Culturally-determined response to climate change: Part III

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on May 16, 2020 by curryja

by Andy West

Climate change affirmative responses to all survey questions are culturally determined, and across National Publics related to religiousity.  Cultural attitudes inappropriately push climate policy.

  1.  Introduction

Post one of this series demonstrated a strong correlation across nations between religiosity, and their responses to unconstrained questions aligned to Catastrophic Climate Change Culture (CCCC), from a YouGov climate-change attitudes survey. The bold-blue series in Chart 1 below shows this, with the muted-pink for a less strong alignment. This expression of belief in CCCC I term Allied Belief (ABel); it’s caused by a (shallow) alliance of CCCC with (all) the main religious Faiths, which disables Innate Skepticism (ISk) of CCCC.

The second post showed that very different results are obtained for climate-change affirmative responses to reality-constrained questions (muted-orange and muted-red series), which across nations anti-correlate with their religiosity. The bold-orange series shows the (estimated) Core Belief (CBel) in CCCC, i.e. from individuals who still grant it top-priority in the presence of ‘ultimate’ constraint. The muted-red trend and red crosses bound this estimate somewhat with actual measurements. Reality clashes re-enable ISk about CCCC for religious people. The second post fully explains all Chart 1 features.

This ‘big picture’ chart is needed to better understand the following sections. All of the questions that produce linear responses with religiosity per above, I term as ‘Strongly-Framed’ questions. But we met some questions in Post 1, such as ‘Do you think that you personally could be doing more to tackle climate change?’, for which (as was confirmed) a linear response for ‘doing more’ wasn’t expected. However, this doesn’t mean such ‘Weakly-Framed’ questions necessarily have no relationship with religiosity; it turns out that they do, but it’s not linear. For clarity, Table 1 towards the end of this post lists which questions are Strongly/Weakly-Framed.

  1. The Envelope of responses to Weakly-Framed questions

On the above chart, bold-orange to muted-red to muted-orange trends, represent responses to reality-constrained questions of decreasing constraint strength. Imagine a trend a little weaker still than the last in that sequence, so a bit higher up on the Y scale. Bold-blue to muted-pink trends represent responses to unconstrained questions with decreasing emotive / existential alignment to CCCC. Imagine a trend with somewhat weaker alignment still, so less gradient than pink. It seems that responses to Weakly-Framed questions are (in the main) anywhere between these two imagined trendlines, smeared as it were between pink and orange ‘modes’. For example, Chart 2 below show national responses for the ‘could be doing more’ option to the question quoted in Section 1 above.

Note: The superimposed envelope of expected responses (assuming the cultural modality explanation is true) is notional, drawn by using Chart 1 as a guideline for where the imagined trends described above would approximately sit, plus some margin for variability around the trends. In practice, I don’t know their precise positions and even less the legitimate variability of data-points relative to same [albeit the orange variability about trend is a lot larger than pink; I didn’t bother to depict this]. Yet the envelope covers most data, so is at least indicative of potential cause. National publics aren’t climate literate, so it seems unlikely that even where strong reality or strong CCCC alignment isn’t invoked, rationality could get purchase. It appears responses simply drift between the two main culturally-determined modes.

Given I don’t know where the edges of the envelope actually are, it seemed reasonable to speculate that Indonesia and Thailand might be legitimately covered, albeit an implication of noisy data. However, if Chart 2 has any meaning at all this couldn’t possibly be the case for Italy or Spain, which ought to have much lower climate concern scores, consistent with being closer to the low point between the two cones.

These two nations were noted in the last post to have a higher ‘Children’s Strike Weekly’ ranking than initially seemed likely for their religiosity level. For Spain at least, this is probably due to an unusually high religiosity gap between children and adults. Both nations also have very high youth unemployment levels, an open invitation for cultural causes claiming high moral ground, to which youths are more vulnerable. So, when Weakly-Framed questions don’t invoke more potent effects, might irreligious and disaffected youth wield sufficient influence to shift national attitudes? I don’t know. I figured looking at another Weakly-Framed question may help. Affirmative answers to: ‘The climate is changing and human activity is mainly responsible’ (the very first question mentioned in this series), are plotted below. The superimposed pink / orange trends and envelope are the same as on Chart 2 above.

