Climate Alarmists Winning the War of Words, Despite Evidence that Nothing Unusual is Happening

Opinion By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris

Thanks largely to Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders and 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, “existential’ was selected as the word of the year by Dictionary.com. The on-line dictionary describes the phenomenon as follows:

Searches for existential spiked throughout 2019, especially after politicians used the word to characterize the dangers and disruptions climate change is widely held to pose for human life and the environment as we know them.

At a town hall on February 25, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders helped send searches for existential up over 179% when he called climate change “an existential crisis that impacts not just you and me and our generation but our kids and our grandchildren.”

Search volume for existential was higher than average throughout summer and fall 2019. August witnessed fires rage across the Amazon and Hurricane Dorian ravage the Bahamas. Many outlets and organizations discussed these disasters not only in connection to climate but also in existential terms. The non-profit Amazon Watch, for instance, framed the conflagration starkly: “ … it’s not only the Amazon, but our entire planet that is in crisis as the devastation of this life-giving biome poses a real, existential threat for all of humanity.”

September saw the worldwide Climate Strike and major speeches by the Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg. On September 18, Thunberg notably urged the US Congress: “I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is.”

Similarly, Oxford Dictionaries picked “climate emergency” as its word of the year. Clearly, alarmists are winning the war of words in the climate debate. Here’s why none of it makes any sense.

Our atmosphere is made up of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 0.9% Argonne, some trace gases and only 0.04% of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas most often blamed by alarmists for the supposedly ‘existential’ climate change threat. There is no way that this minuscule volume of life-giving gas (the only reason we can inhabit the Earth) is a threat to life as we know it today.

Direct atmospheric CO2 measurements began in 1958 at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. They show a steady rise in CO2 from 314 parts per million (ppm) in 1958 to 406 ppm in 2017.

The 40% increase from 280 ppm at the end of World War II to 410 ppm in 2019 is widely recognized to be mainly man-made, derived primarily from fossil fuels, including power plants, factories, and automobiles. But these CO2 levels are neither unusual nor dangerous when viewed in the context of the long-term record of our planet’s climate.

We know from our fossil record that CO2 levels throughout Earth’s history have averaged more than six times our modern concentrations. We also know that nuclear submarines submerged beneath the ocean for weeks at a time, average 5000 ppm CO2, with no health problem ever reported.

Antarctica has had the longest continuous accumulation of ice. It has provided data going back 800,000 years, while data from Greenland in the Northern Hemisphere gives CO2 data going back into the last interglacial period 128,000 years ago. Temperature and CO2 levels have varied during this long period, and importantly, temperature changes preceded changes in CO2. In other words, carbon dioxide has NOT driven temperatures for the last 800,000 years.

During each glacial advance, CO2 levels dropped to dangerously low concentrations, to below 200 ppm. These low levels were dangerous because the minimum threshold for plant life to exist is 150 ppm, and we nearly reached that ‘line of death’ during our most recent ice age. Not only is rising CO2 not a bad thing, it could save civilization for future generations, centuries and thousands of years into the future.

Dr. Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, who now battles the lies that alarmists often tell to enrich themselves, believes the day will come when we will be crushing limestone to add more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. He seriously describes this future need because the record shows that over the past 150 million years in the fossil record there has been an alarming downward trend toward CO2 starvation. 

The forecasters of climate doom assert that CO2 levels have never been as high as today. Well that is only true for the past 800,000 years. They prefer to view the increase of 120 ppm over the past 150 years through the narrow lens of recent geologic time. To properly analyze the current levels, we need to put the data into the proper context. During our current geologic period, called the Quaternary, there has existed the lowest average CO2 levels in the entire history of the Earth. In the lush vegetative days of the dinosaurs, the CO2 levels stood in excess of 1600 ppm. The average C02 concentration in the preceding 600 million years was more than six-times our modern era level.

The combustion of fossil fuels has allowed humanity to increase concentration of this beneficial molecule and perhaps avert an actual CO2-related climate apocalypse. The climate delusion used by alarmists in their attempts to defeat capitalism and destroy human freedom would set us back centuries to a time when backbreaking work and shortened life expectancy was the norm.

Carbon dioxide emissions are not an existential threat, but the climate alarmists most assuredly are.

Portions of this article were excerpted with permission of the author of the book “Inconvenient Facts” by Gregory Wrightstone, which is recommended for everyone desiring the full story of the climate delusion.


Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Advisor with of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC and a policy advisor to Heartland.

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160 thoughts on “Climate Alarmists Winning the War of Words, Despite Evidence that Nothing Unusual is Happening

  1. Folks searched for the word – via Google? – because they weren’t sure exactly what it meant and they inherently distrusted use of the word by politicians. One can hope they found out

    • Indeed, the fact that this was the most searched on a dictionary site means it was the most unknown word of 2019.

    • Because they have TELEVISION! All you have is graphs and statistics. What is more compelling? Real time videos of flooding,
      hurricanes, fires, etc. or graphs and statistics that few understand?

    • They are winning the war of words but it is mostly because the average person has a near zero technical IQ. When Gore_Bull Warming believers attempt to push their rhetoric on me, I ask.. “uh.. how much CO2 is in the atmosphere anyway.” They are seldom even capable of understanding the question. I than assert .. correctly.. “it is obvious that you have done no research into this because this is the issue at the heart of the AGW aka Al Gore Warming debate.” When I do this, I win no points but I do find enormous satisfaction in seeing their confused and frustrated expressions.

      I am really quite certain that Gore_Bull warming will not be a top issue for voters in 2020. The smartest way for Trump to play this is to simply downplay it until after the election.

  2. The word “Existential” will get worn out in a few years and lose its provocative meaning, just as other overused terms have in the past! Remember, sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me!

    • I remember in 2000, George W. Bush had just won the Nomination to run for President by the Republican Party. The networks and cable news finished their morning conference call with the New York Times and the next word you heard 24 hours a day for the remainder of the general election cycle was “gravitas” as in George W Bush “ain’t got none.”

      In a single day an exercise of spin the channel would land you on Gravitas with every spin of the dial. It was the first day that I actually had hard evidence that the news was baked in Propaganda. It was against all laws of probability that every channel would draw upon the same word on the same day and begin repeating it on an hourly basis for months on end.

      The following January Bush was sworn in as president and before he could travel to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave the “homeless problem in America,” which had mysteriously resolved itself during the previous 8 years under Bill Clinton, reared its ugly head as if W was the countries landlord and people with homes had suddenly and with “Mean Spirit” been kicked to the curb. The very same homeless that Ronald Reagan had evicted in the 80’s were homeless once again. “Oh what was the country to do?”

      To be clear those are the same organizations that today are beating their drums about this existential threat from man made global warm…aahhh we really meant climate change all along. Ignore them at your own peril Rocky. Words can incite the masses to break your bones and Authoritarian Governments with a powerful Propaganda Press can disappear you. Never become complacent. The unrelenting wave erodes the shore.

      • I remember when the BBC would use jingoistic and Euroskeptic in every other sentence. That was a long time ago, which shows how long the BBC were pushing the meme that British people who didn’t want to be ruled by Germans were of the provincial non-elite types and/or Northern monkeys. How long did it take to fix that? Phew.

        My girlfriend at University studied French and she and her friends were always going on about Jean-Paul Sartre being an existentialist. Didn’t know what it meant then or now and still don’t care.

    • Or *incapable* of understanding science. (I think this is why most people accept what they are told by the media)

      • Robert of Texas

        I am undoubtedly one of the least educated contributors to this blog. No scientific or Higher education of any type, and I get it completely.

        It’s not difficult to understand that the planet is roughly 250ppm atmospheric CO2 away from certain extinction. No doubts, no arguments, if we get down to 150ppm, we are all 100% dead!

        On the other hand, we know C3 plants (~95% of all plant life) flourish ~1,200ppm.

        In my ill considered opinion, it also seems logical that a greener planet would naturally be better protected from the effects of drought and other natural events.

        And finally, of the 0.04% of atmospheric CO2, mankind’s contribution is ~3%. Anyone stupid enough to imagine that level of contribution is dangerous, when the benefits are so ’empirically manifest’ (yes, we sceptics have have our own terms to describe the temperature change phenomenon) deserves what little they get from, or contribute to, life.

        I could go on at great length here but I won’t. Suffice it to say that no one needs to understand science to follow a logical train of thought, just a little curiosity.

