Challenging IChemE climate scaremongering

Originally posted at CFACT

By David Wojick |September 2nd, 2020|

The Institution for Chemical Engineers (IChemE) is a prestigious international group of scientists and professionals with over 35,000 members in about 100 countries. IChemE has been conducting what it calls a consultation on its draft Position Statement on Climate Change. This basically means that the members are invited to submit comments. Given that many engineers are skeptical of the climate scare, it will be interesting to see if all of these comments are made public.

The draft statement itself is pure alarmism. They say the science is settled, per the IPCC, and catastrophe looms. Here is the opening paragraph:

“Climate science is established – global climate change is upon us, exacerbated by human activities. IChemE accepts the veracity of the science and its conclusions published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To avoid irreparable social, economic and environmental damage, it is essential that we accelerate our efforts to decarbonize our economic systems and stabilize the levels of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, if we are to have any chance of limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C, beyond which catastrophic consequences are more likely. Action needs to be global and fair, recognizing the relative differences between regions, both in terms of historic contributions to emissions and vulnerability to the consequences of a warming planet.

Chemical engineers are uniquely placed to take action in the industries that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions to arrest and reverse the damage we humans are doing to the life support systems of our single, shared planet .” (Emphasis added).

Not only do they simply sing the IPCC song, they even get it wrong. Nowhere does the IPCC suggest that 1.5 degrees of warming (with one degree already on their books) is a threshold to catastrophe. In fact the Paris Accord target is still 2.0 degrees. The last sentence may explain IChemE’s fervent catastrophism. Its members are positioned to make huge sums of money doing the engineering to decarbonize the world. After all, CO2 emissions are typically the product of chemical reactions (including combustion).

In fact most of the four page draft position statement is nothing but a strategic plan for cashing in on the unwarranted fear of human caused catastrophic climate change.

The CLINTEL letter challenges IChemE to actually do the scientific and engineering analysis needed to back up a reasonable climate statement. That this analysis has not done so makes the present draft what CLINTEL calls an embarrassing “me-too” position statement.

Here is how CLINTEL puts it: “With all respect, the Institution’s draft statement on climate change is an unquestioning, me-too, statement, political in character and lacking in scientific argument, justification or rationale. The document is unworthy of your prestigious Institution. Uniformed ‘me-too’ climate statements do not bring us closer to thermodynamic reality.”

According to CLINTEL, the draft needs to be completely rewritten:

“The Climate Intelligence Group (CLINTEL) is an international scientific society representing almost 1000 scientists and engineers in climate and related fields. As CLINTEL’s President, I am writing to you to invite the Institution of Chemical Engineers to seriously consider a redraft in toto of its position statement on climate change.”

Moreover, this rewrite should be based on a careful analysis of climate change science and engineering. To that end CLINTEL provides the following succinct checklist of six analytical considerations, including sorely needed engineering cost-benefit analysis.”

— How much – or how little – global warming does mankind really cause?

— Have the benefits as well as the disbenefits of more CO2 in the air been properly accounted for?

— Why does projected past global warming exceed observationally-derived warming by more than 200%?

— Does the cost and benefit of attempting to abate global warming exceed that of adapting to it?

— What of the millions who die every year because they cannot afford expensive “renewable” electricity and are denied affordable, reliable alternatives?

— Has history not shown us over and over again that adaptation to change presents a powerful evolutionary strategy?”

The open letter is signed by Professor Guus Berkhout, CLINTEL President, and their UK Ambassador, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. IChemE is headquartered in the UK. It has been sent to Professor Stephen Richardson, President, Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Clearly this challenge applies to all “me-too” organizations that mislead their members by endorsing the baseless scare of climate catastrophe.

Author

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see

http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html

For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see

http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/

Available for confidential research and consulting.

60 thoughts on “Challenging IChemE climate scaremongering

  1. A little more warming would be good. We are near Leif Erikson levels. Planet Earth has a governor. Antarctica. As long as it is at the south pole, no massive warming. It will be 2 million years before enough of it is out of the Antarctic circle to give us a chance to really heat up.

    • It has been pole bound for more tha 2 million years and very much looks like it will be for more than anohther 2 milllion years, try 20.

      • I think we don’t understand tectonics enough to estimate future movement rates millions of years in the future to know where continents will be in 20 million years. Plates speed up, plates slow, and we really don’t understand why because we really don’t know even how the lithosphere-asthenosphere below them interacts. We can only speculate for now how fast the core is crystalizing and what that means for forcing out gases like methane and heat flow.

  2. “IChemE accepts the veracity of the science”

    Translation: We aren’t going to look into it ourselves and put at risk our paychecks and grants.