The first thing to note is that this question is slightly more CCCC-aligned than I guessed. There appears to be more grouping around the pink line than the orange, albeit this isn’t quite enough to have broken the smeared / dual-mode pattern. This could mean the true pink line ought to be a little steeper, which in turn means Thailand is possibly within the envelope. However, not only are Spain and Italy clearly outside again (and in similar positions), they’re now joined by Indonesia and India. Interestingly, Indonesia has recently seen a wave of mass youth protests against perceived threats to democracy and liberal values, in a country where conservatism and Islamist elites are gaining more power. Countering with accusations of blasphemy can only help open a religiosity gulf between secular youth and religious elites (very relevant here). The linked article notes regional support and even direct links to youth climate protest, with Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines all named. India has a massive youth demographic, with 50% of its population below the age of 25, and has also featured mass youth protests over recent years. These have now coalesced against the new citizenship laws, but this wave started back in 2016 and is ultimately generic opposition to conservative religious power (this time Hindu), again seen as a perceived threat to liberal values and democracy.

All the nations mentioned in the above paragraph have national religiosity 50% or higher (however much less this is for youth), and are at the upper-edge of or above the envelope in either Chart 2 or Chart 3, or both. It seems something systemic is happening that can’t just be noise and is pretty likely linked to youth protest, but quite what?

If I assume a youth influence, however this works it may be a pointer to the future of the relevant nations, albeit interpreting that future isn’t so easy. It hinges upon what type of youth belief is the driver. Although some would represent an increase of core believers in CCCC, albeit occurring because more potent effects are absent the total belief is high, meaning much is likely Allied Belief. However, not this time through an alliance with religious faiths, but political culture, like the strong alliance between CCCC and Lib/Dem culture within the US. So, at the very least the relevant nations would shift leftwards on Chart 1, but could potentially fall out of the plot altogether if like the US (or Vietnam) a more complex local cultural jigsaw emerges, which needs a targeted analysis.

  1. A search for Rationality

Interestingly, about half the nations hold a similar position in Chart 2 and 3. This plus the bounded area is enough for a fairish correlation between the two responses (SI Chart F5yx, r=0.68). If we needed another hint that it is not rationality driving affirmative responses to ‘The climate is changing and human activity is mainly responsible’, this is it. As the first post notes, publics can’t possibly give rational responses to the correlating Chart 2 question.

The apparent lack of rationality in the above responses prompted me to hunt for any rationality. I used the same ‘envelope’ charts as above, mapping responses to one of the most objective questions from the main YouGov climate-change attitudes survey. This Weakly-Framed question asks which countries have had the most negative impact on climate-change and, as demonstrated in the first post of the series, responses aren’t linear with religiosity. Answers are available from relatively common and culturally unconflicted knowledge. However, even in this case rationality plays a very modest role, very much second fiddle to cultural influence that occurs via the same two modes as above. Due to word-count limitation, I shunted this analysis to SI Footnote 2.

  1. Elite attitudes

Similarly to children, another sub-demographic within irreligious nations at the LHS of Chart 1 where core belief in CCCC prospers more than in the general population, is the elite. Even within democracies, small elites can heavily sway policy to a direction not supported by the populace. For instance, the UK, Germany and Scandinavia, all have very strong emissions policies despite per the bold-blue series in Chart 1, having a very high national skepticism of existential climate issues (plus, all nations have very small Core Belief in climate catastrophism). This wouldn’t be a problem if the policies were aligned to mainstream science conclusions. But ultimately, being initiated by an emotive belief in CCCC, they are latterly and inevitably trending towards CCCC goals; i.e. the emergency avoidance of imminent global catastrophe. The easy acceptance of Greta/CSW by secular elites is not a coincidence.

In highly religious countries, much of the influence of elites and the functioning of society is still closely tied to religious expression. Notwithstanding the relatively new (and superficially high, i.e. from ABel) climate concerns, those elites and indeed society generally haven’t to date abandoned this model. Yet in countries where religion has long atrophied over generations, newer culture can more easily muscle into elite layers via the provision of high-moral-ground plus emotive persuasion. Subconsciously, the latter features are extremely desirable as shortcuts for promoting / extending an elite profile (see SI Footnote 3), when exhausted religion no longer supplies this service.

