Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse

Reposted from Fabius Maximus Website

Larry Kummer, Editor

Summary: Climate science shows how America assimilates information, assesses threats, and allocate resources. We do it poorly. Doomsters are part of the problem. We can make the climate policy debate better informed and less divisive by ignoring doomsters.

“Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
— From J. L. Mencken’s In Defense of Women (1918).

Nightmare, girl alone in a destroyed world

ID 115221206 © Gunold | Dreamstime.

James Anderson (Prof of Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard) gave a speech. It fed the daily doomster news from the Left. “There Is No Time Left” by Robert Hunziker at Counterpunch. Journalist Jeff McMahon, presented it at Forbes as yet another in the endless series of deadlines: “We Have Five Years To Save Ourselves From Climate Change.” (see lists of such deadlines going back many years: here, here, here). But, as usual, Grist went into deep clickbait.

Professor Anderson believes that we have only 55 months left to “fix climate change” or we will go extinct. Some of the predictions in his speech rely on the work of other scientists (e.g., more and stronger storms in a warmer world, as predicted by Professor Michael Mann). His doomster prediction has little support from the IPCC’s reports.

Anderson’s speech and the resulting stories are is typical of the news today. The campaign to get extreme public policy action to fight climate change has run for 30 years. This year it went full-doomster, doubling down on warnings of nightmarish consequences. There are three oddities to this. The first two are widely recognized; the third is seldom mentioned – and perhaps the most important.

First, ignoring the IPCC and major climate agencies.

The IPCC’s Working Group I reports (the physical sciences) were rightly described by activists as the “gold standard” description of climate research and the most reliable statement of scientists’ consensus. But by 2011 activists were saying they were “too conservative.” This became a widespread response by activists to the release of AR5 in 2013 (e.g., Inside Climate News and Yale’s Environment 360). Now activists explicitly attack the IPCC’s integrity, advocating it twist the science to support activists’ agenda. For example, see this March 2019 paper in Bioscience.

Now activists and their journalist supporters focus on individual papers, seldom replicated by other scientists, and increasingly wild statements by scientists. The major climate science institutions are ignored.

Second, what about those confident predictions?

Scientists making confident predictions about climate seldom mention the many false predictions. We have seen false predictions of “the end of winter.” False predictions that the California drought (now over) would be permanent (or very long). False predictions of more and stronger hurricanes since Katrina in 2005. False predictions about the melting of the Arctic Ocean. Despite the almost daily hype, most forms of extreme weather have not increased (esp. see Judith Curry’s new essay about this). See more failed predictions. These have, logically, eroded the public’s confidence so that climate change is ranked low among American’s public policy priorities (e.g., surveys by Gallup and Pew Research).

Some climate scientists have warned about excessive confidence. Such as Judith Curry in her articles and presentations about the need to better appreciate uncertainty (e.g., here, here, and here). They have been ignored.

Third, will climate change go the same way as earlier doomster stories?

Our history for the past few generations has been doomster fears seizing the public’s attention only after solutions have begun.

(1) The Horse Manure Crisis – Experts worried in 1894 that horse manure would stop the growth of cities, and perhaps make them uninhabitable. But the first practical car was built in 1885. The first electrified underground urban railway opened in 1890 in London. These became more useful with the invention of the multiple-unit train control in 1897. In a few decades, cities were far cleaner.

(2) Water and air pollution – In the late 1960s and early 1970s, water and air pollution were considered existential threats to our survival. On 15 January 1971 Americans watched “L.A. 2017”, an episode of The Name of the Game by the hot and young new director Steven Spielberg. In it, the hero has a vision of Los Angeles in 2017, after pollution had destroyed the Earth’s ecology and forced the remnants of humanity underground. LA had one cow; its milk was a delicacy for the rich. See more about the plot. Philip Wylie wrote the script. His specialty was science fiction Stories about nuclear war and ecological disaster. Those were as popular then as stories about climate apocalypses are today. He novelized it as Los Angeles: A.D. 2017. See a review here.

Responsible people had acted long before Spielberg produced his first horror film. Progress began with the Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 and the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955. Small beginnings for decades of incremental change that has reshaped the air and water of America, still continuing.

(3) Overpopulation – Collapse from overpopulation has been a favorite prediction, from Thomas Malthusin An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) to Paul Ehrlich in The population bomb (1968). On 17 January 1969, Americans watched “The Mark of Gideon“, as Captain Kirk visited a planet with literally wall-to-wall people (see this excerpt). The goal of ZPG – zero population growth – was seen by many as unrealistic or utopian.

The first safe and effective Intrauterine devices hit the market in the 1950s; the 1960s next-generation devices were even better. Enovid, the first birth control pill, hit the market in 1960. Cheap, easy, and effective contraceptives began the long-decline in fertility that will lead to collapsing populations in some nations during next few years – and probably a falling population in the late 21st century.

But although they are usually wrong, doomstsers are flexible. Now fewer people are disastrous.

(4) The Soviet Union – It was an existential threat to America right until it collapsed. US intelligence agencies consistently overestimated the growth rates and technical progress of the USSR (examples here). Far-right extremists further exaggerated it into a bogeyman. In 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. This marked the beginning of the end to the cold war – and a large step towards lifting the threat of global annihilation. Howard Phillips (Chairman of The Conservative Caucus) described it in the NYT as “Treaty: Another Sellout“ See more examples of right-wing hysteria.

(5) Resource exhaustion – This has been a favorite of doomsters since the late 1960s. After fifty years we still have not exhausted any resources. Most have declined in price (in real terms). Many resources, especially agricultural and minerals, are subject to boom-bust cycles. Periods of low prices result in capital underinvestment, followed by supply shortages – and doomster stories that they are “running out” (ignoring basic geology). Then prices rise, investment surges, supplies increase – followed by amnesia about the previous false predictions.

