Toxic climate propaganda is poisoning US public policy

Summary: In the past few years, propaganda about climate change has disconnected from climate science and become toxic fear-mongering. This has contributed greatly to the gridlock in the public policy debate. Climate scientist Judith Curry explains this problem and points to a solution. Perhaps then rational policies will become possible.

We’re drowning in toxic propaganda from climate activists.

Man drowning in sea - Dreamstime-27423027
ID 27423027 © Tom Wang | Dreamstime.

The toxic rhetoric of climate change

By Judith Curry.

Letter to me from a worried young adult in the UK.

“I have no idea if this is an accurate email of yours, but I just found it and thought I’d take a chance. My name is XXX. I’m 20 years old from the UK. I have been well, the only word to describe it is suffering as I genuinely have the fear that climate change is going to kill me and all my family, I’m not even kidding. It’s all I have thought about for the last 9 months every second of the day. It’s making me sick to my stomach, I’m not eating or sleeping and I’m getting panic attacks daily. It’s currently 1 am and I can’t sleep as I’m petrified.

“I’ve tried to do my own research, I’ve tried everything. I’m not stupid, I’m a pretty rational thinker but at this point sometimes I literally wish I wasn’t born, I’m just so miserable and petrified. I’ve recently made myself familiar with your work and would be so appreciative of any findings you can give me or hope or advice over email. I’m already vegetarian and I recycle everything so I’m really trying. Please help men anyway you can, I’m at my wits end here.”

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
Available at Amazon.

JC’s response to the Extinction Rebellion.

We have been hearing increasingly shrill rhetoric from the Extinction Rebellion and other activists about the ‘existential threat’ of the ‘climate crisis’, ‘runaway climate chaos’, etc. In her book, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, Greta Thunberg said the following.

“Around 2030 …we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it. That is, unless in that time permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of our co2 emissions by at least 50%.”

{Editor’s note – Does anyone believe this was written by a 16-year-old high school drop-out? The Hemmingway ap says this is at a college junior writing level.}

From the Extinction Rebellion’s website: “It is understood that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency. We are in a life or death situation of our own making.”

It is more difficult to tune out similar statements from responsible individuals representing the United Nations. In her opening remarks for the UN Climate Change’s Conference this week in Madrid (COP25), Patricia Espinosa, its Executive Secretary, said (per their press release)…

“If we stay on our current trajectory, it’s estimated that global temperatures could more than double by the end of this century. This will have enormous negative consequences for humanity and threaten our existence on this planet. We need an immediate and urgent change in trajectory.”

Editor’s note: A double in temperature! That would be the apocalypse. Did the audience run screaming from the room, or did the bartender just cut her off?

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said

“Climate change is no longer a long-term problem. We are confronted now with a global climate crisis. The point of no return is no longer over the horizon. It is in sight and hurtling towards us.”

So exactly what should we be worried about? Consider the following statistics:

  • Over the past century, there has been a 99% decline in the death toll from natural disasters, during the same period that the global population quadrupled.
  • While global economic losses from weather and climate disasters have been increasing, this is caused by increasing population and property in vulnerable locations. Global weather losses as a percent of global GDP have declined about 30% since 1990.
  • While the IPCC has estimated that sea level could rise by 0.6 meters by 2100, recall that the Netherlands adapted to living below sea level 400 years ago.
  • Crop yields continue to increase globally, surpassing what is needed to feed the world. Agricultural technology matters more than climate.
  • The proportion of world population living in extreme poverty declined from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015.

While many people may be unaware of this good news, they do react to each weather or climate disaster in the news. Activist scientists and the media quickly seize upon each extreme weather event as having the fingerprints of manmade climate change – ignoring the analyses of more sober scientists showing periods of even more extreme weather in the first half of the 20th century, when fossil fuel emissions were much smaller.

So why are we so worried about climate change? The concern over climate change is not so much about the warming that has occurred over the past century. Rather, the concern is about what might happen in the 21st century as a result of increasing fossil fuel emissions. Emphasis on ‘might.’

Alarming press releases are issued about each new climate model projection that predicts future catastrophes from famine, mass migrations, catastrophic fires, etc. However, these alarming scenarios of the 21st century climate change require that, like the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland, we believe ‘six impossible things before breakfast’.

