP8.5? These papers suggest the answer is “no.”

  1. One of the first major studies questioning the actual extent of coal reserves: “The Peak in U.S. Coal Production“ by Gregson Vaux (of the National Energy Technology Laboratory), 27 May 2004.
  2. More evidence that reserves are overstated: “Coal Of The Future (Supply Prospects for Thermal Coal by 2030-2050)“ by Energy Edge Limited, Prepared for the Institute for Energy of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, February 2007.
  3. More evidence that reserves are overstated: “Coal: Resources and Future Production“ by Energy Watch Group, March 2007 (47 pages).
  4. The major study showing that coal reserves are overstated: “Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy“ by the National Academies, June 2007.
  5. Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change – a review” by Mikael Höök and Xu Tang in Energy Policy, January 2013. Gated. Open copy here.
  6. The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: a supply-side analysis” by Jianliang Wang et al. in Futures, February 2017. Gated. Open copy here.
  7. Why do climate change scenarios return to coal?” by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi in Energy, 1 December 2017.

Truth Will Make You Free

Reposted From the Fabius Maximus website.

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93 thoughts on “About the corruption of climate science

  1. Using RCP 8.5 is like using the “97%” theme–a clear indication the user is preaching, not addressing the real issues.

    • Tom,

      RCP8.5 is a well-designed “worst-case” scenario. It should be unlikely, showing what happens if many things go wrong, if key assumptions are incorrect – or both. It anchors one side of a set of scenarios. This is Rick Management 101.

      Misuse is the issue.

      • Yes, Larry; it is the gross misuse of exaggerated TCS and ECS in unvalidated UN IPCC climate models to obtain a desired result, no matter the RCP chosen. Propaganda.

        The development of RCPs is typical bureaucratic overkill, not Risk Management 101. It doesn’t require imagining various complicated physical scenarios to arrive at inputs to the UN IPCC climate models. Just develop a few (exponential) increases in CO2 and other ‘greenhouse’ gasses. Job done.

        Well, not quite done. The various modeling groups must then adjust tune-able model parameters to get the ECS’s that “seem right” (the modelers’ term). No joke. [Well, the joke is on us.]

        • Robert,

          “Yes indeed, just as Mickey Mouse is a well-designed cartoon character.”

          Most climate scientists disagree with you, including some eminent skeptics.

          John Nielsen-Gammon is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M and State Climatologist for Texas. He discusses “What Is Business As Usual?” (August 2014) and concludes that …

          “Nevertheless, from my point of view it seems that RCP6.0 can crudely represent a very likely (95% probability) lower bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100 and RCP8.5 can crudely represent a likely (90% probability) upper bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100.”

          Judith Curry gives a summary of the appropriate uses of RCP8.5 in “Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?” (Nov 2018).

          “RCP8.5 may be useful for climate research, for considering processes in a substantially altered environment.”

          • People continue to Wander in the Weeds (Mr. Mosher’s). RCPs don’t matter. It is the lack of the predicted Hot Spot and the exaggerated ECS of the UN IPCC climate models.

      • A little late to the game, aren’t you Larry. Well, better late than never. Do you have any ideas for generating an equally effective counter propaganda scheme?

        • Philo,

          “A little late to the game, aren’t you Larry. ”

          I’ve been writing about this for 12 years. Not as long as some. Longer than most.

          “Do you have any ideas for generating an equally effective counter propaganda scheme?”

          This is a Republic. We’re not going to keep it by playing by the rules of those who want to destroy it. With regard to climate policy, the recommendations are the same as with other public issues. Focus on the facts. Organize. Develop and execute plans.

          Here are links to 129 posts describing ways to do so.

          https://fabiusmaximus.com/america/political-reform-67124-2/

          • …by playing by the rules…
            ————————————
            So, lets change the rules a bit, go back to the original definitions.
            It’s not ‘anthropologic climate change’ – it’s “man made global warming”.
            ‘Climate scientist’ becomes “climate researcher”.
            I believe that these terms are more accurate than the terminology foisted on the public by the very individuals concerned…..

          • Tombstone,

            Changing the terms of the debate is a useful tactic. But I suspect it is too late for that. Alarmists have near-total control of the relevant institutions and communications media.

      • RCP8.5 is a well-designed “worst-case” scenario.

        A strange description for something that was obviously a production of scare-mongering propaganda to support the climate-scare industry.

        • Beng,

          Most climate scientists disagree with you, including some eminent skeptics.

          John Nielsen-Gammon is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&Mand State Climatologist for Texas. He discusses “What Is Business As Usual?” (August 2014) and concludes that …

          “Nevertheless, from my point of view it seems that RCP6.0 can crudely represent a very likely (95% probability) lower bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100 and RCP8.5 can crudely represent a likely (90% probability) upper bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100.”