Major XR and CSW presence within irreligious nations (per the last post) are not expressions of what the local publics think, en-masse, but extreme frustration expressed by small minorities because for sure their local publics mostly don’t think like them. In mistakenly assuming such actions reflect popular feeling, and thus compliantly onboarding extreme demands (which also contradict mainstream science), already culturally compromised elites are marching dangerously further and further out of alignment with the mass of their own publics. Tension from such dislocations is already causing some significant backlash (e.g. SI Footnote 4). Highly religious nations are protected from similar extreme policy choices, by the strongly continuing commitment of their elites to much older irrational fairy stories, aka religions.

The expectation is that policy push from elite attitudes would occur most within nations from the LHS of Chart 1, much like XR and CSW presence. This expectation can be checked by looking at the penetration of highly challenging policies (socially or to infra-structure or both) that also have a high virtue-signaling aspect. Whether or not the policies truly provide major benefit to emissions reduction or the environment generally, is not particularly relevant. A suitable such policy is the promotion of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

  1. Policy push case – EVs

Chart 4, introduced in the last post, represents either of the orange series on Chart 1 (depending on the scale), with many more nations thrown in. The Y scale happens to match estimated CBel, i.e. the original UN poll vote-share for action on climate-change, divided by 6. The blocks a) to d) and the color-coding, emphasize religio-regional groups. Significant variability about the main trend is largely due to GDP-per-Capita (GDPpC) within each religio-regional group.

So, we expect EV policy penetration to largely be dictated by cultural motivation, and hence be highest at the LHS. BUT… this won’t be wholly independent of economic issues; those countries that are motivated for this policy must also have a robust enough economy to create incentives plus charging infra-structure, plus a high enough GDPpC for the local market to afford EVs. Adapted to economic necessity, the above prediction suggests that nations with strong economies (in an absolute sense) plus at the top-leftmost, will have the greatest EV penetration.

The numbers trailing some of the nation labels derive from the Top 18 Electric Car Countries in 2020, showing penetration per nation by market-share of new EV sales. Eleven nations in Chart 4 also appear within that league table; I compressed the ranking into a scale 1 to 11, in order to skip the missing ones. While strict ranking order from top-left isn’t observed, all but one of the ranked nations are indeed at the top-left corner, as expected.

The only exception in that peer-group without a ranking, is the Czech Republic, which has the lowest absolute GDP (45th in IMF list) of the peer group. Conversely, the only nation not in the top-leftmost bunching, is Japan. This nation (in a unique religio-regional group unrelated to the dark blue coding), possess the highest absolute GDP (3rd in IMF list) on the chart. This data reasonably confirms the above expectations from cultural positioning, with secondary economic considerations.

As noted in section 4 of the last post and even in normal times, a huge problem for those governments trying to push this and other challenging policies, is that once the public grasp the reality issues associated with implementation, their support is unlikely to get beyond the thick orange Core Belief line in Chart 1, maybe at the most the muted-red Strongly-Constrained Belief line. Unless for special circumstances, like the immense amounts of hydro-electricity in Norway. And in current times, a huge new reality constraint has appeared in the form of COVID-19, which for a year or two at least will squeeze even the CBel line still further downwards regarding the choice of a true top priority.

  1. What this series tells us

Assuming findings are confirmed, and that my explanations are the best fit for same.

Affirmative attitudes to climate-change in the public sphere are cultural. As such they’re also the product of net cultural interaction, mainly with wrt the long-established religious faiths. The surface alliance of CCCC with religion creates an impression of faith support, which flips into resistance for any reality- constrained circumstances. Overall, where religiosity is low, climate activism is higher (including child religiosity for child activism), likewise for main policy. A secondary influence in reality-constrained scenarios is GDP-per-Capita. This likely exacerbates a cultural factor, modulating the main religiosity trend. Core Belief and policy-support is lower where GDPpC is lower within any religio-regional group.

Even responses to Weakly-Framed questions appear to mainly be determined by cultural influence, albeit occupying a wide envelope. While prediction from religiosity of climate attitudes inside that envelope is not possible, that they smear between the two main cultural modes is good support itself of the overall cultural explanation. Systemic excursions from the envelope are perhaps due to youth influence; merely a culturally divergent sub-demographic. Even the most objective climate survey question yields very little rationality in responses. Table 1 summarizes findings.

  1. Some concluding thoughts

While each of the mainstream Faiths is theoretically a separate cultural entity, their relationships with CCCC as presented in this series don’t appear to depend on the particulars of any faith, only on national levels of belief. At least purely in respect of reactions to the newcomer of CCCC, currently, all Faiths appear to act as though they’re part of a single culture. Hence, what the presented charts are showing at heart is the interaction between two major cultures (i.e. religion and CCCC) that have come under each other’s influence.

