The Disappointing Nature Of Some Science Writing

By Jim Whiting, MD, FACR

It’s very discouraging to find, with some frequency, people with training in science who are willing to subscribe to rather unscientific statements, proposals, and predictions.

The Smithsonian, for instance.

This article notes with approval that “the World Meteorological Organization released its decadal survey,which included dire predictions: there is a 90 percent chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record, and a 40 percent chance that we will experience a year with a global average temperature 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.”

There is no explanation of what might be the basis for these alarming predictions, nor how the probabilities were arrived at. In poker, you know how many cards are in the deck and how many cards are being dealt. In craps, you know how many spots are on the faces of the die.

The article quotes without comment Arizona State University climate scientist Randall Cerveny who expresses disappointment that “We had had some hopes that, with last year’s COVID scenario, perhaps the lack of travel [and] the lack of industry might act as a little bit of a brake. But what we’re seeing is, frankly, it has not.”

It does not note that during the depression years 1929-1931, when human CO2 production declined 30%, CO2 continued its languid rise, with temperatures continuing to rise till 1941 when they began a slight decline to 1972, again with no change in CO2 rise despite WWII and post-war reconstruction. Thus the “Oncoming Ice Age!” scares in the early 70s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s). Nor that CO2 change has never preceded any temperature reversal for the last 550 million years.  Nor does it note, to supplement the WMO scare text, that humans produce less than 5% of the annual contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere.

It quotes without comment the absurd Paris Accord decision that no temperature increase beyond 2.7F over pre-industrial could be tolerated…”Otherwise, the planet will face a climate catastrophe.”  It does not note that the world has spent half the last 550 million years within a few degrees, plus and minus, of 22C – that’s 72F average vs the current 59F (15C). The dinosaurs basked at 18C, in a wet world.

The choice of 2.7F over preindustrial is imaginatively arbitrary, in light of previous global temperatures in our absence. There has never been a tipping point in the last 550 million years: not at the P-T extinction warming (to at least 28°C), nor, more surprisingly, at the “snowball earth” events when glaciers reached almost to the equator and albedo increased dramatically.

In addition to history, there is theory.  The exponential decline in the GHG effect of CO2 has been known since Arrhenius, and the numbers are now correct.  The next doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%, in theory.

So there is no justification to propose that CO2 at this time, at these levels, is in control of climate change, nor any justification to assume that we are in charge of CO2.

Climate change is a given, not a problem.  Problems have solutions.  The fact that “we have to do something about it” doesn’t mean that we can.

CO2 mitigation is a problem, not a solution.

These are not controversial facts. Everyone with scientific interests should know and use them.

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Steve Case
June 15, 2021 2:53 am

“…there is no justification to propose that CO2 at this time, at these levels, is in control of climate change, nor any justification to assume that we are in charge of CO2.

There is no explanation of what might be the basis for these alarming predictions…”

Propaganda doesn’t need any justification or explanation.

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
June 15, 2021 6:45 am

In other words, climate science writers might as well be saying:

Justification? We don’ got no justification we don’ need no justification we don’ got to show you any stinkin’ justification!

Reply to  Steve Case
June 15, 2021 7:07 am

“There is no explanation of what might be the basis for these alarming predictions ….”

They’re congenital liars would be one falsifiable hypothesis that is unlikely to be falsified any time soon.

Ron Long
June 15, 2021 3:16 am

Good report, but here’s the problem: “The Disappointing Nature of Some Science Writing” is where the money is. Both from the research money to institutions and from the dishonest media where they have for a long time they can only sell disasters and bad news. How many times have you read or heard “everything’s good today, no problem”?

Bill Toland
Reply to  Ron Long
June 15, 2021 3:27 am

I have come to the conclusion that many climate alarmists don’t believe a word of what they are saying. But they are being given free money to virtue signal. As far as they are concerned, it’s a win win situation.

Reply to  Bill Toland
June 15, 2021 9:30 am

That and university academia is a tenure based gerontocracy. The old white men who guide project selection, advise AND grade grad students were born in the 1950s. They formed their political opinions as university students in the 1970s. If they’re like a lot of retirement age professionals I’ve worked with, they make decisions based on dated experience and recycle work long past its relevance because new research requires work they have no interest in exerting. In industry, it’s called running the clock out while the checks keep cashing.