          Judith Curry gives a summary of the appropriate uses of RCP8.5 in “Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?” (Nov 2018).

          “RCP8.5 may be useful for climate research, for considering processes in a substantially altered environment.”

          • Sorry Larry but these people are NOT scientists. They aren’t even close. A real scientist would take into consideration natural climate factors as well as potential negative feedback. They would create models that show all possible outcomes based on different assumptions.

            The fact that isn’t done eliminates these people from being called scientists. The fact people like you keep calling them scientists is part of the problem.

          • Richard,

            “these people are NOT scientists. They aren’t even close.”

            John Nielsen-Gammon and Judith Curry are not scientists? Wow. I doubt many readers here will agree with you.

            Also, if these top-rated scientists – who are also skeptics – don’t meet your definition, I wonder how many do.

  2. Don’t these so called Climate Scientists know the children’s tale about the boy that cried wolf. Being told
    repeatedly that we have 12 years to save the planet with the 12 year periods expiring left right and center.
    Nothing ever happens that one could put ones finger on and say this is due to man made climate change. Its time to depoliticise climate science and apply scientific method. Junk the unvalidated
    climate models and cut the research groups funding. Then stop persecuting carbon dioxide the well known plant food and get on with our lives. May need reeducation camps for the politicians supplying stiff doses of physics, astronomy, and statistics topped up with the design of experiments.

    • This is why they use 12-year-olds as their shills. They have no memory of the prior doomsday predictions.

  3. Is this the Saul Alinsky strategy using climate change as a means to social and economic agendas?

    • Well of course it is.. All of their policy remedies always require (basically) one or a combination of:
      – You give us (The Government) all of your money, to you know, fight climate change
      – You give us (The Government) total control of all energy being generated, so that, you know, we can do it the right way, to fight climate change
      – You give us (The Government) total control of all of the means of manufacturing and production so that, you know, we CNA fight climate change
      (Hmmmmm… A pattern reveals itself here….)
      Anybody else notice that these “remedies” seem to track exactly with the actual goals of Socialism??? Huh… Is that just a coincidence.. or not….

  4. My posting career on Mother Jones was quite short after asking Kevin Drum for his scientific credentials and the data he analyzed to be able to make such a claim.

  5. “Yet climate scientists continue to churn out papers predicting the effects of this worst-case scenario, usually without mention of its unlikely assumptions, without comparison of it with other (more likely) RCPs – and without condemning activists’ misrepresentation of their projections.”

    The problem for academics is the overarching need to publish — and publish in the highest Impact Score publication they can. Null results and “no-problem here” don’t make that cut, if they can get published at all. And without impact publication, grants and tenure probabilities diminish. Meanwhile a researcher trying his or her best use realistic scenarios, and clearly explain their underlying assumptions, can look across the hall or at conference session and see a colleague making alarmist projections and getting published, getting grants and acclaim. The incentives are extremely powerful. Scientists are simply human after all, and have mortgages and families to support. So never confuse highly educated with highly ethical though.

    RCP8.5, named as the Business As Usual (BAU) scenario by the IPCC, was specifically part of the propaganda campaign that they knew would happen. They needed it to happen. Calling BAU was the hook to allow hungry scientists to use it, and get away with it. An ethical trap.

    A scientist studying an ecosystem could use the mitigation scenarios RCP6.0 or 4.5 in a model of their system under study and likely find minimal to no significant effect, especially considered most animals and systems are highly adaptive with slow change of climate. Minimal to no-effect doesn’t get published in high impact journals, if it gets published at all. It doesn’t get the grant when their are so many hungry mouths to feed and finite grants. But the magic of a so-named BAU scenario, RCP8.5, was the honey-trap to snare many other scientific disciplines into climate hustle. It was entirely intentional on the part of the IPCC.

    We can expect the more of the same thing in the up-coming IPCC AR6. But instead of RCP8.5 assumptions, they’ll have to go notch even higher in forcing and CO2 emissions, just as they did going from the AR4 scenarios to the AR5 scenarios. And they’ll brand them in a marketing strategy with a new set of names. It’s what hustlers do.

  6. I’ll keep coming back to this theme: Greta Thunberg’s facial set appears to resemble that of a unbeliever-burning fanatic. I have seen that look a few times before, and did not appreciate the outcomes.

    Could she be the Antichrist? /sarc

    • Don’t mock the poor kid; she looks like that because she has Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism.

      I know of one poor child with the same condition currently sectioned after attempting suicide because of…’climate change’.

      Messing with a kids head is child abuse of the worst kind.

    • From Greta’s wiki:
      In December 2018, Thunberg described herself as having been “diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and selective mutism”.

      Now that she’s dialed into believing all of this jibberish, one has to wonder how she would cope through a life if the world cools for the next four decades while man’s CO2 output increases.

