No One is Safe from Climate Alarm

Prominent environmentalist Michael Shellenberger deplores the doomster messaging ahead of the Glasgow COP.   In an interview with EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders,” Shellenberger noted that while climate change is a very “real” thing, the slogan that no one is safe is “misleading” to the general public.  Excerpts in italics below from zerohedge article IPCC’s “No One Is Safe” Slogan Is Deeply Misleading.

The IPCC published a report in August stating that human-caused climate change is accelerating and that radical changes to human behavior are needed to avert disaster.

Following the findings, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said of the report that the “alarm bells are deafening” and the situation is a “code red for humanity.”

Meanwhile, Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said the findings showed that “nobody is safe. And it is getting worse faster.”

However, Shellenberger, who is the founder and president of the nonprofit Environmental Progress and the author of “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,” disagrees with this sentiment.

“Climate change is real. The world is getting warmer, it’s gotten about one degree Celsius warmer since the pre-industrial period. But on so many other environmental metrics, things are going in the right direction,” Shellenberger said.

“The hottest the period of worst heat waves, for example, was in the 1930s. It has been a hot decade, but the 1930s remained the highest magnitude of heat waves. The chance of dying from an extreme weather event has declined over 99 percent for the average human being.

“Deaths from natural disasters overall are 90 percent down, we produce 25 percent more food than we need. There’s no estimate of running out of food.”

Sea level rise is something that we’ve done a very good job adapting to and we’ll continue to do a good job adapting to. The Netherlands is a country where many parts of it are seven meters below sea level. The median estimate for sea level rise by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about a half a meter,” he continued.

“So what I object to is the painting of humans as sort of fragile or super vulnerable. We’ve never been more brilliant, we’ve never been less vulnerable, at least at a physical level. I think we’re seeing some rising anxiety and depression, particularly [among] young people, probably due to social media. But physically humans are safer than ever.

“But I think the the message that people need to hear that they’re not hearing is that the vast majority of environmental trends are going in the right direction, including on climate change.”

“The communications from the United Nations have been irresponsible. The slogan that they published the day of the IPCC reports publication was ‘no one is safe’ … It’s deeply misleading in that we’re safer than ever,” he said.

“So it’s really in the public relations that the distortions are occurring. However, in this most recent report, there was some bad behavior in the actual scenarios they constructed,” the author continued.

“So about half of the scenarios assume much higher levels of emissions, and therefore higher levels of warming in the future, than really any mainstream expert believes is possible,” he added.

“We just look around us [to see] we have a built infrastructure, go on YouTube and look at what life was like in 1800 or 1900, we were just much more vulnerable to weather events back then.”

The longtime environmental activist said that the public fails to be informed about other aspects that protect them from climate change, such as large increases in food surpluses and incredible flood management systems.

“So we see in all these problems, whether it’s forest fires, or floods, or hurricanes, that what humans do on the ground massively outweighs any increase in wind speed or precipitation or air temperatures,” he explained.

Shellenberger noted that while the natural science reviewed by the IPCC is accurate, “the vast majority of the distortions and the pessimism regarding climate change appears in the summary in the statements by those who helped assemble the report.

 

Fortunately, there is help for climate alarmists. They can join or start a chapter of Alarmists Anonymous. By following the Twelve Step Program, it is possible to recover and unite in service to the real world and humanity.

Step One: Fully concede (admit) to our innermost selves that we were addicted to climate fear mongering.

Step Two: Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves causes weather and climate, restoring us to sanity.

Step Three: Make a decision to study and understand how the natural world works.

Step Four: Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, our need to frighten others and how we have personally benefited by expressing alarms about the climate.

Step Five: Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our exaggerations and false claims.

Step Six: Become ready to set aside these notions and actions we now recognize as objectionable and groundless.

Step Seven: Seek help to remove every single defect of character that produced fear in us and led us to make others afraid.

Step Eight: Make a list of all persons we have harmed and called “deniers”, and become willing to make amends to them all.

Step Nine: Apologize to people we have frightened or denigrated and explain the errors of our ways.

Step Ten: Continue to take personal inventory and when new illusions creep into our thinking, promptly renounce them.

Step Eleven: Dedicate ourselves to extend our knowledge of natural climate factors and to deepen our understanding of nature’s powers and ways of working.

Step Twelve: Having awakened to our delusion of climate alarm, we try to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Footnote:  For a detailed discussion of unfounded climate fears, see:
                 Climate Problem? Data say no.

Summary:

As the summer heat wanes, let us hope that many climate alarmists take the opportunity to turn the page by resolving a return to sanity. It is not too late to get right with reality before the cooling comes in earnest.

This is your brain on climate alarm.  Just say No!

 

Italian Climate Conference Cancelled Lest Skeptics be Heard

As reported by Robert Wade at Climate Etc.. Cancel culture in climate change a major scientific conference was cancelled because one of 14 papers to be presented was critical of global warming theory.  As Wade stated:

A microcosm on the ‘morality’ of cancel culture: the aborted conference on ‘Global Warming: Mitigation Strategies’, hosted by the Italian scientific academy the Lincei.

Naturally it seems the skeptical paper is nowhere to be found, but the same authors wrote in 2019 to the political leaders of Italy with their concerns, likely a synopsis of their findings.  The text in English comes from an article Top Italian Scientists Debunk “Man-made Global Warming” at panamasynodwatch.  Here is what alarmists found so offensive. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

PETITION ON ‘MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING’
To Your Excellences:

President of the Republic

President of the Senate

President of the Chamber of Deputies

President of the Council

PETITION ON ‘MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING’

We the undersigned, citizens and scientists, warmly invite our political leaders to adopt environmental protection policies consistent with scientific knowledge. It is particularly urgent to combat pollution where it occurs as indicated by the best available science. In this regard, it is deplorable to see delay in reducing anthropogenic pollutant emissions in both land and sea using the rich knowledge made available by the world of research.

However, we must become aware that carbon dioxide itself is not a pollutant. On the contrary, it is indispensable for life on our planet.

In recent decades, the thesis has spread that the heating of the Earth’s surface of around 0.9° C observed from 1850 onwards would be anomalous and caused exclusively by human activities, particularly by CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels in the atmosphere. This is the anthropic global warming thesis promoted by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They claim it will produce environmental changes so serious as to cause enormous damages in an imminent future unless drastic and expensive mitigation measures are not immediately adopted. In this regard, many nations around the world have joined programs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and are also pressed by a relentless propaganda to adopt increasingly demanding programs whose implementation place heavy burdens on the economies of individual member states.