        • Not really. Say it’s hotter In Australia And they get more growth…. the back burn season is shorter due to the drought plus increased growth so they can’t back burn as much safely. It’s either winter and too damp and then 2 weeks later too hot Equals more fire possibly. In addition, these fires have actually burnt through areas that were back burned….

          Also…. CO2 increases right?….causing more plant growth…. so causes a global effect. Why wouldn’t increased CO2 also Cause a global warming affect. If you believe the greening bit, why disbelieve the warming bit?

          • Because the greening bit is povable, the warming bit is not. When these great climate scientists can explain with specificity why the midieval warm period and the little ice age happened, then they can start to “show” what is causing the current (last 150 years) changes in climate.

            Crap, their hokey stick didn’t even show the midieval warm period or little ice age. That simple fact is why I am an AWG “denialist”. I called BS when that fraud appeared, no other scientific research required, just my knowledge of history. But time on Climate Audit and here over the years since have only confirmed my original “opinion”. So I second HotScot’s statement:

            “I could go on at great length here but I won’t. Suffice it to say that no one needs to understand science to follow a logical train of thought, just a little curiosity.”

            What is your opinion Simon?

          • Possibly because there is a sound explanation for the effect of CO2 on plant growth. Demonstrated through observation and repeated experiments.

            The effect of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 on local, regional or global temperature is still a poorly conceived hypothesis, awaiting any solid, repeatable, objective evidence.

          • CO2 absorbs longwave radiation. It is increasing. Lots of gases do not absorb this. A thin sheet of paper blocks more light than a 20 metre deep swimming pool. Physics mate. Not engineering.

          • The CO2 fertilization effect is large, measurable and significant. CO2 warming effect is small, unverifiable against natural climate change and insignificant. Growers do not pump CO2 into their greenhouses to make them warmer, but to make the plants grow better.

            Climate data shows that it is wetter and cooler today than it was 80-90 years ago in Australia, completely opposite of the climate crisis narrative. This shows the insignificance of the warming effect of increasing CO2. The combination of wetter weather and increasing CO2 does benefit the plant growth, requiring more efforts around forest and bruch management. Stupid environmentalists have worked to reduce forest and brush management just as it became more important.

            The catastrophic fires in Australia are not the result of climate change. They are the result of stupid environmentalists and the laws they force upon the population.

          • Don’t totally disagree that there are defo land reasons the fires are bad.

            Just wondered what’s your opinion is on two facts in the attached article

            1) the safe burni season is getting shorter making it tricky to safely burn- it’s either too wet or basically a tinderbox

            2) the fact that the fire has burned through some areas where they HAVE done backburning.

            https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/05/explainer-how-effective-is-bushfire-hazard-reduction-on-australias-fires

          • Australia isn’t wetter, it’s got more CO2 and dryer and hotter. Land practices defo a factor but the worst fires ever…. hmmm they might burn 10 million hectares at this rate (6mil already) which would be double 1939/1974. Whatever it’s a bad year. It’s hard to totally put that all on land management just off the cuff in my opinion.

            They would of course say that they have done everything they can To avoid bushfires but it doesn’t sound like they have been totally ignoring the situation there

            https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/05/explainer-how-effective-is-bushfire-hazard-reduction-on-australias-fires

          • 183 people have been arrested and charged with arson in Australia over the last several months, for lighting bush fires. ‘Man Made’ causation but not Global Warming , in fact and in deed. No ‘possibly’ waffling or ‘If you believe….’ specious arguments needed.

          • Yeah cos no one was arrested last year. Its only this year and the other bad fire years that the firelighters come out. Conspiracy mate.

            It’s dryer which is one of the reasons they have burnt thru 6 million hectares. Which is one million past the previous record and there are 2.5 hot months to come…

          • Simon, what you are missing and I mentioned this to Nick Stokes in a more pithy way, I think on this thread even, is that the Calvin Cycle is linear with respect to CO2 usage. Double CO2 and there’s the potential to essentially double plant growth. Conversely, the effect of CO2 is reduced logarithmically as it accumulates. Between 280ppm and now, 415ppm, it has been neutered dramatically. If temperature rise was linear with respect to CO2 rise, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

            There’s a reason that you haven’t been told this before

          • Where are these plants going to grow? Can’t have them in Australia or London or the U.K. in general woth 13% forest cover. The amazon is getting logged. Yeah more plant growth… but where? If the plans could grow in the region 50-100 metres off the ground then that would help.

          • “Conversely, the effect of CO2 is reduced logarithmically as it accumulates.”

            This myth has been repeated so many times it has become one the (so-called) skeptics 10 commanments. I read it so may times I believed it. It is a myth, but the reasons it is a myth are complex and so instead of making a hash of the explanation I suggest going here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument for an easy to understand history of how and why this myth emerged.
            (Suitable reading only for actual skeptics).

          • “A thin sheet of paper blocks more light than a 20 metre deep swimming pool.”

            Simon thinks it’s confetti floating around in his beer. Who’s the designated driver or can somebody call an Uber for him?

          • Loydo January 7, 2020 at 8:24 pm
            Loydo says at 8:24pm:

            “Conversely, the effect of CO2 is reduced logarithmically as it accumulates.”

            This myth has been repeated so many times it has become one the (so-called) skeptics 10 commanments. I read it so may times I believed it. It is a myth, but the reasons it is a myth are complex and so instead of making a hash of the explanation I suggest going here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument for an easy to understand history of how and why this myth emerged.
            (Suitable reading only for actual skeptics).

            You really are beyond repair aren’t you? Even your tribe knows that units of climate change are measured versus a “doubling of CO2 concentration”. Do you know anyone who thinks CO2 causes a linear change in temperature? You can show the Beer-Lambert Law is
            logarithmic with two pieces of kitchen roll and a window.

            Well YOU obviously can’t, but anyone with a correctly-functioning brain can.

            … but go ahead anyway and show us what an increase in the effect of CO2 would have on Earth’s temperature if it was linear. Heck, we might have even reached the Marcott et al., singularity by now and set fire to the entire galaxy. I’ll help you with the math if you need it.

          • “Where are these plants going to grow? Can’t have them in Australia or London or the U.K. in general woth 13% forest cover. The amazon is getting logged. Yeah more plant growth… but where?”

            On the fringes of deserts, for one, as satellite pictures show. Also, more densely and rapidly in already-green areas, as indicated by rising crop yields per acre.

      • It does Science no favors when miseducated people keep mimicking “junk science” claims as if they were factual truths.

        Excerpt from article:

        The 40% increase from 280 ppm at the end of World War II (1945) to 410 ppm in 2019 is widely recognized to be mainly man-made, derived primarily from fossil fuels, including power plants, factories, and automobiles.

        The claim that atmospheric CO2 was at 280 ppm in 1945 is pure agitprop, phony baloney.

        The 1st accurate measurement of atmospheric CO2 was conducted at the Mauna Loa Observatory in March 1958 and it was measured at 315.71 ppm.

        In March 1959 it was measured at 316.71, …. an increase of 1.0 ppm.
        In March 1960 it was measured at 317.58, …. an increase of 0.87 ppm.
        In March 1961 it was measured at 318.54, …. an increase of 0.96 ppm.

        So, for 4 years running, the yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 was an average 0.94 ppm/year.

        But, if atmospheric CO2 was at 280 ppm in 1945, …. and at 315.71 ppm in 1958, …. then atmospheric CO2 had to have increased by 35.7 ppm in those 13 years, which means it increased at an average of 2.74 ppm/year.

        What the ell could have possibly caused 13 consecutive years of an average of 2.74 ppm/year increase in atmospheric CO2?.

        Junk science is the answer.

        • It’s going up though obviously which is the main point and probably other places had other readings. I could be wrong about the second point however.

    • Mind you, hypotheses are not “proven”

      Rather, they are “DIS-proven” by application of the null hypothesis principle of the scientific method.

      If the subject hypothesis does not hold to just one prediction outcome it purports to explain upon being subjected to the null hypothesis, it is disproven, and can be rejected.

      Where to start with null hypotheses disproving the AGW hypothesis . . .

      • When someone starts pontificating about the “null hypothesis”, you can bet they know nothing about it. Dis-proving is just what a null hypothesis statistical test cannot do. One possible outcome, is rejection, not of the hypothesis, but the null hypothesis. That is a positive for the hypothesis. The other is a failure to reject the null hypothesis. That doesn’t disprove anything either. It just says that the null hypothesis can’t be ruled out, so you can’t say the hypothesis is necessary to explain the observations. It is not disproved.

