Warning: Reading media reports about global warming/climate change can cause serious whiplash, far beyond the danger in watching a professional tennis match. Take today, for example (all excerpts in italics with my bolds)
The tipping point for irreversible global warming may have already been triggered, the scientist who led the biggest-ever expedition to the Arctic warned on Tuesday.
“The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far,” said Markus Rex.
“And one can essentially ask if we haven’t already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion.”
Rex led the world’s biggest mission to the North Pole, an expedition involving 300 scientists from 20 countries.
Summarising their first findings, Rex said scientists found that the Arctic sea ice had retreated “faster in the spring of 2020 than since the beginning of records” and that “the spread of the sea ice in the summer was only half as large as decades ago”. [Really?]
“Only evaluation in the coming years will allow us to determine if we can still save the year-round Arctic sea ice through forceful climate protection or whether we have already passed this important tipping point in the climate system,” Rex added, urging rapid action to halt warming.
Stefanie Arndt, who specialises in sea ice physics, said it was “painful to know that we are possibly the last generation who can experience an Arctic which still has a sea ice cover in the summer”.
“This sea ice cover is gradually shrinking and it is an important living space for polar bears,” said Arndt, while recounting observations of seals and other animals in the polar habitat. [What about this?]
Comment: I agree it’s high time to stop trying to cut emissions, and commit to adapting to whatever nature brings: whether warming, or the greater threat, cooling.
As temperatures fall below zero degrees celsius during the night, anti-frost candles burn through sunrise in the Chablis vineyards near Chablis, Burgundy, France, April 7, 2021. (AFP Photo)
Scientists said Tuesday that climate change had sharply increased the odds of devastating events such as the frost that wiped out a third of French wine production at a cost of around 2 billion euros ($2.42 billion) in the space of a few nights in April. The frost blanketed the country’s most well-known and prestigious wine-producing regions in what minister Julien Denormandie called “probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”
Scientists warned that climate change would raise the risk of such events even further in the future.
Greta Thunberg calls out hypocrisy of world leaders for eating steak and lobster at climate summit. at VegNews
This week, vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg expressed her disappointment with world leaders making empty promises about climate action during the G7 (Group of Seven) summit at the luxury Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall, England. Led by United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attended by United States President Joe Biden, the purpose of the three-day event was for the group to meet prior to this year’s United Nations conferences to discuss a variety of global issues, including their collaborative effort to tackle the climate crisis.
Throughout the weekend, event attendees were treated to a variety of meals, including a five-course dinner which included turbot fish, a selection of Cornish cheeses, and dairy-based desserts on Friday; and a lavish beach barbecue on Saturday which included seafood appetizers made with scallops, mackerel, and crab claws, and a traditional surf-and-turf entrée that featured sirloin steak and lobsters. The meals were marketed as sustainable and “carbon neutral” because animals such as lamb and crab were sourced locally.
Wildfire Ashes Dumped on Pelosi’s Porch as Youth Climate Activists Descend on US Lawmakers’ CA Homes at Sputnik News.
Last month, the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led political movement against climate change, kicked off a series of ‘Generation on Fire’ marches in California and the Gulf Coast. Since then, members of the group have marched hundreds of miles and held a demonstration in Paradise, California, the site of a 2018 fire that displaced nearly 50,000 people.
The San Francisco, California, homes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) became the sites of protest as over 100 young activists of the Sunrise Movement ended a 266-mile march on Monday.
The climate change activists could be overheard chanting, among many things, “Whose future? Our future!” as they marched across the Golden Gate Bridge to get to Pelosi’s Normandie Terrace home and Feinstein’s mansion.
Big Four beancounter PwC to hire 100,000 employees world-wide as it expands consultancy services at This Is Money.
Big Four accountant PwC plans to hire 100,000 employees world-wide as it expands lucrative consultancy services in areas such as climate change.
The hiring spree over the next five years will take its global headcount to nearly 384,000.
It is part of a £8.5billion investment to take advantage of huge demand from businesses for advice on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
PwC is investing in recruitment, training and technology to foster expertise on subjects ranging from how firms can cut carbon emissions, to ‘hybrid’ working practices after the pandemic and how to hire executives from a mix of backgrounds.
Florida skies to turn orange as dust storm travels over from Sahara at The Independent.
Florida’s skies are set to be turned orange this week by a giant Saharan dust storm that has traveled across the Atlantic.
The dust is part of 60 million tons of sand and mineral particles that are annually swept up off the African desert floor and pushed westwards across the ocean by winds.
Weather experts predict that the cloud of dust is due to arrive in the Gulf of Mexico this week and will likely hit Florida on Wednesday.
Should we pay a carbon tax to our own government or to someone else’s? at WA Today.
Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s popular determination to tackle climate change with “technology not taxes”, the decision might not long remain in Australian hands if the G7 leaders’ statement from the weekend meeting in Cornwall is anything to go by.
Soon we might have to decide if we want to pay a carbon tax to our own government, or one to someone else’s.
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
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.
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.”
I 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.”
From 1991-2003, above 1500 the ice in Greenland had thickened by 2 feet. There had been little change below 1500 m (above).