    • translation….this has nothing to do with climate or science

      …that’s why it’s all hand waving and no science

    • Marxist infiltration. Part of the Long March through the Institutions. Western universities were lost decades ago, now it’s the scientific community.

  3. To have a scientic institute proclaiming that any science is “settled” is anathema. The whole draft Position Statement reads like an ideological, uninformed and naive effort from a typical member of Extinction Rebellion. It’s a disgrace.

    • “John Harrison September 2, 2020 at 2:54 pm
      To have a scientic institute proclaiming that any science is “settled” is anathema”

      Really great comment. Science dies the day that science is settled because there is no research question.

  4. For good reason, most engineers think climate change “science” is BS. There is no way an engineering or science organization allows open dialogue on this topic.

    • Scissor,
      Then engineers should form an alternative group to compete the next election of officers.
      Immediately. It is no longer an option to prevaricate.
      Geoff S

    • Scissor, I’m not sure most engineers think climate change “science” is BS. I was an engineer at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for my entire career. Most of the engineers under the age of 40 believed it was real. We older ones remember pushing back on the imminent ice age that was upon us in the late ’60s/early ’70s. but despite knowing how often the “settled science” has changed over the last 120 years, the younger engineers know that this time we have it right (despite the predictions being crazily wrong).

      So, I have no great faith that anything good will come of this request from IChemE. Just more BS from the brainwashed, uneducated, but well indoctrinated illiteratti.

  5. “Action needs to be global and fair, recognizing the relative differences between regions, both in terms of historic contributions to emissions and vulnerability to the consequences of a warming planet.”

    This sentence is the give-away. This is pure political lobbying to aid their cause of developed nations to de-industrialise. When you consider that 2/3 of all emissions come from developing nations and all future increases can and will only come from developing nations, then any policy that suggests a fairness test based on historical contributions is simply propaganda aimed at silencing dissent from people in western countries that simply don’t have enough people to create excessive emissions. In essence it’s really about allowing China to continue to expand it’s wealth and influence and to facilitate this by making western countries poorer and enslaved to Chinese energy products that don’t work.

  6. This is all about money. Some of my engineering peers from way back have seen the opportunity to board the gravy train that CAGW offers and they offer all kinds of distorted, uninformed, illogical reasons for doing so except the obvious one of taking chasing the financial rewards. Most don’t know about the 6 bullet points at the end of the article and sadly resist any attempts to be informed and learn more because they know they will be ethically challenged. Very depressing.

    • Little if any CAGW money goes to chemists or chemical engineers. Many chemical engineers work for oil companies and if anything have CAGW money taken from them as their employers are forced to spend money to appease green.

      This is not about the money and is purely ideological. The same poisoning of minds with far left BS done by universities over the last couple of decades has filtered down to virtually all scientific organizations. More evidence that the tipping point has been reached and now all science conforms to a political narrative rather than to the scientific method.

    • My wife, and some colleagues, constantly berate me for not getting into the àll-electric`no carbon future scam. I am an electrical engoineer and I know government (AKA other peoples`) money is available.

      But I am not a fraudster.

      • Me neither
        But I’m just a puny electrical technologist who can see we have already had rolling blackouts in Alberta this year when too much wind tripped off in a storm.

        And I was told this was success in that the whole grid didn’t collapse?
        In an industrial province in a recession so reduced load and on a Sunday

        Criminal

        • My understanding from a CA electrical engineer who works in the power industry tells me that “reduced load” is power industry speak for “sit in the dark”

  7. Their statement would fall apart if they attempted to state exactly what climate science has established (their first sentence). Details not generalities. Firm numbers, not headlines.
    Exactly which conclusions from the IPCC do they accept? The ones exaggerated by alarmists and “journalists”, or the ones that were actually written by IPCC?

  8. Since when did hearsay become sufficient due diligence?

    I expect better from an organization that claims to represent scientists, especially given the fact that climate science is the most controversial science of our day. Denying that the controversy exists doesn’t make it go away and that they deny something so obvious is absolutely insane.

    I wonder if they will continue to deny the controversy in light of the comments they will receive…

  9. Did not know about this organization. I do know about the AIChE of which I am a member and which does not have a position on AGW as far as I know. They do have a position on environmental and sustainability issues, have had for a long time, but it does not mention AGW as far as I know although I haven’t been to a meeting in decades. More about the AIChE at aiche.org unless it has changed.

    The icheme climate position sounds too much like it was paid for. Soros?

    • Chaamjamal
      September 2, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      This thing that always amazes me is just why the need for these bodies to have a position at all.

