The noble corruption of climate science

Summary:  This is a story of climate science, tracing from its enthusiastic beginnings as small field – warning of a global threat –to its rich and increasingly desperate present. It is a long story, with a climax at the end.

Sign of "Corruption above" - dreamstime_105297867
ID 105297867 © Adonis1969 | Dreamstime.

The climate change campaign hits a dead end

On 24 June 1988, James Hansen’s testimony to the Senate began the campaign to fight anthropogenic global warming. During the following 31 years we have heard increasingly dire forecasts of doom. Some describe the distant future, beyond any reasonable forecasting horizon (due to both technical and social uncertainties). Some describe the near future. Many attribute almost all current extreme weather to our emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) – using impossible to validate methods.

Karl Popper said that successful predictions, especially of the unexpected, were the gold standard of science (see here). That is a problem for climate activists. The Earth has been warming since the mid-19th century, when the Little Ice Age ended. The rate of warming in the past four decades (since 1977) is roughly the same as that during the four decades up to 1945. Anthropogenic GHG became a major factor only after WWII. So warming has occurred as predicted, but a naive forecast (without considering GHG) would have also predicted warming. There are explanations for this, but it makes model validation difficult (perhaps why it is seldom attempted: see links in section f in the For More Info section of this post).

Worse, the weather has not cooperated. Major hurricanes avoided America for 11 years, ending in 2017. Warming slowed during what climate scientists called the “pause” or “hiatus” (see links about its causes). And most forms of extreme weather have no obvious increasing trend. So surveys show little public support in America for expensive measures to fight climate change.

Activists grow desperate.

The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells in New York Magazine
“Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: what climate change could wreak
– sooner than you think.”
Expanded into a book: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.

The five ways the human race could be WIPED OUT because of global warming.”
By Rod Ardehali at the Daily Mail. H/t to the daily links at Naked Capitalism.
Promo for Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, a book by Bill McKibben.

Activists responded to the uncooperative weather by making ever-more dire predictions (many of which have passed their due date and been proven false).  All extreme weather was “climate change.” They made more vivid propaganda (e.g., the 10:10 video, showing a teacher exploding the heads of students who do not accept her propaganda). They increased the volume of their claims, with more 2-minute hate sessions for dissenters (with lies about even eminent climate scientists). The long-term effects of this are (hopefully) small, since these fear barrages have been the Left’s go-to tactic since the 1960s (see some classics of the genre).

But one tactic might have awful long-term consequences. Many activists are climate scientists (see the many stories about depression among them, overcome by fears about their worst-case scenarios, such as this and this). Some have reacted with noble lie corruption (from Plato’s The Republic). However well-intended, it might weaken the public’s trust in science (as might the replication crisis, of which this is an example, if they learn about it).

Broken stone with "Trust" carved in it.
ID 37813605 © Lane Erickson | Dreamstime.

The Noble Lie in action

Obvious evidence of this is climate scientists’ relentless focus on RCP8.5, the worst-case scenario in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report. As a good worst-case should be, it is almost impossible to happen without unlikely assumptions (details here; also see Dr. Curry’s articles). Yet it receives the majority of mentions in the climate science literature – usually with no mention of its improbable nature (see this history). Activists exaggerate these papers, whose stories are uncritically reported by journalists. A decade of this bombardment has a fraction of the Left terrified, certain that we are doomed.

For a recent example, see “A glacier the size of Florida is on track to change the course of human civilization” by “Pakalolo” at the Daily Kos. Widely reposted, quite bonkers. See the details here.

Worse, climate scientists remain silent when activists exaggerate their work, even when they materially misrepresenting it. The most extreme doomster predictions are greeted by silence. Even over-top climate doomster claims receive only mild push-back. For example, see the reactions to “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells. WaPo: “Scientists challenge magazine story about ‘uninhabitable Earth’.” Climate Feedback: “Scientists explain what New York Magazine article on “The Uninhabitable Earth” gets wrong.” It was too much even for Michael Mann.

Yet leading climate scientists are quick to loudly condemn skeptics – even fellow climate scientists – for questioning aggressive claims about climate change. Allowing activists to call scientists “deniers” for challenging the current paradigm is imo among the most irresponsible actions by leaders of science, ever. By ancient law, silence means assent to activists’ behavior. They are guilty of “aiding and abetting.” For more about this, see About the corruption of climate science.

But in the past few years, activist scientists’ desperation appears to have pushed them to take another step away from science.

Papers to generate alarmist news!

