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.

Virus Models Are Accountable. Climate Models Not.

Paul Driessen and David Legates write at the Hill about what we are learning from coronavirus epidemic models, and why we should remain skeptical about forecasts from climate models. His article is Fauci-Birx Climate Models? Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force presented some frightening numbers during their March 31 White House briefing. Based on now two-week-old data and models, as many as 100,000 Americans at the models’ low end, to 2.2 million at their high end, could die from the fast-spreading virus, they said.

However, the president, vice president, and Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx hastened to add that those high-end numbers are based on computer models. And they are “unlikely” if Americans keep doing what they are doing now to contain, mitigate and treat the virus. Although that worst-case scenario “is possible,” it is “unlikely if we do the kinds of things that we’re essentially outlining right now.”

On March 31, Dr. Fauci said, the computer models were saying that, even with full mitigation, it is “likely” that America could still suffer at least 100,000 deaths. But he then added a very important point:

“The question is, are the models really telling us what’s going on? When someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions. And the models are only as good and as accurate as the assumptions you put into them. As we get more data, as the weeks go by, that might change. We feed the data back into the models and relook at the models.”

The data can change the assumptions – and thus the models’ forecasts.

“If we have more data like the NY-NJ metro area, the numbers could go up,” Dr. Birx added. But if the numbers coming in are more like Washington or California, which reacted early and kept their infection and death rates down – then the models would likely show lower numbers. “We’re trying to prevent that logarithmic increase in New Orleans and Detroit and Chicago – trying to make sure those cities work more like California than like the New York metro area.” That seems to be happening, for the most part.

If death rates from corona are misattributed or inflated, if other model assumptions should now change, if azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine and other treatments, and people’s immunities are reducing infections – then business shutdowns and stay-home orders could (and should) end earlier, and we can go back to work and life, rebuild America and the world’s economies …

And avoid different disasters, like these:

    • Millions of businesses that never reopen.
    • Tens of millions of workers with no paychecks.
    • Tens of trillions of dollars vanished from our economy.
    • Millions of families with lost homes and savings.
    • Millions of cases of depression, stroke, heart attack, domestic violence, suicide, murder-suicide, and early death due to depression, obesity and alcoholism, due to unemployment, foreclosure and destroyed dreams.

In other words, numerous deaths because of actions taken to prevent infections and deaths from COVID-19.

It is vital that they recheck the models and assumptions – and distinguish between COVID-19 deaths actually due to the virus … and not just associated with or compounded by it, but primarily due to age, obesity, pneumonia or other issues. We can’t afford a cure that’s worse than the disease – or a prolonged and deadly national economic shutdown that could have been shortened by updated and corrected models.

Now just imagine: What if we could have that same honest, science-based approach to climate models?

What if the White House, EPA, Congress, UN, EU and IPCC acknowledged that climate models are only as good and as accurate as the assumptions built into them? What if – as the months and years went by and we got more real-world temperature, sea level and extreme weather data – we used that information to honestly refine the models? Would the assumptions and therefore the forecasts change dramatically?

What if we use real science to help us understand Earth’s changing climate and weather? And base energy and other policies on real science that honestly examines manmade and natural influences on climate?

Many climate modelers claim we face existential manmade climate cataclysms caused by our use of fossil fuels. They use models to justify calls to banish fossil fuels that provide 80% of US and global energy; close down countless industries, companies and jobs; totally upend our economy; give trillions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel replacement companies; and drastically curtail our travel and lifestyles.

Shouldn’t we demand that these models be verified against real-world evidence?

Natural forces have caused climate changes and extreme weather events throughout history. What proof is there that what we see today is due to fossil fuel emissions, and not to those same natural forces? We certainly don’t want energy “solutions” that don’t work and are far worse than the supposed manmade climate and weather ‘virus.’

And we have the climate data. We’ve got years of data. The data show the models don’t match reality.

Model-predicted temperatures are more than 0.5 degrees F above actual satellite-measured average global temperatures – and “highest ever” records are mere hundredths of a degree above previous records from 50 to 80 years ago. Actual hurricane, tornado, sea level, flood, drought, and other historic records show no unprecedented trends or changes, no looming crisis, no evidence that humans have replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate and weather in the real world outside the modelers’ labs.