For an analogy, I’m reminded of those illustrations of two stars falling into each other’s orbit, with the occurrence of complex gravitational and energy interactions. To further this analogy, one a bright young star (CCCC) and the other an old red giant (mainstream religious faith). Except we may know less about the cultural case right here upon Earth than the stellar one millions of light years distant. Stretching the analogy, most people from the relevant social-science disciplines don’t actually recognize a CCCC; it’s kind of ‘invisible’. But like a black hole orbiting the old red giant, we can tell it must be there because behaviors in the region only make sense if two bodies with mass and energy (here, cultural mechanisms) are interacting. Hence a culture (of catastrophe) must be exerting powerful influence within the social domain of climate-change, and interacting with religion.

There are other bodies in this equation, in the US particularly the heavyweights of Rep/Con and Dem/Lib culture, which entangle old religion and new CCCC both (and enough to locally disrupt the global trends shown here; the US has a 4-way cultural dance). Overall though, I’m surprised at just how consistent the entanglement of religiosity and CCCC appears to be, globally. Which also means we can use religiosity as a reliable lens to make the workings of CCCC clearer.

The false narratives of CCCC (all strong cultural narratives are false, their ‘purpose’ requires this) are powerfully affecting nations and faiths of all types across the globe. Over the years, many commenters have articulated in some form that the movement against man-made climate-change is effectively ‘a religion’ in itself. The effects presented here are more confirmation that for the public domain at least, they’re right. Such commenters are intuiting ‘a cultural entity’, where religions happen to be the cultural entities they’re very familiar with. Considering CCCC’s scale, the now generations-long trend, especially within Western societies, of less rule by the emotive and more by rationality, could well go into reverse through this single phenomenon alone. The only thing holding off its irrationalities in many nations, ironically, is religious faith.

Covid-19 Addendum: I’ve seen comment to the effect that Covid-19 is likely to be fatal for catastrophic climate-change culture. My money on this is no better than anyone else’s. But it says that once Covid-19 is in the rear-view mirror, however long that takes, CCCC will still be a serious force. Long evolved bio-cultural mechanisms make cultures tenacious, they can pivot to new circumstances and come back from heavy damage; even turn adverse conditions into advantage (there are already crude attempts, but they’ll get more sophisticated). CCCC’s wagon is hooked to science, which ought to be fatal on its own one day. But I doubt that day is here. For guidance, the major faiths span a millennial scale and survived the Black Death plus many more real-world calamities, their fairy-tale fears plus hopes still intact. This doesn’t mean the little secular sister of CCCC necessarily has similar staying power, but ultimately, it works on the same underlying mechanisms.

Admin notes

There are 3 posts in this series, all of which have the same style of Supplementary Information, which consist: 1) an expanded post, 2) a footnotes file, and 3) an Excel datafile. The text below is a streamlined post version, geared to get the concepts across more readily and uncluttered regarding side-issues, detail on methodology, intricate depth, path my exploration took etc. For folks who want more, the expanded post is ~4800 words. Be aware that the footnotes file, also having various external references, relates to the expanded post (though a couple are pointed at below). Likewise, all the chart IDs within the Excel datafile are numbered for the expanded post. However, all sources / data for the charts below can easily be found (I provided SI IDs in the text). The datafile includes various extra charts too.

Footnotes [Footnotes ]

Extended post [ Extended Post]

Datafile  [Datafile]

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May 17, 2020 6:31 am

This article would be more informative if written in plain English.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  DHR
May 17, 2020 9:54 am

Plain English? It is high academic Gothic. No resemblance to English at all.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 18, 2020 11:43 am

“High academic Gothic” — sounds like a pretty font.

I would like to see a paragraph summary — maybe I’ll try to do one, if I can muster up the will to plow through verbiage and visuals. I have to admit that my first impulse was just scroll through and skip it.

Yours truly,

Phil I. Stine

May 17, 2020 6:53 am

Old religions seemed to provide some strength to resist fear because of the belief that the higher power would protect. New religions seem to direct worship toward fear itself. This results in more susceptibility to the control by fear.

