Lord Monckton Fires Back at Climatist Hit Job

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The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

H/T to Climate Depot for reporting that Lord Monckton has issued an extensive rebuttal as well as threatening legal action against a libelous article calling him a “liar” multiple times. The entire document is enjoyable to read, given his English fluency and writing style. In this post I will focus on several substantial points regarding climate science, whereby consensus suppositions are falsified in the response.
The rebuttal is Letter before claim in libel

Overview

From Monckton to the defendants’ editor: (in italics with my bolds)

Sir, – I have received two offensive emails – dated 3 April and 27 May 2021 – from one S. Bishop, who says he is writing an article, inferentially about global warming and my research interest therein. Bishop appears intent on seeking to maintain that I have changed my position from skepticism of global warming to acceptance of it, even though I have expressly told that it is the other way about.

The tactic of falsely alleging that those who had disagreed with the orthodoxy have come to agree with it after all (when in my case precisely the reverse is true) is one that I have seen before. The last time this happened, a silly article was published in a national newspaper. I complained. The “journalist” in question – actually a far-Left activist – was deservedly dismissed.

Therefore, I thought it fair to alert you at once to Bishop’s dishonest attempt to deploy the same technique of artful but wilful misrepresentation, inferentially as part of a doomed attempt to convey the false impression that there is no legitimate scientific debate about the extent of the anthropogenic contribution to global warming, or about the expected impacts of warmer weather worldwide.

Discussion

There follows description of instances where S. Bishop made statements that misrepresent what he himself knew contrary to what he wrote. Then Monckton copies his response to S. Bishop’s memo:

One of the nasty tactics used by climate Communists is the attempt to suggest that skeptics have changed their stance from skepticism to acceptance of the Party Line. I once had to have a journalist fired from a national newspaper for writing a silly piece suggesting what you are now unpleasantly and inaccurately suggesting.

In my case, it is precisely the other way about. At first I went along with the Party Line: but then, in 2006, the CEO of a boutique hedge-fund in London asked me to investigate the global warming question. When I did so, I found that the world had been misled. I reported accordingly, and a summary of my 80-page report eventually appeared in a national newspaper, drawing hundreds of thousands of hits in just two hours (after which the newspaper’s website crashed). That report, and all subsequent articles, papers and speeches by me, acknowledged what is self-evident – namely, that returning to the atmosphere some of the CO2 that was formerly present there (7000 ppmv in the Neoproterozoic, 420 ppmv today) might be expected to cause some warming, if one waited long enough. The question is not whether or not there has been or will be warming: there has been, and there will be. The question is how much – or, rather, how little.

Monckton then dismisses item by item the assertions of lies. Many of them are rhetorical tricks, such as taking statements out of the historical context, or hiding remarks made to audiences; some so-called “lies” involve changing the wording of what Monckton wrote or said.

The Essential Dichotomies: Facts on the Ground which Climatists Deny

Polar Bears Are Thriving

In 2016 Monckton had told a Montana audience: ‘So you don’t have to worry about the cuddly polar bears. They are going to be just fine.”

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Monckton2aI had made my remarks in the context of Al Gore’s movie, in which he had said polar bears were drowning due to loss of ice in the Beaufort Sea. However, in the period immediately before he began making his movie – the period during which he said polar bears had died – sea-ice concentration in the Beaufort Sea had increased (above).

Greenland Ice Sheet is Not Melting

In New Zealand, Monckton claimed: “In Greenland, the ice did not melt 8000 years ago and it isn’t melting today.”

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From 1991-2003, above 1500 the ice in Greenland had thickened by 2 feet. There had been little change below 1500 m (above).

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Over the past 8000 years, temperature at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet has fallen by 1.5 degrees, notwithstanding CO2 concentration increasing from 260 ppmv to 420 ppmv today. Once again the defendants have sought to use evidence, from one side of the debate only, some of it unavailable at the time when I spoke.

Temperature Trends Have Been Inflated by Adjustments to the Terrestrial Temperature Dataset

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The above graph shows how many times the GISS global mean surface temperature anomaly for January 1910 and January 2000 were altered between May 2008 and May 2021, with the overall effect of making it appear that the warming between the two dates was close to 50% greater than the original measurements had suggested.

Great Barrier Reef Not Threatened by Global Warming

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The graph above shows the sea surface temperatures in the Great Barrier Reef. It shows no trend for almost 30 years – the period before I made the speech in question. I cannot fairly be accused of lying about trends that may have occurred after I spoke.

Extreme Heat Was a Problem Back in the 1920s and 30s

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Hansen Wildly Exaggerated Future Warming in His 1988 US Senate Testimony

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Hansen’s graph was indeed exaggerated (see above). In 1988, in now-notorious testimony before the U.S. Senate, he predicted global warming at a rate equivalent to 3.2 C° per century (broadly equivalent to equilibrium sensitivity to doubled CO2) on a business-as-usual emissions scenario (and it is the business-as-usual emissions scenario that has happened since). However, anthropogenic warming has proven to be little more than a third of his predicted business-as-usual rate (red curve and trend above). Indeed, it is below even the unrealized scenario (green) in which the world was supposed to cease all emissions of CO2 from 2000 onwards (it did no such thing). The trend in observed warming is overlaid on Hansen’s red, yellow and green scenarios in blue. The anthropogenic 70% fraction (Wu et al., 2019) of the observed warming is shown in purple.

Today is Not Warmer than Medieval Times

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Temperatures in the mediaeval climate optimum were at least as warm as, and usually warmer than, the present. The fact that grapes now grow in very small quantities in lowland Scotland and in the Hebrides, influenced by the Gulf Stream, merely emphasize that temperatures are beginning to recover towards those attained in the mediaeval climate optimum, when grapes were even grown in the Great Glen, a part of the Highlands where it would be very difficult to grow grapes in today’s colder conditions.

Globe No Longer Warming

There has now been no global warming for about six years. The short bursts of warming that occur every five and a half years or so are associated with the naturally-occurring positive cycles of the el Nino Southern Oscillation, which appears to be driven chiefly by crustal deformation in the tropical Eastern Pacific, where the tectonic subduction rate is noticeably greater than anywhere else. The deformation is caused by local solar-system celestial mechanics, and the resultant warming comes from below, through subocean volcanism along the subduction line. It is then distributed worldwide via the thermohaline circulation, which, contrary to some silly reports, cannot cease to operate while the wind blows and the Earth rotates.

My image and comment:

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The animation is an update of a previous analysis from Dr. Murry Salby. These graphs use Hadcrut4 and include the 2016 El Nino warming event. The exhibit shows since 1947 GMT warmed by 0.8 C, from 13.9 to 14.7, as estimated by Hadcrut4. This resulted from three natural warming events involving ocean cycles. The most recent rise 2013-16 lifted temperatures by 0.2C. Previously the 1997-98 El Nino produced a plateau increase of 0.4C. Before that, a rise from 1977-81 added 0.2C to start the warming since 1947.

Importantly, the theory of human-caused global warming asserts that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere changes the baseline and causes systemic warming in our climate. On the contrary, all of the warming since 1947 was episodic, coming from three brief events associated with oceanic cycles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Climate Models Fail to Replicate the North Atlantic

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A recent paper employed expert statistical analysis to prove that currently climate models fail to reproduce fluctuations of sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, a key region affecting global weather and climate.  H/T to David Whitehouse at GWPF for posting a revew of the paper.  I agree with him that the analysis looks solid and the findings robust.  However, as I will show below, neither Whitehouse nor the paper explicitly drew the most important implication.

At GWPF, Whitehouse writes Climate models fail in key test region (in italics with my bolds):

A new paper by Timothy DelSole of George Mason University and Michael Tippett of Columbia University looks into this by attempting to quantify the consistency between climate models and observations using a novel statistical approach. It involves using a multivariate statistical framework whose usefulness has been demonstrated in other fields such as economics and statistics. Technically, they are asking if two time series such as observations and climate model output come from the same statistical source.

To do this they looked at the surface temperature of the North Atlantic which is variable over decadal timescales. The reason for this variability is disputed, it could be related to human-induced climate change or natural variability. If it is internal variability but falsely accredited to human influences then it could lead over estimates of climate sensitivity. There is also the view that the variability is due to anthropogenic aerosols with internal variability playing a weak role but it has been found that models that use external forcing produce inconsistencies in such things as the pattern of temperature and ocean salinity. These things considered it’s important to investigate if climate models are doing well in accounting for variability in the region as the North Atlantic is often used as a test of a climate model’s capability.

The researchers found that when compared to observations, almost every CMIP5 model fails, no matter whether the multidecadal variability is assumed to be forced or internal. They also found institutional bias in that output from the same model, or from models from the same institution, tended to be clustered together, and in many cases differ significantly from other clusters produced by other institutions. Overall only a few climate models out of three dozen considered were found to be consistent with the observations.

The paper is Comparing Climate Time Series. Part II: A Multivariate Test by DelSole and Tippett.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

We now apply our test to compare North Atlantic sea surface temperature (NASST) variability between models and observations. In particular, we focus on comparing multi-year internal variability. The question arises as to how to extract internal variability from observations. There is considerable debate about the magnitude of forced variability in this region, particularly the contribution due to anthropogenic aerosols (Booth et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2013). Accordingly, we consider two possibilities: that the forced response is well represented by (1) a second-order polynomial or (2) a ninth-order polynomial over 1854-2018. These two assumptions will be justified shortly.