      Do they have a position on speed limits or reducing sugar intake?

  10. Good luck with scientists sticking their head above the parapet in today’s environment. It’s like the dark ages.

  11. If you’re a member of the ICHEME, David, perhaps you might pass them along a link to my paper, Propagation of Error and the Reliability of Global Air Temperature Projections, published September 2019 in Frontiers in Earth Sciences: atmospheres.

    It demonstrates that climate models have no predictive value.

    The case of the IPCC is entirely overthrown. There is no knowable climate crisis from human CO2 emissions.

    • Hello Pat Frank. Thank you for the link to your paper.

      Very interesting analysis. Maybe a wuwt guest post in plain language form? One question. This 2019 paper reaches back more than 20 years for key citations. Manabe and Wetherald for example.

      Are there plans to extend your gcm analysis to esm?

      • Explanatory post on my paper published at WUWT on 7 September 2019, Chaamjamal, nearly a year ago.

        Not sure what you mean by esm. Earth System Model? But I’m about done with climate models. What is there left to say after showing they’re predictively useless?

        My next paper on climate so-called science will take an unprecedented (in that field) look at the global air temperature record.

        The ultimate revelation will be that the people compiling that record are as incompetent as climate modelers.

        Pseudo-science all the way down.

        • Just been having a look at the Central England temperature data which goes back to 1659. Just eyeballing the data, the mean yearly temperature has increased by about 1 degree C in over 400 years. Not an emergency not an extinction threat. Probably all of that increase is nature doing what nature does. These people would have us living in a time of frozen rivers and ice fairs.

        • I’ve nearly finished analysing all the air temperature records from the Southern Hemisphere on my blog. There is some evidence of warming (maybe 0.5 °C) from 1960 onwards in certain places (South America, Australia), but most station records and regional averages show very little warming compared to the late 19th century. The problem is that most of the raw data gets “adjusted”. And most of the stations that do show a large warming trend are in the middle of major cities: Jakarta, Sao Paolo, Sydney, Melbourne, Buenos Aires.

  12. From what I can see, every single professional, technical and business organisation in the world has been infested by greenies. These fanatics have successfully turned what used to be trusted and helpful institutions into cults that are destroying our world just as effectively as the Covid 19 virus. I wish there was some way to stop and reverse this destruction.

  13. The United Nations created the IPCC. The UN is 100 percent political and therefore corrupt.
    Anything created by the UN is therefore corrupt.
    The corruption was even openly admitted by several of their insiders at the time. The aims of the IPCC has nothing whatever to do with science, it’s an openly admitted power grab by globalists/environazis.
    The underlying meteorological science just happened to coincide with computer modeling technology. This allowed “expert” projections of future climate which resemble reality in the same way that a Disney animated Snow White resembles a real girl.
    Now the media freak show and anyone who wants to make a quick buck just keep their faces in the money trough like any other oinkers.
    The solution is just like any other cure for disease, cut it out. De-fund and prosecute the perpetrators.
    Abolish the UN and shun anyone or anything associated with the money train for perpetuity.
    Pillory a few of the key oinkers so that history will recognize what happened.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillory

  14. Per the above article, the opening paragraph for the IChemE’s Position Statement on Climate Change states, among other things: “To avoid irreparable social, economic and environmental damage, it is essential that we accelerate our efforts to . . . stabilize the levels of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere . . .”

    As good chemical engineers—all 35,000 members in about 100 countries—they must know, of course, that the predominate greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere is water vapor.

    So, I put forth to the IchemE’s leadership and membership these two very simple questions:

    (1) What is the numerical level of humidity (relative or absolute, you decide) at which Earth’s atmosphere should be stabilized?

    (2) By what means do you propose doing such stabilization over all latitudes and longitudes and tropospheric altitudes?

    Surely, you must be able to answer these two most basic questions. Or perhaps not?

  15. They probably think that 47 story modern steel-box concrete reinforced skyscrapers collapse at free fall speed due to simple office fires as well.

  16. Scissor,
    Then engineers should form an alternative group to compete the next election of officers.
    Immediately. It is no longer an option to prevaricate.
    Geoff S

  17. I miss the good-old-days when engineers and scientists were independently minded and had the courage to speak out when they saw or suspected BS.

    Now it seems social justice rules and no one dare take an independent stance or risk losing their job, career, and standing.

  18. The best way out of the mess created by the strings attached to research funds is to heavily fund research directed at understanding climate drivers.

    It would be of great significance if POTUS Trump established the Anthony Watt climate research centre at the outset of his second term. All the funds now going to GISS redirected at a new group that does not employ anyone claiming to be a climate scientist.

