Tag Archives: Climate Change

Clive James on the failure of the Global Warming story

This article has been mentioned all over the conservative and climate sceptic blogosphere. Most of the links had it behind a paywall, this link is open.

James makes the point that even with Trump walking away from Paris and the science becoming less alarming by the minute, the climate change scam will take a while to fade into well-deserved obscurity. Too many scientists, policy wonks, journalists and politicians have nailed their reputations to the eternal truths of CO2 driven global warming. Too many huge companies stand to make too much money from “solving” this non-problem with all manner of pointless, but gratifyingly expensive, solutions – wind, solar…biomass. Wonderfully corrupt Third World governments and their enablers at the UN are not about to jump off the guilt driven gravy train.

By walking away from Paris and the unicorn fart economics of the “Green Fund”, Trump has killed climate change hysteria and its funding stone dead; but like a headless chicken, there may be a few circuits of the barnyard left in the beast.

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Fragility

Lower-Otay-Dam-DisasterThe NYT published a rather mild piece on climate policy written by its new “conservative” hire Bret Stephens. The consensus claque went nuts. Dana Nuccitelli, who was in on the fraudulent Cook et al consensus paper so often cited, put up a spectacularly unhinged piece at the Guardian rallying the troops and denouncing Stephens as a “hippy puncher”. Subscription are being cancelled as we speak.

The, more or less, instant over the top reaction to a not terrifically radical suggestion that the more strident claims of the climate alarmists need a second look is not surprising. In fact, it is pretty much the only reaction the climate alarmists can have.

The problem climate alarmists have, along with the fact fewer and few people take climate alarmism seriously, is that their coalition is fragile. At one point, I would say about a decade ago, the need to “do something” about “climate change” as a motherhood issue. After all, the science was certain and the time for debate was over. People who were unwilling to accept the innate truth of the IPCC reports and the urgent need for expensive action were “deniers” and entirely excluded from the scientific or policy discussion. The alarmists knew The Truth.

As Stephens points out in his piece, 100% certainty is almost always an indication of a cult rather than any sort of actual truth. And the problem with complete certainty is that there is no flexibility. Either the claim is correct in every particular – which is very unlikely – or it is not. So, for example, the decade old consensus position that the world was growing warmer and warmer and that increases in CO2 were responsible for that warming was a hostage to fortune which was very unlikely to survive. One cooling year could be waved away as “weather”; declining estimates of temperature sensitivity to CO2 were just obscure enough that they could be ignored or suppressed; but the overall claim and the consensus which surrounded it were and are extremely vulnerable to contradiction or even mild doubt.

On the science side the greatest threats were the inadequacy of the climate models and the advent of the “hiatus”. The models entirely failed to project any circumstances in which temperature ceased to rise when CO2 continued to rise. However the hiatus created exactly that set of conditions for what is now looking like twenty years. (Right this instant, last year’s El Nino, broke the hiatus. However, rapidly cooling post El Nino temperatures look set to bring the hiatus back into play in the next six months to a year.)

The economic side is even worse. It turns out that renewable energy – windmills and solar – costs a fortune and is profoundly unreliable. Governments which went all in for renewables (see Ontario) found their energy prices hockey sticking and the popularity plummeting without, as it turns out, making even a slight impression on the rise of CO2 concentrations.

The economics of climate change and its “mitigation” are a shambles. And it is beginning to dawn on assorted politicians that they might have been railroaded with science which was not quite ready for prime time.

Which makes it all the more imperative for the Nuccitelli and DeSmog blogs of this world to redouble their attacks on even mildly sceptical positions. Had the alarmists been less certain their edifice could have easily withstood a recalibration of the science and a recalculation of the cost/benefits. But they weren’t. They went all in for a position which claimed to know for certain that CO2 was driving world temperature and that there was no other possible cause for an increase or decrease in that temperature.

The problem with that position is that it was premature and very brittle. As lower sensitivity estimates emerge, as other, non-CO2 driven, temperature controls are discovered, consensus climate science becomes more and more embattled. What had looked like a monopoly on political discourse and media comment begins to fray. The advent of Trump and a merry band of climate change skeptics in the regulatory agencies and in Congress, has pretty much killed any forward motion for the climate alarmists in the US. And the US is where this battle will be won or lost. However, the sheer cost of so called “carbon reduction” schemes in the UK, Germany and the rest of Europe has been staggering and has shown next to no actual benefit so scepticism is rising there too. China has both embarked on an embrace of climate change abatement and the construction of dozens of coal fired electrical generation plants every year.