Real science – and real scientists – seek to understand natural phenomena and processes. They pose hypotheses that they think best explain what they have witnessed, then test them against actual evidence, observations and data. If the hypotheses (and predictions based on them) are borne out by their subsequent observations or findings, the hypotheses become theories, rules or laws of nature – at least until someone finds new evidence that pokes holes in their assessments, or devises better explanations.

Real scientists often employ computers to analyze data more quickly and accurately, depict or model complex natural systems, or forecast future events or conditions. But they test their models against real-world evidence. If the models, observations and predictions don’t match up, real scientists modify or discard the models, and the hypotheses behind them. They engage in robust discussion and debate.

Real scientists don’t let models or hypotheses become substitutes for real-world data, evidence and observations.

They don’t alter or “homogenize” raw or historic data to make it look like the models actually work. They don’t tweak their models after comparing predictions to actual subsequent observations, to make it look like the models “got it right.” They don’t “lose” or hide data and computer codes, restrict peer review to closed circles of like-minded colleagues who protect one another’s reputations and funding, claim “the debate is over,” or try to silence anyone who asks inconvenient questions or criticizes their claims or models. Climate modelers have done all of this – and more.

Climate models have always overstated the warming. But even though modelers have admitted that their models are “tuned” – revised after the fact to make it look like they predicted temperatures accurately – the modelers have made no attempt to change the climate sensitivity to match reality. Why not?

They know disaster scenarios sell. Disaster forecasts keep them employed, swimming in research money – and empowered to tell legislators and regulators that humanity must we take immediate, draconian action to eliminate all fossil fuel use – the economic, human and environmental consequences be damned. And they probably will never admit their mistakes or duplicity, much less be held accountable.

“Wash your hands! You could save millions of lives!” has far more impact than “You could save your own life, your kids’ lives, dozens of lives.” When it comes to climate change, you’re saving the planet.

With ‘Mann-made’ climate change, we are always shown the worst-case scenario: RCP 8.5, the “business-as-usual” … ten times more coal use in 2100 than now … “total disaster.” Alarmist climatologists know their scenario has maybe a 0.1 percent likelihood, and assumes no new energy technologies over the next 80 years. But energy technologies have evolved incredibly over the last 80 years – since 1940, the onset of World War II! Who could possibly think technologies won’t change at least as much going forward?

Disaster scenarios are promoted because most people don’t know any better – and voters and citizens won’t accept extreme measures and sacrifices unless they are presented with extreme disaster scenarios.

The Fauci-Birx team has been feeding updated data into their models, and forecasts for infections and deaths from the ChiCom-WHO coronavirus are going down. They team is doing data-based science. Let’s start demanding a similarly honest, factual, evidence-based approach to climate models and “dangerous manmade climate change.” Our energy, economy, livelihoods, lives and liberties depend on it.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues. David R. Legates is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware.

Real vs. Imaginary Emergencies

The pandemic experience shows us how greatly a real emergency differs from an imaginary one.  Rupert Darwall’s article at The Hill is The coronavirus pandemic versus the climate change emergency.  Excerpts in italics with my bold and images.

Today’s coronavirus pandemic puts into some perspective the climate emergency, which has been running for nigh on 32 years. The climate emergency was first announced in June 1988. “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war,” the Toronto climate conference declared that month.

One way of assessing the reliability of a body of science with major policy implications is whether the experts in the field are prone to over-predicting the severity of the problem. Take smoking: In 1953, Richard Doll, one of the pioneer epidemiologists in discovering the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer, predicted that, in 1973, the number of deaths from lung cancer in Britain would be as high as 25,000. The actual number was 26,000. Doll’s prediction passed a hard test.

By contrast, the Toronto climate conference predicted global temperatures would increase by between 1.5 and 4.5°C (2.7°F and 8.1°F) by the 2030s. Since 1988, average global temperature has risen at a rate of 0.177°C (0.32°F) per decade, less than one-half the 0.36°C (0.65°F) per decade implied by a 1.5°C rise by 2030 and only one-sixth of the rate of a 4.5°C rise. If there’s been a mainstream climate scientist who has under-predicted global warming, he or she must have taken the scientific equivalent of a Trappist vow of silence.

More recently, Myles Allen, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lead author, admitted that climate computer models are running too hot compared to the actual climate. “We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models,” Allen told the London Times in September 2017.

The coronavirus pandemic shows what a genuine crisis looks like. No one has to catastrophize it; the facts speak for themselves. Inducing fear and panic is counter-productive.

