About the corruption of climate science

Summary: Today’s post tells about the corruption of yet another vital American institution – climate science. See how RCP8.5, a valuable worst-case scenario, has been misrepresented to incite fear in the American public. This is the first of my posts implementing my new view of America.

Hand holding dry tree in front of a catastrophic background
ID 9523824 © Noahgolan | Dreamstime.

“There are some 20,000 research papers listed on Google Scholar, a search engine for academics, that mention the worst-case scenario for climate change, one where an overpopulated, technology-poor world digs up all the coal it can find. Basically, it’s the most cataclysmic estimate of global warming.”
Bloomberg News, 9 February 2018. There are 182 thousand hits for climate change “worst case” and 82 thousand for climate change temperature “worst case.

RCP8.5 is the most severe of the four scenarios used in the IPCC’s AR5. A well-designed worst-case scenario, it has been misrepresented to become the basis for one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in modern US history. How this happened reveals much about our difficulty grappling with vital public policy issues.

National Geographic
September 2013 issue.

Using RCP8.5 to terrify the public

“{The Green New Deal} would only change the dates for planetary suicide by a decade or so.”
— “We Need Radical Thinking on Climate Change” by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. He gives neither these “dates” or its peer-reviewed source.

America has been bombarded for a decade with terrifying articles, many using projections based on RCP8.5 (others misrepresent different aspects of climate science). Few of those mention RCP8.5’s implausible assumptions. That would ruin the narrative. Here are a few, showing almost certain doom facing us.

  1. Surge In ‘Danger Days’ Just Around The Corner” by Brian Kahn at ClimateCentral, 12 August 2015.
  2. What Your Favorite Cities Will Look Like if We Do Nothing About Climate Change. Fancy a swim?” by Jack Holmes, Esquire, 10 December 2015.
  3. The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future” at Demos, 22 August 2016.
  4. This Melting Glacier in Antarctica Could Raise Sea Levels By 11 Feet” by Frennan Milliken in Motherboard, 17 December 2016. No mention that centuries or millennia are required, or the many qualifications the scientists give to their conclusions.
  5. Typical “reporting” by the Guardian, exaggerating a good study to create alarmist propaganda: “Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people”, 2 August 2017.
  6. VOX: “Watch how the climate could change in these US cities by 2050” by Umair Irfan and Kavya Sukumar – “In some cities, it’ll be like moving two states south.”
  7. More science converted to propaganda. Start with a massive literature The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, Philippus Wester et al. editors. The Guardian reports it as “A third of Himalayan ice cap doomed, finds report” by Damian Carrington, 4 February 2019 — “Even radical climate change action won’t save glaciers, endangering 2 billion people.” This refers to RCP8.5. No mention of its unlikely assumptions.
  8. Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation” in ScienceDaily, 12 February 2019. Looking to life in 2080 under RCP8.5.

See more of these scary stories here.

fearful woman

The results warm activists’ hearts

“I think looking at grief is quite appropriate, as I believe we are facing human extinction”
— Comment by a reader on the FM website.

Fear of the future rules in the minds of many – or most – on the Left. Their leaders take the most extreme predictions of activists and exaggerate those beyond anything said by the IPCC or major climate agencies. Sentiments such as “carbon emissions may destroy the planet and everyone on it” frequently appear in articles and comment threads (often stated as fact rather than possibilities).

“We’re going to become extinct. Whatever we do now is too late.”
— Frank Fenner (Prof emeritus in microbiology at the Australian National U); Wikipedia describes his great accomplishments), an interview in The Australian, 10 June 2010.

With business as usual life on earth is largely doomed.
— John Davies (geophysicist, senior research at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center), 22 February 2014.

“Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'”
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to interviewer Ta-Nehisi Coates at an “MLK Now” event in New York. Video here.

“There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: ‘Is it OK to still have children?”
— Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram, reported by The Hill, 25 February 2019. Business Insider Poll: “More than a third of millennials share Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s worry about having kids while the threat of climate change looms”

After a decade of such propaganda, it takes little to stampede Leftists like frightened deer. Here is a reply in the comments at Naked Capitalism by Lidia to one of my posts: “The North Pole is a frickin’ LAKE, you ass. You are either being paid well for these posts, or you are off your meds.” This was part of the hysteria about a photo of the Arctic Sea with the headline “The North Pole is now a lake.” It was a typical melt pond, not at the North Pole. It got 82 thousand hits on Google.

