Climate change: ‘We’ve created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I’m terrified’, writes Earth scientist

Republished from The Conversation under CC license.

File 20190507 103049 95aua2.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

James Dyke, University of Exeter

The coffee tasted bad. Acrid and with a sweet, sickly smell. The sort of coffee that results from overfilling the filter machine and then leaving the brew to stew on the hot plate for several hours. The sort of coffee I would drink continually during the day to keep whatever gears left in my head turning.

Odours are powerfully connected to memories. And so it’s the smell of that bad coffee which has become entwined with the memory of my sudden realisation that we are facing utter ruin.

It was the spring of 2011, and I had managed to corner a very senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a coffee break at a workshop. The IPCC was established in 1988 as a response to increasing concern that the observed changes in the Earth’s climate are being largely caused by humans.

The IPCC reviews the vast amounts of science being generated around climate change and produces assessment reports every four years. Given the impact the IPPC’s findings can have on policy and industry, great care is made to carefully present and communicate its scientific findings. So I wasn’t expecting much when I straight out asked him how much warming he thought we were going to achieve before we manage to make the required cuts to greenhouse gas emissions.

“Oh, I think we’re heading towards 3°C at least,” he said.

“Ah, yes, but heading towards,” I countered: “We won’t get to 3°C, will we?” (Because whatever you think of the 2°C threshold that separates “safe” from “dangerous” climate change, 3°C is well beyond what much of the world could bear.)

“Not so,” he replied.

That wasn’t his hedge, but his best assessment of where, after all the political, economic, and social wrangling we will end up.

“But what about the many millions of people directly threatened,” I went on. “Those living in low-lying nations, the farmers affected by abrupt changes in weather, kids exposed to new diseases?”

He gave a sigh, paused for a few seconds, and a sad, resigned smile crept over his face. He then simply said: “They will die.”

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Untold devastation awaits us if radical action is not taken.
Frans Delian/

That episode marked a clear boundary between two stages of my academic career. At the time, I was a new lecturer in the area of complex systems and Earth system science. Previously, I had worked as a research scientist on an international astrobiology project based in Germany.

In many ways, that had been my dream job. As a young boy, I had lain on the grass on clear summer evenings and looked up at one of the dots in the night sky and wondered if around that star a planet orbited with beings that could look up from the surface of their world and similarly wonder about the chances of life being found within the unremarkable solar system we call home in the universe. Years later, my research involves thinking about how surface life can affect the atmosphere, oceans and even rocks of the planet it lives on.

That’s certainly the case with life on Earth. At a global scale, the air we all breathe contains oxygen largely as a result of photosynthetic life, while an important part of the UK’s national identity for some – the white cliffs of Dover – are comprised of countless numbers of tiny marine organisms that lived more than 70m years ago.

The chalk is made up of ancient pulverised shells of tiny organisms called coccolithophore.
John Hemmings/

So it wasn’t a very large step from thinking about how life has radically altered the Earth over billions of years to my new research that considers how a particular species has wrought major changes within the most recent few centuries. Whatever other attributes Homo sapiens may have – and much is made of our opposable thumbs, upright walking and big brains – our capacity to impact the environment far and wide is perhaps unprecedented in all of life’s history. If nothing else, we humans can make an almighty mess.

Change within a lifetime

I was born in the early 1970s. This means in my lifetime the number of people on Earth has doubled, while the size of wild animal populations has been reduced by 60%. Humanity has swung a wrecking ball through the biosphere. We have chopped down over half of the world’s rainforests and by the middle of this century there may not be much more than a quarter left. This has been accompanied by a massive loss in biodiversity, such that the biosphere may be entering one of the great mass extinction events in the history of life on Earth.

What makes this even more disturbing, is that these impacts are as yet largely unaffected by climate change. Climate change is the ghosts of impacts future. It has the potential to ratchet up whatever humans have done to even higher levels. Credible assessments conclude that one in six species are threatened with extinction if climate change continues.

The scientific community has been sounding the alarm over climate change for decades. The political and economic response has been at best sluggish. We know that in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to rapidly reduce emissions now.

Required emissions reductions to limit warming to 2°C.
Robbie Andrew

The sudden increase in media coverage of climate change as a result of the actions of Extinction Rebellion and school strike for climate pioneer Greta Thunburg, demonstrates that wider society is waking up to the need for urgent action. Why has it taken the occupation of Parliament Square in London or children across the world walking out of school to get this message heard?

There is another way of looking at how we have been responding to climate change and other environmental challenges. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying. Exhilarating because it offers a new perspective that could cut through inaction. Terrifying as it could, if we are not careful, lead to resignation and paralysis.

Read more:
Climate change: seeing the planet break down is depressing – here’s how to turn your pain into action

Because one explanation for our collective failure on climate change is that such collective action is perhaps impossible. It’s not that we don’t want to change, but that we can’t. We are locked into a planetary-scale system that while built by humans, is largely beyond our control. This system is called the technosphere.

The technosphere

Coined by US geoscientist Peter Haff in 2014, the technosphere is the system that consists of individual humans, human societies – and stuff. In terms of stuff, humans have produced an extraordinary 30 trillion metric tons of things. From skyscrapers to CDs, fountains to fondue sets. A good deal of this is infrastructure, such as roads and railways, which links humanity together.

Along with the physical transport of humans and the goods they consume is the transfer of information between humans and their machines. First through the spoken word, then parchment and paper-based documents, then radio waves converted to sound and pictures, and subsequently digital information sent via the internet. These networks facilitate human communities. From roving bands of hunter-gatherers and small farming tribes, right up to the inhabitants of a megacity that teams with over 10m inhabitants, Homo sapiens is a fundamentally social species.

The techno-planet.
Joshua Davenport/

Just as important, but much less tangible, is society and culture. The realm of ideas and beliefs, of habits and norms. Humans do a great many different things because in important ways they see the world in different ways. These differences are often held to be the root cause of our inability to take effective global action. There is no global government, for a start.

But as different as we all are, the vast majority of humanity is now behaving in fundamentally similar ways. Yes, there are still some nomads who roam tropical rainforests, still some roving sea gypsies. But more than half of the global population now lives in urban environments and nearly all are in some way connected to industrialised activities. Most of humanity is tightly enmeshed into a globalised, industrialised complex system – that of the technosphere.

Importantly, the size, scale and power of the technosphere has dramatically grown since World War II. This tremendous increase in the number of humans, their energy and material consumption, food production and environmental impact has been dubbed the Great Acceleration.

The great acceleration of the technosphere.
Felix Pharand-Deschenes Globaia

The tyranny of growth

It seems sensible to assume that the reason products and services are made is so that they can be bought and sold and so the makers can turn a profit. So the drive for innovation – for faster, smaller phones, for example – is driven by being able to make more money by selling more phones. In line with this, the environmental writer George Monbiot argued that the root cause of climate change and other environmental calamities is capitalism and consequently any attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will ultimately fail if we allow capitalism to continue.

But zooming out from the toil of individual manufacturers, and even humanity, allows us to take a fundamentally different perspective, one that transcends critiques of capitalism and other forms of government.

Humans consume. In the first instance, we must eat and drink in order to maintain our metabolism, to stay alive. Beyond that, we need shelter and protection from physical elements.

There are also the things we need to perform our different jobs and activities and to travel to and from our jobs and activities. And beyond that is more discretional consumption: TVs, games consoles, jewellery, fashion.

The purpose of humans in this context is to consume products and services. The more we consume, the more materials will be extracted from the Earth, and the more energy resources consumed, the more factories and infrastructure built. And ultimately, the more the technosphere will grow.

The growth of the economy is based on the growth of consumption.
Roman Mikhailiuk/

The emergence and development of capitalism obviously lead to the growth of the technosphere: the application of markets and legal systems allows increased consumption and so growth. But other political systems may serve the same purpose, with varying degrees of success. Recall the industrial output and environmental pollution of the former Soviet Union. In the modern world, all that matters is growth.

