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In the Wake of the News

Highlighted Article: New confirmation that climate models overstate atmospheric warming


From: Climate Etc.

By: Ross McKitrick

Date: August 13, 2020


New confirmation that climate models overstate atmospheric warming


"Two new peer-reviewed papers from independent teams confirm that climate models overstate atmospheric warming and the problem has gotten worse over time, not better.

The papers are Mitchell et al. (2020) “The vertical profile of recent tropical temperature trends: Persistent model biases in the context of internal variability” Environmental Research Letters, and McKitrick and Christy (2020) “Pervasive warming bias in CMIP6 tropospheric layers” Earth and Space Science. John and I didn’t know about the Mitchell team’s work until after their paper came out, and they likewise didn’t know about ours.

Mitchell et al. look at the surface, troposphere and stratosphere over the tropics (20N to 20S). John and I look at the tropical and global lower- and mid- troposphere. Both papers test large samples of the latest generation (“Coupled Model Intercomparison Project version 6” or CMIP6) climate models, i.e. the ones being used for the next IPCC report, and compare model outputs to post-1979 observations. John and I were able to examine 38 models while Mitchell et al. looked at 48 models. The sheer number makes one wonder why so many are needed, if the science is settled. Both papers looked at “hindcasts,” which are reconstructions of recent historical temperatures in response to observed greenhouse gas emissions and other changes (e.g. aerosols and solar forcing). Across the two papers it emerges that the models overshoot historical warming from the near-surface through the upper troposphere, in the tropics and globally." ...


New confirmation that climate models overstate atmospheric warming


Tags: Highlighted Article

Alarmism / Skepticism

A recent study raised issues regarding climate alarmism and climate skepticism and disinformation. The following statement from the study is the subject of this commentary.

"... the amount of literature examining climate change alarmism is negligible compared to that examining climate change skepticism ..." Suggesting it is significantly less prevalent.

Climate alarmism is the primary product of government funded climate change research. Therefore, climate alarmism is far more prevalent than climate skepticism. However, because it is reported as the results of government funded research in the US and globally, it is not typically reported or perceived as being alarmism.

Any research project which evaluates potential future climate scenarios based on Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP 8.5) is alarmist, as RCP 8.5 is built on totally unrealistic atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Its use results in projections of extreme temperature increases, increased and worsened droughts and flooding, increased extreme tropical cyclones, increased frequency and intensity of tornadoes, dramatically rising sea levels, island and coastal submersion, species extinction, massive refugee movements and increased mortality.

Research funding agencies and the researchers they fund do not view their efforts as alarmism, but merely as advancing the science. They certainly do not discuss their results as alarmist, though they are intended to alarm the public and stimulate climate action. However, the research funding agencies and the researchers they fund do classify any research which does not agree with their work and anyone who questions their work as skeptical or denialist.

The agencies which prepare the National Climate Assessment do not view presenting  graphs with truncated timeframes as alarmist, though the reason for the truncation is to begin the graph at the point in the historical record which emphasizes or maximizes the apparent change in the reported phenomenon, which is then attributed to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Several examples of this truncation are explained by Tony Heller here. The agencies which prepare the National Climate Assessment were quick to label Heller’s analysis as skepticism. Clearly, in this case, Heller’s skepticism is amply justified.

The scientists who review climate research for inclusion in the IPCC Assessment Reports do not consider their actions in excluding skeptical research from the reports as alarmist, though their intent is to exclude research which suggests less reason for climate alarm. The narrative regarding the need for alarm regarding climate has been established and will be defended from new research results which do not support the narrative.

The scientists who “adjust” global near-surface temperature records to make it appear that the globe is warming more rapidly than it is do not consider their “adjustments” alarmist. They are just protecting the established narrative.

The politicians who warn of impending doom and the need for precipitous action to avoid it apparently do not view their activities as alarmism either, though they are quick to attack those skeptical scientists who accuse them of alarmism.