They claim that climate control, and therefore the “salvation” of the planet,
would depend on it

However, the anthropic origin of global warming is an unproven hypothesis deduced only from some climate models, that is, from complex computer programs called General Circulation Models.

On the contrary, the scientific literature has increasingly highlighted the existence of a natural climatic variability that such models are unable to reproduce. This natural variability explains a substantial part of the global warming observed since 1850. Therefore, the anthropic responsibility for climate change observed in the last century is unjustifiably exaggerated and the corresponding catastrophic predictions are unrealistic.

The climate is the most complex system on our planet and so needs to be addressed with methods that are adequate and consistent with its level of complexity. Climate simulation models do not reproduce the observed natural variability of the climate, and in particular, do not reconstruct the warm periods of the last 10,000 years. These periods were repeated about every thousand years and include the well-known Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Hot Period, and generally warm periods during the Holocene Optimal. These past periods were also warmer than the present period despite their CO2 concentration being lower than the current one while related to the millennial cycles of solar activity. The models do not reproduce these effects.

It should be remembered that the heating observed since 1900 actually started in the 1700s, i.e., at the minimum of the Little Ice Age, the coldest period of the last 10,000 years (corresponding to the millennial minimum of solar activity, which astrophysicists call Maunder Minimal Solar). Since then, solar activity, following its millennial cycle has increased by heating the earth’s surface. Furthermore, the models fail to reproduce the known climatic oscillations of about 60 years. These were responsible, for example, for a warming period (1850-1880) followed by a cooling period (1880-1910), a heating (1910-40), a cooling (1940-70) and a new warming period (1970-2000) similar to that observed 60 years earlier. The following years (2000-2019) did not see the increase, predicted by the models, of about 0.2° C per decade, but a substantial climatic stability sporadically interrupted by the rapid natural oscillations of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, known as the El Nino Southern Oscillations, like the one that led to temporary warming between 2015 and 2016.

The media also claim that extreme events such as hurricanes and cyclones have increased at an alarming rate. Instead, like many climate systems, these events have been modulated since the aforementioned 60-year cycle. For example, if we consider the official data from 1880 on tropical Atlantic cyclones that hit North America, they appear to have a strong 60-year oscillation correlated with the Atlantic Ocean’s thermal oscillation called Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. The peaks observed per decade are compatible with each other in the years 1880-90, 1940-50 and 1995-2005. From 2005 to 2015, the number of cyclones decreased precisely following the aforementioned cycle. Thus, in the period 1880-2015, there is no correlation between the number of cyclones (which oscillates) and CO2 (which increases monotonically).

The climate system is not yet sufficiently understood. Although it is true that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, according to the same IPCC, the climate’s sensitivity to a CO2 increase in the atmosphere is still extremely uncertain. It is estimated that a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from the roughly pre-industrial 300 ppm to 600 ppm can raise the average temperature of the planet from a minimum of 1° C to a maximum of 5° C. This uncertainty is enormous. In any case, many recent studies based on experimental data estimate that climate sensitivity to CO2 is considerably lower than estimated by IPCC models.

Now then, it is scientifically unrealistic to attribute to humans the responsibility for the warming observed from the past century to today. Therefore, the alarmist forecasts are not credible because they are based on models whose results contradict the experimental data. All the evidence suggests that these models overestimate the anthropic contribution and underestimate the natural climatic variability, especially the one induced by the sun, moon, and ocean oscillations.

Finally, the media spread the message that there would be an almost unanimous agreement among scientists with regard to the anthropic cause of the current climate change, and that therefore the scientific debate on this point is closed. However, first of all, we must understand that the scientific method dictates that it is facts, rather than the number of adherents, that turn a conjecture into a consolidated scientific theory.

At any rate, the alleged consensus does not exist. In fact, there is a remarkable variability of opinions among specialists – climatologists, meteorologists, geologists, geophysicists, astrophysicists – many of whom recognize that an important natural contribution to global warming was observed from the pre-industrial period and even from the post-war period to this day. There have also been petitions signed by thousands of scientists who have expressed dissent with the conjecture on anthropic global warming. These include the one promoted in 2007 by the physicist F. Seitz, former president of the American National Academy of Sciences, and the one promoted by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) whose 2009 report concludes that, “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate.”

In conclusion, given the crucial importance of fossil fuels for the energy supply of humanity, we suggest that we do not adhere to policies of uncritical reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere on the illusory pretense of governing the climate.

Rome, June 17, 2019

PROMOTING COMMITTEE

1. Uberto Crescenti, Professor Emeritus of Applied Geology, University G. D’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, former Dean and President of the Italian Geological Society.

2. Giuliano Panza, Professor of Seismology, University di Trieste, Accademia dei Lincei and Accademia dei XL (Italy’s National Academy of Sciences), 2018 International Award from the American Geophysical Union.

3. Alberto Prestininzi, Professor of Applied Geology, University La Sapienza, Roma, former Scientific Editor in Chiefof IJEGE international journal and Director of the Italy’s Research Center for Prediction and Control of Geological Risks.

4. Franco Prodi, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, University of Ferrara.

5. Franco Battaglia, Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Modena; Galileo Movement 2001.

6. Mario Giaccio, Professor of Technology and Economy of Energy Sources, University G. D’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, former President of the Department of Economics.

7. Enrico Miccadei, Professor of Physical Geography and Geomorphology, University G. D’Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara

8. Nicola Scafetta, Professor of Atmospheric Physics and Oceanography, University Federico II, Napoli.

[The eight scientists above were joined by an additional 84 signatories to the petition.Their names are included in the linked panamasyodwatch article.]

 

Reality Check on Extreme Weather Claims

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CBS News headline was:  ‘Pacific Northwest heat wave would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, experts say.’

Eric Felton provides a useful reprise of the campaign to exploit a recent Washington State heat wave for climate hysteria mongering.  His article at Real Clear Investigations is Does Climate Change Cause Extreme Weather Now? Here’s a Scorcher of a Reality Check.  This discussion is timely since you can soon expect an inundation of hype saying our SUVs caused whatever damage is done by Hurricane (or Tropical Storm) Henri, shown below approaching Long Island and New England. Excerpts from Felton’s article are below in italics with my bolds.