If NASST were represented on a typical 1◦ × 1◦ grid, then the number of grid cells would far exceed the available sample size. Accordingly, some form of dimension reduction is necessary. Given our focus on multi-year predictability, we consider only large-scale patterns. Accordingly, we project annual-mean NASST onto the leading eigenvectors of the Laplacian over the Atlantic between 0 0 60◦N. These eigenvectors form an orthogonal set of patterns that can be ordered by a measure of length  scale from largest to smallest.

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Figure 1. Laplacian eigenvectors 1,2,3,4,5,6 over the North Atlantic between the equator and 60◦N,  where dark red and dark blue indicate extreme positive and negative values, respectively

The first six Laplacian eigenvectors are shown in fig. 1 (these were computed by the method of DelSole and Tippett, 2015). The first eigenvector is spatially uniform. Projecting data onto the first Laplacian eigenvector is equivalent to taking the area-weighted average in the basin. In the case of SST, the time series for the first Laplacian eigenvector is merely an AMV index (AMV stands for “Atlantic Multidecadal Variability”). The second and third eigenvectors are dipoles that measure the large-scale gradient across the basin. Subsequent eigenvectors capture smaller scale patterns.  For model data, we use pre-industrial control simulations of SST from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5 Taylor et al., 2012). Control simulations use forcings that repeat year after year. As a result, interannual variability in control simulations come from internal dynamical mechanisms, not from external forcing.

DelSole Tippett fig2Figure 2. AMV index from ERSSTv5 (thin grey), and polynomial fits to a second-order (thick black) and ninth-order (red) polynomial.

For observational data, we use version 5 of the Extended Reconstructed SST dataset (ERSSTv5 Huang et al., 2017). We consider only the 165-year period 1854-2018. We first focus on time series for the first Laplacian eigenvector, which we call the AMV index. The corresponding least squares fit to second- and ninth-order polynomials in time are shown in fig. 2. The second-order polynomial captures the secular trend toward warmer temperatures but otherwise has weak multidecadal variability. In contrast, the ninth-order polynomial captures both the secular trend and multidecadal variability. There is no consensus as to whether this multidecadal variability is internal or forced. 

DelSole Tippett fig4

Figure 4. Deviance between ERSSTv5 1854-1935 and 82-year segments from 36 CMIP5 pre-industrial control simulations. Also shown is the deviance between ERSSTv5 1854-1935 and ERSSTv5 1937-2018 (first item on x-axis). The black and red curves show, respectively, results after removing a second- and ninth-order polynomial in time over 1854-2018 before evaluating the deviance. The models have been ordered on the x-axis from smallest to largest deviance after removing a second-order polynomial in time.

Conclusion:

The test was illustrated by using it to compare annual mean North Atlantic SST variability in models and observations. When compared to observations, almost every CMIP5 model differs significantly from ERSST. This conclusion holds regardless of whether a second- or ninth-order polynomial in time is regressed out. Thus, our conclusion does not depend on whether multidecadal NASST variability is assumed to be forced or internal. By applying a hierarchical clustering technique, we showed that time series from the same model, or from models from the same institution, tend to be clustered together, and in many cases differ significantly from other clusters. Our results are consistent with previous claims (Pennell and Reichler, 2011; Knutti et al., 2013) that the effective number of independent models is smaller than the actual number of models in a multi-model ensemble.

The Elephant in the Room

Now let’s consider the interpretation reached by model builders after failing to match observations of Atlantic Multidecadal Variability.  As an example consider INMCM4, whose results deviated greatly from the ERSST5 dataset.  In 2018, Evgeny Volodin and Andrey Gritsun published Simulation of observed climate changes in 1850–2014 with climate model INM-CM5.   Included in those simulations is a report of their attempts to replicate North Atlantic SSTs.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

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Figure 4 The 5-year mean AMO index (K) for ERSSTv4 data (thick solid black); model mean (thick solid red). Dashed thin lines represent data from individual model runs. Colors correspond to individual runs as in Fig. 1.

Keeping in mind the argument that the GMST slowdown in the beginning of the 21st century could be due to the internal variability of the climate system, let us look at the behavior of the AMO and PDO climate indices. Here we calculated the AMO index in the usual way, as the SST anomaly in the Atlantic at latitudinal band 0–60∘ N minus the anomaly of the GMST. The model and observed 5-year mean AMO index time series are presented in Fig. 4. The well-known oscillation with a period of 60–70 years can be clearly seen in the observations. Among the model runs, only one (dashed purple line) shows oscillation with a period of about 70 years, but without significant maximum near year 2000. In other model runs there is no distinct oscillation with a period of 60–70 years but a period of 20–40 years prevails. As a result none of the seven model trajectories reproduces the behavior of the observed AMO index after year 1950 (including its warm phase at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries).

One can conclude that anthropogenic forcing is unable to produce any significant impact on the AMO dynamics as its index averaged over seven realization stays around zero within one sigma interval (0.08). Consequently, the AMO dynamics are controlled by the internal variability of the climate system and cannot be predicted in historic experiments. On the other hand, the model can correctly predict GMST changes in 1980–2014 having the wrong phase of the AMO (blue, yellow, orange lines in Figs. 1 and 4).

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Figure 1 The 5-year mean GMST (K) anomaly with respect to 1850–1899 for HadCRUTv4 (thick solid black); model mean (thick solid red). Dashed thin lines represent data from individual model runs: 1 – purple, 2 – dark blue, 3 – blue, 4 – green, 5 – yellow, 6 – orange, 7 – magenta. In this and the next figures numbers on the time axis indicate the first year of the 5-year mean.

The Bottom Line

Since the models incorporate AGW in the form of CO2 sensitivity, they are unable to replicate Atlantic Multidecadal Variability.  Thus, the logical conclusion is that variability of North Atlantic SSTs is an internal, natural climate factor.

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The Greatest Untold Environmental Success Story

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H/T to Daily Mail for reporting on this study in their article–Warming effect of greenhouse gases ‘has been overestimated’: Ice samples suggest pre-industrial air pollution was WORSE than we thought, and future temperatures will rise more slowly. Excerpts further on, but first I want to comment that Daily Mail missed out on a broader environmental story, where humans are the heroes rather than villains.

My title is based on the researchers’ conclusions confirming that humans deserve more credit than the blame usually dished out for the Modern Warm Period and ending of the Little Ice Age. The money quote from the study itself:

We show that BC (Black Carbon) deposition fluxes in most Antarctic ice cores were roughly constant from 1750 CE to the PD, despite the fact that other anthropogenic emissions—i.e., fossil fuel and biofuel emissions—increased markedly in the SH over the past century (21). This unexpected result can be explained by a large human-induced reduction in wildfire over the same period, as suggested by the fire modeling that we developed independently of the ice core records. The reduced biomass burning emissions largely compensated for the increase in BC emissions from fossil fuel and biofuels.

Thus, by focusing on soot (Black Carbon), researchers were able to compare historical periods when natural, uncontrolled biomass burning dominated, with periods when humans brought biomass burning under control and increasingly sourced their energy instead from underground: first coal, then petroleum and later gas. By cleaning the air of soot, humans removed a major climate coolant which allowed the sun to rewarm the planet. And technological improvements made the burning of coal, oil and gas much cleaner than biomass burning.

Daily Mail Article:

‘Soot deposited in glacier ice directly reflects past atmospheric concentrations so well-dated ice cores provide the most reliable long-term records,’ explained hydrologist Joseph McConnell of the Desert Research Institute in Nevada.

The researchers were surprised to find that the pre-industrial (here defined as 1750–1780) soot levels were considerably higher than was long thought.

‘While most studies have assumed less fire took place in the preindustrial era, the ice cores suggested a much fierier past, at least in the Southern Hemisphere,’ said atmospheric chemist Loretta Mickley, also of Harvard University.

Both the ice core data and the models conclude that soot levels were abundant before the industrial era and remained relatively constant across the 20th century.

As land use changed — and fire activity decreased — emissions from industry increased instead, the models suggest.

The study itself is  Liu et al,  Improved estimates of preindustrial biomass burning reduce the magnitude of aerosol climate forcing in the Southern Hemisphere.  Excerpts in italics wth my bolds.

Abstract

Fire plays a pivotal role in shaping terrestrial ecosystems and the chemical composition of the atmosphere and thus influences Earth’s climate. The trend and magnitude of fire activity over the past few centuries are controversial, which hinders understanding of preindustrial to present-day aerosol radiative forcing.

Here, we present evidence from records of 14 Antarctic ice cores and 1 central Andean ice core, suggesting that historical fire activity in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) exceeded present-day levels. To understand this observation, we use a global fire model to show that overall SH fire emissions could have declined by 30% over the 20th century, possibly because of the rapid expansion of land use for agriculture and animal production in middle to high latitudes.

Radiative forcing calculations suggest that the decreasing trend in SH fire emissions over the past century largely compensates for the cooling effect of increasing aerosols from fossil fuel and biofuel sources.

Introduction

Both climate variability and human activity drive changes in wildfire frequency and magnitude. During the past millennium, the human imprint on wildfire has become increasingly important because of landscape fragmentation through land use and, more recently, through large-scale active fire suppression

For the time scale relevant to climate change in the industrial era, a key uncertainty is where and to what extent human activity has altered fire activity

 As a major source of fire ignition, humans use fire for land clearance, thus introducing fire to areas that are unlikely to burn naturally, such as tropical rainforests or peatlands.  In contrast, recent analyses have suggested that anthropogenic land cover change and landscape fragmentation significantly reduce fire in savannas by affecting fuel load and fire spread, and the fire activity over human-managed land is lower than that under natural conditions.  For example, the global burned area observed by satellite decreased 24% over the past two decades, mainly driven by agricultural expansion and intensification

Before the satellite era, regional and global fire trends have been reconstructed using several types of proxy records, such as charcoal from lake sediments, fire-scarred tree rings, and chemical impurities or trace gases preserved in ice cores. However, large discrepancies remain among different records, and there is an especially large uncertainty in the trend of fire emissions over the past two centuries. On the global scale, the use of fossil fuel and biofuels has increased and become the major source of carbonaceous aerosols, methane, ethane, and carbon monoxide (CO) in the present day (PD), which may confound interpretation of fire activity from these proxies in ice cores. Chemical transport models considering these different sources are therefore needed for the interpretation of ice core records.