Reply to  KevinM
June 15, 2021 11:10 am

You haven’t been at a university for a while have you? Almost all faculties have a preponderance of women and most university ethos are shaped by female values such as safety first, no arguing, everybody should try to get along, do what you are told. It may be a complete coincidence that the rise of wokism and the end of the age of reason ended with the decline in the influence of old white males, but I doubt it.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 15, 2021 3:28 am

They should only get money for the SECOND time they do the research. That way they are only paid for testing the results of the first study.

Reply to  bluecat57
June 15, 2021 3:29 am

And it is THEIR money at risk the first time not Other People’s Money.

Reply to  bluecat57
June 15, 2021 9:31 am

Exactly the kind of policy that encourages recycling outdated work and suppresses contrary ideas.

Reply to  KevinM
June 15, 2021 11:25 am

Not my intent. It was pretty early and I knew my suggestion would be misunderstood.
1. NO government money should ever be used for any scientific research. If the research is valuable then PRIVATE money should be used to fund it.
2. If that was how research was funded, then go for it.
3. Since government money is used to fund research then the reason for NOT funding the first experiment is that if:
It is proven false, then I (as in the taxpayer) isn’t out any money.
It is proven true, then the results need to be reproduced and I’m (as in taxpayers) are willing to risk MY money on verifying the results.

The point is that the RESEARCHER/Theorist needs to take the RISK not the taxpayer. Who reaps the FINANCIAL rewards? NOT the “taxpayer” or even the government. The Researcher or their GOVERNMENT funded organization gets the profits.

Even this does not fully explain my position. I’m happy to continue the discourse if you want to.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ron Long
June 15, 2021 11:28 am

Here’s the other problem:

It does not note that during the depression years 1929-1931, when human CO2 production declined 30%, CO2 continued its languid rise, with temperatures continuing to rise till 1941 when they began a slight decline to 1972, again with no change in CO2 rise despite WWII and post-war reconstruction. Thus the “Oncoming Ice Age!” scares in the early 70s (see Time and Newsweek and ScienceNews in the early ’70s). Nor that CO2 change has never preceded any temperature reversal for the last 550 million years. Nor does it note, to supplement the WMO scare text, that humans produce less than 5% of the annual contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere.”

These things are always presented as a single line on a graph, with proxy recons, or actual thermometer readings, all averaged or lumped together in some way, presenting a physically meaningless conclusion. Temperatures have NEVER risen or fallen monotonically all over the globe. In the last 150 years, some places have warmed, some have cooled, some have remained relatively static. A single line on a graph labeled “Temperature” is just plain dishonest, unless it’s portraying the temp at one place, period.

June 15, 2021 3:24 am

Some? Too generous. But I read only y’all and stuff intended for more general consumption.
I do get a laugh from all the high faluting words in the study titles though.

Coeur de Lion
June 15, 2021 3:33 am

All these people are on the record

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
June 15, 2021 9:58 pm

Problem with CACW is it’s a stuck record

June 15, 2021 3:44 am

…people with training in science who are willing to subscribe to rather unscientific statements, proposals, and predictions.

Which begs the questions: Who trained them? And what on Earth did they teach them?

I mean, have you seen the once reasonable New Scientist lately? It’s up there with The Beano and The Dandy (childrens comics)

Last edited 1 month ago by fretslider
Reply to  fretslider
June 15, 2021 7:54 am

New Scientist was always pretty shit. Somewhat honest at least, but they were pretending that UK scientists were on some kind of equal footing with their US-based counterpart Nobel Laureates by virtue of the fact that they were able to sneak their names on the papers.

Meanwhile, yes:

comment image

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  philincalifornia
June 15, 2021 4:53 pm

G’day Phil,

I saw “Cow Pie”. Got to wondering, is there a version of “Moose T*rd Pie” on the web?” There is:

Utah Phillips – Moose Turd Pie – YouTube

Should get a big smile at least, need a break from all the doom and gloom.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  fretslider
June 15, 2021 11:30 am

Which begs the questions: Who trained them? And what on Earth did they teach them?”

That’s not “begging the question”, that’s “raising the question(s)”.

