IEEE: “It’s Too Late to Undo Climate Change”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Green technologists exploring the possibility the world won’t end in 2030.

It’s Too Late to Undo Climate Change. We Need Tech in Order to Adapt

A raft of companies are developing tech to help us live in a warmer world

By Stacey Higginbotham

On the CES floor in Las Vegas this past January, I saw dozens of companies showing off products designed to help us adapt to climate change. It was an unsettling reminder that we’ve tipped the balance on global warming and that hotter temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the new reality.

Based on our current carbon dioxide emissions, we can expect warming of up to 1.5 °C by 2033. Even if we stopped spewing carbon today, temperatures would continue to rise for a time, and weather would grow still more erratic.

The companies at CES recognize that it’s too late to stop climate change. Faced with that realization, this group of entrepreneurs is focusing on climate adaptation. For them, the goal is to make sure that people and the global economy will still survive across as much of the world as possible. These entrepreneurs’ companies are developing practicalities, such as garments that adapt to the weather or new building materials with higher melting points so that roads won’t crack in extreme temperatures.

Read more: https://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/portable-devices/its-too-late-to-undo-climate-change-we-need-tech-in-order-to-adapt

I’m completely fine with people spending money on research, so long as it is their own money they are spending. Even if the motivation for the research is absurd, serious basic and applied research efforts usually produce a few useful spinoffs.

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82 thoughts on “IEEE: “It’s Too Late to Undo Climate Change”

  1. Cancel your career now, Stacey.

    The link does not say that temps will rise by 1.5C by 2033, but that we will have emitted enough CO2 to eventually rise by that amount. Of course that hasn’t been borne out from the empirical data at all, but why let facts get in the way of a good campfire horror story.

    This is what happens when engineering and the hard sciences get a massive infestation of humanities disease.

    • Who says CO2 is responsible for the rise in global average temperature? And how is the global average temperature taken? They never tell you how. The term Global Average Temperature is meaningless! It does not exist in the real world!

    • It’s worse than that.

      I am an undergraduate engineering student and a student member of both the IEEE and Engineers Australia. Both organisations treat this fairy tale as an opportunity for jobs for engineers. Don’t expect any sense from organisations such as these.

  2. We’re still doomed one way or another. Oh, well.

    On the bright side, maybe solar uv leaking through the ozone hole will kill the Wuhan virus.

    • Climate Change prevention funding has already been committed to efforts to stop a dubious threat.
      Future funding opportunities will be in mitigating something that will likely not have happened.

  3. I wonder if Stacey even knows, the world’s most recorded reliable temperature recordings over the past 100 years with the most thermometers in use, is the area of the world we know as the USA. It shows via the NOAA output of the original data, i.e. not adjusted data, the temperatures over the past century have been falling not rising.
    If we accept the USA is a part of the real world, and if we accept it’s temperature record is likely to be a close proxy for the whole world, then where is all this 1.5 deg C increase by 2033 coming from? Maybe more importantly, where is it going? Because it certainly isn’t going to where temperatures are continuously measured, and reported by NOAA.
    Maybe Stacey isn’t too concerned about facts?

    • That highlights that the extra warmth in the oceans only slightly affects land temps, and that the temp change is mainly seen in warmer temps at night, imo.

    • Ron look at raw temperatures from Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, South Africa, Paraguay, Ecuador, Australia… they have the same pattern as that of the US – highs in the 1930s/40s and declining from there. Here is the long record from Capetown before homogenization identical pattern to US:

      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/clip_image0022.gif

      Also see Paul Homewood blog, notalotofpeopleknow… for South American and other long records showing the same pattern

  4. Global warming on one side, covid-19 on the other, polar bears chewing on my ass, there’s only one way to go: Back to the Future! It’s almost too late for everything, but not too late for a drink (because I’m a scientist, you know, and in wine is veritas!).

      • Oh yeah it’s really hitting hard, simply terrifying in the minds of deluded. The rest of us worry about real problems we don’t need to make them up.

      • Wild fires and floods have been happening every year since there have been Forrest and it rains.
        Nothing new here.

      • Ah yes:
        Doc Holliday: In vino veritas. (In wine there is truth.)

        Johnny Ringo: Age quod agis. (Do what you do.)

        Doc Holliday: Credat Judaeus Apella, non ego. (Let Apella the Jew believe, not I.)

        Johnny Ringo: Iuventus stultorum magister. (Youth is the teacher of fools.)

        Doc Holliday: In pace requiescat. (May he rest in peace.)