The suggestion that climate alarmism is less prevalent than climate skepticism appears to ignore the long list of alarmist predictions which have failed to occur, as listed here. The Arctic is not yet ice-free. Snow has not disappeared from the face of the earth. Tropical cyclones have not become more frequent of more destructive. The Pacific islands have not been submerged nor have coastal cities. California and Texas are not in perpetual drought. Massive climate-driven migration has not occurred.

Interestingly, climate alarmists appear not to be particularly alarmed by the rapid increase in coal use in China, India and throughout the Pacific Rim, though skeptics frequently bring it to their attention.



The Path to Deception

Climate science is extremely complex because the climate is extremely complex and not completely understood. Scientific papers which report the results of climate research can be very difficult to read and understand because of the complexity of the subject matter. Research scientists typically prepare abstracts of their reports to assist those interested in the science to determine the specific subject matter of the research, the fundamental research process and the general conclusions of the research. These abstracts can also be difficult to read and understand.

It has become common for the agencies or universities for which the climate research has been conducted to produce press releases announcing the completion of the research and providing a layman’s summary of the research results and an assessment of their significance to understanding of the climate. These press releases frequently also serve as marketing tools to assist the agencies or universities in obtaining additional research contracts. Therefore, they frequently exaggerate the accomplishments of the research team and their significance.

This situation persists and is magnified in the UN IPCC process, in which teams of scientists review new climate research papers and select those to be included in the working group reports. The working groups then prepare reports which are, in effect, abstracts of all of the research reports selected for review and inclusion in the working groups final report. These working group reports are then condensed and simplified to prepare a Summary for Policymakers intended to assist policymakers to decide which policies they should adopt in response to the science as summarized.

The climate science research process is corrupted in at least three fundamental ways. The most fundamental corruption is the selection of the specific research to be conducted by the organizations (typically government) funding the research and the selection of the research teams to conduct the research. The second corruption occurs in the selection of research results to be included in the working group reports. The final corruption occurs in the translation of the research results into policy guidelines, which is heavily influenced by politics. There has been at least one case in which the Summary for Policymakers did not accurately summarize the product of the working groups.

The IPCC also prepares press releases regarding the contents of the Summary for Policymakers. These press releases focus on what the policymakers want to communicate to the public in layman’s terms. The “If it bleeds, it leads” media then selectively report the most glaring highlights of the press releases, which are then echoed and amplified by climate alarmists in an effort to spur the public to demand climate action.

The scientific reserve and uncertainty expressed in the original research reports are progressively downplayed or neglected in this process, resulting in media reporting of current and potential future conditions with totally unjustified certainty. This process ultimately leads to proclamations regarding “the end of snow”, an “ice-free Arctic”, Fireball Earth, massive climate change refugee issues, disappearing islands and submerged coastlines, among others.

Uncertain science thus leads to the deception of certain apocalypse, without any evidence.


Tags: IPCC, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: The Climate Left Attacks Nobel Laureate William D. Nordhaus


From: American Enterprise Institute

By: Benjamin Zycher

Date: July 2020


The Climate Left Attacks Nobel Laureate William D. Nordhaus

"Key Points

• William D. Nordhaus, having received the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics largely in
recognition of his integrated assessment model of the science and economics of climate
policies, now is under attack from the environmental left, almost certainly because that
model does not support the policy preferences of the climate alarmists.

• The alarmists’ assertions about prospective climate phenomena are driven by climate
models that have predicted the past and present poorly, under a set of assumptions that
are deeply dubious. Those assertions are inconsistent with the evidence, and the alarmists’
policy prescriptions have been based in part on the application of low (or zero) discount
rates, on the grounds that such discount rates are appropriate as a tool with which to
incorporate the interests of future generations. That premise is incorrect.

• The proponents of the climate “crisis” attack on fossil fuels are driven by an imperative
almost entirely ideological. That rather than any reliance on “science” explains why a
dedicated scholar like Nordhaus finds himself under attack." ...