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The Pacific Northwest was hit with a record-shattering heat wave in June, with temperatures over 35 degrees higher than normal in some places. On June 28, Portland, Ore., reached 116 degrees. Late last week the region suffered another blast of hot weather, with a high in Portland of 103 degrees. The New York Times didn’t hesitate to pronounce the region’s bouts of extreme weather proof that the climate wasn’t just changing, but catastrophically so.

To make that claim, the Times relied on a “consortium of climate experts” that calls itself World Weather Attribution, a group organized not just to attribute extreme weather events to climate change, but to do so quickly. Within days of the June heat wave, the researchers released an analysis, declaring that the torrid spell “was virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

World Weather Attribution and its alarming report were trumpeted by Time magazine, touted by the NOAA website Climate.gov , and featured by CBS News, CNBC, Scientific American, CNN, the Washington Post, USAToday, and the New York Times, among others.

The group’s claim that global warming was to blame was perhaps less significant than the speed with which that conclusion was provided to the media. Previous efforts to tie extreme weather events to climate change hadn’t had the impact scientists had hoped for, according to Time, because it “wasn’t producing results fast enough to get attention from people outside the climate science world.”

“Being able to confidently say that a given weather disaster was caused by climate change while said event still has the world’s attention,” Time explained, approvingly, “can be an enormously useful tool to convince leaders, lawmakers and others that climate change is a threat that must be addressed.” In other words, the value of rapid attribution is primarily political, not scientific.

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World Weather Attribution was organized to quickly attribute extreme weather events to climate change.  World Weather Attribution

Inconveniently for World Weather Attribution, an atmospheric scientist with extensive knowledge of the Pacific Northwest climate was actively running weather models that accurately predicted the heatwave. Cliff Mass rejected the notion that global warming was to blame for the scorching temperatures. He calculated that global warming might have been responsible for two degrees of the near 40-degree anomaly. With or without climate change, Mass wrote, the region “still would have experienced the most severe heat wave of the past century.”

Mass has no shortage of credentials relevant to the issue: A professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, he is author of the book “The Weather of the Pacific Northwest.”

Mass took on the World Weather Attribution group directly: “Unfortunately, there are serious flaws in their approach.” According to Mass, the heatwave was the result of “natural variability.” The models being used by the international group lacked the “resolution to correctly simulate critical intense, local precipitation features,” and “they generally use unrealistic greenhouse gas emissions.”

WWA issued a “rebuttal” calling Mass’ criticisms “misleading and incorrect.” But the gauntlet thrown down by Mass did seem to affect WWA’s confidence in its claims. The group, which had originally declared the heatwave would have been “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change,” altered its tone. In subsequent public statements, it emphasized that it had merely been making “best estimates” and had presented them “with the appropriate caveats and uncertainties.” Scientists with the attribution group did not respond to questions about Mass’s criticisms posed by RealClearInvestigations.

But what of the group’s basic mission, the attribution of individual weather events to climate change? Hasn’t it been a fundamental rule of discussing extreme temperatures in a given place not to conflate weather with climate? Weather, it is regularly pointed out, refers to conditions during a short time in a limited area; climate is said to describe longer-term atmospheric patterns over large areas.

Until recently, at least, climate scientists long warned against using individual weather events to ponder the existence or otherwise of global warming. Typically, that argument is used to respond to those who might argue a spate of extreme cold is reason to doubt the planet is warming. Using individual weather events to say anything about the climate is “dangerous nonsense,” the New Scientist warned a decade ago.

noaa-us-temp-2019-2021

Perhaps, but it happens all the time now that climate advocates have found it to be an effective tool. In 2019, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that three-fourths of those polled said their views about climate change had been shaped by extreme weather events. Leah Sprain, in the book “Ethics and Practice in Science Communication,” says that even though it may be legitimate to make the broad claim that climate change “may result in future extreme weather,” when one tries “arguing weather patterns were caused by climate change, things get dicey.” Which creates a tension: “For some communicators, the ultimate goal – mobilizing political action – warrants rhetorical use of extreme weather events.” But that makes scientists nervous, Sprain writes, because “misrepresenting science will undermine the credibility of arguments for climate change.”

Which is exactly what happened with the World Weather Attribution group, according to Mass: “Many of the climate attribution studies are resulting in headlines that are deceptive and result in people coming to incorrect conclusions about the relative roles of global warming and natural variability in current extreme weather,” he wrote at his blog. “Scary headlines and apocalyptic attribution studies needlessly provoke fear.”

The blogging professor laments that atmospheric sciences have been “poisoned” by politics. “It’s damaged climate science,” he told RCI.

payn_c18450120210819120100

And not just politics – Mass also says that the accepted tenets of global warming have become a sort of religion. Consider the language used, he says, such as the question of whether one “believes” in anthropogenic climate change. “You don’t believe in gravity,” he says. The religious metaphor also explains why colleagues get so bent out of shape with him, Mass says: “There’s nothing worse than an apostate priest.”

That goes even for those who are merely mild apostates. Mass doesn’t dispute warming, he merely questions how big a problem it is. “We need to worry about climate change,” he has said. “But hype and exaggeration of its impacts only undermine the potential for effective action.”

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Climate Audit of the IPCC AR6 Hockey Stick

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Stephen McIntyre has an interesting post today at his blog Climate Audit The IPCC AR6 Hockeystick  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Although climate scientists keep telling us that defects in their “hockey stick” proxy reconstructions don’t matter – that it doesn’t matter whether they use data upside down, that it doesn’t matter if they cherry pick individual series depending on whether they go up in the 20th century, that it doesn’t matter if they discard series that don’t go the “right” way (“hide the decline”), that it doesn’t matter if they used contaminated data or stripbark bristlecones, that such errors don’t matter because the hockey stick itself doesn’t matter – the IPCC remains addicted to hockey sticks: lo and behold, Figure 1a of its newly minted Summary for Policy-makers contains what else – a hockey stick diagram. If you thought Michael Mann’s hockey stick was bad, imagine a woke hockey stick by woke climate scientists. As the climate scientists say, it’s even worse that we thought.

Curiously, this leading diagram of the Summary of Policy-Makers does not appear in the Report itself. (At least, I was unable to locate it in Chapter 2.) However, it is clearly the progeny of PAGES2K Consortium (Nature 2019) and Kaufman et al (2020), both of which I commented on briefly on Twitter (see here).

It’s hard to know where to begin.

The idea/definition of a temperature “proxy” is that it has some sort of linear or near-linear relationship to temperature with errors being white noise or low-order red noise. In other words, if you look at a panel of actual temperature “proxies”, you would expect to see series that look pretty similar and consistent.