What had been a climate change thought monopoly a decade ago has fractured along dozens of scientific, economic and policy lines. Some of the more intelligent alarmists realize that if dissent is not snuffed out ferociously it will spread. Heterodox science will appear in respectable journals,  non-conforming scientists will be invited to appear before Congress (as happened a few weeks ago), the costs and limited to non-existent benefits of renewable energy and carbon taxes will be closely examined; once the thought monopoly is broken the collapse of the climate change scam is inevitable.

Speed the day.Lower-Otay-Dam-Disaster

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Wheat and Heat

Huge grain storage bags are seen in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota in this 2012 aerial handout photoWe were promised that climate change would threaten food supplies…especially wheat.

Apparently not.

From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for basic foodstuffs.

Global stocks of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans combined will hit a record 671.1 million tonnes going into the next harvest – the third straight year of historically high surplus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That’s enough to cover demand from China for about a year.

In the United States, farmers facing a fourth straight year of declining incomes and rising debts are hanging on to grain in the hope of higher prices later. They may be waiting a long time: Market fundamentals appear to be weakening as the world’s top grain producers ponder what to do with so much food. reuters

That is the pesky thing about the real world, it keeps breaking models.

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Ooops…

CO2, China, Canada CO2 emissionsChina burnt 17% more coal than it had previously said it did. Which, what with one thing and another, comes to a billion extra tons of evil CO2 “spewing” (it always spews) into the atmosphere. (NYT for details.)

So, as Paris fast approaches and the great and the good led by Prime Minister Trudeau prepare to pledge reductions in Canada’s CO2 emissions we might pause to consider that Canada’s total CO2 emissions from all sources in 2013 were…726 million tons. Yup, we spewed less CO2 than the CO2 spewed by China’s little error.

Whatever we pledge – in an excess of virtue signalling – will make absolutely no difference to the temperature of the Earth even conceding that CO2 has some effect. Our noble pledges will be entirely lost in the rush to industrialization taking place in China, India and many other countries. For all the difference to the climate Prime Minister Trudeau and the premiers and his merry band of Cabinet Ministers will make in Paris they might as well skip the jet ride and the hotels and mail in some targets which will not be met. Cheaper and less polluting.

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Winter is Coming

global warming, AGW

Oh Dear….

You see those little lines up there? the blue one goes down the green one is flat. Well those are the trends of the satellite temperature measurements for the last couple of decades.

CO2 up, temperature flat or declining.

The nest time a Canadian politician talks about cap and trade or carbon taxes ask him (or her) when was the last time the worldwide satellite temperature gauges showed any warming.

Bet they won’t answer. Because they don’t know and it’s our job to tell them.

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The Reality Deficit

Newly elected Premier Wynne is about to run into the fact the bond raters don’t think much of the most progressive budget in Ontario history.

It turns out that the Sunni Triangle never went away and the jihad is are taking full advantage.

The IRS has “lost” two critical year of email communications with external agencies on its targeting of Tea Party groups.

Surface temperatures are the wrong way to measure the effects of global warming/climate change (possibly because they don’t show any for the last 17 years).

The promise of amnesty, or even its discussion, leads to waves of illegal migrants.

Humans, especially well meaning, sincere, progressive humans, like to be optimistic believing that an appeal to our better angels will somehow change facts so as to fit the preferred narrative. They hope that human nature, and indeed mother nature, will see the justice of their cause and adjust itself accordingly.

Suggesting otherwise makes one a racist or a denier or an islamophobe or some sort of xenophobe. The bond raters and climate scientists and policy analysts rude enough to pay attention to reality are excluded, attacked and marginalised.

Which creates what I would describe as a reality deficit. It is very difficult to get big questions exactly right. Every answer to a big question will be a little bit wrong in its details. It will be an approximation subject to revision as more information and data is brought to bear on the question. Sensible people understand this.