Here is a step-by-step trail showing how legitimate climate science is exaggerated into propaganda. That is business as usual for papers about RCP8.5.

Activists terrify children for their cause

This is a low but typical tactic of the Left: terrorizing children with propaganda and using them as shills for their political program.

Political effects.

Three decades of propaganda, since Hansen’s senate testimony, have laid the foundation for activists to win. The propaganda about RCP8.5 is the core of the campaign.

News articles have become climate activists’ agitprop. Increasing numbers of peer-reviewed papers are activist screeds. The universities and non-governmental organizations are strongholds of climate activists, putting their imprimatur on activists’ work. A large fraction of Democrats are prepared to take extreme steps to “fight climate change” (or implement standard Leftist policies under that banner). They may succeed if they gain control of Congress and the White House in 2020. A burst of serious extreme weather, of course blamed on CO2, would make this easier.

Extreme Weather - dreamstime_27423027
ID 27423027 © Tom Wang | Dreamstime.

About RCP8.5

“A scenario is a storyline or image that describes a potential future, developed to inform decision making under uncertainty (Parson et al., 2007).
Working Group II report in the IPCC’s AR5, 1.1.3.

“Fourth, when particular scenarios were constructed to have specific meanings – e.g., a reference case, a plausible worst-case, or the exploration of a particular causal process taken to its extreme – these should be clearly conveyed..”
— “Global-Change Scenarios: Their Development and Use” by Parson et al., DoE, 2007.

“Within the RCP family, individual scenarios have not been assigned a formal likelihood.”
Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), volume 1, chapter 4 (p 137).

RCP8.5 describes a horrific future for the world, as a worst-case scenario should. Fortunately, scenarios showing paths to RCP8.5 require implausible assumptions about key factors. For example, the world probably lacks enough economically recoverable fossil fuels (esp coal, see below). Even more importantly, RCP8.5 assumes radical and unlikely changes in long-standing trends in fertility and technological progress – making it the opposite of a “business as usual” scenario. Also, on their website the IPCC explicitly warns against what has become a common use of RCP8.5.

“RCP8.5 cannot be used as a no-climate-policy socioeconomic reference scenario for the other RCPs because RCP8.5’s socioeconomic, technology, and biophysical assumptions differ from those of the other RCPs.”

Papers showing paths to RCP8.5 makes assumptions about factors that are poorly understood. For example, about the warming from a doubling of CO2 levels. The IPCC’s AR5 estimated this {at section] with a wide range that they considered only likely (defined as having a probability of 66%+). They clearly stated that they relied on “expert judgement” – not hard research.

“Expert judgement based on the available evidence therefore suggests that the TCRE {transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions} is likely between 0.8°C to 2.5°C per 1000 PgC, for cumulative CO2 emissions less than about 2000 PgC until the time at which temperature peaks.” {1000 PgC = 1000 GtC.}

John Nielsen-Gammon is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M and State Climatologist for Texas. He discusses “What Is Business As Usual?” (August 2014) and concludes that …

“Nevertheless, from my point of view it seems that RCP6.0 can crudely represent a very likely (95% probability) lower bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100 and RCP8.5 can crudely represent a likely (90% probability) upper bound on business-as-usual radiative forcing by the year 2100.”

Eminent climate scientist Judith Curry gives a summary of the appropriate uses of RCP8.5 in “Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?

  • “RCP8.5 may be useful for climate research, for considering processes in a substantially altered environment.
  • Many ‘catastrophic’ impacts of climate change don’t really kick at the lower CO2 concentrations, and RCP8.5 then becomes useful as a ‘scare’ tactic.
  • For policy making, I’m not sure that RCP8.5 is a useful scenario.”

See this post for details about RCP8.5. See this post with links to many examples of RCP8.5’s misuse in both peer-reviewed research and the popular media.

Portraying RCP8.5 as our likely future is the Big Lie at work. It was successful, as usual.

“All this was inspired by the principle …that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

“It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. …

“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”

— From Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (1925).

Responsibility written on a blackboard -dreamstime_50714069
ID 50714069 © Filipe Frazao | Dreamstime.

Who should we hold responsible for this travesty?

Qui tacet consentire videtur ubi loqui debuit ac potuit.
– Roman adage: silence means assent when he ought to have spoken and was able to.