Global warming is different. For more than three decades, climate change has been the catastrophe that’s always just over the horizon. It moves with glacial speed; there is plenty of time to prepare for it. Humans – the most adaptive species on the planet – have been adapting to a changing climate ever since they first wore animal skins for warmth. The idea that the generation born since 1988 has experienced anything approaching a global nuclear war is preposterous. Even last year’s destructive Australian wildfires were fueled by green policies that prevented controlled fires.

 

One thing hasn’t changed and won’t change: Catastrophizing climate change for political ends. At one of the secretive meetings in 1987, limited to only 25 key participants that led to the formation of the IPCC, it was recognized that climate change had to be catastrophized to persuade politicians that they should embark on damaging emissions cuts. Earlier this month, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres complained about the attention being given to COVID-19: “Whilst the disease is expected to be temporary, climate change has been a phenomenon for many years, and will remain with us for decades and require constant action.”

Congressional Democrats’ failure to hold coronavirus relief legislation hostage in exchange for the Green New Deal shows poor judgment. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the inability to distinguish between a genuine crisis and an imagined one in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century is a manifestation of a collective psychological disorder.

Two lessons can be drawn. The first is the importance of governments and responsible international bodies focusing on genuine threats that can rapidly overwhelm our capacity to handle them. Something has gone very wrong when the World Health Organization, the lead institution coordinating the response to global pandemics, climbed on the climate bandwagon and called the Paris Agreement “potentially the strongest health agreement of this century” and listed climate change as the No. 1 threat to global health.

The second is resilience. Richer societies are better able to handle a pandemic than poorer ones. After the 2003 SARS outbreak, Singapore invested in a purpose-built National Centre for Infectious Diseases. Of larger economies, South Korea’s response has, so far, been the most successful; like Singapore, it can afford preparedness because it has a strong economy, reflected in its soaring greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 1992, Korea’s carbon dioxide emissions have more than doubled and it is planning to grow them under the Paris Agreement.

Unlike House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her colleagues, South Korea has no intention of sacrificing its economy on the altar of climate change. Nor should America.

Rupert Darwall is a senior fellow at RealClear Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of RealClear Media Group that reports and analyzes public policy and civic issues. He is the author of “Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex” (2017) and “The Age of Global Warming: A History” (2013). A strategy consultant and policy analyst, he was a special adviser to the United Kingdom’s chancellor of the exchequer under Prime Minister John Major.

Footnote:  The recent solar eclipse provided another example that scientific predictions coming to pass prove astronomers’ knowledge of the solar system, while climatists’ failed predictions prove their lack of knowledge.  See: Astronomy is Science. Climatology Not.

On the perversion of medical science by the dash for climate cash, see: Climate Medicine

No, Climate Didn’t Cause Coronavirus

It didn’t take long for climatists to tie coronavirus to global warming/climate change; IOW, “It’s our fault for using fossil fuels.” And also: “Changes to fight coronavirus also fight climate change.” Activists have a long record of claiming that de-carbonizing is a snake oil curing all of society’s ills. The latest memes give the flavor of the warped thinking.

Coronavirus hits a critical year for nature and climate chinadialogue11:08

The threats facing our planet are interconnected ArabNews10:27

Climate change helped coronavirus spread The Independent10:20

How Science Denial In High Places Accelerates Both COVID-19 and Climate Change Ecosystem Marketplace10:12

The Corona Connection The Nation08:14

Coronavirus and the climate: How we respond to deadly threats The Gazette07:15

The Coronavirus and the Climate Movement The New Yorker07:04

The carbon disruption is here, disguised as a pandemic ImpactAlpha04:10

For pandemics and climate change, voluntary measures aren’t enough Grist Magazine03:58

“In a way, the coronavirus is climate change’s publicist” Why now is the time to focus on our… Vogue India02:43

Liberals See Good from Coronavirus: Less Pollution NewsMax20:22 Tue, 17 Mar

How changes brought on by coronavirus could help tackle the climate crisis Corporate Knights17:19 Tue, 17 Mar

Think Tank Shifts From Climate Science Denial To COVID Denial Talking Points Memo16:11 Tue, 17 Mar

Coronavirus, climate crisis, conflicts: Meme-ing our way through the ‘apocalypse’ The Conversation (Canada)13:58 Tue, 17 Mar