A common element to these doomster stories.

A common element in these doomster stories is that the loudest warnings came after solutions were found. In most cases, the doomsters were panicking long after cooler people had seen the threat and begun preventive actions. There are structural reasons for that.

First, doomsters often believe they are smarter and know more than everybody else. Experts, politicians, administrators – none can compare with doomsters’ opinions of themselves. Second, doomsters tend to be attention whores. They play upon the public’s fears, which appear in the late stage of a challenge. By then, experts often have been working on solutions for many years. Or prices have moved to signal the need for action, which impel research and investments. Doomsters seldom see any of this, with their eyes fixed on the one true vision of the future.

Woman crying dreamstime - 126681033

ID 126681033 © Marcos Calvo Mesa | Dreamstime.

What about climate change?

Energy generation is shifting to lower-carbon sources. Cars are shifting from gasoline and diesel to electricity. Electricity generation is shifting from coal to natural gas. And next-gen energy sources are emerging from scientists’ laboratories, such as new nuclear power systems and (more speculatively) the bright light of fusion might burn away climate doomsters’ fears. But these things take time. Fracking to produce natural gas is happening now, spreading around the world. See Stratfor giving us good news about when renewables will replace fossil fuels.

Much depends on how much time climate change gives to the relentless march of technology. We need time. Variables remain uncertain. For example, transient climate response (TCR) was estimated by the Working Group I of IPCC’s AR5 with high confidence “to be likely between 1°C and 2.5°C” (in chapter 10; “likely” means above 66% probability). Theories about key dynamics remain weakly validated, such as the dynamics of clouds and the long-term carbon cycle.

This is the classic form of a doomster nightmare. They exaggerate the threat beyond that described by experts and minimize the significance of counter-measures being developed.

Does this mean we should ignore climate change as a threat? No, no more than we should focus on it to the exclusion of other serious threats, such as the dying oceans (see here, here, and here). A better lesson from this history is that we should ignore doomsters and instead pay attention to experts. This one easy step will make the political debate better informed and less divisive.

For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about doomsters, about peak oil, about The keys to understanding climate change and especially these…

  1. About RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!
  2. How climate scientists can re-start the public policy debate about climate change – test the models!
  3. Follow-up: more about why scientists should test the models.
  4. Let’s prepare for past climate instead of bickering about predictions of climate change – Doing something is better than nothing.
  5. Focusing on worst case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  6. Updating the RCPs: The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen.
  7. The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
  8. Daily stories of climate death build a Green New Deal!
  9. Why we do nothing to prepare for climate change.
To help us better understand today’s weather

To learn more about the state of climate change see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., prof at U of CO – Boulder’s Center for Science and Policy Research (2018).

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change

Available at Amazon.

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84 thoughts on “Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse

  1. The goal of the Fabius Maximus website is to help people – citizens – find ways to reform America. Operationally useful ideas.

    I have been unable to do so for the climate policy debate. This is the first, a small beginning

    • “The IPCC’s Working Group I reports (the physical sciences) were rightly described by activists as the “gold standard” description of climate research and the most reliable statement of scientists’ consensus.”

      After you’ve spent years documenting the endless lies (Santer/Mann/Hansen, etc.), that statement is nonsensical… There is no consensus on CAGW- or even DAGW… Any sane non-gravy training scientist now realizes it is BAGW- a degree of warming since the LIA and bouncing off geologic lows in CO2 has been HUGELY beneficial.

      Help people by pointing out the record highs in crop production, the massive greening of GAIA, the decline in global poverty and the abundance of cheap energy to power emerging economies.

      Cheers

  2. The ‘Climate experts” are some of the worst doomsters now, because you overlook the obvious here: rent-seeking behavior and alarmism is a self-rewarding cycle in government funded science that satisfies a political agenda of one party on a quest for raw power.

    If you think I’m making that up, there’s this piece of schist alarmist editorial in Science mag last month.:

    “A call to climate action”
    Science 31 May 2019:
    Vol. 364, Issue 6443, pp. 807
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aay1525
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6443/807

    Some quotes from that Editorial:

    “… publics around the globe are demanding a new level of leadership to tackle the climate crisis before it is too late”.

    To prevent planetary climate disaster, we must all work to speed up bold initiatives that ensure a rapid exit from the era of fossil fuels, and drive carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere down to zero…”

    The moron, alarmist writer even claims nuclear is a “temporary” energy solution:
    Investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure must cease as existing natural gas and nuclear plants serve only as temporary bridges to a cleaner-energy world. “

    And he goes on:
    “The circle of solutions to address the climate crisis must quickly widen and include effective ways to soften the blows of climate change that are already inevitable.”

    “What enabled action then [WW2] was a perceived existential threat and broad support in society. Today, we are faced with such a threat,

    “and only by making it a top priority now can the community of nations avoid catastrophic climate change …”

    Midway through that alarmist junk essay, Overpeck gave away his game, “The rapid expansion of adaptation strategies around the globe requires greater integration of academic research knowledge with the insight gained from real-world practice, and this means placing greater priority on partnership between academics and nonacademics.

    IOW, Show me the money, or the climate gets it!! And his calling nuclear power a “temporary” solution gives away who his paymaster is… The GreenSlime (aka, Steyer, Bloomberg, Rockefellers, et al).

    And that junk alarmism, demand for money and social justice stupidity came from:

    Jonathan Overpeck, PhD,
    Collegiate Professor and Dean at the School for Environment and Sustainability,
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

    IMO, Science Magazine editorial staff should hang their heads in utter shame at publishing that alarmist un-scientific junk editorial from an activist pretending to do “science.”

