Green Cotton Candy Climate Science

With Biden replacing the skeptical Trump presidency, we are seeing how extensive is the mass addiction to climate pseudoscience.  As children, many of us experienced cotton candy at a county fair, circus midway or amusement park.  This science is like that:  a sugar high from a fluffy, vaporous cloud lacking any calories of substance.  How strange now to see elite adults addicted to this green stuff; people like politicians, financiers, judges and captains of industry, added to children and teachers who swallowed green junk science for decades.

Richard Schulman explains in his Founders Broadsheet article The false science behind the Biden green program.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and some added images.

Little further warming will occur at present levels of atmospheric CO2, even if present levels were to double from 400 ppm to 800 ppm.

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in 2019. Markey is the Senate author of the Green New Deal, the inspiration behind the Biden administration’s present green climate initiatives. (GreenNewDeal Presser)

The green program behind President Biden’s post-inaugural flood of executive orders is unscientific and deficient in economic and geostrategic common sense. The major media have endeavored to conceal that truth by means of three decades of spurious climate scare stories.

The claim that humanity faces an imminent global warming catastrophe because of its use of fossil fuels is junk science.

The central lie pushed by major media and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that increases in atmospheric CO2 from fossil-fuel use will keep boosting global temperatures. This supposedly will be further multiplied catastrophically by positive feedback: as oceans warm, atmospheric water vapor, another greenhouse gas, will increase. This will foster more warming, which will further warm the oceans, generating more atmospheric water vapor, and so on. The result of these alleged positive feedback mechanisms for CO2 and H2O, the narratives claim, will be that Earth ends up being a hot lifeless planet like Venus.

The feedbacks are negative

If such positive feedbacks existed, Earth already would have turned into another Venus. The reason this hasn’t happened is because negative feedback mechanisms operate for both CO2 and H2O. These the IPCC and media have studiously avoided discussing before the public:

The truth of the matter is that increases in atmospheric CO2 have rapidly diminishing power as a greenhouse gas. Little further warming will occur at present levels of atmospheric CO2, even if present levels were to double from 400 ppm to 800 ppm.

This has been explained recently in papers by W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer (“Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases”), William Happer “Radiation Transfer,” and Howard Hayden (“CO2 and Climate: A Tutorial”).

William Happer is Professor Emeritus in Physics at Princeton University. The Happer paper, “Radiation Transfer,” was issued as one of nine “Red Team” type papers by the Executive Office of the President of the United States during the last days of the Trump administration. They were subsequently denied that White House imprimatur by Trump Science Advisor, Kelvin Droegemeier. Climate scientist Roy Spencer, another of the “Red Team” authors, believes Droegemeier did this “for political purposes and professional gain.” Droegemeier served on the National Science Board for 12 years during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Obama’s Vice Chairman of the NSB.

Fears of CO2 Are Overblown

Present atmospheric CO2 levels are around 410 parts per million. The global warming catastrophists animating the Biden administration believe that further increases will doom the planet. Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry, the latest in a long line of failed prophets of doom, gives the planet just nine more years unless drastic action is taken against fossil fuel consumption.

Hayden writes that: “[T]he warming that would be caused by the next 400 ppmv (parts per million by volume) of CO2 would be about one-tenth as much as caused by the first 400 ppmv. Again, this is likely an overestimate.”

In “Radiation Transfer,” Happer writes:

At the mean distance of Earth from the Sun, sunlight carries an energy flux of about 1,360 Watts per square meter (Wm-2) …. [F]or cloud-free temperate latitudes, doubling the concentration of carbon dioxide would decrease thermal radiation to space by about 3 Wm-2.

Seasonal warming much greater than doubled CO2 warming

By way of comparison, Happer writes, because of the Earth’s elliptical orbit, which modestly modifies the distance between Sun and Earth during its annual orbit, “there is 91 Wm-2 change [in] flux from summer to winter.” In other words, the extra heating of Earth by a doubling of CO2 from present values would produce just 3.3% of the heat difference regularly observed on Earth between January vs. July. “Great efforts are needed to concoct a ‘scientific’ argument that 3 Wm-2 is worth worrying about,” Happer concludes, adding that

Any doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations will produce the same 3 Wm-2 decrease of flux to space whether we consider doubling the pre-industrial value of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 560 ppm, which could happen by about the year 2100 at the current rate of increase around 2 ppm/year. Doubling the current 410 ppm atmospheric concentration to 820 ppm would take about two centuries.

The physics of diminishing CO2 greenhouse behavior

The reason that CO2 exhibited diminishing returns as a greenhouse gas (GHG) — even before present atmospheric levels were reached — is that to be a GHG, an atmospheric gas must prevent infrared radiation from escaping into space. CO2 does this only in a very narrow band of infrared frequencies (the 14 to 16 micrometer band). This band quickly, at much lower atmospheric levels of CO2 than at present, tends towards saturation. But meanwhile, radiation across the rest of the much larger spectrum of infrared frequencies escapes into space, thereby maintaining Earth at an equilibrium temperature.

This is one of the important negative feedback mechanisms that prevents Earth from becoming a Venus.

Why isn’t this obvious to the climate catastrophists backing the UN’s IPCC? There are two approaches to this question: one, scientific; the other sociological. The scientific rationale, if there is a respectable rationale to be made, is described by Hayden as follows:

[W]e know from satellite measurements that the temperature rise since about 1979 has been almost 0.6º C, far above that caused directly by CO2. Climate scientists are fully aware of these numbers. They know that increasing CO2 concentration—by itself—has little effect on temperature even if the amount doubles. The claim is that the warming is amplified by the increase in the H2O greenhouse effect.

If this claim is wrong, any warming beyond the little that can be attributed to increased CO2 must be of natural origin (or changes in land use, not fossil fuels).

H2O greenhouse behavior also diminishes, Hayden adds:

In case you are wondering why the earth did not bootstrap itself into boiling temperatures during the Eemian Interglacial, the Holocene Climate Optimum, the Minoan Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period, or thousands of other warmings, the answer is that the climate is not controlled by positive feedback—where hot weather begets even hotter weather—but by negative feedback—where, as things get hotter, they shed more heat. For the last half-billion years, this negative feedback system has kept the temperature of the surface of the earth within a few percent of its present 288 K.

Water vapor also is subject to negative feedback. Increased atmospheric levels of it condense as clouds, rain, snow, or ice. Nor does it escape the same saturation effect to which CO2 is subject. Wijngaarden and Happer write:

[A]t current concentrations, the forcings [greenhouse gas behaviors] from all greenhouse gases are saturated. The saturations of the abundant greenhouse gases H2O and CO2 are so extreme that the per-molecule forcing is attenuated by four orders of magnitude with respect to the optically thin values [values at lower concentrations]. Saturation also suppresses the forcing power per molecule for the less abundant greenhouse gases O3 , N2O and CH4 from their optically thin values, but far less than for H2O and CO2.

The cheapening of climate science programs

A compelling sociological explanation for the perspectives of the CO2 catastrophists is provided by climate scientist Judith Curry. In an interview with Christopher Balkaran of the Strong and Free podcast channel, she explains what happened to the field of climate studies between when she began to study climate at graduate school in the late seventies and early eighties and the present.

Curry: Climate change wasn’t a really big issue at that point. At the time, it was all about geophysical fluid dynamics, trying to understand the circulations of atmosphere and the ocean, radiative transfer, cloud physics. It was, it was very physics based. I would hear in the media about people talking about, Oh, the ice age is coming , or doom and gloom from CO2 emissions, but nobody was really paying attention to all that very much in terms of what I would say the mainstream field until the late 1980s, really.