Key readings about climate change and coronavirus Yale Climate Connections14:19

Green Jobs Are the Answer to the Coronavirus Recession The New Republic14:19

How COVID-19 Is Like Climate Change Scientific American11:07 Tue, 17 Mar

Climate change could make the coronavirus seem like the good old days. GreenBiz

Viruses expected to increase with global warming – expert The Times of Israel08:35 Tue, 17 Mar

Social distancing? You might be fighting climate change, too New Zealand Herald20:45 Mon, 16 Mar

Can the changes brought on by coronavirus help tackle climate change? Australian Geographic20:42 Mon, 16 Ma

Climatists have a pattern of blaming every bad thing on CO2 in order to promote their agenda. Thus adding in this virus is an extension of the practice of attributing exteme weather events to global warming/climate change. A previous post provides Mike Hulme’s analysis of the flawed logic, as well as the motivations behind these attempts.

extreme-weather-events

The antidote to such feverish reporting is provided by Mike Hulme in a publication: Attributing Weather Extremes to ‘Climate Change’: a Review (here).

He has an insider’s perspective on this issue, and is certainly among the committed on global warming (color him concerned). Yet here he writes objectively to inform us on X-weather, without advocacy: real science journalism and a public service, really.

Overview

In this third and final review I survey the nascent science of extreme weather event attribution. The article proceeds by examining the field in four stages: motivations for extreme weather attribution, methods of attribution, some example case studies and the politics of weather event Attribution.

The X-Weather Issue

As many climate scientists can attest, following the latest meteorological extreme one of the most frequent questions asked by media journalists and other interested parties is: ‘Was this weather event caused by climate change?’

In recent decades the meaning of climate change in popular western discourse has changed from being a descriptive index of a change in climate (as in ‘evidence that a climatic change has occurred’) to becoming an independent causative agent (as in ‘climate change caused this event to happen’). Rather than being a descriptive outcome of a chain of causal events affecting how weather is generated, climate change has been granted power to change worlds: political and social worlds as much as physical and ecological ones.

To be more precise then, what people mean when they ask the ‘extreme weather blame’ question is: ‘Was this particular weather event caused by greenhouse gases emitted from human activities and/or by other human perturbations to the environment?’ In other words, can this meteorological event be attributed to human agency as opposed to some other form of agency?

The Motivations

Hulme shows what drives scientists to pursue the “extreme weather blame” question, noting four motivational factors.

Why have climate scientists over the last ten years embarked upon research to provide an answer beyond the stock phrase ‘no individual weather event can directly be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions’?  There seem to be four possible motives.

1.Curiosity
The first is because the question piques the scientific mind; it acts as a spur to develop new rational understanding of physical processes and new analytic methods for studying them.

2.Adaptation
A second argument, put forward by some, is that it is important to know whether or not specific instances of extreme weather are human-caused in order to improve the justification, planning and execution of climate adaptation.

3.Liability
A third argument for pursuing an answer to the ‘extreme weather blame’ question is inspired by the possibility of pursuing legal liability for damages caused. . . If specific loss and damage from extreme weather can be attributed to greenhouse gas emissions – even if expressed in terms of increased risk rather than deterministically – then lawyers might get interested.

The liability motivation for research into weather event attribution also bisects the new international political agenda of ‘loss and damage’ which has emerged in the last two years. . . The basic idea is to give recognition that loss and damage caused by climate change is legitimate ground for less developed countries to gain access to new international climate adaptation funds.

4. Persuasion
A final reason for scientists to be investing in this area of climate science – a reason stated explicitly less often than the ones above and yet one which underlies much of the public interest in the ‘extreme weather blame’ question – is frustration with and argument about the invisibility of climate change. . . If this is believed to be true – that only scientists can make climate change visible and real –then there is extra onus on scientists to answer the ‘extreme weather blame’ question as part of an effort to convince citizens of the reality of human-caused climate change.

Attribution Methods

Attributing extreme weather events to human influences requires different approaches, of which four broad categories can be identified.

1. Physical Reasoning
The first and most general approach to attributing extreme weather phenomena to rising greenhouse gas concentrations is to use simple physical reasoning.

