Lessons about America to be learned from the Climate Wars

Summary: Climate change is one of our greatest challenges, but also it shows our inability to to see and understand the world against the efforts of those who seek to manipulate us. Highlighting that weakness is one of the major threads of of the FM website, linking posts about COIN, Saddam’s WMDs, Iran’s nukes and others. We must tighten our game if we hope to prosper or even survive, because the 21st century might present threats larger than anything in our past.

Stop Asking Questions

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Contents

  1. Desperate measures to protect the narrative of extreme climate change
  2. No “Real” Climate Scientists are skeptics about future warming
  3. You will not hear about the pause!
  4. Scientists discuss the pause in global warming
  5. Journalists report the pause in global warming
  6. Significance of the pause
  7. For More Information

Additional links will be added as more reports are published about the pause.

(1) Desperate measure to protect the narrative of extreme climate change

As both the climate (the pause in warming) and pubic appear to have turned against them, those advocating an immediate and drastic public policy response to fight climate change have become desperate. Some have abandoned science for propaganda. That might have effects beyond the setting of public policy for climate change. Science and logic are our greatest tools; they might be difficult to recover.

Here are four techniques being used to manipulate public opinion. Perhaps unsuccessfully, leaving us unprepared for the inevitable changes in our climate.

  • Ruling their opponents to be beyond the pale — illegitimate “deniers of global warming”. This is use of the big lie, since only a tiny fraction of skeptics deny the two-centuries-long global warming. The debate among climate scientists concerns the magnitudes, relative weight of many causes, and forecasts.
  • Declaring dissenters to be irrational or crazy, a standard tactic on the Left (the Right’s equivalent is declaring dissenters to be un-American or even traitors). See how Snowden is condemned by Left and Right, using both methods.

They have used two other tactics which require an alliance with the deep anti-science aspects of American culture. Although educated and intelligent people, well-meaning in their politics, they have unleashed long-contained but dark forces. Their opposition on the Right has responded in kind. The consequences might outlast the political battle over climate change.

  • Deny that scientists skeptical about the odds of future catastrophic global warming — and who are thus obstacles to rapid adoption of large-scale public policy changes — are not true climate scientists. The next section gives two examples.
  • To deny what climate scientists say when politically inconvenient. In section 3 we’ll examine a blatant use of this, attempting to maintain the upper hand in public policy debates.

(2) No “Real” Climate Scientists are skeptics about future warming

The FM website is littered with comments like this.

“your choice of Judith Curry, not a climate scientist … does nothing but damage to your own argument.
notjnathan replies to Prof Curry’a article “Observation-based (?) attribution“.

“I just can’t listen to Curry anymore.”
DSL350 replies to an article by Professor Judith Curry (Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology).

Alaska Climate Research Center

For more information about Prof Curry see her CV.

“Why can you post this trash …”
Crania replies to a post about research by the Alaska Climate Research Center. Learn about the Center here.

This displays one of the most characteristics and revealing aspects of lay believers in AGW: scientists are authorities, unless they disagree with AGW orthodoxy — then they’re cranks (#8 on the list here). This puts blinders on their minds. Quite sad; pity is the only suitable response.

(3) You will not hear about the pause!

Quite mad propaganda
Quite mad propaganda

In 2009 scientists began to discuss the change in trend of global warming, seeing it as either a slowing or pause (aka hiatus or plateau). See the articles in BBC and Der Spiegel in section 4.

The response, which continues to this day, by lay climate activists has been to deny there is a pause, and denounce anyone mentioning the pause. Even eminent climate scientists such as Prof Judith Curry (GA Institute Tech) get this treatment. Here’s an example:

“The ‘pause in warming since roughly 2000’ phrase is just another lie by Global Warming Deniers.”
comment by Bill Butler

Although a common assertion, the quotes below show that it is absurdly inaccurate. The pause has been discussed by many prominent climate scientists — on both sides of the debate since 2009. It is an active subject of research published in peer-reviewed literature, and appears in many article in the mainstream new media. Two dozen examples follow, as a sample.

This obviously false statement about a critical issue remains viral in our society four years after scientists began to write about it. This shows the extent of our gullibility. We can and must do better.

Section 6 briefly outlines the debate among scientists about the pause. Eventually either they’ll come to robust conclusions, or the pause will end in cooling or warming (probably warming, but that’s a probability — not a certainty).

(4) Scientists discuss the pause in global warming

These are quotes of climate scientists discussing the pause, in chronological order starting in 2008. See this post for full abstracts and longer excerpts, plus background information to provide context.