[D]efenders of the IPCC started pushing the idea that anybody who doubts us or challenges us, they are in the pay of big oil. After that, it became much more difficult to really challenge all that. And certainly by the turn of the century, anybody who was questioning the hockey stick or any of these other things were slammed as deniers and ostracized. And then after Climategate in 2010, the consensus enforcers became very militant. So it’s a combination of politics, and some mediocre scientists trying to protect their careers. [T]hey saw this whole thing as a way for career advancement, and it gives them a seat at the big table and political power….

I was old school at the University of Chicago with geophysical fluid dynamics and all this really hard stuff…. There’s very few universities that have good programs in climate dynamics at this point…. Climate dynamics is still there, but it’s far from dominant…. [T]here are all these new degree programs spinning up in climate, that are far away from the geo-physical roots. These new programs combine policy with a little bit of science and economics and whatever… [T]he science part of it basically gets minimized. And that’s where all the students are running to… leaving a talent dearth of people with the good mathematical physical mindset and wanting to enter into the more challenging fields.

Conclusion: Retribution in 2022?

In conclusion, the Biden administration is basing its entire economic and geopolitical policies on bad CO2 science.

The policies are harmful to working people here and abroad. The policies abandon US fossil fuel strengths to the benefit of a hostile China, Russia, and Iran. They damage the US economy. As Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo) pointed out in a USA Today op-ed,

A federal leasing ban would kill an estimated 62,000 jobs in New Mexico, nearly 120,000 in Texas and more than 33,000 in my home state of Wyoming next year alone, according to the American Petroleum Institute. It will also eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that these states depend on for public schools, roads, water projects and other essential services. In response to the Keystone cancellation, TC Energy has announced 1,000 layoffs, and the potential union jobs lost could be 10 times higher.

If there’s something approximating a fair election in 2022, Democrats will pay a price for their unscientific climate policy, so contrary to the national interest, in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Latest Court Ruling re EPA and CO2

There is the story of the court’s decision, and the back story told by one judge dissenting partly from the other two on the panel.  The overview comes from courthousenews DC Circuit Rejects Trump Rollback of Power Plant Emission Rules.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Overview of Ruling on Affordable Clean Energy Rule

The federal appeals court’s 182-page opinion released Tuesday was unsigned, written by a mostly unanimous three-judge panel. U.S. Circuit Judge Justin Walker, a Trump appointee who joined the court just a month before the case was heard, penned only a partial dissent.

The panel found the outgoing president’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, adopted in 2019 as part of Trump’s effort to roll back what he considered anti-business regulations, is based on an “erroneous legal premise.” The ACE rule dropped all statewide emissions caps, giving state regulators greater autonomy and more time to reduce pollution.

The court held Tuesday that there is “no basis—grammatical, contextual, or otherwise—for the EPA’s assertion” about source-specific language in federal law that it claims limits its oversight of fossil fuel power sources.

While the ruling was welcomed by health and environmental groups, it only returns things to the status quo.  Litigation tied up Obama’s Clean Power Plan shortly after it was passed and it never took effect thanks to a Supreme Court stay in 2016.

The Trump effort to roll it back started in 2017 before culminating with the ACE rule in 2019. Now the ACE rule too will be bound up in legal purgatory, if not scrapped entirely by the incoming Biden administration.

Walker was joined on the panel by U.S. Circuit Judges Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Millett, both Obama appointees.  While the Trump appointee mostly concurred with his colleagues, Walker filed a partial dissent saying he took issue with both Obama and Trump’s regulatory efforts.

The Back Story–How We Got Here

Judge Walker wrote an interesting essay on the twists and turns with climate change, the EPA and CO2 emissions.  His statement is at the end of the court document (here).  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

WALKER, Circuit Judge, concurring in part, concurring in the judgment in part, and dissenting in part: This case concerns two rules related to climate change. The EPA promulgated both rules under § 111 of the Clean Air Act.1

A major milestone in climate regulation, the first rule set caps for carbon emissions. Those caps would have likely forced shifts in power generation from higher-polluting energy sources (such as coal-fired power plants) to lower-emitting sources (such as natural gas or renewable energy sources). 2 That policy is called generation shifting.

Hardly any party in this case makes a serious and sustained argument that § 111 includes a clear statement unambiguously authorizing the EPA to consider off-site solutions like generation shifting. And because the rule implicates “decisions of vast economic and political significance,” Congress’s failure to clearly authorize the rule means the EPA lacked the authority to promulgate it.

The second rule repealed the first and partially replaced it with different regulations of coal-fired power plants. Dozens of parties have challenged both the repeal and the provisions replacing it.

In my view, the EPA was required to repeal the first rule and wrong to replace it with provisions promulgated under § 111. That’s because coal-fired power plants are already regulated under § 112, and § 111 excludes from its scope any power plants regulated under § 112. Thus, the EPA has no authority to regulate coal-fired power plants under§ 111.

Background Concerning EPA and Carbon Dioxide

In its clearest provisions, the Clean Air Act evinces a political consensus. For example, according to Massachusetts v. EPA, carbon dioxide is clearly a pollutant, and the Act’s § 202 unambiguously directs the EPA to curb pollution from new cars.

But for every carbon question answered in that case, many more were not even presented. For example, does the Clean Air Act force the electric-power industry to shift from fossil fuels to renewable resources? If so, by how much? And who will pay for it? Even if Congress could delegate those decisions, Massachusetts v. EPA does not say where in the Clean Air Act Congress clearly did so.

In 2009, Congress tried to supply that clarity through new legislation.

The House succeeded.
The President supported it.
But that effort stalled in the Senate.

Since climate change is real, man-made, and important, Congress’s failure to act was, to many, a disappointment. But the process worked as it was designed. In general, Senators from small states blocked legislation they viewed as adverse to their voters. And because small states have outsized influence in the Senate, no bill arrived on the President’s desk.

Nor have dozens of other climate-related bills introduced since then. So President Obama ordered the EPA to do what Congress wouldn’t. In 2015, after “years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement” — including 4.3 million public comments (about 4.25 million more than in Massachusetts v.EPA) — the EPA promulgated a rule aimed at “leading global efforts to address climate change.”

Entitled the Clean Power Plan, the EPA’s rule used the Clean Air Act’s § 111 to set limits for carbon emissions that would likely be impossible to achieve at individual coal-fired power plants because of costs, unavailable technologies, or a need to severely reduce usage. In that sense, the limits required generation shifting: shifting production from coal-fired power plants to facilities that use natural gas or renewable resources.

To be clear, the 2015 Rule did not expressly say, “Power plants must adopt off-site solutions.” But it did set strict emission limits in part by considering off-site solutions. And those emission limits would likely have been unachievable or too costly to meet if off-site solutions were off the table.

A political faction opposed generation shifting. It challenged the 2015 Rule in this Court, arguing that § 111 does not allow the EPA to consider off-site solutions when determining the best system of emission reduction. The faction included about twenty-four states, represented by many Senators who opposed the 2009 legislation. Conversely, a political faction of about eighteen states defended the rule. Many of their Senators had supported the stymied legislation.

At that litigation’s outset, our Court refused to stay the rule’s implementation. But in an unprecedented intervention, the Supreme Court did what this Court would not. And through its stay, the Supreme Court implied that the challengers would likely succeed on the case’s merits.

Taking the Supreme Court’s not-so-subtle hint, in 2019 President Trump’s EPA repealed the 2015 Rule and issued the Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

Like the rule it replaced, the 2019 Rule relies on the Clean Air Act’s § 111 to reduce carbon emissions. But unlike its predecessor, the 2019 Rule did not include generation shifting in its final determination of the best system of emission reduction.

A new faction then challenged the 2019 Rule. It looked a lot like the faction that had defended the 2015 Rule. Arrayed against that faction were many states and groups that had opposed the old rule. And so once again, politically diverse states and politically adverse special interest groups brought their political brawl into a judiciary designed to be apolitical.