        • Nick,

          It’s easier to falsify a prediction. For example, the IPCC’s hypothesized nominal ECS is 0.8C per W/m^2 of forcing, which represents an increase in NET surface emissions of 4.4 W/m^2 that would arise if the solar input increased from 239 W/m^2 up to 240 W/m^2. Since Joules are Joules and Watts are a rate of Joules, each W/m^2 of total solar forcing MUST contribute equally to the output. The IPCC nominal ECS predicts that each W/m^2 of solar forcing will be amplified up to 4.4 W/m^2 of surface emissions resulting in over 1000 W/m^2 of NET surface emissions corresponding to a temperature close to the boiling point of water. Obviously, the surface tempreature is not boiling, so falsification could not be more obvious.

          I’m curious to see how you wriggle out of this … What part of this falsification test are you going to deny?

          • Nick,

            As expected, crickets. It’s abundantly clear that you, nor anyone else, can dispute this falsification test of the presumed ECS since arbitrary violations of Conservation of Energy are not allowed under any circumstances.

            The bottom line is that no one Joule is any more powerful than any other at the work of both warming the surface and sustaining its warmth. The work required to change the temperature is linear to T, while the work required to maintain a temperature is proportional to T^4. In the steady state, only the work required to maintain the temperature is relevant, as the temperature has already been changed. By linearizing the relationship between W/m^2 and T, the IPCC only considers the work to change T which is irrelevant to the steady state which requires work proportional to T^4.

            You still haven’t learned that you can’t just ignore science that doesn’t fit the narrative, nor can you invent fake context to support the unsupportable.

        • So Nick you agree with climategate participant Kevin Tremberth that when it comes to agw, the null hypothesis should be discarded from the scientific method?

          I guess it doesn’t really matter to the realities of the agw bullsh1t, but for the sake of your own self esteem, please stop pretending this is proper science.

        • “When someone starts pontificating about the “null hypothesis”, you can bet they know nothing about it.” Says the man who then goes on to pontificate about the null hypothesis.

      • Has it ever even been a hypothesis? I don’t think so.

        A conjecture from the time when it was thought by some that there were canals on Mars, never formulated as a hypothesis. Maybe Loydo or Simon can come along and formulate one for us – or Nick or Mosher?

        • Interesting observation Phil. Actually I believe the science became “settled” before an actual hypothesis was formulated.

          ALGORE was then sent forth on morning television to declare the “debate to be over,” before a discussion had ever begun, as he was promoting his Government Sponsored Docu-propaganda.

  3. “The 40% increase from 280 ppm at the end of World War II to 410 ppm in 2019 is widely recognized to be mainly man-made, derived primarily from fossil fuels, including power plants, factories, and automobiles.”
    That increase maybe widely thought to come from fossil fuel burning but that thought is founded on unverified assumptions and erroneous calculations. Salby has shown the correct way to estimate human additions to the atmosphere. Harde has followed up with publishing and defending those and other first principle methods of determining that contribution. Berry has developed a model to compute it and published that model along with clear proof of some of the errors in the IPCC aproach. Salby has now demonstrated at least seven independent methods to get to his conclusion. No one has reasonably refuted their work. At some point this work needs to become central to any effort to control CO2 in the atmosphere because they clearly show that almost all of that 40% increase is natural.

    • With respect to Salby, your assertion that no one has refuted him is incorrect. Both Willis Eschenbach and I have done so each more than once, here, years ago. He made several egregios errors like misdefining efold time. Worse, he made different errors in each of his three supposed explanatory presentations. His excuse when called was reconstruction from memory. Beyond sloppy. So bad that Judy Curry decided a proposed back to back joint post wasn’t worth the effort, since so obvious.

      • For the record, I published in June 2019 that I was still agnostic on this question, but some very intelligent people have accepted it. What is your detailed disproof please, to counter Salby, Berry and Harde?

        Best personal regards, Allan

        CO2, GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE AND ENERGY
        by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., June 15, 2019
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/06/15/co2-global-warming-climate-and-energy-2/
        Excel: https://wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Rev_CO2-Global-Warming-Climate-and-Energy-June2019-FINAL.xlsx
        [excerpt}

        Scientists including Salby, Berry and Harde have hypothesized that the increase in atmospheric CO2 to more than 400 ppm is largely natural and not mostly human-made. While my 2008 observations support this hypothesis, I have considered this question for ~11 years, and am still agnostic on the conclusion. Regardless of the cause, the increase in CO2 is strongly beneficial to humanity and the environment.

        References:
        The Keeling Curve, Scripps Institution of Oceanography https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/
        Address to the Sydney Institute, Murry Salby, 2011 http://youtu.be/YrI03ts–9I
        “Human CO2 Has Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2”, Edwin Berry, 2019
        https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/
        “What Humans Contribute to Atmospheric CO2: Comparison of Carbon Cycle Models with Observation”, Hermann Harde, International Journal of Earth Sciences Vol. 8, No. 3, 2019

        • The mass of CO2 in the atmosphere increased by 22Gt last year.

          Humans emitted 40Gt. Where do you think it went?

          • Into the greening of the planet.

            “Scientists including Salby, Berry and Harde have hypothesized that the increase in atmospheric CO2 to more than 400 ppm is largely natural and not mostly human-made.”

            IF we have had temperature increase, the hypothesiz that the increase should be “human-made” is extremely easily debunked:

            How much must the temperature in our oceans increase with, to release 100 ppm CO2 according to “old-school” Henry and Dalton (gas laws)?

            Have we had temperature increase?

            (The answer is “not measurable” albeit calculable.

            Oddgeir

          • Loydo – that is called the Mass Balance Argument – and others have capably debated it in these pages for over a decade – I am familiar with that argument. In case you did not read my post, I remain agnostic on this entire question.

            Occasionally, when we stand down from the toxic politics, this forum serves to educate and inform. That is the objective of my question.

            Kindly let Rud respond to my question, if he has the time.

          • You are using 2 differently sourced figures – one is an increase and one is a total. Humans have been decreasing their rate of increase for years and I believe it is currently below 3% year on year (1.6% 2017 and 2.7% 2018 but overall decreasing). That is an increase of just (3% of 40GT – your figure) 1.2GT. That is the figure you need to line up next to a global increase of 22GT.
            Something else is causing the ‘increase’ of 20.8GT other than humans. Eliminating humans will not remove this underlying cause – only mitigate it.

          • In order to clarify the “Mass Balance” argument:

            Atmospheric pressure at sea level is about 101,300 N/m2, so that the weight of the atmosphere above 1 m2 of the earth’s surface is about 101,300 Newtons. Mass is weight divided by the acceleration of gravity, so that the mass of atmosphere above 1 m2 is 101,300 N / (9.806 m/s2) = 10,330 kg.

            If we estimate the radius of the earth as 6350 km = 6.35(10^6) m, then its surface area would be 4 * pi * [6.35(10^6)]^2 = 5.067(10^14) m2. Multiplying by 10,330 kg/m2 results in a mass for the atmosphere of 5.235(10^18) kg.

            Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are in volume or mole fraction. Assuming the atmosphere to be 78 mol% nitrogen (MW = 28), 21 mol% oxygen (MW = 32) and 1% argon (MW = 39.95) results in an average molecular weight of 0.78 * 28 + 0.21 * 32 + 0.01 * 39.95 = 28.96, so that the total number of moles in the atmosphere would be 5.235(10^18) / 28.96 = 1.807(10^17) kg-mol.

            In order to increase the CO2 concentration by 1 ppm, 10^-6 * 1.807(10^17) = 1.807(10^11) kg-mol of CO2 would have to be added to the atmosphere. Since CO2 has a molecular weight of 44.01, this corresponds to 1.807(10^11) * 44.01 = 7.953(10^12) kg = 7.953 GT of CO2. If 7.953 GT of CO2 are required to increase its concentration by 1 ppm, the emission of 1 GT of CO2 corresponds to an increase of 1 / 7.953 = 0.1257 ppm per GT emitted.

            If we are using rounded numbers for “executive summary” people, a good rule of thumb is 1 ppm increase in CO2 concentration per 8 GT emitted, if CO2 is not removed from the atmosphere by natural processes.

            The discrepancy between this theoretical rate of increase due to man-made emissions and the actual observed rate of increase can be attributed to the net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes (natural sinks less natural sources of CO2).

