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In the Wake of the News

The Mouse That Roared

There are numerous interests attempting to influence the future course of the global response to climate change including the consensed climate change community, politicians, media outlets, non-government organizations (NGOs), allegedly affected nations, major religions and United Nations bureaucrats. Many of these interests are becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of progress along the paths they have identified to avoid or mitigate the effects of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. This growing frustration is leading some of these interests to take dramatic steps to draw attention to their perceived plights.

One recent manifestation of these dramatic responses is the demand by the Prime Minister of Samoa for “mental confinement of climate deniers”.

"So any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid. And I say the same thing to any leader here."

Of course, there is no leader of any country of any significance who believes that climate does not change. However, there are obviously leaders of countries, such as Samoa, who believe that climate should not be allowed to change, even though it has changed numerous times over millions of years.

Meanwhile, the Maldives, which had loudly demanded action from the developed countries to keep the islands from disappearing into the sea, have changed their focus to development since the area of the islands is actually growing.

Another recent manifestation of these dramatic responses is a new report by scientists commissioned by the Secretary General of the UN, who have concluded essentially that: “Capitalism as we know it is over.”

Rapid economic transition requires proactive governance –markets cannot accomplish the task.”

Logically, rapid global economic transition requires proactive global governance, while markets will be relied upon to make the best of the resulting mess. The UN has been advocating for global governance and would apparently be more than willing to provide that governance. The failed history of multi-year plans in command and control economies and the UN’s failed history of managing global programs appear to be of little concern.

A recent article in the Guardian suggested that the Chinese model of “directed and managed capitalism” might be more successful than the current Anglo-Saxon model. Again, the history of this approach is not encouraging, though the approach still appeals to those who favor socialism and communism.

Meanwhile, the UN Green Climate Fund has transitioned from demanding rapidly increased funding for redistribution to developing countries to begging for funding to cover the commitments it has already made to those countries. The cessation of US funding to the Green Climate Fund has aggravated the problem, but most other countries committed to providing funding have also failed to meet the commitments they made to the Fund.

Against this background, the largest nation practicing “directed and managed capitalism”, through clearly enlightened self-interest, is continuing to increase its construction of coal power plants and its consumption of coal and has begun to decrease its planned reliance on solar and wind generation.

 

Tags: United Nations, Green Climate Fund, Global Governance

Secret Science of Climate Change

Much has been written recently both in support of and in opposition to US EPA’s proposed secret science rule, which would require significant regulatory policy decisions to be based on publicly available data. Most of the support has been grounded in concerns about selection of data sources, data collection and data analysis procedures.

Most of the opposition to the proposed rule has been grounded in concerns about exposure of personal data regarding individual subjects involved in studies. There appear to be no reasons to expose personal data on individual subjects; and, protecting their personal data should be as effective as it has been in the past. However, information regarding the selection processes for study participants, the type of data collected, the collection methods and the data analysis protocols are essential to evaluating the validity of the studies and their conclusions.

The focus on personal data has diverted attention from the more basic intents of the proposed rule, which are: to validate the study design and execution; to facilitate testing of the reproducibility of the results; and, to facilitate replication of the studies if required. This has been a particular issue in climate science, since replication of the studies is not possible. In climate science, there are even issues regarding the ability of climate scientists to reproduce their own results.

This issue has achieved notoriety in climate science as the result of Climategate and of the efforts of some climate scientists to prevent public disclosure of their data and methodologies, even though their research was funded by government agencies. Those seeking access to the data and methodologies have frequently been forced to resort to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests; and, in some cases to lawsuits, when FOIA requests were denied.

Perhaps the most public case involves Dr. Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” graphical projection of potential future climate warming. Mann has aggressively resisted efforts to force public access to his data and methods used in the creation of the “hockey stick” graph, including refusing to comply with FOIA requests and successfully fighting a lawsuit by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia related to studies he performed with government funding while a professor at the University of Virginia.

Mann has also filed Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) against those who have criticized the “hockey stick”, though he has aggressively avoided discovery in each of these lawsuits.