  5. This looks like another instance of the leadership of a professional society going rouge and taking the institution on a completely different course than the membership would approve.
    As a “Double E” I can’t say I don’t know any engineer that believes in the global warming hoax. I believe alarmists in our ranks would certainly be a minority.

      • Dr. Peterson says that engineers are people who are very interested in “things”.

        I think the other end of that continuum is say a social worker who is very interested in people and feelings.

        Society needs both but in a practical balance. The world has too many things run by people who think people ARE things.

    • The IEEE did not produce this article, a single Texan journalist who has specialized in tech wrote it. She publishes a monthly column in “Spectrum”. I haven’t read the magazine for decades, but when I last did it still seemed to be a science-based product, unlike the now alarmist “Scientific American”. As a fellow EE, I also can’t think of any engineer or geo-science professional that promotes the warming narrative.

      • Dave, I wish that were so about the geo-science professionals. I find that those who work in our government geology division tout it all the time, even putting alarmist articles in their email bulletin.
        Speaking for MOST fellow geologists of my acquaintance outside government, I agree with your conclusion. But, guess who have the ear of the political class?

    • The Captain is correct, in spite of the rather misleading headline, IEEE sponsored the CES, not this particular journalist’s take on it.

    • Rotor, when you say that the leadership of that professional society is ‘going rouge’ is that because they make-up the evidence?

      Sorry. Just couldn’t resist it.

  6. The US record is revealing 30-35-year cycles. No abnormal warming or cooling, just the organic sine curve of Earth rocking in place.

    http://theearthintime.com

    We are on the downslope now of a cycle which started upwards in 1978 and peaked in 2000. We should get to the bottom in about 5-10 years, at which time there will be another ascent.

    Perhaps the AGW activists’ game is to deny the current cooling long enough for the 2025-2040 rise to take place, so they can point to the increasing readings with alarm once again.

    • Whoops. I have to clarify. The full cycle, peak to peak, is about 70 years. Thirty-five up, thirty-five down. Range: 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The prior full cycle lasted from aprox. 1890 to 1970.

      So, the downslope we are in now, which started from a peak in 2000, will not hit bottom until aprox. 2035. So the AGW activists will have to wait until at least 2040 to point to measure temp to find any increase.

      • …… well, other than the absolute fact that global warming does indeed cause global cooling.

        (have we reached the point where I don’t need a /sarc tag?)

        • Well, Climate Realists will have the next 15 years of lowering temperatures with which to stamp out the denial before temps start to climb again. We’d better do a good job.

          • Mann or Hansen, I can’t remember which right now, already has the cooling covered making the claim that a decade or so of global cooling would not negate the CAGW speculation.

            It’s already CAGW no matter if it is warming or cooling in our daily weather, and they will just make it CAGW whether it is warming or not, on a scale of decades.

            But, the actual temperature readings put the lie to everything they say.

            That’s the one thing they cannot dispute, although they try, but they can’t say that the unmodified regional charts don’t show it was just as warm in the recent past as it is today. That’s why they modified the regional charts into a bogus, bastardized global surface temperature record that makes it appear that the Earth has been continuously warming for decades and that we are now at the warmest temperatures in human history. That’s their claim. But the unmodified, regional surface temperature charts show just the opposite. That’s why the alarmists had to undermine them by creating a bogus Hockey Stick chart in order to sell the CAGW narrative.

            Fraud all the way down.

            If all the particular regional, unmodified surface temperature charts show the same temperature profile (and they do), then *that* is the real temperature profile of the Earth. The unmodified, regional surface temperature charts don’t look anything like the bogus, bastardized Modern-era, computer-generated Hockey Stick charts. They all show it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today. They put the lie to CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming).

            Here’s the U.S. surface temperature chart as compared to a bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart. The U.S. chart on the left represents the *real* global surface temperature profile where the Early Twentieth Century Warming (ETCW) shows to be just as warm as it is today. All unmodified, regional surface temperature charts from around the world show this same temperature profile where the ETCW was just as warm as today.

            None of the unmodified, regional surface temperature charts resemble the temperature profile of the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart. The computer-generated Hockey Stick chart is the only temperature chart in the world showing the “hotter and hotter and hotter” temperature profile.

            The bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart is presenting a False Reality to the world. This false reality has already cost the world TRILLIONS of dollars with more to come in the future if our leaders don’t wise up. They need to realize the Hockey Stick chart is a Lie. They should not base decisions on lies.

            http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

      • Windlord-Sun, you said:
        ‘So the AGW activists will have to wait until at least 2040 to point to measure temp to find any increase’.
        You wish – AGW activists rely on ‘homogenised’ and ‘adjusted’ (aka ‘rigged’) temperatures from most national meteorology agencies which falsely show warming when the raw data shown cooling. With this officially approved backstop they will be ‘finding an increase’ far into the future unless someone really powerful calls them on it. Lets hope that Trump wins in 2020. My money is on him.