But that’s not what you see with the data used by the IPCC. You’d never know this from the IPCC report or even from the cited articles, since authors of these one- and two-millennium temperature reconstructions scrupulously avoid plotting any of the underlying data. It’s hard for readers unfamiliar with the topic to fully appreciate the extreme inconsistency of underlying “proxy” data, given the faux precision of the IPCC diagram.

Many of the series discussed in this post, including nearly all of any HS-shaped series, have been previously discussed in Climate Audit blog posts (tag/pages2k) from 2, 5, 10 or even 15 years ago or in tweets from 2019 and 2020 (see here).

This post will be a work in progress for a few days, as I have some sections on special issues that I will try to add as I have time.CPS (to my knowledge) in all prior reconstructions by non-woke authors is an average of scaled data that has been oriented ex ante by known properties of the proxy. I.e. it won’t flip over an alkenone temperature estimate simply because it goes the wrong way. But this salutary property is not maintained in Neukom’s bastardized implementation of CPS – a bastardization that ought to have been resisted by reviewers somewhere along the line. PAGES2K produced temperature reconstructions by seven different methods, all of which yielded somewhat similar results to CPS – strongly suggesting that these other methods also flip series like Cape Ghir.

It’s not as though PAGES2K made a composite from 257 series that are two millennia long, all or a majority having a HS shape. One series in this sample does look a lot like the IPCC stick and will be discussed at length below, but the others look very different.

Four of the series in the sample are very short – three of them are actually shorter than the instrumental record. These are all coral Sr or coral d18O series, which make up 25% of the PAGES2019 data set. The extremely short records illustrated above are typical, indeed almost universal, in this class of proxy. They do have a pronounced trend in the instrumental period. This contrasts with the lack of trend that one sees in the two long proxies in the middle column above – a tree ring series from Mt Read, Tasmania (also used in MBH98) and a 1983 ice core series by Fisher from Devon Ice Cap on Baffin Island (also available to 1990s vintage multiproxy studies).

The short coral series do not contribute information to the medieval and earlier periods which one is trying to compare to the modern period. So what is their function? Do they contribute anything other than painting a moustache on the non-descript longer series?

The tree ring series in this sample are rather short; the screening procedures have somewhat concentrated series with slight upticks. (The stripbark bristlecone chronologies that were so prominent in the Mann et al Hockey Stick continue to be used in PAGES2019 – as discussed below.) I discussed the series in the left column with large uptick (Asi_MUSPIG aka paki033) in a 2019 tweet thread here. I located the underlying ring width measurements at NOAA and re-calculated the tree ring “chronology” using standard methodology – see below. The high-frequency details match, showing that the underlying measurement data is apples-to-apples. No chronology from original authors is archived at NOAA: so how did PAGES2K manage to get such a hockey stick? I have no idea.

The most “interesting” series in this sample batch is the borehole temperature reconstruction that has such an uncanny resemblance to the eventual IPCC reconstruction. By coincidence (or not), I wrote about this borehole temperature reconstruction (from WAIS Divide, Antarctica) in February 2019, a few months before publication of PAGES 2019 – see here – scroll down – for a more thorough analysis.

I’ve written multiple posts on the mathematics of borehole inversion calculations, which purport to estimate temperatures for thousands of years into the past from modern day temperatures measured downhole. These calculations require the inversion of a multicollinear matrix (with determinant close to 0). As far as I’m concerned, nearly all the details that specialists pontificate about are a sort of Chladni pattern artifact.

But that’s another story. Here the problem was much stranger. A few years earlier, I had (circuitously) managed to obtain a copy of the code used to calculate this borehole inversion (which is not archived anywhere.) The code showed that they had deleted the top 15 meters of the core from their calculation.

I’ve had a LOT of trouble getting the underlying borehole temperatures for some famous series. (The 2006 NAS panel cited one such result, but the original author (a US government employee) refused to make the data available, and, to my knowledge, it remains unavailable.) However, in this case, the underlying downhole temperatures had been archived, including the values had been deleted. Needless to say, they went down. An inversion using all the data would not have resulted in the impressive Hockey Stick in the PAGES2019 dataset, but a substantial recent decline.

Note that the blade on the hockey stick in this IPCC series is entirely dependent on the choice of 15 meters as a cutoff point for the borehole inversion. A choice of 20 meters would have probably eliminated the blade altogether.

The fact that the top portion of the core has to be excluded because of seasonal effects also creates a strange irony: the layers at 15 meters at WAIS date back to the 1960s. So IPCC has ended up relying on a series that purports to reconstruct temperature up to 2007, but without using any of the ice core dating from ~1965 to 2007. The calculation is entirely done from ice core layers dated prior to the 1960s. Does this seem reliable to any of you? Doesn’t to me.

Furthermore, the WAIS Divide borehole temperature reconstruction yields a totally different result than the widely replicated and well understood d18O isotope series.

Given the questions and defects surrounding the WAIS borehole inversion series, it is absurd that this series (a singleton, to boot) should be used in a policy-relevant document. That the final IPCC diagram is so similar to this garbage series also makes one wonder about what is happening under the hood of the multivariate calculations.

A Third Batch: PAGES2019 North American Tree Rings

North American tree rings (including some Arctic series) make up ~25% of PAGES2019 proxies. Here’s a random sample.The majority are short and rather non-descript – nothing like the final IPCC diagram.

There are one series with an enormous hockey stick: Mackenzie Delta (Porter 2013); and two series (“GB [Great Basin]” and nv512) with noticeable closing upticks. Sharp-eyed readers may have already figured out some of this story.

I discussed the Mackenzie Delta super-stick of Porter et al (2013), a new entry to hockey stick fabrication technology, in July 2019 here on Twitter. It comes from Yukon, Canada, an area that, in a 2004 study by d’Arrigo et al, had been a type location for the classic “divergence problem” – ring widths going down, while temperatures went up. So how did Porter et al manage to get a super-stick that had eluded Jacoby and d’Arrigo, long-time searchers for hockey sticks in tree ring data and not shy about picking cherries in order to make cherry pie?

They took “hide the decline” to extremes that had never been contemplated by prior practitioners of this dark art. Rather than hiding the decline in the final product, they did so for individual trees: as explained in the underlying article, they excluded the “divergent portions” of individual trees that had temerity to have decreasing growth in recent years. Even Briffa would never have contemplated such woke radical measures.