(a)  Richard Lindzen (Prof Meteorology, MIT), 11 March 2008 (source):

“There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995.”

(b)  “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?”, J Knight et al. Part of  “State of the Climate in 2008“, Editors T C Peterson and M O Baringer, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, August 2009:

ENSO-adjusted warming in the three surface temperature datasets over the last 2–25 yr continually lies within the 90% range of all similar-length ENSO-adjusted temperature changes in these simulations. Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

(c) How will Earth’s surface temperature change in future decades?“, Judith L. Lean and David H. Rind, Geophysical Research Letters, 15 August 2009:

Yet as Figure 1 shows, global surface temperatures warmed little, if at all, from 2002 to 2008, even as greenhouse gas concentrations have increased …

(d) An imperative for climate change planning : tracking Earth’s global energy“, Kevin E. Trenberth, Current Opinion In Environmental Sustainability, October 2009 — Commendable clear statement of the question.  Opening:

The global mean temperature in 2008 was the lowest since about 2000. Given that there is continual heating of the planet, referred to as radiative forcing, by accelerating increases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses due to human activities, why isn’t the temperature continuing to go up?

(e) What happened to global warming? Scientists say just wait a bit“, Richard A. Kerr, Science, 2 October 2009:

Negotiators are working toward an international global warming agreement to be signed in Copenhagen in December, yet there hasn’t been any warming for a decade. … The pause in warming is real enough, but it’s just temporary, they argue from their analyses.

(f) Q&A: Professor Phil Jones“, BBC, 13 February 2010 –BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin interviews Phil Jones, then director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Question: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

Dr. Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level.

(g) Does the Global Warming Pause in the Last Decade: 1999-2008?“, Shaowu Wang et al, Advances in Climate Change Research, issue #1 2010:

Issues related to the pause of global warming in the last decade are reviewed. …

Conclusions …

(3) The pause of global warming in the recent 10 years can be attributed to natural forcing, such as solar radiation and ENSO, which somewhat stall the warming effect associated with anthropogenic activities.

(4) One of the mainstream perspectives tends to believe the pause of global warming can be restart in a few years, which, however, is still controversial.

(h) Climate science: Decadal predictions in demand“, Mark A. Cane, Nature Geoscience, 21 March 2010 — Free copy here.

“Over the past decade, the mean global temperature did not rise much, if at all. This pause in global warming cannot be attributed to cutbacks in greenhouse-gas emissions by the planet’s human population, so it must be nature taking a turn towards colder temperatures.”

(i)  Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008“, Robert K. Kaufmann et at, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 19 July 2011:

“Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.”

(j) Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods“, Gerald A. Meehl et al, Nature Climate Change, 18 September 2011:

“There have been decades, such as 2000–2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little positive or even slightly negative trend (a hiatus period).”

(k)  Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (Globe & Mail, 13 October 2012):

“The data does suggest a plateau, he admitted, and without a major El Nino event – the sudden, dramatic warming of the southern Pacific which takes place unpredictably and always has a huge effect on global weather – ‘it could go on for a while’.”

(l)  Professor Judith Curry (Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology), posted at her website, Climate Etc, 14 October 2012:

“The data confirms the existence of a ‘pause’ in the warming.”

(m)  Statement by the UK Met Office on their website, 14 October 2012:

“We agree with Mr Rose that there has been only a very small amount of warming in the 21st Century. As stated in our response, this is 0.05 degrees Celsius since 1997 equivalent to 0.03 degrees Celsius per decade.”

(n) Did the global temperature trend change at the end of 1990s?“, Tom Quirk, Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, November 2012 — Abstract:

The apparent leveling of the global temperature time series at the end of the 1990s may represent a break in the upward trend. A study of the time series measurements for temperature, carbon dioxide, humidity and methane shows changes coincident with phase changes of the Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Oscillations. …

(o) Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade“, Virginie Guemas et al, Nature Climate Change, 7 April 2013:

“Despite a sustained production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period.”

(p) Strengthening of ocean heat uptake efficiency associated with the recent climate hiatus“, Masahiro Watanabe et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 28 June 2013:

“The rate of increase of global-mean surface air temperature (SATg) has apparently slowed during the last decade. We investigated the extent to which state-of-the-art general circulation models (GCMs) can capture this hiatus period by using multimodel ensembles of historical climate simulations.”

(q)  Hans von Storch, in Der Spiegel, 20 June 2013. He is a Professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg, and Director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre.