As Marc Morano of Climate Depot says, recent studies often appear designed to produce media stories for alarmists. I see several of these every week. The most recent is “Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971–2017” in Environmental Research Letters (April 2019), by scientists at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen. Abstract:

“Key observational indicators of climate change in the Arctic, most spanning a 47 year period (1971–2017) demonstrate fundamental changes among nine key elements of the Arctic system. …Downward trends continue in sea ice thickness (and extent) and spring snow cover extent and duration, while near-surface permafrost continues to warm. Several of the climate indicators exhibit a significant statistical correlation with air temperature or precipitation, reinforcing the notion that increasing air temperatures and precipitation are drivers of major changes in various components of the Arctic system. …

“The Arctic biophysical system is now clearly trending away from its 20th Century state and into an unprecedented state, with implications not only within but beyond the Arctic. The indicator time series of this study are freely downloadable at AMAP.no.”

Ecowatch describes it in their usual apocalyptic fashion: “Researchers Warn Arctic Has Entered ‘Unprecedented State’ That Threatens Global Climate Stability.

The paper is odd in several ways. It is evidence showing the broken peer-review process. Five times they describe conditions in the arctic as “unprecedented.” But they start their analysis with data from the 1970’s. Given the various kinds of long-term natural fluctuations, five decades of data is too brief a period to draw such a bold conclusion.

The authors neglect to mention that the Arctic was also warm in the 1930’s. Which is strange since one of the authors, Uma S. Bhatt, was also a co-author of a major paper on the subject: “Variability and Trends of Air Temperature and Pressure in the Maritime Arctic, 1875–2000” in the Journal of Climate, June 2003. She did not even cite it in their new paper. Abstract …

“Arctic atmospheric variability during the industrial era (1875–2000) is assessed using spatially averaged surface air temperature (SAT) and sea level pressure (SLP) records. Air temperature and pressure display strong multidecadal variability on timescales of 50–80 yr [termed low-frequency oscillation (LFO)]. Associated with this variability, the Arctic SAT record shows two maxima: in the 1930s–40s and in recent decades, with two colder periods in between.

“In contrast to the global and hemispheric temperature, the maritime Arctic temperature was higher in the late 1930s through the early 1940s than in the 1990s. …Thus, the large-amplitude multidecadal climate variability impacting the maritime Arctic may confound the detection of the true underlying climate trend over the past century. LFO-modulated trends for short records are not indicative of the long-term behavior of the Arctic climate system.

“The accelerated warming and a shift of the atmospheric pressure pattern from anticyclonic to cyclonic in recent decades can be attributed to a positive LFO phase. It is speculated that this LFO-driven shift was crucial to the recent reduction in Arctic ice cover. Joint examination of air temperature and pressure records suggests that peaks in temperature associated with the LFO follow pressure minima after 5–15 yr. Elucidating the mechanisms behind this relationship will be critical to understanding the complex nature of low-frequency variability.”

Starting their analysis in the 1970s is misleading without disclosing that was a cold spell. There was concern then about global cooling (but not a consensus). See here and here for details. Starting in the 1970’s makes current conditions look extraordinary. Since we are in the warming period following the Little Ice Age, robust comparisons should include previous warm periods, such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Holocene climatic optimum.

A later paper provides more detail, showing the temperature anomaly in 2008 was aprox. 1°C warmer than the ~1940 peak: “Role of Polar Amplification in Long-Term Surface Air Temperature Variations and Modern Arctic Warming” by Roman V. Bekryaev et al. in Journal of Climate, 15 July 2010. Is that a one standard deviation from the long-term mean? Three? Are temperatures a normal distribution? They do not say. Climate science papers often use arcane statistics, but usually ignore the basics. (Here is an as yet unpublished estimate of arctic sea ice back to the 1880s. Here is a 2017 paper with arctic temperatures and sea ice extent back to 1900)

Two comments from climate scientists on this paper.

“It is normalization of data cherry picking.”
— Dr. Judith Curry (bio). She her analysis of arctic sea ice trends here and here. She writes at Climate Etc.

“Of course, if these changes are predominantly due to the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and/or the LFO, we should see a reversal. If not, the trend would continue. Time will eventually sort this out. But a proper literature summary should still be provided with papers that might disagree with the theme of a newer paper. All peer-reviewed perspectives on this subject should be given.”
— Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. (bio).

See other examples in the comments. These kind of stories are coming along like trolleys.

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.