        • Allen
          I note your references only show one Salby video, his first, and would like to take this opportunity to list some others for your use or other readers.
          https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/murry-salby-co2-follows-integral-of-temperature/
          https://edberry.com/blog/climate/climate-physics/what-is-really-behind-the-increase-in-atmospheric-co2/
          In these he develops multiple derivations from first principles to calculate the evolution of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and refute Kohler 2017. His derivations all build off the conservation equation and he shows that that some of the IPCC derivations do not satisfy this basic requirement.

          • Thank you DMA.

            Murry Salby is a friend and I spent time with him in Calgary this summer.

            I really have not devoted sufficient time to his work and though I am aware of ~three of his videos, my last review was years ago.

            I will try to find the time to revisit his work and that of Berry and Harde.

            Regards, Allan

      • I’ve read those so called refutations. As an engineer familiar with the concepts, what Rud Istvan calls efold time, the alleged refutations stuck me as rather lame. DMA is spot on.

  4. “Carbon dioxide emissions are not an existential threat, but the climate alarmists most assuredly are.”
    YES! Yet too few know it since too few words name it. And should we maybe stop using misleading alarmist language? …
    Dictionary.com:
    Emissions: an act or instance of emitting: the emission of poisonous fumes.

  5. “The on-line dictionary describes the phenomenon as follows:”

    Can you PLEASE make quotes a different font or something to set it apart from the main text? Readers have to guess where your quote ends.

  6. I agree that climate change is an existential threat to society, but no one has proposed what we’re going to do about those ice sheets that are going to pulverize half of the northern landmasses and aridity in the remaining unglaciated half.

    If only the back radiation pseudoscience was real.

  7. We need to pound the fact that if we’re going to reduce CO2 emissions to zero, we have to declare war on China and India. Are any of the Democrat contenders pushing for that? Why not?

    Why are folks pushing an agenda they know has ZERO chance of success? They have to be exposed for the lying liars they are.

  8. It has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with supporting the narrative. You don’t need to be a “conspiracy theorist” to understand which side is failing with their narrative. When the majority of the world catches up with the truth there will be hell to pay.

    • Their narrative, not limited to quasi-scientific prophecy, is more like a ball of yarns that threatens to unwind with catastrophic force. Thus the acutely phobic reaction, desperate pleas, audacious measures, following loss of a principal seat in the global sociopolitical model. Well, that, and revelation of diverse quid pro quos, carbon credits, sales of indulgences, etc. Despite their sincere hopes and dreams, the facts speak to truth, not “truths to facts” (h/t/ Biden). People aren’t that green.

  9. (from the article)

    ‘Thunberg notably urged the US Congress: “I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is.”’

    Hang on? Didn’t Nordic Thanos moan in rage that we had stolen her dreams?

    Is she just making this stuff up as she goes? Or is it a literal translation from Swedish and actually means something slightly different?

    You have confused me, Greta. HOW DARE YOU.

    • Maybe they stole her dreams of growing up and becoming a nurse, and those insidious monsters inserted “their” dream of growing up and becoming a world dictator.

      Seems more likely.

  10. Thanks largely to Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders and 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, “existential’ was selected as the word of the year by ”

    I’d like to offer Bernie and Greta my most sincere contrafibularities in their interfrastic pericombobulations!

  11. What a collection of tired old strawmen!

    ” There is no way that this minuscule volume of life-giving gas”
    Yawn

    “throughout Earth’s history have averaged more than six times our modern concentrations”
    Yes, but we weren’t there. The question is whether we can feed 7 billion people in a different climate.

    “with no health problem ever reported”
    Strawman. No-one ever suggested the problem with CO2 was respiratory.

    “carbon dioxide has NOT driven temperatures for the last 800,000 years”
    No-one said it was. Something has to force CO2 for that to happen. We’re doing it by digging up and burning Gtons of C. Hasn’t happened before.

    “we will be crushing limestone to add more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere”
    We’re doing that now. But in the long term, it won’t work, an acid-base thing. The CaO residue will eventually absorb the CO2.

    ” In the lush vegetative days of the dinosaurs, the CO2 levels stood in excess of 1600 ppm. “
    Good for dinosaurs, not so much for mammals.

      • Nick appears to be in the final stages of AGW dementia, sadly. He used to make some valid points.

    • As soon as you read disinformation like: “this minuscule volume of life” or “how can a trace gas” you know science is being abandoned for politics.

    • Nick, you call many of the AGW skeptic arguments a “collection of old strawmen.” What about claims made by AGW advocates–for example, (a) the average temperature of the earth would be 33 degrees Kelvin cooler if the earth’s atmosphere was devoid of greenhouse gases, (b) backradiation (i.e., the absorption by atmospheric greenhouse gases of earth-outgoing radiation in sub-bands of the IR followed by the re-radiation of a portion of the absorbed outgoing radiation back to the earth’s surface) will produce an increase in earth surface temperature, and (c) the argument that is ubiquitous (and I believe fundamental) to the AGW position: CO2 is a heat-trapping gas?

      The first argument uses a model that is fundamentally flawed because it is internally inconsistent. If you’re going to develop a model to compute the earth’s surface temperature in the absence of atmospheric greenhouse gases, the model’s albedo should be representative of an atmosphere devoid of greenhouse gases. The model that produces a 33K temperature difference uses an absorption albedo of approximately 0.3, which corresponds to an earth atmosphere with cloud cover. Without water vapor (the dominant greenhouse gas) there would be no cloud cover; and as such using an albedo of 0.3 for the model of an earth atmosphere devoid of greenhouse gases is internally inconsistent.

      Backradiation may in fact produce a warmer earth surface temperature; but that must be proven, not simply treated as fact. Examples (e.g., comparison of the temperature behavior of a vacuum thermos bottle versus the temperature behavior of the same thermos bottle where the vacuum region is filled with a greenhouse gas) exist where greenhouse-gas-induced backradiation results in lower temperatures, not higher temperatures. If cases exist where greenhouse-gas-induced backradiation results in lower temperatures, why should anyone believe without proof that atmospheric greenhouse gases will result in higher earth surface temperatures?

      Finally, there is no such thing as a “heat-trapping gas” for the simple reason that heat cannot be trapped. If placed between a hot object and a cooler environment (to include surrounding the hot object), no substance known to man (including greenhouse gases) will prevent thermal energy in the hot object from being transferred to the cooler environment–i.e., will trap the thermal energy in the high-temperature object. Thermal energy transfer (heat) will cease only when the object and the environment are at the same temperature. If you know of such a substance, please pass that information along to the heating/refrigerating industry–I’m sure they would appreciate your help.

      Based on the above, if you characterize many of the skeptic arguments as being “strawmen,” I characterize many of the AGW arguments as bering “disingenuous” in that AGW advocates deliberately use invalid scientific arguments to sway the general public that AGW is real. It might be true that many AGW advocates are unaware of the incorrectness of their arguments, but that doesn’t change the fact that bogus arguments are being used to sell the AGW position to the general public.

    • “The question is whether we can feed 7 billion people in a different climate.”

      I guarantee that the answer is no way at the CO2 levels and temperatures of the last ice age. We know those temperatures will come back and no amount of CO2 will stop it. This is a real threat that will occur with absolute certainty and not a phony threat supported with ignorant, self righteous indignation and fake science that’s so horribly broken, it’s an embarrassment to legitimate science. The only real question is will we be able to keep agriculture from crashing as the next, inevitable, ice age arrives. Mankind was around for the last one, but not near as many and not spread across regions that will once more be covered in km thick glacial ice.

    • “…assert that CO2 levels have never been as high as today. Well that is only true for the past 800,000 years.”

      Instead of just making it up why wouldn’t just check: its 15-20 million – back in the Miocene. When it passes 500ppm it will be about 25 million. 600ppm? maybe 30-40 million, taking us back to the Oligocene. We will have managed this in a three human lifetimes.
      https://i0.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Cenozoic_CO2_a.png?fit=1200%2C869&ssl=1

      So much for assertions.

    • “They are winning the War of Words. ”

      Not surprising. They OWN the media, which is the battlefield the War is being fought on.

      Science, now, is a different matter….

      • Not surprising. They OWN the media, which is the battlefield the War is being fought on.

        They may be winning the battle in the echo chamber battlefield, but outside it? “Global warming/climate change/whatever they’re calling it this week” still ranks dead last on the list of issues people are concerned about and when ever policies directly affect the people (IE require money or other sacrifices from the people), the people want nothing to do with them. Lots of lip service and hypocrisy, but little in the way of actual willingness to live the belief.