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
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
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
Hansen Wildly Exaggerated Future Warming in His 1988 US Senate Testimony
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
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:
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.
I was recently reminded (H/T pHil R) about Michael Crichton’s insight into our vulnerability to media bias. He called it the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect, named after his friend, physicist Gell-Mann.
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
The corollary came to me the other day when I was reading an email string on Addiction Medicine. A couple of fathers of the field had written an article in one of those non-peer reviewed clinical newspapers that each specialty has and shared it with the group. They were showered with praise, so I started reading what they wrote. I was struck that the assumptions they made in their article directly contradicted several of the working assumptions of the group, yet the group expressed nearly universal approval with the conclusions of the article.
So the Hunt Assumption Amnesia Corollary is when experts start reading a paper, note that they disagree with some basic assumptions of the work, but keep reading and accept the conclusions, forgetting they had rejected the assumptions. This effect is rife in Addiction Medicine, and, I suspect, much of academia.
When I first learned to read a scientific paper, I was taught to go through the various sections to understand the limitations of the conclusions I’d read at the end. Did they select the subjects correctly? Did they use the right test for the question? Did they have enough subjects to power the study sufficiently? And many other important questions.
But I’ve come to find in the fullness of time that there are really only two questions I need to know when reading a paper. Were the authors aware that their assumptions are assumptions, and are they questioning them?
I want to pose my own testable hypothesis about how this corollary effect occurs. I think, if I’m right, that we’ll see it in all media.
First, the assumption is stated as fact, but in a muted way so that it slides past the readers assumption filter rather than slamming headlong into it. Then data is piled up to bolster the writer’s thesis by generalizing findings in particular situations to all situations. So, by the end of the piece any disagreement with the assumption is forgotten under the weight of “the evidence.”
A previous post is reprinted below showing how a journalism professor prepares his students to read critically media reports concerning climate change/global warming.
Decoding Climate News
Journalism professor David Blackall provides a professional context for investigative reporting I’ve been doing on this blog, along with other bloggers interested in science and climate change/global warming. His peer reviewed paper is Environmental Reporting in a Post Truth World. The excerpts below show his advice is good not only for journalists but for readers. h/t GWPF, Pierre Gosselin
Overview: The Grand Transnational Narrative
The dominance of a ‘grand transnational narrative’ in environmental discourse (Mittal, 2012) over other human impacts, like deforestation, is problematic and is partly due to the complexities and overspecialization of climate modelling. A strategy for learning, therefore, is to instead focus on the news media: it is easily researched and it tends to act ‘as one driving force’, providing citizens with ‘piecemeal information’, making it impossible to arrive at an informed position about science, society and politics (Marisa Dispensa et al., 2003). After locating problematic news narratives, Google Scholar can then be employed to locate recent scientific papers that examine, verify or refute news media discourse.
The science publication Nature Climate Change this year, published a study demonstrating Earth this century warmed substantially less than computer-generated climate models predict.
Unfortunately for public knowledge, such findings don’t appear in the news. Sea levels too have not been obeying the ‘grand transnational narrative’ of catastrophic global warming. Sea levels around Australia 2011–2012 were measured with the most significant drops in sea levels since measurements began. . .The 2015–2016 El-Niño, a natural phenomenon, drove sea levels around Indonesia to low levels such that coral reefs were bleaching. The echo chamber of news repeatedly fails to report such phenomena and yet many studies continue to contradict mainstream news discourse.
I will be arguing that a number of narratives need correction, and while I accept that the views I am about to express are not universally held, I believe that the scientific evidence does support them.
The Global Warming/Climate Change Narrative
The primary narrative in need of correction is that global warming alone (Lewis, 2016), which induces climate change (climate disruption), is due to the increase in global surface temperatures caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases. Instead, there are many factors arising from human land use (Pielke et al., 2016), which it could be argued are responsible for climate change, and some of these practices can be mitigated through direct public action.
Global warming is calculated by measuring average surface temperatures over time. While it is easy to argue that temperatures are increasing, it cannot be argued, as some models contend, that the increases are uniform throughout the global surface and atmosphere. Climate science is further problematized by its own scientists, in that computer modelling, as one component of this multi-faceted science, is privileged over other disciplines, like geology.
Scientific uncertainty arises from ‘simulations’ of climate because computer models are failing to match the actual climate. This means that computer models are unreliable in making predictions.
Published in the eminent journal Nature (Ma, et. al., 2017), ‘Theory of chaotic orbital variations confirmed by Cretaceous geological evidence’, provides excellent stimulus material for student news writing. The paper discusses the severe wobbles in planetary orbits, and these affect climate. The wobbles are reflected in geological records and show that the theoretical climate models are not rigorously confirmed by these radioisotopically calibrated and anchored geological data sets. Yet popular discourse presents Earth as harmonious: temperatures, sea levels and orbital patterns all naturally balanced until global warming affects them, a mythical construct. Instead, the reality is natural variability, the interactions of which are yet to be measured or discovered (Berger, 2013).