“Of course, we know that these things {extreme weather} happen anyway, even without climate change – they may happen more often under a warmer climate, but it is wrong to blame climate change for every single event. Climate scientists know this, but still there are people outside of climate science who will claim or imply such things if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda. …

“{D}o climate scientists do enough to counter this? Or are we guilty of turning a blind eye to these things because we think they are on ‘our side’ against the climate sceptics? …Climate scientists need to take more responsibility for the communication of their work to avoid this kind of thing. Even if scientists themselves are not blaming everything on climate change, it still reflects badly on us if others do this.”

Bleeding eye
Bleeding Eye” by C. Bayraktaroglu.

Conclusions

Science has been politicized, distorting its results, before. It will be again. But climate science provides essential insights on several major public policy issues. Losing reliable guidance from it could have disastrous consequences for humanity. Worse, the high public profile of climate science means that a loss of public confidence in it might affect science as a whole – with even worse consequences.

Let’s hope that the leaders of climate science come to their senses soon, despite their personal, institutional, and ideological reasons to continue on this dark path. Public pressure can help make that happen.

This series about the corruption of climate science

The stakes are too high. We cannot afford this.

  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!

For More Information

Hat tip on the ERL 2019 paper to Naked Capitalism’s daily links, who uncritically run climate alarmist articles, a one-side flow of information without context – terrifying their Leftist readers (other than that, their daily links are a valuable resource – which read every morning). Hat tip on the JoC 2003 paper to Marc Morano at Climate Depot; see his article about it.

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about doomsters, about fear (perhaps become our greatest weakness), about the RCPs, about the keys to understanding climate change, and especially these …

Books about the crisis in climate science

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Professor Roger Pielke Jr. (2018).

The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened by Susan Crockford (2019).

Disasters and Climate Change
Available at Amazon.
The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened
Available at Amazon.

 

45 thoughts on “The noble corruption of climate science

  1. Additional example #1

    An example of the climate reporting that terrifies liberals: “A glacier the size of Florida is on track to change the course of human civilization” by Pakalolo at the Daily Kos. Reposted at Alternet. Number 5 in today’s daily links at NakedCapitalism, one of the major nodes in Liberal America. It will be seen by pretty much the entire Left in America by sunset. The headline photo is about a crying person after a hurricane. Here is the opening:

    Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica is enormous and is often referred to as the most dangerous glacier on Earth. It has also been dubbed the Doomsday glacier. The glacier holds two feet of sea level but, more importantly, it is the “backstop” for four other glaciers which holds an additional 10-13 feet of sea level rise. When Thwaites collapses it will take most of West Antarctica with it. This is not new information for those of us that follow the science. For example, Eric Rignot in 2014, stated that the loss of West Antarctica is unstoppable. (You can listen to an excellent interview from 2019 between Rignot and Radio Eco-shock on Antarctica).

    According to researchers at the University of Washington back in 2014, Thwaites is already collapsing. “The simulations indicate that early-stage collapse has begun,” notes their news presser. What’s more, the Thwaites Glacier is a “linchpin” for the rest of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; its rapid collapse would “probably spill over to adjacent catchments, undermining much of West Antarctica.”

    This is just the first two paragraphs. Long quotes from reporters follow from Wired and Rolling Stone. The article runs for 2300 words, disaster after disaster.

    About that statement by Eric Rignot in 2014. It is from a NASA press release “West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable” that announces “Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011” in GRL, 12 May 2014. The paper’s conclusion (with the only mention of timing):

    “We conclude that this sector of West Antarctica is undergoing a marine ice sheet instability that will significantly contribute to sea level rise in decades to centuries to come.”

    Rignot provides additional detail in the press release. No mention of timing in the story, or of uncertainty.

    “This sector will be a major contributor to sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come. A conservative estimate is it could take several centuries for all of the ice to flow into the sea.”

  2. Example #2

    This is a subject I’ve wondered about: searching regional datasets for changes in some weather metric. None of these that I’ve seen make much effort to determine the significance of the finding. The NE US is almost 1/1000 of the Earth’s surface area. Divide the earth into 1000 grids, then examine three metrics (wind, temperature, precipitation) for changes over 35 years. What are the odds of finding significant changes (called “trends”) in many of them? Lots of exciting papers can be written about those areas. Climate change!

    Changes in Extreme Precipitation in the Northeast United States: 1979–2014” in the Journal of Hydrometeorology, in press.

    “The Northeast has experienced an increasing trend in extreme precipitation from the end of the twentieth century and into the new century. New research shows both an increase in the frequency of extreme events, with more than a 400% increase in the number of events from 1979 to 2014, as well as their magnitudes. The trend in more frequent wet storms was most robust in fall due to both tropical storms and hurricanes as well as from an influx of moisture from the tropics.”

