Reducing the future to climate: a story of climate determinism and reductionism.

An excellent twitter thread by @RodgerPielkeJr concerning a paper by Hulme, M.

68 thoughts on “Reducing the future to climate: a story of climate determinism and reductionism.

  1. Jesus Christ! It takes Hulme and the other mental masturbators thousands of words to say that the UN IPCC climate modelers and CliSci alarmists are full of shit scaremongers. A little bit of old fashioned science has show that for years.

    It is not Western society that is driving these poseurs to predict doom, but money. And “indigenous knowledge” is not a panacea; most of those practitioners are frauds.

    And, yes, I have studied philosophy. Most of it is pretentious words. At least some of it makes you think, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Believing that Nietzsche actually came to any conclusions is a mental disorder.

    • It’s interesting to look at how and why CAGW alarmism has become orthodoxy. It’s like studying how a disease spreads. ie. epidemiology vs. pathology

      I once knew a crazy teenager who could quote extensively from Nietzsche. I suspect that his derangement was, in part, caused by reading too much Nietzsche.

      Jordan Peterson says that Nietzsche predicted the rise of twentieth century totalitarianism as a result of the decline in religious belief.

      • If you read Nietzsche enough, commieBob, you will realize he said everything. His was a rambling philosophy that tried to cover all the bases of human fallibility. By predicting everything, he predicted nothing.

        Human nature can be dark, but other humans bring us back to sanity or, at least, justice. Philosophy, however, leads to ideology which leads to totalitarianism. The lesson is to never buy into any philosophical school or social movement; they will all ultimately abandon you. The best approach to life is …. (……)

        [Edited for language. Mod]

        • David

          If you read Nietzsche enough, commieBob, you will realize he said everything. His was a rambling philosophy that tried to cover all the bases of human fallibility. By predicting everything, he predicted nothing.

          That’s a pretty good description of alarmist climate science. By predicting everything, it predicts nothing.

          That’s what Karl Popper said about Marx and Engels’ economic theories and Freud’s psychology. It led to his “Conjectures and Refutations” and his discovery that true science has to be deductive and falsifiable.

      • Yeah I could quote chunks of Nietzsche when I was an undergrad in the late 1960s. It went along with making yourself look like Che Guevara. Nothing particularly deranged about it. And nothing to do with politics. Mostly to do with pulling chicks.

        • Dittos to Martin. Except that chicks in the 60’s were a) easy and b) clueless about the Nietch. The thing that most disturbed me about Nietzsche and specifically Zarathustra was that he always spaked but never spoke. When people spake you know they are full of it. Thus spake I.

      • There have been scare stories that gained popular traction with groups of people throughout history .. wiki carries a small list but the number would be way beyond that

        People are always worried about anything they can’t control and the future is the ultimate of that. The so called Climate Emergency is just the latest in a long line and will be written about in the same manner we view all these stupid scare predictions.

        • LdB:

          I have a much simpler list:
          1) When my brother aged about 6 came home from church and announced that. “Mummy was the root of all evil” We can igonore that with a good giggle.
          2) In medieval times the horrors of the apocalypse was rampant in many forms: “Heresy is the root of all evil”
          3) In the early 20th century and ongoing: “ Capitalism is the root of all evil”.
          4) In the 1930s in Germany: “ Jews are the root of all evil”.
          5) Today we have: “CO2 is the root of all evil”.

          All these Memes have similar consequences definitely to be avoided and essentially are driven by the few to grasp control over the many.

          The disenchanted in society inevitably seek a scapegoat for their situation and hence fall foul under the influence of these Memes which act like viral infections to addle their minds.
          We live in dangerous times under the current CO2 Meme now being propagated by practices devoid of basic ethics, which again is a characteristic of all these Memes.

          • Since it is really really hard to get people emotionally invested in attacking an invisible colorless odorless trace gas in the atmosphere, and demanding that it be killed .. the climate alarmists had to invent another boogie man as a stand in for the carbon … thus they invented the “climate denier”, selecting a particularly odious pejorative image associated with the evils of corporatism and those apologists and “deniers” who were all obviously beyond the pale.