Dynamic global vegetation models have been used to simulate historical fire emissions. However, different models demonstrate quite different trends of fire activity from the late preindustrial (PI) Holocene to the PD, mainly because of divergent assumptions regarding the response of fire to human demographic growth and to changes in land use and land cover.

Discussion

Large uncertainty in the PI aerosol loading thus results from uncertainty in PI fire emissions. Knowledge of PI aerosol loading is, however, a key for global climate assessments that consider aerosol forcing. This forcing typically quantifies the PD aerosol effect on radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), relative to the aerosol effect in the PI (1750 or 1850 CE). Biomass burning emits both light-absorbing black carbon (BC) and light-scattering organic carbon (OC) aerosols, thus directly influencing the radiative balance via aerosol-radiation interactions. Physically and chemically aged smoke particles also serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), consequently altering cloud albedo and indirectly affecting the radiative balance via aerosol-cloud interactions. In addition, the cloud albedo forcing of other emissions, such as fossil fuel and biofuel emissions, is highly nonlinear and largely depends on the CCN concentration of the PI baseline, which is, in turn, determined by biomass burning in the PI. A recent work by Hamilton et al. suggests that a revised PI biomass burning emission scenario that is consistent with Northern Hemisphere ice core records can reduce the calculated mean global cloud albedo forcing magnitude by 35%, compared to the estimate using emissions prescribed in the Sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison (CMIP6).

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Figure 5A shows the time series of the cloud albedo forcing since 1750 owing to changes in both anthropogenic and biomass burning emissions. The shaded area represents the estimated uncertainty considering the error propagation from the variabilities in the input of emissions and meteorology. Simulation with the LPJ-LMfire emissions yields a less negative cloud albedo forcing than that with the BB4CMIP emissions. For the year 2000, the simulation with LPJ-LMfire predicts a mean cloud albedo forcing of −0.33 W m−2 for the SH, compared with a value of −0.52 W m−2 using the BB4CMIP emissions. These results indicate that cloud albedo forcing in the SH is very sensitive to the change in biomass burning emissions. The difference between BB4CMIP and LPJ-LMfire biomass burning emissions can also influence estimates of the PI CCN number concentration in the SH (fig. S7), thus changing the baseline of climate assessments. Under the relatively clean conditions of the PI SH, changes in the CCN number concentration have a greater impact on cloud albedo forcing than they would under the more polluted conditions of the Northern Hemisphere (fig. S8).

Figure 5B depicts the values of direct radiative forcing due to aerosol-radiation interactions calculated for total aerosol (i.e., including biomass burning, fossil fuel, and biofuel emissions) using different biomass burning emission inventories. To separate the contributions of fossil fuel and biofuel versus biomass burning aerosols, we also show the direct radiative forcing of anthropogenic emissions only (Fig. 5B). The increase of anthropogenic emissions alone from 1750 to 2000 has a direct radiative forcing of −0.05 W m−2. Over the same period, the increase in biomass burning emissions suggested by BB4CMIP has an additional negative forcing of −0.03 W m−2, and the total aerosol direct forcing is −0.08 W m−2. In contrast, the total aerosol direct radiative forcing calculated when using LPJ-LMfire emissions is just −0.02 W m−2, indicating that the positive forcing of decreasing biomass burning largely compensates the negative forcing of the increasing anthropogenic emissions. These results suggest that the difference in biomass burning emissions can dominate the magnitude of aerosol direct radiative forcing in the SH. Even so, the values of direct radiative forcing are generally one order of magnitude smaller than those of cloud albedo forcing, suggesting that the climate impact of biomass burning emissions is primarily caused by the cloud albedo effect.

In this study, we perform a comprehensive analysis of fire activity and its associated aerosol radiative forcing for the Southern Hemisphere (SH) over the past 250 years. We achieve this by combining an array of Antarctic ice core records of BC deposition, dynamic global vegetation and fire modeling, and atmospheric chemistry transport modeling. We show that BC deposition fluxes in most Antarctic ice cores were roughly constant from 1750 CE to the PD, despite the fact that other anthropogenic emissions—i.e., fossil fuel and biofuel emissions—increased markedly in the SH over the past century (21). This unexpected result can be explained by a large human-induced reduction in wildfire over the same period, as suggested by the fire modeling that we developed independently of the ice core records. The reduced biomass burning emissions largely compensated for the increase in BC emissions from fossil fuel and biofuels.

These records indicate that the CMIP6 biomass burning emissions widely applied to climate models may underestimate SH fire emissions in the late PI era and further affect estimates of contemporary aerosol radiative forcing. With the improved biomass burning emissions presented here, PI-to-PD aerosol forcing (direct radiative forcing + cloud albedo forcing) in the SH changes from −0.61 to −0.35 W m−2, indicating that large uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing may stem from uncertainties in the historical trend in biomass burning. Similarly, on the basis of ice core records from Greenland, Europe, and North America, Hamilton et al. (18) suggest that the reduction in biomass burning emissions may also occur in the Northern Hemisphere.

Accurate estimates of aerosol radiative forcing are also crucial for better understanding the transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to increasing CO2 and more accurate projection of future climate change (40). The negative aerosol radiative forcing can, in part, cancel out the positive forcing of increasing greenhouse gases and contribute to the uncertainty of total radiative forcing. An overly large aerosol cooling implies that models might overestimate TCR and ECS to reproduce historical temperature response. A recent study using one of the latest-generation CMIP6 climate models (E3SM) suggested that reducing both the magnitudes of negative aerosol radiative forcing and climate sensitivity yields a better agreement with the observed historical record of the surface temperature. Ten in 27 of the CMIP6 climate models have an ECS higher than the upper end of the range (1.5° to 4.5°C) estimated by previous generation models. These high ECS values, however, are not supported by paleoclimate constraints. Modest aerosol forcing and climate sensitivity values have also been suggested by other observationally based studies (44, 45). Our improved fire emissions may help to bridge the gap between aerosol forcing estimates from current climate model simulations and the constraints from observations.

 

 

Joakim Book Skewers Sacred Environmental Cows

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Joakim Book is an economist and social observer with a knack for pithy critiques of current governmental foibles.  He has pierced the fog of global warming/climate change hysteria in several articles, but his POV is best summarized in his AIER essay Climate Catastrophism and a Sensible Environmentalism.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  If you are familiar or not with his work, enjoy the read and do explore the links

Like many of us, I had an iconic and charismatic high school teacher who left a lasting impression. He used to say something memorable about asking for forgiveness: “Apologize if you’re in the wrong,” he said, “but double down if you’re not.”

As the pro-lockdown media poured its anger over the Great Barrington Declaration and other voices for human freedom and dignity have been silenced or viciously attacked, allow me to heed my high school teacher’s great advice ‒ and double down.

Much of the outrage over AIER’s sponsoring and hosting of the Declaration had nothing to do with what the scientists in it said, or even the topic of societal disagreement that it captures. Conspiratorial writers from Byline Times to The Guardian as well as editors at Wikipedia attacked AIER for a minor, inconsequential connection to the “evil” Koch Foundation, damning the Institute’s efforts in a laughable attempt of guilt-by-association.

As a carte blanche ‒ the ultimate “gotcha” in these unenlightened and confused times ‒ many of these outlets attacked AIER for “downplay[ing] the threats of the environmental crisis,” and linked specifically to a number of my climate change articles.

I don’t see how I have anything to apologize for regarding what’s in those articles ‒ so instead I’ll double down.

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How to do environmentalism, and how not to do environmentalism

A tragic dissonance has emerged in most popular climate arguments: a childlike refusal of accepting the lesser of two evils, of trading off one goal for another. The more ardently you push climate policies, it seems, the more strongly you hold romantic and unrealistic beliefs about how we can repent for our environmentalist sins. In impossibly short times, it is believed, we can effortlessly transition to 100% renewable energy; overhaul society completely, but at no cost whatsoever; and our restrictive climate policies will even boost our economies and create jobs!

You must presume that the world is a pretty sinister place if greedy capitalists, supposedly in it for the money, are all leaving these “obvious” opportunities on the table.

Never mind that renewables ‒ or more aptly called “unreliables” ‒ can’t power a modern civilization, that their intermittency problem is light years behind where its proponents assume it to be, that they’re not energy-dense enough to provide us with the energy and electricity we want. Without the amazing help of fossil fuels we couldn’t do half the things we’re currently doing ‒ living, eating, flourishing, helping, traveling (well…), producing.

None of that matters; we need to fix the climate, activists say, and quell CO2 emissions urgently. But while we’re at it we must also ensure equal gender representation on corporate boards, and shut down tax havens, and confiscate the rich’s productive assets. And naturally, end racial inequality, and most certainly regulate who may use a public bathroom carrying this or that gendered sign on it.

A cynic, perhaps reaching for a tin foil hat or the closest religious text to understand how this could possibly make sense, would conclude that catastrophists are not really addressing the problem they say they are. Alternatively, climate change can’t be that bad if the same Green New Deal bill that saves humanity is littered with minimum wage laws and paid maternity leave and a range of other social policies that just happen to align with what the hard-left has long wanted.