Stripbark Bristlecone Chronologies

As noted above, sharp-eyed readers may recall the identifier nv512. It is one of the classic Graybill stripbark bristlecone chronologies (Pearl Peak), which we had observed to dominate both the MBH98 PC1 and the final MBH98 reconstruction. It (and other key stripbark sites) was listed in McIntyre and McKitrick (2005 GRL) Table 1:

Readers will also recall that the 2006 NAS Panel recommended that “stripbark” chronologies be “avoided” in temperature reconstructions. Although the climate community has professed to implement the recommendations of the NAS Panel, they are addicted to stripbark chronologies, the properties of which are well known. Five different PAGES2019 series use stripbark bristlecones (three from original Graybill versions): nv512 (Pearl Peak); nv513 (Mount Washington); ca529 (Timber Gap Upper); SFP (an update of San Francisco Peaks, incorporating az510) and GB (a composite of Pearl Peak, Mount Washington and Sheep Mountain, using both Graybill and updated information).

In 2018, I looked at how North American tree ring networks had changed since MBH98. The one constant was the addiction of paleoclimatologists to stripbark chronologies– a phenomenon that I had commented on long before Climategate (citing Clapton et al and Paeffgen et al), much to the annoyance of dendros, but the comment remains as true now as it was then.

Conclusion

I discussed many of these problems in July 2019, within a couple of days of publication of the underlying article (see here). While I don’t necessarily expect IPCC reviewers to be paying rapt attention to my twitter feed, one surely presumes that IPCC climate scientists, who are employed full time on these topics, to be competent enough to notice things that I was able to observe in my first day or so of looking at PAGES2019. But their obtuseness never ceases to amaze.

Exposing Net-Zero Doublethink

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Bjorn Lomberg exposes the doublethink rhetoric around the “Net-Zero” carbon emissions notion in his Financial Post article Enough with the net-zero doublethink Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

When John Kerry and many other politicians insist that climate policies mean no sacrifice, they are clearly dissembling.

Our current climate conversation embodies two blatantly contradictory claims. On one side, experts warn that promised climate policies will be economically crippling. In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that achieving net-zero in 2050 will likely be “the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced.” That is a high bar, surpassing the Second World War, the black plague and COVID.

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On the other side, hand-waving politicians sell net-zero climate schemes as a near-utopia that every nation will rush to embrace. As U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told world leaders gathered at President Biden’s climate summit in April: “No one is being asked for a sacrifice.”

Both claims can’t be true. Yet, they are often espoused by the same climate campaigners in different parts of their publicity cycle. The tough talk aims to shake us into action, and the promise of rainbows hides the political peril when the bills come due.

George Orwell called this willingness to espouse contradictory claims doublethink. It is politically expedient and gets climate-alarmed politicians reelected. But if we want to fix climate change, we need honesty. Currently promised climate policies will be incredibly expensive. While they will deliver some benefits, their costs will be much higher.

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Yes, climate change is real and man-made, and we should be smart in fixing it. But we don’t because climate impacts are often vastly exaggerated, leaving us panicked. The UN Climate Panel estimates that if we do nothing, climate damages in 2100 will be equivalent to 2.6 per cent of global GDP. That is a problem but not the end of the world.

Because climate news only reports the worst outcomes most people think the damage will be much greater. Remember how we were repeatedly told 2020’s Atlantic hurricane season was the worst ever? The reporting ignored that almost everywhere else, hurricane intensity was feeble, making 2020 one of the globally weakest in satellite history. And even within the Atlantic, 2020 ranked thirteenth.

When John Kerry and many other politicians insist that climate policies mean no sacrifice, they are clearly dissembling. In the UN Climate Panel’s overview, all climate policies have real costs. Why else would we need recurrent climate summits to arm-twist unwilling politicians to ever-greater promises?

The IEA’s new net-zero report contains plenty of concrete examples of sacrifices. By 2050, we will have to live with much lower energy consumption than today. Despite being richer, the average global person will be allowed less energy than today’s average poor. We will all be allowed less energy than the average Albanian used in the 1980s. We will also have to accept shivering in winter at 19°C and sweltering in summer at 26°C, lower highway speeds and fewer people being allowed to fly.

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But climate policy sacrifices could still make sense if their costs were lower than the achieved climate benefits. If we could avoid the 2.6 per cent climate damage for, say, one per cent sacrifice, that would be a good outcome. This is common sense and the core logic of the world’s only climate economist to win the Nobel Prize (2018 laureate William Nordhaus of Yale). Smart climate policy costs little and reduces climate damages a lot.

Unfortunately, our current doublethink delivers the reverse outcome. One new peer-reviewed study finds the cost of net-zero just after 2060 — much later than most politicians promise — will cost us more than four per cent of GDP by 2040, or about $5 trillion annually. And this assumes globally coordinated carbon taxes. Otherwise, costs will more than double. Paying eight per cent or more to avoid part of 2.6 per cent damages half a century later is just bad economics.

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It is also implausible politics. Just for China, the cost of going net-zero exceeds seven to 14 per cent of its GDP. Instead, China uses green rhetoric to placate westerners but aims for development with 247 new coal-fired power plants. China now emits more greenhouse gases than the entire rich world.  Most other poorer countries are hoping to follow China’s rapid ascendance. At a recent climate conference, where dozens of high-level delegates dutifully lauded net-zero, India went off-script. As other participants squirmed, power minister Raj Kumar Singh inconveniently blurted out the truth: net-zero “is just pie-in-the-sky.” He added that developing countries will want to use more and more fossil fuels and “you can’t stop them.”

If we push on with our climate doublethink, rich people will likely continue to wring their hands and aim for net-zero, even at considerable costs to their own societies. But three-quarters of future emissions come from poorer countries pursuing what they regard as the more important development priorities of avoiding poverty, hunger and disease.

Like most great challenges humanity has faced, we solve them not by pushing for endless sacrifices but through innovation. COVID is fixed with vaccines, not unending lockdowns. To tackle climate, we need to ramp up our investments in green energy innovation. Increasing green energy currently requires massive subsidies, but if we could innovate its future price down to below that of fossil fuels, everyone would switch. Innovation is the most sustainable climate solution. It is dramatically cheaper than current policies and demands fewer sacrifices while delivering benefits for most of the world’s population.

Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus, is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.”