Reply to  Scissor
May 17, 2020 9:07 am

The Jewish, Christian, and presumably Muslim line do not. Basically, their philosophies state that God created the world, observe, understand, and be productive, not limited to conception. God’s help is implied in that foundation and following the rules of the established behavioral protocol (“religion”). Faith (“trust”) plays a role in confirming that God/Nature will remain consistent, if the rules of God and Nature are followed.

Reply to  n.n
May 17, 2020 9:44 am

if I may quote from the Cornwall alliance on ecology
I would defy anyone to find something similar from warmists!

We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.

We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 12:12 pm

What exactly is your point ghalfrunt? Unless there’s a manifesto posted somewhere on a website, a group is not a religion? It’s a loose description to call climate alarmism a religion, not necessarily intended literally in all respects. There isn’t a pope of Greenchurch with a hierarchy. (Although maybe Al Gore and Greta Thunberg partially fill that role). Not all religions are the same. Please show us something similar to the Cornwall Alliance on Ecology for Sikhs, Zoroastrians, Shinto, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu and every other belief system that is generally accepted to be a “religion”. Maybe even Unitarians who believe that there is at most one god?

Speaking only for my own use of the description of climate alarmism as a religion, I make the analogy that alarmism is like a religion because its adherents take on faith that certain hypotheses are true and cannot abide those cherished beliefs being questioned. Those who dare to bring data that contradicts the faith are denigrated as “deniers”, just another term for heretics.

Like fundamentalist preachers squirming under the evidence of dinosaurs, climate alarmists twist themselves into pretzels to make the data match the dogma, whether it is “hide the decline” or any of the multitude of adjustments that make the temperature record congruent with the apocalyptic vision. They create EurekAlert! fantasies about CO2 driving events in the distant past with no evidence, just pure conjecture extrapolated off of certainty in a dogma, namely that CO2 is the master control knob of the climate.

You can’t be expected to recognize this. Your beliefs are fixed, your blindness to it is invincible. I suspect that you are certain that you do not have any beliefs and take nothing on faith. At the same time, you are sure that the science is settled. You believe that you have enough evidence to accept the hypothesis. But other religious believers generally think that way as well. They have various experiences that make them think that their God hypothesis has enough evidence to be believed. Sometimes it’s not much more than the humility to say that what has been believed for generations is the wisdom of ages, and I’ll accept it at least provisionally. Just like you, they are likely to filter out any evidence that calls their beliefs into question, preferring to leave the hard questions to some other expert who will explain it to you later.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 17, 2020 1:32 pm

Rich Davis May 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm

You can’t be expected to recognize this. Your beliefs are fixed, your blindness to it is invincible.
give me proof that CC is not happening and GH effect is nothing to worry about and I will consider
, you are sure that the science is settled. [not true I do not think this but evidence is on the side of CC]
You believe that you have enough evidence to accept the hypothesis [I do not believe but look at valid evidence yjat is provided by science]
. But other religious believers generally think that way as well. They have various experiences that make them think that their God hypothesis has enough evidence to be believed. Sometimes it’s not much more than the humility to say that what has been believed for generations is the wisdom of ages, and I’ll accept it at least provisionally. [I agree with that]
Just like you, they are likely to filter out any evidence that calls their beliefs into question, preferring to leave the hard questions to some other expert who will explain it to you later. [present me with science backed evidence and I will consider it]

The unfortunate thing is CC is about the future and there can be no proof of the future. If I request the climate contrarian science I am always told – “You state CC will happen you prove it We do not have to prove anything”
Give me your scientific based prediction of future climate please

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 17, 2020 2:19 pm

Of course you know that proving a negative is impossible. So as expected, you will consider the possibility that your faith is misplaced only if I do the impossible. Just like any other religious believer might say that if you prove God doesn’t exist, they will stop believing.

Judith Curry and others have shown evidence that ECS is 1.4-1.7. If ECS is 1.7 or less, the GH effect is nothing to worry about. Why do you want me to show evidence that climate change isn’t occurring? Climate is always changing.

But you will not consider Curry et al. evidence because it is heretical. Right?

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 17, 2020 3:25 pm

As to your alleged concerns about the future;

1) CO2 levels have been over 7000ppm and life flourished.
2) CO2 levels have been higher and lower than they are today, during those times temperatures have been both higher and lower than they are today. Over the last 100 million years there has been absolutely no relationship between CO2 and temperature.
3) Over the last 10,000 years temperatures have averaged several degrees warmer than what we enjoy today, without any increased CO2 levels.