In such a (media) climate, it is difficult for the assertion to be made that there might be other sources, than a nontoxic greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide (CO2), that could be responsible for ‘climate disruption’. A healthy scientific process would allow such a proposition. Contrary to warming theory, CO2 levels have increased, but global average temperatures remain steady. The global average temperature increased from 1983 to 1998; then, it flat-lined for nearly 20 years. James Hansen’s Hockey Stick graph, with soaring and catastrophic temperatures, simply did not materialize.
As Keenan et al. (2016) found through using global carbon budget estimates, ground, atmospheric and satellite observations, and multiple global vegetation models that there is also now a pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2. They attribute this to increases in terrestrial sinks over the last decade, where forests consume the rising atmospheric CO2 and rapidly grow—the net effect being a slowing in the rate of warming from global respiration.
Contrary to public understanding, higher temperatures in cities are due to a phenomenon known as the ‘urban heat effect’ (Taha, 1997; Yuan & Bauer, 2007). Engines, air conditioners, heaters and heat absorbing surfaces like bitumen radiate heat energy in urban areas, but this is not due to the greenhouse effect. Problematic too are data sets like ocean heat temperatures, sea-ice thickness and glaciers: all of which are varied, some have not been measured or there are insignificant measurement time spans for the data to be reliable.
Contrary to news media reports, some glaciers throughout the world (Norway [Chinn et al., 2005] and New Zealand [Purdie et al., 2008]) are growing, while others shrink (Paul et al., 2007).
This is clearly a contentious topic. There are many agendas at play, with careers at stake. My view represents one side of the debate: it is one I strongly believe in, and is, I contend, supported by the science around deforestation, on the ground, rather than focusing almost entirely on atmosphere. However, as a journalism educator, I also recognize that my view, along with others, must be open to challenge, both within the scientific community and in the court of public opinion.
As a journalism educator, it is my responsibility to provide my students with the research skills they need to question—and test—the arguments put forward by the key players in any debate. Given the complexity of the climate warming debate, and the contested nature of the science that underpins both sides, this will provide challenges well into the future. It is a challenge our students should relish, particularly in an era when they are constantly being bombarded with ‘fake news’ and so-called ‘alternative facts’.
To do so, they need to understand the science. If they don’t, they need to at least understand the key players in the debate and what is motivating them. They need to be prepared to question these people and to look beyond their arguments to the agendas that may be driving them. If they don’t, we must be reconciled to a future in which ‘fake news’ becomes the norm.
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.”
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.
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.
The pandemic has sucked the air out of the climatism scare, so the usual suspects are stirring the pot this Halloween season. Of course many are joining to make up this witches brew, but take for example this CBS News report today: For many climate change finally hits home. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
2020 has been a year of nonstop crises. For a while there, it was almost possible to forget an ongoing crisis that used to have our attention: climate change. But Nature found a way to remind us.
In the Midwest, punishing 100-mile-per-hour winds. In the Southwest, a brutal succession of floods and droughts. On the coasts: a freakish number of devastating hurricanes.
And in our Western states, historic mega-fires that sent a plume of ash and smoke all the way to the East Coast. More than four million acres have burned in California alone. To put that into perspective, that is larger than the state of Connecticut.
In the last 20 years, we’ve experienced twice the number of weather disasters as we did in the previous 20 years. Cost so far? About $3 trillion.
Yes, climate change is back in the headlines.
Wallace-Wells said climate change is not just about warmer weather: “It changes the whole system. Rainstorms are gonna be more intense. The oceans are heating up, which means that hurricanes are gonna become more intense and more frequent, as they already are. There are gonna be extreme droughts, as well as extreme rainfalls.
“It’s just a kind of a scrambling of what had been a very stable system on which we’ve erected all of human civilization.” And it’s not just unstable weather, it’s unstable us.
“Agricultural yields could fall by half or more over the course of the century if we don’t change course,” said Wallace-Wells. “It affects respiratory illnesses, cancer. It affects cognitive performance, development of children.”
So, there is some good news: more people are talking about the climate crisis; more countries are doing something about it (even China); and last year, for the first time, the price of clean, renewable energy actually fell below the price of burning coal.
On the other hand, we’re getting started far too late.
Pogue asked David Wallace-Wells if the latest developments give him any hope: “If you’re hoping to preserve the planet of our grandparents, there’s no reason for hope,” he replied. “If you’re hoping to preserve the climate as we know it today, there’s really no reason for hope there, either.
The antidote to this feverish litany of climate cliches is to remember the facts which contradict the alarmists’ appeal to feelings. A previous post explains why the media persists in this behavior and why they abuse our trust in their slanting of the news. From
Climate Hype is a Cover Up.
Background and Context
Back in 2015 in the run up to Paris COP, French mathematicians published a thorough critique of the raison d’etre of the whole crusade. They said:
Fighting Global Warming is Absurd, Costly and Pointless.
Absurd because of no reliable evidence that anything unusual is happening in our climate.
Costly because trillions of dollars are wasted on immature, inefficient technologies that serve only to make cheap, reliable energy expensive and intermittent.
Pointless because we do not control the weather anyway.