      • Emissions will grow by 2.9% this year and 2.5% in 2020 and we should pass thru 415 ppm permanently in 2020 so she will be beside herself. Meanwhile life and the world will continue on.

    • I think that it is very sad, because she is obviously a bright child. Try to imagine your own child making that video speaking Swedish (assuming that you are not from Sweden of course). Greta is being used by adults with a seriously anti-human agenda. Somebody feeds her full of these false narratives. She seems to be sincerely traumatized. That abuse should be punished. It is hard to imagine that her parents are not complicit.

    • Her strange looks suggest that she reads from a tele prompter. Furthermore all the different cuts mean that they needed ages until she was able to tell this fairytale.

      • She is a shoe in for the Nobel Peace prize this year disabled, female and a young activist just not ticking the sexual assaulted box but should get home in a canter.

  7. Thank you, CTM, for cross posting this, and thank you, Larry, for preparing it.

    Regards to all,

    Bob

    PS: If you’re wondering why I haven’t been preparing blog posts, I’m working on a new series of books (five volumes to capture it all) that some will appreciate and others…not so much.

  8. Joel,

    “It was entirely intentional on the part of the IPCC.”

    Why do you say that? The phrase “business as usual” does not appear in AR5, the report using RCP8.5 – except mentioning the data using that phrase in the First Assessment Report. It also appears in the titles of papers they cite.

    Although the phrase was well-established when it was published (as was its misuse), “business as usual” does not appear in the IPCC’s SR1.5 report (except in the title of papers cited).

    This post points out not the IPCC’s actions, but its failure to correct large-scale misuse of the RCPs – which they made a core of climate change research and policy-making. Silence means assent.

    • Larry – I find it difficult to accept your defence of the IPCC. The IPCC clearly encourage misuse of their reports – because the reports are clearly slanted that way in the first place. They are the scientific-sounding front for a global power grab. They are an active part of it, not passive.

      • Mike,

        “The IPCC clearly encourage misuse of their reports – because the reports are clearly slanted that way in the first place. ”

        I prefer to focus on specifics. The climate policy debates have become two sides screaming generalities at one another, pointlessly.

        Joel made a specific statement – clearly expressed and testable. Science! It is false. One fact established. Now on to the next one!

        • Larry,

          We are long, long past the screaming and you are being far too naively fair minded about the IPCC and everything that has flowed from that organization.

          Instead we are seeing entire societies going down the political path of implementing energy/economic scenarios that are having profoundly negative outcomes. Anyone in doubt, have a look at Germany’s “energiewende” and the completely delusional “climate” policies being implemented in the Netherlands. In both cases the politicians and the bureaucracy have been successfully coopted and infiltrated by the eco fascists, so successfully that even if the political winds were to shift, newly elected politicians will find themselves fighting a green de state at the administrative levels.
          The example of the EPA in the US is a perfect illustration of that perversion.

          In Canada, we have the Trudeau government – with at its heart battle hardened eco warriors like Butts (the former Presudent if the WWF Canada and until recently the PM’s Principal Secretary, for heavens’ sake) implementing policies – including the systematic wrecking of all pipeline projects- that are deliberately aimed at killing off the oil and gas sector in our country.

          Anyone in the US who thinks that the AOC/Green Deal crowd is a temporary phenomenon that’ll flame out by itself, is drinking opium laced unicorn pee.
          That crowd will use any and all means to drive its political agenda, which is the dismantling of the western industrialized democracies – the key objective as explicitly stated by none other than one if the founders of the UNEP/IPCC machinery, Canadian prairie Marxist and UN eminence grise Maurice Strong.

          • Agree. the AOC/Green Deal crowd aren’t in it to save the world, they aren’t in it for fairness, they aren’t in it for the science, or equality, of good judgement, or any honest attempt to mitigate damage of any sort.

            It’s all about having an excuse to impose their world view on everyone.

            Science and honesty are not in the game, at all.

    • Larry,
      Just got back to this, been working on some solar stuff.

      To answer your question, whch you know the anser”

      “Compared to the scenario literature RCP8.5 depicts thus a relatively conservative business as usual case with low income, high population and high energy demand due to only modest improvements in energy intensity (Fig. 4).”
      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-011-0149-y

      Authors: all at the “International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis” (IIASA) Laxenburg Austria where the RCP were developed for AR5.

      Yes, they misportray RCP8.5.

  9. “…yet another vital American institution – climate science.”

    With my prior apologies to the climate scientists who visit and contribute here: Since when was climate science a vital American Institution? Given the track record of climate predictions in the 1970s of a coming ice age and the recent predictions of doom from global warming, I will contend that if it disappeared tomorrow, we would not be overly burdened. In fact, with predictions like those, I would say we would be much better off without them. Better to have no predictions at all than “official” predictions of doom which are the exact opposite of future realities.