But we don’t have to be cynics to derive this conclusion: its proponents freely and openly say so. The British organization ‘Extinction Rebellion,’ whose infamous promoters chain themselves to trains and block London roads for media attention (or sling fake blood at buildings), happily confess that they do things that feel right rather than what would have material impact for their cause.

For years, people like Naomi Klein, the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, have said that their goal is to destroy capitalism ‒ and climate change just happens to be the best tool and best argument she has found. Simon Hannah for OpenDemocracy describes capitalism as having a “’parasitoid’ relationship to the Earth.” Capitalism, he writes, “is simply incompatible with social justice” and the climate change issue offers a vivid illustration of this.

If you’re concerned about these other societal problems ‒ which you could be as they are serious concerns in their own right ‒ then you’re also unavoidably telling me that you don’t think the climate crisis is existential or even that bad. After all, if you think climate change will kill millions or billions of people, why would you bother, for instance, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at a coronavirus the mortality of which is a rounding error compared to the apocalyptic climate future you see? (When faced with claims of mass death, always ask how exactly that’s supposed to happen as we’re safer, richer, better fed, and better protected against the powers of nature than ever before).

The worse and more unavoidable the damages from a changing planet are, the more acute does a rapid transition to nuclear power look, and the greater the merits of geoengineering ‒ for instance, artificially spewing out sulfur into the high atmosphere, mimicking large volcano eruptions of the past.

Michael Shellenberger, a pro-nuclear environmentalist, writes

The problem posed by the existence of nuclear energy was that it proved we didn’t need to radically reorganize society to solve environmental problems. We just needed to build nuclear plants instead of coal-burning ones. And so the New Left environmentalists attacked nuclear energy as somehow bad for the environment.

[S]olar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants. And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

Nuclear energy should be the environmentalist’s greatest gift: in one fell swoop we could make a serious dent in CO2 emissions. But of course, the more ardent an environmentalist you are, the more fiercely you oppose nuclear, going nuts from just voicing the option (“Nuclear is awful, filthy, unclean, dangerous, and unsafe!”).

It’s like all the previous arguments about how devastating human civilization is for the planet, how desperately urgent it is for us to take action, that we “listen to the scientists” as Greta Thunberg urges us, just go out the window. Well, not those scientists, explaining how modern nuclear plants can safely power our societies. Or how unreliables give us higher electricity prices and more CO2 emissions in our electricity mix. Or how modern engineering can tame the sea. Or how modern information technology, large-scale supply chains, and construction of storm shelters have reduced Bangladeshi deaths from cyclones by 99% in a generation, even though Bangladesh has a much larger population today.

Sensible and Balanced Approach

We should deal with the threats of climate change, but we should do so sensibly and in conjunction with other threats. Because one thing is dangerous and potentially harmful, every other dangerous and harmful thing doesn’t just go away. Do things like the World Health Organization recommends here, things that help against the baseline danger of nature as well as the increased risk from climate change:

The development of a 500 metre coastal mangrove forest zone will further reduce the vulnerability to cyclones, which is especially important given the likelihood of a rise in sea level and an increase in tropical storm frequency and strength due to climate change.

In a special climate issue of the Scientific American from last year, climate scientist Jennifer Francis was accounting for recent extreme weather events. After several long paragraphs outlining how bad the record-setting heat waves of the 2018 summer had been in the U.S., Japan, Scandinavia, and in the Arctic, she wrote, “Worldwide, thousands of people without air-conditioning died.” (emphasis added)

Yes, exactly! Scorching heat waves are bad for people, with or without climate change. A sensible, effective, and direct way to fix that… is ensuring that people have access to air-conditioning! Instead of aiming for some elaborate government-mandated degrowth platform, circular economies, carbon tax, or subsidies for solar and wind ‒ how about just giving people cash for air conditioners? That should be much more effective in preventing deaths from inhospitable elements, even if climate change makes nature a little bit less safe for humans.

Most changes to the climate can’t be rolled back

What’s scary about the climate impact of the CO2 we’ve already emitted into the atmosphere is that it lingers there for hundreds of years. Unless we find a way to remove it from the skies, much of what will happen to the planet over the next century or so is already “baked in.”  That also means that we must prepare for those changes rather than muck about with blunt tools like carbon taxes or symbolic bans on plastic bags.

So let’s abandon fanciful and fleetingly ineffective climate policies.

  • Let’s rapidly transition to the cleanest and most reliable electricity source we have (nuclear).
  • Let’s build protective dams along vulnerable coastlines, and experiment with ways to raise and reclaim land from the sea.
  • Most importantly ‒ and globally just ‒ let’s make sure the poorest of the poor can enrich themselves enough so that they too stand a chance against the inevitable changes that we know will come.
  • Let’s stop torturing ourselves with totalitarian policies against a virus we can’t control.
  • Let’s stop injuring poor countries with our obstacles to their goods and services, and their migrating people.

Those are climate policies that a sensible, pro-human environmentalist could get behind. Blunt and small-impact carbon taxes, Paris Agreements with next-to-no effect, or symbolic gestures like recycling ‒ not so much.

How’s that for doubling down?

Joakim Book is a writer, researcher and editor on all things money, finance and financial history. He holds a masters degree from the University of Oxford and has been a visiting scholar at the American Institute for Economic Research in 2018 and 2019.  His AIER essays are here.  As readers can see from the above article, Book creates many provocative capsules.  Some examples from his work:

Reshuffling who owns the instruments that finance the physical assets that emit the byproduct CO2 doesn’t change anything about their emissions: the CO2 enters the atmosphere whether you, me, Warren Buffett, or Russian oligarchs own the facilities.

Still, none of the mainstreaming structures we had built over decades turned the tide as much as did an iconic, blonde, white(!) girl with Asperger’s. . . Following her popular success, the most powerful institutions in our fiat world – the central banks – have not resisted the pull of this inane black hole. They “want to become the guardians of the environment as well” begins Simon Clark’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal, identifying an eerie trend of mission creep and central bank activism. They can’t hit their own targets very well, but still wish to dabble in everybody else’s.

Years ago I suggested that climate activists pool their funds and go into the (re)insurance business, specifically to address their concerns about financial climate risk. With a longer time horizon and lower required rate of return, you might even have an edge over financial incumbents.

Politics is a game that shifts the natural and inherent relationship between human beings. Ordinarily, people in their commercial or civic engagements have strong incentives to harmonize, to avoid conflict, streamline, make efficiency gains, and reach workable consensus; they have skin in the game, bear responsibility and costs for the (negative) outcomes of their actions, and often simply want to get on with their lives. Politicians, involved in their sinister games, disrupt this harmony.

We have four centuries of evidence that, over time and on net, the market process that enriches us gradually overtakes the government power that impoverishes us. But during this time, we can have long periods where government power makes life worse, over and above what innovation, growth, and individual ingenuity could marshal.

Media coverage inundates us with a constant flow of catastrophes from one part or the world or another, while overlooking the great non-events of the world. When super cyclones kill 128 people instead of the hundreds of thousands they used to or would have, we don’t even hear about them. When hundreds of thousands of people are lifted out of extreme poverty a day, every day, that’s no longer newsworthy. The result is, Gapminder notes, that “people end up carrying around a sack of outdated facts that you got in school (including knowledge that often was outdated when acquired in school).”

Doctors abide by the “First, do no harm” promise. Maybe journalists should too.

Far from being settled, climate science is tricky: we don’t know well what happens to global temperatures when atmospheric CO2 doubles (“climate sensitivity”); we can’t properly model clouds and cloud formation, crucial for how much of the sun’s incoming heat will be reflected away; the range for best-guesses as to what the global temperature rise over the coming century will be is vast (maybe 1° Celsius – maybe 5° Celsius) – so vast, in fact, that it hardly warrants a quantification.

The sustainability crowd has managed to make this word mean a lot more things than that. So much so that the same Cambridge Dictionary lists a secondary meaning for ‘sustainable:’ “Causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time”(emphasis added). The secondary meaning of its opposite, ‘unsustainable,’ is similarly bonkers: “causing damage to the environment by using more of something than can be replaced naturally.”  Lots of things are wrong with these seemingly innocent lines, and I’ll focus on three: the environment as a friendly sentient being, the causal chain between environmental damage and sustainability, and the replacement rate of resources.

Human beings are the organism that has been the most successful at removing nature’s obstacles from our path, and protecting ourselves from its damaging forces. Even though there are six billion more of us today than in 1900, fewer people die at the hand of nature’s powers. That’s us impacting the environment and it is cause for celebration. Impact away!

For some reason, Joakim Book reminds me of Jimbob:

jimbob child activist

Who runs education

 

jimbob 15M people

 

Resist the Great Reset

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Sven and Beatrix von Storch among others are sounding the alarm about the elitist plot to install a “new world order” using the so-called “climate emergency” as the pretext.  Sven recently put out a video, and Beatrix explained what is the plan and why it must be resisted by reasonable and freedom-loving people in her article The Tyranny of Davos: What is the Agenda of the Great Reset?  Excerpts below in italics with my bolds.  And later on a backgrounder describing this new brand of class warfare.

Every year, the captains of industry, finance and politics meet at Davos: This year, World Economic Forum head Klaus Schwab wrote a book entitled “COVID-19: The Great Reset”, laying out a comprehensive agenda for an “accelerated system change“ under cover of the COVID crisis.