The idea that growth is ultimately behind our unsustainable civilisation is not a new concept. Thomas Malthus famously argued there were limits to human population growth, while the Club of Rome’s 1972 book, Limits to Growth, presented simulation results that pointed to a collapse in global civilisation.

Today, alternative narratives to the growth agenda are, perhaps, getting political traction with an All Party Parliamentary Group convening meetings and activities that seriously consider de-growth policies. And curbing growth within environmental limits is central to the idea of a Green New Deal, which is now being discussed seriously in the US, UK, and other nations.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, champion of the US Green New Deal.
Rachael Warriner/

If growth is the problem, then we just have to work at that, right? This won’t be easy, as growth is baked into every aspect of politics and economics. But we can at least imagine what a de-growth economy would look like.

My fear, however, is that we will not be able to slow down the growth of the technosphere even if we tried – because we are not actually in control.

Limits to freedom

It may seem nonsense that humans are unable to make important changes to the system they have built. But just how free are we? Rather than being masters of our own destiny, we may be very constrained in how we can act.

Like individual blood cells coursing through capillaries, humans are part of a global-scale system that provides for all their needs and so has led them to rely on it entirely.

Tokyo train commuters travelling to work.

If you jump in your car to get to a particular destination, you can’t travel in a straight line “as the crow flies”. You will use roads that in some instances are older than your car, you, or even your nation. A significant fraction of human effort and endeavour is devoted to maintaining this fabric of the technosphere: fixing roads, railways, and buildings, for example.

In that respect, any change must be incremental because it must use what current and previous generations have built. The channelling of people via road networks seems a trivial way to demonstrate that what happened far in the past can constrain the present, but humanity’s path to decarbonisation isn’t going to be direct. It has to start from here and at least in the beginning use existing routes of development.

This isn’t meant to excuse policymakers for their failure of ambition, or lack of bravery. But it indicates that there may be deeper reasons why carbon emissions are not decreasing even when there appears to be increasingly good news about alternatives to fossil fuels.

Think about it: at the global scale, we have witnessed a phenomenal rate of deployment of solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy generation. But global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. This is because renewables promote growth – they simply represent another method of extracting energy, rather than replacing an existing one.

Renewable energy production has not led to a reduction in fossil fuel use.
Thongsuk Atiwannakul/

The relationship between the size of the global economy and carbon emissions is so robust that US physicist Tim Garret has proposed a very simple formula that links the two with startling accuracy. Using this method, an atmospheric scientist can predict the size of the global economy for the past 60 years with tremendous precision.

But correlation does not necessarily mean causation. That there has been a tight link between economic growth and carbon emissions does not mean that has to continue indefinitely. The tantalisingly simple explanation for this link is that the technosphere can be viewed like an engine: one that works to make cars, roads, clothes, and stuff – even people – using available energy.

The technosphere still has access to abundant supplies of high energy density fossil fuels. And so the absolute decoupling of global carbon emissions from economic growth will not happen until they either run out or the technosphere eventually transitions to alternative energy generation. That may be well beyond the danger zone for humans.

A repugnant conclusion

We have just come to appreciate that our impacts on the Earth system are so large that we have possibly ushered in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The Earth’s rocks will bear witness to humans’ impacts long after we disappear. The technosphere can be seen as the engine of the Anthropocene. But that does not mean we are driving it. We may have created this system, but it is not built for our communal benefit. This runs completely counter to how we view our relationship with the Earth system.

Take the planetary boundaries concept, which has generated much interest scientifically, economically, and politically. This idea frames human development as impacting on nine planetary boundaries, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and ocean acidification. If we push past these boundaries, then the Earth system will change in ways that will make human civilisation very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain. The value of, say, the biosphere here is that it provides goods and services to us. This represents what we can literally get from the system.

The planetary boundaries that are intended to help define a safe operating space for humanity.
Steffen, W., et al, 2015. Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223), p.1

This very human-centric approach should lead to more sustainable development. It should constrain growth. But the technological world system we have built is clever at getting around such constraints. It uses the ingenuity of humans to build new technologies – such as geoengineering – to reduce surface temperatures. That would not halt ocean acidification and so would lead to the potential collapse of ocean ecosystems. No matter. The climate constraint would have been avoided and the technosphere could then get to work overcoming any side effects of biodiversity loss. Fish stocks collapse? Shift to farmed fish or intensively grown algae.

As defined so far, there appears nothing to stop the technosphere liquidating most of the Earth’s biosphere to satisfy its growth. Just as long as goods and services are consumed, the technosphere can continue to grow.

And so those who fear the collapse of civilisation or those who have enduring faith in human innovation being able to solve all sustainability challenges may both be wrong.

After all, a much smaller and much richer population of the order of hundreds of millions could consume more than the current population of 7.6 billion or the projected population of nine billion by the middle of this century. While there would be widespread disruption, the technosphere may be able to weather climate change beyond 3°C. It does not care, cannot care, that billions of people would have died.

Fewer people would not necessarily mean a smaller technosphere.

And at some point in the future, the technosphere could even function without humans. We worry about robots taking over human’s jobs. Perhaps we should be more concerned with them taking over our role as apex consumers.

Escape plan

The situation, then, may all seem rather hopeless. Whether or not my argument is an accurate representation of our civilisation, there is the risk it produces a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because if we believe we can’t slow down the growth of the technosphere, then why bother?

This goes beyond the question of “what difference could I make?” to “what difference can anyone make?” While flying less, cutting down on eating meat and dairy and cycling to work are all commendable steps to take, they do not constitute living outside the technosphere.

It’s not just that we give tacit consent to the technosphere by using its roads, computers, or intensively farmed food. It’s that by being a productive member of society, by earning and spending, above all by consuming, we further the technosphere’s growth.

Read more:
Climate change: yes, your individual action does make a difference

Perhaps the way out from fatalism and disaster is an acceptance that humans may not actually be in control of our planet. This would be the vital first step that could lead to a broader outlook that encompasses more than humans.

For example, the mainstream economic attitude about trees, frogs, mountains, and lakes is that these things only have value if they provide something to us. This mindset sets them up as nothing more than resources to exploit and sinks for waste.

What if we thought of them as components or even our companions in the complex Earth system? Questions about sustainable development then become questions about how growth in the technosphere can be accommodated with their concerns, interests, and welfare as well as ours.

This may produce questions that seem absurd. What are the concerns or interests of a mountain? Of a flea? But if we continue to frame the situation in terms of “us against them”, of human well-being trumping everything else in the Earth system, then we may be effectively hacking away the best form of protection against a dangerously rampant technosphere.

And so the most effective guard against climate breakdown may not be technological solutions, but a more fundamental reimagining of what constitutes a good life on this particular planet. We may be critically constrained in our abilities to change and rework the technosphere, but we should be free to envisage alternative futures. So far our response to the challenge of climate change exposes a fundamental failure of our collective imagination.

We must start to see ourselves as a small part of a planetary natural system.
Ethan Daniels/

To understand you are in a prison, you must first be able to see the bars. That this prison was created by humans over many generations doesn’t change the conclusion that we are currently tightly bound up within a system that could, if we do not act, lead to the impoverishment, and even death of billions of people.

Eight years ago, I woke up to the real possibility that humanity is facing disaster. I can still smell that bad coffee, I can still recall the memory of scrabbling to make sense of the words I was hearing. Embracing the reality of the technosphere doesn’t mean giving up, of meekly returning to our cells. It means grabbing a vital new piece of the map and planning our escape.

Click here to subscribe to our climate action newsletter. Climate change is inevitable. Our response to it isn’t.The Conversation

James Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Global Systems, University of Exeter

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

HT/Duncan W

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David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
May 26, 2019 2:05 pm

I’m terrified’, writes Earth scientist…

He’d have to be a scientist to be an Earth scientist (geologist, geophysicist, oceanographer, meteorologist, etc.).

That episode marked a clear boundary between two stages of my academic career. At the time, I was a new lecturer in the area of complex systems and Earth system science. Previously, I had worked as a research scientist on an international astrobiology project based in Germany.

Neither of which is a real science, much less Earth science.