The obvious approach to dealing with this issue regarding climate science is to require, as a condition of government funding for such research, that all study data, analytical methods, computer code and other relevant materials be made publicly available at the conclusion of the research study. Establishing this requirement as a study deliverable could also prohibit final payment for the study until this deliverable has been produced to the satisfaction of the government contract officer.

One possible approach to dealing with the failure to make the data and methods involved in past government-funded studies publicly available is to ban future funding for researchers who have failed to make their data and methods available upon request.

Government agencies funding such research should enforce the “Golden Rule” of funded research: “Those who provide the gold make the rules.” Government agencies which conduct such research should enforce the rules with their employees. The public, which ultimately provides the funds, should demand no less.

 

Tags: Secret Science, EPA, Peer Review, Policy

The Psychology of Denial

The word “denial” has several different definitions depending on the context in which it is used. In the psychological context, it is defined as: “a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality”. The word “skepticism” also has several definitions depending on the context. In the context of climate change, it is defined as: “the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain; or, the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics.

Many in the consensed climate science community and their political and media enablers choose to use the terms “denial”, “denier”, “denialist”, etc. when referring to those who are skeptical of elements of the “scientific consensus” regarding catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. This choice is intended to suggest a commonality with denial of the occurrence of the “Holocaust”, one of the best documented atrocities in human history. The specific intent is to suggest that the consensus position on climate change is an established “fact”, just as the existence of the “Holocaust” is an established fact; and, that failure to accept the consensus position as established fact is as unreasonable as denying the existence of the “Holocaust”. That suggestion is “A Bridge Too Far”.

One interesting recent development is the establishment of the Centre for Studies of Climate Change Denialism (CEFORCED) at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. The Centre has undertaken a study: ““Why don’t we take climate change seriously? A study of climate change denial”. The study focuses on “the ideas and interests behind climate change denial, with a particular focus on right-wing nationalism, extractive industries, and conservative think tanks.”

The use of the term “denialism”, as opposed to skepticism, is intended to suggest that “the existence of the problem or reality” is being denied; and, that this “denialism” is, a priori, unreasonable. While the Centre name includes “Climate Change”, it is actually intended to study “denialism” of the consensus position on catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. Climate change is a historical fact, clearly and comprehensively documented in the palaeoclimatological record. There are very few if any educated individuals who deny, or are even skeptical of, this historical fact.

The Centre might, instead, have used “Anthropogenic Climate Change” in its name, but there are relatively few who deny the existence of a human contribution to recent global warming, though many are skeptical of the extent of the human influence and of the warming. The Centre might also have used “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change” in its name, thus focusing on the real source of most current climate change skepticism. However, CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is hardly “fact” or “reality”, as there is no documentation that it is happening or will happen. Rather it is a creation of unverified climate models using uncertain climate sensitivities, forcings and feedbacks.

It might be interesting to contemplate the possibility of a Center for Studies of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alarmism (CECACA). This Centre might focus on the influences of left-wing globalism, renewable energy industries, left-wing think tanks, non-governmental organizations, re-distributional socialism and advocacy of global governance. Such a Centre might well focus its initial studies on following the money, of which there is a veritable river flowing from multiple sources and down the rat hole.

 

Tags: Climate Skeptics

Selective Analysis when Studying Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are focused on anthropogenic CO2 and other “GHG” (greenhouse gas) emissions as the cause of recent global warming and climate change, to the virtual exclusion of other potential causes such as natural variation. Numerous climate researchers continue to conduct research on other potential influences on climate, including changes in the output of the sun, changes in cosmic radiation and the operation of multiple ocean phenomena. However, the IPCC has chosen to largely exclude the work of these researchers from their assessment reports. This focus on “GHGs” to the exclusion of other influences is selective analysis.

This tendency to selective analysis regarding climate change has also appeared in a different way in the analysis of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and droughts. The focus of the consensed climate science community has been on the concept that the recent increases in global temperature have somehow made these events more likely, or more devastating. Interestingly, this is the case in the face of data showing that the frequency and intensity of these events has not increased, or has decreased, during the period when anthropogenic emissions have increased. There has been no apparent attempt to understand how these anthropogenic emissions might have contributed to these reductions in frequency and intensity, such as the recent 12-year reduction in Atlantic hurricane intensity.

