An autopsy of the climate policy debate’s corpse

Summary: The climate policy debate ran for 30 years but produced little action (it ranks #17 of the public’s top 18 concerns). Now it has died. The autopsy reveals not just who killed it but also disturbing insights about America. This is post #404 in a series about climate change that I began 12 years ago.

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

Bottom line: the climate activists are decisively winning. The science no longer matters in the public policy debate. Activists have moved beyond it and the major science institutions no longer defend it against the activists’ exaggerations and misrepresentations. There are rumors are that the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report will break with the past and fully embrace the hysteria. Meanwhile, skeptics are talking to themselves, like characters in Alice in Wonderland – vocal but effectively locked out of the news media.

The climate wars are in the “pursuit” phase of battle, during which the victorious side runs down and destroys their broken foe. Understanding how we got here reveals much about America’s dysfunctionality (i.e., its broken OODA loop). But first, know that this was not inevitable. See this remarkable op-ed in the BBC: “Science must end climate confusion” by eminent climate scientist Richard Betts on 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.”

But Betts, and his fellow peers who are dedicated to science, remained mostly silent in the public policy debate – other than the occasional quiet remark. Of course, they were smart to do so. This is a moral panic. Once the leaders of society embrace it (for their own purposes), it becomes a virulent epidemic. Like a zombie apocalypse, those scientists in its path had only three good options: flee, collaborate, or hide. The ugly consequences to those (e.g., Pielke Sr. and Jr., Judith Curry) who chose a fourth option – carefully and selectively fighting the panic – are described below.

I have personally seen this dynamic play out as I have documented this increasing dysfunctional debate since 2008. But few cared in 2008. In 2015 I wrote one of the early critiques of the RCP8.5 scenario (perhaps the first): Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No! I followed with Manufacturing climate nightmares: misusing science to create horrific predictions. Afterwards, I tried to find a climate scientist to coauthor an article in EOS or WSJ op-ed about the misuse of RCP8.5 – when it might have had an impact. But the ones I contacted were too smart to do so.

Now even Nature and the hard-core alarmist BBC says this. But RCP8.5 – and more broadly, climate science – no longer matter. The debate has moved beyond science to the exaggerations of the Climate Emergency and the fictions of the Extinction Rebellion. It is all politics and mass hysteria.

The climate policy debate is interesting as an example of our society’s growing dysfunctionality. Larger political forces (e.g., who wins the presidency in 2020) will determine who wins the debate. On a longer time horizon, the weather will choose the winning side. Meanwhile, the American people watch their screens and chatter.

An example shows how we got here

“The owl of Minerva takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering.”
— G.W.F. Hegel in the Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1820). See Wikipedia.

Roger Pielke Jr. has written an article adding to my favorite genre: forensic pathology, examing the climate policy debate’s corpse to determine the causes of its death. His article describes the creation of shock troops for climate activists, using the Skeptical Science website (SkS) as their base. These people attack the opponents of activists – using lies and smears to discredit these eminent scientists. These are people whom activist scientists can support without getting their own hands dirty by smearing their peers.

The troops at SkS have been immensely successful in a narrow sense, helping activists dominate the public spaces in America. But when you read this, remember the big truth which explains the gridlock in US climate policy.

This is not what scientists do when they have
decisive evidence of an imminent global threat.

This is how they act when they do not have decisive evidence,
but for professional or political reasons want the public to believe them anyway.
Many Americans understand that, at some level.

A Climate Blacklist That Works:
‘It Should Make Her Unhirable In Academia’”

By Roger Pielke, Jr.

Pielke describes the dramatis personae of this sad story.

The writers at Skeptical Science – A massive donation supported website. Like most good propaganda mills, it mixes useful information with misinformation. Very few of its authors are climate scientists.

Pielke describes its authors’ smearing of Roger Pielke Sr. and Judith Curry. See this debunking of the SkS page about Pielke. See his publications, also his positions held. His publications have an H-Index of 95. See Curry’s publications; they have an H-Index of 67. Compare that to media darlings James Hansen (96)Michael Mann (83), and Katharine Hayhoe (47). It is how science crashes during a moral panic.


“It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”
— Voltaire in his The Age of Louis XIV.

