EPA Swamp Life: Climategaters

An update on the power struggle inside the EPA is provided by Ronald Bailey’s May. 9, 2017 article EPA Bureaucracy Strikes Back: The Case of the Board of Scientific Counselors  How will the struggle between the permanent bureaucracy and the EPA’s new leadership play out?  Excerpts below.

The efforts of the permanent bureaucracy at the Environmental Protection Agency to hand the the new political leadership a fait accompli regarding the membership of that agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) brought to mind the antics of Yes, Minister. The civil servants at the EPA had apparently assured the members of the BOSC whose three-year terms were ending that they could stay on for another term just as the Obama administration was winding down in January. Since the terms for more than half of the BOSC’s members ran out in late April, the agency bureaucrats essentially went to the new EPA leadership with the old list of Obama administration appointees at the last minute and said, “Sign this.”

The new team appointed by Trump declined to do so. Scorned bureaucrats then leaked the decision to the media shaping the narrative as a Trumpian anti-science “firing” of brave truth-tellers. The Washington Post and the New York Times duly reported just that story. But is it so? “We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” EPA spokesperson J.P. Freire told the Post. “This approach is what was always intended for the board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.”

Rifling through the Federal Advisory Committee Act database, I find that the terms of 12 members of the BOSC officially expired on April 27, 2017. Another ended in March. Composed of outside researchers, the 18-member BOSC is supposed to provide objective and independent counsel to the agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD). The committee aids the ORD on research and development with the aim of identifying, understanding, and solving current and future environmental problems; by reviewing ORD’s technical support to EPA’s program and regional offices; by providing leadership in assisting ORD in identifying emerging environmental issues; and by helping to advance the science and technology of risk assessment and risk management.

BOSC members are must be nationally recognized experts in science or engineering. The board should be balanced in disciplines, diversity, and geographic distribution area and include representatives from academia, government, industry, environmental consulting firms, and environmental associations.

As the Membership Balance Plan notes the list of nominees is reviewed by “different levels of EPA managers” before formal letters of invitation are sent out. The Plan notes that “members are usually appointed for a three-year term. Generally, members may be reappointed for a total of 6 years.”

In this case, the EPA bureaucrats in charge of finding and vetting nominees for the BOSC were evidently satisfied with the members who had been appointed during the Obama administration. Spot checking the BOSC’s history, it does appear that in recent years, committee members have generally served two 3-year terms.

EPA spokesperson J.P. Freire released this statement: “Advisory panels like BOSC play a critical role reviewing the agency’s work. EPA received hundreds of nominations to serve on the board, and we want to ensure fair consideration of all the nominees – including those nominated who may have previously served on the panel – and carry out a competitive nomination process.” The EPA plans solicit nominees through the Federal Register and to select new board members quickly. (I reached out to the agency to clear up which and how many BOSC members are not being re-appointed. I have not heard back yet.)

So which members are not being re-appointed? The news reports say that the appointments of up to 9 members are not being renewed. According to the database these 13 members terms are over.

Viney Aneja – North Carolina State University professor of air quality

Shahid Chaudhry – California Energy Commission mechanical engineer

Susan Cozzens – Georgia Tech Sociologist of science

Courtney Flint – Utah State University Natural Resource Sociologist

Earthea Nance – Texas Southern University Civil & Environmental Engineering

Paula Olsiewski – Sloan Foundation Biochemist

Kenneth Reckhow – Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology at Duke University

Robert Richardson – Michiagan State University Ecological Economist

Sandra Smith – Principal Toxicologist AECOM Consultancy

Gina Solomon – California EPA (Former senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council)

Ponisseril Somasundaran- Columbia University Professor of Mineral Engineering

John Thakaran – Howard University Biochemical engineering

Tammy Taylor – Chief Operating Officer of the National Security Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The terms of three other members will expire this summer.

Lisa Dilling – University of Colorado biologist

Diane Pataki – University of Utah ecologist

Joseph Rodricks – Principal Arlington of Environ International Corporation toxicologist

Predictably, activists are outraged. “This is completely part of a multifaceted effort to get science out of the way of a deregulation agenda,” said Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists to the Times. Clearly to Kimmel’s mind, science could never support deregulation or declining to regulate.

Cleaning BOSC is only scratching the surface

In addition to these few entitled scientists, there are a raft of others filling the SAB (Scientific Advisory Board) which of course has numerous committees, including the notorious CASAC (Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee).  A look at the EPA website shows another 47 scientists working on the taxpayers’ dime. Apparently there are briefings where both BOSC and SAB members participate. The article above does not talk about conflicts of interest, but the EPA has been frequently criticized about the activities of SAB and CASAC.

Senator James A. Inhofe, Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee wrote this in a formal letter to the Obama EPA Director last year:

The new CASAC panel further illustrates EPA’s disregard for policies requiring EPA shift membership on CASAC. Specifically, EPA’s Peer Review Handbook advises membership rotation on standing committees, such as CASAC, “to obtain fresh perspectives and reinforce the reality and perception of independence from the Ageney.”I3 However, the chartered CASAC includes four of seven members that have already served on CASAC.14 Among the three who have not served on the chartered CASAC, two have served on CASAC subcommittees15 while the other one has served on EPA’s Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis (Council)16 which is also designed to advise the Administrator on the impacts of the Clean Air Act on the public health, economy, and environment of the U.S.I7 Given the number of well-qualified nominees and thousands of scientific experts across the country, it is deeply concerning EPA continues to select the same people. This practice runs counter to EPA policy and unnecessarily blocks other experts from serving as advisors.

The majority of CASAC members have also received considerable financial support from EPA, which calls into question their independence and therefore the integrity of the overall panel. While EPA has taken the position that receipt of grants do not constitute a financial conflict of interest, the NAS and EPA’s own Peer-Review Handbook state that grants can constitute a conflict or lack of impartiality.I8 For the newly appointed panel this conflict is on full display–six of the seven members have received a total of $119,217,008 in EPA research grants.