Without a doubt, his point of view reflects World Economic Forum debates and goals shared by large parts of the political and financial elite. These ideas are a grave danger to our liberty and democracy. That’s why I have summed them up in this article. Every citizen should know about them.

The Totalitarian Vision of Davos

Let’s summarize what is meant by the Great Reset:

  • The primary goal is a global economic regime under the motto of “global governance” to replace national democracies. The market economy will be replaced by a managed economy.
  • Companies will no longer obey their shareholders, instead being forced to comply with climate and gender policy requirements, due to pressure from the finance industry and aggressive far-left activists. Companies that do not follow suit will be destroyed.
  • This cabal between high finance and far-left activists serves to intimidate political opponents and companies that refuse to show “good will”. Distance rules and “social distancing” are to continue even after the crisis. This will spell the destruction of the middle class, catering, retail and the entertainment industry. Big Tech and e-commerce will take their place.
  • With the new means of digital surveillance and under the guise of public health, workers will be monitored and their behavior recorded.
  • The breakdown in consumer demand in large sections of the population due to the lockdown will be continued, and expanded in order to achieve global climate goals.


This agenda is a grave threat to our civil rights, democracy and the free market economy. It is inherently totalitarian and hostile to freedom.
We have to alert all our citizens to this danger, and use all democratic means to stop it.

 

Background from previous post 2021 Class Warfare: The Elite vs. The Middle

Aristotle Middle Class

Edward Ring explains in his essay at American Greatness Why America’s Elites Want to End the Middle Class.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Feudalism is a viable alternative to tolerating a middle class, especially lucrative to the multinational corporations and globalist billionaires that hide this agenda behind a moral masquerade.

It doesn’t require a conspiracy theorist to suggest these wholesale shifts in American culture are not happening by accident. Nor are they solely the result of nefarious intent, at least not among everyone occupying the highest rungs of power and influence in America. What motivates members of the American elite, billionaires and corporate boards alike, to approve of these radical changes?

Unsustainable Prosperity for Me, But Not for Thee?

One answer comes down to this: They believe the lifestyle of the American middle class is not sustainable, because the planet does not have the carrying capacity to extend an American level of consumption to everyone in the world. By dividing and confusing the American people, while wielding the moral bludgeons of saving the planet and eliminating racism, policies can be implemented that will break the American middle class and habituate them to expect less.

In the name of saving the planet, for example, new suburbs will become almost impossible to construct. Single-family detached homes with yards will be stigmatized as both unsustainable and racist, and to mitigate these evils, subsidized apartments will replace homes, with rent subsidized occupants. As America’s population grows via mass immigration, the footprint of cities will remain fixed. The politically engineered housing shortage will force increasing numbers of Americans into subsidized housing.

All of this is already happening, but it’s just getting started.
Similar cramdowns will occur with respect to all social amenities that consume resources.

Land is just the primary example, but water, energy, and transportation will all be affected. This new political economy will also depopulate rural areas—through corporate consolidation of farmland as regulations and resource costs drive small operations under and through punitive regulations and insurance burdens driving people out of the “urban-wildland interface.” Outside of major cities, for the most part, the only people left will be extremely wealthy landowners and corporate employees.

Joel Kotkin, who has studied and written about demographics and migrations for years, recently authored The Coming of Neo Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. Of all the shorthand descriptions for the political economy that is coming, feudalism may be the best fit. As Kotkin puts it:

The new class structure resembles that of Medieval times. At the apex of the new order are two classes―a reborn clerical elite, the clerisy, which dominates the upper part of the professional ranks, universities, media and culture, and a new aristocracy led by tech oligarchs with unprecedented wealth and growing control of information. These two classes correspond to the old French First and Second Estates.

Below these two classes lies what was once called the Third Estate. This includes the yeomanry, which is made up largely of small businesspeople, minor property owners, skilled workers and private-sector-oriented professionals. Ascendant for much of modern history, this class is in decline while those below them, the new Serfs, grow in numbers―a vast, expanding property-less population.

Both Kotkin and Hanson assert that the trend towards feudalism can be reversed if people understand what is occurring and react effectively. To that end, it is necessary to understand that behind the obvious benefit these new rules have in service of the elites and their interests, there is a moral pretext. How solid is that pretext, that America’s middle class is not sustainable?

It All Comes Down to Energy

Energy is the prerequisite for economic growth. If you have abundant energy, you can have abundant water, transportation, communications, light, heat, mechanized agriculture, refrigerated medicines; everything. And the cold fact confronting America’s elites is this: For everyone on earth to consume half as much energy as Americans consume, total energy production worldwide would have to more than double.

Can America’s middle class sustain its current lifestyle while consuming half as much energy as it does today? Or is it feasible for energy production in the world not merely to double, but quadruple? And if that can be done, is it possible without paying too high a price in terms of environmental impact? And if it cannot be done, can the American experience, which is to enjoy a lifestyle many times greater than that enjoyed by most of the rest of the people on earth, be justified? And if so, why?

These are tough questions. Unequivocal, simple answers to these questions do not exist. But the conventional answer that motivates America’s elites must nonetheless be challenged, because until it is, they will cloak their consolidation of power and their elimination of America’s middle class in the moral imperatives of saving the planet and eliminating racism.

It may seem illogical to suppose the “systemic racism” canard is more easily disposed of, but that’s only because racism, by design, is the ongoing obsession in American media and politics. Despite this well-engineered obsession, resolute opposition to “anti-racist” racism is growing because it is an obvious lie. Racism, from all sources, still exists. But systemic racism against nonwhites, from every angle you look at it in modern American society, simply does not exist. Politicians, journalists, and academics need to find the courage to explain the facts and turn the tide. It can be done.

Saving the planet, on the other hand, is a moral imperative with ongoing urgency.

This urgency may be divided into two broad categories. The first is the traditional concerns of environmentalists, to preserve wildlife and wilderness, and reduce or eliminate sources of pollution. While environmentalists, especially in the United States, often go way too far in addressing these traditional concerns, these are genuine moral imperatives that must be balanced against the economic needs of civilization. This is an important but manageable debate.

The second, new concern of environmentalists, however, is the “climate emergency.” Grossly overblown, hyped for reasons that are transparently opportunistic, fraught with potential for tyranny and punitively expensive, the “climate emergency,” more than anything else, is the moral justification for destroying the American middle class.

In the name of saving the climate, federal and certain state authorities are restricting fossil fuel development, despite the fact that fossil fuels—coal, oil, and gas—still produce 85 percent of worldwide energy, with nuclear and hydropower making up another 11 percent. If energy production is going to double, which at a minimum it must, how on earth will that be accomplished without fossil fuel? It is impossible.

And the planners who are suppressing fossil fuel development worldwide know it. By creating shortages and raising prices for everything, they intend to reduce median rates of consumption in America to a fraction of what it is today, and render a middle-class lifestyle completely out of reach to the average American.

In doing so, they’ll amass even more wealth for themselves.

The Better Way Forward

There is another path. By focusing on the most likely predictions instead of the most catastrophic, nations can focus on climate resiliency—something which is a good idea anyway—while continuing to develop clean fossil fuel and also continuing to develop leapfrog technologies such as nuclear fusion. The environmental benefit of this approach is tangible and profound: with energy comes prosperity, with prosperity comes lower birthrates. With energy, inviting urban centers are possible, and urbanization takes pressure off wilderness. In both cases, with abundant energy, people voluntarily choose to limit their family size and move to cities.

A moral case for fossil fuels can outweigh the supposedly moral case against fossil fuel. Americans have to be willing to fight that fight, along with every other tyrannical edict attendant to the “climate emergency,” starting with the restrictions on urban expansion and single-family homes.

With adherence to the principles and culture that made America great—competition, private ownership, rule of law, minimizing corruption, and rewarding innovation—America’s middle class can survive and grow. But feudalism is a viable alternative, especially lucrative to the multinational corporations and globalist billionaires who will never call it by that name, hiding instead behind a moral masquerade.

Background from Joel Kotkin Modern Politics Seen as Classes Power Game

See also Unmasking Biden’s Climate Shakedown

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Climate Change Thinking for Open or Locked-Down Minds

William Happer provides a framework for thinking about climate, based on his expertise regarding atmospheric radiation (the “greenhouse” mechanism).  But he uses plain language accessible to all.  The Independent Institute published the transcript for those like myself who prefer reading for full comprehension.  Source: How to Think about Climate Change  Some excerpted highlights in italics with my bolds,

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This presentation by Dr. William Happer was delivered at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona, that was held on February 19, 2021. The Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor Emeritus of Physics at Princeton University, Dr. Happer is the author of the foreword to the Revised and Expanded Third Edition of the Independent Institute book, Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate, by S. Fred Singer, David R. Legates and Anthony R. Lupo.

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The Climate Crusade for a False Alarm

The best way to think about the frenzy over climate is to consider it a modern version of the medieval Crusades. You may remember that the motto of the crusaders was “Deus vult!”, “God wills it!” It is hard to pick a better virtue-signaling slogan than that. Most climate enthusiasts have not gone so far, but some actually claim that they are doing God’s work. After decades of propaganda, many Americans, perhaps including some of you here today, think there really is a climate emergency. Those who think that way, in many cases, mean very well. But they have been misled. As a scientist who actually knows a lot about climate (and I set up many of our climate research centers when I was at the Department of Energy in the early 1990s) I can assure you that there is no climate emergency. There will not be a climate emergency. Crusades have always ended badly. They have brought discredit to the supposed righteous cause. They have brought hardship and death to multitudes. Policies to address this phony climate emergency will cause great damage to American citizens and to their environment.