Since I began writing about climate change eleven years ago, I have distinguished between activists and legitimate scientists. I have said that we should trust the IPCC and major climate agencies. After my epiphany (see A new, dark picture of America’s future), I see the situation differently – and I hope more clearly.

Climate scientists, and their institutions, quickly condemn “skeptics” for challenging their conclusions. When their conclusions might be used by skeptics, they often warn against such “misuse.” The misuse of RCP8.5 by activists is obvious, serious, and long-standing. Yet climate scientists continue to churn out papers predicting the effects of this worst-case scenario, usually without mention of its unlikely assumptions, without comparison of it with other (more likely) RCPs – and without condemning activists’ misrepresentation of their projections. Silence means assent.

We have long past the point where this has become implicit support of activists’ propaganda, or even collaboration. Climate institutions such as the IPCC and NOAA have failed in their responsibility to accurately communicate to the public in this matter. The peer-review system has systematically failed to make authors accurately describe RCP8.5 and put it in a larger context.

The effects of this could be far-reaching. Not just in the distorting of public policy, making rational debate about climate change almost impossible, but perhaps discrediting climate science and science itself as institutions.

Update: a warning from long ago that was ignored.

I strongly recommend this op-ed in the BBC: “Science must end climate confusion” by climate scientist Richard Betts, 11 January 2010. He cautions about scientists exaggerating or misrepresenting climate science “if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda.” Too bad they did not heed his warning.

About the corruption of climate science.

The stakes are too high. We cannot afford it.

  1. About the corruption of climate science.
  2. The noble corruption of climate science.
  3. A crisis of overconfidence in climate science.
  4. A look at the workings of Climate Propaganda Inc.
  5. New climate porn: it forces walruses to jump to their death!
  6. Weather porn about Texas, a lesson for Earth Day 2019.
  7. Terrifying predictions about the melting North Pole!
Scientist in action-dreamstime_99364552
ID 99364552 © Standret | Dreamstime.

To learn more about RCP 8.5

  1. Details about RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No! Links to the papers describing RCP8.5.
  2. Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions – how RCP8.5 became misrepresented as a “business as usual” scenario, and its misuse. With links to many papers and general media articles about the RCPs.
  3. Risk assessment: What is the plausible ‘worst scenario’ for climate change?” by Judith Curry at Climate Etc, 2015.
  4. The Politics of Inconceivable Scenarios” by Roger Pielke Jr. at The Climate Fix, November 2017.
  5. Is RCP8.5 an impossible scenario?” by Judith Curry at Climate Etc, November 2018.
  6. Reassessing the RCPs” by by Kevin Murphy at Climate Etc, January 2019.

Does the world have enough economically recoverable coal to burn for RCP8.5? These papers suggest the answer is “no.” The first analysis I found of the RCP’s fossil fuel resources assumptions is “The influence of constrained fossil fuel emissions scenarios on climate and water resource projections” by J. D. Ward et al. in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, June 2011. The conclusion in the abstract is clear.

“We present a comprehensive review of the growing body of literature that challenges the assumptions underlying the high-growth emissions scenarios (widely used in climate change impact studies), and instead points to a peak and decline in fossil fuel production occurring in the 21st century. We find that the IPCC’s new RCP 4.5 scenario (low-medium emissions), as well as the B1 and A1T (low emissions) marker scenarios from the IPCC’s Special Report on Emissions Scenarios are broadly consistent with the majority of recent fossil fuel production forecasts, whereas the medium to high emissions scenarios generally depend upon unrealistic assumptions of future fossil fuel production.”

Their conclusion has been supported by other papers since then. Here is some others.

  1. Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change – a review” by Mikael Höök and Xu Tang in Energy Policy, January 2013. Gated. Open copy here.
  2. Coal and the IPCC” by Dave Rutledge at Climate Etc, 2014 – RCP8.5 assumes a late 21st C shift to coal, assuming unrealistic levels of production.
  3. Projection of world fossil fuels by country” by S. H. Mohr et al. in Fuel, February 2015 (gated) – “Results suggest lack of fossil fuels to deliver high IPCC scenarios: A1Fl, RCP8.5.” Here is an article by the authors about their paper.
  4. The 21st century population-energy-climate nexus” by Glenn A. Jones et al. in Energy Policy, June 2016 (gated; open copy) – “Non-renewable energy sources are projected to peak around mid-century.”
  5. The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: a supply-side analysis” by Jianliang Wang et al. in Futures, February 2017. Gated. Open copy here.
  6. The 1000 GtC coal question: Are cases of vastly expanded future coal combustion still plausible?” by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi in Energy Economics, June 2017 (gated).
  7. Why do climate change scenarios return to coal?” by Justin Ritchie and Hadi Dowlatabadi in Energy, 1 December 2017 (gated).