Much to my dismay, three of the seven members have received in excess of $25 million each. This is not limited to the chartered CASAC as 22 of the 26 newly appointed members to the CASAC subcommittee on particulate matter have received more than $330 million in EPA grants. These vast sums of money certainly constitute a conflict of interest and at a minimum give the appearance of a lack of impartiality.

Another investigative journalist added:

Among the members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), CASAC and subcommittees, 60 percent of them have received research grants from the EPA costing taxpayers more than $140 million. Many are involved in research, funded by those grants, while they are serving on their committees in a role advising the EPA on clean air policy.

CASAC’s chairman, Chris Frey, is also a representative on the SAB. While serving on SAB, the EPA extended his $893,439 grant to study the heath effects of air pollution and approved about $2.9 million in grants to North Carolina State University, where he teaches as a professor of environmental engineering.

All eight members on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) have extended, been recipients of or are overseeing more than $19 million in agency grants earmarked to the institutions they work for or directly to themselves, procurement records show. Outside science advisers collect EPA grants while guiding agency 


Entitled scientific bureaucrats rise up to defend their nest.

Footnote 1:

In Ottawa, the problem is somewhat different. There we have an infestation of bureaucrabs. The term refers to a creature that appears to be making progress, but on closer inspection is moving sideways.

There is also a rumor that increasingly in Ottawa lawyers are being used for scientific experiments instead of rats.  There appear to be three reasons for this:

  1.  There are more lawyers than rats in Ottawa.
  2. People sometimes get emotionally attached to a rat.
  3. There are some things the rats won’t do.

Footnote 2:

For a scientific analysis of how government works, we have a paper reprinted below:

New chemical Element Discovered

The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312, the heaviest of all. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3-6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. All of the money is consumed in the exchange, and no other byproducts are produced. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. Usually it can be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

Credit: William DeBuvitz, http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/administ.htm

Footnote 3:

The article above mentioned Yes Minister classic British tv series, but readers may not be aware that the last season of the show, Yes Prime Minister ended with an hilarious send up of the global warming scare. BBC blocks the video outside of UK, but the best parts of the transcript are at Climate Alarms LOL

Resilient Arctic Ice in May

The MASIE image shows Arctic Ocean ice is resilient and the numbers below will show how well 2017 compares to the decadal average. The only place where ice is below normal is outside the Arctic Ocean, namely Bering and Okhotsk Seas in the Pacific. Claims of disappearing ice pertain not to the Arctic itself, but to marginal Pacific seas that will melt out anyway by September.

I noticed the pattern this April when it became obvious that including Bering and Okhotsk in the Arctic totals gives a misleading picture. For sure they are part of Northern Hemisphere (NH) total sea ice, but currently the Pacific is going its own way, not indicative of the sea ice in the Central and Atlantic Arctic.

The graph below shows ice extents in the Arctic seas, excluding Bering and Okhotsk in the Pacific. Over the last 25 days 2017 Arctic ice has gone from average to a surplus of 400k km2 and is maintaining that advantage in May.  As of May 8, ice in 2007 was 600k km2 behind and 2016 was lower by 700k km2.

While the Arctic ocean ice is persisting, Bering and Okhotsk extents have retreated ahead of schedule, as the graph below shows.  The gap has persisted at 50% of decadal average over the last 3 weeks, going from 600k km2 on day 109 to 500k km2 on day 120, and presently Bering and Okhotsk combined are down by 400k km2.  Of course, eventually both seas will be ice free by September.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Kris Kristofferson song (Me and Bobby McGee)

The distinctive Pacific pattern is evident in the images of changing ice extents.  First, see how ice in Bering and Okhotsk seas has retreated the last 3 weeks..

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side ice has grown steadily.  Note Newfoundland on the upper left has been blocked by ice only now retreating, while Svalbard on the middle right.continues to be encased.

The Chart below shows the traditional view of NH ice extents, which includes the Pacific seas together with the Arctic seas.  2017 started this period 400k km2 below average, then caught up and is now tracking slightly above the decadal average.This is despite a deficit of 400k km2 in Bering and Okhotsk, which obscures the ice surpluses elsewhere.  By comparison 2007 and 2016 are lagging behind by 400k km2..

The table below provides a more detailed description of NH ice by showing extents measured in the various seas on May 8, day 128 of the year.

Region 2017128 Day 128
Average
2017-Ave. 2007128 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13171174 13149118 22056 12792742 378432
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1061622 1056204 5418 1042771 18852
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 957567 957220 348 939928 17640
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1085117 2020 1081533 5605
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 890721 7124 874837 23008
 (5) Kara_Sea 920985 902466 18519 880185 40800
 (6) Barents_Sea 487526 449413 38113 418974 68552
 (7) Greenland_Sea 705745 613061 92684 605824 99921
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1340708 1139240 201467 1035447 305260
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 850635 842522 8113 834959 15676
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1248694 1205894 42800 1199786 48908
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247448 3220316 27132 3238105 9344
 (12) Bering_Sea 191284 484937 -293653 392119 -200836
 (13) Baltic_Sea 11485 13590 -2105 10416 1070
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 160681 285356 -124675 233588 -72907

Clearly 2017 is above average everywhere, including Barents and Kara seas, with quite large surpluses in Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.  The deficits in the Pacific are also obvious, with Bering sea down the most.

Summary

The details are important to form a proper perception of any natural process, including dynamics of sea ice waxing and waning. On closer inspection, the appearance of declining Arctic sea ice is actually another after effect of the recent El Nino and Blob phenomena, and quite restricted to the Pacific marginal seas.