The Climate Left Attacks Nobel Laureate William D. Nordhaus


Tags: Highlighted Article

A Failure of Belief

“One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,” Fauci told the Learning Curve podcast, which is produced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Fauci’s comments were made in the context of the recent COVID19 pandemic and were critical of American’s responses to the recommendations of scientists and government officials in response to the pandemic. However, belief in science becomes difficult when the issue is: “What does the science say today?”. Belief in authority becomes difficult when the issue is: “What is the official position today?”.

Multiple scientific positions, from multiple sources, regarding epidemiology, transmission, symptomatology, treatment, mortality, etc. caused many to wonder what, if anything, was the science to “believe” as opposed to the latest informed opinion. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the science was the wildly varying estimates of infection and mortality rates.

Multiple conflicting positions by those supposedly in authority were equally confusing and raised similar questions about what to “believe”. Some actions by those in authority, such as consigning active COVID19 cases to nursing homes and extended care facilities resulted in numerous additional deaths among sensitive populations.

Science and authority have not performed with distinction during the pandemic. Therefore, rather than being critical of this “failure of belief”, I believe the “failure of belief” is a reasonable and rational response to the performance of science and authority. The response is not “anti-science” or “anti-authority” as much as it is uncertainty about what is scientific and what is authoritative.

While Dr. Fauci’s criticism was focused on the pandemic response, its implications are far more broadly applicable.

“The science is settled” is the clarion cry of the consensed climate science community. However, there remain numerous valid questions regarding what the science is. Global average near-surface and tropospheric temperatures are rising, but it is not currently possible to determine the portion of this warming which is natural recovery from the Little Ice Age, other natural factors and anthropogenic influences. Global average sea levels are rising, as the have been for more than 150 years, but there is no measurable influence of increased global average temperatures on the rate of rise; and, there remain questions regarding the actual rate of rise. The future influence of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations remains uncertain. The climate models produce widely varying projections, depending on the choice of model, climate sensitivity, forcings and feedbacks. Belief in the science is difficult because it is not clear what the science is.

Authority also presents no clear, concise, consistent position regarding future actions necessary to avoid a climate catastrophe. Some in positions of authority state that we have somewhere between 6 months and 12 years to mend our evil ways and save the planet. Belief in authority is difficult because it is not clear what is authoritative. Certainly not all the positions espoused by those in authority can be accurate since they are inconsistent.

Skepticism is an essential characteristic of the pursuit of science. Skepticism is also an inherent quality of humanity. Neither science nor authority is a religion, so neither should require belief, and both should require proof.


Tags: Climate Skeptics, Climate Science

Highlighted Article: The Shellenberger Chronicles



By: Dr. Jay Lehr

Date: July 15 - July 25, 2020


The Shellenberger Chronicles

Part 1: A Rude Awakening
Part 2: Protecting the Planet Intelligently

Part 3: Do radical environmentalists mean well? Get serious!


"In June of 2020 Michael Shellenberger published a very important book titled APOCALYPSE NEVER: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. In an interview with the Heartland Institute, Mr. Shellenberger indicated that he thought it was the most important book yet to be written on the delusion that has engulfed the entire world for decades, man caused global warming. He is confidant the book will be a game changer in eventually releasing people everywhere from the false fear that has been rained upon them. While there is nothing in the book that has not been said and printed by elite climate scientists often before, I for one am inclined to agree with him as to the books importance. I certainly hope he is correct" ...


Part 1: A Rude Awakening
Part 2: Protecting the Planet Intelligently

Part 3: Do radical environmentalists mean well? Get serious!


Tags: Highlighted Article


  • factual: of or relating to facts; restricted to or based on fact (Merriam-Webster)
  • nonfactual: not relating to, concerned with or based on facts (Merriam-Webster)
  • counterfactual: contrary to fact (Merriam-Webster)
  • deceptive: tending or having power to cause someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid

Several aspects of what constitutes “common knowledge” regarding climate change are factual. Climate is changing, as it always has. Sea levels are rising, as they have in the past and have been for at least 170 years. The global average tropospheric temperature is increasing. The atmospheric CO2 concentration is increasing; and, the additional CO2 is contributing to global greening.

