Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. “The Inconvenient Truth about Climate Science”

Ep93: Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. “The Inconvenient Truth about Climate Science”

Cleaning up with Michael Liebreich

Roger Pielke, Jr. has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder since 2001, where he teaches and writes on a diverse range of policy and governance issues related to science, technology, environment, innovation and sports. Roger is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program. Roger is currently focusing his research on a NSF-sponsored, 16-country evaluation of science advice in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roger holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science, all from the University of Colorado. In 2012 Roger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and was also awarded the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America. In 2006, Roger received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich, Germany in 2006 for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research.

Roger has been a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan since 2016. From 2019 he has served as a science and economics adviser to Environmental Progress. Roger was a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences from 2001 to 2016. He served as a Senior Fellow of The Breakthrough Institute from 2008 to 2018. In 2007 Roger served as a James Martin Fellow at Oxford University’s Said Business School. Before joining the faculty of the University of Colorado, from 1993 to 2001 Roger was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

At the University of Colorado, Roger founded and directed both the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and the Sports Governance Center. He also created and led the university’s Graduate Certificate Program in Science and Technology Policy, which has seen its graduates move on to faculty positions, Congressional staff, presidential political appointees and in positions in business and civil society.

His books include Hurricanes: Their Nature and Impacts on Society (with R. Pielke Sr., 1997, John Wiley, full text free as PDF), Prediction: Science, Decision Making and the Future of Nature (with D. Sarewitz and R. Byerly, 2001, Island Press), The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics published by Cambridge University Press (2007), The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell you About Global Warming (2010, Basic Books). Presidential Science Advisors: Reflections on Science, Policy and Politics (with R. Klein, 2011, Springer), and The Edge: The War Against Cheating and Corruption in the Cutthroat World of Elite Sports (Roaring Forties Press, 2016). His most recent book is The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change (2nd edition, 2018, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes).

Key papers mentioned in the conversation [check transcript for all the references]:

IPCC baseline scenarios have over-projected CO2 emissions and economic growth (2021)…

Distorting the view of our climate future: The misuse and abuse of climate pathways and scenarios (2021)…

Why do climate change scenarios return to coal? (2017)…

Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading (2020)…

Climate Scenarios and Reality (2021)…

Hurricanes and Global Warming (2005)…

Historical Global Tropical Cyclone Landfalls (2012)…

The Climate Fix (2010)…

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June 6, 2023 12:52 am

First there was Dale Vince. Then

“Starmer under fire as former XR legal strategist advising Labour on climate change”

“Lord Deben backs Labour’s plan to halt new North Sea oil and gas drilling
UK’s most senior climate adviser says policy is ‘right thing to do’ and criticises government’s stance”

Science doesn’t get a look in

Reply to  strativarius
June 6, 2023 1:15 am

And Science shouldn’t get a look in …
‘the climate crisis / emergency’ is nothing to do with science;
it’s a political invention dressed up with pseudo-science language.

Reply to  1saveenergy
June 6, 2023 1:53 am

Gosh, really…

You don’t say

Reply to  1saveenergy
June 6, 2023 4:50 am

Perhaps it’s a good sign that Pielke is somewhat despised and derided at CU Boulder.

Reply to  strativarius
June 6, 2023 2:09 am

But wasn’t Deben (aka John Selwyn Gummer) a Conservative MP?

Reply to  atticman
June 6, 2023 3:09 am

The Tories gulped down almost all the Kool-Aid long ago.

They are beyond just group-think; they act likea political murmuration, on climate and a host of other issues, except—notably—their own leadership.

Reply to  atticman
June 6, 2023 4:21 am

After being an environment minister he made a lot of money out of green industry initiatives, quangos and directorships. I am quite sure that what helps his bank balance and his paymasters rates far more highly than the energy security and economy of the country as a whole.

His most famous contribution to politics was going out in front of the press at his front gate and forcing a beefburger down his daughter’s throat during the mad cow panic.

Not that the rest of the Tory party need much encouragement to jump on a passing bandwagon. Only about three of three hundred of them voted against the original Climate Change bill that ramped the whole madness into the stratosphere.

At least you think it might be madness, but if you invest in the right industries then have the power to tilt the playing field in the direction you want, it all starts to make a lot of sense.

Reply to  GiraffeOnKhat
June 6, 2023 6:20 am

Only about three of three hundred of them voted against the original Climate Change bill

I’d been a life-long, if sometimes sorely tested Tory till then. That finished me.

June 6, 2023 10:45 am

Not sure if its just browser settings on my end… the “Key papers mentioned in the conversation” links all take me to a leaving YouTube warning. I’m not on YouTube.

E. Schaffer
June 6, 2023 10:49 am

Just in case you want the direct link..

E. Schaffer
Reply to  E. Schaffer
June 6, 2023 11:53 am

Interesting, it still will not work..