    • Joel,

      That’s a great example, a reminder that much of science’s leaders have become activists. Esp at the rapidly growing schools of “sustainablility” and such. Activism is their gig. Promoting it, producing more indoctrinated activists to staff the growing activist bureaucracies.

      “Show me the money, or the climate gets it!! ”

      Perfect. +1.

      • I commend Joel’s post but you miss a basic point;

        Who is more dangerous to the public debate? The writings of Leon Trotsky or the sort of Bernie Sanders rubbish that will be everywhere tonight and tomorrow?

        In the same vein, was 10 years years + of Judith Curry going on about “uncertainty” less or more harmful then transparent climate/Marxist fanatics?

        Often it’s the soft soap AGW appeasement that’s even worse for the debate then a fanatical Greenshirt with a ponytail wearing a Che tee shirt. That’s easy to detect. All sorts of seemingly moderate people go into a room and decided models would be the best peer review standard over real world observations and classical hypothesis tests and the AGW fraud became viable. Their pony tails and Che shirts were well hidden.

        • Cwon said:

          All sorts of seemingly moderate people go into a room and decided models would be the best peer review standard over real world observations and classical hypothesis tests and the AGW fraud became viable. Their pony tails and Che shirts were well hidden.

          I think you just described Larry Kummer. He wants to restart the debate because on it’s current trajectory, he loses, and we all know it. So Kummer wants to restart the debate on more friendly terms.
          WHY?
          What is he really up to, and why is the AGW debate so important to him?
          He obviously wants to use the issue as a false front to pursue other agendas. Just like the Marxists and neo-Marxists of the environmental movement, the rent seeking corporate cronies, the power hungry politicians, the opportunistic researchers and all the rest.
          He is cut from the same bolt of cloth.

          • I get your assessment. He makes skeptical arguments that are exceptionally weak with plenty of holes in them. He’s certainly not the only one flying the compromised or flat out false skeptic flag here or anywhere.

            The most grating skeptics are the ones who insist the climate debate isn’t primarily political. I’ve squabbled hard with this crowd which certainly included Judith Curry and in another way the site host. It seems many skeptics aren’t committed to winning the debate but prefer the stalemate or some very nuanced and compromise climate policy discussion.

            So Larry Kummer points out the clear fanatical excess of the warming establishment in the hope of pulling in the softer skeptics who want to pretend it’s an honest science debate? A fake science debate which is only accepted in Unicorn Land of course.

            That he finds a market reflects poorly on the state of skeptics as much as his undercurrent of motivations you mention. The weak apolitical skeptic is the useful idiot of our times.

    • There’s a real risk of a progressive and perhaps liberal process that will endorse and implement yet another wicked solution to what the left-wing characterizes as social justice and a hard problem.

      • The Left’s frequent allusion now to “Immediate Climate Action” to WW2’s real genocidal exigencies is actually more akin to “The Final Solution” and Stalin’s collectivization genocides than people realize.

        Leftist today are calling for re-education camps for “deniers”; for cramming the rural and suburban masses into urban ghettos for better control; for emptying the hinter-lands so “nature” can thrive (and the billionaire manor-lords who would then own that land, allowing serfs to work it in exchange for the profits).

        Anyone who doesn’t see what the Left’s Climate Change alarmism agenda is simply isn’t looking. (or doesn’t want to look)

        • Joel,

          I’ve been an outlier at this site for over a decade. The board has steadily improved, even Anthony has improved. Your comment illustrates it.

          If you could go back and look at some of the lame “about science” spaghetti chart debates as if that’s what ever was driving the warmer agenda. Or go though the painstaking Judith Curry debates, over 10 years she wouldn’t directly admit it was left-wing politically driven. They would babble about the Italian Flag and so on.

          You can thank the 2016 election for mainstreaming the obvious forces at work. Cleaned this site up rather quickly but the facade of a serious science debate still lingers. As long as the myth lingers the warming agenda keeps its deflection factor.

          Climate change, warming, iceage paranoia were all rooted in collectivist regulatory ambitions from inception. It was always science fraud and has nothing to do with serious topical studies of one thing or another. Pseudoscience. As if anything with a spaghetti chart couldn’t be fraud.

    • If anyone here reading this thinks I am being harsh calling Prof Overpeck a moron, then consider what he calls for in light of how modern agriculture works today (and tomorrow), and how it literally feeds at least half the world’s human population.

      So Dean Overpeck’s call for rapid decarbonization of mankind’s fossil fuel (and nuclear) use is tantamount to calling for genocidal mass starvation of billions of his fellow humans.

      In that light calling Dean Overpeck a moron is far nicer and generous on my part than calling him a name more reflective what his demanded climate policy prescriptions would bring to humanity.

      Most sincerely,
      Joel O’Bryan, PhD
      Tucson, AZ

  3. Predictions of Doom that came to naught:
    1) We haven’t been cold war (50’s-60’s) bombed into nuclear rubble.
    2) The ‘Ice Age Cometh’ of the 70’s… didn’t.
    3) The ‘Y2K Disaster’ (Jan1 2000) was baloney.
    4) Every prediction of Doom from alarmist for Global Warming, Man Made Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Weirding, etc since the 80’s has proven false. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    Yet, this ‘way past its pull date’ charade of impending Doom continues unabated. Now it’s 55 months (Prof. Anderson).. or maybe 12 years (AOC).. or maybe (insert your favorite # here)!!

    The only predictions supported by evidence are: “Ignore the shrill predictions of climate change Doom. It hasn’t happened. It isn’t happening. And it won’t happen.”