“So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break. We’re facing a puzzle. … In fact, the increase over the last 15 years was just 0.06 degrees Celsius (0.11 degrees Fahrenheit) — a value very close to zero.”

(r)  From the Second Order Draft (SOD) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Chapter 2: Observations: Atmosphere and Surface

Much interest has focussed on differences in the period since 1998 and an apparent flattening in HadCRUT3 trends. … all products now show a warming trend since 1998

  • HadCRUT: 0.055 °C per decade;
  • MLOST: 0.042 °C per decade;
  • GISS: 0.093 °C per decade.

None of these are statistically significant.

(s) Climate change: The forecast for 2018 is cloudy with record heat“, Jeff Tollefson, Nature, 10 July 2013 — “Efforts to predict the near-term climate are taking off, but their record so far has been patchy.”  Excerpt:

Lost heat: why has the warming slowed?

It is one of the biggest mysteries in climate science: humans are pumping more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere today than ever before, yet global temperatures have not risen much in more than a decade. That trend does not undermine the idea that greenhouse gases will eventually push global temperatures into uncharted territory, but it does have scientists puzzled.

… with the stalled warming now approaching its 15th year, researchers are seeking some deeper explanation. “The heat must be going somewhere,” says Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, UK. “The question is where.” … scientists cannot yet fully explain the recent trends, and the larger question is whether the lack of warming today portends less warming in the future.

(t)  The UK Met Office discusses the pause (these are large pdf’s): July 2013

(u) Recent global warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling“, Yu Kosaka and Shang-Ping Xie, Nature, 29 August 2013 — Gated. See this analysis by Judith Curry (Prof climate science, GA Inst Tech). Abstract:

Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century, challenging the prevailing view that anthropogenic forcing causes climate warming.

(v)  “Climate science: The cause of the pause“, Isaac M. Held, Nature, 19 September 2013 –:

After a rise of 0.5C in the 25 years starting in the mid-1970s, the change in Earth’s global mean surface temperture has been close to zero since the turn of the century. This hiatus in global warming has occurred despite retreating Artic sea ice and raising sea levels.

(5) Journalists report the pause in global warming

Are journalists at the world’s major news organizations also “deniers”? They have reported these developments in climate science during the past four years.

  1. World will ‘cool for the next decade’“, New Scientist, 9 September 2009 — Summary of forecasts about decadal cooling (e.g., “Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector“, Mojib Latif et al, Nature, 1 May 2008
  2. What happened to global warming?“, BBC, 9 October 2009
  3. Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out“, Der Spiegel, 19 November 2009
  4. World may not be warming, say scientists“, The Times, 14 February 2010
  5. “While global temperatures are the highest they’ve been since formal records began in the 19th century, warming has largely stalled since 1998.”, Andrew Revkin, journalist covering climate science for the New York Times, at the NYT’s Dot Earth, 9 January 2013
  6. Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled“, The Australian, 30 March 2013 — “Debate about the reality of a two-decade pause in global warming and what it means has made its way from the sceptical fringe to the mainstream.”
  7. A sensitive matter“, The Economist, 30 March 2013 — “Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. … The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now.”
  8. Whither global warming? Has global warming slowed down?“, David Appell (science writer), Yale Climate Media Forum, 17 May 2013 — “The so-called warming ‘hiatus’ over the past decade and a half is no reason for complacency on future warming. Mathematics teaches us that 15 years is simply too short a period from which to draw statistically valid conclusions.”
  9. Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming ‘not as likely’“, BBC, 19 May 2013 — “Since 1998, there has been an unexplained “standstill” in the heating of the Earth’s atmosphere. Writing in Nature Geoscience, the researchers say this will reduce predicted warming in the coming decades. But long-term, the expected temperature rises will not alter significantly”
  10. What to Make of a Warming Plateau“, New York Times, 10 June 2013
  11. Global Warming Hiatus: Where Did the Heat Go?”, The New Republic, 18 June 2013 — Prof Curry’s review is here.
  12. Why Is Global Warming Stagnating? An interview with Han von Storch“, Der Spiegel, 20 June 2013 — “Climate experts have long predicted that temperatures would rise in parallel with greenhouse gas emissions. But for 15 years they haven’t. Meteorologist Hans von Storch discusses how this ‘puzzle’ might force scientists to alter what could be ‘fundamentally wrong’ models.” See his Wikipedia bio.
  13. Study opens new cracks in scientific front on climate change“, Gerard Wynn (columnist), Reuters, 21 June 2013
  14. Why has global warming stalled?“, BBC, 22 July 2013 — “there could be no better moment to talk about why global warming has slowed to a standstill.”