His Earth scientist “qualifications”…

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice 2015.
DPhil Informatics 2009.
MSc Evolutionary & Adaptive Systems 2005.
BA (hons) Philosophy 1995


He’s just another Malthusian miscreant, without a real job, pining away for socialism…

The idea that growth is ultimately behind our unsustainable civilisation is not a new concept. Thomas Malthus famously argued there were limits to human population growth, while the Club of Rome’s 1972 book, Limits to Growth, presented simulation results that pointed to a collapse in global civilisation.

Today, alternative narratives to the growth agenda are…

Alternative narratives to the growth agenda are… (Multiple choice)

  1. Venezuela
  2. Venezuela
  3. Venezuela
  4. All of the above
R Shearer
Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 3:40 pm

Hhmm, is that multiple choice a trick question?

One can forgive Malthus for not anticipating advances in agriculture, transportation, satellites, the ability to fly from one place to another in pretty much a straight path. But this guy has seen it with his own eyes. I’d wager he flies all over the place, at least to climate doom conventions.

There is a whole universe out there to expand into and conquer. Limits to growth are the least of our worries.

Russ Wood
Reply to  R Shearer
May 27, 2019 9:00 am

On this kind of thing, I’m always reminded of the Science Fiction aphorism: “The meek shall inherit the Earth – the rest of us are going to the stars!”.

Reply to  R Shearer
May 27, 2019 10:43 am

Maybe one can forgive Malthus, but one should never forget that Malthus is the poster child of Dangerously Failed Predictions. And millions of Irish died, in part, because of the fear of “overpopulation” which his predictions created: “better to let the poor starve than to feed them, for if they are fed, then they will only multiply and so starve later.” Logical, but wrong.

This cold-blooded calculation persists 200 years later, among today’s Malthusian Death Cultists: better to cut off energy to the poor and let them starve, so that their betters may live in a pristine world. Climate Change(tm) is the vehicle that has been chosen to get them there.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 5:30 pm

As an almost entirely uneducated layman, I take pride in, and give thanks to, Strathclyde Police which armed me with the rudiments of critical thinking.

I didn’t know they were doing it, because they didn’t tell me they were doing it, and I’m not convinced they even understood the phenomenon at the time.

Nor was I very good at it to begin with in the mid 1970’s when I joined the police force, but I did get better, and the beauty of it is that you never stop getting better at it for the rest of your life. However, when I read scientific literature on WUWT and engage in discourse with many people here, I realise I have so much more to learn.

But still, despair when I see statements from supposedly ‘worldly wise’ academics that recite, verbatim Malthus, and Limits to Growth, without sitting down and pondering, just how credible their contentions are and what real world evidence they present. Particularly several generations and an industrial revolution on from their science.

Personally, I have read neither however, I don’t imagine I would hold concepts of either as the architecture of the future of the human race, but I haven’t read them so who knows.

What I do know is that for every Malthus, and every Limits to Growth, there are innumerable uplifting, positive scientific studies that celebrate humanity and it’s achievements.

But relative to Malthus in particular, I understand that, basically, he maintained that through greed, humanity will run out of food and famines would kill great numbers of people. And without going into the historic rights or wrongs of that principle, it seems that the opposite may well be the case.

Western populations are under threat from low birth rates. Not because of food shortage, but because of wealth. And if we include Japan as a western population, I understand it’s birth rate is around 1.4, and the number required for an economically sustainable population based on current economic thinking is around 2. Most prosperous countries are higher than Japan but still below the threshold of sustainability.

And as global prosperity grows, it seems that populations are predicted to fall further toward the latter stages of the 21st Century. We may reach 9bn as a global population but, to coin a favourite alarmist phrase, that will be ‘peak humanity’ before population decline becomes the next global concern, but food technology won’t have stopped.

It would appear that Malthus was not only wrong, he was wrong by 180 degrees.

My concern is, how an educated man can run around with his hair on fire citing Malthus as an authority on 21st Century population growth and food supply, when there is abundant information out there to refute his contentions.

Nor am I suggesting for a moment that I’m right, but it simply takes a visit to the FAO website, and a cursory examination of population figures to get the alarm bells ringing. Our problems in the future wouldn’t appear to be food, nor ever increasing populations, but falling populations. Nor would that be a problem except that historically, mankind has always relied upon its youth to support the elderly.

Sophisticated economies have, of course, supplanted physical support with financial support, but it all amounts to the same thing. The problems our youth are wringing their hands over now are not what they should be worrying about, because by the 22nd Century they will be elderly and there wont be enough youth to support them.

If the alarm bells of a layman like me are ringing loud and clear, why are they silent to an academic?

Ron Long
Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 5:38 pm

You’re right, David, he is not an Earth Scientist. However, he appears to be a very complete Precious Snowflake Encyclopedia!

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Reply to  Ron Long
May 27, 2019 6:52 am

He is actually overqualified in the precious snowflake category… 😉

Reply to  David Middleton
May 27, 2019 10:33 am

My Precious, my Precious!


Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 5:47 pm

or worse……he’s an idiot

“the white cliffs of Dover – are comprised of countless numbers of tiny marine organisms that lived more than 70m years ago.”…..when CO2 levels were +2000ppm

“The chalk is made up of ancient pulverised shells of tiny organisms called coccolithophore.”…with little calcium carbonate shells that did not dissolve…because even at +2000 ppm CO2..there no such thing as ocean acidification

..and the real ‘science’ says CO2 makes them grow…not die or dissolve

“Microscopic marine algae with a shell-like skeleton have increased more than tenfold in the North Atlantic over the past 50 years in response to rising levels of carbon dioxide, scientists have discovered.

The dramatic “bloom” of coccolithophores – whose shells make up the White Cliffs of Dover – since the 1960s is unprecedented and marine biologists said they are both astonished and mystified by such a sharp increase in microscopic phytoplankton.

An analysis of more than 81,000 plankton samples collected over the past half century has found that the percentage of coccolithophores has increased from about 2 percent to more than 20 percent, with a dramatic acceleration occurring after the late 1990s.

Scientists investigated more than 20 possible causes for the increase and concluded that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide dissolved in the seawater, combined with the ocean currents in the Atlantic, were the strongest candidates.”

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Reply to  Latitude
May 27, 2019 6:56 am

The only thing CO2 does is to affect the carbonate compensation depth (CCD). The higher the CO2, the shallower the CCD.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 5:57 pm

After considerable exposure to individuals suffering from James-Dyke-itis, I’ve come to the conclusion that a large fraction of the population is addicted to hand-wringing.

It doesn’t matter what excuses the wringing. It’s about the wringing.

It may be that these folks can’t find any meaning in their life without an external focus for their indulgence in personal anguish.

Maybe that’s why millennialism is so recrudescent. It’s built in to some of us.

Maybe all those, ‘it-all-ends-now-with-me’ prophets are just obligate perfervid hand-wringers with a special affinity and talent for rabble-rousing. They always seem to acquire a following.

Reply to  Pat Frank
May 27, 2019 1:11 am

James Dyke-head, Hysterical Fool

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Middleton
May 27, 2019 5:01 am

“He’s just another Malthusian miscreant, without a real job, pining away for socialism”

An excellent way to put it! 🙂

Nowhere in that article did I see any evidence that CO2 is adversely affecting the Earth’s climate or weather. The guy is doing a lot of lameting without much of a basis, as far as CO2 and CAGW are concerned. He is assuming things not in evidence. Anyone who believes in CAGW is doing the same.

Here’s a hint to this scientist: Make sure your basic assumptions are correct before extrapolating them into the future. In the case of CO2 and CAGW, you have not done so.

James Green
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 27, 2019 6:23 pm

Lots of words, lots of pathos, pretty graphs, no data, all an appeal to authority.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 27, 2019 7:44 am

You forgot North Korea.

Terry Harvey
May 26, 2019 2:10 pm

It’s good to hear from Chicken Little. Who knew the sky was falling?

Reply to  Terry Harvey
May 26, 2019 3:46 pm

“Renewable energy production has not led to a reduction in fossil fuel use.”

Says it all.