June 15, 2021 3:56 am

CO2 by itself is not a problem. The only way ‘they’ get runaway global warming is to conjecture a positive feedback from increased water vapor (by far the most important greenhouse gas). A little extra heat due to increased CO2 would cause more evaporation and extra water vapor in the atmosphere which would cause even more warming.

CAGW is based on complete conjecture with no supporting evidence. Never mind the disappointing nature of science writing, how about the disappointing nature of climate science.

Science is thoroughly corrupt. At least we can boast that we have the best scientists money can buy. 😉

Reply to  commieBob
June 15, 2021 4:29 am

Or perhaps you have the most money for scientists to chase…

Charles Fairbairn
Reply to  commieBob
June 15, 2021 10:10 am

Yes. The reason for this gross error, whether deliberate or not, is that the IPCC totally excluded the thermodynamic behaviour of water, during the evaporative phase change which occurs at CONSTANT temperature and thus with a Planck coefficient of sensitivity of Zero.
If this had been included then it would have resulted in a net NEGATIVE feedback to the GHE which would have removed any risks from increasing CO2 emissions and hence the eventual disbanding of the IPCC. The use of the greenhouse gas properties of water alone resulting in a POSITIVE feedback leading to the CAGW Meme ensured the continuation of the organisation. Indeed a strong motivation.

This conflict of interest has had serious consequences, with the reason the IPCC got away with it, IMO, only to be put down to the sinister influence of politics; where great damage has been done to the reputation of the scientific community.

Reply to  Charles Fairbairn
June 15, 2021 11:01 am

Yep. My gut feeling is that the posited positive feedback violates the conservation of energy because, as you point out, it takes a lot of energy to evaporate water.

With regard to the IPCC, Dr. Fauci, and others of that ilk, there is Expert Overconfidence where they don’t realize the limits of their expertise and knowledge. After this wuflu thing is over, I look forward to a great awakening of the populace to the limitations of experts. At some point, even liberals should realize that folks like the IPCC should never be trusted.

Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2021 4:11 pm

Increased global temp will cause more evaporation, more GHG effect, more cloud cover with increased albedo and increased thunderstorms. Willis has done a good job on this. And then there’s the S-B formula for radiation which says that land will radiate IR at the fourth power of the increase in temp, and this will eventually find its way out to space. So the increase of 1°K will produce a 1.3% increase in outgoing IR for a 0.3% increase in land surface temp. It’s not surprising that there’s been no tipping point.

June 15, 2021 4:24 am

“These are not controversial facts. Everyone with scientific interests should know and use them.”
…and they’ll be of interest only to those with scientific interest.
This battle is for the psyche, the soul, the very humanity of the human animal. Shamans and witchdoctors know Words of Power, and with words, gestures, smells, any stimulus, they lead your mind to the reality paid for. Death curses do not work if the target is oblivious to his cursed status. The shaman has to convey the message in no uncertain terms, possibly repetetively and in many guises. Shamans know how to manipulate the soul.
You and I call them psychologists. Note how many are at the forefront of the “fight against covid”, note how they practiced their technique on us using the weather as focal point. Now they are focussing on your very continued healthy existence.
Science is, unfortunately for those interested in science, not the Lingua Franca at this particular Demonfest.
I thought we’d better learn genetics to survive the next few years. What we need to learn is psychobabble, even if just to learn to recognise the use thereof. Bolshies understand nothing else, anyway.

Reply to  paranoid goy
June 15, 2021 1:24 pm

“This battle is for the psyche, the soul, the very humanity of the human animal.”

Simple solution, not sufficiently recognized in the whole discussion: Take political power out of the hands of those human animals that have more soul than brain. If public vote cannot be discarded completely, it needs to be weighted. Most easily by income, measured by the voter’s tax returns since the last election. Those who benefit the country by being productive, abiding by the law, and paying taxes know the way the country should be going and should determine that path. The votes of those with negative income (receivers of any kind of welfare or subventions) OTOH should either be counted very weakly, or even in reverse (a welfare recipient voting for the Left is counted for the Right). This scheme would make all the dishonesty useless as those most likely to fall for propaganda literally wouldn’t count for much.