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, we have sightings and reports of ice surges along the coast of Newfoundland, such amounts not seen since the 1980s. Below is a NASA satellite photo of Newfoundland Sea Ice, May 5, 2017 Source: Newsfoundsander

 

Climate Reductionism


Reductionists are those who take one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon. For example, a reductionist regarding mathematics might take any given mathematical theory to be reducible to logic or set theory. Or, a reductionist about biological entities like cells might take such entities to be reducible to collections of physico-chemical entities like atoms and molecules.
Definition from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Some of you may have seen this recent article: Divided Colorado: A Sister And Brother Disagree On Climate Change

The reporter describes a familiar story to many of us.  A single skeptic (the brother) is holding out against his sister and rest of the family who accept global warming/climate change. And of course, after putting some of their interchanges into the text, the reporter then sides against the brother by taking the word of a climate expert. From the article:

“CO2 absorbs infrared heat in certain wavelengths and those measurements were made first time — published — when Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States,” says Scott Denning, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. “Since that time, those measurements have been repeated by better and better instruments around the world.”

CO2, or carbon dioxide, has increased over time, scientists say, because of human activity. It’s a greenhouse gas that’s contributing to global warming.

“We know precisely how the molecule wiggles and waggles, and what the quantum interactions between the electrons are that cause everyone one of these little absorption lines,” he says. “And there’s just no wiggle room around it — CO2 absorbs heat, heat warms things up, so adding CO2 to the atmosphere will warm the climate.”

Denning says that most of the CO2 we see added to the atmosphere comes from humans — mostly through burning coal, oil and gas, which, as he puts it, is “indirectly caused by us.”

When looking at the scientific community, Denning says it’s united, as far as he knows.

earth-science-climatic-change-Climate-System-3-114-g001

A Case Study of Climate Reductionism

Denning’s comments, supported by several presentations at his website demonstrate how some scientists (all those known to Denning) engage in a classic form of reductionism.

The full complexity of earth’s climate includes many processes, some poorly understood, but known to have effects orders of magnitude greater than the potential of CO2 warming. The case for global warming alarm rests on simplifying away everything but the predetermined notion that humans are warming the planet. It goes like this:

Our Complex Climate

Earth’s climate is probably the most complicated natural phenomenon ever studied. Not only are there many processes, but they also interact and influence each other over various timescales, causing lagged effects and multiple cycling. This diagram illustrates some of the climate elements and interactions between them.

Flows and Feedbacks for Climate Models

The Many Climate Dimensions

Further, measuring changes in the climate goes far beyond temperature as a metric. Global climate indices, like the European dataset include 12 climate dimensions with 74 tracking measures. The set of climate dimensions include:

  • Sunshine
  • Pressure
  • Humidity
  • Cloudiness
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Drought
  • Temperature
  • Heat
  • Cold

And in addition there are compound measures combining temperature and precipitation. While temperature is important, climate is much more than that.  With this reduction, all other dimensions are swept aside, and climate change is simplified down to global warming as seen in temperature measurements.

Climate Thermodynamics: Weather is the Climate System at work.

Another distortion is the notion that weather is bad or good, depending on humans finding it favorable. In fact, all that we call weather are the ocean and atmosphere acting to resolve differences in temperatures, humidities and pressures. It is the natural result of a rotating, irregular planetary surface mostly covered with water and illuminated mostly at its equator.

The sun warms the surface, but the heat escapes very quickly by convection so the build-up of heat near the surface is limited. In an incompressible atmosphere, it would *all* escape, and you’d get no surface warming. But because air is compressible, and because gases warm up when they’re compressed and cool down when allowed to expand, air circulating vertically by convection will warm and cool at a certain rate due to the changing atmospheric pressure.

Climate science has been obsessed with only a part of the system, namely the atmosphere and radiation, in order to focus attention on the non-condensing IR active gases. The climate is framed as a 3D atmosphere above a 2D surface. That narrow scope leaves out the powerful non-radiative heat transfer mechanisms that dominate the lower troposphere, and the vast reservoir of thermal energy deep in the oceans.

As Dr. Robert E Stevenson writes, it could have been different:

“As an oceanographer, I’d been around the world, once or twice, and I was rather convinced that I knew the factors that influenced the Earth’s climate. The oceans, by virtue of their enormous density and heat-storage capacity, are the dominant influence on our climate. It is the heat budget and the energy that flows into and out of the oceans that basically determines the mean temperature of the global atmosphere. These interactions, plus evaporation, are quite capable of canceling the slight effect of man-produced CO2.”

The troposphere is dominated by powerful heat transfer mechanisms: conduction, convection and evaporation, as well as physical kinetic movements.  All this is ignored in order to focus on radiative heat transfer, a bit player except at the top of the atmosphere.

There’s More than the Atmosphere

Once the world of climate is greatly reduced down to radiation of infrared frequencies, yet another set of blinders is applied. The most important source of radiation is of course the sun. Solar radiation in the short wave (SW) range is what we see and what heats up the earth’s surface, particularly the oceans. In addition solar radiation includes infrared, some absorbed in the atmosphere and some at the surface. The ocean is also a major source of heat into the atmosphere since its thermal capacity is 1000 times what the air can hold. The heat transfer from ocean to air is both by way of evaporation (latent heat) and also by direct contact at the sea surface (conduction).

Yet conventional climate science dismisses the sun as a climate factor saying that its climate input is unvarying. That ignores significant fluctuations in parts of the light range, for example ultraviolet, and also solar effects such as magnetic fields and cosmic rays. Also disregarded is solar energy varying due to cloud fluctuations. The ocean is also dismissed as a source of climate change despite obvious ocean warming and cooling cycles ranging from weeks to centuries. The problem is such oscillations are not well understood or predictable, so can not be easily modeled.

With the sun and the earth’s surface and ocean dismissed, the only consideration left is the atmosphere.

The Gorilla Greenhouse Gas

Thus climate has been reduced down to heat radiation passing through the atmosphere comprised of gases. One of the biggest reductions then comes from focusing on CO2 rather than H20. Of all the gases that are IR-active, water is the most prevalent and covers more of the spectrum.