    • …. and add:

      5) “Brexit chaos”, something that only exists in the minds of politicians and their media (as in BBC) toadies.

    • Al “The Blob” Gore has had his fair share of failed predictions. He has finally learned to STFU on predictions I think.

    • Not completely sure your Cold War parallel is correct.

      The claim throughout the Cold War was that a rival superpower disagreed with ‘the west’ on many fundamental levels and was more than willing to use military aggression to further their global world view.

      The counter was to provide a united and strong military counter to boldly state that we (the west) were prepared to defend our way of life… OR… the Soviets would muscle their way into complete dominance.

      So, The Threat? Soviet forceful take over of the world.
      The Counter? Strong Western military
      The Result? Soviets did not forcefully take over the world.

      There is also the valid point that unlike Mann-Made Unicorns, nuclear weapons DO EXIST and have well documented affects when detonated.

      Now, if we compare The Cold War with Global Warming?

      The Threat? Global Warming will destroy the world
      The Counter? Give us all your money
      The Result? Global Warming will destroy the world, give us all your money.

      • Craig,

        The Soviet threat was real but grossly exaggerated, and exaggerated more over time – as the Soviet Union became weaker. It reached the point quite similar to today’s CAGW with the publication of the CIA’s Team B exercise in 1976 – warning about the USSR’s power and aggressive plans.

        In fact it was tottering in the 1960s (Robert Heinlein saw that in a brief visit to Moscow in 1960). Low oil prices in the 1980s pushed it over the edge. The Berlin Wall came down without difficulty in 1989, and the USSR itself soon after. See more about this here:

        https://fabiusmaximus.com/2009/10/13/soviet/

        Similarly, global warming is happening – from a combination of natural and anthropogenic causes. This is often exaggerated but real.

        • The revisionist history isn’t appreciated regarding the Soviet threat. There were those who very much represent the left today and then who supported anti-American undercurrents in the Soviet conflict as well as promote collectivism in the climate change/Green culture of today.

          As late as the 1980’s there were those in the West and in Congress advocating direct foreign aid to support the Soviet. Ronald Reagan saw the moment and crushed those forces. There was no “right wing” exaggerations of the threat but leftist minimizing to suit their cultural delusions. Those same delusions drive AGW advocates.

          This is the sort of dangerous soft soap revisionist history that is emulated in the green “precautionary principle” AGW of today. Collectivism without hysterical claims is still pure nonsense. Human inputs to AGW aren’t proofed scientifically and a host of special interest corruption including New World Order lemmings dominate climate change advocacy.

          It’s no small coincidence that the Soviet fell in 1991 and the UN Climate Framework emerged in 1993. Anti-market and collectivist sanctimony remain a real global force and look no further then the clown car democrats debating the next several nights to see the level of social rotting along these lines.

          Why wasn’t there a Nuremberg styled trial after the Soviet fell? Where was the capitulation of the domestic US left? Sadly, neither happened. Those forces are at the core of AGW advocacy and blather about Soviet threat “exaggerations”.

          • Weak or strong, how was internal Western support for communism and the Soviet in leftist circles ever morally justifiable??

            The same reality exists today if the Green movement is accurately deconstructed. It’s the little bit stupid crowd that does the most harm in practice. Massively stupid such as AOC are illustrative.

            Watch tonight as a sea level blathering festival will be on full display. No facts or science will be apparent.

      • Add to that:

        “MI6

        Former Lib Dem peer and ex-MI6 chief used former spies to aid Romanian tycoon
        Businessman used ‘intricate knowledge’ gathered by British intelligence firm to fight extradition over corruption charges

        Harry Davies and Jamie Doward”

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/16/davies-doward-intelligence-mi6-security-romania-adamesco-corruption-security-extradition

        https://www.google.com/search?q=mi6+college+students+spy+ssr&oq=mi6+college+students+spy+ssr&aqs=chrome.

    • The ‘Y2K Disaster’ (Jan1 2000) was baloney.

      This was a real issue. Many people worked to see that it did not become a disaster.
      This was not of the same category as, say an ice free Arctic — linear trend and speculation.
      The 2-digit date in code was well known, and the fix was known.
      Also, the date when it needed to be fixed was known, unlike
      there is x, y, z months to save Earth.

      • Claims of planes falling from the sky and nuclear plants blowing up were always nonsense. Unfortunately there were idiots dreaming up scary scenarios in order to make money or to just draw attention to themselves.

        As someone who spent hundreds of hours fixing old code with two digit year formats, I’m quite aware how much work had to be done in order to ensure the change over went smoothly.

        • I was at a New Year’s party on 12-31-99. At the stroke of midnight, the guy whose house the party was held at flipped the main circuit breaker.

          Priceless! (Even though the streetlights were still on and I knew it was a joke.)

      • “The ‘Y2K Disaster’ ……This was a real issue.” +1 Not only was the problems well known in advance there were workarounds (back dating for example) that could save those that didn’t act in time when they should have. Lots of misinformation on this subject.

    • Would the Freon-O zone scare belong on that list?
      How about the ice age scare in the 70s?

      I agree with Craig from Oz. The Nuclear Armageddon was and is a real threat and the Cold war was the real deal. Many 1,000s of bodies make that clear.

      • rah,

        The evidence still indicates that CFCs damage the ozone layer.

        There was no “ice age” scare in the 1970s. Some scientists believed CO2 would be the larger forcing in the future; some believed that aerosols were. Both groups’ theories were well-founded. Time and research proved which was correct. Neither looked at all like the current alarmists’ campaign about climate Armageddon.