Part of the medieval crusades was against the supposed threat to the holy sites in Jerusalem. But a lot of it was against local enemies. The medieval Inquisition really did a job on the poor Cathars, on the Waldensians of southern France, and on the Bogomils in the Balkans. Climate fanatics don’t know or care any more about the science of climate than those medieval Inquisitors knew or cared about the teachings of Christ.

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Don’t Confuse CO2 with Air Pollution

Just about everyone wants to live in a clean environment. I do, and I am sure everyone here does. This is a photograph of Shanghai, and that’s real air pollution. You can just barely see the Bottle Opener Building in the back through all the haze. Some of this is due to burning coal. But a bigger fraction is due to dust from the Gobi Desert. They have had this type of pollution in Shanghai since the days of Marco Polo and long before. Part of it is burning stubble of the rice fields, which is traditionally done before planting next year’s crop. This is real pollution. I would not want to live in a city like that. If there is anything to do that would make it better, I would certainly support that.

But, none of this has anything to do with CO2. CO2 is a gas you cannot see, smell or taste. So, hare-brained schemes to limit emissions of CO2, which is actually beneficial, as I will explain a little bit later, will only make it harder to get rid of real pollutants like what I just showed you in Shanghai.

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Like all wind farms it is now falling to pieces we can’t dispose of.

Renewable energy is what I would call the inverse Robin Hood strategy—you rob from the poor to give to the rich. Utilities are permitted to raise rates because of their capital investments in inefficient, unreliable renewables. They junk fully depreciated coal, gas and nuclear plants, all of which are working beautifully, and producing inexpensive, reliable energy. But regulated profits are much less. Taxpayers subsidize the rich, who can afford to lease land for wind and solar farms. Tax incentives pander to the upper class who live in gated communities and can afford to buy Tesla electric cars. They get subsidies from the state and federal government. They even get subsidized electrical power to charge up their toys. The common people have little spare income for virtue signaling. They pay more and more for the necessities of life in order to subsidize their betters.

Climate Facts to Replace Hysteria

You cannot spend a lifetime as a professor and not relapse from time to time into giving a classroom lecture. So, you will have to expect to be lectured for a few minutes. The good news is that there will be no quiz. But for those of you who share my view that this climate hysteria is serious nonsense, it helps to know what the facts are. I hope I can arm some of you with the real scientific facts.

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Climate involves a complicated interplay of the sunlight that warms us, and thermal infra-radiation that escapes to space. Heat is transported from the tropics to the poles by the motion of warm air and ocean water. We all know about the Gulf Stream that carries huge amounts of heat to northern Europe, even to Russia. Movements of air in the atmosphere also carry a lot of heat, as we know from regular cold spells and hot spells.

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Here is a picture of Earth’s energy budget. I mentioned we are warmed by the Sun. About half of the sunlight eventually gets to the surface. What prevents it all from reaching the surface are clouds and a small amount of scattering and absorption by the atmosphere. Other parts of America, like New Jersey, now are covered with clouds. Those areas do not get any sunlight directly. But the half of sunlight that does reach the ground heats it. You can notice that in the afternoon, if you go outside. If you are a gardener like me, you can put your hands in the soil and it is nice and warm. It makes the corn grow. But that heat has to be released. If you keep adding heat to the ground, it gets hotter and hotter. So, the heat is eventually released by radiation into space which is that red arrow going up on the viewgraph. But for the first few kilometers of altitude, a good fraction of that heat is not carried by radiation, but by convection of warm, moist air. CO2 has no direct effect on convection near the surface. But once you get up to 10 kilometers or so, most of the heat is transported by radiation.

By the way, I have the meter running now. Remember that the outside air is 400 parts per million CO2. I am not sure you can see the meter but I will read it for you. It is 580 in here. It is not a whole lot higher than the 400 outside. It was at 1,000 parts per million where we were having lunch. CO2 levels are never stable near Earth’s surface. People are panicking about one or two parts per million of CO2. Now, the meter reads 608 parts per million—that is probably because I breathed on it. Hot air sets it off. I sometimes take the meter out onto my back porch. At the end of a summer day the CO2 levels on my back porch drop to maybe 300 parts per million, way below the average for outside air. That is because the trees and grass in my backyard have sucked most of the CO2 out of the local air during the day. If I get up early the next morning and I look at the meter, it is up to 600 parts per million. So just from morning to night CO2 doubles in the air of my back yard. Doubles and halves, doubles and halves. At least during the growing season that is quite common. And we have these hysterics about CO2 increasing by 30 or 40 percent. It is amazing.

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So, why the frenzy over CO2? It is because it is a greenhouse gas. That is true. This is a somewhat deceptive picture. What it shows in red is sunlight, and the horizontal scale on the top panel is the wavelength of the sunlight. Radiation wavelengths for sunlight are typically about a half a micron (half a millionth of a meter). That is green light, the color of green leaves. The thermal radiation that cools the Earth is that blue curve to the right of the upper panel, and that is a much longer wavelength, typically around 10 microns. So, the wavelength of thermal radiation is 10 to 20 times longer than the wavelengths of sunlight. It turns out that the sun’s energy can get through the Earth’s atmosphere very easily. So essentially all sunlight or at least 90 percent, if there are no clouds, gets to the surface and warms it. But radiation cooling of the surface is less efficient because various greenhouse gases (most importantly water vapor, which is shown as the third panel down, and CO2, which is the fourth panel down) intercept a lot of that radiation and keep it from freely escaping to space. This keeps Earth’s surface temperature warmer than it would be (by about 20 or 30 degrees). The Earth would be an ice cube if it were not for water vapor and CO2; and when I say water vapor, you should understand that I really mean water vapor and clouds, the condensed form of water. Clouds are at least as important as greenhouse gases and they are very poorly understood to this day.

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This is an important slide. There is a lot of history here and so there are two historical pictures. The top picture is Max Planck, the great German physicist who discovered quantum mechanics. Amazingly, quantum mechanics got its start from greenhouse gas-physics and thermal radiation, just what we are talking about today. Most climate fanatics do not understand the basic physics. But Planck understood it very well and he was the first to show why the spectrum of radiation from warm bodies has the shape shown on this picture, to the left of Planck. Below is a smooth blue curve. The horizontal scale, left to right is the “spatial frequency” (wave peaks per cm) of thermal radiation. The vertical scale is the thermal power that is going out to space. If there were no greenhouse gases, the radiation going to space would be the area under the blue Planck curve. This would be the thermal radiation that balances the heating of Earth by sunlight.

In fact, you never observe the Planck curve if you look down from a satellite. We have lots of satellite measurements now. What you see is something that looks a lot like the black curve, with lots of jags and wiggles in it. That curve was first calculated by Karl Schwarzschild, whose picture is below Planck’s picture. Schwarzschild was an officer in the German army in World War I, and he did some of his most creative work in the trenches on the eastern front facing Russia. He found one of the first analytic solutions to Einstein’s general theory of relativity while he was there on the front lines. Alas, he died before he got home. The cause of death was not Russian bullets but an autoimmune disease. This was a real tragedy for science. Schwarzschild was the theorist who first figured out how the real Earth, including the greenhouse gases in its atmosphere, radiates to space. That is described by the jagged black line. The important point here is the red line. This is what Earth would radiate to space if you were to double the CO2 concentration from today’s value. Right in the middle of these curves, you can see a gap in spectrum. The gap is caused by CO2 absorbing radiation that would otherwise cool the Earth. If you double the amount of CO2, you don’t double the size of that gap. You just go from the black curve to the red curve, and you can barely see the difference. The gap hardly changes.

The message I want you to understand, which practically no one really understands, is that doubling CO2 makes almost no difference.

Doubling would replace the black curve by the red curve. On the basis of this, we are supposed to give up our liberties. We are supposed to give up the gasoline engines of our automobiles. We are supposed to accept dictatorial power by Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, because of the difference between the red and the black curve. Do not let anyone convince you that that is a good bargain. It is a terrible bargain. The doubling actually does make a little difference. It decreases the radiation to space by about three watts per square meters. In comparison, the total radiation to space is about 300 watts per square meter.

So, it is a one percent effect—it is actually a little less than that, because that is with no clouds. Clouds make everything even less threatening.

Finally, let me point out that there is a green curve. That is what happens if you take all the CO2 out of the atmosphere. No one knows how to do that, thanks goodness, because plants would all die if you took all the CO2 out of the atmosphere. But what this curve is telling you is that the greenhouse effect of CO2 is already saturated. Saturation is a jargon term that means CO2 has done all the greenhouse warming it can easily do. Doubling CO2 does not make much difference. You could triple or quadruple CO2 concentrations, and it also would make little difference. The CO2 effects are strongly saturated.

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You can take that tiny difference between those curves that I showed you, the red and the black curves, and calculate the warming that should happen. I was one of the first to do this: in 1982 I was a co-author of one of the first books on radiative effects of CO2. On the right panel is my calculation and lots of other people’s calculations since. It is a bar graph of the warming per decade that people have calculated. The red bar is what has actually been observed. On the right is warming per decade over 10 years, and on the left, over 20 years. In both cases the takeaway message is that predicted warmings, which so many people are frantic about, are all grossly larger than the observed warming, which is shown by the red bars. So, the observed warmings have been extremely small compared to computer calculations over any interval that you consider. Our policies are based on the models that you see here, models that do not work.

I believe we know why they do not work, but no one is willing to admit it.