    • You just tipped you hand Nick. “…The question is whether we can feed 7 billion people in a different climate.”

      This has never been about global warming except as an excuse to menace the population, in free countries, to turn all control over to Central Planning. This is all about population control and controlling the population to the billionaires that control the puppets we call politicians.

      This whole “The globe is warming and it is all our fault for burning fossil fuel” is just a ruse for the elites who fear over-population in the face of limited resources. This fear was born out of Ehrlichs “Population Bomb” and they who have the most to lose have a near manic desire to not just control but drive down population and get the masses to bless Government taking control of the distribution of resources through the bureaucracy they control.

    • “The question is whether we can feed 7 billion people in a different climate.”

      No, the question is should we put more effort into adapting to an ever-changing world, or try to control the weather? the latter has never worked, the former works beautifully.

  12. Semantic games. Proxies in lieu of observations. Hypotheses (“models”) with missing links infilled with brown matter in order to remain compliant with reality. How very Pro-Choice, a hard problem, a wicked solution, even. The climate is a system, that changes, not progressively (i.e. monotonically), but chaotically (“evolutionary”), and, occasionally, liberally (i.e. divergent) with an unpredictable plan outside of a limited frame of reference. The sociopolitical justification for redistributive change is not driven by science (i.e. near-domain philosophy and practice), but through empathetic appeals, psycho and journolistic manipulations forcing diverse phobias, and threats of of cancellation for anyone who denies the flat-Earth and does not remain current with the protection rackets. That said, this game is a double-edged scalpel, and fraught with risk to the hunters and judges who have the audacity to conflate logical domains, abort democracy in darkness, gerrymander the vote, and fail to provide the promised secular incentives to their followers. An existential crisis, indeed.

  13. He seriously describes this future need because the record shows that over the past 150 million years in the fossil record there has been an alarming downward trend toward CO2 starvation.

    Roughly 10 years ago (+/- my hazy memory) here on WUWT, I read an account of all of the ways the Earth’s systems work to sequester CO2.

    I can’t recall if it was an article or a longish, well written comment, but until then I had not been aware of how greedy for CO2 almost all things terrestrial are and how they literally take CO2 with them to their graves. It may have been a discussion in the context of the Gaia hypothesis, but I really can’t recall.

    The take-home that stayed with me is that modern humans are the last best hope of preventing every last bit of CO2 from being sucked out of the atmosphere and sequestered, to end with the demise of all carbon-based lifeforms on Earth.

    That’s the real existential threat. Earth’s natural processes are set up to extinguish life. Humans are the last line of defense against total sequestration of CO2.

    Someone commenting just a bit before me mentioned that we may have to start liberating CO2 from limestone if we want life to continue. That’s not alarmist, and note that there’s no date on it, but the current “Powers That Be” are not even considering the possibility that we may soon (in geological-ish time) need to solve the problem of too little CO2.

    • The rate of carbon sequestration by biology exceeds the rate of release from natural sources, so the long term fate of life on Earth is to die off by carbon starvation. It’s a good thing mankind is here to help and I will do whatever I can to economically increase my carbon footprint.

  14. Declaration of a “climate emergency” is tantamount to the declaration of marshal law. Marshal law is declared to combat some existential threat. It inevitably leads to human rights and freedoms going by the wayside. ALL resources of the state are at the beck and call of the state to combat the said existential threat. In the case of “climate change”, it is an enemy that has not even been defined, let alone debated as to whether it is even dangerous, let alone catastrophic.

    In a perverse way, “climate change” is an existential threat to humanity, but the threat is from vainly trying to “combat” the non-existent threat.

  15. Climate alarmists may be winning the war of words but their words so far are wasted; the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere from whatever source continues at a slightly increasing rate and likewise global human emissions show no sign of a slow-down, let alone a decline.
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/plot/esrl-co2/trend
    http://folk.uio.no/roberan/img/GCB2018/PNG/s09_2018_FossilFuel_and_Cement_emissions_1990.png
    Apart from the ‘purely’ pecuniarily motivated, protesting and disrupting is how many of them get their jollies and others, as Richard Lindzen pointed out in 2009:
    “… [are] well-meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake”.

  16. Using google search results for something as clearly partisan as “climate change” is asking to be misled.

    The web is filled with documented stories of evidence showing how Google’s AI interactive search suggestions actively skews search results compared to sites like DuckDuckGo and Bing. Bottomline, don’t trust google to be objective on partisan issues.

    It’s like asking the fox if the hens are safe tonight.

    • I know that, you know that, and most everyone here knows that. The vast majority of people who don’t follow these things, however, aren’t aware of just how partisan Google is. They just think of it as a search engine and blindly trust that it will give them proper results. Slowly they’re learning, usually when they google on a subject that they have some familiarity that google blatantly skews the results of.

  17. “There is no way that this minuscule volume of life-giving gas (the only reason we can inhabit the Earth) is a threat to life as we know it today.”

    looks like you are losing the war of logic as well with the lame use of the ‘trace gas’ argument.

      • Enviro’s credo pre-Climate Scam:
        “The solution to pollution is dilution.”

        Today’s qualification: “nless it is CO2.”
        Which means it ain’t pollution. Despite what the Ignorati claim.
        Yet the consensus science community refuses to push back on “carbon pollution.”
        The great science question that lurks in the room of blind men like an elephant:
        “What is Earth’s ideal CO2 level?”
        Science’s great downfall.

        Both Happer and Dyson clearly express that reality, but are dismissed.

        • Kudos to WUWT Mods for letting retarded, non-English-speaking trolls post on here. Very progressive sirs.

    • Then you must explain how each molecule of CO2 can raise the energy levels of the other 2,500 atmospheric molecules surrounding it to make a significant contribution to global warming.

      I’m surprised you didn’t come out with the old drop of cyanide analogy.

  18. “The forecasters of climate doom assert that CO2 levels have never been as high as today. Well that is only true for the past 800,000 years.”

    We can’t rule out CO2 spikes in the past, because they blend out over time. CO2 can diffuse through ice. It takes tens of thousands of years to do much, but we have that and then some. The variation of CO2 in the record gets smaller as you go back in time, supporting the notion of diffusion. A spike like we now have would probably show up in the next interglacial record, depending on how long it lasts.

  19. Because they have TELEVISION! All you have is graphs and statistics. What is more compelling? Real time videos of flooding,
    hurricanes, fires, etc. or graphs and statistics that few understand?

  20. “The 40% increase from 280 ppm at the end of World War II to 410 ppm in 2019…”

    Where does the 40% figure come from? Talking CO2 levels, 410 – 280 = 130. 130ppm/v increase from 280 (Estimated) to 410 (Measured). As a change in percentage that is 130/410 x 100 = 31%.

    Now do the full maths for the full atmosphere as measured (Parts Per MILLION by volume, ppm/v);

    130/1000000 x 100 = 0.013%. Show how that changes climate!

    More alarmist BS.

    • Patrick,
      I think the 40% comes from considering the start level of 280 ppm with the increase of 130 ppm. That actually equates to 46% increase in CO2 concentration, in the atmosphere.
      I would personally like to see a 100% increase from the 280 PPM level we had back in the last century. I am sure 560 PPM would provide all plants and animals with a happier existence, than they had during the last little ice age. 🙂

      • “I would personally like to see a 100% increase from the 280 PPM level”

        I would too Rod. It’s only a pity that we couldn’t have built up to it over a geological time frame, say 4 or 5,000 years, instead of 200% instananeously. It actually might have worked.

        • Loydo,
          From where I come from, 100 years is between 4 and 5000 years so all is good with the world.
          I am glad we are in agreement.

    • Patrick MJD: you’re quite right to ask where the 40% value came from, but unfortunately there’s a slip up in your calculation.
      The formula for calculating a percentage increase is higher value minus lower value (in this case 410-280 = 130) divded by the lower value (280) and multiplied by 100 to give a percentage. So 130/280 = 0.46, multiplied by 100 = 46%.

      • If something increases from 100 to 1000 is that a 90% increase or a 900% increase?

        The percentage of change is usually referenced to the starting point, so for an increase it’s the lower value and for a decrease it’s the higher value.

  21. Green new deals in California and Australia have failed. They did not prevent wildfires which was one of the promises of GND.