Reply to  Geoff
May 26, 2019 6:03 pm

“Renewable energy production has not led to a reduction in fossil fuel use.”

And never will.

Reply to  Geoff
May 26, 2019 6:06 pm


Let’s nuclear power. It already works.

Reply to  Geoff
May 26, 2019 6:06 pm

It has also lead to a rise in energy costs, lowering standards of living.

Reply to  Geoff
May 26, 2019 6:57 pm

Proof that “renewable” energy exists for only two purposes: To virtue signal and to collect subsidies.

Reply to  Terry Harvey
May 26, 2019 5:32 pm

What? The sky is falling? I had no idea! Why didn’t someone send me an e-mail about it?

Well, then, I’d better get to the grocery store and stock up on important stuff like ice cream, cheesecake, and kielbasa! I guess some kale and bean sprouts for hot and sour soup would be a good idea, too, and maybe some — well, some watermelon would be nice. I guess I’d better make a list, too.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Terry Harvey
May 26, 2019 8:24 pm

There actually was a climate study that concluded that the sky actually was falling due to CO2 induced climate change. However the latest straosphric cooling has been less than the minimal global warming.

May 26, 2019 2:18 pm

Future generations will call the current epoch the “Idiocene” when half the population was turnind into complete idiots that believe this rot.

Reply to  Karabar
May 26, 2019 6:09 pm

No really. This disorder is only found in Western countries and only in the more prosperous white residents in those countries. This disorder is actually no very common.

J Mac
Reply to  Karabar
May 26, 2019 7:02 pm


James Dyke is suffering from classic Climate Change psychosis.
“The Farce is strong in this one….”

Paul Homewood(@notalotofpeopleknowthat)
May 26, 2019 2:20 pm

Why is WUWT publishing this drivel?

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 26, 2019 2:37 pm

For us to ridicule… 😎

Reply to  Charles Rotter
May 26, 2019 7:03 pm

I would just have expected a top & tail explaining just how stupid his emoting was. You know, to focus the ridicule.

David Middleton(@debunkhouse)
Reply to  Hivemind
May 27, 2019 6:57 am

The /Sarc tag takes all of the fun out of sarcasm… 😉

Reply to  David Middleton
May 26, 2019 4:23 pm

>>>>roaring laughing

Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 26, 2019 3:06 pm

To give those of us with connected brain cells a laugh. 🤣🤣

iain russell
Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 26, 2019 5:05 pm

I assumed it was the Monday (Australian time) Funny.

nw sage
Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 26, 2019 7:14 pm

Because it’s April Fools Day all over again?

Dave Salt
Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 27, 2019 1:48 am

Know your enema 🙂

Reply to  Paul Homewood
May 27, 2019 9:35 am

Paul, it’s published here to underscore the old maxim: ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies (rhetoric) closer’. Dyke, the ‘Professor’, is professing his ability to believe in bogey-men rhetoric and to regurgitate it as if its a homework assignment he issued to his masters thesis students: ‘Write a piece of prose with pictures to save the world from its complacencies’. Plato would have caught the error in his logic. Poor guy, there is no algorithm that can sustain his faux-science premise. He showed his card with this drivel: “These differences are often held to be the root cause of our inability to take effective global action. There is no global government, for a start.” Then he quickly launched into pointing out the Club of Rome agenda. Apparently, a one-world government hasn’t taken and isn’t taking over the planet soon enough for Dyke. To me: DYKE=Another Totalitarian socialist academic-apologetic spouting off from the British ’empire’ academia.

Kevin Lohse
May 26, 2019 2:21 pm

I’ll never be able to smell bad coffee again without realising that utter ruin awaits us. People get paid for this sort of thing.

R Shearer
Reply to  Kevin Lohse
May 26, 2019 4:04 pm

Why do such people look at things this way? Why does one intentionally smell bad coffee? I don’t want to know what he does with his finger in the WC.

Bryan A
Reply to  R Shearer
May 27, 2019 9:20 am

Probably smells it for up to 3 days after to remind himself of his Ultimate Utter Ruinations

Jim of Colorado
Reply to  Kevin Lohse
May 26, 2019 5:35 pm

After 40 years as a working geologist and thousands of cups of coffee in doghouses adjacent to drilling rigs, I believe bad coffee does exist but is uncommonly bad enough to avoid drinking it. If any of the Chicken Littles really believe the alarmism, I would guess they would abandon the commercial/industrial use of solar and wind power and lead the parade for nuclear power. I haven’t seen it happen yet.

Reply to  Jim of Colorado
May 26, 2019 10:50 pm

Mr Dyke doesn’t want us to have any energy at all. He isn’t really about climate change caused by CO2 either.

What he and his ilk want is for the Earth to be one huge nature reserve that just a small number of remaining humans, themselves of course, can enjoy. Only they have the purity of spirit that warrants them being rewarded with this imagined Nirvana.

The rest of us little people can just be imagined away by simply denying us access to cheap, ubiquitous energy. The arrogance of these people is boundless, they are the ones who have killed hundreds of millions in the name of communism and show us that they will be happy to kill off hundreds of millions more as they hack their way to Nirvana.

Jon Salmi
Reply to  Jim of Colorado
May 27, 2019 4:10 pm

I like the idea of just providing ‘Sunny’ Mr. Dykes with a decent cup of coffee. There are some really good blends of Sumatran and African coffees he cold try. Maybe then he can wake-up, smell the coffee and enjoy a happier view of life on this planet.

Reply to  Kevin Lohse
May 26, 2019 8:00 pm

Just one little comment concerning his bad-memory-creating, over-boiled/bad coffee interview, it would have been helpful to be properly informed about his interviewee, this “senior member of the IPCC”. Was this person a scientist – or one of the politicians writing the IPCC summary? The name or at least the exact position of an interviewee must carry more weight than the memory of the coffee shared.

Bryan A
Reply to  AndyE
May 27, 2019 9:27 am

If the IPCC was formed for the task of producing their “Reports” every four years they’re doing a really miss poor job of it. 1988 – 2020 = 32yrs/4 = 8 reports. To date they have only produced 5. What are we playing these slugs for?

Kevin R.
Reply to  AndyE
May 27, 2019 2:59 pm

I’ve got a funny feeling the “senior member of the IPCC” was simply a rhetorical device of theatrical editorial argumentation.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Kevin R.
May 28, 2019 11:12 am

I always thought the letters to Penthouse were made up until I had my own experience. I was sharing some bad coffee with a beautiful, blonde senior member of the IPCC when suddenly…

May 26, 2019 2:21 pm

The Marxist postmodern SJWs are hell bent on destroying our civilization and I’m terrified. Among other things, it’s why I post as an anonymous coward.

Reply to  commieBob
May 26, 2019 4:01 pm

That’s what I thought this would be about before I read it. But it turns out to be by one of the people intent on destroying civilization instead.

There’s only one side that wants to destroy civilization, and it’s not us.

Reply to  MarkG
May 27, 2019 12:46 am

Yes MarkG, this Mr. Dyke is indeed one of those that seeks to destroy the industrial civilization, which over the last two centuries has brought more opportunities for human beings to fulfil ourselves than ever before.

Mr. Dyke is a traitor to our civilization, and he deserves to be kicked out of it and denied any share in the benefits it has brought to all of us.

Kevin R.
Reply to  commieBob
May 27, 2019 6:21 pm


May 26, 2019 2:22 pm

Hockey sticks, hockey sticks everywhere.

On another note, my wife’s uncle is a geologist and he thinks CAGW is all bs.

Paula Cohen
Reply to  Jarryd
May 26, 2019 4:46 pm

Ah! Someone else who loves Casablanca!

R Shearer
May 26, 2019 2:25 pm

A strong enough and long enough nylon rope can be had at Walmart for under two bucks.

Bruce Clark
Reply to  R Shearer
May 26, 2019 3:47 pm

Not nylon!
It must be hand woven from fibres from reeds from a local swamp. Of course the reeds must be cut using a stone axe!

R Shearer
Reply to  Bruce Clark
May 26, 2019 4:54 pm

I thought done in by plastic would be apropos, maybe knot (pun intended), but would hemp be OK then?