The prestigious Société de Calcul Mathématique (Society for Mathematical Calculation) issued a detailed 195-page White Paper presenting a blistering point-by-point critique of the key dogmas of global warming. The synopsis with links to the entire document is at COP Briefing for Realists
Even without attending to their documentation, you can tell they are right because all the media climate hype is concentrated against those three points.
Finding: Nothing unusual is happening with our weather and climate. Hype: Every metric or weather event is “unprecedented,” or “worse than we thought.”
Finding: Proposed solutions will cost many trillions of dollars for little effect or benefit. Hype: Zero carbon will lead the world to do the right thing. Anyway, the planet must be saved at any cost.
Finding: Nature operates without caring what humans do or think. Hype: Any destructive natural event is a result of humans burning fossil fuels.
How the Media Throws Up Flak to Defend False Suppositions
The Absurd Media: Climate is Dangerous Today, Yesterday It was Ideal.
Billions of dollars have been spent researching any and all negative effects from a warming world: Everything from Acne to Zika virus. 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.
Alarming Weather and Wildfires
But: Weather is not more extreme. And Wildfires were worse in the past. But: Sea Level Rise is not accelerating. Litany of Changes
Seven of the ten hottest years on record have occurred within the last decade; wildfires are at an all-time high, while Arctic Sea ice is rapidly diminishing.
We are seeing one-in-a-thousand-year floods with astonishing frequency.
When it rains really hard, it’s harder than ever.
We’re seeing glaciers melting, sea level rising.
The length and the intensity of heatwaves has gone up dramatically.
Plants and trees are flowering earlier in the year. Birds are moving polewards.
We’re seeing more intense storms.
But: Arctic Ice has not declined since 2007.
But: All of these are within the range of past variability.
In fact our climate is remarkably stable, compared to the range of daily temperatures during a year where I live.
And many aspects follow quasi-60 year cycles.
The Impractical Media: Money is No Object in Saving the Planet.
Here it is blithely assumed that the court can rule the seas to stop rising, heat waves to cease, and Arctic ice to grow (though why we would want that is debatable). All this will be achieved by leaving fossil fuels in the ground and powering civilization with windmills and solar panels. While admitting that our way of life depends on fossil fuels, they ignore the inadequacy of renewable energy sources at their present immaturity.
An Example: The choice between incurring manageable costs now and the incalculable, perhaps even irreparable, burden Youth Plaintiffs and Affected Children will face if Defendants fail to rapidly transition to a non-fossil fuel economy is clear. While the full costs of the climate damages that would result from maintaining a fossil fuel-based economy may be incalculable, there is already ample evidence concerning the lower bound of such costs, and with these minimum estimates, it is already clear that the cost of transitioning to a low/no carbon economy are far less than the benefits of such a transition. No rational calculus could come to an alternative conclusion. Defendants must act with all deliberate speed and immediately cease the subsidization of fossil fuels and any new fossil fuel projects, and implement policies to rapidly transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels.
But CO2 relation to Temperature is Inconsistent.
But: The planet is greener because of rising CO2.
But: Modern nations (G20) depend on fossil fuels for nearly 90% of their energy.
But: Renewables are not ready for prime time.
People need to know that adding renewables to an electrical grid presents both technical and economic challenges. Experience shows that adding intermittent power more than 10% of the baseload makes precarious the reliability of the supply. South Australia is demonstrating this with a series of blackouts when the grid cannot be balanced. Germany got to a higher % by dumping its excess renewable generation onto neighboring countries until the EU finally woke up and stopped them. Texas got up to 29% by dumping onto neighboring states, and some like Georgia are having problems.
But more dangerous is the way renewables destroy the economics of electrical power. Seasoned energy analyst Gail Tverberg writes:
In fact, I have come to the rather astounding conclusion that even if wind turbines and solar PV could be built at zero cost, it would not make sense to continue to add them to the electric grid in the absence of very much better and cheaper electricity storage than we have today. There are too many costs outside building the devices themselves. It is these secondary costs that are problematic. Also, the presence of intermittent electricity disrupts competitive prices, leading to electricity prices that are far too low for other electricity providers, including those providing electricity using nuclear or natural gas. The tiny contribution of wind and solar to grid electricity cannot make up for the loss of more traditional electricity sources due to low prices.
The Irrational Media: Whatever Happens in Nature is Our Fault.
Other potential examples include agricultural losses. Whether or not insurance reimburses farmers for their crops, there can be food shortages that lead to higher food prices (that will be borne by consumers, that is, Youth Plaintiffs and Affected Children). There is a further risk that as our climate and land use pattern changes, disease vectors may also move (e.g., diseases formerly only in tropical climates move northward).36 This could lead to material increases in public health costs
But: Actual climate zones are local and regional in scope, and they show little boundary change.
But: Ice cores show that it was warmer in the past, not due to humans.
The hype is produced by computer programs designed to frighten and distract children and the uninformed. For example, there was mention above of “multi-meter” sea level rise. It is all done with computer models. For example, below is San Francisco. More at USCS Warnings of Coastal Floodings
In addition, there is no mention that GCMs projections are running about twice as hot as observations.
Omitted is the fact GCMs correctly replicate tropospheric temperature observations only when CO2 warming is turned off.