    Meteorology, OTOH, is quite vital, IMO.

    • I object to the use of the word ‘science’ immediately following ‘climate’. It’s an oxymoron. Climate statistician is more appropriate; these people change raw data to produce an outcome that matches their crazy hypothesis.
      Nowhere in the scientific method is one allowed to alter raw data in order to ‘prove’ their hypothesis.

  10. I’m so tired of the worst case scenario propaganda driven by media outlets. My favorite is Earther, which is a sub-blog of Gizmodo. Brian Kahn was mentioned above about the surge of upcoming danger days. Kahn is a senior reporter for Earther. Predictably, the comments there are an echo chamber of worst case scenarios. Attempting to have a conversation with anyone using nuance is pointless. I try, but it’s like spitting in the wind. I invite anyone with a strong stomach to read and comment on the Earther sub-blog. It’s like I’m a lone voice in that echo chamber. It would be nice to have some people inject more sanity in that insane blog.

    • Were you around for the Y2K bug that the mainstream media beat up and in the end governments from around the world even passed stupid laws. What happened on the night … nothing.

  11. Methinks you have merely scratched the surface of the corruption in climate “science”. But it’s a start at least.
    The IPCC itself is an abomination, merely pretending to present science. It should be abolished forthwith.

    • Bruce,

      Rather than the metaphor of “scratching the surface”, think of this as providing a specific example. One that is obvious and about an important subject.

      As I mentioned to Mike above, the climate policy debate has become people screaming at each other about generalities. IMO only a focus on specifics – backed by examples and other kinds of data – can take us forward.

      • I agree with you 100%. The problem with that approach is that it will kill the climate change golden goose for academia, the media and the political left. They will demonize you for even suggesting it. I imagine that has already begun.

        While your post is responsible, specific, well documented and civil, you are now a full fledged climate change denier, and everything you say will now be dismissed out of hand.

        I appreciate how you feel. I want to believe in the nobility of science and scientists. I hope that still exists somewhere. Climate change, however, is an issue that was born and bred in politics, not science. Only the science that is useful for the agenda will be discussed, as your post clearly demonstrates.

        Basically, you are trying to referee a gang war.

      • You’re honest science examples have been done by experts in the field many times for many years. It has made exactly zero difference. You’re approach will not work, as already demonstrated.

          • Yes, only something large scale like a commission, or legal proceedings against one or more of the climate alarmists, could make a dent in the CAGW meme at this point.

            It has become a monster and being fed to the school kids. Everyone who wants money has their hand out screaming for their share.

            Truth and honesty at this point won’t do it. It’s gone too far for that. It has destroyed a generation of thinking people.

  12. I now know why kids are not allowed to vote, drive a car, drink alcohol, work on a minesite…..

  13. This is a very nice post.
    Indeed, the RCP8.5 introduction paper did not say it was BAU. Nor did IPCC AR5 ‘officially’. (For ebook Blowing Smoke I had to convert AR4 BAU ~scenario B2 or A1b to AR5 RCP for model comparison purposes. Answer is about midway between RCP 4.5 and 6.0.)
    BUT the climatariat that contributed to AR5 sure did—from the gitgo. Evidence for warmunism.

    • Rud,

      “RCP8.5 introduction paper did not say it was BAU. ”

      Unfortunately, not so. The first paper describing RCP8.5 in detail described it as follows (bold emphasis added):

      “Compared to the scenario literature RCP8.5 depicts thus a relatively conservative business as usual case with low income, high population and high energy demand due to only modest improvements in energy intensity.”
      — “RCP 8.5: A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions” by Keywan Riahi et al in Climate Change, November 2011.”

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-011-0149-y

      Not just “business as usual” but “conservative” b-a-u! From this small statement grew a giant propaganda campaign. For more about this sad history, see my post “Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions”, which shows the history of misusing RCP8.5

      https://fabiusmaximus.com/2015/11/05/visions-of-dark-climate-future-90153/

      • The giant propaganda campaign is surprisingly ineffective. Willis’ recent story mentions a UN poll.

        The good news is, the people of the world know that the climate scare is not important. The UN polled almost ten million people as to what issues matter the most to them. The UN did their best to push the climate scare by putting that as the first choice on their ballot … but even with that, climate came in dead last, and by a long margin.

        Usually a good pollster can, by careful choice of questions, influence the outcome of a poll. That makes it noteworthy that climate change wasn’t really on most folks’ radar even when they were prompted.

        The UN results were consistent with other polls, especially the ongoing Gallup poll on the nation’s most important problem. Climate change isn’t mentioned and is probably subsumed in the ‘Environment/Pollution’ category which gets 3%.

        • CommieBob,

          Polls are useful, but their importance is often exaggerated. Also, people tend to make predictions by looking at the past – which is one reason they’re so often wrong.