In this latest round, the briefing’s word count exceeded a quarter of a million words. The oral argument lasted roughly nine hours. The case’s caption alone runs beyond a dozen pages. And yet, in all that analysis, hardly any of the dozens of petitioners or intervenors defending the 2015 Rule make a serious and sustained argument that § 111 includes a clear statement unambiguously authorizing the EPA to consider a system of emission reduction that includes off-site solutions or that § 111 otherwise satisfies the major-rules doctrine’s clear statement requirement. Neither does the EPA.

In light of that, I doubt § 111 authorizes the 2015 Rule — arguably one of the most consequential rules ever proposed by an administrative agency:
• It required a “more aggressive transformation in the domestic energy industry,” marking for President Obama a “major milestone for his presidency.”
• It aspired to reduce that industry’s carbon emissions by 32 percent — “equal to the annual emissions from more than 166 million cars.”
• Leaders of the environmental movement considered the rule “groundbreaking,” called its announcement “historic,” and labeled it a “critically important catalyst.”

The potential costs and benefits of the 2015 Rule are almost unfathomable. Industry analysts expected wholesale electricity’s cost to rise by $214 billion. The cost to replace shuttered capacity? Another $64 billion. (“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”)

True, you can dismiss that research as industry-funded. But the EPA itself predicted its rule would cost billions of dollars and eliminate thousands of jobs.

On the benefits side of the ledger, the White House labeled the 2015 Rule a “Landmark,” and the President called it “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.” With that in mind, calculating the rule’s benefits requires a sober appraisal of that fight’s high stakes. According to the rule’s advocates, victory over climate change will:

  • lower ocean levels;
  • preserve glaciers;
  • reduce asthma;
  • make hearts healthier;
  • slow tropical diseases;
  • abate hurricanes;
  • temper wildfires;
  • reduce droughts;
  • stop many floods;
  • rescue whole ecosystems; and
  • save from extinction up to “half the species on earth.”

These are, to put it mildly, serious issues. Lives are at stake. And even though it’s hard to put a dollar figure on the net value on what many understandably consider invaluable, the EPA tried: $36 billion, it said, give or take about a $10- billion margin of error.

So say what you will about the cost-benefit analysis behind generation shifting, it’s hardly a minor question.

Minor questions do not forestall consequences comparable to “the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.” Minor questions are not analogous to “Thermopylae, Agincourt, Trafalgar, Lexington and Concord, Dunkirk, Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Bulge, Midway and Sept. 11.” Minor rules do not inspire “years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement.” Minor rules are not “the single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.” Minor rules do not put thousands of men and women out of work. And minor rules do not calculate $10 billion in net benefits as their margin of error.

Rather, the question of how to make this “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” — and who should pay for it — requires a “decision[] of vast economic and political significance.” That standard is not mine. It is the Supreme Court’s. And no cocktail of factors informing the major-rules doctrine can obscure its ultimate inquiry: Does the rule implicate a “decision[] of vast economic and political significance”?

Proponents of the 2015 Rule say it doesn’t. They have to. If it did, it’s invalid — because a clear statement is missing. And according to the Supreme Court, that is exactly what a major rule requires.

To be sure, if we frame a question broadly enough, Congress will have always answered it. Does the Clean Air Act direct the EPA to make our air cleaner? Clearly yes. Does it require at least some carbon reduction? According to Massachusetts v. EPA, again yes.

But how should the EPA reduce carbon emissions from power plants? And who should pay for it? To those major questions, the Clean Air Act’s answers are far from clear.

I admit the Supreme Court has proceeded with baby steps toward a standard for its major-rules doctrine. But “big things have small beginnings.” And even though its guidance has been neither sweeping nor precise, the Supreme Court has at least drawn this line in the sand: Either a statute clearly endorses a major rule, or there can be no major rule.

Moreover, if Congress merely allowed generation shifting (it didn’t), but did not clearly require it, I doubt doing so was constitutional. For example, imagine a Congress that says, “The EPA may choose to consider off-site solutions for its best system of emission reduction, but the EPA may choose not to consider off-site solutions.” In that instance, Congress has clearly delegated to the EPA its legislative power to determine whether generation shifting should be part of the best system of emission reduction — a “decision[] of vast economic and political significance.”

Such delegation might pass muster under a constitution amended by “moments” rather than the “reflection and choice” prescribed by Article V. But if ever there was an era when an agency’s good sense was alone enough to make its rules good law, that era is over.

Congress decides what major rules make good sense. The Constitution’s First Article begins, “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” And every “law” must “pass[] the House of Representatives and the Senate” and “be presented to the President.” Thus, whatever multi-billion-dollar regulatory power the federal government might enjoy, it’s found on the open floor of an accountable Congress, not in the impenetrable halls of an administrative agency — even if that agency is an overflowing font of good sense.

Over time, the Supreme Court will further illuminate the nature of major questions and the limits of delegation. And under that case law, federal regulation will undoubtedly endure. So will federal regulators. Administrative agencies are constitutional, and they’re here to stay.

Beyond that, I leave it for others to predict what the Supreme Court’s emerging jurisprudence may imply for those agencies’ profiles. Here, regardless of deference and delegation doctrines, the regulation of coal-fired power plants under § 111 is invalid for a more mundane reason: A 1990 amendment to the Clean Air Act forbids it.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 prohibit the EPA from subjecting power plants to regulation under § 111 if they are already regulated under § 112. The 2015 Rule and the 2019 Rule rely on § 111 for the authority to regulate coal-fired power plants. Because the EPA already regulates those coal-fired power plants under § 112, the rules are invalid.

This case touches on some of administrative law’s most consequential, unresolved issues. What is the reach of Massachusetts v. EPA? What is the meaning of a major question? What are the limits of congressional delegation?

My comment:  I much appreciate Judge Walker’s reprise of the historical journey.  After earning my degree in organic chemistry, I am still offended that a bunch of  lawyers refer to CO2 as a “pollutant” as though it were an artificial chemical rather than the stuff of life.  And it annoys me that the American Lung Association fronted this legal attack, as though CO2 was causing breathing problems in addition to a bit of warming during our present ice age. And that list of ailments solved by reducing CO2 emissions rivals any snake oil poster ever printed.

Observers noted that this ruling produces a kind of limbo: Obama’s Clean Power Plan is out of order, and now Trumps Affordable Clean Energy program is shot down.  Likely Biden will try to return to CPP as though Trump never happened, but the same objections will still be raised.  Clearly Judge Walker sees the issue headed for the Supreme Court as the stakes are too high for anyone else.  After their lack of courage on the 2020 election scandal, who knows what the Supremes will do.

Footnote: See post The Poisonous Tree of Climate Change

The roots of this poisonous tree are found in citing the famous Massachusetts v. E.P.A. (2007) case decided by a 5-4 opinion of Supreme Court justices (consensus rate: 56%). But let’s see in what context lies that reference and whether it is a quotation from a source or an issue addressed by the court. The majority opinion was written by Justice Stevens, with dissenting opinions from Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia. All these documents are available at sureme.justia.com Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007).  The linked post summarized the twisted logic that was applied.

 

Setting the Global Temperature Record Straight

Figure 4. As in Fig. 3 except for seasonal station and global anomalies. As noted in the text, the inhabitants of the Earth experience the anomalies as noted by the black circles, not the yellow squares.

The CO2 Coalition does the world a service by publishing a brief public information about the temperature claims trumpeted in the media to stir up climate alarms.  The pdf pamphlet is The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record  How it works and why it is misleading by Richard S. Lindzen and John R. Christy.  H/T John Ray.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Overview

At the center of most discussions of global warming is the record of the global mean surface temperature anomaly—often somewhat misleadingly referred to as the global mean temperature record. This paper addresses two aspects of this record. First, we note that this record is only one link in a fairly long chain of inference leading to the claimed need for worldwide reduction in CO2 emissions. Second, we explore the implications of the way the record is constructed and presented, and show why the record is misleading.