In the effort to proclaim scientific certainty, neither the media nor IPCC discuss the lack of warming since the 1998 El Nino, despite two additional El Ninos in 2010 and 2016.
Further they exclude comparisons between fossil fuel consumption and temperature changes. The legal methodology for discerning causation regarding work environments or medicine side effects insists that the correlation be strong and consistent over time, and there be no confounding additional factors. As long as there is another equally or more likely explanation for a set of facts, the claimed causation is unproven. Such is the null hypothesis in legal terms: Things happen for many reasons unless you can prove one reason is dominant.
Finally, advocates and IPCC are picking on the wrong molecule. The climate is controlled not by CO2 but by H20. Oceans make climate through the massive movement of energy involved in water’s phase changes from solid to liquid to gas and back again. From those heat transfers come all that we call weather and climate: Clouds, Snow, Rain, Winds, and Storms.
Esteemed climate scientist Richard Lindzen ended a very fine recent presentation with this description of the climate system:
I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.
Say what you want about the liberal arts, but they’ve found a cure for common sense.
As we all know, acquiring common sense can be a matter of life and death. I’m thinking, for example, of the teenage boy who swallowed a garden slug on a dare, became paralyzed, and died recently. Because children lack common sense,parents must do what they have always done, trying to instill common sense in their children while at the same time using their own common sense to encompass the growing child.
Becoming a person of common sense has always been a life-defining challenge, but acquiring common sense has gotten a lot more difficult for young people in our time, especially if they have spent some time in our institutions of higher learning. My witty friend Robert Godwin has this to say about that: “Say what you want about the liberal arts, but they’ve found a cure for common sense.”
When I headed off to college, my high school teacher who was my mentor offered me two commonsense rules to follow: “Take care to stay well, and choose professors, not courses.” Because of my high regard for him, I took his words to heart. Later, when I saw the problems my fellow students brought on themselves by not getting enough sleep and generally being careless about their health, I understood the practical wisdom of what he had told me. And the second rule helped me more quickly understand the value of navigating my way through college by who was teaching the course rather than by the course title.
For years, I handed on the same commonsense wisdom to young folks I knew when they headed off to college. But I have not offered that advice for some years now. Here is what I tell them now: “They are going to try to knock common sense out of you; don’t let them.”
Post script: From the comments below, Otto was pushing for info regarding volcanoes and the Holocene Climate Optimum. I responded thus:
Otto, I don’t see volcanoes causing the HTM (Holocene Thermal Maximum). The HTM ended at different times in different parts of the world, but it had ended everywhere by 4,000 BP (BP here means the number of years before 2000) and the world began to cool. Your link refers to the Santorini eruption ending the Minoan warming as well as that civilization.
From Renssen et al. 2012: “The Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM) was a relatively warm climatic phase between 11 and 5 ka BP, as indicated by numerous proxy records (Kaufman et al., 2004; Jansen et al., 2007, 2008; Wanner et al., 2008; Miller et al., 2010a; Bartlein et al., 2011). The relatively warm conditions during the HTM are commonly associated with the orbitally-forced summer insolation maximum (Wanner et al., 2008; Bartlein et al., 2011). However, proxy records suggest that both the timing and magnitude of maximum warming varied substantially between different regions across the globe, suggesting involvement of additional forcings and feedbacks (Jansen et al., 2007; Bartlein et al., 2011). One important additional factor affecting the early Holocene climate is the remnant Laurentide Ice sheet (LIS). https://dial.uclouvain.be/pr/boreal/object/boreal%3A112248/datastream/PDF_01/view
From this we learn three things:
Climate warms and cools without any help from humans.
Warming is good and cooling is bad. The hypothetical warming from CO2 would be a good thing.
Dr.Drew Pinsky talks with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about coronavirus: “The panic must stop. And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”
CBS NEWS: “So you’ve seen pandemics over the decades, how does this one compare with everything?”
DR. DREW: “A bad flu season is 80,000 dead, we’ve got about 18,000 dead from influenza this year, we have a hundred from corona. Which should you be worried about influenza or Corona? A hundred versus 18,000? It’s not a trick question. And look, everything that’s going on with the New York cleaning the subways and everyone using Clorox wipes and get your flu shot, which should be the other message, that’s good. That’s a good thing, so I have no problem with the behaviors. What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed that people’s lives are being upended, not by the virus, but by the panic. The panic must stop. And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”
CBS NEWS: “So, where do you think the panic started? Besides the press, like what was the impetus in terms of mass hysteria?”
DR. DREW: “I saw it, there’s a footage of me on a show called The Daily Blast Live a month ago, going ‘shouldn’t we be scared about this?’ and me going ‘no, there’s gonna be as potential for panic here, shut up everybody, stop talking about it, I could see the panic brewing, and I could just see it the way the innuendo and the every opportunity for drama by the press was twisted in that direction. Let me give you an example: so the World Health Organization is out now saying the fatality rate from the virus is 3.4%, right? Every publication from the WHO says 3.4% and we expect it to fall dramatically once we understand the full extent of the illness. No one ever reports the actual statement. We go 3.4% that’s 10 times more than the, whatever five times more than the flu virus and yeah it’s gonna be a little more [than the] flu probably. Still not a bad flu season.”