The diagram below gives you the sense of proportion.

GHGs fraction (2)

The Role of CO2

We come now to the role of CO2 in “trapping heat” and making the world warmer. The theory is that CO2 acts like a blanket by absorbing and re-radiating heat that would otherwise escape into space. By delaying the cooling while solar energy comes in constantly, CO2 is presumed to cause a buildup of heat resulting in warmer temperatures.

How the Atmosphere Processes Heat

There are 3 ways that heat (Infrared or IR radiation) passes from the surface to space.

1) A small amount of the radiation leaves directly, because all gases in our air are transparent to IR of 10-14 microns (sometimes called the “atmospheric window.” This pathway moves at the speed of light, so no delay of cooling occurs.

2) Some radiation is absorbed and re-emitted by IR active gases up to the tropopause. Calculations of the free mean path for CO2 show that energy passes from surface to tropopause in less than 5 milliseconds. This is almost speed of light, so delay is negligible. H2O is so variable across the globe that its total effects are not measurable. In arid places, like deserts, we see that CO2 by itself does not prevent the loss of the day’s heat after sundown.

3) The bulk gases of the atmosphere, O2 and N2, are warmed by conduction and convection from the surface. They also gain energy by collisions with IR active gases, some of that IR coming from the surface, and some absorbed directly from the sun. Latent heat from water is also added to the bulk gases. O2 and N2 are slow to shed this heat, and indeed must pass it back to IR active gases at the top of the troposphere for radiation into space.

In a parcel of air each molecule of CO2 is surrounded by 2500 other molecules, mostly O2 and N2. In the lower atmosphere, the air is dense and CO2 molecules energized by IR lose it to surrounding gases, slightly warming the entire parcel. Higher in the atmosphere, the air is thinner, and CO2 molecules can emit IR into space. Surrounding gases resupply CO2 with the energy it lost, which leads to further heat loss into space.

This third pathway has a significant delay of cooling, and is the reason for our mild surface temperature, averaging about 15C. Yes, earth’s atmosphere produces a buildup of heat at the surface. The bulk gases, O2 and N2, trap heat near the surface, while IR active gases, mainly H20 and CO2, provide the radiative cooling at the top of the atmosphere. Near the top of the atmosphere you will find the -18C temperature.

Sources of CO2

Note the size of the human emissions next to the red arrow.

A final reduction comes down to how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is there because of us. Alarmists/activists say any increase in CO2 is 100% man-made, and would be more were it not for natural CO2 sinks, namely the ocean and biosphere. The claim overlooks the fact that those sinks are also sources of CO2 and the flux from the land and sea is an order of magnitude higher than estimates of human emissions. In fact, our few Gigatons of carbon are lost within the error range of estimating natural emissions. Insects produce far more CO2 than humans do by all our activity, including domestic animals.

Why Climate Reductionism is Dangerous

Reducing the climate in this fashion reaches its logical conclusion in the Activist notion of the “450 Scenario.”  Since Cancun, IPCC is asserting that global warming is capped at 2C by keeping CO2 concentration below 450 ppm. From Summary for Policymakers (SPM) AR5

Emissions scenarios leading to CO2-equivalent concentrations in 2100 of about 450 ppm or lower are likely to maintain warming below 2°C over the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels. These scenarios are characterized by 40 to 70% global anthropogenic GHG emissions reductions by 2050 compared to 2010, and emissions levels near zero or below in 2100.

Thus is born the “450 Scenario” by which governments can be focused upon reducing human emissions without any reference to temperature measurements, which are troublesome and inconvenient. Almost everything in the climate world has been erased, and “Fighting Climate Change” is now code to mean accounting for fossil fuel emissions.

Conclusion

All propagandists begin with a kernel of truth, in this case the fact everything acting in the world has an effect on everything else. Edward Lorenz brought this insight to bear on the climate system in a ground breaking paper he presented in 1972 entitled: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?”  Everything does matter and has an effect. Obviously humans impact on the climate in places where we build cities and dams, clear forests and operate farms. And obviously we add some CO2 when we burn fossil fuels.

But it is wrong to ignore the major dominant climate realities in order to exaggerate a small peripheral factor for the sake of an agenda. It is wrong to claim that IR active gases somehow “trap” heat in the air when they immediately emit any energy absorbed, if not already lost colliding with another molecule. No, it is the bulk gases, N2 and O2, making up the mass of the atmosphere, together with the ocean delaying the cooling and giving us the mild and remarkably stable temperatures that we enjoy. And CO2 does its job by radiating the heat into space.

Since we do little to cause it, we can’t fix it by changing what we do. The climate will not stop changing because we put a price on carbon. And the sun will rise despite the cock going on strike to protest global warming.

Footnote: For a deeper understanding of the atmospheric physics relating to CO2 and climate, I have done a guide and synopsis of Murry Salby’s latest textbook on the subject:  Fearless Physics from Dr. Salby

Escape the Green Box

 

Steve Goreham has published a new primer that unmasks “sustainable development” fallacies. Outside the Green Box is previewed at Master Resource. Excerpts below:

Green Doctrine of Sustainable Development

Modern society is beset by green ideology, possibly the greatest delusion in recent history. Schools teach children that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, that polar bears are endangered, that population growth is harmful, that pesticides cause cancer, that energy use is destroying the environment, that warm climate is bad for humanity, and that crude oil is all but exhausted. Further, we can save the planet if we change our light bulbs, plant a tree, forego eating meat, and drive a Prius.

Green ideology is embodied in the doctrine of environmental sustainable development. Sustainable development contends that the growth in human population, production, consumption, and energy use over the last 200 years is “unsustainable.” For 30 years, proponents of sustainable development have warned that without radical changes to modern society, our planet’s environment will be destroyed, with the resultant decline of human civilization. To avoid the coming catastrophe, companies are told that they must adopt sustainable business practices

Climate Change Ideology

Over the last 30 years, climate change ideology became the core of sustainable development and the green movement. Most scientific organizations, most leading universities, most of the Fortune 500 companies, faith-based organizations, and the majority of the news media have publicly endorsed this theory.