Nobody knows how much of the warming observed over the past 50 years is due to CO2. There is good reason to that think much of it, perhaps most of it, would be there even without an increase in CO2 because we are coming out of the Little Ice Age. We have been coming out of that since the early 1800s, before which the weather was much colder than now. The green curve is measurements from satellites, very much like the measurements of a temporal scanning thermometer. You can look down from a satellite and measure the temperature of the atmosphere. The satellites and balloons agree with each other, and they do not agree with the computer models. This is very nice work by John Christie at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

The alleged harm from CO2 is from warming, and the warming observed is much, much less than predictions. In fact, warming as small as we are observing is almost certainly beneficial. It gives slightly longer growing seasons. You can ripen crops a little bit further north than you could before. So, there is completely good news in terms of the temperature directly. But there is even better news. By standards of geological history, plants have been living in a CO2 famine during our current geological period.

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This is the greening of the Earth measured from satellites. This picture shows areas of the Earth that are getting greener over the 20-year period. What you notice is that everywhere, especially in arid areas of Sahel (you can see that just south of the Sahara) it is greening dramatically. The western United States is greening, western Australia is greening, western India is greening. This is almost certainly due to CO2, and the reason this happens is that CO2 allows plants to grow where 50 years ago it was too dry. Plants are now needing less water to grow than they did 50 or 100 years before.

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When you raise all these hard, scientific issues with the climate alarmists, the response is “how can you say that? 97 percent of scientists agree that there’s a terrible emergency here that we have to cope with.”

Here there are several things you should say. First of all, in science truth is not voted on. It is not like voting on a law. It is determined by how well your theory agrees with the observations and experiments. I just showed you that the theories of warming are grossly wrong. They are not even close and yet we are making our policy decisions based on computer models that do not work. It does not matter how many people say there is an emergency. If it does not agree with experiments and observations, the supposed scientific basis for the emergency is wrong. The claim of a climate emergency is definitely wrong.

Secondly, even when scientists agree, what they agree on can be wrong. People think of scientists as incorruptible, priestly people. They are not that at all. They have the same faults as everybody else, and they are frequently wrong.

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The clincher actually came when the USA finally declassified the World War II North Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly data which we had been sitting on for 10 years. The data showed mirror-image conveyor belts of newly-formed oceanic crust, starting at the mid-Atlantic ridge and going out left and right toward America, and toward Europe. So, there was absolutely no question that the seafloor was spreading. That is the one bit of evidence that Wegner did not have, but he had lots of other evidence that should have persuaded people.

This is just one example. I could tell you about many other scientific consensuses that made no sense. This one is interesting because it had no political background. It was pure science, but it does illustrate the fallibility of scientists, and the group-think that goes on in science. If you wanted to advance as a young geologist you could write a paper scorning Wegner in 1950 and get promoted right away, even though your paper was completely wrong. And, once you get tenure, you are there for good.

So, the takeaway message is that policies that slow CO2 emissions are based on flawed computer models which exaggerate warming by factors of two or three, probably more. That is message number one. So, why do we give up our freedoms, why do we give up our automobiles, why do we give up a beefsteak because of this model that does not work?

Takeaway message number two is that if you really look into it, more CO2 actually benefits the world. So, why are we demonizing this beneficial molecule that is making plants grow better, that is giving us slightly less harsh winters, a slightly longer growing season? Why is that a pollutant? It is not a pollutant at all, and we should have the courage to do nothing about CO2 emissions. Nothing needs to be done.

 

Growing Gap: Rhetoric vs. Reality

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From ancient days of village idiots, communities recognized that some people get caught up into thinking and talking crazy stuff detached from the real world.  And if the behavior resulting from being unhinged endangers other people, it becomes necessary to hold the crazies in an asylum apart from the general population.  So what to make of Biden’s first 100 days?  Systemic Delusion, full of sound and fury, in defiance of the real world.  Later on I will go into some depth on the climate fantasies, but the unhinged rhetoric is generalized and administration-wide.  No one knows whether the principals (Biden, Harris, etc.) actually understand what they are saying.  I am inclined to believe they are only posturing, since those in power behind the throne are emboldened by the advantage of escaping accountability for the results of bad rhetoric and policies.

Examples include calling illegal aliens, not simply “undocumented”, but according to Biden “already Americans.”  Legislation expanding voting access to documented citizens is called “voter suppression.”  Adding four more Supreme Justices is called “unpacking the court.”  A brave policeman who saves two black teenagers from being stabbed by a third is called a “racist.”  Biden and his appointees claim the nation is guilty of “systemic racism” without any apology for their own roles for decades in government.  But the grandest fantasy and hypocrisy are wrapped in the call for climate action.

Climate stool

Climate Rhetoric is a stool composed of three assertions, all of which must stand for the appeal to be compelling. Of course, the topic itself has been shifted from “global warming” (not scary enough) to “climate change” (not urgent enough) to “climate crisis, or chaos or emergency.”  The consensus label is not yet settled, with “global weirding” still in the running.  But we know the issue is the same one posted on Obama’s twitter account, back when POTUS was permitted to tweet: “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

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The Science Leg:  Man Makes Earth Warmer.

Many people commenting both for and against reducing emissions from burning fossil fuels assume it has been proven that rising GHGs including CO2 cause higher atmospheric temperatures. That premise has been tested and found wanting, as this post describes:  Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails.  At least five rigorous analyses of relevant datasets failed to discern surface warming due to rising CO2 concentrations.  While it is true in the laboratory that CO2 is able to absorb and emit infrared radiation (IR), the effect upon the actual planetary climate system has not proven to be substantial rather than negligible.

The temperature records show warming from time to time, but do not distinguish between natural and man-made warming.  For example, consider that all the surface warming since the 1940s can be attributed to three oceanic events.

GMT warming events

The animation is an update of a previous analysis from Dr. Murry Salby. These graphs use Hadcrut4 and include the 2016 El Nino warming event. The exhibit shows since 1947 GMT warmed by 0.8 C, from 13.9 to 14.7, as estimated by Hadcrut4. This resulted from three natural warming events involving ocean cycles. The most recent rise 2013-16 lifted temperatures by 0.2C. Previously the 1997-98 El Nino produced a plateau increase of 0.4C. Before that, a rise from 1977-81 added 0.2C to start the warming since 1947. 

Importantly, the theory of human-caused global warming asserts that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere changes the baseline and causes systemic warming in our climate. On the contrary, all of the warming since 1947 was episodic, coming from three brief events associated with oceanic cycles. Moreover, the UAH record shows that the effects of the last one are now gone as of January 2021. Updated to March 2021 (UAH baseline is now 1990-2020)

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 Professor Richard Lindzen ended a recent lecture with these words:

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 meterDoubling 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.

The Impacts Leg: The Warming is Dangerous

The second leg consists of impact studies from billions of research dollars spent uncovering any and all possible negatives from warming, everything from risk of Acne to Zika Virus.  The delusion is double:  Natural fluctuations when increasing are presumed to be negative, and the positive benefits of CO2 concentrations are ignored. 

A recent Climate Report repeats the usual litany of calamities to be feared and avoided by submitting to IPCC demands. The evidence does not support these claims. An example:

It is scientifically established that human activities produce GHG emissions, which accumulate in the atmosphere and the oceans, resulting in warming of Earth’s surface and the oceans, acidification of the oceans, increased variability of climate, with a higher incidence of extreme weather events, and other changes in the climate.

Moreover, leading experts believe that there is already more than enough excess heat in the climate system to do severe damage and that 2C of warming would have very significant adverse effects, including resulting in multi-meter sea level rise.

Experts have observed an increased incidence of climate-related extreme weather events, including increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat and heavy precipitation events and more severe droughts and associated heatwaves. Experts have also observed an increased incidence of large forest fires; and reduced snowpack affecting water resources in the western U.S. The most recent National Climate Assessment projects these climate impacts will continue to worsen in the future as global temperatures increase.

But: Arctic Ice has not declined since 2007.

Arctic ice Sept Ave 2020

But: All of these are within the range of past variability.

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But: Weather is not more extreme.

But:Wildfires were worse in the past

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But: Sea Level Rise is not accelerating.

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But: The planet is greener because of rising CO2.

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The Policy Leg:  Government Can Stop It.

Reality Check 30 yrs. of climate policy

And the third leg is climate initiatives (policies) showing how governments can “fight climate change.”  Some discussion on the wildly improbable notion of powering modern societies with so-called “renewable energy” is provided by Kent Lassman writing at the Washington Examiner Our conversation about the environment is broken. What is the way forward? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Our government relies on predictive scientific models that are periodically tweaked. With decades of actual data, it is clear the models have consistently over-predicted warming. Yet, these problems are rarely given any cautionary weight in policy deliberations.

We have a half-century of dire environmental predictions that are usually wrong in the same direction. That raises the question of how much science is being undermined by a political agenda. Is the problem models that do not perform or our attachment to the terror of environmental apocalypse?

This fear is the second major problem we must overcome to improve the quality of our policy debate. Fear of carbon dioxide obscures the near-term and very real consequences of radical climate policies that could have consequences worse than those of a warming atmosphere.

Consider the poorest among us. According to the International Energy Agency, Africa will be the most populous region on Earth by 2023. Today there are 600 million Africans without access to electricity and 900 million who lack clean water. Achieving a reliable electricity supply for this population will require a huge investment, about four times pre-pandemic trends, of $120 billion a year, every year through 2040.

That gargantuan figure assumes access to the most readily available forms of energy: fossil fuels. Without such access, lower-income nations will not enjoy improving standards of living, education, and health. Instead, disease and war are their future. Ironically, depriving these people of a carbon economy likely leads to the very apocalyptic conditions we all want to avoid.