CBS NEWS: “Right, we’re gonna hear about more cases, more people died.”
DR. DREW: “There are probably several people in this building that probably have it and don’t know it.”
CBS NEWS: “Right, well it was also just the process of letting the public know, the stock market, the number of tests that were available, there was so much happening, I think people were freaking out as a result of that.”
DR. DREW: “I think there was it was a concerted effort by the press to capture your eyes and in doing so they did it by inducing panic. There’s, listen, the CDC and the WHO, they know what they are doing, they contain pandemics, that’s how they know how to do it, they’re doing an amazing job.”
CBS NEWS: “What about the global implications of this because we were talking off-camera about Italy, there’s China as well, there’s some little outbreaks where you should avoid.
DR. DREW: “There are, I would look out where there flus out breaking bad to. I ended up getting the bird flu, I got H1N1 and it was horrible. It was no fun. … There’s certain things having been a physician for almost forty years, there are certain things I just know … and there’s certain things I just know by virtue of all the experience I’ve had and so when I saw this one coming, the corona, I thought I know how this is gonna go, I see kind of what it is and then I saw the excessive reaction the press, so I have to respond and then people, the weird part on social media towards me as people are angry with me, angry with me for trying to get them to see reality and calm down.”
Well, I would criticize them for purposefully and uselessly manipulating with the populace of the laymen. And the tone in which the news are being presented – there is one case here… Well, there’s one case here, five cases a day or eight cases a day today. It’s 8 cases. During that time, much more serious infectious diseases, viral or bacterial ones, actually kill many more people. And that’s something that is not included in the context of that information. So the announcements seem populist, one-sided, and they resemble a politician’s campaign before the elections when the politician focuses on one topic and he escalates it.
I am not quite a virologist, closer to a bacteriologist. Anyway, coronaviruses have been with us from the beginning. It is a large group of viruses that cause respiratory diseases, runny nose, cough, exceptionally diseases of the lower respiratory tract. But when we statistically test the coronaviruses every year, they cause up to 18% of respiratory infections. No one talks about it. These viruses attack all age groups, from babies to seniors. That’s how things work. Sometimes they appear along with other viruses, most often with influenza viruses. The coronaviruses have always been here, are here, and will be here. When the virus mutates, merges the genes with something, that’s how Nature and biology works. They may do whatever seems good in their context. We see it in flu, too.
I don’t really believe that the Wuhan virus differs. If we look at it from the healthcare perspective, according to symptoms – Covid is mostly about mild symptoms in the upper respiratory tract, especially among young and not immunocompromised people. And even the fatalities described in the context of this virus are compatible with the biology of this virus. Even the other coronaviruses may kill a weakened individual. But the available mortality numbers, let’s accept them, simply describe the reality. In comparison with SARS and MERS, Covid has a much lower fatality rate. Nevertheless, SARS and MERS didn’t get this much attention.
Some 3 months ago, the WHO was just warning about the infectious disease, most likely a viral and not bacterial one, that may quickly spread due to the widespread travelling. The main WHO virologist just made this speculation. It’s interesting that this has happened. It may easily spread, in theory. However, in practice, the propagation of the news occurs much more quickly than the propagation of the virus itself. It is spreading like a computer virus, not a biological virus, because the numbers of infected ones remain low. Around 80,000 Chinese is a tiny fraction of China’s 1.4 billion people. If they published how many people have flu or tuberculosis at the same moment, the numbers would be vastly higher. So I think it is like the propagation of a Trojan horse or a computer virus.
For Americans across the country, Democrats’ and the media’s fixation on impeachment has engulfed the news the public has consumed for nearly four months. Democrats have worked tirelessly to convince the public that President Trump committed an impeachable offense. Unfortunately for them, these attempts have proved to be futile. Recent polling has shown a drop in support for impeachment. Where our country was previously evenly divided, Americans now oppose impeachment 50%-47% and Trump’s job approval rating has remained steady.
Americans see beyond spin and media narratives, but ascertaining what has been going on in Washington behind the sea of impeachment headlines can be difficult. A new Media Research Center analysis found that from the time that Democrats’ impeachment push began on Sept. 24, the evening newscasts on CNN, ABC, and NBC gave the president’s historic economy and trade developments just nine minutes of coverage, combined, out of 1,098 total minutes. Conversely, impeachment efforts and Ukraine received 849 minutes of airtime. That means news on Trump’s economy made up far less than 1% of the coverage.
Devoid of fair and balanced news sources, Americans do not realize just how much President Trump and his administration have accomplished in the face of the Democrats’ baseless impeachment efforts.
For starters, it was recently announced that nation’s average unemployment rate since Trump took office is the lowest recorded in history: 3.9%. The administration has created opportunities for Americans to rejoin the workforce, and as result we have seen a decline of over 7 million Americans no longer dependent on food stamps.
President Trump continues to break his own records: As of January 2020, more than 158,000,000 Americans are employed, the stock market is reaching new highs, and consumer confidence is at the highest in decades.
