Skip to Primary Navigation Skip to Primary Content Skip to Footer Navigation
▽ Explore More ▽ Hide

Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Urban Heat Island Effect 2

“An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surroundings. According to the EPA, many U.S. cities have air temperatures up to 10°F (5.6°C) warmer than the surrounding natural land cover. This temperature difference usually is larger at night than during the day and larger in winter than in summer, and is most apparent when winds are weak. The main causes are changes in the land surface by urban development along with waste heat generated by energy use. As population centers grow, they tend to change greater areas of land which then undergo a corresponding increase in average temperature.”  Source

Recently there has been renewed interest in the Urban Heat Island Effect, particularly how it affects the temperature measurements used to calculate the global average near-surface temperature. Bob Tisdale performed a series of analyses of “adjusted” data obtained from Berkeley Earth. These analyses demonstrated that for many of the most populace nations of the globe and for the globe as a whole, the average minimum daily temperature is rising approximately twice as rapidly as the average daily maximum temperature. Much of this difference is due to mass of various types located adjacent to the measuring stations. In the most populace nations of the globe, this mass is frequently associated with urban structures, including buildings, roadways and sidewalks. Heat rejected by the buildings, vehicles and other energy consuming equipment add to the temperature difference.

Analysis of data from China suggests that daily average minimum temperatures are increasing approximately four times as rapidly as predicted, compared with daily average maximum temperatures. The researchers estimate that approximately 50% of the warming reported for China over the past 80 years is the result of UHI bias. It is reasonable to assume that such UHI bias affects the data collected in other nations, though perhaps not to that extent.

The magnitude of the UHI effect has significant technical policy implications. Accurately measuring global climate change requires that the temperature measurements not be affected by UHI, since UHI is a very localized phenomenon affecting a very small percentage of global land area, while scientific interest is in changes which are global in scope. UHI is a local phenomenon, superimposed upon a global phenomenon. Temperatures in the UHI are obviously of interest to the occupants of the UHI but are not indicative of the temperatures in the massive areas unaffected by the UHI effect.

The magnitude of the UHI effect also has significant social policy implications. Environmentalists are promoting social policies which would cause relocation of suburban and rural populations to cities. However, as noted above, growth of urban areas leads to increased temperatures in the UHI, in addition to temperature changes in the surrounding areas. These effects might be offset to some degree by urban design, more efficient buildings, more reflective structural surfaces, elimination of internal combustion engine vehicles, etc. However, it is unlikely that some level of additional temperature increase in the UHI could be avoided. It is also unlikely that the increases in temperatures in the UHI would be offset by temperature decreases outside the UHI.

It seems logical that the technical and technical policy issues discussed above should be understood and dealt with before significant social policy changes are implemented, to assure that the social policy changes do not produce adverse results.

 

Tags: Urban Heat Island

Highlighted Article: Sustainability: Ideology versus Reality

  • 8/29/19 at 06:00 AM

From: MasterResource

By: Paul Driessen

Date: August 26-28, 2019

 

 

Sustainability: Ideology versus Reality

 

Part I: Biofuels and Solar

Part II: Wind Turbines

Part III: The Big Picture

 

"They could have had a global teleconference to save millions of dollars and millions of gallons of aviation and vehicle fuel. They could have set a good example and avoided massive carbon dioxide emissions. They could have been more honest, ethical and sustainable … and less hypocritical.

But instead, some 20,000 activists, bureaucrats and politicians have flown to Salt Lake City, Utah, from around the world for yet another climate-related conference, this one the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference (August 26–28, 2019).

The globetrotters are staying at fancy hotels and eating fine food–and debating how the rest of humanity must travel, live, work, drive, farm, eat, and use (or not use) energy. The buzz word is sustainability to save the planet from resource depletion and climate cataclysms.

Conference organizers could have invited ..."

 

Sustainability: Ideology versus Reality

 

Part I: Biofuels and Solar

Part II: Wind Turbines

Part III: The Big Picture

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

USA Climate Priorities 2

The previous commentary on USA Climate Priorities discussed priorities regarding climate science, specifically regarding: accurate temperature measurement; establishment of specific values for climate sensitivity and feedbacks; and, verifying a climate model. Addressing these priorities is essential to understanding the potential future challenges which might be presented by climate change.