(6) Significance of the pause

The pause is a new element in the rapidly advancing climate sciences. It should not obscure the vital conclusions of climate scientists: we have had two centuries of warming, coming in pulses (waves), with anthropogenic factors becoming the largest (not the only) drivers since roughly 1950.

About the pause:

  1. Its a pause (or hiatus) in warming of the Earth’s surface, not a stop.
  2. Its duration and magnitude differ in the various temperature data sets.
  3. Although it was not predicted beforehand, it’s not inconsistent with the major climate models.
  4. It’s not yet statistically significant, though if it continues it will become so during the next few years.
  5. Work continues to explain its causes and implications, and forecast its likely duration.
  6. It’s a gift of the most valuable kind: time. Let’s use it well.

(7) For More Information

All these posts rely on, and extensively cite, the IPCC and peer-reviewed literature.

Posts about the pause (I’ve posted excerpts from these in the comments):

  1. Good news! Global temperatures have stabilized, at least for now., 3 February 2012
  2. Still good news: global temperatures remain stable, at least for now., 14 October 2012
  3. When did we start global warming? See the surprising answer (it’s not what you’ve been told)., 18 October 2012
  4. The IPCC sees the pause in global warming!, 18 December 2012
  5. Update about global temperatures. Watch our world warm!, 5 January 2013
  6. Secrets about global warming that you must not know, least they ruin the narrative, 22 January 2013

Posts about climate forecasts:

  1. More forecasts of a global cooling cycle
  2. More about the forecast for flooded cities in the late 21st century
  3. Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses
  4. What can climate scientists tell about the drivers of future warming?
  5. What can climate scientists tell us about the drivers of future warming? – part two of two
  6. Checking up on past forecasts about climate change, a guide to the future
  7. An optimistic & successful (so far) forecast by an eminent climate scientist

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21 thoughts on “Lessons about America to be learned from the Climate Wars

  1. Congrats on FM’s contribution to the discussion.
    The internet has provided a useful podium for alarmist and sceptics, alike, and has enabled interested parties to review data & have an informed opinion; although this result is ignored by our current Federal Government in Australia which sees it’s failure to convince us of CAGW as a simple result of poor communications. Indeed. No number of “paid pipers” will convince people that a dud theory is correct if the lack of evidence says otherwise.
    It is also interesting that erosion of individual freedom & rights is a common condition in the world’s Free Democratic Societies!

  2. Imagine you’re a salesman trying to sell something really boring, like say a vacuum cleaner. You’re not going to say ‘yeah it’ll clean dirt and stuff’, cuz then no one will care. You’re going to say ‘this thing will suck out so much air from your house that you’re going to need a spacesuit to survive!!!’.
    It’s the same thing with climate politics. Environmentalists are afraid that if they don’t exaggerate, then no one will care. Of course it’s not honest, but it might be the only way to get the sort of change that they want.

  3. Let me repeat: “The “pause in warming since roughly 2000” phrase is just another lie by Global Warming Deniers.”

    Please check the chart at http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdGlobalWarmingStoppedIn1998.html under the heading “The 1975 thru 1997 Trend Line had it Right”

    As quoted from my webpage:
    “If you use the above trend line to make a temperature anomaly forecast for the 1998 to 2012 period, what would you expect? Would you expect temperature anomalies to cluster around the 0.60 level? Now look at the preceding charts. What actually happened?”

    The trendline forecast for the 1998 to 2012 period was right on the money. 1998 to 2012 average temperatures warmed by exactly what the trendline forecast.

    What is your problem in reading the charts on my webpage?

    While you are at it, please refer to the other signs of continued warming such as the observations that sea level continues to rise and the melting rate of glaciers has accelerated.

    Finally, if you wish to quote MIT’s Richard Lindzen, you might want to check out what he really thinks of Global Warming Deniers instead of substituting your opinion:

    “Dr. Lindzen accepts the elementary tenets of climate science. He agrees that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, calling people who dispute that point “nutty.” He agrees that the level of it is rising because of human activity and that this should warm the climate.”

    (about 2/3 of the way down at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/science/earth/clouds-effect-on-climate-change-is-last-bastion-for-dissenters.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& )

    (Here squirrel. here squirrel.)

    Conclusion: Global Warming did not stop in 1998.