Reply to  AlexBerlin
June 16, 2021 12:01 am

Okay, so, if I make my money selling, say, methamphetamine to primary-school kiddies under the guise of ADHD medicine, and I make a billion a year, I get ten thousand times as many votes as the guy who earns a hundred thousand teaching primary school mathematics?
Let me introduce you to the concept of “reductio ad absurdum”. Think up your bestest idea. Now hand that over to the stupidest, vilest, most perverted person you can think of, and just think of what he can do with this power you have created. Think of a bunch of drunken childmolesters or murderous religious fanatics holding that power. Imagine that power in the hands of a bunch of toddlers high on ADHD drugs. Because that is life. Any idea you now get to go around this problem, you submit to the same test.
Can you see now how utterly absurd and childish your idea is?
But it is not really your fault; every phrase you write is actually pure Bolshevik dysintelligence, I assume you are young and still a communist.

June 15, 2021 4:43 am

The wonders of electric-powered vehicles or not. This story is a bit like those folks who got trapped in the ice when they expected there to be no ice.

June 15, 2021 5:17 am

Thanks, Jim. Well done.


Reply to  Bob Tisdale
June 16, 2021 6:16 pm

Thanks, Bob. I like your work very much.

Doug Huffman
June 15, 2021 5:19 am

Thank you for “people with training in science”. The epithet is offensive.

June 15, 2021 5:25 am

a layman here… you say man causes only 5% of the annual contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere. I don’t dispute that statement. What has been the principal cause of the increase from 280 to 415 ppm over the last 130 years or so?

Reply to  Dave
June 15, 2021 6:01 am

One candidate could be ocean out-gassing from the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period, taking into account the 800 or so year delay between warming and atmospheric CO2.

Reply to  Dave
June 15, 2021 6:42 am

Nobody knows. Less than half of what humans emit ends up raising the atmospheric CO2 concentration. There is far more CO2 in the ocean, well in different forms due to dissolving in water, than in the atmosphere. When graphing human emissions versus atmospheric concentration, there is no obvious correlation.

Could be totally unrelated!

Reply to  Michael Moon
June 15, 2021 8:02 am

You may be 100 percent correct. But the alarmists have certainly seized upon the steady rise in CO2 levels since the start of the industrial age as “evidence” of their claim of CAGW.
It’s kinda their entire argument… CO2 is the “control knob” for global temperatures.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Dave
June 15, 2021 11:36 am

Consider the fact that we’ve only been MEASURING CO2 directly for the last 100 years or so. Comparing measurements to very uncertain proxies is why so many are alarmed today.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Michael Moon
June 15, 2021 8:42 am

It’s true that less than half can be accounted for in the atmosphere, but all that tells us is that the 1/e time for absorption of newly released CO2 is around a decade or so. It does not tell us that there is some other source around. On the other hand there is this statement from a paper I read a while ago by Gavin Cawley ( | Energy Fuels 2011, 25, 5503–5513) …

Note that the natural environment is a net carbon sink, and therefore, were it not for ongoing anthropogenic emissions, it would seem reasonable to expect atmospheric levels to be currently falling instead of rising.

If we had not pumped CO2 into the atmosphere then we would have possibly faced declining CO2 for decades already. Combine this with a contribution from David Middleton some years ago which suggested that without the present modest warming from CO2 we would be in a regime of declining temperature. Declining CO2 and declining temperature — that really does sound like a climate crisis.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kevin kilty
Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 10:15 am

I saw this on Twitter just now from admitted and outspoken climate alarmist Eric Haulthaus…
CO2 levels have reached a point unseen by any living creature on Earth in the past four million years. By any measure, every year of our kids’ entire lives will be wildly unusual. We are in a climate emergency.”

This is the mindset that is controlling the debate now.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  Dave
June 15, 2021 3:28 pm

Add madness and ignorance in equal parts. Shake well.

In most cases people would wonder what is wrong with old Eric. They would conclude that he is “seein’ things.” The CO2 levels behind the stupid mask I was forced to wear at times this past year were far higher.

Reply to  Dave
June 16, 2021 5:40 am

That demonstrates frightening levels of ignorance on Haulthaus’s part.