    Their conclusions are bold stated, and in my amateur opinion reflect quite wrong calculations. This looks like an all too typical failure of peer review,.

    “The frequency of extreme events increased 15 events yr-1 (statistically significant at the 95% confidence level), and the annual daily maximum increased 58.0 mm (also statistically significant at the 95% confidence level) from 1979–2014. The observed trends in extreme precipitation were most robust during the warm season, particularly during SON.”

    Natural variation is directly mentioned only once, near the end – in a pro forma manner:

    “Tropical events affecting the Northeast are also rare, and natural variability on a long-term time scale can obscure trends in these events as well.”

  3. Examples #3 and #4

    Here are two alarmist articles in the daily links at Naked Capitalism on March 21 (despite this, they are useful and I read them every morning). The first is “Study shows IPCC is underselling climate change” at Phys.org, reposting a press release from the University of Adelaide, 19 March 2019.

    A new study has revealed that the language used by the global climate change watchdog, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is overly conservative – and therefore the threats are much greater than the Panel’s reports suggest. Published in the journal BioScience, the team of scientists from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of Bristol (UK), and the Spanish National Research Council has analysed the language used in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (from 2014).

    “We found that the main message from the reports – that our society is in climate emergency – is lost by overstatement of uncertainty and gets confused among the gigabytes of information,” says lead author Dr. Salvador Herrando-Pérez, from the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute and Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. “The IPCC supports the overwhelming scientific consensus about human impact on climate change, so we would expect the reports’ vocabulary to be dominated by greater certainty on the state of climate science – but this is not the case. …”

    The accompanying graphic at Phys.org isn’t underselling!

    Burning and sinking earth

    The paper is “Statistical Language Backs Conservatism in Climate-Change Assessments” by Salvador Herrando-Pérez et al. in Bioscience, 1 March 2019.

    But that isn’t the scariest climate doom article in Naked Capitalism’s links today. That honor goes to “New Climate Change Visualization Presents Two Stark Choices For Our Future” by Brian Kahn at Earther. Fear the scary colors showing the almost impossible RCP8.5 scenario!

  4. Climate “scientists” have not lost their senses, hence there is no hope of them coming to their senses. They are doing what benefits them and to hell with everybody else.

    Climatology has existed for a long time, but it was a poorly funded and obscure branch of science. Some con artists made alarming predictions about climate and found themselves well paid and famous.

    If climate “scientists” started telling the truth, 90% of them would lose their jobs in the resulting cutbacks.

    One also needs to consider the hoards of non-scientists who are making good money from various “green” scams.

    1. Bill,

      “They are doing what benefits them and to hell with everybody else.”

      That’s a powerful point. I was being idealistic.

      “One also needs to consider the hoards of non-scientists who are making good money from various “green” scams.”

      That’s another score! Just dumping on them would have consequences. Big, difficult to imagine consequences.

  5. It’s almost as if they want us to move from a fossil fuel based economy towards one based on renewables, and climate change is a useful tool to achieve that goal. Rather than state what they want plainly they disguise their true desire as a beneficial side effect of reducing emissions.

    I see this everywhere, pressure groups will try to achieve their goals via an act of vandalism.

    The group will actively sabotage the system via an act of concern trolling, then when the system starts to fail they say look the system is failing, its time to invent a new one, luckly I have just the thing in mind.

    Where I live there is a socialist party that has introduced a series of reform measures that will make the private rental market unworkable, and drive out small private landlords, they backbone of supply. There real goal to expand socialised housing (which has little support among the electorate), but since this has proved unpopular, they have decided to sabotage the market instead, in the hope that this will force in social housing via a crisis of homelessness. Whatever harm is caused is fine as long as it serves the ideological position.

    A similar mentality is at work right across the left, true intentions are hidden under a layer of faux concern for some minority group, the smaller and less relevant the better (trans rights are perfect, since they are a vanishingly small group). What makes this effective is that the foot soldiers believe the surface argument, and so seem to be earnest.

    The western democracies are full of such bad actors, the rise of political correctness has made this significantly worse as you can no longer speak plainly or honestly for fear of being shut down. The modern Left, born out of a industrialised academica where careerism and politicking are far more important than verifiable research and real world results, move far more easily in this environment than the traditional right.

    Interesting the populists are the most honest, when they say they want to stop immigration, they actually mean what they say, there is no faux concern, or misdirection, you either agree or disagree, they are not emotionally blackmailing you into agreement. It’s why I see the rise populism as an antidote to the left, an antidote the traditional right cannot provide, since they use similar tactics.