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Mann vs. Steyn Update: Getting to the Truth

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Thanks to the Manhattan Contrarian for providing a March update on the eight-year long legal action conducted by M. Mann against M. Steyn.  His post is Update On Michael Mann v. Mark Steyn Litigation.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

Mann’s central allegation in his case against Steyn is that this passage is defamatory because the “hockey stick” graph is not “fraudulent”; and therefore Steyn’s statement that the graph is “fraudulent” is false.

Remarkably, eight and a half years into this case, only now is the truth or falsity of the claim that the “hockey stick” graph is fraudulent being addressed.

The issue was finally raised in a motion for summary judgement filed by Steyn on January 22 — although almost as an aside, in a motion dealing with many other issues; and then the issue was much more squarely addressed in a response by Steyn to a motion for summary judgment by Mann, filed by Steyn on March 3. I have been sent a copy of the March 3 filing, but I have not been able to find a link for it online.

The Steyn motion papers point to three ways in which the Hockey Stick graph is fraudulent.

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  1.  Mann Deleted Data Adverse to the “Hockey Stick” Shape

Of the three, the most compelling is the deletion by Mann of certain adverse data that would have destroyed the neat “hockey stick” shape of the graph. The graph shows a reconstruction of world atmospheric temperatures from about the year 1050 to 2000, where the first 900 years have temperatures flat or slightly declining, followed by a sharp upward move in the last 50 or so years. The 900 year flat period was derived from several collections of data from tree rings, one of which was provided by a Mann colleague named Keith Briffa. However, in the most recent years (post-1960) the Briffa series showed a decline in temperatures — an inconvenient fact that would have greatly undermined the intended visual impact of the graphic. Mann then decided simply to delete the portion of the Briffa data post-1960, while still using the rest. From the Steyn March 3 submission:

The [Hockey Stick graph as published in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report in 2001, in a portion written by lead author Mann] omitted tree ring proxy data collected by climate scientist Keith Briffa that showed a decline in temperatures after 1960, a message inconsistent with the prized hockey stick shape. . . . The IPCC TAR did not disclose the deletion of this data. . . . As lead author, Mann decided to omit the Briffa data without the input of his other lead authors.. . . Mann’s own collaborators cautioned him against the deletion. IPCC TAR Coordinating Lead Author Chris Folland wrote to Mann that Briffa’s data “contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly.”. . . Briffa himself urged Mann not to succumb to “pressure to present a nice tidy story” by “ignor[ing]” his post-1960 results. . . . Mann agreed with them on the merits but bemoaned the data’s political impact: “[I]f we show Keith’s series . . . skeptics [will] have a field day.” . . . To prevent a “skeptics’ field day,” he chose to delete the data.

One would think that this is about as clear a demonstration of scientific fraud as it is possible to have.

2.  Mann “Cherry-Picked” Data to Show Flat Temperature Trend

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3. Mann Showed One Record Upside Down to Support the Desired Shape

And as indicated, this is just one of three instances of fraud in the Hockey Stick graph that are set forth in detail in Steyn’s March 3 submission. The other two involve: (1) “cherry picking” of data, in the selection of proxy data series to show a flat-to-declining temperature trend from 1050 to 1950, by simply omitting to use any of the many available series that show the existence of a “medieval warm period” warmer than the present, and (2) misinterpreting one series to use the results upside down and then, when the error was pointed out, continuing to use the series in that way because it supported the desired visual presentation.

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The original MBH graph compared to a corrected version
produced by MacIntyre and McKitrick after undoing Mann’s errors.

Anyway, Mann gets to throw at least one more brief into this mix, and then we will await the court’s decision. As clear-cut as this may appear from the excerpt I provided, the court’s decision could well not come out until late in the year. If sumary judgment is denied, there will then be a trial. Another possibility is that the court grants summary judgment to Mann as plaintiff. I find that possibility almost too ridiculous to contemplate, but the fact is that when things get as politicized as the “climate change” thing has become, the human mind loses almost all rational capability.

Background: Rise and Fall of the Modern Warming Spike

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The first graph appeared in the IPCC 1990 First Assessment Report (FAR) credited to H.H.Lamb, first director of CRU-UEA. The second graph was featured in 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) the famous hockey stick credited to M. Mann.

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

Climate Science Victim of Fake News

A recent article in the legacy media needed some editorial work in the public interest. Published at the Business Post, it began this way:

Climate science has long been the victim of ‘fake news’ obscuring uncomfortable truths. By pouncing on supposed uncertainties in climate science, big business interests and their supporters in the media divert attention away from the real climate emergency.

Now that is so misleading that a “False Alarm” label should be attached by fact checkers. In their absence, the next best thing is to rewrite to set the record straight and eliminate the falsehoods and hype. So let’s begin again.

Climate science has long been the victim of ‘false alarms’ obscuring the remarkable stability of our climate system. By exaggerating the dangers from extreme weather, entrenched environmental lobbies and ignorant media supporters frighten people for the sake of their tax-subsidized enterprises. (There, fixed.) To Continue:

A climate change awareness rally in Sydney in 2019. Picture: Don Arnold/Getty Images

Climate change is a popular crusade with catchy slogans and many social gatherings to celebrate solidarity. Actual scientific understanding of the climate is hard, lonely work collecting and analyzing data. And simplistic notions about “fighting climate change” are nonsense without rigorous cost and benefit analysis.

To the political classes and wider public still reeling from social and mass media censorship and warped “fact-checking”, and astounded that the world’s leading democracy could see its elections invalidated by a blizzard of lies and backroom vote counting, climate scientists might well say: Don’t be so naive.

Take Phil Jones, a quietly spoken climatologist at the University of East Anglia in England. In 2009, he was caught up in a whistleblower’s leak of context from the university’s email servers which was later dubbed “climategate.”

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious was the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues had for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programs, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to ‘adjust’ recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics’ work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports. (Source:  excerpt from John Walker, former Laboratory Medical Director/Pathologist (1984-2011) See: Q&A Why So Many Climate Skeptics

Background from previous post:

In 2021, there may well be a new deluge of hysterical claims from the usual suspects published at the usual venues comprising legacy and social media.

These outrageous appeals by alarmists in the face of contrary facts remind me of the story defining the term “chutzpuh.” A young man is convicted of killing his parents, and later appears before the judge for sentencing. Asked to give any last words, he replies: “Go easy on me, your Honor, I’m an orphan.”
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Fortunately, there is help for climate alarmists. They can join or start a chapter of Alarmists Anonymous. By following the Twelve Step Program, it is possible to recover and unite in service to the real world and humanity.