This is because the record is often treated as a kind of single, direct instrumental measurement. However, as the late Stan Grotch of the Laurence Livermore Laboratory pointed out 30 years ago, it is really the average of widely scattered station data, where the actual data points are almost evenly spread between large positive and negative values.

The average is simply the small difference of these positive and negative excursions, with the usual problem associated with small differences of large numbers: at least thus far, the approximately one degree Celsius increase in the global mean since 1900 is swamped by the normal variations at individual stations, and so bears little relation to what is actually going on at a particular one.

The changes at the stations are distributed around the one-degree global average increase. Even if a single station had recorded this increase itself, this would take a typical annual range of temperature there, for example, from -10 to 40 degrees in 1900, and replace it with a range today from -9 to 41. People, crops, and weather at that station would find it hard to tell this difference. However, the increase looks significant on the charts used in almost all presentations, because they omit the range of the original data points and expand the scale in order to make the mean change look large.

The record does display certain consistent trends, but it is also quite noisy, and fluctuations of a tenth or two of a degree are unlikely to be significant. In the public discourse, little attention is paid to magnitudes; the focus is rather on whether this anomaly is increasing or decreasing. Given the noise and sampling errors, it is rather easy to “adjust” such averaging, and even change the sign of a trend from positive to negative.

The Global Temperature Record and its Role

The earth’s climate system is notoriously complex. We know, for example, that this system undergoes multiyear variations without any external forcing at all other than the steady component of the sun’s radiation (for example, the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the Quasibiennial Oscillation of the tropical stratosphere). We know, moreover, that these changes are hardly describable simply by some global measure of temperature. Indeed, what is presented is actually something else. You may have noticed that it is referred to as the global mean temperature anomaly.

What is being averaged is the deviation of the surface temperature from some 30-year mean at stations non-randomly scattered around the globe. As we will soon see, this average bears rather little relation to the changes at the individual stations. Moreover, as noted by Christy and McNider (2017), the temperature anomaly of the lower troposphere (measured by satellites) relative to the surface temperature is much better sampled and represents the “more climate-relevant quantity of heat content, a change in which is a [theorized] consequence of enhanced GHG forcing.”

However imprecise and lightly-relevant the surface temperature is to the physics of the issue, the narrative of a global warming disaster uses the record as the first in a sequence of often comparably questionable assumptions. The narrative first claims that changes in this dubious metric are almost entirely due to variations in CO2, even though there are quite a few other factors whose common variations are as large as or larger than the impact of changes in CO2 (for example, modest changes in the area of upper and lower level clouds or changes in the height of upper level clouds).

Then the narrative asserts that changes in CO2 were primarily due to man’s activities. There is indeed evidence that this link is likely true for changes over the past two hundred years. However, over Earth’s history, there were radical changes in CO2 levels, and these changes were largely uncorrelated with changes in temperature.

Presentations of the Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Record

In order to obscure the fact that the global means are small residues of large numbers whose precision is questionable, the common presentations plot the global mean anomalies without the scattered points and expand the scale so as to make the changes look large. These expanded graphs of global means are shown in Figures 5 and 6.

Figure 6. Global seasonal anomalies of temperature from Fig. 4 without station anomalies. Note
the range here is -0.8 to +1.2 °C, or 9 times less than Figs. 2 and 4.

The frequently cited trends are evident in these graphs–most notably, the pre-CO2 warming from 1920-1940 and the warming that has been attributed to man from 1978-1998. We also see a reduced rate from 1998 (best seen in Fig. 6) until the major El Niño of 2016 occurred. Even if one could attribute all the 1978-1998 warming to the increases in CO2 , the slowdown clearly shows that there is something going on that is at least as large as the response to CO2 . This contradicts the IPCC attribution studies that assume, based on model results, that other sources of variability since 1950 are negligible.

Note that the results in Figures 5 and 6 are quite noisy, with large interseasonal and interannual fluctuations. This noise contributes to the uncertainty of the values, in addition to the usual sampling errors. The graphs one usually sees are a lot smoother looking than what we see in Figures 5 and 6; these have resulted from taking running means over 5 or more years. The results of such smoothing are shown in Figure 7 (smoothed over 11 years) and 8 (smoothed over 21 seasons, or about 5 years). They look much cleaner and presumably more authoritative than the unsmoothed results or the scatter diagrams, but this tends to disguise the uncertainty, which is likely on the order of 0.1-0.2 degrees. (For example, Figure 7 substantially disguises the pause following 1998; Figure 8 does this less because it is averaged over only about 5 years.)

Obviously, warmings or coolings of a tenth or two of a degree are without significance since possible adjustments can easily lead to changes of sign from positive to negative, yet in the popular literature much is made of such small changes. Like with sausage, you might not want to know what went into these graphs, but, in this case, it is important that you do.

Some Concluding Remarks

An examination of the data that goes into calculating the global mean temperature anomaly clearly shows that any place on earth is almost as likely, at any given time, to be warmer or cooler than average. The anomaly is the small residue of the generally larger excursions we saw in Figures 1 and 2. This residue (which is popularly held to represent “climate”) is also much smaller than the temperature variations that all life on Earth regularly experiences. Figure 9 illustrates this for 14 major cities in the United States.

Indeed, the 1.2 degree Celsius global temperature change in the past 120 years, depicted as alarming in Figure 7, is only equivalent to the thickness of the “Average” line in Figure 9. As the figure shows, the difference in average temperature from January to July in these major cities ranges from just under ten degrees in Los Angeles to nearly 30 degrees in Chicago. And the average difference between the coldest and warmest moments each year ranges from about 25 degrees in Miami (a 45 degree Fahrenheit change) to 55 degrees in Denver (a 99 degree Fahrenheit change)

Figure 9. Temperature Changes People Know How to Handle

At the very least, we should keep the large natural changes in Figure 9 in mind, and not attribute them to the small residue, the global mean temperature anomaly, or obsess over its small changes.

See Also  Temperature Misunderstandings

Clive Best provides this animation of recent monthly temperature anomalies which demonstrates how most variability in anomalies occur over northern continents.

 

 

John Christy Rebuts Climatist Fake Smear Job

The cancel culture is driven by fears that a contrary point of view might be truer than one’s own way of thinking.  Dissing the messenger, and deplatforming if possible, is easier than reflection and self-examination.  Thus has John Christy been attacked and recently responded in his quiet and reasonable manner.  The article at AL.com is John Christy: We don’t ‘attack science’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

On Nov 2nd 2020 InsideClimate News (ICN) and AL.com published a fairly long (5,000 words!) profile on the climate research that Dr. Roy Spencer and I perform at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. They spent a good bit of time criticizing our satellite data as well as my personal life. The article seems schizophrenic at times, bouncing from highly critical assertions to a depiction of me as a sort of nice, hardworking, churchgoing Alabama scientist.

A major problem here is the technique of quoting antagonists of our work, without giving us a chance to respond. This is the modus operandi of advocacy-journalism. Add to that the numerous editorialized opinions such as, “… Christy’s data have been corrected repeatedly and his conclusions contradicted time and again …” A look at the record indicates this is not so.

But with all of the misleading claims, I’m able to forgive the reporters because they also say, “… he looks 69 going on 50 …” Awesome. How could a 69-year-old not love that?

Unfortunately, ICN ran the story as part of series called “The Anti-Scientists” that explores “the Trump Administration’s attacks on the science underlying environmental protections.” However, kudos to AL.com for including a link to my congressional testimony so the reader could hear my on-the-record story.

It should be clear to all that this agendized “hit-piece” (as we call it), is designed to discredit me, but the truth is, we don’t “attack science,” we “employ science.” Now, I’ve always been told, never pick a fight with someone who buys ink (cloud-storage) by the barrel (terabyte), but here it goes.