The weakest of RCP8.5’s assumptions is that of abundant coal reserves (especially in terms of energy content, not just tons). These have long been questioned. As a coal expert at the DOE told me, some large fraction of estimated coal reserves are of very low quality (“they have the BTU content of kitty litter”).

  1. One of the first major studies questioning the actual extent of coal reserves: “The Peak in U.S. Coal Production“ by Gregson Vaux (of the National Energy Technology Laboratory), 27 May 2004.
  2. More evidence that reserves are overstated: “Coal Of The Future (Supply Prospects for Thermal Coal by 2030-2050)“ by Energy Edge Limited, Prepared for the Institute for Energy of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, February 2007.
  3. More evidence that reserves are overstated: “Coal: Resources and Future Production“ by Energy Watch Group, March 2007 (47 pages).
  4. The major study finding that coal reserves are overstated: “Coal: Research and Development to Support National Energy Policy“ by the National Academies, June 2007.

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48 thoughts on “About the corruption of climate science”

  1. Larry Kummer, Editor

    Another example of corruption in climate science

    Italy sees 57% drop in olive harvest as result of climate change, scientist says.” in The Guardian — “Extreme weather blamed for plunge in country’s olive harvest – the worst in 25 years …”

    Especially note this quote.

    “Prof Riccardo Valentini, a director of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for climate change, said: There are clear observational patterns that point to these types of weather extremes as the main drivers of [lower] food productivity.’ He added: ‘Freezing temperatures in the Mediterranean are anomalous for us. In any direction the extremes are important and indeed, they are predicted by climate change scenarios.'”

    There are three problems with this statement.

    (1)  “Worst in 25 years” describes typical weather, not extreme weather.

    (2)  Attributing all extreme weather to anthropogenic factors (e.g., CO2 emissions) implies that there is no natural climate change. That is false, and makes belief in  catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) non-refutable. Not science.

    (3)  AR5, the most recent IPCC report, did not predict increasing temperature volatility or an increase in extreme cold events. In fact, its Summary for Policymakers says the opposite. There is no mention of “volatility.” There are two mentions of cold extremes. Red emphasis added.

    (B.1) It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. …

    (E.1) It is virtually certain that there will be more frequent hot and fewer cold temperature extremes over most land areas on daily and seasonal timescales as global mean temperatures increase. It is very likely that heat waves will occur with a higher frequency and duration. Occasional cold winter extremes will continue to occur (see Table SPM.1). {12.4}

      1. Larry Kummer, Editor


        It’s not there because it includes only published papers and general media articles about them.

        Also, Happer has done no work in climate science that I can see. The real world isn’t like films, where there are just “scientists” – who know all about every field. Typical Trump, to appoint someone from the wrong field to lead the program. A more interesting interview to see would the one with David Karoly. He is an atmospheric scientist, Senior Climate Scientist at CSIRO, and leader of the National Environmental Science Programme Earth System and Climate Change Hub (announcement, and bio).

  2. Larry Kummer, Editor

    Climate activists show their power with outright lies …

    … since they have become immune to rebuttal in the major media. See this from Motherboard (part of Vice): “Chimpanzee Culture Is Disappearing Thanks to Climate Change, Study Finds.” This headline is false. There are only 2 sentences in this study mentioning climate change.

    “Third, climate change may play a role. For example, nut production is strongly dependent on weather conditions …”

    See the paper: “Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity” by Hjalmar S. Kühl et al. in Science, 7 March 2019. Abstract.

    “Chimpanzees possess a large number of behavioral and cultural traits among non-human species. The ‘disturbance hypothesis’ predicts that human impact depletes resources and disrupts social learning processes necessary for behavioral and cultural transmission. We used an unprecedented data set of 144 chimpanzee communities, with information on 31 behaviors, to show that chimpanzees inhabiting areas with high human impact have a mean probability of occurrence reduced by 88%, across all behaviors, compared to low impact areas. This behavioral diversity loss was evident irrespective of the grouping or categorization of behaviors. Therefore, human impact may not only be associated with the loss of populations and genetic diversity, but also affects how animals behave. Our results support the view that ‘culturally significant units’ should be integrated into wildlife conservation.”