          For public policy purposes, radical change becomes possible when very roughly 1/3 enthusiastically support you and 1/3 are neutral – depending on the level of opposition in the remaining 1/3. That’s how the patriots won the Revolutionary War.

          More important, in a Republic – a representative form of government – much becomes possible for the party controlling both Congress, the White House, the bureaucracy. and the major US institutions. Activists have the last two in their pocket. The first two might be so after 2020, or 2024. Combine that with a favorable environment to panic the US public (we’re easily panicked) – such as a big bout of extreme weather — and the alarmists could implement some drastic measures.

          They only need to win once.

          • The real truth is that democratic societies have no stomach for extended “campaigns.” The examples are many, but the U.S.’s Vietnam experience is instructive: people don’t want to keep spending on unwinnable crusades.

            Over time, the expensive negatives of any political/bureaucratic push become so obvious, the voters rebel. One just wears them down. Ho Chi Minh believed that. Look at the results.

          • The way I see it, history shows warming and cooling with a 60-80 year period (warming modestly for 30-40 years, then cooling modestly for 30-40 years). That oscillation is superimposed on a warming trend since the Little Ice Age, which is itself probably a longer period oscillation around a very long-term cooling trend. We have been warming for about 40 years so we should be shifting into a cooling trend. Longer-term we have been warming for about 170 years, which may soon portend a LIA-like trend. If I were a betting man, I’d give 3:1 odds on cooling over the next 30 years vs continued warming. This is just observation of past trends projected into the future, with no hypothesis of what drives the cycles, so I know that this is weak. But is it really weaker than the theory that CO2 is the master control knob despite accelerating CO2 concentration yielding cooling, warming, stasis, and then most recently mild warming?

            It’s my suspicion that those who have built their academic and/or political and/or rent-seeking careers pushing the high-ECS global warming theme for the past 30 years may have reached a similar conclusion. The desperation that we perceive in them may well be due to their recognition that if they fail to enact their drastic measures in the very near future, it may be too late for them. We may soon be in a clear cooling trend that no amount of adjustment can hide. If they put their schemes in place before we start to see any obvious cooling, they might be able to make a plausible case that any cooling is due to their schemes working. If not, then they must realize that they will be thoroughly discredited and the gravy train comes to an end.

            You say they only need to win once. But let’s not be too melodramatic. The Democrats completely owned US government in 2009 and 2010 with a filibuster-proof Senate. The Republicans owned US government in 2017 and 2018, minus the supermajority in the Senate. The most likely scenario for the Democrats defeating Trump is that they nominate a centrist like Biden or Hickenlooper, neither of whom are likely to enact radical change. The clown car with Sanders, Harris, Warren, Booker, O’Rourke, et al. is a ticket for Trumpian rule through January 2025. Even if Trump implodes, the odds of the Senate shifting to a filibuster-proof Democrat majority are very slim. I’d say it’s as likely that the Republicans take back the House and hold the Senate.

            To be sure, AOC’s puppeteers are scheming to bring about socialism, but I don’t think we need to worry that much that they can succeed. Political gridlock is much more likely. Followed blissfully by a recognition that the weather varies in natural cycles and isn’t being driven by CO2.

            Frankly if global temperatures are still rising in 2024, I will be far more open to the idea of cutting CO2 emissions than I am today. But in that case, I would argue that nuclear power is the only proven technology that could allow us to phase out most fossil fuel use.

      • LK, disappointed. You cannot have it both ways.
        YOU said in your guest post that 8.5 per se was explicitly NOT BAU, rather a ‘well crafted extreme’.
        I agreed, having archived and studied the paper you link here now many years ago.
        Then you reply it said it was claimed to be BAU—quoting a final part of §3.2 out of context just before some illustrative extreme (NOT BAU) graphs. Nothing in the abstract, the intro, or the conclusions linked support your comment on a single sentance arguably taken out of context to refute my (supportive!) comment.

        To repeat, you cannot have it both ways. So either your reply is correct and your post isn’t—or your post is and your comment isnt. You chose. I’m done.

        • Rud,

          You said “RCP8.5 introduction paper did not say it was BAU.” But that phrase was in the paper. That’s where the phrase “business as usual” comes from. It’s the source cited. Fact.

          “YOU said in your guest post that 8.5 per se was explicitly NOT BAU, rather a ‘well crafted extreme’. …Then you reply it said it was claimed to be BAU—quoting a final part”

          Yes. The scenario was well-designed. The description of it as a “business as usual” scenario is false, for the reasons I stated.

          “You cannot have it both ways.”

          I don’t understand the nature of your objection.