General physical reasoning can only lead to broad qualitative statements such as ‘this extreme weather is consistent with’ what is known about the human-enhanced greenhouse effect. Such statements offer neither deterministic nor stochastic answers and clearly underdetermine the ‘weather blame question.’ It has given rise to a number of analogies to try to communicate the non-deterministic nature of extreme event attribution. The three most widely used ones concern a loaded die (the chance of rolling a ‘6’ has increased, but no single ‘6’ can be attributed to the biased die), the baseball player on steroids (the number of home runs hit increases, but no single home run can be attributed to the steroids) and the speeding car-driver (the chance of an accident increases in dangerous conditions, but no specific accident can be attributed to the fast-driving).

2. Classical Statistical Analysis
A second approach is to use classical statistical analysis of meteorological time series data to determine whether a particular weather (or climatic) extreme falls outside the range of what a ‘normal’ unperturbed climate might have delivered.

All such extreme event analyses of meteorological time series are at best able to detect outliers, but can never be decisive about possible cause(s). A different time series approach therefore combines observational data with model simulations and seeks to determine whether trends in extreme weather predicted by climate models have been observed in meteorological statistics (e.g. Zwiers et al., 2011, for temperature extremes and Min et al., 2011, for precipitation extremes). This approach is able to attribute statistically a trend in extreme weather to human influence, but not a specific weather event. Again, the ‘weather blame question’ remains underdetermined.

slide20

3. Fractional Attributable Risk (FAR)
Taking inspiration from the field of epidemiology, this method seeks to establish the Fractional Attributable Risk (FAR) of an extreme weather (or short-term climate) event. It asks the counterfactual question, ‘How might the risk of a weather event be different in the presence of a specific causal agent in the climate system?’

The single observational record available to us, and which is analysed in the statistical methods described above, is inadequate for this task. The solution is to use multiple model simulations of the climate system, first of all without the forcing agent(s) accused of ‘causing’ the weather event and then again with that external forcing introduced into the model.

The credibility of this method of weather attribution can be no greater than the overall credibility of the climate model(s) used – and may be less, depending on the ability of the model in question to simulate accurately the precise weather event under consideration at a given scale (e.g. a heatwave in continental Europe, a rain event in northern Thailand) (see Christidis et al., 2013a).

4. Eco-systems Philosophy
A fourth, more philosophical, approach to weather event attribution should also be mentioned. This is the argument that since human influences on the climate system as a whole are now clearly established – through changing atmospheric composition, altered land surface characteristics, and so on – there can no longer be such a thing as a purely natural weather event. All weather — whether it be a raging tempest or a still summer afternoon — is now attributable to human influence, at least to some extent. Weather is the local and momentary expression of a complex system whose functioning as a system is now different to what it would otherwise have been had humans not been active.

Results from Weather Attribution Studies

Hulme provides a table of numerous such studies using various methods, along with his view of the findings.

It is likely that attribution of temperature-related extremes using FAR methods will always be more attainable than for other meteorological extremes such as rainfall and wind, which climate models generally find harder to simulate faithfully at the spatial scales involved. As discussed below, this limitation on which weather events and in which regions attribution studies can be conducted will place important constraints on any operational extreme weather attribution system.

Political Dimensions of Weather Attribution

Hulme concludes by discussing the political hunger for scientific proof in support of policy actions.

But Hulme et al. (2011) show why such ambitious claims are unlikely to be realised. Investment in climate adaptation, they claim, is most needed “… where vulnerability to meteorological hazard is high, not where meteorological hazards are most attributable to human influence” (p.765). Extreme weather attribution says nothing about how damages are attributable to meteorological hazard as opposed to exposure to risk; it says nothing about the complex political, social and economic structures which mediate physical hazards.

And separating weather into two categories — ‘human-caused’ weather and ‘tough-luck’ weather – raises practical and ethical concerns about any subsequent investment allocation guidelines which excluded the victims of ‘tough-luck weather’ from benefiting from adaptation funds.

Contrary to the claims of some weather attribution scientists, the loss and damage agenda of the UNFCCC, as it is currently emerging, makes no distinction between ‘human-caused’ and ‘tough-luck’ weather. “Loss and damage impacts fall along a continuum, ranging from ‘events’ associated with variability around current climatic norms (e.g., weather-related natural hazards) to [slow-onset] ‘processes’ associated with future anticipated changes in climatic norms” (Warner et al., 2012:21). Although definitions and protocols have not yet been formally ratified, it seems unlikely that there will be a role for the sort of forensic science being offered by extreme weather attribution science.

Conclusion

Thank you Mike Hulme for a sane, balanced and expert analysis. It strikes me as being another element in a “Quiet Storm of Lucidity”.

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