    1. Gerard,

      “It’s almost as if they want us to move from a fossil fuel based economy towards one based on renewables, and climate change is a useful tool to achieve that goal”

      Over the years, many Leftists have been quite open about using climate change as a stalking horse to gain power and implement their statist policies.

      “A similar mentality is at work right across the left, true intentions are hidden under a layer of faux concern”

      This is a defining characteristic of both left and right – since the policies of both are unpopular.

      “Interesting the populists are the most honest”

      I think most vital, live mass movements tend to be honest. It might be a requirement for a successful mass movement.

      1. @Larry Kummer

        Gerard,

        “It’s almost as if they want us to move from a fossil fuel based economy towards one based on renewables, and climate change is a useful tool to achieve that goal”

        Over the years, many Leftists have been quite open about using climate change as a stalking horse to gain power and implement their statist policies.

        Part of the tell here is the contradictory claim that we are on the verge of running out of fossil fuels. This oscillates a bit, at times with more focus on one or the other. It all boils down to:

        Stop the economy! I’ve got a baaad feeling!

        The running out of fossil fuel claim is contradictory because the dire predictions of global warming are based on the assumption that fossil fuels will remain abundant for many decades.

        I think the reason no one minds is everyone knows this is fundamentally a con game. Men on the right try to score debate points by pointing out the insanity of leftists flying private jets to discuss the “problem”, while maintaining huge mansions and “polluting” the atmosphere with more CO2 than a hundred households. But this falls flat because deep down we all know better. It is a clever point, but not clever enough because the punchline, that no one really believes in AGM, is really far more cynical than the right can fathom. The joke is on the right, for thinking they have stumbled onto something shocking.

      2. Dalrock,

        Your comment goes to a dichotomy, or internal contradiction, in leftist doomster thinking. Their story for a generation was that we were “running out” of fossil fuels. Now their assumption – the foundational assumption of the RCP8.5 scenario which is the source of climate doomsterism – is that we have so much that we can burn it throughout the 21st century (relying in the second half on coal).

        Got to love how they flipped from story A to story B without missing a beat. Much as they are doing today from Overpopulation Will Destroy US to Underpopulation Will Destroy So We Need Open Borders. Our amnesia is their strength.

        Also, a trivia point: anthropogenic global warming is proven (it is basic physics). The questions, as usual in science, are about magnitudes and rates. How strong is the effect? What are possible negative feedbacks on it? The Left’s belief is in Catastrophic Global Warming (or CAGW), etc.

    2. Gerard,
      So let’s say they’re honest and want renewable energy only. I read many articles proving that e.g. wind can’t pay for itself (as in min. 50-years and not counting the backup source for calm days)…

      Larry,
      Are you aware of any studies of renewable energy supplies (mainly wind & solar) being able to at least pay for themselves (the whole lot: from manufacture, transport, installation, maintenance to backup source / storage)? The backup / storage may be pump storage hydro or some other contraption — no fossil stuff.

      1. Jako,

        “I read many articles proving that e.g. wind can’t pay for itself”

        Lots of nonsense out there. Renewable energy sources pay for themselves where electricity rates are high enough (that’s true of all sources). The problem is that they are often applied in situations where there are cheaper sources (including all costs, including for back-up power sources). The question is whether the higher cost is worthwhile considering the externalities – standard pollution, GHG, environmental impacts, etc.

        People can get what they want, so long as they are willing to pay for it. Dung is a cheap energy source, but you might object if your neighbor used it.

        In some cases renewables (broadly defined) are cost-effective, even up to 100%. For example wind or solar plus hydro. Or daylight use on a small scale in remote areas, where batteries are adequate back-up.

  6. I think the right (which I see myself supporting), needs to shift towards renewals, for pragmatic reasons, they will loose too many young votes, and as the world shifts green the jobs will follow the countries that invest in this new technology..

    As a non scientist, I feel the future may lie, in developing and making the future batteries in the West, be they lithium, ultra/super capacitors or whatever. The idea of most urban cars and vans being electric does not worry be, it matters as little to me as the fact I started driving a small petrol engine and moved to a bigger petrol engine and have for the last twelve years driven diesels. What is important to me is we have jobs for our young. I could not care if my next car was hydrogen (a good battery for alternatives), lithium, a super capacitor or a super efficient next gen diesel or petrol. It needs to be comfortable, efficient and safe to drive, plus reasonably priced.

    One Electronics Trainer I work with thinks most urban buses should have a ultra or super capacitor built into them and charge up at each bus stop now, as China has these now. If we fight the good fight to stay petrol, don’t be surprised if the new buses are Chinese made electric ones in ten years time. Telling the unemployed blue collar guys about polar bears won’t bring his bus assembly job back. (Sorry to be so blunt).