        • Many of us are showing the graphs of their mutilated temps, and even those show the decline.

          Additionally, there will be continued cooling for another fifteen years, during which the failure of models and no warming to point to.

          Climate Realism. It’s a thing. Participate.

  7. “as long as its their own money” unfortunately we know that we have and continue to spend many billions of tax dollars on the green fetish. A defining characteristic of the Green thing is the irritating insistence that others should bear the cost because its for their good. A very religious line of thought which is appropriate for a faith based belief.

    • Haha! So true.
      I thought sanctimoniousness was frowned upon in most religions.
      Not so in the Green cult, where they act as if it were a cardinal virtue.

  8. “…For them, the goal is to make sure that people and the global economy will still survive across as much of the world as possible. These entrepreneurs’ companies are developing practicalities, such as garments that adapt to the weather…”

    Yeah, we need adaptive garments to survive, lol.

  9. “new building materials with higher melting points so that roads won’t crack in extreme temperatures.”

    CES is in Las Vegas. Temperatures in Las Vegas can hit well over 110F. Somehow things don’t melt and the roads don’t crack. And people survive.

    • …new building materials with higher melting points so that roads won’t crack in extreme temperatures…”

      Oh, good grief! *extreme eyeroll* *pound head on wall like Charlie Brown*

      But, melting points would relate to a road sliding off into the ditch, not the cracking thing.

      But really, the thing is, only pure materials, such as water or aluminum, have a melting point. With a mixture of materials, and a road surface is most certainly a mixture, the road would begin to soften, then it would begin to ooze, then it would begin to run, over a range of sometimes many degrees, in its change from solid to liquid. Now I have seen road surfaces where the black part looks like it has oozed and run and maybe even puddled a bit, and research on that kind of issue in road surfaces does and should go on all the time, but nobody will really notice it. If Cleveland has multiple consecutive summers where the temperature stays above 110°F for a significant amount of time, then they may call a road department in Las Vegas or Phoenix and ask what they have previously used in road surfaces. But then again they may not, it’s highly likely they already use a material in their road surfaces that would do just fine under those conditions.

      The CES sounds like a fun convention to browse, I would if it’s ever held in my neighborhood, but the person that wrote this article(? press release? whatever?) is clearly not a building or construction professional. Now, I am a registered mechanical engineer, I have worked with and around buildings (and often within shouting distance of a road or drainage engineer) for over 40 years, am I being too critical? Overly hard on this author? Anything I should take back or apologize for? I didn’t think so.

      • As I stated above, I assume the cracking is in countries that use concrete base and it can’t accommodate the expansion. So I am guessing it is an article written for one particular country ignorant that isn’t universal and many countries already have roads that deal with more extreme temperatures.

  10. As technical chair of an IEEE conference in calgary in 2017 I arranged to have Patrick Moore come in as the keynote speaker. I asked him to at some point tell everyone that they aren’t criminals and we all do important work for the betterment of humanity
    He got a standing ovation, it was a great moment
    Recently he was cancelled in Regina, a conference on sustainability, as the organizers were opposed to facts
    Unfortunately

    • “He got a standing ovation, it was a great moment
      Recently he was cancelled in Regina, a conference on sustainability, as the organizers were opposed to facts”

      That’s pathetic, but I think the skeptics are still winning when the most effective strategy the alarmists have is to censor their critics. Unfortunately for the alarmists, they can’t place total censorship on anyone. Not yet, anyway. :).

  11. Why do they always assume that a 1.5C increase in average global temperature will produce catastrophic consequences? The output from broken computer models that have yet to predict anything correctly?
    On the other hand, we can look at actual empirical results and conclude that moderate increases in CO2 and temperatures, greens the planet.
    As yourself, where do people in the UK choose to go on vacation? Archangel, Siberia in the winter?
    Ask yourself, how do people live in Dubai? It is more likely 15C hotter than London on some days. That is an order of magnitude larger than 1.5C.

  12. There’s nothing to “undo” because there’s no “climate change” above and beyond natural variability. Being a degree Celsius warmer than a 100 years ago is both normal and welcome!

  13. IEEE: “It’s Too Late to Undo Climate Change”

    I thought the trolls had been telling us that unless you have a degree in “climate science”, you aren’t allowed to have an opinion on “climate change”.
    So why do we care what a bunch of electrical engineers think?