    1. Butler,

      I don’t know what you have against climate scientists — or science itself. You appear to be an educated and intelligent person who thinks he’s the Pope of Science — part of the long American tradition of anti-intellectualism.

      However per SOP on the FM website I’ll briefly explain. It’s not complex.

      (1) ““The ‘pause in warming since roughly 2000′ phrase is just another lie by Global Warming Deniers.””

      Your statement is false. I cited as evidence:

      • 6 statements by eminent climate scientists (on both sides of the debate),
      • 7 8 articles published in peeer-reviewed journals (most of which are high-impact journals)
      • 2 statements by major climate institutions (the IPCC & the UK MET Office)

      QED. If you believe these are all “global warming deniers”, then we’re done.

      (2) Are these scientists correct?

      You believe they are all incorrect. You are not a climate scientist. I do not care what I think or say on a technical matter like this, and I care far less what you think. If you have an opinion, submit an article to a peer-reviewed climate science journal. Report back when it is published and then we’ll talk.

      (3) You don’t like Lindzen.

      I don’t care what you think about this distinguished MIT professor. You are not competent to have an opinion.

    1. Why should I look at your chart? Will it prove your claim that so many of the world’s major climate scientists are “global warming deniers” ?

      Will you prove pi=3, and who killed JFK?

      Some things are to silly to bother with.

  4. The charts show actual observations. I have included references so that anyone can check the data for accuracy. The purpose of the charts is that they show the real data.

    I maintain that Global Warming Deniers live in an “Alternate Reality”.

    “Global Warming Deniers live in an “alternate world” where “reality” consists of their “make-believe” fantasies while real observations are dismissed as fabrications of the conspirators.”
    http://www.durangobill.com/GwdLiars/GwdLiarsIndex.html

    What is your problem in reading and/or understanding charts that show actual observations?

    1. Butler,

      (1) I said that I rely on the IPCC; you reply with a lecture that global warming exosts and that there are anthropogenic drivers — as if the IPCC says otherwise.

      (2) You state that The ‘pause in warming since roughly 2000′ phrase is just another lie by Global Warming Deniers. I prove that is false: many of the world’s leading climate scientists discuss the pause.

      (3) You say that these scientists are wrong about the pause. That’s not relevant to your assertion — which concerns who discusses the pause, not if they are correct.

      (4) Also, neither you nor I are climate scientists. If you believe your chart proves these scientists are wrong, submit an article to a peer-reviewed journal.

      I have explained these things to you several times. In reply you neither explain or defend your statements, but make more assertions. I believe by now readers have sufficient information to draw their own conclusions about you.

    2. Bill, forget about FM for a moment. You are disputing what published, eminent climate scientists are saying. The question you should be asking is not why FM doesn’t read or understand your graphs, but rather why climate scientists are not saying the same thing you are. After all, they have access to the observational data, as well.

  5. Bill Butler and FM are unfortunately talking past each other. No point in intervening in this specific exchange.

    FM has stated his position in this post, and from it I gather that he is convinced climate change is a reality, mostly driven by anthropogenic factors, whose complex, dynamic, discontinuous nature hides plenty of unknowns.

    The crux of the matter is point (6) in his list: “It’s a gift of the most valuable kind: time. Let’s use it well.”

    That is something FM (and Butler) has been conspicuously silent about (except for a noncommittal “let us carry on with climate research”), and that is where the real discussion will take place, since it involves actual decision about the socio economic system — which interestingly are very much related to the other on-going political developments investigated on this site.

    1. Can you explain in what way we are “talking past each other?

      Butler made a explicit statement, which I showed — on the basis of ample evidence — to be false.

      Butler wants to disprove the work of climate scientists; I note that neither of us have any qualifications to play.

      All of this seems quite clear.

    2. “FM has stated his position in this post, and from it I gather that he is convinced climate change is a reality”

      SInce I explicitly state that several times — and in each of many scores of FM posts about climate — I am pleased you were able to “gather that”.

      Think of your comment in another context. “From his comments, I gather that he is not a racist”. Quite patronizing.

      “It’s a gift of the most valuable kind: time. Let’s use it well.”

      That is something FM (and Butler) has been conspicuously silent about (except for a noncommittal “let us carry on with climate research”)

      False. Rather than “conspicuously silent”, I have written several posts on this subject, and frequently mentioned this with pointers to those posts.

      What was the basis for your statement?

  6. FM asks, once again, the recurring questions: how do we know what we know and how do we develop effective policies to deal with what we know?