Simple and sensible measures could have been taken long ago with broad public support to prepare for a better future and break the policy gridlock (perhaps gaining support for bigger bolder actions). But that requires our involvement to make it happen – since neither the leaders of climate science nor US elites have any interest in either. We do not appear to be up to this challenge.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas 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 see The keys to understanding climate change, all posts about the RCPs, and especially these …

  1. About the corruption of climate science.
  2. The noble corruption of climate science.
  3. Climate science has died. The effects will be big.
  4. After 30 years of failed climate politics, let’s try science! – A proposal to break the policy gridlock.
  5. The guilty ones preventing good policy about climate change.
  6. Toxic climate propaganda is poisoning US public policy.
  7. An obvious solution to the climate policy crisis.
  8. A demo showing our broken climate policy debate.

Activists don’t want you to read these

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.


48 thoughts on “An autopsy of the climate policy debate’s corpse”

  1. Editor
    I am not as pessimistic as you. The activists may well think they are winning the PR war, but there is a very big hole in their case. The cost of everything. That is what will sink them – even now, their past is haunting. It is why they either ignore costs or make very soothing noises when directly questioned.
    I believe Pielke Jr has done some work on it and found most Americans won’t pay $1 week extra for climate change. You tell the non-activists that the price of their gas will go up 10c/ gallon or they have to change from a F150 to a Tesla, and the backlash will be very swift and brutal. Let alone the stupid idea to ban fracking so the cost of NG will double.
    The alarmists may think they are winning, but things like both Trump and Brexit shows that they don’t command a real majority. The support from many is only there if there are no consequences or cost to the virtue signaling.

    1. Chris,

      Time will tell who is correct.

      “found most Americans won’t pay $1 week extra for climate change”

      No, that’s not what polls found (Pielke reported them, not conducted them). They found that Americans don’t want to pay more than small sums. But when the taxes and fees come, they will pay them.

  2. Is the recent Irish election another example (like the Australian) where when it comes down to it, voters are not voting for parties supporting radical action on ‘climate change’? But then our UK election has produced a government out to take more action on how vehicles are powered than anywhere else?

  3. Since Obama in 2008, insanity rules in every political debate, and the Insane Left (Democrats since 2008) takes precisely the wrong side of every debate, because their voting base is vengeance-minded and wants uncompromising attack, i.e. war.

    In the “global climate change” debate, the underlying problem is a fundamental incompetence on the part of scientists. I have shown, for example, that the unchanging Standard Atmosphere model, with a historical pedigree as long or longer than the “greenhouse effect”, is the true representative of the Earth’s lower atmosphere, so the global mean temperature is utterly stable. But climate scientists turned away from the Standard Atmosphere model in the 1960s, to pursue the chimera of, first, global cooling and then global warming. By their own suspect “measurements”, the global mean temperature today is just a few tenths of a degree COOLER than that given in the Standard Atmosphere, throughout its history of a century and more; the “global warming” of the last half-century is thus simply false — climate scientists STILL use the Standard Atmosphere’s number, 288K, for the global mean surface temperature, without a thought for what that means for their claimed century of global warming.

    And the “renowned scientists” who have long criticized the global warming hysterics, are themselves incompetent in this, as they all accept the blatantly false (along many lines of investigation) “greenhouse effect global warming”. They merely argue that it is less than what the hysterics claim. The truth, however, is that it is utterly false and there is no CO2 global-warming greenhouse effect in the real atmosphere; none whatsoever, as my comparison of the temperatures in the lower atmospheres of Earth and Venus proved, back in 2010.

    The bottom line: There is no valid “global climate” science, and there are no competent climate scientists, among all of the alarmists and “lukewarmers”. And so there can be no realistic governmental “climate policy”, until science self-corrects, and withdraws the current “consensus” theories involved as the utter falsehoods they are.

    Once the Insane Left is exposed, however — it has overreached, it appears now, in trying to demonize President Trump and his half of the American electorate, based as always, in the Obama era, upon merely vengeful, blatant lies — then scientific self-correction must come (“the truth will out”).

    1. Yes, I agree about incompetent. None seem to understand Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics. Take what is called the 2nd law to Thermodynamics (4th Postulate) which was first outline around 1800 by Lazar Carnot, the father of Sadi Carnot. Your point about Venus revolves around the fifth Postulate of Thermodynamics (Chemical Engineering outline see page 4-4 of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook 7th Edition -1st edition in 1934) relating P, V & T. The 2nd law used by millions of scientists and engineers says that CO2 in a cool atmosphere can transfer heat to a warmer Earth surface by radiation or any other heat transfer way.. That should be an end to the climate nonsense but politics has dismissed that with no proof that the 2nd law is not applicable.