    This brings to real life one of Berke Breathed’s great comics, “Bloom County.”

    Bedfellow: “Hello, Bloom Beacon! This is Senator Bedfellow! What’s with this headline? …There’s no story, just a headline!”

    Milo: “Which headline?”

    Bedfellow: “The big headline on the front page!” ‘BEDFELLOW: THE SECRET LIFE OF A WIFE-SWAPPING ATHEIST.’”

    Mile: “Oh, that’s just a typo.”

  3. Editor’s note: Joe is Chief Forecaster of WeatherBELL Analytics, which provides weather data, forecasting and analytics for individuals and companies. The views expressed are his alone.

    It is tough for any person of purpose and passion to maintain objectivity on a matter dear to them. The constant examination, and the fact that knowledge is increasing at a rapid pace, means questioning and skepticism are essential to the pursuit of the correct answer in any matter. Read The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman (2012).

    When matters outside the focus of the answer – for example, the idea that the means justify the ends – creep in, the result is a fruit of a poisoned tree. I think that is best description of what Larry has written here, He is aware that there is at leas the chance that science has gone this way on this matter. I think there are those on the other side of the issue that are pure in their pursuit, but the evidence that there is the corruption Larry addresses is clear by the shutting down of questioning. For instance if I said water freezes at 40, who would believe such foolishness?

    So if this is so obvious, why fear anyone questioning you since it would be foolish. So the very fact that this is, and has been portrayed, as a done deal when so many would question, should raise eyebrows as to the motives.

    1. Joe,

      Small world, it’s an honor. I followed you and Elliot Abrams on KYW, news radio 1060AM growing up. It was the goto place to see if I had a snow day off from school.
      You didn’t always get it right, but most times you did :)

  4. A most excellent post. The climate war is heating up, look for a long hot summer continuing into the 2020 election.
    I’m with runaway AGW climate skeptic President Trump.

  5. Climate change student strike inspired by politically correct teaching, academic says” by Malcolm Sutton at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation — “Students striking over climate change inaction have been described as victims of ‘politically correct teaching’ and include some who are ‘barely literate or numerate’.

    …Dr Kevin Donnelly, a conservative commentator and senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, claimed the movement was the product of “biased” academics and failings in education.” “A lot of these students are barely literate or numerate. “I think it’s absurd.”

    “I’ve just been on the Strike 4 Climate webpage, where you’ve got seven or eight-year-old kids barely out of nappies being involved in a strike,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      That’s a nice demo that climate activists’ propaganda is a global phenomenon (at least in western-type nations). I added more info about the article to your comment, and an excerpt.

      1. Larry,

        Thanks, I noticed that. AGW climate change madness prevails. And here at home, every Dem running for President thinks it’s a top priority.
        Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on FOX that climate change won’t be in the top five under this administration…Good!

  6. Great, again dead on!

    Highlight: “The peer-review system has systematically failed to make authors accurately describe RCP8.5 and put it in a larger context.”

    Falsifiability of scientific theories is the very essence of modern science and the above sentence clearly classifies IPCC’s products as not being that of real and sound science. Modelling of such complex phenomena as weather or climate can not be done with our primitive tools and, especially, our utterly insufficient understanding of the underlying relationships is bound to be futile.

    To pick just one: Choosing a trace gas as the brute force driving the climate change without understanding all aspects of its interaction in our atmosphere, particularly with the real GHG — water in all states (e.g. CO2 affecting cloud formation, water vapour viscosity, condensation and onset of precipitation etc.), should be enough to demonstrate that.

    Further, anyone who can read the following graph may make their own conclusions. {Ed note: it is from Skeptical Science: “Do high levels of CO2 in the past contradict the warming effect of CO2?“}

    Graph at Skeptical Science of temperature vs. CO2 levels over time

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      I suggest reading the Skeptical Science article in which that is posted. I’m not a fan of the website, due to their mendacious – often absurdly so – attitude to science that doesn’t fit their beliefs. But this is pretty accurate. CO2 is just one factor affecting Earth’s temperature over geological time. This is irrelevant to the current well-established case that the Earth is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions.