    Right and prudent way of handling wildfires is proper forest management and preventing ignition.

    Let’s test. I have a heater in my sauna with excellent access to oxygen and plenty of dry wood (mulched). Temperature is 60 C, higher than in Australia. But nothing happens. I need to have a matchstick or a lighter.

    How could wind turbines and solar panels have prevented wildfires? Manufacturing went to China. Paris accord promises that China and India continue CO2 emissions as usual. I don’t understand green logic?

  22. Okay, the climate alarmists are winning the nondebate in the media. Now let’s see them ban fossil fuel use without causing widespread diminutions of general standards of living.

    Consider electric cars, whose proponents claim will soon be competitive with internal combustion engine cars. Not a chance. Right now, in every city in Canada, you can buy a safety inspected, insurable gas powered car for $30000 and drive it to Dawson City without worrying about gassing it up. There is not an electric car maker in the world who can come anywhere near that performance in terms of price and reliability. Electric car makers are cutting into the sales of Cadillacs, Mercedes’, Porsches and BMWs, but can’t make a dent in the sales of Chevy Malibus. And every time Chevrolet sells a Bolt, they lose $7000.

    In order to sell a new product, it has to be an improvement over the product it is meant to replace, and electric cars are not an improvement over gas cars. Unfortunately, the evil rich who run the world want to force the adoption of electric cars, but this will inevitably put private vehicle ownership out of reach for millions of people who can now afford to own a car. That’s millions of (genuinely) middle class voters that no politician wants to alienate. So I don’t see that happening barring some revolutionary breakthrough in battery technology.

    • Watcha do is get a smallish generator and a second fuel tank. They’ll fit in the back of your SUV. Then you can drive unlimited miles without having to recharge. Just 5 minutes or so for gassing up.

    • Little known issue with electric cars: Chances are good the electric car would not make it to Dawson City depending on the tme of year. At 20 degrees F it would loose 41% range if the heater is turned on. If the heater is not turned on the driver may well freeze or experience hypothermia. Always dress like you’ll have to walk back.

  23. What is the ideal average global temperature?
    And, since the trace gas CO2 is the heat regulator of the planet, what ideal level of atmospheric CO2 will create and /or guarantee that perfect average global temperature?

    Justify your answers…..

  24. – Thunberg notably urged the US Congress: “I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is.” –

    Suspicious that a Scandinavian native Swedish speaker (with limited education) is familiar with words that confuse a large proportion of English speakers!
    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark – Hamlet

  25. We need more Existentialism. Attempting to define it would distract anyone from nonexistent existential threats.

  26. Let them jump up and down, scream and whine

    The climate is going to do what it is going to do

    Nothing doable by man is going to have any significant influence over this process

    Most of us here will not live to see concrete conclusions to this debate. That’s the way I figure it

  27. J Mac: The ideal average global temperature is not a discrete figure. In fact there are very few discrete figures in the climate change alarmists array of God-ordained facts.. We can’t let the average global temperature rise more than 1.5 degrees about what temperature, exactly? Well, none of your business. The baseline is something called “pre-industrial levels,” and a numerical figure for that is absent from anyone’s discourse so far.

    I’ll tell you what the ideal average global temperature is not: It is not anything that will ever be achieved in our lifetimes because, no matter what the climate is like, it must always be improved by radically rearranging whole economies and polities.

    And as for you, J. Mac, don’t make any more trouble for the people who are trying to make the right kind of trouble. Discontent with the world and all that is in it is the natural duty of all good men. If I catch you being unconcerned about the existential crisis again, I’m going to be very, very disappointed.

    • Ian,
      Thank you for your response but be prepared to be ‘disappointed’. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs, not in evidence in any of the AGW proponents responses here . I am more than unconcerned about the nonexistent AGW ‘crisis’. I am deliberately challenging the existential assertions of the AGW conjecture. For the lads pushing the AGW conjecture, I repeat:
      1) What is the ideal average global temperature?
      2) As the trace gas CO2 is asserted to be the ‘heat regulator of the planet’, what ideal level of atmospheric CO2 will create and /or guarantee that perfect average global temperature?
      3) Justify your answers.

      I suspect you and I would enjoy a cold winter evenings discussion of this, Ian, over suitably heady fermented beverages, beside an ember’d hearth. Perhaps that would go a small way to assuage your disappointments and further enhance your wry sense of humor. };>)

  28. I note that Nick Stokes obviously has strong belief in the CAWG hypothesis, and cites a number of phenomena which he feels support this belief.

    I would like to ask him, following Richard Feynman’s classic lectures on the Scientific Method, what observed phenomena he would accept as DISPROVING his belief?

    It has always seemed to me that the failure of the atmospheric temperature to follow predicted increases matching CO2 concentration increase was an adequate disproof of the hypothesis – though many supporters do not agree. But, if they are doing science and not religion, they must agree that SOME observation would disprove the hypothesis. I just wonder what that might be….

    • “It has always seemed to me that the failure of the atmospheric temperature to follow predicted increases matching CO2 concentration increase was an adequate disproof of the hypothesis”
      It is a matter of degree. First you have to establish exactly what was predicted – start with a quote. Then check the uncertainty range. If there is a sufficient deviation relative to the uncertainty, then that particular prediction is in doubt.

      AGW says that adding CO2 will cause warming. We have seen consistent warming. So I don’t see any likely disproof there.

      • Nick, I am looking for a specific – hypothetical if necessary – observation which would cause you to consider the hypothesis invalid. You are aware, of course of the Einstein quote about ‘it only needing one experiment to prove me wrong’….

        You must also be aware of the history of human certainty and proof – both in science and religion. As observations which do not match current paradigms become accepted by the mass of colleagues in a field, people either reject the beliefs they held before and accept the new paradigm, or retreat into a process of equivocation.

        You can see this in theology with the ‘God of the Gaps’ argument – that no matter how much you know there will still be unknown processes going on, and that is where you will find God. I suppose the classic case in science would be Hoyle(et al)’s continuous shoring up of Steady-State theory to a point which is obviously indefensible.

        The early history of AGW is replete with similar examples of equivocation and avoidance of disproof. Searching for lost tropospheric Hot-Spots gave way to searching for lost heat in the oceans….

        In your case I note that you have not responded with a particular hypothetical observation which you would accept would disprove your argument, but instead have essentially claimed that the AGW hypothesis remains valid within the error bars of current observation. These error bars – in particular that of Climate Sensitivity – have not changed appreciably in the last 20 years, and seem unlikely to do so. I conclude that you are trying to avoid the possibility of disproof rather than accept it.

        Feynman pointed out that a true scientist should ‘bend over backwards’ in an attempt to disprove his hypothesis, and that this was a fundamental requirement of scientific methodology. Here I see you, and the other supporters of the AGW hypothesis, keeping your head down and crouching on all fours rather than standing up openly to defend your theories…..

        • Dodgy Geezer,

          Plenty of people have tried to disprove the hypothesis. Has anyone succeeded?

          The hypothesis at its most basic is about the properties of CO2. It has been around for over 100 years, as have the predictions of what would happen if atmospheric CO2 increased. Those predictions have come true. People have tried to explain it by other means, but they haven’t panned out. I know people here think modeling is a worthless endeavor, but if you can use a model to reconstruct past temperatures without actually using those temperatures in your model, you have a reasonably good test of the model. Then if you take away the increase in CO2 and the model doesn’t follow known past temperature (on average, I mean), that’s a reasonably good test of the hypothesis.

          People can say, “But it could be something we haven’t yet considered” about any research. There could always be some variable that’s tied to the variables studied in some unknown fashion – your “gap.” Maybe heat turns water into steam because of some unknown force no one has yet discovered, and it only appears that we understand the physics of the process. But at some point we have to be reasonable and accept that CO2 absorbs heat in certain wavelengths, and that it therefore has an important role in our atmosphere.

      • “AGW says that adding CO2 will cause warming. We have seen consistent warming. So I don’t see any likely disproof there.”

        More like, we have seen consistent warming therefore it must be CO2 because nobody will back us if we say we have to reduce water vapour.

        • “………..We have seen consistent warming. So I don’t see any likely disproof there………….”

          i was NOT asking for observations which can be interpreted as supporting AGW. That way simply leads to arguments about the level of support.

          I was asking for an unequivocal example of an observation which would be accepted by AGW adherents as DISPROVING it. This is something which Popper, and Feynman, say is integral to the scientific method. A true scientist who supports the AGW hypothesis should be trying to define an experiment or observation which would DISPROVE their theory, and then doing it.