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  6. Here is where the matter will be determined:

    One of the biggest contractors and constructors of large-scale solar farms in Australia, the listed constructing giant Downer Group, has signaled a dramatic exit from the solar business, saying it is too hard. “We’re out of solar,” Downer CEO Grant Fenn told an analysts during a telephone briefing of the company’s half year earnings on Wednesday. Fenn said the decision to withdraw from solar was disappointing, but inevitable given that the large-scale solar market had all but evaporated over the last 12 months. “Developers, contractors and bankers all struggle to come to terms with the risk of large power loss factors, grid stability problems, connection problems, and equipment performance issues,” Fenn said..

    Delays and cost over-runs on wind and solar projects are occurring across the grid, mostly due to newly complex connection procedures and grid blockages. In Victoria, it has reached a crisis point with solar and wind farms being curtailed, delayed or warned not to begin construction. One of Downer’s big rivals, RCR Tomlinson, went bust in 2018 and was liquidated after delays and cost overruns in around one dozen large-scale solar plants, and other contractors have also been hit hard by the same issues.

    “The grid issues are very complex,” Fenn said, noting the debate over whether money should be spent on major new transmission links, a business that Downer will continue, and microgrids, or both.

    “The regulators are doing their absolutely best to ensure stability of grid is maintained. That is proving very difficult, and it is impacting on the solar market very significantly. You see it with the solar farms that have been built – volatile power loss factors outside of what they were expecting, you are seeing it with connections into grid, particularly where there are lots of solar farms. We have still got a series of issues with equipment, particularly inverters. Sure they will be solved as fast as they can, but when I look at it for next couple of years, it is very challenged.


    1. erl,

      Thank you for that interesting news.

      “Here is where the matter will be determined:”

      Solar – and renewables – are only a small fraction of the Green agenda. Not even the most important part.

  7. SKS is an instrument of propaganda for profiteers of doom.
    It’s mission is to mis-inform, defame, and intimidate dissent from the party line.
    This outfit is not science; it’s anti-science.

    It’s operator, John Cook, is eminently qualified to comment on climate,or any physical science – After all, he holds a degree in.. psychology. But then that degree is from western Australia. And here’s the best part: Although he disavows public support, in truth, Cook is now being funded by the US National Science Foundation, under the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

    Corruption of science and public policy – by the Deep State,
    for the Deep State – all at public expense.

    Your tax dollars hard at work!

    1. Cat,

      “Although he disavows public support, in truth, Cook is now being funded by the US National Science Foundation, under the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.”

      Somebody is pretty lavishly funding him – as is so for most of the climate activist machinery. Do you have any evidence for that specific claim?

      As for Cook, that was then. At least he pretended to know something. Now, showing activists moving beyond science, they give us Greta. That’s the death of the climate policy debate in brief.

      1. Larry

        I know people have endlessly analysed the Cook et al article on quantifying the consensus on climate change, but I found an article with a slightly new angle here which places it in the more general context of shutting down the climate debate, and which might be useful to pass on to those who wonder how this all happened.


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  9. I cannot find a major fault with this reasoning. It is extreme, but generally sound, I am sad to say. Our species has struggled through millennia of poverty, squalor, disease, life-expectancy under 30 years, to build a relatively prosperous, industrial society. And then we succumb to a completely irrational religion, which – if implemented – will return mankind to Stone Age. This is the achievement of the ruling intelligence on Earth?
    Maybe we should do what some environmentalists advocate and become extinct. Phase ourselves out. But let us not go quietly – let us have a big war, detonate all nuclear weapons, increase background radiation and thereby speed-up the rate of evolution. It is the least we can do to facilitate the emergence of a new intelligence. Maybe some future society of cockroaches will have more sense than we do.


    1. Miso,

      “And then we succumb to a completely irrational religion, which – if implemented – will return mankind to Stone Age.”

      I don’t believe the Green New Deal would, even if fully implemented, return us to “the stone age.” In fact, much of it has nothing to do with energy use – instead fighting racism, sexism, and many other -isms.

    1. Scipio,

      “The climate doomsters are sailing away from reality.”

      That’s exactly the kind of statement that skeptics condemn when made by activists. One year – or ever a few years – changes mean nothing.