Climatists call carbon dioxide a “dirty pollutant,” call coal trains “death trains,” and brand those who don’t accept the ideology “climate deniers.” Thousands of energy and climate laws across hundreds of nations aim to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation, industry, agriculture, and even light bulbs.

But from Chapter 5, scientific data shows that natural forces, not human emissions, dominate Earth’s climate. Water vapor, not carbon dioxide or methane, is Earth’s dominant greenhouse gas. Human industry contributes less than two percent to the greenhouse effect. Earth’s temperatures 1,000 years ago were naturally warmer than today and have been gently cooling over the last 8,000 years.

Contrary to warnings, history shows that today’s storms, floods, and droughts are neither more frequent nor more intense than in past centuries. According to satellite data, surface temperatures show no significant warming over the last eighteen years, evidence that the world’s climate models are in error.

Summary

Much of government policy, academic thought, and public opinion stands on fears created and promulgated by environmental sustainable development. The philosophy that humans are too many, too polluting, climate destroying, and profligate wasters of natural resources holds today’s society in a powerful psychological grip. Thousands of energy and environmental laws are justified on these misconceptions.

Energy consumption is not a villain. Nations that consume the most energy per person discharge the lowest level of air and water pollutants per person. Low-cost energy provides economic growth and generates capital for pollution control. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that increased levels of CO2 result in faster and larger plant growth. The recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is actually greening the Earth.

Steve Goreham is a speaker, author, and researcher of environmental issues and public policy. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS/MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. More at his website stevegoreham.com.  For example, he provides a synopsis of Climate Facts including these topics:

Temperature in Perspective
The Greenhouse Effect
Icecap Melting and Sea Level Rise?
Stronger Hurricanes and Storms?
Droughts and Floods?
Polar Bear Extinction?
Heat Waves?

The Sky is not our limit.

Climate Confusion and Clarity

Christelle Lagace-Babim, left, and Elise Lagace walk along Rue Jacques-Cartier Friday, after checking out their home in Gatineau, Que., as significant rainfall continues to cause flooding. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A lot of verbage about global warming/climate change is worse than useless because the parties are using terms whose meaning is vague or equivocal, and thus no meaningful interaction occurs. Alarmists/activists claim climate change is real, man-made, and dangerous (Obama tweet). Skeptics/doubters respond that climate is always changing, has been both warmer and cooler in the past, long before humans did anything.

In addition, climate confusion causes statements like this one recently in the CBC: Gatineau flooding ‘tip of the iceberg,’ climate scientist warns

Swollen rivers and streams have threatened hundreds of homes in the Outaouais thanks to recent heavy rainfall — three times the normal amount since April 1.

University of Ottawa climate scientist Paul Beckwith says that’s due to a changing climate, and says we’re seeing its effects “on a day-to-day basis” in weather patterns.

Beckwith points to an increase in extreme weather events across North America as proof. “We’ve changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and the oceans with our greenhouse gases, so we’re seeing the consequences of this now,” he added. “It’s only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.”

Such reports mislead people to think of the climate acting like some kind of agent causing the weather to change in ways unfavorable to us. That confuses the relation between climate and weather, as we shall see below.

What is “Weather”?

Fortunately in science things get defined not theoretically but by observations and measurements. In science, weather is defined as the behavior we measure on a daily basis. In fact today’s automated weather equipment monitors the weather constantly. Let us consider an operational definition of weather to be the variables for which data is reported into global databases.

Each National Weather Service has its own additional particulars they track, but the common global definition of weather can be seen in the defined elements from the ECA&D weather data dictionary (European Climate Assessment & Dataset)

Weather Measurement Elements

What is weather: Eight variables are measured globally–Sunshine, Sea Level Pressure, Humidity, Cloud cover, Wind, Precipitation, Snow Depth, Temperature. With multiple measures of some variables, weather datasets consist of 13 common elements.

Sunshine (SS) in units of 0.1 hour. Total daily SS plus measures of hours for intervals during the day.

Sea Level Pressure (PP) in units of 0.1hPa Daily average PP plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.

Humidity (HU) in units of 1% of relative humidity. Daily average HU plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.

Cloud Cover (CC) in oktas (0 being clear sky, 8 being completely overcast). Daily average CC plus measures for specific times and parts of the day.

Wind Direction (DD) in degrees azimuth for the wind source (that is, a southerly wind comes from 180 degrees.) Daily average DD plus measures for different times of day, and the direction of maximum gust.

Wind Speed (FG) in units of 0.1 m/s. Daily average FG plus measures for speeds at different times and parts of the day.

Wind Gust (FX) in units of 0.1m/s.  Daily average FX (24 hourly gusts) plus measures for maximums of different durations. (2 to 15 minutes).

Precipitation Amount (RR) in units of 0.1 mm. Daily total RR plus measures of amounts for intervals during the day.

Maximum Hourly Precipitation (MXR) in units of 0.1 mm. MXR for the day plus measures of amounts for intervals during the day.

Snow Depth (SD) in units of 1 cm. Mean daily SD plus measures of depths for intervals during the day.

Mean Temperature (TG) in units of 0.1C. Daily TG plus measures of various ways of calculating TG.

Minimum Temperature (TN) in units of 0.1C. Daily TN plus measures for different times and parts of the day.

Maximum Temperature (TX) in units of 0.1C. Daily TX plus measures for different times and parts of the day.

What is “Climate”?

Change in Frequency of Frost Days in Europe in the Period 1976-2006

To sort out the confusion between “weather” and “climate”, we can also look at how climate is measured and thereby defined. From the same ECA&D source is a climate indices database which is termed Indices of Extremes.