  14. Haha! So true.
    I thought sanctimoniousness was frowned upon in most religions.
    Not so in the Green cult, where they act as if it were a cardinal virtue.

  15. The worst thing is pushing wind and solar as a replacement for our energy needs. Trumpeting the virtues of adaptation seems very sane indeed, by comparison. We have a growing number of people who acknowledge that the only practical way to reduce CO2 emissions is to embrace nuclear power.

    The Marxist alarm mongers have a problem. If they oppose adaptation and nuclear power, they’re going to out themselves for what they are.

  16. “hotter temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the new reality.” Sounds like stuff that has been around since the beginning of time.

  17. Every issue of The Spectrum has 3-4 blurbs inside the articles invoking “carbon” reductions as a benefit of whatever under discussion, inevitably penned by clueless tech writers. There are never any hints of skepticism about the subject.

  18. I think man has already invented how we live with global warming, it’s called air conditioning . All we need to do is make sure it’s cheap enough that we can afford to turn it on when we need it.

  19. Our best strategy is to adapt. Who knew? Apparently the principles of Darwinism—adaptation and natural selection—aren”t so much an accepted scientific reality for Leftists as a blunt instrument to beat people of faith with.

    • No have you not read the leftist rubbish, animals are never going adapt they can only live in the exact conditions they face now.

  20. “roads won’t crack in extreme temperatures.”

    Don’t we already make those in Australia? Saudi Arabia? Death Valley?

    • I think the cracking must be in countries that use concrete base. In Australia if the road gets outside it’s design temperature they tend to get soft (sometimes described as melting) and the heavy haulage rips them apart. However, you can design roads for wider temp extremes they just tend to cost a bit more per distance. So it’s straight economics if it does get warmer you simply design roads and rail with a wider temp range and it costs a little more. Compared to the cost of wholesale shutdown of economies however that change is really cheap especially since it’s an infrastructure spend and helps the economy grow.

  21. Emailed to Stacy Higginbotham

    Dear Stacy,

    “Propagation of Error and the Reliability of Global Air Temperature Projections” — peer-reviewed and published in Frontiers in Earth Science: Atmospheres

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2019.00223/full

    The effect of CO2 emissions on the climate, if any, is entirely invisible to climate models. It cannot have been, and cannot now be, evidenced in observables.

    No one knows what they’re talking about. Not the IPCC, not Katherine Hayhoe, not Michael Mann, not Al Gore; no one.

    The whole business is an exercise in false precision.

    Time to worry less about the climate, and more about the march of the incompetent.

    Yours,

    Pat

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    These things are, we conjecture, like the truth;
    But as for certain truth, no one has known it.

    Xenophanes, 570-500 BCE
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  22. Any reduction of carbon dioxide would be a total waste of money. The Obama EPA, admitted during testimony to Congress that any reduction of carbon dioxide by the US would be symbolic. Al Gore agreed. Trillions of dollars for a symbol? Even if carbon dioxide were a factor only a global reduction would matter. All of the US carbon dioxide is just a drop in the global bucket. China alone would overwhelm our reduction and their agreement in the Paris Accord is no reduction until 2030.The reduction of global temperatures? The United Nations IPCC and the Obama EPA’s computer model titled MAGICC estimates that reducing the US carbon dioxide emissions to zero  will prevent a grand total of 0.018 degrees centigrade by 2100. This is the symbol that they are talking about. Why so little? This is true because developing countries like India, and China will not depress their economy with useless and expensive non-solutions. Cheap energy is required to reduce poverty and imposing carbon emission restrictions would encourage poverty by raising the cost of living.  The developing countries are not going to make our reduction of carbon dioxide relevantever. The reality is that the change of temperature is related to natural forces. I can show you data which indicates that the US temperatures were higher in the 1930’s than now when carbon dioxide was 300 parts per million vs 400 parts per million now. Reduction of carbon dioxide would have no measurable effect on the environment even if the US could make a significant global reduction.Another reason reduction of manmade emissions would make no difference is as follows: Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases in 2019 were 55.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (junkscience.com); FromSciencing.com there are approximately 3 trillion tons of dioxide in the atmosphere; that means that 55.3 billion tons divided by 3000 billion tons times 100% is man’s contribution. The answer is approximately 1.84%. This is another reason man’s reduction of carbon dioxide would result in no measurable change in climate.When the temperature increases the oceans act like a giant soda and expel carbon dioxide. Temperature increases fist then carbon dioxide increases. This has been verified by ice core samples for millions of years.The result of carbon dioxide reduction programs: De-industrialization; the higher cost of energy for the poor, the middle class, business and no measurable effect on the environment. The increased cost in California [Similar results in Europe]: From 2010 to 2015; Industrial Power up 79%; Commercial Power up 49%; Residential Power up 34%.A new peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg published in the Global Policy journal measures the actual impact of all significant climate promises made ahead of the Paris Climate Summit. Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100 (Press release). [If they meet their goals.]By the way, the International Energy Agency claims that in 2019 United States recorded the largest emissions decline on a country basis, with a fall of 140 million tonnes, or 2.9%. US emissions are now down by almost 1 gigatonne from their peak in 2000. Emissions in the European Union fell by 160 million tonnes, or 5%, in 2019 driven by reductions in the power sector. This is due to our use of natural gas.