    I am not sure about climate change, I am sure of this, I don’t want to loose either of my sons or daughter fighting over oil. I have lost a brother, that is enough family, thanks. I am for electric vehicles and the Saudi’s, Iraq’s and Iranians’s can keep their oil and their sectarian violence, as well.

    We have the opportunity, to convert to electric vehicles for 50-80% of vehicles (#), the roofs of most houses can generate all the power they need. Energy self sufficiency is a wise move, if we can stop importing Chinese’s deflation and over capacity in renewables and make the wind turbines, next gen solar arrays (that last 50 years) and batteries we will see those desperately needed blue collar jobs in our cities. As free marketers we can lead this inevitable shift with many private firms, free enterprise and real jobs, or we can watch the left take us there with socialist enterprises, but either way that is where we are headed.

    Police, Fire, Emergency and Military vehicles etc would stay petrol/diesel and some may take fifty years to convert, this fuel we can provide domestically, even if we have to synthesis or grow it.

    1. Just a guy,

      I don’t understand what you are attempting to say. The transition to electric vehicles will occur in its own good time. How much money do you want to spend to accelerate the process? Whose money?

      The Founders would say that Liberals should raise the money among themselves, if they feel so strongly about it.

      Alternatively, climate scientists could make an effort to show that their models have predictive ability and their temperature reconstructions are accurate. So far they have put little effort into these things.

  7. Larry your summary of the demise is correct, but missing some of the gory details itemized by Richard Lindzen. When you read his recall of the history you learn many things:

    -How science was perverted from a successful mode of enquiry into a source of authority;

    -What are the consequences when fear is perceived to be the basis for scientific support rather than from gratitude and the trust associated with it;

    -How incentives are skewed in favor of perpetuating problems rather than solving them;

    -Why simulation and large programs replaced theory and observation as the basis of scientific investigation;

    -How specific institutions and scientific societies were infiltrated and overtaken by political activists;

    -Specific examples where data and analyses have been manipulated to achieve desired conclusions;

    -Specific cases of concealing such truths as may call into question gobal warming alarmism;

    -Examples of the remarkable process of “discreditation” by which attack papers are quickly solicited and published against an undesirable finding;

    -Cases of Global Warming Revisionism, by which skeptical positions of prominent people are altered after they are dead;

    -Dangers to societies and populations from governments, NGOs and corporations exploiting climate change.
    Summary:

    Thanks to Richard Lindzen and others for putting on the record how broken is the field of climate science. It is dangerous in itself, and it also extends into other domains, threatening the scientific basis of modern civilization. Fixing such scientific perversions will be difficult and lengthy, but it can only start with acknowledging how bad it is. It truly is worse than we thought.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/climate-science-was-broken/

    1. Ron,

      “but missing some of the gory details itemized by Richard Lindzen.”

      You must be kidding. This post is two thousand words, four times the optimum length. A full history of the climate wars would be a book.

      “When you read his recall of the history you learn many things”

      You presume a lot. I’ve written 482 posts about climate change during the past ten years. I converse regularly with several top climate scientists (who also review and promote my posts). I’m an accredited journalists with several science associations, and have subscriptions to Science and Nature.

      Perhaps if you read my posts, you will learn some things.

      1. Ron,

        A lesson for you: don’t make assumptions, esp such patronizing ones.

      2. Larry, my comment was to note how Lindzen’s account is consistent and supports what you are saying. It was not meant as criticism, though apparently you took it that way. I’m sorry to offend you, it was not my intention.

  8. The corruption of the science has extended to the who is a “climate Scientist”.. If your degrees are in history or psychology ( Oreskes , Lewandowsky) but you support the consensus ,you are in. However, go against the groupthink, even if your a well published academic who has specialized in atmospheric physics (Pielke Snr, Lindzen) then you aren’t competent and not one. Makes getting to 97% easy.

    As you point out, the activist scientists have deliberately stoked the fires of fear in the general population. Either by piling assumptions onto the RCP8.5 scenario, or by writing sensationalist articles where the abstracts and headlines don’t match the information in the reports (which they know no-one but sceptics will read). It’s a good catch showing Ms Bhatt is rewriting history. Has she removed the earlier paper from her CV yet?

    When each scare dies down as the data refuses to co-operate, they move on to a new one. The Greenland Icecap melting to cause the sea level rise is just so 2016. Now it is a couple of Antarctic glaciers. Should one run a sweepstake on what will be the next, or is that just being too cynical ?