    Maybe all here can work toward establishing the Anthony Watt climate research unit. Establish a legacy beyond this blog. Current climate research has such a myopic view on CO2 that is no longer relevant to understanding climate and the significant drivers. Given the likely impact of the next glaciation, surely that is something that needs understanding.

    Research on increasing CO2 should be directed at the contribution to biomass and the opportunities that creates.

  19. After reading that opening paragraph my thought was “someone has been exposed to chemicals that have a “Mr. Yuk” sticker attached.
    Chemical engineers can’t be that moronic, can they?

  20. I’ve been a practicing chemical engineer for 50 years, IchemE bureaucrats can you see my middle finge? No, well get some glasses you myopic bunch of Neanderthals

    As per Harari in his book “Sapiens”, in the bad old days when as a species we were hunter gatherers those too stupid to recognize what was safe to eat didn’t get to procreate, they perished either through starvation or poisoning. One can only wish for the bad old days.

    • I read Harari’s “Sapiens.” Every time he addressed a topic I knew, he was wrong.

      His book is suffused with progressive political views dressed as science.

      Here’s my review at Amazon:

      Every time Hariri discussed something I know about, he was wrong.

      For example he wrongly equated the Declaration of Independence with the Code of Hammurabi, saying both are based on divine commands. In doing so, Hariri shows he doesn’t know to distinguish Theism from Deism.

      The US Founders were Deists. This means they thought that the creator has no interest in the physical universe, once created. No divine commands. No divine lawgiver. The Founders produced a document as close to secular as they could logically do. There is not a whit of sacred writ in the Declaration.

      Hariri discussed religion. Judaism gets a nod — less than a paragraph — and he then passes immediately to Christianity and Islam. He takes no notice that it was the Jews who invented the jealous intolerant god. That idea has cursed religion since its invention. But Hariri doesn’t notice.

      When he talks about myth as the necessary unifier of tribes and societies, he shows no apparent understanding of the impact on human collectives of 40 million years of social evolution followed by 2 million years of cultural evolution.

      Chimpanzees have an intensely organized tribal society — without any myth. Early humans must have had likewise. The evolution of culture meant that human survival depended on learned and shared knowledge. The internal unifier of human tribes was their necessary alliance in the face of a deadly nature.

      Hariri also never addresses the direction of causality with respect to cultural myths. Did myths unify tribes, or did myths arrive after culture emerged, and then parasitize the collective?

      Hariri shows no cognizance of the ambiguous direction of causality between myth and culture. He just argues blindly that human cultures require a unifying myth for their coherence.

      In general, all Hariri’s chief arguments I encountered were shallow and hand-waving. One gets the distinct impression that he made up much of it as he went along; his opinion-mongering rather than real scholarship

      I ended up unwilling to finish the book because I tired of the continuous annoyance of Hariri’s light-weight thinking.

      The physical book is attractive. The paper is rich and glossy. The pictures are all high quality. The thinking is shallow and the scholarship is poor.

      Don’t bother.

      • Pat Frank,

        The current science-based evidence is that earliest fossils attributed to anatomically modern Homo sapiens, along with associated stone tools, date to approximately 300,000 years ago.

        You quoted yourself as stating in your Amazon review of Harari’s book “Sapiens” the following:
        “When he talks about myth as the necessary unifier of tribes and societies, he shows no apparent understanding of the impact on human collectives of 40 million years of social evolution followed by 2 million years of cultural evolution.”

        I need not say more.

        • Gordon, the point was that the 40 million years of social evolution of our primate and hominid ancestors must have impacted human collectives. Hariri ignored that.

      • I have the opinion that the Bible (both books) are a very detailed treatise on how to create a lasting society after moving on from tribalism. Look around the spiritual parts and concentrate on the interpersonal concepts. I find the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule as important as any thoughts of Enlightenment philosophers. Longevity can’t be all wrong.

        • Enlightenment Humanism tells us which parts of Bible instruction can and should be set aside, Jim.

          Otherwise we’d be killing witches (Exodus 23 v18, Leviticus 20, v27), taking slaves (Leviticus 25, v44, 45 and executing blasphemers (Leviticus 24, v16).

    • Jeff Alberts
      September 2, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      Exactly. Why does the membership put up with this nonsense?

      • Alastair
        You asked, “Why does the membership put up with this nonsense?” My cynical view is that most professionals join a professional society to have access to recent research through a journal, and to be able to add the membership to their CV. They have little interest in the running of the organization. It is the ambitious who volunteer to be officers. They sometimes do it out of a sense of professional responsibility; however, all too often, they see it as an opportunity have access to power and influence to promote their personal agendas. The membership largely ignores what the ‘leadership’ does unless it impacts them personally.