            Just as the Nazis had to invent cartoon images of Jews, with grotesquely huge noses, evil looking eyes, and generally of the type that makes Quasimodo look like a Hollywood movie star by comparison, along with “blood libel” stories about Jews killing and eating innocent little children and such … the modern climate alarmists have created these caricatures of the evil, oil-company-money-funded evil “climate deniers”. But these images are really hard to sustain with a straight face.

            We in the USA did the same with Japanese (we called them “Japs” back in the day) in World War Two, when all of the cartoon pics of Japanese featured grotesque looking warped little guys with huge glasses and buck teeth that stuck way out the front of their faces. Like little buck toothed near sighted Quasimodos. White people in the USA also did similarly in their portrayals of black Americans, promoting stereotypical “Stepin Fetchits”, blackfaced minstrels, and big boobed mammies and Aunt Jemimas as being representative of their entire race. Make’em look stupid and ridiculous, so therefore you don’t have to pretend they’re human and give’em any human rights.

            Needless to say, the climate alarmists have not had near the success of the Nazis did in making evil cartoon figures of us skeptics, or as we did portaying the Japanese similarly. Though not without the alarmists trying really yard.

            But in order to sustain any evil-mongering ideology and its attendant propaganda, it is always necessary to personalize the “enemy” and create the cartoon character that everyone can glom onto and love to hate.

      • Someone once said that he had no need for police or religion to keep him honest, peaceful, fair, considerate etc. but that both were essential for the majority that needs rules, guidance and fear of consequences. This is is not lost on those who would govern and control our lives, for example, under the pretext of manmade catastrophic climate

        Perhaps 3% of the population is a reasonable estimate of the committed, thinking dissidents to elitist governance. Visible dissidents in the very repressive USSR and The Third Reich were much fewer than this, of course.

      • Nitzsche predicted Hitler because he recognized a rapidly rising technical / technological revolution, especially in steel production and above all – that the contemporary society would not be able to keep up mentally.

    • “Believing that Nietzsche actually came to any conclusions is a mental disorder.” – Quote of the week.

  2. The current “ensemble” AOGCMs (climate models) must die if science is to survive this assault of scientific method and logic being replaced with “consensus” and group think. The modelers are nothing but an archiplego of Feynman’s cargo cultists, each hoping “climate” will prove their model correct and thus the most virtuous.
    Most of the climate modeling nitwits actually come across as seeming to think “climate” will see the wisdom of their models and conform to their outputs. Climate of course doesn’t give a damn about anything in CMIP 3/5/6 or anything of the human imagination, of which those simulations are most certainly.
    But as the first IPCC honestly reported, the complex, chaotic, non-linear nature of climate means it will never conform to any model, except by chance after the fact, simply becasue their are so many models now. Climate modeling is most certainly living in the realm of junk science, and we risk trillions of dollars of wealth chasing something that can’t be predicted, mainly so a few billionaires can get very wealthy in the West on their renewable energy scams, while China and Russia laugh their butts-off at our economic suicide.

    • The irony is that the only James Hansen’s scenario that seems to agree with reality is the scenario C (no increase of human CO2 emission since year 2000).

      This says it all about this pathetic pseudo-science masquerade and the total failure of these junk models.

  3. +1 Dave Fair. Saved me the trouble.

    Pielke Jr is wrong in one important respect when he says climate policy is a failure. It keeps pseuds like Hulme and Mann in employment at great cost to the rest of us. A cost which is far far greater than the simple sum of their wages.

  4. Climate Change is historically deterministic like its predecessor Marxism; Marx saw himself as the ‘Darwin of society’ and his theory of the natural progress from feudalism to communism as scientific as Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
    Why this supposedly inevitable progress had to be brought about by violent revolution and the deaths of millions is a puzzle.
    Just as Terry Pratchett’s ‘retrophenologists’ confirmed their theory of personality causing bumps by hitting the subjects on the head with a hammer, CC practitioners confirm their theory by ‘adjusting’ observed temperatures to follow the inevitable trajectory of future global temperatures as per their models.

    • The difference between Marx and the Warmists is that Marx actually believed in his economic theories, which–while they bore some validity– at their core were a knee-jerk, romantic overreaction to the industrial revolution, the theories of Darwin, and the widespread anti-monarchist movements. The fundamental flaw of Marx’s economic theories was that they were predicated on a finite productivity. Darwin’s theories were likewise flawed; science is only now acknowledging that the vast biodiversity cannot be explained by canonical Darwinian/Mendelian mechanisms, that there are Lamarkian mechanisms at play, despite Lamark having been pilloried by “science” for over a century.