  14. Often it feels like pissing into the wind being a skeptic of AGW but reality always steps in to save the day. The world knows we cannot quit using fossil fuels without committing economic suicide and drastically lowering our living standards and life spans. The clamor for more wind and solar renewables only highlights the fact that we can never get there from here. How long will it take before people start asking why China, India, Russia, and others haven’t signed on to a reduced CO2 solution but instead are exacerbating it. The time and money being wasted to placate the Green dream could be used to solve many world problems that are real.

    • The Russians and Chinese simply have too much to gain from exploiting oil and gas resources, and from funding anti-oil and gas lobbyists and interest groups in liberal western nations in hopes of getting their opponents to commit economic suicide.

      In the long run – besides the fact that all we humans are dead in the long run – oil and gas will eventually run out, it’s only a matter of time. And other sources of energy will naturally take over, in some combination of renewables and nuclear generated power. That is all inevitable – whether that transition takes place 30 years from now, or 130 years from now.

      But in the meantime Russia and China, being iliberal despotic states, will seek to gain any edge they can of the liberal western states who oppose their ideology and politics.

      I am using the classic meaning of the word “liberal” – the way that our American founders used the term, to define society based upon inalienable rights of the individual, as opposed to the supremacy of the state.

  15. I love this post in a sad and disgusted kind of way. I blame the scientists who know better yet either actively aid and abett the propaganda, or almost as bad sit silently when they know how crazy much of this is. They’re content to watch as we head down the road to ruin so that they can continue to prosper.

    I hope Trump can absorb a few details that he can use to demolish in debate the (no doubt)ignoramus democrat who ultimately wins the nomination. Storm trends (neutral or downward), model failures, and weaponization of the word “carbon” for C02, no doubt to evoke images of dirty, black slime instead of the life giving and life sustaining reality that is carbon dioxide.

    • Chaamjamal,

      Do you have a larger version of those graphs? I cannot read them.

      The usual mention in the literature is that CO2 levels and temps of the various RCPs do not significantly diverge until the late 2020s.

  16. As cogent and pertinent as this article is the central point accedes to the erroneous assumption that human CO2 emissions are the cause of increased CO2 in the atmosphere. The whole RCP scenario is based on that unfounded assumption but analysis of the emissions data find no response in the atmosphere to changes in emissions rates (https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/). Harde 2017 explains the method for analyzing the interplay of natural and human emissions and is supported by (https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/ ).
    It is important to call “BS” on the use of RCP8.5 to foment fear. It is likewise important to point out that none of the studies based on human emissions controlling the future temperature have a foundation unless somehow our CO2 emissions are different from the CO2 emitted by termites or warming oceans.

  17. Pardon my persistence, but how the Greenies can justify chopping up birds by the millions is beyond me. At least they should champion nuclear, but that won’t happen either. Several comments about crying wolf eventually catching up to these scenarios is maybe our best hope.

  18. “America has been bombarded for a decade with terrifying articles, many using projections based on RCP8.5 (others misrepresent different aspects of climate science). Few of those mention RCP8.5’s implausible assumptions”

    Yet more evidence that climate science is really activism disguised as science

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/03/hidden-hand/

    • Here’s the thing: the US produces only 14% of global carbon emissions, and dropping. China is almost double that. India is nearly half the US and rising fast.

      Even if the threat was real, there’s little the US (or the UK, or Australia) could do about it.

      Tell the Gen Z activists that China, India and the rest of the developing world control the present and future of carbon emissions.

  19. These alarmist climate scientists should do their studies using *all* the available computer scenarios. Then give us their results for each one.

    Real scary.

    Scary.

    Kinda of Scary.

    Not Scary at all.

    What do you want to bet that they all have a “Not Scary at all” scenario in their results. The only problem for them is if their study doesn’t sound scary, they probably won’t get paid, which is why they almost exclusively use the worst-case scenario.

    • The only problem for them is if their study doesn’t sound scary, they probably won’t get paid, which is why they almost exclusively use the worst-case scenario.

      “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. … Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” – Stephen Schneider

      Apparently one can’t be effective and honest in the Climate Alarmist world.

  20. “Fear of the future rules in the minds of many – or most – on the Left.”

    No.
    That is a statement as erroneous as RCP8.5 predictions and scenarios.

    Otherwise, most or even just many of the left would refuse to wear or use any fossil fuel derived product.
    Not even many of the alarmists treat the RCP8.5 predictions as real.

    • ATheoK,

      “Otherwise, most or even just many of the left would refuse to wear or use any fossil fuel derived product.”

      Extreme fear is often, perhaps usually, incompatible with reason. Unfortunately.

  21. Just when you think they’ve run out of inventive ways to profit from nothing dire happening, along comes a new ‘grant-inspired’ narrative.

    One principle in advertising, PR and marketing is to disseminate the same basic message consistently and spend enough to dominate at least a large percentage of available media with it. That way even an overstated lie eventually becomes the truth for the recipients of the message.