May 26, 2019 2:27 pm

Not one mention of nuclear energy. Power for all. Populations stabilize like they did in the West. Problem solved. But that isn’t really the issue, is it?

D. J. Hawkins
May 26, 2019 2:29 pm

Unhinged lunacy. That’s the kindest thing I can think of to call it.

Javert Chip
May 26, 2019 2:35 pm

Didn’t Paul Ehrlich already write this book in 1968?

John Bell
Reply to  Javert Chip
May 26, 2019 3:58 pm

It is VERY fashionable nowadays for leftists to preach doom and gloom, they must be so depressed.

May 26, 2019 2:37 pm

Why would I listen to anyone that is too lazy to even make fresh pot of coffee?

Reply to  rah
May 26, 2019 3:20 pm

Yes, indeed – well said.

Also, ‘they say’ that coffee left to stew on the hot-plate for ages becomes somewhat poisonous, so maybe that has hastened matey’s cognitive decline…

mike the morlock
Reply to  rah
May 26, 2019 3:24 pm


mike the morlock
Reply to  rah
May 26, 2019 4:38 pm

It just clicked with me, this fool is leaving a hot plate on for hours. Does he not know what a Thermos is?
He can write a long rambling essay, but is to cheap or lazy to get a thermos to store the fresh hot coffee.

lazy useless … I better stop there.


Reply to  mike the morlock
May 27, 2019 7:31 am

How much energy did leaving the burner on for hours consume?

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  rah
May 26, 2019 5:07 pm

I get the impression that his time writing the article is far more precious than his time to make a fresh coffee. A value judgement of a kind. It’s like flying across the world to tell the audience they shouldn’t fly anywhere.

Reply to  rah
May 27, 2019 7:30 am

He’s a socialist, he believes that it is the responsibility of government to brew fresh pots of coffee.

Tom Halla
May 26, 2019 2:37 pm

James Dyke is a green who has definitely drunk the Kool-Aid. It there was a checklist for hardcore greens, he seems to hit all the boxes.
First, he is making patently bogus claims, such as “half” of all rainforests having been cut down, or that the IPCC reports are “careful”.
Second, he hates technology.
Third, he doesn’t much like people, either, and wants much fewer.
Fourth, he shows no real understanding of what he is teaching, especially as far as the uncertainty of the evidence and models.
There are more, but he does seem to be something of a cliche.

May 26, 2019 2:38 pm

How guilty should one feel for living? Evidently a lot more than I feel if you believe as he does.

Let’s just kill millions if not billions to assuage his guilt. No thanks.

May 26, 2019 2:40 pm


One of the first illustrations that the author uses are the chalk cliffs of Dover. Cliffs made from material requiring the removal of Carbon from the biosphere at levels far beyond our ability to put back by burning fossil fuels.

Cliffs created by sea-level rises greater than the worst projections of climate-catastrophists.

Not convincing……

Steve B
May 26, 2019 2:46 pm

Wake up and smell the coffee. The sun rises and the sun sets and it’s a beautiful world. Only alarmists seem to think there is a problem.

Ben Gunn
May 26, 2019 2:48 pm

The left is developing a world based on totalitarianism and hell bent on destroying me – I’m terrified

Reply to  Ben Gunn
May 27, 2019 9:46 am

EXACTLY ! Just saw your comment , Ben. I just posted the same about Dyke, and his frustrated-rhetoric (angst-filled that we we aren’t already living under a world government) smells like a day-old, philosophy-flavored pot of coffee. COFFEE FLAVOR: VANILLA TOTALITARIANISM.

Old Forge
May 26, 2019 2:54 pm


May 26, 2019 2:54 pm

Ah, yes. We are all doomed. We are all gonna die. Because Capitalism.

We only have ten years to see the light and usher in a one-world Government. Under Socialism, of course.

May 26, 2019 2:57 pm

Wait, what??
We’re all gonna DIE?
This changes everything for me – I’m sold now on CAGW being humanity’s doomsday.
(I’ll add it to meteor strikes, virus epidemics, mega volcanoes, nuclear armageddon, and coffee famine)

Reply to  Mr.
May 26, 2019 5:52 pm

Coffee famine!? Don’t even joke about that!

Reply to  Patrick
May 27, 2019 7:15 am

Cofffee famine?
Not for a while….and the life of a small coffee bean producer is probably not full of joy at the moment

May 26, 2019 2:58 pm


No further comment necessary.

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 26, 2019 3:00 pm

I remember feeling a similar sense of despair before the financial crash of 2008 – it was patently obvious to me that the financial system was on the brink of a melt-down, it had been for several years, to the extent I encouraged my wife to get out of a job directly related to that sector.

The 2008 crash eventually came – but by the time it came I’d started to believe it never would.

Likewise, in 2009, when Climategate happened I thought it would be just a matter of months before the whole climate scam fell apart. A decade on, and I will admit I’ve given up waiting for it to happen. But the point is that these things: financial crashes and global warming scams, occur because they become a self-fulfilling fashion in the way of thinking. They go through a period of tremendous growth, and then eventually they get to stagnation and then they start falling apart as the “fashion” either for borrowing money or for climate doomsday fades away as the practical realities overtake them.

Yes, they function because people make money. Yes, there are cultists who act as prophets pushing the belief amongst the public. Yes, the media play their part either talking up the benefit of borrowing to the hilt and ignoring the huge damage – or talking up the doomsday. But I have yet to see any evidence of a co-ordinated “mind” behind this scam. Cock-up not conspiracy.

But just as financial reality meant that people couldn’t keep borrowing, so the reality of planet earth cannot sustain the climate cult no matter how many people devote their time to manipulating the figures and pushing the scam.

Yes, people are a lot more stupid than I ever imagined they could be when I was younger. Yes the organisations that put themselves forward as the most honest and trustworthy (BBC, Academia) – are often those most likely to spread lies and dishonesty. But I’m sure we’re not that much worse than previous generations. We might have politicians talking about effectively ending civilisation … but the truth is, they know the voters won’t stomach their nonsense, so it’s all been largely talk … and eventually this fad will go away, and I’m sure another equally absurd fad will be the curse of the next generation.

Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 26, 2019 3:07 pm

I doubled,.. no tripled my money post crash. No doubt from chicken Little’s who don’t understand their own emotion nor what they don’t know. Sitting pretty,…. Gotta love chicken Little’s,… the present Baku opportunities on the monopoly board.

Reply to  Sparky
May 27, 2019 8:04 am

Lots of petroleum opportunities in Baku.
It looks like the article’s author wants us to go back to the technology of 300AD.

There is evidence of petroleum being used in trade as early as the 3rd and 4th centuries.[2] Information on the production of oil on the Apsheron peninsula can be found in the manuscripts of most Arabic and Persian authors.

The following paragraph from the accounts of the famous traveler Marco Polo “il Milione” is believed to be a reference to Baku oil: ‘Near the Georgian border there is a spring from which gushes a stream of oil, in such abundance that a hundred ships may load there at once. This oil is not good to eat; but it is good for burning and as a salve for men and camels affected with itch or scab. Men come from a long distance to fetch this oil, and in all the neighborhood no other oil is burnt but this.”[3]

Cedric J Woodhall
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
May 27, 2019 5:02 am

Ah Climategate, how short are people’s memories.

Anna Keppa
May 26, 2019 3:01 pm

A steaming …load…of nonsense. Here’s a sample:

“For example, the mainstream economic attitude about trees, frogs, mountains, and lakes is that these things only have value if they provide something to us. This mindset sets them up as nothing more than resources to exploit and sinks for waste.

>>>>Who actually believes any of this garbage?

“What if we thought of them as components or even our companions in the complex Earth system? Questions about sustainable development then become questions about how growth in the technosphere can be accommodated with their concerns, interests, and welfare as well as ours.”

>>>What if? We’ve got great gobs of environmentalism and conservationism all around us, every day, influencing what humans can and cannot do to disrupt, disturb or destroy our wildlife, forests and waters.