This commentary focuses on priorities regarding energy production. The extent to which US and global energy production must move toward zero CO2 emissions is a function of the results of the climate science research discussed above and in the previous commentary. Results confirming low sensitivity and minimal or negative feedbacks would suggest a modest progression toward increased renewable energy production. Results which confirmed high sensitivity and positive feedbacks would suggest a more aggressive progression toward zero emissions technologies for energy production.

There is growing recognition that a sole focus on wind, solar and battery storage to replace the current global energy infrastructure would represent a high cost, low reliability approach which would ultimately prove unacceptable or unachievable, absent some major scientific breakthroughs.

There are three reliable and dispatchable zero emissions technologies employed in the current global energy economy: nuclear, hydroelectric and geothermal steam. There are three additional potentially reliable and dispatchable technologies which have been identified but remain to be developed and implemented: wave energy, ocean thermal energy conversion and dry hot rock geothermal.

Several US thought leaders, including Bill Gates and James Hansen, are convinced that the dramatic reductions in global CO2 emissions envisioned by environmental and climate activists are unachievable without a significant increase in nuclear energy production. Nuclear technology is proven and is capable of significant expansion to meet current and future needs, as are hydroelectric and geothermal generation, though to a lesser extent.

Research priorities for nuclear generation include: inherently safe reactors; modular reactors; reactors capable of using a higher percentage of the energy available from the nuclear materials; and, reactors capable of being fueled with the spent fuel currently stored at nuclear generating facilities. Some research has already been conducted in each of these areas, but these efforts could easily be expanded and accelerated.

Hydroelectric development is currently underway in several countries, including China and India. Attempts to expand  US hydroelectric capacity have met with fierce resistance from environmental activists, many of whom argue for removal of existing hydro facilities. Some environmental organizations do not even include hydro in their lists of renewable technologies.

Geothermal steam generation is currently limited to areas where there are currently steam vents. Dry hot rock geothermal could be far more widely available, since dry hot rock could be accessed globally. However, limited experiments in Europe have triggered earthquakes, resulting in suspension of the research efforts.

Wave energy and ocean thermal energy conversion are also in their infancy but have very significant generation potential if successfully developed and deployed.

Major energy technology research efforts to advance these technologies could result in lower cost, reliable energy supplies; and, in major new industries to build, manage and maintain them. These research efforts could offer the potential to provide reliable electricity to developing and not-yet-developing countries as an alternative to expanded fossil fuel generation.

 

Tags: Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power

Highlighted Article: The Case for a Coercive Green New Deal?

  • 8/22/19 at 06:00 AM

From: American Institute for Economic Research

By: Richard M. Ebeling

Date: August 6, 2019

 

The Case for a Coercive Green New Deal?

 

"Social and economic crises, real and imagined, often seem to bring out the most wrongheaded thinking in matters of government policy. Following the 2008 financial crisis and with the fear of “global warming,” there has been a revival in the case for “democratic” socialism. But now its proponents are “out of the closet” with a clear cut and explicit call for forcefully imposed, authoritarian central planning of the world.

John Feffer is affiliated with the Washington, D.C.–based Institute for Policy Studies, a “progressive” think tank that has never seen a government command or control, regulation or redistribution that they seemingly have not liked – as long as it reflects their version of preferred social engineering compared to anyone else’s, of course. He has ..."

 

The Case for a Coercive Green New Deal?

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

USA Climate Priorities

The UNFCCC, the consensed climate science community and the environmental community assert that the USA should assume the mantle of climate change leadership and prioritize CO2 emissions reductions and financial transfers to the UN Green Climate Fund. Numerous US politicians and self-appointed “thought leaders” assert that climate change is a crisis, an “existential threat” to life on the earth. Numerous US cities, most recently New York City, have declared “climate emergencies”, intended to encourage the federal government and industry to take actions to eliminate or reverse climate change. These suggested priorities and assessments are fundamentally misguided. There is no crisis or emergency. The climate change which has apparently occurred has had a net positive impact. There is no certainty that it will not continue to be net positive.