The consensed climate science community uses model-driven attribution studies to analyze the purported contribution of climate change on extreme weather. However, there is no observational evidence of such contributions. These attribution studies have not yet been used to analyze any potential contribution of climate change to reduced frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes. Similarly, attribution studies have not been used to analyze any potential contribution of climate change on the recent climate change hiatus.

A recent example of selective analysis is a study of the decreasing bird populations in the Mojave Desert, purportedly as the result of climate change, despite efforts to reduce climate change by installing wind turbines and solar power towers. The study largely ignores the impacts of these “Rapid Raptor Choppers” and “Rapid Raptor Roasters” on bird populations. There is no evidence of causation regarding climate change and the decline of bird populations, though there is obvious coincidence. However, there is clear and compelling evidence of causation regarding both wind turbines and solar power towers, from both personal observation of incidence and carcass counts.

Perhaps the most enduring example of selective analysis is the cavalier attitude of the consensed climate science community toward the issue of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. A recent analysis of the official temperature measurement stations in Japan visually documents the urbanization of the areas surrounding the stations in Google Earth aerial views. These sites are perhaps an extreme example of urbanization, but they certainly are not the only global temperature measuring sites significantly impacted by urban sprawl, or by the selection of airport sites which are already effectively urbanized.

 

Tags: Greenhouse Gas, IPCC, Consensus, Urban Heat Island, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People

From: Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I sometimes get asked for a concise and accessible summary of my skeptical views on global warming. After a year or more of thinking and writing, my new Kindle book Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People is meant to fill that need.

...

Maybe the best way to summarize what is in the book is to list the chapter titles:

Preface
1. Overview of the Reasons for Skepticism
2. The Five Big Questions
3. Skepticism versus Alarmism
4. The Unholy Alliance: Politics and Science
5. How Could 97% of Scientists Be Wrong?
6. What is the Greenhouse Effect?
7. What Causes Temperature Change?
8. The Good News about Increasing CO2
9. The U.N. IPCC Consensus: Government-Funded Biased Science
10. Climate Models Exaggerate Recent Warming
11. Warming since the 1800s Suggests Climate Models are Too Sensitive
12. How the Reliance on IPCC Climate Models Affects You
13. Why is Warming Not Progressing as Predicted?
14. Refuting Common Climate Delusions
Conclusions

Global Warming Skepticism for Busy People

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

The “Hard Edge” of the Climate Change Movement

The failure of the consensed climate change community (scientists, politicians and media enablers) to gain sufficient traction with their “scary scenarios” has led to the growing exposure of the “Hard Edge” of the climate change movement. The movement shares aspects of socialism, communism and fascism, but its iron fist is typically clad in a velvet glove.

A recent paper in Science Magazine, excerpted here, raises the issue of population policy, with particular emphasis on the situations in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. While the paper does not deal in detail with any specific population policies, it strongly recommends that the IPCC include the development of population policy in its next assessment report. This is a very thorny subject, since none of the approaches to achieving population control, no less population reductions, are particularly palatable. The only societally palatable approaches to moderating population growth which have proven successful are the combination of education and economic development. However, these approaches require long periods to become effective.

A recent article in the Guardian suggests that the Chinese model of “managed and directed capitalism” might be a better approach to advancing the goals of the climate change movement than the current Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism. The ability of a fascist / communist government to control industry and direct its efforts would be a more direct way to achieve the government’s goals and objectives. The success of this approach is clearly visible in the outstanding successes of the various Chinese and Soviet 5-year plans and of their communist economies in general.

Former US President Obama and others have suggested that climate change skeptics should not be allowed to hold public office, essentially excluding their voices from the political process. Others have suggested that skeptics be tried for a variety of crimes against society, including murder, and incarcerated.