      The warmists–with a few exceptions–don’t believe in their anti-CO2 tripe beyond their realization that it is a gold mine for those therein vested. It’s nothing more than a new, crushing form of taxation, like the lottery. The first Big Lie they had to foist (by endless repetition) was that Big Oil was in “opposition” to the warmists…that Big Oil will “lose” profits from a CO2 tax. When nothing could be further from the truth. It was Big Oil who concocted the whole scam in the first place.

  5. I have said this so many times. At the root of this whole farce about
    Climate and weather is still the key card. Its called CO2. Prove that as a scientific fact that CO2 is a good gas, and the rest is words, as Shakepeare would have said, or did he, “”Much chatter about nothing.””

    So many books and learned discussion about what should be a simple thing.

    What about it President TRUMP.


    • “Full of sound and fury and signifying nothing”. (King Lear) Or possibly ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.

      But Shakespeare can often be relied on for a sensible answer!

    • No substance is good or bad; that is a moral judgement. Substances have properties which make them useful or harmful to humans depending on the situation. CO2 is vital to the food chain since all plants rely on it, but in sealed environments like submarines or spacecraft, we must carefully monitor the levels of CO2 because if it gets too high the humans inside will suffer and could die. I know that the scientifically literate know this, but it’s important to point out to the lay person.

    • If it wasn’t CO2 they’d use something else. I think they probably drew lots from a hat on what the “threat” would be. That is, the one that could best stick to the wall.

    • “probably too much for many here, but a pretty solid history of ideas.” (…….) You are not all that intelligent compared to the people who post on WUWT.

      Selling much solar magic to the proles?

      [Edited for language. C’mon, people, enough already. mod]

    • Worked for me.. thanks.
      Yes, excellent description of the reductionist, simplistic mind of programmers versus the inventive, creative mind of humans to adapt, change, and improve.
      There’s more to heaven and earth than is in your code!

    • Oh look it’s the layman pretend scientist who thinks he is above others .. I think your ego exceeds your knowledge or education.

      • Not that Mosh needs me to stand up for him. But I’ve always found him to be both bright and articulate. He started his journey as a sceptic, he did a lot of work, called out bad things… people pretending to be other people springs to mind… he also started working with others. During which he came to be more orthodox in his views. I dont personally agree with him, but I respect both him and his journey. Plus, I think sceptical Mosher’s still in there…. might be wrong but there you go… he certainly got off his arse and got involved… so, layman… he ain’t.

        • He’s still a skeptic, as far as I can tell, but he just can’t help but belittle everyone. Even on those rare times when he sounds sensible and reasonable, people push back, because he has reaped what he has sown.

        • I don’t care if he is a skeptic or a true believer he is not remotely a scientist by any imagination or definition. You could ask a pile of things any real science graduate could answer in heartbeat and Mosher simply would not have a clue. The only thing he is qualified in being English Lit you would barely know by his posts. So like Jeff Alberts I find it a bit rich that he should try and belittle others.

        • Moshe is from the class of lukewarmers who believe something should be done about it.

          New memo, moshe. The warming that we can accomplish will be net beneficial. And the greening would be miraculous if we didn’t understand it so well.

          AnthroCO2 is filling billions of bellies, cumulatively, eventually many many billions.

          Capiche? I thought you would.

          • The campaign of fear and guilt could only have been temporarily effective. You should have snapped to that. But, I still love you, most days anyways.

          • Exactly. Primitive man dealt w/a full glacial transition w/hundreds of feet of sea-level rise — in fact prospered after it was mostly over. Supposedly modern man running around in circles, wringing hands, yelling & screaming about a degree or so temp change? Hard to believe…

    • Flesch Reading Ease: 20+. Gunning Fog Index: 20+. University Graduate level. The whole purpose of words is to communicate ideas. I was taught that serious writing intended to communicate should be understood by the average undergraduate, and then only if it was a specialist subject and intended for specialists.

      Anything above 20 on either of these scales is only meant to show how clever the writer (thinks he) is.

      The GF index for this post is 13.