What planet is this person actually living on?

Robert T
May 26, 2019 3:02 pm

Humans seem to need SOMETHING to be afraid of. This fills the bill for many. If there isn’t anything, really, to be frightened of, they will INVENT something. The rest of us will simply go about our lives, doing the best we can to keep it all together, not worrying much about esoteric things like ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’. Others, though, see impending doom in every flicker of light or seemingly devastating weather event. They would have us believe that the Earth has NEVER seen climatic events such as we see now, in all of it’s history! Young adults (and children) hear these forecast’s of doom and take them at their word. The real adults, having likely seen MUCH worse in their longer lives and view of the world, know better. The tale of Chicken Little was intended to be a fairy tale, NOT an omen of the future! It shows us that there have ALWAYS been those who believe that the world is going to end, SOON, and only THEY know how and when! The fact that we are now seeing supposedly intelligent and well-trained ‘SCIENTIST’S’ pushing an agenda of intentional human extinction makes one wonder, WHY do they want to push their own death wishes on everyone else?

My suggestion is: simply ignore them. That will infuriate them more than anything else we could do! The earth will still be here for the next 4-5 Billion years, while we humans may, or may NOT be. That’s an awfully long time to be worrying about something, like the sky falling!

Reply to  Robert T
May 26, 2019 5:35 pm

Well, we humans (with some exceptions) don’t have God to be afraid of any more, so that leaves climate of whatever flavor is in vogue this year.

Reply to  Sara
May 27, 2019 3:58 am

I would like to add here that, despite the approach of warmer (?) weather, I am still running the furnace because, even with good insulation and closed windows, the outside temps at night are in the low 50s and I want a warm home. And I don’t like it when my spoiled cats stare at me accusingly while they sit next to the furnace register. The GUILT!!!!

Reply to  Robert T
May 26, 2019 8:17 pm

What they “need” is a cause with both moral and political implications.

Moral, so they can see themselves as “good”, and political so they can see themselves as both important and effective.

Tells you all you need to know about what is lacking in their lives.

Reply to  Robert T
May 26, 2019 8:51 pm

What they “need” is a cause with both moral and political implications.

Moral, so they can see themselves as “good”, and political so they can see themselves as both important and effective.

Tells you all you need to know about what is lacking in their pathetic lives.

Gary Pearse
May 26, 2019 3:05 pm

At least one major premise of the article that I agree with is: nothing is basically going to be done. I believe I’m the first to assert this at WUWT for a few of the reasons but certainly not most of what is presented here. If there are roadblocks to our future because of climate change, this will force a convincing scientific case for the CO2 based climate worry to be laid out or an acceptance that CO2 is a minor player except for the evidence of the Great Greening which almost by definition is a huge benefit to humans and biodiversity and food supply.

The fact we are not really going to do anything, rids us of of the hysteria to act. This will point the way to open and free debate as the best course to take place. No more need to hide your work or call people names.

R Shearer
Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 26, 2019 4:38 pm

You can piss into the wind and it still blows.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 26, 2019 6:31 pm

I don’t agree with your premise. MUCH has been done. Much money has been taken from taxpayers and been given to connected “renewable” energy scammers, global warming research scammers, global warming scamming news “reporters” (ABC, BBC and CBC) and international global warming scamming organizations.

Ken Irwin
May 26, 2019 3:06 pm

‘We’ve created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I’m terrified’

When I read the headline I thought me too – I’m terrified of the solutions being proposed to solve a near none existent problem.

As Matt Ridley suggested “a tourniquet around the neck to stop a nosebleed”.

The world seems to have lost its scientific mind.

chris erikson
May 26, 2019 3:11 pm

all this because of what is essentially a religion based upon fundamentally flawed science. you can see this at the outset when he speaks of the volumes of science being produced…which are all confirmatory. He speaks not once of seeking falfisfying evidence, when the fact is that this evidence is the linchpin of the *process* ….which actual science is.

Gunga Din
May 26, 2019 3:12 pm

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, champion of the US Green New Deal.

Does this guy know that AOC now says she was “joking” about that 12 year thing?
(Or maybe he’s just extending upon “The Joke”?”)

Reply to  Gunga Din
May 27, 2019 7:50 am

Well of course she was just joking! You didn’t think she was serious about all that ‘Trains across the Pacific’ nonsense, did you?

I mean, if she was serious she would have voted in favor of the GND when it went up for a vote in the House. NOBODY did that.

Clearly AOC is Trolling. I’m just not sure which SIDE she’s Trolling. Maybe she isn’t either.


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Gunga Din
May 27, 2019 5:57 pm

He calls the 16 year old mentally ill girl a “climate pioneer”.
It is hard to know what to think about this.
What does the phrase even mean?
And does he think it matters not that she is just repeating some horseshit someone told her?

N. Ominous
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 27, 2019 8:11 pm

In the USSR the Pioneer movement was an organisation, inspired by the Scouts, but intended to indoctrinate all children between the ages of 9 and 14 into communism.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  N. Ominous
May 28, 2019 1:29 pm

Okay, that would make sense. But I am not so sure he meant it that way. He did not capitalize the words.
It seems he meant it in the sense of someone blazing a new trail, exploring and/or settling new territory.
Certainly she is no pioneer in that sense…she is repeating warmed over nonsense that has been recycled and repeated ad nauseum for over three decades now.

Garland Lowe
May 26, 2019 3:14 pm

I disagree with the premise, the rest of the arguments become moot.

Ray A
May 26, 2019 3:17 pm

“Credible assessments conclude that one in six species are threatened with extinction if climate change continues.”
I couldn’t read further…..just couldn’t stomach the BS.

Credible assessments…………….yeah, sure; like the Himalayas will be ice-free by 2035.
if climate change continues …….. well, Natural climate Change has occurred every day for billions of years

Eric Worrall(@eworrall1)
May 26, 2019 3:25 pm

It’s funny that people who believe this nonsense tend to be urban greens, whose main contact with nature is watching a David Attenborough film.

May 26, 2019 3:26 pm

Matey said that the geezer from the IPCC was smiling when he said “they will die”.

Yep, sounds about right for that lot – nasty bunch.

John Bell
May 26, 2019 3:35 pm

I bet James Dyke uses fossil fuels every day, every day, every day….

May 26, 2019 3:38 pm

The best line…..”We know that in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to rapidly reduce emissions now”……see, we know best!!! You must obey or else we are doomed.!! sounds like a religion, a cult, or fanatic dictator..

Reply to  Macha
May 27, 2019 4:07 am

Who is this “we”?

I think we need more CO2. I took a poll of the trees and they are all in favor of more CO2. So our “we” – that’s me and the trees – is bigger than his “we” if consensus science is the new norm.

And I’m all for a few more degrees of global warming. My fear is we won’t get enough global warming. CO2 doesn’t seem to be doing the job. It’s always late to the party the way it lags temperature.

Bruce Sanson
May 26, 2019 3:40 pm

As a Dentist for my entire adult life I would make an observation about the propagation of fears/phobias in the population. If friends/family have a fear of Dentistry a person will also likely have a fear of Dentistry. But if handled with compassion and empathy this can usually be overcome. This scientist has been in an environment where others have “passed on” their fears to him. He could reflect that invariably Dental treatment turns out nowhere near as bad as minds fear it will be. The fear of the unknown is powerful human emotion.
I advise him to seek advise from other scientists who look more carefully at natural climate variability rather than just the possible CO2 affects to get more balance. Perhaps he will sleep easier.

May 26, 2019 3:49 pm

Mr. James Dyke, University of Exeter seems to be an extremely poor scientist, if he can be called a scientist at all. He is good at writing fiction, though, and should quit his day job and write fiction novels, perhaps, science fiction, where he clearly has demonstrated great talent in this piece.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  KcTaz
May 26, 2019 6:28 pm

Science Fiction requires a knowledge of science.
He will have to try Fantasy.
With that, he can just make stuff up.
Oh. Wait!

Craig from Oz
Reply to  KcTaz
May 26, 2019 8:10 pm

I disagree. He has borrowed the world building from the IPCC, and has no real plot.