        Not every disagreement about scientists concerning frontier issues is a fear campaign. For more about this, see :

        About those headlines from the past century about global cooling…,  — On the other hand, some skeptics also exaggerate.
        A look at global warming written in a cooler and more skeptical time, giving us a better understanding of climate science — A prominent climatologist talks about the state of the science in the 1970s.
        An important letter sent to the President about the danger of climate change — Official NOAA history about global cooling in the 1970s.

        Also see “A study of climatological research as it pertains to intelligence problems”, CIA, August 1974 — It’s a discussion of the effect if our global climate returns to the conditions of the last 400 years (the little ice age). Big pdf, loads slowly.

        • There was never any evidence that CFC’s damaged the ozone layer.
          It was all models.
          The Ice Age Cometh scare has been well documented by articles in the popular press from the time.

          • Correct on both counts Mark.

            Regarding the Iceage scare, I was on campus and it promoted right along with the Ehrlich trifle…..”The Population Bomb”. The “Zero Growth” movement was also well known.

            In popular literature just read “Slaughter House Five” by Kurt Vonnegut. The glacier science fear is spelled right out. It was very popular at the academic levels.

            People forget what the early Earthday era was really about. Then again, they may not know. Kummer is 61 years old you would think he observed some of this directly. It certainly authoritative fear based in the design. What was different? You had a much broader politically diverse base in the sciences. The BS was called routinely and the PC vindictive culture far less evolved but the direction was clear even then.

        • “Time and research proved which was correct.”

          Bullshit!

          NOTHING has been “proved correct” – far from it. BOTH of those “hypotheses” (I won’t call them “theories” since that elevates them way beyond what they deserve) INCORRECTLY attributed NATURAL climate changes for changes “caused (by somewhat different intervening mechanisms) by human fossil fuel burning.”

          When the “environmental catastrophe du jour” changes 180 degrees, from “ice age cometh” to “runaway warming,” and YET the SUPPOSED “cause” and the SUPPOSED “solution” (CONTROL and LIMITATION of human fossil fuel use) remain the SAME, you know you’re being conned.

          Still NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that CO2 drives temperature, just some age-old “hypothetical BS” that doesn’t operate in the real world, since the necessary caveat “ALL OTHER THINGS HELD EQUAL” doesn’t apply in the real world.

    • Y2K was a real problem that was over hyped by some who were out to make a buck.

      There was no problem precisely because millions had been spent during the previous decade fixing problems.

  4. There probably wasn’t a Horse Manure Crisis. “The phrase originates from a 2004 article by Stephen Davies entitled “The Great Horse-Manure Crisis of 1894.”

    An urban planning conference in 1898 supposedly broke up before its scheduled end due to a failure to find an answer to this problem. No such statement in the Times, nor conference result, is known,[2] but in 1893 London there was a complaint that horse manure, formerly an economic good that could be sold, had become a disposal problem, an economic bad. link

    • Bob,

      “The Great Horse Manure Crisis”

      I suggest you read the post, and follow the links given in it. There was a crisis.

      Labels for events are often given long afterwards. WWI was not called WWI in 1914-1918. Nor were the “Thirty Years War” or the “Hundred Years” the names given at the time. But they were real events nonetheless.

      Don’t get hung up on labels.

      • The point is, that at the time, nobody was predicting that the streets would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure. I followed the link within your link and got this.

        The situation seemed dire.In1894, the Times of London estimated that by1950 every street in the city would be buried nine feet deep in horse manure.

        Nobody can find that in the Times of London.

        So, once someone publishes a fiction in a supposedly factual account, the credibility of the whole thing is shot. In fairness to you, you acknowledge that it’s fake. On the other hand, linking to something that doesn’t do so compromises the credibility of the whole thing.

        When some folks see your reference to the Great Horse Manure Crisis they will have heard that it’s fake and discount everything else you say.

        • Bob,

          Good catch on the Conference, that it is fiction. It is the item tying together this story. I’ll make a correction to the post (at the FM website).

          On the other hand, there is a large body of contemporaneous evidence that people considered manure (mostly from horses) to be a major urban problem. Lots of complaints, and awareness that this is a public health problem. Does that make it a “crisis”? That is, “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.” It’s in the eye of the beholder.

          For more about this see “The Centrality of the Horse to the Nineteenth-Century American City” by Joel Tarr and Clay McShane, in The Making of Urban America, Raymond Mohl, ed., 1997. Dr. McShane is a professor of history at Northeastern University while Dr. Tarr is a professor of urban and environmental history and policy at Carnegie University. See an excerpt:

          https://enviroliteracy.org/environment-society/transportation/the-horse-the-urban-environment/

          “once someone publishes a fiction in a supposedly factual account, the credibility of the whole thing is shot”

          Few moderate to long articles have no factual errors, esp among those by unpaid writers. Those few tend to be technical articles by area experts. As for longer works – I’ve done book reviews for publishers for 30 years (pre- and post-publication). Every book I’ve seen has errors. We catch some, and not always the worst ones.

          “they will have heard that it’s fake and discount everything else you say.”

          That’s not how it works, as you will see in the comments at WUWT. People have beliefs. They read to see if the article agrees with them. If not, they search for anything that discredits it – which can be quite trivial, or even imaginary.

  5. I disagree, fanatics illustrate the emptiness
    of the underlying goal which is collectivism not a legitimate science premise. The more Green New Deals the better.

    The more broad based the debate the more exposed the policy fringe becomes.

  6. It’s crazy!….. ”The world will end”,…. Mass extinction”,……… ”This is serious”,……. ”Tipping point”,………. ”Catastrophe”,…….. ”emergency”,…… ”crisis”,……. ”new normal” …and on and on. I hear it every day. I now hear a push back from some saying the kids are becoming frightened and the ”narrative” needs to change. People are now scared of the weather.
    Mass insanity! (Still fascinating to observe though).