Several aspects of what constitutes “common knowledge” and the “consensus” regarding climate change are nonfactual; they are estimates. The ~1°C increase in global average near-surface temperature anomalies is an estimate, since global instrument coverage is inadequate in certain regions and near-surface data are “adjusted” and “infilled”, rendering them estimates. Assertions that CO2 is wholly or primarily responsible for near-surface temperature increases are based on estimates.

Global average sea surface temperature anomalies are nonfactual estimates, since global sea surface temperature instrument coverage is inadequate and data are “adjusted” and “infilled”. Ocean heat content calculations are also estimates because of sparse instrument coverage and limitations of measurement at depth.

Computer model projections of future climate conditions are nonfactual, since none of the models have been verified and none have demonstrated predictive skill. The projections are also nonfactual because their temperature anomaly inputs are estimates and their sensitivity inputs and feedback inputs constitute ranges of estimated values. There is currently no assurance that the actual sensitivities and feedbacks lie within the ranges used as inputs.

Computer model attributions of changes in weather events to climate change are also nonfactual estimates, since the computer models used for the attribution calculations are unverified.

Assertions regarding increased frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, tornadoes, droughts and floods are counterfactual, as documented here. Assertions that this would be the case in the future are based on unverified climate models.

Regrettably, some of what is reported regarding climate change is intentionally deceptive: and, much of it is presented in government reports. The most common deception is the reporting of the “warmest year ever” based on data which is of insufficient accuracy to permit such determinations. NOAA and NASA GISS are both guilty of this deception.

Arguably, the most alarming collection of climate science deceptions is contained in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which is prepared by a group of scientists to inform federal government policy regarding climate. This deception has been documented by Tony Heller in a series of YouTube videos, of which this is the most damning. The contributors to the Assessment “cherry-picked” the start dates in their graphical presentations to present the data beginning with the lowest point in the data for each issue they addressed, rather than showing all of the data from the beginning of the data record. This is clearly intentional and purposeful deception.

Rosanne D’Arrigo once explained to an astounded National Academy of Sciences panel that you had to pick cherries if you wanted to make cherry pie. This approach is not desirable if you want to make science.


Tags: Temperature Record, Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Climate Models, Estimates as Facts, Climate Predictions


DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and I did not sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Several California cities and counties filed nuisance lawsuits in state courts against major oil and gas companies based on their production and promotion of their products. The stated intent of the lawsuits is not to end the nuisance, but rather to seek funding to assist the plaintiffs to adapt to sea level rise caused by the use of the fossil fuels produced and sold by these companies. The companies had the suits transferred to the federal courts on procedural grounds and then moved to have the suits dismissed. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the various lawsuits could proceed in the state courts, though it is highly likely that the cases will return to the federal courts on appeal, regardless of the outcome in the state courts.

The operations of these companies in the State of California are licensed and regulated. These operations were not previously viewed as nuisances as: state, county and local agencies built and maintained roads for use by vehicles fueled with these companies products; approved production and refinery capacity to produce the products and transmission and distribution pipeline facilities to deliver the products; approved residential, commercial and industrial buildings and facilities which would use these products for a variety of applications; and, taxed the facilities and the products they produced, refined, delivered, sold and used.

The lawsuits were filed in response to climate model projections of rapid, dangerous sea level rise in the future, which would require the plaintiff jurisdictions to expend massive adaptation funding. There are several significant issues regarding the basis of the lawsuits.

Tide gauge measurements of sea level rise began in the 1850s, approximately 100 years before the widespread use of fossil fuels is believed to have begun influencing global climate. There is no indication of an acceleration of the rate of sea level rise over that 170 year period; and, therefore, no basis on which to assert that the widespread and rapidly growing use of fossil fuels beginning in the mid-20th century contributed to sea level rise. Satellite measurement of sea level began in 1992. The satellite measurements of the rate of sea level rise are roughly twice the rates measured by tide gauges, but there is no indication of an acceleration of the rate of rise in the satellite data. The discrepancy in the rates of rise is currently unexplained.