True casting AOC as a main character does show some promise, but then he back her up with a soy boy in a man-bun. Where is the conflict? Where is the compelling dialogue? Where is the romance?

Successful writer? He would be lucky to be short listed for a Bulwer Lytton.

May 26, 2019 3:54 pm

” actions of Extinction Rebellion and school strike for climate pioneer Greta Thunburg, demonstrates that wider society is waking up to the need for urgent action”

Garbage. The wider society are yawning.

Reply to  Mike
May 27, 2019 7:32 am

If the wider society agreed with them, there would be no need for Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunburg in the first place.

Robert W. Turner
May 26, 2019 4:05 pm

Well you can’t fix stupid but at least we tried.

Eric Stevens
May 26, 2019 4:22 pm

This is what happens when you don’t follow the alleged science back to its roots. This is the reaction of a scholar, not of a scientist. So many people don’t know the difference, even when they are practicing in a scientific field. Its not a pity: its a disaster.

old construction worker
May 26, 2019 4:32 pm

I hope people like him don’t have children. He could also erase his own CO2 footprint.

May 26, 2019 4:38 pm

Wow, that “earth science” guy is completely consumed by the beast that is the IPCC Green Blob. It really is a doomsday cult:

May 26, 2019 4:52 pm

Multiple fantasies.

“We have just come to appreciate that our impacts on the Earth system are so large that we have possibly ushered in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.”

An over-the-top sense of self importance that highlights his absurd level of sheer hubris.

Multiple fabrications necessary to support his level of delusion.

“Years later, my research involves thinking about how surface life can affect the atmosphere, oceans and even rocks of the planet it lives on.”

Definitely a candidate for the space ship of “telephone-sanitisers, hairdressers, management consultants…” and terrified fake scientists.

Bob Hoye(@subtle2)
May 26, 2019 4:53 pm

Using Dyke’s command of logic: He began to discover bad things when he drank bad coffee, therefore he should stop drinking it before making conclusions.
Maybe his nightmares will go away.

Richard M
May 26, 2019 4:57 pm

We see this over and over again. No ability for critical thinking. We live in a time where education has focused on memorization and not analysis. This is the result. An individual who cannot understand the concept of technological progress.

We are no different as a society than we’ve been for centuries. The problems are different but so are our tools. While it won’t be climate, there will definitely be some big problems that need solving. The question is, are we producing people who will be able to analyze and solved those problems.

Dave Fair
May 26, 2019 5:09 pm

Mindless blathering couched in techno-terms.

May 26, 2019 5:10 pm

He must have biten his nails down to the bone. But more likely he enjoys the good life more than most, but justifies it like this, by throwing in his angst-ridden twopenniworth now and again. Given his position in academia is he not required to?

John W. Garrett
May 26, 2019 5:14 pm

He gave the game away:

“…the environmental writer George Monbiot argued that the root cause of climate change and other environmental calamities is capitalism and consequently any attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will ultimately fail if we allow capitalism to continue…”

Everything before and after that is nonsense.

May 26, 2019 5:15 pm

I’m triggered by AOC’s lipstick: completely unnecessary, and killing the planet…

May 26, 2019 5:18 pm

I got about 1/3 the way through this article before I gave up, as too much BS. I wish guys like this would look at the actual historic data, some of which can be found on this WUWT site:

And actual sea level rise about 7-8 inches per decade has not accelerated, and neither have wild fires, droughts, flooding, etc.

Mayor of Venus
Reply to  Jon P Peterson
May 26, 2019 7:48 pm

Jon: That sea level rise is per CENTURY, not per decade. In metric, about 2 mm/year.

Reply to  Mayor of Venus
May 27, 2019 10:59 am

I meant to say that… thanks for catching my mistake!

John Robertson
May 26, 2019 5:24 pm

Did anyone need further evidence that Its a Cult?

The Cult of Calamitous Intent, Oh wait thats a cartoon.
The Cult of Calamitous Climate,yea Chicken Little struts amongst us,clucking and pecking insanely.
I liked my doomsayer better when they wore the Sandwich board of Doom, “World Ends,Tuesday at 10 am Women and children hardest hit”.

The modern keyboard crazies are just a little harder to detect,as irony,satire and sarcasm use verbal inflection to clue the listener in.

More proof how wealthy we really are when we can finance the career of such people,it amuses me to read such mush,the poor wee “Earth Scientist” would starve to death in less than a month if cut off from the charity of taxpayers.

Strange how the weapons grade stupidity of or Planet Savers,all comes from persons on the taxpayers payroll.
Either directly or via NGO’s ,Fake Charities or Trust funds…
Must be the effect of having “public servants” onto the 5th generation.

Claude Harvey
May 26, 2019 5:26 pm

When I read, “…a very senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) during a coffee break at a workshop.” I envisioned that woman-magnet, Rajendra Pachauri, wearing a thong. That vision convinced me that the “end-times” may WELL be upon us as for reasons other than the author supposes.

May 26, 2019 5:32 pm

None of these people would have survived the Cold War years—thay are too WEAK and HELPLESS, examples of the very worst of humanity. They would have committed suicide out of fear and lack of sufficient intelligence or desire to actually cope with REAL LIFE.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sheri
May 26, 2019 11:24 pm

Who will take care of these people when they bankrupt the West. Asians have no time for such drivel, unless it is disinformation to destroy the West.

Jeff Alberts
May 26, 2019 5:32 pm

All kidding aside, If his brain can’t function without coffee, his brain doesn’t really function.

May 26, 2019 5:35 pm

Back around the turn of the century, there was talk of building a natural gas fired generating plant in south San Jose.
Of course there was opposition, with one couple noting on an internet chat that they were feeling anxious and having difficulty breathing at the prospect of generator exhaust being pumped into their air…four years before the Metcalf Energy Center went online.

Robert B
May 26, 2019 5:40 pm

“Given the impact the IPPC’s findings can have on policy and industry, great care is made to carefully present and communicate its scientific findings.”
Not on the actual scientific findings. Why do we still listen to people who swap hemispheres around?
And clearly haven’t calculated the anomalies from the mean of the base period between 1961-1990. They have used 1998 as their reference.
Surely this incompetence is enough to take a step back.

Defend The Science!

Randle Dewees
May 26, 2019 5:56 pm

I could not read past the coffee gag, then I couldn’t believe how long it took to scroll down. Unbelievable how much dribble can spew out.

Reply to  Randle Dewees
May 27, 2019 7:35 am

He writes like someone who is paid by the word.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
May 26, 2019 6:04 pm

I suppose Mr Dyke has a plastic liner under his bedsheets to protect the mattress.

When you believe in magic, then nightmares will control you.

Bruce Cobb
May 26, 2019 6:07 pm

“But global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. This is because renewables promote growth..”
Now that right there is funny.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 27, 2019 3:39 am

His statement is correct, but probably not in the way he intended. We have yet to reach the point at which energy generated by intermittents exceeds that consumed so far in their manufacture. The other factor is the peripheral requirements of connection, grid stability and generator reserve. Yes, renewables definitely promote growth, unfortunately it comes in the form of unnecessary expenditure.

I am not usually one for self congratulation, but I actually stayed with the article until the Moonbat was referenced, then I left it. Or rather, it left me.

May 26, 2019 6:19 pm

God could it be the bad coffee?

This blokes science is about as bad as that coffee he used to drink, could it be the cause of all his misery & bad science?

May 26, 2019 6:30 pm

Someone needs to teach this guy how to make good coffee, every time. Might change his mood.

May 26, 2019 6:37 pm

Selective-child and other evolutionary progressions are a clear and present threat.

May 26, 2019 6:59 pm

Pssst, Dyke… there’s medication and treatment for your overwrought, delusional anxiety. Get help. You sound miserable.

nw sage
May 26, 2019 7:27 pm

He mentions that so far in history, man has made over 30 trillion metric tons of ‘stuff’. Presumably men made that from “stuff” in the earth’s crust. I think, if he were truly a scientist he would have figured out how to calculate the ratio of the 30 trillion to the total amount of “stuff” in the crust. I think he will find that the percentage is VERY small.
It is important to put claims in perspective. Like the total amount of energy man has produced/used is also very small compared to the total our Sun has sent to earth in the same time frame.
We have a very long way to go to even THINK about our ability to impact the whole earth’s environment. Of course we can mess up a lake or a river but that is a long way from fooling Mother Earth.