    • This reminds me of the Maoist cultural revolution. Its nuts. Far more nuts than anything I have seen in a long time. These people are dangerous.

  7. Now fewer people are disastrous.

    Fewer people are disastrous when the majority of industrialized nations have enshrined entitlement Ponzi schemes. Or do you think we’re suddenly going to get massive productivity growth?

    Cars are shifting from gasoline and diesel to electricity.

    Not really and mostly propped up by subsidies.

    See Stratfor giving us good news about when renewables will replace fossil fuels.

    Why is that good news? You presume that we have a problem but as you point out in the rest of your piece there’s no evidence of that.

    • “Why is that good news?”

      Indeed. The notion of replacing fossil fuels with weather-dependent “renewables” is not only pure, unadulterated fantasy, but even the ATTEMPT to do so would cause colossal ecological damage through the mass killing of raptors and bats, and the massive deforestation necessary to site all those useless windmills and solar panels. Among other things.

  8. I think the “horse manure crisis” would be a much better term for AGW alarmism in general, irrespective of the age of the term.

  9. Put Larry Kummer in the same category of Overpeck for the following statement.

    “Does this mean we should ignore climate change as a threat? No, no more than we should focus on it to the exclusion of other serious threats, such as the dying oceans (see here, here, and here).”

    1) Climate change/global warming is a big scam which Kummer should have realized by now. 2) Overfishing will not make a fish species go extinct. Poachers do indeed make animals go extinct by killing every single last animal. However fishermen DONT catch every single last fish. The fishermen simply go home and stay home when they dont catch enough fish. 3) Plastics pollution has been overblown as per previous articles on WUWT. 4) pH level on a log scale has decreased 0.1 from 8.2 to 8.1 over a 35 year period. 5) Ocean warming has been hyped to death and isn’t happening. 6) Same thing with sea level rise 7 ) The icecaps havent melted and NEVER will melt in the next 100000 years. 8)The Great Barrier reef the largest coral reef in the world is alive and well. Mr. Kummer you do a disservice yourself to the discussion, with your alarmist beliefs.

  10. Larry Kummer chides the alarmists. He says we are better served by a more level-headed approach.
    Kummer also rejects the arguments of those who say it is not a problem. Kummer seems to think that AGW is absolutely real and needs to be dealt with. He cannot understand why his arguments get so little traction.

    HINT:
    Some of us are just not buying it. We do not buy the AGW narrative at all. Just No.
    Reasons:
    There are too many reasons to list, all pointing to the rejection of the AGW hypothesis, as all who have followed WUWT for any length of time well knows.
    Tony Heller has made a second career out of highlighting data tampering by NASA GISS and others.
    The models have been wrong about just about everything. Worse, sometimes the models make opposite predictions, then no matter what happens, you get “We Were Right”. *sigh*.
    AGW is a creature of the models. It does not seem to exist in the real world.
    We are 30 years into the AGW alarm now. Yet all the scenarios are for the future, floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, rising sea levels, we all know the rest. But after 30 years, at least *some* of this must have risen above the noise level, and started showing up. Nothing has.

    My favorite argument:
    Greenhouse gasses are being added to the atmosphere. Greenhouse theory dictates that the Earth must get warmer. This is because the added gasses raise the emission layer of the atmosphere to a higher altitude where it is colder and therefor less efficient.
    OK, sounds good when you say it fast. But does this effect really happen? Nobody seems to have measured it. Many well meaning people agree that we should get *some* warming from GHGs due to this theory, so they agree that that must be at least *some* AGW effect.

    I think that concedes too much. As a practicing analytical chemist, I have to actually *detect* a signal from some phenomena *before* I can claim the existence of said phenomena. Without detection, all I have is a working hypothesis.
    As an aside, what good is it to concede the validity of a theory, then also concede that the effect may be so small as to be lost in the noise and is not measurable anyway.

    A digression:
    People say that the AGW effect has been measured in the laboratory. What they really are saying is that the infrared spectra of various molecules has been measured.
    But I can measure things in the laboratory, too. Take water for example. I can measure it’s density, conductivity, heat capacity, on and on. I can freeze it and boil it and measure latent heats.
    And I would never get the first clue that hurricanes exist!
    Now lets talk about tornadoes.
    But I digress.

    In my mind, AGW is a working hypothesis still awaiting experimental measurement confirmation.
    {The fact that the much heralded Mid-Tropospheric Hot Spot went missing was a huge problem, until the alarmists decided to ignore the issue. But that is none of my business.}

    • What they are saying is “all things held constant, increasing a GHG should raise the surface temperature of our planet.”

      The problem of course in the real world vs the thought experiment, nothing is held constant. There are lots of feedbacks that ensure the integration of signals is to complex to predict with our inadequate knowledge.

      The climate models beyond any decade long time delta are simply junk science. But Trillions of dollars are riding on them to be “correct.” So the fraudsters model onwards for their paychecks. Because that’s what they are paid to do.

      But Don’t confuse what the modellers do with science though. That’s the fatal error that started the climate scam.

  11. “They exaggerate the threat beyond that described by experts and minimize the significance of counter-measures being developed.”

    This is how noble causes are corrupted. Those pursuing a noble cause face a choice early on: Tell the truth and get less attention and financial support, or exaggerate the threat to the noble cause and get more attention and money, but end up undermining the noble cause.

    Climate change is way past choosing the first choice. The ’cause’ hit the ground running in 1988 with Jim Hansen making headlines with exaggerated forecasts. The message to the rest of the science community was clear: If you want to be a star, get your name in the paper and advance your career, exaggerate the threat!