The models used to project future rates of sea level rise are currently unverified and have demonstrated no predictive ability. Therefore, there is no certainty that the potential future effects of sea level rise to which the plaintiffs assert they would be required to adapt would actually occur.

Finally, if the use of fossil fuels were contributing to sea level rise, that contribution would be the result of the use of all fossil fuels globally, not merely the use of oil and gas consumed in the State of California and marketed and sold by the defendants in the California lawsuits.

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell” - Carl Sandburg


Tags: Climate Change Lawsuits

Highlighted Article: Memo to Biden


From: Master Resource

By: Robert Bradley Jr.

Date: July 20 - July 23, 2020


Memo to Biden


W. S. Jevons (1865) on Wind - Part 1
W. S. Jevons (1865) on Waterpower, Biomass. and Geothermal - Part 2
W. S. Jevons on Coal - Part 3
W. S. Jevons on Energy Efficiency - Part 4


“The first great requisite of motive power is, that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire. The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.”

The most important book written on energy economics was the first: William Stanley Jevons’s The Coal Question (London: Macmillan and Company, 1865, rev. 1866). This classic is available in its entirety on the Internet.

Jevons’s remarkably sophisticated treatment of energy sustainability remains pertinent today. In a real sense, the Biden approach to energy was refuted by the insight of W. S. Jevons more than 150 years ago.

This four-part series will continue this week with Waterpower, Biomass, and Geothermal; Coal; and Energy Efficiency." ...


W. S. Jevons (1865) on Wind - Part 1
W. S. Jevons (1865) on Waterpower, Biomass. and Geothermal - Part 2
W. S. Jevons on Coal - Part 3
W. S. Jevons on Energy Efficiency - Part 4


Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate and Game Theory

Zero-sum, positive-sum, and negative-sum are all game theory terms that refer to the outcomes of a dispute or negotiation. They refer to the actual amount of wealth (money, land, vacation time) -- measurable rewards -- that each party receives. (link)

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process which led to the Paris Accords has been a 25-year international negotiation regarding atmospheric emissions and wealth. It has been a very difficult negotiation because, ultimately, the primary focus of the negotiation must be a negative sum game. To achieve the desired outcome of the process, all parties to the negotiation must reduce their emissions of the gases identified as the primary drivers of anthropogenic global warming and climate change toward a goal of net-zero emissions. To achieve this endgame, there can be no “winners”.

The negotiations have seen the UN member nations divide into three basic groupings: developed nations, developing nations and not-yet-developing nations. The developed nations are seen as having been responsible for much of the increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and other gases identified as “greenhouse gases”. The developing nations are rapidly increasing their emissions of these gases as their economies develop. Interestingly, China, the globe’s second largest economy, is classed as a developing nation, though its annual CO2 emissions are the globe’s largest by a factor of two.

The developing and not-yet-developing nations believe that they should be able to continue to increase their emissions as they pursue economic development; and, that the developed nations should decrease their emissions to offset the increases by the developing and not-yet-developing nations. This position is based on their concepts of economic and climate “justice”. However, this position is untenable when the largest and fastest growing emitter is a developing country; and, as a result, global annual emissions continue to increase and will for the foreseeable future. This approach has effectively converted what was supposed to be a negative-sum game into a positive-sum game.

A secondary focus of the UNFCCC process is the Green Climate Fund, intended to transfer wealth and income from the developed nations to the developing and not-yet-developing nations to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and provide compensatory finding for “loss and damage” resulting from climate change. The Green Climate Fund is designed as a zero-sum game in which the losses experienced by the developed nations transferring wealth and income to the Fund are equal to the gains experienced by the recipients of distributions from the Fund plus the administrative overhead of the Fund. The “winners” are more committed to this game than the “losers”.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the UNFCCC process will not be able to achieve its stated objectives without some overarching global government structure which has the power to enforce the emissions reductions and transfer payments determined necessary to achieve the objectives. However, there appears to be little interest on the part of the developed countries and the largest of the developing countries to surrender their sovereignty and subject themselves to the dictates of a global government.