  22. I have developed 3 technologies that when combined and completely used will eliminate 85.7% of Global CO2 emissions. The first is called the ZECCOM™¹ (Zero Emissions Coal Combustion) Process where all of a coal fired power plants emissions are put underground through a pressure control valve, into a sequestration facility. We replace the combustor with a pressurized combustor and the flue gas cooler with a pressurized flue gas cooler. you but liquid oxygen and drill a well into a sequestration facility and you no longer have any emissions. The second is the ZENGCOM™¹ (Zero Emissions Natural Gas Combustion) Process where we do the same for a natural gas power plants. We have technology for any solid, liquid or vapor fuel that is burned. The third technology is the ZEST™¹(Zero Emissions SAGD Technology) Process where we deasphalt the whole bitumen or the diluted bitumen to remove the asphaltenes, burn the asphaltenes much like we burn coal and make steam for the SAGD Production. Calculations show that the bitumen and heavy oil from Saskatchewan will have about 37-45% less Co2 emissions than any other oil in the world. r-l-hood@shaw.ca in case the one below stops working I am ccurently in Denver, Colorado

    • Hey, I did the same. Came out to be optimal to just burn nothing. Easy and very cheap to implement.

  23. The amity-enmity complex was a term introduced by Sir Arthur Keith in A New Theory of Human Evolution (1948), where he posited that humans evolved as differing races, tribes, and cultures, exhibiting patriotism, morality, leadership and nationalism. Those who belong are part of the in-group, and tolerated; all others are classed as out-group, and subject to hostility; ‘The code of enmity is a necessary part of the machinery of evolution. He who feels generous towards his enemy…has given up his place in the turmoil of evolutionary competition.’ Conscience in humans evolved a duality; to protect and save friends, and also to hate and fight enemies.

    A major part of amity-enmity is the degree of outside threat a person or society feels. Such threats build internal cohesiveness; lack of such threats cause internal discord and disruption.

    Amity-Enmity can also apply beyond different nations, religions, or groups of people – to concepts and processes in Nature itself. A clever politician may take advantage of some fear or concern people have with some aspect in nature to give that group a common internal bond and a common enemy. Concern over that natural process may then be extended to concern over some human-generated technology or other use of the natural process. Thus, fear of atomic weapons in the 1950s-60s was extended to fear of nuclear reactors for power and radioactivity in general.

    To some extent and in some groups of people, the influence of human activities in climate and climate change has become an amity-enmity reaction. Many have taken an extreme view on one side or the other – either human actions will surely bring calamity and destruction if we do not drastically change our behavior, versus total denial that humans have any influence on climate at all and thinking about that should be discounted. The two sides neither trust nor listen to each other. Personal and group perspectives on climate change may acquire a religion-like belief. Commitment to a particular viewpoint excludes reality, and all attempts to convert using logic fail. Group-think and confirmation bias from part of the group readily is adopted by the whole group. This becomes a vulnerable situation for motivated individuals to influence and direct the group toward political or financial ends.
    In my opinion, climate change and the role of humans has become a political, financial, and quasi-religious amity-enmity situation.

    • “In my opinion, climate change and the role of humans has become a political, financial, and quasi-religious amity-enmity situation.”

      You are probably right in describing the Alarmist side of the eqation.

      For the skeptics, denying the impacts of CO2 is not a matter of religion, it is a matter of whether there are facts that support the theory that CO2 can change Earth’s weather, or not. Currently, there is NO evidence that CO2 is causing the Earth’s weather patterns to change. The skeptic position doesn’t require religion, it requires facts. If you don’t have the facts, then skeptics are going to point that out and that’s just what we do. No more, no less. If the evidence changed, the skeptic position would change, too.

      Claims and facts are different. The Alarmists make lots of claims but have no facts to back up their speculations. Pointing that out is not a knee-jerk reaction.

  24. Moderator:
    What happened to my response to LK?
    Hope it isn’t my pointing out he’s being naive -giving real life examples- or my use of the term unicorn “pee”?

  25. “And Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free”

    Nice to see the religious hijacking by taking the words of the Creator referring to the Gospel and applying them to the Original Lie “and ye shall be as gods” when it comes down to claiming power to tame the elements.

    • AWG,

      Did you read the post? What are you talking about?

      “applying them to the Original Lie”

      ???

      “and ye shall be as gods” when it comes down to claiming power to tame the elements.”

      Nope.

  26. It’s clear to me that this has become all out war between the “eternal” left (they are never going away) and the lovers of truth and individual freedom.

    Unfortunately, only one side is armed and taking shots as far as I can tell.

    We need lots more good, eloquent spokesmen like Patrick Moore who are willing to “call out” the liars for the liars they are.