The most alarming scenarios of 21st century climate change are associated with the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario. Often erroneously described as a ‘business as usual’ scenario, RCP8.5 assumes unrealistic trends long-term trends for population and a slowing of technological innovation. Even more unlikely is the assumption that the world will largely be powered by coal.

{Editor’s note: RCP8.5 is the worst-case scenario in AR5 and assumes inflections in those trends, and is either improbable or impossible (see here and here), but its propaganda value is high.}

In spite of the implausibility of this scenario, RCP8.5 is the favored scenario for publications based on climate model simulations. In short, RCP8.5 is a very useful recipe for cooking up scenarios alarming impacts from manmade climate change. Which are of course highlighted and then exaggerated by press releases and media reports.

{Editor’s note – See some of the many papers and news stories misrepresenting RCP8.5, and this analysis showing RCP8.5’s political utility. Also see “The Incredible Story Of How Climate Change Became Apocalyptic” by Roger Pielke Jr. (U CO-Boulder).}

Apart from the issue of how much greenhouse gases might increase, there is a great deal of uncertainty about much the planet will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide – referred to as ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’ (ECS). The IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5, 2013) provided a range between 1 and 6oC, with a ‘likely’ range between 1.5 and 4.5oC.

In the years since the AR5, the uncertainty has grown. The latest climate model results – prepared for the forthcoming IPCC 6th Assessment Report – shows that a majority of the climate models are producing values of ECS exceeding 5oC. The addition of poorly understood additional processes into the models has increased confusion and uncertainty. At the same time, refined efforts to determine values of the equilibrium climate sensitivity from the historical data record obtain values of ECS about 1.6oC, with a range from 1.05 to 2.7oC.

With this massive range of uncertainty in the values of equilibrium climate sensitivity, the lowest value among the climate models is 2.3oC, with few models having values below 3oC. Hence the lower end of the range of ECS is not covered by the climate models, resulting in temperature projections for the 21st century that are biased high, with a smaller range relative to the range of uncertainty in ECS.

{For more about this, see Curry’s post “What’s the worst case for climate sensitivity?“}

With regards to sea level rise, recent U.S. national assessment reports have included a worst-case sea level rise scenario for the 21st century of 2.5 m. Extreme estimates of sea level rise rely on RCP8.5 and climate model simulations that are on average running too hot relative to the uncertainty range of ECS. The most extreme scenarios of 21st century sea level rise are based on speculative and poorly understood physical processes that are hypothesized to accelerate the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. However, recent research indicates that these processes are very unlikely to influence sea level rise in the 21st century. To date, in most of the locations that are most vulnerable to sea level rise, local sinking from geological processes and land use has dominated over sea level rise from global warming.

{See her paper – Sea level rise: what’s the worst case? – and her summary of conflicting recent research: Sea level rise whiplash.}

To further complicate climate model projections for the 21st century, the climate models focus only on manmade climate change – they make no attempt to predict natural climate variations from the sun’s output, volcanic eruptions and long-term variations in ocean circulation patterns. We have no idea how natural climate variability will play out in the 21st century, and whether or not natural variability will dominate over manmade warming.

We still don’t have a realistic assessment of how a warmer climate will impact us and whether it is ‘dangerous.’ We don’t have a good understanding of how warming will influence future extreme weather events. Land use and exploitation by humans is a far bigger issue than climate change for species extinction and ecosystem health.

“The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed.”
— Marcia McNutt (former director of the US Geological Survey, then editor-in-Chief of Science magazine, now President of the NAS) in “The beyond-two-degree inferno“, an editorial in Science, 3 July 2015.

“The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”
— Chuck Todd as host of “Meet the Press” on 30 December 2018.

We have been told that the science of climate change is ‘settled’. However, in climate science there has been a tension between the drive towards a scientific ‘consensus’ to support policymaking, versus exploratory research that pushes forward the knowledge frontier. Climate science is characterized by a rapidly evolving knowledge base and disagreement among experts. Predictions of 21st century climate change are characterized by deep uncertainty.