    The thing about noble cause corruption is that it usually ends up destroying the movement for the noble cause! Exaggerating the threat will get you short term fame and support, but in the long run, the noble cause gets lost in the deception, and the support dwindles to nothing. That is already happening with climate change, causing the activists to shout even louder and get more extreme. The activists are actually killing any chance of significant action on climate change with their exaggerations.

      • I respect some of your writing, what I don’t accept on the particular topic The Climate Change agenda is false equivalence of sides.

        Advocates may be naive or misguided at the lowest end but those at the organizational levels are fully aware of the goals and corruption involved. All people have flaws but that doesn’t make the situation morally equal. There is no real “Nobel Cause” in coercing co2 reduction beyond what natural technology might offer. That they corrupted science reflects energy sector economic arrogance and ignorance. The efforts to this point have rationed energy to the poor, concentrated more elite power and reduced freedom. It emulates OPEC cartel excess it doesn’t offer reform at all.

  12. Ambitious authoritarians have made fear a growth industry.
    Why?
    Power and money, and the first leads to the second.
    And once again it is time to note the definition of a promotion.
    “In the beginning, the promoter has the vision and the public has the money.
    At the end of the promotion, the promoter has the money and the public has the vision.”
    Larry–you have been in the financial markets and might enjoy this one.
    And for those who demand citation:
    The old and highly speculative Vancouver Stock Exchange.

  13. To me, the “climate crisis” is not comparable with others doomsters stories (which are/were based on actual problems, air pollution, etc.) because in this case, the crisis exists only in the doomsters brain.

    So, we can ignore them, but the fact is that there is and there will be not a hint of a solution despite trillions being spent.

    Let’s face it, climate doomsters are the useful idiots of three groups :
    – Marxists who want their revenge on capitalism,
    – Malthusians (but as you said, the overpopulation is not a problem – see also the population declining rate of growth – https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/16/global-population-growth/),
    – charlatans, snake oil salesmen, corrupted scientists, journalists, politicians, etc., who make money with this threat.

    Each individual can have one or more of the four facets (useful idiot, marxist, malthusian, charlatan).

    And there is no solution to this climate doomsters’ brain crisis since there will always be extrem events somewhere on the planet to fuel scary fairy tales.

    The only way to mitigate this crisis is to frontly attack climate corruption (in a sort of “Mani pulite” action against climate mafias) and this should be done the hard way because this is an actual problem that will bring us a true planetary crisis if trillions are thrown out the window to solve a non existent problem.

  14. Despite all you’ve read,

    ˘˘˘˘˘!! THE END IS NEARER !! ˘˘˘˘˘

    and it is articles like this that avoids the reality that all of you will all die soon!!
    The black dog of depression is accompanied by the terrorizing snake hiss of fear – stay fearful, stay depressed, for the future offers only pain, misery, and suffering of a tortured life before you all finally, painfully, miserably expire.
    Hope?
    No there is NO HOPE, if the CO2 induced heat doesn’t get you, the descent into freezing starvation of a new solar driven Little Ice Age will.
    Socially remind everyone, tweet it out — Death is the only answer and we are all doomed!
    For all the good it will do, forewarned is just a forewarning of the inevitable.

    So, have a good day (it will all end soon!) 😉

  15. Ironically, for points 1 and 2 – people in large California cities do in fact need to worry about an excess of feces in the streets, it’s just human rather than from horses.

  16. The author made a gross error in conflating the Cold War with bogus fears.

    There was nothing in the slightest degree bogus about the Cold War.

    The Soviets started the bloodiest war in world history – World War Two – by joining with the Nazis in a mutual defense pact that immediately led to their co-invasions of Poland. Nothing bogus about that.

    The Soviets murdered more than 40 million of their own people. Nothing bogus about that.

    The Soviets operated the world’s largest system of prison camps, dubbed the “Gulag Archipelago”, from which tens of millions of their people, and prisoners from other nations in Europe, went to work themselves to death in the cold. Nothing bogus about that.

    The Soviets imprisoned all of eastern Europe following their victory in the “Great Patriotic War”, and held those peoples in a state of oppression, fear, and murder for 45 years. Nothing bogus about that.

    The Soviets built up the world’s largest military force, with the world’s largest nuclear arms inventory, and were prepared at a moments notice to unleash hell on earth for more than three decades. But for the actions of a single Soviet submarine captain, the US and the Soviets very nearly began an unwinnable nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nothing bogus about that.

    The entire world was gripped with fear of nuclear armageddon for more than 40 years … our public schools actually held “duck and cover drills”. I remember as a child asking my mother if the Soviets were really going to “bury us”, as Kruschev so famously threatened.

    I remember going to sea repeatedly on special operations as a crew member of a nuclear fast attack submarine, our primary mission being to sink Soviet missile submarines before they could fire off their missiles and destroy our homeland. I remember thinking every now and then that if we were forced to carry out our mission, then everyone in the world I loved would likely already be dead, and that if we survived our mission, we would have literally nothing to return to afterwards.

    In order to deter the Soviets from taking over the rest of the world and doing to Western Europe and the US what the Soviets had already done to Eastern Europe, we and our NATO allies were forced to spend vast sums of our public treasuries to defend ourselves over that 45 year period … funds that could have been put to far better use by both private citizens and our respective governments. Nothing bogus about that.

    Be very very careful about extending justifications and analogies far beyond their useful application – as the author certainly did in this post.