Tags: Green Climate Fund, Paris Agreement

Highlighted Article: Update: Global Man-made CO2 emissions 1965 – 2019, BP data


From: Watts Up With That?

By: Charles Rotter

Date: June 23, 2020


Update: Global Man-made CO2 emissions 1965 – 2019, BP data



Every June BP publish their statistical review of world energy.

One element of their comprehensive set of spreadsheets is a table of CO2 emissions by world countries since 1965.  For the purposes of this post, the CO2 emissions data provided by BP here is assumed to be correct.

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 12.46.30.png

That data is here and aggregated into seven Nation groups according to nominal state of development and attitudes towards controlling CO2 emissions, as follows:

  • Developed
    • USA
    • JP CIS CA AU
    • EU (28)
  • Nominally Developing
    • China HK
    • India
    • Rest of World (~160 Nations)

The aggregate data of CO2 emissions growth is summarised from 1965 onwards are shown above.  The marked differential between the Developed and nominally Developing worlds is shown below.

It shows:

  • The virtual stabilisation of world emissions 2012 – 2019
  • The continuing diminution of CO2 emissions from the Developed world from 2005 onwards
  • The growing escalation of CO2 emissions from the “Developing” world, including China and India. This growth of CO2 emissions will inevitably continue and accelerate." ...


Update: Global Man-made CO2 emissions 1965 – 2019, BP data


Tags: Highlighted Article

“Greenwashing” Socialism

greenwashing: expressions of environmentalist concerns especially as a cover for products, policies, or activities – Merriam-Webster

socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods – Merriam-Webster


Environmental activists have accused numerous corporations of “greenwashing” to improve their public image regarding environmental issues. The questioned corporate actions range from introduction of a limited number of new “green” products or services to refocusing marketing and advertising of existing products and services as “green”. The activists have attempted to assure that “it’s not easy being green”.


Environmental activists inside and outside government are participating in an international effort to greenwash socialism. In the United States, this effort has culminated in the introduction of the Green New Deal and A Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy, which combines elements of the Green New Deal and the Blue New Deal.


Each of these programs embodies numerous “green” elements, primarily focused on climate change, though it is clear that none of these “green” program elements would have any measurable impact on global climate change, if for no other reason than that they are not global in scope. Each of these programs also embodies numerous socialist elements, all of which would move the nation further toward socialism. This movement toward socialism would have a measurable societal impact.


The Green New Deal would: “Enact energy democracy based on public, community and worker ownership of our energy system. Treat energy as a human right.” It would also effectively eliminate property rights associated with energy: “End destructive energy extraction and associated infrastructure: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, natural gas pipelines, and uranium mines.” These aspects of the Green New Deal are consistent with the socialist effort to eliminate certain historic rights while creating new “human rights” including rights to medical care, food, housing, employment and a “living wage”.


The Green Stimulus to Rebuild Our Economy builds on the Green New Deal and the Blue New Deal to “greenwash” a program of expanded socialism during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown. Public housing, affordable housing, rent control, federal zoning regulations, workers cooperatives, unionization, worker ownership, living wage, etc. have little or no impact on climate change, but they do expand socialism.


Estimates of the costs of the Green New Deal have ranged up to $93 trillion over 10 years. No such estimates are available for the Blue New Deal or the Green Stimulus to rebuild our economy. The estimated costs for the Green New Deal do not include the $60+ trillion Deadweight Loss associated with abandoning fossil fuels in the ground and abandoning the facilities which use those fuels. It is also important to note that the existing estimates are for 10 year costs, though the programs would continue beyond 10 years; and, that the cost of such social programs has historically always exceeded the original estimates and has grown over time.


Finally, all of these efforts and their costs would produce no measurable effect on global climate change.


Tags: Green New Deal
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