  9. Separating the threads into a separate comment, I think you are right that the loss of public confidence in science from the activist climate scientists over the top predictions will cause a lot of collateral damage. It also ties in with the post modernist movement where there are no “truths” and everyone’s point of view is equally valid.

    Look at the rise of the anti-vaxxers which is now killing children. How else can that be explained, but as a rejection of science because they don’t trust them?

    1. Chris,

      I hadn’t thought about a connection between loss of faith in science and the anti-vaxers. Good point!

      1. Larry
        I can’t comment on the US, but here in NZ, a lot of the anti-vaxxers are on the fringes of the Green or left wing parties and are also anti GE but very pro climate change believers. They only believe in science when it supports their views/ prejudices. Truthiness rules. This was confirmed by the leader of the Green Party in a parliamentary question about why they supported climate change science but not GE. When one looks into their backgrounds, very few did STEM subjects, even to the end of high school. They cannot understand even simple things like the difference between power and energy, or why clouds form. That ignorance could also be a potential factor in the situation that activist scientists exploit. There is no BS alarm going off.

  10. Thanks for the reply Editor.

    “The Founders would say that Liberals should raise the money among themselves, if they feel so strongly about it.”

    That was my point, there. You think, I surmise,, he is pro -electric vehicles and energy independence, therefore he must be a Liberal, Conservatives like bombs, coal and petrol, which I added for the opposite reaction.

    The young mainly want alternative, if “we” don’t incorporate these in our thinking, then we will have lost the young voters. Make our voters/ readers mainly post 45 years old and I believe those young will drift into the socialist or Fascist camps in relatively high numbers, as they are now.

    Companies get subsidies all the time. Soft loans, low business rates, you name it. I worked for Sakura Bank for a while and saw the loans included in there capital allocations in their loan documents with us.

    The world is moving toward renewables, I am saying government can invest and help the sunset industries or the sunrise. I am for the sunrise, the new industries.

    I have 4.25 kw of solar cells on my roof, all lighting replaced with LED as I upgraded/renovated, my bill is $200 a year for power for four people. My system paid for itself in 3 years without subsidies. (2.91 years exactly, my wife is an accountant).

    Sadly Australia’s car industry is dead, the Ford, GM and Toyota plants are gone, as they made the gas guzzlers that less and less people wanted and no one bought as exports outside a few sold to the US and Middle east.

    I am driving my third Ford Range Pick Up, that I use for my side business, I average 60 miles a day max; chances are the next one in buy with say another 4/5 years of technological advance will be an electric one. Of course until then I will run the existing one, but I will be watching the progress or lack of it.

    The world is shifting to electric vehicles, we can lead the pack or follow the herd.

    Ford I see is moving electric will a new F150 and the Rivan pick up looks interesting.
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/1/24/18195880/ford-f150-ev-electric-pickup-truck

    If we want blue collar jobs we must move with the times, Australian didn’t. We just have coal and other resources, which doesn’t make for a diverse and resilient economy.

    Think of climate change like the idiosyncrasy of a very pretty young girl that clearly wants to you to take her home for the night, you are young and single again, do you bite your tongue about climate change, and get what you really want – her, (blue collar jobs in the future), or no you blow it and mention the polar bears and walruses, and let the socialist take her home?

    I want to keep our young, I want them to study science and engineering to learn about alternatives and conventional energy, batteries and manufacturing. To be the scientists and engineers that make things in our nations, where the blue collar workers have jobs in plants they design and run. If I have to ignore whether climate change is right or wrong, I would prefer to get the girl/ jobs/STEM grads and a hell of a lot less Sociology/Fine Arts degrees or drugs or socialists poisoning our young.

  11. Editor
    I note that until very recently, there was a reference to this article up on Climate etc as a Twitter post by Pielke Snr which Dr Curry retweeted. At the risk of sounding like an echo chamber, I suspect that you are a lot more influential than either the comments or your blog traffic indicates. Congratulations.

    1. Chris,

      I rely on counsel and expert advice of both Professor Pielke Sr and Dr. Curry. Curry has posted quite a few of my articles at Climate Etc.

      1. Chris,

        Pielke tweeted about my post. Curry re-tweeted his tweet. Here it is.

  12. “The Earth has been warming since the mid-19th century, when the Little Ice Age ended. The rate of warming in the past four decades (since 1977) is roughly the same as that during the four decades up to 1945. Anthropogenic GHG became a major factor only after WWII.”

    If the LIA ended in the mid-19th century, why did you choose the period 1905 – 1945 for your comparison with post WW11?