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 18, 2020 2:34 am

MarkW May 17, 2020 at 3:25 pm
As to your alleged concerns about the future;
1) CO2 levels have been over 7000ppm and life flourished.
I wonder how many dinosaurs lived in immobile cities and used immobile infrastructure – water sewerage, broadband cabling, roads, crops. was it easy for them to move to water as sea levels shrank?

life moved on since co2 was over 7000ppm

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 18, 2020 4:24 am

cornwall alliance are religious but NOT warmists.
the majority of the religious leader s were targeted heavily using their own ” mankind as keeper” type rhetoric BY the devious warmists who saw them as gullible and manipulable and if the leaders could be used then so their followers
ie see the pope and the idiocy hes come up with
with a lot of “help” from the goracle n other conmen with a barrow to fill with others funds
and the curch loves donations for their “green works” as much as the rest

Reply to  Rich Davis
May 18, 2020 9:11 am

gfront, are you actually trying to claim that animals are totally insensitive to changes in their environment?

Regardless, as you admit, there were no harms from 7000ppm, so the claim that 500ppm is going to be a disaster is disproved.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 1:57 pm

“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.”

That is not denial.

That is scientific FACT. !

It is those that make up fantasies the DENY this fact that are the real deniers.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 3:19 pm

1 statement by 1 group now stands for all environmentalists?
Regardless, it’s the so called environmentalists who have been declaring that all heck is going to break lose if temperatures warm by a few more tenths of a degree.

If that isn’t declaring that nature is fragile, I don’t know what is.

What is it about liberals and their willingness to lie about things that are so easily checked?

Reply to  n.n
May 17, 2020 9:58 am

I have to disagree to some extent. For example, “The Lord is my shepherd” of Psalms and “Inshallah” in Islam invoke control of the future by God and subsequent release of fear.

AOC and her tribe tell us that life on earth will cease in a matter of years if we don’t …

Reply to  Scissor
May 17, 2020 10:53 am

No climate scientist say life will cease. Its all about adaption. Moving cities, moving people, crop failures and moving planting north. if AOC has said this she is hopefully hyperbole

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 11:13 am

Why will cities have to move? A very slowly rising ocean? One that is still lower than several thousand years ago? They won’t have to move, but they may have to build slightly better seawalls.

I’d bet dollars to donuts that if the oceans were receding, developers would be building farther and farther out.

Do you expect everything on the planet to remain static? If so, you’re truly delusional.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 12:32 pm

Jeff Alberts May 17, 2020 at 11:13 am
Why will cities have to move? A very slowly rising ocean? One that is still lower than several thousand years ago? They won’t have to move, but they may have to build slightly better seawalls.
You are kidding I hope.
Flooding, and managing it, cost the UK around £2.2 billion each year: we currently spend around £800 million per annum on flood and coastal defences; and, even with the present flood defences, we experience an average of £1,400 million of damage (see Table 2.1). While the level of spending is fairly steady, damage due to flooding is intermittent and can be huge when a major flood occurs.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 1:30 pm

By your “logic” then, I suppose it would be cost-effective to spend up to about £2.2B a year on decarbonizing the UK economy, if that would halt the flooding. I could be mistaken but I think I heard that net zero was projected to cost a bit more than that.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 2:03 pm

Most of the flooding issues in the UK are because of Green agendas allowing flood channels to clog up and become unusable.

But you knew that, didn’t you.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 2:18 pm

In starts and fits, sea levels have been mostly rising for roughly 12 millennia. Mankind’s influence on this has been negligible, except for our efforts to adapt and engineer mitigation and in some places even reclaim land from the sea.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 9:21 pm

Jeff and ghalfrunt ,

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam, a popular tourist haven and the capital of the Netherlands, is slightly under sea level by an average of 12 feet. However, the elevation can also reach as high as 10 feet above sea level. The city is best known for its waterways and canals that give it a magical and romantic feel.

New Orleans, Louisiana: This southern U.S. party town that’s home to Mardi Gras is also below sea level. However, this statement has to be made with an asterisk. Fifty-one percent of the city sits at or above sea level.