          Failed attempts at disproof are the most powerful way to support a hypothesis. Attempts to justify the hypothesis by re-interpreting data or avoiding experiment or observation which might disprove you tend to UNDERMINE your hypothesis.

          As an example, McIntyre’s ‘Starbucks Hypothesis’ – whereby he pointed out that excuses for not gathering data were invalid. See WUWT passim – for example:

          “..Readers of WUWT and Climate Audit may recall that in the summer of 2007, Steve left CA in my attendance for a couple of weeks while he went to Colorado to visit his sister, and to prove or disprove his ‘Starbucks hypothesis’ which asks:

          …could a climate scientist have a Starbucks in the morning, collect tree rings through the day and still be home for dinner? This came about because apparently RealClimateScientists™ don’t have the funds or time to get out of the office and gather new tree core samples, such as cores that would fill in the last 25 years that seems to be part of that “tricky” divergence problem..”

          • Dodgy Geezer,

            “I was asking for an unequivocal example of an observation which would be accepted by AGW adherents as DISPROVING it.”

            Seems like this should be up to those who don’t believe it. If you don’t believe it, disprove it in a way that’s convincing.

            What would it take to convince skeptics that it’s true? The evidence can pile up and pile up, but the evidence doesn’t seem to matter. Skeptics like the OP resort to saying it’s all a hoax for political reasons, and offer lame arguments that only show their unfamiliarity with the science.

          • “Seems like this should be up to those who don’t believe it. If you don’t believe it, disprove it in a way that’s convincing.”

            Err no the null hypothesis was the climate is always changing until this new kid on the block theory that unparalleled warming is caused by man made CO2. I refer you to proven geology at Hallett Cove in South Australia that the sea level rise of 130M between 15000 and 6-7000 years ago (that can be an average of 16.25mm/yr for 8000 years) while the Fort Denison tide gauge in Sydney Harbour shows only 0.65mm/yr currently so why should I join your irrational panic?

            You have no better historical proxy for temperature rise than that and nothing man made that can possibly match it in anyone’s lifetime or any ancestor they can recall telling them they’ve experienced anything like it. The MBH 1998 hockey stick that began all this hysteria is an admitted ‘travesty’ they couldn’t explain the decline and we learned of Mike’s Nature ‘trick’ to cover it up after they hid the data. Yet still we have supposedly rational people supporting computer mumbo jumbo with overheated predictions but not one of them can explain historical SLR the one true temperature proxy to rule all their tea leaf readings.

            Until they can (I’m all ears if I’ve missed it so feel free to enlighten me here) I’m not joining the climate cult building windmills and solar panel edifices to ward off evil spirits in the sky and the only Tesla I’m interested in is this bloke-
            https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Invented-Twentieth-Century/dp/148122980X

          • Kristi, you really don’t understand science do you. It’s already “disproven” by the fact that
            1) it’s never been able to get past the null hypothesis. In science, if you theory can’t get past the null hypothesis you need to go back to the drawing board.
            2) all of it’s predictions (that can be checked) have failed. tropospheric hot spot? doesn’t exist. Heat hidden in the oceans? never found. Hurricane’s more frequent? nope. More intense? nope again. Ice free arctic? would be nice, but hasn’t happened. etc.
            3) Science requires falsifiability. If you are backing a theory but can not articulate any situation that would falsify your theory, then your theory is not science. period.

            And really, the burden of proof is on the one proposing the theory, not on the ones asking for that proof. In short, try as you might to push your burden onto the other side doesn’t change the fact that that is not how science works. all you accomplish by trying to do so is to reveal how lacking in science and scientific understanding your position is.

          • Also Krisiti, you failed to comprehend the post you were replying to. If you did you’d have noticed the answer to your question “What would it take to convince skeptics that it’s true? ”

            Geezer: Failed attempts at disproof are the most powerful way to support a hypothesis.

            When those proposing the theory
            1) come up with what would falsify the theory,
            2) attempt to falsify it and
            3) fail to do so,
            then skeptics will take notice. But your side hasn’t even manage to come up with step 1 in all the decades they’ve been pushing this nonscience.

    • “I would like to ask him, following Richard Feynman’s classic lectures on the Scientific Method, what observed phenomena he would accept as DISPROVING his belief?”

      simple. A warming stratosphere when C02 goes up.
      Even Freeman Dyson knows this

  29. “Despite Evidence that Nothing Unusual is Happening”

    Not the job of critics to provide evidence that it aint so but the job of climate science to provide convincing evidence that it is so.

  30. I’d say that the alarmists have won the war of words, and there is no question that the media have had a large part to play in this. Those controlling it have decided that there really is a ‘planetary emergency’, and seemingly consider those with opposing views to be a real threat to those doing ‘good works’ to prevent disaster. Skeptics are dangerous people, it would appear!

  31. Existential as word of the year/decade? I would nominate the adjective/adverb most favoured by media pundits,celebrities and all types of interviewers/interviewees:incredible/incredibly

  32. It’s called natural selection. Activists use the time honored scare-the-heck-out-of-everyone technique. Skeptics think it’s better to use science. Fear has won every virtually every battle throughout history. If skeptics really want to win, they need much, much better scare words and a platform that explains in two second sound bytes how great their fossil fuel is and how mean the detractors are. Plus a lot of paid activists to spread the word and intimidate all who do not listen.

  33. If CO2 rise was the cause of the temperature rise then that would indeed be (IMHO) unprecedented and possibly existential. Fortunately there is no proof that the current rise in CO2 is due to Human enterprise (we may be contributing to it however) or due to current atmospheric temperature. It is far more evident that the CO2 increase is due to outgassing of the oceans caused by long term oceanic warming over hundreds of years starting with the medieval warming period, which would be a much closer match of the lag in CO2 fluctuations

  34. Existential, that’s a bit Pretentious.

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
    Like “rationalism” and “empiricism,” “existentialism” is a term that belongs to intellectual history. Its definition is thus to some extent one of historical convenience. The term was explicitly adopted as a self-description by Jean-Paul Sartre, and through the wide dissemination of the postwar literary and philosophical output of Sartre and his associates—notably Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Albert Camus—existentialism became identified with a cultural movement that flourished in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s.

    Hardly related to CO2.

  35. I think they are losing the war of the words as they are using more extreme language- desperation.

    Moreover the political parties pushing this agenda are losing.

  36. “Existential” really doesn’t mean anything, when you think about it. What a vague adjective!

    It’s just a cue word — something to make you perk up and take notice of something.

    You do not even need the word to describe climate change as a crisis. Look:

    Climate change is a crisis. Vs Climate change is an existential crisis.

    That word only dresses up an otherwise perfectly adequate phrase. Its sole purpose is to exaggerate or dramatize or emotionalize or hype.

    I have a better word of the year — ostentatious

    Hence, Climate change is an ostentatious crisis. Same number of syllables. Rings very similarly to the ear, when spoken. It even has a lot of the “s” sounds of “existential”. Even more, it has a meaning with which you can get greater intellectual traction.

  37. Climate Alarmists Winning the War of Words…

    Empty words, maybe.

    What’s missing? Climate change, of course. Not once, in two decades, has that topic been part of this table. Which means it’s a less than marginal concern.

    Climate change has never been important to ordinary people living their lives, raising their kids, and paying their bills. Never mind being a contender for first place, it isn’t even on the chart.

    Gallup’s monthly polling results from August 2018 to February 2019 are publicly available. They include the long list of answers mentioned by small numbers of respondents. Among these we find: abortion, crime, drugs, gay and lesbian rights, gun control, and school shootings. No ‘climate’ there, either.

    https://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2020/01/06/decades-of-public-opinion-climate-change-not-on-the-radar/

  38. Let’s see, the Warmunists have all of Public Education Pre-K through post-doc, all of print media, all of a/v media, all the Scientific-Technological Elite in government, all the Environmentalist non-profits, the Democrat Party, the Communist Party of the United States, The Justice Democrats, the Green Party, antifa, and of course, Greta, yet public opinion in the US is still anti-GND and pro MODEST and commonsense solutions to our environmental issues. It could be worse…Ex: Ladies and Gentlemen, Madam President Hil….(no, I can’t type that!)