Numerous plaintiffs have attempted to use the courts to achieve massive tort awards from corporations which produce and process fossil fuels, with the intent of diminishing their resources and driving them from their businesses. Other groups have aggressively promoted disinvestment of funds from corporations in the fossil fuel industries, again with the intent of diminishing their resources and driving them from their businesses.

The IPCC has effectively excluded skeptical scientific papers from inclusion in its assessment reports; and, has made efforts to prevent or inhibit their publication in the premier climate science journals. The IPCC has also effectively excluded scientific cautions present in its working group reports from the Summary for Policymakers. Since the last IPCC assessment report, thousands of peer reviewed papers questioning the consensus have been published, but none will be represented in the next IPCC assessment report.

Interestingly, the consensed climate science community is discovering that the current US Administration also has a hard edge. The Administration has exited the Paris Accords, eliminated funding for the Green Climate Fund, and substantially revised funding for EPA and other government funded climate research. This might prove to be “the unkindest cut of all”.

 

Tags: Consensus, Climate Skeptics, IPCC

Highlighted Article: The Great Climate Change Debate: William Happer v. David Karoly

From: Watts Up With That?

By: Andy May

The Great Climate Change Debate: William Happer v. David Karoly - 4 part series

  1. Part A - September 1, 2018
  2. Part B - September 2, 2018
  3. Part C - September 3, 2018
  4. Part D - September 3, 2018

 

Karoly summarizes as follows:

“Science has established that it is virtually certain that increases of atmospheric CO2 due to burning of fossil fuels will cause climate change that will have substantial adverse impacts on humanity and on natural systems. Therefore, immediate stringent measures to suppress the burning of fossil fuels are both justified and necessary.”

Happer’s key point is:

“Climate models don’t work. They have predicted several times more warming from greenhouse gas increases than has been observed.”

 

  1. Part A - September 1, 2018
  2. Part B - September 2, 2018
  3. Part C - September 3, 2018
  4. Part D - September 3, 2018
Tags: Highlighted Article

Global Greening

A recent study by a multinational group of scientists has determined that: “From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide”. The study results are based on analyses of data collected by NASA and NOAA satellites. The authors estimate that approximately 70% of the greening is the result of increased CO2 fertilization.

Operating commercial greenhouses under enhanced CO2 conditions to enhance plant growth is a very common practice. Typical greenhouse CO2 levels range from 1000 – 1200 ppm. There have been attempts made in the past to demonstrate aerial fertilization of field crops, but they have achieved limited or no success because of the rapid mixing and dispersion of the CO2 in the open atmosphere.

The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the past ~70 years, from approximately 270 ppm to approximately 400 ppm has created the opportunity to study the effects of CO2 fertilization on a wide variety of plants, including field crops, grassland species and forest trees. These studies have shown that increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations not only increase plant growth, but also increase the efficiency with which numerous types of plants use water. This has significant implications for areas which receive limited rainfall and are either unsuitable for growing crops or require irrigation for successful crop growth.

Critics have been quick to point out that: “the ultimate benefit to crops has been small — and it doesn’t explain our modern agricultural revolution. The driving factor has to be the fertilizers, the seed varieties, the irrigation”. While this criticism is certainly valid, it is not reasonable to expect that the effects of a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations would be as dramatic as the further increase of ~200% imposed in modern commercial greenhouses. However, it is reasonable to assume that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been a contributing factor to improved crop production, though the effect is not separately measurable.

The development of crop seeds optimized for the higher atmospheric CO2 levels could impact not only the amount of fertilizer required but also the amount of water required for the successful growing of high yield field crops. These effects could potentially both expand the land area suitable for high yield crop production by increasing the efficiency of water use and reduce the cost of crop production by reducing fertilization costs.

Plant growth is a complex process affected by numerous variables. It is critical that these variables and their interactions are understood to optimize crop plant selection and production. The ongoing increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations offers both the opportunity to study these interactions and the challenge of optimizing them for each of the important field crops over the range of growing conditions experienced around the globe.

Increasing global population will continue to challenge the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural production. Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations will continue to play a role in meeting the challenge.