There is one datafile for each index. Each datafile gives information for all available stations in the ECA&D database. The indices are aggregated over the year, the winter-half (ONDJFM), the summer-half (AMJJAS), winter (DJF), spring (MAM), summer (JJA), autumn (SON) and each of the calendar months.

There are 74 indices grouped into twelve categories corresponding with different aspects of climate change. Some categories come directly from weather elements, while others are derivations.

The 74 indices are statistics built upon weather data, adding patterns of interest to humans. For example, temperature is greatly emphasized by adding various concerns with heat and cold on top of temperature records. Also, a compound category focuses on temperature and precipitation combinations and their favorability to humans.

What is Climate: Categories and Indices

Note that climate is operationally defined as statistical patterns of weather data. Some indices are simply averages of daily weather over long term periods. By convention, a 30-year average is used to define a climate baseline for a location.

Other climate indices are based on value judgments according to human interests. For example, heat and cold include many examples like growing days, good tourism days, heating degree days. In fact, a feature of climate is the imposition of human expectations upon nature, other examples being the sunshine indices Mostly Sunny and Mostly Cloudy days.

Andrew John Herbertson, a British geographer and Professor at Oxford, wrote in a textbook from 1901:

By climate we mean the average weather as ascertained by many years’ observations. Climate also takes into account the extreme weather experienced during that period. Climate is what on an average we may expect, weather is what we actually get.

Mark Twain, who is often credited with that last sentence, actually said:

Climate lasts all the time and weather only a few days.

The point is, weather consists of events occurring in real time, while climate is a statistical artifact. Weather is like a baseball player swinging in the batter’s box, climate is his batting average, RBIs, bases on balls, etc.

What is “Climate Change”?

The usefulness of climate indices is suggested by the last category called compound, where temperature and precipitation patterns are combined. In fact those two factors are sufficient to define distinctive local climate zones..

Based on empirical observations, Köppen (1900) established a climate classification system which uses monthly temperature and precipitation to define boundaries of different climate types around the world. Since its inception, this system has been further developed (e.g. Köppen and Geiger, 1930; Stern et al., 2000) and widely used by geographers and climatologists around the world.

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Köppen climate zones as they appear in the 21st Century.

As an example, consider how the island of Hawaii looks with its climate zones indicated:

Note: This image comes from an interactive tool and uses a different color scheme than the global map above.  The table below shows the thresholds by which zones are defined.

Zones Zones Description Thresholds
A Tropical climates Tmin ≥ +18 °C
Af Tropical rain forest Pmin ≥ 60 mm
Am Tropical monsoon Pann ≥ 25(100 – Pmin) mm
As Tropical savannah with dry summer Pmin < 60 mm in summer
Aw Tropical savannah with dry winter Pmin < 60 mm in winter
B Dry climates Pann < 10 Pth
BW Desert (arid) Pann ≤ 5 Pth
BS Steppe (semi-arid) Pann > 5 Pth
C Mild temperate -3 °C < Tmin < +18 °C
Cs Mild temperate with dry summer Psmin < Pwmin, Pwmax > 3 Psmin, Psmin < 40 mm
Cw Mild temperate with dry winter Psmax > 10 Pwmin, Pwmin < Psmin
Cf Mild temperate, fully humid Not Cs or Cw
D Snow Tmin ≤ -3 °C
Ds Snow with dry summer Psmin < Pwmin, Pwmax > 3 Psmin, Psmin < 40 mm
Dw Snow with dry winter Psmax > 10 Pwmin, Pwmin < Psmin
Df Snow, fully humid Not Ds or Dw
E Polar Tmax < +10 °C
ET Tundra Tmax ≥ 0 °C
EF Frost Tmax < 0 °C

Köppen and Climate Change

The focus is on differentiating vegetation regimes, which result primarily from variations in temperature and precipitation over the seasons of the year. Now we have an interesting study that considers shifts in Köppen climate zones over time in order to identify changes in climate as practical and local/regional realities.  The paper is: Using the Köppen classification to quantify climate variation and change: An example for 1901–2010 By Deliang Chen and Hans Weiteng Chen Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Hans Chen has built an excellent interactive website (here): The purpose of this website is to share information about the Köppen climate classification, and provide data and high-resolution figures from the paper Chen and Chen, 2013:  For more details on Chen and Chen see the post: Data vs. Models 4: Climates Changing

Summary:  Climate Change Defined

Chen and Chen provide a data-based definition of “climate change”. Climate zones are defined by past temperature and precipitation ranges observed by humans. The weather datasets and climate indices inform us whether or not the patterns in a place are moving outside the norm for that location. Climate change appears as a shift in zonal boundaries so that one place starts to resemble a neighboring zone with a different classification.  The table above shows the defined zones and thresholds.

The Chen and Chen analysis shows that almost half of climates around the world will get a year of weather outside of their normal ranges. Getting a decade of abnormal weather is much rarer. True climate change would be a shift enduring over a 30 year period which has been observed in less than 10% of all climate zones.

Summary: The Myth of “Global” Climate Change

Climate is a term to describe a local or regional pattern of weather. There is a widely accepted system of classifying climates, based largely on distinctive seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation. Depending on how precisely you apply the criteria, there can be from 6 to 13 distinct zones just in South Africa, or 8 to 11 zones only in Hawaii.

Each climate over time experiences shifts toward warming or cooling, and wetter or drier periods. One example: Fully a third of US stations showed cooling since 1950 while the others warmed. It is nonsense to average all of that and call it “Global Warming” because the net is slightly positive. Only in the fevered imaginations of CO2 activists do all of these diverse places move together in a single march toward global warming.

For more on measurements and science see Data, Facts and Information

Footnote:

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This post was focused on the distinction between weather and climate, so extreme weather events were not discussed, since by definition such events are weather. Still the quote at the beginning shows that activists are working hard to attribute attention-grabbing events as proof of global warming/climate change.