There remain significant issues with our understanding of climate science which suggest that precipitate action is both unnecessary and unwise. There also remain significant limitations with renewable energy technology which suggest that it is unready to be relied upon to replace fossil fuels in the global energy economy. Turning US and global climate change action into a new “Manhattan Project” or the “Moral Equivalent Of War” would further increase the resulting economic cost and disruption.

The US and other nations have the intellectual and financial resources to address and resolve many of the significant issues in climate science, if they are willing to refocus their efforts on the basic science and assure that all of the data, computer code and analytical tools used in the research programs are freely available to other researchers in the various fields of study. This step is essential to facilitate reproducibility testing and to minimize unnecessary duplication of effort.

The first essential step in the process is the deployment of reliable and accurate temperature measuring stations in sufficient numbers and with sufficient global coverage, both land and sea, to assure that the changes in global temperatures can determined without “adjustment”. The combination of these measuring stations and the existing satellite network would permit both improved measurement accuracy and more comprehensive coverage.

The second essential step in the process is the establishment of definitive values for the sensitivity of the climate, the “greenhouse gases” and the feedbacks in the atmosphere caused by water vapor and clouds. These values are currently expressed as a range of estimated values, though recent research suggests that the actual climate sensitivity is below the lower end of the range of values currently in use.

The third essential step is improvement of the comprehensiveness of the climate models and their accuracy in modeling the real climate. This step would permit progress toward verifying one climate model capable of hindcasting historical climate without “tweaking”.

Government and private research funding sources must act to assure that their research contractors provide open access to their data and methods. Researchers who fail to provide open access should be excluded from further funding, since the accuracy of their research processes and reported results cannot be relied upon with confidence. There are sufficient resources available to fund and conduct this important climate research, but there are not sufficient funds to continue to waste funding on questionable or irreproducible research, or on “political science” intended to scare the populace.

 

Tags: Climate Models, Climate Sensitivity, Global Temperature, Greenhouse Gas

Highlighted Article: July 2019 Was Not the Warmest on Record

  • 8/15/19 at 08:53 AM

From: www.drroyspencer.com

By: Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Date: August 2, 2019

 

July 2019 Was Not the Warmest on Record

 

July 2019 was probably the 4th warmest of the last 41 years. Global “reanalysis” datasets need to start being used for monitoring of global surface temperatures. [NOTE: It turns out that the WMO, which announced July 2019 as a near-record, relies upon the ERA5 reanalysis which apparently departs substantially from the CFSv2 reanalysis, making my proposed reliance on only reanalysis data for surface temperature monitoring also subject to considerable uncertainty].

 

July 2019 Was Not the Warmest on Record

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Peer Review Anew

The members of the consensed climate science community are very quick to assert that the results of their research have been peer reviewed. However, the peers who have done the reviews are typically other members of the consensed climate science community. Some journals even permit the authors to select the peers who will perform the reviews. Dr. Patrick Michaels has described the peer review process as it is currently performed as “pal review”. We have discussed some of these issues previously (here).

Members of the consensed climate science community and their connections in scientific publishing have also conspired to prevent publication of research results produced by skeptical scientists, including scientists both refusing to function as peer reviewers and recommending rejection of papers for publication. Further discussion of this and related issues is available here.  

Dr. William Happer, a National Security Council science adviser, has recommended the establishment of a President’s Commission on Climate Security composed of climate scientists to conduct a critical review of the federal government reports and research programs related to the potential impacts of climate change on national security. The initial focus of the commission would be on DoD studies related to national security and on the Fourth National Climate Assessment. The commission would also review the science underlying these reports.

Members of the consensed climate science community and their allies have been very critical of the proposed commission, some even referring to it as “Stalinist”.  However, the intended mission of the commission is peer review of government-funded climate science in all its aspects: solicitation; award; conduct; supervision; peer review; and, publication. It is a due diligence review, triggered in part by continued warnings of climate catastrophies which have not occurred.

The Commission has not been established and the climate scientists who might participate have not been selected. However, several scientists have been identified as potential participants, including Dr. Judith Curry, Dr. John Christy and Dr. Richard Lindzen. Other potential participants include Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick, who have been critical of the statistical techniques used to analyze research results, including the Mann “Hockey Stick”.