      1. scipioafricanus114

        Why would I care what sort of statements some group of people might condemn or not condemn? Nothing to do with me, Hoss, I’m only interested in whether or not statements are true.

        It’s a point estimate in a noisy series, sure. Such YoY flatness has happened before — in the context of economic contraction. This is the first time AFAIK that it’s happened during robust economic growth and relatively low oil prices. The primary question is how trustworthy the Chinese numbers are; book cooking there would swamp any real signal. My prior on that is: “not very.”

        But, collectively the data over the last decade are showing increasing decoupling of growth and emissions as a result of reaping the fruits of sustained efforts to increase energy efficiency on multiple levels since the 1970s. Photovoltaics, to take one example, have taken off (AKA gotten cheaper) far, far faster than most experts predicted. Solar and wind account for the majority of installed new capacity in recent years. Storage is coming online although still infinitesimal. Gas peaker plants are basically finished. We still need nuclear for off-peak but that’s another story.

        Importantly, the reported emission numbers are inconsistent (as are the last several years of data) with RCP 8.5 which predicts accelerating CO2 emissions. Since RCP 8.5 has become a baseline scenario for the doomsters, and reality is stubbornly refusing to validate the predictions of that scenario, that scenario is looking less and less likely (a better way to phrase this might be that reality is sailing away from the climate doomsters).

        There’s no room for complacency but human ingenuity and hard work are paying off. The doomster counsel that “we’re all going to die unless we hand over control of our economy to a half-bright thirty-year-old bartender from da Bronx” is unfounded.

      2. Scipio,

        “Why would I care what sort of statements some group of people might condemn or not condemn?”

        I said that your point was statistical nonsense. Which it is. What happened last year is meaningless.

        “But, collectively the data over the last decade are showing increasing decoupling of growth and emissions as a result of reaping the fruits of sustained efforts to increase energy efficiency on multiple levels since the 1970s.”

        You appear unclear about the drivers of global emissions forecasts: it is the industrialization of the underdeveloped world. Now that is China, but there are a host of nations behind them. Perhaps they will go for expensive non-fossil fuel sources – and make affluent Western liberals happy. Probably not.

        “Photovoltaics, to take one example, have taken off”

        Yes, if by “taken off” you mean “still a tiny fraction of global power generation. Perhaps they have a big future, perhaps not. Big talk ain’t reliable forecasts.

      3. Follow-up:

        “as are the last several years of data) with RCP 8.5 which predicts accelerating CO2 emissions.”

        Proof, please. The emissions pathways of the RCPs are almost identical until the middle of this decade, and then only slowly diverge.

        “Solar and wind account for the majority of installed new capacity in recent years.”

        Proof, please. Sounds unlikely to me.

      4. scipioafricanus114


        Regarding divergence of CO2 emissions from RCP 8.5 (presented in order of lay-to-technical orientation, #1 is a commentary by the corresponding author of #3):

        As a further spot check, see fig 1 of Burgess where RCP 8.5 predicts ~40 gt / year in 2019. Real value: 33 gt / year.

        “You appear unclear about the drivers of global emissions forecasts: it is the industrialization of the underdeveloped world. Now that is China, but there are a host of nations behind them.”

        As an aside there’s a teachable moment here:
        1. Burgess et al (#3) claim that the biggest driver of over-forecasting CO2 emissions is the over-forecasting of GDP per capita in the developing world
        2. Why might economists over-predict GDP growth in the developing world?
        3. Because, although they ostensibly study the behavior of human minds, they mostly are ignorant of the bulk properties of those minds. You’d think they’d be curious, what with studying them all day, but to be fair, the education system and media have gone to great lengths to memory hole the relevant info. Instead, economics treats people as interchangeable widgets.
        4. Therefore of course the economic development trajectory of Gambia will track the trajectory of Germany, just delayed by a few decades.
        5. But Gambians are not interchangeable with Germans.
        6. C.f Greg Cochran’s review of Garret Jones’ Hive Mind ( and Anatoly Karlin’s blog post:

        Now, I don’t know if this is good news or bad news for global warming in the long run. Delayed industrialization also leads to delayed demographic transition. And maybe the dirty tech is easier for stupid countries to operate. On the other hand, PV is pretty damn simple once it’s installed: you just have to sweep the dust and birdcrap off once in a while. Steam engineering on the other hand . . . requires engineers.