  39. If AGW is an existential crisis as we are told by the elites, then let’s start by grounding all private and corporate jets. Same goes for first class on commercial airlines including government officials flying on military planes. Everybody flies economy and no cheating by flying on airlines from other nations or parking your plane or mega yacht overseas. No more CO2 offsets. Hey, that’s just buying the equivalent of an indulgence (I’m looking at you Al Gore). Anyone who exceeds more than 2X the average energy usage of an average home must be totally off the grid (yes, you Al, Barbara S, Bill Gates and the rest of the Media and Silicon Valley ilk). Does it solve the problem? No, but it’s a start. Isn’t that right Al, Matt, Bill, Barbara, Leo, et al?

  40. J Mac: Did you steal Greta Thunberg’s childhood? If you did you’d better put it back.

    Don’t you worry: I am a denialist, and durn proud of it, partner. I am genuinely astonished that more people cannot see how flimsy, whimsical and indifferent to ordinary good sense climate warmism is. Wasn’t there a pause in the rise of global temperatures during a period of increasing concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide? Did this not falsify the theory of carbon dioxide-induced global warming? I mean, come on.

    My own theory is that some people require struggle in a great moral cause to feel that their lives have meaning, and that this is what undergirds the messianic zeal that climate change fascists so alarmingly display. All my life I’ve had to put up with people who cannot stand the idea of comfort, ease and happiness, and react to it by finding something wrong and starting a quarrel over it. Now we live in a wonderful country where even the poor live lives of comfort and easy amusement, and it drives some people mad with resentment at all this happiness. Obviously the suppression of fossil fuels is designed to impoverish people who have become used to fresh food, warmth, really good TV on demand, YouTube and assorted other sources of pleasure that wicked humans just don’t deserve. It’s harsh moralism run rampant.

  41. Why do people search for words on a dictionary website?
    Because they don’t know the meaning! That show that the Agw crowd is pretty stupid and that those who try to communicate with them have misjudged their public.

  42. Make a test. Go out – no matter where you live – and pick the next 100 random people you meet. Ask each of them if they believe in Global Warming and if they say yes, ask them what the causes and mechanisms driving Climate Change are. Look what you get. You will be shocked. Most people don’t make decisions based on knowledge and information. They make decision based on what feels good. Truth is irrelevant. That’s why democracy is so dangerous as it amounts to mob rule. Politicians know this and those manipulating the mob best, win.

  43. If “existential” was the most-searched word on Google, how many of those searches included Jean-Paul Sartre, the French leader of the existentialist movement?

    If all the emitted CO2 remained in the atmosphere, a mass balance shows that the emission of about 8.0 gigatons per year would correspond to an increase in CO2 concentration of 1 ppm. World emissions of CO2 in 2017 were 37.08 gigatons, which should have increased the CO2 concentration by 4.6 ppm, but concentrations at Mauna Loa are increasing at about 3 ppm per year, meaning that 1.6 ppm/yr (or 35% of man-made emissions) are removed by natural processes (photosynthesis, absorption in oceans, etc.)

    Hundreds of experiments have shown that increasing CO2 concentrations in the air causes more rapid plant growth (photosynthesis) and increased crop yields. If the photosynthesis rate is proportional to the CO2 concentration, the rate of destruction of CO2 will catch up to the emission rate when the CO2 concentration reaches 410 / 0.35 = 1,170 ppm, at which time the Earth will be much greener and more fertile than it is now. and the CO2 concentration will reach an equilibrium.

    Of course, this simplistic calculation ignores other natural sources of CO2 (animal respiration, volcanic eruptions) and other CO2 sinks, such as conversion of CO2 to carbonates by marine organisms, so that the actual equilibrium point may be different. We do know that natural processes can remove AT LEAST the equivalent of 1.6 ppm/yr * 8.0 GT/ppm = 12.8 GT/yr of CO2 from the atmosphere, and according to Le Chatelier’s Principle, the rate of any chemical reaction increases when a reactant’s concentration increases, so that the CO2 removal rate will accelerate as CO2 concentrations increase, so that the CO2 concentration will reach an equilibrium at a higher level than the current 410 ppm, with much faster plant growth and higher crop yields than at present.

    If the additional CO2 causes some slight warming of the climate, this will decrease the need for burning fossil fuels to heat homes in winter, so that man-made CO2 emissions will decrease.

    Why is this an “existential” threat? It sounds more like a promise!

  44. Little known issue with electric cars: Chances are good the electric car would not make it to Dawson City depending on the tme of year. At 20 degrees F it would loose 41% range if the heater is turned on. If the heater is not turned on the driver may well freeze or experience hypothermia. Always dress like you’ll have to walk back.

  45. The climate alarmists, particularly those in favor of jailing skeptics, represent an existential threat.

  46. “The climate delusion used by alarmists in their attempts to defeat capitalism and destroy human freedom would set us back centuries to a time when backbreaking work and shortened life expectancy was the norm.”

    What an odd thing to say. The rest of the post is about science (using tired arguments that have been addressed again and again), then ends on this clearly political assertion for which no evidence whatsoever is offered. With a grand finale like this, it turns the whole thing into a politically-driven argument.

    If you want to argue about science, keep politics out of it. If you want to argue about politics, let good science inform those arguments, not silly claims like CO2 can’t affect the planet’s temperature, or that because CO2 was higher in the past, it can’t affect temperature today. It’s a mistake to look at climate in general so simplistically. CO2 is not the only thing to affect the temperature, but it is the only reasonable explanation for most of the change we are seeing, considering the other factors. For an example of some of the things that can affect climate (referring to the last 800,000 years),

    “There is evidence that small, predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit about the Sun act as triggers for the glacial and interglacial periods. By themselves however these are not able to explain all the cycles of global warming and cooling. A more comprehensive plausible explanation is now emerging that also requires taking into account variations in ice sheet size, snow and ice albedo, atmospheric CO2 concentration, ocean currents, extent and productivity of wetlands, melting permafrost, deep ocean CO2 ventilation and atmospheric dust.”

    https://environmentcounts.org/ec-perspective-accounting-for-800000-years-of-climate-change/

    • Kristi it’s been a politically driven issue for decades now. Ever since the IPCC (a political body) got involved (actually even before then).

      “We need to get some broad based support,to capture the public’s imagination…So we have to offer up scary scenarios,make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts…Each of us has to decide what the right balance between being effective and being honest.”
      – Prof. Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports

      This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution
      – Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC

      “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse?
      Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

      “A keen and anxious awareness is evolving to suggest that fundamental changes will have to take place in the world order and its power structures, in the distribution of wealth and income. Perhaps only a new and enlightened humanism can permit mankind to negotiate this transition.”
      – Club of Rome, United Nations Think Tank

      “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
      – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

  47. Alarmists are winning the war of words by using the fear weapon.  Deniers must fight fear with fear. e.g.  Over the long term, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been declining.  It is now only 260 ppmv above the level at which C3 plants die.  Without C3 plants most humans starve.  This is too close for comfort.  100% renewables could result in human extinction. Or, Another Krakatoa or asteroid hit could blanket the atmosphere with dust.  In this case, 100% renewables will be humanity’s death warrant.      

  48. And:
    The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere fell to an all-time low of 180-ppmv during the last glacial.  This was only 30-ppmv above the level at which C3 plants die and most humans starve.  A slight CO2 dip could have seen extinction of 4-million humans.  Natural processes  restored only 100-ppmv before the Industrial Revolution.  Thanks, in part, to fossil fuels, CO2 concentration is 260-ppmv above the mass extinction level today and the trend toward the next glacial has been “comprehensively reversed because of greenhouse gas emissions.”[1]
    100% renewables might plunge Earth into another glacial.  Civilization would be destroyed and 8-billion people could be exterminated.  

    [1] “What causes an ice age and what would happen if the Earth endured another one?” Dr. Steven Phipps, paleoclimatologist and climate system modeler, as reported by Kylie Andrews, ABC Science. 14 June 2016.

  49. “CO₂-related climate apocalypse. The climate delusion used by alarmists, [ ], climate doom …”

    says it all:

    There’s no green “consens scientists” at all.

    The consensus is about a quasi religious leadership where the vanguard priests live on behalf of the collection basket.

  50. “Global warming/climate change/whatever they’re calling it this week” still ranks dead last on the list of issues people are concerned about…”  

    That can change fast.  Presidential candidates, Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, have pledged to spend over two billion dollars to unseat President Trump and to replace fossil fuels with “clean energy.”  If they succeed, their Risky Business Project stands to earn several times that amount.

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