Mike Hulme wrote a series of articles describing the unsuccessful effort to link extreme weather to climate change and said this:
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.

More at X-Weathermen are Back 

Climatists Wrong-Footed

Trolling: The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off, usually via the internet, using dialogue.

Update May 4 at the end

People may not have noticed that subtly, without fanfare, the climate battleground has shifted from the science to the policy. Like everyone else climatists were caught unawares by the election of US policymakers skeptical of the need to “fight climate change.”

But the surprising development is how activist tactics are still geared mainly to push on the claim of “settled science”, when that is not any more the focal point for the opposition. I don’t know who created the strategy for nominees, but in confirmation hearings, to a man and woman they all refrained from denying the science. Sanders and the other true-believing senators pressed hard to get heretical statements, but failed.

Now the activists have turned up the heat with science marches every weekend. Activists keep pushing on the science because their policy agenda is even less believable.

The marchers’ signs show they depend on three suppositions, like a three-legged stool:

  • Humans are making the planet warmer.
  • The warming is dangerous.
  • Government can stop it.

The first point is what alarmists claim is settled science, and where others have doubts about the data, the models and the theories. Expressing those doubts gets you labeled a denier. After years of alarmists refusing to debate that first point, they now want to talk about nothing else.  Apparently they think that only the first point matters; once that is admitted, everything else follows.

To their surprise, policymakers, and now even some journalists are shifting the ground to the other two wobbly legs, where the assertions have even less support.

A perceptive journalist writing for the LA Times sees how the game is changing.  Jonah Goldberg wrote yet another piece of independent thought coming from a previous uncritically warmist newsroom. Bret Stephens just trolled the left with his supposed climate change denialism. Excerpts below.

The most amusing show over the weekend was the collective case of the vapors across the liberal left establishment over Bret Stephens’ first column at the New York Times on the perils of certainty, particularly on the topic of climate change.

When someone says that he is not denying climate change and concedes that it is real, that is “classic climate change denialism”? Huh. What words do we have left for people who call the whole thing a “hoax”? In civil debates, when someone concedes much of your premise, the proper reaction is not to scream “liar!” or “heretic!”

And that brings me to the second, and more amusing, thing about all of this. You’ve been trolled, people.

As a fellow columnist, I doff my cap to you, sir.

It wasn’t hard to trick liberals into going off-sides. In the past, Stephens was a more acid-tongued critic of climate change research. But the column in question was a model of restraint that, when read by non-ideologues and non-combatants, must seem utterly reasonable, even a tad banal. Stefan Rahmstorf, a prominent German climate scientist, wrote a lengthy, sanctimonious letter explaining why he was cancelling his subscription to the New York Times. Nothing in the letter addressed anything Stephens wrote in his column.

The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple found it hard to constrain his dismay. “May it suffice to say, however, that the many, many people who care passionately for the planet found it an exercise in climate-change denialism.”

Wemple’s a clever fellow. I’m sure he understands Stephens’ point about the dangers of certainty, particularly based on sophisticated mathematical models that have been proven wrong in the past.

What I think sailed past Wemple and so “many, many people” was Stephens’ subtler point about the sanctimonious condescension of people who claim to be motivated solely by their passionate care for the planet.

Stephens’ heresy here isn’t in denying climate change; it’s in refusing to concede that one group of people has a total monopoly on defining not just the problem but the acceptable responses to it. Such dissent is not a crime against science; it’s a threat to a guild. And the guild took the bait.

Update May 4

Bret Stephens published a new post today that digs into the policy failures, specifically biofuels with references to other shortcomings, such as emissions trading. Climate of Unintended Consequences

In other words, the three central claims made in the Department of Energy paper quoted at the top of this column were misleading or wrong. Factually wrong. Wrong for the environment. Wrong for taxpayers. Wrong for the allocation of government funding and scientific research. Wrong for our energy mix. Wrong politically: Whatever else we conclude about ethanol, the one thing that won’t soon go away is the biofuel lobby in Washington.

And wrong for the reputation of climate science.

In recent years, some climate activists — Al Gore notably among them — have owned up to their biofuels mistake. More recently, we’ve seen some acknowledgment of other errors, having more to do with policy than science.

Thus, today there’s a keener appreciation that cap-and-trade regimes such as Europe’s ambitious Emissions Trading System have been costly failures, with one study suggesting the E.T.S. had “limited benefits and embarrassing consequences” in terms of emissions — at an estimated cost to consumers of some $280 billion.

There’s also been some acknowledgment that Germany’s Energiewende — the uber-ambitious “energy turn” embarked upon by Angela Merkel in 2010 — has been less than a model for others. The country is producing record levels of energy from wind and solar power, but emissions are almost exactly what they were in 2009. Meanwhile, German households pay nearly the highest electricity bills in Europe, all for what amounts to an illusion of ecological virtue.

Still, what acknowledgment there’s been has generally been belated, grudging and rarely self-reflective. What’s missing is an understanding of the harm that can be done when do-something impulses and eco-cure boosterism become turbocharged by government power and subsidized business.

The lessons are legion but, more often than not, unlearned. We need to make policy choices based less on moral self-regard and more on attention to real-world results.

April Arctic Ice Beats Expectations

Residents view the first iceberg of the season as it passes the South Shore, also known as “Iceberg Alley,” near Ferryland, Newfoundland, Canada, April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jody Martin

The title of this post sounds contradictory to most of what the media is saying about Arctic ice being in a tailspin, setting records for low extents, etc. And reports of ice blocking Newfoundland also fly in the face of media claims.

I will let you in on a secret: Arctic Ocean ice is doing fine and well above the decadal average. The only place where ice is below normal is outside the Arctic Ocean, namely Bering and Okhotsk Seas in the Pacific. Claims of disappearing ice pertain not to the Arctic itself, but to marginal Pacific seas that will melt out anyway by September.