        Regarding renewable sources dominating new installed capacity globally:

        Solar and wind don’t quite crack 50 % for the US with the 2018 data but close at 47.14 %.

        Hope this helps.

      5. Scripio,

        I am tired of factually correcting your comments. I don’t know if these are lies (replying to what I didn’t say) or just sloppy mis-statements. Either way, please be more careful or I’ll moderate all future comments.

        (1) “Burgess et al (#3) claim that the biggest driver of over-forecasting CO2 emissions is the over-forecasting of GDP per capita in the developing world”

        Burgess refers to the divergence of forecasted emissions from actuals. I referred to something different: “the drivers of global emissions forecasts: it is the industrialization of the underdeveloped world.” Total emissions, NOT the factor affecting divergence. That is, the largest factor – not the most misspecified factor.

        (2) “Regarding renewable sources dominating new installed capacity globally”

        I objected to your statement “Photovoltaics, to take one example, have taken off.” I said nothing about renewable sources. Note: renewables include hydro – which is a big share of the global increase in renewable energy.

  10. There is good reason to believe that the next solar cycle will introduce some serious cooling in the northern hemisphere. Cooling, short growing seasons, famine, disease. The demand for energy will increase as mankind attempts to compensate for difficult times.

    Paper in preparation. Its not the sort of thing that will be accepted in a mainstream journal.

  11. I see things very differently, Larry. On the policy side the alarmist have a civil war on their hands. The old time moderates, who are in power, versus the new wave of Action Now radicals. Greta denouncing the UNFCCC, for example. COP 25 collapsed under this fight and COP 26 will go the same way. The UN process is what is dead. That what the radicals are calling for is impossible makes it even better. As a skeptic I love Greta. She is fighting the same people I am.

    The science is about to go the same way. Roughly half the CMIP 6 models have gone radical. The resulting debate will tear the consensus apart. The IPCC is likely to become as paralyzed as the FCCC.

    1. David,

      “On the policy side the alarmist have a civil war on their hands.”

      To call that a “civil war” is nuts. It’s a common phenomenon following victory, as the winning faction fragments into moderates and radicals (small and big dreams). It doesn’t mean that are not winning, or that won’t continue to win.

      “That what the radicals are calling for is impossible makes it even better. ”

      There is nothing impossible to do in the Green New Deal. You are confusing policies with results.

      “The science is about to go the same way.”

      Too silly to comment on.


      Blah blah blah. I’ve been hearing skeptics say all this since 2008. Congrats, you’ve won a thousand times – in your dreams. Congrats, your opponents will self-destruct so that skeptics need not do more than continue their food fight. Good luck with all that.

      1. They have no victory. In fact almost nothing is happening except distant promises of no meaning –,2035, 2050.

        Want to bet on the outcome of COP 26?

      2. We can also bet on the outcome of AR6. Will the IPCC say, (1) sorry, our models have been wrong about sensitivity for the last 30 years, and half still are, or (2) sorry, these new hot models are wrong? Either way reopens the scientific discussion.

        The consensus has worked because the modelers spoke with one voice. Like the policy case, that unity has ended.

  12. It’s never over, If the alarmist start putting their policies in place, no fossil fuels, no meat, no planes ect. the backlash will take them out. It’s one thing to support this garbage in the abstract, but when your freezing in the dark and starving people will put an end to them and not in a civilized manner.

    1. Philip,

      “no fossil fuels, no meat, no planes ect. the backlash will take them out.”

      Since nobody of note in the green movement is proposing such an insane thing, I suggest you focus instead on realistic scenarios.

      That’s one of the basic reasons the skeptic are marginalized and largely ignored – hoping to win when their opponents make big mistakes. They haven’t, and they’re winning. Meanwhile, skeptics stage fun food fights.

      1. Well I may be wrong but XR and other crackpots seem to ask for no fossil fuel tomorrow or the day after, at least here in Europe…

      2. Konrad,

        I suggest listening to the leaders and major figures as guides to possible future policy, not the wackos on the street.

        Can you name a single major green who wants “no fossil fuel tomorrow or the day after”?

      3. You mean lie Greta and AOC and half of the Democrat party. At some point Warmist aren’t worth the pain and all of this for a fake crisis. How the hell do you think we got TRUMP. The fact is we are winning and the alarmist are losing hence the scare tactics!!

      4. Philip,

        Life does not reward such arrogance, esp as climate activists patiently build their control over every major institution in America.