Walter Sobchak
June 6, 2023 12:34 pm

I will have to listen to this. I also read Roger’s substack. He has been on a roll lately. Here is a tiny taste:
“Don’t Play Footsie with Racism: Climate determinism is alive and well in climate research and reporting” by Roger Pielke Jr. Jun 5, 2023
“The empirical reality is that humans have proven adaptable to almost all of the Earth’s many climates, ranging from the Sahara Desert to Antarctica, and humans thrive in places as varied as Lagos to Oslo to Quito to Lahore. Raising the specter of climate-caused mass migration, explicitly characterized as black and brown people coming your way, is a form of climate advocacy dressed up as science that traffics in nationalist and even racist impulses.”
“2023 Edition: What the media won’t tell you about … hurricanes: The science and data reporters refuse to report” by Roger Pielke Jr. Jun 1, 2023
” … trends in hurricane activity outside the range of documented variability have not been detected …
Hurricane landfalls along the continental U.S. show no trends since at least 1900. …
… there is no debate that the single biggest factor driving increasing damage from storms is development — the growth of buildings and amount of wealth exposed to storms. …”
“The Political Agenda of the IPCC Scientific Assessment or Environmental Advocacy Group?” Pick One Roger Pielke Jr. May 15, 2023
“So what is the political agenda of the IPCC in-group? Transformational change … IPCC clearly defines what it means by “transformational change.” … ‘change everything from public policies and prevailing technologies to individual lifestyles, and social norms to governance arrangements and institutions of political economy’ …
The political agenda of the IPCC reads as if it was developed by wealthy American and Europeans academics. The billions of people around the world who may lack energy services or enough food probably would welcome an agenda of change. Instead, the IPCC emphasizes transformational changes in the lifestyles of ordinary people in rich countries …
The IPCC has clearly departed from its role as a scientific assessment and is now much more deeply engaged in political advocacy. Trying to simultaneously engage in assessment and advocacy is never a good idea. I hypothesize that the IPCC’s political agenda of transformational change plays more than a small role in its stubborn reliance on implausibly extreme scenarios and its multiple errors and omissions related to the science of extreme weather and disasters — both of which help to underscore the demand for urgent and large-scale societal change.”

Dave Fair
June 6, 2023 1:49 pm

Some takeaways of the conversation with Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.:

1) The social scientists writing IPCC Assessment Reports’ WGIII, Mitigation, are the tail wagging the politicized IPCC dog. The science says one thing, the hysterical mental masturbators say what the politicians want to hear.

2) Honest scientists are not willing to tell the truth out of fear of government, academia and science body leaders’ retribution.

3) Scenarios are abused by financial institutions for pecuniary and ideological reasons. Stress tests aren’t a reflection of realistic future outcomes.

4) People at the highest levels of the climate scare have conflicts of interest (investments in green energy) that would not be accepted in any other policy area or business.

5) While the science portions of ICPP reports are generally reflective of the actual science (with notable exceptions) the summaries, leadership statements, press releases and general unwillingness to support the scientific findings in favor of wild speculation is an inditement of the IPCC process and its leadership. [Dr. Pielke wouldn’t put it that way.]

6) There is no detectable change in any climate extreme except for the very subjective heatwave guesses.

Fill in your own takeaways.

B Zipperer
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 7, 2023 10:22 pm

Agree with #1-5
For #6, here is Pielke’s Table from his review of AR6 SPM:
Note 1) think “soil moisture” for ecological / agricultural drought
2) only heatwaves was High confidence; all the others were Medium,
which actually is only a 50:50 chance
3) to me, “fireweather” is a mash-up of heatwaves & soil moisture so they
could have another positive finding.
The interview was informative [and works at 1.5x speed].

Full disclosure: I suscribe to Pielke’s substack The Honest Broker. It is very well done and he responds to comments & suggestions. And he explores interesting thing besides climate & energy.
I would encourage everyone to follow him, and support him if possible..

Pielke AR6 detection Attribution table - big.jpg
June 6, 2023 2:48 pm

The Inconvenient Truth about Climate Science is that consensus climatologists are not scientists.

Climate modelers are incompetent to evaluate the reliability of their own models.

Compilers of global air temperatures have no truck with calibration or detection limits.

The whole of AGW is the scientifically incompetent facilitating the cynically opportunistic.

June 6, 2023 4:27 pm

There are so many problems with Roger Pielke Jr’s assumptive close that decarbonization is necessary.
First: can decarbonization be technically done? Not the least bit clear barring a major nuclear renaissance.
Second: can decarbonization be executed all over the world? This is even less clear.
Third: Is limiting temperature increase to 2.2 C really a net gain? i.e. the benefits of cheap energy vs. the extreme costs of decarbonization. The classic “be richer and adapt” vs. “be poorer but have less risk”.

Reply to  c1ue
June 6, 2023 6:20 pm

Check out this 2:19 min video, c1ue.

It seems likely that a 4 C temperature increase would be net beneficial. It’s hard to see a downside at all.

The Greenland ice cores show large amounts of eolian dust during glacial times. These show drought is more prevalent in colder climates. The Eemian was very likely warmer than now. Life thrived then.

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