May 26, 2019 8:00 pm

I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, from the alarmist camp to demonstrate using real world data, that a 2C rise from the depths of the Little Ice Age is going to be bad, much less catastrophic.

We’re almost halfway to that 2C rise, and nothing but good has resulted so far.

Tom in Florida
May 26, 2019 8:03 pm

If he was a true believer he would lead the way and put an end to his part of climate breakdown and Earth’s destruction.

William Baikie
May 26, 2019 8:03 pm

What drivel! If he really was concerned about CO2 and such he would have mentioned Nuclear power. Any Alarmist who doesn’t propose nuclear must be assumed to have ulterior motives than CO2 reduction.

May 26, 2019 8:14 pm

What I found especially telling was that the IPCC spokesman smiled at the thought of billions of people dying.

Walter Sobchak
May 26, 2019 9:59 pm


Shoki Kaneda
May 26, 2019 11:04 pm

Sounds like a personal problem.

Coeur de Lion
May 26, 2019 11:43 pm

Yes, it seems to me that we are going to have to start shooting a lot of people because they aren’t going to die quick enough to save the planet.

May 27, 2019 12:04 am

Dyke should consult a psychologist, or an undertaker.

May 27, 2019 12:42 am

117 comments and no-one has found a factual error.
Play the ball, not the man.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Simon
May 27, 2019 2:39 am

It is pure Alarmist fantasy, and by definition devoid of facts. The ball is the man, and what he represents.

Reply to  Simon
May 27, 2019 7:36 am

You actually took the time to count the comments?
How pathetic.
The article had no facts, just mindless whining. Much like your posts.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
May 28, 2019 1:23 pm

No need to count.
At the top of the comments section, it says how many comments have been made.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Simon
May 27, 2019 9:05 am

Simon, please present some of the facts you believe are in the article.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Simon
May 27, 2019 9:11 am

P.S. I read the whole thing. At times I felt that it was satire of the various CAGW memes.

Since the guy apparently makes money shoveling this B.S., it shows the extent that public education has fallen; it is nonsense on its face and anyone with a passing knowledge of the CC debate would identify its fallacies instantly.

Orson Olson
May 27, 2019 1:17 am

James Dyke is indeed a frequent contributor to “The Conversation.”

He has also transitioned from academic to full blown activist with a documentary film on climate change: “Dr James Dyke FRSA is an academic, writer, and public speaker based in the United Kingdom.

“I am a Senior Lecturer at the Global Systems Insitute at the University of Exeter. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the European Geophysical Union and serve on the editorial board of the journal Earth System Dynamics. I have (co)authored over 35 peer reviewed science papers and book chapters, and over 40 popular science and environmental articles.

“I am the presenter and co-producer of the documentary feature The Race Is On: Secrets and solutions of climate change.

“I am the founder and host of TEDxSouthampton and speak at and host other environment and science events.”. See Http/

May 27, 2019 2:05 am

Embrionic thought processes expressed in long, circumlocational sentences.
The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Reed Coray
Reply to  Alexander Feht
May 27, 2019 9:06 am

Alexander, I admire people who eschew obfuscation.

Fred Magyar
May 27, 2019 5:25 am

The New Flat Earth Society
by Prof. Al Bartlett
January, 1998

Reply to  Fred Magyar
May 27, 2019 7:46 am

The imperative problem of finite resources from a man who worked on the original atomic bombs.

Kelvin Vaughan
May 27, 2019 6:00 am

Scientists have created this world we live in. If there is anything wrong then it is their fault. They lacked the foresight to see the implications of their actions and they haven’t changed.

Reply to  Kelvin Vaughan
May 27, 2019 7:39 am

When you mix politics with science you get politics. We have benefited greatly from science and technology in the west, the rest is politics.

May 27, 2019 7:15 am

The suspense was killing me. Would he throw out the stale brew and make a new cup of coffee and get laid and they all live happily ever after?

Not on your Nellie. All we got was one of those ghastly seventies depressive reruns where you come out in the foyer afterwards ready to top yourself and listen to everyone crap on about what a deep meaningful experience it all was. With a bit of luck you could nod a bit with ‘Yeah heavy man’ and then get the Hell out of there quick to get really wasted with funsters and liberated ladies who dug motorsickles. No more arty farty women no matter how good looking they are and if they’re not into Easyrider and Star Wars ripped to the tits they’re not getting on the back.

Whatever happened to put these sad sacks and party poopers in charge of youth and enlightenment?

Dave Fair
Reply to  observa
May 27, 2019 9:13 am

The taxes on the common man these hucksters demand will be their undoing.

Marcus K
May 27, 2019 8:17 am

Am I the only one who had to skip over whole paragraphs for going on and on about absolutely nothing at all? The guy is certainly a master of bloviating. Was that part of his academic credentials as well?

John G.
May 27, 2019 8:43 am

But we are not in earth jail trading cigarettes for rations and lamenting the unending influx of new prisoners that will surely mean our doom. The prison bars are an illusion beyond which exists an endless universe with enough possibilities and room for a million populations of earthlings. We have but to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and go there. I’m sure we will. If not we will go extinct like so many species before us. There are no other choices. We either grow and expand our domain or go extinct. That’s pretty much a law of nature.

May 27, 2019 8:53 am

The most frightening thing about the article by James Dyke (Earth Scientist…) is that he placed a photo of Alexandria Occasional-Cortex in the middle of it. After seeing her photo, I always need to take an aspirin and a short break from thinking.
What would have made his article more interesting would have been to include some actual proof that manmade CO2 emissions are actually affecting weather and climate in some deleterious way. Without that, it is just more IPCC handwaving.

Mike Jonas(@egrey1)
May 27, 2019 8:55 am

The article is about as fact-free as it is possible to get.
Simon says above “117 comments and no-one has found a factual error. Play the ball, not the man.”.

Well, Simon, there is no fact in the article, so there is no factual error to point out. The whole article is based on the reported opinion of an unnamed third party given in response to the question of how much warming we will achieve. The implied idea that a 3°C global temperature increase will be fatal to the human race is not supported by any factual evidence whatsoever. And it is very easy indeed to show that a 3°C global temperature increase will NOT be fatal to the human race – just see this one chart of the world’s population by latitude:
comment image=s750x1300

May 27, 2019 9:39 am

I have not been in Ontario for 6 months. I was just out and ran into a person I know slightly. He started telling me how the weather is crazy and he is so happy he lives here not where all the bad things are happening. I asked what bad things? He got animated then, “don’t you know there are wildfires out west. And all the flooding. Lake Ontario is just an inch below the highest point ever” I said “you guys had too much snow again. No, he said. “The water is rising because of the warming.” I guess this is what happens when all people have is CBC to read for the 10 months they are trapped in their houses.

Roger welsh
May 27, 2019 10:47 am

Why are these mentally deranged people allowed to publish.

Sounds like someone primed from the BBC!

May 27, 2019 4:48 pm

Bent ain’t necessarily broken.

Nicholas McGinley
May 27, 2019 5:31 pm

“At a global scale, the air we all breathe contains oxygen largely as a result of photosynthetic life…”
What an idiot.
This entire article is an amazingly densely packed compendium of untrue observations, assertions, and statements.
I really am wondering if someone with this level of education, in any field, can seriously be so gullible and illogical?
It seems doubtful.

May 28, 2019 9:10 am

Why do these “SJW.Scientists” assume they can encapsulate these grand and colossal ideas to solve ‘interplanetary issues for us mere mortals? My take is they have watched so much Star Trek in their formative years that they can only see a sanitized future for us where we must all fall in line and sacrifice our comfortable lifestyles to the earth gods ..or else…regardless of the cost to actual human life.

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