      The debate among scientists is, as usual, about other factors. Most important, the magnitude of the effect in the past vs. the many other factors. A firm understanding of these complex dynamics is essential to make useful and reliable projections. They’re not there yet.

      1. Yes, Skeptical Science is John Cook’s blog. His claim to fame is the 97% consensus fallacy.

      2. Thanks Larry,

        I was hoping the graph would come with the band of uncertainty — the article is old, 2010, about time many started ignoring the CAGW humbug (Climategate).

        You brought up another “by-product” of the corruption of sciences — no sound and competent climate scientist would touch any skeptical idea — that would amount to their carrier abatement; so the typical circles of nonconformists are mostly made up of retirees or engineers and lay public — not active climate scientists. (There are exceptions there: WUWT, some Chinese, Russian… even Czech)

        Wherever one stands on the reasoning for GW, your critique of misinterpretation of the IPCC’s reports is still valid. OTOH, why would not these very authors get involved publicly in dispelling the myths and prohibit the fear-mongering? Aren’t the activists useful fools driving this hysteria and, in turn, forcing the politicians to release more funding into the CAGW research? Smells fishy to me!

      3. Larry Kummer, Editor


        “no sound and competent climate scientist would touch any skeptical idea”

        That’s an exaggeration about the past, but not by much. For example, Judith Curry was a long-time skeptic while a professor at Georgia Tech, as was Roger Pielke Sr. and Roger Pielke Jr. But it cost them all dearly. Not examples encouraging courage in younger climate scientists. It might be an accurate statement about today. It’s a good question to ask someone familiar with the field.

  7. It is amazing to me that more discussion does not revolve around the lack of viable substitute energy in the minds of the supporters of the alarm. Last I looked, IEA report, after years of wind and solar growth, they still dont contribute much (1%+-) to the global energy, not just electricity, demand.

    Wind and solar always get conflated in the renewable category which is dominated by burning wood and dung that produces as much or more CO2. Let alone the planet changing and environmentally damaging large scale wind and solar farm impacts on local climates and ecosystems. Heck, you can’t even manufacture wind and solar products with the energy they produce…… Sigh, blinded by science I suppose.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      That’s a great mystery. Esp note the lack of interest in nukes. My guess (guess!) is that it shows that most on the Left are not serious about climate except as Trojan Horse for their economic and social policies. As we see with the inaccurately named Green New Deal.

      1. IMHO the Trojan Horse business started with taking an old idea (Swedish) and planting it where the money were (still are) — fossil fuel industry. Every lefty hates them Exxons and BPs and likes — guaranteed support! And, as Joe hinted carefully — the ends justify the means (or vice versa), there would be enough of really honest scientists whom nobody heard saying: “Hey, take it easy with all that oil and coal, there’s not enough of it to be burned in vain!” So, in turn, the CAGW came onto the scene. There’s nothing wrong with scaring people to start conserve whatever’s left of our energy reserve, as long as nobody makes it into their profitable business and waste more resources than it saves.

      2. Yeppers Larry. I remember reading the PDF of the UN Agenda 21 about 10 or 15 years ago and thought, no way. I discussed it with many folks who also said no way, along with those who completely dismissed it, even though it was an official document from the UN. Now we have 30 and the impact of such at very local levels globally, invisible to most. Impactful to all. Like a slow poison or addiction.

        I would also agree, IF we really have a CO2 problem, Nukes are the only close fix. Otherwise, back in your cave with the popular paths.. Just sayin, the energy math simply quantifies the numbers used/needed for life styles.

        Queue Robbie Nevil, Cest`t La Vie!

      1. Larry,

        It working alright, did you notice the children protests against climate change today? I didn’t realize how bad the green brainwashing was…Brutal!
        I put out check engine lights (CEL) for a living starting in 1970…Believe me, we’ve come a long way.

  8. Larry,

    I agree with your point regarding nuclear power. The “environmentalists” hate it because of the waste. Nuclear waste disposal is their main sticking point as you know.

    My solution would be stockpiling the nuclear waste along our borders! ;-)

    1. Longtrail,

      Looks like some movement on the nuclear waste problem. But as usual, political bickering/not in my back yard impedes progress.