Peter K
Reply to  Dave
June 15, 2021 10:08 pm

Or perhaps the >1000ppm back when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

Reply to  Peter K
June 16, 2021 4:14 pm

I think it was around 1800ppm

Reply to  Dave
June 16, 2021 2:37 pm

We came out of the LIA before 1840 and temps rose without any increased input from humans until 1880, when our CO2 production ramped up. Temps then declined to 1910 when the big rise occurred, lasting to 1941 or so. The rise in CO2 from 1840 has been fairly steady, uninfluenced by us. Most of the CO2 input is from decay of biological matter. The 30% increase in agriculture since 1950 attributed to CO2 increase may also increase the amount of decay.
Luckily, CO2 is not in control of climate, and at these levels is overwhelmed by the other eight forcings.

June 15, 2021 5:27 am
June 15, 2021 5:35 am

Climate propaganda tends to overlook a lot of things in its messaging, including slave labor camps in the modern era.

LettertoActingCommissionerMiller.pdf (

Members of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter urging customs officials to “immediately take aggressive enforcement actions” regarding polysilicon products entering the United States from Xinjiang, China.
The letter to acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Troy Miller was dated June 10 and was signed by two dozen members of the congressional tax writing committee.
The letter complained that the agency has been slow in following up on forced labor allegations and “has yet to take a single enforcement action.” The letter said that customs officials had received allegations in late 2020 and suggested “imminent enforcement action” three months ago. “We believe it is time to act,” the letter said.
The letter said that enough evidence exists to trigger action under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1307). It called on the customs agency to take “strong action.” Section 307 bars the importation of goods made by convict labor or forced labor.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ResourceGuy
June 15, 2021 11:39 am

congressional tax writing committee”

I’ll bet those guys are a hoot at parties.

June 15, 2021 5:36 am

It isn’t the writing that is disappointing, it’s the thinking.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
June 15, 2021 7:03 am

Well done Phil.
Reason being…
Go look for folks who are pre or actually Type 2 Diabetic
Covers easily 70% of the US population, same in the UK and a lot of them are living in blissful ignorance of their condition.
Compare their cognitive skills with those who do not ‘Have a touch of the sugar’
Usually the tall slim ones who have never ever had the need to ‘Go on a diet’
Use ‘first impressions’ – they have ‘bright eyes’

Repeat for folks who drink alcohol. Or ‘do’ cannabis. Or those who are on a Low Salt Diet,
Or are, via dietary choice (or coercion) low Magnesium, low Lithium, low Potassium, low Vitamin B and or D
First impressions again: They have dark eyes. They are ‘slow’. Dull. Lacking ‘something’

There is your Junk Science
Junk Civilisation in fact – almost everybody is asleep

And it’s a Simple Enough Experiment to prove it, to yourself.
Ditch the alcohol, the sugar & carbs, the TV and MSM for 12 months…
…….and one morning, getting out of bed, you will realise you have woken up into a Land of Zombies

and they are scary, not just in the sheer number of them but the political, social, media, scientific & technical power that is invested in them

Barnes Moore
June 15, 2021 5:40 am

One problem is that members of the party of “science” have swallowed this nonsense hook, line, and sinker, and are so entrenched in their belief that no amount of data or facts will ever sway them. They will go to SkS for their “science”. As Thomas Sowell quoted “It’s usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance”.

Reply to  Barnes Moore
June 15, 2021 10:06 am

I fear that our scientist do not understand that when the economy is destroyed by the coming of the next marxism, they will be the first baggage thrown overboard. When the breadlines form, everyone will forget that there is an animal sitting fat and happy up north with seal blood smeared over its face. Science, just like social programs, are products of a healthy and wealthy society. Take those gross profits out of the hands of the greedy, and they will realize how much their well being depends on the financial well being of the rest of us, the mass customers. Then hopefully all will see that the absence of mass poverty in the modern world is primarily due to the availability of cheap oil and coal. We may transition away from fossil fuels in 50 to 100 years, but it won’t be replaced with solar or wind, and technically we are no where close to that point yet. We have some hard times coming and not from CO2 or rising temperatures, but from our own ignorance. And scientist will be at the head of the handout line.

Jeffery P
Reply to  Barnes Moore
June 15, 2021 2:00 pm

Thomas Sowell should be required reading for everyone.