    • There is a simple equation that explains this quite clearly:

      Position statement + statement alignment with prevailing government meme + widespread publicity for said statement = high probability of governmental funding for organization issuing said statement.

    • I quit the American Chemical Society years ago for the lack of a mission statement compatible with chemical research and development.

      Same for the university I went to. All the programs they put forward are 90% political and 10% chemistry. A long way down for a department with a real, live, Nobel Laureate still teaching classes.

  21. An absolutely correct approach to ALL professional Institutions and Institutes. The Institution of Civil Engineers is deeply into greenwash, but without any consultation with Members such as I. Personally I am astounded how intelligent people with a scientific and mathematical background can be taken in by his hokem belief other than through mesmerisation by the green elite; or just to be seen to do – me too – as the article states.

    That there has been no institutional challenge over the recent years been published publicly or even in professional journals I have seen, but the converse by way of exhortation and delight of means and ways to reduce if not eliminate human carbon dioxide omissions without any form of impact analysis, smacks to me that editorial censure is very much in place and may well have been deliberately imposed under threat.

  22. Since CLINTEL has zero credibility I am sure they will thank you for your concerns and round file
    your request.

    maybe CLINTEL should consider distancing itself from people who refuse to accept known physics

    • What is the update Cp of air now that CO2 is about 420 ppm? What will the Cp be at 840 ppm? Is that with o without an IR input?

    • Once again the alarmists determines credibility based solely on whether he disagrees with something or not.
      Beyond that, once again Steve just insults, no attempt whatsoever to refute.

  23. The icheme has been on the wrong track for quite some time now (I am a member as required by my company who pay the fees). Two items highlight this below, but there are more.

    1.
    In the past, to be chartered you have to show experience and expertise in the core theory (say heat transfer design), application of the theory (plant operation/commissioning) and proof of management of people and safety. Unfortunately over the years, the academic arm of the institute have taken over, and it is a closed group. So, in simple terms, you can be chartered a few years out of university having done no more than run a few experiments in a lab and publish a paper or two. Some of the get chartered applications are really basis and not suitable for C.

    2.
    The wages of the top eight (I think) positions in the icheme cost approximately 10% of the annual subscriptions, excluding bonuses. So essentially you have 35k members enriching a small few.

    For my part I said that an engineering fraternity should be more concerned not necessarily with the initial proposition, but in identifying any issues with any proposed solutions, highlighting better solutions and then from there, challenging the original position if these solutions seem impossible. I.e. the fraternity should be focusing on the do, check act and review the plan of any Pdca(r) process. Engineers apply and test the theories of science

  24. it will be interesting to see if all of these comments are made public.

    They won’t, especially for any comments that go against their position statement. They’ll simply claim the results are in line with what they wanted to say all along regardless of what the membership actually had to say on the matter.

  25. [[Why does projected past global warming exceed observationally-derived warming by more than 200%?]]

    Because -80C isn’t heat and CO2 can’t melt an ice cube. Do all the 35,000 chemical engineers in this learned society fall for the CO2 warming hoax? Didn’t they learn about Planck’s Radiation Law, the master law governing radiative physics, and its implications?

    http://www.historyscoper.com/thebiglieaboutco2.html

  26. I a chemical engineer and was a member of icheme as a Student. I was a member of ACS and AiChE as well and am a member of Engineers Ireland. The only one neutral on topic is AIChE with the others fully politically warmist.
    No Chemical Engineer who paid attention in lectures believes global warming rubbish. We learn so much about heat and mass transfer of systems and unit operations that can be applied to the Earth as a whole and reveal the nonsense of the case.
    Clearly the management of IChemE are not actually chemical engineers.

    • I left the IChemE last year after being a member for over 30 years, having lost confidence in, and respect for, those at the top – I was a signatory to a no confidence motion, which was voted down (interestingly, the votes cast for and against were in similar proportion to the proportion of members who paid their own subscription vs those whose fees were paid for by their employer). Those at the top have been pressing the green agenda for years, as has the institution’s monthly journal. They gave John Beddington (remember him?) a special award on his retirement as government Chief Scientist, and published a fawning interview with Lord Oxburgh (of ClimateGate whitewash ‘fame’). The Director of Communications & Policy at the time had (twice, I think) stood for parliamentary election for the Labour Party. But to be honest, I think pretty much all the engineering and science institutions in the UK are deeply infected with greenery (the one that I now belong to has an entire conference on the challenges of climate change coming up).

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