In 1990, Roy and I created and today still publish monthly values of the global temperature of three atmospheric layers from satellite measurements. A 1997 paper suggested our dataset had abrupt “downward” jumps. In response, we demonstrated the purported jumps were found in the sea water temperatures they used, not in the deep atmosphere we measured – so they were mixing apples and oranges. The next claim stating there are gaps in the satellite record is just false as every new satellite is directly calibrated to a satellite already in orbit. Later, scientists in Washington State misled the community with papers that (1) allegedly discovered “contamination” of one of our products by stratospheric influence, and (2) that our correction to account for the satellite’s east-west drift over time was wrong.

Neither complaint applied to our datasets. We had always published accurate representations of what our products measured including the stratospheric impact.

In fact, 12 years earlier we created one without the stratospheric influence to deal with this issue directly. The second complaint was moot because we had already adopted an advanced, observations-based adjustment for the east-west drift, while their proposed model-based correction had serious problems.

Early on, though, the very clever scientists at Remote Sensing Systems in California discovered two issues with our dataset, both of which were immediately remedied 15 and 20 years ago respectively with only very small impacts.

While we recognize no dataset is perfect, a detailed evaluation of our temperature products was published in 2018, demonstrating that ours outperforms other satellite products when compared against independent data. Why was this not mentioned?

Another scientist appears to refute our explicit conclusion that climate models are unrealistically aggressive in depicting the atmosphere’s warming rate. This is important because regulatory policies advocated in the media which include price-hikes for all our energy, are based on fears engendered by these models.

Again, our conclusion has stood the test of time, (that scientist published a similar result later). Even this year, more published studies continue to show climate models are poor tools for policy decision—they can’t reproduce the climate that has already happened, and they don’t agree with each other about the future.

Then, the clumsy attempt to connect me with an anti-evolution movement was misguided. The reporters would be chagrined to learn that I had testified before the Alabama State Board of Education advocating the removal of the “Evolution Disclaimer” from biology textbooks. Even the NY Times, of all places, took note and quoted me on the issue (Feb. 1, 2005.) So again, doing a little fact-checking rather than following today’s “jump-to-(my-biased)-conclusion” reporting style, would have saved us all some trouble.

Finally, a broader question to ask is this, “Why was so much effort and expense proffered to try to discredit a scientist like me?”

By the way, the title, “When Trump’s EPA needed a climate scientist, they called on Alabama’s John Christy” misinforms. I saw a federal notice asking for applications for the EPA Science Advisory Board and sent mine in, just like the others. I was eventually selected, based on my credentials, to be one of its 45 members.

But, the line that still carries the day for me is, ” … he looks 69 going on 50.”

Footnote:  Christy quote:

“The reason there is so much contention regarding “global warming” is relatively simple to understand: In climate change science we basically cannot prove anything about how the climate will change as a result of adding extra greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

So we are left to argue about unprovable claims.”

John R. Christy | Climate science isn’t necessarily ‘settled’

See also: Christy’s Common Sense about Climate

Note: John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville testified before the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on May 13, 2015, but his opening statement has been purged from the committee’s website.  In addition to the video above, his statement that day is available here.

Climate Hysteria Not Grounded in Science

The iconic Metronome clock in New York City was repurposed as an 80-foot-wide climate clock that shows our remaining time to take urgent action on climate change. (photo credit: BEN WOLF)

Glenn T. Stanton writes at The Federalist New Data Shows Climate Change Hysteria Isn’t Grounded In Science.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

While we must steward the planet God has gifted to us, there is no empirical basis for apocalyptic predictions of impending doom.

The “Climate Clock” looms ten stories above Manhattan’s Union Square so all passersby can track the precise moment the world passes its supposed tipping-point toward irreversible, apocalyptic environmental demise. This clock has that moment of doom pegged at a little more than seven years from today. One of the men who created the clock, artist Gan Golan, said his motivation for the project was the birth of his daughter two years ago.

“This is arguably the most important number in the world,” the team explained to The New York Times, adding, “You can’t argue with science, you just have to reckon with it.” And that is where the problem lies with the environmental doom and gloom — you can absolutely argue with science. That is precisely what the scientific method is: the careful, relentless discipline of skepticism and discovery. It’s testing and questioning what others claim is beyond debate.

How many times was Doomsday predicted but failed to happen at midnight.

Nine leading climate scientists from Germany, France, Finland, and Ireland have, indeed, questioned whether anyone can reliably determine how much time remains between now and an irreversible trajectory toward environmental ruin.

Drawing from 36 different meta-analyses on the question, involving more than 4,600 individual studies spanning the last 45 years, their findings were recently published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. They conclude that the empirical data doesn’t allow scientists to establish ecological thresholds or tipping points. As natural bio-systems are dynamic, ever-evolving, and adapting over the long-term, determining longevity timeframes is currently impossible.

These scholars write that frankly, “we lack systematic quantitative evidence as to whether empirical data allow definitions of such thresholds” and “our results thus question the pervasive presence of threshold concepts” in environmental politics and policy. Their findings also reinforced the contention that “global change biology needs to abandon the general expectation that system properties allow defining thresholds as a way to manage nature under global change.”

Professor José M. Montoya, one of the nine authors and an ecologist at the Theoretical and Experimental Ecology Station in France, told the French National Center for Scientific Research “many ecologists have long had this intuition” that setting reliable, empirically situated tipping-points “was difficult to verify until now for lack of sufficient computing power to carry out a wide-ranging analysis.” But that has now changed.

So no, there is no reliable science behind the new seven-years-to-the-point-of-no-return countdown of the Climate Clock in Union Square, nor for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s infamous “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t act now” scare, or Thunberg’s just-10-years-til-inevitable-doom drum pounding. Such claims simply do not — and cannot — be firmly grounded in any scientific knowledge we currently possess.

Evidence for this conclusion, however, goes beyond the aforementioned conclusive new study. 2020 saw the publication of two extremely important books from leading, mainstream environmental-climate scholars on what science says about the earth’s future.

The first is Michael Shellenberger, a Time magazine “Hero of the environment” who explains in his book “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All” that nearly every piece of scare data presented by the likes of AOC, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Thunberg is not only incorrect but tells a story that is the opposite of the scientific truth. Not only is the world not going to end due to climate change, but in many important ways, the environment is getting markedly better.

Another major environmentalist voice challenging hysteria is Bjorn Lomborg of the Copenhagen Consensus Center think tank, listed by the UK’s liberal Guardian newspaper as one of the 50 people who could save the planet. In his book “False Alarm,” he explains how “climate change panic” is not only unfounded, it’s also wasting trillions of dollars globally, hurting the poor, and failing to fix the very problems it warns us about.

So, what science genuinely telling us? “Science shows us that fears of a climate apocalypse are unfounded.” Lomborg explains, admitting that while “global warming is real … it is not the end of the world.” “It is a manageable problem” he adds. He is dismayed that we live in a world “where almost half the population believes climate change will extinguish humanity” and do so under the mistaken assumption that science concludes this. It doesn’t, and he is vexed this mantra parades under the banner of enlightenment.

It’s imperative we properly steward this beautiful planet God has gifted to us. It was the second command He gave to humanity, after the charge to populate it with generation after generation of new people. But hysteria is not what is called for in this work. Shellenberger, Lomborg, and these nine other international ecologists tell us that not only is there no empirical basis for the apocalyptic prognostications so needlessly disturbing the dreams of the world’s young people.

See also:  Tipping Points Confuse Social and Earth Science

  This is your brain on CO2 hysteria. Just say no!