As noted in a recent paper co-authored by Dr. Tim Palmer of Oxford (“The scientific challenge of understanding and estimating climate change” in PNAS),

“What we find more difficult to talk about is our deep dissatisfaction with the ability of our models to inform society about the pace of warming, how this warming plays out regionally, and what it implies for the likelihood of surprises. …Unfortunately, {climate scientists} circling the wagons leads to false impressions about the source of our confidence and about our ability to meet the scientific challenges posed by a world that we know is warming globally.”

We have not only oversimplified the problem of climate change, but we have also oversimplified its ‘solution’. Even if you accept the climate model projections and that warming is dangerous, there is disagreement among experts regarding whether a rapid acceleration away from fossil fuels is the appropriate policy response. In any event, rapidly reducing emissions from fossil fuels to ameliorate the adverse impacts of extreme weather events in the near term increasingly looks like magical thinking.

Climate change – both manmade and natural – is a chronic problem that will require continued management over the coming centuries.

We have been told that climate change is an ‘existential crisis.’ However, based upon our current assessment of the science, the climate threat is not an existential one, even in its most alarming hypothetical incarnations. However, the perception of manmade climate change as a near-term apocalypse and has narrowed the policy options that we’re willing to consider. The perceived ‘urgency’ of drastically reducing fossil fuel emissions is forcing us to make near term decisions that may be suboptimal for the longer term. Further, the monomaniacal focus on the elimination of fossil fuel emissions distracts our attention from the primary causes of many of our problems that we might have more success in addressing in the near term.

Common sense strategies to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events, improve environmental quality, develop better energy technologies and increase access to grid electricity, improve agricultural and land use practices, and better manage water resources can pave the way for a more prosperous and secure future. Each of these solutions is ‘no regrets’ – supporting climate change mitigation while improving human well being. These strategies avoid the political gridlock surrounding the current policies and avoid costly policies that will have minimal near-term impacts on the climate. And finally, these strategies don’t require agreement about the risks of uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions.

{For more about this approach see “Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective” by Roger Pielke Sr. el al. in Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective (2012), a Geophysical Monograph of the American Geophysical Union.}

We don’t know how the climate of the 21st century will evolve, and we will undoubtedly be surprised. Given this uncertainty, precise emissions targets and deadlines are scientifically meaningless. We can avoid much of the political gridlock by implementing common sense, no-regrets strategies that improve energy technologies, lift people out of poverty and make them more resilient to extreme weather events.

The extreme rhetoric of the Extinction Rebellion and other activists is making political agreement on climate change policies more difficult. Exaggerating the dangers beyond credibility makes it difficult to take climate change seriously. On the other hand, the extremely alarmist rhetoric has frightened the bejesus out of children and young adults.

JC’s message to children and young adults.

Don’t believe the hype that you are hearing from Extinction Rebellion and the like. Rather than going on strike or just worrying, take the time to learn something about the science of climate change. The IPCC reports are a good place to start. For a critical perspective on the IPCC, Climate Etc. is a good resource.

Climate change – manmade and/or natural – along with extreme weather events, provide reasons for concern. However, the rhetoric and politics of climate change have become absolutely toxic and nonsensical.

In the meantime, live your best life. Trying where you can to lessen your impact on the planet is a worthwhile thing to do. Societal prosperity is the best insurance policy that we have for reducing our vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and climate.

JC’s message to Extinction Rebellion and other doomsters

Not only do you know nothing about climate change, but you also appear to know nothing of history. You are your own worst enemy – you are triggering a global backlash against doing anything sensible about protecting our environment or reducing our vulnerability to extreme weather. You are making young people miserable, who haven’t yet experienced enough of life to place this nonsense in context.

Originally published at Climate Etc. on 14 December 2019.
Reposted under its Creative Commons license.

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More toxic fear-mongering

Slowly, more people are beginning to speak out about this misuse of climate science. For example, see “Promoters of Climate Anxiety” by Cliff Mass (professor of Atmospheric Sciences at U Washington), “Why Climate Advocates Need To Stop Hyping Extreme Weather” by Roger Pielke Jr. (U CO-Boulder), and “If You’re Worried About Climate Change, Don’t Misrepresent Climate Science” by Nicholas Grossman (Asst Prof of Pol Sci, U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). But too few. The alarmists dominate the media, and speak more loudly and confidently.