June 15, 2021 6:54 am

You know the old saying those who are unable to do anything that well teach.
Well the same goes for science writers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  LdB
June 15, 2021 11:41 am

I don’t think you quite got there with the old saying.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
June 15, 2021 1:29 pm

I do think he did. Those who are intellectually equipped to do proper science do it. Those that failed write “science-y” journalistic propaganda.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  AlexBerlin
June 15, 2021 2:34 pm

I know what he/she/it was trying to say, but it was done very sloppily. the way I’ve always heard it was: Those who can’t do, teach.

June 15, 2021 6:59 am

“The next doubling of CO2 to 800 ppm will increase its GHG effect by less than 2%, in theory”

Wait a moment. On what figures is this based on? A 2xCO2 of 3.7W/m2 vs a 150W/m2 GHE? Or <2% of 33K, meaning some <0.66K ECS?

Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 15, 2021 7:20 am

Ascribing it as zero, and acknowledging the fact that ECS doesn’t actually exist, even after cutting through the “climate” bullsh!t lingo, would be the percentage call.

The climate superiors know this of course, but there are enough climate crackpots to keep the phony meme going for, what do you reckon? Another 2 years, 4 years and then the fat lady sings.

Reply to  philincalifornia
June 15, 2021 7:28 am

Hey, I know the stuff. I know how the “consensus” ECS modelling is build up, I know the blunders (there are plenty of), and I know what ECS is for real.

What I do not know, and actually never see, is someone who claims ECS was negligible and can consistently argue that claim. It gives me the impression I happen to know a lot, which others don’t..

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  philincalifornia
June 15, 2021 11:43 am

The climate superiors know this of course, but there are enough climate crackpots to keep the phony meme going for, what do you reckon? Another 2 years, 4 years and then the fat lady sings”

We’ve been hearing that for a couple of decades. Is the lady not fat enough yet?

Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 16, 2021 2:47 pm

According to Modtran, 50% of the GHG effect of CO2 is in the first 20ppm and it declines exponentially after that.

Reply to  JimW
June 17, 2021 6:53 am

We all know. However it will not answer the question.

Paul Sarkisian
June 15, 2021 7:17 am

I recently read a science article recently where one of nature’s constants (I forgot which) precision was fine tuned from 8 decimal places to 11 decimal places, and she said the value is now “three times as accurate”.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Paul Sarkisian
June 15, 2021 9:11 am

Darn finicky decimal places…

Andy Pattullo
June 15, 2021 7:32 am

Arguments based on evidence and known truth are unwelcome in the arena of propaganda. Nor are they likely to elicit any response other than more propaganda. We have allowed the what were once academic pursuits to become nothing but carnival acts in search of money, power and prestige.

June 15, 2021 7:40 am

Like. This is a good post.

My climate change markers are:

a) The return of the Vikings to Greenland to pick up farming where they left off. Maybe they can make use of their old places that are currently in the permafrost.

2) Or maybe the return of the glacier that has a tendency to cover my back yard. That would be a big clue that the climate has changed.

I suppose the science writers could interview Otzi about the climate in his times. It was similar to, or a bit warmer than today’s climate. But he’s not talkin’. His remains say a lot, though.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  H.R.
June 17, 2021 12:08 pm

“a) The return of the Vikings to Greenland to pick up farming where they left off. Maybe they can make use of their old places that are currently in the permafrost.”

That would be a good indication that the world had warmed.

And as I recall, there were no climate tipping points occurring while Vikings were farming Greenland, so it looks like humans have a large margin to play with (if it were up to us in the first place, which it isn’t).

June 15, 2021 8:04 am

Speaking of disappointing science writing, can anyone here recall the last time elevated CO2 caused the oceans to boil away?

It’s pretty widely known that CO2 levels were much higher in the past, so it must have happened at some point.

I’m having a senior moment on that one right now, though. I can’t seem to recall it.
I suppose it’s like Socialism. Like the oceans boiling away, the Utopia never happens, but “This time, this time for sure!”

Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 8:23 am

In any engineering economic analysis one just about has to include the “do nothing” option. Politcians, climate scientists, and activists do not wish anyone to examine the do nothing option.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 9:12 am

Yes! Sometimes the correct response is, “Don’t.”

Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 9:44 am

Where are these engineers and economists. Scared to talk in public I think.

e.g. I love the Freakonomics books and podcasts for occasional controversial and countercultural subject matter. When their work barely touched the idea that the science was unsettled they were excoriated as climate deniers.

No level of status or carefulness with words provides safety.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 10:04 am

Politicians want the “do something that doesn’t help” option, so they can campaign by saying they’re going to “do something”, and when that doesn’t work, then they campaign again saying “We need to do more”

Jeffery P
Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 15, 2021 2:06 pm

Have the courage to do nothing. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Someday, maybe. But first they will be taught to hate you.

Caligula Jones
June 15, 2021 8:49 am

It is sad to see such alarmism posing as science in a (presumptive) science outlet.

However, it is still better than the MSM (where most people get their “science” from) which generally has a twenty-something liberal arts grad as a “senior science writer” reporting to a 30 year old “senior science editor”, whose job it is to check for typos on the press release re-typed by the “writer”.

Terrible, terrible stuff.

June 15, 2021 9:34 am
Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Wojick
June 17, 2021 12:17 pm

You ought to see the article about Climate Change in the AARP magazine. It’s bad science all the way down. And I just read an answer to a question posed to Astronomy magazine, and the scientist who answered the question attributed the high temperatures of Venus to CO2 and the Greenhouse effect. You see this same ignorance on tv science programs.

I don’t normally read the AARP magazine but I have a subscription to about 300 magazines thanks to Apple+ and just hapened to be scanning the covers when I saw this Big Headline about Climate Change on the cover and so I was curious to see what they had to say, and they had a lot to say, a lot of misinformation. Page after page.

The worst part about it is they assume Human-caused Climate Change is real without ever actually seeing any evidence that it exists. That’s the fatal mistake in all these climate change argumets alarmists make. The basic premise has never been established. The alarmists and those fooled by them are building climate change skyscrapers on a foundation of shifting sand.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 17, 2021 1:08 pm

Yes, that persists despite the clear refutation on Spencer. It is of note that a small amount of CO2 (?80ppm) is required to produce the temperature spectrum in the atmosphere, but basically the surface temp is adiabatic lapse.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
June 18, 2021 6:51 am

“attributed the high temperatures of Venus to CO2 and the Greenhouse effect”

I don’t recall where I saw it, but I thought that had been disproven several years ago?

Reply to  TonyG
June 19, 2021 10:43 am

Yes, but it’s still being said by supposedly qualified people.

June 15, 2021 10:14 am

2.7°F. Not 2.6°F. Not 2.8°F. 2.7°F. Oooooooo, there’s a decimal point! Sciencey!!

June 15, 2021 11:43 am

As for The Smithsonian, keep in mind that it is now owned by Disney.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Neo
June 17, 2021 12:18 pm

Which means it is owned by the Chicoms.

Michael in Dublin
June 15, 2021 2:38 pm

I am not a historian but my first teacher in the fifties gave me a love of history. This is another great deficiency among alarmists – knowing some of the key points, contributions and methodologies of the greatest scientists. From what I have read on the history of scientific discovery I am convinced that many if not most of these would have been horrified at the way alarmist scientists are working and reasoning today.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
June 17, 2021 12:23 pm

Alarmist Climate Science is the equivalent of Mass Hysteria.

It’s all emotion and no science, or at least not enough science to make the case. So alarmists pretend the case has already been made and proceed from there, as if the rest of us can’t see the flaws in their thinking.

June 24, 2021 6:38 pm

And just a little more?
The Economist
has an article on the discovery in the Arctic of dinosaur eggs and infant teeth and bones, commenting that “This suggests a diverse and flourishing ecosystem, despite the fact that Prince Creek was continuously dark for 120 days a year and had an average annual temperature of 6°C—meaning snow would have been common in winter.”

No reference given. And this indicates that 70 million years ago the average Arctic sea temperature was 15C.
“From these analyses we infer an average sea surface temperature of approximately 15 degrees C for the Arctic Ocean about 70 million years ago. This calibration point implies an Equator-to-pole gradient in sea surface temperatures of approximately 15 degrees C during this interval and, by extrapolation, we suggest that polar waters were generally warmer than 20 degrees C during the middle Cretaceous (approximately 90 million years ago).”

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