 

Potsdam Does a New Hockey Stick Trick

The paper is Setting the tree-ring record straight by Josef Ludescher, Armin Bunde, Ulf Büntgen & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.  The title is extremely informative, since the trick is to flatten the tree-ring proxies, removing any warm periods to compare with the present.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

Abstract

Tree-ring chronologies are the main source for annually resolved and absolutely dated temperature reconstructions of the last millennia and thus for studying the intriguing problem of climate impacts. Here we focus on central Europe and compare the tree-ring based temperature reconstruction with reconstructions from harvest dates, long meteorological measurements, and historical model data. We find that all data are long-term persistent, but in the tree-ring based reconstruction the strength of the persistence quantified by the Hurst exponent is remarkably larger (h≅1.02) than in the other data (h= 0.52–0.69), indicating an unrealistic exaggeration of the historical temperature variations. We show how to correct the tree-ring based reconstruction by a mathematical transformation that adjusts the persistence and leads to reduced amplitudes of the warm and cold periods. The new transformed record agrees well with both the observational data and the harvest dates-based reconstructions and allows more realistic studies of climate impacts. It confirms that the present warming is unprecedented.

Discussion

Figure 1a shows the tree-ring based reconstruction (TRBR) of central European summer temperatures (Büntgen et al. 2011), together with its 30 year moving average that reveals the long-term temperature variations in the record. Particularly large temperature increases occurred between 1340 and 1410 and between 1820 and 1870 that even are comparable in amplitude with the recent warming trend since 1970, indicating that the recent (anthropogenic) warming may not be unprecedented.

Tree ring-based reconstruction of the central European temperatures in the last millennium. a The reconstructed June-August temperatures in units of the records standard deviation. The red line depicts the moving average over 30 years. b, c The DFA2 fluctuation functions F(s) and the WT2 fluctuation functions G(s), respectively, for the reconstructed data from a, for monthly observational data (Swiss temperatures from Berkeley Earth, station data from Prague) and the MPI-ESM-P-past1000 model output for central European summer temperatures, from top to bottom. For the TRBR and model data, the time scale s is in years, while for the two observational records, it is in months. Note that in the double logarithmic presentation, the asymptotic slopes (Hurst exponents h) for the reconstruction data (h≅1) and the observational and model data (h≅0.6) differ strongly

To correct the enhanced long-term persistence in the TRBR, we are interested in a mathematical transformation of the data, which lowers the natural long-term persistence while leaving the gross features of the record, the positions of the warm and cold periods, unchanged. We performed the following mathematical transformation to change the original TRBR Hurst exponent h0=1.03 to h1=0.60 and thus to be in line with the observational, harvest and model data. Since this transformation is only suitable for altering a record’s natural long-term persistence, i.e., in the absence of external trends, we transformed the TRBR data between 1000 and 1990, before the current anthropogenic trend became relevant.

Figure 4a compares the transformed TRBR data (blue) with h1=0.6 with the original TRBR data (black). The bold lines are the 30-year moving averages. The figure shows that by the transformation the structure of the original TRBR data is conserved, but the climate variations characterized by the depths of the minima and the heights of the maxima are reduced.

Original and transformed tree-ring proxy temperature record. a Compares the original TRBR record for the period 1000–1990, where the Hurst exponent h is 1.03 (black), with the transformed TRBR record, where h≡h1=0.6 (blue). For better visibility, the transformed TRBR record has been shifted downward by 5 units of its standard deviation. b How the magnitudes of the cold periods in the transformed TRBR record decrease with decreasing Hurst exponent h1. The magnitudes are quantified by the differences of the 30 year moving averages between the beginning and the end of the respective periods. c Compares the 30-year moving averages of the original and the transformed TRBR record (h=0.6) with the 30-year moving average of the observational temperatures from Switzerland. The comparison shows that the transformed TRBR record fits quite nicely with the observational data

To see how the strength of the long-term variations in the transformed TRBR data depends on their Hurst exponent h1h1, we have determined, in the 30-year moving average, the temperature differences in 4 periods (1415–1465, 1515–1536, 1562–1595, 1793–1824) where the greatest changes between 1350 and 1950 occur. The result is shown in Fig. 4b. The figure shows that the temperature difference between the beginning and the end of each period decreases continuously with decreasing h. For h around 0.6, the temperature differences are roughly halved.

Conclusion

Since tree ring-based reconstructions play an important role in the understanding of past temperature variability, we suggest the use of the Hurst exponent as a standard practice to assess the reconstructions’ low-frequency properties and to compare the determined values with the Hurst exponents of other respective time series (observational, harvest dates, models). If deviations from the expected values are detected, the data should be transformed to adjust the Hurst exponent. This will lead to a more realistic reconstruction of the record’s low-frequency signal and thus to a better understanding of the climate variations of the past.

My Comment

Wow!  Just Wow!  The Mann-made Hockey Stick was found bogus because it was produced by grafting a high-resolution instrumental temperature record on top of a low-resolution tree ring proxy record.  Now climatists want to erase four bumps in the Medieval period lest they appear comparable to contemporary temperatures sampled minute by minute.  A simple tweaking of a formula achieves the desired result.  Fluctuations which were decadal are now smoothed and cannot compete with modern annual and monthly extremes.  Well done! (extreme snark on)

Background:  See Return of the Hockey Stick

Damn the Climate Facts! Full Speed Ahead.

David Farragut was an officer in the Union navy in the Civil War. Warned of mines, called torpedoes, in the water ahead, Farragut said, “Damn the torpedoes! Captain Drayton, go ahead! Jouett, full speed!”  This is a reasonable comparison to what we hear from climatists these days.  The hype is amped up, heedless of immutable, immovable facts sitting in the way of their green pathway. Some recent examples below.

Stop Making Sense

Stop making sense: why it’s time to get emotional about climate change is an article at (where else?) The Guardian by Rebecca Huntley, an Australian social researcher. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

What I am saying is that now the climate science has been proven to be true to the highest degree possible, we have to stop being reasonable and start being emotional.

t took me much longer than it should have to realise that educating people about climate change science was not enough. Due perhaps to my personality type (highly rational, don’t talk to me about horoscopes, please) and my background (the well-educated daughter of a high school teacher and an academic), I have grown up accepting the idea that facts persuade and emotions detract from a good argument.

For environmental activists in these less-polarised countries – often countries already feeling serious impacts from climate change but emitting negligible amounts of CO2 –the endless debate about the truth of the climate science in the big western countries is gobsmacking. Activists have expressed their frustration and disbelief, and it’s contributed not a little to their despair about progress at an international level.

When social researchers like me try to analyse how a person responds to climate change messages the way they do, we’re measuring much, much more than just their comprehension (or not) of the climate science. We’re analysing the way they see the world, their politics, values, cultural identity, even their gender identity. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say we’re measuring their psyche, their innermost self.

Given that climate change is such a discomforting topic, I see this cognitive dissonance all the time in focus groups, where people try to find reasons other than climate change for the events happening around them, even when faced with a strong scientific explanation. They pick it apart because of Dunning-Kruger and then, because of confirmation bias, try to find a blog that states something other than what the scientific evidence shows.

I’m not saying facts don’t matter or the scientific method should be watered down or we should communicate without facts. What I am saying is that now the climate science has been proven to be true to the highest degree possible, we have to stop being reasonable and start being emotional.

More science isn’t the solution. People are the solution.

Comment:  Note that climate is no longer an earth science, but a branch of environmental sociology.  This is the logical endpoint of “Climate Change” existing as a double abstraction.  Consider that “climate” is an human construct, defined as the pattern of weather we remember in our living space over seasons and years. And “climate change” is therefore an added belief that our expectations about future weather are uncertain and unreliable. Objective realism is overturned in favor of majority opinion.  Everyone believes as Obama tweeted: “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”  So the effort is to find out what is wrong with the dissenters and fix them, so we can get on with the program.