I noticed the pattern this April when it became obvious that including Bering and Okhotsk in the Arctic totals gives a misleading picture. For sure they are part of Northern Hemisphere (NH) total sea ice, but currently the Pacific is going its own way, not indicative of the sea ice in the Central and Atlantic Arctic.

April 2017 is now complete. Focusing on the Arctic apart from Pacific marginal seas, remarkably the month ends with the same extent as it began at 13M km2. The graph below shows an early fluctuation down, followed by later gains and a gentle descent. May begins with the Arctic seas showing a surplus of ~400k km2 above average.

While the Arctic ocean ice is persisting, Bering and Okhotsk extents have retreated ahead of schedule, as the graph below shows.  Presently Bering and Okhotsk combined are 50% of decadal average, down by 500k km2.

The distinctive Pacific pattern is evident in the images of changing ice extents this April.  First, see how ice in Bering and Okhotsk seas has retreated steadily this month.

 

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side ice has grown steadily.  Note the persistent ice blocking Newfoundland on the bottom right, and encasing Svalbard on the upper left.

 

The Chart below shows the traditional view of NH ice extents, which includes the Pacific seas together with the Arctic seas.  2017 is only slightly lower than average on this basis, despite a deficit of 500k km2 in Bering and Okhotsk, which obscures the ice surpluses elsewhere.  Comparisons with Sea Ice Index (SII) and 2007 are also shown.

Summary

The details are important to form a proper perception of any natural process, including dynamics of sea ice waxing and waning. On closer inspection, the appearance of declining Arctic sea ice is actually another after effect of the recent El Nino and Blob phenomena, and quite restricted to the Pacific marginal seas.

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, we have sightings and reports of ice surges along the coast of Newfoundland, such amounts not seen since the 1980s. Below an image of St. John’s harbour with tons of ice, provided by Ryan Simms.

 

And from Twillingate: “Basically it’s just an ocean of ice ahead of us.’ – Derrick Bath, Polar Venture

Derrick Bath’s Polar Venture has spent hours trying to make it through the ice near Twillingate. (Submitted by Danny Bath)

Climate Chaos

 

Foucault’s pendulum in the Panthéon, Paris

h/t tom0mason for inspiring this post, including his comment below

The Pendulum is Settled Science

I attended North Phoenix High School (Go Mustangs!) where students took their required physics class from a wild and crazy guy. Decades later alumni who don’t remember his name still reminisce about “the crazy science teacher with the bowling ball.”

To demonstrate the law of conservation of energy, he required each and every student to stand on a ladder in one corner of the classroom. Attached to a hook in the center of the rather high ceiling was a rope with a bowling ball on the other end. The student held the ball to his/her nose and then released it, being careful to hold still afterwards.

The 16 pound ball traveled majestically diagonally across the room and equally impressively returned along the same path. The proof of concept was established when the ball stopped before hitting your nose (though not by much).  In those days we learned to trust science and didn’t need to go out marching to signal some abstract virtue.

The equations for pendulums are centuries old and can predict the position of the ball at any point in time based on the mass of the object, length of the rope and starting position.

Pictured above is the currently operating Foucault pendulum that exactly follows these equations. While it had long been known that the Earth rotates, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment. Today, Foucault pendulums are popular displays in science museums and universities.

What About the Double Pendulum?

Trajectories of a double pendulum

Just today a comment by tom0mason at alerted me to the science demonstrated by the double compound pendulum, that is, a second pendulum attached to the ball of the first one. It consists entirely of two simple objects functioning as pendulums, only now each is influenced by the behavior of the other.

Lo and behold, you observe that a double pendulum in motion produces chaotic behavior. In a remarkable achievement, complex equations have been developed that can and do predict the positions of the two balls over time, so in fact the movements are not truly chaotic, but with considerable effort can be determined. The equations and descriptions are at Wikipedia Double Pendulum

Long exposure of double pendulum exhibiting chaotic motion (tracked with an LED)

But here is the kicker, as described in tomomason’s comment:

If you arrive to observe the double pendulum at an arbitrary time after the motion has started from an unknown condition (unknown height, initial force, etc) you will be very taxed mathematically to predict where in space the pendulum will move to next, on a second to second basis. Indeed it would take considerable time and many iterative calculations (preferably on a super-computer) to be able to perform this feat. And all this on a very basic system of known elementary mechanics.

And What about the Climate?

This is a simple example of chaotic motion and its unpredictability. How predictable is our climate with so many variables and feedbacks, some known some unknown? Consider that this planet’s weather/climate system is chaotic in nature with many thousands (millions?) of loosely coupled variables and dependencies, and many of these variables have very complex feedback features within them.

Hurricane Gladys, photographed from orbit by Apollo 7 in 1968 (Photo: NASA)

Summary

To quote the IPCC:

The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.

A recent National Review article draws the implications:
The range of predicted future warming is enormous — apocalyptism is unwarranted.

But as the IPCC emphasizes, the range for future projections remains enormous. The central question is “climate sensitivity” — the amount of warming that accompanies a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As of its Fifth Assessment Report in 2013, the IPCC could estimate only that this sensitivity is somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5°C. Nor is science narrowing that range. The 2013 assessment actually widened it on the low end, from a 2.0–4.5°C range in the prior assessment. And remember, for any specific level of warming, forecasts vary widely on the subsequent environmental and economic implications.

For now, though, navigating the climate debate will require translating the phrase “climate denier” to mean “anyone unsympathetic to the most aggressive activists’ claims.” This apparently includes anyone who acknowledges meaningful uncertainty in climate models, adopts a less-than-catastrophic outlook about the consequences of future warming, or opposes any facet of the activist policy agenda. The activists will be identifiable as the small group continuing to shout “Denier!” The “deniers” will be identifiable as everyone else.

Update May 2

Esteemed climate scientist Richard Lindzen ends a very fine recent presentation (here) with this description of the climate system:

I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.

Flow Diagram for Climate Modeling, Showing Feedback Loops