        Such nonsense reminds me of the French army’s plan to win in Vietnam at a place called Dienbienphu.

        “With the kind of arrogance that Western generals could still retain after eight years of fighting a great infantry like the Vietminh, the French built their positions in the valley and left the high ground to the Vietminh, a move which violated the first cardinal rule of warfare: always take the high ground.

        “An American officer who visited the site just before the battle noticed this and asked what would happen if the Vietminh had artillery. Ah, he was assured by a French officer, they had no artillery, and even if they did, they would not know how to use it. But they did have artillery and they did know how to use it.

        “On the first night of the battle the French artillery commander, shouting “It is all my fault, it is all my fault,” committed suicide by throwing himself on a grenade. Westerners always learned the hard way in Indochina; respect for the enemy always came when it was too late.”

      5. We’re still down too the facts that CO2 levels follow temperature levels. We’ve had higher temps with lower CO2. (Most of the last 10,000 years) and lower temps with higher CO2 levels 6000 ppm with an Iceage. Your global warming crap is about Gov. control. and 80% of the pop. knows it’s CRAP. Start cutting into their life and making it hard on them and they will make you pay. without a gun to their head to make them comply they will throw you out, Like Trump did the Democrats, and the average Dem. voter won’t put up with your crap past a certain point. but by all means keep playing pretend. As long as we have the 1st and 2nd Amendment you don’t count.

      6. scipioafricanus114

        “Since nobody of note in the green movement is proposing such an insane thing, I suggest you focus instead on realistic scenarios.”

        In your view, Mr. Kummer, does the statement (featured prominently on

        “The centerpiece of the Green New Deal is a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030.”

        not imply “no fossil fuels”?

        Incidentally, at current and foreseeable levels of technology “no fossil fuels” -> “no planes”

        By “nobody of note in the green movement” do you exclude the majority of Democratic candidates who have endorsed the Green new Deal because they are not of note or do you not consider them part of the “green movement”?

        It comes down to the speed of transition. It’s not insane to think we can transition from fossil fuels by the year 3000. It is insane to say we can do it by tomorrow.

        What about 10 years from now? Is that insane or realistic, in your view?

        Also, Greta Thunberg, the single most notable person in the green movement at present, has the following items as the first two steps her “4 simple steps for saving the planet” (

        1) Fly less or not at all

        2) Cut down on meat consumption or go vegan

        Does this not count because she is not proposing a policy, just personal recommendations? If she or other like-minded individuals were in charge of setting policy, do you think she would set policy in a way that saved the future of all the children and solved the most important problem in the history of the world . . . or just shrug and say “Laissez-faire”?

      7. Scripo,

        “not imply “no fossil fuels”?”

        (1) Yes, but it is explicitly not “immediately.” It’s a date 25 years in the future (that appears to have been written in 2015).

        (2) Yes, but it is the platform of the Green Party. Hence clearly “nobody of note.” Per Wikipedia, it has no elected Federal offices. Jill Stein ran as their 2016 presidential candidate and came in 4th with 1.0% of the popular vote. They could desire the repeal of gravity, but we need not begin to nail the furniture to the floor.

  13. It seems that some action is happening on how to improve the tools and methods of Science( 1). At the practitioner level an OODA loop is becoming unstuck it seems.

    Thanks for referencing OODA loops as I had printed out a bunch of pages from Chet’s site recently where I was trying to make sense of “Impression:3”- Positive vs Negative Feedback with the Bold bit in RED- “VULNERABILITY: ALL OODA Loops embody the Potential for Incestuous Amplification” and your post and Roger’s seem to get to the heart of the amplification risks.

    I had saved the OODA loop presentation in the front cover of one of my most recent Friends of the Library purchases- Al Gore’s- “Earth In The Balance- Ecology and the Human Spirit”(2). I haven’t gotten too far into the work yet but the spirit part of the title hit a cord in my thinking about the cultural aspect of how we reason (and feel) about things.

    I highlighted this part from the introduction-

    “The problem is not so much of policy failures: much more worrisome are the failures of candor; evasions of responsibility and timidity of vision that characterize too many of us in government.” Page 11.

    I think what you and Roger have both raised over the years is similar to what Vice President Gore worried about- “failures of candor and evasions of responsibility”. At least those are the sections of the quote I highlighted in the sentence.

    1) Bad Statistics is Their Product: Fighting Fire With Fire


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