Other posts in this series

After 30 years of failed climate politics, let’s try science! – A proposal that can break the policy gridlock.

The guilty ones preventing good policy about climate change – Understanding the problem (it’s not what you think) points to the solution.

Judith Curry

About Judith Curry

Judith Curry retired as a Professor of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is now President and co-owner of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN). Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech, she served on the faculties of the University of Colorado, Penn State University and Purdue University.

She has served on the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee, the DOE Biological and Environmental Science Advisory Committee, the National Academies Climate Research Committee, and Space Studies Board, and the NOAA Climate Working Group.

She is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union. Her views on climate change are best summarized by her Congressional testimony: Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context, April 2013.

Follow Dr. Curry on Twitter at @curryja. Learn about her firm, CFAN, at their website.

For More Information

Ideas! For your holiday shopping, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information about this vital issue see the keys to understanding climate change. Also, see all posts about uncertainties in climate science, about Judith Curry, and especially these …

  1. Focusing on worst-case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  2. The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen.
  3. Roger Pielke Jr.: the politics of unlikely climate scenarios.
  4. Is climate change an existential threat to humanity?
  5. Another climate scientist speaks out against the hysteria.

Activists don’t want you to read these books

Some unexpected good news about polar bears: The Polar Bear Catastrophe That Never Happened by Susan Crockford (2019).

To learn more about the state of climate change see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., professor for the Center for Science and Policy Research at U of CO – Boulder (2018).

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change
Available at Amazon.

 

32 thoughts on “Toxic climate propaganda is poisoning US public policy”

  1. Thanks Larry. Good read, again.

    For my own purposes, this is article helps point me in the right direction as I formulate my positions in my race for public office next year. I wrote a blueprint for Ohio last year largely energy based using natural gas as a bridge fuel for the next 30-40 years to slowly wean us off fossil fuels. During that period we could be building a new energy economy incorporating mass transit, space based solar power, etc. leading to a transformed society. Articles such as this one lend support to my overall thesis.

    1. Craig,

      Best of luck in your race. I strongly responding to the doomsters with hope and proposals for action!

      Note: space-based solar power is not feasible in any useful timeframe. It might not ever prove practical.

      1. Japan and China are already working towards it. Check out Dr. Peter Glaser’s work in the early 70’s with NASA. Wasn’t practical then but approaching feasibility now with lower rocket costs and better automation. BTW, wasting a trillion plus dollars on foreign wars in less than 20 years isn’t practical either but we do it all the same with nary a question by lawmakers.

      2. Craig,

        In 1999, NASA did a $22 million study on the feasibility of space-based solar power. Among their conclusions was that launch costs would need to come down to $100–200 per kg to make it economically competitive – a factor-of-100 reduction in launch costs.

        The stories about China’s and Japan’s programs are the usual fluff (e.g., here). These kinds of confident stories about miracle tech have been commonplace in the news since the late 19th C. Then giant airships would soon dominate the skies. Now we’ll get power from space soon using self-assembling machines, robots constructing space infrastructures, etc.

        When these exist on Earth in commercial use, then we can consider their utility in space.

        Talking about this kind of thing on the campaign trail will be poison to your odds of success, imo.

  2. LK,

    I was impressed with your patience and rationality over at WUWT. It’s an aggressive audience there.

    1. John,

      “It’s an aggressive audience there.”

      What a nice way to phrase it. There used to be many interesting and well-informed people commenting there. Almost all of them have been driven away. Now denialists are the loudest voices. I believe the articles at WUWT are useful contributions to the debates, but the comment threads most often make people mal-informed (two steps beyond mis-informed). This is why I keep a tight hand on the comments here.

      It’s a version of Gresham’s Law: in comment threads, misinformed even ignorant voices drown out those of well-informed people.

      1. Shelley Ashfield

        Adrian Ashfield spent many an hour creating content, for comments in “Watts Up With That?”. It was heart, lung, kidney disease and macular degeneration that ended his commentary, not being driven away. May he rest in peace.

        There is one segment of population who are experiencing an “existential threat” by climate change rhetoric: the remaining working-class neighborhoods in industrial cities. It is now fashionable for architecture professors to pronounce these areas as uninhabitable because of Future Climate Change. That’s a bit more polite than saying sidewalk, curb, and storm-sewer maintenance is not worth pursuing for other reasons Past and Present.