    • All those ignorant denier yahoos will never follow the nuanced esoterica. Only those of us with superior intellect and refined sensibilities could be worthy.

      Are there meds to treat narcissistic personality disorder? Just asking.

    • An extraordinary essay – thanks for bringing it out for us. But, jeez, Mosher, we can do without the snark…

    • Steve could be finally acquiescing to the epistemological arguments of Karl Popper, who also argued against reductionism in so far as it was inductive, and in favour of a more deterministic deductive scientific method. This after having argued here against Popper and in favour of uber-inductive climate models.

      The words of Francis Thompson’s “Hound if Heaven” could aptly apply to SM’s futile flight from Karl Popper:

      I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
      I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
      I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
      Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
      I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
      Up vistaed hopes I sped;
      And shot, precipitated,
      Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
      From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
      But with unhurrying chase,
      And unperturbed pace,
      Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
      They beat and a Voice beat
      More instant than the Feet
      ‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’.

      OK Karl – you got me!

  6. There’s something that makes me suspicious about this kind of approach:

    ” The argument put forward here is that the new climate reductionism is driven by the hegemony exercised by the predictive natural sciences over contingent, imaginative, and humanistic accounts of social life and visions of the future. It is a hegemony that lends disproportionate power in political and social discourse to model- based descriptions of putative future climates.”

    There is a serious risk of diminishing or even denying value to the hard sciences even where there should be no dispute that they are the best tool available.

    • “There is a serious risk of diminishing or even denying value to the hard sciences even where there should be no dispute that they are the best tool available.”

      Actually, they are the ones destroying scientific credibility. They parrot “97% of scientists…” and that includes Obama when he was President.

      And I say that is good. If you believe science has the answers you have transformed it into a religion since you are operating on faith. When I started my MS in Chem I suddenly learned that all the absolutes I learned in my BS studies were no longer absolutes. It was like shifting from a white lab coat to a black one with all sorts of celestial symbols all over it (ref: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”).

      • This is why I use the word “confidence’ when speaking of science or the scientific method. The word ‘faith’ is often used by folks as a synonym for ‘confidence’ when speaking about science. I try to be more precise. I have confidence in the power of the scientific method.

        Science generally does have the answers. There’s just no promise of whether it has them now, nor how long it may take to find them.

      • Oh, I am well aware that science just isn’t equipped to answer all questions, and I have grown less and less tolerant of scientism.

        Returning to the paper in question, I see that its conclusions are somewhat distant from the abstract. It is almost like “hegemony”, “disproportionate” and “power” are buzzwords that must be there in order to be published. Once that’s out of the way, one can do some actual reasoning.

  7. Maya priesthood, freaking religious science practices, sacrifices and other scaremonger strategies reached, as historian/archeologists say a peak in their complex influence on society.

    Stones are all that’s left. And tons of plausible yet unconfirmed theories.

    History is a wheel. *plamface*

  8. Very good comments, thank you Joel.

    My comments follow, with excerpts from

    THE IPCC’S CLIMATE COMPUTER MODELS ARE WORTHLESS NONSENSE, since they are based on the false assumption of that atmospheric CO2 is the primary driver of global climate.

    However, this model equation works quite well:

    “5. UAH LT Global Temperatures can be predicted ~4 months in the future with just two parameters:
    UAHLT (+4 months) = 0.2*Nino34Anomaly + 0.15 – 5*SatoGlobalAerosolOpticalDepth (Figs. 5a and 5b)

    Note the suppression of air temperatures during and after the 1982-83 El Nino, due to two century-scale volcanoes El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo.

    Much of the atmospheric warming from ~1982-1996 (blue trend) was a recovery from the two major volcanoes – Nino34 SST’s (purple trend) cooled slightly.”

    NOW WE SHOULD DEVELOP A GOOD PREDICTIVE MODEL FOR NINO34 SST, which is probably a function of TSI and ENSO. Since ENSO is ~irregularly cyclical, maybe we can just ignore it in long-term climate models; alternatively we can simulate it with a ~60-year period PDO assumption until we better understand it.

    THE IPCC MODELS REVERSE CAUSE AND EFFECT, by falsely assuming that the future (CO2) is driving the past (temperature).