The proposed commission would likely not include any members of the consensed climate science community, since they have conducted the research in question and analyzed and reported its results or have participated in peer review of the research. Therefore, their input is already in the record. However, it is likely that they would be called to meet with the commission if there are questions or concerns about their research and their analysis of the results.

The commission’s efforts would likely lead to questions regarding the provenance of climate data, the accuracy of the climate models, the uncertainties regarding climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks. These questions are the subject of skeptical research and analysis, but receive little attention in the scientific literature or the media.

The establishment of such a presidential commission seems little different from a corporate selection of an outside auditor to review its accounting and reporting procedures or employment of an outside consultant to review corporate structure and future business plans.

 

Tags: Peer Review

Barely Measurable?

Several recent media articles have suggested that even if the US adopted the Green New Deal, or somevariant thereof, which reduced or eliminated US CO2 emissions, the impact on global warming would be “barely measurable”. These suggestions betray a fundamental misunderstanding of the status of climate science. In reality, the impact would be unmeasurable and barely calculable.

Global annual CO2 emissions are not measurable, since most of the sources of CO2 emissions, both natural and anthropogenic, are not instrumented. Estimated annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions are calculated based on estimated annual fossil fuel consumption.

Global annual CO2 removal from the atmosphere by the global oceans and growing trees and plants is also estimated, based on changes in ocean temperatures and on estimated plant mass and uptake.

Future global CO2 emissions can only be projected with questionable accuracy, so it would not be possible to measure the impact of even measured reductions in any nation’s emissions on the uncertain estimates of future global emissions, assuming that any nation’s emissions could actually be measured.

The impact of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on global temperatures can only be estimated, based on estimates of climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks input into unverified climate models. It is not currently possible to separately measure the impacts of natural and anthropogenic changes on global temperatures. Global average temperatures have changed, both positively and negatively, prior to and subsequent to significant anthropogenic CO2 emissions; and, the causes of these changes are not clearly understood. However, it is clearly unreasonable to assume that these natural variations ceased when humans began emitting significant quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Similarly, any impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on other aspects of climate, such as droughts, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes cannot be measured, though climate scientists have begun performing computer model-based attribution studies to estimate such impacts. However, these climate models are unverified and the factors entered into the models are estimates, rather than measured quantities. The frequency of occurrence, duration and severity of these natural events can be measured, but the data suggest that there is no clear anthropogenic signal in any aspect of any of the events. Such a signal might exist, but it is far exceeded by the range of historical natural variation in weather and climate.

Finally, the Social Cost of Carbon, which attempts to take into account all of the suspected negative impacts of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is not based on measurements, but again on estimates of the potential adverse impacts produced by entering estimates of climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks into unverified climate models. No similar effort has been made to analyze the social benefits of carbon, though it is becoming progressively more obvious that such benefits exist. The greening of the globe documented by NASA satellites is attributed largely to the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, though again the percentage attributable to increased CO2 is an estimate and not a measurement.

Climate science actually measures only atmospheric CO2 concentration, near-surface land and ocean temperatures and sea level; and, the temperature and sea level measurements are of limited accuracy. Climate science also counts weather events and measures their duration and intensity, but can only estimate the impact of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations on these events.

 

Tags: CO2 Emissions, Estimates as Facts, Climate Models

ISO Damage Standard

The International Organization for Standards (ISO) promulgates a broad range of standards developed by one or more of its 163 national members and agreed to by the membership. Companies globally are encouraged to adopt these standards in their business operations and customers are encouraged to do business with companies which have adopted the standards.

The ISO 14000 family of standards “ provides practical tools for companies and organizations of all kinds looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.” The Swedish Life Cycle Center has begun development of what would become ISO Standard 14008: Monetary Valuation of Environmental Impacts and Related Environmental Aspects.

ISO Standard 14008 includes, but is not limited to, the climate impacts of companies’ operations. The standard would subsume the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), as well as a number of other aspects of companies’ operations which are judged to have impacts on the environment and sustainability. The standard is intended to accurately reflect both the positive and negative impacts of all aspects of companies’ operations. However, many of these impacts are extremely difficult to measure and to evaluate.