It’s impossible to refute the strength of the Trump economy. The media knows this and that is why coverage of it is lackluster; but that’s not the only victory by the administration that has been brushed over in the last few months.
Last December, President Trump signed The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act. This bill appropriates funding for rape kit testing, DNA training programs, and the sexual assault forensic grant program. The backlog of rape kits in this country soars well over the tens of thousands. The funds granted in this bill ensure that these kits can be tested before the statues of limitations run out and that victims have a better chance of seeing justice.
President Trump took measures in November of 2019 to outlaw animal cruelty and make the prosecution of offenders easier when he signed The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act into law. This measure provides more comprehensive protections for animals against abuse, torture, and the making or sharing of videos that depict animal abuse. A prior loophole made it difficult to prosecute cruelty cases that crossed multiple jurisdictions, but PACT eliminates this.
President Trump also is keeping America’s youth safer. The development of e-cigarettes and vaping saw a resurgence of tobacco use among children and teens, with one in four high school seniors admitting to vaping. Vaping-related illnesses such as lung disease are on the rise, affecting thousands of Americans. In December of 2019, the administration took decisive action to prevent American children’s accessibility to these life-threatening products by raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.
The Trump administration is keeping its promise to take care of our military and veterans and to secure our nation’s border. The spending deal passed in December delivered a 3.1% pay raise to military personnel, the largest pay increase in over a decade. Further, it provided over $1 billion in funding to continue wall construction on our southern border.
The spending bill also included paid family leave for federal workers, a measure that will bring the American government into the 21st century. Previously, the United States was one of just two countries out of 170 that did not provide financial compensation during family leave. The Trump administration is leading by example, encouraging private sector companies to follow in its footsteps to make paid family leave a possibility for all Americans.
The media will be in hysterics once more this week as Senate lawmakers set the rules and procedures for the impeachment hearings. While Democrats continue on their unfounded quest to remove a duly-elected president from office, Donald Trump will be busy delivering real results for the American people, despite what you may hear in the media.
A Thursday evening software update at Facebook accidentally allowed anyone to view exactly who is posting under the accounts of public figures, businesses and other entities, according to Wired.
The result? For starters, some 3 million followers of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg have been reading posts written by her father, Svante Thunberg, and a climate activist in India who serves as a delegate at the UN’s Climate Change organization, Adarsh Prathap. Thunberg, Inc. claims Greta is still the one writing the content.
Greta, Inc. explained this in a Saturday Facebook post purporting to be the young climate activist.
“Some people have been asking who manages this page. First of all, since last spring I only use Facebook to repost what I write on my Twitter and Instagram accounts,” reads the post, in which ‘she’ says she tried Facebook “early on,” but didn’t like it, so she uses “my father Svantes account to repost content.”
“The rest that is shared on Facebook is reposted from Twitter and Instagram by the guy who founded the Greta Thunberg Facebook page long before I knew it existed. His name is Adarsh Prathap and he lives in India. Since a lot of people thought it was my official page in the beginning I asked if I could co-manage it and he said yes.”
Greta claims to have written all the content posted by her father and Prathap.
In other words, “of course it’s not me silly – you should have known I just ‘co-manage’ the fan page.”
Except – by all outward appearances it appeared to be her page alone.
Facebook’s ‘page transparency’ shows Greta as the confirmed owner – with the only clue suggesting she might have help being a page manager located in India.
The level of breathless misinformation and disinformation spread after Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s killing by the individuals we rely on supposedly to report facts and offer analysis in a responsible and undramatized manner was stunning. But this isn’t their first rodeo.
No, such grossly hyperbolic reporting for the sake of convincing people that Trump may have created an epically destructive policy quagmire has become the new calling card of the media. The media has shown that they cannot eviscerate Trump with factual, state-of-affairs reporting because those affairs are never quite dire enough for the media.
Similarly, for the sake of avoiding flat-out lying entirely (although it is entertaining to watch the “mistakes” go in one direction), the media is forced to cabin their criticism in fantastic projections.
Trump almost started World War III. Trump almost catalyzed the entire destruction of the Kurds. Trump almost started war with North Korea. Trump almost started a full-blown war between the Palestinian-Arabs and the Israelis. Trump almost devastated the economy by slapping tariffs on Chinese goods. See how much heavy-lifting the word “almost” is doing? It’s utterly bizarre, because these predictions never happen.
The word’s subjunctive quality has become a shield for the media as they predict wild policy outcomes that have no grounding in the facts. When President Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, we were essentially promised insurmountable bloodshed and the irrevocable destruction of any hope at peace in the region. Thankfully, we got neither. But that didn’t stop reporters from sheepishly convincing themselves that, although their prediction never achieved fruition, it still could have happened.
That is the same dance being rehearsed now on Iran. Our firefighting media know the steps so well. The beauty of almost – and its ugly step-child could have – is that these reporters never have to be right for something to be almost true.
By all accounts, President Trump’s performance vis-à-vis Iran was stunningly effective at reestablishing the policy of deterrence (rather than appeasement) in the region. However, media reporting as of late has made it abundantly clear that wild projections of what could have been will continue to far eclipse what actually was. And the only people who suffer from such bombastic “analysis” are those who are forced to rely on it, given most people’s understandably limited knowledge of Middle Eastern geopolitics.