However, when new information or data is ignored, suppressed or filtered through an ideological lens understanding is undermined. The narrative begins to depart from its underlying reality.

As the reality deficit grows the ability of policy makers to reach good decisions is diminished. In the long run this is a self correcting problem. But the cost and pain of adjustment back to reality is huge and grows with every decision made on faulty data or flawed premise.

Whether it is government spending, climate policy, the legal morass of the IRS or a pragmatic response to the jihad is the bigger the reality deficit the nastier the adjustment shock.

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Climate Fascists

Judith Curry comments. I will have much more to write about this in a few days. For now, I will say that I deeply regret that any scientist, particularly such a distinguished scientist as Bengsston, has had to put up with these attacks. This past week, we have seen numerous important and enlightening statements made by Bengtsson about the state of climate science and policy, and science and society is richer for this. We have also seen a disgraceful display of Climate McCarthyism by climate scientists, which has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails. And we have seen the GWPF handle this situation with maturity and dignity Judith Curry

I’ve written elsewhere that this is an own goal for the climate bullies. Bengsston is 79 years old. He has made his anti-alarmist views widely known and has resigned not recanted.

Now the fun begins as we try to hunt down the bullies. But even if that hunt is unsuccessful, the fact these anti-scientific creeps have resorted to intimidating an elderly, distinguished, scientist tells us just how worried they are that the science is collapsing and with it the loony policy prescriptions.

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More Climate Hilarity

Back in 2007 – in a post I cannot find anymore – I suggested that the wheels were falling off the global warming bus.

The absence of warming for the past 17 years has pretty much put paid to the ideas that a) global warming is an imminent problem, b) that the models “climate science” has relied upon are anything other than bogus, c) that CO2 has a control knob function so far as temperature is concerned.

Back in 2007 if you suggested that global warming might, possibly, have an explanation other than CO2 the flying monkeys of climate change – and John Cross – would descend upon you with shrill cries of heresy and “The IPCC says”. And it is important to remember that the IPCC concluded that having looked at all the variables the only possible explanation for observed warming was the increase in CO2. To suggest the Sun or natural variability was to “deny the science”.

Which makes today’s article in Nature all the more delicious:

From the “settled science” department. It seems even Dr. Kevin Trenberth is now admitting to the cyclic influences of the AMO and PDO on global climate. Neither “carbon” nor “carbon dioxide” is mentioned in this article that cites Trenberth as saying: “The 1997 to ’98 El Niño event was a trigger for the changes in the Pacific, and I think that’s very probably the beginning of the hiatus,” watts up with that

Realistically, the warmists will try to have it both ways: CO2 will still be a warming threat but natural variability, cycles, that sort of thing, can be used to explain the “hiatus”. My ten year old can find the logical fallacy in that position.

Now, once natural variability has been admitted as even a partial explanation, the entire edifice of climate is open to question. For example: perhaps the surface temperature record has been incorrectly adjusted. Perhaps there is more to the Urban Heat Island effect than was originally supposed. Perhaps the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is close to 1 degree per doubling than to 4.

When a theory goes wrong it goes wrong in every particular. You can’t pick and choose. If natural variability is implicated in the observed hiatus then it is also implicated in the observed warming which preceded the pause (if pause it is.) The models do not include the oceanic cycles and, if those cycles matter as Trenberth now suggests they do, the models must be junked and begun again from scratch.

Ultimately, the implication of the Nature article is that, on the evidence, the null hypotheses, namely that CO2 is not significantly responsible for increases in temperature, has survived the worst climate science can do.

The policy implications are extraordinary. Essentially, the world is spending a billion dollars a day to reduce the emission of a substance which, on the evidence, has little or nothing to do with climate change.

That should stop. Now.

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Yikes – A Realist Article in the Vancouver Sun

No, really….

Here’s where we come back to B.C. The provincial carbon tax is a “drastic action” that was based on a single questionable study promoted by a small group of climate activists.

The sooner the provincial government puts aside this dogma and embraces a more scientific understanding of the global climate, the sooner it can abolish the carbon tax and get on with developing this province, the job it was elected to do. frank hilliard, vancouver sun

It is a guest column so no progress on the “journalist” front. But Kate linked it which means that one page in the Vancouver Sun now has more traffic than the rest of the newspaper combined.

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