Sustainability is a very broad concept which is focused on 17 sustainable development goals. However, it is a difficult and time-consuming process to estimate, no less measure, the impacts of a specific company’s operations on each of these 17 sustainability goals. However, the adoption of ISO Standard 14008 would essentially require that the analyses be conducted and their results used to modify company operations.

However, the SCC is an indication of the technical limitations and economic risks associated with such international standards. For example, the values suggested for the SCC vary widely; and, the value selected for an analysis, or a regulation, or a law can have significant economic impacts on companies affected by the standard. There are competent studies which assert that the current SCC is negative; that is, the emissions of carbon dioxide are having a net positive effect on the environment. Some studies suggest that the positive effects would continue for the foreseeable future.

There is scant data on the current environmental impacts of incremental atmospheric CO2; and, there is no data on the potential future impacts. NASA’s analysis of the “Greening of the Globe” suggests that the primary contributor to the greening is the result of increased atmospheric CO2. Other studies have concluded that increased atmospheric CO2 has improved the efficiency with which many plants, including many food crops, use the water available to support their growth and productivity.

The concerns regarding the future SCC are based on unverified climate models, uncertain estimates of climate sensitivity and feedbacks, and prospective Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs).

There is also scant data available regarding the other environmental impacts of other aspects of companies’ operations. Therefore, the proposed standard would be based largely on expert estimates of current and projected future effects, again based largely on unverified models. While this might represent a reasonable basis for “recommendations” or “guidelines”, it hardly seems appropriate for an international standard which might be codified in regulation or law.

 

Tags: Climate Models, Climate Predictions, CO2 Emissions

Highlighted Article: How science makes environmental controversies worse

  • 7/25/19 at 06:00 AM

From: Science Direct

By: Daniel Sarewitz

 

How science makes environmental controversies worse

 

Abstract

I use the example of the 2000 US Presidential election to show that political controversies with technical underpinnings are not resolved by technical means. Then, drawing from examples such as climate change, genetically modified foods, and nuclear waste disposal, I explore the idea that scientific inquiry is inherently and unavoidably subject to becoming politicized in environmental controversies. I discuss three reasons for this. First, science supplies contesting parties with their own bodies of relevant, legitimated facts about nature, chosen in part because they help make sense of, and are made sensible by, particular interests and normative frameworks. Second, competing disciplinary approaches to understanding the scientific bases of an environmental controversy may be causally tied to competing value-based political or ethical positions. The necessity of looking at nature through a variety of disciplinary lenses brings with it a variety of normative lenses, as well. Third, it follows from the foregoing that scientific uncertainty, which so often occupies a central place in environmental controversies, can be understood not as a lack of scientific understanding but as the lack of coherence among competing scientific understandings, amplified by the various political, cultural, and institutional contexts within which science is carried out. In light of these observations, I briefly explore the problem of why some types of political controversies become “scientized” and others do not, and conclude that the value bases of disputes underlying environmental controversies must be fully articulated and adjudicated through political means before science can play an effective role in resolving environmental problems.

 

How science makes environmental controversies worse

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Building Anxiety

The consensed climate science community, the media and progressive politicians are experiencing high anxiety regarding climate change. However, they have been relatively unsuccessful in building similar high anxiety among voters in the US, though certainly not for lack of trying. They have used progressively more strident rhetoric and produced more scary scenarios to little effect.

The progression of the language used when referring to the issue, to its projected consequences and to those who do not accept the consensus view of the issue is interesting and somewhat amusing.

ISSUE:

  • global warming
  • global weirding
  • global heating
  • climate change
  • carbon pollution
  • climate crisis
  • climate emergency
  • climate chaos
  • existential threat
  • climategeddon
  • climate apocalypse
  • our World War II

CONSEQUENCES:

  • more, longer heat waves
  • more, longer droughts
  • more floods
  • more, stronger tornadoes
  • more, stronger tropical cyclones
  • greater storm surge
  • extreme weather
  • rising sea levels
  • island submergence
  • more coastal flooding
  • mass migration
  • massive crop failures
  • mass starvation
  • 150 million deaths
  • fireball Earth

SKEPTICS:

  • climate deniers
  • climate change deniers
  • anti-science
  • climate zombies
  • climate misinformers
  • oil industry shills
  • deranged
  • criminal
  • crime against humanity
  • treasonous
  • throw in gulags
  • should be euthanized
  • should commit suicide

However, against this progressively more extreme rhetorical flourish, there is no apparent crisis. The predictions of events which have not occurred, such as the ice-free Arctic, disappearance of glaciers, the end of snow, perpetual drought in California and Texas, more frequent and stronger tropical cyclones and tornadoes, etc. remind people of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” and “Chicken Little”.