Other land areas:

Venice demonstrates what can happen if you put your mind to it. A city doesn’t have to move.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 18, 2020 2:29 am

Rich Davis May 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm
By your “logic” then, I suppose it would be cost-effective to spend up to about £2.2B a year on decarbonizing the UK economy, if that would halt the flooding.
No the uk spending this much or more will have little effect.
The problem is a global one hence all countries have to agree to pollute less, burn fossil fuels less, recycle/reuse more.

Plus, the co2 levels will change insignificantly for decades. I will be a long term thing.

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 18, 2020 3:03 am

fred250 May 17, 2020 at 2:03 pm
Most of the flooding issues in the UK are because of Green agendas allowing flood channels to clog up and become unusable.
not true – the last flooding was too much water too fast.
the idea behind the flood control is to slow the run off from land. deforestation paving of cities, farming practices have all made flooding worse, There are examples of where allowing water to be retained by underbrush, and allowing meadows to flood have stopped costly floods further down stream

Trellis Holder
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 18, 2020 1:05 pm

She is a scientifically illiterate Politician. Her business is NOT studying the universe, but building ideas about how people should relate to each other and putting them in place- diversity, identity, equity.

Many people have gotten the idea that we should be able to change how behave and think so they will think and do as we “understand” how it must be.

Tyrants or tyrannical groups, in other words.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
May 17, 2020 8:45 am

Absoultely, Steve.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 17, 2020 8:45 am

Absolutely, even.

May 17, 2020 7:30 am

17 May: Daily Mail: Computer code for Prof Lockdown’s model which predicted 500,000 would die from Covid-19 and inspired Britain’s ‘Stay Home’ plan is a ‘mess which would get you fired in private industry’ say data experts
•Professor Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College London coding branded ‘unreliable’
•University of Edinburgh scientists ran the same model and had different results
by Luke May
Professor John Ashton, a former regional director of public health for North West England, accused No 10 of relying on a ‘little clique’ of researchers and failing to consult a wider pool of academics.
‘These guys are being regarded as demigods,’ he said in April.
‘Here we are talking about science but this research is being given a kind of religious status, like tablets of stone from the mountain.’…


17 May: UK Sun: ‘IT’S A MESS’ Professor Pantsdown’s ‘Stay At Home’ lockdown advice based on badly written and unreliable computer code, experts say
by Thomas Burrows
Michael Bonsall, Professor of Mathematical Biology at Oxford University, added: “We’d be up in arms if weather forecasting was based on a single set of results from a single model and missed taking that umbrella when it rained.”…

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 2:01 pm

wow, there is Kim Rice.. and at the other end of the spectrum.. there is physics.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  fred250
May 19, 2020 1:52 am

Says someone who is a physicist, and should know of course (sarc).
And it’s Ken BTW

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 19, 2020 7:47 am

ghalfrunt, that a notorious hate/attack/fake-news site that is owned by a vile subhuman abomination.

May 17, 2020 7:30 am

Now let’s see a cross correlation of IQ and CCCC.

May 17, 2020 9:09 am

With age comes wisdom. By 50 or 60, we’ve all seen MANY weather trends come and go. We’ve also seen many “experimental thought” fads, promulgated by the a-hole of the week/month/year. Given that nearly ALL media today are sensationalistic, clicks and eyeballs uber alles, and transparent astroturfing taking place (nearly ALL “celebrities” collecting a dark-money paycheck for their profane Twitter rants and other “activism”) I believe adults with responsibilities spend minimal time on any of this. These boutique, made-up “issues” like “gender” and AGW are almost exclusively collegiate stuff, that age that doesn’t know any better.

People have believed “sacrifices” will change the weather since we were still living up in trees. AGW is just one more iteration of that “old-tyme religion” gussied up with the New Age language of “scientism.”

Ask any real person with a real job and real family (not an “elite” wannabe) how much time he spends worrying about whether or not he’s “doing enough” to change the weather !!

Reply to  Goldrider
May 17, 2020 10:14 am

Great post.

Coming from England, the land of talking about the weather, when I moved to San Francisco, I couldn’t help but pay attention to my new meteorological surroundings – 80+ degree temperatures in February, unbelievably p!ss!ng down with rain in 1981, more than I’d ever experienced (even in the Northern Pennines, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline – Bob Dylan) in 1980/81. Nothing’s changed other than I do notice there are far less 100 degree days these days.

If they really wanted to communicate effectively about changes in the climate, the climate change nitwits could stop their mental masturbations and actually point to some. Then they could show how this tracks with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

What is it with their dogs – always eating their homework? Is the saying “fit as a butcher’s dog” going to be replaced with “skeletal as a climate scientist’s dog”?