    FM writes:

    “The pause is a new element in the rapidly advancing climate sciences. It should not obscure the vital conclusions of climate scientists: we have had two centuries of warming, coming in pulses (waves), with anthropogenic factors becoming the largest (not the only) drivers since roughly 1950.”

    FM continues about the pause in warming:

    “It’s a gift of the most valuable kind: time. Let’s use it well.”

    How do we use the time we have?

    I have no answers. I have been a private citizen environmental advocate for over 40 years. I have also taught a college course Western Civ & the Environment, which I might add, required several years of focused reading to develop. During this four decade time frame, global population has continued to explode. Pollution has continued on a global scale. Peak conventional oil is at hand, with fracking perhaps just a blip in energy production and of most value to land speculators who flip the properties for quick profit.

    There you have the big three biological factors that affect every organism in a given environment: overpopulation, inability to dispose of waste and depletion of energy.

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    1. Marc,

      That’s a nice summary of our situation. However, I believe we can draw more robust conclusions. In fact, I’ve written about some. They’re listed on the Climate & Science reference page. If I can muster the motivation, I’ll post some here.

      However, I find this comment thread quite dispiriting (as has been for several years; when I max out on despair I turn comments off). Not much interest visible here in climate science — or conclusions to be drawn from the work of scientists. Perhaps it’s better than we’re becoming an elite-run society, rather than having crowd-based public policy resting on emotion and superstition. Perhaps they will do better than us.

      For this weekend let’s mentally prepare ourselves for the future by watching “The Shape of Things to Come” (Korda’s 1936 film based on HG Wells’ 1933 book).

    2. “FM asks, once again, the recurring questions: how do we know what we know and how do we develop effective policies to deal with what we know?”

      Marc sees what few readers do, that epistemology is one of the great themes on the FM website, and the starting point for most lines of investigation here.

  7. Yeah, you guys ask the right questions and attempt some pretty good answers, given, as you point out, that much of what we do is based on untried theories.I don’t even see that at some real “expert’ sites!

  8. Very nice compilation. It’s wonderful to have global climate change skeptics do some thorough research that frustrated environmentalists like me expect.

    von Storch’s name led me here and he is not a lone voice, is he? I’d love for CO2 to be less dangerous than it is. How is it this pause is only now reaching my attention when it’s the kind of thing I look for all the time?

    Mind you, I’m a staunch critic of the Pollyannas claiming humans can’t affect global climate. I still am concerned they can and ARE, but the pause, if it exists should not be buried and I thank you for putting in the time on this presentation.

    Global climate change may well be real, but this pause needs serious study. What happened 4-15 years ago that’s put Apocalypse on “freeze frame”? Can we keep it that way?

    1. Bill,

      Thank you for your comment. A few questions…

      (1) “It’s wonderful to have global climate change skeptics”
      I don’t understand. I’m not a “skeptic”, except in the sense that we all should be. Doesn’t Section 9 make that clear?

      (2) “do some thorough research that frustrated environmentalists like me expect.”
      In what sense are you an environmentalist and I’m not? For example, see these posts about pollution.

      (3) “How is it this pause is only now reaching my attention when it’s the kind of thing I look for all the time?”
      That’s a powerful question. We are all vulnerable to flaws in our information sources. It’s a problem I discover again and again in mine.

      (4) “I’m a staunch critic of the Pollyannas claiming humans can’t affect global climate.”
      Wow, those are crazy people. Can you cite some references in some major media of people saying such a thing?

      (5) “the pause, if it exists should not be buried”
      Do you know of any climate scientists or climate science agencies who say that there is no pause (ie, no statistically significant warming of the Earth’s surface since 1999-2000)? If not, why do you question it?

      (6) “I thank you for putting in the time on this presentation.”
      My guess is that you will learn several important new things by reading the links at the end of this post.

      (7) “Global climate change may well be real”
      Wow, does anyone with education doubt the existence of climate change? Climate has always changed, over both geological and historical time.

      (8) “this pause needs serious study.”
      The pause is a major subject today of climate science.

      (9) “What happened 4-15 years ago that’s put Apocalypse on ‘freeze frame’?”
      The IPCC never forecast an “apocalypse”. They give their conclusions in terms of probabilities, and “apocalyptic” outcomes were given very low odds.

      The claims of a coming apocalypse were IMO a major factor for the failure of public policy changes to prevent or mitigate climate change. People sensed the propaganda (a wide range of which I’ve documented), and accordingly discounted it.

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