Attempts to distract from failed predictions, such as assertions that climate change can mean both warmer and colder, both more and less snow, both more and less rain, etc. have also been unsuccessful because they are fundamentally counterintuitive. People tend to trust their personal experience, which tells them that weather and seasons change, warmer and cooler, wetter and drier.

The media are quick to highlight stories about shortened ski seasons but have little to say about ski resorts open for skiing in early June. They were quick to point out lower water levels in the Great Lakes several years ago, but far less anxious to discuss record high water levels currently. They are quick to report on flood damage, but more reluctant to report on historical environmentalist resistance to the construction of flood control dams and levees. They were quick to report on the recent major hurricanes, but slow to report on the previous 12-year period with no major hurricanes. They cling to the old adage: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

Dr. David Wojik recently pointed out a common characteristic of the Pentagon climate change security studies and the National Climate Assessment. In each case: “The authors were specifically instructed to look at worst case scenarios, which are not a basis for action. Unfortunately these hypothetical scenarios were reported as real predictions, in part because some people actually believe them.” It is very likely that the authors of many of the federally funded “scary scenario” studies were given the same specific instructions.

 

Tags:

High Anxiety

Numerous factors are causing high anxiety in the climate science and environmental communities and among US politicians:

  • the current US Administration’s skepticism regarding climate change;
  • the impending 2020 elections in the US;
  • the proposed President’s Commission on Climate Security; 
  • the legal challenge to the EPA 2009 Endangerment Finding;
  • recent research suggesting lower climate sensitivity to increased CO2;
  • acknowledgement that the climate models are “running hot”; and,
  • the call for improved near-surface temperature measurement.

Perhaps the most dramatic manifestation of this high anxiety is the proposal for a Green New Deal, which was announced with great fanfare by Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D, NY) and Senator Edward Markey (D, MA) and is supported by half of the announced Democrat candidates for President. This approximately $100 trillion proposal combines rapid decarbonization of the US economy with a progressive wish list of environmental justice and social justice programs. The rallying cry of its supporters asserts that we have 12 years to save the planet, though rapid decarbonization of the US economy would have no measurable effect on climate change on a global scale.

A second political manifestation of this high anxiety is the formation of a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis by the majority in the US House of Representatives. This action, like the Green New Deal, assumes that the climate is in crisis and would focus on how to avert the worst perceived effects of that crisis. The fact that there is no apparent crisis appears to be of little concern to the House majority, though it is apparently the reason for the lack of concern regarding climate change among US voters.

Yet another political manifestation is the recent commitment of $500 million by financier and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg to support an enhanced lobbying effort to end the use of coal in the US. There are also ongoing efforts to end oil and gas exploration on public lands and to limit the use of hydraulic fracturing to enhance natural gas production. These efforts are accompanied by persistent demands that the US economy transition to 100% renewables by 2050. However, several prominent figures including former NASA GISS Director James Hansen, Bill Gates and Michael Shellenberger assert that 100% renewables is impractical and that nuclear energy will be required to satisfy US energy needs in a future, decarbonized economy.

The Administration’s positions regarding climate change have led to numerous personal attacks. One 2020 Democrat presidential candidate has described the President’s position regarding climate change as “treason”.  The New York Times has described his actions as “an attack on climate science”. Professor Michael Mann has described the proposed Commission on Climate Security as “Stalinist”.

Meanwhile, there is far less public anxiety within the climate science community regarding: the progressive falsification of the existing ensemble of climate models; the perceived need to improve near-surface temperature measurement and eliminate temperature data “adjustment”; uncertainties in sea level rise measurements; and, the lack of any apparent linkage between climate change and extreme weather events.

It appears that the “settled science” is not quite as settled as the climate science community, politicians and the media would have us believe.

 

Tags: Green New Deal, Settled Science, Climate Change Debate
Search Older Blog Posts