  23. I terminated my IEEE membership 20 years ago when it was clear that they were now a social justice organization.

  24. Ironic!

    Yes, we need tech, but human caused climate change is highly exaggerated. First of all, warming in our current, ongoing Ice Age is a good thing. Warming has accompanied periods of prosperity throughout history. Exceptions exist, but they are minor and marginal. And, guess what! We currently live in the Most Prosperous Period in human history — a fact the Warming Alarmists conveniently ignore.

    Secondly, increases in CO2 in our epoch of carbon dioxide starvation are vital. So, the Warming Alarmists have created a lie, within a lie to attack the lifeblood of civilization. They truly are the #ProDeathCult!

    The technology we need is so that civilization can weather the coming return of Ice Age glacial COLD. All 90,000 years of WINTER! Thankfully, we have hundreds of years (if not thousands) to prepare, but Milankovitch cycles won’t save us from the other forcing factors that have kept interglacial cycles averaging 100,000 years for the last 1.1 million years.

    Perhaps the single greatest need from the technology sector is efficient and cheap desalination. Colder climate means far less rain (another fact the Warming Alarmists get backwards). Rain requires evaporation, and evaporation requires warmth.

  25. “On the CES floor in Las Vegas this past January, I saw dozens of companies showing off products designed to help us adapt to climate change. It was an unsettling reminder that we’ve tipped the balance on global warming and that hotter temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the new reality. Based on our current carbon dioxide emissions, we can expect warming of up to 1.5 °C by 2033. Even if we stopped spewing carbon today, temperatures would continue to rise for a time, and weather would grow still more erratic. The companies at CES recognize that it’s too late to stop climate change. Faced with that realization, this group of entrepreneurs is focusing on climate adaptation. For them, the goal is to make sure that people and the global economy will still survive across as much of the world as possible. These entrepreneurs’ companies are developing practicalities, such as garments that adapt to the weather or new building materials with higher melting points so that roads won’t crack in extreme temperatures.”

    Maybe a politically correct way to bring up the old mitigation versus adaptation debate that climate science had so forcefully rejected in favor of mitigation saying that adaptation is not an option. It’s an old debate, as old as climate change itself with the adaptation option rejected by climate science, in my view because adaptation does not serve the real motivation for the climate change alarm, that being anti fossil fuel activism. For a history of this debate pls see

    Bassett, Thomas J., and Charles Fogelman. “Déjà vu or something new? The adaptation concept in the climate change literature.” Geoforum 48 (2013): 42-53.

  26. “Green technologists exploring the possibility the world won’t end in 2030.”

    Eric Worrall heroically fighting strawmen wherever he can make them up.

  27. “It was an unsettling reminder that we’ve tipped the balance on global warming and that hotter temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the new reality.”

    How do we know we are going to see “hotter” temperatures? The models all work on AVERAGE temperatures and the average cannot tell you anything about maximum and minimum temperatures!

    Once again we see utter idiocy from people that should have learned this is 8th grade math class let alone those with an engineering degree.

  28. From the article: “t was an unsettling reminder that we’ve tipped the balance on global warming and that hotter temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the new reality.”

    No, hot temperatures, wildfires, and floods are the old reality. You haven’t been paying attention to history.

  29. Wild fires and floods have been happening every year since there have been Forrest and it rains.
    Nothing new here.

  30. anybody ever hear of “The Little Boy who Cried Wolf”? “1984” “Chicken Little”, “Farenheit 451”, etc. The warnings have been there for generations but the combination of government funding for science, a greedy agenda by a few who know how to tug the strings of power and a complicit media have led us to this cliff edge. We are virtually at the point where if the madness isn’t stopped it will be all out war for the freedom of future generations – does that sound familiar? It should…

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