Reply to  philincalifornia
May 17, 2020 11:16 am


> Coming from England, the land of talking about the weather

That’s how many Australians used to beguile the time too, until the weather lost its innocence as a topic of conversation. (Thanks, climate movement!)

These days, if you want your family gathering or dinner party among friends to remain amicable, you often find yourself having to steer the conversation away from weather trends and towards something more innocuous, like religion or sex.

> What is it with their dogs – always eating their homework?

Fun fact: climate is the only field of science in which a tour of the canine alimentary system has been shown to improve the quality of most papers.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
May 17, 2020 12:07 pm

Selection bias Brad. Even dogs have homework-eating standards. The ones that are regurgitated, i.e. hurled without digestion and bile-mixing are not counted, hence the papers that emerge from “the other end” so to speak, can appear to the unsuspecting layperson to be an improvement.

……. and don’t get me started on dinner parties. Whenever I have the misfortune to have to go to such an ultra-capitalist event here in the hills, I’m forced to the realization that I’m just not wealthy enough to stridently state that I’m a leftie. The food is usually good though, and the wine even better.

May 17, 2020 9:47 am
Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 11:16 am

My skepticism has nothing to do with imaginary beings. I’m an atheist, I try to live by evidence, not faith. So your trying to lump all of us into one organization’s beliefs is, frankly, stupid.

Richard (the sceptical one)
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 17, 2020 12:59 pm

And my skepticism, Jeff, of which I have a lot, has nothing to do with rejecting the existence of the unseen. I am a believer, I also live by evidence, which I use to know where and how to place my faith. So trying to lump us together with ‘religious’, that is, those who earn merit by performing ritual, is also incorrect.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 17, 2020 5:53 pm

First, separation of logical domains. Second, science is a philosophy and practice in the near-space (and time). Fourth, everyone has a faith (e.g. trust, axioms, assumptions/assertions). Fifth, everyone has a religion (i.e. moral/ethical/legal code or behavioral protocol). Seventh, yeah, it is unseemly to indulge diversity (i.e. color judgement).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  n.n
May 18, 2020 6:39 pm

Having faith based on evidence that something works is not the same as blind faith.

I think your use of “religion” is pretty loose.

May 17, 2020 10:55 am

abd another link to those who sign up to this cornwall alliance

Reply to  ghalfrunt
May 17, 2020 3:29 pm

Ah yes, the group that says what I need today is the group that represents all environmentalists.

May 17, 2020 5:46 pm

Interesting that it was found that green lifestyle changes, such as the adoption of EVs, are unlikely to become cultural imperatives except among economically secure cultures. Fat chance of that now.

May 18, 2020 11:10 am

The writer almost has it right. It is not that CCCC (or CAGW or Climate Cultism) and religions of all sorts are two “interacting” forces as he describes it, but rather than Climate Cultism is a *competing* religion. A bit more accurately, Left Wing Politics has become a substitute for traditional religious faith, a quasi-religion for many secular people, and especially for the young, that competes with the traditional religions they have abandoned, and CAGW has become their functional equivalent of The Devil, perhaps because they can not find enough “White Supremacists” to persecute. (Ideally, they would love to link the two, and get “Patriarchy” into the mix at the same time. That would be their composite dream devil.)

May 18, 2020 11:16 am

Odd, what happened to my comment? I’ll try again:

The writer almost has it right. It is not that CCCC (or CAGW or Climate Cultism) and religions of all sorts are two “interacting” forces as he describes it, but rather than Climate Cultism is a *competing* religion. A bit more accurately, Left Wing Politics has become a substitute for traditional religious faith, a quasi-religion for many secular people, and especially for the young, that competes with the traditional religions they have abandoned, and CAGW has become their functional equivalent of The Devil, perhaps because they can not find enough “White Supremacists” to persecute. (Ideally they would love to combine the two, perhaps with “Patriarchy” in the mix as well. That would be their “dream Devil.”)

May 18, 2020 11:18 am

Test, test, test. I posted the same comment twice, but it vanished in cyberspace both times. Why???

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  mikesmith
May 18, 2020 6:43 pm

Both your comments are there (I should say all three are there). For some reason, some folks have to wait a considerable amount of time for their comments to appear. No idea why.

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