      2. Shelly,

        “Adrian Ashfield spent many …”

        I have never heard of Ashfield. But I know many scientists and other experts who commented at WUWT, and no longer do so.

        “There is one segment of population who are experiencing an “existential threat” by climate change rhetoric: the remaining working-class neighborhoods in industrial cities”

        That’s interesting, but new to me. Can you give some examples?

  3. We should worry about the onset of the next glaciation.

    There is nothing else worth the worry.

    Sorry for stating the blindingly obvious. Many salaries depend upon ignoring this.

    ( COP 25 ends with agreement on COP 26 – all in Glasgow next year?!? )

    1. Charly,

      “Sorry for stating the blindingly obvious.”

      I know of no climate scientist, skeptic or otherwise, who agrees with you. Write it up. The Nobel Prize awaits.

      Congrats on your self-confidence. The California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem can consider their work done.

      1. Larry:

        In fairness, in an abstract sense it isn’t unreasonable to worry about the end of the current interglacial and the return of the ice, a statistical certainty and overdue. We are, when all is said and done, still very much in an ice age, and likely will be until tectoniism rearranges the Earth’s landmasses sufficiently to improve heat flow between the equator and the poles. There have been dozens of glacial outbreaks since the onset of Pleistocene glaciation, and there may be a hundred more before it’s all over.

        AGW or not, it is about as certain a thing as can be that relatively soon, geologically speaking, the Holocene interglacial will begin winding down. You could well make the argument that it’s already started. The return of the ice will be a Very Bad Thing for humanity, assuming it is still around. For those who simply must worry about something, this makes for a pretty good prospect.

        However, as always when you talk about earth-scale processes, the time frames involved are reaaaalllllyyy long from the human standpoint. So it makes about as much sense to worry about this eventuality as it does to worry about the eventual destruction of the Earth when the sun swells into a red giant after its hydrogen is exhausted.

        Which reminds me of a joke:

        An astrophysicist is delivering a lecture to a packed audience. At the conclusion of the talk, he asks if there are any questions. Near the back of the auditorium a single hand is raised.

        The questioner asks, his voice quavering: “Professor, did you say that based on your calculations, the sun will turn into a red giant and destroy the earth in a billion years?”

        “Yes, that is correct.”

        Sighing with relief, the questioner responds : “Thank god; for a second I thought you said in a MILLION years.”

        And anyone who doesn’t get this joke has no business deciding climate policy.

      2. Scott,

        That’s one of my favorite jokes, providing a useful insight.

        “in an abstract sense it isn’t unreasonable to worry about the end of the current interglacial and the return of the ice, a statistical certainty and overdue”

        As I’m sure you suspect, actual scientists have studied this issue – and disagree with you (I don’t know what “in an abstract sense” means here). The effect of rising GHGs more than offsets the cooling forces that initiate the glacial cycles of our era, so far as is known today.

        Among the various argument put forth by deniers, “worry about the coming ice age” is among the most bogus.

        I can provide numerous links about this. I don’t bother anymore, because most of the people commenting on this are fixed objects, intellectually, uninterested in actual info. But I know you’re an exception.

      3. “I don’t bother anymore, because most of the people commenting on this are fixed objects, intellectually, uninterested in actual info.”

        Indeed.

  4. Dr Tim Ball _ Historical Climatologist

    Dr Tim Ball – Historical Climatologist
    timothyball@shaw.ca
    Book ‘The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science’.
    Book “Human Caused Global Warming”, ‘The Biggest Deception in History’.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPzpPXuASY8

    https://www.technocracy.news/dr-tim-ball-on-climate-lies-wrapped-in-deception-smothered-with-delusion/
    http://www.drtimball.com
    BREAKING – Dr.Tim Ball wins against Dr Michael Mann lawsuit
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/08/22/breaking-dr-tim-ball-wins-michaelemann-lawsuit-mann-has-to-pay/

    1. Tim,

      Thanks for posting here! I too have written about the corruption in climate science – looking at it from a public policy perspective:

      1. About the corruption of climate science.
      2. The noble corruption of climate science.

      I would greatly appreciate hearing your views about this proposal: After 30 years of failed climate politics, let’s try science! That is, finding grounds in the middle to conduct a test both sides will consider useful for guiding the public policy process. I focus on validating the models. Note that the technical information is at the end of the post. Of great potential use are the ASME’s standards for model validation – and even more so, consulting their Validation Committed as neutral experts.

