Quiet Storm of Lucidity

Lucidity refers to insight: an understanding that arrives in a flash, like lightning or a light bulb overcoming the darkness. It involves seeing things as they are, (not how they should or might be) and how those things fit together into a coherent whole. Socrates and other great teachers down through history saw that lucidity is the coming together of knowledge that is already within but not yet realized.

Turning to our understanding of the climate, we have to ask this question:

Is that light the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train?

In the run up to Paris climate conference, skeptics and the general public are looking into an oncoming train of pressure and propaganda. But lately there are voices pointing to light shining through the fog of consensus climate science. They are not very loud yet compared to the amplified mass media fear-mongering, but it is more pronounced than in the past.  Consider some of the recent media events.

Honest Talk Regarding the Models’ Uncertainties

David Roberts writing here:

Basically, it’s difficult to predict anything, especially regarding sprawling systems like the global economy and atmosphere, because everything depends on everything else. There’s no fixed point of reference.

Grappling with this kind of uncertainty turns out to be absolutely core to climate policymaking. Climate nerds have attempted to create models that include, at least in rudimentary form, all of these interacting economic and atmospheric systems. They call these integrated assessment models, or IAMs, and they are the primary tool used by governments and international bodies to gauge the threat of climate change. IAMs are how policies are compared and costs are estimated.

There is a school of thought that says the whole exercise of IAMs, at least as an attempt to model how things will develop in the far future, is futile. There are so many assumptions, and the outcomes are so sensitive to those assumptions, that what they produce is little better than wild-ass guesses. And the faux-precision of the exercise, all those clean, clear lines on graphs, only serves to mislead policymakers into thinking we have a grasp on it. It makes them think we know exactly how much slack we have, how much we can push before bad things happen, when in fact we have almost no idea.

In the view of these researchers, the quest to predict what climate change (or climate change mitigation) will cost through 2100 ought to be abandoned. It is impossible, computationally intractable, and the IAMs that pretend to do it only serve to distract and confuse.

More CO2 is Good for the Planet

London 12 October: In an important new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, former IPCC delegate Dr Indur Goklany calls for a reassessment of carbon dioxide, which he says has many benefits for the natural world and for humankind.

Dr Goklany said: “Carbon dioxide fertilises plants, and emissions from fossil fuels have already had a hugely beneficial effect on crops, increasing yields by at least 10-15%. This has not only been good for humankind but for the natural world too, because an acre of land that is not used for crops is an acre of land that is left for nature”.

In the Forward (here), world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson says this:

“To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.”

Dyson also makes this lucid comment:

The people who are supposed to be experts and who claim to understand the science are precisely the people who are blind to the evidence. Those of my scientific colleagues who believe the prevailing dogma about carbon dioxide will not find Goklany’s evidence convincing. . .That is to me the central mystery of climate science. It is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?

Prominent French Weatherman and Mathematicians Speak Out

Recently France’s best-known TV weatherman, Philippe Verdier, was sacked for publishing a book debunking consensus climate science. And now people wonder what punishment will be visited upon the prestigious Société de Calcul Mathématique (Society for Mathematical Calculation), which recently issued a detailed 195-page White Paper that presents a blistering point-by-point critique of the key dogmas of the global warming. Synopsis is blunt and extremely well documented.

Here are extracts from the opening statements of the first three chapters of the SCM White Paper:

Chapter 1: The crusade is absurd
There is not a single fact, figure or observation that leads us to conclude that the world‘s climate is in any way ‘disturbed.’ It is variable, as it has always been, but rather less so now than during certain periods or geological eras. Modern methods are far from being able to accurately measure the planet‘s global temperature even today, so measurements made 50 or 100 years ago are even less reliable. Concentrations of CO2 vary, as they always have done; the figures that are being released are biased and dishonest. Rising sea levels are a normal phenomenon linked to upthrust buoyancy; they are nothing to do with so-called global warming. As for extreme weather events — they are no more frequent now than they have been in the past. We ourselves have processed the raw data on hurricanes….

Chapter 2: The crusade is costly
Direct aid for industries that are completely unviable (such as photovoltaics and wind turbines) but presented as ‘virtuous’ runs into billions of euros, according to recent reports published by the Cour des Comptes (French Audit Office) in 2013. But the highest cost lies in the principle of ‘energy saving,’ which is presented as especially virtuous. Since no civilization can develop when it is saving energy, ours has stopped developing: France now has more than three million people unemployed — it is the price we have to pay for our virtue….

Chapter 3: The crusade is pointless
Human beings cannot, in any event, change the climate. If we in France were to stop all industrial activity (let’s not talk about our intellectual activity, which ceased long ago), if we were to eradicate all trace of animal life, the composition of the atmosphere would not alter in any measurable, perceptible way. To explain this, let us make a comparison with the rotation of the planet: it is slowing down. To address that, we might be tempted to ask the entire population of China to run in an easterly direction. But, no matter how big China and its population are, this would have no measurable impact on the Earth‘s rotation.

Additional discussion and links are here.

Push Back on the Climate Policy Proposals

Eric Worrall expresses a burst of clarity here:

It’s difficult to know what impact Putin’s overt skepticism will have on the Paris climate meeting. The meeting is reportedly already in a lot of trouble, because even our economically illiterate leaders seem to be balking at the prospect of borrowing money from China, so they can gift the principle they just borrowed back to China as climate development assistance, then repay the loan back to China a second time, with interest.

A Lucid Summary of IPCC Climate Policy:
Borrowing money we don’t have
to pay countries having other pressing needs
for a solution that won’t work
to solve a problem that doesn’t exist
while asserting imaginary legal authority.

Conclusion

Switching metaphors, maybe we are starting to see some damage to the Good Ship Climate Alarm:

Final Word to Charles Mackay

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

― Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

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