    “6. The sequence is Nino34 Area SST warms, seawater evaporates, Tropical atmospheric humidity increases, Tropical atmospheric temperature warms, Global atmospheric temperature warms, atmospheric CO2 increases (Figs.6a and 6b).

    Other factors such as fossil fuel combustion, deforestation, etc. may also cause significant increases in atmospheric CO2. However, global temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.”

    THE IPCC CLIMATE MODEL ARE DESIGNED TO CREATE FALSE ALARM, by assuming excessively high values for climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2, for which there is ample contrary evidence.

    “9. Even if ALL the observed global warming is ascribed to increasing atmospheric CO2, the calculated maximum climate sensitivity to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 is only about 1 degree C, which is too low to cause dangerous global warming.

    Christy and McNider (2017) analysed UAH Lower Troposphere data since 1979:

    Lewis and Curry (2018) analysed HadCRUT4v5 Surface Temperature data since 1859:

    Climate computer models used by the IPCC and other global warming alarmists employ climate sensitivity values much higher than 1C/doubling, in order to create false fears of dangerous global warming.”

  9. There were earlier scares involving senior scientists and lawmakers in the USA. One that is very well documented is the 1970-80s scare that man made chemicals were creating an epidemic of new cancers that needed government intervention to stop or reduce the magnitude of the imagined uepidemic. Told in 800 careful pages by Edith Efron in “The Apocalyptics”. This is valuable because we have the full cycle of a major scare described, including how it ended and how much damage survived in the form of crippling Acts and Regs that persist, despite being passed as one-off emergency measures commensurate with the (invented) serious problem.
    The end of this cancer scare was marked by proponents of the scare crossing the floor, at first one by one, then in groups. It seems to me that this 2013 offering by Mike Hulme is a toe in the water in that direction re climate change.
    It is most helpful to have these scares recorded in scholarly manner as Edith Efron did. The Roger Pielke input to date has been most important and it needs to be woven into the bigger picture of the climate change scare. In coming decades, these scares should be more easily nipped in the bud as earlier ones are better and more fully characterised. Is anyone acting in a thankless way to document the authoritative chronology of the climate change scare, or are we still too piecemeal? It is an important task, but it has to be so correct that it can withstand intense attack. Geoff S

    • Geoff: Sounds WAY too important to be left to chance, better ask the government to do it. Congressional committee too slow and cumbersome, we’ll need a whole department to make sure it never gets done.

  10. Seems the intention is eco-communism, based on the monster of big lies. And I’m no bible thumper but carbon is 6 protons, 6 neutrons & 6 electrons, the human body is mostly carbon and globalists intend to replace cash with a carbon card, then a chip, if they pull of the greatest fraud in human history. And only the truth shall set us free.

  11. Climate Alarmism keeps a lot of people in money and employment and so is very powerfully defended. People like Michael Mann cost us a great deal more than just their salary. The waste of money brought about by Climate Alarmism is stupendous, in billions if not trillions of dollars. It reduces employment, wastes our money and depresses people, It also kills bats, bird and deprives s plants of needed CO2.

    • Hi Nicholas – the costs are a lot higher.

      Radical greens are the great killers of our age, rivalling Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

      There is a reason why I published this paper on the 4th of July.

      Regards, Allan MacRae in Calgary

      By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., July 4, 2019

      9. Conclusion

      Radical green extremists have cost society trillions of dollars and many millions of lives. Banning DDT and radical green opposition to golden rice blinded and killed tens of millions of children.

      Green energy and CO2 abatement schemes, driven by false fears of catastrophic global warming, have severely damaged the environment and have squandered trillions of dollars of scarce global resources that should have been allocated to serve the real, immediate needs of humanity. Properly allocated, these wasted funds might have ended malaria and world hunger.

      The number of shattered lives caused by radical-green activism rivals the death tolls of the great killers of the 20th Century – Stalin, Hitler and Mao – radical greens advocate similar extreme-left totalitarian policies and are indifferent to their resulting environmental damage and human suffering… … and if unchecked, radical environmentalism will cost us our freedom.

  12. I’m also very much glad to see Pielke Fils back in combat. I regret to say I’ve called him cowardly after his dash to the sidelines after the 535 thing, and pushback @ his job.

    Please accept my apology. I’ve misjudged. Heh, to err is human.

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