  5. ‘Validating the models’. I have a high school education – and a lifetime hobby of reading science fiction. To me, ‘climate science’ is indistinguishable from speculative fiction. There can be no confirming data for events which have not happened.

    Ten years of collecting articles on ‘climate science’ tends me to a cynical appreciation that it is a chimera wrapped in a conundrum – chasing the idea one can forecast random processes ( known and unknown ) from sampling data which is mostly ground level temperature land readings on a water world. The idea of regular atmospheric and ocean waves and rivers is omitted in the farce of using speculative radiation calculations as a reliable forecasting tool. You would think meteorologists would take note ! Since such simplification of treating dynamic processes with static models has proven uninspiring in its products, perhaps it should be allowed to die a natural death.

    1. John,

      “There can be no confirming data for events which have not happened.”

      That’s a drastic misunderstanding of the climate science debate. We have model forecasts made from 1997 to 2004, and can compare their forecasts with current data. That would give us one to two decades of actual results to compare with the forecasts.

      For more about that see this post. It also gives additional sources of information about model vadication methods.

  6. Larry,
    I am an Economist, not a scientist, but I follow many websites and have read a lot on this subject.

    I would just like to ask whether you or your readers have followed the work of Dr Michael Connolly and his son Ronan, who are Irish climate scientists. They have analysed the data from 20 million weather balloons, and have stated that they have proved that CO2 does not cause global warming. Their research is summarised on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfRBr7PEawY It appears to be very convincing. Any comments?

    Also the book by John Kehr “The Inconvenient Skeptic: The Comprehensive Guide to the Earth’s Climate” also offers very convincing evidence that CO2 is not a major factor in global warming.

    1. Ian,

      I’m uninterested in YouTube videos about climate science. I can’t imagine why anyone would rely on them for information.

      I rely on climate scientists for information about climate science, some of whom are world class. They believe in the “greenhouse effect.” Almost every climate scientist does. I don’t know the number, but its almost certainly well over 99%.

      I get comments all the time by people reading fringe science sources and now believe almost all scientists in some field are wrong. Thousands of discussions over the past 15 years have taught me that if they don’t believe scientists – they won’t believe me either.

      All I can do is recommend reading authoritative sources. Such as an intro climate science textbook, the websites of the IPCC and NOAA (both of which are comprehensive and clear), or Wikipedia.

      1. Larry there are many excellent educational lectures by researchers presented at climate conferences or academic institutions that the public would never see if not posted on YouTube. For example, while I have read Jay Zwally’s peer reviewed papers on the Antarctic, I’ve found that listening to Zwally lecture other scientists provides is a “first hand” experience that provides insight into his thinking process & experience for why he approaches his research the way he does. I enjoy having access via YouTube to such added insight beyond the peer reviewed papers.

        P.S. Good article but we need health care intervention to prevent psychological damage to our children long before they reach the age of 20. Keith Kloor was ahead of the curve on this problem & discussing the health threat long ago.

      2. Sundance,

        “public would never see if not posted on YouTube”

        I agree in principle. But the tens of thousands of comments here about the sciences – esp economics and climate – overflow with people grossly misinformed by Youtube videos and websites of the Left or Right. I would instead recommend everybody start with an intro text book, Wikipedia, or govt agency website (those of the Fed banks and NOAA are excellent). Many of the people I attempt to talk to have spent so much time consuming falsehoods, they could have learned a lot by reading undergrad-level material.

        When we started the FM website project in 2007, I thought we would discuss values, forecasts, and differing operational insights (the project leader back then said – nicely – I was delusionally optimistic). Instead, much of my time has been attempting to instill 101 level (ie, simpler than Wikipedia) level knowledge in indoctrinated people. Thousands of conversations have convinced me that it is a waste of time, and that these people are like chaff in the public policy debate.