    PBS did an inexcusable fluff job piece on the Green New Deal (WUWT?)…anyone who isn’t childishly delusional can see what kind of devastating effects anything close to a GND would do to the world economy.

    A Green New Deal WOULD accomplish one of their goals…namely cutting global populations down significantly by starving more than half the population by cutting off fuel to agriculture. What a bunch of totally asinine twits at PBS for not scoffing at this outrageous crap. The idiots lapped it up.

    Maybe if we gave them half of California… say from San Francisco south (except San Diego) and forced them out of the USA they would go away and leave us alone. I’m sure they would have open borders so it would fill up quickly.

  27. Fear of the future rules in the minds of many – or most – on the Left. –>

    Fear of the future rules in the minds of many – or most – of the fat belly of the affluent society.

  28. There appears to be confusion among readers here about the nature and intended use of the RCPs. I added these quotes to the post at the FM website about this. The links go to resources providing more info.

    “A scenario is a storyline or image that describes a potential future, developed to inform decision making under uncertainty (Parson et al., 2007).
    Working Group II report in the IPCC’s AR5, 1.1.3.

    “Fourth, when particular scenarios were constructed to have specific meanings – e.g., a reference case, a plausible worst-case, or the exploration of a particular causal process taken to its extreme – these should be clearly conveyed..”
    — “Global-Change Scenarios: Their Development and Use” by Parson et al., DoE, 2007.

    “Within the RCP family, individual scenarios have not been assigned a formal likelihood.”
    Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), volume 1, chapter 4 (p 137).

    “RCP8.5 cannot be used as a no-climate-policy socioeconomic reference scenario for the other RCPs because RCP8.5’s socioeconomic, technology, and biophysical assumptions differ from those of the other RCPs.”
    — From the page on the IPCC website explaining the RCPs.

  29. LK:
    “Since I began writing about climate change eleven years ago, I have distinguished between activists and legitimate scientists. I have said that we should trust the IPCC and major climate agencies. After my epiphany (see A new, dark picture of America’s future), I see the situation differently – and I hope more clearly.”

    Clearly, if you trusted the IPCC and GISS/NOAA you were unable “to distinguish” between activists and legitimate science. It should trouble you that it required 11 years to realize that:

    – The scam started with Hansen’s arbitrary 300% amplification from WV feedback which contrasted with all observational data showing a balancing mechanism from clouds/oceans;

    – Actual UN scientists never concluded that human CO2 was warming the planet. It was a grad student that deleted the scientific conclusions:

    •”None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

    and

    •”While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”

    And replaced them with the outright fabrication regurgitated ad infinitum by IPCC political activists:

    “The body of statistical evidence in chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence on the global climate.”

    That these activists never provided data or methods and actively conspired to avoid any attempts at falsification;

    The fraudulent – and completely discredited- 390x cherry-picking algorithm which replaced decades of actual science defining the MWP and LIA with “unprecedented” 20th century warmth;

    The GORE PR campaign- an assemblage of outright lies- thoroughly refuted yet portrayed to the public and unsuspecting students for years as truth;

    Then came the repeated and nonsensical adjustments to historical temperature records, buoy data, sea ice records- all controlled by the same few dozen activist deep state “scientists” rewriting decades of actual science research:

    https://realclimatescience.com/2019/03/the-leading-data-tampering-excuses/

    https://realclimatescience.com/arctic-sea-ice-unchanged-from-60-years-ago/

    That thousands of global scientists- including many of the most eminent earth scientists (Lindzen, Happer, Dyson, Curry, Spencer, Gray, Idso, Pielke, Plimer, Giaever, Soon…) have disputed the dangerous AGW construction;

    The subversion of Peer Review/FOIA by this small group that largely controlled publication in climate science and ad hom attacks aimed at respected scientists questioning their data/methods;

    The absolute lack of correlation of temperature and CO2- geologically and over the 70 years since human CO2 influence began (only correlating period was warming from 1980-1998 from 1950-2014);

    The actual science demonstrating the greening of Gaia and record grain yields from extra CO2 and warmth.

    I could go on but you get the point- shouldn’t the 11-year delay in your realization of obvious deceptions provide your readers with some hesitation in accepting your analytical acumen?

    Sorry Larry, but it’s been frustrating these last few years as you point out blatant deceptions and distortions from this deep statist cabal but then continue to accept these charlatans as reliable scientists espousing truth about dangerous CO2 warming.

    Cheers,
    JRP

  30. Yes we shod tell the various Green Groups to direct their fury and outrage at the Countries such as India, China and Russia for ignoring the dictates of “Paris”.

    But here in Australia with our massive 1.3 % of CO2 emissions we are told that we must set a example for the rest of the World to follow.

    The politicians of both parties are either of the opinion that there are either Votes in it, or they are scared that they may lose votes by not going along with it.

    MJE VK5ELL

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