    The NOAA product, “Climate at a Glance” has a land/ocean time series that goes back to 1880:

    1880 – 1945: +0.04 C /decade
    1945 – 2018: +0.13 C/decade

    The recent trend is more than 3 times the rate of the former. Not exactly, “roughly the same” as your argument suggests.

    1. Snape,

      “If the LIA ended in the mid-19th century, why did you choose the period 1905 – 1945 for your comparison with post WW11?”

      Good question! For three reasons.

      1. The global temperature records in the 19th C are pretty crude. Coverage of the oceans (70% of the surface) was skimpy. There was almost no coverage of the poles. Even on land, for much of the world coverage was spotty. The combination is inadequate to calculate decadal trends to hundredths of a degree. So comparison with modern rates is a bit of apples to oranges.
      2. I did start with the end of the LIA since I use NOAA’s interactive climate tool begins in 1870, when there are somewhat reliable records.
      3. I wanted to compare two 40-year periods in similar phases (warming).

      “The recent trend is more than 3 times the rate of the former.”

      First – as noted above – temp numbers for years before 1900 are not reliable (that’s an arbitrary dividing point, of course). They’re just the best available. Second, comparisons should be of the same length – not 65 to 73 years – and similar cyclical phases (I used warming periods).

      It is not a game in which you play with the numbers to get results that you find pleasing.

      1. “I did start with the end of the LIA since I use NOAA’s interactive climate tool begins in 1870, when there are somewhat reliable records.”

        Ok, so what was the trend (albeit only somewhat reliable) from 1870 to 1945?

        “I wanted to compare two 40-year periods in similar phases (warming).”

        Why? Here you wrote,

        ”Given the various kinds of long-term natural fluctuations, five decades of data is too brief a period to draw such a bold conclusion.”

        “Second, comparisons should be of the same length – not 65 to 73 years – and similar cyclical phases (I used warming periods).

        It is not a game in which you play with the numbers to get results that you find pleasing.”

        Wow. You’re accusing me of cherry picking because the intervals were off by 8 years? I simply wanted to use all the available data, roughly divided by WW2.

        Let’s look at two equal periods then, spanning almost 120 years. We’ll start in 1900 when you suggested the records became more reliable. Again from Climate at a Glance:

        1900 – 1958: +0.07 C/decade
        1959 – 2017: +0.15 C/decade

        The six decades furthest removed from the LIA warmed at twice the rate as the earlier ones. A big problem for the “continued rebound” argument.

      2. Snape,

        You don’t appear to be listening. I’ll try once more.

        ”Why? Here you wrote ‘Given the various kinds of long-term natural fluctuations, five decades of data is too brief a period to draw such a bold conclusion.’”

        Which is why I didn’t draw any “bold” conclusions – such as saying the warming is “unprecedented.” I said the trends are “roughly the same.”

        Also, I’m sure you’re having fun with numbers. But to shuffle the numbers another way, the trend 1909 to 1945 is 0.15ºC/decade, the same as in the anthro global warming era.

        But, as I said, this is like math before the invention of statistics. These are all short time horizons, with statistically insignificant conclusions – other than that the world is warming.

  13. Larry
    This is the basis for your argument, and I mostly agree: we have 74 years of reliable records (1945 thru 2018) for what you call the anthro global warming era. Only 45 years of reliable records before that (1900 thru 1944). So yeah, it’s hard to separate AGW from natural variation. A lot of uncertainty.

    “Also, I’m sure you’re having fun with numbers. But to shuffle the numbers another way, the trend 1909 to 1945 is 0.15ºC/decade, the same as in the anthro global warming era.”

    Now you’re comparing a 37 year interval to a 74 year interval, breaking your own rule. For what it’s worth, the last 37 years warmed at 0.17 C /decade.

  14. What Richard Betts wrote is “there are people OUTSIDE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE who will claim or imply such things if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda”. You conveniently omitted the first part of the quote, and thus changed its meaning.

    1. Andras,

      You are correct. Nice catch. I wanted a brief summary, but that was too brief. I’ll add a longer quote.

      “Of course, we know that these things {extreme weather} happen anyway, even without climate change – they may happen more often under a warmer climate, but it is wrong to blame climate change for every single event. Climate scientists know this, but still there are people outside of climate science who will claim or imply such things if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda. …

      “{D}o climate scientists do enough to counter this? Or are we guilty of turning a blind eye to these things because we think they are on “our side” against the climate sceptics? …Climate scientists need to take more responsibility for the communication of their work to avoid this kind of thing. Even if scientists themselves are not blaming everything on climate change, it still reflects badly on us if others do this.”

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