        “Good article but we need health care intervention to prevent psychological damage to our children long before they reach the age of 20”

        It’s not that I disagree in principle. But the US – and esp UK – health care systems have become part of the problem wrt the trans hysteria. I don’t know what their role will be if we get more psychological damage from the climate hysteria – but I would not be surprised to see that they will make it worse.

      3. Larry,
        I agree that there is a lot of biased information on YouTube. The one video I mentioned is full of facts, put together by two scientists, using real data from Weather balloons. The Connollys are writing a book to summarise their findings. This video shows a lecture, and it is well worth watching.

        I have read many books, and a lot of IPCC reports and am still unconvinced by their reliance on climate models that are never right. I don’t think that the IPCC’s overriding purpose – to show that man is responsible for climate change, addresses the main question, that is to establish exactly what causes climate to change? They are still sticking with the dishonest alterations made by Ben Santer to the original report by the 28 contributing authors in the scientific working group responsible for Chapter 8 of the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report in 1995. They said that there was no clear evidence that man made greenhouse gases were causing climate change.

        The Connollys and John Kehr offer very strong arguments based on real evidence, that CO2 is not causing significant heating of the atmosphere.

    2. The bulk properties of chemicals have been measured by physicists, engineers, and chemists for centuries. Our civilization has been built on this, as well as our most advanced technology. “CO2 is a GHG because it has to be” in the words of S. Mosher, IIRC; and it is simply true: CO2 is a GHG. The argument is the total gain in the system. Bulk properties indicate about 1.1 to 1.2 C increase per doubling of CO2. The question is whether there is feedback, gain, or attenuation occurring in the atmosphere.

      1. John,

        “about 1.1 to 1.2 C increase per doubling of CO2.”

        The referred to as ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’ (ECS). The IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (2013) gave a range between 1 and 6°C, with a ‘likely’ range between 1.5 and 4.5°C. Research since then hasn’t closed the range much.

        “The question is whether …”

        There are similar uncertainties in other factors, esp aerosols and clouds. All these go into the forecasts produced by models. The bottom line question for public policy decisions is not these things – that’s for the scientists – but the forecasting accuracy of the models.

      2. One of the best sources for questions of this sort is the (somewhat oddly named) CO2 coalition; various scientific papers and comments without the foaming at the mouth fanaticism.
        Co founded by physicist Emeritus Professor William Happer, a very genuine gentleman and scientist and a foremost authority on CO2. The two white papers On Climate Sensitivity and Methane and Climate are a very good starting point.
        http://co2coalition.org/

  7. Who in our health system is protecting the children from the psychological damage that Greta, XR & other climate change extremists are inflicting on our children? Benjamin Fearnow’s Newsweek Health Section article on 9/17/19 titled “Psychologists Warn Parents, Climate Change Alarmists Against Causing ‘Eco-Anxiety’ in Children” points to this rapidly growing health problem. There needs to be more education provided to parents & advice on how to protect their children from this growing health threat.

    1. Sundance,

      That’s an interesting question, and of repeated relevance during the past 30 years. Look at the damage done to children during the Satanic Cult moral panic, as therapists induced terror about imaginary events (iatrogenic psychological damage).

      Now autistic kids are having their bodies changed by drugs and surgery – to go “trans” – probably in large part from adults exploiting their weaknesses to virtue-signal their Leftism.

      And, as you note, parents and teachers are terrifying children so that their terror becomes political pressure to adopt their Leftist policies.

      It’s just how the game is played today. The weak are used as lab rats and disposable fodder by political activists. These activists preen themselves as morally superior to the generations before us. My guess is that people of the future will judge them harshly.

  8. Larry I understand your objection to YouTube, and largely agree, because it is loaded with partisan disinformation. But there is also a great deal of gold amid the dross. Here is a recent example, topical because of what is currently happening in Australia:

    With the media very much in the thrall of the Doomsayers, how else is this sort of information ever going to reach a larger audience?

    I’ve long thought that BS detection is a life skill that ought to be taught in public school.

  9. Pingback: Energy & Environmental Newsletter: December 23, 2019 - Master Resource

  10. Pingback: Energy And Environmental Newsletter – December 23rd 2019 | PA Pundits - International

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