Silence the Infidels

Facebook Must Stop the Spread of Climate Misinformation is a letter sent to the Facebook Oversight Board by a number of climatists.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Facebook is allowing the spread of climate misinformation to flourish, unchecked, across the globe. Instead of heeding the advice of independent scientists and approved fact-checkers from Climate Feedback, Facebook sided with fossil fuel lobbyists by allowing the CO2 Coalition to take advantage of a giant loophole for “opinion” content. The loophole has allowed climate denial to fester by labeling it “opinion,” and thus, avoiding the platform’s fact-checking processes.

Facebook knows how to take action against misinformation. When COVID-19 denial took hold on the platform, it was forcibly shut down because Facebook understood that the spread of COVID-19 misinformation could cause imminent physical harm to the health and well-being of Facebook users. Climate denial and misinformation are also deadly. By allowing climate misinformation to go unchecked,

Facebook is actively putting the health and well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable low-income communities and communities of color at risk.

You and the Oversight Board must step in and enact the same standard for the denial of climate change as you did for COVID-19 misinformation.

The integrity of the Oversight Board is at risk. Mark Zuckerberg has refused to recognize that he must get the facts right on climate, and refused to acknowledge that climate denial on his platform is as dangerous a threat to future generations as any.

Signatories include:

Stacey Abrams, Democrat who lost the Georgia Governorship, and POTUS nomination;

Carol Browner, Biden’s pick as climate advisor;

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club;

Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists;

Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, NRDC Action Fund;

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth

John Podesta, Founder, Center for American Progress

Tom Steyer, Founder, NextGen America; Climate Activist

Response of the CO2 Coalition to calls for Facebook censorship

Statement by CO2 Coalition Chair Patrick Moore and Executive Director Caleb Stewart Rossiter on the Abrams-Steyer letter asking Facebook to shut down the Coalition’s page and censor its articles on other pages.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

Climate Power 2020 recently published a letter signed by former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, and 13 leaders of groups working to ban the fossil fuels that are the source of over 80 percent of U.S. and world energy.

The letter calls on Facebook to shut down the page of the CO2 Coalition of 55 climate scientists and energy economists, and to censor posts of its members studies and articles on other users’ pages.

The CO2 Coalition is proud to be the target of this letter, whose signatories represent alarmist organizations that routinely publish scientific and economic misinformation about climate change and energy options. The letter, like Facebook’s efforts to censor our posts and articles, is a badge of honor for our atmospheric physicists, climatologists, and statisticians’ recent publications about how computerized climate models that project future temperatures work – and don’t work.

As E & E News recently wrote in its coverage of Facebook’s censoring of our opinions on climate models, these mathematical models “are the foundation used to craft many carbon regulations.” The 2009 EPA Greenhouse Gas Endangerment finding that has led to increased energy prices for businesses and households is entirely based on computerized temperature models that have since proven incorrect. The CO2 Coalition publishes studies and articles explaining that these models are adjustable projections rather than oracles. When tested after a few years against actual temperatures, the UN model projections have proved to run three times too hot. It is these publications that Facebook has been censoring.

The UN IPCC and U.S. government scientific agencies agree that their data show no statistically significant increases in rates of sea-level rise, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other dangerous or damaging weather in the 70 years since carbon dioxide emissions became a factor in global temperature.

The failure of the alarmists’ predictions in these areas – and in this letter they simply ignore the UN consensus – has increased the importance of modeled projections of future temperatures in justifying calls to end the use of the fossil fuels. Hence, these recent attacks on our explanations of why those modeled projections are by their nature too unlikely and uncertain to use as a basis for policies that will make energy around the world far less reliable and far more costly.

The movement of heat in the atmosphere and oceans is complex, with major contributions from both chaos and poorly-understood, decades-long cycles. As a result, the models require the input of thousands of guesses about mathematical values for key processes. As Oxford physicist Fred Taylor says in his textbook, Elementary Climate Physics, the models are “opaque” and “in their infancy.”

As with stock market and COVID models, climate models are “back-fit” with estimates that make them line up with the temperature record to date, and then run forward with the same estimates. As with stock market and COVID models, betting on climate models’ projections is a good way to lose your shirt – and your economy and your health.

The letter labels our members as “climate deniers.” We ask each of the 15 signatories to Climate Power 2020’s letter to identify a single denial of a scientific or economic fact in our publications or public statements. Surely some of the answers will involve climate models. Even though model projections are more opinion than fact, more mathematical art than physical science, we look forward to such a debate.

And since we are asking for the signatories’ critiques, we will provide one ourselves. One of the letter’s signers is the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. For 15 years the Union of Concerned Scientists has refused to discuss or publicly debate the science of its alarmist narrative and the economics of its subsidy-rich calls for transportation and electricity powered by what it calls “renewable” wind and solar energy. Mining, shipping, refining, construction, transmission, and disposal of the infrastructure of these intermittent sources of power is almost entirely fossil-fueled and so hardly renewable. Wind and solar are also four times more expensive than natural gas-fired electricity and gasoline transportation.

We invite this group, or any of the others involved in the Abrams-Steyer letter, to join us in debate at one of our upcoming congressional presentations of our research.

For the history of alarmists losing in formal public debates, see We are Ignored, then Dissed, then Debated, then We Win.

When they say, climate change/global warming is not up for debate, they mean proponents have stopped debating.

 

 

 

What Climate Crisis?


Dr. D.E. Koelle published in EIKE, here in English translation: Where’s the “climate crisis”? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Today it can be found in the brains of (unfortunately too many) people who have a pronounced ignorance of climate – what it is and what it meant in the past.

But unfortunately there are also incomprehensible statements by “climate experts” who should actually know better. The GEOMAR staff member Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes and his designated chief, in a mirror interview (in issue 21/2020) on the climate issue under the obviously inevitable title “Corona crisis as an opportunity” states that the climate is “dramatic”. And that only a reduction in CO2 emissions and even its “artificial” removal from the atmosphere is necessary to limit a further temperature increase of 1.5 or 2 ° C. This means that, in accordance with the IPCC dogma, it sees only CO2 as a climate factor and ignores all other climate influencing factors, especially the natural climate fluctuations that have occurred for millions and thousands of years.

In any case, there is no factual reason for a “climate drama” – quite the contrary: in the past (before the existence of mankind) there were repeated temperature fluctuations between 0 ° C and 28 ° C – today we are around 14.5 ° C – exactly in the middle between the extremes, ie it couldn’t be better. Today we have the best possible, the optimal climate, as the Wikipedia diagram shows:

Figure 2: The temperature history of the earth in the past 500 million years. It shows tremendous climate change in the past (without people !!) and a perfect mean temperature with fluctuations of only ± 1 ° C in the past 10,000 years. It couldn’t be better.

What happened that such a climate hysteria could occur, as it was spread in the media in competition – from CO2 as a “climate killer” to “climate catastrophe” and “doomsday”?

The global temperature has actually increased by 1 ° C in the last 100 years! A degree C. Incredible!

Only very simple types can believe or expect that nature can / must deliver the exact same temperatures every year. There are about a dozen climate-influencing factors: long-term, medium-term and short-term, only CO2 is not one of them. There is no evidence of this in Earth’s climate history. Rather, the reverse applies:

Global warming increases the CO2 level in the atmosphere through outgassing from the oceans. Warmer water can store less CO2. And since it is known that 50 times more CO2 is stored in the oceans than in the atmosphere today, this effect has often occurred in the past. Apparently some people have mixed up here.

Climate change, perceived primarily as temperature fluctuations, is by no means a new phenomenon caused by humanity (CO2 emissions), as some climate charlatans and ideologists want to make us believe (in their fight against capitalism and industrial society), but a completely normal natural phenomenon of our planet since its existence, just like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions – and no one can do anything about it! The “fight against climate change” is reminiscent of Don Quixote.