Tags: CO2 Emissions, Climate Science

Parsing The Washington Post on Climate

The Washington Post recently published an article entitled: Climate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer. The article has since also appeared in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. The article is based on numerous broad, unsupported generalities.

The article begins with the assertion that: “This is a hot, strange and dangerous summer across the planet.” Summers are hot and hot weather can be dangerous, but that is hardly new or strange.

The article mentions wildfires in Greece and in Yosemite. It states that “scorching heat and high winds fueled wildfires”, though that is technically inaccurate, and implies that the heat and wind are exacerbated by climate change, though there is no evidence to support that implication.

The article goes on to state that: “The brutal weather has been supercharged by human-induced climate change, scientists say.” The “scientists” are not identified and there are numerous scientists who dispute such linkage.

The article also states that: “Climate models for three decades have predicted exactly what the world is seeing this summer.” While it is true that climate models have “predicted” (The IPCC now says: “projected”) warming for the past three decades, they have clearly not predicted “exactly” the situation this summer or any previous summer. The predominant climate model of three decades ago predicted more than twice the warming the globe is currently experiencing. The CMIP5 projections are also dramatically higher than current experience. Numerous scientists have recently acknowledged that the models are “running hot”. Clearly the article suggests an unjustified level of certainty.

The article further states that: “It's not just heat. A warming world is prone to multiple types of extreme weather - heavier downpours, stronger hurricanes, longer droughts.” The data does not support this assertion, as documented by Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. Some scientists predicted permanent drought in the US southwest, though that prediction has been falsified.

The article quotes climatologist Katharine Hayhoe as follows: "You see roads melting, airplanes not being able to take off, there's not enough water". However, surface melting of blacktop road surfaces is not a new phenomenon related to climate change. It has been a fact of life in much of the US in summer for decades. To imply that it is a new phenomenon is intentionally misleading. While it has also been common for airlines to be required to reduce cargo loading and even passenger loading of their planes during summer in desert locations, the recent issue with flight cancellations in Phoenix is linked directly to a specific aircraft – the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ), which is only certified by the FAA for operation at temperatures below 118°F. The manufacturer made a series of economic decisions regarding the aircraft design and the purchasing airlines made a series of economic decisions regarding their aircraft selections. Water shortages in desert regions are hardly a new occurrence; and, they are exacerbated by growing populations in desert regions combined with inadequate preparation for water retention during “monsoon” periods in these locations.

The article also refers to the results of attribution studies as theory meets reality, though the attribution study results are hardly certain, as there are no observational data to support them. Model outputs are not reality.

Articles such as this are intended to promote an agenda. They do so by offering unsupported assertions as if they were facts. They do not advance understanding, though they can increase concern.

 

Tags: Climate Models, Climate History

Highlighted Article: The Fight Against Global Greening

 

From: Watts Up With That?

By: Kip Hansen

The Fight Against Global Greening - Series of 4 essays

 

  1. Part 1 - August 14, 2018
  2. Part 2 - August 15, 2018
  3. Part 3 - August 17, 2018
  4. Part 4 - August 19, 2018

 

Something odd happened between April 2017 and July 2018. I haven’t discovered exactly what prompted it but the rather good science writer and journalist, Carl Zimmer, seems to have flipped his wig. Well, at least he flipped his viewpoint on Global Greening.

 

In April 2017, Zimmer wrote a nice article for the New York Times titled “Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth”. The article is a straightforward report on research performed by Dr. J. E. Campbell of the Sierra Nevada Research stitute, University of California in Merced, California (and others…) called “Large historical growth in global terrestrial gross primary production” published 5 April 2017 in the journal Nature.

 

Eric Worral did a WUWT news brief on the 30 July ’18 Carl Zimmer NY Times article. I thought the issue needed a little more attention — in fact, I thought it needed a series of four essays ...

 

  1. Part 1 - August 14, 2018
  2. Part 2 - August 15, 2018
  3. Part 3 - August 17, 2018
  4. Part 4 - August 19, 2018

 

 

Tags: Highlighted Article
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