There’s a gross irresponsibility in such “reporting” and signals the ever-growing credibility crisis of the American media. Contrary to what Time magazine published (and delivered as a push notification), there is absolutely no reason you need to “discuss” Iran with your children. The hysteria is based on lies those in the media continue to recite to themselves and are dangerously projecting upon the greater population.
No, perhaps it’s time to “discuss” Iran with our media betters instead of children, if only not to be dragged along through their hysterical meltdowns. Indeed, we would be spared the ahistorical and insufferable nonsense. At least until the next manufactured apocalypse.
Dr. Arnd Bernaerts in a recent article provides the historical context necessary to get our bearings straight despite today’s overheated, bizarre media-drenched tirades.
As he explains, climate has always been particular and personal, not global or objective. And that has led us into our current impasse, unable to talk productively about weather and climate. It is as though we can not come to grips with the climate issue because our very language and terminology is itself a prior problem preventing any progress. In brief, the terms “weather” and “climate” are loaded with emotion, but not with clear, definitive scientific meaning. IOW plenty of connotation (heat) and very little denotation (light). Dr. Bernaerts faults scientists for failing to develop a rational framework for discovery and research, and instead opting for an activist agenda which benefits from the ambiguity and misrepresentation.
Since the last half of the 20th Century the world has a big problem. Science abuses the laymen terms used since time immemorial: weather and climate. Each term is connected closer to our bodies than our shirts, 24/7 throughout our lives. Alexander von Humboldt (1769 –1859), the great German naturalist and geographer defined climate as ‘all the changes in the atmosphere that perceptibly affect our organs’. According to A.v.Humboldt, ‘climate’ was even closer to the skin of any person than their clothing during day and night. Intellectuals in those days lived closer to nature than academics nowadays.
Climate is the imaginary idea of an individual person from a possible state of the atmosphere, at one place or in one region, about a shorter or longer period of time from own experience or narrative of others or e.g. out of Guidebooks. This means: More than 5 billion adults are living on Earth, and:
Everyone has their own view of climate and describes it corresponding to his own ideas, for the moment or the given circumstances.
During A. v. Humboldt’s lifetime, meteorology was emerging and still at a low level. Now for more than 100 years acknowledged as an academic discipline, scientists remained incapable to tell what ‘climate’ is, indicating their incompetence to formulate terms, without which nothing is explained and is completely useless for scientific research. In the early 20th Century climate was defined as average weather and in the 1930s, the thirty-year period from 1901 to 1930 considered as the baseline for measuring climate fluctuations. Several decades later the prominent meteorologist H.H. Lamb regarded the definition of climate as “average weather” quite inadequate, mentioning that until recently climatology was generally regarded as the mere dry-as-dust bookkeeping end of meteorology (FN. 1). Also the well-known F. Kenneth Hare wrote in 1979: You hardly heard the word climate professionally in the 1940s. It was a layman’s word. Climatologists were the halt and the lame (FN. 2).
As a daily slang word, climate is closer to everyones’ skin than their shirts, it is an abuse every time a scientist uses it. This is presumably a major reason that the climate-change debate has been getting more and more hysterical during the last decades.
But the story gets even worse, completey preposterous, when asking how IPCC defines “weather”. The result is shocking; the Glossary of IPCC offers nothing. But IPCC and other institutions, like the recent UN Climate Change Conference COP 25 (2 – 13 December 2019) in Madrid, do not care.
Even the definition of weather in the AMS – Glossary (American Meteorological Society) does not provide a usable solution, by explaining that:
Popularly, weather is thought of in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind, and
the “present weather” table consists of 100 possible conditions, and
the “past weather”; of 10 possible conditions.
The AMS Glossary does not clear the matter, as it is superficial on several aspects. Already false is the explanation of ‘popularly weather’. The layman is able to use and explain the current weather in presumably several hundred versions, and ‘popularly weather’ is extremly far away from a transparent and workable academic term, as explained above.
It is naive not to realize that if you define climate as average weather, you have to say clearly what weather is. Weather has to be defined first. Meteorology has always ignored this point or – meanwhile – making nebulous statements about it.
Actually it is fair to say that the layman understanding and use of the word “weather” is closer to the following description:
Weather is a personal rating by any person over the condition of the atmosphere, in its various manifestations, at a certain time, usually for the current situation or in temporal proximity.
With such an explanation the story is close to the understanding in ancient Greek, and how A. v. Humboldt (1769 –1859) approached the matter.
The failure of science is that it uses layperson terms, but cannot define them transparently. No wonder that there now are the movements ‘Fridays for Future’ and ‘Extinction Rebellion’, and a discussion at a hysterical level. But science seems happy with the situation, which they have caused. Their prominence grows, the money is coming in; they are able to influence long term political decisions. The biggest tragedy in the whole scenario is that the undeniable rise in temperatures since the mid-19th Century, is discussed on the most superficial childish level.
Folks, keep your way of using the terms: weather and climate, as you have always done, and do not allow scientists to abuse them for selfish reasons.