In the past 8000 years, the mean global temperature has fluctuated regularly by +/- one degree C (Eddy cycle of approx. 1070 years).

And that was as much the case 8,000 years ago as it is today! There is no recognizable anthropogenic influence. On the contrary: The regular temperature maxima of the Eddy cycle have fallen by 0.7 ° C since the Holocene maximum 8000 years ago, despite the continuous increase in CO2 from 200 to 400 ppm, which according to the IPCC hypothesis is an increase around + 3 ° C should have resulted. The IPCC, which has propagated the CO2 hypothesis, has so far been unable to provide any factual or historical evidence for it – other than “confidence”. This confirms that the IPCC is not a scientific, but a political institution where scientists are misused for ideological and political goals. His reports must e.g. Before publication, be checked by the participating governments and modified according to their wishes. A process that only exists in climate research, which has largely lost its formerly scientific character.

The above temperature diagram of the last 3200 years clearly shows the dominance of the natural 1000-year cycle, as it has occurred for at least 8000 years. We have just passed the last maximum and in the future it will go down again (if astrophysics has not changed) and is completely independent of the evolution of CO2. This has doubled in the last 8000 years from 200 to 400 ppm, but the temperature of the maxima has decreased by 0.7 ° C (instead of rising by 3 ° C according to the IPCC theory!). In fact, the current CO2 level is among the lowest in the history of the earth, which reached values ​​of 4000 to 6000 ppm several times – without causing damage – only much stronger plant growth. We owe this to the coal deposits on earth. If CO2 is released by combustion today, it is nothing more than the CO2 that the plants then extracted from the atmosphere.

Note: I used an online translate utility for this English text, so blame any errors on Mr. Google.

 

Forbes Cancels Michael Shellenberger

Earlier this morning I read a great article by Shellenberger at Forbes.  Above is his tweet.  When I returned to Forbes to read and post on the article, here is what I saw:

While I look for the text now gone missing, here are some overviews of the book, and why activists will want it suppressed. Update:  WUWT archived the article before it was revoked (here)

See Update at End, July 10, 2020 Extract from Book

‘Apocalypse Never’ Review: False Gods for Lost Souls
Environmentalism offers emotional relief and spiritual satisfaction, giving its adherents a sense of purpose and transcendence. Source: John Tierney at Washington Post (paywalled)

Amazon Book Description

Climate change is real but it’s not the end of the world. It is not even our most serious environmental problem.

Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions.

But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are going to die,” contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction.

Despite decades of news media attention, many remain ignorant of basic facts. Carbon emissions peaked and have been declining in most developed nations for over a decade. Deaths from extreme weather, even in poor nations, declined 80 percent over the last four decades. And the risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas.

Curiously, the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also tend to oppose the obvious solutions.

What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.

Review from Charles Battig

Michael Shellenberger has green activist credentials going back to his high school years. Yet over the ensuing years, he has had an environmental reality epiphany which now has manifested itself most clearly in his recent book “Apocalypse Never,” and with his starting the ecomodernism movement.

The subtitle of the book, “Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,” echoes the similar conclusions of Moore and Lomborg.

Schellenberger had a few road bumps on the way to his current reality check.

Notable was his 2002 support of the “New Apollo Project,” which called for a major global science and economics research program to make carbon-free baseload electricity less costly than electricity from coal by the year 2025 at an expenditure of $150 billion over a decade.

The Obama administration adopted many of the renewable energy proposals, but Schellenberger documents that much of the money went to “companies that enriched donors to the Obama campaign” but failed to produce the promised renewable energy advances.

Disillusionment gave way to reality, and in 2017, Shellenberger told the Australian:

“Like most people, I started out pretty anti-nuclear. I changed my mind as I realized you can’t power a modern economy on solar and wind… All they do is make the electricity system chaotic and provide greenwash for fossil fuels.”

He has made numerous efforts to support nuclear power.

His current book skewers many of the claims of eco-environmentalists, including mass extinctions, saving of the whales by Greenpeace, waste plastic fouling the ocean for thousands of years, and increases in extreme weather events.

He reflects upon his early devotion to environmentalism as a manifestation of “underlying anxiety and unhappiness in my own life that had little to do with climate change or the state of the natural environment.”

It became a quasi-religion offering “emotional relief” and “spiritual satisfaction” for those, like him, who may have lost the guidance of traditional spiritual faiths.

Schellenberg concludes with the observation that “the trouble with the new environmental religion is that it has become increasingly apocalyptic, destructive, and self-defeating.”

So here are three environmentalists with different degrees of eco-activism in their past, but all now willing to speak out against the incessant climate propaganda of human-related guilt, the purveyors of anxiety, and the poisoners of childhood joy and wonder.

Climate change is the norm; it is not mankind’s original sin. The readers here are encouraged to read the works of these climate realists.

Book burning scene from movie version of Fahrenheit 451.

Excerpt from now inaccessible article (posted at GWPF):

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

*  Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

* The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

* Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

* Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

* The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

* The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, notclimate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

* Carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for decades and peaked in Britain, Germany and France in the mid-seventies

* Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor

* We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

* Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

* Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

* Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

Until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

Update July 10, 2020

An extended extract approved by Shellenberger is posted at Climate Change Not the End of the World (Shellenberger)

Summary in My Words:

There is no crisis requiring these climate policies.

If there were a crisis, these policies will not help.

Implementing these policies will create a social and economic crisis.

Update June 30, 2020

Michael Shellenberger realized he has been cancelled by Forbes and has reposted his article at EnvironmentalProgress: https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2020/6/29/on-behalf-of-environmentalists-i-apologize-for-the-climate-scare

In a comment below Rob Brantly adds some contextual facts about Forbes from zerohedge:

It is notable that the Forbes family no longer controls the magazine as a majority stake was sold in 2014 to a “group of Asian investors known as Integrated Whale Media. The new ownership team is led by Hong Kong-based Integrated Asset Management, founded by Tak Cheung Yam. Another investor with a significant stake is Singapore businessman Wayne Hsieh, the co-founder of Asustek Computer” (NY Post).

This group is either left-leaning or is not willing to alienate the establishment status quo. Forbes publishes the article — and then gets a quick rebuke from the Asians.

Similarly, a few years ago the Financial Times was bought by Nikkei Inc., the dominant Japanese financial publisher. It, too, is left-leaning by American standards — and the FT, which was already left-of-center, has clearly become more liberal since the ownership change.

OMG! Ozone Extinction Event 360 M Years Ago!

Check out the Devonian period in the chart above. See anything extraordinary?

The doomster cult strikes again, this time picking on O3 rather than CO2.  From researchers at University of Southhampton, Erosion of ozone layer responsible for mass extinction event published at ScienceDaily. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Researchers at the University of Southampton have shown that an extinction event 360 million years ago, that killed much of the Earth’s plant and freshwater aquatic life, was caused by a brief breakdown of the ozone layer that shields the Earth from damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

This is a newly discovered extinction mechanism with profound implications for our warming world today.

Now, scientists have found evidence showing it was high levels of UV radiation which collapsed forest ecosystems and killed off many species of fish and tetrapods (our four limbed ancestors) at the end of the Devonian geological period, 359 million years ago. This damaging burst of UV radiation occurred as part of one of the Earth’s climate cycles, rather than being caused by a huge volcanic eruption.

The ozone collapse occurred as the climate rapidly warmed following an intense ice age and the researchers suggest that the Earth today could reach comparable temperatures, possibly triggering a similar event. Their findings are published in the journal Science Advances.

Remember when scientists discovered things that made life better and brought hope and possibilities for the future?  Remember when data was consulted before announcing an apocalypse?  Look at the chart below and ask yourself if the warming periods are getting longer and hotter in our Holocene period.

And if you are worried about the ozone layer, here’s some good news from NASA.

Personally, I find Extinction Rebellion really scary.