  17. STATISTICAL LANGUAGE BACKS CONSERVATISM IN CLIMATE- CHANGE ASSESSMENTS ( March, 2019 BIOSCIENCE Link (“…advocating it twist the science to support activists’ agenda. ”)

    From the Abstract–“ We found that the tone of the IPCC’s probabilistic language is remarkably conservative (mean confidence is medium, and mean likelihood is 66%–100% or 0–33%), and emanates from the IPCC recommendations themselves, complexity of climate research, and exposure to politically motivated debates” First line of paper— “Effective communication has been a major area of elaboration and concern for scientists in the IPCC, who are consistently challenged with adhering to scientific rigour while delivering clear and unambiguous messaging.”

    Section Headlines –“Probabilistic language tailored to expected audiences and Tone of the physical science of climate change” In Figure 1, “Future Assessment Report” “ (Communicate Certainty)”

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that so many of the scare stories put out by Bioscience and others are OPEN ACCESS. If I was still teaching biology I would be using these as examples for BAD SCIENCE, used to be much harder to find. I missed these back when I was.—“…intangible value for feelings of connection” (1995) and “Whereas it played a minor role in major fishery allocation decisions made in 1981, 10 years later there are social-science objectives…. ” (1992)

    These papers have an important purpose as bad examples, very useful for students. They should be widely used by teachers at all levels. Based on this paper STATISTICAL LANGUAGE IS NONSENSE, statistically or otherwise. I could go on and on with this paper, but it is important to see who funded it. (Supported by British Ecological Society research grant no. 4496–5470 to SH-P; Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness project no. CGL2013–40924-P to DRV; and Royal Society, Psychonomic Society, and Australian Research Council discovery project no. DP160103596 to SL.) Psychonomic? Sounds fitting.

    • I want to re-emphasize a positive that these papers should be used by teachers and others, independent of the subject, as examples. When I did this as a teaching aid the subjects were much more benign and could be generic as there was rarely anti-advocacy. As to the propaganda question discussed here I am old enough to remember WWII newsreels and later events. These all had a much better basis in fact than what we are dealing with now as exemplified by these papers. It is true that there are serious problems ignored and/or poorly understood or by “experts” and government. The 19th century version of “Snake Oil” is now venomous. I don’t recall any of the 20th century real and possible crises being called snake oil, a term my grandfather who was born in the late 19th century used.

      Closest thing I could find in the dictionary to psychonomic was psychoneurosis.

  18. Fast or slow, pro-Soviet factions of the US left the UN social base consolidated their agenda around Climate and Green authority after the Soviet fell.

    Soviet falls 1991, UN Climate Framework created 1993. Not a coincidence. Anti-Americanism ran very high in the wake of the Soviet demise.

    Both hated individual rights over state authority. Climate is a global dog whistle for millions of leftwing activists. It’s thriving in part due to the socially natural let down of 73 years of restraining Soviet aggression and final collapse. Climate preoccupation is a form replacement excess, Soviet nostalgia for those subversive Western and global interest groups who largely had it wrong from 1917 though 1991. Many of the young are so historically ignorant they may be unaware of the processes either with their Western peers in the Soviet period or how those forces were absorbed in UN driven hostility not only around Climate but New World Order collectivism as a whole. You can thank the state of government run education and academia in part for their ignorance. The Climate propaganda cartel is vast and concurrent with PC whitewashing regarding Soviet and Western party history.

    Of course many only shared a dislike and distrust of the US system rather then overtly support the Soviet system directly. There was still a huge trigger in the Soviet collapse that boosted UN authoritarian dreams as well as advancing the EU formation and absorbing pro-Climate and Green agendas (anti-Americanism).

    A rabid dead animal can be as dangerous living one to the uniformed. Spare me the “right wing exaggerating the Soviet threat”. There are signs of their totalitarian inclinations everywhere in the world and in the US leftist elite to this very day.

  19. “Cars are shifting from gasoline and diesel to electricity.”

    More accurately, 1) electricity is supplementing gasoline in attractive new types of hybrids (including inexpensive mild hybrids with 48-volt supplementary electrical systems) and 2) gasoline and diesel engines are becoming more efficient. Toyota’s new Dynamic Force engine in its Corolla gets 40 MPG; Mazda’s SkyActiv-X in its 2019 Mazda 3 gets 45 MPG. (It promises over 50 MPG for its next iteration.)

  20. The IPCC’s Working Group I reports (the physical sciences) were rightly described by activists as the “gold standard” description of climate research and the most reliable statement of scientists’ consensus.

    Good grief! Again with the “gold standard” crap! What about your “epiphany” (concerning something that I tried to inform you about months before):

    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.

    …and…

    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.

    How can a “gold standard” have at its very heart a lie (of omission, that the most likely human CO2 emissions in the 21st century are comparable to RCP 4.5)?

    P.S. Those of us who actually know something about the subject didn’t need to “see how” the lie was done. We’d known it for more than a decade!

    The IPCC’s lying wasn’t a secret!

  21. “L.A. 2017”, an episode of The Name of the Game by the hot and young new director Steven Spielberg. In it, the hero has a vision of Los Angeles in 2017, after pollution had destroyed the Earth’s ecology and forced the remnants of humanity underground. LA had one cow; its milk was a delicacy for the rich. See more about the plot. Philip Wylie wrote the script. His specialty was science fiction Stories about nuclear war and ecological disaster.

    _________________________________________________________

    Add Ray Bradbury “The Mars Chronicles”, Philip K. Dick “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. Animals will become extinct through pollution, rich people will cause a stir with fake animated animals.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&ei=MbkZXY21G7yHwPAP-OO4qAs&q=Phillip+k.dick+do+androids+dream+of+electric+sheepm&oq=Phillip+k.dick+do+androids+dream+of+electric+sheepm&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

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