      “The federal government’s dormant plan to store nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain is showing signs of life amid a new push by the Trump administration and some members of Congress to revive the long-delayed project”


      1. Larry Kummer, Editor


        There is no progress towards nuclear power in the US. Yucca mountain would be useful for the existing power plants. But the last several opportunities for expansion were blown by the industry.

        First, people in the US read about the nuclear disasters (and close calls) here and elsewhere. That there hasn’t been massive loss of life yet isn’t a big selling point.

        Second, the utilities – and those owning (shareholders), insuring, and financing them – know the record for nuclear power. Not just of expensive disasters, but expensive cost overruns in construction (an ongoing story for almost 50 years). I doubt they have much interest in trying again. See the stories of the last nuclear power plants under construction in the US.

        (1) A Scana Corp. project to build two reactors in South Carolina was abandoned after spending $4.8 billion. Cost estimates had risen from the original $9.8B to as high as $23B – it was to be financed by 9 rate increases (which began when construction started). Their customers had paid $2b, and will pay much (or all) of the rest over time. The wreckage of Scana was sold to Dominion Energy. Details here.

        (2) George Power is building two new nuclear reactors. The project is five years behind schedule. Costs have nearly doubled to more than $27 billion.

        To learn about the civilian nuclear power industry in the US, I recommend reading End of a dream as the nuclear power industry dies.

  9. Robert M. Armstrong

    RCP8.5 was developed during the era of “Peak Oil.” The world would go back to coal because coal would be less expensive. Fracking put an end to the talk of peak oil. So long as oil is competitive with coal the world will chose oil. So much for the coal use projections in RCP8.5.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Nobody in geology believes that there is no such thing as “peak oil.” The debate has always been ‘when.” Most geologists believed the early dates by the Peak Oil amateurs were nonsense because they ignored an iron law of geology: ore quality and quantity have an inverse relationship. See an excerpt from a classic text explaining this.

      The numbers for RCP8.5 mean that oil will be used up long before 2100. Decent GDP growth for a century will consume an astronomical amount of energy using only our existing tech. There is more energy in coal deposits than petroleum, hence the conversion back to coal in the unlikely event no new tech is developed.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      This “listen to the children” is a common Leftist tactic, and quite moronic. Scare the ignorant children, deploy them as footsoldiers in their movement, and tell people to “listen to them.”

      That this actually works – as the countless supporting editorials shows – is another sign of the institutional decay in the US that I wrote about last week.

      1. Larry,

        The left has sunk to new lows, using children as pawns to promote their liberal, socialist agenda. Maybe they don’t know what they don’t know about CAGW, I’m not sure. I’m hated by most on the LNP letters to the editors page, the paper made a hard left about two years ago.
        I don’t care what they think of me.

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  11. Larry Kummar,

    You write:

    “Climate scientists, and their institutions, quickly condemn “skeptics” for challenging their conclusions. When their conclusions might be used by skeptics, they often warn against such “misuse.” The misuse of RCP8.5 by activists is obvious, serious, and long-standing. Yet climate scientists continue to churn out papers predicting the effects of this worst-case scenario, usually without mention of its unlikely assumptions, without comparison of it with other (more likely) RCPs – and without condemning activists’ misrepresentation of their projections. Silence means assent.

    We have long past the point where this has become implicit support of activists’ propaganda, or even collaboration. Climate institutions such as the IPCC and NOAA have failed in their responsibility to accurately communicate to the public in this matter. The peer-review system has systematically failed to make authors accurately describe RCP8.5 and put it in a larger context.”

    My attempts to tell you PRECISELY THAT got me banned from your blog. It’s good to see you’re learning something. I guess it’s too much to expect an apology.

    Mark Bahner

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      “My attempts to tell you PRECISELY THAT got me banned from your blog.”

      No, you were banned for your inability to support your claims with anything but statements like “No, what’s absurd is clueless amateurs like you pretending you know about a subject about which you’re clearly ignorant.” After 60 thousand comments, I’ve lost patience with this behavior.

      Also, your statements were over-the-top. Calling omissions of things you think important “lies” is silly. Saying the IPCC should have given probabilities for each RCP assumes that you are the Pope of Science (there are good reasons they did not do so). Last, justifying your statements by “shifting the pea” (i.e., changing your claim) is deceitful. As I said:

      “Persistent misrepresentation and aggressive errors are not tolerated here.”

      It wastes everybody’s time.

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