Step One: Fully concede (admit) to our innermost selves that we were addicted to climate fear mongering.

Step Two: Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves causes weather and climate, restoring us to sanity.

Step Three: Make a decision to study and understand how the natural world works.

Step Four: Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, our need to frighten others and how we have personally benefited by expressing alarms about the climate.

Step Five: Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our exaggerations and false claims.

Step Six: Become ready to set aside these notions and actions we now recognize as objectionable and groundless.

Step Seven: Seek help to remove every single defect of character that produced fear in us and led us to make others afraid.

Step Eight: Make a list of all persons we have harmed and called “deniers”, and become willing to make amends to them all.

Step Nine: Apologize to people we have frightened or denigrated and explain the errors of our ways.

Step Ten: Continue to take personal inventory and when new illusions creep into our thinking, promptly renounce them.

Step Eleven: Dedicate ourselves to gain knowledge of natural climate factors and to deepen our understanding of nature’s powers and ways of working.

Step Twelve: Having awakened to our delusion of climate alarm, we try to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Summary:

With a New Year just beginning, let us hope that many climate alarmists take the opportunity to turn the page by resolving a return to sanity. It is not too late to get right with reality before the cooling comes in earnest.

This is your brain on climate alarm.  Just say No!

 

Why the Left Coast is Still Burning

Update September 13, 2020:  This reprint of a post two years ago shows nothing has changed, except for the worse.

It is often said that truth is the first casualty in the fog of war. That is especially true of the war against fossil fuels and smoke from wildfires. The forests are burning in California, Oregon and Washington, all of them steeped in liberal, progressive and post-modern ideology. There are human reasons that fires are out of control in those places, and it is not due to CO2 emissions. As we shall see, Zinke is right and Brown is wrong. Some truths the media are not telling you in their drive to blame global warming/climate change. Text below is excerpted from sources linked at the end.

1. The World and the US are not burning.

The geographic extent of this summer’s forest fires won’t come close to the aggregate record for the U.S. Far from it. Yes, there are some terrible fires now burning in California, Oregon, and elsewhere, and the total burnt area this summer in the U.S. is likely to exceed the 2017 total. But as the chart above shows, the burnt area in 2017 was less than 20% of the record set way back in 1930. The same is true of the global burnt area, which has declined over many decades.

In fact, this 2006 paper reported the following:

“Analysis of charcoal records in sediments [31] and isotope-ratio records in ice cores [32] suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years. Although the magnitude of the actual differences between pre-industrial and current biomass burning rates may not be as pronounced as suggested by those studies [33], modelling approaches agree with a general decrease of global fire activity at least in past centuries [34]. In spite of this, fire is often quoted as an increasing issue around the globe [11,26–29].”

People have a tendency to exaggerate the significance of current events. Perhaps the youthful can be forgiven for thinking hot summers are a new phenomenon. Incredibly, more “seasoned” folks are often subject to the same fallacies. The fires in California have so impressed climate alarmists that many of them truly believe global warming is the cause of forest fires in recent years, including the confused bureaucrats at Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency. Of course, the fires have given fresh fuel to self-interested climate activists and pressure groups, an opportunity for greater exaggeration of an ongoing scare story.

This year, however, and not for the first time, a high-pressure system has been parked over the West, bringing southern winds up the coast along with warmer waters from the south, keeping things warm and dry inland. It’s just weather, though a few arsonists and careless individuals always seem to contribute to the conflagrations. Beyond all that, the impact of a warmer climate on the tendency for biomass to burn is considered ambiguous for realistic climate scenarios.

2. Public forests are no longer managed due to litigation.

According to a 2014 white paper titled; ‘Twenty Years of Forest Service Land Management Litigation’, by Amanda M.A. Miner, Robert W. Malmsheimer, and Denise M. Keele: “This study provides a comprehensive analysis of USDA Forest Service litigation from 1989 to 2008. Using a census and improved analyses, we document the final outcome of the 1125 land management cases filed in federal court. The Forest Service won 53.8% of these cases, lost 23.3%, and settled 22.9%. It won 64.0% of the 669 cases decided by a judge based on cases’ merits. The agency was more likely to lose and settle cases during the last six years; the number of cases initiated during this time varied greatly. The Pacific Northwest region along with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had the most frequent occurrence of cases. Litigants generally challenged vegetative management (e.g. logging) projects, most often by alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act. The results document the continued influence of the legal system on national forest management and describe the complexity of this litigation.”

There is abundant evidence to support the position that when any forest project posits vegetative management in forests as a pretense for a logging operation, salvage or otherwise, litigation is likely to ensue, and in addition to NEPA, the USFS uses the Property Clause to address any potential removal of ‘forest products’. Nevertheless, the USFS currently spends more than 50% of its total budget on wildfire suppression alone; about $1.8 billion annually, while there is scant spending for wildfire prevention.

3. Mega fires are the unnatural result of fire suppression.

And what of the “mega-fires” burning in the West, like the huge Mendocino Complex Fire and last year’s Thomas Fire? Unfortunately, many decades of fire suppression measures — prohibitions on logging, grazing, and controlled burns — have left the forests with too much dead wood and debris, especially on public lands. From the last link:

“Oregon, like much of the western U.S., was ravaged by massive wildfires in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl drought. Megafires were largely contained due to logging and policies to actively manage forests, but there’s been an increasing trend since the 1980s of larger fires.

Active management of the forests and logging kept fires at bay for decades, but that largely ended in the 1980s over concerns too many old growth trees and the northern spotted owl. Lawsuits from environmental groups hamstrung logging and government planners cut back on thinning trees and road maintenance.

[Bob] Zybach [a forester] said Native Americans used controlled burns to manage the landscape in Oregon, Washington and northern California for thousands of years. Tribes would burn up to 1 million acres a year on the west coast to prime the land for hunting and grazing, Zybach’s research has shown.

‘The Indians had lots of big fires, but they were controlled,’ Zybach said. ‘It’s the lack of Indian burning, the lack of grazing’ and other active management techniques that caused fires to become more destructive in the 19th and early 20th centuries before logging operations and forest management techniques got fires under control in the mid-20th Century.”

4. Bad federal forest administration started in 1990s.

Bob Zybach feels like a broken record. Decades ago he warned government officials allowing Oregon’s forests to grow unchecked by proper management would result in catastrophic wildfires.