Renewable energy can be a crucial piece of a greener energy future, but we need to be realistic about its limits, the costs of production and disposal, and the secondary effects for the communities producing the raw materials necessary, often with child labor.

Last year a Dutch government-sponsored study concluded that the Netherlands’s renewable energy ambitions ALONE would consume a major share of global minerals. Considering that the U.S. consumes 30 times more energy than the Netherlands, the study concluded: “Exponential growth in [global] renewable energy production capacity is not possible with present-day technologies and annual metal production.” The report also determined that meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement would require the global production of some metals to grow at least 12-fold by 2050.

An effective climate strategy must be itself sustainable. That requires some measure of humility and an honest evaluation of real-world trade-offs, the linkage between energy use and human welfare, the technological vulnerabilities of alternatives to fossil fuels, and how little we know about the future of something as complex as climate.

That uncertainty demands honesty about the confidence we have, and ought to have, in what we know and can predict. It is a feature, not a bug, of sound climate policy. It should inform understanding of both benefits and costs that flow from any policy choice.

The lives and livelihoods of real people are at stake. We have a responsibility to be clear-eyed and humble about real-world consequences. That means admitting when we are wrong and, equally important, when someone with a different view has a valid point.

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Unmasking Biden’s Climate Shakedown

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At Spectator, Real Jean Isaac explains How to End Biden’s Fake Climate Apocalypse.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

If there’s no pushback against the Left, we’ll see a dramatic drop in our standard of living.

With the wave of executive orders and legislation coming from the Biden administration, and the cultural antics of his woke supporters, Biden’s war on fossil fuels has received insufficient attention. Yet energy is the lifeblood of our economy, and making traditional energy sources vastly more expensive is the single most destructive aspect of Biden’s policies. If this country does not successfully mobilize against these policies, the vast majority will experience a dramatic drop in their standard of living.

mrz012921dbp20210129124515Supposedly the assault on fossil fuels — via regulation; cancellation of pipelines; concocting a huge, wholly imaginary “social cost of carbon”; taxes; and solar and wind mandates — is necessary to save the planet from imminent catastrophe produced by man-made global warming.

But genuine climate scientists, as we know from those who dare to speak up, are amazed and horrified. Richard Lindzen, long at the top of the field as a former professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, laments that the situation gets sillier and sillier. He told the recent CPAC conference (his message was read by the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor):

“One problem with conveying our message is the difficulty people have in recognizing the absurdity of the alarmist climate message. They can’t believe that something so absurd could gain such universal acceptance. Consider the following situation. Your physician declares that your complete physical will consist in simply taking your temperature. This would immediately suggest something wrong with your physician. He further claims that if your temperature is 98.7F rather than 98.6F you must be put on life support. Now you know he is certifiably insane. The same situation for climate is considered “settled science.”

So how did an absurd message gain such widespread acceptance? The answer is something people find it hard to wrap their heads around: we aren’t dealing with science at all. We confront an apocalyptic movement, the kind of movement, recurring across time and space, that Richard Landes describes in Heaven on Earth: Varieties of the Millennial Experience. Its scientific veneer makes it credible to a modern audience. If today a charismatic leader cried, “Repent. Sacrifice your goods. The end of the earth is nigh,” at best he might attract a few dozen oddball followers. But when essentially the same message is clothed in the language of science, it sweeps the world.

In Roosters of the Apocalypse I point out the uncomfortable similarities between the global warming apocalypse and the apocalypse that led the Xhosa tribe (in today’s South Africa) in 1856 to destroy their economy, which was based on cattle as ours is on energy. Relying on the vision of a 15-year-old orphan girl, the Xhosa killed an estimated half million of their cattle, ceased planting crops, and destroyed their grain stores. In return the girl promised the Xhosa’s ancestors would drive out the British and bring an even greater abundance of cattle and grain. By the end of 1857 a third to a half of the population — between 30,000 and 50,000 souls — had starved to death.

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Even the age of the “prophetic” girl suggests a modern parallel. Greta Thunberg didn’t start the global warming apocalypse, but she was 15 when she began spending her school days in front of the Swedish Parliament carrying a sign reading “School Strike for Climate,” heralding the international children’s crusade against global warming she would lead a year later.

In some ways the current apocalypse is surprising. Landes reports that to be successful, an apocalypse needs to bring elites on board, and elites tend to be a hard sell, especially when prophecies demand a society self-mutilate. But in this case not only have elites been won over with breathtaking ease, but they have proved more susceptible over time than the man in the street. A recent Gallup poll found only 3 percent of the public citing climate as a key concern.

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If people understand the menace that global warming policies pose to their way of life, there should be a huge pool of followers.

Dissent is drowned out as educational, political, media, cultural, and business elites speak with one voice. Even fossil fuel companies have thrown in the towel. The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry’s top lobbying group, is set to propose setting a price on carbon emissions. Children are being indoctrinated in global warming doctrine from kindergarten on, in humanities as well as science classes. My granddaughter, in sixth grade in a Manhattan public school, has a class in “Clifi” (Climate Fiction), where the children read stories on the dreadful aftermath of a climate apocalypse. Politicians at the state and local level pass mandates for expensive (and unreliable) renewables to replace fossil fuels at ever earlier dates. Even conservatives are caught up in the fever. At the most recent CPAC a group urged Republicans to “get in front” on the issue and outflank the Democrats.

What can be done to prevent the global warming locomotive from steamrolling over our economy?

Thus far efforts have focused on countering global warming science with better science. The Chicago-based Heartland Institute has organized 13 international conferences since 2008. The media has all but blacked out coverage, so neither the conferences nor the steady stream of climate research the Institute publishes receive any notice. The CO2 Coalition, which emphasizes that CO2, far from being a pollutant, is a nutrient vital for life, is given similar short shrift. For example, although the coalition includes distinguished scientists, Wikipedia defines it as “a climate change alarmist denial advocacy organization,” whose claims “are disputed by the vast majority of climate scientists.”

There are also excellent websites, such as Climate Depot, offering space to scientific research casting doubt on apocalyptic claims. Marc Morano, who runs the site, had the distinction in 2009 of being chosen by news outlet Grist as one of only five “criminals against humanity, against planet Earth itself” and in 2012 of being named “Climate Change Misinformer” of the Year by Media Matters.

Pitting one scientific study against another hasn’t worked. That’s because most climate scientists are on the global warming grant gravy train, the public can’t follow the abstruse language of academic studies of climate, and the apocalypse is only superficially about climate anyway. Under the circumstances, a mass movement against this folly would seem to be the only way to get through to a larger public. If people understand the menace that global warming policies pose to their way of life, there should be a huge pool of followers. Texas might be a good place to start, given its recent unexpected stay in the freezing dark, and the stark failure of its wind turbines. One advantage of such a movement is that it would cross party lines. Democratic-voting union members stand to lose their well-paid jobs in fossil fuel industries, with workers in China cornering much lower-paid jobs in solar and wind (despite pie-in-the-sky promises by President Biden and newly appointed climateer-in-chief John Kerry).

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The new movement could be titled “Lights On.” Participants should have fun. There was never a claim of “settled science” more ripe for ridicule. How about contests for college students rewarding those who can document the largest number of disproven prophecies of global warming doom (for example, the end of snow, no more Arctic glaciers, U.S. coasts under water, all with specified dates now long past)? In Breitbart, John Nolte recently claimed to have found 44 of them. There can be no shortage of candidates for an award of “False Prophet of the Year.” Or “Global Warming Hypocrite of the Year,” for which John Kerry would be an outstanding candidate with his private jet, yachts, multiple mansions, and cars. And what about an award to a prominent media figure for the most absurd claim for global warming causation? One of Lindzen’s favorites is the Syrian civil war.

And how about reviving the chronicle of Climategate, which almost wiped out faith in the apocalypse before the media buried the scandal? In 2009, a hacker downloaded candid emails among top climate scientists in England and the United States that bemoaned recalcitrant data, described the “tricks” (their term) used to coax the data, reported efforts to keep the views of dissenters out of reputable journals and UN reports, and boasted of deletion of data to make it unavailable to other researchers. “If science is on your side, why do you need to make it up?” would make a good bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan.

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There could be a bumper sticker with comedian George Carlin’s line: “The Planet has been through a lot worse than us.” There could be t-shirts that proclaim, “Wind Is for Sailboats.” There should be songs and cartoons (many of these can already be found on the website WattsUpWithThat.com).

The movement can have fun, but it must also be serious: members will only back politicians prepared to fight to maintain our access to cheap, reliable energy. To the extent solar and wind can someday compete on an even playing field, without subsidies and mandates, they are welcome to the energy mix.

For the current apocalypse to come to an end, the notion that man-made global warming poses an existential threat must come to be seen as ridiculous. Otherwise the policies of shutting down our traditional energy supplies to stave off this absurd end of days will themselves become an existential threat.

Gang Green

Green Cotton Candy Climate Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The feedbacks are negative

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

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

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

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

Fears of CO2 Are Overblown

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

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

In “Radiation Transfer,” Happer writes:

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

Seasonal warming much greater than doubled CO2 warming

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

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

The physics of diminishing CO2 greenhouse behavior

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

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

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

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

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

H2O greenhouse behavior also diminishes, Hayden adds:

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

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

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

The cheapening of climate science programs

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

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

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

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

Conclusion: Retribution in 2022?

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

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

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

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

Latest Court Ruling re EPA and CO2

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

Overview of Ruling on Affordable Clean Energy Rule

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Back Story–How We Got Here

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background Concerning EPA and Carbon Dioxide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnote: See post The Poisonous Tree of Climate Change

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