While some want to blame global warming for the uptick in catastrophic wildfires, Zybach said a change in forest management policies is the main reason Americans are seeing a return to more intense fires, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and California where millions of acres of protected forests stand.

“We knew exactly what would happen if we just walked away,” Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Zybach spent two decades as a reforestation contractor before heading to graduate school in the 1990s. Then the Clinton administration in 1994 introduced its plan to protect old growth trees and spotted owls by strictly limiting logging.  Less logging also meant government foresters weren’t doing as much active management of forests — thinnings, prescribed burns and other activities to reduce wildfire risk.

Zybach told Evergreen magazine that year the Clinton administration’s plan for “naturally functioning ecosystems” free of human interference ignored history and would fuel “wildfires reminiscent of the Tillamook burn, the 1910 fires and the Yellowstone fire.”

Between 1952 and 1987, western Oregon saw only one major fire above 10,000 acres. The region’s relatively fire-free streak ended with the Silver Complex Fire of 1987 that burned more than 100,000 acres in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness area, torching rare plants and trees the federal government set aside to protect from human activities. The area has burned several more times since the 1980s.

“Mostly fuels were removed through logging, active management — which they stopped — and grazing,” Zybach said in an interview. “You take away logging, grazing and maintenance, and you get firebombs.”

Now, Oregonians are dealing with 13 wildfires engulfing 185,000 acres. California is battling nine fires scorching more than 577,000 acres, mostly in the northern forested parts of the state managed by federal agencies.

The Mendocino Complex Fire quickly spread to become the largest wildfire in California since the 1930s, engulfing more than 283,000 acres. The previous wildfire record was set by 2017’s Thomas Fire that scorched 281,893 acres in Southern California.

While bad fires still happen on state and private lands, most of the massive blazes happen on or around lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies, Zybach said. Poor management has turned western forests into “slow-motion time bombs,” he said.

A feller buncher removing small trees that act as fuel ladders and transmit fire into the forest canopy.

5. True environmentalism is not nature love, but nature management.

While wildfires do happen across the country, poor management by western states has served to turn entire regions into tinderboxes. By letting nature play out its course so close to civilization, this is the course California and Oregon have taken.

Many in heartland America and along the Eastern Seaboard often see logging and firelines if they travel to a rural area. This is part and parcel of life outside of the city, where everyone knows that because of a few minor eyesores their houses and communities are safer from the primal fury of wildfires.

In other words, leaving the forests to “nature,” and protecting the endangered Spotted Owl created denser forests––300-400 trees per acre rather than 50-80–– with more fuel from the 129 million diseased and dead trees that create more intense and destructive fires. Yet California spends more than ten times as much money on electric vehicle subsidies ($335 million) than on reducing fuel in a mere 60,000 of 33 million acres of forests ($30 million).

Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work. Rowan Moore Gerety/Northwest Public Radio

Once again, global warming “science” is a camouflage for political ideology and gratifying myths about nature and human interactions with it. On the one hand, progressives seek “crises” that justify more government regulation and intrusion that limit citizen autonomy and increase government power. On the other, well-nourished moderns protected by technology from nature’s cruel indifference to all life can afford to indulge myths that give them psychic gratification at little cost to their daily lives.

As usual, bad cultural ideas lie behind these policies and attitudes. Most important is the modern fantasy that before civilization human beings lived in harmony and balance with nature. The rise of cities and agriculture began the rupture with the environment, “disenchanting” nature and reducing it to mere resources to be exploited for profit. In the early 19thcentury, the growth of science that led to the industrial revolution inspired the Romantic movement to contrast industrialism’s “Satanic mills” and the “shades of the prison-house,” with a superior natural world and its “beauteous forms.” In an increasingly secular age, nature now became the Garden of Eden, and technology and science the signs of the fall that has banished us from the paradise enjoyed by humanity before civilization.

The untouched nature glorified by romantic environmentalism, then, is not our home. Ever since the cave men, humans have altered nature to make it more conducive to human survival and flourishing. After the retreat of the ice sheets changed the environment and animal species on which people had depended for food, humans in at least four different regions of the world independently invented agriculture to better manage the food supply. Nor did the American Indians, for example, live “lightly on the land” in a pristine “forest primeval.” They used fire to shape their environment for their own benefit. They burned forests to clear land for cultivation, to create pathways to control the migration of bison and other game, and to promote the growth of trees more useful for them.

Remaining trees and vegetation on the forest floor are more vigorous after removal of small trees for fuels reduction.

And today we continue to improve cultivation techniques and foods to make them more reliable, abundant, and nutritious, not to mention more various and safe. We have been so successful at managing our food supply that today one person out of ten provides food that used to require nine out of ten, obesity has become the plague of poverty, and famines result from political dysfunction rather than nature.

That’s why untouched nature, the wild forests filled with predators, has not been our home. The cultivated nature improved by our creative minds has. True environmentalism is not nature love, but nature management: applying skill and technique to make nature more useful for humans, at the same time conserving resources so that those who come after us will be able to survive. Managing resources and exploiting them for our benefit without destroying them is how we should approach the natural world. We should not squander resources or degrade them, not because of nature, but because when we do so, we are endangering the well-being of ourselves and future generations.

Conclusion

The annual burnt area from wildfires has declined over the past ninety years both in the U.S. and globally. Even this year’s wildfires are unlikely to come close to the average burn extent of the 1930s. The large wildfires this year are due to a combination of decades of poor forest management along with a weather pattern that has trapped warm, dry air over the West. The contention that global warming has played a causal role in the pattern is balderdash, but apparently that explanation seems plausible to the uninformed, and it is typical of the propaganda put forward by climate change interests.

Sources: 

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271044/junk-science-and-leftist-folklore-have-set-bruce-thornton

https://www.4baseball.com/westernjournal.com/after-libs-blame-west-coast-fires-on-global-warming-forester-speaks-out/

https://sacredcowchips.net/tag/bob-zybach/

https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/10/13/ecological-imbalance-wildfires-us-rangelands/

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/08/mismanagement-forests-time-bombs/

Footnote:  So how do you want your forest fires, some small ones now or mega fires later?

Damn the Climate Facts! Full Speed Ahead.

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

Stop Making Sense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silence the Infidels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signatories include:

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

Carol Browner, Biden’s pick as climate advisor;

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club;

Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists;

Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, NRDC Action Fund;

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth

John Podesta, Founder, Center for American Progress

Tom Steyer, Founder, NextGen America; Climate Activist

Response of the CO2 Coalition to calls for Facebook censorship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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